REMEMBRANCE OF THE DALEKS

Part One

Remembrance of the DaleksWe begin Doctor Who’s 25th season with Sue in her favourite new T-shirt and an atmospheric pre-titles sequence.

Sue: What the hell is this? This isn’t Doctor Who.

And then the theme music kicks in. By the way, is it just me or does the freeze-frame really irritate you as well?

Sue: Ooh, new music!
Me: No it isn’t.
Sue: Oh yes it is. And it sounds great.
Me: It’s exactly the same music. The only difference is this is a 5.1 surround sound mix. Consider it a special treat.
Sue: It sounds so much better when it comes out of every speaker.

And then she notices the story’s title.

Sue: Daleks. And a bloke with a funny name. Excellent.

We open on a sign.

Sue: Coal Hill… Oh, it didn’t give me enough time to read that.

I rewind the DVD.

Remembrance of the DaleksSue: Okay, Coal Hill School, Shoreditch. Thanks.
Me: And?
Sue: And what?

The Doctor and Ace are walking down a suburban street. Ace is carrying an extremely loud ghetto blaster on her shoulder.

Sue: I hated people who did that in the 1980s. Selfish ****ers. I wouldn’t mind if the music she was playing was any good. What a racket.
Ace: Oi, Professor, can we get something to eat now?
Sue: I thought she said she wouldn’t call him that again? I’d give her a written warning if I were him.

The Doctor sends Ace to the nearest cafe.

Sue: This is the place where they wait to get fired on The Apprentice.

She is joined by a young man named Mike.

Sue: Oh look, it’s Captain Jack’s cockney brother, Captain Mike.

Remembrance of the DaleksMeanwhile, a young girl is playing hopscotch in Coal Hill School’s playground.

Sue: I looked like her when I was that age. But she has much better hair.

The girl sings a very spooky song.

Sue: Ooh, I like this. I think I’m going to enjoy this one a lot.

The Doctor jumps in the back of a van parked outside the school.

Sue: Is that Diana Rigg? Hang on a minute. What year is this?
Me: 1963.
Sue: Is it? A caption would have been nice.

Ace’s new friend isn’t a captain, he’s a sergeant.

Remembrance of the DaleksSue: It’s UNIT!
Me: It isn’t UNIT. UNIT didn’t exist in 1963, for ****’s sake. How can you forget something like that? Has this experiment been a complete waste of time?
Sue: But that’s the young Brigadier, isn’t it?
Me: No! Stop getting Who wrong!

I pause the DVD.

Me: Look, you missed three very important references to Doctor Who‘s past in the first five minutes. You should know this stuff, Sue. You’re not a Doctor Who virgin any more.
Sue: So what have I missed?
Me: The date, the significance of the school and the location where we have just arrived. That’s all.
Sue: Okay, so what’s the school called again?
Me: Coal Hill.
Sue: That’s the school where Susan used to go. Okay so where are we now?

I rewind the scene.

Remembrance of the DaleksSue: Trotters Yard.
Me: Totters Yard! Totters!
Sue: That’s where we find the TARDIS in the very first episode… In 1963… Ahhh, I see… I should have got that.
Me: The typo probably didn’t help.
Sue: There’s a typo?
Me: They spelt Foreman wrong on the gates to the junkyard.
Sue: Idiots.

I press Play.

Sue: Okay, so that’s the Brigadier, she’s Barbara and he’s Mike Yates. It’s clever, this.
Me: Think of them as the UNIT Babies if it helps.

The Doctor gets annoyed when Group Captain Gilmore doesn’t believe in death rays.

Sue: Don’t take this the wrong way but McCoy has a bit of Mr Bean in him. It’s the way he mumbles his lines sometimes.

And then we meet Allison Williams in the back of a van.

Remembrance of the DaleksSue: Is she supposed to be like Jo, only prettier? I bet you wouldn’t complain if she was the next companion, eh, Neil?

Gilmore rallies his troops for a final assault on a shed.

Sue: The direction is excellent. I like the moving camera. And we’re on location, too. This is how you make Doctor Who. This is much better than the last few weeks. It’s as if they’ve suddenly remembered how to make proper television again. If only Steven from Canada had held on a little bit longer. I bet he would have enjoyed this.
Me: He’s started up his blog again. He’s halfway through Delta and the Bannermen.
Sue: Has he really? Good for him. I knew he could do it. Wait. He won’t beat us to the finish line, will he?

A soldier is unexpectedly killed by a death ray.

Sue: Ooh, that looked fabulous. Did a Dalek do that?
Me: No, it was a Zygon. Of course it was a sodding Dalek!
Sue: Why does the Brigadier have his gun attached to some rope around his neck? Is he worried that he might lose it? I’ve heard of soap-on-a-rope, but that is ridiculous.

Mike runs to the van to call for reinforcements. A death ray is fired through the van’s windows.

Sue: He didn’t last very long. Great effect, though.

Remembrance of the DaleksSue is extremely impressed when the Dalek is taken out by some falling masonry.

Sue: Proper London bricks. Nice.
Me: Thanks for that, Sue.

The Doctor and Ace take a van back to the school. During their journey, the Doctor gives Ace a potted history of the Daleks.

The Doctor: The Kaleds were at war with the Thals. They had a dirty nuclear war. The resulting mutations were then accelerated by their chief scientist, Davros.

He then tells Ace that the Daleks are after the Hand of Omega.

Sue: Thals… Davros… Omega. I feel like I should be taking notes or something. Ooh, he’s famous.

It’s George Sewell as Ratcliffe. His men take what’s left of the Dalek away on a flatbed lorry.

Sue: They should tie that tarpaulin down. A strong gust of wind will blow that off. Amateurs.

Remembrance of the DaleksThe Doctor and Ace enter Coal Hill School and they meet its Headmaster. Sadly, any 1980s Grange Hill references are completely wasted on my wife, although, to be fair, she does recognise Michael Sheard from various episodes of Doctor Who. Just don’t ask her to name them.

Headmaster: Doctor, eh? Well, you’re a bit over-qualified for the position, but if you would like to leave your particulars and references.

The Headmaster begins to act very strangely indeed.

Sue: Either he’s extremely rude and listening to the cricket, or he’s been taken over by the Daleks.

The Doctor and Ace explore a classroom.

Remembrance of the DaleksSue: Wow, this reminds me of my old school, Sacred Heart. This takes me right back.

Ace picks up a book from a desk.

Sue: …

Nah, I didn’t think she’d spot it either.

The Doctor is pleased that the Daleks are following him.

The Doctor: You can always judge a man by the quality of his enemies.
Sue: That was a nice line. The script is very good.

The Doctor points out some markings in the school playground, but Ace doesn’t believe that they were made by a spaceship.

Ace: This is Earth, 1963. Someone would have noticed. I’d have heard about it.
The Doctor: Do you remember the Zygon gambit with the Loch Ness Monster? Or the Yeti in the Underground?
Me: Do you remember the Zygons and the Yeti in the Underground, Sue?
Sue: Of course I do.
Me: Thank **** for that. This blog hasn’t been a complete waste of time after all.
Sue: Which ones were the Zygons again?

The Doctor left the Hand of Omega behind when he was last here in 1963.

Sue: I don’t remember him leaving anything behind in the very first episode, but my memory is terrible. But if he did leave something behind, why has it taken him 25 years to come back for it? Is this the first time he’s managed to park his TARDIS in the right place so he can pick it up again? And is it a hand in a jar?

Ratcliffe is working for the Daleks.

Sue: It’s Davros. I don’t know why they are trying to hide him like that. It’s obviously him. I don’t think much of Davros’ new voice by the way.

Remembrance of the DaleksThe Doctor and Ace explore the school’s cellar.

Sue: This is nicely lit. Very atmospheric. Oh, look – flat Daleks.

It’s actually a transmat station, and when the Doctor examines it, a Dalek begins to materialise.

Sue: Ooh, it’s a white Dalek. That’s a Colin Baker Dalek. That’s interesting.

The Doctor destroys the Dalek before it can complete its journey, but he forgot all about the transmat operator lurking behind them.

Sue: That Dalek took his sweet time getting there. He must have been on a tea break or something.

Ace makes a run for it but Mr Bronson has other ideas.

Sue: Right in the crotch. What a ****.

Mr Bronson traps the Doctor in the cellar with the Dalek.

Sue: ****ing hell! It’s flying up the stairs!

And then the theme music crashes in.

Remembrance of the DaleksSue: That’s how you do a cliffhanger.
Me: Remembrance of the Daleks Part One got me back into Doctor Who. It was my first episode in four years. I saw it completely by accident, in a Halls of Residence TV common room in my first week away from home in the North East. This episode – especially that cliffhanger – pulled me back in.
Sue: I can see why. It’s really good.
Me: If I’d been a child prodigy, and I’d gone to university a year earlier, I would have walked in on Time and the Rani instead.
Sue: And we wouldn’t be sitting here now, doing this.
Me: And I would have no friends or any interests to speak of. Yeah, 1988 was a big year for me.
Sue: I gave birth to Nicol in 1988. I think I win that one.

 

Part Two

Sue: BOOM! I really like the surround sound mix of the theme music. It sounds brilliant. Did Keff do it?
Me: No, it was Mark Ayres.
Sue: Is Mark certified to use Pro Tools? If he is, I might ask him to talk to our university students one day. I bet he’d be good.

Remembrance of the DaleksThe episode begins with Ace taking revenge on Mr Bronson.

Sue: Right in the balls. Serves him bloody right.

Ace frees the Doctor from the cellar. The Dalek throws a dicky-fit behind the door.

Sue: Why doesn’t it just blast its way through? A small child could kick that in.

And then… BOOM!

Sue: What took it so long? What was it waiting for?
Me: Its cue.

The Doctor and Ace take delivery of a consignment of anti-tank rockets.

Sue: So any Tom, Dick or Harry can just walk up and take UNIT’s weapons away from them? It’s that simple?
Me: For the last time, this isn’t UNIT!
Sue: At least they made the Doctor sign for the rockets. They aren’t completely mad.

Remembrance of the DaleksThe mysterious school girl watches this transaction take place.

Sue: I’m telling you – that’s what I looked like when I was her age. Do you think I was an ugly child?
Me: I refuse to get into this.

Thankfully, Sue is distracted when Ace destroys a Dalek with a rocket launcher.

Ace: (under her breath) Ace!
Sue: I can live with that. She’s toned it down a lot. And the explosions are ace, I suppose.

The Doctor visits a cafe for some refreshments and a philosophical debate.

Me: Did you like that scene?
Sue: Yes, it was very nice. I like it when the Doctor drinks tea. Does that cafe grow up to be the cafe in EastEnders? It’s very similar.

The transmat in the school starts up again.

Sue: Oh dear. The music is going a bit Keff, now.
Me: It is Keff.
Sue: Is it? I thought it was just leaning towards Keff. It’s not as bad as it usually is.

The Doctor meets with an undertaker.

Remembrance of the DaleksMe: If I’m not mistaken, that actor is the first person to appear in both the classic series and the new series.
Sue: Really? Which part did he play?
Me: It was in Christopher Eccleston’s season. It was the one set in Wales.
Sue: No shit, Sherlock. Do you remember when milk bottles looked like that?
Me: No.
Sue: Oh, thanks. I feel really old now.

The Doctor is reunited with the Hand of Omega.

Sue: It’s a bloody big box for just a hand.

Meanwhile, Mike is one his way to an Association meeting.

Sue: So is he a communist or an alcoholic?

His boss, Ratcliffe, is hanging out with a very special Dalek.

Sue: Does Davros look like shit? Is that the reason why they won’t show his face? It’s obviously him, so why are they hiding it?

Mike is attacked by Mr Bronson in a cemetery.

Sue: Okay, the music is full-blown Keff now.

Mr Bronson accuses Mike of working for a renegade faction of Daleks.

Sue: So there are two types of Daleks, yes? Am I supposed to know this? And which Dalek is which? Are the grey ones the renegades,or are the white ones with all the bling the renegades? I should know this, shouldn’t I?

Me: You’ll figure it out eventually.

To be honest, I forgot myself for a second there, but I think I managed to bluff it..

Mr Bronson is deactivated and he slumps to the ground, dead.

Remembrance of the DaleksSue: That’s was a bit heavy-handed. I could have done without that visual gag.

Mike Smith turns out to be a bit of a twat.

Mike: Sorry, Ace. Work to be done. Back at six. Have dinner ready.
Sue: **** ** ****, sunshine.

The Doctor buries the Hand of Omega.

Sue: So if William Hartnell’s Doctor had stuck around for a couple of weeks, he would be the one dealing with all this shit now?
Me: Possibly.
Sue: It doesn’t bear thinking about it, does it? Everyone would be dead by now.

Back at the boarding house, Ace turns the television set on. It doesn’t seem to work.

Sue: Whack it with your baseball bat.
Me: Televisions took a long time to warm up back then. Don’t you remember that?
Sue: Do you want a cushion in the face or what?

Ace finds a sign on the window with ‘No Coloureds’ written on it. This elicits a sharp intake of breath from Sue.

Sue: She’s staying in a house run by racists. That’s what the Association is – it’s the cockney branch of the Ku Klux Klan. I knew there was something fishy about Mike.
Me: Yes, he’s working for the Daleks, remember?

Sue: Oh yes. The white ones, I bet.

And then we zoom in on the television set:

Remembrance of the DaleksContinuity Announcer: This is BBC television. The time is a quarter past five and Saturday viewing continues with an adventure in the new science fiction series, Doc
Sue: Oh, very funny. He almost said Doctor Who… Hang on a minute, how does that work?
Me: I think the programme is called Doctor X in the Doctor Who universe.
Sue: So in the Whoniverse…
Me: Please don’t say that word.
Sue: Is there a couple watching Doctor X and blogging about it?
Me: No, it got cancelled after 13 episodes. Now shut up and watch this.

The Doctor warns Gilmore not to underestimate the Daleks.

The Doctor: That spaceship up there has surveillance equipment capable of spotting a sparrow fall at fifteen thousand kilometres. Any sign of a military build-up and they may simply decide to sterilise the area.
Sue: I’ll tell you what – McCoy is bloody good.

Ace returns to the school for her ghetto blaster. She accidentally picks up a Dalek transmission, so she retunes it.

Sue: You are listening to Drum Solo FM.

Ace gets out her baseball bat.

Sue: I like Ace. She’s brave.

Ace sees a Dalek and scarpers.

Sue: And she’s not stupid, either. Mel would be crying in a corner by now.

The Dalek follows Ace back to the classroom and then all hell breaks loose.

Sue: Bloody hell!

Remembrance of the DaleksAce throws herself through a window to escape the Dalek.

Sue: This is brilliant.

The episode ends with Ace surrounded by Daleks.

Daleks: Exterminate! Exterminate! Exterminate! Exterminate! Exterminate!
Sue: Now that is proper Doctor Who.

 

Part Three

Remembrance of the DaleksSue: What are they waiting for? Why don’t they just shoot her? Are they waiting for another Dalek to make the first move? “No, you shoot her first” – “No, you shoot her first. I went first last time.” What’s that all about?

The Doctor disorientates the Daleks and then the army blow them sky-high.

Sue: Have they spent the whole budget on TNT? Not that I’m complaining.

The Doctor peers into a Dalek casing and he’s shocked when a claw tries to throttle him. But he’s not as shocked as Sue, who spits tea all over herself.

Allison comes to the rescue with Ace’s baseball bat.

Sue: Bloody hell! Calm down, love, it’s dead already! She has some serious anger management issues.

Meanwhile, in the Daleks’ mothership.

Sue: Look at that set. That looks fabulous. This is one of the best directed stories for a very long time. Look at that camera move. Lovely.

Ratcliffe heads to the cemetery to locate the Hand of Omega.

Sue: Is he a friend of Adric?
Me: Is that a euphemism?
Sue: No, he’s wearing a blue badge, just like Adric did. Is that another reference to the past? And what are a pair of golden tits doing on a gravestone?

In the local cafe, the UNIT Babies are chatting over bacon sandwiches.

Sue: She is basically Barbara crossed with the clever one that Jon Pertwee used to hang around with. It’s very clever, this.

On the Dalek mothership, the Emperor Dalek graces the bridge with his presence.

Remembrance of the DaleksSue: What the hell is that? That doesn’t work at all. It’s too friendly. Where are its guns? It’s about as threatening as the robots who used to sell mashed potato back in the seventies.
Me: It’s based on the Emperor Dalek from the old comic strips.
Sue: Like I give a shit. It looks stupid.

The Doctor and Ace return to the school.

Ace: If this place is so out of the way of the action, what are we doing here?
The Doctor: Keeping an eye on Group Captain Chunky Gilmore. Although why his men call him Chunky, I’ve no idea.
Sue: So why do they call him Chunky?
Me: He has a very large penis.
Sue: Oh.

The Doctor gives Ace a lesson in Gallifreyan history. But Sue has other things on her mind.

Sue: Ace has a Blue Peter badge. Did she get that for blowing shit up?
The Doctor: I didn’t expect two Dalek factions, and now I’ve got to make sure the wrong ones don’t get their grubby little protuberances on it.
Sue: I love the way he rolls his Rs. He’s very authoritative when he does that.
Me: Don’t you mean he’s very authorrri… authorria… authorrrrn… oh, sod it. I can’t do it.

Back at Ratcliffe’s building yard, Sue notices a problem:

Sue: Those breeze blocks don’t look very 1963 to me.
Me: Maybe the Daleks brought them over?
Sue: And what about that moulded MDF door over there? That’s a huge mistake.

Two Dalek factions are gearing up for war.

Sue: So which Daleks are the good Daleks? Which ones am I supposed to be rooting for?

In the Renegade Daleks’ base, we finally discover the identity of the mysterious figure in the chair.

Sue: WHAT THE ****? I did not expect THAT! Bloody hell. I’m genuinely shocked.

Ha! I enjoyed that.

Sue: So, is Davros in this or not? Is he dead? I can’t remember what happened to him the last time we saw him, but I’m pretty sure he didn’t die. So where is he?

The Doctor leaves a calling card on the Daleks’ time controller, which I am reliably informed you can now buy from the Gadget Shop.

Remembrance of the DaleksSue: Is that his phone number?
Me: No, it says he’s available for children’s parties in High Gallifreyan.

And then Keff lets rip.

Sue: (Singing) “When the going gets tough, the tough get going…”

Me: Yeah, you might want to place your hands over your ears for the next few minutes.
Sue: Keff’s starting to spoil it, now. The music wasn’t that bad in the first two episodes but he’s back on form now.

Mike lets slip that he’s a double agent.

Sue: Mike Yates was a bad bugger, too.
Me: Yes, the basic message of this story is “Don’t trust anyone called Mike”. Very wise.

The Doctor watches helplessly as a Dalek shuttle lands in the school playground.

Sue: You know, that doesn’t look that bad.

Its arrival blows the classroom’s windows out.

Sue: Yes, this is pretty good.

Remembrance of the DaleksAnd if that wasn’t enough damage for one episode, the Doctor wraps things up by breaking the fourth wall.

The Doctor: I think I might have miscalculated.
Sue: They didn’t need that bit at the end, but this is so good, I can forgive almost anything.
Me: Even Keff’s music?
Sue: Don’t push it.

 

Part Four

Sue: Does the bloke with the funny name write any more?
Me: Yes.
Sue: Good. Was he a Doctor Who fan?
Me: Yes.
Sue: You can tell. This is proper Doctor Who for a change.

The science classroom is obliterated again when the shuttle lands in the recap.

Sue: Ian won’t be very happy when he gets back. He loved that Bunsen burner.

The Dalek shuttle touches down.

Remembrance of the DaleksSue: It looks like the shuttle from Alien. I’m really impressed that they managed to pull that off.

Mike and Ace fall out because Mike hasn’t been telling the whole truth.

Sue: I don’t know why she’s so upset. It’s not as if they shagged or anything.

It turns out that Ratcliffe and his men are members of.

Sue: UKIP.

The rival Dalek factions decide to duke it out in the street. The Imperials wheel out their Special Weapons Dalek.

Sue: What the…? Hang on, haven’t I seen that somewhere before?

BOOM!

Remembrance of the DaleksSue: Bloody hell, that nearly blew the speakers out! Hey, how does this Dalek see where it’s going? And why does it look so familiar?
Me: Well, there’s a model of one on my bookshelf, and you met one in the Doctor Who Experience about a year ago, remember?
Sue: Oh yeah. It didn’t make any sense at the time.

BOOM! Two more Daleks bite the dust.

Sue: I love it. It got two for one, there.

The Doctor slides down a rope to the roof of the Dalek shuttle.

Sue: That looks great. It’s believable. It really works.

The Doctor disengages the Dalek pilot before his friends join him.

Sue: I want to see them all slide down the rope. That’s not fair. What did they use instead of an umbrella?

Mike escapes from the soldier who’s been assigned to guard him.

Sue: A proper fight for a change. That was well directed. I almost felt that punch.

Remembrance of the DaleksThe Doctor tells his companions to jump through a hatchway inside the shuttle. Allison is the first to take the plunge.

Sue: I think I just heard her ankles snap.

The Doctor plans to monitor the Daleks using the transmat in the cellar.

Ace: You can’t do that. You mashed up the transmat, remember?
The Doctor: I can do anything I like!
Sue: That was very Troughton.

A battered and bruised soldier informs Group Captain Gilmore that Mike has escaped.

Sue: Hang on… isn’t that Jerome from Robson and Jerome?

The Special Weapons Dalek makes short work of Ratcliffe’s builder’s yard.

DEAFENING BOOM!!!!

Remembrance of the DaleksSue: Oi! You were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off! Wow… That has to be the best explosion in Doctor Who‘s history. This is intense. Why don’t they just make all the Daleks like this special one? They’d be unstoppable.

I think it’s fair to say that Sue is enjoying Remembrance of the Daleks.

Sue: This is such a massive leap in quality from the last one we saw. I feel like I’m watching the new series. I can see why you came back to Doctor Who, now. I really can.

The Hand of Omega floats into the Dalek’s shuttle.

Sue: Even that looks great, and it shouldn’t. The only person letting the side down is Keff. Everything else is great.

The Doctor rigs up a communication relay so he can broadcast to the Dalek mothership.

Sue: That is very Matt Smith. You could actually show this story to normal people and they’d probably enjoy it.

The Emperor is none other than…

Remembrance of the DaleksSue: DAVROS! I ****ing knew it!
Me: No you didn’t.
Sue: Yes, I did. You can’t have a Dalek story without Davros in it. Everybody knows that. I should have known that’s where he would be hiding. I’m kicking myself now.

Davros has a jolly good rant.

Sue: It’s great to have him back. I love it when he goes off on one.

The Doctor rants back.

The Doctor: Crush the lesser races! Conquer the galaxy! Unimaginable power! Unlimited rice pudding, et cetera, et cetera!
Sue: ****ing brilliant.

The Doctor tricks Davros into using the Hand of Omega. It destroys Skaro.

Remembrance of the DaleksSue: Shit. Did that just happen?
Me: Yes, the Doctor just committed genocide.
Sue: **** off! He can’t do that.

The feedback from the supernova heads for the Dalek mothership.

Sue: Has the Doctor just started the Time War?
Me: Yes. Yes he has.

Hey, you can’t prove that he didn’t.

Sue: Excellent.

Davros makes it to his escape pod.

Sue: He’ll be back. He’s like the Master. You can’t kill him.

Remembrance of the DaleksAce follows Mike back to the guest house, but the little girls kills him before he can convince Ace that he’s a nice racist after all.

Sue: That was brilliantly directed.

While this is going on, the Doctor confronts the last remaining Dalek.

Sue: The Daleks don’t take bad news very well, do they?

The Dalek becomes so angry and confused, it blows itself up.

Sue: I almost felt sorry for that Dalek. Does that make me a bad person?

With the Daleks gone, the little girl is set free (which pleases Sue no end) and then we get another reminder that Mike is still dead at the bottom of the stairs.

Sue: Good. I never liked him anyway.

The final scene sees everyone come together to pay their final respects to a racist.

Sue: Nice funeral for a traitor. Mike should be lying in an unmarked grave, the tosser.

Ace isn’t convinced that blowing up a planet was the right thing to do.

Ace: We did good, didn’t we?
Sue: Ace doesn’t trust the Doctor. That’s very interesting. I don’t blame her, though. He’s a mass murderer!

 

The Score

Sue: I loved that. I’m still a bit shocked by the ending but it feels like the show just reinvented itself again. The only thing that let it down was the music. Apart from that, I really, really enjoyed it. It was quite deep in places, and it’s one of the few stories I’d happily watch again, just for pleasure.

9/10

 

Next Time

 

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Comments

  1. jamiedowey  February 28, 2013

    Excellent! Glad Sue liked Remembrance, my all time favourite! I think I will go and watch it again now.

  2. mattbartley  February 28, 2013

    I was eight when this was broadcast, and suffice to say, it blew my ****ing mind. I’m so pleased that a) Sue thinks it still holds up and b) she loves McCoy – that made me do a little happy dance of my own. Not sure how she’ll take to the next story, mind. It’s always a divider.

    • DPC  February 28, 2013

      With luck they’ll turn the “Color” setting down to 0 and watch it as if it were made in black and white… maybe ramp up the contrast and turn down the brightness to enhance the effect… the DVD of “Patrol” needed a special edition, the whole thing treated like the clip they had shown as an extra. (“Patrol” is one of my faves for sure, and at 3 eps – if nothing else – it goes by quickly…)

      • Thomas  February 28, 2013

        See, I think that would’ve actually been a mistake had they done that. The production design of Patrol is very focused around its use of color, and just turning it B&W misses some of that. An actual Black and White production has to be made in a certain way to really look good that way (I think the documentary on Ed Wood highlights some of the differences between making something in color and B&W.

        • Polarity Reversed  March 1, 2013

          Isn’t it true that the TARDIS interior from the B&W days was painted light olive green so as to appear white? Because optic white would have overwhelmed the cameras of the day. Even absent the capabilities of antique cameras/film stock, colour and lighting is a fascinating subject. To the naked eye, dark blue appears blacker than black under certain bright lighting – whereas true black appears greenish.

          • Nick Mays  March 2, 2013

            The original Tardis console was certainly light green. This can be seen in some early Pertwee stories, particularly ‘Inferno’ where he has taken the console (somehow) outside of the Tardis to work on.

    • phuzzphuzz  March 1, 2013

      I also was 8 (just going on 9) when this was first broadcast, and is pretty much my only memory of the original series.
      All I had to go on for about 20 years was increasingly hazy memories of Sylvester McCoy running about, and daleks shooting people.

    • Tom Arnold (@tomdavidarnold)  March 2, 2013

      My thoughts exactly, i adored this story

  3. Lewis Christian  February 28, 2013

    Bloody hell – this is one hell of a post! So glad Sue loved this. I agree with everything she said 🙂

    I only hope she enjoys the rest of Season 25. And it’s great to see Sue finally taking properly to McCoy – he’s great.

  4. Trytek  February 28, 2013

    A day’s worth of hitting F5 finally pays off!

    I’m so relieved Sue enjoyed this – it’s my favourite serial when I’m in the mood for something light-hearted (as light-hearted as racism and genocide gets, anyway). Favourite when I’m in the mood for something darker is 7M, so fingers crossed for that one, too! A very entertaining read!

    • Tom Arnold (@tomdavidarnold)  March 2, 2013

      hello Tyrek,

      loved your F5 comment lol! i have been waiting for this story since i discovered wife in space! so thrilled sue liked it and im really pleased so many other fans love it too!

  5. John S. Hall  February 28, 2013

    Will the sequel be called “Come Back, Mrs. Perryman!”?? 😉

    Me coat? Why thank you…

  6. Hev  February 28, 2013

    Yes I love this story too… music is a let down.

  7. Dave Sanders  February 28, 2013

    The only thing Sue doesn’t like in this story other than Keff is John Leeson’s voice. THERE IS NO JUSTICE.

  8. John S. Hall  February 28, 2013

    As somebody who watched Colin Baker’s era descend into chaos, and saw My Show teeter perilously on the verge of cancellation, I didn’t mind Season 24 all that much, particularly when I learned how much of an eleventh-hour reprieve it was.

    The promise glimpsed in “Dragonfire” has now had time to simmer, and the result is DOCTOR WHO’s Indian summer — two abbreviated seasons of greatness before The Wilderness Years.

    Unless you were there, it’s probably not possible to articulate how mind-blowing “Remembrance of the Daleks” was, especially in light of what had been onscreen for the past two years. DOCTOR WHO was back, and how!! 😀

    • seanalexander41  February 28, 2013

      John, i echo your sentiments further down. You are one of the best commentators on this blog and I commend them all. Thank you once again.

      • John S. Hall  February 28, 2013

        Thank you, Sean! I do believe this is the nicest thing anyone’s said to me all week… 😉

    • Daru McAleece  March 4, 2013

      I agree man and I was there too! Sad though that somehow at the time it was not enough to hold me here. I feel – after rewatching these episodes last year – sort of ashamed that I gave up on Doctor Who at the time.

      I had no real memory of this story and I tell you, it really blew me away when I watched it again. It brought back so many feelings of nostalgia seeing it as new. An amazing experience.

  9. jazza1971  February 28, 2013

    Superb review. The following made me grin insanely:-

    “The Doctor: Crush the lesser races! Conquer the galaxy! Unimaginable power! Unlimited rice pudding, et cetera, et cetera!

    Sue: ****ing brilliant.”

    • mattbartley  February 28, 2013

      Yeah, me too. As a McCoy fanboy (him, T Baker and Smith are the top three), I’m so glad Sue’s taken with him. And I love the balls of this story starting with a pre-credit sequence.

  10. John S. Hall  February 28, 2013

    Did anybody else notice that when Rachel jumps down the hole into the Dalek shuttlecraft, she’s not wearing any shoes?? 😉

  11. dougy74  February 28, 2013

    Im with you on this one , it’s were i actully sat up and properly took notice of Doctor who again since tom baker, started getting the magazine , read the target books, bought those bizzare Dapol figures…

    it does totally feel like a whole new show compared to the last season , i really cant imagine bonnie would of got any screen time in this one if she’d stayed on as mel, The 7th and Ace feel like the first proper tardis crew since 4th and romana 2, they both just work so well together.

    I do think if the BBC had put Doctor who back on saturday nights starting with this in 1988 it would of got higher ratings than what it did…but alas….

  12. seanalexander41  February 28, 2013

    I had to skip ‘Dragonfire’ as I simply couldn’t say any more about Season 24. It’s that painful and has left a scar on my soul for 25 years.

    I remember (can you see what i did there..?) this story very well and feeling like I was starting to come out of a coma: for about four years Doctor Who had been an inert mess, rudderless and despised by the BBC. Somehow it limped on to 25 years and then something happened. Suddenly the stories had plots, the Doctor had a believable companion and there was a sense of mystery unseen since the ’60s. If you can ignore the question-mark pull-over then it’s almost outstanding.

    The direction is excellent (Andrew Morgan was okay on ‘Time and Your Auntie’, but this is a giant leap forward), the script by Ben Unpronouncable clever and free of Sawardisms and the performances are mostly excellent. I can even forgive Jasmine Breaks as she is only young, and is still very creepy when given the right direction.

    There is also an underlying message which Verity Lambert would have been proud of. The fear of the unalike and the acceptance of the alien is what Doctor Who is all about (and is why so many gay fans are attracted to the show). The themes of racism, ethnic cleansing and bigotry are excellently handled and Aaronovitch (easier to type than say) has a fundamental grasp of the show’s concept. I shall leave my thoughts on his subsequent script until Sue has had her say first.

    Sylvester gives one of what turns out to be several great performances in this story, and his desire to reboot the character is there for all to see. As is his effortless rapport with Sophie Aldred who – while still a little cringe-worthy at times – still leaves Bonnie ‘thcream and thrcream and thrcream’ in a very dark shade.

    I haven’t felt the need to read Sue’s comments yet (or indeed Neil’s) as both are far shrewder judges of TV drama than I will ever be. This is still the best blog on Doctor Who by several country miles and both – in my opinion – should be working on the show today. I do not make that claim lightly as Sue is an accomplished lecturer in television direction and Neil (despite his humble nature) deserves a crack at the real thing. I hope ‘The Moff’ has him on speed-dial because if even Chris Chibnall can remain in paid employment, then I’m sure he can too.

    As always I have said plenty, but I hope it is enough. Time now for someone else to take their turn: words I hope Steven Moffat will echo after the Anniversary celebrations later this year.

    • Dave Sanders  February 28, 2013

      An 80s Who script with no Sawardisms? THIS IS MADNESS.

      • DPC  February 28, 2013

        There are stories in Saward’s era I like, especially his own, but of all the script editors hired by JNT, Saward was the worst. Colin’s era may have been better as well, especially given how many stories see Doc6/Peri scenes cut that would have shown a lighter side to their relationship, or how often they are kept out of the story (20+ minutes in some cases), etc… Saward seemed to hate Colin long before “The Trial of a Time Lord” for sure…) but it’s all in the past… a shame, as Colin was great in the role, but some of the writing (and editing) by all involved was a bit skewered and stilted… 🙁

        But that’s the past. Like Colin, McCoy and his era get shafted as well. Just for different reasons, having nothing to do with anyone in the production team – the reasons have more to do with lack of money and time, lack of promotion, and a timeslot for the sake of hiding and killing off the show. 🙁

    • jazza1971  February 28, 2013

      “Aaronovitch (easier to type than say)” – It’s really not all that difficult. A-ron-oh-vitch.

      • Jamie  March 1, 2013

        That’s easy for you to say.

        • chris-too-old-to-watch  March 1, 2013

          But he didn’t say it, he typed it……

          • Jamie  March 1, 2013

            That’s easy for him to type.

          • jazza1971  March 1, 2013

            I find Aaronovitch easier to say than type!

          • Polarity Reversed  March 1, 2013

            I’m sure the prounciation of his ancestral name had been Anglicised after a few generations, but the properly stressed original Russian rendition would be “a-run-OH-vitch”. People make the same mistake with “ruh-MAN a-brum-OH-vitch”, as opposed to “RO-man a-BRAM-o-vitch”.
            FYI, case anyone cared.

          • jazza1971  March 1, 2013

            I care! 😀 Thank you.

  13. P.Sanders  February 28, 2013

    Brilliant – a great reminder of what a breath of fresh air Part 1 was when it was broadcast – suddenly people at school were talking in awe about Doctor Who again. McCoy and Aldred are already a great team, and this time the production values support a cracking script.

    I hope Sue likes the next one – I really enjoyed it when I watched it again recently. Hopefully her appreciation for PT will bode well for THP.

    • seanalexander41  February 28, 2013

      I shall certainly watch ‘The Happiness Patrol’ before Neil & Sue’s comments. It is perhaps one of the bravest Doctor Who stories ever and eschews its studio-bound cheapness with verve and style. And, of course, John Normington. But I’m getting ahead of myself again…

  14. Kris Overstreet  February 28, 2013

    “Remembrance” was the first McCoy-Doctor story I watched. My first reaction is pretty much the same as my current opinion: “That is NOT the Doctor. If the Doctor had been this much of a rat bastard, I’d never have watched the show.”

    • encyclops  March 1, 2013

      I agree with Sue and the popular opinion that this story is a highlight of the era, but I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s not bowled over by the Doctor’s charm here. He’s kind of a patronizing jerk for a lot of it, and if that doesn’t bother you there’s always the premeditated nigh-genocide at the end.

  15. John S. Hall  February 28, 2013

    Oh, and the fainting undertaker also played Gwen Cooper’s dad in “Torchwood”, so he’s the first person to appear in all three shows! 🙂

    • seanalexander41  February 28, 2013

      He is indeed John. Shame he dies in ‘Boomtown’ before the credits.

  16. erykahbrackenbury  February 28, 2013

    Are you going to watch the doco from the Silly Nemesis VHS where Keff is so proud of his Casio keyboard? It’s almost sweet.

    • peacockpete  February 28, 2013

      Haha. I love that. Especially when the party samples kick in.

    • Dave Sanders  February 28, 2013

      Silver Neptitude, I call it.

  17. Anonymous  February 28, 2013

    I must be thick, I’d never realised the reference to a vacancy at the end of Part 1 must refer to Ian or Barbara’s jobs.

    • Wholahoop  February 28, 2013

      I think the Headmaster indicates the vacancy is that of the Caretaker, a role the Doctor eventually takes up under the reign of the Moff

  18. Antti Björklund  February 28, 2013

    Glad Sue liked this!

    I think Remembrance was the first Classic Series episode I saw.

    • Cookey  March 3, 2013

      This one popped a lot of people’s Doctor Who cherries! Quite cool really

  19. Chris  February 28, 2013

    Modern Doctor Who started here in 1988. While the show sadly left our screens the next year, this story, and a few that come after it, set the template for what Doctor Who is today – epic, heartfelt, goofy, sincere and fast paced. Masterpiece! McCoy steps into greatness with this story. And there is still better to come before the end of his era!

    • seanalexander41  February 28, 2013

      Another excellent comment. Though I would add that the show slips as much as it shines for the next seven stories. As was always the way…

      • Chris  February 28, 2013

        Yeah, there are definite missteps in there too but the heights it hits when they get things right are superb.

  20. John S. Hall  February 28, 2013

    Neil, did you tell Sue that the explosion in Radcliffe’s Yard was so loud and intense that the London Police were called in by concerned citizens?

    Imagine being one of those coppers responding, and seeing Daleks trundle out of the smoke and debris… 😀

  21. Gavinio  February 28, 2013

    This is the best McCoy story bar none. I was thrilled when this was first shown and it still holds up today. There was so much action and thrills in this as a 14 year old. I was the only boy my age who still watched the show in my school year and I remember being gutted there was no one to talk to about how good it was. If only the Internet had been more readily available back then. Glad Sue enjoyed it so much.

    • seanalexander41  February 28, 2013

      I too had few friends who had persevered with the show going back to when Tom left. Some even though it wasn’t being made anymore, thanks to the BBC’s indifference and the creative chaos of the mid ’80s.

  22. Wembley  February 28, 2013

    Wonderful review – You can’t really fail to be blown over by Remembrance. Like others, it’s what got me back into wanting to watch the series after the mess that S24 was. Looking forward – with some trepidation – to the review of Happiness Patrol.

  23. dronid  February 28, 2013

    Glad it was appreciated after the last season. It’s one of the better Sylvester episodes and it felt like the series had turned a corner, sadly too late to save it. The TV at the time was neon pastel hell and Doctor Who as light entertainment could never be bland enough to fit in. You can see that throughout its remaining run. The stories may not be tightly scripted, well directed or well acted consistently but it was always different. It’s one of the reasons I’ve always loved the show.

  24. Jon  February 28, 2013

    This was absoliutely brilliant – the episode and Sue’s comments!

  25. Marcus  February 28, 2013

    I loved ‘Remembrance’ when I first saw it. As a young child I completely missed the whole racism thing until i read the Target novelisation, in which it is explained in more detail. The novelisation also had the background of how Dorothy became Ace. I remember thinking the special weapons Dalek was awesome, especially when it reduced two Renegade Daleks to smoking black smears with a single shot.
    To my mind ‘Remembrance’ was the best Dalek story and had the best Daleks. They had got over their inability to climb stairs (or at least the Imperials had) but hadn’t got the flying and virtual invulnerability of the new series, where you need a ‘Deus ex Machina’, a bunch of old friends or very few Daleks.
    If anyone is looking for something to read, Ben Aaronovitch, who wrote this story, has written a series of books, the first called ‘Rivers of London’ about the magical affairs department of the metropolitan police. They are very good.

    • jazza1971  February 28, 2013

      I have to agree. I love the “Rivers of London” books.

      • Dom  March 1, 2013

        Me too. And I only picked the first one up because I recognized the name from Doctor Who (and it was included in a 3-for-2 at Waterstone’s).

        • Nick Mays  March 2, 2013

          I love these books – I’m sure a TV series can’t be far off!

          In the third book, the hero, Peter, tells about his family Christmas and how they all sit down to watch ‘Dr Who’ Nice one Ben!

          (reply)

          • Marcus  March 3, 2013

            I think its the first one where he says the guys at CERN ‘Smash atoms together in the hope that Doctor Who will turn up and tell them to stop’.

  26. Warren Andrews  February 28, 2013

    “..and it’s one of the few stories I’d happily watch again, just for pleasure.”

    Wow praise indeed.

    I get a huge nostalgic buzz from this story and season 25 in general. It felt at school like the show was really popular and it seemed to my nine year old eyes that the show was everywhere (McCoy presenting What’s Your Story on CBBC during the week certainly helped)..

    • seanalexander41  February 28, 2013

      It did feel slightly more acceptable to be a Who fan in 1988, but this was almost as much down to the fledgling KLF having a hit than anything JN-T did. But he did hire Cartmel and had a good track-record with script-editors. Shame he treated a former one so badly (Robert Holmes, not just Saward).

      • Daru McAleece  March 4, 2013

        Hi – good to hear someone say that! At the time I was in my late teens and my cynical head came on (sadly). It was at the end of this season, specifically at the end of the last story when I walked away – not something which I feel totally proud of now. You know, I did see the TV movie but it was not enough to hold me (then) and I only returned with RTD in 2005.

        I do honestly salute all those who did not let go like I did, and certainly it has felt like a lovely journey reclaiming my love for Doctor Who again – especially in rediscovering and enjoying stories in Colin’s and Sylvester’s eras that I had previously been very critical of.

        Still get goosebumps with KLF.

    • John G  February 28, 2013

      I remember watching McCoy on What’s Your Story at the time. I didn’t see Remembrance back then though – I was more interested in Coronation Street at the time…

      • seanalexander41  February 28, 2013

        So was most of the nation. Including me, frankly, but I felt I was helping keep the show alive by watching it. I managed to maintain that self-delusion until the 6th December ’89.

        • Daru McAleece  March 4, 2013

          Well done you.

  27. Warren Andrews  February 28, 2013

    I’ve shown this to loads of non-fans and it always goes down well!

  28. peacockpete  February 28, 2013

    This was the one that brought me back to Doctor Who too. I think it was watched by ‘normal’ people at the time as well. My friend Jason and I could almost talk about it at school. Out loud.

    • seanalexander41  February 28, 2013

      I don’t think Doctor Who has ever been watched by ‘normal’ people. And what is regarded as normal anyway? The 20th Century certainly didn’t feel normal to me.

      • Thomas  February 28, 2013

        It was for its first two decades, at least.

      • Daru McAleece  March 4, 2013

        Yes I agree. I don’t really have a sense of ‘normal’. Don’t know what it is. For me Doctor Who celebrates through its medium the beauty of quirkiness and the unusual. That’s what I love about it – and especially now why I think I really enjoy Doctors 6 & 7.

    • Wembley  February 28, 2013

      Similar feelings – it was nearly good enough to admit liking this one – and then came the Kandyman… Still – this did foreshadow a lot to come that the TV series would never, and could never, deliver

  29. James  February 28, 2013

    Yes. Remembrance is awesome. ‘Nuff said.

  30. Thomas  February 28, 2013

    Yeah, this is an absolute brilliant story. It’s the first real classic the show’s had since, really, Androzani, and shines on almost every level. Glad she enjoyed it.

    My favorite McCoy, though, is the one coming up. Hope Sue warms to that one as well.

    • seanalexander41  February 28, 2013

      It’s the first ‘good’ story since ‘Caves’, let alone a classic. There were no classics after 1984, plain and simple. Just a few near-misses.

      • Thomas  February 28, 2013

        Yeah, unfortunately. The only stories that come close are Revelation, Vengeance on Varos, and Two Doctors, but all of those miss the mark in some form or another. I suppose Mindwarp is closest to making a stab at “classic”, but even that’s frakked up by the Trial arc.

  31. John G  February 28, 2013

    “Which ones were the Zygons again?”

    I can’t help wondering if Sue was pulling Neil’s leg a bit there – very entertaining bickering from the pair of you, though! Remembrance is most definitely a classic, and by far and away the best McCoy story, even if Michael Sheard is wasted a bit. From the opening shot it is clear that the show has rediscovered a sense of purpose and self-confidence, and the advent of a darker, more manipulative Doctor gives proceedings a new interest. It’s just unfortunate that the promise of this story was only occasionally fulfilled by the remaining McCoys, and the lead man himself, while not bad in this particular outing, nevertheless still lacks the gravitas to be fully convincing as this puppetmaster of a Doctor. Also, I hope Sue doesn’t get too excited when Mr Aaronovitch’s name next appears under a story title, given that the story is Battlefield…

    “You can’t have a Dalek story without Davros in it. Everybody knows that.”

    Try telling that to RTD and the Moff…

    • seanalexander41  February 28, 2013

      To be fair both RTD and Julian Bleach made Davros’ return a success. But they are better off without him, as his pointless ‘cameo’ proved here.

      • Lokianeule  February 28, 2013

        I think that Davros is best on his own, as proved by the Big Finish Who dramas.

  32. DPC  February 28, 2013

    Loved her comments on the boombox – it’s not too different today, especially when the car windows are down.

    A caption would have helped; the setting looks “not 1980s” but didn’t exactly scream “1963” either – unless one made the inference from the pre-credits teaser, which many wouldn’t. The pre-credits bit could have been homage to Liberal heroes as opposed to putting up an expensive f/x reading “this is 1963” on screen… once Ace and Mike prattle on currency (which was a nice scene), one can then fully confirm they’re a few decades in the past…

    It’s refreshing to see Sue NOT pick up on the references. “Remembrance” I love, but so many thrown-in references do nothing more than grate and detract from the less important thing… you know, the actual story as opposed to this ‘nostalgiawank’.

    But of all the references, “Coal Hill” is pretty much the only one that’s logical and needed for the story.

    In 1988, I loathed it because they got “I. M. FOREMAN” wrong… ugh! Even “Attack of the Cybermen” got the name right, and being 22 years later, being reduced to an open field with junk and a blackboard sign felt more authentic than the day-glo blue paint with “I. M. FORMAN” on it. Heck, if they made it worse and made it read “IMAN FORMAN”, after Star Trek VI and Iman I probably would have squeed over it… oh well!

    Given the change in the Dalek extermination effect, it’s easy to undestand Sue not recognizing it.

    Her comment on ‘taking notes’ is apropos as well, thanks to all the needles nostalgiawank littering up what’s otherwise a great story that could have made proper use of the time wasted instead.

    Sue’s reaction to the cliffhanger is AWESOME. 🙂 I’m surprised that she, like how most of us (including me), didn’t say “Why doesn’t it fire?!!” (the novelization reveals the Dalek expends more energy to levitate, so it can’t fire… sadly, part two disproves that theory…)

    Keff’s music is good in this story, except for one disco dance escape scene where the Doctor goes into a hut and – for camp effect – stifles a sneeze…

    In production, Sophia Aldred fired an actual rocket launcher, and you can see her respond to the laws of physics — and the burn mark behind her was real, not a f/x team design. 🙂

    I’m floored by Mike in this story – he’s a stereotyped Londoner male circa 1963, sexism, implied racism (the sign Ace would see), and all. It helps increase the dislike for the guy, especially as he’s a sellout to the Daleks.

    The “No coloureds” scene is good, but it could have been better. I think the commentary and documentary have more to say on that… it’s good but part of it was also the acting. Ace didn’t sound disgusted enough, or at least lacking emphasis on “fresh air” when responding to that insipid sign…

    “How does that work?” about the bad in-joke to the BBC announcer announcing the show… that just about killed the story for me, but I kept watching – thankfully…

    Sue’s reaction to the design of the Emperor is ace! 🙂

    Now if Gilmore is that well-endowed… 😀

    Ben’s story is exceedingly good, and without the nostalgiawank may have been better…

    Sue’s comment on the big explosion is fab – she should see the extras on the DVD… the BOOM caused car alarms to go off and everything! =D

    I too suspected Davros would be back, as did a friend of mine at the time – the voice is a giveaway…

    Sue pointed out something really great – Ace wondering if they did the right thing. I never made the connection to Ace’s line and obliterating Skaro… of course, I was a long-time fan by 1988 and Ace was new to traveling and had no clue about the Daleks. That shows how fresh and invigorating the new production team here truly is.

    And Mike was just another victim of the Daleks. Used and discarded. Yeah, he’s a racist and sexist pig… but if he could have been made to understand, forgiveness follows. I doubt he was beyond redemption, which is why I think the Doctor and Ace went to his funeral. When Mike pleads with Ace, something felt sincere. That was my take on it all…

    Andrew Morgan was a great director – even “Time and the Rani” is helped by his efforts; it’s not a great story, and in the hands of another director it really would be garbage…

    I’d rate it 9 as well.

    There are some really great stories coming up as well… not always the best-made, but absolute proof that McCoy got a raw deal. Even “Remembrance” could have had an extra episode, just to flesh out more intricate details…

    • Thomas  February 28, 2013

      I would disagree heavily with the idea that “nostalgiawank” lets the episode down at all. Yes, it’s filled with a lot of references, but I think it’s saved by three major reasons.

      First of all, this is an anniversary story, and those references are fairly par for the course for this sort of story (yes, I know Silver Nemesis is the “official” anniversary story, but this seems to be clearly written in the same vein). Secondly, you in no way need to be an expert on the program to understand these references- I’ve watched this with people with no real understanding of the history, and it went over absolutely fine. There are things that work better with a fuller knowledge of the show, yes, but it’s not going to confuse newer viewers any more than “The Snowmen” would with its inclusion of Vastra and Strax.

      Thirdly, and most importantly, the central references here (namely the ones referring to An Unearthly Child) actually are a part of the story. This isn’t like Attack of the Cybermen where the Doctor lands in Totter’s Lane for no apparent reason, but is instead an actual story crafted out of the mythology of the program. The references to the past actually have weight and credence within the story itself, and thus we get something that feels born out of the history of the show rather than making pointless winks to the audience for 90 minutes (granted, of course, there are also many winks to the audience, but for the most part they fit well enough as to not really be “pointless”).

      • Roundel  March 4, 2013

        I would disagree with some of that. I don’t really feel many of these references have “weight and credence within the story itself” as few of them are even necessary to it. The story itself is ostensibly about the Doctor having left behind an obscure superweapon and going back to retrieve it as part of a trap, there is nothing in that basic scenario which requires the appearance of either the junkyard or the school, and their presence in the story adds little to it anyway beyond getting some fans excited.

        Indeed, the addition of these elements mainly exposes how thin and undeveloped the actual plot idea is. Consequently rather a lot of action is given over to not-especially-interesting action set pieces which do little to advance or develop the essentially very basic storyline and which aren’t of much entertainment value in themselves either, with these supposedly iconic locations being wheeled out for their alleged marquee value. Even the Dalek-rising-up-the-stairs bit has never seemed anything special to me, given that it’s not much different in principle from them utilising anti-grav discs in earlier stories.

        The question of whether or not non-fans would it find it confusing isn’t really the issue here just as it isn’t for Attack of the Cybermen, another story I don’t like very much. The main direct references to the past in that one are in the form of exposition in the second episode about the Cybermen wanting to prevent a planet from being destroyed in a given year, which is of a similar nature to being given background information in this story or many others. Someone who didn’t have any knowledge of the former series watching these probably wouldn’t find either of the two stories any more confusing than the other on that basis, as for them there would be nothing to say which bits of exposition relate to action on screen in previous stories, and which bits have just been thought up for the script in question. Both stories are as parasitic as each other, in that both rely on mining the past for inspiration, and in ways that aren’t that different either, and ultimately I don’t accept that there’s some significant kind of difference in either their approaches or indeed the entertainment value of the end results.

  33. Wholahoop  February 28, 2013

    Some real LOL moments:
    “But that’s the young Brigadier, isn’t it?”, “Trotters Yard” and perhaps best of all “Has the Doctor just started the Time War? Yes. Yes he has. Hey, you can’t prove that he didn’t.”

    After the many disappointments of the previous season it was a return to form that, if I remember correctly had been highlighted in The Daily Telegraph which spoke of a darker Doctor just before the season started. Not being a regular Torygraph reader I am not sure why I was reading it when the article was in it

    Am looking forward to Wife in Space II:Mission to Mars

  34. Ouse News (@Ouse_News)  February 28, 2013

    Bloody brilliant

  35. Paul Mc Elvaney  February 28, 2013

    Sue you beauty!! This was one of the very first classic Who stories I saw and it pretty much secured my love for the show’s long history. And now that I know the ins and outs of the 50 years, it is this story, I feel, that paves the way for the show’s ultimate survival and rise to greatness again! And I too am eagerly awaiting the Wife….IN SPACE!!!

    • Chris  February 28, 2013

      Very eloquent summation – this story proved Doctor Who had a future.

  36. Anonymous  February 28, 2013

    Back in the pre-‘New Series’ days of 2004, I used ‘Literary Character Day’ at the primary school I taught at as an excuse to show a group of tough-nut, rough’n’ready 7 year olds from Aston, inner city Birmingham, this story in it’s entirety (we looked at each episode as a part of a story-writing structure. Part 1 = Introduction, Part 2 = Build up, Part 3 = Big dilemma!, Part 4 = Conclusion)

    They had NO concept of Doctor Who, no prior knowledge of the backstory, nothing.

    They were spellbound.

    It was magical to see these kids take ‘Remembrance’ to their hearts and the effect it had on their comprehension skills and writing attainment was phenomenal.

    This is the story I fell in love with back as a 7 year old in 1987, still love to this day and managed to persuade a group of 26 hardened street kids (for want of a better phrase) to fall in love with 17 years after it had been screened.

  37. Lokianeule  February 28, 2013

    “only supposed to blow the bloody doors off” – was that a reference to the 7th Doctor audio LIVE 34?

    This is one of the best posts in a long time. I just loooove Remembrance. And Davros. And Ace and 7.

    • Neil Perryman  March 1, 2013

      “only supposed to blow the bloody doors off” – was that a reference to the 7th Doctor audio LIVE 34?

      Yes, of course that’s what Sue was referring to.

      PS: Seriously??!

      • Polarity Reversed  March 1, 2013

        latexpalm…

      • Matt Sharp  March 2, 2013

        Ah, I suspect this might be like that time that Philip Sandifier flabbergasted his British readers by revealing the Americans don’t know who Madness are.

        Brace yourself, British people, but it’s just possible that non-British people have never heard of the Michael Caine version of the Italian Job…

        • Nick Mays  March 2, 2013

          Notta lotta people know that!

          • Polarity Reversed  March 2, 2013

            For goodness’ sake, it’s hardly an obscure film, and the “doors off” line has become even more famous than the flick itself. A parochial British pop act doesn’t make for a fair comparison.

            I think it’s more an age thing – I was talking to an intelligent 20-something the other day who has never seen Casablanca…

            Given that Dr Who is built from the ground up on homage/pastiche/bricolage (blend to taste), you’re going to miss a lot of the fun if you’re not broadly well-read/well-viewed. Of course, let’s not forget the programme’s educational remit – it’s intended to be a gateway to all kinds of things. When it doesn’t take its own mythology so seriously as to obscure the sources.

          • Nick Mays  March 2, 2013

            Believe it or not, there’s some people who think that “The Wicker Man” is a Nicolas Cage film…

        • encyclops  March 2, 2013

          Of course we know who Madness are — we just file them under “80s one-hit wonder.”

          On the other hand, I’ve never seen a single episode of The Brady Bunch.

          • Polarity Reversed  March 3, 2013

            Really? It was big over here on kids’ TV for a while (along with Little House on the Prairie, Hair Bear Bunch and a few others). But now you mention it, I can’t recall anything about it beyond the theme tune and the prototype “Celebrity Squares” visuals. Wait Til Your Your Father Gets (Until Your Father Gets) Home got reinvented in yellow, of course.

            Goodnight Jimbob.

          • Matt Sharp  March 3, 2013

            ‘Of course we know who Madness are — we just file them under “80s one-hit wonder.”’

            Ah, the fact that ‘Our House’ getting to number 7 in 1983 is the ONLY Ska/2Tone thing anywhere in the US charts highlights exactly how different music was at the time. And even then, some of you appear to think it’s that Paul McCartney one about there being two cats in the yard…

  38. Dop-Enid Pundigrion  February 28, 2013

    I’ve always found this story to be a barely-coherent mess, but each to their own. Classic Cartmel, in that there’s too much going on and too many characters. The scene where there’s a large crowd of named characters all peering over each other (I forget which scene, it’s been a while) really sums it up for me. Disappointing Daleks – except for the Special Weapons bloke (good point from Sue, why aren’t they all like that? This had occurred to me before too) – and a story which never engages me.

  39. Stuart Ian Burns (@feelinglistless)  February 28, 2013

    In 1988 I might have still watched Doctor Who, and likes this, but I was firmly a Transformers fan. Then I was Star Trek fan. Then Buffy. Then I didn’t properly come back to Who until 2001 and McGann’s first Big Finish series.

  40. Glen Allen (@GlenAllenTV)  March 1, 2013

    I recall being very impressed by the Special Weapons Dalek and THAT shot of the army guy being thrown backwards.
    I too didn’t guess Davros was the Emperor until his last rant before he revealed himself.
    Loved Sue’s reaction to this story. I guess compared to the last one this was Oscar worthy 🙂

  41. Jamie  March 1, 2013

    What a lovely review this was, capturing the enthusiasm of seeing this quality story for the very first time.
    Surprised there was no reference to PACKARRRRRRR.
    By the way, did Sue get to hear the Elvis and Beatles originals in the version she viewed?

  42. Matthew Kilburn  March 1, 2013

    I remember my shock on realising that Ratcliffe was actually meant to be a racist, and that Ben Aaronovitch was taking a much more cynical line towards the British establishment’s accommodation with neo-fascism in the early 1960s than I would have expected. It’s a bit late to be doing it, but we were not in Sawardland any more, and not in the brightly-coloured post-punk deconstruction of something which Doctor Who hadn’t actually been which takes over Season 24.

    I’m with Sue on the anachronisms, though. I’d not noticed the breezeblocks and the moulded door, but there is far too much 1980s architecture on the screen, let alone the cars seen in part one.

  43. SpaceSquid  March 1, 2013

    Wait, is that the same Sacred Heart as those of us from Laurence Jackson were contractually obligated to despise? Did Sue really spend some fraction of her youth in – gasp! – Teesside?

  44. Dave Stevens  March 1, 2013

    I was holding my breath for this post, but am very pleased with the outcome! For me, this story put McCoy WAY up the list.

    I was 10 when Silver Nemesis was first shown in New Zealand as part of the 25th Anniversary and it seemed so fresh and modern. (Did you know that New Zealanders were the first in the world to see parts 2 and 3?) We were on our second run through Peter Davison’s era at the time, so to see Colin Baker (Resurrection of the Daleks) and Sylvester McCoy was a real treat!

  45. frankymole  March 1, 2013

    The Dr Who universe is not our universe, though; in a world where videophones are standard and Britain is doing manned missions to Mars in the late 60s or early 70s, perhaps they’ve discovered MDF and brieze blocks (and 1980s-style apartment blocks and cars).

    • John Miller  March 1, 2013

      Get a life.

      • Anonymous  March 1, 2013

        That’s pretty rich coming from you. YOU get a life and stop being an offensive tosser!

        • Dave Sanders  March 1, 2013

          Stop it now you two, the handbags are in the NEXT story.

          • John Miller  March 2, 2013

            Sigh. This isn’t the place for a full explanation, but if honestly watch Doctor Who as a detahced-from-reality “fictional space” where the laws of physics don’t apply, maybe you’d be better off with Harry Potter or Buffy?

            I won’t go into detail, but please just think about these questions.
            1)Why do the London scenes in stories like “Dalek Invasion of Earth” and “the Invasion” work so well? It’s the same reason the iconic final scene of the original Planet of the Apes works so well.
            2)Have you actually watched stories like “State of Decay”, “The Daemons” and “The Shakespeare Code”? What is the message about magic there? You might want to watch the Star Trek episodes “Who mourns for Adonais” and “Devil’s Due” for a far-less-subtle statement of the same message about the place of magic in sf.

            Not a question, but the very nature of sf is someone’s viewpoint of the way our society(and everything from technology to social norms etc.) will impact us tomorrow. 1984 was a projection of 1949’s ideas into 1984(using a 1949 vision of the world as a starting point). 2001 was a projection of 1968’s ideas into 2001(using a 1968 vision of the world as a starting point). The original Star Trek was a projection of 1960’s ideas into the 23rd century(using a 1960’s vision of the world as a starting point). And UNIT Doctor Who was a projection of early 1970’s ideas into the the early 1980’s(using early 1970’s vision of the world as a starting point). It can’t be anything else.

            FANTASY on the other hand takes place in a hermetically-sealed “alternate world” where things like magic, gods, ghosts are normal, history may be totally different, and the laws of physics on Earth do not apply. There are more than enough fantasy “franchises” around without some people wanting to turn Doctor Who into one.

          • Thomas  March 2, 2013

            The issue is not the point you’re making (which I largely agree with, except for the fact you completely exclude fantasy in being a real-world-based narrative, when it often is). It’s your hostile tone and pejorative “get a life” that brings the scorn (as well as the fact you’ve been stubbornly persisting a rude and hostile attitude since the McCoy years started here).

          • Roundel  March 2, 2013

            Frankymole was not talking about, or trying to justify, magic or similar kinds of fantasy anyway. He was simply making the point that as Doctor Who has frequently featured objects, technology or people who do not have any existence in real life, there is a certain amount of wriggle room for where exactly you draw the line between the two.

            Science fiction does not invariably comprise projecting its speculations into the future or any definite era either, it can do, but the setting isn’t always important. One particular example in Doctor Who alone being The War Machines. A story set in the same year it was made, 1966, which featured WOTAN and the machines of the title. Nothing similar to these existed at the time, nor was there likely to be, but the series still had no problem with locating it during the then-present, possibly partly to lend Ben and Polly some immediacy, as companions from the then-now.

            Even as far as the UNIT stories go, it’s probably best just to note that as several people were working on and responsible for the series at the time, and that as the chances are that it wasn’t considered a strong priority, there was likely no fixed and agreed consensus on everyone’s part as to when they were supposed to be set. Few of them contain much or anything that is significantly futuristic, and at least one of the ones that does – the story Franky referred to, Ambassadors – was actually originally intended as a Troughton story in one of the standard futuristic settings of that era. It’s possible that any potential futuristic setting of them may have been more important to Sherwin than Letts. At least one of the Letts stories contains a dialogue reference describing the mid 1920s as being not much more than forty years earlier, the calenders remain contemporary to the period, and indeed Letts himself later chose to set his third Doctor radio plays in 1975, in one of his novel adaptations of them. None of which matters much – there is conflicting evidence either way from the period, almost certainly implying that it wasn’t a very important issue for everyone involved.

            I don’t want to start another argument on that subject, which is irrelevant to this story anyway – so I’ll just put it this way, and hope this satisfies everyone’s point of view: There is evidence that some people eg Sherwin intended the UNIT stories to have a near-future setting. There is also evidence that it wasn’t an important enough angle for everyone involved to feel a need to strive for complete consistency, or to build a fully thought-out or realised ‘future’ world. Anything further than that is in the realm of conjecture and hence not quantifiable.

            Consistent world-building was never really a priority for the original series production teams, and in most cases, it was barely a possibility anyway, given the nature of the format. I never say words like ‘Whoniverse’ – well, except just then – and the existence of a concept like that is really just a side effect of having a series which has lasted decades, and which has had sets of stories that can be linked in some narrative way, as with the material set on 1960s-onwards Earth. As this process has also involved writing fiction, and the writing of the fiction involves inventing some things, it’s understandable that this might eventually lead to some people trying to connect all of these many invented things and events together, in a way which unconsciously implies that there’s some kind of grand master narrative, even though, of course, there clearly isn’t, in the case of Doctor Who. It’s probably comparable to the way that some light hearted scholars of Sherlockiana have tried to puzzle out a coherent and consistent universe from the various Holmes stories. That was something which started out as a joke, a knowing exercise in academic frivolity, although some, who came to it later, have apparently treated it more seriously.

            If there’s anything that I would caution people about when it comes to attempting the same thing for Doctor Who, that would be it, I think – taking it too seriously. Regardless of what your point of view on it may be, whether you approve or disapprove of it. Do not take it seriously. It’s not worth the strength of feelings it inspires. Do it for a bit of fun if you like – it’s harmless as long as you continue to bear in mind that it is only an inconsequential pastime, or shun it, if you feel it’s a path best avoided, but either way, it can only ever be a side-issue.

            There’s no internally consistent fictional universe in the series, just a collection of loosely-connected (if at all) narratives. That, in turn, if you accept that, means that continuity inconsistencies are, or can be, totally unimportant. If one story rewrites another, that story is also potentially open to being rewritten itself at some time in the future. Remembrance of the Daleks, a story which I don’t particularly like for various reasons, is also no more immune to that than any other story.

            You can try to resolve any alleged continuity errors as part of a diverting parlour game if you like, if you don’t, you can just ignore them and save your time and attention for something more interesting.

          • Roundel  March 2, 2013

            Having said all of that though, it would also be fair to add that I do personally regard the anachronistic flats and cars in Remembrance as a reasonable criticism. I’m not inclined to rationalise them in the way Franky suggested, although if he wishes to that’s his prerogative. For me they’re just evidence that the story’s attempts at recreating the era it’s set in are at best only partly successful.

          • Nick Mays  March 2, 2013

            Franky, John, Roundel, I just explain away all the inconsistencies in the ‘Who’ universe by the simple RTD shorthand of… The Time War. Somehow as a result of the Time War Skaro was resurrected, but then seriously buggered up, as shown in Asylum of the Daleks, so that’s an inconsistency that can be explained away. Therefore, all the UNIT dating and other piffling minutae of ‘continuity’ can be explained away in the same way. (In The Sontaran Strategem the Doc himself says he can never remember if he was at UNIT in the 70s or 80s.)

            Before the Time War as an an explanation, the New Adventures used the Timewyrm etc. to explain away continuity ‘errors’. In fact, quite early on in the New Adventures, the Doctor rationalises the Dalek’s “many beginnings” as a result of the Timewyrm getting into the Time Vortex and changing chronology.

            As for the First Doctor not knowing about the Daleks but having a masterplan on behalf of the Time Lords by taking the Hand of Omega to earth in 1963, maybe this was done retrospectively? Maybe the 7th Doctor visited the First in his ‘peaceful garden’ shortly before he regenerated and got him to place the Hand of Omega there? Never mind the Troughton 6B season, maybe there’s a Season 3B or Season 4B going on? Or maybe there’s even a future incarnation of the Doctor who is an “old geezer with white hair” and he went back to 1963 with The Hand of Omega to lay the trap for the Daleks?

            But at the end of the day, apart from the central premise of Doctor Who; a Time Lord, a Tardis, Companions and Time Travel Travel it’s all an ongoing, mostly enjoyable telefantasty series, which also works in other media. You, the viewer/fan can rationalise it in whichever way you like, whether in the real world of Production Teams, Script Editors etc. or within the ‘Whoniverse’ (sorry!)

            Anyway, that’s just MY opinion. It saves so much brainache!

          • Roundel  March 2, 2013

            Well, those can be possible examples of the kind of thing I was talking about. There’s all kinds of ways around things if you’re interested enough, and in the final analysis you can always ignore something if all else fails, or try to at least.

            Similar to some of the things you suggest, I did once think of a way that the seventh Doctor could have just set the situation in Remembrance up by placing the device there himself not long before in his own timeline, and covering his tracks by hypnotising the undertaker, and disguising his voice when dealing with the vicar, to make himself look and sound to them like his first incarnation. All very silly, but it helps the story work a bit better for me that way, and Doctor Who is pretty silly anyway.

          • We're watching  March 3, 2013

            I think Fantasy tv shows should be a calling for you John, you invent far more ridiculous and outrageous fantasies than anyone else who visits this blog.

            Frankmole made a good point and you bashed it because you simply don’t like this version of the Doctor, or Doctor Who as it was at this point. You’ll never get treated with any sort of respect, nor will your “theories”, until you start to behave rationally towards others and not lash out like a spoilt 10 year old at people who don’t agree with what you say. I’m not just talking about on here either.

            Be careful..

          • John Miller  March 3, 2013

            Hmm. You accuse me of getting too personal…by making personal comments/insults.

            1)I have not actually created any theories of my own on here.

            2)Yes, I freely admit I don’t like this version of The Doctor, or this era. As have many other people. And, judging by the ratings and subsequent cancellation, I’m part of the majority.

            3)I apologise for the “Get a life” comment, but the whole “Whonievrse is not the same place as our universe. In the Whoniverse there were manned missions to Mars BEFORE Armstrong stepped on the Moon” thing grates as badly as calling Sophie Aldred’s character “Acieed”.

          • jazza1971  March 3, 2013

            John, with regards to your recent post, in it you state that you have “not actually created any theories of [your] own on here” and yet I would disagree. Earlier you claim that many different life forms must have died on Skaro due to the fact that the show uses the design of the Emperor dalek from the TV comics therefore “all the other life on Skaro from the comics must exist as well”. That seems very much like a theory to me! If it isn’t your own theory, then I apologise. Anyway, it isn’t a very good theory. If the theory was to be true, then what exactly is Davros doing in this story, as, according to the comics the dalek creator is Yarvelling. And although the production team may have been inspired by the design, it isn’t the same as the one in the comic. The crucial point is that it was “inspired by”, not that it IS the same emperor dalek. “Brain of Morbius” was inspired by “Frankenstein”, it isn’t actually “Frankenstein”.

            With regards to the whole “Whoniverse” thing, this is what happens with fiction. As soon as you create a piece of fiction, even if you set it in the real world, it is always set in a fictional reality simply by the order of being fictional. “Eastenders” is set in the real world, but it is a real world in which there isn’t a top of the ratings soap opera called “Eastenders” and so just by having been created it now exists in a fictional world that is similar to ours in so many ways, and yet can never be “our” world due to the fact that there is this small detail missing. A small point, I know, but this is the nature of fiction. So by the same process, “Doctor Who” is set in a universe very close to our own one but by the very nature of being fiction it can never actually be our world. This is why we didn’t have a Prime Minister called Harriet Jones, or indeed the planet being towed half way across the universe. Because, despite how close the production team try to make the setting to our world, it never will be. It is set in a fictional universe which some, for ease of reference and because they think it sounds cool, call the “Whoniverse”.

            Finally, your definition of “FANTASY” seems to me that it could fit “Doctor Who” rather well!

            A place “where things like magic” happens? – surely a device constructed of corks and forks is “like magic”, unless you can explain the science behind it?

            “gods”? – hello Black and White Guardian.

            “ghosts” appear quite a few times in Doctor Who, usually with some scientific explanation, admittedly

            “History may be totally different” – where to begin?!? There are many instances in Doctor Who in which history is shown differently from the actual events.

            And “the laws of physics on Earth do not apply”. Well, to my knowledge it is physically impossible to fit a large structure inside a Police Box, it is impossible to travel faster than the speed of light and many more examples.

          • Roundel  March 3, 2013

            I’ve always liked The Ambassadors of Death, and it still is a favourite of mine from the era, but on any scientific level as regards sending astronauts to Mars, it’s utter garbage, frankly, and would have been recognisable as such, to anyone who knew about the science, even in 1970. It really doesn’t make any difference whichever era you think the production team were aiming to set it in, it’s unsalvageable on any scientific basis.

            http://www.astronomycafe.net/qadir/q2811.html

          • We're not watching anymore  March 3, 2013

            True John, you havent created any, just expanded upon minor and defunct ones to massively comical proportions in the past, i’ll give you that. Given that you can’t believe that the DWU is a totally different one to ours, i can understand why you do.

            No offence, nothing personal. It’s good that you are apologising to Frankymole.

          • Neil Perryman  March 3, 2013

            Can you please tone down the passive aggression. Thanks.

          • John Miller  March 3, 2013

            Ok. At this point(1988…25 years after the first episode) the overwhelming makority understood what a “Doctor Who Universe” was supposed to be. When Sydney Newman and the rest created Doctor Who, it was always with the full understanding that it was “fictional characters and stories but set in the real world”. All steps were taken(both historical and sciencewise) to synch Who up with reality. And, as noted earlier, Science Fiction and “Fictional Universes” are mutually incompatible.

            Now, during the 80’s ideas like the Marvel Universe took hold. However, comic universes and Doctor Who exist in totally different genres. But then in the 90’s came certain authors with their own theories that were totally at odds with reality(and established Doctor Who, for that matter). Many of these people were comic book fans, and so applied the same logic to Who. Next, the big new hit was Buffy, which had its “Buffyverse”. Next, magazines like SFX, Starburst and Dreamwatch coined the term “genre show” which seemed to include everything from Who, Star Trek, Buffy, Highlander, X Files, Beauty and the Beast, Avengers, Lois and Clark, and a whole host of others. Since most of these shows were set in their own fictional “universe”, people assumed that that was how Doctor Who worked, and how it had always worked. But it wasn’t. Certainly, at least up until the end of the Saward/C Baker Era Doctor Who existed in the real world, and anyone who used a term like “Doctor Who Universe” would be treated with a blank stare. If you only came to Who in the 90’s or later, or think that Doctor Who is somehow equivalent to the Twilight saga, then the “Whoniverse” makes perfect sense. If you were there before, or understand how SF works at the fundamental levels, the “Whoniverse” is the exact opposite of what the show is supposed to be about.

          • Roundel  March 3, 2013

            Doctor Who was contravening the laws of science and physics at least as early as 1964. Planet of Giants presents a scenario that is simply not compatible with ‘real world’ science, as dies every story depicting characters being miniaturised and then carrying on unaffected, of which thee are quite a few. Carnival of Monsters and Armageddon Factor are other examples.

            There are several reasons why. If you shrink someone down to being the size of an action man, it means their brain has been reduced to about one two hundred-and-sixteenth of its original size, which would render it practically impossible to squeeze in enough brain cells to constitute an intelligent brain.

            Also, the ratio of surface area to volume would mean that this person would be losing body heat about six times as fast as a normal human. There would also be a far smaller stomach, which would require much more eating, in the same way that very small mammals can eat the equivalent of their own body weight on one day.

            There is also the problem of mass, Someone shrunk to this size but retaining the same mass would just collapse to the ground as their size would be unable to bear it. In order to convert this mass into energy to compensate for this, and back if reversing the process, you would need something with the equivalent amounts of energy as a large H Bomb.

            Invisible Enemy compounds this by having the Doctor and Leela shrunk to microscopic size, which only increases the problems.

            The shrinking in these stories is not so much science fiction as science fantasy, and I’d suggest that the latter is abetter description of much of Doctor Who. It’s closer to Jonathan Swift, who, of course, also had the Lilliputians and Brobdingnagians in his book, Gulliver’s Travels, than to George Orwell, at least in that respect.

            Now you could, if you chose, posit the idea that the series is simply featuring fictional technology that has overcome these issues, but if you do that, you’re already opening the way clear to featuring invented science that is basically indistinguishable from magic or fantasy.

          • jazza1971  March 3, 2013

            I agree. Doctor Who largely gives us “Science Fantasy” with “Science Fiction” sometimes thrown in for good measure.

            The whole premise of the show, that a space/time ship is contained within a smaller Police Box, is a piece of Science Fantasy. A glorious fantastic idea that has its origins in fantasy fiction in which you travel to a different world by stepping through a door.

            When it comes down to it, it is just a fantastic work of fiction, which ever way you decide to pigeon hole it.

          • Thomas  March 3, 2013

            “And, judging by the ratings and subsequent cancellation, I’m part of the majority.”

            No, that just means no one was watching the program at the time because they were scared off by Trial of a Time Lord. And being scheduled against Coronation Street didn’t help it much, either.

            Seriously, attacking the McCoy years and then using the ratings as back-up is one of the most tiresome arguments in Who fandom there is.

          • John Miller  March 4, 2013

            Funny you should mention “Eastenders”.

            1)We see here in Rememrbrance that there IS a tv show called Doctor Who in the so-called “Doctor Who Universe”.
            2)a bit nerdy here, but i)The Doctor went to Albert Square and met Eastenders characters in “Dimensions in Time”, thus they occur in the same so-called “universe”. ii)In Army of Ghosts, Eastenders is a tv show. Thus, it naturally follows that in the Eastenders “universe” there is indeed a tv show called Eastenders.

          • jazza1971  March 4, 2013

            “1)We see here in Rememrbrance that there IS a tv show called Doctor Who in the so-called “Doctor Who Universe”.” – Erm, no we don’t. We see there is a new SF programme called “Doctor…”, the title never being completed. As Neil points out it could be “Doctor X”.

            “2)a bit nerdy here, but i)The Doctor went to Albert Square and met Eastenders characters in “Dimensions in Time”, thus they occur in the same so-called “universe”. ii)In Army of Ghosts, Eastenders is a tv show. Thus, it naturally follows that in the Eastenders “universe” there is indeed a tv show called Eastenders.” – If you take DiT as canon, then yes that fits…but it is a big “if”, really. It was a sketch done for a charity event, not a regular episode of either shows. It was for charidee, mate.

  46. Rassilon  March 1, 2013

    Slightly shakey at times but overall a good solid start to the 25th Season re-affirming my faith in the series & to Sly himself. “A hit, a very palpable hit!”

  47. Steve Mollmann  March 1, 2013

    This was the story that convinced me I would like Doctor Who consistently– I’d seen The Curse of Fenric and Genesis of the Daleks and loved both, but our local station was in the middle of a dull run of Leela stories, and it was doing nothing for me and I was thinking of giving up, and then they just randomly jumped ahead to this, and I was completely amazed.

    I recently watched this with my wife, and she thinks Mike and Ace slept together that night at the boarding house.

  48. John Miller  March 1, 2013

    I have to disagree with Sue(and others) on this one. Remembrance is a steaming pile of offensive shit. The first thing is all its “clever” references, which they get wrong(such as ‘Forman’). Then, the so-called “clever” bits have been done before(did everyone forget the Totters Lane junkyard in Attack of the Cybermen?) Then, we get them rewriting the whole reason The Doctor left in the first place. The increasingly-annoying Ace grates as well. In fact, this story marked a milestone for me. it was the first time ever I was actually rooting for the companion to get killed(and that’s after Adric and Mel). The baseball bat scene is also beyond cringeworthy. We saw what the Daleks could do in The Dalek Invasion of Earth(or Doomsday for New Who fans). But Ace and a baseball bat…fuck off. Oh yeah, and that “being clever” by having Doctor Who on the television in the background.

    However, the most offensive thing was written about some years ago in this article: http://www.kaldorcity.com/features/articles/remembrance.html On the offchance you haven’t already read yet, please do.

    • gavinio  March 1, 2013

      As you said to someone earlier – get a life.

      • John Miller  March 1, 2013

        Chalk and cheese. The one was someone trying to make Doctor Who into a Marvel comic.

        Mine was pointing out the flaws in Aaronovitch trying to be too clever for his own good, and also advocating genocide.

        • seanalexander41  March 1, 2013

          Cartmel was certainly trying to use graphic novels (Watchmen in particular) as an inspiration for Who in the late ’80s. I don’t think Aaronovitch was advocating genocide, just pointing out the potential trend for Humanity to always lean towards destroying the unalike.

          • John Miller  March 1, 2013

            a)There’s a difference between being influenced by comic action etc., and actually turning the show into something it’s not. Basically by detaching things from reality to the point where people don’t act like they would in real life, comic logic applies, and it’s all taking place in some “Whoniverse” where Shirley Williams was Prime Minister, and there are Gods called Fate, Time, Death and the rest is the exact opposite of what Doctor Who actually is.

            b)The Doctor not only destroyed the Daleks, he manipulated them into that situation. But he also destroyed Skaro. This shows what a twat Aaronovitch is. He’s so keen to make references to Coal Hill School, and give us inferior versions of the Brigadier and Liz, that he forgets that the Thals were still on Skaro then. So the Doctor is destroying them too. And all life on Skaro. Not to mention the fact that the destruction of that system will effect neighbouring systems. And it’s exactly the way The Doctor set it up, with the Daleks being just pawns on his Cosmic Chessboard, In fact, this character is exactly the sort of genocidal manipulator that the other ten Doctors we have seen would KNOW they had to fight against.

    • Thomas  March 1, 2013

      So your basic criticism is “I find this annoying, this annoying, and this annoying”. Very acute.

      Also, the reason this is more well-remembered than the Attack of the Cybermen bit is because Totter’s Lane was actually connected to the story, and not just thrown in for no reason whatsoever (indeed, the central difference between this and Attack is that Attack presumes its continuity is inherently interesting, and Remembrance actually thinks to connect it to an actual story (however “annoying” you find it to be).

      • John Miller  March 1, 2013

        No. My reasoning is that the Doctor behaves exactly how the Doctor should NOT behave.

        A Nu Who equivalent would be if in New Earth, the Doctor had left with Rose, dropped a nuclear warhead on New New York, killing everyone, and then chirpily announcing that he was the one who set up the human experiments in the first place. It was all bait, which the Sisters took, hook line and sinker, and now EVERYONE is dead, And then he cheerily had a cup of tea.

        • Thomas  March 1, 2013

          Except that this isn’t a heavily-populated colony with mostly-good people, it’s Skaro. Even if we do take the Thaals into account there’s plenty enough ambiguity to suggest they would’ve migrated off the planet by then (as we eventually have to presume they did by at least Destiny of the Daleks).

          • John Miller  March 1, 2013

            Ok, I take it we’re not gonna agree on this. So some quick last points from me:

            a)The Doctor would never destroy an entire race of people
            b)Thals or no Thals, what of all the other life on Skaro? Since they used the Emperor from the comics, than all the other life on Skaro from the comics must exist as well. To say nothing of the fact that there must be other planets in the vicinity of Skaro that would suffer from the blast.
            c)It was NOT the Doctor REACTING to a Dalek invasion. It is amde clear that the Doctor himself orchestrated the whole thing. So, from the very beginning, the Doctor was planning on destroying Skaro, and the whole thing has been a game for him. Like a far sicker version of the Celestial Toymaker.
            d)One person here(not you) said that the Daleks “had it coming”. That is beyond revolting. Please read the link(if you haven’t already read it, possibly years ago)
            e)One person’s “good people” is someone else’s enemy. But in the Cartmelverse the characters basically walk around with neon signs saying “Goodie” or “Baddie”.
            f)The way some people like this is because Doctor Who to them is not based in reality. It is all some comic book fantasy with villains whose only reason for existence is that they are cartoon villains who must be destroyed. And, in that sense, Remembrance may very well be a jolly good feast of explosions, guns and whatnot. However, and I’m sure I’ll get mocked for this(and I don’t care), Doctor Who was never supposed to be set in some separated “Whoniverse”.

            This story just leaves a sick taste in my mouth, and I can not possibly agree with the message it promotes.

          • Thomas  March 1, 2013

            “a)The Doctor would never destroy an entire race of people”

            To quote from Sandifer:
            “The Doctor has caused the destruction of huge numbers of Daleks before. Just two seasons ago we were supposed to overlook the genocide of the Vervoids. Troughton was never above wiping out a few species here and there. Including a pretty blatant attempt on the Daleks that included letting those with the human factor die. Yes, the Doctor obliterates Skaro. Let’s be honest. He does things like that.”

            And I agree totally with your last point, but all in all I think you’re too quick to presume that we’re automatically meant to side with the Doctor here. It’s a bit more ambiguous than you give it credit for, and I think certainly meant to be more shocking than cathartic.

          • Dave Sanders  March 1, 2013

            It’s a very 1980s-comic sort of ‘morality’, as one would expect from Andrew Cartmel. 2000AD is the obvious cited source, but this is actually the closest the Doctor ever gets to Ozymandias, with a shade of Doctor Manhattan thrown in. If you’re going to steal, steal from the best.

          • Dop-Enid Pundigrion  March 2, 2013

            I think the comic book nature of the Cartmel era is the essential problem I have with it. The Doctor spent 24 years not being a tormented, manipulative destroyer of worlds from the dawn of time – and then suddenly overnight, this is what he is. We had 24 years of an alien renegade righting wrongs, standing up for the little guy, using his wit, intelligence, cunning and sense of humour to defeat the enemies. He was a show-off, a name-dropper, too big for his boots and sometimes took morally dubious routes, but he was essentially one of the good guys trying to do his best. The idea of making him something else entirely is on paper perhaps not a bad notion for a flagging show, but a weak version of comic-book “darkness”, pulled from nowhere, I just found pretentious and embarrassing.

            Same with Human Nature/Family Of Blood – I loved that serial, easily my favourite of the new series, but the whole thing is centred around this idea of the Doctor being the uncontrollably vengeful being who has to restrain himself from wreaking awful punishment by removing his own memory. Where does THAT come from?! The Doctor was the guy who stood up to the bullies, he wasn’t one of the bullies.

          • John Miller  March 2, 2013

            Very well put. And, unlike me, you didn’t need to use vulgarity. 🙂

          • Nick Mays  March 2, 2013

            Dop-Enid… The Doctor as a terrible vengeful being comes from the Time War. The Ninth Doctor was very scarred by his experiences in said War… and this carried though into his 10th and 11th incarnations. Anyway, we know the 8th took part in the Time War, what’s to say that the 7th was drawn into it by one of his future selves of even the Time Lords?

          • encyclops  March 2, 2013

            Dop-Enid — if that is your real name 😉 — I couldn’t agree more. I like McCoy a lot as an actor, and I like some of the ideas and playfulness of his years, but the whole “lonely scheming god” thing alienated me in all the wrong ways.

        • Brian  March 3, 2013

          Don’t be daft, the Doctor in the new series commited mass genocide on an epic scale, even before Rose’s alarm clock went off! If anything, Sylvester’s Doctor is a template for the new series’ Doctors, and without them how will he ever reach his Valeyard?

  49. Matt Sharp  March 1, 2013

    ‘Sue: Why does the Brigadier have his gun attached to some rope around his neck? Is he worried that he might lose it? I’ve heard of soap-on-a-rope, but that is ridiculous.’

    That’s a lanyard and it is indeed there in case he drops it.

    I suppose it could be a reference to the Blake’s 7 Liberator guns or the weapons the Thals have in ‘Planet of the Daleks’, both of which are attached to the users belt by a lanyard-style power cable type thing.

    Of course, it’s entirely possible that I’m over analysing things again…

    • seanalexander41  March 1, 2013

      You have answered your own question there.

    • Nick Mays  March 2, 2013

      Revolver lanyards were standard issue for officers in the armed forces, but had generally fallen out of use after WW1 due to the changing nature of warfare where it wasn’t often that it got ‘up close and personal’. However, in an urban, close-to combat situation, whereas Gilmore’s men have their rifles (which have shoulder straps), he would have needed a lanyard on his revolver in case he needed to run from point A to B quickly and didn’t have time to holster his revolver… which was their original purpose.

  50. John Miller  March 1, 2013

    Oh, and there’s the obvious. The Daleks are evil because they committed genocide, Fair enough. So the Doctor commits genocide against the Daleks. Which therefore makes him good. So if someone were to wipe him and his kind out, does that make them even better? Until there’s only one group of pure, perfect people left?

    • chris-too-old-to-watch  March 2, 2013

      One of the problems with this discussion is the use of the term “genocide” which, since Word War II, will be forever associated with the attempted destruction of the Jewish race by the Nazis. As such, it carries a huge amount of negative connotations with it, rather than the exact, unemotional usage some people are employing.
      From the story point of view, the daleks didn’t just commit genocide. They have commited genocide over and over again. They have enslaved huge numbers of people throughtout the universe. They have destroyed huge amounts of life wherever they have been. They are a symbol of ultimate evil throughout all of Dr Who – at least in the classic series.
      For the Doctor to destroy the home planet of the daleks, within the connotation of the story is symbolic of fighting against a greater evil. If you prefer, rather than “commiting genocide”, from the Docotr’s point of view it’s rather more like “eradicating smallpox”.
      Anyway in New Who, the “Doctor and his people” were wiped out. By the daleks as it happens, so the Doctor couldn’t have “committed genocide”.

      • John Miller  March 2, 2013

        The Doctor destroyed an entire planet, killing not only the Daleks but all other life forms on the planet(and likely all lifeforms in the vicinity of Skaro). If that isn’t committing genocide(no scare quotes necessary), I don’t know what is.

        Also, while the Daleks may indeed be evil, they are a sentient species, who developed time travel technology(ie. more intelligent than humans).

        But, most of all, this Doctor does not react to a Dalek invasion. It is made entirely clear that The Doctor himself orchestrates everything here. Everything(the Dalek invasion, all the deaths of both Daleks and humans, the destruction of Skaro) was something that the Doctor himself planned out, with the ultimate aim always being the destruction of Skaro. All the humans(both the racists and the Doctor’s allies) who died were simply unfortunate pawns in the Doctor’s Game of Cosmic Chess. Sorry, but that is not the Doctor I grew up watching, and thankfully it’s not the Doctor that is on television now.

        • Roundel  March 2, 2013

          Although what is not made entirely clear is whether the first Doctor was planning or anticipating whether the Daleks would be arriving there at the time of the first story or, alternatively, whether the Daleks have subsequently found out about the Hand of Omega and headed there to get it, with the Doctor, having also learned of their plans, going there to set the trap.

          It’s impossible to say, simply on the strength of what’s said in the story, which was the case. Arguably, if the Doctor was already expecting the Daleks to turn up later, even before we first encounter him in the first episode, then it was, if anything, even more irresponsible of him to leave the situation so unresolved. I’ll skate lightly over the strong implication in the second story that he’s never met or heard of them before, something else which causes problems for the idea that he had a Dalek-related conspiracy on the go from the start.

          I suspect that Aaronovitch and Cartmel were intending for it to have been the Doctor’s plan all along, right through the first twenty five years of the series’ run, but the fact that, even if only by accident, the story leaves it open to some extent as to whether the Doctor is revising his earlier plans in light of developments off screen – yes, he’s expecting the Daleks there by the time this story starts, but that needn’t necessarily mean he was originally – allows for a bit of extra room in how to interpret the story at least, although the motives of the writers could still be open to criticism. The very next story, The Happiness Patrol, has him land on Terra Alpha because he’s heard disturbing rumours, so it’s not beyond the bounds of possibility for something like that to have set this story in motion.

          I do still have issues with this story in respect to the Hand of Omega, as I just don’t like the idea of him having left something behind during the first episode, and then coming back for it years later as part of an uncompleted plan, which he’s supposedly left unresolved all this time. I can’t put it any more straightforwardly and directly than simply saying it’s not a narrative device which has any appeal to me, and not something I’m inclined to mentally graft on to the events of the first episode. I simply don’t desire to.

          Oddly enough though, the fact that this story gets so much of the recreation of the first episode wrong does help, for me anyway, to partly blunt the impact. The fact that the junkyard which appears in Remembrance is quite clearly and obviously not the same one as in Unearthly Child – there is no resemblance at all – to say nothing of the spelling mistake on the gates, and indeed the way that neither the school lab, nor the French Revolution book, which shouldn’t be there anyway, are the same ones depicted in the first episode. Although obviously none of this would have been intentional at the time, but as it is it does help make it easier for me to think of this as not so much a genuine sequel to the first story, rather some sort of simulation. Similarly, it completely lacks the kind of visual texture and atmosphere of the first episode anyway, which was full of monochrome shadows and fog. This story, on its flatly lit 1980s colour videotape, doesn’t feel anything like as though it comes from the same world.

          The dubious morality of destroying Skaro – although I’ve not said much about that so far, I do have a lot of sympathy for the viewpoints expressed by John Miller and Alan Stevens on this one – even if you can justify it on grounds of ruthless pragmatism, the sheer scale of what’s done renders the action problematic if nothing else, and it’s not the kind of action which I believe the character of the Doctor was intended to be carrying out or facilitating as a matter of course. You can compare it to the Doctor diverting the Ice Warrior fleet into the sun in Seeds of Death, as some have done, but even there, there are differences. Apart from the fact that it’s a reaction to an unprovoked invasion on that occasion, it’s also a trap which relies on the actions of all its participants. Only by attempting the invasion itself are the ships and crews sent off course via the decoy, so in effect it’s their own corrupt actions leading them into the trap. This is only true here insofar as Davros is the one making the decision, after the Doctor begs him not to, but he’s only one man, and there’s the issue where this may be a trap set by the Doctor to begin with, rather than as a reaction to something in particular.

          I also think that there’s a question over whether having a story where Skaro is apparently destroyed means anything in the long run anyway. It doesn’t, and indeed hasn’t, precluded them from featuring the planet in subsequent stories on television, which means that in the end it may not be much more than a fairly hollow gimmick, designed to be part of the climax for this story, but one which can be easily ignored or written around in future.

          • encyclops  March 2, 2013

            I can’t quite bring myself to “skate” over the events of the story we call “The Daleks.” 🙂 The way I’ve come to think about this — though it may contradict what happens in *this* story, I’m not sure — is that the Hand of Omega is something immensely dangerous the Doctor brought with him from Gallifrey, and burying it for the universe’s protection might be part of the reason he left. I don’t imagine he’d originally planned to use it against anyone in particular, certainly not the Daleks, but in his seventh incarnation decided to go back for it.

          • Roundel  March 2, 2013

            That’s one of the possibilities I mentioned, and which I think might just be feasible depending on how you interpret the story, although it probably wasn’t what the writers were thinking.

        • chris-too-old-to-watch  March 3, 2013

          Genocide is the entire destruction of a species. NOT killing a lot of various life forms.
          Your last sentence “Sorry, but that is not the Doctor I grew up watching, and thankfully not the Doctor that is on television now” sums up the obvious problems you have with McCoy’s Who. His incarnation of the character IS like this, just as Pertwee’s who hob-nobbed with Cabinet ministers, Davison’s played cricket, whilst Troughton’s played the recorder.

          • Roundel  March 3, 2013

            There’s a problem with that line of argument though. It implies that any kind of change or development in motivation or character between different Doctors is equally value-free purely by dint of change being an constant part of the format. But a concept such as change can only be ascribed qualities such as being good or bad depending on what the nature of any one example of it is considered to be by the person evaluating it.

            So, an objection to an artistic decision which sees the Doctor doing things which the viewer regards as indefensible cannot effectively be answered by making the point that change is a constant. If said viewer – and I’m trying not to refer to John specifically, as it’s an opinion also held by people other than him anyway – deprecates one particular policy taken by the series at any one time, they are discussing moral issues as they relate to specific decisions, rather than the principle underlying concepts such as mutability.

    • Nick Mays  March 2, 2013

      John… chill mate, chill. It’s TV. Not real life!

      • John Miller  March 2, 2013

        Ok, I’ll stop. But having followed the Doctor on television(and other media), and then being hit with this, it was very unsettling. The behaviour of this character is completely at odds with everything we know about the Doctor. As someone else stated, the show was suffering, and some retooling was definitely in order. But to completely change the very nature of the Doctor himself was not the way. The show had to adapt and change over the years, I fully understand that. But there’s an enormous difference between updating/tweaking and completely changing the most fundamental points, until it’s for all intents and purposes a different show.

  51. seanalexander41  March 1, 2013

    It’s implicated that when the Hand of Omega detonates Skaro’s sun it is way into the future, when the Thals (and possibly all other life bar the Daleks) have fled. And the Daleks had it coming anyway.

  52. Barry Stavers  March 1, 2013

    Reading this blog always chucks up surprises for me. Reading this installment suddenly made me realise Bonnie Langford was only in it for one series (ish). For some reason it seemed FAR longer….

  53. seanalexander41  March 1, 2013

    She was only in it for five stores, two of which (partially) written by Pip & Jane. She had no chance against those odds.

  54. DamonD  March 1, 2013

    “I’ll tell you what – McCoy is bloody good.”

    The whole experiment was worth it 🙂

    Seriously though, I’m really pleased that Sue enjoyed lovely Remembrance so much. And that the way this experiment works allowed this story to be seen in somewhat of a similar context, given the rough times the show had been experiencing.

    McCoy’s era does still divide fans but I am very much firmly on the ‘indian summer’ side of things for this season and next. They don’t get everything right, but the ideas and ambition are worthy of much praise. It feels like there, for the first time in years, there are finally people creating and shaping it that really want to get deep into what the show and character are about, rather than just runabout situations and reliable old tropes.

    I hope Sue gets the right vibe of the next story too. This really was a heartwarming read, guys.

    DEAFENING BOOM!!!!

  55. Anonymous  March 1, 2013

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen this story but – on the basis of this review – I’ve just ordered it and am looking forward to treat. (And I used the link on the page to buy it. MAY I have some Gallifreyan points please?)

    Neil, I’m VERY impressed by your next project. 😉 I do hope there will be regular posting about it. Will Buffy and the other pets accompany you?

    • Polarity Reversed  March 2, 2013

      Maybe those things in the title sequence are magnified chunks of cat litter ejected into space from near-space exploration vehicle Wife II.

      Come to think of it, this might also be what the sandminer in Robots of Death was scooping up. “Toos! There seems to be an unusually large object in forward shit-tray one – send a Voc to investigate.”

  56. BWT  March 1, 2013

    Excellent stuff. Nice. This is one of McCoy’s best. Actually there is only one really crap one left to endure (and what a festering dog turd it is too…).

    • Thomas  March 1, 2013

      Hm, based on popular fan consensus, this is either 7L, K, or N. Hope it’s not L, that’s one of my all-time favorites.

      • encyclops  March 1, 2013

        Oh, I can’t imagine anyone actually likes 7K, do they? I can’t stand it and I even liked Attack of the Cybermen (look, I was 12).

        • Lewis Christian  March 3, 2013

          …I like it…

          • encyclops  March 3, 2013

            That’s one of the many things I love about this show…no matter how dire I find a particular episode, there’s always somebody who thinks fondly of it. Glad you’re aboard, man. 🙂

  57. Steve White  March 1, 2013

    Completely agree with Sue on this one…

    Remembrance is possibly my all time favourite McCoy story, and the perfect antidote to Season 24

  58. Mat Dolphin  March 1, 2013

    Great entry! Had to go through it twice to re-live sue’s excitement. Reminds me what a great story it is. Ps at the end, will you get sue to rank the doctors in order of favourite?

  59. P.Sanders  March 1, 2013

    I don’t think we are really meant to go “Yay the Doctor blew up the Daleks” here at all. We are meant to go “Bloody hell the Doctor blew up Skaro”. It’s clear that whatever game he thinks he needs to play (and as we saw in “Invasion of Time” et al, he’s good at playing games), even he is not sure of the morality and ramifications of his actions. We don’t have to like what he does, in fact that’s the point – but the story doesn’t try to make this a wonderful heroic act.

    Of course the new series has run with this – the implication that the Doctor’s actions may have started the Time War, the guilty Doctor who has done awful things, etc. But even without that modern context it’s clear that the Doctor’s game-playing is dubious even to him and certainly to Ace who as companion is the audience’s human connection.

  60. Marty  March 1, 2013

    I recently re-watched this story, it’s remained one of my most favourite. But this time I watching it I noticed a great many more things. I also watched it in 5.1 the first classic story I’ve watched in surround.

    The explosions and effects sounds do sound good, though some of the dialogue is a little muddy.

    Yes. The freeze-frame at the start does annoy me, I’ve never noticed it before. I’m sure they could have cut it a few frames short. The various quotes coming from all around the speakers is good though.

    I noticed that door that Sue notices and thought ‘that looks a bit modern’, but I pushed it aside thinking that maybe they made doors like that in the 60s and the modern doors are a copy of them.

    The difference in budget and style between this and the previous story is really amazing. This story doesn’t feel like a 4 part story, it’s like a movie with 3 big peaks in it.

    It was great to read that Sue fell for the battle computer is Davros ploy.

    The Dalek going up the stairs is great. It’s obvious the Doctor would say “the stairs”, but when you watch it you’re just expecting the Dalek to sit at the bottom of the stairs and shoot at him…and then it goes up them. Brilliant.

    Did Sue say anything of the Dalek HUD complete with symbols and crosshairs?

    Sue: “**** ** ****, sunshine” I want to know what swear word is two letters long.

    Sue: Is there a couple watching Doctor X and blogging about it?
    Sue’s gone a bit philosophical there.

    The Doctor’s business card is very nice. It’s certainly nicer than the psychic paper. His card in this story is classy.

    Did you two watch any of the DVD extras on this?

    • Dave Sanders  March 1, 2013

      Pretty sure the two-letter word is ‘my’.

  61. Jennie  March 1, 2013

    I remember I had to record each episode of Dr Who at this stage because my parents wanted to watch something else. (Sigh) So I went up and watched it on the black and white telly in our loft.

    Was so blown away by the episode one cliffhanger, that I legged it down from the loft into a parent free living room, stopped the video recorder and rewatched the last 2 minutes just so I could see them in colour.

    Then, (ahem) I made an audio recording of the cliffhanger using my knackered tape recorder and can still quote it ad verbatum from “STAY WHERE YOU ARE! DO NOT MOVE!”

    For me, Remembrance is the best Classic Dalek story.

  62. Cookey  March 1, 2013

    “And then the theme music crashes in.

    That’s how you do a cliffhanger.”

    There we have it, the reason why that particular cliffhanger became my earliest memory…of anything. And i was only 3, yes 3! Still swanning around my brain to this day, lodged firmly atop of Thomas the Tank Engine, Transformers and Trap Door.

    9/10 is what i would give this story too, nothing really lets it down except how aged the soundtrack seems, and even that is liveable and i’m sure it’s quite a nostalgia trip for some of us.

    This is why Sylvester will always be my Doctor (and Paul too, but we’ll talk about that later)

    • Dave Sanders  March 1, 2013

      Listen to the soundtrack on its own though and this one is actually damn good and pretty exciting. It’s only when you put it in its proper context with Keff’s Casio synths shouting ‘LOOK! LOOK! LOOK!’ that the cheese kicks in.

      There’s an episode of Columbo (a really shit one, unfortunately) where music composer / murderer Billy Conolly (there’s a description that’s fun to type without being libellous) explains to Columbo that you shouldn’t remember good movie music after the film is over, but you remember what it invokes. Unfortunately, Keff’s early stuff fails because it has the profound tendency to do the exact opposite.

      • Cookey  March 1, 2013

        I actually remember that episode of Columbo, the one with the trap door-elevator thingy murder right? Haha

        • Dave Sanders  March 1, 2013

          Yeah, shit wasn’t it?

          • Cookey  March 1, 2013

            Just remember thinking there are far less elaborate ways to kill someone, bit i did chuckle a bit when the corpse hit the deck and scared that woman..

            God that sounds dreadful lol

  63. Adam  March 1, 2013

    Didn’t read through all the comments, so SIAP. But as I went through my own “Single Man watches all of Doctor Who,” Remembrance was really enjoyable for me. I was let down so much by the early McCoy stories, this was a breath of fresh air. Because I commit the fatal sin of hoping Doctor Who’s continuity is mentioned, I always wondered why no mention was made about Ian and Barbara having gone missing…? Who took their spot? Just things I wonder about. Btw, LOVE reading through this blog. Great to see someone watch the show fresh like I did. Now if there can just be a Doctor Who Experience somewhere in the USA….

  64. Nathan  March 1, 2013

    Ben Aaronovitch also contributed some fantastic work to Jupiter Moon where he became one of the regular script contributers in the latter half of its run.

  65. Bob the Bug  March 1, 2013

    Is she supposed to be like Jo, only prettier? NO-ONE is prettier than Jo!

  66. encyclops  March 1, 2013

    I love reading the blog when Sue hates a story because it’s hilarious. But sometimes I love it even more when she likes a story because it’s glorious. This made my morning when I read it yesterday.

    I don’t adore the last two McCoy seasons like a lot of fans do, but I can’t disagree that they’re much much better than the previous three. And when I rewatched this last year, I realized that this is the first year since Davison regenerated that we will not have a Pip and Jane script in the mix. Coincidence?

  67. Charles Norton  March 1, 2013

    I don’t know if anyone here is interested, but there’s currently a petition running to prevent the closure of London’s Studio TC8 (where Remembrance of the Daleks was recorded). You can find it here:

    http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/tc8/signatures

    There’s about 175 signatures so far. They’re mainly from BBC staff, although Colin Baker is also among those who have put their name down.

    Apologies to Neil and Sue for hijacking the blog, but I thought it might be a cause you’d sympathise with.

  68. Nick Mays  March 2, 2013

    Quite simply my favourite McCoy story and right up there with ‘Caves of Androzani’ as my favourite ‘Old Who’ stories. I have very good memories of watching Episode 1 of this when broadcast. I’d had a shit day at work, I’d recently moved from London to Yorkshire, but was commuting weekly and having to stay at my mum’s house, so I was missing my wife and new home. I wasn’t at all excited by the prospect of the new series after Season 24… the only thing that drew me in was the trailer showing the Dalek blasting its way out of the yard and the fact that there was bugger all else to watch. Let’s just say I felt that ‘Who’ had grown up and was not only BACK but BETTER!

    Later that evening, I re-wound the video and watched it all over again! And once again, ‘Who’ had made me feel happy.

    Some years later, possibly around 2008 when Davros was set to return to the new series, I bought the Davros VHS Box Set from Ebay to show my kids some good ‘classic’ Davros/Dalek stories. They liked ‘Genesis’, were ‘okay’ with ‘Destiny’ and ‘Resurrection’ and quite enjoyed ‘Revelation’. But they absolutely LOVED ‘Remembrance’. In fact, my eldest son, now 21, still rates it as the best ‘Old Series’ story.

    It just goes to show what a decent script fro someone who really cares about the series can do, along with good acting, good directing, good effects, a decent budget and lots of Daleks and explosions! Simples!

    I’m so glad Sue liked this one!

  69. Nick Mays  March 2, 2013

    I love these books – I’m sure a TV series can’t be far off!

    In the third book, the hero, Peter, tells about his family Christmas and how they all sit down to watch ‘Dr Who’ Nice one Ben!

  70. drhuw  March 2, 2013

    My earlier comment was Anonymous for some reason, but I wanted to thank Sue and Neil for this review. This is an episode I’d missed; ordered it yesterday, watched it today, and loved it. My only point of disagreement would be the title music, which grated on me, but you can’t have everything. And I thought the spooky girl was great! I’m tempted to call her an unearthly child.

    Something that the DVD notes told me, that hasn’t been commented on so far, is that this was the 25th Anniversary Episode, which makes all the links to Who-history the more special. I do hope the 50th Anniversary can be as subtle and moving like this, as opposed to the pile up of monsters and explosions that the finales of nu-Who have tended to be.

  71. fromEssex  March 3, 2013

    Sorry but I just don’t like any of McCoy’s stories that I’ve seen. I just dont get the love for this Doctor. McCoy seems to mumble through all of his stories and just doesn’t come across as a good actor to me.

    Add to that rubbish visuals and drama school casting, made this the era that I just couldn’t watch. Maybe it was an age thing, as I would have been 18 in 1988.

    I missed the whole McCoy era, but even on rewatches I feel the same. I just don’t like it.

    Having said all that, this is one of the more tolerable ones.

  72. Chris  March 3, 2013

    I find it fascinating that, having now seen all the Dalek stories of the classic series, Sue only loved one that was scripted by Terry Nation: Genesis. All her other faves – Power, Day, Resurrection, and Remembrance – were written by somebody else.

    • Nick Mays  March 3, 2013

      When I was a kid, I adored Terry Nation because he created the Daleks. When I plucked up the courage to write to ho with lots of questions about his creations, he replied with a Dalek photo and just said “Next year the BBC are publishing a special Dr Who book which will answer all your questions.” I think he meant the Radio Times Dr Who 10th Anniversary issue…

      But I agree – all the best Dalek stories ARE those by other writers… I realised this to start with from reading the RT Anniversary Special.

      So, as I grew older and wiser, I realised that Mr Nation was a great ‘concept’ man but had very little originality beyond the first idea. Blake’s Seven is a good example of this, insofar as all the truly memorable episodes are those written by Chris Boucher or Robert Holmes.

      I’d never take away the great concept he came up with, but the design of the Daleks was down to the late Ray Cusick. I rememeber an interview in DWM with Cusick years ago when he was given the brief in 1963 to design the Daleks. He phoned Nation to ask him for a few pointers and said that Nation was “totally disinterested… he’d written his script and had been paid for it… he just didn’t care beyond that.” Of course, when ‘Dalekmania’ took off, Nation DID care, especially when the money started rolling in for his creations, but poor old BBC staffer Ray didn’t earn a penny from his creations.

      So yeah, good idea Terry, I’ll always love the Daleks, but when they’re written for by people who really give a damn.

      • John G  March 4, 2013

        In fairness to Nation, the first Dalek story is excellent, and still stands up well today – the lame final battle excepted…

        • Nick Mays  March 4, 2013

          Agreed, but then the first Dalek story was intended as a one-off and is written as such. The Daleks themselves are quite different from their later versions, more insular, more paranoid. So as a concept story and as a (then) original idea, the first Dalek story works brilliantly.

          I agree with you about the final battle though. I much preferred David Whittaker’s (that man again!) version of it in the novelisation… complete with glass Dalek leader.

          • jazza1971  March 4, 2013

            Although Nation did like to recycle plot elements from time to time, I love DIOE and Genesis as well. He didn’t always do the best dalek stories, but he did, in my opinion, do some of the best dalek stories.

          • DPC  March 4, 2013

            David Whittaker also edited Nation’s first script. Rather heavily, I’d read… And it’s easy to see why a glass Dalek as a leader would be cool (though the budget in 1963 would not have begun to have allowed it, and they were taking a big risk with how much they’d spent on the other Daleks themselves…)

            Whittaker’s style just shows how top of the game he was, and every one of his stories has a draw, an appeal, is engaging, and can usually be found at the top of a list. Even “The Enemy of the World”, which was poorly underbudgeted (not his fault) and for which only one episode (which isn’t the story’s best, despite some great moments) remains.

            Without him, Lambert, and scores of others – even Nation, since his Dalek script was ultimately used instead of “The Masters of Luxor” (if I recall it rightly), and without his allegory for Whittaker to rewrite and for Cusick to design, the show would likely not have survived. But it was a team effort, and it looks as if Nation was the only one to profit from the efforts of others… that isn’t fair or right, either…

          • Nick Mays  March 4, 2013

            Absolutely DPC! It’s such a shame that David Whittaker died before fandom really got into its stride. It was DW who also wrote The Daleks comic strip for TV 21. Oh, how I LOVED that strip! I was only a little kid and Wednesday afternoons mum would read TV21 to me (until I read it to myself) and the Daleks were the first strip we’d turn to.

            Just looking at those wonderful strips now takes me waaaaaay back to “happy times and places”.

            Yes, a total lack of justice that David Whittaker, Ray Cusick et al never profited from their furthering the great TV legend that became the Daleks.

            And Jazza – I’ll give you that ‘Genesis’ is great, even with latter day “slatted” Daleks (grrrr!!!!). But Nation didn’t mind driving a Mark 3 travel machine through established Dalek lore. Then again, I just blame it on The Time War, because the Daleks of ‘The Mutants’ are very different to the Daleks of ‘Genesis’.

      • Dop-Enid Pundigrion  March 5, 2013

        Arguably, the main reason Blake’s 7 really stands out in that all-Terry first season is because of the Liberator design and the great casting. For all its faults, the show always had a particularly charismatic central cast, especially Michael Keating, Paul Darrow and Jacqueline Pierce.