February 15th, 2021


Whoniversaries 15 February

births and deaths

15 February 1993: death of Dallas Cavell, who played the road works overseer in the story we now call The Reign of Terror (First Doctor, 1964), Bors in the story we now call The Daleks' Master Plan (First Doctor, 1965), Trask in The Highlanders (Second Doctor, 1966-67), Sir James Quinlan in The Ambassadors of Death (Third Doctor, 1970) and the head of security at the radio telescope in Castrovalva (Fifth Doctor, 1982), getting steadily less hairy as the years went on

broadcast anniversaries

15 February 1964: broadcast of "The Brink of Disaster", second episode of the story we now call The Edge of Destruction. The Doctor works out that the Tardis was trying to warn them that it was heading for destruction, fixes the problem and apologises all round.

15 February 1969: broadcast of third episode of The Seeds of Death. The Doctor is captured by the Ice Warriors, who start transmitting their deadly seeds to Earth.

15 February 1975: broadcast of fourth epsiode of The Ark in Space. The Doctor manages to save the beacon by tricking the Wirrn onto the shuttle, which Noah then blows up in a last act of his human self.

15 February 1982: broadcast of first episode of The Visitation. The Tardis lands in England in 1666, where an alien ship has recently landed with fatal consequences for the local manor house.

15 February 1983: broadcast of first episode of Terminus. Turlough sabotages the Tardis and it lands on a ship full of people suffering Lazar's disease.

15 February 1984: broadcast of second episode of Resurrection of the Daleks; last regular appearance of Janet Fielding as Tegan Jovanka. Lots and lots of death and destruction.

As noted last week, this is the fourth of seven dates in the year when six episodes of Old Who were broadcast.

15 February 2010: broadcast of Fear Itself, fifth episode of the Australian K9 series. London is out of control. Riots erupt because of a strange, irrational fear that fills the air. The focal point of the paranoia is in an old junkyard where a strange alien consciousness is at work. K9 discovers the emotion of fear for himself.

My tweets


March 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.

One notable event at work in March 2010 was that my American intern C left, and was replaced by K, an Irish chap. C joined another NGO office in Brussels and ended up running it, before her diplomat husband was posted to her home city, New York, where she still is.

Not a particularly pleasant month for me health-wise; I was wiped out with flu for a couple of weeks, and then had a gruesome tooth extraction, quite the most horrible dental experience of my life, followed by a root canal operation. Still, I read 25 books.

Non-Fiction 6 (YTD 18)
Radical Islam's Rules, edited by Paul Marshall
Profiles of the Future, by Arthur C. Clarke
Timeless Adventures: How Doctor Who Conquered TV, by Brian J. Robb
Mr Bloomfield's Orchard, by Nicholas P. Money
Leviathan, or, The Whale, by Philip Hoare
Dreams from my Father, by Barack Obama

Fiction (non-sf) 6 (YTD 15)
Pomegranate Soup, by Marsha Mehran
Black and Blue, by Ian Rankin
Wandering Star, by J.M.G. Le Clézio
Moby-dick, or, the Whale, by Herman Melville
Anne of Green Gables, by L.M. Montgomery
My Sister's Keeper, by Jodi Picoult

SF (non-Who) 5 (YTD 23)
Witch Week, by Diana Wynne Jones
Forbidden Acts, ed. Nancy A. Collins and Edward E. Kramer
Hyperion, by Dan Simmons
Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code, by Eoin Colfer
A Different Kingdom, by Paul Kearney

Doctor Who etc fiction 8 (YTD 17, 19 counting comics and non-fiction)
Cat's Cradle: Witch Mark, by Andrew Hunt
War of the Daleks, by John Peel
Doctor Who Annual 1969
Decalog 4: Re:Generations, ed. Andy Lane and Justin Richards
Forever Autumn, by Mark Morris
Dead Air, by James Goss
Ten Little Aliens, by Stephen Cole
The Last Voyage, by Dan Abnett

Page count ~8,000 (YTD ~22,400) including a notional 100 for Dead Air and 200 for The Last Voyage.
5/25 (YTD 16/73) by women (Jones, Collins, Mehran, Montgomery, Picoult)
2/25 (YTD 7/73) by PoC (Mehran, Obama)

The title of the anthology co-edited by Ed Kramer is grimly appropriate, though I did not realise it at the time.

Top book for the month is Barack Obama's autobiography, which you can get here, though I always enjoy returning to Moby-dick, which you can get here. Some real clunkers this month too, however, of which the most disappointing was the lazy Doctor Who guide Timeless Adventures, probably the worst reference book on Who that I have read; still, you can get it here.