Remembering The Brig

A beautiful video tribute was posted recently on YouTube.com.

It’s is by BabelColour, and really captures the essence of Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart the much loved roll played by Nicholas Courtney in his many years on Doctor Who.

From BabelColour:

A personal and affectionate tribute to a wonderful man who sadly passed last week and to the timeless character he created. A huge presence in my childhood – the Brigadier was just as much a part of me as the Doctor was. And with the death of Nicholas Courtney a little bit of my childhood died with him. God bless Nick and a heartfelt salute to the Brigadier. Lest we ever forget….

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Doctor Who "shirts of the day"

Taking our “Doctoring Rock Band” idea one step farther, the folks over at www.teefury.com bring you this much awesome. But hurry, this is available ONE DAY ONLY!

and over at www.shirt.woot.com present this fun… ALSO ONE DAY ONLY and time is running out for both shirts!

Episode 9 – Number Nine

This week we focus on the ninth Doctor stories, The End of the World, The Unquiet Dead, Aliens of London, and World War Three.

Also a look back on the life of Nicholas Courtney, or as Doctor Who fans best know him Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart. We recall our fondest memories of The Brig.

And finally we lay out the stories we will review in next week’s podcast for those who might be watching along with us.

Download: Episode 9 – Number Nine.mp3

Needing A New Awards Shelf

Since the Academy Awards are tonight, I’d thought I’d make mention that earlier this week, The Doctor Who News Page reported that “Vincent And The Doctor” has been nominated for The Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation in the 2010 Nebula Awards.

The episode, is the only television episode in this category, but is in good company, up against the films Despicable Me, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, How To Train Your Dragon, and Best Picture Nominees Inception, and Toy Story 3.

The winners are selected in March, and announced at the Nebula Awards Banquet, taking place on 21st May.

Hot on the heels of the Nebula nomination this week, the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films have announced the nominations for the 37th annual Saturn Awards. “A Christmas Carol” is nominated for Best Television Presentation.

The episode, penned by Steven Moffat, is up against his own Sherlock which he co-wrote with Mark Gatiss. Other nominees include the Kung Fu Panda Holiday Special, The Walking Dead, and two series from new Torchwood co-producer Starz, The Pillars of the Earth and Spartacus: Gods of the Arena.

Last year, Torchwood: Children of Earth won the award for Best Presentation on Television, (and rightly so) which beat fellow nominee Doctor Who: Planet of the Dead.

The Saturn Awards take place in June.

For Those Following Along…

For those who may be watching Doctor Who along with us (Keith in particular) I don’t know if we mentioned what is next on the reviewing agenda.

As you know, last week we reviewed the Ninth Doctor’s first episode, Rose. So, next week we will cover The End of the World, The Unquiet Dead, the two-parter, Aliens of London and World War Three, and wrap up with Dalek.

This will set up our next Adversary Archives episode where we will go back and review a select numbert of Daleks episodes from the classic series.

That list will be decided on this week, and we’ll let you know that list in a later post.

"Five Rounds Rapid"… Remembering Nick Courtney

Friends and fans have been expressing their grief over the recent passing of Nicholas Courtney. One memory of Nick that caught my eye today, was that of a dear friend and colleague of The Brig, Tom Baker who played the fourth Doctor. Here is an exert from his website.

From Tom Baker: The Official Website:

Of all the characters in Doctor Who there is no doubt that he was the most loved by the fans for his wonderful portrayal of the rather pompous Brigadier. “Five rounds rapid” was the line we all loved, always addressed to Sergeant Benton. Nick’s close friends simply adored him. There was a certain innocence in his personality that was utterly endearing. He was very easy to tease, and I did my share, which made him shake his head in disbelief when he realised he had been had.

To read more from Tom, click here.

UPDATED: The Guardian has posted it’s Nicholas Courtney obituary. You can read it here.

A Legend Passes


We are saddened by today’s news that Nicholas Courtney, best known to Doctor Who fans as Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, has died, at the age of 81.

Courtney first appeared in the series as Space Security Agent Bret Vyon in The Daleks’ Master Plan. But we will always remember him as UNIT Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, a role that he would remain in until the Seventh Doctor’s era and even appeared more recently in The Sarah Jane Adventures.

Courtney was a staple in the Doctor Who universe. From the first time I saw him on screen, he commanded an audience with me, and quickly became one of my favorite characters in the series.

I had always hoped that Courtney would return to the proper series after it was restarted in 2005, but I am very grateful that Lethbridge-Stewart did become a part of the new era by appearing in SJA.

Tonight, I will reflect on his life, by remembering him the best way I can… watching episodes of the strict, mostly by-the-book, but often lovable, military commander who will forever live-on, on screen.

Our thoughts go to Nick’s family and friends.

Rest assured he will never be forgotten by his fans.

William Nicholas Stone Courtney (December 16th, 1929 – February 22nd, 2011)

Doctoring Up Rock Band 3 – Update

Here’s a few sneak peaks of other Doctors I’m working on constructing in Rock Band 3. Please note these are “not quite ready for prime time” and still need a lot of tweaking in my humble opinion. But as first drafts go, they’re not too shabby.

#3 – Jon Pertwee: This is the one I was most excited about, because of all the Doctors, Pertwee dressed the most like a rock star, (I cant help but think Elton John or Liberace) and Rock Band 3 has some great costumes to match. I chose the crushed purple velvet look here, complete with the puffy frilly shirt. I am less happy with his hair, but there don’t appear to be good Pertwee options at all. Again, this is a rough draft.

#4 – Tom Baker: This was a no brainer from the moment I boot up my first Rock Band disc and saw the “Doctor What” costume. I think my Tom needs a little facial reconstructive work, and wow, is that a LOT of hair. But the idea is solid.

#8 – Paul McGann: There is a totally rocking outfit that will match McGann’s “The Movie” costume nearly perfectly, but I have to perform 50 “big rock finishes” to unlock it. In the mean time, may I humbly present him with his “new” outfit, that McGann himself unveiled at a convention. Blue leather, very militaristic, just the thing for fighting a Time War. His hair looks a lot more blond in this photo as opposed to the brown, nearly ginger look he sported in the movie.

Next up, I have designs on doing #9, Christopher Eccleston as well, there’s a pretty sweet looking Leather Jacket hanging in that digital closet. Oh, and we have to get Keith to get his PS3 versions posted, he made a totally rockin’ Amy Pond, who sings vocals for his Who group, the Sonic Screws!

Action Shot –
“The Four Doctors”

Okay, I’ve shown you mine…

Episode 8 – John Smith and the Plastic Auton Band

In our second Adversary Archives (first under the brand new title) we take a look back at the Autons. We explore the two Third Doctor episodes, Spearhead From Space and Terror of the Autons. Then a look at the Ninth Doctor story, Rose. And the announcement of our featured villain in our next Adversary Archive.

LEGO Doctor Who: A Brick by Brick Breakdown Of The Greatest Game Yet To Be Made

I love LEGO. I imagine most kids do. Perhaps it’s the creative process of assembling something from scratch. There is something very imagination freeing about sitting in front of a pile of bricks and beginning to BUILD. I love playing the LEGO video games. Some have been better than others (LEGO Batman has been particularly frustrating compared to the ease of LEGO Star Wars) but they’re all fun and enjoyable.

Earlier this month, we reported on the new Doctor Who building sets that came out, and that got me to thinking about the potential for a Doctor Who game. Then it came to me in a dream last night. A man appeared on a flaming pie. He took my hand and led me to a grove of LEGO trees. In the middle of the grove was a blue box. A LEGO TARDIS. The doors opened, and the secrets of the cosmos spilled out. Admittedly, this is fan boy day dreaming, BUT this is what I saw:

1) LEGO tie-ins feature an exciting and fun universe. – What could be more exciting and fun than Doctor Who? Just think of the backdrop this game would have!

2) LEGO games are not just about smashing things and re-building them (although that makes for a good chunk of it), they also feature puzzles to solve. – The Doctor taught Sherlock Holmes everything he knew. Think about the type of problems and puzzles the games put forth. As the universe’s greatest problem solver, the Doctor’s a natural.

3)LEGO games have a wide and impressive group of colorful characters who have special abilities. – I can see them now. Obviously we have all 11 Doctor’s, with fun costumes and the sonic screwdriver could be used to change computer polarities or open doors (minus Doctor’s five, six and seven) but, he wouldn’t resort to hand-to-hand combat when challenged by the bad guys. The companions would have to do that. And think of the list of companions and what they could do! Healers like Harry Sulivan and Martha Jones could restore hearts, K-9 (eee! Just think of a little LEGO block K-9!) could access computers and stun people, Captain Jack could have a ray gun and be invincible, Leela could find and track otherwise invisible footprints, Ace and her baseball bat could smash stronger bricks and The Brigadier and U.N.I.T. family could all have guns (which of course would be highly ineffective against most of the monsters.)

4) LEGO games have a wide and impressive group of enemies to go against. – Who has a better “Rogues Gallery” of villains and monsters than a show that’s been on for 40 plus years? Daleks (would of course be mobile shiny metal and impervious to bullets, they have to be destroyed with explosives), Cybermen (when broken, all their individual parts continue to attack!), The Master, The Rani, The Autons, The Weeping Angels (which like the ghosts in the Super Mario Brothers haunted houses, can only attack you from behind), The Yeti, the list is practically endless!

5) LEGO games features several multi-part story arcs that make up the adventure. – This is perfect format for Doctor Who, imagine a story that starts with William Hartnell and progresses all they way up to Matt Smith, each chapter giving you different villains to fight, a different Doctor and companions to champion.

6) LEGO games have gone the route of Super Mario World, with “Hub Worlds” that access different adventures. – What could possibly make for a better hub than the TARDIS console room, a nexus point with access to all of time and space?

7) LEGO games have a quirky and fun sense of humor. – Um, hello, it’s Doctor Who. Douglas Adams used to submit scripts, remember?

8) LEGO games are family friendly. – Doctor Who started (and in some ways maintains) it’s position as a “kids show”.

I am beyond jazzed for this project, and it doesn’t even exist. It’s probably not even a glimmer on Traveler’s Tales horizon. I know coming up next for the LEGOverse is LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars, and I’ve heard rumors that Superman, Lord of the Rings, and Pirates of the Caribbean are all potential next projects. But how do we get Doctor Who added to that slate? Time to chime in fans! Time to start bombarding LEGO and Traveler’s Tales and BBC and anyone who will listen with requests for this game!

Making Headlines!

Gallifrey One’s Catch 22: Islands of Mystery the Doctor Who convention going on right now in L.A. is getting some love from the media.

NBC Los Angeles posted on it’s website, a story about this weekend’s event. Evidence that Doctor Who is experiencing an surge in popularity among those in the U.S.

From NBC Los Angeles:

It’s a long way from Los Angeles to London, which may have some California-based Gallifreyans in a bit of a funk this mid-February. After all, the brand-new, much-ballyhooed Doctor Who Experience is debuting, way far from here, across the Atlantic. And, for some, pressing a TARDIS into service might be the only way to check it out.

But, take heart, time-and-space travelers: Gallifrey 2011 is taking over the dimension known as the Los Angeles Airport Marriott from Friday, Feb. 18 through Sunday, Feb. 20. (Full name of the convention, we’ll note: Gallifrey One’s Catch 22 Islands of Mystery; it is the 22nd annual “Doctor Who” con in North America.)

From its name you might guess that it is a Doctor Who convention, and you’d be correct. It isn’t just any Who Con, though; it is billed as the “North American Doctor Who Celebration!”

For more of the story, click here.

For more on Gallifrey One’s Catch 22: Islands of Mystery, click here.

Episode 7 – It’s Finally Here!

After rescuing the data from near catastrophe, This week’s episode is finally live.

In this week’s episode, a little gratitude for the kind feedback we’ve gotten recently.

And, the day North American Doctor Who fans have been waiting for since 1996. We finally get our DVDs for a review of Doctor Who – The Movie.

Be sure to check it out!

Pats On The Back

Having spent a large portion of my adult life as a retail manager, I can attest to the fact that sometimes all people need is a pat on the back. It’s a small gesture that makes a big impact. This week we got not one, but two bits of feedback, both of which amounted to a pat on the back.

In the first, a listener from Utah mentioned us in her blog. She too, is like Keith, a relative newbie with a passion for Doctor Who, wanting a podcast in her life. She found us, and apparently liked what she heard.

That my friends, is music to a creator’s ears. We do Traveling the Vortex because we enjoy it, and likely would do it anyway because we enjoy it. But it’s a whole-nother thing to be told that someone else likes your work, and likes it enough to comment on it. That is the icing on the cake. It feeds the ego and make you feel like whatever it is you are doing is worthwhile. I personally have gotten positive remarks on things I’ve done, stories written, scripts, (hell even the Myrka poem), and each time someone goes out of their way to compliment me, I cannot help but to swell with pride.

Thank you for that!

The second piece of feedback comes from a fellow podcaster from across the pond, in the UK. IN THE UK!!! HOW COOL IS THAT!?!? He’ll have to forgive me for not having listened to the message he left on our Google mail (I’m the technological neanderthal of the group, and haven’t figured that bit out yet) but I hear from Keith that it was very positive. It’s one thing to have someone tell you they like what you’re doing, it’s another when a respected member of the community you’re involved in does it. I imagine its like a writer being told by William Shakespeare “Good job”. (And even if it isn’t, it is to me, so allow me my delusions!)

Again, thank you!

A pat on the back. Such a small thing, and yet so impactful. I challenge each of us to leave that small thing on someone today, be it a friend, co-worker, or even a podcaster. Just a note to say, “good job.”

Bolstered with a new sense of confidence, I march forward ready to do good works.

Related Links:
cj’s notebook
The 20mb Doctor Who Podcast

A Call To Those Attending Gallifrey 22

As Many Doctor Who fans know, Gallifrey 22 kicks off next week, February 18th to the 20th, in Los Angeles, CA.

We, sadly, are unable to attend this year, and will be living vicariously through those who will be there.

So, we are asking those who may be attending this years event, to send us your feedback about this years convention.

We are also looking for someone, or more than one attendees, who would like to act as correspondents for the Traveling the Vortex podcast.

We would like to feature your reports in the coming weeks on the show. Just something short and sweet about what’s going on or happening there.

If you are interested please drop us a line at travelingthevortex@gmail.com.

Newman on Torchwood?

I’m about a day behind, but several internet sites reported yesterday that Wayne Knight (of Seinfeld, 3rd Rock from the Sun, and Jurassic Park fame) has joined the cast of Torchwood: Miracle Day.

From Den of Geek

We can confirm that Knight is definitely on board the new series, as has been hinted by a couple of Twitter feeds relating to the show. As Doctor Who News reported, the BBC Torchwood account sent out a Tweet saying, “We’ve got Alexa Havins here with us today with a special guest, here’s a clue ‘Uh uh uh didn’t say the magic word.'”

An interesting casting choice. While Knight’s résumé spans a variety of genre of T.V. and films, he is most known for his roll on NBC’s Seinfeld as Jerry’s quasi-adversary, Newman.

Knight first gained notoriety as Dennis, in Stephen Spielberg’s Jurassic Park, as the man who sets off the films chaotic events.

I guess we’ll find out more about Knight’s character on Torchwood in the coming months.