Posts Tagged With: first doctor

No, I’ve met cat people

It was a Wednesday, and I was giving Edward a bath, when Emily popped her head round the door and announced she was going to work.

“What time will you be back?” I asked.

“No idea,” she said. “I’ll probably get drawn into something.”

So I have drawn her into this picture of the Tenth Doctor. I rock.

 

In our ongoing Nu Who marathon, we passed ‘Fear Her’ months ago, and the Tenth Doctor has long since regenerated. Indeed, the Eleventh is currently into his ‘new lease of life after Amy and Rory phase’, cavorting around the rings of Akhaten with Clara. (I seem to be the only one who actually likes this episode, or at least I thought I was until a recent reappraisal saw its other fans emerging from the woodwork, like the slaves at the end of Spartacus.) What’s annoying is that he has yet to shed a single tear over any of the deaths, or any of the departures. I know I didn’t either, but it’s hardly the point.

That doesn’t stop Daniel having an appreciation for Classic Who, of course, judging by the scene he played out with the Character Creations set last week: not content with building a wall and casting Peter Davison’s incarnation in the role of Donald Trump, I came in the other day to find the Sixth and the First Doctors emerging in what looked an awful lot like cosplay.

I only wish I could find the Seventh Doctor. Can somebody (hello Gareth) come up with an amusing, series-related suggestion?

Also this week: Daniel told us he had a dream where the Eleventh Doctor was having an adventure with Rose, “only she had an emoji face and she threw Captain Jack from the roof of a building”.

It took me all morning to find the right building, but eventually –

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Look to your left (part 37)

In today’s news round up: stars of Doctor Who unite to commemorate the birthday of avant garde playwright Samuel Beckett.

Waiting_Dodo

Meanwhile, Prime Minister David Cameron and the Catholic Church both issue joint statements in the wake of the revelations contained in the Panama Papers:

Cameron-Ted

And as preparation continues for J.K. Rowling’s hugely anticipated Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, we can bring you this exclusive production photo of the cast on a break during rehearsals.

Lennon

Enjoy your Thursday.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

May God bless her, and all who sail in her

Yes, I know. I was here this morning, plugging the new website. I’m only back again because we were watching the annual jaunt that is the Oxford / Cambridge boat race, which reminded me that I really ought to get round to posting this, before people stop remembering what it was about. (And because Cambridge won, which has put me in a good mood.)

Boaty_TARDIS

Anyway, two posts in one day? Must be Christmas.

Or not.

DW_Easter

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Doctor Who: an overview (part one)

If you were reading this the other day, you’ll recall me talking about the talk I gave to the church group.

What follows is the script I was using. I mostly stuck to it, with the odd add-lib. I make no apologies for the simplification of certain concepts, or the general lack of detail, because it was all done with a particular audience in mind. I think they enjoyed it; I certainly enjoyed doing it.

The thing is so long I have opted to split it up a bit – so here’s part one, which, while not exactly finishing on a cliffhanger, does stop in the middle…

Part two is available here.

Talk_01

He walks in shadow. He arrives swathed in mystery and leaves without a backward glance. He topples empires, overthrows tyrants and helps the lost and helpless. He’s nattered with Nero, supped with Shakespeare and played chess with Churchill. He is, to use his own terminology, a mad man with a box. He is the Doctor. And he’s been a part of my life, in one way or another, for over thirty years. And this afternoon, I’m going to be telling you all about him.

Now, I’m aware that you’ve probably all got different levels of familiarity. I suspect some of you probably watched the show years ago, and perhaps you got bored and went on to something else. Perhaps you’re familiar with the old days but you have no idea about any of the new Doctors. Perhaps you watch everything you can, rather like me. Or perhaps you’ve never seen the show before and don’t have a clue what it’s about, beyond something about a police box and a thing called a Dalek that looks like a gigantic pepper pot. In any event, whether you’re a diehard fan or whether you think Davros is a Greek dancer on Britain’s Got Talent, I hope you’ll find something of interest today.

But I don’t want to turn this into a forty-five minute chat about the history of Doctor Who, even though I could easily talk about it for twice that length, because it’d bore you silly. Instead this is going to be something of a whistlestop tour through the show, from its 1963 beginnings all the way up to the present. We’ll talk a bit about the Doctor himself and some of the foes he’s faced – on and off-screen. Some of this is probably going to be familiar to at least some of you – some of it’s going to be new. There’s quite a lot of talking from me, but you’ll get to see the Doctor in action as well.

Talk_02

So come with me on a journey into the past – as we go back. Way back…to 1963. Harold Macmillan is in Downing Street, the first Bond film has just been released, and the Beatles are about to take over the entire world. And the new Head of Drama at the BBC, a man called Sydney Newman, has commissioned a new children’s show about a bunch of time travellers who flit around the universe, meeting important historical figures and generally getting into scrapes. The main characters were to be a dashing young couple, a teenage girl who was good at finding trouble, and an enigmatic middle-aged scientist with a mysterious past. (Is any of this sounding familiar?)

Talk_03

The Doctor was never even intended to be the central character – that’s something that changed as time went on – but the creative team wanted someone with gravitas, so they cast William Hartnell, famous for The Army Game. (My dad says there was only ever one Doctor, and William Hartnell was it.) Hartnell was getting tired of typecasting and he jumped at the chance to play something completely different. But if you go back and watch those old episodes again, what strikes you is how unpleasant the First Doctor is. He’s untrustworthy, crochety and mean. (Perhaps that’s why my Dad likes him. Sorry, that was a joke.)

Here’s where we meet him for the first time.

That was the very first episode, which went out on 23rd November 1963 – the day after….what?

Talk_05

It’s said that everyone can remember where they were when they heard that Kennedy had been shot. Doctor Who went largely unnoticed, because everyone was watching the news. It didn’t make much of an impact at first, and in many ways that didn’t come as a surprise to the BBC. Doctor Who is about a man who is and always will be an outsider. It was co-created by a Canadian, its first director was an Indian and the first producer, Verity Lambert, was a young woman in a world dominated by men. And none of them were expected to actually succeed. However, a few weeks later, the show was facing an early cancellation. And then this happened.

Talk_07

I think you all know what that was, don’t you? And thanks to the Daleks, Doctor Who hit the big time, as the Doctor met Marco Polo, smugglers, and giant flies. But William Hartnell was getting ill and couldn’t keep up with the constant filming pressures – twenty-four episodes a year – so it was decided to replace him with a younger actor.

Talk_08

And in 1966, this happened. After battling the Cybermen, the Doctor collapsed in the TARDIS, and changed into a younger man. Now, in production terms this was a masterstroke. A show that can change its lead actor at any point can go on forever. Every new Doctor’s built on what’s come before while bringing something of themselves to the part. About the only thing that hasn’t changed is the TARDIS – and that, by the way, is only because it’s supposed to be camouflaged, blending in with wherever it happens to be, only it got stuck. (The funny thing is that camouflage changes. A police box was a common occurrence in 1963, but you don’t see them anymore. When my family and I were driving through Shropshire one afternoon, Josh pointed out of the window at a public phone box and shouted “Hey, look! A red TARDIS!”

Talk_09

The other thing to mention at this point is that regeneration is a bit like giving birth. They used to tell you to do it lying down, but these days there are all sorts of positions. Compare this from 1974 with this from 2008. The Third Doctor’s lying down, but when we watched the Eleventh Doctor turn into the Twelfth, my mother asked why the Doctor was standing up, and I told her it was like medical advice; they keep changing it.

Talk_10

 

So. The Second Doctor was younger, sprightlier, sillier, but still ran around the universe, generally saving the day. But eventually Patrick Troughton left the TARDIS and went on to do other things, and in 1970 Doctor Who switched to colour. Things were a bit different – the Doctor was now stuck on Earth, exiled by the Time Lords, and he worked with a military organisation called UNIT, led by Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart. Eventually the exile was lifted, and Jon Pertwee was replaced by Tom Baker, who is probably the best known of all the Doctors, certainly the most visually iconic – as you will see from the way I’m dressed. Apart from that it was business as usual – Daleks and robots and things coming out of the swamp. Now I wanted to show you something that really summed up the way Doctor Who was in the 1970s, and here it is.

(I made that last year, just for the fun of it. I knew it would come in handy eventually.)

Talk_12

The show had never been more popular, but all good things come to an end, and in the 1980s there was a gradual downward spiral. Stories got sillier, there were some questionable performances, the show lost its Saturday evening slot so nobody watched it, and eventually the new BBC controller had had enough. In 1985 it was suspended, and then it came back, and then it was finally cancelled. Now, it’s fair to say that it wasn’t the best of times, but there were still great moments, like this one.

Talk_14

Doctor Who was languishing, alone, for years. The fans kept it going, but there was no sign of it on TV. There was an old joke that went “How many Doctor Who fans does it take to change a light bulb? None at all, they just complain and hope it’ll come back on.” Until 1996, when the BBC brought it back with a full-length movie, starring Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor.

Talk_15

There’s only one problem with the movie, and that’s that it was rubbish. It was made by people who didn’t understand the show, for people who had never seen the show, and it was once again binned. But not for long! Because some years later, the BBC decided to bring it back, only this time they did it properly. The new Doctor Who was completely updated: it looked fresh, and modern, but it was still the show we knew and loved. Still, this was aimed at winning a new audience, and for many children – including at least one of mine – this was their very first glimpse of the Doctor.

It’s new, but it’s instantly recognisable. The dummies that Rose was running from are the Autons, whom the Third Doctor fought many years ago, and which many parents and grandparents would have remembered. They were trying to win over children, but broadly speaking this was definitely geared towards the family.

Talk_17

Since then the show’s gone from strength to strength, through four and a half new Doctors (it’s a long story, don’t ask) and all manner of strange new creatures and enemies. But the central idea is still the same: the Doctor and whichever companion he happens to be with turns up in the TARDIS in the middle of a problem, and then solves the problem, just before moving on to the next one. He’s met Charles Dickens and Vincent van Gogh, he’s seen the end of the world and travelled to the end of the universe. Doctor Who turned fifty just a couple of years back, and the Doctor doesn’t show any signs of slowing down just yet.

But it’s funny how we place so much faith in such a mysterious character. It’s there in the title – Doctor Who? So let’s have a quick look at exactly what we do (and don’t) know about the Doctor.

Talk_18

Talk_19

What is it about the Doctor that makes him so fascinating? Well, he’s famously non-violent (although if you look at the show, this really isn’t the case at all). He’ll give his enemies a chance to surrender and change their ways. He doesn’t suffer fools and he has no respect for empty authority, but he’ll preach about forgiveness. And he overcomes death, and routinely sacrifices himself in order to save humanity. If any of this is sounding a bit familiar, there are lots of arguments about religious interpretations of Doctor Who, although this is something the programme’s creators have always denied. “No,” they said. “We didn’t mean that at all.”

Um. Is it just me…?

The other thing about the Doctor is that he very rarely travels alone; he’ll usually have at least one or two companions along for the ride. And here are just a few of them.

Talk_21

You will note that most of them are women, and most of them are pretty. I will not deny that this is to give the dads something to look at on a Saturday evening. I will not deny that I am one of those dads.

Please don’t tell my wife.

 

Click here for part two.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

In loving memory

If you’re one of the thirty-four (thirty-four!) people who follow me on Twitter, you will have seen everything that follows last night. For the rest of you, this all started with Colleen McCulloch.

When I was a kid, my parents had two books on their shelves that I particularly remember. One was The Thorn Birds, which I gather is something of a classic, both on the page and on screen. The one I actually read was Tim, about a mentally retarded adult (can we still say that? I genuinely can’t keep up these days) and his burgeoning friendship with an older lady. It’s mostly inoffensive, although there is an incident with a sausage sandwich that I still can’t really think about without feeling nauseous. It was made into a film in 1979, starring a very young Mel Gibson, along with Piper Laurie, who did not dress up as a man or lock anyone in the cupboard while she prayed over them. The sausage sandwich scene is mercifully gone and the ending is changed, but it really is quite good.

Colleen McCulloch was therefore a household name, at least in our house, while I was growing up, and it was with some sadness that I learned of her death a couple of days ago.  I also learned of a few other things I didn’t know: she spent much of the latter years of her life on a Pacific island to escape the pressures of fame, had an early career in neuroscience, and refused to write a follow-up to The Thorn Birds (as well as hating its adaptation). Tributes came flooding in, and obituaries were warm and generous in their appraisals.

Except, it seems, for The Australian. They opened their obituary with this.

Screen_Shot_2015-0_3182522c

This is, I’m informed by more than one source, fairly typical of the Australian media, who frown upon successful women. I don’t have the time to research this properly, but irrespective of cultural norms there is absolutely no way you can justify such a monstrous opener. I have never held with the “Do not speak ill of the dead” maxim (are we really not allowed to tell the truth about Thatcher? Osama bin Laden? Hitler?) but this is just ridiculous. The article led to a sea of acidic responses from corresponding publications (which was predictable; there is nothing any media outlet likes more than having a pop at one of its rivals), and before we knew it, #myozobituary was trending on Twitter.

Anyway, having composed my own version of one of these (“Despite being arrogant, acne-ridden and obese, he nonetheless managed to manufacture enough sperm to sire four children”) I had an idea, and one thing sort of led to another.

 

  But why stop at the first? I didn’t, although one of these obituaries is not like the others. See if you can work out which.   

Second Doctor  

 

Third Doctor

  Fourth Doctor  

Fifth Doctor

  Sixth Doctor  

 

Seventh Doctor

  Bagpuss

 

I didn’t do any more; I think we’ve taken this to its logical breaking point.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: An Adventure in Space and Time

Adventure_Space (7)

Warning: contains spoilers. If you haven’t seen ‘An Adventure in Space and Time’ and don’t want to know the score, look away now!

For my father, there has only ever been one Doctor. It’s a conversation we’ve had often, along with interpretations of gospel writings, the ethics of civil service management and the relative merits of The Goon Show. (Do not – I repeat, do not ask me to start doing the characters. We’ll be here all day.) “The best Doctor, bar none,” he insists, in the face of my rebuffs about Baker and Smith, “was William Hartnell”.

I’d imagine that An Adventure in Space and Time was probably tailor-made for someone like Dad. Certainly it wasn’t the no-holds-barred, warts-and-all tour-de-force it could have been. (I tried for a record number of hyphens in that last sentence; can you tell?) This was family viewing in the same way that Doctor Who is family viewing. None of the principals got killed (or had their memories wiped, or got trapped in a parallel universe), there was no sex to speak of and the underdogs who fought against an oppressive regime for what they knew was right were ultimately rewarded. Oh, and there was a bit of time travel.

In a recent interview with Doctor Who Magazine, the looking-astonishingly-good-for-his-age Waris Hussein says (and I’m paraphrasing) that he didn’t believe Mark Gatiss could tell the whole story – “he had to tone it down a bit”. Certainly the hour and a half I sat through last night came across as the Doctor Who Confidential version of events. There was sparring and there was an old boy’s network and casual institutional racism – epitomised in an early scene where a frantic Hussein complains about the heat in the upstairs booth, only for someone on the ground to remark “You’d think he’d be used to it”. Meanwhile, Verity Lambert (Jessica Raine, in good form) is forced to defend her controversial producer’s appointment against a sneering establishment who’d prefer to see her typing letters, rather than getting TARDIS interiors delivered on time. How could this female, it is clearly felt, rise to the occasion?

Rise to the occasion she does, although it’s not without a little buoyancy from floating aid Brian Cox, who inhabits Sydney Newman with just about enough pomposity to keep from turning the Canadian hotshot into a complete caricature. Well-dressed, bombastic and with a cigar permanently glued to his lips, Newman saves Lambert from a disgruntled Hartnell early in the narrative, only to privately rebuke her with the words “Be a producer”. Verity turns from lamb to lion and marches into a previously dismissive designer’s office, taking a seat opposite him and refusing to budge until he’s started work on the TARDIS set – which he then constructs, Blue Peter style, from a cotton reel and bits of card in thirty seconds flat, in its final form.

Adventure_Space (2)

Herein lies one of the problems faced by Adventure – it’s got four years of narrative to condense into ninety minutes, and as a result many things are glossed over. Delia Derbyshire’s wonderful tape loops, for example, get only the briefest of mentions, in the midst of a dramatic irony-laden monologue in which Verity and Waris assure a reluctant Hartnell that everything’s going to plan, while budgets go through the roof and scripts are thrown in the bin. Or as Gareth put it, “It made me twitch a little at times at how ‘neatly’ everything happened. ‘We need to do X’, followed immediately by exactly how X famously turned out’.”

Gareth has a similar hangup with ‘Genesis of the Daleks’, a story that we both agree is wonderful, with one notable disappointment: the Daleks that Davros designs are identical in all respects to the classic Raymond Cusick design that we know and love. Budgetary constraints probably made this unavoidable, of course, but it might have been nice to see a different, more rudimentary model. It’s the same here – with the notable exception of the botched pilot (which is transcribed to screen very well) there’s an inevitable lack of detail. Nation’s name is mentioned once – although in a clever piece of juxtaposition Newman’s verbal delivery of ‘The Survivors’ is played over the assassination of Kennedy, which occurred the day before ‘An Unearthly Child’ was broadcast – fifty years ago today, as it happens. Cusick doesn’t even get a look in. And all this is cannily dismissed in the space of one line, as delivered by Lambert to Hartnell over lunch – “So many people have been at the birth of the thing, we’d be here all day”.

Adventure_Space (4)

The paring down works, as it happens, because it allows the characters to live and breathe – and one thing that becomes apparent from the very beginning is that this is Hartnell’s story. Played to perfection by David Bradley, Hartnell is a grumpy bugger who is bored with typecasting and who shouts at his granddaughter. Sceptical and irascible to a fault, it is his transformation that forms the story’s principal arc. Despite a shaky first episode, Doctor Who turns out to be something of a fountain of youth for the man, as epitomised by a scene where a rejuvenated Hartnell leads a group of starry-eyed schoolchildren on an impromptu expedition through woodland, before doing a reasonable impersonation of a Dalek.

Such scenes are twee and in all likelihood apocryphal, but they grant Hartnell’s inevitable decline a keen emotional resonance that echoes long after the closing credits have rolled. There are many ways to chart an illness onscreen – Gatiss does it here with a series of Television Centre publicity shots showing an increasingly frail and confused Hartnell, and a dark and almost frightening studio breakdown where his mind seems to go totally blank. This follows an earlier scene where Hartnell’s wife implores Verity to scale back the BBC’s demands on him – emotional and overwrought dialogue that is somewhat undermined (purposely so, one expects) by the appearance of several costumed bees from ‘The Web Planet’. (It’s the sort of intervention that could have greatly improved the breakup scene in Spider-Man 3.) In either event, the outcome is clear: here is a character actor who finds that playing an old man gives him a key to connecting to and relating with the young. Russell T Davies really should take note.

Adventure_Space (5)

Adventure_Space (6)

It doesn’t all work. The dialogue seldom ventures above second rate, and the expository summaries for the benefit of a young audience occasionally made me wince. Gatiss has clearly put himself on a tight leash but he still can’t resist dropping in the odd in-joke – Verity’s reassuring “Brave heart, darling” to a worried Hussein, Newman’s use of the word ‘regeneration’ years before it was used on the show proper, and the continual reference to the now famous Bug-Eyed Monsters. Even Bradley isn’t immune, weeping over his fireplace and copying David Tennant’s last words, as he confesses to his wife that “I don’t want to go”. Despite glossy production (the last programme to be filmed, as it turned out, at the now decommissioned Television Centre) and a decent score you do wonder what Aaron Sorkin would have been able to do with it.

But this is a show about nostalgia – about doing difficult things with limited resources – and while it’s all a little neat and self-congratulatory, it’s hard not to watch with a smile on your face. The final five minutes, in particular, are arresting in their depiction of Hartnell’s regeneration scene – once you’ve got over the image of Reece Shearsmith as the least convincing Patrick Troughton ever, they set up the cameras to roll, and Bradley / Hartnell looks up, and this is what he sees.

Adventure_Space (1)

I suspect this will have some fans applauding in their seats, and others up in arms. By this point the fourth wall is reduced to rubble, and certainly the presence of Matt Smith undermines the dramatic narrative. But it also doesn’t. It’s a chance for Hartnell to see the effects of his legacy – something the Doctor’s done before, and something you feel the actor deserves, however supernaturally ridiculous the premise. You may be gone, Gatiss seems to be saying, but the show has lasted this long because of the seeds you’ve sown and the sweat and the tears. There will never be another Doctor like Hartnell, simply because no actor will have the opportunity to make his mark on the character the way Hartnell did. As a tribute, there may be none finer – and on this matter, at least, I have a feeling my father would agree.

Adventure_Space (3)

Categories: Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Protected: Encounter at York Maze

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Enter your password to view comments.

God is in the detail (vi)

I was chatting with Gareth about the appearance of the Great Intelligence at the end of ‘The Bells of Saint John’. He and I fear it’s going to be this series’ recurring theme, repeated with depressing abandon in every episode, like the Schrodinger’s pregnancy scan in series six.

“If it’s any consolation,” I said, “There were no references to it at all in the next story. There was a fair bit of stuff about Clara, but nothing on the G.I.”
“But you’re still going to do God is in the detail, presumably?”
“Oh, undoubtedly.”

So here’s the roundup for ‘The Rings of Akhaten’, an episode that was apparently loathed by almost everyone except me, and with a title I still have to Google to check spelling every time I write it down. I picked up on most of these last night, during a second viewing in the company of Josh and Daniel, both of whom had been away at the weekend. Daniel lingered by the door, as he is wont to do when we’re watching something he’s not sure about. Joshua sat next to me on the sofa and I reflected that it was far too long since we’d de-loused his hair. I only noticed this in particular because I’d failed to brush it that morning. What Lies Beneath doesn’t even begin to cover it.

Let’s start in that graveyard.

Akhaten_detail_1 

11 September was the date that series three of the original Doctor Who run was first broadcast (yes, it was 1965, but it still counts). We’re on the Doctor’s third chronological encounter with Clara’s character. The story in question was ‘Galaxy 4’, a mostly incomplete story that contains Steven Taylor, Vicki and an alien race called the Chumblies. Six months later, on 5 March 1966, the First Doctor took Steven and Dodo to meet the Monoids in the first episode of ‘The Ark’. Conclusions? Peter Purves is coming back.

Next: Clara does a little exploring.

Akhaten_detail_4

Don’t let that innocent-looking pillar fool you. That is quite clearly a SONTARAN HELMET. Just as the alien skull in the trophy room of the Predator’s ship spawned an entire franchise, it’s abundantly obvious that the secretly treacherous Strax is shadowing the Doctor and Clara throughout their intergalactic travels, ready to spring at the last minute with a well-placed grenade. Make no mistake: beneath all the jokes and that cuddly, spud-like exterior lies the cold and remorseless heart of a killer. I’d go further and argue that it was Strax who was responsible for the death of the 19th century Clara, whom he could have saved if he’d really wanted her to live. And what do you mean it looks nothing like the Sontaran helmet?

Now, observe!

Akhaten_detail_2

On the right? On top of the gigantic cotton reel of time? That’s clearly a pyramid. A pyramid of Mars, do you think?

Meanwhile, in the central arena:

Akhaten_detail_6

The grandstand is divided into ten clearly-marked components, which is IRREFUTABLE PROOF that we are returning here at the end of the series for the Doctor to have a final battle with Sutekh the Destroyer, observed and abetted by his ten previous incarnations.

But will it indeed be Sutekh? Or will it be the Daleks, given that the number 88 (the year ‘Remembrance of the Daleks was broadcast) is clearly printed below?

Akhaten_detail_3

No, it’s there. On the right. On the big oil drum thing. Tilt your head a bit. No, that way. Now squint.

Then there’s the so-called “lava lamp” in Clara’s bedroom.

 

Akhaten_detail_5

Most lava lamps resemble rockets, of course, but the fact that this lamp is sitting next to an illuminated globe cannot possibly be a coincidence. It’s a clear throwback to ‘The Seeds of Death’, in which the Second Doctor, Jamie and Zoe piloted a rocket to the moon when the T-Mat broke down. Conclusion: Jamie is coming back. (The clues, of course, exist elsewhere: the Tenth Doctor namechecks Jamie in ‘Tooth and Claw’, and before hitting the dizzy heights of Doctor Who, Jenna-Louise Coleman also starred in Emmerdale, a soap opera that had – once upon a time – carried a prominent role for Frazer Hines…)

And yet the web grows thicker, when we look very carefully at Ellie Oswald.

Akhaten_detail_8

There. Just above her left (stage-left) eyebrow. IT’S THE MOLE. Clearly, Ellie is not all that she seems.

Of course, the bottom line was that this was a fairly simple-to-follow episode, with little in the way of ontological paradox or wibbly-wobbliness. Which was just fine, as it meant that for once I didn’t have to sit there explaining everything to Josh. I just had to worry about coaxing Daniel out from behind the coffee table, where he’d hidden the moment he saw the mummy (calling, of course, for his own).

When we were done with the singing and the closing credits had rolled, Joshua turned to me and said “Well, I’m going to be scratching my head for the rest of the evening.”
“Why?” I asked. “Did you seriously not understand it?”
“No Daddy, I’ve still got nits.”

Categories: God is in the Detail, New Who | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The First Question

Oh, this we like. This we like a lot.

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

From the Archives #2

I got this by email back in February. It chilled me to the depths of my very soul. Months later, its capacity to scare remains undiminished.

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: