sir_guinglain: (MummyIcon)
2017-08-03 11:55 pm

Doctor Who - A Chat for Heroes!

Thoughts from the Oxford Doctor Who Society on the most recent series, condensed from several weeks of discussion on Facebook Messenger, are now available in one document downloadable from The Tides of Time blog.
sir_guinglain: (Pertwee_TVAction)
2017-07-17 01:12 am

Planet of the Spiders revisited

Dialogue for the old and new fans...

From Planet of the Spiders part one, as it might be re-edited:

LUPTON: Not only a Doctor, but a woman Doctor. We do not want her here.
CHO-JE: We cannot shut out the world entirely, my brother.
LUPTON: Why not? You used to, in Tibet.
CHO-JE: All things pass away, as you will learn in your meditation. This world of samsara, the world of appearance, is the world of change.
LUPTON: Yes, but I came here to get away from the world. So did the others. We came here to find solitude.
CHO-JE: One day you will learn to walk in solitude amidst the traffic of the world.
LUPTON: It's still not too late to stop her coming.
CHO-JE: But it is. Mister Chibnall has already gone to the station to fetch her.

**

CHO-JE: We can but point a finger along the way. A man must go inside and face his fears and hopes, his hates and his loves, and watch them wither away. Then he will find his true self, which is no self. He will see his true mind, which is no mind.
SARAH: And that's what meditation's all about?
CHO-JE: Yes! The old man must die and the new woman will discover to her inexpressible joy that he has never existed.
SARAH: Well, good luck, mate.

From Chrissie's Transcripts Site, with alterations.
sir_guinglain: (MummyIcon)
2017-07-11 02:29 am

Doctor Who XXXVI/10.12: The Doctor Falls. Again.

I found myself double-booked for The Doctor Falls, and so over a week after broadcast have returned with a follow-up review for Time Lines, John Connors's blog which continues the ancient traditions of his earlier fanzines Top, Faze, This Way Up, Antenna and others. As I write, it's not quite a review...

Steven Moffat at his best is very good at treating characters and events as symbols whose interaction as principles not only shapes but often overtakes conventional narrative. Looking back after over a week of rewatches and reviews, the success of The Doctor Falls lies largely in how this coded writing works, laying emphasis on specific aspects of character and setting which sometimes confound expectations which World Enough and Time might have encouraged. What follows isn’t quite another review but a set of reactions considering some of the opinions I’ve come across since The Doctor Falls was broadcast. In case anyone is in any doubt, I greatly enjoyed the episode; there was a tense fatalism throughout, leavened by statements of optimistic principle. I realised while watching it that kindness was probably the factor that kept me watching Doctor Who in the first place. The Doctor has not always been kind, but he tries to be kind to the greatest possible conceivable number of people, all the time. This is his virtue and periodically, in limited ways, his downfall.

Read more...
sir_guinglain: (MummyIcon)
2017-07-01 08:00 pm

Doctor Who XXXVI/10.12: The Doctor Falls

My review of The Doctor Falls is over here at the Doctor Who News Page; there's a lot I missed but that means I can write another review as promised to another site, but not immediately. Sadly.
sir_guinglain: (MummyIcon)
2017-06-29 02:00 am

Doctor Who XXXVI/10 reviews: links to Empress of Mars and World Enough and Time

I've not reviewed as regularly as I have done in previous years, but I might revisit the season later this year. In the meantime I've written two reviews for other sites:

Empress of Mars for the Doctor Who News Page
World Enough and Time for Timelines

The Doctor Falls to follow in the next few days - twice! Given the duplication of a certain character, this might be appropriate...
sir_guinglain: (MummyIcon)
2017-05-07 08:23 pm

Doctor Who XXXVI/10.3 - Thin Ice

I'm running a week behind with my reviews, I know - here is Thin Ice.
sir_guinglain: (MummyIcon)
2016-12-27 12:35 am

Doctor Who Christmas Special 2016 - The Return of Doctor Mysterio

I've reviewed The Return of Doctor Mysterio as the additional reviewer for the Doctor Who News Page, and you can find the review here. Look at Matt Hills's lead review for the site too - it makes lots of excellent points, including recognising the breakthrough in Bill's line about using the toilet on the TARDIS.
sir_guinglain: (Troughton)
2016-11-17 01:41 am

Doctor Who IV.9-14: The Power of the Daleks - animated edition (b&w)

I was asked last week to review The Power of the Daleks for Timelines, the Doctor Who blog of longstanding fan and prolific fanzine editor John Connors, which is worth checking out for its reviews and its material from John's rich archive of fan memories such as convention reviews and photographs from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. The review was published a few hours ago and can be found here.

However, when preparing the link from my own review blog, The Event Library, I realised I'd not mentioned Patrick Troughton specifically, which was something of an omission when covering Troughton's first story. So there can be found a couple of paragraphs on Troughton at that post.
sir_guinglain: (Sylvester)
2016-09-21 09:33 pm

Don't Shoot - He's British! part four

Doctor Who survived its end of history moment. The last three years of its first run saw a refocusing on the postwar Britain of paternalist, class-led social democracy not as the present or near future, but as the past just gone. The pastiche of Paradise Towers is drawn from the 1970s with its acknowledgements of J.G. Ballard’s High-Rise and Monty Python’s Flying Circus’s architect sketch, but collides with a design aesthetic which doesn’t know how to navigate the fashions of the 1980s let alone reconcile them with the script, and consequently any statement on society which Paradise Towers makes is stifled. The first story to explicitly explore this new hinterland of the newly-lost present with some success is Delta and the Bannermen.

For more in this vein read the fourth part of my look at Doctor Who and British national identity, over at John Connors's Time Lines blog.
sir_guinglain: (DavisonClock)
2016-09-13 01:40 am

Don't Shoot - He's British! parts two and three

More musings on Doctor Who and national identity from me have been published at John Connors's Time Lines blog. I've written an introduction with more ideas at The Event Library, and the posts themselves are available at part two and part three.
sir_guinglain: (Hartnell words)
2016-08-29 10:50 pm

Don't Shoot - He's British! part one

The first part of a series of musings on Doctor Who and British identity, at John Connors's Timelines blog, originally commissioned by John for the fanzine Plaything of Sutekh which he co-edited with Richard Farrell. A short introduction can be found at The Event Library, too.
sir_guinglain: (Tom)
2016-05-31 12:50 pm

Comic Strips! Features! Pin-Ups!

Memories of the first few months of Doctor Who Magazine, when it was Doctor Who Weekly, at The Event Library.
sir_guinglain: (Regeneration)
2016-05-06 10:17 pm

Howard's End, or Achilleos's Heel: Doctor Who at the Cartoon Museum

I visited the Cartoon Museum in London today with [livejournal.com profile] gervase_fen to see the Target Doctor Who covers exhibition, which [livejournal.com profile] gervase_fen has written up here. I have little to add other than say that Chris Achilleos's new cover for Vengeance on Varos works better with a noose around Colin Baker's neck as originally intended, and that among the details cropped out of Roy Knipe's artwork is a well-turned button on the fourth Doctor's cuff for Doctor Who and the Invisible Enemy. So much detail on the work is lost during reproduction, and was further eroded by cheap reprint methods as the books migrated methods and printers during the 1980s. The ebb and flow of the ink on what appears as a solid purple border on Achilleos's Doctor Who and the Pyramids of Mars is visible, as is the technique of his inking of the cosmic objects on his first three covers, ...and the Daleks, ...and the Zarbi and ...and the Crusaders. More impenetrable are the smooth washes of his early multi-coloured Daleks (very much based on the work of the last of the TV 21 Dalek artists, Ron Turner) and the methods by which he painted the incredibly smooth features of Tom Baker on ...and the Genesis of the Daleks and ...and the Ark in Space.

The exhibition draws attention to the lost art of the book cover, but could have made more of the links between the book covers and comic strip art. Chris Achilleos's covers were initially intended as patterned after the style of Frank Bellamy, too expensive a comics artist for budget-conscious Universal-Tandem to avoid, and he drew not only on Turner but on Marvel's Jack Kirby. A notable absence from the exhibition was Peter Brookes, who drew four mould-breaking but mould-defining covers in 1975. At a time when the BBC Books reprint programme is associating the Target series exclusively with Chris Achilleos, it's a reminder that there were many other artists with the 'family friendly' image BBC Books have cited as their reason for using the Achilleos covers. I think a case exists for a Peter Brookes set of reprints, a Jeff Cummins set and a Roy Knipe set.
sir_guinglain: (ArgueMainly)
2016-04-28 03:44 pm

The two faces of (my) fanhood

The public face: going into Blackwells, photographing the new reissues of some old Target Doctor Who books, and Tweeting it with the handles of BBC Books and Blackwells noted.

BBC Books notice this and retweet.

I then send BBC Books a private message correcting the indicia on six of the titles, which have listed the wrong original publisher. They have at least not unfollowed me yet.
sir_guinglain: (RegenGirl)
2016-04-10 10:47 pm

Doctor Who fanzine The Terrible Zodin, issue 18

Now available for download from The Terrible Zodin website, issue 18 of the said The Terrible Zodin includes within its ninety-eight pages a look at the career of Valentine Dyall, reviews of series nine (where I get to review a story a second time), a look back at the Missing Adventures series published in the 1990s by Virgin, fiction, artwork, and other Whoish items.
sir_guinglain: (ArgueMainly)
2016-01-23 01:27 am

Chris Chibnall to succeed Steven Moffat: a take after one

I've little to say on Chris Chibnall's appointment as executive producer/head writer of Doctor Who beyond that it will be difficult to judge him on his previous work for the series, none of which established a personal signature. Torchwood was effectively show-run by him for its first two series, but I suspect he was dealing with several competing agendas over what the series was meant to be; I've been told by someone who saw the script that the visualisation of 'Cyberwoman' was definitely not implied by Chibnall's descriptions, for example. Since then he's (re)learned the showrunner's job on Law and Order UK(having been the creator of Born and Bred before Who's return) and then created Broadchurch, of course - I've not seen all of the first series of the latter and wasn't that impressed by the second episode of the second series and stpped watching. However, he knows about the business of television on both sides of the Atlantic and is of course a veteran Doctor Who fan, though one who took no part in the workshopping of the concepts of Doctor Who by the Virgin and BBC Books ranges in the 1989-2005 period, nor indeed (I think) with Big Finish. Indicators to watch will be the continuity with the Moffat era on staffing - the start of the Moffat-Wenger-Willis production era had at least one significant element of competition over personnel with the outgoing Davies-Gardner team - and whether Chibnall contributes to the 2017 series. Otherwise there is nothing one can do but wait and see.