April 2nd, 2021


Whoniversaries 2 April

i) births and deaths

2 April 1934: birth of the great Robert Holmes, script editor from Robot (1974-75) to Image of the Fendahl (1977), and author of The Krotons (Second Doctor, 1968-69), The Space Pirates (Second Doctor, 1969), Spearhead from Space (Third Doctor, 1970), Terror of the Autons (Third Doctor, 1971), Carnival of Monsters (Third Doctor, 1973), The Time Warrior (Third Doctor, 1973-74), The Ark in Space (Fourth Doctor, 1975), Pyramids of Mars (1975), The Brain of Morbius (co-author, 1976), The Deadly Assassin (1976), The Talons of Weng-Chiang (1977), The Sun Makers (Fourth Doctor, 1977), The Ribos Operation (Fourth Doctor, 1978), The Power of Kroll (Fourth Doctor, 1978-79), The Caves of Androzani (Fifth Doctor, 1984), The Two Doctors (Sixth Doctor with Second Doctor, 1985), The Mysterious Planet (Sixth Doctor, 1986), and the first episode of The Ultimate Foe (Sixth Doctor, 1986). See Richard Molesworth's excellent biography.

2 April 1940: birth of Peter Haining, who wrote reference books Doctor Who: A Celebration (1983), The Key to Time (1984), The Doctor Who File (1986), The Time-Travellers' Guide (1987) and Doctor Who: 25 Glorious Years (1988)

2 April 2008: death of Johnny Byrne, writer of The Keeper of Traken (Fourth Doctor, 1981), Arc of Infinity (Fifth Doctor, 1983) and Warriors of the Deep (Fifth Doctor, 1984).

2 April 2014: death of Glyn Jones, one of the few people who not only wrote a TV Who story - the story we now call The Space Museum (First Doctor, 1965) - but also appeared on the show as an actor, playing stranded astronaut Krans in The Sontaran Experiment (Fourth Doctor, 1975). See his autobiography.

ii) broadcast and production anniversaries

2 April 1966: broadcast of "The Celestial Toyroom", first episode of the story we now call The Celestial Toymaker. The (invisible) Doctor, Steven and Dodo arrive in the realm of the sinister Toymaker, who forces them to play a deadly form of Blind Man's Bluff.

2 April 1974: filming of the Third Doctor regenerating into the Fourth Doctor.

2 April 1977: broadcast of sixth episode of The Talons of Weng-Chiang, ending Season 14. The Doctor and Leela, with allies Jago and Litefoot, destroy Weng-Chiang and Mr Sin in a massive fire-fight in the laundry.

2 April 2005: broadcast of The End of the World. The Doctor and Rose arrive on Platform One to watch the Sun expanding to destroy the Earth, and are embroiled in a murder plot.

2 April 2007: broadcast of first show of Totally Doctor Who including first episode of The Infinite Quest.

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October 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 (though this one is late) 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

The major work development of the month was the departure of my Irish intern K and arrival of his Estonian replacement L. K moved to Edinburgh with his other half, and then to London, working first for a lobbying company and then for an NGO; soon after I joined my current employers a few years later, I persuaded them to hire him too, so we are colleagues again; and in fact he moved back to Brussels exactly a year ago - just in time for the pandemic.

In family news, Little U learned to blow bubbles:

I took B on an exploration of the tumuli in and around Landen, near where she lives:

Anne's cousin A married his partner I at Lord Byron's birthplace in Nottinghamshire; F encountered a peacock, posed with relatives, and threw confetti at the happy couple.

I finished the month with a work trip to Washington and New York, taking in also my brother and little E in Boston.

I read 19 books that month.

Non-fiction 7 (YTD 61)
Ireland in the Age of the Tudors 1447-1603, by Stephen G. Ellis
Pies and Prejudice, by Stuart Maconie
The Great Tradition, by F.R. Leavis
Sudan: Darfur and the Failure of an African State, by Richard Cockett
Up the Poll: Great Irish Election Stories, by Shane Coleman
A Short History of Myth, by Karen Armstrong
Burghley: William Cecil at the Court of Elizabeth I, by Stephen Alford

Fiction (non-sf) 4 (YTD 40)
Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers
Advise and Consent, by Allen Drury
The Sound and the Fury, by William Faulkner
A Doll's House, by Henrik Ibsen

SF (non-Who) 2 (YTD 62)
Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand
Earth Logic, by Laurie Marks

Doctor Who 5 (YTD 56, 62 counting comics and non-fiction)
Blue Box, by Kate Orman
Deceit, by Peter Darvill-Evans
The Crystal Bucephalus, by Craig Hinton
The Many Hands, by Dale Smith
Seeing I, by Jonathan Blum and Kate Orman

Comics 1 (YTD 15)
Scott Pilgrim & the Infinite Sadness, by Bryan Lee O'Malley

~6,500 pages (YTD ~75,900)
5/19 (YTD 51/238) by women (Armstrong, Rand, Marks, Orman x 2)
2/19 (YTD 18/238) by PoC (Myers, O'Malley)

The best three were 60s political thriller Advise and Consent, which you can get here; Stuart Maconie's take on Northern England, which you can get here; and Stephen Ellis's second edition, which you can get here. But I bounced off Laurie Marks' Earth Logic even harder than I did off Atlas Shrugged; you can get them here and here.


Friday reading

Foucault’s Pendulum, by Umberto Eco
Kaleidoscope: diverse YA science fiction and fantasy stories, eds Alisa Krasnostein and Julia Rios
Worlds Apart, by Richard Cowper
Network Effect, by Martha Wells

Last books finished
Water Must Fall, by Nick Wood
The Sunken Land Begins To Rise Again, by M. John Harrison
Romeinse sporen: het relaas van de Romeinen in de Benelux met 309 vindplaatsen om te bezoeken, by Herman Clerinx
Scottish independence: EU membership and the Anglo–Scottish border, by Akash Paun, Jess Sargeant, James Kane, Maddy Thimont Jack and Kelly Shuttleworth
The Silence of the Lambs, by Thomas Harris

Next books
Le dernier Atlas, tome 1, by Fabien Vehlmann, Gwen De Bonneval and Fred Blanchard
The Serpent Sea, by Martha Wells