Tag Archives: cybermen

DOCTOR WHO RE-WATCH – SEASON FIVE

secondbannerWe are so very lucky to have so much of season five available to us on DVD. There was a time when all we had was The Tomb of the Cybermen, and over twenty years ago we didn’t even have that! In late-2012, early-2013 I had to re-watch the entire series for my book Companions, and during that re-watch the only way I could research season five was with audio soundtracks and reconstructions online! Two years on…?

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Thanks to some wonderful animation we have The Ice Warriors complete, and with the discovery of The Enemy of the World and most of The Web of Fear in late 2013, we now have over half of that season on DVD! Yay? Oh god, yes!

What with the huge gap of missing stories through season three and, especially, season four, we don’t really get to see the development of the series, only snapshots here and there. As such re-watching season five is almost like watching a completely different show. Yes, it’s still features the Doctor and the TARDIS, but in every way that counts it feels different. The performances are more polished, the scripts more coherent and layered, the direction is smart with some really fantastic location work peppered throughout. And then there’s Jamie… In the small amount of material we have from season four we don’t get to see a lot of Jamie. In The Moonbase, the only full Troughton story available on DVD (completed with animated episodes) Jamie is not in it a great deal, and when he is he’s mostly been given lines originally written for Ben and Polly. But in season five his full character hits you in the face — the humour, the loyalty, the protectiveness… For the Second Doctor there is no doubt that Jamie is the companion (and hardly surprising as he was in all but one Second Doctor adventure).

It is so very difficult to choose a favourite story from season five. I thought adding the orphaned Moonbase might help, but it really doesn’t as the quality of that story only adds to the superiority of the fifth season. I can honestly say that, as of now, season five is right up there among my favourite season of Who, sitting alongside such greats as seasons one, seven, thirteen, and twenty-six. Which is new, as season six used to be my favourite of Troughton — mostly by default as that season almost exists in its entirety.  So, to my favourite story… I feel an obligation to pick The Web of Fear out of fealty to the Haismans and my connection with them, and of course the historical first appearance of Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart, but I have to be honest in my re-watch and consider what else is around that story. With The Moonbase included I have five extremely good productions to pick from…

And this is my, very difficulty chosen, run down of season five (a list of all brilliant stories!):

  • The Tomb of the Cybermen
  • The Moonbase
  • The Ice Warriors
  • The Web of Fear

… which makes the winner David Whitaker’s tour-de-force

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New Legacy Title

Followers of this blog, and indeed my writing, will be aware of Legacy… But for those who new, here’s the brief lowdown.

Legacy began in 2001 as a fan fiction based on Doctor Who, it ran for the next five years until mid-2006 when Matrix Revelation was published. By the end it was well-known, with some of the best fan writers involved. During the course of it’s initial run, I became a professional author myself, having had published two official Doctor Who short stories and a Space: 1889 audio drama produced. Legacy has never really left me, and in 2010 I set myself a new task. To totally revamp the series, fix things (and there were a lot of things to fix, especially in the first two seasons!), and self-publish them, while at the same time raising money for Cancer Research UK. I was doing well with them up until September last year, when my professional writing took over. As a result it’s taken me almost a year to get the next book released – that’s quite a gap for those waiting on the end of season two.

Well, the wait is over.

I can finally announce that Legacy 2.3 is out. And an epic tale it is, too! The final battle between the combined might of the Galactic Federation and the Martian Empire against the most awesome army of Cybermen ever devised. Hanging in the balance, the fate of Nova Mondas (or, as it was once known, Earth!), and Mars. To win, a great sacrifice will have to be made, and it’s one only the Doctor can make…

The book is only £5.25, plus p&p, and available direct from Lulu Distributions. As mentioned above, the series is published to raise money for Cancer Research UK. No profit is made by me or anyone involved from this venture.

This is the fifth title in the series, so for those of you who’ve entered the game a little late, all titles are still available HERE

 

Here’s an excerpt from Cost of War;

Christmas 2001, Portland, Oregon USA.

The doctor walked into the room. It was a small cream box, with a tiny window and a single camping bed against one wall, the only other furniture being a small table, with a large pile of sheets on it, and a tiny metal framed chair. The cushions on the chair had been worn down by hundreds of people before it had been moved in here, and the colour was lost and the fibre of the cushions frayed.

The patient sat on the camping bed, watching the sky out of the window. The doctor walked over to the sheets of paper. He’d seen most of them before but some of them were new. They were still filled with endless scrawlings of nonsense. The symbols on the page made no sense, as though they were a mimicry of writing, without the basic understanding of the principles behind it.

And yet the patient still demanded more and more paper – he tried time and again to write out the story he told to the doctor every week, practising to see if the ability would return to him, to see if he would suddenly learn to write.

‘Hello, Roger.’ The doctor tried to attract the patient’s attention.

‘Hello, Dr Cooper.’ The man continued staring out of the window.

Cooper got irritated. ‘What are you looking at?’ He tried to keep his annoyance out of his voice.

‘The sky.’

The doctor moved in to look out the small window behind him. ‘It’s very cloudy today, isn’t it? Like a storm is coming.’

‘The sky knows.’

‘Pardon?’ This comment threw Doctor Cooper.

‘The sky knows that something is going to happen.’

‘What is going to happen?’

For the first time Roger turned to look at him. A look of pain shot across his face. ‘I can’t say.’

‘Okay then.’ The doctor had got used to Roger’s odd behaviour. He had been morose for weeks, as though he was aware of some great sadness no one else had realised.

‘But…’ said Roger, obviously not finished, ‘it’s important I finish telling my story today.’

‘Why?’ Doctor Cooper was intrigued. The patient was usually so concerned that he got all the details of the narrative right. To place a time constraint on his story telling was very out of character.

‘Because I won’t be able to soon.’

The doctor tried to keep the sympathy from showing on his face. ‘Why haven’t you written it down?’

‘Don’t you think I’ve been trying?’ Roger pointed in irritation at the sheets on his table. ‘Don’t you think I’ve wanted to? This brain wasn’t built for my mind. I’ve been trying to use it, to translate my thoughts onto paper, but I just can’t get the language centres to work right. On the page, it all comes out as nonsense.’

The doctor thought it was best to nip this in the bud – maybe he could try once again to point out a flaw in this man’s story, show Roger that he can’t be right?

‘Why did you “download” yourself into this body then?’

‘Because I wanted to tell the story – the story deserved to be told. I had to download myself into an empty mind, into someone who would be ready to receive me. I couldn’t wipe an innocent mind to tell my story. To tell their story.’

‘So are we nearly at the end?’

Roger nodded solemnly. ‘Very nearly. There’s only one bit left.’

‘So…’ Doctor Cooper examined his notes from last time. The story’s main character, the Doctor, was on the home planet of the monsters. An authority figure attempting to wipe out chaos; a typical delusion. It was the other characters and details in the narrative who were the interesting parts. ‘Is Nick still on Mars with Falex?’

‘Yes. Alf is with the Draconians in space and the Doctor is on Nova Mondas.’

Another interesting thing was the fact that Roger had included himself in the narrative at one point. However, his inclusion had resulted in him awaking in the mind of a human in a mental institution, ready to tell his story. It was unusual for a dementia like this not to place much more importance on his own role in the story. However, it was partially true. The patient had just woken up one day last year and insisted on being called Roger, and that he had a story to tell.

‘So. Where are we going to begin today?’

‘On Mars.’

‘With Nick?’

‘Yes.’

‘So where exactly are we on Mars?’

Roger looked pained again for a moment, as though trying to think of where to begin. ‘In something called the GodEngine.’

‘GodEngine?’

He looked uncomfortable again, as though he was sad at doing such a bad job of telling the story. ‘Yeah. Don’t worry, I’ll explain it all later…’