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Films: D is for...

Dr. Who and the Daleks

In which it is established beyond doubt that the Doctor is a traditionally medically-qualified man with the surname Who, and that Skaro is posiutively swimming in brightly-coloured Humbrol enamel paint. But never mind such canon fodder, we know you’re wondering about the glaring similarities between the film’s TARDiS-bound Cushing/Linden/Castle triumvirate, and the onstage trio of Jimmy James’ legendary ‘I’ve got a lion in this box’ sketch, which paired the country’s number one stage drunk with Hutton Conyers and Bretton Woods, two Yorkshire-originated pseudonyms for a variety of stooges down the years. The latter was, after a while, nearly always Eli Woods of course, but Conyers had more aliases than Klaus Barbie, though the one we always recalled seeing on Royal Command stages was of course your man Castle, who was great as the cheerfully dopey goon in raincoat and with bashed felt hat clamped to his head. ‘Are you puttin’ it about that I’m barmy?’ Purists will no doubt point to the earlier incarnations played by James’ son (as of course Eli was James’ nephew) but we find it hard to believe even they could eclipse the far-away merry idiocy of Castle’s Conyers. Er… oh yes, Dr Who, then. So, if Cushing’s James (we’ll allow the dear old feller to forego the broken fag prop for now) that makes Barbara Our Eli, the gormless stuttering lummox, which, er, doesn’t quite work admittedly, though since Whovians detest Jennie Linden to a man as the Wrong Kind of Barbara, perhaps we can let that go as some kind of punishment for transgressing canonical law by proxy. And of course, the TARDiS is nothing if not the ideal prop for the sketch! ‘Don’t be silly, you can’t fit an elephant in there!’ If anyone’s got any other suggestions for vintage music hall comedy skits recast with Dr Who characters, do please keep it to yourself.

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  1. Nick

    September 11, 2015 at 3:59 pm

    Why are you using a lower-case ‘i’ in TARDIS? The word’s in the OED now, you know – you can’t just go mucking about with it!

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