Category: Reviews

Here are a number of old reviews I wrote for the Tachyon TV website. They haven’t been updated and so may contain errors and outright falsehoods. Hopefully some of them are still entertaining.

Stand By Your Fan

The Official Doctor Who Fan Club Volume One by Keith Miller

Some things are almost too lovely to be written about. On the face of it, The Official Doctor Who Fan Club Volume 1 is a rather pricey book full of facsimiles of BBC correspondence and photocopies of badly printed newsletters that were unreadable then and now look older than the ancient scrolls of Gallifrey. In fact, not only is it fascinating at a factual level, full of contemporary insights into how the series was made and received, but it’s also a remarkably funny and warm book that tells Keith Miller’s story as he moved between his life as a teenager in a poor part of Edinburgh, and the self imposed role of co-ordinator of the…

Do You Believe in Rock and Roll?

Animal Kwackers: The Complete Series on DVD

When confronted by Animal Kwackers, an experience more like being dragged from wakefulness into a land of nightmares than a mere programme, I was reminded of a critic whose opinion of Sam Peckinpah’s Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia was that “the only analysis it deserves is psychoanalysis.” This seems a reasonable reaction to a programme that features a band of large animals with oversized heads playing hit pop tunes and customised nursery rhymes, especially as the creatures all seem to have some kind of injury over and above their unfortunate swollen noggins.

The Lair of the White Witch

The Dæmons on DVD

Probably to a greater extent than most stories, opinions of The Dæmons became polarised between those who either saw it on transmission or suckled at the teat of Jeremy Bentham-era Doctor Who Monthly, and those who first encountered the story in 1992, either on BBC2 or VHS, when fan murmurings about the Pertwee years were starting in earnest. As all those Third-Doctor-as-establishment-stooge arguments started to rage, The Daemons, as the emblematic story of its period, got more than its fair share of criticism.

The One That Got Away

Shada by Gareth Roberts

It’s appropriate that so much of Shada is concerned with the power and significance of an ancient book, as Douglas Adams’ original has itself become a kind of palimpsest, with layer upon layer of new material being added but with the original material still visible underneath. Over the years since the television production was scrapped partway through filming, there have been a number of attempts to complete the work, all of them adding new material, until what we understand when people discuss Shada is so much more than the 70 minutes or so of footage that was actually completed.