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'The Romans' Invade This Week's Docback!! DOCTOR WHO Story #12, Season/Series 7 News, And More!!



Part 2 HERE. Contributed by Beamus!




Merrick here...


...with a look at "The Romans," the twelfth story for first Doctor William Hartnell.  This aired mid-January to early February in 1965.  

But first...




...the giveaway we announced last week...

Bill P. of Indiana.  

The name of the game was to hit my Inbox with a submission at, or closest to, a pre-selected mystery time.  My pre-selected time for this giveaway was Sunday, December 11 at 11:37am.  Bill's e-mail arrived Sunday, December 11 at 11:36:30 am.  He beat the next closest entry by six seconds.  This does seem close, but I've seen AICN giveaways run much closer.  

Bill's contact information has already been passed along to BBC Home Entertainment, which is graciously handing fulfillment of this giveaway.  We'd like to thank them deeply for their cooperation and kindness in bringing you this opportunity.  Look for further giveaways in the (hopefully) not-too-distant future.  




...which airs December 25 at 7pm on BBC One, and  9pm ET/PT  on BBC America.  

Our Docback for next week will be at least partially devoted to this installment - titled "The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe" - if not entirely centered on it.  The content of next week's Docback is currently in flux . There will be a Docback, though...Friday as always, and promised.  





As context for those unfamiliar with the tragic tale, many vintage DOCTOR WHO episodes were deleted/destroyed  by the BBC quite a while back.  For some of these stories, precious little visual evidence exists save for production stills, Telesnaps, and audio tracks (many of these audio tracks (all of them?) have been released on their own CDs - repurposed into audio adventures which work surprisingly well).  

Late last weekend, we learned that BBC has recovered two installments in stores that were presumed long missing.  By installments, I mean one "part" of a multi-part tale.  

THIS article at BBC explains how the material was recovered...

The latest two episodes to be found were in the private collection of a former TV engineer, Terry Burnett, who bought them at a school fete in Hampshire in the 1980s.

Mr Burnett had no idea the BBC did not have the recordings - it was only when he mentioned them casually in conversation to Ralph Montagu, head of heritage at Radio Times, that their significance was recognised.

I've been doing entertainment industry based work for a long, long time now and have been privy to the discovery of a an amazing array of "presumed lost" material.  I suspect that, in DOCTOR WHO's case, there's likely quite a bit more "missing" footage still waiting to be discovered - but I'd bet good money that the people who have it in their possession have either forgotten they have it, or...most probably and quite dangerously...aren't aware of the footage's importance.  Which appears to be the case in this current circumstance.  
BBC has released clips from the recovered material - Episode 3 of "Galaxy 4" (Hartnell, Story #18 ) and Episode 2 of "The Underwater Menace" (Troughton, Story #32).  Presumably these will ultimately appear in some form of video release - and I, for one, can't wait...





Also announced after last week's Docback was posted?  BBC has scheduled the return of the  Moffat/Gatiss modernization of Sherlock Holmes.  The first of three new SHERLOCK episodes/telemovies/whatever you want to call them is set to show on BBC One January 1 - an awesome way to bring in the New Year.  

As there are only three installments of SHERLOCK on the way, and as many Docbackers have repeatedly expressed interest in this Moffat guy's take on Sherlock Holmes, I'm thinking it might be best to simply incorporate SHERLOCK into our regular Docback feature whenever one of the new pieces broadcasts...which'll make it easier to moderate (one article instead of two), easier to navigate (one article instead of two), etc.  If anyone objects to this approach and would like to see the Lockback receive its own article placement, please don't hesitate to let me know and we'll make that happen.  

Either way, the first Docback/Lockback will launch on Friday December 30 - two days before "A Scandal in Belgravia," the first of this new SHERLOCK batch, airs.  

In related news, I just received a copy of SHERLOCK HOLMES ON SCREEN from Titan Books, which includes a Foreword by Mr. Moffat...

And, yes, the Foreword is more substantive than the  "I love this book" quote from Moffat which you'll see on the front cover.  Although, "I love this book" being the entirety of the Foreword would've been pretty funny in itself.  

I haven't had a chance to dive too far into the title yet, but it's the cover exploration of the character's appearances across film and television (even the detective's parts in BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD and TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES are mentioned!)  BBC's current SHERLOCK is included, which makes this a cool book and an important book regardless of anything else...although it would certainly be regarded as nicely assembled even without SHERLOCK's inclusion.  

I'll offer more insight into the publication as we get closer to SHERLOCK wave 2 in a few weeks, but for now know that it's available HERE in the U.S. and HERE in the U.K.  




--- Ken does a Kirk Douglas impression for a long time and quite poorly...

-- We lament the often shoddy state of contemporary visual effects and talk about how we got to this often uninspired place...

--- We discuss Superman and why he doesn't need to be angsty...

--- We consider the original PLANET OF THE APES films...among my favorite movies of all time when taken relation to the new and rather good RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, just released on DVD and Blu-Ray...

--- We segue from mentioning Nicole Scherzinger's appearance in the third MEN IN BLACK movie into a dissection of last week's X-FACTOR debacle (U.S. version)...

...and more!

I'm going to go out on a limb here and assert that this podcast represents the only moment in human history in which the early works of Stanley Kubrick are alluded to over the persistent objections of a rogue Fart Machine.  I'm in no way suggesting this should be considered a badge of honor, but there you have it. And, by the way, the problems with that infernal device in this podcast?  Real.   

The new WHOTININNIES can be found HERE, while past undertakings are HERE.  





There's an interview with Steven Moffat in the newest DOCTOR WHO MAGAZINE (the one with the Radio Timesey Christmas themed cover).  Said discussion brings forth a few tantalizing bits of information, which I present here via Bleeding Cool's mini-transcription of the piece

Points of interest from The Moff...

At this stage, everything is a single episode, and the only reason anything will become a two-parter is if we think it needs to be...


I want to be able to say, every week, we’ve got a big standalone blockbuster, and then a trailer that makes it look like nothing compared to what’s going to happen next week! That’s the form for next year.

I want slutty titles and movie-poster plots. I want big pictures and straplines. The first episode I’m writing is called [Spoiler] of the [Spoilers]. And it’ll feel a bit like Die Hard, that first episode.

I personally think this is a very wise move for the franchise at this time, as slutty titles and accessible straplines are an excellent way to get, keep, and focus people's attention.  This avenue may also make the show easier to penetrate for newer viewers struggling to access the dense mythology that DW has developed recently,  and more strongly evoke the vibe of classic WHO - where there was much more self-containment. Back then, jumping into the show would've seemed a far less daunting proposition than it might now, I should think. And the ability to perpetually recruit fresh viewers in imperative to a show's longterm survival.  

Also, historically, arc based storylines are very tricky beasts to wrangle in science fiction / fantasy television.  It's easy for writers and audiences to become too distracted by "this" and "that" pesky little detail...or catch too much interference from what they believe to be a "macro" arc...when what really matters is the immediacy of the moment our characters are in, and the clarity with which their circumstances are being conveyed.  It's not always easy to be "clear" about emotions and feelings and narrative intent if such considerations are being spread over a broader tapestry - arcs can be clever and sprawling and intriguing, to be sure.  But they can also be aloof and alienating. Arcs sometimes turn shows like this into something of a "Where's Waldo?" - where every little detail is scrutinized, pulling us away from the whole of the picture.   Making that whole far more difficult to appreciate.  I'm not referring to DOCTOR WHO specifically here, but one doesn't have to look too far to see how arcs on other shows can go terribly wrong (LOST, the recent GALACTICA), and sometimes undercut what a show clearly set out to do.  And, the history of television is littered with arc based shows with intriguing gags - that were canceled because viewers couldn't/didn't plug in.  NBC's SURFACE, THE EVENT, and ABC's V being a few recent examples. So, diminishing arc related material in the upcoming  Season/Series of DW feels like a right move, to me at least.  

By no means am I suggesting that DOCTOR WHO should EVER take the path of least resistance.  All I'm saying is that brasher, ballsier, more flamboyant storytelling...which seems to be implied in Moffat's interview about the upcoming Season/Series...can be just as fun as arcing, and probably far healthier for the show in the long run (think the original STAR TREK).  I mean, look at how much mileage we got out of "Let's Kill Hitler" in the Docback, before we ever saw a single frame of footage from it.  A whole Season/Series loaded with that kind of teasing and speculation? Many months filled with that kind of "What the hell?" imaginings?  Could be a blast...and I'm pretty sure that's the mystery, conjecture, and sensibility The Moff & Co. are hoping to capitalize on here.  So I say, "Why not?"  Of course, the issue always...payoff.  using "Let's Kill Hitler" as a title set standards and expectations that need to be addressed.  But, in the end, every show brings with it similar different ways.  

All of this would, by the way, make for fantastic talking points in the Docback below - so have it!  

On a personal note, as I've previously indicated, DIE HARD is one of my favorite all-time movies.  It's a giddily subversive Christmas picture to boot.  So, word that a DOCTOR WHO episode will take on a DIE HARDesque vibe makes me quite happy at the moment.  




There was a press screening of The Christmas Special yesterday (I guess I need to move to England).  At the event, Mister Moffatt indicated that Amy and Rory will rejoin the Doctor in Season/Series 7, but also warned that their time with the Doctor would come to an end.  Moffat also indicated the Doctor would be getting a new companion.  

This possibility has often been suspected/mulled on the Docbacks, so now it's official.  More information about this transition is supposed to be released today - keep an eye on this space, or the Docback below, for an update.  






"I think I poisoned Nero." Vicki, 'The Romans' Episode 3 - "Conspiracy" 


When I first heard Dennis Spooner had scripted this story, I took pause.  Spooner had previously brought DOCTOR WHO “The Reign of Terror,” (Hartnell, Story # 8) which felt steadfastly determined to be as un-fun and minutia bound as possible.  Knowing nothing of “The Romans” before going into it...other than somewhat logically conjecturing it might actually be about Romans...I really, really, REALLY found myself not wanting to sit though another tedious, heartless history lesson.  And, brilliantly enough, that’s NOT what “The Romans” is.  At all.  
In this four part story, Spooner and Co. have wisely and cleverly sidestepped the operatic melodrama innate within their tale...which is rife with conspiracy, assassination attempts, mistaken identity, implied lecherousness, and deals  in no uncertain terms with the ego-fueled madness of Nero (played here by Derek Francis )...instead skewing its potential turgidness towards wacky comedy.  Comedy which ranges from classically over-the-top to amazingly dark.  This bold decision plays out very well on the whole.  
“The Romans” picks up where the preceding episode (“The Rescue”) left off, with the TARDIS materializing on a precarious cliff and more or less falling off of it.  Crash cut to “nearly” one month later, where The Doctor (William Hartnell) and companions Ian (William Russell), Barbara (Jacqueline Hill) and Vicki (Maureen O’Brien) haven’t bothered to get the TARDIS up and running again because they’ve all been seduced by the lifestyle of ancient Rome and its surrounding areas.  They’re loving their existence, and are in no hurry to leave.  This indifference ultimately bites our heroes in their asses when they become ensnared in a plot to assassinate current ruler Nero.  But here’s where the joyful absurdity begins.  
The Doctor, in particular, is involved in said plot to kill Nero - but has no intention of doing so, no knowledge of the conspiracy itself other than its objective (which he isn’t privy to for a while), and isn’t even clear on who or what is driving the attempt on Nero’s life.  Resulting in the Doctor more or less stumbling through the entire episode as clueless as we are, cleverly (and sometimes ridiculously) tricking his way out of circumstances in an effort to stay alive.  One unexpected moment finds Hartnell’s Doctor going James T. Kirk on a tongueless assassin, explaining to Vicki “I am so constantly outwitting the opposition I tend to forget the delights and satisfaction of the gentle art of fisticuffs.”  
Indeed, the Doctor is so out-of-his element amidst this conspiracy and intrigue that he can’t even remember the name of the Lyre player he’s being mistaken for (this case of mistaken identity is what initially and erroneously puts him in place as an assassin-to-be).  Amusing.  
For all of its fast pacing and agreeably absurd moments, “The Romans” is sometimes blemished by a few technical missteps.  A mic pops into frame during episode 3 (that this didn’t happen more often on early WHO is commendable and miraculous given how the show was made).  An epic burning of Rome is regrettably inadequate, although the story’s makers cop to both their embarrassment over the sequence, and to having run out of the budget that could’ve improved their effects (in an extra on the DVD).  Another moment, involving Ian inside of ship that’s being wrecked at sea, quite literally shows the vessel’s occupants being sloshed by pales of water from offscreen.  Which in itself is funny, although not in the way The Powers That Be intended I should think.  Director Christopher Barry sometimes undercuts perfectly wonderful gags by allowing actors to ham-handedly overstate a moment to accentuate that ‘this is supposed to be funny’  - instead of simply letting the humor be what it is, and speak for itself.  And to preemptively address an inevitable Docback retort: YES, this story is supposed to be “for kids.”  But kids have surprisingly developed senses of humor and don’t always need to be hammered over the head by something to “get” why it’s funny.  They are smarter than many of us think they are.  Despite this occasional awkwardness, Barry keeps the story zipping along nicely on the whole- “The Romans” never bogs down, and never jumps completely off the tracks.  
Memorable sequences include:  the introduction of “wipe” transitions into the equation (like Lucas used in STAR WARS - I'm pretty sure these have not been used previously in the show, correct me if I'm wrong in the Docback below). Barbara gently adjusting Ian’s hair to be more in keeping with the time period, a subtle and hilarious gag in which slavers Sevcheria (Derek Sydney) and Didius (Nicholas Evans) must continually shell out coins to an informant in the market place - it’s so subtle you might not even notice that it’s happening during their conversation (supporting my assertion above that comedy DOESN’T always need to hit you over the head to be funny as hell), and Nero testing a potentially poisoned drink on a hapless and unknowing nearby servant.  
Bravo to Derek Francis‘ performance as the lovable-but-demented creeper Nero, and to Michael Peak’s interpretation of Tavius.  Some actors can command the screen even when doing nothing, and convey large amounts of information while saying very little.  Peake is such a performer.
“The Trouble with Tribbles” of early DOCTOR WHO, “The Romans” is a surprisingly farcical tale which dodges many of the pacing issues seen in episodes before it.  It’s a welcomed respite from the seriousness which frequently prevailed in the show up to this point, and vividly illustrates the immense vitality and flexibility of DOCTOR WHO's overall tone and concept as a whole.  A flexibility which is critical, and fully exploited, even today.  And, really, how can anyone not like a story in which  character identifies herself as Lacusta, “Official Poisioner to the Court of Caesar Nero”?  





I'm not sure yet.  Much flux.  At the very least they'll be some sort of Docback for the new Christmas Special, which airs next Sunday.  Maybe more in the works - we'll see. 







"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 Dalek Invasion of Earth" (Story #10)

"The Rescue" (Story #11) 

"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. 16, 2011, 7:39 a.m. CST

    The Romans: a great first Doctor story

    by HornOrSilk

    It's one I love, and it is one which can easily be shown even today. Yes, there is some weakness in the production elements, but the strength of the comedy overcomes it. I mentioned there is one surprisingly dark element in this: the attempted rape of Barbara. Seriously, in the middle of a comedy aimed at families... that is there... yes, done in comic fashion and yet.. if you think about it, really really creepy.

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 8:02 a.m. CST

    Sherlock Series 2 Start date

    by mus42

    I'm pretty sure the first episode of the new Sherlock is due to air on Jan 1st, as a New Years Day special.

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 8:09 a.m. CST

    Something funny!

    by Kevin Bolinger

    Filmed this with my friends this past weekend. Pretty much what happens when the TARDIS meets the DeLorean :P

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 8:12 a.m. CST

    A nice early DocBack AND with a fresh Whotininnies?

    by gotilk

    Did Christmas come early?

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 8:14 a.m. CST


    by Merrick

    Correct! Thanks for catching that! Family was talking to me about December 31 - my mind was there....

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 8:14 a.m. CST

    darthdevious!! That was great!

    by gotilk

    Nice quality, too.

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 8:22 a.m. CST

    Thanks Gotilk!

    by Kevin Bolinger

    The idea was mine, the car was my friend Rose's and Mike did the filming and editing :P Feel free to share this one, we want to see how big it gets, for ha ha's lol

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 8:32 a.m. CST

    Saw the Xmas special at the London screening...

    by huskerdu2

    ...last night. Really enjoyed it. A much more low-key, intimate story than we usually get, but all the better for it, I'd say. It's very much a classic British Xmas/children's story. Guest cast are all very good and Matt Smith's on extremely fine form.

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 8:40 a.m. CST

    this made me laugh...

    by V'Shael

    It's easy for ... audiences to become too distracted by this and that pesky little detail...or catch too much interference from what they believe to be a macro arc. Gee, you think?

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 9:04 a.m. CST

    They should let George Lucas put Rory into the episode

    by FrodoFraggins

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 9:22 a.m. CST

    Monster of the Week v Story Arc

    by Mr_P

    Call me simple but give me a monster of the week every time. e.g. Best Episodes of X-Files = monsters of the week Worst Episodes of X-Files = alien conspiracy pish I like a little bit of a thread but just seems in recent years they have become overpowering rather than a titbit that hints at something that may happen and you look forward to seeing revealed. The whole baby thread last year just pissed me off and distracted from stand alone stories.

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 9:45 a.m. CST

    Wow, this showed up early!

    by DoctorTom

    This is a nice way to effectively start the day!

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 9:46 a.m. CST

    And, for the record, Merrick

    by DoctorTom

    I was sipping some Diet Coke when you were saying you couldn't turn the fart machine off, and the sequence almost made me spew my drink. Definitely a fun way to start.

  • Moffat announced the Ponds will be in part of the season, but will be leaving and it will be heartbreaking, and that we'll be getting a new companion. People started saying who they wanted to see as the new companion, and my suggestion is: Frankie Boyle. Unless they're rather use him as the Master. - I'm the $&@!#*!ing Master and you better $&@!#*!ing obey me! Seriously, though, I'd like a story or two with Dorium as a companion - maybe in one of the stories the Doctor gets him a body again. Not a whole season or half a season with him, but just a couple of stories for us to enjoy seeing him again but not overstay his welcome. Actually, what might be interesting if Lorna Bucket became a companion, with the Doctor going to rewrite Time so that she has a better outcome.

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 10:06 a.m. CST

    Let's guess what the new companion(s?) will be like.

    by spacehog

    I am not really up on my pre-Rose companions so I'm not sure what would be fresh and new... unless I go to extremes. Therefore I present the following possibilities: * An intelligent virus that can take over and control new hosts at will. On the TARDIS, normally Cyrus (the virus) simply lives in the Doctor and makes him appear to talk to himself even more than usual. On a mission, Cyrus generally jumps into new hosts out of politeness, and of course to solve problems and discover clues and so on. With no new actor to hire, not even for a voice, the BBC will save gobs of money on soon-to-be fan favorite Cyrus. * One of the cosmonautimals that were launched into space in the early days of the US and Russian space programs. The Doctor, needing to remain dead to the universe but still awfully lonely, decides to grab one of these dogs, pigs, or chimps from their flight capsule and have it hang around, still in its adorable little spacesuit. Because otherwise those poor bastards are probably going to freeze to death in the infinite uncaring void of space, burn up on reentry, or drown in the ocean. * If a real animal would prove too difficult to shoot a series with, bring in beloved cartoon dog Poochie. Poochie is also believed to be dead, so they can be on the run and undercover together.

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 10:23 a.m. CST

    Honestly, just bring Craig on full time already...

    by Red43jes

    We have River that won't go away anytime soon (I'm sure she won't be on every episode), so why not throw Craig, FULL TIME, into the mix?

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 10:31 a.m. CST

    red43jes - the reason not to have Craig in every episode

    by DoctorTom

    because you'd end up with Stormageddon, Dark Lord of All, as a companion as well. And the girlfriend. Stormy as a companion might be fun for an episode, but filming with a baby as a regular would probably end up leading to filming issues at some point (trying to avoid breaking child labor laws)

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 10:35 a.m. CST

    The Romans

    by DoctorTom

    I also enjoyed this story the first time I saw it on VHS, back in the day where so-called common wisdom was that all the historicals were rubbish, except maybe the Aztecs. Or Marco Polo. This was definitely a fun little romp. I'd like to see Who do a historical like this again, not having to bring in monsters or sf elements, but just having fun playing with history.

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 10:35 a.m. CST

    I thought he meant Craig Ferguson.

    by spacehog

    In which case I wholeheartedly approve. But I agree, we just barely skated out of that last Craig with the ''Stormaggedon'' bit still being mildly amusing. Any more of that and I'd be purchasing a gun, biding my time patiently through the federally mandated waiting period, then acquiring the firearm and immediately shooting my television set. The offending episode will have been off the air for days by then, but hopefully the point will still stand.

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 10:51 a.m. CST

    So, next Whotininnies

    by DoctorTom

    we get the promise of Season 7 Doctor Who, as well as getting teased by Buckaroo Banzai once again. It's a shame Buckaroo Banzai wasn't discussed with Planet of the Apes this episode, because it could have been the special Monkey-Boy episode. Good podcast though, despite not having Buckaroo Banzai and not that much Who! I also liked the after-the-end-credits bits - it makes me think of MST3K for some reason.

  • It will be out on DVD and Blu-Ray February 14 in the US (don't know if the UK will have it out the same week). The studio sent out an e-announcement that extra will include the 3 specials Best of the Doctors, Best of the Companions and Best of the Monsters. Now, fair warning to the people who haven't seen these, the titles are misleading. It's not really a Best of, but more a Here's The Ones That Appeared During Matt Smith's Episodes. Still, I did like the bit on the Best of the Companions special where Christopher Hardwick referred to Rory as the South Park Kenny of Doctor Who. I still think that the BBC is missing out by not negotiating to include the Craig Ferguson related material (his interviews, and the Doctor Who song and dance sketch).

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 10:59 a.m. CST

    Docbackers, we were saying the same thing about Donna at first...

    by Red43jes

    ...that she was hugely annoying. Everyone sighed when she was to be a regular (and that sigh wasn't good), BUT she wound up being liked. As far as Craigs baby...we don't need the baby in every episode. Whos to say Craig doesn't ask for a break from his duties to go galloping around in the TARDIS? I think Craig bringing humor to the show would rule. Not that we need to totally chuck it up. I'd welcome more humor (not that the humor in Who isn't bad).

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 11:07 a.m. CST

    red43jes, you misunderstand

    by DoctorTom

    I'm saying that there are PRACTICAL considerations for the baby not being in there - limited time you can film the baby, only getting to do certain hours, etc. Likewise, there's probably practical considerations for trying to get Corden to play Craig - he's already involved in another series, and you'd probably end up with scheduling issues if you have him as a companion for a long period of time. It's like saying it would be nice to have Captain Jack back as a companion for a season; it would be nice, but it wouldn't fit in with Barrowman's schedule (unless you set it up several years in advance). This is completely different from what people were saying about Donna at the start. I'm actually looking forward to Craig coming back for a story (or two). I just don't think his schedule would allow it.

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 11:08 a.m. CST

    Minor correction on the last statement in my last post.

    by DoctorTom

    When I said I don't think that Corden's schedule would allow him to do it, I meant be a companion for an extended period of time, not that he wouldn't be able to appear in Who at all. I'm certain he could arrange things for being able to do one or two stories.

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 11:36 a.m. CST

    Potential new companion

    by Mister Vertue

    I think after Amy and Rory have completed their journey with the Doctor, we need something completely new, don't you think? The Doctor can't keep going back to 'old' characters from previous episodes, otherwise it'll become very old, very fast. The show definitely needs to go in a new direction to keep it fresh. Luckily, we have a format that can constantly change, as it always has, and it's very important that it continues to do that. It's unlikely that we'll see him travelling with a blue blob called Steve, but there's every chance we'll see a slight departure from the usual companion that we've seen since the show returned in 2005.

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 11:37 a.m. CST

    The Romans - Special Edition

    by Mister Vertue

    Maybe they need to insert Rory into the background somewhere. That would be a nice easter egg.

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 11:40 a.m. CST

    Craig Ferguson

    by Mister Vertue

    He'd be on my personal wish-list for future guest stars, that's for sure. Who else would you like to see pop up over the next few years?

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 11:48 a.m. CST

    Actually, MOV, he COULD travel with a blue blob called Steve

    by DoctorTom

    Steve the Rutan. He's normally a blue blob, but he could take a human shape. Or several human shapes. They could do with Steve the Rutan what they should have done with Kamelion - have a different actor in every story playing Kamelion trying out a different human disguise.

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 11:50 a.m. CST

    MOV - Romans - the special edition

    by DoctorTom

    If you're going to insert Rory into the background somewhere, you might as well go ahead and insert a Silent in the background in a scene. Actually, that could be a fun optional effect to include with every special edition from now on for a story taking place on Earth before 1969...

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 11:53 a.m. CST


    by Ken Plume

    I would love to see my mate Rufus Hound pop up. And a nice bombastic yet tragic turn by Brian Blessed in a Falstaffian role... Turn the caricature of Brian on its ear, as only The Moff could...

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 11:59 a.m. CST

    The Doctor's Companions

    by HornOrSilk

    A Sontaran and a Zygon...

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 12:09 p.m. CST

    Hornorsilk, it sounds like the start of a joke

    by DoctorTom

    The Doctor, a Sontaran and a Zygon walk into a bar...

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 12:12 p.m. CST

    Future Companions

    by Michael_Jacksons_Ghost

    Sarah Jane's son. Elton A alien of some type that would use a holographic humanoid image when on Earth. River Craig Warwick Davis as himself

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 12:14 p.m. CST

    MOV / kenplume re: Blessed

    by Merrick

    Brian Blessed is my second favorite choice for the Master (after Craig Ferguson).

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 12:18 p.m. CST

    VRrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrroom goes the Master

    by HornOrSilk

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 12:21 p.m. CST

    And, off topic, Blessed has some Batman News for you

    by HornOrSilk

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 12:23 p.m. CST

    MOV re: a blue blob called Steve

    by Merrick

    *** It's unlikely that we'll see him traveling with a blue blob called Steve *** Damn it! I'm pretty sure there needs to be a blue blob called Steve on the show now. Anything less will seem disappointing. And the phrase "a blue blob called Steve" feels essential...

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 12:33 p.m. CST

    Has David Warner ever been on DW? He rocks...

    by Merrick

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 12:55 p.m. CST

    Merrick - David Warner

    by DoctorTom

    He's been on some of the audios. Most notably he was in two Doctor Who Unbound stories playing the Doctor, with Nick Courtney as the Brigadier as his companion. In these audios, Warner became the Doctor instead of Pertwee, and instead of showing up in England in the 70's when he was exiled, he showed up in Hong Kong in the 90's (around the time of the handover of Hong Kong from England to China). These were very good audios. The first one of the two also had Mark Gatiss playing a part on the audio.

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 1:04 p.m. CST

    Craig Ferguson as The Master

    by Perigee

    Hello - I am The Master; and this is MY companion, Geoff the gay robot...

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 1:06 p.m. CST

    Speaking of David Warner

    by Michael_Jacksons_Ghost

    I got to meet him a couple of months back, and he was a very nice guy. Had him sign a limited TRON print, and a 8x10 of him as EVIL in Time Bandits! OH, SJW, if you are reading this, I did ask him about The Omen, and he said that his death in the film was chopped up in segments where he didn't have any memory about it while filming, but when he saw the cut of it, he laughed at it because he had no idea how it would cut. Also asked him about a possible third TRON, and he said that no one had approched him. As for a live action appearance on Who....I welcome it!

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 1:41 p.m. CST

    One thing's a shame about the whole Ponds thing.

    by Perigee

    MUST they do the whole "heartbreaking" thing to the Ponds? Here they were, with wonderful parting gifts and safe at home, and apparently very comfortable. The Companions are becoming the Redshirts of Who - or, more accurately, the sex toys of James Bond. Once he's done with 'em, they get eliminated in cruel and unusual ways. It seems like a cheap way to generate drama, and short-sighted. You never can tell when a Pond or two could come in handy a season or four down the line.

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 1:47 p.m. CST

    Missed it by *pinch* that much!

    by tangcameo

    Oh well. Hey Merrick, how exactly do you randomly pick the time and date? I have this image of a spinning draw drum for day hour minute and a Vanna White-ish girl in a spangly red dress.

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 1:59 p.m. CST

    He can still run into them before they die (or whatever)

    by tangcameo

    He is a time traveller after all. He can't cross over his own timeline but he can probably fudge a little on theirs.

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 2:23 p.m. CST

    The end of the Ponds

    by HornOrSilk

    Ducks come back.

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 2:29 p.m. CST

    He could - but at that point the feeling is wonky.

    by Perigee

    The Doctor tiptoeing through a graveyard, resurrecting companions via time-portal just doesn't feel right. I doubt Sarah Jane would have had the long and beloved track that she had, if they had something knock her off back in the seventies. Sure - it could have been a prequel, or an alternate universe, or whatever... but still, dead is dead. You can't escape a certain feeling of finality about it, or sense of being cheated when they do an end-run around it. (I wonder, if they had plain-out killed off River back in the library, whether she would be as accepted as she is now; is the possibility of her escape from the hard drive keeping interest in her character going? I dunno...)

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 2:55 p.m. CST

    The kind of companion I'd like to see

    by sunspot_mike

    For those of you suggesting Craig Owens - The Doctor's in a time machine remember? He brought Amy back the same night she left, the ever of her wedding. It could be a matter of seconds that he was gone. Craig was a fun character, but too much of a schlub for being a regular companion. I'd like to see a companion from the future or the past or an alien world. I always liked Leela, Romana, and Jamie. I'd like to see a Doctor with some kind of rogue, like a Sabalom Glitz or Captain Jack kind of character. Someone who's not a wild-eyed innocent. He's had too many of those in a row (even though Rose eventually became an asskicker.) I'd like to see a companion with ulterior motives (maybe not as drastic as Turlough's), but someone who's fun but just a litte amoral compared to the Doc. As for guest stars, I usually find them too distracting no matter how much I love them (Simon Pegg is so awesome, but I kept on thinking "how awesome is it that Simon Pegg is in Doctor Who?") Kylie Minogue? Hmmmm... she wasn't bad, but it felt like a stunt (and it didn't help that the episode was hamstrung by camp - The Queen thanking the Doctor? Ugh.) Derek Jacobi and Michael Gabon were the absolute best examples of how you do a guest star. But they're real deal actors and not just celebrities. But I'm happy with seeing unknowns on the screen because it makes me engage with the story more, so what do I know?

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 3:17 p.m. CST

    Lorna Bucket

    by Vektorix

    ...would make an awesome companion. She sees The Doctor in a way he absolutely does NOT want to be seen now - the warrior, big and noisy. Lorna as companion would be a means to explore the nature of The Doctor in a way that really can't be done with the Ponds (much as I love them being there). Yes, she died in "A Good Man Goes to War", but as the show is so fond of saying, time can be rewritten. With or without the Ponds, I definitely hope Matt Smith sticks around for a few more years.

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 3:31 p.m. CST

    I think if we see Lorna Bucket again

    by DoctorTom

    it will first be when she's much younger. We might see the Doctor change things then so that his name doesn't become synonymous with Great Warrior.

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 4:33 p.m. CST

    We already saw Lorna kick the bucket

    by HornOrSilk

    Her story has already been told. We need to see the full story of... a certain Silurian adventuress...

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 4:40 p.m. CST

    Perigee, re: 'heartbreak'

    by BloodiedFox

    Thank god, I was beginning to wonder if I was the only one who felt that way. Is it so wrong to want a happy ending for Rory and Amy, especially after all the horrible stuff those two have been through? Come on Moff, you're too nice a guy to be so cruel...

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 4:46 p.m. CST

    Heartbreak = Ponds finding out about what happens to River

    by Michael_Jacksons_Ghost

    at the Library. Maybe the Ponds go into the "Matrix" to be with River?

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 4:52 p.m. CST

    Heartbreak could be something simpler

    by HornOrSilk

    Amy could get pregnant again and doesn't want to risk life with the Doctor anymore; it could be a variation of the Green Death's ending.

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 5:04 p.m. CST

    hornorsilk - we don't have her full story if time is rewritten

    by DoctorTom

    We don't have the full story of the Gamma Forests yet. And, we know that the Doctor visits the Gamma Forests in the future because Lorna met him when she was young, but he hadn't met her prior to A Good Man Goes To War.

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 5:05 p.m. CST

    I do agree, though, about the Silurian Victorian adventuress

    by DoctorTom

    Though there are certain segments who wouldn't get over it (and there's no reason to go into it here since it would invariably end up with people coming in and ignoring the code of conduct).

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 5:08 p.m. CST

    That's what I was thinking, horn

    by DoctorTom

    The heartbreak could be as simple as the Doctor not being able to come near the Ponds because it would put their life in danger. Or, the suggestion you have could suffice. Though I would hope he would get to see the baby before he couldn't be near them, so that he'd have a chance to talk at least once with his brother in law.

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 5:22 p.m. CST

    doctortom I just don't see the need

    by HornOrSilk

    There are better characters who could return... such as a particular video-store owner...

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 5:49 p.m. CST

    Horn, they probably couldn't afford her any more

    by DoctorTom

    I think we're best off getting someone completely new for a full time companion. A lot of the recurring people would be nice to see again in a story or two (especially Dorium), or even in brief flashes. Maybe for the 2012 Christmas episode we could just have a few minutes with the Doctor dropping off presents for some of his friends - some blade polish for Madame Vastra, a new body for Dorium, a playset for Stormageddon, matching his and hers sonic screwdrivers for Mickey and Martha Smith, a cell phone with the Doctor's number for Clyde Langer, etc... ...hmm, actually, if we had to have previous characters come back as companions, Clyde and Rani might not be that bad a choice. I suspect that we won't see this happen though since I'm sure Moffat will use his own characters rather than take in RTD characters for anything more than a cameo. (Thinking of Martha and Mickey, though - I could see the Doctor introducing them to Clyde Langer and Rani, so that Clyde has someone else to talk about the weird alien stuff with and can back him up. Watching Martha react to Mickey and Clyde and K9 together might also be fun to watch.) For some reason, I'm getting the feeling the next season is also going to be split between before Christmas and after Christmas, with a Christmas special in the middle. And, given what was just said about the Ponds, we'll see their last story just before Christmas (though I still have hope we can get the Doctor/River/Ponds/Jenny Christmas with the possible addition of Captain Jack).

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 8:16 p.m. CST

    my suggestions...

    by s0l

    The Ponds take a final trip to see "Dr Moon" The Doctor ends up in the grounds of an all girls school (in the middle of a firing range !?!) run by an old friend. Not to pick up a new companion but to help an old one... I hope at least one of the new companions comes from Bannerman Road...

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 10:25 p.m. CST

    An alien or historical character would be the way to go...

    by dj_bollocks

    And not sure who mentioned that Donna was liked, is perhaps over egging it a little, tolerated as far as I'm concerned... but each to their own, I quite liked Martha, I think she was poorly written for though. There's no doubt that new companions, make jump in points for new or lapsed viewers who feel that with familiarity also brings a lack of understanding if you've missed an episode or two along the way... And 2 years is a good innings for companions anyway... Maybe Moff's looking at finishing the Pond's story in the first half of the season and then introducing the ideas for the big 50th in the second half... Just please don't introduce a Turlough like character, so cliched. As always though in Moff we trust !

  • Dec. 16, 2011, 10:26 p.m. CST


    by dj_bollocks

    Quite liked that Animation at the top... Very well produced...

  • Dec. 17, 2011, 3:14 a.m. CST

    Brian Blessed for companion

    by HornOrSilk

    And I mean Brian Blessed playing Brian Blessed. See... that would be different.

  • Dec. 17, 2011, 5:23 a.m. CST

    Which Pill? (Sherlock *SPOILERS*)

    by veteran_of_mu

    I had been putting off watching Sherlock until such time as I had time. Today I watched Study in Pink for the first time. I was actually pretty disappointed with the payoff. I'd guessed the cabbie back in the restaurant scene, and I hate being right about such a big plot point. But the unresolved question about which pill was pretty neat. I'm sure it's been covered before here but since I avoided spoilers then I thought I'd raise it now. I immediately disregard the ~Iocaine Powder~ solution because of its use in The Princess Bride. I think the clue was in the cabbie's repetition that this was a game of chess with just one move. A game of chess begins with white moving. If white is the colour of life and black the colour of death, then the poison sits on the cabbie's side. But the cabbie spoke of bluffs, double and triple bluffs. You cannot bluff in chess, so this may have been a way to say the game was not actually chess at all. In which case the poison would sit in front of Holmes. And then we have the brilliance of the victims. This was underscored multiple times. The cabbie intentionally picked bright victims to feed his ego. Holmes being the brightest, the Cabbie would have assumed his game would be sussed out. In which case the poison would sit in front of the Cabbie. But then we know the Cabbie was working under instructions from Moriarty, who must be at least as smart as Holmes. And therefore the poison would be in neither pill, but instead on the lid of the pill bottle. The cabbie would avoid handling the lids, and Sherlock's fingers would taint the pills with the poison. Truly my intellect is dizzying me. In the final analysis it is obvious that Moriarty would not expect Sherlock to fall for any such stratagem, and would instead expect Sherlock to palm the pill. The cabbie would also palm the pill resulting in no poison anywhere. What do you think?

  • Dec. 17, 2011, 6:18 a.m. CST

    I want a male companion for once...

    by Stegman84

    Give us something different. It's been a very female-centric companion crew since the show came back in 05, so it is more than time to give a male companion a go again methinks. They can always bring in a new female companion as well at a later date if the show feels like it really needs that. And not bloody Craig either. He was borderline awful in the last episode in my opinion (though I enjoyed The Lodger before that), and as a character and as an actor he splits the fanbase as much as Donna ever did. He's a character that is best as a (very occasional) guest methinks. And add to that the feeling that that particular relationship already feels rather played out anyhow. And I don't think we need another family in the tardis, at least not so soon anyhow. An alien companion would be cool, a companion plucked out of istory even better (haven't had one of them in a *long* while...), but I'll try and keep an open mind and hope for the best, no matter who it happens to be. Yes, even if it turned out to be James Bloody Corden. As for the Ponds, I like them both, Rory especially, but they have had a good run, and it feels like time for some fresh blood to be injected into the show.

  • Dec. 17, 2011, 7:59 a.m. CST

    Somebody here has been paying attention

    by Mister Vertue

    Either that, or they just got very lucky with their predictions of possible future events. I think we all know that the Ponds' ending will be nothing but bittersweet. You're probably in denial if you think otherwise. Death isn't always the end for characters in this show...

  • Dec. 17, 2011, 8 a.m. CST

    Thanks from Bill P

    by Bill P

    Thanks to Merrick and BBC Home Entertainment for the prize! Not won much of anything before, and have been a Dr Who fan since I was 9 years old in 1983, so this is pretty darn cool! I'd also like to thank my infant son for preventing me from falling asleep Sunday night, allowing me to send the winning email. Here I thought he was saying, "I want milk," but in reality it was probably something along the lines of: "Alfie thinks he is Stormageddon, Dark Lord of All? This is because he has not yet crossed paths with ME! Bwahahaha..."

  • Dec. 17, 2011, 8:01 a.m. CST


    by Bill P

    I guess it was Sunday morning, not Sunday night. But anyway, the prize is pretty cool. As is my kid.

  • Dec. 17, 2011, 9:21 a.m. CST

    hornorsilk - Brian Blessed

    by DoctorTom

    actually, instead of Brian Blessed playing Brian Blessed, as a companion have Brian Blessed play Charlie Sheen. Having Brian Blessed bolt out at 100 decibels that he has tiger blood could be amusing. I could also see the Doctor saying no, don't use Winning! anymore, it just doesn't work.

  • Dec. 17, 2011, 9:30 a.m. CST

    Caractuspotts - the pill

    by DoctorTom

    Truly, you have a dizzying intellect. But.... You're trying to trick me into giving away something. It won't work. ;) But, have you considered that Holmes would suspect the lid, and therefore know that Moriarty/the cabbie would know that Holmes would suspect the lid, and therefore not use lid? The only problem is that I actually do see Holmes considering the lid, and also considering that it would be a contact poison, not just a poison to be transferred to the pills.

  • Dec. 17, 2011, 10:10 a.m. CST

    You're all well versed on the Davison era, right?

    by Mister Vertue

    Just checking ahead of next week's episode. There's still time to revise so you're prepared to spot one or two things. And as always, have those tissues at the ready.

  • Dec. 17, 2011, 10:15 a.m. CST

    Ah, so this IS a sequel to Kinda? ;)

    by HornOrSilk

    The Doctor, The Mara, and the Wardrobe being the alternative title? ;) I'm familiar enough, so unless it is something really obscure, I will probably catch it. But we do have some who are mostly familiar with New Who alone.

  • Dec. 17, 2011, 11:05 a.m. CST

    re: new companion

    by chronicallydepressedlemming

    a male lead makes sense if you think about the Doctor's state of mind up until now. Perhaps he'll feel he can maintain more of an emotional distance if the character is male? I've got a soft spot for Sally Sparrow, however. If they go alien, it's going to be a humanoid for practical reasons obviously, and also giving them any shape-shifting abilities would make the writing more difficult as they could just shape-shift out of most perils, but then it becomes essential if you want them to fit in during any Earth history moments - so an alien at first glance seems impractical. My solution would actually be to have the Doctor alone for half of the season - he can recruit a companion every week. if it works out well we can have him alone for a whole season more, or at least the first half of the following one. It's always implied that he travels alone for long periods of time between companions - why can't we see those adventures?

  • Dec. 17, 2011, 11:13 a.m. CST

    Ok, we will have Frobiser

    by HornOrSilk

    ALL HAIL THE TALKING BIRD. And he will half the time appear as the penguin, and half the time as an older 6th Doctor... ;)

  • Dec. 17, 2011, 11:32 a.m. CST

    Davison era connection to Christmas Special

    by Merrick

    Wait. I thought Adric *wasn't* coming back... Maybe that was him getting re-exploded in the Prequel?

  • Dec. 17, 2011, 11:46 a.m. CST

    Adric's return

    by Ken Plume

    We all know what a HUGE fan The Moff is of Adric. He absolutely adores that character. One of the highwater marks of WHO, and a legendary companion. I bet the Doctor is wearing a hot-glued-together badge.

  • Dec. 17, 2011, 1:37 p.m. CST

    Adric ? Dear God no....

    by dj_bollocks

    You might as well bring back Bonnie Langford...

  • Dec. 17, 2011, 1:58 p.m. CST

    So, Adric is going to play the role of

    by HornOrSilk


  • Dec. 17, 2011, 2:42 p.m. CST

    kenplume re: Adric

    by Merrick

    The Moff's open disdain of Adric may be a smokescreen to cloak his intent to return the character to the show! He could bring him back, spin the role correctly this time around, then blow him up (or molecularly disassemble him or something) a few more times for good measure. You know, just to be sure... ---- (or maybe not) ----

  • Dec. 17, 2011, 2:49 p.m. CST

    Two past characters I wouldn't mind seeing on the Tardis

    by maxwello

    The time with the Ponds could put him in the mood to connect with his clone/daughter (played by Peter Davidson's daughter and David Tennant's significant other, Georgia Moffet.) I could definitely see the Doctor wanting to resolve/investigate familial relationships after spending so much time with the of Amy, Rory and River, not to mention the fact that time lords seem to keep re-emerging around him. Doctor (morosely) - I'm the last of the time lords. River - Hi, Sweetie. Jenny - Hi, Dad. Inigo - Choo keep using dat word. I do not tink it means what you tink it means. I also think a few adventures with Jackson Lake (The Next Doctor, Christmas 2008) would make for a rollicking good time, though I'd let the Doctor pick him up at some point after his son had gone to University.

  • Dec. 17, 2011, 6:25 p.m. CST

    No comments on the recovered clips?

    by Gislef_crow

    It's interesting to see more subtle Doctors. The 2nd Doctor gently prods Zaroff into explaining his plan, and give him the chance to reconsider. Matt Smith or David Tennant would flutter around him, do a bunch of goofy shit, and basically upstage the poor guy. The plots and stuff of the early days may have been overstated and aimed at kids, but the Doctor performances weren't.

  • Dec. 17, 2011, 9:38 p.m. CST

    One more guess on the 1st Sherlock - about to watch the 2nd

    by veteran_of_mu

    I think the chap who introduces Watson to Holmes is Moriarty. If this is chess, and if, as Holmes concludes, his Watson is a Queen, then we have just seen the elevation of a pawn. The discarding of the limp underlines this. Of course Watson is an unwitting Queen ... Which doesn't bode well for our hero, now, does it?

  • Dec. 17, 2011, 11:56 p.m. CST

    On The Blind Banker (*SPOILERS*)

    by veteran_of_mu

    I'm not certain I like quite so much Moriarty as all this. Makes him seem far too much like a Bond villain. Even Conan Doyle had Sherlock go paranoid when he knew Moriarty was on his trail, and for good reason. If he wanted to see off Sherlock, he's already had Tong members in Baker Street. A bomb or a sniper would do the job without any trouble. In short I begin to get the impression that this Sherlock isn't really up to the standards we've come to expect from the Moff. Not enough layers, too mass market, too .... obvious .... Of course I am holding the show up to a ridiculously high standard. But then what kind of a standard would it be if it were not high? Unless the third ep redeems the thing I begin to think that the writing is 90% Gatiss with just a little pinch of the Moff. Which would be such a shame ... I really am trying to get behind it. But so far, compared to Brett, compared even to RDJ, this is very weak tea.

  • Dec. 18, 2011, 12:03 a.m. CST

    @doctortom: Brother In Law?

    by veteran_of_mu

    Did I miss something?

  • Dec. 18, 2011, 12:03 a.m. CST

    Oh, sorry, I get it.

    by veteran_of_mu

  • Dec. 18, 2011, 7:36 a.m. CST


    by HornOrSilk

    Moriarty was always a Bond-like villain -- that was his M.O.

  • Dec. 18, 2011, 7:43 a.m. CST

    Richard Nixon?

    by Shan

    Having a former President of the United States making a few trips to alien worlds in the TARDIS would be something a bit different at least.

  • Dec. 18, 2011, 7:57 a.m. CST

    Good news/Bad news

    by ILK

    Good news: After hours with Microsoft support I have actually recovered an account that was hacked almost 7-8 years and in the process regained my original ILK account. (which is the only reason I ever created the *gotilk* account in the first place) The fact that I got help from Microsoft directly is approaching what you could call a miracle. Bad News: GOTILK was banned, and I still cannot figure out why. I didn't post anything ban-worthy. The opposite, in fact. The last 2 things I posted involved defending this site against unfair criticism and wishing Harry well in his recovery/physical therapy. But I won't dwell on it. I will ask, however... Can I please have my username back? On a happier note... loving the new Whotininnies. And I hope you are all well.

  • Dec. 18, 2011, 7:59 a.m. CST

    James K Polk.

    by ILK

    Now that's a president I'd like to see in the TARDIS.

  • Dec. 18, 2011, 8:05 a.m. CST

    Only Nixon could go to Raxacoricofallapatorius

    by Perigee

  • Dec. 18, 2011, 8:08 a.m. CST

    Adric? You're all insane!

    by Mister Vertue

    But I loves ya.

  • Dec. 18, 2011, 8:18 a.m. CST

    Panthers are definitely *NOT* cool

    by Mister Vertue

    There's a few references to previous stories, both old and new, in there for you to spot. Makes it a little more fun to watch while you're comatose on the couch after eating too much turkey, don't you think?

  • Dec. 18, 2011, 9:25 a.m. CST

    Christmas Invasion II: The Wrath of Adric

    by HornOrSilk

    We know that's in the future.

  • Dec. 18, 2011, 9:26 a.m. CST

    Gotilk -- sounds like

    by HornOrSilk

    What happened to me -- sudden ban; I think sometimes AICN has something fishy going on with software..

  • Dec. 18, 2011, 9:30 a.m. CST

    MOV so... the Doctor isn't going to share time with

    by HornOrSilk

    The Pink Panther?

  • Dec. 18, 2011, 9:49 a.m. CST

    Heh. Call Clouseau!

    by Perigee

    Sadly Herbert Lom died 11 days ago. BTW. So, no mad Dreyphus to steal the TARDIS. And nothing but Steve Martin left. ~Sigh~

  • Dec. 18, 2011, 9:56 a.m. CST


    by Merrick

    I have no clue whatsoever why you were banned - perhaps a glitch in our system? I don't know whether our software will actually can/ban someone inadvertently, although I've long suspected this might be the case. I have unbanned you. This process *usually* works but sometimes unbanning brings forth certain techno-hiccups. Please let me know if you have any problems posting under your original screen name (gotilk)..

  • Dec. 18, 2011, 11:29 a.m. CST


    by Ken Plume

    PREDICTION - Adric is actually Omega and formed the Silence in order to avenge himself against the Doctor, who left him to blow up WITHOUT KNOWING IF IT WOULD HAVE WORKED. And OmAdric will be played by... BRIAN BLESSED. This is all CRYSTAL clear now.

  • Dec. 18, 2011, 2:45 p.m. CST


    by gotilk

    Yay! Nice thing to start the day with. You rock! Look at me always assuming the worst. You're right, it probably is/was a glitch. Or I got caught up in the Tarzan/Arab banfest by mistake and got clicked on. But most likely a glitch. gotclicked. lol Respectfully, goatlik

  • Dec. 18, 2011, 2:46 p.m. CST

    Now, a little free time and back to Whotininnies

    by gotilk

    Then later... The Romans.

  • Dec. 18, 2011, 2:52 p.m. CST

    Checked the prices for series 6 blu

    by gotilk

    at a local big-box retailer. 23 for series 6 part 1. 17 for part 2. and... 75 for the complete series. I love Amazon. (and prime)

  • Dec. 18, 2011, 3:14 p.m. CST

    The Great Game (*SPOILERS*)

    by veteran_of_mu

    Okay, that was just pathetic. It started off well and I did warm to Cumberbatch's Holmes, whose dispassion and dominance finally came to the fore. But so much Moriarty so soon in the series indicates a fundamental insecurity in the writer. An insecurity born out by the horrific failure of the so-called cliffhanger at the end of the episode. From the get-go I was unhappy with the writing. The idea that Sherlock Holmes need not know physics fundamentals and would not see their utility in his work is absolutely anathema. It is anti-intellectual and cynical, and it makes Holmes appear far less than he should be - a man who effortlessly deduces the causes of his observations. It may appear a small deviation in character to some, but to me this was Bugs Bunny refusing to eat carrots, or the Doctor having just one heart. The device of human sock puppets was fine and the general flow of the episode wasn't bad per se - less Conan Doyle than Ian Fleming, but quite entertaining. Until the end. Jim Moriarty. The Fan. Tittery voice and can't think as clearly as Watson - who could easily have taken it into his head to knock Jim out to get the situation back under control. Even this I could forgive as an updating of the character if only ... that cliffhanger. That clanging idiotic cliffhanger that reduces the entire series to the level of Danger Mouse. And that has to stand in for Reichenbach Falls - because after this we really can't have that. This I cannot forgive. And this proves it once and for all and without a shadow of a doubt: Mark Gatiss cannot possibly be trusted at the helm of DW. With one irresponsible stroke of his keyboard he took a very promising franchise and inserted its head forcefully into its own anus. I'm out. I don't care what happens to this so-called Sherlock any more. That's not Holmes, that's not Watson, and that's not Moriarty. Even RTD wouldn't have betrayed the characters like this. The entire thing is a low farce, and I am going to try very hard to forget that I subjected myself to it. Shame, Mr Gatiss, Shame!

  • Dec. 18, 2011, 3:50 p.m. CST

    Do a little virtual time-traveling of your own!

    by gotilk

    I wanted to post this 2 days ago, but couldn't. I checked my e-mail and an odd little e-mail had popped up. The sender? FutureMe. The subject? From the past to the future. It said: The following is an e-mail from the past, composed on Sunday, September 12, 2004, and sent via There was some pretty personal stuff in there. But part of it was pretty simple. *Dear FutureMe, Are things interesting yet? Have you finished that book? *Fat again yet? Hope not. Rich yet? Share it more. Be well. Be better. Be more. It's not too late.* Some of my answers as I read this e-mail were good ones, some not so good. But I had forgotten about setting this thing up. I spent a long time thinking about the past, where I was in that moment in time, what my expectations were at the time compared to what they are now. Essentially, *where my head was at*. I suggest anyone who finds this interesting check it out. It didn't/doesn't cost anything and I have again sent an e-mail to myself in 2018. I made it a little more interesting this time. I got creative. I thought about the types of things that might slip my mind between now and 2018 and gave myself a little adventure of re-discovery and a tiny bit of scavenger hunt to boot. Just wanted to share this find with all of you. It was fun. *I found that part amusing. Boy was I fat in 2003. By 2004 I was skinny again and obsessed. I've not gone back to that weight again since, but I also have not been as skinny as I was in 2004. Happy medium I guess.

  • Dec. 18, 2011, 4:07 p.m. CST

    gotilk - amazon prime

    by Merrick

    90% of the time, they're the best / most convenient deal around. Love them!

  • Dec. 18, 2011, 4:14 p.m. CST

    caractacuspotts I seriously beg to differ on Sherlock

    by HornOrSilk

    The Great Game was exceptional, and showed what even the Batman movies can't do - have a serious threat which requires detective work.

  • Dec. 18, 2011, 4:16 p.m. CST

    gotilk - the parts 1 and 2 are bare bones -- no extras

    by HornOrSilk

    While the whole series has the Christmas Carol, the two part Amy-in-love-with-herself comic act, the five nights, the complete Confidential, etc.

  • Dec. 18, 2011, 4:21 p.m. CST


    by gotilk

    Yes, thanks. That's why I want that box set, but at a better price than 74.99. I did notice a lot of decent older films on blu-ray at the same store, at about 699-7.99. Then I noticed Amazon has a better selection and often even cheaper. I get the feeling this blu-ray thing is going to be hard on my wallet. But I guess it's better than a smoking habit. (and cheaper, lol)

  • Dec. 18, 2011, 4:23 p.m. CST

    merrick Indeed!

    by gotilk

    Quick question... If I want my purchases to help AICN and DocBacks, can I just click any Amazon link here and then shop , or does it have to be a direct link to a specific product?

  • Dec. 18, 2011, 5 p.m. CST

    gotilk re: amazon links

    by Merrick

    *** If I want my purchases to help AICN and DocBacks, can I just click any Amazon link here and then shop , or does it have to be a direct link to a specific product? *** As long as one navigates Amazon after accessing that site via *any* Docback link, any purchases there are credited to our Amazon account. Purchases there don't have to be the specific item whose link you actually clicked on. I.e. one can access Amazon via that Sherlock Holmes book link above, but then search for and buy a toaster instead...the credit for the toaster goes into our account. On a personal note: my particular "take" from Amazon referrals is rather humble. In the case of the Docback, nearly everything accrued is immediately turned around to maintain Docback operations. For example, while I generally work with officially provided screener copies of newly released DOCTOR WHO DVDs, the older "vintage" titles are often purchased with Amazon referral funds...and more often than not I end up paying out of my own pocket on top of that. As such, DOCTOR WHO/Docbacks are very much a labor of love and personal commitment on my behalf. Not much profit 'round here. THIS IS NOT A COMPLAINT! I can't express how fortunate I am to have this opportunity, and how glad I am to get to know you all. An interesting aside: you might have noticed Docback images sporting Amazon URLs. Some Talkbackers (not Docbackers) criticize AICN for these Amazon image link URLs, perceiving them to represent some sort of money grab. In actuality, those URLs are a product of AICN being at least partially hosted on Amazon tech. So, instead of image links being a money grab - that actually represents a service the site is paying for. Referral fees through the Herc Vault Amazon links you might sometimes see go straight to Herc. Harry's DVD column - filled with links to Amazon - go straight to Harry. The Docback referral fees come only to me. I truly appreciate the intent and spirit of your question. THANK YOU!!

  • Dec. 18, 2011, 5:16 p.m. CST

    @horn - no worries

    by veteran_of_mu

    Each to his own. But for me, I don't compare Holmes to Batman. I compare Batman to Holmes - and find nothing "great" about him. ;-)

  • Dec. 18, 2011, 8 p.m. CST

    Thanks Merrick

    by gotilk

    For everything.

  • Dec. 18, 2011, 10:45 p.m. CST

    And thanks for the moral support, Darthdevious!

    by gotilk

    Very nice of you. See you on the YouTubes.

  • Dec. 19, 2011, 2:09 a.m. CST


    by Kevin Bolinger

    You are very welcome sir, and welcome back my friend! :) Look for something really cool and WHO related in my next review, the edit is gonna be murder, but I think the end result will be almost award winning...if I can pull it all off :P

  • Dec. 19, 2011, 11:02 a.m. CST

    There was so much new Who news to talk about I forgot...

    by sunspot_mike talk about The Romans. Pretty good serial, but I wasn't love with the way they portrayed Nero, even when I was younger. I thought it was a little too silly. But I liked the setting and I thought the plot was nice and dark. For a children's show, Doctor Who never flinches when it comes to killing people and that's something that amazed me. Because that just doesn't happen in US television. You don't get a show that's as willing to have as many characters killed every week and also be kind of absurdly ridiculous in other places. It's a real dichotomy between sweet and bitter and that always excited me. For any of you who used to read the Target novelizations - This one is great because it's written in epistolary fashion and it's a lot more creative than a lot of the Target novels were (and I damn near read all of them growing up.) The author who adapted that, Donald Cotton, also did a bang up version on The Myth Makers having Homer retell the story of the Doctor. Anyway, I haven't seen it in twenty years, but while I didn't like the way they did Nero, it's still pretty strong. The First Doctor serials were great because they were so experimental and it really felt like they were having fun.

  • Dec. 19, 2011, 12:05 p.m. CST

    kenplume - OmAdric

    by Mister Vertue

    That can't just be a 100% accurate guess. You *must* have had access to future scripts to know that. Last I heard, Blessed is already locked in for the part. Rufus Hound is still in negotiation for another unnamed part. Let's just say it isn't Steve the blue blob. Okay, it's Steve the blue blob. I admit it. He's perfect for the role.

  • Dec. 19, 2011, 2 p.m. CST

    Steve the blob? Really? WOW

    by HornOrSilk

    But it's going to be tough to have him match Bob the Blob

  • Dec. 19, 2011, 4:28 p.m. CST


    by Ken Plume

    A copy of the entire next series was delivered to me via carrier badger, but my source shall remain a secret. And Rufus is an amazing choice for Steve. Though if things fall through, there's always Ronnie Corbett...

  • very gassy.

  • Dec. 19, 2011, 5:50 p.m. CST

    Companion Survivor - Steve the Blob vs. Frobisher

    by DoctorTom

    With Adric as referee Actually, a steel cage tag team match between Steve the Blob and Frobisher vs. Adric and Mel would probably be popular, if it's a match to the death.

  • Dec. 20, 2011, 10:19 p.m. CST


    by gotilk

    Not this soon...

  • Dec. 21, 2011, 12:11 p.m. CST

    Not on your nellie, Gotilk

    by Ithrat Cordwallis

    And hello Docbackers, to all of you who are still reading this far down, which I suspect is round about none of you! The Romans is still on my 'to watch' list; my most recent first Doctor tale was actually a fan edit of 'an Unearthly Child', which was quite neat in terms of the sound editing but did seem to me to be somewhat reliant on you being familiar with the bits they'd cut. Hm. Hm. But I digress; Romans up next! You know something else? Of course you don't, because I haven't told you yet, but I watched TWORS again last night, and I still can't decide if I like it or not. I mean, it has a hell of a lot going on, and it's got a cave of skulls in it, but Meh. Will probably need to watch it again to decide. Oh, and nu who needs more Adric. This is indisputable. The early 80s team of 5, the Ad, the mouth and the trousers remains to this day one of my favourites, just 'cause. As for the Romans - biggus dickus, that's all I'm saying. Oh, and speaking of which, I was thinking the other day, 'what is it that people like?' Well, it's Doctor Who, isn't it? But what else do people like? Well, it's porn. Obviously. Marry them together and you have a sure-fire ratings winner. Make it happen, Moffat! In fact don't, because if you did it might turn out like this: (should you see this, Gotilk, I reckon you'd quite enjoy 'Aah Fast' and you might even enjoy the other stuff in there, depending on your tolerance for filth.) Oh, and because I mention it every week without fail, I will get the technology to listen to podcasts very soon, hopefully this weekend! Aha!

  • Dec. 21, 2011, 12:40 p.m. CST

    Anyone playing Worlds in Time yet?

    by sunspot_mike

    It's a fun little distraction and the first MMO I've ever tried. Anyway, if you're on there, I'm SunspotMike - come and say hi!

  • Dec. 21, 2011, 1:35 p.m. CST

    Who is going to the Doctor Who Celebration Event?

    by Michael_Jacksons_Ghost

    I live in Florida, and if any of you are lucky enough to go, would you be willing to hook me up with some signatures from the event? I will pay what needs to be paid, plus tip! I attend many conventions here, and will hook up whoever can hook me up! Cheers! -MJG

  • Dec. 21, 2011, 2:50 p.m. CST

    @Ithrat: DW + Porn

    by veteran_of_mu

    In 2007 I was working 2 hard in 3 timezones, stressed my immune system and wound up with a cat scratch turning into cellulitis of the leg. Whole right leg swelled up like a sausage for 3 days and, yep, I almost died. While laying in a hospital bed under the influence of the world's heaviest doses of nasty antibiotics I spent one whole evening hallucinating DW porn. It was an inhumanly athletic can-can/juggling act in which the Doc and Jack flung Rose back and forth across the stage using only the power of their mighty ... um, Thyrsi. To the tune of Offenbach as performed by, I think, the London Philharmonic. Wouldn't that make a turn up for the Pops? The climax of the act had Rose dancing on her hands with Doc 10 and Jack both inserted into the receptacles intended for their respective purposes. A remarkably lively jig she did too all things considered. Of course the real question is where Doc 10's other ... um, heart ... was at the time. Okay, I'm going to stop now before I have flashbacks.

  • Dec. 21, 2011, 4:46 p.m. CST

    Hey guys

    by Renee Knowles

    Long time no Docback :) Just a few minutes left until my shift ends for the day, thought I'd pop on and say that I'm very happy this is still going strong! Just a few more days until the Christmas special, and then we're in for a long haul. Except for those going to the official Doctor Who convention. You lucky, financially-comfortable, fortuitously-located bastards ;)

  • Dec. 21, 2011, 7:49 p.m. CST

    anyone going to Gallifrey One in LA in February?

    by lynxpro

    Just thought I'd ask. Looks like a great convention... Paul McGann, Daphne Ashbrook, Eric Roberts, Phil Segal, John De Lancie, Marv Wolfman [co-creator of Blade!], etc. etc. etc. How about you, Merrick? Anyone from AICN going to cover it?

  • Dec. 21, 2011, 8:05 p.m. CST

    Adric going postal... and other possibilities...

    by lynxpro

    Adric back as a villain [like Jason Todd, or Kes from Star Trek Voyager] would be pretty sweet. You'd just have to get a different actor to portray him though. I'd really like to see Jemima Rooper cast. I've often thought of her portraying Susan, or perhaps as a secretive new companion who doesn't know who she truly is [The Master's daughter!, dah dah dah!] and once she learns the truth, she has to choose whether to remain good and by The Doctor's side, or assume her villainous birthright and become the companion of her father The Master and betray our favorite Time Lord in the process... She could steal the TARDIS and leave The Doctor stranded... So many possibilities...

  • Dec. 22, 2011, 4:14 p.m. CST

    Helen Mirren Wants To Be Doctor Who

    by Perigee Now THAT would be fascinating...

  • Dec. 22, 2011, 5:40 p.m. CST

    Mirren would be an interesting Doctor

    by Mister Vertue

    But in practical terms, I seriously doubt she could keep up with the schedule. Unless you'd be prepared to have even *less* Doctor Who per year than you already have? It's definitely a role for a younger actor these days! Nice idea on paper though, I'll give you that.