Author Archive: Glenn

Episode 17 – Love and Astronauts

A double dose of Who this week. First a review of the classic First Doctor story, The Aztecs. Then the episode we have been waiting for months, The Impossible Astronaut.

Also, a look back on the life of Elisabeth Sladen, our Sarah Jane Smith.

And of course, your feedback.

Plus, please note, we are still in the process of moving our iTunes feed over to our new server. If you fail to get this week’s episode in iTunes, you can subscribe to the show by clicking the subscribe links on the right side of the page. Also, you can go to to update your subscription options. And you can download a copy of the show right here from this post.


Links mentioned in the show;

Cyberman Bob by Mark Lee.

Happy Doctor Who Day

The day we have been waiting for since Boxing Day has arrived. Today is the premiere of Series 6 of Doctor Who. Please let us know what you think of the first episode. Just leave your reviews, thoughts, and opinions here in the comments on this post, or send them to We will try to read as many responses out on this week’s podcast. We can’t wait to hear what you thought.

Elisabeth Sladen, ‘Sarah Jane Smith’ Has Died at 63

We here at Traveling the Vortex are greatly saddened by the news that Elisabeth Sladen, our beloved Sarah Jane Smith has passed on.

Our hearts go out to her family, friends and the many fans she has blessed with her talents over the years.



It is with much sadness that we can announce Elisabeth Sladen, the much-loved actress best known for her role as Sarah Jane Smith in Doctor Who and CBBC’s The Sarah Jane Adventures, passed away this morning. She was 63.

Lis first appeared as Sarah Jane in Doctor Who in 1973 alongside the Third Doctor Jon Pertwee and stayed for three and half seasons working alongside Jon and the Fourth Doctor Tom Baker. She returned to the role on numerous occasions over the years and, in 2007, was given her own spin-off series on CBBC – The Sarah Jane Adventures – where she would appear alongside new Doctors David Tennant and Matt Smith.

The Sarah Jane Adventures brought Lis a whole new generation of fans who grew up to love her alien-busting adventures. The series was hugely popular with fans young and old and won this year’s RTS Award for best children’s drama.

Controller of CBBC Damian Kavanagh said tonight: “I’m deeply saddened and shocked by the news of Lis’ untimely death. Lis brought joy, excitement and a sense of wonder to her many fans in her role as Sarah Jane Smith. She was adored by our young audience and I know all of them will miss her as much as I will.”

The creator of The Sarah Jane Adventures Russell T Davies said: “I absolutely loved Lis. She was funny and cheeky and clever and just simply wonderful. The universe was lucky to have Sarah Jane Smith; the world was lucky to have Lis.”

Steven Moffat, Doctor Who’s Lead Writer and Executive Producer said: “’Never meet your heroes’ wise people say. They weren’t thinking of Lis Sladen.

“Sarah Jane Smith was everybody’s hero when I was younger, and as brave and funny and brilliant as people only ever are in stories. But many years later, when I met the real Sarah-Jane – Lis Sladen herself – she was exactly as any child ever have wanted her to be. Kind and gentle and clever; and a ferociously talented actress, of course, but in that perfectly English unassuming way.

“There are a blessed few who can carry a whole television show on their talent and charisma – but I can’t think of one other who’s done it quite so politely. I once showed my son Joshua an old episode of Doctor Who, in which Lis appeared. “But that’s Sarah Jane,” he said, confused “In old Doctor Who. From years ago. How come she always look exactly the same?” It’s not a comfort today, of course, but children will still be saying that fifty years from now.”

Keith Jones, Director, BBC Cymru Wales, said: “The Sarah Jane Adventures has been one of the most successful children’s programmes on television in recent years – and without Elisabeth Sladen it would not have happened. A brilliant presence on screen and on set, she brought the excitement and energy of the Doctor Who family of programmes, of which we are very proud at BBC Wales, to a whole new generation. She will be missed by all at BBC Wales who worked with her.”

Roger Carey, who represented Lis for many years, said. “She was not just a client, but a dear friend. She was so positive about life and her natural energy was intoxicating. She couldn’t believe her luck when her career was resurrected in her own series.”

Lis had been suffering from cancer. She leaves behind a husband, actor Brian Miller, and her daughter, Sadie.

Doctor Who Countdown Meme

As we here at Traveling the Vortex count the days until the Series Six premiere, The Impossible Astronaut, other countdowns and celebrations are taking place all across the internet.

One in particular that I have been following is one of our regular listener’s blog, Chrissy, who is posting 30 Days of New Who.

Each day in the month of April, Chrissy chooses a topic, i.e. ‘Favorite Incarnation of the Doctor’, ‘Least Favorite Episode’, ‘Scene/Moment that makes you giggle’, etc., and comments about it on her blog.

Right now she is half way through, having posted today’s question, ‘Favorite Rose Moment’.

It’s an endeavor she admits has been done before as a Live Journal meme, but her insights are fun and quite interesting if not entertaining.

Be sure to check it out!

SPOILERS! – Return of a Silver Foe


How, appropriate that in the week Keith, Shaun, and I are taking a trip back through the vortex to revisit (or visit for the first time) some of the best Cybermen stories, the BBC announces the return of the famous adversary in Series Six.

From the BBC:

We already know that the new series sees the return of friends like River Song and Craig Owens. But this latest image reveals the Cybermen will also be back!
This photo shows Rory facing a whole bunch of the terrifying giants. We last saw the Cybermen in The Pandorica Opens but as yet we don’t know when they will be stomping back into the Doctor’s life with their chilling one-word battle cry: Delete!

The Cybermen have been around for as many Doctors as the Daleks, making their first appearance along side the first Doctor in The Tenth Planet.  They made regular appearances in the second Doctor’s era, and returned time and again to terrorize humanity, and vex the Doctor and his companions.

One of the things I notice from still released today, is the absence if the Cybus logo on the chest plate.  I wonder if that means the return of the original line of cybermen instead of the army created in the alternate universe in 2006’s Rise of the Cybermen, often referred to as “Pete’s World” Cybermen. Only time will tell.


Cross Genre Geekdom Advertising

Doctor Who on Xbox LIVE

Here’s a way to get the word out that the new series of Doctor Who is ready to launch soon. Advertise to the millions of gamer geeks on Xbox LIVE.

That is exactly what Microsoft and BBC America are doing.  They are crossing genres to reach a whole other branch of customers.

I, for one, am excited.  Being a fan of DW already, I was aware of the release date.  But, now, I can have my very own TARDIS gamer picture.  I have been waiting for three years, since I fist signed on to the service to have a DW themed picture on my gamertag.  And I can now say that I will probably never change it again.

To download your own Doctor Who gamer picture and theme for your Xbox 360, click here.

Lost Doctor Who Tapes Found in Kansas Salt Mine

A Wichita newspaper is reporting that a large cache of Doctor Who stories, once thought lost in the BBC archive purge of the late 60’s and early 70’s, have been found in a vault in the Morton Salt mines in Hutchinson, Kansas.

Parts of the excavated mine are currently used by a company named Underground Vaults and Storage has been storing films for major studios for years. Just a year ago seven minutes of lost footage from Stanly Kubrick’s 1969 film 2001: A Space Odyssey was found in the vault.

It’s believed the lost Doctor Who stories are video taped copies of the program sent to the PBS station KPTS in the 1970’s to be shown to American audiences.

Some of the stories recovered include: from the first Doctor’s era – Marco Polo, The Daleks’ Master Plan, The Tenth Planet, and from the second Doctor’s era The Highlanders and The Wheel in Space, among several others.

Doctor Who fans worldwide should be rejoicing over this wonderful find.

Oh, by the way, Happy April Fools Day.

Episode 13 – The Doctor Lends a Hand

In this weeks episode we’ll discuss the announced release date for Torchwood: Miracle Day.

Also, a review of the prequel trailer to The Impossible Astronaut.

And finally a review of the Tenth Doctor’s first few episodes.

Note: We are having some issues with the server that hosts the podcast for the feed. If you are not able to download this week’s episode you can listen in the player below or download it from here.

Episode 13 – The Doctor Lends a Hand.mp3