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    @oochillyo I had that problem with a photo on another website. My solution was to reduce the size of the photo. That seemed to work.


    @janetteb Yes, snow is magical. When it first falls. Then, it is powder snow, and it is lovely to walk through. But then, as @dentarthurdent points out, it turns to slush. But worse, it freezes, and it stays like that seemingly forever. Impossible to drive through and impossible to walk on. Unless, of course, you embrace the idea of lots of accidents. Like so much of life, it is magical when it is fictional.



    Yes, I am all in favour of having a viewing of some classic Who. While you like the Tom Baker Doctor (who doesn’t?) we have looked at quite a lot of his stories. Might I suggest a story from another brilliant classic Doctor? What about the story “Inferno” from the 3rd Doctor, Jon Pertwee? It is a spectacular story, with a cast who are all at the top of their game. And we have never had a dedicated viewing of that story.

    It would require @craig, our benevolent emperor, to load it for us, but as he is benevolent, I am sure he would agree.




    Yes, agree entirely. I tend to look back at Australian media occasionally, and came across this

    I found it very powerful and it had a resonance with my family memories (mine are not as powerful as what is represented in this story, but they are still there, and prompt me to ask: “why did I not question the statements that I heard at the dinner table?”).





    Came across this and had to share it.

    After a life in Australia, this is where I moved to. But not in 1936, I hasten to add. This was a tourism film made in 1936 to show off the city. Strangely, much still remains, although the topiary garden has gone, alas. What I love about the clip is the way it reveals that the whole city was designed to impose a fantasy version of England into a foreign locale. There is no reference to the Indigenous people whole lived, and still live, here. And no reference to the substantial Chinese population who also lived and still live, here.

    I love artifacts from the past like this; not because they show how life was, but because they show how some people wanted to pretend what life was like.

    Most of all, I would love a story where the Doctor arrived in Victoria in 1936…



    Having only moved to Canada a few years ago, Mrs Blenkinsop and I were reminiscing on what we remembered most fondly about Australia.

    These two commercials came to mind.






    We decided to watch “Day of the Daleks” after you mentioned it. (I hadn’t seen it for a long time.) This was quite soon after watching “Inferno”. For me, there is no comparison. “Inferno” is far stronger and far more entertaining. You said you wanted UNIT in the story you chose—well, since you have not seen it yet, I do not want to spoil it, but the Brigadier and Sergeant Benton are there, in all sorts of ways.  Pertwee gives a wonderful performance, and Caroline John is really worth discovering. I encourage you to seek it out.


    @nerys So very sorry to hear this. I am glad you had the opportunity to have those good talks, though. They are tremendously important.

    Take care.


    It is cold here on our island outpost in Canada, so Mrs Blenkinsop and I just re-watched (for the umpteenth time) “The Lodger”.

    What a wonderful episode. “Kiss the girl!”

    A wonderful pisode.



    Just read that Michael Apted, who made the 7 Up series (the most remarkable documentary series ever made (tracing a group of British children from the age of 7 (1964) at seven year intervals until the age of 63 (2019).

    He also was a great film director, with a James Bond film under his belt, along with many other films.

    The 7 Up series made a huge impact on me, and I had remained as committed to it as I have to Doctor Who (and over the same span of time).



    If you are doing a Pertwee story this year, can I suggest “Inferno”

    It was brilliant. And it had the last performance of Caroline John as Liz Shaw (probably my favourite companion).




    Just following on from @devilishrobby, there is a spammer roaming on the site.


    @bluesqueakpip Thanks for the detailed summary, and agree–yes it is effective–if it was, let’s say, the opening episode of a three or four part miniseries that was done as a dark story of corrupt business and corrupt government conspiring together to create a dystopian future. Sounds like just the type of thing Chibnall could do well–if it was paced out over three or four episodes.

    Anyway, from what I am reading on the dark corners of the web (ie, The Daily Mirror), there may be changes afoot…

    But just to reiterate, your summary and explanation of how the story was advanced was really very good. Thanks.



    As @arbutus reminded me, a good commercial-free option is to purchase it on iTunes for $4. It is there for repeated viewings, and it is mercifully ad-free (and I agree with you, the intrusive commercial breaks are just the worst).



    It was 1964. Gerry Marsden. I am starting to realise how old I am.




    I thought Martin Belam provided a very good assessment of the episode, particularly his reflection that “it was an extremely long slow burn of a set up before it got going”. Exactly. I am talking about pacing, and about showing, rather than explaining, what is happening.

    For example, my reference to “Robocop”. The opening of Verhoeven’s movie wasn’t brilliant because it was violent, it was brilliant because it managed to communicate everything at the beginning (in the way Chibnall was trying to communicate) in a very concise way (the board meeting, the claim to have found a technological solution, the the calamitous outcome at the board meeting, and the satirically cynical response of the person proposing the idea). Chibnall essentially gives us exactly the same set-up, but it takes forever to get to the point. We see the Dalek from Resolution being driven away, there is a stop at the side of the road, the truck is driven away, there is huddled discussion between Robertson and the scientist, there is a demonstration of the Dalek to the corrupt politician…come on, Verhoeven’s movie had moved way beyond this by this time. It’s like, you know exactly what Chibnall is trying to do, but you are overcome with a desperate desire to go and make a coffee before he gets to his point.

    And should add that I am not implying that Chibnall is drawing on Verhoeven without acknowledgement. I suspect that Chibnall is probably completely unaware of Robocop. What Chibnall is aware of, and can do quite well, is the sort of emotionally tortured slow-burn drama that was Broadchurch.

    Can he do Doctor Who? I don’t think he can.


    Well, first viewing: I felt it was more of a simulacrum of Doctor Who, than actually Doctor Who. Perhaps 15 minutes (toward the end) of real Who and an hour of something between a soap and a drama.

    Compare the opening premise here of a repurposed Dalek to become the face of policing (with a satire on corporate greed thrown in) to the opening premise of Paul Verhoeven’s Robocop. Verhoeven was brilliant in every way. This was feeble by comparison.

    Then, endless amounts of exposition, so that instead of moving forward at a clip, the story moves like treacle as every single thing is verbalised and explained to us.

    Finally, when the real Daleks arrive, it start to feel like Who, but it is all over fairly quickly, and we are back to the soap. For anyone who can remember back to the way Barbara and Ian left the Hartnell Doctor or, even more impressively in terms of emotion, the departure of Susan from the Hartnell Doctor, they were both masterclasses of writing and acting in comparison to what Chibnall offered.

    For me, the best realised character was Robertson, which I was not expecting.

    Sorry, but the Chibnall years feel a lot like the JNT years. A bit embarrassing.



    @nerys That was a very uplifting story about selflessness. In its own way, very Doctor Who.

    @dentarthurdent Love the story of the sea lion. Many years ago we used to live in Newcastle on the east coast of Australia. Crappy town, but we lived across from a beautiful beach. One morning we went walking and a whole bunch of dolphins went swimming past. You don’t forget images like that.

    @mudlark You mean to say that you are not a slightly decadent late 19th century Romantic…?



    @winston, And a happy new year to you (and everyone on the site) in return!

    All your reflections resonated (but I am not going to confess to pyjamas, of course…)

    Where I am, fireworks have been set off somewhere down the street, the cats have been totally freaked out in response to the fireworks, Mrs Blenkinsop and I have been remembering past New Years where we (well, actually, to confess) stayed inside and went to bed early…

    Looking forward (with a bit of hesitation) to “The Revolution of the Daleks”!


    Many thanks @arbutus. I had forgotten that option.



    @winston, @nerys, @arbutus, and any other Canadians I have forgotten,

    Which streaming service will allow me to watch the New Year special? (p.s. I do not have cable)


    Boxing Day dawns, and to echo the immortal words of (hungover) Uncle Willy in The Philadelphia Story (1940):

    “This is one of those days that the pages of history teach us are best spent in bed.”



    The BBC reports that the Christmas special will be available in a 4K format.

    I suppose if I had a mammoth High Definition TV it might make a difference, but as I will be watching it on my 15 year-old 22 inch TV with increasingly aging Blenkinsop eyes, it probably won’t make a difference. But since I am totally happy watching something with the technical proficiency of “The Web Planet” it doesn’t really matter.

    In fact, I must watch “The Web Planet” again. I always loved the Zarbi.



    We have had a number of festive seasons on this site, but this the first one where the most appropriate thing I can say to everyone, and particularly those in the UK, is:

    Stay Safe.

    (And hopefully there is still enough time to order in Jammy Dodgers)


    Waris Hussein, the director of the very first episode of Who, “An Unearthly Child” in 1963 (along with another 10 episodes during the Verity Lambert years) turned 82 yesterday.

    For those who don’t know, he was born in India, and arrived in England at the age of 9 when his parents emigrated. His mother worked at the BBC reading the news in Hindi, along with translating Shakespeare into Urdu and Hindi. Waris joined the BBC at the age of 21 and went on to become a prolific TV director.

    Sacha Dhawan played him in the wonderful “An Adventure in Space and Time”.

    I often wish I could thank him personally for the magical experience of watching “An Unearthly Child” and introducing me to Doctor Who all those years ago at the tender age of 12.




    Hi @craig. Great to hear from you and sorry to hear that life has been getting in the way. Just wanted to say what I know all of us feel, and that is how much we appreciate everything you have done and continue to do in maintaining this little haven from a crazy world.





    @arbutus, Yes! to echo @janetteb, great to see you back on the site.

    @janetteb, you are very fortunate that the restrictions are as relaxed as they are for you. I cannot imagine a Christmas party on the scale you describe being allowed for either @arbutus in Vancouver or myself on the island.

    This week we had a film crew making a movie down the street (we live in that part of town that film companies seem to like) and one of the things I noticed was that, unlike the previous company that shot a film at a house up the street a few weeks back who all wore masks, this company crew seems to be strangely free of masks, and all their cars parked on the street had Californian licence plates. Sigh…







    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.



Viewing 50 posts - 1 through 50 (of 1,758 total)