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The Friday Docback
Embarks Upon A 'Mission
To The Unknown'!! DOCTOR
WHO Story #19 And More!!





Merrick here...


...with a much shorter than usual Docback about a far briefer than usual DOCTOR WHO story: Mission to the Unknown, a Hartnell-era WHO-verse tale featuring neither the Doctor, his companions, nor his TARDIS.  


This one-part stand-alone adventure (also referred to as Dalek Cutaway) was transmitted in October 1965 and served as a set-up/prequel to the sprawling, plus-sized The Daleks’ Master Plan (Hartnell, Story #21) that would follow five weeks later.  This story also represents a final bow for visionary producer Verity Lambert, who departed DW having been with it since its early inception.  


Because this episodes was lost in BBC’s housecleaning purge of many early DOCTOR WHO master tapes, this write-up is being culled from THIS amazing CD collection of audios from lost episodes, as well as THIS Loose Cannon reconstruction.  


But first...










This is the kind of thing which drives me out of my mind.  I want to see these SO badly...


Last year, we learned that two long-missing episodes of DOCTOR WHO had been recovered and were being readied for presentation.  Galaxy 4 - Airlock (Hartnell, Story #18, Part 3) and The Underwater Menace (Troughton, Story #32, Part 2).  Sounds like the whole of Underwater Menace was presented  this week in Cardiff, as was a good chunk of Galaxy 4 - Airlock.  


The event was attended by Peter Purves, who played Steven in Galaxy 4, along with Anneke Wills and Frazer Hines, who played Polly and Jamie in The Underwater Menace. Following the screening, all three joined current show-runner Steven Moffat to answer questions about their time on the programme.


More on the presentation over at Doctor Who News







Mission to the Unknown 





“About a week ago, we had a report from the captain of a space freighter.  His navigator spotted a spaceship of a type never before used in our system.  He saw it only for a second, but he gave us a good description.  What he described...was a Dalek  spaceship." - Marc Cory, Mission to the Unknown  





Scripted by Terry Nation and directed by Derek Martinus (Galaxy 4 - Hartnell, Story fact, this episode is actually teased in the conclusion of Galaxy 4), Mission finds Space Security Service operatives Garvey (Barry Jackson), Cory (Edward de Souza), and Lowery (Jeremy Young) crash landed on planet Kembel. 



They’re here to investigate a recent sighting of Dalek spacecraft, and have good reason to suspect Daleks have set-up a secret base on this otherwise inconsequential world.   They’re right...the Daleks are here...and the belligerent antagonists quickly learn of the Space Security Service’s presence on Kembel.  A discovery which portends no good end for the beleaguered, outgunned, and outmatched castaways.  


While it’s difficult to fully assess the direction and performance of this story due to the limited availability of judgeable material, several remarkable elements still force their way to the forefront when mulling this installment.  Perhaps most noteworthy is Mission’s pervasive sense of nihilism.  I won’t reveal any spoilers herein, but suffice to say that this tale’s scant twenty-something minute running time throws a number of nasty curve balls towards our wayward human leads, and wraps on a decidedly dark note.  Mission feels more like vintage John Carpenter than early DOCTOR WHO, but is also a welcomed reprieve  from the “safety”  and proverbial “tap dancing” which often characterized DW’s earlier years.  


The second notable achievement here is the format of the episode itself, and how it interlocks with overall WHO continuity.  Mission marks the only effort of its type in the show’s history, and essentially presents dramatizes for us material that many DW adventures would consider back story - without any of our leads being involved.   There’s something hugely appealing and inventive about this notion, as Mission effectively broadens the WHOverse while setting into motion narrative movements that will directly impact its established denizens later on.  That’s rather brilliant, a bit Tolkien, and a conceit I wish the show had subsequently employed.  There would be many good reasons NOT to attempt this gag too regularly, least DW develop into an anthology, or channel surfers become confused or dissuaded by lack of identifiable personalities.  But...every once in a while?  Might’ve been, and could still (?) be, a truly fascinating move.  




Malpha (Robert Cartland), one of “the seven great powers of the outer galaxies” who ally with the Daleks in a bid for ultimate conquest (a la SUPERFRIENDS' Legion of Doom) .  




Interestingly, I uncovered a probable motivator for both of these qualities when researching Mission and its history.   Mission was, essentially, a ‘backdoor pilot’ for a series which would’ve featured the Space Security Service - and suggests said show might’ve been a bit harder edged and darker than the average DOCTOR WHO.  Fully understanding that Nation occasionally cued off of World War II thematics for his WHOverse jaunts, one still has to wonder if the acronym ‘SSS’ (Space Security Service) might’ve hit a little too close to home for comfort.  Another Nation tale, The Destroyers, was ultimately produced by Big Finish audio and represented the same proposed series in a fuller form.  The actual title of the series is evidently unknown.  


Even in its barest, most unrealized form - Mission to the Unknown is quick and interesting and a fascinating glimpse into the WHOverse through eyes of folks other than our established leads.  Perhaps one day it’ll be recovered and we’ll be able to experience it fully and properly once more.  I hope so, as this one’s roundly compelling in concept and format, if nothing else...





Glen Oliver




- Google + 












"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)

"Nightmare of Eden" (Story #107) 

"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

"Dragonfire" (Story #147) 

"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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  • May 11, 2012, 1:24 p.m. CST

    Short post for a short story

    by DoctorTom

    That's about what it should get. It's not bad, it's Terry Nation.

  • May 11, 2012, 1:24 p.m. CST

    Anybody go to the Cardiff showing of the old episodes?

    by DoctorTom

    Enquiring minds want to know how it was at the event.

  • May 11, 2012, 1:26 p.m. CST

    Mission is a classic

    by HornOrSilk

    And hopefully a deal will be had with Ian Levine's animated reconstruction so it can be shown sometime.

  • May 11, 2012, 1:26 p.m. CST

    The conceit also led to the Dalek stage play

    by HornOrSilk

    Which I find fascinating and helped give some of the ideas which led to Power of the Daleks.

  • May 11, 2012, 2:20 p.m. CST

    Density of the Daleks

    by Mister Vertue

    doctortom, that was genius (from the last Docback). Too bad it's too late to go back and alter that episode title now. And just for the record, no official episode titles have been released yet.

  • May 11, 2012, 2:26 p.m. CST

    The more episodes recovered with Troughton the better.

    by Michael_Jacksons_Ghost

    I wonder when the fourth part of "The Tenth Planet" will be recovered? Out there.....someone has it locked in a vault.

  • A bit like doing US only contests... I kiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiid ! We haven't done this for a while - since an old new episode Docback I think, but if the 50th celebrations had a similar feel as the 20th anniversary with a story from each Doctor, plus the Three Doctors and Five Doctors... What would you choose as your stories... This was significant back in 1983 as some of the stories hadn't been repeated in years (before the days of satellite and cable telly). I'm going to put the additional stipulation with only 1 Dalek story and 1 Cybermen story only... And obviously the episodes have to exist... Hartnell - The Time Meddler Troughton - The Dominators Pertwee - Inferno T Baker - The Deadly Assasin Davison - The Caves Of Androzani C Baker - Revelation Of The Daleks McCoy - Survival McGann - Well there is only the TV Movie Eccleston - Father's Day Tennant - Blink Smith - The Doctor's Wife You ?

  • May 11, 2012, 3:09 p.m. CST

    One nice thing about Mission to the Unknown

    by DoctorTom

    being a one parter without the regular cast, it was able to help sell the Daleks as a serious threat without having to worry about undermining that by having them defeated in the episode. Actually, the Daleks had it unusually well compared to other recurring monsters/races in the show. In their second appearance, they've ALREADY conquered the Earth. We get to see them win in this Doctorless story. When they were brought back the first time for Pertwee, they had already conquered the future Earth (again). Dalek? We see one Dalek take apart whatever the humans can throw at it, except for the combination of Rose and downloading all the porn off the internet forcing the Dalek into self destruction. Bad Wolf? The Daleks are controlling the Earth Empire, having changed future history (must not have been a fixed point). Victory of the Daleks? They accomplish their main objective, and actually defeat the Doctor in this one (Although the secondary objective of destroying the Earth wasn't accomplished, the primary objective of restoring the Dalek race was.) The Pandorica Opens? The Alliance, seemingly led by the Daleks, achieve their objective of locking up the Doctor. If it weren't for the faulty premise they had been working on, they should have been on the gravy train at that point with the Doctor locked up, instead of having River blow the universe up. They had their cunning plan, though, they stuck with it, and achieved what they set out to do. The Daleks are different from most other races because we've seen them win on occasion, or seen them after they've won. You don't get that to anywhere near that extent with the other races (though there might be potential for this with the Silence - I'm sure there's more to come with them). The Cybermen need to subcontract their planning out to the Daleks - maybe they'd win a few more battles now and then.

  • May 11, 2012, 3:23 p.m. CST

    I'll join in the listing, dj_bollocks

    by KanekoFan

    One story per doctor, only one with Daleks, only one with Cybermen (actually, I think I can get by with zero Cybermen)... A couple of my choices will be the same as yours, but not many. Okay, here goes... Hartnell - The Time Meddler Troughton - The Mind Robber Pertwee - The Green Death T Baker - The Ark in Space Davison - The Caves of Androzani C Baker - Vengeance on Varos McCoy - The Curse of Fenric McGann - Yeah, gotta be the TV movie Eccleston - Dalek Tennant - Human Nature/The Family of Blood Smith - The Eleventh Hour

  • May 11, 2012, 3:32 p.m. CST

    dj_bollocks, picking stories

    by DoctorTom

    The list isn't bad, though I'd probably change some of the stories Hartnell - either the Daleks, the Time Meddler or the Aztecs Troughton - The War Games (alternate: The Mind Robber) Pertwee - I'd probably also choose Inferno, but if going for a 4 parter I'd go with Time Warrior T Baker - a plethora to choose from. I'd probably choose City of Death first, with Pyramids of Mars being my second choice. Davison - Caves of Androzani C Baker - Vengeance on Varos (especially if I use The Daleks for Hartnell) alternate: the web story with the 6th Doctor and Evelyn Smythe. (that might be where to work in the Cybermen) S McCoy - The Curse of Fenric McGann - tv movie Eccleston - Dalek (if I haven't gone with The Daleks) or Father's Day Tennant - Blink Smith - The Doctor's Wife (if not allowed to use that, The Eleventh Hour or A Good Man Goes To War).

  • I'm not sure which ones I'd pick for current Doctors, but for the classic Doctors, I'd probably go: Hartnell: The Empire of Glass (Irving Braxiatel!) Troughton: The Dark Path (the Master before he was the Master!) Pertwee: Verdigris (though I'd be sorely tempted to list Tnterference books 1 and 2, though that would probably technically count more as an 8th Doctor novel than a 3rd Doctor novel) Tom Baker: The Well-Mannered War (alternate, The Romance of Crime - basically, go with the Gareth Roberts Doctor/Romana II stories) (note: once I read Robert's novelization of Shada I'd probably put this here instead). Davison: Cold Fusion (I'm cheating here, it's technically the 5th and 7th Doctors) Colin Baker: Mission: Impractical (Frobisher! Sabalom Glitz! ) Sylvester McCoy: Lungbarrow or Head Games Paul McGann: 1st choice - Alien Bodies. 2nd choice: The Scarlet Empress, 3rd Choice: Interference books 1 & 2 or Camera Obscura) for some reason, the novels don't seem as important for the new series as they did during the Wilderness Years.

  • May 11, 2012, 4:04 p.m. CST

    Actually, wanna change my Tennant choice...

    by KanekoFan

    Replace Human Nature/Family of Blood with Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead.

  • May 11, 2012, 4:48 p.m. CST


    by Brainymonkey

    Been working in Cardiff all week. Wish I'd known about the screenings...

  • May 11, 2012, 4:54 p.m. CST

    50th anniversary story list

    by HornOrSilk

    First Doctor: The Aztecs Second Doctor: The Seeds of Death Third Doctor: Curse of Peladon Fourth Doctor: Terror of the Zygons Fifth Doctor: Kinda Sixth Doctor: Revelation of the Daleks Seventh Doctor: Ghostlight Eighth Doctor: Movie Ninth Doctor: Empty Child/Doctor Dances Tenth Doctor: School Reunion Eleventh Doctor: Vincent and the Doctor I really tried for some surprising choices in this list... but some Doctors made that difficult..

  • May 11, 2012, 5:04 p.m. CST

    I can't answer novels, so here is the audio list

    by HornOrSilk

    First Doctor: Masters of Luxor (yeah!) Second Doctor: The Rosemariners Third Doctor: Paradise of Death Fourth Doctor: Foe from the Future Fifth Doctor: Loups-Garoux Sixth Doctor: And the Pirates Seventh Doctor: Forty Five Eighth Doctor: Company of Friends Ninth Doctor: Kingmaker (Cheat!) Tenth Doctor: Dead Air Eleventh Doctor: Runaway Train (I guess)

  • May 11, 2012, 7:52 p.m. CST

    Mission to the Unknown - Reconstruction (link)

    by obijuanmartinez

  • May 12, 2012, 7:52 a.m. CST

    That's not the animated version

    by HornOrSilk

    You can see stills from the animated version here: Sadly, again, 2e (or people involved with 2e who basically have a thing against Ian have prevented any release). Sad, because it should be available on DVD.

  • Try 'Talons of Weng-Chiang', or 'Genesis of the Daleks'..., OR 'Inferno'!

  • May 12, 2012, 9:57 a.m. CST

    Out shopping yesterday

    by gotilk

    I ran into a guy with a t-shirt that just said *I regenerate* (pretty sure that's what it said, as I saw it from a slight angle and quite a distance) and we exchanged a knowing glance. It looked like a homemade shirt. I should have probably walked over and introduced myself, but I was in a hurry to buy a pencil sharpener and get the heck out. Do any of you often run into other Doctor Who fans *in the wild*?

  • May 12, 2012, 10 a.m. CST


    by gotilk

    I know I keep harping on it, but it's only because I LOVE and MISS the show. Anyway, everyone reading this, be sure to go to iTines and write a review in support of the podcast, to send a message. Especially if you're a lurker (non-poster) who reads DocBack and listens to Whotininnies. We hardly knew ya, Whotininnies.

  • May 12, 2012, 10 a.m. CST

    Thanks for the link, obijuanmartinez

    by gotilk

    Looking forward to seeing it.

  • May 12, 2012, 10:03 a.m. CST

    Miss you all.

    by gotilk

    Did you miss me? lol I've wanted to come in and read/post but I've been in a slightly darker place and I tend not to play well with others. DocBack is the LAST place I want to display my less friendly side. And I know it's my own problem, I'm feeling a lot better now and I'm looking forward to catching up. See some of you later today.

  • May 12, 2012, 10:17 a.m. CST

    Thanks for the Nicholas Courtney interview.

    by gotilk

    He's become one of my favorite ancillary characters/performers in the Whoniverse. He and the big guy with the chin dimple. Sorry for not being able to recall his name. Here's another nice interview: Part 1: Part 2: The user who uploaded that interview also has several other Who-related interviews, many of them very good.

  • May 12, 2012, 11:48 a.m. CST

    Mission to the Known

    by Dreamfasting

    It seems hard in this day and age, but there is a problem that villains tend to never really get to shine - they are always introduced at the point where their plans are falling apart and they are being defeated. With River Song currently out there doing archeological digs, there are the hooks for a nice frame around a series of flashbacks: she digs and researches and slowly uncovers the tragic fall of a civilization and the evil that caused it, an evil great that will be adversary for the rest of the season. It would be a great way to frame the re-introduction of a character like Omega or the Black Guardian, someone that might not be confronted directly until the end of a season, but who want the audience to be properly anxious about during the long slow-boil through the year as the confrontation approaches. Oh ... and my list (minus any commentary/explanation) First Doctor: An Unearthly Child Second Doctor: The War Games Third Doctor: Frontier in Space Fourth Doctor: City of Death Fifth Doctor: Earthshock Sixth Doctor: Revelation of the Daleks Seventh Doctor: Paradise Towers Eighth Doctor: Movie trailers Ninth Doctor: The End of the World Tenth Doctor: The Girl in the Fireplace Eleventh Doctor: The Doctor's Wife

  • May 12, 2012, 12:24 p.m. CST

    Glad you're feeling better, Gotilk

    by DoctorTom

    I hope it's not Whotininnies Withdrawal Syndrome that's causing the darker mood.

  • May 12, 2012, 12:38 p.m. CST

    Hornorsilk - not a bad audio list

    by DoctorTom

    I can think of other contenders for some, but the list you have is pretty good. For the Seventh Doctor, though, I'd probably go for Shadow of the Scourge. Colditz would also be a good contender. The Sixth Doctor actually has a fair number of good ones to choose from. Doctor Who and the Pirates is a good one, but I'd be conflicted trying to choose between that, The Holy Terror and The One Doctor. I might sidestep the issue by going for the Wormery instead because of Iris Wildthyme being in that story. The Pirates is a very good choice, though. Good choice on the Eighth Doctor audios, with the multiple stories with different companions. The Benny story or the Fitz story alone would let it qualify as a good choice. If I had to pick a different audio, though, I'd choose between Storm Warning, Seasons of Fear or Neverland (I'd be leaning toward the last). On the Second Doctor, would you count the David Troughton 2nd Doctor appearances in the last two Serpent Crest stories as qualifying? For that matter, does the cut-down Genesis of the Daleks (originally released on vinyl!) count for these purposes? That could open the floodgates if we allow it. If that's okay, then do we allow readings of the novelizations? I think we need to limit to original audios. Funnily enough, Baker had one of the first, but I don't see The Pescatons being anybody's choice for a good 4th Doctor story.

  • May 12, 2012, 3:04 p.m. CST


    by Ken Plume

    Glen and I have been very wrapped up in a creative something or other that is nearing completion... I'm sure Whotininnies will return soonish...

  • May 12, 2012, 3:19 p.m. CST

    Farewell Ponds

    by Mister Vertue

    It's official, Amy and Rory have departed the show forever. Karen and Arthur finished their last scenes just one hour ago. Thought I'd update everyone here who isn't following their Twitter accounts (which stops *everything* from being kept a secret these days).

  • May 12, 2012, 4:08 p.m. CST

    I wouldn't say forever, MOV

    by DoctorTom

    after all, even Adric made 2 appearances after he died. Things might just have to be more creative to see them in the show again. Heck, with River around you can certainly see her visiting the Ponds at points before their last adventure (or even after that, if they survive).

  • May 12, 2012, 4:21 p.m. CST

    A tear, MOV?

    by SminkyPinky

    No, don't cry. While there's sci-fi , there's...

  • May 12, 2012, 5:07 p.m. CST

    doctortom yes, the audios are hard ones to choose from

    by HornOrSilk

    Seasons of Fear is one of my favorite audios and I think would be a wonderful template for a time-travel "epic" for the show itself. But I thought Company of Friends, being what it is, is a good exemplar for the Eighth Doctor...

  • May 12, 2012, 5:14 p.m. CST

    Well, let's say -- the intention is to have them departed forever

    by HornOrSilk

    Who knows what might be written 30 years from now, right Sarah Jane?

  • May 12, 2012, 5:14 p.m. CST

    I'm almost never sad when a companion/companions leave ...


    It nearly always feels like the right 'time' for them to go ... I often look back and miss some more than others ... For example (early days) Rose I miss ... Not so much the character she became, but the Rose from the first new series. It very much feel time for the 'Ponds' to move on ... and like Rose I think over time I will miss the character Amy was at the beginning ... not what she became.

  • May 12, 2012, 5:26 p.m. CST

    *waves farewell to the Ponds*

    by Dreamfasting

    Unforuntately, since most of us are caught in a slower timestream, we won't actually experience their departure until the fall/winter.

  • May 12, 2012, 5:27 p.m. CST

    doctortom oh and as to readings from the novels

    by HornOrSilk

    I think it depends. When dealing with new who, I think the answer is yes, but when dealing with classic who, the answer is no. And the Pescatons and Slipback both have interesting elements to them. But I think the best thing is to do stories which had the purpose of being audio and not just something later made into audio.

  • May 12, 2012, 5:40 p.m. CST


    by Merrick

    That option wasn't available to us just yet...but stay tuned!

  • May 12, 2012, 5:41 p.m. CST

    badwulf12969 - why Dragonfire at the Alamo

    by DoctorTom

    They're going for one of the new DVD releases. This batch around, you have the choice of Dragonfire, The Happiness Patrol, and Nightmare of Eden. On the bright side, I imagine that if this keeps doing well for the Alamo Drafthouse, later in the year you'll be able to enjoy Terror of the Zygons on the big screen. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if something could be worked out with the BBC for doing screening of the first episode of Season 7. (same day as it's shown on BBCA most likely, but still, you get to watch it on a big screen in a theater).

  • May 12, 2012, 5:45 p.m. CST

    horn, I'd go for that differentiation

    by DoctorTom

    I think that it might be that although I have a boatload of the novels from Eccleston on, I haven't felt the need to read near as much of them as I felt the urge during the Wilderness Years to read the New and Missing Adventures, or the Eighth Doctor Adventures and Past Adventures. Of course, Big Finish wasn't around for the Virgin Years, and were scaled back much more pre-nu-Who than they are now, so there wasn't near as much to keep up with. Also, having one or two books out a month as opposed to getting a batch dropped on you (plus umpty-zillion audios to listen to) seemed easier to handle.

  • May 12, 2012, 5:49 p.m. CST

    hmm, merrick Ninja'd a response in

    by DoctorTom

    it wasn't showing when I typed my answer in, and (even though I'm not in Austin) I hope that there's enough time to make arrangements for a screening of the first episode of Season 7 at the Alamo. Maybe even followed by another Doctor Who story to fill up the running time (US premiere of the recently recovered episodes? Make it a Moffat night and screen The Curse of Fatal Death after the season premiere? Or just a roundtable discussion with people there that could end up as a Whotinninnies podcast?)

  • May 12, 2012, 6:15 p.m. CST

    gotilk btw, sorry things are as they are for you

    by HornOrSilk

    They've been that way for me, too... and I've noted I've been talking less on DocBacks because of it, too. Strange.

  • May 12, 2012, 6:20 p.m. CST

    doctortom -- yes, one thing I am finding annoying about BF

    by HornOrSilk

    Their constant growth in audio lines. I try to keep with the ones which have the Doctors in them, and a few of the companion chronicles. But they keep adding more and more side stories which fit this -- like the new McCoy/UNIT Dominion set, Love and War, etc -- all which I feel I must get. I got into the NA's but ended a few novels after Ace's return... life took over, then BF brought things back... and now they seem to want to do too much... and the more "behind" I feel I get from it, the more likely I will start getting less...

  • May 12, 2012, 6:27 p.m. CST

    I mean look to these specials

    by HornOrSilk

    8th Doctor Box Set (following at the end of the last 8th Doctor audio series) Unit: Dominion Love and War The Fourth Doctor Adventures Lost Stories etc... just expensive

  • May 12, 2012, 6:52 p.m. CST

    I agree, Horn

    by DoctorTom

    and that's not counting 2 Benny sets this year, and one or two Lightfoot and Jago sets (where they have Leela showing up now). We'll probably get another Iris Wildthyme too (actually I hope so). Although the extra releases are nice to have now and then, back when it was the one Doctor Who range, Benny audios occasionally and the odd special or miniseries now and then it wasn't so hard (even when they were doing the 2000AD range). Now, you have the regular Doctor Who range, the Missing Adventures coming out near enough monthly, the Companion Chronicles coming out monthly, as well as whatever other box sets and specials they do. And that's just Doctor Who. They've also put out a Blakes 7 box set (I'll confess to getting that, when you have Avon, Vila and Blake each doing one of the stories it seemed worth trying), Sapphire and Steel, Sherlock Holmes and whatever else . It's not just the money, it's actually the time to try to listen to things. There isn't that much time to be able to listen to all the Doctor Who stuff.

  • May 12, 2012, 7:04 p.m. CST

    Still, horn, it's better than not having any of them at all

    by DoctorTom

    I'd rather be spoiled for choice. Still, I keep thinking that if BF wants to get more of my money, they should look into cutting a deal to do Farscape audios. Though given that the principal characters don't live in England, it would probably be more difficult to arrange things there.

  • May 12, 2012, 7:07 p.m. CST

    doctortom I have the time just not the money for it all

    by HornOrSilk

    Well, I probably could, but would have to stop buying other things... I have to limit myself with the audios. And I would get the B7 set but, like Jago and Lightfoot, I just have to give it a pass (I did do the Dalek Empires and Davros, but skipped Cybermen; I do get the Scarifyers, though, for some reason... just well, it is as it is.. )

  • May 12, 2012, 7:08 p.m. CST

    BF should get George Takei and Sulu

    by HornOrSilk

    That would be the way to make $$$$$$$

  • May 12, 2012, 7:11 p.m. CST

    And yes, I think one or two specials a year is best..

    by HornOrSilk

    Many of the Lost Stories should just have been main range (I'm not saying I don't like them, just well, just still, they are making it tough on me to just collect the Doctor without the side-stories; I mean, how many really bought Graceless/Graceless 2?)


  • May 12, 2012, 10:52 p.m. CST

    50th Anniversary Top 10 (ish)

    by obijuanmartinez

    Hartnell: The Celestial Toymaker: LOVED Michael Gough, and if there was EVER an open-ended villain to return to the NEW series, this guy'd be money in the bank. Check out the intact 4th episode - He even states 'We shall meet again...' Drawback here is it's incomplete! Troughton: Cybermen TIE - Would basically take either of these for the toss of a coin: 1) Tomb of the Cybermen. Good, fun episode. Doc #2 & Jamie are GOLD, and the whole story's INTACT. 2) The Invasion - Embryonic UNIT episode. It's intact, and the trio of the Doc, Jamie & Zoe are my favorite Troughton Doctor / Companion configuration Pertwee: INFERNO! Doctor Who's humble rebuttal to Star Trek's 'Mirror, Mirror' universe is a blast of a cautionary tale, and feature's the Brigadier in a cheesy eye-patch. Chock full of yummy awesomeness... T. Baker: Talons of Weng-Chiang. Great story, great premise & memorable bit-players: John Bennett's Li H'sen Chang is wonderful (albeit non-PC), Jago & Litefoot are amazing, and the Doctor as Sherlock Holmes is clicking on all cylinders here. Greel & Mr. Sin are also worthy Classic Who villains; Leela too puts in a winning outing as well! Davison: Resurrection of the Daleks - Never been the biggest Davison fan, but this one I've seen over & again. Like it. Likes: Terry Malloy's Davros, Tegan's sad farewell, and LYTTON, the Dr. Who universe's answer to Boba Fett: Brooding and ominous C. Baker: The Two Doctors. Patrick Troughton & Frazer Hines show they never lost their brilliant chemistry on this one. Say what you will about the somewhat slipshod showing of the Sontarans (their first since 1979's bonzer Invasion of Time) & the campiness of the Androgums, but this one's solid enough for me McCoy: Battlefield - I'm a sucker for anything King Arthur, so when the Doctor becomes 'Merlin' and gets to fight Morgana (played tastefully seething by Who alum Jean Marsh) & Mordred, I'm in! Good parting shot for Nicholas Courtney's Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart of UNIT too... McGann: Shada - Yeah, it's a webcast, but dang, that Fox TV film was (mostly) the pits. Half-human my ass! Eric Roberts as the Master? Methinks not. Anyway, the webcast was solid enough. The story's a corker (Douglas Adams wrote it, so I'll take it), and McGann, Lalla Ward's Romana, and John Leeson's K9 put in a solid show Eccleston: The Parting of the Ways - Liked his farewell story. It had gravitas, Rose & Captain Jack. Would have liked him to stay longer, but I think we definitely traded UP when we got Tennant Tennant: TIE - Journey's End / The End of Time. Julian Bleach's Davros is second only to Michael Wisher, IMHO. Also loved the way they tied old and new Doctor Who (Sarah Jane) in this one. As for The End of Time, I really liked Simm's Master & Dalton's Rassilon Smith: A Good Man Goes to War - In a nutshell: Don't f__k with The Doctor! Honorable Mention: Peter Cushing's 'Dr. Who and the Daleks' ONE-SHOT TO RULE THEM ALL EPISODE: If I had but one story from any era / Doctor to show to celebrate the 50th anniversary (or sell it to someone), it'd have to be Genesis of the Daleks. It's the 800-pound gorilla of Who stories...

  • May 13, 2012, 12:36 a.m. CST

    The solution to the *too many audios* problem.

    by gotilk

    They should start a subscription service.

  • May 13, 2012, 12:46 a.m. CST

    I am still fascinated with the possibilities involving a

    by gotilk

    post Silence in The Library River Song. She is only virtually around, but that's enough. There are big possibilities there. The library itself fascinates me as a concept. Especially the idea of River manipulating her *simulation* to live well beyond just the earth simulation, in essence giving herself an entire universe to explore (perhaps even with her Doctor) for all time. That's how I imagine it, because otherwise I'm left a bit heartbroken.

  • May 13, 2012, 3:04 a.m. CST

    gotilk she does say

    by HornOrSilk

    The Doctor comes to visit her. She didn't say what they do when he does...

  • May 13, 2012, 12:18 p.m. CST

    Good points, gotilk and hornorsilk

    by DoctorTom

    I would suspect that the Doctor might have tried to use a ganger of River to get around her death, except that just using a ganger wouldn't result in seeing River inside of Cal. Unless it was a complete copy including memories, but unless the Doctor did the copying without River knowing, the ganger version would have also known that the ganger was being set up to die. The Doctor wouldn't do that. The question would be whether the Doctor would tell River that he saw her die and he's trying to come up with a way around that.doesn't break the timeline and give us Emperor Churchill-land again.

  • May 13, 2012, 12:33 p.m. CST

    Now that's interesting

    by DoctorTom

    I just found out that the new Blakes 7 novel put out by Big Finish, and the Bernice Summerfield novel put out a few months ago, not only are available as ebooks for the kindle or epub, but also that they are directly available from the Kindle or the Nook store. Being able to order them direct from the e-reader is a good move. I'm glad BF decided to do that. We'll have to see if eventually the older book releases come out that way as well as the new book releases.

  • May 13, 2012, 3:28 p.m. CST, wielding a Smith-era sonic screwdriver, that is...

    by obijuanmartinez

  • May 13, 2012, 11:17 p.m. CST

    Who fans in the wild

    by Minque

    Gotilk, you asked about running into Who fans “in the wild.” A few months ago, I was standing in the aisle of a plane (in Atlanta) waiting to leave when I heard two teenage girls behind me say the names Rose and Martha. That caught my attention. When I then heard, Rose Tyler, I turned around and asked them if they watched Doctor Who. We had a nice quick chat about liking the 11th Doctor, as well as the 10th, and then the plane was emptying. Of course my 11 year old was mortified that her mother would interrupt someone’s conversation to talk about Doctor Who but they were nice and it was fun.

  • May 14, 2012, 2:26 p.m. CST

    minque - lovely story!

    by Mister Vertue

    And that's what being a Doctor Who fan is all about. We may be more concentrated in numbers in some locations, but we really are everywhere and bumping into them in remote locations is always fun. Sometimes the indication can be obvious (like wearing an I Love Doctor Who t-shirt), but it's great when you spot someone wearing something a little more obscure, like a Prydonian Academy t-shirt, and you get a little buzz knowing that they're hardcore. They're wearing it not just for themselves, but also to see if they can snare any fellow fans that day.

  • May 14, 2012, 2:27 p.m. CST

    MOV - any word on when the Christmas special films?

    by DoctorTom

    I remember reading they're starting in May - I didn't know if they were starting this week or not for it.

  • May 15, 2012, 2:35 p.m. CST

    hmm, crickets chirping

    by DoctorTom

    I guess there's little going on right now. At least there's news of the Cardiff Experience opening. Now if they could only do a traveling roadshow with it (though if you're trying to include the new TARDIS, that would be kind of hard to do).

  • May 15, 2012, 2:39 p.m. CST

    More kudos to Big Finish

    by DoctorTom

    I found out that not only did they put out the new Blakes 7 novel and the last Benny novel on the Nook (and the Kindle, I imagine), but they have also added the 3 Mervyn Stone novels by Nev Fountain that they put out. Charging $7.49 for the electronic version isn't bad, given that most U.S. book companies charge retail price for an electronic version of a mass market paperback. (Props to Angry Robot for sane ebook pricing for their paperbacks, they quickly became one of my favorite book companies.) Hopefully they'll put out the Robert Shearman collections in electronic version for everyone shortly.

  • May 15, 2012, 5:46 p.m. CST

    Chumblies in Prometheus?

    by veteran_of_mu

    There's something about the new movie that's putting me very much in mind of DW. Then again there's something in almost everything that puts me very much in mind of DW. But I means something specific. I'll let you guess about what it is.

  • May 15, 2012, 5:49 p.m. CST

    Chumblies in Dragonfire?

    by DoctorTom

    Now, if the alien in Dragonfire could be CGI edited to be a Chumblie, that would make it a very special edition indeed, and one well worth screening at the Alamo.

  • May 15, 2012, 5:54 p.m. CST

    New Doctor Who in a week and a half!

    by DoctorTom

    Not a joke - a mini-episode on May 24. It will be on Blue Peter, and will be the winner of this year's Script to Screen competition. I Tinyurl'd the link to Bleeding Cool on this: Unfortunately it also contains news I find sad about Blue Peter being bumped to CBBC instead of letting the venerable institution stay on BBC One. I had a feeling we were going to get a little minisode type thing this spring, but I was thinking it might be in a Comic Relief type thing. For some reason I forgot about the Blue Peter competition (was probably thinking it would air during the fall when DW was back - I like it better that we're getting a little bit now during the extended stretch between seasons).

  • May 15, 2012, 6:04 p.m. CST

    Caractuspotts - there might be a tenuous link

    by DoctorTom

    Ridley Scott was originally supposed to be doing design work on The Daleks (the story). He might have still been hanging around in BBC and seen Chumblies. Of course, Scott did Alien, and Dragonfire tried borrowing heavily from Alien, so there's a connection there also, and with Prometheus being in the Alien universe, you have a tenuous link there. Still, humans looking for their Progenitor types has been a common sf thing. The Doctor Who stories with alien races affecting human development might be playing into it. (I suspect, though, that Prometheus is more of a Star Trek style alien Progenitor race - I don't see having an alien blowing up its spaceship and causing the birth of the human race as being something we'll see in the movie). If I had to guess what about the movie is putting you in mind of Doctor Who, though, I would guess that (based on the trailers) it's the sense of optimism by the humans, mirroring a lot of the Doctor's optimism, combined with finding the big honking alien tomb structure that has you thinking of the similarities. Either that or you're subliminally wanting to see River Song wearing one of those power loader exoskeletons, going around beating up Skarasen, Drashigs and whatever other big monsters you want to throw at her.

  • May 16, 2012, 9:08 a.m. CST


    by veteran_of_mu

    I was thinking Seeds of Doom. The krynoid life-cycle really is almost identical with the original Alien and the plot is pretty close too. If the krynoid pod had grabbed someone's face rather than their arm it'd be even more obvious ... Prometheus seems to contain all the same elements. And there's always a Chase character who wants to harness the things, then gets harnessed by 'em ...

  • May 16, 2012, 1:04 p.m. CST

    Craig Ferguson

    by DoctorTom

    he's doing a week of shows from Scotland. I can't check the video from work (dang anti-streaming filter that IT has in place), but I heard that he arrived in Scotland by TARDIS.

  • May 16, 2012, 1:06 p.m. CST

    Supposedly a link for that

    by DoctorTom

  •'s not bad! Interesting Gareth Thomas (AKA Roj Blake) is in the series. Not having the Doctor isn't bad either; the Dalek voices are good. The only weak spot (albeit a slight one) I've really hit is the background music is straight-up 80s synth-driven stuff that was one of the things that used to nibble at me when watching Davison / McCoy-era Classic Who... Now if only I could Jago & Litefoot at the library! Would REALLY like to listen to those (and can't believe there's 5 series' worth!)

  • Vengeance of Morbius The Bride of Peladon Both were pretty good!

  • They had 4 of them - one for the 5th Doctor, one for the 6th, one for the 7th, and a marginally connected one with Bernice Summerfield. The ones with the 5th Doctor and Bernice Summerfield also had Katy Manning playing Iris Wildthyme - she's wonderful as the character. The 3 audios with the Doctors had Anthony Stewart Head (long before his face-off with David Tennant on television) as the opponent to the Doctor. From my hazy recollection, I really enjoyed the one with the 5th Doctor and the Benny audios the most, the 5th falling down a bit and the 7th Doctor not that bad. Oh, there's only 4 series worth of Lightfoot and Jago so far (and I've only done the first set plus the separate Companion Chronicles with them), but they are definitely fun. Now, for McGann you wouldn't do wrong with his first one, where they introduce Charlie Pollard (Storm Warning). Actually, if you look for Doctor Who audios written by Alan Barnes you should do okay. Seasons of Fear (cowritten by Paul Cornell) is definitely a fun one, with the surprise return of a Doctor Who monster who turns out (as the British would say) not to be pants the way they were in their original television story. On the stories they did for BBC7, there was one in the second series, I think it was called Max Warp, which did a pretty good parody of Top Gear. Being a fan of that show as well as Doctor Who, I definitely enjoyed that audio. I'd still like to see a Top Gear cameo in a Doctor Who story (even if it's just having the show on a television and seeing the hosts or some cars on the show get shot by aliens).

  • the book Alien Bodies by Lawrence Miles had the Krotons (showing them after they had just defeated some Daleks), popping in for an auction of something called The Relic (which is a pretty surprising reveal in the story). This was an early 8th Doctor story, and introduced several concepts (Faction Paradox, the Shift, a TARDIS in the shape of a woman who in her past had at one point been stuck in the shape of a 1960's policewoman, a war between Time Lords from a point in Gallifrey's future and The Enemy). This was the book that kickstarted the Eighth Doctor range into something people started paying attention to.

  • ...I just rifled through their site - Was not even aware Anthony Stewart Head had done anything touching the Whoniverse - Flippin' sweet! (But I must admit, I was happy to see him finally leave Merlin last season, and let Arthur take the wheel). The Excelis series sounds GREAT; I'd also really like to check out the I, Davros stuff - Always wanted to hear more about his back-story in the Kaled Bunker, his accident, etc. Pity that Michael Wisher wasn't around (RIP) to do those, but Terry Molloy makes a solid enough Davros...

  • May 17, 2012, 8:53 a.m. CST

    Obijuanmartinez - while you're checking out Big Finish

    by DoctorTom

    you might want to check out the very first Bernice Summerfield audio - Oh No It Isn't! - it's adapted from Paul Cornell's novel by Jaq Rayner (who, even Paul says, did a better job with the audio script than he did with the novel) and has Nick Courtney playing Bernice's cat Wolsey (it makes sense when you hear the audio).

  • May 17, 2012, 11:22 a.m. CST

    obijuan - actually I had bought those

    by DoctorTom

    Big Finish's output wasn't near as much back then, and the Excelis stuff was spaced out over a few months (they didn't do the box set releases like they're starting to do now) I know last month BF was doing a special on a few days for buying select titles; they do sales now and then so that you could get legal copies relatively cheaply now and then. (You could also check Amazon or Ebay to see whether you might find a deal there).

  • May 17, 2012, 2:10 p.m. CST

    Mid August US DVD releases

    by DoctorTom

    August 14: The Greatest Show in the Galaxy Spearhead from Space Special Edition. Looks like the latter would be a good one for an Alamo Drafthouse screening in August or early September.

  • May 17, 2012, 5:30 p.m. CST

    Thinking more about the Krynoid/Alien parallel and Xenogods

    by veteran_of_mu

    1) both start as eggs 2) both open spontaneously to infect a host 3) both control the host to kidnap and infect others 4) both harness the host intelligence to identify and kill potential threats 5) both increase their population at the expense of other lifeforms Properly speaking, the Alien film should have been titled "Parasite". What's neat about that is that both the company and Chase are themselves parasites on humanity - which is why they find it natural to align with the xenomorphs. Of course there was no super-mega-giant Alien that we saw ... but you have to wonder what it was that the Aliens were constructing when they re-engineered the ships they infected. One thing's for sure - they weren't just doing a makeover for aesthetic reasons. I like the idea that what they were building was a far bigger organism, one equipped with starship engines rather than arms and legs ... that the Aliens were actually re-engineering the ship in order to land it on its home world - there to build a still larger organism. Just like the Krynoid. A proper spacefaring technological form of life, growing like a weed. No wonder it scared the willies out of the Doctor. Anyway I think this is where Scott is going with Prometheus. The idea is simply that humans are defective mutations from the original Xenogod seed, and that the Aliens are a way to correct that defect.

  • May 17, 2012, 8:29 p.m. CST

    @doctom: Way cool! Appreciate the leads, man, und...

    by obijuanmartinez

    Hope to get going on some of the others you suggested once through w/ the Dalek Empire audios (which I've been listening to on my train ride to work this week) I looked on eBay & & they have some decent pricing on 'I, Davros'...

  • LOVE that story - Has so many goodies: Autons, the Nestene Consciousness, Pertwee, the UNIT boys, poor, underused Liz Shaw, and so on... I think the shot of the Autons coming to life in the department store display windows is super-creepy & very effective!

  • May 18, 2012, 9:03 a.m. CST

    That was weird

    by DoctorTom

    I saw the Myth Makers thread in and had put one post in, was putting a second one in and got a message that the thread was unknown or unavailable. Did AICN just eat the new Docback?