On The Sofa (7)

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    Anonymous @

    @ichabod  @lisa

    @bluesqueakpip thank you for defining that element for me: that they all looked into the Schism. Last year, in utter desperation, I think I called it ‘The Ring of bleble.’  🙂

    simply that he was the Boy who Ran

    he and his mate acted out by becoming 100% Rebel Time Lords  (I liked those points)

    I would think that the ritual of the bleble was something outlawed but then those in the Council voted to revive the tradition -due to the beginning of the Time War or some other warlike escalation on a galaxy far, far away: perhaps the pupils were outdoing their teachers and so the latter required something by which to virtually sedate them/keep them in line/show them what ‘Time’ was really like:

    “if you’re all going to act up and think you can be emperors of time, then we’ll ruddy well show you time. Hah, you asked for it!” [“that’ll stick it to ’em” say the Council or those with tenure at the Academy]


    well spotted -I was thinking that those words, ‘Hell Bent’ and ‘heaven sent’ are lyrics in The Flecktones less recent work, in EMP and even The Great Meatloaf.

    I think I’m the only fan of this performer here -a fan of the ‘rock star with the awesome voice’ only because, as a person, he’s a) blatantly nuts b) losing it but not retiring gracefully c) a serious conservative in politics and a believer that d) America is the most ‘free country in all the world’ which ties in with his support for the NRA and the idea that “I was a nobody and pulled myself up by my bootstraps and I made something of meself, by myself, damn it and so can anyone. We don’t need no welfare unless it’s help for our glorious troops in combat” (OK, I agree with the latter point about soldiers receiving limited remuneration and needing to personally insure their own kit etc..)

    Please excuse my rant On The Sofa (we rant in the Cloven Hoof, generally) 🙂

    I missed the Bob Dylan reference: well spotted again and so now I might do some digging of my own but I defer to your knowledge because whilst I love all genres of music: punk, jazz, fusion and the like, my connection is with what people would generally call ‘the classics’ (I referred, above, to The Flecktones which is a group moving into ‘fusion’ particularly as they often invite some very intriguing guests like the well known and eccentric double bass player, Edgar Myer, into concerts and recording rooms)

    I imagine, @arbutus that you and Mr Arbutus might find the reference to Classical Music a bit funny considering the era in which traditional classical music was composed?

    Not that I don’t get over that. I aint no snooty musician. 🙂

    In fact, I dislike those peeps who say “how dare you call that Classical, you ignorant, uneducated trasher!” [referring to some obscure and frankly poor pianistic revel by Dvorak or Smetana when they were hittin’ the booze, wimin and morphine -for their ‘addled backs’ or ‘carpal tunnel syndrome’ of course]


    About  3-4 days ago you referred to the word “bunce”  in conversation with @bendubz11 .

    In an attempt to understand British terminology could you define ‘bunce’ for me, please? Pretty please? I’m assuming it’s dosh/hard cash/cash earned improperly and thru either temptation or the selling/buying of players?

    Kindest, puro



    Yep – bunce = money (doesn’t need to be illegal or hard cash). Mainly a London term, afaik.

    Whisht @whisht

    though I haven’t had much time this week, just wanted to say how much I’ve enjoyed reading people’s thoughts this week.

    Can’t remember who was asking/ suggesting that Clara is a claricle, but I agree. She’s a loop without a beginning. This particular Clara (Clara Prime) may have blown in on a leaf, but she is simply one of the Claricles that were created when Clara Prime jumped into the timestream… so that she could be born on a leaf.
    [that made more sense in my head]

    @Purofilion – good luck to the Boy on the trials. As long as he enjoys playing is main point. My brother played midweek footy for years (ie not at a high level, but he was a decent midfielder). He was still playing with people half his age until his 50’s when finally knees etc meant he had to give it up.

    @django – you suggest that music may have some interesting connection with Who this season.
    What on earth are you thinking?
    Nothing musical has ever sprung to anyone’s mind on these boards….

    ScaryB @scaryb

    Some great sofa chats recently. (And thanks to @Purofilion for the packet of Jammy Dodgers I found under the sofa – promise to be careful with the crumbs, haha)

    I really liked @bluesqueakpip‘s idea of bringing back Gallifrey, but not the Time Lords.  Personally I’ve never been overly comfortable with them even as the relatively benign, or at least well intentioned, overlords they were depicted as in Troughton’s The War Games (10yr old me could see exactly why the Doctor would want no truck with them). The concept sort of fitted with 1960s Britain but the world has become more complicated since then! It’s been well established AG that the Doctor misses his home, but not the TL culture.  Of course we know (from Listen) that Gallifrey is already back, and untimelocked, but the Doctor hasn’t realised it yet.

    ScaryB @scaryb

    @mirime @ichabod

    Thanks for these comments –

    I absolutely love Capaldi as the Doctor . . . I never felt that he was cold, callous, uncaring etc. or un-Doctorlike . . . I think he might really be the Doctor

    Somebody over at — doctorwhotv, maybe — posted (more or less) this about Capaldi a little while ago: “Somehow they got confused, looking for their new lead actor, so by mistake they hired the actual Doctor to play the Doctor.”

    Completely agree.  I may have to stop watching the show when he leaves! 😉 (And yes, detached, rather than callous – in the way doctors are supposed to be. 12’s bedside manner is just more brusque and less obviously user friendly than some of his previous incarnations ).

    Also liked @arbutus‘s comment about 9, 10 and 11 trying to become (or at least pass for) human as it was the only home he had left.

    @django – good spot re the music links (looking forward to The The tracks on the Music Thread in here, come the time.  Thanks @whisht for starting up the Monsters and Villains topic on there… nice 🙂

    @Purofilion best of luck to boy Ilion this week

    @cumquat Welcome Mrs Q, and hope the little bassets are all behaving. Beware of hanging around this forum too long or the nanobots may convert you to niceness mwuhuhu 😈

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    @bluesqueakpip @arbutus +all

    Thanks for the bigup @bluesqueakpip, but I think you’ve summarised my feelings with

    but I don’t think the dominant culture of the Time Lords is portrayed as a good one, or one that is likely to produce good individuals.

    When we met our first female Time Lord in Invasion of Time she’s passively watching a war fleet on its way to destroy another planet. Leela asks her how they can stop them. She’s quite horrified at the thought of intervention and finds the potential deaths boring. No compassion.

    I’d disagree with @lisa that Romana was naturally good. When she arrives in the Key to Time she’s possessed of that TL arrogance and disdain for other cultures and for the Doctors lifestyle. She doesn’t think they should get involved and should stay focused on the mission. It’s only later (after her regeneration) that she gets the taste for adventure and interest in the places he takes her to. In the end she becomes her own sort of Doctor and rebels against a TL return order.

    So what makes the Doctor different? There is actually far more information about the Doctors early life throughout the show than people would believe delivered in off the cuff comments.

    Madame du Pompadour said he was a lonely child, which tends to be supported by the third Doctor’s comments that he spent a lot of his youth talking to an old hermit who lived in the mountains. He’d run up the mountains every day to work out what he was meditating on. Not the actions of a child who had lots of friends, perhaps?

    This Gallifreyan opened the youthful Doctor’s eyes to the wonders of the world around him and is likely the same guy who told the Doctor some of the lost stories of Gallifrey of long ago. Admirable interventions like their war against the Great Vampires, and darker stuff like the dirty secret of the Death Zone. This hermit eventually ran away from Gallifrey himself and they meet again in Planet of the Spiders.

    Listen just augments that knowledge that he was lost and lonely. If he’d had some insight given to him by the hermit on TL nature, either army or academy may have held fears. He didn’t excel at much in the Academy but seems to have left an impression on his tutors. He and the Master used to sabotage each other’s works as practical jokes. He spent some time after graduation as a Time Lord, even getting them to intervene on occasion by being a monumental pain in the backside (banning miniscopes as an offense to sentient life, for instance, as revealed in Carnival of Monsters).

    So he’s part of society, but perhaps on the radical side of things. Runcible in Deadly Assassin recalls a ‘bit of bother’ – a scandal. Invisible Enemy sees the Doctor show Leela around his brain. A part of it that should allow him to telepathically link with other Time Lords has been cauterized. ‘When they kicked me out’. Out of what isn’t specified, but you can’t help speculating that these indicate that the Doctor was a marginalised Time Lord before running.

    Ultimately though, every rebel needs a mentor. To challenge them to be something more. The Doctor had the hermit and then humans. Romana, and many others, had the Doctor.

    What’s interesting is that the Doctor, our role model, appears to be written out of TL history. Castellan Spandrell hears he was involved in the Omega incident and doesn’t know he’s the hero. He thinks he’s a criminal. Borusa rewrote the events of Deadly Assassin to make Goth the hero, rather than give kudos to the rebel Prydonian. Many Gallifreyans, if they know of him, may fear the Doctor. He can’t be allowed to be a folk hero to his own people, who fear challenge to the status quo.

    What they need is a teacher. Someone to tell them stories of a madman in a blue box. Someone, like the hermit, to tell the dark history of the TLs to a new generation. Step forward Clara?

    Anonymous @


    Absolutely right. From what I read on the Faces of the Doctor thread, I think there is so much to the mythology of the Doctor, as it were: the Gallifreyans know nothing (or very little) of the man who should be a hero -to earth and to others. According to River in The Wedding of River Song, he’s exactly that.

    Having a companion, an Impossible Girl, an apprentice, a familiar, or even a familial someone, would be a perfect way to introduce and manage this mythology of the Doctor on Gallifrey.

    Now, some here suspect the Doctor has seen Clara’s death: to a point. If she ends up there, then surely he’s found his home? If it’s Gallifrey, then I’m all for it -as long as the stuffy TLs can stay well out of it. 🙂 For the time being, at least.

    There was some reference, at one point, to the Doctor being considered President of the TLs? Is that a ‘thing’ or a passing mis-read of an episode? Perhaps @denvaldron can briefly shed light on this?



    Anonymous @

    Good evening from East Tennessee. Not exactly on Good Old Rocky Top, but Rocky Top, Tennessee is actually here in Anderson County. Used to be Lake City, but I digress….

    Anyhow, I’m new here, but old school Whovian. Mid-40s, and started watching back in the early 80s on PBS when the entire Tom Baker run was syndicated , and slowly lost interest during the Peter Davison era. Was in a Stateside DWAS chapter, and we would watch imported VHS tapes at meetings, so I got an early grounding in the Classics. Remember,  this is 1983-84 and satellite TV is a very expensive luxury. It must be mentioned, too that “All Creatures Great and Small” was syndicated on public TV, too, and my first glimpse of Doctor 5 was the last few seconds of Logopolis. Surprising is mild. I slowly lost interest during the JNT era but a couple years ago,  I saw the new shows on BBC America and was impressed.   David Tennant hooked me back,  his simple joy reminded me considerably of Four. And the new theme recalls the pre-“Super Friends and neon” 80s JNT garbage.  Watched “The Girl Who Dies” earlier this evening, and Capaldi pleasantly reminds me of Jon Pertwee, even down to reversing the polarity of the neutron flow…

    DenValdron @denvaldron

    @purofilion Alright, I’m going purely by memory here, so I might squanch a few details but here goes. Yes, the Doctor actually was the President of Gallifrey, or President of the High Council, for a few hundred years. He was a lousy President, in that he pretty much kited out on the whole of the job. The one time he actually paid attention to the position, it turned out he was a tyrannical Dictator. Eventually, he got impeached – not for being a dictator, but for not showing up. Anyway, here’s what happened:

    Deadly Assassin – Tom Baker – The Doctor, temporarily between companions, gets hauled back to Gallifrey on charges of corrupting the matrix. Before you know it, he’s facing the firing squad. Luckily, the President has been assassinated, so they’re holding elections. The Doctor, thinking quickly, nominates himself for President, knowing that the charges against him will be suspended until the election is over. Well, it turns out that the Master is corrupting the Matrix, the Doctor has to go in and sort him out. While he’s doing that, the Master kills the other candidates, leaving the Doctor elected President on the last man standing rule. The Doctor skips out before he can be sworn in.

    Invasion of Time – Tom Baker – Again. The Doctor and Leela go back to Gallifrey. The Doctor decides he’d like being President after all. He shows up and starts snapping the whip, hard, and acting like a bit of a crazy man. But apparently, the office of the Presidency has just these extreme dictatorial powers. It’s just no one ever uses them by custom. But once the Doctor does, they have to jump when he says. You ask me, Rassilon set it up that way, creating a position with Dictatorial power, but neutering it with the customs of Time Lord society, so that he could return and resume godlike power at will. He takes office, gets sworn in, but it turns out to be all a ruse to stop an invasion by the Sontarans (and the Vardans, the only race ever to be outsmarted by the Sontarans).

    Arc of Infinity – Peter Davison – Hijinks on Gallifrey, tampering with the matrix, the Doctor is almost executed by Maxell (played by Colin Baker). Turns out it’s the Doctor’s old enemy, Omega. He’s also been deposed as President, and Borusa is now running the show.

    DenValdron @denvaldron

    Ah, update.


    Okay, near as I can work it out from this –

    The Fourth Doctor was President of Gallifrey for an extended period into the Fifth Doctor period. He was usurped by Borusa in the Arc of Infinity and Five Doctors, but at the end with Borusa deposed, he was reinstated to his position. In the opening of the Trial of a Time Lord, the Sixth Doctor tries to pull rank but finds he is deposed once again. The Seventh Doctor lays claim to the title, but it may be just a ceremonial thing.

    Anonymous @


    saw your ‘memories’ post or was it ‘faces of the Doctor’? Not sure, but welcome and hallo to you. 🙂

    Glad you’ve jumped in with your memories of how hard it was to watch Who back in the ’80s in the States. We’ve other American members here and also the Canadian contingent who’re magnificent with theories and observations.

    This part sounds amazing:

    Was in a Stateside DWAS chapter, and we would watch imported VHS tapes at meetings

    It’s fantastic to see people being that devoted to upholding this series that there’s a chapter!

    I wonder @ichabod if there were DW meetings or ‘chapters’ where you were in the States?

    @plainolddave I’m from Oz and we were lucky to have our Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) repeating series after series at the same time as having Doctors regenerate -it’s firmly implanted in the Oz psyche.

    Although I have to admit there’s a real psychotic hatred of the show in some of the schools I’ve worked -some while ago, a new supervising teacher arrived, all dressed (this was 4-5 years ago) in Tennant’s outfit complete with Sonic and whilst the Juniors were all a- hoot, the Seniors thought him a ‘douche’  – as did half the teachers who told him to ‘tone it down’ -which they had no right to do.

    It was a hobby, he was teaching physics, the Juniors were responding well to an exciting, albeit eccentric, chap who loved this ‘teaching gig’. Another colleague and I (and I work very part-time in that job, thank god) occasionally whisper in the corner about Who but the larger, prevailing contingent in that particular staff-room so despise the show (in fact anything pretty much on the ABC) that they make it very clear with eye rolling, mutters, sitting away from others at lunch breaks, going quiet, turning up their head phones to listen to the Bay City Rollers etc etc.

    I let them jabber on about X-Factor, CSI and other shite to their heart’s content. These dudes will happily pay to slather over every musical that’s about (and pay $250 for a ticket) so “who’s the idiot now??” 🙂

    I much prefer Who myself despite those who seem to nurse that kind of contempt for it -one of the reasons that I came to this site: my brother’s a fan but lives a 1000 miles away and most of my friends never watched it again after a childhood of off-and-on again enjoyment.

    My son loves it and being nearly 14 can actually critique episodes. I blame one @pedant for this who expanded Boy Ilion’s horizons by introducing us to Buffy, Angel, Firefly and other American goodies (with which you’re no doubt familiar: the same people who despise Who can’t handle Buffy, either,  so basically I just place them in the dustbin of “you’re stupid” -they can’t even be recycled as cybermen: they’d be spat out of the machine!) and so Boy Ilion is the only fan who I  converse with not on the internet.


    thank you for going to all that trouble – and providing links and summaries.

    Much appreciated.

    Kindest, Puro

    DenValdron @denvaldron

    @purofilion Actually, Plainolddave’s experience wasn’t uncommon. In North America, Doctor Who played on the PBS (Public Broadcasting) stations, that was exclusively Tom Baker. Tom Baker’s Doctor had a whopping 41 serials available, so what PBS would do, was they would run each serial as an individual movie on Friday nights. It was popular, so they just repeated it, and repeated it.

    Of course, this left a huge backlog available to fans. Jon Pertwee had 24 adventures. Peter Davison had 20. Then there was Troughton and Hartnell. The show had so much backstory to discover. So Doctor Who clubs sprang up all over North America. I was in one myself, in the 80’s and 90’s, off and on. People would go to conventions, they’d buy tapes or trade for bootlegs, getting them was something of a quest. Then they’d show them at the clubs. My first exposure to Jon Pertwee’s Doctor was at the local Doctor Who club, it was also the first place I saw the Unearthly Child, and the Five Doctors, and for that matter, the Benedetti Doctor’s adventure. I remember watching fourth of fifth generation copies of the McCoy adventures and even Dimensions in Time.

    PBS eventually did show, in the 90’s, the other Doctors. Tom Baker had aired several times by then, and there was enough in Peter Davison and Jon Pertwee together to have another run. They even aired some of the Hartnell’s and Colin Baker. But by then the network of clubs and tapes trading was very well established. Doctor Who fandom in North America was a lively community.

    Anonymous @


    Thks again for the latter link. Is that particular site one you’re ‘in charge’ of, or moderate? There’s a lot of quite obscure knowledge about the Presidency of Gallifrey, scripts, the High Council, War Council and so on.


    DenValdron @denvaldron

    @purofilion Good lord no! This and the Alternate History forum are the only places where I post about Doctor Who. I’m just a gigantic nerd is all.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @purofilion  I wonder @ichabod if there were DW meetings or ‘chapters’ where you were in the States?

    Probably, but I didn’t know anything about it if so.  All I knew about DW fandom at the time was that when DW fans showed up at the SF conventions I went to from ’76 on, they dressed weird, hung out together and didn’t talk to anybody else, and had the reputation of being peculiarly intense and very prone to quarreling among themselves.  I hung out with the feminist writers and readers — they were my community within the community, and as far as I knew, there wasn’t any significant overlap.

    There was (and still is) an active local SF club, but at that time it was dominated by very Old Guard men who didn’t mind having females in their club to fill out the numbers, but were very vocally resentful of female writers horning in on the territory of the male writers they adored — Asimov, Poul Anderson, Larry Niven, Phil Farmer, Fred Pohl, etc. — and the “New Wave” guys following Moorcock and others in Britain (Bob Silverberg’s name comes to mind, though he was going great guns well before the 80’s).  At least, but that’s who I recall right now.  The club was unwelcoming to women writers, as I recall, and I ignored them as they (mostly) ignored me and my own cohort, and if there was a specific DW club here, I didn’t know about it.

    My husband and I watched DW on and off from the sixties onward — I think it was shown in the US by PBS-tv at the time, but we were only devoted viewers during Tom Baker’s time but didn’t talk about it much as it was considered by non-fans, anyway, a kids’ program; and the PBS viewership was comparatively small to start with, so it didn’t occur to us to go looking for fans locally.

    Anonymous @

    We may need to clarify some. I see reference to “series” as a plural. There’s only one Doctor Who series, unless you want to count Sarah Jane Adventures or K9 And Friends…


    My baseline:

    Series: Doctor Who, a profoundly interesting Brit SF TV show.

    Season One: 1963-4, Season Two: 1964-65, etc; Tom Baker was Doctor for seven seasons.

    Episodes can be one-shots or multi-parters. Or a multi-episode “story arc” or plotline like the Key To Time.

    It appears as though this is a British thing, like the inexplicable tendency to refer to corporations in the plural. What are the Brits here referring to by “series”?

    Anonymous @


    and I welcomed you! 🙂

    goodness, frankly does it even matter?? I mean, really? If  I say series I usually mean the same as seasons. I’m ozzie, pretty smart and I tend to think that it really is semantics.

    But I take your point and I shall mend my ways. 🙂

    It appears as though this is a British thing, like the inexplicable tendency to refer to corporations in the plural.

    This really might not go down all that well. If I was British, that is. After all, a ‘tendency’ is just that -therefore it need not be ‘inexplicable’




    Kindest, Puro


    django @django

    <span class=”useratname”>@plainolddave</span>


    A series is a sequence of episodes for the same show.

    ie. Doctor Who from Episodes “Rose” to “The Parting Of The Ways” was the first series of the “new” Doctor Who whilst “The Magicians Apprentice” to “Hell Bent” will be the ninth.

    As for:

    inexplicable tendency to refer to corporations in the plural.”

    it’s our language and we’ll use it how we like! 😉

    Anonymous @

    Ah. Learning has ocurred. So what do you all call a series,  then?

    Juniperfish @juniperfish


    US season = UK series (but, to be fair, we do also use “season” sometimes, esp for the US shows we watch).

    US series = UK television show

    So, in Brit, Doctor Who is a television show and we are currently watching series nine, of New Who (since the Russel T Davies revival).

    The corporation issue is interesting, because I think it is more widely known (outside the legal community) that corporations in the US are granted “corporate personhood” which gives them some of the legal rights and responsibilities enjoyed by persons. In the UK (I’m not a lawyer) we do have something similar. Under the 1998 Human Rights Act, corporations in the UK can claim the right to a fair trial, the right to privacy, freedom of expression and property also.

    Maybe the stronger sense of a corporation as having “corporate personhood” in the US accounts for the preference to refer to “it” rather than the “they” preferred by the Brits, the latter of which reflects to a greater degree the collective nature of the entity.

    Brit vs US English is always fun. You know, your usage (assuming you are indeed from the US!) of the word “awesome” is creeping over here now. The Brits used to reserve the use of that word virtually for something of the order of magnitude of an act of God (the storm was awesome in its power) but in US English it can be used for the most mundane of pleasant experiences (awesome cup of coffee).

    So it goes…

    Anonymous @

    Only other difference I see is that US Whovians don’t clearly distinguish the ‘revival’ from Hartnell et al. To a lot of us, DW is the longest running series in the history of television, period.  Only Gunsmoke and some of the daytime soap operas are close. The ‘series’ usage is intermittent at best here.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @PlainOldDave  @purofilion  @denvaldron

    In Vancouver, I starting watching DW in the mid-eighties, except that it wasn’t on PBS, but on a local indy station out of Bellingham, Washington, that used to show a lot of things in syndication. They were showing late era Tom Baker at the time I discovered the show, but they ran up as far as they had (which I think the first time took me all the way into the C. Baker era), and then they cycled back to the beginning of Pertwee, and did it all again, always getting up into the almost contemporary before running out of episodes. Once, they actually went all the way back to An Unearthly Child, which is how I was able to see the surviving First and Second Doctor episodes, but they didn’t do that again, either because the earliest shows weren’t as popular, or maybe due to all the missing episodes from that era. But I watched all the way to the end of the McCoy era that way.

    I was never a part of a fandom community because I was entirely unaware that there was such a thing! Occasionally, I could pick up a copy of Doctor Who Magazine at the news stand, and once went down to Bellingham to attend a convention. But it was all pretty far off the radar around here, and as the end of the old show came somewhat simultaneously to my return to university full-time and subsequent meeting of my first husband, I left the show behind as an enjoyable part of my past. Until fairly recently, in fact!

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @PlainOldDave    I have always assumed that the use of “series” in the UK comes about because so many of the programs have had very long gaps between runs, unlike in the US, where the “seasons” are more, um, seasonal, as it were. There’s more of a sense here of the new “fall season” and so on, whereas it seems to me that in the UK, a series run begins at whatever time of year they happen to have it ready and want to show it!  🙂 Although I find that, increasingly, that regularity is changing over here as well.

    I would also add that, personally, I very much distinguish between the old run and the new run, with the TV movie as a sort of bridge between. But I may not be representative of what Canadian fans think, because I don’t know any! (Except for the few on this Forum, of course.) But the new show has such a different feel to it than the old, as TV in general has changed so much, that I can’t help thinking of them as different, albeit connected, parts of the same narrative.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @ichabod    I had a boyfriend for a bit in high school who was the only other person I knew into Sci Fi (this was in the late seventies), and he was definitely into the militaristic sort of thing that I personally found pretty dreary. I did read a lot of Asimov and Heinlein and enjoyed it, but tried a bit of Moorcock and Niven and didn’t find myself engaged. It was only much later that I discovered a world of female writers in the sci fi/fantasy genres. My husband introduced me to Anne McCaffrey, whose writing I used to quite enjoy. A whole different schtick, of course, but more to my taste. At that point, my interest moved away from Sci Fi and more into fantasy.

    I didn’t at the time equate this with the kind of male dominated situation that I know understand was a thing in the science fiction world, because having been raised by a feminist single mom and being a bit of a dreamy, isolated sort, I had the rather naive belief that gender was no longer an issue.  🙂

    Anonymous @

    <span class=”useratname”>@arbutus</span>

    You make a valid point on our seasons being more seasonal. If a show/program/series is in regular production Over Here, “hiatus” might be at most a few months. With rare exception, if a show/program/series is canceled, it’s gone for good. And that might have some to do with the difference in nature between PBS/BBC and ABC/CBS/NBC/ITV; Television Over Here is in great proportion operated by private corporations; PBS and nonprofit TV is the exception rather than the rule. If an advertiser buys time on a specific program, it’s in, say, NBC’s interest to have that program on as much as possible so as to sell advertising time.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Yes, the difference in usage can sometimes be funny. I once nearly gave a North American friend a heart attack by referring to the upcoming ‘Series Finale’. She was all: ‘What? It’s cancelled? When did that happen.’

    I meant the finale for Series 7, not the end of the entire series.

    ‘Season’ does get used – the Before Gap series is usually separated into ‘Seasons’ rather than ‘Series’. They were at the time, however, generally referred to as ‘the first season’, ‘the second season’ etc.

    However, I’ve never heard a Brit use ‘Season’ for the After Gap series. When people refer to ‘Season’ they’re usually either talking about US imports or something like Autumn.

    Which is ‘Fall’. Odd thing, language. 😉

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @PlainOldDave      Too true about the influence of advertising. And while it hasn’t prevented American TV from producing some great stuff, I think that in the more fragmented viewing world of today, it makes it difficult at times for quality TV to survive. The need for high viewing figures right off the bat, as dictated by ad revenues, can be challenging for anything new or a bit different.

    @bluesqueakpip     The structural difference can also surprise people. I introduced my son to Fawlty Towers last year, and he was shocked at how few episodes there were, coming off season runs of as many as two dozen eps on shows like Breaking Bad.

    saraji @saraji

    I’ve been a doctor who fan since the start but I cannot watch much more if this Clara stays in the show. She has turned the doctor who show into the Clara show

    Anonymous @

    There’s something to be said about advertising.  Back in the early 60s, corporations sponsored TV shows; Chrysler Corporation, Dodge, and Geritol sponsored Lawrence Welk on ABC for years. I’m not sure any early 60s US corporate sponsors could be talked into DW:

    “The President says we’ll be on the Moon by the end of the decade so i suppose a Program about space travel is fine and all, but a PHONE BOOTH?! And this old man with a teenager in a junkyard is a little. .. creepy. Let us know when you have a show with a real spaceship and clean-cut, good looking young people in space suits. And a robot. Something like Buck Rogers,  Flash Gordon,  or Forbidden Planet”


    Bears mentioning that even Star Trek struggled and Desilu had to pitch it as a Western. Gene Roddenberry called TOS “Wagon Train to the stars,” and it took a major recasting to get NBC to buy off, and then it was only saved for Season 3 by a massive letter writing campaign some call the Genesis of modern sci-fi fandom.


    Anonymous @


    yes, I know geritol myself-very very well.

    winston @winston


    Doctor Who could have been sponsored by Bell. ” a telephone wherever you need it” Or the first “mobile phone”.

    winston @winston

    In Canada we go to the polls tomorrow in a federal election to vote for a Prime Minister,  so have a great election day, all my fellow Canadians.

    Anonymous @

    <span class=”useratname”>@Winston</span>:

    Bell Telephone was, in 1961 America (about when a production company would pitch a program intended for a Fall 1963 debut), a more or less legally protected monopoly and therefore didn’t need to advertise. I remember how controversial the breakup was in the mid-80s and how… odd it seemed to BUY a telephone instead of rent it from the phone company and how unusual ads for telephone service were to everybody back then.


    But on further thought, if a US network were to buy off on Dr. Who, it would almost certainly have been cast differently and, given all the historical plots of the Hartnell era, probably would have been the first Saturday Afternoon Educational Program Kids Ignored After Cartoons Were Over.

    Anonymous @

    looking at the Times where we see the name Ashildr -apparently there’s some discussion of removing the first (Valkyrie) syllables and being left with ‘dr’

    Hmm. What does this mean? She’s a hybrid and isn’t Clara also one? Certainly,  Missy made that clear. She meant, too, that there was an enemy inside a friend and vice-versa which suggests Ashildr,  as a hybrid, could also be “an enemy inside a friend” -who knows what immortality will grant you! It’s interesting that when we first meet her, it is well known in the village that if anything goes wrong, Ashildr blames herself. She’s also ‘different’, a story teller, a loner. I also wonder what her age would be? About this time you’d think she’d be betrothed or even possibly married?

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @winston    Cheers!  🙂

    ichabod @ichabod

    @arbutus  I didn’t at the time equate this with the kind of male dominated situation that I know understand was a thing in the science fiction world, because having been raised by a feminist single mom and being a bit of a dreamy, isolated sort, I had the rather naive belief that gender was no longer an issue. 🙂

    Oh, yes; still is, if you follow the literal attack made last summer on the Hugo Award system by a small gang of reactionary SF authors protesting the fact that none of their (for the most part, dreary) drivel has won the Hugo, but the award kept going to women writers, “liberals”, intellectuals — the usual suspects in a “liberal cabal”.  It’s clearly part of a bitter backlash by the left-behind, all male as far as I can tell, and judging by their work, all deeply misogynist and looking backward to a time when men were men blah blah blah.

    @purofilion  She’s also ‘different’, a story teller, a loner. I also wonder what her age would be? About this time you’d think she’d be betrothed or even possibly married?

    Not if she’s perceived as weird enough.  Groups with shamanistic traditions have tended to isolate the shaman, once identified, to keep all that magical power at a safe distance, and also many (certainly among the plains tribes in the US) were “two spirited” people, meaning androgyne or bisexual, as a sign of their power and difference from normal people.  I don’t think they married very often — it might interfere with their spiritual activities, what with supernatural lovers from the spirit planes and the like.

    Anonymous @


    yes, I wondered if some ‘power’ aspect had been detected in Ashildr from awhile ago -perhaps as young a babe herself: maybe her cries were once the harbinger of doom? Her father was nonetheless loving and proud. Perhaps I expected (as in Game of Thrones which I watched once and kinda disliked on a primal level as a type of violent/blood porn but anyway….) there would be a culture of females as clearly secondary, obedient to fathers and husbands, brothers and uncles. In Norse ‘worlds’ what was the prevailing attitude, I wonder?

    @bluesqueakpip and @mudlark might shed light on this also if they have time. Perhaps @plainolddave has some knowledge of this era of history being well educated and knowledgable (you’re going to get dragged in Mr Dave -one of my fav characters in Who or at least episodes: concerning the Vashta Nerada. You’ve chosen that tag-line well! Perhaps you’ll have done some reading on Norse mythology/ History as it seems @mudlark is busy elsewhere 🙁 )

    I have my ‘interests’ in Anc Greece but no knowledge before that and @juniperfish is our resident Ancient Egyptian Historian if memory serves? For what we embarrassingly used to call ‘primitive peoples’ back in the early ’80s I wonder what the idea is regarding Viking women? Viking ‘magical’ women – – @Denvaldron for your awareness of the difference between ‘Viking’ and ‘norse’ you could enlighten me too on the position of Norse women in society who were not, for various reason, married?

    Certainly Ashildr’s ‘differences’ were noted by her father and the rest of the villagers who were quite content with her role: this ‘understanding’ as it were. Perhaps a ‘second sight,’ even -that might unfold now for who knows what this ‘chip’ will bring her? Not necessarily a good night’s sleep.

    I cannot think of anything worse than ‘forever’ – we were talking in The Cloven Hoof with @denvaldron about the idea of living forever -about personal monsters. Dreams about infinity and infinite numbers would terrify me at the ages of 5-7 so much so that I would go screaming and sweating to bed.

    By 6pm I was already dreading the night-time hours. After the age of seven, any prolonging could have come from my mother’s unexpected death, but I’m told this particular fear emerged very early: certainly before long term memory set in.

    Right; onwards to happy thoughts 🙂





    like the inexplicable tendency to refer to corporations in the plural.

    Almost every UK new or magazine style book in the UK states that corporations (companies, in UK parlance) are singular, (example) the sole exception being sports teams because sports hacks can’t cope with complexity.

    The thing with English as it is spoken in the UK (there is no such thing as UK, British or English English, despite Microsoft’s best efforts to make it so – the clue is in the name), is that we borrow rapaciously, voraciously and liberally from anywhere we find interesting, be it The Raj or Alicia Silverstone.

    The consequence of this is that, contrary to the impression given by debate in broadsheet newspapers, we are – on the whole – far more concerned about style than pedantry, and to the mind’s eye a room full of people is a group rather than a single board of directors to a single company. So in vernacular, “they” it is.

    (Irrelevant aside: I have yet to meet an American who can say the simple exclamation “bloody ‘ell” properly)

    ichabod @ichabod

    @purofilion  yes, I wondered if some ‘power’ aspect had been detected in Ashildr from awhile ago -perhaps as young a babe herself: maybe her cries were once the harbinger of doom? Her father was nonetheless loving and proud. 

    There’s clearly a history there, of bad things that have occurred in the village that Ashildr has blamed herself for, though the avoidance of any detailed discussion of those things by the villagers can be seen as an expression of the love and acceptance they offer her despite her “oddness”.  Does make me wonder, though . . .

    I cannot think of anything worse than ‘forever’ . . . Dreams about infinity and infinite numbers would terrify me at the ages of 5-7 so much so that I would go screaming and sweating to bed.  By 6pm I was already dreading the night-time hours. After the age of seven, any prolonging could have come from my mother’s unexpected death, but I’m told this particular fear emerged very early: certainly before long term memory set in.

    My word, that’s *early* to have such abstract fears, isn’t it?  My California friend would say this might be a holdover from a previous lifetime, but a lifetime as *what*?  I can’t imagine.  A mathematician, alchemist, what?  By contrast, the earliest fear that *I* can remember is being terrified when I woke up in the morning that Frankenstein’s monster was going to stick his big square head into my bedroom and stare at me (my cousin had taken me to see “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein”).  I must have been about seven.  That went on for weeks . . . says my notoriously unreliable memory.  A different order of anxiety, I would say . . .

    bloxrocks @bloxrocks

    They missed a huge chance for a episode as the 10th or 11th doctor here look at this

    Inspired by the victory, Key wrote a poem called Defense of Fort McHenry. The poem soon became a popular song, set to a tune by British composer John Stafford Smith. The new song was called The Star Spangled Banner.

    <span style=”line-height: 1.5;”>the plot the doctor lands in the fort and is forced to fight to defend the fort then mchennery needs a tune for his poem and jhon stannford smith aka the doctor gives him a tune and a fake name his ushual one jhon smith and he makes up a middle one</span>

    winston @winston


    Good theory! The Doctor aka John Smith would have liked the stars in the poem.

    Anonymous @


    Francis Scott Key wrote the poem not “McHenry” **

    “..forced to fight to defend the fort then mchennery needs a tune for his poem…” 

    Still, welcome to the Forum -glad you found a place to post and yes, it would have been a fun story 🙂 as John Smith IS the name the Doctor likes to use all the time.

    (**:ahem: @pedant there’s a section in The West Wing in S5 where the Francis Scott Key Key is given to a lady with an absolutely hilarious name?)




    CharityFan @charityfan

    Tea with Jenna Coleman! Charity Gala- One to One Children’s Fund

    Our Ambassador Jenna Coleman is taking a break from Doctor Who to put herself up for auction at our gala, Stardust, and to help rebuild children’s lives!

    Attendees at the gala on November 1st will gather in the historic Banqueting House, Whitehall, to out-bid each other for the chance to meet the star over tea, and enjoy a wide range of entertainment.

    The first 20 Doctor Who fans to buy tickets can get them at the special discount price of £95, so email Olivia@onetoonechildrensfund.org to buy your ticket now!


    Anonymous @

    Interesting thought for Francis Scott Key; revisit the Key To Time. Instead of Princess Astra as the sixth key, have old Francis Scott be it. Consider:


    Key is key to the Key.

    Anonymous @


    key is key to the key” -talk about a closed loop! Wunderbar!

    on the issue of the doctor being “hung on” by  “the companions,”I’m quoting Moffatt here who said with Rose the Doctor was someone she truly fell in love with and then “Russell broke our hearts when he couldn’t reciprocate” but in an interview or during the Director’s commentary at the end of the Beast Below or maybe a later episode, Amy says “I’m getting married tomorrow” and then Moffatt talks about how “has no-one noticed that he’s actually really attractive and that Amy is a modern girl, she doesn’t want to be with this guy forever she wants a quick cuddle and then maybe [ahem] some more than that… I wanted to explore this and show what this Doctor is  like –  he’s a total nerd, he doesn’t know what to do with her” as Amy is “crawling” all over the Doctor -if I’m correct @plainolddave then Amy is actually pulling off his suspenders and bow-tie? !!

    I agree- not at all good. I think, though, the point had to be made that Amy was effectively running away from her marriage (temporarily -using the Tardis as a perfect excuse) and what she was doing wasn’t good -in its way, but she does the right thing in the end and recognises that “stupid, it’s you, you idiot, who I love” [apparently this is an absolutely poetic example of her love for Rors!]


    Rob @rob

    Just popping onto the sofa to say haven’t seen this week’s episode due to my Mum’s 81st birthday party and working away all next week before going to Wyntercon in Eastbourne next Saturday…… So lack of me making contact/comments is just due to trying to avoid learning what’s happened I’m not sulking 🙂

    Keep up the great bonkerising all 😀

    Anonymous @

    @rob happy 81st to your mum!

    you? You’d never sulk. We shall keep the coffee on the boil (or on the drip) for you in absentia.

    Warmest, Puro

    seeoswald @seeoswald

    New member just joined, have not read further back than this page yet. But as an avid Doctor Who fan (been watching since the 70’s) I have to point out the obvious, season 9…. clearly …. easily… the worst season ever! Who is writing this tripe? Also what brain cell deficient cephalopod replaced an ICON! of the series with sunglasses. SUNGLASSES!, sonic sunglasses! do you hear yourself when you say that?

    Now don’t get me wrong I’m not suggesting the writers and other perpetrators of the hayness crimes against this once great show should be sacked. No far from it. I’m suggesting they should be HUNG, DRAWN and QUARTERED! and not necessarily in that order, and their remains catapulted into an active volcano.

    I love Doctor Who and wait impatiently for it’s return after ever season but we are now halfway through season 9 and I’m still cringing. Another fan on another site suggested the reason for the .. the.. , I’m lost for something suitably derogatory to refer to this season as, abysmal will do, abysmal season is that it’s been dumbed down and written for the America market. Well 6 episodes in and I’m apt to agree with him. This season of Doctor Who equates to the pitiful attempt by the yanks to make their version of Red Dwarf, thank all your gods or common sense that that never made it past the pilot episode.

    It is a shame that Jenna is moving on, second best companion the Doctor has had and as cute as a button. Lets hope the producers don’t blow it when it comes to choosing a replacement. Capaldi is only just hanging in there, another season of writing like this and the longest running Sci-Fi show in history will be dead.


    *circles bait*

    *swims away*


    Anonymous @


    I know: another one. They’ve invented a word: “hayness” -without hay is it? Or “with hay”

    I know, they’re “making hay”.

    Two trolls in 2 days, not so good.

    I love it when you get awesome episodes with incredible dialogue and delicious layering of metaphor and someone suggests “it’s dumbing down.”  I hope these trolls aren’t from Oz. They’re not exactly wizards. 🙂

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