Archive for October, 2009

Fast Return – October 2009

Saturday, October 31st, 2009


Happy halloween everybody (you do know we should be observing this in April, don’t you?) What an October we’ve had – like none other. For those seeking spoiler images they’re out there and not hard to find. We could cover them here, but we won’t instead, here’s a quick round-up of the infernal webs for the past month:

Here Come the Waterworks:
How the Tenth Doctor might kark it (apologies for the lack of credit – finding this has been a nightmare)

Speaking of Water…
We have a date for “contacting friends in the UK for off-air video copies of Waters of Mars” – the 15th of November. Shame it couldn’t be tonight being Halloween (see above), but it’s not a big shame, especially when it sounds like the story itself might be a right cracker.  Advance word from Off The Telly’s Graham Kibble-White says it’s good: ‘One of the best Doctor Who stories yet. Easily the most challenging.’ (minor spoilers for the spoiler-wary)

Speaking of Reviews
You know, this probably isn’t the place to be going on about print news media and their issues and dramas.  But Planet Clifton is a strange and interesting place, isn’t it? By which I mean the place where Dom Post/Stuff TV reviewer Jane Clifton presumably lives. She dun’t like Dr Who and says it’s going bad! Now she thinks David Tennant is the best yet! of course reviewers don’t have to have fixed opinions on anything, and if fandom wants to hang onto every word whether chill or ill then that’s fandom’s business. But what are we to make of the times when Planet Clifton’s influence extends to other spheres, such as the Business pages and columnist Nick Smith (not that one, the other one) starts going on about The Bees? If that’s not the weirdest intro to an otherwise innocuous agricutural article then I don’t know what is.

Speaking of Bees
Still on bees, or hornets at least, Go Tom! Hornet’s Nest: The Stuff of Nightmares and its two follow-ups have now been released and so far the story’s a good ‘un! A little unorthodox in its telling, but it’s Tom don’t you know, so if anyone can get away with ‘unorthodox’, it’s him. Oh, and if you simply can’t wait for the edited highlights, it’s been added to the recently-revived Disc-Continuity Guide.

Speaking of Classic Revivals
October was also Stocktoberfest, with the comic strip Doctor’s favourite overexposed English Village of Stockbridge being a teeny tiny feature of the new RTP! Cheap news, I suppose, but honestly, the issue was a wee pearl and it’s a shame local fandom doesn’t support it more. Oh, and Big Finish went there and all with part one of their Stockbridge trilogy being released this month too. Bit of a parson’s egg, apparently.

And finally…

Speaking of the Classics
It’s last calls for a YouTube inclusion and we could add a few, but we’re saving them for another time. Instead, here’s a little ditty that I know Al will just love.

And that’s October! Easy peasy. Happy weekend everyone, see you again soon!

A Scottish Tale

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009



Cardiff seems to get its fair share of Doctor Who mania, but little do we realise that Scotland echoes with the spirit of Who too.

During a recent trip up to the far North, I began to realise that the removal of Police Boxes from the British Isles hadn’t quite made it to Scotland.

First up:

The shop window of what appeared to be the only Sci-Fi store in Inverness.


Very nice! In my day, all we had were the little Dalek cut-outs from the ’25 Years of Target’ celebration.

After taking a scenic trip back from Inverness to Edinburgh and not a Skarasen to be seen – unless this counts

NessieWe took a guided tour around Edinburgh and it was here that we spotted our first TARDIS!


PoliceBoxInfoHmmm, it’s not quite right – just needs a couple more tweaks of the ol’ Chameleon.

After departing Edinburgh, it was off to Glasgow. Just don’t get into any discussions with ANYONE about football – and never respond when asked “What foot do you kick with?”

Glasgow managed to almost get it right:


I think red beats pink any day of the week, but blue is still my favourite.

Finally, on our last day, we spotted one in the wild AND the right species too:


I also managed to catch the Who exhibition being held in town – but it seemed to be a little bit of a repeat of the previous Earl’s Court exhibition. Oh well, still fun :-)


Our Man in Cymru makes bittersweet tea with his tears.

Sunday, October 25th, 2009

caerdyddHere’s Jono’s final installment of his big Welsh adventure in Caerdydd, and here breaks a noble heart indeed. The photos are old, but the heartache lives on. In our hearts. In case we need reminding that we didn’t just lose Barry Letts, or Koquillion this year, we lost a great friend of the Doctor, too. Thingummywhatsit from the Hub.

sign ianto
<iantobirthday tea


Lest we forget, dudes. Lest we forget.

Barry Letts

Sunday, October 18th, 2009

Barry Letts was, to many of us in recent years, the steady paternal voice which balanced Terrance Dicks’s excited ‘weak R’-ing and Katy Manning’s extroverted babble on Pertwee DVD releases.

These genial observations and recollections marked the fifth decade of Lett’s association with Doctor Who – previously directing in the 60′s, producing in the 70′s, Executive Producing in the 80′s and writing in the 90′s.

It was absolutely right that he and his trusty wingman Terrance were invited to the 2005 premier of Rose, and was reportedly recognised and complimented there by some big names in television today.

Of Letts himself a tantalising glimpse was given in an early DWM interview of an ex-Royal Navy Buddhist former actor who once had a swordfight in the surf with Roger Delgado.  A man who felt that Doctor Who could be a platform for social concerns and who approached every script with the demand “So, what’s it about?”  Mention of Delgado brings us to perhaps Barry Lett’s greatest legacy to Doctor Who – his casting ability.  Katy Manning, Elizabeth Sladen, Ian Marter, Tom Baker – names which the programme is absolutely inconceivable without.  It’s interesting that having introduced Baker to the world Letts later got the chance to see him off, as executive Producer of season 18.  We can only guess at what his relationship with the then inexperienced Nathan-Turner must have been like, but I feel sure that someone who could handle Pertwee and Manning at the same time wouldn’t have found it a problem. 

In Zeus Plug I once nominated The Daemons as a DVD release I’d most like to see, suggesting that it would be a perfect opportunity to feature a documentary about Letts’ long association with Doctor Who.  Rating high on the recent DWM poll, this DVD seems likely, but now impossible to imagine without that ‘steady paternal voice’ on the commentary. 

But nowits nice to imagine Barry Letts happy in some socially conscious, mildly CSO-fringed nirvana, smiling approvingly at the ever- increasing fortunes of the programme he contributed so much to.


Reverse The Polarity! Issue 28

Thursday, October 15th, 2009


For the first time ever, I’ve just read some Who fan fiction – in a fanzine – and really enjoyed it.  To be completely honest I don’t normally read stories without pictures in any Who publications, but now I realise that I might have really been missing out if any of it was nearly as good as part one of David Ronayne’s Weapon of Choice.  Dave writes Donna beautifully, giving her some lines that would surely make the programme’s writers green with envy.

So, a revelation then, just as RTP usually is.  Issue 28, (in which the ‘P’ in the logo surely stands for Peter Adamson, given the sheer volume of his contributions), is no exception.  And what about that gorgeous map of Stockbridge?  My first thought was how much I’d love to see it in colour, although perhaps that wouldn’t really add anything to this exquisitely researched and drafted illustration.  Really beautiful work, accompanied by an equally thorough article.  The Tides of Time was one of my first experiences of the DWM strip, so I have a great affection for the Stockbridge stories and suspect that many other readers might, too.

To be honest, listing what’s particularly good in RTP is an increasingly pointless, to say nothing of lengthy exercise, but it’s perhaps worth mentioning that what always was good appears to be getting even better.  I’ve whined in the past about some (to me) odd typographical decisions, but this issue features some nice work with headings and layout.  This leads me, however, to my one tiny gripe.  I like the comic strip The Tower of Angum – the Doctor and Rose are well in-character and the composition of the page frames keeps the story flowing well.  Unfortunately the heavy weight of the typeface used in the speech balloons has the unfortunate effect of making it look as if everyone is SHOUTING at each other – even in quiet, thoughtful moments.  Maybe appropriate for Colin’s era – and Tennant after all, come to think of it!  Despite this – keep up the great work – I know what a massive effort producing strips can be, and it’s always great to see them.

Fanboy Confidential is always unmissable – and it’s nice to see the main illustration re-sampled throughout the article.  The poster of Eccleston and Piper is absolutely priceless – Adamson shows again what can be achieved with the barest minimum of line and a sense of humour.

The two interviews show that New Zealand has produced creative people associated with Doctor Who that are every bit as interesting and accomplished as those living overseas.  Stand up and be proud, New Zealand – which seems to be an unofficial mandate of RTP.

2009 seems to be rushing towards its conclusion, and as Santa and Snoopy approach all I want for Christmas is a festive RTP 29 – and at least one illustration to accompany part two of Weapon of Choice.



Monday, October 12th, 2009

Let’s talk catch phrases! So far the Ninth Doctor has been “Fantastic!”, and who’s else authority do you need?

The Tenth Doctor is, of course, “Brilliant!”, again pretty much on his say so, but we’ll forgive him that.

What do you see for the Eleventh Doctor, the old man in a young man’s body? Will he be “Topping!”? Maybe “Well right!”? Possibly even “Wunderbar!”?

Suggestions sought!


Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

spoiler-free.jpgAs if a new brand wasn’t enough, SFX Magazine offers new pics of Ms Gillan. The future of law enforcement never looked… er…

Logo Poll Is?

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009


OK… so here it is. The branding spanking lens-flared metally shiny timey whimey 2010 logo for the new series.

Your thoughts, your comments welcome as ever.


Fast Return – September 2009

Thursday, October 1st, 2009


Yes, it’s true. Nothing grand happened in the last month – or very little. Fandom’s as quiet as the editing desk of… well, you know. Truly the Slough of Despond sloshes at our doorstep. We lost Koquillion, people! And Garron.  We’ll not see the likes of these Jethryk-swiping, alien-drag antagonists in these days of L’NDA and Allons-y, and that is a Sad Thing.

‘Happy’ me someone, please… ooh! This is more like it:

Well at least something grand happened, and it’s this – The Caves of Androzani, the story that introduced a feverish and panting fan community to Colin Baker’s Sixth Doctor has this month been adjudged Best Story Evar(tm) in the pages of Doctor Who Monthly. With rumours of a revisit by the Restoration Team to make an even more super version we can all be very happy that this highly significant and deservedly-celebrated story is prepped for a new generation of fans. Especially as…

Blimey. Who saw that coming?

Awww and we were just getting to know her again! Sad news from Briggs Finish Productions in the shapely form of Sheridan Smith, aka Lancashire’s Lucie Miller, audio companion of the Eighth Doctor since 2007 (what do you mean you didn’t follow them? For shame!!) departing the TARDIS in the forthcoming story Death in Blackpool (eek!). In our humble opinion simply The Best Thing to have happened to the Eighth Doctor since he went all audio, Lucie was brazen, shouty, a little bit fick and best of all wasn’t remotely interested in the Doctor romantically. Did we mention she was a temp? Indeed, we’ve not seen the likes of that sort of character in the new TV series at all, no sir. And now she’s leaving us. Boo.

On the bright side, Sheridan is rumoured to be in the next series of Who On The Telly, so that’s good. But not as Lucie. Bah!


It’s true, every word of it’s true – very little happened over September, mere weeks from The Waters of Mars breaking over us. Rumours abound, if you’re into that sort of thing, and hopefully it won’t spoil anyone’s day to hear that one rumour involves a new title sequence/logo, potentially spelling the end of that logo some cruelly dubbed ‘the flying turd’. We all have a dream title sequence in our heads of course (some actually feature our heads – go on, admit it – you know who you are). How about something styled after the classics? Like, say…


Love Boat!


Or, if you’re not up for that sort of thing, why not just enjoy all of the 60s and 70s themes at once? And if life’s still not exciting enough, there’s always the 80s, 90s and 00s together - awesome!

Right, I’m off to bed. Happy October-rest one and all!
(and thanks to Alex and Dave for the MacGyver link that kicked things off)