Archive for December, 2008

The Remains of the Davies

Saturday, December 27th, 2008

crystalcapitolNow then. With the Kitschmas Special out of the way and the assurance that David Morrissey is just for Christmas and not for life, our attention must surely go to 2009′s pre-Moffat specials. The Latter Days of our Saintly David. The  last squirts of ink from Dame Russel’s nib, as it were.

Here at Zeus Blog Terraces we’ve assembled a crack team of three prognosticators to scry their way into the hours that lie ahead of us,  scattering the tea leaves, rummaging through the goat entrails, reading the clouds in order to divine what they think we’ll see before Great Rusty’s candle is snuffed in NuWholand. Here’s what they thought.

First up, here’s an urchin in the form of young Jamas, shivering in the snow and cradling a tiny coal in his blistering palms to stave death’s chill away. What have you for us, m’lad?

“1. Rose will be name checked, because it is still Rose Who.”

“2. The Daleks will be back, because everyone loves the ratings! …I mean, the Daleks!”

“3. There’ll be a proper future story that isn’t full of a broad range of English accents.”

“4. There’ll be the most amazing historic figure ever! (I’m thinking Mozart.)”

“5. There’ll be a returning monster that’ll be nothing like their own series counterpart, because why break with tradition there?”

Intriguing. Away with you, lad – for I see the callow figure of a gentleman – why, it’s Lord Alistair, leading another charge of workhouse trulls to the knacker’s yard. I’d wager Her Majesty’s spaniels will not go without a yuletide treat this year neither, but what’s this? More soothsaying?

“The Series 4 finale resolved a lot of Rusty-isms (Rose, her family and Mickey, Donna, the Doctor’s hand and even Martha to a lesser extent) leaving only a handful of elements to be tied up, if indeed that is his agenda…”
“1. I have a feeling that Captain Jack’s destiny will be dealt with in some way, as his Rose-induced immortality was completely ignored when they finally reunited last year.  Whether this involves Jack somehow regaining his mortality, or even dying in a camp blaze of glory remains to be seen.”

“2. The resurrection of classic villains is an easy one, and I’m tending to plump for the Ice Warriors (Mr Davies, I’ve got a design all ready for you!), Earth reptiles (aquatic or subterranean) or even everyone’s favourite one-off – the Zygons.”

“3. The destruction of Gallifrey is one of the major defining elements of Davies vision for the Doctor, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this is revisited somehow.  Surely they’ll want to re-use that lovely CGI Capitol?  Whether it’s a flashback, a re-set, alternate universe Timelords or some other concoction I won’t be surprised if we see those silly collars again next year.”

“4. Any talk of Gallifrey’s absence immediately leads to the Time War.  Yes, a flashback involving McGann and perhaps even Eccleston remains every fans’ dream – come on, you know you want to!  Please Mr McGann – you may have a good face for radio but we’d love to see it on the telly, too!”

“5. And that in return leads to talk of a multi-Doctor story.  But having already had Timecrash, the two Tennants and very soon a ‘next Doctor’ this may not seem as fresh as it once did, as much as I’d love to see the return of Eight and Nine.  So I’ll settle for what I’ve always wanted, a Quatermass, or even Hammer-inspired all-out horror movie.  Small rural village, ancient evil re-awakening, archaic mythology which might be extraterrestrial in origin – and not a sonic screwdriver in sight!”

Aha! Surely some touting for a role in the fate of us all there, Mr Hughes! Designs for His Rustliness to use, indeed! But here’s a queer fellow – that shady foreigner Peter A and his daemonic Ouija Board, fresh from a tour of the Orient. With a reedy voice he urges us near – what phantasms does he conjure from the growing winter mists?

“1. I foresee another Time Lord guest appearance. Will it be the Master again? I hope not – as much as I hope RTD has learned his lesson on resurrecting Rose to replay the whole separation angst thing all over again. Will it be the Rani? I hope not – Rusty doesn’t do cold and emotionless villainesses. Not in the long run, at least. Which leaves the only other returning temporal marauder – the Meddling Monk. He’d be perfect, too – no real baggage, not evil enough to be the Master Mk 2, and eminently disposable. Perfect guest star material.”

“2. England (and no other country) will be invaded again by aliens. I know! Call me impetuous, but a fool and his money, et cetera.”

“3. I’ll see Mister Hughes’ atmospheric Hammer-inspired tale and raise it one Gatiss, to wit, the next pre-series adaptation will be… Nightshade! Adapted by someone other than Mr Gatiss, of course.”

“4. That splendid and efficient Mister Gareth Roberts will produce for us a script that will have us falling about once more and slapping our thighs with merriment. And afterward, feeling a little confused and empty.”

“5. Enough dallying with Zygons and Sea Devils! We know one’s in the bag, for almost certain! No, the real money is on which less-loved Auld Series monster Arty Davies will reference in a tossed off non sequitur during one episode. So far we’ve had the Sensorites and the Macra, as well he’s wedded the Abzorbaloff to his own flatulent progeny the Slitheen. So who will it be? I suspect it’ll be one to please either himself, or his fans. And I’ll say only this: it will rhyme with ‘Spandrells’. No! You cannot press me further!”

He’s vanished. What a strange creature! Surely nothing more strange will pass our eyes to bedevil us with the Curse of Kassandra. And yet, do my eyes deceive me, or is this the form of the young artist Jonno, laden with a brace of bristles, some light canvas and surgeon’s blades?

“1. The Tenth Doctor’s last words will be ‘allons-y’”

“2. The Master will be back for the last special”

“3. A BIG name will star in one of the specials (bigger than Kylie)”

“4. A popular pop ditty will play over a hugely important plot development. £10 says it’s the Ting Tings.”

“5. Hugh Grant is the next doctor. Maybe.”

The Ting-Tings! Bless that young man and his fevered rantings. So what of you all, dear readers? Have you a predilection for prediction? Do you dare to look into the future? Cast the die – tell us what you foresee!

We Wish You a Merry Linksmas!

Friday, December 19th, 2008


Crikey – did you just see the Shortland Street finale for the year? They only ended on the gunning down of a leading character… a DOCTOR… to the climax of that aria from Madam Butterfly.  It’s like 1996 all over again, we swear. And if that isn’t enough to make you think all of your Christmases have come at once, don’t worry, there’ll be another along in just over five days. In the mean-time, here are five baubles of our own from the Zeus Blog tree…

First, let’s look at what we’re all fighting for with a glimpse to Christmases past – namely a not-untypical reaction to Voyage with the Stars- I mean, of the Damnered. Was he right, folks? Eh, it’s a year on, already. Let’s go back further…

Mr Bean improves The Christmas Invasion no end.

hat’s better! Now back to blogs:

Nestled warmly for the winter in his House of Awkwardness  Paul Cornell is currently ‘doing’ the 12 days of Christmas via a series of ‘best of’ lists with his various (and impressive) multimedia chums. You don’t actually need to have a Doctor Who angle to this, especially if you’re already a Kate Bush fan, but for those who might (and anyone interested), here are the Favourite Christmas Songs of the Doctor Who Writers.

And having done blogs and the past, let’s look at the future:

Digital Spy has seen The Next Doctor and is duly revealing some bits of tids. Click here if you’d like to spoil yourself in the privacy of your own home.

And now a sidestep into a parallel universe where each Doctor sort of sounds like himself, but looks like a badly made-up comedy impersonator:

Sure, it’s as old as the gags in a Warehouse cracker (the ones that made it without having their snaps pulled out in the interests of national security that is), but let’s hear it again for Christmas at Doctor Who’s House.

Whew! Speaking of last-minute presents, who’s for a quick purchase?

For Five Dollars YOU could own your very own blurry photoshopped montage of recent Doctor Who monsters on a piece of folded card that wishes its observer both a ‘Merry Christmas’ as well as a bonus ‘Happy New year’. Only 2 available so bid now!. Go!! Now!!!

Okay that was a bit cheap – but there’s a credit crisis on, people! Back to your homes – we’ll be back with a Crystal Ball next week!

Reverse The Polarity! Issue 27

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

Media Circus

RTP 27 is a sweet, quivering three layer Christmas trifle, substantial but never stodgy, with the triad of main features interspersed with delicious cartoon fillings. Once again RTP effortlessly reminds us of how fandom can, and should be fun. And speaking of which, it’s indescribably wonderful to see Herr Karkus back, but, um, didn’t he die? No matter, never look a gift Teutonic uberhero in the mouth, especially at Christmas time. A Robogron is a brilliant idea which might have formed the basis of an entire strip in the hands of a lesser artist, but Erato just casually sprinkles it on top of a cartoon adventure already rich with originality

I read the new series retrospective feature fully anticipating annoyance at the usual petulant RTD bashing which seems part of a Fan’s mission statement these days, or boredom at having read it all before – but was delighted to find that I couldn’t have been more wrong. In fact, I believe fans should instead make it part of their mission statement to read this article – the most well-reasoned, balanced and insightful of its kind which I’ve seen anywhere. Special thanks to David Lawrence who convincingly reminds us of how wonderful Eccleston’s brief portrayal was, before having its memory all but swamped by Tennant’s ‘in-ya-face’ interpretation.

My only gripe would be the unlovely section headings, and the similarly baffling typography which continues into the following Torchwood article by David Ronayne. But what an article; again proving my huffy expectations of another RTD effort being brusquely dismissed to be all for nought. David, please send your alternate series 2 outline to the production office, they need – or needed, you! Personally, I’d love to see more writing like this. Ronayne seems to have an excellent grasp of what makes Torchwood tick and his series 2 makes fascinating reading when juxtaposed with what we actually got. Or am I missing the point of an extremely clever joke? With RTP you can’t always be too sure…

This brings me to the last (actually the first) of the big three articles – the final part of the extensive look at Graham Muir’s cartoon creations. Reading this I was reminded of a documentary I once saw at a film festival, about Lighthouses. Been taken to beacons all over the world by a softly spoken Norwegian narrator for two hours could have been as gruelling as waiting for Return of the King to reach it’s own final credits, but instead I found it mesmerising and all these years later, still unforgettable. What really distinguishes this article is the look at Graham’s own creative processes, well-illustrated by a ‘digital recreation’ of an unfinished Saucer strip. Fantastic stuff which really beings the subject alive. The revelation that TSV‘s special anniversary issue last year could have been graced with an exclusive Tardis Tale (but didn’t for reasons poignantly explained by Graham), adds a closing sense of regret to this series of articles.

Although perceptibly affected by the unfortunate postponement of Garry Jackson’s next comic strip instalment, RTP 27 is packed with fabulous art and writing from Ood to Adipose, and once again ushers in the festive season in style.


Fast Return – November 2008

Sunday, December 7th, 2008

It’s a 45th anniversary! Or was! And we’ve a mixed bag in Fast Return this month, so let’s at least start with a song – an anniversary song, naturally, found by Travelling Dave on your tube.

But what, as the cereal packet goes, are we really celebrating here? Ahem:

45 UP
There comes a time in one’s life when the marking of anniversaries and significant birthdays becomes more gradual and perhaps less cause for genuine celebration. Forty years after 1963 Doctor Who was still an historic programme, its extended life contained within non-television media. Two years after that and fandom started talking seriously about ‘legacies’ and ‘kisses to the past’ in ways they hadn’t done for nearly ten years.  In the time since the TV Movie new fans had been conceived and born, and discovered what we know as the ‘new’ series at just the right age. Perhaps they are the children of former fans themselves – it doesn’t really matter, and for them the idea of a series with a 41 year-old backstory was moot. Four years on and this blogger ask himself whether this anniversary, along with every other one since 1989 is a marking of, say, 45 years at all, or just 26 years plus a few more to be counted on the day. Perhaps 2008 is merely just the fourth anniversary, and the big party will be next year, in the fifth year of a new series? Can you really see the join after the return of so many villains and companions from episodes of yesteryear? Does it matter?

All of which angstiness just goes to ask – why so quiet this year? Are we satiated with a series back and a safe regeneration of production hands ahead that we don’t feel the need to draw attention to the show’s long toothiness? Or are we scared to? Or have we politely left the stage to allow the young ‘uns to say their piece, only to discover the sum of their wisdom to date to be ‘OMG squee! Lols!’ or the like? Yours please, below.

In the mean-time…

We have a local anniversary coming up of course – happy first birthday soon, latest issue of TSV!

Spotted this week on Public Address. More politics, sorry folks…

(Click on the pic to biggen it up)

We’re none of us fooled by the Christmas atrocity special this year, naturally, but oh yes: some rocking in the squee world to the news that David Tennant’s career will not be determined by one role alone. We covered that last month of course, but to date no replacement has been confirmed aside from the odd slip of the tongue (or not). So there’s little fun to be had for the moment, except perhaps in ringing the doorbell at and shouting “James Nesbitt!” until they come to the door all red-faced and cross. Ah, fan sites. So easy to wind up.

We’ll know when we know (as we all know). Remarkably, the regular viewing audience has far from imploded with the suspense. 

Oh, TV Guide – will you ever win?






They must do their research using the Guinness Book of Records or something.

When they’re not ruining our niche cult series by making it all popular and profitable, the younger generation still have a lot to answer for. Why only this month they claimed (in the pages of DWM, no less) to have invented the art form of “Trocking” – that is, Time Lord Rocking; writing songs about Doctor Who. Big yawn, you might think – when we were mere scraps we not only had “Frocking,” but we also had “Gunning” as well and we were grateful, you can keep your “Trocking” well away from me and my children, et cetera. But truth to tell, some of it isn’t half bad. Take a look at this talented little shite fan and tell me you don’t have an earworm infestation.

Yes, very good young man. Now get to bed.