Every half-an-hour, the klaxon sounds in the RadioTimes.com offices, signalling a new Doctor Who story is required. What to do when another ‘listicle’ just isn’t enough? Bring out the spurious! Here, then, is our salute to The 10 most desperate Doctor Who stories published on RadioTimes.com since July. Yes, since July…
(NB – We’re like to think Nicholas Brett typed all of these…)
1) Bless, you, Doctor Who fan, for your embeddable free content!
2) Ah, fans, keep this shit coming…
3) Don’t think we’ve mentioned Capaldi’s background since the spring, have we? So, yeah, feels revelatory again.
4) So slight a story, we can’t even think of a way to meaningfully differentiate the header from the subheader. Still, ‘Steven Moffat’ is in there – no-brainer!
5) This is great! Let’s now hope someone from – umm – Making A Murderer will say something similar.
6) A cast member tweeting about their show in broad but enthusiastic terms? Make room for that PPA award!
7) Well, no, but Brexit is HOT!
8) The keenest phrase for any headline writer: “Slightly”
9) Great. Any leads on the quality of Shaun Dingwall’s Sunday lunches?
CREAMGUIDE(FILMS) COMMENTARIES is back! Back! BACK! And it’s about fucking time too. Join Chris, Craig and Jack in an adventure in Rosemary and Thyme (or Bramwell) as they pick over the DOCTOR WHO TV MOVIE from 1996 – on the very anniversary of its UK transmission – in fine style stopping off to hear from commentary regulars Father Lionel Fanthorpe, Michael Caine and Bob Mills (or Keith Richards) with special guest references to Patsy Byrne and Len Kabasinski: together at last! It’s the DVD version that kicks in straight off the bat. So press play from the off and enjoy some barely relevant chat that is at least half human.
If you don’t want to listen to it using our player (above), then download it (83.5 MB). Or, to save you all this hassle, just subscribe to our podcast via iTunes. And this is our RSS feed.
And here it is on Soundcloud…
THIS COMMENTARY IS RATED ‘R’
SPOILERS: He isn’t
CREAMGUIDE(FILMS) REVERSE FAQ
1) 14th May, 1996
2) He’s been in lots of stuff, all of it shit. Except late period Brush Strokes when it got miserable and an episode of Boon which was always great
3) We preferred Dr Quim
4) Just over 9m
5) Southend, as it goes
6) He’s a Canadian comedian. Quite successful, surprisingly. We imagine he shouts a lot
7) It was indeed simply called ‘John Sessions’ from 1990
8) It was Patsy Byrne!
9) Couple of other TV movies; Catherine the Great and The One that Got Away
10) Diana Weston
11) Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose from 1995
12) Luis Silverado. It also featured Richard ‘don’t mention the dog’ Todd, John ‘Q’ Bluthal, Enn ‘de Bargos’ Reitel, Hywel ‘Tarr’ Bennett, Paddie ‘Alfred Marks’ O’Neill, Helen ‘Naked Video’ Lederer, Ron ‘Pod’s dad’ Donachie, A Taste of Dora Bryan, Judi Spiers, Bernard ‘sandwich’ Bresslaw and a further constellation of stars no one but we remember
13) Vortex is a very thick bleach
CREAMGUIDE(FILMS) COMMENTARIES will return with a day of the great British holiday.
To Creamguide(Films) would go, must choose above, between, below. Join Chris, Craig and Proper Fan Jack as they wallow in the majesty of the greatest Doctor Who story ever told (oh yes it is): THE FIVE DOCTORS. And on the 32nd anniversary of its UK broadcast which, after all, is the big one! Turn it on as Hartnell appears and join in the sweary mockery of a programme so dear to so many generations.
But, how to listen, child? HOW TO LISTEN? Why, it’s as easy at Pi. Click on the thing above if your browser so allows it. Or download it here (it’s 85meg). If you haven’t already, you could also subscribe. And this is our RSS feed.
And here it is on Soundcloud…
THIS COMMENTARY IS RATED ‘A’
SPOILERS: Jack is a Proper Fan
1. On the Chicago PBS station WTTW and various other PBS stations on 23 November 1983. We imagine no one shouted “We’re number 1!” at those affiliate meetings like Faye Dunaway in NETWORK
2. 25th November over here. Where the people who actually paid for it live
3. Doesn’t exactly happen all the time but they still put special previews and stuff on at Comic-Con in America before we get them which is all wrong
4. It was shown on BBC One, one part a night between 14 August and 17 August 1984 at 6:15 p.m.
5. 1981 episode “Assassin”
6. And the only story with all the footage, out takes etc. still extant in broadcast quality
7. 7.7m viewers
8. 65 at this point
9. She was meant to be in it but the divorce put the mockers on that
10. And represented McGann when he got the gig
11. Which was the cliffhanger (ho ho) for one of the serialised episodes
12. VHS release was in 1985
13. The ‘Lifestyle’ department
14. If there is this is out of sync
15. This section was MOGGED
16. Or is it a bit of pineapple?
17. They’re all on Gallifrey, actually. ‘Proper Fan’
18. DOCTOR WHO: CYBERMEN. Keep it in mind for Christmas, Proper Fans!
19. What constitutes a Proper Fan (apparently):
1 – into Doctor Who by aged 8
2 – stayed loyal through the wilderness years
3 – know who Alister Pearson, David Burton and Gary Leigh are*
20. Keith Hodiak. Also in the telly Lion, Witch and Wardrobe which is quite a double
21. Virtual Murder was 1992
22. He wasn’t available apparently
23. Knightmare was 1987 onwards
24. Actually it was 1994
25. And the Doctors Latimer did indeed kick off in 1983
26. Released on VHS in 1985
27. And this was the first DVD release, in 1999
28. Made a bit of an arse explaining that. What we meant was that when Tennant says to Sarah Jane in School Reunion that he has regenerated half a dozen times since they last met, it was only five at that point (Baker, McCoy, McGann, Ecclestone, Tennant) cos she met Peter Davison in this. It’s six now cos of Hurt but that didn’t count then. Oh no it didn’t.
29. Neverwhere was 1996. Sir Lenworth was not attached
30. It says here Charles Gray was offered The Role Of Rassilon
31. It says here it’s only ‘jokingly’ referred to as the Flavia Theme. By whom we have no idea.
*(Creamguide(Films) has no idea who these people are)
Creamguide(Films)will be back with a superlative adventure shot from a Cannon.
And so we reach the final instalment of TV Cream Countdown: The 50 Greatest Doctor Who Moments. You might, should your browser allow, be able to listen to it above. Or download it here (it’s big at 71meg). If you haven’t already, you could also subscribe. And this is our RSS feed
A very special guest, Simon Cartwright in the guise of Bob Monkhouse (left), begins this final epistopic interface, which also takes in lesbians, Geoffrey Palmer, Doctor Who’s ultimate adventure and the very greatest thing about Doctor Who ever. Plus! Contains Ian ‘Brendan from K9 and Company’ Sears’ first ever interview about that show.
TV Cream would like thank the following for helping us make this five-episode podcast series: Karen Bartke, Jonathon Carley, Simon Cartwright, Charles Daniels, Peter Dickson, Debbie Flint, Ryan Hendrick, Keith Miller, Dom O’Shea, Jon Peake, Rose Ruane, Matthew Rudd, Ian Sears, Chip Sudderth, Hamish Wilson and anyone who posted some kind of crazy clip to YouTube or VideoMotion or somewhere else, which we’ve mercilessly pilfered.
Today we release part four of TV Cream Countdown: The 50 Greatest Doctor Who Moments. You might, should your browser allow, be able to listen to it above. Or you might prefer to download it from here (clocks in at 59meg). If you haven’t already, you could also subscribe. And this is our RSS feed
In this one we encounter the father of fandom, arrive on the planet Shepherd’s Bush, wonder if your wife has come back from her sister’s yet and find out what happens when Doctor Who sings.
Part three of TV Cream Countdown: The 50 Greatest Doctor Who Moments is now available! If your browser is amenable, you can listen to it above or download from here (clocks in at 45meg)). Or subscribe. Or try our RSS feed
Features a guest appearance from Debbie Flint of BSB Doctor Who Weekend fame. Plus, the Master debate, a particularly stupid theory, Sylvester McCoy saying “bollocks” and the rare photo of the Rill!
As per Episode One and Episode Two we’ve bit bits up onto Soundcloud for your downloading and sharing pleasure, which you can access here, or below. Tweet any bits you like.
And so, part two of TV Cream Countdown: The 50 Greatest Doctor Who Moments, which you can listen to above (if your browser lets you) or download from here (that’s about 50 meg you’ll be shifting). Or subscribe. Oh, and this is our RSS feed
This time around one of the Jamie McCrimmons joins in the fun, we take a journey to an altogether more far-flung shore, examine premature male pattern baldness, an oscilloscope and a frockcoat, and remember the time the Doctor Who Appreciation Society blew it.
As per Episode One, we’ve also popped bits up onto Soundcloud for your downloading and sharing pleasure, which you can access here, or below. Feel free to tweet any bits you like. We should add, though, that due to copyright reasons, two chunks are not included in the playlist. But you can hear them, well, here. They are numbers 36 and 34.
We’ve instead included two extra, additional bits, to plug those Soundcloud gaps below. Collect them all!
Our thanks go to voice heroes Jonathon Carley and Dom O’Shea.
Peoples of the universe, please attend! The podcast that follows is TV Cream Countdown: The 50 Greatest Doctor Who Moments!
This is the start of a five-part series, which will run daily from here till Friday. It’s a slightly misnamed podcast to be honest, as it’s more a miscellany of 50 things about Doctor Who; but whatever – it’s still a nifty tie-in for the programme’s golden jubilee.
In this first instalment, we countdown from 50 to 41. Includes the Cybermen, the crossover betwixt DW and 007, a living legend of Doctor Who podcasting and a symposium on Whovian impressions. Ahhh.
It weighs in at about 46 minutes and 50 meg. You can listen to it above (if your browser supports that kind of fun) or download from here.
Easiest thing, though, is to subscribe. And this is our RSS feed. Be aware, for technical reasons this is a different iTunes feed from the previous TV Cream podcast, so even if you were signed up to that, you’ll have to sign up to this. Sorry.
We’ve also popped bits up onto Soundcloud, which you can access here, or – again, browser permitting – below. Feel free to tweet any bits you like, download, share etc.
At least try listening to the Introduction – that gives you a good taste of the podcast to follow…
Peoples of the universe please attend: The above video is to flag up that next month, we’ll be launching our podcast series celebrating the five faces… erm, five decades of Doctor Who. It’ll be called TV Cream Countdown: The 50 Greatest Doctor Who Moments.
Last year we waxed unusually lyrically about Keith Miller’s super book The Official Doctor Who Fan Club – possibly the best ever tome written about the children’s own series that adults maintain isn’t. Plus, it’s never had two up it.
Well, here’s some very welcome news, as Keith’s dropped us a line to say that Volume Two: The Tom Baker Years will soon be available to buy. As Keith says: “This is the second in a two volume set which features set reports from Carnival of Monsters, The Three Doctors, Planet of the Spiders, Genesis of the Daleks, Terror of the Zygons and Masque of Mandragora, with a full set of the very first Doctor Who fanzine, and facsimilies of the actual letters between the stars and production team of the show.”
Plus, it’s got a cover designed by Clayton Hickman!
Keith’s supplied us with two exclusive previews, see below. In return, we feel duty-bound to do this: Price: £16.99, published May 2013 – more details and orders at www.odwfc.com.
Yes, 2013 promises 12 months even more doused in the good Doctor than usual. That’s because 23 November will be the 50th anniversary of the show’s first-ever episode, which makes it one of the longest non-continuously-running children’s programmes in the world – or any other world!
It looks like being a year packed with Dr Who delights, but aside from all the appeals for lost episodes and talk of the show going “back to basics”/”being bigger and better than ever”/”in great shape for another non-continuous 50 years on the air”, what else might 2013 portend for the programme?
We asked this question of the TV Cream Dr Who Matrix Databank, and this is what it said:
1) The BBC will deny there were ever any plans to mark the anniversary with a live episode.
2) Some fans will claim the anniversary is actually 16 November, as that was when the first episode was originally scheduled for transmission in 1963.
3) There’ll be an unfounded rumble a former Dr Who companion has been questioned as part of Operation Yewtree.
4) The Five Doctors will be re-released as a special four-disc set in a 30th anniversary commemorative holographic Tardis-shaped tin, boasting “all-new extras” including yet another pissed-about-with version of the original story, plus a fan-made mini-drama about the day the Raston Warrior Robot did the electric boogaloo on Top of the Pops.
5) A Dr Who star will take part in Strictly Come Dancing*.
6) A Dr Who star will take over from Brucie on Strictly Come Dancing**.
7) Peter Davidson will appear live on The One Show to talk about the anniversary celebrations, but there will be controversy when he describes some of his episodes as “frankly, horseshit”.
8) Some fans will launch a campaign for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s new baby to be called Verity.
9) One Direction will record a Dr Who tribute called I Wanna Be Dr Who (Take You Round The Galaxy Tonight), but contractual complications will mean the promotional video features the boys wearing non-specific “fantasy” costumes while being chased by “Moon monsters”.
10) Tom Baker will have fuck all to do with anything.
11) John Whaite, the winner of the 2012 series of the Great British Bake Off, will appear in the special anniversary episode as himself, presenting Dr Who with a birthday cake.
12) New BBC Director-General Tony Hall will admit he “doesn’t watch the show” but “hopes Dr Who will continue travelling in time and space for another 50 years”.
13) The anniversary episode won’t be broadcast on 23 November due to last-minute scheduling issues.
Keith Miller has been a long-time friend of TV Cream – but an even longer-time friend of Doctor Who, as his brand-new, self-published book proves.
He was good enough to send us a copy, and we have to admit – with all due TVC-nonsense aside – it’s absolutely terrific. Granted, most of it looks like death (sorry, Keith) but it chronicles not only the birth of organised DW fandom, with all the attendant squabbles and nerdy turf wars, but also Keith’s own (and we can’t believe we’re going to say this without some sort of waspish caveat) coming of age. Impressive for a book which essentially has no narrative beyond picture captions.
Erm, that makes it sound like The Tardis Inside Out, and it’s really not.
So, what is it? In the main, it’s a reproduction of letters sent to Keith from Barry Letts’ secretary Sarah Newman, plus reproductions of every issue of the DWFC newsletter during the period.
It begins in 1972, when our hero (and he really is) is 13-years-old. For reasons that remain unclear, he becomes the secretary and de facto chairperson of The Official Doctor Who Fan Club – as endorsed by BBCtv. Can’t see Edward Russell sanctioning that today, eh readers? Edinburgh-based Keith then struggles to turn out monthly issues of his home-made mag, aided along the way by Sarah sending him stencils and synopses, and agreeing to cover postage costs via a laborious set-up wherein he drops off all copies of his latest effort to an office in BBC Scotland.
Honestly, it’s brilliant.
Because of the nature of their correspondence, we never see Keith’s letters, but it’s fun reading Sarah’s replies and filling in the gaps in the unfolding story. As time passes, the two build up quite a touching relationship; Sarah gently offers counsel when Keith’s father passes away and shares her frustrations at the rise of the Super Fan as Peter Capaldi – that Peter Capaldi – and pals proceed to make themselves pests to the Doctor Who production team, and commence on a grubby quest for Whovian power. There’s even a terrific bit where Keith frets that Sarah’s serious when she suggests he pops over to Glasgow to duff up the proto Malcolm Tucker.
Other highlights include Keith’s visits to London to see episodes of the show being filmed (first in the company of his mum, who takes a shine to Barry) and his various run-ins with Jon Pertwee who, when not cadging fags, is making his displeasure known at the amount of Hartnell and Troughton-related material in the nascent mag. Plus, Keith’s retelling of early Doctor Who stories. Who knew episode two of An Unearthly Child began with Ian fretting about what his landlady would say if he didn’t report back to his digs tout de suite?
This volume ends with the Third Doctor’s demise, and Keith being published in that year’s Doctor Who Annual from World Distributors.
With Keith’s permission, we’ve reproduced one of Sarah’s letters below (actually, it’s to Peter Capaldi), plus a particularly fine DWFC newsletter front page. But, seriously you should just get this book. A second volume covering the DWFC’s tussles with Tom Baker is promised. We hope to see it very, very soon. And, as someone once said: “Where there’s life…”
TV Cream’s very own Steve Berry (probably still best known for his face-on-a-time-tunnel-avatar which wowed the internet in 2006, plus his super TV Cream Toys book) has now launched his long anticipated and already heavily plugged (“Do you know a famous person who…?”) Dr Who charity book – Behind The Sofa. Yup, it’s now available for pre-order at http://behindthesofa.myshopify.com.
With all profits going to Alzheimer’s Research UK and brilliant illustrations provided by Doctor Who Magazine’s Ben Morris, it features over 100 celebrity memories of the children’s own programme that adults adore. Celebs featured include: Bill Oddie, Charlie Brooker, Charlie Higson, Chris Tarrant, Gary Russell, Jonathan Ross, Julian Glover, Konnie Huq, Lynda ‘If Barbara Knox’ Bellingham, Michael Grade, Nicholas Parsons and – holy shit! – Roland Rat.
Sadly, Boyd Hilton is in it too. But off-set by Wincey Willis.
Happy Dr Who day, pals. Here are our favourite 48 moments from the series so far…
48) “DON’T TURN AROUND!” (‘THE IMPOSSIBLE PLANET’, 2006)
It’s an oldie, but a goldie. Off-camera sinister voice addresses clearly-done-for Joe Ordinary, prompting everyone at home to shout: “Turn around!” That’s until said voice, sounding suspiciously like Tom Baker foe Sutekh (actor Gabriel Woolf), clarifies the situation: “If you look at me, you will die”. Ulp!
47) “NOOOOOOOOOO!” (‘THE TRIAL OF A TIME LORD’, 1986) The Doctor is dragged down into the depths of a shingle quicksand by a battery of demented waving arms. As his mighty girth is submerged, it’s camera up Colin Baker’s nostrils time to nail home this iconic cliffhanger.
46) “FOR FANS OF DOCTOR WHO THERE WILL BE A RUN OF OLD DOCTOR WHO STORIES ON BBC2 CALLED THE FIVE FACES OF DOCTOR WHO” (‘LOGOPOLIS’, 1981)
The moment has indeed been prepared for, as revealed over the end credits of Tom Baker’s swan-song – a repeat season! Turn over after Willo The Wisp to enjoy cavemen, Krotons and a Carnival of Monsters. A new generation of fans send off their SAEs to the Doctor Who Appreciation Society.
45) “SOMETIMES I FEEL I’VE GOT TO – NER NER – RUN AWAY” (‘THE END OF THE WORLD’, 2005)
Gay disco agenda ahoy! The Platform One monster parade ends with Lady Cassandra’s “iPod” (ha-ha, it’s a Wurlitzer!) blasting out “classical music” (ha-ha, it’s Soft Cell – Russell, you’re too much!). At which point Christopher Eccleston reveals his Doctor’s defining characteristic – dad-dancing.
44) “GETTING-A-BIT-HAIRY-IS-IT?” (‘ATTACK OF THE CYBERMEN’, 1985)
Does not compute! Brian Glover trash-talks the Cybermen in a mocking robotic voice. And gets the old crushing-fists-to-the-temple treatment in return. 43) “SOMEWHERE ELSE THE TEA’S GETTING COLD” (‘SURVIVAL’, 1989)
Doctor Who signs off our TV screens for 16 years (bar that Paul McGann film, obviously) via a hastily tacked-on voiceover intoned by Sylvester McCoy. “C’mon Ace,” says the Doc, “we’ve got work to do”. Unofficial spin-off videos, mainly.
42) “YOU CAN COVER THE WHOLE LOT IN BUTTER-CREAM!” (‘ALIENS OF LONDON’, 2005)
A space pig crash-lands in the Thames and the Doctor needs information. He turns to News 24, but is battling for the telly with one of Rose’s pesky relatives. Result: the channel changes to a Blue Peter cookery demo featuring Matt Baker and a spaceship cake. Lovely stuff!
41) “AND NOW BACK TO DOCTOR WHO… THE SERIES!” (ROLAND RAT THE SERIES, 1986)
Colin Baker’s Doctor interrupts the dying moments of the rodent’s show, to cue in his own adventures (which follow after). “Rubbish!” chips in Reggie the rat, narrowly missing a laser zap from the Time Lord. Critics, eh?
40) “ANOTHER SOFT CENTRE!” (DR WHO AND THE DALEKS, 1965)
They may be the true bastards of Earth as far as fans are concerned, but the two films made by horror merchants Amicus – which happen to concern the antics of a medical man named Who – have their moments. In this one, Roy Castle sets up an elaborate running gag involving petrified aliens, a heart-shaped box of chocolates, and good old ‘falling over’.
39) “THE CREAM OF SCOTLAND YARD” (‘GHOSTLIGHT’, 1989)
Foppish Victorian rotter Josiah Smith unleashes the show’s cruellest pun at the revelation effete baddy Light has reduced an innocent copper to primordial soup.
38) “YOUR BILE WOULD BE BETTER DIRECTED AGAINST THE ENEMY, DOCTOR!” (‘RESURRECTION OF THE DALEKS, 1984’)
Doctor Who essays Alien-style down ‘n’ dirty action-adventure licks, with a cast comprised of Chloe Ashcroft, Rodney Bewes, Dirty Den and Rula Lenska… together at last!
John Cleese and Tom Baker team-up for an in-house effort made to amuse BBC VT engineers. “Sign this for my little God son, would you?” says John, “Nice little kid, he’s blind”. “Have you got a pen?” returns Tom. “Oh, never mind, I’ll tell him you signed it”.
36) “IF YOU EVER LOVED ME, CHILD… KILL ME!” (‘REVELATION OF THE DALEKS’, 1985)
The ethics of euthanasia in Doctor Who! Boilerplate 1980s cannon-fodder Natasha finds what’s left of her dad – the improbably named Arthur Stengos – being transformed into a glass Dalek (of all things). Some genuinely gory moments later, she zaps him. Now cut to Alexi Sayle as – chortle! – a comedy hippy…
35) “ARE YOU IN CHARGE HERE?”/”NO, BUT I’M FULL OF IDEAS!” (THE HORROR OF FANG ROCK, 1977)
There’s only one thing worse than being trapped in a spooky lighthouse on a stormy night, and that’s being trapped in a spooky lighthouse on a stormy night with a bunch of Edwardian snobs who’ve got stiff collars and weak knees. Fortunately the Doctor is on top toff-baiting form.
34) THE WORLD MELTS (‘INFERNO’, 1970)
Someone’s been tampering with the Earth’s core – won’t they ever learn? – and the temperature is rising. Struggling to jumpstart a knackered TARDIS and make good his escape, the Doctor opens his garage door… to find a tide of lava heading up the drive. Roll titles! NB. This story includes the line: “What did you expect? Some sort of space rocket with Batman at the controls?”
33) “DON’T FORGET ME”/”OH SARAH – DON’T YOU FORGET ME!” (‘THE HAND OF FEAR’, 1976)
Parting is such sweet sorrow, as the Doctor’s sometime witchfinder-general William Shakespeare put it. Here Sarah Jane – dressed, apropos of nothing, as Andy Pandy – receives a send-off from her Gallifrey guardian, soaked in enough lip-trembling pathos to puncture even the stoutest of hearts. You’ll have to excuse us, we’ve something in our eye.
32) “WHAT DO YOU DO FOR AN ENCORE, DOCTOR?”/”I WIN!” (‘THE SEEDS OF DOOM’, 1976)
Having breezily plucked Sarah Jane – “my best friend” – from the clutches of silk-tongued glove-clad plant fetishist Harrison Chase by leaping through a skylight and essaying a spot of Marvel Comic-esque derring-do, a gun-toting (hooray!) Doctor reminds the leafy loon who’ll have the last laugh.
31) “MY HAND! IT’S STUCK!” (‘THE STONES OF BLOOD’, 1978)
Halfway through this story, the titular fossils go off to refuel. Finding a pair parked outside their tent flaps, Mike Baldwin’s future second wife (Jackie Ingram, played by Shirin Taylor) and, er, some bloke have their veins gratuitously drained. Suddenly that school trip to Avebury isn’t looking so appealing.
30) “FIT AS A FIDDLE, VICKI!” (‘CASTROVALVA’, 1982)
And this is me! Peter Davison displays an impressive talent for mimicry in the first throes of regeneration, channelling Troughton (“When I say run, RUN!”), Hartnell (“What would you do if you were me, boy, hmm?”) and Pertwee (er… well, he’s in there somewhere), all the while unravelling Tom’s scarf. Ooh! Allegory!
29) A FACTSHEET IS AVAILABLE (‘THE ROBOTS OF DEATH’, 1977)
The Doctor explains the principle of the TARDIS to a baffled Leela, Johnny Ball style, with two handy boxes and a hushed voice. “It’s a trick!”
28) “‘SWEET’?! EFFETE!” (‘THE TWIN DILEMMA’, 1984)
In the throes of his regulation post-regeneration tizzy, the sixth Doctor breaks with protocol by slagging off his pleasant, open-faced fifth incarnation, before storming off to spend the next three years dressed as Charlie Cairoli.
27) “WHO WAS THAT?”/”ME!”/”*ME!*” (‘THE THREE DOCTORS’, 1973)
Blobs of latex are threatening the fabric of the universe, so the Time Lords twiddle a knob and send the Doctor’s previous two incarnations to see how the new boy’s doing. Cue the kind of bickering that will serve Jon Pertwee and Patrick Troughton well through the next 10 years of conventions.
26) THE OLD AVENGERS (DALEKS: INVASION EARTH 2150 AD, 1966)
Wrong Doctor Peter Cushing and PC Bernard Cribbins, clad in fetching black PVC jumpsuits, escape ‘robotisation’ at the pincers of the Daleks by kung-fu kicking their way out of their copiously laminated underground base to the accompaniment of a swinging jazz soundtrack.
25) EXPERIMENTAL THEATRE WORKSHOP (‘WARRIOR’S GATE’, 1981) Doctor Who dabbled with a lot of ‘hard’ SF concepts in the early eighties, but nothing confused younger viewers quite as much as this metaphysical romp in E-Space. Trapped inside a decrepit banqueting hall in an abstract CSO’d wilderness, a bunch of sardonic Noel Edmonds lion men (the Tharils), a ‘time mirror’ and a pensionable K9, the Doctor opts out of heroics to sit on his arse munching gherkins.
24) “MERRY CHRISTMAS!” (BBC TRAILER, 1982)
It’s 1981 and a galaxy of BBC stars are here to bid Yuletide greetings to the nation: Kenny Everett (“Have a dynamite Christmas!”), the Tomorrow’s World team, accompanied by an it’s-all-thanks-to-British-knowhow giant Christmas pud, and, best of all, the TARDIS crew. And, hooray! Peter Davison does a neat bit of business with his hat to obscure Adric’s face, thus ensuring a perfect Christmas for the peoples of the universe.
23) “HAVE YOU HAD A FACE LIFT?”/”SEVERAL, SO FAR…” (‘THE DEADLY ASSASSIN’, 1976)
After spending aeons building up a sinister picture of the place in hushed tones, the Doctor finally touches down on Gallifrey – which turns out to be a pantomime cross between the House of Lords, Dad’s Army and the Sellafield visitors’ centre – to bandy insults with Gallifrey’s very own Nicholas Witchell, Runcible the Fatuous.
22) “YOU MY DEAR CAN’T POSSIBLY EXIST – SO GO AWAY!” (‘KINDA’, 1982)
Allegory and metaphor invade Who as Tegan dreams of Lou Beale then gets possessed by a bloke with a snake tattoo. Hundreds of fanboys stroke their beards and come to the only logical conclusion – Kate Bush must’ve written this one!
21) “IT’S THE END…” (‘LOGOPOLIS’, 1981)
Tom Baker falls off Jodrell Bank onto some unrealistic Astroturf, before merging with flaky-pastry-faced bandage bloke, The Watcher, and turning into Peter Davison. “So he was the Doctor all the time!” muses Nyssa, several weeks later, in a phoned-in overdub. And yet, for all that, achingly poignant.
20) “IT’S ABUNDANTLY CLEAR TO ANYONE WHO’S WATCHING I HAVEN’T ANY IDEA WHAT I’M DOING!” (THE PROGRAM, 1995)
“I may be the most brilliant scientist in the world,” reflects Jon Pertwee, “with two hearts and several hundred years of age, but I haven’t the faintest idea of what I’m doing here”. So let’s help – he’s playing the Star Wars-themed Dark Forces for a computer games show. “I press it on what now?” asks Pertwee, hopelessly. “‘Loading mission’. What happens on Loading Mission? Get me the Brigadier at once, he can maybe enlighten me!”.
19) FAN FICTION! (‘HUMAN NATURE’, 2007)
“I have written down some of these dreams in the form of fiction.” The Doctor, in the unwitting guise of human John Smith, dips a toe in the murky waters of fan fic, chronicling his adventures aboard a “blue box” in his Journal of Impossible Things. And to underline his superfan credentials, there’s the obligatory pencil-shaded montage of all the Doctors’ faces. Plus Paul McGann.
18) ATTACK OF THE CIDERMEN (BBC NEWS, 1975)
A local news reporter ferrets for signs of newly employed Tom Baker down Wookey Hole. “Oh, I don’t know, I can’t find Doctor Who anywhere!”. He finally catches up with the man traipsing into the boozer with Cybermen in tow. Perplexed local scratches his head, for top comedic pay-off.
17) “PARLARE THE CARNY?” (‘CARNIVAL OF MONSTERS’, 1973)
Having finally been let out of his bedroom by the Time Lords, following a grounding on Earth for three years, Jon Pertwee’s Doctor ventures back into space… to trade homosexual slang with Mr Partridge off of Hi-De-Hi! – who’s wearing a transparent bowler hat.
16) “THE LOCH NESS MONSTER!” (‘SCHOOL REUNION’, 2006)
In a bid to assert their supremacy in the companion stakes, the feuding Sarah Jane and Rose embark on a no-holds-barred game of monster Top Trumps. “Mummies!” “I’ve met ghosts!” “Robots, lots of robots!” “Slitheen! In Downing Street!” Time for Miss Smith to play that killer Weetabix card from ‘Terror of the Zygons’. “Seriously?!”
15) “SIX BUFFALOS A DAY IT ATE, PLUS TWO WHEELBARRLOWLOADS OF COCONUTS” (ANIMAL MAGIC, 1979)
En route between the Acton Hilton and the BBC Club, Tom Baker makes time to pop in on Animal Magic’s 400th edition, waxing lyrical to camera about the Fendahl, Krynoid, and Shrievenzale. In stocks! “The Wirrn – it had a sting so fierce, it could’ve done an elephant in five seconds.”
14) “NO MY DEAR DOCTOR, YOU MUST DIE! DIE DOCTOR! DIE!” (‘THE CAVES OF ANDROZANI’. 1984)
The best regeneration ever as Peter Davison – not quite upstaged by Nicola Bryant’s bosom – takes his bow. How can you go wrong with a psychedelic kaleidoscope of companion cameos (“What was it you always told me, Doctor? Brave heart?”) and some triumphal taunting from that moustache-twirling maverick, The Master. Enter Colin Baker. “You were expecting someone else?” Well, hoping, maybe.
13) AUTONS TAKE EALING BROADWAY (‘SPEARHEAD FROM SPACE’, 1970)
The Doctor is exiled to the seventies (UNIT, cloaks, laboratories, trimphones) in style, with one of the most sinister Who sequences of all time, as a troupe of nattily-attired shop dummies come to life in an Ealing department store window and ruthlessly mow down a bus queue. The stuff of nightmares. Plus, it’s nice to see the old Currys logo.
12) “I AM THE NUCLEUS OF THE SWARM!” (‘THE INVISIBLE ENEMY’, 1977)
Sick Doctor has miniaturised clones of self and Leela injected into his bloodstream to fight virus, romp fetchingly about among polystyrene blood cells and generally rip off that film with Racquel Welch in. Seizing its chance, the virus’s tatty king prawn-ish nucleus gets magnified to giant size, then spends the rest of the episode repeatedly bigging itself up like it was the Fresh Prince or something. We heard you!
11) “ARE YOU MY MUMMY?” (‘THE EMPTY CHILD’, 2005)
“Please let me in.” Brrrr. Ringing telephones, air raids and a scary, scary kid in a gasmask. The nation collectively remembers this programme could be seriously disturbing, while kids get a new playground catchphrase. The moment you knew Who was back for good.
10) “YES I’M RATHER LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING IT M’SELF” (NOEL’S HOUSE PARTY, 1993)
What force for good could unite five incarnations of the Doctor? Noel Edmonds, obviously! To pay tribute, Jon Pertwee materialises on Noel’s House Party where he introduces part one of Children in Need’s Who-meets EastEnders skit, ‘Dimensions in Time’ (“I’m in it y’know!”). “I heard he was thick,” he says of the TV legend in an acid aside to camera. “I thought they were talking about his waist!”
9) “K-9!” (K-9 AND COMPANY, 1981)
First ever Who spin-off, features Elisabeth Sladen as breathless journo Sarah Jane Smith providing the titular ‘Company’ to the Doc’s robot dog. The show’s blessed with a fantastically hopeless title sequence, featuring the metal mutt perched on a dry stone wall chirruping, “K-9!” while The Guardian-reading SJ – with trackie-top draped around her neck – pounds country lanes. And, ooh, alfresco typing!
Click to read about the spin-offs they should have done
8) “THE STAIRS!” (‘REMEMBRANCE OF THE DALEKS’, 1989)
This one got Sylvester McCoy a positive write-up in music inkie Sounds, of all things. Faced with a Dalek in the cellar, the Doctor does the obvious and legs it up the stairs. Phew! Except the metallic bastard follows him up – albeit very slowly. ‘Mac’, and a fleet of newspaper cartoonists despair.
7) “EN GARDE!” (‘THE SEA DEVILS’, 1972)
You’ve gotta love Jon Pertwee. He was always the Doctor most likely to hold a cracking cheese ‘n’ wine or give a hamper at Christmas. His bon viveur credentials come to the fore during a sword fight with the evil Time Lord beard-wearer, the Master. While flashing blades, the Doc takes a moment out to chomp on a big sandwich. Let’s brunch!
6) “NEXT TIME, I SHALL NOT BE SO LENIENT!” (‘THE ANDROIDS OF TARA’, 1978)
Bested by the Doc, the naughty Count Grendel gets off this ace riposte as he makes good his escape. As if that wasn’t fantastic enough, this story also features the line: “Would you mind not standing on my chest, my hat’s on fire”, plus the series’ worst-ever monster (and that’s a feat) in the form of the Taran Wood Beast – somewhere between a troll doll and Bill Bailey.
5) “IS THIS THE PLANET SHEPHERD’S BUSH?” (WOGAN, 1986)
On the evening of Doctor Who’s return to telly following a heinous Michael Grade-enforced 18-month pit stop, no less a figure than Sir Terence of Wogan steps forth from the TARDIS to duel with a monster (“You’re a Mandrel, aren’t you? I’d know you anywhere!”) as a prelude to a ribald chat with Colin Baker. “Is it true, like many actors, you have your shibboleths and superstitions?” ventures Tel. “Is shibboleths a posh word for knickers?” replies Col.
4) “HE MUST BE MADE TO… SUFFER FOR OUR PAST… DEFEATS!” (‘EARTHSHOCK’, 1982)
After an episode’s worth of dicking about in caves, a Mexican stand-off between his-and-her androids and the usual stiff upper-cliché troopers, we finally get the big baddies-pulling-the-strings reveal. And it’s the fucking Cybermen! Back after a seven-year break from our screens! Fists a-clenched, their plans for dominion over something or other will not be denied… But let’s have a quick trawl through old Doctor Who clips on their cyber-scope first.
3) “DON’T BLINK!” (‘BLINK’, 2007)
Not only did it prove current day ‘Doctor lite’ stories needn’t consist of Peter Kay gurning, ‘Blink’ also just happened to be one of the best Who tales of all time, with a beautifully simple concept, and, in Sally Sparrow, the best companion the Time Lord never had. Most importantly, with that superfluous coda (a montage of stone figures mixed in with Tennant’s advice you really shouldn’t shut your peepers) it gave a generation of kids a lifelong fear of statues. Good work!
2) “I BRING SUTEKH’S GIFT OF DEATH TO ALL HUMANS” (‘PYRAMIDS OF MARS’, 1975)
A crusty Egyptian god has been woken up, and understandably he’s not happy. Deciding to take revenge on, ooh, the whole human race, a masked figure in a black cowl is dispatched to deliver the eponymous cheery present to whoever gets in his way. Said gift is duly conveyed… via a pair of smoking hands, a sibilant snarl (actor Gabriel Woolf, see 48) and a spot of strangulation. A nation shudders at the most chilling moment in Who history.
1) “AFTER ALL, THAT’S HOW IT ALL STARTED” (‘THE FIVE DOCTORS’, 1983)
Fin de siecle stuff from the 20th birthday reunion, as the united Doctors brave the slight inclines of Blaenau Ffestiniog to defeat both onscreen Children in Need captions and scheming Time Lord despot Borusa in the Game of Rassilon (suitable for ages 8 to 800. Raston Warrior Robot sold separately). Peter Davison packs off his predecessors into their TARDISes – “I’m definitely not the man I was… thank goodness” – and then, clearly impressed, Tony Britton’s ex-wife off of Don’t Wait Up slips her arm through his and anoints the Doctor Gallifrey’s new president. But not for him the rigours of office. Thus the cricketing cavalier turns fugitive once more. “You mean you’re deliberately choosing to go on the run from your own people in a rackety old TARDIS?” pouts companion Tegan. “Why not?” grins the wet vet, showing off his acting chops with some fine ‘out of breath’ work. “After all, that’s how it all started.” Already great, the moment becomes genius when followed by a snazzy theme tune mash-up, mixing the original sixties Delia Derbyshire oscillating oddity with Peter Howell’s energetic slab of eighties electronica. Ah, we wish Doctor Who was on a birthday every week…
So, rumour is that the Daleks will be making an appearance in this year’s Dr Who after all. To celebrate – cos it is worth celebrating – TV Cream’s done a nice little deal with Skaro’s finest to supply you with some suitably grating Dalek sounds for all your PC’s functions.
Yup, everything from a natty start-up thingy, to a ‘you’ve got e-mail’-type message has been laid down for you by those preposterous pepper pots.
We’ve provided both MP3 format and WAV for you to download. And so…
Just what is going on with the nation’s favourite Saturday night curtain-drawing, National Grid-spiking telly institution?
There’s talk of a “hiatus”, rumours of bad blood between the show’s head nabob and the BBC, uncertainty about when the thing will be back in production, and even the suggestion its stars want out.
But enough about So You Think You Can Dance (yes, you knew that was coming).
What of all this gossip about Dr Who?
To wit, the gossip we’re about to feed through our Dr Who Fact-Checker, an app newly-developed for the TV Cream Matrix Databank?
Let’s see whether there’s any truth behind the latest rumours doing the round(el)s.
1) Dr Who has been axed
Everybody take a deep breath – and that includes, in the words of Sue Cook, the “freaks”. Seeing as Dr Who is the BBC’s chief moneyspinner, it will surely only be dumped when it ceases to be profitable. And even those Tardis-shaped straight-from-the-oven edible pastries are, as far we know, still selling like hot cakes. Verdict: FALSE!
2) Dr Who is being moved to the autumn
We’re not sure why there’s so much fuss being made about this. It’s already happened. The next series – and yes, that is the right description – of Dr Who will air later this year, long past the vernal equinox. Verdict: TRUE!
3) Dr Who has fallen out of favour at the BBC
Perhaps the corporation certainly doesn’t look upon the show with as much reverence as it used to. But we happen to think that’s a good thing, as it means those running the show have to work harder to persuade the suits that Dr Who is still new, fun and exciting. Well, that’s our theory. Besides, some people have always hated Dr Who. The Meddling Monk for one. Verdict: INVALID QUESTION!
4) Amy and Rory are leaving Dr Who
It’s about time the Tardis’s own Terry and June moved on. Especially as it’d be rather nice for Mrs Rory (and for us) not to have to see her husband die another six times before Michelmas. Verdict: TRUE (HOPEFULLY)!
5) Steven Moffat is leaving Dr Who
We don’t think that Press Gang reunion episode has been commissioned yet, so there’s still nothing for Moffat that’s truly worth leaving Dr Who for. Besides, he’s already shown that, unlike his predecessor, it’s possible to look after Dr Who while simultaneously shepherding another non-Who hit series on to our screens. And yes, we certainly wouldn’t mind a Sherlock Christmas special rather than a Dr Who one this year. Verdict: FALSE!
6) The Doctor who gets shot by the astronaut is the doppelganger from that creepy monastery who the real Doctor decides to kill off because of all the enemies he is creating around the galaxy and the person in the astronaut suit is a young River Song which is why the old River Song’s bullets do not have any effect and is why River Song is in prison to maintain the pretence that the Doctor is dead.
7) Dr Who is a real person
This is correct, and not because the Doctor is “part of all of us” or “part of the fabric of time” or some such bollocks. No, according to something we were watching the other day, not only is Dr Who real, but his name is actually Dr Who and he is an Earth-born scientist and inventor*. Verdict: TRUE!
9) Dr Who’s Tardis is bigger on the inside than the outside
How many times?! Like that portaloo in The Bluetones’ video for Solomon Bites The Worm, Dr Who’s spaceship exists in two places at the same time. To be tediously technical, the interior is in one dimension while the exterior mooches about inside another dimension. It is not a big box inside a little one, which means, among other things, Matthew Waterhouse was wrong in titling his autobiography Blue Box Boy. Verdict: FALSE!
10) 1980s ‘protest’ single Doctor In Distress is being re-recorded by, among others, Kate Thornton and Lizo Mzimba
We’re investigating this tantalising prospect. Look out for more news later this week. Verdict: LET’S ALL ANSWER HIS S.O.S!
*Come come, you should all (not just the freaks) know to what we are referring.
In short, he (he being Steven Clark, aged 51) is alleging the BBC copied the concept and design of Davros from a drawing he entered into a competition run by TV Action magazine three years before the dodgem car-dwelling dictator made its first appearance on screens.
The man’s proof? A copy of the aforementioned sketch he says he has only just rediscovered but which, given it predates Davros’ debut, can only mean he is right and the Beeb is very much in the wrong.
Well, we were quite struck by this revelation here at TVC Towers. So struck, in fact, that we began to wonder what else the BBC may have plagiarised during its televising of the good Doctor’s intergalactic adventures.
Imagine our amazement when, after just five seconds of wondering, we discovered a number of shocking similarities between some of the most recognisable motifs of the show and some of the most recognisable motifs of, well, life in general.
Take Dr Who’s spaceship Tardis. We think it bears more than a passing resemblance to a certain kind of telephone box (below left) prevalent in Britain a whole FIVE YEARS before Dr Who as an early evening entertainment TV series was born:
Not convinced? How about this pair of images. The Dalek is the one on the right:
Still not sure? Well here’s the clincher. The image below right is taken from the Dr Who adventure The Web of Fear, broadcast in 1968.
But the image below left is taken from a tunnel on the London Underground, the first section of which opened for the public ONE HUNDRED AND FIVE YEARS EARLIER!
Good grief, is there anything in Dr Who not lifted from an aspect of popular culture and society dating back a century and a half?
Heavens, even Colin Baker’s “totally tasteless” frock coat was almost identical to a fancy dress outfit TV Cream wore in a primary school pageant in 1979!
But wait. It gets worse. For it seems that the very bricks and mortar of Auntie Beeb herself do not escape a change of copyright theft, as witnessed by this piece of paper drawn by none other than TV Cream’s great uncle during the winter of 1947!
Rest assured we have already been in contact with our lawyers, whose whoops of laughter on hearing our case show just how much they are looking forward to pursuing this action unto the highest court in the land.
Yes, it’s time to put Dr Who on trial – for its life!