Thursday, March 16, 2006


Whoops, Missed a Week

Due to an interesting but impractical mix of being unwell and being out and about more than usual, I’ve not been at the computer much. So before catching up – delightful comments to respond to, ideas for posts rattling round my head – and while today’s painkillers are still useful enough to concentrate with, hello. Curiously entertaining moment last week: meeting up with Mum, Dad, Grandad and a priest for a meal out and, following my introduction to said priest, some of Mum’s greatest hits of stories about me as a boy, including ‘Alex learns to read,’ ‘Alex in hospital’ and ‘Alex and Doctor Who’ (all of which are related, for bonus marks). I won’t relate them all in detail, but had the satisfaction of dating one of the stories more accurately than Mum, despite being so young I only remember it from her telling, purely because of the Doctor Who story on at the time – which she remembers as ‘Doctor Who and the Ladies in Pink’. Answers on a postcard. Mum and I also had a lively discussion about an issue of the day on which, unusually, we came down on opposite sides. I’ll have a think about whether it’s too cold a piece of news to blog about, but first…

One of my colelagues told me the other day she watched a Tom Baker DVD that had green blobby monsters in, and was impressed/appalled when I told her immediately it was The Ark in Space.

Ladies in pink? Hmm. My first thought was Red Kangs but, erm, would it be a tad earlier than that?
I suspect I'd have gone for the same answer - though Horror of Fang Rock and City of Death would be plausible options, too...

Bless you for thinking I was a little nipper when Paradise Towers was on, and your diplomatic way of realising that wasn't true! You're quite right, of course, that it was quite a bit earlier; my latest post will tell you that The Ark in Space (which I much prefer to the other two DVD options, by the way) was the first complete story I saw, so that's a good benchmark. The reason Mum remembers the pinkness of the ladies, incidentally, is that we didn't have a colour TV, but the hospital did and so was quite striking.

Have another guess - it's nowhere near as fiendish as your Who quiz ;-)
Now, of course, I realise that The Happiness Patrol would have been a much better guess!

The Sisterhood of Karn then?
Build high for happiness. It will prevail ;-)

But yes, indeed, The Brain of Morbius was the first story I saw in colour.

I suspect it was the vivid association of it with the Sisterhood of Carmine that meant it was many years before I spotted that, fantastic though that Season 13 was, other than that story it had almost no women in it (their not being the blessed Bob's strong point as a writer)...

So what are your formative Who memories, young(ish) Will?
I didn't really watch it in the original run, although vague memories tell me I saw bits of Time and the Rani, Remembrance, Silver Nemesis, Greatest Show and Fenric. I got into it on video (from other fans and the video rental store originally) with stuff like Pyramids of Mars and, believe it or not, Death to the Daleks and Planet of the Spiders, and probably Spearhead.

Then I read The Universal Databank, novelisations from my local library, and some of the New Adventures. Then saw the BBC2 repeat season and Logopolis and Castrovalva, and then I started buying the videos, beginning with The Keeper of Traken.

Finally, the first new Who since I became a fan: Dimensions in Time.
Awwhh, bless you, young man! And I even know someone who got into Who by reading the script books in the '90s before ever seeing it...

Pyramids of Mars would tempt anyone, and - believe or not from me, now - I'm still quite excited by Planet of the Spiders, and I probably first saw it when you did. It's the only Who video I have strong memories of buying - it was in HMV in Manchester, and the cover looked fantastic (unlike the murky mess that was City of Death). I can remember standing there trying to decide if I could afford to get both of them, and hearing a boy next to me trying to decide what video to get while his Mum stood next to him, being very impatient. He was leaning towards Death to the Daleks. Now, I hate to malign a story, but it's god-awful. So I remember convincing them to get The Talons of Weng-Chiang instead; I told the boy it had lots of grisly deaths, and told his Mum there was an extra hour for the same price and so would keep him quiet for longer ;-)

Then I read The Universal Databank

(Splutters) I hope you didn't believe it all. Rarely has a 'reference book' been so thoroughly inaccurate, though my favourite mistake isn't really a Who one but the serious assertion that 'Hackneywick' is a village in Somerset.

Novelisations and some of the New Adventures are good, though ;-)

Finally, the first new Who since I became a fan: Dimensions in Time.


I cut that onto DVD recently, Noel Edmonds and all.

So now I never have to look at it again.
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