Posts Tagged With: journey to the centre of the tardis

Have I Got Whos For You (Children’s TV Edition)

There’s a strong case to be made about Doctor Who: that it is a children’s show that appeals to adults. I am not going to be making that here, although I do happen to subscribe to that theory, and enjoy the programme far more as a result.

But you’d be surprised how many of the ridiculous Photoshopped images I produce are themed around children’s shows. We’ve had Teletubbies and jolly postmen. We’ve had Sooty and Sweep. And we’ve had those nightmarish In The Forest of the Night Garden pictures I did a few years back. You want a guaranteed slumber-free evening? You stick Makka Pakka outside the TARDIS with his bloody sponge. That’s enough to get any of us hiding under the bed.

Still. Here are a few I’ve been holding in reserve until I felt I had enough to warrant a decent-sized collection. Why not today?

We’ll start with a bit of Henson, because you can’t go wrong with a bit of Henson.

Meanwhile in the TARDIS, there’s a commotion on the console.

“Raggedy Ann…goodbye!”

This one needs no caption.

Nor does this.

Doctor Who quotes, out of context.

Oh, and speaking of Rainbow, I think I did this for St. George’s Day, last year. That’s how long it’s been kicking around.

Anyone been to Legoland Windsor? There is a TARDIS outside the shop. Unfortunately there are no costumed minifigures wandering around, at least none that are Doctor Who themed. So I put some in.

In this evening’s stage performance of ‘Utopia’, the part of Captain Jack Harkness will be played by Lotso the Bear.

“Yeah, I dunno. It just sort of turned up one morning.”

“British Isles. 1950s. Late spring. Saturday. I’m sure I can hear a train somewhere.”

“Well, that was unexpected.”

Categories: Have I Got Whos For You | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Eggwatch, part 9

If, like me, you’re still wondering whether the alleged early release of the box set was actually a colossal publicity stunt designed to revive interest in a series that’s been almost universally crap, you may be in need of a little distraction this week. Certainly there has been a lot of talk about it, but no actual substance, leading me to wonder whether the people who claim to have seen the last episode (“But, you know, I can’t give you any details”) are actually having a bit of a joke. God knows what we’re supposed to make of the fact that most of the fake torrents on The Pirate Bay actually contain black gay porn, or rips of ‘Love and Monsters’. (I know which I’d rather see. Sorry, Elton.)

Anyway! Eggs.

I am still behind on this, so we’re still having to do two episodes at a time, which is probably not a bad thing as the egg references seem to vary from week to week. Certainly ‘Hide’, which was next on the list, has relatively little to show for its forty-five minutes. At one point, Emma Grayling appears to be wearing a blue painted egg.


Except it’s not really an egg at all, it’s more of a gem. I’m grasping at straws with this one, because the only other time we get even close to that is when the Doctor gets a bottle of milk out of the fridge.



Oh, you know. Milk. Eggs. The whole…soufflé thing…


But then – then – we get to ‘Journey of the Centre of the TARDIS’, and all is forgiven. Because while I had to watch this one with the sound off so I wouldn’t have to listen to that excruciating dialogue, there are plenty of egg references in this episode. Let’s start with the more abstract images, like the door to the Exploding Room of Lava.



There’s also the Eye of Harmony itself, which – while circular – appears to have a jelly bean / egg hybrid attached to it, like some kind of interstellar wart.



But these are trivialities next to the revelation that two of the main plot devices are egg-shaped. First there are the luminous objects that sit on the end of the tendrils that form the architectural reconfiguration system.



And then, of course, there’s this, which is not only egg-shaped, but also just about the right size.


So there you go. It was a shit episode, but from the depths of despair we draw new life. Anyone fancy a Big Friendly Omelette?

Categories: Eggwatch, New Who | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Doctor’s Name – Revealed

I’m holed up in Shropshire and unable to watch ‘Nightmare in Silver’ until – ooh, Monday, but never mind that for now. I have something far more interesting.

Forget Merlin.

Forget The Other.

Forget Chrístõdavõreendiamondhærtmallõupdracœfiredelúnmiancuimhne de Lœngbærrow.

Here’s the real answer to the First (and thoroughly tedious) Question.

The chief writer is insistent – absolutely insistent – that no one has the answer about Clara yet. This strikes me as the sort of arrogance that is typical of Moffat. What he should have said, perhaps, was that no theory he had read had the right answer (and that may in fact have been what he said, but I’m in a Moffat-bashing mood). The internet is a vast and mysterious place and a large amount of what’s actually out there doesn’t filter into Google – so I’d suggest that if you look hard enough, and search for long enough, the odds are you’re going to find someone who has got a decent approximation of what’ll happen in a week or so.

Put another way, if you give an infinite number of monkeys an infinite number of typewriters the collected works of Shakespeare is going to be a long time in coming, but odds are they will, at least, be able to produce a nursery rhyme or two after some effort. That’s unless, of course, Moffat’s theory is so left-field and downright insane that no one out there thinks him stupid enough to do what he’s about to do. Well, it wouldn’t be the first time.

I’ve given up with the Mystery of Clara thing, and instead Gareth and I are ploughing all our efforts into deciphering the Doctor’s real name, because God knows YOU’RE NOT GOING TO FIND OUT NEXT WEEK. All right? I’m sorry to have to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s just not going to happen. Oh, it’ll be a vital-and-tedious plot point, for certain. That doesn’t mean you’re going to find out. Moffat may have spent the last year or two shedding any respect I may have had for him by the barrel-load, but he’s not stupid. This is just a very long game.

But. But. But! Gareth figured it out. Because it’s there, in plain English. Literally. I shall explain.

Those of you who’ve watched the excrement that was ‘Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS’ will recall the scene in which Clara wanders into the TARDIS library and discovers a great big book on a lectern in the middle of the room, and just happens to open the book at more or less the exact space where the Doctor’s name is mentioned in one corner. And she can read it. Which suggests that the book is in English, or that the TARDIS is translating Gallifreyan, or that she can read Gallifreyan, and NONE OF THIS IS IMPORTANT, ALL RIGHT? Stop with the memes and conspiracy theories. It’s perfectly feasible that the Time Lords got bored with speaking high Gallifreyan for millions of years and switched to a different language, just for the fun of it. God knows they’ve had nothing else to do since ‘The Invasion of Time’.


Anyway. Here’s what Gareth has to say.

“I haven’t seen the episode – with this big book in the library, do we see anything in it at all? Because I just imagined it like the front page of Clara’s book, with the ages listed and “this book belongs to”.

Maybe that massive tome just says

This book belongs to [name of Doctor], aged





900 (again)


900 (again!)

which is why the book was so big. This might then suggest that the Doctor’s true name is ‘The Time War’ (assuming that it was ‘The Book of the Time War’). [Editor’s note: it was.]

That would certainly be a plausible name for him, and maybe we got our word for ‘war’ from him. (Like Moffat’s previous suggestion that his name is ‘Doctor’ and we got that word from him, and how it means other things on other worlds.)”

Me again. You see? IT ALL FITS. The Doctor is the oncoming storm. He’s the mushroom cloud. John Rambo said “To survive war, you have to become war”, and for the Doctor this is LITERALLY TRUE. And this isn’t a recent concoction. This stretches right back to ‘The Time Warrior’, which was supposedly meant to describe the Sontaran, but was in fact about Jon Pertwee. Specifically, we hear the story from the point of view of one Sarah Jane Smith, who met the Third Doctor for the first time in this story and who was thus introduced to a Time Warrior – no, no, the Time Warrior – who was actually the Doctor himself.

Told you this was coming back later. Didn't we?

Told you this was coming back later. Didn’t we?

Prove us wrong. Go on. We dare you.

Categories: New Who | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

God is in the detail (viii)

Notes on ‘Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS’

OK, this was a tricky one. The TARDIS – for a sentient, labyrinth-like spacecraft possessing an entire room dedicated to building “anything you could want” – does seem to have an awful lot of nondescript corridors. Nonetheless there were clues this week, if you look for them, and without further ado here is the latest installment of SEEMINGLY TRIVIAL THINGS THAT WILL TURN OUT TO BE VITALLY IMPORTANT. (Remember, dear reader, that if you attempt this sort of scrutiny at home you do so at your own risk. I watched this episode twice so you don’t have to.)

Let’s start here.


Think those protruding white tubes in the background are loose cables? Think again. That’s clearly an emulation of the tentacles of an Ood. OR IS IT? Well, you’d better hope so. Because the alternative is ghastly.

Cthulhu, yesterday.

Cthulhu, yesterday.

Conclusions: the fearsome one is set to make its demonic return. Which is bad news for all concerned. Unless it’s this one, of course, which is quite cute.


Plus it would look good perched on the shoulder of the Fourth Doctor, right next to his scarf.

(As an aside, why hasn’t there been a Whovian-Lovecraft crossover outside the realms of fanfiction? I think we should be told.)

Moving on to something slightly less sinister but no less important, let’s take another look at that exploding engine.


Ah, but look. Look closer. There’s a bit that stands out. It’s the big catapult-shaped thing on the centre-right. Only it’s not a catapult. It’s a letter ‘y’. Or, to be more specific, ‘Why’. Which is as CLEAR AN INDICATION AS YOU’RE EVER GOING TO GET THAT THEY WILL BE CHANGING THE TITLE OF THE SHOW. Come November, and the anniversary edition, it’s going to become Doctor Why. And why is this going to happen? Because Moffat will be answering the first question in a few weeks, that’s all, and the whole mystery of the Doctor will change from Who he is to Why he is. Trust me. You know I’m right. And stick with me because further down, as a worldwide you-heard-it-here-first-exclusive,  I’m going to reveal his name.

Of note: ‘Why’ is only one letter away from ‘Who’, and if you take the letters O and Y and reverse them you get the acronym Y.O., or Yarn Over, which is a knitting reference and thus unambiguously linked to the Fourth Doctor (see above).



If you read the God is in the detail post I did for ‘The Bells of Saint John’ you’ll note there was a lot of stuff in there about other Doctors and their companions – the surviving companions of dead Doctors, and the return of Doctors who were still kicking around, although thicker of waist. Ignore Clara and her tedious running from that insufferable lava monster. Look at the bookcase, and the hardback tomes that are stacked on their side. No, it’s nothing to do with the rather awkward design of a second-rate Ikea do-it-yourself – these five books (note: five) have clearly been left like that for a reason. Again, please note: five. On their SIDE. And how do parallel lines work? Yes, they’re SIDE by SIDE. And what inhabits a PARALLEL TIMELINE? Yes, the Fifth Doctor. You see where I’m going, can’t you? Ah, Steven, you thought you’d slipped this one past us, but WE WILL NOT BE FOOLED.

OK, now it’s time to bring out the big guns.


The first time I saw this, I was so busy trying to work out the backwards writing that I missed Clara’s three rings. Note: three rings. You’re thinking about Tolkien, aren’t you? So was I, at first. But that’s a clear red herring. No, think about this: Three rings. Where Three is a proper noun. As in Doctor number Three, ringing on the TARDIS phone.

“But Jon Pertwee’s dead!” I hear you cry. To which I say, Aha!

Still, that’s not the big reveal. For that, we have to look at the very beginning of the episode, in a blink-and-you’ll miss it panel on the side of the salvaging ship. Have a look.


You’ll have guessed that this is to do with those letters and numbers, right? Right. Specifically, it’s to do with 0989, which may be translated as September 1989. Historians of Classic Who will know that this was the month in which ‘Battlefield’ saw its first terrestrial broadcast on British television. Said story saw the Doctor and Ace encounter all manner of Arthurian characters, and it was strongly implied that the Doctor would some day find his way into the history books and fables, playing the role of a rather famous wizard.

The Doctor’s real name is Merlin.

That’s what Clara read in The History of the Time War. Strewth, even River Song pretty much said it out loud when she admitted in ‘The Pandorica Opens’ that she always hates old wizards in fairy tales, because “they always turn out to be him”. Think it’s too simple? Too obvious? Go and read Digital Fortress. Sometimes simple and obvious is what works. This may seem overconfident, but if I’m wrong about this, I’ll buy Tom Baker’s hat on Ebay and eat it.

Speaking of Tom Baker…as an unconnected aside, presumably designed to throw us off the scent, the other number on that panel – A89 – clearly alludes to ‘The Face of Evil’, listed as no.89 in the serial chronology of Who television stories, in which the Doctor met Leela, and in which the two of them ventured inside a gigantic cliff-based sculpture of the Doctor’s head.


Which is appropriate, given that Moffat’s spent the last three years disappearing up his own arsehole.

Categories: God is in the Detail, New Who | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Review: ‘Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS’

Things we learned about Doctor Who this week:

1. The TARDIS is about the most indestructible ship in the universe. It’s survived volcanic lava, corrosive acid and the Doctor can fix holes caused by Titanic-shaped spacecraft in three minutes flat. But apparently you can’t fly the thing (or at least Clara can’t) without turning off the shield oscillators, and if you then take a couple of knocks the old police box will basically self-destruct. Nine hundred years of time travel, and the Doctor still hasn’t sorted this out. Presumably it’s just one of those things he hasn’t round to doing yet. You know, like when you forget to pay your gas bill.


2.  You remember that first question? The one hidden in plain sight, the one that must never be answered? The one that’s going to cause the cataclysm to end all cataclysms if its solution is discovered? Well, the answer is written in a book. In the TARDIS library. And not hidden away in an obscure volume at the back of storage, or in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying “Beware of The Leopard”. It’s an enormous tome called History of the Time War on a reading stand in the middle of the room. Of course, the answer is probably only written once, “tucked away in the corner”, but the book happened to flop open at more or less that page in the same way that my unmarried friend’s mail order catalogues have a tendency to flop open at the lingerie pages. Either this is a tremendous double bluff and the information given there is false, or the Doctor’s real name is in fact the worst-kept secret since the existence of Torchwood.

3.  Speaking of libraries, the Doctor is a fan of Harry Potter. He has corked glass encyclopaedias that speak. I’m guessing he pinched them from Hogwarts, decanted the bottles and refilled them with stuff about his home world.


4. The Doctor is thick. Having been dragged into a gigantic spacecraft by three dodgy-looking geezers running an illegal salvaging scam, he then takes them on board the TARDIS to find Clara by lying through his teeth, promising them a salvage to end all salvages before admitting he didn’t mean it,  and seems genuinely surprised when, rather than cooperating without question, they start nicking stuff. Of course, they’re not all bad. In the spirit of diversity we will recognise that we may classify them accordingly as the Unethical One, the Big, Thick One Who Follows Orders and the Sensitive One. It’s also worth noticing that the Sensitive One has an affinity with the sentient machinery of the TARDIS, being an android himself, unambiguously and with no sign of any ludicrous plot twist that would threaten to undermine this sense of connection.


(And I don’t care how much of this was about him dragging them into things so he could figure out why the one who was apparently an android still needed equipment. It was a stupid command decision.)

5. When you have a few minutes to fill, it’s always a good idea to have people running around the same bit of corridor repeatedly. It’s a good nod to the original series, in which the same bit of corridor shot from another angle was supposed to be a different bit of corridor in another part of the complex. In this episode, it’s the same corridor, because the characters are lost. It worked in ‘The Doctor’s Wife’. Hey, it worked in Matrix Revolutions. Oh, and show us a scene we already saw earlier in the episode, and then have the Doctor say “We’re witnessing the past”. You know, just in case we missed it.

Lots of this, there was.

Lots of this, there was.


6. Clara genuinely doesn’t know anything of her other encounters with the Doctor. He’s only just figured this out, which is bizarre as most of us had cottoned on by the end of ‘The Bells of Saint John’. Oh, and if you have both characters in a crisis point, the best thing to do is take a metaphorical leap of faith into the unknown.


Which is fine, and not at all what Doctor Who did very recently.


7. A note about pleasing all the people all the time: if you’re panicking that all this TARDIS intricacy (which personally doesn’t bother me at all) is too much Rewriting The Show, the best way to satisfy the fanboys is to drop in a bit of radio noise from Classic Who. Susan Foreman’s ‘An Unearthly Child’ explanation should do nicely. That’ll give the conspiracy theorists more ways to connect Clara with the Doctor’s granddaughter. Better drop in a bit of Pertwee as well, though, just to throw them off the scent. Oh, and have a nice picture of the Eye of Harmony, to make things consistent.


8. Apparently, Clara is “feisty”. And even the Doctor now thinks so.


9. Two of the three Eastenders rejects have been complicit in what is possibly the lamest practical joke in history, in that they pretended their third brother was an android simply to pass the time. This consisted of giving him optical implants and a vocoder. This is almost as ridiculous as the episode of Red Dwarf in which a temporal pocket of false reality causes the crew to believe that Lister is an android, for all of five minutes. And this one didn’t even have an interlaced log cabin built from chocolate fingers.

Log-Cabin TARDIS_07

(Note: at some point or other, Moffat must have got wind of this and demanded a rewrite. The ‘joke’ is now justified by sibling rivalry. But sorry. Too little too late.)

10. Finally: if you’re stuck for a monster, a Silent Hill knock-off will do nicely.


There is nothing I could commit to paper that could justify this irredeemable, inexcusable mess for what was once a great show – but if nothing else, the episode does one thing right. The Doctor manages to rewrite history with a metaphorical Big Friendly Button which turns out to be, in fact, an actual Big Friendly Button. It’s your standard reset button approach taken to literal extremes, with the sort of ontological paradox that Moffat loves and that he probably suggested to Stephen Thompson when he got stuck for an ending. But it was Emily who pointed out that this would be a handy gadget to have lying around the home. “Because,” she said, “I’d be able to rewrite time so that I’d never have to watch the bloody thing in the first place”.


To be honest, I can’t argue.

Categories: New Who, Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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