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

Another Doctor Who reference

Once again, a short message, and with a quote from The Librarians (yep, I’m still working my way through the series, roughly one episode per day). The mother of one of the librarians, on being taken through the magic door into the library, says, “Our shed is bigger on the inside?” Now I want to discover the writer for the series who is the Doctor Who fan. Reminds me of an article I wrote many years ago pointing out Doctor Who references in Star Trek: The Next Generation.  Hmmm, if I can just find it before my next GoG Blog post…

 

Doctor Who Drabble (yes, another one)

Here’s a Drabble previously published in the October 2020 issue of the Gallifrey Guardian.

1814

“Goodbye, Tiny.”

“Where will she go, Doctor?

“Somewhere cold, I imagine.”

Tiny glided past, sank out of sight, and headed north. She made a brief stop in Scotland, where she met a distant relative inaccurately named “Nessie.” Their joy at having found another of their kind led to a union blessed by several offspring.

The children scattered around the globe, sometimes achieving legendary status of their own. Coastal dwellers from Maine to Japan, San Francisco, Victoria, Nova Scotia, and the Cape of Good Hope have tales of local sea serpents. (Natives of St. Simons Island, Georgia, call theirs Altamaha-ha.)

A Word About Drabbles:  Drabbles are short (100 words or less) stories; those you read on this blog are all set in the Doctor Who universe.

The 4-part Drabble I posted December 20th through 23rd, 2020 was obviously inspired by The Doctor’s farewell remark to Rose in Doomsday, showing it had been simmering in my mind for quite a while. Nergal, mentioned in part 2, was an ancient god of Mesopotamia. The inspiration for Part 4, which tied it all together, was an article carried in a local newspaper about Victor Buso, an amateur astronomer who did witness the birth of a supernova.

Likewise, my Drabble “1814” was based on Thin Ice, but was inspired by information I came across about a ‘sea serpent’ while researching St. Simons Island, Georgia prior to a visit there. All of the locations mentioned at the end of that drabble do have their own sea serpent legends.

My point being, inspiration is out there! Below are more headlines that could inspire a Doctor Who Drabble.

  • Science reveals the answer to the Yeti mystery: Bears
  • NASA: Cause of ISS mystery hole will be determined
  • Tiny mystery skeleton was human girl
  • Temperate planet (Ross 128 b) could meet requirements for habitability
  • Saturn moon rings with possibilities of life
  • Mysterious asteroid the size of a dwarf planet is lurking in our solar system
  • Radio signals detected from the direction of Proxima Centauri, the nearest star to our own sun
  • Astronomers see possible hints of life above Venus

That last article has already been refuted, but it did include a phrase that left me smiling: “After three astronomers met in a bar in Hawaii…” Doesn’t it just beg for a punch line? “Three astronomers walk into a bar…” Can you finish the joke?