Friday, January 09, 2009


Doctor Who 45th Anniversary – Why Was 1995 Brilliant?

There’s the first of Gareth Roberts’ signature Douglas Adams-style Tom, Romana and K9 novels, then a darker Tom in the twisted Managra. Sylv’s Doctor has the funny, postmodern, disturbing Head Games and, from Andy Lane’s Original Sin, future police companions blond, heroic Chris Cwej and grumpy Xhosa aristocrat Roz Forrester. And it’s a fantastic year for Paul Cornell, with stand-out novel Human Nature, sublime short story The Trials of Tara and Cornelltoppingday’s refreshing The Discontinuity Guide. But Ben Aaronovitch still pips him…

Doctor Who: The New Adventures – The Also People
“When is a lightning bolt not a lightning bolt?”
The other best New Adventure breezes through extraordinary prose, imagination, bread, techno-utopia, African legends, comedy, moral theology, drinks and very aggressive spaceships. The Doctor, Benny and Chris each have perfect roles, but it’s Roz’s noir murder mystery that captivates. And there’s a price to pay…
“‘In that case,’ said Bernice, ‘I’ll have an exaggerated sexual innuendo with a dash of patriot’s spirit and extra mushrooms. Roz?’
“‘I’ll have the same,’ said Roz. ‘But with an umbrella in it.’
“‘Coming right up,’ said the table.”

Once again, this is one you’ll have to track down second-hand to read, and you really should. And e-mail the BBC, too. Come on, BBC website – please could you dust off your ‘Classic Series’ website and add this to the eBooks, eh? Particularly as we’ve got three copies between us, yet all are peculiarly susceptible to their pages falling out, which is a bind.

Today – returning to the real year for a moment – is the one hundred and first anniversary of William Hartnell’s birth. Cheers, Billy, for starting it all so brilliantly, and isn’t it marvellous that last Saturday’s second-largest audience of the day was for a programme that said, in detail and very firmly, how wonderful you were? And quite right too. In fact, everything people said about each of the Doctors was praise; a bit like someone writing about how brilliant Doctor Who is, really.

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