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The Friday Docback Is Swayed By 'The Time Meddler'!! DOCTOR WHO Story #17, Season/Series 7 Tidbits, And More!!




Merrick here...
...with a look at “The Time Meddler,” a William Hartnell DOCTOR WHO story which transmitted July 3-24, 1965.  This is the first adventure for new companion Steven Taylor, and our first encounter with...well...I’ll mark that as a SPOILER below.
But first...
Here’s a new trailer for DOCTOR WHO: THE ETERNITY CLOCK, the new multi-platform title which unites the Doctor and River Song for an adventure.   A press release from Epic Games helps bring context to the project, which unveils on PCs, PS3s, and PlayStationVita in March.  
Epic Games announces that BBC Worldwide and Supermassive Games have licensed the award-winning Unreal Engine 3 technology to power the time-bending action game, “Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock.” Crafted by acclaimed developer Supermassive Games and based upon the BBC’s heralded franchise that has entertained audiences for nearly 50 years, “Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock” will be the first PlayStation®Vita game to utilize the cutting-edge Unreal Engine toolset, which also fuels the PlayStation®3 and PC versions of the game.
An exciting new trailer for “Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock” gives players a taste of what they’ll experience upon the game’s release next month as the Time Lord attempts to save the universe yet again. Of special note in the video are newly revealed features such as split-screen and 3D camera support
Here’s the new trailer...
PlayStationVita, hunh?  I saw a demo unit in the store the other day and quite liked it.  Display wise, its depth of color and fullness and clarity of graphics were extremely impressive.  Alas, I’m rather “old school” regarding how I play games,  If I don’t have a controller in my hand, and if I’m not sitting on a chair or slouching on a couch staring at a TV while I’m playing, I generally lose interest very quickly.  
THE ETERNITY CLOCK hits in March - I believe as downloadable content for the PS3.  Not sure how how release will be handled for the Vita and PC, but more as we know more.  
This week:  

** Glen stresses out Ken regarding how much Glen stresses out Ken...
** Ken and Glen argue about the lyrics to MISTER ED's theme song...
** Ken performs the theme songs to ALICE and GROWING PAINS as a Russian Elmer Fudd...
(all of the above goes on for approximately 30 minutes before we get to the substance of the podcast)...
** A look at a presumed-lost script for the original STAR TREK series - recently found (it was authored by Norman Spinrad)...[more details  HERE]   NOTE:  in the podcast I erronesouly referr to a character as Thomas Bayne.  His name in the script is actually Theodore Bayne.  
** A discussion of James Cawley's STAR TREK: NEW VOYAGES / PHASE II, and how wonderful it is to see that fan generated production skillfully addressing homosexual relationships...
** A discussion of the real STAR TREK: PHASE II, a new "five year mission" television series that was deep into development before The Powers That Be decided TREK should go into theaters (hence STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE)...
** A little bit about DOCTOR WHO...
** Ken exalts BLACK MIRROR, and Glen agress based on what he's seen thus far...
**And more!! 
The new WHOTININNIES can be found HERE.  Earlier installments are HERE.  
Seasonm/Series The first publicity photo from Season/Series 7 has been issued. Click to EMBIGGEN!

That loudspeaker behind the must MEAN something! 
Concurrently, we’ve recently learned of new casting for S7 - specifically that David Bradley, Rupert Graves and Mark Williams will all appear on S7.  
We’ve recently seen Graves as Inspector Lestrade on The Moff’s SHERLOCK series.  
Viewers may recognize Bradley from his appearances in multiple HARRY POTTER films, GAME OF THRONES, and HOT FUZZ.
 Interestingly, Bradley was also in THE FRISCO KID back in 1979, a movie many people have never heard of.  It’s been a long, long time since I’ve seen that film, but I recall enjoying it quite a bit.  In short, it’s about a rabbi (Gene Wilder) who’s trying to make his way through then Old West on a journey to San Francisco and the bank robber (Harrison Ford) who ends up traveling with him. Their journey isn’t easy.  
Mark Williams... a POTTER film vet as well, having played Arthur Weasley (Ron’s dad) in 7 of those pictures.  In1988, he also played Olaf Petersen in RED DWARF.  
"Those Vikings sure know how to tie a knot..." Steven Taylor, “The Time Meddler” Episode 4 - ‘Checkmate’
Scripted by Dennis Spooner (“The Romans”), “The Time Meddler” cuts in on the Doctor (William Hartnell) and Vicki (Maureen O'Brien) weighing the departure of former companions Ian and Barbara, who left the show at the conclusion of “The Chase” (the previous story chronologically).  In a touching moment of uncharacteristic awareness and plaintiff defeat, the Doctor asks Vicki if she wants to leave the TARDIS behind as well.  She declines, saying she has nowhere to go.  
Their conversation is cut short by unexpected noises from within the  ship, which they quickly discover to be the clattering about of ragged and exhausted Steven Taylor (Peter Purves) - the stranded astronaut they met back on planet Mechanus in "The Chase.”
The story cuts to Northumbria, 1066, where tatty but well spoken settlers are intrigued by the strange, large box that was recently "washed ashore by the tide."   This is, of course, the TARDIS - whose occupants are already out and about, exploring the region.  Our heroic travelers uncover evidence of an alarmingly anachronistic mystery:  the monk chants from the local monastery seem to skip and drag like a recording, and one of the locals is spotted wearing a shiny wristwatch.  How are these things here, and to what end?  And, most critically, what is that contemporary mortar launcher hidden along the coastline, aimed towards the sea?  
“The Time Meddler” acts as a quick and skillful re-introduction to the immediate WHO verse, with the Doctor and Vicki bringing an incredulous Steven up to speed on the wonders and peculiarities of TARDIS.  There’s a fun and interesting conceit at play here:   “The Time Meddler” very much inDoctornates Steven - thus serving as a refresher for previous viewers and a launching point for incoming audiences.  But the story is also very much a trial by fire. “The Time Meddler” is about why the rules of time travel should NOT be broken, tenets which are difficult for Steven to grasp when he hasn’t even learned them to begin with.  
With adults Ian and Barbara now off the playing field, Vicki is now allowed to spread her wings a bit - becoming more maternal of (and protective towards) the Doctor, admonishing Steven about the intricacies of time travel while also reprimanding his conduct, and generally assuming a more authoritative role.  This evolution is very important to note as it dramatically effects the complexion of the show as a does the Steven’s arrival.  
Not unexpectedly, there’s an entirely new dynamic at play here as the trio quickly settles in for their first adventure together. Despite Steven not being entirely intuitive about the time travel process, he’s no idiot, and quickly grasps the truth that people are people in whatever time they inhabit:  good folks are good, and scum bags must pay.   There’s a nice energy to this new, interpersonal dynamic.  A briskness.  A smartness to its conception.  Presumably cuing off this fresh vitality, Hartnell feels newly invigorated in his role, more commanding on on-game throughout.  As does everyone here.  There’s a natural “these people are cool” web woven between this particular Doctor/Companion trifecta.  I hope it continues into future episodes.  
Unfortunately, "The Time Meddler" does succumb to the dreaded mid-story slump ailing many early DWs.  The essential "juice" of its third installment, for example, could've been distilled into approximately six minutes of screen time (the episode is 24:13 long).  Despite this stumble, “Meddler”  is launched by what is, perhaps the best  opening episode of any story to this point in the show. It’s dark, atmospheric, provocative, slow-burn, forboding.  A mini-masterwork by helmer Douglas Camfield (“The Crusade”).  
A sample of one of this story’s dramatically lit/composed shots.  The moonlit clouds in the background are actually billowing past quickly, a la the finale of DRAGONSLAYER 17 years later.  
It’s difficult to fully assess “The Time Meddler” without touching on its final, revelatory moments,  Therefore, we’ll be skirting...
...from this point forward.  Can one truly “spoil” a forty-something year old episode which has been written about extensively for decades?  I don’t know.  But consider yourself forewarned, just in case you’re spoiler atopic.  
The chief “gag” of “The TIme Meddler” hinges on a character generically refereed to as the Monk (which appears to be his 1066-appropriate disguise, not his actual calling).  The Monk is portrayed with used-car-salesman slickness by Peter Butterworth.  For our purposes, we’ll call him the Meddler, because that what he’s doing...meddling with time...hence the story’s title. In short, the Meddler’s  from Gallifrey - the Doctor’s homeworld - and represents the first Gallifreyan we’ve met on the show other than the Doctor and his granddaughter Susan.  He’s attempting to re-write the natural development of time for ostensibly altruistic reasons, although the fact that he’s re-shaping history in accordance with his own prescript makes his rationale...questionable.  
Vikings -vs- neutron grenades - who would win?  
In the end, Doctor maroons the Meddler in 1066, unable to access his dimensionally compromised TARDIS (should that be MARDIS?  Monk and Relative Dimensions in Space?) This seems to be an unnecessarily dangerous risk considering the man's propensity for altering timelines - he could still influence history quickly and tremendously from 1066 alone, and this concern doesn’t even account for the Meddler presumably living the same long lifespan enjoyed by other Gallifreyans.  Wouldn’t it make more sense for the Doctor to, for example, maroon the Meddler INSIDE of “the Monk’s” time/space device...perhaps condemning him to travel the Vortex forever, unable to rematerialize any time or anywhere?  This way, the Monk would’ve had no ability to influence any persons or events.  

The conclusion presented in the story neither supports or fully addresses the gravity of the Meddler’s stated threat to human development.  It feels a tad slipshod and scattered in its rationale.  Above all, it’s an unnecessary sleight-of-hand when any number of alternatives would’ve fully realized the story’s conclusion - with no more budget than was already being spent.  
A daring and compelling piece memorable for its simple but surprisingly effective atmospherics, “The Time Meddler” emerges as a great deal of fun, and, on the whole, its provocative core concept is both intriguing and well realized.  Whether or not the story’s ending “works” is certainly open to debate - which, in itself, makes this story worthy of careful consideration.  There’s a lot here to chew on, even if every ingredient isn’t exactly perfect.  
“The Time Meddler”  is available HERE in the U.S. and HERE in the U.K.  
"Galaxy 4" (Hartnell, Story #18 - audio & recon)
"The Robots of Death"  (T. Baker, Story #90)
"The Tomb of the Cybermen" (Troughton, Story #37) 
"The Three Doctors" (Pertwee, Story #65) 






"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 Sensorites" (Story #7 - full DVD release) 

"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 Chase" (Story #16) 

"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)

"The Caves of Androzani" (Story #136) 

"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. 24, 2012, 9:30 a.m. CST

    River's story should be ending this coming season

    by Michael_Jacksons_Ghost

    With Amy, and Rory leaving, I just don't see a reason for River to be around. If I had to guess, River's last appearance will be when 11 becomes 12.

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 9:47 a.m. CST

    River's story

    by The_Mad_Groper

    Didn't they already "show" her end on one of the specials? The one where there were 3 of her and 2 of the Doc and they kept comming in and out of the TARDIS?

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 9:48 a.m. CST

    Glorous reinvention

    by KanekoFan

    The switch from the original four member line-up, with Ian and Barbara as our basic point-of-view characters, to this new three member TARDIS team, with The Doctor himself as our most familiar character, is huge. At this point, The Doctor definitively becomes the lead character, and its fitting that this change occurs in the first episode to present a rival from his own time/world. I also really like that our "villain" here isn't particularly evil or malicious, he's basically just a less mature, responsible twist on The Doctor. He wants to see the Universe, and he wants to improve the Universe, he just has ill-conceived and wildly arrogant ideas about what constitutes "improvement" and how to go about achieving it. And I think that's why The Doctor can't very well trap him in the Vortex forever. Well, that, and the Vortex hadn't been made up yet.

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 10:04 a.m. CST

    Been a bit disappointed with River's story, to be honest

    by Kauzi Sezso

    I sort of liked the concept at her introduction, that she met The Doctor at different points in his timeline after the Library story. So I was hoping we'd see her pop in from time to time and make appearances with many different Doctors to come. I was hoping we'd have small bits of her story revealed here and there, not unlike how The Doctor's story is revealed to the audience. When Moffat gave her the ability to regenerate, I thought that would make such appearances even more likely. Alas, Moffat took that away almost as quickly as he gave it, and her story has just seemed so crammed into the last two series. I would've preferred her story to breathe a bit more. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the next series or two has the last of River, and the shame of it is, it didn't need to be that way.

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 10:06 a.m. CST

    Monk = Master?

    by Deagol21

    I've often wondered if the Meddling Monk could be an early version of The Master? Maybe he wasn't wholly evil at first. But after the Doctor stranded him in 1066, perhaps he vowed to get revenge, changed his name, and decided that the Doc would be his nemesis from that point on? Of course, we don't know how he would later manage to fix his TARDIS, or obtain another one, but that may be best left to the imagination anyway. : )

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 10:17 a.m. CST

    The Time Meddler

    by HornOrSilk

    It really was another important episode in the series -- showing the first Time Lord rival which allowed for the eventual reveal of the Time Lords themselves. The Doctor is with a new "team," and the questions of time are once again brought up. These questions come with different answers from the Doctor as he ages. He becomes less forgiving and more willing to tamper with things. I do think there is a bit of a lull with the story, but again, it fits for the time period.

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 10:18 a.m. CST

    River Song

    by HornOrSilk

    Her story transcends Amy and Rory and so does not have to end with their ending. And don't forget rule #1. The Doctor lies. She only "apparently" used up all her regenerations. Everything is open.

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 10:23 a.m. CST

    3 Whotininnies in 3 weeks - thanks!

    by DoctorTom

    It always brings joy and amusement to listen to them

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 10:40 a.m. CST

    Time Meddler = Patrick Troughton Doctor?

    by DoctorTom

    I really enjoyed this story. The dynamics between the regulars was nice, Hartnell seems reinvigorated (even before he took off for vacation for a week during this story), and he has Peter Butterworth to play against in this story. The Monk's one of those fun characters to pop up in Doctor Who. He's not like the Master at all and takes impish glee in what he's doing. It seems like when the Doctor regenerates from Hartnell into Troughton, he decided to have as much fun in life as the Monk was having. In fact, the change to Troughton has the Doctor changing into a meddler from his original non-interventionist s(as long as it's before the year the story is broadcast on the BBC, since obviously the only history that can't be changed, not one line, is only the history up until the 1960's) stance; I don't know how much the Monk might have influenced the attitude change. The Monk deserves to come back again in new Who sometime, if they ever decide to have other Time Lords show up again. He shouldn't be relegated to only appearing in Time Meddler and Dalek Masterplan (well, and in the New Adventure No Future, and in one series of audios with Paul McGann).

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 10:56 a.m. CST

    Okay, let's throw out a HAT for Caractuspotts

    by DoctorTom

    GangerDoc regenerates after glooping himself in The Almost People. Still a bit addled from the whole regeneration bit (especially since in the regeneration there will bits of other gangers in there), he looks around and decides that he must have been cloistered in the castle because he was a Monk. Eventually he sorts his memories out and realizes that he looks like the Meddling Monk that he met during his first incarnation, so he has to go about setting things up so that he doesn't mess up his original's personal timeline. At some point he acquires a TARDIS (possibly the Master's, if that hadn't been captured and destroyed by the Daleks - we haven't seen his TARDIS since the Classic series (I can't remember, did we even see his TARDIS in Survival? I don't recall seeing it there. Likewise, in Trial of a Timelord we only saw him in the Matrix going neener-neener-neener at the Valeyard. Heck, I don't even remember seeing the Master's TARDIS in Mark of the Rani. I know we saw the Rani's TARDIS, but did we see the Master's? He presumably had it, but I don't remember seeing it. Has the last time we've seen the Master's TARDIS actually been back in a Peter Davi(d)son story?) The Master probably had a few TARDISes kept around for emergencies - he's the type I could see stealing more TARDISes every time he showed up on Gallifrey. He could have parked them in his original TARDIS when getting away, assuming he even used his TARDIS to get to Gallifrey and didn't have some other way to get there and get into the Matrix. Of course, he might have been accessing the Matrix remotely, but I imagine if he wanted to he could boost a few TARDISes using the Matrix. Then again, maybe gangerDoc/Monk remembers a previous time when the Doctor was in that time period, and gets some Flesh to duplicate the TARDIS. Or he spends the time to grow one. However he does it, he ends up with a TARDIS that doesn't want to look like a Police Box, and goes back to preserve the Web of Time. Then, after his two appearances he bows out of the Doctor's life since he doesn't recall any other past meetings - at least he stays out of the Doctor's life until Season 7 or later of the new series.

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 11:13 a.m. CST

    The Monk shows up in the BF Audios

    by HornOrSilk

    And boy does he mess things up!

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 12:18 p.m. CST

    I'm still waiting for a truly good DOCTOR WHO game


    I'm not entirely sure that THE ETERNITY CLOCK will be it. The show has such a neat concept that I'm surprised we haven't yet been given a fantastic RPG which makes use of it. I don't know if anyone here has read through the fantastic DOCTOR WHO: ADVENTURES IN TIME AND SPACE roleplaying game but it would be awesome to see a digital version of that game. Hell, even some of the starting adventures which come with the game could be utilised as settings for the game (especially the creepy fairground from the first adventure). I guess I'll somehow have to make a few million and then convince the BBC to give me the rights to make it myself.

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 1:55 p.m. CST


    by gotilk

    Thanks so much, guys! Nice surprise.

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 2:06 p.m. CST

    Good episode of Whotininnies

    by DoctorTom

    Is the singing of different theme songs going to become a standard for future episodes? If you're going to mine such classics as Mister Ed and Good Times, you might as well do Green Acres and Gilligan's Island. Actually, it might be amusing to hear Ken and Merrick doing the theme to Batman, and singing the theme to Wild Wild West. I'm going to assume that this is all dependent on Ken's double ear infection not blowing out his eardrums during the upcoming week. Sorry to hear about the infection, and hope you get well soon!

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 2:20 p.m. CST

    Oooo! - an "IN THE COMING WEEKS" bitsy...

    by Perigee

    Ok, I'll be all in-the-know for next week. This week, I'll just kabbitz, as usual. Thankee, Merrick!

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 2:42 p.m. CST

    A Great Dr Who Game is....

    by cosmic_dolphin

    Well overdue in my opinion. I remember trying to write on is BASIC on my C64. Got as far as a Tardis sprite gliding across the screen. Sadly my kids won't be trying the one just announced with it not being on Mac, Wii or Xbox. They do like the free ones off the BBC site though.

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 3:11 p.m. CST

    Arthur Weasley! Hell yes!

    by pikazerox

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 4:12 p.m. CST

    Arthur Weasley indeed!

    by Mister Vertue

    What are the chances of Rory having a few ginger brothers, or maybe even a ginger sister? And I'm not implying that Amy is his sister or anything ridiculous like that. This isn't Star Wars...

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 4:14 p.m. CST

    The Meddling Monk

    by Mister Vertue

    Could he be returning next series? We know one or two classic characters will be returning, so he could be a candidate. Or not. Who knows?!

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 4:25 p.m. CST

    Well, MOV, there's an 80% chance of that

    by DoctorTom

    if he becomes a fur clad robot and started calling himself Yeti... ;) (Yes, the blueprint/sketches from a year or so ago have resurfaced - it wouldn't surprise me if they're finally used this year.) Speaking of Yeti, it's a shame that they never got used in a Tom Baker story. I'm sure Baker would have had a field day riffing off the phrase Great Intelligence...

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 4:26 p.m. CST

    Deagol: Acc. to the 80s FASA Doctor Who RPG...

    by obijuanmartinez

    The Monk is an incarnation of The Master. Let the canon vs non-canon fireworks commence!

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 4:47 p.m. CST

    obijuanmartinez - according to the Missing Adventure The Dark Path

    by DoctorTom

    the Master was called Koschei before he was the Master, and wasn't the Monk. Koschei was in an adventure with the Troughton Doctor. So, it's not canon vs non-canon fireworks, it's which non-canon fireworks you want to go with. I figure there's no reason to assume he's the Master unless there's a good story purpose for it. I imagine that him being someone else provides far more story opportunities. Besides, the Monk's plans were relatively sane compared to the Master's. Hardly a sign of hearing drumbeats at all. :)

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 5:03 p.m. CST

    doctortom, re: story opportunities

    by KanekoFan

    I very much agree that there's more to be mined by keeping them as separate characters than by ret-conning them into one. In trying to build continuity where none was intended, one generally ends up making a universe smaller rather than bigger (need I point out the Star Wars prequels example here?), and thus limiting story potential and generally making it feel like there are only a handful of really important people in all of creation.

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 5:04 p.m. CST

    a la the finale of DRAGONSLAYER 17 years later.

    by berserkrl

    I never even knew there was a Dragonslayer 2, let alone a Dragonslayer 17! 8^O

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 5:06 p.m. CST


    by berserkrl

    quote: With Amy, and Rory leaving, I just don't see a reason for River to be around. : quote She didn't need Amy and Rory around when she arrived, I don't see why she needs them after they're gone.

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 5:30 p.m. CST

    Northumbria, not North Umbria

    by Martin Hogg

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 5:37 p.m. CST

    Hey Doctortom

    by Kevin Bolinger

    Seems my issues with BabelColour have been cleared up. I was looking for clips of the second Doctor yesterday, I am no longer blocked, and I was actually able to subscribe to him. It must have been some weird glitch, or, he really does lurk here. If he does, let me say thank you :) LOL

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 5:46 p.m. CST


    by Richard

    would have loved to see them wrangle Danny Trejo into taking the part for a year... tell me he isn't the person who reminds you the most of the governor?

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 5:47 p.m. CST

    That Gallifrey One convention looks like it was a lot of fun


  • Feb. 24, 2012, 5:51 p.m. CST

    THE FRISCO KID is great fun.

    by HornOrSilk

    It's not a perfect film, and I think it's not for everyone, but for me, it's one I am proud to have in my DVD collection. And I think it could be a good foundation for a Doctor Who historical adventure!

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 7:03 p.m. CST

    @doctortom: Agreed - The Monk = No es muy loco...

    by obijuanmartinez

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 7:05 p.m. CST

    BTW: MAD, mad love for 'Robots of Death' - Can't wait to discuss it!

    by obijuanmartinez

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 7:40 p.m. CST

    Robots of Death is one of those stories

    by HornOrSilk

    Which most fans love, and for me, I go meh. It's ok, it's not horrible, but something about it just doesn't grab me as it does most.

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 8:52 p.m. CST

    Marooning a monk: the argument of old age

    by Dreamfasting

    The longer your natural expected lifespan, the more you have to lose by sticking your neck out at any given moment. I would imagine that a sane time lord deprived of access to the safety of a Tardis would become a very conservative, cautious and non-intrusive hermit.

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 9:10 p.m. CST

    hornorsilk, I agree

    by KanekoFan

    Robots has some good moments, some nice designs, some solid performances, but it just doesn't gel into anything spectaculr, to my tastes. I'd call it pretty much mid-range for its era (which, to be fair, is a very good era).

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 10:59 p.m. CST

    And of course Bradley was awesome in...

    by dj_bollocks

    Our Friends In The North.. although who wasn't fantastic in that....

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 11:48 p.m. CST

    Great casting news!!

    by gotilk

    Especially Bradley. I actually caught The Cisco Kid and it really holds up well. It features one of Harrison Ford's more *energetic* performances. (i.e. - He does not seem to be halfway asleep like Robert Mitchum most of the time) And Gene Wilder is great as always. Once they come in contact with the Native Americans, there are some serious laugh out loud moments. And it is FULL of heart. Just a great little buddy comedy. They don't make them like that anymore. Bradley is also so perfectly sleazy in Game Of Thrones. By the way, does the time meddler look remarkably like H.R. Giger to anyone but me in that DVD cover image?

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 11:50 p.m. CST


    by gotilk

    VERY good point.

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 11:55 p.m. CST

    Get well soon, Ken!

    by gotilk

    Protect those ears of yours.

  • Feb. 24, 2012, 11:56 p.m. CST

    and... sorry I guess that's *The Monk*

    by gotilk

    and not *The Time Meddler* specifically. I've never seen this one.

  • Feb. 25, 2012, 1:37 a.m. CST

    Moffatty-Woffaty Retconny-Wetconny

    by veteran_of_mu

    I confess I don't think I have any HATs about classic Who, doctom. As I mentioned in the past I loved the show as a kid but just don't have time to rewatch. Maybe if my child develops more of an enthusiasm for it. But for now I think you and I will have to divide the labour - half an arse each. Which leaves the telemovie for those that want to go there ... Oh but of course you're wrong about not seeing the Master's TARDIS recently. I keep telling you - it's the duck pond. Interestingly the Doc raises the Duck pond in Flesh and Stone as evidence that the timeline has changed. It's more important to him than the fact that Amy didn't recognise the Daleks. He says, ~How is a duck pond a duck pond if there aren't any ducks? And she didn't recognise the Daleks. Okay, time can shift. TIme can change. Time can be rewritten. Oh!~ Then, after a little Amy scene, the Doc does a very peculiar thing. He wibble his finger in the air in a circle. There is a sound effect rather like metal sliding. Then he turns it backward in a circle and there's the same sound effect. Then he says, ~Time can be unwritten.~ Now ignoring this last point - which is clearly a set-up for some unimaginable Moffaty-Woffaty Retconny-Wetconny fiendishness - the duck pond must be incredibly important if it compares to Amy not recognising daleks. But since it looks like a duck pond, it must be something that can disguise itself as a duck pond. You know my method, Doctom. When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be half an arse.

  • Feb. 25, 2012, 1:38 a.m. CST

    Oh, and how come there is no SF convention called RetCon?

    by veteran_of_mu

  • Feb. 25, 2012, 1:57 a.m. CST

    Silly me, of course there was a RetCon.

    by veteran_of_mu

    It was of course the very first science fiction convention held in Leeds Theosophical Hall in 1937. Arthur C. Clarke attended and you can see pictures of it here: Now if you look at the picture of Arthur Clarke ... behind his left shoulder ... what is that? OH YES IT IS!

  • Feb. 25, 2012, 2:03 a.m. CST

    Um, I guess that last post counts as HAT #0

    by veteran_of_mu


  • Feb. 25, 2012, 6:16 a.m. CST


    by gotilk

    I attended in the 70s, but after going back in the 80s everyone was new and when I asked about the old cons in the 70s they acted like I was out of my mind. So I haven't been back. If I change my mind, I won't mention that I've been before.

  • Feb. 25, 2012, 9:26 a.m. CST

    Bradley and Williams

    by maxwello

    I'm lookng forward to all of these guest stars. The HP movies have boosted my familiarity with a goodly number of British character actors, so that I now recognize them in movies I've been watching for years. My wife and I were speculating about who might take over the Doctor's character when Matt Smith moves on. We independently came up with Rupert Grint at the same time. Not our first choice, but thought he could pull off a less frantic character that would contrast nicely with the current incarnation, maybe a tad more neurotic about what could go horribly freaking wrong at any moment. Again, he wasn't either of our first choices. I think we finally agreed he'd make a better companion, particularly if the doctor regenerated as a female. It was just a thought that turned into a nice conversation about fame and the consequences of having to make it on one's own after expectations have been set based on being handed an enormous advantage early on in one's career.

  • Somebody land a TARDIS console on that rubber-faced, eye rolling, neurotic boy. Redistribute him. He's the love child of Carrottop and Woody Allen, and he unnerves me.

  • Feb. 25, 2012, 12:52 p.m. CST

    Caractuspotts - the Duck Pond, and mutating your HAT for it.

    by DoctorTom

    Here is where you've made the leap. You identify the duck pond as something that is disguised as a duck pond, and immediately made the leap to assume it's the Master's TARDIS. But, you forget that with Season 5, perception filters abound. It seems like they're given out in Crackerjack boxes, or that you can go into Woolworth's and pick them up. (And, don't believe that Woolworth's actually went out of business. They just changed the stock to service a more selective clientele, and installed perception filters in all of their stores so that you won't notice the Woolworth's unless you specifically know to go to the Woolworth's to get perception filters and other bits of arcane technology.) So, it could just be any old thing with a perception filter making it look like a duck pond. It could be a Zygon spaceship with a perception filter up, or a hibernating Tythonian. Or, for that matter, the pond could be perfectly normal, but you couldn't see the ducks because all the ducks were wearing perception filters. That would definitely be unusual for a duck, so these must not be normal ducks. Which could mean that they were all Time Lords, forced to regenerate while in a Chameleon Arch to become ducks, all wearing perception filters so that nobody would notice them, driven to desperation to save at least some of their species in this manner. So, if Romana or the Monk come back, you can rest assured that they spent a regeneration as a duck. (Well, at least it's a more amusing theory than just saying that the Crack ate the ducks. Then again, as the Doctor put emphasis on the ducks not being there, maybe the Crack was specifically targeting the ducks. If they were regenerated Time Lords, that might be a reason the Crack was targeting them - it was trying to get a full collection of Time Lords.)

  • Feb. 25, 2012, 2:50 p.m. CST

    Andy Diggle and Mark Buckingham to be doing a Doctor Who comic

    by DoctorTom

    news out from the Image Expo. It should be out in August.

  • Feb. 25, 2012, 4:16 p.m. CST

    Merrick -- For the Galaxy Four DocBack

    by HornOrSilk

    You might want to find a secondary discussion point to help bring in the audience. Galaxy Four is going to be a tough sell -- unless of course, you are given a copy of the lost and found episode. What I think you should do (this is just a suggestion) is another talk on the lost episodes of Doctor Who and the surprises we have had since the return of Tomb of the Cybermen. Also talk about what you think about animating Who and what you think should be the way lost Who is best animated.

  • Feb. 25, 2012, 4:16 p.m. CST

    The Duck Pond is real simple

    by HornOrSilk

    The Monk's watering hole.

  • Feb. 25, 2012, 5:02 p.m. CST

    Duck Pond

    by Dreamfasting

    Duck now, Pond!

  • Feb. 25, 2012, 8:59 p.m. CST

    Why it's impossible for the duck pond to be a perception filter

    by veteran_of_mu

    *A perception filter isn't a big enough deal for the Doctor in FAS to think it's evidence that the timeline has shifted or been unwritten.* I mean Doctom is quite right that perception filters are dime-a-dozen in DW. Evidence that the timeline has been rewritten around the Doc? I don't think so. Also it would have been irresistible for the Doc to remind Amy to look at it out of the corner of her eye. The Doc never passes up an opportunity to make a companion feel stupid. That's one way you know he's the Doctor. Also a perception filter doesn't explain Rory Williams's 1990 hospital badge. Or why Rory keeps dying and coming back. The only answer that fits these facts is that the Duck Pond is the Master's TARDIS and Rory is the Master. And it's the obvious tragic end of the Ponds travelling with the Doc in S7. Quod Erat Demonstrandum. AND ... I can't believe no one has pinged on the police box in the 1937 RetCon Arthur Clarke photo. I think that's the coolest thing I've ver seen. What's a geek gotta do to raise consciousness here?

  • Feb. 26, 2012, 6:41 a.m. CST

    Mark Williams

    by Ken Plume

    Let me just say that I am truly disappointed in Glen's lack of Fast Show knowledge, and so today I will be mostly slapping him around.

  • Feb. 26, 2012, 6:58 a.m. CST

    God i feel old

    by Wyrdy the Gerbil

    I can remember watching The Time Meddler when it was first shown on the BBC,then again i can remember seeing An Unearthly Child as well..

  • Feb. 26, 2012, 7:38 a.m. CST

    kenplume - Glen needs to be educated. By the way...

    by Mister Vertue

    Today I have mostly been eating fish fingers and custard. Which is nice.

  • Feb. 26, 2012, 9:10 a.m. CST

    The Medaling Monk

    by Perigee

    Let's re-write this one; a Time Lord who has a thing for the Olympics, and hops across time in hopes of winning gold in the luge competition. You may have known him as Irv Blitzer, the coach of the 1988 Jamaican Bobsleigh team.

  • Feb. 26, 2012, 11:34 a.m. CST

    @hornorsilk: On Galaxy 4 being a tough sell - Dude, it's got FEMBOTS!

    by obijuanmartinez

    Well, OK...the Drahvins are only clones!

  • Feb. 26, 2012, 2:06 p.m. CST


    by Ken Plume

    Suit you, sir!

  • Feb. 26, 2012, 3:35 p.m. CST

    Whotininnies is seriously my favorite podcast.

    by gotilk

    And that's saying something. I was there in the first week they were calling them podcasts. I had one of the first 100 podcasts listed (lasted about 5 episodes lol) and I've been listening to a ton of them, ever since, almost every day. You guys have a special chemistry. Thanks for not quitting. Keep it up! Are the download numbers good? Hope so. By the way, I have a wav file that I'm going to use for something now.... and it just consists of Merrick saying... *steroids make me poop* Good Windows start-up sound perhaps. Hahah!!

  • Feb. 26, 2012, 3:57 p.m. CST


    by HornOrSilk

    Problem is, how many have SEEN it to talk about it? That's the issue. I think I read the book decades ago, and only have cursory knowledge of the story! One of the few Who stories which I barely have much to say anything on.

  • Feb. 26, 2012, 3:58 p.m. CST

    Time Meddler/Monk

    by HornOrSilk

    So, anyone think we will get a re-imaging of the Monk for the next season, and have him played by Tony Shalhoub -- who had been stuck with a FOB watch for years?

  • Feb. 26, 2012, 4:31 p.m. CST

    Anyone reading anything interesting?

    by gotilk

    I'm almost done with Snow Crash and depending on how it wraps up, I would NOT consider it a classic really. Great book, yes. Certainly visionary. But something just doesn't feel right about it. Still recommend it. I am considering re-reading a favorite, like Time Enough For Love, Heinlein. Methuselah's Children is something I'd like to finally read. Anyone reading anything interesting? I want another new, interesting *next book*. Also, I'm trying to find a story that I've not been able to identify. I heard it as a short audio fiction maybe a couple of years ago. It's a story about immortality. In it, there's an island where immortals live. After thousands of years, these immortals remain alive, but as kind of solid lumps. Alive but unable to communicate, hear, see. There may have been an element of telepathy. I just cannot recall where I heard the darned thing. Sound familiar? It was very unnerving, almost felt more like a horror story. I was thinking it was on a sci-fi podcast, but I've looked around and cannot find it.

  • Feb. 26, 2012, 6:11 p.m. CST

    Snow Crash

    by cosmic_dolphin

    I read it years ago but I wasn't blown away by it, and I've never read it again so that must show something. A few weeks back I re-read Use of Weapons by Ian Banks, really enjoyed it again even though I knew the ending. I'm up for suggestions too. before that I read the Time Travellers wife which I though was pretty good, it was one of those had to buy something in an airport type situations. I've taken to reading those SF Anthologies with loads of short stories in , and I keep reminding myself to check if there's any Greg Egan stuff I've not read yet as it's been a few year. As it's Hobbit movie year I keep meaning to read the book again and maybe Lord of the Rings.

  • Feb. 26, 2012, 6:19 p.m. CST

    Anyone think Elizabeth Shaw of Prometheus is a Doctor Who nod?

    by HornOrSilk

    Liz Shaw.. really?

  • Feb. 26, 2012, 6:21 p.m. CST

    gotilk -- I'm always reading all kinds of things

    by HornOrSilk

    Sometimes re-reading old books, reading books which are old but I missed when they came out (I'm reading Revenge of the Rose right now), reading old classics (it took a month to go through the Outlaws of the Marsh), or all kinds of philosophical/theological works (read some Augustine, Bede, Didymus the Blind, Plutarch, etc lately, too).

  • Feb. 26, 2012, 7:10 p.m. CST

    hornorsilk - welcome to The Matrix

    by Perigee

    Pfffffff-chhhhhk! >Neo.jpg< ...I know Galaxy 4... (Or will, now that it's somewhere I can view it.) I love the intertubes.

  • Feb. 27, 2012, 12:47 a.m. CST

    hornorsilk !!

    by gotilk

    Augustine! Yes! Thank you. Now I know what to crack open next.

  • Feb. 27, 2012, 12:47 a.m. CST


    by gotilk

    Anthologies is a great idea.

  • Feb. 27, 2012, 12:48 a.m. CST

    @Gotilk's SF playlist

    by veteran_of_mu

    If you're going to read Methuselahs Children, seek out the original 1941 adult's edition in The Past Through Tomorrow. Not the 1958 juvenile. *Much Better*. As for your mystery story, it sounds like either Varleys Perstistence Of Memory or Nivens one about the Grogs. The former is a great read, the latter just very good fun. Or it could be Zardoz. Which is what I think time lords should really be like … ~The gun is good. The penis is evil.~ ...

  • Feb. 27, 2012, 1:31 a.m. CST

    Aliens vs Daleks

    by veteran_of_mu

    Xenomorphs vs xenophobes. Now before you say it's no contest stipulate Alien acid-blood can penetrate dalek shells … Damn, now I have to write a first person shooter. As if I didn't have enough projects.

  • The name of the short story I was looking for is Island of the Immortals, by Ursula K Le Guin. It is part of her Changing Planes book but was also published separately in Amazing Stories. You can listen to it or read it here: Quit a chilling little yarn that addresses some aspects of immortality not usually focused on. I originally found it on Escape Pod, the sci fi podcast. It is very much worth subscribing to. The stories vary widely from speculative fiction to more traditionally hard sci fi.

  • Feb. 27, 2012, 4:37 a.m. CST

    Has anyone seen Tom Baker in his Swiss Tony appearance?

    by gotilk

    NSFW! Here it is: I think he's supposed to be playing a Ken Russell type.

  • Feb. 27, 2012, 4:43 a.m. CST

    Another fine Baker appearance

    by Ken Plume

    If you've wanted to see Tom Baker playing Quint from Jaws, here he is in Rhys Thomas' Fun At The Funeral Parlour...

  • Feb. 27, 2012, 5:51 a.m. CST

    Matt Smith on Top Gear

    by murren

    anyone see it? he was faster than Chris, David and Rose in the Reasonably priced car!! talked about his football playing days as a youth.

  • Tom Baker makes a great Quin.... I mean Quimby. lol That first shot of him is the best.

  • Feb. 27, 2012, 9:45 a.m. CST

    Gotilk - reading

    by DoctorTom

    Right now I'm finishing up Side Jobs by Jim Butcher, and am also reading some old Doc Savage reprints (right now I'm reading the one where Hitler's on the run and he's got to find him. I'm looking to see if there's any place in the story where a TARDIS appearance might be appropriate.) I just ordered the book Upgunned by David J. Schow based on Duane Swierczynski's recommendation on his blog and his posting the first sentence: I had just wrapped up having sex with my best friend's ex-wife, after shooting naked pictures of her, when I heard a slight entry noise from the elevator end of the loft, and looked up into the face of a man holding a gun. Of course, mentioning Swierczynski, you can just go for the thrillers from him, but he also has a couple of books that have sf or fantasy elements also. Expiration Date (not to be confused with Tim Power's novel) has a guy waking up one morning in his past. Secret Dead Men was a fun, old novel of his dealing with a PI who collects the souls of the recently dead, who has an FBI agent unstuck in time contending with him.

  • Feb. 27, 2012, 9:54 a.m. CST

    Gotilk - more hardboiled stuff

    by DoctorTom

    Victor Gischler has done some hardboiled stuff. His first novel was Gun Monkeys. The first paragraph was: I turned the Chrysler onto the Florida Turnpike with Rollo Kramer's headless body in the trunk, and all the time I'm thinking I should've put some plastic down. I knew the heap was a rental, but I didn't like leaving anything behind for the inevitable forensics safari. That meant I'd have to strip all the carpeting in the trunk, douche out the blood with Clorox, and hope Avis took a long time to notice. I should've just taken a second and put some plastic down. Shit. He also wrote Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse, which was a hard boiled post-apocalypse novel. Very fun. For that matter, if you haven't yet, you should read Crooked Little Vein by Warren Ellis. A PI is hired to find the secret Constitution of the United States, the one the Founders set up in case of emergencies. Go to Amazon and use the Click to Look Inside link, then go read the first paragraph. If that doesn't sell you on the book, nothing will.

  • Feb. 27, 2012, 9:57 a.m. CST

    Meddling Monk

    by DoctorTom

    Actually, if they bring the Monk back, it would be amusing to find out that he's actually Jeremy Clarkson or Jonathan Ross or someone like that now - not just that you're getting that person to play the Monk, but that a Chameleon Arch was used and the Monk actually became that person. For some reason I could see the Monk racing around a track in a Bugatti Veyron showing *POWERRRRRRRRRRRRR*.

  • Feb. 27, 2012, 12:55 p.m. CST

    Massive *SPOILER*! Absolutely huge in fact!

    by Mister Vertue Benedict Cumberbatch will be playing The Master in 2013 for the 50th anniversary! It must be true, right? After all, this information comes from a 'programme insider'! 'Fans will love the idea of the man who plays Sherlock Holmes taking on the Doctor' - a source. Who *is* this mysterious 'source'? And why would they ruin the biggest secret from 2013? But seriously, would fans really want to see the actor who plays Sherlock also play The Master? I think not.

  • Feb. 27, 2012, 1:32 p.m. CST

    MOV so that means

    by HornOrSilk

    He's going to be Susan, right?

  • Feb. 27, 2012, 1:51 p.m. CST

    MOV, thanks for the link!

    by DoctorTom

    Actually, if you were going to recast the Master for Matt Smith's Doctor, Benedict Cumberbatch would make some sense. He's got the chops to be able to do it, and he'd make a better counterpoint to Matt's Doctor than John Simm's Master would. Simm's Master was more a counterpoint to Tennant. I suspect though that this is one of those Master rumors that's the equivalent of all the articles that have been published in the past about Bill Nighy, Johnny Depp, etc. as the Doctor. Of course, if this were CBS and not the BBC, they'd want to cast Johnny Lee Miller as the Master. I wouldn't be surprised if the Master's back in 2013. Not because of supposed programme insiders, but because there's good odds of bringing back a few oldies for the 50th season. After all, a broken clock is right twice a day. And, maybe while the Master's back on Gallifrey he'll nick a new TARDIS to replace the one he used to have and waylaid somewhere. For that matter, maybe we find out that repairing the cracks in time unwrote at least some of the the last time the Master showed up. At least it doesn't seem that anybody on Earth remembers it (that would seem to be as important a thing as the Daleks swiping the Earth and moving it to a different place in the Universe).

  • Feb. 27, 2012, 2 p.m. CST

    Actually, hornorsilk, you might be on the right track there

    by DoctorTom

    If Susan is the Doctor's granddaughter, then surely the Doctor had a son or son-in-law at some point. Cumberbatch in that role would be lots more fun. And, imagine having the Doctor having to introduce him to River Song. Unless it turns out that he IS the son of the Doctor and River Song, and it was a whole big timey wimey thing that ends up with the Doctor taking custody of his granddaughter 10 incarnations before he gets around to conceiving Susan's father. For all we know, these were the actual events that led to cracks in space and time, and resulted in Susan's potential great grandfather having a ID badge with the year 1990 on it when he would have been too young to have been working as a nurse at the hospital in 1990. Heh, it would certainly be worth it if we could see Carole Ann Ford on the screen again as Susan, and the Doctor introducing her to Rory as his great granddaughter. That would give Rory an even bigger headache than if he met his step-granddaughter Jenny.

  • Feb. 27, 2012, 3:12 p.m. CST

    1 week until new Dirk Gently

    by DoctorTom

    There's a trailer here as well as news on the series. (Since IT's preventing streaming, I'll have to watch it when I get home.) If BBC Four's showing the first episode next Monday, that means the episode written by Matt (Impossible Planet/Satan Pit) Jones will be playing 2 weeks from today.

  • Feb. 27, 2012, 3:15 p.m. CST

    Moriarty Musical

    by DoctorTom

    apparently there's going to be a musical based on the Image Comics Moriarty series. I wonder if they could get Andrew Scott to play a Victorian Moriarty in the musical.

  • Feb. 27, 2012, 3:50 p.m. CST

    Thatt's merely a counter-rumour

    by veteran_of_mu

    To scotch the notion that Cumberbatch is Gary Mitchell in STJJ. Which he is. It is fascinating how these characters grow over time. The master really was just a moustache twirler to begin with. Check out the Goodies send up of him to see. But with his evolution through mystery scarecrow, revealer of the Valeyard, internal drum sufferer and now male nurse, he has become fascinating. It seems all new characters are now required to start out many-layered. Just to keep up.

  • Feb. 27, 2012, 4:02 p.m. CST

    Caractuspotts, you really like that HAT, don't you?

    by DoctorTom

    I don't see Rory as the Master. His immortality could as easily be explained by a Bad Wolf/Captain Jack treatment given him by Amy remembering him back. And the 1990 badge I'm reasonably certain we'll see explained this year (in fact it might tie in with the Ponds leaving).

  • Feb. 27, 2012, 4:48 p.m. CST

    @Doctom - I don't like. I observe ;-)

    by veteran_of_mu

    No lesser personage than MOV has suggested I'm mistaken. But what good is a HAT you don't wear?

  • Feb. 27, 2012, 6:01 p.m. CST

    Also … a second Captain Jack? Really?

    by veteran_of_mu

    That's a No Arsed Theory. Moffatt would die before he copied an RTD trope.

  • Feb. 27, 2012, 7:40 p.m. CST

    I'd go with Gary, caractacuspotts

    by Perigee

    Sad to say it, but yeah. It peeves me off that after 50 years, we're stuck with high-end reruns, but whatever. I guess Alice Eve will be Liz Dehner. Now that I come to analyze it, those pictures Could be from +an unmanned lithium-cracking facility on the remote planet of Delta Vega.+ Heh. Lithium. Gary Mitchell. Widespread use of lithium to treat manic illness began in 1974. Gary was probably in a very place for treatment...

  • Feb. 27, 2012, 7:47 p.m. CST

    More Delta Vega

    by Perigee

    Interesting tie-in to the latest incarnation: According to Memory Alpha, Quote: In the dossier for the official Star Trek movie website, it states that before the destruction of Romulus in the late 24th century, Nero and his mining operation discovered lithium deposits on a "Delta Vega". Since it was unlikely they would have been allowed to mine in the Vulcan system, it was possible that Nero was mining this Delta Vega, as it may have been abandoned by the Federation by that time.

  • Feb. 27, 2012, 8:03 p.m. CST

    ... And what's wrong with an older, grouchy, reasoned Master?

    by Perigee

    We've been going younger and weasel-y-er big bads lately. That weirdo Moriarty and punky drum-head Master. I'd go... Sydney Greenstreet-ish. It would play interesting off of Matt's mania, and give him a little gravitas for a change. IF I wanted to bring The Master Back. Which I don't. Once again, what is it about these franchises that make people crazy to hear the same old stories over and over again? Spider-Man? Have to have Green Goblin. Star Trek? Where's Khan? DW? We Have to have The Master stuck in there.. humbug.

  • Feb. 27, 2012, 8:33 p.m. CST

    But what good is a HAT you don't wear?

    by gotilk

    That made me smile.

  • Feb. 27, 2012, 8:34 p.m. CST

    Doctortom:Thanks for the ideas, for reading.

    by gotilk

    I really am re-addicted to books again.

  • Remember - you heard this prediction from me first, weeks ago: a female Watson. Let the suckage continue apace. I have forseen it. >The_Visionary.jpg<

  • Feb. 27, 2012, 10:29 p.m. CST

    Gee, the Time Meddler really has been at work here!

    by veteran_of_mu

    Put ... ze docbeck ... beck!

  • Feb. 28, 2012, 1:01 a.m. CST

    The female Watson

    by gotilk

    Meh, doesn't bother me that much. But the show itself.... existing at all.... really is bugging me. No... pissing me off. You watch. They will now work hard to distance themselves from Sherlock. They will go over the top making him *edgy* in some way. But we all know better. Shame on you, CBS. Shame.

  • Feb. 28, 2012, 1:54 a.m. CST

    Ah it's beck. Much betterer.

    by veteran_of_mu

    If you missed it in its adulterated state it was just 4 post long.

  • Feb. 28, 2012, 1:58 a.m. CST

    You get your wish, Perigee.

    by veteran_of_mu

    Doctom is going to give me stick for wearing two HATs at once - the full asshat - but check out the grey haired man at the end of S2e2. The only reason for Rich Brook's existence was that the cabby blabbed.

  • They just Couldn't leave it alone. It was the dangling obvious, and they just Had to pluck it... and consider themselves clever for doing so. Prepare for a plethora of Horatio Caine CSI one-liners (~You weren't wrong, Mr. Lefty... you just weren't... Right. Take him away, LaStrade..~), a black female LaStrade, and Watson getting kidnapped a lot. I'm also betting on Sherlock being rich and living in a penthouse with high-end art and glass surfaces. These things just write themselves. Because they've been written so many times before.

  • Feb. 28, 2012, 8:51 a.m. CST

    Caractuspotts, that HAT is rather fetching, actually

    by DoctorTom

    It's only Rory being the Master that gets the raised eyebrow treatment. The older person actually being James Moriarty - or at least one of the James Moriarty's - is actually intriguing. Modifying the HAT slightly, Rich Brook's existence might not be only because of the cabby blabbing, he might actually be James Moriarty. In the original stories, though, there were 3 Moriarty brothers, with all 3 named James. The old man in S2e2 might be an older Moriarty brother (if not a father), the way Mycroft is an older brother to Sherlock. The actual battle might be between the older Moriarty and Mycroft, with both of them using their brothers as proxies. Rich Brooks was obviously a stage name, though. We just don't know how long Rich Brooks had been using the name - how long things had been set up. The plan might have been set up in advance a long time, with the younger Moriarty being a stage actor who took the name Rich Brooks because of the older Moriarty's knowing the name would tweak the nose of Sherlock and/or Mycroft whenever it came time to pull the trigger on the Reichenbach caper.

  • Feb. 28, 2012, 8:56 a.m. CST

    As for a female Watson

    by DoctorTom

    I can see CBS doing that. The only thing that bothers me about it is that they're going to pretend that it's cutting edge, forgetting that it had been done 40 years ago in the movie They Might Be Giants. (Feel free to make appropriate jokes about 40 year old ideas seeming to be cutting edge for CBS.)

  • Have you read any of the Garrett, PI novels by Glen Cook? They essentially boil down to Cook writing Nero Wolfe for a fantasy (D&D style) world. Garrett is definitely an Archie Goodwin style hardboiled character. I'm assuming you've already read the Nero Wolfe books by Rex Stout. If not, you have a moral imperative to read those (especially given the hypothetical links between Irene Adler and Nero - never talked about in the books themselves but definitely speculated about). Heck, for that matter you watch the Nero Wolfe series that A&E did quite a while back if you haven't already - Timothy Hutton was an executive producer and also played Archie Goodwin. They did a reasonable job adapting the stories.

  • Feb. 28, 2012, 10:47 a.m. CST

    perigee - a black female LaStrade

    by Mister Vertue

    Actually, I heard 'The Moff' had finally relented and was cooperating with CBS in developing the show. He suggested that LaStrade be a talking grandfather clock who is carried around by nubile young ladies. The role of Irene Adler has already been cast too. It's John Barrowman. CBS knows that 'The Moff' is a genius and complied with all his wishes. Personally, I wish the production all the best and look forward to seeing it in syndication for many years to come.

  • Feb. 28, 2012, 10:54 a.m. CST

    caractacuspotts - MOV has suggested I'm mistaken

    by Mister Vertue

    Sorry for being behind on the Docback (things are a wee bit insane lately), but I'm curious about what you originally said for me to suggest you were mistaken. I only ask because I'd hate to have wrongly accused you of being mistaken for something that may have actually been correct in the first place! I know I could go back and reread everything and figure it out, but this way is much quicker! Sorry in advance for any confusion I may have caused :-S

  • Feb. 28, 2012, 11:32 a.m. CST

    MOV, that would actually be amusing

    by DoctorTom

    would CBS actually realize that the talking grandfather clock that is Lestrade is actually the Master's TARDIS, with the Master inside doing the talking? ;) And, I'm actually sorry to hear that they're going with his suggestion of John Barrowman as Irene Adler. I had heard that they were considering getting Betty White for the part. Of course, if they go with Barrowman, and cast Anthony Stewart Head as Mrs. Hudson, CBS runs the risk of having a special musical episode, and I don't think they recovered from their remake of Viva Blackpool yet.

  • Feb. 28, 2012, 11:32 a.m. CST

    Leaked Barrowman/Adler pics

    by Mister Vertue

    And before any of you comment on Barrowman not shaving his face for his portrayal of 'The Woman', that was Gatiss's idea. He felt it made the role 'edgier'. CBS *loved* that idea. The fishnet stockings with unshaven legs were Moffat's idea. CBS did *not* like that idea. Oh well, you can't please 'em all!

  • Feb. 28, 2012, 11:34 a.m. CST

    Well, I heard

    by DoctorTom

    that Moffat only had the idea of Barrowman doing Irene Adler with fishnet stockings and unshaven legs because Moffat knew that CBS was committing to Head as Mrs. Hudson, and was remembering Head's earlier performances on stage in The Rocky Horror Picture Show

  • Feb. 28, 2012, 11:45 a.m. CST

    doctortom - It's funny...

    by Mister Vertue

    ...because it's true.

  • Gotta say, I do like the clock. It's timely. But I'm thinking we bring in Thompson and Thompson, in full animated form. They'll still be more three dimensional than what we ultimately end up with.

  • Feb. 28, 2012, 5 p.m. CST

    @MOV - Special Guest Starring ...

    by veteran_of_mu

    Neil Patrick Harris as Jim Moriarty. And there's an Alex Kingston cameo in the riverdance scene. Ahem. My beaten up old HAT suggests that: 1) Whereas the Doc in FAS regards the Duck Pond as evidence that time has been rewritten/unwritten around him - evidence comparable to or greater in significance than Amy's lack of recognition of the Daleks - that the Duck Pond must be something in disguise. 2) That that disguise itself is not the significance of the Duck Pond because as Doctom points out perception filters of various kinds are dime a dozen these days and the Doc doesn't find them very universe-shattering. 3) Also the Doc wouldn't have passed up another opportunity to school Amy about looking out the corner of her eye. So it's not a perception filter. 4) What other inanimate object disguises itself in DW? Answer: a TARDIS. 5) Now it can't be Sexy because she and the Doc would have had an interaction if it had been her. And it can't have been a SIDRAT or one of the other obscure TARDISes because that's a bit too hard for a modern viewer to get. 6) But modern viewers are just aching to see the Master again. Which I think the Doc thought was locked up in the Time War, hence its significance to the unwriting of the universe. 7) And that means the Master must be on hand. Now which character could be the Master under a chameleon arch? Altogether now: RORY! 8) Which explains how come Rory won't die. I vaguely recall the Doc claiming TLs under a chameleon arch would die like a normal human. But the Master isn't likely to risk himself in a puny human body if he doesn't have some way around that. Therefore he does and so Rory can get squished like a bug by the Minotaur and so on. 9) And this explains the great tragedy about to befall in season 7. Because once Rory twigs about the watch the Doctor skilfully removed from his pocked on first bumping into him - oh yes he did, you just go freeze-frame the 11th Hour to see the tell - and gets it back - then the Master returns. 10) And probably drowns Amy in the TARDIS's swimming pool - which is why the Doc can't rescue her. Obvious, really. Tell your homophone to give us a tricky one next time, MOV ;-)

  • Feb. 28, 2012, 5:03 p.m. CST


    by veteran_of_mu

    8) WHOSE TARDIS I think the Doc thought was locked up in the Time War, hence its significance to the unwriting of the universe.

  • Feb. 28, 2012, 6:24 p.m. CST


    by notspock2

    That beaten up HAT also kind of explains river being able to regenerate - it's not due to being conceived in the tardis- it's due to the fact her dad is the master. Probably won't be true, but I like it. A lot. It's the kind of hidden in plain sight wtf kind of twist I always wish showrunners would dare to pull off.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 12:57 a.m. CST

    @notspock2 on River's genetic heritage

    by veteran_of_mu

    In Agmgtw the Doc initially dismissed the significance of Amy's exposure to the vortex. But maybe it was Rory's exposure during conception that made the Doc sit down in a hurry. Plus … who else would River get psychopath genes from? Who else but the Master's daughter would be able to scare a Dalek? And don't forget there was something Octavian wouldn't tell the Doc about River. About *what* she is. Not what she did … what she is. Still I bet MOV shoots a hole in this HAT. Hope it hits well above the brim.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 5:21 a.m. CST

    Morgan Sheppard-

    by notspock2

    Didn't really get the love before, but I just realised he's Blank Reg in Max Headroom and realised that I've loved him for most of my life... Now there's a show that could use a spiritual successor...

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 9:02 a.m. CST

    Caractuspotts - one quick thing on perception filters

    by DoctorTom

    You keep mentioning that if the perception filter were important that the Doctor wouldn't resist telling Amy to look out of the corner of her eye (point 3 in your last post on the hat) But, you forget, not all perception filters work that way. In Vampires in Venice, the creatures had perception filters that altered the way they looked. Looking out of the corner of your eye wouldn't matter there. If the duck pond is something with a perception filter, it could just be set to make whatever is actually there look like a duck pond. For all we know, it's actually an entry hatch to a UNIT or Torchwood base in Leadworth, or to an alien spaceship. Addressing point 4 - what else in Doctor Who disguises itself? Yes, a TARDIS, but also other things. In Frontier in Space a ray was used to make people see things differently - they'd see a Draconian or an Earth ship, depending on who the ship was attacking at the time. You've fallen into the classical problem of overgeneralizing. An apple is red. An apple is a fruit. Therefore, everything that is red is a fruit. In this case, all TARDISes can appear as something else, but not everything that appears as something else is a TARDIS.

  • The entire town of Leadworth is a TARDIS (or inside a TARDIS) and the duck pond is one of that TARDIS's swimming pools. It just looks like a normal town in England with a sky and everything because the desktop pattern was set that way. The desktop pattern was was so cunning a disguise that the Doctor never caught on. And, of course, the control room is in Amy's house. Which means that the either the aunt looking after Amy or Amy's mom was the Rani, and the entire town of Leadworth were just biological experiments of hers. That's why Rory keeps coming back, he's just one of the Rani's experiments. Patient Zero was actually just another one of the Rani's experiments, and the Atraxi were just a holographic manifestation of the voice interface system, preparing to delete the room holding Leadworth from the TARDIS. And, if Amy's mom was the Rani, that also explains River's regenerations. It also means that the crack in Amy's bedroom might actually have been exposing her to the heart of that TARDIS (like Rose was exposed), and that gave Amy the ability to bring back people (like Rory and the Doctor) from the dead, like Rose did to Captain Jack. It also means that, if the Rani is Amy's mom, that means that the Rani is now the Doctor's mother-in-law. And who wouldn't want to see them mine the comedy potential of that?

  • He's been in some other things also (I think he was a Soul Hunter in an episode of the 1st season of Babylon 5), but I fondly remembered Blank Reg. That's why I was excited to hear he was going to be in The Impossible Astronaut. And, I agree, I'd love to see a successor to Max Headroom - or even a Battlestar Galactica-style reboot/reimagining. A lot of stuff from that show is true today, so the 20 Minutes Into the Future tagline fits even better now.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 3:24 p.m. CST

    Female Watson - Rex Stout (no less) has a HAT about that

    by DoctorTom

    Bleeding Cool has been covering the female Watson shenanigans going on. They have just posted an article today about how Rex Stout had deduced that Watson had always been a woman, and they posted his entire essay on it. I was struck how Rex Stout was using HATS long before Caractuspotts immortalized them in the Docbacks. Here's a link to the Bleeding Cool article. The Rex Stout essay is amazing.

  • The movie, "Eldorado", the former Doctor, Sylvester McCoy. Also, I think this is David Carradine's last movie before he died.

  • Just a reminder, the US already has 2 modern-day Sherlock Holmes tv series, "Psych" and "The Mentalist", but, I guess CBS thinks we need another one.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 8:21 p.m. CST

    SWAGs, WAGs, WHATs, HATs & Perception Filters

    by veteran_of_mu

    @Doctom, I believe the moment anyone uses the word ~Rani~ in a post it is automatically designated a WHAT. Even if it is actually just a factual description of the events of TMOTR or TATR. But this is a fine line. In my business we distinguish between a WAG - Wild Assed Guess - and a SWAG - Scientific Wild Assed Guess. The notion being that a WAG is the kind of guess you get from someone not skilled in the art - equivalent to a guess from someone you pull in off the street - and a SWAG is what you get from someone who really ought to know - but doesn't. Yet. So here the distinction might be that a WHAT has an air of implausibility that a HAT lacks. Now ... for a list of several other types of perception filter try I certainly agree that some of these could, in a WHAT, account for the duck pond. But without foreshadowing or substantiating evidence they'd appear very Medicus Ex Machina. But note also that a TARDIS's ability to appear invisible was gratuitously demonstrated in TIA. Admittedly to comedic effect. But I dare say that effect could have been achieved without the invisibility ... just as it was in LKH. Maybe a better distinction is that a HAT stays on.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 8:23 p.m. CST

    Rex Stout

    by veteran_of_mu

    Damnit Tom, now I'm going to have to read the man's books. What are you trying to do, kill me?

  • March 1, 2012, 10:23 a.m. CST

    Not all all, Caractuspotts

    by DoctorTom

    Though if it's killing you, it's killing you with kindness. The Nero Wolfe series by Rex Stout IS that good. On the plus side, you should be able to find some of it in libraries if you don't want to drop any money on it, and there should be some available cheap at used book stores near you. If it weren't for the $3.99 shipping that Amazon charges per book, you'd get used copies very cheap there. You'll also see auctions for groups of the books on ebay (in fact, there's an auction closing in a bit over a day with only an opening bid of $30 for 47 Nero Wolfe books). I discovered them in the late 70's and was picking some up used in Boston while going to college - fun stuff to read. You'll like Archie Goodwin, he's a real smartass of a character. I think that people like Simon Green and Jim Butcher are drawing off of the Archie Goodwin character for their protagonists.

  • March 1, 2012, 1:26 p.m. CST

    The Stout Essay ignores the more obvious conclusion...

    by Perigee

    ... One which makes me shudder for Nigel Bruce. Perhaps instead of Lucy Liu, they should see if John Inman is free.

  • March 1, 2012, 2:46 p.m. CST

    Perigee, I thought that too

    by DoctorTom

    but I think Stout was going for a more genteel approach (this would have been back when such things weren't talked about). Now, you can't help but trip over the subtext - the British Sherlock series likes picking up on it. John Inman might not be free, but I'm sure if CBS really wanted to, they could cast Graham Norton. Given that now and then you get Watson or Holmes being asked if they're a couple though, CBS will probably steer away from a gay subtext. For CBS, a female Watson not married to Holmes, cohabiting with him, is probably as risque as they want to get.

  • March 1, 2012, 3:46 p.m. CST

    She-lock & Duck-Tor Who?

    by veteran_of_mu

    A female Sherlock with a male Watson? I don't think it's possible. I mean there are no end of female detectives in fiction but reversing this particular polarity really is impossible. So ... how come we can all accept the idea of a female Doctor? What's the difference? And ... not much to say about the Duck-Tor except ... he wants to know why there are no Docs on the Doc-Pond.

  • March 1, 2012, 5:42 p.m. CST

    Caractuspotts - what's the difference?

    by DoctorTom

    A female Doctor would have Etheric Beam Locators. And the Sonic Screwdriver would go back to having 3 settings.

  • March 1, 2012, 6:36 p.m. CST

    (May I say that I STILL farking LOVE AGMGTW?)

    by Perigee

    So many kinds of amazing, all in one wham-bang Holy Crap wowsers package. Season 6. Really so much more incredible, as time goes by. Sure there were a few off-notes, but it was So on, So Often. ~Sigh~ Really enjoying my 45-minutes homeward commute right now, just re-living the season. Moff. Grand Moff. One more time, fanboy - Wow us.

  • March 1, 2012, 11:38 p.m. CST

    Um, I meant what's the difference between …

    by veteran_of_mu

    A female Doc and a female Lock? Why is one so easy to imagine and the other impossible?

  • March 2, 2012, 9 a.m. CST

    Well, Caractuspotts, it's elementary

    by DoctorTom

    We know the Doctor can regenerate, and when JN-T got in whenever it was time to cast a new Doctor he always liked to get press headlines by suggesting that it could be a woman. Then, as my previous post alluded to, Sir the Moff gave us The Curse of Fatal Death, which at the end gave us Joanna Lumley as the Doctor. Some of the novels had gone further, suggesting they could change the species they look like when they regenerate, or have forced regenerations in order to put in certain tendencies (thick hides to help in combat - Lawrence Miles had gotten into this a bit). They had even eventually had the Time Lords give one of the Doctor's companions the ability to regenerate and had him working as a Time Lord agent (though by the time this was done, BBC Books was printing the Doctor Who adventures again, so Virgin couldn't call them Time Lords by name, but they had changed Chris Cwej's appearance when he popped up in some of Bernice Summerfield's books.) So, the possibility of the Doctor being female has been kicked about for 30 years. (Having Romana around to show how a female Doctor might work sure didn't hurt - watch her in the Horns of Nimon, she's doing all the stuff the Doctor normally does while Tom Baker just faffs about in the TARDIS..) Holmes, however, isn't a Time Lord, and had been established as male in the canon. You could go about casting an equivalent to Sherlock, but more likely it would be a different franchise with a different name (i.e. if you're going to have a female Holmes, it would be the daughter of Irene Adler and Sherlock, or Irene herself. Or somebody decides to introduce Sherlock's heretofore unmentioned sister). There haven't been the seeds planted in people's minds over a long period of time that Sherlock could be female the way there has been for the Doctor. So, it would be a radical step. It could be done, but not as readily as doing it with the Doctor. I say not as readily, but I suspect that we'd never see a female Doctor actually cast for the series and kept for quite a while. The thing is, there are mechanisms in place that already hypothetically allow the Doctor to be female in any regeneration. Holmes, as far as we know, isn't a Time Lord and can't regenerate. Unless that's how he came back after The Final Problem - he actually did die, but regenerated while still looking like himself after the regeneration. That of course raises the question if Sherlock is a Time Lord, doesn't that also make Mycroft a Time Lord? Is there a Time Lord who is hypothetically controlling the British government behind the scenes, regenerating when necessary to keep doing so through the centuries? Did he ever step out from behind the scenes to publicly run the government? Were Mycroft Holmes and Winston Churchill the same Time Lord? And does that mean that Winston Churchill's wanting the TARDIS from the Doctor more than for merely wanting to win the war?

  • March 2, 2012, 5:33 p.m. CST

    Yo Doctom …

    by veteran_of_mu

    Nice WHAT but I think it's deeper still. The Doc is a social being. He takes care of people - a lot of people. So it's easy to think of him going all clucky and carrying it off as a femme. Holmes, however, lives in the noosphere. He spends hours and days lost in thought, oblivious to the lives and needs of others. His personal grooming is pragmatic, his habits perfunctory, and his parenting instincts non-existent. While there are sociopathic women in the world, the worst of them is more concerned with appearances than Holmes. In short the Doc goes nowhere without his handbag. If it weren't for Watson, Hudson and Mycroft, Holmes would be on the streets or dead. He is a savant where the Doctor is a physical principle - or a Buddha. The latter impartial to a fault, capable of any incarnation, the former particular and unreasonable, unyielding to fashion and fortune, an anti-woman. I think.