Tag Archive: Eighth Doctor

Episode 83 – Mess With the Bull, You Get the Horns

In this week’s show a look at another Adversary Archive, this time The Nimon.

First the Fourth Doctor, Romana II and K-9 take on the Nimon in Horns of the Nimon. Then the Eighth Doctor and Charley face down the foe in the Big Finish audio play Seasons Of Fear.

Plus, a look at what’s going on in the news this week.

Also, we remember the beautiful and eloquent Mary Tamm who sadly passed away this past week.

And of course, your feedback. Enjoy!

Odd Duck Phil’s Exhibit A : Tropical Storm Debby was a storm for the ages

A Midsummer-Night’s Schedule

Coming up on the Vortex… Friday Night Who on 7/27 features the fourth Doctor in “The Horns Of Nimon”

Our show that week #83 is a Nimon adversary archive, featuring our reviews of “The Horns Of Nimon” and Big Finish #30 “Seasons Of Fear”.

Starting in August the following week on FNW is fifth Doctor Peter Davison in “Time Flight”. 

TTV #84 will include our reviews of “Time Flight” and Big Finish #10 “Winter For The Adept”. 

Sixth Doctor Colin Baker returns to the FNW line up on 8/10 in “Timelash”.

Our reviews of the sixth Doctor adventures “Timelash”, and Big Finish #3 “Whispers Of Terror” make up our 85th episode of Traveling The Vortex.

And then in honor of Keith and Sarah’s wedding on the 18th of August, for our Friday Night Who the night before (8/17) we’ll watch Keith’s favorite episode, “Vincent And The Doctor”.

Keith will be gone on holiday–his honeymoon–the 19th through the 27th, so TTV #86 will just be Glenn and Shaun with a second set of Book Reviews: Glenn will review The Eight Doctors featuring the eighth Doctor by Terrance Dicks, while Shaun takes a stab at Amorality Tale by David Bishop featuring the third Doctor.

Beyond that we’re in a state of flux while we wait for an official start date for series seven (though we believe it to be on or about the 25th.)  We’ll play the next few weeks by ear until such time as a official release date comes down the pipe.

Episode 80 – All Things Shada

We’ve been promising a review of Shada and the time has finally come. This week we look at, Shada – The Novel, Shada – The VHS reconstruction, Shada – The Big Finish audio and BBCi webisode, and Shada – The Flamethrower (The kids love this one.)

Also, a look at one really cool bit of news, the sonic screwdriver t.v. remote control. Yes, it’s as cool as it sounds.

Plus your feed back!


Links mentioned in the show:
Doctor Who – Dark Eyes – Box Set
Starburst Magazine article on Ian Levine’s Shada
Starburst Magazine article reviewing Ian Levine’s Shada

Scheduling Shada (and other things)

As we enter into July, a few updates on the vortex schedule for those who like to follow along at home…

Friday Night Who on 7/6 will be eleventh Doctor Matt Smith fighting the weeping angels in the two part “The Time Of Angels” & “Flesh And Stone”.

Since we’ve already reviewed those stories, Traveling The Vortex #80 will cover all things Shada: Shada The Book, Shada The VHS Reconstruction, Shada The Animated Story, Shada The Flash Animation, Shada The Big Finish, Shada The Flame Thrower! (The kids love this one)…

Two new DVDs release on the tenth of July. We’ll cover both of them:  On 7/13 Friday Night Who covers second Doctor Patrick Troughton in “The Krotons”.  Our show that week (#81) sees our reviews of “The Krotons” and Big Finish #4, “Land Of The Dead”.

And then the following week we’ll cover the second release for July. FNW on 7/20 is “Death To The Daleks” with third Doctor Jon Pertwee and Sarah Jane.

Episode #82 becomes another Dalek archive, with reviews of “Death To The Daleks” and two Big Finish audio adventures, #11 “The Apocalypse Element” and #15 “The Mutant Phase”.

We round out july with a return of some fourth Doctor to our plates, as Friday Night Who on 7/27 is “The Horns Of Nimon” with Tom Baker and Romana II.

TTV #83 is a Nimon archive, with our reviews of “The Horns Of Nimon” and Big Finish #30, “Seasons Of Fear” featuring eighth Doctor Paul McGann.

And in August? more Big Finish audios, more Book Reviews, and in celebration of Keith and Sarah’s wedding, a K9 Companion Archive!  As always, thanks for staying with us and we’ll see you in the vortex!

Episode 75 – Book Reports

This week we take a break from the electronic media delivery of Doctor Who and turn to the novels.

First, Glenn reviews “The Crooked World” by Steve Lyons starring the 8th Doctor. Then, Shaun takes on the 9th Doctor story “Only Human” written by Gareth Roberts. And finally, Keith has a review of “The Story of Martha” by Dan Abnett (and others) featuring Martha and the 10th Doctor. *WARNING THERE WILL BE SPOLIERS*

Also a look at the week’s news including some Galley announcements, and of course your feedback.


The Sidekick Cast

Episode 64 – Will You Still Need Me?

In this week’s podcast we take a look at three more Eight Doctor Big Finish Audios starring Paul McGann and India Fisher. First up is Minuet In Hell, featuring the return of Nicholas Courtney once again in the role of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. Then, the old time radio stylings of Invaders From Mars. Finally a glimpse into companion Charley Pollard’s past with a review of The Chimes of Midnight.

Plus a look at the week’s news in the Doctor Who Universe, and of course, your feedback.


Gally Update 3 – Tickled Blue

Two updates on the same day? Unheard of! Yes, that’s right, Shaun has recorded another update from Gallifrey One’s Network 23, going on right now in Los Angeles, California. And joining him in this one, is his companion and girlfriend, Mel.

Shaun and Mel recount more of their “official” Day 1 at the premier Doctor Who convention in North America.

And this time, we get to hear a special message from one of the convention guests.

Also, more on the Eighth Doctor’s console which is on display, an a meeting with Eight himself, Mr. Paul McGann.

Shaun is going to be talking about this for weeks I’m sure.


Forget Withnail, It’s McGann And I

For an 8th Doctor fan like myself, this years Gally celebration was an especially poignant one.  I was thrilled at the prospect of seeing him, and a little star struck by the mere prospect of it.

But today takes the cake.  Today I walked into the fan room, and had my breath taken away by the sight of the fully restored TARDIS console from Doctor Who: The Movie.  McGann’s console.  Behind ropes to shield it from the overzealous, (myself included) I watched as the operator explained the process of restoring it, of replacing halogen bulbs with leds, (apparently after five minutes of being lit, the halogens began producing smoke and burning smells from within…) the christmas tree light indicators that allowed the blinking, the sound chip chock full of clips from not only the Movie, but nearly all of Who, (the door lever makes the door noise, a random switch makes the view screen noise, and the dematerialization circuit causes the groan. Or sometimes, stalls out and the time rotor flickers and dies! And all of this is set to a remote control, and the console responds to an aimed sonic screwdriver blast too!) The polished wood gleamed from the flashbulbs of dozens of cameras going off around me, the console the subject of some very exclusive paparazzi.

The room emptied a bit and men came in, carrying suitcases and plastic sacks, announcing they had found “it”.  Intrigued, I leaned in, only to be bustled aside by a man carrying a mannequin body.  “It” turned out to be McGann’s original costume worn for the movie.  Out of the bag came the shirt, the trousers, the belt, the vest, the waistcoat… And suddenly, there, standing NEXT to the console was the 8th Doctor.  Or at least his clothes.  But they say clothes make the man.

We followed this up immediately with a photo shoot with the 8th Doctor himself.  For a mere $25 bucks, I was hustled into a room, strode up to Paul McGann, shook his hand confidently and said, “I’m a big fan of your work, thank you sir, so much for coming to America to this convention.”  He seemed genuinely touched, and was warm and friendly for the 30 seconds we spent together taking that photo.  Mel melted at his touch and the sound of his voice, but managed to stay upright for the picture.  For a moment, I was afraid we’d have a Beatles moment and she’d have to be carried from the room after fainting!  And of course my confident exterior fell apart later.  I held it together just long enough to leave the room, and won’t bore you with the details of the fanboy squealing that escaped me just after.

But I’m pretty sure they heard me back in Kansas.

We ended with the McGann panel, or interview, conducted by Barnaby Edwards and Nicholas Briggs of Big Finish fame.  And the question was asked how did he feel about fan reaction.  McGann paused, and said he’s spent a lot of time frustrated, because he felt (and sometimes still feels) that the 8th Doctor is “tolerated”.  That he’s not “canonical”.  But then Barnaby said “you are to Russell T. Davies, and you are to Stephen Moffatt.”  Let me tell you, the room erupted.  And for someone who has always been a fan of the 8th Doctor, and Paul McGann, and gets frustrated by folks who DON’T feel he’s cannon, well… a more glowing argument can not be made.

Lastly, someone asked about the “new” outfit that he sported at a con long ago.  McGann laughed and said it was partially selfish, because he was tired of all the photos circulating, since the only ones are the promo pics from the Movie.  So he consulted a friend and costumer and put the leather jacket together.  And he’s itching to wear it again.  But BBC is apparently “weird” about it, and can’t (or won’t comment on it.)

We can only hope thats because they want to unveil him wearing it in the 50th anniversary special…

Doctor Who Variety Hour

Artwork By Andy Lambert

Here on Traveling the Vortex we tend to discuss the variety that Doctor Who brings on the show. From actor’s different takes on the Doctor to the tone of various stories.

With Doctor Who returning this Saturday the great folks over at io9 wrote up an interesting article about how there are almost as many different shows within Doctor Who as there are regenerations. They even include video examples.

io9.com: 10 Totally Different TV Shows that Doctor Who Has Been Over the Years

Doctor Who Fiction: For The Glory Of Unicorns

DOCTOR WHO: For The Glory Of Unicorns

Featuring The Eighth Doctor

By Shaun Collins

The bell overhead dinged when the door opened, an interesting item of note since there was no one present to be alerted by it.  The man paused for a moment, as if expecting someone, some postal clerk to come running to the melodic tone of the bell.  He was oddly dressed in an almost Edwardian ensemble, gray smoking jacket over a gold and gray suit with a silver ascot.  His stringy brown hair flowed from his scalp, and his piercing blue eyes, though lined and tired were alive with energy.

He took a deep reassuring breath, despite the stale air in the dark and dim corridor.  The room was long and narrow and paneled in dark wood, and along both walls stood row after row of locked metal post office boxes.  The florescent lights overhead barely illuminated the place.

The Doctor strode down the aisle, deep toward the back row of post office boxes.  He pulled from one pocket a key.  The man was no stranger to keys.  In his many lifetimes, he had owned several, some as alien and exotic as the locks they opened or the items secured behind them.  This key was small, brass and quite plain.  Almost a disappointment considering other ones that he’d come in contact with.  From another pocket, he produced a wrapping of black velvet.

The Doctor continued his search until he found what he was looking for.  Post Office Box number 5274.  He inserted the key into the slot and rotated, the lock’s mechanism turning true.  The door swung open.  The box was empty, just another non-descript storage slot in a room full of them.

Next he hesitantly began to unwrap the velvet package.  He glanced around again, making sure he was alone in the room before revealing a long, bright white cone; so white it seemed to almost glow against the dark fabric.

A Unicorn Horn.

He held the horn aloft in his hand and let the meager light from the overheads play off its spiraled features.  It glinted and gleamed, even in this dimness.  The promise of hope, of renewal, of second chances…

…of life.

The Doctor sighed deeply.  He felt a great measure of responsibility for the atrocity in his hand.  After all, he’d been the one who spirited the Unicorns off Earth all that time ago to prevent their extinction, but not even he could have predicted that millennia later their new home planet would be, “of strategic importance” in the words of the High Council.  Not even he could have predicted that that importance would ultimately lead to the genocide of the unicorns, as their planet was currently the site of some of the fiercest fighting between the forces of good and evil—his own race, the Time Lords on one side, and the mechanical menace of the Daleks on the other.

Planets destroyed, histories altered, whole species fighting for survival, caught in-between the two clashing forces in what was shaping up to be the final conflict.  They were calling it the Time War.

The Doctor suspected that many more battles and much more spilled blood was yet to come.

He re-wrapped the horn and placed it gently, reverently in the post office box, then closed and locked the door.  Unicorns, like Time Lords, had the ability to heal and regenerate—on Earth long ago, this very scientific process was mistaken for magic—and there was enough residual energy in the horn that in time with a little luck, he may be able to rebuild the population.  As a champion of Earth and a child of Gallifrey, knowing that each species had had a hand in nearly destroying the Unicorns, the Doctor felt responsible either way.  It was his duty to help.

But all that would have to wait until the war was over.

The horn also contained enough energy to be perverted into a weapon if it fell into enemy hands.  He couldn’t be sure, of course, but he hoped that Earth would be spared the carnage that even now raged throughout the cosmos.  If it did, the horn would be safe until he was ready.  It was far safer here, in a random post office box in a small town on an anonymous backwater world, than in any of the Time Lord strongholds.

The way things were going, the Doctor feared nothing may survive.

He pocketed the key and strode back along the endless rows of boxes, and out into the bright sunlight afternoon.  Across the parking lot sat the TARDIS, forever locked into the familiar shape of a Police Box.  He took a last look at Earth, and another deep breath of air un-tainted by war and death.  Then he vanished inside and a moment later, the de-materialization process started and the box itself vanished.

High in orbit, a satellite re-tasked its orbit to pass overhead.  Its cameras and scanners surveyed the area, having detected a brief but powerful temporal disruption, and relayed the information back across the ocean to a tall building in the heart of London.  There an overnight analyst poured over the data.  She found nothing out of the ordinary, despite the satellite sensors.  She classified the incident, filled it in the “Unknown Occurrence” file, and flagging it for eventual follow up by Torchwood field agents.  <>

Doctor Who Fiction: A Place Among The Stars

DOCTOR WHO: A Place Among The Stars
By Shaun Collins

On a quiet afternoon in a countryside cottage, he lay dying.The bedside monitor beeped, the breathing apparatus did its slow, rhythmic pump up and down, an IV line drip, drip, dripped its medicinal concoction, but still he lay dying.He’d come to accept the idea.He’d lived a long, full life—a good life, by all accounts—and now was growing accustomed to the idea of fading away.

Of course the cancer had other ideas.It was not about to let him go peacefully or quietly.It was in fact, eating him alive.He hated it. He’d spent his whole life putting on a brave front for the cameras, showcasing a “never say die” attitude.He’d fought and won against every kind of threat possible, but the cancer was different.

For starters, it was real.There was no writer standing by with a clever way out, no Beeb executive to step in with a dues-ex-machina.He was going to die, and it would not be fading away.It would be slow and agonizing and above all, undignified.

The man wanted to get up and walk, to clasp his hands behind his back and just pace, as he had so many times in the past, but in his weakened state, could barely shift the bed covers that felt as much like a restraining strap across his midsection as they did a comforting swaddling for his frail form.

A groaning wheeze filled the air, as familiar as it was foreign, sounding as though some great beast was forcing itself through a tear in the fabric of space and time.He instinctively reached for the remote, thinking someone had left the telly on for him.And while ordinarily that would have provided a decent distraction from the ineffective medicines, he couldn’t take the program.

Not that one.Not right now.

But the television set wasn’t on.He looked across to the room’s far corner and watched disbelieving as the familiar blue box took shape, the WHORP WHORP noise continuing until at last it solidified and turned real.The light on top stopped flashing, the materialization process completed.

The door opened and a young man stepped out of the TARDIS.He was dressed like a Oxford professor; brown tweed jacket, suspenders and red bow tie, though he was far too young to sell the look.He glanced around the room for a minute and his eyes settled on the hospital bed against the wall with its astonished patient.

“Ah, good, you’re here.Thought for a minute we’d missed you.”He glanced over his shoulder back into the box.“It’s alright, we’re here.”He spun back around and clasped his hands together.“How are you, my friend?No, wait, that’s a bad question.Don’t answer that.”

“Well of course it’s a bad question!Have you no sense of decorum at all dear boy?”A gruff voice called out, and an elderly man with white hair and a cane forced himself through the doors and into the room.“Just look at him, mmm!”

“I thought we agreed I’d be first to see him?”Came a new voice, and a short man with dark hair in a mop top pushed through.His check trousers and blue shirt made for quite a contrast with the others.He scowled at them as he came into the room, but brightened when he looked at the bed.“My dear Brigadier!What a pleasure to see you again.”

The man in the bed shook his head.“You, you can’t be here.You’re not real.”

“Not real?”Shouted the next man out of the TARDIS.He had curly blond hair and wore a Technicolor dream coat.“I expect we’re some sort of fever dream then?”

“Oy!Leave him alone.”Said a skinny man wearing glasses and a brown pin-striped suit.

“Yes, he’s been through quite a lot lately.”The next man said, a blonde wearing a cricket outfit and what looked like celery.

“This can’t be happening.”The man in the bed said.

A few of them started milling about the room, muttering to themselves about the state of the accommodations.A tall man wearing an incredibly long scarf flopped down on the bed next to him.He crossed his legs, threw his feet up on the bed and smiled a mouthful of teeth.“Well he doesn’t look any worse for the wear to me.”

“Amazing when you consider the medical technology of this time.”Said another with long flowing hair and a silver ascot, as he looked over the array of monitors next to the bed.“They almost killed me.”

“They did kill me.”Said a short man in a hat carrying an umbrella.“Or rather, they will kill me.Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart we presume?”

“Oh must we presume?”The man in the scarf asked.

“Of course we must!”Said the grandfatherly figure still standing by the TARDIS.

“I am not Lethbridge-Stewart.”Said the man in the bed forcefully.

They all stopped to look at him.

“Well of course you’re not.”Came a new voice.It belonged to the one in the crushed purple velvet suit and cape with a shock of white hair.“We know that, for heavens sake.But what else would we call you—” He smiled.“but `Brigadier’?”

The one in the mop top nodded enthusiastically.“You’ve no idea what we’ve had to go through just to get here.”

“The reality compensator is completely blown; take us a month to repair it.”Said another man wearing a black leather jacket as he stepped out of the TARDIS.“Oh, hello!”

“What do you mean; you came here to find me?”Asked the man in the bed.The Doctors—and really, that’s all he could think of them as—stopped and smiled in synch with each other.

“Regardless of our differences, young fellow, we hold you in high regard.Very high regard indeed.”Said the grandfatherly one.

“It’s been a while since I was a young fellow… Doctor.”The words sounded strange in his ears but felt right coming from his mouth.“But, I don’t understand.You’re fiction.”

“What is fiction, but words that describe an idea?”Asked the Doctor in purple velvet.

“And ideas are powerful things.”Chimed in the man wearing celery.

“Some ideas are so powerful; they take on a life of their own.”Agreed bow tie.

“And here we are.”Finished the mop topped Doctor.

There was a moment of silence then, as what the Doctors had said sunk in. “But why?Why now?”

“I think you know why.”Said the bow tie Doctor.“Come with us.”


At that moment, a single gong rang out.It came from deep within the bowls of the TARDIS and reverberated throughout the room.The Doctors looked up at the sound of it. “The Cloister Bell.”Said the black leather jacket Doctor.“We haven’t much time.”

“We know what it means!”Cried out the grandfatherly Doctor.“Let’s see what we can do about it, hmmm?”He turned to the rest.“Don’t be long.”He moved back into the TARDIS with the other Doctor as the bell rang out again.

The Doctor in purple rubbed his hands together.“Yes well, this is it, Brigadier.You can come with us, or we can part ways.”

The man in the bed shook his head.“I can’t just leave, it’s impossible.”

“Impossible!”Shouted the Doctor in the scarf as he lept to his feet and stood on the bed.“Did he just say ‘impossible’?Just look around the room, Brigadier!We’re living proof of the impossible.”

The blonde Doctor with the cricket gear stepped forward.“Brigadier, a place among the stars has been prepared for you, but we mustn’t delay.”The Cloister Bell rang out again, emphasizing his words.

The bedridden man looked at the conglomeration of tubes and wires that linked the machinery to him.He looked at the Doctors, from one to the other.All faces he recognized, all men he knew.And if what they said was true about getting here, he knew he could be in no better hands.

He made up his mind. “All right, Doctors.I’m ready.”

The Doctor in purple grinned and nodded, the mop top Doctor was positively beaming.

“Allons y!”Shouted the skinny Doctor in the brown suit as he pulled his sonic screwdriver from his pocket and aimed it at the bedside equipment.Its high pitched hum filled the air, and then a shower of sparks flew from the monitors.The Doctor in the scarf jumped off the bed and along with the short Doctor with the umbrella, and the Doctor with the long flowing hair and ascot began to push the hospital bed across the room.The Doctor in the Technicolor coat swung open both sets of doors to the TARDIS as the Cloister Bell sang again.

“The fabric of reality is beginning to break down!”Shouted the Doctor in the cricket gear.

“Don’t worry”, said the Brigadier as the bed rolled over the threshold.“The writer will get us out of this.”

The Doctors shared another smile, and then closed up the doors.The TARDIS shuddered once, and began to dematerialize.The groaning noise started anew, the light on top flashed.The box became translucent, then transparent, and then the Brigadier got what he wanted:

He faded away. <>