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Welcome to Episode 177…

The News

The only news, and it’s a big one, is the new logo and branding for the show that was announced by BBC Worldwide a few days ago.

Merch Corner

The Seventh Doctor and Ace are getting their own Titan Comic run and there’s finally some news on that Bill Potts figure.

“Image of the Fendahl” Review

Who does scary in this Fourth Doctor and Leela story. A story that’s not often talked about but can we bring it up to hidden gem status or does it slunk away into the misty woods?

Thank you for joining us for 177. Next week’s review will be The Girl Who Waited. Have a great week and until next time – Allons-y!

Welcome to Episode 176…

The News

A new book for charity is on the way – A Second Target for Tommy. Who author Tommy Donbavand recovered from cancer but has unfortunately developed a further tumour so some short stories have been put together PLUS the Moff has donated the unused script from The Day of the Doctor featuring what was meant to be scenes for Chris Eccleston. Pick up the book here.

Merch Corner

With February being the month of love what better to surprise your loved one than a TARDIS ring.

“The Shakespeare Code” Review

Not one that’s talked about often from the brilliant Series 3 but we’re going to dive in and see what’s going on. Cackling witches, strange deaths and an unusual historical character.

Thank you for joining us for 176. Next week’s review will be Image of the Fendahl. Have a great week and until next time – Allons-y!

2017 saw Big Finish go big. Over the course of last year, we were treated to the return of Rose Tyler, entered the Time War proper, Derek Jacobi’s Master, the continuation of Torchwood with Aliens Among Us and a whole host of Big Finish original stories and tales. It was an exciting time to be a customer of theirs, though our wallets might not agree!

Kingdom of Lies kicked the Doctor Who releases off this year in a return to the quieter, more quaint tales, something akin to the television series proper. Kingdom of Lies feels a lot like The Androids of Tara with its fairy-tale quality. And it is a cracking good story too!

The Ravelli Conspiracy was a story that topped the polls in 2016, from authors, Robert Khan and Tom Salinsky. Like Kingdom of Lies, The Ravelli Conspiracy was a little story full of courtly intrigue. Behind the scenes, there had been a slight reshuffle with Alan Barnes stepping down from being the range script editor for a few months. Guy Adams stated that he wanted a different feel for the Fifth Doctor. And that different feel is very evident from the off.

This is a story that has many different elements, it is farcical, Shakespearian, takes a satirical look at the Royal Family, is a comedy and has a lot of hidden nuances. As well as The Androids of Tara, it is a story that would have fit in perfectly with those mid-Hartnell, historical, The Romans or The Myth Makers spring to mind.

The TARDIS brings the Fifth Doctor, Adric, Nyssa and Tegan to the planet of Cicero Prime and the gang discover this is a land divided, both literally and metaphorically. They find themselves on either side of a dividing line. Adric and Tegan find themselves prisoners of Duchess Miranda and the Doctor and Nyssa are prisoners of the Duke of Cardenas. The Duke and Duchess are having marital problems of infinite proportions and they have both taken matters into their own hands when it comes to solving them. They have both hired assassins to kill one another. The Duke hired the well-known Galactic Assassin, The Scorpion and unfortunately, the Duke mistakes the Doctor for the Scorpion. Nyssa decides to pose as his assistant, Nyssa, The Destroyer, someone who kills for the fun of it!

Adric and Tegan fare no better, both of them find themselves having to pretend to be people they aren’t. This brings us to my next point about this story, it pairs its characters well. Given how much time the Doctor and the majority of his companions spend apart, it needed to pair characters who complemented each other well. It is interesting then that this is the first time that Tegan and Adric’s pairing actually touched on the sibling rivalry that the pair always had. In fact, if you look at the group, the Doctor is obviously the father and mother figure rolled into one, Tegan is the older sister, Adric the younger brother and Nyssa is the middle child with elements of the mother figure. Tegan and Adric, when they aren’t arguing actually work pretty well together, something that Kingdom of Lies uses brilliantly.

Doctor Who: Kingdom of Lies
Doctor Who: Kingdom of Lies

The Doctor and Nyssa aren’t a new pairing. Going right the way back to Land of the Dead, the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa have had adventures situated in between Time-Flight and Arc of Infinity. But they are still superb together here, Nyssa the Destroyer is hilarious and Sarah Sutton delivers every line in this story with a little bit of trepidation, showing us that the peace-loving Nyssa, isn’t comfortable pretending to be a killer. It’s brilliant!

The idea of this play being something of a Shakespearian farce plays out through the first three episodes, with each assassination attempt failing spectacularly. The whole tone of the piece changes come the fourth episode though, with the arrival of a homicidal Patsy Kensit, the real Scorpion. The fun and stupidity of the first three episodes are moved aside to show the real threat of the piece that has been lurking below the surface all along.

A lot more than one first imagines goes on in this story, it is extremely multi-layered and proves that the Doctor doesn’t have to resort to violence to solve a problem. Something that the television series has forgotten since its reboot is that the Doctor only has to be the cleverest person in a room to solve a problem. He certainly is here by a long shot.

Kingdom of Lies also allows Peter Davison to go back to his comedy roots, something he obviously enjoys as you can practically hear him devouring the script. And when he is coupled with Nyssa, the least bloodthirsty person in the universe, you’ve got a recipe for fun.

I’ve no doubt this story will stand up to repeated listens as there are enough elements going on that you will need multiple listens just to pick up new things each time! The plotting from Robert Khan and Tom Salinsky is incredibly tight and well paced. It is fantastic.

Kingdom of Lies kicks the Doctor Who corner of Big Finish off brilliantly for 2018, not by telling some space epic, but going back to the show’s roots and telling us a quiet, story, reminding us that Doctor Who doesn’t need to be grand and epic to tell a really good story. Sometimes it is okay to take things slower, sometimes its fine to let your actors kick back and some real fun. And sometimes its important to remember that the simplest stories can be the best. This is a pure delight…

Rating 9/10

Synopsis

On the planet Cicero Prime, the kingdom of Cardenas is divided, with the whole population forced to swear allegiance to either the effete Duke or the fiery, hard-edged Duchess. This is a situation both parties have grown tired of. What use is half a kingdom when, thanks to a carefully engineered murder, you could have it all?

Surely, neither of them would be rash enough to summon the deadly off-world assassin The Scorpion to help with their problem? And surely, this terrifying figure wouldn’t arrive wearing a long cream coat and striped trousers…?

Cast: Peter Davison (The Doctor), Janet Fielding (Tegan Jovanka), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa), Matthew Waterhouse (Adric), Jonathan Firth (Sebastian, Duke of Cardenas), Charlotte Lucas (Duchess Miranda), Harriet Thorpe (Amelia), Tim Bentinck (Lord Crozion), Richenda Carey (Lady Crozion), Piotr Hatherer (Tomek), Patsy Kensit (Mercenary), Harry Smith (Additional Voices). Other parts played by members of the cast.

Written By: Robert Khan & Tom Salinsky

Directed By: Barnaby Edwards

Producer David Richardson

Script Editor Guy Adams

Executive Producers Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs

Welcome to Episode 175…

The News

It’s a tumbleweed week, no news.

Merch Corner

Plenty of merch though – Upcoming The Enemy of the World Special Edition DVD, an Amy Pond ECCC Exclusive, children’s Learn to Count DW book and new eMags from the DWAS.

“The Seeds of Death” Review

A full-on six-parter from that cheeky chappy the Second Doctor. Lot’s of suspense, action and good ol’ fashioned space rockets.

Thank you for joining us for 175. Next week’s review will be The Shakespear Code. Have a great week and until next time – Allons-y!

I very rarely buy brand new Doctor Who DVD’s to be honest. They always seem frankly designed to take as much money as possible from me as a consumer but I made a rare exception for Shada. The thought of a new (to me) story with Tom Baker still in his prime and filled in with animation was just too delicious a proposition to resist. Shada has always had a mysterious unknown reputation for me. Not because the BBC dumped the tapes as they did for the Hartnell and Troughton eras but due to the industrial strike.

I can imagine if a strike had happened today, meaning we had lost half the latest Christmas special, in this age of the internet, fans would furiously bang out their horror via their keyboards to online forums or the BBC press office or post tedious tweet tantrums out on Twitter. However, strikes weren’t an unusual event in the 1970’s and as an avid television viewer (I think most kids were then) you just became resigned to the way television was affected by industrial action. Shada was lost and that was that. It would never be seen as a complete product again.

Buying my DVD, I had no idea whether this story would actually be any good. I haven’t seen any of the previous versions, on VHS, Big Finish, from Ian Levine, the Gareth Roberts prose or audio books. Good heavens, I never had a clue there was so much out there. Well, that’s not strictly true I watched about five minutes of the Paul McGann animation on YouTube before I bought the DVD.

I’ve always also felt a bit wary of Douglas Adams’s writing style for Who after watching the loud and bombastic Captain, in The Pirate Planet. I really hated that character, every inch of how he was portrayed. Although I do really enjoy City of Death and the original TV series of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy there has always been something a bit too cynical about Adam’s humour for me. Its clever but doesn’t make me smile. I was always impressed by his off side ideas but the humour leaves a sense of the sardonic. But I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised at Shada. It does make me smile for a few reasons.

Location, Location, Location

Well, I have to mention first the location filming. It does look totally gorgeous being filmed in Cambridge. There is something really nostalgic seeing how Cambridge looked forty years ago. Maybe it is my wistfulness set in aspic but it just adds an authentic feel to the story. St Johns College Cambridge is where Douglas Adams went to get his degree so the material feels very natural I am very glad that the location filming still exists. There is a kind of dreaminess to Shada- a protective bubble of tradition and certainty which belies the political upheaval of the 1980’s to come. Its a look into a world of privilege and tradition. Wilkin is the guardian of this when he greets and banters with ‘Sir’ recognising the Doctor’s frequent visits and protects the professor’s privacy.

Some of these certainties of tradition would later disappear when Margaret Thatcher would sweep into power and attack the unions, disbanding their power and taking away protection for the normal working man. Mrs T would also sell off most of the state-owned national utilities, undermining any wealth opportunity for the country for the future. Cuts in spending on social welfare and changes in benefits eligibility would take away the Beveridge Report of 1942’s recommendation of being protected by the state from ‘Cradle to the Grave’. The country would never be the same again.

There seems to be a fair bit of thought by the director put in to show off the best of the Cambridge colleges and the general town. What helps Shada is the location filming works early in the story and the main characters are also encouraged to be fairly physical on location. The tranquil punting scene literally glides us into the story. It’s really nice to see the punting scene in its full glory, which was a bit butchered being forced into ‘The Five Doctors’ all those years ago. Tom trying to punt is a hoot and there’s something quite languid about the pace of that scene which means you lose yourself in the to and fro between the Doctor and Romana as Skagra smiles in amusement when the Doctor misplaces his pole. The other scenes I really like were Chris Parsons negotiating traffic and the chase scene with the sphere. Seeing the Doctor on a bike as he winds through the little lanes and whizzes past the singers, belting out ‘Chattanooga Choo Choo’ just there on the corner is pure whimsy.

Romana languishing in a boat on the Cam
Romana loves the simple pleasure of punting

Graduating with honours

I really don’t understand why Douglas Adams didn’t like this script. All the characters, bar Skagra of course, exhibit a great deal of likeability. I love Chris Parsons! The actor Daniel Hill brings an inquisitiveness and amiability to the mature student scientist which reminds me a little of Harry Sullivan.

Tom Baker is at the height of his powers as the 4th Doctor, eccentric, intellectual, with a warmth and liveliness especially in the scenes together with Lalla. Maybe this is the honeymoon period before it all went wrong in real life for them. I’ve said before that I never really enjoy Lalla’s Romana as the actress leaves me a bit cold in her portrayal but she does look gorgeous in her hat and long (Victorian?) dress  and I like how she becomes an alternative doctor with Clare as the companion in parts of the story when controlling the Professor’s Tardis.

The scenes of the Doctor with Professor Chronotis in his rooms are a pure delight. Tea? Milk? One lump or two, Sugar? A comforting beverage is brewed and a civilised ceremony of tea drinking takes place. Denis Carey brings such charm to his role. The humour is gently prodding fun at their companionable relationship and I enjoyed learning a bit more about this retired and secretive Time Lord who contradicts with an interesting, deeper past as a criminal. I did guess who he was before the eventual reveal that his prison cell was empty, as soon as he telepathically controlled Clare and I would have liked to see more of this personality but it was clearly a past he wanted to be rid of. Salyavin was made a character of legend where the stories became more and more exaggerated about his wickedness, not this man. There is redemption for all of us given a chance.

Professor Chronotis is a clandestine time-traveller, whose time machine is disguised as his college rooms.
Professor Chronotis is a clandestine time-traveller, whose time machine is disguised as his college rooms.

Christopher Neame as Skagra is an interesting villain. The actor has had quite a prolific career here and in the United States and he was one of the first male actors apparently to appear nude on TV. There is something quite regal in the way he moves as Skagra but then it really tickles me seeing Skagra stride around Cambridge in his silver cape and boots and nobody bats an eyelid! I love the way he booms out ‘You! ’ and ‘I want to see Chronotis’ at Wilkin. This kind of describes his scientific character so well I think, cool, authoritative with a distinct lack of emotion.  Of course, he is a bit of a megalomaniac too! Gerald Campion is a fine foil to both Tom Baker and Christopher Neame. Nice comedic timing throughout and his exclamation when the Professor’s rooms disappear and subsequent bringing of a policeman to the rooms allows for some lovely comedy in the diverting dialogue from the other characters.

Oh, did I say I love the character Ship? My lord doctor! Who doesn’t love a sparky ship’s computer? (remember Holly in Red Dwarf, Orac in Blakes 7, Actually, I’ve decided right now I’m going to get a Blakes 7 reference into each article. Garry, Adam, this series needs to be reviewed on BBBP!!) Miles better than the Star Trek brain dead ‘warning, warning’ klaxon cry.

Animating a lost story

So, the big question is, of course, the mix of animation and real footage. Does it work? I believe the animation is from the same company that created for ‘Power of the Daleks’. Initially, I was surprised that the story was edited as one long feature. I do think leaving the cliffhangers in would have added more tension to the story impressing those moments with a high. But I understand why they may have chosen not to. Having a mix of animation and real action within an episode can be a jarring experience and then splitting the story up too.

I haven’t watched all the additional features so I’m not sure how much of the dialogue from the original script was kept. I noticed the animated parts of the story are quite wordy, more like a radio production and the pace becomes slower than during the real-life footage but I was impressed how seamless most of it joins together. I think the studio filming plus animation is slightly more noticeable when it changes but I really like the colour palette used. I suppose the limitations of animation is that action sequences won’t play so well but it also is a blessing where the budget doesn’t stretch to a great looking monster. Pennant shot the Kraags somewhat sparingly in the studio so we rarely see the whole thing but they actually seem better as animation.

Animating Shada
The animation works really well with the existing footage

A Time Lord Operation

I liked the ideas given in this story. Of a scientific genius such as Skagra wanting access to the Time Lords prison planet to create a big universal mind. It was interesting that the Time Lords made even their own people forget about the prison planet Shada. Was that for the people’s protection or just to hide their own shame of how they treated their criminals? I do wonder how Salyavin actually escaped and no one seemed to notice? I don’t remember many guards on Shada but maybe the Time Lords left the prisoners much like the Daleks were abandoned in ‘Asylum of the Daleks’ as literally forgotten. I talked about privilege earlier in the glimpses of Cambridge University and it seems the Time Lords and Skagra are trying to impose their own form of eliteness here.There is that deceiving element of influence over their own kind by the Time Lords which will continue in the manipulation seen in the modern series in the stories ‘The End of Time’ (the Master and the drums) and Heaven Sent (The Doctor).

If there is a downside it could have happily shaved an episode off without losing too much probably as the pace of the story is slightly measured but I never truly found myself bored as there was always something happening. Its old school Doctor Who, not 42 minutes of dash and exposition. Yes, Shada is not a story to see in a hurry but it does invite you to grab a glass of wine and some nibbles and just enjoy the ride. I wanted to keep watching although it is not a classic ‘fan’ story in the veil of ‘The Deadly Assassin’ adding lots of Time Lord mythology but it is a perfectly satisfactory one with lots of charm due to its characters.

The Rumours of Death that followed this story after the original strike are happily dispelled. Restored in entirety with the original cast and the art of animation has given the story a new lease of life of which as a huge Tom Baker fan I am very glad.

Welcome back Whovians to the second part of my article on regeneration. In Part 1 I discussed how regeneration occurs in the natural world and why it became a part of the story of Doctor Who as an idea of a ‘renewal’ for the programme and the character. I discussed how some amphibious and invertebrates already regenerate but what about eventual human regeneration? Could it be a possibility?

The science is getting closer to understanding the processes involved in regeneration through studying the animal world. The African Spiny mouse is of great interest to scientists and could provide further clues.  It is able to release its skin tissue when attacked, and then it can completely repair or regrow the hair follicles, the cartilage, the skin and the sweat glands, with little or virtually no scarring at all. This all-round ability to trigger its repair system could prove invaluable  for human research

The human regeneration?

Humans do currently have a limited ability to regrow things. They do, as with other mammals, grow embryos in the womb and then have the ability to heal. We also regenerate the upper layer of our skin, the epidermis, and parts of our gut lining.Children can regenerate the tips of their fingers if cells are intact, our livers will grow again if injured and bones join with a screw or a plaster cast, but other more complex structures are as yet beyond our knowledge. But how realistic is regeneration for us as a species and would it be worth the process anyway?

In theory, limb regeneration should be a real possibility in the future although there are some hurdles to overcome. Blood vessels and nerves can be regenerated but you do need to instruct muscles to grow in, for instance, an arm. Axolotl salamanders which I discussed in Part 1 do regenerate limbs but the way their skin, liver and bone regenerates is different to us. Axolotl salamanders in part use stem cells to start re-growing their limbs and the types of cells that react to a wound may be connected to if their limbs will grow again. They go through certain steps which humans don’t.

The Axolotl Salamander regenerates its limbs
The Axolotl Salamander regenerates its limbs

Whether these are due to corresponding genes which are currently switched off in humans is the subject of speculation. The genetic apparatus between humans and salamanders isn’t that different according to the scientists but something in evolution has decided those genes are not currently active.

Five years ago, part of the answer was discovered that cells called macrophages prevent the build-up of scar tissue in salamanders. They are a part of the immune system to stop infection and cause inflammation which is a signal that the body needs to repair itself. When we tear a muscle or have a deep-enough cut, damaging connective tissue, scar tissue forms. This scar tissue doesn’t offer the same functionality as the original material. Ordinarily, salamanders don’t develop scar tissue at all and salamanders lacking macrophages failed to regenerate their limbs and instead formed scars.

Scientists are very interested in this research and that the Axolotl salamanders, like humans, are neotenic, meaning they retain juvenile features into adulthood longer than other primates. Axolotl retains gills as they mature, although other salamander species don’t. This ability to stay young, (younger people it has been noted seem to heal better than older people) may also offer some insight into regeneration. Researchers have found that a gene called Lin28a which is active in immature animals but shuts down in mature animals, enabled mice to regenerate and regrow the tips of their toes and ears. Lin28a is a part of the animal’s control system for metabolism. If stimulated, it can make an animal generate more energy, as though it were younger.

LIN28

For the moment the mechanisms for enabling regeneration by humans are not understood completely, whether it’s certain cells that need to be activated, the ability to stay young or if it is connected to the immune system but even if we were able to regenerate would we want to? Personally, I would like more time but not to be around forever. I understand when Ecclesiastes says ‘to everything there is a season, a time to be born and a time to die.The second Doctor stated in ‘The War Games’ that as a timelord he could ‘live forever ‘barring accidents. He may have exaggerated a little but my question to you would be would you want that long a life ?’Remember when the 10th Doctor spoke to Rose in ‘School, Reunion’ about the curse of a Timelord that he will see friends and companions die and that he would have to live on. It’s a Killer. As much as the Doctor will try to hang on to non-Time Lord people he cares for it’s impossible as they have limited life spans. Perhaps that explains why he keeps on running somewhere new. As River said once he hates goodbyes.

The past is a different country

There is also considering the prospect of the change that will occur.  How much of yourself would you be able to keep, or would you want to keep if you had a choice? The tenth Doctor, before regenerating, was melancholy over the loss of who he currently was to who he would then become as ‘another man goes striding off’ and considered it almost like a death. Personally, I can’t see it like that. How many times have you heard someone say, ‘I was a different person then’ to describe how they behaved or about actions in the past.Only certain aspects of character and personality die but the person still lives.  Regeneration is the opposite of death, it’s a reaffirmation of living.

Although the Doctor is said to be the same man (now also a woman) there are the changes that occur after regeneration that do require some exploration and thought.Regeneration is if we consider the Timelords a literal physical change and it’s not a process where you can always pre-empt what you would like to look like after it occurs. I get a sense the process is normally random for timelords.  In ‘The War Games’ the second doctor was offered a chance to choose his face but as he didn’t want to change and stalled the decision the choice was then taken away from him completely and decided for him. In the ‘Night of the Doctor’ however, it was confirmed by the sisterhood of Karn that the choice of regeneration doesn’t have to be arbitrary.

The Sisterhood of Karn led by Ohila
The Sisterhood of Karn led by Ohila

Due to their ‘elevation of Timelord science’ they were able to mix up potions to order for Timelords including short, tall, fat or thin (besides a choice of personality type in his case choosing warrior) but as a human would we be able to choose, or would we still be subject to familial genetics? I don’t think we would get a choice unless the process was somehow made more cosmetic.

The change doesn’t have to be random. Fat or thin, young or old, man or woman?

Is this death?

I wouldn’t necessarily like to endure the physical pain that regeneration involves. The second, third and tenth doctor seem to experience varying degrees of pain and collapse. Would we really want to experience unconsciousness (the 10th doctor) or the amnesia brought on by the experience (the 8th Doctor) Very few of the regenerations don’t seem to require bed-rest after the initial experience and although it is temporary and short-term overall, the trauma reminds me of having an operation but on a whole-body basis. The 11th Doctor seems to have been the lucky one only being affected by having strange food cravings. The Doctor  does seem to have a more extreme reaction when regenerating than other Timelords (well except for the Master). Romana seemed to have no problem changing form and neither did River. I do wonder if the strain he puts his body under with his adventuring is a reason why it hurts so much. Luckily, he has the Tardis which allows for a space for recovery and calm.

Aside from the physical changes, there is also the change of personality with regeneration. What if you like who you currently are? We grow into ourselves and it would be hard to let go of that person. The Tenth Doctor’s last words were that he didn’t want to go which showed how deep the wrench was to give up that current incarnation. The Fourth Doctor started rambling random phrases after he regenerated and remember the gene Lin28a, active in immature animals, well the Timelord had his own version for a few hours where he had higher than usual strength cutting a brick in half with his hand although he wasn’t able to do it later. There have been more extreme reactions. The sixth Doctor underwent, after being a youthful buoyant well-mannered gentleman, a severe change of persona, an arrogant Doctor capable of extreme moods of anger and suspicion that he almost strangled poor Peri! I’m surprised he hasn’t had a mental breakdown more often due to the process he has to endure.

My favourite Doctor Regenerations

Of course, we are all Doctor Who fans and when every doctor regenerates it’s a special anticipated moment. This is subjective list of my personal favourites but its been a little hard as do you just consider the last minute or so or take the whole story into account? But here I go:

At Number 5: The third Doctor’s regeneration in Planet of the Spiders – https://youtu.be/snl6LqFrr1A  I rather enjoyed the quiet dignity of his regen. The Tardis brings him home and he explains to Sarah ‘I had to face my fear. That was more important than just going on living’ and comforts Sarah Jane when she gets upsets

DOCTOR: A tear, Sarah Jane? No, don’t cry. While there’s life there’s….

At Number 4: The Ninth Doctor in ‘Parting of the Ways’ https://youtu.be/qa3NM9Jhkn0  The doctor has absorbed the Time Vortex and tries to get through the pain of what’s coming by making light of it by talking about the planet Barcelona and dogs with no noses. I love when he talks about his ‘daft old face’ and tells Rose she was fantastic and although there’s a golden glow the regeneration doesn’t destroy the whole Tardis in an over dramatic over the top way. It’s done and dusted and David Tennant appears

DOCTOR: Rose, before I go, I just want to tell you, you were fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. And do you know what? So was I.

At Number 3: I was torn here between two. However, the 4th Doctor in Logopolis gets this spot https://youtu.be/l3w-BHsXt4I  As the doctor fights to hold onto the scaffolding he sees his enemies in his mind’s eye which is a really nice touch. It’s a bit like seeing your life flash before your eyes as he really struggles to hold on.

DOCTOR: ‘It’s the end. But the moment has been prepared for’

There is a sense of destiny after he falls and is lying on the ground as he remembers his companions and friends and then beckons to the ghostly white watcher.  DOCTOR: ‘It’s the end. But the moment has been prepared for’ What a classic line as the Watcher merges with the Doctor I l love it!!

The 4th Doctor merges with the Watcher
The 4th Doctor merges with the Watcher

Very honourable mention to the 10th Doctor: The End of Time Part 2. https://youtu.be/_68Vyc24i1s It’s actually all the preceding scenes with Wilf that give me a lump in the throat as poor Wilf apologises for getting stuck in the Gate’s control room. The companion goodbyes were extended but I liked the Doctor meeting Rose before she travels with him.  It was a sweet moment. The idea of the Ood singing the doctor to his rest as’ his song is ending’ felt very touching as he slowly and painfully reaches the Tardis. It strikes me as so sad that this sociable doctor is all alone in the Tardis and the look on his face as he seems to be fighting every step of the way to stop it. However, I do try to forget the last line ‘ I don’t want to go’ as it lacks some dignity around the acceptance of the change so I couldn’t include it.

At Number 2 The Night of the Doctor: https://youtu.be/ylI5ZrmkkOM : As much as I might criticise Steven Moffat’s writing at times in this seven-minute short he captures the character of the eighth Doctor beautifully. The Doctor has died, and things are dire. Tick tock you really get a sense time is running out for him…. He mocks the Sisterhood of Karn but Ohila is steadfast, strong, willing to beg, help the Doctor, persuade this man that he must take a stand as the universe is being destroyed around them. I love the to and fro between him and Ohila. The doctor has only got involved on the fringes as if his pacifism will be enough, but it isn’t anymore as innocent people are dying.  It seems it is only the death of Cass that affects him. It feels as if he thinks what has he got to lose anymore and I love that sudden decisiveness to change his stance.

Doctor No More
DOCTOR: I don’t suppose there’s a need for a doctor anymore. Make me a warrior now.

At Number 1:  The fifth Doctor in Caves of Androzani      https://youtu.be/qvAenK95PfQ There is just something so heroic in the action of giving Peri the last of the bat’s milk. So fifth doctor! After such a bleak and long journey, he knows he might die but still does it unconditionally.

THE DOCTOR: I might regenerate. I don’t know.

I love the way its filmed as well as he collapses on the floor of the Tardis, harking back to the first Doctor’s regen, No crucifix type standing as per modern era. It feels very personal and focused and then the images of his companions appear talking to him to fight and then the Master saying he must die. A fight of good and evil in his last moments. It builds to a crescendo of noise and suddenly Colin Baker sits up and looks around. Yes, I love this regeneration scene. It is nostalgic for me as I was gutted Peter Davison was leaving at the time and he didn’t get  always get the best stories through his run ( but that’s another topic, my friends)

THE DOCTOR: I might regenerate. I don't know.
THE DOCTOR: I might regenerate. I don’t know.

So that’s my list but do you agree? What’s your favourite regeneration ever and why? If you could regenerate what look would you like to be able to have?  Post your thoughts on here or on Twitter. Let’s talk!

Join me next time for the final part of my regeneration trilogy as I look back at the final moments of Capaldi’s doctor with my review of  Twice Upon a Time’ Until then you were fantastic.

Hey Who fans, we’re here for 174. We’re light on news and merch so let’s jump in…

The News

More sad news as classic Who actor Jeremy Wilkin has passed away aged 87.

Merch Corner

Another independent DVD is on the way this March as we see the release of The Doctors: Monsters!

“Asylum of the Daleks” Review

The Series 7 opener promised so much before it first went out with Daleks-a-plenty. Is that the case for us or does this one hold no water?

Thank you for joining us for 174. Back to Classic Who next for the 2nd Doctor story – The Seeds of Death. Have a great week and until next time – Allons-y!