This week, the Diddly Dum Podcast comes to you from The Gore Crow Hotel, made famous by its appearance in the Seventh Doctor story, “Battlefield”. As Morgaine the Sunkiller and her minions from 165 Eaton Place attempt to break through the protective chalk circle drawn around the podcasters’ bar table, the Three Who Drool ponder the theme of myths and legends in Doctor Who – specifically the use of the Atlantis legend.
In between discussing the Second Doctor story “The Underwater Menace” and the Third Doctor story “The Time Monster”, Al recalls recently meeting Tom Baker and being boomed at by the great man, Doc tells of coming across a relic from Delia Derbyshire’s schooldays and The Rev provides vital road safety tips.
Here’s the final clue to the stories covered in Friday’s Diddly Dum Podcast, couched in rhyming couplets, Rupert the Bear style. That’s not part of the clue. Like all Doctor Who fans, the Diddly Dumbers are just suckers for childhood nostalgia.
Faithful listener, what link could ye
Find twixt a time-devouring budgie
And a plankton-eating race
Hid in an oceanic base?
If a splinking Minotaur perplexes
And interstitial theory vexes,
Our next podcast provides the answers
To underwater ballet dancers
Altered so they breathe like fish,
It’s downloadable at midnight(ish).
A hellish land that’s worse than Dante’s?
Of course, the common theme’s ________ !
(artwork as ever by our own The Rev – To see all of the Diddly Dum Podcast artwork and photos and links on all the stuff we chat about, have a look at our visual show notes at http://gb.pinterest.com/visualthinktank/doctor-who-and-the-diddly-dum-podcast/)
Diddly Dum Podcast 008 – Mine’s a Double
Join The Three Who Drool in the bar of The Fleur de Lys in their tour of drinking establishments iconic in Doctor Who lore.
This time the linking theme of the podcast is Doppelgangers as the three Diddly Dumbers (if it is indeed really them) discuss Enemy of the World, The Android Invasion, Aliens of London, World War Three and Boom Town.
(With “The Keys of Marinus”, we reach Part 5 of our Name Dropping journey through the First Doctor’s character arc as represented by his changing ways of addressing Ian: in which the Doctor takes one of many holidays, Barbara narrowly escapes a fate worse than being married to King Yrcanos, Ian models the kimono as the latest in designer skiwear and the most interesting thing Susan does is change her shoes.)
While watching a reconstruction of “Marco Polo” may have been a snooze from start to finish, at least one can imagine that it might be better if we had the video. Whereas “The Keys of Marinus” exists in all its bland glory as a Playstation game which doesn’t live up to its potential. And a Playstation game is what it is. What else do you think when the TARDIS crew are told upon entering the pyramid that they must find four keys which are hidden across the planet? The only surprise is that Ian doesn’t come across a shop in the ice caves where he can upgrade his kimono to a ski-suit. It would be a rotten computer game anyway because there really ought to be a handy Save Point near that ice bridge. One might have thought that you couldn’t go wrong with a treasure hunt for four keys where the story can keep the viewer’s interest with a sequence of search, find, search, find, search, find, search, find. One would have been wrong.
The best part of this story is by far the introduction. The glass sand, the acid sea, the Voord submariney things. What’s not to like? Even the pyramid is well realised with the simple use of perspective plates. And not only do we get a wonderfully creepy new baddie in the Voord, while lying in wait for our heroes they’re being attacked themselves by some unknown threat.
Unfortunately, from the moment that they first twist their travel dials, snores abound in a strangely edited (or bizarrely directed) story where we frequently happen upon a new scene as if walking in on the middle of a sentence. Darrius leaving Ian and Barbara to enter his room is a case in point as the next scene finds him being strangled by a vine sans any build up.
It’s a bad day for a Doctor Who story when the viewer, in a quest for tension, is reduced to wondering if one of the TARDIS crew is going to be raped by the guy who played Agrippa in Carry on Cleo (“I’m Agrippa” – “And I know one or two holds myself” – boom boom).
The introduction aside, the only decent scenes are the Doctor in his gleeful element reconstructing the crime scene in Millennius. It’s no surprise that Carole Ann Ford described Susan’s character as “pathetic” in this story. While one might appreciate the difficulties for a writer in finding interesting things for four characters to do, the Doctor’s absence for much of this story should be an ideal opportunity but what do they do? They add in the unnecessary characters of Altos and Sabetha to take up the slack.
(Not until she met David Cameron would Susan again experience rubber this intimately.)
The absence of the Doctor reduces the scope for our journey through his interactions with Ian. During “The Keys of Marinus”, the Doctor addresses Ian as follows: Chesterton x 4, my dear Chesterton x 1, my boy x 2, dear boy x 1, my dear boy x 1 and (an innovation here) my friend x 1. The Doctor of course is just as likely to address Total Stranger #5 on an alien planet as “my friend” but the use of variants on “boy” seem to dominate here. A little too patronising for the Doctor to yet treat Ian as anything approaching an equal. At least he never gets Ian’s surname wrong.
Diddly Dum Podcast 007 – Failed Alien Holidays
Join the Three Who Drool on their tour of iconic drinking establishments from Doctor Who lore as this week they travel across space and time to the 52nd century in order to sample the booze at The Maldovarium.
Alas the patron wasn’t on the premises (lost his head, poor thing) and so, disappointed at missing the celebrity black marketeer, the Diddly Dumbers muse of the subject of Failed Alien Holidays.
The stories covered are The Leisure Hive, Paradise Towers and Midnight – during which The Rev goes wall-scrawling with the Kangs and Doc tears the Chief Caretaker a new waste disposal chute while Al feeds us with celebrity deaths in between unscheduled visits to the Gents.
(art as ever by our own The Rev)
The trail of thematic clues has been leading up to this point all week like a Begonia Pope scarf unravelled along the TARDIS corridors by a newly regenerated Doctor.
Tonight, at the stroke of the midnight(ish) hour, while fandom sleeps, Episode 7 of the Diddly Dum Podcast will awake on iTunes.
Where have the Diddly-Dumbers travelled to this week in their tour of iconic drinking establishments from Doctor Who lore? Come with us as we use the medium of late 1970s comic strips to show them setting off on their journey.
(all art as ever by our own The Rev)
What a curious photo it is of Peter Capaldi and Janet Fielding which has been doing the rounds.
Strangely similar to a photo of Kenneth Williams and (not yet Dame) Maggie Smith. Especially given that it’s the same building in the background.
Scottish connection? Maggie Smith connection? Maybe they’re doing Miss Jean Brodie Meets The Daleks.