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The Friday Docback Dislikes The Fragrance Of 'Black Orchid'!! DOCTOR WHO Story #120, A New Promo For 2012's Christmas Special, S7 Teases, And More!!





Merrick here...


...with a look at Black Orchid, a Davison-era DOCTOR WHO originally transmitted March 1982.  


After having a singularly unfun time with The King’s Demons (Davison, Story #128)  last week, I became curious about this title given that it’s another historical piece, also written by Demons author Terrence Dudley.  Unfortunately, I can’t say Black Orchid fares much better.  More on this shortly, but first... 







BBC has issued a new trailer for The Snowmen - this year's DOCTOR WHO Christmas Special transmitting December 25.  A Docback for this episode will be online the morning of December 24.  

The Snowmen will formally integrate new companion Jenna-Louise Coleman into the series which we recently learned will return for a second batch of Season/Series 7 episodes in April 2013.  







THIS article at MTV hints at the villain in the forthcoming Christmas Special.  I have it on good authority that the number of asterisks in this sentence...


I can’t tell you anything about the villain, *** ***** ************


...are correct for the character the article’s author is attempting to conceal.  So...let the speculation begin!   







In THIS piece over at SFX, The Steven Moffat hints at what’s in store for us in DOCTOR WHO’s immediate future (we recently learned Season/Series 7 would resume in April).  

  "We have Doctor Who taking on the modern urban thriller, which is not very much like anyone else's modern urban thriller! 

"We’ve  gone all-out to give you a fantastic alien planet, which is looking absolutely amazing.

"We’ve got a cracking ghost story, a really cracking ghost story."

...says Moff in a brief piece whose entirety can be found HERE. Check it out...there's more!   

"And then there’s the finale, which has got some serious fanboy-pleasing going on in it..."

Hmmmmm.  Thoughts?  Thanks to Robogeek for the heads up about this!  





Black Orchid 


“In my meanderings, I’ve come across something rather unpleasant...There’s a body through there...a dead man in a cupboard...I’m afraid it’s true...May I show you?”  - the Doctor, Black Orchid Episode Two 




The Doctor (Peter Davison) and companions Nyssa (Sarah Sutton), Adric (Matthew Waterhouse), and Tegan (Janet Fielding) arrive in June 1925, to find they’re expected by an awaiting chauffeur.  They're carried to a manor house where much dullness does occurr, including something about a murder, and a great deal of Cricket.  


Black Orchid is directed by Ron Jones, who brought us the infinitely more compelling Frontios (Davison, Stroy #132) (and Vengeance on Varos (C. Baker, Story #138) - both both advanced efficiently mounted narratives.  In the case of Vengeance in particular, Jones showed a deft hand in folding in germane (and even poignant) subtext - as imperfect as that episode may be, it’s also not an easy one to forget.  Alas, in Black Orchid, no such layering is evident...if for no other reason than it simply does not exist in Dudley’s often plodding script.  Resulting in a dry affair which is as painfully uninvolving, geriatrically paced, and altogether stuffy as the stilted aristocracy it portrays. 




While Black Orchid never really finds its full heartbeat, the bludgeoning we endure in the first episode is at least partially dissipated in its second part, when the full extent of its manor house mystery homage/parody Jones and Dudley are going for becomes apparent.  When this does happen, Black Orchid is at last imbued with some sense of purpose and destination, although the relatively limp mystery it puts to us befits neither a solid ‘Whodunit?’ nor even an average DOCTOR WHO.  



Character development almost no-existent.  Which, given the large number of players involved in this tale, is a tad surprising.  One of the strongest qualities of DOCTOR WHO in general is the shows’ frequent penchant introducing well-drawn and impeccably performed supporting characters, who are effectively developed with astonishing (even unprecedented) speed.  No such joy here.  As characters, the lot of them here feel flat and disengaged.  And perhaps this is the point of the whole tale - a murder mystery set amongst uninteresting people doing uninteresting things...i.e. death comes to the already dead?  If this was the intent of Black Orchid, Dudley’s script is a few revisions off from fully landing such undercurrents.  


Despite the relatively dire nature of this story, it does bring about one gleefully fetishistic upshot worthy of mention herein.  Tegan  and Nyssa duo is already a whole lotta hot for one TARDIS...



...and for one Doctor as well,I should think.  And when a Nyssa lookalike added into that equation?  The imagination goes wild...and such conjurings are infinitely more provocative than anything you'll find in Black Orchid.  



Black Orchid is available on DVD HERE in the US and HERE in the UK.  






Glen Oliver




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[Season / Series Seven Docbacks - MOST RECENT DOCBACK IS HIGHLIGHTED]


The Coming of Season/Series 7

Asylum of the Daleks 

Dinosaurs on a Spaceship

A Town Called Mercy 

The Power of Three 

The Angels Take Manhattan 

Series 7, Part One on Blu!! 









"The Impossible Astronaut"

"Day of the Moon"

"The Curse of the Black Spot"

"The Doctor's Wife"

"The Rebel Flesh"

"The Almost People"

"A Good Man Goes To War"

"Let's Kill Hitler"

"Night Terrors"


"The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe" (2011 Christmas Special)  






"An Unearthly Child" (Story #1)

"The Daleks" (Story #2)

"The Edge of Destruction" (Story #3)

"Marco Polo" (Story #4)

"The Keys of Marinus(Story #5)

"The Aztecs" (Story #6)

"The Sensorites" (Story #7)

"The Sensorites" (Story #7 - full DVD release) 

"The Reign of Terror" (Story #8)

"Planet of Giants" (Story #9) 

"Planet of Giants" (Story #9, full DVD release) 

"The Dalek Invasion of Earth" (Story #10)

"The Rescue" (Story #11) 

"The Romans"  (Story #12) 

"The Web Planet" (Story #13) / SHERLOCK - "A Scandal in Belgravia" (Story #4)

"The Crusade" (Story #14) 

"The Space Museum" (Story #15) 

"The Chase" (Story #16) 

"The Time Meddler" (Story #17) 

"Galaxy 4" (Story #18) 

"Mission to the Unkonwn" (Story #19) 

"The Myth Makers" (Story #20) 

"The Gunfighters" (Story #25)

"The Tomb of the Cybermen" (Story #37)

"The Mind Robber" (Story #45)

"The Krotons" (Story #47)

"The Seeds of Death" (Story #48) 

"Spearhead from Space" (Story #51) 

"The Abassadors of Death" (Story #53)

"The Claws of Axos" (Story #57) 

"The Colony in Space" (Story #58) 

"The Daemons" (Story #59) 

"Day of the Daleks" (Story #60) + Preview of the DotD Special Edition

"The Three Doctors" (Story #65) 

"Carnival of Monsters" (Story #66) 

"Death to the Daleks" (Story #72) 

"Invasion of the Dinosaurs" (Story #71) and SHERLOCK: "The Reichenbach Fall" (Story #6) 

"The Claws of Axos" (Story #77) 

"The Android Invasion" (Story #83) and SHERLOCK: "The Hounds of Baskerville" (Story #5) 

"The Face of Evil" (Story #89) 

"The Robots of Death" (Story #90) 

"The Talons of Weng-Chiang" (Story #91)

"The Sun Makers(Story #95)

"The City of Death" (Story #105)

"Nightmare of Eden" (Story #107) 

"Kinda" (Story #118)

"Snakedance" (Story #125) 

"The King's Demons" (Story #128) 

"The Five Doctors" (Story #129) 

"The Awakening" (Story #131)

"Frontios" (Story #132)

"Resurrection of the Daleks" (Story #134) 

"The Caves of Androzani" (Story #136) 

"Vengeance on Varos" (Story #138) 

"Time and the Rani" (Story #144)

"Paradise Towers" (Story #145) + New WHOvian Documentary / Newsbits

"Dragonfire" (Story #147) 

"The Happiness Patrol" (Story #149) 

"The Greatest Show in the Galaxy" (Story #151) 

"Doctor Who: The Movie" (aka TVM) - McGann) 


Merrick's Personal Journey With The Doctor (How Merrick Got Hooked On DOCTOR WHO)

DOCTOR WHO Title Sequences & DW At Comic-Con 2011

"The Crash of the Elysium" (Manchester version - interactive DOCTOR WHO adventure)

Why Eccleston Left, Here Comes Caroline Skinner, And Season/Series Six Part 1 on Blu-Ray And DVD

New Trailer For Season/Series Six Part 2

The Companions of DOCTOR WHO + New Trailer & Artwork For Season/Series 7  

Impromptu Docback!! + Galaxy 4 'Airlock' Coming to DVD, Christmas Special 2012, And More!!

The Friday Docback Mulls The 50th...

Newslet Roundup: Children in Need 2012, Christmas Special 2012, The Angel's Kiss Auido Book, And More!! 





1) a Docback should be about completely open and free discourse regarding all things WHO with, obviously, some variation on subject matter from time to time - the real world intervenes, discussions of other shows are inevitable, etc.)... 

2) matters of SPOILAGE should be handled with thoughtful consideration and sensitivity.  Posts containing SPOILERS should clearly state that a SPOILER exists in its topic/headline and should never state the spoiler itself . "** SPOILER ** Regarding Rory" is OK, for example.  "** SPOILER ** Battle of Zarathustra" is fine as well.  " **SPOILER** Why did everyone die?"  Is NOT good.  
And, above all... 

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