In an excellent episode of Doctor Who, Season 3's "Human Nature", the Doctor has been forced to taken on a human form, even a human brain, and he loses his memories. However, he does write in a book, visions and things that linger around his brain. As a teacher in a 1913 English Boarding School, he naturally assumes it's fiction that he's writing. In his book we see images of the Sonic Screwdriver, the TARDIS, the Moxx of Balhoun, K9 makes an appearance on the page, and various other characters we've met in this new series. (I cut and pasted two shots together, one showing more of the bottom page blended in to one showing the top of the page.
On this page, we see five of his past regenerations. Above, though never seen clearly, we see what could be three more, but we can't discern which ones.
On this page, from the top left, clockwise: Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann, William Hartnell, Peter Davison and what looks to be Jon Pertwee, (though the darkness of his eyes and hair almost makes him look more like Troughton.
This is very interesting because in this episode, he uses a cricket ball to solve a problem, which is something Davison did on more than one occasion. Also, not only is it the first time we do a direct link to the previous series (1963-1989), but we see for the very first time an indication that the 1996 movie (starring Paul McGann, regenerating from Sylvester McCoy) is indeed canon in this new series.
This looks cool. If you're into model rocketry, apparently now you can fly the TARDIS!... er... I mean a Metropolitan Police Box! It appears to be a very detailed model, and claims to have over 100 parts!
11.9" x 4.1"
Recommended engine is a D12! Yikes, that's a powerful engine.
$35.00. Not a bad price for a functional model rocket that is also a very detailed model of the TARDIS.
I recently got a copy of another of Russell T. Davies' works, "Dark Season". I haven't watched it all yet, I'm only about 10 minutes in, but there are two things of interest:
These are the super-fast modern computers that are being brought into the school in the opening scenes. FAST ACCESS. 386 16Mhz computers with 40 Mb and 3.5" floppies, and 2Mb of RAM.
I liked this part: WYS NWYG - "What You See is NOT What You Get". I imagine that's foreshadowing of things to come in this kids' SF drama.
The other interesting thing happens even earlier, the appearance of a familiar face:
A bit younger, and a bit rounder, but that's unmistakeably Kate Winslet.
Character Options has done some nice 12" figures from the new Doctor Who. The Cyberman is quite nice. But today I got the Clockwork Man from "Girl in the Fireplace".
I've only seen a picture or two of the figure until it arrived. But I opened the box to reveal a very nice figure with a very nice outfit. The brocaded coat is beautiful. It also comes with a blade weapon that attaches to the back of the fisted right hand. The masque is nicely detailed. Very nicely textured and painted.
And just to try it I pulled off the masque to reveal a very very nice, detailed clockwork head. I wondered how this would be done, and I am happy to say it was done to perfection!
Gold plastic, but with quite detailed gears. The head is on a universal-joint on a clear rod with gold pinions. It's very nice.
My daughter loves Doctor Who. She watches with me, and has a great time. This past weekend she drew these. She's 10. Not bad, I say.
Kids who like Doctor Who (they are multitude in the UK) will love the new fortnightly magazine Doctor Who Adventures. I bought issue #5 for my daughter, and she loved it.
Each issue to date has had a poly-bag taped to it with some kind of cool stuff in it. One issue had a pencil case, ruler, pencil, sharpener, etc, with Doctor Who graphics all over it. Another issue had a miniature whoopie cushion with a Slitheen printed on it (you know, for the farting).
The one I got my daughter had a nice Who-printed plastic ring-bound notebook that had a calendar, phone pages, note pages, etc... my daughter loved it. She loves notepads.
She liked it enough, I also bought issue #3 from eBay at a reasonable price. (Nothing like the Issue #1 I saw selling for over #$25.00, with $20.00 shipping!!!)
Issue #3 has a TARDIS alarm clock on it. I expected some cheep crap, but wow. It's about 5-6 inches tall, is an analog clock with alarm, running off one AA battery.
This could easily sell for $10.00 or $20.00. More for some fans.
K-9 Paper Model
In the same issue, there was a paper model of K9.
It builds up quite nicely. The picture is of my improved model. I removed thick, blue dotted lines that were to show kids where to bend the card on the printed body. However, I removed those and put in scoring marks outside the model, to make for a nicer model.
Here is a copy of it with my improvements. Score with a dulled knife or an out-of-ink ball-point pen along the thin pairs of lines that span parts of the model. Then cut out (with X-Acto knife or scissors), bend along the score dents, and glue any light blue areas.
Although I didn't include a score mark for it I also recommend scoring the tail in the middle along its entire length, and folding it, then folding it in half, and forming a diamond cross-section, gluing along the edges, flattening it near the end of the tail. Cut off the light-blue areas and glue it directly to the diamond shape I created on the butt. It looks much nicer.
Here's the altered paper model. Print this on 65 lb card stock on a color printer. This model is already set to the right DPI so it prints to a full 8.5x11 page.
Sonic Screwdriver Water Squirter
Issue #6 came with a large number of brightly colored stickers. Nice ones. Printed, metallic, glow-in-the-dark, a nice assortment. And my daughter loves stickers, so this one was great!
#7 came with a plastic Sonic Screwdriver water squirter! Imagine those kids who didn't have the good fortune of getting the Character Options Sonic Screwdriver! Now they can have one without the cost!
Load the water into the Screwdriver, and push the end tip in, and voila! I have not tested this yet, and it appears the barrel may not be well sealed, but it may be fine.
Sadly, you will probably note, there is nothing to depict the activation switch on the barrel's side.
One commendable thing - they got the barrel color right! The Character Options gave us this pinkish-taupish-beige-ish color barrel, which is nothing like the color of the original prop. And while it does have the crackling pattern (and this cheaper one does not) this cheaper one has the ivory color far closer than the more expensive (and more fully-featured) Character Options Sonic Screwdriver!
Cassandra Paper Model
Also, #6 comes with another paper model - Cassandra. Here is a scan of Cassandra, with instructions.
Paper model of Cassandra
For those Doctor Who fans, one of the best Big Finish Audio dramas is Storm Warning. It's certainly one of my favorites. Starring Paul McGann, the 8th Doctor finds himself in 1930 aboard a doomed Airship R101 on its maiden voyage. This is the episode in which the Doctor meets Charlotte Pollard (Charlie) who stays with him for many subsequent audio adventures.
In reality, this particular airship, the R101, crashed in France in October, 1930, on its way to India, killing 48 people with 6 survivors. (Storm Warning erroneously claims there were no survivors.)
So for fans of that particular audio drama, I have found quite the treat.
These models come as zipped PDF files, and can be printed out on your own color printer on card stock. Detailed instructions included.
Designed by Ralph Currell, this is only one of many paper models on his website. Also available is the R100, a competing airship, as well as the hangar the R101 was built in and a dirigible mooring post, all modeled to the same scale.
So if you want a great model of the R101, go to Currel Graphics site and start downloading!
Episode 2x09, "The Satan Pit", follows on after "The Impossible Planet" with the tension high from the beginning. Being chased by the Ood, getting separated into groups, and trapped, as the possessed Ood try to cut the bolts on the doors to get in.
The first thing I noticed is some bad editing. At one point we see a door lock spinning, the camera cuts to the observers, Jefferson with gun, et al, and Danny comes through a door, but we never see him come through. He just appears, with the door shut behind him saying "It's me!" As if the door he came through was non-functional or something.
In the same sequence we see a female crewmember we've only briefly glimpsed before appear as the Ood break the door open, and she's overcome by Ood, as if she's not expecting them? They make short work of her, blasting her brain with their comm-device. A bit dumb for an armed guard. Not to mention Jefferson opening the door in the first place, as if he didn't expect anything bad to happen. He seems more hardened than that - should have expected it.
Jefferson begins to make short work of the Ood, blasting away. We never ever see one die. And keep in mind, we know the Ood are innocents possessed by evil, so their deaths are rather unfortunate here.
There's a lot of tense slow-chasing here, in confined corridors as each group get trapped in corridors, forced to take refuge in separate rooms.
Confusion reigns as the groups talk over each other on the comm system, and we can clearly see they're panicked, and not quite ready to handle a rebellian by possessed Ood.
I have to commend once again the excellent sets of this pair of episodes! Really claustrophobic, dirty, grimed up, and perfect! Congrats on those involved!
The basic upshot of this finale is that the crew try to stop the Ood, but they're so befuddled, demoralized and desperate that they can't act as a unit. The Beast, who claims to have been a force of evil since before this universe was formed, makes a speech, through the Ood pointing out the fault in each crewmember, starting with the Doctor:
"This one knows me... as I know him... the killer of his own kind."
But the Doctor is having none of it, instead of asking about that comment, he asks "How did you end up on this rock?" and tries to speak to it without fear. But it moves on to the rest of the crew.
"All of you... so small... the Captain, (Zach) so scared of command; the Soldier, (Jefferson) haunted by the eyes of his wife; the Scientist, (Ida) still running from Daddy; the little boy (Danny) who lied; the virgin (Toby) and the lost girl (Rose), so far away from home, the valiant child who will die in battle so very soon..."
Then he says "You will die, and I will live." and an image of a demonic beast shows up onscreen.
This begins a period of panic among the crew until the Doctor interjects with communicator feedback to shut them all up. The Doctor warns them that this creature is feeding on basic fears, darkness, nightmares, childhood fears, etc... But he neglects to address how the beast knew each intimate detail from each crewmember, except that the creature deduced it "like a good psychiatrist."
He then goes on a speech about how clever they are, and how they can work together to defeat the beast.
Enter Rose. After the Doctor tries to bolster their confidence by saying that they are humans, clever, smart, and can defeat the beast - he's making sense, so the Beast cuts the cable to the elevator cutting his speech off mid-stride - Rose jumps in and takes charge.
She gives orders like a true pro. Captain Zach is unsure what to do.and Danny has an idea. He's going to blow their telepathic brains by blasting them with the telepathic monitor. It was revealed in the previous episode that the Ood are telepathic, and something was blasting them telepathically (the Beast) and it was affecting them. Danny's theory is if he blasts them enough, they would be incapacitated. But they must get to the Ood habitation module.
This allows a direct reference to the Alien films as Rose mentions the Ventillation Shafts. Jefferson (Danny Webb, who played in Alien3) says "Yeah, I appreciate the reference (he would) but there's no ventillation - no air, in fact at all. They were designed for machines, not life forms."
They get power from the escape rocket, and make their way through the "ventillation" shafts, and get to the Ood habitation unit, and blast the Ood senseless and paralyzed.
But to get there, they have to move air into each section of the tunnel shafts. They are being followed by the Ood and Jefferson takes the rear to defend the team.
Jefferson doesn't make it to the next section in time, and Zach has to close the hatch, trapping Jefferson on the other side.
Here we get Jefferson saying exactly the same line Rose said in "Dalek" when she's trying to run out of the tunnels before the Doctor seals the Dalek in on one side. Jefferson says, "Sorry, I was a bit slow."
This allows for a tragic moment. The Captain can't re-open the junction hatch, and he tells Jefferson he can't help him. Jefferson, the honorable soldier, says he understands, and simply asks the Captain to make it quick - by blowing all the air out of the tunnel, rather than letting the following Ood get to him.
The Captain makes a log commendation for Jefferson, with honors, and Danny adds his honors to the record. A good moment, even if a little contrived. And the copied line from "Dalek" was a bit weak.
A very cute scene occurs here. The Ood are approaching Toby, but Toby turns around, his eyes glowing red again. He puts his finger to his lips, telling the following Ood to stay quiet, and tells them to stay back. Obviously the beast has not left Toby as Rose claimed. He's still possessed.
The crew get to the escape rocket and prepare to leave. They blast off, leaving Ida and the Doctor behind. They have no way of rescuing them. Ida tells them "Good luck."
Anyway, we move to the Doctor and Ida, trapped 10 miles below the surface with no hope of escape and 55 minutes of oxygen left in their suit tanks. Ida wants to go down into the pit and finish her work before she dies. The Doctor says he'll go instead.
He reaches the end of his cable and sees no bottom, but he takes a leap of faith and jumps. He wakes in oxygen, his faceplate broken, but he's breathing and alive. He was caught by an air cushion. He sees the history of the Beast drawn on the walls, and sees the key to the prison - two Amphoras on pedestals.
Chained to a cavern is a massive devil-like creature, raging against its chains. But it isn't speaking. Why, the Doctor wonders?
To tell the truth, the Doctor soliloquizes far far too much in this episode. He figures out that the prison seal is there to keep the beast in, and if it's ever broken, it will also destroy the gravity field, and thus the planet will fall into the black hole. A perfect prison. But he can break the seals and seal the fate of the beast easily, but the fact that the beast isn't talking makes him suspicious.
He figures that the beast is aboard the escape rocket that he has heard blast off from outside. He has a dilemma. Let the beast escape in the rocket, or destroy the planet and the gravity field, ensuring the rocket with the beast aboard can't get away - which would ensure Rose's death.
In a staggering leap of faith that Rose will solve the problem, he smashes the Amphora, and the planet begins to fall into the black hole, bringing the escape rocket with it.
Rose figures out Toby is still possessed, and blasts the window of the rocket with a bolt gun, while simultaneously releasing Toby's restraint harness. Toby goes flying out into space and dies.
The Captain shuts a safety shield, and the rest of the crew are safe, but not for long... they're falling into the black hole.
But then the Doctor stumbles upon the TARDIS, as if we didn't ever think that was going to happen, and the next thing we see is the rocket stabilising, turning, and leaving the area of the black hole, being towed by the TARDIS.
The Doctor has rescued Ida, and exchanges her for Rose, and bids the now safely escaping rocket ship adieu.
When Ida asks the Doctor just who he and Rose are, the Doctory simply says "the stuff of legend."
Oh yeah, that's another movie this episode reminded me of... the film "Legend".
Some points of interest:
, "The Impossible Planet" was a visual feast! It looked better and felt better than Who has felt in some time. Before this, I would say "The Empty Child" was the best of the new revival, but now I think "The Impossible Planet" gives that episodic pair a run for its money.
We see the TARDIS appearing in the corridor of a ship of some kind, or base. The Doctor makes some cute comments about the whole thing being pre-fab, "flat-packed" as he said, and that it could be anything, but then he arrives at a hub room and sees that it's a sanctuary base, whatever that means.
The first thing he and Rose see is a wall of runes, ancient code or language of some kind - so old that even the TARDIS's innate translation ability cannot translate it. The Doctor and Rose should be able to read it, but they can't - indicating the language is older than the TARDIS, which has to be considerably old.
Suddenly the Doctor and Rose are approached by an ominous group of Cthulhu-looking squid-faced aliens, threatening "We must feed! We must feed!"
Now first let me say that I absolutely abhor fake cliff-hangers. I want my danger to be real, not imagined. When the show comes back, we see the same aliens saying "We must feed!" Then one looks at its faulty translator sphere, shakes it a bit, smacks it, and then it continues: "We must feed... you... If you're hungry." "We apologize. Electromagnetis have interfered with our speech systems. Would you like some refreshment?"
These are the Ood, a slave race who desire only commands, and this base has 50 of them, serving the small remnant of what remains of the original crew.
I have to say this - the Oold look gorgeous! The masks are amazing. And they look incredibly non-human because of the eyes high up and on angles on the head, and the squid-like tentacles at the mouth. Very Cthulhu. And one mask, of all of the masks used on the show, was electronically controlled to make the eyes blink and the face move to form expressions. One of the finest alien costumes I've seen in Doctor Who.
The Doctor and Rose meet the Captain and the rest of the crew, and they are amazed that the Doctor and Rose are there at all - and more amazed that they don't know where they are.
When the Doctor eventually asks what the planet's name is, she says, Lead scientist, Ida Scott, says "How can it have a name?" that they are on an impossible planet, and soon she reveals that the planet is in geostationary orbit around a black hole.
Well, first of all, what's so impossible about that? Anything can orbit a black hole, depending on distance and speed. And if the black hole is rotating very slowly, anything can orbit it in a geostationary orbit. Geostationary simply means that the orbit leaves you exactly over the same position of the body you're orbiting at all times.
However the clear implication is that they're impossibly close to the black hole's event horizon - far far too close to be in orbit without being torn asunder, and that's impossible. Except it's not. There is some kind of energy force which is keeping the planet in its stable orbit around the black hole. Meanwhile whole star systems whip past and fall into the event horizon. (More about that term later.)
Secondly, why did Ida say the planet couldn't possibly have a name, when she later explains that the planet does indeed have a name
"In the scriptures of the Valtino this planet is called "Krok-tor", "the bitter pill", and the Black Hole is supposed to be a mighty demon which was tricked into devouring the planet, only to spit it out cause it was poison."
"The Bitter Pill", so it does have a name after all.
So how did they get there? The acting captain says: "We flew in. You see this planet is generating a gravity field. We don't know how, we have no idea, but it's kept in constant balance against the black hole, and the field extends out there in a funnel - a distinct gravity funnel reaching out into clear space. That was our way in."
This episode was an amalgam of many tried and true Science Fiction classics, most notably Disney's "The Black Hole", one of my favorite films from my teen years, "Aliens" (even starring Danny Webb as security officer Jefferson, who had a role in Alien3), but mostly "Event Horizon", a very scary film about a ship that has re-emerged from within a black hole, and has brought something very evil back with it.
This story resembles that one greatly, with an ancient evil trapped on the planet, which, due to an earthquake near its prison, deep within the bowels of the planet, has begun to awaken. Alas, this earthquake has taken out a portion of the base - a series of corridors - in which the TARDIS had landed. Now, the TARDIS has fallen into the pit of the canyon that opened up underneath the base and the Doctor and Rose appear trapped for good.
Later, as the Ood are serving Rose food, one of their translator devices says "Would you like sauce with that?" and then "The beast and his armies shall rise from the pit to make war against god." Rose is startled and asks what he said. To which he shakes his translator and replies: "Apologies... I said, I hope you enjoy your meal."
Then as acting Captain Zach (hey, get it? Not Captain Jack, but Captain Zach?) is checking some systems in the control room, we see (but he does not) the holographic projector reveal a very demonic face, briefly.
In the next shot, Danny's going through a door, which customary speaks when used "Open door one", "Close door one", etc, when the door says "Close door three. He is awake."
Then later, Toby, the archaeologist, hears his name called in a whisper in a corridor. Soon, he is confronted by a very evil voice (Gabriel Woolf, voice of Sutek in the old Tom Baker episode "Pyramids of Mars" - this episode's Bad Woolf?) who tells him not to turn around, but eventually posesses Toby's body and mind.
Soon, Toby has gone outside to the planet's surface, which has no atmosphere, and kills the very cute Scooti (played by MyAnna Buring, who also played in the excellent thriller "The Descent") by telepathically smashing the window, sucking her out into space, where she drifts towards the black hole, dead.
While the Doctor and Ida take the elevator down a shaft drilled 10 miles below (in order to find the power source keeping the planet in orbit) Toby becomes possessed again and tells the crew the Beast is awake, then transfers the beast consciousness into the Ood, who start to come after the crew, saying "We are the legion of the beast."
Suddenly, the Ood's translation devices become deadly killing machines as they begin coming at the crew, spewing words coming direclty from the Beast, a very biblical-sounding death prophecy.
Meanwhile, down below, the discovery made by the Doctor and Ida - a round metal seal covered in the indecipherable runes, begins to open!
The Ood approach, saying "I have been imprisoned for eternity - but no more!" then a disembodied version of the voice says "The pit is open - and I am free!"
Real cliff-hanger this time.
Excellent episode. Great sets, great costumes, wonderful ensemble cast, creepy creepy creepy!
One thing that has become cliche among olde-tyme fans of Doctor Who - is that they always claim that as children watching Doctor Who, that they hid behind the sofa while watching - because it was often so scary.
Well I have finally witnessed this myself as my 10-year-old daughter, who loves Doctor Who, quite literally hid behind our sofa during some of the scarier parts of this episode, when she wasn't clawing to get behind me.
I can't wait until next week's episode!
When it was announced last year that the Cybermen were returning this season, excitement was high. The photo of the newly redesigned Cyberman sent chills down my spine. here was the perfect revision, just like the revised Dalek was the perfect re-visioning for the new series.
Yesterday the episode Rise of the Cybermen aired.
Taking place in an alternative Earth, (where the TARDIS crash-landed after inexplicably jumping out of its own universe to one of the multiverse planes) the Doctor, Rose and new TARDIS passenger, Mickey ("I'm the tin dog!") enter 2006 London, but with metal airships filling the sky. Nice mushroom cloud in the TARDIS, by the way!
We soon discover Rose's dad, Pete, is a huge success with his health drinks, and he's married to Jackie and is wealthy. But they have no daughter. However, they do have a small dog named Rose. Hey, Mickey! You think it's bad being the "tin dog." How about being the "real dog"?
So much to say about this episode...
Well, the new Cybermen are awesome! They look and move perfectly. My one complaint is that they look just like Ironman, without the red and gold coloring.
Also, I would have preferred if they had set this on the alternate Mondas. Look, folks, that's where the Cybermen come from, not Earth.
It makes total sense that a mad, dying genius (John Lumic, played by Roger Lloyd Pack - who played David Tennant's father in Harry Potter 4. Each played Barty Crouch. Tennant played Junior, Lloyd-Pack played Senior!) would want to transfer his brain to a robot, and when he does that for kidnapped homeless men, he does make them cyborgs, but that doesn't make them Cybermen. It could be a coincidental title, I suppose. Perhaps in this alternate universe, back in the 1980s, the Mondas situation turned out differently, and Cybermen rose up, but died out before they could really get going. Perhaps Lumic used the name and image of what he saw 20 years ago in the design for his new "upgrade", which, if you believe Lumic's lines in the show, is really just a metal body for a brain-case, where the brain is welded directly to the metal skull. Hardly a Cyberman in the strictest sense.
And with the Zeppelins (wow, they were gorgeous) they could easily have set this on alternate Mondas, rather than alternate Earth. I'd easier buy that it was Mondas, and that these were the real Cybermen. But as it stands, these are NOT Cybermen, but robots built on Earth, coincidentally called Cybermen by their inventor.
Of course if it was Mondas, we couldn't have Mickey meet his gran, or have Rose see her Dad and Jackie again, and discover she never existed. Lots of the personal drama would never have happened.
Also, two Torchwood references this episode! One while Rose is getting the news on her phone, and one while Pete is on the phone in his house at the party, (I guess to make up for the lack of any Torchwood in Girl in the Fireplace.)
So... in this alternate Earth, did Queen Victoria survive a werewolf attack and form an institute to study the unknown, based in a Scotish mansion? If so, how did she survive without the Doctor? Is there an alternate Doctor too? Sounds unlikely. Torchwood is only called Torchwood because the mansion in Scotland is called Torchwood. If someone else had started up an institute to study the unknown, why call it Torchwood?
Answer is, of course, we just don't know. Perhaps the original owner of the Torchwood Mansion (Sir Robert's grandfather) who invented that light-focusing telescope weapon survived long enough to save Queen Vic, and together they formed Torchwood... in an alternate world, we just don't know.
What we do know is that Daleks would not have been invented on this alternate Earth, because only subtle differences occurred. Rose is not born, but Jackie and Pete do get married. Ricky's grandmother is still alive... but those are subtle differences. The Zeppelins and the President of Great Britain are far more wide-reaching differences, so you'd think all differences would be vastly greater than what we've seen. One small change causes immense differences, and changes as large as viable Zeppelins and a new governmental order for England would certainly have caused a few more ripples.
The major divergence that makes this version of Earth so different from the one the TARDIS just left must have occurred around World War I, and the Hindenberg disaster must not have happened, bolstering popularity of the airship, rather than killing it. Perhaps the discovery of safe methods of making lighter-than-air ships were secured.
Also, Great Britain now has a President rather than a Prime Minister.
But I still don't buy that these are Cybermen. Cybernetic Humans, sure, but not the Cybermen. The Cybermen would have developed on an alternate Mondas. But as I covered already, this may have happened, and Lumic is using technology he saw from an alternate Earth encounter with alternate Mondas. Either way, these are not the real Cybermen.
My daughter rightly points this out: They can't run!
So just what makes them so bloody dangerous? The fact that idiots just stand around and wait to be surrounded. That, and having victims in a captured room, would make them dangerous, but in any ordinary circumstances, these things would be pracitcally harmless without some kind of ranged weapon, which we have yet to see. (Doesn't mean they don't exist, but we have yet to see them.)
And oh, by the way, to the Sound Designers, I love your work but... PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD STOP THE DAMNED SCHOOL BELL!!!!!!!!
Ever since the episode Rose, that damned School Bell has been driving me nuts! It's like some signal given to stupid people "Fear now!" and it's just not necessary, it's an insult to my intelligence, and it gets my back up! CUT IT OUT!
I liked the fact that in the previous episodes, it's revealed that Mickey is "the tin dog." Well in this episode, Mickey can feel a little better, because Rose is "the real dog."
And don't forget the homage to the Big Finish Cyberman story... when Mickey says "I'm just a spare part."
Spare Parts was also written by Marc Platt, the writer of Rise of the Cybermen
General comments. In a sort of stream of consciousness order:
I liked the fact that Jackie was disgusted to discover she was talking to Staff... this is the rich, privileged Jackie, as opposed to the poor Jackie we know, and she wouldn't be caught dead talking to Staff... which is the diametric opposite of Rose, who spends a great deal of time talking to Staff... in "The Unquiet Dead" and "Tooth and Claw", and even "School Reunion" (where she dresses up as staff one episode before doing so again) we discover she seems to identify with Staff, and certainly doesn't treat them as inferior.
Loved the Oxygen Masks coming down from the TARDIS ceiling!
I thought it might have been a nice nod if when the Doctor, Rose and Pete run from the house, and the Doctor yells "She's not your mother", if instead he had said, "She's not your mummy!"
I'm glad they spread this episode a two-parter so we wouldnt' get that old familiar rushed feeling we've experienced already so far since the show began again. Give it time. It deserves it.
Loved that Mickey, maliciously mis-named Ricky by Eccleston and Tennant on a few occasions, is now Ricky for real! And when the Doctor calls Ricky Mickey, icky adamantly yells back "Ricky!" which is the opposite of what Mickey did when the Doctor called him "Ricky". Nice touch.
"Delete! You will be Deleted!" is now the new "Exterminate! you will be Exterminated!"
Why did Lumic want information about Jackie's party? This seems like the scenes were switched around in editing. Lumic appears not to know the President is going to be there at the party until later on. In fact, he even expects Pete not to be there, because they are going to be together with the President aboard the Zeppelin. It's only after the President cuts their meeting short, refusing Lumic's request to sanction his work, that he finds out where the President is going to be that evening, and that's when we should have seen the shots of Lumic finding out about the security arrangements at the Tyler mansion. (Wow, does it sound unusual to call it the Tyler Mansion). By doing that whole scene too early, it made no sense at all.
I thought that the episode suffered from some bad editing. It seems to me that it went down like this:
Lumic called Pete and demanded his presence, which should have meant Pete would not be able to attend Jackie's party. But when the President cuts short their meeting (which I'm sure Lumic hoped would last long into the evening, with positive results) only then is it clear that the President will be at Jackie's party. And only then should we have seen Lumic call upon Jackie's ear bud to find out about security arrangements for the party.
And what's up with the two ear-buds meeting? That was gratuitous and physically unlikely, let alone unnecessary! The earbuds were enough. We didn't need to see Jackie's head framed by Cyberman tubes. All we needed was a blue light lighting up.
I don't have that many complaints about this episode, but I do have this one.... these are not Cybermen. Cybermen, even in the alternative universe, should have originated from Mondas, not Earth. But I have a theory on that.
Perhaps 20 years ago, in 1986, (The Tenth Planet), when the Mondas situation came about, it all went down differently, and the Cybermen died out, but not before Lumic (perhaps then a government scientist or other inventor) saw a Cyberman, and saw the concept of cybernetic humans, and that gave him the idea - so the Cybermen he created here on the alternate Earth were simply stolen from the concepts and design (including the name) from the Mondas Cybermen who he found out about but didn't thrive.
To me, this whole episode should have taken place on alternate Mondas, not alternate Earth, but that would mean no Ricky (great reference), and no Mickey's Gran, and no Tyler family soap opera drama.
Well, that would have been better, honestly. Setting this on Mondas would have removed the part of this episode that is unnecessary - the interaction with Rose's family. It's not needed, and it's certainly not reason enough to change the setting for this to Earth rather than Mondas.
A bit on "The Girl in the Fireplace" - Coming Soon
I'm also a fan of Gerry Anderson's work, most famous perhaps for Thunderbirds and Space 1999. In the early 1970s he created a series of half-hour detective dramas called The Protectors, which I find quite fun to watch, thanks to the recent release of the series on DVD. Short, quick stories of intrique, shot in exotic locales around the world.
While watching the episode Bagman, I noticed something:
Yes, that's Lalla Ward, beloved for her role as Romana in Doctor Who, playing an innocent young kidnap victim.
Of course actors who were jobbing actors in the 1970s got around. TV series in the US are notable for having most of the same actors in one-off roles all over TV, (after which most of them settled into cheesy game-shows like Hollywood Squares and variety shows like the Carol Burnette Show or The Muppet Show.)
So I guess the same goes for the UK TV acting market.
For example, in the episode WAM, here's Michael Sheard, (who died this year) who not only played many roles in Doctor Who from The Ark to Remembrance of the Daleks - six appearances in all, including my favorite when he played Lawrence Scarman in Pyramids of Mars - but had an uncredited role as U-Boat Captain in Raiders of the Lost Ark, and later, Hitler in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and most famously played Admiral Ozzel in The Empire Strikes Back.
The Protectors - WAM (Inspector Luhrs)
Pyramids of Mars (Lawrence Scarman)
Remembrance of the Daleks (Headmaster)
Empire Strikes Back (Admiral Ozzel)
Raiders of the Lost Ark (U-Boat Captain)
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (Hitler)
(Hmmmm... U-Boat Captain? Isn't that what Captain Jack Harkness compares the Ninth Doctor to in The Empty Child?)
And while it's cool that a very prolific Who actor was in The Protectors, get this: In the episode Petard, no fewer than seven actors in that single episode appeared in Doctor Who:
Ian Cuthbertson - Wyatt
The Ribos Operation - Garron
Cyril Luckham - Alec Weston
The Ribos Operation - The White Guardian
Angela Douglas - Linda
Battlefield - Doris
Clinton Greyn - David Cameron
State of Decay - Ivo
John Kane - Ludo Jones
Planet of the Spiders - Tommy
Milton Johns - Conway
Also credited is Mark Jones who played "Scudder" but I didn't recognize him in the episode as the same Mark Jones who played Arnold Keeler in The Seeds of Doom
By any standards, that's a heck of a lot of Who stars in one episode of anything!
A few days ago, David Tennant dropped by the Chris Evans Show, which I get as a podcast. He talks about Billie Piper, Chris Evan's ex-wife, and it's a fun listen. I cropped out the rest of the show, leaving only David's segment.
You can also sign up for his podcast on his site. It's a good show.
Episode 3 of Series 2 takes place in a school in England. A bunch of the staff was replaced recently and suddenly students are performing very well, behaving well, and that's just not right. That's enough to bring in the Doctor? Apparently so.
This episode brings some great things to the table. Anthony Stewart Head (who played Giles in Buffy the Vampire Slayer) as the most malevolent-looking villain in quite some time.
In fact, with his title seen many times prominently on his office door: HEADMASTER, it is quite obvious throughout this episode he would make a perfect Master. If the Master is still alive. The premise of the show is that the Time War has wiped out all of the Time Lords. The Doctor says they don't exist out there somewhere because he'd feel them... in his head. Which is tenuous reasoning at best.
Combine that with some vampire-like gargoyle creatures, and we had a pretty good premise set up.
But what this episode really brought to fans old and new alike was - Sarah Jane Smith! Let's face it, Sarah Jane is perhaps the most beloved of all the companions, with Tom Baker being the most beloved Doctor.
At the end of the episode "The Hand of Fear", the Doctor gets called back to Gallifrey, and he can't bring a human with him, so he must dump Sarah Jane. It is a very emotional good-bye scene, in which the Doctor never says Goodbye to Sarah, not exactly.
Sarah leaves obviously expecting her old friend to show up again some day. The Doctor, obviously hurting over the forced separation, simply says "Till we meet again, Sarah." And they never do. Until now.
In this episode, Sarah Jane, now an investigativer reporter, is also aware that all's not well with the school, and is brought in ostensibly to report on the school's excellent progress, where she meets the new teacher, a John Smith. Now Sarah Jane is familiar with that name, as the Doctor often used the pseudonym when working on a mystery.
Late at night, Sarah Jane is roaming the school looking for evidence of wrongdoing, when she comes across a familiar blue box... and then she knows that the John Smith she had just met is in fact, her beloved old friend, the Doctor.
This episode is brilliant. The McGuffin of the Krillitanes taking over the kids using Krillitane oil to increase their intelligence in order to use them to crack a universal god code, is just that - a fun distraction. A nice backdrop on which to play out the real meat of this story - the reunion of Sarah Jane and the Doctor.
And one more treat - K9 is back!
This episode had so much in it. Some excellent character writing, some great one liners, including Mickey Smith's (no relation) line, "Oh my god. I'm the tin dog!" to the excellent line from the Doctor to Rose: "You can live the rest of your life with me, but I can't live the rest of mine with you."
And in what had to be a Buffy reference, Giles... er, I mean Finch, says "Forget the shooty dog thing." - Very Buffy-like dialogue.
The themes of immortals becoming attached to mortals is explored, the theme of being left behind after a splendourous life, only to adapt back to the mundane life of Earth, to Rose realising she's only one of a long line of companions who will eventually get dumped, it was so full of emotion and nostalgia that I don't know how they're going to follow their own act:
And the meat of this story is in the quiet moments when Sarah Jane confronts the Doctor asking what she did wrong, becuase he never came back for her. He said he couldn't.
Doctor: Hello, Sarah Jane
SJ: It's you... Doctor... oh my god, it's you isn't it? ... You've regenerated.
Doctor: Oooh, half a dozen times since we last met.
SJ: You look... incredible
Doctor: So do you.
SJ: Hmmm... I got old... What are you doing here?
Doctor: Waalll... UFO sighting...school gets record results... I couldn't resist. What about you?
SJ: Same. (they laugh, hers turns to a cry) I'd thought you'd died. I waited for you, you didn't come back and I thought you must have died.
Doctor: I lived... everyone else died.
SJ: What do you mean?
Doctor: Everyone died, Sarah.
SJ: ... I can't believe it's you.
SJ: Ok... now I can!
Excellent scene! And only one of many excellent scenes between the Doctor, Rose, Sarah Jane, and Mickey.
Another is when Rose and Sarah Jane have a little pissing match over the Doctor. The following exchange between a jealous Rose and a somewhat embittered Sarah Jane is wonderful!
SJ: ...I saw things you wouldn't believe.
Rose: Try me.
Rose: I've met ghosts.
SJ: Robots. Lots of robots.
Rose: Slitheen. In Downing Street.
Rose: Huh! Met the Emperor!
SJ: Anti-matter monsters.
Rose: Gas-masked zombies
SJ: Real living dinosaurs!
Rose: Real living werewolf!
SJ: The... Loch... Ness... Monster!
Rose: (pause) seriously?
A lighter, but equally good scene.
This one honestly did a far better job confronting the nostalgia, the sense of loss, the mutual feelings of regret, and everything one could have hoped for from a reunion episode between the Doctor and Sarah Jane. It seems that each time a companion leaves, there is a lot of unspoken love and sentiment, and in general, the Doctor can't bring himself to actually say goodbye.
This episode did it amazingly well.
But all wasn't perfect.
"School Reunion" Continuity Errors?
Say it isn't so! "School Reunion" wasn't perfect? So it had a few continuity errors in it, you think... perhaps. Perhaps not. Let's explore, shall we?
1) K-9 had no side panel when Mickey crashed the car through the school door, and he did have a side-panel when he appeared in the school.
Status: EXPLAINABLE. Could be a continuity error, on the other hand, may have been addressed off-screen in time alotted.
POSSIBLE EXPLANATION: Sure enough, the panel is off when Mickey is asking K9 about how to get into the school. Then the scene cuts to Sarah Jane and the Doctor in the computer lab. Some time passes before Mickey crashes into the school.
Enough time passes in fact, that the Doctor can explain the code for his companions, and enough for the Headmaster to come in and tease the Doctor with godhood, and for Sarah Jane to convince the Doctor to have no part in it. Plenty of time to pop K9's panel back on. In fact, K9 may have requested it, since he knew he was going to go into action, and probably was vain enough or smart enough not to want his side exposed.
After all, on a frame-by-frame run-through, no pic of K9 in the car as it's
moving towards the school, or after it crashes through, shows it clearly enough
to see if the panel is still not there, or has been replaced.
2) K9 is missing his sensor-sucker in the car. In the same scene with the missing side panel, K9's famous sucker is missing. All you see is a brass attachment it is supposed to be screwed into.
Status: CONFIRMED, BUT EXPLAINABLE. It's missing quite clearly in the entire scene, yet it's present in the Cafe the previous evening. And it is present again in the Gym when K9 goes all lasery on the Krillitanes' asses.
POSSIBLE EXPLANATION: If the side-panel could have been replaced by Mickey in the plenty of time between scenes, he could easily have reinstalled the sensor sucker too, with the reasonable assumption that K9 was still undergoing repairwork by the Doctor in the interim. The sucker may have been removed for maintenance by the Doctor the previous evening, and replaced by Mickey as with the panel, just before putting K9 into action. And if this is the case, it's likely K9 requested the service, because Mickey should not have known that much about K9's design and function.
In reality, it is revealed in Doctor Who Confidential - Friends Reunited, that Noel Clarke, who plays Mickey, damaged K9 while shooting the scene in the car. His ear comes off. It is repaired, but apparently no one notices the suction cup falls off shortly after.
In the following picture, a technician is fixing K9's ear, and clearly, the sucker is still there. Yet it's gone moments later when they film the scene.
So while it is explainable in the story's fiction, it was clearly an accident with the K9 prop.
3) The Headmaster's Door changes appearance. When we first see the Headmaster's door, there is a young girl sitting outside. The door has a silver plate with handle, and some kind of mechanism at the top left. The door has a frosted glass panel. We see this again later, when Sarah Jane is trying to pick the lock.
But a few minutes later, when the whole Scooby Gang is back at the Headmaster's door, it's different. No handle plate, a round lock above, and no buzzer mechanism. No frosted glass, and the "Headmaster" sign is higher up.
Status: CONFIRMED, BUT EXPLAINABLE
POSSIBLE EXPLANATION: The Head's office has two doors. Duh...
4) The Headmaster turns into a Gargoyle? In his in permanent human form, while his brothers are winged bat-like gargoyles who have illusion-morphed themselves into human form, but in reality they retain their winged bat-like form.
Yet when the Headmaster first enters his office with the sick young meal ... er... girl, it sure appears as if we see him behind the frosted glass become a winged creature.
Status: CONFIRMED, BUT EXPLAINABLE
POSSIBLE EXPLANATION: This one is harder to just pass off with a casual explanation. It's nearly lunch time when the sick girl is outside Finch's office. Finch invites her in, and we see a winged creature. At lunch time (just after the credits) the kitchen staff is in the kitchen, and the teachers are presumably teaching. Certainly the kitchen staff was preparing lunch just before lunch.
However, it is possible at least one of Finch's brothers was in there. Still,
the flow of the scene sure looks as if it's Finch who turns into a creature.
Hard to say.
5) The headphones. When Mickey stops the kids from working by pulling the power to the computers, all of the kids are furiously working away with headphones on. Mickey pulls the power, and tells them to get out. Within 19 frames (2/3 of a second) every kid has his headphones off, and some of them (in the foreground of the camera) have them off one frame's time.
Status: CONFIRMED. This is a continuity error. No time has
passed between cuts, so the headphones should still have been on the heads of
some kids. Their body posture didn't even change significantly, so it's as if
they just popped down to the desks.
6) There is a man in a yellow shirt at the TARDIS demat scene with Sarah Jane at the end, where the new version of K9 shows up.
POSSIBLE EXPLANATION: This is not really a continuity error, though some posters have pointed it out as being strange. What happens is a guy with a yellow t-shirt, with folded arms, stares at the last lines Sarah Jane and K9 speak, as they turn and walk away. He tracks their movement, and walks a step forward as they walk further along the path.
It could simply be that this was a normal guy walking through the park when he heard the TARDIS demat, and was near enough to see the aftermath. If he had seen the TARDIS demat, he would have looked much more agitated, having seen something impossible. As it was, he simply saw a woman and an albeit unusual robot dog walking. Nothing terribly strange, but enough to track the movement and have some curiosity about.
One theory was it was K9's Remote Control Operator. Not true. The man's arms are folded, and he is not holding anything.
He's just an innocent bystander in a public park.
7) Half a dozen regenerations? Surely, the Doctor has only undergone five regenerations since he last met Sarah Jane? Right?
POSSIBLE EXPLANATION: Well, let's think about this. When did they last cross paths? In "The Hand of Fear", Tom Baker's Doctor leaves Sarah Jane in what he thinks is South Croyden (but is actually Aberdeen). Since then the Doctor regenerates into:
1) Peter Davison (in Castrovalva)
2) Colin Baker (in The Caves of Androzani)
3) Sylvester McCoy (in The Ultimate Foe)
4) Paul McGann (in the TV Movie)
5) Christopher Eccleston (off-screen)
6) David Tennant (in Parting of the Ways)
But people will be quick to point out that Sarah Jane also encountered the Doctor in "The Five Doctors", but this is explainable.
When Zoe and Jamie left Troughton's Doctor, the Timelords wiped their memories. This was the first time the Time Lords sent companions home. They erased their memories in order to prevent corruption of the timeline. They would surely have done the same in "The Five Doctors", for the same reasons.
Whether or not they erased the Doctor's memory is another story, but he would know the Time Lords had erased Sarah's memory, so he played along.
Not to mention, Sarah Jane hung out with the Pertwee Doctor in "The Five Doctors", not Tom Baker's Doctor or subsequent Doctors. She did meet Davison, but it was not revealed to her that he was another regeneration of the Doctor.
So to Sarah Jane, the last time she met the Doctor was when she left the TARDIS in Aberdeen. Otherwise she would have memories of "The Five Doctors", wouldn't she?
And of course there's the easier explanation that the Doctor was simply being vague. He didn't say "six times", he said "Ooooh, half a dozen times since we last met." which could mean "give or take."
Are We Still On About "Bad Wolf???"
I thought that the whole "Bad Wolf" scenario had been solved. Rose, filled with the temporal energy of the TARDIS, takes the words "Bad Wolf" from the space station and spreads them out through time in order to send herself a message that she is supposed to help the Doctor.
She sees the message and works furiously to save the Doctor.
Well, so far, we have seen Bad Wolf references in the first three episodes of Series Two:
New Earth: On the pavement when the TARDIS crew is readying to depart. It's the same Bad Wolf as Rose saw in "Parting of the Ways", scrubbed out, but still barely visible on the pavement.
Tooth and Claw: Well, if you look really really closely, you can see subtle references to Bad Wolf in this episode. Like this one:
But if that's too subtle for you, we get the following exchange between the creepy caged Acolyte, and Rose:
Acolyte: I would migrate to the Holy Monarch
Rose: You mean Queen Victoria?
Acolyte: With one bite I would pass into her blood, and then it begins, the Empire of the Wolf! You have many questions... Look, inside your eyes, you've seen it too!
Rose: Seen what?
Acolyte: The Wolf, there's something of the Wolf about you.
Rose: I don't know what you mean.
Acolyte: You burn like the sun, but all I require is the moon!
School Reunion: Well, it's there, but it's not exactly "Bad Wolf." Headmaster Finch and his Krillitanes have just been covered in Krillitane oil by K9 who exploded a barrel of the toxic stuff, which splashed all over the Illusion-Morphed Krillitanes. This doesn't affect Finch, and he admonishes K9 by saying:
Finch: You bad dog!
Close enough for me!
Quote of the Moment: "Phil Colinson? Wasn't he the drummer for the band 'Genesis of the Daleks?'"
Discuss the likes and dislikes of this episode. Likes: Most of it. Dislikes. Victoria's casting, and tossing the diamond on the floor. I'll get back to this one...
This episode was gorgeous to look at. It had some great acting by Billie Piper, who plays Rose, but also plays Rose with Cassandra in her mind. Quite fun to watch.
The Sisters of Plenitude, the cat nurses in this episode, are gorgeous, and I sure hope it's not the last we see of them! They're the stuff of many fantasies.
I loved the special effects. The Mill certainly outdid themselves. Except for one shot of a Sister which was jarring in that it appeared to freeze-frame to add special effects, which was weak - for the most part, the effects were flawless.
The Face of Bo... good to see him again. Nice to see he'll be around for more appearances (well, at least one) in the future.
The main problem I had with this episode was the Satsuma Solution, a term I coined during The Christmas Invasion, because at one point, the Doctor chucks a Satsuma orange at a large glowing button, the result of which was a tiny ledge of the huge meteoric space-ship, which just happened to have the villainous Sycorax leader on it, crumbled away just as he was standing on it, dropping him to his death.
The Satsuma Solution
Stupid for several reasons.
1) That there would be a huge button by the door that happened
to collapse a small portion of the ship's edging. Why would this ever be implemented
on a ship in the first place?
2) That the leader would be on that exact spot at that exact moment.
3) That the Doctor knew what the button did, and hit it at the exact moment the leader was on that little crumbly bit.
So from now on, any stupid solution to a major plot point will be called the Satsuma Solution.
In New Earth the Doctor applies the Satsuma Solution again. Here's how:
Spoilers: Just drag your cursor over the space between the [ and ] to read:
[ When the zombie-like hoard of diseased humans emerges from their tanks, the Doctor simply puts together a bunch of medicines into a huge vat, and it magically cures everything. That's not only stupid and crazy, because if it did, the Sisters of Plenitude would clearly have come up with that cure, and been using it, and on the vat-grown zombies as well.
Not only that, but all it took was the Doctor coating himself in it, and touching the zombies, which would have meant instant death by every disease known to anyone touching one of these zombies. And further stupid: It is conveniently transmittable by touch, and cures instantly - just as instantly as the zombies' touch caused death only seconds before.
A triple dose of stupid.
Not to even talk about how those vat-grown humans could possibly still be alive with all those diseases when those they touch die of it in seconds. ]
But for the most part, like The Christmas Invasion, despite the huge plot holes, it was a fun ride, despite the Satsuma Solution, and in case I didn't say it already, the cats were awesome! I wish we had seen them and heard from them more.
And it led one viewer (who posts on the Doctor Who newsgroup) posted this picture of one of his/her cats, named Rosie of Plenitude:
Sister of Plenitude
I've been a listener/watcher/downloader of RocketBoom for a while now. RocketBoom for those who don't know, is a cool video podcast starring Amanda Congdon. She's an attractive female with strong opinions, and you know how appealing that is, I don't have to tell you. Her video podcast is taking the world by storm.
A while back, Amanda made it known that if you send her an interesting t-shirt she may wear it during a future RocketBoom episode.
Well, on Friday, March 24, 2006, Amanda wore a Gallifreyan Embassy t-shirt. As you may know (if you've read more of this page) Gallifreyan Embassy is a Doctor Who fan club who publish Podshock, the best Doctor Who podcast going. (And I've co-hosted one episode so I should know. :-)
Way to go, Amanda! We lovers of Podshock sure appreciate the plug!
And again, here's me with my Podshock shirt: Mine's a quite fashionable red hoody, but it's from the same source.
I was reading Doctor Who Monthly 364 when I came upon an article about Doctor Who Annuals - those yearly hard-backed books created by World Distributors for the fans of Doctor Who. What's funny about that is that they went through absolutely no pains to maintain the accuracy, or integrity of the show they were trying to showcase, with art that looked nothing like the characters, with stories that just completely got the characters and situations wrong - like the fourth Doctor doesn't wear a Travolta-like white leisure suit with a printed sweater. Yet there he is, with a Sarah Jane Smith that looks more like Leela with a serious overbite, and a Harry Sullivan who looks more like Scorby, the Mercenary from "Seeds of Doom", smoking a cigarette.
Anyway, in one of the sidebars of the article Donald Tosh, the story editor for Doctor Who in 1965, wrote the following in response to some of the atrocities committed in those annuals:
The Doctor himself never kills anything or anybody. His stick is never used as a sort of super ray gun. Perhaps the writer could give the stick the power of paralysis rather than death... The Tardis does not gyrate like a spinning top... No monster is strong enough to crush the Tardis, as the outer casing is made of an indestructibel materal... There is an automatic mental adjustor for Earth beings in the Tardis to enable them to understand all languages. This takes place during materialisation and dematerialisation of the Tardis... If the Doctor had an umbrella , which is possible, it would not be of the James Bond variety... The Doctor does not wear a pin-striped suit.
This is funny for a few reasons:
In one episode, Peter Davison as the Doctor definitely uses a gun on a Cyberman, which is not a robot, but a cybernetic humanoid. This is an anomaly, however, as I don't think the Doctor uses a gun anywhere else in the series.
And while in 1965 it may have seemed ridiculous for the Doctor to carry an umbrella, but Sylvester McCoy's Doctor always carried one around. And while it wasn't "James Bond", which I take to mean does not contain a sword blade, it is kind of quirky, with its question-mark handle.
But the last line is a keeper: The Doctor does not wear a pin-striped suit.
Oh, and also, there's this: The Tardis does not gyrate like a spinning top...
By the way, World Distributors were old hands at this by the time they had done a bunch of Doctor Who annuals. The same company released four Thunderbirds hard-back books. I read two of them as a kid, and loved them, but in one that I did not read as a kid, Lady Penelope - in the show a top-secret agent for International Rescue, living under-cover as a British Heiress - boasted that she was an IR agent at parties, and the books just basically had very very little to do with the TV show's actual continuity or character.
I should be happy. Doctor Who is getting publicity. But in the oddest places. Like the DesMoines Register.
Actually, it's a good piece. I recommend you read it. Kyle Munson, the author, seems to know hs stuff.
And the Steve Martin quoted in the piece is someone I'm acquainted with via a web forum for Asheron's Call players and former AC players.
Garry Douglas sent me this image of several knock-off Daleks, and an old Rolykin.
A shop in the UK named Sainsbury carries a Dalek Celebration Cake. Here's a thumbnail picture of it, which you can find on their website by following the menus thusly: Bakery->Cake->Party & Celebration and scrolling down a bit.
This cake is a printed image on the icing sheet.
And here's another cake store offering up a Dalek cake. This one is actually shaped, not just printed.
Someone sent me this image, I thought it deserved some attention!
Steve Parr is the creator of an audio program that I quite like called "SC5". He sent along some photos of himself with various Who stars at a 1995 Doctor Who Appreciation Convention.
Steve and Jon Pertwee (about six months before Pertwee's death)
Steve with the lucious Sophie Aldred (Lucky guy!)
A Cyberman threatens Steve, but he's man enough to handle it!
I just spent a long-weekend in New York City. Wow, what a lot of walking.
One thing the Podshock folks were asking people to submit was images of listeners wearing their Podshock shirts at monuments or landmarks.
So since I was going to New York anyway, I figured I'd cover some of the bases.
So here is me in New York City wearing my Podshock shirt everywhere. It was mighty cold on some of the days, so I was wearing a coat over the shirt, but I took it off for photographic purposes.
Me at the Statue of Liberty
Me and my family at the Statue of Liberty
Me picking the Statue's nose (a replica inside the pedestal)
Empire State Building (Chrysler Building in the background)
Magnolia - Why?
I spotted this just this past weekend. Please don't click the image if you don't want it spoiled. However, I have it from reliable sources that this is the newly redesigned K-9... at least that's what it says.
Click for image of the new concept for K-9 only if you don't mind things being spoiled!
For more details, highlight between the brackets: [ This was taken on Liberty Island in front of the Statue of Liberty. ]
A friend I've made on the internet creates a great audio drama called "SC5". They've done three episodes so far, and I've quite enjoyed them. Pete Booker, the sound engineer, had a Dalek made for him. Here's a picture of it.
Garry Douglas, a friend of mine in the UK, sent me these images another fellow GI Joe collector, Greg Eaton, took of a shop in Caterham Surrey.
Gerry Douglas also sent me this picture. He claims the guy who built this found my TARDIS instruction page and may have used it as a guide, but he's not sure. Either way, the builder did like my web site.
The shop is:
1a Palmerston Road
Luke Pietnik sent me pictures of a TARDIS he created using blue foam-board.
Christopher Butterworth sent me photos of his home-made TARDIS console.
Here is his recipe:
I made the centre column from a cotton wool bud container, and the time rotator i made from the inside of an old television picture valve, after greacing all the galss off i painted it red and blue, and the top gold.
For the Dials i used 2 neelde dial, things (what ever ya call then...lol) from an old radio to add to the afect.
I could not get the mateerial you used o build your console, so i built my consle form 2 sheets of 2mm thing cardboard.
I enjoyed making my console and i am pleased with the finished reult.
I hope you bring out more things to make, and keep up the good work.
I was a huge fan of "The Tomorrow People" back in the day. It aired on CBC in Newfoundland, and I'm sure I saw the first season, and perhaps part of the second. And they repeated it. So certain episodes like "The Blue and the Green" really stuck in my head.
Now that it's available on DVD I can watch it with adult eyes after not having seen it in decades. And for the most part the same episodes I liked back then I like today.
But I just started watching a Season Three episode called "A Man for Emily" and it's just... bad. Bad in every way. But what really caught my eye was that the opening shot was of a nearly naked Peter Davison.
The three-part episode aired beginning in March of 1975
It has to be emarrassing for the man who played the fifth Doctor. His wife, Sandra Dickinson, famous for playing Trillian on the TV version of "The Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy", and most recently a version of Trillian in the new BBC radio plays based on the same.
Check this out these images from the opening scenes:
Peter Davison plays a Jethro Clampett-like character named Elmer, and Sandra Dickinson (Davison's wife) plays Emily (Ellie-Mae Clampett). Margaret Burton plays "The Momma", a very very very stereotypical Hillbilly mother.
I can't possibly get across just how bad this was.
And this was just the first episode. Believe it or not, it got worse.
Picture "The Beverly Hillbillies in Space" and you still won't come close to how hokey this was.
We're talking Davison in bad cowboy outfit, Steven and John (the main stars of the show) dressed badly as cowboys, teleporting via a "doozlum pin", and worse acting than most high-school stage plays of "A Hillbilly Wedding".
All I can say is drugs must have been better in the 1970s.
Read up on my day co-hosting Podshock, the best Doctor Who podcast there is.
And the pertinent links.