Doctor Who: The Trial Of A Time Lady?

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Chris Morley sings a song of a Baker.


One of the most interesting stirrings of the ever-turning Doctor Who rumour mill seems to be suggesting that Series 11 will shift from being broadcast on Saturdays to the following day - something of a graveyard slot, surely, given its post-2005 surge in popularity? Indeed, if true it could almost imply that somebody somewhere is setting it up to fail. Perfect ammunition, then, for the army of naysayers with nothing better to do than snipe that the Doctor should never have been played by a woman...... Even though it was an idea first mooted by original creator Sydney Newman over half a century ago!

Those who remember the dark days of the Eighties may well be able to see where this could be going. For a similarly dastardly game was being played in the corridors of power at the BBC with Doctor Who shunted around the schedules and poor old Colin Baker placed on trial, both literally & metaphorically, as time began to run out for both the series itself & his own role within it.

Speaking to the Sun in 1987 he admitted,
“I was stunned. What I couldn’t accept is that (Michael) Grade didn’t have the guts to tell me man-to-man. If I knew why I was sacked then I would feel better about it all.

But I got fobbed off with excuses about Grade thinking three years as Dr. Who was long enough. The fact is I only made 26 episodes before he cancelled the show.

When it started again there were only 14 episodes. Hardly a long run, is it? All I wanted was a proper explanation. Many people believe, as I do, that I have been treated shabbily.”
The song of this particular Baker cut short. Hence his refusal to return for the handover to Sylvester McCoy, the man who would become the Seventh Doctor forced to don a blonde wig & coat of many colours to embody his immediate predecessor!

But even that was a brief stay of execution before the axe finally fell in 1989, Survival retrospectively a rather ironic title for the finale of the classic years of Who.



And now Chris Chibnall, a man who admitted he loathed the show he now runs during its annus horribilis, must hope it won't now find itself run into the ground once again! Enough to make you choke on your carrot juice, isn't it?

Nonetheless, during an appearance on Open Air he let rip. And The Trial Of A Time Lord in particular drew his critical fire......
“It doesn’t seem to have much to it. It hasn’t improved that much since it went off the air. It could have been a lot better; it could have been slightly better written, especially the last story. It was also very clich├ęd, it was very routine running up and down corridors and silly monsters.”
Chibnall clearly had balls of steel, his criticisms aired in front of a panel including its writers, whose job he now has in a roundabout manner, & Bonnie Langford herself! All of which was most likely ideal training for what would eventually come his way when he took the decision to break the mould and cast Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor.

Someone who came forward to offer his support to the idea was the very chap who'd had to run up & down corridors away from those silly monsters!
"Well I never the BBC really did do the right thing and let the Doctor be in touch with her feminine side. As a father of daughters – result!"
So basically she is the Doctor whether people like it or not, a line Colin would also later reuse having first said it during his own first full outing in the role for The Twin Dilemma after abandoning cricket whites for that rather glam rock coat which even the man now synonymous with it didn't want to wear in the first place!

You can perhaps forgive him a little jealousy as he no doubt tuned in to Rose & spat out his tea in indignation!
"The costume that I wanted is exactly what Christopher Eccleston got - a long black coat... you can lurk in the background and achieve things you can't achieve when you go around looking like an explosion in a rainbow factory!”

That said it can't fail to have escaped anyone's notice that the rainbow appears to be back given Ms Whittaker's own choice of colourful if slightly more subdued costume...


Whether or not she'll end up strangling Bradley Walsh during her first real chance to show it off, though, is anyone's guess for now.
DOCTOR:.One morn, a peri at the gate of Eden stood disconsolate. Who wrote that?
PERI: I haven't the faintest idea.
DOCTOR: Of course you don't. You don't even know what a peri is, do you, Peri?
PERI: No.
DOCTOR: I'll tell you. A peri is a good and beautiful fairy in Persian mythology. The interesting thing is, before it became good, it was evil. And that's what you are. Thoroughly evil.
PERI: Doctor, stop it!
DOCTOR: No. No, not even a fairy. An alien spy, sent here to spy on me. Well, we all know the fate of alien spies....
Whether its the same that could eventually befall hosts of The Chase once they take that fateful first step into the TARDIS, we must wait & see. Even if it does follow a slap up roast with all the trimmings if the Sunday speculation is to be believed. One great institution of the last day of the week must follow another, after all, surely?

A source told the Daily Express,
“On Saturdays everything has to fit around Strictly. Moving Doctor Who to a Sunday could make perfect sense. It is a serious option. Chris is taking Doctor Who apart to give it a revamp. The only things viewers will immediately recognise are the sonic screwdriver, the TARDIS and the theme tune.”
Gravy juice, gravy juice, gravy juice..............

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