We travel backward to the Seventh Doctor story “Battlefield” for Friday Night Who this week. Grab your DVD or boot up your Britbox subscriptions and join us this Friday night at 10:30pm Central. Be sure to follow us on Twitter (@travelvortex) and look for the #FridayNightWho & #Battlefield hashtags to join the conversation.
In this week’s podcast, we revisit the world of Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart and review Candy Jar Books’ recently released Lethbridge-Stewart: The HAVOC Files 2. We have cultivated four stories from the anthology collection, as many have been already reviewed here on the podcast. We will turn our focus to House of Giants by Rick Cross, Ashes of the Inferno by Andy Frankham-Allen, Schädengeist’s First Love by Jonathan Cooper, and Exodus from Venus by John Peel.
Plus, some very exciting news about the return of a Doctor Who convention, a wee bit earlier than once thought.
On September 14th, Titan Comics will release the first issue of the new Doctor Who comic series featuring the 3rd Doctor as played by Jon Pertwee!
Here’s what Titan has to say about it:
Paul Cornell returns to Doctor Who comics with THE HERALDS OF DESTRUCTION! When something enormous crashes into Bedfordshire, the Doctor, Jo Grant, and the forces of UNIT under Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart mobilise immediately – and find themselves in the middle of a pitched battle against a terrifying invader… But the shocking face that awaits their return to base may tip the whole world off its axis!
It’s classic Third Doctor action as you’ve never seen it before!
Whew! After some tense moments this week, we are finally able to bring you this week’s show. Following a few computer crashes, recovery of files, recording of some new ones, and a bit of editing wizardry, another podcast is in the books. This week, we surmount the curse and bring you our review of the Third Doctor’s final story, Planet of the Spiders. We share our opinions of the end of an era for the show. And be sure to stick around after the credits for a special piece by Dr. Phil of the Adventures in Time Space and Music podcast as he explores some of the music of Planet of the Spiders.
Also, we give our impressions of the recently released trailer for the first story in Series 9, The Magician’s Apprentice. We also chat about the announcement that River Song will return in time for Christmas, and more in the ongoing saga of the release of the Second Doctor story, The Underwater Menace to DVD.
In this week’s episode, we take a look at the novel, “Lethbridge-Stewart: The Forgotten Son”. Taking place after the events of The Web of Fear, we find Colonel Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart having to once again deal with the Great Intelligence and its Yeti minions. We give our impressions of this recently released novel from Candy Jar Books in a new line of stories featuring the man who would become the Brig.
Also, our reaction to news this week hinting at set-up events to Series 9
Plus, Shaun regales us with stories of his trip to Kansas City for Weird Al Yankovic’s Mandatory Fun tour concert.
In this week’s podcast, we approach another Adversary Archive, this time revisiting The Master. We review two stories featuring one of the Doctor’s ultimate foe. First a look at the Third Doctor story, The Mind of Evil. Next we tackle a Big Finish, Seventh Doctor audio, The Master.
Also, a lot on the plate for our reactions to the news of the week, with some new series announcements, including some potentially good news for the future of the show, and a new delivery service for some of our favorite episodes.
In this week’s show, after wading through discussions about yard waste and home improvement, we look at the Third Doctor, seven part story, The Ambassadors of Death. This is a story we split between two weeks of Friday Night Who, and was the first one to receive an extensive color restoration.
Also, Shaun and Keith were able to make it out to see Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph this weekend. Hear what they have to say about the film.
And a look at the news happening in the Whoniverse this week, including the announcement of the return of classic adversary.
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: