Viewing posts tagged tom baker

Now Just a Moment: The Doctors Revisited (Tom Baker)

That this should prove so difficult is in many ways revealing. First, we should start with what this isn't, which is an account of Tom Baker as the definitive Doctor. Satisfyingly, this isn't accomplished with some deconstruction. This is unabashed hagiography - just not to the exclusion of other eras. The result is on a basic level satisfying: the joy that is Tom Baker's Doctor is celebrated, but without the distorting effect that the era sometimes has.

But it's curious that there's no real attention given to the sheer span of Baker's tenure. Indeed, what really jumps out about this is that Baker's tenure is reduced almost entirely to its first half. There's some clips from City of Death, and K-9 makes the companion list, but for the most part there's not a breath of acknowledgment of anything that wasn't part of the Hinchcliffe era. Romana isn't mentioned outside of the City of Death clips. Davros is talked about entirely in terms of Genesis of the Daleks. The other stories to get decent clips are Terror of the Zygons, Robot, Talons of Weng-Chiang, and The Ark in Space.

It's ...

Guest Post: David Bowie and Doctor Who

Among the ways in which the end was prepared for is that I, suspecting that the Logopolis post would maybe take a bit longer to write than most, decided to secure a guest post for today. Not wanting to leave you in the hands of anyone other than the best, of course, I asked Chris O'Leary of the fabulous Pushing Ahead of the Dame, which was quite rightly one of Time Magazine's 25 best blogs of 2011. 

I'll be back Wednesday with the first of three posts I've got before we get to Castrovalva, two of which will belong to a brand new sub-series to go with Time Can Be Rewritten, Pop Between Realities, and You Were Expecting Someone Else. Then a week from Wednesday we'll kick off the Peter Davison era proper. (Speaking of which... were there any good BBC Books novels set in the Davison era? I've got a golden turkey penciled in for that slot now, but if there's something of actual quality I'd prefer that.) 

But before all of those terrible things happen, you get the pleasure of a blog post written by someone who's ...

Recursive Occlusion (Logopolis)

Note: For gematrial reasons, section #10 is the beginning of the entry and you should skip to there. Alternatively, John G. Wood has made a proper interactive fiction version of it and posted it here because he is awesome.

1.

It is stark white and so very bright here at the summit. There is simply light, and oneness, and completion. This is the void, and it is everything. 

Nothing follows this. But out of nothing can come anything. In one story Doctor Who is built up to the heavens itself and then leveled back down. These heights are miles from Toxteth and Thatcher, from the Kingdom that the Crown rules above. No matter. Sometimes the only escape we have from the world is dreams, whether it be the world of schoolyard bullies or of Tories. Sometimes all we can do in the face of a growing darkness is retreat into a realm of silly and daft ideas and watch as they inexorably spin their way into more.

Doctor Who can't fight Thatcher. It can't stop her. She will run rampant and horrible over Britain for a decade, a terrible woman who does terrible things. She will win ...

You Were Expecting Someone Else 8 (Alan Moore's Doctor Who Work)

Let us first stipulate that there is relatively little reason to care about these particular comics on their merits in either Alan Moore's ouvre or the Doctor Who canon. Bits of them - particularly "Black Death," may have credible cases for placing in any given top ten list of Doctor Who comics, but they're not self-evidently the best Doctor Who comics ever or anything, as one might hope from the combination of Alan Moore and Doctor Who.

On the other hand, there's something fundamentally irresistible here. I mean, obviously there is - I wouldn't do a post like this if there weren't. But I'm also hardly the only one. Russell T. Davies himself namechecks Alan Moore's Deathsmiths of Goth in a text piece published about the Time War. Miles and Wood argue that it was Moore's take on Time Lord history in "Star Death" that shifted the consensus view of the relationship between Rassilon and Omega. And more generally speaking, starting from 1987 and continuing to the present day, Alan Moore has been a massive influence on the show whether directly or indirectly. (For the purposes of this statement remember that Neil Gaiman is ...

You Were Expecting Someone Else 7 (Doctor Who Weekly Comics)

When talking about the British comics industry in the 1980s it is key to note that despite the vast number of important creators coming out of it there were only a handful of actual significant British comics magazines. IPC had other publications beside 2000 AD, but most could be counted on to fold after a few issues and be folded into 2000 AD. Humor publications like The Beano and The Dandy existed, but in their own almost wholly parallel dimension. Dez Skinn had 26 issues of Warrior out that were hugely influential and high-quality but that were, after all, only 26 issues. And Marvel UK had a motley of titles that combined repackaged US comics with original UK-market material. But that was about it. It was a very small industry into which a very large amount of talent was packed.

As a result, when Dez Skinn created Doctor Who Weekly for Marvel UK it was almost inevitable that it would attract some A-list creators. And so it is that Doctor Who comics have been created by Pat Mills and John Wagner (creators of Judge Dredd), Steve Moore, Steve Dillon, Grant Morrison, Bryan Hitch, John Ridgway, David Lloyd, Dave Gibbons, and ...

That Jackanapes (The Keeper of Traken)

His coat contains a furnace where there used to be a guy.

It’s January 31st, 1981. John Lennon is down to two top ten singles - “Imagine” at number one, and “Woman” at number two. “Woman” takes the number one a week later, holds it for two weeks, and then yields to Joe Dolce Music Theater’s “Shaddap You Face.” John Lennon’s posthumous chart success going down to “Shaddap You Face” has to, upon reflection, be one of the better metaphors for the fall of civilization ever. Ultravox, Slade, Dire Straits, Blondie, and Stevie Wonder also chart.


In real news we’re a bit thin on the ground. Gro Harlem Brundtland becomes Prime Minister of Norway, while Wojciech Jaruzelski becomes Prime Minister of Poland and immediately begins trying to find an excuse to impose martial law. And the Stardust Fire happens in Dublin, killing 48 and teaching everyone an important lesson about not locking the fire exits that continues to periodically and fatally be ignored. On a related note, 21 people die in the Karaiskakis Stadium disaster in Greece, likely because of a failure to open an exit gate enough.

While on television it’s The Keeper of Traken ...

Going To Be Alone Again (Warrior's Gate)

The Tharils' extensive facial hair makes them
resemble lions.
It’s January 3rd, 1981. St. Winifred’s School Choir is at number one with “There’s No One Quite Like Grandma,” which is unfortunate. One week later John Lennon takes number one with the posthumous rerelease of “Imagine,” one of three number one hits he had that week along with “Happy XMas/War is Over,” “(Just Like) Starting Over,” and, later on, “Woman.” ABBA, The Police, Adam & The Ants, Queen, and Phil Collins also chart.

In real news, the Salvadoran Civil War starts to get ugly as the FMLN launches a major offensive against the US-backed military government, which, over 1980, murdered nearly 12,000 people, upping it to 16,000 unarmed civilians in 1981. Ulster Defence Association gunmen shoot and wound former MP Bernadette Devlin McAliske. The first DeLorean is made in Dunmurry, Northern Ireland, of interest to fans of lesser time travel narratives, and in one of the great “fuck yous” of international politics Iran releases its American hostages minutes after Ronald Reagan is inaugurated to replace Jimmy Carter.

While on television there is a castle with a ruined feast hanging in an empty void on the ...

Pop Between Realities, Home in Time for Thrill Power 25 (2000 AD)

There are, of course, many ways in which British culture has jumped over and influenced American culture. But the British Invasion in the comics industry remains one that it's easy to miss the significance of, in part because its three leading lights - Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, and Neil Gaiman - have largely sucked the oxygen from the event, obscuring the fact that for a significant period of time the overwhelming majority of significant comics writers and artists in the US were, in fact, British. Consider the following list: Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, Neil Gaiman, Garth Ennis, Peter Milligan, Jamie Delano, Andy Diggle, Mike Carey, Andrew Cartmel, Paul Cornell, Mark Millar, Lawrence Miles, Warren Ellis, Tony Lee, Alan Davis, Barry Kitson, Dave Gibbons, Glen Fabry, Kevin O'Neil, Bryan Talbot, Gary Erskine, Frank Quitely, Trevor Hairsine, Sam Kieth, John McRea, Frazer Irvine, Brian Bolland, Garry Leach, Steve Yeowell, Steve Dillon, John Ridgway, Carlos Ezquerra, Pat Mills, John Wagner, Jock,  John Bolton, Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, and Mark Buckingham. Aside from one or two Doctor Who names I threw in there because this is a Doctor Who blog after all, these are some of the biggest names in comics, whether because they ...

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