Monday 31 January 2022

On This Day... 31st January

A day of opening instalments.
Barry Letts formally took over as producer with Part One of Doctor Who and the Silurians today in 1970. The title was a mistake, and we usually condense it to just The Silurians.
In 1976 The Seeds of Doom delivered its first episode.
Anthony Ainley made his debut in the series in 1981, playing not the Master but the person whose body he would steal - the anagrammatical Tremas. This was in Part One of The Keeper of Traken.

Sunday 30 January 2022

Episode 4: The Firemaker

The Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Susan are recaptured by Kal and the men of the tribe before they can reach the safety of the TARDIS. Back at the tribe's encampment, Kal accuses the injured Za of killing the old woman. The Doctor points out that Za's flint knife has no blood on it. However, he is very impressed with it, claiming it the best knife he has ever seen. The jealous Kal disputes this and shows them all his knife. The Doctor points out that this knife does have blood on it. It was Kal who killed the old woman. he admits the crime, claiming it was because she had let the strangers go free. The Doctor urges the tribe to cast Kal out. A recovered Za leads them in doing this - then has the travellers sealed in the Cave of Skulls once more. He orders the secret entrance guarded.
Ian starts to make fire using friction between pieces of wood. Hopefully once they give Za fire, he will let them go. 
Kal sneaks back to the camp and kills the guard at the secret entrance. He enters the cave but is distracted when he sees Ian's fire. Za enters and the two rivals fight. Za proves the stronger and he kills Kal. His corpse will add to the bones of the Cave of Skulls.
Za seals his leadership with the fire Ian has made, but he wants the travellers to stay and teach him other things. They remain captives.
When Susan plays around with a skull atop a burning torch, Ian is given an idea. Four torches are set up with a skull on each. When the superstitious tribespeople see these, they think the strangers have been transformed. In the confusion the travellers sneak out of the cave and run into the forest.
Za realises they have been tricked, and the tribe's warriors give chase once more.
The travellers soon reach the edge of the forest and see the TARDIS. They get inside just in time, and Za and the others are shocked to see the blue box vanish into thin air.
Ian asks if the Doctor is taking them back to London, 1963, but he claims he cannot do this as they took off too quickly from their last location and he lacks data to plot a course. The TARDIS arrives at its new location very quickly. On the scanner they see a mist-shrouded forest of strange trees. 
They decide to clean themselves up before going out to explore. The Doctor asks Susan to check the Geiger Counter. It is reading normal, but after they have left the room it moves up into the danger zone...
Next episode: The Dead Planet.

Written by: Anthony Coburn
Recorded: Friday 8th November 1963 - Lime Grove Studio D
First broadcast: 5.15pm, Saturday 14th December 1963
Ratings: 6.4 million / AI 55
Designer: Barry Newbery
Director: Waris Hussein

Doctor's Who's first ever story, which we now know as An Unearthly Child, concludes after four weeks, although it ends with another cliff-hanger to lead into the next. At this stage, the programme was going to be one continuous adventure whose overarching plot was the various attempts by the Doctor to get Ian and Barbara back home again. Each individual story would be a diversion from that main mission. 
The production team knew roughly what each story was called - based on its writer and production code (this is Story A), but the general public were only given individual episode titles week by week, with no idea of how long any one adventure was going to last.
This episode is significant for its treatment of the Doctor. He hasn't done a lot so far, and what he has done has mostly been negative - abducting the teachers, who he constantly argues with and belittles, and then appearing to contemplate the murder of an unarmed, injured caveman. However, we get our first glimpse of the Doctor who is to come here, in the sequence with the knives. The Doctor has worked out the way these primitive people think. He knows how to manipulate Kal into exposing his guilt by playing on his envy of Kal, as well as him being generally dimwitted. He realises that Kal has only a limited capacity for deviousness, and that if challenged he will quickly cave in (no pun intended) and admit the truth. The Doctor tricking the enemy into revealing their schemes will become one of his general character traits.
Ian is still the male heroic lead at this stage. Susan was supposed to be more involved in the flaming skull ruse, but this was changed to make Ian more proactive in the plan.
It has been a relatively low key start to the series, with the average audience around the 6 million mark. Relatively minor squabbles between cavemen might not look like a recipe for great success, and the series might not have survived long had it continued in this vein. Something special was needed to really grab the public's attention - and this would prove to be just around the corner...

  • The opening shot is of Ian, as he sees Kal and the cavemen blocking the way to the TARDIS. To save putting the prehistoric landscape set up for one shot, Russell was taped in front of black drapes. The landscape seen at the end of the story had been part of the October Ealing filming.
  • The climactic fight between Kal and Za was also filmed at Ealing in October, and directed by Hussein's assistant Douglas Camfield. He had more film experience. The fight arranger was Derek Ware who played one of the cavemen (Kal), the other (Za) being stunt performer Billy Cornelius.
  • Hussein and producer Verity Lambert had a falling out over this scene. The director had wanted to use the sound effect of a vegetable being crushed for the scene where Za strikes Kal's head with a rock to kill him. Lambert vetoed the sound effect as unnecessarily gruesome.
  • BBC bosses did contemplate moving the programme to a later time slot, but when Sydney Newman returned from a trip to New York he insisted it stay where it was, though he would be asking for some minor changes regarding levels of violence.
  • The meats which the travellers are given were lamb chops. Derek Newark (Za) rubbed some of the grease from them onto his wig, to look grubbier.
  • There was a fade to black after the scene with the travellers in the cave, realising they were not going to be set free. This was TV shorthand for a passage of time, but had the bonus of being an ideal place for foreign TV stations to have their advert break.
  • Closing captions were originally going to state "Next week:...", but this was changed to "Next episode:..." as foreign broadcasters might not show the programme on a weekly basis.
  • It was originally intended that this story would be followed by another Anthony Coburn script - known as "The Robots" or "The Masters of Luxor". Instead of the alien forest on the scanner, they would have seen a futuristic city, a model of which was commissioned but never used as Coburn's story was dropped.

On This Day... 30th January

There was a Conspiracy afoot in the third instalment of The Romans today, in 1965.
In 1971, The Mind of Evil got underway with its first episode.
Also debuting on this day, in 2008, was the third episode of Torchwood's second series - To The Last Man.

Today is also the birthday of TV Movie companion Grace Holloway - Daphne Ashbrook. She turns 59. She shares the date with the original TARDIS designer Peter Brachacki.

Saturday 29 January 2022

Story 243 - Deep Breath

In which the Paternoster Gang assemble on the banks of the Thames after a call from Inspector Gregson. A prehistoric Tyrannosaurus Rex has appeared in the centre of Victorian London. The creature appears to be choking, so Jenny uses a device to scan it and she sees that it has something stuck in its throat. It coughs this object up - and they see the TARDIS fly out and land on the river foreshore. Vastra gives Gregson a number of sonic devices which will stop the dinosaur from leaving the area, then she, Jenny and Strax descend to the TARDIS. They are reunited with Clara and meet the newly regenerated Doctor. He appears older than his previous incarnation, with sharp features and short grey hair, and speaks with a strong Scottish accent. On regenerating, the Doctor had crash-landed the TARDIS in prehistoric times where it was eaten by the Tyrannosaurus, which was then transported here when the Doctor dematerialised again.

The Doctor collapses and is taken to Vastra's home, where he is put to bed. Clara reveals that she is unhappy that the Doctor has changed, and Vastra realises that she can't accept his new persona.
That night the Doctor hears the dinosaur calling and goes up onto the roof, where he sees the creature suddenly burst into flames. He descends to street level and steals a horse to carry him to the Thames.
At Westminster Bridge, the Doctor notices that, despite the spectacle, one person is not looking at the dinosaur. This man is watching a member of the crowd, a man named Alf. When Alf demonstrates keen observation skills, the man kills him and removes his eyes.
Clara and the Paternoster Gang have followed the Doctor. He leaps into the Thames, determined to track down the killer who he thinks may have been responsible for the dinosaur's destruction.
With the Doctor gone, Clara returns to Vastra's home, where she continues to express her doubts about the new Doctor. She is concerned that his attitude towards her may have changed.
The Doctor has found himself in a dingy alleyway where he meets an old tramp. He is questioning his new persona - wondering why he looks so old when it is a new face. He takes the tramp's overcoat as he was only wearing a nightshirt when he left Vastra's, then spots something in an old newspaper.
Clara and Vastra have decided to start investigating, rather than sit waiting for the Doctor to turn up. They see the same newspaper item - an advert which each thinks comes from the other. This advert takes them separately to Mancini's - a restaurant in the centre of London.

Clara has her first opportunity to properly talk with the new Doctor, and she remains unconvinced that she wants to remain with him. She doesn't know if she can trust and rely on him as she had done up until now. Twice in one night now he has run off on his own. The Doctor draws her attention to their fellow diners. None of them appear to be actually eating the food from their plates. All move with a jerky clockwork motion. They discover that the menu isn't what you can order to eat - but body parts that can be taken from people. The customers and staff are all clockwork 'droids, who are attempting to pass as human. The table they are sitting at locks them in their seats, then descends down a lift shaft to a chamber deep beneath the restaurant. The man whom the Doctor had seen in the crowd is here. He has only half a face, and is currently dormant as he recharges.
The Doctor manages to free them both, but they are trapped in the chamber, surrounded by many clockwork 'droids. He asks Clara how long she can hold her breath and then runs off - seemingly abandoning her yet again.

Clara has to hold her breath - pretending to be one of the 'droids. She can only keep this up for so long, however. The Half-Face Man wakes, and begins threatening Clara. All of the other clockwork 'droids activate and start to fill the chamber, but one of them removes a mask to reveal the Doctor. He confronts the Half-Face Man and learns something of their history. They are using parts of human beings to become human themselves, in order to reach some "promised land". That they knew that a dinosaur could offer them a useable part, the Doctor deduces that they must have been on Earth for millions of years. The 'droids attack, but they are saved by the sudden arrival of the Paternoster Gang. Gregson and the police are also on their way. The Half-Face Man escapes up to the restaurant, but the Doctor is already here waiting for him.

This is also part of their buried spaceship - the SS Marie Antoinette. The Doctor is sure he has encountered 'droids such as this before but, post-regeneration, he can't recall his earlier meeting with similar clockwork 'droids in the far future and in 18th Century France. The restaurant is actually an escape capsule, fitted with a helium balloon made from human skin. It takes off and travels across the London skyline. The Doctor argues with the Half-Face Man about what it truly means to be human, and that the 'droid can never achieve this, even after millions of years of trying. He suggests that the 'droid bring a stop to its plans, by bringing a stop to itself. It should kill itself, or the Doctor will kill it. The 'droid becomes impaled on the top of Big Ben. Without their controller, the others deactivate.

The Doctor leaves in the TARDIS on his own - seemingly abandoning Clara once again. He returns to collect her some time later, however. 
Back in her own time, Clara is contemplating leaving the TARDIS, unable to trust the new Doctor. She receives a phone call from his previous incarnation, made whilst he was still on Trenzalore. He urges her to accept that this is a new version of himself, and to give him a chance. The Doctor goes to fetch her a cup of coffee...
The Half-Face Man has found himself in a beautiful garden, and a woman dressed in Victorian garb tells him that this is the promised land which he had been seeking.

Deep Breath was written by Steven Moffat, and was first broadcast on Saturday 23rd August 2014. 
As the opening story of Series 8, and the first to star Peter Capaldi as the Doctor, it had a 76 minute running time. As well as introducing Capaldi, it also featured an unannounced appearance by Michelle Gomez, who wasn't expected until the end of the series. She would make a number of cameo appearances in several stories prior to her full reveal at the finale.
The story is a sequel to Moffat's Series 2 story The Girl in the Fireplace, featuring as it does another group of clockwork maintenance 'droids, from a spaceship named after a character from French history.
As well as being the sequel to a popular David Tennant story, Deep Breath also features the Paternoster Gang to help smooth the transition to the new Doctor. Add to this the scene of Matt Smith's Doctor calling Clara from the previous story to urge her to accept him, and it looks like the production team are worried that Capaldi won't be accepted by the viewers - that they'll be as unsure as Clara is.

They needn't have worried, as Capaldi owns the role from the start. It's a regeneration story, so he's initially very confused and erratic. Unlike Tennant he uses his own Glaswegian accent, and makes a feature of this. This is an often crabby, rude version who will be the least human we've seen since the Sixth. Indeed, the Twelfth Doctor is a successful version of what had been attempted with Colin Baker.
We only get to see the new costume at the conclusion of the story, and it appears to be tailored on the Third Doctor's Season 7 look. Capaldi even essayed some Pertwee poses in the publicity photographs.
The TARDIS console room has been given a slight make-over, with warmer lighting and bookshelves making it a much more homely space.

Most of the cast are people we have already met before - even Paul Hickey as Inspector Gregson had previously featured in Vastra Investigates, the prequel to The Snowmen. Of the guest cast special mention must be made of Peter Ferdinando, who portrays the Half-Face Man, leader of the clockwork 'droids.
One of his victims is Alf (the character with the observational skills). He's played by comic actor Tony Way. 
The Doctor steals the overcoat from an old tramp named Barney. He's played by Brian Miller - Elisabeth Sladen's husband. He had previously featured as a fairground showman named Dugdale in Snakedance, as well as The Sarah Jane Adventures story The Madwoman in the Attic.
As mentioned, Michelle Gomez also appears, though only briefly at the conclusion and we have no inkling of who she is or what role she has to play in proceedings.
Someone else who features only as a cameo, who will feature more prominently later in the series, is Ellis George as schoolgirl Courtney Woods, who appears in a flashback scene.

Overall, it's a very strong start to the Capaldi era. We get a hint of what this Doctor is going to be like, but not too much all at once. As he does with Clara, he'll grow on us. It's nice to see a sequel from within the new series, rather than always looking to the classic era.
Things you might like to know:
  • Did he fall, or was he pushed? Is the new Doctor a murderer, or did he convince the Half-Face Man to take his own life? Personally, I think the former.
  • Talk of murder and suicide suggest sentient life - yet the clockwork 'droids are supposed to be simply advanced machines. The Doctor must have admitted they have become human for him to have suggested suicide, or to commit murder.
  • Further proof of his humanity comes in the fact that he has reached the "promised land" at the conclusion. We will later discover that Missy is harvesting dead people for the Matrix hard-drive, so they can be downloaded into Cyberman bodies. To be here, the Half-Face Man must have been human after all.
  • The latest Blue Peter competition was to design some special sonic devices for the Paternoster Gang. These devices feature in this story. These were a gauntlet for Jenny (used to scan the T-Rex), a lorgnette for Strax (used as a medical scanner on Clara), and a hatpin for Vastra (which acted like an electronic key for her carriage).
  • Inspector Gregson featured in some of the Sherlock Holmes stories. Mention is made of the Paternoster Irregulars, as in Holmes' Baker Street Irregulars. Some Sherlock Holmes cases are also referenced in the episode - the Camberwell Poisoner and the Conk-Singleton forgery cases.
  • Who placed the newspaper advert, which the Doctor and Clara think comes from the other, is not revealed in this episode.
  • The mask which Capaldi tears off is actually one of Matt Smith's features. This wasn't planned - the mask they were going to use broke, and the nearest alternative to hand was one made from a cast of Smith's face.
  • The new titles were the result of Steven Moffat seeing a fan-produced version on YouTube. The creator, Billy Hanshaw, was invited to work on the professional version which would appear on screen.

The Art Of... An Unearthly Child

The first of a new series in which we look at the artwork which has accompanied book adaptations, VHS and DVD covers of the Classic Era stories. These pieces will appear at some point during my look at the relevant Episodes. 
We start with An Unearthly Child. The story was adapted for novelisation as Doctor Who And An Unearthly Child, by Terrance Dicks and released to tie in with its repeat screening as part of The Five Faces of Doctor Who season, in 1981.
First editions had a foiled logo.
The cover shows the TARDIS in the junkyard at 76 Totter's Lane, painted by Andrew Skilleter. 
It's a very bland image, bearing in mind everything that happens in this story. It isn't even a nocturnal image, which would have been more atmospheric and fitted in better with the story as broadcast.

The book was reissued in 1990 with a new cover by Alistair Pearson, using his image for the VHS cover. Reissues dropped the Doctor Who and... format for the titles. Both versions of the cover stressed the fact tat this was the very first story, presumably an attempt to draw in the casual browser. As well as images of the Doctor and Susan we get the TARDIS in the prehistoric landscape - something which the DVD covers will pick up.

The German translation of the book (Doctor Who Und Das Kind Von Den Sternen) actually reused the Andrew Skilleter cover for The Keys of Marinus novelisation.

The French version came with the "Igor et Grichka Bogdanoff presentent..". banner, and was titled Docteur Who Entre En Scene. The brothers Bogdanoff presented a Sci-fi show on French TV which briefly took Doctor Who episodes. They were quickly shunted to a Sunday morning graveyard slot. The brothers have been in the news recently as both died within a few weeks of each other from Covid. They were fervent anti-vaxxers, who were obsessed with plastic surgery.
The cover is a colourful image of cavemen surrounding the TARDIS - giving it a sort of 2001: A Space Odyssey obelisk vibe.

A book of Anthony Coburn's scripts for "The Tribe of Gum", which became An Unearthly Child, was released by Titan Books in 1988. The cover was by David McKean. Despite the title, the contents were transcripts of the four broadcast episodes.

As part of the 50th Anniversary celebrations in 2013, AudioGo were going to release a new novelisation of the story by Target range editor Nigel Robinson, read by William Russell. Unfortunately the company went bust and the release was halted. It remains in a sort of legal limbo. The main cover image is derived from a photograph from the final episode (The Firemaker) as everyone runs back to the TARDIS.

As mentioned above, the first VHS cover for the story was painted by Alistair Pearson. Like the novelisations, a banner stressed that this was the first ever story. This was released in February 1990.

Ten years later the story got a reissue on VHS, this time with a photomontage cover, and as part of a "Beginnings" box-set with The Daleks and The Edge of Destruction. Whilst the companion images were from publicity shots from this story, the image of Hartnell came from a photograph from The Space Museum. Despite the title referring to Susan, she doesn't feature on the cover.

The DVD followed in 2006. Once again it had a photomontage cover, and was part of a box-set with the other two early serials. The cover was composed by Clayton Hickman, one-time editor of DWM. The unearthly child got a more prominent role in this cover. On her right are the junkyard gates, and on her left the TARDIS in the prehistoric landscape.

The American cover gave equal prominence to the Doctor and Susan, whilst this unused German version below managed to find room for everyone, including the TARDIS. It mimics the UK DVD designs, with the title against grey TARDIS roundels. At bottom is the cover they went with.

On This Day... 29th January

Today in 1966, after 12 weeks, The Daleks' Master Plan finally reached its dramatic conclusion with The Destruction of Time. Mavic Chen and the Daleks were defeated, but at the cost of temporary companion Sara Kingdom's life.
1972 saw the opening instalment of The Curse of Peladon make its debut. One of its guest artists - Henry Gilbert, who played Chancellor Torbis - died a year to the day later, in 1973, at the age of 59.
Another story which launched today was The Robots of Death, in 1977.

Today we remember actor Bernard Horsfall, who made four appearances in Doctor Who. All were for director David Maloney. His first appearance was as the fictional character Gulliver in The Mind Robber (1968). This was followed at the end of the same season by a second outing, this time as one of the trio of Time Lords who put the Doctor on trial, in Part 10 of The War Games (1969).
Next up was Planet of the Daleks (1973), in which he played the lead Thal Taron. His final appearance was as another Time Lord (or perhaps the same Time Lord?) - Chancellor Goth - in The Deadly Assassin (1976). Horsfall passed away on this day in 2013, aged 82.

Friday 28 January 2022

On This Day... 28th January

Two stories with "under" in their title today - both poorly regarded.
The Underwater Menace delivered its infamous third instalment on this day in 1967, whilst Underworld gave us its concluding fourth instalment in 1978.
The former gave us the surreal underwater ballet of the Fish People, accompanied by one of Dudley Simpson's more bizarre compositions, but the bit everyone remembers most is the cliffhanger at the end, as Professor Zaroff announces "Nothing in ze vorld can stop me now!".
The latter suffered from serious budget problems, meaning there was no money to build the cave sets which were essential for three quarters of the story. CSO just wasn't up to the job of superimposing all the actors over model sets.

Thursday 27 January 2022

J is for... Judson

The Doctor encountered Professor Judson at a high security military base in Northumbria during World War II. He was the inventor of a revolutionary computer known as the Ultima Machine, which was designed to break German U-Boat signal codes.
Judson had been at school with the base commander - Commander Millington, RN. The scientist blamed Millington for the accident on the sports field which had confined him to a wheelchair. He was constantly tended by a personal nurse named Crane. They bullied each other.
When the Ultima Machine was used to decipher some ancient Viking runes, it unleashed the formless evil known as Fenric, which had been imprisoned centuries ago by the Doctor. In need of a body, Fenric took over Judson's. One of his first acts was to kill Nurse Crane. 
He perished when Fenric discarded him in favour of a stronger form.

Played by: Dinsdale Landen. Appearances: The Curse of Fenric (1989).
  • Dinsdale Landen appeared in the second to last story of the classic era of Doctor Who - but he almost appeared in the second ever story at the opposite end of the series. He had been booked to play the Thal Ganatus in The Daleks, but had to pull out late in the day (replaced by Philip Bond).
  • Much of the background to Judson derives from the novelisation of the story, which goes further and has Judson and Millington as boyhood lovers.

J is for... Judoon

Judoon are a mercenary alien police force, who resemble bipedal rhinoceroses. They wear black leather uniforms, with huge helmets. Their spacecraft are tall tubular ships, of purely functional design. They carry small devices which allow them to assimilate other languages. Their own language is monosyllabic.
When the Doctor discovered H2O Scoops hidden around London's Royal Hope Hospital, he realised alien activity was present. He got himself admitted to the hospital to find out more. Soon after, the entire building was transported to the Moon. This was the work of the Judoon. They were in search of a criminal - a blood-sucking Plasmavore who was hiding amongst the patients. As Earth was outside their jurisdiction, they had transplanted the hospital to neutral territory on the planet's satellite.
Knowing that the Judoon were seeking an alien who looked human, the Doctor realised he was in trouble. Once on active duty, Judoon can act as judge, jury and executioner - summarily executing people for even the most minor of infringements.
Once they had found and destroyed their fugitive, the Judoon departed. and returned the hospital to London just before the air ran out.

Judoon Captain Tybo was transporting a prisoner through the Solar System when their spacecraft got into difficulties above Earth and crashed in West London. This was investigated by Sarah Jane Smith. The prisoner - Androvax - fled and was able to hide himself inside other people. Tybo called on a platoon to assist him. When Sarah's young friends Clyde and Rani interfered with Tybo's attempts to arrest Androvax, they found themselves grounded - banned from leaving the Earth. This had consequences when a pair of alien robots removed the entire population of the planet as they searched for their missing royal master. Clyde and Rani found themselves left behind - the only humans on the planet.

The Doctor's next encounter with the Judoon was at the headquarters of the Shadow Proclamation. They were employed as a police force by the organisation. They were still there when Colony Sarff came looking for the Doctor, on a mission for Davros.
There was a Judoon present at the bar where the Doctor sought out Captain Jack Harkness, just before his regeneration.
Other Judoon took part in the Pandorica Alliance, an attempt to imprison the Doctor and so prevent his TARDIS from destroying the Universe.
Judoon were also employed by the Doctor himself when he put together a force to attack the asteroid known as Demon's Run, where Amy Pond was being held captive.
Ashildr / Me employed a pair of Judoon to provide security for the Trap Street community of which she was mayor.
The Doctor's next meeting with Judoon was in the English city of Gloucester. A Judoon spaceship in orbit above Earth beamed down a party, led by Captain Pol-Kon-Don, who was female and had a mohawk-like tuft of hair behind the horn.
They were being employed by a woman named Gat to find a fugitive living in the city. This proved to be a woman named Ruth. 
It transpired that Ruth was really an incarnation of the Doctor she never knew about - one predating any of her memories of who she was. She had used a Chameleon Arch to mask her true identity from others - and from herself. Gat worked for an organisation known as The Division. Her old self breaking through, Ruth fought with the Judoon and beat them at unarmed combat, breaking off the Captain's horn - which was considered a great act of disrespect for the aliens.

After Gat's death, the Judoon departed. A short time later, a cold case unit broke into the TARDIS and arrested the Doctor, who was still considered their fugitive. She was sentenced to life imprisonment in a maximum-security asteroid jail.

Played by: Paul Kasey. Appearances: Smith and Jones (2007), The Stolen Earth (2008), SJA 3.1 Prisoner of the Judoon (2009), The Pandorica Opens (2010), The End of Time Part II (2010), A Good Man Goes To War (2011), The Magician's Apprentice (2015), Face The Raven (2015), Fugitive of the Judoon (2020).

J is for... Juarez, Dr Vera

Dr Juarez assisted Captain Jack Harkness and Gwen Cooper of Torchwood during the global "Miracle Day" event. A surgeon, she became involved in this when she operated on CIA agent Rex Matheson. he had been involved in a car crash which should have proven fatal. Seeing that no-one was dying at her hospital she used contacts at other establishments to find out that this was not an isolated case. She notified Matheson and his fellow agent Esther Drummond.
Matheson introduced Juarez to the only person who did not seem to be affected - the now mortal Captain Jack. She helped save him from poisoning by the people behind the conspiracy.
Juarez joined Matheson, Drummond, Jack and Gwen in investigating the conspiracy, at one point becoming Matheson's lover. This investigation led her to a medical compound in the Californian desert where she discovered that those people who were braindead or otherwise no longer useful for society were being incinerated, despite being still alive. The doctor in charge shot Juarez, and then had her body incinerated as well.

Played by: Arlene Tur. Appearances: TW: Miracle Day Rendition to Immortal Sins (2011).

J is for... Jovanka, Tegan

Travelling companion to the Fourth and Fifth Doctors, Tegan was an air stewardess. She on her way to her first job at Heathrow Airport when the car she was travelling in broke down on the Barnet By-Pass. With her was her aunt Vanessa, a fellow Australian. Vanessa went to call for assistance at the Police Box on the by-pass, but this proved to be the Master's disguised TARDIS, which had materialised around both the Doctor's TARDIS and the real box. He killed her using his Tissue Compression weapon. Tegan followed her aunt into the Police Box, but found herself inside the Doctor's ship. he and Adric did not know she was on board until after they had dematerialised. Tegan found herself transported to the planet Logopolis. The Doctor informed her of her aunt's death, and she came face to face with the Master. As well as meeting Adric, Tegan was also introduced to Nyssa of Traken, who had been brought to Logopolis by a mysterious white figure after her father had disappeared.
Tegan's relationship with the Doctor, and with Adric, could be bumpy at times, but Tegan became firm friends with Nyssa from the outset.
Despite being returned back to present day England, Tegan elected to remain in the TARDIS and leave Earth when the Doctor needed help after regenerating. She landed the TARDIS in a forest close to the citadel of Castrovalva - or at least she thought she did. It had been an automatic landing. Another attempt to pilot the TARDIS after she had panicked, saw it rematerialise in space a few hundred metres away from where it started.
Once the Doctor had recovered, Tegan then insisted on being taken back to Earth in time to pick up her new air stewardessing job. She became increasingly frustrated by the Doctor's failures to get her there. At one point they did make it to Heathrow, but it was in the year 1666. On this occasion Tegan was captured by an alien Terileptil and hypnotised into helping him.
On the planet Deva Loka, Tegan fell asleep in a forest glade, and this allowed an evil alien Mara to enter her mind. This attack on her sanity was to have a long term traumatic effect on her.

An encounter with the Cybermen in the Earth of the 26th Century saw Tegan decide to join the military unit of Commander Scott, rather than wait around in the TARDIS. Captured, she was used by the Cyber-Leader to coerce the Doctor into following its orders. Tragically, Adric was killed during the course of these events. Tegan wanted the Doctor to go back in time to save the boy, but he refused.
Ironically, after deciding to remain on the TARDIS for a while, it next landed at Heathrow Airport in her own time. Following another encounter with the Master, Tegan returned to the TARDIS just in time to see it depart without her.
She was far too late to start her new job, so found herself unemployed. To cheer herself up she arranged to meet up with her cousin Robin when he and friend Colin were backpacking around Europe. She would join them for a few days in Amsterdam. Unfortunately Robin was abducted by the Ergon - servant of the Time Lord Omega. he was attempting to escape his imprisonment in an anti-matter dimension, by stealing the Doctor's body. Tegan was also captured by the Ergon. On learning that he had found a companion of the Doctor, Omega used her to warn the Doctor away from trying to stop him.
After the defeat of Omega, now reunited with Nyssa, Tegan elected to rejoin the TARDIS crew. The Doctor was not best pleased, due to the often stormy relationship they could sometimes have. Tegan liked to speak her mind, and was not the most diplomatic of people.
No sooner had she returned to the TARDIS but the Mara reasserted its control over her. It had never really been banished from her mind. She was compelled to carry it to its planet of origin - Manussa - where it used her to try to bring about its second coming. She was forced to co-opt others to help the Mara. Defeated once more, the Doctor assured Tegan that this time it was finally gone from her mind.
A meeting with some mutated scientists from the planet Kastron led to Tegan almost aging to death, and a party on a pirate ship, floating in space, led to her unwittingly carrying a bomb back to the ship where the TARDIS had first landed. She had been hypnotised by the party host - pirate queen Wrack.

On this occasion, an immortal being posing as a ship's officer - Mr Marriner - fell in love with Tegan, after becoming fascinated by the contents of her mind.
Tegan was quick to spot that new companion Turlough was not to be trusted - and she had a similar impression of the robot Kamelion. In both instances her instinct proved to be right, as Turlough was, initially at least, under the sway of the Black Guardian, and Kamelion was easily taken over again by the Master not long after Tegan had left the TARDIS.
The bad luck which characterised Tegan's family continued when she asked to be taken to visit her uncle. Andrew Verney was a historian, who lived in a small English village named Little Hodcombe. An evil alien influence in the area caused Verney to fall foul of the local squire, Sir George Hutchinson, who was being manipulated into recreating a Civil War battle for real.
Eventually, Tegan, the Doctor and Turlough encountered the Daleks, both in contemporary London and in a space station in the far future. So many people died during this experience - some whom Tegan had become friendly with - that she decided to stop travelling with the Doctor. It was no longer fun and her aunt Vanessa had always told her that if things weren't fun anymore, it was time to stop.
Tegan made an abrupt farewell to the Doctor and Turlough, then walked out onto the streets of London.
If she had changed her mind, it was too late anyway, as the Doctor - equally upset by the bloodshed - had already dematerialised the TARDIS.
Some years later, the Doctor was able to report to Jo Grant and Sarah Jane Smith that Tegan was back in Australia, fighting for Aboriginal right.

Played by: Janet Fielding. Appearances: Logopolis (1981) to Resurrection of the Daleks (1984).
  • Like future Doctor Sylvester McCoy, Fielding had been a member of the anarchic Ken Campbell Road Show theatre group.
  • She portrayed Tegan one further time - alongside the Sixth Doctor in a skit for the BBC Saturday teatime show Jim'll Fix It - "A Fix With Sontarans".
  • Other connections include playing opposite potential seventh Doctors (including McCoy) in their audition pieces. 
  • She became Paul McGann's agent, and accompanied him to Canada for the filming of Doctor Who: The Movie
  • She also helped discover Matt Smith.
  • She now helps run a charity called Project Motormouth, whose symbol is a mouth on legs - as Tegan once described herself.
  • She's a rather domineering presence on DVD commentaries and the "Behind the Sofa" items on the Blu-ray box sets.
  • Tegan's most recent whereabouts were reported in SJA: Death of the Doctor Part Two.

On This Day... 27th January

Today in 1968 Patrick Troughton could briefly be seen acting opposite himself. He was both the Doctor and would-be tyrant Salamander in the sixth and final episode of The Enemy of the World. Director Barry Letts didn't realise that there was a simpler way of filming this, so all we got was the one quick scene (above).
In 1973 Letts was directing again, as Carnival of Monsters Part One was broadcast. The second story of Season 10, this story was actually recorded straight after The Time Monster at the end of the Season 9 block.
Another story which began today was The Armageddon Factor, the final section of the Key to Time season. Its first episode made its debut on this day in 1979.
In 1984, the second instalment of Frontios was first shown.

Today we remember director Douglas Camfield, one of the most significant figures of the classic era. His first involvement with Doctor Who was as assistant to director Waris Hussein on An Unearthly Child. As Hussein had little film experience, he left it to Camfield to manage the work at Ealing, which included the climactic fight between Kal and Za.
His first directing job was the fourth episode of Planet of Giants - The Urge to Live. This story was reduced to a tighter three-parter, and the combined final instalment became Crisis. Camfield was allowed the credit. His next job was one of his personal favourites - The Crusade. This was followed by The Time Meddler, and then he had to face a 12 part Dalek epic - The Daleks' Master Plan.
He then took a lengthy break to work on other projects, not returning to the series until halfway through the Troughton era.
He directed The Web of Fear, which laid the foundations for the UNIT stories. 
It was then another epic, this time featuring the Cybermen (the 8-part The Invasion). He used Kevin Stoney as the principal villain once more, having previously used him on Master Plan.
Camfield was approached to take over the producership of the series in 1969 when Derrick Sherwin was moved to another series, but turned it down. 
The new producer, Barry Letts, employed him to direct Inferno in Jon Pertwee's first season. After the location filming, during the studio rehearsals, Camfield collapsed. He had been keeping a heart problem secret from everyone, for fear of losing work. Letts was able to complete the story himself, such was Camfield's detailed pre-planning.
His wife, Sheila Dunn, who appears in this story as Petra Williams, forbade him from doing any more Doctor Who as it was so stressful.
He did return for a final pair of stories early on in Tom Baker's reign - Terror of the Zygons and The Seeds of Doom.
He also wrote a couple of stories which were not commissioned - one of which would have featured the Foreign Legion and seen Sarah Jane Smith killed off. A lot of Master Plan had been written by Camfield with the story editor Donald Tosh.
Camfield stopped using Dudley Simpson after the two had fallen out at a party held at the composer's home. Camfield claimed Simpson must be earning a lot of money, but he said he wasn't - and Camfield accused him of lying. The two did eventually make up after Camfield had realised he had been in the wrong. 
Camfield was obsessed with the military, so was in his element with UNIT stories.
He directed more episodes of the classic series than anyone else, and everyone agrees it was a question of quality as well as quantity. Six of his nine stories were placed in the Top 50 of DWM's 50th Anniversary Poll.
Camfield died on 27th January 1984, aged only 52.

Wednesday 26 January 2022

On This Day... 26th January

Invasion of the Dinosaurs reached its third instalment today in 1974.
We also had three Peter Davison episodes debuting on this date in consecutive years - Four To Doomsday Part Four, in 1982; Snakedance Part Four in 1983; and Frontios Part One in 1984.
They were followed in 1985 by the concluding half of Vengeance on Varos.
More recently (2020), the series experienced its biggest shake-up in a long time when Fugitive of the Judoon introduced a hitherto unknown incarnation of the Doctor - one who originated from a time before the Hartnell incarnation.

Tuesday 25 January 2022

On This Day... 25th January

The Tom Baker era proper got underway on this day in 1975. Robot had been a bit of a throwback to the Pertwee / UNIT era, produced as it was by Barry Letts, and written by Terrance Dicks.
The first episode of The Ark in Space, which debuted today, saw the arrival of Philip Hinchcliffe as Producer, Robert Holmes as Script Editor (and writer on this occasion), and Tom Baker showing us just what his Doctor was going to be like. This was the first episode since The Dead Planet to feature only the TARDIS regulars.
Back in 1964, The Daleks had reached its sixth episode. It was called The Ordeal - and it was. Terry Nation's six part story had been extended to seven episodes, and you can see where the padding was added.
The final "monster" story of the monochrome era began today with Part One of The Seeds of Death, in 1969. The last 16 episodes of the 1960's would feature only humanoid villains.
Also shown today for the first time were a couple of Peter Davison Part Three's - Four to Doomsday, in 1982, and Snakedance, in 1983.

It was only three days ago that we were mentioning War Doctor John Hurt's birthday, but today marks the fifth anniversary of his passing. He died in 2017 at the age of 77.
On a happier note, today is the 72nd birthday of actor Christopher Ryan. He first played Sil's boss Kiv in the Mindwarp section of Trial of a Time Lord, and returned in 2008 to play the Sontaran commander Staal in The Sontaran Stratagem / The Poison Sky. He was back as another Sontaran commander, Stark, in The Pandorica Opens.

Monday 24 January 2022


There are some interesting rumours doing the rounds at the moment, about the possible shape of Series 14. A number of actors are always mentioned when the press, and the bookmakers, speculate about who might become the next Doctor, and this time some of them are people with whom Russell T Davies has recently worked (two of the cast of It's A Sin, for instance). Other names are people who have worked with the producers further back, and this time that includes someone who has already played the Doctor - David Tennant. 
It's not just RTD who is coming back, but Series 1 - 4 producer Phil Collinson as well. The BBC have spoken about "radical changes" to the format. The idea that we will simply get another actor taking on the part, and then carrying on as usual, seems to be receding.
The new rumour goes something like this: there won't be a new Doctor when Jodie Whittaker leaves. Either she won't regenerate at all, or we won't get to see her new incarnation. Things will be left open-ended for a future showrunner to pick up.
RTD will then produce a series of "old" Doctor stories, which could include at least one featuring Tennant. Rather than scrap the Timeless Child, RTD will embrace it, as it allows him to have any number of guest Doctors. You could have a different actor in every story. Jo Martin could get a whole story to herself, for example. 
One way of tying these things together could be the current Doctor opening the Division fob watch - thus releasing memories of pre-Hartnell Doctors.
All this would allow for "radical change" without actually damaging the series as it stands up to the end of Whittaker's reign. The series would simply be put on hold, while we spent some time investigating he Doctor's past.
Apparently production on Series 14 has now begun, so we should have some idea of where the series is going before too long.

On This Day... 24th January

The fourth and final episode of The Brain of Morbius made its debut today in 1976 - and what a lot it's got to answer for. We didn't know it at the time, but for many people this is when Doctor Who was irreparably broken.
The Doctor engages fellow Time Lord Morbius in a mental duel, wherein both try to push the other back through their regenerations. After seeing Pertwee, Troughton and Hartnell, another 8 faces are seen. They are all white males, some wearing different historical costumes. Writer Robert Holmes and Producer Philip Hinchcliffe (who are two of the people seen, along with six other production team members) intended this sequence to show that there had been incarnations of the Doctor prior to Hartnell. However, everything in the programe up to that point had indicated this to be wrong. The Time Lords even refer to Hartnell's as the earliest incarnation, in The Three Doctors. As it is, it is Morbius who loses the contest, so it was easy enough to say that these faces were really his previous incarnations.
However, this wasn't enough for Chris Chibnall, who felt the need to address this scene and have a multitude of previous incarnations, which the Doctor did not know about because the memories of them had all been removed by a Time Lord faction - which then became a much wider faction even bigger than the Time Lords.
The Doctor set out to get these memories back - only to not want to know them when she got them.
There is now a rumour doing the rounds about where this takes us next - but I'll talk about that separately...
Back to saner times, Spearhead From Space also concluded with its fourth instalment today in 1970, as did Warriors' Gate in 1981.

Sunday 23 January 2022

Episode 3: The Forest of Fear

The time-travellers have been tied up and placed in the Cave of Skulls. They notice that amongst the many bones here there are a lot of skulls which show signs of violence. They decide that they should concentrate on freeing Ian from his bonds, in case he has to defend them. Susan sees movement in the corner of the cave, and the old woman appears. She knows of a secret entrance into the cave. Her movements had been spotted by Hur, and she wakes Za. They go to the great stone which seals the cave and hear the old woman speaking with the strangers. She wants them to leave and go back to where they came from, taking the secret of fire with them. They can leave the cave by her secret entrance. 
After they have left, Za and Hur manage to push the stone aside and enter, finding the old woman alone. She tells them of what she has done, as she fears fire will destroy them. Za decides to follow and recapture them by himself, taking only Hur with him.
Soon after they have gone, Kal enters the cave. He becomes angry with the old woman and kills her, then wakes the rest of the tribe - claiming that it was Za who let the strangers go.
Za and Hur are about to overtake the time-travellers when he is attacked and mauled by a wild animal. Hearing this, Barbara insists that they to go back and help him. The Doctor is furious about this. As everyone tries to help Za, Ian spots the Doctor wielding a stone and suspects he is going to kill the injured man with it. The Doctor denies this, claiming he was going to get Za to draw their route back to the TARDIS, but Ian is not convinced.
A stretcher is made for Za and they continue their trek through the forest. At last they come to the forest edge and see the TARDIS beyond, but Kal and the other men from the tribe have got there first...
Next episode: The Firemaker.

Written by: Anthony Coburn
Recorded: Friday 1st November 1963 - Lime Grove Studio D
First broadcast: 5.15pm, Saturday 7th December 1963
Ratings: 6.9 million / AI 56
Designer: Barry Newbery
Director: Waris Hussein

The first episode had introduced us to the regulars, whilst the second episode introduced the main plot for this story (deadly rivalry to lead a primitive tribe, and the quest for fire) and its guest characters (primarily Za, Hur and Kal). The Forest of Fear is now free to start telling the adventure, and we get to know the regulars a little better through the situations in which they find themselves. We hardly knew them in the first instalment, and they are split up in the second (with the Doctor going off on his own early on in the proceedings), so this is the first time they have been seen together as a group. As a group, the dynamic is distinctly dysfunctional. 
The Doctor and Ian, especially, do not get on - with Barbara and Susan having to keep the peace between the two of them. Susan naturally takes her grandfather's side, but only to try to find excuses for his behaviour - not necessarily agreeing with what he says or does. Their conflict is such that Barbara immediately notices when the Doctor suggests something helpful. She is surprised that he is trying to help them. He explains that fear makes companions of them all, and it is only logical that Ian should be freed first as - being the youngest and fittest male - he may be required to defend them. The Doctor also acknowledges Ian's belief that they will get free - that they should hold on to hope.
As an adventure series, with a cliffhanger structure, it is obvious that the Doctor and his companions are going to come under threat on a regular basis. Part of this entails capture, which naturally then leads to escape. There will be an awful lot of capture / escape in the decades to come. Here we start with the time-travellers recently captured, then they are set free, and then they are about to be captured again at the conclusion of the episode. Capture, escape, capture.
When it comes to threat of injury or death, it is actually one of the guest characters who experiences this, when Za is attacked by a wild animal.
The most significant aspect of this episode is the scene where the Doctor appears to be on the point of cold-bloodedly murdering an injured man. Unfortunately this is always studied in hindsight - looking back at the incident from the vantage point of knowing the Doctor as the heroic figure he will shortly become. At the time, the Doctor was still an unknown quantity, his only attributes so far being stubbornness, a bad temper, and - as an alien - having little regard for we primitive human beings.
That he might kill a caveman - one who has been hostile towards the travellers - probably didn't bother viewers all that much at the time. Reviews of the time don't make a big deal of it.

  • Some uninvited visitors to the studios included fleas in the animal skin costumes, and a small lizard which came in amongst the hired plants. Carole Ann Ford adopted this - keeping it in the sink in her dressing room before taking it home.
  • The production team received a letter about the skeletons in the Cave of Skulls - pointing out that they would not be fully articulated. The bones would have come apart without the binding tissues.
  • Some of the bones were real, having been brought in from an abattoir.
  • Wary of upsetting the viewers, Waris Hussein elected not to show the old woman's death on screen, and the attack by the wild animal was achieved simply through camera POV (point of view) shots.
  • Barry Newbery borrowed a large tree prop from another production, which was still to broadcast. He was allowed to use it only so long as it didn't feature prominently.
  • Episode titles for this story were rearranged. This episode was going to be The Cave of Skulls, and the previous one The Firemaker, with the fourth instalment called "The Dawn of Knowledge".