Trap Street Issue 3

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The editors' once more allude and pontificate; plus a "Wanted" add.

We wrap up our review coverage of Class, for now.

The Shakespearean influence in and out of Doctor Who.

Three days, three costumes.

We get the spiders eye view from Dr Niall Doran; the "Scientific Advisor" for 'Arachnids in the UK'.

We do a scan of Series 11 with the Sonic Screwdriver. More quirky and interesting weblinks to try.

The mixed reaction from fandom is queried, by some-one who thought it was a "home run".

A Doctor Who cryptic crossword with a difference. Do you know your Tom and Peter stories?

The results for our Series 11 survey are in. An in-depth Trap Street Special will follow.

Is 'Rosa' a) a new classic, b) further proof of a new progressive agenda c) or both?

Not the history of Doctor Who but History in Doctor Who.

In the conclusion of this short story, how will the Doctor / Vastra showdown be resolved?

Guest reviewer Adam Richard, from Whovians, looks at a quirky Big Finish audio, plus John Barrowman & Catherine Tate amongst others.

Contributors to this issue

Tony Cooke, Jonathan Crossfield, Dr Niall Doran, Michael Gibbins, Michael Goleniewski, Dallas Jones, Darran Jordan, Corrine Kanowski, Christian Kent, Diane Lewis, Damian Magee, Ben Ramsey, Roger Reynolds, Adam Richard, Gemma Styles, Craig Wellington and Daniel Worsley.


CONFESSIONAL DIAL It’s the usual “What ho!” from Roger and an “Ice Hot!” from Dallas. Well, we hope you had a great festive season, with all the usual indulgences, in moderation of course, and, like us, you are rearing to go for 2019. We managed to get The Nexus Part 1 audio completed and it is available on the following platforms: Podbean, Stitcher, iTunes as streaming and as a download. A special ‘visual’ version is available on YouTube. It is also available to stream on our website (which is where you can find full details on where to access the audio) – all by the end of 2018 – phew! In this edition of Trap Street we have a scoop with an interview with Dr Niall Doran, the "Scientific Advisor" for Series 11; also included is analysis of the use of the Sonic Screwdriver in Series 11; an interesting article on Shakespeare his influences and appearance in Doctor Who; the final part of Daniel Worsley’s short story 'Extinction Day'; plus much more. Also you will find in Astral Map, our reviews section, reviews of; The Catherine Tate Show Live in Australia; John Barrowman in Brisbane; recording of a Whovians episode; and Tom Baker’s reading of the very, very recent Scratchman . Thanks to everyone who participated in our recent survey about series 11; results are in this issue, with a full analysis and a large selection of people’s comments to be published in April as a Trap Street ‘Special’ . Talking of which there will also be two more regular editions of Trap Street out this year in June and October. On the audio front we plan to have out, hopefully in March, the first part of our next audio production, our ‘Aussie’ story Rainbow

Serpent. This should be followed by The Nexus part 2 and the concluding parts, 2 and 3, of Rainbow Serpent.

As always, thanks massively to all contributors and, of course, we’re always on the lookout for more new and interesting articles, reviews: plus anyone who would be interested in helping with production, proof reading et cetera. (See the add below). And, of coure, we are interested in your comments, feedback and submissions. To contact Trap Street, our email address is: editors@drproductionsaus.org

Dallas Jones & Roger Reynolds

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Doctor Who is copyright to the BBC. Copyright of all other material contained within returns to the

contributor on publication. No attempt is made to supercede any copyright. Views expressed within are those of the writer and not necessarily held by the editors.


urprisingly (or perhaps not) the world of Doctor Who has collided with the life and works of William Shakespeare on numerous occasions over the years. Within the narrative of the show itself, the Bard first appeared in 'The Chase', viewed by the First Doctor through his space-time visualiser. The fourth Doctor, in 'City of Death' claimed to have transcribed Hamlet after Shakespeare had sprained his wrist writing sonnets, and also mention he was not a good actor in 'Planet of Evil'. The Fifth Doctor had a complicated rivalry with him in the audio 'The Kingmaker', with Shakespeare stealing the TARDIS in 1597 only to end up getting killed in 1485, forcing Richard III to take his place in 1597 and write the remainder of his plays to ensure that history remained on track. The Eighth Doctor encountered Shakespeare as a young boy in the audio 'Time of the Daleks' (which also featured Daleks creepily quoting passages from his plays). Finally the Tenth Doctor befriended him in 'The Shakespeare Code' and helped solve the historical mystery of how Love’s Labours Won became lost. Shakespeare’s influence has manifested in other Doctor Who media as well, such as author Justin Richards writing Doctor Who: The Shakespeare Notebooks, featuring various short scenes with numerous Doctors and companions, their dialogue rendered in Shakespearean style. Paul Cornell took the same approach when he wrote a short play for the second Decalog short story collection. Cornell’s contribution, 'The Trials of Tara', saw the Seventh Doctor and Bernice Summerfield meet the Kandyman on Tara for various hijinks reminiscent of plays like Twelfth Night and A Midsummer Night’s Dream . Beyond the confines of the program itself, there is also a long history of Doctor Who actors taking part in Shakespeare productions. Certainly the show’s first leading man, William Hartnell, did – starting his career by performing in The Merchant of Venice , As You Like It, Hamlet and The Tempest in 1926. Other actors associated with the show have done the same, including Second Doctor, Patrick Troughton, who worked closely with Sir Laurence Olivier. He appeared first in the 1948 version of Hamlet as the Player King, in the play


within the play. In 1955 Troughton worked with Olivier again as Sir James Tyrrel in Richard III. Interestingly, as Olivier directed, produced and played the lead for the film, when setting up shots he needed someone else to step in for him. Such was his admiration for Troughton he had him perform as Richard III when working out each scene, only to step in and replace the Second Doctor’s understudy performance with his own when recording. The Richard III film also has another more oblique Who reference – Paul Darrow took his performance cues for the character of Tekker in 'Timelash' from Laurence Olivier’s version of Richard. “The Timelash thing,” Darrow later stated, “I really didn't know how to play that. I thought ‘Tell you what… I’ll try and play him like Richard III, with the hump and the evil cackle. I more or less got away with it.” Although when Producer John Nathan-Turner saw him during recording he demanded to know what he was doing, stating it looked like he was trying to impersonate Richard III. When Darrow admitted that was exactly what he was up to JNT scoffed at him to stop and do it properly, accusing him of sending it up. Darrow stuck to his guns anyway and many years later JNT reversed his opinion, telling him: “you were absolutely right to do it that way - the script wasn't that good and you made something of it.” Many other Doctor Who actors have also starred in Shakespeare productions. The 1980 version of Hamlet was performed by Lalla Ward (Romana) and Derek Jacobi (the Master from 'Scream of the Shalka', not to mention The War Master, first seen in 'Utopia'). Seventh Doctor Sylvester McCoy played the Fool to Ian McKellen’s King Lear, long before the two teamed up as wizards in The Hobbit movies. McCoy even found a way to work in playing the spoons in one of his scenes – surely the first (and possibly last?) time this would occur in a Shakespeare play. David Tennant took the part of Hamlet, acting alongside Star Trek’ s Patrick Stewart, before he and Catherine Tate got together as love interests in the original rom-com Much Ado About Nothing. The success of this pairing led to them being chosen to host Shakespeare Live in 2016, a celebration of the works and influence of the Bard on the 400th anniversary of his death. When in 2008, David Tennant was cast as Hamlet most saw it as a welcome thing, noting that he had the appeal to draw new audiences, including younger crowds, to the theatre who otherwise might not have attended. Not everyone was happy about it though, with theatre director and actor Sir Jonathan Miller complaining that West End theatres were putting celebrity ahead of quality. This prompted an outraged Sixth Doctor Colin Baker to hit back in his regular column for Bucks Free Press, stating: “David Tennant worked with distinction at the Royal Shakespeare Co. long before he achieved his recent television notoriety – and is a demonstrably fine actor… I am disappointed by [Jonathan Miller’s] apparent belief that fame and talent cannot go together. And I promise you it is not just Doctor Who solidarity that provokes my defence of David Tennant”. So what does all of this say, both about Doctor Who and the Bard himself? Firstly, it speaks of the incredibly pervasive influence Shakespeare has on popular culture to this very day, both through his works and as a historical figure. It is impossible not to reference him on some level in any sufficiently lengthy narrative, and in a sprawling decade spanning multi-media epic like Doctor Who it was always going to be inevitable that the Time Lord would cross paths with the writer and his work eventually, if not on multiple continuity contradicting occasions. William Shakespeare has already featured in and his work has influenced the show, but there are still many other interesting and innovative ways that future writers can continue to find innovation by dancing in his shadow. Secondly, however, this also shows that there is a lot of Shakespearean material that is likely to be of great interest to Doctor Who fans. So if you haven’t done so before, why not be inspired by the good Doctor to delve into the works of the Bard? Like the TARDIS itself, his labyrinthine of works are much bigger on the inside than on the outside and will always be well worth the price of admission.


From the website of Washington DC's “The Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital” A zoologist and film-maker, Niall founded the Bookend education program with international best-selling author Bryce Courtenay in 2008. He was named the 201 2 Australian Geographic Conservationist of the Year, the 201 2 inaugural awardee of the Breath of Fresh (BOFA) Film Festival ‘Devil Award’ for Innovation in Filmmaking, and was a ‘Ones to Watch’ 201 6 Screen Producers Australia Awardee. When I looked at the credits for ‘Arachnids in the UK’ I thought to myself "that name is familiar". Can you tell people why, I specifically, would know your name? Well on a personal level we met many years ago through Doctor Who fandom. Since then I've been involved in conservation biology which has in turn led to documentary making, including the spider documentary Sixteen Legs with Neil Gaiman that some people may have seen or heard about. What are your first memories of Doctor Who? Were you an avid watcher? Can you provide a bit more info about your involvement with Doctor Who fandom? I was born in the UK, but my first memories of Doctor Who are from the ABC as my family moved to Hobart in the early 1970s. I grew up avidly watching the show during Jon Pertwee’s era. I have really vivid memories of people trapped by the tentacles in the Axos ship and the tramp’s face caving in, Daleks in railway tunnels, Sea Devils emerging from the sea, and all those golden moments of that era that burnt themselves into a young mind. These would have been the first Australian screenings of these stories. My older siblings watched it from even earlier, including in the UK before my family emigrated, and of course had memories of a lot of stories now missing. I know there have been some revisionist theories that ‘behind the sofa’ viewing of Doctor Who was a myth that never happened, but yes, it ac-


tually did. ‘Planet of the Spiders’ of course came later, and the horror of the loss of the Third Doctor and having to come to terms with the Fourth – a period of adjustment that I had to live through again when it was all repeated. But ‘Ark in Space’, ‘Genesis of the Daleks’, and that gloriously horrific first reveal of a Zygon cemented the new Doctor in place. The Hinchcliffe era, including 'The Pyramids of Mars' and 'The Seeds of Doom', remains one of my all time favourites. In terms of fandom, there wasn’t anything in the early days aside from clips that appeared on news programs at school. Then not really much in Tasmania at all until trading episodes started to grow when VCRs became commonplace. It was a good surprise to find that some Hartnell / Troughton material was available, and an equal surprise to find that English fans were starved of Pertwee / Baker. I can’t remember how I found out that Launceston had an active club run by Shane Welch and Jamie Hillard, but long road trips provided a way to see some of this VHS material. About that time I joined DWCA as a member from afar, and through that learned that you were visiting Tasmania in January 1985. That prompted local fan Craig Wellington to set up a meeting in Hobart (the first time I met either of you), and that kick-started the Hobart club Argolis. The club also put out a fanzine under the name Argolis, because Craig was obsessed with the 'Leisure Hive'. That triggered the growth in local fandom and some local fanzines – back in the days when you had to physically cut and paste and then photocopy everything and rely on snail mail for fanzines and tapes. Then the Launceston guys ran LonCon in December 1985, which Katy Manning attended. I attended a few interstate Cons over the years, but never really got too heavily Craig Wellington, Niall Doran and Neil Gaiman in Dunalley, Tas involved in the mainland scene. Can you tell us a bit about Sixteen Legs, how did you and Neil Gaiman make contact? Did he know you were a Doctor Who Fan? What is Neil Gaiman like as a person? Did he talk / mention to you about his writing for Doctor Who? I met Neil when he first visited Tasmania as a guest of Thylacon 2, the 1998 Australian National Science Fiction Convention. Tasmania was still quite off the beaten track at that stage (Neil likes to say he discovered it before everyone else). He was interested in the biology of Tasmania, and we ended up having a long discussion about it at the bar. Since then he’s made a point of coming back to Tasmania whenever he can, and he’s a patron of our work at the Bookend Trust. When we started working on Sixteen Legs it seemed a natural fit for him: still-living giant prehistoric spiders seeking kinky love in Australia’s deepest caves! We had the option of filming it simply as a traditional documentary, or doing something that played with that structure in a different way, which he was definitely up for. He’s very easy to work with, always very interested in learning what he can, and gold when it came to taking and reshaping his parts of the Sixteen Legs script. He certainly visited at both times his Doctor Who scripts were in production, and while we did talk about it, I was always careful not to press him on things that might be confidential or spoilers. While ‘Nightmare in Silver’ was known to be a Cyberman story in advance, I am so incredibly glad I got to see ‘The Doctor’s Wife’ without any idea of what the story would be.


From the ‘National Convention of Churchill Fellows’ Website “Sixteen Legs is a nature documentary like no other and was Churchill Fellow and Film Director Niall Doran's big introduction to large film production! Featuring Neil Gaiman alongside appearances by Stephen Fry, Tara Moss, Adam Hills, and Mark Gatiss, and with a score co-written and performed by Kate Miller-Heidke, Sixteen Legs tells the story of the world beneath our feet through 6 years of filming, over 25 years of scientific research, and hundreds of millions of years of evolution.” Your credit is “Scientific Advisor Dr Niall Doran” on ‘Arachnids in the UK’. Did you get the opportunity to decide what your credit was going to be? They suggested a couple of titles, and that one was among them. Given the relevance to the history of the show we thought it would be a fun one to go with. You have a Doctorate... of what? Can you give us a background of your education that led up to obtaining a Doctorate? What was your thesis on? What have you done since getting your Doctorate? I have a Doctorate in Zoology, more specifically ecology and the management of ecological systems and populations. I started with a B.Sc. majoring in Zoology from 1988 to 1990, then did an Honours degree in 1991 and I started my Ph.D in 1993, all at the University of Tasmania. My Honours project was on very long-lived spiders and that has become an on-going 27 year project, still running in the background. I jumped fields for my Ph.D. to ecological manipulation of plankton populations to stimulate fish-feed production, and then moved into World Heritage and Endangered species management for about a decade before establishing the Bookend Trust educational outreach program with Bryce Courtenay in 2008. Were you interested in animals, bugs etc. as a kid? If not what lead you to zoology? Yes, I’ve always been interested in animals, and I had a good upbringing in the great outdoors. I had a strong interest in venoms and biochemistry, but preferred the outdoor opportunities of ecology, and I’ve been lucky enough to work in some of the most spectacular and remote wilderness areas on the planet. The diversity in different types and forms of life is fascinating. I think that’s why Doctor Who appeals to me, because it has aliens and monsters that at least try to look like something different, even if the budget isn’t always there. The alien jungle in ‘Planet of Evil’ is a work of art. Can you tell us a bit about the Bookend Trust educational outreach program? As mentioned earlier I co-founded Bookend with the author Bryce Courtenay. I felt privileged to have had the career experiences I’d had, and the aim was to create a program that gave upcoming students similar opportunities while also addressing pressing environmental and educational problems. Our projects have provided opportunities for impoverished students to access education to escape the trap of people trafficking in Thailand; have helped


students install alternative power supplies for medical equipment in remote Fiji (providing both medical benefits and a means of transitioning Fijian communities away from fossil fuels to renewable energy systems); have involved students undertaking endangered animal surveys across Australia and have even flown students to Antarctica. There’s also a strong online component for those who want to tap into expeditions or projects remotely, with the direction of a current Australia-wide expedition being shaped through the people and experiences that the team meets. Bookend was named the 2012 Australian Geographic Conservationist of the Year, and both the Studio recording of 'Demons of the Punjab' Banksia Foundation and the United Nations Association of Australia have given the program Awards for creating “lasting community benefit”. See www.bookendtrust.com and www.facebook.com/BookendTrust. How did you become involved with working on Doctor Who? Did you approach them? Or did they approach you? If they approached you how did they know about you? My involvement in Sixteen Legs led to me being awarded a Churchill Fellowship which enabled me to travel to the UK for an extended period of work studying production methods in various different areas of media and production. Although the documentary was picked up by ARTE and National Geographic, we had also had some discussions with the BBC, and – with a new production team coming into Doctor Who, combined with the popular culture elements that we had incorporated in Sixteen Legs – discussions started about learning about production techniques on a show the scale of Doctor Who in return for providing some scientific comment and input at different points in production. It all grew from there. Can you tell us more? What is a Churchill Fellowship? Churchill Fellowships are sponsored by the Sir Winston Churchill Memorial Trust in recognition of career achievements to date. The Trust was established in the UK, Australia and New Zealand on the death of Sir Winston Churchill, and supports recipients to travel in order to learn how to further the public benefit of their work in ways that might not otherwise be possible. For me it involved extended time in the UK to observe large scale production techniques and to investigate ways of better combining scientific and educational engagement with multimedia and pop culture. Can you give us some examples of the popular culture elements that were incorporated in Sixteen Legs? As a story about spiders, Sixteen Legs covers a topic many people may not immediately relish, yet in this case it’s a spider that outlasted the dinosaurs, survived the splitting of the continents, and has endured the entirety of human civilisation. It breaks a lot of the rules that we think we know about spiders globally, and it has a spectacularly unusual mating cycle. The challenge was to tell this story in a way that would appeal to people beyond those already interested in natural history. The answer wasn’t just in the Studio recording of 'Demons of the Punjab' journey of the onscreen expedition itself (which has


absolutely stunning cinematography of these beautiful caves), but to intertwine this with a standalone Neil Gaiman dark fantasy (with vocals from Kate Miller-Heidke), as well as appearances by Stephen Fry, Tara Moss, Mark Gatiss, Adam Hills, and a few other faces Doctor Who fans would recognise (there’s even a cameo by Boris the Spider). We’ve had people come to see it who don’t like spiders but are fans of Neil and Stephen, and they’ve ended up saying they now look at spiders in a different light. As well as the film, there are also two beautiful hardback books and a travelling exhibition. If anyone wants more info it can be found via the Bookend links I mentioned before or at www.sixteenlegs.com . We’re planning to do more theatrical screenings of Sixteen Legs around Australia and other locations during 2019, so people can register their interest if they want it to head in their direction. When did you become involved with Series 1 1 ? At the writing stage or at the production stage? Sort of both. I met with the new production team on a prior trip to the UK in mid 2017 just as they were starting to plan their roles (the prior production team was still in place). That started a couple of conversations on different topics. They then came back to me in early 2018 with some follow up discussions and then I was embedded with them in Cardiff for an extended period between May-August 2018, amid other UK work. When you first met in mid 201 7 was the idea of a spider episode already in place and did you have some involvement in it going ahead? That meeting was very early in terms of them drawing ideas together. Certainly they were aware beforehand that I had produced Sixteen Legs and that spiders were a key part of that project, so it’s not impossible that they might have had something in mind. Likewise, while there I gave them a presentation on a whole host of different work my colleagues and I had been involved with over the years, and maybe something resonated from that. Certainly at that stage there was nothing written or detailed. What was the arrangement, who were you in contact with in the production office? Did you deal directly with Chris Chibnall as the writer? I spent time in the production office itself and yes, I dealt with Chris directly as well as the rest of the team. In ‘Arachnids in the UK’ did you suggest many corrections / changes due to scientific accuracy? Did the plot or any scenes change much due to your input? To a degree. I suggested what I could, knowing what they were trying to achieve, and trying to fit it within the overall narrative they had already drawn together. But realistically, it's also science fiction and that drives what's on screen, so it's more about keeping it in the realms of feasibility than it actually being accurate per se . There's a LOT of detail in what's discussed as scientific background that gets simplified or cut out for the sake of the drama and even for the sake of tight production timelines that limit what changes are possible irrespective of the science. While there's some back on forth on script content, it's not a case of helping shape everything in fine detail with multiple drafts that (for example) you might get on a scientific paper that needs to be exact, or maybe even a something as detailed as a novel. It's a case of very broad brush strokes of information, hoping as much of what you say can help shape a revision of the script, and that some of the howlers can be avoided or changed. I didn't help construct the spider script, but I did help try to include some plausible explanations and background, and a few different elements to help bring some variety to the action. For example, we discussed vibration and oxygen starvation as elements that would provide something different to the chemical repellents that the


script already had in place in several sections. There were some bits that changed quite a bit as a result, but I'm not sure what level of detail I can go into without approval as that references drafts that aren't in public sight, but I will include more information in my Churchill Fellowship report when completed. Interestingly, there's one element of the final CGI spiders that I'm curious to see if they got right. I'm not mentioning what it is until I see how it's been handled! [Dallas: In a follow up I asked] Have you now seen the story and can you tell us the “one element of the final CGI spiders that I'm curious to see if they got right”? Actually I haven’t. I’ve been almost constantly on the road with Sixteen Legs and other aspects of Bookend’s work since the episodes screened, and the only ones I’ve seen are those that have happened to be on when I’ve been in a hotel room or at home at the time of broadcast. The funny thing is that with prior seasons of Doctor Who, I would go out of my way to see them as soon as possible in order to avoid spoilers, but with this season – because I had seen scripts, line edits, rough cuts, etc – that urgency hasn’t been there, and nor has the time. I did make a concerted effort to see the New Year’s Day special on broadcast though, as I was keen to see how scenes I had watched being filmed came together in the final edit. Do you know of any of the cast and crew who had arachnophobia? Yes, quite a few to different degrees. Real SFX supervisor Danny Hargreaves in particular, much to my amusement. Conversely were there any ‘fans’ of spiders in the cast / crew? I don’t think there was anyone there that you could say loved spiders. There were some people who were ambivalent towards them, and / or fascinated by them, but at a distance. Did Chris Chibnall make it clear about the ‘Green Death’ / ‘Planet of the Spiders’ parallels? Not really beyond the obvious, but I think he was more after a large-scale B-movie horror feel than specific links to those stories. That's a creative element that's beyond what my input was about. What is Chris Chibnall like as a person? He is obviously known as being a fan and having been in fandom. Were there any other people in the production team who were also fans? Chris is an interesting and friendly character. He jokNiall with Real SFX supverisor ingly referred to me as the "Third Doctor to their Danny Hargreaves UNIT", at least until I pointed out how much trouble he had caused the Brigadier. He obviously loves the show and its history, and cares about putting together something that has a specific look, details and momentum in keeping with his vision of the show, just as every producer / showrunner brings that to their era. It was very deliberate on his part to have a different structure and visual approach to this series. As with all showrunners, he’s also got a lot on his plate, which isn’t just making the show, but also all the promotional management and corporate diplomacy that goes with that job – which is a real challenge to balance. There’s simply not enough time to deal with all the things being thrown in his direction - something I can fully sympathise with! As for other members of the production team, well it’s a big production unit composed of lots of people. As a result it’s a mix of lots of different backgrounds with the show – people who grew up as fans of the classic series, people who became fans of the new series, people who have worked on the series for a long time and so love it from that side of the fence, and people who are there because it’s their current job. It would be fair to say they’re all fond of it, but for lots of different reasons.


Chris Chibnall on Niall from Doctor Who Magazine Issue 531 . “Oh yeah” he nods “we had a fantastic spider adviser: Dr Niall Doran from the Bookend Trust in Tasmania. Niall’s an internationally renowned zoologist and conservationist, and luck would have it a huge Doctor Who fan. I’d already started working on the idea for the episode when he fortuitously reached out to us. We spoke on Skype and he ended up being a really important adviser for the episode.” ‘Arachnids in the UK’ is the only story you're credited on. Were you involved with input in any other stories. If so what sort of information did you provide /check? That’s actually complicated to unpick, depending on what level of involvement you’re interested in. As mentioned, the ball got rolling long before there even was a season (or Doctor!) in place. I saw copies of the draft scripts for episodes 1 and 4 before I got to the UK for my Fellowship, and then the rest of them once I was on the ground – most as completed scripts and some that I could provide comment on. By that stage, 1 and 4 had completed filming and were now at different stages of assembly and post-production. The lines all start to blur a bit too. While the filming of individual episodes is quite tight and does have specific production staff attached, there are also production sections that are involved across the whole series, or across different chunks of the series, with each episode at a different stage of production in the pipeline pre or post filming at any given moment. Some were quite progressed, some still early in the process, from assembly of scenes, overlay of special effects, image grading and sound, music etc. Parallel to that, other episodes were filming, while other scripts were still coming in, and all of these were being revised with different levels of urgency depending on the filming deadlines. Effects work was underway for episode 2, filming was underway for episodes 6 and 8, and preliminary drafts were coming in for episodes 10 and the Special, both of which progressed to completion and filming while I was there. So basically I worked with and got to observe production right to the end of the current season (everything recorded to date), as well as preliminary planning of what might happen beyond. There was also filming of additional material for the short promos, and events such as the appearances at San Diego ComicCon. Complicating this, I was also there as an observer studying different aspects of production throughout this process, so that broadened what I was exposed to far beyond where I provided specific advice or comment. On any given day, I might sit in on a viewing of a polished draft of episode 1, where everyone present was watching or listening for anything out of place. Then I might see a crude rough cut of episode 4, to get a sense of how the information I had given them had been put into the script. Next I might be an observer on the filming of sections of episode 6, before then providing feedback on elements of scripts for episode 10 or the ‘Resolution’ special. There again it gets complicated: I’m not sure that anything substantive that I discussed with them for episode 10 is in the final episode, but it may have informed some of what they ended up doing. In contrast, I can look at elements of ‘Resolution’ that clearly came out of discussions at the time. And again, I was present for key parts of the studio and location filming of ‘Resolution’ as an observer, whereas I saw none of the physical filming of ‘Arachnids in the UK’ even though that was the episode I had the most obvious involvement with. Arachnids was the clear one for me to be credited on, and I appreciate that as the main concentration of an experience Niall test firing pyrotechnics on location for 'Resolution' that spans different parts of the season.


Did you meet any other Australians whilst working on the show? Peter McTighe of course. Peter was there when I originally visited in 2017. His episode was filmed before I got to the UK, but we did catch up again on a day of location filming for ‘Resolution’. Other than that I met people who had been to Australia or had Australian connections, but off the top of my head I don't recall any other specific Australians being about while I was in Cardiff. Apologies if I've forgotten anyone! As a side story, I do have a Tasmanian friend, Yolanda Peart-Smith, who worked in costuming on Christopher Eccleston’s season when the show first returned. I think that trumps us all. Have you seen the Radio Times article about the scientific accuracy about spiders? Do you know the person they used? What are your comments on the article? Yes, I've read it and very much agree with it. Scientists say things with a lot of scientific uncertainties, qualifications and expanded explanations. When you provide this advice to a production process, a lot of that additional explanation gets removed and boiled down to something simple, and then gets simplified even more by the time it's on screen. What ironically happened is that the Radio Times then asked another scientist for his opinion, and he in turn put all of those qualifications and expanded explanations back in! So we were both effectively saying the same things on either side of the pointy end of production and the reality of providing less than an hour of television that has other priorities and doesn't want to become a lecture. It's also quite curious as I haven't actually seen the final cut of the episode (I was in Rotterdam when it screened and I'm still on the road) and reading between the lines of the Radio Times interview, Lawrence hadn't seen it either and was instead responding to a further simplified list of points provided by the Radio Times! We've been in contact and are talking about using our perspectives of this from either end of the process as an interesting example of the pathway that science advice and interpretation takes in the media. Have you seen any fan comments on the story and in particular its depiction of spiders? Very little. I don't tend to read a lot of fan comment at the best of times – not for any reason other than I know there will be a range of comments, opinions and feedback from those who loved it through to those who didn't, and those who responded to different aspects in different ways. If I'm a viewer of a show that has a diversity of opinion but that doesn't change my own personal reflections on what I've watched, and as I'm not in one of the creative roles on this production that's for them to look at. What spiders were the CGI ones based on? The last version of the episode that I saw still had temp FX work in it, and I only saw some of the draft CGI rendering of the final product (which looked great). As I understand it, they were basing it on the common English house spider, which can grow quite large, but I don't know what liberties they may have taken in the CGI rendering. Did you get or try to get any Easter eggs into the script? No, my role wasn't at that level of fine detail. Obviously there's a past history of spiders in Doctor Who and there were discussions about things like that at various points in general, but not at that type of level. It might have been great to have the 13th Doctor making a comment about not having a good past with spiders, but equally such references can easily overdo it, and the Doctor's acceptance of the spiders was an important part of Chris’s script. Any other questions I should ask you? Very probably, as it was very interesting to observe production on the series, especially at such a time of dramatic change. I also had a lot of other genre-relevant experiences while there, including a day spent with Graeme Garden of the The Goodies, and meeting with Jeff Wayne, creator of the War of the Worlds album. I will be tying all of this together in my Churchill Fellowship reNiall at location filming for port, which will be publicly available, so watch this space… 'Resolution'


sat down over an iced coffee and watched this on the laptop before work. As I closed the lid, I thought this was a home run – peril & pace, visuals & design, cuteness & disgust, and lessons on initiative & imagination, as well as hubris & expertise. It never occurred to me that this episode would receive a mixed reaction from the viewer community. Maybe it was the iced coffee. Oddly, every episode I’ve watched over sunrise has felt amazing – does this bleary time-of-day suit the show? ———— To make sense of the fan reaction, I’ve tried to find a correlation with Classic Who versusNuWho fans, or perhaps RTD lovers-versus-haters. Or is it the obvious: Moffat lovers-versushaters? I've been thinking about how I read RTD’s novelisation of 'Rose' and Moffat’s novelisation of 'Day of the Doctor'. RTD’s writing really, truly shines, and I enjoyed it far more than the TV episode. I think that the comparison between RTD’s and Moffat’s writing comes down to how good a prose writer RTD is, adding more background and extrapolation to the novel. He has turned 'Rose' into a disaster ‘epic’. Moffat’s book was clever too, but had a tricky brief – having to start from his own excellent but complex piece of television to transform. Moffat is a master of out-of-order storytelling (cf. Coupling), and this trick keeps you on your toes for a visual narrative – which is a format where the pace is set by the medium, not your reading. Necessarily, but unfortunately, this makes the book a bit of uphill nonsense (if you haven’t seen the episode); I’m glad I read it though. Chibnall is travelling in the opposite direction to Moffat – starting with something that would make an excellent ‘other-world’ experience in a novel, and then undertaking the challenge of rendering it to screen. This is not easy and not always possible. He is achieving the ‘novel’ to screen conversion processes with a canny selection of Directors, Directors of Photography (e.g. Denis Crossan) and Segun Akinola’s etheric tones – but perhaps others are not absorbing it in the final product. Converting a ‘novel’ is never a task that occurs organically for the big screen, let alone the small screen. If the conversion doesn't work, there's nothing left – people will be left with a pedestrian sequence of events. Boy meets girl; boy commits time-line violation; girl defeats boy with sonic screwdriver. Some fan reaction is decrying the lack of subtext, parallels and themes – citing the classics, like Davros and the ultimate vial of viral destruction in 'Genesis of the Daleks'. Where are the complex characters and great dialogue, like Davros demonstrating his megalomania? Neither example relied on expensive effects, even for that era – let alone the time for carefully planned post-production, to curate the CGI from something easily found on TV nowadays (just ‘modern looking’) to a higher level (‘works well’ or even "what CGI?").


But that atmosphere! The look of the ship. I was already enjoying the heck out of 'The Tsuranga Conundrum', early on. ———— And then we saw the out-of-focus backside of Pting. I didn’t realise it, but Tim Price’s creation hooked into my subconscious memory of a handful of cartoon characters – brilliant! I loved the Tasmanian Devil as a kid, but also other angry beasts like Animal from the Muppets, perhaps crossed with the Cookie Monster. Matching the live-action realism were some proper greenscreen reaction faces from the cast: check out the way the Doctor grits her teeth when her crew face the Pting for the first time in the corridor, reeling back in shock. The video briefing of the Pting identified then as having the “ability to eat through any material that would incarcerate them”. The science-fiction trope of the ‘uncontainable phenomenon’: It’s a basic but powerful idea – nothing too philosophical; this is more like the first Ghostbusters movie where the mysterious green slime was so dangerous that people did not understand what they were seeing: Winston: (seeing the ooze melt through Egon's sample jar) "Plastic, huh? Maybe you should try a glass one." Egon: "That WAS glass."

As an ‘uncontainable phenomenon’, Pting's danger is more unfathomable than that of Davros’s lethal virus. Davros’s imagined weapon has more potency, but our new little monster has more spinechilling potential; my mind’s eye ran wild with the ailing General Eve Cicero’s mentioning “It massacred my fleet” – they could make for great side-stories in future episodes, where an unwary crew has no idea of what they’re in for. It’s a nice change from the Daleks, in the role of unstoppable-force-of-nature, in that the Pting are a conscious force that can see you and yell at you, but they have about as much control of their own actions as a tsunami does. This monster is 1,000% Doctor Who. As an extrapolated Looney Toons cartoon character, it’s cute, it’s unlikely, but it’s also defined to be diabolical. Most aliens on most shows have a grumpy / greedy / grievance problem to work out. But the Daleks, the Cybermen, Weeping Angels, the Pting… do they care about you? They just don’t care. They drive on the other side of the road and you’re going to collide. Their mode of life travels one way, and yours another. Just hope you don’t share the same path. ————— Unlike some, I’m quite forgiving that the plot does not strictly follow horror tropes – the standard is to reveal the monster to the audience, before engaging in the ‘scary corridor’ search scenes. I’m also forgiving of the themes of different characters being unlinked – others have argued that Eve’s illness could have been written as a cancer-like illness that’s ‘eating her away’; likewise, tonal links could have been made between a needy newborn and an


all-consuming monster. I’m also happy for clichés about character development to be left on the writers’ room floor, as long as they feel like real people I could meet. If the characters were enjoyable and my mind was challenged by their problems – and is thrown morsels to laugh at – then am I not entertained? I will concede, though, that the Ronan the “drone” android should have felt uniquely threatened by Pting – Ronan was a walking power supply – and this was a glaringly missed opportunity. ‘Fridge logic’ is only a big problem when you’re having those “but wait…” moments during the middle of the show, instead of after the credits when you’ve got up to open the fridge for a snack. A show like Doctor Who has a remarkable shelf life and survives repeat viewing (by most classes of fans) more than any other TV series I can think of, rivalling Hollywood classics like The Outer Limits and Babylon 5 ; for that reason, I do worry when, and only when, the quality of the script is under debate by fans who disliked this episode. It might have been wiser, for instance, to be more judgementally-neutral about adopting out Yoss’s child as a choice. Ryan was pushing Yoss hard to reconsider his fear of being a dad – this was fine if it was just teaching him to discover his untapped paternal capacity. Yoss, however, decided to face the unknown of fatherhood, realising that making mistakes was a part of it. It’s a packed episode, to be sure – but it would have been a far kinder thing for Yoss to offer to support the baby, no matter what Yoss’ eventual choice might be. As for the junk planet – I’m hopeful that its purpose remains a live possibility for future episodes, because the alternative is that ineffective sonic mines are just ‘Mcguffins’ to get the Doctor and his companions on-board a space ambulance (whose era has better technology than do the mines). ————— Then it occurred to me – maybe it’s not Classic Who versus NuWho, but general public versus ‘hard-SF’ fans. These are fans who are exploring the future, as for example Charlie Brooker’s TV anthology series Black Mirror does, or who enjoy hard-SF novels from the 30s through to the 60s. 1950s B-movies with aliens were a ‘pop’ departure – as is the current MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe.)


Chibnall is giving us the ‘locked outside’ vibe of Pertwee’s 'Inferno', or Tennant’s 'Turn Left' – episodes where you can imagine feeling trapped in bottomless dire circumstance, on your own and with no reprieve. It’s the cold chill of discovering the world is an unforgiving place and there’s no safety net. The cliffhanger to 'Woman Who Fell To Earth' is a beautiful exemplar of this. I think if you like those, as I do, you’ll like 'The Tsuranga Conundrum'. If you prefer a confronting personal challenge, as Russell T Davies gave us with 'Midnight' or 'Waters of Mars' – or as Gary Gillatt expertly laid out in his DWM review, the depths of the human heart in 'Snakedance' – you’ll probably find less in 'The Tsuranga Conundrum'. That being said, my brain was sprinting to keep up with the fascinating possibilities in two short asides on 'The Tsuranga Conundrum'. In one, the Doctor had to explain ‘problem-solving’ to Mabli when she said “I can’t quite see the solution yet, but that’s life”, I thought about all the times the Doctor solved a problem we would give up on – and my mind unpacked the multitudes of themes therein: inspiration; hard work; spirit. All the virtues of tenacity spoke volumes to me, and are lessons I try to teach children. In another aside earlier in the episode, conversely, the Doctor is challenged within herself, as Astos calmly and logically points out to the Doctor “Yes, you are. You're being hostile and selfish. There are patients on board who need to get to Resus One as a matter of urgency. My job is to keep all of you safe. You're stopping me from doing that.” It’s quite a climbdown for the Doctor to acknowledge greater knowledge and apologise, after nearly taking those virtues of tenacity across a red line. Again, my mind unpacked the themes at lightning pace across those two lines of dialogue – expertise, deference, hubris, humility — virtues for the adults watching as much as the children. Not for the first time, we get what feels like a modernising moment for Doctor Who adapting to the viewer’s outside world. ————— What I discovered over the course of the season was that Chris Chibnall really wants to take you on a journey outside your planet and time-zone in the TARDIS with him. It might even be as simple as that — he wants to feel the pleasure of magic, profound unfamiliarity for himself, extracting a first-world human out of the comfortable 21st century, and he goes to the office every morning to build an episode to give him these sensations. This is why he aims high for historic Alabama and Punjab. But it is also present in 'The Tsuranga Conundrum', giving us the sensation of ‘base under siege’, something Classic Who could do if you were the right age perhaps. If you can allow yourself, in a dark room with headphones and a laptop, you can feel it too. That iced coffee really was a good idea.


3) Rate 'The Ghost Monument'

Very good 25.4% Good 23.7% Average 13.3% Great 8.7%; Above average 8.7%; Fantastic 6.4%; Below average 3.5%; Poor 3.5%; Abysmal 2.9%; Bad 2.3%; Very poor 1.2%

4) Rate 'Rosa'

Fantastic 38.9% Great 24.6% Very Good 12.6% Good 6.9%; Above average 3.4%; Below average 3.4%; Average 2.9%; Very poor 1.7%, Abysmal 1.7%; Bad 0.6%

5) Rate 'Arachnids in the UK'"

Very good 23.3% Above Average 17.3% Average 13.3% Good 10.7%; Fantastic 7.3%; Great 6.7%; Very poor 6.0%; Poor 4.7%; Below average 4.0%; Abysmal 3.3%; Bad 2.7%

6) Rate 'The Tsuranga Conundrum'

A) STORIES IN SERIES 11 & THE NEW YEAR'S SPECIAL

1) Select your favourite story of Series 11 or the New Year’s Special

Rosa 24.5% Resolution 23.8% The Witchfinders 11.2% It Takes You Away 10.5%; Kerblam! 9.8% The Woman Who Fell to Earth 9.1%; Demons of the Punjab 6.3%; Arachnids in the UK 2.8%; The Ghost Monument 1.4%; The Tsuranga Conundrum 0%; The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos 0%

2) Rate 'The Woman Who Fell To Earth'

Very good 19.7% Good 17.8% Above Average 12.5% Average 12.5% Fantastic 7.2%; Below Average 5.9%; Great 5.3%; Very poor 5.3%; Poor 5.3%; Abysmal 5.3%; Bad 2.6%

7) Rate 'Demons of the Punjab'

Fantastic 23.0% Great 23.0% Very Good 16.2% Good 12.2%; Above average 8.6%; Average 6.1%; Bad 5.3%; Abysmal 2.7%; Below average 2.0%; Poor 1.4%; Very Poor 0.7%

8) Rate 'Kerblam!'

Very good 24.6% Great 24.3% Fantastic 21.6% Very Good 20.3% Good 19.2% Good 14.9% Great 10.2%; Average 8.4%, Above average Fantastic 12.8%; Above average 10.1%; Av6.6%; Poor 3.6%; Abysmal 2.4%; Below aver- erage 9.5%; Abysmal 4.1%; Below average age 1.8%; Bad 0.6%; Very poor 0.6% 2.7%; Very Poor 2.0%,; Bad 2.0%; Poor 0.7%


9) Rate 'The Witchfinders'

Great 25.7% Very Good 15.8% Good 15.8% Fantastic 11.8%; Above average 10.5%; Average 5.9%; Abysmal 5.9%; Poor 3.3%; Very poor 2.6%; Bad 1.3%; Below Average 0.7%

10) Rate 'It Takes You Away'

Great 13.4%; Average 8.9%; Below average 3.2%; Abysmal 3.2%; Above average 2.5%; Poor 1.3%; Bad 0.6%; Very poor 0.0%

2) Rate Jodie Whittaker's performance as the Doctor after you had seen the first story

Fantastic 38.9% Great 22.9% Good 10.7% Very Good 10.2%; Average 7.6%; Above average 1.9%; Below average 1.9%; Bad 1.9%; Poor 1.3%; Abysmal 1.3%; Very Poor 0.6%

Great 21.9% Very Good 21.2% Good 15.2% Fantastic 11.9%; Average 8.6%; Above average 6.6%; Bad 4.0%; Very Poor 3.3%; Abysmal 3) Rate the character of the 13th Doctor after you have seen the whole series 3.3%; Poor 2.0%; Below average 1.3% Great 27.0% 11) Rate 'The Battle of Ranskoor Av KoFantastic 24.8% los' Very Good 15.6% Very good 20.9% Average 7.6%; Below average 5.7%; Good Good 15.7% 5.0%; Abysmal 4.3%; Above average 2.1%; Average 15.7% Bad 2.1%; Poor 1.4%, Very Poor 1.4% Great 14.2%; Fantastic 6.7%; Above average 4) Rate Jodie Whittaker's performance 6.7%; Below average 4.5%Very poor 4.5%; as the Doctor after you have seen the Abysmal 4.5%; Poor 3.7%; Bad 2.2%

12) Rate 'Resolution'

Fantastic 25.8% Very Good 23.3% Great 22.6% Average 8.8%; Good 4.4%; Above average 3.1%; Abysmal 3.1%; Very poor 2.5%; Poor 1.9%; Below average 1.3%; Bad 1.3%

13) Rate Series 11

Very good 30.3% Great 12.0% Good 11.3% Fantastic 9.2%; Above average 7.7%; Average 6.3&; Very poor 6.3%; Poor 5.6%; Abysmal 4.9%; Below Average 4.2%; Bad 1.4%

B) THE THIRTEENTH DOCTOR IN SERIES 11

1) Rate the character of the 13th Doctor after you had seen the first story Fantastic Very Good Good

31.9% 18.5% 15.9%

whole series

Fantastic 35.3% Great 22.3% Very Good 15.8% Average 7,2%; Good 6.5%; Above average 4.3%; Very poor 3.6%; Abysmal 2.9%; Below average 0.7%; Bad 0.7%; Very Poor 0.0%


5) Select four words from the list below that best describes Jodie Whittaker's performance. You can also add a fifth word of your own choice

Passionate 16.3% Playful 14.5% Comic 12.4% Natural 8.5% Dramatic 7.1%; Layered 5.3%; Realistic 4.6%; Nuanced 4.3%; Farcical 3.2%; Overthe-top 2.8%; Theatrical 2.8%; Intense 2.8%; Melodramatic 2.8%; Subtle 2.5%; Action 2.5%; Wooden 2.5%; Forceful 2.5%, Versatile 1.8%; Histrionic 0.7%

6) Select four words from the list below that best describes the 13th Doctor's character. You can also add a fifth word of your own choice

Friendly 12.6% Energetic 9.9% Adventurous 8.3% Awkward 7.6% Funny 6.6%; Joyous 6.6%; Intelligent 6.3%; Smart 4.3%, Witty 4.0%, Dull 3.6%; Brave 3.6%; Heroic 3.3%; Wise 3.3%; Loopy 3.0%; Annoying 3.0%; Gentle 2.3%; Flamboyant 2.0%; Verbose 1.7%; Tender 1.7%; Brash 1.0%; Cold 1.0%; Romantic 0.7%; Sly 0.7%; Cunning 0.7%; Gallant 0.7%; Handsome 0.3%; Belligerent 0.3%, Demure 0.3%, Didactic 0.3%; Caustic 0.3%; Aggressive 0.0%; Taciturn 0.0%; Angry 0.0%; Grouchy 0.0%; Vain 0.0%

C) COMPANIONS IN SERIES 11

1) Rate the team of – Graham, Ryan and Yasmin

Very good 27.3% Fantastic 15.4% Good 15.4% Great 14.0%; Average 10.5%; Above average 5.6%; Below average 4.9%; Poor 2.8%; Bad 2.1%; Abysmal 1.4%; Very poor 0.7%

2) Select who is your favourite of the Doctor's new friends Graham Yasmin Ryan

78.6% 13.8% 6.9%

3) Rate Bradley Walsh's performance

Great 36.7% Fantastic 34.5% Very Good 11.5% Good 7.9%; Average 3.6%; Above average 2.2%; Very poor 1.4%; Below average 0.7%; Bad 0.7%;Very Poor 0.0%; Abysmal 0.0%

4) Rate the character of Graham

Fantastic 38.0% Very Good 23.4% Great 19.0% Good 8.0%; Above average 5.1%; Average 2.9%; Below average 2.2%; Poor 0.7%; Very poor 0.7%; Bad 0.0%, Abysmal 0.0%

5) Rate Tosin Cole's performance

Very good 34.6% Fantastic 18.1% Good 14.2% Average 12.6%; Great 7.9%; Above average 3.1%; Below average 3.1%; Poor 3.1%; Abysmal 2.4%; Bad 0.8%; Very poor 0.0%

6) Rate the character of Ryan

Very good 20.8% Good 16.0% Above average 16.0% Average 13.6%; Great 12.0%; Fantastic 10.4%; Below average 4.8%; Poor 3.2%; Abysmal 2.4%; Bad 0.8%; Very poor 0.0%

7) Rate Mandip Gill's performance

Very good 26.9% Great 15.7% Fantastic 13.4% Good 13.4% Average 13.4% Above Average 10.4%; Below Average 2,2%; Abysmal 2.2%; Poor 1.5%; Bad 0.0%


8) Rate the character of Yasmin

Very good 19.4% Average 15.5% Great 14.0% Good 13.2%; Fantastic 11.6%; Above Average 10.1%; Below Average 5.4%; Very poor 4.7%; Poor 2.3%; Abysmal 2.3%; Bad 1.6%

D) OTHER

1) Rate the new version of the theme music.

Great 28.7% Fantastic 24.0% Very Good 11.3% Good 11.3% Above average 7.3%; Average 5.3%; Below Average 3.3%; Abysmal 2.67%; Poor 2.0%, Very poor 2.0%, Bad 2.0%

2) Rate the new title sequence

E) WHOVIANS Great 23.5% Good 19.6% 1) How many episodes of Whovians Fantastic 18.3% series 2 did you watch? All episodes 37.1% Very good 17.0%; Average 6.5%; Above averMost episodes 3.8% age 5.9%; Below Average 2.6%; Poor 2.0%; Some episodes 2.9% Very poor 2.0%; Bad 1.3%; Abysmal 1.3% One episode 10.5% 3) Rate the new look TARDIS None 45.7% Fantastic 20.7% 2) Rate Whovians series 2 Very Good 20.7% Fantastic 19.5% Good 15.2% Average 14.9% Below Average 8.3%; Great 7.6%; Average Good 11.5% 7.6%; Abysmal 6.9%; Above Average 5.5%; Above Average 11.5% Very poor 2.8%; Bad 2.8%; Poor 2.1% Great 10.3%; Abysmal 10.3%; Bad 8.0%; Very good 6.9%; Very poor 4.6%; Below average 1.1%; Poor 1.1%

3) Rate Rove’s performance for series 2 of Whovians

Abysmal 15.5% Fantastic 13.1% Very Good 11.9% Good 11.9% Great 10.7%; Average 10.7%; Above Average 8.3%; Very poor 8.3%; Poor 6.0%; Below average 3.6%; Bad 0.0%

4) Which was better, series 1 or series 2 of Whovians? Series 1 Series 2

50.8% 49.2%


Whostorical

— History in Doctor Who — Dallas Jones

T

o begin this article I need to define what “History” is. I thought I should go to what is, to most people, the definitive resource to answer that question, the Oxford English Dictionary. The OED says ”History” is: “The study of past events, particularly in human affairs.” I am fairly happy with this definition but I would tweak it a bit to be: "The study of Humanity's past events". So a story with just non humans / aliens in say the Jurassic Era is not a history story. For example the opening scenes from 'City of Death', set in the Devonian era, with just a Jagaroth, are not History, although the later scenes set in Leonardo da Vinci's 15th century Italy are History. Starting from the beginning, the first ever story 'An Unearthly Child' (aka 'Tribe of Gum', aka '100,000 BC') is possibly a grey area. Are the last three episodes historical? Although it is not specifically stated that the three episodes are set on Earth, I would say definitely yes they are. It is clear to me that the cavemen are Human and the time period depicted is obviously the time that man first discovered how to control fire (and how to lose control of it). So, we now have an idea of what I classify as History, but as the subtitle of the article says, it is "History in Doctor Who" not just about the Historical stories in the series. Some stories have a History episode or episodes or even just scene or scenes. The first story, as mentioned, is a good example, the first episode is hardly a historical episode, but the final three, as I said, most definitely are. So when we talk about 'History In Doctor Who ', we are covering both historical stories and stories with historical episodes / scenes. To further classify History in Doctor Who fans have divided History into 'pure' historical and 'pseudo' historical. Pure historical has, as the only 'outsiders', the Doctor and his / her companions involved in the action. Pseudo historical adds SF / SciFi trappings with the inclusion of, usually, aliens. Thus 'Marco Polo' is purely historical, as


are most of the first Doctor stories involving History ('The Time Meddler' is the obvious exception and is, of course, the first example of a Pseudo History story, with the introduction of the eponymous character.). 'The Time Warrior', which is set in Norman times, with the appearance of the Sontaran Linx, is regarded by many as the first Pseudo History story while nearly all the other History stories since then are Pseudo History ('Black Orchid' being, again using the term, 'the obvious exception'. The deformed figure of George Cranleigh is not an alien). Now to further classify History in Doctor Who I would like to look at what is actually happening in the story / episode / scene regarding the events of History. Some History depicted in Doctor Who is based on a specific historical event or events and a historical character, or characters. 'Marco Polo', as mentioned previously, is an example of this type of Pure History story. Other Pure History stories include: 'The Reign of Terror'; 'The Romans'; 'The Crusade'; 'The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve' and 'The Gunfighters'. For Pseudo History stories that fit these criteria you would look at 'The King's Demons' and more recently 'The Unicorn and the Wasp', 'Rosa' and 'The Witchfinders'. A Pseudo History scene occurs in 'The Impossible Astronaut" when President Richard Nixon in the White House and the Moon Landing are depicted. Another strand of Doctor Who History is based just on a specific historical event or events but no historical character or characters are seen. A Pure History story would be 'The Highlanders' with the Battle of Culloden, but no specific historical characters are depicted (Sorry, but Jamie is not a fictional character). Pseudo History stories that would fit these criteria would include, 'The Idiot's Lantern' with the Coronation and the recent 'Demons of the Punjab' set at the time of the partition of India.


A Pseudo History scene would be the Daleks appearance on The Mary Celeste in 'The Chase'. Some may say that 'The Aztecs' could come under this classification, but the eclipse is not a specific historical event nor is the human sacrifice. Human sacrifices did occur but none have ever been specifically noted. The next classification is when the historical element is just a specific historical character or characters but with no specific historical event or events. Examples of this include the Pseudo History stories 'Let's Kill Hitler', with its eponymous character, 'The Unquiet Dead' with Charles Dickens and 'Tooth and Claw' with Queen Victoria. There is no Pure History story I can think of that would be covered here. For a story with historical scenes that would include 'The Girl in the Fireplace' which features Sophia Myles playing Madame de Pompadour. Although her death is referred to, it is not actually shown and thus there is no scene of a specific historical event. The story does cover her life but no real historical events are depicted. Albert Einstein, Louis Pasteur and Hypatia, real historical characters, are seen in 'Time and the Rani', but not in a historical setting. A final strand is based on a historical society / time but with no specific event / events or character / characters. There are many examples of this. For Pure Histories we have 'The Aztecs':'The Smugglers' set in 17th century Cornwall; 'Black Orchid' in the 1920s and possibly 'Thin Ice', which is set in early 19th century London, but it is not made clear if the creature is earthly or alien. For Pseudo History stories we have: 'The Time Meddler', although the Battle of Hastings is referred to, it is not shown; 'The Abominable Snowmen', set in Tibet in the 1930s, 'The Time Warrior' in Norman England; 'A Town Called Mercy', set in the American West of the late 19th century, 'Father's Day' in London 1987; 'Cold War' in 1983; 'The Next Doctor' in London in 1851; 'Vampires of Venice' in 1580; 'Deep Breath' in Victorian London and 'The Woman Who Lived' in 17th century England. Stories which have pseudo historical scenes include: the 'Hollywood in the silent film era' scenes in 'The Daleks' Master Plan'; the scenes in 1866 in 'The Evil of the Daleks'; many scenes in 'Pyramids of Mars' set in 1911; much of 'Mawdryn Undead' in 1977; 'Silver Nemesis' in Windsor in 1638; 'Blink' in 1969; 'The Pandorica Opens' in Roman Britain 102 AD; 'The Bells of Saint John' in Cumbria 1207; 'The Return of Doctor Mysterio' in New York City in 1992 and 'The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe' in 1941.


Thus it can be seen that I have broken down History in Doctor Who into 16 classifications. They are: • Pure History Story with a historical character or characters and a historical event or events. • Pure History Story with a historical character or characters and no historical event or events. • Pure History Story with no historical character or characters and a historical event or events. • Pure History Story with no historical character or characters and no historical event or events. • Pseudo History Story with a historical character or characters and a historical event or events. • Pseudo History Story with a historical character or characters and no historical event or events. • Pseudo History Story with no historical character or characters and a historical event or events. • Pseudo History Story with no historical character or characters and no historical event or events. • Pure History episode / episodes or scene / scenes with a historical character or characters and a historical event or events. • Pure History episode / episodes or scene / scenes with a historical character or characters and no historical event or events. • Pure History episode / episodes or scene / scenes with no historical character or characters and no historical event or events. • Pure History episode / episodes or scene / scenes with a historical character or characters and a historical event or events. • Pseudo History episode / episodes or scene / scenes with a historical character or characters and no historical event or events. • Pseudo History episode / episodes or scene / scenes with no historical character or characters and a historical event or events. • Pseudo History episode / episodes or scene / scenes with no historical character or characters and a historical event or events. • Pseudo History episode / episodes or scene / scenes with no historical character or characters and no historical event or events. Then there are the oddities. Firstly 'Mythmakers', is it History or as its title suggests Mythology? For all intents and purposes I would classify it as "Pure History Story with a historical character or characters and a historical event or events". Next is 'The Time Monster' with the mythical Atlantis which I would classify as a "Pseudo History Story with no historical character or characters and no historical event or events" and finally 'The Robot of Sherwood' with the mythical Robin Hood, which I would classify as a "Pseudo History Story with a historical character or characters and no historical event or events". Other things to ponder. The time scooped ship in 'Carnival of Monsters', the real historical people in 'War Games' and the real historical people in 'Four to Doomsday'. All of these I would not classify as History as the time they are set in is not in our past. Similarly, Blackbeard and Cyrano de Bergerac in 'The Mind Robber' comee to mind, but in the story they are fictional representations of historical characters. Then we have 'alternate' histories such as: 'Inferno'; 'Battlefield'; 'Turn Left'; 'The Lie of the Land' and 'The Pandorica Opens'. And, of course, we should not forget all the historical people, places and events the Doctor, and others, have name-dropped.


ASTRAL CIVIC THEATRE NEWCASTLE 23RD NOVEMBER 2018 To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew Catherine was going to be doing sketches just like her TV show but I had a hard time trying to figure out how she’d do the costume and scene changes, but the way it was done – one simply cannot find fault. Catherine was accompanied by just 3 people. Niky Wardley (who has been in all her TV shows and most recognisable as Lauren’s friend), Alex Carter and David Goldstein. We had fantastic seats – right in front of the stage, 2nd row! The show starts to a rapturous round of applause for our favourite nurse – Bernie! The scene ends and the characters literally dance off stage – the stage went black but you could see the stage hands removing the hospital bed and bringing in the desks for the next scene – but all the while, you’re actually watching a short sketch on a screen above – so that is how they managed to rearrange everything… by making you watch sketches so that you’re looking high above the

rather than at the stage. Due to the fact that we couldn’t see all the characters in just one show, some of these video sketches were messages from them – i.e. the posh mum and Margaret the frightened woman who is always screaming at any loud noise. We had a new character – another male with a beard and hairy chest – but he made a few appearances on the screen only. The majority of the screen sketches though were of Nan.

Spoiler alert… she was talking on the phone to a radio station as she had won tickets for the Catherine Tate Show! But because she kept swearing, she had to be cut off and called back. The first half of the show was great – it was filled with the 'minor' characters, but they had so much fun with some audience participation – with the mum who has the gay son – she was trying to find a man to give him his first gay kiss… it


L MAP was hilarious! It really kicked off after the intermission with of all people – Lauren… we thought the noise would never die down… the first thing Lauren said was, "Yeah I know what you’re waiting for, but you’ll have to wait for it!" When it finally happened, the audience went wild! I was SOOOOO tempted to yell out – "Bite Me Alien Boi!" Derek was next and boy, did Catherine have fun with him. We eventually got the one everyone was waiting for – Nan… she made her entrance from down in the audience, with the ticket she had won, waving it

The Myth Makers by Donald Cotton

(1985, Target Books)

This is rated a triumph by this reader. There was once a school of thought critical of its swerve away from being a “he said”, “she said” recount of the televised scripts, also by Cotton. I think that is its strength. Cotton creates a prose version which keeps the key characters and incidents but enriches it all with such fun and word play that even the book’s rushed ending and the

around in the air, declaring someone was in her seat – and walking all around to find her right seat. She had us all in stitches with her grandson – who was obviously not played by Matthew Horne – pointing out many times it wasn’t Matthew and having funny digs at him! I did have a couple of small gripes, I expected more audience participation – and the Nan sketch wasn’t as funny as other Nan sketches – my biggest disappointment though was I wanted to try and meet her, so we went to the stage door

however, a security guard moved us on, which was a real shame! But for a 2 hour plus show (with a 10 minute intermission) I would give it 10/10 – for literally a laugh a minute, for the dancing off stage at the end of each skit, for the professional scene and costume changes, for the research they obviously did for each town they visited (to make each skit fit in with the local surrounding and culture) and the fun they all had on stage. Next time she comes to Australia, I will make sure I see her again (and more than once) – worth every cent!

best Target Doctor Who plot’s inevitable tragedy don’t dampen the read. It books are written in the leaps into its own creative first person? space and it is better for it. Anachronistic (Homer at the siege of Troy. Really? Oh, and a Police Box...), witty, corny, sweet and winkingly modern, it is a page turner. The characterisations are wonderful across the board, the Doctor especially. The Daleks by David Whitaker, also a brilliant read in a completely different style, makes me wonder… Is it a coincidence that two of the very


For his first season of all gives us a successfully mixture of science and historical stories, just like the classic series. The plot of 'The Witchfinders' has the gang land in 17th century Earth, and as Graham points out it's in Lancashire. They find, to their horror, a witch-trial by water, but are too late to stop it. The Doctor senses there is something very wrong. In charge of the trial is the Lady of the Manor, Becka Savage (played by Siobahn Finneran), who is twisted and misguided; later all is revealed. Using the psychic paper on Becka, it conveys that the Doctor is the Witchfinder General. Becka makes an important comment here about the state of women in the century (in some respects, not much has changed in the 21st century). Upon his arrival at the manor, trying to be undercover, is King James 1 (played by Alan CumDoctor Who, Chris Chibn-

ming), seeking to be rid of witches and the influences of Satan. The Doctor, uses her psychic paper on the King, but he only sees the Doctor as an assistant to the Witchfinder General, who the King thinks is Graham. As the story unfolds Yasmin follows Willa (played by Tilly Steele) to the grave of her grandmother, who was recently drowned as a witch. There she finds something is coming up from the mud, a root. Yasmin tells the Doctor about this occurrence, as she, The Doctor and Willa meet up at the grave. The Doctor checks out the mud, and as all three turn, what appears to be Willa’s gran rises up. The Doctor discovers that something has taken over her body. Meanwhile Graham and Ryan are keeping an eye on the King. As it turns out, Becka Savage had unlocked an alien prison by cutting down a tree that was blocking her view of the hill. She was

infected by the alien war criminals, the Morax, and she thinks she has to destroy the evil in her village. But the Morax have taken over Becka and now kidnap the King so he can be infected. Of course the Doctor and the team save the day. Written by Joy Wilkinson 'The Witchfinders' is an historical story with a great alien twist, much in the same way as 'Rosa' and less so in 'The Demons of Punjab'. Sallie Aprahamin directorial pace of story slowly unfolds into a classic. All the characters are given plenty to do and Jodie Whitaker, as the Doctor, continues to be brilliant. Take a second look at Alan Cumming's version of King James, to see how very sad and lonely a man he is. Some aspects of 'The Witchfinders' reminds me very much of the Vincent Price film, Witchfinder General, released back in 1967.


It was a pleasant surprise when Whovians returned for a second season, accompanying Jodie Whittaker’s first season as the Doctor. Less welcome was the change from a Sunday to a Monday recording. Nevertheless I managed to attend all the season two tapings, and was pleasantly surprised when I, and a number of other regular attendees like me, were given preferential seating for the final episode. As usual, the audience was shown the episode prior to the taping of the Whovians episode. Then that episode’s panel were introduced to the audience, including the extra special guest, Tim Shaw. Then, as usual, the panel discussed the episode.

Some insight. Some comedy. Some weirdness. Well, that’s Whovians! But what is it like to be in the audience? And more specifically, what is it like to be in the audience of the final episode of season 2? Well, after audience warm up by comedian Tommy Dean (who usually does warm up for Q&A ), Rove talks to the audience, both as a group and to individual people. It’s a

the episode is finished as well, along with station promos. Interestingly the one designed for the closing credits wasn’t used – for the second week in a row. Maybe Rove reading out a letter of complaint from The Age newspaper about him talking over the theme music OVER THE THEME MUSIC was a little much. I think one of the reasons nice touch, along with this works is bephoto opportunities after causeshow a number of the almost every show, and panellists are real fans of something done for each the show. In particular episode I’ve attended. both Rove and Adam The episode was, as usu- Richard have a broad knowledge of the show's al, recorded as if live. A few occasions when a line many eras that really informs the arguments they is misspoken are redone with the episode continu- propose and the jokes ing from that point. A few they make. mistakes are redone after And as Adam Richard has said a few times, including during this episode, you’re not a true fan until you’ve complained about something that’s different to what’s gone before. Now that’s understanding your fan-base! Of course it’s not for everyone, particularly the casual fan. But I for one look forward to the show returning for Jodie’s next series.


involving John’s and Carole’s Uber struggle. After leaving the club after being told by the ‘Millennials’ they were too old to stay out, John has to order a Uber, even though the hotel was only two blocks away, he included Paris in the name. However he got the location a little wrong. The Uber arrived and they get into a white van, with curtains, and they freaked a little bit. “Oh my god, we’re gonna get murdered, text mum let her know”. Carole texted their mum, but got a response mostly containing emojis. Both of them proceed to fall asleep, when John awoke he realised they were still alive and still in the Uber. He woke Carole and they’re both were horrified they had fallen asleep, so they asked the Uber where they were. He responded, “on the highway heading to your destination” …more freaking out. OK… “umm but our destination the hotel, it was only Supanova Brisbane outfit, John said “is made was two blocks away, how long Australian designer, a have we been driving?” 11th November 2018 by gay Australian designer, “About 45 minutes now, John entered his panel well I think he’s gay anywearing a blue, red and way, Peter Alexander.” He you entered the location white robe / cape, then then noticed his cape on as Paris, Texas”. What!!! “OK please turn around pranced around the stage, the floor and exclaimed now, I’ll pay your for Parbefore spinning around “oh a thousand dollar is, Texas but please turn and throwing his “very cape on the floor” folaround and take us to our expensive” cape on the lowed by contagious hotel”. John certainly floor, to reveal high heels laughter. knows how to tell a story. and a very shimmery, John then entered multi-coloured striped, The story was followed into a story short shorts and shirt. He straight by question time. There about a night on the town then posed for us, but it were too many asked for with his sister Carole doesn’t last for too long me to remember them all (also a Supanova guest) because he couldn’t con- and his personal assistant but some stand-out ones tain his laughter. The were ‘Would John con-


sider a tour of Australia?’ He said he’d love too but it’s up too promoters to bring him over, as he isn’t particularly well known for his singing in Australia compared to his acting. A lady asked about the kissing scene with James Marsters in Torchwood and whether he could re-enact it for us with Scott. John originally said no as the scene was choreographed and they had to practice it, he couldn’t do it because he could hurt Scott… but Scott conveniently called out “but I might enjoy it”. He came on stage, they shared a ‘gentle’ kiss in the words of John. As Scott exits John yells, “and Scott next time someone asks that question you say NO!” Big applause for that one. Also questions about his favourite Doctor and who is

the best Doctor to kiss and David Tennant won the answer to both of those. He was also asked which new companion Captain Jack would click best with and he chose Graham, as he knows Bradley Walsh well. There was also a question about a Torchwood reunion in Australia. John said he would love to “Australia will get me back any-time, I love it here, so fan family, get onto the internet and start requesting”. Questions were followed by John’s Tim Tam jenga. Tim Tams were donated by the fans to John at his autograph table. Scott set the Tim Tams up before the panel. John chose six children from the audience, three on each team. Team Scott and Team John. Lots of

fun and laughs as the teams took turns removing the Tim Tams, one tower eventually fell, with Team Scott the winner. John finished his panel by singing a song for us. He sang a fun rendition of I am What I Am .

'Earthshock' episode one is a tragedy. Not episode four when Adric dies, episode one where the Cybermen reappear. Why? Because I missed it. I’ve missed a few things. In 2015 I missed Back to the Future Day too. I flew out of the USA on October 20 and landed in Australia on October 22 (thank you timezones), thus missing October 21, 2015, Back to the Future Day. But that is nothing

compared to the tragedy that is 'Earthshock' episode one. My parents insisted I attend something-or-other with them so I missed that night’s installment of Doctor Who. It was just prevideo, at least at our place, so arriving at school the next morning to widespread rejoicing was tragic.

“The Cybermen are back!” Hearing this was a bitter shock. “I prefer the Master,” I think I lied. But probably telling the lie through a trembling lip.


Big Finish have found a perfect formula for their spin-off box sets: give wonderful actors great scripts. This has meant even the most tangential links to Doctor Who have become wildly entertaining. All thirteen seasons of Jago and Litefoot were magnificent, CounterMeasures is great fun, but I have a new favourite now: Yvonne Hartman. I know I’m probably not meant to love her, with that twisted cunning and ruthless resolve beneath her sunny exterior, but Tracy Ann Oberman is just so charming and delightful in the role, how can I not adore her? She’s like a cross between River Song and Servalan from Blake’s 7 – glamorous and fun, always one step ahead, and never afraid to take the low road to the moral high ground.

the low-fi 8-bit origins of the antagonist, and while it does make for some funny moments, they aren’t undercutting any of the drama. (If you happened to see me laughing out loud while walking through Redfern Park at any point, you can blame this story). The second tale, 'Blind Summit' is by Ianto Jones actor Gareth David-Lloyd, and in it we learn a lot about Ianto’s life before Torchwood. It seems appropriate to let the man who has been Ianto all this time to fill in those gaps in the character’s life, but he hasn’t just done that, he has also given his cast-mate Oberman some of the most dramatic scenes she’s played in this role, and she rises to the occasion beautifully. The final story is Tim Torchwood One: MaFoley’s '9 to 5', and it chines is a trip back to captures the Canary Wharf, when Ianto perfectly crushing ennui workstill worked with Yvonne, ing in an office. of There is before – let’s not bring up a moment of physical 'Army of Ghosts' and comedy for Yvonne, which 'Doomsday' – it’s so devludicrous in a astating, memes of it are sounds non-visual medium, but it a shorthand for heartmade me laugh break. Torchwood have to actually out loud. Oberman plays deal with the return of a Hartman with such relish, classic Who monster in she is such a huge three very different tales. and character, that it takes an WOTAN from the William actor the calibre of Jane Hartnell story 'The War Asher to play against her Machines' is back, and this episode. (The enthis time the plan to con- in tire guest cast is top nect all of Britain’s com- notch, including Paterson puters via telephone is… Joseph, James Wilby and well, it’s been done, Adjoa Andoh). hasn’t it? Matt Fitton’s There are some creaky 'The Law Machines' script moments when action sedoes not shy away from quences overpower the

main story, and some melodrama in episodes two and three is a overplayed, but there is so much to enjoy here, small faults are easily overlooked. This is a perfect title for fans of Classic Who, NuWho or Torchwood who are reticent about dipping into the other series, or for that matter audio. Do it for yourself, but more importantly, for Queen and country.


Scratchman … Scratchman … SCRATCHMAN!!

telling you an autobiographical tale he has lovingly penned himself, The unmade film… This perhaps while seated at the is what happens when you writing desk TARDIS congo drinking Red Barrel or some sort of alcoholic drink sole of Season 14. with Ian Marter… We are privy to his warmth and affection for “You’ll love this one!” his companions Sarah Jane Read by Tom Baker, doand Harry, the subtle nuing an impeccable imperances of his observations of sonation of Jon Culshaw, the humans he encounters Doctor Who ‘Meets’ as well as his disdain for Scratchman , as I’d always the bureaucracy and stagknown the project to be nation of the Time Lords called, brings to the widewho question his actions, screen, err in this case my and drawing attention to phone screen the audio their fear of death and book of the long mooted, change despite their near then abandoned Doctor immortality. Who cinema film devised As the story of possession initially by Tom Baker and the local villagers by his 1975 on screen co-star of mysterious extra dimenIan Marter. sional forces unfolds, films, Early on, the Holmes / of the era, such as The Hinchcliffe era is recalled Wickerman or Doomwatch with a misty, Gothic style come to mind. Isolated vilabandoned village and the lagers on a remote island presence of ominous scare- are faced with horrors and crows appearing and disap- sinister threats to both life pearing mysteriously. But and free thought, including we are also presented with an appearance by one of a linking narrative of the the Doctor’s foes in the Doctor in a Gallifreyan Inform of the Cybermen. quisition into the events as Tom’s literary voice prethey unfold, reminiscent of vails, his humour, pathos the later 'Trial of a Time and sense of the absurd Lord' but presented with raising the bar with a detail the wit and flair we would which conjures a grainy have expected of Robert 1970s cinema image of Holmes and even an eleevents, a world of Amicus ment of eccentric humour the Graham Williams peri- and Hammer. od revelled in. The action shifts to the of the titular All this is told in the first world Scratchman, an almost person by the 4th Doctor, Adams or Terry and in the audio book deli- Douglas Gilliam world of floating ciously punctuated with castles, giant pinball games Lord Tom’s ad libs of and chessboards comes to laughter and asides which life, as the Scratchman enrecall those late night tity delves into the memorcreepy tales he presented ies in Harry’s, Sarah’s and in 1978 and featured on later the Doctor’s mind. 'The Armageddon Factor' DVD extras. The whole feel Scratchman’s world is is that this is the Doctor dying and he seeks to ex-

pand his domain and replenish himself by learning what it is Time Lord’s fear, throwing up avatars of hoards of the Doctor’s old enemies as well as Scarecrow style representations of the Doctor’s first three incarnations. This amusingly allows Tom the opportunity for a Worzel Gummidge joke at the Third Doctor’s expense. The novel’s ultimate denouement sees the Doctor cleverly turning Scratchman’s own world against him and confirms one of the Doctor Who’s basic tenets, that he is ‘always there, between us and the monsters’. Add to this a cameo by both the 13th Doctor and a brief message to the reader from the 4th Doctor and Sarah Jane herself this beautiful Doctor Who tale cleverly references the past era in which it was originally conceived over fourty years ago, as well as linking it to the modern era and the fate of the Time Lords. That Tom Baker has finally brought us this opus is a pure joy, both to read and, especially to hear read by its National Treasure of an author. Thanks Tom and Ian Marter for this adventure of such scope it must have seemed quite daunting as a prospect for a film in its day. To quote a line from the book "It’s about looking at a big door and never being afraid to open it".


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Unfortunately, Tanya d ment. She’s there most group as the story goes pally with Reagan, and she feels perfectly in ch performance – just noth manage s to work in the focus on two characters character study elemen also helps to cover up t ies entail, as the story n other three regulars pre From a production stan enough. Taj Atwal plays the almost saccharine f enjoying the more villai max. The sound design memorable (we get the people, and the like), bu All in all, whilst the stor back from being top-tier from Big Finish, providi a series that needed it m


doesn’t really get the same treattly to represe nt the rest of the s on – first friends with April, then d so on. It’s not particularly bad – haracte r, with Oparah giving a fair hing to write home about. This e play’s favour by allowing one to s, rather than introduce a third nt and thus become too muddle d. It the spartan cast the Big Finish stornever feels as though it needs the esent for it to work. ndpoint, the story works well s the part of Reagan well, capturing friendliness called for, then clearly inous lines towards the story’s cliand music are nothing particularly usual bell ringing, crowds of ut functional nonethe less. ry does have a few faults to hold it r content, it’s still a strong outing ing some rare character insight for more than most.

The first thing that I noticed is the number of tracks on the CD, there were 43 in total. Blair Mowat, the compos er, has not gone down the route of re-doing the music and making it into ‘suites’ which some soundtrack albums do. What you hear is the actual music that was in the backgro und (for the most part!) of the stories. Of course, this is only a selectio n, as there are 8 episode s of music to choose from, but luckily we get a bonus CD with another 46 tracks! Mowat' s style is different from Murray Gold’s full bodied (sometimes OTT) orchestral vibe and new compos er Segun Akinola’s more naturalistic stylen which takes it cues from the stories (e.g. Souther Music for ‘Rosa’and ‘Sheffie ld’ industrial for ‘The Woman Who Fell to Earth’). Mowat’ s style I would classify as prog-ro ckish, he even mentions prog- alrock in the liner notes. So when you listen to the bum, in isolatio n – as music, the tracks have a similar style and a thus a number of short tracks, oneIt after another, do not sound chopish or disjointed. is not like you’re hearing Country and Western, followed by Death Metal, followe d by Rap. The other thing one notices is the excellent liner notes which has extensive information from Mowat about each of the 43 tracks and how they were compos ed and the instruments used. A very good memento of the show plus a enjoyab le album to listen to.


SYNOPS IS : Whe n an alar is triggere d at Coa l Hill Academy, Quill and Charliemenc ounter a mys terious intruder prowling around scho ol prem ises . Worse, they also enc ounter a Dale k. The only hop e of survival lies with the strange r: a woman irwho calls hers elf ‘Ace ’… 'In Rememb ranc e' is a story with a prominen t bac kground linking all the way bac k to the 198 9 tele visio n story 'Rememb ranc e of the Dale – serving, esse ntially, as a 30 year anniversary cele bratks' ion of that story in the guis e of a Class adventure. It’s an idea and premise could’ve easily gone badly, but from minute one this that aud io eeds in drawing you in and never letting go. Guy Adasucc ms’ script is fun, exciting, and full of surp rise callbac to the past and, if you are a fan of Clas sic Who as wellks– as is this spinoff, then this story was made for you. It's a love lette r to the past in every sens e of the word, even down to a bac kgro und score by Blair Mowat that feels repl icated from the 80s in a particularly loving way. That love exte nds to the performanc es from the main cast as well, espe cially with st star Sop hie Aldred returning as Ace . Aldred plays gue vers ion of Dorothy McShane that's confide nt in heraabil ities but still the immature student she alwa ys was , desp ite her olde r age . Eve n afte r surviving her with the Doc tor, the academy on Gallifrey, andtime ingly even the Time War itse lf, she still feels like herseem sam ble old self – for better and for worse. Nee dles s toe lova say, she and Quill get along abo ut as well as oil and er as their exp losive pers onalitie s gel and rile each wat othe r up more than onc e. The juxtapo sitio n of their views on life in their give n situ-

ations esp ecially inthereg eve ry interaction t ofy eas ily the highligh ie a But Quill and Charl sa lek Da the h time wit Austin are fantasstictoinb do ing what ne ed It's go od to he ar the D esp ecially interactingngs sto ry switc he s thito a gimmick leading b If the re was one pro uir req es do it t tha be t ledge , and fondness n fully wo rk. If you do with 'Re me mb rance as one will grab youwn you really ge t do an sense of the wo rdt co ele me nts are , tha is listeners away. Th and make s it les s. gr sto rie s in the set Ho D me mb rance of thetha the n I wo uld say f fec t. It's eas ily mylot ies and the re’ s a y out of it in one wae, t knowledge of Ac i 'In Re me mb rance' w with the series as r one of the be st sto 9 / 10


r himself, make s gards to the Do cto fas cinating and y tel ple com share the sto ry. rab le fac e als o ge t ple nty of emeKemo and Greg lly rin the Ka th and bo our and fav ir the in s ng n turning thi be do ne . vironme nt and Daleks in a ne w enara cte rs and this ch t en g with differ the ir usual h up considerably wit ab le climax. joy en ll sti t bu ard stand ry to pic k out, it’d ble m with the stockg owre a de gre e of baationrouinndordkner to pir ins its toward y unfamiliar n't like or are comnpleI tel 't say this can of the Daleks' the ss sto rie s. When Cla er oth as much eve ry in te bu tri fan a to it, this is ividual ind its od go nd, no matte r ho wge ne ral Whovian ny ma ve dri ould entire runtime iss ue pe rmeates the red to other com rip ping or unique fampa r with 'Re ilia are you if r, oweve t pro ble m, tha st pa t ge can Daleks' and to pe rse clo is ce' at 'In Re me mb ran ss audio s and sto rCla the of e rit favou s will ge t a kic k t to love that mo stiffan ve no the y or another, eve nega, etcy. ha he r way, Eit Om of nd the Ha right in fits t tha ry sto a is a blast of bute to tri g on str a we ll as serving as c Wh o. ssi Cla of all in rie s


COSPLAYING BRISNOVA SUPERNOVA BRISBANE 2018

By Gemma Styles

Brisnova 2018 was not like any other 'Nova I have been to; but I say that about every con. This time, I planned to do three cosplays over all three days, instead of my usual one or two days. Here is how my weekend went.

Friday began with a specialist appointment for my son, and as I finally escaped the ophthalmologist and trained my way to the convention centre at 3:30 pm, my tired body

had my brain questioning if I had the motivation to change my clothes in the bathroom before I entered, or if it even mattered if I attended one day in plain clothes. The TARDIS dress won out in the end, and as I scrambled out of my boring mum attire and squeezed into the dress I suddenly wished was bigger on the inside, the first tingle of excitement hit, and my energy was restored by anticipation. I strolled through the almost empty aisles of vendors inside the biggest and best convention centre in the southern hemisphere, lamenting that my disabled sister had been too sick to attend because Friday is definitely a great time for the wheel chair bound to peruse the glorious menagerie of merchandise as you could actually get up close to the vendors without fighting the oblivious crowds. (I am sure there are many other people with disabilities who would be thrilled with the quiet first day of the convention.) Friday's adventure through ‘Nova land got really good when I discovered the exact item I was missing to make the costume I had wanted to do for Saturday an actual reality. I was happy enough at that point to travel home feeling like Friday had been a complete success, but as I continued through the maze of vendors, I saw someone in the corner of my eye gesture towards what I thought was a watch in a box they were holding. Thinking they were signalling someone else I turned away, but glanced back for last check only to realise the girl was holding a go pro type camera and she wanted my picture. Being my worst critic, I hadn't expected my simple TARDIS dress to attract anyone's fandom glee, so when she


centre has the worst idea of gluten free food. As in, salad, which wouldn't keep anyone going, and tacos. Too bad if you are gluten free and vegetarian! Would it kill them to have a chicken salad? Or some gluten free sandwiches? Annoyances aside, I didn't stay with my sister long, she disappeared to a panel and enjoyed a day of adulation and empowerment cosplaying with her wheel chair as Furiosa [Ed: Mad Max] in the war rig. It was months of building to create and for a while I didn't imagine I would get it done, but we did it. This was the first cosplay we built ourselves and it was worth every super glued finger and brain numbing trip to Spotlight and Bunnings. I received my fair share of attention on Saturday and I loved the fact that my cosplay was very personal and something I enjoyed wearing, but was also something true fans of Doctor Who could spot and admire. I participated in many excited exchanges with fellow Whovians on the merits of the new

began gushing about Doctor Who, I completely immersed myself in an exchange of time travelling anecdotes. This was one of at least three requests for photos and some great conversations. I will definitely attend ‘Nova on a Friday again. Saturday brought my sister and I together at last – and delightfully child free. We travelled via train and encountered a trio of siblings travelling to the same destination. Cosplay certainly opens up great topics of conversation and for the usually shy or awkward, these conversations are remarkably animated and intelligent. We invited them to join our Facebook fandom group because, who wants to wait for the next con to have another stimulating discourse on Sci Fi? Once at the con my mood was temporarily out of sorts when we walked the wrong direction from the lifts and had to double back to find the tables of volunteers redeeming tickets. Cosplay shoes are not always made for walking kilometres between entrances and exits; the one downfall to the biggest and best convention centre in the southern hemisphere. Now, just to get all my complaining out once, this same convention


season and the best memories of seasons gone before. Of course mine was a cosplay so obscure it was only recognised by the sharpest eye, but the look on their faces when recognition finally dawned on them was priceless. I left the convention Saturday night feeling very content and without sounding too superficial, it was nice boost to the self-esteem.

The first delight of Sunday came at least one hour and five minutes before I even stepped through the wide convention doors. Standing on the platform waiting for the train, dressed at the 13th Doctor, except I had ditched the coat in favour of not sweating like a pig, a sweet young girl dressed as Clara asked for my first picture of the day. We sat together on the train and in true con fashion were close to a few other fans. We debated all things Doctor Who the whole way and I can only wonder what the rest of the commuters made of the strange and random references we made or the oddly extreme reaction some opinions produced.

This day I travelled in with my two children and would meet up with my sister at a later time. This is the day I parted with more money than I care to acknowledge, but we were all so happy with our treasures. These TV shows, games and movies take us into their world and show us who we are and who we want to be, but they do it with epic stories, noble heroes and villains that make us want to care about them. Is it any wonder that the merchandise means so much? It is a tangible manifestation of what we keep in our hearts, and I don't even care how that may sound to the masses who live unaffected by fantasy, sci fi and superheroes. The wonderful thing about conventions is that no two are the same. In previous years I spent more than half a day in panels, but this year, I was more than content to wander through Artists' Alley and the hand crafted stalls as they are my favourite of all the


has few, if any friends. The connection she feels at ‘Nova is welcome and un-paralleled to any other aspect of her life and it means a lot to her. I think most of us feel this way. While there are many amazing costumes that I don't recognise from fandoms which I have never heard of, the artistry and creativity is breathtaking. Both my children and myself enjoyed our Sunday visit to Supanova and, to wrap up a report I could write paragraphs more on, my favourite cosplay was Lieutenant Dan from Forrest Gump, my favourite panel was the cosplay comp, my favourite purchase was a Doctor Who bow for my hair and my favourite over all part of Brisnova 2018 was all of it. Wish me luck guys, I have 6 months until Goldnova and my most ambitious cosplay yet planned.

vendors that flock here. I was in my third and most expensive cosplay today and I was absolutely loving the way it actually made me feel like the character as the coat flowed behind my determined stride. It was during a lengthy perusal of the fandom stalls, staring with the Hobbit Hole and ending with Starfleet, that I spotted a girl I had met at the last convention, she was unmistakable in her Malcolm Reynolds costume. I said "Hi", she smiled, we hugged. Last time, we talked about our love of Firefly and the opportunity to have a free and easy conversation with someone who feels the same way about the show which had prompted her to ask me for a hug. She confided to me that she finds socialising difficult and


turned it on but it sparked and went dead. At 31.43 is used by the Doctor to scan the pieces of the exploded pod, she looked at it after each of three scans. She then explained that the device is a “Sonic screwdriver. Well, I say screwdriver, but it's a bit more multi-purpose than that. Scanner, diagnostics, tin opener. More of a sonic Swiss Army knife. Only without the knife. Only idiots carry knives.” She then advised that the scans were to map the distance the object had travelled and it looked like it had started over 5,000 galaxies away. At 34.48 is used to scan the Gathering coils and the Doctor looked at the results after the scan and said it was “Half-organic, half-machine.” The Doctor continued to hold the sonic screwdriver until it was next used. At 35.37 is used to access the data the Gathering coils had gathered, a hologram image of Karl appeared and then the Doctor put it into a top pocket of her coat. At 51.32 the Doctor showed it to Tzim-Sha and explained she used it to remove the implants from her friends. She told him it was Army sonic, now with added Sheffield In this story the sonic screwdriver is men- “Swiss steel.” tioned once, seen nine times and used six At 1.00.05 is used to scan a piece of the times. It is used three times to scan, once to transport pod to configure it so that the be just turned on, once to access data and Doctor could go to the planet where the once to initiate a transfer. seemed to have ended up. She again At 9.54 the Doctor looked for it in her coat TARDIS looked at it, obviously reading the informato open the locked doors in the carriage but tion. couldn’t find it and said “No sonic.” At 1.00.52 is used to initiate the transfer. At 30.33 the completed new sonic screwAt 1.01.29 the Doctor still had it in her driver is first seen on a stand. hand when they all materialise in deep At 30.39 it is first used when the Doctor space.

ne of the criticisms of Series 11 is the amount of use of the sonic screwdriver. So I thought I would document its usage in this series to see actually how much it was used. It would be interesting to compare its usage to other seasons of Doctor Who , but the amount of usage of the sonic screwdriver in those other series has yet to be documented, so a comparison at the moment can't be made , so we cannot say that it has been used too much.


locked door. The Doctor continued to hold it as they entered a disused laboratory. At 33.15 is used to scan the laboratory to see if the Doctor could finally make sense of the planet. It activated some computer screens and then the Doctor synced it with Angstrom’s tracker to show a map of the network of tunnels. She kept it in her hand until she next used it. At 36.37 is unsuccessfully used to try to In this story the sonic screwdriver is seen remove a ribbon creature from Epzo. fifteen times and used seventeen times. It is At 37.04 is used to close two large metal used eight times to scan, five times to open / doors, one after the other, as they ran from close doors / hatches, once to find a sealed the sniperbots. hatch, once to activate some computer At 37.20 is used to close another large screens, once to try to remove a ribbon creature and once to stabilise the TARDIS's metal door. materialisation. At 44.38 is used when the Doctor heard the noise of the TARDIS to stabilize its maAt 0.47 when we first see the Doctor she terialisation. still had it in her hand. At 13.41 is used to scan the hologram of Ilin, the Doctor checked the results and said that the hologram projection was from “a very long way away.” At 18.47 the water under the boat was scanned and the Doctor read the results that revealed that millions of flesh-eating microbes were in the water. At 21.20 is used to scan inside the boat and after the Doctor looked at the results she said that there were no other lifeforms on the planet other than the microbes. She In this story the sonic screwdriver is menheld it in her hand for the rest of the scene. tioned three times, is seen twelve times and used twelve times. It is used six times to At 25.48 is used to scan the ruins and scan, three times to hide / revel writing, after looking at the results the Doctor said twice to undo a perception filter, and once to that the readings were all over the place. unlock something. At 26.47 is used to scan the robed aliens At 4.23 is used to scan what looks like the and after the Doctor looked at the results ground and the results confirm to the Doctor she said they were robot guards. that they are in the 1950’s. She put it away At 27.51 is used to scan a fallen robot and when she ran back to help Ryan who had after the Doctor looked at the results she just been slapped. said they were sniperbots. You see the DocAt 6.38 is used to scan Rosa Parks and the tor put it in a top pocket of her coat. results showed traces of Artron energy all At 30.16 the Doctor took it out of her around her. pocket as she approached Epzo and AngAt 9.34 is used to scan the area outside strom. The Doctor then took Angstrom’s tracker and scanned it and was able to use it the restaurant. The results indicated that the epicentre of the Artron readings was 1.2 to find a sealed hatch and then used it to miles away. open the hatch. At 10.45 is used to unlock padlocks to gain At 31.33 the Doctor still had it in her hand entry to a room at the bus company. as they walked down the underground corridor. At 10.53 is used to scan the empty room and undid a perception filter that revealed a At 31.59 is used to dramatically open a suitcase.


At 13.49 is used to very quickly scan Krascko’s time displacement device. Later the Doctor mentioned that it was set to the far future. At 15.39 it is referred to when the Doctor said “the sonic picked up something else on him”. At 16.36 is used to hide the Doctor’s writing on the hotel room wall. At 20.22 is used to reveal the writing on the wall. At 26.42 is used to reveal Krascko’s suitcase again. At 28.02 the Doctor told Krascko that she knew he had a neural restrictor as the sonic screwdriver had scanned it. At 33.01 is used to scan Krascko’s time displacement weapon, which the Doctor had managed to get off him, she looked at the results but did not say what they were.

In this story the sonic screwdriver is mentioned once, seen fourteen times and used thirteen times. It is used seven times to scan, three times to open / close a door, twice is aimed at screen / logo and once to begin a countdown. At 1.41 is used to scan a sonic mine, the Doctor looked at results and said “to keep it in temporal lock” and scanned it again. She again looked at the results and said it was "counting down". At 7.03 is aimed at a logo on a wall and a schematic came up where the logo was. At 7.23 is used to scan the schematic and the Doctor said “NavChamber this way”. At 7.32 is used to open the door to NavChamber. At 7.45 is about to be used on the Nav system when Astos told the Doctor if she inIn this story the sonic screwdriver is seen terfered it would be detected as an act of five times and used five times. It is used hostility or hijack and the craft would be rethree times to scan, once to open a door, motely detonated. and once to fry a keypad. At 8.51 the Doctor still had the sonic in At 10.34 is used to open the door to her hand which she pointed it at a screen on Anna’s flat. the wall. At 24.59 is used to scan the broken bath, At 16.30 the Doctor has it in hand as she The Doctor looked at results, but does not inched forward to the creature. say what they were. At 16.42 the creature leapt forward and At 26.11 is used to scan the cobwebs that bit it out of the Doctor’s hand as she prevent them exiting the hotel, the Doctor scanned it. The Doctor yelled “It just ate my read the results and told the others they sonic!” were not normal cobwebs. At 16.51 the creature regurgitated it and At 31.56 is used to fry the keypad of the the Doctor picked it up but it did not appear electronic lock for entry into the secure area to work. of the hotel. At 36.40 the Doctor realised what the PtAt 34.23 is used to scan the landfill, the ing does and said “It drained the lights and Doctor looked at the results and said “it the power and my sonic.” goes down” in response to Najia saying that At 38.48 it was seen to be working and the “it goes on for miles”. Doctor said “Clever sonic. Self-rebooting.”


At 38.51 it turned off and the Doctor then turned it on again and scanned the particle accelerator three times, each time she looked at the results, and determined that the ship’s self destruction was built in. At 40.36 is used to open an airlock door. At 40.47 is used to begin the countdown of the bomb with a time of 51 seconds. At 43.40 is used to close the airlock door.

At 14.54 it was on as the Doctor used it to search for the ‘Demons’ ship. At 15.31 when asked by Prem “what does your Demon tracker say?” the Doctor looked at it. She then looked down at an alien object which she then scanned and looked at the results and said “Seems like a transmat doorway.” At 16.02 is used to scan inside the alien ship, the Doctor looked at the results and said that she could not get a read on anything. She continued to scan and again looked at results and said “not getting any life signals.” At 16.27 is again used to scan and the Doctor indicated that she was using different settings as she was trying to unlock something. At 16.34 after adjusting it she turned it on and this time gained access to the alien ship’s holographic information system. At 17.11 turned it on and pointed it at the holo-display and a picture of Bhakti appeared. In this story the sonic screwdriver is seen At 19.19 the Doctor still had it in her hand twenty-two times and used seventeen times. when she picked up the alien container. It is used ten times to scan, three times to activate something, twice to gain access to At 19.51 the Doctor turned it on and she, information, once to search for something Ryan and Prem were transported out of the and once to untie a rope. alien space ship. At 4.09 is used to scan the countryside, At 20.22 when she was running away from the Doctor looked at the results and said the aliens she had it in her hand. “TARDIS readings are all over the shop.” 23.23 the Doctor ran along with it in [Dallas: Does this indicate that it is linked to herAthand, she stopped and put one of the TARDIS?] transmat locks on the ground and then At 5.08 it is put back into the Doctor's turned it on to activate the lock. pocket. At 24.09 in the barn the Doctor used it to At 11.43 is used to scan the ‘Demons’ turn on one of the transmat locks. when they first appeared. The Doctor At 24.45 the Doctor put it into her coat looked at the results and indicated that they pocket. have not gone very far. She then ran with it At 25.10 is used to scan the contents of in her hand. the alien container but it was overloaded, At 12.03 it was on as the Doctor continued which caused a bang and sparks to fly. to run, and it’s was off when she found the At 29.45 is used to scan the liquid that ‘Demons’ standing over the dead Bhakti. distilled from the alien container. At 12.33 we heard the sound of it as it ap- had been Doctor looked at the results but appeared that the Doctor scanned the body of The peared confused, she said that it was “the Bhakti. densest organic material you can imagine.” At 13.29 is again used to scan Bhakti’s the Doctor put it back in her coat body, after looking at the results the Doctor asAtthe30.16 transmat lock made a noise. said “It does not look like he was poisoned.” At 37.14 is used to untie the rope fence At 14.10 the Doctor looked at it again and between India and Pakistan. said “Cordian waves, which could mean a dormant octonic engine… nearby.”


In this story the sonic screwdriver is seen nineteen times and used seventeen times. It is used seven times to scan, three times to activate / de-activate something, three times to change computer information, twice to open something and twice involving teleportation. At 3.21 is used to change details on Judy’s electronic clipboard. At 8.13 is used to switch the colours of the Doctor’s and Graham’s GroupLoops. At 25.10 is used dramatically by the Doctor to open one of Slade’s filing cabinets. At 27.05 the Doctor was seen to about to take it out of her coat pocket. At 27.18 is used to scan a robot that was attacking Charlie, the results indicated that she couldn’t disable the robot as its receptor codes were fluctuating. At 27.36 is used to scan the robot’s detached head, she looked at the results, but it appeared that there was no information. At 28.04 is used again to try and scan the robot’s detached head, The Doctor read the results and immediately scanned the computer terminal and read the results again, she said that the system had channelled all its energy into the one robot. She kept it in her hand until the end of the scene. At 29.27 is used to open Twilry’s display case. At 29.31 is used to activate Twirly. At 34.15 is used to re-activate the fully charged Twirly At 37.27 is used on a delivery bot to hijack its teleport circuit. At 38.21 is used to scan a concrete tank full of goo, after the Doctor read the results she said “I think these are the remnants of the missing workers.” At 39.32 is pointed in the air and scanned,

after the Doctor looked at the results she said “Vast teleportation hardware, with huge reserves of power building up.” The Doctor had it in her hand throughout the rest of the scene. At 41.06 is used to scan the bubble wrap in an open box and after looking at the results the Doctor said “Deadly bubble wrap. Totally innocuous, apart from when it's intercepted here and weaponised. Sheets of tiny little bombs, ready to explode and kill.” The Doctor had it in her hand for the rest of the scene when she used it again. At 44.22 is used to try and stop Charlie’s activation device, which he had stomped on after he turned it on, but the Doctor said “not enough time to fix it.” At 44.59 is used to re-activate Twirly. At 46.02 is used on a delivery bot's head to teleport them away. At 46.14 is seen to be still on when the Doctor and the delivery bot head re-appeared. At 46.34 the Doctor put it back in her coat pocket.

In this story the sonic screwdriver is mentioned once, seen ten times and used seven times. It is used seven times to scan. At 12.31 is used to scan Yasmin’s jeans, the Doctor looked at the results and said it was just mud. At 17.03 is used to scan Willa, the Doctor looked at the results and then it is used to scan Willa a second time. After she looked at the results again the Doctor said she was completely normal. At 18.22 it is put back in the Doctor’s coat pocket. At 20.10 is used to scan the ground, we do not see the Doctor looking at the results of the scan. The Doctor is seen to be holding it


for the rest of the scene. At 22.35 at the beginning of the scene the Doctor still had it in her hand. At 22.54 it is pointed at the mud women and then turned on to scan them for more information. At 24.48 Becka referred to it by saying “I have seen you with your wand raising your kind from the dead.” At 27.33 King James showed it to the Doctor and asked how it worked. At 39.20 is used to scan the ducking tool, which lit up with green tracery, the Doctor said that it was a very advanced bio-mech security system to keep the Morax army imprisoned. At 40.23 is used to scan a small piece of the wood so the Doctor could fix the lock to put all the Morax energy back in the prison. At 40.40 it is put back in the Doctor’s coat pocket.

pear and the Doctor said “Locked it, midwhatever it was doing. Can I just say, I love me sonic.” At 13.13 is in the Doctor’s hand as she walked along the rocky corridor. At 13.24 is used to scan to rocky corridor and the Doctor said that according to the readings it was not another world. At 13.40 is put in the Doctor’s coat pocket. At 14.56 is pointed at Ribbons and then the Doctor told him to let Graham go. At 15.10 Ribbons said he wanted the “tubular” which the Doctor was still pointing at him. He offered in trade information on Erik and a lantern. The Doctor agreed to the trade but only on payment on delivery. At 16.16 Graham whispered to the Doctor that she was not going to give it to Ribbons. At 20.28 when the Doctor was told by Ribbons the string had been cut she showed him it and said “No Erik, no sonic.” At 21.46 Ribbons snatched it out of the Doctor’s hand but Graham tackled him and he dropped it. Ribbons went after it but was attacked and killed by the moths. The Doctor is able to retrieve it as this occurred. At 22.48 is used to close the portal. At 22.57 is used to scan the room after Yasmin says “Everything looks different.” At 24.13 is in the Doctor’s hand when she met Erik for the first time. At 26.48 is used to scan Trine and after the Doctor looked at the results she said “I do not know what this is.” At 34.39 it is used to try to open the mirIn this story the sonic screwdriver is menportal. It doesn't work as the Doctor said tioned once, seen twenty-two times and used ror the portal was now controlled by the Soeleven times. It is used six times on the mir- litract which was “clever and it's adapting.” ror portal, four times to scan and once to At 35.14 is used to keep open the mirror open a bolted door. after reversing the polarity, as sugAt 1.02 is used to scan a sheep, the Doctor portal, gested by Yasmin. looked at the results and said it was 2018. At 35.45 it stopped working on holding the At 2.34 is shown to the others by the Doc- mirror portal open as the portal had adapted tor and then used to open a door which had again. three new bolts on the inside. At 38.34 the Doctor still had it in her hand At 2.55 is seen to be put back inside the when she spoke with Graham. Doctor’s coat. 40.11 is put in the Doctor’s coat pocket At 10.15 is pointed at the mirror and their asAt she talked to Erik. reflections returned. At 45.20 is used to shatter the mirror At 10.37 is again used on the mirror that portal and then we saw the Doctor put it in had again no reflection. A crack of light ap- her coat pocket.


In this story the sonic screwdriver is seen eight times and used five times. It is used three times to scan, once to block a signal and once to turn off the TARDIS's shields. At 9.00 is used to scan Mitch, the Doctor said nothing after she looked at the results. At 39.36 is used to scan the body of the farmer, then the Doctor looked at the results and said “It has all the signs of a Dalek weapon.” At 41.26 the Doctor had it in her hand whilst she looked for the Dalek in the barn. At 42.11 is used on the Dalek to block its laser signals so the firing of its gun is ineffectual. The Doctor continued to hold it as she talked to the Dalek. At 43.46 the Dalek overrode it and it released a spark. The Doctor continued to hold it as she escaped being shot at by the Dalek’s now working gun. It is seen that she still had it in her hand when she ran out of the barn. At 51.59 the Doctor took it out of her coat pocket, after she had told the Dalek that she had set up shields for the TARDIS. The Doctor continued to hold it as she talked to the Dalek. At 52.57 is used to turn off the TARDIS’s shields. The Doctor continued to hold it whilst she ran to get behind the Dalek. At 53.55 is used to scan the room, the Doctor looked at the results and advised that the signal by the Dalek to the Dalek fleet was never sent. The Doctor still had it in her hand when the Dalek mutant took control of Ryan’s dad.

In this story the sonic screwdriver is seen thirteen and used eleven times. It is used four times on the throat mikes, three times to scan, twice to call the TARDIS, once on the neural balancers and once to activate grenades. At 9.57 is used to scan the object that Paltracki had recovered, the results the Doctor observed only gave contradictions. The Doctor said that the density of the object was "blowing the sonic’s mind.” At 10.45 is still in the Doctor’s hand when Ryan gave her the mapping device. At 11.03 is still in the Doctor’s hand when she picked up the crystal object. At 15.45 is used to activate the grenades attached to the crystal object. At 16.31 is used to scan the area around the water the group walked through, the Doctor looked at the results and used it to again scan, this time directly above her, and the results indicated an entrance activation field. At 16.45 is about to be used to bypass the field when they are transported into the floating building. At 33.11 is used on the Doctor's throat mike device so that Tzim-Sha heard what The sonic screwdriver in the series is she said. mentioned seven times, seen 139 times, and At 33.32 is used to turn off connection of used 121 times . It is used to scan 68 times. the throat mike to Tzim-Sha. At 33.43 is again used on the throat mike device so that Tzim-Sha heard what the Doctor said. At 33.56 is used to turn off connection of the throat mike to Tzim-Sha. At 38.30 is used to turn two neural balances into neural blockers. At 40.24 is used, aligned with Stenza power, to call the TARDIS. At 40.35 is used again to do the same.


DALEK

Highland Daleks

Dalek shed exterminated

Just what does a Dalek read?

SPECIAL

NSFW Dalek snowman

Dilapidated Dalek needs fixing

Click on the Dalek above to see the first mention of a Dalek in Trove. Click on the following links to find out more about 60s Daleks in Australia. Link Link Link Link Link Link Link

Dalek: Cultural Index

Every Dalek Extermination

Doctor Who Parody: Dalek Who

Lego Who – The New Dalek

Making the Dalek – Resolution

Iron Dalek

The Dalek – Case File


his crossword has 61 clues, one for each story of Tom Baker and Peter Davison's time as the Doctor, except 'Shada' which is not included as it was never completed. The answer for each question is a word that appeared in a story title. This time some answers will be easier to work out as some stories have only one word titles! There is a clue for each answer based on an important event in the episode plus there are many answers that have a second clue based on the actual word. As an example, to give you an idea of how this works, I could have had a clue of “Flowers but are not alive”. The answer for this is “Dead”. I will leave it to you to work out how these two clues would give the answer.



19 20 Looks very salty 22 Guardian of calcification 24 Dance with a seer The silver clones arrive at noon 27 28 Run away to the past

5 6 10 11 12 14 Maybe seeing how far you can sink 16 It’s big on a jug that is OK

A special pent up founder Greek Dilemma Proboscis calling It’s alive at school Crumbling leeches Sounds like a relative’s collection 29 Aboriginal slang but not for this killer 31 Replica attack 36 Rock and Rolling 37 What nurse Ratched can do 40 Testing time for a messed up rake 41 Conmen’s act 42 Like a double helix 45 Can’t see Saturn’s shrimp 46 Frog days 49 Not a major wicked world 50 Caught in web of no escape 52 Paul begins again in a marsh 53 Follow up to the miscreant that cavorts 54 The laser nailed it 55 He’s gunning that they reappear 56 War in the priory 57 Sounds like a terrible death


1 You go here to get milk 2 Shouldering the cornucopious copy 3 Making note of a live hand 4 50 years of winning retribution 7 Repetitious stamping that is strong 8 House that was falling apart 9 Heated family dismissal 12 Rocky visage’s glove 13 Not crawling to the start 15 Wine, chicken and spaghetti 17 The life of a mixed up Time Lord 18 Multiple alphabets on the planets 21 Dark heliotrope match 23 The myth below 25 Changing evil reptile 26 A fiery apparition 27 Playing a game of fate 29 The Re-enactment of a sleepy relative 30 680 miles from Joan but it seems much, much further 32 Multiple copies of a statue? 33 White door to nowhere 34 Clammed up at the beginning

35 38 39 40 43 44 47 48 51

Crushing a pod Climbing the spur of the moment Emblem of a confusing city 18th century era still going on Back of a polar grub Scary garden Exploding ring does this Thorny doppelganger Bee that howls and disappears to orbiting refuge


Is 'Rosa' a new classic, further proof of a new progressive agenda – or both?

et’s be honest: Series 11 was always going to polarise fans. Since the announcement of Jodie Whittaker’s casting as the 13th Doctor, there have been complaints that the series has become too politically correct. This has continued during the series’ run, with critics seizing on various elements to argue that the Doctor’s change of gender is only the beginning; that every episode is infused with an unabashed lefty / woke / feminist / progressive ideology (delete as applicable) that has distorted the show from the enjoyable, supposedly apolitical romp it once was. It’s true that just about every episode is about something, the subtext being woven through the narrative with differing levels of subtlety. And that sub textual 'something' almost always takes a progressive position on one side of a topical issue. The conclusion of 'The Ghost Monument' is a moral lesson in how cooperation (unionism?) can extract freedom from tyranny where individualism could not. 'Arachnids in the UK' is a parable of corporate responsibility and the environment. 'The Tsuranga Conundrum' explores the perils of too much automation. 'Kerblam!' satirises current trends in workforce exploitation. So capitalism certainly take a few hits. Meanwhile; 'Demons of the Punjab', 'The Witchfinders' and, of course, 'Rosa' champion the other major theme of the series: the fight for equality in the face of bigotry, misogyny and racism through the ages. Yet all of these themes have regularly popped up throughout the Classic and NuWho series. 'Arachnids in the UK' is basically a remake of 'The Green Death', while 'Kerblam!' borrows ideas from both 'The Sunmakers' and 'The Robots of Death'. And if people think the idea of a man giving birth in 'The Tsuranga Conundrum' is further evidence of a new **ahem** gender agenda, they clearly weren’t paying attention during RTD’s time running the show. The Doctor has always championed equality, criticised unchecked big business and stood up against racism and persecution. Of course, with a history as long and ever-changing as Doctor Who, it’s easy to cherry-pick examples to argue that the series has always depicted progressive ideas and ideals. There are plenty of examples of when the series wasn’t so enlightened. 'Talons of Weng-Chiang', for example, is often trotted out as proof that the series is actually quite racist in its depictions of other cultures. However, my point isn’t that the series is, or has ever been, a perfect and consistent portrayal of certain ideals but that Series 11 isn’t some kind of woke anomaly. However, 'Rosa' does signal a shift from the show’s past with its refusal to hide its message behind the usual ciphers: No Daleks obsessed with racial purity, no interplanetary colonies treating the indigenous inhabitants as primitives to be oppressed, enslaved or wiped out ('The Mutants', 'The Power of Kroll' and a host of others), no simplistic Blue / Red Kangstyle tribalism. It is the literalism of 'Rosa' (and also 'Demons of Punjab') that ensures the message is impossible to ignore.


This literalism means 'Rosa' has more in common with the purely historical adventures of the early classic series – even more so than other recent 'meet the famous person' episodes such as 'The Shakespeare Code' or 'Vincent and the Doctor'. It is the event, rather than the person, that is significant – with the plot often revolving around protecting the significant event from being inadvertently or deliberately changed. In the Classic Who historicals, it was usually the TARDIS crew that threatened to derail history, most notably in 'The Aztecs' and 'The Massacre'. The conflict would come from the Doctor preventing one of his companions from interfering because of an injustice. “You can't rewrite history. Not one line!”

The difference in 'Rosa' is that the threat to history comes from another time traveller. As such, it joins a long list of pseudo-historicals. Like the 'famous person' adventures which are a subset of these, the pseudo-historicals rarely revolve around a specific and pivotal historical event in the way that 'Rosa' does. History is merely a colourful backdrop for the various characters to run around in; from 'Pyramids of Mars' to 'Robot of Sherwood'. In these tales, the threat to history is far more abstract. Yes, if Sutekh wipes out all life in 1911 it’s safe to say history won’t be quite the same. Yes, the Master hopes to prevent Magna Carta (why is never made clear) but the episodes are in no way about the crucial events at Runnymede in 1215. It’s just an excuse for some sword fighting and medieval japes. At the other extreme, it’s possible for the Weeping Angels to take over Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty to walk through the one of the busiest cities on Earth, and the entire area to become locked inside a time paradox without impacting the time line one iota. In short, most pseudo-historicals don’t present the same kind of specific and more clearly defined threat to the fragile cause and effect fabric of history, as does Barbara’s plan to end the Aztec tradition of sacrifice or Steven wanting to save Anne Chaplet from being massacred by the Catholic guards. The latter present clear dilemmas, establishing the past as a minefield for the Doctor and companions to tread though very carefully. “My dear Steven, history sometimes gives us a terrible shock, and that is because we don't quite fully understand. Why should we? After all, we're too small to realise its final pattern. Therefore don't try and judge it from where you stand.”

Therefore, I wonder if 'Rosa' would have worked far better as a purely historical story. It’s a shame writers Malorie Blackman and Chris Chibnall felt it necessary to include a sci-fi villain to place the historical event under threat. Time travelling white supremacist Krasko barely works as a plot device, never mind as memorable villain. Linx he ain’t! Meanwhile, the townsfolk of Montgomery are far more chilling. Krasko isn’t even that great a threat (a recurring issue in this series). He seems largely surplus to requirements, merely ticking a box to maintain the premise that Doctor Who is a sci-fi show. Apparently a Time Lord and TARDIS aren’t enough to qualify by themselves these days. Just before despatching Krasko with the time displacer, Ryan says, “Mate, you're living in the past,” conveniently forgetting that he’s standing in the very past Krasko’s views belong to. If anything, Krasko and his beliefs belong in Montgomery more than Ryan does. Except, Krasko is from the future, meaning such beliefs must still exist centuries from now. This is another flaw in the episode. After all, if we’re to believe that white supremacists are still active (and still petty-minded) centuries from now, it does sort of undermine the message that things will continue to get better. It’s not as if his plan even makes a great deal of sense. As he tells Ryan, “Parks won't be asked to stand, she won't protest, and your kind won't get above themselves.”


That’s it? Does that neural restrictor also limit intelligence as well as aggressive behaviour? The arrest of Rosa Parks and the bus boycott that followed was only one of many protests and acts of defiance that would define the civil rights movement. If it wasn’t Rosa, it would have been someone else soon after. In fact, Rosa wasn’t even the first to protest segregation on buses by sitting in the wrong seat. Nine months earlier, fifteen-year-old Claudette Colvin also refused to give up her seat for a white person and move to the back of the bus. In fact, many women had refused to give up their seats previously – the only difference being that they were quietly fined without a public uproar. Rosa Parks’ protest is definitely an important moment, but by presenting it as the civil rights movement’s only opportunity to effect change it devalues everything else the movement had already done and would likely go on to do regardless. It underestimates and removes agency from the very people the episode celebrates. In short, the sci-fi sub-plot is an inconsistent and unnecessary muddle that ultimately detracts from the central point of the episode. While Krasko might not belong in this episode, Ryan definitely does. Ryan not only gets stuff to do for once – not least using his initiative to pocket the time displacer and eradicate the big baddie – he also gets some exceptional character moments. His encounter with Martin Luther King while serving coffee for Rosa Parks is simply wonderful. "Excuse me, Doctor King. Yes, Rosa Parks? (sotto voice) Whoa. " Ryan may not be the first black companion, but he is definitely the first where skin colour became central to the storyline. It’s easy to imagine the idea for a Rosa Parks episode came first and the character of Ryan came after, so intrinsic is he to this story. Rosa simply wouldn’t have worked nearly as well if none of the TARDIS crew were directly impacted by the attitudes of the time. It is Ryan’s encounter with the couple in the park – making the mistake of assuming he can interact with the white locals as an equal – that quickly establishes that the team are in very alien and hostile territory. While Ryan experiences the full brunt of 1950s’ racism, Yaz’s experiences reveal that everything isn’t quite so… black and white. She endures many racist comments as well, but is also able to ride at the front of the bus unharassed. Yaz experiences a different kind of oppression to Ryan – never sure where her place is supposed to be, so that she doesn’t quite belong anywhere. Between them, Ryan and Yaz give two different perspectives on modern racism while also contrasting their experiences and expectations with the far more extreme world they find themselves in. Ryan "It's not like Rosa Parks wipes out racism from the world forever. Otherwise, how come I get stopped way more by the police than my white mates?" Yasmin "Oi, not this police. " Ryan "Tell me you don't get hassle. " Yasmin "‘Course I do, especially on the job. I get called a Paki when I'm sorting out a domestic, or a terrorist on the way home from the mosque. "


And then there is Graham. Let’s put aside for the moment the unconvincing expositional scene where Graham and Yaz demonstrate an obsessive (and extremely convenient) recall of just about every minor detail of Rosa Park’s fateful bus journey. Graham represents how far society has come, presenting a stark contrast to the people of Montgomery. Bradley Walsh’s performance has been incredible to watch in this series and in 'Rosa' particularly. It’s gut-wrenching to watch Graham slowly realise he has unwittingly become the person who would trigger the situation leading to Rosa’s protest. He is forced to ignore his own beliefs, resist his own humanity, and go along with a system of segregation he fundamentally opposes. Ironically, by doing so, Graham also helps to bring down that very system. It’s the kind of moral dilemma the old historicals did so well and that many of the pseudohistoricals lack. After the swell of music and the lump-in-the-throat climax, the history lesson is hammered home in the TARDIS with another expositional info dump we could have done without. Reciting facts and lecturing the audience with inspirational rhetoric is never as impactful as experiencing the events themselves, and Rosa had already done that. If anyone needed further proof of the significance of Rosa Parks by this point of the episode, a bit of file footage and a CGI asteroid weren’t going to do it. As an episode, 'Rosa' has many flaws – but then so does every episode in some way or other. Plot holes and weak spots aren’t necessarily evidence of whether an episode is a classic or a turkey. It’s not even whether the episode captures and holds your attention, as that’s pretty much the most basic function of a story. What sets some episodes apart is how it touches you on an emotional level. We remember emotion far more strongly than facts or clinical plot points. Flaws aside, 'Rosa' provided that emotional journey. It didn’t just tell us the history, it helped us to feel what that history might have been like. My wife is only a casual watcher of the show because she’s married to me. Normally, she can take it or leave it. Yet, as the credits for 'Rosa' appeared on the screen, she uttered just three words. “That! Was! Amazing!”

Whether you believe Series 11 is pushing a stronger progressive agenda or not, whether you think the current direction is a mistake or merely a celebration of the values that the show has always had, surely we can all agree that the most important thing is the show should be “amazing”. I have it on very good authority that episode three, 'Rosa', was definitely that.


The Doctor once told Rose that he could feel the Earth move. At the time he was being slightly melodramatic, but right now, it was literally true. He could feel the subtle vibrations of the Earth expressing its outrage at the loss of its twin. It was faint at the moment, but the further away from Earth that Mondas moved, the greater the outrage and the greater the damage Earth would suffer. The Doctor, figuratively speaking, could feel history holding its breath. He stood in the middle of the chaos of a world screaming its pain as the once still, silent point in a room filled with movement, panic and hopelessness. Words spoken by another man echoed in his ears “No More”. He has seen one world burn, but today he was the Doctor. “Never Give Up, Never Surrender.” He couldn’t remember who said that to him, but as mottos went, it summed up the situation now, so he said it out loud. He said it again, louder and more forcefully when no one seemed to have heard him. “Don’t worry you lot. The smartest people on the planet are in this room, we’ll ‘ave it sorted before tea.” The Doctor had injected such a sense of certainty and optimism into his voice that some of the panic in the room faded; just an iota. The panic returned with a scowl as Vastra stalked towards him, her hand resting on the weapon at her side. “I don’t think you understand the gravity of the situation, alien” Vastra hissed. The Doctor looked at her for a moment, as if surprised by her comment and then a bright smile spread across his face. He was genuine, and warm and for the first time in decades Vastra, felt a small spark of hope. She quashed it, there was no hope and no insane alien was going to produce a surprise victory. “Ohh, you’re dead clever you are,” the Doctor enthused. He turned and raced around the room, talking to various scientists and engineers and offering comments and giving orders as if born to it. “Gravity,” he nodded. “Yes, you’ve said so already. The lack of which is what’s going to kill my people.” “Nah, it’s what’s gonna save your people. All you need is enough of it. Or rather, the right amount of it at the right spots” He gestured towards the main screen, showing Mondas’ slowly accelerating departure. “Soon enough, Mondas’ll move too far away to keep Earth stabilised. But…” he leaned over a console and started tapping in commands “if we’re quick we can replace the lost gravity field, at least for a time.” On the screen Vastra saw the last great hope of her people. The grounded ships that they once dreamt would take them away from their doomed homeworld. “They ‘ave artificial gravity.” “Not the same as a planet, ape.” She had an inkling of his plan, but she refused to leave the safety of her people to a potentially insane alien. “Ohh, jump Vastra,” the Doctor commanded. Initially she thought he was uttering some arcane insult, but his body language suggested she should actually jump. “No,” was all she could say, so he jumped instead. “If gravity was so strong, I couldn’t do that. Basic physics.”


“OF COURSE!” Sellec exclaimed, slapping a clawed hand to his forehead, “a weak force close by can overwhelm a strong force at a distance.” “EXACTLY!” The Doctor enthused. He bounded over to a console and started manipulating the controls. “If we place the ships at just the right points, their artificial gravity will balance the loss of the gravity from Mondas!” There was silence as the gathered scientists absorbed the Doctor’s plan. The Doctor’s hearts began to sink as the initial rush of adrenalin faded and the sheer weight of the situation began to truly hit home. Here he was, at a Fixed Point in history and he could feel history moving around him. That was new, that was odd. Previously he could feel the inevitability of history, but now there was a terrifying void where that inevitable certainty used to reside. Could the War have damaged Time so much that even the Fixed Points had become flexible? It was a sobering thought. No Time Lords to come in and anchor history. There was only him. A mad man in a box who ran away from his responsibilities until there was nowhere left to run. *** “Ohh I’ve missed this,” the Doctor said, an intense gleam in his eyes. Vastra was aghast. “You miss the end of the world?” her voice dripped with venom. He smiled dangerously and waved his hands in the air. “Nah, the fact that this is a problem we can science the ‘ell out of. We can save the day by being terribly clever,” another dangerous smile that almost distracted from the pain in his eyes, “you can survive without killin’. All you need to do is be really, really, smart” Vastra regarded him coldly, she doubted that this insane alien could do as he promised and said so. His face fell. “Some cheery help you are.” ‘Not’, a little voice whispered in his mind, ‘like Rose Tyler would have been’. “I am not here to be 'cheery', I am here to protect my people.” Vastra sounded almost offended, something the Doctor didn’t miss. “And I’m here helpin’. I’ve got a lot of experience saving worlds,” he hoped he sounded proud saying that, rather than smug, “And I can help save yours. ‘Ave a little hope.” Vastra looked at the Doctor and the Doctor looked at Vastra, a silent, stationary tableau in a sea of motion and sound. “Who are you, ‘Doctor?’” Vastra asked. “No one ever asks ‘how are you, Doctor?’” the Doctor deflected. Vastra raised an eye-ridge cynically. “And how are you?” “Fine Thanks,” the Doctor replied, with a cheery and utterly false smile. The smile disappeared as quickly as it appeared. “I’ll answer if you do.” Vastra thought about it and nodded. “I’m a traveller


in time and space. I came here because…” he took a deep breath “because there was a war. A war so massive and terrible that it burnt empires throughout time and space. I came here because I ended that war and I don’t know what to do next. I’m terrified that I don’t know how to not be at war.” He was honest, raw and emotional. Vastra couldn’t imagine anything that could break a man as full of life as the Doctor so obviously was, and, for the first time, she felt genuine sympathy for him. “That’s why you’re helping us?” “To prove that I can save a world rather than destroy it? Yeah. Scary isn’t it? A one man weapon of mass destruction decides to build and has no idea if he has it in him anymore.” “Anymore?” Vastra asked, unable to resist the lure of her curiosity. The Doctor seemed glad to be guided away from his dark thoughts. “Yeah,” he said with forced brightness, “once upon a time I was renowned for me quick wits and clever…,” he lost his train of thought, “clogginess” he added vaguely. Vastra felt a twang of pity. Here was someone trying to help her people, when by all rights should be running in the opposite direction. But underneath it all, underneath the jokes and the smiles and the quick wits was a sad, broken man. The Doctor sat perched on a disused computer console, looking like a crestfallen gargoyle. He watched as people, smart, desperate and suddenly hope-filled people, rushed around trying to save their world. The first of the Silurian Arks were being launched within the hour, he was sure he could feel history starting to cement into a familiar pattern, but he wasn’t sure. If he was sure, he’d have left by now. Instead he was left twiddling his thumbs while others worked. Every so often one of the scientists would bring him calculations to doublecheck or ask his advice on some arcane aspect of rocketry or gravity control that they’d never have encountered otherwise, but all told he was feeling useless. He wasn’t familiar enough with the computers or the technology in order to properly help out. Vastra approached him, minutes before the first launch, she was holding a cup full of a steaming liquid. “You asked for tea,” she said, handing over the mug. The Doctor sniffed it and smiled, “thanks.” It was the quietest she’d ever seen him, but also the most honest. “They’ve got everything under control here, don’t they? They don’t need me,” he said eventually, looking deep into the swirling liquid of his drink. Vastra watched him for a moment, and then turned to watch the scientists. “No,” she said eventually. “Did they ever?” The Doctor said, still peering into his drink. Vastra looked sharply at him. “Yes. Without your… your unique insight we’d have been lost. You saved the day because you remained calm.” She paused, waiting for the Doctor to look up. “You built something here,” she said, alluding to the Doctor’s previous comments. A sad smile was his answer, a look as if he’d made a decision crossing his face. “Well, thanks for the tea. I’ll be off then!” The Doctor jumped to his feet and all but ran out of the room, Vastra following closely at his heels. *** The Doctor stood at the doors of the TARDIS and turned to look at Vastra. History wasn’t just happening around him, he thought, it was repeating. He’d offered Vastra a trip in the TARDIS and she declined to “ride his space ship”, which he was almost certain was an intentional double entendre. “Well, it’s also a time machine,” he added lamely. Vastra looked tempted. “Come wit’ me, we can be there the moment your people wake up, have the toast and crumpets all hot and buttery,” his metaphor was lost on Vastra and she was seriously tempted to accept his offer. She eventually shook her head. “No, I have duties. Why would they listen to me if I hadn’t shared their burden?” “Always thinkin’,” the Doctor nodded, “takin’ responsibility. Good.” Vastra felt condescended to and responded more harshly than she meant to.


“A lecture on responsibility from the a...” she almost called him an ape, which was far ruder than she meant to be and caught herself in time, “Time Lord who runs away the first chance he gets?” “What do you mean?” the Doctor looked at her, his eyes hard. Vastra realised her mistake, but never the one to back down she continued. “Look at you, the first chance you get to leave, you do. And here you are, asking me to run away with you.” It felt like an age before he replied, “you’re right. Bad things happen when I take responsibility.” “Bad things happen all the time. My people would be dead if you didn’t do what you did.” The Doctor didn’t meet Vastra’s eye. He looked old and tired and lost. “My people are dead because I did,” he said eventually. Vastra finally saw past the bluster, the devil-may-care attitude and the impish humour to the person inside. He was afraid, lost, broken and alone. She was sorely tempted to accept his offer, but her entire civilisation needed her more than one man. “You’re the Brave Triceratops,” she said eventually. Trying to inspire him to look up from his demons. “What?” he said with a confused look. “Sorry, it’s a hatchling story, about a Triceratops who’s always afraid until one of his friends is hurt and then he’s brave enough to save his friend. You need someone to be brave for.” She placed her hand on his arm and said “Don’t be alone, Doctor” and departed, to face the future he had given them. *** The Doctor stood facing the TARDIS doors for a long time, staring at the chipped and worn paint. He rested his head against the doors and sighed. Him and his battered old time machine. Slowly it dawned on him. He had never told Rose it WAS a time machine. A mischievous grin crossed his face. He turned to see the shape of Vastra in the distance, he offered her back a wave goodbye. With the beginnings of a spring in his step he opened the doors and disappeared inside. The TARDIS took off with an oddly optimistic wheezing, groaning sound. The Doctor raced around the console and searched for the fast return switch. It had to be somewhere. It wasn’t under the old Batman comic he had been reading. It wasn’t hidden under the tea cups. It wasn’t (he checked twice) on the underside of the console. Eventually he saw it, sitting impossibly right next to the dematerialisation circuit. “Typical,” the Doctor shook his head. He pressed it and the TARDIS console room was bathed in darkness as, from deep within the craft, a ‘spoing’ sound was heard. “’Ow odd…” the Doctor muttered and, throwing caution to the wind he pressed the button again. This time there was a burble and a hiccup. Never one to view failure as anything other than a chance to have a second attempt at something, he pressed it again. This time the lights came back on and the TARDIS resumed its course. “Never give up” he grinned. When the TARDIS landed, instead of the usual trumpeting fanfare, it was a chorus of spoings, burps, burbles and something that sounded suspiciously like a mallard trying to swallow a sofa. Given the option of repairs or rushing off to another adventure and hoping the TARDIS fixed itself in the meantime the Doctor bolted for the door. He wrenched it open and with his biggest grin said “Did I also mention it travels in time?” to a pair of startled penguins. “This isn’t London,” he said with a peevish look over his shoulder at the console. “Ohh well, would you ladies fancy a trip in a time machine?”



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