CARNIVAL OF MONSTERS

While Sue is busy elsewhere, I cue up the alternative version of Episode Two. You know, the one with the Delaware theme music.

Sue: I’m looking forward to this. Now that the Doctor’s got a fully-working TARDIS again, it should be a completely different show. Were they given a bigger budget for this season, Neil?

I press ‘play’.

Sue: They’ve changed the music… They’ve changed the music and it’s ****ing terrible! Oh no! What have they done?
Me: Don’t worry. love. They were going to change the music, but when Barry Letts heard this, he had exactly the same reaction as you. Unfortunately, episodes with this arrangement were sent to Australia by mistake.
Sue: Those poor bastards. It was horrendous. Like a bad cover version. And why bother when there’s nothing wrong with the original?

 

Episode One

Normal service is resumed.

Sue: Ah, that’s better. Ooh… Robert Holmes. We like Robert Holmes. This should be a good one.
Me: This is a very important story for me. Not only was it my first exposure to Doctor Who, it also forms part of my earliest – and most vivid – childhood memory. I can remember one scene in particular…
Sue: Wait, don’t tell me. Let’s see if I can spot it. Hang on a minute – Ingrid Pitt isn’t in this one, is she?

The story begins at a spaceport on Inter Minor.

Carnival of MonstersSue: It’s the conveyor belt from The Generation Game.
Me: It’s supposed to be a baggage carousel.
Sue: Is it Christmas, then? Because everyone’s luggage is wrapped like a present.

Grey functionaries are beavering around the baggage area.

Sue: I love their costumes. Their leggings are really nice, too.
Me: But their masks… Don’t you think their masks look terrible?
Sue: Of course their masks look terrible. That goes without saying.

The TARDIS materialises in a cargo ship’s hold.

Sue: Good. I’m guaranteed some decent carpentry, at last.

Unfortunately, before she can check out the quality of SS Bernice’s timber, we return to Inter Minor, just in time to see Shirna climb out of her spacesuit.

Carnival of MonstersSue: Is this your earliest childhood memory, Neil?
Me: Hardly. I was only three.
Sue: Lady Ga-Ga would kill for a look like hers. She’s years ahead of her time.

The Doctor is convinced that he’s arrived in the Acteon galaxy.

Sue: There’s a crate over there with the word ‘Bombay’ stamped all over it.

But instead of using his eyes, the Doctor decides to converse with some chickens instead.

Sue: For pity’s sake, just look at the ****ing crate!

Jo finally cottons on.

Carnival of MonstersSue: At last! The Doctor isn’t exactly Sherlock Holmes, is he?

Sue and Jo are convinced the Doctor is lost.

Sue: Does his bloody TARDIS work or not? What was the point of giving it back to him if it doesn’t work?

And that’s when Nicol walked in.

Nicol: The Doctor doesn’t steer the TARDIS, the TARDIS steers the Doctor, remember? Matt Smith? Female TARDIS? Neil crying?
Sue: Oh, yeah. Good point. I’d forgotten about that.
Me: You’re not supposed to know that yet! Oh, I give up.

Sue and Nicol discuss Jo Grant’s latest outfit. They adore her jacket and top, but they aren’t too sure about her trousers. Plus, they can’t tell whether she’s wearing her socks pulled-up over her boots or not, which drives them crazy. And then Nicol leaves, to swot up on anti-matter universes, I expect.

Sue: I can hear someone typing…
Me: That’s Dudley Simpson’s music, love.

The Doctor and Jo take cover behind some furniture to avoid being discovered by the ship’s passengers. And then, when Major Daly falls asleep, they emerge from their hiding place to discuss their predicament.

Sue: Why are they having this conversation next to a sleeping man? Go somewhere else!

Carnival of MonstersAnd then a plesiosaur attacks the ship!

Sue: Ooh, is that the Loch Ness Monster?

The Doctor and Jo are imprisoned as stowaways. Luckily, Jo is packing some skeleton keys and they escape. However, as they make their way back through the ship, they notice the passengers and crew are repeating their actions on a loop.

Sue: It’s Groundhog Day. Or Dinosaur Day. I knew something funny was going on.
Me: No you didn’t! You thought the Doctor was being a prat.
Sue: So is this dinosaur your first childhood memory?
Me: God, no.

An enormous hand reaches down and picks the TARDIS up.

Sue: I used to love Land of the Giants. Was the giant hand your first childhood memory?
Me: No. Look, I’ll let you when we get there. You’re driving me insane, love.
Sue: I bet it’s something really obscure, like a close-up of a ladder, or something stupid like that.

As the credits roll, Sue takes stock.

Sue: It’s an interesting set-up. I’m definitely intrigued.

 

Episode Two

Sue loves it when the stories begin to intertwine.

Sue: Oh, I see. It’s like Big Brother. But in a box.

The miniscope’s owner, Vorg, agitates his specimens, which results in Andrews challenging the Doctor to a boxing match, although it ends rather quickly.

Sue: I bet the Doctor cheated. I bet he stuck his finger on the other guy’s chest when no one was looking.

The Doctor and Jo are trapped inside a miniscope.

Sue: This feels like a big change in style to me. The colours. The location. The ideas. It just feels different. It’s as if Jon Pertwee is finally getting to be the Doctor he’s always wanted to be. He’s quite good this week, although I still hate him when he patronises Jo.

Thankfully, those moments – and there are quite a few of them – are offset by the comedic banter which fizzes between Pletrac, Kalik and Orum.

Carnival of MonstersSue: The script is very funny. Robert Holmes is in a different league to everybody else. I really love these characters.
Me: That’s Packer over there.
Sue: Is it really? Oh, yes, so it is. I love Packer. The direction is really good. Who is it?
Me: It’s Barry Letts.
Sue: Is it, really? I didn’t know Barry could direct as well.
Me: He was a writer, a director, a producer, and even an actor at one stage. There was no end to Barry’s talents.
Sue: (Impersonating Terrance Dicks, extremely badly) Bwarry said to me…
Me: Stop that. You don’t even know who you’re impersonating.
Sue: Yes, I do. It’s Ian Levine, isn’t it?

Vorg checks on his miniscope, and as he turns a knob, we are presented with a very familiar face…

Carnival of MonstersSue: It’s the Cybermen! I knew they were behind this.
Me: No you didn’t.
Sue: They haven’t been in it for ages. And you can’t be a proper Doctor if you haven’t faced the Cybermen. It’s probably a law or something.

The Doctor says, “All these shafts look the same.”

Sue: It’s the 1960s all over again. Yeah, he’s definitely the Doctor now. The only thing I can’t stand about this story is the way Robert Holmes has written Jo. She’s too dizzy and ditzy. I mean, she isn’t that thick. She’s acting like a 12 year-old child.

And then we reach a very special moment. Well, for me, at least.

Me: This is it.
Sue: Is this the bit where they reveal all the Cybermen?
Me: No. This is my earliest childhood memory.
Sue: But it’s just a swamp…

And then a Drashig rears its ugly head.

Carnival of MonstersSue: Oh, okay… Well, that wasn’t very phallic, was it?
Me: And that was it. I was hooked on Doctor Who from that point. I can remember practically every story from here.
Sue: You’re probably just remembering all the other times you’ve seen them. You know, as repeats, or on video.
Me: It isn’t just the plots I can remember. It’s feelings, and places. Smells, even. It’s usually a snapshot image of a time and place, all brought into sharp focus by a scene from the show. In this instance, my auntie is with me, she must have been babysitting because I was only three years old. Anyway, the chair I’m sitting on has black and white stripes running over it, there’s a gas fire to the left of me, and I’m drinking something orange. I think I’m eating a Farley’s rusk, too. I can bore you with more of these memories when we… Sue? Wake up, Sue.

 

Episode Three

Carnival of MonstersSue: Jon Pertwee looks defeated.
Me: What do you think the Drashigs?
Sue: They look great. Very scary. Like giant evil caterpillars. Oh look, two of them are having a snog…

As our heroes run away from the monsters, Jo gets stuck in the mud.

Sue: Now we know why she’s wearing boots. Handy, that. It’s is a great scene, though. The direction is especially good. I love it when we go outside. Even if it is a bleak shit hole in the middle of nowhere.

Vorg protests his innocence to the Inter Minor authorities as hell breaks loose inside his machine.

Sue: You can see how this character would have been a big influence on the likes of Timmy Mallet. He would have been a good Doctor, actually. He’d have to change his costume, though.

The Inter Minor officials continue to bicker and point-score.

Sue: (Laughing) It’s Yes, Minister in space. It’s very funny, and they’ve got three excellent actors to play these parts. I could watch this all day.

The Doctor explains the miniscope’s chequered history to Jo.

Sue: Jo needs to calm down. Take a deep breath, love. And why is she playing it so young this week? She’s never usually like this.

Carnival of MonstersI ask her what she thinks of the actor who’s playing Andrews.

Sue: He’s okay, I guess. Nothing special. He looks like Michael Schumacher. Will that do?

A Drashig attacks the SS Bernice.

Sue: The special effects are great. The chroma is working really well for Barry this week. Didn’t you tell me that Barry pioneered this technique? I bet he would have loved CGI.

The episode concludes as the Doctor escapes from the infernal machine.

Sue: He could have waited for Jo.

 

Episode Four

Carnival of MonstersThe Doctor returns to his normal size, which inspires Pletrac to embark on yet another rant about immigrants.

Sue: It’s Planet of the Daily Mail Readers.

The Doctor volunteers to save Vorg’s collection.

Sue: Does that mean he’ll have to rescue the Cyberman we saw earlier? That could be interesting.

And then Sue stops talking again.

Me: You’re not saying very much, love.
Sue: Shut up. I’m trying to listen to this. We don’t usually get dialogue as good as this – I don’t want to miss anything.

The Doctor is worried about Jo’s safety.

Sue: Why doesn’t he stick his hand into the machine and pick Jo up by her collar? It’s big enough.
Me: He’ll be bitten by the Drashigs.
Sue: But they’re tiny! Put a pair of gloves on, you wimp.

Everyone is worried the Drashigs will escape from the miniscope and wreak havoc on the city.

Sue: Just stamp on them when they come out of the machine. They’re tiny! It’ll be the same as standing on a normal caterpillar. You honestly don’t need a giant laser gun for that.

The Doctor returns to the miniscope’s interior and rescues Jo, but when they return to the exit, they are overcome by heat exhaustion and the Doctor faints.

Sue: Ouch! Jon Pertwee landed on his nose. That must have hurt.

The Doctor saves the day, the only way he knows how.

Carnival of MonstersSue: He’s reversed something again. It’s the only trick he has. Oh, look, that lid is made from cardboard. The money must have run out.

And then, as the credits rolled…

Me: I’ve just remembered something. Not only was Carnival of Monsters the first Doctor Who story I ever saw, it was the first story that inspired me to post something on the internet. Hang on a minute…

After a quick search of Usenet’s rec.arts.drwho archive:

Me: Here it is: March 31st 1995. I would have posted it from the university’s language lab. Yeah, I remember now… I was hanging out in a Telnet chatroom when I accidentally confused the philosopher Jeremy Bentham with the Jeremy Bentham who used to run the Doctor Who Appreciation Society. I was told to visit a newsgroup called rec.arts.drwho if I wanted to talk about Doctor Who. It was so embarrassing. I felt like a right tit.
Sue: Okay, you’ve lost me now.
Me: Anyway, my first post on rec.arts.drwho was about Carnival of Monsters.
Sue: What did you say?
Me: Here are some edited highlights: “Is it just me or are the Functionaries from Carnival of Monsters the worst example of make-up in the entire history of the series?”
Sue: That’s a nice, positive start.
Carnival of MonstersMe: “I nearly fell off my chair in shock when they shambled onto the set. Bits of latex flapping around like no one’s business. And it wasn’t just one of them – all of them were flapping about! It was unbelievable!”
Sue: I thought you were supposed to be a fan, Neil?
Me: It gets worse: “Did Angela Seyfang (the make-up artist, and I use the term loosely) ever work again?”
Sue: That’s a bit harsh.
Me: “And as for Jon Pertwee: does anyone know how many times in the series he rubbed the back of his neck and looked baffled?”
Sue: How many replies did you get?
Me: None.
Sue: I can’t say I’m surprised. You sound like a troll.

 

The Score

Sue: That was very good indeed. It just proves what you can do in four parts with a good writer, a good director and a good cast. That isn’t too much to ask for, is it? The only negative thing I have to say about it is that Jo was written like a child. She needs to toughen up a bit. Some of the make-up was a bit dodgy, too – although I wouldn’t go on the internet to complain about it.

9/10

 

52

Comments

  1. Daniel  January 21, 2012

    Wow! Sue actually agreed with fan opinions (well, unless it’s all changed behind my back and we’re now supposed to Hate Carnival.) for once. Carnival is one of my absolute favourite stories and definitely in my top 3 Pertwees, it’s just such a corker. Great ideas, good writing, and just fun.

    • Daniel  January 21, 2012

      And I like this bit, for some reason:

      “They look great. Very scary. Like giant evil caterpillars. Oh look, two of them are having a snog.”

  2. Thomas Bush  January 21, 2012

    CoM sure is a grower. Wonderful ideas, witty dialogue, interesting characters. What more could you want? Better make-up and FX, surely?

  3. Dave Sanders  January 21, 2012

    Oh good – I couldn’t sleep properly either.

    This is the one Pertwee story that’s guaranteed to improve with age – yours as well as the programme’s. Post-modern long before the term was run into the ground by pompous media twats, it’s exactly as clever as it believes it is in the same way that, for example, Gridlock isn’t. You can come back to it again, even twenty or thirty years later (as so many fans did), and always find new levels and delightful levels to appreciate that went underneath your personal radar in 1973 or 1981.

    • Alisaunder  January 21, 2012

      On first viewing I thought this episode was bad in every way. I hated the costumes, the circus people, and drashigs had to be the dumbest most impotent monsters ever. Years later I rewatched it for lack of absolutely anything better to do and found it much improved. I dont recall it as 9 good, Ill have to watch it again. But I do like how our views change and we see new things in our old episodes.

      I do long for some Daleks and Cybermen though.

      • BWT  January 22, 2012

        I must confess the same reaction: I wasn’t sure about this one at first but loved “The Three Doctors” on first broadcast (1975 in NZ). Nowadays I find my appreciation of each is reversed. Funny how fickle we all are, isn’t it?

        Yeah… I’d like to have seen the Pert meet the Cybermen. I think the Bobi Bartlett version (“The Invasion”) would have suited the UNIT era. Still, I suppose it had already been done in 1968. I don’t know how they have worked for him on another planet – although wasn’t “Revenge of the Cybermen” orignally pitched as a Pertwee story?

        Anyway – I digress. I love “Carnival…” – glad Sue did too.

        T-shirt? I can’t get past Nicol’s: “Fezzes are cool.” Nice foreshadowing…

  4. Thomas Bush  January 21, 2012

    Try this for this next story. Have a drinking game to see how many times the Doctor and/or Jo get locked up.

    • Dave Sanders  January 21, 2012

      A better drinking game would be to have the Skol ready for each release, then race to see how much you can chug down before the next time they’re banged up again.

  5. Hulahoop  January 21, 2012

    I don’t know about him as the Doctor but Vorg ended up in Hi De Hi as the grumpy children’s entertainer/punch & judy man

    I’ll get my coat….

    • Richard Lyth  January 21, 2012

      I’m surprised Sue didn’t notice that actually, or his assistant played by Citizen Smith’s girlfriend – she’s usually good at spotting actors from 70s sitcoms. Of course they do look considerably different here…

  6. PolarityReversed  January 21, 2012

    Some snigger moments here: Look at the ****ing crate!; Is that the Loch Ness Monster?; Every Dr has to meet the Cybermen… Not sure it’s fair to expect Sue to recognise Ian Marter, though.

    Another cracking outing from Michael Wisher – who surely must have the most guest credits, even pre-you-know-who?

    No reaction to the parlari? The Doctor speaks every language in the universe, including chicken (or for the reboot era, the TARDIS translates everything). Yet he can’t understand carny/gay slang (or the TARDIS databank doesn’t include Round the Horne)…

    No?

    Hula, can you grab my coat while you’re there…

    • Dave Sanders  January 21, 2012

      If they were to remake this story today, that would of course be the heavily-signposted joke.

  7. Tony  January 21, 2012

    I was waiting for Neil to tease Sue about that Andrews bloke being a near-miss for casting as Captain Yates!

  8. John Callaghan  January 21, 2012

    Good stuff – both story and your commentary.

    Sue (laudably) wanting to be quiet and listen to the excellent dialogue is why I don’t think you should do a video commentary on a ‘good’ story, especially such a witty gem as 5H. Instead I feel it would be better to use a more visual ambitious story, especially a dodgy one. You’ve a fair selection…

  9. Lauren A.  January 21, 2012

    Yes, but next week you’ll be watching the last — *runs off, sobbing*

  10. Jazza1971  January 21, 2012

    I love CoM. It was the highlight of “The Five Faces of Doctor Who” for me, in a repeat series that was practically all highlights. My earliest memories are of “Death to the Daleks”, so the only way I had experienced the first three stories was by way of DWM (or indeed DWW) and the target novelisations…that was up until this repeat season. So I’m glad that Sue loved this story too. The only problem with her loving a story is that there are less candidates for possible t-shirts. My only suggestion would be “Planet of the Daily Mail Readers”…but I’m not sure I would wear such a t-shirt!

    • Dave Sanders  January 21, 2012

      ‘Charlie Brooker’s Daily Mail Planet’.

  11. Simon Harries  January 21, 2012

    Lovely article about one of my favourites – I’m glad Sue scored it so highly.

  12. Dave Sanders  January 21, 2012

    I can forgive Paddy Kingsland and his electric guitar *anything* for his sublime scores to Logopolis and Castrovalva; I’ll even pretend the ‘Jew’s harp in a dustbin’ setting on his old Casio never happened. He’s probably more embarrassed at his music turning up in Spongebob Squarepants.

    • John G  January 21, 2012

      Sue’s reaction to the Jew’s harp makes me intrigued as to how she will react when we get to 1980, and especially ’86 and ’87…

      • PolarityReversed  January 22, 2012

        1980 is interesting – I loathed it at the time, but get nostalgic for it now. Even though I objected to the visual design shift from vortex to stars, I was fine with visual revamps (Pertwee colour howl, Pertwee slit-screen, Baker slit-screen), but substantially changing the music felt like vandalism.

        Interesting experiment for Neil. Why not mock up a version of Leisure Hive ep 1 with the previous title sequence (I think there are some blanks floating around) and see how much of a stylistic shift Sue perceives within the body of the programme. Then play ep 2 as is, and compare reactions. Then prepare footrub, oils and scented candles to atone for the guinea pig treatment…

        Whoops. We’ve got ahead of ourselves again.

        • John G  January 22, 2012

          As a mere whippersnapper of 32, the Howell theme, in conjunction with the Davison title sequence, is the one that gets my nostalgic juices flowing. Much as I still love it though, I have to admit that I prefer the original these days!

  13. John G  January 21, 2012

    “Why doesn’t he stick his hand into the machine and pick Jo up by her collar? It’s big enough.”

    The definite pick of the quotes for me this time. Intriguing also that Sue compares the Drashigs to dogs, given the use of canine skulls in the making of the Drashig models…

    This is probably the best Pertwee story outside of Season 7, and the moment when Robert Holmes fully found his voice – the Auton stories showed him to be a talented writer, but Carnival takes things to a new, imaginatively rich level that still seems fresh and startling today. There are only two criticisms I would make. Like Sue, I think Jo doesn’t come over too well in this one, as she is written as more childlike and whiny than usual, and it also seems to me that the distinctly amoral Vorg is let off the hook too readily by the Doctor. He seems completely indifferent for most of the story to the cruelty of the Miniscope, and while I suppose he does come good in the end, he would have been a worthy recipient of one of the third Doctor’s pompous moralising lectures.

    Is it really a year since the experiment began? The time has certainly flown by, though I hope it doesn’t slow down for you too much as you endure the tedium of the next story. It is surely a candidate for the Most Boring Ever prize, but I won’t be at all surprised if Sue disagrees…

  14. Frankymole  January 21, 2012

    Actually, Barry Letts liked the Delaware theme – but was the only person who did, so he was persuaded to drop it.

    IIRC he still couldn’t tell what was wrong with it, years later!

    • Dave Sanders  January 21, 2012

      As hideously dated as the Delaware theme sounds to our ears now, it would have been much harder in ’72 – when synth composers were producing their own fresh brand of experimental wobbly noises – to put your finger on *why* the Delaware theme seemed wrong, even then. It’s because the earlier Radiophonics output was based around real sounds, and the original theme is startling and alien because however much you abuse and rerecord the tape to the point of distortion, the qualities that make it ‘real’ – the instrumental attack time and low resonating frequencies – are still there. Introduce early tone generation and digital waveforms into the equation, and those properties are suddenly gone. It’s why Malcolm’s Clarke’s Sea Devils score is his most avant-garde, but otherwise pure 1972; his most popular score, for Earthshock, isn’t exactly ‘conventional’ either but all the clangs and bangs help to root it back into the real world in the same way that Paddy’s electric guitar does.

      • Dave Sanders  January 21, 2012

        An interesting thought: if they’d tried changing the theme in 1969 between seasons six and seven, the obvious way would have been to create and record some new wobbly noises based on processed real instruments, and use a Mellotron to play them back. That method, used at that time, would have likely been the only possible point where you could have feasibly got away with changing the theme with a keyboard, before 1980.

        • Frankymole  January 22, 2012

          Personally I’d have liked to have seen the reaction if Ron Grainer’s own 45 rpm single version – the “disco” arrangement that wasn’t Mankind’s – had been used. I mean, it’s more authentically Ron Grainer’s vision than Delia Derbyshire’s or Brian Hodgson’s could be.

      • PolarityReversed  January 22, 2012

        I found it interesting that Earthshock’s emotive clanging motif (processed orchestral bells, I reckon) – the sound you’d expect if you swung a crowbar at a cyberman – coincides with the time when when the monsters are visually at their least metallic since Tenth Planet. Combined with the relentless bass quelchy metronic marching figure, this is inspired arrangement.

        I used to get told off for scraping the piano strings with a key…

    • Robert Dick  January 24, 2012

      Doesn’t Barry tell a story on his memoirs CD of not liking the theme and feeling bad about telling Delia and Peter only to discover to his relief they didn’t really like it either? Or am I misremembering the story?

  15. Paul  January 21, 2012

    Ahhh RADW. Those were the (bad) days!

    • Hulahoop  January 22, 2012

      Have you been to RADW recently? The bad old days never went away

  16. Coster Vambuselem  January 21, 2012

    The drashigs, in the Five Faces repeat, is one of my earliest and scariest memories, and I actually think they still look reasonably well done. And the “Twenty times round the deck” line stuck with me down the years too, from when I was about 6.

  17. solar penguin  January 21, 2012

    I’m surprised this story is so popular since with hindsight it’s the one where Robert Holmes starts getting lazy with his writing.

    It takes a lot of work to make viewers suspend their disbelief and accept an imaginary planet in an imaginary galaxy as a real setting. To do that you need to get everything else as detailed and believable as possible, including the characters. But here Holmes makes the alien characters all just stereotypes.

    He could get away with that on earthbound stories, but here it just makes it even harder than usual to accept the reality of the space setting. As a result, I’ve never been able to get into this story and would only give it a 5/10.

    • Dave Sanders  January 21, 2012

      Real-life beaurocrats are their *own* stereotype, by both definition and example. That’s why the fans love this one so much.

  18. Noodles  January 21, 2012

    “This actor would have been a good Doctor, actually. He’d have to change his costume first, though.” – I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – Sue’s going to *hate* Colin Baker, isn’t she?

    Just as a nitpick, “laser” is spelt with an “s”, not a “z”. Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Sorry, my dad’s a laser research scientist, so “lazer” always niggles me.

    • Dave Sanders  January 21, 2012

      The Colin Baker period always reminded me of late Pertwee, for the wrong reasons. It’ll be telling whether Sue lays the blame directly at Baker’s door, or if she recognizes that the shitty scripts, garish design and Baker’s own bombast are all having to fight for the attention stolen from them by that bloody costume. The only people who ever made that sort of visual approach work were John Ridgeway with the Sixth Doctor comics, and Dave Gibbons with the Fourth.

      • Roderick T. Long  January 21, 2012

        In college I had an astrophysics professor whose last name was Layzer.

        • Dave Sanders  January 22, 2012

          That’s nothing, the future leader of the human race is called Layzar.

      • John Callaghan  January 22, 2012

        I will be mightily amused if Sue surprises everyone by adoring the Colin Baker years.

        • Tolnoy Wursk  January 23, 2012

          If she doesn’t, it’s going to be a long old slog, because I can’t imagine her mood improving with the McCoy years. If she’s anything like me (and so far we have fairly similar tastes, except in carpentry), she’ll find Revelation Of The Daleks a pleasant blip in an otherwise rather tawdry wilderness.

      • Noodles  January 23, 2012

        I find the Colin Baker era such a shame, as it’s a fantastic idea – what if the Doctor went mad and had trouble controlling himself? It’s just a shame that the scripts were never coherent enough to really explore that idea. I love Baker, and I like a lot of the stories, but there’s just so much wasted *potential*.

        I always think that the best glimpse of what could have been done with the character is Joseph Lidster’s short story “Trapped!” from Short Trips: Monsters.

        • Alisaunder  January 28, 2012

          Ive come to really enjoy Colin’s run at Big Finish. The stories are so much better… and much as I liked McCoy himself, his Big Finish stories are worlds better than almost all he got on tv.

    • Frankymole  January 22, 2012

      Lazer? No-one mention “Megga-volts”!

      • Hulahoop  January 22, 2012

        and I’m sure TOmb of the Cybermen novelisation referred to a “digital vault meter”

        Still looking for my coat, sorry…

  19. Jason Miller  January 22, 2012

    T-shirt of the week:

    “Sue: I can hear somebody typing…
    Me: That’s just Dudley Simpson’s music.”

    I have no recollection of that r.a.dw post from March 1995. I’m surprised I didn’t leap in to explain how much I (used to) hate this story. Again as with most middle-stage Pertwee, I thought the novelization was far better… of course that was before I became a Peter Halliday devotee.

  20. Dave Wood  January 22, 2012

    I have such happy memories of this story from The Five Faces of Doctor Who repeats. All of those repeated stories seemed so much more fun and colourful (even the B/W ones!) to this 9 year old than that final Tom Baker season that had just finished on TV.

    In hindsight it’s still a great script and a very clever idea, but the sets and costumes on Inter Minor are all utterly rubbish. Some of the worst ever! Such a shame as even plodders like The Sensorites and The Space Pirates looked better than this!

    Anyway, you finally convinced me! I’ve followed you fabulous people since episode one and loved the journey. So whilst I’ve been stalling for months you have finally convinced me and I followed your link and bought Revisitations 2. I just hope it helps a little bit towards financing you through the next few hundred episodes. :O)

    Best of luck to you both,

    Dave x

  21. Piers Johnson  January 22, 2012

    Spot on! I’ve always loved this story and I’m glad Sue liked it so much. Hope you watched the DVD, the picture is so much better than the old prints.

    T-shirts: “Well, that wasn’t very phallic, was it?” and “You sound like a troll”

  22. farsighted99  February 9, 2012

    This is the most creatively written story for Pertwee’s Doctor so far. It’s just so damn clever, there were so many ideas bandied about in this; I was just amazed. Pertwee isn’t my favorite Doctor, but his adventures are just amazing. And this story was just brilliant.

    The first couple of episodes were a bit weird. When I was watching it, I kept getting interrupted by people in the house, so I’d stop the video, turn it back on later and I kept seeing the same repetitive stuff with the people on the ship walking around the deck, and Jo and the Doctor getting told they were stowaways, etc. I noticed that it was happening over and over; I kept thinking that the copy I’d been watching had been spliced into a repetitive loop; like a time loop… then it dawned on me that it was the Doctor Who version of Groundhog Day. I loved it that those numpties didn’t have any short-term memory (or long term, for that matter. Just relieving everything every 30 minutes). Those two stories: (1) with the Blue Three Stooges and the Magician and his assistant on another planet in one part, and (2) the High Brow people on the ship going to Bangkok with the dinosaur in the second part didn’t seem to be connected. But when it all came together, it was incredibly clever story exposition.

    Loved Pertwee falling out of the miniscope as an action figure and then growing into his full length… that was just amazing and very well done. And those weird godzilla-like monster Drashigs were pretty cheesy but it didn’t seem to matter. Must of scared the little kids when they saw this the first time. I loved the whole idea of the miniscope holding all those different people/species in it like some kind of miniature zoo; reminded me a bit of the Teselecta in Let’s Kill Hilter, with the tiny people and the miniaturization ray. And there was a Cyberman in there, and the Daleks got a mention. There was even an Ogron… I was glad it was only for a cameo (I don’t particularly care for the Ogrons)!

    Only comment was that Jo played the helpless damsel in distress a bit too much. She’s usually got more of a backbone.

    Exceptionally well done! 9/10.

  23. Chris Too-old-to-watch  February 9, 2012

    One thing always bothers me: when the Doctor and Jo first arrive, the Doctor knows all about the SS Berenice disappearing before it got to Shanghai (as famous as the Mary Celeste), but by the end of the adventure, all the inhabitants of the MiniScope have been returned. So either the Berenice sank before it arrived, OR there’s some huge temporal anomaly, OR Time lords can see all the variations in time that can happen at any one particular moment, and remember them………

    • Farsighted99  February 9, 2012

      Yeah, I thought about that too. The ship should have sunk. Well, at least the guy got to finish his novel, after reading the same few pages over and over again for probably years! And not remembering any of it! Or maybe they were from an alternative universe and in that one it disappeared but eventually showed up. One can only hope. 😀

      • Frankymole  February 12, 2012

        I just assumed the Doctor had previously visited a future timeline that was a “variant” (where the SS Bernice was never rescued from the ‘Scope) and that it got corrected by his actions here, restoring the ship in much the same way he restored the “non devastated” future-century Earth in “Day of the Daleks”.

  24. Tansy  March 12, 2012

    Just got put onto this by my friend.

    I was given Carnival by my friend whose doppleganger is David Tennant as a good luck present for me because I am doing a show at the Comedy Festival that he stars as 10 in. We have a Blink moment.

    I love this episode and although I love 10 as a modern Doctor however my fave classic Doctor is my friends aswell – Jon Pertwee.

    Also I have been thinking of doing the same as you. Watching it in order…. and maybe blogging.