Tuesday 17 November 2015

Season 23 - Not! Part Deux.

One last thing to look at before we get to Season 23 proper - The Trial of a Time Lord.
Last time, we looked at what we didn't get, with the abandoned story-lines. What the "Hiatus" did deliver was a solitary radio story - "Slipback" - and a rather embarrassing charidee single.
"Slipback" was written by script editor Eric Saward, and was broadcast in small chunks on BBC Radio 4 during a children's programme slot called Pirate Radio 4.
6 x 10 minute episodes were broadcast between 25th July and 8th August, 1985.
The plot, in a nutshell, sees the Doctor and Peri arrive on a spaceship called the Vipod Mor. There is a mad computer, and a captain who likes to spread the many diseases he suffers from. The story then has the ship going back in time to create the Big Bang - flatly contradicting the events of Terminus, which the writer had script edited only a couple of years before.
The captain - Slarn - was played by Valentine Dyall (the Black Guardian). Dyall sadly passed away two weeks after recording.
As the only new Who for a while, the story got a DWM cover (probably the most boring in its history).

It is an inconsequential little piece, with some rather juvenile humour. Saward novelised it, and it has subsequently been released on audio tape and CD. A few years ago, it was given away as a freebie by The Daily Telegraph newspaper.

The mid-eighties were the time of the charity single - inspired by Live Aid. Miscellaneous musoes would get together and sing a catchy number for a particular charity or to raise awareness for some issue. The Who effort was the brainchild of fan-adviser Ian Levine. Musically, his big thing was Northern Soul, which he still promotes, but he was also closely involved in the club scene (e.g. London's Heaven).
The single - Doctor-In-Distress - brought together a whole load of music people you didn't know then, and certainly don't know now, plus actors associated with the show - Baker and Bryant obviously, plus Courtney, Ainley and Faith Brown (who had appeared in Season 22).
You can hear - and see - it in all its horrific glory on the Trial DVD box set.
Some choice lyrical snippets:

"Eighteen months is too long to wait,
Bring back the Doctor don't hesitate..."

"There were evil metal creatures
who tried to exterminate,
Inside each of their casings
a bubbling lump of hate"

And best (worst) of all:

"There was a Brigadier and a Master
and a canine computer.
Each screaming girl just hoped
that a Yeti wouldn't shoot her..."

Cole Porter would have killed for lyrics like those. I think not...

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