Thursday, November 27, 2008


Doctor Who 45th Anniversary – Why Was 1974 Brilliant?

A year of huge changes. It begins with Sarah Jane; the last few days of 1974 bring Tom Baker as the Doctor and introduce the series’ most spellbinding title sequence. There’s a recurring motif that golden ages aren’t to be trusted, and an awesome final confrontation for Jon Pertwee in Planet of the Spiders. Off the screen, new Target novelisations of the show include some of the best of the lot: The Doomsday Weapon; The Cave Monsters; and the first…

Doctor Who and the Auton Invasion
“This body is merely a container, Hibbert. You should know that. You made me.”
Terrance Dicks’ first novel incredibly makes the series’ most memorable action scenes more powerful still. It’s full of well-drawn characters (and well-drawn illustrations), superbly rethinks details for the page and adds deft touches of horror, but it’s the gripping extended invasion sequence that’s the highlight.

Though you’re best looking out for second-hand copies of this book, you can now buy a talking book of it on CD read by Caroline John, Liz Shaw herself. And, of course, in a reversal of my usual advice, you can buy the DVD of the original TV story, named Spearhead From Space rather than The Auton Invasion – it’s so splendid that it’s almost as good as the book!

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Now I remember watching Planet of the Spiders quite vividly.

I must have been nearly six at the time and it scared the s*** out of me!

And Sarah Jane Smith eh - a marvellous character - and doing fantastically well now too.
I just had shivers up my spine a few years later hearing the Great One in Whose Doctor Who (of which more later; I was too young to stay up for it, so my Dad recorded it for me on open-reel, a treasured possession for many years before video). The quote I used above always gave me a thrill of horror when I was a boy, too.

And Sarah Jane's still fab, and Lis Sladen lovely to meet.

And a happy Thanksgiving to everyone at home!
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