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The Friday Docback Spelunks 'The Caves Of Androzani'!! DOCTOR WHO Story #136, And More!!




Merrick here...

...with a look at "The Caves of Androzani," Peter Davison's last story as the fifth Doctor, which transmitted in March 1984.  






On the desolate world of Androzani Minor, the Doctor (Peter Davison) and companion Peri (Nicola Bryant) are apprehended by forces who mistakenly believe the duo is running guns to an “android rebellion” on the planet.   Said rebellion quickly takes on a different complexion than initially perceived, becoming instrumental in a violent adventure of intrigue and deception which points our heroic Doctor towards a life-altering fate.  

When I first set out to explore “classic” DOCTOR WHO episodes, the one installment readers and acquaintances alike implored me to see was this one: “The Caves of Androzani.” I heard these behests, and the tale immediately went to the top of my list.  Knowing that a freshly restored version of the DVD was on the way, I I wanted to watch this when it was in the best condition available - which it now is.  
A few nicely realized shots suggest a lovely sense of scale - like this angle of the Doctor and Peri making their way across a wasteland on Androzani Minor.  
The extras on this new “Special Edition” DVD  - releasing February 14 (UK?) - proclaim “Androzani” to be one of the best DOCTOR WHO episodes ever made, if not THE best, mirroring the sentiments of those who proclaimed its greatness here on AICN’s message boards.  I can’t comment on whether it’s THE best, as I’ve yet to see every single story.  I will say, however, that “The Caves of Andorzani” may well be the best DOCTOR WHO I’ve personally seen to date, perhaps only eclipsed by “The Talons of Weng-Chiang” or “The Sun Makers” - I’d have to watch them all again to be sure. Whatever the case, “Androzani” represents consummate WHO  - and is easily among the finest the “vintage” iteration of the show has to offer.  
Directed with energy, intensity, and flare  by Graeme Harper, the script by Robert Holmes (tellingly, he also scripted “The Talons of Weng-Chiang” and “The Sun Makers”) leaves little sag - it’s high on suspense, quick in execution, accessible at its core, yet sophisticated in its detail.  It’s a hugely entertaining story, with little or none of DW’s frequent shortcomings weighing it down or holding it back.  In the end of this episode, Peter Davison exits the show, regenerating into successor Colin Baker.  The events leading to Davison’s regeneration are handled masterfully here - a seemingly small and insignificant moment  - that we think nothing of and forget about entirely once it transpires -  sets Davison’s incarnation of the Doctor on the road to ruin.  And it’s not a beautiful exit.  The Doctor takes a beating here, both physically and emotionally.  His downfall feels like a Christ parable - in a “family friendly” way he’s essentially broken, scourged, and sacrificed for a greater good...only to be reborn.  He selflessly sacrifices everything, without hesitation, to save the most meaningful thing in his universe at that moment...his companion Peri.
A simple but effective VFX in which Morgus (John Normington) engages in a holographic call with General Chellak (Martin Cochrane).  Clever blocking and angle selection made Normington appear to move AROUND Chellak's suspend image as he paced the room.  
Cheesy asides to the camera by Trau Morgus (John Normington) evoke Mike Meyers’ Doctor Evil, which initially come from out of nowhere and threaten to undercut these earnest proceedings with their decidedly over-the-top nature.  Fortunately, these gags are unexpected enough and unique enough...and the story and performances wrapped around them are strong enough and consistent overshadow this peculiarity, whose origins the DVD’s extras discusses on several occasions.  Seems Normington misunderstood one of Harper’s directions, and instead of verbalizing his stream-of-consicousness observation towards the general direction of the camera, actually turned and spoke his line directly into the camera -  i.e. addressing the audience.  There was no time or money for reshooting this misfire, so Harper instead adapted the mistake as a stylistic conceit which reappears in the story.  
This kind of “thinking on one’s feet” and clarity of potential on behalf of director Harper is, without a doubt., one of the chief reasons “Caves of Androzani” succeeds on so many levels.  In one interview (see below for its placement on the DVD’s extras), Harper discusses his strong and instinctual preference for directing DOCTOR WHO “from the floor” - for being on-set and engaging with actors and sundry minutiae, instead of directing remotely (thus more clinically) from studio’s “The Gallery” control room - which was the structure and tradition on vintage DW.  This direct, hands-on involvement allowed his ideas and energy to more fully penetrate the creative process as the story was being realized (a truth reflected by several key players in interviews included on  this set), and it shows.  The sense I get from the DVD’s extras...and my sincere preemptive apologies if this is a slight to anyone involved with the making of this that Harper’s manner and drive very much raised the game of those around him, resulting in a story which clearly reflects increased attentiveness and creative versatility across the board.  In this episode, my greatest gripes is that the design of the giant man-bat creature which gobbles hapless man burgers in caves might seem a touch inadequate given the raised level of production value around it, and the elevator door in Trau Morgus’ office may well be the slowest opening door in the history of film or television -- rivaled only by ENCOM’s “Now THAT is a big door!” door in the first TRON movie.  
(l) Morgus' merc henchman Stotz (Maurice Roëves),  (r) Snake from METAL GEAR SOLID.
There’s a little something for everyone in “The Caves of Androzani.”  It has spaceships, android terminators, inventive scene blocking and photography, stylish edits,  Michael Bay-esque explosions, machine gunning mercenaries, political intrigue, corporate corruption, assassinations and cover-ups, a floppy bat-like cave monster,  an angry masked villain who may or may not be such a prick after all, unexpected cameos by past personages of the Fifth Doctorverse (including Adric), and Nicola Bryant's wondrous legs and boobies.   
I’m disheartened to sense that “The Twin Dilemma” - this episode’s follow-up and Colin Baker’s first full stint as the Doctor - is apparently one of the worst stories created for any Doctor in any iteration of the show.  Seems a travesty that a “high” such as “Androzani” should be followed by what I’m told is such an excruciating “low.”  But that’s the nature of television I suppose, and such is the way of life as well.   
All the same, “Andorzani” remains one of WHOstory’s most remarkable accomplishments,  and is unlikely to be regarded differently anytime in the future.  ’Tis a true classic at the very least.  

A few more thoughts highlighted in blue below...
“The Caves of Androzani” Special Edition releases February 14th here in the U.S, and his available for pre-ordered HERE.
Extras include...
BTS The Regeneration (7:54)
Perspective of the Doctor's regeneration from Davison into Colin Baker
.  Available with studio sound, or insight via commentary from Davison (who explains that he found the inspiration for the sequence in The Beatle's Sgt. Pepper).  Nicola Bryant and Colin Baker discuss the sequence as well.  .
Creating Sharaz Jek (5:05)
Insight from Christopher Gable (Jek) regarding  the inspiration and application of the mask  he wore in this story.  "On Doctor Who, there isn't anything like enough time ever to do anything. And time is money, and there isn't a lot money, either."  
-- Gable's performance is fantastic here.  He evokes Holmes' Magnus Greel in that he's operatic  in nature, but infinitely more sympthetic and tragic.  Gable does an amazing job conveying emotion through a mask which covers a majority of his face - voice inflection and body language mean a lot here.  --
Extended Scenes (4:10)
News (5:22)
TV reports of Davison's departure from the show, including vintage  interviews with Davison and Producer John Nathan Turner (who addresses press reports that a "lady" Doctor was  being sought).
-- Interesting how of this discussion of a lady Doctor seems to resurface.  Nathan-Turner replied that he was seeking a Doctor older than Davison at the time, evidently more along the lines of first Doctor William Hartnell.  He said that IF they cast a woman Doctor, it would be someone middle aged and cranky.  I wonder how they shifted from this thought process to Colin Baker?  Of  course, Team Moff was looking for an older  Doctor until they were blown away by Matt Smith, so... --
Chain Reaction (36:03) -- Matthew Sweet, presenter   -- (Chain Reaction was this story's original title) --
Insight from...
-- Eric Saward (Script Editor)
-- Director Graeme Harper
-- Peter Davison
-- John Hurst (Production Designer)
-- Martin Cochrane (General Chellak) 
--  Nicola Bryant (Peri)
-- Original talk/hopes were to offer the part of Salateen to The Who's Roger Daltry, cast Tim Curry as Sharaz Jek, and plug  Ian Holm or Ronald Lacey into the Trau Morgus role.  --
-- Robert Glenister (Major Salateen)
-- Discusses the accidental development of Trau Morgus' asides to the camera
-- Discusses the casting of Christopher Gable as Sharaz Jek 
-- Composer Roger Limb
-- Davison talks about the emotion of transitioning to a new Doctor, discusses acting his heart out during his final moments as the Doctor, but being upstaged by Bryant's cleavage.
Directing Who: Then & Now (11:42)
Director Graeme Harper compares directing DW back in the 80s and now (he directed a number  of vintage WHOs, as well as Russell T. Davies era episodes like "Rise of the Cybermen," "The Age of Steel," "The Waters of Mars," "Turn Left," and more).   Harper reveals that the episode's legendary Regeneration sequence actually represents only "70 percent"  or so of what he had in mind.
-- This is a very interesting look into how DW was/is made.  Highly recommended.  -- 
Russell Harty (8:37)
A simultaneous appearance of a tired looking Peter Davison and and equally fatigued Colin Baker on Harty's talk show. The pair address (recently aborted) plans to change the TARDIS into a pay phone booth, and face off against an uninvited Cyberman.  
-- This appearance is painfully, almost comically, awkward and probably did neither DOCTOR WHO or the actors any favors --
Photo gallery (4:56)




"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"


"The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe" (2011 Christmas Special)  



"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 Romans"  (Story #12) 

"The Web Planet" (Story #13) / SHERLOCK - "A Scandal in Belgravia" (Story #4)

"The Crusade" (Story #14) 

"The Space Museum" (Story #15) 

"The Gunfighters" (Story #25)

"The Colony in Space" (Story #58) 

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

"Invasion of the Dinosaurs" (Story #71) and SHERLOCK: "The Reichenbach Fall" (Story #6) 

"The Android Invasion" (Story #83) and SHERLOCK: "The Hounds of Baskerville" (Story #5) 

"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



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 Docback 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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  • Feb. 3, 2012, 11:43 a.m. CST

    One of the best for sure

    by I am_NOTREAL

    Always loved Caves, even though I was sad to see my favorite Doctor exit. The creature (I think it was formally named "The Magma") was the cheesiest stroke. I loved how there was a darkness throughout the story, a real edge of danger, reminiscent of my other favorite Davison (Earthshock), and I loved the way it all built to an operatic climax, the TARDIS's depature from Andronzani Minor just as all the superheated mud explodes through the surface. This one really fired my imagination as a kid. Even the title seemed dark & menacing, appropriate for a regeneration story. And the regeneration sequence was the most fully realized to that point in the show's history.

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 11:46 a.m. CST

    There's a nice bit near the end of Part 3

    by Meglos

    where the Doctor fights off his impending regeneration. It's not explicit, but when he's looking at a computer screen, the effects (from his POV) that are later used in Part 4 start up. He shakes his head and they disappear.

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 11:47 a.m. CST

    A definite classic

    by DoctorTom

    I'm sure that that Harper's direction here and later helped to get him back directing Who with the second season of the relaunched series. A good story, good direction, I'm looking forward to watching it again.

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 11:49 a.m. CST

    The picture from the Russell Harty show above

    by DoctorTom

    Picture if Colin Baker had been allowed to wear that instead of the clown costume they ended up sticking him in. I'm sure there wouldn't have been as much as a general backlash if they had done that. You also get a bit of a smile from him - that's something they didn't let him do enough in his early stories.

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 11:51 a.m. CST

    Gotilk - your question from last week's thread

    by DoctorTom

    in case you didn't see my answer today in that thread, check Amazon for the book - the prices were much less (especially some of the used copy prices) than the price you had mentioned. Some of the prices are actually reasonable!

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 11:52 a.m. CST


    by mukhtabi

    I had always seen clips of that episode, never actually saw the episode. Then I got a subscription to Netflix. Caves of Androzani feels like the single best thing Peter Davison ever did as the doctor. I'm not a fan of most of his adventures, but damn that one was just great. Especially Jek. Such a great thing, almost glad I had to wait til adulthood to see it in full for the first time.

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 12:01 p.m. CST


    by DoctorTom

    I saw that Matthew Graham (Life on Mars, the ganger 2 parter in season 6) and Ashley Pharoah (Life on Mars) have a new series now called Eternal Law - how is it? Given the Life on Mars/ Ashes to Ashes pedigree I'm interested, and am curious about the reaction that other Docbackers might have had to it. (I noticed that it also has the woman playing Elizabeth Bishop in Fringe in this series, another reason to check it out)

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 12:02 p.m. CST

    Davison story quality

    by I am_NOTREAL

    I do think that the 5th Doctor got stuck with more than this fair share of uninspiring / flat stories, even considering the shortness of his tenure. The only Davison stories that I can say really worked overall for me were probably The Visitation, Black Orchid, Earthshock, Enlightenment, his Dalek adventure (Resurrection?), and Caves. Maybe the Awakening. I liked where I thought Frontios was heading after 2 episodes but it fell apart from there. That's what, 26 or so episodes out of around 70? The rest - stuff like Timeflight and Kinda and Terminus, all pretty much mediocre to poor in my book. Even so, the 5th remains my favorite incarnation. I just really felt he nailed the combination of smartest guy in the room with some relatable vulnerability. His Doctor was more even-keeled to me, like a friendly youngish college professor. Davison, Pertwee, Smith, IMO.

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 12:04 p.m. CST

    The only bad thing about Androzani isn't the story itself,

    by DoctorTom

    it'ss Eric Saward's reaction to it, him liking it so much he tried to have all the season after it take on all the violence of it, often missing why the story actually works (violence has its place, but Saward was more violence-for-violence's-sake). He needed more work on developing his versions of the Holmsian double act, and proper injection of humor (he should have gone back and watched The Sun Makers and Carnival of Monsters).

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 12:31 p.m. CST

    And this story just got a nod in the Christmas special

    by KanekoFan

    With the Harvest Rangers coming from Androzani Major. I am not much on declaring favorites, at least not across something with as wide a range as the whole of classic Who, but if somebody had a gun to my head and insisted I name a favorite story, "Caves of Androzani" might well be the words to save my life. At the very least, it is without a doubt my favorite Davison outing, for its story, its direction, its supporting performances, and Davison himself giving his best in the role. In general, I think Davison was a fantastic Doctor, but saddled with mostly very poor writing. I always like to look for ways in which each Doctor's personality is a response to the previous one, and where some people find Davison's take boring, I find it a fittingly understated response to the manic energy of Tom Baker.

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 12:34 p.m. CST

    As good as it is...

    by SminkyPinky

    ...for me, it still doesn't beat Genesis of the Daleks.

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 12:39 p.m. CST

    Oh, and regarding The Twin Dilemma

    by KanekoFan

    I don't think it's as AWFUL as it is often labeled; the fact that it's been voted on occasion the worst Who story of all time seems a bit of an exaggeration to me when Time and the Rani exists. But it is thoroughly mediocre, and what interesting elements it does include (The Sixth Doctor's initial hostility to Peri may have been off-putting to a lot of people, but taken in the context of a new persona perceiving her as the cause of his previous persona's death, it makes some sense) are not explored in nearly enough depth. It's a massive wasted opportunity, and feels all the more failed coming right on the heels of Caves.

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 12:56 p.m. CST


    by DoctorTom

    most people do think The Twin Dilemma is bad. It's not that it's an exaggeration that it's bad when Time and the Rani exists; both are bad. In fact, when you look at the Mighty 200 poll for the first 200 Doctor Who stories, while The Twin Dilemma came in lowest at 200, Timelash was at 199 and Time and the Rani was at 198. At that level there's effectively no difference in (lack of) quality, except that Twin Dilemma gets the stigma of being the lowest. I wouldn't say either one is better than the other. Of course, Twin Dilemma coming directly on the heels of Caves of Androzani just magnified the difference between the two, and leaving people with over half a year to decide whether to watch Doctor Who again after ending with Twin Dilemma was a blunder of epic proportions (third only to *never get involved in a land war in Asia* and *never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line*). Imagine if Season 21 had gotten to end with Caves of Androzani, with only the brief tease of Colin Baker. It would have been much better (and they'd have had a season to have fixed up Twin Dilemma, or maybe done a different story completely as the Doctor's first story)>

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 1:01 p.m. CST

    It's nice to spend time with the villains!

    by sunspot_mike

    One thing I love about classic Doctor Who is that we spend some time with the bad guys, and not just the Daleks talking to each other (those scenes can be somewhat painful.) This episode is a perfect example of that, you really get to know Morgus and his motivations and as a bad guy he feels like a proper bastard. You're only as good as your villain! The better the bad guy, the better the story usually, and this one had a sensational one (also in the almost-villain Jek.)

  • Caves of Androzani vs. Genesis of the Daleks vs. Talons of Weng Chiang vs. City of Death vs. Blink vs. Evil of the Daleks vs. The Eleventh Hour vs. (etc, etc). All of them are exemplary tales, all of them worthy of being called *best*, with which one being the top depending upon personal preference and sometimes mood.

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 1:17 p.m. CST

    Sharaz Jek

    by I am_NOTREAL

    I always felt like they wanted to leave the door open for him to return at some point, even though things looked pretty bad for him at the end. Of course, when time travel is a core conceit of your overall story, anyone can return at any time... He's got to be one of the most popular supporting characters in the show's history...seems like I recall there being some sentiment that he could've been a good companion for the Doctor, although I don't really see it.

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 2:08 p.m. CST


    by KanekoFan

    I did not say it was an exaggeration to call it "bad." It is bad. I simply said that in my opinion, it is not as it is in the opinions of most others. That's not saying that they're wrong; the nature of opinion is such that some differ from others. If someone is going into that story without having seen it, I think the "worst story ever" stigma is likely to factor into how that person perceives the story, and I was offering a slightly more forgiving perspective in the hope only of tempering preconceptions. I certainly agree that it was an awful way to end a season, but I think the same basic story coming in the middle of a season would simply be written off as pointless filler, rather than outright reviled.

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 2:21 p.m. CST

    Anyone else agree that John Noble would make a great Dr. Who?

    by Michael Lunney

    I thnk he would be perfect- screw this getting younger thing - the younger he gets, the less interesting the character becomes. And how about returning the stories to SF, instead of just endless companion soap opera shenanigans?

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 2:25 p.m. CST

    True classic, indeed

    by HornOrSilk

    Even if they ran out of funds, the story, the direction really make it work. It's fantastic. The Doctor really shows how strong he is in this; yes, he is holding off his regeneration but more than that, he is willing to die for others, and take everyone on.

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 2:26 p.m. CST

    Twin Dilemma

    by HornOrSilk

    Well, this really is bad for a couple reasons -- budget and direction. The story isn't great, but it just wasn't the time to do it. I still love the Doctor's insanity at the beginning.

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 2:44 p.m. CST

    Russell T Davis

    by The Alienist

    Apparently he has left Hollywood and moved back to London to be with his dying partner.

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 2:51 p.m. CST

    This Was Great, Merrick!


    I've never seen this story but will track it down after reading this.

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 2:55 p.m. CST



    Noble has been on my list of Dream Doctors ever since I started watching FRINGE. He's not at the top of that list but he's in the top five.

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 3:14 p.m. CST

    That Russell T. Davies story is beautiful

    by sunspot_mike

    It's a tragedy about his partner, but Russell's commitment is inspirational and stirring. I hope that his partner pulls through!

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 3:22 p.m. CST

    Yeah, that is quite touching


    Good luck to him and his partner.

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 3:28 p.m. CST

    recommendation needed

    by Merrick

    "Best" / most well-rounded episodes to sample Troughton and Colin Baker? They're the only ones I haven't seen enough of to formulate a respectable opinion. I do understand, of course, that the video of many of Troughton's stories is destroyed, so pickings in his instance may be more slim.

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 3:30 p.m. CST

    Re: Davies and Smith

    by Merrick

    Truly inspiring. If more of us had that kind of love and support in our lives, imagine how much better the world could be. Power and strength to them both.

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 3:34 p.m. CST

    Colin Baker got the part....

    by Abe

    ...apparently by being the life of the party (some say a wedding, some say a BBC party) that JNT attended. He was so enamored with him, he cast him fairly well on the spot the next week.

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 3:37 p.m. CST

    RE: recommendation needed

    by Abe

    Troughton: (of the surviving eps) -The Tomb of the Cybermen -The Seeds of Death Colin Baker: -Vengence on Varos (easily the best) -Attack of the Cybermen ps: I am not a giant Cyberman fanboy...this just happens to be coincidentally true. -Abe

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 3:42 p.m. CST

    Oh...RE: RE: Recommendations

    by Abe

    OH...and also for Troughton -The Invasion and -The Ice Warriors (you will have to get this online. Very good reconstruction available. Not missing TOO much) A lot of fans go in for "The Mind Robber" but I merely 'like', not 'love' it. But there is the Zoe catsuit in that one I suppose. -Abe

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 3:51 p.m. CST

    For anyone who might have been interested

    by Mister Vertue

    Here's the Doctor Who prototype that I was sent a few weeks ago, but had to keep my mouth closed about. I think it's rather spiffy!

  • Following up the jailbait mana from heaven that is Nyssa in Terminus with cheesecake Nicola Bryant in Caves and a really strong arc like this ... you can only imagine the sense of millions of teenage fanboys being robbed that resulted from the Colin Baker travesty. It really felt like Davison was just hitting his stride too. It's not like he left for bigger and better things. More to the point the show instantly dumbed down when he left - whether or not C Baker was capable of more, he goes down as the little-Doctor-who-couldn't. I don't usually comment on old Who episodes because I really don't remember them well enough - but still have the feeling I've already watched them enough. But I think I'll lash out on this one and see if my child enjoys it enough to check out more of the Davison run.

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 4 p.m. CST

    Oh, and yes, I recall I owe some replies ...

    by veteran_of_mu

    Shall dig 'em out.

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 4:05 p.m. CST

    MOV re: TARDIS playset

    by Merrick

    [ ] It comes out in NOVEMBER?! :-(

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 4:20 p.m. CST

    Seconded to Vengeance on Varos for Colin Baker

    by sunspot_mike

    That's his best and the one that I always think of when I think of his Doc. Plus, Varos really feels like a desolate scary place. And I would also recommend the Mysterious Planet (first story of Trial of a Time Lord) because I think Sabalom Glitz is the balls. Terror of the Vervoids has a cool story and (I love, love, love the ending), but the effects are a low point, even for Doctor Who. I know a lot about Patrick Troughton's stories but I don't remember a ton of them, it's been too long since I watched, but I thought The War Games was a great story and I was pretty into it even though it was 10 episodes long.

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 4:27 p.m. CST

    Merrick - Recommendations

    by DoctorTom

    Troughton - Tomb of the Cybermen The Mind Robber Seeds of Death (not to be confused with Tom Baker's Seeds of Doom) I wouldn't start with Invasion or the War Games because of their length (8 and 10 parts, respectively) It's not complete, but the episode of Evil of the Daleks on the Lost in Time set is also quite good. Colin Baker - Vengeance on Varos Revelation of the Daleks (with slight reservations) The Two Doctors on The Two Doctors, it's not the best Robert Holmes story, but I enjoyed it. Some of the issues were direction, and also having to have Holmes switch the action from New Orleans to Spain. Still, there are quite good bits in it, PAtrick Troughton is superb, and Jamie's also in it (and fun to have back). I'd say watch it after Vengeance on Varos. I liked the 1st half of Attack of the Cybermen, but it kind of meanders down into a mess and disappears up its own continuity in the second half. Mindwarp (episodes 5-8 of Trial of a Timelord) I quite enjoyed, but there's so much of the trial in it you can't really take it independently of the other stories. It's up to you if you want to tackle Trial of a Timelord as a whole - prepare to be disappointed by the final episode, though.

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 4:30 p.m. CST

    That's weird, my post didn't show up

    by DoctorTom

    despite numerous refreshes. I suspect we're back to the normal shenanigans where I won't get to see my post unless posting a subsequent post like this. But, if there's not a post from me about recommendations for Merrick before this, then my post was definitely sucked into the time space vortex.

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 4:33 p.m. CST

    Yup, that did it alright- also, Man of Vertue's playset

    by DoctorTom

    Obviously the mystic, insertion of another post lifted the invisibility cloak the ealier post was wearing. MOVE - That's pretty nice! Definitely pricey, though. Hope you're doing well.

  • Mysterious Planet - Robert Holmes writing (even though he got a bit bobbled with having to have more comedy and less violence - thanks Eric Saward!). Also, the first bit has good special effects (up until the Doctor steps out of the TARDIS). Being a Holmes script, some good wordplay going on. Mindwarp - Brian Blessed!!!!!! And Mike from the Young Ones!!!!! (Who has come back since and played Sontarans along with Dan Starkey). Terror of the Vervoids - plants that look like vaginas (yes, there were many statements about the rudeness of the monsters when the story was shown - it adds humor to the story that we're not used to in a Pip and Jane story) The Ultimate Foe - 1st of the two episodes is the last one written by Robert Holmes. The Doctor vs. Valeyard stuff is as good as what Holmes has given us before. (It's a shame that he got sick and couldn't finish the story, and that JNT wouldn't take Saward's version of the last episode and we got saddled with Pip and Jane Baker again)

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 4:59 p.m. CST

    Troughton and Colin Baker

    by HornOrSilk

    Ok. It's somewhat hard to do recommendations, because the best of Troughton is lost, and Colin Baker is better when you see him in his spread to get his Doctor [and the Big Finish audios help; I would suggest Davros for audios]. Now, Troughton: Tomb of the Cybermen (it has cheese, but it also brings out the dark side of the Doctor) and War Games (long, long, long) For Colin Vengeance on Varos (great story, a bit hurt by budget) and, despite what people say of it, Trial of a Time Lord.

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 5:02 p.m. CST

    If we had all the Troughtons

    by HornOrSilk

    I would say Power of the Daleks, Evil of the Daleks, Web of Fear, Enemy of the World

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 5:07 p.m. CST

    BTW, I am one of the rare ones

    by HornOrSilk

    I love Trial of a Time Lord. For all its campy goodness. And the Valeyard is a favorite of mine. As people should remember!

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 5:13 p.m. CST

    I was wondering why he was looking into the camera

    by gotilk

    Hmm. Hilarious. Good save, too. But when they say *didn't have time to re-shoot*, do they mean they were on set, watched it happening and still didn't have time to shoot the line? Or was the director off somewhere else shooting something and a second unit guy was shooting that scene? Seems like something ANYONE on set would have or should have giggled at.

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 5:14 p.m. CST

    and thanks doctortom

    by gotilk

    I'll look it up again.

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 5:15 p.m. CST

    TARDIS Playset.

    by gotilk

    Oh my, isn't she sexy?

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 5:16 p.m. CST

    Posts not appearing thing.

    by gotilk

    Happening to me as well. Using Firefox 10.0.

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 5:57 p.m. CST

    gotilk re: reshoots

    by Merrick

    *** But when they say *didn't have time to re-shoot*, do they mean they were on set, watched it happening and still didn't have time to shoot the line? Or was the director off somewhere else shooting something and a second unit guy was shooting that scene? Seems like something ANYONE on set would have or should have giggled at. *** In this case, they noticed the mistake at the time but LITERALLY didn't have the time to run the shot again - I believe this was because BBC was about to shut the power off at the end of the day. Apparently, BBC would *literally* turn off the studio lights promptly at 10pm (I believe it was), regardless of what was happening with a production that day/at that time. As a result, DW stories (and other BBC shows) were *constantly* racing against the clock and simply didn't have the time to recalibrate many of their sequences, if any. This is a primary reason so many "flubs" and "goofs" appear in the early years of the show...they were ALWAYS running to get as much as possible recorded before being kicked out for the night. And apparently there was hell to pay if any exceptions came around. The production time for DOCTOR WHO got longer and longer as the years went on - I don't recall how much time they had to bag an episode in Davison's era - but in the early, early years (Hartnell, for example) recording a story was essentially done in one long evening, more or less like a live television broadcast. I.e. a "play" w/ a few sets that they taped as it was being performed. All of this explains why flubbed lines, etc. made it into the generally doesn't stop a play and restart their dialogue when performing just moves on and hopes for the best.

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 5:58 p.m. CST

    Merrick - recommendation

    by mukhtabi

    I don't know if this was yet covered, but Colin Baker and Peter Troughton do a turn together as the doctors in The Two Doctors during Colin's run as Doctor #6. It does give you a sense of both of them at their best. And it's got not only sontarans but the aliens who cook for the sontarans. Kind of cool that...

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 6:04 p.m. CST

    re: recommendation needed

    by KanekoFan

    It's tough to choose on the Troughton front. Most of the surviving/commercially available titles have something to recommend them. Overall, I guess I'd go with: The Invasion The War Games As for Colin Baker, I definitely have to agree with those who back: Vengeance on Varos And, while it has its problems (including but not limited to a largely disposable middle chapter), killing two birds with one stone, I find a certain joy in: The Two Doctors

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 6:36 p.m. CST

    I was sure (when I saw this as a child) that Sharez Jek

    by V'Shael

    was a recurring villain I'd seen before, he was so iconic. I also had no idea there was a new doctor on the way. I remember being impressed that Peri was new, and the Doctor hardly knew her, and still he was prepared to die for her. I think of *this* episode, when I hear those same tired arguments (like that linked article last week) that the fans were always complaining. Bullshit says I. We just had high standards because when the show tried, it was FANTASTIC. And going from this, to Twin Dillemma, was enough to make any fan weep and gnash teeth, and cry to the gods themselves to strike down the people responsible.

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 6:50 p.m. CST

    Oh and for Colin Baker...

    by V'Shael

    I'll be honest, I like/love almost all of his episodes now. But it's the kind of irrational love that's born out of knowing what he could have done. At time of broadcast, I wasn't impressed. But he's just so FREAKING GOOD in the audio adventures, I'm now in the position of liking his episodes based soley on my love for the guy. When I consider how tech-savvy Doctor Who fans have been over the years, I think it's a travesty that so many of them never got into the audio adventures, or the books (for that matter). Colin Baker is amazing as the Doctor, and the Ka Faraq Gatri has starred in some amazing New Adventures. If you're not familiar with Baker's work in the Audio adventures, you're missing out. And when you are familiar, you'll look back at his era and think *WE WERE ROBBED!!*

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 7:03 p.m. CST


    by SminkyPinky

    Hey, not dissing the other stories for one second. Just that for me, being subjective as we all are, Genesis is the best. For me.

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 7:05 p.m. CST

    Baker Recommendation

    by SminkyPinky

    Revelation of the Daleks. IMO.

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 7:46 p.m. CST

    Colin Baker Recommendation: Attack of the Cybermen - it has...

    by obijuanmartinez

    The return of LYTTON!!! The brooding mercenary we left on Earth following 'Resurrection of the Daleks', and surely Doctor Who's answer to Boba Fett... Also, a nice tie-in to the Troughton story 'Tomb of the Cybermen', with the return to the planet Telos, the return of the Cyber-Controller, as well as some great side-car characters like (Cyber-rejects) Bates & Stratton, and the thug Russell. The story also features the TARDIS returning to a familiar junkyard setting (wink-wink), as well as (I think) the only time we see the Doctor's TARDIS as something other than a police box (temporary repair of the chameleon circuit)

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 7:56 p.m. CST

    Troughton Recommendation(s), beginning with 'The Mind Robber'

    by obijuanmartinez

    GOOD STORY! Also features the "un-Jamie", who subbed in for Frazer Hines (who was sick w/ chicken pox during some parts of the story). The Doc, Zoe & Jamie get caught outside of time in a land where fictional characters (like Gulliver) are alive. These 3 were (for me) the "core" Troughton config (and it was great to see them reunited in 'The 5 Doctors' Also liked 'The Invasion' - Good Cybermen tale, and an embryonic UNIT story, with our pals (and steady Pertwee era regulars) Alaistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart (we know affectionately as "The Brigadier"), and John Levene's dopily lovable, but loyal (to a fault) Sgt. Benton Then of course, the megalithic 10-episode 'War Games', featuring our Doc on trial by the Time Lords, who find him guilty, and exile him to Earth. Enter Jon Pertwee era...

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 8:12 p.m. CST

    Peter Davison - Maybe will give him a second chance!

    by obijuanmartinez

    Just remember so much of him sailing far and wide on me (being unfairly prejudiced toward the strongest 2 Doctors T-Bake & Pertwee). He just always seemed a weak amalgamation of the Hartnell & Troughton Docs (had the irritability & the whimsy in spurts). I could rarely identify with him, except in his stronger outings like 'The 5 Doctors' and 'Resurrection of the Daleks'

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 8:36 p.m. CST

    Twin Dilemma actually entertaining!

    by tricky dick

    While not a "good" story, I found Twin Dilemma fun to watch. The creature costumes were creative, the model work good, and the story moved along at a decent pace. It just suffers from following a classic.

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 9:15 p.m. CST

    The Mind Robber

    by KanekoFan

    I struggled with whether or nto to include that as one of my Troughton recommendations, but ultimately decided to keep it down to two, and felt that I'd suggest logner and more historically impactful adventures, but, what the heck? It's Troughton! I'm gonna go ahead and expand my recommendation to include The Mind Robber as well! It's just too much fun to leave out! And Bernard Horsefall is so enjoyable as... well, I guess using the character's name would be a pretty big spoiler, wouldn't it?

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 9:31 p.m. CST

    Merrick Recomendations, and other nonsense :P

    by Kevin Bolinger

    1. I have for some reason , never seen Caves of Androzani yet...key word is on my to do list, as with all of classic Who, but with so many episodes to go through, it takes, I need a TARDIS. I cannot recommend any Troughton to you, as he is also on my to do list...but I have seen all of Colin Baker, sadly, not much to work with there. Most of Trial is a good start, though the ending can be rather disappointing, though there were a few recalls to events in Trial in the NuWHo stuff, mainly in The Beast Below, when the Doctor talked about the Earth being scorched by a solar flare and everyone heading out into space... As for The Two Doctors, it is fun to watch, because of Troughton, but at the same time, it can get downright cheesey.

  • And I believe there's a bunch of classic stuff streaming free on and MSN/Windows Media Centre, incl Caves Of Androzani and Warrior's Gate

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 10:07 p.m. CST

    Trial and the scortched Earth

    by KanekoFan

    I think it's safe to say that when the solar flares were written into The Beast Below, Moffat was probably thinking of his beloved The Ark in Space, and not of Trial of a Timelord.


  • The Cybermen trying the stop the destruction of their home planet, Mondas, which happened in "The Tenth Planet" and the Cybermen using their old secret base in London's sewer system, which they first used in "The Invasion". I liked the story itself, but, using all those past story points made it rewatchable for me. I may even call it the "PERFECT" Doctor Who story, for me, anyway. No spoilers, but, the ending works, it might put a tear in your eye.

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 11:11 p.m. CST


    by Mullah Omar

    I'd start with THE MIND ROBBER, which I think is a classic example of how to make a high-concept show using virtually no budget, and in one case, a substitute actor. It's a typical 4-part WHO, which I think makes it a good gateway. I'd follow with the much-longer THE INVASION, which aside from having a great villain and a compelling story, is a great primer on how to restore a lot of the "lost" WHO episodes - there are some serials that exist and which have been remastered, while others that have only the audio have been animated. It works well, and I hope other missing WHO serials can be restored in this way.

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 11:18 p.m. CST


    by Kevin Bolinger

    Perhaps he was, but you still must admit that all three are related. The solar flare event was caused by the Timelords and covered up. I just like how just the mention of it ties the old and new together, despite whichever episode was referenced. Moffat is a fan of the old show, hence if you look at his Who episodes, there are so many call backs to the old who, far more than RTD ever did , though some of his are very subtle indeed. He even throws in call backs to the 10th Doctor. Who here noticed the Magpie Electronics store in The Beast Below? lol

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 11:23 p.m. CST

    merrick - Thanks for the details.

    by gotilk

    That must have been both frustrating AND exhilarating!

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 11:26 p.m. CST


    by KanekoFan

    Oh, certainly no denying that all three are related! The solar flares are one of those bits of Who lore that actually seem to have developed some legitimate continuity value. Although, of course, if some future writer doesn't like them... well, time can be rewritten.

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 11:36 p.m. CST

    On (and to) RTD.

    by gotilk

    That is so sad and unfortunate. I hope his partner can somehow pull through. This hits close to home for me, as I am providing end of life care to my own mother now. It's difficult, painful, frustrating, mind-boggling (health care system) and yet at the same time, so rewarding. When she is comfortable and happy, it's extremely satisfying. There's a lot of just sitting around with nothing to do but read or surf with my netbook by her side, play games, etc. Just watch and wait. On top of it all, I am closer to her than I have been in my entire life. I have learned so much about her life, her history, my father and the early days of their relationship. My own very early years. I didn't even know that when I was an infant, I contracted Scarlet Fever while visiting Canada. They almost lost me. I knew I had gone to Canada, but until fairly recently had no idea that I almost died while I was there. Hope can be painful too. The worst part is the feeling of helplessness and powerlessness. Someone you love needing (and sometimes actually verbalizing it) HELP and there's literally nothing you can do except make them comfortable and pain-free. I hope he has good support for both his partner AND him. It's hard, painful work and sometimes you just have to escape for a few hours, even if every fiber of your being says DON'T! You just have to. Take a fee moments every week for yourself, it refreshes you and makes you a better caregiver. I hope there's someplace where we can send our words of support and some way to donate to a charity in his name. Thanks for bringing our show back, Russel. We love you and now ADMIRE you for putting love before career and being there for your partner when he needed you. Respect! My thoughts are with you, even though the chances of you reading this are slim.

  • Feb. 3, 2012, 11:40 p.m. CST

    Whotininnies was so fun last week

    by gotilk

    .. that I'm not even going to bug you about not having one this week. I won't complain about it at all. Nope. Not even one complaint that there isn't a new Whotininnies this week. Because it was so good last week. Yep. Not a word. I won't even mention how fun it was to finally get a new episode last week, and how I don't have that feeling this week because there isn't a new one. Yep. Taking a break from needling you and Ken about it. See? I didn't do it.

  • Feb. 4, 2012, 2:28 a.m. CST

    Oh God... the Twin Dilemma......

    by sam jacksons wig

    ....... was just painfully awful, and is truly one of the very worst moments in Who history. I do fear that it is however timelocked, and even the good timelord can do little to travel back and erase such a bloody nightmare from the cannon.

  • Feb. 4, 2012, 2:31 a.m. CST

    obijuanmartinez ....

    by sam jacksons wig

    Giving Davi(d)son (bbwwwhahahahah- sorry, private joke) a second chance is not a bad thing to do. I enjoyed his work, and had the same thing with Sylvester McCoy- had little or no love the firstt time a round, but later viewings (as I matured a hell of a lot) made me appreciate him a whole lot more. Sure, there are still some clunkers, and a couple of reprehensible companions, but as for himself- NOT BAD!!!!

  • Feb. 4, 2012, 3:13 a.m. CST

    Peri and the Fifth Doctor

    by Dreamfasting

    What I remember most about this episode was the sense that the Doctor seemed to feel a little ashamed about taking on Peri as a companion ... as though he felt she was not ready for the dangers he blunders into but had uncharacteristicly had his better judgement blinded by a moment of clevage. Whether it was intentional or not, the way the camera focused on her shirt as the Doctor was dying made his words come across as if there was a little tinge of "I deserve this for what I was thinking".

  • Feb. 4, 2012, 5:41 a.m. CST


    by sam jacksons wig

    ...or wishful thinking that we weren't lying there....staring..... ..... and then, in a moment of 1OH MY GOD SHE CAUGHT ME STARING AT THEM" embarrasment, he then said "Adric???" just to throw her off the scent!!!!!

  • Feb. 4, 2012, 6:45 a.m. CST

    Baker recommendation.........

    by sam jacksons wig

    Robot. Does exactly what it says on the tin and a great intro to perhaps the greatest timelord incarnation ever..... ... although Smith IS knocking soundly on THAT door!!!!!!

  • Feb. 4, 2012, 6:49 a.m. CST

    mcgootoo/christain bale.......

    by sam jacksons wig

    ... unfortunately John Noble is no longer with us, or he would have made a ratrher spiffy Doc!!!

  • Feb. 4, 2012, 7:55 a.m. CST


    by Merrick

    Ken and I had scheduled a recording session so we'd have a new installment ready for this Docback,but his computer melted down. I think that's under control now. If that's indeed the case, we should have one ready very soonish - I'll post a link here as well as in the next Docback when it's ready. Anyone near Atlanta? Rumblings and musings of a LIVE Whotininnies recording there...

  • Feb. 4, 2012, 8:16 a.m. CST

    sam jacksons wig - Re John Noble

    by SminkyPinky

    Still very much alive and in Fringe. Are you getting mixed up with the late John Neville?

  • Feb. 4, 2012, 10:08 a.m. CST

    Love this story!

    by Mister Vertue

    Didn't get a chance to comment properly yesterday, but wanted to say that this is definitely one of my favourites. I don't think Doctor Who has seen a more fleshed out and sympathetic villain than Sharaz Jek. Wonderfully written by Bob Holmes, perfect direction by Graeme Harper and a fine performance from the cast, especially Peter Davison and Chris Gable. It's like a classic Doctor Who dream team. Glad you finally got around to seeing it Merrick!

  • Feb. 4, 2012, 10:11 a.m. CST

    Not wanting to distract from the Androzani discussion

    by Mister Vertue

    But somebody sent me this. Made me think 'Hey, the Docbackers would love this!' Who would you vote for? Or who do you think is missing from the list?

  • Feb. 4, 2012, 10:13 a.m. CST

    The greatest Who story of all time

    by kwisatzhaderach

    Yet to be equalled by anything in the new series. Such a taut and driven narrative, great characters and dialogue, almost Shakespearean in the scope and scale of its tragedy. Magnificent.

  • Feb. 4, 2012, 11:06 a.m. CST

    By the way, I wouldn't be surprised...

    by Mister Vertue

    If the amazingly talented Andy Pryor isn't in the middle of scouting Miss Gillan's replacement at this very moment. And by 'scouting', I don't mean 'casting'. I'm sure he's up to his neck with actual casting for more pressing matters lately. But he'll be getting closer to finding her replacement day by day. And let's not forget, we have Andy to thank for snagging the likes of Mark Sheppard (and his dad to boot), James Cordon, Suranne Jones, Hugh Bonneville, and a million other superb actors who help to make our favourite show worth watching!

  • That's all. Rant over. I'll get over it...

  • Feb. 4, 2012, 11:18 a.m. CST

    10 Greatest DW Episodes acc. to The Telegraph (UK)

    by obijuanmartinez "Androzani" is indeed on the list - as is 'Weng-Chiang', 'Genesis of the Daleks', and one of the AWESOMEST episodes (bar none!)... (Drum roll) INFERNO Yes! Dr. Who's own answer to Star Trek's 'Mirror-Mirror' universe, complete with "evil" Brigadier + eye-patch!

  • What I mean by that is this - America thrives on The Buddy Concept; a couple of guys, out there fighting criminals, aliens, indians, what-have you... nobody sizes 'em out for wedding rings. But it seems like every time two guys hang out on the BBC (ala Sherlock - or even DW at the Department Store), everybody automatically assumes that they're somehow involved with each other. That's kinda weird.

  • Bit too much lovey-dovey dynamic (romantic & non) between the Doc and his female companions in the 2005-Present era. First Rose, Martha, then Sarah Jane's weepy confession about loving the Doctor, Donna, then Amy (does-she, doesn't she LOVE him), and of course RIVER...

  • Feb. 4, 2012, 11:34 a.m. CST

    Join the Cordon Revolution, obij!

    by Perigee

    One pistol-packin' Yankee in a MIB suit - One mad Timelord in a sentient TARDIS. Join them in their adventures across time and space... wah.

  • RUN, don't walk. See this!

  • Capt. Jack mostly redeemed it. Just hard to get that shrill "DOC-TERRRRRRR!" out of my brain!

  • A whole season without a cry for help. Can you imagine the sweet serenity...? ~Sigh~

  • Not only that, Moffat might have misdated the solar flares. In Ark in Space, the Ark was said to have been constructed late 29th - early 30th century (but it was thousands of years after that when the Ark took place - probably 10,000 years). In Revenge of the Cybermen, you had Nerva being used as a beacon to warn about asteroids, this looks to be set in the 2900s. It's possible that the solar flares Moffat has came about the same century but after Revenge of the Cybermen, but it's possible he remembered the date of construction from Ark in Space but forgot about it being used in Revenge of the Cybermen (I know several people who try to forget about Revenge of the Cybermen..... I still enjoy it, though). These solar flares aren't the same solar flares that took care of the planet in the Mysterious Planet, since the Doctor stated there that it was about 2 million years past Peri's time. (SPOILERS FOR MERRICK or anyone who hasn't watched Trial of a Time Lord). We find out in Trial of a Time Lord not only that Ravalox is Earth 2 million years in the future, but that the Time Lords had also moved the planet a couple of light years (which brings up other issues which we won't go into here). But, Earth has to have recovered in between the times and has to be in its normal orbit for other stories that have taken place, such as needing Earth in the 50th century to have people for the story The Ice Warriors, and for Magnus Greel to have come from (and for the Doctor to have been in the Filipino army at the battle of Reykjavik). So, the flares that scoured the Earth that were mentioned in The Mysterious Planet are completely different flares from the ones that prompted Ark in Space

  • Feb. 4, 2012, 12:18 p.m. CST

    Sam Jackson's Wig - of course Davi(d)son said Adric?

    by DoctorTom

    He saw a huge globe suddenly filling his view, and flashed back to the freighter plummeting toward Earth (or Mondas, as those of us who think the temporal shift was about six months off from that 65 million year calculation like to think ;) )

  • Feb. 4, 2012, 12:22 p.m. CST


    by DoctorTom

    Sorry to hear about Ken's computer meltdown. Ken's meltdowns during the podcast are enjoyable, but computer meltdowns aren't. I hope it works out soon and you can get another podcast together (or, as was mentioned in the last podcast, just tape the phone calls between you two - you could probably have multiple Whotininnies podcasts a week that way).

  • Feb. 4, 2012, 12:27 p.m. CST

    sminkypinky- must be, mate!!!!......

    by sam jacksons wig

    ....brain fart moment methinks, as Lord of the Rings is my fave set of movies and I should be SHOT DEAD for not recognising Mr Noble!!!! Oh well, I blame this fucking flu I have!!!!

  • Feb. 4, 2012, 12:29 p.m. CST

    Doctom- then I sttand corrected!!!!! :))

    by sam jacksons wig

  • Feb. 4, 2012, 12:37 p.m. CST

    MOV - interesting list, some oddball choices

    by DoctorTom

    I wouldn't have thought they'd be listing Zooey Deschanel - I guess they don't care that she has an ongoing series in America right now. As to who they missed - I would suggest Lisa Bowerman (ideally as Bernice Summerfield, but really they could cast her as anyone). Good lord, has it already been almost 23 years since she first appeared in Doctor Who? She certainly doesn't look that old. I'd also consider Hannah Britland. She played Emma in Season 3, Episode 2 of Misfits (she's the one who gave the sympathy shag to the male Curtis early on, but then got involved with the female Curtis....and I know that this won't make any sense to anyone who hasn't watched Season 3 of Misfits. My suggestion is to watch all 3 seasons. I'd say it's probably the 3rd best tv series being made in the UK today, behind Doctor Who and Sherlock.) I don't see her listed as having been in anything else, so she's pretty new. I liked how she played Emma, though, and suspect there will be big things in her future. Lock her in as a full time companion now before we lose her the way we lost Carey Mulligan to films.

  • Feb. 4, 2012, 1:14 p.m. CST

    I stopped watching after Tegan left...

    by BiggusDickus

    I was, you see, in love with her. That whiny Yank with the rack was no substitute for my feisty Aussie goddess...

  • Feb. 4, 2012, 1:18 p.m. CST


    by ByTor

    Merrick: For Troughton I recommend (sticking to complete, available stories) Tomb of the Cybermen or, alternatively, The Mind Robber. Neither are perfect, but we have so little to choose from. For Colin...ugh. Not a lot to love there. I'd go with Revelation of the Daleks (a flawed story but Graeme Harper brings his magic again) or The Two Doctors (also flawed, but Holmes is Holmes and Troughton is especially magnificent). I know a lot of folks swear by Vengeance on Varos, so give it a try. I can't stand it, and I especially cannot stand Sil. YMMV and all that, but once you've watched it, let us know so we can discuss some of the story's issues. Twin Dilemma is very, very bad. Not the absolute worst (that goes to Timelash; at least Twin Dilemma and Time and the Rani bothered to resolve the bloody story), but it's pretty horrid. It is true that coming after Androzani does it no favors: we go from Harper's innovative (by Who standards) style back to the worst of the worst in terms of stock BBC direction: everything's overlit, basic theatrical blocking, and so on. And it's not like Peter Moffatt hadn't done a solid job before (State of Decay and Mawdryn Undead have better direction, and for the most part so does The Two Doctors), but I think he does better on location than in studio. And, of course, casting twins with a speech impediment didn't help a thing. Also, I was not a fan of the way they chose to start Colin's Doctor, and I think that harms the story that much more. Attack of the Cybermen doesn't work so well for me. There's a lot of running around and shooting (hey, it's a Saward script!), and lots of continuity references (hey, it's a JNT-era story!), but it doesn't hang together so well. Plus, a fat Cyber Controller? Really? The bits with Litton are well done, but that's counter-balanced by the silliness with the chameleon circuit. Overall I can take it or leave it. Mark of the Rani looks gorgeous, and has some wonderful music. Peri is at her least obnoxious, and even Colin is restrained. Kate O'Mara is decent enough. But then, jamming the Master in seems forced. They don't even try to explain how he survived Planet of Fire, and he just complicates the story for no good reason. And when she sees the Doctor for the first time, the Rani should've just gone to another time period and resumed what she was doing. But then, there'd be no story. Oh, and the trees were ridiculous. Still, I find this rewatchable from time to time. Timelash...this is as bad as it gets. Not because it had no money to work with. Not because Paul Darrow decided to just chew the scenery. Not because the ridiculous androids were given a sing-song voice for no adequately-explored reason. Not because Pennant Roberts is, at best, one of Doctor Who's most underwhelming directors. Not because Jeananne Crowley appeared to be stoned and delivered her lines with all the conviction of a Speak-n-Spell. Not because the Bandrils look like sock puppets. Not because a Pertwee reference was shoe-horned in. Not because Herbert was so annoying he made me feel SORRY for Colin's Doctor. Not because the parallels to Wells' Time Machine were so obvious that the Doctor should be smacked in the face for not recognizing it early on. Nono. All those things would've made it a bad story, or possibly even a very bad story. What makes it the absolute worst of all time is that they set up the big final conflict (missiles streaking toward the TARDIS). The Doctor is going to die if they hit. There's a big explosion, and the TARDIS is gone. Clearly, he's dead...until he shows up. After everything is wrapped up, Peri asks him how he survived. ''Oh, that? Neat trick; I'll explain one day.'' Now, I recall I started a bit of a kerfuffle on an early Docback when I opined that Eric Saward should have been fired for that. And I agree that fandom rage can be way over-the-top, and it makes fandom as a whole unpleasant. But in this case...I stand by that. Now, Glen McCoy wrote the thing, and he'd never written a professional script before. That's not Saward's fault; he's made it clear that JNT pushed him to hire new, inexperienced writers rather than writers who'd written for the series before. But...he was the Script Editor. EDITOR. His job was to make sure the scripts were OK and ready to go. And this is basic stuff: if I'd turned in Timelash to my Creative Fiction 121 class, I'd have gotten an F. Deservedly so. The basic story structure is conflict->crisis->resolution. You can't leave one out, and you ESPECIALLY can't leave RESOLUTION out. This is a story people emigrate to avoid. As for Trial of a Time Lord...the best part (such as that is) is Mysterious Planet. It's not Holmes' best by a long shot, but it's still Holmes. Glitz and Dibber are a typical Holmes duo, and there's lots of good dialog. The story is OK, and the opening sequence is the best visual sequence the classic series ever gave us (and it's not even close). On the other hand, this is when they made the horrid decision to use OB video for location shoots, which makes everything look cheaper, and the robot is laughably bad. Then you get Mindwarp. I suppose if you liked Varos you will like this. I did not, although Brian Blessed is entertaining enough. Terror of the Vervoids is bland. It's not bad, but it's not good either; it's...meh. And the look of the just bust out laughing. How could they not KNOW? And Mel...sigh. Ultimate Foe is a complete mess. Understandably so, given that the first part was written by Holmes, but the second had to be written by Pip/Jane, with no access to Holmes' notes or plot outline or anything. Pip and Jane aren't very good to begin with, but this handicapped them badly. Also, I think the Valeyard is a silly concept, but Jayston gave a good performance despite that. A troubled era contributed to a couple of messy seasons, sad to say.

  • Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary is coming. In Cardiff, we’re gearing up for the biggest, the best and the most ambitious season we’ve ever made. There will be shocks, surprises and heartbreak – the Doctor is about to say goodbye to his very best friends, Amy and Rory. And then he’s about to say hello to someone very different – the Doctor is going to meet someone very new in the very last place he could ever have expected… ****** Hmmm, at this point I would think that the last place he'd ever expect to meet someone new would be Gallifrey, possibly with Skaro in second place. Maybe the Doctor's companion is going to be Dalek Kevin!!!!

  • Feb. 4, 2012, 1:32 p.m. CST

    Attack of the Cybermen

    by DoctorTom

    Watch part 1, then stop the tape and watch Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Imagine Guy Ritchie jettisoning the last half of the script, keeping it earthbound with Lytton's group, with some Cybermen popping up now and then that the Doctor and Lytton have to deal with. And, absolutely keep the Cryons out of the thing. You'll come up with something much better than what we got. Or, if you prefer, substitute Pulp Fiction for Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, and substitute Quentin Tarantino for Guy Ritchie.

  • Feb. 4, 2012, 1:38 p.m. CST

    bytor - Timelash

    by DoctorTom

    Paul Darrow chewing the scenery is the one thing that makes it tolerable. In fact, it's a shame that they wouldn't let him go as over the top as he wanted to go. Actually, there was a resolution, but they still had most of an episode to go, so they stuck in a whole bunch of nonsense (including the missiles). Not the first time that they ended a story too early and had to cobble together something to get through the rest of the last episode (Creature From the Pit, I'm looking at you), but probably the most egregious example there is. And, as for a battle of the Loch Ness Monsters? I'd put money on the Skarasen beating Borad any time, even if it were a steel cage match.

  • Feb. 4, 2012, 1:39 p.m. CST

    oh, MOV - one other obvious candidate left off the list.

    by DoctorTom

    Georgia Moffat (did she change her stage name after the wedding?), for obvious reasons.

  • Feb. 4, 2012, 2 p.m. CST

    @doctortom: I still like 'Revenge of the Cybermen' too, and...

    by obijuanmartinez

    ...would've enjoyed another Nerva story (non-audio, that is). I thought the set construction was pretty good for 'Who' in the 70s. The story had some solid characters: Prof Kellman was a good foil for the Doc before the Cybermen showed up, David Collings' Vorus was decent too, and classic bit-player Michael Wisher (THE BEST DAVROS, FACT) turns up as the squirrelish Magrik. Interesting story - ties in some of the CyberWar mythology (if you've read the FASA DW role-playing game material from the 80s, you'll get the ref) Also, the brush / radio Kellman uses is a prop previously used by the Roger Moore James Bond in "Live & Let Die" in 1973...

  • Feb. 4, 2012, 2:17 p.m. CST

    @DocTom:Stormageddon. With a voiceover by Ian McKellan.

    by Perigee

    DW Goes Lone Wolf and Cub. Need the babycart for all the running... ~Damn you, Timelord - Left! I said Left!!!~

  • Or Romana is still in E-space? Actually, I'm still not a believer in past companions coming back. Sarah Jane was the only good exception. There should always be something new, someone new, someplace new, somewhen new.

  • Feb. 4, 2012, 3:07 p.m. CST

    @doctortom: oh, yeah, thanks for reminding me

    by ByTor

    As an extra bonus, Timelash added an explanation for the Loch Ness Monster, totally forgetting that Doctor Who *already had one*. Bah. As for Darrow...yes, ultimately it DOES become entertaining, but ONLY because everything else is so horrible. It makes the whole thing a parody. In an actually decent episode, it would've been horrid. Man, Timelash always angers up my blood... :)

  • Feb. 4, 2012, 3:19 p.m. CST

    On Caves of Androzani...

    by ByTor

    A masterpiece. First, you have Holmes firing on all cylinders. I mean, this script is a cracker. Great overall concept? Check. Lots of political intrigue? Check. Terrific characters? Check. A bad guy that has layers and complexity? Check. Absolutely sizzling dialog? Check. Then the cast. Morgus is outstanding, Jek is dynamite. Salateen is note-perfect and communicates volumes with facial expressions. Krelper, Stotz, Chellak...all awesome. You get Peri, but subdued. She's almost good, here, and it's unfortunate she wasn't allowed to do this sort of thing more often. You get Peter Davison giving the performance of his life. I think if he'd given this performance in his first season he'd be a lot more popular, but then maybe it's fitting that this is his swan song. And then, just in case all of that isn't get Graeme Harper. Rather than do things the way every Doctor Who director had done before, Harper dared to do things differently. Over-light everything? Not on his watch. Simple, static blocking? Not on your life. Merrick mentions that visual effect, and I have to admit, it sure as hell caught my eye when I saw it. No idea how hard that was to do, but for Who in those days, it was mightily impressive. PLUS...the cliffhanger at the end of part one is the best cliffhanger the original series ever saw, by a mile. Just a stunner. The only gripes (and they're minor): The magma beast looks silly. I mean, OK, it's Doctor Who, these things happen, but it stands out in stark contrast to everything else in this story. When the Doctor sees a pair of dice, he picks one up and declares, "This dice is still warm." UGH! It's DIE for singular, Robert! I know, that's really nit-picking, but it's nails-on-a-chalkboard for me. That's it. Everything else is marvelous. I don't know if it's my absolute #1 (could be this, could be Logopolis, could be Genesis of the Daleks), but it's certainly in the team photo. I can rewatch it over and over. Oh, and the regeneration was the best one the classic series ever had, too. Well, until Colin started speaking, anyway.

  • Feb. 4, 2012, 3:19 p.m. CST

    perigee - that would actually be awesome

    by DoctorTom

    though I suspect that they're not going to do a baby as a companion for more than one story because of the difficulties in working with babies. But, as a one-off, it could be very funny. The Ian McKellan voiceover would be awesome (though you could have Brian Blessed do the voice if you couldn't get Ian McKellan). For some reason, I could see Stormageddon wanting his babycart tricked out the way FDR has his wheelchair tricked out in the forthcoming movie FDR: American Badass

  • Feb. 4, 2012, 3:26 p.m. CST

    Re: Reccomendations for 6

    by freakshowmonkey

    Vengeance on Varos is a great episode, but my personal favorite 6 episode is Mindwarp. Granted, that was part of the season long Trial of a Time Lord thing, but it's a great segment of that story. Extremely dark story, and Brian Blessed is in it. What else do you really need?

  • Feb. 4, 2012, 4:19 p.m. CST


    by Kevin Bolinger

    My name is not Dalek Kevin thank you very much...:P In case you did not know my first name was Kevin LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Feb. 4, 2012, 6:10 p.m. CST

    Doctortom - Hannah Britland

    by gotilk

    Oh yes! Excellent suggestion. She was very good.

  • Feb. 4, 2012, 6:27 p.m. CST

    Companion for the Doctor

    by HornOrSilk

    A Zygon who is played by the super-star of the week. And sometimes older Doctors.

  • Feb. 4, 2012, 7:59 p.m. CST

    Zooey Deschanel?! Noooooooooooooo!

    by sunspot_mike

    That IGN list was pretty obscure for me. I like Emilia Clarke and I gave Being Human a chance (meh), but Zooey? No way. 500 Days was a great movie, but she's a little overexposed stateside these days. I don't want to think about Karen Gillian leaving actually. I didn't think anyone could be as quite as awesome as Rose was (and she was), but I love the Doctor Who "family" right now with Amy, Rory, and River, so I don't want to see any of them leave yet! But I know it's gotta happen, so I'd like to see a male companion, maybe a tough guy to contrast with Matt Smith. I think Matt would work great with a Jamie-like character. Or even someone like Leela... Man, when you think about all the awesomeness of Doctor Who over the years, it kind of blows your mind. We've had all types of stories, all types of characters, a rich (and confusing) continuity to pull from, plus all the amazing audios, new adventures, even The Stranger! Think about it, The Stranger was fan fiction starring the guys that played The Doctor! How awesome is that?! That's like getting William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy to act in one of those Star Trek Phase 2 videos. And all the living Doctors have done audio adventures now. We are phenomenally lucky because it seems like the people involved in the production of Doctor Who seem to love it as much as we do.

  • Feb. 4, 2012, 8:59 p.m. CST

    sunspot mike - Zooey and the next companion

    by DoctorTom

    I'm sure the only reason they thought of her was because she was in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Movie. I agree about her being overexposed (maybe because it seems that there's a commercial for her show during every commercial break on the network). Actually, the companion that we (and Matt Smith) would least likely expect would be the 12th Doctor. It would definitely make things interesting, and it would require the timey wimey shenanigans that Moffat likes for them both to be there.

  • Feb. 5, 2012, 2:02 a.m. CST


    by gotilk

    Thanks for the tip regarding The Stranger. I started listening to one (audio adventure) on headphones and am finding it VERY immersive. I think it will be fun to listen to these in the dark with headphones.

  • Jessica Brown-Findlay - A great actress, almost TOO beautiful. And a voice to die for. Perhaps even too sexy without even meaning to be. The only downside being that she probably already has a massive career set up for herself. Craig Roberts - He's good! And I would not be unhappy if he were to be the choice. But if there's going to be a male companion, I have someone in mind that I think would fit PERFECTLY instead of being simply a good choice. Anna Friel - She could be great. She's only 35 though?? I assumed she was in her 40s. Do no tell her I said that because I absolutely love her. I find her to be a much more suitable choice than some of the *hot and not much else* picks. She's smart, has wonderful comic abilities and is just a huge ball of cute. I see my pick in the poll after much consideration (Jessica B-Findley) was not the most popular choice. It seems the IGN crowd has a crush on Emma Watson. Sure, she's talented and cute, but really?? A companion?? Anyway, on to my additions... Daniel Kaluuya - If a male companion is going to be picked, this would be my choice. He plays the perfect ultra-geek on The Fades and showed that he has great range in his role on Black Mirror episode *Fifteen Million Merits*. This guy is one to watch, but is not in such huge demand that it would preclude him from being around for a while. He's a huge talent, grab him while you can. He could bring fantastic humor to the show and has the ability to tug at the heart strings. He has this ability that so few actors have of being able to convey SO much with just a single look. Sophie Wu - Also from The Fades, but with better chances of being available. Not completely sure she's got the chops to take on a companion role, but she is cute and spunky. There's just something special about this elfish waif, something that would make her a great candidate for playing some kind of a non-human. And not just because she's half Scottish/half Chinese. I mean the way she acts, the way she holds herself. She's unique. duh.... Mark Sheppard - He's great, and he must return. I'd just like to see him be a companion, even if it's only for a little while. Now, about the *hint*... *the very last place he could ever have expected...* IN the TARDIS herself? In the past? Next door to Amy and Rory? On Skaro? ... Fresno?

  • Feb. 5, 2012, 3:42 a.m. CST

    Another book I must have...

    by gotilk

    The Dalek Pocketbook and Space Travellers Guide (1965). Love the illustrations... here's a sample... I love the detail. I could get lost in maps and details like that. *Here be Daleks* lol

  • Feb. 5, 2012, 3:58 a.m. CST

    Nice little Doc about lost BBC recordings/shows/episodes.

    by gotilk Features Doctor Who but doesn't focus on just that show. Also has a few Python members commenting on the practice of not archiving, and how the first Monty Python series was saved.

  • Feb. 5, 2012, 7:22 a.m. CST

    We need to start prepping ourselves emotionally

    by Mister Vertue

    To say goodbye to Amy and Rory. It's the only way we're going to survive the next series of Who. Of course, in a room somewhere in England, they're both already gone. And in that room sat a man with a smile on his face, and a broken heart. Merrick knows it to be true.

  • Feb. 5, 2012, 8:05 a.m. CST

    MOV - killing your babies

    by SminkyPinky

    Yep, I know that weird combination of satisfaction and heartbreak at getting rid of characters.

  • Feb. 5, 2012, 8:08 a.m. CST

    Amy & Rory

    by cosmic_dolphin

    I think the 'Moffmeister' has something big in store for us with Amy & Rory's exit. Something doesn't feel right. As though everything we've seen so far has led us up the garden path and the reveal will emotionally devestating. Personally I think there's an air of unreality about Amy's life. we'll see. Can't wait.

  • Feb. 5, 2012, 8:33 a.m. CST

    I've said it before and I'll say it again

    by Mister Vertue

    I expect to see it all come full circle. It will end where it began. And I'm sure it began where it will end too.

  • Feb. 5, 2012, 9:11 a.m. CST

    The Pond's exit Theory

    by cosmic_dolphin

    Something started in the 11th hour all the clues laid out but we just haven't joined up all the dots. I think the young Amy we first meet is no 'ordinary' child and it's no accident that the Dr land's there. He already knows about the crack in the wall even though she didn't tell him. She seems to living out a child's fantasy, where every day Christmas or Easter or some other special day. I think she's living her own fairy tale in some shape or form. No parents just an absent Aunt. Very convenient. Maybe the Tardis crashed into the real Amelia's house, cracked the universe and what we are seeing is the her conciousness being kept alive by the Doctor so she can live a full life, a life she had been denied by the Doctor's negligence. We saw this idea of people living a virtual life in Forest of the Dead. Maybe he's preparing Amy to live there along with her "daughter ' River, who he worked into her life story so she'd have an emotional connection when the time came to be transferred into CAL. I hope they pull it off whatever it is.

  • Feb. 5, 2012, 10:08 a.m. CST

    It's tricky stuff...

    by Perigee

    However it pans out, it can't invalidate what has gone before - eg., correcting baby Amelia. That happens and you have a cascade failure of three seasons - No River at the library, Angels loose on some Bond-Villian's ship, Silence still moping around on Earth untended... The whole ~Petrichor~ perfume thing seems to point to something is still wacky; Amy hasn't been *turned off* yet. From Kissogram to celebrity perfume designer doesn't sit right, and remembering non-existent Timelords isn't quite right, either. (BTW - talk about the cost of invalidation... during the non-existing Doctor phase, why was Amy - or Anybody - still around, considering how many times The Doctor saved Earth before 2010. Nitpicky, but amusing to think about) So, how do you *turn off* Amy? Short of a bullet to the brain, that is. Or is a bullet to the brain - metaphorically speaking - exactly what she needs? There's your bittersweet, perhaps -Doctor Donna II.

  • Feb. 5, 2012, 11:07 a.m. CST

    The Pond's Exit Theory

    by gotilk

    QUICK!! Start a band and name it that. Too perfect.

  • Feb. 5, 2012, 11:11 a.m. CST

    Does anyone who is not prone to over-thinking things,

    by V'Shael

    have any saner ideas about the Ponds exits? Thanks. :)

  • But I do know what I WANT for their exit. I love them, so of course I want them to ride off into the sunset and have a happy life (and guest spots later on of course).

  • nutter. Wrong?

  • Feb. 5, 2012, 12:41 p.m. CST

    Band Name

    by cosmic_dolphin

    Actually I do have a band , but it's called Cosmic Dolphins - Bit of a hitchhikers Reference

  • Feb. 5, 2012, 1:43 p.m. CST

    thank you for the recommendations

    by Merrick

    I've been monitoring the Docbacks all weekend but unable to respond 'till now. The site didn't like posting messages from my mobile devices this weekend. As ridiculous as it may many problems as y'all sometimes have posting to the site? It fights me in the same ways....along with a few significant admin glitches piled on top of that . I very much appreciate all of your feedback re: Troughton and C. Baker eps. I've made a list, placed an order, and am quite eager to see what these guys are all about. I've seen extensive clips of both - but I've yet to view a single full episode of either Doctor. This me, and I didn't wish to wait until I came across them chronologically before getting a better vibe of who they are and how they operate. abevigoda. This is the second or third time you've said something discreetly and insidiously snarky in your time on the Docbacks. Please remember that the rules here are different than anywhere else on AICN. On the whole your contributions to this forum are insightful and interesting and we welcome you with open arms...but there's no need to breed even the slightest funk. Wishing you all the best...

  • Feb. 5, 2012, 2:27 p.m. CST

    @merrick - Site / Thread Design

    by obijuanmartinez

    1 Constructive Criticism in the web-design realm: Any idea if the forums here @ AICN are being / could be restructured so the "Reply to" a specific post (and descending sub-threads feature so common in many other sites) could be utilized? Would streamline the dialogue significantly... Thanks, OBJ

  • Feb. 5, 2012, 2:37 p.m. CST

    obijuanmartinez re: Thread Design

    by Merrick

    I believe this will ultimately come about. Even as is, AICN's architecture supports & has toggles for functionalities that don't even work! There's definitely room for improvement even with the structure we currently have, and certainly a major redesign would be a needed and welcomed evolution.

  • Feb. 5, 2012, 4:24 p.m. CST

    Thanks @merrick!

    by obijuanmartinez

    Appreciate your input (it's the IT nerd in me, always looking for an upgrade or efficiency...) And thanks for the Docback forums! Excellent all-around!

  • Feb. 5, 2012, 4:27 p.m. CST


    by Mister Vertue

    Dolphins are smart, but you seem to be smarter than most. I absolutely, positively cannot say anything else, other than I'll have to keep a close eye on you sir (or madam).

  • Feb. 5, 2012, 6:10 p.m. CST

    Yep! See?

    by gotilk

    The long game. Something is up. You can just sense it.

  • Feb. 5, 2012, 7:50 p.m. CST

    The truth about Amy

    by Ken Plume

    So, really, what we're going to find out is that Moff's been playing a *really* long game, and Amy is actually... Adric. It all adds up... The Doctor mentioning Adric during is Androzani regeneration, the letter "A", Moff's he doth protest too much hatred of Adric, the letter "A", meeting Amy as a child, that whole letter "A" thing... Amy is Adric. Adric is Amy. Very clever, Moff. VERY clever.

  • Feb. 5, 2012, 9:48 p.m. CST

    The Long Game

    by Kevin Bolinger

    We have been playing the long game since Moffat took over, and I for one love gives us so much to talk over and speculate about...some of our theories have panned out, some have been dead wrong, and a few, well, we are still awaiting the next series to see if we were even close. If we had all the answers now, would this Docback even exist? Yes, the Ponds are saying goodbye, yet there are still questions out there. Who blew up the TARDIS? Who was the voice saying "Silence will fall" when it blew up. Who do the Silence really work for? What is the answer to Doctor Who? I do not want all these answers at once, I like being able to try and figure things out with the evidence presented to me. Know the Moff, he has had alot of this planned out till at least the 50th anniversary, and he will sock us right in the face with it, and we will walk away from that special with our jaws locked upon the floor. Bring it on Steven Moffat, I am ready for whatever you can dish out sir!

  • Feb. 5, 2012, 9:49 p.m. CST

    V'Shael - the Ponds' exit

    by DoctorTom

    will be through the TARDIS doors. With it being revealed that due to spending her life next to the crack and sucking up all the energy, Amy is the mother of the Time Lord race, and she travels back in time to found Time Lord Society. While the Doctor drops her off, he jumps forward in time a few years to see how Amy's getting on and picks up a most unlikely companion in the most unlikely of places - a young Rassilon fresh from his viewing of the Untempered Schism. Naaah. Actually, I'm suspecting killing and/or maiming for one of them, with the other one telling the Doctor to go away (I think the bit at the end of God Complex might be some foreshadowing of this.) Which one dies? I suspect it will be Rory dying again, but this time not getting to come back. Amy realizes what Rory means to her and blames the Doctor for his death. There's a slight chance it could be the other way around, with Amy dying and Rory telling the Doctor to bugger off, but the speech of the Doctor asking Amy what if it was Rory's dead body they were standing over that I think will turn out to prophetic.

  • Feb. 5, 2012, 11:39 p.m. CST

    Doctor Who is brought to you today by the letter A.

    by gotilk

    And the number 13.

  • Feb. 6, 2012, 2:07 a.m. CST

    Lara Pulver as the next Doctor, please!

    by Peter

    And Chiwetel Ejiofor as the Master.

  • Feb. 6, 2012, 2:49 a.m. CST


    by gotilk

    She is pretty fantastic, isn't she?

  • Feb. 6, 2012, 3:36 a.m. CST


    by cosmic_dolphin overrated. Sometimes you have to think outside the ( blue ) box.

  • Feb. 6, 2012, 3:56 a.m. CST

    Mov... Gender Nuetral Screen names

    by cosmic_dolphin

    are all very well until you get mistaken for a wee girly. Brain the size of a planet and that's all I could come up with, but it's too late to change it now after so many years to something more manly. I'm not a prolific poster, but I'm honoured Sir that you would consider keeping the Eye of Harmony upon me. ;)

  • Feb. 6, 2012, 6:34 a.m. CST

    Thoughts on the Ponds exits...

    by V'Shael

    Much as I would like to see a return to Leadworth, and various continuity issues cleared up (Rory's badge in particular still hurts), I don't think that's going to happen. I do think we'll see an end to Rivers story, and some aftermath with Amy and Rory. I think perhaps the Doctor would bring them both to the library. But of course, we still have the whole issue with the ongoing storylines, like the Silence. And it's just as possible that whatever enemy the Doctor is dealing with next year, will target the Ponds. Though I personally think we've seen enough of the Doctor as a force of vengeance. There's two images I remember from fan-fiction, which could be re-used for some sort of exit episode. One was the Ka Faraq Gatri standing over young Dorothy's crib, apologising for all the horrible things he's going to put her through when she's older. (Though this was thematically quite similar to the Doctor's goodbye to the sleeping Amy in The Pandorica Opens). The second was of the loney old man, standing in the rain, over Dodo's grave. That's an image the Doctor alluded too briefly, when saying goodbye to the Ponds at their new home.

  • Feb. 6, 2012, 9:18 a.m. CST

    v'shael - exit episode

    by DoctorTom

    *There's two images I remember from fan-fiction, which could be re-used for some sort of exit episode. One was the Ka Faraq Gatri standing over young Dorothy's crib, apologising for all the horrible things he's going to put her through when she's older. (Though this was thematically quite similar to the Doctor's goodbye to the sleeping Amy in The Pandorica Opens). The second was of the loney old man, standing in the rain, over Dodo's grave. That's an image the Doctor alluded too briefly, when saying goodbye to the Ponds at their new home. * We've already kind of had the first one with Amy, in The Big Bang when the Doctor found himself back in young Amelia's house and told her the story about the blue box he borrowed. The second one's a possibility. I could see the Doctor standing over Rory's grave (or Amy's, depending on how they want the exit to occur). I'm starting to rethink Rory's ulitmate death, though, and what kind of foreshadowing the end of the God Complex might have been setting up. The Doctor mentions what if it were her who died before saying what if it were Rory's dead body they were standing over. I'm wondering if it's going to be some situation where Amy ends up in a deep coma the Doctor can't get her out of, and Rory goes back to being a nurse for her and becomes the Boy Who Waited again. It would fit with how the characters were set up and would definitely be heartbreaking. And, it would make more sense for an ending than for Rory to become a bouncer and Amy to become a pole dancer at a new bar that Dorium sets up after getting a ganger copy of himself that he can project his consciousness into and waddle around in. (Well, maybe Rory becomes a medic and is tending to the Flesh, but still, I don't think Amy leaving to become a pole dancer would be what you would call heartbreaking. It might be in line with having been a kissogram, but it's not heartbreaking.)

  • Feb. 6, 2012, 9:21 a.m. CST

    Sherlock vs. the Dream Lord

    by DoctorTom

    I just saw Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy yesterday. It was quite good. And, in all the press for Gary Oldman, John Hurt and Colin Furth being in it, I didn't know until they rolled the beginning credits of the movie that Benedict Cumberbatch and Toby Jones were also in the movie. Both do very well in their parts. It's making the rounds of the art theaters and just got to the one nearest me this last weekend. It was 100 miles over, and well worth the drive.

  • Feb. 6, 2012, 9:43 a.m. CST

    @DoctorTom - repetition?

    by V'Shael

    *We've already kind of had the first one with Amy, in The Big Bang when the Doctor found himself back in young Amelia's house* Isn't that exactly what I said?

  • Feb. 6, 2012, 11:12 a.m. CST

    v'shael - yeah

    by DoctorTom

    since they did it once, though, they won't do it again because of the repetition (like me doing the repetition of you ;) ). The more I think about it, the more I'm suspecting we'll get the Amy in a coma bit. Yes, death would be more final, but I think if Moffat's going for heartbreaking, he could make the coma bit more heartbreaking than just the death of one of them.

  • Feb. 6, 2012, 2:33 p.m. CST

    Amy and Rory killed

    by HornOrSilk

    The Atraxi or Prisoner Zero come back thinking the Doctor is gone. The Doctor arrives too late... The end.

  • Feb. 6, 2012, 4:28 p.m. CST

    hornorsilk - it doesn't feel quite right

    by DoctorTom

    I think that if there's a death it's only going to be one of the two Ponds, so that we can get the reaction of the other one to the death, and their blaming the Doctor for the death. (We might be able to substitute going into a coma for death, depending on what they do.)

  • Feb. 6, 2012, 4:40 p.m. CST

    Maybe not even Blamed, DocTom

    by Perigee

    Maybe - and this would be stone-cold brilliant - whatever gets done (to Amy) is done to her by The Doctor. Deliberately. She's a spooky little critter - whatever, whyever, she can create worlds. The Pandorica - hers. The Romans at Stonehenge - hers. Remembering The Doctor that never, ever existed - hers. The Silence - are they hers? Was the destruction of the TARDIS that caused everything to go blooey hers? Of course, she doesn't know it. And she can't control it. So how do you stop it?

  • Feb. 6, 2012, 7:10 p.m. CST are on

    by cosmic_dolphin

    My wavelength. I really need to watch them again without the kids this time. I had a theory that Amy was some kind of paradox, in a universe where her existence should not be possible. Spooky little critter is a good way of putting it. She's definitely never right that one.

  • Mark Sheppard's "Jules Verne's The Mysterious Island" will be on Scify this Saturday. Mark Speppard directed it and both he and his dad are in it, so, I'll watch it. I would like to believe that this will be a step above Scify's usual grade z Saturday night movies.

  • Feb. 7, 2012, 2:56 a.m. CST

    Well I'll watch anything with Mark Sheppard in it....

    by V'Shael

    He's one of those actors that's always good, no matter how sucky the source material is. He also seems like one of those actors who really enjoys his status amongst the, eh, 'genre' viewing community.

  • Feb. 7, 2012, 5:04 a.m. CST

    Heartbreaking? For The Girl Who Waited?

    by Sydney2K

    Just like the Brigadier. The Doctor leaves Amy and Rory, not for the last time, but like Reinette, the Doctor never quite finds the time... until the day he returns, the Tardis lands not on the date he thinks, but the day after an elderly Amy passes away.

  • Feb. 7, 2012, 8:18 a.m. CST

    doctortom - One Pond dies, the other Pond lives?

    by Mister Vertue

    That's not bittersweet, that's just plain heartbreaking! The Moff wouldn't do that, would he? Amy & Rory must be together, forever. That's just how it's got to end. It *must*!

  • Feb. 7, 2012, 8:41 a.m. CST

    MOV - it's certainly possible.

    by DoctorTom

    If the Ponds must be together forever, then the most heartbreaking thing would be to ensure that they aren't. Actually, there would be one thing worse than Amy dying (or in a persistent vegetative state) and Rory living, but I don't think they'lll go there. With all the bits about Rory being the Boy Who Keeps Dying, we find out that he just can't stay dead? This would mean that Rory wouldn't ever be able to be with Amy even in the afterlife (or only during the brief periods he dies, only to come back to life and not be with her any more). That would go beyond mere heartbreaking, well into the realm of rat bastardry. (From a practical consideration, I don't think Moffat's going to try to convince the general audience that Rory's going to live forever, even if you could sell that concept it might turn out to distract people from the pathos you're trying to sell). Actually, I just thought of a fate worse than death that Moffat's already done, just not to an official companion. The Order of the Headless Monks give Amy (and/or Rory) the Head in the Box treatment, and they get stuck in the room next to Dorium's box, except that they don't have a good wifi connection. The only thing they get to distract them is to talk to Dorium. Though, now that I've typed that, if that happened I'm sure the Doctor would use the Flesh Avatar technology to let Amy and Rory run around with bodies again, so that isn't as bad unless you really think about the implications. It would probably be enough to get them to stop travelling with the Doctor, though, if you lost everything but your head travelling around like that, you might back out before you lose even your head.

  • Feb. 7, 2012, 8:51 a.m. CST

    I think the most heart-breaking thing for Amy would be

    by V'Shael

    that she forgets everything that happened to her, including Rory. Like Alzheimers, but you know, more scifi in some way. I've always thought the most heart breaking thing about the two of them was when Amy would forget Rory, and he'd stand by her anyway. Whether he was an auton, or whether he was a security guard in the pyramid. The thing is, I don't think Moffat would do that either, as it smacks of The Notebook, or something equally schmaltzy. What ever it is that happens to them, it will be something the Doctor can't do anything about. Until he does. Because if there's one thing that Moffat's stories generally have, it's an air of last-minute-Doctor-can-do-anything-to-save-the-day-ness about them.

  • Amy forgetting what happened to her would be very close to what the Doctor had to do to Donna. I don't think they'll try that for two companions in a row. On the last-minute-Doctor-can-do-anything-to-save-the-day-ness of Moffat's stories, I suspect it's going to be something more like The Girl Who Waited (at least from MILFAmy's standpoint) where the Doctor doesn't save her.

  • Feb. 7, 2012, 12:28 p.m. CST

    Amy & Rory will be lost

    by Mister Vertue

    But the Doctor will still save them. We've seen him save several people already. He can do it again.

  • Feb. 7, 2012, 1:30 p.m. CST

    Bugger. Spoiler.

    by Perigee

    It will end where it began.

  • Feb. 7, 2012, 1:34 p.m. CST

    Fracking quotes...

    by Perigee

    In Amy's Room. At the crack. Sooo... let's pretend. The first crack was in Amy's room. Not on the TARDIS. What if Amy is the Cause, and not the Effect of the crack in the first place? And all that shipping her around through time and space spread the cracks, like a cold? What if the wrong person went through the cracks in an attempt to permanently close them? And what if Amy (and Rory choosing to follow) had to go (back?) through to close the rift permanently. And then they never existed. And if they never existed, River never existed. And The Doctor, try as he might, would forget. Damn. That's hardcore. Be glad I'm not the showrunner, kids - because that would be my season...

  • Feb. 7, 2012, 2:59 p.m. CST

    Perigee - following up on your thoughts

    by DoctorTom

    if Amy goes through the crack, it might not make the world forget her, it might just rewrite everything back to the point where the crack started to exist. There would still have been an Amelia, but one who wasn't asking Santa to send someone to fix the crack. It wouldn't be The Girl Who Waited. They might still exist, and Rory and Amy still get married, but the Doctor didn't enter their lives. For that matter, neither did Mels, since there was no crack, no hanky panky in the TARDIS on their wedding night, and so on. Unless River would still exist as a kind of temporal anomaly, not able to tell her parents who she is. This might work, and it's different enough from just making Amy forget that it would still work. The alternate scenario is that Amy and Rory walk through the crack, and Amy gets to find out exactly what happened to Rory while he was outside space and time. Maybe she gets to meet Omega. Or the Doctor who stepped through the crack in The Big Bang (who is not the same as the one she remembered). Or maybe Rory's Omega (doubtful, though). I do have to say, though, that people are getting an unhealthy fixation on Amy's crack. ;)

  • Nobody dies. Why does anything have to happen to either one of them? I mean, they traveled with the Doctor, but, now that he faked his own death, he has to lay low, travel under the radar, so, Amy and Rory go home, see, hear from the Doctor once and a while, everybody's happy, they all walk into the sunset, end of story. Can't we have a happy ending? (But, I'm guessing the answer is no, right?)

  • Could you imagine the total crush of something like that? Being forced to take your companion and push them into non-existence knowing that you're not only betraying your best and only friends, but also annihilating your girlfriend and losing memory of all of them? That's like super-supreme sacrifice stuff. We're talking 3 minutes of very uncomfortable silence before the end credits, and the pinnacle of Smith's acting chops - if he has the chops to pull off the scenes. I stand behind it - it hurts like hell, but it's brilliant.

  • Feb. 7, 2012, 4:14 p.m. CST

    Perigee - be careful comparing it to City on the Edge of Forever

    by DoctorTom

    You don't want Paramount and/or Harlan Ellison getting involved with lawsuits. ;) But, it is a nifty idea.

  • Feb. 7, 2012, 7:18 p.m. CST

    Rory is Prisoner Zero

    by HornOrSilk

    And the Dream Lord approves

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 4:30 a.m. CST


    by gotilk

    That post pretty much just broke my tiny widdle heart. wow... No seriously, that was heartbreaking. But I could see them doing something like that.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 4:31 a.m. CST

    Jules Verne's The Mysterious Island

    by gotilk

    Saturday, eh? I'll DVR it for sure. First I've heard of it, right here. I thought the promotions for Sherlock were bad here.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 4:38 a.m. CST

    Perigree's heartbreaking genius.

    by gotilk

    They erase themselves from existence... Then a brief, tasteful montage (with no score) of Amy and Rory in happier times with The Doctor, followed by a quiet scene of The Doctor in the TARDIS (still no score), whistling along as if nothing's happened into a very, very slow fade to black. Credits, still no score. Oh that would just hurt. And really tick off a LOT of people. Ah, that is almost cruel. And not such a great idea. I'll just punch myself for that one. ouch. But I'm fine. It hurt less than the above would.

  • I was a huge fan of Coupling back in the day, and not just for the frequent Doctor Who references. I really loved the show, and the characters. So I was kind of miffed when Jeff left at the end of season 3, and a little more than miffed when the show ended after season 4, and we never really got a resolution to the fates of the characters. Years later, someone asked The Moff on Outpost Gallifrey, whatever happened to the characters... and he wrote a quite lovely response, which answered all my questions. It also left me in no doubt that he loves his characters as much as we do. So even if they get put through the ringer, for dramatic purposes, I don't think he'd do anything too horrible to them at least nothing that we wouldn't do.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 6:57 a.m. CST

    That's actually very comforting, v'shael.

    by gotilk

    I still have not seen more than a few clips of Coupling.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 7 a.m. CST

    Any DocBackers on Google+?

    by gotilk

    I added Merrick and Ken Plume to my Whovians circle. I thought it would be fun to do a hangout sometime with a few of you. Here's my profile:

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 9:14 a.m. CST

    Only one sticking point on Perigee's thoughts for the ending

    by DoctorTom

    If Amy and Rory reset the universe so that there aren't any cracks, there would still be the bit of Matt Smith crash landing in the TARDIS by her house right after regeneration. Presumably her parents would be there this time, and she wouldn't be up praying for someone to come fix the crack. (Come to think of it, don't we kind of have that situation now, if the Doctor had closed all the cracks? Well, maybe we can dance around the issue). As an alternative to Gotilk's thought of showing the Doctor puttering about, whistling like there's nothing, I can see a different ending. A young Amelia is asleep (or praying, for some other reason), when a great clatter outside wakes her up. She finds a strange man who calls himself the Doctor. He proves that he has a time machine by jumping five minutes into the future, then the Doctor gives her (and maybe some of the rest of the family? I'd quite like to see Augustus back, actually) a quick ride in the TARDIS before dropping her off back at her house, probably with young Rory running down the street at that point to see what all the noise was about. The Doctor then leaves, not to have all the future adventures with Amy. (Possible twist here, because of necessity of a plot device, and maybe because of his special relation to time, he can remember both time tracks). Next, we see the Doctor (in a tux) at the Pond's wedding, slipping in to leave them a gift - the car Rory always wanted and keys to the house he got them. Unnoticed, he slips back out, only to find River. He tells her that both River and he have been written out of their lives and that River exists only as an anomaly. The two head off in the TARDIS to the dinner where the Doctor will give River her sonic screwdriver.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 9:55 a.m. CST

    DocTom - Defending Pathos

    by Perigee

    No. Not like this. I haven't faced death. I've cheated death. I've tricked my way out of death and patted myself on the back for my ingenuity. I know nothing.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 10:48 a.m. CST

    There goes those quotes again...

    by Perigee

    What I had laboriously typed out earlier is that The Doctor has never faced his Kobayashi Maru. And in that, he will be revealed more fully than he ever has been before. Or Would have been in the Bobverse; This is the Moffverse, and his particular die is apparently already cast.

  • It's going to be on the fields of Trenzalore, at the Fall of the Eleventh, when no living creature can speak falsely or fail to answer. He'll be forced to confront the question *Doctor Who?* and give an answer (and we find out why it must not be asked). I just see this as happening after Amy and Rory are gone. Unless Moff's going to pull a mid-season surprise and have the Fields of Trenzalore happen just before Christmas, and it's the answer to the question that drives Amy and Rory away....

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 12:12 p.m. CST

    DocTom - That could be clevered away.

    by Perigee

    ~Why, Doctor Me, of course..." I don't worry about The Doctor when it comes to his wits - I worry about him when he gets hit in the gut, in the soft parts he hides behind whimsy. I didn't buy Tennant's take on relationships, especially with Rose; too heart on the sleeve for a man who has seen to much death and impermanence. That Christmas Dinner was Just understated enough for me to buy him opening up, just a little. And now, I want to shatter him for it. ~Grin~ I'm a baaaad man...

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 12:43 p.m. CST


    by gotilk

    I completely GET what you mean. And I am just filled with guilt for feeling it.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 9:28 a.m. CST

    Ten's wearing his heart on his sleeve...

    by V'Shael

    I personally love how each Doctors incarnation has an input into the next incarnation, particularly how they died. 9 is a battered PTSD Doctor. 10 gets obessed with Rose, wears his heart on his sleeve, carries the weight of the war on his shoulders and says *I'm sorry* a lot.. In all, he's very human. Too human. 11 Not at all human. Very alien. And beyond the war. Calls it a bad day. Quips about killing the Time Lords.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 10:14 a.m. CST

    You even see that a bit in the old series

    by DoctorTom

    3's being a dandy could be a reaction to 2's being a clown and dressing frumpily. Also liked to take direct action and be in the front of things rather than quietly finding out information and manipulating through pretending to be weak. 5's a lot more down to earth in reaction to 4's having enough tawdry quirks to be a tawdry quirk factory (not the last time we'll have a tawdry quirk factory Doctor) 5's being so straightlaced and cheerfully open sent 6 in the other direction, heightening the arrogance. In many of 6's adventures he seems passive, like the adventure would be the same if he hadn't been there. Combining that with the knowledge that 6 gained that he would eventually become the Valeyard, 7 set out to be more proactive, setting up situations to take care of upcoming problems. (In fact, if you go with fan fiction/ the New Adventures, 7 stepped in to prematurely end 6's incarnation before 6 went on a path to become the Valeyard). Also, evidence of the Doctor being from the north of Gallifrey starts slipping through in one of his regenerations.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 3:54 p.m. CST

    Agreed Doctor Tom - It's an interesting progression...

    by V'Shael

    Makes me wonder what 12 would be like.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 4:44 p.m. CST

    v'shael - what 12 would be like

    by DoctorTom

    *Hello! I'm Brian Blessed!*

  • The seventh season of Doctor Who is set to start filming on Feb. 20 (mark your calendars, Who-stalkers, you know who you are.)