Posts Tagged With: fifth doctor

No jacket required

The_Kingmaker_cover

I’m not saying ‘The Kingmaker’ is typical of the Doctor Who Big Finish audio dramas. Nor is it, perhaps, the best introduction to Peri and Erimem if you’re unfamiliar with either. But if you have a couple of hours to spare, and the iPod playlist is looking stale, you could do a lot worse. I haven’t laughed quite so much in a long time. The anachronisms come thick and fast – there are gags about spoilers, concussion and commemorative mugs. Davison is clearly enjoying himself, while Caroline Morris gets to serve drinks in Tudor England and break a publican’s arm. Arthur Smith turns in an amusing guest turn, and Peri, in particular, has some wonderful scenes (which should surprise no one, give that her husband wrote them).

One particularly amusing sequence in ‘The Kingmaker’ sees the Doctor communicate with his companions – stranded two years in the past – with a series of letters, each one designed to be opened “directly after the last one”. The whole thing is rather like that scene in ‘Curse of Fatal Death’ where the Doctor and the Master travel further and further back in time in order to bribe the architect of the building in which they’re standing, an unfortunate series of events which culminates in the Master spending over nine hundred years in a sewer. Curiously, however, said notes were delivered by someone who was clearly supposed to be to the Ninth Doctor – a character that Fountain wasn’t told that he had to leave out – with no one noticing the inclusion until the thing had been shipped.

This is Joss Ackland in the second Bill and Ted film. If you've seen it, you'll know why.

This is Joss Ackland in the second Bill and Ted film. If you’ve seen it, you’ll know why.

If you’re wondering why I’ve mentioned this, you should know that Big Finish are barred from dealing with certain plot lines or characters, or entrance and exits stories – which is why, nearly thirty years after ‘Terror of the Vervoids’, we still don’t know how the Sixth Doctor met Melanie. They’re also barred from talking about anything post 2005, in case it messes with the series continuity. (Continuity is still a relatively recent thing, in the grand scheme of things. “We didn’t have a series Bible,” Terrance Dicks is fond of saying, proving that if there were no Ian Levine it would be necessary to invent him, and then lose him before rediscovering him and then bitching about it on Twitter.)

Of course, if challenged, it’s possible to contest that the “Northern chap with big ears” was actually the Eighth Doctor, given that he carries a trace of a Liverpool twang (unlike Tom Baker, who does not). Or perhaps – oh, I don’t know…

(If this strikes you as ridiculous, I feel it my duty to make you aware that there is fan fiction that features the Second Doctor meeting up with Noddy and the gang, before helping to find Bumpy Dog by playing his recorder.)

You have to feel a bit sorry for the Eighth – and for Big Finish in general, come to that. There they were, gearing up for the end of the Time War, by having the Doctor lament that he was about to do something terrible. He even got the leather jacket. The next thing you know, John Hurt is running around Gallifrey, blasting holes in the Arcadian walls and trying not to eat the cornbread. Presumably the jacket went back in the wardrobe, and the “terrible thing” turned out to be a re-recording of ‘Doctor in Distress’.

Luckily, the jacket is not mentioned, otherwise you’d have a potential continuity error, and we all know what happens when jackets turn up where they’re not wanted.

5_-doctor-2-appears-jacket

“The thing with Moffat,” says Gareth, “is that I couldn’t tell whether he did that, turning continuity errors into plot points, or did it deliberately as an important “clue” for later on, but which is so minor as to be pathetic. He often seemed to make a big thing out of tiny “clues”, while at the same time ignoring massive foreshadowing because the build up and suspense was more exciting than the resolution.”

I think that one was almost certainly deliberate, but if it wasn’t, the conversation would have gone something like this –

“Steven? Here are the rushes for scene 37.”
“Shit. He’s still wearing his jacket.”
“Oh dear. I’m surprised no one noticed that.”
“How did it happen?”
“We’ve got this intern production assistant.”
“Memo for the next meeting: no more interns.”
“She’s the exec’s niece.”
“She could be the Queen of bloody Sheba for all I care; I can’t have cock-ups like this on my watch.”
“How are we going to fix this one, Steven?”
“…Hang on, it’s just given me an idea.”

Anyway, Gareth and I have spoken on various occasions – and I’m sure I’ve mentioned it here – about that scene in ‘Parting of the Ways’ where the Doctor is on the floor of Satellite 5, frantically assembling things out of cables and bits of circuits. I like it because, for just about the first and only time that series, Eccleston really felt like the Doctor. And perhaps with that in mind, I did this for Emily’s birthday card.

Card

Yes, Emily is in a pram. Except it’s a shopping trolley. I got the legs wrong and damage control was needed. I’m a rubbish artist, but it’s quite fun being a loving husband.

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God is in the detail (part xvi)

Right. I’m running a little behind with these, so let’s crack on, shall we?

Tonight, we’re looking at ‘Time Heist’, which was a visual feast, rich with detail. We will hone in on just a few of the choice moments and determine those little bits which were VERY IMPORTANT TO THE SERIES AS A WHOLE.

First – here’s Psi, in the vault in the heart of the bank.

Heist Detail (1)

We will come back to this vault later, but notice the painting in the background – out of focus, but containing an interesting large-busted woman in a pose not dissimilar to the one that Jenny is doing here, in ‘Deep Breath’.

Deep Breath Pose

Take a look. Don’t linger too long, of course, because this is a family show. The pose is reversed, which indicates MIRRRORS. In ‘The Family of Blood’, the Tenth Doctor traps Sister of Mine in a mirror – every mirror, in fact. Mirrors also figure heavily in the finale of ‘Kinda’, which we didn’t quite reference in the deconstruction of ‘Into the Dalek’.

But the Tenth Doctor has described the Fifth Doctor, on at least one occasion, as “my Doctor”, so it’s clear that there is a link between them, and that both are fond of mirrors. CLEARLY we are about to enter some sort of mirror universe where everything is the same but reversed: The Daleks are benevolent scholars, Gallifrey didn’t get destroyed, and Noel Clarke is capable of acting.

Now let’s have a look at the Ice Warrior on display here.

Heist Detail (6)

Innocent enough, yes? No. Because the numbers are important. Oh, so important. We can break it down like this.

Heist_Tegan

So now you know. Never mind the fact that Janet Fielding was recently observed on set. SHE’S FILMED A CAMEO.

Now – here’s the lock sequence that Psi was trying to break while Clara was being chased by the Teller.

Heist Detail (5)

You will observe the series of 24 lights, which CLEARLY AND UNAMBIGUOUSLY refers to the Doctor’s various incarnations – or, more specifically, the actors who played them. The first three, highlighted in green, refer to Hartnell, Troughton and Pertwee, all of whom are deceased. The remainder – from approximately two o’clock round in sequence – are Baker, Davison, Baker, and so on, all the way round to the top. The use of 24 is not a coincidence, but a subtle foreshadowing from the BBC as to how many Doctors we will get through before they knock the show on the head.

You’ll note two things about this. First, if we assume that the first red marker refers to Baker, Davison is lit very brightly, CLEARLY indicating another on-screen appearance from him, alongside Janet Fielding. This assumes, of course, that we do not include Hurt among the central ring, which makes sense given that he did not intially refer to himself as ‘Doctor’ and is thus unnumbered. You will also notice that the positioning of the Tenth Doctor contains another red dot on the outer rim, clearly alluding to his dual regeneration and the meta-crisis Doctor. The War Doctor is thus positioned in the centre, at the eye of the storm, while the Valeyard sits out on the fringe, at about nine o’clock. Clearly we’re not done with him yet.

And yes, there is another dot, just out of shot and positioned alongside Troughton. Well, you have to stick Peter Cushing in there somewhere.

Back in the real world, we have Clara’s mysterious card.

Heist Detail (4)

251 and 339 both refer to stories in the classic run featuring assorted Time Lords – episodes from ‘The War Games’ and ‘Frontier in Space’ respectively. P was the medieval number for ‘400’ – the approximate age gap between the War Doctor and the Eleventh – while V clearly alludes to 5, and the Fifth Doctor. Meanwhile, if you add the numbers 251 and 339 together, you get 590, which refers to episode three of ‘Mawdryn Undead’, in which the despicable Mawdryn pretends to be a new incarnation of the Doctor, only to be ousted by – yes, that’s right – Peter Davison. And once again, THIS CANNOT BE A COINCIDENCE.

Now look at this.

Heist Detail (7)

The Brigadier, who starred in ‘Mawdryn Undead’ also stars in ‘The Ambassadors of Death’, which features characters called Cornish, Wakefield and Rutherford. You will note that while the Doctor is busy opening box 251 (‘The War Games’), Clara’s right hand is poised over box / episode 265 (‘The Ambassadors of Death’, part one) while her left is pointing at 271 (‘The Ambassadors of Death’, part seven). Conclusion: not only will Jemma Redgrave be returning as the Brigadier’s daughter Kate Stewart (which we know for a fact), but the story will be set in the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, in Oxfordshire, which is coincidentally almost equidistant (by a matter of seven miles) both from Wakefield in Yorkshire and the Cornish border.

But that’s not all. Let’s go back to that vault.

Heist Detail (8)

The sarcophagus is a CLEAR AND DIRECT reference to the upcoming ‘Mummy on the Orient Express’, while the perfectly preserved lion statue obviously refers to ‘The Crusade’, which is clearly one of those stories that Phillip Morris has recovered, but which the Beeb are keeping under wraps until the Isis thing has blown over. However, it’s the golden sculpture of what looks like the London Eye that I want you to look at, because if it is the London Eye, and it’s in gold, then it’s a clear reference to the Golden Rose, given the landmark’s prominent usage back in the series 1 opener in 2005 – particularly significant at Easter, when the episode was first aired. Clearly we are destined to see the resurrection of a prominent figure, thought dead and gone, having given his life for others. Never mind that Jesus Christ was the son of David. Or, if you like, a DAVISON.

Of course, it could just as easily be a reference to the Rose d’Or, which Doctor Who has never won. But I like my version better.

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Meanwhile in the TURDIS (part 4)

Time this series got a dusting down. Accordingly, here’s what Thomas and I have been watching over the last week.

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VeggieTales

“Hello,” he said. “I’m the Fifth Doctor.”

Celery

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Protected: Meanwhile in the TURDIS

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The Great Doctor Who Party (ii)

(If you’ve missed out on the earlier bits of this little saga, they’re available here. And here. And, if you’re really bored, here.) Let’s start with the suit, which we bought on Ebay.

That buffet, then.

“HI- I- AM-HERE-TO-FIX-YOUR-TAR-DIS.”

 

I’d much rather forget the entirety of this one, but you can’t have a children’s party without pink wafers. It isn’t wrong, but we just don’t do it.

Job well done, I think. I can take no credit for this; I did the labels and took the photos. My other half did all the work.

As I may have mentioned, the Musical Weeping Angels was a non-starter, but everyone went for the find-the-monster quiz – even though we think it was sabotaged by the eventual winners, whom I’ve now decided hid the Empty Child picture after making a note of the number, which would explain why no one else could find the damned thing. Well, you can’t win ’em all. Literally, as it turns out.

Anyway, it all went off swimmingly, and himself enjoyed it tremendously. And that, of course, is the only thing that really counts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like this:

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Is it just me? #5

Posted on by reverend61

Gareth sent me a snooker video this morning, and it suddenly occurred to me that I’ve never seen these two together. (Gareth attributes this to Blinovitch, which is as good an explanation as any.)

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Museum piece

Posted on by reverend61

Bromyard is one of those towns my family encounters frequently but never actually experiences properly. It’s situated on the A44, equidistant – or near enough – between Worcester and Leominster (two great examples of English place names that sound nothing like their spelling would suggest they do). It is a place we drive through if we are returning to or from Emily’s parents’ Shropshire abode – assuming we’re going the pretty way (i.e. the route that doesn’t involve tedious, tank-emptying stretches of the M40). The problem with the non-motorway route is that while it saves on fuel it does tend to take longer, particularly on the lengthy A44 stretch, as it is a favourite route of caravans, milk tankers, tractors or slow-moving pensioners, and you can count the number of safe overtaking spots on the fingers of Homer Simpson’s left hand. Normally when I’ve driving through Bromyard I’m either exhilarated that we’re making reasonable time, or drumming my fingers on the wheel, and praying that the slowcoach in front with an upper speed limit of thirty-five miles an hour (including in built-up areas, which really irritates me) is going to turn off soon.

On Easter Monday, however, we stopped here, because there’s a town centre attraction I’ve been wanting to visit for years. You may remember a while back that I posted photos of the Doctor Who exhibition we went to in Cardiff – all bright lights, flashing models and relatively light on actual content. We’d driven through Bromyard and seen signs for the Time Machine museum there a number of times, but had never actually got round to going. Thomas can be a bit highly strung when it comes to stuff like this, and I was blowed if I was going to pay five quid for entry only to have him tear about the place in one of his moments of silliness. So the fact that he was, on this occasion, staying in Shropshire with his grandparents gave us the perfect excuse.

Daniel lasted a minute and a half. It didn’t help that he was tired. It also didn’t help that the moment you walk through the door there’s a whopping great Dalek in the entrance by the TARDIS door, as the Who music loops in the background: effective for conjuring up the spirit of the thing but not so good if you’re a sleepy three-year-old (or near enough) who is discovering lately that certain things frighten him more and more. We had, I think, been lulled into a false sense of security after Cardiff, when – being too young to really understand – he had been taken in by the sights and sounds; if I remember correctly it was Joshua we’d had to reassure and console. But today, Daniel was having none of it. We tried to show him that it was just a bunch of models and that nothing was real, but since Cardiff, he’s actually seen the show, and after five minutes of screaming and head-burying and cries of “I DON’T LIKE IT, IT’S TOO SCARY!” Em and I cut our losses and she took him back to the car, while I walked round with Josh. Then we switched. Daniel dozed on my shoulder while Josh went on his second circuit, gleefully pointing on each occasion at the stuff he recognised and, after coming across an enormous poster of two police officers posing by a Cortina, asking why The Master was in Life on Mars. (I confess I was too busy admiring Sam Tyler’s leather jacket – which I’m still annoyed I didn’t photograph – to give him a proper answer.)

Speaking of photos, these aren’t great, but they do give you a general idea. One of the lovely things about the place is that  it’s stacked full of memorabilia from the show’s golden age – there is plenty of new stuff as well (including a substantial collection of barely-glimpsed alien costumes from the bar scene of ‘The End of Time’, gleefully mounted in every single display case with a sense of glee which frankly borders on overkill) but I was whooping with delight at the sight of Patrick Troughton dolls, old Cybermen and – most thrillingly of all – an actual Zygon. Elsewhere there’s a model Starbug (of Red Dwarf), and plenty of Thunderbirds stuff. It’s not huge, but you can spend a happy hour there looking at everything. I’d have enjoyed it more had we actually had the chance to go round it together, rather than having to work in shifts, but that’s the way it goes.

Those pictures, then…

Daleks! The one front left is the 1966 edition. The gold one on the right hand side is 2005. Note the increased size. Maybe we’re all just getting taller.

‘Earthshock’ Cyberman. I cried. If you’ve seen it, you’ll know why.

The gold outfit worn by Robert Llewellyn in ‘Krytie TV’, Red Dwarf VIII

Starbug!

Ood!

See, there’s always one idiot who has to mug at the back and ruin the picture.

Davros reconstruction

Sycorax warrior

Gene Hunt’s I.D.

Silurian. I’m not sure if this is the 70s or 80s version.

“Seriously, they don’t let me out of here soon I’ll pee battery acid all over the floor of this case.”

Matt Smith’s white tie from ‘The Big Bang’, apparently the only Eleventh Doctor outfit on show in a private collection.

It’s blurry and poorly lit, but IT’S A ZYGON!

It’s still blurry and still poorly lit, but IT’S A ZYGON!

Costumes from ‘The Family of Blood’. Or, as son no.1 put it, “Why does that monster have no arms and no head?”

1967 vs 2006. No contest for scariness. Absolutely none.

Do go, if you get the chance. Just leave the three-year-old at home.

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Adric?

Posted on by reverend61

This morning Joshua asked if every regeneration was performed standing up. I answered no, of course it wasn’t. And then later on we viewed one of those YouTube montages that are like a rash all over the web, showing every regeneration from the first to the most recent (which – given that we’ve just started season four – I refused to show him, much to his annoyance).

Anyway, my favourite one is undoubtedly this one.

(I apologise for the ads; if I can find a commercial-free version I’ll post it.)

I really should do a post on regeneration at some point, but my reason for mentioning it right now is that Thomas – who sat in on the video – seemed as taken with this particular rebirth as I was. After questioning the identity of the bearded ham (thus far he’s only encountered John Simm, which is a terrible pity) he then spent the rest of the evening wandering around the house muttering “Don’t die, Doctor. Don’t die, Doctor. Don’t die – no, die, Doctor. DIE, DOCTOR!”.

I am, I admit, rather pleased about this. And also a bit nervous.

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Track record

Posted on by reverend61

Given how much the original scene is ingrained in my memory, I really shouldn’t find this funny. But I do.

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