Wednesday, February 24, 2010

It's Davros!

It’s Davros!
9 x 45 minute episodes Saturday 2nd July - 27th August 1977
Main cast: Michael Wisher (Davros), Peter Miles (Nyder).

Blurring the line between a traditional variety show and the fictional world of Doctor Who, It's Davros was BBC1's attempt to create a format which would attract a younger audience to the early summer evening schedule.

Underlying the show was the premise that Davros survived being exterminated at the end of Genesis of the Daleks (the only idea from this series that would feed back into the parent show when Davros returned to Doctor Who in 1979) and, more controversially, so did Nyder.

Now trapped in the Kaled Bunker after the events of Genesis Of The Daleks, Nyder places Davros in suspended animation but has to wake him on a weekly basis in order to keep his brain active. It was these weekly wakings which formed the core of the show; each programme starting with Nyder pressing the big red button which woke Davros and returning him to sleep once more at the end. The relationship between the pair was re imagined as a more traditional comedy double act (sample script: Davros: Where were you born?/Nyder: In the Kaled Dome/Davros: What part?/Nyder: All of me!/Davros: I don't wish to know that! Kindly leave the bunker) and included songs; see the screen grab below for a still as the pair prepare to sing Me And My Shadow.

Special guests would arrive either in space-ships pulled down from the sky by the Magnetron or kidnapped from Earth in a teleporter developed by Davros in order to examine people from Earth and try to understand why they were able to constantly defeat Dalek invasions (although the word Dalek was often used in the series the creatures themselves never appeared).

Davros and Nyder were also joined in the bunker by the Skaro Mutos who joined in sketches and dance routines, most memorably when American singer Norman Greenbaum teleports in to be told,” he is a Norm. All Norms are our enemy.” Their minds are changed after joining in a rendition of Greenbaum’s most famous song Spirit In The Sky.

Each week there was a postal competition set by the special guest, who would bring in a prize for the audience to win, inevitably when the answer was read out the following week Nyder would use his catchphrase, “thank you, that's what I wanted to know.”

Audience reaction can best be described as bemused but indulgent. Although ratings remained reasonable they were never high enough to justify the additional costs of It's Davros! compared to a standard variety show; mainly in make-up, sets and special effects. The last episode of It's Davros was broadcast on Saturday 27th Augest the week before Doctor Who returned for its fifteen series.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Thatcher, Thatcher, Zygon Lactic Fluid Snatcher

Congratulations to The Sunday Times and their exclusive revelation that allegorical science-fiction contains allegories. The allegory here being a character in the 1987 Doctor Who story The Happiness Patrol who was sort-of based on Margaret Thatcher.

The story has certainly captured the imagination of the rest of the media; The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Mail, The Guardian, The Daily Express, The Daily Mirror, and Newsnight

Shouting Into A Well commends our alert Fourth Estate and looks forwards to next weeks revelations that Star Trek (1968) once broadcast a story dealing with the war in Vietnam, V (1983) was really about the Nazis, Godzilla (1954) represented Japan's fear of atomic weapons, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1955)=communists, and Quatermass And The Pit (1958) almost certainly pre-empted Encoch Powell's River's Of Blood speech by ten years.

In Other News

Doctor Who Villain Based On Margaret Thatcher
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Doctor Who Villain Based On Margaret Thatcher
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Doctor Who Villain Based On Margaret Thatcher
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Doctor Who Villain Based On Nazis
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Doctor Who Villain Based On Margaret Thatcher
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Doctor Who Villain Based On Margaret Thatcher
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Doctor Who Villain Based On Margaret Thatcher
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Breaking News

Villain In Lenny Henry Doctor Who Parody Sketch Based On Margaret Thatcher
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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What Is The Secret Of The Mary Poppins Agenda?

Seeded through series four of Doctor Who are odd little references to Mary Poppins. Some are hidden and some are obvious. What can they mean? Join Shouting Into A Well as it seeks the truth!

Partners In Crime: A nanny flies above the streets of London. Surely it can't get any more obvious than this?

The Fires Of Pompeii: Yes it can. "Positions!" shouts Caecilius ("positus!" clamo Caecilius) as an earthquake shakes Pompeii. Just like the Banks' family in Mary Poppins when their neighbour Admiral Boom fires his cannon..

Planet Of The Ood: A man with a cockney accent and a women are sung to by nattily dressed characters who live in a land of snow and ice. Does that remind you of anything?

The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poisoned Sky: A reference to the song Let's Go Fly A Kite. “Up through the ATMOSphere/Up where the air is clear ” and indeed, at the end of the story the poisoned sky is clear once again.

The Doctor's Daughter: Just like Mr Banks, the Doctor learns that to grow close to his child he must spend more time with her.

The Unicorn And The Wasp: Pamela L. Travers, author (like Agetha Christie, we're literally down the rabbit hole here, people) of the Mary Poppins books wrote a book called What The Bee Knows. A wasp is basically an angry bee and a running theme through this series is the disappearance of the bees; who know that the Earth is going to vanish.

Silence In The Library/Forest of the Dead: It's set in a library, WHICH IS WHERE YOU WOULD EXPECT TO FIND THE MARY POPPINS BOOKS.

Midnight: The Doctor refers to himself as “very clever”, why not just go the whole hog and describe him as “practically perfect in every way”. Also, in the book Mary Poppins Opens the Door(1943) Mary stays “till the door opens", just like the spooky echoing creature.

Turn Left: Donna's life is a series of miserable events until a mysterious lady, who appears and disappears like magic, enters her world.

The Stolen Earth/Journey's End: In a deleted scene missing from the DVDs the Doctor and Davros have a tea party on the ceiling.

How far does this conspiracy go? Who can say. Or dare to guess. It's rumoured that decoding these references could reveal a plot of Dan Brownian motions, or at least uncover the location of a jewelled golden Hare valued at £5000. Are you up to the challenge?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Juvenile Smut Dept

Over at the BBC Doctor Who website you can find this very nice image to download as desktop wallpaper.

An earlier proposed design exists for this image. One originally intended as a quadruple tribute to both the tenth and eleventh Doctors as well as new producer Steven Moffat's personal favourite, the fifth Doctor, and the finest piece of Doctor Who merchandise ever made the Suchard Easter Egg.

Sadly design considerations meant this first image was rejected. The tumbling TARDIS was felt to be awkward from a layout point of view and there was a general feeling that simply too many different elements were present in the picture.

However all is not lost and you can see this rejected image below in all its glory.