On the sofa

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    Craig @craig

    This is a place to congregate, somewhere to “hang out”. It’s a topic for general chat about anything you want, and a place for new members to pop in and say “hello” without worrying about making any real contribution (we know that first post can sometimes feel daunting). We’d love to hear from you all. We’re very friendly.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    Hi folks!

    Wwell I’m happily on the sofa, currently with R4 in the background and work on my lap.

    If you are one of our more post-shy members this is where you can drop in and say “hello” 🙂

    Frequent posters welcome too!

    I’m going to give C4’s Utopia a go at 10pm.

    @scaryb – this is where we can hide from MPs’ salary increases (cheeky s****s) and other nasties lurking in the world out there in these brave new millenial times.

    The Who monster most likely to have got me hiding behind the sofa in the old days? Morbius, definitely – I had nightmares about that claw!


    janetteB @janetteb

    The only Who monster to ever make me feel remotely scared, (apart from the “white man” who stalked my childhood imagination who may or may not have been a Who monster) was the Vashta Nerada from the library.

    It is good to have a safe place to sit or hide behind. Thanks again our wonderful webmaster, Craig.



    ScaryB @scaryb

    @juniperfish Agreed.

    (interesting you brought up Morbius in light of discussions on Who memories thread; very mystical Holmes/Hinchcliffe epi)

    @janetteb <waves at fellow B!> I find the newer more psychological monsters more scary now (and the VN are def in top 10), but daleks, cybermen and autons definitely did it for my younger self.

    <settles back on couch with cup of coffee, reaches for thinking cap and  an old theory to reconsider; tries not to think too much about spooky claws and cybermats>


    janetteB @janetteb

    Cybermats were defintely scarier than cyberman. I hope there are none hiding under the sofa.



    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    Can I just say – “Bugger me!” (exclamation, not request) “..it’s cold out there in Yorkshire.”

    I may have to slip my hands down the cushions on the sofa for a while to defrost them, which will hopefully allow me to type more of my insightful comments/meaningless drivel later.

    As a kid, I had a thing about the shapechangers. The Zygons and the Rutans. They could be anyone, sneak up on you and deliver their sting or electric charge. Sneaky.

    I was convinced my headmistress was one of them.

    chickenelly @chickenelly

    Aaa, a lovely warm sofa.  It’s freezing down in London too.  Monday was absolutely miserable, wind and sleet whistling around my ears as I trudged in my lunch hour to an art supplies shop, only for to find it was closed on Mondays *shakes fist at part-time shopkeeepers*.

    Still not caught up with the audio adventures yet.  I’m recording them to store up for later when I have the time to settle down and give them a proper listen.  The weather is looking a bit nippy at the weekend so it might be a good time to listen to a little batch of them.

    I’ve mentioned it before but the monsters which disturbed me the most as a child were the robots in ‘Android Invasion’ (I think).  The bit where *spoilers* Sarah Jane android’s face fell off and all you saw was two eyeballs in a circuit gave me the heebeejeebees for years.

    I saw that scene for the first time since then a few years back and laughed out loud at it.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    Glad it’s not just me – I don’t know if it’s because I’ve lost a lot of weight, but the cold has really hit me like a fist this week.

    I listened to all the audio last week, but due to some late evening returns this week, will have to catch up myself. Thankfully my digi-box helpfully records audio. I’m intrigued because yesterdays episode apparently saw the return of a character many appear to be speculating about….

    Snow forcast for Friday, and although I have to brave the cold again tomorrow, I have a feeling I shall be listening and catching up on Friday. I won’t post spoilers, but hope to see your thoughts on the blog to see what you thought of the later episodes last week.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    <zaps here simultaneously from three other locations in The Doctor Who Forum multi-verse, thanks to strangely accurate teleport>

    Curls up on the sofa, determined to stay up really late and catch the new episode of Supernatural via live-stream.

    janetteB @janetteb

    Snow! I want snow. Wish you could teleport some down here. It’s 42c outside. The husky is sleeping right in front of the air con and I’m trying not to think about electricity bills.

    Poor Sarah Jane. She seemed particulary prone to either being replaced by a shape shifter or hypnotism and other forms of mind control.

    I think one of the factors that makes nu who monsters scarier is that the deaths of victims are given more impact. In old Who the body count was mostly shrugged off. “Just another red shirt”.



    Anonymous @


    It looks as if your dissatisfaction with nested comments has been noticed at Guardian Towers…


    Craig @craig

    Yay @phaseshift (and @jimthefish ) that made me laugh out loud for real. I knew there was a reason I could trust you to moderate.

    For anyone who can’t be bothered to click through, PhaseShift’s comment on The Guardian’s new nested comments system was this, in all its glory:

    This format is not merely ‘pants’ – this is pure, organically grown, ‘M&S tramp pants’, dipped lovingly in rancid urine, and smeared with faeces spattered forth from the rectum of someone suffering from dysentery.

    Pure poetry 😀

    ScaryB @scaryb

    We’re very friendly

    Haha – much friendlier than you might expect from a group whose avatars include Ming the Merciless, the Master, man in a fearsome looking helmet (sorry @rob , not sure of the ref, but I like it!), a shoal of fish, inc 1 who’s obv got split personality and various birds, inc 1 with a pipe and a Sherlock complex. And a weeping angel (it’s OK, it’s chained!).

    @craig @phaseshift – we bow before the awesomeness of our mods  😉

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    Yay – I’m on the sofa after an epic journey through the snow by train.

    Ha ha @phaseshift re the nesting comment. Thanks @jimthefish for posting – also a LOL moment for me 🙂

    I love seeing the forest frosted in snow – each stark branch of winter lip-kissed by a moustache of white. The entire woods have “got milk”. But urgh it’s cold. Anyone in the current snow-path quaint enough to still have milk on their doorstep will probably find the flip-side – it’s “got wood”.

    @scaryb It’s two fish rolled into one – so sometimes I disagree with myself 🙂


    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    Thanks @jimthefish for the link.

    Nice of Martin “Bedlam” Bellam to ask for a namecheck BTL. I complained to him that he hadn’t attributed that quote to me when he used it on his blog. I guess he listened.

    I was absolutely outraged that day because I had just typed a megapost to submit on the Andrew Sparrow political blog, and posted when they decided to change the format mid-day. I lost my words, and went to town on the complaint blogs.

    Glad it raised a smile though!

    Whisht @whisht

    he he @scaryb, I’ve now realised my avatar is a bit sinister too (thouh maybe i chopped off too much of the letters….

    [its not a picture of me btw!]

    Whisht @whisht

    oh and righteous vituperation is a wonderful thing PhaseShift

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    I’m sat on my real sofa at the moment watching the Peter Cushing “Doctor Who and the Daleks” on Five USA.

    It’s a real oddity looking back at it. Obviously it has a film sheen about it, and was filmed in colour, but for some reason the film screams its influences in a way the serial didn’t. It’s easy to see that “The Daleks” was influenced by HG Wells “Time machine” with the Daleks as Morlocks, and the Thals as Eloi.

    Roy Castle as action hero is really odd.

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @phaseshift– me too. Ihave to admit I haven’t seen much of the Older Who, and this does remind me more of HG Wells than it does of recent Who. Very chatty Darleks. I’m finding it a little confusing, but i do need to look more at the other incarnations of the Doctor. (For example, i did’nt know anything about the significance of the’Great Intelligence’ until people on the DM blog started talking about it.)

    Craig @craig

    I had just typed a megapost to submit on the Andrew Sparrow political blog, and posted when they decided to change the format mid-day. I lost my words, and went to town on the complaint blogs.

    This is just a quick post to point out that this is not my server, it’s cheap hosting in the US, but cheap hosting that I have found incredibly reliable and incredibly helpful for at least 9 years. I currently have 5 websites hosted by this company. But there is always the possible case that a connection may drop out just as you press “Submit”.

    I would urge everyone who is writing anything big to write it offline, and save it offline. Then upload it.

    I’m backing up the database everyday, as the hosting company is supposed to do, but after all these years with them I still think I have to take some personal responsibility for anything I’m running. I owe it to you.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    Isn’t it a real curio? I must admit I have a soft spot for the second movie “Dalek Invasion of Earth” largely because Bernard Cribbins was wonderful in it. There is a sequence with him pretending to be one of the Daleks Robomen that usually raises a chuckle.


    I haven’t experienced any problems, but that is good advice. I usually Cntl “C” a post before I hit submit.

    ScaryB @scaryb

    @craig – hahaha – admit it, you’re just terrified of being subject to the ire of your co-mod 🙂

    @phaseshift – re Doctor Who and the Daleks film. I remember being so disappointed when I saw it the first time.  I liked Cushing so I was prepared and OK about him taking over Hartnell’s role. But I hated just about everything about it, particularly resented how they’d changed the story and companion relationships. The daleks were wrong (even their weapons were wrong – people didn’t go all negative when they were exterminated).

    And the Thals seemed wussy! There was a toughness about them in their original TV incarnation (as I remember) that made them believable as survivors. There also seemed to be more moral fuzziness (tho there’s no saying I remember it right!) from the way the original story was presented on TV. The evil of the daleks came out slowly, their side of the survival story was shown first (eg talking of the Thals as monsters).

    Tried watching the Cushing one when it was on TV a while back – gave up after 10 mins –  life’s too short, LOL

    A warning for anyone trying to do a film, esp after 50 years of history – don’t mess with the canon! And be very wary if you change the casting. Hmm, yes… Roy Castle as action hero is just weird – I’d forgotten that. Clear cash-in on the series if you ask me. Doctor-lite IMHO.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    I think it’s why alarm bells sounded when David Yates announced he was interested in developing a film, but it would need to be “reimagined” and ignore the TV history.

    Of all the characters in TV and movie history, you’d think that Who is the one that it would be easy to make a movie of, and just make it the next incarnation of the Doctor.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    The thing you have to remember about the films: no TV repeats back in them days. So they didn’t bother too much about the TV version beyond borrowing the basic scenario.  Though, even as a kid, I always found Invasion Earth tons better than Doctor Who and the Daleks.

    There is a story that when they gave Bernard Cribbins his ‘wrap’ present for The End of Time, they gave him a picture of him playing  Special Constable Tom Campbell back in 1966 – side-by-side with a picture of him playing Wilfred Mott in 2009. It was captioned ‘The Most Faithful Companion’.


    ScaryB @scaryb

    And making the Doctor fully human was a BIG fundamental mistake.  Why do the movie-makers feel they have to give him a human heritage?  It takes away most of what makes DW special (both the character and the programme), removing a lot of the layers and turning it into a much more conventional, one-dimensional sci-fi, as @phaseshift pointed out.  No scope for bonkers theorising at all 🙂

    ScaryB @scaryb

    @phaseshift – re easy to make a movie of DW – you’d think so, wouldn’t you? A chance to go into more layers, not less! Though presumably the 60s films were being pitched at a mainstream audience (hence the casting etc) – they did look at things differently then. Moving it into the mainstream would have been seen as the route to commercial success, without the understanding that they were completely undermining the original’s original premise. (And no blog boards to remind them, haha).

    @bluesqueakpip As a kid I was outraged at what they’d done to it. I felt conned.   Re the Bernard Cribbins present – I hadn’t heard that, it’s a lovely gesture. Bet he was chuffed.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

     Why do the movie-makers feel they have to give him a human heritage? 

    I’d guess it was the standard film-script advice – you need someone that your audience can identify with. Since most of the audience won’t be aliens, better to make Doctor Who a human scientist.

    The TV version was startlingly brave for the time; the central character isn’t from our time or our planet. And later we find he isn’t even human. Contrast this with Star Trek, where the central character is from future-Iowa and the ‘alien’ on the bridge is half-human.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    Hmmm – snow outside, getting dark and I’m catching up on the Eighth Doctor audio I’ve recorded. “Relative Dimensions”. Paul McGann, Sheridan Smith, Carol Ann Ford as Susan, and her son trying to have Christmas in the Tardis.

    Just smashing. 🙂

    ScaryB @scaryb

    @bluesqueakpip Agreed.

    Re no repeats – TV was a new medium, and ephemeral. Taped over by the following week.  You had to concentrate not to miss anything, no catching up later except in discussing with your pals. Or in my case my long-suffering mum as very few of my friends were really into it. And you had to wait a whole week for the next half hour chapter!

    Re formula film-making – why am I even surprised they took this route, LOL?!  History of film is full of original ideas/books/plays being completely emasculated when churned thro the film processing unit

    ScaryB @scaryb


    I’ve now realised my avatar is a bit sinister too (thouh maybe i chopped off too much of the letters….

    Welcome to the dark side 😉

    ScaryB @scaryb

    If you take the alien out of the Doctor’s character it changes the whole perspective of the programme/film and the place of humans in the universe. If the Doctor is human then the only aliens we see in the films are either a) evil and out to get us or b) needing human help.  If you have an alien Doctor then humans are just another species in  a suddenly expanded universe.

    Harrumph! Thanks @phaseshift for setting off my tirade this afternoon 😉

    <this post has been brought to you courtesy of FOSRA ( Fair On-Screen Representation for Aliens)>

    Anonymous @


    Apologies but I’m afraid I’ll have to disagree again. If I was put in the position of making a Who movie now I think I’d also break completely with the TV series a la Yates. I think the world can stand a separate Who cinema mythology and making it a continuation of the TV series runs the risk of it overshadowing and killing off the TV incarnation (witness the death of the really promising Sarah Connor Chronicles to make room for the execrable Terminator Salvation). I’d much rather a film version didn’t represent any kind of threat to the continuation of the show in TV, which I suspect is what would happen if major film studios started to get involved in the franchise.

    I agree however with the many on here that making the Doctor (half) human diminishes the character. I’ve always quite liked Cushing’s portrayal of the character but just imagine what he could have done if he’d been allowed to ‘alien’ it up a bit.

    If I was making a Who movie now I think I’d use the first episode of An Unearthly Child and then a liberal chunk of The Daleks as my source material but very much put through an Avatar-esque reinterpretation of Skaro. And this might sound crazy but I might say that Sean Connery has finally got to an age where he might give us an interesting take on a Hartnell-esque Doc. (Tho my dream doc was always John Thaw. I sooo wanted to see him play the Doctor.)

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    Believe me, I’m really not a fan of the movie idea myself, largely for the reasons you state that it would likely see the end of the TV show for a prolonged period.

    I think it would really be a risky option for the BBC. They don’t do Who any favours, and it’s budget is about the same for any high quality drama, at about £1m per episode. So those 14 magical episodes per year is about £14m. Commercial exploitation is difficult to follow, but over the last couple of years it has overtaken Top Gear as the biggest earner for BBC Worldwide, valued at over £180m per year in sales and merchandising.

    A 2 hour film with a decent budget may do well, but I think the risk/reward equation would probably put off the BBC. I think the Yates story was someone at Worldwide looking at the option, and Yates getting a bit carried away.

    Anonymous @


    I seem to remember the story being that Yates was collared on the red carpet or something like that so it was off-the-cuff speculation on his part. Moffatt has since nixed the possibility though.

    I think a film and the show can co-exist side by side but not if they’re too closely linked I think, but I really don’t want a film to potentially screw up the show’s future on TV really….

    Craig @craig

    It seems like a long time ago now, but I used to work in the film business in script development. The only film I made any substantial contribution towards was “Sliding Doors” (I tried my best). I did also get to meet Paul McGann with 3 of his brothers when I worked on a TV show called “The Hanging Gale” (I didn’t mention Doctor Who to him though – was probably still a bit raw then).

    Thinking about the posibility of a movie, it would only work if it stayed well away from current Who. I like @jimthefish‘s idea of someone like Sean Connery doing the first Doctor. People love an origins story (just look at Spider-Man – 2 in the space of 10 years). If it was that far removed it could work, perhaps covering some of the old, lost episodes. I can also see that a franchise could be developed, much like James Bond, where occasionally the Doctor is replaced by a new actor. I think it would have to remain canon though, but if they can do it with books and with audio, why not with film? The first Doctor has been played by several actors, why not the rest? It has already been suggested, for example, that Sean Pertwee could double for his Dad. I’m even sure there’s someone out there who could do a great/alternative Tom Baker.

    What horrified me about what Yates said was that they were going to reimagine the whole thing. That sort-of worked with the Star Trek reboot, but I’m still not that happy about it. Everything in the Star Trek universe no longer happened? Good movie, but I still hate you for destroying Vulcan, J.J. Abrams! The second one better be good.

    So I don’t think a movie is a bad idea, I think a bad movie is a bad idea. Moffat has suggested Who is going to be everywhere this year. While I don’t think he means in the cinema, it would be a nice surprise. What I do hope for though, is a cinematic, feature-length 50th Anniversary story. Don’t let me down Steven.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    Welcome new members to this genteel corner of the extended Whoniverse!

    @scaryb points out that the collective crew of avatars on display look a bit well, scary 🙂 No one has actually hidden sobbing behind the sofa yet tho’ <has a quick peek>.

    Who has ever played that game of “If the TARDIS materialised here right now, would you run for those doors without hesitation (deviation or repetition)?” I used to play it a lot as a child, almost certain that blue box would be there on the next street, just around the next corner…

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Funnily enough, I remember travelling on a coach up to Glasgow, and we passed one of the very last Police Boxes. To the great excitement of one small boy, who was leaping up and down on his seat, yelling ” Mummy, Mummy, it’s the Tardis! Mummy, IT’S THE TARDIS!”

    The thing I most remember is an entire coach-load of adults smiling. And that no one, absolutely no one on that coach told that little boy ‘no, it isn’t’.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    Was it one of these? http://gbarr.info/2011/05/30/glasgow-police-boxes/

    It’s funny there were quite a few types in the old days. This Green “Double” Box still stands next to Sheffield City Hall: http://sheffielddailyphoto.blogspot.co.uk/2010/01/police-box.html

    I think they went with the right design! 🙂

    Craig @craig

    @phaseshift I have a picture of me with that one in Buchanan Street in Glasgow. I was going out with an Australian girl at the time and she’d never heard of Doctor Who until Nu Who started (weird given the posts by @janetteb and @blenkinsopthebrave), then she instantly became a fan. When I took her to Glasgow, she just had to make an arse of me in the street and take my photo.

    Funny, when Eccleston regenerated I just thought, he was okay but let’s see what they’ve got next, but she burst into tears. She was 32, but I guess your first Doctor is always gonna be something special.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @phaseshift – almost certainly, though I couldn’t specify exactly which one. Not after five hours on a coach, anyway 🙂

    The ‘blue’ police box is now copyright the BBC, isn’t it?

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    @craig – I had an experience with the Buchanan Street too, I was there for work with a female associate and went a bit gaga when I unexpectedly came upon it, much to her amusement.

    @bluesqueakpip – Yes, I think the copyright was signed over to the BBC with absolutely no money changing hands. What a deal!

    There are supposed to be over 100 left around the country of various sizes and colours. I saw one of the Who shape Boxes near Hull a few years ago which was painted beige (a bit like their pay telephone boxes). It looked wrong.

    Will be back tomorrow evening after another ‘fun’ day in the snow.


    janetteB @janetteb

    There was a larger size blue police box in Edinburgh when I was there with the boys in 2007. Naturally I took photos with them in front of it even though it was not the same. When I first arrived in London in 1982 I went searching with a fellow Who-fan for a Tardis style police box. I believe it was near St Pauls but it had been removed by that time.



    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @craig. I applaud your tolerance by continuing to date your Australian girlfriend even after she revealed she had never watched Doctor Who!  Of course, I think I should point out that not every Australian was glued to Doctor Who. And if my mathematics is correct, and she was 32 when Eccleston regenerated, then by the time she was of a Doctor Who viewing age the show was about to disappear.

    But as @bobbingbird has already revealed the appalling state of my knowledge of chemistry (yes, I now realise that CO2 is actually carbon dioxide), I am willing to accept that my mastery of mathematics might be in question as well.

    Anonymous @

    My favourite one is always the one on Wilson Street, which for some reason strikes me as the most convincingly TARDIS-ey, probably because it’s the one in the best nick (arf) perhaps. Although I remember seeing my first one on a childhood trip to Glasgow — the Botanic Gardens one, I seem to remember — and my heart skipping with excitement in a similar way to the child on the coach. It is something of a magical experience, a kind of ‘it is real after all. I knew it.’ moment.

    As a slight aside, my father was a beat-pounding bobby in the area back in the 1960s and according to him his primary use for the police boxes on his beat was to keep flasks of tea and his sandwiches in to revive himself over his shift.


     I had an experience with the Buchanan Street too, I was there for work with a female associate and went a bit gaga when I unexpectedly came upon it, much to her amusement.

    Er, it’s probably best not to ask what the two of you were up to, or whether the police got involved. (Sorry, there’s always one, isn’t there?)

    @blenkinsopthebrave — I too had an Australian girlfriend at one point and she was nuts about Doctor Who. Although in a strange reversal to @craig‘s paramour, she’s nuts about anything up to Tom Baker and refuses to watch anything more recent than that. We’re still in touch and the amount of times I’ve threatened, bullied, cajoled to try and get to watch Smithy but to no avail….

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    Whoa, the sofa was busy last night – love our sofa.

    Why are all the best remaining blue police boxes in Scotland? I saw one myself in Edinburgh recently. It was serving as a tiny curry and coffee stand – good disguise – I know that was you, Doctor!


    janetteB @janetteb

    @juniperfish, The answer would have been obvious during 10’s reign. Amy might have been able to make some suggestions too, now, I fear, it will remain a mystery unless Moffat knows the answer. Maybe there are timelords lurking in Scotland who somehow managed to evade the end of the Time War. Where better to hide after all? A nice castle in the highlands with a roaring fire and a few resident ghosts to keep things interesting. (I am thinking of Carbisdale, the mock castle YHA where the Norwegian royals hid during WWII) Perhaps the mystery of the Scottish police boxes will be explained in the 50th. Or maybe we could devise our own fan fic about it.



    ScaryB @scaryb

    Wooo, been busy on the sofa since I last looked in 🙂

    Police box memories – love it. @juniperfish – the tardis game – yes, very much so (when i wasn’t playing “dodge the daleks” with cars!)  definitley spoiled in Scotland with last remaining boxes.

    Why has Scotland got so many left?

    Probably a stuck in a time lock 😀

    I don’t ever remember Glasgow police boxes being red!! (TARDIS must have crept into my consiousnesss and wiped out my memories of them in real world). and I still have a wee smile to myself when I go past one of Edinburgh’s converted-into-coffee-shop special double sized ones. They’re def smaller on the inside though!


    Up for a challenge??

    Inspired by this : http://xkcd.com/1133/

    Have a crack at describing your preferred Dr Who villain/ Companion/plot line/ artefact using the same rules


    ScaryB @scaryb

    Following a link @phasehshift posted in News thread – to Radio Times site, I found a few posts by Stephen Moffatt doing preview summaries of various episodes to date. They’re worth reading for their quirky wee turns of phrase eg description of Daleks as (among other things) “a killing machine driven by a ranting slug”

    It’s also interesting to see where he puts the emphasis.  eg the reference to “the mysterious Darla Von Karlsen” made me wonder again why she was named. Why not just mysterious woman? (Link below is to Asylum of the Daleks one)

    <Gets out the paper, pencil and scissors to work on anagrams. Again>


    ScaryB @scaryb


    Rockets are crazy! Re your other link “do the same” – That’s not easy!!

    <goes back to anagrams 🙁 >

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