Ain't It Cool News (

The Friday Docback Wasn't Very Terrified By The "Nightmare of Eden"!! DOCTOR WHO Story #107, A Chance To Win Cool 'Classic' WHO DVDs, And More!!





Merrick here...

...with a look at “Nightmare of Eden,” a four part Tom Baker-era DOCTOR WHO adventure which aired November/December 1979.  Partially directed by Alan Bromley...whose stubborn and sometimes contentious nature so fragmented the set that he was dismissed and replaced by producer Graham Williams...and scripted by Bob Baker...“Nightmare” is widely seen as a towering disappointment and a gigantic missed opportunity by both viewers and the people who made it.  Is it?  Read on for more...
But first...
BBC Home Entertainment, Aint It Cool News, and The Alamo Drafthouse Invite You To A Free Screening Of DOCTOR WHO: 'The Daemons' In Austin!!  

Last month, BBC Home Entertainment, Aint It Cool News, and The Alamo Drafthouse bought you a special screening of the newly restored DOCTOR WHO classic "The Three Doctors."  That event sold out the largest auditorium in the brand new Alamo Drafthouse in Southwest Austin, and everyone enjoyed the experience so much that we can't wait to show you another classic WHO story on the big screen.  So...


On Saturday April 28 at 1pm at the Alamo Drafthouse on Slaughter Lane in Austin, we'll be screening "The Daemons" which arrived on DVD April 10  - a five part DOCTOR WHO tale from 1971 which BBC describes thusly:  

In the peaceful village of Devil’s End something very strange is happening. A professor is preparing to open a nearby burial mound, and a local white witch foresees death and disaster. Meanwhile, the new vicar looks suspiciously like the Master, and he is using black magic to conjure up an ancient Dæmon. Can the third Doctor (Jon Pertwee), Jo (Katy Manning) and UNIT stop their old enemy before he succeeds? 

The screening is free and is general admission (first come, first seated/served).  However, admittance to the screening can be guaranteed by purchasing THIS MEAL VOUCHER in advance.  

There was a great deal of interest in our last screening, so I strongly recommend moving quickly to make arrangements to attend.  I'll be present for discussion and to introduce the episode, and we should have some cool goodies to offer a few lucky attendees as well.  

BBC Home Entertainment, Aint It Cool News, and the Alamo Drafthouse are all very excited to bring you this opportunity, and we're looking forward to seeing you there!  




BBC Home Entertainment and Aint It Cool News Would Like Have One More Chance For You To Snag DVD Copies Of The DOCTOR WHO Classics "The Daemons" And "Carnival of Monsters"!!  

Last week, we offered "The Daemons": and "Carnival of Monsters" to a lucky reader who e-mailed at or closest to a pre-selected time. The person who came closest?  

Thomas R, of TX.  

My pre-selected time was Saturday April 21 at 11:59am CST USA.  Thomas' e-mail arrived at 12:04 PM CST USA.  Thomas, your contact information has been passed onto BBC, who is generously handling fulfillment of this giveaway.  


If you're not Thomas, and most of you aren't, we've another opportunity receive the same titles!  To commemorate our super-cool screening of "The Daemons" next week, BBC Home Entertainment and Aint It Cool News are giving you a chance to snag two recent DVD releases, each featuring wonderfully restored versions of a compelling DOCTOR WHO adventure.  Both sets are loaded with insightful and fun extras.

Up for grabs once more? 


In the peaceful village of Devil’s End something very strange is happening. A professor is preparing to open a nearby burial mound, and a local white witch foresees death and disaster. Meanwhile, the new vicar looks suspiciously like the Master, and he is using black magic to conjure up an ancient Dæmon. Can the third Doctor (Jon Pertwee), Jo (Katy Manning) and UNIT stop their old enemy before he succeeds?
Freed from his exile on Earth, the third Doctor (Jon Pertwee) takes Jo (Katy Manning) on a test flight in the TARDIS, landing aboard SS Bernice, a cargo ship that appears to be crossing the Indian Ocean in 1926. As events take a dangerous and unexpected twist, it seems that their fate lies in the hands of a traveling showman named Vorg and his assistant Shirna, who have just arrived on the distant planet of Inter Minor with an amazing intergalactic peepshow called the Miniscope.
What do you have to do to snag one of these?  Between now and 12 (noon) CST USA on Monday April 30, I've pre-selected one (1) time of day on one (1) pre-selected date.   Whoever e-mails me at, or closest to, my pre-selected time on my preselected date will win this prize pack.    
Only THREE ENTRIES PER PERSON, PER DAY, will be allowed.  Anyone deviating from this limitation will see all of their entries for that day summarily discarded.  
BE SURE TO INCLUDE YOUR FULL ADDRESS IN YOUR SUBMISSION.  This is to expedite shipping of your prize only - no Spam lists or mass mailings or anything like that.  All entries will be summarily deleted once a recipient is chosen.  
BE SURE TO SEND FROM A FREQUENTLY CHECKED E-MAIL ADDRESS!!  If I need to contact you and can not do so, I'll quickly move on to the next closest entry.  
IN THE SUBJECT LINE, include the phrase "Good Grief!"  If this is not in your subject line, your message won't be filtered correctly and I'll most likely not see it.  
BE SURE YOU SEND E-MAIL TO THE ADDRESS LINKED BELOW!!  You'd be surprised how many people send entries to the wrong place.  
Have fun, best of luck, and thanks so much for your time and support!  
"Nightmare of Eden" 


“Interfere?  Of course we should interfere!  Always do what you’re best at - that’s what I say...” 

- the Doctor, “Nightmare of Eden” Part 1 

The Doctor (Tom Baker), companion Romana (Lalla Ward), and K9 II arrive on board interstellar cruise liner Empress...currently ensnared with a smaller vessel, the Hecate.  Our heroes’ efforts to separate these ships reveals that all is not as it seems aboard the Empress.  There’s evidence that a highly addictive and dangerous drug called Vraxoin has been smuggled aboard (a drug so dangerous an entire planet was previously incinerated in an effort to rid the universe of it once and for all).  Compounding the crisis, a device called the CET (Continual Event Transmitter)...something of a portable holodeck/catalogue of plant and animal life from across the acting up, spilling undesirable beasties called Mandrel onto onto the already beleaguered Empress...
“Nightmare of Eden” is, essentially, a MIAMI VICE episode set in the DOCTOR WHO universe.  Where is a hideously illegal drug coming from? How was it smuggled on board a cruise liner?  Who’s to blame, and how can they be stopped? All set against a cosmic tapestry, and utilizing clever, science fictiony gags as essential points in the villain’s dastardly scheme to keep the universe hopped up.    All of which sounds like a fine idea - but the undertaking is tragically hamstrung in nearly every respect.  
While Bob Baker’s script for “Nightmare” is strangely dour compared to many WHOs, this tone may not be wholly inappropriate considering the story’s indisputably edgy subject matter.  After all, the results of drug use are clearly illustrated here:  authoritative characters in positions of responsibility are overcome with catastrophic apathy, and folks needing a hook-up are shown to be dangerously indifferent to life-threatening crises - concerned only with their shakes, jitters, and finding their next fix as soon as possible.  Not necessarily a fertile stomping ground for comedy.  
Which is completely fine.  DOCTOR WHO is sometimes most potent when it’s not being witty, and its exploration of human foibles (like the Opium use illustrated in “The Talons of Weng-Chiang”) have emerged as a vital element of the show over the years.  
The tragedy here is that “Nightmare” ultimately falls flat on its ass in several key regards - Baker’s joyless-but-solid script truly being the least of the issues at hand.  And from the sound of  maters, a lions’ share of this story’s shortcomings can be leveled at director Alan Bromley - an experienced producer and director of television drama who evidently never found his footing with this, his second visit to DOCTOR WHO (having previously helmed "The Time Warrior," Pertwee, Story #70).  By many accounts, Bromley  was stubborn and unwilling to adapt to the show’s carefully honed, time-tested production methodology - resulting in considerable unrest on-set.  So much so that he was ultimately relieved of duty and producer Graham Williams completed the shoot.  With this in mind, it is to the vast credit of all involved that the story feels as consistent as it does...not an easy thing to accomplish when so much upheaval is present during the making of any TV show or film.  
Romana (Lalla Ward) - an otherworldly Alice within the high-tech looking glass called CET (Continual Event Transmitter) 
But this same relative consistency also gives rise to a number of paradoxical downfalls.  Namely, problems which plague the adventure from the get-go pretty much remained in place even when a substitute director was drafted.  There was no time, no money, and perhaps no raw energy left to undo the damage brought about by outgoing director Bromley.  As a result, the story’s innate shortcomings are rarely (if ever) smoothed over.  Effectively undercutting the integrity of Baker’s script at nearly every turn, and preventing a promising and potentially relevant adventure from ever taking flight.  
Lewis Fiander as Tryst, the scientist whose CET machine pulses at the heart of this story, feels like he’s performing a broad caricature instead of morphing into an organic creation.   With his square, thin-rimmed glasses and affected Eurotrash accent, Fiander often evokes Peter Sellers’ Dr. Strangelove more than the relevant scientist he’s purported to be in this story.
(l- Lewis Fiander as Tryst, r - Peter Sellers as Dr. Strangelove) 
The finale of one action movement hinges on a hugely silly moment in which the Doctor lures pursuing Mandrels into a jungle environment within the CET’s projection.  The Doctor ducks off camera, the Mandrels pursue, and after a moment we hear the Doctor evidently being torn to shreds - “Oh, my fingers!  My arms!  My legs!  My everything!”  He stumbles out again, a bit battered and torn, a few moments later.  The execution of this is cheap, lazy, idiotic and surely represents on of “classic” DOCTOR WHO’s most bottom dwelling moments.   This is the stuff of under-rehearsed Middle School plays or bad comedy skits...not good science fiction, or even a reasonable attempt at storytelling.
Several chases through spaceship corridors evoke keystone cops rather than netting even the most passing sense of peril, and another clumsy faux pas finds the Doctor pronouncing a Mandrel ‘quite dead’ - even though it’s seen clearly breathing over the next few shots.  A small nitpick to be sure, and this creature does indeed come back to life soon thereafter.
 But this kind of ludicrous implausibility makes it impossible to take even such a simple story motion seriously in any way.  It should be noted that, even with this somewhat embarrassing oversight, a dead Mandrel does eventually provide provide a very nifty story element which is actually something of a spoiler.  Suffice to say, when one of ‘em is down for the count, something happens beyond it simply laying there.  It’s a surprising plot point as well as a nicely executed visual effect.  Well played.   
Childish production design by Roger Cann and Rupert Jarvis’ shabbily Vegas costumes both evoke Glen A. Larson’s deliberately gaudy BUCK ROGERS IN THE 25th CENTURY of the same era - diminishing the adventure’s atmosphere further, and strangely accentuating the shabbily realized Mandrel creatures themselves.  In short: the “look” of this episode is completely at odds with the intent of Baker’s script, thus the internal universe of (the vibe or tone of "Nightmare") never comes together fully.   
“Nightmare” marks  the first episode I’ve seen featuring Romana.  I’m aware that actress Lalla Ward was in a real-world relationship with Tom Baker by this point in the show, but there’s no on-screen chemistry evident whatsoever in this tale.  In fact, the two seem rather dull together - arguably the least connected Doctor/companion pairing I’ve yet encountered.  Furthermore, based on my understanding of her origin, I’m not sure Romana’s character makes much sense.  For a Time Lady, who apparently once considered the Doctor to be her academic inferior (per THIS Wiki entry), and should (theoretically) be endowed with a touch of elevated intelligence herself, she seems rather meek, decidedly un-savvy, and a tad thick.  Perhaps her character, at this point in the show’s development, had simply been relegated to the status of “an every person” companion?   I’m guessing having two eccentric super-geniuses in play and working together may’ve stacked the odds a bit too much in favor of our heroes dramatically and narratively, and I could easily see a downshift of her conceptualization occurring.  AN ESSENTIAL QUALIFIER:  my reaction to Romana may well change once I’ve seen her introduction in context, and more fully experience her development (or lack thereof).  
Interstellar cruise liner Empres (the larger ship) and Hecate orbit Azure.  "Nightmare" was the first DOCTOR WHO to use video technology to realize visual effects, rather than the filmed approaches which had been previously called upon.  The results were mixed (see "Extras" notes below...) 
Strangely, for all of its shortcomings and clumsy missteps, “Nightmare of Eden” doesn’t leave a particularly bad aftertaste, although I’m not sure this is necessarily an indicator of quality.  Instead, it’s a grim testament to the sensationalist thrill people often  get when watching a disaster unfold on live television, or that irresistible compulsion to rubberneck passing an when automobile accident.  Sometimes we just can’t help but embrace the suck of that moment, which pretty much sums up “Nightmare” in a nutshell.  
"Nightmare of Eden" can be pre-ordered HERE in the U.S. and is now avaliable HERE in the U.K. 
Extras include...
The Nightmare of Television Centre   (13:24)
-- Insight from  Colin Mapson (Visual Effects Designer)  and A J “Mitch” Mitchell (Video Effects Designer). 
The two discuss the financially based decision to shoot the model work (space ships) for this story on less expensive video as opposed to using film as the show normally did.  
“Um, well, I think I must disagree with just about everything on that memo.”  - Colin Mapson, VIsual Effects Designer    
Also interviewed is Val McCrimmon (Assistant Floor Manager - 2004 interview).
** Much ribbing of the story’s woeful Mandrel costumes 
** Discussion of problems on-set with director Alan Bromley, an experienced but “old school” producer/director who would not bend to DOCTOR WHO’s established way of generating shows/material.  As a result, there was much tension on set and Bromley very much rubbed Tom Baker the wrong direction. 
Going Solo (7:45)
Writer Bob Baker discusses writing “Nightmare of Eden” without Dave Martin, his usual writing partner with whom he’d scripted episodes like “The Three Doctors” (Pertwee, Story #65) and “The Sontaran Experiment” (T. Baker, Story #77)
The Doctor’s Strange Love (15:43) 
Simon Gurrier with Josie Longand Joe Lidster in a piece shot in Sarah Jane Smith’s attic, discussing whether or not drugs are “a suitable subject” for DOCTOR WHO. 
Ask Aspel (11:03)
Vintage reel of Michael Aspel interviewing Lalla Ward (companion Romana).  She (sorta) discusses how the name Lalla came from her proper name, The Honourable Sarah Ward, and talks about working with “monsters,” her clothing on the program, etc.  She seems a touch annoyed by the experience.  This show has a very cool title sequence.  
Coming Soon 
“Dragonfire” (McCoy, Story #151 ) 
Photo Gallery (5:49) 
Radio TImes Listings 





"Dragonfire" (McCoy, Story #151) 









"The Impossible Astronaut"

"Day of the Moon"

"The Curse of the Black Spot"

"The Doctor's Wife"

"The Rebel Flesh"

"The Almost People"

"A Good Man Goes To War"

"Let's Kill Hitler"

"Night Terrors"


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





"An Unearthly Child" (Story #1)

"The Daleks" (Story #2)

"The Edge of Destruction" (Story #3)

"Marco Polo" (Story #4)

"The Keys of Marinus(Story #5)

"The Aztecs" (Story #6)

"The Sensorites" (Story #7)

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

"The Reign of Terror" (Story #8)

"Planet of Giants" (Story #9) 

"The Dalek Invasion of Earth" (Story #10)

"The Rescue" (Story #11) 

"The Romans"  (Story #12) 

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

"The Crusade" (Story #14) 

"The Space Museum" (Story #15) 

"The Chase" (Story #16) 

"The Time Meddler" (Story #17) 

"Galaxy 4" (Story #18) 

"The Gunfighters" (Story #25)

"The Tomb of the Cybermen" (Story #37) 

"The Colony in Space" (Story #58) 

"The Daemons" (Story #59) 

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

"The Three Doctors" (Story #65) 

"Carnival of Monsters" (Story #66) 

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

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

"The Face of Evil" (Story #89) 

"The Robots of Death" (Story #90) 

"The Talons of Weng-Chiang" (Story #91)

"The Sun Makers(Story #95)

"The Awakening" (Story #131)

"Frontios(Story #132)

"The Caves of Androzani" (Story #136) 

"Time and the Rani" (Story #144)

"Paradise Towers" (Story #145) + New WHOvian Documentary / Newsbits

"The Happiness Patrol" (Story #149) 


Merrick's Personal Journey With The Doctor (How Merrick Got Hooked On DOCTOR WHO)

DOCTOR WHO Title Sequences & DW At Comic-Con 2011

"The Crash of the Elysium" (Manchester version - interactive DOCTOR WHO adventure)

Why Eccleston Left, Here Comes Caroline Skinner, And Season/Series Six Part 1 on Blu-Ray And DVD

New Trailer For Season/Series Six Part 2




1) a Docback should be about completely open and free discourse regarding all things WHO with, obviously, some variation on subject matter from time to time - the real world intervenes, discussions of other shows are inevitable, etc.)... 

2) matters of SPOILAGE should be handled with thoughtful consideration and sensitivity.  Posts containing SPOILERS should clearly state that a SPOILER exists in its topic/headline and should never state the spoiler itself . "** SPOILER ** Regarding Rory" is OK, for example.  "** SPOILER ** Battle of Zarathustra" is fine as well.  " **SPOILER** Why did everyone die?"  Is NOT good.  
And, above all... 

3) converse, agree, disagree, and question as much as you want - but the freedom to do so is NOT a license to be rude, crass, disrespectful, or uncivilized in any way.  Not remaining courteous and civil, as well as TROLLING or undertaking sensational efforts to ignite controversy, will result in banning.  Lack of courtesy may receive one (1) warning before a ban is instigated.  Obvious Trolling or Spamming will result in summary banning with no warning.  One word posts intended to bump-up any Docback's figures on AICN's "Top Talkbacks" sidebar will be considered actionable Spam - they not only complicate efforts to access Docback from mobile devices, but impede readers' abilities to follow or engage in flowing conversation. 
In short, it's easy.  Be excellent to each other.  Now party on... 
Readers Talkback
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  • April 27, 2012, 8:03 a.m. CST

    Not a great story by any stretch..

    by dj_bollocks

    A bit like many of that era... I think some of the latter Romana stories really do suffer from some piss poor production/writing... I don't mind State of Decay too much but Warrior's Gate is terrible... I think Merrick might be getting to the "Here's stories that I won't watch a second time" stage...

  • April 27, 2012, 8:08 a.m. CST


    by HornOrSilk

    Not really a good story to introduce yourself to her. She really has quite the chemistry in the right story (City of Death, for example, a highlight of Doctor Who). This story suffers from many problems, including Tom Baker just doing random ad-libs which frustrated many working with him (jokes were made of it). So not a favorite of mine. I enjoy Horns of Nimon more from this crazy era, but really, the best is City of Death.

  • April 27, 2012, 8:12 a.m. CST

    You really know how to suck all the fun out of watching Who.

    by Meglos

    Nightmare of Eden isn't perfect. And neither is Happiness Patrol (although you were way off mark on Face of Evil). You are taking this way too godamn seriously. Enjoy the show for what it is.

  • April 27, 2012, 8:38 a.m. CST

    dj_bollocks / meglos

    by Merrick

    DJ - An overwhelming majority of DOCTOR WHOs I've see so far I would totally watch a second time, and have on a number of occasions. Just happens that the recent run of episodes I've been reviewing...per a schedule based on what's been released on DVD as we've gone through recent months...simply aren't as fun/"good" as many other DW stories, so it may feel like I'm knocking the show around a bit or becoming embittered. 'Tis not the case at all. Just happens to be a cluster of lackluster episodes. All series have 'em. It's important to remember that, from the outset of this undertaking, these Docbacks were *never* about being a "circle jerk" for DOCTOR WHO. Rather, they're a 1) chronicle of my immediate, knee-jerk reactions to seeing the entirety of DOCTOR WHO for the fist time (an intrinsically evolving process, obviously) and 2) a springboard for y'all venerable Docbackers to discuss all things WHO. I'm not looking to be agreed with...only to promote conversation about all things WHO. Meglos: a review of my previous write-ups would reveal me to have enjoyed and / loved a number of previous stories which either many Docbackers have yet to see, or never liked to begin with. As far as taking it too seriously? I think it would be a loss, a shame, and disrespectful to NOT regard a show that's going on its 50th year (!?!?!?) "seriously." DW didn't make it all this way, and morph into the incredible series it currently is, by folks not taking it seriously. I've heard from a number of readers - some from within the film and TV industries - who've indicated that my work here has given them a new found respect for DOCTOR WHO, and caused them to 1) pursue watching episodes they've never seen, and 2) consider the show as a whole in a new light. I'm sorry you don't appreciate the flavor of what I'm attempting, but it's hard not to feel I'm doing *something* at least a little right. *** Please don't infer any negative tone to my respond, by the way...none is intended.***

  • April 27, 2012, 8:51 a.m. CST

    your first romana?!?

    by mr. smith

    watch City of Death already! it's likely to change your mind, not to mention being likely one of the top five DW stories of all time. seriously.

  • April 27, 2012, 8:58 a.m. CST

    mr. smith

    by Merrick

    ** watch City of Death already! ** 'Tis one of the damnations and frustrations of this whole affair. I'm making every every to remain in-sequence/continuity as much as possible, but am also compelled to review the episodes which are newly released on DVD, which sometimes resulting in bewildering discontinuity (I think of them as "potholes"). Very much looking FWD to City of Death.

  • April 27, 2012, 9:07 a.m. CST

    ...and I prefer Mary Tamm's Romana - (Release the rotten tomatoes)

    by obijuanmartinez

    I go to an episode like 'The Ribos Operation' and see the zippy repartee between Baker & Tamm, and it's like something Terry Pratchett wrote - funny, witty - love it. Not that I dislike Lalla - outside the Who envelope, I really enjoy the narration she's provided for (hubby) Richard Dawkins' works - Lovely stuff...

  • April 27, 2012, 9:50 a.m. CST

    I like both Romanas

    by HornOrSilk

    Both have had good and bad material to work with. Romana, however, helps show us that the change in personality can happen not just for the Doctor. This is a good thing. And I am one of those rare ones who thinks Androids of Tara is an excellent romp. I get it for what it is, and it is probably my favorite of the first Romana. City of Death clearly my favorite of the second. Too bad Shada was never finished. Really really bad. Ok. It was, but 2Entertain won't let the finished version (with animation) be released for some reason. Sad.

  • April 27, 2012, 9:51 a.m. CST

    Nightmare of Eden

    by HornOrSilk

    Is always going to be bleh to me, not great but not boring. It just is. But I think Doctor Who would be less without attempts, however much they fail, to do something different.

  • April 27, 2012, 9:53 a.m. CST

    Meglos - Actually, the DocBacks bring alot of fun to Doctor Who

    by HornOrSilk

    It's honest. Doctor Who fans will like different stories differently. Unless we think the only honest approach is "squee" this kind of conversation -- honest, forthright, respectful and yet critical -- is the best way to talk about Doctor Who. Oh yes. We can also have fun in criticism. And the DocBacks do that, too...

  • April 27, 2012, 10:05 a.m. CST

    Merrick - that's kinda what I meant...

    by dj_bollocks

    Not sure of the DVD release schedule, but if you are reviewing by releases then you're probably going to see quite a lot of chaff as for the most part all the good stuff has been released already... A quick peak on Amazon suggests that you've got Resurrection of the Daleks, The Seeds of Death, Death To The Daleks and The Krotons forthcoming so not all bad then... Dragonfire probably continues the theme of iffy serials... It's a shame because as you've probably realised by Sam Beckett'ing over the place you get a feel for just how uneven Doctor Who can be - Bakers first few years, Pertwee's Earth based adventures, some of Davison's later stories, and most of the surviving Troughton's - all great Who... Maybe a parallel universe Merrick could be watching it from start to finish... Clearly there's not a right or wrong way to do it... As someone in their 30s, I watched in sequence as a kid and then grew up first watching what was released on VHS or borrowed from mates and then went back to watching it as a serial on UK Gold, or Sci Fi / Syfy... I still think there's a lot of merit from watching as produced (and to a degree in 2 episode bursts) because lord alone knows there are some serials NoE being a prime example that really bores me in one full sitting... Anyway onwards and upwards... Given that there's 5 Friday's in June, maybe you'd be amenable to a Dockback viewers choice month ? You could work it anyway you wanted !?

  • April 27, 2012, 10:09 a.m. CST

    I applaude Merrick's Docbacks

    by Mister Vertue

    To attempt to watch every single episode in order, whilst also catching up on the latest dvd releases and newly aired episodes, is one hell of a mammoth task and one that I hope continues for many years to come. He shows great enthusiasm combined with a professional writing style. And I'm sure we all agree that the way he's running the Docbacks cannot be equalled by anyone else on AICN in terms of being a fair moderator. It's not a 'circle jerk', nor is it a place of mindless trolling. The theories and ideas that Docbackers come up with is always entertaining and I'll continue to come here and catch up on a regular basis!

  • God, that video is deliriously cheesy.

  • April 27, 2012, 10:27 a.m. CST

    Nightmare of Eden isn't the finest of the Tom Baker era

    by sunspot_mike

    and I'm with whoever said they liked Romana I. Not that Lalla Ward isn't awesome in her own right, but Mary Tamm might have been my first sci-fi crush (it's a cat fight between her and Erin Gray from Buck Rogers.) And Meglos, if course, we shouldn't take Doctor Who as seriously as we take something like leukemia, but we should definitely take it seriously in terms of story and the emotions that the actors and production crew are trying to evoke. That's what makes drama FUN!

  • April 27, 2012, 10:30 a.m. CST

    City of Death ...

    by veteran_of_mu

    Which I only caught recently for reasons I don't fully understand - thought I'd seen the entire TB run, now wondering if some didn't get an Australian release - is far from my favourite Romana. And far from my favourite DW. But it is far too important to understanding NuWho to skip because of the potholes. Er ... cracks. This is where they start. The Silents' TARDIS too. If Merrick doesn't take in CoD soon, he might miss out big time on the significance of obscure freeze-frame nods that we Docbackers often come to regard as more signal than whatever happens to be the main plot of each new episode. In fact I think we're all becoming aware that what winds up on the screen in DW is generally less important than what winds up in our mutual interpretation of what's on the screen ... Silent mugging, red-blue spotting, birdsong queuing, Master-spotting, retcon hook dialog and the overpowering conviction that somehow, against incredible odds, the Moff really is actually going to tie all this stuff up in a gorgeous bow. There aren't very many of us Whovians, really. I mean there are millions who love the show and follow it now. But not many who actually understand enough of it, who are willing to put in the time to delve, to really get out what the Moff is putting in. Merrick ... gabba gabba, we accept you, one of us, one of us ...

  • April 27, 2012, 10:45 a.m. CST

    I'm doing much the same as Merrick...

    by Ian

    Watching everything in order, but minus the DVD releases as I'm trying to stay strict to continuity. I'm just rolling on to the second doctor now, and I have to say that this undertaking started as a group of five, and has dwindled down to just myself. Ah well, more doctor for me I guess.

  • April 27, 2012, 10:59 a.m. CST

    Merrick - I don't know if I'd say the story wasn't witty

    by DoctorTom

    Sure, it's not like City of Death (which I'll agree with the others you need to see - it's the one that RTD showed people when he was trying to bring the show back as how he wanted to handle the show), but there are definitely some meorable quotes. This one has one of my favorite exchanges in the entire series (and one that Harlan Ellison was fond of mentioning too): Fisk: I shall be charging you with gross neglect of duty. The passengers should be your first concern, yet I find you drunkenly looking on as they are attacked and killed. Well? Captain Rigg: They're only economy class; what's all the fuss about? ******** it's a brilliant way to show *slight minor spoiler* that Captain Rigg at that time was affected by the drug. And that didn't even involve Tom Baker in the exchange. Some other dialogue that I especially enjoy: *** Romana: I don't think we should interfere. Doctor Who: Interfere? Of course we should interfere! Always do what you're best at, that's what I say. Now come on. *** Captain Rigg: Yes, and I'd like to know just who you are. Doctor Who: Me? Captain Rigg: Yes. Doctor Who: Well, I told you. I'm from Galactic. Captain Rigg: Galactic went out of business 20 years ago. Doctor Who: I wondered why I haven't been paid. **** Sure, it had some clinkers like the my arms, my everything that you mentioned, but it had some good lines too

  • Merrick touched on the directing. There were two problems on the production side, though. If I recall correctly, the monster design was the result of a competition. I'm not sure that the designs have been integrated well with the monster function here. (Of course, we have Love and Monsters for another example of a design-a-monster competition, but that one at least had the story written taking the monster design into mind.) The big problem with this one was that there wasn't money. Inflation was over 10% the year this was made, so when a story was produced later in the year the little money they had couldn't do as much, so everything ends up looking cheaper. This one also looked like the show they were trying to save the money on so that they could stretch the budgets of the other stories in the season a bit. By the time they did the jungle set, they probably found themselves running a bit low on budget, which would explain the look of the costumes on Tryst's crew, and the look of the other liner (the one with the passengers getting attacked by the Mandrills). That said, I did enjoy the story, and back in the 90's when there was the rumor that Fox might pick up a Doctor Who series and do it by remaking British stories, that this might have been one of the ones for them to use.

  • April 27, 2012, 12:21 p.m. CST

    Not one of my favorites

    by ByTor

    And I don't think it's just the direction, though that certainly doesn't help. For me it's the actual story, which has a nugget of a good idea but then decides to hammer home a DRUGS=BAD morality message with a sledgehammer. I've never liked it when Who does that, though I know I'm in the minority (I didn't like Green Death for the same reason). But Romana II is IMO the far superior Romana, which you'll see in City of Death, or even Destiny of the Daleks, State of Decay, Leisure Hive...etc. Also, hate for Warriors' Gate? That's one of my all-time faves! Someone mentioned liking Androids of Tara, though, and I do admit I am very fond of that one.

  • April 27, 2012, 12:28 p.m. CST

    Spotted in Scotland

    by Mister Vertue

    Thought this might interest some of you for no particular reason at all whatsoever...

  • April 27, 2012, 12:32 p.m. CST

    Romana 2 = City of Death

    by Abe

    'Nuff Said. Except...I hope you do realize that what you just saw was Romana's second incarnation. Mary Tamm played her during the "Key To Time" season. Rather liked her better (if not so much the whole season she had.)

  • April 27, 2012, 12:38 p.m. CST


    by Abe

    ...once a fan..always a fan, I've found. I have been watching this lot for 30 years (since I was 8) and BY GOD did I ever watch it out of sequence. Had no choice in the matter. Believe me, you're fine! It will all come together in your brain around year 10. Oh, and 'Nightmare of Eden" stinks. A bunch. Can you believe that the media once tried to use the MANDRILLs as the poster child for why the WHO monsters were too frightening for children?..It's laughably true.

  • April 27, 2012, 1:09 p.m. CST

    ...But where is his metal skeleton companion?

    by Perigee

    THAT... would be neat. And very cool indeed. Now I'm going to have to hop over to The Forbidden Zone, and see if anybody is filming up there...

  • April 27, 2012, 1:26 p.m. CST

    Mike McShane's Twitter

    by Mister Vertue

    So the lovely Mr McShane recently tweeted 'Spoiler Alert for Dr Who; in my episode the Doctor finds he's got a;:/;;zapppppp GACK. sizzle,hissssss......' Would love to hear your guesses for what the Doctor has (possibly) found in Mike's episode!

  • April 27, 2012, 2:36 p.m. CST

    I have a lot of fond memories of this story

    by Dreamfasting

    "Nightmare of Eden" is one of those episodes that completely enthralled me when I saw it. My imagination brushed over the technical flaws and was completely won right from the first minute by the scifi concept of a warp-drive collision and I was completely glued to the screen by every twist and turn of the plot. Even the final resolution of how they caught the fleeing villians felt completely satisfying. Interestingly, this episode was actually the first time as a child that I became aware of the concept of narcotics. I admit I led a sheltered life and although I must have seen other shows have similar plotlines, the concept of a drug just never really sank in. Somehow, this convoluted story of smugging made it all became crystal clear. I admit, it's not Romana at her finest as a character. Lalla Ward's Romana is one of only two tv characters I can say I had a crush on in my youth (the other being Megan Fallows' portral of Anne of Green Gables), so my imagination gave her character a lot of leeway to some of the rather patronizing, diminishing material she was sometimes given. This was an era, with two time lords and a supercomputer laser dog in the Tardis, when some dumb mistakes were needed to give the villians a fighting chance. I tend to see Romana II as a sort of time lady equivilent of a collage girl with a crush - rather than changing the way she dresses for a boy, she completely regenerated in body and mind just for him. Although the relationship seems very dry and chemistry-free by modern standards, looking at it might help understand why there was some initial recoil from just how sappy and direct the revival has been with flirting. But it's interesting to read a more critical review of someone coming at it without the rose-coloured glasses of nostalgia. It reminds me that some of our best experiences emerge from unique crossroads of encountering the right story at just the right age.

  • April 27, 2012, 2:39 p.m. CST

    City of Death Note

    by Dreamfasting

    When you watch this, pay close attention to the "portrait of a time lady" the artist makes. Maybe even pause and just stare at it sideways for a moment.

  • April 27, 2012, 2:48 p.m. CST

    Woohoo! Thanks for the link, MOV!

    by DoctorTom

    Could this mean that Craig Ferguson is going to appear in an episode of Doctor Who? Not only that, is it possible that since we see him and the TARDIS in Scotland, that we might see him in a sequel to Terror of the Zygons? And that Geoff is actually a cybernetic or robotic construct of the Zygons? (Don't forget, the Skarasen was cybernetic, so maybe Geoff is just the result of Zygons doing a bargain basement version of a Cyberconversion)

  • April 27, 2012, 2:50 p.m. CST

    Actually, I liked Romana in Horns of Nimon

    by DoctorTom

    then again, there she got to do all the stuff the Doctor would normally do, while the Doctor faffed about in the TARDIS while being Tom Baker, with added comedy noises.

  • April 27, 2012, 3:16 p.m. CST


    by berserkrl

    Given the deadline for the contest, only those who already possess a TARDIS are eligible.

  • It was probably just a cut and paste from last week's contest without the date being changed.

  • April 27, 2012, 4:39 p.m. CST

    contest deadline (berserkrl & doctortom)

    by Merrick

    My error - apologies. doctortom is correct on all counts, and I've adjusted the date appropriately. The price of assembling the Docback in a 5am delirium.

  • April 27, 2012, 5:04 p.m. CST

    Not THAT bad a story

    by I am not a number

    It does have its good moments, such as the exchanges mentioned by Doctortom. I also liked the shot of the Doctor standing in the corridor as the two ships get separated, plus the drug-running subject matter was something different for the show. I recall finding it creepy the way the camera zoomed in on the agent hiding in the "projection" from the planet - he's right there where you can see him but you don't notice him at first. Most memorable bit for me is when the villain tries to justify his actions ("They had a choice", etc) and the Doctor just responds coldly with "Go away", as though to emphasize the guy is beneath contempt. He never did THAT to Davros. It is let down by how lame the Mandrels look, that lousy "...MY EVERYTHING" line, and the villain's bad accent though. For my money, I'd watch this on a continual loop rather than watch HORNS OF NIMON or CREATURE FROM THE PIT again. Still, this was not a great consecutive run of episodes.

  • April 27, 2012, 6:55 p.m. CST

    MOV, is it....

    by cosmic_dolphin

    A wanted poster showing one of his previous generations and a price on his head?

  • April 27, 2012, 7:15 p.m. CST

    Loved this as a kid.

    by Franzliebkin

    This was one of my favorites. My taped copy from TV ended worn out from watching. All of the critiques are accurate. But, if you watch through the eyes of an eight year old, Awesome!

  • April 28, 2012, 9:24 a.m. CST

    And here's a video link to the story online...

    by obijuanmartinez

  • April 28, 2012, 1:06 p.m. CST


    by Abe

    Agreed...Nimon and creature from the pit. Nimon is always so savaged by fandom (with good reason) but for some reason, those goofy bastards have a soft spot in my Greek mythological-lovin' heart.

  • April 28, 2012, 1:12 p.m. CST

    Horns of Nimon and Creature From the Pit

    by HornOrSilk

    Those are the two "so bad they are good" stories of this era for me. Creature made me a Who fan. Seriously. It was so bad I couldn't resist watching more. City of Death, of course, is the classic story, with Shada a weird "classic" which I've seen and heard in various ways now. Shada isn't as good (fun) as City but certainly a good story - just too long (IMO) to be classic Who.

  • April 28, 2012, 1:28 p.m. CST

    I actually enjoyed the accent when I first saw it, even more now

    by DoctorTom

    Now, I can picture Tryst as a relative of Professor Zaroff (from The Underwater Menace) who is actually taking his Prozac prescription. Then again, Doctor Strangelove is one of my all-time favorite movies, so that might have been an influence.

  • April 28, 2012, 3:01 p.m. CST

    I didn't mind Nightmare of Eden

    by Greg

    Yeah the monsters were silly and some of the performances weren't great, but great concept and solid story. I enjoyed it.

  • April 28, 2012, 5:32 p.m. CST

    I don't know if I'd say that about Horns of Nimon, obijuanmartinez

    by DoctorTom

    Graham Crowden's performance as Soldeed definitely brings some amusement to the show. He's one of the few people who could out-over-the-top Tom Baker at Baker's height. There were times that Baker looked worried in the show, and I'm not sure that it's because of the script. It's funny to consider that Crowden was in consideration to play the 4th Doctor. Lalla Ward's performance also helps the story.

  • April 28, 2012, 5:41 p.m. CST

    @doctom: Should've qualified that a bit better...

    by obijuanmartinez

    Just happened to read this one first as a sprout before seeing it on PBS here in the States - All the imagery of Skoonon battle cruisers blocking out the sun, and the Nimon himself, etc. brought the whole thing up a mite short for moi...

  • April 28, 2012, 6:22 p.m. CST

    Don't remember this one...

    by Bill P

    I remember PBS looping the Tom Baker stories repeatedly as a child (they had to re-air the entire sequence every time they purchased a new season, if I'm not mistaken...) but I have absolutely no memory of this set of episodes other than knowing they exist. I might need to track this one down. That's the nice thing about getting older...if you don't watch something for a long enough period of time, it's not a rerun any more, it's like watching it for the first time!

  • April 29, 2012, 1:10 a.m. CST

    Ooh Dragonfire!

    by gotilk

    Finally, plastic sheeting in near-hi-def. LOL No, I really enjoyed Dragonfire. Great introduction for ACE. And the departure of she who will not be named.

  • April 29, 2012, 1:12 a.m. CST

    Kelvington has done it again (or rather, is doING it)

    by gotilk

    He's digitally inserting Tom Baker into the 5 doctors. The whole story. Huge undertaking he does not expect to be finished with until 2013. Here's a trailer. How is everyone? Miss you all. Be back later tomorrow.

  • April 29, 2012, 1:15 a.m. CST

    man_of_vertue ... my guess...

    by gotilk

    Stowaway on the TARDIS. I would bet my.... umm.. I would bet the entire... umm.... well I would place the whole..... Okay, 5 bucks says it's a stowaway.

  • April 29, 2012, 1:19 a.m. CST

    man_of_vertue .. I agree with you re: The DocBacks and Merrick.

    by gotilk

    Spot-on. This place is a much-needed AICN oasis of humanity and intelligence. And yes, his writing style is right up my alley. I love reading his stuff. I too hope it continues for MANY years to come.

  • April 29, 2012, 1:27 a.m. CST

    Good guess, Gotilk

    by DoctorTom

    it would make some sense. I'd like to see a variant on that, though. Not so much a stowaway as someone who got completely drunk, staggered through the wrong door, ended up in the TARDIS and went down a corridor for a bit before passing out. When she wakes up, the Doctor has already taken off and is surprised to find a woman with a hangover (that isn't River) wandering the TARDIS.

  • April 29, 2012, 9:31 a.m. CST

    Oh, when you watch Dragonfire .....

    by Dalius

    look out for the most stupid and pointless cliffhanger (literally) in Who history. You won't have any trouble spotting it.

  • ...Gives The Myrka from 'Warriors of the Deep' a run for its money in terms of the godawful!

  • April 29, 2012, 1:30 p.m. CST

    Dalius - that cliffhanger

    by DoctorTom

    It made sense in the script - there was a dead end that he had to lower himself down from. Unfortunately, in the studio the set wasn't made that way, and you had people asking if it made sense to do it. They ended up doing it, and Sylvester gave his all to sell it, but it does seem strange for the Doctor to do that there.

  • April 29, 2012, 1:46 p.m. CST

    That's not R2-D2, that's a Dalek!

    by DoctorTom

  • April 29, 2012, 4:35 p.m. CST


    by Dreamfasting

    For all we know, the Doctor could have an entire civilization living in the depths of the Tardis. Is there really any canon about how large the interior actually is? He routinely burns up percentages of it as a plot device (well, "routinely" might be the right word, but it has happened on multiple occassions). But the fact that it's never actually given a number of rooms or dimensions suggests that perhaps its quasi-infinite. (now that they've established in The Doctor's Wife that people get dropped into the console room if their room is deleted, there's an easy plot device for introducing stowaways - burn up some deep, unvisited kitchen, suddenly gain a companion :) )

  • April 29, 2012, 4:50 p.m. CST


    by mascan42

    Sweetums from the Muppets with a clamshell on his face.

  • April 29, 2012, 6:33 p.m. CST

    Hidden deep in the TARDIS

    by HornOrSilk

    Is a colony of Mandrels fighting against a colony of Bandrils.

  • April 29, 2012, 9:46 p.m. CST

    Thought: Shouldn't the Movellans have been called the Milli-Vanillans?

    by obijuanmartinez

    All this Romana comparison bit has me looking over some of my face bits from each. I like Destiny of the Daleks, but dang if the Movellans' look ain't a gene-splice of Rick James & the 80s' most notorious lip-synch flunkies, I don't know what they are... YES YOU KNOW IT'S TRUE! OOH! OOH! OOH! I LOVE YOOOOOOOOOU...

  • April 29, 2012, 9:47 p.m. CST

    That'd be FAVE bits...danged auto-correct!

    by obijuanmartinez

  • April 30, 2012, 8:28 a.m. CST

    @Doctom ... the uncanny valley applies to Daleks!

    by veteran_of_mu

    That moment when it's half dalek, half r2, is just goddamned creepy. I don't think the same thing applies to c3po because he was already creepy.

  • April 30, 2012, 10:40 a.m. CST

    dreamfasting - what's in the TARDIS

    by DoctorTom

    in one of the Doctor Who novels (I think it was a New Adventure), the Doctor had the TARDIS materialize around the earth, literally swallowing the planet, in order to keep the Earth from being destroyed by some missiles. Now, that isn't canon, but one would figure if you could do that, you could theoretically house all sorts of civilizations in the TARDIS. There could be all sorts of British policemen from different eras who are wandering around the TARDIS even today because they stepped into what they thought was a normal policebox, then got lost inside. (I am going to assume that Sexy would change the interior configuration to make sure they got food and water so that they wouldn't die. Then again, if all these bobbies were wandering around the TARDIS or any other beings in there., then they would most likely have become playthings of House when he took over the TARDIS. Because of The Doctor's Wife, there probably aren't any unknown hitchhikers in the TARDIS that didn't enter until after that episode.

  • is that the name sounds too similar to Bandrils, some muppets in the episode Timelash, so that now when Mandrills are mentioned they subconciously associate them also with Timelash and the lower quality of that story.

  • April 30, 2012, 10:48 a.m. CST

    ah, I see you already mentioned them hornorsilk

    by DoctorTom

    I was still on dreamfasting's post when I put up my last one. Still, if you're going to go for semi-rhyming, hidden deep in the TARDIS there's a colony of Mandrills fighting a colony of Bandrills in a room made entirely of handrails. Or it's in the plant room, so they're having to deal with the tendrils. Now, there's a Doctor Who title that we haven't had yet - The Tendrils of Death (or, if you prefer, The Tendrils of Doom). If you wanted returning monsters, you could use it for either Axons or Krynoids, or (if you're desperate) look in the Terry Nation Dalek stories and see which aggressive plant forms attacked with tendrils.

  • April 30, 2012, 10:51 a.m. CST

    Hornorsilk - Mandrells vs Bandrills

    by DoctorTom

    They were at war, but they've asked the Time Lords to help mediate negotiations (hence their being a TARDIS). The negotiation proceedings are being headed by Castellan Spandrell. Spandrell's Mandrell/ Bandril resolution should be forthcoming very soon.

  • although by that point, the interior was reduced to white corridors and white rooms. I always assumed that the interior architecture reconfigured itself with the regeneration to Davison to have the clinical white look. Somehow it seemed appropriate that the interior of Tom Baker's TARDIS would have a bit of a ramshackle look in some corridors and rooms - it fit his personality.

  • April 30, 2012, 11:09 a.m. CST

    The interior changes from time to time

    by HornOrSilk

    We have not seen much in the new series, though we got the most last season.... Amy and Rory after all found the TARDIS can be a horror when it is infected...

  • April 30, 2012, 11:10 a.m. CST

    doctortom both have had jokes made of them

    by HornOrSilk

    Though nothing has been as bad as what we saw in Timelash. Apparently we have a Bandrill invasion on our feet.

  • April 30, 2012, 12:07 p.m. CST

    For some reason, the Bandril invasion makes me think of

    by DoctorTom

    the part in Hitchhiker's Guide where the alien invasion started because the wrong words were heard by the aliens, so they came to attack the Earth, only to be swallowed by a dog because of the differences in scale. I don't know why the Bandrils remind me of it (probably because they were silly looking), if any Doctor Who episode should remind me of it, it should be The Invisible Enemy.

  • April 30, 2012, 12:11 p.m. CST

    The good news about the interior, hornorsilk

    by DoctorTom

    now that they've built TARDIS corridors (and have reused them elsewhere), the next time they want to do a TARDIS based story they can spend the money on new TARDIS sets instead of on TARDIS corridors. Maybe Neil Gaiman will eventually get to see his Zero Room for the new series. Honestly, though, I'd like for them to pull a Tom Baker and use the pool that was used for School Reunion (which, I think was the same pool used in Sherlock S1 E03) as a TARDIS swimming pool. Or, use the swimming pool part and green screen the walls, then actually show the TARDIS swimming pool in the TARDIS Library.

  • April 30, 2012, 2 p.m. CST

    Tardis swimming pool/library

    by Mister Vertue

    I think the chances of us seeing this at some point in the show are pretty high, but that's just my own personal guess. Still don't think anyone has correctly guessed what the Doctor has found in series 7. It has to be quite a discovery for Mr McShane not to divulge such information, wouldn't you think?

  • April 30, 2012, 2:30 p.m. CST

    Things he could have discovered -

    by DoctorTom

    In no particular order, but things of possible importance that might be considered major spoilers (except maybe the last one) 1) The Time Lords are no longer time locked. Or, at least, some of them are no longer time locked. 2) He finds out that Susan is alive. 3) He finds out that Jenny is alive. 4) He finds out that River is pregnant. 5) He finds out that he is pregnant (it's a spacey-wacey blibby-blobby thing with Time Lords) 6) He finds out that he's an older Tom Baker version Doctor who has only imagined in fever dreams that he regenerated another 7 times, and has actually settled down with Romana raising Time Tots. Or is all of that just a hallucination brought on by the Dream Lord? 7) He finds out that as his incarnation ages his hair doesn't go grey - it goes ginger.

  • April 30, 2012, 2:36 p.m. CST

    Or, maybe this was the dread secret that couldn't be mentioned

    by DoctorTom

    Moffat's doing a spinoff:

  • April 30, 2012, 4:39 p.m. CST

    The Doctor discovered.....

    by HornOrSilk

    Small, micronized Time Lords living in his hair; he didn't detect them because they were on him, like fleas, and their presence melded with his own Time Lord presence. But when he goes a scratching, out comes the Time Lord horde.

  • April 30, 2012, 9:30 p.m. CST

    Tension-breaker: (Link)

    by obijuanmartinez

  • May 1, 2012, 5:48 a.m. CST


    by disgustingduo

    We reviewed the UK DVD release recently and we discovered that quite of the few more hardcore Doctor Who fans REALLY don't have much in the way of a sense of humour...

  • May 1, 2012, 9:11 a.m. CST

    Oh the potential- i enjoyed this story.

    by rajium32

    For me, Classic Doctor Who was always about one thing: potential. The character was potentially the best in television and the stories had the potential to be the best in sci-fi drama. This story in particular has a great concept, and some good twists. Though, the production didn't quite pull it off (does it ever?), I found that the potential inherent in Doctor Who to really shines in this instance. Doctor Who fed my imagination then and now. The best parts absorbed, the rest accepted for what it was. Top Five Baker era stories 1. (can't make up my mind) 2. Robots Of Death 3. Shada (unaired, but the best of the Douglas Adams scripts) 4.Logopolis (such an awesome concept: mental calculations directly affecting the physical universe- highly philosophical and oddly enough quantum in nature) 5. Genesis of The Daleks I am aware you've probably all done this before, but I am interested in knowing others top five baker era stories.

  • May 1, 2012, 9:31 a.m. CST

    doctortom - my gut tells me...

    by Mister Vertue

    That one of the things in your list my actually be correct. But my gut has been known to be wrong, from time to time.

  • May 1, 2012, 11:09 a.m. CST

    @rajium: I'd put Talons of Weng-Chiang #1 on your list, and...

    by obijuanmartinez

    ...MINE! Tom Baker Top 10 1) Talons of Wang-Chung (giggle) 2) Genesis of the Daleks 3) The Deadly Assassin 4) Image of the Fendahl 5) Planet of Evil 6) Pyramids of Mars 7) The Brain of Morbius 8) Robots of Death 9) The Invasion of Time 10) (Tie) Masque of Mandragora / The Ribos Operation

  • May 1, 2012, 1:38 p.m. CST

    time lord reproduction?

    by Lukowicz

    Gallifreyians (spelling?) can't reproduce sexually. They were cursed or something. They used "Looms" which created progeny. I'm sure Dr. Tom has all the details.

  • May 1, 2012, 2:23 p.m. CST

    I know it's heretical there was no Douglas Adams, so I...

    by obijuanmartinez

    ...give honorable mention to City of Death!

  • May 1, 2012, 3:32 p.m. CST


    by DoctorTom

    The stuff with the Looms was only in the New Adventures, so that can all easily be ignored. And, I don't think it integrates well with what was seen in The End of Time necessarily (that was supposed to be the Doctor's mother we saw there, even though she wasn't named as such the subtext was certainly there). Also, don't forget that the Doctor can dance, and dancing with someone of your own species would be part of reproduction. Besides, they've never said in the tv series itself that Time Lords can't reproduce sexually, although regenerations between female and male forms in mid-pregnancy would be probably have some interesting ramifications. Because they've never said Time Lords can't reproduce sexually, we can't rule out yet that River finds out she's pregnant (or the Doctor finds out that he is) in Season 7. That's probably not the big surprise that hasn't been talked about yet (that MOV alluded to), but does seem like a type of thing that Moffat might slip in on us.

  • May 1, 2012, 4:53 p.m. CST

    Does McShane find...

    by dj_bollocks

    The missing guard from The Invasion Of Time ?

  • May 1, 2012, 5:51 p.m. CST

    Where does the Doctor get his bodies from?

    by veteran_of_mu

    This is a question that always fascinated me as a child. We saw at least one time lord - Romana 2 - get her body from a mortal human. Perhaps they always do it that way - and that's why the continuity of the human race is important?

  • May 1, 2012, 7:35 p.m. CST


    by Lukowicz

    Depends on what you believe. Romana chose her body because Douglas Adams was trying to inject some humor into the series. Also there is a theory that Time Lords can influence their regens, the Doctor just sucks at it. Dr. Tom. Hmmm. I have usually worked in a bit of all the various mediums. ie, the curse, The Omega/Rassilon/Other history, the House of Lungbarrow. With 50 years of production, plenty of times even the series contradicts itself. I am open to just about any change as long as it's clever, all but one. I cannot stress enough how much I dislike the thought that the Doctor could regen into a woman. After 50 years, it would seem like jumping the shark. Maybe 5 Doctors down the line. As long as Patrick Stewart is in there somewhere. And Tom Baker as The Master.

  • FARKING KHAN???!!!!!! WTF!!!!?? GODDAMMIT! Moff - save us! Don't leave us in the hands of these morons!!!! Heeeeeeeeeellllllllllllllllllllllllpppppppppp! Goddamnsonovabitch. Betrayed in my dotage. Here's the plan: 1) Kill JJ Abrams. 2) Kill the idiot writers. Twice. 3) Burn The Atrocity. Three times. 4) Stuff the corpses with the ashes. 5) Take over, and make me happy. I'm not asking for much... ~Sigh~ All right. Fine. Stay then. But Don't fucking leave. I have to have SOMETHING worth watching. Now, if you'll excuse me, I must go into a closet and weep until my eyes are raw.

  • May 2, 2012, 2:37 a.m. CST

    Don't be silly.

    by veteran_of_mu

    It's just disinformation. Cumberbatch isn't Khan. He's Gary Mitchell. That's so obvious it's not even a HAT.

  • May 2, 2012, 7:17 a.m. CST

    Trolled? On the Internet? Unpossible!!!

    by Perigee

    I sincerely hope so - but hearing this on the wings of the news that the writing team has decided to Reboot Van Helsing makes me believe Anything is possible, no matter how depraved. ~Sigh~ I dunno; it's the beginning of the month. Maybe I have PMS. Maybe the fact that The Prometheus is labeled an Exploratory vessel makes me realize how far away the franchise is from its possibilities. One way or another - turning this back to Who - it really makes me wonder what Moff could do with the property. He can write ~big~, and still maintains the element of surprise I haven't seen in Star Trek since the early ninetiies.

  • May 2, 2012, 9:37 a.m. CST

    Caractuspotts - where Time Lords get their bodies

    by DoctorTom

    There's a little shop in Switzerland that sells finely hand-crafted genetic databases for body prints. (Your question for some reason reminded me of the old question that sf authors get asked about where authors get their ideas. Harlan Ellison always liked to respond Schnectady - there's a little shop there that sells him a six-pack of ideas every now and then). The one Time Lord we've actually seen take a human-humanoid body is the Master taking over Tremas' body, but that's a different subject. I wouldn't get too hung up on Romana getting her 2nd look based on a mortal human. Remember, that wasn't a normal mortal human, it was actually the sixth segment of the Key to Time in human form. If Romana couldn't control what her regenerations looked like, then the link to the Key to Time would help explain why that body print was available. The regeneration scene with Romana cycling through bodies suggested that she could control what she looked like, so she probably just took a fancy to her looks and copied them. Don't forget the Master was able to choose to regenerate into a young body when he regenerated from Sir Jacobi. The Time Lords were also able to choose what the Doctor would look like when they were forcing Troughton to regenerate. It might just be that the Doctor has less control over what he looks like when he regenerates than other Time Lords do. Now, the question is why when the Doctor regenerated from Peter Davison, the Doctor ended up looking like the Commander Maxil (in continuity explanation, not just that it's the same actor playing both). As a side note, if the Time Lords come back it would be amusing to get Colin Baker back to play an older Maxil when everybody'd be expecting him to play the 6th Doctor. Or, Colin Baker playing the Valeyard would make for much fun and breaking of the internet.

  • May 2, 2012, 9:46 a.m. CST

    Lukowicz - the Doctor regenerating into a woman

    by DoctorTom

    I don't dislike at all the thought that the Doctor COULD regenerate into a woman, since I also realize that the likelikhood of him actually DOING it is very remote. If it happened, it would most likely be a stunt for only one or two stories - either another regeneration occurs, or we find out that in the first 15 hours, during the time period where Time Lord can regenerate chopped off limbs, they can also alter their DNA to switch between male and female. Actually, that would be a kick, see the Doctor regenerate into a woman, then shortly into the next story see her shift her body into a male form (probably with ginger hair). Thinking back on Caractuspott's mentioning of Romana's change, having this kind of flexibility in the first few hours would explain how Romana was able to go through so many different forms so quickly; I don't think each of the forms was a different regeneration. Basically, theoretically the Doctor could regenerate into a woman, but he doesn't seem to have the disposition for it to ever happen (except in The Curse of Fatal Death). Unless, of course, Jenna Louise Coleman is actually the 12th Doctor, risking the complete destruction of the space time web (possibly because of post regeneration memory loss?) by appearing with her former self? Yes, that sounds like a good rumor to get going.

  • May 2, 2012, 11:18 a.m. CST

    Woo hoo! Moffat comments on his Dalek story

    by DoctorTom

    he said: ***** We’re going to have the most Daleks we’ve had on screen ever – but they will be from every era, quite deliberately. We’re calling them in from everywhere! All of them! Even the Special Weapons Dalek. They'll all be there... ***** Woo hoo! Special Weapons Dalek! Now THAT was one Dalek that made me say Holy Sh*t! when it was first wheeled out. It looks like the type of Dalek that could actually blow up a TARDIS (hmmm, wonder if that was the original reason for that construction). Thinking a little further on Daleks of every era being there, it occurs to me that we should only be getting this for one of two reasons. Either there were Daleks of all types (except the iDalek) locked up in the Genesis Ark during the Time War - in which case it would have been reasonable to expect to have seen that type of Dalek pop out during Doomsday, or these are Daleks that are no longer timelocked in the Time War, if in fact the Time War still occurred after the reboot of the universe at the end of Season 5. This might mean the Time Lords are still running around (or running around again). It would be very funny if we got to see a story start with Matt Smith somewhere, then have Claire Bloom appear in Time Lord garb and say *Doctor, you've been a very naughty boy*.

  • May 2, 2012, 1:07 p.m. CST

    doctortom - Moffat's comments

    by Mister Vertue

    If you read more from the source of those comments (DWM), you'll find that he also gave out a little extra information about series 7 besides the Dalek info. I expect to hear more speculation from fellow Docbackers in the next day or two.

  • May 2, 2012, 1:08 p.m. CST

    If anyone can't access DWM

    by Mister Vertue

    I'm sure some nice Docbacker will provide a summary sooner or later...

  • May 2, 2012, 1:22 p.m. CST

    MOV - it will be a while before I can see the other comments

    by DoctorTom

    There's a delay between when the issues of DWM are available in the UK and when they are in the US. Today we're just getting the issue before the one with those Moffat quotes. I just saw that Moffat excerpt in an article and got excited because of the specific mention of the Special Weapon Dalek.

  • May 2, 2012, 4:12 p.m. CST

    I'll do my best to recall then...

    by Mister Vertue

    Trenzalore resolved. Fall of the Eleventh resolved (eventually). Unit + Martha? New companion will be 'different' and provide a bit of a shock to the viewer (or something along those lines). Every kind of Dalek will appear, and I mean *every* kind. And I can't think of anything else from that issue, but others may add to anything I've forgotten!

  • May 3, 2012, 2:15 a.m. CST

    The Pakistani kind and the lawyer kind …

    by veteran_of_mu

    Just one in a turban and one in a wig way, way off in the distance… Oh and some who can't climb stairs too please.

  • May 3, 2012, 7:19 a.m. CST

    Caractucuspotts - love the idea

    by Master of Zinj

    ...of a solitary Dalek who gets left behind early on because the others all start flying everywhere - with occasional cut backs to him wheeling backwards and forwards against the stair to try and climb it unsuccessfully. It'd be like an evil version of Wall-E. With more pathos, obviously. And plungers. Still reckon the new companion could be Jenny - that would provide an interesting (albeit already half-explored) dynamic. Also, Trenzalore - where no one can speak falsely or fail to answer... How's the Doctor going to get out of answering the "Doctor who?" question? Will it become like Whose Line Is It Anyway where everyone just keeps answering questions with questions? Was Peri Brown? Is Donna Noble? etc. and so on.

  • is her child, left in the TARDIS at some point. The Doctor will find her, not have a clue who she is, spend most of the season arc looking to find out, and then find out if she is his daughter or not.

  • May 3, 2012, 9:05 a.m. CST

    Not a bad guess, v'shael

    by DoctorTom

    I was suspecting that the new companion might be a Time Agent, but there's nothing preventing her from being both a Time Agent and River's daughter. River's in the right time period for the Time Agents.

  • May 3, 2012, 9:13 a.m. CST

    Ooooh, if we want to get even more outlandish on the guessing

    by DoctorTom

    JLC is actually the Teselecta with a female form (or, possibly a sister ship to the Teselecta). The Doctor might not know this at the start. And the ship might be there for reasons that they're not allowed to tell the Doctor (such as the ship has already been at the Fields of Trenzalore). That would be playing too much in Season 6's sandbox though, so it's probably not going to work that way. Having the new companion end up being River's daughter (or at least the Doctor's daughter - who's to say yet that this might not be another regeneration of Jenny?) is more likely.'s a regenerated Susan. Maybe we'll get a future episode called The Two Susans.

  • May 3, 2012, 9:38 a.m. CST

    An idea I've been ruminating on

    by Faulkopf

    The Doctor and River are married. Perhaps they have a child in the coming season or two. Perhaps, as v’shael suggests, she turns out to be the next companion. Or maybe Jenny comes back. Regardless, the Doctor now has a child. What if that child were to have a daughter and name that daughter Susan. For some reason, the Doctor ends up with custody of little baby Susan and isn’t sure what to do with her. So, he takes her back to a slightly younger First Doctor. She gets older. Unearthly Child happens. We’re taken right back to the beginning. OK, it sounds crazier now that I have written it out, but I’ve been mulling over this idea since River’s introduction. Alas, half-baked ideas and whatnot.

  • May 3, 2012, 10:35 a.m. CST

    the tricky part with that, faulkopf

    by DoctorTom

    Susan had been on Gallifrey growing up, which unless the cracks in time redid the entire history of the Time War, would make it a bit hard for the Doctor to drop her off there. If the new companion does turn out to be River's daughter, it's a shame that the Ponds will be disappearing before then, since it would be cool for them to meet their granddaughter (especially a grown up version).

  • It's not River's daughter. It's the daughter of Amy and Rory - one that hasn't been born yet. The mystery is how a grown up version of her suddenly appears in the TARDIS. If this turns out to be true, then the Doctor would be traveling with his sister-in-law as a companion.

  • May 3, 2012, 11:12 a.m. CST


    by Faulkopf

    Dang Time War, messing with my ideas. I see your point.

  • May 3, 2012, 11:13 a.m. CST

    Oops, sorry doctortom!

    by Faulkopf

    I apologize for abbreviating your name.

  • May 3, 2012, 12:02 p.m. CST

    No problem, faulkopf

    by DoctorTom

    the abbreviation doesn't bother me. Of course, it wouldn't surprise me if details of the Time War changed with the reboot of the universe. The more I think about it, I really do want to see a story open up with the Doctor landing on a planet, then out steps the Time Lord that's supposed to be the Doctor's mother saying *There you are, Doctor. You've been a very naughty boy.* It might be even more amusing if the whole bit takes place on the fields of Trenzalore. Then when the the question comes up, his mother can say *Doctor Who? A Doctor who's been a very naughty boy, that's who.* It's definitely something that we wouldn't seriously expect (though I'm sure there will be much fist pumping in the air if that scene does happen to make it in.)

  • He goes all Ed Wynn-y for a kiss; he'd end up Sonny the Cocoa Puffs cookoo if he put his willy in something.

  • I do imagine things happen/happened at some point between River and the Doctor, though.

  • May 3, 2012, 1:06 p.m. CST

    Yet one more option for the new companion

    by DoctorTom

    It's not the Doctor's, River's or the Pond's daughter. It's Captain Jack's daughter. Statistically, if Jack's contraception isn't 100.00000% effective, then he could easily have caused a pregnancy sometime during his life - he has Captain Kirk Syndrome (I always thought that in one of the episodes of Deep Space 9 there should have been a Kirk convention booked on the station, where the descendents of people Jim Kirk spawned get together to have a family outing.) To make matters more fun, it might be a daughter that came about during the 2 years of time that Jack can't remember as a Time Agent.

  • ~But...I mean we... +kissykissykissy+~ ~Yaaaass...~ And then you...+Lickylickylicky+~ ~Yaaaassss...~ Ooooooh!!!And then I...+Fapptyfapptyfap+~ ~Yaaaasss~ Outtakes from the lost episode, ~A Strange Man Goes To Bed~ ~LOL~

  • May 3, 2012, 9:46 p.m. CST


    by veteran_of_mu

    Too cool.

  • May 3, 2012, 10:29 p.m. CST

    Where the Doctor's bodies come from ...

    by veteran_of_mu

    We've had several "precursor" bodies for timelords. Romana and Astra, the Master and the Keeper of Traken, Six and Maxil, Two and Salamander ... Cho-Je is the most interesting of them I think. He seems to be a very independent and wise person one moment - and an incarnation of K'anpo Rinpoche the next. Interestingly, Cho-Je - literally "Dharma Master" - is indeed an office in Tibetan Buddhism. Rinpoche is a title meaning eminent teacher. Reincarnation is central to the Tibetan tradition and there are many generations of various Rinpoches just as you'd expect. So ... perhaps this is where the bodies always come from - people the Doctor has met or will meet, sometimes only in passing. And that raises an interesting possibility. Imagine, which I do not for a moment, that post-mortem River is permanently trapped inside CAL. Then the Doc could just take up with Ms Alex Kingston her own bad self ... As to the origin of JLC - I would be willing to buy her as River's daughter but I think we're still missing a couple of extremely large pieces of the puzzle about River. That crib scene is obviously hinting at something that has gone unstated ... roll on the Fields of Trenzalore ...

  • May 4, 2012, 8:53 a.m. CST

    Caractuspotts - River in CAL

    by DoctorTom

    She might not be stuck in CAL permanently, but for her to be around later the Doctor is going to have to change his past timeline, or he has to pull her out of CAL. Even if her body had other regenerations available (and what killed her was supposed to keep her from regenerating, based on her warning to the Doctor that he wouldn't be able to regenerate from it), the Vashta Nerada would see a regenerating body as a tasty snack that keeps coming back to give them more tasty snacks.