Monday, 24 December 2018
And people think comics only became capable of dealing with adult themes in the mid eighties. Harumph, now you can tell people different.
Bernard Cribbins has made humour and conversation a super power. Saving the world a little every time he makes some one smile.
I was kind of hoping Basil did a version of God Save The Queen by The Sex Pistols. Basil could channel Lydon if he so choose. Or Holidays In The Sun. Just the thought of Basil going over the Berlin Wall. Mind you we live in an era when the Berlin wall does not have the same cultural resonance...as it no longer exists, I suppose.
Thunder in the air and the sky turned grey."
Eddie Tenpole, Tenpole Tudor,
The Swords Of a Thousand Men.
Its The Doctor in a war story, off sorts. Fighting alongside, of all allies, Attila The Hun. They say war makes for strange bedfellows and Doctor Who has never been short of those. The year is 451 AD and the Gaul The Doctor and her chums find themselves in is nothing like the one Asterix and Obelix inhabited. Its a dangerous and very smelly place. Allies become enemies and vice versa in this quite epic tale by Steve Cole that rounds of the trilogy of books published by the BBC that celebrates the first season of Jodie Whitakers tenancy of The tardis.
Steve Cole absolutely channels the characters and this is amazing given that he surely had not seen a scene while he wrote this, probably working from a "show bible". It would have made a stand out episode and I do not think it is too much of a stretch to consider it one.
Wednesday, 5 December 2018
The two main characters are that most interesting of characters, flawed heroes despite themselves. One can see the dead and another has seen quite enough dead. Even created a few.
It is gripping atmospheric stuff. Pull up a chair, join hands, do not break the circle.
The dead are getting ready to speak.
Well there is not going to be one. The stand alone yuletide gift has been relocated to New Years Day. It is not gone, just moved. New Doc, New Day, I suppose. I am a little disapointed at the shift, although it is by no means the worst thing that could happen. It seems like such a small thing to the rest of the "real" world but every one of the Doctor Who specials have meant so much to me. Every one yeilding joy and special treasures on a day that always feels like a curates egg of mixed emotions. Family gatherings on this mid winter day can feel like a minefield with no truly safe roots past explosive emotional outbursts (Well, I am speaking as one who grew up in a Catholic household and every one elses Christmas experience might well be like a Tesco advertisment. Although they always look like what a Westworlds android might imagine a human christmas to be.)
I always found the Christmas specials to resonate with delightful Whoish goodwill. Watching them was never like an FA Cup final or some sporting event that requires Mexican waves, air pumping or screaming at the telly, just great tales illuminating the bleak midwinter.
Thirteen years was a great run. Not many television shows could have sustained that but like so many trends Doctor Who went whistling by, ploughing its own field.
And its welcome any day of the year....
Which is not to say the fact there is no Christmas special this year should suggest such a thing. in fact if the the scenes involving the Two doctors on the WW1 battlefield last year proved to be the last I can think of no nobler place to leave off...It was so heart breaking, so on the money,so joyful in the face of cruelty and madness so Whoish, Well, job done ladies and gentlemen.
In the meantime what an opportunity to revisit Peter Davison,s fantastic first season. Like The Tardis these days, The Doctor travels with three chums. Each very different but all bent on adventure and discovery. And boy do they find it. This series was so new, so different following seven years of Tom Baker striding across all of space and time ( It was unthinkable to have anyone else fly The Tardis.) you have to appreciate the courage and inventiveness on display, the enthusiasm dripping off their sleeves. Fantastic days...Time Crash away!