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Blog: Doctor Who Unleashed

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Like pretty much everyone of my ILK and TYPE I have spent the past year getting Quite Excited about the new series of Doctor Who. Most of the general TV and media focus has been on David Tennant coming back but I was more thrilled at the idea of The Great And Wonderful RTD returning, although when I actually WATCHED the show (diligently un-spoilered slightly later on Saturday evening) it took me a while to get back into his particular style of Doctor Who i.e. him going "HERE IS THE MESSAGE EVERYONE! AHA!"

However, once I had accepted that that is actually part of the GRATE JOY of any RTD show I settled in and enjoyed it very much indeed. INDEED my views on how it worked can be summed up in this excellent comment made by Mr T Ewing on The Socials, which I shall quote in full:
I don’t think I’d really anticipated what a good fit RTD adapting Pat Mills would be - both enormously vibes-driven writers (in my day we called it thrill power) with big subtext-is-for-cowards agendas behind that.


That is SUCH a PERCEPTIVE and CORRECT thing to say that I have now been thinking about it for two whole days, gazing at it in wonder!

The actual EPISODE, however, is not the reason for which I write this here blog, OH NO. What I wish to speak of instead is "Doctor Who Unleashed" what came afterwards. This is the new version of "Doctor Who Confidential" where they talk about aspects of the making of the show, except as far as I can remember that previous version did not have a Larky Presenter doing the presenting as if Everything Is Just A Terrific Laugh. I know it marks me out as someone in LATE YOUTH but my goodness, why does everything have to have some tedious twerp of a comedian or comedian-alternative in it these days, pretending a) not to be as posh as they patently are b) making a virtue of being HALF-ARSED about everything.

This half-arsedness was especially noticeable when they talked about the ROOTS of this particular episode i.e. in the Doctor Who Comic story done by Pat Mills and Dave Gibbons over 40 years ago. I was VERY happy to see this being discussed, but ANNOYED by the extremely half-arsed description that said "Pat and Dave wrote the original Star Beast..." NO! Pat wrote it, Dave drew it FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE. Also there was a list of stories they had "written", and these "stories" included "Judge Dredd" AND "2000AD". UM. That's not quite right is it? It was ALMOST AS IF they could not be BOTHERED to spend 0.2 picoseconds actually checking it and getting it CORRECT because - hey guys! - being half-arsed and feckless is NATURALLY HILARIOUS.

ANYWAY. This colossal GRUMP was then COMPLETELY DISPELLED by the WONDERFUL thing that happened next, as we saw Pat Mills and Dave Gibbons visiting the set to see what had been done with their original creation. They were both a bit overwhelmed, with Dave Gibbons talking a LOT and Pat Mills WEIRDLY SILENCED, which is something I would not have thought possible. He is KNOWN as being AN FIREBRAND but here he seemed to be lost for words - I mean, maybe they edited out a long speech about THATCHER or something, but he seemed genuinely moved by the whole thing.

The BEST bit though was when a CLEARLY EXCITED David Tennant came running up, OBVIOUSLY DELIGHTED to meet Pat Mills and David Gibbobns, grinning all over his face and then REELING OFF a COMPLETE and CORRECT list of all the stories they had done in Doctor Who comic that he had loved. It was LOVELY, entirly FULLY-ARSED and also SINCERE and, to be honest, probably how an awful lot of the rest of us would have reacted, given the chance. It completely made up for all the effected casualness that had come before.

After a couple of minutes David Tennant wafted off back to work, leaving Mills and Gibbons - and also HIBBETT - rather moved by the whole experience. It was lovely - more of this please!

posted 26/11/2023 by MJ Hibbett

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