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    Arkleseizure @replies

    @fatmaninabox: That irritated me, too. There seems to be a determination among some elements of the press, even now, to act as if the eighties never happened in Doctor Who. Sylvester was excellent in the role, other than his first few episodes where he was trying an unsuccessful first version of his doctor. He quickly worked up to the Doctor of classics like Remembrance of the Daleks, the Greatest Show in the Galaxy and the Curse of Fenric, among others. The problem was that the BBC had deliberately put Doctor Who in a graveyard slot against Coronation Street so that hardly anybody saw it. Hence the tendency for the press to ignore Sylvester. Forget that: he was great.

    Arkleseizure @replies

    I’ve just learned that Jane Baker (wife of Pip, but no relation to Colin or Tom) passed away recently. Very sad to hear. I loved the Vervoid segment of the Trial, and I was a fan of their kids’ show Watt on Earth. My sympathies to Pip.

    There’s nothing you can do to prevent the catharsis of spurious morality!

    Thanks Jane. RIP.

    Arkleseizure @replies

    Loved it! I’ll have to watch it again before I can comment properly, but I loved it that they used among the images of the Robin Hood legend a picture of Robin as played by Patrick Troughton. And Little Ron got to reprise his role fom Maid Marrian and her Merry Men! Just two lovely touches in a glorious romp.

    Arkleseizure @replies

    @fivefaces: my problem with Earthshock is that it’s one of the most plot-hole filled stories in the shows history. On first viewing, I didn’t notice because I was enjoying the ride so much. But, on rewatching, I found myself wondering all sorts of things. I will just go into the biggest: other than something mumbled about alien technology, there is no reason given as to why the ship goes back in time. Also, the Cybermen seem to do things out of pure spite and have a huge army aboard a ship they’re going to crash on Earth! (And if their bomb works, what do they need thar army for? And where do they evacuate the army to? And why do Earth’s crack troops not know who the Cybermen are when Earth is holding an interplanetary conference on them?)

    Those are just a few of Earthshock’s plot holes. It’s tremendous fun, but Each time I watch it I find myself spotting another one.

    Arkleseizure @replies

    @jimthefish: yes, the scene with the tray is the bit I was getting at. As I say, unfinished business in Pompeii.

    Arkleseizure @replies

    @bluesqueakpip: Yes, precisely. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for episodes rewarding a second viewing, but if it doesn’t have that wow factor first time round, it’ll never be a true great in my book (then again, neither will one that does but gets worse with repeat viewing — hello Earthshock!)

    (And hello to all those Moffat haters saying “what’s Earthshock?”)

    It’s lovely to be back: unfortunately I’m not very good at bonkers theorising, having an approach to theorising that’s based heavily on Ockham’s razor, so my theories aren’t very bonkers. All I will say is that I strongly suspect that the Doctor has unfinished business in Pompeii, and his body has given him this face in attempt to jog his memory. Although what that business might be, I’ve no idea.

    As for Missy, I think she is Cessair of Diplos. Why? Because… Well I don’t really, but it’s a bonkers theory. Like I say, I’m not very good at them.

    Arkleseizure @replies

    I’ve been trying to marshal my thoughts on this, but I still haven’t, so I thought I’d give my incoherent ramblings instead. Here goes:

    My first reaction was somewhat underwhelmed, but I was watching it on my brother’s tiny telly, having gone to meet my new nephew, and I can remember wishing I was in the cinema. It would have been awesome there. Rewatching it on iPlayer has helped confirm that with me. The tyrannosaurus was brilliantly realised, and I can quite accept a gigantic dinosaur that left no fossils. I’ll take Vastra’s word for it.

    The new title sequence is great, although to my mind not quite as great as the fan art it was based on. The music is OK, at least an improvement on the Smith-era music, which is the only thing about his era I never liked.

    Capaldi was brilliant, nailing a new character who is clearly the Doctor, but a new take on him. As I saw it, he wanted Clara to think he’d abandoned her so that Half-Face would have hopes that she would betray him. Shades of McCoy there.

    I think I enjoyed Clara here more than at any point since Snowmem (perhaps being a sort of pseudo-Victorian Clara helped), but Jenna Coleman was excellent. I’ve always been a bit lukewarm about Clara, but not about Jenna, and I think maybe I can now rave about them both.

    I’ve always loved the Paternoster Gang, and they were on top form here. I objected to the thick Sontarans in Time, because I like to think of Strax as a one-off mistake in Sontaran cloning who is himself hilarious. It was also nice to see a bit moe of Jenny (nudge-nudge).

    The overall plot was a good, straightforward story. I really liked the dinosaur giving Twelve his first really Doctorish moment by noticing that its death was just another crime among many. Only the Doctor would see the latest victim being a dinosaur as an irrelevant detail.

    I’ve got some thoughts about the future, notably about how the Doctor’s new face is his mind subconsciously trying to remind him of something, but I will leave those for a later post. I can never give full marks to a story I didn’t love first time around (since a story that needing to be watched more than once is a weakness in itself), but I will give this eight out of ten. A good solid start to the new Doctor, but not quite a spectacular one.

    Arkleseizure @replies

    I’ve always loved stories with really low stakes. This is a superb example: the Doctor gets to play cricket, Nyssa and Tegan get to dress up and dance, and Adric gets to stuff his face. There’s something amiss, but not very much. Have you ever read the Tintin book The Castafiore Emerald, which Herge deliberately crafted as a book about nothing? It’s superb, my favourite Tintin. Black Orchid is Doctor Who’s Castafiore Emerald.

    The cast weren’t fond of it, probably because it’s not the sort of thing they signed on to do. Anthony Ainley, on the other hand, was apparently gutted not to be in it due to his love of all things cricket-related. I have visions of the Master trying to destroy the Doctor by bowling beamers at him. That would have been awesome!

    Arkleseizure @replies

    Hello @scaryb, @phaseshift and everyone else! I suppose you could say I’ve been hibernating. I’ll probably be back more when series 8 kicks off and I can play my favourite game of creating new links between the classic series and the revival. (This is of course impossible).

    You won’t be surprised to learn that I love this Hitchiker’s episode. Max is a superb creation, slimy and sinister, but brilliantly professional, keeping his head when Zarquon suddenly turns up. I wonder if the chief clown in The Greatest Show in the Galaxy wasn’t to some extent based on him. (This is of course impossible).

    It’s fortunate that Peter Davison was married to Sandra Dickenson at the time this was made, which is what made him accept such a small part. He’s brilliant here, with his yokel accent, begging to be eaten. I would certainly consider his liver, although presumably he wouldn’t know any onions willing to join in. (This is of course impossible).

    Just wonderful stuff. Roll on August 23rd: I will be eagerly tuning in! (This is of course impossible).

    Arkleseizure @replies

    I’ve just been reading the speculation about how Musketeers will replace Peter Capaldi as Richelu, and I have to say I really don’t see why it’s an issue. One only has to look at the history books to see that Richelu was succeeded by another Cardinal-Minister whose name was Mazerin. I’m not all that familiar with the Dumas novels, but I believe Mazerin appeared in some of the sequels as well. So to my mind, the only real question should be who will they cast as Mazerin? It seems to me a problem with a built-in solution.

    Arkleseizure @replies


    So sorry to hear about your brother: I still think he could smell the cheese in my bag, even if he wasn’t sure what to make of it!

    Hugs to you and your Mum.

    Arkleseizure @replies

    The dashing Ted look: I like! There’s a Doctor who won’t take no crap from no poxy Daleks…

    Arkleseizure @replies

    Would anyone like to own a very nice nautical painting by Patrick Troughton? If so, head over to eBay now!

    Be warned: not cheap!

    Arkleseizure @replies

    @fatmaninabox, @arbutus, @brewski

    I never found the idea of the woman being the Doctor’s mother especially interesting.

    Me neither. I’ve been trying to put together some understanding of the political history of Gallifrey during the Time War. How did Rassilon come to resume control of Gallifrey? Given that he had to wake from his eternal sleep to take over, it seems unlikely that he would have been able to use the proper constitutional means to take over. This suggests a coup d’état. Perhaps he was originally revived as Gallifrey’s greatest general to lead the Time Lords militarily against the Daleks, but he used the troops’ loyalty to him to overthrow the sitting President.

    (Such an action would be consistent with a popular idea about Rassilon’s first seizure of power, in which he overthrew the government of Gallifrey with the troops he’d led against the Great Vampires, but I digress).

    The woman seemed to me to be more a prisoner of Rassilon than an aide. This suggests to me that she was the deposed President, who still had some use to Rassilon. So why her apparent connection to the Doctor? Because he had saved her life in the past, and it was on his advice and encouragement that she ran for President in the first place, on the last occasion we saw the Time Lords in the Old Series.

    Conclusion: The woman was the Inquisitor.

    Arkleseizure @replies

    Girls are allowed on the internet, certainly, although the special pink internet has been delayed until March.

    Arkleseizure @replies

    Well, that was interesting. Mark Gatiss just gave us a critique of bonkers theorising!

    Arkleseizure @replies

    By the way, haven’t had time to read all the comments here but has anyone seen the abysmal review of TTOTD at DoctorWhoTV? Why was that deemed worthy of publication?

    Arkleseizure @replies

    @arbutus (and many others) Re: Doctor numbering.

    The whole point of this is that Doctor is not his real name, which remains unknown. For the sake of argument I will refer to the Time Lord usually known as the Doctor as Theta Sigma (and assume I don’t need to explain why ;))

    The first eight Doctors were also the first eight Theta Sigmas. Captain Grumpy was the ninth Theta Sigma, but not the ninth Doctor. U-Boat Captain was the ninth doctor, but also the tenth Theta Sigma. Sandshoes was the tenth Doctor (and Chinny even called him Number 10 in TTOTD), but managed to be both the eleventh and the twelfth Theta Sigma. Hence Chinny was the eleventh Doctor and the thirteenth Theta Sigma. Kidneys is the twelfth Doctor and the fourteenth Theta Sigma, or possibly Theta Sigma 2.1 (eg the first of the second regeneration cycle).

    I hope that makes everything clear. 🙂

    Arkleseizure @replies
    Arkleseizure @replies

    @scaryb : It would seem that Tennant is both the 11th and the 12th. Greedy get. Even Tom didn’t get that. He should be at least four of them.

    I will add, if it hasn’t been said elsewhere (I’m sure it has, but still) that, according to The Brain of Morbius, the creation of the same production team as The Deadly Asssassin, that the Doctor is, as Matt, in his 19th incarnation, with Peter C as number 20.

    The point here being that, if the great Bob Holmes didn’t care about continuity, then why should anyone else?

    Arkleseizure @replies

    Wishing everyone here a merry Christmas! I haven’t gone away at all. I’ve still been reading but have struggled lately to think of things to say, so I thought I’d comment here to remind myself that I still exist. Two days from now the Matt Smith era will be over, a fact I dread, but I’m fully expecting the third part of the Fall of the Eleventh trilogy will be great. Like the first two bits were. 🙂

    Arkleseizure @replies

    @bluesqueakpip : Yes, with regards to Vincent and the Doctor, that’s 100% right. It’s abundantly clear that the Doctor has has failed to change history; he’s just enabled Vincent to feel a little better at the end of his life. It all harks back to the rules of the Hartnell historicals. You can’t change history, although you can make the details that nobody knows fit your desires, as Barbara achieved in the Aztecs. That article would claim that Admiral de Coligny lived to a ripe old age because we didn’t see him being slaughtered. (Apologies for raising my obsession with the Massacre of St Bartholomew’s Eve again, but I’d arrange to have the whole thing restaged if I had the money).

    I really look forward to your blogpost. What really strikes me is that in the past I’ve defended the RTD Who from Classic series obsessives by insisting that Doctor Who isn’t just the Classic series and should be allowed to move on. Now I find myself looking back to the Classic series to defend Moffat from RTD fans who seem to think that his ideas are sacred. I’m actually looking forward to defending Moffat’s heir on the same grounds I’ve used before.

    Arkleseizure @replies

    I edited the above because my autocorrect excelled itself and turned “female characters” into “farmable characters”. I won’t sleep tonight for pondering that curious concept.

    Arkleseizure @replies

    @juniperfish @phaseshift @curvedspace : my favourite thing to do on this site is to hark back to comparisons to the classic series, so I have to say I agree that Moffat is mostly thinking about how time travel affects people’s relationship with death. The comparison I have in mind is to something that has irked me ever since I first saw it: the start of Time-Flight.

    So: Adric is dead. We saw the ship explode with him on it at the end of Earthshock. But is he? If the TARDIS had landed on the bridge of the ship and got him off in the nick of time, it wouldn’t have altered a thing. No explanation was ever given for the Doctor’s insistence that Adric was lost. This was the first time a long-standing companion had died, and it didn’t work because they never thought it through. I think Moffat learned from errors like that.

    BTW, that article also alludes to Moffat’s alleged sexism because his female characters aren’t very strong (supposedly). Ignoring the matter of them being true or not, isn’t it safer to conclude that, like Douglas Adams, his female characters might be weak because they’re just not his strong point. Adams always admitted that Trillian was a cipher because he just wasn’t very good at female characters. Saying that Moffat’s somehow got a political agenda is like saying that RTD had some sort of bias against endings. That’s obvious nonsense. He just wasn’t very good at them.

    Arkleseizure @replies

    @bluesqueakpip: Madame Nostradamus knitted the scarf, as stated in The Ark in Space 😉

    Arkleseizure @replies

    I think it’s possible to just make a sonic screwdriver if you feel like it (and know how, obviously). Romana made herself one at one point. Plus I’ve never believed the sonic as used by Troughton was the same object as that used by Pertwee.

    Maybe the sonic as seen in AG Who is an advanced model linked to the TARDIS ( which is how the Doctor knew it was at the South Pole). But I don’t think there’s anything remarkable about giving River one. I think he just wanted to give it to someone he was confident would know how to use it.

    Arkleseizure @replies

    Not much to say, except I loved it, and the cinema gave big rounds of applause at the appearances of Capaldi and Tom. (BTW, I remember Colin saying that he, Davison, McCoy and McGann wouldn’t be in it. He didn’t mention Tom. So kudos to him if he knew about it!).

    As promised, the Little Green Man is back, now joined by his friend Zoom-Zoom.

    Arkleseizure @replies

    So today’s Dalek voice played yesterday’s Dalek voice! I didn’t notice that — another lovely touch.

    Arkleseizure @replies

    @fatmaninabox: Yeah, that’s the magic of the TARDIS. One glance over the console at the future of his creation. Maybe I did well-up there. Just a bit.

    Arkleseizure @replies

    Absolutely wonderful. Made me laugh when it wanted to, had me as close to tears as anything gets me when it wanted to. Just wonderful.

    Arkleseizure @replies

    @Shazzbot: excellent! I am greeting really quite excited! I’ve just got my train tickets booked, so if all goes well I should be with you all 8.30ish. 🙂

    Arkleseizure @replies

    Just wanted to get this off my chest: Curtain, the last-ever Poirot, was brilliant. Wonder what David Suchet will do next, and can we get him Doctor Who?

    Arkleseizure @replies

    The soufflé isn’t the soufflé. The soufflé is the recipe.

    I’ve always thought the second sentence there is back-to-front. I think most people would say “The recipe is the soufflé”. There might be nothing in that at all, and even if there is, I’ve no good ideas about what it might be. But every time I hear it I just start wondering…

    Arkleseizure @replies

    @scaryb @Shazzbot : I’ve decided that the Little Green Man will be back after the 23rd!

    Arkleseizure @replies

    @scaryb: 🙂 Just re-watched the Loose Cannon reconstruction of The Massacre of St Bartholemew’s Eve. It really is a brilliant story, and definitely the number one thing I want to have been on that shelf in Nigeria. So I thought I’d switch to a pic of Hartnell as the Abbot of Amboise.

    Also, I remembered that @htpbdet used a picture of Troughton as Salamander as his avatar, so Hartnell as the Abbot is a sort of subtle tribute.

    Arkleseizure @replies

    Actually, thinking about it, maybe a Trailers thread is the answer, that is, somewhere that future trailers, eg, for the Christmas special, Capaldi’s debut and so on can also be discussed there. A special thread for one trailer might be excessive, but a general one for all trailers could work.

    Arkleseizure @replies

    Just to give my two cents on the spoiler/trailer issue, I think I agree with @whisht. I can understand people not wanting to discuss it on open threads before broadcast, but I personally wouldn’t want to discuss it in the Spoilers thread because that’s bound to contain things that are certainly spoilers and that I genuinely didn’t want to know.

    I also think the official trailer will generate more than enough comments to be worth having.

    Arkleseizure @replies

    Although there’s no actual footage from The Day of the Doctor in this particular trailer. Still, should be worth seeing!

    Arkleseizure @replies

    Exciting new breaks: a trailer will air on Saturday evening between Strictly and Atlantis. 8.20 pm

    Press release:

    A specially created trailer celebrating the last 50 years of Doctor Who will air tonight on BBC One, as an exclusive image is revealed today featuring the 11 Doctors.

    Travelling through time fans will be taken on a journey from the very beginning using state of the art technology. The special trailer is set to show all of the Doctors as they first appeared on screen, including William Hartnell in high res colour for the very first time, as celebrations ramp up to the 23 November.

    A huge moment for the BBC, the 50th celebrations will culminate with the special episode, ‘The Day of the Doctor’, starring Matt Smith, David Tennant and Jenna Coleman with Billie Piper and John Hurt. A whole range of shows have also been commissioned across TV and radio to mark the anniversary.

    The minute long trailer will air after Strictly Come Dancing tonight on BBC One and will be also be available on

    Arkleseizure @replies

    Just got time to dash off a note before this hotel room’s WiFi expires*: @hudsey, welcome to the forum, and congrats for a superbly bonkers theory — but also a very plausible one — to start us off with!

    *Venice. It’s a hard life…

    Arkleseizure @replies

    @Shazzbot: <blushing> I dimly remember the day that photo was taken. I was in Hamleys with my family (my brother is the dark-haired boy with the wide open mouth at bottom left), and a shop assistant simply called us over for the photo (after speaking to our parents, obviously!). I didn’t really understand what was going on, as my facial expression shows.

    It wasn’t until some many years later that I realised I’d been photographed with the Cybercontroller (and also the titular Robot from Tom Baker’s debut). I bought the VHS release of Tomb as soon as it came out, and it included a short interview with Morris Barry, the director, who spoke of how he cast Kilgarriff in the role. A still of how he looked at the time appeared. Even then I didn’t twig: it was only when I saw the name Kilgarriff on my own copy of one of the joke books that realisation began to dawn. I compared the Hamleys picture with the one on the video, and yes, it was definitely the same man! I’d been photographed with the Cybercontroller!

    Was I a fan back then? I think, under my dad’s guidance, that I was just beginning to become one at five years old. It was about this time that the Five Doctors was broadcast, and I remember absolutely loving it. I got the VHS of that at the first opportunity, too, my teenage self reliving the dim memories of what I recalled as that silver robot thing that kept disappearing, and that funny hairy robot thing the funny doctor met. Patrick Troughton’s performance there was a big part of me being so eager to get Tomb on VHS (and, just this week, caused my thirtysomething self to download Enemy onto my iPad at the first opportunity). So my burgeoning fandom when that picture was taken ultimately led to me working out who I’d been pictured with!

    I try to forget that, a couple of years after this picture was taken, Michael Kilgarriff reprised the Cybercontroller in the appalling Attack of the Cybermen. I’m still convinced that didn’t really happen.

    Arkleseizure @replies

    If anyone was wondering what Michael “Cybercontroller” Kilgarriff looks like under his mask, here’s a picture of him reading aloud from one of the joke books he later wrote. The pic is from the 1983 Hamleys Christmas catalogue (and thanks to @craig for his help with this (Hope this works):

    Me and the Cybercontroller

    Oh yeah, see that little boy on the bottom right with the bright orange hair and the slightly scared look on his face? That’s me, that is!

    Arkleseizure @replies

    @Shazzbot — I haven’t been paying attention to this thread for a bit, so maybe someone else has already said this, but Day of the Doctor is a bit like Day of the Daleks, yes? So, as you say, the Doctor gets a chance to rectify the problems with the Hurt Doctor, the Time War and so on and so forth, but actually ends up causing them instead? Just like the guerrillas in the above-mentioned Pertwee classic.

    Which would be a pretty bleak way to celebrate, but you never know!

    Arkleseizure @replies

    Okay, I’ve given in to temptation, and The Enemy of the World is now resident in my iPad (so many years on a shelf in Nigeria, and suddenly it’s everywhere: makes you think, huh?)

    I’m going on a train journey around Europe next week, so I’m desperately refraining from watching until then. I share the common frustration about the iTunes deal, but I have to admit it’s worked out pretty well for me.

    As for The Web of Fear, I’m more than confident that the animated part 3 is a when, not an if, so I’ll hold out for that. With the animated completion of the Ice Warriors, it would mean eighteen episodes of season five that could be watched back-to-back: isn’t that just bloody fantastic?

    Arkleseizure @replies

    Fantastic! Troughton’s Salamander has always sounded brilliant: now I can find out what the performance looks like! And more Yeti in the underground (I bet they animate the last episode now). I am a very happy Little Green Man!

    Arkleseizure @replies

    Must be. Work tomorrow (then off for a fortnight :)), but I’ll be in the Rose and Crown at midnight with a glass of Rioja!

    Arkleseizure @replies

    Two hours… Of course, any rediscovered episode is great news, but I will be disappointed if they’ve gone to these lengths for two episodes of Fury From the Deep and one from the Enemy of the World (not that I’ve anything against these stories, they’re just two that came into my head). It’s the anticipation!

    Will there be a special announcement or something? And am I just writing any old thing to pass the time?

    Arkleseizure @replies

    @blenkinsopthebrave : Agreed, except that, given I was born in 1978, as far an I’m concerned, rediscovered old Who to all intents and purposes is new Who. I’m looking forward to chucking my previously-treasured Loose Cannons in the bin!

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    Desperately trying not to hope for The Massacre of St Bartholomew’s Eve… That would be too brilliant for words.

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    I think this is what they call “tenterhooks”: I’ve a feeling it will be a good haul, albeit nothing like 100 episodes! Roll on 0001 hours!

    (I like Lance Parkin: he’s written some of the few New Adventures I’ve managed to finish, but I’ll definitely be avoiding his twitter account today. Can I suggest that anybody who looks and wants to talk about it do so on the Spoilers thread?)

Viewing 50 posts - 1 through 50 (of 103 total)