THE MCCOY YEARS

The Scores

Here are Sue’s scores for Sylvester’s stories in reverse order (and transmission order when tied):

Time and the Rani: “Irredeemable shit.” – -1/10
Silver Nemesis: “Worse than dreadful.” – 0/10
Delta and the Bannermen: “It got on my tits.” – 2/10
Dragonfire: “Cheap.” – 3/10
Battlefield: “Shame.” – 4/10
Paradise Towers: “I enjoyed the concept more than the execution.” – 6/10
The Happiness Patrol: “That was quite profound.” – 7/10
The Greatest Show in the Galaxy: “I appreciate what they were trying to do.” – 8/10
Ghost Light: “Very clever.” – 8/10
The Curse of Fenric: “Exciting.” – 8/10
Remembrance of the Daleks: “I’d happily watch it again.” – 9/10
Survival: “Almost perfect.” – 9/10

 

Ask Sue!

Thanks to everyone who sent Sue a question. Apologies if I didn’t use yours this time, but you can still contribute to our final podcast which I hope to release in early May (depending on how many submissions we get). Please note: we are only accepting questions and/or messages recorded on audio for that (and they should cover the whole experiment). If you would like to contribute to this podcast then the deadline is May 1st.

Anyway, let’s get this show on the road.

Chris Cassell: Which Kangs are best?
Sue: Purple Kangs are best.
David Lancaster: If you could ask Sylvester McCoy to roll the ‘r’ in any word, which word would you choose?
Rolls-RoyceSue: Rolls-Royce. That’s one word, isn’t it?
Richard Lyth: If Ace was your daughter, what advice would you give her?
Sue: Ace wouldn’t listen to her mother, so whatever I told her would be a waste of time.
Scott Fenton: If you could trap Keff McCulloch in a room, how would you punish him?
Sue: I’d make him listen to his own music on a loop. Then again, he’d probably like that, wouldn’t he?
Nick Mellish: Melanie Bush: crap scripts or just crap?
Sue: Just crap. She never got a good story, did she?
Tansy Rayner Roberts: If you could knit the perfect jumper for McCoy, what would the pattern be?
Sue: I wouldn’t bother with a pattern, I’d keep it plain. They should have toned everything down a bit. Plus, I’m not a very good knitter.
Encyclops: If Neil were to pick up one of the Seventh Doctor’s habits, which would you prefer: a penchant for puns, a tendency to ruthlessly manipulate your emotions to achieve his secret goals, or a talent for playing the spoons?
Sue: He’s already pretty good at the first two, so I’ll have to say the last one so he can have the full set.
Kevin Jon Davies: What (or who) else would you like to have seen Ace batter with a baseball bat?
Sue: Gary Downie. From what I’ve been told.
Me: Lots of people asked this one, including Craig Williams, Simon Hart, Chris Bryant and Hector Roddan: How should Ace have left the series?
AceSue: She should have made peace with her mum. Then she should have moved back in with her, finished her A-levels, and got a proper job. Or would that be too boring?
Me: What about the idea that Ace would have moved to Gallifrey to train to be a Time Lord. Good idea?
Sue: No. She’d get blown up in the Time War.
Me: Again, lots of people asked a variation on the following question, including Liam Hutchinson and Russell Watson: Were the BBC right to cancel the series in 1989?
Sue: Yes and no. It was definitely getting better when they stopped it, but at the same time, if no one cared enough to do it justice, they had to give it a rest. It was either that or a new producer. Maybe the BBC should have advertised the post better?
Lewis Christian: The end of Survival, you felt, was tacked on and cobbled together. Given the same circumstances, what would you have done to end the series? A different speech? A montage? An extra scene with McCoy’s Doctor?
Sue: **** knows. A helpline number?
Cliff Chapman: Why do so many people hate this period of Doctor Who?
Sue: I didn’t know that they did. Oh, I don’t know. Was it was because JNT couldn’t be arsed with it? Or maybe it because the show was cancelled when McCoy was the Doctor. Is that it? Do they blame him? That would be silly because he’s a really good actor.
Me: A few people (including James P Quick and Patrick Sanders) wanted to know what you would have done if you had taken over as the producer for a 27th season.
Sue: I’d have set it all outdoors and I’d have got that Ben Aaronaraonronivitch to be the script editor. And then I would have made it consistently good.
Me: Are there any monsters you’d bring back?
Sue: Yes, the Kandy Man.
Bryan Simcott: It’s 1990 and McCoy wants to leave. Who do you cast as the 8th Doctor?
Ian RichardsonSue: Paul McGann, I suppose.
Me: Apart from him.
Sue: Richard Burton. No? Why not? James Mason. Well you don’t know if you don’t ask! Okay, Ian Richardson. He could do it like William Hartnell. Although he might play it as a Tory as well.
Erik Pollitt: If you were the 7th Doctor’s companion, what fears would the manipulative bastard make you face?
Sue: My fear of beach balls. I’m terrified of beach balls.
Andre Tessier: Was making the Doctor darker a good thing?
Sue: Yes, it was good to give him a bit of depth, even if he was a bit of a sneaky bastard.
Me: You seemed to forgive McCoy for what he did to Ace when you hated Jon Pertwee when he wasn’t very nice to Jo Grant. Why was that?
Sue: Because McCoy’s Doctor was doing it for the greater good, whereas Pertwee’s Doctor was just interested in himself. Like that time with the sandwiches. There was no excuse for that. What the Doctor did to Ace he did for a reason.
Sean Alexander: Given the chance, would you have rather watched Alan Bradley getting hit by a tram?
Sue: Who’s Alan Bradley?

This is the point where I usually ask Sue to sum up this particular Doctor in three words, but this time I’ll leave it to:

The McCoy YearsCelia Weston: Since Mr. McCoy was Dr. Who number seven, how would you summarise his time on the programme in only seven words? (this need not be a coherent sentence; seven nouns, adjectives or expletives will suffice).
Sue: Sneaky, deep, lonely, silly, mysterious, short and quirky.

After lots of deliberation, we have decided to give signed copies of our forthcoming book to Encyclops and Erik Pollitt. Please send me your postal address and I’ll do the rest.

Sue: So what are you making me watch before Paul McGann?
Me: I want to give you a taste of what it felt like to be a Doctor Who fan between 1990 and 1996.
Sue: You want me to be depressed?
Me: Would you prefer it if we just ended this now?
Sue: I would and I wouldn’t. It’s complicated.

Join us back here in a week’s time to see what we watched. You can place your bets now.

 

42

Comments

  1. Antti Björklund  April 13, 2013

    “Encyclops: If Neil were to pick up one of the Seventh Doctor’s habits, which would you prefer: a penchant for puns, a tendency to ruthlessly manipulate your emotions to achieve his secret goals, or a talent for playing the spoons?

    Sue: He’s already pretty good at the first two, so I’ll have to say the last one so he can have the full set.”

    😀

  2. Magic Mavic Chen  April 13, 2013

    I wager they’re going to watch “More Than 30 years in the TARDIS”.

  3. Scottieboy  April 13, 2013

    Oh God. Dimensions in Time.

    Poor Sue.

    • Anonymous  April 15, 2013

      LMAO

  4. Michael Bater  April 13, 2013

    As your having a break perhaps you should introduce Sue to the New Adventures?

  5. Graham Kibble-Whitr  April 13, 2013

    Gotta be The Airzone Solution.

  6. James S.  April 13, 2013

    One idea would be to show Sue that Virgin New Adventures doc on the Ark in Space DVD, for me they were pretty much the highlight of the wilderness years. Your mileage may vary however

    Dimensions in Time should be a laugh though. Please show Sue the recently released outtakes

    “I thought this WAS a camp programme”

  7. Rollocks  April 13, 2013

    I’ll hazard a guess that you’ll make Sue watch.

    1 – D********* In T***
    2 – C**** of F**** D****,
    3 – M*** T*** 30 Y**** In the Tardis
    4 – Airlock

    Or maybe all 7 episodes of the Marcos Polo recon rather than my choice of number 3? I also seem to remember you didn’t watch full length recons of the missing Reign of Terror or The Ice Warriors…

    • Rollocks  April 13, 2013

      Oh dear. I really should learn to proof read my posts before hitting “Add Comment”. Oh well, I think my points were adequately made.

    • Mister  April 13, 2013

      I don’t think it will be number 2 because that was made after the movie. Who knows? Neil might have something more sneaky up his sleeve.

  8. fromEssex  April 14, 2013

    I have to admit. I have never got McCoy’s Doctor. A lot of Dr Who fans seriously rate his stories, but I just can’t get them. My first memories of Who were the monster in the Tunnel (Death to the Daleks) and Alpha Centauri (that must have been Monster of Peladon), I vaguely remember the spiders, but then that must have been from nightmares as I was 4 in 1974.. So I grew up with Tom Baker and he was my Doctor throughout. I loved Peter Davison too and persevered with Colin Bakers first season, really wanting it to be good, and some of it was – but as a fan I was let down.

    By the time of Trial of the Timelord, I’d left Doctor Who and probably gone up the pub (well maybe not, but I must have been 16ish by then)..

    As for the McCoy era, it passed me by. I remember reading somewhere (probably the NME or Guardian), best bits (or things to enjoy) of 1988? – Remembrance of the Daleks. I thought then, I must start watching Dr Who again. I didn’t and then it was gone. So I never saw McCoy and probably shared the general public opinion that it must have been crap, because they axed it.

    It has to be said that with out the nostalgia, I do find watching this era more challenging. I haven’t seen them all, but had a few on VHS in the late 90s. I just can’t join in with the fans love of this era.

    I think that Sylvester and Sophie’s dedication to the programme after the demise of the show (with books/other videos/dvds/sound recordings and general involvement with fans – not to mention the Virgin New Adventure book range etc etc) has elevated the McCoy era way above what it actually achieved.

    I’ll be honest, the only ones I’ve seen of McCoy’s in the past few years are Remembrance, Silver Nemesis, Ghostlight and Survival (oh and the Movie.. 😐 ) but I do plan to get the rest on DVD at some point, so maybe I can re-evaluate his era a bit.

    As it stands though, although Sylv is a great bloke and I loved Vision On and Tiswas, I’d still rate Colin Baker’s Who ahead of him. (I put Sylv ahead of McGann and Hartnell in the bottom 3 of my Who list). As I say, I need to rewatch a few and maybe I’ll catch up with fandom.

  9. Dave Sanders  April 14, 2013

    Search Out Science has GOT to be one of them.

    • Dave Sanders  April 14, 2013

      Oh come on, K-9 is in it. OF COURSE SUE IS WATCHING IT.

  10. Dave Sanders  April 14, 2013

    I’m thinking, in order: Search Out Science, Dimensions In Time, More Than Thirty Years, Shakedown.

  11. Chris Allen  April 14, 2013

    “Like that time with the sandwiches. There was no excuse for that.”

    But Jo had a deep, dark fear of sandwiches. Especially cheese and spring onion.

    I though everybody knew?

    The Third Doctor was selflessly saving her from this psychological torment.

    Why is it that only I understand these deep thematic undercurrents in Classic Who?

    • Nick Mays  April 14, 2013

      I’ll admit that the Third Doctor was more ‘my’ Doctor than the 2nd or 4th and at the time, I thought he was supposed to be bad tampered because he was unfairly exiled and stranded on a primitive planet in a specific time period (whether that was the 70s or 80s, I don’t care!)

      Jon Pertwee’s interpretation of the Doctor was a more extreme version of himself – he supposed to be irascible, pompous and short tempered, although also charming, empathic and kind.

      I often think that some reviewers nowadays confuse Jon Pertwee with BEING the Third Doctor. I met the guy a couple of times and he was a really nice bloke. Remember – it’s the character that may be a c**t, not the actor. After all, Sylvester McCoy played rapist and murder Michael Sands and Tom Baker played a sex mad priest post-Who, and no-one accuses them of being their characters.

      [Sorry – posted before I’d edited!]

  12. John Miller  April 14, 2013

    Maybe he’ll make her listen to the wonder that is “The Paradise Of Death”!

  13. Longtime Listener  April 14, 2013

    Ian “Call me Daddy” Richardson? That’s a really alarming thought that I may have some trouble shaking off. “They’re scared of me” indeed. He’d have been perfect as the Master, though, obviously. Although the Master would have had to become dramatically less rubbish, because with him in the part the usual Keystone Kops standard of evil scheming would have been about as convincing as an RTD plot resolution.

  14. John Miller  April 14, 2013

    ”I want to give you a taste of what it felt like to be a Doctor Who fan between 1990 and 1996.”

    So I assume you’re going to point, call Sue an “anorak”, tell all her co-workers what a complete tosser she is, and make unfunny jokes about how Daleks can’t climb stairs every 30 minutes?

  15. Longtime Listener  April 14, 2013

    Hey, any chance of a celebratory final mug, for old times sake?

    I’m thinking all the Doctors’ silhouettes and the words “Not. For. Kids!”

  16. Jimmy To  April 14, 2013

    Its got to be shakedown with the brig and sarahjane
    or one of those colin baker stranger videos

    • Nick Mays  April 14, 2013

      I do hope it hasn’t GOT to be! Tedious or what?

  17. Gavin Noble  April 14, 2013

    Fully expect Shada to be one of the things to come given it was one slice of ‘new’ Who in those hiatus years between 1989 and 1996. Dimensions In Time is a given really.

    Sue would be right to bash Gary Downie with a baseball bat. I got the JNT biography last weekend and after reading it I’d want to hit the twat as well. I don’t want to take it off tangent here but I really recommend the book to all Who fans and it might be something Sue might enjoy reading as well.

  18. Emma  April 14, 2013

    Perhaps that bit with Pertwee’s Doctor and Jo’s sandwich happened as the Androgum transformation started to leak through the regenerations after The Second Doctor got turned into an Androgum in the Two Doctors?

    • Nick Mays  April 14, 2013

      So, would that make Season 6B officially canon? 😉

      Sorry!!! Couldn’t resist it!!!

  19. Wholahoop  April 14, 2013

    Who’s Alan Bradley?!!!! Only Marco Bloody Polo that’s who? Paramour of Rita Fairclough before Ian Chesterton stuck his end in, so to speak

    • Wholahoop  April 14, 2013

      Mind you seeing as you didn’t watch Marco Polo in all its available glory you may have missed the connection 🙂

  20. Lewis Christian  April 14, 2013

    It’s been great, but we still have another 20 minutes of McCoy to go! WOO 😀

    (‘Course, more with Dimensions in Time.)

  21. Doug  April 14, 2013

    Sue is afraid of beach balls? Maybe you should watch The Prisoner next and see if weather balloons have the same effect. 😉

    • Mag  April 15, 2013

      Ooo… Maybe Neil could have Sue watch all of Danger Man in order followed by The Prisoner?! Call it “Danger Wife”

      Sue could play spot the Who actor in Danger Man too since many of the guest cast appears in both Who and Danger Man, plus Troughton and Delgado were baddies in DM.

  22. John Reid  April 15, 2013

    From essex, it was Sounds magazine that said remembrance of the Daleks was one of the best things of1988′. What’s airlock guys?

    • Magic Mavic Chen  April 15, 2013

      “Airlock” is the name of the third episode of “Galaxy 4” , and is one of the missing Doctor Who episodes that was recovered back in 2011.

  23. Smaller on the outside  April 15, 2013

    C’mon, make her listen to the BF audios!! some of them are way best than some of the TV episodes…

    • Mag  April 15, 2013

      BF didn’t start making audios until 1999. So if Neil wanted to do audios before the TV movie, he could choose “The Paradise of Death” from 1993 followed by “The Ghosts of N-Space”.

  24. Anonymous  April 16, 2013

    What are you watching?

    You owe us all a MARCO POLO…!

    • Nick Mays  April 16, 2013

      Please Messer Marco! 🙂

  25. Mike Sutton  April 16, 2013

    I hate to be pedantic, but Alan Bradley got hit by a tram on Friday 8th December 1989 so you could have watched both that AND the last episode of Survival.

  26. Marcus  April 16, 2013

    For me, McCoy was ‘my’ Doctor. I did see some of Davison, I specifically remember seeing the regeneration into Colin Baker, and disliking Colin on sight, even before his trying to strangle Peri. I think if I hadn’t disliked him so much, he would have been ‘my’ Doctor, because he was the Doctor for much of the time I was the target audience age.

  27. Neil Perryman  April 17, 2013

    If you don’t follow us on Facebook or Twitter, I can confirm that the next update will be the 1992 VHS release of Shada. Update due this weekend. Thanks.

  28. Paul  April 18, 2013

    I love how Sue is still bent out of shape about Pertwee and the sandwiches!

    • Dan  April 19, 2013

      And she’s definitely got a point…..

  29. Anonymous  May 12, 2013

    I know this is completely pedantic and not at all in the spirit of the thing, but… James Mason would have been a fantastic choice to play the Doctor in 1990, if not for the fact that he had already died six years earlier.