Secret Breathing

When it is cold and drizzly, I have to hold my breath in case anyone sees it come out of my mouth.

When holding my breath isn’t an option, or at least not an option I can do without fainting due to oxygen starvation (or am I thinking of carbon dioxide?), I try to breath as lightly as possibly.

I have no idea why I do this. It isn’t like my breath corrodes metal or acid-strips human flesh. I am just… I am just, I guess, a kook.

I don’t like smokers who smoke willy-nilly but that is a case of them not taking care to smoke downwind of others. And people who use e-cigarettes? Grrrr, even worse. Vapers seems to take inordinate pride in pretending to be dragons. Great… Well done, I think not.

But that has nothing to do with my breath-shyness when it is chilly. I don’t think it is anyway. Maybe it is and I am just fooling myself?

So I am stuck with doing it for the time being.

Nobody must see me breath!

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Posted in avoidance, BekHobbes, depression, disability, memories, opinion, questions, reallife, smokers, smoking | Leave a comment

DWM’s Time Team Issue

There seems to be a wee bit of controversy over the new line-up of Doctor Who Magazine’s Time Team feature.

The controversy being that they are all young sexy handsome whippersnappers who don’t have a single grey hair between them. Or that is what most people assume is the issue.

If I were being cynical I might say that DWM are trying to aim themselves at a younger market, at those that already follow the current Time Team on that new fangled social media like Bebo or MySpace or RayGunBlastr

It is not as simple as that or as what some would have you believe. I’ve read comments that the problem is that they are young or that “Why pick them? I can make snarky comments too” which misses the point. It isn’t their youth or snarkiness (they actually aren’t snarky) but rather the fact that the new ‘fresh’ team are only young.

A combined age of 264 years split between twelve and you get an average age of 22. The oldest is, at the time of writing, 26. This isn’t a real issue but how is this representative of DWM‘s readership?

I could understand if they had retooled the Time Team so as to introduce Classic Who (‘classic’, meh. It is all classic even the new stuff!) to the Rookie Whovians but even so, that shouldn’t stop them having some Greybeard Whovians to give their opinions. But no, the Time Team now only watch groups of themed episodes such as tearjerkers or first episodes. Urgh…

Kezia: (witty comment)

Christel: (interesting comment)

Miles: (interesting and witty comment)

Greybeard: During the War…

When I saw the new line-up, I felt, I don’t know, I felt off, it felt off to me. Not because of any particular reason. It is hard to explain. The fact that later that day I cried myself to sleep after seeing the ravages of age in my bathroom mirror is just a coincidence…

It was reported that some fans are planning on boycotting the magazine because of the Time Team’s ‘yoof’. I only know this because I saw Christel Dee’s comment about it being a slow news day when that fortress of journalistic integrity (sarcasm) the Mirror reported it. I thought she was being snotty but then again I can’t really blame her. Goodness knows how many trolls and fans mocked her over her saying she watches “a lot of classic Who on 1.5 speed”. Presumably she watches Pride and Prejudice with the finger on fast forward. Ahem.

I single out Miss Dee simply because she is the most well-known out of the new line-up.  I should add that her role there plays more to her strengths than her cosplay articles because it shows off her personality that we all loved and enjoyed on The Fan Show. Her cosplay articles grew on me like bubblewrap painted green. Um, this is a compliment.

To some extent some of the trolls are jealous. Hell, I am jealous, not that I would have accepted a place on the team. I wonder how many people turned it down? Not many I’d wager.

I have seen people say of them that they are not proper fans presumably because none of them was born during the original 1963-89 run. Pish-posh, Greybeards! Now that is a truly snotty comment. A comment slicker than snot. A grotty snotty comment. Or to put it another way, just plain snobby. We are all fans no matter how old we are or aren’t, or what episodes we’ve seen or preference for either Classic or NuWho. I personally prefer the spin-off fiction and novelisations over the actual show but it doesn’t make me any less of a fan.

Saying that, a few days before the new line-up horrified/amazed the fandom, a Greybeard on Twitter  tweeted that they were annoyed when Rookies said “Don’t skip Nine” when they skip One to Eight. I argues that it could be a daunting prospect for a new fan to sift through the older series. Which is why I applaud the new Time Team since they might be the gateway drug to Pertwee or Troughton or, heaven forbid, Dimensions in Time.

I enjoyed the new team. They didn’t really say or do anything wrong. I would just prefer a more varied range of ages rather than the cast of Grange Hill. However I feel that DWM are shooting themselves in the foot by not including any other demographic in a time when it is mainly the over-thirties who tend to purchase print media. the Time Team selection might hurt the magazine more than it helps. I hope not but it seems, from what I’ve read, possible.

I should add that DWM does cater to the Greybeards with interviews, features and articles about what the best type of slipper to wear when they are watching the new series on their black-and-white television boxes.

There should have been another way…

 

 

Posted in BekHobbes, doctorwho, estranged, fandom, memories, opinion, questions, reallife, whovian, whovians | Leave a comment

What Does Tuesday Smell Like?

Last week I had a weird taste in my throat which I could not describe but I could visualise what the taste looked like.

I am not sure that this is a normal thing but it is something that happens to me regularly. I can give a person’s voice a material aspect, and I can turn taste or smell into objects in my mind. I also give objects or abstract concepts attributions as well. Tuesday smells of copper and soil after it has been raining in case you were wondering.

For example, there is an actor on the British soap opera Coronation Street called Jennie McAlpine (I think), a pale, ginger woman whose voice sounds to me like a pork pie.

Another example is the actress Su Pollard (yes she spells her first name like that). To me her voice always sounds like a tin of spaghetti shapes like the ones made for kids.

Anyhow, this taste in the back of my throat…

It was not quite round but not oval either, pale blue in colour but with a green mix, translucent and slippery. It isn’t a minty object despite the colour of it but it is closer to lemon although it isn’t lemon in taste.

Does any of this make sense? Yes? No? Maybe? Can I repeat the question?

Of course, I might just have a [expletive deleted] brain tumour. Although it might be because I am on the cusp of the autism spectrum.

In any case, this is the end of this particular blog.

 

This blog was bought to you by the letter U and the number 45.

Posted in autism, BekHobbes, existence, memories, opinion, questions, reallife | Leave a comment

The Green Death Unreview

Two words: giant maggots.

If you have an insect phobia, boy, are you going to hate this adventure. Even if you don’t, I’d advise you not to be eating your dinner while watching. Myself, I can’t stand insects at the best of times, so you can imagine how this story made me feel.

As a ‘special’ treat, I have written a short unreview and a normal unreview of The Green Death:

SHORT UNREVIEW

The Green Death is mostly icky.

LONG UNREVIEW

The Green Death is a lot of things. Icky being just one of them. The others being funny, strange, sad and bittersweet. As I continue, I hope to focus on these latter things rather than the general ickiness of the giant insects.

Jo goes to Llanfairfach because of a dead miner only for her to see Clifford Jones in the flesh. His ravishing good looks (well, I say handsome but Cliff is no Zach Braff) has her rapt. Cupid’s arrow has been shot and Jo Grant has traded in her affections for the Doctor and opted for a younger, hippier and handsomer model. The operative word here being ‘younger’. Short of regenerating himself younger, what can the Doctor do? Not much. Rien à faire.

For some strange reason, I reckon that Jo Grant names all of her body parts after fictional 1970s TV detectives. Don’t ask me why.

The Brigadier also goes to Llanfairfach because of the dead miner but, thankfully, he doesn’t fall in love with Clifford Jones. Both he and Jo are led to Global Chemicals in their investigations.

The death of the aforementioned miner is because of Global Chemicals who have dumped toxic waste into the mines where it has turned itty bitty insects into giant face-flaying maggots (and one giant fly).

The Doctor is not in Llanfairfach or even on Earth. He has finally managed to get to Metebelis Three after turning left at Albuquerque instead of right. Planet Metebelis Three is blue and there is nothing the Doctor can do as the entire animal kingdom turns against him. As he exits through the gift shop, he picks up a blue gem and high-tails it back to Earth and then to sunny Wales and the giant maggots.

If the maggots were not enough, we also have a computer whom is bloomin’ off his chump. This computer is called BOSS and he, yeah, nuttier than a box full of squirrels although he claims that he is a stable genius. He is also the boss.

As you might expect from a lunatic computer, BOSS has a plan which is even crazier than he is. No, I tell a lie, it is not so much crazy as fairly pointless. His plan is as follows:

a) Turn humans into witless drones
b) Connect worldwide with other computers
c) Turn more humans into witless drones
d) Rinse and repeat until finished
e) Erm, that is it…

Ignoring the fact that the population of the world might have been slaughtered by the giant insects, what exactly is the point of this plan? What does BOSS want with a brainwashed workforce? Corporate takeovers are all very well, but this hostile takeover of the entire human race is absurd. BOSS thrives on profit and productivity but if everyone is working, who will buy their products? Will BOSS brainwash people to use the products he is brainwashing other people to make? And couldn’t BOSS just wait until the invention of the internet?

Plans aside, BOSS has to be the best megalomaniac computer ever featured on Doctor Who. This is mainly because he has a great sense of humour when he isn’t busy reprogramming and rebooting his Welsh workforce. A lot of computers hum but BOSS hums tunes. Actual music. Yes, I have to say that I am impressed. Pity that the Doctor destroys him in the end. BOSS would have made a better companion than K9 (and I say this in the full knowledge that my local branch of Whovians will probably kidnap me while I am sleeping and throw me into a fire for such heresies).

So, deep breath, the chemical factory is pumping toxic waste into the mines where it is mutating and super-sizing maggots. The maggots get bigger but Welsh miners merely get glowing green blotches which kill them. Why does it only make the maggots increase in size, why not the miners? Perhaps having fifty-foot tall Welsh miners tramping all over the place might have overtaxed the budget of Doctor Who

The real heart of this maggoty adventure is the love affair between Jo and Cliff. You know what is going to happen as soon as Jo compares him to a younger version of the Doctor. The love deal is cemented when she cocks up his experiment in much the same way that she did when she first met the Doctor.

The last bittersweet moments of this story involve the Doctor making a quiet exit. He is clearly hurt by Jo’s leaving. Does he love her? Did she love him? We’ll never know. It is nice to think he does. He certainly feels deeply for her. You might want to listen to Another Girl, Another Planet by The Only Ones at this point and think of Sarah-Jane Smith who will be turning up in the next adventure.

Jon Pertwee goes from one extreme to the another in this serial. One moment he is playing it for laughs while disguised as a Welsh milkman or as a Welsh charlady and the next he is silently keeping a straight face to mask his inner turmoil. This feels like a swansong for him as much as it is for Katy Manning as Jo Grant.

Manning is great in this. She always gives a great performance. She has a way of appearing innocent and naive. Part of her charm I suppose. At least she gets a good poignant send-off.

After her time on Doctor Who, Katy Manning would do that infamous photoshoot with Starsky and Hutch pressed against an unwilling Dalek. I won’t mention what was placed in front of Kojak.

Giant maggots aside, The Green Death is a wonderful story. Even if insects give you a serious case of the willies, this is an adventure which shouldn’t be missed.

Enjoy it and close your eyes when the maggots appear.

Posted in BekHobbes, doctorwho, fandom, memories, opinion, reallife, review, unreview, whovian, whovians | Leave a comment

Horror of Fang Rock Unreview

The Ninth Doctor would really have hated what happens here. Everybody dies. Even Sprocket the dog.

Oh, by the way, spoilers!

This story features the nemesis of the Sontarans. No, not a potato peeler, the Rutans! Yes, them. We finally get to see the race that has kept our potato-headed chums busy for thousands of years.

The Rutans come from the Gamma Quadrant where they control a massive empire with the help of their lizardy thugs, the Jem’Hadar… Hang on, I am getting them confused with Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’s Dominion, aren’t I? Sorry.

The Rutans are nothing like the Dominion shape-shifters. Except for the conquering and killing and rhetoric that is. Plus the Dominion don’t look like balls of radioactive snot. No, they look like earwax blobs.

Although not the most popular story, this is most certainly one of Tom Baker’s best. Horror of Fang Rock is one of the best in the entire history of Doctor Who.

It all starts when the snot monster’s scout ship crashes into the sea. The Rutan was scouting Earth to see if it could be a potential base or just a handy place to pick up miso soup for the Rutan boogers at home.

The Rutan spots the lighthouse on Fang Rock and thinks ‘Ah, ha! I was aiming for Fraggle Rock but this will do instead!” Fang Rock is a military target, a place to study the fleshie humans in isolation. Perfick!

In the lighthouse, we have old Reuben, young Vince and not-so-old Ben. Reuben is an old hand with this lighthouse lark, he knows all the legends and secrets. Vince is a naive young man with a heart of gold. Ben is reliable but ultimately just destined to be gobbled up by the snot monster.

That the Doctor and Leela arrive at the same time as the marauding Rutan snot-bubble is just a coincidence. Fang Rock is very foggy at this point due to the Rutan having a smoke machine. Before the Rutan disco-ball can be displayed, our heroes wrangle themselves into the lighthouse.

That the Doctor and Leela are suspected of murdering Ben is just a normal day at the office for them. Reuben has his beady eyes on them and things are not helped when the Rutan decides to stage his own version of Weekend at Bernie’s with Ben’s corpse.

As if things couldn’t get any worse, a ship crashes into the rocks and suddenly we have an influx of fresh new victims/characters. Colonel James Skinsale MP, Lord Palmerdale, secretary Adelaide Lessage, and the bosun Harker. It is worth noting how people are named due to their class. Skinsale and Palmerdale refer to Harker by his last name, putting him in his place. Is this story as much about class as it is about a rampaging alien monster? Yes, I think so.

In other sci-fi and fantasy shows/books/films, shape-changers can usually just mimic someone by looking at them or by sticking them in a pod. Oddly, the Rutan does none of this. He seems to need to kill and autopsy a body before it can successfully mimic it. This suggests that they must copy a body exactly, even the bits that nobody sees. Are the Rutans the most anally retentive alien species on Doctor Who?

When the Rutan is disguised as a human being, he mainly spends most of his time either standing still and staring at a blank wall or grinning inanely as he murders.

In this adventure, Tom Baker is off the wall with his portrayal of the Fourth Doctor. He clearly has had a big old think and has decided to dial up the crazy to 11. When he informs everyone that they all might die, he does so with a winsome grin. His grin after Leela threatens to cut out somebody’s heart is something else though, subtle compared to the winsome one but no less bonkers. Baker is brilliant and odd, brilliantly odd and oddly brilliant. This is why so many people love him as the Doctor.

Louise Jameson as Leela turns in another fantastic performance here. Leela gets to be a hunter in this story, going off to find and kill the snot monster. Her social niceties are as entertainingly lacking as they were in The Talons of Weng-Chiang. This is a neat reference to her tribal heritage. Note how she slaps the hysterical Adelaide. I love that scene because you can slowly see Leela getting annoyed and frustrated by this simpering wet blanket of a woman. Even when she is showing human ugly emotions like gloating over the body of the dying Rutan, you can’t help but love her. Bless ‘er cotton socks…

It may or may not be worth mentioning but I will do so anyway. Normally, Leela wears skimpy leathers that leave nothing to the imagination. Now this was a cynical move by the production team to entice the dads into watching the show with their children. In leathers, I don’t find Louise Jameson attractive. So when she is dressed in more normal clothes, it is almost a revelation to me. Revelation? Yes, because in this story, Louise is so much more attractive than normal to me when she is wearing a thick woolly sweater than when she is wearing six leather handkerchiefs. When she is in leathers, I barely bat an eyelid. But when she is wearing a chunky knit jumpers? Wowsers, I am like that Tex Avery cartoon wolf with the eyes out on stalks and the heart visibly pounding. Not to mention the howling and stamping of my right foot. This is why Horror of Fang Rock is the only story where I need to take a cold shower afterwards.

Right, where was I? Yes…

A friend of mine recently told me that she thought Horror of Fang Rock was like an Agatha Christie book. With the story’s single location, small cast and a murderer who you know is a murderer before he does any actual murdering, I have to agree. But this is better than Christie because it has a snot monster.

Like my other unreviews, there is so much more that I could say. I could mention Skinsale and Palmerdale’s awful yet compelling hair, Leela’s eyes changing colour, the way she says “tesh-nician” in reference to her début story but you know what? Watch it for yourself or I will cut your heart out!

No, really, I will…

Posted in BekHobbes, doctorwho, fandom, memories, opinion, reallife, review, unreview, whovian, whovians | 1 Comment

Wheels of Steal the DVD Sequels

I previously wrote a couple of blogs in an ever-increasing sequence of posts entitled Wheels of Steel. They are about this disabled woman who uses her disability to queue-jump. The renown queue-jumping wheelchair user of Exeter as nobody but me calls her.
I have no problem with disabled people going aboard public transport before me but it is annoying when anyone jumps the queue regardless of whether they are disabled or not. It is not a question of me wanting to be asked but of common courtesy, of being polite.
You can read, should you wish, the previous blogs here:
 
So a quick up-to-date post here involving the queue-jumper. Think of this blog as two straight-to-DVD sequels.
WHEELS OF STEAL 3:
THE BUS-DRIVER STRIKES BACK
So there I am waiting at the queue. Along comes our wheelchair-bound queue-jumper. She heads to her rightful place at the head of the queue. I say ‘rightful’ but I suppose that this is a distinction only she makes.
The bus draws up, and our felonious friend moves her chair back. She clearly thinks she is going to be on first but what is this? The driver gestures for all the other passengers to get on first.
The queue-jumper is in a bind. She can’t say that she has to go on first because she is disabled. While she has no problems with using her disability to get special treatment, it is another matter to open her mouth to say, “Excuse me, driver, but I must get on first due to lack of working legs.”
The passengers get on the bus but the queue-jumper is about to get her way. Sorta.
Another woman, an elderly old dame, asks the driver to lower the ramp so she can shuffle on without falling over and breaking a hip. The driver obliges her but Queuejumpy McQueuejumpface moves her wheelchair forward, moving in front of this poor old lady. “Hah! Take that, coffin-dodger!” she doesn’t say.
This is where the first straight-to-DVD movie fades out…
WHEELS OF STEAL 4:
YOU SHALL NOT PASS, YOUNG GIRLS!
Same deal as before. Our disabled queue-jumper at the head of the queue. Bus comes. Also another bus.
She wants the first bus. Two young girls want the second bus. What will happen! This is nail-biting suspense.
The young girls make to move in front of the thief on wheels but she moves her wheelchair forward to block them off. On purpose.
Apparently the Wheels of Steal think it is alright for her to steal first place but not for two young girls. Maybe she would if they had wheelchairs too but our thiefy friend would consider her age to be the deciding factor. I imagine a battle with spikes attached to the wheels. Ben-Hur style. And that is only if the young girls wanted the same bus as her which they didn’t.
And that is it. You can kinda see why these sequels didn’t make it into cinemas, can’t you?
I still feel like an arse for feeling like this though…
Posted in BekHobbes, bullying, bus, exeter, ill-manners, memories, opinion, questions, queue, reallife, rudeness | Leave a comment

Twice Upon A Time Unreview

First of all, can I just say that Twice Upon a Time is one of the most erroneous titles for a Doctor Who story since Madam Vastra Meets Thelma and Louise.

This story should be called Thrice Upon a Time surely? After all, we do get to see Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor.

Um, spoilers?

The story starts off at the South Pole which you might think makes this episode very Christmassy but no. Wrong pole, folks. But you can’t have everything, can you? So no cameos for Santa, Ian or Wolf. Humbug!

South Pole, the Doctor, and the First Doctor, yes.

We get to see William Hartnell, the guv’nor, morph into David Bradley who shall be referred to as the ersatz guv’nor. Or maybe not. Scratch that, rewind it, lets us just call him the First Doctor. Much simpler plus most people don’t speak German. Except for the Germans.

Anyway, the Twelfth Doctor, yes, has survived his little encounter with the Cybermen but is about to go into regeneration mode which isn’t what he wants. He refuses to regenerate. He even punches the snowy ground in case it disagrees with him.

The First Doctor is in a similar boat. Survived the Cybermen, yup. About to regenerate, yup. Refusal to regenerate, yup. Punching the ground, nope, he is too much of a gent to punch blameless snow.

They come across each other…

“I am the Doctor, ye wee sassenach. Nae bother me!”
“Hmmm, you may be a doctor but I am the Doctor.”
“Ach, crivens…”

If this wasn’t timey-wimey enough, a First World War Army Captain approached them fresh from the muddy hellhole that is Ypres, December, 1914. The FWWAC had been in a crater with a German soldier, who presumably could use the word ‘ersatz’, when time froze. He, the British captain, was taken away to some kind of gothic church where a piece of metal is waved in front of him before being placed at the South Pole in the mid-1980s.

A feminine glass figure turns up, freezes time at the South Pole and is a party pooper.

Confession part one: I thought that this glass figure was a Watcher as last seen in the story Logopolis. Female Doctor equals female Watcher, yes? Spoilers: no.

Confession part two: I also thought this was an obscure reference to Paul Magrs who featured glass people in some of his Doctor Who novels. Again, no.

This glass woman parks her sparkplug spaceship over the TARDIS. Our heroes rush into the TARDIS. The glass woman uses a grabby claw to pick up the TARDIS. She misses a few times, drops the TARDIS when she does get it, accidentally picks up a clawful of snow, and then the TARDIS again.

Inside the spaceship (and yeah that reference is for the Greybeard Whovians, hello!) is the gothic interior that we saw only minutes before.

The glass woman appears and offers Bill Potts in exchange for the FWWAC who she’d accidentally misplaced by seven decades and thousands of miles. A deal which the FWWAC is prepared to take. Not so the Doctor or the Doctor or Bill.

I liked the way the First Doctor noticed that the face of the glass woman was asymmetrical, proving that her appearance is based upon a real person and not created by a computer. Of course this assumes that computers never have an off-day when rendering glass avatars.

The glass lass shocks and horrifies the First Doctor by revealing his future and some of the things that he’ll be called such as the Shadow of the Valeyard, the Oncoming Storm, the Imp of the Pandorica, Oi You Get Off My Planet, Fred, the Beast of Trenzalore, the Spook of Bottle Bay, and the Doctor of War.

“War?”
“War.”
“What is war good for?”
“Absolutely nothing, aye? Now we had better escape. Crivens!”
“Good god…”

The troika escape with Bill even though the Twelfth Doctor doesn’t think that Bill is real or human or even a lesbian.

The glass woman, resteals the TARDIS and flies away.

But all is not lost. There is another TARDIS parked nearby. The First Doctor’s TARDIS. That ol’ skinny blue box. They escape and head for Villengard which is at the centre of the universe.

Villengard was the planet that the Ninth Doctor replaced the weapons factories with banana trees. This is presumably after Twice Upon a Time because you’d be hard-pressed to find a single banana on this godforsaken planet.

It is at this point where I was planning on making a few stupid jokes and references to Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Sha Ka Ree and aliens pretending to be God but I suddenly realised that the movie takes place at the centre of the galaxy and not the centre of the universe so my loss is your gain.

The Twelfth Doctor tells Bill, the First Doctor and the FWWAC not to leave the TARDIS. Need I ask you to guess if they stay put?

Villengard is not a planet where you’d choose to be. It is full of naked Daleks jellying about and attacking anyone stupid enough to visit, something which the Villengard Tourist Board don’t mention in their brochures.

The Doctor is here to consult the greatest computer. After pooh-poohing Google, the Matrix, and Deep Thought, he settled on Villengard where a friend of his has access to the Dalek Hivemind.

Confession part three: was I the only one to think that this ‘friend’ was Davros?

Confession part four: I also thought it might be Abslom Daak which isn’t an out-there guess since he has appeared in Time Heist.

It isn’t Daak or Davros. It is Rusty the Dalek with a heart from Into the Dalek! To be fair, Rusty is as likely as Daak. Daak would have been more fun though…

Rusty, after popping his cork AKA his gun, allows the Doctor access to the Hivemind where he discovers on Facebook that the face of the glass woman belongs to a woman called Helen Clay, the founder and part-time chef for the Testimony.

The Testimony is a time travelling group who kidnaps people before they die and then brings them back to their original point in time and space. They are completely different from the Teselecta (from Let’s Kill Hitler) in that they don’t only kidnap bad people to torture the hell out of them. The Testimony download memories from the dying so that they can live again as glass avatars. If nothing else, imagine the embarrassment when the Testimony and the Teselecta bump into each other…

“Do you mind waiting while we kidnap this person? We wish to hurt him a lot before returning him.”
“Well, alright. Lucky we packed cucumber sandwiches, eh?”
“Quite…”

Giving Rusty a Christmas present (a new eye stalk), the Doctor scoots back to the TARDIS along with Bill and the First Doctor (you guessed right, guys).

Bill confirms what the Hivemind revealed plus that she herself is an avatar half-inched from the timelines and shoved into a glass body.

Presumably Bill’s memories were taken at the point of her first death before Heather returned her back to life. Therefore we now have two Bill Potts. Huzzah!

The Doctors realise that there is no Big Bad to fight here and no reason as to why the FWWAC shouldn’t be returned back to his time. Other than not wanting a good man to die.

Helen Clay waits for them at Ypres as the twin TARDISes, the same TARDIS twice, materialize.

The FWWAC reveals that he is called Archibald Hamish Lethbridge-Stewart. The grandfather of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (not his father since that’d make the Brig too old).

Confession part five: I totally guessed this. Although it wasn’t hard. I knew that the FWWAC would be a Lethbridge-Stewart, I also knew that he would be the Brigadier’s grandfather. When a character is only refered to by a description, you just know that this character would be something pretty damn special.

Archie asks the Doctors to look after his ancestors. Something the Twelfth Doctor knows he will do. Alistair, Kate and Kadiatu are in good hands.

Time starts up again with the help of Helen Clay and her temporal crank. Archie and the German in the crater, each about to shoot each other when out of the blue comes singing.

The British soldiers sing Silent Night. The German soldiers sing Stille Nacht. And the Twelfth Doctor whips out his guitar and sings/plays Dave Brubeck’s Unsquare Dance with the First Doctor on piano and Bill on kazoo.

“Och, aye, did I nae mention that I shifted the Captain’s timeline tae the start o’ the Christmas Truce? Ain’t I a wee stinker?”

Archie’s life is saved. Which isn’t a surprise. I mean, would the Moff really have the man die on a Christmas Day episode of Doctor Who?

The First Doctor admits that he now is ready to regenerate but is puzzled by his future self’s response; “Say hello tae the wee cosmic trump, aye?” The original cranky old Doctor leaves but quite frankly the way he pilots the Ship, he probably took a few years to find his way back to the South Pole.

The Doctor is left on the fields of Ypres with Bill Potts. He doesn’t believe that she is really Bill.

“I am so Bill, Doctor. Memories are what we are, innit.”
“Nae, nae, ye are jus’ a glass lass wit’ Bill’s brainthings lumped intae ye see-through noggin.”
“Blimey, a person’s memories is what defines them.”

How easily the Doctor forgets. “A man is the sum of his memories. A Time Lord even more so” as the Fifth Doctor once said but then again this was a man who wore a vegetable.

The Testimony via Bill and her superglass powers, give the Doctor back his memories of Clara. And Clara returns, as a glass avatar, and Nardole too! Somewhere at the back of the queue is a glass Adric asking whether he was right or not.

The Doctor refuses to allow the Testimony the testimony of his life and after a big hug, he leaves. He will regenerate but not before he eats up some of the episode’s running time with a longish speech and advice for number Thirteen…

“…one more lifetime won’t kill naeone. Well, except me.

Ye wait a wee moment, Doctor. Let’s get it richt. I’ve got a few things tae say tae ye. Basic stuff first.

Never be cruel, never be cowardly, never pay ye bar tab. And never ever eat deep-fried Mars bars! Remember – hate is always foolish…an’ love, is always wise unless ye are answering a lonely hearts ad.

Always try, tae be nice an’ never fail tae be kind. Oh, an’….an’ ye mustn’t tell naeone ye name. Naeone would understand it anyway. Except….

Except….bairns. Bairns can hear it. Sometimes – if their hearts are in the richt place, an’ the stars are too. Children can hear ye name.

But naebody else. Naebody else. Ever. Not even that wee sassenach doon the papershop.

Laugh hard. Run fast. Be kind.

Live fast, die young, leave a good-looking corpse. Jus’ kidding!

Doctor – I let ye go.

Jings!”

And yes, he is paraphrasing Bertrand Russell when he advises his future self that “hate is always foolish…an’ love, is always wise”. Ten points to anyone who spotted that.

Number Twelfth, your time is up! The Doctor regenerates and as the norm nowadays blows up the TARDIS as he turns into the Thirteenth Doctor.

A woman! He is a she! And, and, and it doesn’t really matter. The Doctor lives, that is what matters.

The new Doctor takes a look at her appearance and utters the immortal words, “Chuffin’ ‘eck! There is trouble down t’TARDIS!”

The TARDIS, utterly knackered by all this gender-bending regeneration stuff, decides to throw the Doctor out of the TARDIS.

Some people made snide comments about women drivers when the Thirteenth Doctor fell out of the TARDIS. To which I would remind them about the Tenth Doctor crashing into a building after her regenerated. Also remember a certain Eleventh Doctor likewise falling out of his TARDIS post-regeneration? Yeah. Pish-posh, chauvinists!

Our last image is of the now female Doctor falling into the title sequence of Eastenders.

The End!

Phew! All done. So what did I think of the episode?

Peter Capaldi gives a final performance (for the time being) as the Doctor. I have to say that I loved every moment he spent on the screen. If this is to be his last time, I am glad that this story was a fitting end to his Doctor. I did think his speech at the end was a little long-winded but I also loved it as well. I will miss the attack eyebrows.

David Bradley is an excellent First Doctor although I found his more sexist moments to be… Not off but they did throw me out of the story a little. I could happily watch a series with him as the Doctor, so that is a good thing. His performance wasn’t Hartnellish but it had odd flavours of him which I appreciated a lot.

Bill Potts returns.  A version of her returns. Played by Pearl Mackie, she is still everything that I loved about her character. Even when we see parts of her turn to glass, she isn’t sinister whatsoever.

Mark Gatiss as Archie Lethbridge-Stewart. I think I can say, hand on hearts, that this is the most humane role that he has had on the show or on any other show that he has been in. I really got a sense of who this man was, what made him tick. I can only hope that Archie returns.

Helen Clay. Her name suggests moulding people out of clay. An apt name given that she is making glass avatars? Possibly. Played by Nikki Amuka-Bird, she never really gets beyond being cryptic and mysterious and made out of glass. But with an epsiode that has to deal with a regeneration, I guess some things fall to the sides.

Jenna Coleman was alright too. Just a cameo and she performs it well. Nothing more to be said.

Lastly Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor. We only get to see her briefly but I was really excited by her appearance. That moment when Twelve’s ring falls off her finger was brilliant and a nod to the ring scene in Power of the Daleks. Too little to really comment on her but I can say this: I think she may be exceedingly good in the part.

I enjoyed how Moffat gets away with Bradley’s appearance. Apparently if aTime Lord tries to hold off their regeneration their features get a little muddled. Although this didn’t happen to the Tenth Doctor or the Twelfth Doctor. Oh well…

I could say so much more about this episode but really all I have to say is this: watch it for yourself. It was a great story even if it lacked a major alien threat.

I cannot wait to see more of the Thirteenthy Doctor.

Oh, brilliant!

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