Thursday, 11 September 2014

innovation

Innovation
 
 
 




Ah.... The early 60's saw many Innovations ,  The 1964/1965 New York World's Fair would be a place where the future was exposed to the public with all it's wonders... The Flying Car!! Wow it's coming was one such boast. 
This is a true story of life in the 60's as I remember it... But the words may have changed to enhance the reading experience, so strap in kiss your toes, as we use my  cerebral  time and space manipulation machine to take you back with me to a time of Black and White.

This is an exciting age, man is on the brink of space exploration... And the Moon is the goal for man to take a giant leap forward. 
But before all that we had toys to keep a child busy for hours, not only that! They were education too! So picture this as we   Approach the Early 60's 
As soon as we land you with notice the buzz of excitement coming from a crowd as they look for inspirational gifts for their children at Christmas in Woolworths. 

My Aunt Molly is front of the queue, because she wants the best for her growing family, and what she was about to be shown was the latest innovation for children of the new age. 
"So what is it exactly?" She asks the young salesman at his display stand... 
"What is it? I'll tell you what it is Madam it's the latest thing for a child's 
 Mental Development, Made! I might add in the latest high tensile plastics man can afford." 
"Really?"
"I wouldn't lie to you madam, I can see by your demeanour your a very shrewd lady, this I can assure you is it!" Your going to Wow your young child, may I ask his or her name?"   
"It's Richard and Jackie." There is another child to come, but at this point and time Jane isn't even a twinkle in the eyes...And me being a scruffy kid have no idea of what I just said means. 
"Lovely names madam... Would I be right in thinking Richard is a Boy?" 
"Of Course he is." Molly replied with some bewilderment.
"I'm just checking ma'am you can never be to sure or take things for granted at this Exciting Age of Invention!!" 
Now intrigued Molly bends forward and enquires again. 
"Madam if you leave this store with this Wonderful gift, the joy and love in your young sons eyes at Christmas will be your just reward."  
"But you still haven't told me what it is?" 
"What it is?... What it is, is a Static Technological Interactive Cultural Knackish." 
"What?"
"Oh excuse me madam I know it's a bit of a mouthful so we call it a Stick for short!" And with that he delicately places  the Static Technological Interactive Cultural Knackish, on the green felt covered table."
"But that's a Stick!!" Molly blurted out.
"Oh My Word, madam you learn fast! That's Exactly what it is!"
"But it's a Stick.... I mean just a stick." 
"Ah.. Now don't be fooled by it's familiar appearance madam, this isn't just a stick, made from the strongest polymers...You can bend it, slap it, throw it and it will always keep it's shape! ... Why just imagine young Richard running along next doors fence with this little technological beauty... It would sound like a machine gun..he will be the envy of the school yard, .That alone is hours of fun... Young Richard will never be ignored with one of these.... Because he can poke his friends to get there full attention!" 
"I'll have it." Said Molly knowing a bargain when she saw it, and she was looking at it right now. 
Just As we accept computer technology  today, we know all innovation, never stands still for long, and within weeks the next improvement is available.
My Mother June... Headed for The City, she sat on the No18 Bus blot upright and full of pride, as she gripped her handbag on her lap, excited by the  knowledge gained through her Sister-in-law that the latest Thing! Was a stick. And she, being a fair and loving mother intended to buy all three sons this marvellous technological breakthrough in children's educational toy development.    
As soon as the bus stopped at Southampton Central Bus Station, she was off and heading to Woolworths ready to bash anyone with her handbag if they got between her and the Sticks. 
"I'll have three of your finest sticks please." June demanded from the nearest stand...
"Oh God Bless you Madam I can see your a caring Mother so for a further half crown I can add the latest innovation to The Stick! ... It's a Planetary leviathan .... Oh but let's cut to the quick ... It's a Plate! 
"You want me to pay Seven and six for three plates? Are you Mental?" My mother said indignantly.
"It's the latest Thing Madam... A plate on a Stick... Soon you won't be able to buy them as we are selling out fast." 
"I see.... So what's so good about this latest addition then?" 
"It's full of mystery and magic your children have only seen On Television... They will learn through perseverance how to balance a plate on a stick... It's a spinning sensation."
So not wanting to be out done my Mother brought all three of her Sons a Plate on a Stick that Christmas. 

So now you know why Children Born in the 50's and Early 60's are always excited by Christmas.... Because after a you've experience a plate on a Stick, the whole of technology opens up to you.. 

In this story the boys of June are played by the real life characters of my Brother Steven, my Twin Michael and of course I play Paul the Gorgeous one. 


Sunday, 9 March 2014


A Story of Doctor Who, My Memories by @BestDrWho



Here I am… the cheeky scruff a month into my 7th Birthday,

I remember 1963 for two things, one being the first time I encountered deep snow, playing outside this was wonderful stuff for a kid living in England on one of the early council estates built in the late 1950’s, I still have a clear image in my mind of looking down at my feet and only seeing snow up to my knees, my friends and I even found the pond formed by a bubbling spring in the woods had frozen solid, so skating, probably more on our backsides than legs was to be joyous event had  by all.

The second and most important thing for you readers was the first episode of Doctor Who, William Hartnell was like my Grandfather, thin and grumpy haha, so I already related to him as a grandfather figure, this was brilliant stuff too, a time travelling grumpy granddad, who you just knew would tell you, you’re not chewing your food forty times before swallowing.

The opening scene was like Dixon of Dock Green episode (Google it) with a policeman and his flashlight (these were also alien communicators to a seven year old, but you had to hold it under your chin and talk in a deep spooky voice) the policeman seems to be checking everything is locked up and the name of the junkyard is suddenly lit up, 76 Totter’s Lane. Are you excited yet? You just knew something was going to happen in that yard, but what?

It does all fade a bit with time but I remember Susan being followed by two of her curious and worried teachers, she enters the junkyard and both are not far behind. Police Boxes used to be a common sight in those days, so to see someone go inside one wasn't at all strange, but this one buzzed and vibrated from the inside.
 
The rest is history as far as An Unearthly Child goes, so I wont bore you with the details, we talked about the programme at school and imagined how brilliant it would be to go back in time and see a Dinosaur or be a Cowboy, bang bang, you're dead, if you didn't play dead when you were shot at, you were a dirty little cheater.

My favourite time for Doctor Who for me was the regeneration of the Doctor, although  they called it renewal back then, Patrick Troughton was now the Doctor and he was Brilliant. I’m now ten years old and very impressed, he was mischievous, funny , witty and clever, with a childish sense of wonder at all things new (Matt Smith has taken this aspect of Pat’s Doctor) Patrick was the Uncle you wish you had, because you knew he’d give you a jelly baby even if you’d been naughty and had a sweetie ban slapped down on you to put you straight, My Great Grandmother was like that, she loved me and would give me Jaffa cakes even though I was in the dog house.
 
So again I could relate to this Doctor, when Jamie joined the crew things really took off, Frazer Hines and Patrick Troughton were a perfect combination, I was too young to appreciate Zoe’s assets and contribution to the crew because she was a girl errhhh.
 I couldn’t bear to watch Patrick’s Doctor end, or in his case change his features so I never watched The War Games right to the end. I never saw the change, I didn’t like Jon Pertwee’s Doctor mainly because he wasn’t Pat, I do appreciate his portrayal now  I’m older, the BBC also ruined the show for me by making Jon’s Doctor time locked on Earth, so they could save the budget on set designs. he seemed was more like Quatermass to me, that put aside I know Jon did a lot for the programme and lead the way to Doctor Who conventions.
 
My favourite episode of Jon’s era was of course The Three Doctors to see Billy and Pat back was just pure joy to me , now a teenager it was like Christmas and Birthdays had joined for one great show, it’s in this episode Pat says for the first time: ”I can see you've been doing the TARDIS up a bit, I don't like it.” Jon Pertwee was very much his own Doctor.

Tom Baker was a wonderful and funny Doctor. His episode Robot was my favourte as it's here we see the comical Tom for the first time. just like Pat. He even stole Pat’s Jelly Babies, an idea he’s often given credit for, really every Doctor that followed Jon seemed to have taken on some aspect of Pat’s performance, let’s face it if it wasn’t for Patrick Troughton, being accepted as the Doctor, the programme would have stopped with him, so he has more than earnt the right to be the Best Doctor of them all.
I enjoyed Peter Davison’s Doctor also, he had that venerable Doctor who cared more for others than his own life, Peter’s Doctor was also joined by a companion who's assets I was now old enough to appreciate even though she was a girl., as I’m now in my early twenties. There used to be a group called Yello in the 80’s and when I first saw Peri that dat dat OHHHH Yeaaaa song was in my head. The Five Doctors was the best episode of Peter’s tenure for what should be obvious reasons.

Colin Baker was another Doctor I liked, he had a darker, untrustworthy Doctor going on, Patrick showed these traits but he was so subtle you hardly noticed.
The Two Doctor’s was the highlight because my favourite Doctor and companion combo were back and fully in the driving seat. Patrick would steal every scene he played in the Two Doctors, The Three Doctors and even The Five Doctors.

Sylvester McCoy’s Doctor at the time I didn’t like at all, I never liked the Doctor being called Professor by Ace either, another character I never took to, for me at the  McCoy’s tenure was the Death Knell to the series and Doctor Who was no more. (I know this will be a controversial view as most fans in their thirties grew up with McCoy’s Doctor.) My favourite episode with McCoy was Remembrance of the Daleks

It's now 1996 and I thought Wow the Doctor is back, I’m now coming up to forty, and a fantastic actor Paul McGann was going to play the Doctor, but due to America’s none acceptance of the show it died an early death, I feel he would have gone on to be one of the all time greats in Who History.
 
The rest you all know 2005 saw the return of The Doctor Who series, with a cocky Doctor played by Christopher Eccleston. I liked Chris a lot, but when he left early I wasn’t surprised. My favoutire episode with Chris is The Empty Child.
 So next we see  David Tennant enter the role, and the fun loving Doctor is back taking on the talking to himself side of Patrick’s Doctor, with that same sense of wonder. Tennant was my daughters Doctor, she absolutely loves David Tennant, and yes he was a great Doctor, but this is now the era where lovey dovey Doctor rules. There was no time for kissing in Pat’s day, there were monsters to stop.  David’s regeneration went on for far long in my opinion, again lovey dovey diey Doctor. My favourite episode with Tennant was The Girl in the Fireplace
Now Matt Smith is the Doctor and I rate him close to Pat, but if they shared a scene it would be Pat your attention would go to, I’m not a big fan of some of the stories and I’ve said as much on twitter, this again upsets people but I go back to the shows humble beginnings, so I see it from a different perspective to the new fans. If the writing was more about the fight against all evil in the universe rather then the internal anguish of the Doctor and the total dominance of the female characters, the Doctor could be amazing again. But to me the stories have become all about relationships of the characters and the monsters have little or no part in the show.

Let me also add that  other characters have helped this show last in the mind, the Brigadier (Nicholas Courtney) and Sergeant Benton, (John Levene, who was the first person I met in Newcastle, and remarked how well I dressed in my Replay tweed jacket) and one I met in the Lanes in Brighton, when in my twenties, but I was to polite to bother her while she was shopping was Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen) fine fellows all of them. 
Well these are my views and I’m being honest about how I see the show. I think Matt will be remembered as one of the all time Greats, after the Greatest of them all Patrick Troughton. My favourite Matt Episode surprisinly for me was Day of The Doctor due to it's comic content.

Peter Capaldi is yet to show us HIS Doctor, but I fear the writing may restrain him for showing us his formidable acting ability.
 
I thank anyone who has managed to read the rambling of the person now referred to as @BestDrWho.

Friday, 6 December 2013


A family tale

 

 

The snow built up on the road leading up Totter’s Lane to Gwen’s home, Any gaps in hedges or fences were made more evident by the raised humps that held up mud and leaves in a gesture of penance “I think it’s starting to melt” Gwen’s father said sniffing the air as he looked down on his daughters red nosed rosy cheeked face staring up at him, and they walked hand in hand heading up a slight incline, in his other hand he held a metal case and that case was getting heavier the further they walked.
The Evening wind had an edge of ice to it just the same and it was a distinct possibility that the snow melting was wishful thinking on her father’s part and as if to tease him some snow from an earlier flurry flew upwards encouraged by the bitter north-easterly wind.

Gwen loved the snow; its pure white blanket covered the landscape, tucking in all in its grip for a winters night, this wonderful covering even made the old junk yard look beautiful, with its magical sculptures made from the underlying scrap, some appeared as Monsters reaching out into this alien world wanting it for their own.

Gwen could see light coming from the red bricked sheds windows in the old yard and a shadowy figure  danced as the flames of an open stove lit the interior.
“Daddy? Is the old man sleeping in that shed” Her father followed her gaze and replied “Oh I very much doubt that Gwen, even with a stove it must be freezing in that big old shed.” still walking Gwen snuggled her chin into the collar of her pale blue woollen coat, as she had done the first time she'd worn it, it was wonderfully warm.

“You there!…ah Young man!” Gwen and her father stopped dead in their tracks to face the shed once again, only this time a figure of the old man who's voice they heard for the first time stepped out from the shed door, a triangular light fell from the doorway coating the virgin snow in  Amber.
“Thank you for stopping..” the old man said walking towards them; he held an old oil lantern that Gwen had only seen in the black and white world of television and something in the way the man dressed reminded her of Ebenezer Scrooge.

“I’m looking for my granddaughter, her names Susan about yay high short dark hair, you wouldn’t  happened to have passed her by any chance?” the old man with his long white hair raise his eyebrows and gave out a kind of hum, in his voice as he awaited a reply.
“No I’m sorry” Gwen’s father answered then adding “we’ve walked the best part of a mile and you’re the first person we’ve seen this evening.”

The old man had a firm but kind face, “Oh dear me, this will never do, this won't do at all, they could come at any time!” “They ?” Gwen’s father said now curious as to what this old man worried so clearly about.
“Ah…well ah, thank you again young man” he looked down at Gwen, her rosy face so reminded him of his daughter as a child. “My you’re a jolly young thing aren’t you” the old man said with a smile. “Are you the junk yard man?” Gwen said excited to meet the old man she’d only seen fleetingly before, she imagined him to be some wizard, or a mad inventor.

“The ah Junk! ….. Oh no my dear I’m just ah…well I’m just visiting” he looked puzzled as if wondering what to say “well you both must be cold and needing to get home to the warm, don’t let me keep you” He turned holding his lantern high straining to see into the darkness. “Well, Mr Foreman is it?” Gwen’s Father said “Ah” said the Old man hesitatingly “yes, Yes Mr Foreman quite right.”
“Visiting a junk yard?” said Gwen interrupting this awkward moment, her face all scrunched up, trying to think why anyone would visit such a place.
The old man turned to face Gwen again, his face still held a smile “Oh my dear child, there are many things of use in a junk yard, this discarded scrap” he gestured with his free hand “is a virtual treasure trove for the adventurous of mind,” looking to her happy upturned face and added “you love adventure don’t you?” he said his eyes still twinkling with a smile in each corner.

Gwen’s father laughed “Oh dear me, Gwen and her sister love adventure stories, they ask for tales of imprisoned Princess locked in towers, dragon’s eggs, witches and demons.”

“My daddy tells the best stories EVER!!” Gwen squealed with delight.
This made the old man Smile even more and  looking at Christopher “You’re a lucky man, your daughter’s quite charming” “ Oh Thank you, yes my little Gwen is a charmer all right and Sarah, they keep me busy.” he looked at Gwen and winked, “I wouldn’t change it for all the tea in china” he said. Gwen snuggled up to her father holding him by his leg.
Then old man’s eyes saddened again as he turned once more to leave “I must press on…things to do, so many things to do.” He walked back through the large open double gates of the yard. “Bless you both It was kind of you to stop” The old man said is voice trailing away as he walked “This isn’t a night for real introductions, enjoy the rest of your Evening.” And he was gone from view.

The moon combined with the reflective properties of the snow gave the night a strange and eerie light and it was possible to see quite a distance but this seemed to be of no assistance to the old man as he looked out, that same worried look returning to his creased features.

Two miles away Susan was hurrying back to the yard; she was late and knew this would unsettle her grandfather. Teachers at her school were asking too many questions for her liking and she’d walked in circles in case they took it upon themselves to follow her.

 
“Daddy ?” “Yes Flossy?” Flossy was one of many nick names Christopher had for his daughter, so named from days of carnivals  where her love for candy floss often resulted in a floss covered face.
“I think the old man has some kind of magic” “Do you now” Chris chuckled, she continued “yes he looks like Merlin without a beard; I’ve seen Merlin in my book.” “Well his long Hair is very Merlin like I suppose.”

 
Sarah lying across her bed had been drawing jumping horses in the condensation forming on her bedroom window, the legs of the horses now gathering the moister in drops that rained down the pane forming small pools on the window seal.
She could see Gwen and her father walking up the path, she leapt  from her bed and  headed down stairs to greet them, her bobbed dark hair tussled but looking delightfully sweet dropped strands over her eyes and she blew upward and brushed them aside as she reached the bedroom door.

“Daddy!!” she yelled now running down the stairs as Gwen and her father entered the front door, Christopher stamped the last remains of the snow from his boots, so Gwen followed by example, now stepping on one boot edge as she slid her foot free, then doing the same with the other boot with her free foot.
Chris un-booted turned to face the excited Sarah now at the bottom of the stairs, the red floral carpet of the hallway under her bare feet.
“Did you get it” her eyes wide, eye brows rose “did you get it daddy”
“Hello swot” he said as he knelt to kiss her cheek. He held the case behind his back.


Earlier that day Christopher had read in the paper of a Jumble sale being held in the hall at St Martin of the fields Church. “Sally? Their having a sale again, do you think they may have one this time?” Sally wiping her hands in a tee towel as she turned from the sink said “well it won’t be too far to look would it and Gwen could use a new coat, that hand me down from Sarah is looking rather ragged.” She sat down close to Chris and looked over the ad in the news, “Take Gwen with you, you know how useless you are at guessing the kids sizes, that hat you bough Gwen would fit a medium sized Elephant.” “Oh really” he chuckled“well that may be but she loved that hat!” “Only because her lovely daddy bought it for her and told her it came from a woman who wore it to venture out in the Wild West… Calamity Jane who rode with wild Indians on the dusty plain.”
“Well is certainly looked like it could of belonged to Calamity Jane, didn’t it?”
Sally hugged her husband “I suppose to a crazy person like you it probably did” she laughed and kissed his unshaven cheek. “And shave before you go lazy bones” “Ok” he kissed her nose “I’ve been busy” “doing what may I ask?” “doing stuff……you know stuff!” “You are a crazy man, do you know that?” “Well it has been said” he laughed fully now, his body shaking. “Right then! After lunch I’ll take Gwen to the sale.” “Good, it will do you both good to get out and get some fresh air” a pause “and shave ……now! Before you forget again” “Fine….Fine you task master you” “hop it Mr” she said slapping his backside as he rose to go. Sally had an oval face with a cute button nose framed by her wavy dark brown hair. Christopher her husband had a handsome face with a strong and at the moment bristly chin. She loved his green eyes that always seemed to sparkle when he smiled. Sally had Hazel eyes that looked as if they were cast from the stars always shiny and bright.
Sarah took after her mother that same cute button nose and pretty face, she was inquisitive and clever for her 10 years and very close to her 6 year old sister Gwen. Gwen with her fair hair, blue green eyes stood out from the rest of the family, as the rest of them all had dark hair, this came from her fathers side who also had fair hair as a child, that changed to its now dark colour in adulthood.

Sally told the girls at dinner about the sale “Oh Goody are we taking the train Daddy?” Gwen said as the news was put to her. “Yes and you can have the window seat” “Yayyyyy I love you daddy” laughing and tweaking his daughters cheek he replied “And I love my little flossy, so I can’t eat her for dinner today can I?” he said tickling her belly that bought the sweetest of chuckles to his ears. “You can’t eat me Daddy I won’t let you” she chuckled some more.

“Am I going too ?” “No Sarah you have to finish your school project…we don’t call you the swot for nothing you clever thing” She looked disappointed then a wonderful thought entered her mind…”Oh My Goodness, will daddy finally get it for me?” she looked lovingly at her father “daddy you will won’t you?” Sally gave Sarah a knowing wink “lets wait and see shall we” “Oh Brilliant” she jumped from her seat and ran round the Kitchen arms out like a plane “I can’t wait, this is going to be the best day EVER!!” the word EVER was expressed just as Gwen had done while talking to the old man, “That’s as maybe young lady but finish your food before you fly off somewhere.” “Yes poppet come finish your dinner” her father said still smiling at her excitement.“Oh sorry” said Sarah she sat next to her father and kissed his cheek “Thank you daddy” “But I haven’t done anything yet Swot” “Oh but you will daddy, I know you will.”

The journey into town on the train saw Gwen with her nose pressed to the window... she was singing ‘clickitty clack clickitty clack, we ride green dragons down the track.’ A song her father made up when she was tiny, she’s a big girl now she thought but still loved the sound of the tracks playing along to her song.

The snowy landscape was filling her mind with wondrous imaginings and snow Monsters, Gwen was the artist in the family, her mother being editor of a national magazine was very impressed with her talent, even at 6 years old.
At the sale her father spoke to Mrs Pickering a lovely old lady who lived near their old home. “Oh My Word!! Gweny your turning into quite the little lady aren’t you” Gwen grinned and stood an inch taller “My goodness you’ve grown it must be two years now?.” “Yes it must be at least that Mrs P….how’s Arnold these days, is he still tinkering at his allotment?” said Chris. Pleased to see his old neighbour “Oh Deary me no, it’s his back you see, he can barely get about these days, bless him, he’s home now by the fire with a good book, he loves his novels our Arnold.” “Aww that’s a shame his veg was the talk of the town.” “Yes it was wasn’t it, he’s coping best he can, what more can anyone ask, we all move with the times.” That’s true Mrs P, well give him my regards.” And Gwen put a hand to her mouth and said and please give him this, then blew a kiss to Mrs Pickering” Mrs P made a gesture in the air to catch it and put it in her handbag. “Oh he will have that as soon as I get home Gweny.” Mrs P smiled said her goodbyes and well wishes and walked out into the town.

“Well Gwen mother say’s you need a new coat so let’s see what we can find eh?” he held her hand and they made a meandering path round the stalls.

Gwen squealed! “Look daddy” she pointed ahead to a stall where clothes hung in racks “it’s the colour of sky!!” Chris saw the pal blue woollen coat and instantly knew this was the one for his Gwen. He bartered with the seller finally agreeing a trade of her old coat as part of the deal, it was a bargain “Oh I love it daddy” she said pulling her face down into the warm folds of the collar. “I’m like a sunny day in winter now aren't I daddy” “Yes indeed you are Flossy.” he knelt to button up the coat, the deal stuck and Gwen in her new coat now dancing up the aisles between the stalls meant there was only one thing left for Chris to do.

His heart began to sink, he couldn’t see Sarah’s most wished for gift on any of the stalls they passed and they must have seen them all by now, but wait! the last stall in the corner had all kinds of kitchen appliances and electrical goods and there sat on it’s case lid, next to weighing scales and old riding boots was the object that’s been the desire of his sweet and clever Sarah for so long, a gleaming Remington Monarch Noiseless Portable typewriter Build in the 40’s this was a gem and better then anything he’d hoped to find. He caught the eye of the seller “How much?” pointing to the Remington. “Ahww that’s 15 quid mate” “Good grief that’s a packet isn’t it?” Chris exclaimed “it’s a bargain is what it is mate” he looked Chris over “I’ll tell you what!, I’ll let you have it for 13 if you thrown in your watch” “My watch?” Chris looked at his fathers old watch on his wrist, it was gold plated and he knew it was worth a lot more, he hadn’t considered selling it though… it’s only a watch he told himself.. “Look I’ll make you this deal and I’ll not take less then 5 for the watch…. 8 pounds!”
The seller put on a strained your killing me face on, but knowing almost everyone wanted electric typewriters these days, this was a relic form the past, he noticed the determination in Chris’s eyes and thought why the hell not, he was glad to be rid of the thing, it weighed a ton and one less object to lug around. “Your going to make me starve mate but you got a deal” “Wow Chris was surprised at how easy that was….ok so he loses his fathers watch but he knew his dad wouldn't of minded if it was for something so splendid it would mean the world to his granddaughter, Sarah needs her typewriter more then you need to tell the time.. He imagine his father saying , Your so right dad, he said to his fathers voice in his head.
“Ok Lets do it.” Chris removed the watch and taking one last look handed it over, plus a fiver, two ten shilling notes and two one pound notes.
“You got a Bargain there mate!” “Yes ….yes I know.” The seller shook the watch and put it to his ear “Lovely” he said.

Chris knelling kissed Sarah and produced the case containing the machine of her dreams.
“Oh daddy……Oh daddy I love you, it’s beautiful” she said as she opened the case, Sarah then tapped a key and heard a satisfying click… I’m going write a book with you.” She said.

Sally stood beaming at her husband, she heard the excited stomping of Sarah’s feet coming down the stairs and leaned in the doorway to the lounge. “I see you got one then!” “Oh Yes a Remington too just like she wanted.” Sarah took the typewriter which was far heavier then she imagined. It would take pride of place on her desk. “Thank you daddy….thank you Mummy, I’m so happy I could burst!” “Well don’t burst on my carpet young lady, people parts are so hard to remove from a carpet.” “Oh Mummy” she replied in mock scorn and headed to her bedroom grinning like the Cheshire cat from Alice in wonderland… “Oh Sis I’m going to write my first story for you….Oh and you look smashing in your coat!”

Gwen put a finger to her chin and with a curtsy said “Why thank you my lady.” She said beaming.
"Ah..Sarah" Chris said to his rapidly fleeing daughter.. "You might need this pack of writing paper too!" as he said this he opened a draw in the hall stand and took out the paper pack, he'd put aside for this very day.

Sarah shouted back as she reached the top of the stairs "I'll be right back for that Daddy, how silly of me to forget." she laughed and disappeared into her bedroom.

Sally Hugged her husband close and said "And don't think I've not noticed your watch is missing, your father gave you that for your 21st" "All I know Sal is that my father would of traded his own watch to see his granddaughter so happy." "Yes, indeed he would" she hugged him tighter and kissed his till unshaven cheek. "And I thought I told you to shave Mr!" "Ah well...I guess I got too distracted by my mission." he laughed.. "You know I still have the fob watch my father gave me.. I think I'll use that, it will make me look distinguished, like a real Gent" said Chris still smiling "A Gent Eh? Well what do you think of that Gwen? Daddy a Gent?" Gwen looked up at them both and smiling said "Daddy is too silly to be a Gent isn't he Mummy" "Yes my dear, and with that bristle far to scruffy" "Hey a bit harsh you two" He said still laughing "OK bossy boots I'll shave now" "You make sure you do....Gwen go see to it he does OK?" "Yes Mummy".

 
Back at the old junk yard in Totter’s lane Ian and Barbara, Susan’s worried teachers enter the shed, “She came in here I know she did” “I can’t see a thing” Barbara said. “Well someone’s been here the stove is still hot!” “Well strike a match!” Barbara replied. “I haven't got any. Oh, never mind.” Ian answered. “Susan?” Barbara called into the darkness
“Susan? Susan? Susan! Susan. It’s Mister Chesterton and Miss Wright!. She can't have got out without us seeing her.” Ian said into the gloom. "look at this!.” Barbara exclaimed.
“It's a police box! What on earth's it doing here? These things are usually on the street. Feel it. Do you feel it?” Ian said. “It's a faint vibration.” Barbara answered, with her hand on the door panel. “It's alive!” Ian said walking round it. “It's not connected to anything, unless it's through the floor.” He observed with what little light the moon provided through the dusty windows. “Look, I've had enough. Let's go and find a policeman.” said Barbara “Yes, all right.” Then they both froze as someone close coughed.
“Is that her?” Barbara said feeling scared now.
“That's not her. Quick!” They hid as a old man in Astrakhan hat and a long scarf enters the yard. He walked directly to the police box and put a key in the lock.
“There you are, Grandfather.” Susan said from within the police box as the door opened.


“Susan at last, you had me worried” “Sorry grandfather, Teachers at the school are asking awkward questions” “Ah yes my dear I feared as much, we can’t afford anymore mistakes, losing your parents is testament to that." The old mans eyes glazed over at the memory of losing his daughter and Susan’s father but the current situation prompted him to say “I’ve repaired as much of the system as can be managed with the primitive resources available, alas we must wait a little longer for some of the circuits to adapt to the new configuration.” “Yes grandfather, can I help?” “No…no my dear beggars can’t be choosers I’ve done all that can be done for now.” a smile twinkled again in his eyes as he said “I’ve baked you a fruit cake!” “Oh wonderful grandfather but birthdays can wait for now.” “No no no…. my dear girl your quite wrong, it can’t wait, I’ve put together some of your favourite cheeses, crackers, oat biscuits…..Oh and Pickled Onions, it’s a veritable feast!!” Susan held her grandfather’s arm and giggled and said “Fine, thank you Grandfather Lead the way to this scrupulous feast.”
“It's Susan.” Barbara whispered. “Shush!” Ian motioned No one replied so he knocked as loud as he could manage on the Police Box door. The old man reappeared at the door “What are you doing here?” “We're looking for a young girl.” “We?”
“Good evening” Barbara now stepped out to stand beside Ian. “What do you want?” the old man looked annoyed at their intrusion into his privacy. “One of our pupils, Susan Foreman, came into this yard.” “Really? In here? Are you sure?” The old man said eye brows arched. “Yes, we saw her from across the street.” The Doctor realised they were not the police but the teachers who asked awkward questions.
“Why were you spying on her? Who are you?” “We heard a young girl's voice call out to you.” “Your hearing must be very acute. I didn't hear anything.” “Now look here” Ian said sternly as he pushed passed the old man into the Police Box followed closely by Barbara.

“How very rude of you young man, how dare you pry into matters that are none of your concern”
“Oh ….No Grandfather these are my teachers!” “Well that’s no reason for them to push their way into the Tardis is it?”
Both teachers stared open mouthed at what was just impossible. “But this is a Police Box! I walked all round it there isn’t  any rooms attached to it.”

The Doctor walked over to the console and shut the external doors.
Looking round Ian shouted “wait! What are you doing let us out at once” “Oh let them go Grandfather they won’t tell anyone, who would believe them?” “Don’t be ridiculous my dear girl, of course they will tell the authorities, won’t you …Hum” The Doctor said looking at them both. Barbara now very scared said “Look you can’t keep us here, people will come looking for us” “Yes I realised that as soon as you both nosed your way into here, let it be a lesson to you both to keep for curious nature in check in future.”

“Grandfather you can’t hold them, you must let them go” “It’s too late for that my dear we must leave.” “No Grandfather we discussed this I won’t leave the 20th century, I want to stay here, let me go with them, I’ll make sure they will keep your secret” “No…..no I can’t risk it, we lost your parents trusting others” The Doctor set his jaw firm. Susan realised he would never trust these strangers.
“It’s alright Barbara if he won’t open the door for us I’ll do it, I saw him touch a switch on the panel over here” Ian said reassuringly as he walked round the other side of the console. “Don’t touch it” Susan warned “You don’t understand The Tardis is alive!.” “Nonsense” Ian answered, he touched the switch he believed the old man used and jumped back instantly as an electric shock surged through his hand, the pain went right up his arm, at first he couldn’t move it, but painfully he managed to move it up and down. “You’re insane let us out……at once, do you hear?”

“So you want to leave with them do you Susan? Well in that case I better let you all go hadn’t I?” “Are you leaving with us Susan?” said Barbara. The Doctor walked to the console but instead of opening the doors he set the Tardis time rotor in motion.
“No Grandfather” Susan screamed ……. “You left me no alternative, child.”

In the Shed the dust and covers blew as the wheezing screech of the Tardis reached a point where it simply vanished...only a falling dust cover showed anything was there at all.

 

Many years had past since Sarah’s happy childhood, and she stood at the gateway to her old family home, the snow a reminder of a happy day her father returned home with her beloved typewriter. it was still home to her mother but her father had died in a accident on the M4 in the 90’s, while attempting to free a driver from their car after a collision, the vehicle was then struck from behind by a transit van, she missed him dearly as did many of the fans of his books, her sister Gwen became the artist she always dreamed of being, joining The Disney group in the late 70’s and she was now heavily involved in CGI animation. Like her father she too now had dark hair. Mother bless her was an advocate of growing old gracefully and never took to dyeing her hair, which was now white as the snow Sarah stood on, but she was still as beautiful as ever. Sarah sighed but it was a happy sigh as the memories came flooding back.

closing her eyes she imagined her fathers arm round her shoulder..and him saying "I'm proud of you swot, you have had the most marvellous of adventures."

Then from behind her came a Familiar voice, she froze at the sound of his dulcet tones, not daring to look round. “Hello Sarah Jane.” he said.

 

Thursday, 3 October 2013

THE POWER OF THE DALEKS
 


1966, and the BBC announce William Hartnell will be replaced as The Doctor due to ill health...
But Billy was the Doctor how can he possibly be replaced ?, well quite easy because in the early days of TV it was not uncommon for actors  to leave a leading role..so viewers were accustomed  to seeing the main lead change as needs must,  Why I even remember It was Patrick Troughton who played Robin Hood on TV before Richard Greene, but Patrick went on to play many character roles even appearing in Robin Hood during Richard's long spell in the series. So an actor would be chosen to dress up as Richard Hurndall did in the Five Doctors and life would go on. 
The producers of Doctor Who though had other ideas and they didn't want an actor to be William Hartnell they wanted an Actor to be The Doctor, so a whole new version of The Doctor was invented. 
Patrick Troughton was a very popular character actor British TV, he was quick to see television's potential and knocked on many a door promoting himself, he preferred this medium rather then all that shouting at night!, which was his view on stage Acting, and he'd done a lot of it to know. With TV Patrick could stay near his family without the need to travel the country from theatre to theatre.
Film however was a different story and location work could see him involved anywhere round the world, Patrick often played characters far older then his actual years and he appeared in some of the great epics of there time, Hamlet, Richard lll. Treasure Island, Jason and the Argonauts.
In those days you'd have to queue round the block to see these Films and I certainly remember queuing for Jason and the Argonauts, maybe that's where the term block buster comes from..
Patrick watch Doctor Who with his family, so when he got a call while working in Ireland, on a Film that's never made it to the classics, The Viking Queen, he turned down the role as a bad idea, he thought no one could replace Billy and get away with it.  
But those running the series at the time set their heart on Patrick being The Doctor, they was him not only as a man who could  keep the show on track,  but also a man capable of taking it in an entirely new direction, making it exciting for the young viewers, So they up 'd their offers until it was too tempting to refuse,  it also, Patrick thought, an excellent opportunity to contribute to the children's education...,
"Of course I'll take the role" Patrick finally said, believing it would all be over in six weeks and he could carry on as normal.
Patrick's first scene was to lay on the floor eye's closed and the only time he spoke to Billy, was in the pub after the shoot. The making of The Power of The Daleks  would be Patrick's first acting scenes, he was very nervous and wasn't sure even up to the time of shooting how to play The Doctor..,.his Doctor, if we're ever fortunate enough to see These episodes again, you will see the tightness in Patrick's face and voice, which is why The Power of the Daleks is the most pinnacle Episode ever filmed in the Doctor Who saga.
Patrick alone had to convince the viewing public The Doctor was an Alien and not restricted by Earthly law, if he failed to be convinced those watching, that he, The Doctor could indeed renew himself and have completely different characteristics to Hartnell,  then series was sunk.
I was just 7 when William Hartnell took on the role of Doctor, and to me he was The typical Grandfather of those times, a bit grumpy but you wouldn't  dare disobey him. He was totally in charge. Then Patrick came and I was totally taken in by this change and believed, yes! He was still the Doctor but a more lovable favourite Uncle type of Doctor, he gave The Doctor a wicked sense of humour and razor sharp wit. This Doctor could get  in trouble then out wit his opponent last minute,  by appearing a fool..
Patrick saved Doctor Who for every fan out there Today, because without him, have no doubt, the show would of ended in 1966.
I would dearly love to see The Power of The Daleks again, Patrick anxious and nervous would never play the Role that way ever again, Patrick was yet to develop to the Man we would come to know as His Doctor.
So  it's with firm conviction I say This Episode is key to the success we see today almost 50 years on, moment Patrick put on that Chalplineque style, he won the hearts and minds of the viewing public aad we now accept Regeneration as a matter of fact. 
Patrick continued in the Role for three years and yes I believe sad as it was, it was meant to be, things at the BBC had changed, budgets were cut and this was never more evident then the early Pertwee years where for the first time, in order to keep costs down The Doctor was Earth Locked. Patrick would of hated it, No more Space Stations, Moon Bases or Alien Worlds to contracted, it became what I call the  Quatermass Years.
 Patrick yearned to be That Character Actor again, he was in the words of his Son Michael Troughton @mwtroughton a humble man, who never believed his Acting of The Doctor or any other role he was invloved in, would be so fondly remembered and loved, in his later years he was overwhelmed by the affection of the Fans and it made him very proud to be apart Doctor Who. 
 

Thursday, 15 August 2013


Ode of Lovelorn Dave

 

I’ll start this off so your head won’t swim

And have a go at describing him

Dave’s not renowned for muscle or fat

I’ll add a little more then that

You won’t see him with suntanned skin

In fact I’d call him long and thin

 

We begin this lovelorn tale

With a girl in David’s spell

Who believed her Dave so tall and Brave

And she goes by her name of Mave

 
Now why should she think him Brave?

Or even he’s the best?

It’s because he bravely wears her name

Tattooed upon his vest




 But this true love match met its end

When Mave ran off with David's friend

She said "our love will stand the test"

Because his friend stole his vest

 
Well now that winters drawing in

We see Goosebumps on David's skin

It’s not sign he’s growing old

It’s just without his Vest he’s cold
 
David’s almost over Mavis

And the fact he lost his friend

And the smile he’s wearing on his face

Just shows he's on the mend

 
On refection Dave admits it ended for the best

And now he’s splashing out the cash

He’s brought a brand new Vest

Wednesday, 17 July 2013


Rude Awakening

 David has joined the ranks of the insomniacs
Three nights this week a goodnight sleep he lacks

 In his bed he’s thrashed like a ferret in a sack
One minute on his front the next one on his back 
his attempts to find comfort frustate him already
He thrashed with his legs and kicked out teddy

 Dave rose from his bed to boil milk for a nightcap
Thinking with this warming drink he’d finally get a nap

 Returning to bed now feeling quite drowsy
When the alarm woke him up he thought it just lousy

 Dave's reaching out, to stop the assault on his ears
And from under the blankets his head soon appears

Trudging to the bathroom to wash sleep from his eyes
He’s wondering should he work or make up white lies

Washing face and neck just like mum had taught him
Then he’s wrapped in his towel like the shroud of Turin
After ablutions he dressed with a spurt
An odd sock in one hand the other a shirt

 Tripping on teddy to his derrière
He noticed in flight his socks weren’t a pair
Oh I’ve not time for changing even if clashing
I’ll put up with taunts and eventual ear bashing

 Dave heads to the factory in a clapped out old Datsun
He made it look smarter by putting some mats in
Up hill and dale no traffic will box him
He’s filling the air with the cars carbon toxin

 Well after such effort you’d think he’d be happy
But his sudden discovery just made him feel snappy
When he arrived, he found to his dismay
He could have stayed home today’s Saturday
Illustrated by BestDrWho