Doctor Who: Tin Dog Podcast
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TDP 183: The Awakening


This story features a creature known as the Malus, who is responsible for creating a time link between the year of 1984 and the events from the English Civil War. The Doctor must also face the villagers of Little Hodcombe, who have been influenced by the Malus, and save Tegan before she is burned as the ill-fated Queen of the May.

[edit] Plot

On 13 July 1643, two forces came to the village of Little Hodcombe during the English Civil War and destroyed each other. As the story begins, a group of Roundheads are riding horses in the village of Little Hodcombe, with little regard to the villagers around them. Only it is not 1643, it is 1984.

A schoolteacher, Jane Hampden, is convinced that her fellow villagers, led by the town’s leader, Sir George Hutchinson, have taken their re-enactment of a series of war games too far. Hutchinson attempts to assure her that the games are a harmless event, which are merely to celebrate the English Civil War. When Hampden asks him to stop the games, Hutchinson ignores her.

Inside the TARDIS, the Doctor promises to take his companion, Tegan, to 1984 so she could spend some time with her grandfather, Andrew Verney. The Doctor sets the coordinates to Little Hodcombe, where Verney resides. However, the TARDIS experiences some turbulence and arrives in what appears to be a structurally unstable church. The Doctor, Tegan and Turlough, while watching on the scanner, see a man in 17th Century clothing, fleeing from the church and the Doctor dashes out to help him. However, the man has now vanished. Tegan is convinced that they have landed in the wrong time zone. However, Turlough tells her that he had checked the TARDIS coordinates and they were in 1984. As the Time Lord and his companions continue pursue the man, smoke starts to billow from a crack in the wall.

Eventually, the three travellers are captured by Captain Joseph Willow and taken to Sir George Hutchinson. The Doctor and his companions are first brought before Hampden and Colonel Ben Woolsey, who apologizes for the poor treatment that they received. Hutchinson arrives and explains to the Doctor that the town is celebrating the anniversary of the Battle of Little Hodcombe and then he urges him to join the celebration. Tegan then explains that they have come to this village to see her grandfather, Andrew Verney. She is informed that her grandfather is missing, and runs outside the room, upset. The Doctor follows but loses her. Tegan, still upset, is crying when someone steals her purse. She tries to get it back and she runs into a barn where she finds the ghost of an old man.

The Doctor returns to the church and meets a 17th Century peasant, Will Chandler, who emerges from a wall. He has been hidden in a priest hole and believes the year to be 1643. Turlough eventually rescues Tegan from the barn and they return to the TARDIS, where they see a sparkly projection on one of the walls. Meanwhile, the Doctor and Will investigate the church. Tegan and Turlough leave the TARDIS and they are re-captured. Turlough is locked in a building with Verney. Willow forces Tegan to change into a 17th century costume. He informs her that she is to become the Queen of the May.

The Doctor and Will continue to investigate. Eventually they find a secret passage back to Ben Woolsey’s living room under a slab marked with a picture of a creature that Will identifies as the Malus. Coming the other way through the passage, the Doctor and Will meet up with Hampden, who found the passage’s other end by accident after being locked in Colonel Wolsey's office. They avoid Hutchinson, who has followed Jane down the passage, and the Doctor finds a small ball of metal. The Doctor identifies the metal as “tinclavic,” a metal “mined by the Terileptils on the planet Raaga for the almost exclusive use of the people of Hakol,” a planet in the “star system Rifta,” where “psychic energy is a force to be harnessed.”

Returning to the church, the Doctor and Hampden are astonished when a massive alien face pushes its way through the crack on the wall, roaring and spewing smoke. They manage to escape from the psychic projection of a cavalier, and head back to the house via the tunnel. The Doctor realises that the Malus in the church was discovered by Verney and Hutchinson. The latter tried to exploit the creature, but instead, the creature began to use him by organizing the war games. He deduces that the psychic energy released by the war games has fed the Malus. The Doctor and Jane again try to persuade Hutchinson to stop the games, as the final battle will be for real. He refuses and orders Woolsey to kill the Doctor. However, once Hutchinson leaves, Woolsey joins forces with the Doctor.

The Queen of the May is taken in a horse-drawn cart towards the village green, where she is to be burned. When the cart arrives, Hutchinson suddenly noticed that the Queen is not Tegan, but a straw dummy that has been put in her place by Woolsey. Hutchinson becomes angry and he orders his men to kill Woolsey and the others. Will appears in the nick of time and uses a flame torch to cause a distraction, which allows the Doctor, Hampden, Woolsey and Tegan to escape and get back to the TARDIS. The Doctor locks the signal conversion unit on the frequency of the psychic energy feeding the Malus, hoping to be able to direct it. Willow and a trooper try in vain to break their way into the TARDIS, and Turlough and Verney knock them unconscious with lumps of masonry. The Doctor succeeds in blocking the energy, and the projection of the Malus in the TARDIS dies. The real Malus, in an act of desperation, attempts to drain as much psychic energy from the villagers as possible. He creates a corporeal projection of three roundheads who try to kill the Doctor, Woolsey, Tegan, Turlough, Hampden, Verney and Will. However, the dazed and confused trooper stumbles from the TARDIS and into the main church area, becomes surrounded by the roundheads, and they decapitate him then vanish.

Hutchinson arrives and holds them all at gunpoint. When the Doctor tries to talk Hutchinson out of the thrall of the Malus, Willow attacks the group. In the scuffle, Will pushes Hutchinson into the mouth of the Malus, destroying the Malus's medium. Realizing it has failed, the Malus prepares to destroy itself and everything around it. Subsequently the church begins to collapse and the Doctor leads the others, including Willow, into the safety of the TARDIS.

Inside the TARDIS, the Doctor's companions are surprised to see Will still among them. The Doctor explains that he must have been wrong in his assumption that Will was a psychic projection. He then says that the Malus must have created a temporal rift, which allowed Will to slip into the future. The Time Lord then says that he will take Will back to 1643. Tegan objects and ask the Doctor to allow her some time to visit her grandfather. The Doctor is initially disgruntled but he is persuaded to stay in Little Hodcombe for a while for a rest.

[edit] Continuity

  • No explanation is given for companion Kamelion's absence from this story.
  • The Doctor mentions the Terileptils mining tinclavic on the planet Raaga. Script editor Eric Saward added this in the script to create a reference to his own story The Visitation (1982). He had planned to write another story featuring the Terileptils, and wanted to make sure the audience remembered who they were. But as events worked out, Saward never wrote their planned return.
  • This was the first story to feature alterations to the Fifth Doctor's costume. The Doctor wears a lighter-coloured frock coat, and a white "v-neck" cricketer's sweater with thick red and black piping around the "v" and the lower waist, as opposed to the costume he wore during the previous two seasons where the "v-neck" piping was thin and coloured red, white and black and there was no piping around the waist. The shirt is also altered with green lining on the collar and where the shirt is buttoned, instead of red. The Doctor disposed of his original costume in episode 2 of the previous story, Warriors of the Deep, in which he disguised himself in the uniform of a Sea Base 4 guard; it is possible he never retrieved his costume from the base before he left. The Fifth Doctor would wear the secondary version of his costume for the remainder of the season, save for most of Planet of Fire (1984). The newly regenerated Sixth Doctor would also be seen wearing it during the first episode of his debut story, The Twin Dilemma (1984).
  • The Seventh Doctor encounters the other half of the Hakolian war machine that became the Malus in the Past Doctor Adventures novel The Hollow Men.

[edit] Production

Serial details by episode
EpisodeBroadcast dateRun timeViewership
(in millions)
"Part One" 19 January 1984 25:18 7.9
"Part Two" 20 January 1984 24:47 6.6
  • The working titles of this story were War Game and Poltergeist.
  • Pringle had submitted this story in the mid-1970s to then-script editor Robert Holmes as a four-part story entitled War Game. In the 1980s he resubmitted his story (as well as a different four-parter, The Darkness, possibly featuring the Daleks) to script editor Eric Saward. Realizing the story did not have enough impact for four episodes, it was later pared down to two, renamed Poltergeist and then finally The Awakening.
  • The story featured extensive location shooting and studio work. Saward wanted to add a TARDIS sequence with Tegan and Kamelion, utilising the robot prop and played in chameleonic form by Peter Davison and Mark Strickson. However, this scene was cut from the transmitted episode for timing reasons. The recovery of an early edit of episode one on video (in the personal archive of late producer John Nathan Turner) means that this element, previously thought lost, may now be included on a DVD release of the serial. A small part of the scene has appeared in the documentary Kamelion: Metal Man which featured on the DVD release of The King's Demons[5].
  • The master tape for Part One was found to have some scratch damage when the 1984 compilation version was being mastered, no protection copy was made at that time so the original tx master continued to deteriorate, the tape was checked in the early 90's and the scratch damage found to be far more intrusive than it had been in 84, fortunately the original film sequences were kept and using these, the compilation copy and the reprise from part 2, in 1997 the Doctor Who Restoration Team were able to make a repaired master copy. This was used for the VHS release. The episode will probably have to be restored from scratch when, at some point, it is mastered for DVD.
  • This was officially the final story of the series to consist of two 25-minute episodes. All two parters since then have been 45 minutes long per episode, including most of season 22 and several stories of the revived series. The Ultimate Foe, the concluding segment of The Trial of a Time Lord, is numbered on screen as Parts Thirteen and Fourteen of the latter title; furthermore, they share the same BBC production code, 7C, with the preceding four-part story arc, Terror of the Vervoids, even though they have their own separate novelisation and feature compilation.
  • The production designer for this story, Barry Newbery, had worked on Doctor Who intermittently ever since its very first story. After completing "Awakening", Newbery took early retirement from the BBC, making this story his last professional effort.
  • John Nathan-Turner liked the character of Will Chandler a great deal and seriously considered keeping him on as a companion. However, it was eventually concluded that Chandler's child-like character would quickly wear thin and lacked any clear path of development, so Nathan-Turner dropped the idea.

[edit] In print

Doctor Who book
Book cover
The Awakening
Series Target novelisations
Release number 95
Writer Eric Pringle
Publisher Target Books
Cover artist Andrew Skilleter
ISBN 0-426-20158-2
Release date 13 June 1985

A novelisation of this serial, written by Eric Pringle, was published by Target Books in February 1985.

[edit] Broadcast and VHS release

  • The story was repeated on BBC One in July 1984 as a 46min compilation (20/07/84) at 6.50pm. This story was released on a double VHS set with Frontios in March 1997. It will be released in a box set named Earth Story along with The Gunfighters on 20th June 2011.

[edit] References

  1. ^ From the Doctor Who Magazine series overview, in issue 407 (pp26-29). The Discontinuity Guide, which counts the unbroadcast serial Shada, lists this as story number 132. Region 1 DVD releases follow The Discontinuity Guide numbering system.
  2. ^ Shaun Lyon et al. (2007-03-31). "The Awakening". Outpost Gallifrey. Archived from the original on 2008-07-31. Retrieved 2008-08-30.
  3. ^ "The Awakening". Doctor Who Reference Guide. Retrieved 2008-08-30.
  4. ^ Sullivan, Shannon (2007-08-07). "The Awakening". A Brief History of Time Travel. Retrieved 2008-08-30.
  5. ^

[edit] External links

[edit] Reviews

[edit] Target novelisation

Direct download: TDP_183_awakening.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 12:30am UTC

TDP 182:The Gunfighters



In 19th Century America in the frontier town of Tombstone, Arizona, the troublesome Clanton brothers, Ike, Phineas and Billy, are in town in search of Doc Holliday to settle an old score over the death of another brother called Reuben. They meet up with their hired hand Seth Harper at the Last Chance Saloon. He knows what Holliday looks like and describes his coat and demeanour. This is overheard by bar singer Kate, who lets her paramour Holliday know he is in danger.

The TARDIS has arrived in a nearby stable, with the Doctor in agony from toothache. He and his companions Steven Taylor and Dodo Chaplet, dressed as cowboys, soon encounter local marshal Wyatt Earp, who offers them his protection and warns them to keep their counsel. The Doctor finds the dentist – Holliday himself - while Dodo and Steven book rooms at the local hotel. There they are mocked by the Clantons, who suspect the Doctor they refer to is Holliday himself. Seth Harper is sent to the dentist’s surgery and invites the Doctor, tooth removed, to the hotel in five minutes to meet his friends. Holliday is initially happy to let him be shot in his place, allowing the real Doc to disappear, but Kate intervenes to ensure the Doctor survives. This buys some time until Holliday relents and hides in an upstairs chamber of the hotel, firing his gun at appropriate moments to con the Clantons into thinking the Doctor is indeed Holliday the sharpshooter. Soon afterward Wyatt Earp and Sheriff Bat Masterson arrive and break up the fracas, taking the Doctor into custody for his own protection. Steven now becomes embroiled in a plot to smuggle the Doctor a gun to help free him from the jailhouse, but the Doctor refuses to be armed. Steven is shortly afterward confronted by a rabble wound up by the Clantons, who are intent on lynching him as an associate of the disreputable Holliday. Once more it is Earp and Masterson who defuse the situation, and also take Phin Clanton into custody to ensure the co-operation of his brothers. The Doctor and Steven are freed and told to leave town as soon as possible.

Dodo has meanwhile fallen in with Kate and Doc, who both plan to leave town and take her with them. When Seth Harper stumbles across their escape plans, Holliday kills him, and the trio then depart. Harper's role as aide to the Clantons is soon replaced by a new arrival, Johnny Ringo, who shoots local barman Charlie by way of an introduction to the town of Tombstone. The Doctor and Steven return to the Last Chance Saloon in search of Dodo and encounter the dangerous Ringo.

Wyatt Earp’s brothers Warren and Virgil have meanwhile arrived at Tombstone to help him enforce the law. The Doctor soon tells them that Ringo is in town. Events take a harsh turn when the other Clanton brothers visit the jail to free Phin, killing Warren Earp in the process.

Meanwhile Steven heads out of town to look for Dodo with Ringo in tow in search of Holliday. Steven and Kate end up being taken by Ringo to the Clanton ranch where the Clantons recamp and tell their father, Pa Clanton, that they have killed an Earp. Wyatt Earp swears vengeance and starts to build a posse of lawmen to deal with the Clantons once and for all. Doc Holliday returns to Tombstone with Dodo, and offers his services to his old friend Earp too. Attempts by the Doctor to defuse the situation amount to little: there will be a gunfight at the O.K. Corral. On the one side are the three Clanton brothers and Johnny Ringo; on the other, the two Earps and Doc Holliday. At the end of the gunfight Ringo and the three Clantons are shot dead. Shortly thereafter, the Doctor, Steven and Dodo slip away in the TARDIS.

They arrive on a strange planet, and decide to go out and have a look. As they leave, a strange man is seen approaching the TARDIS on the scanner.

[edit] Continuity

For dating of this episode, see the Chronology.

Apart from the time travellers, this serial intentionally takes dramatic liberties with historical events and many inaccuracies are present. For example, the participants in the gunfight are nearly entirely wrong; in the fight, Wyatt Earp, Morgan Earp, Virgil Earp, and Doc Holliday faced down Frank McLaury, Tom McLaury, and Billy Clanton. The McLaury brothers and Billy Clanton died.

Although Ike Clanton and Billy Claiborne were initially present at the scene of the gunfight, both ran from the fight and were unharmed. The Clantons' father had been killed by Mexican Rurales in an ambush in August 1881, in retribution for the killing of Mexicans at the Skeleton Canyon Massacre (and most likely did not wear a bowler hat). There was no one by the name of Reuben Clanton, and neither Johnny Ringo nor Phineas Clanton were in town at the time.

Warren Earp lived in Tombstone with his brothers, but he was not a marshal. James ran a saloon. Warren was shot and killed in a bar fight almost twenty years after the Tombstone events.

Likewise there is no basis in fact for anything about the depiction of the Last Chance Saloon. Neither its name, its offered entertainment, its set decoration, nor its apparent volume of business are appropriate to Tombstone saloons in 1881.[1]

[edit] Production

Serial details by episode
EpisodeBroadcast dateRun timeViewership
(in millions)
"A Holiday for the Doctor" 30 April 1966 23:48 6.5 16mm t/r
"Don't Shoot the Pianist" 7 May 1966 23:47 6.6 16mm t/r
"Johnny Ringo" 14 May 1966 23:52 6.2 16mm t/r
"The OK Corral" 21 May 1966 23:53 5.7 16mm t/r
  • The working title for this story was The Gunslingers.[5]
  • This was the last serial of the series to have individual episode titles (until the 2005 revival). From The Savages on, each serial had an overall title divided into numbered parts or episodes. Despite this, a caption at the end of The OK Corral read "Next Episode: Dr. Who and the Savages".[6]
  • According to About Time by Tat Wood and Lawrence Miles, this was the first Western made for British television.

[edit] Cast notes

[edit] Music

The Gunfighters is notable for being the first Doctor Who episodes to contain musical narration, in the form of the "Ballad of the Last Chance Saloon". It was sung by Lynda Baron, who does not appear onscreen (although Dodo appears to hear the ballad at the end of the serial). Baron would later appear, however, in the Fifth Doctor serial Enlightenment, in the role of Captain Wrack. (See also List of guest appearances in Doctor Who.) The ballad itself is included as an extra on the CD soundtrack release.

The notion of commissioning original songs for Doctor Who would resume when the series was revived in 2005, beginning with "Song for Ten" in The Christmas Invasion.

[edit] Broadcast and reception

A common myth is that this story has the lowest ratings of any Doctor Who story. This myth likely stems from a misunderstanding of the difference between audience share and Audience Appreciation scores. The former indicates the size of the viewing audience and the latter is based on a survey gauging the viewers' opinions of the programme.

In fact, the audience size for the serial ranged from 6.5 million viewers for the first episode to 5.7 million for the last. However, the Audience Appreciation scores for the last three episodes equalled or went below the lowest scores for Doctor Who, with the very last episode, "The O.K. Corral", having a score of 30%, the lowest ever to date.

That said, the story did post ratings that were disappointing by a number of different measures. The Gunfighters represented a significant decrease over the previous serial, The Celestial Toymaker, which had ranged from 7.8 to 9.4 million viewers. Each episode of The Gunfighters was also significantly lower than for the first 18 weeks of Series 3, wherein the lowest-rated week—at 7.9 million viewers—belonged to the episode "The Feast of Steven" from The Daleks' Master Plan. Each episode of the serial was also beaten by the serials, which were respectively broadcast in similar April–May slots in 1965 (The Space Museum) and in 1964 (The Keys of Marinus).

While not the lowest-rated Doctor Who story of all time, or even the lowest-rated Hartnell story, The Gunfighters did open a sustained period of significantly lower ratings for the program that would last almost the entirety of the remainder of the First Doctor's era. Beginning with "The O.K. Corral" — the very same episode that received the lowest Audience Appreciation figures of any Doctor Who episode — no Hartnell episode would top 6 million viewers until Episode 2 of his final story, The Tenth Planet.

[edit] In print

A novelisation of this serial, written by Donald Cotton, was published by Target Books in July 1985. It is narrated in first person by Doc Holliday (a framing scene introduces him on his deathbed) and makes a major change in the character of Johnny Ringo by depicting him as a student of the classics.

Doctor Who book
Book cover
The Gunfighters
Series Target novelisations
Release number 101
Writer Donald Cotton
Publisher Target Books
Cover artist Andrew Skilleter
ISBN 0-426-20195-7
Release date 9 January 1986

[edit] VHS, CD and DVD releases

This serial was released on VHS in November 2002. Later, in 2007, it was released on CD, with linking narration, the entire "Ballad of the Last Chance Saloon", and a bonus interview from Peter Purves. It will be released in a box set named Earth Story along with The Awakening on 20 June 2011.

[edit] References

  1. ^[dead link] Monahan, Sherry. Tombstone's Treasure: Silver Mines & Saloons. University of New Mexico Press. 2007.
  2. ^ Shaun Lyon et al. (2007-03-31). "The Gunfighters". Outpost Gallifrey. Archived from the original on 2008-03-31. Retrieved 2008-08-30.
  3. ^ "The Gunfighters". Doctor Who Reference Guide. Retrieved 2008-08-30.
  4. ^ Sullivan, Shannon (2005-04-29). "The Gunfighters". A Brief History of Time Travel. Retrieved 2008-08-30.
  5. ^ Howe, David J.; Stammers, Mark; Walker, Stephen James (1994). Doctor Who The Handbook - The First Doctor. London: Doctor Who Books. p. 126. ISBN 0 426 20430 1.
  6. ^ Howe, David J.; Walker, Stephen James (1998). "The Gunfighters: Things to watch out for...". Doctor Who: The Television Companion. London: BBC Worldwide. p. 89. ISBN 0 563 40588 0. Retrieved 7 March 2011.

[edit] External links

[edit] Reviews

[edit] Target novelisation

Direct download: TDP_182_The_Gunfighters_1.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 7:17am UTC

TDP 181: A Good Man Goes To War



[edit] Synopsis

The Doctor (Matt Smith) and Rory (Arthur Darvill) have discovered that Amy (Karen Gillan), Rory's wife and the Doctor's companion, has been taken from them and was replaced with a doppelganger made from 'the Flesh' ("The Almost People"). The Doctor has come to learn that the real Amy is being held on a secret asteroid base called "Demon's Run", and collects several old allies from across time and space, including Sontaran Commander Strax (Dan Starkey), Silurian Madame Vastra (Neve McIntosh) and her human companion Jenny (Catrin Stewart), and the black market trader Dorium Maldovar (Simon Fisher-Becker), to lay an assault on the base. Rory, after collecting information on the base's location from a Cyberman fleet, attempts to recruit River Song (Alex Kingston) from her Stormcage prison cell, but she refuses, saying she cannot be with the Doctor at this time as this battle is when he will discover her identity. Aboard the base, Madame Kovarian (Frances Barber), who has been watching over Amy during her pregnancy and taken her child, Melody, from her, prepares her human troops to fight the Doctor alongside the Order of the Headless Monks who reside at Demon's Run; the monks are literally headless and incapable of being influenced by emotions. Human soldier Lorna Bucket, who had met the Doctor as a young girl in the Gamma forests, attempts to befriend Amy and gives her a cloth good luck token with Melody's name on it in her language. Amy warns Bucket of the Doctor's fury if she fights against him.

Demons run when a good man goes to war
Night will fall and drown the sun
When a good man goes to war

Friendship dies and true love lies
Night will fall and the dark will rise
When a good man goes to war

Demons run, but count the cost
The battle's won, but the child is lost

River Song, explaining the meaning of the name of Demon's Run base

Assisted by additional Silurian and Judoon forces, the Doctor and his allies launch a surprise attack and secure the base. The Doctor and Rory free Amy and retake Melody before Madame Kovarian can escape with her. As the Doctor celebrates, considering this his greatest achievement, Vastra and Dorium discover that Kovarian has been scanning Melody and has found that the child has both human and Time Lord DNA. The Doctor surmises that Melody was likely conceived on Amy and Rory's wedding night aboard the TARDIS, the baby's DNA influenced by the time vortex. The rest of the Doctor's allies regroup, and Amy and Rory tend to their daughter using an ancient wooden cot that the Doctor claims was his own. Kovarian, well away from the base, contacts the Doctor, explaining that they will be using Melody as a weapon in the war against him. She takes delight in telling him he has fallen into another trap, and that "fooling [the Doctor] once was a joy, twice in the same way is a privilege." The Doctor races to the hangar to warn his friends. Meanwhile, Bucket has arrived and warns the group of Kovarian's trap, but they are too late as the TARDIS is blocked by a force field and they are attacked by the Headless Monks. Dorium is killed immediately, while Strax and Bucket are fatally wounded in the battle. At the same time, Kovarian, appearing through a hatch opening in midair near where Amy and Melody are hiding, tells the baby to wake up. The baby dissolves into the Flesh liquid, leaving Amy distraught.

The Doctor arrives too late to help his wounded allies, and helps Rory to console Amy. River appears, and the Doctor berates her for not helping. She tries to explain that she could not, and tells the Doctor how these recent events were partially his fault, having been brought about by those that feared his reputation. The Doctor, angry and emotional, demands to know who she is. River shows the Doctor the cot, and The Doctor recognises River's identity. Elated, he goes off on his own in the TARDIS to rescue Melody, asking River to return everyone to their proper time stream. Amy demands that River explain what the Doctor learned, and she shows them the cot. Initially Amy believes River is referring to the Gallifreyan symbols engraved on it, but they cannot be read by humans even with the aid of the TARDIS translation systems. Instead, River shows them Bucket's cloth charm with Melody's name, still in the cot. The Gamma forest people only know of one source of water ("The only water in the forest is the river" quotes Dr. Song) and have no word for "melody", Bucket used the closest approximations: "song" and "river". River Song re-introduces herself to Amy and Rory as their daughter.

[edit] Continuity

Dorium previously appeared in the opening to "The Pandorica Opens", selling River Song a vortex manipulator. Henry and Toby Avery, from "The Curse of the Black Spot", appear briefly to secure Madame Kovarian's ship. The space-worthy Spitfires modified by the Doctor and piloted by "Danny Boy" as shown in "Victory of the Daleks" are shown to disable the base's communication array.

Fat One and Thin One refer to the Doctor sending the Atraxi away from a planet before calling them back "for a scolding", an incident that took place in "The Eleventh Hour". The Headless Monks were previously mentioned in "The Time of Angels", added to that episode's script to help explain the Delirium Archive's monastic look.[2] Bucket refers to her unit as "the Clerics" - this unit was introduced in "The Time of Angels" / "Flesh and Stone".

"The only water in the forest is the river," the phrase River uses to explain why the people of the Gamma Forest translate Pond to River, was first said to Rory by Idris in "The Doctor's Wife". Rory wears the armour of a Roman centurion, as in "The Pandorica Opens" / "The Big Bang" and "A Christmas Carol". Amy also tells Melody of Rory's nickname of "the Last Centurion", derived from his two thousand-year vigil over the Pandorica in "The Big Bang". In describing Rory's time in and out of the TARDIS, the Doctor refers to "sexy fish vampires" ("The Vampires of Venice"), Rory's death and erasure from time ("Cold Blood") and his time as an Auton before the universe was restored ("The Pandorica Opens" / "The Big Bang").

[edit] Prequel

On 28 May 2011, immediately following the broadcast of "The Almost People", the BBC released a prequel to "A Good Man Goes to War". The prequel has Dorium talking to two Headless Monks. He gives them the brain of a Judoon, which contains a security protocol the hooded figures need. Dorium tells them that he knows what they are up to, as he hears a lot of rumours around the area. He asks them, "All this, to imprison one child? Oh, I know what you're up to, I hear everything in this place. I even hear rumours about whose child you've taken. Are you mad? You know the stories about the Doctor? The things that man has done? God help us if you make him angry!"[3]

[edit] Production

The seventh episode of series six was the 777th episode of Doctor Who, but there are no seven puns as the production team did not realise this until after shooting.[4]

[edit] Cast notes

Dan Starkey appears as the Sontaran Commander Strax. He previously played Commander Skorr in "The Sontaran Stratagem" / "The Poison Sky" (2008) and Commander Jask in The End of Time (2010). Neve McIntosh played the Silurian sisters Alaya and Restac in "The Hungry Earth" / "Cold Blood" (2010).

[edit] Broadcast and reception

Matt Risley of IGN rated the episode a 9.0/10, stating that the episode was an "epic" one that "opened with a grandstanding, wonderfully OTT pre-credits tease and didn't really let up from there."[5]

Gavin Fuller of The Telegraph said that the episode was good but lacked significant background motivation into the villains. Fuller also notes that the revelation of River Song being Amy's grown up child "is perhaps a narrative strand that would sit uncomfortably with a series where loss has often been brushed off as soon as the next couple of episodes". However, he did have praise for the performance of Matt Smith, commenting that "the last few weeks have seen Matt Smith’s Doctor in a welcome generally more serious vein, which he kept up here, with leavening at the right moments where his alien lack of comfort with human emotions, although used to comic effect, rang very true, as did his awkwardness when discovering the truth about River".[6]

Dan Martin of The Guardian was less favourable, stating that that the producers "promised us a cliffhanger, and now we're left the whole summer long to contemplate whether our favourite show can really have just dropped the ball. Oh there was plenty to love about this mid-season finale, and even more to pick over. But as an hour of drama it was all over the place". Because the episode was so fast-paced with little being explained, he did not feel any emotional connection to the Anglican marines or Lorna Bucket. Unlike Fuller, Martin was not favorable to Matt Smith's Doctor, stating that "the non-event of the battle means that the Doctor never really gets to show this dark side we've been hearing so much about" and that Smith's predecessor, David Tennant, "got angrier most weeks". Martin did have praise for the final reveal of the episode, stating that although it had been "hidden in plain view from the very beginning as soon as its revealed Amy has called the baby Melody", he was unable to make the connection and was suitably surprised.[7]

[edit] References

[edit] External links

Direct download: TDP_181_A_good_man_goes_to_war.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 7:27am UTC

TDP 180: The Almost People Smith 2.06

"The Almost People" is the sixth episode of the sixth series of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, and was first broadcast on BBC One on 28 May 2011. It is the second episode of a two-part story which began with "The Rebel Flesh".



[edit] Plot

[edit] Synopsis

The ganger of the Doctor struggles to reconcile his old regenerations, quoting from them, before he stabilises. Both Doctors look the same but can be told apart by their different shoes. The two Doctors determine that they need to restore power to the factory in order to send a distress call to the mainland. Amy becomes distrustful of the ganger Doctor and asks him not to call her "Pond", his sobriquet for her.

While the group escapes from the chapel, the Jennifer ganger explains that every time a ganger dies, the last question in their eyes is "Why?". She convinces the other gangers to rise up against humanity. Rory, still looking for Jennifer, eventually finds two Jennifers, each insisting they are the 'real' Jennifer. They fight each other; one finally pushes the other into an acid pool, where she melts and is revealed to be a ganger.

The humans and the Doctors arrive at the power control room. Sensing the Flesh in his head, the ganger Doctor runs outside, and Amy runs after him. She confronts him about the death she witnessed, but the ganger Doctor does not respond. He echoes the Jennifer ganger's question: "'Why?' It's all the eyes say. 'Why?'"

He pushes Amy up against the wall, and she runs back into the control room, scared. Cleaves separates the Doctors, saying they cannot trust the ganger. The Doctor sends his ganger and Buzzer off to find Rory and Jennifer, explaining that the sonic screwdriver can distinguish between humans and the Flesh.

Jennifer leads Rory to a room and asks him to initiate a power system, but this instead turns off the factory's cooling system and the acid begins to boil. The Doctor and the humans are forced to flee the communications room as acid pipes start to explode. Jennifer and Rory come across a pile of discarded gangers, left to rot but fully aware. Rory says they have to show the world what they have found: to this end, Jennifer tricks Rory into locking the humans and the Doctor into the crypt, and Jennifer reveals herself to be in fact another Jennifer ganger.

This episode features the 'Eye Patch Lady'.

Meanwhile, Jennifer has killed Buzzer and the Doctor ganger is recruited by the other gangers. With the help of a holographic phone call to Jimmy's son, the Doctor ganger convinces them that they share the same compassion as the humans. Ganger Cleaves orders the humans released. This enrages Jennifer, who transforms into a monster intent on killing them all.

The group runs through the factory and find the TARDIS, which falls through the ceiling. The Cleaves ganger and the Doctor say they will remain to hold back the Jennifer ganger. Amy tries to get the Doctor into the TARDIS, but he reveals that they switched boots; the ganger Doctor and the original have been pretending to be each other all along. Amy apologises for mistrusting them, and the ganger Doctor tells Amy, "Push - but only when she tells you to." The Doctor and Cleaves gangers stay behind as the others leave, sacrificing themselves to destroy Jennifer.

The Doctor drops Cleaves and the Jimmy ganger off at their company headquarters. Amy suddenly begins to feel pain in her abdomen, and The Doctor tells her she is having contractions. In the TARDIS, the Doctor tells Amy she is a ganger, and has not actually been with them for a long time. He explains they visited the factory so he could scan the Flesh in its early stages. He promises to find the real Amy, and blocks her connection to the ganger. The ganger disintegrates.

Amy wakes up in a white room. The Eye Patch Lady slides back a window and looks down on her, telling her to push. Amy looks down to see that she is pregnant, and screams as she goes into labour.

[edit] Continuity

While struggling with his past regenerations, the Doctor's ganger alludes to several previous Doctors' words. He misquotes the First Doctor's line "one day we shall get back... yes, one day" from An Unearthly Child as "one day we will get back", speaks the Third Doctor's famous line "reverse the polarity of the neutron flow", and speaks with the voices of the Fourth and Tenth Doctors (Tom Baker and David Tennant respectively), the former expressing that Doctor's fondness for jelly babies.[1]

The Eye Patch Lady previously made brief appearances in "Day of the Moon", "The Curse of the Black Spot" and "The Rebel Flesh".

According to Executive Producer Beth Willis, the Amy Pond ganger has been acting in place of the original Amy Pond since the beginning of series 6.[1] The original Amy is shown to be in labour; the Doctor has performed several inconclusive pregnancy tests on Amy since "Day of the Moon".

Believing she is talking to the Doctor's ganger, Amy informs the original Doctor of his future self's death as seen in "The Impossible Astronaut".

[edit] Production

[edit] Cast notes

Raquel Cassidy previously appeared in the Fifth Doctor audio drama The Judgement of Isskar where she played Mesca.[2] Cassidy also previously starred in the BBC TV series Party Animals alongside Matt Smith.

Marshall Lancaster, who played Buzzer, has also starred Life On Mars and Ashes To Ashes, which were written by Matthew Graham, who wrote this episode and also "The Rebel Flesh".

[edit] Broadcast and reception

Dan Martin of The Guardian said of the episode, "The Almost People feels a bit uneven, though it's worth saying that it's one of those where everything makes more sense on second viewing",[3] but went on to describe the gangers as "an exercise in moral dilemmas", and "memorable Almost Villains".[3] Gavin Fuller of The Telegraph described it as a "taut, claustrophobic, sci-fi thriller", and as an "impressive episode with its neatly realised psychological and body horror"[4]. A largely positive review also came from Neela Debnath of The Independent, who states that Matt Smith "excels in his acting, managing to be reassuring and threatening, hilarious and sinister all within the same few scenes".[5].

Both Martin and Fuller were less generous of Jennifer's monster transformation. Martin commented "this dark, thoughtful story is restored to camp running-for-your-life-around-some-corridors"[3], and Fuller called it "something of a pity".[4]

[edit] International broadcast

BBC America plans to show this episode on 4 June, one week later than it is aired in the UK, due to expected low numbers of TV viewers during the Memorial Day weekend.[6]

Direct download: TDP_180_almost_people_1.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 8:30pm UTC


Direct download: TDP_SPECIAL.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:01pm UTC