Also, DOCTOR WHO News notes a few interesting Twitter exchanges regarding yesterday's filming of this episode. Seems the CONFIDENTIAL gang is on-set and filming, despite that show having not been renewed (details HERE). Might this be for DVD/Blu-ray extras, or for an online version of CONFIDENTIAL which was recently reported by The Daily Star? For neither? Or both?
PERSONALLY, I've always contended that...while CONFIDENTIAL itself may not come back...some form of perpetual "Making of..." would be generated for S7 and beyond, as the notion now a part of the WHOscape. Sounds like this is what's happening, to some degree at least.
...with a look at “The Robots of Death,” a four part Tom Baker-era DOCTOR WHO story initially transmitted January - February 1977.
“Robots” marks companion Leela’s first adventure away from her homeworld (she was introduced in “The Face of Evil,” the previous story in DW TV continuity), and is most certainly one of the higher-echelon “classic” WHO serials.
THE FINAL RECIPIENT OF THE DOCTOR WHO DVD PRIZE PACK FROM BBC HOME ENTERTAINMENT IS...
Over the past few weeks, we’ve offered prize packs of awesome DOCTOR WHO DVDs to a few lucky recipients. Last Friday, we launched a giveaway for our last set, which included issuances of newly restored titles “The Tomb of the Cybermen,” “The Robots of Death,” “The Face of Evil,” and “The Three Doctors.”
The name of the game was to e-mail me at, or closest to, a pre-selected mystery time. In this instance, my pre-selected mystery time was Saturday, March 24, at 1:05 pm CST USA. The reader whose message arrived closest to said time is:
Ron A, WI
...whose message arrived at 1:08 PM CST USA. Thanks so much to all who participated, and stay tuned for further giveaways! Ron your contact information has already been passed along to the folks at BBC Home Entertainment, who are kindly and graciously handling fulfillment in these giveaways. A sincere tip of the hat to BBC Home Entertainment their dedication and hard work when making opportunities like these happen .
IN CASE YOU MISSED THE NEW AND FIRST SEASON / SERIES 7 TRAILER...
Last weekend, the first official DOCTOR WHO convention happened in Cardiff.
Several interesting infobits came out of said convention, including news that Amy and Rory will exit DOCTOR WHO in an episode set and shot in New York City and featuring Weeping Angels. The first promo reel for Season/Series 7 was also revealed at the convention, and was released online a few days later. If you didn’t catch it at the time, here it is once more for your esteemed consideration.
"The Robots of Death"
“To the rational mind, nothing is inexplicable. Only unexplained.”
- the Doctor, “The Robots of Death,” Episode 1
“The Robots of Death” opens with introductory exposition amongst the denizens and crew a “Sandminer” - a gargantuan, mobile machine exploiting the resources of an unnamed world in a search for precious minerals (not dissimilar to the Spice Harvesters of DUNE).
The personnel debate the reliability of their sophisticated Voc-class robots. These Voc, used as support crew and servants on the Sandminer, are evidently imbued with “over a million multi-level constrainers” designed to dissuade the robots from ever harming a human being. None the less, “they go wrong.” Evidence initially overlooked when Sandminer crew members turn up dead, leading humans to suspect fellow humans...and the recently arrived Doctor (Tom Baker) and Leela (Louise Jameson).
Whoever decided that setting (what amounts to) an Agatha Christie murder mystery on the equivalent of a Spice Harvester from DUNE...while mixing Asimov’s Laws of Robotics into the equation...must’ve been more than a tad touched. At face value, the very notion feels mad - perhaps even unworkably anachronistic. The end result, however, reveals one of the most skillfully executed and brilliantly conceived DOCTOR WHOs I’ve come across up to this point in my journey through the show. With its brazen and unapologetic amalgam of conceits, “Robots” feels comfortably familiar but also necessarily unique and vital.
Cinematically directed by Michael E. Briant and tightly scripted by Chris Boucher (“The Face of Evil”), “Robots” advances a level of detail not often seen in early WHO - or on television in general, for that matter. The world here is functional and busy, akin to an early Ridley Scott or Steven Spileberg movie. Richly designed art deco sets sport large view screens conveying active readout schematics as bridge crews talk over each other while fulfilling their duties. Several layers of on-screen action often unfold concurrently. The crew persons of the Sandminer are adorned by, and surrounded with, gaudy opulence which is at once comical yet utterly compelling...
The presence of proper, pseudo-prissy robots akin to C-3P0 pre-dates the arrival of the first-ever STAR WARS film by by months (ah, parallel development!), and admirable attention to subtlety escalates the tale’s overall credibility considerably (the throat of a strangling survivor is horribly bruised throughout the rest of the episodes). In TV terms, stories like this are often referred to as “bottle shoes” - a show that never escapes one primary location. Such terms can certainly be applied here, but “Robots” is far more than just a bottle show - it’s a fully conceived mini-verse. A “bottle verse,” if you will.
The crimson components of this Laserson pobe (‘Laserson’ being a brand name, if you pay close attention to the art direction) is a constantly swarming collection of energy - an example of the nuance and detail spread throughout the execution of this story.
In her first outing with the Doctor, Louise Jameson’s ‘Leela’ proves herself a formidable, cunning, and highly adaptable companion. As implied by her introduction in the preceding story, she’s much more than a mere ‘primitive’ girl, and displays an engaging tendency to fully grasp the complexity of a situation while also distilling to its simplest, most base terms.
Brian Croucher beings hypnotic, “I’m gonna fuck you UP!” intensity to his Borg character (Borg is the name of his character in DOCTOR WHO, as opposed to one of the Cybermen from STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION). Russell Hunter seems to be having fun moving his Uvanov character between utterly out-matched and greedily obsessed, and David Bailie’s Taren Capel...with striking features, a booming voice, and psychotic face painting...evokes some of the very best superhero villains around.
As stated above, “The Robots of Death: is, essentially, a mystery - albeit a not-particularly-robust one when distilled to its core essence. This said, scripter Boucher wisely infuses the proceedings with tantalizing subtext exploring about how societies inadvertently set limitations for themselves based on how they relate to their technologies. He seems to be positing that a people’s reliance on tech might also deaden them to their world and surroundings in ways we may not often consider. For example, he robo-dependent people of the Sandminer seem to have a diminished sense of self-reliance, and...more dangerously...a decided lack of vision about what is possible (the words “not possible” are evoked on multiple occasions as trouble shooting is underway). The Doctor, at one point, suggests that stripping robot servitude away from the crew’s civilization could result in that civilization’s downfall. To some extent, at least, Boucher seems to be professing that their continued, blind reliance on technology might well result in a different flavor of downfall - the los of our ability to compensate and adapt. An interesting observation, and one which remains profoundly relevant in today’s Net-connected, computer-assisted, startlingly precarious world.
The recently restored “Robots of Death” is now available on DVD HERE in the U.S. and HERE in the U.K.
“The Sandmine Murders” (32:24)
-- Brian Croucher (Borg)
-- Michael E. Briant (Director)
-- Philip Hinchcliffe (Producer)
-- Tom Baker (Doctor #4)
-- David Collings (Poul)
-- Louise Jameson (Leela)
-- Pamela Salem (Toos)
-- Elizabeth Waller (Costume Designer)
-- Design and conceptual inspirations for the Sandminer...
-- Chiparus art deco serving an inspiration here...
-- Back of robots heads inspired by a Wella Hairdresser logo...
-- Robots' attire made of padded, quilted shower curtain...
Toby Hadoke (occasionally in drag) guides us through the history of Robotics. Sometimes “real world” but mostly WHOvian.
“Studio Sound” (1:27)
Featuring a clip of Robot SV-7 conversing with the Doctor and Leela before SV-7’s robovoice was added in.
“Model Shots” (8:00)
Featuring mute model tests (the Sandminer), a majority of which did not make it to screen.
“Studio Floor Plan”
An (apparently actual?) floor plan of the “Robots of Death” stages. The general stage overview, encompassing different sets for the story, allows users to embiggen the layout of specific sets using their DVD remote. THIS is the kind of thing which oughta be released as part of an App.
Essentially a BBC One bumper for “The Robots of Death.”
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...
As much as I enjoyed the Robots of Death DVD, someone needs to take Louise Jameson to one side and politely ask her to stop telling the knife story in every interview and commentary she does.
I wish they would elaborate on the problems Baker and Jameson had with each other. They keep mentioning it in passing but I don't think they ever really explained what it was about or how bad it was.
You've got to love the oohs of ecstasy Tom Baker makes on the commentary whenever Pamela Salem comes on screen.
When you come onto a docback.
hmmmmmmm, I thought, I know the name Pamela Salem from somewhere. So I looked her up. Apparently she was in the west wing at one point, playing a british PM. This lead me to me the 1979 Sean Connery great train robbery movie. which was, apparently, directed by Michael "theme parks go wrong and kill us" Crichton. who woulda thought it?
I've said it is a story I appreciate it for what it is, but for me it is "average" and not exceptional (i.e., what I am looking for out of Doctor Who the most).
Nonetheless, this is a very popular story, and so it is of no surprise that there are many audio stories which work to continue what was started (one of the most recent being done by Big Finish).
From what I've heard, he was mad about Lis Sladen, because in addition to being a great actress and a professional, she'd also butter his ego up something fierce.
Lis could be counted on to say such things as *Ask Tom, he'll know what to do* and so on.
When she left, and Louise came in, Tom might have been somewhat missing Lis, and came across as stand offish and aloof to Louise. (Not that he knew or realised it himself at the time).
The fact that he kept suggesting the writers have them kiss or something in the show, didn't go down too well either.
Robots of Death is a classic, and one of my all-time faves. It really is Doctor Who firing on all cylinders: great villain, great mystery, terrific cast, creepy robots. Tom is great, Louise is terrific, and there's some fine humor too. ''Please do not throw hands at me.''
Wonder if I could talk Mrs. ByTor into wearing a Leela outfit...
I've done the main story and the extras, and the first commentary (the old one with Hinchcliffe and Boucher) - I still need to do the second commentary with Tom Baker, Louise Jameson and others. Maybe I'll watch that after Fringe tonight.
I've always found this an enjoyable story with fantastic design sense. The art deco bit was an inspired choice, and help plays in with the attitudes of some of the crew in the show. I liked the robot design - a simple yet stylized mask that can be put over the extras. I was glad to see a shout out to the robot design in Voyage of the Damned.
I like how the Doctor points out that the problems with the robots could lead to the end of that civilization as they know it. Even though it looks like things were taken care of for the immediate problem, it's not clear if there had been some things that had still been left in the world at large for the problem to continue. I guess that was enough for Chris Boucher to write a sequel to the story in the BBC novel Corpse Marker, and work in a small Blakes 7 crossover.
Don't really remember it, but i were about 12 or 13 when it were shown. Of course, I lived in London (still do), so we didnt get much yokel TV, apart from the quiz of the week from anglia (sale of the century)
The Face of Evil, Robots of Death and Talons of Weng-Chiang. She gets a fair bit to do in these and fortunately hasn't devolved into the typical *Doctor, what do we do* character. I wish they had continued the Eliza Doolittle approach in the next season some more.
was early in the story, where the Doctor gives Leela the explanation about how the TARDIS could be bigger on the inside than on the outside. It didn't just rely on glibly passing out technobabble like transdimensional engineering, but tried to give an actual explanation that would make sense to the audience.
even with the hat that looked like it belonged in Flash Gordon (now that I type that, imagine Robots of Death if Brian Blessed had been cast as the captain of the sandminer).
I was glad to see her come back for Remembrance of the Daleks, which means that now she'll be able to do spinoffs from Big Finish for the next several years with that character.
and living in Ireland, so there was no such thing as regional telly to us. We got BBC and UTV and if you could mess with your television in just the right way, you could sometimes pick up HTV.
UTV being the Northern Ireland version of ITV and HTV being the Welsh version. So things like Anglia (Its the... QUIZ OF THE WEEK) and Thames Television (Minder, Morcambe and Wise) were just logos in front of the show and all blended into each other.
But Into The Labyrinth was a lot of fun, if I remember rightly.
I remember Moffat saying that he couldn't reveal the title of the second episode because it would break the internet or something like that.
I suspect that the second episode is the Dalek episode, not the western episode. If so, he might not want to reveal the title because it has the word Skaro in it (though I'm still hoping that the Dalek story has the title The Silence of the Daleks).
He might be sitting on the title of the Western episode, though, since he doesn't want us to know that the episode's called A Fistful of Chumblies (which means that for season 8 he can do the episode For a Few Chumblies More).
imported a lot of stuff from elsewhere rather than made it's own? (much like LWT..London Weekend Televsion..we had a separate company for weekends) did.
All the US action shows game from LWT...the A Team, CHiPs, Airwolf, all that stuff.
Amy says something like You've been taking Stupid lessons since the last time I saw you.
This implies that the first episode will feature her and Rory getting back on board the TARDIS.
It would also explain why so much of that episode was available to feature in the trailer.
Thanks for the info on Tom and Louise, it reminds me of how Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant had their early problems.
As for the Louise Jameson knife story, it originates from the filming of Robots of Death, although she mentions it in several commentaries for other stories.
There is a scene where Leela hurls her hunting knife at a robot and it gets embedded in the robot's chest. Up to that point in the series she had always been carrying a real knife, however when they filmed the scene she ended up missing the robot and nearly impaling the cameraman! So they then took the real knife away from her and replaced it with a fake one which she had for the rest of the run. Apparently even though the knife was fake, everyone still ran off the set during her second take!
It's a good story, but like Peter Davison mentioning "Doctor Daddy" on many of his early commentaries it does get a bit repetitive! :)
Never having gone to conventions or got the DVDs and that, much of those stories you're tired of are new to me. :)
Like the Doctor Daddy one. Don't know it.
Now, Babylon 5 on the other hand, I think I've heard every convention story ever told at this point...
Doctor Daddy isn't much of a story; mostly it's Davison talking about how his kids used to know him as ''The Doctor'' but now he's ''Doctor Daddy'' as opposed to, say, Tennant.
Of course, the more popular Davison convention story is about Janet Fielding's top from S20...
but I don't think the Christmas episode would have filmed by now, obviously.
I think there are obviously clips from another episode featuring the Egyptian looking lady and Peterson (from Red Dwarf) and it looks like it was filmed in the same place as the Byzantium. But only those two episodes, it seems. So I'm guessing the first two episodes were used in the trailer.
I think the snow-covered eyestalk might be used as a trailer/hook for the end of epsiode 2 and lead in to episode 3, maybe?
They're allowed to have snow on planets at times other than Christmas. I'd say that it's just a planet in winter or else a planet that's cold normally. If it's Skaro, I would imagine that they might be playing with the idea of nuclear winter from all the bombing and such that had gone on (though you didn't really have that in the other Skaro based episodes)
Well we have the iDaleks, the war Daleks, the cult of Skaro, the old style Imperial Daleks and the Daleks that were created from Davros.
The timeline, as I seem to remember it, goes -
Davros creates Daleks. Skip to the end....
Time Lords have war with 'em.
Lone Dalek lands in 2012. It dies.
Some Daleks land in 1943. Recreate iDaleks. Die.
Cult of Skaro buggers off, loyal to the Emperor.
The Emperor survives. Creates hokey human lineage Daleks. They die.
Cult of Skaro re-emerges from the Void. Brings the Daleks from the Genesis ark. They go back to the Void.
Cult of Skaro creates human hybrid. Dies.
Cult of Skaro survivor joins with Davros and his Davros lineage Daleks. They die.
So what we have are
the Daleks trapped in the Void (who are old-style Imperial Daleks, loyal to the Emperor though possibly deserters from the Time War)
any surviving veterans of the time war
any new breed we haven't seen yet.
We know the iDaleks were considered the most pure version by the ones in 1942. Like all good ethnic cleansing monstrosities, they wiped out the lesser Daleks who brought them back.
Several other breeds of Daleks have been created from human cells, Davros' cells, and they were (mostly) dead by the end of the episode they appeared in.
It's possible that the iDaleks don't like the other surivors running around, being all impure and stuff, and generally getting defeated every time they go up against that funny little biped in the Blue Box.
So I think episode 3 will be called *Racial Cleansing of the Daleks* or *Pogrom of the Daleks*
Something light hearted like that. :)
I thought that the Daleks at the start of Victory of the Daleks were survivors from the Davros Daleks at Journey's end - they got out before they were destroyed.
Then again, we're not really sure about what Dalek survivors there might have been after Evil of the Daleks - maybe there are some Daleks with the Human factor still running around that weren't involved in the Time War?
Civil War of the Daleks? Dalek Spring Riots?
if we're going to get some actual Cushing Daleks in there (not just the iDaleks who wanted to be the Cushing Daleks).
Also, will we get to see the Daleks with flamethrowers?
Daleks with machine guns? (Death to the Daleks version)
The Special Weapons Dalek like the one in Remembrance of the Daleks? (please please please please - that one looked like a Dalek that even regular Daleks wouldn't want to mess with. I also like the added stuff in the novelization about how the Dalek was known as the Abomination).
Merrick, can you ask your BBC contact swhat the deal is with how they select which Doctor Who titles are available on NetFlix streaming as opposed to just being available through them on DVD?
Recently, the number of stories available on NetFlix streaming dropped.
But hey, it could be worse... All of the 90s Dark Shadows "revival" series was dropped from streaming despite it having been available for a good 2 or 3 years. Seems odd considering the timing with the Tim Burton film adaptation hitting the movie screens a little over a month from now.
But back to the business...loved this story back when I was a kid.
I never watched Victory again after broadcast. I just couldn't go through that again.
Next time I want to see someone try to talk a bomb out of detonating, i'll chuck in DARK STAR into the DVD.
Not only will it make me laugh, the bomb still goes off, which makes a lot more sense.
Hilarious film. One of my favorites of all time. I love the Pinback character. That clip of him using philosophy to try to talk the bomb out of detonating is a classic moment.
Pinback is actually Dan O'Bannon, who we sadly lost far too young in 2009. More people are probably more familiar with him for writing the original Alien screenplay/story. Am *Dead and Buried*, which I think was one of the best horror/comedy films of the 80s. Depending on which cut you see.
Peter Gabriel in Genesis, as opposed to Ziggy Stardust. Maybe I'm nuts. Also I always felt it was a rather skillful nod to the decadence of the robot-dependent society--even on a relatively working-class assignment like this sand-miner (a not-too-distant cousin of Alien's Nostromo, when you think about it), the robots do so much heavy lifting that the humans have nothing better to do with much of their time than paint their faces. And it kinda reminded me of William Mandella's first return to Earth in The Forever War.
I've decided that my personal who collection is going to consist of a choice adventure from each Doctor. So far I have Troughton's Tomb of the Cybermen and Pertwee's Day of the Daleks. This is in the running for Tom Baker.
Yes, one series without them would be nice right about now. But they are iconic and I'll bet almost mandatory in some fan circles. I don't hate them (obviously) , but I do grow tired of them. The iDaleks with interchangeable color housings (collect them all!) were a little annoying. It would be fun if they toyed with them in much more obvious, huge ways though. Imagine a 12 foot tall Dalek. Or ones with new bodies completely. Maybe even humanoid. Could be a fun surprise to see a humanoid through a whole episode only to find out at the end that it was a Dalek the whole time. Its head opens up and inside is Kaled mutant hissing and spitting.
It is absolutely a MUST that the Dalek humanoid's cover is that he works for an Exterminator. Complete with a truck that he drives with a big ant on the roof or something to that effect.
Crazy story idea, great art design on this one, Leela is awesome from the get go. The robots are creepy in that Weeping Angels sort of way. I really dig on his stories and c'mon, this is the man that wrote one of the most legendary episodes in sci-fi TV ever - "Blake"!
My friend actually has an exact copy of the magazine/comic that Pinback is reading toward the beginning of the film called *Falling In Love*. He's a bit obsessed with anything Dark Star related. I have an mp3 of *Benson, Arizona* the country song at the beginning. Hilarious song.
Well, 1 Dalek, and he was pretty bad off. I thought it was nice to just have a Dalek cameo this year, and then the Doctor using trophies from that encounter to intimidate the people in the bar.
The cameo was much better than having a full story devoted to them, just enough for us to appreciate the Daleks being back while not having them overstay their welcome.
They did almost the same thing with the Cybermen for Season 5.
The Daily Star has reported that an online version of Doctor Who Confidential is to be made to accompany the next series. However, there has been no other confirmation of this elsewhere at present.
I would take this news exactly the same way that I would take news of their reporting that Bill Nighy, Johnny Depp or Bill Bailey has been cast as the next Doctor.
I predicted this way back when it was first announced that they were halting production. It's a great idea, and cheap to just have a small crew doing behind the scenes stuff (which they will do anyway).
So happy about this news, I hope it pans out.
David Yates says he's STILL doing that Doctor Who film.
Here's what Yates said:
"Yes, I'm definitely doing a Doctor Who movie. But I think where everyone got confused was that we're not making it for five years, or six years—it's a very slow development. I've got projects backed up between now and about 2015, and it's something I'm very passionate and excited about.
Stephen's a genius. I love his work, I think he's incredibly clever. I love what he's done with Doctor Who, love his Sherlock Holmes. He's such a gifted man. But this is something that's a very slow burn and I'm hoping to sit down with him at some point and have a chat. It's just something that we've been talking about for a little while."
If anyone's not read it, Chris Boucher revisited the 'Robots' universe with the novel 'Corpse Marker', which features the 4th Doctor & Leela, as well as a tie-in character (Psychostrategist Carnell) from 'Blake's 7'. There is also a series of audio plays that deal with Kaldor City, one of which actually brings back another of Chris Boucher's Doctor Who creations - The Fendahl:
I've just read that it will actually be the Dalek episode that will be the first episode of the series. That makes sense - the Western isn't being written by Moffat, and it had been said previously that a Moffat story was going to start the season.
The Dalek episode is first, the western is third, and, the New York City, Weeping Angels, Amy and Rory's last appearance episode is fifth. Oh, and, the new companion appearance is sixth, the Christmas episode, correct? I almost forgot, the egyptian episode most likely will be second. I wonder what the forth one will be?
I'd be willing to bet that the Egyptian episode is a different one.
And, if it's the second episode, and Moffat is saying the title is a big spoiler, perhaps the title contains the word Sutekh? Maybe that's one of the returning baddies for the season.
Hmmm, the Wrath of Sutekh. The Return of Sutekh. The Revenge of Sutekh. Maybe something like that.
Now, watch it end up being some other Osirian but not Sutekh himself. The Wrath of Horus, perhaps?
That's my way of saying, you have the right to your opinion, I will only say that I'm sorry to hear you are not enjoying Matt Smith's time as the Doctor. Also, keep in mind, if and when this movie is made, Matt Smith may not be playing the Doctor, so, it will either be some one new or a Doctor from the past.
reading Sutekh as returning from the Egyptian picture from the clip has the same feeling to me that ended up having Omega extrapolated as the big bad after the last episode of Season 5. Another Osirian could be a possibility, since nu-Who likes having the related monsters or related species (Ood-Sensorites, Minotaur in God Complex being an offshoot of the Nimon, Silurians being a different offshoot from the old Silurians). So, perhaps we have the Curse of Thoth, or the Wrath of Horus or something like that. It might still be reading too much into an egyptian picture, though. It would be like expecting Julius Caesar to show up just because you see someone dressed as a Roman.
Yates is talking about shooting in 2015 or 2016; I know Smith likes playing the Doctor but I don't have the feeling that he wants to have a Tom Baker duration on the show. Yates could dip into the past (which would include Smith at that point) but I doubt BBC Hollyweird wants to go that way with the movie. You'd be talking either whoever's the Doctor at that point or somebody new.
So, in either case, it's not too early to lobby for Robert Sheehan to be a Doctor in the future (he'll have a few more years of acting). Or, they could go completely the other direction and cast Alan Ford. If they did that, though, I'd keep waiting for the Doctor to bring out the line Feed Him To The Pigs....
the most popular choices seemd to be between the Yeti, the Zygons and the Ice Warriors, but that doesn't mean that they can't sneak someone like Sutekh back into the mix.
I know the makeup people would like to do the Zygons, we'll have to see if Moffat's listening to them.
The novel 'The Sands of Time' brings Sutekh's sister/wife Nephthys vs. the Davison Doc + Nyssa & Tegan (wasn't as good as 'Pyramids of Mars'...not even close)
In the audio adventure 'the Bride of Peladon', the Davison Doc + Peri encounter an Osiran named Sekhmet (voiced by Jenny Agutter). Liked this one better than 'Sands of Time'
one of the stories that tries really hard to convey scale and does a bang-up job trying to do so. This period's TARDIS interior is one of my favorites and the true progenitor of the modern TARDIS interior.
I also love the costumes and ancillary characters in this one.
Yeah, the makeup reminds me of Peter Gabriel's makeup he wore during his initial tour for the album frequently called *Security* (it is actually called Peter Gabriel, like all of them up to *So*). I actually caught a show at the end of that tour, and from what I was told it was the first show without the makeup.
Loved the Doctor's explanation of the TARDIS' interior being bigger than its exterior to Leela.
Very entertaining episode. Love it.
The fun thing is, given that the Yeti are robots that have a control module put in them, it wouldn't necessarily have to be the Great Intelligence who was the one powering them. It could be anyone who could make use of those control globes, or make alternate control globes. I wouldn't be surprised if the Nestene Consciousness could make its own control globes, or if you had someone like the Celestial Toymaker who could do it.
That would actually be something cool that they could do in Doctor Who - have one returning baddie use a different baddie's modus operandi in order to fool the Doctor into thinking the wrong person's trying another invasion gambit.
Despite what's been reported on various spoiler sites, I'm going with :
2) Tomb of something...
3) The .... of the Daleks
4) the Mark Gatiss episode
5) The Angels of Death (or whatever it's called)
I love this one. If you can look past the low budget special effects and costuming, there is a lot of great science fiction happening: "Robophobia"...Leela noticing the body language of one of the miners was that of "a hunter" (he's really an undercover agent)...the idea that the miners (who no longer really "dig" due to technology and the robots) have evolved a sort of elite class system that has it's own in-fighting and prejudices--great stuff! The only bad part is that they reveal--due to stupid graphics/effects--the villain much too early.
This group of episodes were constantly repeated, and I was always disappointed turning the dial on the tv to find it being this story. I knew the docbacks would get to this story sooner or later. I think these episodes = skid-marks left in Red Dwarfs underwear. Just saying......
I mean, if you're going to do all of them, I think it's time we got something really frightening out of them.
The original daleks were basically extrapolations of nazis in panzer tanks. To an audience that still had fresh recollections of the real horrors of WW2, they were absolutely terrifying - the worst thing they could possibly imagine.
But to us now they're really a bit of a joke. Milligan presaged it with his Pakistani Dalek (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0n88tZQc4Q) - they're just not scary in the modern world.
Making them more like Subarus per VotD in S5 did nothing to help make them scary. Giving them caste names - including one called the drone for crying out loud - was just dumb.
So let's have an episode called Evolution of the Daleks in which they contact the Doctor because something is hunting them. Something much worse than them.
Of course the Doc would say there is nothing worse than a Dalek, that they are the definition of hate. And they fire back that they are being hunted by something from their past, something they have been afraid of all along.
They show him a video of Davros offering their Emperor a new invention, something in the shadows. The emperor orders Davros to demonstrate - and the video cuts out. But there is another message on the tape encrypted in a sub-space channel. Pure audio. It's a voice. It says, ~Silence, Doctor! Silence Will Fall!~
As for the form of the evolved Dalek ... the eyestalk is important as are the bumps and the voice. But a creature that can fly doesn't need to wear a hoop skirt. One of the creepiest things about a dalek is how its head swivels ...
So a floating rotating sphere studded with bumps, each opening to extrude an eyestalk, a manipulator or a gun-arm, black filigreed in steel, and the end of each eyestalk glowing blood red ...
Now that I've watched it again, I recall that this was one of the stories I watched on PBS when I was a li'l one as well. A wee lad. A tiny thing.
Another reminder of why the Tom Baker years were so beloved. Yes it has silly moments, but the writing and most of the performances were great. The story was great. Even the ATTEMPTS at conveying scale with effects were honorable. The design, especially the sets and the robots, were really very good, considering what we usually got back then. I really, really like this story.
Okay enough gushing about Robots of Death.
Suggestions? How about....
The TARDIS Bathroom of Death! (hey, we'd see a new part of the TARDIS at least)
The Death of Death! (covers all the bases, that)
The Breakfast Cereals Of Death! (Rice Deathbies, Frosted Death Flakes, Count Deathula, Fruity Deaths, Cinnamon Death Crunch, Deathberries, De La Muerte Del Crunch )
The Chumblies Of Death (speaks for itself)
The Toblerone Of Death (impossible!!)
The Drippy Spoon Of Death (ewwww...)
The Banana Of Death (yummy)
I'm out of ideas.... (thank goodness, right??)
Probably the thing that irritated me the most in this one ways the whole ~wah-the-ship-is-sinking~ plotbubble.
The episode started out as straight Agatha Christie Ten Little Indians, then they tossed in the whole Waaaah! Sinking! thing, went nowhere with it, and then jumped right back to Indians again.
It was a weird ~We need something exciting here~ plotstuffer.
... and I keep waiting for more The Hobbit set reports. But really, what's with all the typos and grammatical errors??? It can turn a really enjoyable article into a depressing affair. Really unprofessional, guys. How long does it honestly take to scan it over a couple of times?
Like staring directly into the imagination of a savant's brain.
Can you imagine self-building architecture in the future that looks like that. And every single detail of the thing is like a separate mansion. Floating in its own self-created atmosphere and gravity. In space.
Great time share.
Honestly, it takes about as long as it takes to stop reading it. Sorry, I just got through writing a gigantic article about grammar and spelling nazis. I guess I'm a little sensitive about it at the moment. And your comment just happened to be the first thing I read after writing it. No joke.
But I'm glad you like the DocBacks. They are islands of civility and intelligence in a sea of imbecility.
The Mandelbulb is a very strange place. There are lots of good fly-throughs of it on youtube but I liked the way that video was rendered - it had a suitable amount of menace for something that would inspire Daleks to ask the Doc's help.
I guess the idea is more Star Trek than DW but it would be cool - sort of like Doc vs V'Ger. Except a really evil V'Ger that wants to exterminate everything. A genuninely credible horror - because if one nanolek of it contaminated your space, it would grow at an exponential rate - exterminating all the noisy life-forms, making only silence. I mean ... remember this?
Doctor: ~If you had created a virus in your laboratory, something contagious and infectious that killed on contact, a virus that would destroy all other forms of life, would you allow its use?~
Davros: ~The only living thing, a microscopic organism reigning supreme. To hold in my hand a capsule that contains such power, to know that life and death on such a scale was my choice... To know that the tiny pressure of my thumb, enough to break the glass, would end everything... Yes, I would do it! That power would set me up above the gods!~
My love for that Mengeroid For Rent video you linked to, and the way that you've interpreted/applied it in your imagination has inspired me to make use of my insomnia time and fiddle with the soundtrack in order to re-upload it (unlisted of course).
I'm not sure if it will be an improvement, but as soon as I'm done I'll post a link then remove it in a few days. Fun.
I just thought a darker, orchestral soundtrack would be a better fit.
...sorry. Started reading the docback before i went to the bar, finished reading it after i got back from the bar, and was a little (lot) drunk. I take it back. I do know the difference between a weekly blog and an article proper. sorry to be "that guy". I really do love the docbacks.
Kids, don't drink and post!
I paused the trailer and the cyborg Gunfighter does look like Browder, darn it, I was looking forward to seeing Browder's character fight side by side with the Doctor, not against him. Well, we don't know what caused the transformation, so, maybe The Doctor will be able to reverse what happened to him and save the day. (Hmmm, that is what he does, right?)
"The Robots of Death" was one of Tom Baker's better episodes, I mean, it had, robots, death, mystery, Leela, and, it was set in space, who could ask for anything more? (Yes, I know, someone could ask for more.)
Oh, yeah, I said two things, didn't I?
I'm going to miss Amy and Rory, mostly, Rory, he is the bravest coward the Doctor ever had as a companion. I really hope they don't die.
I hope, after a near-death for Rory, or, both Rory and Amy, they realise, they can't do this anymore and give the Doctor a tearful goodbye. And, in the Xmas Special, The Doctor meets his new plucky companion, I'm sure she'll be plucky if the Doctor has to keep up with her. I could be wrong, and, I usually am, but, she may be the next Peri.
Great acting, great character, gorgeous lady in a sexy outfit, but never feels exploitative.
She seems to be a peach in all the interviews to.
And what a run of episodes! I don't think any other companion can lay claim to having as many classic stories in one season:
Robots of death, talons of weng-chiang, horror of fang rock (which is in my top 3 classic Whos), the sunmakers, invisible enemy
All in one season!
but Robots of Death and Talons of Weng Chiang weren't the same season as Horror of Fang Rock, The Sunmakers or The Invisible Enemy.
Talons of Weng Chiang finished up the season that started with Masque of Mandragora, so you had 2 Sarah Jane stories, one with no companion (The Deadly Assassin, which is also a classic), then the first 3 Leela stories - all of which were good.
I will admit there was some good stories in her second season - Horror of Fang Rock and the Sunmakers especially, but I also like Image of the Fendahl and have a soft spot for The Invasion of Time (which was the first time I got to see a race make a reappearance, since I had started watching with Robot, and I always liked the Sontarans).
ah didn't realize that, I'm only going by the dvds so presumed her stuff was all one season
on the interviews the produces said that 'the deadly assassin' was the season premiere that year, then into 'face of evil' so I just figured it was one Leela season, then the Key to Time the following year.
Either way as companions go, with an overall ratio of Great episodes to Amount of episodes, I think she comes out on top.
Image of Fendhal is actually the only one I thought was a bit so-so, and it still has its moments. I've admittedly only seen half of Invasion of time so far, but I find Galifrey set stories a bit dry
in my books RTD was smart to wipe out the timelords, much like the jedi they seem awesome and mysterious when spoken about as a now dead race of powerful guardians, but to actually see them during their reign they come off as a bunch of boring assholes who have a lot of meetings (much like the jedi)
With both the timelords & the jedi, I wish the route the writers had gone was to have fewer of them to begin with, and put in a solid effort to make each as unique, eccentric, and interesting as the doctor and the master. (or in the jedi case, as interesting as ANH era obi-wan, and ESB Yoda)
The fact that there were timelord guards, who just use pistols and stand on the other side of doors while timelord politicians have meetings seems extremely lame to me.
A race with Tardis technology should be much stranger and more magical and absurd and surreal. The meeting rooms (I know not possible on the 60s-80s budget) should look like something MC Esher would come up with.
Anyways just my 2 cents and a sunday morning rant
But yes, adore Leela.
Oh please, please, please,please,pleasepleasepleaseleaseeaseasesee......no.
No, I've seen clips of her acting and being interviewed now, and there is absolutely no chance of her being Peri-like.
Sorry, any Peri fans out there. She grated on my nerves.
Not to much. I replaced my old wireless KB with this new one and it worked fine for a while. Seems that as soon as the batteries are about 2 hours discharged, the KB starts to act up and letters will randomly not show up even though I've typed them. Back to the wired KB again. *sigh*
The move from dark leather to light leather was a big mistake. Just didn't suit her colouring. Would have been worse with blackface on ...
Also ... where did she get the second costume from? She didn't pack it. Did the Doc stop off in the woods so she could skin and tan something? Does he have wardrobes full of handmade leather gear? Did he simply insist she wash the brown outfit and it came out white? What?
I'm up to State of Decay in my watching. Loved both Face of Evil and Robots of Death. I bought a cheap used copy of Robots of Death, so I probably won't rebuy it for the Special Edition, but I'll definitely be picking up Face of Evil soon.
For all we know, it was a spare costume the earlier Hartnell Doctor used once.
It wouldn't surprise me though if it was something Pertwee had Jo Grant pack in case they visited the stone age.
It also wouldn't surprise me if in addition to the normal wardrobe room there was a clothing fabricator somewhere on the TARDIS. And, whenever the Doctor regenerates, Sexy has it spit out a copy of the clothing she knows he will be wearing in the future, and has it placed where he'll eventually find it and put it on.
Oh, and I don't like this - hopefully it's unconfirmed and just plain wrong:
~The second half of the Doctor Who season will be produced after the new year for budgetary reasons, with the first half of the new season debuting on BBC One and BBC America this fall. ~
That would not be good.
It also said the new companion was going to appear first in episode 7 of the new series. The reports we've had so far I thought said we'd meet her in the Christmas special, which would be the 6th episode.
It would seem strange to announce the new companion now if you're not going to film with her for another 9+ months, which is what would happen if both statements in the article were true.
so it's possible that the author was trying to push an April Fool's joke by embedding bogus info at the end of the article, and was cluing people in by giving a different episode number for the new companion's appearance than we've had before.
And they'll be in the first episode instead of the robot cowboy? That's outrageous!
And they're bringing back *all* the old Daleks too? It's almost as if the people making the show heard the complaints about the 'new Daleks' and actually listened and decided to keep *everyone* happy by having them all onscreen, isn't it?
I'd call that a victory for Who fans everywhere.
The whole eugenics/purity thing would be fun, if you stick all of these guys together at a Dalek Convention.
Wouldn't a Genesis of the Daleks Dalek be more pure Dalek than a Victory of the Daleks iDalek? Will the iDaleks allow the Genesis Daleks to exterminate them, thus pushing Dalek tech back thousands of years?
Dalek Philosophy 101 - Next on Maury.
As far as I'm concerned, this series is filming all its blocks back-to-back with no breaks. I expect there will be some filming next year, but not for Series 7.
Then again, I'm the person who swore blind that Series 7 wouldn't be spilt either side of the Christmas Special and that the series would run straight through with no breaks, and I was 100% wrong about that.
So, like I said, what do I know?!
And I want them to get the Subaru iDalek makeover too.
But most of all I want my Fractalek. It is far too good an idea to go unproduced. MOV, tell your show runner I want an advance and an SFX budget pronto.
And none of your lip about not knowing things.
I doubt we'll get the Dalek lawyers they had in the Paul McGann movie. Likewise, I doubt they'll bring in the proposed redesign they almost went with using Spider Daleks.
This is probably for the good. We don't need to see a bunch of Daleks trundling along yelling LIT-I-GATE! LIT-I-GATE!, then seeing a black Dalek wearing a white wig that will be acting as judge.
That does bring to mind a story title that we probably won't ever see used, since it strikes close to home - Litigation of the Daleks.
To be honest 2012 has been immensely stressful thus far, work, family, friends, love life, pets... seems like every time I'm turning around there's one thing or another to deal with.
I'm not complaining though, my life is all in all pretty awesome, any one of these things on their own would have been no problem to deal with, it's just a lot of stuff piling up. Anyways, no desire to be a Debbie-downer, there's been plenty of good stuff to.
Recently got into Downton Abbey, which has Harriet Jones, former prime minister from the RTD Whos, and the pirate captain from 'curse of the black spot' in it. Great show.
Also still working away on my scifi novel I'm writing. Up to page 108 now, and taking off 2 weeks later this month for a marathon of writing to try get back on schedule to have draft 1 done by December 31st.
Hope everything is good in Docback land! I've dropped by to read up fairly regularly, but just due to minimal time and energy haven't chimed into the discussions too much.
How are you?
I'll throw out my support for Dalek-Doh. Just a warning though, I used to like to sample my play doh when I was little. (as in eat) So this may all be a trick and really I just want to eat the Dalek-Dohs.
Is the doctor traveling through the time locked events that were essentially erased during the time war, or does he enter the time war and escape like the crazy Dalek blob? Or are Daleks from different times coming to him? Haven't been this interested in a Dalek episode since Dalek.
Or, because it is electronic, and anything that holds the image of an Angel becomes one, would it become a Weeping Chumblie?
What might be the laws of a Weeping Chumblie? And, if a Dalek watches a Weeping Chumblie, Would it become a Weeping Dalek? And would the squishy starfish innard start counting down?
If the first episode is the Dalek episode, (still not convinced exactly) and Amy is in it (from the promo pic) then why does she say in episode 3 (the western one) that the Doctor has been taking *stupid lessons* since the last time she saw him?
Possible answers :
1 - The episodes are not linear.
2 - Each episode features amy/rory going home, and starts with one or both joining for just one adventure, with gaps between the adventures (from their point of view)
3 - The Daleks episode really isn't episode 1
4 - The Ponds don't come back until episode 3, promo photos be damned.
5 - That line was shot for the trailer, and won't feature in the episode.
Any other possibilities?
7 - modification of 2 - there's a bit between episodes 2 and 3 where they might have gone home, but it's not happening between every episode
8 - she's referring to the time between when the Doctor dropped them off in The God Complex and when he meets them again at the end of The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe. She might be spending several episodes harping on the last time she saw him, for all we know.
...a great 45-min documentary on the Philip Hinchcliffe era (popularly referred to as the 'Golden Age of Doctor Who') entitled 'Serial Thrillers'. I've searched high & low for a link to share w/ you fellow Docbackers - I think many of you would enjoy. I do have the DVD, but do not have the immediate requisite technical means to share this content (if that's even legal)
I could see a Dioxholster Whotininnie April Fools special, talking about nothing but (Battle)Stargate Universe, with fart machine enhancements I'd understand it the podcast didn't go more than 5 minutes, or consisted of an hours worth entirely of fart machine sounds
I'm a huge (HUGE) fan of Eva Green, and throw in Matt Smith with a challenging intellectually driven scifi film and how could I resist!
Smith is really great in it, and Eva is onscreen for almost every frame of the movie, both give terrific performances.
The deal keeps him presenting through 2014. This is good news for us given his support of Doctor Who. I imagine that we'll have some guest appearances from Matt Smith or others involved with the show near the time of the 50th anniversary (plus, undoubtedly, appearances before then).
Since jlc brings new meaning to the phrase ~wibbly wobbly timey wimey- I thought it high time to revisit that perennial (not to be confused with peri kneeling) chestnut, which companion would Jack bonk first?
Bonus question: which colour iDalek would jack bonk first?
and, for the record, I don't think we should be referring to them as chestnuts, at least if also mentioning Peri or jlc.
But, which companion would Jack bonk first?
River Song - because I have the feeling that Jack already did, back when he was a Time Agent and before she had found the Doctor in her River Song incarnation
Second - Kamelion. He'd have his choice of looks.
Third - Adric. They could do it on the crashing spaceship, and Jack would come to life again and not have to worry about pillow talk.
Seriously, though, if Jack had a chance with Sarah Jane he might take it, but he knows she's out of his league.
Maybe we can combine that with the Yates bull**** about doing a movie into one rumor that he's going to do a Doctor Who movie and cast Emma Watson as the Doctor, with Rupert Grint playing the companion, with John Barrowman also appearing as Captain Jack in the movie.
Because it's the only reasonable explanation for that sweater. Unless you can come up with another explanation for why a female of any species would wear such a thing, you've just got to pay me.
Now as to who Jack hits first I think it's actually a trick question. See there's a Jack in Rose's parallel universe. And even though that Jack is merely mortal I see him hitting both the one-heart Dr and Rose with the same erection, using the vortex manipulator to alternate 'em.
Meanwhile the Boe-face Jack is going after Turlough before he tags Adric, no question whatsoever. Then a 3-way with Romanas 1&2. Then a 4-way with *ALL* the K-9s.
* 1) It's not sonic 2) It's not a screwdriver ...
* Let's see the chumblies
* Cracks in time.
* Wibbly wobbly timey wimey ...
* Does she still like custard on her fishstick?
* Let's have another Big Bang
* Members of UNIT need her help
And of course ...
* It's bigger on the inside!