Bright eyes, burning like the fires of Mount Doom

A review of The Hobbitcarried in The Independent (which hasn’t been since about 1996), contains the following text.

“Thankfully, Jackson’s flair for action sequences and bold and complex production design hasn’t deserted him. Huge, snarling dogs and a chase sequence involving a wizard played by Sylvester McCoy being pulled by a sledge of super-nimble rabbits add some bite to the storytelling.”

My initial thoughts ran along the lines of “How very dare you”. Then I sighed with resignation. It doesn’t really matter any more.

When I mentioned this to Laura, she said she was finding it hard to resist the temptation to imagine the scene with the were-rabbit from Wallace and Gromit, or the rabbits from Watership Down. When I mentioned it to Gareth, he said “I wouldn’t mind seeing Sylvester McCoy being pulled by rabbits. I’d just rather see it in Doctor Who.


I know it’s scrappily done, but it almost works. Almost.

Then there’s this.

Oh, and this.

The image above is taken from the mother of all cliffhangers, in which the Doctor is seen hanging from a ledge by his umbrella FOR NO GOOD REASON AT ALL. (There’s a reason in the script, of course, but time constraints being what they were they never got round to shooting it.) It’s the end of episode one of ‘Dragonfire’, which also features a scene which is eerily reminiscent of Watership Down.


You see what I mean.

“It looks like you’re doing something with General Woundwort,” said Emily, in her best impression of Clippy, when she wandered into the kitchen. “Would you like help?”
“No, it’s fine, I was just looking at reviews of The Hobbit today and it talked about Sylvester McCoy being pulled along by rabbits. Then Gareth mentioned the possibility of it happening in Doctor Who. You know…the whole rabbits…Doctor Who connection.”

There was a pause.

“You don’t love me any more, do you?”

Categories: Classic Who, Crossovers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

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11 thoughts on “Bright eyes, burning like the fires of Mount Doom

  1. Frivolous Monsters

    No good reason at all… Nor any explanation how they got down to the bottom at the start of the next episode as I recall? Watership Down was much more scary than Doctor Who. I hope SM is good in the Hobbit, but I won’t be going to see it at the cinema… Too much LOTRs.

    • reverend61

      I ripped this image from a YouTube video – it’s an uploaded DVD documentary in which they actively apologise for the cock-up. Apparently the script was supposed to involve him having to go down a cliff and then have to go over the ledge, but they didn’t have time to film it properly. It’s a low point in the Seventh Doctor’s run (along with pretty much all of The Greatest Show In The Galaxy).

      And yes, I watched bits of Watership Down again when I was looking for the ‘mark’ scene, and my God it’s *creepy*! The bit that always gave me the chills was when they show the flashback of the destruction of the warren, with the rabbits crowded into the tunnel. Really not for children.

      • Frivolous Monsters

        I liked Greatest Show in the Galaxy – every year since it’s become more like a prophetic warning to the future, with Simon Cowell and cronies as the Gods of Ragnarok – although I didn’t get the Doctor Who analogy at the time. Amongst SM low points I’d say Boom-Boom-BOOM! from Battlefield would be up there. As with any sort of plot supposed to be in the American TV movie.

      • reverend61

        I’d never thought about the Britain’s Got Talent / X-Factor analogy, but that makes a lot of sense. I just remember a lot of tedium.

        My other SM low point is probably Ken Dodd, along with Paradise Towers, which I know people generally like, but I always found the Kangs incredibly irritating.

      • Frivolous Monsters

        People being sacrificed by offering themselves up to entertaining the gods until they become bored, of no further use, and get discarded. Think any singer (or other) that Simon Cowell has every got through X-Factor (or other). Prophetic words.

        And the nerdy kid on the bike, the super-fan, who made it clear that he knows that the circus isn’t as good as it was, but he’s still obsessed with it, is supposed to make it clear that the whole thing is an analogy for Doctor Who itself.

        And I see deep meaning in the Kangs now too! At the start the last yellow Kang is killed of leaving only the reds and the blues. A bit political? And the on-coming demise of the Liberal Democrats. Plus it was full of girl power before the nineties began!

        I think Ken Dodd brought a lot of baggage with him, being a very seasoned famous comedian, but apparently he’s a Shakespearean actor too so I can’t knock him.

      • reverend61

        If they did it today, of course, it would be the blues and yellows forming a fragile alliance to take on the scattered, battle-weary reds. Then there would be in-fighting between the blue and yellow leader. And the blue leader would be uneasy about the Doctor’s friendship with Captain Jack.

  2. I am. Wow.

    I really need to stop reading Hobbit news. Really, really. I am so worked up about it, I already want to strike things.

    • reverend61


      I knew I could rely on you to get outraged. Go and unpack some more boxes and have a herbal tea. I’ll keep ploughing away at Jackson’s ceremonial defecation over the legacy of Tolkien.

      • I was basically told to STFU and go away yesterday because I have a problem with Legolas being in the Hobbit films.

        [shakes fist in outrage]

        I should probably cut back on the caffeine, yeah?

      • reverend61

        If by ‘cut back on’ you mean ‘eradicate entirely’, then… 🙂

        Thing is, Legolas’ inclusion is a blatant cash cow, but at least it’s consistent with his being in Mirkwood, which was where he lived. It’s the inclusion of Galadriel that I don’t get.

      • I KNOW! I am not ready to completely do away with caffeine, I run after 4 kids all day and don’t sleep enough because I like to spend time with my husband once they’re in bed.

        BUT, I get why he’s there, it’s just bothersome to me. I also get why Galadriel is there if they’re using the LotR Appendices to flesh out where Gandalf disappeared to.

        That doesn’t mean I like it, though. I also have problems with certain other changes being made to the story.

        If he could STICK TO WHAT’S LAID OUT, I wouldn’t necessarily have a problem. It’s the adding all new things and changing the history and character motivations that really fuel my rage.

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