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Will The Friday Docback Survive 'The Dalek Invasion Of Earth'?? Or, DALEKS' INVASION EARTH 2150 A.D.?? DOCTOR WHO Story #10, Movie #2, And More!!



Merrick here...
...with a look at “The Dalek Invasion of Earth” - which aired from  21 November to 26 December in 1964.  For good measure, we’ll also chew on DALEKS’ INVASION EARTH 2150 A.D.  This is a big-screen saga released in 1966, and is essentially a licensed remake of the 1964 story.  
This is hardly surprising, but it never hurts to have such confirmation:  BBC One and BBC America say that this year's DOCTOR WHO Christmas Special - "The Doctor, The Widow, and the Wardrobe"  - will indeed air Christmas night in both the U.S. and U.K as previously anticipated.
All of this is grand because we are talking about a Christmas Special after all...and most Christmas Specials don't seem to air on Christmas at all...and sometimes they don't even air close to it.  Which makes this news doubleplus cool...but also nifty because DOCTOR WHO is one of the best Christmas presents someone can receive.  Win.  Win.  
BBC One will broadcast the Special at 7pm on Christmas night.  On BBC America, "The Doctor, The Widow, and the Wardrobe" will air December 25th at 9pm ET/PT.  In the days leading up to the broadcast, the network will air a marathon of previous DW Christmas Specials (beginning December 23 9pm ET/PT), along with a "Best of The Christmas Specials" show which hits December 24 at 8pm ET/PT . It is described thusly by BBCA:  
A collection of fans from the celebrity, comedy, sci-fi and digital worlds discuss their favorite moments from Doctor Who Christmas specials as part of the countdown to this year’s main event.
Hmmm.  I'll have to DVR this as to not intrude upon our family's long-established tradition of viewing beloved Christmas movies on Christmas Eve (A CHRISTMAS STORY and DIE HARD).  
Find more about BBC America's ramp-up to the Special HERE.
The name of the game was to e-mail me at, or closest to, a randomly pre-selected time.  
This time, randomly/arbitrarily selected by me before announcing the contest, was Saturday November 26, 2011 at 11:22 PM CST USA.  
Going by the time stamps appearing at the top of each incoming contest submission, it seems PAUL H from California will receive one (1) set of DOCTOR WHO Series Five on Blu-Ray, and one (1) copy of DOCTOR WHO Series Six on Blu-Ray.  
Paul's e-mail was received at 11:23 PM CST USA on Saturday November 26.   Submissions were TREMENDOUSLY clustered for this particular contest -  more so than I've ever seen when conducting other AICN contests.  Had any number of other times been selected as a "winning" time, the contest would've been determined by ONE SECOND in many instances.  In Paul's case, the next closest entries were both ten minutes or greater on either side of the chosen 11:22 PM time frame. 
Paul's contact information has already been passed along to BBC - who is quite generously handling fulfillment for this contest.  I'd like to express my heartfelt gratitude to BBC DVD for making this opportunity possible - there were a high number of submissions, and we're looking into bringing you further opportunities in the very near future.  So, stay tuned...
Ken and I have both had crazy, crazy weeks and haven'r recorded the next podcast yet.  We're hoping to bring the next one online over the weekend.  
In the meantime, if you missed last week's installment due to the Holiday weekend here in the U.S., you can find it HERE.
Keep an eye on this space for the next link.  
“The Dalek Invasion of Earth” (Story # 10) 
IAN:  You know, Doctor...sometimes you astound me.
DOCTOR: Only sometimes, dear boy?  What's happened to your memory?
 "The Dalek Invasion of Earth" - Episode 6 - 'Flashpoint'
Welcome to 22nd Century London, where the future looks quite a bit like the 1960s, one wrong move can land you in big trouble with demented pepperpots, and slapping a girl in the face with a fish can bag you a cute Gallifreyan babe for life. 
Scripted by Daleks creator Terry Nation (who previously wrote “The Daleks” for DOCTOR WHO and later went on to bring us the great "Genesis of the Daleks" (Baker, Story #78) as well as the BLAKE'S 7 television series ), the plot here is remarkably simple:  The Doctor (William Hartnell) arrives in 22nd Century London with companions Barbara (Jacqueline Hill), Ian Chesterton (William Russell) and Susan (Carole Ann Ford).  They find our world overrun by Daleks, join a human resistance against the scummy little bastards, and set out to thwart the Daleks' broader scheme - their plan to steal the Earth and drive it around in the cosmos towards nefarious ends.  We later see this “stolen Earth” conceit revisited in a different way by writer Russell T. Davies in the Tennant Era episode called, well, "The Stolen Earth."  
“Dalek Invasion” is an extremely effective story whose greatest weakness is that many of its early WHO driven by too little material spread over too much time.  Tedium does set in upon occasion, primarily rising from our inescapable realization that some of the story’s side plots simply don’t relate (or contribute significantly) to the whole of the adventure.  This sometimes threatens to dilute the elements that do work about “Dalek Invasion,” but never fully undercuts the story’s better qualities.  Because when "Dalek Invasion" does work, it’s generally shines brilliantly.   
This story nicely propagates the Daleks-as-Nazis parables earlier implied by "The Daleks" and later borne out fully in "Genesis of the Daleks.”  Humans are essentially brainwashed into cooperating the Daleks, there’s a resistance movement against a technologically superior and ruthless occupying force, Daleks use humans for violently enforced slave labor, there’s a “Fire Bomb” subplot, one Dalek cries our "final solution!" when it learns that it's time to purge Earth of human pestilence, etc.  This is World War II with different names and set in a different time.  It is violent (shootings and stabbings), it is scary (sequences of essentially deserted London are a tad unnerving in their imagery), and..even with the story’s limited budget and effectively illustrates the “mass” and dehumanizing nature of large-scale occupation.  
All of this culminates in an action finale which works well enough  - although one gets the strong sense that the installments’ makers may’ve been struggling to actualize some of Nation’s admittedly challenging set pieces.  Fortunately, this sometimes floppy denouement is overshadowed by Susan’s blindsinding departure from the show.  Her exit makes a bit of sense and is probably well-supported when taking her character, her relationship to The Doctor, and her overall history with him into consideration - but it’s presented somewhat unexpectedly, although handled quite powerfully.  
"There must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties.  Just go forward in all your beliefs...” offers the Doctor after sealing the TARDIS doors so his "granddaughter" can’t get in.  It’s a powerful crossroads for The Doctor, who...possibly for the first time in his existence...may be realizing the inherent injustice of playing to a captive audience.  The Doctor is, essentially, cutting her umbilical and setting her free - while also severing his own dependence on her.  In a very real sense she’s abandoned...yet left to a world where she can find a way to belong, with a new man who loves her and wants her.  She’s lived and adventure far grander than most people will ever know.  Yet, in this moment, The Doctor is acknowledging that she is also being deprived of the closeness and sense of belonging that every person deserves -  no matter where they've been or what they've seen. 
One might also argue that The Doctor is more or less making this decision for Susan - that he is forcing a change into her life without any prior discussion and with little time for rational evaluation.  I.e. what appears to be decisions he made in her best interest could actually be Machivellian in nature, and yet another example of The Doctor doing what The Doctor wants to do...too bad if others get caught in the slipstream of his whimsy.  
Either way, this is a potent moment for Susan.  While many instances thus far have portended "modern" WHO, this is our first strong indication of the sometimes confounding complexity that would eventually characfterize later embodiments of The Doctor.  The first ture sense that travelling with The Doctor is not always the right, or healthiest, thing to do.  Our first acknowledgement that The Doctor may sense intuitively know this, but is afraid to let go.  Perhaps he's afraid to be alone with himself.  
The sequence is simple, quick, potent ,and is incredibly dense in undercurrent and subtext.  It’s also our first substantial evidence of the unexpected emotional “gut punches” that would characterize later WHO - particularly the Tennant and Smith eras.  Indeed, The Dalek Invasion of Earth” advances a number of firsts:  it introduces a color-coded hierarchy for the Dalek command/social structure (in this case a black command Dalek), it represents the show’s first extensive use of location work (previously there were only there were only a few brief establishing/travelogue location shots featured in “Reign of Terror”), and it’s the first episode shot in Riverside Studios (after relocating from Lime Grove Studios).  Riverside was a larger and more recently renovated studio than Lime Grove, allowing the production larger and more multi-faceted sets.  For example:  the Dalek ship was built as one continuous set, and is essentially seen/shot in cutaway.  In other instances, multi-level sets were possible for the first time on the show, etc.  
Design by the incoming Spencer Chapman is also notable across-the-board.  The interior of the Dalek ship is populated with gadgets that actually feel like they may plausibly possess some level of functionality.  Doorways in the Dalek ship slide or swing open or upward with smooth efficiency, accompanied by nifty swooshes akin to STAR TREK or STAR WARS.  Even a rebel hideout - a relatively unremarkable room - feels more nuanced, solid, and textured.  There's even a (probably inadvertent) J.J. Abrams-esque lens flare for good measure.  All of these enhancements combine into a 1-2 punch that brings around a DOCTOR WHO which...while still clearly hamstrung be budgetary limitations...feels roundly embiggened, and often evokes the ambitious WHOs that we see today.  
Location sequences are presented without sound and generally backed by a minimalist purcussive score that nicely accentuates the episode's sometimes desolate imagery and atmospheric tension.  This sequence... which Barbara and she-rebel Jenny (Ann Davis) must push a wheelchair-bound Dortmun (Alan Davis) down the street while avoiding detection by Daleks evokes some of the better bigscreen suspense pieces of the era.  
Despite its occasional sag, "The Dalek Invasion of Earth"  is a generally strong entry  - and a must-see for anyone interested in DOCTOR WHOstory.  It's a fascinating glimpse into the show's past, and a wonderful tease for what DW would become in later years.  It's availabe of DVD HERE in the U.S. and HERE in the U.K.  
What an awesome poster...
This theatrical film is more or less a licensed remake of the TV episode discussed above, released a few years after “The Dalek Invasion of Earth” first aired on BBC.  Intended to capitalize on “Dalekmania” of the time, the picture stars Peter Cushing as a genial and eccentric scientist from Earth named (literally) Dr. Who.  He travels though time and space in his TARDIS (still a blue Police Box), although his companions differ in this iteration.  A hot niece named Louise (Jill Curzon)...
....replaces Jacqueline Hill's Barbara.  Bernard Cribbins  (Donna Noble's father Wilfred during the Tennant era) replaces William Russell's Ian with a not-entirely-effectual policeman named Tom.  “Granddaughter” Susan does exist in this iteration, although she’s a bit younger than Carole Ann Ford’s TV counterpart - and played by Roberta Tovey this time around.  Notably, little Susan is not jettisoned from this movie’s WHOverse.  
This is very much a Bizarroverse version of both DOCTOR WHO in general and “The Dalek Invasion of Earth.”  Like The big-screen adaptation of “The Daleks” before it (watch it HERE free and legallly), characterization here is paper thin...indeed, it’s almost non-existent.  Our human protagonists exist solely as a entree into the movie’s Dalek-driven action, and the focus here is clearly on breezy entertainment instead of well-developed Science Fiction.  I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with this dynamic...just noting the “apples and oranges” nature of this strangeness.  
The film shares many identical events with its television predecessor, although occasionally a movement will come about via different characters (i.e. we frequently see almost exactly the same occurrences, instigated by different characters - perhaps in slightly different ways).   These changes don’t always make a great deal of sense, and some feel like ‘change for the sake of change’ rather than legitimate alterations designed to accommodate plot mechanics and whatnot.  Ultimately, however, the overall structure of Terry Nation’s tale remains readily identifiable throughout the movie.  
Alas, when all is said and done, this “take” on his material is rarely as interesting or provocative as its televised progenitor.  It’s fun for fun’s sake, but little more.  Milton Subotsky’s screenplay greatly abbreviates the strong subtexts of Nation's progenitor story in favor of narrative brevity and action-centric propulsion.   A very recognizable shell of “The Dalek Invasion of Earth” exists here, but only as a ghost.  It’s hollow and gutless.  
Interestingly, both iterations of this adventure possess qualities the other might’ve benefitted from - and neither perfectly achieve that difficult balance between decelerated allegory and frothy, high octane entertainment.  Where Nation's take gets bogged down in subplots and maneuverings which emerge as more or less irrelevant to the ‘bigger picture,’ this movie could well have prospered from a bit more flavoring and substance.  If we could magically mash up the two?  We’d end up with one helluva production.  As is, each version has its unique strengths and each has its readily shortcomings.  But in terms of overall vibe, and emotional and intellectual resonance?  The trophy goes to the television version.  
Bill McGuffie’s 's propulsive and spy-like score stands in sharp contrast to Francis Chagrin's eerie, drum-strong music for the TV story  - a few riffs here suggest AUSTIN POWERS more than alien-occupied atmospherics.  SPACE: 1999’s Barry Gray is credited as composer of “Electronic Music” in the film’s opening - although I could never finger his exact contributions at any point in the proceedings.  I’m wondering if they were so intertwined with McGuffie’s work as to be indistinguishable?  
Action and corridor shenanigans on the Dalek saucer ship strongly evoke STAR WARS rompiness on a few occasions, and said ship...featuring two counter-rotating rings (the gold bands at the vessel's top and center, seen in the pic below) pretty badass in a FLASH GORDONy sorta way.  
Kudos to whomever conceived the alien weapon the Weirding Module in David Lynch’s DUNE movie...appears to be gathering energy from the air around it before firing.  Nicely conceived and well played, although not as spectacularly realized as it might’ve been.  
As stated above, the overall tory structure here more or less follows the television version, but there are several deviations.   One of the movie’s more agreeable augmentations finds Cribbins' non-brainwashed, in-disguise Tom becoming inadvertently swept up by a battalion of Dalek-controlled Robomen (zombified human Dalek operatives who are tuned in to some sort of master control frequency).  He’s hustling to keep up with their unified moves (sitting, standing, walking in formation, etc.) - which is difficult given he's literally and figuratively not on their wavelength. Yes, the gag is dopey as hell, but it’s amusing and well executed from a conceptual and comedic perspective - and is indicative of the kind of clever vitality the film could’ve used much more of.  
DALEKS’ INVASION seizes the color coded Dalek conceit suggested by the TV episode and takes it to next level by inserting golden and red Dalek models into the grey/silver and black hierarchy established previously.  This broader color palette would feature later in the series proper - and (happenstantially, I’m sure) allowed for the production of many more toys variants.  
A peculiar novelty for WHO fans, but definitely not a way to inDoctornate new or reticent viewers, DALEKS’ INVASION OF EARTH 2150 A.D. emerges as little more than harmless vapor. For my money it’s the better of the two theatrical WHO adventure to date (I found myself irrepressibly bored by DR. WHO AND THE DALEKS - Thalls not be see in color), but it’s also the least successful of the two undertakings.  So much so that a planned third Dalek film was eventually canned. So, what the hell do I know?  





"The Rescue" 

(available HERE in the U.S. and HERE in the U.K.) 






"The Impossible Astronaut"

"Day of the Moon"

"The Curse of the Black Spot"

"The Doctor's Wife"

"The Rebel Flesh"

"The Almost People"

"A Good Man Goes To War"

"Let's Kill Hitler"

"Night Terrors"




"An Unearthly Child" (Story #1)

"The Daleks" (Story #2)

"The Edge of Destruction" (Story #3)

"Marco Polo" (Story #4)

"The Keys of Marinus(Story #5)

"The Aztecs" (Story #6)

"The Sensorites" (Story #7)

"The Reign of Terror" (Story #8)

"Planet of Giants" (Story #9) 

"The Gunfighters" (Story #25)

"The Colony in Space" (Story #58) 

"Day of the Daleks" (Story #60) + Preview of the DotD Special Edition

"The Talons of Weng-Chiang" (Story #91)

"The Sun Makers(Story #95)

"The Awakening" (Story #131)

"Frontios(Story #132)

"Time and the Rani" (Story #144)

"Paradise Towers" (Story #145) + New WHOvian Documentary / Newsbits


Merrick's Personal Journey With The Doctor (How Merrick Got Hooked On DOCTOR WHO)

DOCTOR WHO Title Sequences & DW At Comic-Con 2011

"The Crash of the Elysium" (Manchester version - interactive DOCTOR WHO adventure)

Why Eccleston Left, Here Comes Caroline Skinner, And Season/Series Six Part 1 on Blu-Ray And DVD

New Trailer For Season/Series Six Part 2




AICN's Friday DOCTOR WHO Talkbacks - aka "Docbacks"  - operate on a different set of standards than other AICN Talkbacks.  These standards developed quickly and naturally, and we intend to preserve them.  Accordingly, please take a moment to note a few guidelines which should help proceedings move along smoothly and pleasantly:  
1) a Docback should be about completely open and free discourse regarding all things WHO (with, obviously, some variation on subject matter from time to time - the real world intervenes, discussions of other shows are inevitable, etc.)... 

2) matters of SPOILAGE should be handled with thoughtful consideration and sensitivity.  Posts containing SPOILERS should clearly state that a SPOILER exists in its topic/headline and should never state the spoiler itself . "** SPOILER ** Regarding Rory" is OK, for example.  "** SPOILER ** Battle of Zarathustra" is fine as well.  "**SPOILER** Why did everyone die?"  Is NOT good.  

And, above all... 

3) converse, agree, disagree, and question as much as you want - but the freedom to do so is NOT a license to be rude, crass, disrespectful, or uncivilized in any way.  Not remaining courteous and civil, as well as TROLLING or undertaking sensational efforts to ignite controversy, will result in banning.  Lack of courtesy may receive one (1) warning before a ban is instigated.  Obvious Trolling or Spamming will result in summary banning with no warning.  One word posts intended to bump-up any Docback's figures on AICN's "Top Talkbacks" sidebar will be considered actionable Spam - they not only complicate efforts to access Docbacks from mobile devices, but impede readers' abilities to follow or engage in flowing conversation. 
In short, it's easy.  Be excellent to each other.  Now party on...
Readers Talkback
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  • Dec. 2, 2011, 9:26 p.m. CST


    by dj_bollocks

    Christmas day for both

  • Dec. 2, 2011, 9:29 p.m. CST

    7pm BBC 1 Christmas Day...

    by dj_bollocks

    I should have added... There's a filmed Confidential too, but I guess that will end up on the DVD...

  • Dec. 2, 2011, 9:34 p.m. CST

    I'm assuming everyone's either having fun...

    by dj_bollocks

    or in bed... or both... Anyway, remember seeing the movie one summer holiday and being very confused. Having only ever been aware of Tom Baker as the Doctor and going, who's this imposter ? I guess that's what got my curiosity going about other Doctors, that and the 20th Anniversary in 1983.... that there was this rich tapestry to mine, in the days before Home Video, DVD's and Torrents... Hell the BBC didn't even repeat this stuff very often... Anyway, whilst it was nice to see the movie in colour, you can't beat the original... Cushing will always be the George Lazemby of Doctor Who's...

  • Still need to watch DR. WHO AND THE DALEKS first though.

  • Dec. 2, 2011, 11:35 p.m. CST

    Check out the 2150 AD Trailer

    by Aquatarkusman

    Where the narrator says "2150 AD" like 10 times. Also hilarious to see a young, mustache-less Bernard Crimmins, who I mostly remember from the officious Asperger's sufferer who makes Basil Fawlty's life a living hell (when Fawlty thought he was a hotel inspector or something).

  • Dec. 3, 2011, 3:57 a.m. CST

    If memory serves me right -- Peter Cushing

    by HornOrSilk

    Was very sick when filming Dalek's Invasion of Earth. He said in an interview he hardly remembered much of the filming he was that drugged up. So for that alone, I thought he did a great job. And I still think a surprise regeneration from his Doctor to a new one would be the best way to do a 3rd Dalek movie, with Power of the Daleks.

  • Dec. 3, 2011, 3:58 a.m. CST

    And if you have not seen it

    by HornOrSilk

    This is an excellent fan-made trailer for a "third" Dalek film:

  • Dec. 3, 2011, 4:05 a.m. CST

    The ending of Dalek Invasion of Earth

    by HornOrSilk

    Is classic, and there many levels to it. Many, many levels. Did the Doctor force this marriage (was he doing some sort of eugenic engineering? Susan showed similar interest to other guys before, why did the Doctor choose this one?) What was Susan really doing for the Doctor? Was she keeping him down and he knew it? Did he literally kick her out, not because his life was dangerous and she needed her own, but he needed his own? What was David's thoughts about all of this, too? We get a sense he wanted Susan to be with him, to stay, but could there be more to as why -- "she knows advanced technology, she can help us rebuild"? But - yes, the speech is classic. And I am glad Big Finish finally had the 8th Doctor return to Susan... though the ending of that return is as tragic as they come.

  • Dec. 3, 2011, 4:06 a.m. CST

    Dalek Invasion of Earth also is what

    by HornOrSilk

    Confirms the Dalek supremacy in Doctor Who.

  • Dec. 3, 2011, 4:08 a.m. CST

    David Yates and Steven Moffat continue to contradict each other. Smokescreen?

    by SiouxCitySarsaparilla

    Some of the quotes in this article suggest Moffat believes if there's ever a film he ought to be first in line to produce it. He dismisses Yates as having made some off the cuff remarks on a red carpet, and yet here is Yates being interviewed by the Los Angeles Times in his own house: Yates does have extensive history in television, indeed he originated State of Play at the BBC. Could he be their preferred show-runner after 2013 and somehow talk of a film developed? There could be ways around the issue of the television license, for instance BBC has a number of co-productions ongoing with HBO, and does have its own film-making arm. The Steve Kloves rumour is interesting, I've still not watched a single Harry Potter film and don't plan to, but his work on Wonder Boys was exceptional, and I believe he could handle the tone quite well. He's more noted for adapting other people's stories, however. Which does invite the question, what exactly does J K Rowling plan to do next. How closely was she involved in those films?

  • So I think the Moff is right.

  • Dec. 3, 2011, 5:16 a.m. CST

    This one...

    by Kevin Bolinger

    at least the regular shows version, not the Cushing stuff, I have seen some of, but sadly havent finished it is on my to do list lol.

  • Dec. 3, 2011, 5:18 a.m. CST

    For everyone, especially gotilk :P

    by Kevin Bolinger

    Yet again, I play the Doctor, tormenting the host of The Breaux Show, check out my cheesey acting :)

  • Dec. 3, 2011, 7:22 a.m. CST

    DALEK INVASION OF EARTH is pretty good

    by I am not a number

    One of the better early Dalek stories, though there is A LOT of padding, and the Dalek plan for earth is rather bizarre. Sadly, the most indelible image from this story for me is that damn pie-plate space ship, which is pretty weak even by 1960s tv standards.

  • Dec. 3, 2011, 7:45 a.m. CST

    i_am_not_a_number re: pie plate in space

    by Merrick

    The DVD for this story features an option for reworked effects. Those pie plates are replaced with the more familiar Dalek saucers via CGI - said CGI is rather well blended with the original material. And, I agree, the original saucers are almost inexcusably shoddy - especially given that so many other technical areas showed improvement in this story.

  • Dec. 3, 2011, 9:31 a.m. CST

    Congratulations Paul H

    by HornOrSilk


  • Now my Leela collection shall be complete, plus I'll have almost a complete run from 'hand of evil' all the way through Caves of Androzani, just missing a few Tom Baker stories from the 'Romana 2' era that have not yet been released.

  • Dec. 3, 2011, 10 a.m. CST

    I wasn't a big fan of dalek invasion of earth

    by Rebel Scumb

    I watched it all, but found it tedious at times. But I will say at least it was ambitious for that era, lots of location work, big set pieces and action. But I do consider the original 'daleks' storyline still one of my favorite Who stories overall.

  • Dec. 3, 2011, 10:21 a.m. CST

    Still with old Who one must remember

    by HornOrSilk

    You watched 22 mins a week.

  • Dec. 3, 2011, 11:58 a.m. CST


    by Merrick

    ** You watched 22 mins a week. ** I don't buy into this argument/defense, although many people make it. For example: a saggy 20 minute section is a saggy 20 minute section, whether you're watching it all at once - or in individual episodes. This is an issue of how these stories play *as a whole* - how they were being told to begin with. Not how we're watching them now. Whether it's a "boring" mid-section (as we might say now) or a "few boring parts in an otherwise good story" (as we might've said then), the result is identical and the distinction irrelevant. A forty minute stretch in which nothing happens is just that, no matter how one cuts it.

  • Dec. 3, 2011, 12:06 p.m. CST

    dj bollocks, actually, Cushing isn't the George Lazenby of Who

    by DoctorTom

    Paul McGann would be the George Lazenby. Peter Cushing would actually be the David Niven of Doctor Who - playing the character by the same name in a film that doesn't relate to the main series.

  • Dec. 3, 2011, 12:06 p.m. CST

    hornorsilk P.S.

    by Merrick

    Also, keep in mind, the "whole" of a tale back then was an amalgam of individual episodes which tied together into a complete piece. Identifying a particularly weak "part" or "section" within these story arcs is no different than audiences picking on the comparatively "stand alone" episodes we get now. Which is also a part of a whole, but we're merely considering the whole's individual elements before assessing its entirety. The same holds true for evaluating the Classic WHO stories. Particular elements can be weak while the whole can hold together quite well.

  • Dec. 3, 2011, 12:08 p.m. CST

    "Ray Brooks - the boy with a knack"

    by DoctorTom

    for some reason that bit in the trailer amuses me - he gets a descriptor after his name while the two female companions of Dr. Who actually don't.

  • Dec. 3, 2011, 12:12 p.m. CST

    Merrick -- about episodic stories

    by HornOrSilk

    Yes, the whole story connects with the episodes, but they are made so you can somewhat catch up. So if you miss a week, you don't miss as much -- and you can figure out what you missed while something moves forward. There is also an element of how sped up everything is in the world today compared to them. If you want interesting philosophical reading, Virilio is a good source-- the question of speed relates quite a bit to this.

  • Dec. 3, 2011, 12:13 p.m. CST


    by Ian

    Spot on, I've been playing catch up with the good doctor as well, and must say that I agree 100%

  • Dec. 3, 2011, 12:13 p.m. CST

    "Exterminate the Beatles!"

    by DoctorTom

    Thanks, hornorsilk! I'd pay to see that movie now if it had been made like that, especially with Christopher Lee as Dracula.

  • Dec. 3, 2011, 12:18 p.m. CST

    doctortom -- it is a great "trailer" isn't it?

    by HornOrSilk

    I've always wanted Christopher Lee to do Power of the Daleks, myself. But I know he won't. Apparently Doctor Who is one show he dislikes!

  • Dec. 3, 2011, 12:26 p.m. CST


    by Merrick

    I appreciate your perspective, but it feels like an overcomplication of the matter...or making excuses. There are MANY tales in TV and film - which existed long before DOCTOR WHO - that in no way share these issues. Which points towards there being a fundamental consideration of story conveyance more than generational/cultural issues of perspective. If notions of time/speed held that much water, my teenage son's high school film class would likely find watching films from the 30s, 40s, and 50s unappealing and challenging. Instead, they're generally finding the films they're watching superior to many of today's offerings. It's storytelling - for better or worse, pure and simple. No other qualifications needed - whether we're talking about Beowulf around a campfire, or the DOCTOR WHO Christmas Special.

  • Dec. 3, 2011, 12:29 p.m. CST

    Merrick -- think about novels and writing styles

    by HornOrSilk

    Things have changed a great deal; 19th century writing to many seem long-winded. The way people thought of good writing then vs now differs a great deal. Many great works of literature are now seen as "slow and dull" and excessively interested in things which are not "to the point." Are they no longer good?

  • Dec. 3, 2011, 12:33 p.m. CST

    The Boy Got The Knack

    by Perigee

    Amusingly, the Invasion trailer video cuts well with "My Sherona" as a soundtrack. Yes - Very bored this afternoon. ...But the little girl looks like Oliver Twist from "Oliver!" with dyed hair.

  • Dec. 3, 2011, 12:41 p.m. CST


    by Merrick

    And there are still plenty of older works which don't come across that way at all. I found a few of the Tennant episodes dull and/or lackluster. I didn't like "Curse of the Black Spot" very much and felt "The Rebel Flesh" struggled. Those were all presented within the last few years. What was their excuse? If you say writing or direction, then you're pretty much undercutting your own argument.

  • Dec. 3, 2011, 12:46 p.m. CST

    hornorsilk:King, Asimov and Farmer

    by Perigee

    You don't need to go too far into the past to find windy writers; Hell, just trying to plod through Stephen Donaldson's Thomas Covenant books is akin to sitting through Wagner's Ring Cycle. They were when they were released - they didn't grow to feel that way. They are a different styles of writing; if you're looking for whiz-bang, you go for something else - Leslie Charteris began "The Saint" novels in 1928 - or earlier, of course, Doyle's "Sherlock Holmes" stories in the 1880s on. None of those could be considered long-winded. It's just a question of narrative style.

  • Curse of the Black Spot had some gaping plot holes (starting about the time they arrived on the spaceship) - that would be different from the slow pace he's talking about. I actually agree with both of you. It was slower paced before, mainly because it seemed that the BBC hadn't gone much beyond treating drama as plays on television, and have a lot of the things written more like plays than actual television. Scenes were shot in order with rare film inserts. That's why you don't have the more rapid cuts that came later. You end up with longer scenes that could be plodding.The plodding scenes in the 60's got replaced by gratuitous extended chase scenes with Jon Pertwee. (Of course, this was the time that it seemed like everyone liked to have the chase scenes in their stories - not just in Doctor Who but in other tv shows and movies - how many chase scenes did we have in Starsky and Hutch? ) Eventually, people decided that stories might be faster paced if any bits of chase scenes were necessary to the story and weren't gratuitously padded. But, you are right in that if the episode is plodding, you shouldn't just dismiss it as how it is written. The job of the people making the show is to try to make the show entertaining, and having plodding episodes doesn't do that. Everything there is supposed to be in service to the story, not have the story in service to it.

  • Dec. 3, 2011, 1:19 p.m. CST


    by Merrick

    ***Curse of the Black Spot had some gaping plot holes (starting about the time they arrived on the spaceship) - that would be different from the slow pace he's talking about.*** I disagree. The "slow pace" comes from not filling available story with enough material to keep that section of story vibrant (YES, there were a large number of practical and political reasons this may've been the case, but it doesn't change the fundamental truth of the matter). That's a conceptual/writing issue - just like the "plot holes" in "Black Spot" were conceptual/writing issues. If every early WHO felt the same and was ailed by the same shortcomings, I'd be much more willing to buy into the theories/arguments and time is impacting perception, etc. But many early episodes still work quite well...and many installments within the same overall story work nicely *around* the trouble spots. Therefore, we know that the fundamental issue isn't the show itself, or the time period from which it came, but whatever's actually happening in those questionable stretches. I.e. story. I do *completely* understand what y'all are saying, but I truly feel as if it's an effort to dance around unavoidable conclusions. With the utmost humility, most open mind possible, and the warmest respect, I'll continue to disagree...

  • Dec. 3, 2011, 1:26 p.m. CST


    by HornOrSilk

    Context changes things. One of the things you will find is that in the 60s, they didn't feel these stories "plodded" as we do now. This alone is an indication of changes which have gone on. What constitutes what one can or cannot do with a story, or how one films it, changes in time and context. Thus, the problem of bad writing is also contextual to the style of the time.

  • Dec. 3, 2011, 1:30 p.m. CST


    by Merrick

    I agree that context changes things. But I know people who watched these when they first aired and found some of the same issues back then. Hence, THIS isn't about context as far as I'm concerned - although I accept that context can sometimes evolve (or devolve) our perceptions of storytelling.

  • Dec. 3, 2011, 2:34 p.m. CST

    About that McGann interview.

    by notspock2

    It's got me convinced that he'd make a better Doctor now that he did back in the day... he seems Doctoral. But then I still want Brandon Routh in "The Man of Steel" so what do I know?

  • Dec. 3, 2011, 4:18 p.m. CST

    The Christmas Special

    by donkey_lasher

    I can't say that I'm looking forward to this. I hope there are no flying sharks.

  • Dec. 3, 2011, 4:25 p.m. CST

    "the Doctor" not "The Doctor"

    by Gislef_crow

    It may be the definite article (so to speak), but the BBC novels and website all use "the Doctor." i.e., "Catch up with the Doctor on BBC iPlayer" "Examining the floor, the Doctor realises that there was once a third." And so on...

  • Dec. 3, 2011, 5:19 p.m. CST

    ALL (particularly doctortom hornorsilk)

    by Merrick

    Hoping my earlier posts re: time and pacing didn't come across as uppity or abrasive. 'Twas genuinely not intended if so - I was merely attempting to express nebulous thoughts concisely, which may've ended up sounding curt. If this was the case, please infer no negative tone whatsoever from my messages to you - as none was intended. You guys are great and I love having these type of THANK YOU all!

  • Dec. 3, 2011, 5:27 p.m. CST


    by Merrick

    Meant to post this in the last Docback, but time got away. If you're able to read this message, please know that our very best wishes are with you & that we look forward to your return!

  • Dec. 3, 2011, 5:53 p.m. CST

    I've been rewatching series 6 on blu-ray

    by Rebel Scumb

    I'm now pretty certain that I think the Flesh 2 parter is by far the high light of this season. Though I liked all the episodes, and loved quite a few, this 2 parter to me feels the most like Doctor Who at its best. It's also the only episodes this season I don't feel had pacing issues. I'm up to Night Terrors now though so still have a few to go. But I find with a lot of the episodes this past year that the set ups are so complex that by the time the episode feels like it should be around the middle, its actually the ending and suddenly has to wrap up very abruptly. I think Night Terrors, God Complex, the doctor's wife and the Girl Who Waited are the prime candidates. I thought Closing Time and the Gangers 2 parter managed to avoid this and felt like full episodes. Curse of the black spot wraps up fine, it just doesn't have really enough meat overall as others have mentioned. Not to say that any of the episodes are bad, they're all pretty good actually, but I just wish Moffat would get away from the more manic pacing the recent episodes have had. Or for episodes like the God Complex or the girl who waited that have really complicated premises, to save thoe for 2 parters.

  • Dec. 3, 2011, 6:02 p.m. CST

    Merrick -- not at all

    by HornOrSilk

    Different views from different perspectives. It's indeed part of the point of discussions!

  • Dec. 3, 2011, 6:04 p.m. CST

    There is more going on at Demon's Run than meets the eye

    by HornOrSilk

    And there is more with the Silence, really. Where do they come from? Somehow, I think River creates them -- and this comes back to how they honor Amy. They act like she made the Silence. But at Demon's Run, what do we see? The answer to the Doctor. The question, the answer. The answer was given, the Doctor's lowest point made when River has to rub him with all he is becoming. That is what the Silence is all about.

  • Dec. 3, 2011, 6:05 p.m. CST

    Going on with that

    by HornOrSilk

    River and the Doctor really are yin-yang, opposites which attract -- but nonetheless, opposites in many ways. River is necessary to balance out the Doctor in the universe.

  • Dec. 3, 2011, 6:38 p.m. CST

    Re: Opposites

    by Noel

    Hornorsilk, whilst I like the way you reason, the Master was intended as the opposite of the Doctor, but I suppose the idea of a female amoral Time Lady works equally well. I would still prefer to have Romana back, though, if we're going to have that type of character, even though she wasn't so handy with a gun.

  • Dec. 3, 2011, 7:02 p.m. CST

    sleekloon Yes and no

    by HornOrSilk

    The Master is a different kind of opposite...

  • Dec. 3, 2011, 8:54 p.m. CST

    Hello everyone.

    by gotilk

    Back for a moment to say hi. Things are looking up, but I'm occupied. Be well.

  • Dec. 3, 2011, 10:17 p.m. CST

    That's my time.

    by gotilk

    Have a fantastic weekend all. And please.... I think my depressed psyche needs a new Whotininnies. I swear nothing much makes me literally laugh out loud like you guys do.

  • Dec. 3, 2011, 10:28 p.m. CST

    Oh and merrick

    by gotilk

    Just wanted to say thanks for the message. Things are better, looking up. Still packing my things and planning on sudden changes, but I remain optimistic. Thanks as always.

  • Dec. 4, 2011, 4:10 a.m. CST

    Boy with the Knack

    by ComicGuru

    Hello Guys, I've been lurking on here for a while and not posting which I usually do but you know what its like. LOL. However I do know why that chap is called the boy with The Knack. He was in a band called The Knack which was getting some fame at the time and he was considered a draw in Britain. My belief in why the vastly superior second movie didn't do so well is that the first was very slow and this left a bad taste in the mouth of cinema goers. Still the movie did well enough for Milton Subotsky to go for a third film several times even though the finance just couldn't be raised. He was the writer producer on Lawnmower Man I believe. Ciao for now.

  • Dec. 4, 2011, 6:18 a.m. CST

    Ray Brooks

    by stv

    Played Tolen in 1965's "The Knack...and How to get it" directed by Dick Lester. It won the Palm D'Or at Canne that year. Daleks Invasion Earth 2150 came out in 1966

  • Dec. 4, 2011, 6:24 a.m. CST

    The UK band "The Knack"

    by stv

    came after the fact... "The Knack were originally called the Londoners, and in 1964, were backing rocker Gene Vincent. Topper Clay began his musical career in a skiffle group at school. Brian Morris had been a member of Earl Preston and the Realms. The change of name occurred on the boys' return to London from a six-month residency at the famous Star Club in Hamburg. Presumably the name came from Dick Lester's 1965 'Swingin' London' film, The Knack... And How to Get It." Brooks was never a member

  • Dec. 4, 2011, 7:02 a.m. CST



    A while back Moffatt stated that he was giving the Daleks a rest as they had been defeated bt the Doc '400' times. I find it hard to believe someone as talented as the Moff really doesn't have the imagination to do something great with the Daleks. For me, a story similar to Invasion 2150 AD, where the Daleks lay waste to a planet (possibly a period piece set on Earth)-an evil, relentless force (space nazis if you will) where 'Exterminate' actually goes back to meaning something! To see the Doctor dealing with a civilization decimated at the hands of the daleks, and the consequences of such, would be a great story in the right hands. And yes, Davros must come back!!!

  • Dec. 4, 2011, 10:43 a.m. CST

    gotilk -- glad to hear things are better

    by HornOrSilk

    Just keep pushing on and come back when you can; you are among friends!

  • Dec. 4, 2011, 10:44 a.m. CST

    siskokid -- Daleks

    by HornOrSilk

    We did see Daleks last year, with a really cool scene, but in general, I think the Moff wants them to have a rest and then bring them back full stream with a killer story in the 50th anniversary. I hope I am right with that. And yes, a story taking place in the middle of a Dalek Empire, when the Doctor knows he can't topple it, would be wonderful.

  • Dec. 4, 2011, 11:35 a.m. CST

    The Tardis is displaying a new feature in that picture above

    by Mister Vertue

    Air-conditioning mode. "It's a bit warm in here Susan, can you crack a few windows open please?"

  • Dec. 4, 2011, 11:36 a.m. CST

    Ray Brooks

    by Mister Vertue

    Let us not forget, he was also the voice of Mr Benn, which we all know was the precursor to Quantum Leap. Obviously.

  • Dec. 4, 2011, 12:49 p.m. CST

    lord deeley was a producer on that film...

    by emeraldboy

    the knack and how to swing it. starred Micheal Crawford amongst others...

  • Dec. 4, 2011, 5:07 p.m. CST

    MOV -- didn't Amy ask about windows?

    by HornOrSilk

    I don't think it is a new feature, but an old one lost during the Time War.

  • Dec. 4, 2011, 5:57 p.m. CST

    So, "The God Complex"

    by Kevin Bolinger

    We have all wondered what the Doctor saw when he opened room 11, here is my answer, :P Enjoy, and get a good laugh from it, I did :)


  • Dec. 4, 2011, 6:29 p.m. CST

    LOL @ hornorsilk

    by Kevin Bolinger

    That guy was nuts, makes our discussions in here seem tame....but I still think mine is better for the sheer simple stupidity of it :P

  • Dec. 4, 2011, 6:34 p.m. CST

    Darthdevious but come on

    by HornOrSilk

    When the Doctor learns who Susan's father is, that has got to hurt!

  • Dec. 4, 2011, 6:35 p.m. CST


    by Kevin Bolinger

    Yes,which make the putting of the Do Not Disturb sign on the door make oh so much more makes it that much more creepy, thinking of what he just walked in on, hence the sign :P

  • Dec. 4, 2011, 10:05 p.m. CST

    hornorsilk - if the windows were an old feature

    by DoctorTom

    Tom Baker's Doctor probably would have opened them as well as the door when he was trying to flush the Master out of the TARDIS by sucking in all of the Thames River.

  • Dec. 5, 2011, 12:29 a.m. CST

    If the TARDIS had windows.

    by gotilk

    It would crash. Couldn't resist.

  • Dec. 5, 2011, 3:08 a.m. CST


    by HornOrSilk

    Since the window is on the door, opening the door would take care of the window..

  • Dec. 5, 2011, 3:09 a.m. CST


    by HornOrSilk

    You have now explained the problem with the chameleon circuit ;)

  • Dec. 5, 2011, 3:16 a.m. CST

    Gotlik and Hornorsilk

    by Kevin Bolinger

    The Doctor, looking at the monitor screen, that is showing just a blue screen with a crash report. "Bloody Windows! Remind me to back to the early 1980's and smack Bill Gates!"

  • Dec. 5, 2011, 4:06 a.m. CST

    This whole "the boy with The Knack" thing...

    by disgustingduo

    was a reference to the popular film The Knack ...And How To Get It, which was released the previous year to Daleks Invasion Earth 2150AD and starred Ray Brooks alongside Michael Crawford. The reference to it in this trailer was just a way of cashing in on the popularity of Brooks' previous film.

  • Dec. 5, 2011, 7:15 a.m. CST

    doctortom... By that logic...

    by dj_bollocks

    You could say Sean Connery re Never Say Never Again... but we're just being pedantic now ! Never liked OHMSS apart from Diana Rigg... Believe it or not Niven's Casino Royale is great when you're pissed ! Or had too much Toblerone !

  • Dec. 5, 2011, 9:25 a.m. CST

    okay, horn

    by DoctorTom

    I thought you were making a reference back to the picture above, which showed the side windows on the police box open at top.

  • Dec. 5, 2011, 9:35 a.m. CST

    dj_bollocks, you can't really say that

    by DoctorTom

    since Sean Connery WAS James Bond in the regular series. Cushing was never the Doctor in the TV series. That would make the the David Niven bond reference more appropriate. If you want to be pedantic, you could stretch to say Barry Nelson, using the 50's television adaptation as a reference. Of course, they referred to him as Jimmy Bond, and the only Jimmy Bond really worth considering is Woody Allen. I agree about the 60s Casino Royale. You have to like the idea of a bomb that kills all men taller than 4 foot 6 inches and makes all women beautiful; if it hadn't been done there I'm sure we would have seen the bomb show up either in a Troughton episode or during the season Douglas Adams was script editing. The song by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass is also fun. I think if Doctor Who does a 60s episode again that's more of a romp, they need to try to get the Herb Alpert sound for at least one scene.

  • Dec. 5, 2011, 9:41 a.m. CST

    Yates running for President of the United States

    by lynxpro

    Yates says Obama has revitalized the Office of the President of the United States but he himself has his own plan on how to run things properly and it takes his grand vision to take the Office to the next level...

  • Any fan who believes Russell T Davies revitalized "Doctor Who" with his own original take on the property really should go on YouTube and look up Sylvester McCoy's "Bidding Ado" video which he created with his camcorder on his way to and fro the set of the 1996 TV Movie which was filming in Vancouver. Sylvester interviews Paul McGann [they are buddies, after all] from his trailer on set and Paul discusses how he'd like to portray The Doctor if the TV Movie went to series. Notice Paul's hair cut, it is a buzz cut and Paul thought it would be cool to update the character [Phil Segal - the producer - panicked and had Paul fitted with a wig he wore in the film]. Paul mentions wearing contemporary clothing. And Paul discusses The Doctor's tragic and dark side that he'd like to explore. Yes, ladies and gentleman, Paul McGann invented the characterization of the future 9th Doctor a good 9 years before it hit the screen. So from my view, he got screwed over even more so than most fans believe. And as for the "last of the Time Lords" schtict (sic), if you read "The Nth Doctor" book which chronicled all the failed attempts to bring back Who to tv or to the cinemas prior to the 1996 TV Movie, you'll notice that several unproduced screenplays from that era made The Doctor the last survivor of his people following the destruction of Gallifrey. And it would be completely out of character for RTD not to have ever seen the video mentioned above or to have not read those other screenplays. I should mention that I have no idea if McCoy is still selling those videos but he used to market them on VHS. He may not even be aware the clips are up on YouTube [possibly illegally]. I bring this up since Merrick posted the video clip above of McGann joking [or is he?] about how RTD never bothered to call him up during his time producing the show...

  • If The Doctor isn't half human, how come he was so up for pushing Susan into the arms of a human male? That just doesn't jive at all. Sure, there's that "idea" that Susan isn't really a blood relative of The Doctor's but that also doesn't jive with the intent of Sydney Newman or Verity Lambert once it was decided by them that having a teenage girl travel with an old alien man would be creepy so they intended Susan to literally be The Doctor's granddaughter from then on... So there you have it. Susan, a Gallifreyan/Time Lady is coaxed into an inter-species relationship by her Time Lord grandfather who later vehemently denies being any part human at all during his 4th, 9th, and 10th incarnations while suspiciously lobbying against inter-species relationships [due to the pain involved, sounding as if from experience] by the 7th Doctor in "Delta and the Bannermen" and then out of the clear blue claiming his mother was human by the 8th Doctor... That's a lot of pathos there...

  • Dec. 5, 2011, 10:25 a.m. CST

    Lynxpro - Susan with a human

    by DoctorTom

    You say the idea of Susan not being a blood relative of the Doctor doesn't jive with the intent of Sydney Newman or Verity Lambert, but that overlooks the fact that their intent wasn't necessarily to make the Doctor an Alien. The Time Lords weren't introduced until the last 2 episodes for Troughton, and even regeneration wasn't thought of under Newman and Lambert (and even that was suggested initially that it might be the TARDIS). The initial pilot was reshot with some small changes. One change was the elimination from the pilot of the Doctor saying he was from the 49th century. So, Newman and Lambert's original intentions were more probably that the Doctor was a human time traveler than for him to be non-human.

  • Dec. 5, 2011, 10:52 a.m. CST

    Zai Bennett is a Grinch and should be exterminated

    by DoctorTom

    He's the BBC3 Controller. His statement on Points of View about reports of a completed Doctor Who Confidential for Christmas but not being shown: *That's absolute nonsense, there is no finished programme sitting on a shelf. That show, however, was made for lots of different people, so for DVD and for BBC Worldwide, and there was some footage, which was about ten minutes, which will end up going online - but there's definitely not a finished show.* He manages to bloviate and distract from the fact that there was all this filming was completed, and glosses over the fact that they could have a finished Confidential for Christmas (even if it isn't sitting on the shelf right now). What a tool. A question for British viewers - what does BBC3 actually show other than Doctor Who Confidential? I'm not sure which channel QI, Mock the Week and Would I Lie to You appear on. I'm wondering if the BBC could solve its budget problems just by cutting BBC 3 and making sure Zai Bennett doesn't work for them any more.

  • Dec. 5, 2011, 11:21 a.m. CST


    by ByTor

    I'm still a bit sad that Confidential is going away, but it did kind of feel like it was running out of steam. You can only spend so much time talking about woofers and sugar glass before it becomes repetitive, and the one where they sent Karen to drive a car and Arthur to swim with sharks was a complete waste of time. P.S. Hey guys, I'm back. Was on vacation for a while there. P.P.S. Hey Gotilk, not sure what you're going through, but I hope everything is OK.

  • Dec. 5, 2011, 11:59 a.m. CST

    I actually kind of liked seeing Karen driving

    by gotilk

    a race car, it was adorable. And the sharks thing was cool. Just my opinion. RIP Confidential. Oh and I HATE hate hate Mock the Week and Would I Lie, but LOVE QI (especially the xl version). That latest with ASIMO was fun.

  • Dec. 5, 2011, noon CST

    Doctortom - wait

    by HornOrSilk

    While the idea of the Time Lords came later, the very first episode shows the Doctor is not from our time or space. So he is meant to be an alien from the get go - but so is Susan.

  • Dec. 5, 2011, 12:08 p.m. CST

    Original Intent: Alien?

    by ByTor

    Hornorsilk: it certainly gives that impression, as Susan says they are from ''another time, another world.'' But it's (intentionally?) vague. Another world doesn't necessarily mean alien (though it's easy to infer).

  • Dec. 5, 2011, 12:25 p.m. CST

    Agreed, bytor

    by DoctorTom

    We don't know if they were meant to be truly alien, or just humans from another world in the future. If Ian and Barbara had met Captain Jack instead of the Doctor, they might have found him equally alien. They'd have found Rose Tyler almost as strange as Susan.

  • Dec. 5, 2011, 12:29 p.m. CST


    by ByTor

    That's a very good point. Even if they'd've kept the 49th century bit, they could still be human...or not. On a tangent, I've just started watching the other series Terry Nation is remembered for: Blake's 7. Holy crap is this series terrific! Wish I'd've given this show a chance years ago.

  • Dec. 5, 2011, 12:36 p.m. CST

    You are reading too much into it

    by HornOrSilk

    It was meant to be alien.

  • Dec. 5, 2011, 1 p.m. CST


    by Sprout

    I went to a signing event around 2007 and in a talk Paul McGann said he'd had an e-mail from RTD explaining why he was going with a new Doctor. I agree McGann's musing on video back in '96 seem to be the basis of the 9th Doctor and the Doctor and companion having some sexual chemistry were part of more than one script described in the Nth Doctor book.

  • Dec. 5, 2011, 2:34 p.m. CST


    by ByTor

    I know it was meant to be alien. Just commenting on the ambiguity.

  • Dec. 5, 2011, 5:32 p.m. CST

    MacGyver survived The Daleks!

    by wtriker1701

    Watch "The Human Factor"!

  • Dec. 5, 2011, 6:49 p.m. CST


    by HornOrSilk

    True, there is a kind of vagueness to it... but I am just pointing out if some think he wasn't supposed to be alien, they missed out! But it does seem he got his second heart later on!

  • Dec. 5, 2011, 8:06 p.m. CST


    by gotilk

    Soon? Sorry for all caps, just consider it a textual boot to the behind to make it happen.

  • Dec. 5, 2011, 9:57 p.m. CST

    No pressure...

    by gotilk

    It's just that the general happiness of all DocBackers is depending on you guys. lol :) Take your time. Just kiddin'.

  • Paul McGann will be in LA in February for the annual Doctor Who convention held there. So will Daphne Ashbrook [Grace] and the actor who played Chang-Lee. It doesn't appear that the producer of the TV Movie, Phil Segal, will be there. Segal is rather busy with producing most of the reality programming on Discovery/History/A&E at the moment [Deadliest Catch, IRT, Storage Wars, etc.]. And Eric Roberts is probably busy with a bunch of projects although he's rather accessible to his fans on Facebook [probably due to his wife]. That would be really cool to have all of the main cast from the TV Movie show up there...the Who that could've been... Barry Weiss from Segal's Storage Wars show is so eccentric [and funny] that I imagine if The Doctor truly existed in real life, Barry would know him personally. It would be hilarious if a future partially-shot-in-America episode started out in a personal storage facility [as opposed to a junk yard like in the original "An Unearthly Child"] with Barry buying an abandoned storage locker only to discover the TARDIS hidden behind a pile of junk. And yes, I'm apparently one of the few fans who thought Roberts was great as The Master. I certainly prefer him to Simm and Ainley... Of all the visual and music cues that were lifted from the TV Movie and used in "The 11th Hour", I was certainly amused at how Prisoner Zero resembled the "morphant" creature The Master had possessed at the beginning of the TV Movie... Out of all of the criticisms I've read over the years, I'm surprised it seems like I'm the only person here and on GallifreyBase who picked up on the similarities between the TV Movie and the failed CBS backdoor pilot from 1995 concerning Sherlock Holmes awaking from suspended animation in San Francisco to fall in love with a female companion and save the City from the evil plans of Moriarty's grandson or how The Master's body hopping using the "morphant" resembled the snake creature from Hell that Jason used to inhabit victims in "Jason Goes to Hell" from 1993. I admit it, I paid to see that in the theatres back then...

  • Dec. 6, 2011, 12:14 a.m. CST


    by lynxpro

    From what I remember seeing from the surviving episodes from Hartnell's era [yes, my local PBS station did show them all circa 1988] was that The Doctor and Susan were alien/not quite human, from a different world, and from a different time. I just think a lot of fans - including RTD - got worked up into a tizzy over the half-human reveal and became rather irrational in hatred for it even though it does jive with what has been shown [albeit through inference] throughout the Classic Series although the Fox TV executives who made the decision probably were oblivious to this as well. I certainly thought it so after the first time I watched "Delta and the Bannermen" and I was like "ah ha!" The Doctor is half human and he's hidden it all this time and that's why he told the bunch not to get involved in inter-species relationship because of the pain involved heaped onto the offspring and he's speaking from experience! Not to mention believing that was the secret that that time traveling witch was hinting at that she knew about The 7th Doctor in one of those episodes... And yes, I know The Time Lords weren't revealed until "The War Games" not to mention The Doctor having a second heart and a body temperature of 70F being revealed until the hospital scenes in "Spearhead from Space". Hell, did The Time Lords even use the word "regeneration" in "The War Games" when they forced it upon the 2nd Doctor at the end of the story? I could swear that word wasn't used until Jon Pertwee was in the role. Oh, and in my opinion, "Spearhead from Space" is better than its remake known as "Rose".

  • Dec. 6, 2011, 12:57 a.m. CST


    by Kevin Bolinger

    Hey man, I know things were rough on you there for a while, and I am sorry. However, to cheer you up, did you see the two links I posted in the DB? One is the newest Breaux Show ep, and the other was something silly I threw together for a cheap laugh, from The God Complex...might be worth a chuckle on your end :) Be well, my friend

  • Dec. 6, 2011, 1:54 a.m. CST


    by gotilk

    Yes I did see them and thanks! My fave of course was the God Complex bit... VERY funny. I'm not convinced though.... I'm sure his real fear is to regenerate into one of the Harry Potter actors. hahaha! Thanks tons for cheering me up. And the Breaux Show never fails. You can't watch that and not smile.

  • Dec. 6, 2011, 1:56 a.m. CST


    by gotilk

    And I do watch all your reviews. Keep it up! Great stuff. Looked like you got a few new subscribers recently. Nice!

  • Dec. 6, 2011, 2:02 a.m. CST

    One last link for ya, Darthdevious.

    by gotilk

    Inspector Spacetime for Chicago TARDIS: I think he may be trying to copy your Doctor. lol .. If you're familiar with Community, it's a character from a fictional TV show Abed is obsessed with. A fictional TV show with some remarkable similarities to a show we all know and love.

  • Dec. 6, 2011, 2:06 a.m. CST

    Inspector Spacetime opening credits

    by gotilk

    Had to share this, very funny: Too bad it looks like Community will not get another season. :(

  • Dec. 6, 2011, 2:08 a.m. CST

    Goodnight DocBack

    by gotilk

    and thanks for all the kind words. Feels good. Be well.

  • Dec. 6, 2011, 6:11 a.m. CST


    by Kevin Bolinger

    LOL That was funny, blowfish incident :P Thanks for watching my stuff. Alot of those I talk to about it cannot believe I have only been at it for just under 2 months. Who knows, maybe I was born to do comedy reviews and bad Doctor impersonations lol

  • Dec. 6, 2011, 6:48 a.m. CST


    by gotilk

    I cannot believe I'm awake again already. Harumph! Insomnia and stress.... But anyway... what I like best about your videos is that you just go for it. Confidence makes all the difference. Your Doctor impression doesn't come off as bad because it's unapologetic.. you just go for it. And the reviews are fun to watch because you can tell you enjoy what you're doing. I've been threatening to dive into YouTube for years now. But every time I make videos I always feel like I'm not just relaxing and letting go. Which is odd because I can do pretty much anything in front of an audience, no nerves. But these last few attempts have been better. I'll be doing stuff waaaay far away from things like toy reviews, or even TV or film reviews. But I know that stuff will sneak into it because of my specific loves for certain productions/products. I'm subscribed to you via indiesixtynine. But watch for my new account... I'll say hi when I sub.

  • Dec. 6, 2011, 6:50 a.m. CST

    Where did everyone go?

    by gotilk

    This isn't the Darthdevious/Gotilk show!! And where's our Whotininnies!!??

  • Dec. 6, 2011, 7:48 a.m. CST

    I went to bed

    by HornOrSilk

    Then I went out for coffee. That's where I went!

  • Dec. 6, 2011, 7:49 a.m. CST

    Insomnia is bad

    by HornOrSilk

    I often have it, or worse, wake up within a couple hours of sleep and can't get back under and rest more. CFS makes it so.

  • Dec. 6, 2011, 7:50 a.m. CST

    Darthdevious you need to contact JJ Abrams

    by HornOrSilk

    You would work great as Harcourt. Fenton. Mudd. The attitude you have in your videos is just right!

  • Dec. 6, 2011, 8:47 a.m. CST


    by ByTor

    Good morning, Docbackers! Gotilk: sorry to hear about ongoing stress. I really hope everything is OK. You're one of my faves around here. (Isn't it curious how we can form bonds in an AICN talkback? Well, that's the magic of the Docback for you, I suppose.) Lynxpro: the original series never deliberately hinted that he might even be half-human so far as I can recall, though I admit it's been a while since I've sat through Delta and the Bannermen. (I'll do that today.) And it definitely wasn't Fox execs who made that decision; that was Phil all the way. It was showing up in scripts before Fox was invoved; heck, it even showed up in some of the movie projects. I agree that there was something of an irrational backlash to the idea, but in fairness it's also a bit trite. The idea that this was required to explain his fascination with Earth and humans seems forced to me -- and make no mistake, that's exactly why Phil put that in. (This was even in the series Bible he had created.) My personal opinion is that I think RTD handled this better: his fascination with Earth and humans is simply because *he admires humans*. Of course, we're now stuck with a contradiction: the telefilm explicitly has the Doctor being half-human, and the new-era Doctor is explicitly not. We're not going to be able to logic our way out of that; it will remain a contradiction until some on-screen explanation is offered. (And my guess is no such explanation will come anytime soon, though with Moffat you never know...) As for Rose v. Spearhead, I agree that Spearhead is a stronger story. But Rose has a specific purpose: to introduce the Doctor to a new generation of viewers, and to show very clearly what the show is going to be like week after week. (Spearhead had to do this too, but to a much lesser extent.) This is what the telefilm should've done too, and IMO is the telefilm's biggest failing. As for the Eric Roberts Master...I liked him for the most part, but he was given some bad dialog, and once he comes out dressed in the robes, he goes completely off the rails and I can't stand him anymore. The sad thing is, Roberts has played a Master-like character before. If you can, track down a film called ''By the Sword.'' It's not especially easy to find (I think it had some kind of distribution problem), and as a film overall it has some issues, but it is enjoyable, and Roberts is terrific. He plays the master (heh) of a fencing academy. Hell, he's even called the Maestro. He's cold and badass, and it's exactly how I would've wished his Master to act. Instead, we got, ''I always drezzzz...for the occasion.''

  • Dec. 6, 2011, 9:40 a.m. CST

    bytor - Doctor being half human

    by DoctorTom

    Good morning, Docbackers! I doubt that we'll get an explanation on-screen about the Doctor being half human. In fact, RTD went out of his way with DoctorDonna to suggest that this wouldn't work. Of course, we've had River Song now to suggest that this stuff could be possible (or at least people that are half human, half Time Head). After the McGann movie, the best explanation running through fan circles that heard was that he was in fact half human, but only the Eighth Doctor was half human - it was something he picked up with that regeneration. Of course, you had some novels mentioning having Time Lords having forced regenerations in order to develop certain traits for the upcoming war (developing armor and such). The Master certainly seems to pick up different traits with different regenerations - the Eric Roberts version certainly showed different aspects with the mind controlling spit and being able to be a snakey blob. He gets brought back from the dead in The End of time and suddenly has powers to perform anime style leaps and also shoot bolts of energy - it's almost like he regenerated as a video game character instead of as a Time Lord. As for the *I always drezzz...for the occasion* bit, just don't forget that he was in the Doctor's TARDIS at the time, so he stole that costume for the Doctor. Which raises the question of why the Doctor actually had that lying around. Of course, it's possible that it was originally one of Romana's sets of clothing that she left behind, which would mean that the Eric Roberts version of the Master was a cross dresser (the Master certainly didn't care that when he became everyone on Earth, there were many versions of him wearing dresses).

  • Dec. 6, 2011, 10:32 a.m. CST


    by ByTor

    On RTD...yeah, that's actually what I meant. RTD made it clear that the Doctor (at least in this era) is NOT half-human. THAT'S the contradiction; before that, there really wasn't one. So NOW we need the explanation. RTD wouldn't have given one, but Moffat or a future showrunner might. You never know. After all, Moffat dropped a bit into LKH about the TARDIS being in a state of temporal grace, so he likes his little references. I definitely remember the fan explanations (I was a frequent contributor on rec.arts.drwho back in the day), as well as what some of the novels tried to do. As you and I are both aware, fan explanations aren't worth the electronic paper they're printed on :) but it's a fun exercise after all. At this point, absent new information, we can assume that the fan theories are correct: the half-human thing must have been something specific to the 8th Doctor. Or...what about this? Suppose the Doctor *was* always half-human during the classic series. But suppose this was changed during the Time War. After all, the Time Lords clearly developed powers and abilities beyond those we saw before the war. They *resurrected* the Master, complete with the ability to regenerate. Rassilon was going to bring the freaking end of time itself. So...suppose as part of the Time War they made the Doctor a full Time Lord? Given Rassilon's temperament, I could see him thinking the Doctor had to be a full Time Lord to fight in the war. The Doctor may not have even had a choice in the matter. We know the Time Lords have the technology to rewrite biology completely (e.g. the Chameleon Arch), so it wouldn't be difficult to do. Of course, your comments about the Master are applicable too, except those weren't regenerations. The Eric Roberts-snakey thing was (presumably) the life force of the Ainley Master, who wasn't a proper Time Lord himself, plus the cat genes. Exactly why he was able to then survive extermination(*) is beyond me, but the gooey essence then escaped and possessed the driver. The resurrection in End of Time was also ''special'' -- he was clearly brought back through a dodgy process. In typical RTD style there wasn't much detail there, but it was no crazier (IMO) than Snake Master, or Possession Master from Keeper of Traken. As for the robes...I didn't have a problem with the robes themselves (though they were a bit silly); it was the complete change in tone from the Master himself. He went from badass to a guy ready to belt out showtunes.

  • Dec. 6, 2011, 10:53 a.m. CST

    Oh yeah, my asterisk

    by ByTor

    So is anyone else amused at the idea of a Dalek criminal justice system? I mean...what do they need one for? Don't they just exterminate anyone else anyway (unless that person is needed for something)? This nonsense started in Revelation of the Daleks and was perpetuated in the telefilm, and it just makes me laugh every time I think about it. Could you imagine the testimony? The closing arguments? Good god.

  • Dec. 6, 2011, 11:16 a.m. CST

    Christmas Special Prequel is up!

    by sunspot_mike

    http: // dw/videos/p00m7qjb and the BBC site played for me in the US. It never just plays for me in the US. Either way, it looks like a good one! I really enjoyed A Christmas Carol , it had some of the best humor we've had on Doctor Who yet, so I'm looking forward to this one.

  • Dec. 6, 2011, 11:47 a.m. CST

    Well, that was an odd ending...

    by HornOrSilk

    So the Doctor blows up and then finds himself in Narnia?

  • Dec. 6, 2011, 12:18 p.m. CST

    That was an odd ending.

    by gotilk

    Got me extremely excited. And looked fantastic. Great FX shot at the end. Sort of reminded me of the Cygnus design from that old Black Hole film.

  • Dec. 6, 2011, 12:20 p.m. CST

    Good morning and thanks, bytor .

    by gotilk

    I think that might have been during Eric Roberts' *bad period* (pre-rehab?).

  • Dec. 6, 2011, 1:18 p.m. CST


    by ByTor

    Possibly, but I think you also need to look at the script and director, too. It was happening right there in front of them. :) Like I said earlier, try and track down ''By the Sword'' to see what an Eric Roberts Master could've been like. You can watch the trailer at The movie is NOT as cliche as the trailer makes it look, although it has some cliche moments. F. Murray Abraham and Roberts rise well above, and in the trailer you get to see a few glimpses of what I'm talking about with respect to Roberts.

  • Dec. 6, 2011, 1:21 p.m. CST

    Bytor - Law and Order: Skaro

    by DoctorTom

    Given the later Time War and such, the Dalek trial of the Master can be rationalized better. It was probably a show trial set to taunt Gallifrey into trying to take further actions against Skaro, possibly setting some traps for the Doctor or whoever showed up to try to get the Master's remains (they probably just glossed over the bit where the Doctor uses a cunning plan to escape the trap on Skaro). Putting the Master on trial was also probably just an added bonus to them, with the main thing being they secured the Master's TARDIS when they got him. They couldn't destroy a TARDIS during the classic series but they were supposedly killing them left and right during the Time War. The one thing we know about in between is that the Daleks captured the Master. It wouldn't be far fetched to assume that they got his TARDIS and studied it to determine weaknesses and to figure out how to exterminate a TARDIS. Getting to put a former ally (Frontier in Space) who had betrayed them? (Oh yes he did, that message he beamed out at the end of Logopolis would have also gone to Skaro. I don't think the Daleks like the idea of being blackmailed.) That's just pure gravy. Or, as an alternative, the Dalek scientists calculated that if the Doctor picked up the remains, the Master would be resurrected somehow and would end up helping the Time Lords during the Time War, and given how ineffectual the Master usually turns out to be, they may have calculated he would end up being a handicap to the Time Lords in the eventual war. (Rassilon, I have this cunning plan for beating the Daleks. The drums told me how to do it. Now, all I need a block of dwarf star alloy, the spatial compensator for a Type 70 TARDIS, a bottle of white wine, a roll of sticky back tape and a 1:1 paper mache replica of Skaro...)

  • Dec. 6, 2011, 1:25 p.m. CST

    Hmmmm, actually....

    by DoctorTom

    ...if you could get the Terry Nation estate to agree, maybe Moffat could actually do a Law and Order: Skaro sketch for Comic Relief. It would be amusing to see black Daleks wearing white wigs on the screen. *You will pre-sent your ev-i-dence now or be EX-TER-MI-NA-TED!!!*

  • Dec. 6, 2011, 3:11 p.m. CST


    by Kevin Bolinger

    I would LOVE to be Mudd, he was always one of the funnest Star Trek villains, not to mention, the original actor would go on to voice on of the Transformers in season 3 of the original cartoon, which as you can tell, I am a huge transformers fan :P Though I doubt JJ would be interested in me :P

  • Dec. 6, 2011, 3:17 p.m. CST


    by Kevin Bolinger

    I will certainly keep an eye out for you, two eyes in fact, as often as I can spare. Just to let you know, I recently finished filming a special segment for The Breaux Show's Christmas special, one my buddy Mike was not even expecting. This weekend, Mike, some other friends, and I will be getting together for breakfast, followed by some quick filming of a special holiday message from 3 geeks :P I am having fun making my videos, though at times, the production end can be frustrating, but, I am learning to just work through the flubs, and goofs, and fixing them in post production :P LOL

  • Dec. 6, 2011, 3:35 p.m. CST

    darthdevious but

    by HornOrSilk

    You can be a find. A real find!

  • Dec. 6, 2011, 3:43 p.m. CST


    by Kevin Bolinger

    Thank you, I appreciate that. :) However, I have no idea how to get anyone in Hollywood or anywhere else in the TV/Movie industry to even see my silly acting :P

  • Dec. 6, 2011, 9:49 p.m. CST


    by gotilk

    Oh indeed Roberts has the chops to do it right. I just got the impression he had no respect for the material. I'll check that film out, especially if I can find it on netflix.

  • Dec. 6, 2011, 9:49 p.m. CST


    by gotilk

    Nice! Can't wait to see it.

  • Dec. 6, 2011, 10:37 p.m. CST

    Actually Gotlik Eric Roberts said he really enjoyed the Pertwee years

    by sunspot_mike

    I remember interviews with Eric Roberts from the time of the TV Movie saying that he used to watch the Pertwee episodes back in the 70's and how he really enjoyed the shows, which made me think that he really respected the role of The Master. I wrote my college freshman TV class honors paper on Doctor Who the year of the TV Movie and wrote several letters to FOX encouraging it to go to series instead of Sliders. That was back in the day when we all used to post on rec.arts.drwho, which had interesting quotes like this: "Here's a particularly stupid theory. If we take "The Doctor" to be the Doctor's name - even if it is in the form of a title no doubt meaning something deep and Gallifreyan - perhaps our earthly use of the word "doctor" meaning healer or wise man is direct result of the Doctor's multiple interventions in our history as a healer and wise man. In other words, we got it from him. This is a very silly idea and I'm consequently rather proud of it. - Steven Moffat " Hmmm.... when did we see that idea again?

  • Dec. 7, 2011, 1:44 a.m. CST

    The "robe" in the TV Movie

    by lynxpro

    That was obviously a redesigned Time Lord ceremonial robe that belonged to The Doctor and The Master swiped it out of the wardrobe room in the TARDIS. It was highly stylized and it would be totally within character of The Master to wear a Time Lord robe for the occasion that he once again was going to live in a Time Lord body [as opposed to a Trakenite body, a morphant body, or a human body]. I thought the costume was great considering the Time Lord robes from the Classic Series looked like the costuming department at the BBC bought second hand choir garb from the local Methodist church... Shame NuWho went back to them albeit they spent more money on the costumes this time 'round...

  • Dec. 7, 2011, 1:59 a.m. CST

    I used to be on rec.arts.doctorwho

    by lynxpro

    That was very fun back in 95/96. I wish I would've saved some of the replies from Moffat. Personally, I like The Doctor being half human. I just never bought the idea that a guy would stick his neck out so much for humanity if he didn't have a personal stake in it. And it makes perfect sense for The Doctor to hide the facts of his parentage from everyone. After all, if his mother was human and from Earth, that means at any point any of The Doctor's enemies capable of time travel could go back in time and try to assassinate her prior to his birth if they found out. That couldn't happen if it was assumed The Doctor's mother is from Gallifrey since the planet had induction barriers and not even the Time Lords themselves could travel back in time to Gallifrey's past. So to me, it makes sound sense why our favorite character would go out of his way to state for the record that he isn't at all human. I also like the idea that The Doctor ultimately married Grace and then lost her prior to the Time War. It's really lame that NBC Universal have apparently been total buttheads over the fee to use her character in any Doctor Who spin off materials which has led to her only appearing twice now in 15 years since the TV Movie aired. After all, had the TV Movie gone to series, her character would've been back... Hell, Chang-Lee would've probably been back too... I'll save my typing on what I thought of RTD Who for the most part. Let's just say I'm happy that Doctor Who - and not Rose Who - truly returned to our tv screens in 2010. Oh, and Steven Moffat's wife [who is a producer in her own right] is milfy. She's interviewed on some PBS special called "Behind the Britcom".

  • Dec. 7, 2011, 8:48 a.m. CST

    sunspot mike - thanks for the old Moffat quote!

    by DoctorTom

    It's definitely amusing that he had that back then. Of course, to take the theory that one step further, is the Master also responsible for the definition of his name among cultures. If so, how did he manage that since his plans are often rubbish and usually don't pan out?

  • Dec. 7, 2011, 10:42 a.m. CST


    by ByTor

    Surprised to encounter folks who were on during that time! We probably all knew each other. I posted a LOT on radw. I even had an ''Adric'' named after me. :) Can you guess who I am? Hint: I was the one who first got a rough cut copy of the Fox telefilm (prior to air) and then drove everyone else crazy with annoying hints and snarky remarks.

  • Dec. 7, 2011, 10:43 a.m. CST


    by ByTor

    You can find all the old messages from radw on Google Groups -- including, embarrassingly, my reply to Moffat's above-listed theory which I responded to positively. (Embarrassingly because now I dislike the idea. Silly me!)

  • Dec. 7, 2011, 11:51 a.m. CST


    by gotilk

    I just have a quick moment but wanted to say thanks for that bit of info and history. Fascinating and appreciated! Considering Roberts' interest in those Pertwee years and his current state, an interview with him at this point could be fun and interesting. And the Moffat quote was fantastic as well. Thanks.

  • Dec. 7, 2011, 7:28 p.m. CST


    by gotilk

    That's for you. You know who you are.

  • Dec. 8, 2011, 3:39 a.m. CST


    by gotilk

    .... whotininnies?

  • Dec. 8, 2011, 7:48 a.m. CST

    sunspot mike

    by Kevin Bolinger

    Love the Moffat quote...goes to show you, even back then, he had great ideas for the show. I am glad the man got the chance to use that idea, because, it does make sense. Just look at An Unearthly Child, who does the Doctor interact with, cavemen, and they learn his May sound like a bit of fan gushing, but Moffat is a genius :P

  • Dec. 8, 2011, 9:06 a.m. CST

    Also last.

    by DoctorTom

    This is for the same you as Gotilk's is for, and don't think I didn't notice your post in the Closing Time thread yesterday too. You made it into the next day this time, though, instead of me just catching it a few hours later.

  • At least I hope we get a new Whotininnies tomorrow, I'm really enjoying them.

  • Dec. 8, 2011, 6:33 p.m. CST


    by gotilk

    I hope you're right. I've been relying on it for a mood boost lately. Kinda sad I know... lol. But yes, seriously we need Whotininnies NOW.

  • Dec. 9, 2011, 3:14 p.m. CST


    by gotilk