Missing Dr Who episodes finally found

Friday 20th February 2009

Well, at last, at long last, the search is over.

Ian Levine can hang up his telephone, nay all his telephones, settle back in his giant customised Noel Clarke-shaped beanbag, and slowly puff out his bilious cheeks. Yup, the location of all the remaining missing episodes of Dr Who has been revealed. Robert Mugabe has them.

It seems one of the world’s most wicked men, a tyrant who is culpable in the wrecking of a once prosperous nation and the starving of millions of citizens, is also a fan of children’s science fiction.

Now chances are, in some people’s eyes, four words of that preceding sentence cancel out all the others. Indeed, ‘wicked’, ‘tyrant’, ‘wrecking’ and ‘starving’ are undoubtedly tremulous charges.

But in other people’s eyes, people more used to prowling the floors of reference libraries humming tunes inspired by whichever particular archive edition of Radio Times they’ve just requested, or who have installed multiple telephone lines in their Panopticon-sized penthouse just in case two people try and get in touch about an off-air recording of episode four of The Web Planet (‘Crater Of Needles’) complete with BBC continuity at the same time, the thought of even some of those 108 “lost classics” nestling in Mugabe’s ottoman offsets such trivial matters as an inflation rate of 231,000,000%.

Maybe Levine hasn’t eased himself delicately into Noel’s thighs quite yet, and is instead at this moment demanding an open passage to Harare.

What, though, might be the evil fucker’s favourite episodes?

1) The Massacre Of St Bartholomew’s Eve (1966)
Body doubles, body counts and bodies of suspicious evidence, plus the main protagonist absent from the public eye for long periods of time “on holiday”. Home from home, really.

2) The Savages (1966)
A civilised elite maintain an advanced society by requisitioning and siphoning off the physical and psychological assets of a bunch of locals. Well, the siphoning off bit is true enough. And in both cases the locals are left destitute. As for the meddling old man who turns up from out of nowhere, he is, naturally, “the United Kingdom”. Everything that goes “wrong” in Zimbabwe is the fault of “the United Kingdom”.

3) The Chase (1965)
Because Robert likes a good runaround. Look, there’s William Shakespeare doing the Charleston on the top of the Empire State Building.

4) The Daleks’ Masterplan (1965-66)
Because Sara Kingdom sounds a bit like United Kingdom.

5) The Enemy Of The World (1967-68)
“Dinner tonight’s going to be a national disaster! First course interrupted by bomb explosion. Second course affected by earthquakes. Third course ruined by interference in the kitchen. I’m going out for a walk. It’ll probably rain.”

6) The Invasion (1968)
A particular favourite of Robert’s, thanks to its realistic depiction of corrupt western society (a young girl doing a fashion shoot in her own living room! More young girls hiding in packing crates! St Paul’s Cathedral!) plus the fact he can do a frame-by-frame comparison of the original episodes with the animated substitutions done for the DVD and laugh knowingly whenever Gary Russell pops up talking about “taping it all off the telly”.


Mike Smith named as new Dr Who

Saturday 3rd January 2009

The BBC has revealed the name of the person to take over from David Tennant as owner of the most famous trans-dimensional time-travelling police call box-shaped spaceship on children’s television.

It is Mike Smith, former Radio 1 DJ, erstwhile comedy foil to Noel Edmonds, and latterly known for his role as full-time husband of Sarah Greene.


Mike is the youngest person to play Dr Who since the last one. An insider at the BBC revealed that Smith intends to bring to the part “something of all the previous Doctors” and that his characterisation will be “similar yet different” to the dozen or so other actors who have depicted the wacky wizard on television, film and stage.

Children, parents and heterosexuals have been speaking of their delight at the news. The entire Dr Who fan community, meanwhile, has gone into an instant sulk at the realisation that for the first time the Doctor is being played by somebody younger than them.

Noel Edmonds, who initially told the press he had nothing to say on the matter, later appeared at the garden gate of his giant mansion and freely chatted to reporters about how he wished “the sad bastard the best of British luck” and hoped he “had more joy flying the TARDIS than that bloody helicopter”.

Mike’s wife Sarah, who appeared in an episode of Dr Who during the 1980s, is rumoured to be making a cameo in the new series. When questioned, Sarah is alleged to have remarked: “the last time anyone saw me on television was locked in a cellar being ravished by a poltergeist; I’m damned if that’s going to be the last line on my CV”.

TV Cream Dr Who Consumer Unit

Monday 24th November 2008

The air is thick with them, the internet perforated by them, the press carpeted in them.

But enough about rumours concerning the identity of that woman who sings Ride On Time. Let’s try and pin down exactly what is common knowledge about the identity of the next Dr Who.

1) In July, a man in Jedburgh told his local paper he thought he’d spotted someone who “looked like Tony Hawks” stepping in and out of a blue box.

TV CREAM DR WHO CONSUMER UNIT SAYS: It was Tony Hawks, but on investigation it turns out he was merely “researching” his latest book about wryly carrying large goods (in this case a walk-in ice box) in a wry fashion around wryly inhospitable landscapes.

2) A fortnight ago an old lady in Hereford phoned her son to say that she’d overheard two people in Waitrose, “one of whom was Tom Baker”, discussing how much they were looking forward to “seeing more Billie Piper”. The son later posted this revelation on a fan forum.

TV CREAM DR WHO CONSUMER UNIT SAYS: It was Tom Baker, but he was relating how much he was looking forward to “seeing more Marie Piper”, i.e. potatoes.

3) During the summer Russell T Davies reportedly told a fan convention he was very much hoping to give Danny Dyer a hand in getting an opening.

TV CREAM DR WHO CONSUMER UNIT SAYS: Russell T Davies was not talking about Dr Who.

4) The next Dr Who will be someone who has already been in the show.

TV CREAM DR WHO CONSUMER UNIT SAYS: He was asked, but Colin Baker declined, stating it would “be like being asked back for one night with your ex-girlfriend”.

5) The next Dr Who will be a black man/old man/American/child/cripple/gay/gay cripple.

TV CREAM DR WHO CONSUMER UNIT SAYS: The next Dr Who will be Julia Sawalha.

This week’s new Dr Who(s) revealed

Friday 19th September 2008

It’s the Dr Who silly season, with stupid stories being lobbed into the ether to keep the freaks in a heightened state of pre-coital craziness until Christmas.

There’s the one about the TARDIS being turned gold for a special Children In Need sketch, by way of a tribute to the success of Britain’s Olympic and Paralympic teams. But then there’s Russell T Davies ‘revealing’ the ‘identity’ of the person he’d like to replace David Tennant.

It’s clear his sole rationale here is to keep the words ‘Russell’ and ‘Dr Who’ attached to each other in the public consciousness for another few years or so, while he’s elsewhere busy making another Manchester-based drama about 40-something gay men. But there are surely far more persuasive options that Russell *Tovey*:

“Now onto Capricorn, this is you Rose…”

“You are, are you not, a Mechanoid?” Anything’s possible for those folks at The Mill.

“Cassandra, I’ve just met a girl named Cassandra…”

“You think you’re abominable? Wait till you hear this version of The Entertainer!”

A citizen of the universe and a gentleman to boot

Monday 15th September 2008

Anyone who listens to Adam and Joe on 6 Music will know the name Chris Salt. He was the deserving winner of the recent Screen Test-esque competition in which members of the public were invited to create a video to accompany one of the pair’s legendary Song Wars tracks.

Anyway, Chris has a number of Lego-based creations to his name, and here’s one of the finest: a charming little salute to Dr Who with a suitably waspish pay-off.

"This is the story of how I died – but not really!"

Saturday 21st June 2008

Ahead of the nation’s largest simultaneous ejaculation, when Billie Piper returns to Dr Who tonight, the TV Cream Matrix Databank has been busy calculating where Rose’s long-inevitable ingress ranks in terms of all-time TV and radio re-appearances. And the results are in!

1) Harold Bishop returns to Neighbours.
2) Angela Rippon joins the ITN News Channel to update viewers on the war in Iraq, but only during working hours because there’s no news after 6.00pm.
3) Michael Grade goes back to save the BBC after Greg Dyke was chased out of Broadcasting House by Lord Hutton and Geoff Hoon.
4) The return of Sherlock Holmes in Granada TV’s The Return Of Sherlock Holmes.
5) Alan Freeman returns to present Pick Of The Pops on Radio 1.
6) Alan Freeman returns to present Pick Of The Pops on Radio 2.
7) The swingometer returns to the BBC’s general election coverage.
8) Bob Monkhouse returns to Celebrity Squares (“Hello celebrities!”)
9) Mark Kermode returns to Mark Radcliffe’s graveyard shift on Radio 1 after two weeks’ absence due to injuring his back in a minor road accident.
10) The chimes of Big Ben return to the Six O’clock News on Radio 4 after having their once-in-20-years polish.

Oh dear! It seems there’s no room for a warm hand on Rose’s entrance* in the top 10 all-time TV returns. And sadly the TV Cream Dr Who Matrix Databank cannot calculate any list-based trivia beyond 258 places (or the number of times Russell T Davies has dropped an incongruous popular culture reference into one his scripts), so it’s not clear whether Billie Piper appears in the chart at all. Ah well. Happy wanking.

*A premature taster for all the fanboys counting down until this evening.

The boy with the Wirrn in his side

Tuesday 22nd April 2008

It’s been confirmed that Morrissey is to play a leading role in this year’s Christmas episode of Dr Who.

The curmudgeonly racialist is hoping to repeat the success of Kylie Minogue, who dazzled viewers in last year’s festive special with her performance as a load of atoms.

It’s long been known that Morrissey is a Dr Who fan. His Smiths hit ‘William, It Was Really Nothing’ was a tribute to the first actor to play the role, while the song ‘Little Man, What Now?’ from his debut solo LP Viva Hate was a caustic swipe at John Nathan-Turner. The single ‘You’re The One For Me, Fatty’, meantime, was an affectionate love letter to Colin Baker.

When asked for a comment about winning the part, Morrissey replied: “I’m not happy and I’m not sad”.