Kenton Hall Talks Colin Baker and A Dozen Summers

Colin Baker as Doctor Who #6

We have a packed podKast for you this week, dear listener, as Christian Cawley, James McLean and Brian Terranova attempt to get their heads around daylight savings time, the 12 (now 13) covers offered by Titan for their Ninth Doctor mini-series and Steven Moffat’s claims that the BBC would do a Paternoster Gang spin-off “in a heartbeat”.

The centrepiece of the podKast is Christian’s chat with Kenton Hall about his upcoming movie, A Dozen Summers, which features Sixth Doctor Who Colin Baker, and look out, as ever, for our recommendations…


PodKast introduction by John Guilor.

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12 thoughts on “Kenton Hall Talks Colin Baker and A Dozen Summers

    1. Would it have been worse? Maybe it would’ve kept Rose from returning to the series proper?
      Rose was fine at times, but she just felt too forced by the show. I think losing her in Doomsday would’ve be a fitting ending. She would be alive, and have friends and family with her. She would’ve lost the Doctor whom she loved, but some tragedy is needed now and again for story.

  1. Would you rather have a mediocre two parter or sit through another Kill The Moon or Forest of The Night? I know what I’d choose. I wouldn’t want an entire series of two parters though, I’m with you there. I’ve just found most of these constant one shot, slap dash, sugar hit single stories to be unfulfilling. More well written two parters with great ideas is just what we need!

    1. Yes! While I thought that many one-parters have been excellent (Listen, Mummy on the Orient Express, Midnight, The Eleventh Hour, The Day of the Doctor) and wouldn’t work across multiple instalments there have been many in need of more time to ‘breath’ (Robot of Sherwood, Time Heist, Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS, The Time of the Doctor). Many of NuWho’s finest have been two-parters (The Empty Child / The Doctor Dances, The Impossible Planet / The Satan Pit, Silence in the Library / Forest of the Dead) but for each of those there’s a failure too (Aliens of London/ WW3, Army of Ghosts / Doomsday, The End of Time, Dark Water / Death in Heaven) so while two-parters seems to be the way things are going from now on it is a risky move and we should approach with caution! You, Pantz, have summed it up beautifully.

      1. Wow, thank you very much! I just had another idea – What if they played a two parter within a week? Maybe in the UK they could be broadcast over Friday and Saturday and other countries could get it Saturday and Sunday. Would this be a bit unrealistic?

        1. The show 24 when it first came out suffered numerous delays and breaks during their early seasons. Later on, they began airing two episode each night for two nights in a row at the start of the season (so, 4 off the bat), and ending the season with the last 2 episodes back to back.
          24 was obviously a very different format from Doctor Who. 24 episodes per season, and all of the action happening in twenty-four hours, so delays and breaks really messed up its flow. Doctor Who doesn’t suffer the same issue, but it could benefit nonetheless. I think it would be worth doing for a two-parter only if it opened or closed the series.
          And I have to admit, 24 degraded in quality pretty quickly. Multiple episodes in the same week may have been a factor, but the writers did not plan out their seasons ahead of time during the end run of the season and winged absolutely everything creating massive plotholes; and I believe it was out of pure laziness and banking on established ratings rather than just needing to get episodes out quicker. I don’t want Doctor Who rushed, but an occasional double feature would be fun!

      2. Spot on. Each episode you named is put in the same category of success & failure I would’ve used.
        More elaboration? Robot of Sherwood (I think I’ve read that the Sheriff was a robot, and thus why the episode uses the singular “robot” for the episode title. That doesn’t come across anywhere in the episode. Also, now that we know what “The Promised Land” is, why are robots looking for it / how do they know about this Master’s super sphere of human consciousness). Time Heist: I loved the characterization, but the heist elements fell through badly, ruining the heist aspect of it. Maybe some more time to elaborate on that part would’ve worked. Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS / The Time of the Doctor: convoluted messes inside potentially epic stories; so much to tell, and not time to tell it.
        Aliens of London / WW3 – I think most people hate the babyface of the Slitheen and the farting. It’s not the two-parter that fails the story, it’s the humor (I agree with Brian Terranova that the humor might work if the Slitheen played the farting straight). And the rest of the titles you named were overstuffed even for two-parters. They simply need to be trimmed. Let’s look at Dark Water / Death in Heaven: Cyber-Men flying (why?), the purpose of Dark Water itself and the Cyber-Men mausoleum (why? why?), UNIT arresting the Doctor (why?), the Doctor is President of Earth (why?), Cyber-Men can detonate and seed the dead (how? why?), the Master has kidnapped practically every dead human ever without anyone noticing (how? why?), the Master has regenerated into a woman and escaped a time-lock Gallifrey (how?), Danny’s love and no one else’s in the history of Earth prevents him from being cyber-ized (how? why?), the Doctor builds a device that can transport just one person from the Nethersphere / resurrect a dead person (how? why?), and of course Cyber-Brig (WHY?!).
        For me, two-parters trump one-parters. Even the best one-parters might have benefited from the treatment. And I hate to bring it up because I feel it is overrated, but Blink is the one episode that comes to mind that I might exempt from being made longer.

  2. I think there have been a few good 2 parters in NuWho. Other than Empty Child/The Doctor Dances, I would add The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit, Human Nature/Family of Blood, Silence In The Library/Forest of the Dead, Time of the Angels/Flesh And Stone, Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon.

    I welcome the return of this format if they can be as good as any of the above. There have been a great many episodes that I feel would have benefited from a second episode.

    As for the Paternoster Gang, I agree they are a bit annoying, but I think having them in a Victorian era Torchwood would be interesting. I question though have the Sontarans ever been effective monsters and always a bit comical? I would say they’ve not had a decent outing since The Sontaran Experiment. What kind of spin off should we get on the TV, and do we need one?

    I’m glad Christian is watching Game of Thrones, never too late and you should be able up catch in time for Series 5 in just a few weeks. I love it and cannot get enough of it. They have the balance of having well defined and believable character, whilst keeping the fantasy elements to the back ground.

    Oh and I have a recommendation for you, Horror of Fang-Rock. That for me is classic hide behind the sofa stuff, and a good example of having just a few sets, darkly lit and Terrance Dicks at his best. Tom and Louise are just supreme.

    1. I too love Game of Thrones. Who doesn’t? It takes such an unexpected approach: fantasy elements exist, but are considered fantastical. White walkers are myth, gods exist in the minds of the pious and not among the typically learned, and the established magics of society are like those of our history: semi-magical medicinal remedies and some astrological predictions.
      The best part of Game of Thrones is its unpredictability. Not in a horrible Law and Order: SVU way, in which endings aren’t supported, but simply exist to surprise the viewer (they don’t work, and upon rewatching the episode, they are often utterly impossible). You don’t know what’s going to happen. But hints are there. Everything that happens is a distinct possibility, but they were many possibilities. Yet despite this commitment to surprising the viewer, Martin is keen to say that he won’t change his plans and make unsupported decisions in stories just because an elite few are able to guess his direction. That ideology of wanting to keep people on their toes, but having a firm plan for the direction of a story is to me, perfect writing.
      Moffat can take a lesson. Most of his arcs end so lacklusterly. Missy is the Master, just like everyone guessed. River Song is the Doctor’s wife, just like everyone guessed. He needs to take some chances. And I think he tried that with killing Oswin, and it didn’t work. Establish someone as smart, and genre-savvy and have them die by falling for the most cliché plan ever; that’s not irony, that’s laziness. Also, with the Day of the Doctor Zygon mess, Oswin fanatics will always cling to the theory it was Zygon Oswin dying, so he undermined the emotional effect amongst the people most feeling for it (he could’ve resolved the Zygon plot arc in Day of the Doctor, but it just kinda disappeared).

  3. I appreciate a slow burn. I don’t care if the first hour has any action. Give me setting, characters, and foreshadowing. Hit me with action and explanation in the second hour.
    I think stories that fail do all of their explaining in the conclusion. That doesn’t work. Explain the macguffin device / creature / phenomena in the first phase of the story. As the threat is resolved in the last phase, explain how you do it. If you have to explain how something operates as well as its solution in the same breath, your story has failed. It’s like introducing to algebra to someone who has no conception of it, solving it immediately, and walking away. You know what you’re doing, they saw you do it and do it right, but you didn’t teach a thing.
    People must acclimate to a situation. Do a few examples, start with the small scale, and hit them with the big scale. No approach to storytelling works for every story, so there is room for deviation (Mummy on the Orient Express blitzed through a solution in 66 seconds, but then again we saw the Mummy operate several times, and we knew it was a mystery to be solved).

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