Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Mawdryn Undead

With it's timey-wimey plot & almost total absence of violent death this could be a script by The Moff, although it would have to happen at twice the speed & in half the time; be part of a hideously long drawn out story arc & see Turlough revealed as Tegan's son to make it truly Moffesque. Oh & the sonic screwdriver would have to do something important somewhere.

As it is this is a JNT, Grimwade and Davison story so we're stuck with a more simple tale drawing on the complexity of time travel, the curse of immortality & the Brigadier's nervous breakdown.

This story is, of course, responsible for the whole UNIT dating debate. How can the Brigadier be teaching in a school in 1977 when all the hints of previous stories featuring UNIT & the Brig suggest they all happened in the 70's & 80's. A timey-wimey conundrum all of its own. This however is not the time or place for a discussion of that issue. Let us just carry on as if nothing has happened.

It is, of course, a wild coincidence that the Doctor should land at a public school where not only is one of their pupils a mysterious - & possibly alien - student but that at the same school the Doctor's old chum Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart is teaching mathematics. Part of this - the Turlough part - seems to be the Black Guardian's doing. The Brig's appearance does just seem to be a coincidence, which the Black Guardian overlooked.

This is the first of the 'Black Guardian' trilogy, which sees Valentine Dyall return. He's got a great voice, like Gieguld gargling with gravel & is suitably grumpy looking. However the Guardian's tendency to go for dead birds as headware does make him slightly less difficult to take seriously. The Black Guardian appears to be trying to wreak his revenge on the Doctor & rounds up Turlough to do his dirty work. Guardian's cannot be seen to act directly so Turlough, upon the promise of being freed from Earth promises to kill the Doctor.

I like Turlough. He's a breath of fresh air as a companion: cowardly, devious, sneaky but with a smart intelligence & low animal cunning. He's played pretty well by Mark Strickson to, even if he does look a little old to be at school still. There's a mystery to Turlough that time will - hopefully - clear up (look it's a story arc...whoop!)

It's also wonderful to see Nicholas Courtney again after some time. His Brigadier is as much a part of Doctor Who as the TARDIS itself & it is nice to see him meet up with another Doctor, even if one of the Brigs doesn't quite remember. I reckon they should re-title this story The Two Brigadiers. Splendid chaps, both of them. Courtney gets to show a slightly more pained side of the Brigadier to, which helps add an extra dimension to the character.

The villains of the piece are a gang of aliens, led by Mawdryn (played by one of my favourite Doctor Who guest stars David Collings. Collings is making his third appearance in Doctor Who here having been in Revenge of the Cybermen & Robots of Death.)

They stole a device from Gallifrey that they hoped would give them the power of regeneration. It has done, but without stability & their fate seems to be to regenerate, degenerate, die & regenerate once more. Forever. Trapped on a ship going nowhere for eternity. An intergalactic gang of Flying Dutchmen. It's a fate worse than death & as a result these aliens don't want the Earth, the galaxy or the universe under their power they just want to die & considering their form seems to include having throbbing spaghetti stuck firmly on their heads perhaps that isn't surprising.

They might take the Doctor's regenerations from him to do so but they're not threatening, although that's partly because Mawdryn is already aware that the Doctor will have to return to the ship in order to save Nyssa & Tegan.

Nyssa & Tegan aren't given a great deal to do in this story, except a lot of waiting & fretting. They do get aged & then youthed. O & Nyssa, continuing a clothes related theme that seems to run through this season, is now in another new, more revealing outfit than the last.

I suppose this is natural when one of the main sub-plots in this story is the introduction of Turlough, which means that we're back to having three companions clogging up the TARDIS again, which is too many. This problem is made worse when one of them has a large back story to deal with. In fact Turlough's deal with the Black Guardian is going to make him a difficult companion to write for full stop. After all if his raison d'etre is to kill the Doctor how do you prevent him doing so if he's permanently with the Doctor.

Anyway the question will be is TARDIS big enough for four?

Whilst the story is a rather gentle one it is quite a good one. There's food for thought, a new interesting companion, the Brigadier's return - twice & it is nice for the enemy to be fighting for something so 'ordinary' as the right to die.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Snakedance follows on from Kinda. The Mara, apparently destroyed by a circle of mirrors, has been tucked away in the back of Tegan's mind waiting for the right opportunity to return. When the Doctor finds that the TARDIS has arrived where it is not supposed to be and that this place turns out to be Manussa, former capital world of the Sumaran Empire alarm bells start to go off.

Unfortunately Nyssa and the Doctor let Tegan slip through their fingers and all hell starts to break loose. Hell might be too strong a word for it for although the tension remains high throughout 'Snakedance' and we know that the threat is real enough it is surprisingly unchaotic & bloody for an Eric Saward era Doctor Who story. Nobody actually dies, even though you constantly suspect they might do.

In fact it has that same fable-fairy tale feel that 'Kinda' has, unsurprisingly since it was written by the same writer, Christopher Bailey. Bailey's take on Doctor Who is very un-Doctor Who and I'm almost tempted to say perfectly suits Peter Davison's Doctor whose gentle, more philosophical take on the part works with the material.

This has a great cast & some great performances. I suppose the most talked about is Martin Clunes's turn as Lon. This was apparently his first ever television work & footage of him in that ridiculous outfit he wears in Episode Four haunts him to this day. He is excellent. The right combination of boredom, brattishness and arrogance. Lon's relationship with his mother, Tanha (Collete O'Niell) is well-played to. Unusually for Doctor Who it feels like a real relationship, even if the idulgent mother-spoilt son is something of a cliche in theory. They're bored, privelaged & waiting for a rather tedious sounding old man to die. In fact you could see 'Snakedance' as a sort of anti-Hamlet. With Lon as Hamlet; Tanha as Gertrude and John Carson's Ambril as an archaelogically addicted Polonious. John Carson is excellent in the part.

Jonathan Morris as Chela, Brian Miller as Dugdale & Preston Lockwood as Dojjon all do excellent jobs in minor-ish roles to. I particular love Preston Lockwood in this. He just looks perfect for the part and has one of the most British actor-ish of names, which I adore. But I'm strange that way.

Sarah Sutton has much less to do in this story as the focus is on Janet Fielding as Tegan. Sutton has finally changed her outfit, for no really obvious reason except that JNT seemed determined to get the female assistants into less clothes with each week that passed by.

Janet Fielding does a sterling job pre-and post-Mara. She's pretty disturbing once she's been taken over by the Mara & the scenes where she taunts Dugdale border of the genuinely disturbing.

Peter Davison is excellent in this. It's often commented that this is one of the few stories where people react to the Doctor as if he's a babbling madman, which is probably how he'd be dealt with for real each time he arrived on a planet predicting the downfall of civilisation. The issue for the Doctor is that he knows what's happening but in this story he can't prove anything until it is almost too late to stop. The Doctor specialises in close run things but this is perhaps the closest run thing of them all. Only the Doctor's determination not to be tempted by the Mara brings things to a halt, even as the Mara tries desperately to bring him out of his 'still point'.

So Snakedance is, in my opinion, well-worth watching. I have a quibble about the rubberness of various snakes but that's almost to be expected at this point in the series. I must praise the design of the story, even the jail cell looks interesting. There's some boring looking corridors but really this wouldn't be 198os Doctor Who without some dull corridors to walk, run & get captured down.

This & Kinda were two of my favourite ever Doctor Who stories re-watching them hasn't changed my mind. They're very different to most Doctor Who but I like that so I recommend you give them a watch as & when you get the chance, although if your the type of person that gets put off a story because of a large plastic snake then you might find these two hard to swallow.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Arc of Infinity

Welcome to Season Twenty & an old monster every episode. We kick off with 'Arc of Infinity' or the joggers guide to Amsterdam.

Our returning villain is Omega played by Ian Collier rather than Stephen Thorne. Whilst Thorne was expected to do much more shouty than Collier I think Thorne's vocal performance was much stronger. This version of Omega is over-designed & a little fussy. And to be honest whilst they are clearly trying to make Omega less black & white villain I think you end up feeling less sorry for him in this story. His fate is a tragic one & it has driven him insane & messianic but in this he just feels like a bog standard physco of the week.

And talking of disappointments what the hell happened to Gallifrey? It's turned into a slightly out of date nightclub, complete with sofa's scattered about its corridors in tasteful cream. It takes ten million years of absolute power to develop such great interior design skills. It's pretty unimpressive, particular when the costumes look so different. It's as if two totally different civilisations are at work. One does the interior design, one makes the clothes and never the twain shall meet.

The filming in Amsterdam is also mildly disappointing. It suffers from the Paris problem of 'The City of Death'. No one can film inside anything so most of the sequences are exteriors & what you effectively create is a dash around the sites outside filming. So as Tom & Lalla & co spend huge chunks of time dash across the roads of Paris so Peter, Janet & Sarah do a lot of running around Amsterdam. There's no additional atmosphere to be gained from being in Amsterdam, even if the script makes a feeble attempt to justify the location through some gobbledigook about being below sea level & the use the hydrogen in water as a power source but you might as well have filmed it in Birmingham, which also has lot of canals, for all the Amsterdamness that the location filming brings. I mean playing 'Tulips from Amsterdam' does not a feeling of Dutchness create.

Then there's the Ergon: "one of Omega's less effective creations". There's an almost good costume struggling to get out of what looks a bit like a walking chicken carcase. Again it suffers from the classic Doctor Who monster problem of waddle, which just makes it so obvious that we're looking at a man in a costume.

Finally add discussion about some energy link thing called 'The Arc of Infinity' which makes very little sense & this story starts to look a little poor. However that's not totally fair. It does move a long at a fair old lick with a strong first episode laying down all the relevant plot points.

Sarah Sutton gets to be the Fifth Doctor's only companion for a short while & she & Nyssa thrive as a result. The Fifth Doctor & Nyssa work really well together & make an excellent partnership. If they'd stayed like that I think we'd talk about one of the great Doctor-Companion match-ups but Tegan returns from her short exile in this via a series of incredible coincidences too silly to outline her. Tegan (Janet Fielding) looks very different on her return with a short hair cut & a new costume. Now I have to admit to having fond memories of Tegan in that costume but it is totally impractical in reality & whilst it isn't quite as unsubtle as some of Nicola Bryant's costumes were to be it does have 'one for the days' sewn into it pretty damn obviously.

There's some good support to from some of the guest stars, particularly Michael Gough's Hedin (another friend of the Doctor's whose gone bad); Paul Jerricho's cold-hearted, jobsworth Castellan & Colin Baker as Commander Maxil. Colin Baker does a good job of Maxil making him unlikeable but understandle. It's obviously taken on slightly more importance as Colin is to become the Sixth Doctor but ignoring the history I reckon Colin would make a damn fine villain (like Tom Baker) if given the chance.

In the end this isn't a great story & in my opinion wastes some good opportunities. There's a great Omega story to be told somewhere, but this isn't it. It's not bad but it ain't great. File it in the Doctor Who cabinet as underwhelming & average.


Ah...Time-Flight. This would be an average Big Finish story. Unfortunately it is supposed to be a prime time BBC television programme and this is an attempt to do too much for too little money. Like The Web Planet but worse.

The minute someone walked through the door with a script involving time travelling Concordes; Earth 145 million years ago and Plasmatons, the script editor should have escorted them politely out of the building. If the Script Editor didn't do it, the Producer should have. The ambition far, far runs ahead of what early Eighties Doctor Who budgets can achieve.

Take the Plasmatons. They don't feature much (thankfully) but when they do the 'bloke in a costumeness' is so obvious it destroys any genuine threat they might carry. They waddle. Badly. They are very ugly ducklings indeed.

Then there is the bizarre cuckoo-spit effect and the terrible - and some of it is embarrassingly shoddy - model work. The shear ridiculousness of having access to the real Concorde and then producing two of the most modelly looking model Concordes is hard to bear. In fact the difference between the 'realness' of the scenes shot at Heathrow and the in studio primeval Earth's artificiality is glaring.

Now let us talk about the Master. I've already talked - often - about how dumb the Master seems to be on occasions. In this story you have to ask yourself what the hell does he think he's doing. Why is he disguised as some bizarre Chinese magician? He's not planning this operation around the Doctor's appearance and none of the kidnapped Concorde passengers or crew have ever come across him before so why is he pretending to be Kalid? Is it for a bet or just for shits and giggles? Does he feel that a plan isn't a plan without getting dressed up for it? It's just pointless complication above and beyond the call of fiendish duty. You almost want to grab the deluded renegade Time Lord around the throat and ask him a number of serious questions about his motivation, method and means. Antony Ainley does a fine job in a pretty thankless role, although the whiff of ham is never far away, which is one of the reasons I generally prefer Delgado's take on The Master but there is something genuinely creepy about the Ainley Masters laugh, which is almost his catchphrase. Sometimes his laugh hangs in the air after the Master has left like a Cheshire Cat smile.

I'm not convinced by much of the acting in this either. With the exception of Nigel Stock's Professor Hayter and Richard Easton's Captain Stapley most of the guest performances are about as convincing as the sets.

The regulars all do pretty well. They don't let the stories limitations push them into hammery. I do think Sarah Sutton's Nyssa - who gets a bit more to do in this story - is the Fifth Doctor's best companion even if she has limitations of her own. However I retain a teenage fondness for Janet Fielding as Tegan, who in a twist gets dumped at Heathrow at the end of this story. As she's been demanding the Doctor return her there for so long this shouldn't come as much of a surprise but it all seems pretty perfunctory. Not Dodo perfunctory, just generally perfunctory.

I like the idea of the Xeraphin though: a gestalt race at war with itself following the Master's arrival. It isn't entirely clear why the Master feels repairing his TARDIS by using the Xeraphin as a power source is a good idea but the events of the Doctor's Wife hints at the TARDIS being powered by some kind of intelligent multi-dimensional...thing. So perhaps he's just replacing one being with another. Who knows.

So we end Peter Davison's first season with this whimper. Davison has done a sterling job since taking over from Tom. I like his Doctor so far, even if the cricket gear is as silly in its own way as Colin Baker's coat of many colours. There's a kind of flustered nobility about him, which I like and a touch of doubt in his own abilities and solutions.

This isn't a great story. In fact it is pretty rotten in parts. It is definitely the weakest of a reasonably good season but a polite smattering of applause for parts of it and a general realization that the failures are more about being under-resourced and over-ambitious than anything more deliberate.

Friday, August 26, 2011


I have said before in this blog that I have been interested to see which stories survive a repeated viewing unscathed. I found Tomb of the Cybermen a much less impressive story this time around for example so with Earthshock I wondered whether its status as something of a Classic would stand up.

After all this is a story I adored on its broadcast but as JNT infamously said: "The memory cheats".

But this is a delight. Sometimes despite itself. Let's take the often commented upon casting of Beryl Reid as the grumpy, no nonesense spacefreighter Captain Briggs. It shouldn't work. It's such an off beam casting choice but somehow it does & in doing so is one of the most adorable guest star performances in Doctor Who history. Interestingly Briggs's pilot-navigator-engineer is also a woman over the age of 30, Berger (June Bland). Both of them seem to take great delight in mocking the over-zealous jobsworth & Cyberspy Ringway (Alec Sabin) who is a bloke.

The sight of Beryl Reid firing a laser at advancing Cybermen makes me want to cheer.

This is the first appearance of the Cybermen in Doctor Who since Revenge of the Cybermen back in Tom Baker's first season & they sudden appearance Terry Nation stylee at the cliffhanger to Episode One is brilliant. JNT turned down a Radio Times cover in order to keep that a surprise for which we should be grateful.

Being the Cybermen they've been redesigned for their reappearance & look pretty good except - alas - for the moonboots. You've heard me whinge on about the feet of Doctor Who monsters often enough but this one is a bit annoying, especially as we seen lots of moonbooted Cybermen marching towards our screens at the end of Episode Three. However the seriousness applies to this story makes the Cybermen seem genuinely nasty in this story.

This is the first outing for David Banks as The Cyberleader. He would go on to play the Cyberleader - or his replacements - a number of times & took the role seriously enough to write a book about the Cybermen & to try and get their story to make some kind of sense. I used to love that commitment (and he was very nice when I queued up to get his autograph the *cough* four times I saw the Doctor Who Stage Play). However Banks's Cybermen do not have the sing-song electronic voices of old (or New Series) Cybermen & for a race that is supposed to have eliminated emotions they do a lot of emoting. Eventually some of Banks's Cyberleader would be the monster with catchphrases: most notably a triumphant 'Excellent!' often accompanied by the slaming of fist into hand. In this his first run out it doesn't matter too much & they make more interesting monsters when the Doctor can take them on in debate.

There's some nice support from James Warwick as Scott, the military officer (moustache a necessity) who gets to be suitably heroic. Clare Clifford as Kyle gets to run around a lot in an unfetching outfit before becoming one of the first of Eric Saward's 'nice person to kill off unnecessarily in the end for no particularly good reason'. I think Saward thinks this adds a touch of realistic cynicism to proceeding and it might be fine if this story wasn't going to end with a far more important death. So in the end Kyle's death is thrown away, drowned in the pathos of Adric's passing.

The moment has come. I come to bury Adric. I have been somewhat down on Matthew Waterhouse's acting skills since Peter Davison took over & even in this, his swansong, there are moments that lack conviction but I don't entirely think that's his fault. Waterhouse was going from child actor to grown up & that's a tough journey for anyone & asking him to play a major part in a popular BBC programme might have been too much to ask.

However we can't complain too much as he gets one of the best departures - if that's the right word for what happens to poor old Adric - of any companion. Doctor Who companions don't die. The Doctor always pulls something out of the hat to save them. This time he doesn't & Adric dies. He dies alone - the boy standing on the burning deck - on the bridge proving that when he said he was tired of being an outsider it wasn't hyperbole, he was an outsider.

The Doctor's desperate attempts to save him & horrified reaction when he realises that he can't is well-played by Peter Davison. In fact Davison is excellent throughout this story & his Doctor has grown on me a lot since Castrovalva. He's so understated.

So perhaps the memory doesn't always cheat after all.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Black Orchid

I'm not quite sure what to make of that. A two parter, an historical & no galactic threat to fight against. Just the Doctor getting involved in a story of domestic secrets in a posh house in the 1920s.

It's charming but as inconsequentional as a passing fancy.

There's fun for all the regulars: Janet Fielding gets to dress up & Charlston, Matthew Waterhouse gets to eat and Peter Davison gets to pretend to play cricket. Most importantly Sarah Sutton gets to play two parts: Nyssa & her double Ann Talbot, which is nice. Sutton does it nicely, although it isn't that great a stretch really. I wish when we met coincidental doubles like this someone would go to the effort of asking for a different accent. Nyssa's from Traken, Ann's of the posh English. So despite being seperated by billions of miles they not only look like each other but sound identical. But I'm picking at that thread again & should beware lest I pull the whole jumper apart.

I'm aware that wold spoil the conceit of the two of them getting dressed up in the same fancy dress outfits & poor old George Cranleigh getting confused at the end but at least with Troughton they went down the different accent route in "The Enemy of the World".

But whilst I'm battling the bees in my bonnet can I just ask when the TARDIS became open house for all & sundry to pop in & take a spin. It happened with Richard Mace in "The Visitation" and in this story Sir Robert Muir & Sargeant Markham get a spin. I wouldn't mind so much but they seem to take it all for granted. And let's not mention Constable Cumming's reaction, which is little more than mild surprise. If I remember rightly it happens in "Earthshock" to but more of that tomorrow.

In all honesty this is a nice little break. The villain of the piece isn't evil, he's broken and sometimes you can't mend people. His death seems unnecessary really & a little forced. As if he must be punished or the children of England may start strangling their servants. Gareth Milne as George Hadleigh does a limited but effective job.

I do like the Doctor and team staying for the funeral though. It is an unusual touch. Even if Tegan's excitement about getting to keep the fancy dress costumes seems a tad out of place.

As do most of the guest stars who don't get asked to do too much exotic stuff: Moray Watson as Sir Robert Muir & Michael Cochrane as Lord Cranleigh do their aristocratic thang & Barbara Murray gets to be mildly devious and posh.

I like Peter Davison in this. His delivery of the line "Brazil...where the nuts come from" is perfectly weighted & delivered.

So Black Orchid's OK. A tad unusual but it is nice to have a different type of story.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Visitation

The Visitation is a pretty good story even if - as someone on my Twitter feed pointed out - it has certain similarities to The Time Warrior with a character from Eric Saward's radio writing thrown in.

It starts strongly building up tension before killing off everyone we've met so far. In New Doctor Who they'd have all been bumped off in the pre-credit sequence. In fact this almost feels New Whoish, perhaps it is the younger Doctor. You can certainly see the same story with David Tennant.

Saward deals well with the multiplicity of companions: knocking them unconcious, splitting them off to do various different jobs & taking over their minds. However whilst Janet Fielding & Sarah Sutton deal with what they are asked to do pretty well I'm afraid Matthew Waterhouse is starting to look out of depth. There does seem to be a limited lifespan for the three companions. It makes the stories too messy to plot effectively & the constant bickering is already becoming tedious. There's a Eastenders like grumpiness to pretty much everyone that doesn't quite fit Doctor Who (at least in my opinion).

This is Peter Davison's fourth story & I'm quite enjoying the change from Tom Baker. His Doctor's clearly less certain & less forthright. He tries to convince & help, even when he's being frustrated (by events or his companions). As I mentioned earlier you can see the seeds of the New Doctor Who Doctors in his performance.

Mention should be made of Michael Melia's convincing turn as 'Terileptil Leader' (no names, no pack drill). The costume is slightly restrictive & it definitely (at least bodywise) is of the 'obvious bloke in a costume' type. However the face is impressively designed & they would be one of my favourite aliens if it weren't for the hands, which are too stiff & too obviously gloves. I blame the director Peter Moffatt for that. It's a schoolboy error in Doctor Who: like focusing on the traditional weak point of a Doctor Who monster costume - the feet. Other than that Moffatt does a reasonable job even if the story does lack any real sense of urgency.

However Melia rises above the stiffness of the costume & gives quite a nice vocal performance. The Terileptil Leader has a certain brisk, cold intelligence plus obvious menace. These are a ruthless race. Willing to wipe out humanity in order to settle three of them & some androids in the place. Pretty spacious for three of them.

I also liked Michael Robbins as Richard Mace. Mace is an out of work actor whose become a highwayman since the plague shut London's theatres. I suspect Robbins's performance is one that you either like or don't. I like it. Mace feels real in a story without much in the way of supporting parts except a gang of rent-a-peasents & a very bored horse.

So I enjoyed it even if it is a gentle little story lacking much in the way of genuine tension, although the death of the Terileptil leader is disgustingly gruesome really for the timeslot. The funny thing is as I've been writing this review I've realised that even though I found it fun I'm less impressed with the direction in retrospect. If the story as a whole had the same power as the first five or ten minutes of the first episode then it would be an absolute classic but alas it doesn't.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Doctor Who & The Missing Blog

I thought a wee update was due as I haven't posted anything on my blog for AGES. I'm sorry about that. This is what happens when you have to work for a living. As that great philosopher Ilya Kuryakin once said when asked if he were free: "No man who works for a living is truely free, but I am available."

So lots has happened on the Doctor Who front. The new - or second half - of the series starts on August 27th & I have to say all the trailers released recently make it look like it'll be jolly exciting. I'm continuely impressed with Matt Smith as the Doctor. He's managed to make me forget how young he is.

All the latest trailers can be found here:

I can see from the extend trailer for Episode 11 that someone has been watching the Shining recently but I like the slightly surreal creepiness of it all.

Also worthy of praise & mention is television's Craig Ferguson who is doing an excellent job of introducing & enthusing about Doctor Who to the USofA via his Late, Late Show. This clip is brilliant

Other clips can be found of Craig's interviews with Matt Smith, Karen Gillan & Alex Kingston on YouTube. I say give the man a part in Doctor Who as a thank you for his unstinting efforts to pimp the show USways.

A quick mention to for the geektastic re-prints of a handful of Classic Target novelisations. These are wonderful & should find a place on the shelves of any Doctor Who fan. Available from all good bookshops & Amazon.

There seems to be a real effort going on with the Doctor Who books. These Target re-prints (which I hope will be the first of many, followed/joined by re-prints/Kindle editions of the Doctor Who New Adventures in my dreams) are great & there's the hard back new novelisations by people like Michael Moorcock, Naomi Alderman, Alistair Reynolds & Stephen Baxter. Then there's the interesting news that Gareth Roberts is working on novelising Douglas Adams's 'Shada' to. The future of Doctor Who books is looking rosy.

Then there's Private Eye's regular Doctor Who contributions. Tales of production type woes that the Moff has been very dismissive of. There does seem to be a bit of an issue about how many episodes & when we'll get them for next season but whether that's because of cock-up (Private Eye) or cunning plan (The Moff) we shall have to wait and see.

At least we know who River Song is now.