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The Friday Docback Finds DOCTOR WHO Story #72 Not Entirely Exxilont!! + Newslet Recap, And More!! UPDATED WITH RED DWARF X TRAILER!!

Published at: July 20, 2012, 1:30 p.m. CST

 

 

Merrick here...
 
..with a look at Death to the Daleks, a four part Pertwee-era adventure originally transmitted February - March 1974.  
 
Due to a death in the family and the above-average complexities grappling with it entails, my writings will be rather brief this week.  I may very well re-visit this story via an ammended post within the next few weeks. I’ll post a link back to this article if and when this happens.  
 
Also, to be completely frank, I feel like a bit of douche posting a regular ol' Docback in the slipstream of last night's events in Aurora, Colorado.  I thought long and hard about whether to do this at all...but, after careful consideration...I decided to move forward.  
 
Why?   Firstly, I'm very much a "The show must go on..." type of personality.  Another reason is because I believe consistency in our ways of life are critical when conrfonted with this kind of apalling circumstance - lest the darkness overtake us.  Lest those who are filled with so much hate, anger, coldness, and confusion emerge victorious by weilding subversive power of us.  
 
As such, it is with the utmost respect, and most profound honor possible, that we recognize those whose lives were taken in Aurora last night.  Our thoughts are with you, and our heartfelt sympathies are extended to the loved ones left behind.  
 
 
 
THE MOFF'S ULTRA-AMAZING AND SUPER-DUPER-INCREDIBLE SHERLOCK GETS SOME EMMY NOMINATIONS!!  LIKE, A LOT OF THEM...
 
Miniseries or TV Movie (A Scandal in Belgravia)

Lead Actor in a Miniseries or TV movie (Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes)

Supporting Actor (Martin Freeman as Dr. John Watson)

Directing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special (Paul McGuigan - A Scandal in Belgravia)

Writing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special (Steven Moffat - A Scandal in Belgravia)

Art Direction For a Miniseries of Movie (A Scandal in Belgravia - Arwel Wyn Jones, Dafydd Shurmer & Joelle Rumbelow)

Casting For A Miniseries, Movie, or Special (A Scandal in Belgravia - Kate Rhodes James)

Cinematography for a Miniseries or Movie (A Scandal in Belgravia - Fabian Wagner) 

Costume for a Miniseries, Movie, or A Special (A Scandal in Belgravia - Sarah Arthur & Ceri Walford) 

Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Miniseries of Movie (A Scandal in Belgravia -  Charlie Phillips)

Music Composition for a Miniseries, Movie, or Special (A Scandal in Belgravia - David Arnold & Michael Price) 

Sound Editing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Special (A Scandal in Belgravia - Jeremy Child & Doug Sinclair)

Sound Mixing For A Miniseries or Movie (A Scandal in Belgravia - Howard Bargroff)

...per L.A. Times.  

A most giddy congratulations to Team SHERLOCK on these beyond-deserved nominations.  SHERLOCK represents, easily, among the best work on television right now and I'm moved to see it receiving so much respect.  

 

 

 

THE DOCTOR WHO EXPERIENCE IS NOW OPEN IN CARDIFF!!  

Recently relocated from London, the Experience now has a permanent home in Cardiff and is open for business.  Details, pricing, videos, etc. can be found HERE.  

 

 

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT EARLIER THIS WEEK:  NEW SEASON/SERIES 7 TITLES AND EPISODE DETAILS!! 

BBC has released more information about some forthcoming DOCTOR WHO Season/Series 7 episodes.  Specifically:  a few more titles, and a better sense of their pedigree.  

We recently learned that episode one of S7 will be entitled Asylum of the Daleks.  We now know that the second installment of this Season/Series is, quite magnificently and most promisingly, called Dinosaurs on a Spaceship -  written by Chris Chibnall (who scripted S5's Silurian-centric The Hungry Earth and Cold Blood) - about which current DW overboss Steven Moffat indicated: 

The Doctor will come face to face with some of the most monstrous creatures evolution has ever produced, on some of the most monstrous sets we've ever built.

The third S7 episode is called A Town Called Mercy, and guest stars FARSCAPE's Ben Browder.  It's scripted by Toby Whithouse (S5's The Vampires of Venice and S6's The God Complex (Docback HERE, see it HERE).  This is the show we saw some material from in the first Season/Series 7 promo a while back (HERE).  

Both Dinosaurs and Town are directed by Saul Metzstein, an accomplished television director with titles like the recent UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS to his credit.  Metzstein also served as Second Unit Director on the upcoming Karl Urban-starring JUDGE DREDD adaptation, DREDD.  

A few more details can be gleaned via a BBC release on the mater, HERE.

The DOCTOR WHO News Page also indicates that the title of S7, E4 was announced at San Diego Comic-Con over the weekend.  It's evidently called Cubed.  

 

 

 

A TRAILER FOR RED DWARF X IS NOW ONLINE!! 

Unless something's changed that I missed, this is comprised of six thirty-ish minute episodes.  Presumably RED DWARF: BACK TO EARTH mini-series is essentially RED DWARF IX?  - as the show has only had eight proper seasons/series thus far...

Thanks to Talkbacker/Docbacker royston lodge for the heads-up! 

 

 

 

 

Death to the Daleks 

 
 “I’ve just had a face to face confrontation with a rather nasty root.”
- the Doctor, Death to the Daleks Part Three  

 

 
The Doctor (Jon Pertwee) and companion Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen) arrive on the planet Exxilon after their TARDIS experiences a tremendous an inescapable power drain.  
 
The same affects are felt by a group of humans whose vessel has also been grounded (humans carrying supplies which will save the lives of tens of millions of people), and by a Dalek craft whic arrives shortly after our heroes materialize. 
 
There’s a strange secret behind this power drain - a secret which forces the Doctor, Sarah Jane, the human survivors, and the Daleks into a fragile and potentially catastrophic truce...
 
 
In short, Death to the Daleks - scripted by the mighty Terry Nation - is a tremendously conceived story which very much watered down by Michael E. Briant’s unimaginative direction, and a sleepy, plodding, almost painful score (credited to the London Saxophone Quartet).  This music would sound more at home as the background track of a children’s audio book than this broad-canvased science fiction adventure - it is an utter and shameful fail. 
 
 
Briant had previously directed The Robots of Death (T. Baker, Story #90), which showed a high degree of self-assuredness and some boldly imaginative visual styling.  No such qualities are evidenced here; greater vision and artistry would’ve certainly helped Death to gain some much needed traction.  What chiefly undercuts Death is its abundant lack of energy and drive - it’s an amazingly rich tale, whose backstory spans many thousands of years and includes living cities and a society which (essentially) advanced itself out our existence.  Yet all of this is conveyed with little sense of awe, magic, or resonance.  
 
Joy Harrison as sexy futuregirl Jill Tarrant - desperate to save tens of millions of lives, but stuck on Exxilon and unable to do so. 
 
 
This said (and this may be the first time I’ve assesed a classic WHO in this way):  while Death to the Daleks comes up short in many artistic regards, it holds fast as interesting and important addition to DOCTOR WHO.  It’s great DOCTOR WHO, poorly told.  There’s a breadth of story here worthy of the best of Nation’s previous Dalek tales (and much of that breadth comes from the conception of the Exxilons rather than the Daleks themselves).  Death marks Sarah Jane’s first encounter with Daleks, and is only her third adventure with Pertwee’s Doctor.  ‘Tis fascinating to see this duo’s relationship forming and evolving even within the struggling confines of this story, and is charming to witness Sladen...who would go on to become (perhaps?) the Doctor’s most beloved companion...learning the ropes so early in the game.
 
 
 
In this sense, Death to the Daleks manages to succeed...to a degree at least...despite itself.  Even so, it’s a bittersweet success...and feels like a wasted opportunity in many key regards, especially given that Nation provided such a concise a vibrant road map with which this story’s makers could’ve easily found their path.  Too bad they seem to have gotten lost along the way.  
 

The newly restored Death to the Daleks is now available HERE in the U.S. and HERE in the U.K. 

 

 

 

__________

Glen Oliver

"Merrick" 

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PREVIOUS DOCBACKS

 

 

 

   

[SEASON / SERIES SIX DOCBACKS]


"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)  

 

 

[RETRO-WHO DOCBACKS - MOST RECENT DOCBACK IS HIGHLIGHTED]

 

"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) 

"Mission to the Unkonwn" (Story #19) 

"The Myth Makers" (Story #20) 

"The Gunfighters" (Story #25)

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

"The Krotons" (Story #47)

"The Seeds of Death" (Story #48) 

"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 City of Death" (Story #105)

"Nightmare of Eden" (Story #107) 

"Kinda" (Story #118)

"Snakedance" (Story #125) 

"The Five Doctors" (Story #129) 

"The Awakening" (Story #131)

"Frontios(Story #132)

"Resurrection of the Daleks" (Story #134) 

"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) 

"Doctor Who: The Movie" (aka TVM) - McGann) 

DOCTOR WHO: THE COMPLETE SIXTH SERIES 

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

 

 

 

 

 
DOCBACK CODE OF CONDUCT
 
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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  • July 20, 2012, 1:32 p.m. CST

    R.I.P. Sarah Jane

    by donkey_lasher

    One of the best

  • July 20, 2012, 1:34 p.m. CST

    RIP ES

    by catlettuce4

  • July 20, 2012, 1:39 p.m. CST

    Sorry to hear about the loss

    by HornOrSilk

  • July 20, 2012, 1:40 p.m. CST

    Death to the Daleks

    by HornOrSilk

    Has some interesting ideas, but the execution of them failed so much that it is to me a "meh" story. But that sometimes happens with good ideas.

  • July 20, 2012, 2:01 p.m. CST

    Oh, and condolences to you Merrick...

    by obijuanmartinez

  • July 20, 2012, 2:06 p.m. CST

    Link to online copy of Death to the Daleks

    by obijuanmartinez

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xqdpcx_death-to-the-daleks-1-4_shortfilms?search_algo=1

  • * I liked the whole "massive power drain" concept, especially the impact it had on the Dalek weapons systems; was interesting to see them fitted w/ carbine weaponry * City of the Exxilons was cool too - especially the "death-trap" games the Doc & Bellal have to pass through to get to the control room (The charged floor grid trap gets revisited in "The Five Doctors", and Sarah later references the city of the Exxilons during "Pyramids of Mars" while racing vs. Scarman through myriad booby-traps in order to prevent Sutekh from being freed...) * Story itself is solid, just falls short in the realization department * I like the rapport Lis Sladen had with Jon Pertwee. She's still the best Doctor Who companion, and here in her first season, you begin to see Sarah Jane really solidify * I always liked this season's opening credits! Sad they only used them in Pertwee's final season...

  • July 20, 2012, 2:22 p.m. CST

    Merrick, sorry about the loss

    by DoctorTom

    My condolences to you and the rest of the family.

  • July 20, 2012, 2:37 p.m. CST

    Syfy has picked up the K9 series

    by DoctorTom

    It's supposed to start showing in December. So, we'll finally get to see how bad the series was (I was severely underwhelmed by the pilot episode.) I would say, though, that maybe we'll be lucky and Syfy will cut a deal with the Australians so they can make a K9 vs. Piranhaconda movie (or maybe K9 vs. Sharktopus, or K9 vs. Mansquito).

  • July 20, 2012, 2:40 p.m. CST

    Sorry for your loss, Merrick

    by tangcameo

    Seems like we're all losing someone these days. :-(

  • though I wonder how much of this was a combination of the production crew knowing the end was coming, and the death of Roger Delgado bumming them out.

  • July 20, 2012, 2:44 p.m. CST

    When does the new series of DW begin?

    by tangcameo

    The only new TV I've been watching lately is Breaking Bad's new season. I've been itching for another new season of another series and Doctor Who is at the top of that list. Tried using my set of The Wire as tv-methadone but I burned through those too quickly.

  • July 20, 2012, 2:50 p.m. CST

    He didn't direct Robots of Death first

    by PhaseRat

    Purely because Baker is the Doctor after Pertwee. So at least his style got better. Not seen this one yet, so many Pertwee stories I've yet to catch up on, so little money to buy them all. Condolences on your loss Merrick

  • July 20, 2012, 2:54 p.m. CST

    tangcameo - probably the end of August

    by DoctorTom

    if not then, early September

  • July 20, 2012, 2:59 p.m. CST

    Sorry for your loss Merrick.

    by Michael_Jacksons_Ghost

  • though it would be much funnier if they could get John Barrowman and just refer to him as "the Captain" during the movie. Actually, they could try something different - do remakes of public domain movies, using K9 in place of one of the main characters. Of course, having K9 might cut the running time of the movie down to 20 minutes because of K9 stunning people... ....K9 starring in Plan 9 from Outer Space!!!!!! It MUST be made! K9 telling them that solarbonite doesn't exist and that their plan is very silly would be priceless.

  • Very excited. I may be in a dark place right now, but I'm still very enthusiastic about the upcoming series. Sorry I have not been around as much, but my mo has been in and out of the hospital again and my free time has been very specific and very limited. I miss you all, and I miss Docback in general. I hope you're all doing very well.

  • July 20, 2012, 4:14 p.m. CST

    A Scandal in Belgravia... hmmm...

    by gotilk

    I'm surprised that was the one with all of the attention and nominations. The best of the last series? Hmmm. In any case, congratulations to ALL involved with the production, You deserve not only nominations, but WINS. Sherlock was the best thing on TV.

  • July 20, 2012, 4:17 p.m. CST

    A death in your family, Merrick?

    by gotilk

    I'm so very sorry to hear that. I'm sorry for your loss. My thoughts will be with you.

  • July 20, 2012, 5:06 p.m. CST

    OMG!!! Official trailer for Red Dwarf X!!! OMGOMGOMGOMG!!!!

    by Royston Lodge

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-qQ_twvleg

  • July 20, 2012, 5:49 p.m. CST

    What have they done to Kryten's face?

    by SonOfChiba

    Still, I have hope that this will be a return to form for Dwarf, with advance word being good from those who were at the filmings. Interesting point about BACK TO EARTH being series 9; according to Naylor, it's technically series 10, with 9 happening "off screen" - I.e. Kochanski leaving, Rimmer coming back from being Ace and some other bits.

  • July 20, 2012, 6:52 p.m. CST

    Looks like the older version of his head

    by cosmic_dolphin

    It's never been the same thoughout the various series but this one looks like a bit of a throwback. I'm cool with it though as long as it's better than Back to Earth. If the clips are anything to go by it looks to have a little of the old magic back. I'm actually looking forward to RD more than DW but how fantastic to have two of my favourite shows on air again soon.

  • July 20, 2012, 7:26 p.m. CST

    Death to the Daleks is only let down by direction and budget issues.

    by LORDOFLIGHT

    Great atmospheric story otherwise. There's more atmosphere in 2 seconds of the first 4 Doctors era than there is in a whole season of new Who.

  • July 20, 2012, 8:49 p.m. CST

    Hooray - RED DWARF'S BACK! Looks good!

    by obijuanmartinez

  • ...thought it was a worthy send-off episode!

  • July 20, 2012, 11:01 p.m. CST

    Red Dwarf!!!

    by gotilk

    That was fun to see. I needed a lift. Thanks!!!

  • July 20, 2012, 11:01 p.m. CST

    No Whotininnies pressure this week.

    by gotilk

    Take your time, Merrick. It can wait.

  • July 20, 2012, 11:38 p.m. CST

    Red Dwarf X trailer looks...

    by Tony Rowland

    Awful. Terrible. Just...not good at all. I'm a huge fan of Red Dwarf, but the jokes in "Back to Earth" fell flat to me, and this new trailer looks even weaker. I grant you, the series may never again reach the dizzying heights of Series 3-5, but I'd settle for the okay (with hints of brilliance) Series 6, or even the tad mediocre Series 7. This looks like an even more perversely unfunny version of Series 8. Just bland and no fun. Oh, I'll WATCH it, mind you, but I think it looks terrible going in. Sorry, to me it just does.

  • July 21, 2012, 7:22 a.m. CST

    Condolences Merrick + DttD vs "The Green Slime"

    by veteran_of_mu

    You know, we give classic DW a lot of stick and for good reason. Compared with the golden age under Moffatt, it just can't hold a candle. But I'd like to suggest we compare it with other science fiction of its age and see where it lands. On the one hand, obviously, it's not 2001. It can't be. Kubrick did not direct it, Clarke did not write it, and it didn't have even 1% of the budget. 2001 is not a remotely fair comparison. But there's a little film called "The Green Slime" whose trailer gave me real nightmares at age 7. With a budget probably 10 times that of DttD and a lot of big name Japanese monster movie folk in its creative crew, it's quite representative of cheap SF productions of the era. If you'd like to understand just how amazing classic DW really was, take in as much as you can stand at http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6706178308693392486 .

  • July 21, 2012, 8:25 a.m. CST

    @caractus: The Green Slime is PURE AWESOME!

    by obijuanmartinez

    I admit. I COULD NOT stop watching! The badness turned to goodness, and left me a gibbering mess, huddled in a corner by the end...yessss, preciousssss, we must haves our Green Slimessssss!!!

  • July 21, 2012, 2:58 p.m. CST

    still havent seen back to earth

    by JAMF

    i owe it to them to watch it since it was a great show back in the day. thanks for reminding me.

  • July 21, 2012, 3:51 p.m. CST

    Can't Judge Based on a Trailer?

    by Tony Rowland

    Watch me. Ever since Rob Grant left the show after Series 6, the quality of the writing and the consistency of the humor has taken a steady downward slide. Grant seemed to bring better stories and lines to the show. Doug Naylor is a smart guy, but he seems to be more about style than substance. He's the one who pushed for single camera shooting, CG effects, and his concern seems to be more about the look. His humor is pretty much the same from series to series, and what he's brought to Series 7, 8 and the miniseries is just, well, samey. I love Red Dwarf, but I'm not a fan of anything past parts of Series 7. I do hope Series 10 surprises me, but I don't hold out a lot of hope.

  • July 21, 2012, 5:19 p.m. CST

    I'm happy that they haven't updated the special effects.

    by Royston Lodge

    The low-budget models are a big part of the show's charm. Check out this Series X preview that shows the other side of the ship model - it doesn't have an other side! lol http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQ7nAcn52Z0

  • July 21, 2012, 8:59 p.m. CST

    Doctor 2 vs The Green Slime - part 1

    by veteran_of_mu

    @obijuan, yes, Slime is compulsively bad, almost literally a toilet overflowing - you just can't look away. Things I particularly enjoyed: * The most effective way to kill a slime is to throw your laser gun at it after you run out of laser. Or your torch. Must have happened half a dozen times and it always works. Impale for x2 damage I guess. * Jack was right, Vince really was a crap decision maker. Except Jack was also a really crap decision maker. * Space dancing! Travolta and Thurman managed to make the Batusi look cool in Pulp Fiction but I think it's fair to say even they couldn't salvage these moves. * Jack is strong enough to jump out of his seat and push buttons other crew members can't reach at 10Gs ... * When on a space station you obviously need to wear a helmet. Even if it's just an open-face motorcycle helmet ... But all is not lost. It's 1968. Troughton is the Doctor. Zoe and Jamie are his assistants. Just a little Retcon puts them on the spot and trying to save intellect and romance from brute force and cynicism ... ---- INT. THE HIGH HALL OF THE VERIDIAN MULTI-BRAIN, deep inside the generation ship FLORA. The TARDIS materializes with a bump. INT. TARDIS. The second Doctor, Zoe and Jamie are in animated conversation. DOCTOR: - and that's why you've got to go! ZOE: But that's ridiculous! We're perfectly safe right where we are. At least where we were. Where are we now? DOCTOR: You are exactly where you started out. Space Station W3, "The Wheel", home of all that's good and normal. Oh, since you left, it's been taken over by UNSC. Called Gamma-3 now. ZOE: Oh no Doctor, you can't mean it! I wasn't going back to the Wheel before, I'm certainly not going back if it's been taken over by UNSC! DOCTOR: But you must, my dear. The Time Lords are going all out this time and when they catch up with me they must find no trace of you. Or of Jamie either. Narrow minded bureaucrats would wipe your memories, leave you tabula rasa just to make sure their one precious timeline out of all possible timelines is defended. But they're not all-knowing, you know, so if I just drop you back where I picked you up they'll be none the - JAMIE: Doctor! The viewscreen! Look! VIEWSCREEN. The high hall of the multi-brain. Numerous one-eyed green cyclopes cavort in complex fractal patterns, sparking and gibbering. DOCTOR: What? Well that can't be right. Florans don't contact Earth until ... oh dear. Oh dear oh dear. ZOE: They're hideous! JAMIE: What are we going to do, Doctor? Are we safe in the Tardis? They look like they're spoiling for a fight ... PULLS HIS KNIFE FROM HIS SPORAN. DOCTOR: Jamie, if I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times, that's an appalling place for a knife. Now put it back. Slowly! Slowly. There. Now Zoe, Jamie, I want you to close your eyes. ZOE: What? DOCTOR: Just do as I say. Close your eyes. ZOE: All right. If you say so. JAMIE: You won't open the doors with our eyes closed, will ye? Because Doctor if you're letting those beasties in here I think I'll keep my eyes wide open if it's all the same to you ... DOCTOR: Shut, Jamie. And don't worry, I won't surprise you. There. Very good. Now I want you both to imagine a beautiful race, peaceful, wise, ancient and beneficent. Got it in your mind's eye? Imagine them reaching out to other intelligences in the galaxy, sending enormous gift ships full of advanced technology, asking nothing in return but the open hand of friendship. JAMIE: Unlike your Time Lords. DOCTOR: Yes, just as you say, unlike the Time Lords. Now imagine the shock, the horror, the terrible disappointment incurred by this harmonious and omni-benevolent race when at every turn, on every encounter with a younger species, they are set upon, blown up, captured, tortured, torn limb from limb, and hounded from planet to planet, star to star, until, in a fit of remorse, they expose their naked brains to the daggers of their assassins and finally, mercifully, go extinct. ZOE: How utterly horrid! And I suppose these ... things ... we're looking at here, they're the assassins? DOCTOR: No, you're the assassins. ZOE, EYES OPEN: What? DOCTOR: They're the beautiful race. Sailing slowly and majestically through subspace toward any planet emitting primitive radio signals, they merely want to gift FTL drives, self-policing nanotech and racial intelligence boosters to you lot. Not that you'll let them. JAMIE, EYES ALSO OPEN: What, those horrible green buggers with the evil glowing red eyes? DOCTOR: You can't judge a book by its cover, Jamie. Now you can't pronounce their names, of course, but Zoe's people will call them Florans. Shortly before wiping them out. ZOE: But, but Doctor surely you've got it wrong. My people are the peaceful ones. The wars are behind us now. We're so civilised we're dull. wouldn't - RADIO: Space Central to Commander Rankin. Space Central to Commander Rankin. ZOE: Rankin? Jack Rankin? He was cashiered from the UNSC! Forced to resign in disgrace! It must be some other Rankin - RADIO: This is Rankin, Go ahead. Jack, that damn thing you're on is accelerating. DOCTOR: Of course it's accelerating, it's aligning itself with a geostationary orbit. Then it will lower a buckyfiber space elevator and - RADIO: Detonation time has to be moved up to three o'clock. DOCTOR: Detonation time? Oh no! It's too soon! They can't! RADIO: Do you realise what you're asking? ZOE: Ugh! That's Rankin all right. The man's a beastly coward. But they'll be all right, won't they Doctor? DOCTOR, twiddling dials on the console. No. No, Zoe, I'm afraid not. Your commander Rankin has placed three megaton charges on the surface of Flora. If we don't do something immediately, the entire asteroid, a billion enlightened souls, will be blown to bits. Nothing left but dust. ZOE: I mean the men on Rankin's mission. Will they survive? [TO BE CONTINUED]

  • July 22, 2012, 2:56 a.m. CST

    The posts must go on

    by Dreamfasting

    Not a pleasant week at all. My sympathies to all and thanks for carrying on through, Merrick. So I just sat down and watched this episode for the first time. I haven't seen a lot of 3rd Doctor stories and it's a fascinating midpoint between the old-fashioned slow pacing and the gradual acceleration you see by the 4th/5th Doctor stories. There was something about the soundtrack that really seemed to stretch it out - that repetitive little theme fragment. I have to admit that Von Daniken style "aliens influenced ancient civilizations" plot toss-outs are like nails on chalkboard to me, no matter how much the idea fits the Doctor Who universe. It's amazing to see the young, young Sarah Jane, but it's a little embarassing to watch how the show uses her. One thing I really like about the revival is the way there is a larger focus on the companion's story arc and how they are changed by travelling with the Doctor.

  • July 22, 2012, 9:01 a.m. CST

    Doctor 2 vs The Green Slime - part 2

    by veteran_of_mu

    ZOE: I mean the men on Rankin's mission. Will they survive? DOCTOR: You care more some preening soldier blowing up things on sight than a high and wise civilisation? ZOE: Well, no, it's just - DOCTOR: Yes? ZOE: It's illogical but I can't help it Doctor! They're uglier than Daleks and Ice Warriors put together! DOCTOR: Yes, that's their problem all right. But is poor aesthetics enough to warrant genocide? I don't think so! JAMIE: All very well Doctor, but aren't ye rather missing the point now? We're sitting here inside a giant floating cannonball, ye say, an' the fuse is lit. Would ye nae say it's past time to skedaddle? DOCTOR: No. No, there's still a chance. Let me see, where is it? PRESSES A BUTTON ON THE CONSOLE AND A HATCH IN THE TARDIS FLOOR SLIDES OPEN. Yes, that's it. That's it! Jamie, quick, help me with this. PULLS A VERY LARGE HEAVY CABLE OUT OF THE HATCH AND HANDS ONE END TO JAMIE. JAMIE: What is it Doctor? DOCTOR: It's a patch lead for the Tardis's main quantum logic bus. Now if I just jettison a few disused rooms ... PRESSES MORE BUTTONS ON CONSOLE, TURNS A LARGE DIAL AND PULLS A LEVER ... there. Plenty of room in the old girl for all of them. JAMIE: Doctor, there's nae room enough in that wee hatch for Zoe, much less one o' those terrible slimes. DOCTOR: Jamie I'll thank you to keep a civil tongue in your head. You may call them the Multi-Mind or the Florans, but not Slimes. JAMIE: But they *are* slimey, Doctor! And so many! They'll overrun the Tardis the moment we open the door. RADIO, RANKIN'S VOICE: You can't bring it with you! Now everybody get on board! DOCTOR: Oh now that one really is a charmer. Look, Jamie, you don't have anything to worry about. Just you help me with this cable. Now, Zoe, when I count three, open the Tardis doors. Then, Jamie, you run out with me. No arguments. Ready? [HER HANDS ON CONSOLE LEVERS, ZOE NODS] All right, one, two, three! THE DOCTOR AND JAMIE BURST THROUGH THE DOORS. THE DOCTOR DIRECTS THE CABLE INTO THE TENTACLES OF THE NEAREST SLIME, WHICH IMMEDIATELY BEGINS SPARKING AND GIBBERING WITH IT. DOCTOR: All right, back inside with you Jamie, quick smart, there's a good chap. JAMIE: Doctor, here they come, they'll kill you! DOCTOR: No they won't. Run along now, I have to concentrate. Let me see [PULLS RECORDER OUT OF HIS POCKET, PLAYS A TUNE THAT BEARS AN UNCANNY RESEMBLANCE TO A SLIME GIBBERING. LISTENS. NODS.] Yes, yes, now you understand. SLIMES RING THE DOCTOR, A CRAZY QUILT OF SPARKS SPIRALLING AROUND HIM. DOCTOR: If only the Tardis translation circuits were quick enough to keep up with you all! [PLAYS ANOTHER BRIEF TUNE ON RECORDER] That's it. Route all synaptic power into the Tardis auxilliary cable. No, don't worry about bandwidth, there's more there than you have between you. INT. Tardis. Zoe and Jamie watch the Doctor on the viewscreen. JAMIE: They're killing him! ZOE: I don't think so, Jamie. I have an idea what he's up to. But I don't understand what difference it can possibly make. In just a few minutes this whole asteroid will be disintegrated! JAMIE: Come on Doctor! RADIO: They got away all right. But they've only got three minutes to out-run that blast. ZOE [into TARDIS MIC]: Less than three minutes Doctor! THE DOCTOR BURSTS BACK IN THROUGH THE DOORS, HIS PANTS SPECKLED IN FLUORESCENT GREEN, OR THE CLOSEST APPROXIMATION YOU CAN GET IN BLACK AND WHITE. DOCTOR: Come on Jamie, help me pull this cable back in. That's it. Reel it ... we have to close the doors! There's about to be three megatons knocking on them! JAMIE: Clear! DOCTOR: Throw the lever Zoe! EXT. Asteroid FLORA. Rankin's cruiser is blasting away as fast as it can. INT. Rankin and Elliot per TGS movie. ELLIOT: We're over 10 Gs now! We can't take much more! RANKIN: I said increase the speed! Activate the force shield! SHOTS OF RAPIDLY COUNTING-DOWN DIGITAL CARD-CLOCK. ASTEROID EXPLODES. INT. Tardis. ZOE and JAMIE hunker down and huddle, their fingers in their ears and eyes screwed. DOCTOR tootles idly with his recorder. After a while ZOE sneaks a peek. ZOE: Doctor! You said there was going to be an atomic explosion! DOCTOR: No, I said three of them. Each about a megaton. ZOE: When? DOCTOR: Oh, they went off a few minutes ago. Quite spectacular on the viewscreen. Pity you missed it. JAMIE: But ... wouldn't that be quite loud then Doctor? The whole world blowing up and all? DOCTOR: If you were standing outside the Tardis, Jamie, it would have been so loud you wouldn't ever hear it or anything else ever again. But in here - well, the Tardis flies through the hearts of exploding stars all the time. Vortex loops are attracted to 'em you know. Did you ever notice as much as a thud? Oh, all right, don't answer that. But compared with exploding stars, those little megaton bungers were a flea with hiccups. Nothing at all to worry about. ZOE: Well then Doctor, what was all that about? You didn't save the multi-mind but you did nearly get yourself and all of us killed. I don't care if they were omni-benevolent, a recorder concerto isn't worth as much as our lives! [TO BE CONTINUED]

  • July 22, 2012, 9:09 a.m. CST

    @caractus: OUTSTANDING! Bring on episode 2!

    by obijuanmartinez

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tt-K5wuZGs

  • July 22, 2012, 11:36 a.m. CST

    ...er, make that episode 3!

    by obijuanmartinez

    The gun-throwing bit was outstanding. I could see myself doing the same thing if the laser didn't work!

  • July 22, 2012, 1:56 p.m. CST

    Tom Baker's a pretty good Holmes, but that Watson is pretty cartoonish.

    by Royston Lodge

    I can't stand it when Watson is portrayed as a foppish twit. He's a battle-hardened war surgeon, dammit!

  • I'd never watched all that before, there's tons of it. Funny stuff. Ace Rimmer stuff especially. Loved the wig. I hope everyone is doing well, I know it's been a slow DocBack this week. Be well... miss you all.

  • July 22, 2012, 7:49 p.m. CST

    @gotlik: Dude - How's the Blake's 7 journey coming along?

    by obijuanmartinez

  • July 23, 2012, 8:59 a.m. CST

    What happened to Henry van Statten

    by DoctorTom

    it seems that after the mind wipe, he joined the government and now can be seen in the Bourne films. At the showing of The Dark Knight Rises they showed a trailer for The Bourne Legacy, and near the end they had a brief clip which made me go "Hey, that's van Statten!". I didn't see the previous Bourne film, which apparently also had him in it.

  • So I guess I spoke a little too soon about not upgrading the effects. Still, it's nice that they're still using models rather than switching to CGI. Also, didja notice in that teaser that Blue Midget makes its triumphant return? Awesome sauce.

  • July 23, 2012, 11:12 a.m. CST

    My condolences

    by Chris

    for your loss, Merrick

  • July 23, 2012, 1:52 p.m. CST

    Doctom

    by Michael_Jacksons_Ghost

    Van was also working with Hellboy as well.

  • July 23, 2012, 2:07 p.m. CST

    MJ's ghost

    by DoctorTom

    Well, Van Statten WOULD work with Hellboy, wouldn't he? (probably angling to get that hand of his ;) )

  • July 23, 2012, 3:08 p.m. CST

    doctom

    by Michael_Jacksons_Ghost

    Speaking of Van Statten, the whole "Dalek" episode took place in the year 2012, so I wonder if him, or Adam Mitchell will show up in the future? I think it would be cool to bring Adam back as a villian for the Doctor. Maybe he figured out how to use his implant on today's technology, who knows.

  • July 23, 2012, 4:20 p.m. CST

    MJ's ghost - I wouldn't mind seeing that

    by DoctorTom

    Then again, it wouldn't surprise me to see him linked into a Cyberman battle computer. Of course, we might find out that Adam is the mastermind behind Wikileaks, the computer attacks attributed to Anonymous, etc. Maybe we'll find an episode where all of UNIT's secret classified files that were stored electronically are leaked onto the internet.

  • July 23, 2012, 4:56 p.m. CST

    obijuanmartinez

    by gotilk

    Only ONE more episode watched. Sadly. Been busy. I have my mom in the hospital, second time this month. It's been hectic. But I'll be getting back to it. Thanks for asking!

  • July 23, 2012, 4:57 p.m. CST

    Sylvester McCoy in the latest Hobbit production vlog.

    by gotilk

    He's great in it, we even get a bit of the spoons and the cane. Very entertaining. I think he's going to make a perfect Radagast. (spelling right on that?)

  • July 23, 2012, 7:20 p.m. CST

    re: McCoy in Hobbit

    by Dreamfasting

    All I could think as I watched that clip was River saying "I hate good wizards in fairy tales - they always turn out to be him"

  • July 24, 2012, 9:39 a.m. CST

    Blake's 7 reboot being shopped to American networks

    by DoctorTom

    Joe Pokaski is writing the pilot - not a name I expected to hear associated with it. I would have expected Chibnall, Cornell or one of the other British writers who have also done Who related things to be involved. Actually, this would have been the type of thing I would have imagined RTD doing, instead of an independent production company. The director of the pilot is Martin Campbell. We'll see if his directing qualiity is like it was on Casino Royale, or if it is like what he did with the Green Lantern movie. I'm not filled with much hope for this right now, but am willing to be pleasantly surprised.

  • Mike Sizemore. Google "Slingers sizzle reel" to see why I think so.

  • BBC America's showing up with 4 documentaries about Doctor Who, starting a week from Saturday. The big question now is whether the fourth documentary (on the 25th) will show just before the start of the new season, or will the new season start the week after? It does look like we're getting the official launch date narrowed down, though.

  • or the TARDIS showing up in the stadium during the opening ceremonies for the torchbearer to run in. Or possibly both. Actually, it would be pretty funny if they actually had the TARDIS prop set up in the stadium, had the torchbearer run into it and stay in there for a little bit, then come out again. It would be even better if they have Weeping Angel statues set up in a couple of parts of the stadium.

  • for some reason, now I want to see them stage Weeping Angels on Ice. If it were done in the vein of the Hinchcliffe/Adams season, we'd probably see the Weeping Angel at the edge of the ice rink, the Doctor and companions would blink, then we'd see the Angel sprawled on her butt in the middle of the rink.