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Old Doctor Who - Part 4

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

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QuoteI recall Lawrence Miles saying that he was once on the verge of writing a Dalek book for the BBC, only for that to fall through at the last moment.

Valentine's Day.

I can't really do justice to digging out old Lawrence Miles quotes about Valentine's Day without spoiling Interference.

He also wanted to do one called The War. Which is easier to 'spoil'.

Was THE WAR actually about the War? As in ALIEN BODIES?

... but it was... a bit peculiar. It was the week the Comic Relief special got shown. I thought, fuck it, some idiot's going to send Stephen a Thirteenth Doctor proposal, I might as well do it myself. I 'phoned him on Monday morning in the hope of being the first one to suggest it, and he told me that David A. McIntee had already left him an e-mail message over the weekend. The thing was, it was supposed to be a story set on Earth during the Big Time Lord War, where history's come unstuck and all these alternate histories are overlapping. So you're never sure whether the Thirteenth Doctor's canonical or not, basically. My thinking was that BBC Worldwide would have the rights to merchandize thousands of old BBC programmes from the '70s and '80s, so what I wanted to do was go through the archives looking for all these old TV characters... most of them from sitcoms... and put them on Earth with the Doctor. There's this big concentration camp where the authorities put strays from other realities, so the Doctor finds herself couped up with all these fallen heroes from the BBC's past, and sharing a cell with Fletcher out of Porridge. The climax of the story was meant to be an assault on the Enemy's base, in which the Doctor and Captain Mainwaring out of Dad's Army lead a suicidal light-brigade assault across the final battlefield. Oh, and that was the other thing I was going to do. You know how in these war stories, one of the main characters is always a traitor working for the enemy army? In THE WAR, the traitor was going to be Mrs. Slocum's Pussy. Because it's a purely conceptual entity, it only exists in her head, and it turns out to be a Shift working for the Enemy. Like in ALIEN BODIES.

And Stephen Cole didn't bother writing back?

No. I think this is my cue to say something like "can't imagine why".


Parkin also got quite close to doing a Dalek story after the Earth arc.

There's some gems in the next few stories but still a solid year until things go into over-drive.

Norton Canes

Quote
So you're never sure whether the Thirteenth Doctor's canonical or not

Prophetic.


Quote
what I wanted to do was go through the archives looking for all these old TV characters... most of them from sitcoms... and put them on Earth with the Doctor

Yeah, I loved Zenith too.

pigamus

Is John Peel literally just some bloke who got published because he knew Terry Nation? Never heard a good word about anything he's ever written

Replies From View

I still can't get over him sharing his name (with John Peel)

purlieu

Peel's Dalek novelisations are actually pretty decent, but his original stories - Dalek and not - are shit.


Quote from: A Hat Like That on October 22, 2021, 11:54:36 AM
Valentine's Day.

I can't really do justice to digging out old Lawrence Miles quotes about Valentine's Day without spoiling Interference.

He also wanted to do one called The War. Which is easier to 'spoil'.

Was THE WAR actually about the War? As in ALIEN BODIES?

... but it was... a bit peculiar. It was the week the Comic Relief special got shown. I thought, fuck it, some idiot's going to send Stephen a Thirteenth Doctor proposal, I might as well do it myself. I 'phoned him on Monday morning in the hope of being the first one to suggest it, and he told me that David A. McIntee had already left him an e-mail message over the weekend. The thing was, it was supposed to be a story set on Earth during the Big Time Lord War, where history's come unstuck and all these alternate histories are overlapping. So you're never sure whether the Thirteenth Doctor's canonical or not, basically. My thinking was that BBC Worldwide would have the rights to merchandize thousands of old BBC programmes from the '70s and '80s, so what I wanted to do was go through the archives looking for all these old TV characters... most of them from sitcoms... and put them on Earth with the Doctor. There's this big concentration camp where the authorities put strays from other realities, so the Doctor finds herself couped up with all these fallen heroes from the BBC's past, and sharing a cell with Fletcher out of Porridge. The climax of the story was meant to be an assault on the Enemy's base, in which the Doctor and Captain Mainwaring out of Dad's Army lead a suicidal light-brigade assault across the final battlefield. Oh, and that was the other thing I was going to do. You know how in these war stories, one of the main characters is always a traitor working for the enemy army? In THE WAR, the traitor was going to be Mrs. Slocum's Pussy. Because it's a purely conceptual entity, it only exists in her head, and it turns out to be a Shift working for the Enemy. Like in ALIEN BODIES.

And Stephen Cole didn't bother writing back?

No. I think this is my cue to say something like "can't imagine why".



Fair play, that's basically the plot to Loki.

McDead

Quote from: Huxleys Babkins on October 22, 2021, 03:49:39 PM
Fair play, that's basically the plot to Loki.

And Meltdown, the Red Dwarf episode.

I love Lawrence Miles, but that synopsis sounds bloody awful. That said, the BBC's 100th anniversary is coming up, so maybe the time has come at last for this kind of self indulgent twaddle.

It's not a bad idea, but I think it falls down here:

QuoteMy thinking was that BBC Worldwide would have the rights to merchandize thousands of old BBC programmes from the '70s and '80s

I think you could conceivably involve all those characters and defend it as parody/pastiche, but i suspect the BBC of any era would be a bit more buttoned up about what they'd see as a rights nightmare.

Replies From View

Maybe the Doctor and companions could observe the Master watching the Clangers for 100 minutes.

purlieu


Dry Pilgrimage by Paul Leonard and Nick Walters

So that one starts off in fairly typical Benny fashion as a slightly whimsical whodunnit on a ship; this time a sea-faring vessel, and Benny is sober as the aliens taking the pilgrimage don't like alcohol. Quite fun but unremarkable. It does an about-turn in the second half with the arrival of some new aliens who want to wage war using supersoldiers that the pilgrims will be forced to create using their own skills of reincarnation. It's not especially inspiring, however, featuring a generic antagonist with very unoriginal plans. There are great ideas in there: the Saraani are a really well developed race with some complexity, the three main ones we get to know all very different and believable; there's some wonderful existential horror as a religious pacifist finds herself trapped in the body of a cyborg soldier programmed to kill, which is incredibly effective and very chilling; Benny has a lovely flirty relationship with Donimo; the deaths at the end have some real gravitas. So yeah, a nicely written book with great ideas, all attached to a very workmanlike plot that just drags the whole thing down, sadly.

Next time on Doctor Who... er, more Paul Leonard.

Norton Canes

I've just bought all the Howe-Stammers-Walker Handbooks (except the 2nd) from a chazza for £2 a pop. Cheap, I guess, but looking through them half the content seems to be the episode guide, and most of the background information seems pretty well-trodden. Ah well, they'll look good on the shelf (when I find the Troughton one...)

Norton Canes

Dear me, the story critiques are hilariously clichéd - real nerdy, humourless stuff, devoid of any lightness of touch and trotting out all the received wisdom of the time. They're a real snapshot of their era, a million miles from what an entertaining commentator like Rob Shearman now writes. Though thankfully, nowhere near as aloof and patronising as Miles and Wood's efforts. 

JamesTC

Which was the episode guide that everybody took as gospel when it said that The Gunfighters was shit, despite the fact that The Gunfighters is great?

Jerzy Bondov

Hate the Gunfighters. Get it deleted

Norton Canes

Quote from: JamesTC on November 04, 2021, 04:14:16 PM
Which was the episode guide that everybody took as gospel when it said that The Gunfighters was shit, despite the fact that The Gunfighters is great?

Without checking, I think that was Peter Haining's 'A Celebration'

JamesTC

Quote from: Jerzy Bondov on November 04, 2021, 04:20:15 PM
Hate the Gunfighters. Get it deleted

Next you'll be saying Delta and the Bannermen is bad.

Quote from: Norton Canes on November 04, 2021, 04:23:32 PM
Without checking, I think that was Peter Haining's 'A Celebration'

That's the one. I just searched his name along with The Gunfighters and it is a load of reviews having a go at him for received wisdom. He considered The Web Planet to be the pinnacle of Doctor Who.

Jerzy Bondov

Quote from: JamesTC on November 04, 2021, 04:26:51 PM
Next you'll be saying Delta and the Bannermen is bad.
No I quite like that one.

purlieu

The Gunfighters is the only existing Who story I've not seen, as the song and accents forced me to turn it off before the end of part 1.

Delta and the Bannermen is a waste of everyone's time, utterly soulless shite.

jamiefairlie

Quote from: purlieu on November 04, 2021, 05:09:20 PM
The Gunfighters is the only existing Who story I've not seen, as the song and accents forced me to turn it off before the end of part 1.

Delta and the Bannermen is a waste of everyone's time, utterly soulless shite.

Agreed, deep in CBBC shouting desolation

Jerzy Bondov

Yeah it's the song and the accents for me too. Can't get on with it.

Delta is easily the best story in season 24, being the only one that's not either insanely boring or incredibly annoying. I like thingy with her bike, who was meant to be the companion. She'd have been better than Ace.

Norton Canes

Doctor Who's second most talented Baker, esrtwhile Wallace & Grommit scribe Bob Baker has passed away. Just Chris Boucher left from the 70's writers now. 

Gurke and Hare

Quote from: Norton Canes on November 05, 2021, 03:02:21 PM
Doctor Who's second most talented Baker, esrtwhile Wallace & Grommit scribe Bob Baker

Man, that's very harsh on Colin, for so many reasons that I won't go into because I don't want to speak ill of the dead.

Bad Ambassador

Arguably responsbile for the popularity of the UK's most two popular fictional dogs.

Replies From View

Quote from: Gurke and Hare on November 05, 2021, 03:20:39 PM
Man, that's very harsh on Colin, for so many reasons that I won't go into because I don't want to speak ill of the dead.

It doesn't say how far below Pip and Jane he is.

frajer

Just had an email saying Season 17 Blu-ray release has been pushed back to 20th December.

I can't really summon the energy to be arsed anymore, as I gave a big chinny reckon when they first announced the release date. As long as it arrives safe and sound that's fine with me. Does indeed look like it's going to be a belter of a set.

JamesTC

They are even including the Genesis of the Daleks LP as a bonus feature. Love them including stuff like that.

Norton Canes


daf

Just the audio I imagine.

There's tons of "secret extras" on these releases - but you need a blu ray reader to access them :