A Doctor Who weekend for two

David Tennant in some good clothes for onceSpend a weekend in a hotel in Cardiff? Not a totally attractive offer, but not awful: I spent Christmas last year in a hotel in Cardiff and it was actually very nice. All the same, how could a couple of days in a plush hotel in Wales’ capital be made even more attractive?

I know. How about if there was a leaflet available that told you where Doctor Who had been filmed in the city? Grabs you now, doesn’t it?


Okay. How about if there was a blow-up Dalek as well?

Whoops. Disturbing now, isn’t it? It makes the claim, “We’re now seen as a sexy city to visit,” take on a whole new upsetting dimension.

Oh dear. I suspect the Park Plaza hotel is going to have to try harder for this particular cashing-in scheme to work. Perhaps they should talk to Travelodge about innovative ways to drum up trade?


Sunny side down

I made it. Remarkable efficiency plus the help of my lovely wife on Monday meant I was able to buy The Sun for six days in a row. So that’s £2.10 + £2.99 postage and package for six episodes of Doctor Who, due to arrive some time in the next six weeks. I can’t believe I managed it, or that the slow, creeping hand of fanboy obsession has gripped me again, 15 years after I first shed it, but there you go. I will fight it. I will.

Curious that you only get one episode from each story, making Rose the only complete adventure; curiouser still that they thought two episodes from incomplete stories (The Dalek Masterplan and The Faceless Ones) were a good idea, since no one can actually go out and buy the DVDs for the complete stories. But they’re all good episodes; I don’t think I’ll be rushing out to buy full-on BBC Doctor Who DVDs, lest my wife leave me, but it’ll be nice to watch those early stories in DVD quality, rather than 17th generation VHS.

The Sun, though. Odd, isn’t it? It’s not my normal paper of choice. Thought I’d give reading it a try, because occasionally the tabloids can be surprising: The Star was actually pretty good until Richard Desmond got his hands on it. Plus there’s something odd about only buying a paper that supports your own particular beliefs – challenges are good.

However, The Sun wasn’t particularly offensive, unlike the Daily Mail, which leaves any right-thinking sentient human being spluttering with indignation and disbelief that such flagrant evil is published every day. The Sun was just dull; I couldn’t even be bothered to read it after Tuesday: I just snipped my vouchers and recycled it. Shows you how far it’s fallen since Kelvin MacKenzie’s day. It wasn’t dull then. Offensive, yes. Dull, no.


Sounds, erm, magnificent?

The new K9We’ve railed against Winnie the Pooh getting the CGI treatment. We’ve railed against a whole lot of things in fact. But now, the Independent is reporting, K9 is to make a comeback as a CGI hero of his own Fox Kids show.

Step 1: Place memories on pavement

Step 2: Stamp all over them

Step 3: Stamp over them some more.

At the very least, I hope they get John Leeson back. The question, though, is why Fox Kids instead of CBeebies or some other BBC-owned channel? Maybe it’s all been made up. Or it’s a bad dream or something.

UPDATE: The Times explains all. And there’s a picture. Sob


Review: Doctor Who – 2×2 – Tooth and Claw

Tooth and Claw

Ah, that’s a bit more like it. Only a couple of slack moments and a not totally convincing bit of CGI but otherwise, ‘Tooth and Claw’ was classic Who:

  1. Good plot with a load of made-up science
  2. Good dialogue
  3. Good supporting cast
  4. Lots of running around corridors
  5. A companion running around with nothing to do but escape after being captured and ask, “What’s going on Doctor?”
  6. A scary monster
  7. A research scene where they work out how to kill the monster
  8. Lots of people dying

And they had some wu shu-ing monks and a reference to Jamie McCrimmon. Cracking. What more could you ask for from Doctor Who?

Incidentally, wasn’t David Tennant good? No more companion overshadowing the Doctor. Mr T totally wiped the floor with Ms P. Ah, just like the good old days. Talking of which, it’s the Sarah Jane and K9 episode next week. Can’t wait.

Couple of extra things. Number one, I’ve turfed up an interview in my MP3 collection of David Tennant explaining his love of Who and his Big Finish work. It was actually done while the Christopher Eccleston series was airing, amazingly enough. Email me if you’d like to hear it (note: it wasn’t me who did the interview, so you won’t get to hear my dulcet tones).

Number two: I’m in Wales at the moment. My lovely wife wanted the house to herself because she had three of her friends coming down for the weekend. So I’ve upped sticks to the mother-in-law’s and have spent the day cutting hedges, creosoting fences, mowing lawns, uncovering hedgehogs (Ahhhh!), climbing into lofts, moving heavy things and a whole lot more. So now I’m a funny pink colour from over-exposure to sunshine. Curses. Outside bad. Inside good.

But if you’ve never watched Who in Wales, it’s very entertaining. Short of having a man in a red rugby shirt signing at the bottom, there’s almost nothing more they could have done to make it clearer that this was “Made in Wales. God man! That’s cowing lush!”. They even have a little placard with an announcer at the beginning saying “Made in Wales by BBC Wales”. In Wales. That was Wales. Sorry, did I mention that it was shot in Wales?

Incidentally, I have no idea if that headline is accurate Welsh. Despite my best intentions to learn Welsh, I’ve been unable to find an Instant Welsh book, those Instant books being about the only language-learning books I get along with. So my Welsh stops somewhere south of the numbers one to six. Don’t, therefore, quote me on the headline, but I think it means “Welcome to Doctor Who”. Which is pretty meaningless of course. Oh well.

UPDATE: Further thoughts – Another ‘classic’ point was the TARDIS didn’t turn up at the right place or the right time, which is always refreshing. But all that Torchwood stuff is starting to hack me off and doesn’t make a lot of sense at the moment. Yes, we get it, there’s a spin-off called Torchwood coming.