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Primeval – Series 3, Episode 9 – Review, Spoilers

Well, New Zealand are out of the World Twenty20, so it’s time to review this episode of Primeval I overlooked. (OK, I intentionally overlooked it the first time around.)

Synopsis

We open with a peaceful, pastoral countryside, suddenly disrupted by horrifying freaks of nature: A camp full of young people with ATVs. But there’s more than just modern horrors in the woods, there’s also embolotherium. A prehistoric rhino-like creature. In fact, there’s a whole heard of them and they don’t half make a mess of a guy on an ATV.

Meanwhile, Danny Quinn is following up on the mysterious woman from the future who was captured by Christine Johnson’s military. Despite Lester’s warnings, Quinn breaks into Johnson’s facility after he sees the woman being held captive inside.

Under interrogation, the mystery woman reveals that, in the future, everyone is dead. Killed by the predators, but she doesn’t know where they came from. She also reveals that anomalies are rips in time, and that they are “everywhere”, but that some of them are invisible. She indicates that she knows how to find them, but she must talk to the people at the ARC. She is also in possession of a device which she refuses to explain.

Danny breaks her out.

At the campsite, the rest of the team go through the typical plot complications trying to get the embolotherium back through the anomaly, which closes before all of them are through.

Danny arrives with the mystery woman just as a stampede causes the embolotherium to thunder towards the unsuspecting campers. Just as all looks lost, the mystery woman uses the device to open an anomaly right in front of the camp and sends the herd through.

Dumbstruck, Danny takes her to the ARC, but not before stealing her notebook and giving it to Sarah to decode. The mystery woman, in turn, steals a gun.

Johnson hasn’t been taking Danny’s intrusion sitting down, and is at the ARC serving Lester with a warrant for Quinn’s arrest and the surrender of the artifact.

Danny arrives and is arrested, but then the mystery woman reveals that she is Helen Cutter using future disguise technology. She explains that she had to kill Nick Cutter to save the world, but that it didn’t work, and so she has to make sure it works next time. She kidnaps Johnson, takes the artifact and heads back to Johnson’s headquarters and her private anomaly.

She tells Johnson that she specifically is the civil servant that caused the entire destruction of the world by the predators, and she takes her through the anomaly, where she’s killed by a future predator. Helen also closes off Johnson’s anomaly after she’s dead.

Danny Quinn vows to chase Helen to the ends of time to stop her.

Analysis

I purposely didn’t write this one up because there’s so little to recommend this episode.

The episode adds a new piece to the equation: That there are lots of anomalies everywhere, but that they are somehow invisible/inaccessible. The device Helen has seems to be able to locate and open them. Also, for the first time, there’s some indication that Conner’s anomaly detectors experience some form of crude interference when near a closed anomaly. There’s never been any mention of this before and they’ve been standing next to several closed anomalies in the past. Even still, when the interference is introduced into the show, it’s not very clear what it is or why it is important. It’s not used or mentioned again.

It’s somewhat interesting that, when Helen killed Cutter in an earlier episode, she blamed the ARC for the release of the predators and the destruction of the world. In this episode she blames Christine Johnson. Is she just guessing? If she was right, did she create a new kind of time paradox by taking Christine into a future that she created and killing her there before she could create that very same future? Is Helen just bat-shit crazy?

Perhaps it will all make sense in the next and final episode? (Don’t hold your breath.)

Death of Economical Writing?

For those who don’t know, I’m supposed to be in England this week, getting ready to watch the ICC World Twenty20 Final on Sunday, but I’m not and therefore I’m in a grumpy mood, so rather than take it out on England’s mostly rubbish performance (Seriously, they lost a cricket match to the Netherlands?) I’m going to continue to pick on Primeval for a while.

ITV, the people who commission and broadcast Primeval, are loosing money. Ad revenues are down, and Primeval is an expensive show, even though its ratings are good enough to deserve a renewal. ITV has decided to concentrate on “post watershed programming”.

For Americans who read my blog, the watershed is a curiously quaint British television concept. Before the watershed is time for family programming – cute furry animals, Doctor Who and lots and lots of gardening shows. After the watershed, which I believe starts precisely at 8:23PM each night, they are allowed to talk dirty and show naked women’s breasts in the shower with water erotically cascading off their nipples. (Hence the origin of the term, “watershed”.)

(In America we solved this problem by evolving a television industry that never makes any program than anyone would ever want to watch.)

If ITV wants to concentrate on post-watershed programming we can conclude one of two things. People are more likely to be home and watching TV later at night, or more people like to watch women in showers. (You can decide that one.)

Primeval, being pre-watershed, doesn’t make was much money as ITV would like. They could solve this problem in one of three ways (or a combination of all three.)

  • They could have kept Jenny (and/or Claudia) and write in plot devices that would involve herself taking more showers, thereby forcing a move to post-watershed scheduling.
  • They could write high-quality and compelling scripts to increase viewership.
  • They could learn to write economically.

I’m going to address the later, because the other two are self-evident and before anybody says, “You’re not a scriptwriter, you don’t know what you’re talking about”, I’ll just interject the disclaimer, nope, I’m not a professional scriptwriter, but I have studied the craft of scriptwriting and I’m paraphrasing the words of people who do know what they’re talking about.

Writing is an art. Scriptwriting is a craft. This is because scriptwriting is a part of an overall production, be it stage, radio, TV or movies. If the script is not produced, it is a failed script. Part of being able to write a produceable script is to understand the limitations of the target medium and write accordingly.

Prolific scriptwriters learn this and turn in scripts that producers read and say, “I can make this on my budget.” Producers, in turn, remember this and come back to those same writers for more work.

Part of the writing process is for the author to take a critical look at each and ever scene of his/her own script and ask if it really advances the plot, and, even if it does, will it be difficult to produce. When a producer receives that script, he’ll do the same thing – or he ought to.

I contend that the writers of Primeval could easily produce a few episodes (not back to back) which did not have an incursion by an expensive CGI creature from the past or future, or even an open anomaly. They had a ensemble cast and an overarching mystery. Time could have been spent on those issues. An episode of Primeval without an anomaly should be much easier than an episode of Doctor Who without the Doctor – and the Who production team pulled that off with varying degrees of success.

In one episode of Primeval, they appeared to cut cost corners by not showing the anomaly being locked and unlocked, despite the fact that it made for an awkward scene without the visual. Yet repeatedly, they waste their FX budget on Conner and Abby’s adopted prehistoric animals, which virtually never advanced the plot in any meaningful way. If they needed a pet for comic relief, get a dog. They’re much cheaper.

I’m not saying that a program like Primeval doesn’t require expensive FX. It does. It simply wouldn’t work without the credible threat of time-traveling creatures, but the judicious use of them could have helped save the show from extinction.

Claudia Brown and Pedigree Collapse

A recent comment post on this blog got me thinking about the series Primeval’s Claudia Brown.

Fans of the show will know that Claudia Brown was a character who was becoming romantically involved with Nick Cutter. The main series villain is Nick Cutter’s wife, Helen, long missing, thought dead, but actually just traveling through time.

Very soon after Claudia and Cutter expressed their feelings for each other – which Helen was aware of – Cutter travels with Helen back to the Permian period (299 – 251 MYA – at the end of the Paleozoic era) to recover a future predator and stop it from destroying history. When they return, not realizing that they’ve left baby predators alive in the past, Claudia Brown no longer exists, and no one knows who she is, except for the returning Nick and Helen Cutter. Helen then craps all over Cutter, revealing that, before she disappeared, she was having an affair with his best friend Stephen. Clearly she does this to hurt Cutter, and it’s not unreasonable to assume that a vindictive Helen, with her time-traveling knowledge, may have engineered the disappearance of Cutter’s new love interest.

But is that what happened?

I don’t think so, but then, Primeval can be so ill-conceived at times you never can tell if some intentional is so poorly executed that you can’t discern it from background noise.

Consider: Helen and Cutter enter the anomaly to the Permian, Claudia Brown exists. Helen and Cutter return, thinking they have succeeded, but not realizing they’ve left future predators behind. Claudia Brown now no longer exists. If Helen, 251+ million years in the past, was able to hatch a plot that, by leaving random agents (the predators) behind, exhibited so much fine-grain control that it could pluck one single person out of existence… well, if she could do that she was incredibly good. She might as well be trying to fire a bullet around the planet with a rifle and hitting Claudia on the 251,000,000 circuit around the planet. (Actually, it’s even more improbable than that.)

No, I think she was unaware that Claudia was gone.

Further, you might argue that Claudia may have been there when Cutter and Helen returned and she just wasn’t mentioned and wasn’t in camera shot and that it wasn’t until after she jumped back into the anomaly that Claudia disappeared. If that were the case, Cutter would have forgotten her as well as everyone else had, so that seems unlikely, too.

Let’s, for a moment, consider the likelihood of Cutter and Helen’s mistake of leaving the baby predators altering the timeline enough to erase Claudia.

With 251 million years to compound changes in the timeline, it seems that if significant changes were wrought, that the world would be a completely unrecognizable place, likely having no similarity to the world we inhabit today.

It’s all hypothetical,of course, but here’s one way to look at it. The answer may lie in a concept called Pedigree Collapse.

People have a lot of misconceptions about… well, for the want of a better term, I shall call the Mathematics of History. Most people, for example, view their history as a binary tree. I have two parents, they each have two parents, therefore I have four grandparents. Each of them had two parents, therefore I have 8 great-grandparents. The progression goes like this: 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128…

Simple, you say? Obvious? Yes, and completely wrong… or at least wrong inasmuch as people tend to assume these are all distinct people. You don’t have to go back many generations to realize that your number of ancestors will rapidly approach a number greater than the total number of humans who have ever existed on this planet. How can this be? Answer: Kissing Cousins (wink wink nudge nudge say no more!) There’s a lot more of that going on than people think.

The further you go back in you ancestors the more inevitable it is that multiple people occupy multiple places on your ancestral chart.

If a single human – or, more specifically a single human being who had offspring – far enough back in time were wiped out, huge swaths would have been cut in our ancestry and it seems unlikely that any of us would be here. (And I mean here biologically. As beings made up of the same genetic material, not the ridiculous “gosh, Jenny Lewis is the same person as Claudia Brown with a different history.) Presumably a missing person on the chart would result in others filling in the holes, leading to an ever expanding web of genetic changes.

If the future predators impacted the course of life on the planet, the changes would have been massive. And, of course, this web would have been unravelling since long before humans, mammals or even dinosaurs existed. That’s an inconceivably long period of time.

It is not at all inconceivable that a disturbance back 251+ million years would completely end the world as we know it.

On the other hand, it’s also possible to go too far back in time to have any effect.

We have to consider the misconception of continuity of life on this planet. Virtually every creature that has ever existed on this planet has already died. The vast majority of species that have ever existed are extinct. That’s a whole lot of dead.

Since 251+ million years ago, there have been at least two major planetary extinction events and lots of smaller ones. Ice ages, deserts, droughts, asteroids, mountains, seas, oceans and continents have come and gone.

Over such an immense time scale, it’s very likely that the doomed future predators’ changes would be wiped clean long before they reached the Mesozoic era, let alone the Cenozoic.

Aside: There’s 3 (if I recall correctly) baby future predators, without mother, in an unfamiliar and hostile environment. They’re mammals, therefore dependent on mom for milk (assuming they haven’t been weened.) There are no other mammals in the Permian, therefore it’s doubtful they could be raised, Romulus and Remus fashion, but some other beneficent creature. It’s likely that some or all of them will be killed before adulthood. Even if all three survived, their genetic pool is too shallow to have a long-lasting colony. There’s nothing even close for them to cross-breed with. They’re doomed in short order.

The baby predators conceivably wipe out an entire species or even more than one, but if those species were already going to die out, the effect could be negligible.

No. What Nick and Helen Cutter did back in the Permian could not have lead to Claudia Brown becoming Jenny Lewis.
So what could have? Still working the premise that Helen did this on purpose, let’s see what she could have done. For starters though, let’s consider this bit of biology: A human being is produced by the combination of a single egg and a single sperm. Mom produces one unique egg per month for her adult lifespan, dad produces millions in a single toss (so to speak.) For Claudia and Jenny to be the “same person in a different reality” as the show intimates, Jenny had to be the product of the exact same sexual act as Claudia. Considering the number of sperm working towards their goal, they’re couldn’t have been even a seconds’ difference in the act. It couldn’t have been on the kitchen table instead of the bed or the nearby park bench or the back of a car because that would have changed the result of the sperm race.
Therefore we have to conclude that not only are Jenny’s parents the same, but that her conception and the events that lead up to it were identical. That means whatever changed Claudia into Jenny happened after she was conceived.
Here’s what I consider a likely scenario: Mr. and Mrs. Brown conceive a baby. Very shortly after this moment, Mr Brown is removed from the picture, by some means, and before what would have been baby Claudia is born, Mr, Lewis marries the ex-Mrs. Brown and they raise the baby entirely as their own child. Jenny would almost have to be completely ignorant of Mr. Brown’s role in her formation, as she’d likely put 2 and 2 together when told the name of Claudia Brown. (“Hey, my mother’s first husband was named Brown, too! What a coincidence!”)
We also make some assumptions about the “normal flow of time.” We naturally assume something that didn’t happen in our timeline did happen in Jenny’s. But is that our natural tendency to see normality as a still stream that gets disturbed by a pebble. What if it is the reverse?
We don’t actually know that much about Claudia, and her history was erased, so perhaps the opposite happened in her universe. Mr. Lewis and Mrs. Lewis were biologically the parents and Mr. Brown came along to do the paternal duties. She may very well have known, but never mentioned this aspect of her family background because it was largely a trivial matter to her. There’s no way to compare it to Jenny Lewis until after the timeline change, and then the only people who would know what happened, Claudia is gone, and anyone who knew her family has forgotten her.
In this later scenario, it’s even possible that Claudia Brown was orphaned and adopted. Any of a number of things that might have led Jenny to becoming Claudia in our own timeline could have happened and we can never know – unless, of course, Helen knows, and if she did she probably took that with her to her grave.
And now, the entire program, Primeval, has taken that to its grave, too.
None of that explains the creation of the ARC, although it’s possible that, with no Claudia as government liaison, the alternate reality government team behaved differently and helped create the ARC. Perhaps the evil Leek (Claudia’s replacement) somehow pushed this entirely for his own machinations.
So what have we got? If Helen engineered Claudia’s disappearance, she did something after Claudia was already conceived, which seems a completely stupid approach. The alternative is, as I suspect, that Helen was not involved and that the writers just didn’t bother to think things through, insulting the audience once more in the process.

Primeval – A Tale of Three Cliffhangers

Cliffhangers. The bane of modern television and the province of hack writers.

Oh sure, cliffhangers have been around for a long time, they go back at least as far as the Saturday-afternoon movie series of the 30s. Cleverly designed stories intended to get the kids back each week to spend their hard-earned cash.

Did it go back further? Did cliffhanger vaudeville shows exist? What about live theatre? DId Shakespeare ever write a cliffhanger?

When is a cliffhanger an important plot device rather than a cheat to the audience that forces them to return to get the rest of the story?

Even if you didn’t pay money, you’ve invested your time. At what point were you cheated out of your time by the writer stopping in the middle of a story and saying, “See ya’ later!”?

Rarely did this used to happen in “real” movies. The first I can recall, The Empire Strikes Back, was a horrible cheat. The story had no resolution at all and was nothing more than a setup for the third and final movie. Given the choice, I would have preferred to wait and watch both at the same time, rather than waiting years between them.

TV series began this sort of thing sometime back in the 80’s (As I recall, anyway). Presumably as a means to get viewers to write the networks and demand their show be renewed. Cliffhanger? Artistic statement or cynical attempt to manipulate the public?

As you may have ascertained, I’m of dual-mind on the subject. When I know, in advance and with my own agreement that a story is a cliffhanger, I have no problem with it. When there’s a four-part Doctor Who, I know parts one, two and three are going to end of a (sometimes horribly lame) cliffhanger, but I also know the story will completed and the end of part four and that my investment of time will be rewarded. (Horns of Nimon, notwithstanding.)

So, let’s look at Primeval. I gather that Primeval is taking a week off and next week will be back with the series’ finale. I also gather that DVDs of the third series are already “in the wild” and you only need do a few minutes research on the net and you’ll know what happens next week. For the sake of disclosure, I might through this discourse reveal spoilers about the finale, as it’s been spoiled for me.

Let’s start at the beginning with series one.

Anomalies started forming, strange creatures were getting through. Paleontologist Nick Cutter accidentally (or through the intervention of his missing wife) gets drawn into the story. Also, Stephen his assistant, Conner a student and Abby a zoo worker are drawn in. They get bound up by the Official Secrets act and start working with Lester and Claudia Brown. In the first episode, with an anomaly open to the Permian, Cutter goes through and finds a dead human skeleton and a camera. When the pictures are developed, they are of his missing wife, Helen.

We have a mystery – several actually. What are the anomalies? Who is the dead person? What does Helen know?

Through the series, we learn nothing about the anomalies. They are, as best we can tell, freak natural events with no rhyme or pattern. We do learn, slowly, that Helen knows something about them and that she has some connection with Stephen.

We learn that there are “junction points” of anomalies, where multiple anomalies exist, which Helen seems to be able to navigate.

Finally, a terrifying future predator comes through the Permian anomaly (apparently another anomaly exists in the Permian which leads to the future.) Cutter, along with Helen and military backup take some orphaned (Cutter thinks) baby future predators through the anomaly in an attempt to find the future anomaly, but they escape in the Permian.

Cutter realizes, too late, that this second Permian anomaly isn’t exactly the same as before. It now leads to an earlier point in the Permian. One of the team is killed (leaving the human skeleton that Cutter found previously (in the past’s future) and Cutter also takes the photos of Helen that they retrieved from the camera.

Escaping with lives, Helen and Cutter return to the present, not realizing that baby predators were left behind.

In the present, Helen reveals that she plans to continue exploring the anomalies and drops the bombshell on Cutter that she had an affair with his trusted friend and confidant, Stephen, then escapes into the closing anomaly.

Only then does Cutter learn that Claudia Brown has ceased to exist and no one remembers her except himself. End of series one.

Let’s look at that cliffhanger a little in regards to the context of the series.

There were really two mysteries in the first series. One was the anomalies themselves and nothing really was learned about them at all. They started for no apparent reason, appeared with no apparent pattern, and had no apparent one-to-one relationship between time and space. They were presented as almost a force of nature – one that is not understood, but cannot be avoided. It’s the mystery that is not to be solved. Perhaps it has no solution.

But there was a mystery or two that could be solved: Who was the dead body, and what was Helen doing having her picture taken in the Permian? These mysteries were cleared up. The writers gave us the answers that they had been promising. The cliffhanger, with Claudia Brown being going and time being changed was new, unexpected and a teaser. I can’t say I liked it, but it was a surprise new mystery.

In the second series, once again, we’re presented with a series of mysteries. The anomalies continue in pretty much the same fashion, albeit with the added factor of Conner’s anomaly detector telling them where they are.

In the second series, we wonder who is the traitor at the ARC? When we learn it is Leak, we wonder what’s he up to? Will Stephen be fooled by Helen? Will he betray his friends? How dumb can Conner be about his girlfriend? Who is the mysterious “Cleaner” who dies in the first episode but shows up again and again?

By the end of the series, all these questions have been answered, with the possible exception of the identity of the Cleaner. At least we are informed at the end that he is not one indestructible person, but an army of identical individuals. There’s not much of a cliffhanger in series two. It’s more Helen pointing out that time can be changed and that, perhaps, she’ll be bringing Stephen back. No cliffhanger is really needed, because after the first series started airing, Primeval was guaranteed two more series production.

Now we come to the third series. Ratings have been steadily declining, but the series is still popular. Ad revenue is down, but the cost of the show is high. The fate of Primeval is uncertain.

This year we start to learn something about the anomalies. They’re been around forever. (Well, obvious really, since know they go back at least as far as the Silurian.) More than that, they’ve been around throughout human history, undetected. They can be predicted, first by Cutter’s model, then by the mysterious future ARC artifact. They can be controlled with a proper (again future ARC) device. There is another government conspiracy aiming to use the anomalies for purpose or purposes unknown. They can be captured and moved using magnetism. They can be locked down. They have something to do with a mysterious government project from before the second world war. Finally, at last, the mystery of the anomalies is beginning to unravel.

Helen’s back, and she’s got a new mystery. She has seen the future. Mankind has been destroyed by the future predators. For some reason, she blames the ARC and Nick Cutter for unleashing the predators on the world. She has a crusade to save the world and she is so fanatical she kills Cutter to prevent the future she has seen. It doesn’t work. The mysterious artifact from the future has some purpose, but what?

So how do we fare by the end of the third series? In, we learn nothing about the cause of the anomalies. Do the mysterious future devices create them or simply open and close existing one. Looking at episodes 9 and 10, it seems in episode 9 they can open one anywhere, but in 10 you have to seek them out – and they clearly can’t be opened to just any point in time and space. We learn nothing about the pre-war project, in fact, the team ignore it completely. We know nothing of Christine Johnson’s military project. They do nothing with the ability to move anomalies. We learn that, in the future, the ARC has the technology to map and to open and close anomalies, nothing more. From episode 9 to episode 10, Helen’s plan to save mankind from destruction at the hands of the future predators suddenly becomes a plan to save the big, beautiful Earth from mean old mankind instead. All she had to do was look at the future without man to realize that the world didn’t need saving, it took care of it itself. Her madness dies with her at the end of the series. So, with the exception of Helen attempting to stop… something, all the mysteries in series three are left unanswered. On top to that, they strand Danny in the Pliocene, and Abby and Conner up a tree in the Cretaceous.

This is a series’ ending designed nothing more than to irritate people into demanding another series of Primeval, but perhaps they’ve forgotten the most important thing. If you shit on your audience too often, they don’t always come back.

Do they really listen to me?! – Primeval, Series 3, Episode 8 – Review, Spoilers

Synopsis

An anomaly opens at a test track, the crew dispatch the scene, and encounter a giant bug, which is luckily killed by a car. The anomaly is closed.

Abby’s brother Jack (hereafter referred to as Jack-Ass) pokes through his sister’s purse and finds the anomaly detector. When she won’t tell him what it’s really for, he (quite naturally, it seems) steals it. (I mean, what else would somebody do if they’ve been told to mind their own business?)

At the anomaly site, two of the dumbest soldiers ever put on this earth are killed by a second insect without even raising the alarm.

Back at the base, Abby performs an autopsy on the dead bug and proclaims it to be related to an ant or a wasp and that it’s stinger has mutated into an ovitube – capable of implanting baby bugs inside hosts – like humans. She also notes high levels of selenite. Sarah realizes that the artifact was also covered in selenite, therefore they must come from the same place. (Logical really, there’s only a whole planet and 4.6 billion years (plus all the future) of time for these two things to have come from, so finding a similar substance must be conclusive proof, right?)

About this time, Jack-ass has peddled his little bicycle right to the anomaly, where he finds the two dead soldiers, now hatching baby bugs. Conner calls the soldiers to warn that they are returned, but Jack-ass picks up the phone lying on the floor. Conner realizes what’s happened, just as the big bug attacks Jack-ass. Sadly, Jack-ass gets in the car and escapes. In the process, he breaks the anomaly locking device, and drives into the future. It’s clearly the same place where we earlier saw the artifact retrieved from. He drives a short distance in the ruins, then gets out of the car and falls into a big hole.

The team arrive again at the anomaly and, without any form of back, proper equipment or the slightest bit of common sense, enter the anomaly to help Abby find her worthless turd of a brother. Sara stays behind to get the second locking device working, unaware that there are still baby bugs waiting for her.

In the future, predators are everywhere, and the team slowly advances towards Jack-ass’s car.

They find him, hoist him up, get him out, burn the bug hill, start a fight between the giant bugs and the predators and escape, but not before Quinn sees one of Christine Johnson’s carrying out an operation to retrieve a woman.

Analysis

So why do I say they must have been listening to me? No because this story is any better, but because at least throughout the episode they kept pointing out how incredibly stupid they were being. At least they’ve given up the pretense that they’re not morons.

Once again, I’m not going to go into a deep analysis of the implications of this episode. I’ll not bother pointing out that insect size is limited by their physiology and their environment. They don’t have lungs, so they absorb oxygen from the environment. Bigger bugs means higher Oxygen content. Oxygen levels high enough to yield bugs as big as this episode showed would mean a highly combustible atmosphere- easily detonated by Becker’s gunfire (not to mention Quinn’s flare.) I’ll not linger on Jack-ass’s twisted worldview – “If you hadn’t lied to me about things, I wouldn’t have to steal your stuff to find out what you’re lying to me about.” Clearly this boy’s quest for knowledge is epic in its proportions. I’ll not bother mentioning (yet again) that the predators just aren’t that dangerous. They’re nothing that a well-equipped group of soldiers couldn’t handle and yet Conner says, “If they got out, mankind wouldn’t have a chance.” Rubbish.

No, I’m going to concentrate on a pointless exercise in analyzing what we saw of the future. What does it tell us? (Honestly, I don’t really believe that the vision of the future will be at all internally consistent when they get around to revealing it, but, “What the heck?” It’s fun to speculate.

Let’s start with the architecture and the technology. Ignoring the artifact and the fancy dohicky we see in the previews for next week, everything looks contemporary. Contemporary cars, contemporary buildings. I don’t recall seeing any signs or license plates to see what kind of language was in use.

The streets are lined with stopped cars, the doors flung open, as if the entire city was trying to escape and the traffic jam stopped them, so they took to their feet. It was a massive, immediate crisis, not a slow incursion of predators. (Unless a huge number of predators arrived all at once, which would imply they came from another anomaly.) Similarly, the insects seem like an unlikely reason for a sudden evacuation.

Although the buildings show some sign of decay, it isn’t more than 100 years worth, and the cars would have deteriorated faster, leaving the conclusion that the evacuation may have only been 20-50 years ago (relative to the anomaly) and since the cars are contemporary, that puts it, lets say 30-60 years in our future. 100 years at the outside.

Not enough time for super bugs to evolve, for the atmosphere to beef up enough oxygen to produce the bugs (oh, wait, that didn’t happen) and not enough time for the predators to evolve.

But wait, there’s more – the mountains have risen up under the cities (or did valleys fall away?) I think we can safely say it isn’t London. Any timescale long enough to produce ruined cities atop spiring peaks would have either been long enough for (a) Cars and technology to have advanced beyond anything recognizable or (b) human city and car ruins to crumble to dust long ago.

Any way you slice, their view of the future is all wrong.

Fate is Determined – Primeval, Series 3, Episode 7 – Review, Spoilers

Worms? What can of worms?

Synopsis

In the middle ages (14th, I think) a “dragon” menaces a village. Sir William goes forth to do battle and we see the “dragon” to be a dinosaur.

In the 21st Century, an anomaly opens up in a car wrecking yard and out comes a dracorex hogwartsia (no, I’m not making that up.) The terrified crane operator fights back and nearly kills the dracorex, which is already wounded with a lance in its side.

Meanwhile, Conner discovers Rex up for auction on eBay and contacts Abby’s good-for-nothing-plot-complication-of-a-brother Jack and tells him to get rex back. Keeping the incident a secret from Abby.

Better late than never, the anomaly detector notices the anomaly and alerts the crew, who arrive just in time to save the dracorex. They try to heard it back through – not seeming the slightest bit interested in how a manmade artifact is imbedded in its side – the anomaly, and just as they are about to succeed, Sir William charges through the anomaly in pursuit of the dracorex, which runs away with Sir William in pursuit.

While Quinn and Conner pursue the knight, Abby and Becker track down the dracorex.

The knight is causing all sorts of problems, but, coincidentally, there’s a carnival parade through the streets of London, so he doesn’t quite stick out like a sore thumb. Quinn and Conner catch up to him several times, but he repeatedly escapes them.

Abby and Becker catch up with the dracorex, and Becker wants to shoot it, but Abby threatens to shoot him with a tranquilizer dart if he does. The beast finally collapses rendering the Mexican standoff moot and they haul the beast back to the junk yard where Abby tries to nurse it back to health.

While all this is going on, Sarah Page decides to trick her way through the anomaly, where she does field research on Sir William. She lies about her authority to pass through the anomaly, and then demands that the guard pretend he saw nothing when she comes back.

Using her knowledge of Sir William, and the extremely fortuitous placement of Sir William’s grave, Sarah convinces him to return to the anomaly. He then battles it out with Abby, who seems to be the only one man enough to take him on, to save the dracorex’s life. He defeats her, but her willingness to sacrifice herself wins him over and he departs, leaving the dracorex behind. Another pet for Abby, it seems.

Jack fails to get Rex back, so Conner takes Becker and some armed soldiers to Jack’s friend and retrieves Rex.

Analysis

Ever since this series started, there’s been the “new” concept that the anomalies have opened in the past, giving rise to various mythological legends. It was that information that allowed Cutter to devise his map of the anomalies, which was verified to be accurate, therefore it was just a matter of time before that showed up in the plot, but this opens a huge can of worms.

Destiny, fate, pre-determinancy and all that baggage that goes along with time travel stories. We’ve mentioned this before, but it’s time for a refresher: Either the past is fixed or it isn’t. Conversely, since the future is someone’s else’s past, the present is either fixed or it isn’t.

Primeval as followed the notion that the past is not fixed, hence the need to return as many creatures through the anomalies as possible. It’s also the reason that Cutter’s world disappeared and was replaced by the current universe and lead to the non-existing of Claudia Brown and replacement by Jenny Lewis. The anomalies represent a very real and incredibly far-reaching threat for the very fabric of reality. Frankly, the ARC doesn’t take this seriously enough. There is nothing more important in the world than stopping the anomalies. It is simply a matter of time before the universe gets changed again – and yet, the people working at the ARC seem to have no grasp that their very existence hangs on a thread that could be severed with the opening of the next anomaly.

A commenter noted earlier that Jenny Lewis would never quit her job just because she nearly died. Could someone walk away – no matter what the reason – from the single most important job in the world? The lives of billions of people, plus billions, if not trillions of plants and animals throughout all time are threatened and the ARC is the only place (we know of) that is combating them. There’s a lot of pressure in a job like that, but it isn’t one that anyone with a conscience could walk away from.

But now we have a new wrinkle. Sir William left his time – he was no longer there to get married and die and be buried. When he left, time would have changed and his grave would be gone – unless it was pre-destined that he would return to the past. If that’s the case, then time can’t be changed and history is safe – but we know it isn’t because of Claudia/Jenny.

So, the next question is, what about the second anomaly in the 14th century? You know, the one that must be there letting the dracorex through in the first place? Keeping with Cutter’s map/theory those events are now part of historical fact – and always have been. They apparently did no lasting damage to the fabric of time. (Although, how would we know it if it had?) If these anomalies have been opening throughout human history, can we not also assume that they’ve been happening throughout the entire 4.6 billion year history of Earth? Are Permian creatures walking through anomalies into the Cretaceous? And why is it that creatures seem to come through the anomalies to our time, but for the most part, things in our time don’t go into the anomalies? If an anomaly opened on a farm in Surrey, would cows be just as likely to walk through into the past as a dinosaur would into the present?

Should we be wondering if anomalies are more one-way than another? Consider, they’re highly magnetic – hold up a spoon and it shoots into the anomaly. What’s it do on the other side? Shoot back through? If not, what does that mean? What would have happened to Sir William in that armor suit of his?

Oh, wait, they’re anomalies they don’t have to behave in a consistent fashion.

Let’s turn to the ARC team then and their procedural operations. Can we at least assume that they keep all their needed gear in their vehicles, ready for a scramble? If so, why don’t they get it out of the car when they go to investigate? They always seem to arrive completely unprepared.

Clearly, from the way Dr. Page has to trick her way through the anomaly, the ARC has standing orders not to go through. That’s probably a good idea when it could lead to the destruction of time. In that case, shouldn’t they also have a standing rule to put creatures back through the anomaly? Wouldn’t Becker know that? Why was he planning on shooting the dinosaur? Would Abby have really shot him with the tranquilizer dart? Does she realize (and as a zoologist, she should) that a dosage big enough for the dracorex would surely kill Becker?

Speaking of Dr. Page going through the anomaly. First she lies to the guard, telling him she has authorization, then on the way out she tells him that he never saw her. Shouldn’t that have been a tip off that she BSed her way in in the first place? Shouldn’t he report that to someone? At least she showed enough curiosity to want to defy orders to go through the anomaly and research. That kind of spirit of inquiry is completely missing in everyone else on the team.

Looks like the end is heating up next week – an expedition into the future to see the aftermath of the destruction of the human race. (Unfortunately, it looks like they’ll be chasing Abby’s good-for-nothing-plot-complication-of-a-brother Jack.)

Primeval – Cut Down – Series 3, Episode 3 – Review (Spoilers)

I didn’t see that coming.

Synopsis

The story opens with Helen drilling her Clone Troopers and demonstrating that they are mindless zombies by having one kill himself.

A reporter who has been unsuccessfully on the trail of the anomaly story stakes out the ARC in the hopes of getting the biggest story of all time.

An anomaly opens in a London hospital, Cutter, Conner, Abby and Becker go to investigate. The reporter follows them.

Inside the hospital, a small anomaly has opened and a hatching of baby Diictodons have come through and are chewing through the hospital’s wiring. Posing as a doctor, the reporter nearly captures one of the creatures after he locks Cutter and Abby into an operating room with a pregnant mother and the anomaly.

Back at the ARC, Helen reveals her secret weapon. She has cloned Cutter and uses him to infiltrate the ARC and shut down its defenses. The Clone Troopers move in, plant explosives and capture the remaining members of the team.

After Abby births the baby, Becker frees Cutter and the anomaly closes, leaving two diictodons that were captured by Abby and Conner. The return to the ARC, where they are all quickly captured by Helen and her boys.

Helen reveals to Cutter her motives. The future has been destroyed and it was the ARC that bred the super predators that destroyed the world. She has decided to destroy the ARC and stop Cutter’s work to save the world. However, she thinks Cutter knows the secret of the artifact both she and Lester’s boss, Caroline Steel, were trying to retrieve from the future. Cutter feigns knowledge of the artifact to stall for time.

Back in their cell, Becker helps everyone escape and then he and Conner try to the PA system to play a faked recording of Helen’s voice. They’ve determined that she has voice control over the soldiers and plan to broadcast new orders to them.

The plan works and the soldiers stand down, Helen commands Cutter’s clone to destroy the building. The clones are not mentally the same as the original and Helen considers them to be “living machines”. While Helen escapes, Cutter tries desperately to convince his clone that he is a real person and should not give up his life. Although he cannot convince him to abandon his programming, the clone gives Cutter a chance to escape.

Everyone gets out except Helen and Cutter goes back into the burning building to save her. He finds her unconscious and hides the artifact before he wakes her up to save her. What he doesn’t expect is that Helen is as determined as ever to stop the destruction of the world and she fatally shoots Cutter and then escapes.

Conner re-enters the building to save Cutter but finds him dying. Cutter shows him the artifact and tells him he has to carry on without him. Cutter dies in Conner’s arms.

Analysis

Things are obviously changing in the series. It’s no more mystery now about the cop from the last episode – he is undoubtedly going to come join the team in Cutter’s absence. Will the ARC be rebuilt? Should it? With all the workers walking around the place, none of them seem to do anything. Will Lester’s new boss and her hidden agenda prevent them from rebuilding. Will our team become rebel good guys, hiding from the law, just like the A-Team?

I do like one thing the writer has done in the episode. Helen has been increasingly appearing to be the over-the-top diabolical crazy villain that appears to want to take over the world. If we can take things at face value, now it would appear that her agenda is to save the world. She simply differs with Cutter over our place in the grand scheme of things. Can we be agents of change in the future for good or must we face the future and accept it meekly?

Amusingly, Cutter is on the wrong side of that argument, but one wonders why Helen cares? Being that she’s seen the depth of time for herself, she must also understand that nothing can last forever – including herself, and while she might be able to change the future, she can never live long enough to guarantee that it continues to lead to a future she desires.

Still, it’s nice to see Helen slightly less one-dimensional. It’s a pity she’s obviously not read any time travel fiction, or watched Doctor Who or she’d realize that history isn’t always right. The predators won’t have been created by the ARC (although the might escape from there) they’ll be released somehow by the very artifact that she took to ARC, meaning, ultimately that she will be culpable in the downfall of man through her own actions to save it. History is probably wrong because of some ill-informed journalism by the reporter who is dogging the team now.

I’ve had my misgivings about the make-up of the team for some time, and Cutter’s death doesn’t bode well for the future. Consider the first series team, A Paleontologist (Cutter), a second Paleontologist with big game hunting experience (Stephen), a third paleontology student with some computer skills (Conner), a zoologist (Abby) and two mandarins (Lester and Claudia.) Not exactly a crack squad of experts, but at least they were there because they were Johnny-on-the-spot.

Series 2 gets difficult. Conner certainly seems to have changed his specialty, now seemingly an electronics whiz, but apart from the Claudia/Jenny fiasco, the team remains much the same. Basically unqualified to investigate temporal phenomena, despite the vast resources of the ARC, the team has added no experts in physics, for example, or any other field that might help.

Now, we’ve added Dr. Page, who, as professor of mythology is… sorry… worthless, and we’ve lost Cutter, the brains of the outfit. They’re going to bring back that cop, who, while perhaps handy in a firefight, will be worthless at figuring out anything about the anomalies.

It doesn’t bode well.

Trial of a Time Lord – Review (in retrospect)

A lot has been said about “Trial of a Time Lord”, some of it by me, but that’s neither here nor there. This Colin Baker series comes from another era. It was era of disappointment in many ways – of enormous potential squandered. A time when optimism was slowly eroded away to despair.

I remember those times well, or at least passably well, I was Vice-President of the local Doctor Who fan club, TARDIS. (The Arizona Regional Doctor Who Interest Society – don’t blame me for the tortured acronym, that was from before my time.) TARDIS was at the time the largest Doctor Who club in Arizona with a typical meeting attendance of about 30.

Peter Davison episodes of DW had been shown on the local PBS station, but to watch the Colin Baker episodes was an exercise in international intrigue. In those days, you could typically expect years before DW would be syndicated and arrive in the Phoenix market. In those days, the conflicting video and videotape standards between the US and the UK were formidable. Tapes had to be made when the episodes aired in the UK and mailed to someone in the US. They, in turn, needed to have a British TV and VHS deck, plus a second US standard VHS recorder and a video camera – which they would aim at the screen and record the playback on the UK VCR. The result was of low quality, and as they would get copied and mailed around the US, the quality deteriorated. The holy grail was to either be in the first tier of copies or, better yet, to actually be the recipient of the original tape.

How long it took from original airing until we sat around at our bi-weekly meetings on Saturday nights was highly variable, and much anticipated.

Trial of a Time Lord though was something special, not only was the Doctor back after an 18 month “rest” but we all thought, “This will be something special – something that will bring the show back to its glory days.” We had, perhaps naively, hoped it would reverse the decline that had begun at the end of Tom Baker’s era.

Here’s another reason it was special – it was the first, and only, time that I personally listened to Doctor Who live – as it actually aired in Britain. It was over the phone.

I suppose I should explain how that came about. Around that time I was a FidoNet BBS operator, and through those connection, I met a nice chap named Frank Thornley. (Frank, if you’re still out there, here’s a shout out!) Frank was visiting the United States with the aim towards establishing a business arrangement between his Compulink BBS and the US’ BIX service. He and his wife Sylvia, who I didn’t meet for several years, were contemplating setting up some sort of office in the US. Honestly, I don’t know what they’re exact plans were, but I do know that they ultimately didn’t cut a deal with BIX and, in the end, established their own online service called CIX (The Compulink Information eXchange) which was, I gather, quite successful.

I was unemployed and had plenty of time on my hands, so I was helping Frank get acclimated to Phoenix. I happened to be at his apartment at the very time that the first episode of Trial of a Time Lord was on, and he was talking to his wife on the phone. They turned on Doctor Who for me and let me listen for a few minutes on the phone. Well, that was a big thrill in those days. They were terribly nice people. I haven’t heard from them in years, ever since they were talking about buying a yacht and traveling the world. What I remember of that phone call was, “Hmmm, the phone makes the theme music sound very different!”

Anyway, a few weeks to a month after it aired in the UK, I had seen Trial of a Time Lord, and had some opinions on the matter. Since then, several months ago, I watched the first two episodes of it again, and then didn’t finish. Now, in the last two weeks I have watched it in it’s entirety, and the complete contents of the “bonus features” on the DVDs. Now, it’s time to re-evaluate the Trial.

Synopsis

The Doctor is on trial for his life. Snatched, alone, out of time and space he is brought before an “independent” inquiry by the Time Lords of Gallifrey. The charge: meddling.

Bringing the case against the Doctor is the bloodthirsty Valeyard, a Time Lord who seems desperate to have the Doctor executed for his alleged crimes.

In the case for the prosecution, the Valeyard uses evidence from the Matrix – the Gallifreyan computer that contains the sum total of all knowledge. He demonstrates two tales from the Doctor’s history, the second, culminating with the death of his companion Peri.

In rebuttal, the Doctor presents a case from his own future showing that, “he gets better.”

The Master arrives, inside the Matrix, proving that the evidence has been tampered with by the Valeyard in an effort to kill the Doctor. The Valeyard is revealed to be a future incarnation of the Doctor himself, who has gone evil. In the end, the three renegade Time Lords battle it out inside the Matrix where nothing (least of all the script) makes sense. In the end, both the Doctor and the Valeyard escape, the High Council is deposed and Gallifrey is in anarchy after yet another one of the Doctor’s visits.

During the whole 14-part trial, we get to see three new stories which, although officially untitled, are known as “The Mysterious Planet”, “Mindwarp” and “Terror of the Vervoids.”

Analysis

First, the background. I’m not a fan of producer John Nathan-Turner’s era. As far as I can tell he made nary a good decision. New theme music during Tom Baker’s final year – poor. New style at same time – usually jarring and unconvincing. The question marks – trite! Peter Davison’s Doctor – weak and ineffective. Colin Baker’s Doctor – obnoxious and loud. Colin Baker’s costume – yuck. Sylvester McCoy – stuffs ferrets down his pants. McCoy’s theme music – too dance music. The companions – horrible. In fact, the only things that I recall liking about his decisions were: Colin Baker’s casting (sadly, the scripts failed him), The Trial of a Time Lord theme version by Dominic Glynn and Peri’s first appearance in a bikini.

And so it came that when I first saw Trial of a Time Lord, I thought it was a depressing failure. The show continued in the vein it had been. Their 18 month hiatus had taught them nothing.

Now I wonder.

Having watched the bonus material, I have a much better feel for the reasoning – and where to put the blame – for the failure.

The story simply cannot be treated as a whole as it is a disjointed mess. The trial sequences foul up the other stories continually, so let’s start with them.

Eric Saward, script editor for the series, claims to have written them. That’s not a claim I’d boast about. Never has there been a more poorly conceived trial sequence in the history of television.

Consider: The Doctor is accused of meddling. He was previously convicted of it and sentences to exile on Earth. Since then the Time Lords have kept track of him and on occasion used him. Let’s be blunt: the Doctor always meddles. If all they needed to do was prove that, he’d be convicted. He is guilty of that “crime.” Of course, he’d argue it shouldn’t be a crime, but that’s a different case. Given that, the Valeyard could choose any of the Doctor’s adventures and convict him without chicanery.

Instead, he starts with the adventure of the planet Ravalox, which, the Doctor discovers is actually the planet Earth, renamed, nearly destroyed and hidden. Who could do that? We later learn it was the High Council themselves. The destroyed the planet to protect Time Lord secrets and then tried to cover it up. The Doctor stumbles into the situation and that’s what ultimately precipitates the High Council’s attempt to have the Doctor tried and destroyed.

During the court sequences, the discovery that Ravalox is the Earth is revealed, and some characters have their words “bleeped out” because they contain top secret information. (Later revealed that they were talking about the Matrix.) Why oh why would the Valeyard choose that particular story to try to convict the Doctor?! Surely he raised more questions in the court than he answered when any other adventure would have done! Answer: It reveals plot points to the audience, but it makes no sense in the context of the trial. That’s bad scripting. If Saward were working with a script editor, that never would have passed, but he wasn’t. No one was watching the watcher.

Mindwarp fairs a bit better as evidence. Unfortunately, we’ll never know how much of the story really happened. The Doctor’s brain is scrambled by an alien mind probe and he begins acting like a villain… or does he? The Doctor can’t remember and the Valeyard is tampering with the Matrix to make the Doctor look worse. In the end, Peri’s brain is killed by the bad guys and then her body is destroyed – on the orders of the High Council. Later we’re cheated out of even that ending when we’re told Peri is alive and living as a warrior queen. At least this one makes sense in the context of the trial, both showing the Doctor is the worst possible light and bringing us up to the point where he is brought on trial.

Finally, the Doctor get’s to put his case. He, paradoxically, decides to use his adventures in the future to demonstrate that he gets better. This falls apart logically and legally. He gets better? So what? He still committed the crime he was accused of. How can this be his future if he gets convicted executed before it happens? (Let’s not try to understand Time Lord time lines… the Valeyard really fouls this one up.) The only defense the Doctor could have is to prove he didn’t commit the crimes or, perhaps more cleverly, he might have proved somehow that meddling shouldn’t be a crime.

Finally, after the Vervoid segment, the Valeyard calls for the charge to be changed to genocide – the Doctor wiped out the entire Vervoid race. Did he? I thought these were events that hadn’t happened yet! How can he be guilty of a crime he hasn’t committed yet? And of course, if he’s found guilty and executed, he cannot commit the crime, so there’s no reason to convict him.

I can only conclude that copious amounts of drugs were involved in the creative process and it shows.

Let’s look at the individual stories. I’m not going to say a lot about them. The Mysterious Planet, written by Robert Holmes isn’t bad. It’s not his best work, but it shows his characteristic trademarks. The Doctor and Peri are finally getting along. I can remember that from back when it first aired. That was a breath of fresh air. It’s a pity that, from the interviews in the bonus material, it was revealed that they were supposed to still be snarking at each other, only Colin and Nicola played across their lines and made them affectionate instead of acrimonious. Watching the episode with that knowledge and it becomes obvious – what they say and how they’re saying it are totally out of sync. Amazing what acting can do to the written word.

Mindwarp by Phillip Martin suffers terribly from not knowing if it is real or not. As it stands it’s an unpleasant tale which serves as a sequel to the equally unpleasant Martin tale, Vengeance on Varos. Brian Blessed always puts in a 200% performance, and his stint as King Yrcanos is no exception.

The Doctor’s evidentiary tale is Terror of the Vervoids, by Pip and Jane Baker. This story is a plain old fashioned murder on an ocean liner mystery set in space, with killer vegetables thrown into the soup. (I couldn’t resist.) I thought this was a good solid effort by Jane and her husband, Pip. It won’t be remembered as one of the greatest episodes of Who, but it may have been Colin Baker’s most traditional story. Pity they didn’t start him that way and work from there.

Finally, there’s the Ultimate Foe, which serves as the conclusion of the Trial, as the Doctor and the Valeyard battle it out in the Matrix. This was a two part story that was supposed to be written by Robert Holmes, who, in conjunction with Saward, had plotted the conclusion out. (This also explains why Holmes’ Mysterious Planet setup the info about the High Council’s crimes.) Sadly, Holmes turned in the script for part 1 and promptly fell ill and died. Saward, who was completely in the loop about where the story was going, stepped up and finished episode 2 in accordance with Holme’s outline.

John Nathan-Turner didn’t like the ending, which apparently ended with the Doctor and the Valeyard trapped forever in some sort of void. JNT wanted a happy ending. He and Saward had a falling out and Saward quit, taking his script with him. JNT was forced to turn the task of completing the story over the Pip and Jane Baker, but they were not allowed to know any of the contents of the second part of the story. They were given the completed first script and told to write a second part based upon it.

We should not forget that Holmes originally wrote The Deadly Assassin, the first Gallifrey-based story and the introduction of the Matrix and it’s ability to form fantasy worlds manifested by the minds of the people trapped within. This time the Matrix is a dark, foreboding Victorian back-alley of a world but all too suddenly it becomes Pip and Jane Baker’s tortured, illogical fantasy mess. I suppose, given that they were told nothing about the original plot, they did a fair job of tying up the pieces – I suppose. I wouldn’t want that assignment, but I guess it pays the bills.

All’s well in the end, of course, and the Doctor leaves with Mel, a companion he hasn’t even met yet. That would be bad enough if I didn’t know what was going to happen next in Time and the Rani.

No panning of Trial of a Time Lord would be complete without mentioning the rubbish cliffhangers, apparently at JNT’s insistence: Colin makes dramatic face and holds it, camera zooms in, cue end music. Episode after episode until you begin to laugh about it. If it weren’t for Dragonfire in Sylvester McCoy’s time, they would surely be the worst cliffhangers ever.

Conclusion

I mentioned hope for the future. Back then everyone except, apparently, the production crew knew what was wrong with Doctor Who. Too much shouting, too much in-fighting, shitty stories. After the 18 month hiatus we just knew they’d had time to figure it out, and perhaps they did. Taken individually, both Mysterious Planet and Terror of the Vervoids showed a distinct improvement over previous series. Mindwarp was an unpleasant holdover to the bad old days. Despite that, it would have been passable if it hadn’t been tinkered with to make damning evidence. But all that was destroyed by framing the episode inside the trial, which ruined everything.

Even though it had been mangled, there were signs of improvement for the future. There was still hope for the Sixth Doctor, and for the entire series.

As we all know, then they fired Colin Baker, and things were about to get a lot worse.

Doctor Whoish

I haven’t posted anything Doctor Whoish lately, except the depressing news that David Tennant has knavishly abandoned his efforts to be the longest running Doctor yet.

However, If I don’t go searching, not much Doctor Who news comes my way, today I ran across this article, (at ComicMix News) which purports to be “what we know” about the upcoming specials – although, from the comments, I see a healthy dose of skepticism, which I’m more than pleased to to echo.

I’m skeptical, but it’s fun to speculate.

Read on if you want to hear things that sound like rumors, but might actually be spoilers…

Continue reading Doctor Whoish