Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Doctor Who Wednesday #21

Tenth Series (NS)

I really should say something about the recent series.  I don't have the energy to write a full critique (and I'm sure if you wanted one you'd be reading a different blog).  Suffice it to say that I disagree with those who say that the writers have run out of steam.  I thought that this series put up a good showing.

A few highlights:-

Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts.
A very short-lived companion it has to be said, but she made a big impression.  She acted the socks off recent companions - showing that Jenna Coleman (despite the guff about Clara Oswald being 'the impossible girl') was merely decorative.  I hope to see more of her.

Michelle Gomez as Missy.
It will be no secret to regular readers of Doctor Who Wednesdays that I am a follower of the Master.  Equally, they will not be surprised that I wasn't very impressed by John Simm's portrayal of him.  Now, I've been a fan of Michelle Gomez since 'The Book Club', and was wondering how Missy would develop with her in the role.  I wasn't disappointed.  Yes, there was comedy, but there was also menace and some ambiguity.  The interaction with the Doctor and John Simm's Master was done very well.

Constructive use of Classic Monsters.
In recent years there has been danger of the programme turning into "Doctor Who Verses the Daleks" as the old pepper-pots were seriously overused.  Daleks are best seen when they demonstrate just how powerful they are: remember Christopher Ecclestone and Billy Piper almost loosing the Earth to a solitary, damaged Dalek?  When a whole planet of the beasties can be beaten before breakfast, something is wrong.

Hot on the tail of Daleks in the 'overused villain stakes' have been Cybermen, yet the writers brilliantly turned that on its head with the reintroduction of the Mondasian Cybermen.  "World Enough and Time" was one of the best episodes we've see for ages.

Never again will I refer to these as 'the Black-

And what can you say about the Victorian Army battling Ice Warriors on Mars?  Spiffing!

Can we have Yetis and Sea Devils next?

13th Doctor

Now, as a Doctor Who fan I know that I'm supposed to have strong views about the casting of Jodie Whittaker as the 13th Doctor.  If you believe the press, the whole world is split between people who violently approve and those who violently disapprove.  Well I'm neither.

I've not seen much of Jodie Whittaker - she was good in 'Attack the Block', but that was all I've seen her in.  But I'm sure she's a fine actress.   We'll see how she does as the Doctor.

Perhaps it's because it's my nature to avoid conflict, or because I've had enough real things to get worried about in my life.  If I'm in a forum (social media) or otherwise where people are Dicks, I leave.  I really don't see much point in getting upset about a TV programme (no matter how much I enjoy it).  The truth is, some people want to make their opinion heard, whatever the subject is, and it's in the interests of the media to facilitate them.  I'm not interested in other people's random opinions: if there's a phone-in on the radio, I will turn it off.  There was someone who wrote in to my local paper on the matter, sounded off and then said he hadn't watched the programme since William Hartnell's days!  On the other hand, some people feel that they have 'a stake' in the show because they are part of 'the fanbase' (whether they actually watch it or not!).  I suppose there's an argument for that, but, honestly, it's a story about a piratically immortal time-travelling alien - how can you say that he can't change into a woman?!

For as long as I remember the debate about the whether it was time for a black or female Doctor has been going on.  The writers had quite clearly signposted that it was going to happen.  It's been Canon for some time that an elderly, male, white Time Lord can regenerate into a younger, black female ('Day of the Doctor'), and Michelle Gomez has shown how changing the sex of a character can bring some fresh air into it.

Personally, I was secretly hoping that they would find a way for Capaldi to regenerate into Gomez!

Rant over.  I'm aware of the irony of complaining in my own personal blog about people forcing their opinions on others, but there we are!

Charity Shop Finds

I was lucky enough to find these two in the Charity Shop recently.  Although tempted to keep them, they have found their way down to Devon as my nephew's 10th birthday present.  He already had the board game (his brother pointed out that it would do for spares, good lad!), but the inflatable was put to use.

Warlord Games

In the gap between Doctor Who Wednesdays Warlord's much heralded miniatures game has come out (which just shows how long it is since I posted).  I'm sure there are plenty of the dreaded unboxing videos and on-line reviews out there, but I'm afraid I can't add anything to them.  Because I haven't been around any forums, I don't even know what kind of reception it has received.

I downloaded the free pdf rulebook, but have barely glanced at it.
Now I have a quandary.  I have a £10.00 voucher for Warlord products that expires on 6 August.  Do I buy the core set, which gives me a hard copy of the rules (which I assume I don't really need), twelve Daleks and twelve Cybermen (which I certainly don't need) and various cards, markers etc?  Even at £25.00 that seems a lot of stuff I don't need.  Or do I dip my toe in and get (say) three Sea Devils for £1.99 plus postage?  Certainly, I won't be paying £11.99 for them!
The above was written some time ago.  When I eventually attempted the use the voucher it wouldn't work on their Dr Who material.  I sent an e-mail asking whether the Who stuff was included in the offer and Warlord replied (after a week) that they it wasn't and that they weren't minded to include in in any offers.

Gratuitous Sara-Jane Smith Photo

"There's a little something on your back.."


  1. I and my better half stopped watching Dr Who a while back because of Capaldi and the rubbish story lines. I did see the Ice Warriors one though which was quite good. At one point in the past I thought it was the 'Clara Show'. I might start watching again now Moffat and Gatiss are no more. I guess as a kid the early to mid 70's were the shows high point. I did like Christopher Ecclestone.

    1. I agree that the early 70's were a highlight (because we had children's willingness to suspend the critical facilities that make us grumpy 50-year-old?). And Ecclestone was great of course.

      I don't mean to disparage anyone who's made the choice to stop watching. That's up to you, of course.

      The Ice Warrior episode was written by Gattis by the way...

  2. Generally I've missed most of the last couple of series, life etc getting in the way. Never a massive fan but I do enjoy it when I do get to watch. Generally major changes like the female Dr to any series go one of 2 ways. Utterly brilliant and what was all the fuss about or disaster and we told you so. I hope it's the former as I do like it when they tear up the rule book - see Sherlock for example. Both tv versions are my favourite shows

    1. Interesting point. I must say that if someone has asked me what I would have thought of a proposal to "re-boot Holmes for the C21th" I would have been negative. And wrong.

  3. I never seem to watch as many of the new Dr. Who episodes as I would hope, but those I have seen of late have been jolly good, Capaldi et al. Quite looking forward to the new series and good luck to all that sail in her. I was a bit method with Warlord Games regarding their last offer too as it clearly stated that the coupon could be used on their lines only and boy don't we know that Dr. Who is their line, just ask Crooked Dice. No core set for me either, although I am hearing very good things about it.

    1. I'm interested that I'm not the only one. I wonder how many queries they had to field on that. I might explain the off-hand reply I eventually got!

  4. There's possibly some sort of licencing agreement with the BBC (or whomever owns the rights to Dr Who), stating that it has to have it's own website and its not to be sold at anything less than rrp.

    The way that Warlord Games give discount and are generous to valued customers, I'd reckon its an outside constraint.

    1. Hmm, saying that though... They keep giving Blax free figures. Ha, that would shoot down my theory! :P

    2. Oh yeah, I'm sure there are very good reasons for them not to offer discounts. The major one is probably the fee they had to pay for the licence. Heavens knows when they'll turn a profit!


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