Posts Tagged With: doctor who adventures

Identity Parade

Doctor Who Adventures, which we buy monthly / fortnightly / weekly (depending on frequency, which fluctuates) for Thomas, runs a series of Where’s Wally? type pictures containing the Doctor hidden amidst an army of Sontarans, a clan of Ice Warriors or a gathering of permanently frozen Weeping Angels. They are quite fun to do, and the resulting collections – titled Where’s The Doctor? and When’s The Doctor? – have kept many a small child content on long car journeys, at least in our house. Well, it’s only a matter of time before they get into Big Finish.

But the current issue has something else entirely – although I can’t lay my hands on the previous issues to find out whether this is the first in a series or a continuation of one. It carries an unavoidable New Who bias, but I was pleasantly surprised by how many nods there were to previous Doctors – well, one or two in particular…



(Sorry about the folds. I miss the office A3 scanner.)

It’s Coal Hill School, so of course education is the name of the game. That’s why the Krillitane appear (although where on earth is Sarah Jane?), that’s why there are so many Daleks, and that’s presumably why Romana is wearing her St. Trinian’s outfit. I am particularly pleased by the inclusion of Michael Sheard, who I always felt was underused in Classic Who.


1. I know that there probably aren’t that many in the target of audience who’ve actually seen ‘The Robots of Death’, but calling it a “scary robot” is incredibly lame. It’s a Voc. Even my six-year-old can use Google.

2. “Oh,” said Gareth. “That’s meant to be Ace!  I briefly thought it was Ewan McGregor hitting a Dalek with a lightsaber.”

3. Is the Angel wearing dark glasses for any reason other than because it’s summer? Is there some sort of adverse quantum effect? Perhaps Angels who wear sunglasses can’t see other Angels (in the same way that a pair of Ray-Bans is apparently all you need to protect a vampire from sunlight exposure).

4. “Also,” said Gareth, “I briefly wondered why Sergeant Major Zero was floating between Missy and Tom Baker.” I was going to say that those Toclafane were disproportionately large, but footage from ‘Last of the Time Lords’ has convinced me otherwise. Still, there are similarities.


Anyway, I did think it would be fun to do an annotated version of this picture, identifying as many of the characters as we can, for the benefit of the uninitiated or people who could have sworn they recognise such-and-such but can’t quite figure it out. As of 16 April, this list is mostly complete, but I’ll upload expanded / corrected versions as and when people tell me stuff I’ve missed, and the ones I’ve got wrong.


You’ll note that I haven’t labelled most of the obvious ones, with the exception of the different Dalek factions (the bronze Daleks are, as far as I can see, just bronze Daleks). I can’t work out whether the kid in the bottom right corner – standing next to the soldiers – is anyone significant or just another pupil. The same applies to the girl in the window next to the Cybershade. And there’s a creature in that lower right window – just above the Dalek – which is on the tip of my tongue.

Otherwise, we have:

  1. Barbara Wright
  2. Ian Chesterton
  3. Lunar spiders
  4. Krillitane
  5. Is that a Star Trek mask? Ben, that’s got to be you.
  6. Twelfth Doctor
  7. Adipose
  8. Snowman
  9. Jeremy Baines
  10. Raston Warrior Robot
  11. Renegade Daleks
  12. Teller
  13. Judoon
  14. Auton
  15. Special Weapons Dalek
  16. Abzorbaloff
  17. Kid reading Doctor Who Adventures
  18. Missy
  19. Toclafane
  20. Fourth Doctor
  21. John Smith
  22. Cybershade
  23. Tritovore
  24. First Doctor
  25. Susan Foreman
  26. Courtney Woods
  27. Romana (II)
  28. Mr Bronson* / Headmaster
  29. Slitheen
  30. Skovox
  31. Ace
  32. Empty Child
  33. Kate Lethbridge-Stewart
  34. Osgood
  35. Ood
  36. Adric
  37. Turlough
  38. Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart
  39. Clara Oswald
  40. Voc Robot
  41. Mondas Cyberman
  42. Space Pig
  43. Dalek Sec
  44. Scientist Dalek
  45. Imperial Dalek
  46. Zygon
  47. Mummy
  48. Scaroth

* Grange Hill fans only.

Meanwhile, Joshua got a Horrible Histories magazine, which had no mention of Doctor Who whatsoever.


Well, more or less.

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A plethora of Who-related goodness (2014 edition)

If you’ve been here for a while, you will remember that I while ago I wrote a less-than-complimentary piece about the new range of Doctor Who action figures – a creative move to a smaller size that results in set incompatibility with the larger figures (unless you want to do some sort of Hobbit story, or a stop-motion adventure about a shrinking Doctor), not to mention colossal loss of detail. On the one hand it’s great, because I no longer spend cash we don’t have on the new stuff. On the other hand I don’t have a Twelfth Doctor – or a Clara, for that matter.

Still. Who’d have thought there were so many five-inch figures we didn’t have from the original waves that I actually wanted?


The games and books all came from other people, but we bought the figures. For the boys. Honest. Unfortunately I took this in a hurry and you can’t see Lilith, the Carrionite from ‘The Shakespeare Code’, nestling behind Brannigan, the cat person from ‘Gridlock’. She has a little difficulty standing upright, and is thus supported by the television set containing the Wire, which came along with the faceless grandmother. The Smiler’s head rotates, and Doctor Constantine’s changes altogether. Oh, and the Daleks are, from left to right, the Emperor’s Guard Dalek from ‘Evil of the Daleks’, the Supreme Dalek from ‘Day of the Daleks’ and the Saucer Pilot Dalek from ‘Dalek Invasion of Earth’. (Gareth will tell me if I got that the wrong way round.)

Full-size figures aside, Thomas got the Doctor Who Adventures advent calendar this year, which came in handy when we were decorating the Christmas cake.


“We should have used a larger TARDIS,” Emily said, “except it won’t fit now. You’ll have to get in quick next year and stick it on as a centrepiece before they can put other things on.” Honestly, she’s obsessed.

The full line-up, if you were interested, is here.


The Weeping Angel and Silurian at the back weren’t part of the calendar; they were two of those build-it-yourself monsters that came with a previous issue, and that I always dread opening because I can never get them to stay together, and you always lose bits. Nonetheless the effect here is rather like one of those photos of colossal families, the sort that the Daily Mail love to hate, unless they can’t actually find anything bad to say about them.

Anyway, this – and the Minecraft stuff – kept them quiet for a couple of days while we drank port and caught up with Holby. After the first lot of festivities was over and I’d managed to weasel out of showing the boys ‘Last Christmas‘ by telling them it was “too complicated, too scary and you don’t really learn anything new”, we high-tailed it down to Shropshire for New Year. The previous week my mother-in-law had showed me a wonderful hand-knitted Nativity (knitivity?) set that a friend of hers had produced, all featuring brightly-clad characters, including a wise man who bears more than a passing resemblance to the Sixth Doctor.


So while we’re on that, I should also mention that my brother-in-law and his family and also gave two of us cheese bakers this year, and I have accordingly named them Tom and Colin.

The rest was Muppets and jigsaws and dried fruit, so I leave you with something not entirely Who-related: a joint of beef we ate on New Year’s Day that I thought looked a little like an Arrakis spiceworm, which led to this.


I’ve only seen Dune once, but it’s a David Lynch, and therefore it resonates. It resonates to the extent that the last time Joshua watched Rango I had an eyebrow-raising moment when we heard Ned Beattie’s ancient turtle explain to Johnny Depp that if you “Control the water, you control everything”. To which I distinctly remember thinking “No, I’m pretty sure it’s the spice…”

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Movember, or What I Did With Our Doctor Who Adventures Calendar

This breaks one of the cardinal rules of Doctor Who – Thou shalt not give facial hair to the Doctor – but hey, it’s for charity, right?

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The eventual death of Rory Williams

Now that this story has been closed, and the Ponds have departed the world of Doctor Who for good, in a final, unambiguous manner that means they’ll never be returning to the show under any circumstances, we can produce a final and definitive list of the many deaths of Rory Pond Williams.

The problem is that such lists are in abundance, all over the web. This one dates from halfway through series six.

It’s quite funny, but the ‘Oh my God! They killed Rory!’ meme has quickly become very tiresome. I really couldn’t figure out what I could possibly bring to the fold that was new, apart from to go through all the spinoff material and list all his non-canonical deaths, which would take more time than I currently have.

So what the hey; you can have it in the form of a puzzle instead. Silly, but at least it’s reasonably Doctor Who Adventures in approach.

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Flushed with pride

As I’ve probably mentioned before, we live in a bungalow. Said bungalow has two water closets: a bathroom, done out in Exorcist pea soup green, and a separate toilet by the front door. With abject fondness we refer to this as ‘the downstairs loo’. (Living in a bungalow also gives us the capacity to confuse semi-regular visitors when they call, because I simply tell them that Emily’s gone upstairs.)

A few years back, I was having a rotten day, and Emily bought me a copy of Doctor Who Adventures to cheer me up. One of that week’s free gifts was a large poster of Tennant – and, having nowhere else to hang it, we stuck it in the downstairs toilet. (In the spring of 2010 I did overlay his face with that of Matt Smith, but it didn’t last.) It’s kind of nice to have him there, but every time I stand at the bowl it does feel a bit like he’s smirking at me or something.

Sorry about the mildew. We are working on it.

 Also in the downstairs toilet: a calendar, also from DWA – I bought an official one when it was disgustingly low in price and then cut up the pictures and pasted them around the house for Joshua’s party. And then there’s this. 

I know it’s lame. And hardly a new gag. But I was pleased, because it coincided with a visit from my mother-in-law. “There’s no point being grown-up if you can’t be childish sometimes.”

So it went on Facebook, and then things went like this:

Emily: It’s just boring! We’ve been calling festival toilets turdises (turdii?) for ages.

James: Yes, but I came up with an acronym! Transporting Urine / Related Deposits Into Sewers. So ner.

Gareth: Transporting Urine / Related Deposit Into Sewers. How many times do we have to go over this, James?

He was right, dammit.



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The Great Doctor Who Party (i)

I will post food pictures tomorrow; I’m still optimising them. Suffice to say it was a success: thirteen children running riot round an Oxfordshire bungalow. One of the visiting sprogs has a two-tier volume setting: window-shattering and avalanche-inducing. My ears bled, but it was fun. I am paying the price for the late nights – plus my body appeared to have been holding out against the sickness bug doing the rounds in our family until the last child had gone home, at which point I was ready to collapse.

Anyway, despite things going swimmingly we were rather disappointed that the puzzle sheets I spent ages preparing went somewhat under the radar:

(The 910-year-old thing is a source of contention, of course, given that the Doctor says his current age is 1103 – more of that below – but it was a catchy title.)

I’d sourced a mixture of online materials and scanned magazine pieces (even going so far as to rewrite half the word search when Gareth pointed out that the author had misspelled Gallifrey), but no one did them – they were having too much fun with the Slitheen! Likewise the colouring pages – there were 72 of them, and by the end of the party there were 71, Daniel having decided to turn a Cyberman bright orange and pink, which improved it immeasurably. Considerably more successful were the laminated cards I prepped, having figured out that while a considerable number of generally culture-aware children were coming to our house to attend a Doctor Who party, their own knowledge of the show – based on what I hear in the playground – is somewhat limited. (Joshua knows all about it, of course, but he’s the son of two self-confessed geeks. He never really stood a chance.)

So I typed up a series of flash cards (all right, they’re not exactly flash cards, given that you have to stop and read them, but you get the point) and sat in front of a laminator the other evening, and this was the result.

The finished item.

(I would never be so bold as to presume you would, but if anyone wants the source material for this lot, get in touch with me and we can talk about it.)

I make no apology for the occasional factual error or inconsistency or ambiguity (the Doctor’s age, for example, which is such a source of debate that it’s not worth arguing about – you might as well pluck a figure out of the air, or at least make an educated guess) – I did the thing in a hurry. Gareth was invaluable in clearing up some of it but any mistakes in there are mine. Besides, the intended audience was seven. They’re not going to question, or at least if they do and you turn out to be wrong they won’t leave three paragraphs of inflammatory abuse on your blog.

Then we stuck them in here.

The party bag designs were Emily’s idea. I knew all those old issues of Doctor Who Adventures would come in useful…

(Update 29 June: the second (and final) part is now available – foody goodness awaits!)

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Oodipus Rex

The spread below was in this week’s Doctor Who Adventures. It tickled me enough to make me want to share it.

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Sir, you’re wanted on the deck

This free gift turned up in last week’s Doctor Who Adventures. I am happy.

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“Don’t look away, and whatever you do, don’t blink”

Made this with the help of Joshua, courtesy of Doctor Who Adventures. Emily and I are currently in discussions as to whether or not it is a suitable adornment for the top of the Christmas tree. I think it is. Emily is not so keen.

I have a feeling she will win.

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