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Deck the Dalek

By Shamus
on Sunday Dec 12, 2010
Filed under:


Painted by my wife: A small (8×5 inches) holiday Dalek. (Watercolor.)

dalek christmas

My wife and kids are all huge Dr. Who fans, and fans of the new series in particular. (Tennant is the favorite Doctor among them. Personally, I was always partial to Tom Baker.) I don’t watch it. The Doctor is a master of time who can live for centuries. I am not, and so I can ill-afford to get engrossed in long-running sci-fi series.

I think it’s audacious how they have taken the classic 80’s villains and brought them into their modern productions with much of their camp still intact.


Comments (75)

  1. X2-Eliah says:

    Indeed. How can one afford to indulge in sci-fi series when there are so many (MMO) games out there to play!

    Okay, on a serious note – only seen a few episodes of Dr. Who when it aired on Sci-Fi (bit before turning into SyFy) and when I actually watched tv.. What can I say, I did like what I saw.

    Anyways, Shamus – you do know you’re legally bound to slave during Christmas to bring hourly content to the Intertubes?

    P.S. Plunger or Zapper?

    • Integer Man says:

      Never gotten into Dr. Who. What’s the best starting place? Aren’t there about 6 different Dr. Who series by now?

      Enjoying myself today with Firefly on Blu-ray. They really should make a TV show out of that Serenity movie. Now that’s a good idea.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Well,you could start with the new series.Theres only 5 seasons of those.Thats where Ive started,before searching for the oldies(which are sadly half lost).

      • Avaris says:

        The nature of Doctor Who actually means you could simply start with the very latest series (series 5 of new who), and still figure out what is going on.

        It is actually a very good time to try it out; its Matt Smith’s first series as the Doctor, and has very few unexplained tie-ins to previous series, mainly because it is entirely new cast (which happens periodically). If you enjoy the series it would be worth checking out series 1-4 of New Who next, but I maintain 5 can come first.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          This method,however,spoils the angels episode,as well as the awesomeness of the ending of the first episode.Its way better if you know how terrifying the doctor can get.

      • SteveDJ says:

        If you lived in the Seattle, WA area – good news! The local PBS station, which I believe is the only one left showing CLASSIC Doctor Who episodes, is going back to the beginning! They just finished the Sylvester McCoy series (seventh doctor), and per viewer requests, are starting over.

        They start showing the first episodes this Saturday, Dec 18 – in glorious original B/W! :)

        However, it should be noted that due to legal issues with the Terry Nation estate, they no longer can show ANY classic episodes with Daleks. :( So in addition to the lost episodes, they will be skipping a few other, very popular, episodes.

  2. NonEuclideanCat says:

    I’ve only ever seen one episode of Dr. Who. It featured giant bees. I’m not sure how I feel about the series.

    • Dante says:

      I heard there was a huge buzz about that episode

      You can blame Ruts and Mumbles for this post

      • Irridium says:

        Ow, that stings…

        • SmallIvoryKnight says:

          A biologist, well known in academia for his work with wasps, is taking a stroll down his local town. As he passes by the record shop, a sign catches his eye: “Just Released – New LP – Wasps of the World and the sounds that they make – available now”

          Unable to resist the temptation, the man goes into the shop.

          “I am the world expert on European wasps. I’d very much like to listen to the new LP you have advertised in the window.”

          “Certainly, Sir,” says the young man behind the counter. “If you’d like to step into the booth and put on the headphones, I’ll put the LP on for you.”

          The biologist goes into the booth and puts on the earphones. Three minutes later, he comes out of the booth and announces, “I don’t understand. I have studied wasp sounds for years, yet I recognised none of those.”

          “I’m very sorry Sir”, says the young assistant. “If you’d care to step into the booth again, I can play you have another track.”

          He steps back into the booth and replaces the headphones, but three minutes later, he comes out of the booth shaking his head. “I don’t understand it”, he says, “My College Thesis was about these creatures and their sounds, and yet I still can’t recognise any of those!”

          “I’m terribly sorry, Sir” says the young man, “perhaps if you’d like to step into the booth again, you could hear another track.”

          Sighing, the consummate biologist steps back into the booth. Five minutes later, he comes out again, clearly agitated.

          “I am the world expert on European wasps and the sounds that they make and yet I have recognised none of the wasps on this LP.”

          “I really am terribly sorry”, says the young assistant,
          “I’ve just realised I was playing you the bee side.”

  3. Tizzy says:

    Awesome! What a multi-talented family you make!

  4. Bret says:

    Too bad on the not watching. Latest Doc is the best since Tom Baker. Also, he teamed up with Winston Churchill to fight the Daleks this season.

  5. MOM says:

    Heather, I love it.

  6. Cybron says:

    I liked Eccleston better than Tennant, but I like Matt Smith better than both of them.

    I sadly have not seen the older series.

    • SmallIvoryKnight says:

      Agreed. Smith, Eccleston, Tennant from highest to lowest of the new doctors.

      • Ernheim says:

        Really? Tennant was a genius, Matt Smith is only just measuring up to him, imo. And I always found Eccleston a bit lacklustre- he’s even said that he didn’t like the show and only took the part to impress his son, or nephew or something. He had some good episodes, though, like the “are you my mummy” gas mas things.

        • Mad Flavius says:

          I think the unifying thread of awesome is Steven Moffat–the Moff. He is the writer who is now showrunner, making the brilliant arc of the end of Season (Series, whatever) 5, as well as the best two-parter and one shot episodes in the past four seasons: The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances (are you my mummy?), The Girl in the Fireplace (one word: clocks), Blink (GAH.), Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead, and four or five of the episodes in the most recent season. So much win in those episodes, incredibly eerie, creepy, and unnerving, but simultaneously the most heart-warming, touching, and generally tear-jerking of the series, a brilliant feat indeed.

          • Ernheim says:

            Moffat is a bloody god. Have you seen the other shows he’s worked on recently? Modern reworking of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in 2006, Modern reworking of Sherlock Holmes this year. Both were fantastic.

            • ehlijen says:

              While I like that he reigned in the ‘Look! Gay!’ that seemed to fill R. T. Davis’s shows, I do think Moffat’s Doctor Who episodes are amongst the weakest of the latest season.

            • Vekni says:

              He may be a god, but he definitely has some predictable quirks. Want a fun drinking game that separates the men from the died of alcohol poisoning? Put in the latest season-I know you want to call it five, but there were thirty seasons prior to it-and do a shot every time someone says “perception filter”. Dead by the end of the season I tell you.

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            Ive liked moffats work ever since coupling.He can really mix genres in amazing ways,and have you laugh and cry at the same time.

    • Rustybadger says:

      Picard is WAY better than Kirk.

  7. Irridium says:

    Indeed. It is a great series.

    I should get around to watching the pre-2005 episodes though, but that’ll be after I get through all the post-2005 episodes.

  8. Piflik says:

    The reason for me to watch the show was Billy Piper…so the best Doctor has to be either Eccleston or Tennant…and I liked Eccleston more…

  9. Irridium says:

    Oh yeah, and I may have some Christmas presents for you Shamus. Although you probably already saw them. But maybe not.

    The Mass Effect 3 and Elder Scrolls 5 teasers

    But the best news of all? Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim will not be using the Gamebryo engine. But will be using a “new” engine. Whether its ID Tech 5 or not remains to be seen.


    Still though, no more Gamebryo!! That sure is something to CEL-E-BRATE about!

    Just though I’d let everyone know. Even though they most likely already know…

    • bit says:

      I was shooting a smiley face in a rock the other day in Fallout New Vegas, when I sneak attack critical’d Caesar, blowing off his head.

    • Aldowyn says:

      Those are probably the only two announced at the VGAs that I’ll be getting. You have good taste, sir!

      … I still haven’t figured out when I missed the Skyrim announcement. I thought I watched the entire thing…

      • Irridium says:

        It was like, mid-beginning, if that makes sense.

        It was before the midpoint of the show, but after the beginning by a fair amount.

        Funny story, I mistook Todd Howard for Ted Price, and because of such I expected a new trailer for Ratchet and Clank. Boy did I feel silly.

    • X2-Eliah says:

      It’s certainly not idTech 5.

      Reasons – One, Bethesda has said their Skyrim engine is a new BGS development – not a pruchased one. Two, Skyrim’s been in development for 2 years no, before idTech engine was even bought.

      Myself, I wouldn’t have minded another gamebryo game – because the artists at Beth certainly know how to build a magnificent world in that engine.

  10. mumakil says:

    Yeah i agree Tennant was awesome as the doctor. Dont know why but he just fit the part so great he was crazy while being smart and funny.

    The new doctor(Matt Smith) is good in my opinion as well and ofc he wears a bowtie and as we all know bowties are cool!

    PS: I wish he would wear the fez for the rest of the series :P

  11. Blanko2 says:

    oh wow this is a really cool painting. and i dont even watch dr. who.
    i do have a lot of friends who like it, they would love this painting even more. let the linkage commence.

  12. Danath says:

    Just finished watching the entire series a couple weeks ago with a friend, love this piece of art.

  13. Lanthanide says:

    I’ve always found the few episodes of the new series that I’ve watched too corny, camp and cheesy to really enjoy. I haven’t seen many, but what I did see didn’t impress.

    Torchwood was ok, but swung wildly on the quality meter – some episodes were good, others were just wretched (especially in the first season).

    • SteveDJ says:

      But the series has always been sorta corny, campy, and cheesy — that’s part of the charm of the show (at least IMHO). I’m kinda glad they kept some of that in the new series.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Seconded.I find it much easier to swallow the cheesy wibbly wobbly science than the “serious” one in other sci fi.

        Watch dalek in season 1 of the reboot.Its a really moving one.Of course,there are others,but that one was the first such in the reboot.

  14. SimeSublime says:

    The problem with Smith is he hasn’t done much in the way of serious drama. He can pull of ‘wacky doctor’ and ‘angry doctor’ excellently, but he hasn’t done much in the way of ‘sad doctor’. And I’d like support Mad Flavius above in saying that Steven Moffat is simply the best writer of Dr Who episodes(I’d also highly recommend his new series ‘Sherlock’).
    Oh, and Daleks aren’t so much camp 80’s villains as they are camp 60’s villains.

  15. Nostromo says:

    I like Matt Smith. He seems to bring together the best of Tennant and Eccleston, with his own spin to it.

    Sad Doctor? I don’t care about Sad Doctor. Tennant did enough of it for a lifetime (or at least an incarnation. I want bigger-than-life, running through the space-time continuum. And Smith can deliver those Doctor speeches like Eccleston did: with gusto. Compare the Stonehenge speech with the one at the end of Bad Wolf, or the one he gives in Dalek.

  16. Julia says:

    My sister watched a lot of Dr. Who on PBS with Tom Baker as The Doctor.

    I was too busy reading, couldn’t be bothered with as much TV as she seemed to like. (This seems to be the story of my life now, 3 decades later, compared to most of my friends.)

  17. Josh R says:

    IMHO – whilst eccleston’s my least favourite doctor (I favour a confident god, rather than an unsure man running on bravado), no series has come close to the badwolf reveal.
    the subtle way badwolf was placed in the episodes was far better then moffats recent attempt at “The silence is coming” being said in every episode just got annoying.

  18. Aldowyn says:

    Somehow I managed to stop watching after the 3rd season of the reboot (Tennant’s 2nd). I really liked it, too – one of these days I should catch up, somehow. Eccleston was good, but Tennant was just awesome. I’ve heard that the new one (Smith, I guess) wasn’t as good… mostly from a BIG fan of Tennant, though.

    • Blackbird71 says:

      I’d argue the opposite actually: Eccleston is by far my favorite (of the new Who), he was just excellent. Tennant took most of a season to really grow on me. Matt Smith was great right from the start. Honestly, when teh first announced Smith, I was worried that they went too young, and he wouldn’t be able to pull off the role, so I went into his season with a lot of apprehension. From the first episode though, I was amazed at how well he did, really fun to watch and a very believable Doctor.

      Of course, it’s all a matter of taste. I suppose that’s one advantage of having so many actors play the role, any sci-fi fan is bound to find at least one Doctor they like!

  19. Michael says:

    8 x 5… that’s postcard sized, right?

    I would KILL (metaphorically) to get a stack of postcards like that! if only I had some card stock… Although it’s oriented wrong for what I want to use it for, I doubt anyone would care.

    As an aside, I went to your wife’s site to check out her other art. Heather is super-awesome. I especially like the dragon sleeping on the pile of books, and the “Whine and Complain” one.

    Has she ever recorded herself creating a piece? (I love watching people draw and paint.)

  20. RTBones says:

    For me, Tom Baker is to Dr. Who like Sean Connery is to James Bond. That said, my second favorite is actually a tie between Tennant and Smith. Of course, while the absent-minded professor of Smith is done well, he gets extra points for the lovely, lovely Amy Pond….

  21. unconvention says:

    I’m old enough and British enough to have started watching in the John Pertwee era. However, Shamus receives a bonus point for liking Tom Baker; who was, and still is, the proper Doctor.

    The new series, Eccleston, Tennant (who lives just round the corner from me) and Smith, feel a little too style-over-substance to me, but then for the most part they’re competing with my childhood memories of the good old days, and that’s a competition no new TV show is ever going to win. For me Smith is easily the best of the new regenerations.

    If anyone’s interested in searching out any of the old stuff, I’d strongly suggest sticking to Hartnell, Troughton, Pertwee and Tom Baker. The old series went somewhat down hill after that, with a rather wet Peter Davidson, then the ridiculous Colin Baker, and the worst years with Sylvester McCoy, when the BBC was trying to kill the series off.

    And if you like any of the really old stuff, and can cope with shonky, old, ‘special’ effects, then I really recommend seeking out the old Quatermass stories, from the late 50s, especially ‘Quatermass and The Pit’.

  22. Dev Null says:

    Referring to Dr. Who as a “long-running sci-fi series” is a bit like calling the plot in Fallout 3 “a bit flawed.” It started in 1963! They’re on season 32!

    • SteveDJ says:

      I mentioned this at the top, in reply to another post, but I’ll briefly repeat here that for those in the Seattle, WA area, the local PBS station (KBTC) is starting over again with Episode ONE (An Unearthly Child – from 1963) this Saturday, Dec 18. They show two episodes each Saturday (7pm, repeated at midnight).

  23. Preciousgollum says:

    BBC re-generated (pardon the pun) TV programmes have a tendency towards the camp side of entertainment because it is a known fact in the UK that the organisation is highly comprised of homosexual individuals who lean towards camp behaviour which explains a lot come to think of it.

    It is a bit like how, in the US, the Fox Network is full of right-wing republicans. There never is a proper balance in organisations or entertainment: either too gay, too right-wing or not gay or right-wing enough. When will organisations strike a balance; Gay Republican? I bet even they are not balanced enough.

    I am ok with the ‘Gay Community’ but there is a limit, after which that group merely becomes boring, tedious, repetitive, gratuitous and annoying for those reasons, just like any other group of people.

    • unconvention says:

      Is that really the way that spectrum works: Gay Republican?

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      If all the gay characters were like jack harkness,theyd never become boring,repetitive,gratuitous or annoying.Im straight,but john barrowman could easily change my mind.

      • Tizzy says:

        Agreed. Dr Who has a lot of writers anyway, and they do not all tackle the gay themes; most episodes have no references to homosexuality worth speaking about. Same thing with the camp, there’s a bit of that in certain episodes that lend themselves to it, but it’s not exactly overwhelming the series. It’s nowhere near as camp as older stuff like the original Star Trek or Adam West’s Batman, that’s for sure!

        As for John Barrowman… who could disagree, seriously?

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