Ain't It Cool News (

The Friday Docback Learns That ‘The Greatest Show in the Galaxy’ Isn’t!! DOCTOR WHO Story #151, Here Comes Season/Series 7, New SHERLOCK Hints & More!! NOW WITH NEW TRAILER!!



- via David Smith, whose father whose father worked on The Sea Devils (Pertwee, Story #62).  "My dad, David Smith, designed and built the Bucaneer jet skis used in the sea chase for the 1972/73 Sea Devils story.  Roger Delgardo, who played the Master at the time was somewhat reluctant to pilot the new craft so my father stood in as stunt double."




Merrick here...


With a look at The Greatest Show in the Galaxy, a four-part McCoy-era DOCTOR WHO story originally transmitted December 1988-January 1989.  


This marks the last of our vintage DW retrospectives for a while - Season/Series 7 begins next week (September 1 in UK and North America), and the focus of Docbacks will once again shift to current episodes of the show.  There will be breaks during S7’s run - during which we will immediately resume our classic/vintage emphasis - until new/fresh eps return.  Swinging back and forth as scheduling dictates. We will occasionally piggy-back "New WHO" and "classic" Docbacks should the release of new "classic" DVDs arrive on a "New WHO" week.  


PLEASE NOTE:  we always warmly and enthusiastically welcome both returning and new Docback participants, and fervently encourage the open exchange of ideas throughout the Docbacks.  HOWEVER, the Code of Conduct which appears beneath each Docback - designed to promote and maintain civility and courtesy - will be continue to be stridently enforced as we transition into Season/Series 7.  This is very important to note as we move into S7 - as many "New WHO" Docbackers will be joining or re-joining us.  Folks who don't necessarily watch the classic show, and may or may not have settled into these guidelines.  


Yes, this is AICN, and AICN is rarely about "moderation," so this can sometimes be confusing.  Just know that the Docbacks function differently than anywhere else on AICN  - and will continue to do so.  


As with Season/Series Six - Docbacks wil continue to be opened on Fridays, and will reamain relatively SPOILER FREE until each episode broadcasts in the next day  (which will happen a few hours before the episodes' North American bow).  Once an episode premieres in the UK - the Docback becomes a SPOILER INTENSIVE ZONE  - where anything about the episodes can be discussed.  PLEASE NOTE the subject line protocol posted in the Code of Conduct below.  In the few hours between DW's UK transmit and its Nort American appearance, it may be wise for those wishing to remain spoiler free to simply avoid the Docbacks untl they've seen the current installment for themselves.  


We truly hope you'll join us to discuss all things WHO, and Season/Series 7 in particular - which so far is sounding rather nutty and remarkable.  


As mentioned above...
Here's an embed from BBC featuring Executive Producers Steven Moffat and Caro Skiner discussing a series of minisodes which premieres Monday via BBC's DOCTOR WHO site.   We'll round up these POND LIFE episodes and post 'em in next week's Docback.  





So hints yesterday's Tweet from The Moff...


...and THIS article called to my attention by Docbacker Postbopfusion.  

Adam just called our attention to this Tweet, teasing the next batch of SHERLOCKs with three words...


Discuss and theorize below! 




BBC has released a new promo for Asylum of the Daleks - the first installment of Season/Series 7.  





The Greatest Show in the Galaxy 



“ Anybody remotely interesting is mad in some way or another“

- the Doctor, The Greatest Show in the Galaxy Part Three 




The Doctor and companion Ace (Sophie Aldred) are startled when an odd little remote device materializes inside of the TARDIS, toggling the vessel’s view screen to a promo for The Psychic Circus (aka “The Greatest Show in the Galaxy” ), taunting them to visit.  Which they do...



There’s a deep, vacant feeling one gets when entering a store which is in its final days of operation, or a building that’s being decommissioned, or a home which a beloved family is leaving behind.  It’s an esoteric vibe - hard to put one’s finger on.  A sense of emptiness,  of loneliness, as if the diminishing purpose and energy which used to prevail in that place is calling out to us.  Seeking some sort of remembrance, and solace.  


That’s the feeling one gets from nearly every single frame of The Greatest Show in the Galaxy - a sensation I noted very early on in the Alan Wareing directed, Stephen Wyatt scripted story - before I looked it up to realize that this tale was one of the very last McCoy-era DOCTOR WHOs.  Six stories away from what would become a 7 year dearth of new DW on television.  TGSITG brings us DOCTOR WHO in what is perhaps the most cut-rate and ailing age it has ever known - the  late 1980s.  It shows us a DW whose essence is failing, ailing, and whose entirety is on the verge of regeneration.  


I’ve always contended that Sylvester McCoy was an extremely capable, perhaps even excellent, Doctor who was woefully under-served by the material he had to work with.  This has never been more evident than in Greatest Show.  If one’s able to focus and pay attention despite  this laughably inflated story - which may conceivably have worked as a tightly-focused two parter but completely jumps the rails beneath the strain of four full installments - one can see McCoy trying.  Trying so very hard to forge something palatable out of the blabbering nothingness of Greatest Show’s script. But, as talented and immensely capable as McCoy could and can be...even he ‘s simply unable to breathe life into this corpse.     Aldred also makes an equally honorable run at her material - but even snarky, uppity Ace can’t break through excessively shoddy production elements (even by DOCTOR WHO’s sometimes challenged standards), and the murky tedium of Wareing’s direction.  Supporting players are neither noteworthy nor dismissible - here one gets the sense that they’re lost and subtly trying to make sense of the circumstances their characters are experiencing.  They’re capable, but never particularly inspired or invested.  

While the whole of Greatest Show in the Galaxy struck me quite negatively, there are a few moments I find wonderfully executed and/or inspired.  I love this shot of a circus tent on an alien world (Segonax) - and wish the rest of the story had captured the whimsy suggested by this image as nicely. 



These 'Gods of Ragnarok' were also well conceived and nicely shot.  I'm a big fan of this David Laskey design...




And the story's closing moments show McCoy's Doctor exiting a circus tent shortly before a huge explosion - he never flinches or misses a beat.  Very well executed.  


In the past I’ve jumped all over inept episodes like The Sensorites  (Hartnell, Story #7) - stories which had tremendous potential and a compelling essence, but simply missed their mark due to clumsy or ill-informed execution.  Despite its complete meltdown of script and direction, I continued to grasp for some sort of point to what was happening on screen throughout Greatest Show’s running time.  By ‘point’  I don’t mean ‘deep, meaningful resonance’ - I mean some kind make The Greatest Show in the Galaxy worthwhile.  An interesting angle...some sort of WHO-worthy thematic.  It simply ain’t here.  Or, if it’s present, it’s far too diffuse, and thoroughly under-developed.  A few moments suggested proceedings may, in fact, end up representing a scathing indictment of the entertainment system - illustrating through symbolism and analogy how performers live and die (literally) at the hands of almighty audiences.  Whether this was a thought proves which ever entered scripter Wyatt’s mind?  I can’t say - but it’s as good a guess as any. 

Is this the worst DOCTOR WHO ever made?  I haven’t seen the entire run of the show, so I’m not qualified to make such a brazen assertion at this point.  I will say however, that...due in large part to its overall pointlessness...this is the worst I’ve yet come across in my journey through the entirety of the show.  OF course, The Twin Dilemma (C. Baker, Story #136 ) awaits. 


A great, great many “good” - or at least “very interesting” WHO stories have been made over the decades -  not to mention Steven Moffat’s adrenalized, stylized, dramatically relevant 2010 + interpretation which is still unfolding.  And even with so much goodness to be found throughout the show’s vast run, we tend to pick and disassemble and lament and gripe about how we wish things were different - sometimes claiming we know better, or that “so and so” would’ve handled it in a cooler way, etc.   This is understandable: it’s the nature of fandom, and an expected byproduct of any show, movie, or franchise into which folks are investing their precious time, money, and resources.  With this axiom in mind:  the next time someone becomes too uptight, dismissive, or just plain bitchy about how <insert title here> DOCTOR WHO “sucked” because of <insert reason here> ?  Tell ‘em to watch this episode.  It may bring them a new appreciation for whatever WHO that just et them off and clearly illustrate how bottom-dwelling matters can truly become.  





The newly restored  DVD ofThe Greatest Show in the Galaxy is now available HERE in the U.S. and HERE in the UK.  




Extras include...




The Show Must Go On (30:17)


Insight into the production of this story from...


-- Andrew Cartmel (Script Editor) 


-- Sophie Aldred (companion Ace)


-- Mike Tucker (Visual Effects Assistant) 


-- Alan Wareing (Director) 


-- David Laskey (Designer) 


-- Ian Reddington (Chief Clown) 


-- John Nathan-Turner (Producer - Archive Interview) 


The Greatest Show was almost shut down due to production problems rising from Asbestos in studios.  Producer John Nathan-Turner stood up for the story and pushed to get it made.  




Deleted and Extended Scenes (11:10) 




Lost in the Darkness  (2:08)


Missing model shots from the story (the Junk Mail Robot approaching exterior TARDIS - dumped because the footage appeared ‘too dark’).




The Psychic Circus (3:52) 


A music video/montage.




‘Remembrance’ Demo (3:24) 


Demo for Remembrance of the Daleks ( McCoy, Story #148) - used by composer Mark Ayres to land a gig on The Greatest Show in the Galaxy. - cut into a sequence from Remembrance for the first time. 




 Tomorrow’s Times - The Seventh Doctor (14:30)


A look at press reaction to McCoy-era DOCTOR WHO, gleaned from The British Library’s Newspaper Archives - hosted by Anneke Wills (companion Polly) 





Victoria Wood Sketch (1:15)


A lampooning of  McCoy-era DOCTOR WHO.





Photo Gallery (7:20) 





PDF Materials 


Radio Times Listings 


Visual Effects designs and storyboards 






Coming Soon (1:04) 


A trailer for the forthcoming restoration of Planet of Giants (Hartnell, Story #9 ).  





Glen Oliver




Google +








Asylum of the Daleks (S07E01)  














"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) 

"Mission to the Unkonwn" (Story #19) 

"The Myth Makers" (Story #20) 

"The Gunfighters" (Story #25)

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

"The Mind Robber" (Story #45)

"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) 

"Death to the Daleks" (Story #72) 

"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) 

"Spearhead from Space" (Story #151) 

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


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

The Companions of DOCTOR WHO + New Trailer & Artwork For Season/Series 7  


[Season / Series Seven Docbacks]

The Coming of Season/Series 7





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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  • Aug. 24, 2012, 8:39 a.m. CST

    It was the worst of times

    by Bryan c

    McCoy was pushing a turd-boulder up piss mountain with his tenure. On the other hand he was the best thing about the movie. Can't wait for next week though and the web series this week

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 8:50 a.m. CST

    There is a lot of bad in the execution.. however

    by HornOrSilk

    I think the ideas in the story are good -- the script needed an edit, the story needed proper funding, and if it did it would have worked. There is a Lovecraftian element with the gods here which got used more in the New Adventures (and audios) that gives the story its proper place in Who lore. It shows the Doctor vs the "gods," as would happen more and more. But what fails... is the budget.... the werewolf...

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 8:50 a.m. CST

    I like Sherlock, but they take it a little too far form my taste..

    by Simpsonian

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 8:51 a.m. CST

    ...for my taste...

    by Simpsonian

    nneeddd eddittt buttttonnn

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 8:52 a.m. CST

    A discussion on JNT at some point would be nice...

    by dj_bollocks

    Many people point to him as the man who killed the show and not any DG of the BBC as such... although clearly Michael Grade wasn't a fan, but was that because JNT was dropping those annual deuces from a very high height... DWB once did a great piece (albeit heavily slanted) on JNT's failings - I just wonder if JNT's tenure might be worthy of a discussion at some point ? I remember TGSITG being a huge switch off for me... Definitely one of the moments of pubescent growing up and going "Nah, don't need this anymore..."

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 8:55 a.m. CST

    PS If anyone has a ticket to the Edinburgh screening tomorrow...

    by dj_bollocks

    Holler at me... Quite fancy seeing it in a cinema !

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 9:03 a.m. CST


    by Matthew

    They have to start filming soon if we'll have a new Sherlock by next January like last season. At least they are 90 minutes commercial free, surprised they even have time to make any with the Sherlock and Watson being movie stars, and Moffat the head Who writer. Still would like a full season too. We are only getting five episodes of Who and A Christmas special, so the other eight next year? TV shows love spacing out seasons now, kinda sucks but stops any mid season burn out and they get two premiers for ratings

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 9:42 a.m. CST

    My 2 bits on Greatest Show in the Galaxy...

    by V'Shael

    I think it happened during a time when the writers sole consolation to lack of budget, was to draw inspiration from something the BBC (and ITV) had done well with in the past ... Go for sheer unsetting lunacy, fucked up imagery, and let the audience create the narrative from the vague sense of tension you can create. This works well sometimes. Episodes of the Prisoner, for example. Sapphire and Steel. But generally it works well when the writer does actually have a point or plot structure even if it is far beyond the reach of his budget. Doctor Who at this point in time (towards the end) seemed to only have the low-budget part. From time to time, you'd get a writer who knew how to build something from nothing. Ghost Light is a good example I think. But Greatest Show looks like the half-remembered images from a Nyquil fever dream, strung together by an unconcious brain which fell asleep listening to Quatermass re-runs. There's no *there* there.

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 9:44 a.m. CST

    The other 8 episodes next year...

    by V'Shael

    I've seen one website state categorically that they will air in the Spring of 2013. But they gave no citation or reference for this and I haven't seen it confirmed yet in official channels. So... still skeptical. That said, Moff did let something slip in a recent video interview, where he said he wanted to keep Who in the news pretty much every single week of the 50th year. But he was still shy on specifics.

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 9:54 a.m. CST

    7th Doctor

    by Sci-FiJunky

    I have always held Sylvester McCoy in high regard. His Doctor could have been great, but as has been stated, even his talents couldn't save some most of the 7th Doctor's adventures. However, after seeing McCoy as Radagast The Brown recently I felt the need to revisit his time on Doctor Who. Last night I introduced the 7th Doctor to my 6 and 8 year olds by way of Remembrance of the Daleks. my son loved all of the different kind of Daleks shown (especially the heavy weapons version)! It has just dawned on me now what a perfect episode that was to watch prior to the premiere of Asylum of the Daleks! I was also reminded of how much the showrunners of NuWho really did expand on what had come before. I had forgotten there was a rift between factions of the Daleks in Classic Who!

  • This year's Sherlock featured a dominatrix, a phantom hound and a death-defying plunge, but if Mark Gatiss is to be believed, series three is set to be a rather more sedate affair. "Pipe," "Slippers" and "Bed" are the three words that will define the new episodes, according to a Tweet sent by Gatiss this morning. He was on his way to the Edinburgh International Television Festival where he and fellow Sherlock co-creator Steven Moffat are due to give a Masterclass in the show and also to reveal the key words relating to each of the three episodes in the new series. The duo explained series two through the words "Woman," "Hound" and "Fall" - references to the detective's female nemesis Irene Adler, the Hounds of Baskerville and Sherlock's descent into public disgrace (and subsequent leap from a rooftop). Fans were expecting similarly serious themes to be unveiled today but following Gatiss's tweet they can presumably look forward to three episodes in which the detective lounges around the flat smoking, before getting an early night.... "Off to Edinburgh for #Sherlock event at the TV festival. I'm revealing the 'three words' for S3 early. Pipe. Slippers. Bed. There you go," tweeted Gatiss. And that, we suppose, is case closed - unless Moffat is able to persuade Gatiss between now and 3:30pm that three slightly more exciting words might be in order...

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 10 a.m. CST



    I wouldn't say that The Greatest Show... is the worst DW but, yeah, it's not very good. McCoy tries though. He damn tries!

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 10:16 a.m. CST

    @philjacksonisthemasterofzen re: Sherlock

    by JackNF

    Season one aired in early 2010, season two in early 2012. Last I heard they're aiming to film season three sometime next year for broadcast in early 2014. It sucks that there's such a long gap between new episodes for the show, but ultimately well worth the wait IMHO.

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 10:27 a.m. CST

    Definitely problems, but not nearly the worst

    by DoctorTom

    I'd far rather watch this than have to gouge my eyes out to avoid watching Time and the Rani again. I'd also take this over Timelash, The Twin Dilemma, or Fear Her. For that matter, I'd be hard pressed to want to watch The Doctor, the Witch and the Wardrobe again instead of this. Still, I'll agree that there's a lot that are better than this. Hmm, checking the Doctor Who Mighty 200 poll (going through Planet of the Dead), this one came in at number 119 - 1 better than Snakedance, better than Sun Makers at 142, the Invasion of Time at 155, the Invisible Enemy at 164, Nightmare of Eden at 167, or the Horns of Nimon at 189 (which should be higher in the list purely on Graham Crowden's performance being not only over the top, but over the top, down the other side of the hill, and two miles down the street and running fast . A performance that guaranteed nobody needed to bring lunch because Graham brought the ham). Of course, this all just goes to show how well you can trust polls. I'd still say they have the bottom 3 nailed perfectly though (Twin Dilemma the worst, Timelash as next to worst and Time and the Rani the third worst). There were definitely some scripting problems with this, like the Doctor knowing when the others were going to come through for him while he entertained the Gods of Ragnarok even though there was no way he could have known based on earlier dialog and actions. The werewolf makeup was dire. On the other hand, the production actually seemed to benefit from the production strike and being forced to film in tents in the car park. That was a fortuitous occurrence that helped the look of the Circus. I've also wondered whether the kites from this story influenced Grant Morrison when he used Mystery Kites a year or two later in Doom Patrol. Storywise, I suspect that this suffered from the same problem as Battlefield the next year in being a 3 part story that got forced to stretch over four parts. For Battlefield, Aaronovitch admitted that his story suffered because of that.

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 10:28 a.m. CST

    Moffat's Actual Three Words: RAT, WEDDING, BOW

    by Perigee

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 10:28 a.m. CST

    Rat Wedding Bow

    by bah

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 10:29 a.m. CST

    Oh. Hope that wasn't a spoiler.

    by bah

    If so, sorry.


  • And Sherlock was rather brilliant stuff - looking forward to more of those as well. Love the show's sense of style. They may have been even better than last season's Doc, or not. Trying to be polite to all here.. Whst do you guys and gals think?

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 10:36 a.m. CST

    philjacksonisthemasterofzen - Sherlock schedule

    by DoctorTom

    There was a year and a half between season 1 and season 2 of Sherlock, and there's been comments by Moffat that he likes that frequency. It sounds like they're just getting around to very early pre-production - actually getting written scripts.

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 10:48 a.m. CST

    Holy Hanna It's Sherlock HAT S03E01!

    by Perigee

    WIKI: Sherlock Holmes and the Giant Rat of Sumatra Perhaps the best known giant rat in fiction comes from the pen of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who in The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire has Sherlock Holmes declare, as an aside, to Dr. Watson: Matilda Briggs was not the name of a young woman, Watson, ... It was a ship which is associated with the giant rat of Sumatra, a story for which the world is not yet prepared. Quite how the ship, the mammal, and the Indonesian island are associated is not specified. There are a number of species of large rats on Sumatra, with one, Sundamys infraluteus, actually being referred to as the "giant rat of Sumatra". Rats commonly colonise ships, and so there is an obvious line of speculation. Holmesianist Alan Saunders has argued that the reference is in fact to events connected with The Adventure of the Dying Detective, although he identifies the rat as the Large Bamboo Rat.[1] A number of authors of Sherlockiana have endeavoured to supply the missing adventure of the giant rat of Sumatra. These tales include: In The Spider Woman (1944), Nigel Bruce's Watson briefly reflects on the Giant Rat of Sumatra when looking through a scrapbook of old cases. In Pursuit to Algiers (1945), a Holmes film starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce, Watson tells the story of the Giant Rat of Sumatra to an audience on board a ship. The Tale of the Giant Rat of Sumatra, a 1974 comedy album by the Firesign Theatre (LP Columbia KC32730) is a pastiche with protagonists Hemlock Stones, the 'Great Defective', and his biographer and companion, Dr. John Flotsom, O. D., part of which takes place aboard the "Matilda Brigg". The name of this ship induces the group to perform the song Frigate Matilda (to the tune of Waltzing Matilda), which has become something of a cult standard. "A Father's Tale," a 1974 novelet by Sterling E. Lanier. Lanier's narrator, Brigadier Ffellowes, recounts his father's story of an encounter in the East Indies with a mysterious man calling himself "Verner", and a race of large, intelligent rats. In the 1975 novel Sherlock Holmes's War of the Worlds, Holmes mentions that Professor Challenger helped solve the case of the giant rat, although the actual name of the case is not stated, nor what was involved. The Talons of Weng-Chiang, a 1977 Doctor Who TV serial set in Victorian London, in which the hero (dressed in deerstalker, accompanied by a medical doctor with a housekeeper known as Mrs. Hudson) confronts a giant rat in the sewers of London. The Holmes-Dracula File, a 1978 novel by Fred Saberhagen, in which Holmes and Dracula (who turns out to be related to Holmes) uncover a plot to destroy London with plague-bearing rats, the Giant Rat being a living plague vector. The Giant Rat of Sumatra, a 1987 novel by Rick Boyer, which features the return of The Hound of the Baskervilles villain Stapleton. In this novel, the "giant rat" turns out to be a vicious tapir. (ISBN 0-586-20087-8) Just a bit earlier in the Masterclass, Moffy said that any Holmes is considered up for grabs - so maybe they're taking on the great, unreleased case for themselves...

  • Ironically there have been different media where these words would be relevant to Holmes

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 10:52 a.m. CST

    @mcgootoo - You claim to be a fan from ages back.

    by V'Shael

    How about you stick to the topic at hand, instead of trying to carry on your one-man multi-thread crusade against the Ponds in to this docback as well? Just a thought. Surely someone who claimed to have watched the classic series would have a thought or two about the McCoy era?

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 11:02 a.m. CST

    There's one thing wrong on that wiki page, Caractuspotts

    by DoctorTom

    The Richard Boyer novel The Giant Rat of Sumatra came out in 1976, not 1987. I vaguely remembered the cover of the book and that I had read it waaaaayyyyyy back when dinosaurs roamed the planet and I was in high school... Ebay actually has one of the older versions with the cover I remember up for sale: If you're looking to buy it, though, you can get one of the more recent versions - Titan has it out now in their Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes series

  • And I said I was looking forward to those episodes- I changed my mind. I'm curious. Perhaps other series fans are as well. As for the McCoy era, there is a reason the show was cancelled after so many years after his run. Sad to say, they were not the best Doctor Who episodes. Not engaging, very low budget, and a sad, bleak end to an long run of greatness that preceeded it. Despite this, I never stopped loving the show for what it was at least attempting to do. However, I would love to see some of those episodes again, just to see if they feel better or worse than the current Who Incarnation. I will have to check my local library to see if they have any of his episodes. They have many, many others on DVD. Great library here in Bucks County, PA!

  • And they didn't tell him no because they feared him, they just didn't care. Outside of McCoy himself, who really did care, can anyone name someone from the show that gave a damn? JNT said he even wanted off and couldn't leave. I think he really was trying to kill it.

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 11:31 a.m. CST

    Rat - this one was inevitable

    by veteran_of_mu

    Matilda Briggs was not the name of a young woman, Watson, ... It was a ship which is associated with the giant rat of Sumatra, a story for which the world is not yet prepared.

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 11:33 a.m. CST

    Drat. The quotes bug is back.

    by veteran_of_mu

    I was saying that that's from Doyle's *The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire* and was an inspiration for *The Talons of Weng Chiang*. Much more on it at Then again they could be referring to *The Great Mouse Detective*. Or both!

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 11:39 a.m. CST

    Less said about Greatest Show the better

    by sunspot_mike

    This one was my introduction to McCoy and I was fucking shocked. I had begged and borrowed the VHS tape for this one because my PBS station reset their run right before Trial of a Timelord (but it was even better because they started showing the individual episodes every day instead of the movie versions once a week.) I was horrified at what I saw, it was like it wasn't even Doctor Who anymore. Anyway, I don't care what anyone says, "The Twin Dilemma" has nothing on this episode for sheer craposity. At least that one had giant gastropods... So, let's forget about it - and talk about "Asylum of the Daleks"!

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 11:44 a.m. CST

    Actually, McGootoo

    by DoctorTom

    the very end of the classic series seemed like, from a quality standpoint, it was turning around. Remembrance of the Daleks, Ghost Light, The Curse of Fenric, Survival were all good stories. I'm sure if there had been a Season 27 it would have done well, given what has been discussed about what they wanted to do in that season. It was more the format itself working against it. Drama had gone to 45 minutes - 1 hour, while this was still being made as 25 minute episodes. Nobody wanted to put any money in on it. It needed the rest more to be reconfigured like modern drama, and to get different people in charge in the BBC who would be willing to spend the money it would need to make the show.

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 11:53 a.m. CST

    Or ... and this is one from my personal nightmare file ...

    by veteran_of_mu The extended lyrics I heard at age 6 on a Disney LP: To be a bat's a bum thing A silly and a dumb thing But at least a bat is something You're not a thing at all. You're nothing but a nothing A nothing, a nothing You're nothing but a nothing You're not a thing at all! To which I can only reply, burn in hell Walt Disney!

  • Aug. 24, 2012, noon CST

    Nail on the head doctortom

    by Abe

    When anyone ever asks what the WORST Who ever made was....a shudder of pure horror goes down my spine. I have given a name to my pain, and it is called "Time and the Rani". Starting to think that we are simpatico Who-wise you and I.

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 12:01 p.m. CST

    Well, this is bizarre

    by kwisatzhaderach

    In my 33 years of Who fandom i've never come across people slagging off TGSITG before... Here in British fandom circles it's widely regarded as an excellent story. Part One in particular is very memorable and Iain Reddington's performance as The Chief Clown is magnificent.

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 12:04 p.m. CST

    angry mike....

    by Abe

    Oh yes, MUCH blow was consumed during the production of this particular seems plain as the nose on one's face. Prolly got it all offa Candyman. SNOOOOORRRTTT!!

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 12:09 p.m. CST

    Cancellation commentary?

    by Dreamfasting

    I find that when shows do a sort of self-referential episode inspired by living under the constant threat of cancellation, the results can come out a little strange.

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 12:14 p.m. CST

    dreamfasting re: 'Cancellation commentary?'

    by Merrick

    I'd be willing to accept that interpretation, although I'd argue that the subtext is still elusive and not fully developed (even fort a "subtext")...

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 12:21 p.m. CST

    The scene of McCoy exiting the tent just before the explosion...

    by Mark Williams

    is my favorite Sylvester McCoy moment in his entire run of Doctor Who. It almost seems like a homage to silent screen actor, Buster Keaton, yet also shows just how in control of the situation the Doctor really is.

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 12:32 p.m. CST

    On McCoy and the show

    by ByTor

    First, I thought Greatest Show in the Galaxy was terrible. Just a mess. I did not care for it at all. Yes, I think McCoy was trying (and Sophie Aldred too), but there's only so much to be done. I also think McCoy's era in general was hampered by...well, McCoy. He's a likable guy, and he certainly had passion for the project, but he's so constantly over the top that it grates. Yes, plenty of other Doctors have been over the top, but they've all also been able to pull it back for the moments that require subtlety. McCoy does not, and I firmly believe he cannot. (Watch him in the BBV stuff like Airzone Solution. Colin Baker, of all people, acts rings around him.) I also think Ace's character was a problem. Not Sophie; I thought she was brilliant. But the character was a thin caricature of what middle-aged suburbanites thought a street-tough teen would be like (back in the 80's anyway). The boom box was particularly silly, especially in an era when they were already a thing of the past. (I mean that in the teens-carrying-them-on-the-shoulder sense; certainly they still existed.) It's like watching a Family Channel show about gangs, where the gang kids are really all good kids deep down inside but act tough* until some poor outcast kid teaches them all to believe in themselves. (*By act tough I don't mean killing and running drugs like a real gang; I mean maybe pulling (but not using) a knife, or tagging a building.) As to JNT...look, he made a lot of mistakes. He also did good, and his first season (admittedly supervised by Letts) is one of my all-time faves. Should he have left the show after a few years? Sure. Hell, even HE wanted to. The BBC forced him to stay. The BBC also monkeyed around with scheduling, then wondered why the ratings dropped. There's a lot of incompetence by the sixth floor around this time, so while I certainly think JNT deserves some of the blame, it surely isn't all his.

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 12:38 p.m. CST

    Watched the DVD just last week

    by photoboy

    I think this definitely qualifies as another McCoy episode that wasn't as bad as I remembered. So far only The Crappiness Patriol has been as bad (if not worse) than my memory of it. Oddly enough, even stuff like Paradise Towers and Delta and the Bannermen hasn't been as bad as I remembered. Maybe it's because I can get them over with all in one go, rather than eking it out over several weeks... or maybe I just have unbelievably low expectations going in... The head clown was very good in this one I thought, as was the girl playing the werewolf (shame about the makeup). It was cool to see Ricco "Frost" Ross in there too, even though making him rap feels a bit like an '80s stereotype. I think the main problem was the crappy ending- the effects were rubbish, it didn't make any sense for that sword to appear out of nowhere and someone seriously needed to tell McCoy to not roll so many Rs into "Rrrrrrrrragnarrrrrrok". Very annoying. That said, McCoy wins mega-bonus points for not flinching when that huge explosion went off behind him. It's always amusing to hear Cartmel on the commentaries acting as if the episodes are all undiscovered masterpieces. So, nearly time for Matt Smith to be back on the screens. I just really hope this new season is more like season 5, as I thought season 6 was a dark, shouty mess. And based on the trailers I won't be getting my wish of Alex Kingston not being in it... :(

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 12:44 p.m. CST

    cut-rate and ailing?

    by berserkrl

    quote:: TGSITG brings us DOCTOR WHO in what is perhaps the most cut-rate and ailing age it has ever known - the late 1980s. :: unquote Seriously? I think this is one of the show's best eras, specially during the Ace period. The MID-80s (Colin Baker's era, though not his fault) were the bad era, from which the late 80s with McCoy were a glorious recovery. Admittedly "Greatest Show" isn't one of the best episodes from this era -- but what about "Curse of Fenric"? Would you really call that "cut-rate" and "ailing"?

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 12:59 p.m. CST

    As a kid, The Greatest Show in the Galaxy...

    by Seph_J

    ...scared the living shite out of me. When Mags transforms into the werewolf by moonlight, I used to LITERALLY run and hide behind the sofa. Really nasty. The ticket machine robot "Tickets please!" also creeped me out. And the Doctor's audience with the Gods of Ragnarok was really tense - like it could all be over for him at any minute. He was REALLY trying to entertain those bastards with all those awesome tricks, because he knew his life depended on it. Years later, I can obviously see the limitations, but I still think this story captures a very uncomfortable, dark aspect of classic Who - and I am actually really quite fond of it. The worst DW ever this most certainly is not!

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 1:01 p.m. CST


    by berserkrl

    quote:: And based on the trailers I won't be getting my wish of Alex Kingston not being in it... :: unquote Thank goodness!

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 1:03 p.m. CST

    On JNT

    by photoboy

    I think it would be great to have a discussion of JNT. Listening to the commentaries on the DVDs it's like every bad decision was his. Maybe it was all down to him, but with him not being around anymore I do think he might just be an easy target. Obviously some stuff like Colin's costume and the question marks on all of the costumes was mis-judged, and sometimes the stunt casting of people like Beryl Reid backfired, but his dedication to promoting the show and trying to do the best by it is under appreciated IMHO. Admittedly I'm slightly biased as I grew up with the JNT/Saward era, and it's by far my favourite still. It's a real shame JNT's not around to put his side of the story on the DVDs. I do remember he was on the Resurrection of the Daleks DVD; he was quite conspicuously being interviewed elsewhere away from Eric Saward and Matthew Robinson, which is understandable given his falling out with Saward. It's kind of weird to be a fan of both JNT and Eric Saward given their animosity, but it's hard to know where to apportion credit for all the great stories during that era. At the very least JNT deserves credit for casting Peter Davison and Colin Baker, who are two of my favourites to play the Doctor. On a side note, does anyone think JNT in his later years sounded a lot like Paul "Avon" Darrow (and even looked a bit like him)? Then again, I thought Barry Letts looked like Roger Delgado in his later years...

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 1:09 p.m. CST

    kwisatzhaderach / my list of the worst

    by ByTor

    kwisatzhaderach: I certainly wouldn't claim that TGSITG is the worst of all time, but I find it amazing you've never encountered people who don't like it before. I can only assume you were never around r.a.dw back in the day (which could well be to your credit). My worst list: #5: The Creature From the Pit. Just saw this recently as part of my re-watch project. The story is silly, the dialog worse. Romana's dress is unfortunate. And Tom Baker blows a giant alien. Condensed down to two episodes with some decent production and it might be tolerable, but in this form...ugh. #4: The Horns of Nimon. Sorry to pick on two S17 stories, but yeouch. The Nimons look silly and walk silly; the only reason the Doctor and company aren't killed many times over is because the Nimons walk so slow that they couldn't catch a determined sloth. You can't be all that powerful if your reaction time means it takes you 30 seconds to get a shot off. The production team seems on vacation; at one point a guard falls over dead with his pants split wide open. Evidently the actor had split his pants a while back and nobody bothered to do anything about this. And then there's Crowden's performance, which from the first scene should've tipped off the director that perhaps a conversation about subtlety would be in order. #3: The Twin Dilemma. It shares many common classic Who faults: the colors are garish, the sets badly overlit, etc. Nobody bothered to see if the twins could actually, y'know, act (or speak English). We've got yet another renegade Time Lord (Gallifreyan security sucks balls), who is somehow getting away with RULING A PLANET! And the Doctor is PERFECTLY FINE WITH THIS! I mean, OK, it's a planet of fat Klingon knockoffs, but even so. Speaking of the Doctor...ah, where do I begin? It's not just that he's volatile, sometimes cowardly, and sometimes homicidal. It's not that he tries to kill Peri. It's that he's decided to ham up the dramatic moments. Watch the cliffhangers that do the zoom-in-on-his-face thing. Awful. I've seen Uwe Boll movies that are directed better. And this doesn't even get into the colossally stupid move of making the Doctor thoroughly unlikable RIGHT BEFORE THE SEASON ENDS, giving the audience several months to hate the bastard before the next season rolls around. But at least the story, while uninteresting, is coherent. That'll be the last time that happens in this list. #2: Time and the Rani. I get the feeling that sometimes, with Pip and Jane Baker, they'd forget what they were writing about. Putting aside the issues with the regeneration scene, we've got hackneyed dialog from Kate O'Mara all over the place. Her plan is...well, it doesn't make any sense at all, really. I mean, OK, Doctor Who has always had technobabble and hand-waving moments, but c'mon guys, you have to TRY at least. They spew nonsense that would get questioned by any fourth grader. Meanwhile O'Mara has decided that playing the Rani in a measured, clinical manner (which she kinda-sorta did in Mark of the Rani) was a waste of time. Now she's a demented, female Master who brings giant Muppets with her as she kidnaps the Doctor. Then -- in one of the most unintentionally-hilarious Who moments ever -- she dresses as Mel. Ugh. I get nightmares just thinking about it. But even that doesn't quite keep up with the worst. #1: Timelash. Where to begin? Yeah, it's cheap, but lots of episodes were cheap. That's not (one of) the problem(s). First, let's talk about the guest cast. Overall it's meh, but two stand out as needing mention. Jeananne Crowley apparently thought she was playing a drug addict, or Vulcan, or something. She rarely reacts, and when she does, it looks forced. And then there's Paul Darrow. At first I thought he was just terrible, but a rewatch convinced me that he realized just what a pile of crap he'd gotten himself into and decided he might as well have fun with it. If you must watch this story -- and I can't think why you'd have to -- then watch it for Darrow. Herbert is also annoying as crap. And not very bright, which seems odd given who he's supposed to be. After 30 seconds of seeing him, I just wanted to smack him. Somebody should show these guys Time After Time, or something. Oh, and they have androids who sing instead of talk. Why? Why would someone do that? Especially in such a dour society? I don't think anyone on Karfel has a sense of humor. Meanwhile the Borad is yet another in a long line of Snidely Whiplash villains, and oh look, he wants to mate with Peri. Hey guys, Androzani did that, and did it sooooo much better. The plot is boring and stupid, and entirely predictable. Once you get the lay of the land, you can figure out exactly what's coming. There's virtually no tension, and let's be honest, if you got to the end and the big reveal of who Herbert is without having already guessed, you're probably four years old. But ALL of those things might be excusable. Or at least tolerated. What is simply inexcusable is that they NEVER BOTHER TO RESOLVE THE STORY! Everything builds to a head, the Doctor is in danger and about to die...and then he doesn't. Yay, everyone happy! Oh, how did you actually survive, Doctor? Wait, what do you mean you're not telling? And I know others here have come down on me for this, but that should have gotten Saward fired. Or SOMEBODY. If I turned in that story in a freshman-level creative writing class, I'd get an F. Professionals should be held to an even higher standard, and I have to say, telling them to make sure they actually finish their damned stories isn't a real high level. To my knowledge it's the only time this has ever happened in Doctor Who history. Think about that for a minute. Think that that includes The Ultimate Foe, where the second part was written by a different writer than the first. And not just different; it was written by Pip and Jane Hackster, and they weren't even allowed to see Holmes' or Saward's notes, and they did it in, like, a couple of days. And make no mistake, it was pretty bad, but IT STILL MANAGED TO ACTUALLY RESOLVE THE CONFLICT! Timelash is poo.

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 1:09 p.m. CST

    @ philjacksonisthemasterofzen re:tv spacing

    by Wyrdy the Gerbil

    I know the spliting of TV series happens all the time on US TV but this is something British TV doesn't normally do it hell i think theres just about no other TV companies WW that do it truth the only Brit TV that ive ever seen do it is Dr Who and frankly its an Americanism that i can well do without

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 1:17 p.m. CST

    photoboy: JNT

    by ByTor

    To an extent I agree. JNT did a lot to update the show (the Peter Howell arrangement is still my favorite). I liked the idea of bringing the music in-house to the Radiophonic Workshop; some of the scores by Howell, Ayers, Glynn, and ESPECIALLY Kingsland are amazing. And you're right about promoting the show. Having attended the big Chicago conventions back in the 80's, I know how amazing all that was. I'm not as much a fan of Saward, of course; he seemed to really like a bitchy Doctor, even though he also did some pretty good stories. For example, overall I love Earthshock, but the fight between the Doctor and Adric is contrived and stupid. That's not my idea of the Doctor. I do agree that the story of JNT might be more balanced if he were still around; clearly Saward has no compunction about taking shots at JNT and blaming him. Maybe that's all true. Maybe not. We can't really know.

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 1:18 p.m. CST

    On the subject of River...

    by Perigee

    I will say this: I consider the River Song character a very good idea - I like her, mostly, and she's very well used in MANY of the episodes. I think S6 really started to squeeze her through development land, which was probably a mistake and led to a lot of the bad feelings about her. Re-(re-re-re) watching the Smith seasons this past week, it was noticeably contrived the way they forced the Doctor/River romance into high gear: TIA started out fine, and you could feel the gears grind up through DotM until, in 2 hours, they're suddenly all flirty and kissy. It's awkward. Now that we're past the kissy/sweetie/suffering nonsense, and they are "an old married couple," maybe they can shift the characters back down to something a little less twee and a little more practical.

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 1:22 p.m. CST

    @bytor "The BBC forced him to stay"

    by dj_bollocks

    An interesting interpretation... I'm not sure there was anyone else up to the task of taking it on. I wonder who would have been in with a chance ? Certainly the BBC politics would have been interesting... but this was still the "lovey" days of Auntie albeit the dying days. Doctor Who finished in 1989 - Quantum Leap had just started, Twin Peaks was just about to start and ST:TNG was hitting its stride - all shows that were on BBC 2 - maybe they were just happier importing US shows instead. When did Eastenders go from 2 eps to 3 episodes a week ? That might have something to do with it too... I would have just loved if, when it came back after the Colin Baker hiatus and Sylvester started for their to be a brand new Exec Producer. We might not even have had McCoy, and I'm indifferent to Cartmel's writing skills - mostly miss rather than hit...

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 1:41 p.m. CST


    by berserkrl

    I think it's more likely to delete quotes if they're at the beginning of a post, or if they're in a standalone line. But let me test that. I'm about to post the following, except that everything that in caps here will be in quotes. LINE 1 - THIS IS A TEST. Line 2 - this is a TEST. LINE 3 - THIS IS A TEST.

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 1:41 p.m. CST

    @perigee 2

    by berserkrl

    Line 1 - this is a test.

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 1:44 p.m. CST

    @perigee 3

    by berserkrl

    Okay, that's weird. It kept line 1 (while removing the quotation marks) but deleted lines 2 and 3. Which is not what I expected. So I can't figure it out. But anyway, they should fix it. A website filled with geeks and nobody can fix it??

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 2:06 p.m. CST



    Loved your Worst List and your explanations!

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 2:13 p.m. CST


    by ByTor

    It's not really an interpretation. He asked to leave, multiple times, multiple years, and was told no. His choices were stay, or quit the BBC. Now, I think Grade has previously been quoted as saying he couldn't get anyone else to take the job. Maybe that's true, or maybe it's not. Grade has a long history of being a d-bag, especially with regard to the series, so who knows?

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 2:18 p.m. CST


    by ByTor

    Thanks! I have to admit, it was a lot of fun to write up.'s the thing. You can find an occasional bad episode in pretty much every era. It's a very rare season that has no weak spots; even S12 has Revenge of the Cybermen, ya know? And by and large, I can easily rewatch even the weak ones because they usually still have something to enjoy. There are only a few that I just can't watch at all without pain, and my #1-#3 would fall into that. (Though I'm tempted to try them stoned or something; I watched part of Timelash that way once and it was hilarious...)

  • I mean surely all real SH fans would imagine that was the next logical step in the series (and I'd been hearing rumors Tom Hiddleston would be looked at for the Moran role), but perhaps I should give up on this dream. I'm completely forgot about the 'Sumatra' angle. Although if things were to be happening largely on a ship, that would make Mycroft's comment at the end of Belgravia that much more interesting, that Sherlock's first aspiration as a kid was to be a pirate.

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 2:45 p.m. CST


    by Scott MacDonald

    I pretty much grew up watching Tom Baker re-runs on PBS in the 90's, whenever I could catch them. So when I came to McCoy and C. Baker it was sort of a shock, but I've slowly been going through his material, and found some of it to be fantastic. I don't like the stuff with Mel very much (his first season), although I found Dragonfire quite enjoyable. The Happiness Patrol I thought was great, and I thought Greatest Show in the Galaxy was a blast. I watched it with my daughter last week, and it my favorite McCoy thus far. I have seen Remembrance of the Daleks, I have not seen Ghost Light and Curse of Fenric, which are allegedly his best. Here are my McCoy reviews if anyone is interested. The first one is for Happiness Patrol and Dragonfire. The latter is for Greatest Show in The Galaxy.

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 3:13 p.m. CST

    About Sherlock

    by HornOrSilk

    Clearly, something from "The Empty House" is likely to be used in the next story. Yet we must remember, each adventure combines elements from many different Holmes stories into one. So I wouldn't be surprised if we get 10 mins of Empty House before moving on to the next adventure. I'm also expecting a return of Irene Adler.

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 3:15 p.m. CST

    theseeker7 the Rat and the Empty House

    by DoctorTom

    Sherlock was supposed to have spent time abroad after The Final Problem. Maybe we're going to find the tale of the Giant Rat of Sumatra falls in that time. Or, they just change things up so Watson finds out for this adventure. Maybe they're combining elements of The Empty House with the Giant Rat of Sumatra. (Maybe one of the hitmen in the last story was Col. Moran.)

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 3:41 p.m. CST

    Rat really means

    by HornOrSilk

    Tom Baker is coming out of retirement and they are doing a sequel to Talons..... ok maybe not...

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 3:46 p.m. CST

    Another Rat book

    by Rathbone

    I've got another book to add to Perigree's list... David Stuart Davies published The Shadow of the Rat in 1999. According to the blurb on the back of the book jacket, the plot revolves around the rat being used a plague carrier. I haven't read the book in 12 years so I can't remember much else about the story. In addition to several other Holmes novels, Davies also wrote a biography (the only one?) about Jeremy Brett called Bending the Willow.

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 3:52 p.m. CST

    eurocultav: Ghost Light/Fenric

    by ByTor

    Both are excellent, but may not be what you're used to in terms of Doctor Who. Ghost Light, in particular, may come off as a bit confusing; it's a complex, layered story that suffered from heavy editing (I think it was originally supposed to be a four-part story). I think S26 is where Cartmel and company started getting into a groove with respect to where they wanted to take the show. I'm not the biggest fan of the so-called Cartmel Masterplan, but I certainly respect what they were trying to do: bring back some mystery to the main character, actually have character development (especially for the companion), challenge the viewer. All good objectives.

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 4:05 p.m. CST

    bytor - Ghost Light

    by DoctorTom

    It wasn't supposed to have been a 4 part story. It just had a lot more in it than could be fitted into the timeslot allowed for it. This seemed to have been occurring more with the latter McCoys stories (which is why we could have extended versions of The Curse of Fenric and Silver Nemesis). Yeah, I'd agree that season 26 Cartmel had his groove, though you can see it starting in season 25.

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 4:10 p.m. CST

    Rat Wedding Bow guesses *spoilers?*

    by tangcameo

    Rat= Sussex Vampire (Giant Rat of Sumatra) Seems logical since vampires are in style right now. Wedding=Return of Irene Adler -or- Charles Augustus Milverton -or- Noble Bachelor Bow = His Last Bow (giving up series forever or for a while to finally focus on DW?) -or- somehow related to his violin

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 4:20 p.m. CST

    McCoy's best was Battlefield, and Curse of the Fenric

    by Michael_Jacksons_Ghost

    It shows how awesome McCoy's Doctor really was. GSITG was a story that came on PBS when I was a kid. PBS was showing the Davidson eps, and then the next night that McCoy story came on, and I was thinking "What the Fudge was this?!", but I didn't say "Fudge". Anyway, it took years to warm up to McCoy due to this story. When I finally saw Battlefield and Curse, I wanted more.....but was SOL.

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 4:36 p.m. CST


    by Rebel Scumb

    For all the hate JNT gets, MANY of my all time favorite Whos are from his era, I know he wasn't perfect but I think he gets too much blame when he also did the show a lot of good, so I think your suggestion is a good one!

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 4:47 p.m. CST

    Just remember, even if something is based upon the Last Bow

    by HornOrSilk

    It doesn't mean it is actually going to end the series. We could end with a cliffhanger again, where Holmes says he is done with it all. Or it could be just the plot borrows something from it (like a Basil Rathbone story) but doesn't end the series. I would go with the cliffhanger only because the series likes to have them.

  • The whole Adler/River thing was UNCOMFORTABLY close as was. God grant we don't have to take it any farther then it went...

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 5:42 p.m. CST

    This story...I tell ya...

    by Kevin Bolinger

    The freakin' lead clown creeps me out in it...other than that, it is a mediocre tale at best :P

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 5:56 p.m. CST

    by Scott MacDonald

    I've heard Ghost Light is quite complex, but as I've seen over 90 Who's including Warrior's Gate and the Mind Robber I think I'm ready for those. I might be in the minority, but from what I'm seeing so far I am quite enjoying the final 2 seasons of Who with McCoy. It feels like they were really getting something good going, when it was canceled.

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 6:09 p.m. CST

    The Greatest Show in the Galaxy

    by Rebel Scumb

    Haven't seen it yet, my dvd arrived from amazon on Tuesday, but waiting until I have Battlefield, Silver nemesis and Survival to go through the McCoy stuff All I know is the trailer for tGSiTG attached on The Krotons made it looks freaky as hell

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 6:41 p.m. CST

    Take a Bow

    by Rathbone

    I have no doubt that the Bow to which the Grand Moff alluded refers to His Last Bow. But another possibility dawned on me. Holmes' Baker Street flat has a BOW window, the location of which figures prominently in the story of the Mazarin Stone. Yes, it's a stretch. But isn't that half the fun of trying to interpret these hints?

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 8:51 p.m. CST


    by gotilk

    Brilliant! Thanks for the info regarding the Rat reference. Great job.

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 9:05 p.m. CST

    Thanks, but no credit due, gotilk - it was a quicki-Wiki

    by Perigee

    Have I mentioned how much I love the Internet recently? I cant believe I wasted almost half of my life of my life before it existed... ...Delphi subscriber. 1983. Perigee then, Perigee ever since. Damn. I'm an Internet Coot.

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 9:13 p.m. CST

    You and I both.

    by gotilk

    I was always ilk. Started early on, got on the Well, then after quite a long time got a tcp/ip stack... got on dialup. Remember BBS systems? Fidonet? Man.... I'm old. They carbon dated dirt, turns out I'm older.

  • Mining for poorly resolved GIFs and Porn made up of ASCI characters? And more reachable IP addresses? Those were the days, my friend. All these whippersnappers with their Angry Birds and You-toobs... Get off my Usenet!

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 9:20 p.m. CST

    Oh, and anyone recall how much fun it was...

    by gotilk

    to dial into a single line BBS? I remember how excited I was when I stepped up to 2400 baud. When 14.4 arrived I thought the Internet would be blown through the back of my head. Turned out it was just less frustrating. By an inch. Alright, back to being excited about getting new Who.

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 9:23 p.m. CST


    by gotilk

    Remember the first rule of USEN..... never mind.

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 9:25 p.m. CST


    by gotilk

    Oh man.... now that takes me back. And FTP servers.... remember what IRC was like back then? TIN and PINE for news and e-mail? UUencoding? Those were the days.... that became years.

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 9:26 p.m. CST

    In my day!!!

    by gotilk

    We had to WORK for our free porn.

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 9:29 p.m. CST

    I like Timelash

    by Stegman84

    That's right, I said it. I like Timelash. I get why a lot of folks don't like this story, or find it mediocre. I don't quite get the rampant level of bile that it often gets showered with however, nor it being often placed so high on fans "worst ever" list, or even as the worst, but hey, I guess that'll just remain a mystery to me, fan who actually likes Timelash that I am. There is admittedly a lot here that you could take aim at, if you want nits to pick then you'll have a few to choose from, but at the end of the day, for me, it all boils down to the fact that I just find it rather fun. I love Paul Darrow's much maligned performance. Yes it's hammy, but it's delightfully hammy, not obtrusively so, and while his acting choices may seem batspit crazy, he fully commits to it, and for me it just works. Plus he's wearing a cape, for no concievable reason at all, and against all other percievable fashion on the planet, but he doesn't care because fuck them all, he has a cape and it is awesome. And it makes me smile. I also think that while Nicola Bryant is woefully underused in this story, and just plain poorly treated even when she does have some screen time, Colin Baker is actually quite superb, and I just really enjoy his blustering Doctor, who for my money was often *far* better than the scripts he was in. And this is no different. Also I thought the performance of Robert Ashby as The Borad was quite solid, as was the late, great Denis Carey as his human image, and Eric Deacon as Mycros. And again, though not popular with most, I enjoyed David Chandler's enthusiastic performance as 'Herbert'. The rest of the cast however range from merely servicable, to, well, not so much... I also don't think the production design is that awful when you consider that this was the lowest budgeted episodes of an already ridiculously low budgeted show from an era where they had now endured years of ever slimming budgets versus ever increasing basic expenses. Yes, the Timelash chamber is very naff, and the use of tinsel never did anything any favors whenever it showed it's shiny face in an episode of Doctor Who. And while the cavern beastie isn't very convincing at all, the head was actually decently sculpted at least, so if they had smoked up the caves a bit and lit darker it might have had a bit more impact...or perhaps not. And the blue faced android(s) rates quite high on the cheese factor as well, but again the actor in question was at least commited (or maybe he should have been...). But for some crazy reason these things just don't bother me all that much here for some reason, they're just part of the crazy, and I guess it rings true as my kind of crazy. Plus the Borad makeup was actually quite good. The snakehead ambassador puppet, yeah, not so much...third rate muppets in who don't work so well. Lesson learnt. The real problem here is the script, it's unfocussed, very padded, and pretty flatly directed for the most part to boot. It also has more holes than a seive with extra holes in it, if you're mad enough to examine it too closely. But again, even knowing that, it doesn't really bother me too much, outside of the under use and, frankly, plain poorly written treatment given to Nicola Bryant's Peri, who as I already stated above definitely deserved better than she was granted here. That, more than anything, is my major bugbear with the show. Most of the rest I can go with, and some of it, as I've explained, I crazily enjoy, but the tied and screaming Peri factor is a legitimate and lasting complaint against the whole proceedings that I make no argument against, because on that the detractors are completely right. So yes, I like Timelash. Through all its crazy, all its problems, and all its mis-steps, I still enjoy it more than many other Who stories, classic and new, that I could mention. I'm not pretending it's some lost or misunderstood classic, that's for sure, but a lot of it just makes me smile. And sometimes that's enough.


  • Aug. 24, 2012, 10:10 p.m. CST

    In my day the Internet arrived every Thursday on a jumbo jet.

    by veteran_of_mu

    For about 3 years, that was the fastest way to get information into Australia. You'd get stuck in a flamewar in alt.cyberpunk and then have to wait a week to see how bad Maddox flamed you back. I remember the first time a friend who worked in a telecommunications R&D lab told me how he had FTP'ed files from a site in Germany. How much did that cost I asked? Oh nothing, he said. Come on, I said, someone's got to be paying for it. You're just ripping off some poor German bloke ...

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 10:21 p.m. CST

    Perigree + everybody else: My 'wedding' guess...

    by tangcameo

    ...wasn't me guessing. That was just my google results. Those three stories popped up for 'wedding'. I'd prefer Milverton since the end of Series 2. Need a new nemesis for Sherlock and Milverton seems a good choice. I'd welcome a return of Irene Adler, but not to marry Sherlock. Maybe Sherlock would be invited and end up breaking up the wedding somehow, knowing the marriage was a fraud or something.

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 11:26 p.m. CST

    tangcameo - How about... Wedded Watson?

    by Perigee

    Watson has been canonically married... Poor man, his best friend died in front of him, there's Sarah... time must pass before Sherlock reveals himself, and who would he pass the time with? So maybe we get one of those cliffhangery ~Sherlock waves goodbye to his bestest pal~ sort of things... And, since Cumberbatch IS getting hot in Hollywood, maybe, sadly, we Do get Final Bow...

  • Aug. 25, 2012, 1:50 a.m. CST


    by photoboy

    I really like Timelash too, it's got a lot of elements like the Borad and the androids that I really enjoyed. In fact I feel like getting the DVD out again now... The one good thing about Doctor Who fandom is that there are so many fans from so many eras that you can always find someone who loves the same crappy episodes as yourself.

  • So there’ll be a lot of Doctor Who over the course of the year: live events, TV stuff, various programmes that will cover all aspects of it. It’s certainly our intention to do justice to the scale of it.

  • Aug. 25, 2012, 7:32 a.m. CST

    Bit about what the Moff said in Edinburgh this morning...

    by dj_bollocks

  • Aug. 25, 2012, 7:37 a.m. CST

    I loved this episode (TGSITG) - spoilers

    by I am not a number

    It still holds up for me, even after all these years. Yeah, the werewolf transformation was bit weak, but I thought that was a great sequence (the Doctor gets double-crossed when he's trying to get everyone to work together, having to contend with a crazed werewolf, getting attacked by the avatars of the Gods of Ragnarok when trying to escape). The Chief Clown gives a great performance, there are some striking visuals, and the Gods of Ragnarok scene at the end is pretty awesome, even if the way they just shoot at the amulet and kill themselves is annoying. Still, cool design. This is in no way the worst episode of the show (it's nowhere near even the worst episode of McCoy's era - I'd give that award to Silver Nemesis or Delta and the Bannermen). I liked the whole, "the hippies sold out and are now just part of the system" theme to the episode, which is a rather unique for the show, plus it has some pretty grim stuff in it (especially the scene where Bellboy decides he can't go on and has his own robots beat him to death -- shocking even the Chief Clown for a moment before he squashes even that brief moment of humanity).

  • Aug. 25, 2012, 8:21 a.m. CST


    by Merrick

    Please drop me a line: This sounds like you're being called into the principal's office - you're not, so no worries. When writing, please include the e-mail address with which you signed up for Talkbacks (just in the body of your message, you don't need to SEND from that address) so I'll know for sure it's you!

  • Aug. 25, 2012, 8:23 a.m. CST


    by Timmid

    Don't get the McCoy love unfortunately. Saw something recently where they got him to read a Matt Smith speech from the Pandorica script and he was fucking awful. Curse of Fenric -- Don't get that either -- it really was the worst acted confused pile of pap ever. Ace chatting up that soldier has to be one of the single worst moments in Doctor Who ever -- followed closely by the cockney vampires -- a complete mess. Not looking forward to the new season of Sherlock - it will be defined by 3 words will it -- are they Wank, Sputum and turd. The first ever episode was frankly amazing and stands out as a masterpiece on how to do these things. The show then quickly lost its way for me and got steadily worse -- the whole Moriarty piece, the character and his actions were frankly laughable -- hated every last minute of the second season. But on a positive note The Doctor is back -- yay.

  • Yeah, so we will also have documentaries, a "making of Doctor Who" tele-play, etc. But what fans want is Doctor Who. I think what should have been done is have a new script written for any living Doctor willing to come back to the show, written by someone from their era, but done for modern audiences. Each should also have a creative explanation for the current look of the Doctor if he is much older, fatter, etc. For example, a Tom Baker story could have him taken out of time by Time Lords in the middle of The Leisure Hive. Peter's story could be what happened AFTER Time Crash.... where he finds himself still "stuck" in a form he should not be in.... etc...

  • Aug. 25, 2012, 9:42 a.m. CST

    mcgootoo - you've shown your true colours

    by Mister Vertue

    Which is why I'll ask you my questions over in Herc's Doctor Who talkback.

  • Aug. 25, 2012, 9:45 a.m. CST

    Of course, the criticism above is just my desire for more

    by HornOrSilk

    I still like what the Moff does give. I just think there could have been a way to do a lot more for the 50th -- in regards to the show itself, in making more stories, etc. Heck, I would have loved them to do the unexpected and have a 8th Doctor story with Charlie Pollard on screen. And of course, end the 50th anniversary with a multi-Doctor story which somehow incorporates elements from all the one-offs..the one-offs would not be sequels to each other but they would all inter-connect in the final episode.. that is what I would do. Of course, I don't run things.

  • Aug. 25, 2012, 10:13 a.m. CST

    As for River Song

    by HornOrSilk

    I really like her character. She has an arc. But she has more to her story than that arc. I hope we get to see more fun and adventure with her. And we still have ONE story which has to be told. How she got the Doctor's name. It might be she read it from his crib... but... it could also be when the question is answered...

  • Aug. 25, 2012, 10:14 a.m. CST

    hornorsilk - a BBC budget

    by Mister Vertue

    I'm sure everyone who works on Doctor Who (who are probably also big fans of the show just like you and I) would have loved to have gone 'all out' on the 50th anniversary of the show. It's a special anniversary that many shows don't reach and it only happens once, yet the show still has an allotted budget. I'm sure the BBC has given the show a slightly bigger budget for 2013, but still not anything approaching a Hollywood budget being that the corporation is responsible to the British license payers who fund it (despite what it's paying certain 'celebs' on an annual basis - but that's another argument for another day). Will we got what we deserve in 2013 from the BBC? Only time will tell. But some fans will expect too much and be disappointed no matter what they're given. I know that Moffat and his team will do all they can to make it a special anniversary, but let's also keep a sense of perspective and be realistic.

  • Aug. 25, 2012, 10:20 a.m. CST

    MOV and there I think the BBC is off its rocker

    by HornOrSilk

    It's the 50th anniversary of the BBC's biggest show. They should go all out. They can easily afford it -- what it would make back in return would justify it. Again, all I am saying (as a fan with wishes) is that I think the 50th anniversary is sounding like a missed opportunity to me. Big time. They should have a side series of adventures with old Doctors. And a 6 part series of adventures of former companions after they left the Doctor (have it replace SJA). They really could have and should have thought big for this year. I really don't see it as big. That's just me. I am not criticizing the Moff and what he has to deal with, but more the BBC which to me seems to be slowly doing to the show what it did in the 80s.

  • Aug. 25, 2012, 10:24 a.m. CST

    TGSITG - haven't watched it for years!

    by Mister Vertue

    Would it be near the top of my list for favourite episodes? Of course not! Would it be nearer the bottom? Hmmm, yes, probably. I'd still rather watch it than *any* reality tv show though, and there's always something to enjoy in any Doctor Who story. For me, it's the appearance of Peggy Mount as the old lady working the stall (if I remember correctly). TV icon! And let's not forget that the show was up against Coronation Street at the time. A ploy by 'the powers that be' to surely see the show fail and have that as an excuse to cancel it. Or is that just an 80's fanboy conspiracy? We'll never know...

  • Aug. 25, 2012, 11:01 a.m. CST

    Me, I'll take what I can get

    by Perigee

    I'm as piggy as the next fanatic, but it's been a LONG time since DW has engaged me in the way it engages me now - and I've grown A LOT Older and Jaded since that first time. The fact that anything at all can get me revved up like this at 50 is miraculous. This may be the last time I get to be 15 again, so let Moff and Co gimme the best they've got, while they still have it. Anniversary or not, it's still time passing - and eventually somebody is gonna break my heart and kill the goose that's laying the golden eggs.

  • Aug. 25, 2012, 11:49 a.m. CST

    50th Anniversary

    by Timmid

    Not for me the idea of bringing everybody back for the 50th , it would be a train wreck. Its a shame its already been done by the DS9 mob because I would have put the latest Doctor back into a Bill Hartnell show a la Zelig -- coming full circle for the 50th is a better idea than trying to cram 50 years into one show.

  • Aug. 25, 2012, 11:51 a.m. CST

    Or better still

    by Timmid

    Bring Bill Hartnells Doctor into this Doctors era -- it can be done !!

  • Aug. 25, 2012, 11:57 a.m. CST

    hornorsilk - funny you should mention River and the Doctor's name

    by DoctorTom

    I just rewatched Silence in the Library/ Forest of the Dead last night, partially to see what's happened in that story that's been picked up later. Crash of the Byzantium? Check. End of the Universe? At the time some of us thought it might be a return to Utopia's time and the Toclafane, but it was actually The Pandorica Opens/ The Big Bang. Party on Asgard - was that mentioned in one of the Night and the Doctor sketches? I can't recall now. If not, there's still an opportunity there. (Side digression - I think we're still owed at least a short if not a full episode where we see River Song and David Tennant together, post-Silence in the Library for the Doctor.) Whispering his name, though, and saying there's only one time she could learn that. I don't see it being the crib at all. But, on the Fields of Trenzalore, where the truth must be spoken, that might be the one place he's forced to give his name. And, I can see that going one of two ways. One, the Doctor cheats and finds a way to answer Doctor Who? without actually giving his name. Two (and more likely) he whispers the name to River. After all, you're forced to say the truth but there's no mention of how loudly you have to say it, and him whispering it to River would make a nice contrast to River whispering it to him. He might also be dying at the time - though he might get better or pull one of those David Tennent "I'll just regenerate enough to be my same self but healed up again" tricks. BUT (and this is a big but) what if it's done when Matt Smith actually regenerates, or at least dies enough to get the regeneration going (like in Season 4), and he has that sonic screwdriver that he gave/gives/will give to River? Is it possible that the Doctor downloaded not only River's consciousness into CAL, but the consciousness of his 11th incarnation also? He may have just been offscreen, in the house, when the other people came out to greet River. After all, we know River loves the Doctor, and we see River in there with children later - did she leave her kids' bedroom to go into the other room back to her husband the Doctor?

  • Aug. 25, 2012, 11:57 a.m. CST

    AOTD - Brilliant

    by SminkyPinky

    Saw it at the Filmhouses creening this morning. No, I am not giving any spoilers - apart from the badgers. But I loved it! For me, it's the best Dalek episode since Revelation of the Daleks and my favourite 11th Doctor episode yet. Moffat was great in the Q&A. Very funny. Was sat right in front of him but couldn't get my question asked, Not to worry. But I did want to thank him for making the Daleks scary again. And there are some DAMN scary moments in this ep. Stay tuned for next Saturday night. It'll be worth it. Thank you, Mr Moffat.

  • They could have done a special dealing with the kids from Bannerman Road and K9, probably including the Doctor, so that Sarah Jane could get a proper sendoff. That is something that they could have had RTD and Moffat talk about together, with RTD handling most of production of the special (which would have kept Moffat's plate from getting loaded up further).

  • Aug. 25, 2012, 12:04 p.m. CST

    hornorsilk - adventures with other companions

    by DoctorTom

    Perhaps resurrecting the Torchwood Institute in order to help the Earth? (For all most people know, Torchwood as an institution has died). It could be its own Torchwood spinoff series on the BBC with only occasional guest starring appearances from Barrowman or Eve Myles, and be set up as a completely different Torchwood branch.

  • Aug. 25, 2012, 12:06 p.m. CST

    sminkypinky - thanks!

    by DoctorTom

    Thank you for the quick, spoiler free comments about the first episode. I think I'm even more stoked about it now.

  • Aug. 25, 2012, 12:10 p.m. CST

    timmid - you might be close

    by DoctorTom

    though I don't see them bringing Hartnell back, or even Hurndell since they've both passed on. But, someone from that era interacting with the 11th Doctor? There's two choices right now - Ian or Susan. Susan especially could bring an emotional resonance to this as the Doctor realizes he's not the last Time Lord out there. And we can get teased on whether River Song is her stepmom, or her actual mother (of course this would mean that there are some definite wibbly wobbly timey wimey shenanigans to explain why she'd be with the 1st Doctor and how the 1st Doctor knows she's his granddaugher).

  • Aug. 25, 2012, 12:19 p.m. CST

    Torchwood - it's a no from me.

    by dj_bollocks

    A Torchwood of the future however (or the past) might be interesting. I have no desire to see Barrowman or Myles again... sorry but that's pantomime Who... To be honest even the name Torchwood leaves a somewhat bad taste...

  • Aug. 25, 2012, 12:30 p.m. CST

    doctortom - no worries

    by SminkyPinky

    Hope you enjoy it when it airs.

  • Aug. 25, 2012, 12:57 p.m. CST


    by Timmid

    I was thinking of using special effects for the job-- there must be plenty of Hartnell already on film. In fact on Youtube there is a clip of Hartnell in another film before Who where he is dressed like the 11th Doctor. Anything is possible !!

  • Aug. 25, 2012, 1:16 p.m. CST

    perigee - thanks for the trolling advice in Herc's thread!

    by Mister Vertue

    You're 100% correct and I know the majority of fans are loyal and intelligent like you. The negative minority who try to ruin things for others need to be ignored. I'll just have to accept that I'll never understand the likes of mcgootoo.

  • Aug. 25, 2012, 2:41 p.m. CST

    RIP - Neil Armstrong

    by Michael_Jacksons_Ghost

    May you explore another unknown territory.

  • Aug. 25, 2012, 2:44 p.m. CST


    by Michael_Jacksons_Ghost

    I was creating a image to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who, and put together a image of a de-aged Harnell as a younger 1st Doctor. I dont know where I should post it, so I will send it to Merrick, and maybe he can post it on the Docbacks in the upcoming future.

  • Aug. 25, 2012, 3:39 p.m. CST

    Doctortom - The Doctors Name

    by cosmic_dolphin

    I think Moffat might be leading us up the garden path....... I don't think his actual name will be that big a HAT is it's more a case of of why must the 'question' must never be answered. What would knowing someone's name reveal ??? Clues to his origins or who his parents are...if he has any. Maybe they'll go a bit RedDwarf ( Ourobouros ) and suggest he's his own self perpetuating progenitor because he can time travel and therefore everlasting. Madame Du Pompadour saw into his mind and said he was ' such a lonely child '..I'm betting that's because he had no parents, and also it was written by Moffat and I think he likes to leave a trail of breadcrumbs. Exactly what the 'name is I bet we'll get teased along with but never really find out. Also I reckon we'll get the rugged pulled from under us about these 'events' that have been fortold by the likes of Dorium. Fall of the 11th ? - Don't assume they mean the 11th Doctor if it happens this season..probably an 11th something else. Fields of Trenzalore - sounds like a Battle..probably nothing of the sort..I'll bet Moffat has him out for a picnic with river. Silence will Fall when the question is asked - well that could be taken many ways...maybe he'll sonic everyone so they temporarily lose their hearing except for River. So for them Silence will fall, and he'll answer...but no one will be able to hear...including the viewers....I'll put £1 on a slow motion shot devoid of any audio whatsoever as he tells her. Like you I've been re-re-watching some episodes to try figure the whole Amy Pond thing. My latest HAT is based on strange patterns of speech...she keeps saying things that sound like book titles such as 'Amy Pond - In The Tardis with Rory Willams'. Many months back I said something was not right with her / a bit spooky. I still think something happened to little Amelia that we didn't see yet. Living in a house with no adults around ? And that possibly the 'Fairy Tale ' that we have witnessed is just's the Doctors way of giving her some kind of life that she never had. Maybe she's been in CAL all along. All those strange phrases that sound a bit like book titles or chapters in books are just that. They're stories that have been adpated from the library for her to take part in, and the Doctor visits from time to time. Or he's had them with someone else but gets CAL to give Amy the experience and then keep it in the Library as a story. Then he had to retcon River into Amy's 'story' Don't you just love a HAT !

  • Nor should we.

  • Aug. 25, 2012, 11:51 p.m. CST

    Lorna Bucket

    by The Transformed Man

    In "A Good Man Goes To War", she alluded to an encounter with the Doctor that occurred during her childhood in the Gamma Forests. I hope Moffat plans to show us this encounter. Just a tiny thing I've been hoping for. As she died, the Doctor didn't seem to know who she was.

  • Aug. 26, 2012, 4:56 a.m. CST

    moffat has hinted at the idea of a female time lord.

    by emeraldboy

    lara pulver it has been rumoured might be a contender. but has rubbished the idea saying fans are not keen on it. so we will see.

  • Aug. 26, 2012, 6:03 a.m. CST

    Surprisingly, many people who call themselves fans,

    by V'Shael

    wouldn't be keen on it. For a scifi audience, many of the so-called fans of the show have shown themselves to be fearfully resistant to change, and quite conservative when it comes to misogynistic attitudes.

  • Aug. 26, 2012, 6:51 a.m. CST

    agreed v'shael

    by Rebel Scumb

  • Aug. 26, 2012, 6:52 a.m. CST


    by Rebel Scumb

    Watched this one yesterday, the first episode was pretty so-so, and that cliffhanger which defied all explanation (even by the director in the behind the scenes) but I thought it got stronger with parts 2 and 3.

  • Aug. 26, 2012, 8:59 a.m. CST

    I don't think a female time lord...

    by dj_bollocks

    is being sexist or misogynistic... I just don't think it's a particularly good idea... What would be misogynistic and sexist, would be to have a female doctor in a lycra and leather outfit, big breasts and for the actress to be a stereotype... It would be like your favourite uncle became an auntie overnight... Can you imagine all the River Song haters getting on the back (metaphorically of course) of a female Doctor ? That's a no from me...

  • Thanks to @5mudje for calling it to my attention!!!!

  • which is a must for any doctor regardless of gender. Sure it would be met with some controversy, but the show's been on for 50 years, why not experiment? The worst that can happen is it doesn't turn out very well and they have to regenerate the doctor again, which would happen anyways.

  • Aug. 26, 2012, 11:50 a.m. CST

    Speaking of scifi, has anyone been watching H+ The digital series?

    by Rebel Scumb

    It's exclusive to youtube, and really solid so far.

  • Aug. 26, 2012, 12:41 p.m. CST

    I remember when RTD used dr who to push his equality agenda.

    by emeraldboy

    talkbackers wanted to cut him up for that. fans do react very badly to tinkering especially to comic book movies. and equally and more vociferously when they see a writer or a film maker putting an agenda into a film.

  • Aug. 26, 2012, 12:49 p.m. CST


    by Kathryn Gail

    TGSITG. . . I know I'm supposed to frown upon the overall quality of the 7th Doctor stories, but. . . I just enjoy these characters, I can't help it, it's subjective. "Oh No A Sinister Carnival!" is not exactly an original premise, but one that keeps getting used because it's always fun to re-envision (although this one does take some concerted suspension of disbelief). A few things in TGSITG are over the line for me, though, such as the Psychic Circus members' main circus talent of just being 20-years-late hippies, and the Gods of Ragnarok actually being named Raag, Na, and Rok. Rooting around in trivia I'd know on my own and not have to root around for if I had time/$$ to also read all the novels and listen to all the radio plays (and have a snowball fight in the underworld on the way to taking my flying pig to the park), apparently Raag, Na and Rok created the Land of Fiction, so there's a tie-in to The Mind Robbers.

  • Because right now, closing in on September, all we still have confirmed is the half a season's worth of hold over episodes made from the 2012 series budget. Now I'm sure that something new will eventually be announced and made specifically for next year's 50th anniversary, however what a lot of fans are unhappy about is that we were promised the biggest Who year ever, but instead it appears from all evidence so far that we are instead getting the BBC spending less money on new who for any year since the show came back. And that is the exact opposite of what fans expected when all that lip music was being bandied about in reference to the approaching anniversary. Like it or not, certain expectations were set, and not even getting a full season produced for 2013 are about as far away from those expectations as it is possible to get, short of the show being cancelled. Right now it just all feels very bait and switch. Now like I said, I'm sure we'll get some newly produced Who for next year, but if it is actually less than the season's worth that we usually get made for any given year/series/season then I think that there are going to be a lot of understandably disappointed fans out there. The 50th anniversary year should be something special, but right now it feels like more of a gap year. Hope there is some evidence or announcement soon to prove all of us worried fans wrong, because right now there is a general feeling amongst a great many fans that the BBC is going to shortchange us pretty considerably as far as a regular season production goes, much less a landmark like the 50th. We can but wait and see I guess...

  • Aug. 26, 2012, 6:05 p.m. CST

    artist SHOULD put their agendas into things though

    by Rebel Scumb

    Thats what gives them heart and meaning, and not just fluffy masterbation. Whether individual viewers agree with a particular viewpoint is subjective, but I'd much rather see a show or movie attempting to be about something. Hell that's what went awry with star trek in the Voyager era, the show just became about action and stopped being about ethical dilemma's and thought provoking social commentary.

  • Aug. 26, 2012, 6:09 p.m. CST

    Well said Stegman

    by Rebel Scumb

    I couldn't sum it up any better than you just did. And if they had been upfront about all this from the beginning or explained the rationale for it, at least that would acceptable, but this was the exact concern raised a year ago which was adamantly denied by Moffat et al. regardless of what happens in 2013, we are only getting 6 episodes for 2012. Sure there is a remaining 8 episodes that were part of the season 7 order, but that means nothing to viewers, and is only important from a TV budgeting standpoint, for the producers, the reality is we get only a small handfull of episodes in this calendar year, and at present its quite possible those remaining 8 are all we are getting for 2013.

  • Aug. 26, 2012, 11:32 p.m. CST

    Well said Stegman

    by V'Shael

    I've been seeing it as nothing but a 3 card monty game with the budget ever since the Private eye piece.

  • Aug. 27, 2012, 3:54 a.m. CST

    merrick forgot to take his meds

    by AD_Skinner

    Tgsitg the worst? Seriously? Its one of finest stories of the jnt era! It truly sickens me to hear you fawn all over that unwatchable moffatt garbage and condem classic eps like greatest show.

  • Aug. 27, 2012, 6:21 a.m. CST

    Pond Life PT 1 is up on BBC

    by HornOrSilk

    Though it was nice to see the Sontarans, just something of the Pond's own response to the Doctor is upsetting...

  • Aug. 27, 2012, 7:37 a.m. CST

    Pond Life - even less than it made itself out to be.

    by V'Shael

    It's up on youtube if anyone has difficulty accessing the BBC site. Honestly, it is even less than a trailer. Shows pretty much nothing of the Ponds Life between the Doctors visits, since it amounts to 55 seconds of a voicemail being left by the Doctor. I really get the impression that the hype machine at the BBC (or at Who Central) kicks into gear before they even know what the things is going to look like. As a result, they promise X while delivering Y.

  • Aug. 27, 2012, 7:46 a.m. CST

    maybe the tragedy for the ponds is that

    by emeraldboy

    without the dr, they become bored fed up and alcoholic. the dr jettisons them. by condemning them to a nornal life as a couple.

  • Aug. 27, 2012, 8:03 a.m. CST

    Pond Life - well that was short. . .

    by Kathryn Gail

    . . .as the life span of a unicellular pond creature under a microscope, and Pond haters will be safe from the feared domestic drama overload (for at least 55 seconds). Sadly I'm not a Pond hater, and while I thought this was nicely put together, I was hoping for at least a couple minutes after all the hype ("DO YOU REALIZE how much these things cost per second" everyone at the BBC is thinking so loudly I can feel it)! Matt Smith is particularly good in these little comedy-adventure montages, though, so I didn't get to finish my coffee or feel a part of the Pond household yet, but had an enjoyable nearly-a-minute.

  • Aug. 27, 2012, 8:12 a.m. CST

    The 5 minutes of Pond Life...

    by dj_bollocks

    ...will just be like the beginning of The Impossible Astronaut... You didn't really expect anything else did you ?

  • Aug. 27, 2012, 10:04 a.m. CST

    Complaints about lack of Doctor Who in 2013

    by Mister Vertue

    Maybe it's best to complain about the lack of Doctor Who in 2013 *after* we've seen just how much we're actually getting, instead of guessing how little we're getting and having a problem with it? Hopefully this time next week silly season will be over and we can all be sensible again and get back to talking about how brilliant the latest episode was and how much we love Doctor Who. Hopefully.

  • Aug. 27, 2012, 10:19 a.m. CST

    You know it won't be that simple, MOV

    by DoctorTom

    I'm sure most people will be sensible for the next month and a half, but once the 5 episodes have been shown we'll probably be back to silly season again. It's good advice, though. I don't see us finding out how much Doctor Who we get in 2013 until 2013 itself. Early rumors now though suggest the back 8 episodes will be airing in the spring. We know they're not going to let the rest of the year go by without other things to celebrate the anniversary, whether regular episodes or specials. Announcing the Verity Lambert docudrama is a positive first sign, though.

  • Aug. 27, 2012, 11:08 a.m. CST

    @man_of_vertue - Silly season or not,

    by V'Shael

    I'll be a lot more comfortable once I *know* how much Who we're getting in 2013. Right now, everyone who is in a position to know, ain't telling. We haven't even got a confirmation that season 7's back half will air in the spring (after christmas). Leaving the possibility wide open that they will held over until Autumn 2013. Considering that the show hasn't been renewed for an 8th season yet (and season 7 was officially renewed in June 2011) the evidence available right now says that we will get the latter half of Season 7, and some *specials*. Like the Gatiss documentary/movie hybrid. And I know that for many fans, that simply won't cut it. Combine that with recent tweets saying the fans need to manage their expectations... well, it just doesn't look as golden or rosy as one might have hoped, three or four years ago. No matter which way you choose to look at it, right now the *possibility* exists that had Season 7 aired completely in 2012, then the actual 50th year 2013, would have (by comparison) very little to zero new Who episodes at all. This is especially galling for those who remember the days when the BBC hated Who, despite its popularity. The BBC doesn't obey the American ratings system, after all. Just because something is popular, and successful, and makes money, doesn't mean some knob-end at the BBC can take a dislike to a show and scupper it.

  • Aug. 27, 2012, 11:15 a.m. CST

    Doctor Who has jumped the shark?

    by veteran_of_mu

    Lara Pulver cameo was almost cool. Moment of focus would have made it actually cool. But for the rest ... no, that was not cool at all. It was the evil opposite of cool, the anti-cool. Not hot - not that kind of opposite of cool. More the stupid opposite of cool that wears a Spock-beard without actually looking cool like Spock looked in a beard. That kind of not-cool. And, preempting MOV, I know you know it's all going to return to form and be completely fab. Or at least I believe you know that. But after the bad xmas special and the long drought you have to know that 55 seconds isn't going to win hearts much less minds. Maybe the next 55 seconds will get less Pinky Tuscadero.

  • Aug. 27, 2012, 12:37 p.m. CST

    Think I might divert my attention elsewhere...

    by dj_bollocks

    for the week at least, if there's going to be a pinch of moaning here... In case some of you had forgotten there's New Who in 5 days... Enjoy it !

  • Why does the schedule need to be shrouded in mystery? Why not just say 'our plan is this...' and if down the road it changes just say 'we've decided to reschedule to this...' More over, its the whole business of them denying all this a year ago, indicating there was no truth to it at all, and yet it all seems to be going as rumored. And even that wouldn't be such a big deal, if not for the fact that last year they made such a big song and dance out of dividing season 6 up so they could move the show to the Autumn. If they air the back 8 of season7 in Spring 2013 then what was the point of moving the show in the first place? I'm just unclear what all the fuss has been about, the show ran smoothly for 7 years and became more and more popular, why fiddle with the machine?

  • Aug. 27, 2012, 4:30 p.m. CST


    by Andy Buckle

    There's a fair amount of negativity on both this thread and the one for "Pond Life". So thought I'd chuck in my two penn'orth. Not sure how people can be so down on "Pond Life" after slightly less than a minute's worth. Perhaps it's been rather over-hyped and its brevity was disappointing. Did I enjoy it? Yes. Did I expect a little more? Yes. Do I ever want to see the Doctor "rocking" a baseball cap again? NO. However, as a piece of whimsy, an amuse-bouche for the series proper, it's fine. I'm sure the other four will be just as brief and will serve nicely to whet my appetite for "Asylum Of The Daleks". As for the 50th anniversary, I think the main worry lies with the BBC and not the production team. I may be naive but I'm going to trust that the powers-that-be will serve the anniversary well. I'm as keen as anyone to know what's planned, and will complain as vociferously as the next man if I think this milestone year is being short-changed. But let's give them the chance to put their cards on the table before having a go. I think it's the lack of information that's winding people up - so if anyone does know anything... ;)

  • Aug. 27, 2012, 6:17 p.m. CST

    @gland - negativity is just fear talking

    by veteran_of_mu

    I really want the next 18 months to not suck. So do we all. Logically we know we can't do a blessed thing about it one way or the other. But we are not logical folk - we're the people who cheer and boo and wave our arms about. Sometimes all at the same time.

  • Aug. 27, 2012, 6:41 p.m. CST

    ALWAYS at the same time, caractacuspotts . ~GRIN~

    by Perigee

    Trust me - I'm in Philadelphia; adoration and outrage are hand-in-glove here in The City of Brotherly Love. We'll take what we get - and we WILL get something. How much of something and what proportions of what, I haven't the faintest idea. But I'm not going to get flustered about S8 when I haven't even seen five straight minutes of S7 yet. That I've already waited 11 months for. I am about to feed. I hunger. 2013 can take care of itself for the next month. And then I'll start bitching about 2012 part 2. And THEN, and only then, I'll start bitching about 2013. Especially the lack of Canton Delaware the 3rd in it. Hopefully, whatever we'll get, we'll love. Hopefully, whatever we get will be abundant. Definitely, we won't get Nothing. Definitely, somebody somewhere has their Top Men working on the question. Definitely, we'll get what we get, and that's all we'll get. Definitely, we can't do a thing about it. As far as I can tell, that's about the lay of the land for the next 12 months. I choose to worry about Coleman. Why? Why not? She's a lot closer than S8, and the next possible thing that can go wrong. Does she have an overbite? Will they introduce her nekkid? Will she have an annoying laugh? Is she a Mary Sue? Is she a Mary Ann, or a Ginger? Is she a Wesley Crusher? Why isn't she wearing a catsuit, and how come she doesn't know karate? So many questions, and so much more likely to be satisfied in the next 6 months. I like to keep my angst close.

  • Will we get a payoff? We've been very patient. We've sat here musing about Moff's long game, all the lovely loose ends we'd all love to see tied up in some undying genius play that will make us all go, shit no, we're not as smart as the Moff, we really aren't up to the likes of this, we really haven't figured it all out but there really is something to figure out ... Or won't we? Perhaps we'll be sitting here in 18 months time going, damn, a bunch of self-indulgent action-themed "blockbusters" that never had any chance of coming together, never made any real sense, a bunch of frenetic arch wordplay that never lands anywhere, never comes together, and never returns to the premises from which it slouched. In other words - is the Moff doing this for love or money?

  • Aug. 28, 2012, 9:13 a.m. CST

    Manage your expectations - No payoff.

    by V'Shael

    Here's the thing @caractacuspotts... way back when, during the Eleventh Hour, when Rory wasn't even a companion, eagle eyed viewers spotted his hospital badge and issue date. If the Moff had known even then that there was some way Rory was going to wind up back in time and planted that badge as an easter egg which would make sense when the character left, we'd all scream GENIUS and wait anxiously for the 50th anniversary which wraps it all up. However, not only does this not get addressed when the Ponds leave, there are actually examples long before this, of where the potential for showing forward planning and thinking ahead existed, and were left untouched. There are now too many inconsistancies to say with certainty that Moff doesn't have a grand plan. He's winging it. He's throwing enough seeds out there, that some of them will plant and flower, but many won't. They'll just fall on fallow ground. So, no, there won't be a pay off. At best, there'll be a cleverly plotted last minute string-things-plausibly-together story.

  • Aug. 28, 2012, 10:45 a.m. CST

    There may be a payoff

    by DoctorTom

    We'll have to see. Some things seem to be clicking into place, like River's whispering the Doctor's name to him in her first appearance with his comment about there being only one time he could reveal that, combined with the comments about the Fields of Trenzalore. Season 5 we found the Silence behind the TARDIS problems (supposedly) and we've found that they're a religious order that are trying to stop the Doctor from answering the question (or having the question asked) at the Fields of Trenzalore. I'm sure there will be a payoff there, the real question is whether people will be satisfied with the payoff that we get. Some of this was probably just throwing seeds out, as v'shael says, but it looks like he's at least trying to nurture a lot of these seeds.

  • Aug. 28, 2012, 10:47 a.m. CST

    Okay, I'll play that ...

    by veteran_of_mu

    We have seen many times that Moff plays long games. The River arc, the ducks, the cracks, the silence, the Doc moving backward through time in S5, the question, the Dream Lord, the gangerDoc ... these things aren't random. They're not done just for the heck of it. The Moff has a plan. Freeze framing TEH shows us Mels in a phone booth filming Rory on her phone. Then that phone booth explodes. If the Moff didn't have Rory in mind as a major character then why? The Moff has a plan. The older Canton turning up with the gasoline, the older Doc at the picnic, these things mean something. No way does Moff do that and then just drop it. He has a plan. All the freeze-framey details in TGWW. All the bow-tie colour changes. It all means something, damnit, and I mean to understand it. I'm fine that you don't believe in a payoff and I'm fine if the payoff is not obvious. But it's gotta be there. It's just gotta.

  • the recent Doctor Who Magazine with the Fact of Fiction article on Dalek revealed that RTD had a rough idea for the Toclafane even while they were getting season 1 ready, with the idea that they probably wouldn't show up until season 3 (though he brought them up for one Dalek-less draft of Dalek when the Nation estate got snippy with the production crew). Moffat seems to be showing that he also has general ideas of where he wants to take things down the road.

  • No it doesn't. See, fans like to repeat stuff like that. But it's not true. Seeing things which aren't there, is a great way to see a pattern and plan which isn't there either. Same for the bow-tie colour things. Some viewers are just... good at making shit up.

  • Aug. 28, 2012, 4:44 p.m. CST

    Are we still worried about the damned ducks?

    by Perigee

    Ducks. They come and go. Sometimes, they hang around in the morning; sometimes, they show up near dusk. Sometimes, they never come at all. You just can't count on ducks to be where you want them to be, just to justify your claim that something is a "duck pond." You could nail their feet to the ground, but that would be cruel. You could strap them to five-pound iron cannonballs, but they'd tend to drown at the deep end. Let me tell you MY secret. My mom has birdhouses. Really - she does. And guess what - the one she has in the willow tree has never had any birds. I suspect that it's a very, very small TARDIS. Or Moffat put it there to fark with me. Or something. Because, how can it be a bird HOUSE without any birds? Ergo, it MUST be something else...

  • Aug. 28, 2012, 4:48 p.m. CST

    question on Big Finish audios - 7th Doctor TARDIS shenanigans

    by DoctorTom

    I had (accidentally) posted this in one of the Pond Life threads instead of here first, but it's probably better to have it over here. I've fallen woefully behind in my listening to the BF audios. I see in the new 7th Doctor audios they have a white TARDIS, and in the second of the 3 there's supposed to be a white TARDIS and a black TARDIS, according to some of the blurbs/press info I've seen. Which audio first featured the white TARDIS? Did it just happen at the start of the new batch of 3, at the end of the last batch, or well before that?

  • Aug. 28, 2012, 6:15 p.m. CST

    doctortom - The Angel of Scutari

    by Mister Vertue

    That's the first story where the Tardis appears coloured white due to its corporeal shell being hit by a cannonball. Apparently. I didn't know any of this and had to ask somebody else. Does that make me less of a fan? Probably. Oh well! hornosilk also answered this over on the Pond Life thread too, and he came up with the same answer, so it must be true! Night all!

  • Look, it's dead simple - Amelia remembered what her mother did with apples, but her mother had been snatched by the crack and erased from time. Similarly the duck pond was what everyone remembered as the duck pond, even though no one could remember any ducks being in it. It was foreshadowing. That is all. What is the appeal of overthinking this to the point that it's still an issue 3 years later?

  • Some 2am in Leadworth. Wakwakwak... eh, Howard - wots that over there..? Wak... Dunno. I'll just have a waddle over there and see... Wakwak... Well? Wotsit? Howard?.... ...Oooh, wots that light over there? Maybe they're tossing bread on the ground! Better get over there...

  • Aug. 29, 2012, 9:32 a.m. CST

    MOV - thanks!

    by DoctorTom

    It certainly doesn't make you any less of a fan, especially if I'm having to ask where it was (so many audios, so little time...) Thanks for the answer!

  • Aug. 29, 2012, 9:39 a.m. CST

    The (lack of) ducks in the duck pond

    by DoctorTom

    It was all an allegory for Afflack dropping all insurance coverage in Leadworth. (Sorry, it's my reaction to getting all the Afflack duck commercials. Some might be funny the first time, but the 100,000th time the commercial's played you find yourself wishing the duck would be eaten up by the crack.) No, the ducks were definitely due to the crack. The 1990 badge though seemed like it might be setting something up. We'll see if it's a mistake like Moffat tried to claim in a commentary or if it actually ties in to something later (like episode 5, or something for the 50th anniversary). Either way, it's fun to speculate now, but I'm not going to get bent out of shape if it ends up not getting followed up. It will end up being like the "what's that watermelon doing there" bit in Buckaroo Banzai - not relevant to what we've seen. (And, probably, if Moffat doesn't pick up the thread, it will probably happen in an audio or a book later to non-canonically deal with it.)

  • Aug. 29, 2012, 11:28 a.m. CST


    by Perigee

    OOOOH-Chaa...OOOOOOH-Chaa... The TARDIS lands in Leadworth. Exit Doctor... Carrying a duck. He puts the duck in the duck pond, and looks pleased with himself. The duck gets out of the pond, and immediately flies away. The Doctor watches in silence as the duck flies off into the distance, and then, scratching his head, returns to the TARDIS. OOOOH-Chaa...OOOOOOH-Chaa... THAT'S farking ~Pond Life,~ Baby....

  • Aug. 29, 2012, 12:08 p.m. CST

    Perigee - that would be hilarious!

    by DoctorTom

    although I'm sure there's plenty of people who would post scathing comments about it in a Pond Life thread if they actually did that. But it would probably cost them too much money to get the duck, especially a trained one, to do it. And I doubt BBC insurance would cover using an untrained duck, so they wouldn't let Matt carry one around. And the bean counters won't let them have the money for a CGI duck for a 1 minute webcast.

  • Aug. 31, 2012, 2:47 p.m. CST

    Had to sign up just to disagree with this review.

    by Andy

    This is one of my favourite McCoy stories and was actually very well received at the time. Ratings for Season 25, and this story in particular, were up on pervious years. It was credited in the press for increasing Circus attendances around the UK and praised for it scares. I find it a rather brave tale with a fantastic villian and a winning performance from Sylvester McCoy. Incidentally, the Victoria Wood sketch included on this DVD is ft

  • Aug. 31, 2012, 3:09 p.m. CST

    Re : Had to sign up just to disagree with this review.

    by Andy

    Damn my iPhone for posting before I had finished or spellchecked! lol To sum up. I've always considersd Greatest Show to be a very imaginative little tale. It has some great moments, real scares and I'd certainly rather watch this again than say last years rather tepid Christmas Special.