Posts Tagged With: journey to the centre of the tardis

Have I Got Whos For You (Euro 2020 edition)

You’ll have to have these largely without comment, I’m afraid. I mean we lost. We lost and the fans are thugs. We lost and the fans are thugs and Rashford and Saka got a shedload of abuse, empowered by our corrupt, inept government. The sort of government who goes to Harrods for sofa covering and Poundland for flags.

I mean it started quite well. We made it to the semi-final without conceding a goal. Early on – the day of the first group match, when the leaked lineup caused consternation (too defensive, and WHERE’S GREALISH???) – I’d tweeted suggesting that it was possible, just possible, that Gareth Southgate knew more than we gave him credit for, and that perhaps the #Southgateout abuse was premature. I received a flurry of replies, some of which were supportive, others less so, but I made a point of muting anyone who disagreed, simply because I didn’t feel qualified to argue back. Weeks later all the naysayers were suspiciously quiet, although I stopped short of turning it into a pinned tweet, simply because the final was as far as the team got, and you’d still have a bunch of people telling you that they could have done a better job than Southgate did.

So, you know. Don’t give them the inch they crave. Thank heavens we don’t get this in Doctor Who.

It was those early games that were perhaps the most hotly contested, given that we were doing…well, reasonably, against less than stellar opposition. It was more about the spectacle than the quality of football, given that the much-hyped second group match – the British derby against Scotland – was touted as the epic confrontation between two rivals, with hundreds of years of history behind it. I mean I get that the Scots hate the English, but I don’t think it works the other way round. Not really. We know that Braveheart is made up and we don’t judge you for it. And who doesn’t love a good haggis? In the end, of course, it was a goalless draw, and not a terribly interesting one to boot, with all the bloodlust and hatred north of the border conveniently shelved until the angry tweets after the semi-final, and let’s face it – we all know that’s really just a preamble for the Six Nations.

“Three Ryans on a shirt…”

The semi-final, of course, was where the controversy kicked in – with England thanks to a soft penalty, Kane bouncing in the rebound after Kaspar Schmeichel deflected the ball but failed to catch it. It was a crummy way to win and you did feel sorry for the Danes, who’d nearly reached the end under some very trying circumstances, but to be fair to them England were denied an obvious penalty earlier in the match, so it’s swings and roundabouts. “Sometimes it goes in your favour,” quoth a wise man, “and sometimes it doesn’t. And if you add them all up over the season, they balance out.” Said wise man was Alex Ferguson, who knows a thing or two about football, as well as being Scottish.

Really, the controversy in that semi-final was caused by a laser torch that appeared to be pointed at Schmeichel during the penalty in question, although it supposedly didn’t affect his performance and it was in any case impossible to tell where it was coming from.

It ended in tears, with violence and thuggery following a game played by sportsmen who’d conducted themselves with dignity: the team deserved a win, even if the fans didn’t. Could we say Italy played dirty? Perhaps.

But even if they hadn’t, there were mistakes made and some questionable tactics that I don’t really understand because my area of expertise is dramatic structure, not sport. I do know that I felt a sense of pride – not in my country, as such, but simply in the team, and the manager who’s become the best sort of role model for the young men on the pitch and the children watching at home; eloquent and considered and rational and graced with more dignity and compassion than a hundred political buffoons. I’m mindful of the fact that children my sons’ age look up to sportsmen, and for the first time in a long while that doesn’t worry me. You can lose graciously, which is kind of like winning, even if you don’t get to lift the trophy.

Still, at least we’ve got the Olympics, right? Something else they had to postpone until after lockdown.

Everyone seems to know the score.
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Occupy White Walls Does Doctor Who (part two)

Last time we spoke, I was telling you about art. Well, not art so much; more the practice of curating it. There are probably rules to this, although I’ve never bothered to learn them; it’s more a matter of common sense. Bench positioning is crucial. Watch your lighting. Galleries with wallpaper are a gamble: everything looks better on white. You need to make the most of blank space, to hang with care and consideration, allowing the artwork room to breathe.

I can’t remember at which point I decided to build a TARDIS interior, but it made perfect sense. Here was a space you could fashion from the ground up with walls and doors placed more or less wherever you want: the notion of a space that opened out onto a seemingly infinite expanse was actually quite easy to do. I called it, for want of a better title, @biggerontheinside.

What I really wanted was to do a nice sort of walkthrough where I film myself wandering around the place, telling you all about it. But my ageing PC is simply not up to the job, and the 7 FPS bit of test footage I managed to cobble together was enough to convince me that this was, at least for now, a terrible idea. I may rethink a little further down the line – everyone likes videos – but for the moment you will have to put up with still images and a bit of narrative from yours truly.

We start out in the Twelfth Doctor’s study.

Well, sort of. You can get a vague idea of it, can’t you? I mean there are bookshelves and wine bottles and a desk of sorts, although it’s way too big. The mirror over at the far end is a teleport that leads you back to my main gallery, and the window beside it overlooks a pleasant little courtyard. But it’s the blue wall in the corner you need to look at. As entrances go it’s pretty terrible, but it’s where the magic begins.

The main console room, if you hadn’t guessed, is designed to be a variant of the one Capaldi was using. You can’t easily do round rooms in OWW, but it sort of works, particularly if you’ve got one of those fish-eye effect filters on your phone. The main problem was assembling a central column which had a sufficiently convincing time rotor, or at least something that might pass as a time rotor. I got round it by using a tree.

Dotted all around the TARDIS are little passive-aggressive exchanges between the Doctor and Nardole. I realised they’d spent about a thousand years together, so they’re basically flatmates. This first one is a nod to ‘The Pilot’.

Can I say at this point that I was really quite pleased with the corridor lighting? It isn’t often you find something in OWW that just fits what you’re trying to do, but this one really gels.

Wander a little further along and you’ll encounter the library – specifically the one Clara wanders into during ‘Journey To The Centre of the TARDIS’. You can’t see it properly here, but it’s a vast, multi-levelled thing, and thankfully nowhere near the swimming pool.

It’s no great secret that ‘Journey’ ranks among one of my least favourite episodes – seriously, it’s a great big turkey of a tale – but it did provide me with a fair bit of inspiration for this little collection. One of the silliest things about the episode was the Architectural Reconfiguration Suite (you remember, the one with the Stuff That Can Make Other Stuff), but I’ll go out on a limb – pun intended – and admit that it was quite fun to build. Lighting is very resource-hungry in OWW, but I managed to pull this off without overloading the system. You know, apart from the crashing.

Now we get to a bit that’s entirely made up. It occurred to me, fairly early on, that I really ought to put some actual art into this place, and thus I came up with the idea of the Memory Garden, a place in which the Doctor stores paintings and mementoes of his previous exploits, sort of like the Batcave. This is half Oxford college quadrangle, half National Trust driveway.

I tried to make sure that everything in this room had at least some Doctor Who connection, no matter how tenuous. This is the ‘City of Death’ pillar; Van Gogh has one all to himself.

When you examine a piece of art in the in-game AI, you have the opportunity to leave comments about it, both positive and negative. That photo on the right has a thread full of people saying “DON’T BLINK!”

‘Journey’ wasn’t the first Doctor Who story to feature extensive exploration of the TARDIS. We also saw a fair bit in ‘The Invasion of Time’, although for some reason in that story the corridors resembled an abandoned hospital. Still, wander down the stairs in my TARDIS and you’ll discover a whole basement full of nods to this particular story. Here, I’ve tried to recreate the Undergallery.

Baker didn’t always hang out in the white room. At times he favoured a secondary chamber done out in panelled wood, and that was an opportunity to try out something a little different. As I think I mentioned before, console rooms are a pain in the neck to do, because it’s extremely difficult to build a hexagonal structure, so this will have to suffice. At least the wood is convincing.

Just along the corridor from the secondary console room was the botanical garden, as seen in ‘Invasion’. There are a lot of plant and tree assets in OWW, so I made the most of them. If it looks a mess, that’s deliberate.

Perhaps the bit I’m most proud of is the swimming pool. It’s not the one we saw in ‘Journey’ – that dimly lit Olympic sized one that Clara witnesses as she’s wandering the corridors, although I daresay I could have had a go at that if I really wanted. No, this is the one in which Leela takes a plunge just before they head back to Gallifrey at the beginning of ‘Invasion of Time’. It’s a more little art deco than it was on TV, and I don’t know why the Doctor’s built a sauna at the far end, but ours is not to reason why.

I may have mentioned before that the default floor in OWW is water. So it was dead easy to build a pool: you just create it at ground level and the water is filled in for you automatically. See the mosaic on the right? I built that, tile by tile. It took ages, but as with everything else in this inconsequential little vanity project, it was totally worth it.

And that’s your lot. I’m still building in OWW, irregularly, but the latest project is going to be a long time coming, given that it’s a full scale recreation of Portmeirion, as seen in The Prisoner, right down to the plastic bubble on the beach. When it’s done, you can see it. Until then? Be seeing you.

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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.”

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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?

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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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