Tag: doctor who

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…

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.

Blue Remembered Hills

Doctor Who: Planet of the Spiders on DVD

Jon Pertwee’s final season may not be very popular nowadays, but to be young at the time was very heaven. For a start, you couldn’t get away from the programme in those days. Only two episodes into The Time Warrior, and the BBC showed the omnibus repeat of The Green Death. Just to mix things up a bit more they later stuck an unscheduled repeat of The Sea Devils right in the middle of the first run of Planet of the Spiders. This particular perfect storm of Who was the moment that my infant brain was fatefully reprogrammed and a lifetime of sad fandom set in stone. As if that wasn’t enough, at…

Something’s Cooking in the Kitchen

Doctor Who: The Ark on DVD

The Ark was the final Doctor Who story made with John Wiles as producer, and over the years his era has become known for two things; off-screen he got on so badly with William Hartnell that they tried to get each other sacked/killed, and onscreen the majority of stories he produced were dark, mordantly funny, and typically concluded with innocents being ruthlessly slaughtered. Such is his forbidding reputation among some fans, you get the impression that if he hadn’t resigned, by the time Season Four came around he would have been planning Doctor Who: A Serbian Film. The Ark though, shows that there was more to the Wiles era than harsh realism. The story is more obviously aligned to mainstream…