Sunday, 6 February 2011

Doctor Who 1984 (Peri flavoured)

This weekend I picked up a cheap Doctor Who DVD from the end of the Peter Davidson era, The Caves of Androzani.

This is one of the storylines I would have seen bits of pieces of when it was originally broadcast back in 1984 without really following what was going on.

I think I made the effort of tuning in for the final episode of the story because it was Peter Davidson's last.

Revisiting it after more than 25 years I note three things:

One, the production values are probably worse than I remember. The underground dragon creature is a particular low point.

Two, it's quite a good little story with a fair amount of "which faction is working for who?" going on. There's Scottish gunrunners, soldiers, androids impersonating soldiers, a substance that gives eternal youth, political blackmail and assassination.

Three, Nicola Bryant as companion Peri is gorgeous. I dare say I am influenced by the 13 or 14 year old version of myself. But she is.

Early in the first episode she and the Doctor get stung by some webby alien egg thing they find in a cave. It turns out they have caught a bad case of "spectrox toxaemia" and poor Peri gets weaker and progressively more wheezy as the episodes progress. Meanwhile one of the the villains, the masked Sharaz Jek, captures Peri and wants to spend eternity gazing on her beauty. Fair enough.

"Peri, I don't fancy yours much."

Eventually the Doctor get some of the bat milk antidote and gives it all to Peri. He then succumbs to the disease and regenerates into Colin Baker.

Peri would go on to be the Colin Baker companion through nearly all of his tenure as the Doctor. Looking up the episode list I am reminded that in the space of the 1985 season she encounters Cybermen, Daleks, Sontarans and even meets Patrick Troughton's version of the Doctor in The Two Doctors. All while maintaining an American accent.

However I will jumping ahead to watch my other purchase from this weekend, 1986's The Trial of a Time Lord...

Claire Foy in Sunday Times Culture

Today's Sunday Times Culture mag has an article about Claire Foy from Little Dorrit and Upstairs Downstairs. She's on TV tonight in Channel 4's Israel-set drama The Promise. Anyway, I thought it was a nice picture so I attempted a scan.

I'll make an effort to watch the first episode of The Promise even though it's a long one as it starts at 9pm and lasts until 10:45pm. But I'll give it a go because Claire is in it. She has become a sort of surrogate Ruth Wilson for me!

Emily Blunt in Sunday Times Style magazine

Emily Blunt is on the cover of today's Sunday Times Style magazine. It's an odd photo but seeing as it's Emily I thought it worthy of a quick scan...