Obviously the new version of Doctor Who has commanded the lion’s share of recent BBC-licensed merchandise, but over the last year or so they’ve been slowly adding action figures from the classic Doctor Who (including Tom Baker and Peter Davison figures – Tom’s figure is currently grinning those big teeth on my desk, I couldn’t resist it). The latest one to be announced is the late, great Jon Pertwee from the mid 70s Who era, possibly the finest dandy Time Lord ever to rock a velvet jacket and frilly shirt This one is from the episode The Green Death, set in Wales, the one where Katy Manning’s Jo Grant left the show and has Pertwee’s flamboyant Who complete with some of the giant maggots that grew out of the toxic green waste.
Of course, these days the title ‘The Green Death’ would probably be a thriller about fundamentalist eco warriors assassinating people like Jeremy Clarkson, but hey, that would probably be an enjoyable film… Sticking with the mid 70s Who there is also a Pyramid of Mars era Tom Baker figure coming soon; robotic mummies murdering, Sarah Jane, Mars and Sutekh the Destroyer, one of my favourite Baker stories.
William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton figures from the new classic Doctor Who range – I so want these, especially the Troughton one, I’ve always had a soft spot for the second Doctor going right back to when I was a kid and reading the old Target novelisations (the only way to get the older stories in pre video and DVD days)
Cool Indy stuff!
At long last the fourth (and I’m guessing final?) Indiana Jones movie – Kingdom of the Crystal Skull – is coming this summer. I’m already readying my Fedora and oiling my whip. There’s some very cool merch coming out to tie in with the film, including some beautifully detailed statues:
And I spotted my colleague sticking up some (rather more affordable to the pocket money) action figures. Why weren’t there Indy action figures when I was a kid? Sure we had the original Star Wars figures (and the even better Micronauts, which were more posable, with more joints, plus you could take them apart, always a plus for a kid) but no Indy figures. I may have to get a couple of these to keep the Doctor Who and Captain Scarlet figures on my desk company. What do you mean I’m too old for toys? Cobblers to that, you’re never too old for toys! In fact one of the best things about being grown up is being able to buy toys when you want!
Who has the time?
I see a lot of different Doctor Who merchandise coming out, but I especially love this replica of the fob watch from the two-parter story Human Nature/Family of Blood from last season, written by the brilliant Paul Cornell (himself a lifelong Who fan as well as screenwriter, novelist and comics scribe). It was the one where the Doctor is seemingly posing as a teacher at an Edwardian boy’s school just before WWI, but it turns out he is doing more than posing – he is human. Too escape the tracking of the Family of Blood he’s altered himself both physically and mentally from Time Lord to human and the watch contains his real essence. Meantime the human Doctor has strange dreams of travelling in time and space and also finds himself falling in love with the school matron – a romance he could never have as the Time Lord. Paul also uses the story to explore the price the Doctor pays for being who he is, the toll on him emotionally to stand apart and be the one who saves the day, to be the hero in a dangerous universe. Its wonderfully emotive material and a nice take on the old Joseph Campbell exploration of the Hero; one of the best stories from the new series so far.