Viewing posts tagged eccleston

You Were Expecting Someone Else 21 (The Monsters Inside)

The Monsters Inside is one of the first three books in what is unofficially called the New Series Adventures, although even that name seems, in hindsight, ever so slightly wrong. The name derives from the two other BBC Books lines that existed in 2005, the Eighth Doctor Adventures and the Past Doctor Adventures, the former of which we covered from January through April, and the latter of which we looked at alongside each of the past doctors. And the name picks up on this, implying as it does that the New Series Adventures are going to exist alongside the other two lines.

In hindsight this is rubbish. Neither the Eighth Doctor Adventures nor the Past Doctor Adventures were going to survive the year. We knew that about the Eighth Doctor Adventures, actually, but as of May, when this came out alongisde The Clockwise Man and Winner Takes All to launch the New Series Adventures, the theory was that the Past Doctor Adventures were going to keep running indefinitely, with the Eighth Doctor range being folded into it. Indeed, in May the Eighth Doctor Range hadn’t actually quite wrapped yet, with The Gallifrey Chronicles coming out the next month, alongside ...

Crying Silently (Father's Day)

Technically more a Time Wyvern than a Time Dragon.
It’s May 14th, 2005. Akon has finally unseated Tony Christie, giving the new series its second number one hit with “Lonely.” Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Destiny’s Child, Will Smith, and Weezer also chart. In news, Manchester United is bought by Malcolm Glazer, which is by any measure a key event in the transformation of the Premier League into a heavily leveraged playground for the super-rich.

While on television, it’s Doctor Who as only Paul Cornell can write it: intimate and Anglican.

Where The Long Game struggled with the need to fit itself into a single forty-five minute capsule, Father’s Day is one that could only ever have worked as a single, contained episode. Its structure functions in part because of its claustrophobia - because there’s outright no way out of the church. By keeping us in the intimate scene without breaks we get a sense of confinement no six-part base under siege ever managed. Because the base under siege is the model of this story, once you go far enough under the hood. Monsters are closing in from the outside, the Doctor is desperately trying to come up ...

Audioarchitectonalmetrasynchosity (The Long Game)

At last, the new series pays homage to one of the most
fundamental transitions of the classic series: monsters that
look like cocks.

It’s May 7th, 2005. The damn Tony Christie song is still at number one, stubbornly keeping me from getting to ay anything new. Snoop Dogg is new to the charts this time, as is Destiny’s Child, and Bruce Springsteen’s return to moody acoustic form Devils and Dust is topping the album charts, but it’s mainly a bit of a slow one in music. In news, Tony Blair wins his third successive general election, but with a sharply reduced majority that in effect starts the clock on his resignation as Prime Minister in accordance with the Granita pact. Which is a fairly good week for The Long Game to air during, given that it is, in the end, a story about the way power functions in the background.

It would have been easy not to do The Long Game. Much as the series could have avoided a remake of The Web Planet, it could have avoided ever touching the 1980s stories like this. The Long Game, in terms of structure and concern, belongs to ...

About Time I Found Something To Do (Dalek)

The most fearsome creature in the universe is known for its
love of setting off the fire alarm and toilet papering houses.
With obvious thanks and considerable apologies to Tat Wood, Lawrence Miles, and Lars Pearson. About Time Volume Seven is out at the end of the summer, and will be absolutely phenomenal. 

Dalek

(Serial 1.6. One Episode, 30th April 2005.)

Which One Is This? To the general public and to long-standing fans, the return of the Daleks. Or, at least, one Dalek. To newcomers, the one where the Doctor inexplicably freaks out at a robotic salt shaker.

Firsts and Lasts: In new series terms, it’s the first appearance of the Daleks, the first story set in the near future, the first time the TARDIS is pulled off course, the first earthbound story set outside the UK, and the first mention of the Doctor having two hearts. It’s also the first new series appearance of the Cybermen, albeit not one that “counts.” In overall terms it’s the first appearance of quasi-companion Adam Mitchell, the first appearance of the Davies-era Dalek design, and the first time on television that they’ve been voiced by Nicholas Briggs ...

A Mixture of Ozone and Sulphur (Aliens of London/World War III)

But Mummy, I thought the television screens were in their
stomachs. And that they didn't kill people for fun.

It’s April 16th, 2005. That Tony Christie song is still at number one, with Will Smith, 50 Cent, Mariah Carey, and a variety of Elvis songs also charting. In news, Prince Charles marries Camilla Parker Bowles, Pope Benedict XVI was elected, and, most significantly, on the day World War III aired, YouTube’s first video, of co-founder Jawed Karim talking about elephants and how cool their long trunks are, was uploaded.

While on television, as mentioned, the first two-parter of the new series, Aliens of London/World War III. This is, if we’re being honest, probably the story most responsible for the wave of people who advocate skipping Eccleston’s tenure when getting into the series. Aliens of London/World War III is a profoundly awkward story, and the first point where the new series appears to falter. There’s a lot to say about the quality of the story, but I actually don’t really want to get into issues like quality on the new series for a while, so I’m mostly going to punt on ...

You Were Expecting Someone Else 20 (The Book of the World)

Well, it's almost the right cover.

The Book of the World was, in essence, Lawrence Miles showing off that he could write a good Doctor Who script for the modern series. He put it up on the web for a week before taking it down, but you can still track down copies with only a little bit of dedication because nothing vanishes from the Internet. The script  actually dates to late 2007, making it a Tennant-era concern, and it wasn’t actually released until just before Silence in the Library, so actually is virtually a Moffat-era concern. But, to be perfectly honest, I don’t want to keep Lawrence Miles around as a theme that long. He’s a wilderness era theme, and the nature of his point here applies just as well as it would closer to the time of composition. Better, in many ways, as The Book of the World is very much an attempt at showing how Lawrence Miles would have rebooted the series, and holding that discussion back until 2007/2008 would have seemed strange. The script’s concerns are very much 2005 sorts of concerns, wherever it came from.

So in the wake of ...

Attacked By This Little Man (The Unquiet Dead)

What do you mean they're monsters? They're blue! I
thought monsters were all green. Or yellow.

It’s April 9th, 2005. Tony Christie is still at number one, helpfully illustrating the problem of these paragraphs when the stories are weekly. Elvis is in there too, with, actually, a different song. You’ve also got Mariah Carey, Kylie, and Will Smith. Albums have New Order’s Waiting for the Sirens’ Call and Queens of the Stone Age’s Lullabies to Paralyze in the top ten as well. News-wise, in the last week Tony Blair called for a general election on May 5th, John Paul II was buried, and Eric Rudolph agreed to plead guilty to the 1996 Olympic Park bombing. While the day this story airs, Prince Charles marries Camilla Parker Bowles.

And on television it’s The Unquiet Dead. There’s a lot to discuss about this episode. Unfortunately, there’s also a huge controversy hanging over it that serves as an elephant in the room. It’s going to dominate comments, I suspect, and, more to the point, would dominate comments whether I talked about it or not. So let’s just get on with it, shall ...

Somehow We've Materialized, For A Split Second Of Time (The End Of The World)

I have a budget now. Budgets are cool.
Hello. There are some new reward tiers at the Kickstarter that may tempt you.

It’s April 2nd, 2005. Tony Christie is at number one with “(Is This The Way To) Amarillo,” which features the Abzorbaloff. 50 Cent, Elvis Pressley, Will Smith, Gwen Stefani and Eve, Natalie Imbruglia, and Nelly with Tim McGraw also chart. Christie also has the top album, while The Killers and Green Day also make that chart.

Since last week, a sizable earthquake took place off the coast of Sumatra. Robert Mugabe held “free and fair” elections, which he proceeded to win by an implausible margin. And on the day this story airs, Pope John Paul II dies. Also, in all of this, it’s announced that Christopher Eccleston will be departing the series, leading absolutely everybody to conclude that David Tennant would obviously be taking over (although that wasn’t formally announced until the day Aliens of London aired). But today, on television, it’s The End of the World.

The single most important moment in The End of the World comes in a seemingly lightweight scene in which we see the robotic spiders scuttling down an ...

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