Sunday, December 28, 2008


Doctor Who 45th Anniversary – Why Was 1984 Brilliant?

Monsters are back in a big way – old ones like Silurians and Daleks, new ones burrowing under the earth in Frontios, some as big as (actually, rather bigger than) your head in The Awakening, while in print there’s a renaissance starting for the Target books, too. Vivid style and colour collide in a more dangerous Universe, which does nice Doctor Peter a power of good: he steadily gains more edge, eventually getting mad as hell and exploding into Colin Baker in…

The Caves of Androzani
“Your sense of humour will be the death of you, Doctor. Probably quite soon.”
Peter’s best story unites ‘arthouse’ and ‘macho’, with a terrific script, dazzling direction, rattlesnake-eerie music and compelling actors. A cynical desert war, noirishly twisted love and graveyard humour meet for a revenge drama where everyone’s destroyed in a chain reaction from picking on an innocent.

You can read the book, but it’s such an extraordinary visual and aural experience that you should get hold of the old VHS or, better, buy the DVD, complete with an isolated score that it’s a pleasure to chill out to. The director’s so good he’s doing the new Doctor Who stories these days, too.

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I would actually say that Caves is the best televised Who story full stop. It has all the elements which are important to Doctor Who, and it ends with lovely Colinness.
It's one of my favourites in the whole 45 years, too, if not quite at the number one spot. And Colin's great at the end, though I'm glad they immediately dropped the picture of him they use for those credits...!
What's your number one, then?
Oh, it’s always (since my fifth birthday, at least) been The Deadly Assassin. The Evil of the Daleks is probably in second, and after that I keep changing my mind about The Talons of Weng-Chiang, Genesis of the Daleks, Pyramids of Mars, The Aztecs and, indeed, The Caves of Androzani. But they’re all up there.

Then there’d be The Curse of Fenric, Human Nature (TV), The Mind Robber, Lucifer Rising, The Also People, The Tomb of the Cybermen, Venusian Lullaby, Revelation of the Daleks, Jubilee, Doctor Who and the Silurians and Doctor Who and the Cave Monsters, An Unearthly Child, The Androids of Tara… It’s a great show, isn’t it?
Ah, I would find it difficult to name anything outside the top one consistently...
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