Archive for October, 2013

The Eccleston Era

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

The Unlikely Lad

An unprecedented emotional relationship with his companion, a reckoning with the unexpected survivors of the Dalek race and the loneliness of being the last of his own, encounters with one of the most famous writers in history, an alien spacecraft over London and a wicked Zoe Wanamaker – all met with his whooping catchphrase…

The Tenth Doctor, right?

Well, yes, but I’m talking about the bloke who came before him, and did it all first.  And on the face of it, ‘bloke’ is the operative word: leather jacketed, booted, close-cropped and determinedly not RADA-yadda.  The first time I saw a picture of Christopher Eccleston’s Doctor, I actually wondered what his costume was going to look like…

Although it’s never been a good idea to judge any of the Doctor’s by their appearance, Eccleston’s portrayal probably succeeded in doing more than any other in convincing us that the cleverest man in any room, on any planet, fizzed behind that deceptive exterior.  “Doctor?” snorts Charles Dickens during their first encounter, “More like a navvy!”

And yet, in the Ninth Doctor we first see that guile-less fascination and joy in encountering something new for the first time, which let’s be honest, has possibly become a little strained of late. And we even see this ‘hard man’ shed a tear in his second episode, a tiny moment which did so much to establish the tone of this new incarnation of the character and programme.  Much has been made of the ‘romance’ between the Tenth Doctor and Rose Tyler, (particularly in multitudinous fan-made compilations on You Tube), but watch those few moments between Eccleston and Piper in Number 10 Downing street before its destruction and you’ll see chemistry so intense that you even forget the awesome Penelope Wilton is there too.

To continue with the same unfairly maligned episode, the sequence involving the Doctor instructing ‘Mickey the idiot’ on how to save the world not only cemented my young nephew’s love for the programme, but I think conveyed the Ninth Doctor’s modus operandi, that with his nudge any one of us can make a difference.

Sadly, Eccleston’s too-short tenure and gradually emerging news of behind the scenes difficulties sometimes taint memories of a brave and exciting portrayal. But although not necessarily planned, sometimes it’s good to ‘keep it short’. By the time Tennant finally regenerated I was looking at my watch, but when Eccleston threw back his head and arms to blaze out of existence like the northern star he was, more than any of the other splendid chaps; I really didn’t want him to go.


Fast Return – September 2013

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

Ah, September. Remember September? Nothing happened!

It’s hard to believe on this day, Recovery Eve, that there was a time when old fans and young fans weren’t maybe marveling over what’s possibly the greatest fumbled pass since some sports game, and that we weren’t all wondering whether we’d get news of recently-rescued 60s Who episodes from the Beeb or (as has happened already) some other news outlets. Yep, life was pretty dull for us back in September. Even the Missing Episode board on OutGallyBase looked like this:












And our conversations about watching the Hartnell era went all like this (sorry, shrunk because it contains adult situations. Click to embiggen, as it were):





Meanwhile, a little closer to the modern day old Doctors who aren’t dead in black and white or in the anniversary TV special (okay, bad analogy – sit down, Pertwee and Eccleston) all assembled in the drawing room for a group shot, like the band of elder statesmen they all are for the cover of DWM 465. There’s President Colin, looking all avuncular and presidential (yay!), there’s Syl with his cane, Tom operating his special new life-size Grumpy Pete puppet, and yay there’s Paul! We think. Well, we know he’s ickle in real life, but smaller than Syl?! Truly, bad Photoshop compositing has become the waxwork Doctor twenty-five years on.

Still, at least it’s not a patch on the oddball action figure theatre that is Big Finish’s ‘Light At The End lenticular cover.

Seriously, what the hell is the point of an advertisement advertising a hashtag? Is that not the quintessential not-getting-the-point of viral media? You don’t tell people what your hashtag is, you create the buzz and let the hashtag form itself in the process of it being shared and perpetuated (yes, like the dog, illustrated, above)!!! Honestly, call us on the 24th of November and we’ll see about that ‘buzz’, but in the mean-time Auntie, maybe think about suggesting a formal hashtag for something that’s already being discussed and really really needs focus and not misdirection and hearsay like, oh I dunno, missing episode recovery rumours? Aargh!!

I’m sorry, I’ve been watching a lot of Malcolm Tucker videos on YouTube today. Where were we…?

Oh yes, finally:


Jamas said we should put this up. It contains swears and socks – you have been warned!