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Old 2010-08-28, 05:17 PM   #21
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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.
In many ways the Toymaker's ahead of his time, the concept could be done justice in an episode of the new series because they'd have more of a budget and, considering the love of pop culture references, would probably pay out for the rights to use games kids are playing at home. In the 60's though it just boils down to a bored looking Peter Purves playing hop scotch with Rene's wife from 'Allo 'Allo. For four weeks. Whilst Dodo acts like a complete idiot grinning and acting as if having people constantly trying to kill her is huge fun.

Gough is certainly never less than excellent in anything (well, except for Arc. But he's marginally less crap than the rest of the guest cast), even when just taking the money and running as an awful lot of his pre-Batman pension roles are. But even he can't cover for the most interesting thing in the story, the Doctor confronting an old enemy we've not seen before, is undone by Billy being on holiday for most of it. The best thing about the whole thing is the production team changing their minds about using the Toymaker's powers to change the Doctor's face. If only because when they came up with a few months later (fall over and shimmer with no reason given) was open ended enough to give them more wriggle room next time they did it.


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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.
Yep. Plus Anneke Wilks autobiography apparently suggests they were doing enough drugs when married to each other it's unlikely he even remembers much of the '60's full stop. David "We shall be irresistible!" Baille is more than good enough an actor to fill he shoes for the audio anyway.

SPOILER! (select to read)
And the buisness in The Magic Mousetrap where the Toymaker has been turned into one of his own dolls by a McCoy trap and can now only communicate through others like a reverse ventriloquists dummy is a nice conceit


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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.
I might be being unduely unfair on Nightmare, it's a very visual story (the funrides, the ending being basically the Doctor playing Space Invaders) and the efforts to compensate on the CD may not be completely successful. But there's a tremendous amount of padding (including a bizzare sequence about a woman on the Pleasure Beach who's lost her son which is presented an ominous but she winds up finding him with no trouble and it has nothing to do with anything) and I'm none the wise as to why the Toymaker wants to unleash lots of monsters all over Earth. Or why he thinks people simply won't just stop playing the game when they realise.

I can't decide if Magnus was supposed to be a piss take of bad 50's SF planet of women stories that's been mishandled by the direction and casting, or if it's just bad. I'm leaning towards bad.

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(how much does Tom Chadbon want to be anywhere other than in "Mysterious Planet"?)
I've always found it a shame that, with the possible exception of his Blake's 7 showing which is at least OK, he's pretty much dreadul in everything bar City of Death I've seen him in. There's nothing wose than getting all excited about him popping up in something like BUGS only for the realisation to sink in he must have been having a real good day in Paris.

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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
Agreed again. Though I remain in the minority in thinking Colin's actually much better in his first season performance wise. With the character's intended edge and arc taken away from him he tends to substitute a lot more shouting (I always find the much loved ultimate evil speech a bit embarrassing). Michael Jayston's awesome though, and worryingly seems a lot more credible as the Doctor at times.
 
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Old 2010-08-28, 05:55 PM   #22
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I dunno, I think they try a bit too hard with the scripting in 22 and it can bring out Colin's inner ham ("UNSTABLE?!?!??"). The arc never really goes anywhere after Twin Dilemma, there's no progression - he just has one mad scene a story and it stays there. Plus Peri's irritating even if she is easy on the eye. I think the problem is that Colin never quite seems to want to be a mould-breaking Doctor - he seems much happier doing the normal stuff ("Mark of the Rani", for example). Season 23 might have less stand out bits for the pair of them, but it doesn't really hit the lows either... The problem with 23 is the whole thing is so reliant on the utterly botched conclusion. 22 has its' shit bits, but at the end of the day you can just watch Mark of the Rani and Revelation and be done with it. You tend to get sucked in if you try and watch, say, Mindwarp by itself.

I thought Chadbon wasn't bad in B7, but then I seem to like that episode more than most people do (though the continuity thing is a head****... I suppose Bartholomew could have killed and replaced Anna before she met Avon and kept in touch with Del via forged Vis-Tapes cf. Blake's family, and seeing as the alternative would be not to do "Rumours of Death", I'll settle).
 
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Old 2010-08-28, 07:12 PM   #23
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I've just watched the Dominators. I don't understand why it gets such a bad rap. I mean yeah, it's two hours of nothing happening and every character is a one-dimensional idiot, but it's pretty inoffensive and at least they put Wendy in a dress that was both short and translucent. The other lass wasn't bad either.
 
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Old 2010-08-29, 04:24 AM   #24
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I've just watched the Dominators. I don't understand why it gets such a bad rap. I mean yeah, it's two hours of nothing happening and every character is a one-dimensional idiot, but it's pretty inoffensive and at least they put Wendy in a dress that was both short and translucent. The other lass wasn't bad either.
Hey, when I said to you a few weeks ago the best thing about it was the women you implied I was some sort of wierdo for finding the only redeeming thing enjoying the sight of women who are now old and wrinkly. It's too late too agree with me!

The actual Quarks are great (it's the voices that does it), it's just a shame someone did the equivalent of going "Right, the face of youthful rebellion on the planet in this story needs to look like William Hague. Only older and less sexy".

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I dunno, I think they try a bit too hard with the scripting in 22 and it can bring out Colin's inner ham ("UNSTABLE?!?!??"). The arc never really goes anywhere after Twin Dilemma, there's no progression - he just has one mad scene a story and it stays there.
I'd certainly agree there's no real progrssion scrip wise, but I do think being the man with the plan (even if he was the only person on the team who knew the plan) really helped Colin's performance in the first year. Losing the direction he had planned out in his mind as a result of the need to make it more "Family Friendly" and redefining the Doctor as more of a good guy faster than he'd planned, just seems to hurt his trial performance to me, he doesn't know what to replace it with.

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I think the problem is that Colin never quite seems to want to be a mould-breaking Doctor - he seems much happier doing the normal stuff ("Mark of the Rani", for example).
I don't know, maybe he's better at playing the more normal Doctor but wasn't the entire storyline he had in mind for his character basically his idea? Certainly he's the only person actually involved in the production I've seen mention the idea of 6 being a Mr Darcy character- starts off with the reader/audience thinking he's a bastard, then you grow to like him, then you find out the reason he was a git to start with is because of a terrible secret (I've never read the book and spent all of Bridget Jones wondering how a woman who looked like that could possibly think she's fat even with the token weight gain, it just felt like they lost Dawn French's number. My full extent of that sort of melodrama boils down to the family having the Timothy Dalton version of Jayne Eyre on video, so I've no idea how well this analogy works).

JNT's ideas at the time seemed to boil down to "They thought Davison was bland!!! I'll give them a non bland Doctor alright. Who should dress like me" and Eric Saward didn't seem to have any Colin thoughts beyond "That mercenary he played in Blake's 7 was crap in my eyes, I'll keep writing proper mercenaries into the scripts as the lead characters until he realises how it should be done". So I can easily believe that, whatever discussions he'd had, and promises he'd received, he was the one true torch bearer for his first year. It's just a shame he didn't get the chance to hang around for JNT's reinvigoration or Cartmel coming on board with similar ideas.

Does anyone know how true it is that the suggested (Bidmead written?) Gallifrey story would have had the Doctor destroy the Time Lords? I've seen the suggestion that blowing up Gallifrey was the basic plot before the new series so I guess that much was true, but the idea that knowing he was going to do that was the 6th Doctor's dark secret and why he was such a bastard to start with feels like RTD ideas forced on a few vague plotlines.

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The problem with 23 is the whole thing is so reliant on the utterly botched conclusion.
Again, fully agreed on that. The fact he had close to twice the amount of time to come up with stories for the season than normal only for the whole thing to be made up at the last second is really the low point of JNT's time on the show. Yes, there were death's and resignations he coulnd't have foreseen, but starting a three and a half month story with no idea how it should end at all should never have happened.

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I thought Chadbon wasn't bad in B7, but then I seem to like that episode more than most people do (though the continuity thing is a head****... I suppose Bartholomew could have killed and replaced Anna before she met Avon and kept in touch with Del via forged Vis-Tapes cf. Blake's family, and seeing as the alternative would be not to do "Rumours of Death", I'll settle).
Blake's 7 Tangent:

Now I should say, I say well over half of the episodes on UK Gold, had the first four and last two on tape (with the season 2/3 crossover three parter made an exciting edited together movie thanks to taping off the aforementioned UK Gold), and of course I've seen everything on DVD at least once. But right now I'm just past the halfway mark of my first proper straight run through all the episodes in one go. I haven't reached Rumours yet (some time next week I think) and I've only seen it once so my memories not too hot, but is there a chance she really is Anna Grant even if she's spent more time under code names?

The "I was only Anna with you!" stuff could just mean he being herself with Avon. I can't recall if the episode gices her a "real" name or not though, I'm assuming Bartholomew isn't supposed to be what she's really called (though I understand some fans insist her name was Eve. And there's not many circumstances jokes about little known "official" Hartnell titles can be made in relation to B7 characters).

I think Chadbon works in Countdown because there's supposed to be an ambiguity about him, will he kill Avon or not? The slightly blank face and emotionless delivery actually helps hide what he's thinking.

And it is a good episode regardless of continuity, a nice tight focused plot with what's probably the best action scene the show ever managed in the filmed opening of the Federation Guards fighting rebels, they really do look like they're beating the hell out of each other as the corridors explode around them.

It's also fairly important in that it's one of several episodes in the second half of the season where everyone clearly knew the show would probably be back next year but that Gareth Thomas wouldn't, so it has a lot of groundwork laid for an Avon lead series, he gets a tragic past, won't leave the pole till the planet is saved and generally acts like a lead character.

One of the amusing things about Star One is that, even though Blake gets some great stuff in the first half of the episode (bluffing the aliens into thinking he's Travis without breaking stride especially, "She is my Mother" is brilliant) he gradually fades into the background to the point that not only does he not get to kill his personal nemesis but he gets sent to his room for the big cliffhanger.

I do have to say, the changeover to the show not having the title character is exceptionally well done, especially for Terry Nation. Other than a brief cameo for Villa and Cally (where it looks like they're killed) the first episode is all Avon and Servalan, so it doesn't feel odd Blake isn't in it, the second show makes Tarrant look like one of the baddies for most of the length and keeps Blake alive in "He called in just now whilst you were out" style exchanges. It's only really with the two new characters getting Liberator clearance at the end (and thus meeting the wacky definition of "Seven" the show had) that makes you realise Avon isn't going to be looking hard for the others.

Ohhh, and the next episode has Michael Gough in it. Full circle!
 

Last edited by inflatable dalek; 2010-08-29 at 04:36 AM.
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Old 2010-08-29, 01:21 PM   #25
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Hey, when I said to you a few weeks ago the best thing about it was the women you implied I was some sort of wierdo for finding the only redeeming thing enjoying the sight of women who are now old and wrinkly. It's too late too agree with me!
Why do you tell these lies?

Have now, well "watched" probably isn't the right word. Put Revenge of the Cybermen on and let it run to the end without turning it off. I paid vague attention. Not sure the plot made any sense, but it was generally rubbish enough for me not to care about such minor trivialities.
 
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Old 2010-08-29, 03:05 PM   #26
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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)
Clearly tickles some people's fancies, as this was one of the first results from Google images...

http://www.dansdidnts.com/who.html
 
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Old 2010-08-29, 03:12 PM   #27
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I like Nyssa. She's not stupid, but she just stands there looking pretty and doing as she's told. There's times when that's just what you're after.

I just watched Silver Nemesis. It seems to just be a rewrite of Remembrance of the Daleks, but with the Daleks replaced by Cybermen, the Hand of Omega's name changed and the insertion of some wacky time travelling medieval folk, which makes it feel like some weird crossover with Battlefield. All quite odd.

And I still can't take the Cybermen even vaguely seriously.
 
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Old 2010-08-29, 03:33 PM   #28
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Yeh, there does seem to be a massive crossover between Doctor Who fandom and bondage fetishists. Wendy seems to take the bulk of it, bless her. Talking of whom, I find watching "The Dominators" for her sake a bit of a waste - "Mind Robber" is not only a better story, but slaps her in a catsuit for no other reason than "Hey, let's put her in a catsuit and make her climb lots of things!".

To be fair, Sutton works a bit better in still images. It's when she's moving and you realise that she's only got one facial expression that she gets unnerving. She's an Auton, I reckon.

All-Time Hot Companions Sexist Countdown:
1. Zoe
2. Romana Ward
3. Ace
4. Leela, but only up to Image of the Fendahl, at which point she ages 10 years.
5. Peri, when she's not dressed like an eight-year old spastic.
6. Rose
7. Victoria
8. Liz
9. Romana Tamm
10. Polly

And Guest Characters:
1. Mags
2. Ray
3. Isobel Watkins
4. Gwendoline
5. Fariah
6. Adrasta
7. Astrid
8. The Queen of Peladon in the second one
9. Shou Yung
10. Racist Ood Showroom Woman

Second bit's difficult... It seems rule of thumb was that if the companion spot was filled by some quality totty, no woman under the age of fifty or width of about a metre was to be cast in anything. And if it did happen, like Jacqui or Pamela Salem, they had to dress stupidly instead...

Fresh air? What's that?
 
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Old 2010-08-29, 04:03 PM   #29
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Talking of whom, I find watching "The Dominators" for her sake a bit of a waste
Oh, I can't see myself sticking it on again solely for her. It was just one of those random musings. I mean if you're going to make a dodgy story, make a dodgy one with some decent totty in it. Even without her it would still be better than The Web Planet. But at least there's something to distract from the plot, even if it's just for the moment it takes to go "that's short isn't it? oh, and you can see right through it. Huh" and then go back to whatever strategically planned distraction you've arranged.

Not that I deliberately put Who on as wallpaper when online so I can just ignore it if it's rubbish. Oh no. I won the UEFA Cup on FM2005 solely by ignoring giant swathes of Pertwee.

[EDIT] Oh, and series 6/2/32 is going to be chopped into two broadcast blocks so that Ver Moff can have a big attention whore cliffhanger. Joy of joys.
 

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Old 2010-08-29, 08:24 PM   #30
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The official reason seems a bit odd, there's no reason they couldn't do a "Game Changing" mid season cliffhanger in a consecutive run. Still, I do like a good end of season cliffhanger so that'll be fun (and to add to the naming confusion, with a gap of months doesn't that make it two seasons?).

I wouldn't be surprised if the real reason is the Beeb are planning to bring the season length down more in line with other shows and are doing it gradually.

Let the wild and unfounded speculation start here! Smith's leaving halfway through and the split is to give a big launch to the next Doctor. They're going to kill Amy. The Time Lords are coming back again, properly this time (indeed, with the Daleks now back for good it's only a matter of time now surely?). It's the Master.

Any of those turn out to be right call me a prophet.

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Yeh, there does seem to be a massive crossover between Doctor Who fandom and bondage fetishists.
Hardly surprising considering the level of S&M on display in the show over the years. From the Vood through to just about everything to do with the Master.

Classic series my favourite's Romana II, new is Amy who's legs deserve some sort of award.
 
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Old 2010-08-30, 10:34 AM   #31
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(and to add to the naming confusion, with a gap of months doesn't that make it two seasons?).
Well they're called series now, so no. And in the US, where the term season is more consistently applied, a break in the middle is commonplace.

Plus Who has frequently had mid-series breaks for Eurovision. The number of weeks elapsed between broadcasts has no bearing on where the line between seasons gets drawn, as it's solely a production issue (unless you're the twat in charge of numbering Family Guy or The Thick of It DVDs). Hence why all the 2009 specials are part of series 4.

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Let the wild and unfounded speculation start here!
Given the rumour-mongering about what River was in prison for, I think we can guess what the bulk of the speculation we'll have to endure will be. And probably the content of that cliffhanger.
 

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Old 2010-08-30, 04:12 PM   #32
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We could just stab on sight. Mind, I find it's best to imagine the series ended after Doomsday and everything afterwards was just a Comic Relief sketch that developed a life of its' own. There's less Tate this way.

"I know, let's get the robot dog to sing the theme tune! That'll be brilliant!". Still, this is better than Torchwood. Unless this chap Tracy starts banging Sarah up against a wall.
 
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Old 2010-08-30, 04:12 PM   #33
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No, he didn't. This is better than Torchwood.
 
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Old 2010-08-30, 07:29 PM   #34
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Plus Who has frequently had mid-series breaks for Eurovision. The number of weeks elapsed between broadcasts has no bearing on where the line between seasons gets drawn, as it's solely a production issue (unless you're the twat in charge of numbering Family Guy or The Thick of It DVDs). Hence why all the 2009 specials are part of series 4.
And in during the 70's the show would often have a couple of weeks off for Christmas (with the return often even being promoted as the start of a new series by the Radio Times, just to add to the fun).

In terms of Who's overall history though the blocks the episodes are made in have very little bearing on what makes a series, up till the second Tom Baker year it was fairly common for stories to be held over to launch the new series with a couple of stories in hand.

As another thought, I wonder if the Beeb want to move the show to the end of the year now in advance of the Anniversary in 2013 so something with go out in the week of 23rd November, but don't want to have an 18 month gap between runs.



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Given the rumour-mongering about what River was in prison for, I think we can guess what the bulk of the speculation we'll have to endure will be. And probably the content of that cliffhanger.
"Yes Doctor, I am not only your wife, I am also Omega, the Meddling Monk, the Rani and Yartek Leader of the Alien Vood. As well as being an older Amy".

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"I know, let's get the robot dog to sing the theme tune! That'll be brilliant!". Still, this is better than Torchwood. Unless this chap Tracy starts banging Sarah up against a wall.
It's just insane isn't it? "Right, we're going to do a spin off with two characters who've never met before, one of whom hasn't been seen in years and the other, as a new K9, isn't technically someone from the parent show. And as fans who remember Sarah at all are going to be in their late teens by now we'll lure them in by aiming it at six year olds who really like The Famous Five and Scooby Doo. And as Adric has gone down so well we'll give her a sidekick who's like him turned up to eleven. What can go wrong?"


The actual opening credits are awesome though, Sarah sipping wine always cracks me up. The theme's another thing to thank Ian Levine for isn't it?
 
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Old 2010-08-31, 07:21 PM   #35
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Christ Cliffy, why didn't you remind me to skip Harvest of Kairos? "WOMAN YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL". Even my chat up lines are better than that. Oh well, a nicely understated performance from Colin Baker tomorrow.
 
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Old 2010-08-31, 07:28 PM   #36
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Awww, I don't mind Kairos. It's cheerfully inept and sexist. Plus Avon's such a dick in that one, but in such an entertaining way. And then there's Dayna's disco-dancing fighting stance.

Just remember to poke Valentine Dyall every now and then to check he's awake.
 
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Old 2010-09-01, 07:41 PM   #37
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Avon was the best thing in it by far, mainly because he clearly thought the whole thing was beneath him and just breezed in and out of the plot saving everyone's arse whilst just doing his own thing.

In fairness I think the episode is trying to make an anti-sexist comment (after all, 70's man is pretty much proven completely wrong by the end), but it just doesn't do it very well.

The interesting thing about City At The Edge of Forever The World from a Who perspective is seeing the difference between how Darrow deals with an OTT guest star and how Baker would deal with it later on. Colin basically tries his best to out act the likes of Blessed and Darrow himself whilst here Avon basically underplays everything to the point of almost taking a week off.

No, actually thinking about it, the strange thing is in an episode where Michael Keating basically gives a top notch audition for playing the Doctor it's Baker who got the gig.
 
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Old 2010-09-01, 08:21 PM   #38
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Never quite felt City was as good as it should have been - there's something forced about the way it centres Vila, which isn't what the guy's best at - he works better stealing scenes or in B-plots gone mad (e.g. Gambit, where it's much more fun watching Avon and Vila knock over a casino than Blake hunting for Star One). It's like Boucher can only really write the character when he isn't trying to write the character. It's not bad or anything, just less than the sum. Baker's great, it's the only way the character would come close to working and not just being a Croucher substitute... Rest of the guest cast are rubbish, though. Tarrant's great in that one, though, and even the girls aren't too bad.

I love Season 3 - the plots are up and down a little bit, but it's the razor-sharp crew scenes that always get me - Tarrant and Avon's power struggles, the way Cally really seems to dislike the lack of agenda but can't come up with anything else to do, Avon's weird thing with Servalan, the layered Vila/Avon relationship... Even Dayna gets a couple of good bits. Darrow's on fire all year, too. That's what's really missing from most of Season 4 - Tarrant and Vila are largely just two guys who do as they're told but fire off quips while doing it, and the girls are blatantly just there for eye candy, while they go to all the effort of bringing Servalan back and then have her barely connect with any of the plots (it's worth it for "Sand", but it's a hell of a waste of potential).
 
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Old 2010-09-01, 08:35 PM   #39
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The least sexy sex scene in all of TV history is good for a laugh (love the big phalic close up of one of the Liberator's spark plugs as well). Villa does seem a little out of character for most of it, that sort of deep analytical thought process is something we almost never see again. Though I suppose there's always the hints you get here and there he's much smarter than he lets on and plays dumb to keep out of harms way (like taking on Jullian Glover alone, or that season 4 one where he gives out the solution to the problem but pretends to be drunk so he doesn't have to do it himself).

Baker's performance is great, incrediably camp and smarmy helped by some great lines ("Live every hour like it was your last... I'll be back in an hour Villa").

Darrow's been on top form from the last few episodes of the second season (and he was hardly slouching before), every line perfectly pitched, even the small ones like "Perhaps I'm shy" become instant classics. The nice thing is he's great at judging when to play it straight and when to unleash his inner ham.

Season 3's been variable so far, without the lose storyarc the fist two seasons had it's a bit variable and you are left wondering why they're hanging out together with the Federation effectively beaten. Tarrent's inconsistant as well, sometimes great and sometimes just poorly shoved into already written scripts where all he gets to do is make Avon look good by being wrong. Pacey always tries though.

It's interesting Cally has basically become the moral one when she's the only one left who's a hard core terrorist.
 
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Old 2010-09-01, 08:50 PM   #40
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It might be my memory fitting my reading, but there just seems to be so little in Season 3 Cally would be interested in doing - she's a revolutionary freedom fighter, the rest of them seem happy enough with a mix of crime and revenge.

Steven Pacey's great, knows exactly when to use being six foot tall and macho, and when to use looking about 22. It's the little embarrased looks whenever Avon really calls him on something important.

Favourite Hard Vila bit is taking out Arlen in "Blake" - it's there when he needs it, but day-to-day it's much less stress to let Tarrant and Avon get shot at.

Blake's is like Survivors to me - the plots form more of a back drop for character drama. B7 comes out better through not having such a preposterous amount of cast changes, though.
 
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