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Doctor Who: Solitaire Story Game - Designer Blog

Updates on how the DWSSG is progressing, thoughts on game design, updates on expansions and new ideas plus random musings and TV repisodes reviewed too!

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A Partner in Time?

simon cogan
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It's been a bit of a mad month for all kinds of reasons in my life which is why I haven't been posting over the last few weeks.

But I think things should be settling down now for a bit however and so I want to get on with a bit of game design to get a bit of continuity and sanity in the middle of all sorts of other changes.

I also want to design something my son and I can play together!

So I want to go ahead with the card game/scenario/adventure model (LOTR:LCG) as I think it will offer what I'm looking for in nearly all cases.

To reiterate the basic premise:

Play is Co-operative. Players play the Doctor and his companions, with roles rotating after each adventure, so that each player plays the Doctor in turn.

Components in the game are mainly cards but there are counters and tokens too and dice. It must have a luck element

Cards are of several types:

- TARDIS Characters (the Doctor and Companions). This will be the current Doctor plus 3 companions in the Core set. Double sized with 6 attrbutes - Strength, Bravery, Cunning, Knowledge, Technical and Appeal - plus perhaps a special ability or 2.

- Player cards (120 cards)- gadgets, ideas, things to help the player. Each TARDIS Character will have their own deck. Some of these cards will be common to all TARDIS Characters but will have different proportions/numbers of cards to reflect their different personalities. Some cards will be unique to a particular Character too. Similarly, each incarnation of the Doctor will have a different deck. I'm thinking 30 cards per deck.

- Encounter cards (180 cards)- things to overcome by the player, plots, locations etc. these are coded to the specific Adventure. Also allies that can be found in the Adventure. I'm thinking 40 cards encounter cards per adventure, but there could be some interchangeability into other adventures - for example if the core set has a Victorian adventure, some of those encounter cards could be used in future Victorian adventure

- Enemy decks (70 cards)- approx 12-20 cards per Enemy. These will detail the foot soldiers, the tactics and the resources of the various nasties. the corse set will have 5 Enmy decks including Daleks (of course), Cybermen, Weeping Angels and 2 brand new originals.

- Adventure cards (20 cards)- several cards detailing a brief overview of the adventure. Probably 3-4 per Adventure.

In 'the box' are a number of Adventures- a bit like a season of adventures on TV - probably 5 in the Core set. The adventures are fairly specific to increase the storytelling aspect of the game.

I'd like a story in a country house, a story on a space freighter,a story on a jungle planet, a story in contemporary london, and a story in history - say Victorian London...?

There will be NO deckbuilding btw!!

The plan is to release new 'adventure packs' with a new adventure every couple of months and also Character packs with a new Character card and deck


But I can't do it alone, I really can't.

So I'm looking for someone with a good knowledge of Doctor Who and games to help me out - and when I say help me out, I really mean someone who can commit to the game project and do some serious design work.

I'd be grateful and pleased to receive any PMs from people who think they can do this. If I get a lot of replies then a 'partner' becomes a 'team' and that will also be great.

Anyone who is good at artistic design of cards would also be very welcome to join.

Get in touch!
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Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:02 pm
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A Big Finish or New start?

simon cogan
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Hmm, well conversation seems to have stopped dead on this one!

Are the decisions made a couple of weeks ago not the way to go? I have had a second thought on this as we tested a very rough prototype of the 'family boardgame' last week.

To be completely honest, I wasn't entirely sure that it was the right way to go to make the game attractive enough to make the game 'story orientated'.

So, here's another model - based, very roughly, on the LOTR:LCG scenario model.

Play is Co-operative. Players play the Doctor and his companions, with roles rotating after each adventure, so that each player plays the Doctor in turn.

Components in the game are mainly cards but there are counters and tokens too and dice.

Cards are of several types:
- TARDIS Characters (the Doctor and Companions). This will be the current Doctor plus 3 companions in the Core set. double sized.
- Player cards - allies, gadgets, ideas, things to help the player
- Encounter cards - things to overcome by the player, locations etc
- Enemy cards - double sized detailing alien menaces
- adventure cards - double sized detailing a brief overview of the adventure

In 'the box' are a number of adventures- a bit like a season of adventures on TV - probably 6 in the Core set.

The adventures are fairly specific to increase the storytelling aspect of the game.

Each adventure is split into 3 phases (a bit like DWSSG)
- explore the location and discover the Enemy, also hopefully gaining some allies
- once you know the Enemy, dodge enemy encounters until you find out what they are doing (Goal)
- defeat the Enemy.

So you play through an adventure like this:
1. shuffle an layout the location cards for the adventure - say a spaceship has 10 location cards (bridge, engineering, corridor x3, security, cell, cargo bay etc), a mansion could have hall, drawing room, kitchen, library, gardens, cellar etc.
2. Place 'investigation tokens' face down on the location cards. some locations have more tokens than others and indicates how likely something will happen there - so a spooky cellar might have 3 tokens on it, a corridor just 1, a cargo bay 3 etc.
3. Players land the TARDIS (a TARDIS token) at a random or specified location card (depending on adventure - or perhaps locations have numbers 1-6 on them and you roll a dice, choosing if there are duplicate numbers??)
4. players investigate the locations turning over investiagtion tokens as they do so and discovering plots or enemies. Each turn they also may draw an encounter card?

When the Enemy is revealed, you need to discover the Goal etc etc.

What do people think of this idea? It's closer to DWSSG than ever before and might work well?

And on a completely different note, I had a fab time with friends at the 'Big Finish Day' last weekend. Loads of people to meet - the enchanting Lisa Bowerman (who did a video message for my son), the sexy Tracey Childs and the lovely Karen Gledhill. I also had the brilliant Paul McGann record a great video message for an absent friend, but my technical expertise didn't get it all! Ah me. Better luck next time HB!
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Mon Jan 27, 2014 6:59 pm
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Keeping it Real

simon cogan
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I'm very grateful to everyone who contributed ideas and suggestions last week.

I mulled it all over in my mind and have made these decisions;

1: It's a game that has 3 modes - competitive, solo and co-op. Competitive mode will be the base game which we do first before adding more strands to get a co-op version.

2: Players play different incarnations of the Doctor.

3: It will be based around New Who to start with Classic expansions to be released later.

4: To make the game accessible to a family boardgaming audience, the base game should be straightforward to learn with not too many concepts straight off. We build them up in layers.

Sorry if that is against what some people would choose, but I think we have to make decisions and then move on or the design process becomes mired in endless discussion rather than actually going anywhere.

What I want to concentrate on this week is 2 points:

a) What is the objective in the game. I can think of 2 easy possibilities:

- a simple Victory Point collection and whoever gets 20VP (or whatever) wins. Simple, easy to do with adventures and enemies gaining you VP. No big climax though and does it lack theme?
- a quest for 'the key to time' or whatever.

b) What will the board look like, if we have one?
- Is it card hexes that builds up a board as we go along,
- Is it card hexes that are placed at the start to give a random board
- Is it a fixed board?
- Is there no board but simply 'adventure cards' that we visit?

This week my watching is back in Classic mode. I was given 'Adventures with the Wife in Space' as a present over Xmas (thanks HB) which is a fantastic and funny read. I thoroughly recommend a copy to all Who fans 'of a certain age'.

So I took 'The Keeper of Traken' off the shelf. The last time I watched this, according to my log, was 2007. My son was 2! He's now 9! If I don't watch it again for 7 years he'll be 16 and doing his GCSEs!!

Anyway, 'Keeper' is a good watch. An intelligent script with generally good acting, clever sets and an atmosphere that builds up a fascinating alien culture. Of course, seeing the decayed Master after 4 years was a fan's dream at the time and Geoffrey Beevers doesn't disappoint. The pace is a bit slow at times but it is always entertaining.

A solid 8/10.
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Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:38 pm
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Decisions, Decisions

simon cogan
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'Every decision creates ripples' said the 7th Doctor.

So, lots of decisions on my mind this week and any help would be greatfully apprciated!

I've been discussing the proposed board game with a fellow DWSSG supporter, Greg, and have had a ot of different ideas that sometimes support and sometimes contradict my view of a DW boardgame.

The 3, no 4, well 5, crucial points (a bit like the Spanish Inquisition here Monty Python fans - and I know of at least one HB!) to consider are:

1: Complexity - who is the game aimed at? My take is that I want it to be appealing to family 'plus'. This means a basic game a 12 year old could play, with add ons and optional rules for expansions etc.

2: Who are the players? My take is again that each is an incarnation of the Doctor. But there are views that players are Companions and the Doctor is an NPC, or that players are all different characters from the DW universe - good and evil. So alongside the Doctor(s) who are 'good', we could have Captain Jack and River Song (hello sweetie!) who could be neutral, and then Davros, the Master, the Cyber Controller etc who are evil. This could set up a 'Talisman' esque type game perhaps?

If it is just the Doctor that are players then do players also control Enemies against other Doctors or are they controlled by the game (such as in FANG)?

Or do we have 1 player playing 'the Enemy' and then other players play the Doctor and Companions - rotating the control of the Doctor through adventures - a bit like 'Mansions of Madness'?

3: Leading from this - what does the board look like? Is there a board? Is it a board that is fixed (like Talisman or FANG), or is it a 'modular board' made from cards/hexes?

4: What does a player 'do' in a turn? just play cards? Or is there movement of some kind on the 'board'?

5: How detailed is the game in portraying a typical adventure? is it broad (like FANG or Talisman) or is it more detailed and specific with original scenario adventures (like mansions of Madness or lotr:LCG)

6: Did I say 5? No, 6th - are we 'classic' or 'New'. There's a heck of a diffference in style and play between the 2 and I would want to reflect that if we could.

So, there you go. Answers and opinions on the above please. I'm genuinely interested in what people think and what they would like to see so the more people write back, the better I can incorporate their ideas.

On a completely different note, I watched 'Voyage of the Damned' earlier this week as an antidote to the overcooked 'Time of the Doctor'. I can't believe this was 6 years ago! Hasn't time flown! For a while this was my son's favourite Who story y'know?

I have to say I really enjoyed it. It's no great drama or heartrending emotional piece, but nor is it drenched in continuity. But it's very, very 'fit for purpose' on a Xmas day where an audience just want to be entertained.

It looks great with expensive effects and sets, the characters are 2 dimensional but fun and the leads are charismatic and energetic. Yes, there is some sugary coating and a slightly messianic approach to the 10th Doctor but these don't annoy as much as the purple plotting of this year's offering.

The only time I did groan (and Julie Gardener must have popped to the loo to allow Russell to get this in) was the Titanic heading towards Buck Palace and the Queen then waving the Doctor off!! I know it's Christmas Russell, but c'mon!

Still, I'm going with 7/10 - which is twice as much as TotD!!
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Sat Jan 4, 2014 4:06 pm
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A Waste of Time (of the Doctor)

simon cogan
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Y'know, there are some Christmases that don't quite live upto the hype.

It's ages coming, with lots of things to look forward to and plenty of promises.

Then on the day itself, you realise that you don't really want to be where you are and that you'd rather be somewhere else, with someone else.

That's what 'Time of the Doctor' was to me. I kept thinking back to 2009 and 'The End of Time'. Although the swansong of Tennant's 10th Doctor had some problems, I enjoyed it heck of a lot more than the last story of number 11 (or is that 13...??).

It seemed that the whole hour of this year's special was a series of events rather than a story with extremely erratic plotting and pacing that was all over the place. Plot arcs were seemingly tied up, yet I can't help thinking that if you really did go back and examine all the pieces, I'm sure they don't all fit together well.

In fact I'm pretty sure they don't.

For example: If the Doctor knew that 'Matt Smith version' was his last incarnation, how did he start to regenerate when River shot him in Season 6? How could he use that energy to heal River in the Angels in Manhattan? He should have none left? So the Kovarian chapter blew up the TARDIS? How? What actually are the cracks? What you saw in this episode is like that from Amelia's bedroom, but nothing at all like the one that kiled Rory or swallowed up the Angels. Perhaps a crack is just a (shudder) plot device that changes depending on what you want it to do...

And what was the Silence at the end of the 'Vampires from Venice'?

And who was the woman in the shop? Nope - still going on that one.

If you really are going to crow about complex plot arcs and clever plotting like Mr Moffat does, I would make sure they actually do work!

I spent most of the episode scratching my head as plot point after plot point was thrown at me - some stretching as far back as thirty years! Blimey, the Master's seal from 'The Five Doctors'. Who the heck would know what that was unless you're a huge fan of the show? And Christmas is not the time for massive continuity when your audience is at it's 'most casual viewer' point. My wife and 9 year old son (who's a big fan) kept asking me what was happening, and I'm not sure I could answer them properly.

For example, the planet at the start was Trenzalore. The Doctor has been there very recently with a big kerfuffle from the TARDIS in getting there. This time, no problem. In fact, he didn't even recognise it so presumably didn't check the TARDIS co-ordinates then?

The planet (well, the Time Lords) is sending out a signal throughout 'all of time and space'. Clever stuff. All these races arrive because they are feeling a 'bit scared'. Clever if those races such as the robotic Cybermen can feel fear... What about humans on Earth - Clara for example. Is she feeling 'a bit scared'? Nope - just worried about a turkey... In fact poor Clara did almost nothing but trail around for the entire episode.

I spent a lot of the episode thinking 'why?', 'how?', 'what?' I'm afraid.

When we land on Trenzalore itself, it's another magical snowy forest and just a town called Christmas. Now I know this is a big nod to 'Liberty Valance' but this kind of cutsey western town is about as divorced from reality as things come. The whole set up is 'magical' with the 'truth field' (wnatever that was) and faux victoriana. And we really needed some people to meet there so we could start to explore what it was like to live there. But of course, it was so artifical that any kind of depth was impossible to conjure up.

And because there were no characters that we knew in Christmas, I couldn't give a jot about what happened to it. Still, they gave all those races above it a pretty good seeing off until the end, although the Church had a very handy 'shield' to keep out all but a handful of nasties - including a wooden Cyberman.

I'll just say that again. A WOODEN Cyberman. A Cyberman made of wood.

Is it just me or do other people realise how daft that is?? it plays against everything we know the Cybermen to be just for the sake of a western quickdraw gag. And the wooden Cyberman shoots flames too. Bit of a design flaw I would have thought - fire and wood don't really mix...

I've watched the episode twice now and although there are some good bits, mainly some nice scenes at the end between the Doctor and Clara, most of it, to me, was an unsatisfactory send off to a Doctor.

I did like the Amy cameo though - very touching.

And then we have Peter Capaldi - Doctor number - actually I've lost count now. Not a bad (and sudden) start and he's a great actor with enormous range

But I feel that unless the writing improves dramatically, we're having more of the same later next year..

Sigh. Just 3/10 from me.

What do other people think of the Christams special?
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Fri Dec 27, 2013 12:00 pm
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It's starting...

simon cogan
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I've been thinking more about the new boardgame. Progress is slow as my free time is tiny right now and I have lots of other distractions (HB!), but it certainly is taking shape!

Turn sequence
a. Roll a D6 for initiative and give player with highest score the TARDIS token
b. Each player takes an Event card and 2 Energy tokens.
c. First player turn - The first player may spend any Energy tokens on available Resource cards and then proceeds to an Adventure
d. Other players take their turns in clockwise order.
e. After all players have taken a turn, the Resource ‘line’ is replenished from the Resource deck and any completed adventures are replaced by a new Adventure from the deck.

Adventures
a) When a player moves to an Adventure he also draws an Enemy card to represent the foe he must face.
b) The player then draws his first Challenge card and tries to overcome it. If he fails his turn ends and there might be further consequences from that Challenge card.
c) If he passes then the Challenge card is placed under the Adventure and the player must have an Enemy encounter and roll 1D3 on a chart on the appropriate Enemy reference sheet.
d) Resolve the Enemy encounter and if not captured, delayed or killed, the player may continue his turn and draw a new Challenge.
e) This is followed by a new Enemy encounter with +1 added to the 1D3 roll. As the encounter number gets higher (and there are potentially 6-8 on the reference sheet) then the encounters get deadlier and harder to overcome.
f) This Challenge/Enemy cycle is repeated until the player has faced enough Challenges to equal the Danger number on the Adventure. There is then a final Enemy encounter and if this is resolved successfully then the Adventure is completed, the Enemy defeated and VPs are gained by the player who then moves back to the Vortex tile.

Basic Mechanic
Each Challenge will have a Target number or numbers and a matching Quality. A player rolls a number of dice equal to his Quality value and if the total equals or exceeds the Target number, then the Challenge is passed.

Example: ‘Computer Failure’ might be a straightforward and easy Technical challenge with a Target number of 8. If a Doctor has a Technical value of 4 then he rolls 4D6 and hopes to get 8+. Allies such as a Technician might give +2 Tech and of course the Sonic Screwdriver would give +2 Tech (among other things). This +2 is +2 dice rolled rather than +2 to the total.

Some Challenges will have consequences if they are failed – such as having to use Energy tokens, being captured or having a penalty to an Enemy encounter. Other Challenges (like the computer failure example) just make you have to try again next turn!

More to come next week....

PS
What would people think if I turned this on its head and started with Classic Who such as Doctors 1-4 instead of Doctors 8-12??
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Wed Dec 18, 2013 6:22 pm
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Here We Go Again..

simon cogan
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Okay folks, so as promised, I'm embarking on a new Who game. I could be mad, but here goes...

This is my initial outline of the new project...

A boxed game that can be expandable for 1-6 players and has different modes of play – solo, competitive and co-op

Each player plays an incarnation of the Doctor. Doctors 8-11 will be in the base game with other Doctors available later on. (I did think briefly of allowing River Song as an alternative to encourage female players and as I know someone who can do a very convincing 'Hello Sweetie' but perhaps not...!)

Most components will be cards but there will also be dice, tokens (Energy and VP), possibly reference cards for Enemies and a miniature for each Doctor, plus some miniatures of Daleks and Cybermen for co-ops needed.

There will also be a Time Vortex tile to show when the players are between Adventures, and a TARDIS token to show the first player

Overview.

Each player (in the basic solo or competitive mode) must collect Points (name and exact no TBD but say VP for now). This is done by completing Adventures. Some strong Enemy cards (such as Daleks) also have VP rewards on them. In the co-op mode, this point collection is against a time limit against an alien race – again like Daleks.

There is also a possibility of scenarios in the competitive game (Key to Time) or co-op (Dalek Masterplan).

There are several decks of cards in the game:

1. Doctor cards (4) – these are double size cards to represent players. They have pics of the Doctor, 6 Qualities (Strength, Bravery, Knowledge, Cunning, Technical, Appeal) plus some extra Abilities that are different for each Doctor.

2. Adventure cards (20-25) – these are double size cards that represent the various times and planets the TARDIS visits. Each has a pic, description, an Era (Past, Present or Future), some keywords, maybe a special rule plus 2 numbers. First is the Danger number (number of Challenge cards that must be overcome) and a VP number which is the VP a player when the Adventure is completed.

3. Event cards (60) – 1 is drawn at the start of a players turn. These are random events that can affect players. Some play instantly, some are kept by players to play when they wish for bonuses, extra card draws etc.

4. Challenge cards (3 decks of 30 each) – these are split into 3 Eras. When a player is on an Adventure, he must overcome a number of Challenge cards. These maybe things like Political intrigue, murder Mystery, Computer failure, Crashing spaceship etc. Each Challenge details one (or more) Qualities with a target number(s).

5. Enemy cards (20) – these represent the various Enemies – Daleks, Cybermen, Weeping Angels etc that you have to defeat in the Adventures. Some will give extra VP.

6. Resource Cards (50) – these represent the various Allies, Companions and Gadgets. Each has a Cost. Rather than being drawn from a deck a number of these (equal to the number of players plus 2) are placed face up. A player may buy these cards using Energy tokens. When a Resource card is bought, another from the deck replaces it at the end of the round.

So, 250 ish cards in all in the basic set.

More news next week...
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Fri Dec 13, 2013 5:44 pm
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A New Dawn?

simon cogan
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I'm just a tiny bit exhausted!

Work is bonkers, there's the run up to Xmas of course and I'm still getting over the long Excel Celebration!

Now that's partly due to being on my feet and seeing everything that the fantastic celebration weekend had to offer. It's also because I didn't get much sleep. Not in a naughty 'nudge nudge wink wink' way (sadly!) but because I shared a bed with my 8 year old son.

And he wriggles. A lot.

But it did mean that I spent a fair amount of time from about 4am to 7am thinking about a new project.

My beloved always says I need a good project to lift my spirits and stop me from getting bored, and she's absolutely right.

Now I've been thinking about a new 'Doctor Who' game for a while. Not a solo game like DWSSG but a more 'family boxed game' that plays on a table. I've written before about the fun I have with my son Ben and with my gaming friends with 'Fortune and Glory' and, since Ben and my friends are big 'Doctor Who' fans, I thought I might try to recreate that 'feel good and social' feeling!

And those hours with a wriggling 8 year old gave me the opportunity to crack it I think. Early days yet of course.

Would DWSSG fans want to see a new 'boxed game' for 'Doctor Who'? I hope so, and want it to create a great atmosphere, a good storytelling atmosphere too, around the table. I'd also (as Fortune and Glory does)like both competitive and co-op modes of play...

So, if people are interested in seeing the game develop, I'll start posting my ideas here soon.

Any help - especialy of the artistic design nature - would be greatly appreciated, as would feedback on the ideas I might have.

So get ready for a new dawn...
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Thu Dec 5, 2013 7:27 pm
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Days of the Doctor

simon cogan
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It's take me this long to get over last weekend at the ExCel and the 50th anniversary bash. I'm still shattered!

We had an absolute blast over the weekend with so much to see and do. Everyone was in terrific spirits and, a little too many crowds and queueing aside, it was a fantastic experience. That experience was made better by seeing all the companions, Doctors and other guests who were all so friendly and welcoming - especially to my 8 year old son Ben and they were briiliant with him. And was his first convention so he was a little overawed at first!

So we loved meeting Louise Jameson (just gorgeous), Katy Manning, Maureen O'Brien, Bonnie Langford (who shared experiences of 'Peter Pan' and flying - Ben is about to do that show too), Katy Manning, Lisa Bowerman (totally lovely), Nick Briggs, Barney Edwards, Beth Chalmers and David Warner.

Ben even got to have a picture with Matt Smith brandishing his sonic! When asked his favourite part of the weekend he just said 'autographs!' I think I may have started something...

Panels were great (and we had good seats all the time - thanks Ed!)and the standing ovation that Tom Baker got when he came on stage was heartfelt and emotional.

'Day of the Doctor' was viewed in 3D at the O2 and was a terrific experience too. I thought the episode ticked all the right boxes and had its hearts in the right place. Perhaps some of the plotting was a bit opaque at times and if it did all tie together I'm not sure, but there was plenty to admire here. I loved Tennant throughout and the ending with all the Doctors was terrific - especially the cameo from a Mr P Capaldi that brought a cheer from the audience! But if we're talking cameos, we can't let Tom's minute go unmentioned. I don't know about any of you but I blubbed at seeing him there. Wonderful!

Of course, the weekend was made better by meeting up with friends that I've known for years and sharing the experience with them. Sadly, one friend couldn't make it (missed you HB - we would have had a great time! - I'll have to make it up to you somehow!!) but others are my closest friends and they looked after Ben (and me) a treat.

And of course, before that we had 'An Adventure in Space and Time' which was amazing and when I got home I watched 'The Fiveish Doctors reboot' by Peter Davison and chums which was laugh-out-loud funny.

Whew, I think I need a lie down now...!

What did other people think of all the anniversary celebrations?
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Thu Nov 28, 2013 5:43 pm
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Let's get this Party Started!

simon cogan
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I'm realy grateful to all the replies and messages from last week's blog. Looks like DWSSG still might have some legs...

Of course, we're now only a week away from the big 50!

I'm off to the EXCEL next weekend to celebrate in style and mingle with the great and the good (hopefully)- along with about 15000 others it seems!

So this week I thought I'd share my thoughts on some of the TV Who that I've been watching lately...

Let's start, of course, with the recovered episodes 'The Enemy of the World' and 'The Web of Fear' . Isn't it great to be able to say that!! how terrific that we've got 'new' old episodes to watch and, if my sources are correct, this is only the first batch of many more to come...

'Enemy' has been re-evaluated a lot by the rediscovery although, with Troughton's performance aside, I still find it lacking I'm afraid. It sprawls a little too much so that no character is that memorable and just lacks a monster. 6/10

'Web' is just terrifc though and every bit as good as I had imagined from the soundtrack and reconstruction I had. A definitive Who story packed with incident and set pieces - defined perfectly with the tour de force that is episode 4 and the Yeti attack on Covent Garden. This just took my breath away for 60's TV and is a brilliant episode from director Douglas Camfield. 9/10 overall.

What can you say about 'The Green Death' that doesn't involve mines, maggots and megalomaniac computers? Simply one of Pertwee's best and a wonderfully evocative story from the early 70's era of Who. I'm hard put to have a go at anything except sub standard effect work - but that's just being cruel. 9/10.

Onto 'Terror of the Zygons' and another favourite of mine. A classic TARDIS team, superb monsters and wonderful direction, music and location work. Who could ask ask for more? Oh yes - a better Skarasen! Still a 9/10 though.

Another classic is 'City of Death' and what a terrific story for the fourth Doctor. Sublimely witty, a fantastic villain and who wouldn't want to be Tom Baker and running through the streets of Paris with a hot blonde? I know I would!! Just wonderful - 10/10

Less terrific is another from Season 17 - the unfinished 'Shada'. Sometimes witty, sometimes silly, sometimes lovely to look at, sometimes cheap as chips - this story really is a patchwork and only made famous because we haven't got it all. Difficult to score, but I'd go with a 5/10 I think.

Moving onto the fifth Doctor and 'Mawdryn Undead' from season 20, here we have a clever story and nice ideas dogged with bland direction and overlit studios. Nice to see the Brig of course and Nick Courtney gives 2 touching and nouanced performances. David Colings also turns in an effective antagonist rather than villain. 7/10 perhaps?

Researching for a Who pub quiz can be fun when you have the right stories. The 10th Doctor round saw me having to watch 'The Fires of Pompeii' and 'Midnight'. Hardly a chore....

The 11th Doctor round consisted of 'Vincent and the Doctor' and 'The Doctor's Wife'. Again, 2 of Matt Smith's finest - and I can think of a fair few that I wouldn't want to have to be forced to endure...

And - don't forget that last night I watched 'The Night of the Doctor'!!

Wow! Didn't expect that - Go and check it out!!

See you all in 2 weeks and after the treats of 'An Adventure in Space and Time' (how brilliant does that look!!) and of course 'The Day of the Doctor'

So come on, let's get this party started!!
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Fri Nov 15, 2013 5:41 pm
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