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Month: December 2017
Hey Who fans and welcome to episode 169. It’s a solo Garry outing for our last show this year so without further ado…
Garry is flying solo this week as Adam has already departed for his Christmas travels and it’s also a different format than usual, partly due to no decent news or merch at the time of recording. So on this week’s show:
What has Garry been up to, the year in review for Doctor Who in general and the podcast, Q&A and plans for 2018.
As it’s the last show of 2017 I’d like to get soppy if I may and say that this year has been another brilliant year for us and that’s all down to you. It would be a pretty rubbish show if we didn’t hear back from you or converse with you on the interwebs about Who. Your listenership and interaction, whether it’s saying hi on Twitter, sending us pics of your merch and conventions or sending in reviews, is what keeps us coming back every week. So for that I’d like to say a massive thank you, you lot are awesome and we have such a great community. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
I hope you all have a great Christmas and a very Happy New Year. Enjoy Twice Upon a Time and we’ll see you on the flip flop. Allons-y!
With the fourth series of The Early Adventures under their belt, Big Finish’s first three series’ of the range had been a little bit hit and miss for me. But with The Night Witches, this fourth series has been brilliant and has told some of the best Second Doctor stories ever written.
The Morton Legacy is the third release in this strong series and continues the trend of great storytelling. But it doesn’t feel as powerful as the previous two tales and that is a bit of a shame because, while it is good, it isn’t as good as it could have been.
Ben and Polly are hoping to return to London in the sixties and when the TARDIS lands in their home-city, the pair are understandably excited. But when they leave the TARDIS, they discover that it is London, but not in the 60s. As Polly puts it, they have landed in the 1860s. Deciding the make the best of the best of their predicament, the gang decide to take a look around, after-all, it isn’t everyday one gets to travel in time! After some exploration, the TARDIS crew decide to return to their ship. But the TARDIS is gone…
This isn’t something that has happened before, people always seemed to take interest in the TARDIS, the machine had been stolen on a number of occassions, most notably in this era, in The Evil of the Daleks. But all this leads into a story that takes the crew to a mysterious museum and throws them into a mystery surrounding a strange necklace.
Justin Richards gives us a story that is the perfect example of what a Doctor Who story should be. There are no politics, no other agendas, just a good mystery and some interesting characters. Ignoring the main cast for the moment, what really elevates The Morton Legacy is its guest cast.
David Sibley is brilliant as Josiah Morton, the excentric museum owner who manages to win the listeners over. But it is Ewan Bailey who is the best guest star here, he has to play duel roles as both Blazzard and Copeland, the two criminals who help propel the story. He is so brilliant that when I was listening, I thought they were played by two different actors. His voices were completely different for the two characters and unless you knew he played both characters, you’d do what I did and believe they were two different actors.
The regular cast are on fine form, something that we have come to expect from these releases. Anneke Wills as usual is brilliant as both Polly and the story’s narrator. Elliot Chapman is still fantastic as Ben Jackson. He has really become Michael Craze and you really wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the two!
Frazer Hines gets a lot more to do in this story than he had done in the previous two. Not only does he have to pull double duty as the Second Doctor and Jamie but he also has to deal with Jamie’s romantic interest in Morton’s daughter Jemma. While it is nice to hear Jamie falling for yet another lass, nothing really gets developed with it and as a result, there is no emotional punch when the pair have to part.
The Morton Legacy does however have some fantastic pacing, feeling exactly like a 60s story. In some ways, it feels nice that this series hasn’t all been high-octane action stories. The Morton Legacy also manages to be more well thought out and boasts some brilliant characters and some nice development between the regulars. I like the hints that there is something going on beneath the surface with Ben and Polly, something which was never given much thought on the television. And the story has a great twist at the end.
While The Morton Legacy can’t say it is as action packed as the previous stories this series, it seems happier to be a quieter affair and is a great truimph for author Justin Richards and Big Finish. It is nice that we get to see the continued adventures of the sixties thanks to these brilliant talents.
With the nights now drawing in and it definitely feeling colder it seems like the right time to indulge in comfy slippers, a duvet and stay in watching Doctor Who (well unless you really want to go out Christmas shopping which I’m putting off until the last minute!) so the other night I went classic black and white and decided to put on the 1968 story The Web of Fear into the DVD player.
Despite a merry go round of swapping in the script editor chair for in Season 5 (Victor Pemberton-The Tomb of the Cybermen) (Peter Bryant The Abominable Snowmen, The Ice Warriors, The Enemy of the World) Derrick Sherwin ( The Web of Fear, Fury from the Deep ) the producers Peter Bryant and Innes Lloyd probably held court to one of the strongest and greatest seasons ever of classic Doctor Who.
Of forty episodes comprising Season 5 eighteen are missing. That’s 45% of this season but but but one of the greatest joys of being a Doctor Who fan for me is seeing the return of missing episodes. This story was probably one of the most revered and wanted stories for fans, elevated to legendary status when most of it was missing. I suppose unlike its neighbour, Enemy of the World, which had the luxury that no one had any huge expectations of it just by looking at Episode 3 ( by the way I do completely adore Enemy of the World for many reasons ) with this story one expected so much and for the most part it delivers magnificently.
It is a busy script using all the raw ingredients of a base under siege story with sharply written characters and which also introduces someone who will be a beloved regular character. A successful story mix of aliens running around recognisable landmarks which will be repeated again over the following year in ‘The Invasion’ as we have Cybermen marching down St Paul’s cathedral. In ‘Rose’Russell T Davies pays his own homage to this formula that will be used many times in the next ten years as the Nestene Conciousness use the London Eye as a receiver to control the Autons.
The style of a master
The first five minutes of ‘Web of Fear’ where we go to Julius’s museum looks utterly amazing. Douglas Camfield is a master stylistically with close ups and high angles, playing with shadow magnificently giving due reverence to everything that’s rich about using black and white film. I get a sense that he was paying homage to the film style of Citizen Kane here but maybe that’s my imagining. Anyway it takes my breathe away every time I see that beginning section as it has the texture and atmosphere of those old horror films 1940’s films. I also like how Douglas uses scene fade outs interspersed throughout the story. It’s something that seems to be used sparingly in Who but it’s so effective and I wish directors would use it more.
Yetis in the underground
As a Londoner and a Doctor Who fan it just seems so gloriously right to use fearsome monsters in dark tunnels so I really do understand the love for it. The idea of taking something familiar such as the London Underground and placing an enemy there which looks like a shaggy rug is genius. In ‘The Abominable Snowmen’ the Yeti felt cuddlier but here they have been evolved into something quite intimidating being quite tall, large & growly. There is something addictive about the London underground it seems as it again plays a part in the Third Doctor’s era when Marylebone Station is used to infect humanity with the highly contagious Silurian disease intended to wipe out them out in ‘The Silurians’, and Moorgate Station is where Jon Pertwee will encounter a pterodactyl in’ Invasion of the Dinosaurs’
The score is suitably creepy and menacing and watching late at night I can imagine Bela Lugosi might even make an appearance. The score was stock music but it so so works all the way through. Big shout out for the sense of doom it provokes.
Atmosphere and menace
The Web of Fear script manages builds the sense of menace and paranoia through the story. It’s bleak and scary. The Great Intelligence speaking through Travers is creepy as the idea of something you can’t see taking control of a body and using it is intimidating. When Chorley comes out of hiding he sees Staff Arnold. Chorley goes into a long ramble and is basically frightened and we don’t know who the traitor but if you watch Staff when he says ‘It’s all right, sir. Nothing to be ashamed of ’ which could be a word of comfort maybe but the look in Staff’s eyes is hard as steel. Absolutely chilling. Oh, poor fellow Sergeant Arnold!
The Doctor is extremely watchable in this story. I love the mysterious air he exudes as suspicion and paranoia is layered up through the episodes about who is the enemy within. Everyone is a suspect in the Doctor’s eyes even our colonel Alistair Lethbridge Stewart. He seems to be constantly calculating how to defeat his enemy. The Doctor gives a truly memorable description of the Great Intelligence ‘a sort of formless, shapeless thing floating about in space like a cloud of mist, only with a mind and will.’By this stage we had lost the visual comedy of his first season with the different hats and costumes thank heavens. Season 5 was Patrick Troughton definitely in his stride.Pat Troughton was such a good actor he was able to effortlessly create different sides to the Doctor. He is a warm, assuring presence so much of the time that I really enjoy when we see him displaying little more cunning. He makes it appear that he is willing to sacrifice himself so the others can survive when he has a plan up his sleeve to exhaust the Great Intelligence. I rather like his anger and sorrow that he is inadvertently thwarted and fails to defeat his enemy. He’s at once the angry parent but then soothed with a few praises to believe he is a hero.
The mysterious way Alistair Lethbridge Stewart just appears is a very exciting moment considering how long his character is involved with the Doctor on screen and also with the companions ( well over 20 years) and becomes a part of the Doctor Who mythos . He just appears in Episode 3 and one wonders how he and the Doctor just came upon each other.
The Doctor: “He suddenly popped out from nowhere”
But I like this Lethbridge Stewart character, decisive, practical, brave, a man of action. It’s not a meeting of minds but he is willing to take on that the Doctor has a space time ship that can help them escape as the Yeti close in. He’s a man who will try anything to protect the lives of his soldiers, will take any solution, however unlikely, to this crisis.
I love Chorley’s and Anne’s spat in Episode 3 where he calls her a ‘smug little red brick university’ because you don’t really get that kind of verbal sparring anymore generally about social positioning. I like that Anne is a bit waspish in her flirting with Captain Knight, who soon loses his authority when Colonel Lethbridge Stewart arrives, also proposing to her father that the Doctor is responsible for sabotage adds another edge to her. The script also has some great characterisation and interaction amongst the trapped soldiers Staff, Evans, Weams are all different types of soldiers who feel authentic. Staff, salt of the earth, and then there’s Evans who will do anything to save his own skin.
This story has two of my favourite team of companions Jamie and Victoria together. Although the regulars have real chemistry between them Jamie however gets a better role than Victoria in this story. Jamie is quite a shrewd character I think, not brainy in the conventional way but he has common sense and sums up Evans pretty accurately. Evans is one of life’s survivors, the coward. Predictivel of his kind as all the soldiers die in Covent Garden killed by the yetis he along with Chorley lives to the end.
A sort of formless, shapeless thing floating about in space like a cloud of mist, only with a mind and will
Victoria isn’t well served written as a frightened character for much of the time, wandering the train tunnels, looking for the Doctor or as a prisoner of the Great Intelligence. As a Victorian young lady however she provide a nice counterpoint to the modern Anne as to how far women attitudes will change as the Doctor and Anne work together. The 1960’s were the start of an era of sexual and economic liberation for women, Anne represents the independent woman going out striving to achieve equality The Doctor and Anne together incidentally is an interesting early mirror of the later 3rd Doctor and Liz partnership that has many positive possibilities.
If there is one thing that stops this story being a 10/10 and perfect is the conclusion to defeat the Great Intelligence. It all happens rather quickly in the last ten minutes and then the Doctor is off like a shot, not even hanging around to speak to his friend Travers. I suppose he really doesn’t want Chorley to publicise his presence or the Tardis or maybe he is just impatient to move on and leave the clearing up to other people but it is a true shame after everything that happens.
Despite the rushed ending however I still think this story is special. The London underground is instantly recognisable and has a history going back to a period of national importance which people in the 1960’s would remember. As Arnold says. ‘Oh, this place has been here a long time’‘It were a transit camp in the Second World War.’ The whole story resonated within the public consciousness with its rich dark script and visually memorable imagery of mixing monsters with landmarks. Everyone of a certain age remembered the story of the ‘yetis in the underground’.
Hello my lovely Whovians. I hope you are all having a fantastic Christmas and enjoying the holidays.
Depending on when you are reading this you are either counting down the days and hours to the Christmas Day Doctor Who special or you’ve already digested your own body weight in turkey, had slightly too much mulled wine and need a retreat from watching the children’s favourite film Frozen yet again.
Welcome to the Christmas quiz with a mix of easy and some harder questions. This quiz is just for fun and by the end you can hopefully congratulate yourself that you are a Christmas and Doctor Who aficionado. There are a total of 30 marks available for correct answers.
Happy quizzing. Come on you know you want to!
The answers are to be found at the bottom of this article.
Part 1 Christmas Traditions
Everyone has their own Christmas traditions, but do you know where they come from and why we do certain things? Answer the questions below and test your knowledge.
1) When was the first Christmas card created? (1 mark)
a) 1843 b)1853 c) 1863
2) Who started a trend by putting up a Christmas tree at Windsor Castle? (1 mark)
a) Bonnie Prince Charlie b)Prince Albert c) Prince George
3) What is the average distance from the United Kingdom to Lapland? (1 mark)
a) 1307 miles b) 1413 miles c) 1520 miles
4) Which saint is associated with the legend of leaving stockings at Christmas? (1 mark)
a) St Rudolph b) St Christopher c) St Nicholas
5) What occupation was Tom Smith who invented Christmas crackers? (1 mark)
a) Comedian b) Magician c) Sweet maker
6) What is another name for Christmas pudding? (1 mark)
a) Figgy Pudding b) Adam’s Pudding c) Spiced pudding
7) According to the 12 Days of Christmas carol what did my true love give on the 7th day? (1 mark)
a) Golden Rings b) Swans a swimming c) Geese a laying
8) Which of these classic Who stories included a Christmas episode? (1 mark)
a) Power of the Daleks b) The Dalek Masterplan c) The War Games
Part 2 The Krypton Who Factor
How good is your memory and observation? Watch this Doctor Who video by the hugely talented Babelcolour (Stuart Humphreys)https://youtu.be/YJ1tkEFLRBMand answer the following questions:
9) What does the 12th Doctor wear on his head greeting Nardole for the first time? (1 mark)
a) A nightcap b) Antlers c) Edwardian top hat
10) How many Victorian carol singers do we see singing? (1 mark)
a) 3 b) 5 c) 7
11) What colour is the strip on the Victorian Market stall as the 10th Doctor takes in the Victorian era? (1 mark)
a) Blue white stripe b) Red white stripe c) Green white stripe
12) Who wishes “A happy Christmas to all of us”? (1 mark)
a) Steven Moffat b) The 1st Doctor c) The 12th Doctor
13) The doctor’s notice says carol singers will be…… what? (1 mark)
a) Paid gold b) Given a mince pie c) Criticised
14) How many ‘Santa’ robots do we see fall down? (1 mark)
a) 5 b) 6 c) 7
15) Who sang this version of Merry Christmas Everyone? (1 mark)
a) Chris Rea b) Shakin Stevens c) One Direction
Part 3 The Christmas Specials
The Doctor Who Christmas special has always been a highly anticipated and awaited event for many fans ever since the show was revived in 2005. There have been twelve but how much do you remember from them?
16) What is the first name of this Noble character? (1 mark)
a) Geoff b) Gerry c) Garry
17) Who played Abigail in a Christmas Carol? (1 mark)
a) Foxes b) Katherine Jenkins c) Kylie Minogue
18) Who complained in Voyage of the Damned about the Racnoss invading London saying “that Christmas star, electrocutin’ all over the place, drainin’ the Thames”? (1 mark)
20) What is implied is in the glass beside Madame Vastra? (1 mark)
a) Red wine b) Deadly Nightshade c) Blood
21) What does Madame Vastra say to Clara the doctor isn’t? There are two correct answers and 1 mark per correct answer available (2 marks in total)
a) A tyrant b) A protector c) Kind d) A man of god e) A liberator
22) What shape are the Doctor’s reading glasses? (1 mark)
a) Round b)Oval c) Square
Part 4 Entry to the Capitol
The Capitol is the home of the Time Lords and stood in the mountains of Solace and Solitude, on the continent of Wild Endeavour, enclosed in a mighty glass dome. Have you studied enough at the Academy to know who was the greatest time-lord?
23) Identity this symbol (1 mark)
24) Who are these actors who played Rassilon? 1 mark for each correct answer (3 marks availa)
25) Who are these fictional characters from the Christmas specials? 1 mark for each correct answer (3 marks available)
Well done! You’ve got to the end of the BIG Big Big Blue Box Podcast 2017 Christmas Quiz. How did you do? Tally them up and pop you result on Twitter for us.
0-10 Good try but are you sure you haven’t seen a dream crab hanging around the house recently?
11-23 Well done you definitely should keep wearing your Christmas jumper!
23-30 Excellent knowledge. You have graduated with a triple first and are ready to join the Tardis crew next year. Don’t forgot your notebook!
1: a 2: b 3: b 4: c 5: c 6:a 7: b 8: b 9: b 10: b 11: c 12: b 13: c 14: b 15: b 16: a 17: b 18: c 19: b 20: c 21: b & c 22: a 23: The Seal of Rassilon 24: Timothy Dalton, Richard Mathews and Donald Sumpter 25: Miss Hartigan, Madge Arwell and Alonso Frame
Hey Who fans and welcome to episode 168. Some cool news, one piece of merch and our review of The Edge of Destruction awaits…
The regeneration stories for all the modern Doctor’s (yes, even McGann) will be available on BBC iPlayer from 16th Dec, the advanced screenings of Twice Upon a Time across the north of the UK gets a huge response, the studios in Cardiff get a kit upgrade for a more filmic look for series 11, one lucky bidder will get lunch with Russell T Davies and finally, we mention the broadcast times for Twice Upon a Time.
Dalek Tat throws us this week – Robert Harrop releases a limited edition pewter Zygon.
“The Edge of Destruction” Review
With the hype surrounding the 1st Doctor back for Christmas we decided to drag out a Hartnell story for review and what better to discuss than this cheeky two-parter from series 1. Strange, quirky and definitely interesting, how do we feel about this story that almost feels like a play?
Dates for your diary
With Christmas looming and the inevitable holidays nearly here there will be times when the show is not on or slightly different:
Next week (Fri 15th) will be a shorter show with just Garry and there will be no review, instead there will be a year in review and maybe some Q&A
There will be no podcast for 22nd and 29th December as Garry and Adam will be away on their Christmas hols
The show will return on Friday 5th January 2018 and the review will be Twice Upon a Time
Thank you so much for joining us and for your thoughts. Next week, there’s no review as it will be a shorter show with just Garry so you can all take a rest from doing reviews! Until then have a great week and remember – Allons-y!
The competition has now closed. The winner will be announced on Friday 8th December’s show. Best of luck to all and thank you for entering.
December is flying past so before the big day arrives, how would you like to bag yourself a bunch of Doctor Who goodies to enjoy on Christmas Day?
One winner will get this package consisting of…
The new release of Shada on DVD
TARDIS A5 Soft Touch Notebook
A Brief History of the Time Lords book
The Five Doctors audiobook by Terrance Dicks
Doctor Who: Rhythm of Destruction audiobook by Darren Jones
Doctor Who: Classic TV Adventures Collection Two soundtracks feat. The Krotons, The Ambassadors of Death, The Mind of Evil, Horror of Fang Rock, City of Death and Warriors of the Deep
Doctor Who: Galaxy Four audiobook by William Emms
Your pick of either The Two Doctors or The War Games on DVD
PLUS – some other Who goodies as a surprise!
To be in with a chance of winning this awesome Christmas pack all you have to do is answer this 4th Doctor question: What Time Lord chapter is the Doctor a member of?
To enter you can send in your answer anyway you choose; you can email direct hello[at]bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk, send a tweet, a Facebook message or reply to the comments in this page. We will announce the winner on this week’s show (going out Friday 8th December) and you have until 10am on Wednesday 6th December to get your entry in.
Best of luck and Allons-y!
A big thank you to Penguin Random House Audiobooks and our other partners for suppling the awesome items in our competition. Normal terms and conditions apply.
Hey Who fans and Happy 1st December! The usual news and merch then we kick off the yuletide season with our review of Voyage of the Damned.
A new promo image and synopsis dropped for Twice Upon a Time and speaking of the upcoming special our Canadian friends will get it on the big screen at Cineplex cinemas. Lastly, a special Access All Areas show on BBC Radio 2 will go out on Thursday 21st December at 8pm so make sure you jump on iPlayer for that.
Why not kick December off with a Christmas Special and 2007’s 10th Doctor story is a special that’s split with many people. Is it as bad as the majority of Who Christmas outings or should we be so lucky, lucky lucky lucky?
Thank you so much for joining us and for your thoughts. Next week, as we’re all hyped for the 1st Doctors’s pseudo-return soon, we’re going back for the Hartnell two-parter: The Edge of Destruction. Until then have a great week and remember – Allons-y!