Saturday, 30 July 2011

My Blog T-Shirt

Hello bloggers, I've been at this blogging lark for a good old while now and I thought it was about time that I fashioned myself a t-shirt. And here it is in all it's Tardis blue glory. I hope you like it and should anyone want to purchase one for their very own you can get them from the awesome people over at Street Shirts by clicking THIS LINK. When I ordered mine they threw in a free drumstick, which was very nice of them.


WONDERFUL NEWS: Since writing my blog review on THE CRASH OF THE ELYSIUM it has been announced that the immersive Doctor Who production will be coming to London as part of the 2012 festival which runs from 21 June - 9 September. Click here for more info.

Friday, 22 July 2011

34: The Macra Terror - Big Brother Is Watching. But He's More Crustacean Than Custodian.

Written by: Ian Stuart Black.
Companions: The Doctor, Ben Jackson, Polly, Jamie McCrimmon.
Monsters/Villains: Macra.
Brief Synopsis: Huge crab-like Macra have infiltrated a human earth-colony and are secretly enslaving the colonists.
Rating: 4.5/10.

The first Doctor Who titles to include the actor's face.
We launch into this one with a freshly rearranged theme and a brand spanking new title sequence featuring Patrick Troughton's face; a motif that would reoccur for the rest of the classic series Doctors to come.

FUTURISTIC GORDIE ACCENT (which sounds somewhat the same as a present-day Gordie accent would sound): Day 9,000,035 in the Colonist Holiday Camp. The Colonists are gathered in the reception room, enjoying a band and a group of Majorettes parading past when Medok, who is up for eviction this week, comes running in chased by Ola and his guards. Todays challenge: apprehend Medok. The prize: a number of beauty treatments.

Okay, so it's not exactly Big Brother, but there is a clear tie here. The Colony is run by an unseen all-powerful Controller. A colonist called Medok is on the run, he is hiding as the TARDIS materialises near by. When the TARDIS' occupants emerge, Medok attacks Jamie, but with the aid of Ben the two overcome him, just as Ola: the Chief of Police and his guards arrive. They describe Medok as 'one of the last patients in the colony.' They tie him up and take him away and the Controller sends out a message thanking the Doctor and co for apprehending Medok. 

They also meet the second in command of the colony, the Pilot, who thanks them and leaves them in the capable hands of Barney, who is some sort of beauty therapist, I think. He offers them steam baths, beauty treatments, massage, sunlight and moonlight treatment, and sparkling and effervescent sprays. He offers a slightly offended Doctor to get his clothes cleaned. Polly asks for a shampoo, and the two gentlemen get massages from a bevy of beauties. The Doctor goes into a machine which cleans his clothes whilst still on his body and tidies his hair. He emerges perfectly tidy and clean. Unhappy with his new smart appearance the Doctor enters a workout machine, leaving him messy haired and with his clothes crumpled. Barney says that Polly is the most beautiful girl in the colony and will surely be voted beauty president; whatever that may be. Jamie and Polly learn that the colonists work to tap and refine dangerous gases that the colony in some way relies on.

The Doctor getting clean.
FUTURISTIC GORDIE ACCENT: Day 9,000,036 in the Colonist Holiday Camp. The three new housemates are in the Spa. Having won the daily challenge they receive some beauty treatments and the Controller announces that they will hold a reception to welcome them. It will be fun for all!!

The Doctor with Medok.
They lock up Medok, threatening a return to the hospital for correction for spreading rumours about terrifying creatures that prowl around the colony at night. The Doctor picks the lock to Medok's cell, freeing him so he can speak to him further about these sightings. The Doctor slips out during the Controllers enforced curfew and finds Medok who tells the Doctor that these creatures look like giant insects or crabs. A few have seen them, but they get locked up in the correction hospital. A patrol is sent to find Medok and told to shoot to kill. Hiding in a building under construction, Medok and the Doctor try to escape the guards but catch a glimpse of a huge crab like creature. Macra.

The guards find them and take them before the Pilot. The Doctor looks to be in serious trouble but Medok makes a statement saying that the Doctor was trying to get him to give himself up. The Pilot thanks the Doctor for bringing Medok to justice. The controller appears to the Pilot merely as an image on a screen and orders that the Doctor and his friends are to be given the advantage of high powered adaption at once. Stating, that they must begin to think like members of the colony, using processes called deep sleep and thinking patterns. He starts out quite calm but builds into a mad frenzy. "We cannot have criticism from these strangers. The process will begin immediately. Control must be believed and obeyed. No one on the colony believes in Macra. There is no such thing as Macra! Macra do not exist!! There are no Macra!!"

The Controller, as he appears as a static image.

FUTURISTIC GORDIE ACCENT: In the rest cubicle Ben, Jamie and Polly are sleeping, when they start to hear voices: "Everything in the colony is good and beautiful, you must accept it and obey orders. The leaders of the colony know best. You will be given work and you will be glad to obey. You will not resist the sleeping gas. Breath deeply. In the morning when you awake you will obey."

Jamie awakes and recalls hearing the voice, whereas Ben is unaware and says they have work to do tomorrow. The Doctor enters Polly's cubicle. He examines the wall and finds a wire, he fuses it and causes a small explosion. Polly wakes up and the Doctor says he thinks she has been listening to some bad advice. The Doctor rushes to Ben and Jamie. The Doctor fuses Ben and Jamies' wires too and explains that they are like nerves tapping the subconscious of the human brain. Jamie and Polly don't seem to have been affected by the hypnotic voice but Ben turns against the Doctor, calls Ola and tells him about the Doctor breaking the wires. Ola takes the Doctor and Jamie to see the Pilot.

Ben under the colony's control, betrays his friends.
Polly goes to find Jamie and the Doctor. Ben follows her and they both see a Macra. Ben denies seeing it as his conditioning is too strong. Polly is grabbed by a huge claw. Ben tries to free her causing the Macra to eventually releases her and move off. Two more Macra arrive but the pair manage to escape.

Peter Jeffrey as The Pilot.
The Doctor and Jamie are with the Pilot who is also under control. Ben arrives, with Polly, but denies having seen Macra. The Doctor questions who the Controller is. The picture of "the controller" vanishes and they see the real controller, who is old and dishevelled. A voice orders him to tell the strangers to believe and obey. He tries to comply, but a Macra claw comes on to the screen and drags him away. The Pilot orders the Doctor, Jamie and Polly be taken away to the pit.

The real controller gets clamped.
FUTURISTIC GORDIE ACCENT: Day 9,000,037 in The Colonist Holiday Camp. The Doctor, Jamie, Polly and Medok are in the mines. They have broken the rules and are being punished by being put in the 'Danger Gang.'

The group are placed under the control of Officia, the mine supervisor and grouped with the danger gang, who do the dirty work in the mines, and go where the gas is worst. The Controller orders the pilot to forget all he has seen. The Pilot orders Ben to follow his friends and report on them. Polly, Jamie and Medok go down into the mine, whilst the Doctor takes the supervisory job. In the mines, Medok, Jamie and Polly help the other miners to stop a gas leak. Officia gets knocked out by some gas and Jamie takes his keys. No one seems to know or question what the gas is used for. Ben arrives and sees Jamie go through a locked door to the old mine shaft. An alarm sounds, announcing that Jamie has escaped and Medok goes to find him. The claw of a Macra grips Medok and throws him to the ground. Ben witnesses Jamie's 'treachery,' but doesn't report it. Jamie discovers a dead Medok and comes face to face with a Macra.

FUTURISTIC GORDIE ACCENT: Medok becomes the first colonist to be evicted.

Meanwhile the Doctor is trying to discover the nature of the gas. The controller orders that gas shall be diverted in to the old shaft. And it's then that we learn that the gas is not intended to kill Jamie, but to energise the Macra. The gas fills the old shift, Jamie coughs and splutters and the Macra begins to recover and moves toward him. He tires to escape but another Macra appears and corners him.

Jamie hides in a crevice of rock, while the Doctor manages to reverse the gas flow and causes oxygen to flood into the old shaft allowing Jamie to escape. The Doctor has Officia's keys and locks the door so the guards cannot enter. The Doctor and Polly unlock the door to the mine shaft, enter and lock it from the inside.

Jamie finds a way out of the shaft but ends up in the middle of a rehearsal of cheerleaders. They mistake Jamie for a dancer. He shows them a highland fling and in an attempt to escape, flings himself out the door. But Ben, who is still fighting his conditioning, shows up and identifies Jamie.

The Doctor and Polly spy the White Macra in control.
The Doctor and Polly hear the voice of control and discover a white Macra in the control room sucking in gas. The Doctor describes the Macra as parasites, who feed off the colony, like germs in the human body. 

Ola takes command.
Meanwhile, Ola goes to see the Pilot and criticises his leadership. The Doctor and Polly freely give themselves up. Control orders everyone to return to work, but the Pilot disobeys orders. The Doctor takes the Pilot to the old shaft, where he learns the truth. Control places Ola in command. Ola captures the Doctor, Pilot, Jamie and Polly and follows Control's orders to place them in the pipe room and to clear the building for four minutes.

FUTURISTIC GORDIE ACCENT: Day 9,000,038 in the Colonist Holiday camp. The Doctor, Pilot, Jamie and Polly are in the pipe room. The room begins to fill with gas and just when they think that hope is lost they hear a knock at the door. 

It's Ben and he's broken his conditioning. The Doctor instructs Ben to activate both inflow and outflow of gas simultaneously, causing an explosion which destroys all Macra.

FUTURISTIC GORDIE ACCENT: Everyone in the Colony is celebrating their freedom from control, the Pilot publicly thanks the strangers and decrees that a dance festival will be held every year, with the winners receiving the Stranger's Trophy. 

Ben tells his friends they intend to make the Doctor the next Pilot, so they join in the celebrations and dance their way out of the Colony and back to the TARDIS. This is a lovely closing metaphor for the Doctor's approach to life: he flees responsibility, but dances away.

A fairly unimpressive Macra.
This is one of the only times I'll say this, but I actually think this story is probably better with just audio. The little we can see of the Macra clearly shows that the budget couldn't stretch to properly realise these beasts. Fortunately they do make a wonderful return in full CGI, during the Tenth Doctor's tenure, in the episode: Gridlock. Slightly different, as they had fallen into an evolutionary decline and were no longer sapient but predatory they were larger, but unintelligent and lived in the lowest levels of New New York. I'd like to float a theory as to how this evolutionary downturn came about: The Macra could easily be responsible for creating the abomination that is Big Brother. Now, if that were true, could you really say that you were surprised they lost their minds?

Macra how they were intended to appear.
Join me next time for the legendary Malcolm Hulke's first contribution to Doctor Who in The Faceless Ones.

Friday, 15 July 2011

33: The Moonbase - A Brilliant Base-Under-Siege Troughton.

Written By: Kit Pedler.
Companions: The Doctor, Ben Jackson, Polly, Jamie McCrimmon.
Monsters/Villains: The Cybermen.
Brief Synopsis: The Cybermen attempt to take over a weather-control station on the moon.
Rating: 7/10.

I listen/watched this little gem while I was on my way to The Crash of The Elysium. I throughly enjoyed it. It was great to see the return of the Cybermen and with a stylish new design; much more machine and less humanoid. They also, no longer have names. Here we have the very first Base Under Siege style episode which will grow to become the quintessence of the Troughton era. The story is also very ahead of it's time in the sense that man hadn't even walked on the moon when it was aired.

A new kind of Cyberman.
The TARDIS leaves Atlantis. The Doctor sets out to prove to Jamie that he can control the Tardis and plots a course for Mars, but the TARDIS goes out of control. After a while it stabilises. Jamie notes, "I'll never ask you to do that again." Polly thinks they're on Mars but Ben quickly deduces that they're on the moon, only missing Mars by some 200 million miles. Jamie struggles to understand, "the moon is up in the sky." Ben and Polly want to look around, all four gear-up in spacesuits and head out on to the surface. Jamie hopes to meet the old man in the moon. The Doctor's three companions jump around in the zero gravity until Jamie goes a little too far and tumbles over a ridge. The others go to investigate and spy a large domed building. Two space-suited figures arrive and pick up an unconscious Jamie.

We quickly discover that it is the year 2070 and the base is a weather control centre, run by a small team of scientists, who monitor and govern weather patterns on earth using a piece of equipment called a gravitron. Inside the control centre a man collapses. We meet Hobson, the base commander and his second, Benoit. We also learn that they are awaiting a relief Doctor as some sort of infection has broken out inside the moonbase. The Doctor, Ben, and Polly enter, whilst Jamie is taken to the sickbay. Hobson and his scientist buddies really don't seem too fussed that they don't know who the Doctor and his friends are, why they're here or how they got there. This does jar a little but it gets the whole 'mistrusting/gaining confidence in the Doctor phase' that we see so often in Doctor Who, old and new, out of the way.

The Moonbase.
Another man collapses and the base receives a call from International Space Control, who we last heard from in The Tenth Planet.  There is a fault with the gravitron, a hurricane that the base controls is off course and threatening peoples lives. We discover that the gravitron affects the gravity and the tides of Earth and the tides control the weather. We witness someone, or something monitoring their communication. Due to the infection space control places the moon base under quarantine.

Meanwhile Polly is looking after a concussed Jamie, who rather melodramatically is worried about catching a glimpse of the phantom piper, who supposedly appears to a McCrimmon before he dies.

Ben goes off to help Ralph in the food store, who drops a large sack of sugar. When Ben returns Ralph is gone and we see a huge figure loom out of the darkness and drag Ralph's body away. We then get some informative stuff as the Doctor explains to Polly that on the moon they have a fortnight of days and a fortnight of nights, so they make artificial night so as to not upset their biological time clocks.

In the Sickbay there is something seriously wrong with Dr. Evans, one of the infected. He is babbling about a silver hand. Left alone Jamie awakes, sees something and faints again. Polly enters to find Dr. Evans body is missing. Jamie awakes once more and Polly goes to get him some water. Again he sees something: the phantom piper?

The video exists for episode two and I couldn't be happier to actually see what's happening again. It's not the phantom piper that Jamie has seen but a Cyberman. Jamie falls unconscious from shock and the Cyberman takes another infected crew member away. Polly enters just in time to see the Cyberman leave and of course recognises it and screams. Hobson and the Doctor arrive. Hobson denies it, saying every child knows about the Cybermen. Ben recalls the Cybermen were destroyed ages ago when Mondas blew up. Finally Hobson questions the Doctor and co's identities and reason for being there. It's about time Hobson! We then get an immortal line from Troughton, "There are some corners of the universe that have bred the most terrible things, things which act against everything that we believe in. They must be fought." The Doctor promises to help discover the cause of the virus. Hobson gives him just 24 hours before he must leave the moon.

With the help of Polly, the Doctor begins to hunt for the cause of the 'virus' and recalls, "I think I took a degree once. In Glasgow, 1888 with Lister." I can now actually see the scientists that work aboard the moonbase and I found it slightly amusing that they all wear flags of the country they're from on their chests. Hobson receives a message from Controller Rinberg  that the hurricane is threatening Florida. The base is also experiencing brief drops in the air pressure. Hobson and Benoit set about checking everything to find the fault with the gravitron.

Jamie awakes and both Polly and him see a Cyberman, which shoots energy from it's hand knocking them out before taking yet another patient. In the food store a Cyberman enters through a scorched hole in the wall, and covers it up with bags of food. Benoit discovers that two pieces of the probe are missing. Hobson blames the Doctor and his friends and wants to put them into cold storage. Two men in spacesuits go on to the surface to fix the probe, only to be attacked by Cybermen who beat them until they fall unconscious.

Some interesting space suits.
Polly is beginning to doubt the value of Lister's teachings, questioning whether they might have not quite taught the Doctor everything he needs to know to find the problem. Hobson is getting restless and wants them to leave but the Doctor stalls him as he can't find the answer. Polly makes them some coffee, but a man drinks some and falls to the ground, and develops an odd black pattern on his skin like the others. The Doctor suddenly deduces that the disease is being spread in the sugar. Back in the sickbay the Doctor tests a sample of the sugar and discovers a large nuerotrophic virus which only attacks the nerves. The Doctor knows it's the Cybermen who have deliberately infected the base. The group realise that the Cybermen are in the base and a blanket is lifted to reveal a Cyberman, who lurches toward them!

And, we're back to just audio for episode three. The Cyberman advances and speaks. It's a different Cyber voice, this time. It's a little harder to understand, but it's still very eerie. Another Cyberman arrives and fires it's weapon killing one of the scientists. The Cybermen recognise the Doctor, 'you are known to us,' to which he replies 'and you to me.' They  reveal that they have been altering and now control the missing patients using nuerotrophic drugs. The Cyberman orders Hobson and the Doctor take him to the control centre, threatening Ben and Polly with conversion.

In the control centre the Cybermen admit that they are here to take over the gravitron and use it to destroy the surface of the earth by changing the weather. Hobson challenges them questioning, that they are meant to be advanced yet here they are taking revenge like children. The Cybermen do not understand vengeance. They also explain that they entered through a hole in the store room and poisoned the food, explaining the drops in air pressure. The Cyberman intones, "Clever. Clever. Clever." It is so creepy.

The Cybership.
Aboard the Cybership, Dr. Evans, and two others are being converted, and fitted with metal head pieces that control their minds. In the sickbay Jamie finally wakes up. Ben remembers the Cybermen's weakness to radiation. Jamie offers that they used to throw holy water on witches, which give Polly an idea. She suggests that they sprinkle the Cybermen's plastic chest units with nail varnish remover to make it melt.

The Cyber Leader.
Dr. Evans and the two others enter the control room with a third Cyberman. The Cyberman orders the scientists to move from their stations and that the technicians come out of the power room. The converted men take control of the gravitron. Benoit worries for the controlled men saying that they need to wear protective helmets or they will go mad within 12 hours. The Cyberman coldly replies, we will not need them that long.

Polly and Ben work in the sickbay, forming a chemical cocktail of: benzine, ether, alcohol, acetone, and hi-proxy propane and contain it within converted fire extinguishers. In the control centre, Earth contacts the base. Due to the lack of response a relief rocket would be dispatched. Hobson and the Doctor wonder why the Cybermen didn't operate the controls themselves. The Doctor deduces it must be something, radiation or gravity they don't like in the power room. Jamie, Ben and Polly go to try out their Polly Cocktail. They use the solvents from the converted fire extinguishers on the Cybermen causing their limbs to jerk and them to clutch at their rapidly dissolving life surport units. Ben, Polly and Jamie remove the headsets from the controlled men, Hobson and the scientists try to regain control of the gravitron. The Cyber Leader tries to contact the downed Cybermen, orders the weapons to be prepared and to begin the invasion of the base. Benoit goes out to fix the probe, but a Cyberman tries to attack him. Ben goes out on to the surface and hurls a glass cilinder of cocktail at the Cyberman and drags Benoit back inside, closing the airlock. An army of Cybermen advance on the base.

Episode four also has video, thank goodness. The Cyber Leader contacts the base warning them that resistance is useless. On the surface the Cyberman are affecting the aerial so the base cannot contact earth. They just have to hold on until a relief rocket arrives in 15 minutes. The Cybermen remotely take control of Dr. Evans, who gets in to the control room. He knocks out Benson and takes over control of the gravitron. The Cybermen command Evans to use the gravitron to deflect the rocket directly into the Sun.

A Cyber controlled Dr. Evans.
The Cybermen threaten to destroy the base if they don't open the airlocks. They fire a warning shot and break a hole in the dome where they start to loose oxygen and pressure. Benoit and Hobson try to patch it with a shirt, which unsurprisingly doesn't hold and then a tea tray, which does. Evans faints, they rescue Benson, and Benoit takes over in the grav room. The Cybermen try to use their laser weapon, but the gravitron deflects the beam. The Doctor suggests they aim the gravitron on the surface of the moon. After some struggle they manage to aim it down lifting the Cybermen and their ships off the ground and to float away into space and the whole crew celebrate. Now this was the only part of the episode I wasn't mad about. Surely that isn't going to kill the Cybermen at all. They'll just float around for ages until they get back to their ships and try again.

But for now the Earth and indeed the moon are safe. They start to regain control of the gravitron. The Doctor, Ben, Polly and Jamie slip out, suit up and return to the TARDIS. The Doctor decides that they should look at the time scanner which shows the future. They see a large crab claw.

Join me next time for The Macra Terror.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

THE CRASH OF THE ELYSIUM - A Real Must For Fans Of Doctor Who Of AllAges.

Thanks to some urging for my lovely readers I decided to go ahead and book a ticket for The Crash of The Elysium. The Manchester International Festival collaboration between the BBC and theatrical experience producers Punch Drunk, penned gloriously by series writer Tom MacRae. I took the train, alone, from London which took about three and a half hours. The ticket was about £25. It had been described as a 'Live Doctor Who Adventure for children aged 6-12' and some adult performances had been added due to popular demand. It was going to be just one hour in duration. I was so unsure about this whole venture, but I couldn't miss a Doctor Who event. And was it worth it? Boy, was it!!

(If you are planning to attend the Crash of The Elysium, please don't read on. Spoilers!)

There were 17 of us. We gave in our tickets and signed a sort of disclaimer. The staff kept calling it an exhibition. I really wasn't expecting much at all. We were walked to a near-by building and taken into a very normal, boring room with some artifacts from a real ship called the Elysium. A stuffy looking curator showed us some slides about the ship and Valentini's circus which had pitched near the ship. It was going to be an exhibition and nothing to do with Doctor Who. I thought it was going to be terrible. Here are some of the pictures the man showed us:

Then we heard a large explosion or crash and two soldiers showed up, made us line up and run along the riverside, until we reached a small porta cabin. Inside the soldiers introduced themselves as Captain T Solomon and Corporal Albright and made us suit up in white sterile body suits and surgical masks. 

The Crash site.
They were going to take us on a mission. We were given the name Alpha team, taught some basic hand signals and given numbers from 1-17. Throughout they frequently made us sound-off to make sure everyone was present and correct. Then the soldiers broke us in to three groups. Tech team, Data team and Patrol team. I was in the patrol team. The Captain gave us a rousing speech and we did some call and response (Are you ready? Yes. I said, are you ready? YES!) all to some awesome Doctor Who music. 

We ran through some spherical tented tunnels (very E.T) and entered a large white surgical tent. We were faced with the hull of a huge crashed spaceship called the Elysium. The soldiers produced an envelope containing a DVD and showed us a short message left by the Doctor. 

They told us he was believed dead. In the message he warned us about some escaped 'art' aboard the ship and shockingly ordered us to find the TARDIS aboard the Elysium and destroy it. He also tried to give us some advice should we come face to face with the escaped art, "Whatever you do, don't bl...." and the message cut out. We were then informed that we would be the first humans aboard the crashed ship.

Corporal Albright hacked the door with an electric saw and we entered the Elysium. We ran through many corridors, until we came a cross a Weeping Angel. None of us blinked and we managed to survive. 

We then entered a room which a large square mark on the floor where the TARDIS had clearly been. We then had to hunt around the room for clues and attach some wires in a specific pattern to activate another message from the Doctor. He told us that the TARDIS had disappeared because something bad had tried to get in. The TARDIS had gone to a friend of his for safe keeping. Also in the soldiers envelope was a scrap of paper with a picture of a girl and a message, "Dolly - accidentally the first woman on the moon 1888. Love, The Doctor" and also the TARDIS key. 

We ran through some more corridors and faced another Weeping Angel. Which actually moved towards us as the lights flickered on and off. We ran on and it got very dark. We huddled together, the walls seemed to disappear and we found ourselves in Valentini's Circus 1988. We had traveled in time.

The girl from the picture: Dolly, appeared and told us the story of when she first met the Doctor. How he had taken her to the moon for her 21st birthday. She also told us that he had made a promise to him. That one day the TARDIS would appear to her and she should take care of it. She asked for the key and got two of us to hold it up to the light. She said that alone the key was nothing special, but that we were time travellers now and infused with artron energy. We all had to touch the two key holders or someone touching them and link together to power the key. Dolly then told us that we were not going to destroy the TARDIS but send it to save the Doctor. 

On we ran again to find the TARDIS. This time through a hall of mirrors until we reached a round room with many alcoves shrouded by red curtains. We found the TARDIS behind a red curtain and one of our group put the key into the lock. The curtain closed. A few seconds later the curtain was opened to reveal that the TARDIS had disappeared. Sitting on the floor where it had been was a fez with a note and a vortex manipulator. 

We ran on and found ourselves back in our time aboard the Elysium. We received a video thank you message from the Doctor for saving him and now he had to save us from the Angels who were coming for us. We were trapped and the Angels were outside the door trying to break it down. Again we used our artron energy and all joined hands around the central column of the ship. Together all at once we touched the column filling it with the energy causing the angels to be sucked into the walls. We had done it. The Captain told us that we had saved the Doctor and the world and although the world didn't know us, or even know our names, he did and so did the Doctor and none them would ever forget us. The two soldiers congratulated us as we ran out past the in-walled and now harmless Angels. Back outside in another porta cabin we de-suited and were each given a personalised letter from the Doctor, himself. One hour? It felt like four. And I didn't want it to be over. 

A letter from the Doctor. I can't wait for my birthday.
So, was it worth it? Uh, YES! It was awesome and so worth the trip. I was excited, scared, exhilarated, surprised, moved, and thrilled. The small team of actors were great. It somehow never managed to feel stupid or forced and everyone really went for it. The music which underscored large parts of the experience was so good. The actor's were expertly well timed and it just took the whole thing to an even greater level of excitement. 

The three actors in rehearsal.
The only time I was pulled out of it a little was in one of the Doctor's messages he said something about, 'only a human child could achieve... something.' And Dolly kept calling us the 'children of earth." That aside it was great. There were lots of running and scares. Any concerns I had that it wouldn't work so well for adults totally evaporated. What a great experience it was. It's certainly the closest thing you could ever get to being in an episode of Doctor Who. Crash of The Elysium runs at Media City, in Manchester until 17th July. If you can get there and get a ticket I couldn't recommend  it more highly. I sincerely hope that it goes elsewhere or that Punch Drunk and the BBC work on similar experiences in time to come...

Monday, 11 July 2011


Hello bloggers,

I had some adventures in the third dimension this past weekend as I visited the London Film and Comic Con at Earl's Court. This was my first time at such a big convention. I had a great time and I thought I'd share some of the Doctor Who related pictures from my experience:

Richard Franklin and John Leeson.
Sylvester McCoy. 
Sophie Aldred.
An excellent cos-play Silent costume. 
Me with Alex Kingston, a.k.a River Song.
Me with Karen Gillan, a.k.a Amy Pond.
So, umm, basically: awesome!!!