Pemberton also wrote this scene (as script editor for Tomb of the Cybermen), which is one of the best in classic Who.
That’s a great story as well.
For some reason, I logged into Gallifrey Base (I wanted to check the DVD scuttlebutt) and amongst the eight (!) important messages greeting me was this one:
Hahaha, no. It’s almost impossible to guess that it’s an American run site…
Read this with the kids today.
It’s really good fun. A perfect mix of the style and tone of the Mr Men books and the Eleventh Doctor.
River Song guest-stars too - I wonder what Alex Kingston would make of her depiction here.
It’s an enjoyable story, which features loads of classic DW baddies rendered in the Mr Men style.
It also has a very fitting and amusing ending.
We all really enjoyed it - one of my favourite tie-ins for the show, and very inexpensive for the fun it gave us. I might have to pick up some of the others now.
Do you have the one for the 4th Doctor?
No, this is the first one we bought. Eleven is my daughter’s favourite.
Is it just a summary of the 8th Doctor movie?
We went to the Doctor Who Experience on Friday and really enjoyed it.
The interactive walkthrough section was good fun, if a bit too intense for my kids at times. You can’t beat riding in the TARDIS, being attacked by moving Daleks and then having to walk through a forest of Weeping Angels! Luckily no nightmares have ensued (for me or them).
Then the museum exhibition part of the experience followed, and I loved seeing all the old props and costumes.
That’s my Doctor.
There were some really cool exhibits, including a Dalek that you could operate from the inside, as well as several TARDIS interiors.
My daughter’s favourite might have been this guy though!
I loved seeing a lot of the smaller stuff, like this.
And occasionally the bigger stuff too.
It was a pleasant surprise to see that they had a fair bit of stuff from the most recent series.
Including the finale.
A shame it’s closing soon. I hope it finds a new home somewhere, someday.
Clara. I miss Clara even if she acted a bit stupid at times, but she meant well. At least she tried. Clara is my companion, and Sarah Jane too. They were both impossible, clever girls in their own way.
They should make a new, spinoff show with Clara Who and K-9. Maybe add some Arya too - if only to add some extra Needle – stick some Daleks with the pointy end!
I’ve only ever met one Doctor. He was very nice; very Doctor Who. He likes hedgehogs and umbrellas.
Your daughter has the best daddy. Give her some extra K-9 cuddles from me.
Sold! How long for a decent mooch?
Curse of Fenric was one of the earliest Who DVDs released and (as most of my early experience with the show in the 90s was isolated from a fandom to engage with) was probably my first experience of disappointment with an over-hyped story (thanks to the usually quite honest liner notes and the internet bigging it up). Fenric’s often described as a classic story, one of the best of the McCoy era - which is quite strong generally anyway - but I’ve always found it a fairly crap story.
One of the biggest hurdles is that it has some really awful performances in it. The East End girls Ace befriends are particularly bad, with hammy actresses struggling with awkward dialogue. Their taunts calling Ace a “baby doll” never feel natural. Even when they and other characters are turned into pseudo-vampires, they don’t work. More unnatural dialogue (such as the bit luring the Russian into the water) and a ridiculous design consisting mostly of elongated fingernails splayed out as menacingly as they can ever be (not very). There’s a narrow range of length for fingernails to be threatening and Fenric overshoots it by about two feet.
Fenric himself is a weird villain. The Doctor knows him of old, having duelled him in Constantinople, but he was trapped in a flask in the Orient. This was captured by Vikings, who all got cursed. The curse passed down through their descendants, making them come together and open the flask, except none of them really do that? And if Fenric can curse people into that action, why not the original Vikings? And if he’s in the bottle, how did he summon the Ancient One and all the haemovores in the water by the naval base? His plan, once out, seems to be to just kill everything on the planet (ho-hum) with Millington’s chemical weapons, but Millington seemed pretty well poised to do that anyway. The story ties itself in knots trying to weave a complicated plan for both Fenric and the Doctor and throwing in twists, such as with Ace being amongst the cursed descendants, and doesn’t really achieve anything. The haemovores are pretty naff, posited as the source of vampire mythology, and then just get discarded near the end of the story for no real reason. The Ancient One is summoned late in the day and mostly just stands around having conversations (and like most of the cast in episode 4, just seems to arbitrarily teleport around a few different locations to do so, despite there supposedly being a battle going on across the base).
Ace is another problem here. It feels like Briggs hasn’t watched/read any episode featuring her since he wrote her debut in Dragonfire. She thunders around the story, being stupid by showing off how clever she is. Her instant undying love for the (seemingly) random baby she meets feels really out of character, culminating in her saying “I will always love you”. To a baby she met like six hours ago and has spent maybe ten minutes with. It’s a connection that feels forced by the plot rather than naturally developing for the character, whose default position is abrasive. Briggs did the same thing with Ace in Dragonfire, where he had her open up to Mel, for no real reason, about her real name. It feels like he’s had these ideas for emotional moments and has to crowbar them into the story, even though they don’t really fit.
But the baby, it’s really Ace’s hated mother, you see! The bit of dramatic irony, when she tells the woman who is unknowingly her nan, to go to the address her nan lives at, is just odd, not least because she only really needs to flee the base/town, not go as far as London (especially with the war on). Is Ace sending her nan to an empty house that she ends up living in? Is she sending her to the house of some random guy she’s going to end up marrying, that Ace remembers as her granddad? Is she sending her nan to her paternal grandparents? Who knows, don’t worry about that, just concentrate on the forced emotional drama for Ace.
It’s all part of a ham-fisted attempt to develop and mature Ace, but it doesn’t work. There’s a scene where she volunteers to seduce a guard as a distraction. It’s feels completely out of left field. They literally needed to get the guy out of the little hut. There’s any number of ways the Doctor and Ace could have achieved that, but Briggs wants Ace to be all mysterious femme fatale about it and it just doesn’t fit. He ends up writing this boringly cryptic thing where she flirts about physics which I suspect is meant to be deep, but is just cringey.
In the end, the only element of Fenric that works for me is, surprisingly, Nicholas Parsons as the vicar. Presumably there as part of JNT’s light entertainment actors in drama fetish, Parsons is the best part of the ensemble. He imbues a real vulnerable humanity to his faithless priest character.
About half an hour to get through the ride part (you can book timed-entry tickets, so there’s not much waiting around) and then I’d probably set aside a couple of hours for a proper look around the exhibits and shop afterwards (although you could get through it quicker than that if you didn’t want to linger - we probably only spent an hour in the exhibition part).
That’ll be a relief to my better half
There are some nice cafés just around the corner if one of you needs to leave early.
Heresy! I tells ya!
Ya do makes some very fair points.
I guess what you might miss that I have from the story is what it felt like to watch it at the time. The pace, the camera work, the layering and voiceovers… all were a good step above what was going on elsewhere in Doctor Who.
There’s some great moments, the start with the doctor stepping into the story, the linking up of a number of previous stories, a couple of the cliff hangers is why i loved it…
This, the acting and sets of ghostlight, and the storytelling of Remembrance got my hopes up, but… it never happened…
Completely respect your opinion however…
I liked that they had Fenric be the cause of Ace ending up on Iceworld, but the link to Silver Nemesis doesn’t really make sense. Peinforte has a chess set, sure, ok, but how do any of her actions actually tie into Fenric’s plan?
Surely this has got to be a wind-up:
(Spoiler tagged as it relates to rumours of casting news for the new Doctor’s companion.)
I bloody hope so
That would honestly be enough to get me not to watch as I went on the Chase a few years ago and Bradley Walsh was a bit of a twat. Not a terrible actor mind, but yeah, I wouldn’t want to see him on Dr Who. It would fit with Chibnall’s habit of reusing actors though/