The Friday Docback Witnesses The 'Resurrection Of The Daleks'!! DOCTOR WHO Story #134, The New DOCTOR WHO: GOOD AS GOLD Minisode, Matt Smith Carries The Olympic Torch - Now With Vid, Win A Free Download Of DOCTOR WHO: THE ETERNITY
Published at: May 25, 2012, 11:44 a.m. CST by merrick
...with a quick look at Resurrection of the Daleks, a Davison-era DOCTOR WHO adventure originally transmitted in February 1984.
Representing Davison’s sole tangle with the Daleks, Resurrection was structured to spread over DW’s traditional four-part (25ish minute installments) story arc - but initially aired in two installments to accommodate unique scheduling considerations at the time.
THE FIRST NEW DOCTOR WHO OF 2012 IS HERE!!
This was posted yesterday, but in case you haven’t sen it yet: here’s Good as Gold - the results of this year’s Script To Screen competition in the UK.
Script to Screen encourages school age children (ages 9-11 in this instance) to submit short-subject DOCTOR WHO stories...the selected story is then filmed by the real DOCTOR WHO team and broadcast to the masses. Such a wonderfully cool concept.
Current Doctor Matt Smith will carry the Olympic Torch tomorrow morning in Cardiff! Per THIS piece at BBC…
Matt’s run will begin at approximately 6.20am by the Norwegian Church Arts Centre in Cardiff (details below). He will wear the official Torch Bearer uniform and carry the Flame for a short leg of the journey before handing it to the next runner on the steps of the Senedd, often known as the Welsh Assembly Building.
Matt’s part of the relay begins at approximately 6.20am on Saturday, 26 May at the Norwegian Church Arts Centre, Harbour Drive, Cardiff Bay, CF10 4PA. He will hand over the Olympic Flame at the Senedd, National Assembly Building, Cardiff, CF99 1NA.
Very cool, very exciting, and we wish Matt all the best on this wonderfully symbolic and meaningful undertaking. His involvement makes so much sense, in so many ways.
Matt's progress can be tracked on the BBC's Olympics page, HERE. It's not clear at this time if folks outside the UK will be able to watch as well (probably not), although we'll be sure to embed video of Matt's Torch run as soon as embeds become available.
STEVEN MOFFAT RECEIVES SPECIAL BAFTA RECOGNITION
This didn’t get included in last week’s Docback, but is still worthy of mention all the same, as the happening itself occurs this Sunday.
Current DOCTOR WHO overlord Steven Moffat...who also brings us the incomprehensibly amazing SHERLOCK...will receive a special BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) award.
Recognizing his "outstanding creative writing contribution to television", the award will be presented on 27 May at London's Royal Festival Hall.
"Blimey! A special award!" said Moffat, "I didn't even know I was ill."
...which is particularly funny to me as my father, also an author, frequently asserted that such awards were usually a harbinger of the recipient’s sickness or immediate demise.
Hoping and assuming this is not the case with good Mister Moffat, we offer the heartiest congratulations for this much deserved recognition as we continue to move inexorably toward the debut of DOCTOR WHO Season/Series 7, due later this year. More SHERLOCK’s on the way as well...just not quite yet.
DOCTOR WHO: THE ETERNITY CLOCK HAS ARRIVED!!
It’s downloadable for PS3 via PlayStation Network. I haven’t gotten too deeply into the game (I’m currently River Song and about to escape from Stormcage Containment Facility - which is late in the second level), but I’ve quite enjoyed what I’ve played so far. It's a solid and smart adventure for fans of modern WHO, and nicely achieves a balance between good, old-fashioned video game and the show's slick, modern presentation and sensibilities.
Several initial notes:
** It’s a side scrolling game whose graphics are rather dimensional - although (up to this point, at least) characters remain on a side-scrolling plane. They climb, jump, duck, swing, etc. - but always maintaining a side-scrolling approach within relatively complex environs. The embed above suggest that this approach will remain consistent throughout the entirety of the game.
** So far, progression in the game very much hinges on puzzles. For example: escaping from Stormcage (thus advancing the game’s narrative) involves the proper connection of two points on a large grid...using strands of characters whose symbols have to line-up just so, while matching (end to end) he other symbols they’re being connected to, while occupying JUST the right number of grid spaces between point A and point Z - otherwise the connection won’t be established, pathways won’t be opened, and Stromcage can’t be escaped. For someone who is not terribly adept at this kind of thinking...someone like me...this proves surprisingly challenging, even on the simple setting.
** With this in mind: when you launch your game, you’ll be asked to select a difficulty level for such puzzles. Kudos to the game designers who opted to make this difficulty level changeable on-the-fly. I.e. players can select easier, or more difficult, puzzle challenge settings without losing progress in the game itself. Nice.
** Sneaking up on guards on kissing them with Hallucinogenic lipstick is harder than you’d think...it’s also more fun than you’d think...presuming you’re comfortably in touch with your feminine side, and/or don’t find your masculinity threatened by a strong female like River Song.
** The game is very, very fully steeped in modern WHO mythos. Murray Gold’s iconic, propulsive thematics for are present throughout, sound effects and other nods to the Moffat model (Moffle!) series are omnipresent. Not surprising in the least. What I’m actually trying to say...somewhat clumsily...is: whereas some games of this type might employ general movements and characters from he shows they’re adapting, but take many liberties (not use actual score or themes, change designs unnecessarily, deploy a story which doesn’t jibe with the franchises’ universe terribly well), Eternity Clock is very much a full-on DOCTOR WHO experience, clearly developed and executed by people closely familiar with, and who fully understand, the current iteration of the show.
** Sonic screwdrivers are cool. You get to use one very soon after the game begins.
The Eternity Clock features voices of reigning Doctor Matt Smith, and Alex Kingston (River Song on the Moffat serieses), and is built from a story which The Moff himself helped forge. The fine folks at BBC Worldwide have provided one (1) download code with which one (1) lucky Aint It Cool reader can download the game for their PlayStation 3 or PlayStation Vita. Access to the PlaySation Network is, obviously, necessary.
How do you get this code? Between now and 11:59 PM CST USA on Sunday May 27, I've pre-selected one (1) time of day on one (1) pre-selected date.
Whoever e-mails me at, or closest to, my pre-selected time on my preselected date will receive this download code. Only THREE ENTRIES PER PERSON, PER DAY, will be allowed. Anyone deviating from this limitation will see all of their entries for that day summarily discarded.
BE SURE TO SEND FROM A FREQUENTLY CHECKED E-MAIL ADDRESS!! THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!! This will allow me to e-mail you your download code! !
IN THE SUBJECT LINE, include the phrase "London monsters are cool! " If this is not in your subject line, your message won't be filtered correctly and I'll most likely not see it.
BE SURE YOU SEND E-MAIL TO THE ADDRESS LINKED BELOW!! You'd be surprised how many people send entries to the wrong place.
CONTEST OPEN TO NORTH AMERICAN READERS ONLY!!
Have fun, best of luck, and thanks so much for your time and support!
BBC Home Entertainment, Aint It Cool News, and The Alamo Drafthouse Invite You To A Free Screening Of DOCTOR WHO: 'Dragonfire' In Austin!!
Over the last few months, BBC Home Entertainment, Aint It Cool News, and the Alamo Drafthouse have screened the 'classic' DOCTOR WHO stories The Three Doctors and The Daemons here in Austin - at the shiny and amazing new Alamo Drafthouse on Slaughter Lane. The response from attendees has been enormous, and seeing these titles projected via the Alamo's exceptional technical facilities has proven to be both a unique and impressive experience.
Everyone's having so much fun with our screenings that we're very excited to do it again! We hope you'll join us on May 26 at 1pm at the Alamo Drafthouse on Slaughter Lane in Southwest Austin, for a screening of Dragonfire...
...a Sylvester McCoy era adventure from 1987 which BBC describes thusly:
At the Iceworld Space Trading Colony on Svartos, the seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) and Mel (Bonnie Langford) unexpectedly encounter an old ‘friend.’ The penniless and desperate Sabalom Glitz (Tony Selby) has only one option to leave Svartos: find the fabled ‘Dragonfire’ treasure concealed somewhere in the depths of the planet.
Joined by Ace (Sophie Aldred), a teenage waitress with a love for explosives, the group ventures off to uncover lost riches. Little did they know that Kane (Edward Peel), Iceworld’s ruthlessly intimidating overlord, has murder on the mind and will not hesitate to do away with them in order to gain possession of the Dragonfire. Before long the Doctor finds himself playing a deadly game of cat and mouse with Kane’s mercenaries, descending through the ice caverns ever closer towards the deadly gaze of the monstrous dragon that lurks below.
As always, there will be prizes - but this time around said prizes will be attached to a much-anticipated, oft-requested COSTUME CONTEST! Given that an integral component in Dragonfire is the exit of one companion and the introduction of a new one, we thought it would fun to award the main prize for this particular contest to the costume best reflecting your favorite companion. Runner up prizes will be award to "Best Doctor" and "Best DOCTOR WHO" T-shirt.
The event is free to the public and general admission - which means first come, first seated/served. However, THESE RSVP MEAL VOUCHERS will guarantee your admission. (NOTE: the ticket vouchers had not yet become available when we first posted this link - but they're there now!) Due to the high level of interest in our previous screenings, I strongly suggest moving quickly to secure your seats if you're hoping to attend.
This should be a great deal of fun, and we're very much looking forward to seeing you there!
Resurrection of the Daleks
"The universe is at war, Doctor. Name one planet whose history is not littered wth atrocities and ambition for empire. It is a universal way of life". - Davros, Resurrection of the Daleks Part 2
The Doctor (Peter Davison) and companions Tegan (Janet Fielding) and Turlough (Mark Strickson) are embroiled in a dangerous power struggle within the Dalek ranks.
About thirty minutes into Resurrection of the Daleks, an episode I rather enjoyed on the whole, I found myself scratching my head a bit: there’s a great deal happening in this story - multiple characters moving across multiple settings with concurrent narratives - and Resurrection simply feels...overloaded. At first I wondered if the cold I’d been slogging through over the past week...a particularly brutal one which pretty much put me to sleep for three days...had taken a tole on my perceptual faculties. Then I hit ‘Pause,’ jumped onto TARDIS Wiki and saw THIS note regarding scripter Eric Saward’s assessment of the tale:
Eric Saward was unsatisfied with the story, saying in a DVD commentary that it was too frantic, with too many ideas.
Which pretty much sums it up. Resurrection of the Daleks is filled with many interesting notions and some truly lovely sequences, but it’s told with a bit of a shotgun effect...a blast of information which certainly forms a whole (see what I did there?), while each component never feels fully realized or thoroughly explored. A subplot involving action set in 1984 London feels disconnected and almost completely extraneous, despite Ian Punter’s often impressive and cinematic location photography.
A Dalek subplot involving the duplication of people...whose doppelgangers emerge as pepperpot minions (there’s a name for a rock group) is interesting in itself, but doesn’t seem to support Resurrection’s main through line, which involves political maneuvering and upheaval within the Dalek ranks.
This said, Resurrection is not without upsides. A well played moment in which Davison’s Doctor - reluctantly taking on the weight of assassinating villainous Dalek engineer Davros (Terry Molloy) - confronts his target is quite amazing, and nicely conveys a multitude of shifting emotions from both actors. Another sequence - a Dalek attempt to replicate/clone the Doctor - results in a clever montage of memory snippets, essentially providing a tour of past companions and Doctors all the way back to Hartnell (the first Doctor). And, there’s unexpected moment of heartbreak and pathos when companion Tegan decides she no longer wants to travel with the Doctor.
Resurrection of the Daleks features ample Tegan legs and mini.
“It’s stopped being fun, Doctor...” laments Tegan when the stress and chaos left in the Doctor’s slipstream have simply become too much for her to bear. She then runs off, apparently afraid of what might happen or what might be said if she stays. Powerful.
Which points towards Resurrection’s most notable quality: its tone. A friend recently asked me to describe DOCTOR WHO succinctly, and I said it as about “consequences.” Specifically, I was referring to how the Doctor’s behavior and decisions impact others in both positive and negative ways, on both a personal and grandiose scale. This story bears out my characterization nicely. Resurrection more or less breaks poor Tegan. By his own admission, the Doctor’s lack of follow-through in a previous story leads to this tale’s apocalyptic reveal that the Daleks have seeded operatives in “strategic positions” across the Earth. Bodies of fallen combatants litter various settings. A fleeing woman is gunned down coldly, screaming in primal terror and agony as she collapses to the floor dead. The gooey and chunky remains of ‘sploded Dalek creatures ooze down sides of their armored chassis, and so on. Resurrection is a bleak story, conveyed bleakly. A violent tale, told violently.
Too much for the children said to be DOCTOR WHO’s target audience? I suppose that’s open to debate, but I’d argue that there is actually considerable meaning and value to approaching potentially silly, comic booky material in an honest way. As fanciful as time travel, Daleks, and mind-controlled duplicates may be at face value, there’s a certain truth at work in Resurrection of the Daleks. Actions and reactions do not exist in a vacuum in this story. There is repercussion at play here. Thus...consequence. Violence isn’t pretty or fun. Evil isn’t glamorized. And what happens...hurts people. Both physically, emotionally, and sometimes irrecoverably.
These qualities shape a message that’s very much worth delivering, even if this particular package doesn’t convey it point as fully or as precisely as it might have.
A newly restored Resurrection of the Daleks releases June 12 in the U.S. and is available for preorder HERE. UK readers can find it HERE.
Casting Far and Wide (32:18)
Hosted by Toby Hadoke, this feature examines five of the actors appearing in Resurrection of the Daleks (Roger Davenport - Trooper, Del Henney - Colonel Archer, Leslie Grantham - Kiston, Jim Findley - Mercer, William Sleigh - Galoway). They discuss their time with the story and its affects on their career.
On Location (18:32)
Resurrection of the Daleks director Matthew Robinson (who also helmed Attack of the Cybermen - C. Baker, Story #137), writer Eric Saward, and producer John Nathan-Turner discuss the making of the story and tour its remarkable London locations.
Deleted and Extended Scenes (7:05)
Breakfast Time (7:58)
Janet Fielding (Tegan) and producer John Nathan-Turner appear on a morning talk show, which features a discussion of DOCTOR WHO’s sound effects and score with Brian Hodgson (BBC Radiophonic Workshop) and composer Malcolm Clarke.
Turner reveals that Tegan’s full name - Tegan Jovanka - actually came about by accident when a typist misread his notes (suggesting her forthcoming character might be called either Tegan or Jovanka) and combined the names.
Vintage promo for Resurrection of the Daleks.
The Last Dalek (9:36)
A fascinating Behind the Scenes reel of the visual effects team realizing action scenes for Evil of the Daleks (Troughton, Story #36 ) at Ealing Film Studios in April 1967.
Radio TImes Listings
Coming Soon (1:37)
A trailer for the forthcoming DVD release of Death to the Daleks.
Come in Number Five (56:29)
David Tennant hosts a look at Behind the Scenes adventures and maneuverings as fifth Doctor Peter Davison joins the series. A very honest retrospective of what was happening on the show - creatively and politically - at that point in its history.
-- John Nathan-Turner (1999 interview)
-- Christopher H. Bidmead (Script Editor, 1980)
-- Peter Davison (fifth Doctor)
-- David Reid (BBC Head of Series & Serials 1981-83)
-- Barry Letts (Executive Producer 1980-81)
-- Anthony Root (Script Editor (1980-81)
-- Eric Saward (Script Editor 1981-86)
-- Janet Fielding (Tegan)
-- THE Steven Moffat
-- Fiona Cumming (director Davison era)
--- Marc Strickson (companion Turlough)
Not always a terribly flattering portrayal of John Nathan-Turner.
Re: directors who helmed the series at that time...
What we tended to finish up with were people who had recently completed their directors course. Or, quite old directors who had lots of experience but were really, to a degree, just biding their time.” - Eric Saward, Script Editor
Tomorrow’s Times: The Fifth Doctor (12:19)
Snippets of press reaction to Davison-era DOCTOR WHO via the British Library’s newspaper archive. Hosted by Frazer Hines
A Dalerk pics on some weird Welsh woman about how poorly she speaks. I have no idea why this piece was created and it confuses me. Not that doing so is terribly difficult.
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And, above all...
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