Saturday, August 27, 2011

If you could produce Doctor Who, what would you do?

Doctor Who is an all inclusive format. You can take the Doctor anywhere or anyplace in Time and Space. You can change out the characters, the main actor can change. You can even take away his TARDIS for a few seasons (those darn Timelords). What would you do with the show?

Sputters and Lightfoot WHOre themselves out to the 'Doctor Who: Podshock' podcast along with Victor1st Mornington and Saffia Widdershins. In the "Oncoming Storm Edition" featuring a panel discussion, "What Would YOU Do? What Would WHO Do?" from our meet up last week in Second Life with Louis Trapani as the moderator. He's a patient man..

Dirty WHOers Podcast - Episode 32

This is what happens when the lunatics run the asylum.

Er, really?
We asked the folks on our Facebook Page which episode we should review next, and they chose Pyramids of Mars. Naturally, being his favourite, Sputters got a bit excited. In fact we all did, and we may have lost it around the middle. Actually, some of us may have drunk a bit too much vino, and it kind of descends into a bit of a rambling love-fest for all things Sutekh and Robert Holmes, but what the hell, it's mercifully short and it's free. Bless the Prof for the time in the edit suite, again.

32 episodes. We really need a life...

Friday, August 19, 2011

City of Death, and Some Other Stuff

A few new Doctor Who action figures out worth shouting about this week, which makes a change.

Let's start with the Classic stuff, another Forbidden Planet one-off. The 'City of Death' collectors set.

You get 'Big Tom', all open-shirted and in his prime, with obligatory sonic, plus (minor geek-gasum) the frightfully dapper Count Scarleoni with Scaroth Jagaroth interchangable head, pistol, and 'painting accessory' (whatever that means, it's not in the picture) for the relatively light anal damage of £26.99. Pre-order now for deliver after October 19th. Yes, I'll be having one. Feckers may as well have a direct debit out of my bank account for the classic tat.

Also this week there's been an addition to the new series collection, now on 20011 Wave 2 (or Series 5-6 Figure Wave 2a/b, depending how keen you are on keeping things in packets). There's kinda 2 lots, just to add to the confusion and to try and stop us going on about the last lot being so inexcusably shit. A ball-ache for collectors, in summing up they are, sorta:

  • Idris with 1 (or more, it's complicated) Psychic Container and River Song 'flesh mask' and 'flesh sachet'.
  • The Astronaut kid girl thing, and 'The Legs' 'flesh mask', plus another 'flesh sachet'.
  • River MILF with a 'flesh mask' with probably another 'flesh sachet'.
  • Ganger Brown Shoes 11th Doctor with 'flesh mask' and (guess what) 'flesh sachet'.
  • Matty-boy Doctor with 11th Doctor 'flesh mask' and the inevitable 'flesh sachet'.
  • Uncle Bollocks with Pond 'flesh mask' and (you guessed it) 'spunk sachet'.

Parents are going to be trying to get gooey white crap and spurious stains out of the hearth rug for years to come. Still no Rory, god knows why, but a River Song (all be her a bit slap-headed), and The Astronaut's ok to play with in the bath I suppose. £8.99 each. Worth it for the Idris, and at least a bit better than the first release.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Matt likes Badgers. But wait. There's more!

This is about Badgers, how Matt Smith likes Badgers and how that fact can lead us to even more Badger and/or Doctor Who related knowledge
and joy.

1./ Matt Smith likes badgers.
Come on. Say it! You know you want to:  AWWW!
Badgers and otters, respectively, are sort of my animals. -Matt Smith 
We know this fun fact about Matt thanks to the amusing and silly video ramblings of  Charlieissocoollike(Charlie McDonnell), another hopeless WHOvian. He's turned into a sort of regular or at least occasional 'Doctor Who Confidential' tourist, allowed to wander the sets of Doctor Who filming and production while being his charming Charlie self. Christmas rolled around and while they were filming those Almost Fleshy Creepy Milkshake People episodes, Charlie took it upon himself to spread some Christmas cheer to our favorite TARDIS team. During his detective work he found out that Matt Smith is partial to Badgers. And otters...and other things.

Here's the edited version of that video:
2./ The shorter badger story

You can watch the longer Doctor Who confidential version from the BBC3 YouTube channel. 

But that's not all.

3./ This of course has spawned some adorable Doctor Who Badger art. 
Yep. Get ready.

But let's not forget 4./ Just the Badger facts, ma'am:
Badgers are short-legged, heavy-set omnivores in the weasel family, Mustelidae. There are eight species of badger, in three subfamilies (see links in species list below): Melinae (badgers of Europe and Asia), Mellivorinae (the Ratel or honey badger), and Taxideinae (the American badger).
The behavior of badgers differs by family, but all shelter underground, living in burrows called setts, which may be very extensive. Some are solitary, moving from home to home, while others are known to form clans. Clan size is variable from 2 to 15. Badgers can be fierce animals and will protect themselves and their young at all costs. Badgers are capable of fighting off much larger animals such as wolves and bears.
 The diet of the Eurasian badger consists largely of earthworms, insects, and grubs. They also eat small mammals, amphibians, reptiles and birds as well as roots and fruit.[12][13] Indeed, in southern Spain, badgers mostly feed on rabbits.[14] The honey badger (<--click the link, you know you want to.) of Africa consumes honey, porcupines and even venomous snakes (such as the puff adder).
These and more facts at:

Yes! 5./ Badgers are cool. Really!

6./ Some Badgers are in trouble.
  The British government is ignoring scientists' advice on bovine TB and promoting the erroneous idea that killing badgers(thought to be spreading the disease to cattle) will solve the bovine Tuberculosis crisis. There's plenty of rational, scientific data and observation to contradict this idea.
Inform yourself and read about the proposed culling and why it's not based on actual science, in the article over at the Guardian's Environment Blog: 'Badger culls don't stop tuberculosis in cattle – the evidence is clear.'

7./ All this has led to Badger rolling.
Beware, do not click the cute baby badgers.

8./ Fun Fact: Badgers have been known to become intoxicated with alcohol after eating rotting fruit.

And that's about it, really. I'm tired of badgering you about badgers.


(btw, this post is partially Mr. Sputnik's fault.)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Bang on Target

Its time for a shocking confession. Yes, I know, what could I possibly have to confess to (other than my dislike for the Seventh Doctor)? Well, up until yesterday, I’d never actually read a Target novelization.

“What?” I hear you cry. “Never?”

Well, no. Of course, I knew about them; they are somewhat legendary, after all, as well as being the cause of so much disappointment when missing stories are rediscovered. If I had a pound for all the times I’ve read about how let down people felt when they actually saw a lost episode because it wasn’t a patch on the novelization, I could probably afford one of those really big coffees you can have a bath in.

I blame Nev Fountain. When I was chatting to him for our memorial episodes, he mentioned how one of his schoolteachers thought he read far too many Doctor Who stories and he went on to extol their virtues in such a way that I felt I really should go out and have a look for myself. And, rather fortunately, the Beeb have tentatively re-released a select few titles to see if it’s worth their while to reproduce the entire output.

But where to start? I thought it sensible to begin not only with the Daddy of Doctor Who novelizations, Mr Terrance Dicks himself, but also a story that I’d actually seen just so I could compare the two versions. And of those available, the only one that fit the bill for me was “Doctor Who and the Auton Invasion”, better known to you and me as “Spearhead From Space”.

I wasn’t disappointed. Mr Dicks has always scared me silly (not that I’ve ever met him, but his on-screen persona is positively terrifying to this pixie), but the man can certainly crank out a rollickingly good adaptation. Dicks evokes the tone and voices of the characters beautifully and the story pelts along at a fair old pace with a few variations from the televised version (the differences are discussed in an appendix at the end of the book). And for readers who don’t know the earlier stories, there are solid introductory pieces describing the main characters and the series set-up so they can quickly get to grips with the action. I pretty much finished it in one sitting. Yes, stylistically it’s a little old-fashioned but, in a strange way, that’s actually quite comforting. This is what books were like in my childhood and there’s nothing wrong in that.

Would I read more? Definitely. In fact, I’m lining up “Doctor Who and the Abominable Snowmen” and probably “Doctor Who and the Crusades” so I can find out what’s going on in the episodes that aren’t on the “Lost In Time” DVD. But I’m also thinking of getting them because of what’s not here: all the rest of them (including the books written by Harry Sullivan, or rather Ian Marter, which I have been reliably informed are more than a little bit ace). Because if this limited re-release doesn’t sell, then for those of us who didn’t realise they were about at the time, and for a whole new generation eager to learn about the Doctor’s past, unless we’re very lucky in charity shops, we won’t get to experience the delight that is the Target novelization.

WebMaster: Terry Lightfoot
WebDoctor: Oolon Sputnik
Blog by Terry Lightfoot
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