On The Sofa (9)

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This topic contains 1,124 replies, has 73 voices, and was last updated by  Craig 6 months, 1 week ago.

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    Melody22411 @melodyhughes

    Hi, <span>I</span> just wanted to know everyones opinion, <span>I</span> am 19, and every since <span>I </span>was a very young girl, I have been obsessed with the doctor, never missed an episode, then season 6, episode 7 arrived, ‘a good man goes to war’. The episode where Riversong was born, but what shocked me the most was, her birth name was Melody, my name, you can imagine 11  year old me was speechless, Melody isn’t a common name at all, clearly this is just a coincidence, or is it???

    ArchaicWhovian @archaicwhovian

    Salutations! Well, Pond came to mean “River”, therefore, I suppose that it would be necessary to determine the meaning of your last name. If it has to do with a body of water, well, we should be friends.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @craig, @bluesqueakpip, @thane16, @winston, @janetteb, @cathannabel, and, well, everybody

    I mentioned this before, but, I think it would be a great idea if we could have a discussion about Dr Who again. After all, that is why we are here.

    So @craig, (and everyone) what about “The Meddling Monk”?


    Anonymous @

    @blenkinsopthebrave – Unfortunately, my BG Who experience doesn’t extend to him, so I can’t help there.  I did put a blog entry up to try to generate discussion, though, for what that’s worth.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @blenkinsopthebrave. I second that suggestion. The Meddling Monk was a fun story. I always enjoy the “history” episodes though I was not so sure that the Monk’s meddling, had it succeeded would have necessarily been such a bad thing. I suspect my Cumbrian ancestors would have preferred the alternate history that would have resulted. (That is if my memory of the story is correct. I don’t think I even fully watched it when it was repeated on TV in 2005 or 6 and have not watched it since.)





    winston @winston

    @blenkinsopthebrave   I think that would be a great idea and it could spark some new conversations. I shall see if I can find it at my library.

    ArchaicWhovian @archaicwhovian

    Now, while I feel that I rival most in Whovian authenticity within my local area (at least that’s what I like to think), I feel at loss due to the fact that I constantly come across references which are new to me that is familiar with everyone else. Among these. I find that the terms B.G. and A.G. get tossed around quite a bunch around here. What is their meaning? Do they refer to a period in the show’s history, whether it be production or storyline?

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @blenkinsopthebrave, @janetteb and @winston

    The one slight problem is that we’ve already watched and discussed it, about four years back. I think it was one of the first Hartnells we watched. And we can’t really do the Dalek Master Plan because it’s mostly lost. There’s nothing to stop a second rewatch – the conversations are already set up.

    I’ve been spending my day off binge-watching the Whittaker Doctor’s first series, which has been fun. I think we really were looking in the wrong direction for the arc – watch the episodes close together and it becomes clear that the arc is both the new Doctor’s character development and Graham and Ryan’s developing relationship and recovery from the loss of Grace.

    Anyway, Hartnell. Rewatch The Time Meddler, or pick another Hartnell?

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    They’re short for Before Gap and After Gap. The Gap is the over-long period when Who wasn’t being produced. After Gap starts with the episode Rose.

    Other sites refer to Classic Who and New Who, but we felt that identifying an era by whether it was before or after the Gap was more value-neutral.

    ArchaicWhovian @archaicwhovian


    winston @winston

    @bluesqueakpip   Thanks for the heads up on the Time Meddler. I looked and found the discussions right where they should be. Now I need to find the episodes and watch them because they look good. Maybe we can find an episode we have not re-watched , I am open to anything.

    Craig @craig

    @blenkinsopthebrave @bluesqueakpip, @thane16, @winston, @janetteb, @cathannabel,

    I’m afraid I’m currently having to deal with some personal matters but normal service should be resumed in March. Hopefully you can wait until then.

    We still have a short Chibnall retrospective to do, and a whole host of female Timelord stories lined up too.

    winston @winston

    @craig  No problem, I have a bunch of Who to watch and a whole lot of time on my hands so I can certainly wait. I hope everything in your life goes smoothly, these days its the most we can ask for.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @bluesqueakpip and @blenkinsopthebrave It turns out I even posted a comment on that thread but I had not rewatched the story so my memory is not entirely shot. Must be time I remedied that. There are several early Hartnell stories which I have only seen the once.



    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @bluesqueakpip, @winston, @janetteb By golly, we did discuss it back then. Of course, I have entered the phase of life when what I did yesterday is often a mystery to me…

    Until @craig is back on deck (best wishes) might I suggest that if you can find a copy on a streaming service or online (particularly those who might not have seen much early Who) that you try and find the box entitled “Lost in Time” that includes some of the existing episodes from shows that are otherwise lost due to the BBC policy of wiping tapes back in the mid sixties. There are some fascinating glimpses of shows from the Hartnell/Troughton years.

    On the other hand, @bluesqueakpip may remind us that we discussed that as well back in the mists of time, and lost to the Blenkinsop memory…



    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Just reporting back on a re-watch of one of the partial stories contained in the disc “Lost in Time”.

    the story is the brilliant “The Crusade” from 1965. Scripted by David Whitaker, and directed by Douglas Camfield (perhaps the best writer and best director of the early years–although they have contenders) it is a fourt-part story set in Palestine involving the Crusade led by King Richard (played by Julian Glover) against Saladin (played by the wonderful Bernard Kay). It really is one of the very best early Who stories.

    it also features the incomparable Jean Marsh as Richard’s sister Joanna. It is a story of palace intrigue and those that suffer when warriors thirst for war. The comparison between Richard and Saladin is really interesting–Richard is not portrayed as all that likeable, expecting his sister to offer herself to Saladin as a bride, for example, while Saladin is the wise, but weary ruler surrounded (as is Richard) by military leaders who thirst for battle.

    The picture it presents of Palestine is a cosmopolitan one, where the futility of war is obvious to the viewer. At a time (the late 50s, early 60s) when Britain had engaged in some less than admirable military ventures (the Mau Mau Rebellion, For example) the story is both complex and yet still able to be understood by children. It remains a family show about time travel, and yet the story is making a serious political point about war and imperialism. Now, who would have thought Doctor Who ever did that…?

    If you can, watch it (two episodes remain intact, the other two are audio only).

    ScaryB @scaryb

    Thanks for that summary @blenkinsopthebrave

    I remember The Crusade making an impact on me at the time as a little un (and you’re right about Douglas Camfield. His direction work turns up in a lot of 60s/early series, and it’s always notable)

    ScaryB @scaryb

    Just popped in as I came across this tonight. Director Rachel Talaley in session at Gallifrey One, talking about making Heaven Sent. She posted this – a breakdown of her first impressions of, and notes about, the first scene. For those of us who like the technical behind the scenes (and sofa) insider view, it’s fascinating. So complicated!


    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @scaryb (waves!)

    It is hard to think of a Who story more relevant to today’s headlines than “The Crusade”. And I really do mean today’s headlines.


    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @scaryb That material from Rachel Talalay is absolutely fascinating. Thanks for posting.

    I will have some reflections, but it is coming up to 5pm Pacific time in Canada which means…off to the pub!

    ScaryB @scaryb

    @blenkinsopthebrave *waves back*

    Talalay post – I agree (and apologies for it posting with the full length preview* (I just begin to think I’ve got the hang of this posting thing, then that happens!)). I love her direction (like Camfield, it’s got a flair, expertise and depth, that adds to the storytelling).

    Must go and check out the Crusade again, you’ve stirred a lot of memories in me old brain. There’s a lot to be learned from Dr Who, old ones and new. Enjoy the pub, old friend. I’m off to bed (after midnight here in the northern territory of the “old country”). Cheers.


    *Any mods about who want to fix that, please feel free 🙂

    syzygy @thane16


    that’s brilliant to read Scary, thank you: hope you’re doing well.

    Puro x

    syzygy @thane16

    @scaryb  your headline comment caused me to jump to this thought. For the wordsmiths out there & you know who you are – & @mudlark are you home yet?

    I see this headline:

    thousands demonstrate against Climate Change.”

    Is that the correct way to write: Climate Change is a THING & it’s bad so we protest
    ?  It could be read as “we’re protesting against it because it’s not real & our jobs are fading etc etc



    Mudlark @mudlark

    @thane16  (puro)

    The curse of headline writing. Headlines have to be succinct but, as in this case, compression frequently leads to ambiguity. It is usually possible to discern the intended meaning, nevertheless, and  Thousands march in protest against the failure of governments to take effective and timely action to prevent devastating climate change – or other words to that effect – is a bit long winded, after all. I tend to ignore headlines and just read the text below.

    Yes I’m home and have finally shaken off the chest infection which plagued me throughout most of January.  The Dermatology department at the hospital took their time about contacting me with the results of the biopsy, but it  confirmed that the blob on my nose is a basal cell carcinoma – slow growing and not a matter of great urgency.  Moh’s surgery s recommended and is scheduled to take place at the beginning of April. Before that (March 5th) I have an appointment at the Eye Clinic. Recently I have noticed a deterioration in vision in my left eye and a check up last week revealed that a membrane has formed over the implanted lens – no great problem as it can be zapped with a laser. A photo of the retina also revealed what might be traces of a small haemorrhage which could be more serious, but I suspect it is a false alarm.

    Otherwise I’m OK though still in dormouse mode.



    Mudlark @mudlark

    @scaryb   The comments by Rachel Talalay on the first scene of Heaven Sent are fascinating. I’m always amazed at how much intricate thought goes into the details, and it certainly paid off in this instance.  Interesting that Pierrefonds castle was referenced as an inspiration. I remember visiting it in the early spring of 1961 when I was attending a short French Language course in Compiegne. Viollet Leduc at his OTT best!  I believe it was also used in the filming of Merlin, though I confess that I never watched that show – my loss, no doubt, and maybe I’ll get round to it some day.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    After reading the Rachel Talalay notes you uploaded, I watched Heaven Sent again last night. Fascinating to compare the notes with the way it was realized. The whole was very effective, yet I wonder if the TV monitors clashed a bit with the dream-like quality of the castle? For me, perhaps they did. But it was still a damned effective episode, and the insight her notes gave into the way it was conceived and realized was very, very interesting.

    syzygy @thane16

    @blenkinsopthebrave -me too! It was a late night of telly watching for the Puro Crew

    @mudlark Eyes, noses, next it’ll be ears! Glad your chest infection has diminished, however & thank you for the answer.


    Missy @missy


    Sorry for delay.

    I don’t know an email address, but if people are interested, it’s simply BBC RADIO 4 EXTRA

    on you computer. They even have episodes of Doctor who (Tom Baker and Colin Baker) as a play, not visual.

    Whatever your taste, you’ll find it there as I mentioned on a recent post – which people must a have missed or aren’t interested.

    Their loss, not mine. *grins*




    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Just flagging that I have a new blog up – which is really my take on the Series 11 arc. Other series arcs may be available. 🙂

    More seriously, since it’s now time enough for Series 11 to have sunk in, so to speak, I wondered if we could use the comment sections of the blog to talk about Series 11 as-a-whole, rather than as individual episodes?

    winston @winston

    @bluesqueakpip  The blog is great and I have written 2 replies over there that seem to disappear into thin air or another time?  That is too bad because I wanted to tell that I agree with you about the loss of Grace and how it effects  Ryan and Graham in this series, how it changes all of them because loss is change and change can be scary. There is the loss of Grace and Bill and even our crusty old 12th Doctor to challenge Team Tardis.

    I only watched the first 3 episodes when it aired and had to wait till yesterday to get the series from the library so after a re-watch of the first 3 I will carry on with the rest and then comment again on your blog. Hopefully it won’t disappear again. Thanks for the post, it came at the right time for me.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Yes, loss after death was a good arc for this series – because, in the subtext, we had the loss of just about everything except the format and the technical staff. Producers, leading actors, writing team – all gone.

    I’m going to check the settings on the blog in case there’s anything I can do – it might be a time-out or a connection drop, though.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Okay, I’ve been thinking about our BG episode recap discussions.

    Generally, we’ve run them as follows: @craig sets up a thread for each episode in the story, we discuss them. But that puts a lot of work on Craig, who has to set up a new thread weekly. That became apparent during The Invasion of Time discussion, when it just wasn’t possible for him to publish a thread beyond Episode 1.

    So: one possible solution would to use the blog facility for BG story discussions, with posters with blog privileges agreeing to host each story. Either we could have a blog per episode, or one blog per story – if the latter, I’m thinking that the host could add the new episode to the blog each week. Either way, the discussion would take place in the blog comments.

    Do we want to restart BG watches? Do we want to keep on with the ‘Women Time Lords’ theme, or say that didn’t work and try something else? If Women Time Lords, do we want to restart with Invasion of Time or say ‘we all hated it, let’s move on to Romana I’?


    janetteB @janetteb

    @bluesqueakpip Keen to restart the BG watches and am happy to go with the “Women Time Lords” theme if that is what we are doing. Happy with whatever is chosen really and with whatever works best for Craig and the other mods. I was also thinking of maybe doing a podcast, (on my local community site) to coincide with the discussion here at some point through the year too. (there are others to be consulted on that though.)




    janetteB @janetteb

    Oh and just for the record, for all its faults and they were many, I still enjoy Invasion of Time. I thought it was great when I was a teenager and first watched it.

    Cheers (again)


    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Welcome back @craig!

    And you return bearing treats! You are a beneficent Emperor indeed.

    Anonymous @

    New to the forum, but have been a Dr Who fan since 1967, when I discovered him on television in New Zealand.

    In recent years I have seen a episode – perhaps a TV movie about the creation of the series. In the episode it showed the selection the the cranky doctor the design of the interior of the Tardis made on a desktop.

    I am trying to locate this episode- show for viewing by my grandson.


    Can anyone guide me to the show I am look for?

    Thanking you in advance

    janetteB @janetteb

    @rggoodie You are looking for An Adventure in Time and Space, a dramatisation of the beginning of Dr Who. I indeed love that scene you are describing.



    Anonymous @

    Thank you so much.

    My grandson and I are now watching it.

    TheDoctor @thedoctor2002

    if any of you would like to join my doctor who discord server, here is the link https://discord.gg/JGjdgEA its a fun place, you should join!!

    RougeCyberman @rougecyberman

    Already have 🙂 I can’t resist my favourite chat thing and favourite tv show!

    janetteB @janetteb

    Saw this in the Guardian Today. Looks amusing enough. Maybe one day the boys will get the Occulus Rift, (they have been hinting every Christmas now for a few years) and can try it.




    janetteB @janetteb

    Now that is some guard dog… dalek.

    I think the wooden structure is organic enough to “fit”. Have seen far more anachronistic things tacked onto historic buildings. I think it all depends on how wealthy the property owner is, and who their friends are, well with some councils anyway. Hope that they win out on this one. I would certainly be paying a visit if I lived in the U.K.



    Mudlark @mudlark


    I think the wooden structure is organic enough to “fit”

    That was my reaction also, especially as, so far as one can tell from the photo, the structure appears to be at the rear of the building where there were probably various outhouses and lean-tos originally. The problem over planning consent has arisen, I suspect, because the building in question is Listed, meaning that it has statutory designation as being of particular historic and/or architectural interest and that any addition or alteration has to be appropriate to the original character of the building and requires special consent, even if it is only the addition of a back yard shed, and the owner, presumably out of ignorance, evidently omitted to apply for this.

    Any alterations to Grades I and II* listed buildings have to be approved by Historic England, which at least means that those doing the assessment have appropriate professional knowledge – even if some of them tend to be snooty purists; but this building is Grade II, and approval of alterations or additions is a matter for the local Planning Office whose employees seldom include architectural historians, so they tend to play safe and strictly by the book*. But they would be humourless grouches or grinches not to approve this example, once the formalities have been complied with – because who would not want a Dalek as door warden 🙂

    *Sometimes to a bone-headed degree. In one case I encountered, a very disgruntled house owner, who wanted to replace some 1960’s style windows which had been inserted into an 18th century building with some more appropriate to the period of the building, was told that no, any replacement windows must be identical with the  ones which were there when the house was Listed in the 1970s 🙄




    janetteB @janetteb

    @mudlark I appreciate the importance of maintaining the historical integrity of a building and it is always difficult to balance that against maintaining livability. We have very little, “built” history here and for far too long it has been undervalued. So many of the lovely old pubs in town have “modernised” an now just look yuck. I was talking to the manager of our favourite pub yesterday and congratulating her on keeping the “heritage” look, just to make the point. We are fortunate at the moment to have a very good council who appreciate the value of history and culture in building community and raising the profile of the town. They recently did a multimillion upgrade to the old Town Hall, and Mechanic’s Institute, enhancing all the heritage features while adding a modern and versatile back area.




    Mudlark @mudlark


    the historical integrity of a building ….. is always difficult to balance that against maintaining livability

    The Listing system in England, when it works as intended, is supposed to accommodate this balance, and certainly isn’t intended to prevent alteration or additions, so long as Listed Building Consent is applied for and the proposed alterations  are in keeping with the general character of the building. In the case of Grade II Listings there is a good deal of latitude, but less room to manoeuvre when it comes to the higher grades. One of my brothers until recently lived in a Grade II* Listed building which had started life as a timber framed 13th century aisled hall, had a cross wing and an upper floor added in the 16th century, and been in succession a manor house, a farmhouse, and two farm cottages, before being converted back into a single residence in the second half of the 20th century.  When it was two cottages the kitchens/living rooms had been the ground floors of the original hall and the cross wing, but when my brother and sister in law bought it the only kitchen was a rather cramped lean-to which had presumably once been added as a scullery or wash-house. They got permission to demolish the lean-to and build a larger kitchen because there was clearly a need,  but the plans had to pass the scrutiny of English Heritage (now Historic England – though why they keep changing the name baffles me), and this involved jumping through a number of tedious bureaucratic hoops. The result, though, is a practical modern kitchen/diner which justifies all the hassle and is entirely in keeping with the original building – in fact it balances the 16th century cross wing .

    I doubt if there would have been any problem with granting consent for the building of the Dalek shed if the owner had applied for consent in the first place.


    syzygy @thane16

    Hellooo @janetteb @mudlark @pedant and other delightful & clever people!

    I have a small amount of Horace which I’m certain is Pindaric in origin.

    Now, do not be concerned -it’s the Horace I’m after. I have several definitions but I’d like to know yours (if you have any Pindar encomium all the better!)

    Sunt quos curriculo pulverum Olympicum
    Collegisse iuvat metaque fedrvidus
    Evitata rotis palaque nobilis
    Terrarum dominos evehit ad deos. » Odes 1.i

    Generally with Horace the last word “has it.” I THINK. In other words, when we say, “you always want the last word” the phenomenon stretches back a very long time.


    Syzygy and son.


    winston @winston

    @thane16  Sorry , I am no help at all.  “Its all Greek to me” Sorry again I couldn’t help myself being as its Friday.

    I missed your name change, does it have a meaning ? Anyway I like it!

    Mudlark @mudlark


    Second attempt, the first having disappeared into the ether.

    I’m not sure what you are asking here. If it is an opinion on whether or not the verse is Pindaric, I’m not the person to ask. If it is a comment on the meaning and ‘the last word’, I’ll have a go.

    Although I studied Horace’s Epistles, which was one of our set books for ‘A’ Level Latin Lit. that was 58 years ago and my Latin is now very rusty. In any case, I much preferred our other set books: salacious Sallust on the Catiline Conspiracy and Book VI of the Aeneid. As I had never read the Odes I had to look this up to get the context.

    As you probably know, the poem is addressed to Horace’s patron, Maecenas, and seems to be a list of ways in which men may achieve fame and glory, culminating in the statement that Maecenas’s favourable opinion of him as a poet means more to him than all these things.

    My translation, which may not be entirely accurate:

    There are those whom it pleases to raise (Lit. collect or accumulate) Olympian dust in a chariot race (or in a racing chariot) and clear the turning post (of the Circus) with blazing wheels, and whom the exalted palm (of victory) raises above the lords of the earth up to the gods.

    You are right that the word order of a sentence or clause in Latin is variable and that the emphasis is generally in the final word. Normally, especially in prose, this is the verb, but here it is the climactic ‘ad deos‘, to the gods – although the climax of the poem as a whole is in the somewhat sycophantic ending.

    Since this is Mudlark you are asking, there is a pedantic nitpick concerning  typos.  Fedrvidus for fervidus posed no difficulty, but palaque (and a spade) instead of palmaque (and the palm) had me puzzled at first 🙂

    Like the new name; very appropriate!

    syzygy @thane16


    Quite right. Thank you. When I write: “right” I mean I had the same problem. This is son’s school motto and happily explained, a little incorrectly, except for the “dust” implying effort, by the ‘Executive Principal.’

    Indeed: the motto has the errors – or the principal/assistant has typed the errors, possibly. I would hope it’s not all over the bags, books, student diaries etc.

    But spade and palm could be considered similar? Under Callimachus’ rules spade and palm are ‘open’ and an ‘offering’ -or so I thought…..

    Indeed, the last words are sycophantic: I was attempting to come up with a more favourable word. I failed.

    @winston Believe me, it’s not easy. But as I am a tad immovable, I gave my mind over to this. It took 5 min and I was stuck!

    Syzygy means a pair of similar but sometimes quite different ‘things.’ It’s the son’s urge: not that Thane16 has changed as the actual user name but he wanted something different. Except he stole it from the series The OA (second season).  I knew the meaning of it before the series, but he did not. And he liked it.

    Sygers 🙂


    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by  syzygy. Reason: masses of code appeared
    Mudlark @mudlark

    *Sigh*  Another post lost to the ether. Try again.


    But spade and palm could be considered similar? Under Callimachus’ rules spade and palm are ‘open’ and an ‘offering’ -or so I thought…..

    Not so much in this case. <i>Pala</i>: a spade i.e. a long handled tool used for digging (or, according to my dictionary, the socket in a finger ring in which the stone is set, though I fail to see the connection at the moment); palma: either the palm of the hand or a palm tree/palm branch. In this case it is the latter: the palm branch awarded to the victor in a race, therefore a symbol of victory. I doubt somehow that a victorious charioteer would have appreciated being given a spade for his efforts.

    The dust (pulverum) referred to here, taken literally, is the dust kicked up by a chariot as it races round the Circus Maximus, but could indeed be seen also as a symbol of effort.

    The whole poem consists of 36 lines in all and ends:

    Quod si me lyricis vatibus inseres                                                                                                                                 Sublime feriam sidera vertice

    But if you place me among the lyric poets, the lofty stars will crown my head (lit. I will knock the lofty stars with the crown of my head).

    In this instance the last word of all, vertice  – with the crown of the head – is determined by the stress of the metre rather than its importance in the sentence, but the couplet as a whole is the point to which the whole poem has been building.

    @winston  – and Sygers

    To be more precise, syzygy is primarily an astronomical term, meaning conjunction, e.g. of the moon and sun or of two planetary bodies or moons, but by extension of a pair of correlated or connected things. From the Greek syzygos, meaning yoked or paired.

    OK, OK, I’ll shut up now and remove myself and my pedantry 🙂   The sun is shining, temperature is forecast to reach 27C and the garden calls, just as soon as I have supped my umpteenth mug of tea and taken my analgaesic pills.

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