My second video in less than a week (curse these Doctor's who don't hang around long enough), looks at the lengthy period when Doctor Who spent his brief screen-time snogging girls and hanging around Albert Square. Marvel at my inability to tell the difference between Comic Relief and Children in Need. No wonder YouTube just advised me my videos are shit. Huzzah!
After a year and a half, I've completed my rewatch of the entire original run of Doctor Who. But before I delve into American telemovies and Welsh filming, was the little Scottish guy as good as Peter Jackson thinks?
Even as recently as a month ago I was pretty much resigned to the fact that the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who was going to wind up being a bit rubbish. Despite initially being promised “More Who that ever” the Beeb had shown themselves to not actually being very good at making the show resulting in a rather limp half season that seemed to shuffle onto screen in a slightly embarrassed fashion.
Of course, if it had been any good the drastic reduction in the number of episodes wouldn’t have mattered. But whilst it would be unfair to call it a terrible run, and there was only one episode in the Rings of Padding Out The Short Running Time With Endless Singing and Flashbacks to Things That Happened 30 Seconds Ago that I thought was really piss poor, equally there tended to be an distinctly average feeling about the whole thing.
_ Amnesia, for some bizarre reason, has been a recurring theme across all the Doctor Who spin-off media, usually involving the poor old 8th Doctor, who from story to story can have anything from hours to his entire life missing from his mind. Big Finish have done it most recently in Question Marks in the Recorded Time anthology just two releases ago. So when the first episode of The House of Blue Fire focuses on four people who arrive at a sinister hotel and who don't remember a thing about themselves apart from their various phobias it starts to feel like very familiar territory.
However, writer Mark Morris effectively creates a sinister atmosphere into which these characters, known at this stage only by their room numbers, are thrown that's evocative of the best of Sapphire and Steel or the TV McCoy story Ghostlight.
_ After last months Colin Baker celebratory diversion, The Doomsday Quatrain sees this year's Sylvester McCoy season resume. As with Robophobia it's a mostly standalone story, even if they ending does create a small cliffhanger into the final story of the trilogy.
The “Celebrity Historical” has been a mainstay of TV Doctor Who since it returned, mostly working within a very rigid format, the Dickens, Shakespeare and Agatha Christie episodes were pretty much all the same script with a cut and paste job done on them to fill in the correct clever clever references to the relevant authors work. The promotion and back cove for this story creates the impression it will be in the same vein with Nostradamus, but instead it goes off in a completely different direction that actually winds up evoking a story from the Matt Smith's second year on TV. With just a touch of the Peter Davison story Enlightenment.
The Seventh Doctor's original costume.
I can't condone this foolishness, but then love has never been known for its rationality.
-The Doctor, Delta and the Bannermen Part 3.
Over the last couple of weeks I've had an enjoyable hour or so every day listening to Richard Herring's Edinburgh Fringe Podcast (despite it being the launch of a bit of a rant on my part it's still well worth a listen HERE, though new episodes end this coming Monday, the same time as the Fringe itself finishes oddly enough). The format's simple enough, every day nationally known comedian and 90's TV star Herring chats with a fellow comedian up in Edinburgh for the Fringe, whilst another, newer comedian does five minutes of their routine to promote their own show. And on the last Tuesday of the run the five minute spot was taken by a fellow I'd never heard off before named Steven Gribbin who introduced himself by saying he was going to do a comedy song combining his love of Doctor Who and Morrissey.
Now obviously, as a massive Doctor Who fan I was expecting a good chuckle from this. And who knows, if I knew anything about Morrissey perhaps his song would have been funny. But what got me thinking (and inspired this blog post), was him starting off by slagging off Sylvester McCoy, telling a (hopefully made up for comic effect as it makes Gribbin sound like a cock) story of going up to McCoy whilst drunk and shouting “YOU RUINED DOCTOR WHO” at him. A gag that played to pretty much silence from the audience, presumably as a result of them being much like the rest of the British public in not being entirely sure who was Doctor Who between “The One With the Scarf” and “The One With the Ears”.
With the 150th play looming, this month the usual Big Finish trilogy format takes a slight twist for the first time since it was introduced. Instead of three plays in a row with a specific Doctor and companions, we get this month's Sylvester McCoy story, followed by a special Colin Baker release (of which you'll read more next month) before the rest of the McCoy trilogy concludes with the next two releases.
Also, for the first time in a long time, there's been no promotion of an overall arch or storyline across the plays. There's not even any companions, just the Doctor alone. There are a couple of hints in the play itself of Something Bigger tm (the Tardis is black and the wording above the door is slightly different), but apart from that throwaway line Robophobia is, in terms of relation to other Big Finish plays, entirely standalone.
Stuart Webb. Who knows everything about nothing and not a lot about that.