Doctorin’ The Tardis


Fifty three years ago, around 5:15pm, the first episode of the longest running science fiction series on television was aired – but overshadowed by the JFK assassination the day before. The Unearthly Child was the first of currently 826 episodes and 263 stories. Admittedly there was a big break between 1989 and 2005 with only a TV pilot aired and the series rejected in 1996. 

When I was old enough to be aware of the show it was the tail end of the 70’s and I had to sit through – what at the time I considered boring – the football results on a Saturday tea time as my dad checked his pools coupon. The enigmatic Tom Baker was, and still is, my Doctor. In the era before video recorders were a household item and satellite, cable and TiVo were pure science fiction, my family were glued to the goggle box for 25 minutes throughout the autumn and winter months. It was never repeated (to my knowledge as a six year old) and it took at least a month to finish the story arc. 

Over the years the rogue Time Lord has been name dropped in many other TV series’ and films whether it’s The Big Bang Theory, NCIS, Rugrats or Stein’s Gate. I’m not aware of any other song as a tribute or a parody to the show, bedsides this video on offer here. Iron Maiden have featured the famous blue box on at least two pieces of art work. There’s one “hidden” on the bands Somewhere In Time album sleeve and one of their fan club shirt designs revolves around the bands mascot Eddie trying to pluck the TARDIS out of the air. 

The Timelords released this mash up novelty single in 1988. It was the only release by the band and it combines the classic Doctor Who theme with Gary Glitter’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Parts 1 and 2 and Blockbuster! from British glam rockers Sweet. The track was an intentional and successful attempt to write a song and get it to number one in the UK singles chart. It was released after a self imposed recording hiatus by Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty – better known as the KLF. 

Happy birthday to the Doctor and roll on Christmas Day for story 264, which is hopefully better than most Christmas specials in recent years. It’s been a long twelve months with no new DW fix. 


3 a.m. Eternal

It’s that time of year again where the public faun over the faceless and talentless “pop” musicians for another year and increase the bank balances of the people who actually wrote the stuff. And those of us with a shred of musical taste watch the whole event in a car crash kind of way.

I used to watch the Brits as a kid just hoping that someone interesting would win, or someone I had a connection with. In the 36 years that the awards have been going heavy metal or anything vaguely rock has been generally ignored. They had a rock award for a few years, but their idea of rock included Oasis, The Libertines, Kaiser Cheifs and Snow Patrol. Iron Maiden have a 100% winning streak – one nomination and one win for best live act in 2009 for the previous years Somewhere Back In Time jaunt.

I had a quick look at this years nominations for best album. Someone called Jamie xx has his album In Colour nominated. In the modern age of file sharing and illegal downloading it sold an impressive 60,000 copies – still only 40,000 less than Iron Maiden’s last offering!

The pop part is supposed to mean popular. ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND records is obviously not considered popular or an achievement by the stuffy record executives in their ivory towers. Even after fourty consecutive years as a band shifting millions of records and selling out arenas and stadiums on six continents this doesn’t even get them a sniff of any kind of achievement or recognition award, something the Spice Girls achieved after six years as an entity!!

In 1992 The KLF (a duo I have a bit of a soft spot for) opened up the awards with a truly awful version on their 3 a.m. Eternal single with grind core band Extreme Noise Terror. The machine gun wielding Bill Drummond firing blanks over the crowd was met with polite British applause by an auditorium filled with people who hadn’t got a clue what they had just witnessed. Their performance was closed with a PA announcement of their retirement, and true to their word they haven’t done anything under The KLF moniker since.

Here’s the Brit Awards ENT collaboration.

And for comparison the regular video.