Part One

The Leisure HiveSue: Ooh, new title sequence.

She’s very quick, my wife.

Sue: The theme music is very techno.

Sue thinks any up-tempo electronic music is ‘techno’. She can’t help it.

Sue: Why is Tom Baker snarling? Is he in pain?

I don’t have an answer for that.

Sue: Is somebody torturing him? Hmmm… I’m not sure about these new titles. It’s very eighties, isn’t it? It doesn’t get any more eighties than chrome neon tubing. But I’m sure it will grow on me. You have to move with the times or it would get boring.
Me: I love this version of the theme music.
Sue: You would. You listen to techno bollocks all the time.

The story begins on Brighton beach. The camera pans across some deck chairs. The camera pans across some deck chairs a lot.

The Leisure HiveA quarter of the way through the pan:

Sue: For ****’s sake.


Sue: Are they taking the piss?


Sue: I could have had a shower while this was going on.
Me: They are establishing the hell out of this place.

Somebody is snoring. And it isn’t one of us.

Sue: Has the director fallen asleep?

The camera finally settles on the TARDIS.

Sue: All that for that! Was it worth it? WAS IT? REALLY?

Romana is taking K9 for a lovely walk.

Sue: K9 on pebbles. How did they do that? Wait, don’t tell me, I can see the wire. I’m surprised Romana hasn’t tripped over it.

The Leisure HiveRomana throws a ball into the sea and K9 chases after it. Romana screams.

Sue: Is it the cliffhanger already? I know that pan was long, but was it really twenty minutes long? It felt like it could have been twenty minutes long.

K9 hits the salt water and promptly blows up.

Sue: Noooo!
Me: That’s it. K9’s dead.
Sue: Romana killed K9!

I know I shouldn’t do this but I have to get my kicks where I can find them.

Me: I’m afraid so. We have a new producer called John Nathan-Turner, known as JNT, and he wanted to change everything about the show. New titles, new music –
Sue: This isn’t Dudley?
Me: No. One of the first things JNT did was he took Dudley to a very nice restaurant –
Sue: That’s nice.
Me: And he sacked him over the starter.
: I don’t think I like this JNT character very much. How long does he stay for? I can’t believe he killed off K9. What a ****.
Me: At least K9 got his old voice back just before he died.
Sue: Did he? I didn’t even notice. He wasn’t around long enough for me to notice. The bastards.

The camera zooms out until the Doctor and Romana are framed by animated stars.

Sue: That was different.
Me: You’ll know what they used to do that. It begins with a Q.
Sue: Quantel.
Me: That’s the one.
Sue: Quantel was very expensive. It still is. It must have cost them a fortune.
Me: It was the first time Quantel was used in a BBC drama, I think. Top of the Pops used it a lot as well, of course.
Sue: It hasn’t stood the test of time. It’s very dated. You’d think twice about using that effect on YouTube nowadays.

The Leisure HiveWhen we arrive on the planet Argolis, the first thing Sue notices is Peter Howell’s music.

Sue: I don’t like the incidental music. It isn’t incidental for a start. It sounds like the sort of crap you’d listen to. Tangerine ****ing Dream. I still haven’t forgiven you for taking me to see them in Manchester. Worst gig ever. Ooh, is that Oliver Reed?

She’s referring to Brock, a human broker who is addressing an Argolin named Pangol via a video link.

Sue: I like the aliens’ hair. Do you think they all go to the same hairdressers?

The Argolins have built a Leisure Hive but tourist numbers are down.

Sue: It’s a radioactive Center Parks in the middle of a recession, then?

Argolis is about to go bankrupt and a group of investors want to buy the whole planet.

Sue: It’s Dallas. The young angry one is Bobby Ewing and the old grumpy one is Jock Ewing. I can’t wait to meet JR.

A shuttle craft from Earth arrives on Argolis.

The Leisure HiveSue: The director isn’t in any rush.
Me: I thought you’d like the direction in this one.
Sue: Well, it’s different, but it’s entirely inappropriate for Doctor Who. It’s arty farty when it should be fast-paced and exciting. It’s boring. I mean, what I am supposed to be looking at here? I’ve been staring at it for two minutes and I still don’t know what it is.

Pangol demonstrates his recreation generator, a machine that runs on tachyonics.

Sue: I bet you like this story.
Me: What makes you say that?
Sue: It’s got tachyons in it. You ran a website for 10 years called Tachyon TV. It can’t be a coincidence.
Me: I didn’t get the idea from this.
Sue: Liar.
Me: I stole it from a John Carpenter film. Now shut up and listen.

A volunteer enters the recreation generator and Pangol prepares to manipulate the visitor’s tachyonic image. Or something. Ask Christopher Hamilton Bidmead.

Sue: Why would anyone want pay for a go in that? And if they did, could you imagine the queues? They’ve only got the one cabinet. They haven’t thought this through. I bet they’ve only got one squash court as well. No wonder they are going bankrupt.

The demonstration goes horribly wrong and the Doctor enters the generator to investigate.

The Doctor: He’s terribly hurt.
Sue: Terribly hurt? It ripped his ****ing head off!

Another Argolin, Mena, arrives to take charge of the situation. She believes that experiments into tachyonics could rejuvenate a person.

Sue: Now that’s something I’d happily pay for. Sod the fancy Hall of Mirrors.

The Leisure HiveThe Doctor and Romana explore the generator room, which is littered with plastic mannequins.

Sue: It’s the Autons! Ooh, I’m excited, now.

The Doctor sneaks into the recreation generator when Romana isn’t looking.

Sue: Is this where he regenerates?
Me: Wait and see.

The episode concludes with the Doctor suffering the same fate as the generator’s previous occupant.

Sue: I knew it! Peter Davison here we come!


Part Two

Sue is disappointed when it turns out that the Doctor wasn’t in any real danger (“So why did he scream?”) but the director, Lovett Bickford, soon takes her mind off it.

Sue: Oh no, not this ****ing shot again.

The Leisure HiveThe latest ship to arrive on Argolis is carrying Hardin, a human scientist employed by Mena to help her live longer.

Sue: This is very Babylon 5. The costumes, the hair, the sets, the endless triangles everywhere. The more I watch Doctor Who, the more I’m convinced that Babylon 5 was just ripping it off half the time. It’s been a real eye-opener for me, this.

The Doctor and Romana gaze upon the war-torn surface of Argolis.

The Doctor: It’s beautiful.
Sue: Beautiful? It’s a radioactive dump!

The war that devastated the planet lasted 20 minutes.

Sue: The pan in Part One lasted longer than that.

Not only are the Argolins dying, they can’t reproduce any more, either.

Sue: Ok, so let me get this straight: this race is dying, and they are all sterile, and how do they deal with this? They build some squash courts. What use is that? What kind of legacy is a squash court?

Not for the first time, we see a scaled claw interfering with the Hive’s workings.

Sue: This monster had better be good. They are really building it up to be something special.

The Leisure HiveA man with a goatee beard (Sue manages to restrain herself) finds a human disguise in Brock’s quarters.

Sue: It’s definitely the Autons.

But before he can warn anyone, the man is killed by a clawed beast.

Sue: Seriously, it had better be good.

The Doctor is framed for the murder and placed on trial.

Sue: Arrest the scarf! That’s the first decent joke in the whole story. And we’re halfway through Part Two. That’s not good.

Meanwhile, Romana and Hardin discuss tachyonics. At length.

Sue: You know, I don’t understand a word of this. I can’t put my finger on it, but this story isn’t working for me. Everything is too serious.
Me: This is what happens when you replace your script editor with a scientist. Nicol will love it.

I ask Sue what she makes of the Doctor’s new costume.

Sue: It’s alright, I suppose. I like the colour burgundy. It’s a nice change. I’m not all that keen on the question marks on his lapels, though. It’s the sort of thing the Joker might wear (she means the Riddler, bless her). Maybe it’s the Gallifreyan version of a Lacoste or Ben Sherman logo. That might explain it.

The Leisure HiveHardin and Romana conduct a tachyon experiment.

Sue: Those crystals are so Babylon 5, it’s not even funny.

Their experiment seems to go on longer than ours.


Romana and Hardin think they’ve cracked it, but when they leave the lab, the experiment explodes.

Sue: First rule of science: wait until the experiment is over before you publish your work.

The Argolins decide to test Romana’s breakthrough on the Doctor.

Sue: Okay, so is this where he regenerates?
Me: Yes.
Sue: I knew it!
Sue: So Romana kills K9 and the Doctor? I’m not sure how I feel about that. I still like her, though. Isn’t that strange?

The Leisure HiveWhen the Doctor enters the generator, Sue is on the edge of her seat. Romana tries to stop the procedure but it’s too late. She opens the door.

Sue: That’s not Peter Davison. That’s ****ing Gandalf! And he’s looking down the camera lens again. Dock his pay!


Part Three

Sue: The new music is beginning to grow on me.
Me: What took you so long?
Sue: It’s very confident. The old version of the theme music was scary. This is much more exciting. If only the story could live up to the theme music.

The Leisure HiveThe Doctor has aged hundreds of years.

Sue: The makeup is brilliant. The top of his head is particularly good.

She praises Tom Baker’s performance as an old man, too.

Sue: I bet Tom enjoyed doing this. It must have been a nice challenge for him. He must be bored of doing this by now. I know I am.

Incredibly, Sue believes that the change is permanent.

Sue: Does he stay like this until he becomes Peter Davison? It’s as if we’ve got William Hartnell back again.

The Doctor isn’t very happy about it.

The Doctor: I’m sick of being old.
Sue: Regenerate, then! You can do it any time you feel like it. Romana will show you how. Just close your eyes, concentrate really hard, and look like Peter Davison!

Sue can’t take her eyes off the plastic mannequins.

Sue: I don’t understand what the plastic people have to do with this.
Me: Just let it go. Don’t get hung up about them. They aren’t Autons.
Sue: So what are they?
Me: I don’t know. Modern art, probably.
Sue: No wonder this civilisation is ****ed.

The Leisure HiveLovett Bickford’s direction continues to perplex Sue.

Sue: Some of the shots are quite nice. It’s nice to see some depth of field for a change. The lighting is very effective at times, too. But in the very next scene, everything is over lit. I don’t know what to make of it.

Brock tells the Argolins that their arch-enemies, the Foamasi, are behind the bid for their planet.

Brock: Private enterprise is irrepressible.
Sue: This is so 1980. Nuclear war, private enterprise, squash courts. The only thing missing here is a bloody Rubik’s Cube.

It’s at this point, when we discover that Pangol is really an artificial creation, that Sue finally begins to engage with the plot.

Sue: I’m suddenly very interested in this. That was a very clever twist.

Pangol spies the Doctor skulking by his TARDIS on his CCTV monitor.

Sue: He’s caught a tramp pissing behind some bins.

Pangol sets off the alarm.

Sue: They’re playing ‘On the Run’ by Pink Floyd, now. It’s quite good, actually.

The Leisure HiveAnd then we see our first full-frontal Foamasi.

Sue: Oh dear.
Me: Not impressed?
Sue: Are they supposed to be scary?

The Foamasi communicate by chirruping.

Sue: It’s cute. A newt crossed with a canary. I hope you don’t expect me to be scared of it.

Meanwhile, Mena is dying.

Sue: She’s losing her marbles. It’s a shame, really. I liked her. I wanted to see her on Ten Years Younger.

The Foamasi leads the Doctor and Romana into the conference room, where it immediately attacks Brock.

Sue: Eh? What’s going on?

She can’t work it out for the live of her.

Sue: Is that alien sexually assaulting him?

The Leisure HiveI try to explain as the credits roll.

Sue: So, the broker was a big green alien in disguise? He would have needed one hell of a girdle to pull that off.

Before we begin the final episode, Sue sums up so far:

Sue: I’m intrigued by the plot. It’s got its fair share of flaws but I’m curious to see how it all ends. It’s a huge difference to what we’re used to. Were you surprised when you saw this at – what age would you have been? Ten? Eleven?
Me: Ten. And I didn’t see it.
Sue: Were you still living in New Zealand?
Me: Erm… not quite.
Sue: What do you mean, not quite?
Me: I decided to watch something else instead.
Sue: You must be joking.
Me: I still feel bad about this today but I switched to ITV. They were showing Buck Rogers in the 25th Century at exactly the same time, and because we didn’t have a video recorder well, let’s just say it was a very big decision.
Sue: Buck Rogers? Are you taking the piss?
Me: The trailers made it look amazing! Big budget spaceships – just like in Star Wars – and women in tight-fitting Lycra. What more could a boy ask for?
Sue: You missed Romana in a swim suit.
Me: I know. What was I thinking?
Sue: I didn’t see either of them. I was too busy being sporty.


Part Four

The Leisure HiveSue: What are these things called again?
Me: The Foamasi.
Sue: How do you remember all these silly names?
Me: This one is very easy. It’s name is an anagram of something else. Can you work it out?

That’ll shut her up for a bit.

The Foamasi imprisons Brock and his accomplice in a cocoon.

Sue: That’s a good a use as any for loft insulation, I guess.

Mira is still dying.

Sue: Is it something to do with a sofa?
Me: What?
Sue: My sofa? The anagram. I need to see it written down.
Me: It’s Mafioso.
Me: Wait… that doesn’t even work.

Pangol intends to raise an army with his re-creation generator, and the Doctor intends to stop him.

The Leisure HiveSue: He’ll **** it up and turn into Peter Davison!

As the army of Pangols exit the generator to bombastic militaristic music, Sue starts singing “Quantel! Quantel!” at the top of her voice.

But it doesn’t take her long to notice that the Pangols come in different shapes and sizes.

Sue: That one is a fun-sized Pangol.

She loves their head-gear, though.

Sue: I like their helmets. Its design reminds me of the Cylons from Battlestar. Actually, some of the ideas in this – like the army of identical replicas – is very Battlestar as well. Everyone is ripping off Doctor Who!

It turns out that the clones are copies of the Doctor, not Pangol.

The Leisure HiveSue: I bet Tom Baker wasn’t very happy when he saw the costume he’d have to wear in this scene.

Pangol tries again but the Doctor has –

Sue: Reversed the polarity, I bet. And I bet the baddie will turn into a baby as well. He’s a big baby already.

She’s right, of course, and Mena promises to bring Pangol up better this time.

Sue: Put him on the naughty step whenever he tries to take over the universe. That might help.

The Doctor isn’t concerned that he doesn’t possess a Randomiser any more.

Sue: I bet the Black Guardian turns up in the next one. I could write this, you know.

The Doctor and Romana return to their TARDIS.

The Leisure HiveThe Doctor: I’m missing K9.
Sue: So am I! They didn’t even bury him. They went on a ****ing holiday instead!

The TARDIS dematerilises.

Sue: Can he steer his TARDIS properly, now?
Me: Yes.
Sue: So the story hasn’t been a complete waste of time, then.


The Score

Sue: I took a mark off as soon as they killed K9 –
Me: K9 isn’t dead.
Sue: Oh. Good.

And then she punched me – very hard – on the arm.

Sue: That’s for lying to me again. A cushion isn’t enough.
Me: Sorry.
Sue: Okay, even though K9 isn’t dead, it’s still only just above average. The monsters didn’t do anything for me. What was the point of them? They were a pointless distraction. The sets looked cheap when all the studio lights were switched on, and the direction, although very interesting, was up its own arse at times. The best things about this story were the costumes, the hair and some of the ideas in the script. It’s probably Tom’s best performance for a while, too. But, at the end of the day, it was too much style and not enough substance.



Coming Soon




  1. Neowhovian  August 14, 2012

    “This is what happens when you replace your script editor with a scientist. Nicol will love it.”

    Ummm… As a trained astrophysicist myself, I can’t say the “science” here (or in pretty much any other story) makes me love it. More like, I love it in spite of the so-called science…

    • PolarityReversed  August 15, 2012

      Yup. More tacky than tachyon…

      • PolarityReversed  August 15, 2012

        Seems like the appropriate time and place to ask:

        Do any of the esteemed Whooby-Doobians hereabouts have any insight into why they decided against using faces in the titles when they rebooted?

        I mean, the Tardis being flushed down the loo or battered about by lightning is all very well, but it’s just not the same really, is it?

  2. Paul Gibbs  August 14, 2012

    I think getting Sue through this season is going to be a struggle as she adjusts to the sudden turn in style and content. I know i do.

  3. Fuschia Begonia  August 14, 2012

    Oh that would explain why I stopped watching Doctor Who around this point in time: Gil Gerrard…

  4. Mike  August 14, 2012

    Oh good, next update is on results day! Have a feeling I’ll need a pck-me-up…

  5. Tom N  August 14, 2012

    Quite right with “up its own arse at times”. I love its shiny new direction, concept album music and ambition. But really, it’s not much of a script. A great new start to the season though, eh?

    • Frankymole  August 16, 2012

      …and I thought Sue liked David Fisher’s work…

  6. Bryan Simcott  August 14, 2012

    too much style over substance is the best description ive heard of this .

    This nearly did me in , but I couldnt stand Buck rogers though, so Doctor who keept me going . loylty is my middle name .

    Bidmead Reads his own Book of Logopolis for this in the Target books range and its as dead as a dead thing. flat, and dull and boring. just like most of this season. (baring two stories, which are by old hands and new blood)

  7. encyclops  August 14, 2012

    I always enjoyed this one, though it’s definitely not one of my very favorites. 6/10 seems quite fair.

    It’s hard to top the title sequence we’ve had up to this point, but honestly I really love this one and totally agree with Neil on the theme. The logo is awful, yes, but really the only one I’ve loved unconditionally was the Pertwee version that ended up on all the BBC books, and that includes the new series logos.

    And I must have seen this a dozen times, once even recently, and I can’t believe I never noticed how deeply RTD mined this for the three Slitheen episodes in Season “One.” Not just the Foamasi stuffed into human suits, but the Baby Take Two moment. Of all the stories to rip off….

  8. Takanocraig  August 14, 2012

    Ha – I gave up Doctor Who for Buck Rogers, too! I remember arguing with a friend in the playground that it was way better than Doctor Who. I learned my lesson when Peter Davison took over and have been addicted ever since (apart from a blip in the Sylvester McCoy days, and even though I had made it through the Colin Baker days).

    • Dave Sanders  August 14, 2012

      Meh, I never bought the whole Buck Rogers concept. A 500-year-old man who is naturally shit-hot at space-age technology long after his time? Has anyone tried teaching their granddad the internets lately?

      • PolarityReversed  August 15, 2012

        Now, Cartman, on the other hand…

  9. Gavin Noble  August 14, 2012

    In my house Buck Rogers never got a look in – we all had a favourite programme we could watch without anyone else complaining and Doctor Who was – and still is – mine.

    At six I didn’t think anything about the new titles but I was a bit upset at K9 being blown up.

    Average story really.

  10. Warren Andrews  August 14, 2012

    Well I can see the aspect that Sue didn’t like but I still rate this highly, it’s beautiful substance up its own arse. David Fisher started this as a much funnier script with JNT before Bidmead arrived and removed all the jokes. Love the music, the visuals, the costumes, make up and the guest cast. Tom isn’t very focused until he caused to age.

  11. Dave Sanders  August 14, 2012

    Nightmare Of Eden is the first story to use Quantel, not The Leisure Hive – another reason why (a) JN-T would have accomplished NoE with more aplomb in season 18, and (b) Alan Bromly had next to no chance of actually ‘getting’ it.

  12. Jim Sangster  August 14, 2012

    Y’know, it’s possible to recite the titles of every story prior to The Leisure Hive in the time between the end of the opening titles and the first spoke word in episode 1?

  13. Andrew Flegg  August 14, 2012

    Not sure I’ve ever seen it, but according to the video on the Internetz of Part One: 1 minute, 30 seconds. The longest single pan I’ve ever seen with no content (apart from a new TARDIS).

    And to think Joss Whedon was proud of the uninterrupted tracking shot *with* content in Serenity. I bet it was only half as long. And gave all the backstory necessary for the entire TV series.

  14. Steve Trimingham  August 14, 2012

    Confession time.

    I also abandoned Tom for Gil at this point. The prodigal son, tempted by the gaudy bauble of much higher budgeted American tele.

    I even went to the local Gaumont to see Buck Rogers on the big screen (living room sized screen 3 in reality).

    Still, at least I didn’t suffer and anuerysm or chew off a limb trying to get through that first bloody shot!

    I watched this for the first time a couple of years ago and had the same reaction as Sue. Self indulgent just doesn’t cover it!

    Good luck with the rest of the season and prepapre to get your Bidmead on.

    Admired for his pomposity, but not his grasp of dramatic narrative.

  15. Glen Allen  August 14, 2012

    Now then, then , now, now, then
    I was looking forward to this one to see what reaction the new changes would get.
    Strangely it took someones tweet today to make me realise that starting a bold new look for an exciting action adventure show with a long slow pan of a beach, and with the lead character asleep probably wasnt the best way to do it .

    I love this season for the most part, but the first two stories are quite dull. I think it was the new lick of paint that got me excited.
    The strange thing is I think I prefer the previous story to this one…in fact I know I do and have revisited Nimon more the TLH.
    Oh dear. I’m a bit confused

  16. John S. Hall  August 14, 2012

    Well, I’m glad to see that this story didn’t get the kicking that I thought it would… ๐Ÿ™‚

    After the general tattiness of Season 17, back in the day I found Season 18 to be a breath of fresh air, glossed over with a patina of professionalism. Now, though, I can see where they reigned things in too far, especially on the humour front.

    I still have an inordinate fondness for this story, however — I just adore the direction, and wish that Lovett Bickford hadn’t gone over budget/time so that he could’ve done more stories. Ah, well!

  17. John Callaghan  August 14, 2012

    Still great to read!

    Does Sue listen to Glen’s trailers? Are they vetted for spoilers?

    • Neil Perryman  August 14, 2012

      She is not allowed to listen to Glen. Poor Sue.

      • Glen Allen  August 14, 2012

        Im not entirely sure anyone should listen to my trailers ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Dave Sanders  August 15, 2012

          Will Sue be in chronic hysterics by midway through episode two?

        • Neowhovian  August 15, 2012

          Come now, they’re completely entertaining in their own right! ๐Ÿ˜€

        • Jamie  August 17, 2012

          Quite right.
          I listened to one, and that was enough.
          Got the gist and haven’t bothered since.

  18. Philip Ayres  August 14, 2012

    It always cracks me up when Hardin narrates the recording of the time experiment that Nigel Lambert uses his Look Around You voice……

    • Matt Sharp  August 15, 2012

      It may be referenced in Look Around You itself with Problem 3 of the Maths Module – Queen Elizabeth IV has a similar haircut to The Experimental Subject.

      Bizarrely, Nigel Lambert briefly stood in for Neil inside my head for this bit:

      ‘Me: This one is very easy. Itโ€™s name is an anagram of something else. Can you work it out?’

      I got ‘I am sofa’ or ‘is a foam’. Troughton reference, I tell you.

      • Dave Sanders  August 15, 2012

        “One might ask the same about sofas. What ARE sofas? We just don’t know.”

  19. Broadshoulder2  August 14, 2012

    And so the JNT puritan commonwealth begins. I have to say this is one of my least favourites. Sue got it right ‘style over substance’ and the plot is incomprehensible. I am glad for this blog as I can finally follow the story which isnt very interesting anyway.

    And, yes, I defected to Buck Rogers as well..


  20. Siobhan Gallichan  August 14, 2012

    Ah, you’re joining me on my annual series 18 watch. I do so love it. All the leaves, the colours…… sheer bliss. All of it. Yes, it has its problems, but I do so love it.

    • Wildean  August 14, 2012

      It has a bouquet.

    • Iphran Ghejuman  August 15, 2012

      Siobhan – I knew your name sounded familiar, we have mutual friend in Miss Cummins.

      I’m very fond of Season 18 too, I’m not sure why people have so much of a downer on it. It *is* a downer in places, of course, but that’s surely part of the patchwork of Doctor Who. The show’s silliest season followed by its most glum. What other programme could pull off a mood-change as radical as that?

  21. Bob Gallagher  August 14, 2012

    This was the very first Doctor Who story that I watched, way back in 1981. The public television station in Chicago, Illinois, USA, edited the four episodes together to show the lot in one 90-ish minute lump. The broadcasts started at 11 pm on Sunday night, which made for a rather rough start to the school week. Despite the weaknesses of this (and the next) story, I stuck with it…

  22. Thomas Bush  August 14, 2012

    Love the theme tune as well. I have the old 45 and played it endlessly back in the day. B-side (The Astronauts) wasn’t too bad either. Not a big fan of Baker’s last season, I’m afraid. Looking forward to Davison as much as Sue. Out with the old, in the new…

  23. John G  August 14, 2012

    “Everything is too serious.”

    Uh oh… It’s been fascinating reading Sue’s reactions to the new look, though I fear she is not as enthusiastic about it as me! I really like Season 18, as it is arguably the most thematically unified season of the classic show. The central themes of change, decay and renewal are all very much present in this story, and I think quite powerfully conveyed. The glossy new production values are also very welcome after the cheapness of the Williams era, and the suddenly subdued Tom gives a striking performance. It’s easy to say this with the benefit of hindsight, but from the moment we first see him it feels that this is the beginning of the end for the fourth Doctor, who suddenly seems older and tired (Tom’s mystery illness doubtless helps with that impression). Say what you like about JNT, but I think his initial impact was a positive one – if he had left after a couple of years he would probably now be much better regarded.

    I’m glad Howell’s theme music is growing on Sue, as both it and the starfield title sequence (with Peter’s face) make up my earliest and fondest memories of the show. Sue’s obvious impatience to see Peter is very amusing, but I fear Neil that if you continue to tease her like this you might end up in hospital…

  24. Iphran Ghejuman  August 15, 2012

    I can see what the director was *trying* to go for with that opening shot – something epic and cinematic like Lawrence Of Arabia – even if he had no idea how to pull it off. It’s perfectly possible to pull off something attractive on 16mm if you know what you’re doing… panning across a row of chair-backs, flattened out by being in full zoom, is never going to be very exciting.

    I wonder why I have no childhood memory of any Doctor Who between City Of Death and Full Circle (both of those are very vivid in my mind); nothing again for State Of Decay; then everything else afterwards. It certainly wasn’t through watching Gil! Blake’s 7 seems to have made a much bigger impression on the nipper version of me.

    I like the austerity of Season 18… it has a spookiness befitting early 80s kids TV. You need a doomy quality when things are coming to an end. Looking forward to what Sue thinks when things start to get really eerie and solemn.

  25. Longtime Listener  August 15, 2012

    “I donโ€™t think I like this JNT character very much. How long does he stay for?”


    • charles yoakum  August 15, 2012

      i know, that should be on a mug. I almost lost it when sue said that one.

  26. Tim Cook  August 15, 2012

    “It’s all too serious” – yes, and this, and the dreary new music and titles came as quite a shock to the 8-year-old me. The general audience deserted Who for Buck in droves, I think the audience figures were down by around 50% for the previous season and arguably, Classic Who was struggling from here on.

  27. PolarityReversed  August 15, 2012

    Your cartoon TV titles are going to be a bit visually boring for a while, aren’t they?
    I thouight this was flashy, insubstantial rubbish at the time, and I still do. It was the beginning of the end for me.

  28. encyclops  August 15, 2012

    At the time this went out I was a 6-year-old American. I dimly recall Buck Rogers as being the Love Boat with robots. I’m not sure why. You’d think I would have liked it, but I guess I was too busy with the Hulk and Wonder Woman. We’re still two or three years away from my cousin giving me the Pinnacle editions of The Android Invasion and The Dinosaur Invasion, and my subsequent brainwashing by Harlan Ellison’s introduction and the prose of Dicks and Hulke.

  29. Mark Postgate  August 15, 2012

    I bloody hate the eighties theme music (all of them) and have to fast forward to the opening of each episode whenever I watch an eighties episode. Nasty brash and spangly – the music before was scary, the eighties music was just tacky. Strangely though I don’t remember seeing it until Full Circle, so possibly I was lured away by Buck Rogers for a bit as well. I seem to remember Doctor Who was at some point in competition with the A-Team as well, and I considered anyone who watched the A-Team to be a traitor as a result – when was that?

    • John G  August 15, 2012

      That was a few years later, during Colin’s reign. I was among those that abandoned Who in disgust at the time, though I never watched The A-Team. I think we were too busy having dinner…

      • Neowhovian  August 15, 2012

        Yeah. According to imdb, The A-Team ran from 1983-1987.

    • PolarityReversed  August 15, 2012

      I hate the 80s titles too. Can’t be an accident that they went back past them for reboot purposes.
      Ah, the A Team. These guys have been resourceful enough to infiltrate our operation and find out our plan, so let’s lock them up in a fully kitted-out machine shop and warehouse while we fartarse around for long enough for them to build a tank. Fun.

      Actually, a bit Blue Peter, if you think about it…

      • encyclops  August 16, 2012

        I was going to post a longer comment, but realized I was probably the only one who cared. I’ll just say briefly that I think the New Who title sequences are the worst elements of the new show, and while the themes, visuals, and logos are not the worst the series has ever had, they’re pretty close as far as I’m concerned.

  30. James C  August 15, 2012

    No competition from Buck Rogers here in Australia when this first aired in 1981, and no temptation for this 10 year old to switch over to commercial TV news!

    And there was no reason why I should. I still remember the thrill that the new music & title sequence gave me. It had an energy and sheer newness that really spoke to me. And then it was topped off for the closing sequence, and that extraordinary BOOM at the end. Blew my socks off.

    I can’t remember much about my response to the show that screened between those two events – but I think that as it all seemed more serious and was not entirely comprehensible it was a bit more grown up! And therefore to be watched.

    My reaction last time I watched it was rather different! After the energy of the opening I laughed myself silly at the long tracking shot. Whatever else it may be, following the shiny new titles with that was the last moment of wit in this story. Actually the second last – the snoring Doctor was the punchline.

    • Frankymole  August 16, 2012

      I don’t know. Floating through the zero-G squash game – Romana clinging on to the Doc’s scarf, the squash players oblivious – is quite funny, as is the squalling little Pangol (some things never change). Some nice digs at voracious private enterprise too.

  31. Penny Carter  August 15, 2012

    I rather enjoyed Sue trashing this one. And I like this story. My favourite line has to be:

    “Terribly hurt? It ripped his ****ing head off!”

  32. Ritch Ludlow  August 15, 2012

    Can’t wait for Keeper of Traken.

  33. Richard C.  August 15, 2012

    “A man with a goatee beard (Sue manages to restrain herself) finds a human disguise in Brockโ€™s quarters.”

    Is that Gordon Freeman?

  34. chris-too-old-too-watch  August 15, 2012

    Well, boys and girls, it didn’t take long for the JNT complaining to start did it?
    This season still ranks as one of the best for me: just the change in style, design and overall look was such a fresh change to the ballcocks of the last season. JNT stayed too long – no arguement there, but at least at the beginning his reign (not necessarily him) had originality. Tom Baker also probably stayed too long, but at least we get this season as his finale.
    This story may have been very complex and not obvious, but at least it started (for me) to become something that I could happily watch in the TV room at University without feeling embarassed.

    • PolarityReversed  August 15, 2012

      TV room at University!

      There used to be a payphone in the hall too. Can’t ever have had much money in it, since most calls were: “call me back!” during the pips…

      • chris-too-old-too-watch  August 16, 2012

        Been there, done that.
        re TV room. Remember how bad it got when Who was moved to mid-week: had to arrive earlier and earlier so the ITV soap fans wouldn’t hog the box.

        • PolarityReversed  August 19, 2012

          At least the ITV soap fans wouldn’t have been doing a degree in ITV soaps…

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

            Thankfully media studies was still several years away as a subject

  35. SparkyMarky  August 15, 2012

    I didn’t see this until it was released on VHS in 1997 (?). At that time I’d not seen any of Season 18 (I ended up getting ‘Traken’ and ‘Logopolis’ from eBay a year or three later) . So I nearly wet myself when I saw and heard the familar Peter Davison theme and starfield opening credits with a Tom Baker face. I had NO idea. It still makes me grin when I see Tom’s face on that background with that music!

  36. Thomas  August 15, 2012

    Personally I’m a huge fan of the Bidmead season, but yeah, 6/10 is a perfectly fair score for this particular story. Really, I think it’s just that they went in with a very definite plan for what to do throughout the season, but were a bit overzealous initially in what to do with the existing story. Thus we get a David Fisher script that, based on his previous efforts, probably would’ve been great, but has all the humor sucked dry and Bidmead’s style applied in a way that at this point is too awkward to really work.

    It smooths out later on, though, and I personally think it ends up being quite marvelous. There’s a very slick professionalism about it all- they came in with a definite plan on what to do and how to do it, and the end result is possibly the only classic season that feels like the entire thing was planned from the beginning. Interesting, though, considering what would end up happening with the next major script editor.

  37. STEVEN  August 15, 2012

    I am tired of hearing Sue saying ‘when’s he regenerating’. Audiences back then would of known it would be end of i can’t see why you can’t tell her this.
    Also, Shada..should be watched..afterall…have you not watched plenty of episodes – ’60s – which were ‘lost’ and now been found…ok so they may of been broadcast back then so i cant argue with that but even so…the fact Shada has been ‘restored’ so to speak it deserves a watch as its a good show.

    • Graeme  August 15, 2012

      No,viewers didn’t know that Tom was leaving at all at this point. It was not announced until the day before ep 1 of “Full Circle”, while Tom was filming “Warriors Gate”.

      • Neil Sullivan  August 15, 2012

        And even later than that; I was watching Keeper of Traken and Logopolis knowing he would regenerate soon, but not knowing when it would happen. I was only eight at the time though.

  38. STEVEN  August 15, 2012

    Out of interest…. you ever thought of compiling all these ‘reviews’ and some of the viewers comments into a book. Afterall theres a nostalgic interest there..people now mentioning Buck Rodgers…and coming up the ’80s..Knight Rider, A-Team…Corronation Street being the pull during the Slyvester years!!

    Plenty of internet-books around, using this ‘new’ technology enlisting peoples views…bringing back to life a subject like this but in a whole new way..which by and large you and your wife have achieved..small critisms aside it does have the potential for a half-decent coffee table style book…if so, include plenty of photos…from the show..key moments like what you have done on your site.

  39. Dave Sanders  August 15, 2012

    Eyes down, look in. Clash of styles, part two…

    Okay, so we’ve established that in terms of tone, visual style and concept, Nightmare of Eden and one season 18 story feel the wrong way round and should, ideally, have been made by the other production team; then everything would have suddenly made a lot more sense. We’ve also established that the other story isn’t Meglos, since it’s basically a load of old tropes without the heart to fit into the Williams / Adams model of Who in the first place. So which is it? If NoE is a jokey, light-hearted treatment of a serious story with some fundamentally nasty ideas in it, then which is the polar opposite – taking itself way too seriously and sombrely without ever realising it should lighten up and laugh at itself a bit?

    Well it’s obvious now that I’ve pointed it out in those terms, isn’t it?

    I’m surprised Sue didn’t pick up on this given her insight into The Space Museum, but The Leisure Hive is clearly supposed to be a comedy, only nobody’s told the right people. Mind you, The Space Museum didn’t also try to cover it up under so much surface gloss. And *this* is why The Leisure Hive is so frequently described as style over subtance, because that substance should be the humour, and it either hasn’t been developed or has been hidden in plain sight, right from the very start. The Doctor snoring at the end of a pretentious directorial flourish is the punchline to a joke. K-9’s accidental pyrotechnics aren’t much different to contracting laryngitis during *that* regeneration last season, only Romana is screaming instead of slapping her head and going ‘dohhhhhhh’. If Dudley had overlaid the scene with ‘I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside’ instead of Peter Howell, the yocks couldn’t have been more obvious.

    And so it goes. Just about every single ‘why’ that Sue brings up can be explained away with the simple reply of ‘because it’s meant to be funny’. The Argolins creating a tatty theme park as a war memorial (out of what, exactly?), trying and failing to raise revenue that, at face value, they couldn’t possibly live to spend, is a proper comedy setup. Bean-bag lizards who represent intergalactic organized crime is such an Adams/Williams idea that it hurts, regardless of how proud Christopher H. Bidmead is of the ‘Mafiosa’ anagram. Brock’s ‘skin’ hanging up in the wardrobe is played for all the spookiness the direction can muster, but it’s not scary as Sue rightly points out, because it’s also conceptually hilarious, as is the idea that one of those silly things could fit in the skin in the first place, and why it should even bother.

    Let’s finish off by taking a look at the background to this planet. A 20-minute nuclear war that left a radioactive wasteland with the survivors sterile and prone to spontaneous mutations. Civilisation has been destroyed, leadership breaks down with administrators popping off almost at random, but they try to continue with their normal jobs despite being manifestly ill-equpped to cope at this point. At the end, the future of the race is eventually secured by an implausible use of technology it was never designed for, after innumerable failures and an utterly abnormal gestation that eventually goes badly wrong; and stable leadership once again rises out of the mess – although nobody watching with any sense of detachment is reassured for a moment.

    You see? This IS a black comedy, and that comedy is The Bed-Sitting Room by Spike Milligan. The background to each is point-for-point identical, and as a protege of the Pythons, who were themselves influenced by the Goons, Douglas Adams would have certainly been aware of this, assuming he didn’t come up with the brief himself for David Fisher to write. But now Adams has left the building, and the new regime either isn’t in on the same gag, or never cared for it in the place, so we get long stretches of PEOPLE DOING SCIENCE in lieu of any actual jokes that should be there. The Leisure Hive isn’t a bad story all in all, but it’s a dated curiosity piece; it feels wrong not for being the faltering first step of the JN-T era, but because it’s simply not the story that was written.

    • Thomas  August 16, 2012

      Yeah, allegedly the only real changes they made to the script (besides the shift in somewhat-accurate science) was they removed almost all the jokes. They get a good balance in the season later on, but here it’s like they were just being a bit overzealous with their changes.

    • encyclops  August 16, 2012

      This is brilliant. Almost TOO brilliant.

  40. DamonD  August 15, 2012

    Sue dealt with the switchover pretty well, even felt a bit more generous towards Leisure than I normally do.
    I’m a fan of Season 18 but I don’t think it starts well, you can see they’re trying to find their feet.

    We’re getting close to the first Who I ever saw now, just 4 more stories to go yet…

  41. Paul Mc Elvaney  August 15, 2012

    For bizzare reasons, this was one of the very first classic serials I saw. I can only remember the episode 1 cliffhanger (still gives me goosebumps to this day) and instantly falling in love with Romana. I wasn’t overly impressed with everything else though. Thank god I saw Pyramids of Mars shortly after and realised the genius of the classic series!

  42. Paul Mudie  August 15, 2012

    The strange thing is that I loved Buck Rogers in the 25th Century too (Erin Grey in spandex. Hmmmm!), but I don’t remember ever missing Doctor Who for it! I wonder if it might have been on at a different time in Scotland? We certainly didn’t have a VCR at that time.

    As for the Leisure Hive, I could never get to grips with it. It’s all such a muddle and so very 80s. 6 is probably a point or two more than I’d give it.

    • John Williams  August 15, 2012

      Doctor Who only directly clashed with Buck Rogers up until the end of Meglos after which Who was shunted back to the 5.10 slot, or thereabouts, to try and prevent the ratings tanking any further. So you still had plenty of opportunity to watch both.

    • Graeme Robertson  August 15, 2012

      it wasn’t at a different time in Scotland as I recall. Though as of ep 2 I remember having to switch quickly to BBC One after “Metal Mickey” on ITV. Some weeks I missed the very beginning of the early season 18 episodes (not that I was much bothered during “Meglos”, by far the worst story despite the fragrant Jackie).

  43. Paul Mudie  August 15, 2012

    Oh, and I think you’re quite right to skip Shada. It wasn’t broadcast on the telly and therefore has no place in the experiment.

  44. Simon  August 15, 2012

    I watched Buck Rogers too…I sort of hopped between the two sides and tried to watch both at once. I HATED the new music and Intro…It was just too eighties and electronic …like someone had discovered a Casio Organ and was going to use it come what may, even though it was obviously terrible. I disliked Toms gloomy drab costume, and compared to the fun and jokey Tom of the last two years (City of Death etc) it just was too much of a change. I disliked JNT as a producer…just because he was now in charge, it became a case of ” Right I am now in charge I dont care whats been done before, its all changing to what I want, because I am in charge and I know best , its all about ME, ME , ME and if you dont like it you know what you can do….” And people did, they changed channel. I loved Tom Bakers Doctor. He was the best. To see him get so old, and tired between seasons was sad. What was his illness? When did he have it? Anyone know? Peter Davidson was just ok…I find I like him better now than I did at the time, because lets face it, who ever they got it was going to be very hard to follow Tom. After just got worse and worse… It cant have just been my opinion only because people stopped watching, then the producers stopped putting in the effort and it all just became an embarrassing mess until it was cancelled. Very Sad. Still…its all back and better than ever now…not long to go till Mat Smith is back on!

  45. tom_harries  August 15, 2012

    All you people saying you switched to Buck Rogers, consider yourselves lucky! I got packed off to boarding school during this story and missed half the season. The next time I saw a story from start to finish would have been ‘Four to Doomsday’.

  46. CJJC  August 15, 2012

    Hello, JNT! Hello, Peter Howell! Hello, Jesus H. Bidmead! Hello, question marks?

    Year zero indeed but I do quite like The Leisure Hive. And whenever those words are uttered, there’s usually a bit of spamming that I do, but I’ll refrain from that right now.

  47. Charlie  August 15, 2012

    Re Paul – SHADA should be given a look-see. Period. What exactly is ‘the experiment’ anyhooo. To sti through all broadcast Who episodes. Prey tell me then why the Cushing movies were consumed? They were movies. They made of been later broadcast on the telly but how is that different to watching SHADA seeing as Baker himself appeared in the narration to tie up the loose ends and was released on VHS.

    End of the day it is a DrWho episode – filmed as part of Bakers reign. And to that end the likes of the LP Who and the Pestagons should also be given a listen and marked accordingly.

    • PolarityReversed  August 15, 2012

      I wouldn’t have even done the Cushings myself.

      Why don’t they do the computer ads too:

      They too were filmed during *Baker’s* reign. They may *have* only been broadcast on US TV, but *pray* tell me why not?

    • Dan  August 15, 2012

      If they were going to watch the Baker version of Shada, it should be when it came out. I didn’t see it until last year! That’s a thirty years wait and I can promise you I was very disappointed at the time.

      It’s very nice we’re going back to Saturday Autumn season premiere’s – the first since 1986 and that was the first since ’81.

      • PolarityReversed  August 15, 2012

        Yup. I was a pretty devoted Who-type person at the time (though not for long after), and I didn’t even hear of Shada’s existence til years later.

        Agreed – Dr Who should be an Autumn thing. Glad they’re not considering anything really stupid, like, oh I don’t know, broadcasting it on Tuesdays and Thursdays as though it were some kind of soap…

        Must go and water my yucca plant now.

        • Thomas  August 16, 2012

          Broadcasting it as a soap probably would’ve been smart had they actually tried to make it at all like a soap.

      • Graeme  August 16, 2012

        Actually it’s the first since last year, not since 1986. And Autumn began for BBC in 1975 as well as 1980 too. Plus all of Jon & Peter’s seasons skipped Autumn entirely, with Jon’s regularly running into June. Self-styled traditionalists are on a hiding to nothing. The show didn’t start airing in July & August under RTD @ The Moff, it was from the 1st series
        1981 didn’t have an Autumn series either.

        • Dan  August 16, 2012

          Yes the season was split but not a season premiere. I think not non-Autumnal transmission during Davison part of what I’m saying. Was aware it didn’t always but it was all I remembered being born in ’71. I think it’s appropriate. Not sure what “Self-styled traditionalists are on a hiding to nothing” means?

          • Graeme Robertson  August 16, 2012

            Series which began in “Autumn” (not counting those that began in August or December for this purpose & for season purists):


            and possibly the new series, which if I count it makes a grand total of 14 out of 33 series – a fairly clear minority, so not a tradition at all is what I’m saying.

            Those that favour the ‘dark months’ tradition are on better ground, though most of the individual series that transmitted in ‘dark months’ also screened in ‘light months’, i.e on the ‘wrong’ side of the autumn or spring equinoxes, so it’s a bit of a fan myth.

          • Dan  August 16, 2012

            Still, my original statement, about season premieres on a Saturday, was absolutely true, and if it’s a subjective feeling about it I have about the scheduling, I’m happy with that too.

        • John Williams  August 16, 2012

          I don’t have strong feelings about Doctor Who being transmitted in the dark months, but I don’t agree with the way you’re looking at it. During the classic run of Doctor Who *every* season had roughly (I said roughly) half or all of the episodes transmitted during the dark months. Aside from the Christmas specials and Waters of Mars, *all* of the new series has been transmitted during the light months.

          What older fans remember isn’t anything to do with whether or not each season began in Autumn, they just remember watching a significant amount of episodes when it was dark outside. With the new series that has never happened. That’s just a fact, so not a fan myth at all.

          • Graeme Robertson  August 16, 2012

            Well I don’t disagree with what you’re saying there, and I’m 46 anyway.

            Of course, even if the next 5 episodes start on 1st September, rather than 25 August (the show is still not in the BBC PI for either day, though both are available now) then the latest they will conclude is 29 September, well before the autumnal equinox and keeping up this Nu-Who tradition ๐Ÿ˜‰

            I thought Dan was just well off the mark, though now it seems to be about transmitting on a Saturday, so I’m!

          • Dan  August 16, 2012

            I brought Autumn, Saturday and season premieres into it. I didn’t say anything about percentages over the course of the whole series! But there is a perception there and John Williams has probably quantified it for the whole course of the series.

          • Leo  August 16, 2012

            There’s also the consideration, which tends to get glossed over, of how dark is dark? “A dark night” doesn’t necessarily have to mean “absolutely pitch black outside”, yet there’s a tendency for fans to discount anything which isn’t the latter as qualifying. Even an evening where the light has simply grown very dim outside has a very different ambience from a bright summer one with clear sunshine.

            I remember thinking about this last year, and as I recall, by the time Night Terrors and The Girl Who Waited ended, the skies had already grown quite dark, at least from where I was watching.

          • Dan  August 16, 2012

            Indeed. I wonder what the discussions about this on Gallifrey Base are like…

    • Glen Allen  August 16, 2012

      Errm Peter Cushings films were broadcast on TV. SHADA was not.
      DALEKS 2150 AD was reviewed as an extra treat for us ( a DVD extra if you will) since Neil was out that night.. Sue watched it on her own.
      I give up

      • PolarityReversed  August 16, 2012

        re Pestagons:
        I vaguely recall a heated childhood discussion with someone banging on about the Pescatons, and me adamantly insisting that there was no such monster. I now realise I was right and wrong. But mostly right. Keep doing the inserts – they’re fun.

        Three bickering teens in space with a prefect wasn’t soapy? Well, we got Tegan’s aunt wosserface tossed in momentarily, I suppose, but at least we didn’t get the RTD-equivalent “like we care” thread of Adric’s mum pashing on passing marsh-hunks, cyberdudes &c and waving a metaphorical rolling-pin around, etc.

  48. Bryan Simcott  August 15, 2012

    Shada is a non broadcast story with some film elements left and scraps of studio . Its nothing more then an outtake reel or studio/film rushes to me

    The story i very poor and if whon as per shedule would have passed into history as third or forth in the season its only got the intrest in it because it was disrupted and never shown.

    the plots rubbish and the costumes (especialy skagra are very 70`s and very poor. )

    leave it to die alone in the vualts (thats why it will go on the legacy boxed set as an extra )

    • PolarityReversed  August 15, 2012

      Also agreed. From what I’ve seen, the only thing it has going for it is the halo of “what might have been”. The lost story.
      To quote a near contemporary reference (actually a couple of years later, I think):
      “SHADA – pa – you face.”

      • Dan  August 15, 2012

        I think it would have been the second best in the season personally. Most of what was filmed takes place in Professor Chronotis’s office, so inevitable gets a bit samey. I watched between reading the original script, which has considerably more variety and promise.

        Also what we have was a newly commissioned score, not Dudley’s music, which would again have made all the difference. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • PolarityReversed  August 15, 2012

          Beg to differ. I may be wrong, but I vaguely recall scenes of Tom struggling to control a bicycle and a punt, and poor old Chris Neame poncing about in the fens dressed up like the Teflon Kid.
          Not promising. Dudley, however, I will miss.

          • Dan  August 16, 2012

            Yes the first couple of episodes are almost complete and a lot (?) of the location shooting in Cambridge was done, and you can see a sense of space that rivals City. A couple spaceship scenes are done. But after that it’s mostly the study, and just a little bit of field with invisible spaceship. Reading the script alongside you see all the important scenes between the Doctor and Skagra on the spaceship are unfilmed, and those on Shada along with other stuff which would have added variety are unfilmed.

  49. Paul Lenkic  August 16, 2012

    6/10 is generous.

  50. STEVEN  August 16, 2012

    Re – Polarity –

    Quote:” I wouldnโ€™t have even done the Cushings myself”

    But the facto is THEY did review the Cushings therefore by ego should be reviewing Shada. Your computer ads however is..well you know yourself your just putting the worm on the hook..

  51. Neil Perryman  August 16, 2012

    They finished the Dalek movies.

    • Charlie  August 16, 2012

      Quote: ” They finished the Dalek movies”…you are now ‘reviewing’ only things which have been finished! sounds like those goalposts have moved somewhat…in which case we can expect a Pestagons review some time shortly? It was finished during Baker era .

      Im not suggesting you ‘review’ the lastest Baker ‘Lost stories’ – as class as they indeed are I can appreciate that they wouldnt fall into ‘the experiment’. However, surely to goodness, SHADA was conceived, written and by gum partly filmed during the period you are now reviewing…it was finished by Baker himself at a later date but still, imho should..if this experiment is to be conducted correctly..reviewed.

      • Dan  August 16, 2012

        Hmm. This blog reader respectfully disagrees. We all have different views I suppose. As long as they finish Marco Polo (sorry), they have fulfilled their duty. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        In fact Shada would distort things – it wouldn’t be as broadcast, so not what the audience saw. It was never edited. Scenes in the script may have gone. Why not include all available deleted scenes throughout the history of the show?

        The Dalek movies were an optional extra. You have to draw the line somewhere – if they never watch the rest of Marco Polo, I’ll live with it…

      • John Williams  August 16, 2012

        “if this experiment is to be conducted correctly”.

        I’ve already reported them to the Royal Society for sloppy experimental standards so with any luck the blog will be closed down shortly.

        • Dave Sanders  August 16, 2012

          Write that down in your copybook NOW.

          • John Williams  August 16, 2012


        • PolarityReversed  August 19, 2012

          I too deplore the lack of methodological rigour, and call for the withdrawal of their research grant.

          If they wish, they are welcome to submit a proper scientific framework for their experiment and restart their project from the beginning, in strict adherence to that framework.

          Otherwise, the experiment will never have recognised scientific validity. It can only hope to be seen as an amusing, entertaining, informative core around which a lot of people have coalesced to have some fun banter about a subject of great affection.

  52. Frankymole  August 16, 2012

    Hardin’s science experiment comments made much more sense when he did them on “Look Around You”.

  53. Jennie  August 16, 2012

    This was the first Dr Who story I ever saw. I don’t think I ‘ve seen it since!

    My Dad’s house is called Formosa. I always think of Foamasi when I go past the sign on the gate!

  54. DPC  August 16, 2012

    “Hive” is hardly Season 18’s best… try “Full Circle” and “The Keeper of Traken”, with honorable mentions to “Warriors Gate”, “State of Decay”, and “Meglos”…

    Sue’s comments were great and most are on par, easily…

    I love “The Leisure Hive” (7/10) but noting the lengthy recaps, overly long ep 1 intro with the huts, there were some gaffes…

    This will be a fun few weeks to read!

    As always, thanks for great, and eye-opening reviews!

  55. CJJC  August 16, 2012

    It’s Sue and Neil’s blog. They do whatever they want with the episodes. I might hope that they do The Curse of Fatal Death or Dimensions in Time (or, more appropriately, A Fix With Sontarans) but will defer to them if they decide not to.

  56. Ryan Hall  August 16, 2012

    I think even as a 5 year old i kinda sussed at this point that once something horrible had happened to K9 at the begining of the story you could kiss goodbye to seeing him again for the next 4 weeks haha.