Wednesday, 30 December 2015

'Radio Times' TV Review of 2015

That venerable publishing colossus,
Christmas perennial, and loyal Doctor 
Who supporter, the Radio Times, has
revealed the results of their annual,
multi-channel survey. Their top forty
shows of the year (headed by BBC2's
historical drama Wolf Hall) have again
been selected by the magazine's critics,
and Peter Capaldi's second season has
been placed at a very respectable number seven (up from nine last year). Rwriter Patrick Mulkern comments:

DOCTOR WHO BBC1 

"This autumn, the TARDIS landed in
its latest ever timeslot, which seemed 
suited to a darker tone of storytelling 
but was quickly denounced as the
reason for a ratings plunge of around
one million. No decline in quality was visible [though, in fact] there was an
upswing, with provocative themes, bold experiments, intelligent writing and
performances. Steven Moffat and Peter Capaldi remoulded the Doctor
into a "raddled old rocker" more lovable than last year and painfully aware
that his glory days with Clara were ending. Jenna Coleman shone but her
job was done, while Capaldi proved [with] his solo jaunt, Heaven Sent (an
instant classic) [that] he's a one-man constellation".

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Doctor Who Vs. The Gorgon

This feature marked a departure from the typically gothic fare of the Hammer stable by turning to Greek mythology for inspiration - here the legendary Gorgon sisters terrorise the villagers of Vandorf in turn-of-the-century Germany.
Released in cinemas in a double bill with The Curse 
of the Mummy's Tomb in 1964, the cast was headed 
by Hammer stalwarts Christopher Lee (as Professor Meister) and Peter Cushing (as Dr. Namaroff).
Shown again on the Horror channel today, The Gorgon featured Patrick Troughton (pictured as Inspector
Kanof, his second of five Hammer roles*) and six
other Doctor Who cast and crew connections:

  • Barbara Shelley (Carla) played Sorastra in Planet of Fire
  • Michael Peake (Constable) was Tavius in The Romans
  • Jim O'Brady (Angry Man) was an Escapee in Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150 AD
  • Ron Hyde was sound editor on Dr. Who and the Daleks too
  • music supervisor Marcus Dods was the conductor on The Aztecs
  • stunt co-ordinator Peter Diamond was a regular stunt double and fight arranger on the classic series, from The Daleks to The Daemons
The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb (also screened on Horror this week)
starred seven other Doctor Who links:
  • George Pastell, Pat Gorman, Jimmy Gardner, Michael McStay, Roy Stewart, Eddie Powell and Peter Diamond
*Troughton also appeared in The Phantom of the Opera (1962), The Viking 
Queen (1967), Scars of Dracula (1970), and Frankenstein and the Monster 
from Hell (1974)