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The Friday Docback Votes For 'Vengeance On Varos'!! DOCTOR WHO Story #138, And More!!





11th Doctor Matt Smith (l) and 10th Doctor David Tennant (r) attend the premiere of Our Boys - a play featuring Arthur Darvill (Rory) and Laurence Fox - husband of Billie Piper (Rose).  




Current Doctor Matt Smith with Tennant-era Rose (Billie Piper) at the same event.  



-- click pics for more! -- 










Merrick here...


With a look at Vengeance on Varos, a two part Colin Baker story originally transmitted January 1985.  


This marks my first complete Colin Baker DOCTOR WHO adventure - his Doctor is the only Doctor to whom I have never been fully exposed (that sounds wrong, but you now what I mean).  


Note that, while I indicate Varos is only a two part episode (as opposed to the larger number of installments we frequently cite when discussing classic WHO), both of this story’s installments are 45 minutes or so in length...resulting in a 90 minute entirety more or less on par with many other classic DW serials.  


More Vengeance on Varos shortly.  But first...








Last week’s installment, in which A Site Called Fred’s Ken Plume and I...


-- discuss Angels Take Manhattan (did it change the overall WHOscape at all?)...


-- ponder why many viewers have an issue with Arthur Darvill’s Rory William’s character....


-- wonder if either of us would travel with the Doctor if the TARDIS materialized on our front lawns...


-- assess being ‘companion’ to the Doctor as an ‘addiction’...


-- exalt the importance of investment/ earnestness in performance in television/film making...


-- mention TIME BANDITS 


-- love DREDD 3D...


-- theorize why we likely haven’t seen the end of Amelia Pond (is there evidence mandating that she must return in order for the Moff to complete his overall vision?) 


-- ...and more! 


...can be found HERE.  Ken expressed some misgivings about this podcast in last week’s Docbacks - I actually found it to be one of our most ‘on game’ endeavors to date.  

Let us know what you think!  




THIS week’s episode (our newest installment) can be found HERE, and includes...


-- a discussion of Vengeance on Varos


-- the decline of DOCTOR WHO in the 80s...


-- violence in DOCTOR WHO - it’s not anachronistic, and its presence makes sense...


-- the Doctor as, essentially, a child... 


-- the perils of BBC’s current scheduling model for DOCTOR WHO...


-- defend Murray Gold's Moffat-era score...


-- ...and more!  


There will be farts...






Vengeance on Varos 




“When did we last see a decent execution?” - Arak (Stephen Yardley), Vengeance on Varos Part One 





Much is wrong on the planet Varos.  Political issues are now determined instantaneously by a populace which votes in real time from home.  Politicians whose agendas are overturned face summary and televised execution.  The People’s Dome of Punishment and Correction also broadcasts State executions, often shaped as entertainment for mass consumption.  State-funded scientists work to ‘transmogrify’ human beings in hideous, Mengele-like experiments.  One besieged and rapidly failing Governor (Martin Jarvis) is fending off starvation, collapse, and utter despair on Varos.  Efforts which seem futile, until the unexpected arrival of the Doctor (Colin Baker ) and companion Peri (Nicola Bryant)...



While never quite attaining the smooth level of insight and profundity advanced by some of, say, Robert Holmes’ best works (The Sun Makers -T. Baker, Story # 95),  the Philip Martin-scripted Vengeance on Varos is a powerful and even haunting tale conceived and presented in very much the same ilk.  


It’s about something.  


When I say ‘it’s about something,’ I mean the heart beating at its core is much, much more substantive than lighter-weight DW episodes featuring monsters of the month or fantastical crises.  Varos cuts to the core of a society dangerously desensitized by mass media and a resulting, almost addictive, reliance on entertainment.  It serves as both an exploration and indictment of televised information, a condemnation of those who fall under its often apathy-inducing spell, and as a tragic portrait of a populace which seems able to think only in a moment -  remaining blinded to larger concerns and critical pictures.  However relevant all of this may’ve seemed to audiences in 1985, it still resonates today...perhaps more so than ever given the rise of reality and competition shows (in the US in particular), and the often slanted information gathering process citizenry in many nations rely on when forming public opinion.  



Varos matters, and does so with a highly-enjoyable package featuring exceedingly competent guest performances by the afore-mentioned Martin Jarvis as Varos’ Governor, and Nabil Shaban as unhinged Galatron Mining Representative Sil... unnerving slug of an ass whose callously Machiavellian tendencies often gum up the works more than instigate.  Polar opposites in their screen presence (Jarvis is tired, soft-spoken and refined, Shaban hyped-up, loudly maniacal, and gleefully chewing scenery), the two work brilliantly - both separately and in tandem - as a point/counter point.  They are Vengeance’s underlying survey of order-vs-chaos, selflessness -vs- selfishness, made manifest.  


Produced shortly before the unfortunate budgetary slide which resulted in the emasculating cheapening of DOCTOR WHO in general (the McCoy years), Varos is reasonably well mounted and employs several styles - from nicely lit cinematic action to deliberately stagey cutaways featuring every-folk Arak (Stephen Yardley) and wife Etta (Sheila Reid) watching narrative proceedings from their humble quarters, and voting to influence outcomes.  They represent, in a real sense, the viewer...or what the viewer could become with a few tweaks and nudges.  Grounding this story through their eyes, and the story’s final movements in which they react soberly to an unexpected outcome televised before them, is one of classic DOCTOR WHO’s more affecting moves.  Smartly conceived, and well played.  


The TARDIS has an operator’s manual!  Which the Doctor reluctantly consults in Vengeance on Varos. 



COLIN BAKER’S DOCTOR.  I do realize there are Baker-era episodes before and after Varos, so this story may not have given me my fullest/best sense of Colin Baker’s Doctor.  With this caveat in mind...I was quite impressed by C. Baker’s take on the character.  Quite. He brings a slightly withdrawn air to the role - often as if he’s observing from afar, with a barely contained holier-than-thou attitude which occasionally bursts to the surface.  Sometimes in smug and acidic ways.  Sometimes in violent ways.  This to me, very much honors the personality traits of Doctors who’ve come before, but re-shapes the distribution of these qualities in a well-considered, even inspired way to present a Doctor who (see what I did there?) is comfortably familiar, yet remains in many ways unique. 


My sense of C. Baker’s Doctor from VoV?  Tread never know what you’re going to get from his Doctor, and whatever you end up with might mean trouble. Folks who’ve recently complained about eleventh Doctor Matt Smith’s edgy/violent proclivities during Season/Series 7 should note that, in Vengeance alone, six guards are dispatched either directly, or indirectly, as a result of the Doctor’s designs. 



It’s my personal belief that the ‘vengeance’ referenced in the story’s title may actually refer to the Doctor’s vengeance against the Varosians who are not only standing in his way - but interfering with a ‘better way of things’ on the planet. 


I like this vibe of unpredictability in the Doctor, and have always found the Doctor character (on the whole) to be most compelling when we sense he’s containing rage or aggression or frustration.  This is wholly logical for an entity who has lived for hundreds and hundreds of years - and wants the best for the universe but often sees its denizens at their worst.  Why WOULDN’T he be frustrated...passionate...infuriated...when he’s seen the wonder of what can be, and the reality of what often is?  In this story, at least, Colin Baker captured this inner-conflict very nicely...and I very much look forward to further exploring his tenure as the Doctor.  A number of Docbackers recommended I begin with Attack of the Cybermen (Story # 137) - time simply did not allow.  However, the suggestion has been noted and AotC (Attack of the Clones!?!?) has been placed on the very short list, and will be Docback fodder within the next few weeks.  


It  took me the better part of of Varos’ first hour to actually settle into this story, and to find the rhythm of Ron Jones’ direction.  Jones, who brought us Frontios (Davison. Story #132), ultimately handles the material here crisply and wisely, and seems to more fully embrace the the spirit of the piece as Martin’s script fleshes out its ideas and becomes more sure footed within itself. I’ve seen some online disparagement of Jason (son of Sean) Connery’s turn as Jondar the rebel here - I found his lines to be hilariously (and quite purposefully) overwritten, and deftly performed by Connery.  He’s spinning his character as a young man whose communication patterns have been completely shaped by word choice and announcer presentation he’d hear on television.  Like Jarvis’ Governor and Shaban’s SIl, Connery serves as an embodiment of this story’s thematics.  Which is in no way inappropriate, given that Vengeance on Varos is, when all is said and done, essentially about how people are shaped, not shaped, or can be misshapen by the media they’re regularly served.  


A not entirely even, but extremely well-considered and memorable installment, the recently restored Vengeance on Varos is now available on DVD HERE in the US, and HERE in the UK.  






Extras include...




Nice or Nasty (29:39)


Presented by Matthew Sweet


Insight into the making of Vengeance on Varos from...


-- writer Philip Martin 


-- Eric Saward (Script Editor) 


Saward says that DOCTOR WHO never came out of BBC’s Chidren’s Department - it originated from a department called Series and Serials.  He indicates that, when he joined the show, no one ever said “Bear in mind, it’s a children’s programme.”  


...”I think it had always been made as an adult’s programme.  With a fun or an exciting element for children that was there - and a bit for the adults above it.”  


So, why do people lkeep telling me it’s a kid’s show?  



-- Sheila Reid (Etta) 


-- Nabil Shaban (Sil)  - 2003 interview 


-- Jonathan Gibbs (Composer)




The Idiot’s Lantern (7:31)


Presenter Samira Ahmed examines DOCTOR WHO’s long-standing use of television within DOCTOR WHO’s narrative landscape. 




Extended and Deleted Scenes (17:43) 


That’s a fair amount of omitted material for a story which already has a 90ish minute running time...




Behind the Scenes (4:53) 


-- Raw material nabbed during the filming of Vengeance on Varos...




Outtakes (3:08) 


-- Flubs, bloopers. misfires.





Trailers (0:43)


-- Vintage promo from Varos’ original broadcast.




Continuities (:37)


-- BBC’s intro announce for its transmit of both Varos episodes. 




Tomorrow’s Times: The Sixth Doctor (12:56)


Amassed feedback of reaction to C. Baker-era DOCTOR WHO via the British Newspaper Archives in London. Presented by Sarah Sutton.  




News (1:09)


-- A vintage news report regarding the casting of Colin Baker as the Doctor




Breakfast Time (5:44) 


--Vintage BBC morning show interview with Colin Baker.




Saturday Superstore (15:07)


Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant appear on a Saturday children’s show.  Baker discusses how his take on the Doctor character was developed, and how his “bad taste” costume came about per John Nathan-Turner.  Includes phone calls from viewers, one of them being the Master.  (“Where is calling from?  I’ll bet he reversed the charges...” insists Baker.)  In another humorous moment, Bryant presents a swag bag filled with Peter Davison DW merch as Colin Baker looks on with (feigned?) incredulity.  Ahhhh, BBC...


Surprisingly interesting feature.  


Colin Baker seems to favor this card from young fan Peter John Wilcock





French & Saunders  (7:33)


Featuring an UNTRANSMITTED FRENCH & SAUNDERS sketch (recorded 25 January, 1987) in which George Layuton appears as the Doctor.  



In the sketch, the filming of a DW episode proves exceptionally difficult.  





Photo Gallery (6:41)






-- Radio Times Listing 


-- BBC Enterprises Sales Sheet 




Coming Soon (1:07) 


Trailer for   The Ambassadors of Death - (HERE in US and HERE in UK).  








Glen Oliver




Google +














[Season / Series Seven Docbacks - MOST RECENT DOCBACK IS HIGHLIGHTED]


The Coming of Season/Series 7

Asylum of the Daleks 

Dinosaurs on a Spaceship

A Town Called Mercy 

The Power of Three 

The Angels Take Manhattan 






"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) 

"Spearhead from Space" (Story #51) 

"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) 

"The Greatest Show in the Galaxy" (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  






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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  • Oct. 5, 2012, 10:07 a.m. CST

    So, when does the new companion appear?

    by Michael Lunney

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 10:14 a.m. CST

    xmas day....

    by ProfWimsey

    .... and we still have no idea what her connection is to Oswin!

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 10:15 a.m. CST

    New Companion

    by lantern48

    She already did. Her second appearance is in the upcoming Christmas special.

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 10:16 a.m. CST

    Man, I hate JNT's style....

    by ProfWimsey

    I mean, seriously, I could see the point in having Colin's outfit be like that for the first story or two. But why,why, why did he keep wearing that horrid outfit? (The outfits that Colin Baker wanted to wear would have been much cooler and infinitely less silly.)

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 10:19 a.m. CST

    Well, Coleman's next appearance is at XMas...

    by ProfWimsey

    .... we still do not know what connection the companion has to Oswin, other than that there is one. There might very well be a Anne/Dodo relationship between Clara & Oswin.

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 10:21 a.m. CST


    by DVaderRIP

    Sarah Jane will always be the best companion - but Peri was almost certainly the hottest. She had at least two fantastic assets, and judging from what they gave her to wear the producers were well aware of them. Peter Davison was 'my' Doctor, but I switched off during Colin Baker... Peri was the only reason I kept watching after "The Twin Dilemma".

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 10:36 a.m. CST

    Merrick, I've said it before and I'll say it again...

    by TheSeeker7

    You're a better man than I. That is, despite how far and fast I've fallen for DW since first getting exposed to the 2005 reboot about a year and a half ago now, I still couldn't possibly have less interest in going back to watch any of the episodes from the original series, and I'm not the least bit ashamed to say it. It all looks sooooooooo schlocky, cheesy and weak.<br> <br> And, I've said this before as well, but the production value and cinematography have gotten so beautiful in the last 2 years, the difference between 2011/12 and just 2005 at the start of the reboot is almost equivalent to how the 2005 season looked in contrast to any of how the original series looked lol

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 10:39 a.m. CST

    oh and btw, regarding Christmas previews...

    by TheSeeker7

    I feel like I recall it being the case that before this year, when we'd gotten a little teaser of the upcoming Christmas episode that was tacked onto the end of whatever was the last episode before said Xmas show (and yes even if there would be at least a couple months in between) we'd get more of a proper view of the christmas one. Not just like a tiny 3 second blip of it like we got at the end of the angel episode last week.

  • lantern48 - technically- you are incorrect, sir- she was not a companion in her first appearance

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 10:55 a.m. CST

    The Two Doctors

    by freakshowmonkey

    should be added to your list as well. The story is silly and the Androgum are crap as villians, but I love the interplay between 2 and 6.

  • Douglas Adams wrote some of the episodes, for one small examlpe.... The look isn't everything.... it's the stories, my friend....

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 11 a.m. CST

    Ah, Colin...

    by Captain Howdy

    ... they never did let you shine. Shame. His acerbic take on the Doctor was quite refreshing after the 5th Doctor's ''glum schoolboy'' approach. And despite all the bile people level at his tenure, (and outfit), I loved 'The Trial of A Time Lord'. It introduced the Valeyard*, (whom I still believe to be a great Who villain), and gave Mr. Baker a chance to run the entire gamut of his emotions. The only justice here is that, thanks to Big Finish, he was finally allowed to become the Doctor that television denied him. They also managed to swap the jester's costume for a dashing dark blue ensemble, even if it was only in the form of cover art. * And whatever The Moff might say about the Valeyard, he obviously had enough of an impact to influence the creation of the Dream Lord - an almost identi-kit version of the Doctor's dark side.

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 11:03 a.m. CST

    The Two Doctors

    by Himbo

    Was my introduction to Colin Baker's doctor. I recall it was a hoot. It's not *about* anything, but is a fun meeting between Doctors 2 & 6. I've often wondered if the Doctor's regenerated personality is not based somewhat on the manner of his previous death. 6 anger response was due to the violence in Caves of Androzani. 5 oldness and gentleness due to the sacrificial nature of Saving Universe in Logopolis. 9 edginess coming from bitterness over the destruction of the Timelords in the TimeWar, which I presume resulted in Dr. regen. 10 having his level of joy due to saving the life of the woman he loved. 11 joy and bitterness at having saved an old man out of a sense of obligation and duty. This could purely be inkblot testing on my part.

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 11:07 a.m. CST

    A good place to start

    by Dreamfasting

    I think it's a wise idea to circle in on the Colin Baker era out of order. You want your impressions of his character to be formed around the stronger, pointed stories like this one. Your characterization of his Doctor as just being frustrated and impatient with societies making obvious errors is a good one. My problem was that, at a young age, watching them in order, the regeneration story framed the character in a way that left me unable to reach this view. Every time he showed the slightest hint of rage, all I could think of was wanting Peri to run for safty. I'll be curious to see, when you eventually circle back to that story and the choking scene in particular, whether you come into it armed with enough foreknowledge of where the character is going to see past the moment.

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 11:11 a.m. CST

    The Bells of St. John....rumored title for first episode in 2013

    by Sequitur

    I wonder if it has anything to do with the St. John sign on the TARDIS door... Moff you cheeky devil.

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 11:17 a.m. CST

    Vengeance was definitely one of the better stories for Colin Baker

    by DoctorTom

    Focusing in in the media, a few years before Max Headroom lampooned it even further. I still think the coat was a mistake. Colin's portrayal is good, there's nothing wrong with a Doctor who lets his ego out now and then - it started with Hartnell that way. It was jarring to people at the time though after coming off of Peter Davison's run. But, to add the technicolor coat to that, was probably pushing it too far. I think if they had gone with what Baker had wanted, a simple black costume more like the Master's, he would have been accepted a lot more. That would have made things even more interesting though if they had still done the Valeyard with him already dressing like a villain.

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 11:18 a.m. CST

    @himbo RE: Regenerations

    by Captain Howdy

    Nice idea. And I thought that 'The Two Doctors' was great fun, even if 2 & 6 didn't share as much screen time together as I might have liked. But Troughton's time as a Time Lord/Androgum hybrid, salivating with Shockeye of the Quawncing Grig as they discussed the many sumptuous dishes that the universe could offer, was pure televisual gold.

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 11:25 a.m. CST

    @doctortom RE: Black costume

    by Captain Howdy

    The shots I've seen from the Christmas special show the 11th Doctor sporting an almost identical outfit to the one Colin Baker was denied. There might be something to that, or it may just be a way to sell a new Matt Smith action figure. Watch this space, I guess.

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 11:26 a.m. CST

    Himbo -- I think you're right

    by PDepew2181

    It probably didn't seem obvious then but I started to think that way when 10th Doctor told Rose that he was the way he was due to Rose's influence on the 9th Doctor. He also said the 9th Doctor was so aggressive based upon what had happened to him previously, so like you said what happened in the Time War. I don't think this trend really started until the 5th Doctor. He was more deferential than the 4th Doctor, who was so much of a driving force that he was always out in front. The 5th Doctor, eh, not so much. Probably why he's always been my least favorite Doctor other than the 8th Doctor. So because the 5th Doctor was, frankly, kind of a wimp, I felt that the 6th Doctor was much more aggressive and forceful, to the extent of being brash and unlikeable at times. But I always enjoyed this interpretation despite two of the worst serials ever (The Twin Dilemma, Timelash). Also, those pictures at the top? What has Billie Piper done to herself? She looks like The Joker in that picture!

  • the Valeyard bit might actually be in the works for the 50th anniversary or later in the season, and can actually be playing into some of the themes that Moffat's been weaving in. From Season 6, we have River telling the Doctor that the word Doctor was given to cultures by him and came to be known as healer or wise man. By going down the path he was going down, the tribes in the Gamma Forest already took Doctor to mean Great Warrior. She wondered what Doctor would come to mean if he kept going down that path. At the time, the Doctor had become a little bit too big. Now, we have people asking Doctor Who? The Doctor's been erasing himself from databases, but there's still the fundamental question of what Doctor would come to mean. And this is probably the thrust of the question Doctor Who? when it will be asked on the Fields of Trenzalore - Who as in Who are you, what do you really represent, and how do others see you? The titles have been growing consistently darker, as has the Doctor's attitude, with the opening batch of Season 7 stories. River's question still remains though - if he keeps going down that path, what will Doctor come to mean? The Valeyard (or Dream Lord, or anything like that) would be an outward manifestation of the endpoint.of what he will come to be at the end of that darker path. Ir would definitely show how far the Doctor could fall. It might not be the Valeyard himself, it could just be a future version of Matt Smith himself.

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 11:28 a.m. CST

    Colin Baker is unwatchable

    by Jimbobsq

    I sat through Vengeance on Varos, and I haven't been able to stomach the thought of sitting through another 6th Doctor story since. The sets are cheap, Baker's acting is wretched, and despite a few clever ideas in the script the whole thing reeks of the failure that was JNT-era Who. Just an all-around unpleasant experience.

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 11:31 a.m. CST

    Billie Piper's husband

    by Himbo

    Laurence Fox is a fine actor. I totally recommend the Inspector Lewis mysteries, in which LF costars as Det. Sergeant Hathaway. Billie looks no skinner than she did at end of End of Time pt 2. I never did see the Diary of a Call Girl series. Is it recommended?

  • His track record shows that he doesn't care much about the program's history. Asylum of the Daleks was his version of The Evil of the Daleks, only this time they're not writing off the Daleks because they're supposed to get their own show. He's writing them off because he doesn't want to use them. Sure, they're a crutch but that doesn't mean that they can't be used in effective ways. He just doesn't want to do that. Now leaving aside how RTD ruined the Cybermen (who I never much liked anyway) and The Master, Moffat has also included a bunch of throwaway lines regarding aliens from the classic series, most recently the Zygon mention in The Power of Three. I suppose it was nice to have a Brigadier reference in that episode, but that probably has as much to do with his passing as anything else. I don't like the direction of the current series, I hated The Angels Take Manhattan and I hate Moffat's contributions to the series in terms of recurring villains. The Angels and The Silence are two of the most gimmicky villains ever, not just in Doctor Who. They're both based on sight for the love of Who! One can only move and do bad things if you're not looking, and the others you don't remember if you're not looking. So I just don't expect some awesome 50th anniversary thing because I don't think Moffat is respectful enough of the classic series. I'm still dreading him changing the Doctor's gender, which I just know he'll do.

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 11:46 a.m. CST

    Tom Baker and changing the Doctor's gender ...

    by ProfWimsey

    Tom Baker was one of the first to suggest doing that. Clearly he needed more respect for the "classic" series.....

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 11:48 a.m. CST

    RE: 50th Anniversary.

    by Captain Howdy

    It's too early to call Steven Moffat out for disrespecting the history of Who, (which I don't personally believe to be the case), and until such time as that particular episode hits our screens, I will continue to believe that he does have a master plan, and fully intends to please as many of us as is possible. (Mr. Moffat - if you are reading this, please do the multi-Doctor thing. Soon. Cheers!)

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 11:54 a.m. CST

    you don't expect Moffat to do much for the 50th anniversary??

    by TheSeeker7

    Didn't he come right out a few months ago and blatantly say they were working on something really cool for it? and, of course the most obvious idea is having all the living Doctors back together in an episode, yet I'm curious to see how they deal with the logic of if there's a story they'll write having it make sense that the Doctor would get to see (and even interact with) multiple previous versions of him, there's only what, like 5 of the actors left alive? Curious to see the explanation of why it would only be SOME of his previous versions (where surely if all of the actors were still among us, they'd use them all).<br> <br> oh and speaking of The Master... while I most definitely adore the concept of Benedict Cumberbatch of dropping by the show to cameo as The Master (as the rumors I've heard for awhile now), I never quite understood why it seemed like a foregone conclusion that John Simm wouldn't have simply returned to play the part himself.

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 12:03 p.m. CST

    Assylum of the Daleks and Colin Baker

    by HornOrSilk

    In many ways, imo, AotD is also Revelation of the Daleks for Matt. Think about it (for those who have seen it). Zombie Daleks indeed!

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 12:05 p.m. CST

    Whotinninies and Colin Baker.... (from the previous DocBack)

    by HornOrSilk

    I listen from time to time, not every one, depending upon what's going on at the time. I wanted to hear the reaction to Colin Baker. I'm glad you both appreciated him. Even before Big Finish (which has done him well), I've always felt a fondness to his Doctor. I understood, and do understand, some of the criticism (which you will understand after you see more; and for those who saw it in order beginning with Twin Dilemma, I think that just made it worse and people have a difficulty adjusting due to first impressions), but I've always felt Colin got hit with so much unjust criticism. His Doctor is brash, antagonistic, egotistical, and yet beneath all that, still a hero when push comes to shove. He, however, now revels in it in a way he never did before or after (Matt perhaps getting close before River talked him down). Vengeance on Varos is recognized as one of his better stories (many who don't like his Doctor appreciate this story, for example), so it helps you start on a good note. The stories which usually are put on the "plus" side for the Sixth Doctor are this one and Revelation of the Daleks (which is one of the most unusual Dalek stories, and yet fits with Matt's most recent one in some ways, which you will understand when you get a chance to see it). So, good to see you liked it.

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 12:11 p.m. CST

    @theseeker: Your loss...the best Doctor Who happened between 1975-1977

    by obijuanmartinez

    Nothing else in the Whoniverse compares to Philip HInchcliffe's tenure as Producer of Who. The period is correctly referred to as the golden age of DW...

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 12:12 p.m. CST

    Ah, Vengeance on Varos

    by ByTor

    Merrick, I agree with your points about the story being about something. It definitely felt like a more sophisticated tale than many others, especially those of this era. On the other hand, I think Colin's Doctor takes the rage/darkness/whatever too far. Above all else, I expect the Doctor to be a hero, and I expect him to be somewhat likable. People point to Hartnell in Unearthly Child or The Daleks, but good grief, that was the very beginning. Hartnell lost that nasty edge in fairly short order. But combine the Sixth Doctor's nastiness with the Saward violence and you end up with a Doctor who just doesn't feel like a hero to me. You've got more of him to see, of course, but be prepared for things like cracking a joke after he kills someone, or choking his companion, or calling his companion fat. And of course, the costume was just sad. They do tone it down in S23, and I think had he continued beyond that, people would have come around. But that would have taken time, and JNT and Saward didn't seem to understand the importance of a good first impression. Himbo: It's worth watching Secret Diary if you want to see Billie Piper get all nekkid and whatnot, but I think the writers of that show forgot to...have stuff...happen. It's dull beyond belief, and a show about a call girl with lots of nudity and sex ought to have a tough time being dull. But they pull it off.

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 12:19 p.m. CST

    obijuanmartinez is a heretic!

    by ProfWimsey

    Everyone knows that the Golden Era was 1967 - 1969 under Troughton! Color ruined the show: we no longer could imagine anything we wanted, and the effects started to look awful. And those classics like Evil of the Daleks and Power of the Daleks: the 5 living people who remember them will tell you how great they were! And no companion had legs like Jamie....

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 12:22 p.m. CST


    by ByTor

    Revelation of the Daleks is outstanding in some ways. Graeme Harper was just out-of-his-mind brilliant, as he demonstrated (twice) that you can make Doctor Who look really, really good even on that old budget. The guest stars are brilliant. Sets, costumes...everything just clicked. The big weakness, IMO, was Saward. And I know I seem like I've got an axe to grind against this guy. I honestly do not. I just don't think he could write very well, particularly when it comes to dialog. (His plotting was sometimes pretty good, other times so-so.) He always writes the Doctor as a petulant ass. Even Davison's Doctor, amazingly enough. Watch the opening scenes of the Visitation, for example, or Earthshock. Totally incongruous with the rest of Davison's oeuvre. Here again, we get nastiness, along with dialog that doesn't seem remotely natural. He's not quite George Lucas, but Saward doesn't seem to understand how real humans speak to each other. The whole exchange between the Doctor and Peri about her being fat, about the pocket watch, etc. was just awful. The next problem, of course, is the concept of a Dalek justice system. We're stuck with it now, of course, but we weren't then. I'm trying to understand what Daleks would need a justice system for. If they thought Davros committed crimes against the Daleks, they'd exterminate him. If they think he might be useful, they'd imprison him and force him to do whatever they want. But to *stand trial*? But the biggest flaw -- and again, overall I really like this story, but it most certainly is flawed -- is that there's no real need for the Doctor to even be IN it. Remove the Doctor, and things play out more or less the same. He's a bystander, and I just don't think that's a workable framework for Doctor Who.

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 12:23 p.m. CST

    Colin Baker era

    by Peter

    Tom Baker was my Doctor and these days, I love Pertwee, too. But even I lost all interest in the good Doctor during Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy's era. The programme was just hugely misunderstood and mishandled. I can't bear to watch any of their tenure, I'm afraid. But for those who are scared of the original series, go to Daily Motion and try: Pyramids of Mars (T Baker) The Curse of Peladon (Pertwee) The Talons of Weng Chiang (T Baker) City of Death (T Baker) Tom Baker was immensely charismatic - such a magnetic personality. The stories above all hold up really well.

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 12:28 p.m. CST

    Operator's Manual

    by Casey4147

    I'd forgotten that it had made an appearance or two before Our Doctor admits to have had a disagreement with it and chucked it into a supernova...

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 12:34 p.m. CST

    bytor - my guess about Daleks

    by HornOrSilk

    Yes, it seems odd Daleks would have a justice system, or a parliament, of anything like that. However -- and it is a big however, I think it came into them as a result of Evil of the Daleks. Daleks took on qualities from humanity. And then infected their own race in the time stream.

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 12:34 p.m. CST


    by ByTor

    There are some other bright spots I really like (e.g. S7, S18, S20 -- yes, S20), but yeah the Hinchcliffe years were just PACKED with amazing stories. I'm currently at S20 in my watch-everything-from-beginning-to-end process, and when I hit the Hinchcliffe era, I was reminded of how many iconic stories appear there, one right after another. Awesome stuff.

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 12:35 p.m. CST

    And Eric is also known for another problem

    by HornOrSilk

    Almost making the Doctor's presence as a watcher and less of an active participant in the resolution of the crisis at hand.

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 12:37 p.m. CST

    BYTOR Re: Dalek Justice System

    by Casey4147

    The next problem, of course, is the concept of a Dalek justice system. We're stuck with it now, of course, but we weren't then. I'm trying to understand what Daleks would need a justice system for. If they thought Davros committed crimes against the Daleks, they'd exterminate him. If they think he might be useful, they'd imprison him and force him to do whatever they want. But to *stand trial*?

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 12:44 p.m. CST


    by Casey4147

    Apparently, can't quote here, at least not the way I just tried to. My whole reply got cut off. Okay, here we go again... The Daleks have been pretty inconsistent, especially lately. New Daleks (Victory of the Daleks) come on the scene and immediately start exterminating their predecessors. Yet where's the 'New and Improved Model' attitude in Asylum of the Daleks, where we're told we'll see EVERY model EVER of Daleks. (Must have blinked, I only recall seeing two). New and Old Daleks co-existing nicely in the Senate scene. And the whole Asylum thing? Really? You'll kill off your elders at the drop of a hat but you keep your walking wounded? They put on a trial for Davros (in the old series) and The Master (mentioned in Paul McGann's opening)? Yet the first instinct of a long-dormant, imprisoned Dalek when Christopher Eccleston identifies himself as The Doctor is to exterminate? Perhaps they're a tad bipolar?

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 12:49 p.m. CST

    casey4147 -- Victory of the Daleks

    by HornOrSilk

    It had already been established, these were using proper casings but the interior Daleks were not pure enough to be qualified as Daleks. This is why they needed the Doctor to get the ball rolling, so to speak. Pure Daleks, in whatever shell, are preserved. People or entities turned into Daleks are used and then thrown away once their use is over.

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 12:51 p.m. CST

    Peri was great; Mel marked the decline of the show

    by lynxpro

    I liked Colin Baker as The Doctor but he did initially rub lots of fans the wrong way when he choked Peri during his instability after the regeneration. Lots of people tuned out after that brief transgression. Then there was the costume which was JN-T's stupidest idea ever. And then once Peri left the show, it was a trainwreck downhill with that stupid Mel character screaming all the time. Colin had that weight gain issue, his firing, and then Sylvester McCoy takes over with apparently a massive budget cut, even wobblier sets, and absolutely crap sets... Heck, I didn't even mention Ace either. It's no wonder the show got cancelled. Just watch a 7th Doctor episode - pick out one of the "better" episodes from fan consideration - and compare it with a mediocre Tom Baker or Peter Davison episode. Worlds of difference in the negative. And yet fans have the audacity to criticize the TV Movie as being bad when what they really should do is watch it back to back with "Survival" and just see how bad ClassicWho had gotten. And that's my $0.03 on the subject. Colin Baker got rooked.

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 12:57 p.m. CST

    and continuing...

    by lynxpro

    That was also the era that BBC Enterprises - now known as BBC Worldwide, owners of BBC America - decided to try to squeeze American fandom to pay for all of their other loser assets. BBC Enterprises tried to charge PBS stations exorbitant prices for Who repeats and forced them to carry the entire run of Tom Baker episodes even if the PBS stations wanted to show any of the other Doctors [including the "current" ones at the time]. This ended up with the distribution company [Lionheart Television] bankrupted and BBC Enterprises buying them up and increasing their fees even more. When they tried a national rollout of a convention tour, they cheesed off the Creation Convention company as well as the Doctor Who Fan Club of America and when neither would fall in line, BBC Enterprises tried to create a rival *official* Doctor Who Fan Club and drove the DWFCA under. Combined with BBC UK canceling Doctor Who, it killed fandom stone cold dead here in the States. Fandom was huge in the States prior to these moves even if it was considered "underground" when compared to the Trekkies. BBC Worldwide's attitudes didn't improve until recently with the success of the BBC America channel. Before that, they had arrogant executives loudly claiming that American fans were so desperate for Who content that they'd gladly pay $5 an episode to watch "Torchwood".

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 1:04 p.m. CST


    by ByTor

    I more or less agree, although I think there are a couple of gems in S25 and S26, and I think the show was headed in an interesting direction. I wasn't a fan of the so-called Cartmel Masterplan, but at least it was a plan, and I think there was more depth to that than anything during the Saward years. Also, the telefilm was incoherent silliness. :)

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 1:13 p.m. CST

    Dark, dark, dark

    by I am_NOTREAL

    I haven't seen this since I was a teenager, and I'm sure a fair amount of subtext went over my head...but the overwhelming impression I recall is the dark cynicism oozing from the screen, in a way I had not yet seen from Doctor Who. I recall Attack of the Cybermen as a fairly nasty tale also, although I remember even less than Varos.

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 1:19 p.m. CST

    My view of the 6th, 7th, and 8th Doctors

    by HornOrSilk

    First, I love the Doctors themselves. There has yet to be a Doctor I didn't like. And my favorites change. It is not always due to the one who I thought had the best stories, but the persona which makes me choose who I like best. In the late 80s through a good part of the 90s, Sylvester was my favorite Doctor and Curse of Fenric was my favorite story (and I had started with Tom Baker, so it wasn't because he was my first). I still have a strong affection for Sly, but I also don't have him on top anymore (now I usually say I like all Doctors equally). The Colin Baker years were quite a shock when I first got to them. We were shown his first season, then they went back and I think showed Pertwee through Peter again, then went back and started with Hartnell and finally, years later, we got to see Trial. I loved Trial. I liked the idea behind it. I loved the Valeyard and always felt there was much more to his story than met the eye -- that, from his perspective, he "won" whatever he truly was after (and I thought it had to do with the Matrix). Sylvester was a shock. I didn't like Time and the Rani, but then came Paradise Towers. I know many think ill of it, but I loved it for what it was. It was and is awesome (despite my almost total disagreement with what I think is the ultimate message, I think it was very well done). Then Delta and the Bannerman was shown, and I hated it. Dragonfire was meh, and I didn't like Ace. I heard people loved her in 25. Eventually I got tapes of S25 and 26, and I liked her. When the TVM was announced, a friend of mine and I started a petition to get Sylvester AND Sophie back. I feel, to some degree, it helped make Sylvester come back, for good or ill. The movie felt good on character, but the story was all over the place and just didn't do what it should have done. I appreciated Paul as the Doctor and thought, "I've seen worse post-regeneration stories" and so was upset when nothing new came. Big Finish started in the late 90s. I immediately ordered the first one. I felt it was meh and didn't think it was worth the cost. Eventually I heard they got Paul back and I heard they were doing a Romana-Gallifrey story with him. I pre-ordered it when I heard about it. Eventually, long after I pre-ordered and I had forgotten I did, it came out. I was shipped it with a free copy of the Frobisher one-off. I loved what I got and started getting all the BF audios, finding that they really did get good after the first. It gave me my Doctor Who back, and also gave me what I had wanted: more adventures with the Doctors who I felt had been shafted (Colin and Sylvester). Colin got to shine in them more the Sly, and the 8th Doctor became real for me. Nonetheless, now I feel the 6th-8th Doctors are more alive through the audios than the TV show itself, which is rather odd. The TV show gives a glimpse of them, but the fullness of who and what they can be have been done through the audios. They no longer feel "shafted" but feel like full fledged Doctors who have been able to have their time and place in the show's history. And through them, I feel my sentiment of the 6th-8th Doctors being good, despite the show, has been proven and it now helps me go back to watch their shows, even their bad ones, and appreciate them even more.

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 1:20 p.m. CST

    Oh and as for Mel

    by HornOrSilk

    I never understood the hate for her. The audios have also helped vindicate that sentiment, too.

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 1:43 p.m. CST


    by ProfWimsey

    .... should have been fed to a dinosaur 5 minutes before Adric crashed the Cybership.

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 2:06 p.m. CST

    Daily Motion link to watch "Vengeance on Varos"...

    by obijuanmartinez

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 2:15 p.m. CST

    @obijuanmartinez: yeah

    by ByTor

    That's a pretty damned good era too. I know Pertwee isn't to everyone's taste (a certain frienemy of mine who has written for the new series doesn't care for it at all), but I think there was a lot of great stuff going on. Even beyond some of the great stories (including some of Holmes' best work)...casting Roger Delgado was genius. The interplay between Jon and Roger (and, even moreso, Jon and Katy) was magical. Shame that we never got the final showdown between the Doctor and the Master that was planned, but I'll gladly sit through a rewatch of the Pertwee era any day of the week.

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 2:27 p.m. CST

    hornorsilk - the 7th and 8th Doctors

    by DoctorTom

    I think the novels helped them almost as much as the audios. It's not quite the same thing as getting to hear (or see) McCoy or McGann, but the novels were trying to push things forward and carry on with things rather than just follow the old formula. (They might have come up with new formulas that got settled into, but that's a different subject). Ironically, some of the same ideas were used in Eight Doctor novels, the audios and/or the TV series. Doctor losing his memory on some things? EDAs and audios. Gallifrey destroyed? EDAs and new series. Rassilon back? Audios and TV series (I kind of liked Timothy Dalton, but still wonder if RTD should have taken a page from the audios and cast Don Warrington as Rassilon). Considering that several of the people working in Who since it came back got their start writing Doctor Who, it's a good sign that the New Adventures and Eighth Doctor Adventures shouldn't be dismissed.

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 2:28 p.m. CST

    mcgootoo: You meant to say...

    by lantern48

    You meant to say technically I am correct. We know she's the new companion. Even though her first appearance isn't in that role, it's still her first appearance - just not as the companion. It's a comic book thing. Don't know if you get what I mean.

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 2:43 p.m. CST

    I wouldn't mind a female Doctor

    by cromulent

    Would put a fresh spin on the character. Hell even a black Doctor would be cool. Or a black female Doctor. Or a black female midget paraplegic albino blind Doctor with AIDS.

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 2:49 p.m. CST

    @cromulent: There is but 1 choice for the next Doctor:

    by obijuanmartinez

    Chiwetel Ejiofor. That is all. Anything less, and I jump!

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 2:57 p.m. CST

    doctortom -- the books

    by HornOrSilk

    I was into the New Adventures for a few years, but eventually I got behind due to studies and didn't feel the need to catch back up. The audios are superior to the books because the actors get to be put in the part and fix things a bit in the process. Nonetheless, they did get a few writers their first professional Doctor Who work, including RTD himself. For this reason, I agree, they are not to be dismissed, and they do tie into the audios, so even more reason not to dismiss them, however, they are "easily thrown out" if something in them conflicts with the audios or tv series.

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 3:23 p.m. CST

    hornorsilk - I agree with that

    by DoctorTom

    of course, the audios are like the books in that they can easily be thrown out if there's conflicts (in fact, you pretty much have to throw out Terror Firma since they were trying to SPOILERS FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN'T LISTENED turn Davros into the Dalek Emperor in an effort to tie in with the tv series. Of course, once Davros came back it makes those changes a bit silly. Still, it did make for a good cliffhanger for the story before it - the Doctor gets out of the other universe (hmmm, didn't we have that with the 7th Doctor in the New Adventures? but I digress), opens the door and finds a horde of Daleks. It was just as good here as in The Curse of Fatal Death. I'm careful to pick out the New Adventures and EDAs since most of the novels put out since then just don't have the immediacy - and they wouldn't, with the tv series out. The larg hardback for more special novels though makes sense - the Shada novelization was wonderful, and I'm looking forward to reading Steven Baxter's novel (or listening to the audiobook of it).

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 3:26 p.m. CST

    New Adventure are officially not canon, I think....

    by ProfWimsey

    At some point, I think that it was declared that the NA are not considered canon. The fact that they actually filmed one of them (Cornell's excellent Human Nature) sort of cemented taht. It's sort of too bad: the Doctor had a River Song-like companion for a while who would have made a great TV companion! (I forget her name 20 years later: but she was supposed to look like Emma Thompson, which is a good start....)

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 3:31 p.m. CST

    doctortom - actually Terror Firma is one which fits fine

    by HornOrSilk

    There are many possible ways to resolve the apparent conflict. One, of course, is that in the Time War, many events got written and rewritten. We already got hints of that in the series. Of course, there are other possibilities. My theory right now is that Davros split into two personas. The Emperor one took over in the audio, but the Davros one remained deep within. The Emperor eventually saw the need to remove Davros from within and implanted that consciousness in a cloned-body, so that the Daleks could have the advantage of both sides of his consciousness - the extreme Dalek in the Emperor (which goes crazy and thinks of itself as a god) and the pre-Dalek creator who can (like the Cult of Skaro) be brought back to think out of the box (and is enslaved to the other Daleks).

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 3:38 p.m. CST

    hornorsilk - there's a but there....

    by DoctorTom

    the Davros we saw in the new series had a cybernetic hand replacing the one that got shot off in Revelation of the Daleks. Yeah, it could theoretically be explained away, but at that point it's passed the point where it snaps people's reality suspenders.

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 3:42 p.m. CST

    elwagnero -- Canon

    by HornOrSilk

    I seem to remember the Moff saying once, "Everything is Canon." He also said this is because time is rewritten all the time. RTD seemed to accept the audios as canon, which should say something too.

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 3:44 p.m. CST


    by HornOrSilk

    I still think it fits. There is, of course, another possibility. Terror Firma happens LATER in Davros' time-line. We do see that he was sort of taken out of the Time War. Perhaps he somehow is sent back and becomes the Emperor?

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 3:58 p.m. CST

    Audios might be different...

    by ProfWimsey

    ... wasn't there a more official BBC involvement? Also, it did include the actors and actresses from the series. I remember that the Beeb OK'ed the initial New Adventure series, but then they pulled the plug to authorize their own series. Ah, the wackiness of it all....

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 4:25 p.m. CST


    by ByTor

    The BBC has never officially claimed anything about the canonical nature of the books or audios. As someone who was an avid reader during the NA and MA days, I think it boils down to this: (1) The BBC won't take an official position because there's no upside. If they came out and said (for example) the books aren't canon, well, there's zero chance of that INCREASING sales, and a small possibility of DECREASING sales. (2) Realistically, no show runner is going to worry about the tie-in stuff. The TV show is enough to keep track of as it is. I doubt RTD felt bound by the novels and audios, even though he wrote for the NAs himself, and I doubt Moffat feels differently. So ultimately it's up to the fans to figure it out. We're the only ones that care anyway. And even then, it doesn't really matter to us internally, right? We care about a good story, regardless of format. The state of canon regarding, say, Love and War is immaterial to me, as I'd rather read it than sit through Fear Her. It only really matters during fan discussions. When we're sitting around discussing stuff, and trying to come up with HATs, do we include the tie-in stuff or not? I think we can all agree that the screen trumps all, right? If Lungbarrow tells us one thing about Time Lord families and biology, but then The Doctor's Daughter has the Doctor saying he's been a parent, well, so much for Lungbarrow. But if there's no conflict, and we're trying to work out something regarding (say) Dalek's up to us. My *default* position when discussing with others is to stick to the TV show, if only because I know it's the common ground amongst fans. However, if I think something in a book or audio might be relevant, I'll usually say something like *Well, depending on how you view the books, Ace is now...* I do this because I know there are fans who treat the books and audios as absolute gospel, and there are fans who utterly dismiss them. So the above is my attempt to halt another canon flamewar before it starts. Fortunately the Docbacks don't descend into that sort of nastiness, but holy crap on a cracker do you have to be careful on, say, GB. (My Internet Who discussions started back on r.a.dw, which would have made GB (had it existed back then) look like one of the most polite high society gatherings you've ever seen.) Ultimately I don't have a hard-and-fast view on canon, beyond the TV-trumps-all rule. But the NAs and MAs gave me a lot of enjoyment back when there was no other new Who, and while there were some crappy ones, there were some amazing ones. (Hint: avoid The Pit. Read anything by Cornell or Orman. That's a good start.) As for the audios...perhaps some of you fine folk can give me some recommendations. I had drifted away from fandom shortly after the telefilm for a variety of reasons, and I didn't come back until, like, the middle of S2 of the new series. There are so, so many audios (and they aren't cheap), so I don't even know where to start. Is there an order I need to follow? Is there a lot of continuity over the course of the audios, or are they more standalone? And if you had to recommend just a few...which are the best?

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 4:34 p.m. CST

    Hmm, if everything is canon

    by DoctorTom

    then that means that at one point the Cybermen were orignally the Voord.....

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 4:35 p.m. CST

    Bytor -- the audios

    by HornOrSilk

    It's difficult to give recommendations because some of the best are continuity based. However, here are some of the ones I think are the best (and others will disagree, so take it with a grain of salt). There are ones which also tend to be one-off or able to be one-off without need for much "Big Finish Canon" knowledge 5th Doctor: Spare Parts, Loups Garoux, Kingmaker. Only thing you need to know about Kingmaker is that the Doctor picked up a female who was groomed to be Pharaoh as a companion, so she is a "fish out of water." 6th Doctor: The One Doctor, Project Twilight, Davros, Holy Terror 7th Doctor: Project Lazarus (after Project Twilight), The Harvest 8th Doctor: difficult here... he has a lot of series with continuing stories in them... so I will do "Company of Friends" (which is four shorts with four different companions which you would probably recognize), and then either choose the route of "Eighth Doctor audios" and Blood of the Daleks 1 and 2, or Storm Warning + Chimes of Midnight + Seasons of Terror + Neverland (skipping some in the story but you should be able to follow along with the skips).

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 4:37 p.m. CST

    Also for the audios

    by HornOrSilk

    In general, if it is a Marc Platt, Paul Cornell or Rob Shearman story, it will be good.

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 4:53 p.m. CST

    bytor - good audios

    by DoctorTom

    For the 5th Doctor, try Omega. There's quite a few good 6th Doctor adventures Holy Terror has the 6th Doctor and Frobisher. The One Doctor was a good farce, though variations on part of it have been used in the new series. Jubilee by Robert Shearman was a very loose basis for Dalek. The Marian Conspiracy was the first one to introduce Evelyn Smythe as a companion for the 6th Doctor. This and Doctor Who and the Pirates were both written by Jaq Raynor and are very good. They should get her to write a tv episode. The Wormery has Iris Wildthyme make an appearance in it; it's a very good one for getting a feel for Iris. It also has a surprise cameo at the very end. For 7th Doctor adventures, the first one I'd recommend is Colditz by Steve Lyons. I don't want to spoil the twist in it. Shadow of the Scourge, but it's best for those who read the New Adventures since it has Bernice Summerfield in it. The Harvest by Dan Abnett is good, and has the first appearance of Hex The Fires of Vulcan is actually a good story with the 7th Doctor and Mel. The Master was a very good story that also included the 7th Doctor. The current arc is interesting - I've listened to Black and White and quite enjoyed that (though there's a bunch of Big Finish back continuity in it), and I'm looking forward to the next one, Gods and Monsters (which has the return of Fenric). For the 8th Doctor, his first story, Storm Warning is good. Seasons of Fear is co-written by Paul Cornall and is very fun. Neverland by Alan Barnes is good, but not the first one to start with. The Company of Friends has 4 stories on the 2 disc set. You get a story with Bernice Summerfield (Virgin New Adventures), one with Fitz (BBC Eighth Doctor Adventures, one with Izzy (Doctor Who Magazine comic), and one with Mary Shelley (author of Frankenstein). They did a miniseries, Excelis (I might have misspelled that) - the first one had the 5th Doctor (with a guest appearance by Iris Wildthyme - this is HIGHLY recommended), one with the 6th Doctor and one with the 7th. All 3 had Anthony Stewart Head in them. They did a 4th story that didn't have Head in it, the Plague Herds of Excelis, that had Bernice Summerfield and Iris Wildthyme. This one is a very amusing story. Of course, there's also the Missing Stories, which capture some stories that might have shown up as television episodes, and the Companion Chronicles, which has a companion narrating a story (there's one with Katy Manning playing both Jo Grant and Iris Wildthyme) If you're feeling adventurous and want to go past Doctor Who himself, try the first Bernice Summerfield audio Oh No It Isn't! Jaq Raynor adapted it from the Paul Cornell novel, and it has Nick Coutney in it playing somebody besides the Brig. This was the first audio Big Finish did, and still stacks up favorably to most of the things they've done.

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 4:55 p.m. CST

    that's interesting, hornorsilk

    by DoctorTom

    I hadn't seen any of your recommendations when I made mine. You have a good list there. I still think everyone should get Oh No It Isn't, though. It's just that good.

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 5:02 p.m. CST

    @bytor - canon

    by Dreamfasting

    The way I see it, the Doctor Who universe has canon the way the real world has weather.

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 5:26 p.m. CST

    Billie Piper is a stick figure. :(

    by Breotan

    So sad to see her so thin. I don't mind that she trimmed down if that's what she wanted but she does not look healthy in that shot. Hopefully it's just the photog's fault and she actually isn't as bad as the picture makes it seem.

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 5:34 p.m. CST

    omg, Billie Piper looks like a heroin addict.

    by mistergreen

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 5:37 p.m. CST

    doctortom -- it's hard to make a list

    by HornOrSilk

    I tried to give a variety of styles, with some of them ending up establishing major elements in the BF continuity, and others, of course, good as a one-off. As for Gods and Monsters, it's interesting, but certainly it is a big "continuity" story. In theory one could start with Protect and Serve and go on from there -- but much is lost if one hasn't heard many of its precursors. It certainly does a number on the Fenric theme. I won't spoil it for you. Some interesting things. When you have listened, let me know, so we can talk about the ending.

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 5:39 p.m. CST

    Oh, and I so looking forward to Love and War

    by HornOrSilk

    The real question is when does it take place in the BF canon. More about that after you listen to Gods and Monsters

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 6:44 p.m. CST

    Never really tried an audio....

    by dj_bollocks

    although I may do at some point... The New and Missing Adventuresthough *sigh* that was a fixed point in history that can't be rewritten ! Used to love the Missing Adventures in particular. It's just not something I think I would do now... but I wonder if I would if there were some great epics forthcoming. I imagine there wouldn't be much point writing a book if you could get your story commissioned instead. The books are out there for mobile devices if you can find them, good luck with finding the actual books cheaply especially Lungbarrow...

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 6:57 p.m. CST

    The Doctor explains his age

    by HornOrSilk

    Just found this animation... taken from an EDA BF audio... it tells us what we really knew...

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 9:08 p.m. CST

    Billie Pipper looks anorexic

    by Mag

  • You can see it in his eyes that he knows how big a deal it is for him to be photographed with them. That's alway better than someone who is too cool.

  • Oct. 6, 2012, 8:14 a.m. CST

    David Tennant is 6'.1". Matt Smith is just over 5'.11".

    by Captain Howdy

    Lee Sullivan's 'Usual Suspects Revisited' is an almost perfect height chart for the 11 Doctors, (plus Peter Cushing's non-canon Doc).

  • The emotional tag, like RTD would have done one, would have had us teared apart by tears. Yes, Brian would have been included, I guess. And we might have seen a dialog with young Amy. Merrick - I also think, there's something on the horizon with Amy/amelia regarding the 50th. And those BIG questions, yet not answered, could be resolved... anyway, I want them to be resolved/answered. Like a BIG, BIG arc that started with the 11th and ends with the 11th. Once More Upon The Crack(s)!

  • Oct. 6, 2012, 9:36 a.m. CST

    Multi-Doctor Story for the 50th!!

    by Douglas

    I hope to God they don't do it!!! The multi-Doctor stories from the old show were nice ONLY for the interplay between the Doctors (which, when you think about it, is slightly worrying that he doesn't get along with himself), but apart from that were trite, fanwankish, non-sensical, and ALWAYS failed to explain why all the other Doctors looked so much OLDER. THE THREE DOCTORS, THE FIVE DOCTORS, THE TWO DOCTORS, THE SIRENS OF TIME and ZAGREUS were ALL crap stories and I would hate to be fed another crap story just so fanboys (like myself) can geek out over the Doctor arguing with himself. The fact that Tom Baker and Colin Baker don't even remotely look anything like they did, shoving them into their old costumes would just look stupid (not to mention NONE of the older Doctors can move like they used to either, so having them in an adventure that would more than likely involve alot of running would be embarassing). The only one you can even remotely use would be Paul McGann (which I would be all right with, since we haven't seen nearly enough of him).

  • Oct. 6, 2012, 12:36 p.m. CST

    MY EYES!!!!!

    by Kevin Bolinger

    Holy crap, that is just the worst picture of Bille ever! She looks creepy and old in it! She seriously went out of the house looking like that? Does her lipstick really have to be that red? Hello Billie? DC comics just called, they are issuing you a cease and desist letter to get you to stop dressing up at the Joker!

  • Oct. 6, 2012, 2:27 p.m. CST

    Billie pic

    by Ken Plume

    Okay, guys. I think your opinions on the photo of Billie Piper are quite clear. I wasn't aware the DocBack had turned into TMZ. Think we can leave it be now? LOOK! VALEYARD!

  • Oct. 6, 2012, 2:46 p.m. CST

    Valeyard? Where? (looks around)

    by DoctorTom


  • Oct. 6, 2012, 2:50 p.m. CST

    good podcast

    by DoctorTom

    It's definitely different coming on to Colin Baker from getting to choose a story from DVD rather than having the Twin Dilemma be your one exposure in a full story, then have to wait a year at least. The closest equivalent might be if Fear Her or if The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe were the first post-regeneration story for that Doctor, and it was the only one you got to watch for a year. That still doesn't cover it. That can certainly color your perceptions afterwards. I'll agree that Colin Baker never makes you think that he's wearing a costume (unlike, ooooh, say, Eric Roberts at the end of the McGann movie?). It is a testatment to his acting that you can take the Doctor seriously at all while he's wearing that. It just about required the Doctor to be as acerbic and egotistical as Colin had him being.

  • Oct. 6, 2012, 3:05 p.m. CST

    another thought on season 7a

    by DoctorTom

    The season is definitely unusual in that the Ponds have their established life and the Doctor keeps coming to visit them. You didn't have things like that really except for when he was Pertwee and kept coming back to UNIT. Even more remarkable (and it covers season 6 also) was to be adventuring with a married couple. This sort of takes off the table one of the old excuses for getting rid of companion, where she falls for someone. Imagine how the Key to Time season might have differed if at the end of The Invasion of Time, the Doctor has said *that's okay, Leela, you can bring Andred along with you in the TARDIS Or, if you want to believe what was said at the end of Trial of a Time Lord instead of the proper ending of Peri getting mown down in gunfire, seeing the Doctor go back at the end of the story and picking up Peri and Prince Yrcanos - we could have had Brian Blessed instead of Bonnie Langford in Sylvester McCoy's first season.

  • Oct. 6, 2012, 3:49 p.m. CST

    oh, right, we're over here now!

    by Kathryn Gail

    From week-long habit, I walked right into the little charitable fundraising rantythread going (as of 6 Oct) on last week's TATM docback, assuming I was in the right place because it concerns things being (as Merrick says of VoV this week) 'about something.' Oops! Vengeance on Varos was hardly the first mass media work to deal with mass media and social control--can't take the whole day to do a list, but the film Network was out about 9 years earlier, and Running Man wasn't a film yet but the book came out about 4 years earlier, and of course you can go all the way back to 1984 (the novel from 1949) and no doubt earlier. It's still great to see the concept put before the 1980s show-watching audience, though. Posting from within a mass-media world, the issue seems timelessly relevant. Knowing in advance that 1980s Who can demand tremendous suspension of disbelief to appreciate the storytelling, the sets aren't jarring, but the drabness is; I always associate media domination with a relentless barrage of images and chatter (but of course this is a repressive dictatorship done on a budget!). The costumes have ALWAYS been jarring, though. Not just Colin Baker's, but in the 80s I wouldn't have been caught dead in most 80s companions' outfits even if I looked like Peri in them, and Peri's are the worst. Maybe I should be lecturing about not just staring at her assets, but seriously, keep ogling, because if you stop you'll realize her grandma dresses her and it'll ruin everything (okay, yes, the kind of grandma that says "you'll never catch a husband in that baggy shirt, dear," but still). I need to revisit some 80s stories' commentary re who was involved in that mess besides the director, because '60s and '70s Who had been pretty consistently shrewd with that stuff.

  • Oct. 6, 2012, 3:57 p.m. CST

    and pursuant to 6 Oct end-of-TATM-docback comments

    by Kathryn Gail

    I'd love to hear what docback folk think about fandom blinding fans to real-world social issues! Personally, the allegation made me a bit rant-y. Although I'm now putting away my soapbox because I have things to do in the real world for the next little while.

  • Oct. 6, 2012, 4:12 p.m. CST

    I much prefer Colin in his audio stuff

    by Sigourneys_Beaver

    Not a bad Doctor at all. Stories like 'Jubilee' and 'Year Of The Pig' are epic stories with great performances. I just can't get into his TV work easily, but i don't rest the blame solely with him. The lack of respect given to the show back then by the BBC proved telling for lots of fans.

  • Oct. 6, 2012, 4:34 p.m. CST

    Ah, but no hanky-panky on the TARDIS....

    by ProfWimsey

    ... was the rule. Seriously, though, you know that Ben and Polly were banging each other senseless when nobody was looking.

  • Oct. 6, 2012, 4:38 p.m. CST

    Colin Baker

    by thecomedian

    As an American Whovian who started watching the show with reruns of Peter Davison on PBS 20 years ago, the switch to Colin Baker was exceptionally jarring. But he grew on me though most of his 1st season adventures were pretty awful with this one and the Dalek story where Alexei Sale plays the DJ. You could tell JNT either stopped giving a crap or they had just lost their way. Man if they would have had Colin in that black suit doing all the shady stuff McCoy did then that would have been awesome. I think they stuck Peri in those ridiculous Christmas sweaters every episode because they chickened out on all the "sexy American companion in a bikini" build up that did with her initial introduction. I really did enjoy the Trial of a Timelord. The Valyard, Solomon Glitz all that. Actually, Glitz was the proto-Jack Harknes without all the gay partyboy bullshit. But as bad as Colin Baker may have seemed, McCoys whole era is completely unwatchable for me. I love Ace but I can't stand his Doctor.

  • Oct. 6, 2012, 4:40 p.m. CST

    Styles vs. Costumes

    by ProfWimsey

    The big difference was that, prior to JNT, the Doctor had a *style*, not a costume. Hartnell, Troughton, Pertwee and Baker all wore variants on four different themes. That changed in T. Baker's last season, when JNT decided that audiences would have an easier time following the Doctor if he was in a costume rather than an outfit. It really makes little difference for any one story, but it would have been "refreshing" for the eyes if Davison and McCoy had worn variants of their outfits. For example, the failed reboot movie had McCoy in an outfit that matched the general style of his original one: but less silly and more the sort of thing that one could wear in the real world, albeit looking a bit Bohemian! Colin Baker's costume really was a blown chance. Baker always said that his understanding was that the costume would grade into a general style, reflecting his Doctor "stabilizing" after a very rough regeneration. And if you replace that ridiculous coat with a similar cut but dark, the goofy trousers with something similar but in darker tones, and the eyesore waistcoat (and I love waistcoats) with something colorful but not garish, and then you have a very stylish outfit (albeit, again, very Bohemian!). However, costumes were the least of JNT's sins against the Doctor....

  • Oct. 6, 2012, 5:10 p.m. CST

    re Styles vs. Costumes

    by Kathryn Gail

    --and I think for the companions and other characters, there was a definite move away from "viewers are attracted to trend-setting" toward "costumes should be like stuff you see at the mall." Not that cosplay was such a consideration at the time, but. . . bad call, no question. Especially thinking back on the elegant Mary Tamm in her Halstonesque whites (there was a whole fashion-world thing going on in the late 70s with the designer Halston and those sleek, all-white outfits).

  • Oct. 6, 2012, 5:14 p.m. CST

    Honestly, I like Colin AND Sylvester.

    by Kathryn Gail

    Honestly, there are always stories and design/direction choices I dislike, but I like all the Doctors, and don't find any of them unwatchable. Criticism is more fun, no question, but sometimes the plain truth is just. . . plain.

  • Oct. 6, 2012, 9 p.m. CST

    McCoy's last two seasons certainly had some good stuff...

    by ProfWimsey

    There were some really well-told and interesting stories in the last two years. The first season was just silly and down right bad, but it seems like the writing and tone shifted markedly after that. Interestingly, they began toying with arcs at that time: perhaps that made it seem more interesting that it otherwise would have been.

  • Oct. 7, 2012, 5:37 a.m. CST

    Baker & some Pertwee & some Davison

    by vermicelliknid

    More reviews of the stories from those two gentleman please! Everything before is fascinating TV SF history, and everything after, notwithstanding flashes of interest with Davison, is fundamentally bad. Baker had a certain genius. His whoevure (sorry) is in a class apart from everything else from 63 to now. Plus he even had a couple of years alongside a second near ideal coming together of the right person in the right context in Philip Hinchcliffe. And he got loads of Dudley Simpson and even a couple of Geoffrey Burgon scores! An embarrassment of riches!

  • Oct. 7, 2012, 10:43 a.m. CST

    Anybody read The Angel's Kiss yet? It's out for the Kindle now

    by DoctorTom

    I just read the first chapter, and will be finishing it later. I read a review saying it's not a novelization of The Angels Take Manhattan from Melody's point of view, but is a different story all together. It doesn't even use the same chapter titles. I do like the About the Author page: ***** Melody Malone is the owner and sole employee of the Angel Detective Agency in Manhattan. She is possibly married but lives alone usually, and is older than both her parents. Sometimes. Why not visit her website? Ah - probably because the internet hasn't been invented yet. Sorry, Sweetie. ***** On unrelated topics, though I know there are some Philip K Dick fans out there, today's (Sunday's) Kindle deal of the day is 14 Philip K Dick novels, including The Exegesis of Philip K Dick (plus The Man in the High Castle, UBIK, Valis, A Scanner Darkly, etc) for $1.99 each. Seeing the deals I realized that I haven't read his The Counter Clock world yet. I know there had been an early proposal for something like that for Hartnell, a world where time ran backwards. It still could be something Moffat tries, though I suspect that Doctor Who will leave it alone since it's already been done in Red Dwarf. Still, I thought people might like to know about the deal in case they wanted to stock up on PKD while they got the Melody Malone story.

  • Oct. 7, 2012, 11:35 a.m. CST

    except for cheap tricks

    by Kathryn Gail

    Crossing into established events is strictly forbidden. Except for cheap tricks.

  • Oct. 7, 2012, 8:36 p.m. CST

    Whoa! That lost text thing is still happening. . .

    by Kathryn Gail

    Just checked back, clicked on every comment for no special reason because I was fidgety, and realized that everything but the first line of my last post went missing. Hrrmmm. . . lemmee see. . . what was it I said. . . it was season three stuff. . . *pause to think*

  • Oct. 7, 2012, 9:26 p.m. CST

    patrickstewartsaweverything - did you use quotes?

    by DoctorTom

    That seems to happen a lot with quotes, whether single or double quotation mark. A lot of us tend to *use asterisks* or - put a hypen at the front of a new line if you want to signify the quote.

  • Oct. 7, 2012, 9:37 p.m. CST

    @doctortom, not only that, but--

    by Kathryn Gail

    Yup, not only did I go and use quotes, I just leaned on somekeyorother and lost my post A SECOND TIME, despite having actually remembered not to use quotes. You just can't help some people! Can I slog through it a third time, or will I get distracted by shiny things? WATCH THIS PAGE for the thrilling denoument!!

  • Oct. 7, 2012, 10:20 p.m. CST

    except for cheap tricks, take three *eyeroll*

    by Kathryn Gail

    [quote] Crossing into established events is strictly forbidden. Except for cheap tricks. [end quote] --10, Smith and Jones Pursuant to several time-travel-related HATS about TATM, lately! Today I was watching Smith and Jones, and then, letting the disc run, The Shakespeare Code. Both are much tighter little stories than I'd remembered. Well, S&J is tighter, and TSC is much more fun. I thought it was ridiculous when I first saw it, with its witches and forced quotes and fourth-wall-cracking comments about actors and writers, but today that's exactly what I enjoyed about it. Go figure. I'd also forgotten how much I liked Martha before The Last of the Time Lords went and (yes, I realized this is totally subjective!) ruined her character, the story, and the season in general (and with Tennant, Simm, Blink, etc., that's quite a feat) by John-the-Baptist-ing her all around just to set up a Tinkerbell/panto deus ex machina. Don't get me wrong, I personally know people to whom DW's perceived religious subtext means the world in times of sorrow (and other who feel that way about classic Disney), and what kind of a fan am I if all I can do with the show is kick people when they're down by stripping it of meaning; each viewer can choose to perceive it or not or not perceive as he or she pleases. Just, you know, very subjectively, it's not the kind of mashup I enjoy. Smith and Jones. . . there are plenty of non-frivolous comments worth making on that one, but besides those. . . the Judoon are just some of my favorite baddies, and not even for any respectable, arts-critic-sounding reason. They're big and stompy and lethal and hyper-organized and technologically advanced, but they still have flippy little rhino ears and you can befuddle them with, like, some wise-cracking. You know how earth rhinos always have those long-legged white birds that walk around on them looking for nits to pick (google rhinoceros + egret if you don't and are bored enough)? I totally picture their home planet full of those birds. Take off your helmet: a bird lands on your head. Give a speech on front of the troops: bird on the head. Nobody thinks twice about it but humans, who are often summarily executed for out-of-control giggling. But I'm going way over courteous post length with this tomfoolery!

  • Oct. 7, 2012, 10:21 p.m. CST

    right, THE QUOTE is pursuant to TATM; the rest is just random hot air!

    by Kathryn Gail

  • Oct. 8, 2012, 5:55 a.m. CST

    a HAT for the silly season

    by Kathryn Gail

    The BBC is allegedly pushing for more U.S. venues, someone reads that renovation of Nikola Tesla's Wardenclyffe Tower property may really be go, the next Vincent and the Doctor is Nikola and the Doctor, and hopefully nobody dies while filming on unrenovated property. If late summer is the so-called silly season for reporters covering government when government's not in session, this must be the silly season for DW (plus I'm struggling not to obsessively list/correct all my sad typos from the last few posts: d-é-n-o-u-E-m-e-n-t, etc.).

  • Oct. 8, 2012, 8:50 a.m. CST


    by DoctorTom

    It would be nice if Doctor Who got to do a Nikola Tesla story and actually film there, but I think it's going to be some time before the place actually gets renovated. It wouldn't surprise me if Wardenclyffe gets used first in a movie of The Astounding, The Amazing and the Unknown (probably under a new title); I heard the book got optioned. That also involved Wardenclyffe, and had the tagline of Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein fight the Nazi menace. It also works in the Philadelphia Experiment. Now that's something else I wouldn't be surprised to see show up in Doctor Who sometime. Now, if they could just get Steven King to write a Doctor Who story set in Maine...

  • Oct. 8, 2012, 9:02 a.m. CST

    The arc so far

    by DoctorTom

    I think we can ignore the bits about eggs and Christmas. The only real arc bits going on now it seems are the Doctor's existence being erased from recorded history (not that he wasn't there, just the records are being rewritten), and the Doctor going somewhat darker and more callous. Oswin helped with erasing the Doctor from the Daleks' database (though I would think that there should be some Dalek somewhere that goes *wait a tick, I REMEMBER that smarmy git!*) - we'll have to see what happens at Christmas to see if JLC is playing a relative of Oswin or if that's a third thread going on. The second thread, the Doctor getting darker, was commented on by River saying he needs to keep humans around. The thread's also echoed by the opening credits getting darker. I wonder if they're going to try to push things to be even darker still later. These threads both seem geared to setting up things at the Fields of Trenzalore. People won't remember who the Doctor is, prompting them to ask *Doctor Who?*. Not only will he have to answer truthfully, revealing whatever secret is was he was hiding, but the darkening plays in to River's comments back in A Good Man Goes To War about if he keeps on his fall/path, what the word Doctor will come to mean. I think Trenzalore will be the last episode of Season 7, not the 50th anniversary episode. That one I see being a standalone thing (though there could be threads from Trenzalore leading in to it).

  • The way things are going.

  • Oct. 8, 2012, 11:13 a.m. CST

    Recent Dalek cartoon

    by DoctorTom

  • Oct. 8, 2012, 12:28 p.m. CST

    Various and Sundry Remarks

    by ByTor

    Thanks for all the BF recommendations. Is there a site somewhere that shows the timeline? Meaning, if I wanted to find out the order in which I should listen to various stories, can I do it? On the subject of the 50th...I don't think so, V'shael. I'm still 95% certain there are things coming beyond S7 in 2013, either a series of specials or a proper beginning to S8. doctortom: Terrific write-up on the arcs. I think you've nailed it pretty effectively.

  • Oct. 8, 2012, 2:15 p.m. CST

    Wardenclyffe, Philadelphia Experiement, @doctortom

    by Kathryn Gail

    A Philadelphia Experiment one would be outstanding (I'm thinking more of the alleged secret experiments than the film, never having seen the film), plus: INVISIBLE SHIP, there's some cash saved toward a CGI Wardenclyffe, since, as you say, that place is, realistically, unlikely to be available let alone safe in the immediate future. Of course lighting flying out of Wardenclyffe could juuuussst possibly attract some attention, but if the ship disappears, you could also call it misdirection.

  • Oct. 8, 2012, 2:28 p.m. CST

    Fields. . . fields. . .

    by Kathryn Gail

    Trenzalore. . . Trenzalore. . . Do we have any evidence yet that it's a real, specific place rather than a prophecy? Because I keep wondering whether it's a corruption of another term, along the lines of the Sevateem, or (the deity of your choice forbid) Zardoz (if you haven't seen this gem, you are in for a. . . really special experience). Or, you know, having just been mulling over Tesla and the Philadelphia Experiment in another comment, not the geographical feature sort of field.

  • Oct. 8, 2012, 3:20 p.m. CST

    Here's hope, The Fields of Trenzalore don't end up as

    by wtriker1701

    DVD Bonus episodes of 2 minutes length... ;-) First Day Second Day Final Day And The Question

  • Oct. 9, 2012, 9:14 a.m. CST

    it was Canada all along

    by Kathryn Gail

    Following on from the Philadelphia Project as a maybe-someday story setting, the U.S. National Archives just declassified Air Force papers about flying saucer development--by a Canadian contractor. (I'm loving watching this story NOT really get much more than a quick mention just because it takes a bit more explaining than the general public can be bothered with!) Canton Everett Delaware II isn't that old in 1969 in The Impossible Astronaut, so a 1956 UFO story could be a nice point in time for an intergenerational conflict/civil rights unrest story for his character although. . . I'd rather see more Mark Sheppard, so I shouldn't be wishing younger-self stories on his character!

  • Oct. 9, 2012, 10:50 a.m. CST

    patrickstewartsaweverything - I think there's a story there

    by DoctorTom

    I think we'll find out that the reason the saucer didn't fly properly was that the Doctor disabled the alien technology that they still don't admit was in it.

  • Oct. 9, 2012, 1:08 p.m. CST

    @doctortom - aliens

    by Kathryn Gail

    The Doctor tries to avoid involving the Shadow Proclamation, insists that by aliens he meant Canadians working outside Canada, the Judoon remove Canada to Earth's moon for investigation, from sheer Cold War paranoia the US and the USSR team up against Canada, WWIII must be averted, the Silurians' tide-powered systems could fail if the moon is harmed so there's that whole sub-plot. . .

  • Oct. 9, 2012, 1:19 p.m. CST

    and then Neil Armstrong

    by Kathryn Gail

    happens to have gone from the 1970s to the 1950s via Philadelphia Experiment technology, finds out Canada won the space race by accident, goes rogue, we get a whole backstory on why a 1960s U.S. astronaut suit might have made a great disguise for an assassin ('oh that's just Neil again, he's too much of a boy scout ever to really pull the trigger'). . . (No disrespect at all intended to the late Neil Armstrong! Your character will ultimately be the big hero, I'm sure!)

  • Oct. 9, 2012, 1:53 p.m. CST

    funny you should mention Judoon

    by DoctorTom

    the Philadelphia Experiment could have been the work of the Judoon moving the ship to the moon (or space) as much as anything else.

  • Oct. 9, 2012, 4:38 p.m. CST

    Judoon platoon upon the moon!

    by Kathryn Gail

    These things practically write themselves, eh? Joking, joking. Fan feedback is the easy part, and honestly I'm even more in awe of writers than I am full of random criticism! Still. . . this idea is almost really coming together. . .

  • Sorry to hear it's the last season of Merlin - I quite like it as fun-filler stuff...

  • Oct. 10, 2012, 10:08 a.m. CST

    ...also finally caught up to that first episode of Red Dwarf X this week

    by obijuanmartinez

    Happy to see poor Rimmer get a little smidge of validation. Oh, and I want a Stir-Master!

  • Oct. 10, 2012, 10:09 a.m. CST

    Stirmaster = AWESOME

    by obijuanmartinez

    I know what I'd rather do....

  • Oct. 10, 2012, 10:44 a.m. CST

    I think Trenzalore will be the last episode of Doctor 11

    by ProfWimsey

    It was called the "Fall of the 11th" after all. A few of Smith's lines (like wanting to do an episode in New Zealand directed by Peter Jackson) indicate that he's interested in at least one more season. We probably would have heard by now if this was his last season, too. I'd be surprised if he does more than Season 8. That will be 4 years of Doctor Who, which only 3 prior actors have done. However, that is sheer "prior probability" on my part: maybe Smith enjoys being the Doctor a lot!

  • Oct. 10, 2012, 11:23 a.m. CST

    I enjoyed the Red Dwarf, obijuanmartinez

    by DoctorTom

    It's nice to see that they remembered how to be funny. I think shooting in front of a studio audience helped them immensely. I think the Doctor has a Sonic Stirmaster around somewhere.

  • Oct. 10, 2012, 12:19 p.m. CST

    Am I the only one who doesn't like Red Dwarf?

    by ByTor

    I tried to like it, honestly. But after about 3 episodes, I gave up. Most of the humor did not work for me. Different strokes, I suppose.

  • Oct. 10, 2012, 12:38 p.m. CST

    bytor - when did you try it?

    by DoctorTom

    There was a definite shift in budget and tone after the first couple of seasons.

  • Oct. 10, 2012, 12:50 p.m. CST

    doctortom: honestly not sure

    by ByTor

    I couldn't tell you now when I tried it, or which seasons. Most of the humor seemed a bit...well, dumb to me. A bit low-brow and slapstick-y. But I suppose I could give it another chance at some point.

  • Oct. 10, 2012, 12:52 p.m. CST

    @bytor: I'm w/ the Doc - Would recommend this latest series...

    by obijuanmartinez

    ...looks like they're off to a great start. The guys' chemistry onscreen after all this time is admirable as well. DM has the 1st ep. of this new series up:

  • Oct. 10, 2012, 12:55 p.m. CST

    Oh, and @bytor, as a Rush fan, I'm loving the new VW commercial...

    by obijuanmartinez

    The stick toss kills me...

  • Oct. 10, 2012, 1:41 p.m. CST


    by ByTor

    I'll give RD another go. Not sure when I can, as my stack of things-to-watch is tremendous, but we shall see. And thanks for the VW link. That. Is. AWESOME! And if you figured out I'm a fan by my name, then you must be one too (it's not exactly a common song of theirs). I just saw them in concert a few weeks ago. They're still incredible after all these years.

  • Longtime drummer & Rush fan. Last caught them on the Time Machine tour last year for the 30th annv of "Moving Pictures". Mind-blowing. Easily on my Top-10 Desert Island albums, and seeing them play it all-the-way through live was mind-boggling! I'm not ashamed to confess I air-drummed the entire 2.5 hours! (Had my 2 @ nephews flanking me on either side, laughing along...)

  • Oct. 10, 2012, 5:22 p.m. CST

    @obijuanmartinez: Neil is pretty amazing

    by ByTor

    But then, so are Alex and Geddy. Unfortunately I missed the Time Machine tour, though I did catch them on R30 and Snakes and Arrows. On the Clockwork Angels tour, they've got a string section touring with them. It's used for all the CA stuff, but then they stay out for the next song or two. YYZ with a string section. I'm telling you, it was magic.

  • Oct. 10, 2012, 6:45 p.m. CST

    Restored Ambassadors of Death review

    by Kathryn Gail

  • Oct. 11, 2012, 6:16 a.m. CST

    @bytor: YYZ

    by obijuanmartinez

    On the strength of all this Rush banter, I went back and re-watched the BBC "Classic Albums" episodes on 2112 & Moving Pics. Great stuff. Now I have to did up my copy of "Beyond the Lighted Stage", which was such a great documentary on the boys. The segment where they discussed YYZ on Classic Albums was interesting in that I never realized the album version of YYZ actually DOES have strings in, acc. to producer Terry Brown...

  • Oct. 11, 2012, 9:22 a.m. CST

    Spoilers, sweetie! (new set pics and info)

    by DoctorTom

    Some new set pics and some spoiler info on Clara. SPOILERS From the Blastr article: **** However, the most interesting thing is that the Doctor is apparently bumping into different versions of his new companion through time! The Clara he meets in this episode is not the same Clara he meets in Victorian times for the upcoming Christmas special, since this modern version doesn't know what the TARDIS is. So that probably means that the Oswin Oswald/''Clara'' the Doctor ''met'' in ''Asylum of the Daleks'' is yet another version of his new companion Clara. This brand-new concept is fascinating, and we can't wait to see what Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat does with that. **** This is definitely a different twist, not not merely the situation we had with Dodo where they're just relatives. Timey wimey or not, it looks like there's some shenanigans going on here. And this info means that Asylum of the Daleks does count as an episode for the new companion. Also, following the theme of the Doctor becoming darker, following the darkening of the opening credits over the first several stories we get the Doctor wearing darker clothing now in a outward parallel to what's happening internally.

  • Oct. 11, 2012, 11:04 a.m. CST

    Something for discussion in tomorrow's Docback ?

    by dj_bollocks P.S. What Happened to Brian and the Ponds? Rory’s dad, Brian Williams, only appeared in two episodes but swiftly established himself as a favourite amongst Doctor Who’s audience. After Amy and Rory’s heart-breaking departure in The Angels Take Manhattan we received many emails asking what happened next to Brian. Did he ever find out what took his son and daughter-in-law? If so, how? And would Brian – and viewers - ever learn more about Amy and Rory’s life after the Doctor? A special scene was written by Chris Chibnall that revealed some of the answers but sadly, the sequence was never shot. However, we’re happy to announce that we’ll be bringing you the scene tomorrow. Using animated storyboards and a voice-over specially recorded by Arthur Darvill, we’ll discover more about Brian and the Ponds, post-Angels. It begins with Brian alone, doing what he once told the Doctor must be done – watering the plants. But his life is about to change forever… Doctor Who’s Executive Producer, Caro Skinner, said, ‘We’re delighted we can present this lovely scene written by Chris Chibnall. People took Rory’s dad, Brian, to their hearts very quickly, so it’s fitting we can give the character a degree of closure in this poignant piece.’ P.S. is a short video written by Chris Chibnall and will be essential viewing for anyone who wants to know more about what happened to Brian, Amy and Rory. It will be available to watch on this site tomorrow, Friday, 12th October.

  • unfortunately it doesn't look like it will be included. Neither will a lot of the behind the scenes bits that had been broadcast during commercial breaks on BBC America.

  • Oct. 11, 2012, 2:09 p.m. CST

    dj_bollocks - consider me excited.

    by wtriker1701

    Can't wait for some closure on Brian. Seems to be the right way.

  • Oct. 11, 2012, 4:34 p.m. CST

    @doctortom, those BBCA behind-the-scenes were. . .

    by Kathryn Gail

    . . .incredibly short and unremarkable. The Brian scene, on the other hand. . . it's just cruel not to include it! I think. Hopefully it's not short and unremarkable as well.