Doctor Who: Remembrance of the Daleks

doctor who remembrance of the daleks

Doctor Who
Remembrance of the Daleks
Season 25
Story 148
Orignal Air Date: October 5-26, 1988

In watching Classic Doctor Who I really do have a tendency to skip around. In this, case I recently watched this story which if the first part of Season 25, then went back to watch Dragonfire which was the last story of Season 24 and after, that I watched The Happiness Patrol which is the second story of Season 25. Normally I skip around a lot more than that but I liked this story quite a lot and as it was clearly early days for Ace, I wanted to watch her intro. But whatever, here we are.

The Doctor and Ace landed on Earth in the year 1963. They are after the Hand of Omega, a Time Lord device The Doctor left at Coal Hill School during his very first visit to Earth. They find the device but also discover two warring factions of Daleks. He must enlist the help of the military to stop the Dalek’s war from destroying the world.

As this story begins the series 25th year there are lots of references to previous stories. The series began in 1963 and the very first story too place at Coal Hill school. The Daleks were some of the first villains he fought in the story (and they remain a fan favorite). They return to seveal locations The Doctor visited early in the series and there are loads of little Easter Eggs hidden throughout, like when Ace picks up the very same book that Susan had handled in the fist story.

As such this story is a delight for old fans who can delight in all of the throwbacks and references, but its also a very fun story on its own. It is packd with action and there are some good bits of humor. Sylvester McCoy, who laned the role just a few short weeks before Season 24 began shooting finally had time to actually think about what he wante to do with the character and he seems to fully inhabit it here.

All around it is a very fun story and one of my very favorite late-era Classic Who tales.

File Factor Links: January 23, 2023

A long while ago I was briefly using both Amazon Drive and File Factory. I think this was about the time I did my first begging. My idea was that I’d use Amazon Drive for the artists that I mainly collected and shared (Dylan, Garcia, Van, etc) and the File Factory for everything else. That way, or so the theory went, I’d save space on my Amazon Drive and you all some money. I uploaded quite a few shows before reaching out to you all to explain what I was doing. Overwhelmingly, you all said I should just use Amazon Drive and that you would pay for the extra space. At this point I stopped uploading new things to File Factory. When I remembered I would include File Factory links alongside the Amazon ones for those shows I had uploaded to both services. Eventually, I forgot all about what I had uploaded to File Factory.

Until Now.

While uploading some new shows to File Factory this week I discovered those old shows just sitting in a folder. I decided to include them in this week’s links. Which is why there are so many of them.

And here they are: File Factory Links

Sharky’s Machine (1981)

sharkys machine

Though it was made in 1981 Sharky’s Machine feels very much like a 1970s crime thriller. It stars and was directed by Burt Reynolds, who was right at the edge of the height of his fame, within a few years he’d be box office poison. He plays Sharky, a loose-cannon narcotics detective who gets demoted after carelessly chasing a drug dealer and inadvertently getting a bus driver shot. He’s put on the vice squad, which within the context of this film is the dregs of the police department.

When he realizes that some high-class call girls are using names whose letters translate into phone numbers he talks his Lieutenant (Charles Durning) into getting seven wire tapes. He gets six, with one number gaining pushback from the higher-ups. Sharky figures there must be a reason for that, and that the reason is probably corrupt. He gets his friend Nosh (Richard Libertini) to run his own tap.

The phone belongs to Dominoe (Rachel Ward) and one of her clients is a candidate running for governor. This leads Sharky to set up 24/7 surveillance on the girl and sets up a lot of intrigues and ultimately murder for our film.

The plot is pretty standard crime drama stuff. Reynolds proves to be a steady hand behind the camera. He mostly plays it safe, but he adds a few things to the film to make it interesting. The middle section of the film is mostly him spying on Dominoe from a building across the street. He uses binoculars and telescopes to peek in her windows while listening to her through the taps.

Sharky develops a one-sided connection to the girl. The film connects them by cutting from him to her and back again, sometimes visually putting them in the same room together though in reality they are separated. Eventually, they do wind up actually together with Sharky protecting her from the killer (and always awesome (Henry Silva).

The trouble is that while he’s been watching her for days through his binoculars and listening to her every sound, she has no idea who he is. They scuffle and to Reynold’s credit, he doesn’t soften his character, allowing him to slap her around in his anger to find out more information on the killer. Later when she softens to him he leans in for a kiss but again to Reynolds’s credit, he has his character pull away and doesn’t force himself upon her. But naturally, in the very next scene, he shows his sensitive side and she’s all over him. They say the studio made him cut about twenty minutes from the film and the rumor is most of what fell on the cutting room floor was the development of their relationship, but as it is, she comes on way too fast.

It was also interesting to see Sharky get demoted for causing the bus driver to get shot. That scene is a pretty typical action scene, the type you’ve seen in a million cop action flicks. Something goes wrong in the bust and the bad guy gets away. Sharky chases after him, paying little attention to the collateral damage he might be causing. When the bad guy gets on the bus Sharky jumps on too. Then he shoots the guy in the leg causing him to shoot the bus driver on accident. In a million other movies Sharky would be hailed as a hero, but here his actions are seen as dangerous leading to demotion.

The best parts of the film are when Sharky is working with the rest of his Vice Squad compatriots (his “machine” if you will). The cast includes Brian Keith and Bernie Casey and the scenes with them trying to solve the casework really well. Reynolds has good chemistry with Rachel Ward too. But once things move from detective mode to action movie things get boring.

I was surprised by how much I liked this film. I’ve never been a huge Burt Reynolds fan and I watched Stick, which he also directed a few months ago, and mostly hated it. But he does well here. If you like 1970s crime movies with some neo-noir trappings then this comes recommended.

Doctor Who: Dragonfire

doctor who dragonfire


Doctor Who
Dragonfire
Season 24
Story 147
Original airdate: November 23 – December 7, 1987

While we do watch the new Doctor Who series every Friday I periodically watch the Classic Series. I do that pretty randomly – jumping around from story to story, Doctor to Doctor, whenever the mood hits me. Since I’m planning on writing about NuWho every Friday I thought I’d write about the Classic Stories as well.

Dragonfire was the final story in the 24th season of Doctor Who. It saw the end of Mel (Bonnie Langford) as the Doctor’s companion and the beginning of Ace’s (Sophie Aldred) run. She would be the last companion of the classic series.

The Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) and Mel land the TARDIS on Iceworld, a trading colony on the dark side of the planet Svartos. At an ice cream parlor, they run into Sabalom Glitz (Tony Selby) whom The Doctor had run in a previous story (Trial of a Time Lord). Glitz has a map that purportedly leads to a treasure buried under the colony. A treasure that is protected by a dragon. As it happens Ace is working at the ice cream shop as a waitress. She was accidentally transported to Iceworld from her home on 20th-century Earth while she was toying around with some homemade explosives. She is totally keen to follow our heroes, battle a dragon and capture the treasure.

Our main villain is not the dragon, but rather Kane (Edward Peel), a great evildoer who was exiled to Svartos some 2,000 years ago. He hopes the treasure will help him return to his home planet. The trouble is his natural body temperature is super cold and any conflict with a fire-breathing dragon would kill him. He’s been waiting for someone courageous like the Doctor to get the treasure for him.

Not knowing that they are unwittingly doing Kane’s bidding The Doctor and his companions venture underneath the city in search of the dragon and the treasure. They find both, but as these things usually go Kane gets the treasure which is an energy source he can use to pilot his spaceship and return to his home. Naturally, he is thwarted and The Doctor wins.

As a story Dragonfire is pretty lacking. Kane is straight-up evil. He enslaves the people of Iceworld to do his bidding and generally doesn’t care if they live or die. The sets are actually pretty great with lots of plastic sheeting used to create the ice world. There the usual caves and what-not, but they use them to good effect. There is one giant room that must have been built on a massive sound stage that gives the place a more expansive feeling than most Doctor Who stories.

Mel has never been my favorite companion and she’s not given much more to do here but complain and scream in terror. Still, it is always a little sad to see a companion go. Strangely, throughout the story she makes no indication that she plans to leave and then in the last five minutes she’s like “well, I’m off, see you around Doctor” and leaves with Sabalom Glitz. I haven’t seen the previous story so maybe she indicated this was going to be her last adventure there, but it seems so quick here.

Ace is naturally then invited to go on more adventures and she gladly accepts. I’ve come to like her as a companion with her adventurous spirit and willingness to jump right in (and blow things up).

So not the best story, but not the worst by a long shot.

The Friday Night Horror Movie: John Dies At The End (2012)

john dies at the end

Don Coscarelli has had one interesting career as a director. After directing his very first feature film at the age of 18 he went on to create one of the more iconic horror mechanisms of the 1980s (Phantasm‘s flying silver ball). He followed that up with The Beastmaster a ridiculous, schlocky bit of fantasy starring Marc Singer as a bare-chested cross between Luke Skywalker and Doctor Doolittle which was a staple of late-night cable television in the early 1990s. He then made four increasingly bad Phantasm sequels which expanded the film’s mythology into incoherence. He also made Bubba Ho-Tep, a film that I haven’t seen but apparently stars Bruce Campbell as an elderly Elvis Presley who teams up with JFK to fight an ancient Egyptian mummy. His last film was this one which I just watched.

It is an absolute mess of a film, at times both brilliant and baffling. To explain the plot would be an exercise in futility. It involves a mind-altering drug, an alternate universe, bug aliens, and a lot of gross-out horror. It is a film so filled to the brim with ideas that it never pauses for a breath to let the viewer catch up, or to take stock of where it is going.

Coscarelli has a visual flair so it is generally interesting to look at (with the exception of some pretty dodgy CGI). It is well made and well acted (Paul Giamatti has a small role and he’s always great to see in anything – he also produced the film). There are lots of interesting things going on in the script, I just wished they had spent a little more time on any one idea and fleshed it out more, instead of throwing more and more and stuff at us. It has a tendency to be a little too jokey as well. In part, it wants to be this mind-bending, time-jumping sci-fi/horror film and in another part it wants to be a Judd Apatow-style bro-comedy. The two parts never really gel together in any coherent way.

It is definitely worth watching if you like Corscarelli or films that get a little crazy.

Jeff Beck Tributes on Guitars101

Legendary guitarist Jeff Beck passed away on January 10th and music lovers all over have been paying tribute. A couple of people over at Guitars101 put up Mega threads and I thought I’d share. I can’t say I was a huge fan of the guitarist, but then again I can’t say I’ve ever really listened to him all that much. I’m looking forward to digging into some of these shows.

katznkitz shared 16 shows from 2009 which they consider to be a pinnacle year.

Jimmy Shelter shared a whole bunch of shows from the guitarist in this tribute page.

Links of the Day: January 18, 2023

INTERVIEW WITH MARK DAVIDSON ABOUT THE BOB DYLAN ARCHIVE: The Dylan Review

Lucinda Williams: She brings the band back together: Tellerreport

Van Morrison ‘Moving On Skiffle’ intimate gig review: Brighton and Hove

David Crosby Talks New Live CD/DVD and Dishes on The Kardashians: Paste Magazine

Ron Tutt Covered ‘Mystery Train’ With Jerry Garcia Band & With Elvis In Span Of 3 Days In 1975: Jambase

‘They Live’: John Carpenter’s Brilliantly Simple and Hugely Enjoyable Assault on Reagan’s America: Cinephilia & Beyond

What is a Traveling Wilbury? A Detailed Examination of the Legendary Supergroup: The Enlightened Mindset

Bob Dylan sends audio tribute to Bloody Sunday victims: Irish News

Wilfred: Season Two

wilfred

Reading these old reviews that I wrote is such a strange experience for me. There are times when I’ll read a review and have no memory of ever watching that movie to TV series. Or my memory of the thing is totally different from what I wrote on the page. Wilfred is a show I do remember watching. I remember which house I was living in when I watched it and my mind’s eye sees me sitting there watching. But I couldn’t tell you a thing about it. If asked if I liked it I’d probably shrug and say it was ok. But reading my review I see that I quite liked it. That I found it crass, but very funny.

I don’t know that this means anything, except that I’ve watched a lot of stuff over the years and written about it. And that my memory isn’t great. Now I think I may have to see if I still have those Wilfred DVDs and watch them again.

Amazon Drive Shrinkage, Part III: This Time It’s Personal

Ok friends, I have no deleted all of the non-essential artists off my Amazon Drive and I will now begin working on the essentials. So, if you haven’t already gone through the Bob Dylan, Grateful Dead, Neil Young, Van Morrison files and downloaded what you need now is the time.

I’ll start with Peter Gabriel and Pink Floyd – artists that I don’t necessarily collect but still have a huge amount of shows from and then move to the other artists I do collect. There are a lot of them so it will take me some time. But at the speed I’ve been going, I should be completely finished in February sometime.

This may push forward my desire to start doing regular posts again through the Google Drive. I had originally thought I’d do that in April when my Amazon Drive account officially expires. But if I get through all of these files and delete them from Amazon I’ll go ahead and cancel the Drive and maybe even get a small refund. I can use that to support the Google Drive.

No promises though.

As always, if I delete something and you still need it just leave me a comment and I’ll find a way to upload it elsewhere.