Thursday, July 26, 2012

Was Working on the Show in the 70s a Death Sentence?

Mary Tamm, the fine actress who played DOCTOR WHO's first-ever Time Lady, has been taken from us.  And shortly after cancer also claimed Caroline John (Liz Shaw) too.  And if you look through this blog, you'll see I was so shaken by the sudden passing of Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith) that I couldn't even write about it here.

Once again, it's the redoubtable Charlie Jane Anders who's summed up the importance of gorgeous Mary Tamm to the show -- so I encourage you to read her remembrance of "Romana I" over there on

But as if the early, early passing of Mary Tamm wasn't bad enough in itself, it makes her the third of the 1970s DOCTOR WHO companions who died of cancer, two of them in their early 60s.  Louise Jameson (Leela), bless her, keeps the chain from being unbroken.  Long live our Leela!

Still, it's more than a little creepy, losing Lis Sladen, Caroline John, and Mary Tamm -- all within such a short time.  Were our ladies exposed to something carcinogenic while working on the series in those days?

Sweet little Katie Manning (Jo Grant) is still with us, thank goodness, and so is Lalla Ward (Romana II).  I recently had the pleasure of meeting Matthew Waterhouse and Louise Jameson and Sarah Sutton (Adric, Tegan, and Nyssa), and they all seemed in good health, hale and hearty. For that matter, I also recently met William Russell (Ian Chesterton) who played the clever and brave Ian Chesterton in the very first episode of the show (and for three years after) and at age 87 he looked like he might go on forever.  Maybe they're all saved by spending so much time in the studio?

I dunno.  I think there was something toxic in those rock quarries that the show used and reused as alien locations in those days.  I hope Tom Baker will see his doctor for a checkup right away.

Friday, June 22, 2012

How Caroline John Helped Save Doctor Who

Check out the outstanding piece by io9 editor Charlie Jane Anders about Caroline John, who passed away recently at the age of 71.  Caroline John was known to DOCTOR WHO fans as Third Doctor companion Dr. Liz Shaw.  Here's the link to the article:

Dr. Shaw was arguably the first companion who was deliberately written to be the Doctor's equal. She was an intelligent and independent woman at a time when such characters were rare on television. And Caroline John played her to perfection. It's a pity she wasn't in more episodes.

Nicholas Courtney, Jon Pertwee, and Caroline John

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Tiny Little Bow Ties are Cool

Animation artist Alisa Stern now claims to be the Doctor's current companion, and she can prove it -- they really do go everywhere together. Her Doctor is only a few inches tall and I think he's brilliant. The details and textures are perfect, and best of all it's a very good caricature likeness of dear old Eleven.

(Sometimes the Doctor Puppet has Matt Smith's goofy lopsided smile and sometimes he looks very very sad indeed... I need to know: is Alisa adding his mouth digitally in her photos? Did she make a Happy Head and a Sad Head? Is the mouth a sticker or something? Reveal your secrets, Alisa!)

Follow Alisa's adventures with the Doctor Puppet at!

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Eternity Clock

We are eagerly awaiting the release of the new game from IGN! I'm especially happy that players can choose to either play as the Doctor or as River Song.  And from the preview here, it sounds like Matt Smith and Alex Kingston both get some fun things to say.  And of course their voice performances are going to be wonderful, because, y'know, it's Matt and Alex.

It looks like there's some genuinely interesting puzzle-solving to do in the game, with the kind of wit and quirkiness that will make this feel like a real episode of the series. An episode we can climb inside!

In US and UK stores May 31, 2012

Friday, January 13, 2012

11 Functional Homemade TARDISes

Lovely article by "Miss Cellania" in MENTAL FLOSS about people who have somehow brought the TARDIS into their own homes.  I'd seen some of these before, but some were delightful surprises!  Read it all here:

Just one of the brilliant installations.