Firstly, apologies for the lack of updates. It is likely to continue (if it’s possible for a lack to continue… I suppose it is) – I have rather less spare time now than I used to, and higher priorities for writing.
One casualty of this is likely to be my episode-by-episode reviews of Doctor Who. But while I’m here, I have some fan frustration to get off my chest. In The Stolen Earth, Davros was deliberately depicted with a mechanical hand, on the basis that the last time he was seen in the “classic” series – 1985’s Revelation of the Daleks – his real hand was seen being blown off.
Except… that wasn’t the last time he was seen in the old series! He was seen again in 1988’s Remembrance of the Daleks, and by that time he was reduced to a disembodied head inside a Dalek casing. Youtube handily backs me up on this…
So why has the new series deliberately trashed the old? There’s no possibility of a mistake: you’re dealing with proper fans on the Doctor Who production team – they would not even have had to look it up, and they certainly wouldn’t have forgotten. And if Davros supposedly grew himself a new body… why didn’t he grow himself a properly-functioning body, not a withered, disabled one? That can’t be the explanation.
Of course, acknowledging this change would have meant that the iconic image of Davros, half man and half Dalek, could not be recreated… but with all the ingenuity of RTD and the gang, there must have been a better way to get round this.
Also, this is the second bit of ret-conning relating to Remembrance of the Daleks: at the end of that story, Skaro is destroyed, but in Daleks in Manhattan last year it was stated that the Daleks’ planet was destroyed during the Time Wars. Now, the destruction of Skaro could have been the start of the wars I suppose, but more likely it was just a plain case of the new series riding roughsod over the old. Usually I’m impressed with how the show manages to reinvent past elements without trashing them, but it seems to be making a point of contradicting this one particular story.
Now, this is not a unanimous view with Doctor Who fandom, but Remembrance is generally one of the better-regarded McCoy stories – the era as a whole remains enormously divisive among fans, but I think it was in many respects one of the old show’s strongest periods. Perhaps RTD feels otherwise. Even if he does, it’s hard to see how he can justify picking and choosing what bits of the old show are now canonical and which are not. What’s the point of doing fanwank like bringing Davros back, and then getting it wrong?? It’s deeply sad, I know, but it just bothers me. That’s all.