Sunday, June 12, 2005

Calling the Doctor!

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As a longtime fan of the Doctor, I couldn't help but mention this when I found out about it.

The BBC has reported that kidnappers have stolen a Dalek, believed to be one of the original Daleks from the first run of the classic BBC science fiction/fantasy show Doctor Who (which, by the way, was resurrected this year after about a 15 year hiatus). Daleks were among the Doctor's most deadly (and most popular) foe, known for looking like giant salt shakers and for issuing their famous robotic cry of "Exterminate!" just before they zapped their enemies with rays coming out of an arm that looked like a toilet plunger. The Dalek was stolen from the Wookey Hole Caves (no, I'm not making this up!) on Monday, leading its owners to offer a £500 reward for its return. On Thursday, a ransom note was found with the arm of the Dalek neatly amputated. The note was signed by a group calling itself "Guardians of the Planet Earth" and said:
We are holding the Dalek in captivity and isolation.

For the safety of the human race, we have disarmed and removed its destructive mechanism.

We demand further instructions from the Doctor.

Will the Doctor respond?

Fortunately, there appears to be no damage. Wookey Hole manager (how does one get such a title?) Daniel Medley said: "The arm has been removed quite carefully, it hasn't been ripped off, there's no
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torture involved."

Well, that's a relief.

Speculation as to who took the Dalek ranges from students taking it as a prank to protesters stealing it to use in their protests for the upcoming G8 summit in Edinborough. Personally, I tend to think it's a bunch of Doctor Who fans pulling a prank, although, geek that I am, I do think that a full-size Dalek would make a fine addition to the decor of my office--although I'm sure my wife would most definitely not agree. I also would never have damaged the model by removing its arm.
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In any case, this incident reminds me that, as a long-time fan, I've been meaning to do a piece on Doctor Who for some time now. The new series is being shown in the U.K., but it's also being shown in Canada on the BBC. Unfortunately, it's not being shown in most of the U.S., including where I live. Fortunately, my family lives in Detroit, which means they can pick up the CBC broadcasts. Even more fortunately, my mother also happens to be a fan and is systematically taping the new episodes for me. I've already seen the first two, and they were surprisingly good, better than I expected. I still have a tape of four more of the new episodes, but I just haven't had time to look at them yet. Perhaps after I do I'll have seen enough to comment more definitively on the new series and the new Doctor in the context of the old series and previous actors who have taken on the mantle of the Doctor.

Either way, I need to find around four hours to go through the tape I have now before a new one arrives in the mail...

Dwdiamn Dw2005logo

(Via SciFiDaily.)

ADDENDUM: I just learned that former Doctor Who actor Colin Baker has been in touch with staff at the attraction, and may be asked to send a message to the kidnappers.

It figures. It would have to be Colin Baker. His was the most obnoxious and annoying incarnation of the Doctor. Of course, Baker's having been a guest star on Blakes 7 in the episode City at the Edge of the World can't help but warm the cockles of Orac's circuits, Baker's poor fit for the role of the Doctor notwithstanding. And even despite Baker's generally disagreeable take on the Doctor, among the mediocre stories, there were still a couple of really good Doctor Who stories during his tenure, Revelation of the Daleks and The Ultimate Foe.

Couldn't they have gotten the other Baker who played the Doctor, Tom Baker (the fourth--and best--incarnation of Doctor), or at least Peter Davison (the fifth--and my second favorite--Doctor)? Heck, the guy who's presently playing the Doctor, Christopher Eccleston, would be good. I like his take on the Doctor. Too bad he's planning on leaving the series after only one season in the TARDIS.

12 example(s) of insolence returned:


At 6/12/2005 11:11 AM, Anonymous Paul said...

I suspect we are looking at a publicity prank; quite likely by the owners of the Wookey Hole Caves, in order to promote business.

 

At 6/12/2005 11:34 AM, Blogger Orac said...

You may be correct. On the other hand, I'm sure the police are considering that possibility.

 

At 6/12/2005 12:48 PM, Blogger Guy said...

The first two episodes are the warm-up. The series just gets better. Watched last night's first-of-two episodes and can't wait for next saturday! I was skeptical as well, but am just in love with the new series...Ecclestone is brilliant, and the writing is better than it ever was before. The whole series is going to sell for about £40 on DVD, and I know I'll be buying it,

And no, I didn't take the Dalek either...it's dangerous to keep them in a collection...as you'll find out...

 

At 6/12/2005 2:16 PM, Anonymous Sharon said...

Yep, it's been great. The writing is top-notch, acting is marvellous, etc. And I think it's a real shame Ecclestone is moving on, too.

PS: They've probably got Colin Baker because he's the only one who needs the publicity. All the rest (who aren't dead) are in regular work...

 

At 6/12/2005 2:23 PM, Anonymous Hinschelwood said...

If you want a Dalek for your office, take a look here:

This Planet Earth

Rather expensive, but certain to be a topic of conversation.

And yes, the new Dr Who is very good - I've never been a fan, but I've seen it and think it's great.

 

At 6/12/2005 7:47 PM, Blogger Orac said...

Ah, well, it looks like I have to fire up the ancient VCR and get watching, doesn't it?

And, actually, I already have a "Dalek" for my office. It's a Dalek cookie jar. Of course, it's only about a foot high; so it takes up a lot less room.

 

At 6/13/2005 4:27 AM, Blogger OutEast said...

My uncle was offered the part of Doctor Who in its first incarnation - and turned it down. Needless to say, he's been regretting it ever since...

 

At 6/13/2005 6:47 AM, Anonymous ender said...

Your Joking me :-) - Tom Baker was the best doctor - mind you I did not see many of the later doctors.

I still have adolescent memories of Leela in that short costume. Kept me going all through high school. I really needed a life.

 

At 6/13/2005 9:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

After seeing the movie version of Hitchhiker's Guide..., one of my worries is that some day someone, God forbid (please), might make a movie version of Dr. Who and totally destroy it.

 

At 6/13/2005 10:21 PM, Blogger Orac said...

I haven't seen Hitchhiker's Guide yet. Looks like it'll end up waiting until it comes out on DVD...

 

At 6/25/2005 6:00 AM, Blogger Maggie said...

Wow, a US doctor who is an aficionado of not only Blake's Seven, but also Dr Who! BBC are currently running trailers for the next invasion - at Christmas. The new Doctor looks rather like a demented ostrich... Best wishes from rather chilly Liverpool, Maggie

 

At 6/25/2005 11:15 AM, Blogger Orac said...

Yeah, I'm a total SF geek. I love Doctor Who, Blakes 7, The Lord of the Rings, older Star Trek (the original series and The Next Generation).

I'm also getting hooked on the new version of Battlestar Galactica. I can't wait for the new season to start next month...

 

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