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    OK, having viewed it a few times, some thoughts:

    I am assuming that the ethically challenged Robertson from Arachnids in the UK has been awarded the franchise to manufacture home-grown purely mechanical Daleks  by the ethically challenged Prime Minister. But since there is a shot of a Dalek spaceship (which I do not think the British manufacturing sector post-Brexit could whip up) I am assuming that real Daleks will turn up at some point. If so, sounds like fun.

    However, I do hope the Doctor also gets out of gaol before the end, as I am not a fan Chibnall’s focus on the enhanced agency of the companions and diminished agency of the Doctor.

    Anyway, bring on the New Year.


    And since it has been released by BBC America, I suppose it is OK to put it here as well




    Here it is




    Just reading about the heatwave in South Australia. I hope you are coping. Of course, in between the Murdoch Press and the Murdoch Press-approved government in Canberra, apparently there is no problem, because climate change is an “elitist” conspiracy.

    But as I said, I hope you are coping.



    From what I have read, it does, indeed, seem that it will be Graeme and Ryan who will be leaving.

    I wonder if they will be replaced, or if Yaz becomes the sole companion. Personally, I would like to see how the Doctor and Yaz worked together.




    @mudlark  The episodes may be linked? Might have to re-watch Resolution before this one screens in that case.


    This time I am not taking any chances…

    Somehow, the “new” look seems strangely similar to the look given to the Dalek in “Resolution” last year.



    Is this a spoiler.? if so, profound apologies. Hopefully not.

    Barrowman Returns For “Who” Xmas Special




    In our house, Mrs Blenkinsop shops for food (brilliantly), and while I also shop for food (less brilliantly) I tend to be the one who remembers the fruit. But I am in charge of the wine. I like to think I do that brilliantly. In between the two of us we manage to find toilet paper as well.



    I was reading about “pizzagate” in South Australia. Anyway, I am glad that it has resulted in a little more freedom of movement for you. Nonetheless, still take care.


    In case you haven’t seen it…




    Your explanation certainly makes sense. I suppose, for me (and I confess that my Master never really included the RTD years) I have always seen the Master as (highly) unreliable narrator.

    Still trying to get my head around how he (of all people) managed to destroy Gallifrey in such a targeted way that he could save just enough (but not too much) archival memory of the Timeless Child, however.

    Still, Chibnall has done it, and I suppose I will have to run with it.



    @janetteb, sorry to hear about the recent lockdown. It sounds serious, but the action sounds logical. We are living (nervously) a couple of kilometres from a country that has a totally chaotic response to the virus.

    Stay safe.



    OK, in light of my thoughts about recent rumours regarding the Tardis, I decided to watch this again. And I confess, I still retain my original response: when, in the entire history of this show, is there ever any indication that we should trust anything that the Master says as true?

    If what happens in the episode really is true, then, as far as I am concerned, this is Chibnall ignoring everything that has gone before and simply making it up. By the way, how, exactly, did the Master manage to destroy Gallifrey and yet conveniently retain the collective memory of the Timelords (mostly)?

    Anyway, to jump to the conclusion, when the Judoon suddenly materialize on the Tardis and capture the Doctor; when, in the history of the show, does anyone mange to suddenly materialize inside the Tardis?

    But it is late, and I may have forgotten episodes…


    @geoffers, @bluesqueakpip, I have a bad feeling about this. Somehow, it feels like something Chibnall would actually do–divest the Doctor of a symbol of authority (a police box) just as the last couple of seasons have reduced the Doctor as a symbol of authority, by giving more agency and responsibility to the companions.


    @nerys So sorry to hear that.  We are such a tiny community on this site, and yet both you and Puro have had family touched by this…

    Take care.



    Unfortunately, I fear he will pardon himself (which the strange American system allows him to do).

    So, as a way of distracting ourselves, Mrs Blenkinsop and I watched “A Good Man goes  to War” last night. A wonderful episode which makes abundantly clear what “good” means.




    It gets even better. Apparently, the first person called to the podium at this Republican press conference was a convicted sex offender.




    All too true. But today is a day to savour. And I would not be surprised (or hope, anyway) that the feeling generated by today might invigorate the the campaign to win those two Senate seats in January. Somehow, things seem more hopeful than they did yesterday.




    Today, this seems sort of appropriate




    The twitter link you describe sounds great. I made a decision to never engage with twitter.  I rely on brave souls like yourself to communicate the occasional gem.


    Absolutely agree. But at least when The Doctor did not want to go he did not want to go in a way where he was determined to destroy everything that united people. In the real world it seems like we are confronted by a version of Davros who does not want to go.




    Felt the need to upload this.

    Cannot imagine why I felt the need to upload this, at this particular time…



    @whisht, Thanks for the halloween contribution! I am sitting here, on the day after Halloween, it is a stunningly gorgeous autumn day, the leaves on the trees are vibrantly golden and red, and it just seems, emotionally, like a good day.

    So I thought I would offer up this, both for the music, and the staging, and because it reminds me of good times, and those seem to be what we need right now.




    All good choices. (And yes, aren’t DVD collections wonderful!)

    To give you an incentive to dip back into BG Who, and to provide some context for my #1 choice, I saw this, back when it was originally screened, when I was, I think, maybe 14 or 15, but even at that tender age the story (and especially the conclusion) struck a real cord with me. This is what Doctor Who was (and occasionally still is) capable of, to speak to a teenager in a way that they could understand and relate to the complexities of adult life.




    Was sitting here thinking about a possible “what Who would I want if stranded on a desert island. Well, obviously all of it! But if the choice was down to three episodes…

    Well, we all respond to “who was our first Doctor” but there are other factors that mean some stories “speak” to us, not necessarily because of the brilliance of the episode, but because of who we are, and because we feel an affinity with what we are watching.

    Anyway, for me (at this time of the evening, and accepting that the choice may change) I would say:

    1. “Flashpoint” (1964) the episode where the Doctor (Hartnell) makes the decision to leave Susan, who has fallen in love on Earth after they have defeated the Daleks.

    2. “The War Games” (episode ten) the episode where the Doctor (Troughton) is condemned by the Time Lords to give up his existence and be given a different face.

    3. “Vincent and the Doctor” the episode where…oh, is there anyone reading this that needs to be told…?

    Of course, if I really was on a desert island, I would want the other episodes that go with #1 and #2.

    Which means…isn’t it good that I have a DVD collection…


    Rewatched this last night, for the first time in ages. Had forgotten just how good it was. Karen Gillan puts in a bravura performance. The emotion is complex and riveting, the decisions that have to be made are complex and painful, the Doctor is both caring and brutal. Everything about it works–the writing, the acting, the direction. This was an episode that showed what Doctor  Who was capable of.


    The (new) War Doctor

    I am starting to wonder if the most interesting Who these days is now not the TV show…



    @winston Yes, Happy Thanksgiving Day in return! Of course, as a recent Canadian, I am still a little unknowing about the whole Thanksgiving thing in Canada. Mrs Blenkinsop tells me that it is connected to harvest time. I am willing to go with that, but that has no actual resonance for someone who grew up in Australia. What it means to me now is the necessity to find the garden rake and attend to all the “gifts” that the Gary Oaks have left on our lawn, the kerb and the street. I have to report that…strangely…I have not yet been able to locate the garden rake in the garden shed, even though the garden shed is about two metres square…



    When I was a teenager in the 1960s one of my favourite books was “The Australian Ugliness” by the architect Robin Boyd. It was a lacerating critique of what passed for Australian architecture, and one of the many memorable reflections he had was that suburban Australians suffered from “Aboraphobia”–the psychological fear of trees. And his comment on the role of “veneer” on the Australian psyche: “A country of…plastic veneers, brick veneers and the White Australia Policy.” Here is a pretty good (short) reflection on Boyd:

    Australian Ugliness





    @janetteb Thought I would move the talk of housing over here. Yes, you are absolutely right about houses in Australia completely forgetting about the fact that it does actually get cold in winter! I grew up in one of those typical brick veneer post-war houses that seemed to be always hot in summer and cold in winter. Whereas our current house has a bunch of things that never seemed to enter builders’ minds in Australia. Things like removable storm windows. Our house is pre-war and they were an early form of double-glazing, which is a no-brainer, when you think about it. They really help to insulate the house in the winter. The other feature about many older houses here is the basement and the attic. After living most of my life in Australia where they are relatively unknown, I find they have a sort of “secret place” charm (which Canadians are bemused by as they take such architectural features fo granted).





    @janetteb I suppose I have always interpreted spoilers as a reveal of something that is going to happen in a future episode, but if an episode has already screened and been discussed, then it is hard to spoil something that has already happened. Otherwise, revealing that the Doctor can regenerate might be seen as spoiler to someone who has only seen the first half of the Hartnell episodes.

    I do confess that I am desperately trying to remember “a certain location”….

    Time to go back and revisit.

    p.s. Hope life with the virus risk in South Australia is allowing you a relatively normal existence. Over here, things aren’t too bad, mainly because everyone takes it seriously; it is more the real sense of unease at what is happening south of  the border (only a few miles away), in terms of both public health and politics (and how the latter impacts on the former).



    For those parched for news, here is a drop of information. No spoilers, and first seen on the Radio Times.



    Wasn’t quite sure where to post this. It is official (I think)


    It is very hard to read the news these days without being confronted with American politics. And it is tiring. The more I read about where Trump is taking America the more I think of the original Star Trek episode about the mirror universe, where where all the positive aspects of the Federation had been turned into a violent, ugly world of naked power and self-interest.



    @mudlark. I came across this article that made me think of your past reflections on working in your garden. The longer we live in this lockdown, the more Mrs Blenkinsop and I have turned attention to our garden. Not to the degree evidenced in the article, but his story is very inspirational. It is also a great reflection on managing the trade-off between material success and personal satisfaction.





    How brilliant to hear from you! Eating is to be encouraged, but how do you acquire it? We make the occasional furtive raid on our local grocery and wine store (suitably masked up) but the days of dining out seem to be a distant memory. Over here it is mid-summer, but being on an island, where we are,  it is a very gentle summer. My God, do I remember the stifling summers of Brisbane! Back then, the word “streaming” referred to what was happening under my shirt in a Brisbane summer. In our new pandemic life it refers to our principal source of entertainment.





    I am tempted to say “Blink”, as it is a brilliantly conceived and realized story, but my heart goes with “Vincent and the Doctor”. I just “speaks” to me on every level, and I love the way it reaffirms the premise of of early Hartnell-era Who that you cannot change the past. I have always been a bit ambivalent about the way the show plays fast and loose with changing the past.



    Quite a nice interview with Colin Baker. He is spot on about the end of the 50th. It’s funny how Colin’s reflections on the show seem to outshine Colin’s performance on the show…

    Colin Baker on the Spiritualism of Doctor Who



    Whoa! That is terrible news about Dan Martin. 41…my god,  that is far too young. He was a genuine Who enthusiast with a real appreciation of what the show represented. But more importantly, he was somebody who shouldn’t have died so young.




    Yes, they did have good actors. Michael Jayston. A brilliant Peter Guillam in “Tinker, Tailor…”

    I was not aware of the chaos behind the scenes. Scriptwriters died…!? They had to dump every commissioned script!?

    As I reflect on it, I wonder if there might actually be a logic to bringing the Valeyard back. The Master is fun, but…well, that is the point. The Master is fun. But the Valeyard is something quite different.



    Not much happening on the Who front, so I thought I would engage in some idle thoughts (of an idle man). Am I correct in thinking that there was only one appearance of the Valeyard (“Trial of a Timelord”)? My fading recollection is that there was reference then to the Valeyard appearing after the Doctor’s 12th regeneration? If so, we are now at some point after the 12th regeneration (given a War Doctor or two). So, if they wanted to, they could re-introduce the Valeyard. But would they? Should they?

    Who has always played around with the idea of moral opposites (the Doctor/the Master, the White Guardian/the Black Guardian, even the Toby Jones character in “Amy’s Choice”).  So perhaps the Valeyard as a character is less interesting than the memory of watching “The Trial of a Timelord”. Which, to be honest, was a bit of a slog.





    I did not know about the Doctor Who connection with Grant Imahara. Thanks for the clip.

    49…that is way too young.


    @nerys, @winston,

    Thank you for the wonderful wildlife descriptions. I suspect you both live in a more rural setting than we do, but there are still delights to be had, even here. A couple of days ago we rose early and walked along the waterfront at Willows Beach, when a small river otter (or a sea otter?) quickly dashed from the undergrowth into the water. Fortunately, we live within walking distance of the water, and the opportunity to see the geese, the ducks, the otters, is wonderful. But nothing quite compares to our first visit to Vancouver Island 20 years ago (from Australia), when we were staying in a B&B in James Bay and we were walking along the inner harbour  by Parliament House. It was deserted, late at night, and we heard a gurgling sound from the water. We looked down, and there was a baby seal looking up at us. At that moment, we fell in love with Victoria. It took a long time, but here we are, absolutely content, and never likely to move.


    Just read that Ennio Morricone died. He represented a huge part of my life at the movies, particularly, but not limited to, the Sergio Leone movies. I have posted extracts from some of those before, so shall not do it again (well, not now). Perhaps there are others, such as Syzygy the elder…


    are you out there?…who could reflect in a more knowledgeable way. For me, his scores were not simply emotionally heightened, they were romantic and transcendent.



    Whoops! I stupidly typed in the wrong name in my message above. It was Earl Cameron I was referring to. I clearly need another coffee to get the brain working properly.



    Earl Williams, Who alumnus, just died. He was 102. He was, of course, in The Tenth Planet.

    Like a lot of black actors of the time, he was invariably only given small roles ( eg, as a doctor in Sapphire, the excellent movie about race relations in 1950s Britain) but was always memorable.


    @winston, @nerys, @arbutus,

    Happy Canada Day to all!

    As you know, I am an immigrant. And a very happy immigrant. Where I live, neighbours haven’t simply hung out Canadian flags, they have hung out flags with the heart instead of the maple leaf to show support–not simply for those on the covid front line, but for all of us.

    I would not want to live anywhere else.




    Really sad to hear that about Louis Mahoney. He was a great character actor in film and television over the years. And a major figure in advancing actors of colour.

    He could put so much emotion into that short scene in Blink.



    While watching The Three Doctors, I noticed it was co-written by Bob Baker. I thought to myself: Surely, I know that name. I looked him up to discover that besides writing a bunch of Who stories in the 1970s he was also the co-writer of the Wallace and Gromit stories.

    Crikey, what a claim to fame! To have written both Doctor Who AND Wallace and Gromit.


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