Reading/Writing material

Just a smattering of random thoughts today:

An article from 2012 about black holes (I find the strangest stuff in my files) could be the inspiration for another Doctor Who drabble. It described two of the largest black holes ever detected, one with the mass of 9.7 billion suns in the Leo galaxy cluster, and the other even more massive–equal to 20 billion suns–in the Coma galaxy cluster. At the time (2012), astronomers had found over five dozen supermassive black holes. There is even a black hole at the center of our own galaxy–yikes!

The same page also quoted CNN regarding Kepler-22b, the first confirmed planet in the “habitable zone,” where a planet could exist with liquid water on its surface. It is located about 600 light years away, “a good ten minutes in this old thing” [The TARDIS, that is, for those of you who didn’t get the DW telemovie reference.]

I’m slowly working my way through the Regenerated Edition of Doctor Who Who-ology, The Official Miscellany (great gift from a friend and fellow Who fan), a fascinating and detailed volume of Doctor Who trivia. It has lots of info that could be used to create trivia contests, or trigger craft ideas (psychic paper, for one). Their list of recurring characters will come in handy when I update the Doctor Who Dominoes game, pictured here in its current incarnation.

DW Dominoes

An appropriately decorated cake was served at the party where the dominoes game premiered.

Dominoes cake

We also watched a music video I had found online composed of clips of Doctor Who companions falling (mostly into his arms), set to “They Fall Like Dominoes.” I couldn’t find that link for today’s post, but did come across this one, with a FANtastic Doctor Who run of dominoes: Doctor Who in Dominoes – Neatorama

But I digress; back to the book: River Song’s timeline would have been handy to have for our River-themed Anniversary Party several years ago. I had what I thought was a brilliant idea–show all of her episodes at a party in chronological order based on her personal timeline. By the time we finally had such a party, there were so many episodes with the character that there would have been no time for any other activities if we showed them all! We did manage to have a trivia contest, (naming every appearance of Mels/Melody/River in order), and a cake.

River Song Diary Cake

(Are you hungry yet?) Two items in the book that I did not know before:  Ian was supposed to be in Mawdryn Undead, not the Brigadier; and Nick Courtney was an uncredited extra in Silver Nemesis.

Spoilers, Sweetie

I wouldn’t normally include information that has already appeared in the Gallifrey Guardian, but since I missed blogging last week, here is an extra post — full of spoilers! [For photos, go to cultbox.co.uk, or spring for the $10 membership to the Guardians to see color photos in our newsletter, emailed each month.]

Some Doctor Who filming occurred inside Cardiff City Hall on March 8, with a bystander overhearing the crew say, “Mandip and Jacob are here.” The two were also observed eating lunch together outside the location.

A Doctor Who film crew shot a scene at Atlantic College in Llantwit Major, Wales on March 17, in front of an old stone house located on the campus. The scene included a silver Daimler DS420, a luxury model manufactured by Jaguar in the late 1960’s/early 1970’s.

On March 18 interior filing took place in Cardiff at Kongs, a bar with arcade games, and The Hayes, a commercial   area at the heart of the city center.

Several takes of a TARDIS scene with Jodie Whittaker, Mandip Gill, and John Bishop were recorded at Royal Albert Dock in Liverpool on March 22. The night shoot at Royal Albert Dock filmed the same scene from different angles. The scene showed Dan (Bishop’s character) approaching The Doctor and Yaz at the TARDIS with stunning night scenery of Royal Albert Dock in the background. The Doctor asks, “Need a lift anywhere?” and “Wanna come?” Dan then joins the Doctor and Yaz in the TARDIS and the scene ends with the Doctor looking briefly out of the door.

John Bishop and Nadia Albina (Innocent, The One) were filmed at the Museum of Liverpool on March 23. Director Azhur Saleem was present to guide the production as the two actors were filmed both inside and outside the museum for Episodes 1 and 3 of Series 13.

On March 24, the film crew recorded Bishop and Albina inside the Church of St. Luke. The church, originally built in the early 1800’s, was damaged by bombs during the 1941 Blitz and has been roofless ever since. A smoke machine was used by the crew. The production then moved to the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, where Bishop and Albina were filmed conversing while sitting on the massive steps in front of the cathedral. Reports of the dialogue on set indicate either a current or past romantic relationship between the two characters. Albina’s costume included a lanyard which identified her character as Diane Curtis, a staff member of the Museum of Liverpool. Later in the shoot, a very menacing-looking character showed up, wearing a dark costume with gold piping and a black, skull-like mask. His appearance prompted fans on Twitter to make comparisons to the Shadow, Magnus Greel, Omega, Skelator, Doomlord, and other villains.

On March 25 Mandip Gill and John Bishop were filmed in Liverpool at St. George’s Hall, a Neoclassical building containing concert halls and law courts which opened in 1854. The two actors, dressed in 19th century clothing, filmed scenes with Kevin McNally (Pirates of the Caribbean). Gill’s costume included a straw hat and a split skirt suitable for riding a bicycle. Azhur Saleem, who is expected to direct three episodes, was present.

The Doctor is in My Head and I Can’t Get Him Out!

Ever feel like you might be too obsessed with Doctor Who? A car in front of me on my way home from work today had the license tag frame that reads: Doctor Who Fan/My other car is a TARDIS. Driving down the road, I kept trying to come up with ways to let them know that I, too, was a fan.

On an episode of a late night talk show, the “coming up next” teaser was a banner of “Space Travel and Dinosaurs” — you know where my mind went!

Dinosaurs on a Spaceship

Finally, I recently saw a Mom and child performing a lip sync act to “Wonky Donkey” which has now become my earworm — except I filk it up Doctor Who-style, as in:

“He was a cranky (12th), lanky (11th), wibbley-wobbley, timey-wimey (10th) Doctor…” 

A Small Assortment

Sorry for the delay. The blog has decided to change its set-up (again) and I can no longer find the Classic editing version I prefer. As I have given up and will now be using the Block version, posts may look a little strange for a while. To make up for missing last week, here’s several brief bits of Doctor Who-related fluff.

Well, Chester did it again. In an episode of The Flash, a strange obelisk is found with “temporal energy from the future” in its vicinity. Chester says, “Is this thing like a time capsule, or maybe like a TARDIS?!”

While perusing photos of recent Doctor Who filming (to gather spoilers for the Gallifrey Guardian), I noticed the gray cap Dan’s character is wearing in an episode set in the 19th century  looks like one I had in my costume closet.

Our local paper includes a “Ticked off!” column of submissions from readers. Last month, a writer complained about receiving huge bills from a doctor’s office and said: These shocking bills do wonders for my hearts, not to say what it could do to my monthly budget. – [Hearts?]

The paper (The Orlando Sentinel) has also provided a half-page article, with photos, about David Tennant’s latest artistic endeavor, “Staged.” If you haven’t seen this, it features Tennant and Michael Sheen (Good Omens) as themselves trying to rehearse together via Zoom (due to COVID). The first season was so popular it now has a second season. You can see it in the U.S. on Hulu. There’s also a bit on YouTube that aired on Comic Relief.

Did You Catch This?

(Probably could have worded that title better, considering we are still in a pandemic!)

On a recent episode of The Flash, an injured Ralph (Elongated Man) is recuperating in a BCU Suit, which alters the sound of his voice. The newest member of Team Flash says to him “You sound like a Dalek.”

The BBC Shop’s Holiday 2020 catalog mixed-up two 7th Doctor stories, describing the settings of The Curse of Fenric as “an alien world populated by Cheetah People” and Survival as “a 1940’s army camp under siege from monstrous vampires”—and repeated the mistake in the Spring 2021 issue. I just sent this message to shop.bbc.com:          Can’t believe no one else pointed this out, but both your paper catalog and this website have an error in a description of a Doctor Who item. I first noticed it with the Holiday issue, but expected it to be corrected by now. For the Sylvester McCoy Complete Season 3 dvds, the settings of the episodes “The Curse of Fenric” and “Survival” are switched. Love your company and I hope this has been helpful.

News from the Gallifrey Guardian (slight Spoiler ahead)

All the submitted News made it into the Gallifrey Guardian this month, so I’ll just repeat a couple of my favorite bits (original sources cultbox.co.uk and doctorwhonews.net):

Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins is a found-phone mystery thriller developed by Maze Theory and Kaigan Games. Players search through messages, emails, videos, photographs and more to uncover clues, solve puzzles and reveal the truth. The game features ex-UNIT scientist Petronella Osgood (Ingrid Oliver), Weeping Angels, Larry Nightingale (Finlay Robertson) and the voice of the Doctor (Jodie Whittaker). The game will be available on the Apple App Store, Google Play, and Steam beginning March 19, and can be pre-ordered. A trailer for the game can be seen here:

Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins Pre-Registration Trailer – YouTube

In An Evening with John Bishop, a small, exclusive, paid Zoom event, Bishop praised Jodie Whittaker’s skills as both a lead actor and an ambassador for Doctor Who. Bishop described Whittaker as very warm, welcoming, and generous with all her fellow actors. “She’s running a global franchise. She’s carrying it. She’s lovely,” he explained with a grin.

He parodied the type of technical lines Whittaker has to speak as the Time Lord: She’s got to do a scene where she has to explain the transformation of time and space with an alien from another dimension. So she’d be saying things like, “The quarks haven’t worked because the fundamentals of time and space have been erased and corrected by the Planedium of Light. And the human race needs to survive, because if it doesn’t, time and space will forever be in another quantum and the seriousness of time away from a cup will be lost forever!” [The CultBox reporter who posted the above quote did not guarantee its accuracy, noting: “It’s not easy to transcribe technobabble spoken with a thick Liverpool accent…”]

Learning lines weren’t the only challenges Whittaker faced. Stunts and wire work were also required, as shown in an Instagram post (since removed) of Jodie hanging from a harness in front of a green screen while filming at Roath Lock Studios the first week of February.

The Search Begins

After an earlier post mentioning the article in an old Gallifrey Guardian about Doctor Who references in Star Trek, I decided to look for it in my collection of past issues. Of course, that meant organizing 30+ years of issues, which over the years have been scattered and put out of order during previous searches.

It’s slow going, mostly because I keep getting sucked into other articles not relevant to my search. But who could resist a Classic Who Word Search, Who-cups (a series of one-panel cartoons), a review of the long-ago local attraction Starbase Omega, and question-of-the-month answers called GoG Talk? I even came across a submission of my own in answer to the question, “Besides Doctor Who, what sci-fi show would you like to see on local TV? – Quark (anyone else remember that show?).

In my trip down memory lane were articles on Doctor Who’s missing episodes, “Rediscovering Jon Pertwee,” asking readers to help save Doctor Who from Cablevision, and hooking up fans with global penpals. And that’s just 1987 through 1989! I will post the article about Doctor Who in Star Trek once I work my way up to it, but in the meantime, you may see some other new/old posts on the Classic Guardians page soon.

Doctor Who mentioned

A late night comedy host, poking fun at someone who made a point of mixing genres (Star Wars, Star Trek, Ghostbusters) in a speech last weekend, said “Stay with me here–We’re Doctor Who, but not the lady one, and we’ve got the Infinity Stones, but not the Sorcerer’s Stone…” then mixed in several more sf/fantasy references.

So Doctor Who was top of his list!

A Blast from the (Recent) Past…

…and hope for the future.

Remember when friends could meet without masks? Here’s a couple of photos from Guardian events pre-pandemic.

First, wrestling over the Kerblam pinata at the 2019 Wholiday Party (it turned out so well, I couldn’t bear the thought of it being smashed.)

Next, a White Elephant gift exchange done at the January 2020 meeting. We ran out of time to do it at the previous month’s party, which had a theme of “Presents!”

 

Hang in there fans, better times are coming back. Until then,

Stay safe,

Stay strong,

Stay home.

Bits that didn’t make it into the Newsletter (including Spoilers)

GENERAL NEWS

Doctor Who: Revolution of the Daleks had a final official rating of 6.25 million viewers. (The final rating takes into account all those who recorded the program and watched it within one week.) The rating confirmed Doctor Who as the top-rated BBC One program for New Year’s Day, beating EastEnders which had 4.36 million watching. Overall on all channels Doctor Who was second for the day, with Coronation Street claiming the top spot with 6.39 million viewers.

On BBC’s The One Show, Russell T Davies announced that the first Doctor Who script he ever wrote will be adapted into a Big Finish audio adventure. Davies told how he found the 1985 script, a Sixth Doctor story now called “Mind of the Hodiac,” in a box full of old papers. He even tweeted several pages of the script during a watch-along of The Runaway Bride.

SERIES 13 NEWS (INCLUDES SPOILERS – this is your second warning!):

The BBC ran a short trailer after Revolution of the Daleks aired, introducing The Doctor’s newest companion, Dan, played by comedian and actor John Bishop (Little Crackers, Three Little Words podcast). The clip can be accessed here: Introducing John Bishop | Doctor Who: Series 13 – YouTube Bishop called the role “an absolute dream come true…” And said, “If I could tell my younger self that one day I would be asked to step on board the TARDIS, I would never have believed it.” Showrunner Chris Chibnall said the character of Dan was made for Bishop, and he had been in talks with him since before the pandemic. Dan is due to appear in the series from the first episode.

According to The Mirror, the thirteenth Doctor will regenerate at the end of Series 13. One insider said, “It’s all very hush-hush but it is known on set that Jodie is leaving and they are gearing up for a regeneration.” It is believed she intends to stick to the traditional three seasons. Apparently Jodie Whittaker is interested in taking on other roles, although in an interview with The Telegraph shortly before November, she indicated she wasn’t eager to leave Doctor Who. When contacted by Digital Spy, the BBC refused to either confirm or deny the report that Whittaker would be leaving.

And now, photos from January filming:

    

…and video!

Elliott Jedras on Instagram: “BREAKING NEWS! SPOILER WARNING! Sontarans spotted on filming in Cardiff! A big thank you to a friends of mine for filming these He told…”   

Thanks to my online sources: DoctorWhoNews.net and Cultbox.uk