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 starring 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.
Saturday 16th November: Planet of the Daleks
Ever wondered what would happen if you gave Terry Nation the reins over a Dalek episode but only gave him a budget of about £10? The result, apparently, is Planet of the Daleks, a 6-parter episode that represents the peak of 70’s Doctor Who: a wild story, continuous explosions and cheap as dirt effects. The episode began with the Third Doctor recovering from a wild cocaine-fuelled romp (come on, that white powdery “ice” was fooling no-one), leaving Jo to explore a strange new world filled with blond inhabitants, IKEA furniture and freezing environments. A world called
Sweden Spiridon. The Thals/members of Abba have been struggling against invisible Daleks and also struggling to act in the case of Vaber, who’s more wooden than the trees that surround him. The rest of the cast are pretty good, and most of them have rather touching moments with the Doctor (helping to show why he’s the best classic Doctor), except for the time they almost hang him by accident. Jo meanwhile has made friends with a floating bowl, who helps them fight an army of very tiny die-cast Daleks and the Supreme Dalek, a Dalek who almost flipped his lid when shouting at his subordinates. I mean this in a literal sense; this Dalek looked so cheap it was likely to fall apart if it moved too quickly. After a Star Wars-esque finale, involving dropping explosives into exhaust ports, Ewok skins, Jawas and a guy who looked like he could have been the love-child of Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill, the Doctor and Jo saved the day and returned to Earth. I know like I’ve made it sound a bit unappealing as it was cheap and the Daleks were a bit naff, but it had some great Doctor and Jo moments and gave us all a good laugh. 70’s Doctor Who was a wildly different time, but hey, it seemed pretty fun.
Saturday 23rd November: Anniversary Quiz
As is tradition, on the Saturday closest to that Holy date (or in this case on that date), the council assembles and the President is forced to write a quiz to sate our unquenchable need to prove our Doctor Who knowledge is far superior to others. This staple of the society started the same way as it always does: with Kieran running late having finished the quiz on the way, forcing the rest of the council to stall. Thankfully, we were blessed with the Doctor Who series 12 trailer, which gave us lots to discuss. Speaking of, lest he forget, David made a bet with several people that the spidery looking thing in the trailer isn’t a Racnoss. I’ve decided to write this here just to make sure he pays up (in biscuits) if he’s wrong and pretends he forgot he made this bet. Right, biscuit bets done, let’s get on with the rounds. We had 5 rounds in total, with a bonus creative question between each one. 4 teams of 3 each were quickly assembled and with that, the game (of Rassilon) began.
Ok, so I began writing this up and realised I would probably destroy the website if this entire quiz was posted on this page (which is already too long), so instead of that, please click the link below if you wish to read about the rounds involved and who won. Provided I can work out how to create a hyperlink…
Saturday 30th November: Capaldi Christmas Specials
Congratulations everyone, we’ve made it through Michaelmas 2019. To all our freshers and newcomers, I hope we’ve managed to welcome you into the Society and help you settle in to this new time in your life. Believe me, I found this society really helpful in my first term and I hope we’ve managed to make you guys feel at home as well.
Right, moving on, it’s the most wonderful time of the year again! In the immortal words of Slade: “IT’S CHRIIIIIIISTMAAAAAAAASS”. Everyone’s hanging up their decorations, Michael Buble is currently being defrosted and we’re preparing to welcome in the season by showing all the Capaldi specials, from Last Christmas all the way to Twice upon a Time. So grab a mince pie, pour out a cup of Mulled wine or egg nog (or any other festive beverage) and settle in for a light-hearted series of adventures.
Last Christmas – Arriving in the North Pole, the Doctor and Clara discover the crew of an Arctic base are being threatened by mysterious dream crabs. Luckily, they have a new friend to help them…. Santa?
The Doctor Who version of Inception essentially, this episode is a fairly fun trip, with plenty of bickering between the Doctor and Santa (played by the amazing Nick Frost) and a great scene involving blackboards. This episode is ruined only by the return of the ever-terrible Clara, who forces herself into yet another series (yes I’m aware of what Tom wrote in the emails and I will willingly accept his challenge next term).
The Husbands of River Song – The Doctor gets caught up in an assassination attempt on King Hydroflax, headed (get it) by none other than River Song, who can’t seem to recognise her husband…
Luckily, the Doctor has had his memories of Clara erased (wish we could) and is back in this solo adventure alongside the hilarious (and ginormous) Greg Davies, Matt Lucas in his debut role as Nardole (the sexiest companion, fight me) and Alex Kingston returning for her final on-screen appearance as River Song. This episode features a bittersweet ending that’s sure to tug at the heart strings, and cements River Song as one of Moffat’s greatest characters.
The Return of Doctor Mysterio – Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s…. a Police Box? Dealing with the loss of River Song, the Doctor visits New York, where he’s re-united with the superhero The Ghost, a man he accidentally gave superpower to. Good thing he did though, as New York has been invaded by body-snatching alien brains!
I love this episode, and honestly, you should too. It’s got Capaldi’s Doctor at his best, it brings back Nardole (who as I previously said, is really just a bit of eye-candy) and features an actual superhero in the Doctor Who universe! Sure the plot is cliched, but its a great, fun parody of/homage to classic comic book adventures, with a nice love story, decent CGI and a helping of Pokemon GO jokes.
Twice upon a Time – The Doctor is regenerating. He’s tired, old and has been mortally wounded whilst battling the Cybermen. But he refuses to give into his regeneration. After all, what’s the point if you’re going to become a different person? If only someone could help. Someone like….. The Doctor?
Peter Capaldi’s and Steven Moffat’s swansong is a heart-wrenching episode filled with plenty of callbacks and great memories. Featuring the return of Bill (kind of), David Bradley as the First Doctor and Mark Gatiss as the Captain (definitely not a Lethbridge-Stewart), this episode ends the great 12th Doctor’s run on a high, and gave us all hope for the next era of Doctor Who.
If the above entry looks similar to what was posted in the Future events page, that’s because I just copied that. I was away during the final event so I’ve got no idea what actually happened and I was reading the future section again and decided what I wrote was too good to remove (yeah I’m that vain. Maybe giving me an outlet to write Doctor Who updates was a bad idea). Honestly though, what are the odds you’ve made it this far down the page?