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Fortean Doctor Who

I've taken a bit of stick from other Doctor Who fans, so I'm starting a thread about him.

Quite a few of the stories are inspired by things Fortean.

Terror of the Zygons - Loch Ness
The Web of Fear - Yetis
The Green Death - Giant Maggots (great on a Saturday tea-time)
Pyramids of Mars - self explanatory

Most of these were from the good old days before faulty regenerations and political intrigues spoiled the show around the end of the Davison era.
The reason the show was so good was because it developed wonderment about the unknown, like the early X-Files.

What got everyone behind the sofa?
Is Doctor Who the reason you're interested on Fortean subjects?
How do you think the stories above and others like them were handled in terms of Fortean content?
 

johnnyboy1968

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#2
Re: Fortean Doctor Who

Red Dalek said:
What got everyone behind the sofa?
Is Doctor Who the reason you're interested on Fortean subjects?
How do you think the stories above and others like them were handled in terms of Fortean content?
I'd say that the Doctor was one of the reasons I got into this stuff, along with all the weird books I used to read. I was actually thinking of posting something along similar lines! I think its probably quite difficult for anyone under 30 to realise just how popular it was in those pre-Star Wars / movie blockbuster days. I remember it was required viewing for everyone at school, and usually Monday morning playtimes were taken up with in-depth discussions about it!

As for Fortean content, I'd agree that there were quite a few that could be looked at in that context. Ones I can think of in addition to your choices would be (in no particular order):

Planet Of The Spiders - The Buddhism subtext is fairly obvious now, ever if it wasn't at the age of 5. As has been pointed out in various fanzines, the Doctor's ego is out of control in this story, and the only way he can redeem himself is to die and be reborn as the "new' man, ie Tom! I also love the line "Not all spiders are on the back".

Talons Of Weng-Chiang - Takes dollops of Jack the Ripper, The Phantom of the Opera and any number of Victorian detective stories, and mixes them into something quite wonderful.

The Deadly Assassin - Doctor Who does a conspiracy thriller, with our hero fitted up for the crime by his arch-enemy, and sculduggery in high places.

I agree that it lost its way a bit in the mid-80s, but the last couple of years had some good stuff. The final season had the Arthurian legend (albeit rather clunkily done) in Battlefield , evolution vs creation in Ghost Light and a take on vampires in The Curse Of Fenric The last "real" Doctor Who story (I don't rate the rubbish US tv movie), Survival had an interesting slant on Gaia, what with the dying planet reacting to the violent behaviour of its inhabitants, and eventually destroying itself.

I also think there's something fascinating about the missing B&W episodes, and all the rumours, lies and hunts for the show's past. there are all sorts of crackpot theories about who has the lost episodes, with conspiracies and hoaxes galore. Is there really a cabal of "superfans" gathered together to keep them out of the archives? Probably not, but there are plenty of obsessive fans who believe that there is!

As a Fortean role model, I reckon mid-period Tom Baker was something to aspire to; wide-eyed at each new thing he discovered, passionate in what he believed, and totally refusing to grow up! :)

Blimey, that's got me going, I really must watch some of these again!
 

harlequin2005

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Don't forget the books....

'Who shot Kennedy" made me laugh, and it wasn't as excremental as a lot of TV spin off books



8¬)
 
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The Curse of Fenric - This would have been regarded as a classic had Tom Baker been in it. The strange casting choice of Nicholas Parsons as the vicar was sublimely perfect - the best TV vicar since Dad's Army.
The slanted view of the cross not being protection but it being one's belief in it or other objects/ideals conflicts with every vampire legend I'm aware of, but it didn't half make a good story.

Was thinking last night about Doctor Who and the Silurians. "Monsters" living in caves trying to spread disease throught the whole of humanity. Ugh! sounds strangley familiar!!! (Has anyone seen Geoffrey Palmer lately?)
 

harlequin2005

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The same idea was used in the X-Men in the 80's where Nightcrawler was the only one of them who could stop a vampire with a cross because he was a practising catholic.... Sorry, slightly OT there :)

8¬)
 
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harlequin said:
The same idea was used in the X-Men in the 80's where Nightcrawler was the only one of them who could stop a vampire with a cross because he was a practising catholic.... Sorry, slightly OT there :)

8¬)
Yeah, but in Fenric a Russian walked through a group of vampires safely just because of his belief in the Russian State.
Whereas Nicholas Parsons's vicar with a cross got done in because the war had led him to stop believing in God.
 

rossba1

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#8
I was Dr. Who nuts as a kid. I have it to thank (i think) for my level of literacy. Me dad used to buy me one of those 200pp Dr. Who books almost every week (when i was about 7 or 8) and that got me heavily into reading.
As a kid i also always used to dress up as a dr who character for halloween. (Daleks, cybermen, ice warriors and silurians were the ones i remember.)
My favourite was Sylvester Mccoy (but i only saw from Davison onward). I thought he brought humour and cheekiness with a hint of intellectual deepness to the character.
 

johnnyboy1968

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barndad said:
I was Dr. Who nuts as a kid. I have it to thank (i think) for my level of literacy.
Aye, I wonder how many youngsters were helped along the way to literacy by Terrance Dicks? As a little Johnnyboy I put him up there with Tove Jansson and Enid Blyton.

Still with books, one of the New Adventures novels featured a strange cosmic effect called a Fortean Flicker, or Flutter (not sure). It's ages since I've read it, but there was also something to do with falling fish. I think it was The Highest Science, by Gareth Roberts, but I could be wrong!
 
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Yup, it was The Highest Science. The flicker returned in Happy Endings, scrambling reality.

For all the Roswell nuts, the most obviously Fortean must be the Ambassadors of Death - military group kidnaps aliens and uses them as pawns in a plan to engineer a war (or something- it's been a while).

Everyone hates it, but my all time favourite has to be The Edge of Destruction - and how Fortean is that? Paranoia, hallucinations, abstract machine intelligences - if it hadn't been for the lousy revelation that all the terror has been created by a small bust spring.
 
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I still have nightmares about those flaming daleks!!!!! And I've been terrified of spiders ever since I watched "Planet Of The Spiders" with Jon Pertwee as the doctor
 
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harlequin said:
The same idea was used in the X-Men in the 80's where Nightcrawler was the only one of them who could stop a vampire with a cross because he was a practising catholic.... Sorry, slightly OT there :)
Didn't Roman Polanski's 'Dance of the Vampires' film (1969?) feature a Jewish vampire who just laughed as his trembling victim flourished a cross at him?
 

rossba1

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Is the edge of destruction the one about the tardis being sick and actually hurtling back to before the beginning of time and the big bang? If it is then ive got the book of this one. I read somewhere else (a tv book guide to dr. who i think) that the only reason they wrote it was that for that particular time there was no money to create new set pieces or hire actors. It had to be done in extablished set pieces with the regular actors. Bit of class
 
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janette246 said:
I still have nightmares about those flaming daleks!!!!! And I've been terrified of spiders ever since I watched "Planet Of The Spiders" with Jon Pertwee as the doctor
I only remember having one Doctor Who related dream as a child, in it my teachers were Dalek agents. This totally pre-dated Remembrance of the Daleks by about 6 years, but could have been after the Peter Davison Dalek story where the Black Dalek revealed that they had agents all over Earth.
 

johnnyboy1968

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#15
garrick92 said:
when was UNIT introduced as a 'feature' in "Dr Who"? It may even have been before the "UFO Conspiracy/MIB/etc" flap got underway properly. I'm thinking mid-Troughton era, so possibly 1965? But I don't really know, since Tom Baker was my first Dr.
(Puts anorak on for the duration of this post)

UNIT first appeared in 1968, in The Invasion, when the Cybermen tried to invade Earth. Reference is made to a rash of UFO sightings from the previous year, which turns out to be the invasion force massing. This one's got it all really; The Cybermen have brainwashed the Brigadier's superior, they intend to paralyse Humanity via a "micro-monolithic" circuit in equipment supplied by a sinister electronics firm (hope Bill Gates hasn't seen this - might give him ideas), horrid things lurking in the sewers, etc. As most of the World's population is zapped by the cyber-paralysis, they remain unaware that they've been invaded. Handy that:)

BTW, given all the fuss about exactly when the UNIT stories were supposed to be set, my audio of the sadly missing first ep comes in halfway through a continuity announcer stating that "The TARDIS lands in England in 1975". Makes the dating Mawdryn Undead difficult to explain, unless all the Pertwee / Baker UNIT stories all took place over the space of eighteen months!

Just had another thought; in The War Machines the evil computer is planning to take over the World after it links with all other computers via phone lines. So Doctor Who invented the internet!:eek!!!!:
 

carole

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#16
I liked the aquaphibians (?) They looked like huge caterpillars with suckers all over them.

And the one that scared me most of all was the one with Sutekh in it (I can't remember the exact details), when he took his helmet off and his head was revealed as the same shape, and that long, black pointed tongue . . .:eek!!!!:

Carole
 
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carole said:
And the one that scared me most of all was the one with Sutekh in it (I can't remember the exact details), when he took his helmet off and his head was revealed as the same shape, and that long, black pointed tongue . . .:eek!!!!:

Carole
This is my all time favourite.
Mummies walking around the English countryside, Michael Sheard in one of his many appearances, and (little known fact) the house where they filmed it was owned by Mick Jagger.
I'm sure that this pre-dated the discovery of the Martian Sphynx, possibly reality imitating art. Who knows - maybe the pyramid is Olympus Mons.
Like the ending as well " Don't want to get caught starting a fire, had enough of that in 1666". We had to wait for Peter Davison to actually start it.

This started my facination with all things Egyptian. I now find myself not believing any part of it that Egyptologists swear is correct.
 
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Hey Barndad, hang onto that copy of 'The Edge of Destruction'. I've seen that book go for about £25 recently.

Also - 'Dead Romance' by Lawrence Miles. Not strictly speaking Doctor Who, as the publishers lost the rights, but works around the fringes of the series with elegantly phrased references. Probably one of the finest pieces of science fiction I've ever read. Intensely Fortean too - check out the sphinx/Charles Manson connection...
 

rossba1

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whoa danhigginbottom, i must be sittin' on a frickin fortune. When i were a lad i used to get a Dr Who book almost every week and theres still a whole shelf dedicated to them in my parents house. I reckon there must be about 40 at least. My favourite was the wheel in space (i bloody lost it, as well as the aztecs and another book, on a school bus trip). I've also got a couple of things apart fropm novels- part of the A-Z of doctor who, the complete program guide and Peter davisons book of alien planets.
In an antiques roadshow stylee- is it worth owt?
 
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I hate to tell you this, but The Wheel in Space is worth a fortune. As a general rule of thumb (actual mileage may vary) novelisations dated after 1987/88 tend to be pricey as the print runs were very slight by that time. Especially for the older stories.
 

rossba1

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went home at the weekend and thought i might as well take a look at my collection. I think all my books are post '87. Found the edge of destruction in mint condition. Others i rediscovered include- terror of the vervoids, mythmakers, one by wally K Daly that was never made, the mutants, lots of dalek ones, dictionary of Dr. Who A-K and L-summat.
I had a couple of three stories in one boks (three i think) and the complete programme guide, and also a weird roleplaying game book where its split into lots of paragraphs with at the end of each paragraph instructions on which bit to read next according to what you want to do. Colin Baker based.
 

madmath

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#22
Red Dalek said:
Yeah, but in Fenric a Russian walked through a group of vampires safely just because of his belief in the Russian State.
Whereas Nicholas Parsons's vicar with a cross got done in because the war had led him to stop believing in God.
It was true faith that protected, absolute belief in something. And the Doctor - do you remember how he protected himself? One of those great but subtle moments in the series.
 

rossba1

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#23
wasnt it his belief in science that protected him? If my memory is not playing tricks then it was a great moment
 

johnnyboy1968

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Re: Curse Of Fenric

The Doctor's protected by his faith in his companions - he mouths their names whilst walking through the vampires.

Ironically later on, so as to defeat Fenric, he has to destroy Ace's faith in himself. This is one of my favourite later Who stories, working on quite a few levels. I just love the final scene as well!
 
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Re: Re: Curse Of Fenric

Johnnyboy said:
The Doctor's protected by his faith in his companions - he mouths their names whilst walking through the vampires.
I was never any good at lip reading. Did he mouth the name of Turlough? I always felt that their relationship was a little strained, even after they'd seen off the Black Guardian in Enlightenment. (What an idea that was, racing ships of various eras in space.)
 

johnnyboy1968

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#26
Out of idle curiosity, I've just been looking through the user list (and it's amazing the number of people who sign up and then never post a thing!) and I noticed that Who novelist (amongst many other things) Paul Cornell registered not that long ago. Assuming it is the same one, it'd be interesting to see where he sees Forteana fitting into Doctor Who , or vice-versa.

Unless of course, he's just doing research for an article on obsessive Forteans for his SFX column...
 

TheOriginalCujo

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#27
I'm just entering the fray at this point to say that Dr Who is one of those things that made me the woman I am. I probably would't be a fortean without Dr Who. I think it was one of those rare TV programmes that actually changes the people who watch it, and I don't just means that it separates them from the cash, their sex appeal, their common sense, and their free time.

For those of us who watched it when we were kids it gave us a moral framework which was lacking elsewhere. Those of us who watched Blake's 7 as well developed an understanding of complicated moral issues. If you really took the lessons of both programmes to heart you couldn't help being a bit of a rebel.

Both programmes were full of strong female role-models, well, strong for the time. They also made science cool, particualarly Dr Who.

Anyway, did anyone else learn anything from Dr Who, or any other TV programmes? Can TV really have a positive effect on humans or is it just a malevolent glass teat filling us with propoganda and numbing us to the realities of life.

Cujo
 
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Loups-Garoux

I'm resurrecting this thread because I've been listening to the Big Finish audio drama Loups-Garoux, and it's pretty good from a Fortean viewpoint.

As it's name suggests it's about werewolves and even manages to name check Peter Stubbe. I know these things are hard to get hold of if your not a Sci-Fi junkie, but in my opinion its worth the effort.

Has anyone else heard this, what's your opinion?
 

JamesWhitehead

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#29
I have vivid memories of hiding behind the sofa when Dr. Who was
on, Fortean in itself, when the sofa was flush against the wall.

Though everyone will have their scariest monster, I suspect the
power of the series was as a space where anything could happen.

Strangely, my own most vivid memories were of sitting through a
few episodes when the television tube had blown. Sound only was
even better.

Looking at them today, we would probably quickly twig the genre and
the formula. It's a terrible loss.

Yet somehow those childhood experiences of the sliding doors on the
Dalek planet will always be part of the meaning of the word trapped!
:eek:
 
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'ere, have you seen/heard the online version? They've gone and bumped him off at the end (as if you believe that) much to the howling indignation of several thousand fanboys.

What makes it doubly amusing is that the creator of the online version has (allegedly) gone off in a huff and said that there'll be no more and that's where it all ends.

You used to get loads of Who writers on the FT letters page. Any knocking about on these boards? Can I make a cameo appearance in the next book? Oh, go on. I'll bring my own string.
 
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