Sunday, 30 March 2014

What to Watch Next: New Earth & Terminus

Or in the case of Terminus, perhaps that should be "What to Watch In Lieu". Nyssa's exit aside, it is well dull. The science in "New Earth" is considerably sillier, though at least David Tennant's enthusiasm for his new part makes that episode readily watchable.

But hey, futuristic hospitals is a useful WWN theme, so who am I to complain.

New Earth
There are a lot of amusingly silly promo shots for New Earth; this one's got the funniest photoshopping.

"Galaxy M87"
There is a real Galaxy M87, although why you'd want to found New Earth there, so far away from the Milky Way, is a puzzler. Perhaps the Virgo Supercluster has drawn closer together since then? Somehow?

"Cockney Rhyming Slang"
As helpfully explained in James Moran-penned movie "Cockneys versus Zombies".

(If you want a slightly more serious explanation, try this link.)

"Do Not Adjust Your Set"

There was a very peculiar mixup with the first run of Netflix DVDs, you see...

"Typhoid Mary"
Insofar as Davies' dialogue about makes any sense at all...the Doctor claims that the patients are "plague carriers". In which case they're not symptomatic enough, simply infectious, and he's simply disinfected them enough that they can live in society. One wonders what the cats did for medical research after that, but given that everybody dies horribly of plague shortly thereafter, maybe they didn't. Or the Doctor missed something. No one ever calls him on this, not even the Sisters, so who knows. 

At any rate, the most famous plague was one Mary Mallon, who showed no symptoms of disease but carried typhoid germs and passed them on to quite a lot of people. The link is to a PBS docudrama - the website is here, with a transcript.

 Davies might have remembered the name from his schoolboy days - it's a real location in Eastern Europe. There are a surprising number of Bulgarians and Hungarians who've made passionately nationalistic videos about the glories of the ancient Thracian tribes; this one involves actual archeologists making an interesting discovery.

Or Davies might have just had the name in his head from watching Battlestar Galactica. That's possible too. 


Whereas why anyone would take this picture at all is open to speculation.
"Centre of the Universe"
 Mmm, "The Sky At Night". Sir Patrick Moore talks about how silly it is to discuss the idea of the universe even having a centre at all.

Also Jon Culshaw's around. Guess what the surprise Doctor Who reference is. 

"Eleventh Hour"
"It's science!" If this promo is anything to go by, Patrick Stewart could not possibly have been any more deliciously hammy in his role as Scientific Advisor.

Stephen Gallagher seems to have been trying to update Doomwatch for the 21st century (a sciency ITV programme in 2006, of course it was trying to compete with Doctor Who), but bailed because of network interference. It only lasted four episodes.

"Tales of the Unexpected"
Peter Davison and Liza Goddard do farce. It takes ages to get to the point, but the final confrontation is quite funny, as is a scene where Davison lovingly cuddles a male escort. Purely by accident, of course.

(It'd have been nice to provide a clip from Goddard's big break in "The Brothers", but I can't find one with her in it. There is one with her ex-husband Colin Baker, albeit a profusely boring one.)

Who wants a hour long lecture about the social situation of lepers in medieval England? You do!

No, really, it's a fascinating and educational piece, clearing away a lot of assumptions about the disease (basic argument: the lepers weren't nearly as abandoned by the social infrastructure as you'd expect). Some memorable images. And the professor tells a rather cute childhood anecdote about Robert Louis Stevenson's romance "The Black Arrow".

"Billie Jean
So here's a mystery. The official BBC episode guide for "New Earth" specifically notes that Rose does a callback to "End of the World" and refers to Cassandra as "Michael Jackson", when in fact, she doesn't. Sounds like the writer knew of a line that went missing during the troubled shoot (which lost a few scenes, including one with Chip!Cassandra at the end - perhaps that's where the line should have been).

At any rate, Michael Jackson's second single was ascending the UK charts in February 1983 (it hit Number One the first of March), and that's enough of a connection for us. Enjoy. 


PCJ said...

The picture of Davison is from Resurrection of the Daleks. Right before he confronts Davros with the gun he is holding. That was actually a good scene and that picture was from a pivital part of the story.

PCJ said...

Hum. That'll teach me to go with unlabelled pictures.

But the identifiable Nyssa pictures were all a bit rude, you know?

PCJ said...

Yes there aren't any good pictures from Terminus unfortunately.