Where I feel the great show-boater/charismasplosion is actually performing best. Prompted by memories of a natter with Tat Wood in days of yore when he wondered aloud what the greatest Tom ‘actually acting’ moment/s were. Yours truly offered up concern for Sarah in ‘Seeds’ 2 , plus anger over the Marsh Child’s death in ‘Full Circle’ 3. Tat could get down with the latter but plumped for the ‘Pyramids’ 4 confrontation with Gabriel Woolf’s Sutekh, citing Tom’s skill at acting to a mask…Anyroad, as for now… 10)
’ episode 2: Tom, resigned and squaring up to a conflab with his future self, the Watcher. World-weary done very real/true.'Later or sooner,kid, sooner or later...'9)
‘The Ribos Operation
’ episode 3: The banter with Garron once captured. Very thin ice here as it’s largely just Tom and Iain Cuthbertson enjoying themselves but it’s delightfully smooth/daft.'Your Golden Period indeed Tom...'
‘Terror of the Zygons
’ episode 4: The ‘you’ve got to come out on the balcony and wave a tentacle sometimes’ moment with Broton. Emphasises the truly alien, devil may care Doctor we now have on our hands, light years away from his crisply formal predecessor.'One will consider a Royal Tentacle at a later date...'7)
Though truth be told, the same sheer disconcerting alien-ness is well emphasized from the off in ‘Robot
’ episode 1: The skipping rope scene with our bemused Surgeon Lieutenant Sullivan- ‘Mother, mother, I feel sick…Call for a doctor, quick, quick, quick…’'A little heart to heart, eh, Surgeon Lieutenant?'6)
‘Genesis of the Daleks
’ episode 6: Many moments, the tete-a-tete with Davros especially but I’m actually going for Tom’s voice-over with the dodgy CSO spinaway…’I also know that out of their great evil must come something good…’ Good shivers indeed reverend.'Yes, that's the trouble with genocidal elitism, it has a tendency to come back and bite you on the arse'
‘The Robots of Death
h’ episode 3: I really want to give it to the ‘you’re a classic example of the inverse ratio between the size of the mouth and the size of the brain,’ scene but that’s Chris Boucher, despite some languidly deft delivery from Tom. But the ‘I have failed’ – ‘Yes, you’ve failed but failure’s one of the basic freedoms’ is utterly, charmingly, upliftingly Tom.'Metal Guru, innit reverend?'4)
’City of Death
’ episode 2: I mean, yeah, basically the whole damn thing but especially the sequence in the drawing room from ‘What a wonderful butler, he’s so violent!’ on in. Life-affirming daftness from our electro-gurning Chesire Cat main man. Lovely.'Four in full flow- exasperating and exhilirating in equal measure'3)
‘Pyramids of Mar
s’ episode 1- very similar to the above, the early sequence at the lodge with Lawrence Scarman. Particularly Tom’s delight at the year and his genuine enthusiasm for Lawrence’s early-Marconiscope. Delighted once again. (Although a very close run thing with somber Tom and Sarah on finding the murdered Scarman in episode 3)'Electric'2)
Yes, somber, grouchy/grumpy Tom is a thing to behold too. Nowhere more so for meself than ‘Horror of Fang Rock
’ episode 2: slams spats upon the table- ‘Gentlemen, this lighthouse is under attack and by morning we may all be dead. Anyone interested?’ Switch to electric grin.'Do you want the bad news or the really, really, really bad news?'
‘Nightmare of Eden
’ episode 4: the hollow, whispered ‘Go away’ to drug runner Tryst. Stark, striking and less proves very, very much more. Geezer.'Four- he sees no wanker''It is indeed.Very. Thank you Tom.'
The in or out of f(l)avour factor.....
Partly inspired by a flip through some old issues of 'Skaro', particularly the 'Born to be Dockie' articles by Richard Walhoun in the first couple of revived 'SKARO's', circa 1990. There the conclusion was that Hartnell, Pertwee, Davison and Baker C all fail to make the grade, not having '...any tangible traits which made you instantly warm to them. None of them are readily identifiable to the period of the show that they belonged to; not to the extent where an alternative choice of actor would seem unacceptable...
' H'mm and double h'mm...Not sure then or now if I entirely agree but very interesting piece nonetheless. Troughton, Baker T and McCoy made the grade by virtue of genius/indelible star quality/ a major 'intrigue' factor respectively!* It's also partly by way of a pre-ramble to me ‘Season 5 Revisited’ overview. Was thinking how particular seasons, then the Doctor’s and their eras in general have gone in and out of favour with fandom. Which led to the following ruminations… HARTNELL
Well, to be honest, this is one of the odd ones; era and lead actor never truly in or out of favour. Yes, there have been some latter day observations on Hartnell himself, the startlingly acerbic backstage interview that turned up. But as for the actual portrayal of Doc’ One, seasons 1 to 3 plus opening of 4…I remember for a long time (70’s, 80’s, even up to early 90’s) Hartnell seemed to get overlooked in favour of Troughton. Troughton: ‘Oh, superb…Yeti…Cybermen…blah, waffle…’ Hartnell: ‘Bit dull really…too many historicals…’ I think this has largely got overturned in favour of general consensus that story-wise this is one of the best, most varied and sometimes challenging eras. Hartnell remains a bit of a mystery, even with that such as Mark Gatiss’s wonderful 2013 bio-pic. How many of the infamous ‘Billy-fluffs’ were deliberate etc etc Like one latter day era, I’d say this is one that’s generally respected rather than outright loved or hated in a flavour/dis-favour of the month style.
'To diddle or not to diddle...there be the question...
Weeell…I think standing of the era itself has largely swapped with Hartnell. Largely sight-unseen/confabulation in play, seasons 4 and 5 were the piss de resis, 5 especially so…Has now all fallen down a tad, with many criticisms of auto-pilot ‘base under siege’. (Some but far from all of them valid in me humble, as wibbled in the season 5 waffle.) Actual ‘classics’ (what ere that well- worn term may mean) not always the obvious, as ably demonstrated by the recent return of ‘Enemy’ and ‘Web’. But Troughton remains yer connoisseur’s/snob’s choice, inevitably ‘in’ for the cut of the main man’s jib alone…I don’t think I’ve ever seen a convincing take down of Troughton’s turn as Doc’ Two as yet (in fact I’m not even sure I’ve seen one) so yep…not a lot more to be said. But granted, the thumbs up is largely for the main man, not the era itself…
'We're all meta-textual now, that's fer sure Mum..
Ha! Or Hai!! In- Out- Shake it all about- (Grudgingly) In. Journeying from yer pre-fanzine age, the paper-zine era to the net…Three and era have been unassailable, irredeemable, both and finally (somewhat grudgingly I feel) acknowledged as ‘okay/very solid’. But always on the outside looking in: Just not really, truly ‘Who’ for many. Which remains a bit of a baffler for meself- boiling ‘Who’s’ indefinable magic’ down to its intrinsic self is a task for the ages’n’sages and then some…The format/remit is so endlessly re-inventable/changeable that I really don’t get the ‘not the real thing’ accusations. But there ye have it, we seem to have arrived at a kind of reluctant B+ for teacher/fandom’s least favourite, journeyman student. (Personally I love it, although think the ‘very, very solid, rarely brilliant, rarely dire’ charge does hold a grain of truth.)
'Monstrous self-referentiality'll be along promptly, no mistake...
' BAKER T
Well, this can really be broken down into three (possibly four) eras within an era. But not a one of ‘em has ever truly been out of favour/flavor in me humble. More a case of picking up on the (very) occasional cock-up, eh, ‘Android Invasion’? Early era, Hinchcliffe Baker is pretty universally adored I think- yes, it may not be your personal cup of tea but I’ve yet to see anything approaching a convincing takedown. Yes, the Williams era is more divisive, season 15 seen as a bit of a stumble, Bidmead and JNT’s season 18 a somber and subdued coda but nah…’City of Death’, and those in its vicinity for meself continue to elevate Tom pretty stratospherically…in, in and furthermore (and forever) IN!
'Indeed- one continues to coast...
A really peculiar one, I don’t think anyone can call it…Is it inside the line, on it or out? Despite some gob-smacking highs (‘Kinda’, ‘Snakedance’, Androzani’) the era on screen really doesn’t do a lot to recommend itself. The ‘bit bland/damp squib’ holds true for many I think…No, it’,s as with Troughton before him, our main man himself. Peter Davison is a consummately superb actor and very well liked. Simple as. The era itself remains an unquantifiable, fast evaporating vanilla fudge. If you see what I mean vicar.
'Challenging? I can do challenging? Check out me granny specs...
' BAKER C
Oh dear oh crikey…Out resoundingly as far as our TV version goes, which is what we’re dealing with here. Redemption via audio is there for sure but not the subject here…Car crash TV. A real shame but there it is, the inverse of Troughton and Baker T in that I’ve yet to see a big up of any form on the era that actually convinces me…
'It's raining unwieldy continuity...Time's Navel Gaze circa 1985
Out. Yes, there’s a mighty New Adventures revival and continuation. There’s assuredly a (minor) groundswell of support for the TV incarnation that Colin Baker doesn’t have, I grant ye…But never convincingly in favour with the majority of fandom or general public I think. (Side wibble but youngest sister, closest thing to another actual fan in the family, decries both Baker C and McCoy for arrogance/irritating omniscience…wibble ends.)
'More (dis)continuity than you can shake a question mark brolley at
Yes, there’s some absolutely brilliant stuff in comics, books and on audio…’Night of the Doctor’ a lovely gift to a fandom starved of moving-pictures Eight. But it just ain’t on TV by and large and yer idiot’s lantern, cathode ray or Youtube does hold greatest sway in me humble…So out I’m afraid…
'Look now, look all around...you won't see me...
Coming to modern era, interweb innanitus ‘Who’ I reckon the dust really hasn’t had time to settle for any of it yet bar Eccleston but me current thoughts are… ECCLESTON
A weird mimicking of the Hartnell era for meself. Widely applauded by fandom, critics and public but with that old respectful vibe, not wildly loved or loathed. Respect in the house fer sure but neither in or out of favour/flavor.
'Thank you very much...Did I pass the audition?
Extraordinarily hard to call. Tom Baker levels of popularity for our wildly tilting, be-quiffed main man but odd echos of Pertwee for me: In the sense of that daftest chestnut- ‘Is it really ‘Who’? I guess I’d go with ‘In’ at present but will time be unkind to Ten?
'Dreaming of me...
That mimicry again, this time of Troughton- a main man born to play it, deft tics and natural eccentricity all over the shop but is it just love of the main man/core cast? A very cautious ‘in’ with utter uncertainty as to the kindness or cruelty of the passing years…heavens to betsy reverend.
Very, very hard to call…An electrifyingly good/pin-point acute main man kinda’ hamstrung by behind the scenes circumstances in me humble…H’mm and double h’mm with extra sugar innit…but ultimately, much beloved/respected and yer...born to it.
'Striation of the by-lines...
*26 odd years down the line and with another five 'regular' (Ha! Canon, whatfore art thou?!) Doctors in the pack...Ooh, I'd probably give McGann and Smith the 'born to do it' moniker, Eccleston damn fine but not born to it, Tennant oddly Pertwee, not in performance but how he comes over with meself and not born to it...Capaldi absolutely straddling the 'Born to it/Superb actor but...' divide for a long time, but in the final analysis, born to it, the timing more than a little out of joint...Wibble...
A reversal of last time, ten stories I feel were way underrated/unjustly lowly placed in the last DWM poll with the full 'yer mileage may vary' acknowledgement...'The Rings of Akhaten' (233)
I really find this one quite jolly, can't understand the opprobrium it seems to command. Looks great and largely plays great, yeah ol' sun-shiny big face at the end is a stretch too far perchance but it doesn't derail it for meself. I'd certainly sneak it into the Top 200 someplace.'Expansive Leaf Emoting- c'mon and luv da big space face!''The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe' (229)
Same with this, I reckon some place around 160 would be fairer. It's a great showcase for Matt Smith/Our eccentric Eleventh and the minimal support cast are all good to very strong. The cringe-worthy girl-power moment at story's close certainly doesn't derail it.'Embrace the wooden festivities!''The Horns of Nimon' (223)
Oh, c'mon, this is just joyous, out and out inanity, 'Who' '79 Vintage letting its hair down and putting its platforms on with considerable (inane) finesse. Somewhere in the Top 150 fer sure for my grotzits.'RRROARR Power!''The Time Monster' (222)
Now this, this is just godlike, the easy highlight of Season 9 alongside 'Day' for meself. As funny'n'fun as 'City of Death' if admittedly not quite the wit but glorious, just glorious. Around 130 I'd say vicar.'How can you not love it?! You can't? Oh.''Love & Monsters' (220)
Fandom hang your head in shame. This is godlike, bathos'n'pathos in equal measure and whip sharp smart. Respect to RTD and one of our best guest turns ever from Marc Warren. Top 30, likely higher for meself.'Melancholia Superbus innit Vicar?''Delta and the Bannermen' (217)
Fun, plain and simple. Sheer energy, recall non-fan casual viewer friends at uni telling me 'Who' had got its mojo back. Top 150 someplace fer certain.'Woooo! Hisssssss!!! Slamming Reverend, slamming.''The Krotons' (207)
A far, far cleverer, tighter script debut from Bob Holmes than ever given credit for. Well spooky ambient sound work, superb monsters'n'concept, just under budgeted and flatly delivered by some but one of Troughton's better outings,I'd put it about 100 reverend.'Hum it don't diss it''The Gunfighters' (202)
Very funny, very smart and fairly slick for the time. A real quality late period Hartnell, Top 75 for meself.'Okay, I'll take us back and rig the poll- Top 10 it is!''The Invisible Enemy' (196)
The first episode is one of the best ever but the whole thing bowls along with inane invention, I can even forgive the Giant Prawn at the heart of the Swarm. And some surprisingly good FX work amidst admitted shonkiness but no, Top 100 some place for meself.'Awesome''The Smugglers' (194)
The penultimate Hartnell and a poignant, Indian summery coda for the true First Doctor era before the harsh reinvention of 'Tenth Planet'. Lovely. I'd bump it up by at least a hundred places.'A Hartnell Indian Summer of no little worth indeed. Lovely.'
Polls’n’lists, we love ‘em, do we not Reverend? Yer average fanboy or fangirl just can’t help his or herself…And whilst I absolutely want to preface this with a ‘de gustibus non est disputandum’ reiteration this is yer full ‘Say what?!’/Gantry in Bemusedville…With the last DWM poll of 2014 to hand these are ten placings where I just couldn’t help me ‘Say what fandom?!’ vibe. Surely yer having a laugh. All of these ten from the top 50, wherein I feel they ranked way too high…Next time, the reverse but for now… 49 ‘Asylum of the Daleks’
Yes, I know it looks very, very pretty but really no vicar. All style, no substance, as with so much of Moffat’s latter work for meself. Plus some embarrassingly wonky CGI if you know where to look. Low 100’s at best for meself.'Hell'll freeze over before this makes me personal Top 50'
Oh absolutely no way and get out of here already reverend. I mean, yeah, it slipped a bit from the previous poll but nowhere near enough for meself. I adore much of RTD era ‘Who’ but rarely his big finish finales. Here we have kitchen sink Daleks vs Cybermen plus shlock emoting all over the shop. Low 100’s is more like it again for meself.'Yep, that nagging feeling it's not actually all that...you're on to something me Mockney Schemer' 38 ‘The Daemons’
Sorry Barry et al, I know this is held in great affection by many but it’s just twee for meself. No, it’s not dreadful by any means but crimminy, does auto-pilot Baker T do it light years better a few seasons down the line in ‘Image of the Fendahl’. I’d pin it around the 100 mark, not bad but by no means all that.'You'll be getting a citation for twee ineffectuality beyond the call of duty and no mistake Mike' 35 ‘Journey’s End’
Get out of here. Bottom 25 for meself. Kitchen sink overload, smug winks to camera twonkarama. Dreadful.'No. Just no. Zip it already Ten' 23 ‘The Tomb of the Cybermen’
I mean, Troughtonophile that I am, what the hell’s going on with this placing?! (Crimminy, believe this made the Top 10 in earlier DWM/other (DWB?) polls!) It’s well ropey and only held in such high esteem due to Troughton and, well, willful denial of reality for my grotzits…Episodes 3 and 4 are textbook examples of going off the boil with embarrassing rapidity. Around 150 would be fairer I’d say…'Even Trout can't save this baby'
And now a treble hander, at numbers 20, 16
we come to a Douglas Camfield directorial triptych with ‘The Seeds of Doom’, ‘The Web of Fear’
and ‘Terror of the Zygons’
respectively. If ever there was proof of what a brilliant, brilliant director Camfield was, getting the most out of cast and resources then these are it…’Cos strewth and blimey are the actual stories pedestrian’n’inane by turns. ‘Seeds’ and ‘Web’ especially go off the boil in their last thirds, yes the Zygons are a wonderfully gross creation but the Skarasen? Plus what is really an uber-bog standard Boys Own plot, lifted by ultra-deft direction as said…I’d stick ‘em all somewhere in the top 75 but never this high.'Yep, okay Amelia, you in yerself are indisputably great but it can't salvage episodes 5 and 6'
'Novelisation better than the on-screen realisation come story's closing third? Quelle surprise reverend''Exactly what terror? Where? Really nothing you want to see here. Jog on.'
12 ‘The War Games
Again, as a Troughton fan, I don’t wanna’ diss it but really vicar…12?!!!! This is so strung out and lacking in real menace through episodes 5-8. Boggles me and think there was some very craftily orchestrated voting going down with this and ‘Zygons’. Around 100 would be more like it for me, switch it with ‘The Massacre’ innit? Bah, hambug, warble etc'Yes. Exactly.' 1 ‘The Day of the Doctor’
Well, yes, this was likely inevitable, plus overlooked by yours truly at the time, much to Mrs Gantry’s amusement but honestly…nay, nay and thrice nay! Yes, it’s a lovely celebration, John Hurt is tres magnifique but No.1? No way hose! Suspect it’ll remain in the top 30 next time but honestly, it’s two hastily stitched together ‘plots’ (Zygons and Gallifrey) making for a very overripe confection in me humble…'You can give it all the iconic posterdom you want- so not the greatest 'Who' of all time.'
|WARNING: This post contains sentimental cheese. Although there's nothing wrong with cheese, sentimental or otherwise.*
The First TARDIS Take Off
Wheels turning round, into alien ground...Thoughts of other times, leave them all behind...The First Regeneration
Forever Changes-infinite improbabilities before (and after) breakfast, eh Reverend? The Doctor and Victoria, 'Tomb' Episode 3
It's not where you come from, it's where you're at.Close of 'Genesis' episode 6
Silver linings, even in the darkest times. Always hope , I'm with you on that Mr Moffat.End of 'City of Death'
Carpe Diem! Seize the Daze.'Caves of Androzani' Episode 3 Cliffhanger
Never give up on your friends/family/self.The Doctor With The Snipers, 'Happiness Patrol' Episode 2
There is always
another way.The Doctor Is Delighted With His Shoes, 'Doctor Who'
'For some people...' Absolutely- celebrate the small things in life, get obsessed and stay obsessed.'Vincent & The Doctor', The Doctor Takes Vincent To The Exhibition
Do what you've gotta' do-time will tell, as ever.'Listen', The Closing Minutes
Hugs are good.
So yeah, that's what it says to me- a heartfelt Happy Ongoing Journey Doctor Who! But Mrs Gantry would like to draw another moral from the story, to take us up to a bonus eleven...The Macra, 'Gridlock'
'It's stupid and funny. And be careful with crabs- they might nip your toes and big ones might eat you'*As ever, it's a cakewalk for sneering lack-witticism and dullardry to be vindictive and violent but as our main woman/man would likely have it, it takes guts to be gentle and kind.
Well, okay, to actually take it up to 11, with 13, as it were.....
'Yes indeed Reverend.'
Loving the Who from a very early age and invariably banging on about it. Hence the blog.
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