Mon, 31 December 2007
"Voyage of the Damned" is an episode of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It is 71 minutes long and was broadcast on BBC One at 6:50pm on 25 December 2007. It is the third Christmas special of the revived Doctor Who series by Russell T. Davies, and the first episode to be made available for free on the internet by the BBC iPlayer service immediately after its first showing (the internet version is available in the UK only). The episode introduces a new variation on the opening and closing Doctor Who theme tune and companion Astrid Peth and is dedicated to the memory of the founding producer of Doctor Who, Verity Lambert.
On its original airdate, 25 December 2007, "Voyage of the Damned" attracted 13.8 million viewers at its peak, with an overnight rating of 12.2 million viewers earning the episode 50% of the total television audience. It was the second most-watched program of the day, being beaten by the 8 p.m. episode of EastEnders. These were the highest viewing figures for Doctor Who since 1979's City of Death.
This story continues from the final scene of "Last of the Time Lords" and "Time Crash", in which a luxury space cruiser called the Titanic breaches the walls of the TARDIS console room. The Doctor teams up with Titanic waitress Astrid Peth in order to fend off a new enemy called the Host.
As the Doctor leaves Earth, the bow of the Titanic crashes through the TARDIS' wall. Though momentarily stunned, he quickly pushes some buttons to repair the TARDIS walls and push the ship out. The TARDIS then materialises aboard the ship. The Doctor soon learns the Titanic is a large luxury spaceship from the planet Sto, orbiting present-day Earth. He decides to stow away to enjoy the party, only confessing his unauthorized status to lively waitress Astrid Peth, who reveals her own desire to travel the stars.
Astrid has found her new job disappointing, as she is not allowed off the ship to visit destination planets. The Doctor cheers her up by sneaking her onto an excursion to London via teleport, along with couple Morvin and Foon Van Hoff, and a small alien with a red head, called Bannakaffalatta. This is not a problem since London is all but deserted, an atmosphere of fear having been cultivated from the alien attacks on the previous two Christmases. Queen Elizabeth, Nicholas Witchell, and newspaper seller Wilfred Mott are among the few that remain. Ship's historian and guide Mr Copper gives the excursion party a bizarrely inaccurate explanation of human society, especially Christmas, despite the fact that he claims to be an expert on the planet. Meanwhile, on the Titanic's bridge, Captain Hardaker dismisses all the officers so they can take a break. Only one, Midshipman Frame, refuses to go, citing the rule that at least two officers must be present on the bridge.
The party returns to the ship just as Hardaker reveals his true motives and commits an act of sabotage, causing meteors to collide with the ship. Midshipman Frame is shot and wounded when he attempts to prevent the disaster. Hardaker is killed in the resulting collision, as are the bulk of the crew and passengers. The meteors cause three major hull breaches, one of which sucks the TARDIS into space. The Doctor notes that it will just land on Earth automatically. With the teleport system offline and the engines losing power, the Titanic is heading for an extinction-level collision with the Earth. The Doctor makes contact with the injured Midshipman Frame, and leads a small group of survivors in a climb through the shattered vessel to reach him.
Complicating matters are the Host, information androids resembling angels that have been reprogrammed to kill everyone onboard. The Doctor's party is harassed by Host all the way, and the Doctor's sonic screwdriver proves to be useless against them. Bannakaffalatta reveals to Astrid that he is actually a cyborg, something considered shameful in the society on Sto. Bravely, he saves the party from a Host attack by transmitting an electromagnetic pulse from his cybernetic implants, killing himself in the process. The Van Hoffs also die: Morvin falls from the ledge into the nuclear engines, and Foon subsequently commits suicide while pulling a surviving Host down with her. The Doctor makes a grim promise that "no more" will die. The survivors take Bannakaffalatta's EMP unit with them as their only effective weapon against the Host.
The Doctor sends the remaining survivors on ahead with the EMP unit and the sonic screwdriver, while he attempts to reach the place from which the Host are controlled. Using a security protocol, he convinces the Host to take them to their leader. This turns out to be the cruise line's owner, Max Capricorn, who is hiding in an indestructible impact chamber on Deck 31. Capricorn is also revealed to be a cyborg, a human head set in a small wheeled vehicle. Having been forced out by the company's board of directors, he is seeking revenge. The collision of the Titanic into a heavily-populated world will not only break the company, but see the board charged with murder. Outnumbered by Host and faced with death, the Doctor is saved by Astrid, who has made a short-range teleport to his position. She rams Capricorn with a fork-lift truck until both are forced off a precipice and fall into the fiery engine of the ship.
Assuming control of the Host upon Capricorn's death, the Doctor grimly makes his way to the bridge just as the ship plunges into Earth's atmosphere. Working with Frame, he uses the heat from the re-entry to try to re-start the ship's engines, but discovers that they are headed straight for one of the few places in London currently inhabited: Buckingham Palace. Calling through with a security code, he manages to get the Queen out of the building, which the Titanic narrowly misses as the ship pulls up, now back under control. The Queen, in her dressing gown, is heard thanking the Doctor as he pilots the ship back into space.
With the danger over, the Doctor suddenly realises that there might be hope for Astrid after all. A safety feature of the ship's teleport system is that in case of accident, it automatically holds in stasis the molecules of the affected passenger. As she was wearing a teleport bracelet at the time of her death, her pattern might still be stored in its buffers. However, despite desperate efforts, only a shadow of Astrid can be generated due to extensive damage to the teleport system. The Doctor watches her dissipate into motes of light that float free into space. This way, she can at least fulfill her dream of exploring the universe, forever.
The Doctor teleports back to earth with Mr Copper, who is no expert on Earth, but a former salesman who lied his way onto the ship to explore the stars. The Doctor leaves him on the planet to build a new life, funded by the ship's expenses card, which contains £1,000,000. The Doctor then heads off in the TARDIS, alone.
 Cast notes
Before its broadcast, the episode drew criticism from Millvina Dean, the last living survivor of the 1912 Titanic sinking, who stated that it was "disrespectful to make entertainment of such a tragedy". The organisation Christian Voice expressed offence at the religious imagery of a scene in which the Doctor is lifted through the ship by robot angels. The episode's Christmas Day UK broadcast received 13.8 million viewers, an audience narrowly exceeded by the 13.9 million who watched the BBC soap EastEnders. The average across all 70 minutes was 12.2 million viewers. This was the highest total of viewers for the new series, exceeding the previous record set by "Rose", and the highest for Doctor Who overall since 1979 (specifically, the final episode of "City of Death" which aired while rival network ITV suffered programming disruptions due to a strike).
Gareth McLean, reviewing a preview screening for The Guardian's TV and radio weblog, appreciated the episode's use of "the disaster movie template" and came to a favourable overall conclusion: "For the most part, The Voyage of the Damned is absolutely smashing." Its main flaw, in his view, was the "blank and insipid" acting of Kylie Minogue. James Walton of The Daily Telegraph called the episode "a winning mixture of wild imagination and careful writerly calculation".
Thu, 20 December 2007
Verity Ann Lambert, OBE (27 November 1935 – 22 November 2007) was an English television and film producer. She is best known as the founding producer of the science-fiction series Doctor Who, a programme which has become a part of British popular culture.
Lambert began working in television in the 1950s, and continued to work as a producer up until the year she died. After leaving the BBC in 1969, she worked for other television companies, notably Thames Television and Euston Films in the 1970s and 80s. She also worked in the film industry, for Thorn EMI Screen Entertainment, and from 1985 ran her own production company, Cinema Verity. In addition to Doctor Who, she produced Adam Adamant Lives!, The Naked Civil Servant, Rock Follies, Minder, Widows, G.B.H., Jonathan Creek and Love Soup.
The British Film Institute's Screenonline website describes Lambert as "one of those producers who can often create a fascinating small screen universe from a slim script and half-a-dozen congenial players." The website of the Museum of Broadcast Communications hails her as "not only one of Britain's leading businesswomen, but possibly the most powerful member of the nation's entertainment industry ... Lambert has served as a symbol of the advances won by women in the media". News of her death came on the 44th anniversary of the first showing of Doctor Who.
 Early career in independent television
Lambert was born in London, the daughter of a Jewish accountant, and educated at Roedean School. She left Roedean at sixteen and studied at the Sorbonne in Paris for a year, and at a secretarial college in London for eighteen months. She later credited her interest in the structural and characterisational aspects of scriptwriting to an inspirational English teacher. Lambert's first job was typing menus at the Kensington De Vere Hotel, which employed her because she had been to France and could speak French. In 1956, she entered the television industry as a secretary at Granada Television's press office. She was sacked from this job after six months.
Following her dismissal from Granada, Lambert took a job as a shorthand typist at ABC Television. She soon became the secretary to the company's Head of Drama, and then a production secretary working on a programme called State Your Case. She then moved from administration to production, working on drama programming on ABC's popular anthology series Armchair Theatre. Armchair Theatre was overseen at the time by the company's new Head of Drama, Canadian producer Sydney Newman.
On 28 November 1958, while Lambert was working as a production assistant on Armchair Theatre, actor Gareth Jones died off-screen just prior to a scene in which he was to appear during a live television broadcast of the hour-long play "Underground". Lambert had to take control of directing the cameras from the studio gallery as director William Kotcheff hastily worked with the actors during a commercial break to accommodate the loss.
In 1961 Lambert left ABC, spending a year working as the personal assistant to American television producer David Susskind at the independent production company Talent Associates in New York. Returning to England, she rejoined ABC with an ambition to direct, but got stuck as a production assistant, and decided that if she could not find advancement within a year she would abandon television as a career.
 BBC career
In December 1962 Sydney Newman left ABC to take up the position of Head of Drama at BBC Television, and the following year Lambert joined him at the Corporation. Newman had recruited her to produce Doctor Who, a programme he had personally initiated. Conceived by Newman as an educational science-fiction series for children, the programme concerned the adventures of a crotchety old man travelling through space and time with his sometimes unwilling companions in a machine larger on the inside than the out. The show was a risk, and in some quarters not expected to last longer than thirteen weeks.
Although Lambert was not Newman's first choice to produce the series — Don Taylor and Shaun Sutton had both declined the position — the Canadian was very keen to ensure that Lambert took the job after his experience of working with her at ABC. "I think the best thing I ever did on that was to find Verity Lambert," he told Doctor Who Magazine in 1993. "I remembered Verity as being bright and, to use the phrase, full of piss and vinegar! She was gutsy and she used to fight and argue with me, even though she was not at a very high level as a production assistant."
When Lambert arrived at the BBC in June 1963, she was initially given a more experienced associate producer, Mervyn Pinfield, to assist her. Doctor Who debuted on 23 November 1963 and quickly became a success for the BBC, chiefly on the popularity of the alien creatures known as Daleks. Lambert's superior, Head of Serials Donald Wilson, had strongly advised against using the script in which the Daleks first appeared, but after the serial's successful airing, he said that Lambert clearly knew the series far better than he did, and he would no longer interfere in her decisions. The success of Doctor Who and the Daleks also garnered press attention for Lambert herself; in 1964, the Daily Mail published a feature on the series focusing on the perceived attractiveness of its young producer: "The operation of the Daleks ... is conducted by a remarkably attractive young woman called Verity Lambert who, at 28, is not only the youngest but the only female drama producer at B.B.C. TV... [T]all, dark and shapely, she became positively forbidding when I suggested that the Daleks might one day take over Dr. Who."
Lambert oversaw the first two seasons of the programme, eventually leaving in 1965. "There comes a time when a series need new input," she told Doctor Who Magazine thirty years later. "It's not that I wasn't fond of Doctor Who, I simply felt that the time had come. It had been eighteen very concentrated months, something like seventy shows. I know people do soaps forever now, but I felt Doctor Who needed someone to come in with a different view."
She moved on to produce another BBC show created by Newman, the swashbuckling action-adventure series Adam Adamant Lives! (1966–67). The long development period of Adam Adamant delayed its production, and during this delay Newman gave her the initial episodes of a new soap opera, The Newcomers, to produce. Further productions for the BBC included a season of the crime drama Detective (1968–69) and a twenty-six-part series of adaptations of the stories of William Somerset Maugham (1969). During this period, Lambert was obscurely referenced in Monty Python’s 1969 sketch "Buying a Bed," which featured two shop assistants called Mr. Verity and Mr. Lambert, named after her.
In 1969 she left the staff of the BBC to join London Weekend Television, where she produced Budgie (1970–72) and Between the Wars (1973). In 1974, she returned to the BBC on a freelance basis to produce Shoulder to Shoulder, a series of six 75-minute plays about the suffragette movement of the early 20th century.
 Thames Television and Euston Films
Later in 1974 Lambert became Head of Drama at Thames Television, a successor company of her former employers ABC. During her time in this position she oversaw several high-profile and successful contributions to the ITV network, including The Naked Civil Servant (1975), Rock Follies (1976–77), Rumpole of the Bailey (1978–92) and Edward and Mrs Simpson (1978). In 1976 she was also made responsible for overseeing the work of Euston Films, Thames' subsidiary film production company, at the time best known as the producers of The Sweeney. In 1979 she transferred to Euston full-time as the company's Chief Executive, overseeing productions such as Quatermass (1979), Minder (1979–94) and Widows (1983).
At Thames and Euston, Lambert enjoyed the most sustained period of critical and popular success of her career. The Naked Civil Servant won a British Academy Television Award (BAFTA) for its star John Hurt as well as a Broadcasting Press Guild Award and a prize at the Prix Italia; Rock Follies won a BAFTA and a Royal Television Society Award, while Widows also gained BAFTA nominations and ratings of over 12 million — unusually for a drama serial, it picked up viewers over the course of its six-week run. Minder went on to become the longest-running series produced by Euston Films, surviving for over a decade following Lambert's departure from the company.
Television historian Lez Cooke described Lambert's time in control of the drama department at Thames as "an adventurous period for the company, demonstrating that it was not only the BBC that was capable of producing progressive television drama during the 1970s. Lambert wanted Thames to produce drama series 'which were attempting in one way or another to tackle modern problems and life,' an ambition which echoed the philosophy of her mentor Sydney Newman." Howard Schuman, the writer of Rock Follies, also later praised the bravery of Lambert's commissioning. "Verity Lambert had just arrived as head of drama at Thames TV and she went for broke," he told The Observer newspaper in 2002. "She commissioned a serial, Jennie: Lady Randolph Churchill, for safety, but also Bill Brand, one of the edgiest political dramas ever, and us... Before we had even finished making the first series, Verity commissioned the second."
Lambert's association with Thames and Euston Films continued into the 1980s. In 1982, she rejoined the staff of parent company Thames Television as Director of Drama, and was given a seat on the company's board. In November 1982 she left Thames, but remained as Chief Executive at Euston until November of the following year, to take up her first post in the film industry, as Director of Production for Thorn EMI Screen Entertainment. Her job here was somewhat frustrating as the British film industry was in one of its periodic states of flux, but she did manage to produce some noteworthy features, including the 1986 John Cleese film Clockwise.
Lambert later expressed some regret on her time in the film industry in a feature for The Independent newspaper. "Unfortunately, the person who hired me left, and the person who came in didn't want to produce films and didn't want me. While I managed to make some films I was proud of — Dennis Potter's Dreamchild, and Clockwise with John Cleese — it was terribly tough and not a very happy experience."
 Cinema Verity
In late 1985 Lambert left Thorn EMI, frustrated at the lack of success and at restructuring measures being undertaken by the company. She established her own independent production company, Cinema Verity. The company's first production was the 1988 feature film A Cry in the Dark, starring Sam Neill and Meryl Streep and based on the "dingo baby" case in Australia. Cinema Verity's first television series, the BBC1 sitcom May to December, debuted in 1989 and ran until 1994. The company also produced another successful BBC1 sitcom, So Haunt Me, which ran from 1992 to 1994.
Lambert executive produced Alan Bleasdale's hard-hitting drama serial G.B.H. for Channel 4 in 1991, winning critical acclaim and several awards. Lambert's relationship with Bleasdale was not entirely smooth, however — the writer has admitted in subsequent interviews that he "wanted to kill Verity Lambert" after she insisted on the cutting of large portions of his first draft script before production began. However, Bleasdale subsequently admitted that she was right about the majority of the cut material, and when the production was finished he only missed one small scene from those she had demanded be excised.
A less successful Cinema Verity production, and the most noted mis-step of Lambert's career, was the soap opera Eldorado, a co-production with the BBC set in a British expatriate community in Spain. At the time it was the most expensive commission the BBC had given out to an independent production company. Launched with a major publicity campaign and running in a high-profile slot three nights a week on BBC1, the series was critically mauled and lasted only a year, from 1992 to 1993. Lambert's biography at Screenonline suggests some reasons for this failure: "With on-location production facilities and an evident striving for a genuinely contemporary flavour, Lambert's costly Euro soap Eldorado suggested a degree of ambition ... which it seemed in the event ill-equipped to realise, and a potentially interesting subject tailed off into implausible melodrama. Eldorado's plotting ... was disappointingly ponderous. As a result, the expatriate community in southern Spain theme and milieu was exploited rather than explored." Other reviewers, even the best part of a decade after the programme's cancellation, were much harsher, with Rupert Smith's comments in The Guardian in 2002 being a typical example. "A £10 million farce that left the BBC with egg all over its entire body and put an awful lot Equity members back on the dole... it will always be remembered as the most expensive flop of all time."
In the early 1990s, Lambert attempted to win the rights to produce Doctor Who independently for the BBC; however, this effort was unsuccessful because the Corporation was already in negotiations with producer Philip Segal in the United States. Cinema Verity projects that did reach production included Sleepers (BBC1, 1991) and The Cazalets (BBC One, 2001), the latter co-produced by actress Joanna Lumley, whose idea it was to adapt the novels by Elizabeth Jane Howard.
Lambert continued to work as a freelance producer outside of her own company. She produced the popular BBC One comedy-drama series Jonathan Creek, by writer David Renwick, ever since taking over the role for its second series in 1998. From then until 2004 she produced eighteen episodes of the programme across four short seasons, plus two Christmas Specials. She and Renwick also collaborated on another comedy-drama, Love Soup, starring Tamsin Greig and transmitted on BBC One in the autumn of 2005.
In 1973, Lambert married television director Colin Bucksey (a man ten years her junior), but the marriage collapsed in 1984, and they divorced in 1987. She had no children, once telling an interviewer, "I can't stand babies — no, I love babies as long as their parents take them away." In 2000 two of her productions, Doctor Who and The Naked Civil Servant, finished third and fourth respectively in a British Film Institute poll of the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes of the 20th century.
In the 2002 New Year's Honours list Lambert was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for her services to film and television production, and the same year she received BAFTA's Alan Clarke Award for Outstanding Contribution to Television. She died of cancer five days before her 72nd birthday. She was due to have been presented with a lifetime achievement award at the Women in Film and Television Awards the following month.
Sat, 8 December 2007
The Ninth Doctor and Rose arrive in Cardiff on Christmas Eve, 1869 and discover that something is making the dead come back to life. The time travellers team up with a world-weary Charles Dickens to investigate Gabriel Sneed, the local undertaker and his servant girl Gwyneth — and come face to face with the ghostly Gelth.
In a funeral parlour during the Victorian era, a young man named Redpath grieves over the open casket containing his dead grandmother. Closing his eyes in sorrow, he does not see a blue, glowing vapour wash over the corpse and enter it. The old woman's eyes snap open and she grabs Redpath by the throat, killing him. Gabriel Sneed, the undertaker, rushes in and tries to close the lid on the reanimated corpse but she knocks him unconscious to the floor before getting up and wandering out onto the street, wailing. Sneed regains consciousness and calls for his servant girl, Gwyneth. This is not the first corpse in the funeral home to come alive, and Gwyneth tells Sneed that they need to get help. Sneed protests that it is not his fault, and they have to get the dead woman back. Riding in the hearse, Sneed orders Gwyneth to use her clairvoyant abilities to seek the dead woman out, and Gwyneth focuses on the old woman's last desire: to see Charles Dickens, who is giving a reading in a music hall in town. Dickens himself is in a melancholic mood as he waits for his stage call. He feels old, is estranged from his family and his imagination is growing thin. He feels that he has seen all there is to see.
In the TARDIS, the Doctor and Rose are having a rough ride. As the ship shakes and they hold onto the console, the Doctor aims the TARDIS for Naples in 1860. When they land, Rose is about to rush out when the Doctor tells her that she would start a riot in her 21st century clothing. Rose returns more suitably dressed in an off-the-shoulder gown, and the Doctor compliments her, saying she is beautiful... for a human. They step out into the snow-covered streets of history, the Doctor realising when he buys a newspaper that his aim was a bit off — it is Christmas Eve, 1869, and they are in Cardiff, not Naples.
In the music hall, Dickens gives a reading of A Christmas Carol, but stops short as the dead woman in the audience starts to glow blue. The vapour pours out of her mouth, an ethereal gas with a vaguely human shape that sweeps around the hall and sends the audience running in a panic. The screams attract Rose and the Doctor as well as Sneed and Gwyneth. Dickens accuses the Doctor of being responsible for the illusion, as the vapour completely leaves the dead woman's body to be sucked into a gas lamp, and the body collapses. Sneed and Gwyneth carry the limp body out. Rose goes in pursuit, and Sneed chloroforms her, bundling her into the hearse with the dead woman. The Doctor commandeers Dickens's coach, but the great writer's protests vanish when the Doctor discovers who he is and gushes over his literary genius. When the Doctor tells him about Rose, Dickens chivalrously joins the chase.
Rose awakens in the locked viewing gallery of the funeral parlour, not seeing another gaseous entity take over young Redpath's body. As the Doctor and Dickens arrive at the parlour and force their way in, Redpath and his grandmother come to life again, approaching Rose menacingly. The gas lamps in the house flicker, and the Doctor realises there is something living in the pipes. He hears Rose's cries and breaks the door down, pulling her away from the corpses. He asks them who they are, and the corpses cry that they are dying because the Rift is failing and these forms cannot be sustained. Then the blue vapours stream out of the dead, and the bodies collapse once more.
Sneed explains that the house has had a reputation for being haunted, which is why he managed to buy it so cheaply. The Doctor explains that the house is built on the rift the aliens were referring to — a break in spacetime that is growing. These entities are from across the universe. Dickens is still sceptical, refusing to believe that there are ghosts in the gas pipes. The Doctor tells him that as dead bodies release gas when they decompose, they are ideal vehicles for these gaseous aliens. Dickens tells the Doctor, shakily, that if what he has seen is true, then perhaps his entire life, spent fighting against injustice and for social causes in what he thought was the real world, has been for nothing.
Rose, in the meantime, talks to Gwyneth, finding out that she was taken in by Sneed when she was twelve, after her parents died. Although they initially get along well, Gwyneth sees the future in Rose's mind but is shocked when she sees the things Rose has experienced with the Doctor, mentioning the big bad wolf. She apologises, admitting her clairvoyance and saying that her abilities have been growing stronger recently. The Doctor has been listening, and surmises that Gwyneth's abilities are due to her growing up in this house over the rift, and she is the key. He suggests they hold a séance.
Gwyneth manages to summon the aliens, who speak through her. They are the Gelth, a species whose bodies were destroyed by the Time War and left them facing extinction in a gaseous state. The few Gelth remaining need to come through the rift and take over dead bodies to survive. Rose is repulsed by the idea, but the Doctor insists that they have to help. Gwyneth will stand at the spot of the rift down in the morgue and allow the Gelth to use her as a bridge. Rose continues to protest: she knows the Gelth do not succeed, because the future does not have walking dead, but the Doctor tells her that time is constantly in flux, and the future can be rewritten; nothing is safe. In any case, Gwyneth wants to help her "angels". The Doctor warns the Gelth that this is only a temporary solution—once they possess the bodies, he will transport them to another place where they can build permanent ones.
However, when Gwyneth stands at the rift, and the Gelth begin to come through her, the numbers are much more than they originally implied. The Gelth show their true colours — they do not just want bodies that are already dead, they are willing to kill to supply themselves with more hosts and occupy the planet. Gwyneth stands motionless at the position of the rift as the Gelth continue to stream in. Sneed has his neck snapped by a reanimated corpse and is taken over. Dickens, overwhelmed, runs in fear as the Doctor and Rose are backed up into a corner. The Doctor apologises to Rose that she is going to die over a century before she was born, but she tells him that she wanted to come. The Doctor holds her hand as they prepare to go out fighting together, and he tells Rose he is glad he met her.
Outside, Dickens sees a pursuing Gelth get sucked into a gas lamp on the street, and has a brainstorm. He rushes back into the house, turning off the flames and turning up the gas. He goes down into the morgue, doing the same, telling the Doctor what he is doing. The Doctor realises that by filling the house with gas, the Gelth will be sucked out of the dead bodies like poison from a wound. This is exactly what happens, the Gelth pouring out of the collapsing corpses and swirling around in the confines of the morgue. The Doctor tells Gwyneth to send them back, but she says she is only strong enough to hold them here, and takes out a box of matches from her apron.
The Doctor tells Dickens to get Rose out of there before the two succumb to the gas fumes, and tries to convince Gwyneth to leave the Gelth to him. As he touches her neck, however, he discovers the truth of the matter, and reluctantly leaves. Gwyneth lights a match, and the house and the Gelth are consumed in fire. The Doctor tells Rose that when he checked Gwyneth's pulse, he realised that she was dead. He thinks Gwyneth died the moment she stood in the rift. Rose does not understand — Gwyneth spoke to them and saved them. In response, Dickens quotes Shakespeare, that "there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy" (Hamlet: Act 1, scene V). Rose looks sadly at the ruins of the funeral home—a servant girl saved the world, and nobody will ever know.
Dickens thanks the Doctor as they stand in front of the TARDIS. The things he has seen tonight have given him hope that there is more to learn. He plans to patch things up with his family and finish The Mystery of Edwin Drood, identifying the murderer as a blue elemental. He asks the Doctor if his books will last, and the Doctor assures a smiling Dickens that his work will last forever. Inside the TARDIS, Rose asks if Dickens writing about what they just experienced will change history. The Doctor tells her that Dickens will never get to write his story, as he dies the following year. Right now, however, they have made him more alive than he has been in a long time.
Dickens watches in wonderment as the TARDIS fades away before his eyes. He laughs out loud, and walks through the streets of Cardiff, wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, and declaring, "God bless us, everyone!"
Fri, 30 November 2007
Sorry. no show this week. feeling a bit ill.
I will try and get onto the Podshock live show on sunday night if my voice is upto it.
Mon, 26 November 2007
New Promo - The Tin Dog Podcast.
Hope you all like it.
Feel free to use it anywhere you like.
Sun, 25 November 2007
cut and paste the above link into your browser to see Time Crash
"Time Crash" is a "mini-episode" of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was broadcast on BBC One as part of the 2007 appeal for the children's charity Children in Need on 16 November. It was written by Steven Moffat and starred David Tennant and Peter Davison as the Doctor.
The episode depicts an encounter between the Doctor's fifth and tenth incarnations, played by Davison and Tennant respectively. "Time Crash" was a ratings success, with a viewership of 10.9 million and a 45% share of the total television audience that night, making it both the most watched portion of the 2007 Children in Need special and the most watched Doctor Who episode since the show's 2005 revival.
After saying farewell to Martha, the Doctor sets off on his travels when the TARDIS encounters a problem, the result of which involves the Fifth Doctor appearing in the console room. The Tenth Doctor is gleeful at the meeting, but the Fifth Doctor is initially baffled, assuming his future incarnation is a deranged fan, possibly from LINDA.
The Tenth Doctor explains that he forgot to put up the shields after rebuilding the TARDIS and it collided with the Fifth Doctor's TARDIS (its earlier self) in the timestream. This is generating a paradox at the heart of the ship powerful enough to rip a hole in the universe the (exact) size of Belgium. The Cloister Bell signals the impending end.
However, without a thought, the Tenth Doctor manipulates the TARDIS controls to manipulate a supernova into exact counterbalance; it cancels out the black hole caused by the paradox, so that all matter remains constant. This amazes the Fifth Doctor, but he quickly realises that the Tenth Doctor 'came up with' the solution only because he remembered this encounter. The Fifth Doctor says his farewells, and the Tenth Doctor tells the Fifth of the personality traits that he retained from his fifth self, also telling him he loved being him and that he was "his" Doctor.
As he departs, the Fifth Doctor reminds the Tenth to raise his shields again, but too late; as he is doing so, the hull of the RMS Titanic crashes through one of the TARDIS walls, as originally seen at the end of the last series.
Both the Fifth Doctor and the Tenth Doctor make references to each other's respective storylines throughout the episode. The Tenth Doctor mentions Nyssa and Tegan, the Mara, Time Lords wearing silly hats, as well as commenting at length on the Fifth Doctor's clothing. The Fifth Doctor asks the Tenth Doctor if he's connected with LINDA and uses the phrase "Wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey" first heard in "Blink", also by Steven Moffat. Other elements from the series such as Zeiton crystals, the helmic regulator and the thermobuffer are also mentioned.
Both Doctors refer to common elements throughout the series such as the Cybermen and the Master. The Fifth asks if the Master still has "that rubbish beard" (referencing the fact that actors Roger Delgado and Anthony Ainley portrayed the character with a beard), and the Tenth replies "No, no beard this time... well, a wife" (referring to Lucy Saxon). The Fifth Doctor also notes that the TARDIS's "desktop theme" has been changed, accounting for its radically different appearances throughout the series.
The Tenth Doctor offers to help the Fifth Doctor fix the problem caused by the TARDIS merge through his sonic screwdriver, which the Fifth Doctor declines. The latter's own sonic screwdriver was destroyed in the serial The Visitation, as then-producer John Nathan-Turner saw it as an "easy way out" for writers to resolve any difficult situation the Doctor faced. The sonic screwdriver would never appear in the show again until the TV movie in 1996.
During the original run of Doctor Who, the Doctor met different incarnations of "himself" in three stories: The Three Doctors (1973), The Five Doctors (1983) and The Two Doctors (1985). The Children in Need special Dimensions in Time (1993) also featured all the five surviving Doctors at the time, with specially made busts standing in for the remaining two. In the Comic Relief sketch Doctor Who and the Curse of Fatal Death (1999), also written by Moffat, the Doctor regenerated four times, resulting in five different actors playing the role. Multi-Doctor stories have also appeared in Doctor Who spin-off media.
There were also several instances of the incidental music changing to a style more heavily favoured during the time that Peter Davison's episodes were produced. This differed greatly from the orchestral style of music now favoured by the programme.
It is never explicitly stated where the Fifth Doctor's segment fits into his own continuity. From the Tenth Doctor's perspective, the special takes place at the very end of "Last of the Time Lords", immediately prior to the RMS Titanic crashing into the TARDIS.
The episode was directed by Graeme Harper on October 7, 2007, who twenty-three years previously had directed Peter Davison's last regular appearance in Doctor Who in the serial The Caves of Androzani. It was officially announced by the BBC on October 21.
According to the Doctor Who Confidential episode featuring behind-the-scenes footage, the Fifth Doctor's coat and trousers are originals taken from the Blackpool Doctor Who exhibition. The trousers had been previously altered in order to fit Colin Baker for the regeneration scene in The Caves of Androzani (and the opening of The Twin Dilemma). The jumper was knitted especially for this episode, and the hat was a new roll-up panama hat with an original band added on.
David Tennant mentioned in an interview the morning after airing that the Tenth Doctor's speech complimenting the Fifth Doctor's sense of style and personality was written by himself, and that the Fifth was his favourite Doctor.
Previous Doctor Who charity specials transmitted over the years include the aforementioned Dimensions in Time, Doctor Who and the Curse of Fatal Death and "Doctor Who: Children in Need". The first two are generally not regarded as canonical by Doctor Who fans, but the last one is, directly connecting "The Parting of the Ways" with "The Christmas Invasion". The anniversary special The Five Doctors was broadcast on Children in Need night for its United Kingdom premier broadcast.
Broadcast, reception and release
Children in Need was the most-watched television programme of the night, with an overnight rating of 9.4 million viewers, and figures peaked between 8:15pm and 8:30pm, when "Time Crash" was aired, with a total of 10.9 million viewers. The episode is therefore the most-viewed since the show's revival in 2005, surpassing the revival's premiere, "Rose", which achieved a rating of 10.8 million viewers. Calls also peaked during the episode's airing. When the episode was replayed later that night it garnered an audience of 2.5 million viewers.
Critical reaction was positive, with reviewers calling it the highlight of the Children in Need special. Steven Moffat was praised for his writing of the episode, which was characterized as witty and clever. The performances of both Peter Davison and David Tennant were also well-received.
Fri, 23 November 2007
Verity Lambert - 1935 - 2007
Original Doctor Who producer passes away.
It's with great sadness that we have to announce the first producer of Doctor Who, Verity Lambert has passed away.
Verity Doctor Who when the series began in 1963.
During her career, she also produced dramas including The Newcomers, Adam Adamant Lives!, Minder and Quatermass.
In 1985, Verity formed her own independent television company, Cinema Verity. She produced the second series of Jonathan Creek and recently completed the second series of BBC One's Love Soup.
In January 2002, Lambert was awarded an OBE in recognition of her services to film and television. Shortly before she died she was given the Working Title Films lifetime achievement award at the 2007 Women In Film And Television Awards.
Russell T Davies, Lead Writer and Executive Producer of Doctor Who, said: "There are a hundred people in Cardiff working on Doctor Who and millions of viewers, in particular many children, who love the programme that Verity helped create. This is her legacy and we will never forget that."
Jon Plowman, Executive Producer, BBC Comedy, said: "Verity was a TV giant. Her career spanned the eras, from first episodes of Doctor Who and Minder through to Jonathan Creek and the forthcoming series of Love Soup.
"She was extraordinary – very keen to get shows right and to encourage people, as she did for me in my early days. She never held back in her praise and was not jealous of anyone else's success – she enjoyed watching people grow up around her."
Jane Tranter, Controller, BBC Fiction, said: "Verity was a total one-off. She was a magnificently, madly, inspirationally talented drama producer. During her long and brilliant career there was no form of drama that was beyond her reach and that she didn't excel at. From the early episodes of Doctor Who to the still to be transmitted comedy drama Love Soup, via Widows, Minder, GBH, Eldorado and Jonathan Creek (to name but the tiniest handful of credits) – Verity was a phenomenon."
Today (Friday) is the 44th anniversary of her first ever episode of Doctor Who.
Doctor Who's first producer dies
She was also the youngest person to take charge of a BBC television show when the sci-fi drama started in 1963.
Lambert also produced dramas including Minder, Quatermass, Rumpole of the Bailey and Jonathan Creek, while her company made 1990s BBC soap Eldorado.
She was made an OBE in recognition of her services to film and television in January 2002.
Lambert oversaw the first two series of Doctor Who before leaving in 1965.
Russell T Davies, the current writer and executive producer of Doctor Who, said: "There are a hundred people in Cardiff working on Doctor Who and millions of viewers, in particular many children, who love the programme that Verity helped create."
"This is her legacy and we will never forget that," he added.
In 1985 Lambert formed her own independent television company, Cinema Verity, which went on to make the sitcom May to December and the short-lived soap Eldorado.
Most recently she completed the second series of BBC One's Love Soup.
Jane Tranter, controller of BBC Fiction said: "Verity was a total one-off. She was a magnificently, madly, inspirationally talented drama producer."
Lambert had been due to receive a lifetime achievement award at the Women in Film and Television Awards next month.Her death comes the day before the 44th anniversary of the very first episode of Doctor Who.
Category:general -- posted at: 4:14pm UTC
Sat, 17 November 2007
Destiny Of The Daleks and Davros Boxset for November.
Destiny of the Daleks, starring Tom Baker as the Fourth Doctor and Lalla Ward as a newly regenerated Romana, is set to be released on DVD by 2Entertain.
When the Doctor and Romana arrive on Skaro, they find themselves caught in the middle of in an interplanetary war between the Daleks and the robotic Movellans. Can Davros, creator of the Daleks, give the Doctor's greatest enemies the edge they need?
The single-disc (not double, as previously reported) contains all four episodes plus the following extras:
Destiny Of The Daleks will be available from 26 November. The story will also form part of a special Davros boxset, collecting all the other adventures featuring the evil genius, plus extra material. More on these extras soon!
Fri, 9 November 2007
The Ninth Doctor takes his new companion, Rose, on her first trip through time, 5 billion years into the future. There, on a space station called Platform One, he and Rose are on hand with a group of alien races to witness the Sun expand and swallow the Earth. However, someone is planning to sabotage the event with deadly robotic spiders.
Following "Rose", the Doctor asks Rose where she would like to go on her first trip in the TARDIS, and she selects the future. The Doctor takes her to the year 5.5/Apple/26 (five billion years in her future) onto a space station named Platform One orbiting the Earth. In the eons since Rose's time, the Earth has emptied, mankind having left it long ago and the planet taken over by the National Trust. Although the expansion of the Sun takes millions of years, gravity satellites held the effects back, and the trust also restored the "classic" positions of the continents on Earth. Now that the money has run out, the Earth will be allowed to be swallowed up by the Sun at last. Platform One is where the extraterrestrial rich of the universe will witness the end of the world, which will occur in about an hour. The station has automated systems and is staffed by blue-skinned humanoids.
On encountering the Steward, who manages Platform One, the Doctor persuades him that he and Rose are invited guests by using a piece of "psychic paper" that makes people see what the Doctor wants them to see. The other guests arrive, including the diminutive Moxx of Balhoon, the Face of Boe, living humanoid trees from the Forest of Cheem (whose ancestors originated on Earth) and, from Financial Family Seven, a group called the Adherents of the Repeated Meme. Rose watches in fascination as the last living human arrives — the Lady Cassandra O'Brien Dot Delta Seventeen, who is just a piece of stretched-out skin with eyes and a mouth, mounted on a frame and connected to a brain jar. The skin needs to be constantly moisturised by her attendants. The guests exchange gifts: Jabe of the Forest of Cheem gives the Doctor a cutting taken from her grandfather; the Doctor gives her the gift of air from his lungs. The Moxx gives the gift of bodily salivas, and the Adherents of the Repeated Meme hand out gifts of "peace" in the form of metal spheres, even to the Steward.
Cassandra gives her own gifts: the last ostrich egg, and an "iPod" (a Wurlitzer jukebox) from ancient Earth. Rose is a bit overwhelmed when the jukebox plays "classical" music — the song "Tainted Love" by Soft Cell — and leaves the hall. She has a brief conversation with a station plumber, Raffalo, who is investigating a blockage. At first she is comforted by the familiarity of Raffalo's matter-of-fact, working-class manner. But when Raffalo explains that she is from Crespallion, which is part of the Jaggit Brocade, affiliated to the Scarlet Junction, in Complex 56, Rose realises how far she is from home, and with a man she does not even know. Rose leaves, and does not see Raffalo spot some small, spider-like robots in the ducts, which rapidly grab her and pull her inside. Meanwhile, the spiders are being disgorged from the metal spheres gifted by the Adherents of the Repeated Meme to the various guests, and soon infiltrate the entire station, sabotaging its systems.
The Doctor finds Rose, and when Rose asks him where he is from, the Doctor brushes her questions off, getting defensive and angry. When the Doctor alters Rose's mobile phone so she can talk to her mother in the past, another fact sinks in — her mother is long dead. The Doctor jokes that if Rose thought the telephone call was amazing, she should see the bill. Suddenly, a tremor shakes the station, and the Doctor observes that it was not supposed to happen. The Steward, investigating the cause of the tremor, is killed when a spider lowers the sun filter in his room, exposing him to the direct heat of the Sun's rays.
The Doctor also starts to look into the tremor, and Jabe offers to show him where the maintenance corridors are while Rose goes to speak to Cassandra. Rose finds that Cassandra has had 708 operations to keep her alive, and considers herself the last "pure" human — the others who left "intermingled" with other species and she considers them all mongrels. Her 709th operation, to bleach her blood, is next week. Disgusted that humanity has come to this, Rose insults Cassandra and storms off, only to be met by the Adherents, who knock her out.
In the corridors, Jabe quietly tells the Doctor that she scanned him earlier, and was astonished to discover what he was and that he still even exists. She genuinely sympathises with him, putting a hand on his arm, and the Doctor is briefly moved to tears. They then continue to the bowels of the station, where they find one of the spiders. Jabe captures it with a liana, a long, vine-like appendage which she usually keeps hidden out of courtesy.
As the station's systems continue to be sabotaged and, as a "traditional ballad" — Britney Spears's "Toxic" — plays on the jukebox, Rose wakes to find herself trapped in a room with a lowering sun filter. The Doctor hears her cries for help and manages to raise the filter, but Rose is still locked in. Returning to the main hall, the Doctor releases the spider to seek out its master. At first it focuses on the Adherents of the Repeated Meme, but the Doctor points out that repeated memes are just ideas, and the Adherents are remote-controlled droids. He deactivates them and the spider scurries over to Cassandra.
Cassandra has her attendants hold the others at bay, saying that the moisturiser guns can also shoot acid. She reveals that her operations cost a fortune, and she was hoping to create a hostage situation whereby she could later seek compensation. Now she will just let everyone burn and take over their corporate holdings. Cassandra orders the spiders to shut off the force field protecting the station, then uses an illegal teleportation device to transport herself and her attendants away.
With only a few minutes left until the Sun incinerates Earth and the station, the Doctor and Jabe rush back down to the air-conditioning chamber. The restore switch for the computer systems is at the other end of a platform blocked by giant rotating fans. The Doctor protests that the rising heat will burn the wooden Jabe, but she insists on staying to hold down the switch that slows the fans. The Doctor makes it nearly to the end before Jabe catches fire and burns. He closes his eyes and concentrates, making it past the last fan and throwing the reset switch. The force fields come up around the station just in time, as the Earth explodes into cinders. The station's systems start to self-repair.
However, several of the guests are now dead (including the Moxx but not the Face of Boe), burned alive as the Sun's rays burst through cracks in the windows. The Doctor is furious, and after finding Cassandra's teleportation feed inside the ostrich egg, reverses it to bring her back. She quickly regains her poise and starts taunting the Doctor, saying that he cannot do anything about her. However, the Doctor calmly notes that he has transported Cassandra back without her moisturising attendants. In the raised temperature, she begins to dry out. Cassandra begs for mercy and Rose asks the Doctor to help her, but the Doctor coldly says that every thing has its time, and every thing dies. Cassandra's skin stretches and tears, her innards exploding and leaving only her brain tank and empty frame.
Rose is sad that in all the danger, the Earth's passing was not actually witnessed by anyone. The Doctor takes her back to the present in the TARDIS, telling her that people think things will last forever, but they don't. He reveals to her that his home planet was burned like Earth, but in a war, and that he is the last survivor of the Time Lords. Rose says that he still has her, and he smiles as she offers to buy him some chips — they only have five billion years before the shops close.
Sun, 4 November 2007
Rose Tyler is a shop assistant at Henrik's, a department store in present-day London. One evening, she is about to go home when the security guard passes her a packet containing lottery money, presumably to be given to whoever runs the staff syndicate. Rose goes to the basement to find Wilson, the chief electrician, but he is nowhere to be found. She hears a noise and goes to see what it is, entering a room filled with plastic store dummies. The door slams shut, locking her in, and the mannequins come to life, backing her into a corner. Before the lead one can strike her, someone grabs Rose's hand: a tall, strange-looking man in a leather jacket and crew cut, who tells her to run.
Rose and the stranger burst through another set of doors and race down the corridors of the basement, pursued by the dummies. They reach the lifts, and a mannequin's arm lunges through the closing doors. The stranger grapples with the arm, and with a jerk, yanks it off. The doors shut, and the stranger tosses the now lifeless plastic arm to Rose. She still believes that it is some kind of student prank, but the stranger shakes his head. They are living plastic, and Wilson is dead.
Reaching the ground level, the stranger disables the lift buttons with a pen-like device that projects a high-pitched whine. The stranger explains the plastic creatures are being controlled by a relay on the roof, and he is going to destroy it with an explosive device. He ushers Rose out and before he goes back into the building, he introduces himself as the Doctor. He asks for her name, and she tells him it is Rose. "Nice to meet you, Rose," the Doctor says, adding, "Run for your life!" Rose reaches the other side of the street, still holding onto the arm, and looks up at the Henrik's building as the top floors and roof explode. She runs off in the confusion, not noticing an anachronistic police box standing off to the side.
Later, Rose watches the report of the fire on television at her council flat, her mother Jackie telling friends on the telephone about her daughter's narrow escape. Rose's boyfriend Mickey arrives, expressing concern, but she tells him she is fine. Rose asks him to dispose of the plastic arm, which Mickey tosses in a rubbish bin at the foot of Rose's block of flats when he leaves.
The next morning, Jackie suggests Rose take a new job or ask for compensation. Rose hears someone at the door, and peeks through the cat flap to see the Doctor's face. The Doctor seems as startled to see her — he appears to have gotten the wrong signal. Rose drags him in, wanting answers so she can tell the police. Jackie is fascinated by the new arrival and tries, awkwardly, to seduce him. The Doctor simply says "No," and steps away, to Jackie's irritation.
Rose fixes coffee while the Doctor waits in the living room, peering at his own reflection in the mirror as if for the first time and looking at everything. The Doctor hears a scuttling behind Rose's sofa, and when he looks, the plastic arm which has somehow returned leaps up to strangle him. Rose thinks the Doctor is just play acting with the arm until it attacks her. Jackie, drying her hair in the other room, hears nothing as the Doctor and Rose crash around with the arm. Managing to pull it away from Rose, the Doctor uses the same pen-like device — his sonic screwdriver — to shut it down.
Rose follows the Doctor as he leaves. The Doctor tells her that the plastic arm was fixed on him as a target and only attacked Rose because she got in the way. It was controlled by something that projected life into the arm by thought, and he simply cut off the signal. Their purpose is to destroy the human race. Rose does not believe him, but the Doctor notes that she's still listening.
She asks the Doctor once again who he is as he walks towards a police box. The Doctor tells her that it's like when you are a child and are first told the world revolves. You cannot quite believe it because everything looks like it is standing still. He takes her hand, telling her that he can feel it, the Earth turning, the world itself spinning around the Sun, everyone falling through space and clinging to the surface of this tiny planet, and if they let go... That's who he is. The Doctor tells Rose to forget him and go home. She walks away but when she hears a strange, grating sound and runs back, the Doctor and the police box have disappeared.
Rose goes to Mickey's flat and uses his computer to search the Internet for information about the Doctor. She finds a website, "Who is Doctor Who?", which features a picture of the Doctor together with an appeal for anyone who has seen him to contact the site's maintainer, a man called Clive. Rose goes to see Clive at his house in suburban London while Mickey waits, suspicious, in the car outside.
In his study, Clive tells Rose that the name of the Doctor keeps cropping up through the years in diaries, journals and conspiracy theories. No names, just the Doctor, perhaps a title that is passed along from father to son. He shows her photographs that show the Doctor in the crowd at the Kennedy assassination, at Southampton on the eve of the Titanic's sailing, and in a drawing from 1883 that was washed up on the coast of Sumatra after the eruption of Krakatoa. Clive explains that the Doctor is a name woven throughout history, bringing storms in his wake, death his constant companion.
As Mickey waits impatiently outside, he goes to investigate a plastic rubbish bin that he saw moving on its own, but it is empty. As he tries to return to the car, he finds his hands stuck to the lid, the plastic stretching but not letting him go. He is yanked into the bin, which shuts with a loud belch.
Clive warns Rose that they are all in danger. He believes that these pictures all portray the same man, and that the Doctor is an immortal alien. Rose thinks Clive is delusional. She returns to Mickey's car and tells him to drive somewhere for lunch, not realizing he has been replaced by an auton.
At the restaurant, "Mickey" wants to know more about the Doctor. The auton isn't quite perfect, and stutters, but she does not want to discuss the Doctor, saying she thinks he is dangerous. A waiter offers Mickey and Rose champagne. "Mickey" says they did not order any — then looks up and sees the waiter is the Doctor. The Doctor pops the cork on the bottle, sending it flying into "Mickey"'s head, which absorbs it, then spits it out. "Mickey" morphs his hand into a heavy spade-shape, slicing the table in half. The Doctor gets "Mickey" in a choke hold and manages to pull his head off. The headless auton rampages through the restaurant. Rose tells the other patrons to run, then follows the Doctor, who is holding onto the head.
Reaching the yard, the Doctor seals the door behind them with the sonic screwdriver, but the auton is soon pummeling it with inhuman force. The Doctor suggests they go into the police box standing there. Rose incredulously follows him in, but stops short as she sees the interior. She runs around the box, assuring herself of its ordinary size before going in again just as the auton breaks through.
Inside the much larger interior of the ship, the Doctor assures Rose that nothing can get through the doors. He attaches the plastic head to the console, telling Rose that the head can be used to trace the signal back to the source. Rose asks if the ship and the Doctor are alien and he answers yes to both questions. The ship is his TARDIS — Time and Relative Dimension in Space. Rose chokes back a sob, and asks if "they" have killed Mickey. The Doctor is taken aback as he had not considered this, and Rose is shocked he has not. "Mickey"'s head starts to melt, and the Doctor frantically runs to the console, trying to lock on to the signal before it fades. The TARDIS starts up, and then stops.
The Doctor rushes through the doors, with Rose shouting that it is not safe. When she follows him, however, they are not in the yard anymore but on the banks of the River Thames. The Doctor says the TARDIS is able to disappear and reappear in a different place. He is angry because he has lost the signal. Rose is worried about the automaton, but the Doctor says it would have melted along with the head. Rose mutters that she is going to have to tell Mickey's mother that he is dead, and when the Doctor asks who, Rose realizes the Doctor has forgotten Mickey again. They have a confrontation about his lack of empathy, the Doctor shouting that he is more concerned about saving the life of "every stupid ape blundering about on top of this planet." Rose asks if the Doctor's an alien, why he sounds like he's from the North. The Doctor retorts that lots of planets have a North. This seems to defuse the tension.
Rose stares at the exterior of the TARDIS and asks what a police public call box is. The Doctor, cheerful again, explains that it is a disguise, a telephone box for the police from the 1950s. Rose, curious again, asks what the living plastic creatures have against the Earth. The Doctor replies that they love the Earth because it has plenty of pollutants. The Nestene Consciousness — the intelligence animating the plastic — lost its food supply during a war, when all its protein planets rotted. Earth is dinner. Rose asks if there is any way to stop it, and the Doctor produces a clear cylinder of blue liquid. "Anti-plastic," he announces.
However, the Doctor has to find the Consciousness. He wonders aloud that the transmitter to control the plastic has to be huge, and round… Rose indicates behind him, and after a few puzzled glances over his shoulder the Doctor notices the London Eye. Hand in hand, they run across the bridge to it. Rose spots a hatchway that leads below the Eye, and they both go below to find a giant vat of pulsing, molten plastic — the Nestene Consciousness. The Doctor wants to give it a chance and applies for an audience, citing Convention 15 of the Shadow Proclamation. The vat roars its assent in an unintelligible alien language. Rose spots the real Mickey, sitting terrified on one of the walkways. The Nestenes kept him alive to maintain the replica.
The Doctor tells the Consciousness to leave Earth, brushing aside its claims of constitutional rights and characterizing its actions as an invasion. The Doctor pleads on humanity's behalf — they are primitive, but capable of much more. However, two autons grab hold of the Doctor, one removing the container of anti-plastic from his jacket.
The Doctor protests that the vial was just insurance and he is not their enemy. The Consciousness responds by unveiling the TARDIS, and makes an accusatory howl. The Doctor admits that it is his ship, but says that it was not his fault — he fought in the war, but he could not save the Nestenes' world. The Consciousness does not believe the Doctor and goes to the final phase of the invasion. Bolts of electricity stab up across the London Eye as it pulses a signal across London. Rose tries to warn her mother on her mobile phone, but the call breaks up and Jackie, who is about to enter a shopping centre called the Queen's Arcade, cuts it off.
Clive and his family are also at the arcade when the shop dummies come to life, crashing through the windows. Clive realizes that all the stories he has read are true, just as a mannequin's hand flips open, revealing a weapon. He looks on sadly as the auton shoots him point-blank. People scream as the automatons start killing everyone in sight. Beneath the Eye, the stairs back up to the surface collapse. Rose and Mickey rush to the TARDIS, but the door is locked. As she and the Doctor lock eyes helplessly, outside in the streets the massacre continues. Jackie is trapped by a group of mannequins in wedding dresses, who prepare to shoot her.
Mickey tells Rose to abandon the Doctor, but Rose rushes up a flight of stairs to a chain on the wall. She may have no A-levels, no job and no future, but she has a bronze medal in under-sevens gymnastics. She frees the chain with a blow from a fire axe, and swings across to knock the auton holding the anti-plastic over the railing. While the Doctor flips the one holding him over as well, the anti-plastic falls into the vat, causing the Consciousness to writhe in pain. The Eye stops transmitting, and the autons across London jerk spastically and drop, including the ones menacing Jackie, leaving the streets scattered with debris and the dead. The Nestenes' vat explodes as Rose, Mickey and the Doctor enter the TARDIS and it dematerialises.
The TARDIS rematerialises on a side street, Mickey stumbling out, still terrified. Rose calls up her mother on her mobile phone and smiles in relief as she hears Jackie's voice. Rose hangs up without saying anything, and tells the Doctor that he would have been dead if not for her. The Doctor smiles from the TARDIS doorway in agreement and thanks her. He then offers to take her with him to see the universe — Mickey is not invited. Rose asks if it will always be this dangerous, and the Doctor gleefully answers yes. Rose hesitates but declines, saying that she has to find her mother and look after Mickey. The Doctor nods, disappointed and closes the door. The TARDIS dematerialises with a rush of wind filling the empty space where it was.
As Mickey and Rose turn to leave, the TARDIS appears again. The Doctor pops his head out and asks Rose if he had mentioned that the TARDIS also travels in time. Rose smiles, turning to Mickey to kiss him goodbye, then runs happily into the TARDIS.
Wed, 31 October 2007
Scream of the Shalka was a flash-animated serial based on the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was produced to coincide with the 40th Anniversary of the series and was originally posted in six weekly parts from 13 November to 18 December 2003 on BBCi's Doctor Who website. Although it was intended to be an "official" continuation of the television series that had ended in 1989, the revival of the programme in 2005 relegated it, and its "Ninth Doctor", to unofficial status.
The serial was scripted by veteran Doctor Who writer Paul Cornell, with Richard E. Grant providing the voice for the Ninth Doctor and Derek Jacobi as the voice of an android made in the image of the Doctor's old enemy, the Master. This performance followed years of rumours that Grant would play the Doctor in a film or new series, and indeed he had appeared as the Tenth "conceited" Doctor in the Comic Relief special Doctor Who and the Curse of Fatal Death in 1999. The Doctor's companion for this adventure, Alison Cheney, was voiced by Sophie Okonedo who a year later would be nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in Hotel Rwanda.
Previous Doctor Who webcasts had had limited animation and were little more than a series of illustrations. Earlier in 2003, BBCi had had some success with the original animated webcast Ghosts of Albion. The animation for that story was provided by Manchester-based animation studio Cosgrove Hall, who were also hired to animate Scream of the Shalka.
This story was the first officially-licensed, fully-animated Doctor Who story.
The TARDIS materialises in the village of Lannet in Lancashire, disgorging an annoyed Doctor, who has apparently been transported here against his will. He discovers the village silent, its inhabitants all living in fear except for a barmaid, Alison Cheney. An alien race calling themselves the Shalka have taken up residence beneath Lannet in preparation for a wider invasion. Despite his initial reluctance to get involved, the Doctor finds himself having to save the world again, aided by Alison and an old enemy who has become an ally.
The Shalka appear to be a serpentine alien race made of living rock and magma, but they are actually bioplasmic entities, living plasma, their physical appearance merely a "crust" concealing their true forms. They breathe volcanic air and prefer high temperatures, being most comfortable underground where lava meets metamorphic rock. They communicate through high-pitched screaming, which they can use for a variety of effects, like tunneling through rock or mentally controlling other life forms. They also use sound as a part of their technology.
The Shalka arrived on Earth via meteorite, initially landing near Mount Ruapehu, New Zealand, subsequently establishing a beachhead for their planned invasion of Earth beneath the Lancashire town of Lannet. They also created a stable wormhole for landing their invasion force, which could also be converted into a black hole to dispose of their enemies, as they tried to do with the Doctor.
As they claimed to have done to billions of planets before, they
intended to implant Shalka larvae into key segments of the population,
mind controlling them into emitting a scream that would destroy the ozone layer.
In this way, the Shalka intended to raise the surface temperature of
the planet to the point where the human race would perish but the
Shalka could thrive. The Shalka would then live beneath the surface,
with the rest of the universe believing that Earth's inhabitants had
died of self-inflicted ecological damage. The Doctor defeated their
plans with the help of the British military and a Lannet barmaid named Alison.
Doctor Who had suspended production in 1989, and aside from charity specials, had only resurfaced as an American-funded television movie in 1996, which did not garner enough ratings to go to a regular series. When Shalka was announced in July, 2003 for planned broadcast in November, the possibiliy of Doctor Who returning to television screens still seemed remote and BBC Worldwide were continuing to shop around for another possible movie deal. As a result, BBCi announced, with BBC approval, that the Doctor appearing in Shalka would be the "official" Ninth Doctor. However, events rapidly overtook this.
In September Lorraine Heggessey, the Controller of BBC One, managed to persuade BBC Worldwide that as their plans for a Doctor Who film were nowhere near fruition, BBC television should be allowed to make a new series. A deal with Russell T. Davies to produce the new series was quickly struck, and on September 26, the BBC announced that Doctor Who would be returning to BBC One in 2005, produced by BBC Wales. As a result, the "official" nature of the Shalka webcast was in doubt from even before it was webcast.
After the webcast, in February 2004, plans for sequels or a DVD release were indefinitely shelved. For a period, it was unclear if the new television Doctor would be the Ninth or Tenth Doctor, but this was ultimately settled in April 2004 when in an interview with Doctor Who Magazine, Davies announced that the new television Doctor (played by Christopher Eccleston), would be the Ninth Doctor, relegating the Richard E. Grant Doctor to unofficial status. Davies later commented that Grant had never been considered for the role in the television series, telling Doctor Who Magazine: "I thought he was terrible. I thought he took the money and ran, to be honest. It was a lazy performance. He was never on our list to play the Doctor."
The novelisation of Shalka was written by Paul Cornell, the first novelisation of a Doctor Who serial (the 1996 television movie notwithstanding) in nearly a decade (and the last so far, although novelisations based upon episodes of the spinoff The Sarah Jane Adventures were announced in 2007). The book also includes a feature on the making of the webcast, as well as the original Servants of the Shalahoa story outline. Given that the BBC and the producers of the televised Doctor Who have discounted Scream of the Shalka as being part of the franchise's continuity, this is one of the few Doctor Who novels for which the canonicity (or in this case, lack thereof) has firmly been established.
The British Board of Film Classification has cleared all six episodes of the serial for release on DVD, but the BBC has made no announcement about release of the story. As of March 2007, only clips from the serial have been released to DVD, as part of Flash Frames, a documentary on the DVD release of the restored The Invasion.
Scream of the Shalka webcast
Scream of the Shalka novelisation
Sun, 21 October 2007
Big Finish Audios "Season 27"Storm Warning
Sword of Orion
The Stones of Venice
Minuet in Hell
Big Finish Audios "Season 28"Invaders From Mars
The Chimes of Midnight
Seasons of Fear
Embrace the Darkness
The Time of the Daleks
Big Finish Audios "Season 29"Zagreus
The Creed of Kromon
The Natural History of Fear
The Twilight Kingdom
Big Finish Audios "Season 30"Faith Stealer
The Next Life
Big Finish Audios "Season 31"Terror Firma
Sat, 13 October 2007
The Seventh Doctor
Sat, 6 October 2007
The Sixth Doctor
Fri, 5 October 2007
the Winner is...
Not The Fox Theme...
The winner is a version I just found after posting the others.
its a mix from an unused Dr Who project. mixed again with my the Dalek time
id like to thank you all for emailing me with
your comments and thoughts.
I will be using these themes in future but
as I record so far in advance you may not
hear it for a month or so.
it really means a lot that people took time
out of their day to email me.
6th Doctor review goes live Saturday 6th Oct.
Tue, 2 October 2007
I have uploaded a new podcast (the review of the 6th Doctor will be live later in the week... don't worry) but I need your feedback about this episode.
You see I think I need a theme tune.
So ive edited 5 and put them into tonights cast and I'd like you to listen to them and email me with your thoughts.
1) the sound FX im already using
2) An edited version of the Fox Movie/8th Doctor Music
3) Edited version of the Fist 9th doctor ie Richard E Grants Music from Scream of the salkra (kind of funky)
4) My own creation using bits of ALL the theme tunes I had access too...
5) Mark Gatis lovely version of the tune from Dr who night.
come on guys... I trust your opinions.
what do you think? which should it be?
Thu, 27 September 2007
Wed, 19 September 2007
Mon, 10 September 2007