Downtime

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Downtime
Yes, but does it count?

Sue: So what are you putting me through tonight?

Me: Tonight I’m going give you a taste of how desperate Doctor Who fans were in 1995.

Sue: A desperate Doctor Who fan. Sounds wonderful.

Me: So I’m going to show you a fan film.

Sue: Haven’t I suffered enough?

Me: The fans grew tired of waiting for the BBC to bring Doctor Who back, so they did it themselves. Fans are like that.

Sue: But how could they afford it? Kickstarter didn’t ...

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65

The Five Doctors

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The Five Doctors
Daleks, Yeti, Cybermen… BINGO!

We watched the original broadcast version of The Five Doctors. Sadly, I couldn’t source an off-air copy with the Children in Need ticker running across the bottom of the screen. I hope this doesn’t invalidate the science at the heart of this experiment.

The Five DoctorsNicol: I’m not watching any William Hartnell with you. You can forget it.

Me: Be patient, Nicol.

Sue: Don’t worry, Nic. Neil’s promised me ...

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150

K9 and Company

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K9 and Company
I wrote this with a glass of Chardonnay in my hand. Can you tell?

Sue: I’m really looking forward to this. I am so ready for Peter Davison.

BBC1Me: Ah… But before we get to that, we have to watch a Christmas special.

Sue: A Doctor Who Christmas special? From 1981?

Me: Well…

Sue: It had better not be some fan thing that doesn’t count. I can’t be bothered with that. It’s not that Shada thing ...

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114

The Hand of Fear

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The Hand of Fear
Talk to the hand…

Part One

The Hand of FearThe Hand of Fear begins on the frozen wastes of Kastria…

Sue: Is this the planet of the anoraks?

A humanoid figure tracks a spaceship on a computer screen.

Sue: He’s playing the slowest game of Pong ever.

This cold opening, which features an asthmatic alien freezing its bollocks off, doesn’t do anything for Sue. She turns to me and frowns.

Sue: Neil?

Me: Yes, love?

Sue: What ...

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60

The Masque of Mandragora

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The Masque of Mandragora
Let’s get this party started…

Part One

Sue: New font. I don’t like it.

Me: It’s Cantoria Bold.

Sue: It’s Cantoria Boring.

The Doctor and Sarah are exploring the TARDIS, which, as Sue is keen to point out, isn’t something you see every day. They come across a boot cupboard.

Sue: That’s where the Doctor keeps his very own chroma studio. Look at the lovely CSO.

The Masque of MandragoraSue isn’t impressed with the Doctor’s ...

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59

The Seeds of Doom

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The Seeds of Doom
It’s not easy being green.

Part One

Sue: Robert Banks Stewart. Does he exist? I recognise the name.

Me: Yes, he exists. He wrote Terror of the Zygons.

Sue: I liked Terror of the Zygons.

Me: I know, but you try telling some of our readers that.

The Seeds of DoomTwo men are gathering samples from a glacier in Antarctica when one of them proclaims, “This isn’t ice!”

Sue: No, it’s polystyrene, love, but ...

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79

The Brain of Morbius

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The Brain of Morbius
CONDO SAY RELAX

Part One

The Brain of MorbiusSue: Who’s Robin Bland, then?

Me: Robin Bland doesn’t exist.

Sue: Not again. So what happened this time?

Me: Robert Holmes rewrote a Terrance Dicks script and Terry told him to take his name off. He told him to replace his credit with “a bland pseudonym” instead.

Sue: So it’s a bad one, then? Was Terry ashamed of it? Is it really bland?

Me: Don’t worry, this ...

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93

The Android Invasion

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The Android Invasion
In an attempt to spice up the experiment, we are watching The Android Invasion stark naked. You don’t get that with Andrew Pixley…

Part One

The Android InvasionSue: Oh no.

Me: Go on, then. Say your catchphrase.

Sue: No. I’ve decided to say “Terry ****ing Nation” from now on instead.

Trust me, it’s completely different.

A soldier is walking through a wood. His right arm is twitching erratically.

Sue: Either he’s late for breakdancing practice or ...

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119

Pyramids of Mars

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Pyramids of Mars
It’s Sue and Neil before Sutekh…

Part One

Sue: Is there anything I should know about Stephen Harris? I don’t remember seeing his name before.

Me: Only that he doesn’t exist. It’s a pseudonym for Robert Holmes. He had to completely rewrite another bloke’s script at the last-minute; the only thing he kept was the title.

Sue: Oh, well if it’s Robert Holmes, it’s bound to be good. That’s excellent news. Unless it’s rubbish and he took his name off it because he was ...

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138

Planet of Evil

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Planet of Evil
It’s a grumble with a jungle…

Part One

Planet of EvilSue: Louis Marks. I hope this doesn’t “Lose Marks” too quickly. I don’t want to be burnt at the stake if it turns out to be rubbish.

Me: That’s a pun. We don’t do puns.

Sue: But seriously, that name rings a bell. Should I know who Louis Marks is?

Me: He ran a very profitable sideline selling toy Daleks.

Sue: Did he really?

Me: No. ...

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