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The Friday Docback Exorcises 'The King's Demons'!! DOCTOR WHO Story #128, NuWHO TV Guide, Jenna-Louise Coleman, And More!! UPDATE: New TARDIS Interior Very Soon!!

Published at: Dec. 7, 2012, 9:31 a.m. CST

Merrick again, with an UPDATE...

Seems the TARDIS interior will undergo what I understand to be a MAJOR overhaul, effective in The Snowmen...this year's Christmas Day Special.  

THIS piece at Anglophenia offers a sneak peak....

 

Thanks to MOV for the heads up!  

 

 

===============================

 

 

 

No, it's not DOCTOR WHO per se.  But it's Moffy enough to warrant inclusion here anyway!  

 

 

 

 

Merrick here...

 

..with a quick look at The King’s Demons, a two-part Peter Davison-era DOCTOR WHO adventure originally transmitted March 1983.  

 

This episode was selected for several reasons:  I’d had it recommended to me by a friend based on my appreciation of a similarly-set, under-appreciated DOCTOR WHO tale called The Crusade (Harnell, Sotry #14), and...frankly...it’s length helped too.  Due to major scheduling conflicts over the past few days, I was looking for an abbreviated episode to write-up for this week’s Docback.  TKD fit the bill quite nicely.  Alas, it emerges as far...very far...from one of my favorites.  

 

More on The King’s Demons shortly.  But first...

 

 

 

 

 

REMEMBER A FEW FEW WEEKS AGO...WHEN I LINKED OUT TO A POLL TO VOTE TO PUT YOUR FAVORITE SHOW ON THE COVER OF TV GUIDE?? 

 

Well, look what won! It should be on stands around...now?  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BBC HAS ISSUED A BUNCHA MEDIA...

 

...pertaining to present and upcoming DOCTOR WHO awesomeness, including these embeds - which originate HERE.  The impossibly hot Jeanna-Louise Coleman discusses the process of winning her role as the new companion and her thoughts on working on the show now that she has the part (PART ONE HERE, PART TWO HERE), and there's one video in which this Moffat guy talks about Daleks and stuff.  That video's not embeddable...wonder why?  

 

THIS page over at BBC offers a continuing number of DW media releases...stills, videos, and more...and looks like continue through, say, Christmas?  It's an ADVENTURE Calendar.  Which is kinda like an ADVENT calendar, but with more URE.  So keep your eyes on that site...who knows what’ll turn up in the coming weeks!  

 

 

 

 

 

CHECK OUT THIS AWESOME ACTION FIGURE SET...

 

...representing The Three Doctors (Pertwee, Story #65).  Coming soon from Underground Toys!  

 

[via my man John Ary over at ArticulationTimes]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The King's Demons 

 

 

“Come rejoice with us in a trial by combat!" - ‘King John’, The King’s Demons Episode One 

 

 

Scripted by Terence Dudley (director of Meglos - T. Baker, Story #110 and writer of Four to Doomsday, Davison, Story #117 ), The King’s Demons is a wonderful romp of a concept, whose lackluster execution pretty much excises any sense of fun or intrigue from the proceedings.  It’s difficult to imagine how inserting the Master (Anthony Ainley) and an identify-assuming android into a plot which sees them attempting to undermine the Magna Carta could go possibly wrong. 

 

 

 

The promising opening shot of The King's Demons.  

The rest of the story doesn't work as well aesthetically. 

 

 

But, despite it’s 50ish minute running time (nearly half the length of an average DOCTOR WHO serial), The King’s Demons somehow manages to overstay it’s welcome by about 20 minutes.  It advances a great premises, but the supporting material here (overall plotting and character work) does little to argue said premise.  

 

Many guest performances are offered with a misdirected bombast which would befit a high school stage play.  An interestingly analogy, now that I think about it, as the episode itself feels exceedingly stagy in both design and photography.  Some rather nice location work featuring genuine castles and atmosphere affords TKD much-needed, albeit frustratingly brief, credibility. 

 

 

 

The King’s Demons marks my first full exposure to Anthony Ainley’s version of the Master - and here he’s agreeably charismatic, intense, and fully capable (on the whole).  Unfortunately, he undermines his own efforts by cackling to himself villainously and cartoonishly on several instances - doing everything but twirling his mustache.  Effectively converting a wonderfully conceived super-intelligent ’villain’ role into something of a character and a dramatic no-sale.  

 

 

 

Which pretty much sums up the whole of TKD - its tone is, simply, wrong.  Most denizens of 1215 England are so OTT that it’s difficult, if not impossible, to invest in their characters to even a small degree...which is instantly alienating.  This tendency is compounded by Tony Virgo’s plodding direction...Virgo feels more like he’s trying to get through an assignment here than create any type of gravity or atmosphere, an effect compounded by gratingly plinky score from Jonathan Gibbs and Peter Howell and heinously overlit photography by Remi Adefarasin.

 

 

 

Meet Kamelion - an identify-assuming Android who becomes a companion to the Doctor in this story.  

While interesting in concept, this relationship did not last very long.  

 

 

While it will never happen (and probably shouldn’t), I’d assert that The King’s Demons is ripe for remaking.  Fundamentally, it’s hugely promising and offers a mighty intriguing concept which could make for a helluva fun time even considering budgetary restraints.  While TKD should be commended for being something of a throwback to historical tales told in DW’s earliest years (The Time Meddler - Hartnell, Story #,17 or The Crusade - Hartnell, Story #14 come to mind  ), it wholly misses the mark in areas where those stories succeeded quite nicely.  Proving once more the age-old adage that “newer isn’t necessarily better”...

 

 

The King’s Demons is available on DVD HERE in the US and HERE in UK.

 

 

 

 

 

___________

Glen Oliver

"Merrick" 

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PREVIOUS DOCBACKS 

 

 

 

[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 

Series 7, Part One on Blu!! 

 

 

 

 

   

[SEASON / SERIES SIX DOCBACKS]


"The Impossible Astronaut"

"Day of the Moon"

"The Curse of the Black Spot"

"The Doctor's Wife"

"The Rebel Flesh"

"The Almost People"

"A Good Man Goes To War"

"Let's Kill Hitler"

"Night Terrors"

 
 
 

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

 

 

 

[RETRO-WHO DOCBACKS ]

 

"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) 

"Planet of Giants" (Story #9, full DVD release) 

"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 Abassadors of Death" (Story #53)

"The Claws of Axos" (Story #57) 

"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 Claws of Axos" (Story #77) 

"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) 

"Vengeance on Varos" (Story #138) 

"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) 

DOCTOR WHO: THE COMPLETE SIXTH SERIES 

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

DOCTOR WHO Title Sequences & DW At Comic-Con 2011

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

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

New Trailer For Season/Series Six Part 2

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

Impromptu Docback!! + Galaxy 4 'Airlock' Coming to DVD, Christmas Special 2012, And More!!

The Friday Docback Mulls The 50th...

Newslet Roundup: Children in Need 2012, Christmas Special 2012, The Angel's Kiss Auido Book, And More!! 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

Readers Talkback

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  • Dec. 7, 2012, 9:38 a.m. CST

    Not the best Ainley Master story

    by HornOrSilk

    The problem with Ainley isn't him, but the direction JNT wanted with the Master, making him ham it up too much. When he isn't being such a ham, he is a competent Master. Yet, because we see there is a ham in him, at least it shows that it is within his character to be such a ham so as to tie him properly to the most recent portrayal on DW.

  • Dec. 7, 2012, 9:56 a.m. CST

    Is there a way to get the videos not to auto-play ?

    by HornOrSilk

  • Dec. 7, 2012, 10:14 a.m. CST

    I'm not so sure about those toys

    by DoctorTom

    Is that supposed to be an arm on the anti-matter blob, or is it just glad to see Jo Grant? (you know you were thinking the same thing)

  • Dec. 7, 2012, 10:20 a.m. CST

    but: the Brig, finally!

    by Kathryn Gail

  • Dec. 7, 2012, 10:36 a.m. CST

    Never cared much for Davison's era

    by mark howard

    I can't put my finger on why it happened, but Davison was the reason I lost faith in DW. I felt it was getting pretty dire towards the end of TB's tenure, but as soon as the cricketing vet came along I bailed, not returning til McCoy's second season. I've watched them all since but I still can't gel with this particular era. Sorry Peter.

  • Dec. 7, 2012, 10:38 a.m. CST

    Actually, I do know the reason...

    by mark howard

    I didn't like JNT's level of pantomime.

  • Dec. 7, 2012, 10:43 a.m. CST

    Come back again, and the Master will taunt you a second timmm-ah

    by DoctorTom

    Anthony Ainley did his best to channel the Frenchmen in the Castle from Monty Python and the Holy Grail for this story. Unfortunately J-NT (since I won't hold Ainley completely responsible for the Master's direction here) didn't realize that this story wasn't supposed to be panto. As a panto, it fails in comparison to The Horns of Nimon (which surely ended up as a panto, even if that wasn't the original intent). There were some good ideas in here, but somehow it can't even string things together well enough for 50 minutes. If it had been sent in during the Hinchcliffe/Holmes era, I'm sure Holmes would have worked the doppelganger bit more and made it darker. If Douglas Adams had been working this it could have been the panto that JN-T secretly wanted it to be, and probably would have ended up writing huge chunks of dialog that would have been more sparkling and entertaining. Saward hadn't discovered the joys of Robert Holmes style violence yet, so wasn't sure what to do with the story.

  • Dec. 7, 2012, 10:46 a.m. CST

    I love The King's Demons and I don't care who knows it!

    by ByTor

    Yes, it feels theatrical, and for some reason that works for me in this story. I found it charming. And yeah, Ainley is a bit over the top, but I've come to assume that that is just a sign of the Master's insanity, which grew steadily after Delgado died. I know that King's Demons isn't a masterpiece, but for me it's a comfort-junk-food episode and I adore it.

  • Dec. 7, 2012, 10:47 a.m. CST

    charlie-boy clown, what's ironic about your statement

    by DoctorTom

    when JN-T came in for the last season of Tom Baker, he had thought things had gotten too silly, and he and Christopher Bidmead went to make everything deadly serious, even the stories that would have benefitted more from more humor (Leisure Hive, Meglos). He didn't fully descend to panto until after the level of violence in Season 22 (the season after Saward wallowed in Holmes-esque violence, though usually without the biting wit). JN-T had the inner conflict between trying to be serious and wanting to cast light entertainment guest stars, and didn't really get things to gel as well as they should have.

  • Earthshock says hello.

  • Dec. 7, 2012, 10:53 a.m. CST

    Shove Kamelion into the back of the TARDIS somewhere...

    by I am_NOTREAL

    We'll get back to him somewhere around, oh, Planet of Fire or so. Thing is, I thought Kamelion was kinda cool at first blush...which is about all we ever got. In hindsight the concept is a dud.

  • Dec. 7, 2012, 11:05 a.m. CST

    doctortom...

    by mark howard

    I have mixed feelings about JNT. I really loved what he did with McCoy's dark Doctor, and wished he'd had the season that was cancelled as the show was going into a dark place full of potential, but I also feel that for the most part he just didn't understand how to use the property to its full potential. The costumes bugged me, but I accept now they were 'of their time' - TV was a very different place back then. But, and this is what I think is the root problem - working in the industry and knowing what I know now, he actually was a pretty rubbish producer well out of his depth and his comfort zone. That's obviously just my opinion...

  • Dec. 7, 2012, 11:09 a.m. CST

    bytor

    by DoctorTom

    he knew about violence, he just didn't wallow in it as script editor, having it infest most of the stories for the season, until after he read Caves of Androzani. Saward has admitted himself how that story affected how he did the season after.

  • Dec. 7, 2012, 11:14 a.m. CST

    The problem with Kamelion was lack of production foresight

    by DoctorTom

    Yes, the robot itself turned out to be rubbish (not the looks, but their ability to control it), but you have a shape shifting robot that can look like anybody. So what if the robot doesn't work? You can cast a person to be Kamelion shape-shifted into that form, or cast several people if you want to keep changing the shape. You could have at least one different person each story play Kamelion. And, if you want to show the robot, just have the robot sitting somewhere that you don't need to require much movement from. If they had wanted real fun, they could have had Anthony Ainley back playing Kamelion looking like the Master in all those stories. let people get used to it just being Kamelion with that look, then actually surprised people later when the Master started controlling him again.

  • Dec. 7, 2012, 11:21 a.m. CST

    You should have been the producer, doctortom

    by mark howard

    That's an inspired idea, and as producer you'd have had more vision than JNT. See what I mean? Wrong man for the job.

  • Dec. 7, 2012, 11:46 a.m. CST

    doctortom

    by ByTor

    Fair enough; I had not heard that comment, but it makes sense given what we got in Season 22. And I love your Kamelion idea. I'll second charlie-boy_clown's nomination for you as Producer. :) JNT...well, I don't think it was all a product of its time. The costumes/question marks were a blatant attempt at merchandising, but I think it could have been done much more subtly. The collar ? wasn't so bad, but by the time they got to the McCoy era with both the stupid sweater AND the umbrella...yuck. I think JNT had some good ideas. I liked the updated music and titles. I liked the idea of toning down the excesses of the Williams/Adams era. Season 18 is one of my favorites. I also liked Davison's Doctor quite a bit. On the other hand, I do think he was a bit out of his depth. Doctor Who was his first job as a show-runner. His aversion to hiring experienced writers harmed the series IMO, and he seemed more focused on marketing than storytelling. On the gripping hand, after a few years he was a prisoner. He was repeatedly denied attempts to leave the show, which just seems crazy to me. Why force somebody to do that job? In any case, he may have given us Twin Dilemma and Timelash, but he also gave us Logopolis/Castrovalva, The Caves of Androzani, and much more. There's plenty of bad there, but plenty of good IMO as well.

  • Dec. 7, 2012, 11:55 a.m. CST

    Revisiting the 7th Doctor

    by ByTor

    So I've been doing a watch-through of the entire show from An Unearthly Child on, as I've posted before. I'm in the heart of the McCoy era. Some thoughts: (1) This era is better than I had remembered. I still think McCoy's acting is too OTT at times, but at other times he's genius. And he definitely gets better as his character darkens in S25/S26. (2) I used to consider S24 a terrible season, but I think that may just be the side-effect of the Black Hole of Awful known as Time and the Rani. Paradise Towers was actually rather good, if a bit claustrophobic. Delta and the Bannermen isn't high art or anything, but it's enjoyable for what it is. Dragonfire has a few weak spots but overall is solid. (3) I was also surprised how much I liked The Happiness Patrol, which I used to consider awful. Fifi looked stupid, and the Kandyman was an abomination, but the dynamic of Helen A, the Patrol and the Killjoys was pretty good. (4) When it's been a while since you've seen the McCoy stuff, you kind of forget just how much of a manipulative bastard the 7th Doctor really is. Awesome. Much credit, I think, has to go to Andrew Cartmel. As I've said before, I didn't always agree with the so-called Cartmel Masterplan, but it was a creative direction to go in, and kudos to him (and JNT) for doing it. I think Cartmel was a far superior script editor to Saward.

  • Dec. 7, 2012, 12:12 p.m. CST

    Bytor, yes, he was the master manipulator

    by mark howard

    And you got the brooding feeling that bad, very dark things were being set up. I struggled with both Time and the Rani and Dragonfire, but when you look beyond the poor production values, and see what they were trying to do (ignoring some of the WRONG art direction) then McCoy's era was far, far better than we remember. I still believe JNT was the wrong man, and I know the history about how the Beeb threatened to kill the show if he left, but I sometimes wonder how things could have been so different if the BBC had got back behind the show and appreciated its value, like they do today. Back to Peter Davison, apart from a couple of stories, he didn't push the right buttons for me.

  • Dec. 7, 2012, 12:12 p.m. CST

    bytor

    by HornOrSilk

    I think Paradise Towers is one of those under-appreciated gems. There are aspects of it which are difficult to watch, and I think the production standards of S24 is to blame for those, but on the whole it is a wonderful story -- and one which is both high sci-fi concept (though not original to DW) and yet able to be played to comic extremes. I love that. And the Doctor is quite dark in it. There is a reason why the 7th Doctor became known as the most manipulative of all the Doctors. The NAs took on and developed what we saw on screen. From Paradise Towers on, I've loved his portrayal of the Doctor; I have had problems with other aspects of the series during his time, but not really him (I do think he needs the right director to get him to do what he is capable of doing, but that's something else).

  • Dec. 7, 2012, 12:13 p.m. CST

    yeah that *The Robot Was A Scam* excuse never held water

    by Kathryn Gail

    Viewers in the early 80s never expected a working robot any more than a CGI-quality monster, and still went into most less-than-Star-Wars scifi/fantasy shows expecting to roll up their sleeves and break a sweat suspending disbelief--and we still get all cult-classic-y about the whole look if it's done either well enough OR terribly enough. Kamelion never needed to be more than a puppet, model or costume no matter what its designers were peddling, and JNT ought to have stopped right there and gotten on with getting mileage out of the concept rather than the scam electronics. The concept is just fine, but I can't watch it without thinking FINE, YOU'RE DONE, GO HOME IF YOU DON'T APPRECIATE YOUR JOB, I'LL GO FIND SOME TWINE AND PUPPETEER THIS THING MYSELF. That said, I do like a costume romp and think some over-acting is just the thing for it unless you've really got the budget for a serious level of accuracy). ROMP. Seriously. Never mind visible strings, even operating Kamelion using visible stage hands in black body stockings would have been more entertaining than leaving the poor thing slumped motionless in the middle of a 'fun' adventure with horses and banqueting. Someone could have claimed all along that he ran on 'magic' that only worked on some species, while earth people and time lords could plainly see the 'cloaked' operators, and we'd all be sitting here reading all sorts of philosophy into the performance even if the kitsch level was off the charts!

  • Dec. 7, 2012, 12:14 p.m. CST

    I've always thought Kameleon should have more of a role

    by HornOrSilk

    And I never understood why they didn't do as Tom has said (and I've said before). Just hire different actors to play him. Heck, BF should use him.

  • Dec. 7, 2012, 12:38 p.m. CST

    As for Davison's Doctor

    by HornOrSilk

    I like all of the Doctors. All of them. What Davison's Doctor shows more than any other is the Doctor's heart, with all that brings. It can make him appear more vulnerable at times, but it can also give him the extra strength needed to deal with things which would have trapped other Doctors (the Mara, I am looking at you). I love quite a few Davison stories, but the other ones tend to be average, not bad, but not something which stands out. but the ones I love are high quality (to me): Kinda, Black Orchid, Earthshock (this is an unsual one, much of it is bordering on the average meh of the era, but there are scenes of sheer genius in it; the first episode, the Doctor's confrontation with the Cybermen, and the death of Adric are all which raise this one up), Enlightenment, Frontios and Caves of Androzani. Honorable mention goes to Mawdryn Undead, Five Doctors, and Snakedance.

  • Dec. 7, 2012, 1:04 p.m. CST

    hornorsilk

    by ByTor

    Yeah, I think McCoy is one of those actors that needs a strong director to keep him in check a bit. I do like the fact that they tried to do the high-concept SF stuff in his era. Didn't always work, but it often did, and it was a nice change from the more superficial C. Baker stories.

  • Dec. 7, 2012, 1:06 p.m. CST

    A cunning plan.

    by Captain Howdy

    The castle from The King's Demons also housed Edmund Blackadder. I guess they were just making the most of the BBC's location budget for 1982-1983. In other news, a man wearing Patrick Troughton's fur coat has allegedly been spotted on the set of the final episode of Series 7. Make of that what you will...

  • Dec. 7, 2012, 1:08 p.m. CST

    Pat's fur coat...

    by mark howard

    I wouldn't read too much into that, it's been freezing this week!

  • Dec. 7, 2012, 1:22 p.m. CST

    charlie-boy_clown...

    by Captain Howdy

    ... but I want to read more into it, and nothing can stop me. At least not until November 23rd 2013 is done and dusted, anyway. ;)

  • Dec. 7, 2012, 1:32 p.m. CST

    gamma-ray_joe...

    by mark howard

    I'd love a multi-Doc story, and now you've mentioned it I'm wracking my brains to think of someone who could play No 2. It has been cold, though :)

  • This is the third time he's popped up in a Docback asking Herc for a Fringe thread. Maybe he'd have better luck in a thread with Herc in it. It's getting wearisome now that it just keeps happening.

  • Dec. 7, 2012, 2:10 p.m. CST

    doctortom

    by Merrick

    Done.

  • Dec. 7, 2012, 2:20 p.m. CST

    who looks like Troughton. . .

    by Kathryn Gail

    This is going to seem like an enormous stretch at first, but I was just looking at Patrick Troughton pics wondering the same thing (who could play him), and. . . maybe not for the 50th so much as the 75th. . . You know who looks a bit like the years-before-Doctor-Who Patrick? Jon Hamm. No, I'm serious (although not in his Mad Men look)! Nor would I cringe to pop up in tabloid headlines with young Jon Pertwee. Both of them are pictured here: http://www.doctorwhonews.net/2012/09/jon-pertwee-autobiography-270912150008.html Who's aging into HIS 75th anniversary special version. . . Alex Winter, maybe? (Again: check his present-day pics against Perwee's pre-Who ones before you judge!) Sorry, sorry; I'm matching age-altered faces, not voices or manner, and. . . I guess it's going to be the terrible US-audience 75th anniversary special since I'm failing to come up with non-Americans so far (although apparently Winter was born in London). . .

  • Dec. 7, 2012, 2:26 p.m. CST

    Ainley and Panto...

    by dj_bollocks

    For me this is almost subconsciously where it starts to go downhill. AA's introduction in Traken and Logopolis was really good but Castrovalva (once they left the Tardis) to me was a bit up it's own arse... Most stories with The Master after that just ramp up the camp - apart from Survival which I think is quite good for a Master story...

  • Dec. 7, 2012, 2:28 p.m. CST

    Lookalikes...

    by mark howard

    patrickstewartsaweverything, if I half close my eyes I can actually see something in Jon Hamm, better than anything I could think of. As for the Perters replacement, damn it, who else but Sean? Couldn't get a closer resemblance. Alex Winter has the eyes, and maybe the nose, but not the genes...

  • Dec. 7, 2012, 2:46 p.m. CST

    Sean's on record as saying he wouldn't do it, isn't he?

    by Kathryn Gail

    Pertwee. . . well you can't replace being in the Navy in WWII and still having a sense of humor when you're done, regardless of looks or skill. . . Hamm. . . look for a scruffy-beard/street clothes look, he's not so far from a 1940s/50 Troughton. Still at a loss as to who'd fit right away for the 50th, though.

  • Dec. 7, 2012, 2:49 p.m. CST

    Anthony Ainley’s version of the Master

    by Dreamfasting

    The difference for me is that Anthony Ainley was my introduction to the whole concept of a moustache-twirling cackling villain, so I loved his overzealous evil. I would jump for joy in every story in which he lept out from behind a disguise. Looking back years later, I can understand why there are many who feel he isn't a proper followup to the more intellectual original, but what can I say, I enjoyed it. My personal introduction to the Master was Keeper of Traken, with no idea that the character had an actual history with the show and it (combined with Logopolis which immediately follows) made for a spectacular introduction to this incarnation of the character. I've often wondered how much of the problems with The King's Demons were actually the result of the distraction of technical struggles with Kameleon - if I understand correctly, creating and controlling the animitronic was a white elephant, consuming anormous amounts of time and money every time they tried to use it, which is why it never became the companion it was intended to be.

  • They just put out an adaptation of Love and War, Paul Cornell's second novel, and the first one to introduce Professor Bernice Summerfield as a companion. The New Adventures picked up the 7th-Doctor-as-a-manipulative-bastard ball and ran with it as far and as hard as they could. The Shadow of the Scourge, also by Paul Cornell, was an early BF audio that had the 7th Doctor, Bennie and Ace, and definitely had the Doctor being manipulative. I really enjoyed this audio and recommend it as one of the better 7th Doctor audios. You can see the manipulative streak with the 7th Doctor in the more recent BF audios too (expecially Protect and Serve, Black and White, and Gods and Monsters, which tie up a lot of arcs, with the last also having Fenric show up again). I did enjoy the New Adventures continuing with the manipulate Doctor themes, and liked when he'd get the tables turned on him by someone who knew his methods (I'm thinking of the Parallel universe arc here that started with Bloodright and ended with No Future).

  • Dec. 7, 2012, 5:07 p.m. CST

    Roger Delgado has always been my favorite Master

    by I am not a number

    Ainley's version of The Master was too much like Snidely Whiplash during much of his run. He was pretty good at first (LOGOPOLIS), but his best performance was in SURVIVAL, so at least he ended the series proper on a high note. Not a big fan of the 5th Doctor's adventures (though I like Peter Davison) - most of his stories are hugely lacking. Doctor Bland. Even when he gets a decent story though, he often gets clobbered by the lousy companions Adric (annoying), Nyssa (boring), and Tegan (SHUT UP AND DIE! DIE!), plus all of the arguing between the characters (DIE TEGAN!). At least he got a fantastic last episode though.

  • Dec. 7, 2012, 5:47 p.m. CST

    Like the Doctor, I have liked all the Masters

    by HornOrSilk

    But with the Master, I can easily say which is best, and yes, it is Roger.

  • Dec. 7, 2012, 5:49 p.m. CST

    There is one exception (spoilers -- for BF)

    by HornOrSilk

    I've not listened to UNIT Dominion, so I don't know if I like that Master

  • Dec. 7, 2012, 6:54 p.m. CST

    I still like my multiple Oswin theory

    by tangcameo

    Didn't they say the new companion would appear in/from an unlikely place. I bet you either Christmas Oswin dies or doesn't go with The Doctor, but when he steps out on another planet at another time, there she is. I don't think he actually saw Asylum Oswin's face but I think he'll catch on. That Oswin is everywhere, either as some cosmic coincidence, or planted across time and space for him to keep running into.

  • Dec. 7, 2012, 7:15 p.m. CST

    The Tardis - possible spoilers (but not really)?

    by Mister Vertue

    I'm very surprised that nobody has mentioned this yet, but are you aware that Matt will have a redesigned Tardis for the Christmas special? I only mention it because it's been officially announced by the BBC. I know rumours of a new Tardis interior have been bouncing around for a while now, but it's now confirmed. I'm sure you can find a sneak peek of the new set if you do a Google search. Have the Docbackers taken their eyes off the ball and missed this? I'll finish watching The Visitation and then head off to bed I suppose...

  • Dec. 7, 2012, 7:33 p.m. CST

    New TARDIS--nope, completely missed it!

    by Kathryn Gail

    Apparently I'm living in past episodes and nearly missing real-life events. . . Here's a link marked '1 hour ago' as I post it-- http://www.doctorwhospoilers.com/2012/?p=6914

  • Dec. 7, 2012, 7:41 p.m. CST

    Potential Christmas Episode Spoilage contained herein...

    by dj_bollocks

    Well herein anyway... Sounds good... And not really spoilery - just opiniony... http://www.forbes.com/sites/carolpinchefsky/2012/12/07/spoiler-free-tidbits-on-the-upcoming-doctor-who-christmas-special/

  • Dec. 7, 2012, 7:43 p.m. CST

    Particularly of note... Spoileryish...

    by dj_bollocks

    - OH GODS, THE ENDING! [Plot redacted.] HOLY SMOKES, WHAT A GREAT TWIST! WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING? WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN!?!

  • I keep seeing on etsy and so forth various products claiming to spell something out in Gallifreyan, and I've never bothered to follow up on this in any way because I can be lazy and frivolous (and sometimes, as the days get short, a sleeping bear) (in fact I am typing this very very slowly now with just my two index bearclaws). If anyone really can read the symbols on the new blue interior. . . I'd love to know whether it's a rude limerick written backward in tribute to rude backwards things nearly but ultimately not used for "alien" languages in the classic series, or some such hilarity. A big safety label saying not to operate it while in the tub. Or a clue, a shout-out, HAT fodder. . .

  • Dec. 7, 2012, 8:29 p.m. CST

    A Gallifreyan conference room ceiling?

    by Bill C.

    Hey, that's the first thing that occurred to me when I saw that picture of (presumably) the control room's ceiling. But if they're going to revamp the CR again, I suppose we're stuck with the mood lighting.

  • I really didn't need to know anything about the opening scenes to this episode, and I'm seriously bummed that I do. I read past the first spoiler thinking it was a mistake, then hit a second spoiler and stopped reading. Very bad form.

  • Dec. 8, 2012, 1:37 a.m. CST

    Genesis of the Daleks

    by eudofarkencrog

    my big question will always be, when are you going to do Genesis of the Daleks? I know it was outvoted on your opinion poll, but it definitely (IMOHO) the best Dr. Who story.

  • Dec. 8, 2012, 4:57 a.m. CST

    Genesis of the Daleks is indeed great

    by HornOrSilk

    There is a bit of padding in it, but padding isn't always bad -- and in this case, it isn't, for it helps give the needed balance to this story. When this story is playing at its top form, it gives some of the best Who ever -- agreed.

  • Dec. 8, 2012, 6:23 a.m. CST

    Make a list of what you think are the great stories of Old Who

    by HornOrSilk

    This is not "what is your top ten" list of DW, but rather, what stories do you think are the classic stories of Who. This might include your favorites, or stories you are not as particular fond of but you note are classics in the series nonetheless. Here's my list: Unearthly Child (pilot episode only) Daleks Aztecs Power of the Daleks Evil of the Daleks War Games Inferno Daemons Curse of Peladon Three Doctors Planet of Spiders Genesis of the Daleks Terror of the Zygons Deadly Assassin Talons of Weng-Chiang City of Death Keeper of Taken Logopolis Kinda Earthshock Enlightenment Five Doctors Frontios Caves of Androzani Two Doctors Trial of a TimeLord Paradise Towers Remembrance of the Daleks Curse of Fenric Ghostlight

  • Dec. 8, 2012, 9:19 a.m. CST

    I owe the Docbackers an apology

    by Mister Vertue

    I thought you'd dropped the ball, but apparently you were never handed the ball to begin with! When doctortom doesn't know about something Doctor Who related, then it wasn't there to be known about in the first place. Promised Glen I'd apologise for doubting you, and this is me doing just that. Assumed that there had been an official press release and it never materialised (pun intended - probably).

  • Dec. 8, 2012, 9:22 a.m. CST

    caractacuspotts - agree with you 100%

    by Mister Vertue

    *Very* bad form indeed by the Radio Times with that article. I'm just as annoyed by it as you are, if not more so. Not like them at all. Expected better from the author. Hoping it doesn't happen again with future previews.

  • Dec. 8, 2012, 10:53 a.m. CST

    @merrick: Suggestions on Ainley's Master...

    by obijuanmartinez

    Sorry to hear this serial is your 1st Ainley exposure. Recommend you watch "Keeper of Traken" (Tom Baker, which gives the decrepit "Deadly Assassin" Master his new lease on life when he takes over the body of companion Nyssa's father, consul Tremas (played by Ainley in 'aged' make-up), then "Logopolis" (Tom Baker's regeneration into Peter Davison, which features some transition material into Davison's intro story "Castrovalva", also worth taking in, and showcases Ainley well too). I also enjoyed the dynamic Nyssa had w/ the Ainley Master, given she had to basically face such evil in the form of her own dad!

  • Dec. 8, 2012, 10:58 a.m. CST

    JN-T: Worst DW producer EVER. Fact.

    by obijuanmartinez

    There really are no totally bad Doctors (but I will say Matt Smith has outlasted his welcome, and it's time we had Chwietel Ejiofor or the kid who played the new Q in Skyfall - he would've been a way better choice for a "young" Doctor) It's just sad that the taint of John Nathan-Turner resonates throughout late T. Baker / Davison / C. Baker & McCoy's tenures as the Doc. I used to unfairly criticize Davison, Colin & McCoy, but in rational hindsight, these guys all turned in solid, credible performances...

  • Dec. 8, 2012, 11:08 a.m. CST

    Agreeing with the above on Ainley's Master

    by ShoreGrey

    There were times when he was positively sinister and sublime, but Ainley himself said on more than one occasion that it was JNT who demanded the cackling and mustache twirling behavior. Given the other stories of JNT's camp tendencies, this doesn't surprise me.

  • Dec. 8, 2012, 11:08 a.m. CST

    @hornorsilk: I vote Philip Hinchcliffe's tenure as DW producer...

    by obijuanmartinez

    Hard to find a more dense clustering of amazing DW stories, including 2 of the best ever: Genesis & Talons... The Ark in Space The Sontaran Experiment Genesis of the Daleks Revenge of the Cybermen Terror of the Zygons Planet of Evil Pyramids of Mars The Android Invasion The Brain of Morbius The Seeds of Doom The Masque of Mandragora The Hand of Fear The Deadly Assassin The Face of Evil The Robots of Death The Talons of Weng-Chiang Hinchcliffe & Robert Holmes added a depth, darkness & character to Doctor Who that has never been equaled - the gothic horror element seen in Planet of Evil, Pyramids, Morbius especially resonate. This era also gave the show its most public scrutiny in the form of Mrs. Mary Whitehouse & her National Viewers' & Listeners' Association (for graphic scenes deemed to much for kids like the drowning scene from "Deadly Assassin") I'll have to rattle off a best list that includes the other Docs though!

  • Dec. 8, 2012, 11:09 a.m. CST

    That's an opinion, not a fact...

    by ProfWimsey

    .... although it's an opinion that I share! In many ways, what JNT did was the opposite of what Davies and Moffat have done: whereas the latter two turned an icon into a character, JNT tried to make the Doctor even more of a Jungian Icon for HyperIntellectualism than he already was. Even with the "Dark Doctor" stuff that crept into the final two seasons of "classic" who, it was less about an evolving character than the viewers getting to see another layer of the onion. For myself, I find the evolving & mutable Doctor to be far more interesting that the hyperstatic icons of JNT's time.

  • Dec. 8, 2012, 11:23 a.m. CST

    MOV you're fine, it was find-able by the time you posted!

    by Kathryn Gail

    ~and (barring the occasional creepygreen/blue lighting) the TARDIS hasn't been other than friendly, warm amber inside in forever. . . a whole new frame of mind for the doctor, indeed. . .

  • Dec. 8, 2012, 9:07 p.m. CST

    I've got a bad feeling about the new TARDIS console

    by DoctorTom

    I actually like the one they have now. Just from the little bit I see there I have the worry that we're going to have the outer rings spinning around to set coordinates like it's a Stargate or something.

  • ~and I'm not an expert on this, so please chime in if you are! A cold blue interior (or is it entirely, who can tell from that small glimpse) may be just the thing for the Doctor's fame of mind these days, or it may be some other part of the TARDIS entirely. New consoles are fun, interesting and relevant. I'd love to see them change to fit the tone of every episode if cost were no object. But I believe they're scrapping the whatever-they-are-currently-sized figures and starting up a smaller-scale line, very likely due to petroleum prices. . . ? So they'll need a new playset to fit them. You know, by contrast to not being able to afford a classic console room for The Doctor's Wife. Just sayin'. . .

  • Dec. 9, 2012, 9:21 a.m. CST

    patrickstewartsaweverything - new Tardis

    by Mister Vertue

    This is how I see it... In terms of the redesign within the show, the Doctor has lost the Ponds and is obviously in a bad place. When that happens to someone, you need to change your environment to stop those memories flooding back. So a change in desktop font throughout the console room (and possibly the rest of the Tardis?) was needed for him to keep his sanity. Fresh start. Fresh companion. Fresh desktop. In terms of behind-the-scenes, a change of studio location meant one of two things. Either rebuild the Tardis set in the new studio, or take advantage of the much bigger soundstage and change the look again. New colour scheme. Even bigger interior promising more hidden rooms to be explored at a later date. And more besides? Of course, you'll get the cynics saying it was done to sell yet more toys, and they can believe whatever they want to believe. I think it was the right time to make a change ahead of the big anniversary next year and I can't wait to see the show evolve again to keep things fresh for the actors, the crew and the viewers. Haven't heard anything about them changing the scale of the action figures, but I don't really follow that side of things, so you could be right, but that certainly wouldn't be a reason to completely redesign the set. Or so I'd assume!

  • Dec. 9, 2012, 9:24 a.m. CST

    patrickstewartsaweverything - your name

    by Mister Vertue

    I'm more than a little curious where your name came from. Is it a Star Trek thing? I'm not exactly the best when it comes to Star Trek, so I'm probably missing an obvious reference here!

  • Dec. 9, 2012, 9:27 a.m. CST

    doctortom - have faith!

    by Mister Vertue

    I don't think we can really judge the new design until we see more. I'm betting it'll be a major change to what we've seen since the show returned in 2005, one that will probably split the fans (yet again), but hopefully the majority of us will love it! Not long to wait now...

  • Dec. 9, 2012, 9:33 a.m. CST

    Merrick cast in Doctor Who? It's official!

    by Mister Vertue

    http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2012-12-06/skins-actor-will-merrick-to-appear-in-doctor-who Nobody picked up on this one? Sorry Glen, I'm sure you'll make it onto the show one day. You may even get to be in a Neil Gaiman episode like young Will Merrick.

  • Dec. 9, 2012, 9:38 a.m. CST

    RIP Sir Patrick Moore

    by Mister Vertue

    A true tv legend who I'm sure inspired many Doctor Who fans to look up at the stars, and even appeared on the show itself during Russell's run, he'll be truly missed on our tv screens. My condolences to his family.

  • Dec. 9, 2012, 10:36 a.m. CST

    The rest of the TARDIS interior here

    by HornOrSilk

    Boy it's certainly going to be a whirlwind with fans on this one. MOV isn't horsing around when he said that ;) http://tinyurl.com/awu9ety

  • Dec. 9, 2012, 12:24 p.m. CST

    MOV - name, interior

    by Kathryn Gail

    Nope, not Star Trek, from a segment of Extras from 2005 in which an aspiring screenwriter meets him and discovers he's a bit less Shakespearean in person-- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZ_L3b7osx4 My cynical playset merchandising opinions are very much second-hand, so I hope expert collectors won't hesitate to jump in with figure production details just because I spoke up first! I'm pretty sure more than one or two of you have been wondering the same thing. . . And. . . it's kind of a pat, boilerplate critique to say that selling more toys is automatically a shallow, anti-creativity objective, but in fact I'm not at all against selling more toys wherever it helps rather than hinders designers and (as educators say) encourages creative play and/or generally enhances enjoyment of the show. ~although I can't hide that life seems both funnier and more enlightening to me with a touch of cynicism, so I've really let myself down completely missing the move-to-a-new-studio factor *insert winking emoticon*! The Doctor is certainly in a cold, blue frame of mind, though (haha--plus I wanted to sneak in "fRame of mind" again because I typo-ed it last post!), so, as much as a familiar console helps me feel that I'm part of the story, I'm psyched to see him changing it, first for atmosphere but also just because he can. The TARDIS has been doing most of the changing on its own since 2005, and of course this is meant to be science that only looks like mysticism to humans because we're so much less advanced than Time Lords, but it does still tilt the show slightly in favor of mysticism rather than science.

  • Dec. 9, 2012, 2:29 p.m. CST

    MOV - I'm sure it will work out

    by DoctorTom

    We'll just have to see in a few weeks what it looks like. With all the Gallifreyan on the columns though, I wonder if it's supposed to indicate he's been spending too long without human compnanions.

  • Dec. 10, 2012, 2:43 p.m. CST

    doctortom - the NAs and MAs

    by ByTor

    Yep, read all the Virgin books, stopped shortly after they moved to BBC Books. Not because anything was wrong; I just went through a long no-Who phase in my life for reasons unimportant. In fact, I'm even namechecked in one of Kate's books. ;) And yeah, they definitely ran hard with the manipulative 7th Doctor. With varying results. I loved Paul and Kate's books (and it's on the strength of those as much as anything else that I feel Cornell would make a great head writer for the show someday), and was a fan of many others, but some were...not my favorite. (I will never, ever read The Pit again...) For those that haven't tried the NAs, at least go try Human Nature and Love and War. If you enjoy those -- and you will -- then give Left-Handed Hummingbird a try.

  • Dec. 10, 2012, 3 p.m. CST

    @MOV - during your namesake's run too. PLUS: a pykrete HAT

    by veteran_of_mu

    He's in TEH. Though I never got quite so excited about that as seeing Magnus Pyke on The Goodies. There's something about having a tenuous connection to pykrete, the invention of his brother Christopher, that excites the imagination ... As most people are not aware, Buckminster Fuller once calculated that, given the wonderful volume to weight ratio, and the fact that the larger you build them the stronger they get, a geodesic sphere 500m in diameter would float like a hot air balloon with just a 1 degree temperature differential between the inside and the outside. Now that's constructed with glass and steel. Pykrete, however, is just as useful a material while being vastly cheaper and lighter. It will float in water and has no ingredients but salt water and sawdust. So a more modest dome - say 100m in diameter - will still work well as a hot air balloon. Now it turns out space is unfortunately far above the normal range of a hot air balloon. Otherwise we'd float into orbit all the time. But there is a wonderful phenomenon that occurs when a south pacific cyclone makes landfall on the Andes. The atmosphere mounds up like an enormous wave, hundreds of miles high. So my evil genius plan is to surf that wave in a pykrete geodesic sphere and threaten to drop sizeable chunks of it on various notable landmarks. Pykrete being largely immune to munitions of various sorts, and quite opaque to energy weapons, there would be very little anyone could do to stop me. And, after the ransom is delivered, I simply step out the airlock and re-enter using a pykrete surfboard as a heat shield ...

  • Dec. 10, 2012, 6:11 p.m. CST

    doctortom, from last week - if a Rutan took the form of a silent

    by Kathryn Gail

    If a Rutan took the form of a Silent (you wondered), would he have the same abilities of posthypnotic suggestion and to suck in electricity and let it out. . . Well the Silents' posthypnotic suggestion powers seem to be at least in part sight-activated, so they'd probably need to be out in daylight a lot more or they'd have constant problems with their usual lurking in buildings if they kept putting the lights out whenever they felt run down (unless they mainly lurked at power plants that would then always slightly underperform). Seems logical that there's a component besides vision at work, though, so Rutans might need to do some ghastly experiments in Silent physiology to get it close enough to pass (does print/audio cover the origins of the Rutan/Sontaran war? could it have been over ghastly experiments? not that Sontarans even need a 'real' reason?). But if they could get it right, killing them on sight would be a lot more difficult! Unless the Silent head shape were key to the PH suggestion function. But if that were true, Rutans could still look like anyone/thing at all just carrying a rubber Silent mask that everyone would forget they're carrying. . .

  • Dec. 10, 2012, 10:49 p.m. CST

    on the demise of five inch scale action figures and new control rooms

    by The Transformed Man

    The Doctor Who action figure line's five inch scale range is being discontinued and being replaced with a smaller scale similar to the small Marvel and G.I. Joe figures. A lot of the companies are trying to nudge everyone towards a smaller scale, presumably due to the rising costs of petroleum on top of regular inflation; an action figure that would have cost literally two dollars in 1989 is now ten or eleven dollars. So a six inch figure tends to be closer to twenty dollars. I also read that the smaller scale will allow for more playsets at lower costs. The last figure in the current line is Rory. The classic DW five inch scale will continue. As someone who has collected literally hundreds of the five inch figures (possibly an odd midlife crisis; I watched the show in fifth grade and couldn't find another kid who knew what I was going on about and couldn't find toys and now in the future lots of toys are around and I have adult resources to obtain them, etc. etc.) I was pretty upset about this change and was planning to hang up my scarf and quit collecting. I mean, I've built a whole universe of these guys, and I don't want to start over. And I'll never own a five inch Clara or Matt in his new outfits? But the toy people might woo me back to some degree with a control room playset that will never be available in the five inch scale.

  • Dec. 11, 2012, 9:01 a.m. CST

    bytor - I try to ignore the existence of The Pit

    by DoctorTom

    and hope that by doing so, it will ignore me. Blood Heat and Head Games, however, deserve being resurrected by BBC books. Actually, I wouldn't mind if all the old Virgin books got rereleased as ebooks. There's a small number out there (I've seen The Empire of Glass out on the nook, but I suspect some company grabbed the free version that had been on the BBC Doctor Who website and put that out in an epub form)>

  • Dec. 11, 2012, 12:05 p.m. CST

    Another look at the new TARDIS interior- For real!

    by 11ZOMBIES

    https://twitter.com/DWMtweets/status/278554860461371394

  • Dec. 11, 2012, 12:06 p.m. CST

    Don't know about you guys, but...

    by 11ZOMBIES

    ...I love it! Long time lurker around here, had to post this!

  • Dec. 11, 2012, 2:39 p.m. CST

    Welcome aboard, 11zombies!

    by ByTor

    And thanks for the link! I am intrigued, but I'll need to see the whole thing before offering an opinion. :)

  • Dec. 11, 2012, 2:46 p.m. CST

    doctortom: agreed

    by ByTor

    I would love to see them re-released as ebooks. Who were your favorite authors? Mine were Cornell, Kate Orman, and Andy Lane, though I also enjoyed Gareth Roberts, Lance Parkin, Mark Gatiss, Craig Hinton (moment of silence, sigh), Dave Stone, David McIntee...man, there were a lot of good ones. Oh, and Matthew Jones was awesome. His short story in one of the Decalog books (with the first Doctor) was heartbreaking. For folks who haven't tried them, I would recommend trying either Cornell or Terrance Dicks. Dicks' weren't the greatest, but they definitely had a very similar feel to the classic series. The MAs were also very good, though they didn't have the room (if you will) to grow the characters the way the NAs did.

  • Dec. 12, 2012, 9:27 a.m. CST

    Confirmed: S7b Starts in April

    by ByTor

    DWM has confirmed that the remainder of Season 7 (after the Christmas special) will premiere in April in the UK (and, one presumes, on BBC America). Also, it was noted that in April the (or a) 50th anniversary special will begin filming. No word yet on S8. My sources say the BBC is playing everything VERY close to the vest, but current feelings are that we'll either get the first half of S8 later next year as per normal, or we'll get multiple specials with S8 beginning next year.

  • Dec. 12, 2012, 10:16 a.m. CST

    bytor - favorite authors

    by DoctorTom

    I'd go with your list for good authors. I'd add Ben Aaranovitch (the Also People), Steve Lyons (Conundrum! Head Games!!!!!!!), Jim Mortimore (Bloof Heat! also I really liked Eternity Weeps and his Benny Book The Sword of Forever). Lawrence Miles - overall I felt Christmas on a Rational Planet had problems, but had some good bits in it. For those who don't happen to have read it, at one point Roz Forrester, an Adjudicator from the 30th century and one of the Doctor's companions, gets stuck in the end of the 18th cerntury or early 19th if I recall. She sets up the assassination of Lincoln purely to get the Doctor's attention and get him to that time to pick her up. He shows disapproval, but she comes back with saying try being a black woman in America at that time. After this book though, I thought he improved tremendously. I liked his BBC Eighth Doctor adventures, and the New Adventures he wrote for Benny (Down) and the related novel Dead Romance. I'd recommend Dead Romance as a good novel even ignoring the tenuous Benny and Who connections.

  • Dec. 12, 2012, 10:22 a.m. CST

    bytor - further favorites

    by DoctorTom

    since I got into the Bernice Summerfield nny New Adventures books in that last post, I'd say that the Big Finish Benny books by Jaq Raynar (the Glass Prison) and the audios she's written or adapted for the Bernice Summerfield line are awesome. The first season of Benny's audios were Jac adapting Paul Cornell's novel Oh No It Isn't (which has Nick Courtney, and is one of the finest audios BF has ever put out as well as being their first) and adapting Who and Benny New Adventures to the audio format. The Grel Escape by her is also a very good audio - it's a sendup of The Chase, using the Grel (from Oh No It Isn't) in place of the Daleks. On the BBC Books Who Front, the first two that come to mind as standouts are Lawrence Miles (who I consider BBC, not really Who New Adventures) and Paul Magrs. Lloyd Rose is another very good author for the BBC EDAs.

  • Dec. 12, 2012, 10:24 a.m. CST

    Interesting news about season 7b

    by DoctorTom

    I would have actually guessed the end of March, since March 31 is Easter and they have a habit of starting seasons the day before.

  • Dec. 12, 2012, 4:14 p.m. CST

    Thought on the new desktop pattern

    by DoctorTom

    this will be a perfect opportunity for the 50th anniversary to have one of the older Doctors pop in and say *You've redecorated. I don't like it.*

  • Dec. 12, 2012, 6:30 p.m. CST

    doctortom - a few points

    by Mister Vertue

    Firstly, we'll have to agree to disagree about Lawrence Miles! Secondly, you were not the only one to be surprised about the S7b start date. Thirdly (and lastly), a previous regeneration *may* say something along those lines, but there's also the chance that the new desktop pattern will more closely resemble Hartnell's Tardis interior, and be less McGann/Eccleston/Tennant looking? Again, I'm thinking that we're coming around full circle for the anniversary next year in some ways. I'm throwing that HAT into the hat.

  • Dec. 12, 2012, 6:40 p.m. CST

    The Moff - fanboy pleasing

    by Mister Vertue

    And then there’s the finale, which has got some serious fanboy-pleasing going on in it. My aim for it – which I’m about to humiliate myself at the tone meeting by saying – is to have slightly more than you think could possibly happen in one episode. Slightly more treats than you think you could be allowed. I just posted this quote from the latest issue of SFX magazine in Merrick's non-moderated Doctor Who update, but figured I'd repeat it here for more sensible responses from those who are able to articulate their opinions (both positive and negative) in an intelligent way. The original post was consumed like a Gallifreyan mail carrier trying to navigate the Almighty Chronovoid lying at the centre of Kasterborous, in that it was swallowed, and was perfectly capable of escaping, but just couldn't be bothered to. Time Lord mailmen (and Time Lady mailwomen, of course) are such lazy bastards...

  • And I quote: -- Let's imagine you're the Moff. You can see 2013 coming from a long way off. You appreciate the significance. You know you only get one crack at it. And you want to go out in a blaze of glory. So you start writing. Hard. Sure, you still have to put in 2 or 3 episodes in S7. And there's all that promotional and managerial stuff to get through. But you can back off on that a bit if you get a Dalek Prime Minister to take the reins. Obviously you want to save all your best continuity episodes for the 2013 eschaton. And you want to enroll the current generation of kiddies by throwing in a few Chibnallian follow-the-bouncing-ball monster-of-the-week pablums. Er, pabla ... you want those kids on board so they'll be ready to have their little minds thoroughly blown when you bring the hammer down ... Meanwhile you put out feelers. The Beeb wants as much DW as it can get, but it's not willing or able to put up the production facilities of a WETA. You know PJ is an immense Whovian, has dinner parties with ex-Doctors and so on. And you can get big bucks into funding DW via your Hollywood Tintin crew if the Beeb will authorise a circa 2015 DW movie to follow on the heels of a WETA 50th ... So you take all your hard continuity S8 stuff and hand it off to PJ. And he asks and you agree to loan him your Sherlock stars for a couple of short films he happens to be making about a short fellow with hairy feet. Because while they're filming that they can also do a little mo-cap for a couple of the most viciously delightful villains you've dreamed up for the S8 blowout ... And all the fanboys on all the forums sit and scratch their bums wondering when the Beeb will commission the S8 episodes they think they want. Never knowing that what's coming down the pike, what you're really plannning, is the elevation of the Doctor from British cultural touchstone to world cultural touchstone. You're aiming to be the next George Lucas. But this time ... this time you're going to do it right! -- Slightly more treats than that?

  • Dec. 13, 2012, 9:08 a.m. CST

    MOV - that's certainly possible

    by DoctorTom

    I can certainly see Moffat going for a Hartnell/ Troughton vibe. I like the larger size of the main TARDIS rooms since McGann, though, and hope they have continue with a larger room. Actually, with what's been shown so far I could see something like the Cloister room in the McGann movie, but you have the TARDIS main console instead of the Eye of Harmony in the room in that spot. Pillars in the room matching the material of the console. Moffat might try making the new look what the default setting for a TARDIS is, or a main alternate desktop pattern. Has anybody heard how much room there is for the TARDIS set in the new facilities? I'm sure that size considerations in the new building will go toward dictating how large the TARDIS set is. (Yes, they could make it look much larger by using a virtual set, but that would eat into the budget every episode, so I suspect they won't do that.)

  • Dec. 13, 2012, 9:11 a.m. CST

    Another question about a different console

    by DoctorTom

    We all know they kept the Eccleston/Tennant console intact for The Doctor's Wife. Since the filming of that, was that set torn down, or is it still around? With the rumors of Tennant being in the 50th anniversary, I was curious as to whether they might show him with his TARDIS desktop pattern.

  • Dec. 13, 2012, 9:23 a.m. CST

    MOV - the fanboy pleasing - I think we have a hint of it already

    by DoctorTom

    that toy that's supposed to be coming out, with the combination Dalek/Cybermen technology, using Metebelis crystals and whatever else they wanted to include in it (I can't recall the exact description). We'll probably be seeing a Dalek/Cybermen war in the story, with the Cybermen faring a bit better than they did in Army of Ghosts/ Doomsday. One thought on that - will we see Dalek Oswin again or another Oswin converted to a Dalek, fighting an OswinClara that's been cyberconverted? THAT certainly hasn't been done in Who before.

  • Dec. 13, 2012, 2:39 p.m. CST

    My desktop would be Gallifrey itself.

    by veteran_of_mu

    Bigger on the inside, right? Why not take that literally and put a whole world in there. While it would indeed take significant funds to put a lot of effort into that, if it were just green screened it would be pretty trivial to FX an empty red planet onto the background of whatever is going on around the time rotor. I'd place the trunkless legs of what was once a colossal statue in the immediate distance, inscribed in old high Gallifreyan. If challenged to translate it the Doctor could say it reads, Look On My Works, Ye Mighty, And Despair.

  • Dec. 13, 2012, 2:56 p.m. CST

    caractuspotts - have you read The New Adventures

    by DoctorTom

    one of them had the (seventh) Doctor materializing the TARDIS around the Earth itself so that some missiles that had been launched would hit the TARDIS (which is supposedly indestructible back in those times) rather than hitting their target on Earth. I could imagine opening a TARDIS door and seeing an entire planet on the other side...

  • Dec. 13, 2012, 10:20 p.m. CST

    yesssss, psyched for a full-circle 50th

    by Kathryn Gail

    Seeing the original TARDIS in color, connecting up some of those threads. I feel as though we never got enough of the full original set, although it may just be that we've lost so many episodes and I'm mentally filling in that gap with commentary about cost-saving cheats that were actually from much later stories. Haha--more treats than I think I could be allowed, he says. . . sounds like a challenge. . . to lift up the top of my cranium and flash my dreams of avarice. . . But seriously, sometimes the characteristic packing in of too many things puts the emphasis on the clicker buttons at the expense of getting to really savor moments in the moment, but then it's not exactly as though I don't relish that clicker time with the DVDs, so it's a knee-jerk criticism that really only holds up for the first viewing! I'd love to see the Hartnell era in compressed-treat Moffat time, rather than through a thick filter of *well I have to be in the mood for a really slow story and ready to fill the lag time pondering every touch that illustrates something about pop culture and broadcast history*. Oh sure, I feed off that kind of thing, there's no hiding it, but not all the time!

  • Dec. 14, 2012, 9:41 a.m. CST

    patrickstewartsaweverything - you made me realize something

    by DoctorTom

    we'll probably find out that this is the original desktop pattern that we're seeing (given the Gallifreyan script around the top of the console), but Moffat might have made the decision to go with this for the rest of the season so that he can use this to show a younger First Doctor in his TARDIS in the 50th. Now, if Moffat shows the Doctor right after leaving Gallifrey, I'd be amused if he works in some of the historical Gallifrey stuff from Lungbarrow (notably about who Susan is)

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