Viewing posts tagged steve gallagher

Rolling the Boulder

It's JN-T Day!  In honour of the late and much-maligned Mr Nathan-Turner - who rescued Who from the stylistic doldrums, produced a slew of stone classics and stuck around longer than he wanted to because he knew his departure would mean the end of the show - here is my Timelash II stuff on the stories usually called the 'Black Guardian Trilogy'.  Much undervalued, all three of them.

For John Nathan-Turner.



'Mawdryn Undead'

Once you get past the Billy Bunter bibble of the opening (and even that is pleasingly unexpected) this develops into a highly satisfactory bit of concept-driven sci-fi, cleverly using time travel (never a major concern of the old-style show) as part of a complex but admirably clear plot, aware of itself as myth-reiteration (immortality as curse, the Flying Dutchman, etc.) and with a submerged political sense in its depiction of crime, power, unscrupulousness and luxury.

It engages with the Who mythos without being enslaved to it, using concepts from the show's backstory to create a genuinely dramatic conflict situation in the characters' here and now.

You can see everyone's point of view here, even if you don't like the way they're behaving ...

Rise Like Lions

Even as I type this, protestors are clambering over the stone lions at the base of Nelson's Column, waving anti-cuts placards while sat astride the petrified leonine relics of an imperial age that is still decaying... and trying to take us all with it.


'Warrior's Gate' came up for discussion at Gallifrey Base today.  It seems almost ridiculously appropriate.  Well, it does to me anyway.


Biroc makes me think of Walter Benjamin’s ‘Angel of History’:

The Angel of History must look just so. His face is turned towards the past. Where we see the appearance of a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe, which unceasingly piles rubble on top of rubble and hurls it before his feet. He would like to pause for a moment so fair, to awaken the dead and to piece together what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise, it has caught itself up in his wings and is so strong that the Angel can no longer close them. The storm drives him irresistibly into the future, to which his back is turned, while the rubble-heap before him grows sky-high. That which we call progress, is ...

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