Monthly Archives: October 2013

50 Years’ Trailer Broadcast in Australia

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50 Years trailer policeman

The Doctor Who  50 Years’ Trailer was tonight broadcast in Australia on ABC1.  The 60 second teaser was aired after Kakadu and just prior to the 8.30 p.m. start of Luther. In all respects the trailer is identical to the one  shown on BBC One seven days earlier with the exception of the final sting.  As Australia’s time is ahead of Britain’s the simultaneous broadcast of the 50th Anniversary Special, The Day of the Doctor, on the evening of 23 November  UK time will actually be early on the morning of 24 November 2013, Australian time.  The sting on the Australian version of the trailer therefore states 24.11.13.

You can view the 50 Year’s Trailer here.

The UK sting for Doctor Who's 50th Anniversary.  The Australian sting says   24.11.13

The UK sting for Doctor Who’s 50th Anniversary. The Australian sting says 24.11.13

Vivien Fleming

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Day 34 of 50th Anniversary Countdown – 5 Best Doctor Who Radio Times Covers of the Sixties

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The Radio Times is a weekly radio and television programme guide which has been published in the UK since 1923. Owned and published in house by the BBC until 2011, the publication is now owned by Immediate Media Company.  Prior to the deregulation of British television listings in 1991 the Radio Times only carried listings for BBC radio and television programmes.  Since then the magazine has comprehensively listed programmes on all networks.

The first article published by the Radio Times on Doctor Who discussed the exciting new adventure series starring William Hartnell

The first article published by the Radio Times on Doctor Who  on 21 November 1963 discussed the exciting new adventure series starring William Hartnell

Doctor Who has been represented in more Radio Times covers than any other programme, with 29 issues featuring Who on its cover.  Today the Doctor Who Mind Robber will review the five best Doctor Who Radio Times covers of the Sixties.

5. Marco Polo

The Radio Times cover for the missing Doctor Who serial Marco Polo

The Radio Times cover for the missing Doctor Who serial Marco Polo in February 1964

4. The Power of the Daleks

The return of the Daleks were worth a Radio Times Cover story

The return of the Daleks was worth a Radio Times Cover story when the Second Doctor’s first serial, The Power of the Daleks, was broadcast in November 1966.

3. The Tomb of the Cybermen

The Cybermen soon found themselves on the Cover of Radio Times

The Cybermen soon found themselves on the Cover of Radio Times in this feature about The Tomb of the Cybermen in September 1967

2. The Dalek Invasion of Earth

The Daleks appeared in their second Doctor Who serial in November 1964.  The Dalek Invasion of Earth featured in this cover

The Daleks appeared in their second Doctor Who serial in November 1964. The Dalek Invasion of Earth featured in this cover

1. The Enemy of the World

A rare colour cover for 1960s Radio Times saw Patrick Troughton as the Second Doctor in

A rare colour cover for 1960s Radio Times with Patrick Troughton as the Second Doctor in The Enemy of the World in January 1968.

As a comparison with the current era, here’s a September 2012 cover of the Radio Times featuring the Eleventh Doctor, Amy and Rory.  The Daleks are still a major draw card.

A September 2012 Radio Times cover for the premier Series 7 episode, The Asylum of the Daleks

A September 2012 Radio Times cover for the premier Series 7 episode, The Asylum of the Daleks

Vivien Fleming

©Vivien Fleming, 2013.

Day 35 of 50th Anniversary Countdown – 5 Serials You’d Swap for Missing Episodes

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The success on iTunes of the recently recovered Troughton era serials, The Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear, has conclusively shown that 45 year old monochrome Doctor Who can successfully compete against the best current release TV shows.  An article in the UK’s Mirror newspaper states that in the first three days after the release of the two stories 10,000 series pass downloads were sold.  Presumably this figure is for sales in the UK only. The article goes on to state that to date there have been 73,000 episode downloads.

The Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear have only been released on iTunes in the UK, US, Canada and Australia. Enemy is due for release on DVD in late November and Web is due sometime in the New Year. Rumours continue to surface that Marco Polo may have been recovered and is soon to be released.

Doctor Who retro posters courtesy of Radio Times designer Stuart Manning - http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2013-10-11/doctor-who-missing-episodes-retro-poster-designs

Doctor Who retro posters courtesy of Radio Times designer Stuart Manning – http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2013-10-11/doctor-who-missing-episodes-retro-poster-designs

In the light of Doctor Who’s missing episodes hysteria the Doctor Who Mind Robber today looks at 5 Serials that you’d swap for missing episodes. Even the most rabid of fans acknowledge that the output of Doctor Who has never been consistent.  Some stories are brilliant whilst others would have been best left unmade. As 97 episodes are still claimed by the BBC to be missing from their archives, which extant episodes would you willingly ditch for a recovered one?

5. The Sensorites

The Sensorites is the most unloved serial of Season One Doctor Who.  In a documentary included in the Special Features of the DVD release comedian Toby Hadoke described the serial in the following way:

The Sensorites.  Poor, unloved, The Sensorites.  Nestling, lost somewhere, down the back of the fans’ collective sofa.  There it lies at number 7 in the first heady year of Doctor Who.  It didn’t even have the decency to be wiped so we could all mourn its loss, and imagine how brilliant it must have been.  It’s not a story anyone really talks about.  We certainly don’t know that much about it …

Little more needs to be said.

A scene from The Sensorites

A scene from The Sensorites

4. The Ark

Although beautifully directed The Ark has undoubtedly the worst monsters in Classic Series Who, the Monoids. In my review I described the Monoids like this:

Also travelling on the spaceship are an assortment of animals and the Monoids, a peculiar mute race whose most distinctive feature is their one eye.  This single eye is in their mouths, or at least what would’ve been their mouths if they had human anatomy. These eyes are actually painted ping pong balls which the actors held in place with their mouths.  Now that’s ingenious small budget special effects for you!  On the top of their heads is a long Beatles style mop top wig, whilst the rest of their bodies are clothed in green ill fitting garb. They have webbed hands and feet and move slowly.

An unfortunate Monoid in The Ark

An unfortunate Monoid in The Ark

3. The Keys of Marinus

The Keys of Marinus is the second of two little regarded serials in Doctor Who’s first season.  The six parter was among the more expensive stories to produce as each episode took place in a different location of Marinus. Season 16’s The Key to Time is not dissimilar.  Unfortunately the variety of locations makes for a disjointed serial and the chief monsters, the Voord, are what young people today might best describe as “rubbish”. With wet suit clad bodies and swimming flipper feet their most redeeming features were their quite unusual heads.

A Voord with Susan in The  Keys of Marinus

A Voord with Susan in  The Keys of Marinus

2. The Space Museum

In my review of The Space Museum I discussed the DVD extra, Defending the Museum.  In it the writer Rob Shearman outlined his devotion to The Space Museum which rests solely upon the assumption that the story is a parody of William Hartnell era Doctor Who episodes. The aggressors, the Moroks, are little more than morons who invade a planet only to turn it into a museum for their past achievements. The rebels are excruciatingly bad.  Dressed in black polo neck jumpers, they look like students in a coffee bar.  Vicki starts a revolution only because she’s bored and the native Xerons don’t need a great revolutionary, just a locksmith! That The Space Museum can only be appreciated if it’s considered a parody says much for the low esteem in which it’s generally held. The serial is unlikely to be missed.

The Doctor hiding inside the casing of a Dalek exhibit is one of the best parts of The Space Museum

The Doctor hiding inside the casing of a Dalek exhibit is one of the best parts of The Space Museum

1. The Web Planet

I was so utterly bored by The Web Planet that I couldn’t even find the enthusiasm to review it. The best parts of the story are William Hartnell’s “Billy Fluffs” and when an extra ran slap bang into a camera and it wasn’t edited out. This fan made compilation clip, however, is brilliant.

Vivien Fleming

©Vivien Fleming, 2013.

Enemy of the World Region 4 DVD Release 27 November

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ImageThe recently recovered missing serial The Enemy of the World is set for DVD release in Australia and New Zealand on 27 November 2013. Although both The Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear were released on iTunes Australia on 11 October, neither of the serials are available on iTunes in New Zealand.  Like Australia, New Zealand has purchased and aired Doctor Who since the very first story, An Unearthly Child, almost 50 years ago.  The BBC’s snub of New Zealand fans is deplorable. As The Web of Fear is not due for DVD release until sometime in the new year, New Zealanders still have a long wait to see the Brigadier’s debut. 

Details on what, if any, special features are included in The Enemy of the World have yet to be released.  The latest issue of the Doctor Who Magazine states that “Enemy is due to be released on DVD in November, along with special features yet to be confirmed”. The British Board of Film Classification appears not to have approved any special features to date. A basic release without special features has become known in fandom as a “vanilla” release.

The current edition of the Doctor Who Magazine with The Enemy of the World Cover.  This edition of DWM is also available with a special edition cover featuring The Web of Fear

The current edition of the Doctor Who Magazine with The Enemy of the World cover. This edition of DWM is also available with a special edition cover featuring The Web of Fear

Enemy is currently available for pre-order at both the BBC Doctor Who online store and the ABC Shop for $19.95.  As both retailers ordinarily sell new release Doctor Who classic series DVDs for $29.95 one wonders if the discounted price reflects a “vanilla” release. Alternatively, the reduced price may be based upon the assumption that purchasers have previously bought the release for $14.99 on iTunes.  Only time will tell!

A Radio Times produced retro poster for The Enemy of the World

A Radio Times produced retro poster for The Enemy of the World

Vivien Fleming

©Vivien Fleming, 2013.

Day 36 of 50th Anniversary Countdown – The First Doctor’s Accessories

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Yesterday the Doctor Who Mind Robber looked at the Second Doctor’s peculiar penchant for hats.  Today we examine the First Doctor’s accessories.  By accessories we refer to anything worn or used by the Doctor to compliment his clothing or to assist in his business  as a time-travelling hero.  The First Doctor is perhaps best known for his blue signet ring, pictured above. Together with being decorative the ring also had special powers. Amongst other things it controlled a Zarbi and opened the main doors of the TARDIS in The Web Planet; unjammed the TARDIS’s locking mechanism in The Daleks’ Master Plan; and hypnotised Dodo in The War Machines. In the days prior to the sonic screwdriver, which was introduced in the Second Doctor’s tenure, the First Doctor’s signet ring worked magic.

1. An Unearthly Child

The First Doctor first appeared in eccentric garb with a cape, long scarf and fez type hat

The First Doctor first appeared in eccentric garb with a cape, long scarf and fez type hat

The Doctor's cape is seen more clearly here in the first episode of An Unearthly Child.  This scene has been recreated for An Adventure in Space and Time

The Doctor’s cape is seen more clearly here in the first episode of An Unearthly Child. This scene has been recreated for An Adventure in Space and Time

The recreated scene in An Adventure in Space and Time

The recreated scene in An Adventure in Space and Time

For the first and only time  the Doctor is seen to smoke in An Unearthly Child.  Patrick Troughton was seen smoking a cigar in The Enemy of the World but was playing the Doctor's evil double, Salamadar, at the time.

For the first and only time in Doctor Who’s history that the Doctor is seen to smoke is in An Unearthly Child. Patrick Troughton was seen smoking a cigar in The Enemy of the World but was playing the Doctor’s evil double, Salamader, at the time.

2. The Edge of Destruction

In The Edge of Destruction the Doctor wore a bandage which changed colour as the wound healed

In The Edge of Destruction the Doctor wore a bandage which changed colour as the wound healed

3. The Aztecs

The Doctor carried a cane on many occasions.  He is pictured here with his love interest from The Aztecs, Cameca

The Doctor carried a cane on many occasions. He is pictured here with his love interest from The Aztecs, Cameca

4. The Reign of Terror

In The Reign of Terror the Doctor masqueraded as District Commissioner, resplendent in a large and colourful feathered hat

In The Reign of Terror the Doctor masqueraded as District Commissioner, resplendent in a large and colourful feathered hat

5. Planet of Giants

The Doctor wore a decorative gold chain with his cape in Planet of Giants

The Doctor wore a decorative gold chain with his cape in Planet of Giants

6. The Romans

The Doctor carried, and pretended to play a lyre as he masqueraded as Maximus Pettulian

The Doctor carried and pretended to play a lyre as he masqueraded as Maximus Pettulian in The Romans

7. The Web Planet

The Zarbi used these unusual collars to control the Doctor and Vicki in The Web Planet

The Zarbi used these unusual collars to control the Doctor and Vicki in The Web Planet. The Doctor later referred to them as necklaces

8. The Space Museum

In The Space Museum the Doctor used the top opening of a Dalek casing almost like a hat

In The Space Museum the Doctor used the top opening of a Dalek casing almost like a hat

9. The Time Meddler

The Doctor tells Vicki and Steven that the item he is holding is not a "space helmet for a cow" in The Time Meddler

The Doctor tells Vicki and Steven that the item he is holding is not a “space helmet for a cow” in The Time Meddler

10. The Daleks’ Master Plan

The Doctor wore a stylish panama hat in The Daleks' Master Plan

The Doctor wore a stylish panama hat in The Daleks’ Master Plan

A side view of the hat as the Doctor chats with Steven and the short lived companion Sara Kingdom

A side view of the hat as the Doctor chats with Steven and the short lived companion Sara Kingdom

11. The Massacre

In The Massacre the Doctor wore a tall hat, not altogether dissimilar to that which the Second Doctor would become known for

In The Massacre the Doctor wore a tall hat, not altogether dissimilar to that which the Second Doctor would become known for.  The Doctor is also seen to wear a decorative gold chain on his cape and a cane

12. The Gunfighters

The Doctor wore a western style black hat in The Gunfighters

The Doctor wore a western style black hat in The Gunfighters

13. The Savages

The Doctor carried a Reacting Vibrator in The Savages

The Doctor carried a Reacting Vibrator in The Savages

14. The War Machines

The Doctor wore a black fez in The War Machines

The Doctor wore a black fez in The War Machines

Vivien Fleming

Day 37 of 50th Anniversary Countdown – The Second Doctor’s Hats

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When the Second Doctor burst forth onto our television screens it appeared  for short time that Doctor Who may have acquired a rather eccentric hat fancier as its new Doctor. Decked out in a battered stove pipe hat, the Doctor was quick to remark upon hats he found enticing.  In his premiere serial, The Power of the Daleks, the Doctor complimented Bragen on his hat which he found very smart.  “I would like a hat like that” he told the Bragen, Vulcan’s Head of Security and rebel leader.

The Doctor wears his stove pipe hat whilst reading his 500 Year Diary in The Power of the Daleks

The Doctor wears his stove pipe hat whilst reading his 500 Year Diary in The Power of the Daleks

In his next adventure, The Highlanders, the Doctor quickly spotted a bonnet with eagle feather and Jacobite cockade. Putting the hat on the Doctor said to Polly, “I would like a hat like that.  How do I look?”  Polly replied, “It’s got words on it.  With Charles our brave and merciful Prince Royal, we’ll greatly fall or nobly save our country”.  The Doctor’s response was “Bah, Romantic piffle”.  He then threw the bonnet onto the ground.

The Doctor again spoke of his desire for others’ hats in episode four of The Highlanders. When Ben pulled a tam-o’shanter over his face the Doctor responded for the third time in his short tenure with the phrase, “I would like a hat like that”.

A collection of tam-o'shanters.  There are very few still photos, and no film whatsoever, for the Doctor's second adventure, The Highlanders

A collection of tam-o’shanters. There are very few still photos, and no film whatsoever, of the Doctor’s second adventure, The Highlanders

Alas, the Doctor’s obsession with envying others’ hats ended in The Highlanders. His own penchant for wearing hats similarly dissipated as his stove pipe hat was quickly relegated to the TARDIS’s chest. He donned hats from time to time thereafter, but never again would he have signature headwear.  His recorder would be seen a little longer, however it too would soon find itself gathering dust somewhere within the realms of the TARDIS.

The Doctor's recorder lasted just a little longer than his signature stove pipe hat of early serials

The Doctor’s recorder lasted just a little longer than his signature stove pipe hat of early serials

In the tradition of Monty Python’s The Life of Brian, we will take a liberal interpretation of the word “hat”.  If it was good enough for Python not to take “Blessed are the cheesemakers” literally, and to accept that “it refers to any manufacturers of dairy products”, then it’s good enough for The Doctor Who Mind Robber. “Hat” will therefore refer to any headpiece or item of any nature whatsoever which was placed upon the Doctor’s head.  Join The Doctor Who Mind Robber as we investigate the Second Doctor’s fascination with headwear. To chart the evolution of the Doctor’s headwear all serials are listed in broadcast order.

A publicity shot of Patrick Troughton wearing his trademark stove pipe hat and playing a recorder

A publicity shot of Patrick Troughton wearing his trademark stove pipe hat and playing a recorder

1. The Power of the Daleks

The Second Doctor wears a stove pipe hat in his first serial, The Power of the Daleks

The Second Doctor wears a stove pipe hat in his first serial, The Power of the Daleks

The Doctor, Ben and a Dalek in The Power of the Daleks

The Doctor, Ben and a Dalek in The Power of the Daleks

2. The Highlanders

Ben, The Doctor, Polly and THAT hat in The Highlanders

Ben, The Doctor, Polly and THAT hat in The Highlanders

The Doctor briefly wore a Jacobite bonnet before dismissing it as "Romantic piffle"

The Doctor briefly wore a Jacobite bonnet before dismissing it as “Romantic piffle”

Disguising himself as a women, the Doctor wears a head scarf in The Highlanders

Disguising himself as a women, the Doctor wears a head scarf in The Highlanders

3. The Underwater Menace

The Doctor wears an unusual form of headwear in The Underwater Menace

The Doctor wears an unusual form of headwear in The Underwater Menace

Continuing his tradition for dressing up, the Doctor dons a hippy type bandanna and dark glasses in The Underwater Menace

Continuing his tradition for dressing up, the Doctor dons a hippy type bandanna and dark glasses in The Underwater Menace

4. The Macra Terror

The Doctor in a drum majorette's hat in The Macra Terror

The Doctor in a drum majorette’s hat in The Macra Terror

5. Fury From the Deep

The Doctor kept his head warm down by the beach in Fury From the Deep

The Doctor kept his head warm down by the beach in Fury From the Deep

6. The Wheel in Space

The Doctor wears a strange contraption on his head in The Wheel in Space

The Doctor wears a strange contraption on his head in The Wheel in Space

7. The Mind Robber

The Master of the Land of Fiction hooked the Doctor up to the computer in The Mind Robber

The Master of the Land of Fiction hooked the Doctor up to the computer in The Mind Robber

8. The Krotons

The Doctor takes the test in The Krotons

The Doctor takes the test in The Krotons

9. The Seeds of Death

The Doctor is caught in so much foam that it even covers his head in The Seeds of Death

The Doctor is caught in so much foam that it even covers his head in The Seeds of Death

10. The War Games

The Doctor and Zoe wear Army caps in The War Games

The Doctor and Zoe wear Army caps in The War Games

Vivien Fleming

©Vivien Fleming, 2013.

Deconstructing the 50 Years’ Trailer – Fan Reaction

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The Doctor Who 50th Anniversary trailer was aired on BBC One on Saturday night and released online immediately after. Fan reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. Notwithstanding the BBC’s statement that the “trailer does not include any actual footage of the 50th anniversary episode”, fans have nonetheless dissected and deconstructed the trailer for any hints to The Day of the Doctor’s content. 

A number of enlightening articles have been posted by fellow bloggers. Particularly commendable are Blogtor Who’s image breakdown of the trailer which includes 27 screen captures and their article on 50 things to notice. Also of note are Doctor Who TV’s11 Things we Loved in the Doctor Who 50 Year Trailer” and their “50th Anniversary Trailer Who Did You Miss?”  Also check out io9’s “24 Things you Missed from Doctor Who’s 50th Anniversary Trailer”. Enjoy deconstructing the Trailer!

A scene from the 50 Years' Trailer.  Is this this the Brigadier?

A scene from the 50 Years’ Trailer. Is this the Brigadier?

Vivien Fleming