East Hagbourne, Oxfordshire (The Village That Came To Life) – June 2014

Now for a War MemorialBlip bloop Blip bloop or Hello in Androidese.

Welcome to ‘the village that came to life’ – East Hagbourne in Oxfordshire, filming location for the episode The Android Invasion (1975). I went there as I was passing earlier this week on my way home from another adventure.

This episode is set in the village of Devesham, which East Hagbourne stands in for. The Fourth Doctor and Sarah Jane arrive in the village which is always Friday 6th July, a day with no future. Luckily I went in June or I might have had to stay forever.

I parked my TARDIS near the Fleur de Lys pub and went to liven up the place, (well I tried to at least). The village was deserted just like in the episode! I wonder if the androids were still there? In fact the whole time I was there the only other person that I saw was a young girl wearing a t-shirt that said ‘ Keep Calm, I’m The Doctor’. Awkward but true!

I saw the war memorial in the centre of the road and set off down the road past the Fleur de Lys. The Doctor and Sarah hid in the pub and watched people who could not move and looked like they were statues filled with cement. They came to life eventually – when I watched the episode I tried clicking my fingers at the TV but actually it was the clock striking 12 that brought them out of their trance. I tried to go in the pub myself but it was shut for the afternoon, which was a shame as I wanted a beer. Fooled you!

As I explored I saw some goats and chickens in a garden and the paths were lined with hollyhocks. The weather was sunny and everything looked so summery it was a typical English village. This village is known for The Great Fire of Hagbourne, just 7 years before the Great Fire of London. It is also famous as the place where blotting paper was invented!

In a documentary about this episode ‘The ViIlage That Came To Life’,  Nicholas Briggs  walks around East Hagbourne and interviews some of the local people about what they remember about the filming in July 1975. One lady remembers that hundreds of children from all over the place descended on the village to see if they could get Tom Baker’s autograph! He was still a new Doctor when he filmed the episode.  One of the interviewees had his photo taken with Tom Baker for the local paper as his name was Colin Baker, but not THE Colin Baker! Another remembered his family selling beer from their front window to the crew.

The Android Invasion was the last episode that featured Benton and Harry Sullivan pops up for his last appearance. It is a fan-dabby-dosy story and everyone should watch it!

Do you have any facts about East Hagbourne? Let me know.

Looking forward to seeing you all soon! Bloop blip Bloop blip, Goodbye in Androidese.

 

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Wookey Hole Caves, Somerset – February 2014

Can you see me?HELLO- hello HELLO – hello HELLO – hello

I am echoing because you find me in a cave for this next post – I am at Wookey Hole Caves in Somerset, the location for two very different episodes – The Revenge of the Cybermen (1975) and The End of Time (2009).

I visited Wookey Hole in February 2014 and I stayed in The Wookey Hole Hotel which was unusual because it had a witch’s hat as a roof!  It was early in the day when I set off to explore the caves with our guide. The caves are a series of limestone caverns formed by the River Axe.  Humans lived in the cave up to 45,000 years ago and before that hyenas lived in the caves.

It was very gloomy in the caves and felt foreboding. The chambers were lit with multi-coloured lights so that you can see creatures such as the bats that still live in the caves.  You can also see the stalagmites and stalactites which have formed over thousands of years. How do you know which is which? One way to remember is that stalactite has a “c” in it for “ceiling,” and stalagmite has a “g” in it for“ground.” One stalagmite is the famous Wookey Hole Witch who was turned to stone by one of the monks from Glastonbury.  ( Maybe he was the Doctor in disguise).

I moved from chamber to chamber by ducking and limboing. I saw Voga where the Fourth Doctor and Sarah Jane met the Cybermen. I haven’t seen the episode yet so I’m not sure what happened but it’s on my list of episodes to watch! I also saw The Council of the Oods Chamber which the Tenth Doctor visited in The End of Time before his regeneration. The Ood warn the Doctor of a great danger rising from the darkness which will bring the end of time itself. AAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

I was freaked out when I walked over a high bridge between the caverns. The bridge swung like the Millennium Bridge and I felt nervous. I found the cylinders of cheese that are kept in the caves to mature, because it an ideal temperature and humidity. The cheese smelt awful as if it tasted like granite.

As I left the caves it was much better as I could breathe and the sun was shining.The garden contained models of dinosaurs like in Invasion of the Dinosaurs and Dinosaurs on a Spaceship.I hope they haven't escaped from The Invasion of the Dinosaurs

I then explored inside which was very interesting to me as I have a family link to Wookey Hole. There was a Victorian hand-made paper mill there which my Great Great Great Grandfather Mr Bookless managed, and other family members worked there too. I wonder if they lived up to their last names because they wouldn’t need any paper. I could see the machinery my family used and it smelt a lot like the mouldy cheese. Some of my ancestors worked here

I then played some games in the Penny Arcade which was fun and I had my fortune told – which I didn’t like and will keep a secret. There was also an exhibition about the circus which showed a circus character, an alien called Ynolab who was found near Lake Arizona. Is he real? The clue is in the name!The Ynolab!

 

I will be exploring some new places this week and I can’t wait to do posts about them.

Until next time,

GOODBYE – goodbye  GOODBYE- goodbye  GOODBYE-goodbye.

 

Life and Death in Doctor Who, Bournemouth University – June 2014

Hello Professor Iain MacRuryHello!

I’m sorry I’m a bit late with my post this week, I have been away with my school and it has been my birthday so I have been tracking a bit off schedule. I shall start by telling you about the lecture I went to this week at Bournemouth University called ‘Life and Death in Doctor Who’.  This was part of the University’s Festival of Learning which is a programme of exciting events for local people, now in its second year. 

I joined the audience which was full of fellow Whovians, all different kinds of people -young, old, men and women, boys and girls. I was the youngest but some people there remembered watching the very first episode when it was broadcast 50 years ago. The lecture was given by Professor Iain MacRury who is Head of Research and Knowledge Exchange at Bournemouth University. He is an expert on the Doctor and, along with Michael Rustin,  wrote the book The Inner World of Doctor Who: Psychoanalytic Reflections in Time and Space. Phew, that was a bit of a mouthful!

The Professor compared the TARDIS to a magic box, and the stories to children’s books such as Alice In Wonderland.  He talked about how Doctor Who is about growing up and becoming an adult and showed us clips of the companions to make us understand. One clip showed the Ninth Doctor holding on to Rose’s hand saying he could feel the world spinning. He said the latest Doctors are more caring towards their companions than the old Doctors, and he compared the Fifth Doctor after Adric died to the Tenth Doctor saying goodbye to Rose in Darlig Ulv Stranden. The Fifth Doctor just wanted to cheer his companions up by taking them to the Great Exhibition but the Tenth Doctor visited Rose in a parallel universe and burned up a sun to say goodbye!

Afterwards the Professor answered lots of questions from my fellow Whovians, but I was speechless. I met him at the end and he was very kind. Ace called the Seventh Doctor the Professor, maybe that inspired him to become one.

Just a quick news flash – I saw yet another blue box! The Professor told me to go to Weymouth House, part of the university and there was a TARDIS in reception. Not mine, I wonder which Doctor had stopped by for the Festival of Learning? I wonder if a future Doctor was in the audience but we didn’t recognise him?

It was so cool to be at Bournemouth University in the Media School because Richard Senior, the director of Let’s Kill Hitler, graduated from Bournemouth University in 2002. Maybe one day I’ll direct a Doctor Who episode myself, you never know!

See you next week, goodbye.

Masters Quarry – May 2014

I'm the king of the quarry!A dusty greeting to you all.

You find me in the Masters Quarry (why doesn’t the Doctor have one?) I found this location on my way home after a trip to Monkey World in Wareham a couple of weeks ago, in May 2014.  ( Big shout out to Jethro the Monkey!) This location features in The Caves of Androzani (1984).

Masters Quarry isn’t really named after The Master, it is the name of a quarry in Dorset that produces aggregates, which means things like sand and gravel for building projects. This is the first quarry I have been to in Doctor Who history, but I expect to see many more as quarries have often been used as locations as they can look like different planets.

It was a very sunny day when I visited, the sky was as blue as the TARDIS and it was so hot. The quarry was so quiet, there were rocks and stones as far as my eyes could see and everywhere was dusty. I could easily have believed I was on Androzani and not on Earth at all. I could only look, it wasn’t safe to explore too far.

The Caves of Androzani was filmed more than 30 years ago so the quarry looks very very different to the surface of Androzani Minor in the episode. More trees, less sand!!  This is a very popular story, and has been voted 4th best episode of all time by readers of Doctor Who Magazine, as announced this month. (The Day of the Doctor came top!).  The Fifth Doctor and Peri are captured on the mining planet Androzani Minor and are sentenced to death. Luckily there was no sign of the baddie Sharaz Jek but I still looked out for him!

This was the story in which the Fifth Doctor regenerated which I found very sad. The Fifth Doctor was a really good Doctor and I really liked his companions, especially Adric and Turlough.

I am going to a lecture on Doctor Who next week so I will be back to tell you all about it. Goodbye for now!