Viper Squad Ten

[ Friday, January 02, 2004 ]

Time to talk some Who
Starbuck [21:05] Comments: 0 []
Doctor Who, that is.

Having travelled back through time by three days tonight (something I've unfortunately not managed for a long time, apart from using the Video-Recorder time-machine), I've thoroughly enjoyed The Story Of Doctor Who on BBC1.

Christ, judging by the clips, I must've seen pretty much every episode from the Tom Baker days onwards... scary. And it WAS scary, watching the Cybermen, the Daleks, the Zygons, Peri's cleavage, and the like.

In these dark TV days where every show seems to be breaking under the weight of Paul Ross soundbites, it was good to see a documentary that actually cared about the subject, based around those who mattered, those who were involved, rather than some scum-sucking Z-list celebrity.

And it was educational, too.

Learned Fact One: The special sound effect that accompanied the dematerialization and materialization of the TARDIS was created by Brian Hodgson (of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop) running his set of keys along the bass string of a piano.

Learned Fact Two: PC Tony Stamp from popular real-life docusoap The Bill (who has also tried his hand playing the character actor Graham Cole in family favourites such as Noel's House Party) used to play a whole range of challenging roles in Doctor Who, all of which involved being encased in a tatty rubber monster suit. He used to be a real method actor, contorting his facial features into terrifying contortions, DESPITE THE FACT THAT THEY WERE HIDDEN BY HIS MONSTER OUTFIT! I would have suggested at this point that I thought that The Bill's Reg Hollis would have quite enjoyed any rubber suit / Cyberman-PVC shenanigans. However, the allegation, first made a decade ago in some tawdry downmarket rag, does not bear up to modern Google scrutiny, and hence I judge it to be a FALSEHOOD.

Learned Fact Three: Bugger, I've forgotten this one. The thought of Reg Hollis in a rubber gimp suit has kind-of destroyed my train of thought.

Correction to Learned Fact Two: My mistake. For "tatty rubber monster suit" please read "carefully-constructed triumph of textile". My good friend Unit Two's dad used to build / draw / create Doctor Who special effects. And he was artistically white-hot, as proved with his later work on Rolf's Cartoon Club and Newsnight. You can read Unit Two's contributions to the exact scattering theory for any straight reflectors in two dimensions HERE.

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