Saturday 12th October: Multi-Doctor Specials
Kicking off the year with a bang, we started with the classic special The Five Doctors. Nobody’s favourite Doctor (at least, according to our freshers fair poll) the Fifth Doctor reunites with his First, Second and Third incarnations, as well as a collection of his companions to face a menagerie of enemies including: Skaro’s most incompetent Dalek, a group of hungover Cybermen recovering from a massive bender, a power rangers cosplayer in a tight-fitting silver unitard and the [INSERT RANDOM OBJECT NAME HERE] of Rassilon. Afterwards we watched what might be Steven Moffat’s best work to date: The Five(ish) Doctors reboot, a minisode filled with easter eggs, callbacks and John Barrowman music, it was clearly a shameful example of self-advertising but hell, it was fun. Rounding off the evening, we showed our new members an episode they were all familiar with: the 50th Anniversary episode, the Day of the Doctor. A grand culmination of the modern and classic eras, this episode once again made us cheer and actually made a few members cry. But isn’t that what really defines an episode of Doctor Who?
Saturday 19th October: Weeping Angels Marathon
Back in Downing college, we were reunited with old foes the Weeping Angels, in the episodes Blink, Time of the Angels, Flesh and Stone and the one where the statue of liberty is a Weeping Angel. Blink once again reaffirmed itself as an outstanding stand-alone episode and possibly the pinnacle of Doctor Who, even if the angels couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn (looking at you angel who missed Sally Sparrow when her back was turned). It also made us wonder why the angels never chiselled in a pocket into their outfits, as surely that’s got to be more efficient than just dangling the TARDIS key in the air where any do-gooder can grab it? The following two-parter raised more questions than it answered, and kind of made us want to get our hands on that Weeping Angels book River Song had. It also featured four men walking themselves out of existence and whatever a treeborg is, but hey, that’s just an average episode of DW isn’t it? Finally, we rounded off the evening with the Angels take Manhatten, a heartbreaking episode that is completely ruined by even more confusing plot threads. Like, why are there baby angels? Do the Angels reproduce? How can they reproduce? How did the Melody Malone book ever get published if it just starts talking to the Doctor in the last four chapters? And who in their right mind thought a Statue of Liberty Weeping Angel was a sensible idea? Come on Steven. As always, the night ended with a heated row about Clara. I love this society sometimes.
Saturday 26th October: Skeletons
Part 2 of our Halloween nights took place back in John’s, above another party (Honestly, they love to party in Johns. Its such a big college you’d think the chances of these 2 events meeting would be small but we somehow manage it every time). We started with Image of the Fendahl, which was a bit of a slow burn but included some absolutely adorable Fendahleen with silly string for their mouths, Benedict Cumberbatch’s Mum (seriously!) and the greatest insult ever to be used in history: Swede-bashing cretin! It was pretty fun, but made me question how much Destiny has ripped off from Doctor Who, regarding worm gods, cult pacts and otherworldly beings shaping humanity’s evolution. To follow, we watched Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead, which showed us just why Steven Moffat was chosen as showrunner. Not many jokes springing to mind about this one, its just too amazing and keeps you in awe throughout. Not to mention, it has possibly the best scene in all of Doctor Who. You know the one, where the Doctor races to save River Song and Murray Gold’s score swells throughout the chase. Poetic cinema at its finest.
Saturday 2nd November: Ghosts
This week, our new members got to watch not only Under the Lake/Before the Flood and Ghostlight but also 20 minutes of the entire assembled High Council try and work out how to download an app and play a DVD. It cost us blood, sweat, tears and possibly David’s laptop, but in the end we accomplished a basic task (Hell yeah)! Anyway, technical difficulties aside, let’s get on to what actually happened in our spooktacular show. First up was Under the Lake/Before the Flood, an episode that made us wonder why Toby Whithouse wasn’t chosen as the new showrunner. A fantastic episode with excellent characters, great twists and a thrilling mystery, honestly this episode was so much better than I remembered it being. It was surprisingly emotional and both the acting and Murray Gold’s score were top-notch. Plus, it has the Bootstrap paradox cold open, which is honestly one of the greatest cold-opens in television history and may have inspired us to create Rock-tor Who, a new genre of music. Unfortunately, nothing is perfect and this episode does have its flaws. Sometimes it felt a bit more Scooby-Doo than Doctor Who, Cass suddenly became Daredevil, and Clara continued her quest to be the most annoying companion of all time (If you couldn’t tell, I’m currently locked in a war with Tom who writes the emails over Clara. If you side with him, fight me). Worst of all was the Fisher King, a villain of excellent design, great voice acting and a genuinely intriguing story, who just kind of.. dies. You’d think with a name like the Fisher King you could do something about a flood but no. After a monologue about the Time Lords (surely an indication he’s more powerful than he appears) he plods out to his ship, without killing the Doctor for some reason, and then shouts at a flood. An unworthy death for a villain who without a doubt would have had a cool trading card. Right, rant over, we also watched Ghostlight. How can one best describe Ghostlight? Well, imagine pouring LSD directly into your eyes and then mashing a bunch of characters from wildly different episodes together. That may be what the writers did in 1989 to produce this mess. Honestly I’m still so confused I can’t think of what to write about it. Sam (proper Sam, not me) was able to solve a Rubiks Dodecahedron faster than any of us could figure out what was going on in Ghostlight! Oh, I almost forgot; there’s a scene where Light becomes Emperor Palpatine. That’s all I can really remember about this acid-trip of an episode. Once again, any Destiny fans will be questioning how much Bungie has
ripped off been inspired by Doctor Who, with whispering ghosts summoned by a mysterious ship and a message which predicts all the current Destiny DLC’s. Honestly, the parallels neaver cease between these Sci-fi titans. Ok I’ve just looked back at what I’ve written and I’m sorry about how long this week’s entry is. God, I hope there isn’t a word limit on this site or I don’t think this page will make it to Lent term.
Saturday 9th November: Big Finish Night
We caved in to a very excited David’s demands and put on another Big Finish audio night, with some light, fun stories to chase away those Week 5 blues. Our first story was the Four Doctors, an episode featuring Doctors 5 through 8 in their attempt to keep the Daleks from obtaining another all powerful weapon. Or it could have been called the Four Doctors and the Magic fingers. Trust me, it isn’t as dirty as it sounds. It had its ups and downs, by which I mean we constantly had to adjust the volume so we weren’t being deafened every time the Daleks showed up. The episode also reminded us that maybe being the Doctor’s friend isn’t always such a good thing, as proven by Michael Faraday, who received half a Dalek, nearly got killed and had his house burnt down. Oh well, nothing which can’t be solved by a resonating TARDIS echo, or whatever Deus Ex Machina the episode used. Next was Divorced, Beheaded, Regenerated; a story featuring Michelle Gomez as Missy and Rufus Hound as the Meddling Monk, two Time Lords who have to confront the Paradox eaters. But let’s face it, who cares about Paradox eaters or a plot? The best part of this story was listening to Missy and the Monk constantly bickering and one-upping each other. Honestly, good fun. Lastly we had an unplanned audio, Ghost Mission: a Torchwood story staring Sergeant Andy Davidson and the ghost/Red Dwarf hologram Norton Folgate. Through their adventure they encounter mutant rats (unfortunately, not the kind that know Kung-fu and are raising 4 teenage turtles), creepy ghosts and a ton of innuendos, all before finding a gizmo that probably gets elaborated on more in extra audios. A good, (not)clean joyride, this episode was one of David’s favourites and really showed why. Additional note, why does Big Finish love singing so much? I get it’s an audio but come on, you don’t need to have a song in every story. Still, at least we didn’t hear the River Song song again.