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Mar 02, 2005

The Roof of the World

In the kind of happy coincidence that only a Doctor Who fan could enjoy I'm currently listening to BBC Audio's release of the First Doctor adventure Marco Polo at the same time as catching up on Michael Palin's travelogue Himalaya.  It's struck me, horrifyingly, that if this most famous of lost stories actually turned up in vision that I could only be disappointed, despite the apparently incredible set and costume design.

Even on scratchy bootlegs, as the TARDIS travellers set foot into the wilderness and we hear Ian vocalise the first episode's title 'The Roof Of The World...' I've aways shivered at the thought that they really were in the highest point on earth, as close to space as you can be without resorting to rocketry.  This new spruced up version hasn't dampened the feeling, and in fact William Russell's superb narration has increased the feeling.  Now that I've seen the incredible place on tv, with people dwarfed against the landscape, this adventure is rendered in my imagination in widescreen.  Suddenly, for example, the mongols who previously might have seemed like they'd turned up from equity for their first job are given the face of the native peoples. 

Even more excitingly this how Doctor Who is going to be appearing for real on television at the end of the month, albeit in shorter bursts that the three hours Marco Polo takes to tell its story.  Flicking through this month's DWM and seeing all of the photographs of the set, even more so than the 1996 TV movie this looks like the show we all thought it could be.  I'm disappointed that there aren't to be any pure historicals as they always seem to demonstrate the full range of the premise (there are parts of history that haven't had an attempted alien invasion surely) but just to be able to look at a brick wall and not have to make allowances for it being made of plasterboard is going to be incredible.


flippin eck dont you go on

What a constructive comment.

I'm baffled that he decided to pick on this old one and not something newer and longer, like my review of Countrycide...

Or my final Torchwood review. I had planned to watch the season and write a retrospective, but after seeing how good 'Everything Changes' was again, I simply didn't have the heart -- the idea of even sitting through 'Countrycide' fills me with dread which doesn't seem like a good way to spend your time.

Mr Burns: this is your earliest archived writing at Behind The Sofa, so I suppose you do "go on" from here. :)

Please reconsider your decision to write a retrospective, as I have found your Torchwood reviews perceptive and illuminating.

I would be interested to read your views on the season as a cohesive (or not so cohesive) whole.

In my opinion, although I have enjoyed Torchwood in general, the dullest or most irritating episodes are all to be found in the run of episodes 2,3,4,5,6, so once you are over the nadir of 'Countrycide' it is quality all the way!

Well, thanks very much John, that's very kind. Perhaps I will, I just need to give it some distance -- it too soon. I'll give it a couple of weeks/months and come at it with fresh eyes...

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