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Why my Doctor had to be northern

Posted by goldenplum on January 22, 2016 at 2:10 AM Comments comments (0)

From Radio Times -


I wanted to move him away from the RP (received pronunciation) for the first time because we shouldn't make a correlation between intellect and accent" he says, "although that still needs addressing".

The self-described working-class actor also says that cultural inequality is "much more pronounced" in Britain than it used to be, and that it would be difficult for a young actor with his background to succeed in the industry today.

"You can't blame Eddie Redmayne or Benedict Cumberbatch but inequality will lead to a milky, anodyne culture. To an extent that's already happened," he argues.

Eccleston stresses that it's not just about the working class though. "There's not enough writing for women or people of colour" he says. "It frustrates me when they insist on doing all-male Shakespearean productions – a wonderful intellectual exercise, maybe, but it's outrageous because it's putting a lot of women out of work."

Doctor Who Fun Facts ??? Handles

Posted by goldenplum on January 18, 2016 at 8:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Voiced by BAFTA winner Kayvan Novak (Fonejacker), “Handles” is the disembodied Cyberman head the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith)  in The Time of the Doctor (2013).

The Eleventh Doctor obtained him from the Maldovarium Market and gave the old Cyberman head the name of Handles. He set about repairing it, removing all its organic components, and making it devoid of any Cyberman protocols. He was left with a robot which seemed to interpret commands very literally, even if the Doctor was just offering a rhetorical statement.



It remained at his side for 300 years, making it the longest serving companion in the Doctor’s timeline.

Thank you BlogiterWho and Warped factor 

The Android Invasion

Posted by goldenplum on August 26, 2015 at 9:50 AM Comments comments (0)

From The Mind Reels -


The Doctor (Baker) and Sarah-Jane (Elisabeth Sladen) arrive back in the right time, 1980, but still not quite to London. Instead they discover the little town of Devesham, which seems to be completely deserted, the phones don’t seem to work, and when people do show up… they are strange figures all in white with helmeted heads, quickly followed by some oddly behaving villagers.


The Doctor and Sarah suspect there may be something afoot because of the nearby Space Defense Station, which is overseen by UNIT. Upon investigation, the Doctor learns that the station is being run by Guy Crayford (Milton Johns), and seems to be taken over by the same strange thing that happened to the villagers… They’ve been replaced with androids, including Harry (Ian Marter) and their old friend Benton (John Levene), crafted by an alien species known as the Kraals, who have plans of taking over the Earth.


The TARDIS mysteriously vanishes, leading the Doctor to suspect that perhaps they aren’t really on Earth. The pair become suspicious of Crayford… Sarah doesn’t believe they could have encountered the man, because he was believed to have died on a space mission.

When the Doctor is captured, Sarah-Jane sneaks in to help him escape, but as they make their run for freedom, Sarah gets grabbed, and the Kraals use the opportunity to replace her with an android. The Doctor rumbles her very quickly, and finally reveals to the real Sarah that they aren’t on Earth, and explains that is where the TARDIS has continued on to, completing it’s journey as programmed..

When they finally reach Earth, and welcome the help of both Benton and Harry to help stave off the invasion before it can get underway. But their android doubles have arrived as well, and the pairs will have to face off against one another one last time, before the end of the tale.


Happily, the Doctor and Sarah-Jane work to resolve everything as best they can, stopping the Kraals and deactivating all the androids, including their robotic doppelgänger, just in the nick of time.




REVIEW Day of the Daleks

Posted by goldenplum on August 23, 2015 at 8:35 PM Comments comments (0)

From Tea with Morbius -


What I love most about this story is just how similar it is to the Terminator films. Rebels going back in time to prevent nightmare future and evil robots trying to stop them. I'd definitely rather watch Day of the Daleks and I think this serial is actually more believable than the Terminator movies. The idea of machines taking over the world is nonsense. Computers don't have minds. A robot, no matter how advanced is no more likely to take over the world than an electric kettle.


On the other hand, while the superficial Terminator similarity is fun, one is painfully aware that not everything is great about this story. For everything that is good about it, there is something that is not so great. It is very much in the middle rank of Doctor Who stories.

Most obviously, the use of the Daleks is not so great. The story was not originally intended to be a Dalek story, but a decision was made at a late stage to write them in. It has been a few years since the Daleks had been used in Doctor Who and the story does not quite seem able to get them right. Their voices are off and they lack menace. We are also denied a scene in which Dr. Who confronts the Daleks. Admittedly, this might be for the better. Pertwee was not the strongest actor to play the Doctor and he felt awkward interacting with the Daleks. It is hard to imagine Pertwee doing an job of confronting the Daleks. The final battle between UNIT and the Daleks is simply awful to watch. Few fights in Doctor Who have been as disappointing.


There are also a few problems with the plot. The whole time travel plot makes little sense. It also seems bizarre that the rebels would blame Reginald Styles for the explosion and not a terrorist group. Was terrorism not the problem that it was for us in the Doctor Who universe?

The Ogrons are an interesting addition as allies of the Daleks, but it is hard not to be uncomfortable with the Doctor dropping his usual pacifist stance and shooting down Ogrons. It's presumed okay to kill them because they are a big, stupid and dark-skinned.


What is great about the story is the moral complexity. The Controller is a villain with genuine reasons for being a villain and is quite understandable. The rebels on the other hand, come across as pretty thuggish. I imagine being right-wing and pro-establishment, I would easily be taken in by the Controller's lies just like Jo.

This is also a serial in which Pertwee is at his best. While he does not get to confront the Daleks, he does have so many brilliant scenes, such as his argument with the Controller and his weary, exhausted interrogation. I'm not much of a Pertwee fan, but in this story, we really see him at his best.


Day of the Daleks is a story with some bold ideas and a radically different approach, even if its execution seems a little poor at times.




Posted by goldenplum on August 19, 2015 at 7:15 AM Comments comments (0)

From the I like Dr.Who Project - Why I like the Shrivenzale

..from “the Ribos Operation.” The dominant civilization on Ribos has the distinct (and delicious) flavor of medieval Russia. Resplendent furred hats, cool lamplighting ceremonies - the bad guys are even designed after the Evil Teutons in Alexander Nevsky. And no medieval treasure room, Russian or otherwise, would be complete unless guarded by a dragon.

.The Shrivenzale is for all purposes a dragon - it’s green, toothsome, and guards a hoard. Not its own hoard, but what can you do? It is an animal-style dragon, not the so-called Man-Dragon of Beowulf and Beowulf derivatives (eg the Hobbit), high medieval rather than eddaic. And this is fine; “the Ribos Operation” has more than enough villains as it is - a good old-fashioned monster is a nice switch up. (Robert Holmes seems to be good at this. Compare the Magma Beast from “the Caves of Androzani).

What I like about the Shrivenzale, apart of course from the automatic appeal of IT’S A MEDIEVAL RUSSIAN ALIEN SPACE DRAGON, is that it is otherwise wholly unremarkable. The Shrivenzale is just another part of the daily routine. At night after locking up you raise the gate so it can patrol the treasure room, in the morning you blow the horn so it comes back to its pen to be fed, allowing you to lower the gates again. Operant conditioning at its absolute most basic. I also really love that horn call. This episode has some of the most top-notch world building in the entire show, and the Shrivenzale is part of that - just your work-a-day treasure-guarding dragon.

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