June 9th, 2013
By 1991, Virgin Books (who had bought up Target some years previously) were rapidly coming to the end of the TV stories they could novelise, and there was no likelihood of a new TV series coming out any time soon. There was only one thing for it.
June 4th, 2013
By 1990, Doctor Who had finished on the TV. There was nothing left but the hopes of the occasional of old shows on VHS or (for stories that had been destroyed) cassette, the comic strip in Doctor Who Magazine, which surely couldn’t keep going that much longer now there was no TV show, and the Target novelisations, which themselves had to come to an end once there was nothing left to novelise.
June 2nd, 2013
May 26th, 2013
The Happiness Patrol is one of the greatest triumphs of Andrew Cartmel’s aesthetic as applied to Doctor Who. It’s a Brechtian political satire about consumerism and Thatcherism, a cutting polemic and the logical end-point of the theatrical tradition which I have spent much of these essays arguing is where Doctor Who is most at home.
May 25th, 2013
A quick note before I begin here — I had no home internet access for a month, and so wasn’t able to watch or write about the rest of the recent series. Sorry to those who were hoping for more reviews. That’s also why I haven’t looked at comments recently.
April 18th, 2013
April 1st, 2013
Eric Saward hasn’t received a lot of love in these essays so far, but in the last full series he script-edited, Colin Baker’s first, he finally found a coherent aesthetic vision for Doctor Who. Whereas previously he’d been content to throw in as much violence and references to old stories as he could, by this point he had been converted to The Church Of Bob Holmes, and had come up with a semi-formula for the show that worked in the three stories that year where he could try it — comic double acts, vicious black humour, and a smattering of post-modernism with characters commenting metafictionally on the action. The fact that new companion Peri’s catchphrase became “all of these corridors look alike to me” gives a hint of the way Saward’s thoughts were trending.
February 1st, 2013
January 18th, 2013
The twentieth anniversary of Doctor Who was obviously a special event, and who better to write it than the man most associated with Doctor Who, Terrance Dicks?
January 13th, 2013
Earthshock is almost universally considered one of the very best Doctor Who stories of Peter Davison’s tenure in the role, with only The Caves Of Androzani offering it much competition. In Doctor Who Magazine‘s 2009 reader’s poll ranking the first two hundred televised stories, it was rated number 19, and was one of only three stories from the 1980s to feature in the top twenty (in contrast, a full ten of the bottom twenty were from that decade).