THE SUN MAKERS

Part One

Sue: Is there anything I should know about this one?
Me: Only that it’s late 1977 and context is everything.
Sue: I would have just turned 16… Oh look, it’s Robert Holmes. I feel better already.

The Sun MakersA nervous man named Cordo is loitering in what appears to be a very drab corridor.

Sue: This reminds me of Brazil.
Me: The country?
Sue: The film.

It’s an astute observation (it helps that we watched the film again recently), because Roy Macready really does look like Jonathan Pryce. If you squint. Anyway, Cordo is supposed to pay his departed father’s death taxes to Gatherer Hade.

Sue: This story is very brown. But everything was brown in the 1970s. It’s basically the same colour as a Bond Bug.
Me: A what bug?
Sue: An orangey-brown, three-wheeled sports car from the 1970s. Like a sexy Robin Reliant. It was the same colour as the giant rib cage this guy is walking through now.

The Sun MakersThe Gatherer sits behind a giant table made from ma-ho-gany.

Sue: I could watch this for hours. Please, keep talking about the wood.
Me: Praise the carpentry.

Back on the TARDIS, the Doctor is playing chess with K9. He tells Leela to shut up as he ponders his next move.

Sue: How can anyone concentrate when K9 is switched on? It sounds like the cleaners are in the studio next door.

When the time rotor stops moving, the Doctor leaps around the console room like a maniac.

Sue: Calm the **** down, mate.

The TARDIS arrives on Pluto in the far future and the Doctor and Leela discuss the prospect of going for a quick W-A-L-K without K9.

Sue: We do that all the time with Buffy. But Buffy is a stupid Labrador and K9 is a supercomputer. So this is cute, but silly.

The Sun MakersK9 desperately wants to go with them.

Sue: Just like a real dog. Always wanting to be out. At least he doesn’t moult. Oh, go on, Doctor, take him.

And then…

Sue: TAKE HIM!

But the Doctor doesn’t hear her and he leaves the poor mutt behind.

Sue: That’s never Pluto, by the way. It looks like Birmingham to me.

The wide shot helps. A bit.

Sue: It’s miles better than them doing it in a studio with some crappy CSO. Where is this, anyway?
Me: Pluto.
Sue: You know what I mean.
Me: A tobacco factory in Bristol.

Sue reaches for a cigarette as Cordo appears on the factory’s rooftop and shuffles towards its edge.

Sue: Teatime suicide again. We had one of those last week. How did they get away with this, Neil?

Cordo is at the end of his tether because he can’t pay his taxes. The Doctor offers him a conciliatory jelly baby.

The Sun MakersSue: It’s a liquorice ****ing allsort again! That will only make things worse.

The Doctor talks Cordo down from the edge and the poor man tells him everything he needs to know about the planet’s sociopolitical problems. However, when Cordo spots the Gatherer, he makes a run for it. And then, after some slapstick comedy, the Doctor follows.

Sue: Tom Baker is spoiling this. He’s trying too hard to be quirky.

Gatherer Hade suspects the TARDIS belongs to smugglers.

Sue: Why is he dressed as a pink bee? His PA’s costume is naff, as well. Are all the fashions on Pluto based on Quality Street wrappers?

At least the Gatherer’s costume doesn’t put her off the character completely.

Sue: He’s very good. What’s this actor been in before?
Me: Do I look like Toby Hadoke?

The Sun MakersLeela, Cordo and the Doctor enter a large tunnel system.

Sue: The location is excellent. I didn’t know tobacco factories had such large pipes, although I guess they have to blow the smoke up something.
Me: This is a tube station in Camden Town, I think. I’m not Richard Bignell, either.

Cordo tells the Doctor and Leela about a group of tax evaders who have become outlaws.

Sue: So there’s a community of rock stars, comedians and Tory Party donors all living together underground? That’s interesting, not to mention topical.

It doesn’t take very long for the Doctor and Leela to bump into these mysterious ‘others’.

Sue: The people who made Lost must have seen this. They even look like the others from Lost. I bet they smell like them too.

K9 disobeys the Doctor’s orders and leaves the TARDIS, eventually making his way to Level 42.

Sue: Coincidence?

The Sun MakersNo, that wasn’t a reference to Douglas Adams. Anyway, I ask Sue if she recognises the actor playing Goudry.

Sue: Yes, I recognise his voice. Hang on… I definitely know this.

I pause the DVD. Minutes pass.

Sue: I’ve got it! He’s the vicar on EastEnders!
Me: It’s Michael Keating. He played Vila in Blake’s 7. Actually, this story is very Blake’s 7 in look and feel. The costumes, especially.
Sue: You aren’t selling Blake’s 7 to me, love.

For several years now we’ve fed a small pack of wild cats who visit us each night (usually when we’re in the middle of an episode of Doctor Who). We called them Blake, Avon and Vila. Sadly, Severlan died a few months ago and we haven’t seen Vila in ages.

Sue: I often wonder what happened to Vila.
Me: He probably ran away.

The others’ leader, Mandrel, provides the Doctor with a credit card the size of a paperback book.

The Sun MakersSue: You wouldn’t get many of those in your wallet. If you had more than one bank account, you’d have to carry your credits cards around in a knapsack.

The Doctor visits a hole-in-the-wall machine while Cordo keeps watch, but when he inserts the card, a glass cubicle imprisons the Time Lord and he is gassed for being overdrawn.

Sue: ****ing bankers.

 

Part Two

Uniformed men have arrived to retrieve the Doctor.

Sue: Why didn’t Cordo press that button and get him out? He had plenty of time.

The Doctor is hauled away on a gurney.

Sue: It’s Barclaycard’s Death Squad. I bet he gets charged for being carted away. This is very similar to Brazil. And Bob Diamond’s darkest fantasies.

And then we meet the Collector.

Sue: Is he sniffing something off that paper? Is that what I think it is? What a banker!

The Sun MakersThe Collector is an insane economist.

Sue: He’s a tiny Ed Balls. He definitely livens things up a bit. It’s a creepy performance.

Tom Baker wakes up in a straitjacket.

Sue: Didn’t the Doctor know Houdini? Shouldn’t he be able to get out of that?

The Doctor is deposited in a conditioning room with a man named Bisham. Bisham tells him Pluto’s inhabitants are pacified with a drug called PCM.

Sue: We need a scene with some happy people in it. Just one scene would do it. All I’ve seen so far are depressives, rebels and bureaucrats. What about everybody else?

Mandrel’s gang can’t stop bickering among themselves.

Sue: It’s Oliver Twist for middle-aged men. Mandrel is basically Fagin, and the loud-mouthed woman (who belongs on the stage, not television) is Nancy. She’s bloody terrible.

The Gatherer decides the Doctor must be an arms smuggler, and the Inner Retinue will have to deal with him.

Sue: Oh very good. Was Robert Holmes a communist?
Me: No, that was Malcolm Hulke. But Holmes received a tax demand just before he wrote this, so he wasn’t in the best of moods.
Sue: If any of the Inland Revenue saw this, I bet they crucified him later.

Leela accuses Mandrel of cowardice. She even insinuates he hasn’t got a penis.

Sue: You go, girl!

The Sun MakersCordo volunteers to help Leela find the Doctor.

Sue: He’s like Frodo in Lord of the Rings. Cordo – Frodo. Coincidence?

K9 blankly refuses to return to the TARDIS.

Sue: Typical dog. Buffy is exactly the same. Aww, look at him wagging his little tail…

The Gatherer releases the Doctor from the conditioning centre so he can identify anyone he contacts.

Sue: Is the Doctor going to leave the other bloke there? That’s horrible.

The Doctor throws a bag of sweets towards Bisham on his way out.

Sue: (As Bisham) How am I supposed to eat these when my hands tied? I don’t even like liquorice!

K9 stuns a guard.

Sue: How did that guard not hear K9 coming? Do the drugs they pump into the air-conditioning mess with your hearing as well?

“Humbug!” cries the Doctor as he offers the Gatherer a sweet.

Sue: Now he’s confusing liquorice allsorts with humbugs. Oh, I see! It’s because the Gatherer is dressed as a giant humbug. Okay, I get it now.

Leela, K9 and Cordo rescue Bisham from the conditioning centre before taking the P45 return route.

The Sun MakersMe: That reminds me, it’s my last day at work on Friday, and starting this Monday, I’ll be able to give the experiment my undivided attention.
Sue: Does that mean I’ll have to watch more episodes a week?
Me: Yeah, no more days off. We might even finish this by October. Imagine that, Sue. Life without Doctor Who
Sue: The quicker we finish this, the quicker we can divorce.

The good guys are stopped in their tracks by two security guards on a buggy.

Sue: A golf buggy with a mattress tied to the front? Scary stuff! I must say, apart from the odd joke here and there, this is very average so far.

 

Part Three

I should warn you that Sue had a bad day at work today, and she wasn’t in the best of moods when we watched this particular episode. If only I had some PCM handy.

The Sun MakersSue: This is ridiculous!

When K9 stuns one of the guards, his colleague gets out of his buggy and looks behind him.

Sue: What the **** is he looking for? And if this is K9’s POV, it’s nowhere near where it should be. The direction in this scene is atrocious.

Leela’s gang commandeer the buggy.

Sue: They should spend most of Part Three executing an Austin Powers three-point-turn.

There’s some casual sexism about lady drivers, which gets up Sue’s nose, but there’s worse to come.

Sue: They’ll have to get out and move the bodies. Oh wait, that edit suggests to me they just ran them over. I’m not convinced that buggy would have made it over them, but there you go.

They hurtle down a corridor at a cool five miles per hour.

The Sun MakersSue: It’s not exactly Star Wars, is it?
Me: It isn’t even THX-1138.

Leela is sent to the Collector.

Sue: I like the little fella. Is that his real voice or is he putting it on?

The Doctor plants the seeds of revolution in Pluto’s downtrodden masses.

Sue: It’s very topical. Nothing much has changed. The Doctor should come down here and sort our fat cats out.

Leela is threatened with the steamer.

Sue: What’s the steamer?
Me: Swedish waterboarding.

The Sun MakersThe bad guys gather for Leela’s public execution. Attendance is poor, which the Gatherer puts down to people watching it on the telly for free.

Sue: They should have made it pay-to-view.

Leela’s casket plunges into a hidden chamber.

Sue: So it’s a public execution where you can’t see a damn thing? Is it any wonder they didn’t sell many tickets?

The episode concludes as Leela is about to be steamed alive.

Sue: I’ve seen better. The script was quite funny, though. It actually cheered me up a bit.

 

Part Four

The Doctor rescues Leela from the steamer, but K9 goes missing in the process.

Sue: How can they not hear him coming? He’s obscenely loud. Sorry, Neil. I won’t mention that again. I know it’s pointless.

The Doctor and the Collector go head-to-head.

The Sun MakersSue: I love the Collector’s eyebrows.
Me: Remind you of anyone?
Sue: Yeah, I’m not stupid. He’s supposed to be Denis Healey, which is bang out of order, actually. You might want to pause this.

Cue an animated discussion about how amazingly cool Denis Healey was, and how Robert Holmes should have paid his taxes and stopped moaning.

Sue: This programme is made by middle-class ****ers for middle-class ****ers. Pay your ****ing taxes.
Me: Okay, calm down.

And that’s when Nicol walks in.

Nicol: What’s going on?
Sue: We’re watching an episode of Doctor Who where the bad guy works for Barclays Bank.
Nicol: Are you serious? Have you seen the news?
Sue: Barclays in the future is even worse, Nicol.

Nicol can’t resist joining us for the last five minutes.

The Sun MakersNicol: Why are they dressed as jockeys?

She’s referring to the Gatherer’s PA, Marn.

Nicol: She just needs a hat and she’s good to go in the 4.15 at Kempton.

The Gatherer is manhandled by a bunch of revolutionaries.

Sue: Nice Frankie Howerd impersonation, there.

They throw him off the top of a tall building.

Sue: No way! Did that just happen?
Nicol: That’ll be Bob Diamond next week.

Nicol claps eyes on the Collector.

Nicol: It’s Dr Evil’s Mini-Me.

The Sun MakersThe Collector is so infuriated by the Doctor’s meddling, he returns to his natural form.

Nicol: So the planet was taken over by some green poo? That’s a bit embarrassing.
Sue: That was silly. They didn’t need to do that.

The Doctor, Leela and K9 prepare to leave Pluto behind.

Nicol: You didn’t tell me K9 was in this! I would have come down earlier if I’d known that. I love K9.
Me: Well, that’s certainly news to me. You can always watch the next one with us. You’ll love it.
Sue: It’s good to see the Doctor getting a nice send-off for a change.
Me: Waved off by a bunch of murderous psychopaths. Yeah, it’s lovely.

 

The Score

Sue: The last episode nudged it above average. The script was very witty and the villains were excellent, but the execution was dull, and the direction wasn’t very good. It was all right, I suppose.

6/10

 

48

Comments

  1. Lewis Christian  June 28, 2012

    I quite like this story, and I agree with the score 🙂

    Next story though… woah, it’s a f*cking belter of a story! Bring it on 😉

  2. Jazza1971  June 28, 2012

    I think this comment from Sue sums up my feelings about this story – “this is very average so far”.

    I’ve never really got this story. I remembered very little of it from seeing it when it was first broadcast, I remember very little of it from reading the target novel and I remember very little of it from having re-watched it a year or two ago. It really is a forgettable story as far as I am concerned. There’s nothing really awful about it to make you remember it and there is nothing great about it to make you remember it either. I’d have given it a 5 at the most because it is just, well, brown really. I much prefer “Image”! 😉

  3. M Floyd  June 28, 2012

    Just looked up the Bond Bug, looks like the sort of thing John Pertwee would have loved:)

    • RATBAG  June 29, 2012

      Apparently the Whomobile was basically a Bond Bug with a bodyshell transplant…

      • M Floyd  June 29, 2012

        They should have made a body kit to do that for yourself:)

  4. Nystropan Milliten  June 28, 2012

    I’ve only seen this once, many years ago, but I seem to remember quite enjoying it. But then I really liked Creature From The Pit, and find Remembrance Of the Daleks dull and stupid, so what do I know?

  5. Marcus Scarman  June 28, 2012

    Another fair score I feel, well into my era of the show and recall discussing with my best mate that Leela’s top definitely slipped at the end of episode 3 and you could see EVERYTHING. The memory cheated about the mammory. Hoping The Restoration Team will get round to a special edition one day that addresses my juvenile recollection. Oh, and the Tax Rant on a mug please.

  6. Scott Edwards  June 28, 2012

    I’m on my marathon rewatching of the show in full (although watching more than your 2-a-day quota) and recently rewatched this for the first time since it was released on DVD, and much like Sue was unimpressed for the first half, but I still adore Woolf’s Collector. You should have made her watch it with the info-track. I love all of the details about his stature, and I’m sure Sue would’ve too… I fully agree with her score… and I wish you luck with Underworld – You should get her to chant the mantra “The quest is the blog… the blog is the quest”

  7. Harry  June 28, 2012

    I saw Henry Woolf in some Beckett play, think it was Endgame, in the local theatre a few years ago. I remember that, but I don’t remember a whole deal about The Sun Makers…

  8. Doug  June 28, 2012

    “It’s because this programme is made by middle class ****ers for middle class ****ers. Pay your ****ing taxes.”

    🙂

  9. Doug  June 28, 2012

    By the way, I have never seen this one but if it is like Blake’s 7 in look and feel, I will have to check it out. 🙂 A Michael Keating cameo will be the icing on the cake.

  10. Doug  June 28, 2012

    Speaking of Blake’s 7, if anyone hasn’t yet heard the sad news, Paul Darrow’s wife Janet Lees Price (who appeared in a small role in the last episode) died last month.

    http://www.avon-paul-darrow.co.uk/news.htm

    http://kalypso-v.livejournal.com/289696.html

    In a way, it was overshadowed a little by Caroline John’s passing so I would not be surprised if some of you missed the news.

    All my love and prayers to Paul at this time.

  11. Peter J Ross  June 28, 2012

    Yet another wonderfully funny and thought-provoking review from Sue.

    I think the Collector’s eyebrows are as much Joe Gormley as Denis Healey. Like Neil, I’ve spent a lifetime trying to imitate the Collector’s voice, and failing. Henry Woolf may be the most distinguished actor ever to have appeared in DW, with Richard Todd his nearest rival. I can’t successfully imitate Mr Todd either.

    Didn’t either of you think of the Beatles?

    “If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street,
    If you try to sit, I’ll tax your seat.
    If you get too cold, I’ll tax the heat,
    If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet.”
    – George Harrison

  12. John Callaghan  June 28, 2012

    Sorry to hear about Janet Lees Price.

    As for Sun Makers…
    The villain going down the plughole is my favourite Dr. Who antagonist dispatch ever.

  13. Dave Sanders  June 29, 2012

    Bah, I was hoping for some more joke royalities but it looks like you thought of it at the same time. It’s 1977, so I would have liked it in original proper Cheese & Onion Ringos. The fried-not-baked sort that dissolved on your tongue, before they went and FUCKING RUINED THEM.

  14. Wholahoop  June 29, 2012

    Fair

  15. Dave Sanders  June 29, 2012

    Psst, Sue? Pennant Roberts directed The Sunmakers. You remember, he also did The Face Of Evil. He’s best remembered as a director for changing a significant part when casting from a man to a woman in each story he did, but to me he’s better known for really terrible gun battles in every episode three.

  16. Terry Francis  June 29, 2012

    And, just for historic sake, here’s what the factory in Bristol looked like when I visited it in 2007: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9DNp_OBfTE

    • Wholahoop  June 29, 2012

      I used to work round the corner from this place. I’d forgotten that a retail park had been built on there. Where I used to work has now also closed but one of my ex-colleagues there used to work in the tobacco factory when it was open. I was interested to learn that on the shopfloor there were tubs filled with cigarettes and you could smoke as many as you wished, for free, but you could not take any off site (for obvious reasons, the Chancellor of the Exchequer might have had something to say about that).

      Bristol to Australia – I may have moved on but I still have a soft spot for Brizzle – The Coronation Tap at the bottom of Sion Close, crawling distance from the Clifton Suspension Bridge for starters. Finest cider selection I have ever seen, just be careful with the Exhibition Cider

  17. Neowhovian  June 29, 2012

    My own reactions to this have never been much better than Sue’s, so imagine my surprise learning last February at Gallifrey One that this is Louise Jameson’s favorite story. I suppose she had different reasons to be fond of it than I might have…

    • Thomas  June 29, 2012

      I think it’s mostly because of the strength of the script and the fact Leela has so much to do in the story, especially when compared to her other serials.

      Myself, this is one of my all-time favorite Doctor Who stories, and is actually one I use when trying to define what makes something a Doctor Who story (what with its slightly anarchic tendencies- the Doctor against the tax collectors and all that). Fantastic script, great sets and performances, and Robert Holmes at his most Holmesian. What’s not to like?

  18. Gavin Noble  June 29, 2012

    It’s definitely the Gatherer and Collector that make The Sun Makers rise above an average story. I don’t care what anyone says – I love K-9 – loud drive mechanism and all! In Dr Who history there are only two occasions when I have cried – the first was when Adric was killed (I was only eight at the time) and the second was when K-9 was blown up in School Reunion!

    I don’t care either what the doomsayers are saying about the next story Underworld – it’s actually a reasonably good script and despite what I’d heard about it being poor visually, when I saw it on DVD again it wasn’t actually that bad. There are some poor performances in it though…

  19. encyclops  June 29, 2012

    My recollection of this story consists of jolly interplay between the Gatherer and Collector and then quite a lot of running through drab corridors. It’s one of those stories I like very much in theory but have a lot of trouble sitting through in practice. 6/10 seems just about right — I can’t imagine doing a story like this any differently than they did, but I can’t help not falling in love with it.

    I love the tax rant though. Very timely, given all the nonsense being tossed around today on this continent about the health care decision.

  20. Simon Harries  June 29, 2012

    “Thank God for Dudley Simpson – he’s making it seem much more exciting than it really is!” After what Sue has said about him in the past, I was pleased that she gave a thumbs up to Duds this time. Might make for a nice mug?

  21. Robert Dick  June 29, 2012

    The casual brilliance of the W-A-L-K gag is not that he spell it out in front of the super-computer, that’s only half the gag. It’s that he spells it out in front of the dog, and the dog is clever enough to understand it but the other person isn’t.

  22. Chris Too-old-to-watch  June 29, 2012

    Not one of my favourites. I can’t help thinking that a lot of the praise it gets is because of Robert Holmes (no arguements there), but it doesn’t and never has engaged me: sorry.

  23. Alex M  June 29, 2012

    Didn’t the Adipose drop Sarah Lancashire off a tall building in New Who? I seem to recall one of them winked at the Doctor so he let them off.

  24. matt bartley  June 29, 2012

    I’ve nicked this from somewhere, but at least when The Beatles wrote Taxman they had the decency to put a decent guitar solo in. Not a fan of this.

    And is Henry related to Gabriel?

    • PolarityReversed  June 29, 2012

      Ah yes, the Beatles (or George at least) complaining about supertax.
      Wasn’t there also a line about “If you’re overweight, I’ll tax your fat”? Interesting re RTD’s puerile take on corporatism and obesity, with liposmurfs…

      Like many above, in so far as I remember this one at all, I remember it for lots of running around in concrete corridors. Clever conception, but it didn’t really come off for me. Much like the next – and I say that as a Jason…

      • Andrew Bowman  June 30, 2012

        With regards to the Taxman line, not unless it’s on the Anthology version, which I haven’t heard for a long time, admittedly.

  25. Paul Mudie  June 29, 2012

    I was quite pleasantly surprised when I saw this one on DVD, because it made no impression on me at all when I was a lad. The plot would have sailed over my head and there are no monsters in it! But it’s quite a witty little tale and the Collector is a hoot.

  26. Roderick T. Long  June 29, 2012

    I like it in part because it’s BOTH anti-government and anti-corporate, rather than trying to pretend that only of the two (which one depending on ideology) is untrustworthy.

  27. Alex Wilcock  June 29, 2012

    I love “Praise the Carpentry.” Top in-joke. Almost as enjoyable as “Gatherer Pyle”, which always cracks me up.

    “They could have written this story for me. I could watch this for hours. Please, keep talking about wood.”
    I’m amazed neither of you mention Bisham. Blimey. He’d have your eye out. Particularly as you mention Mandrel’s bit missing and tiny Ed Balls.

    “Tea-time suicide again. We had one of those last week. How did they get away with this?”
    There’s another attempt in the next story, and it’s just about the only interesting bit of the plot. Come to think of it, going two stories back, didn’t Marius plan his own suicide, in effect, too? I suppose it was 1977 and everyone was a bit glum. That’ll be why the Doctor’s sudden new characterisation is ‘he arrives somewhere and cheers everybody up, because they’re in the late ’70s and all miserable’.

    “It’s Barclaycard’s Death Squad. I bet he gets charged for being carted away.”
    Fab. Though Sue seems uncharacteristically confused this week; first thinking communists are against taxes, then being the voice of the Company and telling everyone to pay them. I’m with Roderick T. Long, upthread, on why this works – it’s not just anti-capitalist or anti-big state, but anti-bullies.

    “I can’t be alone in this, can I?”
    No, you’ve got your wife with you. (Badumm-shhh!)

    “No way! Did that just happen?”
    Brilliant moment. Serves him right for boasting earlier of his special powers – despite his cape, they evidently don’t include flight.
    Defining moment for Terrance Dicks, too: in his novelisation, he has everyone be a bit ashamed afterwards, almost directly saying, ‘Oh, that naughty Bob! He goes too far!’ Mind you, he keeps in the details of what your death day involves, which was too gruesome to say on screen…

  28. Dave Sanders  June 29, 2012

    If Sunmakers is channeling Blake’s 7, the next is channeling Space 1999.

  29. John G  June 29, 2012

    I wonder if Sue could say, hand on heart, that she would not be tempted to do a Jimmy Carr if she was ever faced with the 98p in the pound top rate of income tax that Denis Healey and his chums favoured…

    Be that as it may, my view of this story is the opposite of Sue’s. It starts out quite brightly, enjoying the virtue of being a bit different from the norm, but by the second half has just become a silly, self-indulgent pantomime, and definitely Holmes’ weakest story since the Troughton era. The Collector is a typically inventive Holmes character, but I find him rather irritating, while Gatherer Hade’s perfomance is on the overripe side of fruity. The drab corridors make it pretty horrible to look at as well, although this is hardly a problem unique to this story in the Williams era!

    By the way Sue, if you find your will to live sapping during the next story, just remember this – the experiment is the experiment.

    • Dave Sanders  June 29, 2012

      The Quetiapine is the Quetiapine.

    • Thomas  June 29, 2012

      All things considered, though, as far a drab corridors go, those are mighty impressive ones what with how huge they all are.

      Plus, I always found the starkness of the sets to work to the story’s advantage, kinda working as a visual metaphor of the Company and how drab and unhappy general life is. It’s a story for me where the ideas are represented well on the script and the screen.

  30. James C  June 29, 2012

    We may well find that the meme is the meme.

  31. Frankymole  June 29, 2012

    Bob Diamond? Diamond geezer. Not a Usurian at all…

    • PolarityReversed  June 29, 2012

      Indeed. A shame that classic Who isn’t more in the mainstream consciousness – I’d love to see a Steve Bell strip cartoon showing Diamond disappearing down the drain in his boardroom chair…

      Doctor Rates and the Lieborians, praps.

      BTW – hope you had a good leaving do.

      • Frankymole  June 30, 2012

        Thanks, PolarityReversed! Some grand old blokes and the two sexiest ladies in the Department on a sunny afternoon in a beer garden, could’ve been worse 🙂

        You’re right – the banker vanishing into a commode is a visually perfect metaphor for what’s happening to the “industry” – and it’s all of their own making.

  32. Tim Cook  June 29, 2012

    The actor playing the Gatherer reminds me of Peter Butterworth rather than Frankie Howerd). And no mention yet of Henry Woolf’s stirling work in ‘Words & Pictures’?

  33. Marty  June 29, 2012

    I would support a “Adventures with the wife and Blake”. Though only with Sue.

  34. Jenny Strigens  June 29, 2012

    I remember enjoying this story when I first saw it 20+ years ago. I rewatched it about 2 years ago and still enjoyed it, but not quite as much as I remembered. Tom Baker was my first exposure to Doctor Who and consequently always held a special place in my heart. As I have matured and have now seen all of the regenerations, I have a different take on his interpretation. My youthful self still clings to him as my favorite, but mature consideration does not necessarily rank him as best.

    I have refrained from reading too far ahead in your experiment; I’m still working on the Hartnell years in my own trek through the Who anthology. However I couldn’t resist the temptation to peak in on your current installment just to see how Sue is coming along in her assessments. I have to say that 6/10 is a fair rating for this story, but my youthful self still clings to more of a 8/10 rating. I’m looking forward to rewatching this again to see if my perspective has changed any.

  35. Jon Clarke  June 30, 2012

    Other than “Vila” I always struggle to remember much about this story.

    I really liked the next one for quite a few reasons – great ideas and some interesting attempts to engage a larger picture.

  36. tom harries  July 1, 2012

    ‘It’s Barclaycard’s Death Squad’

    Great line, but do you really want to give them ideas?

  37. Paul Greaves  July 7, 2012

    “The quicker this is over, the quicker you can divorce me”

    Speaking on behalf of fans who are married, I can only say that I was surprised this comment has taken so long to make it into the conversation! I think this deserves it’s own special mug 🙂

  38. Ritch Ludlow  July 9, 2012

    “That’s never Pluto. It looks like Birmingham.”

    love it.