Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Cellular Orbit

I'm writing this editorial from a police cell after having being arrested at the behest of Mr Saxon's supporters.

At the very least, I am being fed, although I suspect that there is something in the food to make me more open to "suggestion" - I even smiled at a photo of Mr Saxon in yesterdays reappraisal.

Anyway, a big "Hi" to all of you out there, especially Ant and Terra. There are loads of big globey things flying around outside, I hope they aren't causing anyone too much distress. I used to get angry about this kind of political interference in our lives, but now I can see that it realy is for our own good.

I'll have to stop soon, anyway, as I'm not feeling that well. The drumming in my head has started again. I don't know where it came from - perhaps they'll get me a Doctor?

In the meantime, there's a brand new interview with Terrance Dicks from the Black Scrolls team for you to peruse, plus Terra and I did the first vidKast before I was installed here (you can also view it in the Forum).

I'm hoping to avoid any extraordinary rendition, or even ordinary rendition, although exactly what they expect me to admit too I don't know.

I long for the days of Tony Blair...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Master Who

Well it’s been a funny old weekend, with prominent Doctor Who fans up in arms about the return of Captain Jack and the Master – and whether or not the “viewing public” would know or care who the Master is.

There’s some “names” here, too, voicing their “concern”. Concern at what, though? The Master is an integral element of Doctor Who’s success, and has been since his introduction in 1971. He’s the perfect antidote to the Doctor – the Roger Delgado version was a superbly urbane counter to Jon Pertwee’s establishment-friendly Doctor; the Tony Ainley version was similarly designed to pose a threat to both the superior intellect of the Fourth Doctor and the reluctant Fifth Doctor of Peter Davison. Fast forward 16 years and the Eric Roberts incarnation of the Master was the diametric opposite of the 8th Doctor.

Key period in Doctor Who’s history there – the UNIT era, the end of the long-running Fourth Doctor and the attempt at a US produced series – all relying on the presence of the Master to present the Doctor with a clearly equal rival, as evil and malevolent as the Doctor is benevolent.

I am baffled, really, at why anyone should think the Master is an unknown element from the past, relying on too much backstory that the casual audience is excluded. As Utopia showed us, only two things are necessary – that the Master is a rival Time Lord, and that he is terribly evil.

That’s all that any new viewer needs to know – he’s a rogue Time Lord with a line in arch plots to usurp power and use it to his own ends. He’s an archetype, and he’s (debatably) the last instantly recognisable emblem from classic Doctor Who.

So welcome back, Master. Enjoy your theft of the Doctor’s TARDIS, enjoy your political life, and enjoy your brief moment of glory…

Monday, June 11, 2007

Get Back Jack

He’s back – Captain Jack Harkness is on the scene again, with a long coat, backpack and an inconvenient case of immortality.

But does the Doctor actually want him back?

The trailer broadcast on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross - which Jack Harkness actor John Barrowman guested on a few weeks ago - suggests otherwise. A glance at the TARDIS viewscreen while parked on the Cardiff rift, a quick pull of a lever, and off the time ship goes, into the vortex – with a very determined Captain Jack hanging on to the facia.

Why would the Doctor not want to see Jack, however? What did Jack do wrong? And who exactly is Captain Jack Harkness, really?

Perhaps the Doctor wants to avoid any further mentions of Rose Tyler; perhaps he wants to avoid any mentions of Torchwood in front of Martha, whose cousin died at the hands of the Cybermen; perhaps something else is going on, something which we don’t know about yet...

One thing is for sure – whatever happens in Utopia, the Doctor is going to need all the help he can get to overcome the dark forces of Mr Harold Saxon and the Toclafane.

It’s going to be a fascinating close to Series 3, one which I’m sure we’ll remember for years to come – and one which the Doctor himself will never, ever forget...