Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Vote Now for the Autons For Saturday

The next story we are doing in the Bar will be one of the stories released as part of the Mannequin Mania release.

Both adventures Spearhead From Space and Terror of the Autons are classics in their own right.  But which one will win the Poll for Saturday?

Get Voting Now for your favourite Auton adventure!

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Changes to the schedule

Due to recent events and clashes with other Twitter based viewings we have decided to cut down the sessions. From next week we will have two weekly sessions. Wednesdays and Saturdays. Next Wednesday we will continue with the E-space trilogy, State of Decay.

We hope to get a forum up soon so you can give us your story suggestions, comments and ideas.

Thank you for your continued support whilst we get the DWBar running again.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Changes to the Doctor Who Bar

Many of you have maybe noticed that there have been a few changes to the Doctor Who Bar, this is due to a change in the management team of the site.

Please bear with us whilst we get the site re-adjusted to cater for the new team.  Well it's really the old team but one of our old team members is sadly no longer with us.

I would like to pay tribute to Howard who is known as @theconsoleroom (along with myself) as it was us who first hit upon the idea of the Doctor Who Bar.

Without Howards help and support the Doctor Who Bar wouldn't be what it is today.  However he has chosen to move on and I respect his decision.  Although he wanted to close the site down, I did not support this idea and tried to reason with him.  To that end as one of the founders of the Bar I have decided to continue, as I feel I would be letting our supporters down if I closed the Bar.

So a big thank you to Howard for all his work on the Doctor Who Bar and I wish him well for the future. Please take care of yourself.

Silence in the Library on Tuesday 28th June

The winning Story Poll for Saturday by a significant margin was River Song's debut story with David Tennant.

Alex Kingston makes her debut in Doctor Who with a story which many of the fans hold in high regard.  We also have seen much more of her in the most recent series and doubtless she'll be back in the Autumn when the series resumes.

So get ready to see Saturdays session on Tuesday Night from 7pm, press Play on your DVD or VCR at 7.30pm to stay in synchronisation with everyone else.

We look forward to seeing you all back in the Doctor Who Bar.

An Apology

Due to circumstances beyond our control, the Saturday 25th June session with David Tennant had been cancelled.

We know that their are a lot of followers of the site who enjoy our sessions on Twitter.  There is a demand and an interest from Doctor Who fans for what we do and I would just like to take this opportunity to tell everyone that the Doctor Who Bar will not die.

Both the site and the sessions have been a team effort, and although this current site may close it will not be the end of the Doctor Who Bar.

So please bear with me.  I would also like to take the opportunity to wish Howard all the best in his future endeavours.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Treasured Possessions: TARDIS Video Cabinet

Above is my TARDIS video cabinet which was purchased way back in the mid nineties.  There had been an advert on the back of the Doctor Who Magazine and I had suggested to my Mother that it would make a good Christmas present for yours truly.  Mind you it did take a while to convince her!

The cabinet came flat packed and had to be assembled, but it was a doddle to put up.  It resides in pride of place in my bedroom, at the side of the room in the corner.  The top of an old style deoderant canister acts as the siren light.

The cabinet was made from a company called Harvard Associates based in Borehamwood in Herts., and has probably long since been discontinued.  It has to be one of my most treasured pieces of Doctor Who memorabilia.  Unlike the current TARDIS on the telly my version has the correct wording on the panel: Officers and Cars respond to Urgents Calls. It doesn't have the St. John sticker on the other door panel as this cabinet is based on the version of the TARDIS seen during the Sylvester McCoy era of the original run of Doctor Who.  Nevertheless it is a lovely cabinet, unfortunately it can't dematerlialise, but it does hold quite a few of my Doctor Who videos, so it must be bigger on the inside than the outside!
I wouldn't part with it!

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Nicholas Courtney Tribute Issue - Doctor Who Magazine 436

I am sure you'll agree, this is a truly stunning and beautiful tribute issue to Nicholas Courtney, who entertained us all with his performances as the Brigadier in Doctor Who. 

The Special 100-page Doctor Who Magazine - Issue 436  is released on Thursday 30th June, 2011 at a price of £4.99. No fan should be without this issue.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

City of Death

The Doctor and Romana take a holiday...

This story has always been one of my favourites. It is one of the stories I use to introduce people to the programme. Fans of the New Series enjoy it as much as people who have never seen the show before. Douglas Adams humour shines throughout. Tom and Lalla are clearly enjoying themselves and the guest cast is fantastic. Julian Glover is superb as the Count.

Whilst having a break in Paris the Doctor and Romana feel fluctuations in time. Someone is conducting time  experiments. But what does this have to do with
the Mona Lisa?

The story has always been a fan favourite. It came in at number eight in the Doctor Who Magazine The Mighty 200 Poll. Though helped by a blackout on the ITV Network at the time of it's original broadcast, the show received it’s highest ever ratings, averaging 14.5 million viewers over the four episodes, 16.1 million watched the fourth episode.

So if you have the DVD stacked on your shelf, the classic VHS tucked away in a box then be prepared for 7.30pm GMT on Thursday 23rd June, 2011.  Have a drink and some food and get ready to join in with the @DoctorWhoBar from 7pm GMT. Remember to press Play on your DVD, VCR, or online at 7.30pm GMT so we can all stay in synch and discuss via Twitter.

By Tom Greeves.

The Eleven Doctors Figure Set

This is my most recent Doctor Who purchase, it's rather exellent I have to say and here are all the Doctor's figure's in all their glory. 

The First Doctor 1963 - 1966

The Second Doctor 1966 - 1969

The Third Doctor 1970 - 1974

The Fourth Doctor 1974 - 1981

The Fifth Doctor 1982 - 1984

The Sixth Doctor 1984 - 1986

The Seventh Doctor 1987 - 1996

The Eighth Doctor 1996

The Ninth Doctor 2005

The Tenth Doctor 2005 - 2010

The Eleventh Doctor 2010 - Present
These are highly detailed, fully poseable action figures, and I bought mine for £35 from Amazon which is the cheapest I have seen these figure set's go for and for me they are worth every penny.  They deserve to be in every Doctor Who fan's collection.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Next Time In The 'Bar' (May Contain Spoilers!)

Full Circle

Romana: "The Time Lords want me back."
The Doctor: "Yes, well, you only came to help with the Key to Time."
Romana: "Doctor, I don't want to spend the rest of my life on Gallifrey - after all this!"

Trying to get Romana back to Gallifrey, after being summoned home by the Time Lords the TARDIS appears to have landed on Gallifrey, but the Doctor and Romana have actually landed on a planet with misty marshes and a crashed spaceship… But they are not in the normal universe. They have somehow fallen into Exo-Space.
This was the first time the series featured a story written by a fan. The young Andrew Smith.  The production team were very impressed by him. Andrew’s knowledge of the show certainly shows, practically in the first episode, with many continuity references, to the Invasion of Time and the Key to Time.  But Full Circle is more than just a fan story.

In an effort to connect with younger viewers the story features a new companion Adric, played by Matthew Waterhouse, originally conceived to be a kind of artful dodger, often getting in trouble he becomes a student of the Fourth Doctor and quarrels with the Fifth.

So if you have the DVD stacked on your shelf, the classic VHS tucked away in a box then be prepared for 7.30pm GMT. Have a drink and some food and get ready to join in with the @DoctorWhoBar from 
7pm GMT on Tuesday 21st June.

Though we fully support the DVD releases, you can also watch it online on You Tube, as it has been uploaded by the BBC to their official site.

Remember to press Play on your DVD, VCR, or online at
7.30pm GMT so we can all stay in sync and discuss via Twitter.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Saturday's Doctor Who Bar Story is... Planet Of The Daleks!

Next Session in The Doctor Who Bar
Planet of the Daleks, Join from 7pm, Press Play at 7.30pm.

After your votes this week, We can reveal today's (18/06/2011)  Doctor Who Bar session Story is... Planet of the Daleks!

Planet of the Daleks Took the Lead in our Story Poll after after a strong lead from Genesis of The Daleks.
Planet of the Daleks took Top Spot with 29 votes where as Genesis of The Daleks came in second with 21 Votes.
The Story was first transmitted in six, 25 minute episodes from April 7- May 12 1973. The Season 10 Story stars Jon Pertwee as The Doctor and Katy Manning as Jo Grant.
The Third Doctor brings the TARDIS to the planet Spiridon, which hides deadly secrets: carnivorous plants, a planetary core of molten ice, invisible inhabitants, and most frightening of all, an army of Daleks, ready to sweep across the galaxy.

Planet Of the Daleks Just pushed under the 100 mark at 118 in the Doctor Who Magazine Readers Poll, 'The Mighty 200' in 2009.

So if you have the DVD stacked on your shelf, the classic VHS tucked away in a box then be prepared for 7-30pm GMT. Have a drink and some food and get ready to join in with the @DoctorWhoBar from 7pm GMT.
Remember to press Play on your DVD, VCR, or online at
7-30pm GMT so we can all stay in sync and discuss via Twitter.

You Can see a Preview to Planet of the Daleks below (May Contain Spoilers)

Tonight in the 'Bar' (May Contain Spoilers!)

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Daleks

Friday, 17 June 2011

In Memory of Roy Skelton

Some might know his voice from the Children’s TV show Rainbow as Zippy and George. But for older fans of the show, his voice was synonymous with the voices of the Daleks and the Cybermen, as Nick Briggs is now.

Born in 1931. Skelton began acting after leaving school and joined the National Association of Boys’ Club Travelling Theatre, after which he trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

His first appearance in Doctor Who was in The Ark (1966) episode three as the voice of the Monoids. This soon led to more work in the series as with his unique vocal talents, he was soon put to work. Roy was not used as the voice of the Daleks until 1967 in The Evil of the Daleks.

He made a rare appearance in front of the camera in Colony in Space in 1971 as Wilfred Norton and returned to act in The Green Death as Mr. James and as Marshal Chedaki in The Android Invasion. He also voiced the character of Wester in Planet of the Daleks, and actually played Wester when the character died in the Daleks laboratory.

All together Roy Skelton was featured in forty nine episodes of Doctor Who and finally contributed as the voice of the Daleks in the Comic Relief Sketch The Curse of Fatal Death.

This voice shows his great sense of theatre which is not hard to see why he played these larger than life characters. Classic lines like, "You will be Exterminated!" and "That is an Order! Obey, OBEY!" will live long in the memories of the older fans.

And that's why we thought we would dedicate a Doctor Who Bar Night to Roy Skelton, who had lent his voice talents to the greatest of the Doctor's many foes, the dreaded Daleks!

Doctor Who Bar - Castrovalva Teaser (Test)

Matthew Waterhouse the Definitive Doctor Who Male Companion.

Many people scoff at the character of Adric, but those who do don't realise the potential that was in the character and why he developed the way he did.  Matthew came on board when he met Producer John Nathan-Turner, he had been working as a File Clerk at the BBC and had appeared briefly in To Serve Them All My Days.

The casting of a young male companion was not new as both Frazer Hines and Michael Craze had previously been cast in a similar role, however the character of Adric differed in several aspects.  Adric was the first male teenager who was not from Earth to be a companion for the Doctor.  Additionally the character was also a mathematical genius as denoted by the star he wore on his costume.

Matthew Waterhouse began his tenure in the role of Adric in the first E-Space adventure Full Circle shown in 1980 where he starred opposite Tom Baker.  The character continued when Tom Baker was replaced by Peter Davison, until the 1982 adventure Earthshock in which Adric sacrificed his life to save his friends.

The character is often derided in fan circles but many people just don't realise that although the intentions were good to start off with with the character, the development of Adric was forgotten when the other new companions of Nyssa & Tegan came on board.  There where too many companions aboard the TARDIS at this point in the shows history.  If Adric had remained solely as companion, instead of introducing Tegan & Nyssa he perhaps would've been given more to do and been remembered more fondly.  However, writers tended to take the lazy way out by pairing Adric off with the villains in the stories!  However I do like the character of Adric, and was upset at his demise in the story Earthshock.  However he did return twice to the role on television, in Time-Flight the story directly after Earthshock playing an apparition of Adric and in Davison's swansong Caves of Androzani in which it is very telling that the last word the Fifth Doctor uttered before he regenerates was the name of his deceased companion.

As yet there has never been a companion who replaced him.  The character of a young male teenage companion aboard the TARDIS didn't continue, it was a succession of young female girls who were paired up with the Doctor.  Adric was the last true definitive male companion in the series.  

Adric's legacy will never be forgotten, as those fans like myself who have loved him over the years, appreciate Matthew Waterhouse's contribution to Doctor Who.  One such person is Heather aka @MissAdric2 on Twitter, who stands up proudly as a big fan of the character, so it is to her I respectfully dedicated this article.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Friday Night In The 'Bar'

Thursday Night In The 'Bar'

Return of the Autons

When Doctor Who returned back in 2005 Russell T. Davies chose the legendary Autons to appear in the season opener.  They also fulfilled a piece of Doctor Who history in this story as we actually got to see them breaking the glass frontages of shops in this adventure, that idea was only implied in their debut story Spearhead From Space.

Such was the popularity of the Autons in the Seventies, largely due to the perhaps controversial aspects of the storyline elements of their two adventures, both Spearhead From Space and Terror of the Autons are remembered fondly.  Although at the time the idea of a household object or doll coming alive and attacking people did scare the children just a little bit too much!

The last time we saw them on television was in the penultimate episode of the 2010 series starring Matt Smith, The Pandorica Opens in which they were disguised as Roman Soldiers.  I'm sure we haven't seen the last of them.  For fans of their two original adventures there's a new boxset from 2|Entertain available called Mannequin Mania to enjoy. 

Please support the official DVD releases from 2|Entertain. 

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Coming to America

After many requests from our friends across the pond, we have decided to try a little experiment here in the Doctor Who Bar - a specially timed viewing!  We'll kick things off at 7pm EDT on Saturday, June 18th or midnight GMT, June 19th in the UK, with Blink.

Blink features some very scary statues in this particular episode!  The adventure stars David Tennant as the Doctor and Freema Agyeman as Martha in a ground breaking episode.  The Special Guest Star is Carey Mulligan as Sally Sparrow.  

Talking Who: Talking Who Episode 9 Series Finale Preview

Please join our friends at Talking Who tonight for more live Doctor Who chat as they look back at Series 32/6's first half and look forward to the Autumn second half.

This will be the final Talking Who for this series. They will be back over the Summer for at least 2 specials as they review Torchwood: Miracle Day. Then they will back in the Autumn with Series 2 of Talking Who to review the second half of Doctor Who Series 32/6.

Plus they will also be reviewing the classic DVD release Doctor Who The Ark starring William Hartnell as the Doctor.

They want to be reading your comments so tweet them today at and please post in the chatroom in Ustream or Youtube during the live broadcast.

Watch them live on Wednesday 15th June:

9pm UK / 4pm NY / 1pm LA at

Doctor Who: No Full Series Next Year?

Following the debacle last night on Twitter on what the BBC1 Controller Danny Cohen had said in relation to the new series of Doctor Who, it has emerged that fourteen episodes have been commissioned, but the season may be split in some form over 2012 & 2013, with a special run for the Anniversary.

Various sources such as the recent Private Eye article indicate that there is possibly financial trouble or budgetary constraints within the BBC itself.  Whatever the reasons are, as the BBC1 Controller, Danny Cohen has full authority on what length of seasons of any show, not just Doctor Who are to be, before they eventually get transmitted.

The comments have upset many of the shows fans who are horrified at the reduction of the standard season length, especially in lieu of the shows forthcoming Fiftieth Anniversary in 2013.

A statement by Steven Moffat the shows Executive Producer, is expected shortly.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Next Time In The 'Bar' (May contain spoilers!)

The Weekly Agenda - A Mid-Series Finale Every Year?

After a weeks break in the Doctor Who Bar, The Weekly Agenda is back!

For those who don't know The Weekly Agenda will be asking you a particular question at the beginning of every week and we want your feedback by the end of the week so we can show what each and everyone of you think. In addition our team members will also be expressing their view on the subject. So what is this weeks question?

Should there be a Mid-Series Finale Every Year?

Ellis (@APoliceBox) Says:  
After The Mid-Series Finale, A Good Man Goes To War on the 4th June 2011, I think it can be a good idea to run a mid-series finale every year. When Steven Moffat announced that the first 7 episodes will be transmitted in Spring and the remaining 6 in the Autumn, I was very pleased that we would see more Doctor Who over the year and not be waiting 6+ months for the Christmas Special. Now that the first 7 episodes have been transmitted, I do admit I am missing Doctor Who already but I do feel better knowing that there is more to come.  As well as Torchwood and the remaining Sarah Jane Adventures stories. But I do also wonder whether a Mid-series finale would work every year as a Cliffhanger at the end of episode 7 is the only road to go down. My favourite idea would be to have two separate series. One in the Spring and one in the Autumn but with something at the end to keep us waiting and teasing till the next series.

We really want to hear your opinion on this Weekly Agenda, especially as it's the second one. Even if it's one itsy bitsy sentence or a big paragraph we still want you to express your thoughts so we can show the world what we all think.

To get in touch please comment on this post below (With a Name), email us your feedback to with the Subject 'Weekly Agenda' or Tweet us @DoctorWhoBar with the hashtag #weeklyagenda.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

The Doctor Who Bar is back on Tuesday with Attack of the Cybermen!

Due to circumstances beyond our control, owing to maintenance on the Doctor Who Bar site the current sessions were suspended for a week.

The site will be operational this week with the current sessions being Attack of the Cybermen on Tuesday 14th June and Christopher Eccelston's debut Rose on Thursday the 16th! So press Play at 7.30pm for some Sixth Doctor and Peri antics!

So join us in the Bar for some Cybermen and Cryons on Tuesday, and the Autons on Thursday! From 7pm ONLY in the Doctor Who Bar.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Hello Sweeties

Hello fellow Doctor Who fans !

I've finally got a day off so now I can write my first blog and can stop feeling like a bad newbie for not contributing! Just thought I'd bore you (ever so briefly) with a short post so you know who I am.

My name is Leslie.
I'm 26
I've never seen any of the original Doctor Who series (sorry)
My Favourite Doctor is David Tennant
My Least Favourite Doctor was Christopher Eccleston
My Favourite Assistant is Donna
I really disliked Martha Jones
My Favourite episode is Blink or The Girl in The Fireplace
I love the relationship between the Doctor and River Song.

I think that's probably enough of Doctor Who likes and dislikes for one day!
I'll do my best to hang around the Doctor Who Bar when I can. :)
Leslie x

Sad news from 2entertain with regards to actor commentaries on Classic Who DVD's

I woke up this morning to discover the sad news that 2entertain's Twitter feed "Classic Doctor Who" had tweeted this -
Many have asked whether there are any unreleased commentaries featuring N Courtney, L Sladen or B Letts. Sadly there are none unreleased Elisabeth comms. Nick appears on AMBASSADORS OF DEATH, and Barry on MIND OF EVIL.

There was still a small piece of me that kept convincing myself that Nick Courtney, Lis Sladen and Barry Letts would be around for many years to come with Classic Who DVD commentaries but alas it wasn't meant to be.

Very sad indeed.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Doctor Who Bar Round-Up

Doctor Who Bar Sessions:




The Weekly Agenda - Results - Is Doctor Who Getting too Confusing?

Last week we launched our new discussion feature, The Weekly Agenda, where we give you a particular Doctor Who subject question, give our own opinion and then get you to send us your comments and views towards it. 

You sent us a bunch of comments over Twitter and on our comment box which you can see below:


@Deborahhasselt: In my opinion is too confusing at the moment. We are not all intellectual geniuses! Preferred it better when RTD (Russel T Davies) was in charge, he could reign Moffat's imagination in. Girl in the Fireplace best eg.

@Team_Hotch: Not to confusing. Just catering for a wider range of fans. Breaking the childrens stereotype and indulging its older fans.

@Amy_Jadiee: I don't think it's getting too confusing, its just the right level of confusion.

@TheDiogenes: Doctor Who, too confusing? Not for us Sherlockians, we have big brains.


I think people shouldn't complain about confusion. Confusion leads to speculation and the show gets talked about. This is event television and has to be seen out until the end. It is all part of the plan to make fans confused because when it all comes together and makes sense it will feel more important.

Mark Coale:
would say it has become, under Moffat, "pay attention television," where you cannot be a passive viewer. You need to watch carefully, maybe even twice, to get everything.

have to admit that I've heard a few people talk about confusing and getting lost, but I don't get the confusion. Does that mean I'm not as taken in by everything so don't find myself confused? I agree that what Moffat has brought more is 'talkaboutability'. Everyone is talking about Amy's pregnancy and the story arc their own theories.

Missile Panda:
Agree with the comments above, I don't think it's confusing but you do need to pay attention. I wonder how Doctor Who's younger viewers are finding the twists and turns of this series?

When I was a very young viewer I didn't make much sense of the story anyway. There were monsters and they had to be defeated and you can still get that. I think it's brilliant if short attention spans are being challenged and Doctor Who is getting more sophisticated - then children have to work at it and it's good for their minds!  Ideally perhaps it should be like a graphic novel that kids can still watch.

Dalek Thay:

On a BROADER scope, TELEVISION and MOVIES lately seem to be PUSHING the IDEA that you MUST have a lot of TWISTS and TURNS in your PLOT for it to be ENTERTAINING. This is TRUE to an EXTENT, but on the same line, you can PAINT yourself into a CORNER in a LONG RUNNING TELEVISION SHOW.

I will make the EXAMPLE of the U.S. Series 'The X-Files'. It is SIMILAR to DOCTOR WHO in many REGARDS. Its WRITER/EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, Chris Carter, was widely PRAISED for his ABILITY to create TWISTS and TURNS that kept the AUDIENCE GUESSING. In the END, though, his ANSWERS were not nearly GOOD ENOUGH for the QUESTIONS he'd POSED, and the SERIES fell APART.

My PRIMARY CONCERN with DOCTOR WHO at the moment is the character of RIVER SONG. Brilliant IDEA, but it remains to be SEEN how it is fully EXECUTED. I have ALREADY detected HOLES and GAPS that do not RECONCILE with what we KNOW, having SEEN her FUTURE already. I hope MOFFAT is not in over his HEAD with this. If his EXPLANATION of her is not SATISFACTORY for AUDIENCES, it could spell DISASTER for the SERIES. Not as much of a DISASTER as the COLIN BAKER YEARS, but that is another POST.

Thank you to all who contributed to the very first Weekly Agenda in the Doctor Who Bar. We will have the next Agenda question later on today!

A Controversial Position

I come before you now with a statement and an admission.  Knowing what I do of the tendencies of Doctor Who fandom, I’m prepared to be branded a heretic for the first, marked as a fool for the second, and forever banished to a nice cell in Block Theta of the Stormcage for both. Or at the very least slagged off in the comments section.  However, in the immortal words of Super-Chicken’s faithful assistant Fred, I knew the job was dangerous when I took it.  So here goes.

The statement: For a long time, The Master was a lousy character.

Yes, I get that he’s the Doctor’s greatest adversary who doesn’t carry a toilet plunger; yes, I get that he’s the Professor Moriarty to the Doctor’s Sherlock Holmes; yes, I get that he’s the Doctor’s mirror image, the evil reflection of his personality, the dark counterpoint to his shining goodness, blah blather bleat. But the fact remains that, throughout the original series, the Master never really does much more than stand around announcing his nefarious schemes, having periodic fits of maniacal laughter, and basically coming off like Ernst Stavro Blofeld in the Roger Corman version of Thunderball, the one where the budget didn’t stretch to hiring a Persian cat(This film does not actually exist, but don’t tell me you wouldn’t pay to see it.)

No disrespect whatever to Roger Delgado, who could invest the most ludicrous speeches with conviction and dignity as if giving his Iago at the National Theatre and who had the greatest goatee ever grown by a human chin.  I can’t blame Anthony Ainley either; you try being menacing while dressed as an Elizabethan Klingon. The less said about the unfortunate sod in the burn-victim makeup, the better; I hope he was well paid. However the fact remains that the Master was always a collection of evil mastermind tropes, a fact that was thrown into stark, hilarious relief by Jonathan Pryce in Steven Moffat’s script for the Comic Relief parody The Curse of Fatal Death. To this day, when rewatching The Last of The Time Lords, I keep checking the line of John Simm’s suits for telltale signs of Dalek Bumps.

Even Russell T. Davies, in interviews given during his first series, confessed he wasn’t certain he’d be bringing the Master back—at least, not until he could devise a way to make him more than The Guy With The Black Moustache Who Sneers. Which, I’m sure we’re all agreed, he and Sir Derek Jacobi and John Simm finally did, brilliantly.

So. The classic version of the Master: not a good character. That’s the statement.

Here’s the admission:

I love Eric Roberts as the Master.

There. I said it.

Roberts played the role in the 1996 TV Movie imaginatively titled Doctor Who, an abortive attempt by producer Philip Segal, in partnership with BBC Worldwide, Universal and the American Fox Network, to launch a new television series starring Paul McGann as The Eighth Doctor. Those who know about this project need not be told that Whovians are widely divided over it. Granted, that’s not saying much: Whovians possess the rare talent to make anything a divisive issue. But it's true that it's a miracle that the thing got made at all, given that every single decision had to satisfy Segal, director Geoffrey Sax, the BBC, Fox, Universal Television and the lady in Craft Services who served the tea.  Roberts was one of those compromises-by-committee, being apparently the only actor in the civilised world who a) possessed sufficient name recognition for American audiences, b) fit the available salary budget and c) actually agreed to accept the part.

Eric Roberts has had something of a checkered career. I'd be the last person to try to sell the man as a major thespic talent of our age on the strength of his role in, say, D.O.A. But the acting profession can be a very hard dollar even for the best of actors, and in a situation common to all working performers, Roberts has been very good in a number of roles, and has done the best he could do in the things he had to take to keep food on the table. Alas, we as an entertainment-consuming people are incredibly unforgiving of perceived failure, a tendency that has tended to turn Mr. Roberts’ name into a facile joke.  I submit that, in this instance at least, the gentleman has nothing to apologise for.

The Master of this movie seems to be writer Matthew Jacobs's reaction to many of the shortcomings I pointed out at the beginning of the article. No longer is the character an urbane, debonair blackguard quoting from 101 Nefarious Aphorisms for All Occasions; he's been disintegrated, turned into a box of CGI goo, and has been reduced to crawling into the mouth of a hapless working stiff simply in order to possess his body and have a pair of legs to walk around with. This would tend to play merry hell with anyone's psyche. This Master isn't just evil; he's batshit crazy, which by itself turns him into a much more interesting character and a juicier role to play.

I can't speak to Roberts' motivations for taking the role, though I suspect that it had as much to do with paying his bills as anything else. But he seems to have said to himself, "All right; I've got this silly TV show playing a ridiculous bad guy in a dumb science-fiction story. Might as well enjoy myself." And oh, does he ever. He has enormous fun making the Master as flamboyantly weird as possible. His Master is more than just crazy; he knows he's crazy, he's getting the biggest kick out of being crazy, and he just doesn't care. He loves it.

Take this scene, in which the Master, having just possessed the body of an unfortunate EMT named Bruce, goes to the hospital where the Doctor's body was last known to have been seen.  Roberts is dressed in black leather jacket and sunglasses, playing the scene as if he hasn't quite worked out how to use the body, speaking in an unnerving and surpassingly creepy monotone, the whole thing an obvious and playful reference to The Terminator:

Hey, Bruce. Why the shades?

I had a bad night.

Did you want something?

What happened to the gunshot wound I brought in? I've got orders to move him.

He died.

Oh yeah. Well. I've got orders to move his body.

(As he says this, The Master peels off one of his own fingernails, leaving a bloody pad, completely oblivious to the pain, then casually tosses it away.)

Where is it?
(leans closer; with urgency)
His body.

Haven't you heard? The body's gone. Stolen!

Okay. Where are his things?

The kid that brought him in ran off with them.

The Asian child.

"The Asian child?" Bruce, you're sick!

(he means it)
Thank you.

In other scenes, the Master lies through his borrowed teeth to enlist the aid of others, which Roberts plays like the world's best used-car salesman, utterly confident in his line of bullshit and hardly bothering to conceal his own glee at fooling the stupid humans.  He also has genuinely scary moments, such as the one where the Master calmly murders the wife of the man he's possessed, gently shushing her screams with a dainty finger to his lips.

It all comes to a magnificent head at the movie's climax, wherein the Doctor and his arch enemy face off inside the TARDIS' Cloister Room for a final showdown.  For the scene Roberts is dressed in a fantastically elaborate version of the classic Gallifreyan Time Lord Ceremonial Robe.  It's been reported that Roberts wasn't entirely able to take the costume seriously on set, and he has no qualms about sending it up:

"I always dress for the occasion." (Actual line.)

Kind of hard to blame him under the circumstances. Still, camp outfit notwithstanding, Roberts completely commits to the operatic tone of the climax, declaiming his lines with relish and giving the proceedings all he's got, through his inevitable, special-effects-laden defeat.

Doctor Who fans may quarrel about the merits of this movie. (Hell, they may quarrel about what River Song likes for breakfast.)  They may prefer the traditional Master to the movie's admittedly unconventional and slightly satiric version.  But that's all to the good; if we all liked the same things, all blogs and fan forums would become boring, rather pointless places. For myself, I'll go to my grave admiring the attempt to put a little fun back into the Master, to invest him with humour, madness and a sense of play. It's hard to deny that Russell T. Davies and John Simm saw the usefulness of this approach.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a shuttle to catch. I have to report to Stormcage in the morning.

Thank you for your attention. Lock and load!

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Beware. The Ice Warriors

Throughout the history of Doctor Who there have been some unforgettable villains, from seemingly indestructible pepperpots to dark and evil forces that possess people to pursue their evil ends. There is one villain, however, that I feel has been sadly overlooked of late.

Ever since the publication in 1898 of HG Wells’ ‘War of the Worlds’ society has had a pre-occupation with the ‘Red Planet’, right through to a song by David Bowie and an acclaimed television drama with that as its title.  It’s understandable, then that Doctor Who has been touched by this.

In November 1967 the six-part story The Ice Warriors was shown. It featured an Earth in the grip of a second Ice-Age, with a breakdown in society and, lurking inside a glacier was the large, dominating shape of Varga, a very large and imposing member of a warrior race from the ‘Red Planet’. Varga was played by Bernard Bresslaw, better known to most as a comedy actor who starred in many of the Carry On films.  He was also a man of imposing stature, well suited to wearing a very bulky and heavy costume. Patrick Troughton’s Doctor, along with his companions Jamie and Victoria, managed to defeat the Warriors’ plans for conquest.

A little over a year later the Warrior race from Mars re-appeared in another attempt to conquer the Earth by sabotaging the transportation of supplies and manipulating the planet’s climate to make it more akin to that of Mars, all from the security of the T-Mat transportation system’s base on the Moon. The story was The Seeds of Death, and the only change in TARDIS crew was that Zoe Heriot was now a companion, and not Victoria Waterfield. This was a story that featured more thought, for want of a better word, on the part of the Warrior race, and also portrayed them as being in a caste system, as the strike force on the part of the Ice Lords, who were given the title Commander.  It’s safe to say though, that the Doctor manages to defeat the invasion party and send the main invasion force into orbit around the sun.

The 1970s saw Doctor Who in colour and as we all know, a change in personnel inside the TARDIS.  Every so often Jon Pertwee’s Doctor was sent away on missions  on behalf of the Time Lords, and in January 1972 we saw a very clever parody on Britain’s entry to the EEC, namely The Curse of Peladon. This was a departure for the Ice Warriors, as they were still sinister, but were not behind the diabolical machinations on the planet of Peladon, and purely as Galactic Federation delegates from Mars sent to determine whether Peladon should be allowed to join. This was however, not going to last…

In March 1974 there was a direct sequel to the first Peladon story, namely The Monster of Peladon, which saw a struggle between the aristocracy of the planet, under Queen Thalira (herself suppressed as a woman in what was considered to be a man’s position), and the proletariat, the miners, who looked remarkably like badgers!  An Ice Warrior delegate was still on the planet, overseeing mining operations to obtain trisillicate for the Federation to fight a war.  It soon transpired though, that the Ice Warriors were in collusion with the Earth mining supervisor Ettis, and with the Federations enemy and there was an army of Ice Warriors in hiding deep in the mine. Fortunately the Doctor and Sarah Jane were able to confound their plans once more, restore peace between the miners and aristocracy and give Queen Thalira a few lessons in ‘Women’s Lib’.  And thus ends dear reader, the tale of the Ice Warriors on Doctor Who, gone but not forgotten, and clearly due for reintroduction into the modern canon.

So what was it that, in my view, warrants such a resume for the Ice Warriors? Well, they were large, reptilian bipeds, but their calling card was not just being thickset with hissing voices, their means of dispatching their enemies was unique, no firearms or laser guns for them, instead killing their foes with a sonic gun that could do everything from cut open a door to scrambling the brains of a poor unsuspecting defender of the Earth – what a weapon, eh? A bit like using Ethel Merman’s singing to destroy radar installations.

Article By Neil Jeffery

Coming soon to the 'Bar'

Next Session: Attack of the Cybermen on Tuesday Night

Because of technical difficulties and maintenance to the Doctor Who Bar Site there will be no session Tonight on BBC3 for the repeat of A Good Man Goes To War, that will be on Friday Night instead.

The next session will be the opening story of Season Twenty Two, Attack of the Cybermen, written by Eric Saward and Starring Colin Baker as the Doctor and Nicola Bryant as Peri.

This adventure is a sequel of sorts to both The Tenth Planet and Tomb of the Cybermen, and features such great actors as Maurice Colbourne (pictured below), Terry Molloy, Brian Glover, James Beckett and Michael Attwell.  Guest Stars include David Banks, Sarah Berger, Michael Kilgariff, Sarah Greene and Faith Brown.

The TARDIS arrives on Earth and the Doctor is searching for the source of a distress signal. His investigation leads him to the sewers where he runs into an old adversary of his, the Cybermen.  Taken prisoner by his old enemies, the Cybermen force the Doctor to take the TARDIS to their base on Telos but the Doctor sabotages his TARDIS to prevent the ship landing where the Cybermen want.... 

This adventure is the first Colin Baker serial to be made in the new forty five minute format.

Join us on Tuesday 7th June, from 7pm for the next Doctor Who Bar session. 

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Doctor Who Split Season Finale Tonight at 6.40pm

Don't miss A Good Man Goes To War Tonight.  Here at the Doctor Who Bar, just like the rest of you, we wait with bated breath to watch this particular episode.  This episode is the last episode for a while until the show returns in the Autumn.

Unlike other sites or blogs we will not be publishing any spoilers about this episode!  We haven't a clue anyway!  Just enjoy it for what it is, the last episode of this split season.

Who is the mysterious woman staring down at Amy?

Just exactly who is River Song?

And where is Amy after the revelation from The Almost People last week?

Tune in to BBC1 at 6.40pm for the last in this series of Doctor Who!


Let us know what you thought about the episode after it has been transmitted below.

The Almost People Review

Before the episode we were promised the ending to end all endings?!  Is that what we got? To me, it wasn't, if you followed closely and looked at the clues there was a way you could see this coming. Personally I didn't see it coming, I saw the pregnancy coming but didn't know how it was going to play out. For me, I thought the ending was a bit over exaggerated. Some people may have been shocked by it, which is fine, but I wasn't as shocked as I thought I was going to be. This is my personal opinion of it, others may differ, which is brilliant and what I promote! Nice healthy discussions!

At the start of the episode you see the Doctor, struggling to deal with his past regenerations. He goes through some of the lines from his older selves.
"One day we will get back, yes, one day."

So, I'm not sure if that was from one of his older regenerations, as we then go into lines such as:
"Would you like a jelly baby?" and "Hello, I'm the Doctor"
One thing that had me chuckling towards the end of this scene was where he gets things a bit mixed up and ends up saying:
"Reverse the jelly baby of the neutron flow" and "Would you like a Doctor!?"
After the credits roll we then begin with the two Doctors, and the dialogue between the two is fantastic, finishing each others sentences, they're like a double act! Which they continue to do throughout the episode and coming up with cracking lines like:
"Its just so inspiring to hear me say it!"
I loved that scene!!!  When the Doctor asks if they say "Yowza" and the other Doctor just looks and replies with something like "No we wont go there again" - Sorry, I can't remember the exact quote!

One of the first things in the episode that points to Amy's pregnancy is that when they're running into the evac tower I think, when they get there she claims her stomach hurts, and she must have pulled a muscle... Or maybe it's just her contractions starting.

Then there follows a scene which shows an angry Doctor, who has Amy pinned up against the wall. As he is shouting and ranting at her, his voice is distinctly different, I don't know if this was meant to be like this, or if it's just the way Matt Smith acted it.  I would just like to add about this scene, Amy thinks she's talking to the Flesh Doctor, the Ganger and says that she had seen him die, because he invited them. Which again gets touched on towards the end of the episode.

Once we're back in the room and the Doctor starts ranting away, Amy keeps saying things like 'You are the Flesh" and "You are it" not realising she's actually talking to the real Doctor.  The Doctor actually ignores her and continues on his rant!

The next scene shows Rory going down the stairs where he finds two Jennifer's. He seems to think he knows who the real Jennifer is because one of them is limping, and apparently you cant fake that because it would have been done after she was released from the harness. The two Jennifer's start fighting, and one of them is pushed into the Acid and melts, leaving Rory to think he has the real Jennifer. This is the point I actually realised what was actually going on here. The episodes have really shone through. Absolutely brilliant!!

I have also accounted for Rory's change in this episode too, the acid burn he sustained right at the start of the episode. I might be wrong, but that's the only thing I can put it down to. I loved the scene where Jen needs his help and he goes:
"I'll break out the big guns."
Which me in stitches.... He says it in such a way you can tell he doesn't say things like that very often, but loved being able to!
The eyes on the wall were pretty freaky! Being there to judge apparently! Not much made of them, although we saw a Jen notice them before they were fully formed earlier in the episode!

There's an interesting line towards the end of the episode where the Doctor says
"Could only learn about the Flesh through his eyes!"
 Which is when we learn that the Doctor had actually swaped shoes with his Ganger counterpart, and were we realise if you remember, that Amy had made the Boo-boo of telling the real Doctor she had seen his death that she was invited to by him.... Oh dear... Which is when the Doctor says to his flesh counterpart:
"This is a death we were not invited to."
 Which makes the Flesh Ganger Doctor look and wonder what he possibly meant!

Before they demateralise in the TARDIS, Amy hugs the other Doctor and he says to her:
"When she tells you to breathe, breathe!"

 Which shocks Amy! I think it would shock anyone... Also when the Doctor says he loves shenanigans! I love that word too haha! Had me chuckling a bit! lol

Now comes the ending to end all endings....Amy goes into labour and starts having contractions... There's no bump.... How is she pregnant... The Doctor tells Rory to stand away, and the Doctor tells Flesh Ganger Amy that they will find her. No matter how long they search, they will find her!

This is when the Doctor zaps her with the Sonic Screwdriver, and she melts, showing she was Flesh, a Ganger, a duplicate of the original!  I hope we find out how she was kidnapped, and at what point...unless I have missed something!

Overall a very good episode, it take us right into the Mid Series finale, with the game changing cliffhanger!
Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed reading my article!

Article by @whoscompanion