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.
Viz offers up a scatalogical take on our favourite Time Lord with Doctor Poo, traversing time and space desperately trying to find a quiet loo to take a dump, thwarted at every turn by Cybermen, Sea Devils and Daleks. I especially like the ‘handicapped’ symbol on Davros’ personal loo. Vulgar and crude (it begins with a farting version of the classic Baker-era Doctor Who theme) but funny (via SF Crowsnest):
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)
I’m seriously liking the latest Doctor Who action figures range. You have no idea how hard it is to resist the urge to buy more of them when I see them at work! I couldn’t resist adding a Tom Baker figure (complete with his manic grin) from the Classic Who range to stand next to my David Tennant figure on my desk though. Yes, I know, I’m a big kid, so what? One of the best things about being grown up is being able to buy yourself some fun toys from time to time. And I know my friend’s wee boys will go mad for these too, think I know what to buy for at least two of my Christmas presents this year…
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.
The latest Doctor Who was a cracker, a nice, tight little haunted house story which had a lovely, creepy atmosphere (well, as much as they could get away with at 7pm on a family show). Weeping angel statues which are actually aliens who can only move when no-one is looking at them – blink and they cross the space between you in a heartbeat only to turn back into stone as your eyes open again… Coming on the back of Paul Cornell’s two-part Human Nature story which managed to mix up elements of ‘If..’ with World War I, a very touching romantic subplot and a look at the emotional cost it takes to be the Hero, verging onto Joseph Campbell territory – add in a great performance from David Tennant (his anguished ‘normal human’ persona demanding to know why he has to give up his life and love to go back to being this brave, heroic but lonely Doctor who saves the day was brilliant) and Martha proving to be pretty much his equal and taking charge when she needed to and you had a great story. Just a shame Human Nature was set in 1913 Britain and not France, then she could have been in a French Maid’s uniform instead… Three great episodes on the trot and this weekend sees the return of Captain Jack! Yay! Still on the Who theme, we added some brand new action figures to the FPI webstore in the last week with characters from the current season of the show, including a Martha Jones figure. I may need to make some more space on my desk.
The first edition of the new BeanoMax comic goes on sale on the 15th and will also be a special edition to raise money for this year’s Comic Relief (for non UK readers that’s a bi-annual charity event where money for good works is raised by comedians and thousands of ordinary people doing very silly thing and wearing comedy red noses all day, in finest traditions of British eccentricity). And along with some other celebs the comic will also have the Daleks forcing the Bash Street Kids to study, but luckily the Doctor will be on hand to help. Jamie Oliver will apparently be in the school dining hall; many a school child will cheer should he be exterminated.