1. WHOSE 1974
It’s the idea of 1974 that we visit in Hide, rather than the year itself. In the real world Britain was all bombs and death and concrete. But for Doctor Who it’s a time of toggle switches, stolen glances and tweed jackets, and a lovely metatextual jab at the difference between a companion and an assistant. Mind you, on telly, Jon Pertwee was rigging up a psychic to a contraption powered by a blue crystal from Metebelis 3, so not that much has changed.
2. FOR MASH GET SMASH
You can’t argue with a nice bit of product placement to set the scene. The BBC props department was in heaven sourcing tins of Carnation milk and bottles of Stone’s ginger wine to recreate that specific period feel. All that was missing was some white dogshit.
3. THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER’s CLIMAX
Is YOUR haunted house a metaphor for your own subconscious fears? Call now! Or is your ghost a symbol for your repressed sexual desires? Our researchers are waiting to speak to YOU!
Ever since haunted house stories were invented, the best of them have really been about the dark inside spaces of the participants – mental, sexual or otherwise. This one went down all the classic routes and then topped it off with a surprise comedy finish about lovestruck monsters. More of this sort of thing, please. Imagine the tense, earnest finale of, say, The Doctor’s Daughter being lampooned by immediately re-enacting it at comedy speed, with the same shots and everything. It could only be an improvement.
4. YOU PRESS THE BUTTON, WE DO THE REST
Speaking of mucking about with structure, the Doctor’s quick trip through all of known history to take some snapshots felt beautifully right. I suppose you couldn’t do it every week but I gawp when I see those beautiful effects shots spunked out to appear for only a couple of seconds.
5. THE CHIMERON OF THE WELL
Look, it wouldn’t be the first (or even the second) time I’ve shoehorned a reference to wildcard 80s story Delta and the Bannermen into one of these chats about modern episodes, but they’re really handing it to me on a plate now. When the lost lady cosmonaut appeared on the slide projector I sat up with a jerk. It’s her! It’s definitely her! (It wasn’t.)
1. The Power of Ninety (miles a second, so it’s reckoned)
The Doctor’s heartfelt speech to Amy offering perspective on ‘one corner of one country in one continent on one planet that’s a corner of the galaxy that’s a corner of the universe that is forever growing… ‘ as they sat looking at the stars reminded me very much of Eric Idle’s lovely song in Monty Python’s The Meaning Of Life.
2. The Power of Pertwee
I really liked this story and the way it balanced a vibe reaching back through various Torchwood scenarios to the feel of the global invasions in Russell T Davies’ Doctor Who all the way back to the nostalgic glow of the Pertwee era. Mind you I mean the good Pertwee era of my childhood imagination – the one based on the Target novelisations and what we were told by the guidebooks and magazines, where everything was cosy and action-packed at the same time and it felt like a family – before the videos started coming out and it turned out the Third Doctor was really just a horrible thankless old bully.
3. The Power of other mobile networks are available apart from Three
4. The Power of KIRSty
Implacable cubes make great enemies, from Dungeons & Dragons‘ Gelatinous Cubes to the Borg, the world of the film Cube and those remorseless advancing blocks in the old PlayStation game Kurushi. There’s something about geometric perfection that inspires unease, even when they’re not blaring out The Birdie Song. And I wouldn’t go so far as to ask Is Doctor Who’s The Power of Three a Shot-For-Shot Remake of Hellraiser?, but you know –
There’s this girl who can make the cubes work
And the wall in the hospital turns into a dimensional portal
And the cube reconfigures itself on its own
And who the FUCK’s this?
– and this is all very welcome to me.
5. The Power of Poultry
Could they be alien eggs? asks Brian. Oh Brian. If only they were.
Posted in Reviews
Tagged amy pond, cenobites, cube, doctor who, dungeons & dragons, films, gaming, gelatinous cubes, hellraiser, jon pertwee, kurushi, matt smith, telly
A while ago on Twitter, Michael Dennis laid down a challenge. “Do something on your blog about the paucity of yellow items in Doctor Who,” he said. “Go on.” Or words to that effect. Well I can’t resist a ridiculous idea like that, and I do endorse all the citrus colours on this blog. How could yellow have been so overlooked? The colour of sunshine! Of creativity! Of pus!
Well a bit of a Twitter brainstorm followed, and so you have Dan and Andi to thank for some of what you’re about to see too. It turned out there were quite a few yellow things in Who. And of course, many songs to choose from to soundtrack them. So I made this: