Part One

Full CircleThe Doctor and Romana are en route to Gallifrey.

Sue: Two K9s this week – how exciting is that? I bet they’ll conduct an extensive analysis of each other’s arses as soon as they meet.

Romana doesn’t want to go home.

Sue: Poor Romana. As soon as she gets back to Gallifrey, she should nick a TARDIS and bugger off again. I like her outfit this week. Very Romany, which is appropriate, I guess.

Suddenly, the TARDIS begins to shimmer and shake.

Sue: It’s the Black Guardian. It must be.

But the anomaly soon passes and the TARDIS arrives at its destination. The Doctor steps outside.

Sue: That isn’t Gallifrey!
The Doctor: This isn’t Gallifrey!
Sue: Yes, I know. I just said that.

Who makes her an expert on Gallifrey all of a sudden?

Full CircleBut even though the scanner displays images of their home planet, the TARDIS has landed somewhere completely different.

Sue: A gay nudist colony by the look of it. That’s nice.

Sadly, characters not swimming in the river remain fully clothed (although they could be throwing a pyjama party).

Sue: Is this Gallifrey in the distant past? Do these people become the Time Lords?
Me: You know how the Doctor said we weren’t on Gallifrey?
Sue: Yes.
Me: Well, that’s because WE ARE NOT ON GALLIFREY!
Sue: Oh well, at least it’s a nice location. Ooh, he’s very easy on the eye.

Don’t worry, she’s referring to Varsh.

But a boy named Adric does grab her attention.

Full CircleSue: I’ve seen him somewhere before… I’m sure you’ve mentioned this character to me at some point. Adric… Adric… his name rings a bell.

On a crashed Starliner, a scientist named Dexeter is examining a slide under a microscope. He is worried about a coming Mistfall and the signs of the its approach. He reads aloud from a notebook:

Dexeter: A kind of spider. Incomprehensible lifeform. Infectious.
Sue: Are you scared yet, Neil? I know what you’re like when it comes to spiders – a big baby.

Sue is fascinated by the Alzarians’ food supply.

Sue: Nice watermelons.
Me: They aren’t watermelons – they’re river fruit.
Sue: They look like watermelons to me.

Suddenly, the river starts to bubble and boil.

Sue: It’s like this all the time at Seal Sands. You know, next to the ICI plant.

Two swimmers get into trouble and they have to be pulled out of the river.

Sue: Stop! They’re stark naked! Not for kids!

Full CircleLuckily, the boys are wearing pants. Very skimpy pants.

Sue: Well, they might as well be naked – that doesn’t leave anything to the imagination. Not that I’m complaining.

Adric uses the opportunity to steal some river fruit.

Sue: How is he going to hide those watermelons? Is he going to pop them down his trousers?

Adric is pursued by a Decider but the old man ends up flat on his back.

Sue: He never touched him! He committed suicide by throwing himself into a backward somersault. I’ve seen Jurgen Klinsmann fall over more realistically than that.

Topical football joke, folks.

The Outlers (Varsh, Tylos and Keara) return to their cave to discuss the legend of Mistfall.

Full CircleSue: Did they get this lot from the same stage school? Was it a special bulk deal?

Adric runs into the TARDIS and collapses to the floor.

Sue: He looks like a girl when he’s lying down.

Meanwhile, the mist begins to fall and the planet’s occupants make a dash for the Starliner.

Sue: It’s only a bit of fog. Can you imagine what this lot would be like if it snowed.

Adric is back on his feet and a wound that he sustained to his knee has almost disappeared.

Sue: Is Adric Wolverine? Has he got mutant healing powers?
Me: Yes, you’ve hit the nail on the head – Adric is Wolverine.

The episode concludes with an army of Marshmen rising out of the river.

Sue: Ooh, scary cliffhanger. I really liked that. Things are starting to pick up.


Part Two

Sue enjoys the Marshmens’ emergence a great deal.

Full CircleSue: It’s shot on film, the director is using some interesting angles, and the mist helps to sell it. Yes, this isn’t bad at all. The monster costumes look like they have been made from bath mats, and it looks like they have custard skin hanging off their heads, but it’s still very good. There are lots of them, too, which is nice.

Incredibly, it’s not until Part Two of Full Circle that Sue criticises Matthew Waterhouse’s performance. Is this a new record?

Sue: It’s his eyes. They keep darting everywhere. He’s as stiff as a board, too. He looks very uncomfortable when he doesn’t have any lines to say. Unfortunately, he looks even more uncomfortable when he does have lines to say.

The Doctor tells K9 to follow the Marshmen.

Sue: Is that K9’s theme music? It’s a bit funky.

Back on the TARDIS, Romana is trying to work out where they are.

Full CircleSue: Hey, Romana owns an iPad.

The Outlers infiltrate the TARDIS.

Sue: How did this lot get in?
Me: The TARDIS door must have been left open.
Sue: For ****’s sake. When will they ever learn? It’ll be the Black Guardian who waltzes in one day. Then they’ll be sorry. Where the hell is the Black Guardian, anyway?

The Deciders wish to recruit a man named Login to their depleted ranks.

Nefred: Have you made up your mind?
Login: Yes.
Sue: He should have said “No”. That would have been funny.

K9 continues to pursue the Marshmen.

Sue: It’s lovely seeing K9 out and about, even if he is accompanied by his silly little theme tune.

Back on the TARDIS, the Outlers try to overpower Romana – and fail.

Sue: The director – who is very good by the way – isn’t a fan of Adric.
Me: How can you tell?
Sue: He’s framing his shots so Adric is hidden behind the other actors. It cuts down on the blank stares, I suppose. How did he get this job anyway?
Me: Well…
Sue: Did he sleep with John Nathan-Turner? Is that it?
Me: I do know that he had a letter published in Doctor Who Weekly before he got the part.
Sue: He was a fan?
Me: Yes, him and the writer, Andrew Smith, were both fans.
Sue: Really? Could anyone work on the programme back then?

Full CircleA Marshchild follows the Doctor onto the Starliner. He is fascinated by a knife sticking out of a river fruit.

Sue: He’s going to carve a scary face into that pumpkin.
Me: I thought they were watermelons?
Sue: I’ve changed my mind. I’m leaning more towards butternut squash, now.

In the Starliner’s Great Book Room, Decider Nefred presides over his community.

Sue: He looks like he should be working at a ten pin bowling alley. Those slots behind him are where you store your shoes.

And then Sue asks the question that I’ve been expecting for quite some time:

Sue: Do they swap Romana for Adric? They don’t, do they? He’s a companion, isn’t he? He must be. I’ve heard you and your friends talking about him. A lot. You talk about Adric all the time.
Me: As long as I don’t do it in my sleep.

She’d rather watch Varsh.

Sue: Why didn’t they keep this guy on instead – he’s so much easier on the eye. Can’t act for toffee, though. It’s slim pickings to be fair.

Full CircleAnd more controversially:

Sue: Even the other one would be better than Adric, and he’s the campest thing I’ve ever seen on Doctor Who.

But Sue’s biggest problem with Matthew Waterhouse can be boiled down to this:

Sue: He can’t say the word ‘door’ properly. He says ‘deur’. What’s that all about?

The Marshchild is captured by the Starliner’s crew.

Sue: Aww, it’s cute. I like the twist – we’re supposed to think they are the monsters, but they’re not.

The Doctor is introduced to the Deciders.

Nefred: I am Nefred.
Garif: I am Garif.
Login: I am Login.
: And you are watching The Voice. Please tell me they have revolving chairs.

And then…

Sue: ****!!!!

Yes, a Marshman just decapitated K9.

Me: That’s it, love, he’s –
Sue: I don’t believe you. They can solder his head back on. Unless of course, Adric replaces Romana and K9. Noooooooooo!

In the Great Book Room, the Doctor is told that the Deciders only pretend that the Mistfall is toxic.

Sue: Ooh, it’s all a big conspiracy, isn’t it? It’s getting very interesting all of a sudden.

The TARDIS arrives in a cave where Romana and Adric find spiders bursting out of the river fruit.

Sue: It’s a good job you were watching Buck Rogers when this was on. You would have struggled with this.
Me: I was watching Doctor Who again at this point. The BBC changed the time slot to minimise the damage that Buck was doing to the viewing figures. I think Doctor Who was up against Metal Mickey at this point. I might be stupid but I’m not that stupid.
Metal Mickey: Boogie boogie.

Adric manages to fly the TARDIS all by himself.

Sue: What? Can any ****er fly the TARDIS now?

Full CircleRomana ends up with a spider on her face and we both end up (yes, even me, and I knew it was coming) yelping in surprise.

Sue: That was another good cliffhanger. The direction was excellent. He made a crappy model look scary. And that’s no mean feat.


Part Three

Full CircleAs the giant spider attacks Romana in the episode recap, Sue tugs at my sleeve.

Sue: Jesus Christ! Look at that!

She isn’t looking at the television. She’s pointing at a window.

I scream. And then I run away. Very quickly.

Sue: It’s okay, I’ve drawn the curtains!

A friend on Facebook told me later that it’s a river spider. This does not make me feel any better.

Meanwhile, on Full Circle, Adric apologises for moving the TARDIS.

Adric: I think I’ve pulled the wrong lever.
Sue: You flicked a switch! How can you not know the difference between a lever and a switch? Are you sure the blue star doesn’t mean he’s the village idiot?

The Doctor and Login decide to help each other out. Login will help the Doctor find his TARDIS and the Doctor will help Login find his daughter. At that precise moment, the TARDIS materialises in their path, carrying Login’s daughter.

Sue: What are the chances of that?

Meanwhile, in the Great Book Room, Decider Nefred is engrossed in some light reading.

Full CircleSue: Is he reading the system files?
Me: Possibly.
Sue: Are you sure it isn’t the wine list?

The Outlers are brought before the Deciders to be judged.

Sue: Look at them – hands in their pockets, no respect whatsoever. Throw the book at them. You are surrounded by books so just reach out and grab the first one you find. It doesn’t even have to be a book – a ring binder will do.

But they are given no punishment for their crimes.

Sue: Their version of The Daily Mail would have a field day with this.

Dexeter begins to experiment on the Marshchild against the Doctor’s protestations. The Marshchild escapes from his bonds and he wreaks havoc in the lab, killing Dexeter in the process. He only calms down when he notices the Doctor’s face in a monitor screen.

Sue: Awww, he thinks the Doctor is his mum.

The Marshchild paws at the screen and it electrocutes itself. The Doctor is furious. Almost as furious as Sue.

Sue: I like it when the Doctor gets pissed off. He’s really going for it, here. Tom Baker hasn’t been this good in a long while.

The plot thickens – no one knows how to fly the Starliner!

Sue: Oh, come off it! There has to be a pilot’s manual. That’s absurd. And besides, Adric could fly it. He can fly a TARDIS without any training so this thing should be a piece of piss.

Varsh and his mates are put to work replacing components on the Starliner.

Sue: What are this lot called again?
Me: The Outlers.
Sue: Okay, so how many Outlers does it take to change a lightbulb? I’ll tell you – six. One to fit it and the other five to stand around gawping at him as he does it.
Me: I think they are doing community service. It’s the Alzarian version of Misfits.
Sue: Well, Adric has superpowers – he has healing powers, he’s good at maths and he can fly alien spaceships. What superpowers do the rest of them have?

Full CircleThe Doctor and Adric can’t find Romana. Her room looks as if a bomb has hit it.

Sue: That’s what Nicol’s bedroom looks like. On a good day.

Romana is behaving very strangely indeed.

Sue: Does she change into Spider-woman? Does she start crawling up the walls and swinging through the studio? I tell you what, though – If they kill her off, there will be trouble. At least eight marks off.

The episode concludes with Romana giving the Marshmen access to the Starliner.

Sue: Okay, I can see where they are going with this.
Me: Really? What do you think will happen?
Sue: Well, they aren’t really the bad guys, that much is clear, so I think they will end up working together with Adric and they will all fly off in the ship together.


Part Four

Full CircleSue is losing her patience with Tylos.

Sue: Get your hands out of your bloody pockets, lad. And stop slouching.

As they congregate outside the TARDIS, Sue blows a fuse.

Sue: They’ve left the doors open again! ****ing hell. The most powerful machine in the known universe and they leave the ****ing door open. You have no idea how much this winds me up.
Me: Oh, I think we get the general idea.

Tyrol saves a Starliner member from the advancing Marshmen, but he doesn’t return the favour and Tylos is left to die.

Sue: What a coward. At least he was wearing the right colours.

The Doctor keeps the Marshmen at bay by holding K9’s head in front of his face.

Sue: Okay, this is not what I had in mind when I said I wanted K9 to have a more substantial role in the series.

Full CircleThe Marshmen run riot on the Starliner.

Sue: It’s so frustrating when the monsters can’t communicate with you and they spend the whole time waving their arms around like idiots.

Adric steals an image translator and the Doctor confronts him about it later.

The Doctor: Do you think it’s right going around taking other people’s property?
Adric: Sometimes.
Sue: He’s not a very good role model, is he? Hey kids, it’s cool to steal.

The only defence against the Marshmen is oxygen, which Varsh and Adric dispense from a pair of cylinders.

Sue: SodaStream was massive in the 1980s. Just saying.

As the Doctor continues to conduct his experiments into the DNA of the Marshmen and the spiders, Sue figures it out.

Sue: This is basically Planet of the Apes, isn’t it? They have evolved from the Marshmen. I’m right, aren’t I?

She did it. She finally did it.

Full CircleAside from the odd surface detail (“His bath mat is coming loose at the seams”) Sue enjoys the final act. In fact, when Varsh is killed, she feels sorry for Adric.

Me: At least Adric got to keep his brother’s belt.
Sue: If only he got his brother’s looks and talent as well.

Adric sneaks back into the TARDIS.

Me: And that’s why you should lock the bloody doors.
Sue: Oh, leave him alone. He’s alright.
Me: What?
Sue: It’s his dream job – he’s 18 and he’s working on Doctor Who. You fanboys are just jealous. I’m sure he’ll settle down eventually.

The Starliner takes off.

Sue: I bet they can’t decide where to go. And why go anywhere anyway? I bet they get shot down by Daleks.

But that’s not possible, because the Doctor and Romana are trapped in E-Space.

Full CircleThe Doctor: I think we came through a Charged Vacuum Embointment.
Sue: A charged what?
Romana: A CVE.
Sue: I CV-what? I am supposed to know what that means?
Me: They are trapped in another universe.
Sue: So they can’t return Romana to Gallifrey?
Me: No.
Sue: Good.

As the credits roll.

Sue: So what happened to Adric?
Me: He’s gone.
Sue: He’s only in one story? Seriously?
Me: Yes.
Sue: I don’t believe you. I don’t believe for one moment that he shagged John-Nathan Turner just so he could appear in one story. That’s would be cheap.
Me: You can’t say stuff like that.
Sue: But you said…
Me: Okay, I admit it, Adric is back next week.
Sue: Good.

I chuckle to myself.

Sue: Stop it. I feel sorry for the actor who plays him. He’s out of his depth but he’s so keen. It’s not his fault they cast him in this. They should have given him more help. Bless him.

Swap ShopA little later, we watch Matthew Waterhouse’s appearance on Multi-coloured Swap Shop.

Sue: He’s so adorable.
Me: You are just taking the piss, now.
Sue: I’m not! He’s so into it. You can tell he’s a fan. I bet he had to pinch himself every day when he turned up for work. Actually, now that I look at him, he has the look of a young Matt Smith about him.

She’s serious.

Sue: It’s that wide grin of his. Aww, he’s so cute.


The Score

Sue: I enjoyed that. The direction was excellent, some of the ideas were very interesting and the acting was pretty good, too. And I liked Adric. So there.



Coming Soon




  1. AST  August 18, 2012

    I’m sad.

    I have a huge folder of Who episodes on my pc and I’ve been enjoying following Sue, re-watching episodes I hadn’t seen for thirty-plus years (and in some cases hadn’t seen at all) when the time came.

    Now that we’ve reached this stage in the programme’s degeneration, however, I simply can’t sit through episodes I remember from original broadcast: a clammy recognition that it’s only gonna get worse. Much, much worse.

    I’ll still read each new WiS post eagerly, but from now on Sue: you’re on your own. Best of luck.

    • Neil Perryman  August 18, 2012

      I’ll be sitting next to her. She’ll be fine.

      • AST  August 18, 2012

        I’m not worried for Sue. I’m worried for you, Neil, YOU dammit! Those cushions are gonna get heavier.

        • Hadden Millhillian  August 19, 2012

          There are some corkers coming up. We’ve been having regular “it’s all down here from now on” posts for several seasons now, and the high marks are still materialising.

  2. Bob Gallagher  August 18, 2012

    I agree with Sue — Adric’s all right. It’s not Matthew Waterhouse’s fault the writers couldn’t be bothered to give Adric a personality…

  3. Lewis Christian  August 18, 2012

    So glad Sue likes Adric so far. He’s great with Tom.

    Plus, we need a new “the doors are open” counter 😉

    • Hadden Millhillian  August 19, 2012

      And a Black Guardian counter to go with the Master one.

  4. Jazza1971  August 18, 2012

    I love “Full Circle”. I taped it on cassette when I was a lad with a microphone lying next to the TV speaker. I remember listing to it when I was off school sick. Slightly ruined in episode 3 with my sister being noisy in the background though!

  5. Michael Russell  August 18, 2012

    Glad to see Sue stand up for Adric. The fanboy bullies are going to have a fit.

    • Nick Mays  August 19, 2012


      Okay, Waterhouse wasn’t the greatest actor in the world, but he was young, inexperienced and he tried, with very little help. Even his idol Tom Baker didn’t give him any help, telling him to Piss Off. He’d only been in To Serve Them All My Days before Dr Who, but the big difference there is, he was clearly given more direction in TSTAMD than in Who.

      I think Sue hit the Neil – sorry – nail – on the head early on – the Fanboys ARE jealous of Matthew and they’re STILL jealous 32 years on. Oh, they can sneer at his acting, his stage presence and that old, tired, Peter Davison chestnut about giving an old Ac-TOR TV acting lessons, but really, they’re jealous! He was in Who, you weren’t. Get Over It Chaps!

      Just to balance the books, same applies to all those Fangirls in the 21st Century who think Billie Piper/Rose Tyler was a daft tart who couldn’t act. At least Adric killed himself for the sake of the story… ;o)


      • Jazza1971  August 19, 2012

        “Sue hit the Neil – sorry – nail – on the head” – Now that should be a t-shirt quote!

      • Michael Russell  August 19, 2012

        Good point. The seething fan hatred for Adric and Rose do have an affinity for each other. I’ve said elsewhere that Adric’s level of obnoxiousness and social awkwardness is much more readily forgiven when it comes from a pretty girl in a sparkly catsuit. For the record, I love Zoe, too.

        • Frankymole  August 20, 2012

          That’s nothing compared to the seething hatred of Martha from Rose fans. Or is it “Rosefen”? The internet nearly melted. Accusations that she couldn’t act weren’t the half of it… anger that she was trying to usurp the Doctor’s “one true love”… Of course it wasn’t helped by RTD managing to bring Rose back every five minutes to undermine Martha’s “arc”.

      • chris-too-old-too-watch  August 19, 2012

        The Fanboy/girl reaction was exactly the same when the series returned: everybody wanted it back, but THEY were the only ones who could do it “right”. That’s why RTD received as much negative reaction as he did.

      • Rollocks  August 20, 2012

        “Peter Davison chestnut about giving an old Ac-TOR TV acting lessons”

        And that’s a perfect example of why I quickly learned that any DW commentary track featuring Peter Davison (and/or Janet Fielding for that matter) really isn’t worth a listen.

  6. Will Brooks  August 18, 2012

    I live in a building right by the water in Cardiff Bay – and it’s *crawling* with those river spiders. Measuring the one on my window the other night it came out at 26mm from top to bottom. I’ve learnt to keep the windows sealed and not go out after dark – they’ve made their webs around every light on the outside of the building.

    You should see the webs on the streetlamps! Some of them are getting on for a metre wide.


    Oh, and I’d agree with the score. It’s better than average, but nothing special. But then, season 18 is the only one of Tom’s that I really care for, so…

  7. Ryan Hall  August 18, 2012

    The treatment of K9 in this season was just uttley stupid , looking back now at what they were doing to him i was very surprised the creators let it happen as there very protective of the character now, basicly Dr who got to the point were the people making it were making it for themselves…not the viewers..hence the “getting rid of k9” in every story because they didnt like the character…..even though said character was more popular than the star of the tv show itself at the time…

    • Lewis Christian  August 18, 2012

      I tend to think it was JNT just being slightly selfish – he couldn’t phase K9 out instantly, so he toyed around with several “deaths” first, IMO. (But then he did try and give the dog a spin-off, so who knows. Unless he wanted K9 to continue, but not in his show?)

    • Thomas  August 19, 2012

      Well, to give them credit they were trying to restore a sense of dignity that they felt had been lost in the previous years of the show. I think it’s a bit harsh to criticize them for doing what they wanted creatively instead of just blindly doing what the fans wanted (after all, that’s probably what ended up plaguing the next major script-editor’s years, along with other factors).

  8. Lewis Christian  August 18, 2012

    Out of curiosity, Neil, doesn’t Sue ever try and sneak a peek at the story descriptions on the back of your DVDs?

    • Neil Perryman  August 18, 2012

      I’ve never caught her. She’s Just not that interested, I guess.

      • Lewis Christian  August 18, 2012

        Ah, fair enough 🙂

    • Lewis Christian  August 18, 2012

      In fact, surely Sue knows when Davison is arriving just by looking at your shelves?

  9. Neil Perryman  August 18, 2012

    There’s a million different ways she could find out if she could be arsed. She does know that we have a few Bakers to go.

    • Hadden Millhillian  August 19, 2012

      I would imagine she doesn’t want to cheat and spoil it too.

  10. Antti Björklund  August 18, 2012

    “Sue: How is he going to hide those watermelons? Is he going to pop them down his trousers?”

    That really had me laughing!

    Nice review yet again.

  11. Ryan Hall  August 18, 2012

    As much as i like the tin dog it was the right time for him to bow out ,but there wasnt the need of the constant torture of him every story though just because the writers hated him , he was a very popular figure of the show at the time , and its something i couldnt see the BBC do now , i guess they wernt on the ball back then as much.

    As much as i do love the Espace storys its also the end of my Drwho…. : (

    • John G  August 19, 2012

      Or even bow wow wow out? Sorry, couldn’t resist! I agree though that JNT and Bidmead were rather childish in their treatment of the mutt.

  12. Smith  August 18, 2012

    Am rushing to watch State of Decay so that I’ll actually understand the next post – which happens to fall on my Birthday.

    • Lewis Christian  August 18, 2012

      You’ve just reminded me that I’ve seen all of the 80s stuff, bar “Greatest Show”. But I have a while before I need to watch that.

      • Smith  August 18, 2012

        State of Decay and Warrior’s Gate are the last stories I need to see before I’ve seen the entire JNT era. I’m feeling that poignant feeling one gets when one has exhausted an era of a show. It’s odd.

        • Lewis Christian  August 18, 2012

          Ironic you’re seeing some of his earliest stories last. It’s been ages since I watched Season 18. I think a mini marathon is in order!

        • William  August 19, 2012

          Warriors’ Gate is one of the all-time great Doctor Who stories. I don’t know whether to expect Sue to love the performances and the sets or get exasperated by the pace, but it’s a review I’m really looking forward to.

  13. Hadden Millhillian  August 19, 2012

    I was surprised how very good State Of Decay is when I watched it not long ago.

    And I actually don’t mind Adric either… I just accept that his character is supposed to be annoying and get on with it. I was so young when he started (Traken is the first story I have very clear memories of) that he’s pretty much always been an aspect of Doctor Who for me.

    A very funny instalment, especially Sue’s opening comment.

    • Hadden Millhillian  August 19, 2012

      Why did I say State Of Decay when really I meant Full Circle? Thank you, Glen Allen.

    • Thomas  August 19, 2012

      Adric benefits for me in that the first story I think I saw him in (aside from The Visitation, which I just didn’t like in general) was Keeper of Traken, in which he works just beautifully with Baker. So any later episodes I saw of him were always in light of that appearance, lending a certain amount of forgiveness for him in the role.

      (it’s funny that Baker and Waterhouse allegedly detested each other on set, because they work so danged well as a Doctor/companion team).

      • John G  August 19, 2012

        From what I have read, it was Lalla who really detested Waterhouse, as she thought he was an arrogant little so-and-so who wasn’t showing sufficient respect to his more experienced co-stars. Mind you, when Waterhouse arrived her relationship with Tom was going through a very rocky patch, and I have a suspicion that Matthew may have become a convenient punch bag for her frustrations.

        • Professor Thascales  August 19, 2012

          I remembered her sounding really pissed off at him in Warriors’ Gate, for no reason (in terms of the characters).

  14. Lewis Christian  August 19, 2012

    Some positivity – the 80s is a brilliant period, and JNT always stood by the show. We were given 3 amazing Doctors, plenty of visual treats, a variety of stories and ideas, and it was teaming with excitement and energy. After seven years of Baker, the show was refreshed and, production issues aside, it was truly a remarkable programme as it sped towards the end.

    • John G  August 19, 2012

      I think it’s certainly fair to say that JNT’S era is rarely dull (half of Season 20 excepted). Sometimes good, often dreadful, but rarely dull. Given how contentious this period of the show’s history still is (as proved by some recent posts) it makes the views of a newcomer like Sue all the more fascinating.

    • DPC  August 19, 2012

      Well said, thank you!

      Even JNT+Bidmead’s treatment of Tom Baker; the jokes are still there but often subdued. There’s more horror and monsters and a real sense of danger. When Tom’s jokes come out, they have far more proper impact than most of the stuff from the previous season. It is a shame he didn’t do an 8th season, but then season 19 would be very different and 19 is one of my all-time faves, with the occasional exception…

      After rewatching three stories from seasons 25 and 26, I do agree – the show had some ups and downs (each decade and producer has them) but the ups during JNT’s era easily outweigh any quibbles, IMHO…

  15. John G  August 19, 2012

    Once again, Sue bucks the fan consensus – it’s going to be a treat to see if her views change or not over the next few stories! In fairness to the boy, I generally find him tolerable even though he can’t act for toffee, and in this season especially he manages to avoid annoying me.

    I agree with Sue’s rating for this one. It is very well directed by Grimwade (the emergence of the Marshmen of course being the highlight), and there are some pleasing twists in the plot, though it can get a bit talky at times. Did Sue recognise George Baker, and does she know how old the writer was?

    • Richard L  August 19, 2012

      Is there really a fan consensus? Typically these things tend to get defined by a vocal minority. I feel very sad about the JNT era hate I’m reading – this was the era where I was hooked on the show and I loved Davison’s tenure: fresh and energetic in ways that it simply wasn’t previously.

      • Michael Russell  August 19, 2012

        Good point about a vew loud, obnoxious vocal minority. I love JNT’s era just as much as I do the other decades of the classic and new series, and I seldom recognize the show I’m watching in some of the various fan critiques. For example, I find season 18 to be a magically imaginative run of stories involving decaying fairy tale societies, with a wonderful sense of atmosphere, and then I see a lot of fans denouncing it as po-faced, anti-fun and the downfall of their chldhood.

        • Michael Russell  August 19, 2012

          Whoops, that should have been “very,” not “vew.” 🙂

      • John G  August 19, 2012

        A fair point, although this is the first site I have come across where a positive view of Adric seems more widespread than the standard negative one.

  16. Noodles  August 19, 2012

    “Full Circle” is, without a doubt, my favourite story in the classic era. Really glad Sue liked it.

    I also have no problem whatsoever with Adric.

    • DPC  August 19, 2012

      It’s 8/10 from me and it is a wonderful story. Great ideas, great direction, great music, great horror and sense of fear… there’s little to dislike…

  17. Peter J Ross  August 19, 2012

    “K9 keeps the Marshmen at bay by holding K9?s head in front of his face.” I think there’s a typing mistake here, but I can’t be sure without watching part of a Season 18 episode, and I’m not that masochistic.

    Sue’s probably right about Adric. At this early stage, he isn’t infuriating yet.

    • DPC  August 19, 2012

      Only later on do some writers not really know what to go do with the character and that’s unfortunate, but even Adric’s last story shows him being rather better than a couple of earlier ones…

    • jamieskilt  August 20, 2012

      I always thought Adric and Nyssa made for a good team. It was only when Tegan arrived that the whining REALLY started…

    • Bryan Simcott  August 20, 2012

      No Typing mistake. he did hold K9`s head up in front of his onw. it was impaled on a stick at the time after the marshman chopped it off

  18. Dave Sanders  August 19, 2012

    Own up Neil, you were doodling the Malcolm Clarke version.

  19. DPC  August 19, 2012

    “not for the kids” 🙂

    Sue makes a very interesting point about the director shrouding Matthew Waterhouse at times. I can’t disagree, and Matthew was new to acting… it’s good to read her support of Adric, as Adric’s best stories are coming up. Adric and Tom do have a chemistry that works surprisingly well, even if Matthew is new to the field with that showing at times.

    • Carson  August 19, 2012

      Totally agreed! I’m no great Adric defender, but I often find him to be very underrated, and Waterhouse too. I’m thrilled that Sue enjoyed him, and it’ll be interesting to see if she continues to appreciate him in future stories.

  20. PolarityReversed  August 19, 2012

    Yeah, they’re the same species, with interesting overtones of parasitology. Good idea, but the whole thing just gets botched, dramatically speaking.

    Welome to Club JNT – I know how to run this show. Into the ground.

    No mention for Tom’s “I’m usually good with children” line?

    • BWT  August 19, 2012

      I’ll talk to that: Personally I loved that line and knew it referenced Tom’s use as the “Stranger Danger” safety guy on the PIFs. He has also said numerous times that the greatest boon of playing Dr Who was that, at the time, parents regarded him as “safe” to be around kids – and, as someone who loves kids, he loved that.

  21. BWT  August 19, 2012

    I must confess I was never a fan of the tin dog but I still can’t shake the feeling that K9 would have worked really well with Peter Davison – just imagine the two of them battling on together without the need for Tegans or Adrics. Ooops… (spoilers)

    Anyway – nice one. It’s funny, isn’t it? Sometimes a fan *can* write for the show and deliver the goods. Was he the first? Who knows? But it’s a corker… Looking forward to Sue’s reaction to the next two now…

    Oh, and what happened to the t-shirt-able quotes…?

  22. P.Sanders  August 19, 2012

    The end of episode 2 with the spiders was the one literal “behind the sofa” (well, strictly speaking, “behind the beige leather armchair”) moment I remember from my childhood of watching Who. At the age of 4 those spiders terrified me. They may not be the most believable spider props now, but the bit where one lands on Romana’s face is still a great gotcha moment. And the tragedy of the Marshchild and Tom’s subsequent wrath makes for one of the great angry Doctor moments.

  23. Broadshoulder2  August 19, 2012

    Sue is becoming a national treasure with her ability to buck trends. She judges each thing individually. Not because fans have a reaction to it. And to be frank Adric can be adorable. Its when the obnoxious boy genius keeps occuring in the Davison era it gets painful. And who would have thought a gay teenager aboard the TARDIS.

    However, his inclusion does mean the first building block of the Tom Baker era is removed and by the end of the season its just Tom and the terrible trio. Its like a man being marooned by the tides. Its a slow process and not pretty in the slightest.

  24. encyclops  August 19, 2012

    So glad to see Sue and so many commenters coming out to speak kindly of Adric. When I was a kid, probably somewhere between 10 and 12, I was enchanted by this story for a lot of reasons.

    * It introduced a male companion who wasn’t THAT much older than I was, had a name not unlike mine, and even looked a little like me.
    * He was a bit nerdy and it got in the way of his social life. (Something I’m sure very few Doctor Who fans can relate to, especially in the States…)
    * He was introduced in a story written by a young male writer with the same first name as mine.
    * It was a story with evolution (if perhaps a dodgy concept of it) as a central theme that featured spiders, both obsessions of mine at the time.
    * There were reasonably scary monsters (totally with Sue, that ep 1 cliffhanger is terrific — beats the Haemovore introduction and predates it by nearly a decade) who weren’t actually monsters. In fact there are no real villains in the story to speak of — the closest is Dexeter, or maybe the more crazed Marshmen.

    It’s just great stuff — a bit stiff sometimes (I’m going to blame Grimwade for that), but on the right track in a lot of ways. The stretch from this story through to “Kinda” is one of my favorites of the whole show; every installment has a different look and feel, so vivid, colorful, and inspired, and they all began to feel really momentous. I can see what this period’s detractors dislike about it, and of course it would get more and more uneven as Saward took over, but in these early days I just loved it.

    I think Waterhouse was adorable too, though he definitely needed a haircut in this story. Male companions in this show had it tough after Harry Sullivan; it seemed like you couldn’t have one who was quite on the level, and that’s carried through to the new show: until Rory, the Doctor was the only man on the TARDIS who could be trusted (and, after a while, even that was questionable). I didn’t learn until much later — maybe in the last couple of years, actually — that Waterhouse was gay, but while that doesn’t make him a better actor or a more mature professional costar, it does make me want to root for him a little more against the people who bash him. I can’t imagine how uncomfortable it must have been to work on a show where just about everyone wished you weren’t there.

    As for Adric the character: I’d imagine he’s many people’s Wesley Crusher, but he wasn’t mine. He comes in with promising traits on paper: he’s a simplified version of Romana as we first met her — book-smart, street-naive, capable of remarkable feats of rapid regeneration. And why not, since he’s native to the negative-coordinates inverse of Gallifrey? But unfortunately, the next story set the pattern for how he’d be used in many of his stories, and most of what was interesting about him made only a few more appearances.

    • Thomas  August 19, 2012

      Yeah, honestly my biggest problem with Adric was that he was always in dire need of a haircut. And whoever put him in that costume was a dick.

      • Lewis Christian  August 19, 2012

        It doesn’t help that we’re now in the period of the show which is obviously one-costume-only for everyone.

      • John G  August 19, 2012

        Ironically, Waterhouse wore a wig for his first few stories as his hair wasn’t long enough for the role.

        • Nick Mays  August 19, 2012

          Yep, he’d had it cut short for his role in To Serve Them All My Days…

  25. encyclops  August 19, 2012

    P.S. My sympathies for your encounter with the spider, Neil. I’m still a huge fan of spiders and yet they even give ME the creeps.

  26. chris-too-old-too-watch  August 19, 2012

    I find this discussion re Adric/JNT era very interesting, particularly with respect to age when originally watched. It appears that the 10-year-old ish people were OK with both the character and the season, it was either those younger or older who have major problems.
    From my perspective as a student in their 20’s when this last season of Baker appeared was one of enjoyment. After the cack that had immediately preceded this season, it was difficult admitting being a fan – you were the Uber-nerd of nerds. However, the higher production values and more mature storylines moved it away from being a kids comedy – BBC1’s Metal Mickey. Groups of people were in the TV room at Uni, watching this stuff, enjoying it and discussing it – especially after a few 20p pints of beer from the bar downstairs. OK it wasn’t Proust, Shakespear or Nabokov, but IT WAS FUN.
    Adric was neither no worse or better than some of the previous supporting actors that the series had previously been encumbered with (Ben, Dodo, Capt Yates spring to mind). I agree that the character should have been better and more consistently written, but unfortunately this was the 80’s and the era of buy-cheap-sell-dear, and churn rubbish out as people won’t be bothered, that affected so many other this (Dallas and Dynasty anyone?)

  27. Gavin Noble  August 19, 2012

    If Sue thinks Waterhouse can’t say door propery, just wait until he sys the word want!

    Another review I agree with. Fair score and this was one of Tom’s stories that I remembered vividly until it came out again on VHS in 1996.

    Re: Adric I don’t think I had a problem with him when I was a kid but as I’ve got older I’ve understood why a section of fandom hate him so much. I wouldn’t say I hate him but I can see his limitations more as I’ve got older.

    Re: JNT era – I don’t think it’s any different to any other era of Doctor Who – there are some cracking stories to come and also some poor ones. At the end of the day though that is down to the viewer’s own personal tastes.

    • Ryan Hall  August 19, 2012

      Yeah i never really had a problem with Adric as a 6 year old, i kinda thought it was cool for a kid to be with the Doctor, it was only till i saw his storys later on that i kinda saw why fans wernt that over the moon with him .

  28. pyjama man  August 19, 2012

    Alas though i have tried to like Adric i just feel he’s a 2 faced whingey scrote. I do prefer him with Baker T though. Definitely my least favorite companion ever, but i wouldn’t write him out of the shows history or owt, it is what it is.

  29. Nick Mays  August 19, 2012

    “They’ve left the doors open again! ****ing hell. The most powerful machine in the known universe and they leave the ****ing door open. You have no idea how much this winds me up.”

    That’s just GOT to go on a mug!

  30. Richard Lyth  August 19, 2012

    This must be the first time that Adric has ever been compared to Wolverine. Or indeed Matt Smith. I can’t see Sue’s enthusiasm lasting long though, his first and last stories are about the only ones where he’s halfway-decent. I did like him as a kid though – clearly he was brought in to keep the younger audience interested once K9 left, and he served his purpose there well enough. It’s only when you get older that you realise his acting limitations.

  31. Frank  August 19, 2012

    Ah, Sue’s fallen in love with Matthew Waterhouse. Bless. She should tray and read ‘Blue Box Boy’. That might alter her perceptions of him ever so slightly.

    ‘Full Circle’ is a great little story and begins a bit of a home run for the last of the Baker Ts. ‘State of Decay’ is a story that improves with age and I look forward to Sue’s verdict.

    • Robert Dick  August 20, 2012

      Not that I expect she’d ever do such a thing, but if she did I can’t see her opinion changing. Her take so far on what’s going on is pretty much mirrored by the book.

  32. Tim Lister  August 19, 2012

    Nice foreshadowing when you first talk about Adric. Did you plan that or was it just a coincidence?

  33. DamonD  August 19, 2012

    Happy Sue liked this one. That river spider pic doesn’t make me feel the slightest bit better either, and it’s only a picture.

    Full Circle, meanwhile, is good stuff. With Tom on rare energetic form for S18, laying into the Deciders and skidding around the TARDIS console on his knees.

  34. Paul Mc Elvaney  August 19, 2012

    Interesting points about Adric. I think the many behind-the-scenes stories about his relationship with co-stars is a major factor of how unpopular he is. Is it true that he and Lalla had a full-on feud on set? Or is that merely another rumour?

    • Nick Mays  August 19, 2012

      Apparently so, but that was also (allegedly) because Tom and Lalla excluded him form any acting input and he objected.

      With the feuds and disagreements I think it’s six of one and half a dozen of the other.

      I just wonder how many of the Fanboys would like their gauche, 18-year-old faux pas to constantly dredged up, pored over and analysed?

      • PolarityReversed  August 19, 2012

        I’d just like to object to the intimation that not being part of the “Adric/Waterhouse wasn’t so bad” club classifies one as a “fanboy”, with all the negative, spotty, socially inadequate connotations that carries.

        AFAIC, introducing the character was a wrong idea, and the whole thing was poorly realised and atrociously acted.

        Not being a fanboy to the extent of having read books about the making of books about the making of Dr Who, all these tales about spats on set are news to me. But from what I pick up on here, the guy didn’t do himself too many favours. Parachuted into that sort of situation, you’d have to be a total watermelon not to “render unto Tom” a bit, particularly if you knew he was about to leave the show and be stripped of his “Le Docteur, c’est moi” seniority.

        You’re right though – gauche and 18 go together like gin and tonic. The older you get, the more you realise that the more you know, the more you don’t know.

        Might it be true to say that this was the first time we get the projection of a “fanboy” into the show as a companion?

      • Paul Mc Elvaney  August 19, 2012

        After researching a bit, it doesn’t look like Tom was much of a cause of the supposed feud. Lalla was once asked herself about it, and only responded with an answer along the lines of “Ask Matthew”.

  35. John S. Hall  August 19, 2012

    FWIW, the “easy on the eyes” chap who played Varsh ended up being one of Kate O’Mara’s paramours for some time in real life… 😉

    And according to Matthew Waterhouse’s “Blue Box Boy,” his relationship with Peter Grimwade was odd / awkward.

    Sue does make some good points about fandom’s relationship with the character of Adric, but quite correctly points out that at the time MW couldn’t act for toffee. Anyone who thinks he still can’t act should really listen to the Big Finish “Dark Shadows” audio “The Creeping Fog” — he’s actually quite good in it, shockingly enough! 😉

  36. John S. Hall  August 19, 2012

    And to follow up on Sue’s “campest thing ever” comment —

    “Full Circle” ties with an upcoming Davison story for having the largest “gay quotient” in that it has four gay actors — Matthew Waterhouse, James Bree, Bernard Padden and Alan Rowe — in the cast; is directed by a gay man (Peter Grimwade); and produced by a gay man (JN-T). Jus’ sayin’…

    • PolarityReversed  August 19, 2012

      Dangerous and brave of you to just say, but the thought had occurred to me.

      Throughout the 70s the show seems to have mainly involved hard drinking, bird shagging Sweeney types and the 80s saw, shall we say, a bit of a change.

      It might have been a natural progression in line with slow-moving and long-overdue emancipation. It might also have something to do with the fact that the Doctor was conceived as an anti muscular hero figure, and the gentle gay involvement provided a safe non-sexual backdrop during the thrusting 80s. Much as most TV programmes aimed at children discouraged the raw, the raunchy and the phwoar, so a slightly camp overtone was regarded as safest.

      Now, of course, we get everyone flinging their bits at the Doctor, and Cpt Jock flirting with everything, animal, vegetable or mineral. And to be fair, Matt Smith has done better than Tennant did at repelling the advances on grounds of sheer alien-ness.

      It might also be that noone else at the Beeb wanted to try to catch a falling knife, so opportunities opened up. Also fine by me. I don’t know. But we do soon get a bunch of obstreperous teens overseen by a sort of wishy-washy but wise, liberal headmaster figure soon.

      Sex in Dr Who is complicated, innit?

      Also just saying.

      • Leo  August 19, 2012

        “Throughout the 70s the show seems to have mainly involved hard drinking, bird shagging Sweeney types and the 80s saw, shall we say, a bit of a change.”

        Harry Sullivan? Captain Yates? Not sure I’d describe them in quite that way. They weren’t effeminate, but on the other hand I don’t think they were characters of the kind described above. Even the Brigadier, while fond of the odd pint, wasn’t really a Sweeney type. Benton was a bit closer to that maybe, but still rather earnest and innocent in comparison.

      • Leo  August 19, 2012

        Unless you’re talking about people behind the scenes, that is… it wasn’t quite clear to me what you meant, although I wouldn’t really know enough the everyday personalities of the producers and script editors who worked on the series to be able to comment…

      • chris-too-old-too-watch  August 21, 2012

        Absolutely shocked that so many homosexuals were involved in the show: who would have thought that so many gay people would be in the acting profession, not to mention show business in particular.
        For Rassilon’s sake get over it: we’re everywhere you know…………

        • Neowhovian  August 23, 2012

          Also, how is it actually relevant? ~rolleyes~

          • encyclops  August 23, 2012

            Well, I find that being bisexual has a huge relevance to the kinds of things I write about and the way I write about them. I don’t know that it’s all that relevant to my acting, since part of the point there is that I ought to be able to become someone else. If I directed or produced anything scripted and planned (as opposed to improvised) I’d imagine my decisions would probably be greatly influenced by my (non-hetero-) sexuality. I get that for many people it might not seem relevant at all, and that’s fine, but it’s certainly not the case for me.

            I usually figure that when people say “how is it relevant?” they mean to suggest it doesn’t affect the quality of the art (which I’d agree is true) and shouldn’t dominate our perceptions of the content (which is also generally true, hinging on that word “dominate”). Which is nice, but not the whole story.

            Personally, I wish I’d known at a younger age that gay people really were everywhere in the shows I watched, the books I read, the music I listened to. At the time I was perhaps absurdly naïve about it, and ended up being floored and perhaps unhealthily influenced in my adolescence by Bret Easton Ellis and William S. Burroughs, who just laid it all out there. For all his faults, Adric would probably have been a better role model.

          • encyclops  August 23, 2012

            Forgot to add: there are a lot of interesting observations one might make about the differences between the RTD approach to sexuality, romance, and family and the Moffat approach. I don’t think those are reducible to “RTD’s gay, Moffat isn’t” but let’s just say that even if I hadn’t known, I don’t think I would have had any trouble guessing.

  37. Marty  August 19, 2012

    Adric isn’t that bad. The general idea of him is okay.
    He just suffers from writers not really sure what to do with him.
    Which is also a similar situation for K9, it seems that whenever a writer doesn’t know what to do with K9 he gets damaged, head knocked off or whatever. Little bit harder to do that to someone who has a pulse though.

    On the first viewing of Full Circle I found it a bit scary, all the stuff with the Marshchild especially was a bit disturbing.

    “Yes, you’ve hit the nail on the head – Adric is Wolverine” – Made me laugh out loud.

    • Nick Mays  August 19, 2012

      Well, in the next season they had Nyssa asleep for most of Kinda! And then of course, Turluogh was always getting locked up…

      • Graeme Robertson  August 20, 2012

        Turlough was initially much better written as a character, after he came good it seems the writers lost interest and (understandably) so did the actor with the persistant bondage. He’s particularly sidelined in “The Five Doctors” and Janet always gets preference in their stories together. Even his very welcome strip in his last story is completely overshadowed by his co-star. I’m sure Sue might take notice though:).

        Up until the new series, with some notable exceptions, the male companions are always been second fiddle so as not to diminish the Doctor. It has been rather brave of RTD and Moffat to create the likes of Captain Jack & Rory particulary who can be scene-stealers & heart-throbs.Though the press have never quite caught up with that – often only mentioning Amy as the current companion.

        And Adric is not the worst companion or companion actor by a long way.

  38. Ian Marchant  August 19, 2012

    Everyone watches ‘Full Circle’ for the first time after hearing years of Adric bashing thinks he isn’t that bad…yet.

    “Oh, yeah. Oooh, ahhh, that’s how it always starts. Then later there’s running and screaming.”

    Sums it up I think.

    • Nick Mays  August 19, 2012

      Good point, but again I’d say a olot of this sufferes because MW wasn’t given sufficient direction (and he wasn’t the only one).

      Earlier this year, my family and I watched all the stories from Keeper of Traken up to Earthshock (my 12 year-old son has been a massive Who fan since it came back and he likes some of the “old” stories). There were points where we shouted “Blow Adric up NOW!” but equally there were other points where he wasn’t too bad. Earthshock actually did come as a big jolt – especially for my son who didn’t think companions could die. And MW gives Adric a pretty good send-off. (Even better with the new CGI effects).

      So to agree with what was said earlier on here, Adric was no worse and possibly slightly better than some companions. It does make you wonder how things might have been with a bigger budget, better scripting and more studio time and direction…

  39. Philippa Sidle  August 19, 2012

    When I was watching this ‘live’, I loved Adric. I was about the same age (as the character, who I think was supposed to be younger than the actor) and I really appreciated having someone to identify with – the fact that he was a boy didn’t diminish that sense of identification, particularly as he was a nerdy misfit just like me. I really didn’t notice any problems with MW’s acting, it wouldn’t have occurred to me as a Doctor Who besotted teenage fangirl to be critical. I accepted the character absolutely at face value, and when the opportunity arose I even shipped him with Nyssa. What can I say? I was desperate for romance of any sort in the show. I might have been a nerd, but I was also a girl.

    I was stunned by his exit. Bowled over and in tears. I still remember the final scenes of Earthshock as one of the great TV moments of my life.

    With the memory of that perspective on this era so strong, it’s hard for me to get a mature perspective and join in with the general Adric-bashing. It’s enjoyable to watch Sue coming to the character without preconceptions and it will be interesting to see if he retains her goodwill.

  40. Colin  August 19, 2012

    Nice to see a more balanced appraisal of both Adric and MW after a couple of decades of bile. One always has to remember that the character was written to appeal to the younger section of the audience, and as a 10 year old in 1980 I had no problems with him. Sure he was gauche and annoying at times, but he was an 18 year old playing an 18 (ish) year old…………Go figure! It seems to me that the problem older fans had with him is a combination of jealousy and painful self recognition. With regard to his interaction with other cast members he comes across now as a lot more mature and sanguine than either Lalla or Janet, neither of whom seem to be able to live and let live. All in all a great review of one of the quiet gems of the Baker era.

    • Frankymole  August 20, 2012

      I was 11 or 12 when Adric was on, so he wasn’t any kind of painful self-recognition for me and so I didn’t mind him. Then again I even put up with moaning Tegan.

      I wonder what the fanboys who hate Adric make of a certain young fan of the Psychic Circus…

  41. encyclops  August 20, 2012

    I hate to be the spoiler cop, especially since they’re coming in the midst of such warmhearted sentiments, but can we cool it with the Earthshock references please?

    • Nick Mays  August 20, 2012

      Ah yes, you’re right. Absolutely. Schtum! ;o)

  42. Professor Thascales  August 20, 2012

    Adric didn’t particularly bother me when I was a kid, but as an adult, when I read all the criticisms of him, I can’t really disagree with most of them. (Though I feel a bit sorry for him, getting so much stick.)

  43. Piers Johnson  August 20, 2012

    Ooh, more prior art for a tablet device! Apple’s case against Samsung is sunk…

    • Frankymole  August 20, 2012

      They used one in Blakes 7 in about 1978, too!

  44. Ritch Ludlow  August 20, 2012

    Can’t believe she hasn’t figured out that Adric is really the Master yet.

    • chris-too-old-too-watch  August 20, 2012

      I thought K9 was the Master

  45. Doc Whom  August 20, 2012

    ***It’s so frustrating when the monsters can’t communicate with you and they spend the whole time waving their arms around like idiots.***

    I’d no idea that Sue frequents cosplay conventions.

  46. Doc Whom  August 20, 2012

    ***I feel sorry for the actor who plays him. He’s out of his depth but he’s so keen. It’s not his fault they cast him in this. They should have given him more help. Bless him.***

    You can tell that Sue’s not a Who fan at heart. No-one who says anything that human and lacking in insecurity could be a Who fan. The problem that most fans have with Matthew Waterhouse is that he’s a constant reminder to them that they’d have jumped at the job offer too, despite being as geeky and wooden at that age as he was. And it’s worse than that – they’d all have shagged JNT for a part in the show. And worst of all, they’d have let JNT shag them in return for a part in just a single story. Romana 2 and Tom used to refuse to look at each other on set – and it’s Adric who we call socially immature.

    • Nick Mays  August 20, 2012

      I also think that a significant number of those “fans” (not all, but a good few) hate to be reminded of the fact that they thought JN-T was the Messiah who saved Dr Who. Remember the DWAS convention where he was given a painting of himself surrounded by several of the characters and creatures from Seasons 19 and 20? How lauded he was. “No more silly jelly babies, the programme is SERIOUS Who now!”

      Back then, I’d lost interest in Who – and Tom Baker’s portrayal of the Doctor to be truthful – at the mid point of Season 17 and didn’t pick it up again until the end of Season 18 (I’ve watched them all since of course) and I was pretty impressed with the way it looked so thought I’d give it a go again. After all, I’d watched ever since I could remember (and that was from Hartnell’s time). Of course, back then we didn’t know or care about all the argy-bargy going on behind the scenes and all about the sexual proclivities of the characters or the actors portraying them. When Peter Davison became the Doctor I watched it again regularly and enjoyed most of it.

      It’s been a source of puzzlement to me in the years since the series’ transmission of how loathed Adric was as a character and Matthew Waterhouse as an actor AND JN-T as Producer – far more so than is decent or, dare I say it, rational. But there you are – the answer is clear – it’s self loathing on certain folks’ parts! None of us want to be reminded of our teenage crushes and geeky, gauche teeny selves do we?

      Anyway, it’s a long time ago and we’re all grown ups now (or should be!). I suggest certain ‘fans’ just Get Over It or take a leaf out of Sue’s book and look at Adric and Season 18 overall with fresh eyes and a sense of proportion.

    • Graeme Robertson  August 20, 2012

      I think Tom & Lalla’s fractious relationship and the strange production order meaning Adric’s 2nd story was shot first and then another story was filmed without him before “Full Circle” (which is also apparently when Tom decided to leave) would not have helped working relationships.

      I do also find it odd that the better experienced Simon Gipps-Kemp (Seth in “Horns of Nimon”) auditioned for the part of Adric (he was also in “To Serve Them All My Days” with Waterhouse) and yet they plumped for Matthew, probably spurring the casting-couch theories. Possibly it was just too soon after his previous role and arguably a little too old for the juvenile part (or he rebuffed JNT ;)).

  47. Bryan Simcott  August 20, 2012

    When people say they want an episode of Doctor who to show Non fans, this is the one for me. its direction , colours, script and TOM BAKER are all superb

    For River Spiders you need something very strong like No more spiders (£3.80 amazon or Raid fly spray works but takes longer and they writh in agony for a bit ..still its my house and they shouldnt be In/on it 🙂

    Soda Stram fires out Carbon Dioxide and just killd most breathing things if inhaled.

    And I so got that intro. Do do do dooo dooodle do is that sad?

    Love this one , Poor sue they never do learn to shut the F*******g door.

    • Paul Mc Elvaney  August 20, 2012

      I completely sympathise with Sue’s fury at the characters not closing the TARDIS doors behind them. It always gets on my nerves, it is fierce annoying and it spoils the idea that the TARDIS is a mystical, powerful machine of wonder!

      • Thomas Bush  August 20, 2012

        It’s going to get worse in the Davison era. NOTHING and NOBODY should be able to enter the TARDIS at will. Why did JN-T have to spoil the magic?

        • Frankymole  August 20, 2012

          Hinchcliffe did it for me with that ruddy face of Sutekh – I had nightmares for months, and he didn’t even need an open door! And then later that Mandragora malarkey. (Luckily I’d missed the Exxilon that Sarah had to brain with a crank.)

          • Paul Mc Elvaney  August 21, 2012

            Personally, I blame Salamander.

      • encyclops  August 21, 2012

        I always assumed it slowly closed by itself behind them, like a screen door on a spring.

        • Nick Mays  August 21, 2012

          So did I. Of course the First Doctor always made a point of locking the doors behind him when exiting the Tardis, after then no Doctor really seemed to bother much, especially not if it suited the plot, say for a Marshman or Android to get aboard.

          Maybe the Tardis door locks reconfigure along with the interior, and become a self locking system?

  48. nick-pm  August 20, 2012

    Not posted before (please no Virgin comments) but having come late to this project thought I’d say hello. What an enjoyable read it is, though now that I’ve caught up I’m a bit impatient for it to move on! With my all-time fave story coming soon (emphatically not State of Decay) I also feel bizarrely nervous and hope Sue likes it!

    • Mike  August 20, 2012

      Nick – first of all, welcome! Secondly, I am frankly terrified of Sue reviewing my favourite era (McCoy) – I really hope she bucks the general fan consensus (as she is wont to do) and doesn’t judge my favourites too harshly.

      • nick-pm  August 21, 2012

        Thanks – and good luck with the McCoys…!

        • PolarityReversed  August 21, 2012

          You can get pills for the McCoys, you know…

    • solar penguin  August 20, 2012

      No Virgin comments? Can’t we even say that posting here is a New Adventure for you, and before now it had been a Missing Adventure…?

      • nick-pm  August 21, 2012

        Thank you for at least being fairly gentle with me…

  49. Nev Fountain  August 20, 2012

    It always amused me that in order to ‘get rid’ of K9, the script editor had to find a reason to write K9 out each story, so in the end he was featured far more than in season 17. Didn’t think of just keeping him in the TARDIS, Chris?

  50. grufaine  August 20, 2012

    I don’t think Adric is all that bad either. It probably helps that my first exposure to Adric was Black Orchid, which probably has Adric at his most likable. And then my second exposure was Keeper of Traken, and I thought him and Nyssa had a cute flirt-y thing going on when I first saw that. And I’ve always thought Nyssa was so dreamy and awesome. And I think I have a thing for crowded TARDIS teams.

    I started to notice why people dislike Adric after I saw State of Decay and Four to Doomsday, although in Four to Doomsday Tegan is just as if not more annoying so it was really just a bad episode for companions who aren’t Nyssa. Overall though I think Adric is fine, he has his rough patches and cute patches.

  51. Harry  August 20, 2012

    “But we do soon get a bunch of obstreperous teens overseen by a sort of wishy-washy but wise, liberal headmaster figure soon.”

    Hmm, given the Wolverine reference earlier, the New Mutants? Wouldn’t call Professor X or Magneto “wishy-washy”, though… 😉

  52. Robert Dick  August 21, 2012

    Both Tom and Matthew have publicly said they’d like to do Big Finish audios with the other.

    • Richard Lyth  August 21, 2012

      I’d rather hear a Big Finish audio with Tom and Lalla. But they’ve never even done a commentary together, so I doubt that’ll ever happen.

      • Frankymole  August 22, 2012

        They’ve both done bits of “Shada” separately, so maybe they could do a Briggs Finish in separate booths and be edited together…

  53. Paul Mudie  August 22, 2012

    We’re off the map now, and I have no clue what Sue will like or hate. But that’s what makes the blog so much fun!

  54. Roger Byrne  August 23, 2012


    Seeing as Sue liked Richard Willis as Varsh in this and I seem to recall she liked George Cormack in The Time Monster and Planet of the Spiders, and was rightly taken with Patrick Troughton, I have to ask: have you any intention of showing her The Feathered Serpent, if you’ll pardon the expression?