In this convention-busting episode of Flight Through Entirety, Brendan (Jamie Lee Curtis) really hates this week’s Doctor Who story, while Nathan (Lindsay Lohan) quite enjoys it. And Richard (Mark Harmon) splits the difference by being witty and charming as always. Welcome to Cranleigh Hall: it’s Black Orchid.
We all love Moray Watson, who plays Sir Robert in this story. He’s still with us, after a career spanning 6 decades. Richard remembers him fondly from Catweazle, a children’s TV programme about an 11th-century wizard (The Creature from the Pit’s Geoffrey Bayldon), who finds himself trapped in the present day. The producers of The Avengers considered Watson as a possible replacement for Patrick Macnee had Macnee been unwilling to return for the show’s final season. Watson also played George Frobisher, Rumpole’s hapless old friend in George Frobisher in Rumpole of the Bailey.
A lot going on this week: Brendan wanders from the manor house to the mill and then back to the TARDIS, oh, and then back to the manor house again; Nathan is moving test tubes from one box to another; and Richard is, oh, I don’t know, assembling a vibrating meccano set or something. Hold onto your hats: It’s The Visitation.
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The Visitation was first released on DVD in 2006. A special two-disc edition with extra things was released in 2013. (Amazon US) (Amazon K)
On the Buses was an inexplicably successful British sitcom which ran on ITV from 1969 to 1973, and spawned a stage play, a board game and three horrifically forgettable films in three successive years. The first film was the second most popular movie at the British box office in 1971, beating out Diamonds Are Forever.
TARDIS Eruditorum’s Elizabeth Sandifer hasn’t appeared here in the show notes for a while. Here’s her take on this story.
Perhaps, despite its marginal relevance to this story, the Terileptil android inspired Siimon Reynolds to create this 1987 ad campaign warning the people of Australia to use condoms to protect themselves from HIV.
Yesterday Brendan released the long-awaited Season 4 episode of Doctor Who in Ten Seconds. It’s sweet and hilarious, as always, and Brendan is wearing a particularly lovely shirt. You can see it here. To see all the previous episodes, as well as the blooper reel, just check out the playlist on YouTube.
As usual, this week, Brendan, Nathan and Richard are condemned to an unending cycle of suffering and futility, relieved only temporarily by ruminations on the existence of Nerys Hughes. So, hold off on the fire and acid for just forty minutes or so: enough time to hear us discussing Kinda.
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Kinda was released on DVD in 2001. It’s available by itself in the US, but in the UK and Australia it was released alongside next year’s Snakedance in a box set called Mara Tales. (Amazon US) (Amazon UK)
Mary Morris plays (another) Number Two in the eighth episode of The Prisoner episode Dance of the Dead. She’s dead posh in it. Take a look.
Blue Box Boy (yes, we’re linking to it again) tells the story of Matthew Waterhouse coaching Richard Todd. Matthew does claim that he was joking when he told him “Of course, the secret to TV acting is not to look at the camera!” (Amazon US) (Amazon UK) (Amazon AU)
Doctor Who in 10 seconds continues to be a thing, and so while you wait for Brendan’s groundbreaking Season 4 episode, why not revisit the spectacle of Brendan hilariously summarising each Doctor Who story of the first three seasons in no more than 10 seconds? Just check out the playlist on YouTube.
Well, we’ve recorded our latest commentary podcast on The Spy Who Loved Me for release next week. Exciting, what?
The world will be destroyed in four days, apparently, and to prepare for this, Brendan is wearing a stylish green velour suit, Richard has gathered his hair in a delightful side ponytail, and Nathan has just really let himself go. It’s Four to Doomsday.
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Four to Doomsday was released on DVD in 2008 in the UK and Australia, and in 2009 in the US. (Amazon US) (Amazon UK).
We’re tremendously proud of Brendan’s latest video project, Doctor Who in 10 seconds, in which he flies through entire seasons of Doctor Who, hilariously summarising each story in no more than 10 seconds. Enjoy the spectacle by checking out the playlist on YouTube.
We said goodbye to Tom last week, and so this week all four of us are here to discuss Pete’s first story, set on a delightfully bucolic planet in the Phylox series. Time to dress up like a cricketer and lock yourself in a small cupboard — it’s Castrovalva.
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Castrovalva was released on DVD in 2007. In the US, it was available on its own (Amazon US), but, again, in the UK and Australia, it was part of the New Beginnings box set, which also included The Keeper of Traken and Logopolis (Amazon UK).
We first mentioned the Bechdel Test in Episode 27. Does this story feature a scene where two named women have a discussion that isn’t about a man?
We’ve mentioned it a couple of times before, and it’s just excellent, so we’ll mention it again: Blue Box Boy, in which Matthew Waterhouse tells the story of his childhood as a Doctor Who fan, his time on the show, and his subsequent life on the convention circuit. (Amazon US) (Amazon UK) (Amazon AU)
Fans of lightning-fast summaries of the stories of the William Hartnell Era will enjoy Doctor Who in 10 Seconds, in which the lovely Brendan summarises Doctor Who stories with considerable wit, verve and rhythm. And you even get to see him dance in the outtakes. Enjoy the spectacle by subscribing on YouTube.
This week Bondfinger meets Flight Through Entirety, as we attempt our first ever Doctor Who-related commentary podcast. DVD remotes on standby: it’s the lump of coal in all of our 1981 Christmas stockings — the first and worst Doctor Who spinoff: K9 and Company: A Girl’s Best Friend. (Other Doctor Who spinoffs are also available.)
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K9 and Company was released on DVD in 2008 as part of the K9 Tales box set, which also includes the execrable Season 15 story The Invisible Enemy. (Amazon US) (Amazon UK).
Hilary Briss, played by Doctor Who’s very own Mark Gatiss, secretly sold special stuff to the inhabitants of Royston Vasey in the horrific and superlatively clever League of Gentlemen TV series.
The Travelling Salesman problem is a giant thing in computer science, which posits that it’s really, really hard to work out the shortest route to take to cover a whole bunch of known locations. So no wonder K9 was so incredibly unhelpful.
Doctor Who in 10 Seconds is Brendan’s vanity video project, which is basically a lot better than this podcast. Fans of things that are just superb will enjoy Brendan summarising every Doctor Who story in less than 10 seconds.
While you wait for our slightly delayed commentary on The Man with the Golden Gun, why not listen to our other commenary tracks, starting with Dr. No and going all the way to Live and Let Die? You can find these commentaries on our website, and you can keep up with all the Bondfinger news on Twitter and Facebook.
It’s the end, but the moment has been prepared for.
This episode, we say farewell to the star of Doctor Who’s last seven years and a huge part of our childhoods: the Great Curator himself, Tom Baker. On the way, we discuss gravity, orphans, Auntie Vanessa’s outfit, agnosticism and the untimely destruction of the entire universe. It’s Logopolis.
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Logopolis was released on DVD in 2007. In the US, it was available on its own (Amazon US), but, again, in the UK and Australia, it was part of the New Beginnings box set, which also included The Keeper of Traken and Castrovalva (Amazon UK).
Notes and links
In Australia, we were fortunate to have Doctor Who four or five nights a week at 6:30 PM just before the ABC News. But, between new seasons and endless repeats of Pertwee’s final year, we were treated to the Japanese television series Monkey, which was dubbed by fabulous English actors like Doctor Who’s very own David Collings, and newly-welcomed Australian citizen Miriam Margolyes.
Fans of the sombre mystical brilliance of Season 18 will enjoy following script editor Christopher Bidmead on Twitter at @chbid.
Feeling overwhelmed by the inevitability of death, the ephemerality of pleasure and the fundamental grinding pointlessness of human existence? Of course you are. Unfortunately, The Doctor Who Pattern Book will do very little to cheer you up. And anyway it’s out of print.
Fortunately, the universe won’t last forever. Fans of cabalistic ideas the link between words and reality will enjoy Arthur C. Clarke’s 1953 short story The Nine Billion Names of God.
Nathan has been enjoying The Greatest Generation, a Star Trek podcast by two guys who are a bit embarrassed to have a Star Trek podcast. Check out their website at gagh.biz.
Charmingly, Richard has been reading books about Wonder Woman, including Jill Lepore’s The Secret History of Wonder Woman (Amazon US) (Amazon UK), and our very own El Sandifer’s A Golden Thread: An Unofficial Critical History of Wonder Woman (Amazon US ) (Amazon UK).
Equally charmingly, Todd has been enjoying Tegan and Sara’s 2012 album Heartthrob, and particularly the song “I Was a Fool”. Buy it on iTunes. (Other online music retailers are also available.)
We’re also on Facebook, and you can check out our website at flightthroughentirety.com. Please consider rating or reviewing us on iTunes, or we’ll be so cross and self-destructive that we’ll probably unravel the whole causal nexus, and then the unravelling will spread out until the whole universe is reduced to nothing. Would that be an overreaction?
Doctor Who in 10 Seconds
Doctor Who in 10 Seconds is FTE’s first flight into the world of online video, featuring FTE’s very own CBBC-style television presenter, Brendan Jones.
Bondfinger continues to be a thing. We’ve already done nine commentary tracks, starting from Dr. No and going all the way to Live and Let Die. You can find all these commentaries on our website, and you can keep up with all the Bondfinger news on Twitter and Facebook, including an upcoming commentary track on The Man with the Golden Gun (1974).
With the Source out of control, nature, they say, reverts to destructive chaos.
This week, Brendan, Nathan and Todd perform the entire podcast in iambic pentameters and wearing stick-on BBC beards. The script is great, the sets are great, the actors are great, and the Master is here too. It’s The Keeper of Traken.
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The Keeper of Traken was released on DVD in 2007. In the US, it was available on its own (Amazon US), but in the UK and Australia, it was part of the New Beginnings box set, which also included Logopolis and Castrovalva (Amazon UK).
Notes and links
This might not make it to the final cut, but we bang on about the Doctor Who Cookbook at the beginning of the raw recording, so here’s a link. (Amazon US) (Amazon UK)
Fans of giant exposition dumps will enjoy Space: 1999, which showcases Johnny Byrne’s talents at dumping exposition. Season 1 is worth a watch; Season 2 is a horrific trainwreck. Avoid.
We’ve mentioned this before, but in the late 70s and the early 80s, the BBC produced TV versions of all of Shakespeare’s plays, whose design and direction were terribly similar to the design and direction of this story.
The great unsung hero of Flight Through Entirety is, of course, Brendan, with his crazily brilliant editing skillz. But what don’t you get to see?
To celebrate 100 subscribers to Doctor Who in Ten Seconds, Brendan has chosen to release his blooper reel, and it’s just hilariously wonderful. Fans of Brendan dancing will definitely enjoy this, and so will everyone else. Take a look.
You can subscribe to the entire series on YouTube.
Our flight through E-Space crashes into a mysterious white void inhabited only by crazy alchemist Christopher Hamilton Bidmead and some hirsute slaves on the run from a Jean Cocteau film. It’s Warriors’ Gate.
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Warriors’ Gate was released on DVD in 2009 as part of the E-Space Trilogy box set. (Amazon US) (Amazon UK)
Notes and links
Fans of the weird magical way that time works in this story will enjoy the ITV series Sapphire and Steel, so long as they’re blessed with a lot of patience for glacial pacing. And Joanna Lumley, obviously.
This story reminds Brendan of two stories of Star Trek: The Next Generation: Contagion, in which the mysterious Iconians have constructed gateways that allow them to plunder planet after planet, and Remember Me, in which the fabulous Beverly Crusher discovers that the universe is “a spherical region 705 metres in diameter”.
Kenneth Cope, who played Packard in this story, was well known for his role in Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased), where he played the eponymous Hopkirk, a fabulous crime-solving ghost. Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) was created by Dennis Spooner, the best Dennis to contribute to the creation of the William Hartnell era.
As usual, all three of us find ourselves able to drone on about a single Doctor Who story for more than half an hour. But what if we only had 10 seconds?
By the time you read this, the third episode of Doctor Who in Ten Seconds might even be up, covering the glorious car crash that is Doctor Who’s third season. You can see the entire series on YouTube. You might even get to see Brendan dancing. Shut up. He’ll be totally wearing clothes, you deviant.
Our flight through the vast green void of the E-Space Trilogy continues, as we land on an unnamed planet inhabited only by playing-card monarchs, unconvincing plastic bats and press-on BBC beards. But we still have a pretty good time. Welcome to State of Decay.
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State of Decay was released on DVD in 2009. Unlike last week’s Full Circle, I can’t find it on sale by itself on Amazon in the US, but it’s available as part of the E-Space Trilogy box set from either of the Amazons. (Amazon US) (Amazon UK)
Notes and links
As is now well known, State of Decay started life as the Season 15 opener The Vampire Mutations, which was nixed by the BBC so that it wouldn’t steal the thunder from BBC’s own version of Dracula scheduled for broadcast that same year. The Wikipedia article on this lavish production links to several fairly positive reviews, despite Nathan’s tiresome and predictable insistence that it would have been simply terrible.
Terrance Dicks will revisit this unnamed planet in his Virgin New Adventures book Blood Harvest, published in July 1994, which is before some of you young people were even born, for God’s sake.
These days, the Flight Through Entirety team can usually keep going on about a Doctor Who story for upwards of 40 minutes. But what if we only had 10 seconds?
In the latest (well, only) video project from Flight Through Entirety (well, just Brendan, really), Brendan summarises Doctor Who season by season, spending no more than 10 seconds on each story. Season 1 is up already; by the time you see these shownotes, Season 2 will probably be up too. You can see Brendan’s fabulous work here.
Next week, we hope, we’ll be releasing our commentary podcast on Roger Moore’s Bond début, Live and Let Die, so you’ve got about a week to enjoy it one last time before we ruin it for you forever, probably. Our most recent commentary is on Diamonds Are Forever (1971). You can find our other commentaries on our website, and you can keep up with the Bondfinger news on Twitter and Facebook.
This week, our trip to Gallifrey is unexpectedly diverted when we fall headlong into Doctor Who’s first ever trilogy, set in a bubble universe weirdly intersecting with the Newtown Branch of The Sofa of Reasonable Comfort. While there, we discuss polar vs Cartesian coordinates, the laws governing space evolution and skimpy transparent underwear. Tell Dexeter we’ve come full circle!
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Full Circle was released on DVD in 2009. It’s available by itself in the US (Amazon US), and also as part of the E-Space Trilogy box set (Amazon US). In the UK and Australia, it is only available as part of the E-Space Trilogy box set. (Amazon UK)
Notes and links
If you’re planning a career as a Doctor Who villain, you will obviously need to familiarise yourself with the Internet’s Evil Overload Checklist.
Brendan’s Tom Baker and K9 action figures recreate key scenes from Full Circle on location in Black Park, Buckinghamshire in our occasional series Toys on Tour.
Perhaps we’re unnecessarily cruel about Matthew Waterhouse’s performance in this story. To hear his side of the story, you must read the excellent Blue Box Boy, Waterhouse’s own account of his childhood as a Doctor Who fan, his time on the show, and his subsequent life on the convention circuit. You won’t regret it. (Amazon US) (Amazon UK) (Amazon AU)
Although the Marshchild paid a terrible price for trusting the Doctor, we think you’ll enjoy listening to Trust Your Doctor, a podcast by our internet pals Dylan and Kiyan. They’ve only just overtaken us, so, you know, spoiler alert.
Before we start our flight through Rodge’s glorious series of Bond films, there’s still time to catch up on our commentaries on Sean and George’s entries, including Sean’s final film (for now), Diamonds Are Forever (1971). You can keep up with the Bondfinger news on our website, as well as on Twitter and Facebook.
The Season 18 fun continues this week as we head off to the planet Tigella to confront megalomaniacal pot plant Meglos. On the way, we discuss another important trope, hating the Doctor’s old friends, and, of course, the awesome wonder of Jacqueline Hill.
The horrific helmet hair on the Savants has its roots (ha!) in the Gerry Anderson TV series UFO (1980). Check out the sexy purple version of the Savants’ wigs in this blog post on the first episode of the series.
On the subject of tropes, Brendan mentions the delivery of exposition by having characters explain to each other things they clearly already know. According to TV Tropes, this trope is officially called As you know. Please take note.
According to Brendan, who is very young, you know, Tigella’s lush, aggressive vegetation looks very much like the Pokémon Victreebel. You can compare them yourself here.
In our most recent commentary, we respectfully discuss the first James Bond film of the 1970s, Diamonds Are Forever (1971). Other commentaries are also available, covering all of the Bond films from the 1960s. You can keep up with the Bondfinger news on our website, as well as on Twitter and Facebook.
Exhausted by a two-hour tracking shot along Brighton Beach, Brendan, Nathan and Todd head off to the leisure planet Argolis, a beautifully-directed planet under attack from an army of David Haigs. Welcome to the 1980s, everyone!
Fans of obsessing over the minutiae of things that are completely unimportant, will enjoy, well, Flight Through Entirety, to be honest, but they will also enjoy the website broadwcast.org, which enumerates every single time a Classic Doctor Who episode has aired on terrestrial television in over 80 countries around the world. Nathan loves it.
Here’s an article from The Telegraph in which Christopher Hamilton Bidmead, starved for relevance, explains exactly what’s wrong with the new series.
And now, some really terrible TV science fiction for your enjoyment: eleven episodes of the 1979 series Buck Rogers in the Twenty-Fifth Century, and Chapter 1 of Jason of Star Command (1978), intriguingly titled Attack of the Dragonship.
This morning, we released our commentary on Connery’s last (?) Bond film, Diamonds Are Forever (1971). It’s the eighth in our series, which now includes commentaries on all of the 60s Bond films. You can keep up with the Bondfinger news on our website, as well as on Twitter and Facebook.
We’ve reached the end of the Graham Williams Era, and before we go off to have a relaxing one-month break in a nearby parallel universe, we have just enough time to discuss Shada, the sadly uncompleted keystone of the last three years of Doctor Who. Tea, anyone?
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Odd and unsatisfactory versions of this story were released on DVD in 2013. In the US, as usual, it was released on its own (Amazon US), whereas in the UK it was one of two discs in the Legacy Collection box set, along with the 1993 documentary More than Thirty Years in the TARDIS. (Amazon UK)
Gödel Escher Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas Hofstadter was published in 1979, and was wildly loved by just the sort of people who might stumble upon an ancient book of Gallifreyan lore in the study of some old Cambridge professor. (Amazon US) (Amazon UK)
The Star Wars Holiday Special first screened around Christmas 1978, and is perhaps the most horrific thing ever to screen on television. Despite George Lucas’s relentless attempts to suppress it, it can be viewed in its entirety on YouTube. But, really, just don’t.
The Somebody Else’s Problem field is “a cheap, easy, and staggeringly useful way of safely protecting something from unwanted eyes”, by exploiting our natural tendency to ignore things that we just don’t want to think about.
Fans of ruthlessly mocking pompous homophobic lackwits will enjoy these Amazon reviews of Cory Bernardi’s absurdly jejune magnum opus The Conservative Revolution.
Picks of the Week
Nathan just picked a whole heap of stuff that we’ve mentioned in the last few episodes of the podcast. There are links to Gareth Roberts’s novelisation of Shada above; James Goss’s novelisation of City of Death was released by BBC Books in 2015. (Amazon US) (Amazon UK)
Paul Cornell’s collection of fanzine articles, Licence Denied, is out of print.
Our flight finally reaches the end of the 1970s, only to run out of hymetusite and crash ignominiously into The Horns of Nimon.
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The Horns of Nimon was released on DVD in 2010. It was released by itself in the US (Amazon US), but in the UK it was released along with The Time Monster and Underworld in the rightfully unloved Myths and Legends box set (Amazon UK).
Once again, we mention Licence Denied, which was a collection of fan writing edited by Paul Cornell first published in 1997. Notable essays include Tom the Second, Gareth Roberts’s defence of the Williams Era, and Why the Nimon Should Be Our Friends, by Phillip J. Gray.
So, we’ve all taken several hits of vraxoin, which means that we really enjoyed this week’s story, in spite of the sets, the script, most of the performances and the ham-fisted anti-drugs message. It’s Nightmare of Eden!
In 1983, First Lady Nancy Reagan was in the throes of her Just Say No campaign, in which she made numerous television appearances warning the American people about the dangers of drugs. Horrifically, she guested on an episode of Diff’rent Strokes in order to patronise Gary Coleman’s entire class.
In 1980, Lalla Ward played Ophelia in the BBC Season of Shakespeare’s version of Hamlet. Hamlet himself was played by Derek Jacobi, Doctor Who’s very own Professor Yana. (We love Lalla, but she’s really terrible in this.)
When she wasn’t busy helping her husband to steal the Mona Lisa, Catherine Schell appeared in the second season of Space: 1999 as Maya, a shape-changing alien from the planet Psychon. It’s really much worse than you could possibly imagine.
For two years, from 1911 to 1913, the Mona Lisa was no longer in the Louvre: it was hidden in a trunk in Vincenzo Peruggia’s apartment after he entered the Louvre, hid it under his smock and made off with it. See, we’re educational as well as entertaining.
Captain Tancredi’s bodyguard is played by Peter Halliday, who won our hearts in his role as Packer in The Invasion.
Romana’s naughty schoolgirl outfit seems to be inspired by the St Trinian’s film series in the 50s and 60s. Another inspiration might be Madeline, the heroine of a series of children’s books written by Austrian author Ludwig Bemelmans in the 1950s and 60s.
Licence Denied was a collection of fan writing edited by Paul Cornell and first published in 1997. It is, sadly, out of print. Notable essays include Tom the Second, Gareth Roberts’s defence of the Williams Era, and Why the Nimon Should Be Our Friends, by Phillip J. Gray. And no, you can’t borrow my copy.
James Goss’s novelisation of City of Death was released by BBC Books in 2015. It’s good. Buy it. (Amazon US) (Amazon UK)
Comic Book Guy kidnaps Lucy Lawless in The Simpsons Halloween episode Treehouse of Horror X. Hilariously, the Simpsons Wikia page warns that “this episode is considered non-canon and the events featured do not relate to the series and therefore may not have actually happened/existed”. Which is nice to know.
Chaos on the Bridge is a 2014 documentary written and produced by William Shatner, chronicling the first few difficult years of Star Trek: The Next Generation. It’s available on Netflix. (Not any longer, apparently.)
The impasse faced by two perfectly logical computer opponents is an outworking of game theory, used by mathematician John von Neumann to model, among other things, the interactions between the US and the USSR in the Cold War.
The same impasse is also the basis of the short story Fool’s Mate, first published in Astounding Science Fiction in March 1953. In this story, two computerised battle fleets are frozen, unable to attack one another, until one decides to put its attack strategy under the control of a complete madman. Which just goes to show, really.