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Old 2010-08-21, 01:23 PM   #1
inflatable dalek
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Red face Ye Olde Doctor Who Thread.

As we're between seasons I thought this vital and important question deserved its own thread:



What the hell were they thinking with Revenge of the Cybermen? Now, there's no reason Cybermen shouldn't have transatlantic accents, and Christopher Robbie is a legend but... well Tom's expression during the infamous Swedish massage moment kind of sums it all up. And how do the Doctor and Harry survive being right next to an explosion that's supposed to destroy half the planet? You can tell from the extras Hinchcliff wasn't keen on being lumbered with Cybermen by Barry Letts but surely with his body horror fascination Holmes could have made more of them?

On the plus side, the gold thing pretty much makes sense here (it clearly needs some sort of special delivery system, just chucking it at Cybermen doesn't work), the regulars are all on fine form and the Cybermen being so hardcore you have to knock their heads off to disarm them is the one good thing about the redesign (though even in the 70's could you really get a wet suit with flares?).

Silver Nemesis is going to seem ****ing awesome after this.
 
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Old 2010-08-21, 01:30 PM   #2
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I keep meaning to get round to watching it, but I haven't done The Dominators yet, so I reckon I might wait until Time and the Rani comes out and then do all four in a batch.
 
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Old 2010-08-21, 01:46 PM   #3
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I'd say it's unfair to lump Rani in with the others (though it's an extreme minority viewpoint). As long as you go into it accepting it's the most CBBC the show ever got- it's more akin to something like Watt on Earth or even Through the Dragon's Eye than most of the Colin Baker stuff, and that's not automatically a bad thing- it's tremendous fun and probably what the show needed to be to survive at that point.

Plus McCoy is fantastic, so much focus gets put on the "Dark Doctor" stuff it's easy to forget he was just as good as the slightly sad clown.

And the opening scene is probably the most gay thing in Doctor Who ever. Which considering The Happiness Patrol was only a year behind is impressive.
 
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Old 2010-08-21, 02:00 PM   #4
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I'd say it's unfair to lump Rani in with the others
It's unfair to save up four consecutive DVD releases to do in a run?
 
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Old 2010-08-21, 04:29 PM   #5
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It's unfair to save up four consecutive DVD releases to do in a run?
But of course. You should save Rani to watch back to back with Seeds of Doom, which is apparently nearly as good [Disclaimer: It may not be].

The most interesting thing on the Revenge DVD (just beating the fact the restoration team have found a copy of the stock Saturn 5 footage that isn't covered in scratches) is the Tom Baker interview from BBC local news. The only existing one I'm aware of from before anyone had seen him in the part it's fascinating to see him doing what would become his usual schit playing up journalists but with a great deal more uncertainty than would become the case once his take on the role had been seen by the public. The jelly baby bit especially just falls flat.
 
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Old 2010-08-22, 07:41 AM   #6
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Seeds of Doom might just be the best six-parter ever.

Not that I'm sure what it is... I got taken to the props exhibition in Caerdydd a couple of days ago as a birthday treat, and can confirm that before Russell T. Davies invented Doctor Who in 2005, the program didn't exist (on the plus side, it also seems to have stopped existing about the time I stopped watching it, which was nice). Got to see K-9, but couldn't get his ear off before someone came along. Also accidentally (i.e. intentionally but it looked like it could have been an accident) tripped up a kid too, so a good day was had by all.

There was a very funny Amy Pond costume there as well, just because it was simply some clothes from Topshop or whatever.

Also spent six hours walking around the Welsh capital without hearing a word of the language - what a joke of a country...
 
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Old 2010-08-22, 10:38 AM   #7
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Apparently the actor who played Adric has recently written a book called Blue Box Boy the reviewer in SFX thought it was a bit bitchy.
 

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Old 2010-08-22, 10:44 AM   #8
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Doesn't surprise me, he sounds like a right twat. Was it Richard Todd he gave tips on acting while filming? Adric's one of my least favourite characters, both in terms of being a prat and through being badly acted. He's nowhere near Tate-bad, but he's probably the worst in the original run - there's a sort of am-dram charm to Bonnie if you get the dosage right, and at least Vicki was generally balanced by someone proper.
 
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Old 2010-08-22, 08:00 PM   #9
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I got taken to the props exhibition in Caerdydd a couple of days ago as a birthday treat, and can confirm that before Russell T. Davies invented Doctor Who in 2005, the program didn't exist (on the plus side, it also seems to have stopped existing about the time I stopped watching it, which was nice).
You lucky sod, when I went there for my birthday treat two years ago it was the one day of the year they were shut for refurbishment.

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Doesn't surprise me, he sounds like a right twat. Was it Richard Todd he gave tips on acting while filming?
Though he apparently claims that never happened. But then he would. Based on what people are saying the moans in his book aren't exactly shocking revelations, Tom spent most of his time drunk and was rude to everyone, Davison can be very sarcastic, Lalla looked down on him. Nothing you wouldn't learn from interviews with anyone else involved. It seems he's very honest about his own problems as well though. It might actually be interesting to read an account of someone who basically got their dream job as a fan and had it all go wrong but I don't think I'll be bothering.
 
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Old 2010-08-22, 09:16 PM   #10
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Does every Letts turd have that hilarious "two people on two phones having two different conversations" shit in it? It bloody feels like it... Fairly sure it's in Silurians, Ambassadors, Inferno, Autons, Mind and the Daemons so far. Seem to recall it's in Day whenever I reach that particular bundle of joy too.

Why the Hell am I doing this?
 
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Old 2010-08-23, 06:38 AM   #11
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Oh come on, Day is awesome. The fact they paint one of their three Daleks gold. The world's slowest bike chase. The "Now, you've already told me the year" cop out. Perwtee's gurning as he's probed. The Doctor suddenly deciding it's a time paradox and an alternate future even though he's shown no sign it wasn't the right timeline up to then (and you'd think he'd have noticed if the Daleks were supposed to have ruled Earth at that point). Them cutting out of the pay off to the double Doctor and Jo gag but leaving the set up in.

The book's good IIRC though.
 
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Old 2010-08-23, 07:58 PM   #12
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Silver Nemesis is going to seem ****ing awesome after this.
This is lies.

I can't decide what's more barking, the fact the official 25th Anniversary promotional trailer thingey makes as big a deal of Delores Grey as it does about the Cybermen and Daleks, or the Silver Nemesis TV trailer opening with a clip from The Web Planet.

About the only plus about the extended version not being included is that the broadcast doen't actually make that much less sense.
 
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Old 2010-08-24, 07:27 PM   #13
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I used to have Revenge Of The Cybermen on VHS. I didn't like it. I subscribed to the Doctor Who DVD files, which although a bit kiddy, has had some good DVDs released recently and the accompanying multipart encyclopedia is a good, if brief, read. Really enjoyed Spearhead From Space, which has really stood the test of time, and am currentlly working my way through The Talons Of Weng Chiang, which is good, but a bit plodding. I liked Leela jumping through a window to escape a ventrilloquist's dummy! Brilliant.

As for Matthew 'Adric' Waterhouse's recent book, I've not read it, but he came across as a decent enough guy who had a bit of a miserable time playing a character no one liked in a recent Doctor Who Magazine interview (there's a really good one with Slyvester McCoy this month if anyone's interested). I don't care for Adric myself, but I think its just 'cos his character - along with Nyssa - is just dull. There's no reason for him to be there. At least Teegan was bossy and loud, irritating though she was.

The only other classic set of episodes I've watched recently has been The Twin Dilema. Its awful, but I can't help but enjoy it because its the Sixth Doctor & Peri who I love, despite most of their episodes being generally rubbish.
 
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Old 2010-08-24, 07:37 PM   #14
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Aye, the Doctor/Peri bits of the thing are marvellous - always loved the dynamic, you get the impression Peri's determined to make the best of things even if the nice, friendly chap she set off to adventure with has turned into a bit of a git. Love Colin Baker's Doctor, but he did get the shit end of the stick with the stories, didn't he? To be fair, he's generally the best thing in any of his stories... In a more modern format with his tenure as a character study and the various adventures as mere backdrop and development it could have really worked.

Also agree about Nyssa - she's just sort of "eh" (never saw the attraction a lot of people seem to have to Sarah Sutton, either). It always seems like she's delivering exposition, and she always seemed to be the one stuck in the TARDIS doing bugger all while the Doctor, Tegan and/or Adric were out doing something... If you had to name five things she actually did, it'd be a struggle.

Adric would probably have been more tolerable played by a different actor, though - a lot of the problems come from Waterhouse's rather languid delivery (e.g. just about anything he says in "State of Decay") - it makes it sound like he's just being difficult and disinterested for the sake of it all.
 
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Old 2010-08-24, 08:01 PM   #15
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Aye, the Doctor/Peri bits of the thing are marvellous - always loved the dynamic, you get the impression Peri's determined to make the best of things even if the nice, friendly chap she set off to adventure with has turned into a bit of a git. Love Colin Baker's Doctor, but he did get the shit end of the stick with the stories, didn't he? To be fair, he's generally the best thing in any of his stories... In a more modern format with his tenure as a character study and the various adventures as mere backdrop and development it could have really worked.
Yep. That's one of the nice things about the audios, hearing him in good stories (where you can't see the costume. Mind, you can't see Peri's personality either) really gets to show what he could have been. I think he'd have done great stuff under Cartmel as well. Not that I'd change anything about the McCoy years.

The whole introduction to 6 is just barking really, and shows the extent JNT had lost it at the time. From little things (I mean really, if you want to give your new lead man as big a chance as possible promotion wise his début is that year's story you go film abroad with an old villain) to fairly big ones like giving the script over to an untried writer, the costume, and leaving the public with a first impression that the new Doctor's a git that won't get challenged for months.

Of course, Saward deserves the weight of the blame. Fair enough, it's hard to give up your job but he really should have stood down when he realised an actor he hated was being cast. He might have been able to go onto other TV work if he'd left under better circumstances as well.

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Also agree about Nyssa - she's just sort of "eh" (never saw the attraction a lot of people seem to have to Sarah Sutton, either). It always seems like she's delivering exposition, and she always seemed to be the one stuck in the TARDIS doing bugger all while the Doctor, Tegan and/or Adric were out doing something... If you had to name five things she actually did, it'd be a struggle.
I've never understood why Davison thought she was the best of his initial three companions (to the point he persuaded JNT to save her and kill Adric instead). Again, even though she started off fairly terribly (you can tell she hadn't acted for years) she's come into her own in the CD's though. Mainly because, despite the forced pretence of a Timeflight/Arc gap she's audibly aged to the point she's become one of the middle aged sensible women 5 tended to play off very well.

My current re-listen has just reached Spare parts, she's great in it and it's simply one of the best Who stories in any media. The fact Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel actually has a credit claiming to be based on it is almost obscene.

Quote:
Adric would probably have been more tolerable played by a different actor, though - a lot of the problems come from Waterhouse's rather languid delivery (e.g. just about anything he says in "State of Decay") - it makes it sound like he's just being difficult and disinterested for the sake of it all.
It's telling with Adric that even though the "Casting couch" rumours that used to do the rounds are almost certainly untrue the idea is much more plausible than him being hired for acting talent.

As I've mentioned the audios twice, I've also just listened to the CD versions of The Nightmare Fair and Mission to Magnus. We really did get the better deal with Trial of a Timelord.

And good on the fanboys in the Iran military for calling their first long range death missile thing the Ambassador OF DEATH.
 
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Old 2010-08-26, 06:10 PM   #16
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I've not really dabbled with the Audios, except for one I won but was intrigued by the Sixth Doctor's 'lost' season. Your review seems to echo that of others I've read: Colin Baker's Doctor would still have been saddled with weak stories.
 
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Old 2010-08-28, 02:12 PM   #17
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I'm only planning on getting those first two audios as those were the ones that would definitely have made it to TV that year and had scripts pretty much in the final stages, and even then more out of a sense of historical interest (if that's not to poncy a term) rather than through expecting them to be any good.

I'm actually amazed the Celestial Toymaker as a character has such a reputation still to be honest, he managed one mediocre TV showing, a terrible cancelled script, a terrible book and, bucking the trend, an OK comic strip (where he's the weak link, the main appeal is McGann taking the reigns for the first time). His surprise appearance in a McCoy audio is actually very well done, but the need to get around Gough's absence by not having an actor in the role basically makes him a completely different character in both personality and what he is.

I've finished the Silver Nemesis extras, annoyingly the deleted scenes don't include all the ones in the extended version, no "So Doctor, a new appearance..." from the Cyberleader and the first half of the convoluted "Nazi non descript para military man betraying De Flores as a trick business is gone, leaving the deleted scene of them escaping make no sense (mind, it's not as bad as what cutting these scenes out and reordering the Cyberman material to cover it's absence does to the broadcast version, you wind up with De Flores wearing Cyberheadphones for no readily apparent reason in only one scene).

I hadn't realised before rewatching the broadcast version (which I think I only saw on UK gold once) that all the long speeches about the Fuhrer were only in the extended take. Which makes sense of something I've read over the years that they tried very hard to make the characters not obviously Nazi's due to the McCoy seasons being sold to Germany (where he had the same voice as Tom Baker). Hence the vague uniforms, lack of the N word and it would seem ultimately cutting out of most of the lines that did make a direct link. No one told the set dresser though, hence the big swastika and painting of Hitler.

The documentary's more competent than the one on the VHS, but it's a lot less fun. Not only did you get several cast and crew having nervous breakdowns on camera due to the schedule but you get the sheer Fast Show style comedy genius that is Keff McCulloch explaining how he creates different moods with music.

"You see, this is big and dramatic" De dum de dum de dum de dum "Whilst this is light party music "De dum de dum de dum de dum. Genius.

Plus of course, the sad sight of JNT defiantly saying it's his last story and he won't be back next season ("And if the credits on season 26 say 'Producer John Nathan-Turner'"? "Sylvester McCoy persuaded me to stay" may be the most unintentioanlly sad end to a TV show documentary ever).


Sadly, all the new documentary can offer, other than the unsurprising revelation Kevin Clarke is a tosser (and despite what he claims here he must have told the "Doctor is God" story before because every episode guide mentions that's what he was thinking), is that Sophie Aldred still looks damn good. To the point where it's hard to believe her when she's talking about watching Patrick Troughton stories as a kid because she only looks about 30. She and Nicola Bryant definitely have photos in the loft somewhere.
 
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Old 2010-08-28, 02:54 PM   #18
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Having listened to all of the "Lost Season" stories, I think Leviathan and Paradise 5 are probably the best ones. Tellingly, Leviathan was originally going to be done for season 22(the scripts were all done and ready to shoot), and Paradise 5 was originally written for Trial. Song of Megaptera's pretty good, too, although now it makes me hope that either BBC audio(or Big Fnish, if they can talk him into it) has Tom Baker do an audio version of Iron Legion.

The Hollows of Time works better as an audio(actually, given what they would have had for a budget at the time, audio works better for all of these stories). Magnus is fun, although it does show off the downside to having child actors, both in terms of paperwork and the fact that they're a bit wooden. I'm still wondering why they didn't ask Michael Gough play the Toymaker. Yes, he's in his 90s now, but if he still sounds the same..... why not?
 

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Old 2010-08-28, 03:07 PM   #19
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(or Big Fnish, if they can talk him into it)
Though I don't think there's been an official announcement yet they're certainly writing scripts for him, Nick Briggs has mentioned it a few times (most recently assuring people on the BF website that playing Daleks/Cybermen/Winston Churchill in the new arena show won't affect his various Producer's duties including "Writing Tom Baker scripts").

I assume they've not formally said anything yet because they've gotten this far before with no luck (The Holy Terror, Spectre of Lanyon Moor and Stones of Venice all started as Tom's the last time they thought they had a chance. He apparently hated all of them).

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I'm still wondering why they didn't ask Michael Gough play the Toymaker. Yes, he's in his 90s now, but if he still sounds the same..... why not?
They've asked him before and he emphatically said no. The Villains trilogy they did for the fortieth anniversary was originally going to have Davison against the Toymaker in the slot Omega ultimately filled but Gough told them he was retired (he's done the odd bit of work for Tim Burton since then, but that seems to be more a favour to a friend. Plus the bigger pay check of course).

Apparently (though I've only read one guide book that claims this, take with a pinch of salt) there was a fan rumour at the time amongst fans Gough wouldn't have been in The Nightmare Fair if it had made it to TV due to the BBC going through a brief period of enforcing a rule where TV shows could only employ the same actors in different, major roles if there was a gap of more than three years between them, and Arc of Infinity would have ruled Gough out on this score.
 
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Old 2010-08-28, 04:03 PM   #20
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Also, Michael Gough doesn't really sound the same any more... He sounds very aged in "Arc" compared to "Toymaker" (which is shit - great concept, diabolical script, though probably still the best thing Hayles did considering costume should take the credit for the Ice Warriors being any good), and that was 30 years ago, i.e. nearly twice as much as the gap between those two. He also sounded like he'd been dead a couple of years in whatever Batman film he was last in.

I seriously doubt he has any real desire to reprise the role, and considering he had a fairly successful, varied career it's 50/50 whether he remembers playing the Toymaker at all. The only real chance would be if some grandchild/great grandchild is a rabid fanboy. Either that or get Burton to write the thing.

Didn't mind "Nightmare Fair" when I read it a while back, but then Williams wasn't a bad writer for that sort of thing, and the Targets are uniformly much better than the show (assuming you read them before seeing the TV version, and not counting anything by John Peel), so it's highly unlikely what would make it on screen would be any good. Mission to Magnus and Ultimate Evil were both terrible, though.

It's worth remembering that the production team in place at the time had had enough of the show and each other - Trial is rendered watchable by Colin Baker pitting every ounce of his ample frame against bad scripting, insipid direction and bored fellow cast members (how much does Tom Chadbon want to be anywhere other than in "Mysterious Planet"?) and just about winning. Take him, Tony Selby and Brian Blessed out of the season and it'd probably be unwatchable... So it's worth remembering that whatever promise is in the scripts could well have not made it to the screen
 
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