Paul Cornells Terror of the Autons Review

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Luke Curtis

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Jul 21, 2000, 3:00:00 AM7/21/00
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Terror of the Autons review by Paul Cornell, as originally printed in
DWB 112, April 1993.

as requested by a few people in the Cornell Pisses on RADW (again)
thread.


>THE FIRST THING anybody thinks of encountering season eight,
>concerning Delgado's master, concerning Terror of the Autons is a
>circus.
>
>Rossini's Circus. And a circus was a good place to start the season
>for two reasons, because the big top could contain many of Robert
>Holmes' obsessions, and because the big top is a place to demonstrate
>tricks. The trick was that Holmes' obsessions weren't going to be
>entertained at all. And neither were we.
>
>We remember a lot of the Perwee era as being well written because
>Dicks' and Hulke's books of the time are so great. Malcolm simply
>increases the characterization and depth. Terrance edits the
>dialogue, the details, and even the plots to make sweeping positive
>changes. The book of Terror is miles better than the video.
>
>Let's examine Holmesian touches in Terror.
>
>Firstly, little lines like "Ham fisted bun vendor!" shine through,
>although they do play a part in characterizing the Pertwee Doctor as
>dislikable. From Tom Baker's mouth, a Holmes put down is countered by
>a villain, a situation, or an equally capable assistant to make the
>Doctor sound charmingly petulant. From Pertwee's mouth, a Holmes put
>down smacks the other characters round the face, none of them having
>the wit to retaliate. Only Nicholas Courtney's impregnable Brigadier
>survives the onslaught, and that's because he's one of only two good
>actors in the Pertwee team. I`ll get to the other one in a minute.
>
>Holmsian humour appears in Terror too, though if you blink you'll miss
>it. Firstly, there's the 'clubbish' aspect, Pertwee displays
>worryinglyknowledge of (token zero-plot material civil servant)
>Brownrose's boss, Tubby Rowlands. His reply to Rossini' s cliche that
>gentlemen don't talk about money is the absolutely Holmsian "gentlemen
>never talk about anything else". It's a Curious phrase, a Beau Brummel
>bon mot that marks Pertwee out as one of the bourgeoisie, a man at
>home with brandy and cigars. Indeed, the way the Master holds that
>weapon of his is exactly like a cigar. Cast Orson Welles and we'd have
>got to Revenge of the Rotarians by season ten. This clubby trait isn't
>anything to do with characterization, it's the standard Holmes motif
>for absolutely everything. It extends through Avon's inexplicable cry
>of "you dummy" in Gambit, to the hugely uncharacteristic Davison
>dialogue in The Caves of Androzani, to the selfish and bitter piece
>Holmes wrote about himself for the Peter Haining book.
>
>One can imagine Holmes and Hitchcock getting on, chuckling over death
>and pornography. Not that makes him a bad writer. Indeed his honesty
>and character mark him out from some of the later fakes. No, the
>trouble with the Holmesian jokes in Terror is that the rest of the
>production fights against them so much.
>
>Consider the Master's gloating lines: "I'm simply trying out a new
>product" "He just slipped away." They're delivered not with the
>indulgent black comedy that Williams developed. but with absolute lack
>of meaning by Delgado. It's possible that the actor wanted to put them
>over as single entendres. There's the difference between Delgado and
>Pertwee. Delgado had just started to act his part, would develop into
>something reasonably impressive. Pertwee had just stopped. However,
>Delgado' s infant skills apart, I'd guess that he was directed to play
>the lines straight, because the production team wasn't going along
>with what Holmes was trying to do.
>
>Like many of the best things about Doctor Who, Terrance Dicks had
>obviously been involved in shaking up the show's format between
>seasons seven and eight. The new format he comes up with is actually
>quite good, and I'd go so far as to say that it's the key that led to
>the in creasing fortunes of the show and the audience (if not
>creative) triumph of the Hinchcliffe years. In season seven, for all
>its quality and depth, Doctor Who looked like a show just struggling
>to avoid cancellation. Things changed from week to week, nothing was
>ever settled. The viewer didn't know to expect. It may be said that
>these traits are also the hallmarks of serious drama, but serious
>drama has never been what Doctor WHO needed. The reformatting put
>Doctor Who in the same bracket as any number of BBC drama series, fire
>bracket that would later be epitomized by Robot Banks Stewart's
>control over form and function in Shoestring, Bergerac, etc. It a
>smoothed out a lot of edges, giving the Doctor a permanent base in
>the shape of the lab, and a friendly looking lab it was too, unlike
>that Warehouse in Spearhead. UNIT was tuned into four actors and some
>stuntmen, rather than the anonymous body of variable soldiers it had
>been.
>
>The other characters were people out of BBC drama, who had human needs
>like cocoa and human problems like a need to challenge their parents.
>All in all, the format was built to last.
>
>Unfortunately, it was also designed to smooth over the cracks,
>particularly the cracks that Holmes enjoyed, Hence the po-faced
>reaction to his jokes, and the way that Pertwee stops trying to put
>any emotion into his character at all. While the Brigadier is given
>his last shreds of decent dialogue (recognizing the Doctor doesn`t
>need a scientist but a bimbo) even in this story he has to be told to
>search the plastics factories. If final proof were needed that the
>production is fighting Holmes, look at the scene where McDermot is
>wallowed by the chair. Rather than milk the Master's failing to trap
>him because of his Irish garrulousness (it's probably a blessing that
>this wasn't as played-up as Holmes would want) and then having to
>order him to sit down, it's all treated as terribly serious drama.
>Perhaps there' s been some tinkering with the script.
>
>Does the scientific accuracy of 'schizoid dissociation' seem Holmesian
>to you? And is this Bondish lurch from set piece to set piece
>something that the grand master of structure would have been proud of?
>As an aside, it's interesting note that some features of the format
>weren't retained. The Brigadier's line about 'not being totally
>desk-bound yet', and the rather strange disagreement that results from
>it show that he was going to be a bit more of a Picard figure, giving
>Benton and Yates the action roles. And the Doctor is given great
>screen time to boil out the contents of the Master's bomb, thus
>allowing the very last mention of what would have been an interesting
>conflict, as UNIT want alien technology for the weapons boffins, and
>the Doctor wants to deny them it.
>
>Hopefully Letts not to take the credit because he's ashamed. He does
>make two good decisions: using a different actor to portray the Master
>in disguise, and declining an action man to use CSO in examining the
>contents of the scientist's lunchbox. Unfortunately, Baz's love for
>CSO extends beyond all rational limits. In a show where there's
>obviously the ability to film exterior shots and cars, we get a CSO
>car interior. And a CSO wall. And a CSO kitchen. Indeed, the show
>becomes a comic strip visually at the same time as it does in dramatic
>terms, the typical Letts shot being somebody's face stepping into
>frame in front of a CSO background and shouting. Captions like
>'Meanwhile' ought to have appeared at the top of the screen. Often, we
>don't see who's speaking, and the incredible prissiness of not letting
>us see the Doctor dissect solid plastic... the mind fails to boggle.
>
>This is the place where any hint of feminine is stamped on. Zoe was
>quite a feminist character, mainly because Troughton refused to
>suppress her. Liz was a real sister. Jo was a bimbo. You can see Katy
>Manning (the other good Pertwee actor thinking bimbo, you can imagine
>her pacing the set beforehand and repeating "think bimbo, think
>bimbo..." As the exchange goes: "I'm not the tea lady." "Then what
>the blazes are you doing here?" We're expected to swallow the idea
>that Jo, having recently UNIT training, doesn't actually believe in
>aliens. And as for all the ordering her about and getting her to be
>cute and not get her pretty head into trouble... what a load of sexist
>nonsense.
>
>The UNIT family are set up as a circus, a lot of sound and fury
>signifying tea time. Toy soldiers who emphasize their family status by
>traveling in a family saloon. There's even a big black actor,
>employed to be strong, silent and drunken. Real seventies
>entertainment. And there are hardly any Autons in it. They don't get
>to say anything or show off their gun business until part three. And
>the ending' scrap too, the Master suddenly deciding to change sides
>for no reason at all. Again, in the book, Terrance at least has the
>Brigadier threaten to shoot him.
>
>So no, it could actually have been good, if they'd let Holmes have his
>head, and the new format should have allowed a little more life and
>humanity into the series. But no, they exiled the Doctor to Earth and
>made him a Tory.
>
>(3) [out of 10]
--
"Some days are like bouncers, they don`t let you in"
(U2)

Roger Anderson

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Jul 21, 2000, 3:00:00 AM7/21/00
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Luke Curtis <luke....@virgin.net> wrote in message
news:9qghnssga80hjmcsp...@4ax.com...

> Terror of the Autons review by Paul Cornell, as originally printed in
> DWB 112, April 1993.
>
> as requested by a few people in the Cornell Pisses on RADW (again)
> thread.
[snipped review]

Interesting, has Paul come in for some attacks over this? Apologies I
haven't been following the thread.

I have to disagree with his viewpoint, I love the story but then it was my
first Who story so it holds a special place. All the same Paul's a damned
nice chap and I'll just have to live with the fact, horror of horrors, that
we disagree over this one! First stories and Doctors tend to defy any later
criticism in my experience. I can watch all of Pertwee and enjoy it apart
from Colony in Space which I find painful in the extreme! But then I can
find something to like in most eras of 'Who', strange chap that I am!
--
All the very best

Roger Anderson

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Steve Day

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Jul 21, 2000, 3:00:00 AM7/21/00
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This and The Mutants are the two Who stories I have never seen. Whats
so bad about them?

These stories are two that currently I cannot be judgemental about
because I know nothing much about them, bar fan opinion.


*
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'...a brilliant piece of television...'
*

Douglas B. Killings

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Jul 21, 2000, 3:00:00 AM7/21/00
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Luke Curtis wrote:

> Terror of the Autons review by Paul Cornell, as originally printed in
> DWB 112, April 1993.

<snip>

> But no, they exiled the Doctor to Earth and
> >made him a Tory.

But... wasn't Jon Pertwee already a Tory? (I'm sure I read that
somewhere...)

--
Douglas B. Killings,
Video Czar, ChiCon 2000 (58th WorldCon)
DeTr...@EnterAct.Com

Fanfiction Website:
http://www.enteract.com/~detroyes/teotp/teotp.html

"Any fool can walk on water if the world is cold enough."

MAPPY

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Jul 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM7/22/00
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Roger Anderson wrote:

> > as requested by a few people in the Cornell Pisses on RADW (again)
> > thread.

> [snipped review]
>
> Interesting, has Paul come in for some attacks over this?

You could say that. ;)

--
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High on Life, Cheese and Caffeine >^.^< Squeak!
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Captain Fett

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Jul 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM7/22/00
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Steve Day:

>This and The Mutants are the two Who >stories I have never seen. Whats
>so bad about them?

I never thought either was bad. I always remember enjoying them. Plus, Colony
in Space had Delgado in it.I haven't seen them in a decade though so maybe I'd
change my opinion.
-fett

"It takes 2 to lie: 1 to lie, and 1 to listen"

-"And if you're not down with that, I got 2 words for ya!: SUCK IT!"


Matt Michael

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Jul 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM7/22/00
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Steve Day:
>This and The Mutants are the two Who
>stories I have never seen. Whats
>so bad about them?


Well, Colony is just very, *very* slow. There're a few good bits (the
entrance of the Master, the alien civilisation), but mostly it's quite dull
without much drama. Plus the fact that it's cowboys and indians in space,
and I've never been much of a fan of that genre. However, there are much
worse stories, and you might enjoy it.

The Mutants is, OTOH, tedious and pointless. The reason for the Doctor's
arrival is illogical (why do the Time Lords need him to deliver the pod to
Ky? He doesn't have any information about it. Why didn't they send it to
Ky direct, or at least brief the Doctor about who it was for and why?). It
unfolds as a not particularly clever commentary on decolonisation (the
Marshall and co. represent the colonising power; the Solonians the colonised
who are "growing up", metaphorically, in the sense that they're evolving,
and literally, as we see they're organising an independence movement), with
much of the usual capture-escape nonsense. Had The Mutants been four
episodes long and featured good actors giving their best then it might have
worked. As it is, it's over-long, under-plotted and badly acted.

matt
Everything I say is my opinion.

Nick Lancaster

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Jul 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM7/22/00
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On Fri, 21 Jul 2000 23:26:34 +0100, Steve Day
<steve...@ntlworld.com> wrote:

>This and The Mutants are the two Who stories I have never seen. Whats
>so bad about them?
>

>These stories are two that currently I cannot be judgemental about
>because I know nothing much about them, bar fan opinion.

I thought they were okay. They both drag a little, and The Mutants is
ludicrously silly at times, but they're both quite watchable.


love,
Lanky
-making up the words as i go along
http://go.to/lanky

Adam Richards

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Jul 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM7/22/00
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On Fri, 21 Jul 2000 23:26:34 +0100, Steve Day
<steve...@ntlworld.com> wrote:

>This and The Mutants are the two Who stories I have never seen. Whats
>so bad about them?
>
>These stories are two that currently I cannot be judgemental about
>because I know nothing much about them, bar fan opinion.

IMO, Colony in Space is rather dull, and veers into Star Trekness near
the end when the "doomsday weapon" (and it's keepers, a race of Star
Trek aliens if ever there was one) come into it.

The Mutants is similarly drawn-out, but not half as bad IMO, and much
underrated. The acting and direction are good, apart from "Rick James"
playing Cotton.

======================================================
Adam Richards Ad...@roblang.demon.co.uk

Alan McWhan

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Jul 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM7/22/00
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MAPPY <mappyt...@start.com.au> wrote in message
news:3978E1...@start.com.au...

> Roger Anderson wrote:
>
> > > as requested by a few people in the Cornell Pisses on RADW (again)
> > > thread.
> > [snipped review]
> >
> > Interesting, has Paul come in for some attacks over this?
>
> You could say that. ;)

I haven't really been paying much attention to the Cornell Pisses on RADW
thread but I read the review and can't actually say that I disagree with
much of it. Apart from him somewhat offensively saying that Katy Manning was
good.

dbf

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Jul 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM7/22/00
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Yes, Cotton is unbelievable....

Perry Armstrong

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Jul 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM7/22/00
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Matt Michael wrote:

> Steve Day:


> >This and The Mutants are the two Who
> >stories I have never seen. Whats
> >so bad about them?
>

> Well, Colony is just very, *very* slow. There're a few good bits (the
> entrance of the Master, the alien civilisation), but mostly it's quite dull
> without much drama. Plus the fact that it's cowboys and indians in space,
> and I've never been much of a fan of that genre. However, there are much
> worse stories, and you might enjoy it.

Certain aspects of the plot of "Colony In Space" are very similar to "Death to
the Daleks", in that the natives of both planets regressed from a high level of
civilization to a primitive state as a result of their own supertechnology
getting out of their control. I thought this story worked much better as a
Target novelisation than it did on screen.

> The Mutants is, OTOH, tedious and pointless. The reason for the Doctor's
> arrival is illogical (why do the Time Lords need him to deliver the pod to
> Ky? He doesn't have any information about it. Why didn't they send it to
> Ky direct, or at least brief the Doctor about who it was for and why?). It
> unfolds as a not particularly clever commentary on decolonisation (the
> Marshall and co. represent the colonising power; the Solonians the colonised
> who are "growing up", metaphorically, in the sense that they're evolving,
> and literally, as we see they're organising an independence movement), with
> much of the usual capture-escape nonsense. Had The Mutants been four
> episodes long and featured good actors giving their best then it might have
> worked. As it is, it's over-long, under-plotted and badly acted.

Good summary. The Mutants themselves are a particularly wonderful piece of
costume design, but overall the story itself just isn't very memorable.

Perry Armstrong.


Daniel Blythe

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Jul 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM7/22/00
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"Douglas B. Killings" <detr...@EnterAct.COM> wrote in message
news:3978EC55...@EnterAct.COM...

> But... wasn't Jon Pertwee already a Tory? (I'm sure I read that
> somewhere...)

Does it matter?


--
Daniel Blythe
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------
"Who Are You? What Do You Want? Where Are You Going?
Who Do You Serve, and Who Do You Trust?"
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------

Cardinal Zorak

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Jul 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM7/22/00
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Anyone else notice that all of "Earth 2" is ripped off from Colony in Space?

Cardinal Z
"Werewolf?"
"There wolf, there castle!"
--
"Perry Armstrong" <pe...@suzyj.net> wrote in message
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Cardinal Zorak

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Jul 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM7/22/00
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The guy who played Sondergaard (John Hollis) gives a superb performance that
justifies the time spent watching this story. In fact he is so amazing I
would have liked to see him as "the bald Doctor". One of the few people
that PertweeDoc treats as an equal, and wonder of wonders he actually
survives to bring peace and understanding to Solos!!! Lovely.

Cardinal Z
"Werewolf?"
"There wolf, there castle!"
--

"Matt Michael" <matt.m...@virgin.net> wrote in message
news:hVce5.3000$yE4....@news2-win.server.ntlworld.com...


>
> Steve Day:
> >This and The Mutants are the two Who
> >stories I have never seen. Whats
> >so bad about them?
>
>
> Well, Colony is just very, *very* slow. There're a few good bits (the
> entrance of the Master, the alien civilisation), but mostly it's quite
dull
> without much drama. Plus the fact that it's cowboys and indians in space,
> and I've never been much of a fan of that genre. However, there are much
> worse stories, and you might enjoy it.
>

> The Mutants is, OTOH, tedious and pointless. The reason for the Doctor's
> arrival is illogical (why do the Time Lords need him to deliver the pod to
> Ky? He doesn't have any information about it. Why didn't they send it to
> Ky direct, or at least brief the Doctor about who it was for and why?).
It
> unfolds as a not particularly clever commentary on decolonisation (the
> Marshall and co. represent the colonising power; the Solonians the
colonised
> who are "growing up", metaphorically, in the sense that they're evolving,
> and literally, as we see they're organising an independence movement),
with
> much of the usual capture-escape nonsense. Had The Mutants been four
> episodes long and featured good actors giving their best then it might
have
> worked. As it is, it's over-long, under-plotted and badly acted.
>

Adam Richards

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Jul 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM7/22/00
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On Fri, 21 Jul 2000 22:42:47 +0100, Luke Curtis
<luke....@virgin.net> wrote:

>Terror of the Autons review by Paul Cornell, as originally printed in
>DWB 112, April 1993.
>
>as requested by a few people in the Cornell Pisses on RADW (again)
>thread.

Thank you, Luke.

>>THE FIRST THING anybody thinks of encountering season eight,
>>concerning Delgado's master, concerning Terror of the Autons is a
>>circus.

<giggle> No, the first thing I think of is Delgado's Master!

>>Rossini's Circus. And a circus was a good place to start the season
>>for two reasons, because the big top could contain many of Robert
>>Holmes' obsessions,

Strawman?

>>and because the big top is a place to demonstrate
>>tricks. The trick was that Holmes' obsessions weren't going to be
>>entertained at all. And neither were we.

Well I was entertained....

<pitying frown> Don't you just hate it when other people speak for
you?

>>We remember a lot of the Perwee era as being well written because
>>Dicks' and Hulke's books of the time are so great.

I remember it being quite OK, not because of any books, but because in
America where I grew up the Pertwee era was always on TV, and when I
moved to the UK I had instant access to bootleg videotapes of it.

I wouldn't call myself a "fan" of the Pertwee era at all; I think on
the whole, after season 7, it's so very, very average. I do like this
one story a lot though.

I probably take the piss out of Pertwee and his era as much as anyone
does. It would be fun to read some "Perigosto Stick" style pisstakes
of Terror of the Autons; what I find so sad about this review of
Terror (and I'd like to think that in retrospect Paul would agree with
me) is its utter, almost wounded, seriousness. Time and again, we have
the militant PC approach, instead of simply accepting it as a piece of
naturally gaudy, silly, '70s TV. Which is all Terror of the Autons is,
let's face it.

>>Malcolm simply
>>increases the characterization and depth. Terrance edits the
>>dialogue, the details, and even the plots to make sweeping positive
>>changes. The book of Terror is miles better than the video.

I think both have their strengths as well as weaknesses. But
generally, I prefer the TV story. I like, for example, the way it's so
much more violent. When I first saw it, I was particularly impressed
by the scene where the Master is climbing a stairwell high above the
ground, and passes someone coming down in the opposite direction. As
he draws level with the guy, he pushes him over the railing, and he
falls, with a blood-curdling cry - "WAAAAUUUUUUGGHHHHHHHH" - to his
almost certain death. SPLAATT! Gloriously over-the-top violence,
complete with double-cut camera shots of the body falling - I love it!

We didn't get *that* scene in the book, did we? :-)

>>Let's examine Holmesian touches in Terror.
>>
>>Firstly, little lines like "Ham fisted bun vendor!" shine through,
>>although they do play a part in characterizing the Pertwee Doctor as
>>dislikable.

Not as dislikeable as Hartnell or Colin though, IMO.

>>From Tom Baker's mouth, a Holmes put down is countered by
>>a villain, a situation, or an equally capable assistant to make the
>>Doctor sound charmingly petulant. From Pertwee's mouth, a Holmes put
>>down smacks the other characters round the face, none of them having
>>the wit to retaliate.

You're saying that Holmes writes his characters one way in the Tom
Baker era, and a totally different way in the Pertwee era? Why would
that be, d'you think?

I don't think these characters "don't have the wit to retaliate", I
think it's more a case of them being less inclined to rise to the
Doc's taunts. Several times in Terror, the camera shows us Jo Grant's
(and the Brigadier's) facial reactions to the Doc's comments - his
reaction seems to be an unspoken muttering of "Twat!", while her
reaction seems, to me, to be "Oh, not again - just ignore him!" Like
Liz's reaction to his harping on about the Brig's destruction of the
Silurians in the opening minutes of Ambassadors of Death part one.

>>Only Nicholas Courtney's impregnable Brigadier
>>survives the onslaught, and that's because he's one of only two good
>>actors in the Pertwee team.

Sweeping statement designed to get an angry reaction?

My reaction: "That's what you think? Yeah, so what?"

>>I`ll get to the other one in a minute.
>>
>>Holmsian humour appears in Terror too, though if you blink you'll miss
>>it.

I think you must have blinked a lot during this particular story. :-)

>>Firstly, there's the 'clubbish' aspect, Pertwee displays
>>worryinglyknowledge of (token zero-plot material civil servant)
>>Brownrose's boss, Tubby Rowlands. His reply to Rossini' s cliche

No, Rossini is owner of the circus, not Brownrose's boss...

>>that
>>gentlemen don't talk about money is the absolutely Holmsian "gentlemen
>>never talk about anything else". It's a Curious phrase, a Beau Brummel
>>bon mot that marks Pertwee out as one of the bourgeoisie, a man at
>>home with brandy and cigars.

Not necessarily. If you listen to the way he attacks Brownrose, he
seems (to me) to be taking that type down a peg. He also appears to be
winging it - he's guessing about Rowlands; he doesn't know for sure.
This is evidenced by the Doc's sudden U-turn, and his nervous comment,
"Yes... We'll say no more about it..."

It's funny, y'know: whenever I say "McCoy" instead of "the 7th
Doctor", I seem to get my wrist slapped for "getting personal". But
Paul is doing it relentlessly here, saying "Pertwee this" and "Pertwee
that". It doesn't bother me at all, I'm just wondering: if this were a
review of a McCoy story and Paul kept saying "McCoy this" and "McCoy
that" I bet he'd get some complaints, y'know...

I didn't mean to strawman anyone just there - sorry if I did. :-)

>>Indeed, the way the Master holds that weapon of his is exactly like
>>a cigar.

Yes. As is clearly shown elsewhere, the Master sees himself as
something of a wheeler-dealer, and a bigger fish than he actually is.
What's the problem?

>>Cast Orson Welles and we'd have
>>got to Revenge of the Rotarians by season ten. This clubby trait isn't
>>anything to do with characterization,

Oh yes it is, it's the Master down to a tee.

>>it's the standard Holmes motif for absolutely everything.

I know, it's all over The Krotons, Power of Kroll and Mysterious
Planet, isn't it?

>>It extends through Avon's inexplicable cry of "you dummy" in
>>Gambit,

Sigh - so we're all supposed to have an intimate knowledge of Blake's
7 episodes are we? How disappointing.

(But yes, I do know about the episode "Gambit" - indeed, it's my
favourite B7 episode - even so; tut-tut....)

>>to the hugely uncharacteristic Davison dialogue in The Caves of
>>Androzani,

"Hugely uncharacteristic"? I can't agree there. Holmes knew "The
Doctor" - *my* "Doctor" - better than any writer, and whether that
Doctor was Pertwee or Davison, I always found his dialogue both "in
character" and effective.

>>to the selfish and bitter piece
>>Holmes wrote about himself for the Peter Haining book.

<lifts handbag> Oooooh!

>>One can imagine Holmes and Hitchcock getting on, chuckling over death
>>and pornography.

And *WHAT* is wrong with pornography? Hmmmm? :-)

I sense we're getting into "I simply can't stand this writer or his
work" territory here. Just pure, personal hatred. Fine, I can accept
that. I myself have personal issues with certain writers, Marc Platt
and Ben Aaronovitch to name two, so I can understand where Paul is
coming from. I simply hope others extend to me the same respect for
*my* personal opinions, when ever/if ever I choose to express them
(big hint).

>>Not that makes him a bad writer. Indeed his honesty
>>and character mark him out from some of the later fakes.

Like Eric Saward, you mean?

>>No, the
>>trouble with the Holmesian jokes in Terror is that the rest of the
>>production fights against them so much.
>>
>>Consider the Master's gloating lines: "I'm simply trying out a new
>>product" "He just slipped away." They're delivered not with the
>>indulgent black comedy that Williams developed.

I agree; they're subtler than that.

>>but with absolute lack of meaning by Delgado.

Oh no, very wrong. They have meaning alright. It's just that the
meaning isn't as apparent on the surface as it would be from a less
devious person. It ain't shoved up yer nose.

>>It's possible that the actor wanted to put them
>>over as single entendres.

It's also possible that the director said, "Don't go over the top" and
Delgado is simply a very good actor.

>>There's the difference between Delgado and
>>Pertwee. Delgado had just started to act his part, would develop into
>>something reasonably impressive. Pertwee had just stopped. However,
>>Delgado' s infant skills apart, I'd guess that he was directed to play
>>the lines straight, because the production team wasn't going along
>>with what Holmes was trying to do.

I think they were; I think what Holmes intended was for the Master to
be subtle. Melodramatic Victorian Ainleyesque moustache twiddling
didn't really come into the picture until JN-T took over.

<snip stuff I agreed with concerning re-formatting of the show>

>>Unfortunately, it was also designed to smooth over the cracks,
>>particularly the cracks that Holmes enjoyed, Hence the po-faced
>>reaction to his jokes, and the way that Pertwee stops trying to put
>>any emotion into his character at all.

An overstatement. He does put a lot of anger into it. I don't think
Pertwee was the greatest actor on Earth (not even a very good one) but
even so, I can't picture the real Jon Pertwee being *that* nasty and
irrascible with people at that point.

>>While the Brigadier is given
>>his last shreds of decent dialogue (recognizing the Doctor doesn`t
>>need a scientist but a bimbo) even in this story he has to be told to
>>search the plastics factories. If final proof were needed that the
>>production is fighting Holmes, look at the scene where McDermot is
>>wallowed by the chair. Rather than milk the Master's failing to trap
>>him because of his Irish garrulousness (it's probably a blessing that
>>this wasn't as played-up as Holmes would want) and then having to
>>order him to sit down, it's all treated as terribly serious drama.

The way I see it, this scene performs two functions. You've got the
character of McDermott, who along with Farrell snr demonstrates to us
that the Master's hypnotic techniques don't always work on everyone.
Seceondly, the Master's ordering him to "Sit down!" cuts McDermott off
in "mid-garrulousness" and shows us that after all the cat and mouse
games and witty bon mots, The Master in fact means business and can
be, if required, a very dark, frightening and threatening character.
The sting of music on the soundtrack as he hisses "Sit down!" is quite
scary and hypnotic in itself, I think, and underlines this perfectly.

>>Perhaps there' s been some tinkering with the script.

Perhaps Paul Cornell is the one who would have preferred it done
another way, and not Holmes? :-)

>>Does the scientific accuracy of 'schizoid dissociation' seem Holmesian
>>to you?

It makes a change to find some Dr Who writing with some scientific
accuracy...

>>And is this Bondish lurch from set piece to set piece
>>something that the grand master of structure would have been proud of?

I don't know, but it is what I like the most about Terror of the
Autons. It is probably the most fast-paced Dr Who story of the '70s,
but it has no gaps; there is nothing important unexplained. Like The
Avengers, it is packed with action. And while I probably wouldn't like
it if every Doctor Who story were done this way, I do think the style
suits this particular story, and I do appreciate it.

>>As an aside, it's interesting note that some features of the format
>>weren't retained. The Brigadier's line about 'not being totally
>>desk-bound yet', and the rather strange disagreement that results from
>>it show that he was going to be a bit more of a Picard figure, giving
>>Benton and Yates the action roles. And the Doctor is given great
>>screen time to boil out the contents of the Master's bomb, thus
>>allowing the very last mention of what would have been an interesting
>>conflict, as UNIT want alien technology for the weapons boffins, and
>>the Doctor wants to deny them it.

Yes - a conflict not even *mentioned* anywhere else in Dr Who, so be
thankful it at least got a look in here, I say.

>>Hopefully Letts not to take the credit because he's ashamed.

LOL! If you are talking about the way Letts's name doesn't appear on
the credits as a "Director", that is because his name *never* appeared
on the credits as a "Director" while he was the producer of the show.
(I could be wrong, but I'm told this was due to BBC - or equity -
rules at the time).

I suppose that was another attempt to troll Pertwee fans, was it?
Didn't work, mate. I just laughed! :-)

>>He does
>>make two good decisions: using a different actor to portray the Master
>>in disguise, and declining an action man to use CSO in examining the
>>contents of the scientist's lunchbox. Unfortunately, Baz's

Oooh, yer on nickname terms with her, are ya dear (rattles handbag)?
:-)

>>love for
>>CSO extends beyond all rational limits. In a show where there's
>>obviously the ability to film exterior shots and cars,

But which drains the budget if these are filmed on location...

>>we get a CSO
>>car interior. And a CSO wall. And a CSO kitchen. Indeed, the show
>>becomes a comic strip visually at the same time as it does in dramatic
>>terms, the typical Letts shot being somebody's face stepping into
>>frame in front of a CSO background and shouting. Captions like
>>'Meanwhile' ought to have appeared at the top of the screen. Often, we
>>don't see who's speaking, and the incredible prissiness of not letting
>>us see the Doctor dissect solid plastic... the mind fails to boggle.

Well, when I first saw it, I just thought, "Wow. I like it!" You see,
all that CSO and the slightly jarring use of primitive video
technology is, to me, quite naive and endearing. It certainly walks
the walk, and talks the talk. It has guts and confidence. For me
that's what counts.

>>This is the place where any hint of feminine is stamped on. Zoe was
>>quite a feminist character, mainly because Troughton refused to
>>suppress her.

So - Zoe was such a great feminist character because of a man, was
she? Hmmm, very pro-feminist viewpoint, Paul! :-)

>>Liz was a real sister. Jo was a bimbo. You can see Katy

>>Manning (the other good Pertwee actor) thinking bimbo, you can imagine


>>her pacing the set beforehand and repeating "think bimbo, think
>>bimbo..."

LOL - that's a very funny thought, actually. :-)

However, I don't think it works for Jo, really. She's just a very
different sort of character to Liz or Zoe. Young, naive, quite silly
and girlish. Quite real though, and not terribly stereotypical. She's
the embodiment of fun-loving, anything-goes youthful innocence of the
'70s, but as the script says, "UNIT's no place for her". Hence,
conflict. And conflict = drama.

>>As the exchange goes: "I'm not the tea lady." "Then what
>>the blazes are you doing here?"

That was another of the jokes you blinked through, I think.

>>We're expected to swallow the idea
>>that Jo, having recently UNIT training, doesn't actually believe in
>>aliens.

But she hasn't seen any. It's logical.

>>And as for all the ordering her about and getting her to be
>>cute and not get her pretty head into trouble... what a load of sexist
>>nonsense.

I agree with you in principle. But I don't like this militant approach
which says, "feminist good, dollybird bad". Are all female characters
in everything supposed to be foot-stomping stereotypes of feminist
zealots? It's a PC-nazi approach, used by humourless types who are
every bit as bigoted in their attitudes as those they so often revile.

FWIW, I like Jo Grant. And as evidenced by the way she grew up with
the viewers (compare her here to as she is in Frontier in Space and
The Green Death), I see her faults as being the product of youth and
inexperience, not femininity.

>>The UNIT family are set up as a circus, a lot of sound and fury
>>signifying tea time.

Oh christ... Was that from your book, "How To Stretch A Metaphor Until
It Screams And Reaches For The Preparation H™"?

>>Toy soldiers who emphasize their family status by
>>traveling in a family saloon.

So the concept of "unmarked cars" has eluded you, then? <snicker>.

>>There's even a big black actor,
>>employed to be strong, silent and drunken. Real seventies
>>entertainment.

Hmmm, so a black actor isn't allowed to appear in a role as strong,
silent and drunken, without it being racist? Isn't that a bit racist
itself? :-)

No seriously, I see what you mean, it's a cliché used in lots of bad
movies and books - see "Mandingo" and "Drum". Add to that the lack of
blacks in other roles, and you have it exactly as you say it is. But
seeing as the actor in question has played that role in Dr Who not
just once but *twice*, I have to ask myself, "Could it be because he
wanted to play roles like that?" I can't see the actor as entirely the
victim here; it takes two to tango.

>>And there are hardly any Autons in it. They don't get
>>to say anything or show off their gun business until part three.

A very odd comment, considering the the Autons never said anything *at
all* in Spearhead From Space....

>>And
>>the ending' scrap too, the Master suddenly deciding to change sides
>>for no reason at all.

A facile comment I've heard one too many times to let pass.

As a matter of fact, what happens on the screen is the Doctor states:
"You think that thing will be able to distinguish between you and us?"
Whereupon the Master looks out the window, and sees the Nestene
creature. Big close-up on Delgado: he then makes his decision. It's
flamingly obvious why The Master switches sides: he is not an idiot.

>>Again, in the book, Terrance at least has the
>>Brigadier threaten to shoot him.

In so doing, turning the Master into an unreasoning, 2-dimensional
Ainley moustache twiddler! The Master don't need no gun to tell him
which side his bread's buttered.

>>So no, it could actually have been good, if they'd let Holmes have his
>>head, and the new format should have allowed a little more life and
>>humanity into the series.

"Life and humanity"? I think there's more life & humanity with Jo
Grant than there was with frumpy old Liz. Yeah she was more
professional, but not half as much fun to be around as Jo IMO.

>>But no, they exiled the Doctor to Earth and
>>made him a Tory.

Yes! A hippie-luvvin, alien-huggin' big-corporation-dissin' Tory, at
that (funny sort of Tory if you ask me!).

>>(3) [out of 10]

Fair enough. I personally love Terror of the Autons. I don't think
it's perfect, but then no Dr Who story is. I'd give it an 8.5 out of
10, meself.

======================================================
Adam Richards Ad...@roblang.demon.co.uk

Captain Fett

unread,
Jul 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM7/22/00
to
Cardinal Zorak:

>Anyone else notice that all of "Earth 2" is >ripped off from Colony in Space?

Nope. Never watched enough to find out. It was really bad.

Captain Fett

unread,
Jul 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM7/22/00
to
Adam Richards:

>The Mutants is similarly drawn-out, but >not half as bad IMO, and much
>underrated. The acting and direction are >good, apart from "Rick James"
>playing Cotton.

He's a superfreak, superfreak.

Joxer

unread,
Jul 22, 2000, 3:00:00 AM7/22/00
to

Adam Richards <Ad...@roblang.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:m3ninsgrj3smi1jb9...@4ax.com...

> On Fri, 21 Jul 2000 23:26:34 +0100, Steve Day
> <steve...@ntlworld.com> wrote:
>
> >This and The Mutants are the two Who stories I have never seen. Whats
> >so bad about them?
> >
> >These stories are two that currently I cannot be judgemental about
> >because I know nothing much about them, bar fan opinion.
>
> IMO, Colony in Space is rather dull, and veers into Star Trekness near
> the end when the "doomsday weapon" (and it's keepers, a race of Star
> Trek aliens if ever there was one) come into it.
>
> The Mutants is similarly drawn-out, but not half as bad IMO, and much
> underrated. The acting and direction are good, apart from "Rick James"
> playing Cotton.


Sums up my feelings on the two perfectly as well. Colony might have
been an OK 4 (or better still 3) parter, but drags enormously, while also
suffering from the appalling acting that occasionally affected Pertwee
casts - it all seems so very 70s for some reason. The Mittens on the
other hand is really rather good IMHO - probably my favourite post-S7
Pertwee story. Nothing outstanding, but a good solid tale that fills
its timeslot perfectly adequately.
--
Colin B.

"There's nothing like the thwack of leather on Willow..."

Daniel Frankham

unread,
Jul 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM7/23/00
to
On Fri, 21 Jul 2000 23:21:03 +0100, "Roger Anderson"
<r.and...@easynet.co.uk> wrote:

>Luke Curtis <luke....@virgin.net> wrote in message
>news:9qghnssga80hjmcsp...@4ax.com...

>> Terror of the Autons review by Paul Cornell, as originally printed in
>> DWB 112, April 1993.
>>
>> as requested by a few people in the Cornell Pisses on RADW (again)
>> thread.

>[snipped review]
>


>Interesting, has Paul come in for some attacks over this? Apologies I
>haven't been following the thread.

Many... Mostly years ago, when it was published.

I have to say, regarding Holmes' piece in the Haining book, that I
find it extraordinary that a professional writer could confuse a
light, self-deprecating, put-upon humorous tone for "selfish and
bitter". But I guess he was young...

--
Daniel Frankham

Andrew

unread,
Jul 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM7/23/00
to

"Captain Fett" <fett...@aol.com> wrote in message
news:20000722141349...@ng-fu1.aol.com...
> Adam Richards:

> >The Mutants is similarly drawn-out, but >not half as bad IMO, and much
> >underrated. The acting and direction are >good, apart from "Rick James"
> >playing Cotton.

I was watching the Blake's 7 episode Warlord a couple of days ago and
realised it has Rick James in it. He is, again, absolutely terrible, and
considering this was made some years after Mutants, who on earth was still
giving him jobs?

I sometimes wonder at directors and casting agents. When so many people
agree someone is utterly awful at acting, why are they ever seen again?

Andrew
*****************
52 Festive Road

Cardinal Zorak

unread,
Jul 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM7/23/00
to
The "primitive" aliens with their super-leader and lost city even have the
same spears, faces and telepathics. The "I was here first, my colony got
wiped out" played by Tim Currie in Earth 2 is identical to the saboteur in
Colony. even the plot (IMC / Earth government trying to subvert and destroy
the colony and exploit the planet) is identical. And you thought Colony
dragged. Earth 2 ran to TWO WHOLE SERIES IIRC!!!!!

Plus ca change..... where si the new SF these days?

Cardinal Z
"Werewolf?"
"There wolf, there castle!"
--

"Captain Fett" <fett...@aol.com> wrote in message

news:20000722141228...@ng-fu1.aol.com...


> Cardinal Zorak:
> >Anyone else notice that all of "Earth 2" is >ripped off from Colony in
Space?
>
> Nope. Never watched enough to find out. It was really bad.

Captain Fett

unread,
Jul 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM7/23/00
to
Cardinal Z:

>The "primitive" aliens with their >super-leader and lost city even have the
>same spears, faces and telepathics. The >"I was here first, my colony got
>wiped out" played by Tim Currie in Earth >2 is identical to the saboteur in
>Colony. even the plot (IMC / Earth >government trying to subvert and destroy
>the colony and exploit the planet) is >identical. And you thought Colony
>dragged. Earth 2 ran to TWO WHOLE >SERIES IIRC!!!

Yeah, it did! Not only that, but it was followed in the schedule IIRC by
SeaCrap...er, I mean Seaquest. Gee, what a riveting night of television THAT
was. Thanks, NBC, for continuing to stretch the boundaries of crap.
-fett
______________________________________

"It takes 2 to lie: 1 to lie, and 1 to listen"

"And if you're not down with that, I got 2 words for ya!: SUCK IT!"
____________________________________

Gordon Dempster

unread,
Jul 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM7/23/00
to

"Captain Fett" <fett...@aol.com> wrote in message
news:20000723125601...@ng-cj1.aol.com...

> Cardinal Z:
> >The "primitive" aliens with their >super-leader and lost city even have
the
> >same spears, faces and telepathics. The >"I was here first, my colony
got
> >wiped out" played by Tim Currie in Earth >2 is identical to the saboteur
in
> >Colony. even the plot (IMC / Earth >government trying to subvert and
destroy
> >the colony and exploit the planet) is >identical. And you thought Colony
> >dragged. Earth 2 ran to TWO WHOLE >SERIES IIRC!!!
>
> Yeah, it did! Not only that, but it was followed in the schedule IIRC by
> SeaCrap...er, I mean Seaquest. Gee, what a riveting night of television
THAT
> was. Thanks, NBC, for continuing to stretch the boundaries of crap.
> -fett

Earth 2 and SeaQuest, what's the link? Ah, a certain Mr. Philip Segal.
And people wonder why the TVM wasn't a success :)


--
"Make a cup of tea, put a record on..."

Gordon Dempster - Assassin 276 & Tim's Champion

"You promised to show me puppies. I'm still waiting."
www.bhfh.fsnet.co.uk

Steve Day

unread,
Jul 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM7/23/00
to
On Sun, 23 Jul 2000 21:26:02 +0100, "Gordon Dempster"
<gor...@bhfh.fsnet.co.uk> wrote:

>Earth 2 and SeaQuest, what's the link? Ah, a certain Mr. Philip Segal.
>And people wonder why the TVM wasn't a success :)

Twas in the UK though....

Gordon Dempster

unread,
Jul 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM7/23/00
to

"Steve Day" <steve...@ntlworld.com> wrote in message
news:e6omns000v5lj7qge...@4ax.com...

> On Sun, 23 Jul 2000 21:26:02 +0100, "Gordon Dempster"
> <gor...@bhfh.fsnet.co.uk> wrote:
>
> >Earth 2 and SeaQuest, what's the link? Ah, a certain Mr. Philip Segal.
> >And people wonder why the TVM wasn't a success :)
>
> Twas in the UK though....
>

Yeah, if the possible series had only been dependent on UK viewing
figures, we would have been okay, unfortunately...

Segal was only a part of a whole pile of reasons why the TVM was a
failure. The fact that it failed as a pilot episode being the most obvious
one. I've seen many bad pilots, but at least you knew what was going
on and weren't faced with heaps of irrelevant continuity.

Captain Fett

unread,
Jul 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM7/23/00
to
> >Earth 2 and SeaQuest, what's the link? Ah, a certain Mr. Philip Segal.
> >And people wonder why the TVM wasn't a success :)
>
> Twas in the UK though....

The big probelm in the US was that it was shown on the FOX network. FOX has
like 3 or 4 hits but everything else just gets no viewers at all. No matter how
good it was,it wasnt going to get great ratings on FOX. If it had a Sunday
night spot on NBC, CBS, or ABS, it could've gotten much higher ratings.

Cardinal Zorak

unread,
Jul 24, 2000, 3:00:00 AM7/24/00
to
It's a shame the BBC, "television professionals", were too clueless to
market-test the Fox audience before investing their (our) money.

Cardinal Z
"Werewolf?"
"There wolf, there castle!"
--

"Captain Fett" <fett...@aol.com> wrote in message

news:20000723185149...@ng-cj1.aol.com...

Captain Fett

unread,
Jul 24, 2000, 3:00:00 AM7/24/00
to

Cardinal Z
"Werewolf?"
"There wolf, there castle!"
--
"Captain Fett" <fett...@aol.com> wrote in message
news:20000723185149...@ng-cj1.aol.com...
> > >Earth 2 and SeaQuest, what's the link? Ah, a certain Mr. Philip Segal.
> > >And people wonder why the TVM wasn't a success :)
> >
> > Twas in the UK though....
>
> The big probelm in the US was that it was shown on the FOX network. FOX
has
> like 3 or 4 hits but everything else just gets no viewers at all. No
matter how
> good it was,it wasnt going to get great ratings on FOX. If it had a Sunday
> night spot on NBC, CBS, or ABS, it could've gotten much higher ratings.
> -fett

Cardinal Z:


>It's a shame the BBC, "television >professionals", were too clueless to
>market-test the Fox audience before >investing their (our) money.

Well, I think it needed to be a series in order to succeed on FOX. This way, it
could have built up a good buzz and cult following. It takes time to do this.
This is why the X-Files, Hercules, Xena, have become successful. One movie
wasn't enough.

William December Starr

unread,
Jul 24, 2000, 3:00:00 AM7/24/00
to
In article <8leqpf$sf6$1...@newsg1.svr.pol.co.uk>,
"Cardinal Zorak" <fab31...@yahoo.co.uk> said:

> And you thought Colony dragged. Earth 2 ran to TWO WHOLE SERIES

> IIRC!!!!!

Nope, just one season/series, 22 episodes. Source:

Linkname: Earth 2 (a Titles and Air Dates Guide)
URL: http://epguides.com/Earth2/

epguides.com is quite a useful resource, incidentally.

-- William December Starr <wds...@panix.com>


Steven Hill

unread,
Jul 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM7/25/00
to
In article <8lgffa$qjl$1...@panix3.panix.com>, wds...@panix.com (William December Starr) wrote:
>In article <8leqpf$sf6$1...@newsg1.svr.pol.co.uk>,
>"Cardinal Zorak" <fab31...@yahoo.co.uk> said:
>
>> And you thought Colony dragged. Earth 2 ran to TWO WHOLE SERIES
>> IIRC!!!!!
>
>Nope, just one season/series, 22 episodes. Source:
>
> Linkname: Earth 2 (a Titles and Air Dates Guide)
> URL: http://epguides.com/Earth2/
>
>epguides.com is quite a useful resource, incidentally.

And run by some big-time DW fans.

John and George are ex-Visions committee members,
and Dennis and Alan are Federation members.

Maybe they wouldn't want me to mention that,
but I'm just happy their site is getting such
recognition. It was featured in PEOPLE magazine
a few weeks ago.

-shill, who created the epguides logo :)


John Pettigrew

unread,
Jul 30, 2000, 3:00:00 AM7/30/00
to
On Fri, 21 Jul 2000 23:26:34 +0100, the incredibly wonderful, sexy and
fragrant Steve Day <steve...@ntlworld.com> massaged the keyboard in
a cute and fluffy way and came up with this...:

>This and The Mutants are the two Who stories I have never seen. Whats
>so bad about them?
>
>These stories are two that currently I cannot be judgemental about
>because I know nothing much about them, bar fan opinion.

Personally speaking, these two stories commit the cardinel sin of
being boring. At 6 episodes each, theres just too much padding to
watch in this day and age.

It's not that they're terrible stories really. Pettigrew's Personal
Theory states that most of the 6 parters (especially the Pertwee era
ones) would have been far, far bettter had they been told in 4
episodes.

The Mutants and Colony in Space aren't the worst offenders however.
That honour has to go to The Time Monster IMO.

Best Wishes
John Pettigrew

"I'm just a sitting on the dock of the bay, watching the Guardian trilogy..."

The RADW Rogues Gallery is part of Club Tropicana -
www.club-tropicana.org.uk

Cardinal J Long

unread,
Jul 30, 2000, 3:00:00 AM7/30/00
to
Funny you should mention these two stories because I find that they are
excellent. And I'm an expert on Pertwee so I know what I'm talking
about here.

--
John Long - FI Cardinal

The Doctor

unread,
Jul 30, 2000, 3:00:00 AM7/30/00
to

That make 2 big Pertwee Fans.

The best Pertwee is Inferno.

--
God Queen and Country Member - Liberal International
Never Satan President and Republic This is doc...@nl2k.ab.ca Ici doc...@nl2k.ab.ca
Society MUST be saved! Republics must dissolve.
HEy Hey USA - call for a referendum to dissolve your nation and dissolve

Charles Daniels

unread,
Jul 31, 2000, 3:00:00 AM7/31/00
to
John Pettigrew <our....@squidbtinternet.com> wrote:

> Personally speaking, these two stories commit the cardinel sin of
> being boring. At 6 episodes each, theres just too much padding to
> watch in this day and age.

The Mutants is one of the most boring things ever recorded by mankind.
I think Colony in Space is slow but enjoyable.
Its oddly the only story were I think the presence of Reoger Delgado
detracts from the story.
The Master should have been written out and this should have been revised
into 4 episodes.

> It's not that they're terrible stories really. Pettigrew's Personal
> Theory states that most of the 6 parters (especially the Pertwee era
> ones) would have been far, far bettter had they been told in 4
> episodes.

This is very true.
The only pertwee I think is too short is The Daemons, at 5 episodes.
It really should have finished off the daemon in a different way.
Instead of pulling his death out of nowhere they really could have
developed the defeat of the monster and the dramatic capture of the
Master.


Joxer

unread,
Aug 1, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/1/00
to

Charles Daniels <cdan...@web1.calweb.com> wrote in message
news:39864...@news3.calweb.com...

> John Pettigrew <our....@squidbtinternet.com> wrote:
>
> > Personally speaking, these two stories commit the cardinel sin of
> > being boring. At 6 episodes each, theres just too much padding to
> > watch in this day and age.
>
> The Mutants is one of the most boring things ever recorded by mankind.
> I think Colony in Space is slow but enjoyable.

Weirdly, they are my exact opinions, only I'd attach them the exact
other way round...

Charles Daniels

unread,
Aug 1, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/1/00
to
Joxer <willo...@clara.net> wrote:
> Charles Daniels <cdan...@web1.calweb.com> wrote in message
>>> Personally speaking, these two stories commit the cardinel sin of
>>> being boring. At 6 episodes each, theres just too much padding to
>>> watch in this day and age.
>>
>> The Mutants is one of the most boring things ever recorded by mankind.
>> I think Colony in Space is slow but enjoyable.

> Weirdly, they are my exact opinions, only I'd attach them the exact
> other way round...

Okay, i cans ee that really
What interests me about Colony is it's sort of a classic set up
An error has given settlers and developers rights to a certain
land
The settlers definitely ave a stronger claim but big business is trying to
screw them
A very modern story

Charles Daniels

unread,
Aug 1, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/1/00
to
Cardinal J Long <jl...@epix.net> wrote:
> Charles Daniels wrote:
>>
>> The Mutants is one of the most boring things ever recorded by mankind.

> The Mutants is an awesome story, you fool.

The Mutants has 10 minutes of a neat idea spread over 6 episodes.
And the lamest running gag of any Pertwee story.

>> I think Colony in Space is slow but enjoyable.

> It's not slow, but it's very enjoyable.

The Master doesn't show up until episode 5

>> Its oddly the only story were I think the presence of Reoger Delgado
>> detracts from the story.

> negative.

he is totally unnecessary and is just cheaply tacked on
almost like "Damn, we need to fit the Master in here somewhere!"
It just seems that they've totally forgotten he's has to show up
and just write it in cheaply.

>> The Master should have been written out and this should have been revised
>> into 4 episodes.

> another negative, Charles. You're not doing too well.

Whatever dude

Cardinal J Long

unread,
Aug 2, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/2/00
to
Charles Daniels wrote:
>
> The Mutants is one of the most boring things ever recorded by mankind.

The Mutants is an awesome story, you fool.

> I think Colony in Space is slow but enjoyable.

It's not slow, but it's very enjoyable.

> Its oddly the only story were I think the presence of Reoger Delgado
> detracts from the story.

negative.

> The Master should have been written out and this should have been revised
> into 4 episodes.

another negative, Charles. You're not doing too well.

--

Cardinal J Long

unread,
Aug 2, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/2/00
to
Charles Daniels wrote:
>
> The Mutants has 10 minutes of a neat idea spread over 6 episodes.
> And the lamest running gag of any Pertwee story.

I simply don't agree. I'll concede that there is some padding in this
story, but you're implying that there is only 10 minutes of worthwhile
material. Perhaps it could have been a little shorter, but I love the
atmosphere of the whole production. Pertwee stories can go on forever
as far as I'm concerned. It might be a little padded but it's not
boring. And the ideas behind it are just classic. By the end, the
viewer is very satisfied. We had this conversation years ago, BTW.

(Colony in Space)


> he is totally unnecessary and is just cheaply tacked on
> almost like "Damn, we need to fit the Master in here somewhere!"
> It just seems that they've totally forgotten he's has to show up
> and just write it in cheaply.

Nothing involving Delgado is ever cheap or unnecessary. That's all I
have to say about that.

> Whatever dude

You're no fun anymore, chuck.

Charles Daniels

unread,
Aug 2, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/2/00
to
Cardinal J Long <jl...@epix.net> wrote:
> Charles Daniels wrote:
>>
>> The Mutants has 10 minutes of a neat idea spread over 6 episodes.
>> And the lamest running gag of any Pertwee story.

> I simply don't agree.

That's cool, i don't mind that.
Anyone who agrees with me too much is probably a little nuts.

> I'll concede that there is some padding in this
> story, but you're implying that there is only 10 minutes of worthwhile
> material.

Maybe 20
But Im serious
there is just vast amounts of running around between Solos and Skybase
because whenever they get in trouble they run to the other but they are in
trouble at the other so they run back, where they are still in trouble..so
they run to the other place where..they are in trouble.
The Doctor and Jo should have just found some third place where they
weren't in trouble to run to between the places were they ran to
escape trouble back and forth.

> Perhaps it could have been a little shorter, but I love the
> atmosphere of the whole production. Pertwee stories can go on forever
> as far as I'm concerned.

Well I'd like them to stop eventually because I have to sleep
occassionally :)

> It might be a little padded but it's not
> boring. And the ideas behind it are just classic. By the end, the
> viewer is very satisfied. We had this conversation years ago, BTW.

It has a really neat idea at the very end, but it's not worth all the time
to get there. I would shave 2 episodes off The Mutants and give the
episodes out towards more deserving stories.



> (Colony in Space)
>> he is totally unnecessary and is just cheaply tacked on
>> almost like "Damn, we need to fit the Master in here somewhere!"
>> It just seems that they've totally forgotten he's has to show up
>> and just write it in cheaply.

> Nothing involving Delgado is ever cheap or unnecessary. That's all I
> have to say about that.

I agree with you 99% of the time
But The Colony In Space is just the exception to the rule.

If he could have come in somehow in episode 1 or episode 2 and developed
his role a bit more, i would feel differently.

>> Whatever dude

> You're no fun anymore, chuck.

I was fun?

When did this happen?


The Doctor

unread,
Aug 2, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/2/00
to
In article <3987B7...@epix.net>, Cardinal J Long <jl...@epix.net> wrote:
>Charles Daniels wrote:
>>
>> The Mutants has 10 minutes of a neat idea spread over 6 episodes.
>> And the lamest running gag of any Pertwee story.
>
>I simply don't agree. I'll concede that there is some padding in this

>story, but you're implying that there is only 10 minutes of worthwhile
>material. Perhaps it could have been a little shorter, but I love the

>atmosphere of the whole production. Pertwee stories can go on forever
>as far as I'm concerned. It might be a little padded but it's not

>boring. And the ideas behind it are just classic. By the end, the
>viewer is very satisfied. We had this conversation years ago, BTW.

Let me help you here John.

The Mutants addressed the idea of colonization messing up a society.

>
>(Colony in Space)
>> he is totally unnecessary and is just cheaply tacked on
>> almost like "Damn, we need to fit the Master in here somewhere!"
>> It just seems that they've totally forgotten he's has to show up
>> and just write it in cheaply.
>
>Nothing involving Delgado is ever cheap or unnecessary. That's all I
>have to say about that.
>

The Master was a good fit, even Gallifrey admits it.

>> Whatever dude
>
>You're no fun anymore, chuck.
>

>--
>John Long - FI Cardinal

John Long

unread,
Aug 2, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/2/00
to
Charles Daniels wrote:
>
> there is just vast amounts of running around between Solos and Skybase
> because whenever they get in trouble they run to the other but they are in
> trouble at the other so they run back, where they are still in trouble..so
> they run to the other place where..they are in trouble.

Yes but real life can often be this way. So technically The Mutants
makes a lot of sense in the real world! Besides, you wouldn't just stay
in a place where you were in trouble.

> It has a really neat idea at the very end, but it's not worth all the time
> to get there. I would shave 2 episodes off The Mutants and give the
> episodes out towards more deserving stories.

Blasphemy! I love six parters.

> > Nothing involving Delgado is ever cheap or unnecessary. That's all I
> > have to say about that.
>

> I agree with you 99% of the time
> But The Colony In Space is just the exception to the rule.

I give up then.

> > You're no fun anymore, chuck.
>

> I was fun?
>
> When did this happen?

Maybe I imagined it.

--
John Long -- AIM Cracker499

Charles Daniels

unread,
Aug 2, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/2/00
to
John Long <jl...@epix.net> wrote:
> Charles Daniels wrote:
>>
>> there is just vast amounts of running around between Solos and Skybase
>> because whenever they get in trouble they run to the other but they are in
>> trouble at the other so they run back, where they are still in trouble..so
>> they run to the other place where..they are in trouble.

> Yes but real life can often be this way. So technically The Mutants
> makes a lot of sense in the real world!

That's all fine but it isn't necessarily good drama.
I mean under that model I could make a film which is just someone sleeping
for eight hours and then sitting around reading all day.
Is that going to make it a good use of your time to watch this?
I mean it does happen like that in real life sometimes.

> Besides, you wouldn't just stay
> in a place where you were in trouble.

Yes but they don't ever go to some place where they arent in trouible for
a breather
Thje story never happens because they are running from point a to point b
where they are in trouble.

For instance, if people are trying to kill me In Sacramento and San
Francisco, would it be wise of me to drive to SF then freak out and drive
back to Sacramento and then freak out cause Im in trouble there too and
then quickly drive back to SF and then back to Sac?
Won't I eventually at least try to drive to San Diego and chill and
get my mind set on what I should do?

>> It has a really neat idea at the very end, but it's not worth all the time
>> to get there. I would shave 2 episodes off The Mutants and give the
>> episodes out towards more deserving stories.

> Blasphemy! I love six parters.

Some six parters are cool, i think The Daemons should be a six parter.
The stories should have however many episodes they need to tell the story
completely and in a good dramatic way.
25, 50, or 75 minutes of padding just isn't necessary.

>>> Nothing involving Delgado is ever cheap or unnecessary. That's all I
>>> have to say about that.
>>
>> I agree with you 99% of the time
>> But The Colony In Space is just the exception to the rule.

> I give up then.

okay

>> > You're no fun anymore, chuck.
>>
>> I was fun?
>>
>> When did this happen?

> Maybe I imagined it.

Maybe :)

Charles Daniels

unread,
Aug 2, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/2/00
to
John Long <jl...@epix.net> wrote:
> Charles Daniels wrote:
>>> Yes but real life can often be this way. So technically The Mutants
>>> makes a lot of sense in the real world!
>>
>> That's all fine but it isn't necessarily good drama.

> Well technically speaking, almost none of the DW stories can be
> considered good drama. It's a silly SF television show. Some of its
> stronger elements come from its camp qualities. So if you want good
> drama, you shouldn't really be watching DW. Go watch Twin Peaks or
> something.

Well here I diagree with you totally
Good drama doesn't have to be Twin Peaks or Citizen Kane
It just has to be compelling to the audience


John Long

unread,
Aug 3, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/3/00
to
Charles Daniels wrote:

>
> John Long wrote:
> > Yes but real life can often be this way. So technically The Mutants
> > makes a lot of sense in the real world!
>
> That's all fine but it isn't necessarily good drama.

Well technically speaking, almost none of the DW stories can be
considered good drama. It's a silly SF television show. Some of its
stronger elements come from its camp qualities. So if you want good
drama, you shouldn't really be watching DW. Go watch Twin Peaks or
something.

> if people are trying to kill me In Sacramento and San


> Francisco, would it be wise of me to drive to SF then freak out and drive
> back to Sacramento and then freak out cause Im in trouble there too and
> then quickly drive back to SF and then back to Sac?
> Won't I eventually at least try to drive to San Diego and chill and
> get my mind set on what I should do?

IIRC they retreat to those caves eventually, and they find more answers
that way. The plot develops, but it just takes some time. But as I
said, I like the long stories.

> 25, 50, or 75 minutes of padding just isn't necessary.

Unless it's exciting padding, with people getting chased, killed,
beaten, shot down, etc.

Adam Richards

unread,
Aug 5, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/5/00
to
On 1 Aug 2000 22:35:28 -0700, Charles Daniels
<cdan...@web1.calweb.com> wrote:

>The Master doesn't show up until episode 5

You're a whole episode out - maybe even two... I've watched it today
whilst copying it for someone. The Master shows up quite early on in
episode *four*, as the 'unseen' Adjudicator (with his back to us), and
then a few minutes later - about halfway through part 4 - we see his
face, as he's sitting adjudicating between the colonists and the
miners. Actually, as "The Adjudicator's Voice" coming out of a radio,
Delgado appears in episode 3 as well. :-)

======================================================
Adam Richards Ad...@roblang.demon.co.uk

benaaronovitch

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Aug 5, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/5/00
to
>I myself have personal issues with certain writers, Marc Platt
>and Ben Aaronovitch to name two,

That's Ok, I've got a contract out on you.

Ben


-----------------------------------------------------------

Got questions? Get answers over the phone at Keen.com.
Up to 100 minutes free!
http://www.keen.com


Cameron Mason

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Aug 6, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/6/00
to

benaaronovitch <ben.aaronov...@ft.com.invalid> wrote in message
news:244e1b55...@usw-ex0104-028.remarq.com...

> >I myself have personal issues with certain writers, Marc Platt
> >and Ben Aaronovitch to name two,
>
> That's Ok, I've got a contract out on you.
>
> Ben

Hi Ben,
How's the computer?:-)
Are you back for good, or just popping in?
Cameron
--
:(|) "...Pleasure the PARIS..."
Come visit the Ultimate Guide
http://www.fortunecity.com/tatooine/forbidden/392/pindex.html

John Long

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Aug 6, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/6/00
to
Adam Richards wrote:
>
> You're a whole episode out - maybe even two... I've watched it today
> whilst copying it for someone. The Master shows up quite early on in
> episode *four*, as the 'unseen' Adjudicator (with his back to us), and
> then a few minutes later - about halfway through part 4 - we see his
> face, as he's sitting adjudicating between the colonists and the
> miners. Actually, as "The Adjudicator's Voice" coming out of a radio,
> Delgado appears in episode 3 as well. :-)

I've never had the luxery of seeing this story in episode format. I
wish it was available on video because I remember loving it.

The Doctor

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Aug 6, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/6/00
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I have ALL DW in Episode format NTSC; just to empty the bags after
renovation.

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