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parrot_knight [userpic]

Terrance Dicks, 1935-2019

September 3rd, 2019 (01:32 am)

Registering here the outpouring of memorializing I've mainly joined in with elsewhere. Terrance Dicks was a great storyteller, a wry colluder with the childhood imagination, a subtle improver of memories of lost television. He was also acutely aware of structure, genre and his and his work's place in time, and of his work as collaborative act, whether with cast and crew or with publishers, and of course with the audience. The way in which Doctor Who is written and written about still owes a huge amount to him - and how many remember fondly his children's creations such as T R Bear, his many other series (I remember his 1981 novel Cry Vampire which includes a defence of children watching horror as well as Doctor Who) and his stewardship in the 1980s of the BBC Sunday afternoon classic serials? I look forward to him receiving due appreciation in the press in the coming days - I gather Toby Hadoke is already hard at work - and I remember well the experienced writer talking through one gauche undergraduate's attempt to invite him to Oxford over the phone. He did visit, though I continued to make faux pas with him over the next two and a bit decades. He was good and generous company, however.

Also posted at https://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2019/09/03/terrance-dicks-1935-2019.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Tides of Time Special Edition Summer 2019 - Conventions and Other Events

August 25th, 2019 (02:01 am)

We have been busy at Tides of Time towers (a block of flats outside Oxford as much as a student room in an ancient college) and have published a special pdf-only issue reporting from Doctor Who conventions at Aldbourne, Banbury, Bedford and Derby as well as appearances in the recent past by Russell T Davies and in the more remote past by Sophie Aldred. To find out more and download the special (no charge), see this post.

Also posted at https://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2019/08/25/tides-of-time-special-edition-summer-2019-conventions-and-other-events.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Tumblr to be sold to Automattic

August 12th, 2019 (09:33 pm)

I barely use Tumblr and have more to do with WordPress, but it looks as if they are getting married:

Also posted at https://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2019/08/12/tumblr-to-be-sold-to-automattic.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Paul Darrow 1941-2019

June 3rd, 2019 (11:44 pm)

Intense, maverick, brilliant, difficult to cast at times I suspect, the life and soul of Blake's 7. "Did you betray me?" No, we will always be waiting for you.

Also posted at https://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2019/06/03/paul-darrow-1941-2019.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Russell T Davies in Oxford

May 24th, 2019 (06:06 pm)

Russell T Davies's talk to Worcester College, Oxford and (by invitation of the provost) the Oxford (University) Doctor Who Society was enjoyable. I wasn't in the target audience, of course - there was a lot of talk about how to get into television and how Russell failed to get into the BBC training course three times, ending up by going in as a 'worker' through an ordinary job application and not as management. There was a definite sense of how glad he was to leave Doctor Who and that he spent a long time picking up the threads of his life that he'd dropped to make the series. Nevertheless, despite the attempted interventions of Jonathan Bate, the provost of Worcester - who four years ago encouraged him to persevere with A Midsummer Night's Dream for BBC One when the budget and logistics were collapsing - to take him away, Russell talked to people and posed for photographs for three quarters of an hour. The talk - excluding the Q&A - should appear at the Worcester College website soon if it hasn't already.

Also posted at https://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2019/05/24/russell-t-davies-in-oxford.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Download The Tides of Time 43

May 20th, 2019 (03:46 pm)

Issue 43 of The Tides of Time, first published at the end of April 2019, is now available as a free PDF download. See this page for contents and links to the download and (still available) print editions.

Also posted at https://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2019/05/20/download-the-tides-of-time-43.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

The Tides of Time 43 - a new issue of the long-running Doctor Who fanzine

Copied directly from website of said zine, published by the Oxford (University) Doctor Who Society:

The Tides of Time #43 for Trinity Term 2019 is now available in print to discerning readers everywhere! The issue is 80 pages of full A5 colour, and print copies of this issue are available through this link

Features include:

Reviews of Series 11

  • ‘Perhaps I’ve thought everything I’ll ever think’ – Ian Bayley discusses the Society’s predictions for Series 11

  • The Victoria Line – Society President Victoria Walker reviews each episode of Series 11

  • ‘If I was still a bloke, I could just get on with the job and not have to waste time defending myself’ – Georgia Harper discusses the response to the Thirteenth Doctor’s debut

  • Team, gang, fam? –  Francis Stojsavljevic summarises the collective views of the Society on the episodes, characters and features of Series 11

  • ‘I’ve lost track of what’s actually happening’ – Georgia Harper relays the reactions of Time and Relative Dimensions in Shitposting

  • Say you want a Resolution – Matthew Kilburn reviews the New Year’s Special


  • Haiku for The Woman Who Fell To Earth by William Shaw

  • Haiku for The Witchfinders by William Shaw

  • Haiku for Resolution by William Shaw


  • Timewyrm Tales – James Ashworth reviews the first four novels of the Virgin New Adventures

  • Bookwyrm Reviewed – Stephen Brennan reviews Bookwyrm, the new novel exploring the New Adventures in their entirety, from Robert Smith? and society alumnus Anthony Wilson

  • You all right, Hun? – Georgia Harper reviews the new Thirteenth Doctor novel, Combat Magicks


  • Wise Men Say – Andrew O’Day discusses the allegories of Kinda andSnakedance

  • As Time Goes By – Oli Jones defends The Time of the Doctor

  • Top or Flop: The Capaldi Conundrum –  James Ashworth and Ian Bayley debate the relative merits of the Capaldi-era titles

  • Hail to the Chief – Rory Salt shines light on the work of Big Chief Studios

  • Hmm? – Ian Bayley discusses David Bradley’s work on Doctor Who, after his visit to the Oxford Union

  • Equilibrium by Philip Holdridge, featuring the new TARDIS crew on a mission to another universe

Again, here's the link to buy through!

Also posted at

parrot_knight [userpic]


March 3rd, 2019 (03:40 am)

My cold is perhaps improving; I slept fitfully during the night and awoke not long before my parents took some glass and grass to the tip; I went too as their health issues are worse than mine. This turned into an extended shopping trip, as (among other things) we searched for the double of a soup I'd bought in Aldi in Chipping Norton and found that Aldi doesn't stock it in Westerhope. A lesson in local buying. A dash for tissues and menthol sweets at nearer shops to my parents' led to a chat with their less visible neighbours, eating sandwiches outside the bakers', who turned out to be very friendly - they now have a puppy (present at shops) to add to their cat (not present, unsurprisingly), and the puppy ("joined at the hip" to the six-year-old daughter) let me stroke her forehead (most of her was swaddled in blanket by six-year-old, who liffted her dog up so it could see a picture of a certain long-deceased Samoyed) which is more than I've had from the cat (whom I've been misgendering for a year on the basis of their name being traditionally used by a male pantomime character). After all this excitement and following lunch I fell asleep again (but not before watching Star Trek Discovery on my phone - a fairly good episode even though I am not convinced by the Georgiou strand) and was woken at half-time by my mother who was bored by West Ham versus Newcastle and needed to form a support group. J joined us via Skype.

I have not managed any work these last two days and giving up some of my commitments, long urged by family, is looking more likely. Damaging patterns can be difficult for me to acknowledge, even now; and traps can become fur-lined, but I'm sure I've said that before.

Also posted at https://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2019/03/03/splutterings.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Empty Pockets, Empty Shelves

January 30th, 2019 (12:57 am)

I've blogged an article originally published in The Tides of Time on that publication's website. Empty Pockets, Empty Shelves is a short look at how the character of the Twelfth Doctor was represented in motifs destroyed or dispersed at the arrival of the Thirteenth Doctor and how these absences help define the Doctor as now portrayed by Jodie Whittaker.

Also posted at https://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2019/01/30/empty-pockets-empty-shelves.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]


January 1st, 2019 (04:43 am)

Happy New Year, all.

Also posted at https://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2019/01/01/mmxix.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Christmas Book Notes 2: Beloved Dog, by Maira Kalman

December 29th, 2018 (11:30 pm)

I've admired Maira Kalman's work when I have seen it, but haven't owned any of her books until this Christmas when I found this among my presents. Kalman's sensitivity towards her subjects was always evident and it's right that a volume should concentrate on her dogs, now needy, now loving, sometimes furious, often content. The original content which frames the book demonstrates relationship with dogs interwoven with her family background - which treated dogs with suspicion - and her marriage to Tibor Kalman, whose terminal illness led to her acquiring her 'beloved dog' Pete. I wasn't familiar with her series of children's books about the dog poet Max Stravinsky, but now know something of his flight to Paris to be a poet and his subsequent adventures among mondes belle and demi-. as well as many of the other dogs Kalman has depicted, curious, furious, studious or just stupidly happy in an endearing canine way. Pete's connection with death is never far away - prose accompanying the last painting of Pete compares her longing to hear a word from him to 'asking to hear one word from a loved one who has died' - but Kalman's art celebrates life in all its diversity, with dogs enjoying their own careers as well as offering mirrors to human souls.

Also posted at https://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2018/12/29/christmas-book-notes-2-beloved-dog-by-maira-kalman.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Christmas Book Notes 1: Why We Get the Wrong Politicians, by Isabel Hardman

December 29th, 2018 (10:22 pm)

The title is a little misleading, as part of Isabel Hardman's argument is that the popular perception (if she sets it up accurately) that the United Kingdom has the wrong politicians is mistaken, and that to some extent politicians are trapped in a system which too many people have vested interests in not changing. The bias towards people able and willing to fund their own campaigns - both to become a candidate, and then to be elected to parliament - and against women - with conservatism over women's roles rife in all parties. The book is rich in anecdotes about selection, election, bill committees, select committees, and the combined results of the efforts of the whips and the sheer weight of government business to ensure that bad bills reach the statute book. Few pages - indeed, only a few lines - are devoted to comparisons with other legislatures, and only a little more space is devoted to reform. Ideas include reviving bill committees after the passage of a bill so that members can hear evidence on how a bill works in practice, but it's difficult to see how this would provide a constructive method to improve on legislation. More concrete suggestions include salaries for parliamentary candidates, and salaries for members of select committees, as well as dedicated staff.

This isn't an apologia, even though Hardman did fall in love with one of her MP case studies which I'm sure isn't recommended practice. There is a lot of reporting of situations in recent years where MPs off and on the front benches should have done much better, being distracted by the legality of a proceeding - such as the invasions of Iraq and Libya - over the practicalities and details of the post-invasion plans, or in the case of Andrew Lansley's Health and Social Care Bill allowing it to career into the Commons without either of the Coalition government party leaders understanding what was planned. However, while entertaining it leaves one more frustrated with the state of affairs than confident about solutions.

Also posted at https://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2018/12/29/christmas-book-notes-1-why-we-get-the-wrong-politicians-by-isabel-hardman.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Doctor Who XXXVII/11.10 - The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos

December 13th, 2018 (12:44 am)

Yes, I've skipped It Takes You Away, for reasons of time. I was asked to review The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos for Space-Time Telegraph, however.

An introductory post on The Event Library adds a little more context.

Also posted at https://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/963404.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Doctor Who XXXVII/11.8 - The Witchfinders (and Tides of Time)

November 30th, 2018 (02:48 am)

My review, this week at the Doctor Who News Page's reviews section.

Afterword on my review, at The Event Library

Also, news on the publication of issue 42 of the Oxford-based Doctor Who fanzine, The Tides of Time.

Also posted at https://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2018/11/30/doctor-who-xxxvii118-the-witchfinders-and-tides-of-time.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Doctor Who XXXVII/11.7 - Kerblam!

November 24th, 2018 (02:15 am)

Written up at last at The Event Library.

Also posted at https://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2018/11/24/kerblam.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Doctor Who XXXVII/11.6 - Demons of the Punjab

November 17th, 2018 (07:30 pm)

No considered review this time, but some quick reflections and links to some other reviews, set out at The Event Library

Also posted at https://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2018/11/17/demons-of-the-punjab.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Doctor Who XXXVII/11.5 - The Tsuranga Conundrum

November 7th, 2018 (12:46 am)

My thoughts are at The Event Library this week.

Also posted at https://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2018/11/07/doctor-who-xxxvii115-the-tsuranga-conundrum.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Doctor Who XXXVII/11.4 - Arachnids in the UK

October 31st, 2018 (01:02 am)

Another Series Eleven review from me, back at The Event Library. Compassionate ethics and the shadows of Malcolm Hulke, Robert Sloman and Eric Saward, and a project manager in the time machine trade.

Also posted at https://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2018/10/31/arachnids-in-the-uk.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Doctor Who XXXVII/11.3 - Rosa

October 22nd, 2018 (04:58 pm)

At the Doctor Who News Page this week: Doctor Who Reviews: Rosa

Also posted at https://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2018/10/22/doctor-who-xxxvii113-rosa.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Doctor Who XXXVII/11.2 - The Ghost Monument

October 15th, 2018 (01:33 am)

Reviewed this week at The Event Library.

Also posted at https://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2018/10/15/the-ghost-monument.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Doctor Who XXXVII/11:1 - The Woman Who Fell to Earth

October 8th, 2018 (11:55 pm)

A new season, a new Doctor, a new showrunner, and lots of newness. So it's no surprise that there was a touch of light familiarity to this new season. I've written more about the symbolism and more at Space-Time Telegraph.

Two other reviews with different opinions:

James Cooray Smith at Hero Collector

J.R. Southall at Starburst

Also posted at https://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2018/10/08/the-woman-who-fell-to-earth.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

The Black Archive 24: The Time Warrior - now in stock

September 28th, 2018 (01:44 pm)

I have a book out, in Obverse's series of Doctor Who monographs The Black Archive. For more details and a link to download a sample, see the publisher's website.

Also posted at https://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/954031.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

The Black Archive 24: The Time Warrior

September 21st, 2018 (01:20 am)

This is not the last time that I will be promoting this book here, for transparent reasons. "Explore Gothic castles, ghosts in armour, amphibious landings and a heroine who already knows her own mind, as the gargoyles of the Gothic aesthetic merge with the bogeymen of Britain's imperial decline," says the author on Facebook about his contribution to Obverse Books' series of Doctor Who monographs.

On Twitter, he reports "My entry in @theblackarchive series of monographs on individual Doctor Who stories can now be ordered from the publisher. This 1973 story dwelt in currents of Gothic literature and film, feminism and post-imperial consciousness, and potato-headed aliens."

Here, he urges you to go to The Black Archive website and place an order for the print edition of The Black Archive 24: The Time Warrior. Ebook ordering to follow on publication day or thereabouts.

Also posted at https://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/2018/09/21/the-black-archive-24-the-time-warrior.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]

Jacqueline Pearce

September 3rd, 2018 (06:01 pm)

Farewell to an extraordinary actor. Maximum power, always.

Also posted at https://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/950097.html.

parrot_knight [userpic]


July 30th, 2018 (09:42 pm)

I've posted one of my ventures into fan fiction to AO3:

Umbrella (3191 words) by SirGuinglain
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Doctor Who, Giles cartoons
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Third Doctor, Zoe Heriot

In an alternative timeline where Zoe was exiled to Earth with the Doctor (as was intended at one point), Zoe has difficulty blending in to twentieth-century London - and it looks as if twentieth-century London might have its own ideas. First published in issue 20 of 'The Terrible Zodin', Fall 2017.

Also posted at https://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/943206.html.

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