FRONTIER IN SPACE

It’s been a whole year since we started watching Doctor Who together.

Sue: It’s flown by.
Me: Really? I thought you’d be fed up with it by now.
Sue: Not at all. In fact, I think it’s probably brought us closer together.
Nicol: I think I’m going to be sick.
Me: Go away, Nicol.

 

Episode One

Frontier in SpaceA bombastic fanfare heralds the arrival of model spaceship.

Sue: This sounds like Dudley.
Me: Oh yes, this is definitely Dudley. This is basically what Doctor Who sounds like for the next seven years.
Sue: I can live with that.

The camera sweeps through the spaceship’s cockpit.

Sue: I like the direction straight away. That was a lovely tracking shot. And that pilot is very easy on the eye, too.
Me: I am still here, you know.
Sue: Yeah, this is a nice, pacey start. I hope they keep it up.

The TARDIS avoids colliding with the spaceship by materialising inside it.

Sue: This place reminds me of the Doctor Who Experience. Did they model the railings after this episode? I bet they did.

A high-pitched whine convinces Jo that she’s being attacked by a Drashig.

Sue: Not the bloody Drashigs again! How’s that going to work, exactly?

Frontier in SpaceBut before we can get into that, Sue is distracted by a picture that’s been chosen to decorate the ship’s cockpit.

Sue: (Pointing) There’s a woman with a laser coming out of her nipple. Look at it, Neil! I can’t believe they put porn on the wall in a children’s TV show. That’s shocking.

At least she’s impressed by the Draconians.

Sue: Their masks are great. They look like the Klingons. Who came first, Neil? This lot or the Klingons?
Me: The Klingons did, but they didn’t look like this then. They look more like this eventually, but many years from now. Does that make any sense?
Sue: Actually, forget the Klingons, this reminds me of Babylon 5.

The Doctor tells Earth’s authorities that victims of space piracy have been forced to witness their deepest fears, thanks to a post-hypnotic command.

Frontier in SpaceSue: Is it the Master? This has the Master written all over it.

The Doctor unlocks the door to his cell, but he’s spotted as soon as he tries to leave. So he apologises and steps back inside again.

Sue: That was funny. That was padding with a punchline.

I don’t have the heart to tell her that the scene is essentially a metaphor for the whole story. And then some Ogrons turn up.

Sue: It’s the Orcs again! Are the Daleks in this? Are the Master and the Daleks in this one? Is that even allowed?
Me: No.
Sue: It’s nice to see a woman in charge. This was well ahead of its time. I hope she doesn’t turn out to be useless. That would be a bit of a blow for feminism.

The Ogrons have stolen the TARDIS.

Sue: How did they get the TARDIS through that tiny door? That’s impossible!

A security team from Earth turn up to investigate. One of them wants to know if the Doctor is on his way to a fancy dress party.

Sue: He’s a fine one to talk. Has he looked in a mirror recently? He looks like he’s late for an American football practice. Look at his headgear! If you lit him from behind, he’d look like Mickey Mouse.

The Doctor and Jo are accused of being Draconian spies. Cue titles.

Sue: This isn’t too bad, you know. It’s quite epic for a Doctor Who.

 

Episode Two

Frontier in SpaceSue can’t stop looking at the picture of the woman with a laser for a nipple.

Sue: It’s realistic. It’s just the sort of thing a bloke would Blu-Tack to the wall. But did we really need to see it? A female president implies that we’ve gone beyond all that nonsense in the future.

Luckily, I have the perfect distraction:

Me: We could play the Frontier in Space drinking game, if you like.

Sue reluctantly agrees and Jack Daniels makes a welcome return to the experiment. We will take a shot every time the Doctor or Jo are incarcerated. Warning: this is a very dangerous game indeed.

Sue: If you lit that pilot from behind, he’d look like Mickey Mouse.
Me: You said that yesterday.
Sue: Trust me, it’s worth repeating.

General Williams (aka Eric Cantona) wants to use a mind probe on the Doctor.

Me: (Screaming) No! Not the mind probe!

I’m sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

Sue: Is the mind probe really that bad?
Me: You have absolutely no idea. Actually, we could push the boat out and play two Frontier in Space drinking games at the same time, if you can handle it: we have to take a shot every time someone mentions a mind probe, as well.

The Doctor tells Jo about the time he once met a purple horse with yellow spots.

Sue: Now that’s an episode I’d like to see.

Frontier in SpaceThe Doctor says he’s never been employed by anyone in his life.

Sue: What is he talking about? Isn’t he technically working for UNIT this very second? And then there’s the Time Lords. He’s always doing odd jobs for them. What a liar.

Sue believes that General Williams is “definitely in on it” (whatever it is), and she thinks the actor who plays him (Michael Hawkins) exudes enough menace to be the big man himself.

Sue: Is this bloke the Master? Is this a new Master who’s regenerated between stories? Or maybe an old Master? They could do that if they wanted to, couldn’t they? That would be a shock. Instead of The Three Doctors you could have The Two Masters. Am I close?

The action shifts to the Draconian embassy on Earth.

Frontier in SpaceSue: I love the Draconians’ flat; they have great interior designers. It’s bright and airy. Maybe Habitat make a comeback in the future? It’s possible. Actually, I bet this looks more believable now than it did back in the 1970s. This reeks of the 1970s.

A strange whining sound is piped into the prison.

Sue: It’s driven our dog out of the room. I’ll have to deduct a mark for that. And it was doing so well, too.

The episode climaxes with an Ogron platoon storming the prison.

Sue: I may have to give a mark back for this, because this is very exciting. These Orcs don’t piss about, do they? Yeah, this is pretty good, actually.
Me: You’re drunk.

 

Episode Three

Frontier in SpaceSue: It’s a hard life being President of Earth. Actually, I don’t like this scene. It implies that she cares more about her nails than she does the Draconian threat.

She is of course referring to the scene where the President is pampered on the brink of war.

Sue: I love her shoes, though. Her shoes are very trendy right now.

After what feels like weeks of build-up, the Doctor is finally subjected to the mind probe.

Sue: Is that it? It’s a sink drainer! Actually, this is what they do to people who go on Jeremy Kyle. “Have you ever had sexual contact with a Draconian?” And why does every woman in this society looks like she’s about to go to a cocktail party? That’s a bit silly.

The Doctor mocks the mind probe’s ineffectiveness (a word Jon Pertwee couldn’t possibly say in real life).

Sue: Shoot him in the kneecaps – that will wipe the smug grin off his face. Or threaten him with a DNA paternity test.

The authorities pack him off to a penal colony on the Moon instead.

Sue: Is it Guantanamo Bay in space? We’re going to need a very large drink when he gets banged-up there.
Me: Are we still playing the Frontier in Space drinking game? I’m still recovering from yesterday’s hangover.
Sue: You wimp.

Back on Earth, the Ambassador for Sirius IV demands custody of the Doctor and Jo. There’s just one tiny problem: the Ambassador is none other than…

Frontier in SpaceSue: Oh no. It’s him again.
Me: I love how the Master doesn’t even warrant a cliffhanger any more. He just waltzes into the scene in a wide shot.
Sue: I quite like that. It’s subtle.
Me: But do we want the programme to be subtle at this point?
Sue: To be honest, I’m less interested in this story now that the Master’s turned up. It felt quite fresh up until then. Now I’m just waiting for him to **** it up. I wonder who he’s working with this time… It can’t be the Daleks, surely? Even the Master isn’t that stupid.

The Doctor joins the penal colony’s escape committee.

Sue: The Doctor’s been reduced to drinking out of a cup that’s been designed for a toddler. In a pair of blue pyjamas. Yeah, this isn’t one of his better days.

The episode ends with a botched escape attempt that leaves the Doctor trapped in a room with no oxygen.

Sue: The story is beginning to lose momentum, but I’ve seen worse. The drinking definitely helps.

 

Episode Four

Frontier in SpaceSue: It’s Battle of the Beards!

The prison governor and the Master are fighting for custody of the Doctor.

Sue: The governor can’t stop fondling his whiskers. I think he might have goatee envy, because the Master definitely wins this round.

Meanwhile in another cell…

Sue: This is the best cell we’ve seen so far, and I’m becoming quite the expert. You can actually film around this one. I’m guessing that we’ll be spending a fair amount of time in this particular cell.

The Doctor wonders who the Master is working with this time.

Sue: Yeah, who’s the Master going to be betrayed by this time? Is it the Cybermen? Or the Yeti? They’re hyping it up, whoever it is.

The cell that the Doctor and Jo now find themselves in comes equipped with a state of the art CCTV camera.

Sue: So no knocking one out before you go to sleep!

The Master decides to eavesdrop on his captives.

Sue: I notice that the Master doesn’t have any porn on his dashboard. He’s a class act.

The Doctor pretends to talk to Jo as he surreptitiously breaks out of his cell at the same time.

Frontier in SpaceSue: There is a lot of continuity in this story.
Me: Yeah, there’s a surprising amount of references to old stories. Maybe it’s because this is the 10th anniversary year.
Sue: I like it.
Me: You like a bit of fanwank then, do you?
Sue: I beg your pardon!

By the time I’ve explained this concept to her, Jo is still banging on about UNIT’s past glories.

Sue: They should talk about all the times the Master has ****ed it up. That would wipe the smug grin from his face. And why doesn’t he just pay an Ogron to watch over them? I bet they’re cheap.

As the Doctor slips out of the cell, Jo tries to keep the fake conversation going.

Me: For the love of God, somebody give her a Target novel to read!

The Doctor makes it outside the spaceship.

Sue: I can see the strings. But they’re trying, bless them.

Sue gasps when the Doctor suddenly hurtles, out of control, into the inky blackness of space.

Frontier in SpaceSue: What a great cliffhanger.
Me: There’s still another 10 minutes left to go.
Sue: ****.

The Master grows tired of Jo’s never-ending monologue, and he doesn’t believe her when she insists that the Doctor is fast asleep.

Sue: She bored him to sleep.
Me: She was halfway through The Mutants at the time.
Sue: Hey, I liked The Mutants!

The Doctor clambers towards the airlock on the other side of the ship.

Sue: Oh dear, he’s caught his leg in the strings.

The Master isn’t fooled by Jo’s antics and he taunts her for being such a terrible actress.

Sue: He’s funny, I’ll give him that. The Master definitely livens things up, I suppose. I just can’t take him seriously any more. He smells of failure. And what does the Master want the Doctor for, anyway? You’d think he’d keep as far away from his arch-nemesis as possible, especially with his track record.

A Draconian landing party boards the ship and the Master and the Doctor are immediately overpowered.

Sue: Just use your fingers!

The Master, the Doctor and Jo are thrown into a cell together.

Frontier in SpaceSue: Do we have to take three shots of Jack Daniels when all three of them are locked up? Is that how it works?
Me: If you like. Any excuse will do.

The Master activates a device that he’d secreted in his pocket.

Sue: Why didn’t they search him? That’s the first thing you do when you throw somebody in a cell. Even I know that!

The episode concludes with an Ogron flying a spaceship.

Sue: What a rubbish cliffhanger.
Me: And no Ogron porn, either.

 

Episode Five

Frontier in SpaceThe Doctor, Jo and the Master are granted an audience with the Draconian Emperor.

Me: This is the scene I remember from my childhood. I’m in my nana’s house, there’s a white rug on floor, and pikelets are definitely involved…
Sue: (Ignoring me) The Draconians are great. At last, an alien you can shoot in a close-up without being embarrassed about it. Their masks are that good. Why haven’t they turned up in the new series yet? I assume they must turn up in the old series quite a lot – you don’t create something that good and not use it again. It’s a bit like the Orcs, they were too good not to use again, too.

A Draconian is assigned to partner the Doctor in his quest to avert interplanetary war.

Sue: I hope they become firm friends. The Doctor should have an alien companion. It would make him appear less racist.

And then we’re treated to a dogfight in space – Doctor Who style.

Sue: Say what you like, the director is doing his best with what he’s been given. He wouldn’t know a cliffhanger if it bit him on the arse, but he can handle the action scenes pretty well. This isn’t bad, all things considered.

The Doctor suggests the crew arm themselves against the Ogron boarding party.

Sue: The Doctor loves shooting Orcs. I’m beginning to think he’s got something against them.

General Williams recounts the events which led to the first Earth-Draconian war.

Sue: Hang on a minute. This is Babylon 5! It isn’t just similar to Babylon 5 – it is Babylon 5!

You have to admit, it is uncanny.

Sue: I’m glad Eric Cantona came good in the end. Just like the real Eric Cantona did.

Frontier in SpaceThe Master hypnotises Jo into doing his bidding.

Sue: If Jo falls for this, I’ll be very disappointed. She should have been trained to… Oh right, she has been trained. Thank God for that. Jo’s back to being her brave self again this week. I love how she takes on the Master and wins. You go, girl!

The episode ends with the Master reverting to his tried and tested fear-ray instead.

Sue: Another sloppy cliffhanger. They should have ended the episode with a monster. That’s just basic, that is.

 

Episode Six

Frontier in SpaceSue: Why is Jo frightened of that?
Me: The Mutant?
Sue: Yeah, I thought they were supposed to be the good guys. She almost slept with one once, didn’t she? Oh look, another cell…

Jo digs her way out of the cell with a wooden spoon.

Sue: Use the bowl, love. Otherwise you’ll be there forever.
Me: When she gets out, she can give the Master his just desserts.

Sue reaches for a cushion, but I manage to talk her down.

Frontier in SpaceSue: What’s that picture on the wall supposed to represent?
Me: Ogron porn?
Sue: It does look a bit testicular…

As the episode builds towards a crescendo, our cat, Captain Jack, can’t take his eyes off the Ogrons.

Sue: Jack loves this episode.
Me: Yes, but he’s smashed off his face on drugs.

And then the Doctor finds himself outside the spaceship once again.

Sue: This is the last episode, so it should be pulling its finger out. I mean, didn’t we do this last week?

On the fabled Ogron planet (“What a dump”), the Ogrons are terrified by something hideous/ridiculous.

Sue: It’s Jabba the Hut.
Me: Jabba the Hoover Bag, surely?
Sue: I’m surprised you know what a hoover bag looks like, Neil.

And then the Master’s allies appear…

Frontier in SpaceSue: I knew it! I said it was the Daleks. They’re extremely late. It must have been exciting for the kids until they realised they’d only get to see them for 10 minutes. Oh dear, they sound terrible. Is there a special edition where Briggsy does the voices?

Not only has the Doctor been thrown into another prison cell, we’ve run out of Jack Daniels too.

Sue: The Doctor will escape by reversing the polarity. He always reverses the bloody polarity.

The episode concludes with the Doctor positively shitting himself.

Sue: I can’t believe this isn’t over yet. How many episodes is this really, Neil? Be honest.
Me: Well, technically it’s 12.

A cushion hits me between the eyes.

Sue: So I don’t have to mark it?
Me: No, you still have to mark it.
Sue: Is the next episode called Frontier in Space Episode Seven?
Me: No.
Sue: So, is this 12-parts or not?
Me: It’s two six-parters which dovetail nicely into each other.
Sue: Is that supposed to make me feel better? Because it doesn’t.

 

The Score

Sue: These stories are too long, And it isn’t even over yet, which doesn’t exactly help. If they’d compressed that into four episodes, it would have scored a seven, or maybe even an eight. But they blew it.

6/10

Sue: I can’t believe it isn’t over yet. Having said that, watching the Master working with the Daleks should be fun.

 

68

Comments

  1. Dave Sanders  January 31, 2012

    Well if you hadn’t said it, I would have. And I’d have to put in the actual pauses between words in that line’s horrible delivery too.

  2. Mike Trytek  January 31, 2012

    Get well soon, Sue (get well Sue-n)!

  3. BestBrian  January 31, 2012

    Wow, tough week. Best wishes to Sue, Captain Jack, and yourself, Neil.

  4. PSanders  January 31, 2012

    Oh I hope Sue, you and Captain Jack make it through Spiridon alive. Get well soon x x x

  5. Lewis  January 31, 2012

    Hoping you all get well soon! Whatever has “The Mutants” done to you all?!

  6. Lisa Parker  January 31, 2012

    Best wishes and lots of love to you all! Lisa + Andrew.

  7. Andy Dobson  January 31, 2012

    Here’s to a speedy recovery for all of you.

  8. solar penguin  January 31, 2012

    Get well soon, all of you.

    At least Sue can look forward to getting footrubs for the next story, because it’s by you-know-who!

  9. Delgados porn librarian  January 31, 2012

    I hope Sue and Captain Jack are well.

  10. Sip Kasrapat  January 31, 2012

    Get well soon, Sue! Lay off the drinking games.

  11. Steve  January 31, 2012

    Get well soon guys. Missing you already! 🙂

  12. Dave Sanders  January 31, 2012

    I’m sure there will be plenty of loving footrubs over the next week, Terry Nation or no.

  13. John Callaghan  January 31, 2012

    I’m chuffed to discover that someone else calls them ‘pikelets’ rather than ‘crumpets’! Unless, of course, you actually mean pikelets, and you call crumpets crumpets.

    Er.

    Best wishes to you all. May all your real-life cliffhangers be poorly-written peril-free ones!

    • Chris Too-old-to-watch  February 1, 2012

      Pikelets and crumpets are different: pikelets are thinner, toast quicker and are traditionally (in Nottinghamshire) eaten between Final Score and Doctor Who on a Saturday afternoon. Definitely with butter, and possibly with golden syrup or jam (or lemon curd).
      I don’t know, the youth of today, don’t know anything…………and curlywurlys were bigger then as well.

      • Jazza1971  February 1, 2012

        And “Wagon-Wheels”. Today’s ones should be re-branded as “Skate-Wheels”.

      • Dave Sanders  February 1, 2012

        (Terry Scott voice) “Masses and masses of chocklit for only fwee pee!”

        • PolarityReversed  February 1, 2012

          Whatever happened to those tubes of sherbet with a licorice straw…

      • John Callaghan  February 2, 2012

        I *know*. Hence my surprise that someone else would refer to crumpets as pikelets (if that’s what Neil was doing). I was brought up calling crumpets pikelets, you see.

        • John Callaghan  February 2, 2012

          Although it’s nice to be referred to as ‘young’! Unless in your house you grew up calling ‘middle aged’ ‘young’. In either case, cheers!

    • Marty  February 1, 2012

      Pikelets are like, (though not the same as) small pancakes, they’re made out of flour, eggs and milk. Pikelets are made in a fry pan.
      Crumpets are flat with holes on the top and have yeast in them. Crumpets, well I can’t be arsed mucking around making crumpets, so I and most people buy them. They go in the toaster.
      I like to have pikelets with maple syrup or jam.
      But crumpets are more a savoury thing for me; butter and Vegemite on those.

  14. Pete  January 31, 2012

    Best wishes to Sue, get well soon!

  15. Jazza1971  January 31, 2012

    Damn, that’s not good. Get well soon, Sue.

  16. Barry Stavers  January 31, 2012

    Good to hear Sue is ok. Captain Jack, also. Hope all is ok. Best wishes to you all.

  17. Jazza1971  January 31, 2012

    Glad to hear Sue is now out of hospital. In the hope that doing so isn’t indecent, a few thoughts about this review and the story:

    More of my “Should be a t-shirt, but probably too long” comments…

    1) “She should have been trained to – oh – right, she has been trained.”

    2) “I notice that the Master doesn’t have any porn on his dashboard. He’s a class act.”

    I was a little disappointed that Sue didn’t comment on my favourite moment from the Delgado Master, and maybe even the Pertwee, era. It’s the bit when the Master is following a space ship to Earth and the Ogron states in surprise that they are also going to Earth – a simply brilliant reaction from Roger, somehow managing to get anger, frustration, incredulity and humour all into the one little outburst at the stupid Ogron. Brilliant acting.

    Does Sue know that this is the last Delgado story?

    • Frankymole  January 31, 2012

      Almost certainly not, given that she expects the Master to be assisting the Daleks in the next 6 episodes (an amazing proposition that sadly, being a fan rather than a viewer-in-1973, I’d never thought of – but it’s obvious, on reflection).

      I suppose we get some kind of resolution to the Master/Dalek partnership in the pre-credits of the McGann “TV Movie”… too little too late, and then some!

      I feel the need to put on some Sir Francis Drake to see Roger D in his prime – and some of those are unseen by me, so – new Master!!! yay! And I’ve donated a little of my remaining cash to the Newwho fan gonig to Gally, because – Ian; might put on some Sir Lancelot too. It’s amazing that 40, 50, 60!! years later these fine fellas are still showing us their entertaining acting skills. Showing the kids how it should be done!

      • Neowhovian  February 1, 2012

        Thanks a million, Frankymole! I’ll do my best to do the shirt, actor, blog, etc. justice! 🙂

      • Neowhovian  February 1, 2012

        ~whew!~ Finally caught up with the entire blog (within about a week). I love how Sue’s lack of expectations often have resulted in opinions that mirror mine, and yet at other times I’m firmly with Neil and the “accepted” opinion. It’s a joy to experience these with you again. There are a few I haven’t seen yet, so I get something different out of those posts, but overall, I’m having a blast here.

        Glad Sue’s bad spell doesn’t seem to have been serious, and that all three ailing family members are on the mend!

        • Neowhovian  February 1, 2012

          Rats. I meant that last comment to go at the end of the page. Stupid “Back” button…

    • Alisaunder  January 31, 2012

      Oh thats a bummer of a trivia. Roger was such a fantastic Master.

      Personally I like Frontier in Space tremendously Neil. Spiridon not as much, but Frontier is a 7.5 or 8. The Draconians were really good like Ice Warriors and classic Cybermen, the more the better!

      Sadly I cant think of another really good villain coming up except for the medieval romp with jolly serving wenches…

  18. Catseye  January 31, 2012

    Get well soon Sue! Lot’s of love from Germany

  19. Frankymole  January 31, 2012

    Good luck, both of you. I went into hospital for a one-off scan before Christmas and they kept me in for two weeks! Better safe than sorry. I totally feel for Captain Jack too. If anyone tried to shove a stick up my urethra I’d bite them. But at least having tinee hairy Ogrons in the telly must be fun. As to Ogron porn / pinups – do you think, like Dwarves in Tolkien, that the females look identical to the males (but with more hair)?

  20. encyclops  January 31, 2012

    Dismayed and then relieved to hear Sue’s OK! If it will make Captain Jack feel better, tell him my cat’s an awful patient too. All of his mass converts to energy spontaneously if he’s approached after having one too many tests. It’s pretty frightening because there’s quite a lot of mass to begin with.

    As always, you two manage to take a story I remembered as being pretty forgettable and making it something I want to watch again RIGHT NOW. I’m building up quite a backlog of those.

  21. Neil  January 31, 2012

    Get well soon, Sue and Captain Jack.

  22. John G  January 31, 2012

    Really sorry to hear about all your misfortunes over the last week, and I hope that you are all firmly on the mend. Frontier in Space is not a story that I am very fond of, chiefly due to the faults you and Sue pinpoint in this post, but I didn’t realise it could have that bad an effect on its viewers…

    Anyway, many thanks Neil for fighting through the pain to deliver a post that’s far more entertaining than the story it covers. Lots of great quotes, but I think “it’s Battle of the Beards” would be my T-shirt choice…

  23. James Coleman  January 31, 2012

    Get well soon, all three of you! And you have a definite t-shirt in “I notice that the Master doesn’t have any porn on his dashboard. He’s a class act.”

  24. charles yoakum  January 31, 2012

    best wishes to all recovering from the states. Poor old Captain Jack, I’ve had a cat that had that problem, and got close to death as well. Once treated we have another 5 years of his company, so i hope you’re as lucky. Hope that you and Sue are better as well.

  25. Simon Harries  February 1, 2012

    So sorry to hear of all your troubles this week but hopefully all will be ok now – and you’ll all get well soon. An enjoyable review too, of a story that I have only managed to watch in its entirety once, about 20 years ago. I simply can’t bear it. Still, if Sue can get through it with good grace, the least I can do is try it one more time.

  26. BWT  February 1, 2012

    Oooh… I’m sorry to see you’ve all had such trouble to put up with lately. After many back injuries I can totally sympathise with you Neil – yes, pinched nerves anywhere in the spine can be complete agony. Poor Sue and Capt. Jack – it hasn’t been easy for any of you and I’m glad to hear that things are looking more positive now.

    As for a T-shirt? Ummm… How about a nice, inoffensive: “At last, an alien you can give a close-up to without feeling embarrassed about it.”

  27. PolarityReversed  February 1, 2012

    Get well soon.

    I was confined to bed for a couple of weeks a few years ago. Happily this coincided with discovering the joys of wifi broadband and Who in blobby pixellated 10min chunks on YouTube. Nostalgically wallowing my way through the 70s was highly therapeutic. Though I did it piecemeal, not in strict order. I’m not as hard as you lot!

    Frontier? Enjoyable enough, but I’m not going to buy the scarf.
    Draconians were a great concept – shame all we have of them is this and a snippet of backstory. If we get to hear Matt Smith saying “my life at your command”, I’ll be a happy bunny…
    Incidentally – patriarchal, chauvinistic, dynastic (basically Chinese) lizardsss… You really must have played the drinking game for Sue not to grab some of that sociological action!
    Never noticed the laser nipple before. Amazing, and this was years before Athena. Thankfully, or maybe we would have seen This Year’s Top SuperOgron with tennis racket scratching bum pinned above the thrust controls. Fnarr. No actually, bleurgh.
    The Master (RIP) could have done with Einstein Ogron from DOTD – perhaps they could have whiled away the long journey playing chess and discussing plastic-bag theology…
    Fun to see them all charging round the South Bank, presumably very early on a Sunday morning – hence no living statue artists, skatepunks, etc.
    Oh, and re ep1 – cargo hold with yellow railings strongly reminiscent to me of cargo hold in Planet of Evil.

  28. Lewis  February 1, 2012

    Quote of the week: “padding with a punchline”

  29. Paul Mudie  February 1, 2012

    I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been having a rough time of it, and I’m alarmed about Sue’s health scare! I’m very relieved that she’s out of hospital and in the clear.

    As for Frontier in Space, I’ve always rather liked it. It has too much padding and it gets a bit repetitive, but it does have a nice epic sweep to it and a sense of things going on in a larger universe that Who often lacks.

  30. Zoe  February 1, 2012

    Very glad to hear Sue’s out of hospital and okay. What a week you’ve been having: get well soon to all of you, and thanks to Neil for heroic one-fingered typing. Lovely entry.

  31. Mark Faulkner  February 1, 2012

    I hope you are all well. Well done for battling through real-life stuff to continue to bring such fantastic updates. Forget having any lines on T-shirts this time; if the Laser-Nipple-Woman image is copyright free, can we have that instead?!

  32. Matthew Marcus  February 1, 2012

    Good to hear you’ve pulled through the worst – a universe without The Wife In Space doesn’t bear thinking about!

    My mind has been actually blown by Sue’s idea for “The Two Masters” episode. How about a Three Masters, with a frail Delgado sitting inside a pyramid and commenting on the antics of Ainley and Simm? I wonder what a Masterly version of “so these are my replacements, a dandy and a clown” would have to be?

    • Chris Too-old-to-watch  February 9, 2012

      So these are my replacements, a dummy and a clone?

      • Chris Too-old-to-watch  February 9, 2012

        Addition to previous comment:
        Strange that I instantly thought of an “Old Series” “The Three Masters”, with Delgado, Ainley and the Assassin/Traken model, without even considering the new series – which I presume would then be “The Five Masters”.

  33. Marty  February 1, 2012

    Get well soon you you all. Maybe moving onto Planet of the Daleks will wash away all the hurt and sickness you’re all feeling.

    It’s a pity the Draconians never made another appearance on TV, they’re an excellent alien.

    I had forgotten all the being locked up stuff, I just remember the being locked up on the Master’s ship with Jo recapping all the previous UNIT stories. I wonder if someone’s made a “previously on Doctor Who” using Jo’s dialogue.

    Not much said about the Master finally managing to shoot the Doctor? Oh well, it’ll be recapped by Jo doing the faux voice over next story.

    • John G  February 1, 2012

      In fairness, that scene is so badly bungled it’s not easy to tell who has shot the Doctor!

  34. Antinous  February 1, 2012

    Get well soon Captain Jack, Sue and Neil. Please; we (I) need you. I love the vivid imagery of Season Ten: fox skulls, John Friedlander masks and condoms. I cannot wait for The Green Death; only one of three Doctor Who stories to make me cry. And, Neil, when are you going to tell Sue about Roger Delgado?

  35. Kevin Tarot  February 1, 2012

    I’ve had a trapped nerve in my neck and know the unrelenting pain it can be – for months and months. Stretching is the only way to releave it.

    John Friedlander’s masks were some of the best work seen on Doctor Who. Without him the sontarans, ogrons, draconians and Davros wouldn’t have been as successful.

  36. Kevin Tarot  February 1, 2012

    Oh dear! only just read the addedded addendum. Best wishes to Sue. Put your feet up and don’t get stressed by the next story.

  37. Jamie  February 1, 2012

    “Oh dear, he’s got his leg caught in one of the strings.”
    Sue!
    I’m laughing so much that you’ve given ME chest pains.

    PS Is Cap. Jack the cat?

  38. Fuschia Begonia  February 1, 2012

    Glad to hear Sue is on the mend, but sorry to hear that Captain Jack is still a bit poorly.

    I’m also glad to see that I wasn’t the only one filled with dread at the thought of 6 more episodes. In fact, when the Prof ‘fessed up to that when we were watching it, my wade through the Pertwee era ended for a few months as I just couldn’t cope with any more. Sue’s nowhere near such a lightweight…

  39. Richard Lyth  February 2, 2012

    Hope the three of you all get better soon. And that Nicol isn’t trying to bump you all off so she can have the house to herself.

  40. DamonD  February 2, 2012

    Very relieved Sue is fine. And the good Captain.

    Frontier for me is a lot like Colony. Starts off fine, I wonder why a lot of people (me included) doesn’t like it much, then gradually I get ground down by the repetition and boredom. Most definitely one of those stories that would’ve been better in 4.

    Speaking of which, an even better example coming up…

  41. Nathan  February 2, 2012

    I fell asleep on the khazi. Did I miss much?

  42. Chris Williams  February 3, 2012

    Blimey what a week for you all. Hope everyone is better soon. We’ll all be here when you feel ready to start again.

  43. PolarityReversed  February 3, 2012

    Take some time off. The invisible daleks can wait.
    I’ll miss your company, but it sounds like you all need a bit of you time.

  44. Karl M  February 5, 2012

    Lordy, you had some trials this week. Glad you’re all better.

    Odd story this one. I have no childhood memory, other than the Target book – which made it seem excellent. I suspect if I had seen it as 5-6 year old I would have been thrilled.

    Having only caught up with it in the 90s it does, as Sue says, seem ‘very 70s’…in the way 70s sci-fi seemed very futristic at the time. I like it a lot though, it tries hard….but as usual, once the Master and the Daleks turn up it seems to ‘shrink’ a bit..i.e the Who universe gets a bit smalller and cheaper. ‘Planet of the Daleks’ I love a lot more , however, nicely blending in to the same space-op genre….look forward to that one. Also, loving Neil’s emerging childhood memories of the show at this point.

  45. Nan  February 5, 2012

    Add my best wishes for a speedy recovery to the others.

    SInce your vet’s office seems to be understocked where it comes to the latest in feline bondage paraphenalia, may I recommend the kitty muzzle: http://www.chemistdirect.co.uk/mikki-kalm-cat-muzzle_1_165043.html
    I used something similar when my “fractious” cat needed a daily subcutaneous fluid drip.

  46. Dave Sanders  February 6, 2012

    Never thought I’d compare Planet Of The Daleks favourably with anything, but at least with next week’s tribulations, you’ll have forgotten it five minutes after the end of episode six.

  47. Hulahoop  February 9, 2012

    I hope all, two-legs and four-legs, are on the road to recovery

    Last night here in Oz on ABC1 they had a comedy called Outland about a gay science fiction fan club and the lives, loves and never-ending dramas of its five members. With some occasional references to Daleks, stairs and whovian things.

    If you can find it anywhere on t’internet I’d strongly recommend it, I think Sue would absolutely love it

    Regards

    Ged

  48. farsighted99  February 12, 2012

    Well, this one kind of dragged on and on, then the surprise at the end with the Daleks, and hey, it’s not over yet! I did, however, like the Draconian’s makeup/prosthetics, which were very impressive. The costumes were a bit rubbish though. What was up with that sculpted turkish shoulder gear for the Draconians? And how come everyone from earth’s future seems to like stand up high curved collars? Thought those went out of fashion during Shakespeare’s time. And how about those pajama outfits for the prisoners on the moon. If that was their uniform, did they change into other pajamas at night? 😀

    Really laughed when the Doctor was asked if he was going to a fancy dress party in the first episode… Also there was this black newsreader (Louis Mahoney) from earth who had a few lines in the first episode, I looked him up and turns out he played Old Billy (the guy in the hospital bed) in Blink. And he was also in Planet of Evil.

    They all seemed so eager to use the Mind Probe in these stories. I noticed the one from Earth was pretty fancy, it had visuals so you could actually see what was on the Doctor’s mind (mostly I recall a spinning TARDIS). That would sure come in handy (LOL!), but it’s a little too hard to believe. And later, when the Draconians told the Doctor they would use the mind probe on the Orgons, the Doctor says something like: “well, that would be a waste of time, they have such little intelligence there is hardly any mind to probe at all!” Ain’t that the truth.

    Jo got to advance the women’s libber cause when the Draconians didn’t want to let her speak… she really made herself useful here and was more back in character than in the last story. Plus she figured out how to resist the Master’s hypnotic trance…

    Also laughed about the Master reading War of the Worlds by HG Wells while his space craft was flying about.

    6/10 is about right. Too long, lots of running around and characters being shifted in and out of that jail cell. However, sad that this is the last we see of Roger Delgado as the Master, as he was killed in a car accident shortly after the last episode of Frontier in Space aired.

    • BestBrian  February 12, 2012

      Very nice catch with Louis Mahoney. Good job, I’d never noticed that before.

  49. korv  March 7, 2012

    Men still put up porn on the walls when Thatcher was PM

  50. Andrew Bowman  April 15, 2012

    A bit behind with this, but I hope that Sue, Neil and Captain Jack are in the rudest health 🙂

    On the subject of Captain Jack, would it be appropriate to suggest a T-shirt design featuring John Barrowman hitting a high not: “They didn’’t seem to understand why Jack wanted to bite them whenever they tried to stick a rod up his penis”. Possibly overlong, (the caption, not the penis), but certainly one to amuse, hopefully.

    • Andrew Bowman  April 15, 2012

      High *note*, sorry! (Doh!)