February 9th, 2021


Whoniversaries 9 February

i) births and deaths

9 February 1918: birth of Morris Barry, who directed The Moonbase (Second Doctor, 1966), Tomb of the Cybermen (also Second Doctor, 1966) and The Dominators (Second Doctor, 1967), and then appeared as Tollund in The Creature from the Pit (Fourth Doctor, 1980).

9 February 1935: birth of Michael Imison, director of the story we now call The Ark (First Doctor, 1966).

9 February 1936: birth of Clive Swift, who played Mr Jobel in Revelation of the Daleks (Sixth Doctor, 1985) and Mr Copper in Voyage of the Damned (Tenth Doctor, 2007).

9 February 1969: birth of Neil Cross, who wrote The Rings of Akhaten (Eleventh Doctor, 2013) and Hide (also Eleventh Doctor, 2013).

ii) broadcast anniversaries

9 February 1974: broadcast of fifth episode of Invasion of the Dinosaurs. Sarah escapes from the mock spaceship but is recaptured by Finch. The Doctor is menaced by a tyrannosaurus (I've been counting and that's three cliff-hangers out of five in this story in which the Doctor is menaced by a tyrannosaurus).

9 February 1982: broadcast of fourth episode of Kinda. Aris is trapped in a circle of reflective panels; the Mara cannot bear its own reflection, and is expelled and defeated, everyone else returning to normal.

9 February 1983: broadcast of fourth episode of Mawdryn Undead. Just as the Doctor is about to sacrifice himself, the two Brigadiers meet, discharging enough energy to deal with Mawdryn and his friends. Turlough leaves with the Doctor, Nyssa and Tegan.

9 February 1985: broadcast of second episode of Mark of the Rani. The Doctor and Peri defeat the Rani and the Master and trap them in her Tardis with a growing Tyrannosaurus. (Yes, another one.)

9 February 2020: broadcast of Can You Hear Me? What connects the nightmares of a young girl from 1380 Aleppo to strange happenings in the present day? Who is the shadowy figure who appears in the night? And what have they got to do with a young woman in the far future, trapped in an impossible prison?

My tweets


February 2010 books

This is the latest post in a series I started in late 2019, anticipating the twentieth anniversary of my bookblogging which will fall in 2023. Every six-ish days I've been revisiting a month from my recent past, noting work and family developments as well as the books I read in that month. I've found it a pleasantly cathartic process, especially in recent circumstances. If you want to look back at previous entries, they are all tagged under bookblog nostalgia.

After the previous month’s exciting travels, I went nowhere more exotic than Geneva, where the most exciting thing that happened was that I left a valuable item on the train fomr the airport and had to chase it all the way to Berne. My trip to Geneva was the same day as the Halle train crash in which 19 people died; I was already in mid-air when it happened, and am not usually on that side of Brussels anyway, but a surprising number of people pinged me to see if I was OK (and of course I did not see any messages until I landed, which did not help). Edited to add: checking my records, I find that I was in Portugal the first weekend of the month as well.

More cheerfully, here is F helping U to dress up. (Somewhat overcorrected for red-eye in the original shot.)

I read 18 books in February 2010, exactly 11 years ago.

Non-fiction 4 (YTD 12)
War of Visions: Conflict of Identities in the Sudan, by Francis M. Deng
Da Nije Bilo Oluje / Who Saved Bosnia, by Vitomir Miles Raguž
The Nature of the Universe / De Natura Rerum, by Titus Lucretius Carus
A Short History of Fantasy, by Farah Mendlesohn and Edward James

Non-genre 2 (YTD 9)
Mansfield Park, by Jane Austen
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, by Ken Kesey

SF 8 (YTD 18)
Kushiel's Scion, by Jacqueline Carey
Yellow Blue Tibia, by Adam Roberts
Ark, by Stephen Baxter
The City & The City, by China Miéville
The Push, by Dave Hutchinson
Charmed Life, by Diana Wynne Jones
The Magicians of Caprona, by Diana Wynne Jones

Lavinia, by Ursula Le Guin

Doctor Who 4 (YTD 9, 10 including comics)
Prisoner of the Daleks, by Trevor Baxendale
Cat's Cradle: Warhead, by Andrew Cartmel
The Bodysnatchers, by Mark Morris
The Pirate Loop, by Simon Guerrier

Page count ~6,000 (YTD ~14,400)
6/18 (YTD 11/48) by women (Carey, Austen, DWJ x 2, Le Guin, Mendlesohn)
1/18 (YTD 5/49) by PoC (Deng)

Best of the month were the two that got my vote in the BSFA Awards for Best Novel - Lavinia, which you can get here - and Best Short Fiction - The Push, which you can get here. Neither won. None of the others was awful, but Baxter’s Ark maybe was the least overwhelming, especially since I hadn’t (and still haven’t) read the first in the series. You can get it here.