Category Archives: Fan Production

Future Dark Journeys?

You know the phrase “better late than never?” Well the awesome guys behind Doctor Who Dark Journey might have something to say about that phrase because I have been extremely late.

Way back at the beginning of the summer I recorded a two part interview with them. The first part has already been posted, in it we talk about the first four episodes of their fan produced Doctor Who audio. But the second  interview? It’s lain dormant on a hard drive as the dog days of summer have affected my work habits and work ethic. Well, the time has finally come. Here is part two of the interview in which we talk about what I love about their show (and what I didn’t like), the Master as a stay at home mom, what is coming up in season 2 (spoilers) and more.

Interview With Stuart Milne

Did you know that Stuart Milne reviews stuff? If you’ve ever been to his blog (appropriately titled Stuart Reviews Stuff) you would indeed have known that. Recently Stuart collected all of his Doctor Who reviews from the entire classic era and put them out as an e-book. I had a chance to talk to the opinionated man about his book and Doctor Who.

Troughton Is My Doctor: Your blog Stuart Reviews Stuff has been around for a few years now, how did you get started reviewing stuff?

Stuart Milne: At the end of each year, you always see these “Best of” review type articles and TV shows. I found that when I looked back on the movies I’d been to at the end of the year, I’d draw a blank on the ones I saw between about January and March. So I decided to start writing down my reviews of the movies I’d been to based on that. Initially it was just something to share with my friends as we tend to have wildly differing ideas on what makes a good film. But one day after I wrote an article on the Doctor Who audio, The Holy Terror, I noticed my readership suddenly spiked, and since I was about to start watching Doctor Who from the start again, it seemed like an fun thing to do. People were interested in reading my thoughts on it, and I was happy to share those thoughts.

TIMD: And that naturally culminated in an e-book collecting all your Doctor Who reviews…

SM: Absolutely. I knew from quite early on that an ebook would be my ultimate goal. It’s not that I wanted to make a load of money from them – if I had then I wouldn’t have put them up on the blog as I wrote them – but I just thought it’d be a nice achievement to look back on. I’m proud of it.

TIMD: What’s your favourite Doctor Who story?

SM: Now that would be telling. I have my own rankings of all the Doctor Who stories that will be released in my second book.

TIMD:  Fair enough, but let me ask you this, was your favourite story also your favourite to review? Or did you have another review (even though it might not be your favourite story) become your favourite to write?

SM: A large part of the reason for me wanting to actually review Doctor Who was that I felt certain stories have been badly maligned by the received wisdom of fandom. The likes of the Keys of Marinus, Revenge of the Cybermen and The Underwater Menace all get rough treatment from fans of the show, mainly because it’s the done thing to be critical of them. The biggest example of that for me was The Gunfighters, which is a story I absolutely adore.

TIMD: Well we agree about that, I think The Gunfighters is a riot!

SM:  When I got round to reviewing that, my aim was to show how ridiculous fan views of it were. At the time, I found reviews of it on Amazon that said stuff like “I enjoyed watching this, but I know it’s a bad story so I’ll give it 2 stars”. That doesn’t even begin to make sense. So I feel I got my love of the story across, and what’s more, the nature of that review shaped the format for all the other ones I’d write in the future.

TIMD: Do you have a favourite Doctor or era in the shows history?

SM: Again, I don’t want to give much away in terms of my overall rankings of the stories, but here are some statistics for you…In the 1960s, there were 50 stories. Of those 50, only 4 rank in the Bottom #50 of my rankings, with 18 featuring in my Top #50. Compare that to the 1980s, which conveniently also had 50 stories in it. Of those 50, a massive 20 feature in the Bottom #50 and a paltry 3 feature in the Top #50.

So I think it’s clear that the 60s was a better time for the show than the 80s.

TIMD: On your website you review of Enemy Of The World and Web Of Fear after seeing the newly recovered episodes and compare your new opinion to what you thought before, going on just the reconstructions and surviving episodes. How awesome was it to really see those stories for the first time?

SM: It was fantastic. Literally, it was a dream come true. I remember loading up the trailer of the Web of Fear and just thinking “This is a….mazing” when the “new” footage appeared. I’ve been holding out hope for missing episodes to be returned since I was about 6 years old in the 1980s, when I read about the missing stories in the 25th Anniversary book. These are exciting times to be a Doctor Who fan.

TIMD: How do you think future recoveries will impact the opinions we have of missing stories?

SM: It depends on the story, I suppose. If there’s a lot of existing footage/pictures from the story, then that won’t have as much of an impact as one where the footage doesn’t exist. Web of Fear is a great example of that. We knew most of the sets from Episode One, and a lot of the story was just the characters talking in those same sets. So I don’t think many people’s opinions were changed. It would be the same if episodes of The Moonbase, The Invasion, The Crusade or the Reign of Terror showed up.

Enemy of the World was a completely different situation though. We only had the sets from Episode 3 to go on, so everything about the other five episodes felt new, fresh and interesting. And moreover, scenes like Salamander smoking his cigar and going down to the bunker were completely lost to any reconstruction.

TIMD: What about one story that, if seen in full, would change fandom’s opinion of it for the worse? One for the better?

SM: I think people assume Fury from the Deep is a better story than it actually is. People talk about it like it’s one of the all time classics, but I wonder whether they’ve actually watched the reconstruction. For me, it seems as though it’s six episodes of people having a conversation at a gas plant. And – and I could be wrong about this – the most iconic moments still exist in the form of the censor cuts.

Similarly, I’ve never understood why fandom desires the return of the Tenth Planet episode 4. The only bit that matters still exists. The other 23 minutes are just an extension of a boring story.

As for one for the better, I think that there are some stories that fly under the radar with people being indifferent to them because they’ve got nothing to go on. I reckon stories like The Savages, The Smugglers, The Highlanders and The Myth Makers would be held in higher regard if they were to be seen in full.

TIMD: Is there a story that you would like to see more than all the rest?

SM: It’s got to be either the Myth Makers or Marco Polo for me.

TIMD: This is book one, covering the entire classic era, but you another book planned…

SM: Absolutely. In Book Two, I deal with the Modern Era of the show, from the Christopher Eccleston Era onwards. Like I said earlier, that book is the one that ranks all the stories from worst to best, so anyone who had read any of my reviews should buy that one.

TIMD: When can we expect that to be released?

SM: Well in theory, I could release that tomorrow if I wanted to, but seeing as we’re under a week away from the Peter Capaldi season beginning, I might well hold off until that has finished and include his stories in the book and the rankings too.

TIMD: So what do you think of Capaldi?

SM: I’ve not seen any of his episodes yet, even though I know there have been leaks. Call me a traditionalist, but I’d rather watch it on TV in its proper intended quality than watch dodgy screeners.  But without having seen him, I’m still very excited about it. Capaldi is great in everything he’s appeared in, and I’d like to think Doctor Who will be no exception.

TIMD: Where can fans find your e-book?

SM: You can find my book over on Amazon. I hope you enjoy it, even if you don’t agree with my thoughts on your own favourite story.

Thanks Stuart for taking the time to talk to us, and good luck. Can’t wait to hear what he thinks of Series 8! If you want to stay in touch with all things Stuart Milne, you can follow him on twitter @SGMilne , check out his blog and don’t forget about that book!

Dark Journey Episode 5

“They say you judge a man on the strength of his enemies.”

The Doctor journeys to his darkest place searching out the truth that will save the day in this final episode of Doctor Who Dark Journey!

A few days ago I had the chance to talk to Mike Tamburro, Clayton Turner and the ‘Cool Beans’ Doctor himself, Andrew Chalmers regarding the first four episodes of Dark Journey. Five questions turned into eighteen minutes of conversation about the good times and the bad that the Doctor has gone through so far. It was a great chat, please give it a listen, you won’t be disappointed!

But all good things must come to an end. Tonight I listened to the last episode, Death On Baker Street. The amazing folks over at AMAudioMedia.com courteously provided me with an advance copy of this final episode, letting me be among the first to hear the completed version, and I am honoured!

So, what can you expect from this final episode without getting too spoilery? Stuff. It happens. Lots of it. Oh, a little too vague there? Okay, well in the last episode we see the Doctor going to his dark place in an attempt to learn the truth behind the brutal Jack the Ripper murders. He finds out, but gets more than he bargains for. Who are the Illuminatios and what is their connection to all of this? Where do the Watchers fit in?

This is my favourite kind of final episode. Jammed full of info and surprising reveals sandwiched between great action scenes and trademark humour from our two heroes. And, of course, you are left wanting more!

It’s been fun talking to Mike, Andrew and Clayton over the past couple of months and getting the word out about this awesome project. But they aren’t done yet. Not by a long shot. Next week I will post an interview with the guys about the future of Dark Journey!

Here are some links to other media who have been supporting them!

The Cult Den

Inferno Fiction

The Droids You Are Looking For Canada

We Came From The Basement

Movie Pilot

But of course, stay tuned to TIMD for all your Dark Journey news and keep supporting them!

Dark Journey Interview-Spoilers

The last episode of Doctor Who Dark Journey will go live Saturday July 5th at 5:35. The moment has been prepared for, as I have heard someone say before. I sat down with Andrew ‘the cool beans Doctor’ Chalmers, Producer Mike Tamburro and Clayton ‘Claytec’ Turner for another interview discussing the series so far. We talk about the humour, the darkness, Season three of Dark Journey featuring the Master as  a stay at home mom… You name it. Andrew had a large glass of red cider, so there was no stopping him! Warning, there is spoilers about the previous four episodes here, so why not check them out before you listen to the interview!

 

 

Dark Journey Episode 4

This job is all about the perks. When you’re a big time Doctor Who site like TIMD, you get a lot of freebees. Okay, that’s a complete fabrication, I’ve yet to get anything free because of the site, but you know what I did get? An exclusive early listen to episode four of Doctor Who Dark Journey!

Episodes two and three were dark, edgy. As I previously mentioned, I think they were more about building the Andrew Chalmer’s Doctor, hinting at some of the emotional trauma he’s suffered, showing a darker and grittier side. Moving on to number four, entitled Emily Looks To The Stars, it felt like I was in the sun again after being under a dark cloud!

Out of danger and finally having a rare moment of relaxation, Holmes and the Doctor again rekindle the easy camaraderie they had when they met in episode one. They interact like old friends who have known each other their whole lives.  Oh the banter! The first three minutes of this story are the funniest so far in Dark Journey and many of the quips rival some of the best from the new show. Seriously.

“It’s the age old story, lunatic cult member meets girl, girl meets lunatic cult leader. It’s all so romantic.”

To top it all off, they even reference the production staff’s favourite Canadian band, Rush! Don’t get too comfortable and think that this penultimate episode is nothing but warm fluff. Halfway through things start to get intense and it races forward to a conclusion that will have you begging for the next and final episode.

Oh yeah and there’s a great Downton Abbey joke too.

So, if you haven’t started along the Dark Journey yet, what are you waiting for? All the episodes are up online at AMAudioMedia.com and episode four, Emily Looks To The Stars will be up Saturday June 28th at 5:35!

Dark Journey Episode 2

Emotionally shattered after a tragedy, the Doctor arrives in London and becomes companion to Sherlock Holmes in an effort to stop Jack the Ripper’s murderous trail of terror. But is there an even greater evil at work in Victorian England?

This is the premise behind Dark Journey.

Episode one was fast and full of witty dialogue. The plot moved along pretty quickly, Holmes and the Doctor had to come together  and start unraveling the mystery. It had a bit of a light hearted feel, maybe because there was so much banter.

The second installment is very different. Yes, there still is some great interactions between between two of the most brilliant men in all of fiction, but the plot slows down. This second episode is more about emotion, atmosphere and building character than it is about moving the story forward a lot. That’s not to say that the plot doesn’t move forward. It does.  But I don’t think that’s the main point of this episode.

Rather, they start to build up their own version of the Doctor. In the various interviews I have done with the AM Audio guys, they talked about how Andrew Chalmers version of the Doctor is different from the others, how he is darker and we start to see that here. He hints at losing someone he loved and drowns his sorrows in drink after drink at the local pub surrounded by women. Events start to take an emotional toll on him. And I’ve been promised this is just the beginning.

If you haven’t checked out the story yet, what are you waiting for?

Monday Morning News Round Up- June 16

Happy Father’s Day to everyone out there who celebrated yesterday! I know there are a lot of proud dads who love spending time watching Doctor Who with their kids, and a couple of great dads who work on the site, myself and Gary!

So, what did you miss last week? It wasn’t a super busy week, but we did have some cool stuff!

Evil

Not only was it Father’s Day, but there was a birthday to be celebrated last week! That’s right, the omnirumour turned one! Oh I remember when it was so cute and cuddly as a newborn, now it’s running around and throwing toys and generally misbehaving…

Doctor Who Dark Journey!

Episode two of Dark Journey went live on Saturday and stay tuned for our review of that one, but here’s our review of the first episode. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to the interview I did with Mike, Andrew and Clayton, be sure to check it out. You can head over to AM Audio Media and listen to the episodes and see a quote from my review as their page header!

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Cartmel Speaks!

Former Doctor Who Script Editor Andrew Cartmel talks to TIMD’s Martin Ruddock about the omnirumour, what he did and didn’t know, Pip and Jane Baker and a whole host of other interesting topics! Talk a look, you will probably be surprised!

So, that’s what made our news over the past week. Follow us @troughtonsmy