The Greatest Show in the Galaxy

The Greatest Show in the GalaxyDVDThis piece, from DWM #451, was a real struggle to write. That’s why, at a couple of points, I go a little off-piste looking at the outside forces that might have affected the realisation of The Greatest Show in The Galaxy

So what was my problem? Simply that I didn’t feel especially moved by this four-parter from 1988. I didn’t hate, I didn’t love it. I could kind of see where it was coming from, what its big themes were, but its concerns, viewed from outside the 1980s, didn’t feel particularly pressing anymore.

Thanks, then, go to pals Nick Setchfield, Tim Worthington and Adam McLean who all helped me with what follows – suggesting a few lines and letting me bounce some ideas off them. None of the trio, however, is responsible for this bit. In an effort to get the engine warmed up a little, I was originally going to open the review like this (but latterly saw sense)…

CUE: SCRATCH RECORD FX
CUE: THE BEAT
Now welcome folks, it’s no surprise to you
We’re at the start of another new disc review!
A
Doctor Who story that screened in ’88,
About a psychic circus which used to be great!
There are scary clowns that leave Ace a-smartin’
Plus guest turns from Mount, McKenna and Martin!
Because available now on good ol’ DVD
Is The Greatest Show in the Galaxy! (In the galaxy! In the galaxy! etc.)

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Time and the Rani

DVDThis is from DWM #426, and the opening paras were my attempt to bring a slightly different perspective to the story. Namely: Can you imagine nowadays if they introduced a new Doctor in such a haphazard fashion? You probably can’t, because they absolutely wouldn’t. It’s staggering to think poor old Sylvester McCoy was revealed in such a botched way.

I did enjoy coming up with my own bastardised aphorisms; making some fun out of that silly conceit. Although I fear I rather over-egged the prodding.

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Revenge of the Cybermen/Silver Nemesis

DVDWhen I first submitted this piece, the preternaturally personable Peter Ware at DWM gently advised me I had to change the opening. I’d been bold, and slung in a wholly critical remark about something/someone (forgive me for being vague)… with the ‘joke’ being, later on in the piece, I’d recant completely. But, as the principled Peter pointed out, readers would possibly never get beyond that jibe. 

It was a good point, and so I rewrote. I’m glad I did, even though my pay-off in the second paragraph is now very flabby indeed. But the original draft would have haunted me forever,

This is from DWM #425.
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