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    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.



    Mrs Blenkinsop and I have just watched the final two episodes of The Three Doctors…just great! I had completely forgotten about it given that so many years (decades…?) had passed, but it worked really well.

    Mrs Blenkinsop’s reflection was very interesting….that the fight (ie, the actual slow motion fight) between the Pertwee Doctor and Omega was strangely reminiscent of David Lynch. And I think I agree.

    All in all, a really enjoyable story.




    Mrs Blenkinsop just started watching (well, re-watching, after many years) The Three Doctors. Great stuff! Had not realised how much Moffat drew on it for the 50th anniversary. Is it the first time one Doctor says to the other: “I see you’ve been redecorating…I don’t like it.”? Even the way they keep the (obviously ageing and ill Hartnell) Doctor off in the ether is done well.

    The one thing I was mildly surprised by was that the Troughton Doctor bonded most naturally with Sgt Benton and not the Brigadier (who comes across as a bit of a grumpy martinet). Two episodes in, two to go.

    p.s. for other Canadians, have discovered the appeal of subscribing to Britbox.




    Crikey, you did! It’s either middle age short-term memory loss or lockdown disassociation.



    So…did you manage to watch the two Borg episodes of NG and then Picard?




    It has been a while since you have been around. Have not seen Devs yet. Clearly, I should.

    Must ask you a question, but it means heading over to another page. So…


    Apparently, the festive special completed filming before the lockdown.




    Hang in there. Some old faces are going to start to appear, and the new, dark universe of Picard is going to connect with the optimism of The Next Generation.



    @nerys, @winston,

    Where we live there are a number of neighbours who can probably afford a cottage, and their houses seem strangely unoccupied. But at least those who remain are very responsible. They wear masks inside shops, and we all keep our distance when walking to the shops, but we still manage to say hello to each other–even if it is from the other side of the street.


    Fortunately, the Blenkinsop cellar is coping…



    @nerys and @winston

    Things are indeed difficult at the moment, which is why we sometimes need a shot of humour. To that end (and something that will only make sense to Canadians):

    Restrictions remain in place for Ontarians who can’t afford cottages




    This might sound corny, but you have got us.

    One of the great things about this site is that it is populated by people who are attracted to a show where the central tenant is “to be kind”.

    Some of us, like the Old Syzygy, are coping with stuff I cannot possibly imagine, yet she can share an incredible knowledge and love of music; some, like @whisht, can share the joy of music I never  knew about but stirs the soul when I hear it; all of us (unfortunately) have issues that we have to deal with (I have a brother who is slowly declining with Alzheimers, and he is on another continent, and I realise I will probably never see him again). And yet…we have a common interest in a crazy show which at its core is about hope and adventure and kindness.

    “Any advice?” For me, it is finding something to watch each night that makes me feel way better than I did when I woke up. Of course, I have a sense of humour that probably doesn’t translate to anybody else in the known universe…



    Thanks for the tip, @craig.

    And, after finding the National Theatre website, I see that next week they are offering “Antony and Cleopatra” with Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo.

    Mind you, we don’t actually dress for the theatre before viewing.


    Yesterday, Mrs Blenkinsop discovered ( via the Guardian) that a filmed performance of “Frankenstein”, the National Theatre Company production, with Benedict Cumberbatch as the Monster, Johnny Lee Miller as Frankenstein, and Naomi Harris as Elizabeth, was screening for one day on YouTube. Naturally, we watched it. And it was excellent.

    If you are in lockdown, this is a great way to spend the afternoon!

    I may come back with some reflections on the production, such as the way I could see the possibility of an interpretation that emphasised colonialism. (There is a point where Frankenstein asks the Monster what he is is good at and the Monster replies: “assimilation”. This set me thinking…)

    Anyway, we shall be on the look-out for more similar lockdown opportunities.



    Just wanted to say that I am really enjoying your reflections (and your son’s) on the episodes.

    And the quotes..!



    Sven is my new hero! That clip was brilliant.




    Is this it?




    Have been thinking more about the 2-part story. While I thought it worked really well in all sorts of interesting ways, it was not perfect. For me, there was one thing that did not work: David Tennant. I felt his interpretation of a School master c.1913 just did not ring true. (Whereas Pip Torrens as the headmaster worked really very well, I thought). Also, I felt that when Smith realized he was not Smith and had to give up that life, it was…well, just too whiny–in an over the top way—which was very Tennant.  In fact, to be honest, I felt exactly the same about his interpretation of the Doctor during his whole tenure as the Doctor. Everything was, I felt, always over the top. And, for me, in  a very distracting way.

    And yet, this 2-part story was wonderful.



    Watched them both last night. I have been trying to isolate what it was about these two episodes that made them so special. I think it was how deeply emotional everything was–John Smith’s torment as he slowly realises he is not who he thinks he is; the relationship between him and the school matron; the relationship between the two boys that shall survive into the war; the scene of the Doctor and Martha at the remembrance service. It was a story that almost completely lacked humour, and yet it worked. In fact, in a way, perhaps it worked precisely because it almost completely lacked humour. It has (for me, anyway) a sort of emotional resonance that lingers long after it is over.



    Thanks for posting those. I am looking forward to re-watching both parts of what I think was one of the best 2-parters in AG Who.

    Having just finished watching Mackenzie Crook’s take on “Worzel Gummidge” my recent TV viewing seems to be strangely full of scarecrows…



    That was pretty great, to see all the Doctors doing something so…well, what the Doctor would do.

    And seeing all the Doctors without make-up made me feel much better about looking at myself in the bathroom mirror!


    Have just finished watching the new version of “Worzel Gummidge”. Loved it. Many here will remember the 1970s show with Pertwee. This version, by comparison, is very much in accord with “The Detectorists”, written, directed by, and starring–Mackenzie Crook. Both shows are about the wonder and mystery of nature. This one is a children-focused show, but one that can be appreciated by old fogies who identify with the innocence of childhood.

    There are many things I could wax lyrical about, but the one thing I will mention is the performance of Francesca Mills as Earthy Mangold. (You have to watch the show–both episodes, but especially the second to understand what I mean.)

    To cut a long story short, if you have the opportunity, watch it. It really is utterly charming.




    We have visited Nova Scotia on three occasions; the first time was about 12 years ago (I think). I recall that we arrived in Halifax the day after the hurricane had flattened large swathes of trees downtown and knocked out much of the power. I remember our B&B had no power or water(!) but we were lucky enough to get the last room in the Lord Nelson hotel–a wonderful institution! The second time was about 9 years ago, again to Halifax, and it was spring, the trees and the gorgeous central park had recovered. The third time was about 4 years ago. We stayed at a friend’s cottage in Deep Cove and spent a few days driving around the south of the island–places like Lunenburg. And yes, Nova Scotia is a beautiful place. You are very fortunate to live there, and I know we are keen to return and discover more of the province. The current events there are terrible and tragic. What we found when we were there was a real sense of community. I hope that will help them recover.




    There’s another one…this time called Leigh.


    Picard. I figure anough time has passed since the final episode to be able to talk about it spoiler free (I am talking especially to @whisht and @nerys).

    Well, I thought this was one of the finest recent tv shows I have seen. For me, it is up there with the first series of Sherlock, and the first Moffat series of Who. No…it is better than them.

    As I has already stated, I think it captures, in a wonderful way, the memory of NG with the realities of the darker, and less optimistic, present of the post-2016 world we live in.

    I am thinking of trying to do a blog…but somewhat hesitant, given the caliber of the previous blogs on this site.

    In any event, I encourage everyone (and especially @whisht) to watch the 2 part NG story “The Best of Both Worlds” and then launch into Picard.






    I read the news each morning, and aside from the informative news items–which seem to struggle for attention these days–so much is from the perspective of the unaffected (i.e., demands that the lockdown end so they can exercise their god-given right to shop in Walmart) and so little expressing thoughts about the lost, that your petition is a reminder of the way we should be thinking.




    That is very sad about Tim Brooke Taylor. I have just been watching clips of The Goodies, probably for the first time in 30 years. At the time, they had to compete for my attention with Monty Python, but re-watching them now, I don’t think I properly appreciated back then the anarchic theatre of the absurd that they captured.



    OK, I know this is outrageously wet of me, but:

    Actually, if this was on Who it would not be wet, it would be Who.




    Syzygy, tonight was your night! The alignment of the celestial bodies resulted in the most amazing full moon rising over the Blenkinsop pile.




    That was very clever and…very Moffat.

    I do wonder, therefore, what Chibnall thinks about Moffat coming on board and writing such clever stories about the Doctor on Chibnall’s watch.

    There is a line in the story about running a flat management structure, and: “Obviously I have to be top”. Is that Moffat writing about the Doctor? Or…




    The importance of  the right thing




    Wonderfully sweet clip. Thanks so much for posting.


    just about to make a new comment, and then noticed my comment above. not much more to say, really. except that this opening laid the groundwork for a brilliant season built around the idea of a fairy tale. which was why season 5 was so wonderful.



    I mave have posted this on a previous April Fool’s Day, but it always warrants a repeat viewing. From the BBC, April 1, 1957:


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