This Friday Docback Is A 'Carnival of Monsters'!! DOCTOR WHO Story #66, And More!!
Published at: April 13, 2012, 9:16 a.m. CST by merrick
In the early 1970s, Delia Derbyshire and Brian Hodgson re-recorded the iconic DOCTOR WHO theme. The result was not well-received and the previous version was ultimately retained. This embed features that abandoned recording over the era's opening title sequence. More details below.
...with a look at “Carnival of Monsters,” a four part Pertwee-era story originally transmitted January - February 1971.
"Carnival of Monsters"
“These creatures may look like chickens, but for all we know they’re the intelligent life form on this planet...” - the Doctor, 'Carnival of Monsters' Episode 1
On Inter Minor - a planet populated by humorless, scheming, procedural, fussy, paranoid, germaphobes - interstellar showman Vorg (Leslie Dwyer) and his saucy assistant Shirna (Cheryl Hall) arrive to entertain the local populous.
Concurrently, the Doctor (Jon Pertwee) and companion Jo Grant (Katy Manning) materialize on the SS Bernice - sailing the Indian Ocean, on June 4 , 1926 - the day history recorded the vessel’s unexplained disappearance. Time on Bernice appears to be looping, it’s daylight outside when it should be night, and a Plesiosaurus - extinct for 130 million years - is attacking the craft in recurring events unfolding at predictable intervals.
This being DOCTOR WHO, these seemingly disparate happenings do, of course, connect. Revealing the Bernice to be a stepping stone to a far greater adventure which not only brings with it severe moral implications, but the dangerous truth that the ‘reality’ the Doctor and Jo are currently perceiving is very far removed from what’s actually happening around them...
It sounds disparaging to say "Carnival" 'is what it is,' but there's really no better way to describe this Robert Holmes scripted, Barry Letts directed installment.
Thin on macro concepts but thick with quick payoff gags and concise set pieces, "Carnival" is solidly entertaining, but frustratingly vacant - a pity given that Holmes would ultimately script “The Talons of Weng-Chiang” (T. Baker, Story # 91) and “The Sun Makers” (T. Baker, Story # 95) - two of the most substantive, significant, and socially observant DOCTOR WHO stories ever created.
But this isn’t to say “Carnival of Monsters” is wholly frivolous. Fueled by conceits which would later be explored by titles like THE MATRIX and TRON, “Carnival” does indeed nudge at resonant thematics from time to time...just not as clearly or effectively as the later Holmes stories cited above. When one penetrates the fluff of it all, “Carnival” speaks to the realities we create for ourselves...both accidentally and intentionally, as individuals and as a collective of living beings. It looks at how we perceive these realities, and how we react when our realities are challenged. In essence, many elements here are parables of the human condition - a tremendously vital conceit in good Science Fiction, and a long-standing tenet of DOCTOR WHO. Alas, in “Carnival” it’s all there, but such ‘meat’ is highly obscured...too obscured and unnecessarily obscured...reducing a potentially intriguing, existentially provocative piece to a comparatively milquetoasty, breezy little ditty.
The Inter Minorians’ incessant predilection for prissy, bitchy, manipulative minutiae is initially amusing - but as the clumsiness of their procedural dysfunction becomes increasingly evident, it's hard to believe this civilization managed to survive as long as it apparently has (perhaps a touch of Holmes allegory creeping in after all?). If the Inter Minorians spent less time niggling about, perhaps this guy would've better blended his skull cap....
The Doctor’s time tested “Venusian Akido” is here substituted for good, old fashioned boxing. In a brief but amusing sequence which finds Pertwee (not surprisingly) dispatching an opponent quickly and painfully. Later, when facing a significantly larger and nastier adversary against whom boxing would clearly be ineffective, the Doctor brandishes his Sonic Screwdriver as a weapon - producing a spectacular napalm effect.
The ‘Screwdriver as a weapon’ conceit is not uncommon in later WHO, but...in my sometimes non sequential journey through the show as a whole...this is the first time I can recall seeing the notion realized so flagrantly and spectacularly.
“Carnival” is more or less a standalone episode in terms of its influence on overall DOCTOR WHO mythology, although it does include several pointed references to past episodes: Daleks are mentioned, as are their Ogron subservients (from “Day of the Daleks” - Pertwee, Story # 60) and the planet Demos (from “The Daemons” - Pertwee, Story # 59). Intriguing glimpses of a ‘bigger picture’ within a show which exists very much in its own little universe...a tip of the hat also evoking the bottled predicament of many of the characters and creatures populating this tale.
Shirna (Ceheryl Hall) reacts to the ultimate magic trick - the TARDIS' dematerialization - in this final shot from "Carnival of Monsters." My favorite closing shot of a 'classic' DOCTOR WHO thus far.
The newly restored "Carnival of Monsters" two DVD set is now available HERE in the U.S. and HERE in the U.K.
Episode Two - Early Edit
The running time of this cut is 29:45, the actual transmitted running time is 24:18.
Behind the Scenes (1:45)
Amazing BTS footage of action in both the stage and “the gallery” (the control room from which many early WHO eps were orchestrated) and directed show crew in action with producer/director Barry Letts at the helm.
Visual Effects Models (8:43)
A reel of various effects shots from the story, some of which look like they were probably camera tests (or scantly used footage at best).
“Five Faces of DOCTOR WHO” Trailer (4:11)
A trailer promoting a BBC Two DOCTOR WHO retrospective, which included “Logopolis” (T. Baker, Story #115), “Carnival of Monsters,” “The Krotons” (Troughton, Story # 47), “An Unearthly Child” (Hartnell, Story #1), “The Three Doctors” (Pertwee, Story #65).
Director’s Amended Ending (1:19)
The story concludes with Vorg (Leslie Dwyer) ensnaring Pletrac (Peter Halliday) in a wager over a shell game. The transmitted version runs a bit longer than this particular cut of the scene. While a tad more open-ended than the transmitted version, Letts’ cut is certainly snappier and (perhaps more amusingly) conveys the spirit of these final moments.
CSO Demo (3:09)
A fantastically intriguing demonstration reel featuring Letts’ early experimentation with Color Separation Overlay (CSO) - think an early form of television blue screen or Chroma Key. In the piece, a staggeringly visionary Letts proposes embiggening the scale of DOCTOR WHO by inserting actors (shot against a blue screen) into model environments which would allow the team to photograph a far broader array of (photographically larger) angles more or less on-the-fly, as opposed to remaining constrained by “flats” which limited angles due to their lack of flexibility and dimension.
Barry Letts and "Margo" (sp?) demonstrating the promise of inserting actors into model-enhanced environments via CSO (Color Seperation Overlay). Their appearance here represents a prototype effort.
TARDIS Cam No. 2 (:46)
Visualizing what TARDIS' transition through time/space might look like in one continuous shot (i.e. the vessel's insertion into the Vortex, its transition to a new location, and its emergence from the Vortex). “3D Modelling & Animation” by Nick Sainton-Clark (Visual Effects, BBC Resources).
Radio Times Listings
Coming Soon (1:55)
A trailer for “Nightmare of Eden” (T. Baker, Story # )
Destroy all Monsters! (23:12)
The making of “The Carnival of Monsters,” featuring perspective and insight from...
-- Katy Manning (companion Jo Grant)
-- Terrance Dicks (Script Editor). Discusses changing the show’s title from “Peepshow” to avoid double entendres)...
-- Barry Letts (Producer/Director - 2006 interview). Discusses original plans to shoot this story entirely in a studio, and the realization that Holmes’ concept required extensive location work...
-- Karilyn Collier (Assistant Floor Manager)
-- Colin Mapson (Visual Effects Assistant)
-- Katy Maning demonstrates her well honed chicken noises
-- Peter Halliday (Pletrac)
Letts discusses Delia Derbyshire and Brian Hodgson’s effort to record a new version of the DOCTOR WHO theme - the results were not well met and the team reverted to a previous recording of the theme. The unused theme does appear on the Episode Two - Early Edit Special Feature of this DVD, and was accidentally included on two of this story’s episodes when they were exported to Australia.
On Target with Ian Marter (16:10)
A touching look at the work and passing of actor/author Ian Marter, who played companion Harry Sullivan 1974-1975. Remembrance from...
-- Gary Russell (Script Editor BBC Wales)
-- Tom Baker
-- Terrance Dicks (Script Editor)
-- Elisabeth Sladen (companion Sarah Jane Smith)
-- Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart)
The A-Z of Gadgets & Gizmos (11:23)
A rather annoying retrospective of WHO technology. A nice idea, gratingly executed.
Mary Celeste (18:03)
Roger Luckhurst (Professor of Modern and Contemporary Literature Birbeck, University of London), Ian Murphy (curator of Maritime History, Merseyside Maritime Museum), and John McAleer (Curator of 18th Century Imperial & Maritime History - National Maritime Museum) discuss great maritime mysteries (tying into the SS Bernice saga in this story).
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...
It lit existing swamp gas - something it wasn't able to do a second time, because it burnt too much off the first time.
I can do with the little ignition trick, rather than a sonic napalm.
Allow me to say at this point that Pertwee would have been totally sundered in today's CGI-filled productions. His ability to react to the imagined was pretty grim.
AHHHHHHHH!!!!! Giant 30-foot, spaceship-eating, multi-eyed space bugger hand puppets!!!!!
Perweee: Did I leave the oven on this morning? Hm. I remember lighting it...
NOOOO!!! Space Muppets - they'll eat your face!!!!!!!!!!
Pertwee: I really think I may have. I don't think I left anything near there, though...
These Drashig guys were the Boba Fett of DW.
~Woo - they ate a spaceship, and a fully weaponized, state-of-the-art armored company of badasses! They're unstoppable!~
Unless you're a fat old man with a tommy gun.
Or a guy with big Life Savers candy glued to your jacket.
I have a Serious bitch about the life savers guy. Here we have the story -
Inter Minor is xenophobic to begin with; my understanding through the dialogue is that the carneys (through some odd twist of events) are eithter the first, or one of the first aliens to visit the planet.
Inter Minor is sadly proud of their inferior technology, and they get all panty-twisted when their zap gun is incapable of zapping the miniscope.
However, Life Saver guy not only mistakes the alien battery stowed in his bag as one he used in the Super-laser army as a lad, but knows exactly where to attach it to the alien zap gun to re-power it. Are these Inter Minoritys weapons dealers or something?
Oh - and whatever, whyever, those handpuppets dropped like flies under the alien zap gun as well. Their monster rep was totally frontin', yo.
Even though it wouldn't be called one of the all time classics, it has its own charm.
We see an early version of Holmes mocking bureaucracies, long before The Sun Makers.
the hand puppets weren't overly obnixious in this one (given the time it was made), but unfortunately it just gave them the courage to later try dinosaurs in the next season and Nessie in the season after, with results far worse than they had here. If they had had the time to do it, some Harry Harryhausen claymation might have been nice instead of sock puppets.
I disagree with the assertion that Carnival of Monsters is devoid of depth, or social commentary. It is actually a quite sharp satire on British television at the time, and the criticisms that Doctor Who was receiving for being too violent or scary for kids. "Our purpose to amuse, simply to amuse! Nothing serious, nothing political!"
And you know what? I enjoyed it a lot. I think one of the main attractions for me about the "classic" stuff so far (well, the two I've seen) is that it never seems rushed.* A lot of the ideas are allowed to play out, and you have time to savour the Doctor's reactions - which you don't get often enough in the newer series (I hate hate hate the phrase "NuWho". Typing it makes me retch. Can we ban it as part of the DocBack rules please?).
A couple of other points for now (lots of verbal flotsam drifting in my mind-swamp but it's not in order yet).
One, I just love how laid-back yet mildly irritated Pertwee is. He seems permanently irked by his predicament. We need more grumpiness from the Doctor!
And two, Jo Grant from this evidence, looks like a great companion. There's a lovely teacher-student dynamic that fits in with Pertwee's acting style.
Can't wait to see more - though I wish iTunes had a bigger catalogue...
*Oh my God I sound like a total Ne-who-bie. Bit of background - I grew up with Davidson and beyond, but it's fair to say my memories of it are sketchy. Hence my project to go back and rediscover it all...
Real life intruding.
Carnival of Monsters is not one of my favorites. It's not terrible, but it's not one that hits my rewatch list very often. The story just never grabs me, and I ultimately don't care what happens.
Still, you do get some great dialog from Holmes. It's definitely worth watching.
I'm starting to wonder...
Looking at this back catalog - as limited as my exposure has been - maybe the whole 11th Doctor *getting too big* is in reference to the fact that, instead of just meandering around like Pertwee, he actually takes a strong hand in solving dilemmas...
So - does season 7 move us back into the meandering Doctor phase instead of twirly-whirly SuperDoc?
And, especially important, could Smith DO a meandering Doctor?
I agree with some of your points, although as I mention above this is not one of my favorites.
I think your comment about allowing the story to breathe is a double-edged sword. Many, many classic Who stories end up padded, or just feel stretched thin. I don't want the over-rushed nonsense of The Wedding of River Song, but I don't want to sit through something like one of Pertwee's overly-long deals like Ambassadors of Death, either. (NOTE: I like Ambassadors, but it's too long. You could drop at least 2 episodes.)
A great example of this -- even though it's in a story I'm rather fond of -- is Frontier in Space. Not going to spoil things if you haven't seen it, but there's 2 or 3 episodes' worth of prison escapes in that guy. This is not necessary.
Also, I too loved Pertwee's grumpiness, but be careful what you ask for when you ask for more. That's what got us Colin's doc, and while I have a tremendous amount of respect for Colin as an actor, his Doctor (IMO) was way too much of a jerk.
Agree about Jo; she's a terrific companion, and she and Pertwee had very obvious chemistry. Every time she's on screen I just can't help but smile.
She also played well with Roger Delgado, I thought.
I don't think taking a strong hand in solving dilemmas is that new for the Doctor. I think, though, that the ongoing arc from Series 5->6 has made it more difficult for him to play the role of the wanderer.
If Moffat is true to his word, S7 should be a lot more of the standalone stuff, and I think that's probably a good thing, though I do like the occasional story arc.
There's no doubt in my mind that Smith could pull it off.
Actually, the real strong example of the strong-hand Doctor from the original series would be McCoy, wouldn't it? At least the later McCoy.
All of this old stuff seems to show a Doctor who is never Truly in control of any situation. It just happens around him, and he pretty much just ducks and dodges around it.
The new program has him deliberately going nose to nose with whatever bad guy he encounters. He's very aggressive, compared to his first several incarnations.
I, for myself, don't know if Smith could pull off a Early-Doc Doctor. With all that frenetic, herky-jerky he has, I'm not sure he has a steady Irk in him.
...but haven't seen this one (never forgot "The Daemons").
But Merrick, you're watching "The Happiness Patrol", next? That's the serial which made me switch off Doctor Who until the TV movie.
I found it excruciating to watch. And Bassetts weren't amused, either, although that might not mean much to you colonial folk. Thankfully, Kandyman is one villain we will never see back, for legal reasons!
I took it to mean that he's flaunting himself much too openly. I don't think it means he has to go about meandering, just that he'll be a little more circumspect about it. If he's trying to scale back he won't be blowing up cyberfleets just to send a message and let Rory ask a question, or deliberately show off to defeat an army in 3 minutes 42 seconds. I can still see him acting on things that he knows need to be done (I expect more with the Silence at some point), but he'll try to keep to the background a little more. I picture the bit from Frontios as a model whenever he gets involved - *if anybody asks, I was never here*. Maybe we'll see him use the John Smith name (from UNIT days) again a bit, so that if stuff starts spreading they say it was John Smith who helped out.
And, especially important, could Smith DO a meandering Doctor? <p>
Great question and I'm not convinced he could, though undeniably Smith has range and I like him in the role. I consider Eccleston as the literal and metophorical bridge between the old and new Doctors - whilst not meandering in the true sense of the word, he brooded (with humour when needed), was cratchty and watched events play out before stepping in at the opportune moment. More passive than meandering. Tennant ushered in the more frenetic era and Smith has adapted from that. <p>
All have their strengths but for me Eccleston had such potential and I'm sad it didn't work out for all parties for a second season.
There's plenty of ways to bring Kandyman back. If he comes back, though, they'll probably alter what he looks like to avoid the litigation. If you're building a robot out of candy, though, you don't have to use the same looking candy the next time you make him. It's possible that he could be one giant gummy bear the next time.
Perigee, I definitely think there are examples of the older series that show the Doctor going right after someone or something. McCoy did it a lot, esp. in his last season, but even Tom Baker's Doctor in Invasion of Time comes to mind (at least until the Sontarans show up).
And I do think that Moffat is tacitly acknowledging that it had gotten a bit out of control in the new series. Not just the RTD-era applause and all that; the mention above of blowing up the Cyber Fleet seems to be the height of this.
And of course, that was the point River was making: YOU did this. You scare them so much, etc.
Still, it's hard to imagine how he can stay circumspect without becoming a hermit. Won't word get around that maybe, just maybe he didn't die at Lake Silencio once another Dalek army gets defeated or something?
(By the way...when we first saw the name Lake Silencio, was I the only one who thought of Club Silencio from Mulholland Drive?)
I do love Frontier in Space. I thought the Draconians were aces, and the Daleks / Ogrons (and their home planet) turning up at the end (giving us the launch-through / arc) that connects to Planet of the Daleks was delightful stuff. I do admit it got a bit jumbly w/ Doc & Jo being jailed 3x (or so) during the course of that story, but John Woodnutt's Emperor was fab, and it was of course the sad farewell to the greatest Master of them all, Mr. Roger Delgado!
...the program (notably) during the Pertwee & Baker years:
She was notably memorialized on Pink Floyd's 'Animals' album too!
I don't disagree with a thing you say. I LOVE Frontier in Space, but that's DESPITE the fact that it's padded to hell with prison escapes.
Pertwee gives a terrific performance, and Jo gives what just might be her best (it's in the team photo at least). The Draconians were terrific -- I wish we'd seen more of them! The Emperor was especially great. Yes, it was a not-very-transparent allegory to the Cold War, but it was done well.
The political stuff was done pretty well too. The President is convincing, and while General Williams was a bit obvious at first, once he's convinced that he's being manipulated, he does the right thing. I also like the stuff on the moon, and didn't see the betrayal coming.
And Delgado...oh my god, Delgado is just on FIRE in this one. EASILY his best performance, and that's from a guy who was never anything but brilliant. And the reveal at the end of who he's working with might have been the first ''oh CRAP'' cliffhanger-type reveal I ever saw on Who.
(Of course, this is undercut by the...let's just say ''letdown'' of Planet of the Daleks. But still.)
I just meant that if you want to demonstrate to someone how the old series would maybe stretch itself a bit thin, you can definitely see it in Frontier in Space early on.
I would actually enjoy seeing Gareth Roberts do something like that. He almost got Meglos to make a reappearance; I'm sure he'd be able to take a setup like that and give us a very entertaining episode. It's basically a variant on the scenario of picking several characters and putting them in a stuck elevator so that you get to hear them interact.
I also like it despite the padding, and the ending. I did like them talking about the intended ending in the extras. It's a shame the Ogron eater looked ridiculous, otherwise Delgado could have had a proper ending scene for his last story.
And, now that this story has been mentioned along with Ogrons, I'd take the 2 Ogrons from Day of the Daleks (the slow talking #1 and the fast talking #2 Ogron) and put them in Big Brother House as well.
Yeah, it reminds me of an issue of Cerebus with Lord Julius and Elrod crammed in a ship's hold. It writes itself.
And yeah, Gareth Roberts would be a great choice for that, although I keep hoping for a Who episode from him that's as good as his Virgin books were...
Thing is, I hadn't read the book. And we watched Frontier when PBS finally aired it, and it was awesome...and then they SKIPPED Planet because of the whole B&W thing. (At the time WTTW wasn't airing any of the non-color episodes.)
So I went for a long time having no idea what happened, until I finally got a copy from someone.
I won't say it was a ''Phantom Menace'' moment, but I was certainly disappointed...
I think the first time I saw it on a PBS station (I think it was in Louisiana, I don't think they went back to the Pertwee eps until they had run out of new stories to show), they skipped episode 1 at the time because of the black and white. The show didn't lose that much by starting with episode 2.
It hasn't been collected in any of the phone books. There were 2 or 3 other stories in the regular series that weren't collected in phone books, as well as the backup stories in the Swords of Cerebus volumes (what he had been doing before the phone books), the Cerebus Jam and the Epic Illustrated stories about young Cerebus. I'd think he'd have enough that could be included in another volume (especially if he threw in things like the Cerebus appearance in Glamourpuss.
"Carnival of Monsters" has the kind of broad, comic book qualities that I find the most appealing tone for Pertwee stories. To be hoenst, that's not because I think stories like this or The Time Monster are especially good, but because I find Pertwee the weakest Doctor overall, and so I cannot take his serious stories very seriously - in most cases they just strike me as pretentious. But when it's all scenery-chewing and bright colors, I can really dig it on a cotton candy level.
what more could you ask for that doesn't involve Manning and unspeakable things? (eeep)
Should be a fun watch.
I once again stared and drooled at my local Barnes and Noble's *Wall of Who* section yesterday. Pretty high prices, but they seem to have... well... everything. I get the feeling this is not the norm and our area simply has a large number of Doctor Who fans.
But do not worry... any Doctor Who purchases will be made through links from here to Amazon.
I'm involved in a startup called DoshMosh. Killer idea, lots of fun, just getting the first cut of it through an alpha test right now.
To which end we could use a hand from some highly placed Whovians ... and the more opinionated, the better. Not say Docbackers are opinionated but ... well, Docbackers are passionate ...
Check out the 2-minute intro on http://www.doshmosh.com to see what it's about. Then if you'd be willing to give it a go and help by giving feedback just friend "Dosh Mosh" on facebook. He'll do the rest.
Thanks in advance!
my friend and I did a little fun podcast. The way we did it was unconventional. We would simply talk on the phone and each of us would record ourselves with mics. Then he would send an mp3 of his recording and I would synch it up with mine in what was at the time CoolEdit (now Adobe Audition... and prohibitively expensive.. so I still use CoolEdit) and it ALMOST sounded like we were in the same room. I even added a very tiny amount of room reverb to the whole thing to further enhance the illusion.
I'm not saying I'm up for it.... but I certainly have all of the hardware/software/experience.
I would be more than happy to help anyone else.
Our Podcast was around when the list of Podcasts was still only a page long. Ours was also the first to use bittorrent on the RSS feed enclosure, and I developed a way for other podcasters to do the same using my own method with Azureus, AnalogX SimpleServerWWW and rss. All they had to do is write the url correctly in the RSS feed and the software did the rest automagically. It was quite elegant. Then everyone started using iTunes instead of other *Podcatchers*, and iTunes did not support bittorrent. The great thing about my method was the democratization. It was not necessary to use any kind of hosting for the files other than one initial upload to my server, which then never served the file again unless I directed it to be a *seeder*. No bandwidth bills, no ad-supported hosting, no paid hosting, no matter how big your podcast got. Oh well. It was a nice try, eh?
To be honest, I'm not sure I'd have the time to do a podcast regularly. But I would certainly LOVE to do it.
But most of all, I'd like a new
No, we cannot end the use of "NuWho" because it is fitting to distinguish those of us who were fans of the original show versus the new batch constantly complaining online about the loss of David Tennant and stating he was "the best Doctor EVAR" online despite never actually having watched a single episode of Classic Who.
So yeah, I happen to like the phrases "NuWho" and/or "NewWho". I actually like to distinguish it further by referring to the RTD years as "RTDWho" or "RoseWho" because for me, Doctor Who truly didn't return to our screens in its proper form until Moffat took over the reigns [thus beginning "MoffatWho"]. I certainly would've preferred "SegalWho" back in 96 had Fox greenlit Who then instead of frikkin' stupid-in-my-opinion "Sliders" to what we got with RTD's take beginning in 2005 with his fart jokes, deus ex machina endings ad nauseum, and giving the Whoniverse the biggest Mary Sue character to ever hit our television screens.
So I raise my beer to MoffatWho. May it go on for several more years...
What are these legal reasons you mention as to why we'll never see Candyman again?
I must say...I detested the McCoy Era. No, not because of McCoy, but because I felt the writing was atrocious, I dislike(d) Ace greatly [the beginning of the Mary Sue companion, the proto-Rose Tyler], and the production values truly sucked.
However, I've felt for the longest that the Candyman could be salvaged and brought into NewWho and truly made into a menacing character. Moffat would probably scare a generation of children away from candy if he were writing a story that brought that character back.
So it's a shame to read there may be some legal reasons preventing his return.
With the 50th anniversary upon us, it is a total shame that any character would be off limits if there was an interest to bring them back. I'm sure K-9 is off limits now due to that atrocious Disney Australia show he's in now, and of course, Dr. Grace and Chang-Lee are also off limits thanks to the greed of NBC Universal [apparently]. Next thing we'll find out is the Estate of Rick James will claim ownership of the Movellans...
...was the spitting image of Bertie Bassett, a character made from Bassett's Liquorice Allsorts who was used in UK television adverts. Bertie is quite iconic.
Bassetts were not amused to see a thinly veiled Bertie turned into a murderous candy robot. The BBC had to promise never to use the character again.
Bytor - perhaps I should have been clearer. (It was 5:30 and I was desperate to get away from the stifling heat and tiresome clients at work.)
1) By slower stories, I'm purely making the point that when given time to breathe, the imagination in the stories can be explored. Am I saying we should have more four-parters? God no. Even the two I've seen recently - Carnival and Talons - could have been at least one episode shorter each. They're tolerable because I watch them on the train in the morning. And I do distinctly remember as a child being slightly disappointed if a Doctor Who was on that wasn't either the first episode (so I could see the set up) or the last one. I hated waiting so long for the thing to get resolved!
The thing is, Doctor Who is probably one of the shows that allows for and requires extreme imagination from its writers - all of time and space, where do you want to go? - and it's a shame sometimes that ideas get rushed through. As brilliant as he is (and I will have none say otherwise) Mr Moffat is sometimes guilty of trying to do too much in one episode or arc. I love all the ideas, I really do. I'd just like to be able to explore them a bit more sometimes.
2) By grumpy, I merely meant that I like the kind of world-weariness or slight impatience shown by some of the Doctors. I agree - let's not go to Colin Baker again. The Doctor doesn't need to be a bastard. But back when people were speculating on new Doctors (post-Tennant and post-Ecclestone) I had a vision of Bill Nighy being a kind of slightly curmudgeonly Doctor, who takes a slightly pissed off attitude with the foes he meets - a kind of been there, done that angle - but is secretly fascinated and excited by goings on, a quality that only comes out in extreme occasions.
I think tomdolan summed it up better than I can in his post. We've had manic Doctors now (again, Tennant and Smith are mesmerizing to watch and they're probably my top two). Going back to some of the old stuff is a nice break from that.
It's purely the "Nu" bit I detest. Don't know why. Maybe because it's a lazy shortening of a word that's only one letter longer; maybe because it's only a step away from NudeWho, which conjures up visions of Keith Chegwin fighting Daleks with his own tiny, ineffectual sonic screwdriver.
Oh, and one last thing before I take today's epic trip to Milton Keynes. Nice points Lynxpro and tomdolan about Eccelestone era Who. I always felt uneasy with the balance there. When he was cast, I imagined a grittier take on the character because of Ecclestone's previous roles. But the actual episodes were to kiddy-kiddy occasionally. Like a hangover from Bonnie Langford.
I pretty much disliked McCoy from the start as I'd seen him in a couple of kids TV shows and found him quite annoying alrady, so I was most dis-chuffed when I found out he was the next Doctor.
I did stick with it for a while, but I was 17 / 18 during his run and when they switched from being aired on a Saturday teatime I think I was at football training so I got out of the habit of watching.
The one episode I actually remembered to video was Happiness Patrol and I thought it was so awful I never watched another episode until it came back in 2005.
More so than even Colin Bakers outfit, or the cameos of Hale and Pace, or the casting of Bonnie Langford or taking the show from Saturday nights and putting the it against Coronation Street... it was the sign to anyone watching that someone in the BBC thought the show was a bad joke and in desperate need of a Kevorkian-like assist.
After things like Alexei Sayle (sorry, didn't like it one but), Richard Briers (god love him), Ken Dodd, Bonnie Langford, Colin Baker's outfit (and generally unpleasant character), Dragonfire, Kate O'Mara and the generally campy atmosphere with indicated to me that JNT just didn't care anymore, the utter cringeworthy nonsense that was the Kandyman (character that clearly seemed like uncaring producers were taking the piss out of the audience) caused me to part company with the series for a good while.
...for many years.
The Daleks tried. The Cybermen repeatedly failed, but the good Doctor finally met his match in a giant Liquorice Allsort. Good grief.
I gave up in disgust, although my interest had waned considerably since the high watermark of Tom Baker.
As camp as Doctor Who occasionally gets, still, it will never sink that low again. I hope.
*Back then they knew how to write good stories without all the politically correct crap and other agendas creeping in. *
How can you make that statement then mention Pertwee in the next post? You've surely watched his stories. Barry Letts and Terrance Dicks had other agendas creeping in all the time. And, funnily enough, some of those agendas were what has become the so-called politically correct crap now.
*** Barry Letts and Terrance Dicks had other agendas creeping in all the time. ***
AND, they each talk about this rather pointedly in numerous DVD extras. They didn't even seem to be making any particular effort to mask their agendas (in contrast to, say, STAR TREKs of the same approximate era...where allegory ran rampant in order to throw-off network sensors and potential nay sayers amongst The Powers That Be).
So, Planet of the Daleks was great except for the budget? What about the logic gaps?
Let's see, the Doctor's going to asphyxiate in the TARDIS because some plants sealed the doors? Terry Nation was treating it like the control room was all that there is to the TARDIS. Even something starting to consume the oxygen would have taken a lot longer. Terry Nation obviously didn't unterstand anything about the TARDIS.
Then there's the whole bit about icecanos, and the threat of molten ice. Hmmm, maybe Terry thought that people wouldn't remember that liquid ice is....water? I guess it doesn't sound as impressive when you say it like that. Or that you're sticking the Dalek army in a big underground pond of water and letting them have a good bath so they'll be nice and clean before they start their invasion later. We wouldn't want them invading with dirty etheric beam detectors now, would we? Heck, nu Who was smart in taking a swipe at the whole concept of volcanos spewing ice with the whole cold star bit in Amy's Choice.
Then there's the Daleks being affected by the bacteria. Daleks who have sealed systems so that they can do things like, oh, submerge in liquid ice, travel in vacuum and so forth. Surely if Daleks are going to run around without sealed systems they would check the local conditions first? They're supposed to have *some* Daleks with enough brains to think of something like that, especially given that they have used plagues and the like in the past.
No, far from being great, Planet of the Daleks did a hatchet job on the expectations people had from seeing them at the end of Frontier in Space. This is certainly one of the worst Pertwee stories, beaten out by only the Mutants (which exceeds the Sensorites in its ability to be boring and forgettable).
Andrew Cartmel always liked saying that his goal with the show was to overthrow Thatcher (which he gets to do in a way in the story we'll talk about next week). He was also pretty blatant with agendas in Remembrance of the Daleks.
Not everyone had the agendas, but some definitely did. I'd definitely say that Letts/Dicks, RTD, and the Cartmel eras are the big 3 for this, though.
you say loads will agree with you - but, given how Barry Letts, Terrance Dicks and Andrew Cartmel all admitted they had agendas they were pushing, how can you say that the classic series didn't have agenda?
And, it's not Merrick saying you're wrong - it's former producers and script editors of the classic shows you're citing that are saying that you're wrong.
Doctor Who has had agendas before, it will have agendas again. That's the way it goes. Claiming the classic series never had any agendas, though, is putting on blinders.
Nothing really spoilery there.
A question for people, though. In the second picture, we see Matt Smith looking in a book. I'm guessing we'll find out what the book is later, but from the back cover we can see, can anybody identify the book he has?
Yes there might have been 1 or 2 issues like in Green Death where there was obviously a point being made about pollution but there was never nonsense like female Silurians (those crap new Silurians not the originals of course) marrying female humans.
Madame Vastra and Jenny weren't married as far as we know, so you can't be talking about A Good Man Goes to War. And I don't recall them showing any weddings at all in the Hungry Earth/Cold blood, so what's this wedding you're talking about?
And, it wasn't just The Green Death. Watch The Mutants again. (I know, it's so forgettable that it slipped your mind.) Or watch Planet of the Spiders. Or Invasion of the Dinosaurs. Or the Monster of Peladon (miner's strikes were a big thing back when it was broadcast - they were tackling issues at the time, not unlike the pollution issue being tackled in the Season 4 Sontaran story). Or the anti-colonialism in Colony in Space. Or, for that matter, messing with the environment in Inferno. So, apart from most of the stories, I guess you could say that you could ignore that there was agenda. Dismissing it all as just 1 or 2 issues in The Green Death though makes you look petty in your acknowledgement that there might have been agendas.
But, given your choice in wording, it seems that you're making clear which so-called agenda you're objecting to, and it seems to be more the female-female part rather than the Silurian-human part. So it's okay for classic Who to embrace current (at the time) liberal agendas, but it's bad for new Who to do the same? I think you're using a double standard here. You seem to be saying it's okay for the show to tackle agendas as long as you agree with the agenda being tackled.
sounds like River trying to pass herself off as a daughter/granddaughter of Buggsy Malone.
Actually, she was alone as far as we know when she regenerated in 1970 in New York, but that doesn't mean the Silence weren't watching her at that time. We just might not have had the camera shot to notice them.
Besides, I'm going with the theory that Melody actually regenerated into Roger Waters and played with Pink Floyd until the early 90's, when he regenerated again into Mels when it was time to pal around with the young Amelia. Remember, the only water in the forest is the Roger.
Luc Besson might be an interesting choice for a Who movie. He can do action, and he likes science fiction. He'd probably tend more toward a Pertwee style Doctor if he wasn't using the current one, though.
I had the thought while watching Lockout today. Fun movie, based on a story by Besson. Not only that, but John Gilgun gets to play somebody even crazier than his Misfits character. If Moffat's trying to go for the mini blockbuster approach, then cribbing some notes from Besson might not be bad. Luc seems to be able to do a lot with (relatively) lower budgets; he strikes me as being to action movies what John Carpenter was to horror/action in the 70's and 80's.
Contains cast some will know & recognize, such as Carole Ann Ford (Hartnell companion 'Susan'), Sophie Aldred (AKA 'Ace' from Sylvester McCoy era), Jan Chappell (AKA 'Cally' of Blake's 7), Michael Wisher (who's in this week's DocBack episode; he's also the greatest Davros bar none), and Brian Croucher (Space Commander Traviss of Blake's 7 & The Robots of Death)
Written by Terrance Dicks w/ permission to use the Sontarans & the Rutans by the estate of Robert Holmes & filmed mainly aboard a retired WW2 cruiser (HMS Belfast). Due to licensing issues at the time, the Doctor could not appear as a character (the limbo years between McCoy & the Paul McGann film), but he is obliquely referenced during the series, and the later novelization would incorporate the McCoy / 7th Doc...ENJOY!
If I recall, what happens in the video took up maybe a third of the novel. That was their big Sontaran month at Virgin, because the Missing Adventure that month was Lords of the Storm, with the 5th Doctor and Turlough, also involving the Sontarans.
I always liked the Sontarans. Personally, I'd rather see them show up than Daleks or Cybermen, especially with the reimagining that's taken place with the new series. There's much better personalities with the different Sontarans now, and they have 2 good actors playing the main Sontarans.
Because it's an agenda you don't agree with? I think you'll find the vast majority of people don't find it embarrassing. In fact, the implied joke made of the subject has been a different method of handling it than it was in the RTD era. And, agree with it or not, it is something that's occurring now and is something that can be addressed as an issue, just as pollution and colonialism were back in the show in the early 70's, or how bureacracies like screwing people in many Robert Holmes stories. (It's interesting that Letts/Dicks do at least one story on corporate fascism while Holmes is more interested in how goverment bureaucracies can be fascists to people no matter the type of government.)
And gay men are fine as well. I don't understand how anyone could have problems with the idea.
Love is love, in whatever form it takes. Long as no one is being hurt, what does it matter how someone finds joy in their life?
There could be some places to draw the line on what's shown, it's just a question of where
I'm not sure if I'm ready to watch an Abzorbaloff and The Face of Boe frolicking through the woods, deeply in love with each other. (Then again, I start getting an image of this, and then immediately picture Tennant's Doctor popping in and saying *Jack, stop that flirting*) (Also, I think the props and special effects departments might strain the budget too much trying to show the Face of Boe frolicking.)
Likewise, the idea of a Silent and a Weeping Angel finding love together just seems wrong. Especially since the last thing a Weeping Angel wants is somebody staring deeply into their eyes.
An Absorbaloff and a Tythonian, however, might be okay, but I don't think we're going to get that combination.
Overall, though, I don't see a problem with showing true love in the show, especially since they show it every story. The true love between a Time Lord and his TARDIS.
We've seen baby Daleks and we know they evolved from a sexual race. They don't talk about being all clones so it stands to reason they have some kind of sex.
So let's see how this works. The boy dalek puts his eyestalk in the girl Dalek's plumber's helper ... can Daleks 69 then?
Or maybe hovering in the air, one upside down, touching skirt to skirt screaming EJACULATE! EJACULATE! EJACULATE! ...
Turn one of them around backwards ... Reverse Cow-Dalek?
Maybe they just swap Dalek bumps containing genetic material ... and the babies are born inside dalek bumps - then inserted into empty travel machines?
Hmm. Maybe that's what the bumps are always - maybe all Daleks are permanently pregnant? Less travel machine than baby carriage. It would explain their mood ...
Or maybe they just sample a whole lot of surviving Dalek DNA, average it, and insert it into a progenitor device? That doesn't explain how they do things when there's only one of them left - and progenitor devices look like quite fiddly and expensive items ...
Really there's so much fetish to a Dalek. I mean ... I'm surprised no one makes Dalek porn. Attractive young companion all trussed up - the door opens, her eyes widen and in swans a leather Dalek ... first thing he does is exterminate the Sybian ...
...was a whimper since people weren't watching his crummy stories to begin with. Overthrow Thatcher...talk about delusions of grandeur.
Then again, I'm sure RTD probably thinks he's a better writer than Joss Whedon and Armistead Maupin combined...
I didn't even use quotes, oh well. Trying to remember what I wrote now...
I basically said I wouldn't want to be that baby hunted down by a crazed robot. I may have mentioned something about Ian Holm and white milk spurting out of his mouth too.
I definitely said that maybe it's time for Kamelion to make a return to the show though.
That doesn't mean that there weren't other Kamelions scattered around the planet where the Master picked up the first one, though, or that the Doctor didn't go into his shed at some point and build a Kamelion Mk II. It wouldn't have surprised me if the Richard E Grant Doctor's webseries continued with further stories that we'd have found that the Master's mind was stuck in a Kamelion style body.
What I never understood is why they felt they couldn't use him as a companion if the robot wasn't working.
He changes shapes.
The robot form wasn't needed.
He should have been in all of the stories until Planet of Fire. It would have made his ending story better.
Is just a boring story for me. Yes, it is Doctor Who, and I like ALL Doctor Who, but in the list of episodes I watch more than others, this is very low on the list. Bottom 50 for me.
Still, there are scenes in it which are good. Pertwee is good as ever.
And yes, I have a love/hate relationship with the Happiness Patrol.
I read the novelization before I had a chance to see it. This gave the story the value it should have and I like the story -- for the weirdness it is.
But the presentation is where this fails. The biggest problem is budget making everything look bad.
But the Kandyman himself -- I want one more story with him. He's cool. He's worthy of a return story. The idea of chocolate death is good. But in the sequel, he is now
The Beer Man...
they could have had a different person playing Kamelion each story if they wanted, or 3 different people if they want him changing during the story even.
I suspect that in addition to the robot form not working that well, they got tired of having to include material for 3 different companions like they did when Nyssa was still around, and found it easier to have only two companions involved.
they did talk about the life support in the astronaut suit - at the time I thought there was the implication that it was helping keep the person inside alive. It might turn out that that was true and Melody escaping from the suit meant she didn't have that life support helping her.
It could also have just been some stresses from being a timehead. If you go back to season 4, you had the Doctor saying you couldn't have a half-human Time Lord. Maybe there was something wrong with Melody that required a regeneration to fix. (Don't forget that even the Doctor had only one heart with his first regeneration - some of their abilities might not kick in until after a regeneration.)
May take a peek. I remember this was the one where the Daleks' lasers didn't work & they modded them out with carbine weaponry. Liked the City of the Exxillons too...neat death-traps a la 'Pyramids of Mars' & '5 Doctors'...
is that this was the period where Terry Nation kept recycling essentially the same story while changing some of the details. Holmes and Dicks called him out on it when he went back to the recycling bin yet one more time for what he was proposing instead of Genesis of the Daleks. It seemed like his writing was in autopilot at that time.
I think that about the only memory of something sticking out in this story was the one part you remember with the Daleks getting outfitted with carbines when their energy weapons wouldn't work. I suppose if the Special Weapons Dalek from Remembrance of the Daleks had been running around in the different Terry Nation stories, they could have outfitted him in this one with a howitzer.