|Chapter XXIV: 'Finally Facing My Portaloo''By no means as throw away as it may first appear...'
Well, prior to broadcast I said…
‘I’ll likely enjoy it in a pleasantly daft, cruise control, ‘Bells of Saint John’ kind of way. Doubt it’ll be Moff’s best but also far from his worst. Guestimating 11ish. Although is it actually a Dalek-Movellan episode or is that complete misdirection/Gantry assumption?’ Yerse indeed…Bit Blurt:
10 Random Thortlets
1) Pearl Mackie- Amazing. Much? Oh yes.
2) Matt Lucas's Nardole- back-grounded but wry'n'amusing enough but..what's the deal here?
3) The Vault- majorly
what's the deal?
4) Puddle monster? That's slight Reverend but effective (if also kinda' familiar) enough.
5) Although it's a puddle tour-de-force compared to the Dalek/Movellan cameo!'Pretty vacant starry eyed stalker'
6) Good guest turn from Stephanie Hyam as the ultimately hapless Heather.
7) Joy Division in da house- nice one vicar.
8) Nifty direction from Lawrence Gough- some nice overheads'n'tracking shots innit?
9) Deft writing from Moffat here- the Doctor-Bill establishing/background stuff doesn't feel at all sketched in.
10) Who or what is the Doctor hiding from? What promise did he make?
So yer, the establishing uni stuff with the Doctor in lecture mode and taking Bill under his wing is life-affirmingly joyous I tell ye- simply joyous. They’ve ‘oomphed up’ the title music a tad haven’t they? Really like Murray Gold’s incidental work in this one too, very classy’n’atmospheric Reverend. And Capaldi as the University don, he’s just made for this isn’t he? Lovely, grand-standing,life-affirming stuff. Nice writing there too Mr Moffat. Really wish Capaldi had had this set up, pseudo ‘in exile’ from the get go, truth be told. He’s very ‘Uncle Nice’ with Pearl Mackie’s Bill Potts, sneaking back in time to get her photos of her mum. So there’s sentiment but not cheesy. And Mackie is an absolute revelation outta’ the gates- best companion debut ever alongside Leela for meself. As for our liquid-tech,trans-migrating alien threat, it is very minimal, sure but sinister enough.
The early study banter and latter stuff twixt Bill and Twelve in the TARDIS is very deftly done and raised a laugh on a couple of occasions. Love the cute note of the Doctor changing into his red velvet for Bill before the lights are up in the TARDIS. Matt Lucas’s Nardole is walking a tightrope but just gets away with it by the (artificial?) skin of his (robotic?) teeth. Nearly strikes a wrong note but nah, I’m good with Nardole at present, clearly a lot yet to be revealed.'Stellar debut from Pearl Mackie as Bill'
This all flows very smoothly as a ‘Who’ primer, from small scale to big picture. The TARDIS gradually ups the ante: A spatial hop, a continental hop, a light years away hop to a full on Carnage Cutaway hop. Plus the Doctor’s final admission that it travels in time’n’all. Although anyone expecting spacey-wacey Dalek-Movellan action is gonna' be severely disappointed! Interesting that Bill elects not to go with Puddle Girl when it may well turn out to have been a lot safer than the ride she does choose to take at story’s close…Overall I’d say my initial guestimate of 11 wasn’t far off but I’d actually step it up a notch to an 11:5
. Outstanding with some amazing moments. Fun? Yes. A lot. Re-watchable? Eminently. Capaldi is simply elegant/excellent and plays brilliantly against both Mackie and Lucas. Rollicksome stuff with some directorial chills and (literal) spills along the way. What actually happens to Heather is a grimly impersonal, far’n’distant splicing and replacing of her very soul, if you can get down with that as a concept…'Bumbling and stumbling towards a very uncertain future...'
Off point kinda' but why am I getting an increasing suspicion (largely season trailers inspired) that we're gonna' get a female Doctor at some point this season, some kind of forced regeneration, one episode guest star? H'mm...As to the overall state of play with Thirteen…Man but are we in click bait drivel overload at present. The two camps of ‘It’ll be/It should be a regular dude’ vs ‘It’ll be/should be a woman/different ethnicity/both’ winding both each other and the press up and the press’n’bookies happily doing the same in return. Enough already vicar innit? I can but give a prosaic ‘It’ll be Who it’ll be and come out in the mix or shrink embarrassingly’ depending if Mr Chibnall has set the right programme innit?
Random wibbling based on known form of the writing pack. Of course, have just stumbled on the news of the Simm Master return alongside Missy. Also aware of some supposed biggie revelation/twist in the trailer after the pilot? Susan? The return of David Bradley's First Doctor take? H'mm and treble h'mm cubed to the inter-fractal power of fanwonk factor 5000...'The Pilot'
Moffat I'll likely enjoy it in a pleasantly daft, cruise control'Bells of Saint John' kind of way. Doubt it'll be Moff's best but also far from his worst. Guestimating 11
ish. Although is it actually a Dalek-Movellan episode or is that complete misdirection/Gantry assumption?'Smile'
Frank Cottrell-Boyce I'm cautiously optimistic. Wasn't utterly turned off by 'In the Forest of the Night' as some were. Vague, nagging doubt I can't quite put me finger on Reverend but I'm sensing a bit of a McCoy vibe and perchance 10i
Sarah Dollard Quite liked 'Face the Raven', felt slightly less than the sum of its parts, belonging in some ways to a greater arc but not bad...I'm a sucker for this kind of period caper and the Beeb do it reliably well so I'm gonna' stick my neck out with a 12.
for some rolicksome'n'mad Georgiana...'Knock Knock'
Mike Bartlett new face to 'Who' in the writing department. Looks contemporary, presence of David Suchet intrigues...I'll say a random 11:5'Oxygen'
Jamie Mathieson Really enjoyed all his previous outings, looks Steam Punky outter spacey, I say an optimistic 12:5'Extremis'
back to Moffat...first of a (loosely?) linked trilogy with our gruesome looking 'Monks'. Sounds a tad 'far'n'distant'n'outta'spacey' (though consider also next episode's title) and desperate...I'm guessing a palpable hit, ooh, 12:5
again. Although granted it does give us the return of Missy as well who I'm a tad ambivalent on but we'll see...'The Pyramid at the End of the World'
Peter Harkness. Well, I've been pretty well disposed towards his previous two stories- this looks contemporary, possibly a UNIT episode. I'll go with an 11
Reverend.'The Lie of the Land'
Toby Whithouse Big fan of most stuff Whithouse has done for 'Who', his episodes of series 9 were likely me faves sooooo.....A hopeful 13
!'Empress of Mars'
Mark Gatiss Big fan again, bar the nightmare brief of 'Victory of the Daleks', think he's been getting stronger of late so, ooh, 13
again!'The Eaters of Light'
Rona Munro. I was half-sold on 'Survival' back in the day, good script, budgetary limitations blah etc Very intriguing title, putting me in mind of Vortis for some reason but looks to be a Roman themed historical so...h'mm...9
?'World Enough and Time'/'The Doctor Falls'
Lawks...Well me fanboy's heart predictably leapt at sight of the Mondasian Cybermen but immediately sank on realising it seems to be a kitchen sink, every Cyber variant production plus Missy for good measure...Dog's dinner or chilling 'Mondas perpetuates' alternate reality?Strewth...impossible to call, I'll settle around a likely vexed 5
but hope against hope to be pleasantly surprised...'As Yet Unnamed Christmas Special Capaldi Finale'
Well I'm quietly hopeful, Moffat talking of a tale of 'redemption' for Twelve after a 'bloody' series 10 finale...Maybe
he'll astonish at the close...An outrageously optimistic 13+++
There's a hell of a lot that intrigues and tantalises here, I'm getting a pre-series vibe of 12
overall, which'd be smashing Reverend. It may all come crashing down with kitchen sink, timey wimey clunkiness but I'm quietly optimistic...lawks...'Who is watery hologram 'Exterminate' girl?'Is this straight out UN or UNIT?'
'And is that a wooden top Missy?'' 'Ambassadors' alternate blue Martian?''This one has got so much gruesomely spooksome potential..''...here's hoping...'
Well yes indeed.....Capaldi's Finale
I hope they do keep him till the Xmas Special. Even the Radio Times has been playing devil's advocate, hinting at a Series 10 finale regeneration...I'd dig something low key and human. You can have yer alien conflict of interest if you want ('Androzani' did it brilliantly whilst remaining, ultimately, very
small scale.) RTD talked about a low key, smaller picture final bow for Ten. Moffat having spectacularly blown Eleven's exit in me humble, I hope there's some true, low-key Xmas poignancy this time out...(Also a side wish that they don't throw the kitchen sink in with the Series 10 Cyber Mondasian/Missy finale, although I think it's an outside chance vicar!)'A mirror on fractured times'Thirteen
Still silly season in media of all kinds at present...I'm guessing any day from tomorrow till, ooh, end of September at the very
latest and I'm simply in the camp of best person for the job/best audition on the day (and combination of) whoever
that turns out to be...'Bring it'
*The Chibnall Era
I'm idealistically (idiotically) hoping for something outrageously great that amazes us all and like Tom circa Seasons 13-17 is by and large continuity free, forward, fresh and outward looking...'Be thankful you've got it, trust to your gut(feeling) and march to your front absolutely nothing like a fanboy Mr Chibnall'Stranded in Time
They go UNIT for a couple of series. Not literally UNIT but have the new Doctor operating within a specific decade with occasional trips back/forwards/sideways. I'm thinking 1960's, allowing for occasional sly nods to/fun with the series's own past but basically a slow building arc with a frustrated, fresh Thirteen in a setting old but a foreign country...'Yes, the windows have fallen in again- dimensionally transcendental my arse'Truly New Overseas Filming
They actually come to Tokyo for an extended shoot to do that Axon story DWM so neatly did...Purely personal bias. Or Australia/New Zealand (Peter Jackson!), Africa somewhereabouts...'Axos, Pokemon Go, it's all the same thing...cue iPhone spaghetti splurge overload...'
*That's a positive, all embracing bring it by the by Reverend.
Yes...the perennial. Of the 97 that remain AWOL it's really hard, as ever, to judge current chances of any further recoveries/returns. I personally suspect there are more from the 1975 bulk return from Australia that made their way into private collections. Said collectors who may or may not be aware of the value of what they've got. What is really interesting is the level of research and groundwork on that such as the Missing Episodes forum on proboards. Check out that such as the 'Macra Terror Shown in New Zealand
' thread. Makes fascinating reading and becomes very clear that episodes of 'Macra
', plus very likely 'The Highlanders
' did survive beyond culling dates and circulate in school showings/private hands...All of this wibbled, if we did have a complete 'Marco Polo
' or 'Massacre
' and it was 'The Keys of Marinus
' completely missing...Would we be grumbling about longeurs and over-earnestness with the former and lamenting the absence of Terry Nation's dark epic, the holy grail of missing 'Who'?'One day we'll move beyond wibbly wobbly, tantalising 8mm, eh Pat?'
'Shada' not completed for TV
Yeah, okay, I know parts of this one sound so inane it couldn't possibly be up to snuff in comparison to 'City
'. But I seriously think it would make a second gem in the Season 17 Crown of Inanity, alongside that such as our Parisian time-caper. If it had only got as far as script'n'casting I doubt I'd find this one so frustrating. But having near half of it, and the lower-key barminess half most likely, not the actual 'Shada' face-off and bulk of the space ships'n'chase shenanigans...Looks tantalisingly great to me and would have rounded off Williams's tenure fittingly.'Once upon a Time Lord'
Colin Baker's TV Treatment/Tenure
Yet another perennial. I've never been in the camp of feeling Baker C was miscast. Fine actor and a true gent (One of two 'Who's' I've been lucky to meet), utterly hamstrung by that coat and behind the scenes chaos'n'acrimony. But pause to consider if he'd got his stated wish of beating Tom's tenure...At least eight seasons of Six, taking us up to a '92 regeneration...We're talking the path utterly untaken/unknown. Companions'n'tropes that never were...I could tie it in nicely with me Pete wibble below...Doubt Sylv would be Seven, possibly, just possibly we'd have got Paul come '93, if 'Who' had remained mainstream and blossomed in America...And a Six that truly did become the 'noblest Doctor of them all'...'Mr D'Arsey-I'll get me coat indeed'Death of Roger Delgado ( No Pertwee finale face off)
This is much more specific. If 'Planet of the Spiders' had seen the Master revealed as Ego to the Doctor's (supposed!) Id...Would we ever have got the sheer amount of returning inanity we've had with Ainley etc? I suspect it would've made a great capstone to the Pertwee era and we'd nary have seen or heard of the Master until well into the new series...Although the idea of a slightly aged/down at heel Delgado confronting Tom in the Matrix for a regenerative Season 16 climax, allied with the Black Guardian...H'mm...Down Fanwank, down! (Yes, that's Fanwank with a capital 'F', the inane 'Who' hound that paces the matrix of the collective fan -hive consciousness- don't let him off the leash Reverend!)'Tomorrow never knows'
Graham Williams and Douglas Adams
not making Season 18
Yes, seriously. Long lion daze in spades, Season 17 was one hell of a madcap Indian summer for Tom and 70's 'Who'. If 'Hitchhiker's' hadn't taken off quite as spectacularly (or immediately), if Adams in particular hadn't been so un-pindownable...'Leisure Hive
', 'State of Decay
', wow, 'Warriors' Gat
e' most especially, made with an Adams/Williams eye and sensibility...Woulda' been stunning I tell ye Reverend, STUNNING
with sequins...Of course, we'd likely never have got the JNT era, Pete and the whole thing may have collapsed grandiloquently come spring '81 but way to go or wot...'Ice Cream of Entropy- the Logopolitan' Yes, I like it Graham.'
Peter Davison not doing Season 22
Which he so nearly apparently did...Davison as Five riding out that bleakest'n'black Season 22 arc...Yerse, very satisfying food for thought. Five's 'innocent/lamb to the slaughter' vibe would've been well caught here, twixt the brutality of 'Varos
', an uncaring Rani-Master axis and sick for da kidz Davros machinations...And actually kill off one or both of Tegan and Turlough. Yes, we'd've arrived at that Time War-esque conflicted trope a few regenerations early but...There's your (in plain sight) wound at the heart of our arrogant, bruised but ultimately noble Six...'Oh to complete that wet vet to scarred veteran arc.'Sylvster McCoy not getting a fourth season
Cartmel era 'Who', as with Adams/Williams, was so near to done and dusted in its TV variant. I can't do much more than echo the DWM pieces that forecast a Richard Griffiths Eighth Doctor and new cat-burglar type companion. Not entirely sure about Ace going off to Gallifrey mind...But no, Seven's was an era I liked at the time, have enjoyed more and more over time and just feel lacks that final TV chapter...Although if it did exist, potentially no 'New Adventures' and a different wilderness period fer sure...'McCoy and Cartmel coulda' got us to the Powell Estate fifteen years early.'
Paul McGann not getting a fair crack of the whip
...Yes, wilderness periods for pop culture icons, value therein'n'of...Personally I think they're important, healthy to let things stand fallow for a time. Which is little to do with what I meant to say here...If the American series co-production had somehow taken off...Ooh lordy, five years of McGann till 2001ish...The show, the fandom, the forums, yer blogs...None of this would likely exist. Yes, I am positing a successful TV movie as leading into a 'Sutekh's Blasted Future' of 'Who', a true wasteland...No, what I'm lamenting here is more McGann not getting to take the reins in 2005 for three years or so. Man but he'd have done it and us proud...'Wrong place, wrong time with the TV debut but man you would've shined'Christopher Eccleston not doing (at least) two
I don't think this would've caused too serious a fracture to the current 'Who' TV timeline...Truth be told I think it'd work so much better. Nine saves but loses Rose to the alternate dimension, knows he's regenerating...How much heavier and awkward a reunion come 'The Stolen Earth
' with Rose viewing Ten as an impostor...Hey, maybe set up by the Simm Master as the Master, the Master playing Ten to Rose and...down Fanwank, down!'Doctor Dour at the wall between realities. a sight-unseen regeneration for Rose. Heavy.'Some production teams not getting a fair
crack of the whip (Wiles, Williams, Cartmel),
others (JNT, Moffatt getting trapped, oftimes unfairly
And it was ever thus also...Pick yer own iteration...But the Wiles/Tosh one always fascinates me. Bill is 'regenerated/cunningly substituted' in 'Celestial Toymaker
' (for who knows Who)...Wiles and Tosh take us through to around mid '67 with a far darker, sharper, adult 'Who' which then implodes and would likely be remembered (dimly) as 'another of those weird Beeb 60's sci-fi projects'...JNT, well if he'd've gone with Pete at Season 21 (or an imagined 22), how differently he'd be remembered indeed...As with Moffat latterly he stayed too long (but was willing to do so) and crucially kept the show on...Which has to be applauded (to an extent) but honestly, curious/excited as I am as to the current state of 'Who' play, the fallow period concept seems increasingly enticing...Which I'll return to burble over for a few 'Who' hopes next time round Reverend...'Two Johns don't make a wrong'
Well at time of writing there have been fifteen officially sanctioned episodes of 60's 'Who' to be 'done over' (select inference as desired) as animations. More, possibly, to follow...'The Invasion''Ah, no, we may not quite be out of the Land of Fiction just yet...'
Well this was first out the gates back in 2006 and I really quite surprised meself by warming to it more than expected. The animation seems quite stylized and clean cut to me untrained eye but movement and action sequences were very well done for my money. No, I'd go with a 12
. Also, following 'Mind Robber' allowed me to convince meself that the animated episodes are just a hangover/after effect from the Realm of Fiction.'Away with ye- no animated up kilt shots!'
'The Reign of Terror''Frankly sir, who needs animation with hats like ours?'
Some considerable wait until 2013 for our next animated episodes. These two have attracted some flak, summit to do with too busy about the faces/eyes, extraneous/extemporised detail? Really liked it meself, 11.5.'A sparkle in Cartoon Bill's eye'
'The Ice Warriors''Asia claiming better animation- they would!'
2013 again and this one really dropped the ball for me. Maybe more natural outlines and movement (possibly) but I dunno...Really doesn't work for me, I much prefer to go with the tele-snaps for these two episodes. He says mean-spiritedly, being entirely unable to animate me way out of a wet paper bag but, arse biscuits, 6
is as high as I can go here.'No, to the left a bit!'
'The Tenth Planet''Autistic plastic self-assembled flat pack'
Hot on the heels of 'Ice Warriors' the animated episode 4 was way better for my grotzits. Not quite the full monty with movement but heck, without yer Japanese animated film budget are they ever gonna' be? Still very, very good- 11.5.'Yes, just pop the episode 4 master on the rack, we'll pick it up later'
'The Moonbase''You go animated girl!'
As is this, same style and team (I believe). Cybermen kinda' made for animation, as with yer Daleks. Smoothly
functional me old Space Reverend. 11.5.'Y'know, they've actually captured Trout here,which is quite something'
'The Power of the Daleks''Animated Trout catches the future reviews on his iPad Mini'
And I went with a rather shame-faced 10
for this latest. It's in no way the actual look of the thing (albeit black'n'white animated Trout looks a tad gaunt and hollow eyed on occasion) it's time/budget constraints affecting the smoothness of the movement and some action sequences. Still pretty darn good, especially in colour.'Dalek action to die for and by, I'll give 'em that'
So yeah, the original 'Invasion' episodes come out top, closely followed by the 'Tenth Planet'/'Moonbase' vibe. If there are more.....
a) Throw fan sensitivities to the wind and do 'em all in colour I say! (Calm down Gantry, you'll make yerself dizzy again.)
b) Don't mix up existing episodes with animation- maybe compress existing material if it's an 'Evil', 'Masterplan' or 'Abominable' situation but don't majorly cut.
c) Completely missing bar clips, do the whole thing:You want me dosh for an animated 'Polo' or 'Fury' I want the whole thing, in colour. Sez he.
d) Maybe double up releases? A 'Polo'/'Evil' double pack? (S'never gonna' be financially feasible is it?) 'Massacre'/'Macra'?'Knickers but let's make like an insanely positive episode recovery gestalt fan mind- OHM!!!'
Loving the Who from a very early age and invariably banging on about it. Hence the blog.
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