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Old Doctor Who - Part 4

Started by Ambient Sheep, June 04, 2020, 11:02:35 PM

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the hum

Davison was often not my favourite era, but one thing I did appreciate was the shift away from the 'adjective of the noun'-type titles.

purlieu

Yeah, there's a very strong move away from those titles from the second JNT took over production. You have a run of Destiny of the Daleks, City of Death, Creature from the Pit, Nightmare of Even, Horns of Nimon, and then suddenly The Leisure Hive, Meglos, Full Circle, Warriors' Gate, etc. Some of the '80s titles are more intriguing than the episodes they represent. Mawdryn Undead is a superb name. Black Orchid, Four to Doomsday, The King's Demons, they all dare you to wonder what the story will be about. By the end of Davison's run the names began to revert to the older format, mind.

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the hum

Quote from: Replies From View on September 07, 2021, 09:02:36 PM
'noun of the noun' surely?

Daleks of the Daleks

probably involves a quantum singularity, or something.


samadriel

Nah, Daleks of the Daleks is about those antibody things inside the Dalek in Into the Dalek

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pigamus


Not a fan of all those Farrow & Ball early 80s titles ("yes, we're doing the bathroom in Enlightenment, the stairwell in Arc Of Infinity, and the kitchen we're thinking of Black Orchid or Meglos").

I think they'd have done better to make the stories seem exciting to kids, even if that means hitting some cliches. The Pirate Ships In Space! The Church Of Evil! Attack Of The Pantomime Horse!

daf

Doctor Who in an Exciting Adventure with the Space Cactus
Doctor Who and the Horror of The Space Vampires
Doctor Who and the Space Frogs
Doctor Who and the Mind-Snake of Doom
Doctor Who in a Boring Adventure with the Space Termites

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Space Frogs and Boring Adventure belong in the Chibnall thread.

purlieu

The Hive of Clones
The Cactus of Doom
Creatures from the Swamp
Vampires from Space
The Gate of Destiny
The Keeper of Traken
The Entropy of Time

The Maze City
Voyage of Death
The Nightmare Snake
The Terileptil Menace
The Waste of Episodes
Surprise of the Cybermen
Flight of Terror

Arc of Infinity
Return of the Nightmare Snake
The Circle of Time
The Big Bang
Race to Destiny
The Demons of History
The Five Doctors

Warriors of the Deep
Horror from Below
The Crawling Terror
Resurrection of the Daleks
Planet of Fire
The Caves of Androzani
The Children of Tedium

Attack of the Cybermen
Vengeance on Varos
The Mark of the Rani
The Two Doctors
The Sparkles of Pain
Revelation of the Daleks

The Mysterious Planet
The Machine of Evil
Terror of the Vervoids
The Eh of What??

Return of the Rani
The Towers of Terror
Delta and the Bannermen Invasion
Dragon of Ice

Remembrance of the Daleks
The Deathly Smile
Tedium of the Cybermen
The Circus of Fear

The Knights from Beyond
The House of Dread
The Curse of Fenric
Invasion of the Cat-People

Gurke and Hare



QuoteSurprise of the Cybermen

For the first episode, it was listed only as Surprise!

Norton Canes


purlieu

The Ultimate Foe should have been Attack of the Megabyte Modem, in hindsight.

Norton Canes

Doctor Who and the Catharsis of Spurious Morality

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Quote from: Norton Canes on September 09, 2021, 11:55:40 AM
Doctor Who and the Catharsis of Spurious Morality

I assumed this is what "the eh of what" was referring to.

Norton Canes

Oh yeah sorry, that'll teach me to post when I'm working

Or vice-versa

Quote from: purlieu on September 08, 2021, 08:15:41 PM
The Hive of Clones
The Cactus of Doom
Creatures from the Swamp
Vampires from Space
The Gate of Destiny
The Keeper of Traken
The Entropy of Time

The Maze City
Voyage of Death
The Nightmare Snake
The Terileptil Menace
The Waste of Episodes
Surprise of the Cybermen
Flight of Terror

Arc of Infinity
Return of the Nightmare Snake
The Circle of Time
The Big Bang
Race to Destiny
The Demons of History
The Five Doctors

Warriors of the Deep
Horror from Below
The Crawling Terror
Resurrection of the Daleks
Planet of Fire
The Caves of Androzani
The Children of Tedium

Attack of the Cybermen
Vengeance on Varos
The Mark of the Rani
The Two Doctors
The Sparkles of Pain
Revelation of the Daleks

The Mysterious Planet
The Machine of Evil
Terror of the Vervoids
The Eh of What??

Return of the Rani
The Towers of Terror
Delta and the Bannermen Invasion
Dragon of Ice

Remembrance of the Daleks
The Deathly Smile
Tedium of the Cybermen
The Circus of Fear

The Knights from Beyond
The House of Dread
The Curse of Fenric
Invasion of the Cat-People

I love all of these. I think The Children Of Tedium could also be a number of TOS Star Trek episodes.

purlieu


Ghost Devices by Simon Bucher-Jones
"Now you're all inside, the only thing between you and flashing-siren announced death is that I'm, presently, in charge of most of the subtler internal life detectors. Provided you don't actually shit on the furniture, you'll probably be all right."
"So," Bernice said, "why haven't you turned us in to the anti-life cops, Mr. Vent?" It could be worse, she thought to herself. At least it was the atmospheric system and not the waste-disposal one. She'd have never been able to live down being rescued by Mr. Toilet.


Ok, so that wasn't as bad as The Death of Art. For a start, it has a plot. It also has a lot of jokes. On the downside, Bucher-Jones's writing style is still pretty much the same stodgy, enthusiasm-sapping bollocks, meaning the book is full of sentences like "This was the case with most of the stars of the Northern Cross, with the exception of Epsilon Cygnus, which lay within a hundred light years of Earth and hence was on the tourist as well as the serious space routes, so ordinarily I might have expected libations of Old Father Space and the Virgin Worlds, and compulsory singing of "Up the Greasy Pole" and other zero-gee anthems" and "It had been abandoned partly because, even with subspace transit links, the inverse-cube law lost too much of the power, but mainly because the beams were lethal to any organism with a complex nervous system based on electrical signals that might come within a thousand miles or so of the secondary and tertiary electromagnetic-flux torus that surrounded each beam." Simon Bucher-Jones does not know how to write enjoyable prose. Also, much like his previous book, Ghost Devices has way, way too many characters, most of which feel somewhat interchangeable, and who are referred to by both their first names and surnames, seemingly at random, making it really bloody hard to work out who is who. At one point a character called David died and I truly couldn't remember who he even was. It's not helped by the fact that I could only read it in small blocks before getting distracted by something else, so unengaging was the prose, that forming proper images of the characters in my head was never going to happen.
Which is a shame because the story is really, really good. It's a proper Benny-style tale, with two main plots: investigating the origins of a 300km high tower that gifts people with knowledge of the future, and working out why most of the galaxy's weapons have suddenly started behaving kindly, doing things like delivering lozenges to enemies, or giving them manicures. The serious and the silly sit side-by-side nicely and dovetail perfectly at the end, with an incredible climax that involves the entire universe being forced into a looping time paradox which goes on countless times until, eventually, a slight random fluctuation resolves things. In the hands of someone like Paul Cornell or Ben Aaronovitch, this would be an absolute 5/5 book, but unfortunately, Bucher-Jones really isn't a very good writer.

After a great start, the Benny novels have taken a bit of a dive, and I'm not entirely excited about the fact that the next two authors are Terrance Dicks and Christopher fucking Bulis. Still, I'm hoping I can get back to a book a day rather than a book a week again.

Next time on Doctor Who... an EDA that has already almost been spoiled by a ludicrous amount of a hype. Here's hoping it lives up to it.

purlieu


Alien Bodies by Lawrence Miles

Cor, a book full of intriguing ideas, mysteries, well-developed characters and an exciting, page-turning plot? It's almost as if we're back in the NA era again.
Quite simply the best EDA so far by quite a stretch. The idea itself is superb: the Doctor and Sam turn up in an artificial city where an auction is taking place. For the Doctor's corpse. The bidders include a couple of UNISYC (ie post-UNIT) soldiers, two people from the Faction Paradox (more on them later), a neurotic Time Lord with a sentient humanoid TARDIS, a non-corporeal entity, a sentient dead body, and a fucking Kroton. Of all the obscure aliens to bring back, I wonder what made him choose the Krotons. The book is stuffed with fascinating stuff: the Doctor's corpse, a group of Time Lords who've given up their bodies and exist as ideas called the Celestis, an in-depth exploration of the Krotons as a species, a chapter in which a UNISYC soldier finds herself trapped in a giant version of her own intestines chased by flowers with her own face on them, Sam being attacked by clones of her own baby self, Sam also realising that she previously had a different past where she was a rebellious drug-taking criminal, and her past had been re-written to make her a suitable companion for the Doctor, a centuries-long war between the Time Lords and an unnamed enemy, the apparent destruction of Gallifrey (they're on Gallifrey XII at this point). It's almost overwhelming, but all ties together brilliantly, somehow.
Lawrence Miles has a thing about the nature of reality. Much like the Rationalist cult in Christmas on a Rational Planet, the Faction Paradox are borderline-insane in their pursuit of scientific ideas as a form of religion. Obsessed with time paradoxes, they use their own copies of TARDISes to go through time and throw up as much mischief and bother as possible, wearing oversized skulls of Time Lords from an obsolete timeline as masks and being utterly loathed by everyone. I know there's more of them to come, including quite a sizeable spin-off line, which I'll probably get around to one day.
The Doctor is pretty well written, still not quite got a handle on who he is yet but he's definitely solidifying as a character. Sam, other than her brief realisation, once again adds absolutely nothing to the story. All the guests are pretty well handled, several of them being double agents. Mr. Qixotl is pretty funny throughout. The writing was snappy throughout, which is a nice relief after the last book I read. There were a couple of tedious moments, including numerous cryptic references to the Doctor being half-human (here was me hoping that would never be acknowledged again), but on the whole, very good.
It felt like it was the first episode of a new series, setting up plot strands that would recur over the next 12 episodes, which sadly won't be the case, but I'm looking forward to seeing just what is going on with the Time Lords and the Faction Paradox at some point in the future. I know Miles's next book is a notorious game-changer.

Next time on Doctor Who... Bernice Summerfield in an exciting adventure with Terrance Dicks.

Bad Ambassador

Alien Bodies was the first BBC novel I read. It was also the last for the next three years.

Malcy


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Will it have deflating balloon head animation?

JamesTC

It is by the team behind Fury from the Deep.

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Maybe the last one to use the 2D style, then, I'm guessing.

FredNurke

I look forward to gibbon arms everywhere.