I Will Hold On to Life Like Grim Death… No, Wait, That's a Horrible Metaphor

I’m jonesing so hard for the Doctor right now. Oh, sure, I’ve got classic episodes I’ve never seen, and I’m enjoying those quite a lot. They help fill the void. But, and I hope long-time fans of the show forgive me for saying this, it’s like having a margarita when what one actually wants is a straight shot of El Caballo Estrella Tequila Añejo. Or possibly El Jimador Tequila Añejo, but while it’s reputed to be “an extraordinary sipping tequila,” it wasn’t named after a horse and bottled by a family who had a dairy farm in a place called Volcancillo. A geology and horse lover must opt for El Caballo Estrella, unless given two shot glasses, in which case there is no need for sacrifice.

Where the fuck was I? Oh. Right. The Doctor.

See, I’ve been suffering. I’ve denied myself anything but classic Doctor for a while now, because I’m trying to avoid burning out (like that would be possible). And I’m loving me some classic Doctor Who. But the new series quite often echoed the old, deliberately, and when I come across those moments, I start sniveling, “I want my David Tennant and Matt Smith, damn it!” And still I’ve denied myself.

Now it’s reached the point where nearly every phrase I hear reminds me of a moment from the show. Random things happen, and a scene lances through my mind like a lightning strike, with the same electrified jolt, and I’m dying for new adventures, and then I get the news that the fucking BBC won’t be starting Series 7 until the bloody fall.

Did you hear me scream? Surely you did. You must have heard a howl of anguish that made your blood curdle and children and pets dive under the bed.

I meant to live anyway. I love life, and I’ve got lots and lots to live for. I’ve got friends and family and my kitteh and mah rocks and all sorts of other things that keep me eager for more. But it’s imperative now. I must survive. I will cling to life like grim Death, despite that being a horrible metaphor, so that I can see my Doctor again.

I’ll avoid questionable foods, cliff edges, untied shoelaces, texting while walking down stairs, and taking my eyes off the road for a single nanosecond. I will drive like the proverbial grandma. I will be at the clinic to verify that the headache/backache/otherache isn’t a tumor. I will scan the skies for meteorites and attempt to dodge any that look to be landing nearby. I will even, and this is hard, but must be done, deny my cat the pleasure of taking chunks out of my flesh, because there’s a non-zero chance that the wounds could become infected with a flesh-eating bacteria of some sort and land me in the hospital just about the time Series 7 premieres, and I’ll bet you they don’t have the BBC on the hospital tellies in this country.

I am now going to torture myself by watching the Series 7 trailer:

Apologies for that second blood-curdling scream that could be heard round the world. I will do a whip-round to help you pay for a qualified therapist for any children and/or pets traumatized by said scream.

There’s gonna be some damn fine geology in this series. Drool.

Speaking of geology, and so that I can pretend the purpose of this post was to tie in geology rather than rave about Doctor Who, here’s some at the 20 second mark:

So, there’s Rory on Glen Canyon Dam, in Page, AZ. That’s the Page Sandstone in view, and we’re right by the type locality for it. Also, Geologists as Time Lords. There you go. Doctor Who, geology, boom.

And we shall close with “I Am the Doctor” on a violin, which is almost as cool as the Doctor himself.

Now I have to make dinner. Gotta keep up me strength. Survival is paramount.


P.S. No spoilers in the comments, please. Some folks get extremely upset, and it upsets me to take comments down to avoid upsetting others. Argh.

I Will Hold On to Life Like Grim Death… No, Wait, That's a Horrible Metaphor

26 thoughts on “I Will Hold On to Life Like Grim Death… No, Wait, That's a Horrible Metaphor

  1. 1

    How are you watching the older series, sequentially or all higgledy piggledy? I have every episode ever made (if you count the photo reconstructions for the destroyed eps) so I could probably suggest some good ones if you like.

  2. 2

    How does one get every episode ever made, at least without spending something like a thousand dollars? Is there some legit internet repository somewhere? There’s only a few old ones on Netflix instant watch, and I think my library might have a few more… there’s always piracy I suppose, but as a fan I would like to give them *some* money to watch the old stuff…and my go-to piracy sites keep getting taken down, and I’m just too tired to find a new one right now :-(

    I’m fortunate enough that I just finished the new series, and now have to make my BF watch it. With me. For his own good. It’s a sacrifice, I know.

  3. 3

    Err I refuse to answer on the grounds that it may incriminate me…

    Ahh what the hell…

    The short version is that I’ve given them money for virtually every one they’ve released on both VHS & DVD over the years. As for the rest, they’ve got noone to blame but themselves for the fact I can’t buy them but I do as soon as the DVDs come out since they often have rather funny commentaries & the quality is vastly better than the versions I have.

    Besides, there’s the deleted stories, the reconstructions I have are the only way you’ll ever be likely to see them until someone actually invents time travel. If & when that happens, I have first dibs on punching the BBC executives in the face, also ITV ones for deleting the first few series of The Avengers

  4. 6

    Wow, I’m using series 6 like a methadone drip… won’t finish it until my wife leaves for china for 2 weeks in april. I’m amazed to still see the Pond’s rocking the Tardis. Is Amy Pond in the running for longest tenured continuous companion?

  5. 7

    I’m watching them on public teevee, which is airing in order. It seems like the gaps are even bigger than missing episodes would allow. Recommendations welcome!

  6. 10

    Do you see how overwrought I was? I only noticed the grammatical error after I’d posted, and by then I was like, “Fuck it. Let someone enjoy pointing it out.” Also, “I Am Grim Death Holding On to Life” didn’t sound quite so funny.

  7. F

    If you like Moorcock, he’s got a contemporary Doctor Who novel out, The Coming of the Terraphiles which was pretty decent.

  8. 16

    1. I didn’t know Michael Moorcock was still alive. 2. I’m not a huge fan, but that book looks hysterical. 3. “Demented P.G. Wodehouse pastiche.” Sold!

  9. 17

    No, because I only just now found out who they are when I was trying to figure out what the fuck F meant by “Shada.” I believe I will know them intimately here pretty soon. ;-)

  10. 18

    Heh you can tell you’re one of the newbies who only got into the 2005+ series, Amy is one of the longest running for the new one but the old… Jamie, Sarah Jane & Tegan have way more appearances, maybe about as many actual stories but the old series averaged at 4 episodes per story so sarah jane & tegan had somewhere in the region of 80 episodes & jamie may well have gotten up to near 100

    And yes, I AM that much of a nerd…

  11. 19

    Great now I have to suggest a few stories from nearly 50 years of tv… Okay I’ll limit myself to 2 suggestions per doctor:

    -The Dalek Invasion Of Earth (a somewhat more solid dalek story than the first one, also made into a film that was actually fairly good all things considered, it even had peter cushing as the doctor)
    -The Time Meddler (the first encounter with another timelord though they didn’t have a name yet)

    -Tomb Of The Cybermen (creepy as anything, also has a really bad pun)
    -The Mind Robber (Good surreal adventure story, also has jamie & zoe who were one of the best companion teams)

    -The Claws Of Axos (one of the classic doctor and master stories and you can’t say no to Roger Delgado)
    -The Daemons (a good ‘mythology has a rational explanation’ story, also has Delgado, he was in it a lot)

    4th (I’m breaking my own rule here & adding 3, the doctor cheats, so do I!):
    -Pyramids Of Mars (one of the perfect examples of Dr Who’s gothic horror period)
    -Genesis Of The Daleks (First appearance of Davros, has one of Dr Who’s iconic villain/hero scenes, this time involving a virus)
    -Logopolis (excellent story featuring the Anthony Ainley master, the 4th doctors regeneration & a threat to the universe as we know it)

    -Earthshock (I have a weakness for cybermen and this is one of their best ones, also has a unique ending)
    -Warriors Of The Deep (Aside from the production values, its one of the most modern feeling stories, especially the ending)

    -The Mark Of The Rani (Whats better than one evil timelord? Why its obvious, 2 of them!)
    -The Two Doctors (Great multi-doctor story showing that even 20 years later, troughton & hines still had it)

    -Rememberance Of The Daleks (Shooty dalek goodness, manipulative doctor)
    -Silver Nemesis (Shooty cybermen goodness, manipulative doctor, also nazis & a 17th century loony/lady)

    -Doctor Who: The Movie (Its only okay but the best he had)
    -The Enemy Within (unofficial title to the movie, he only had the one story, what can I do? Lots of audio for paul though)

    Honourable Mentions (because I can’t stop suggesting stories)

    For the first doctor, I’d also suggest An Unearthly Child, its the first story & kind of shows why the doctor needs humans to keep him in line

    For the second doctor, I’d also suggest The War Games, its bloody long (as a 12 parter its about 5 hours) but has the first named appearance of the time lords

    For the third doctor, I’d also suggest The Green Death, some silly effects aside it’s a good story to show the doctor’s environmental & antiauthoritarian streaks

    For the fourth doctor, I’d also suggest Image Of The Fendahl, another good horror/mythology type story

    For the fifth doctor, I’d also suggest Black Orchid, its the only pure historical story done after the end of the second doctor’s tenure and a fairly good 1920s murder mystery story to boot

    For the sixth doctor, I’d also suggest Revelation Of The Daleks mostly because it has one of the darkest bits of humour in the entire show’s history

    For the seventh doctor, I’d also suggest Ghost Light, its rather unpopular as a story for being confusing, I suspect people don’t pay enough attention or understand the obssessive mindset. It also has a great scene with a victorian priest having evolution proven to him.

    For the eighth doctor… the movie again? Ahh what the hell, Storm Warning from the big finish audio adventures.

  12. 21

    Yup. There are definitely gaps in what KTCS is airing – we’re on to the 3rd Doctor, and they somehow missed the Dalek invasion of Earth! Ah, well.

    Jamie and Zoe were awesome.

    And I *mumbles* watched the 1996 movie and kinda liked it. Actually, that was my first experience with Doctor Who, and I think if it had been done by Brits rather than Americans, I’d have been completely hooked.

  13. 24

    The movie wasn’t bad and clearly had potential to become a full series (especially since Paul McGann was an excellent doctor) but given the cancel-happy attitude that seems to have become prevalent in america since the mid 90s, I’m rather happy it ended up being produced by the BBC again.

    I’ll have to make this my last set of recommendations or it’d be easier to save time by simply saying “Everything”


    -The Romans
    -The Aztecs
    -Planet Of The Giants
    You could describe these as ‘mission statement episodes’, the show was originally supposed to be teaching kids about science & history and these were the best examples of that. It didn’t last long because scifi was more exciting.

    -The Krotons
    -The Dominators
    -The Seeds Of Death
    Some of the better 2nd doctor stories that also have the benefit of being complete. I think the ice warriors are due for a comeback, the dominators might be too if they can make the quarks more menacing and less… adorable

    -Frontier In Space
    -Planet Of The Daleks
    -Planet Of The Spiders
    The first 2 are back to back stories that lead into each other, deception, mistrust and imminent intergalactic war. The third is pertwee’s regeneration. Also The Curse of Peladon & The Monster Of Peladon are good picks from this era, might be time for another peladon story and the return of the Draconians. Ooh they should spend the 50th anniversary series next year as a comeback for several old enemies & locations, that’d be sweet.

    -The Talons Of Weng Chiang
    -Terror Of The Zygons
    -The Seeds Of Doom
    Historical horror, evil duplicate suspense, mad botanist heping plants take over the world!! Some of the earthbound Tom Baker stories that tend to make normal things creepy. Honourable mention to The Deadly Assassin (as if there’s some other kind of assassin) for being a Gallifrey based story with the Master being all desperate & dangerous.

    -Mawdryn Undead
    Also known as the black guardian trilogy, introduces Turlough, and has the unfortunate exit of Nyssa. It also has Valentine Dyall so you can’t go wrong, he has a voice of gravel & surely a geologist would have to love that!

    -Attack Of The Cybermen
    -Vengeance On Varos
    -The Twin Dilemma
    Attack got the show in trouble for being too scary so you know its good, back in the 80s pissing off mary whitehouse was a trophy of sorts. Vengeance is almost a pisstake of reality TV that was far ahead of its time (and again got the show in trouble). The twin dilemma was the 6th doctors first story which, whilst pretty crap with some awful guest stars (if you don’t want to punch the twins by the end of the first episode I’ll be amazed), it has some great performances by Colin & Nicola. I’d LIKE to recommend Trial Of A Timelord but even though it had the awesome of Brian Blessed, it was ruined by the introduction of Mel who is by far the worst companion in the history of the show, not even Dodo was that bad

    -The Curse Of Fenric
    Dragonfire is a personal favourite because it has the introduction of Ace (Hooray!) and the departure of Mel (Double Hooray with extra Woohoo sauce!). Battlefield has Arthurian legends, weapons of mass destruction & 2 brigadiers (the classic brigadier was supposed to die at the end but they loved him too much). Fenric is a classic dr who story mashing together 2 disparate themes & making a great story out of them, in this case WW2 espionage & vampires, it also has the doctor being more than a little nasty & manipulative.

    … the movie? I seem to recall that Sword Of Orion was a good audio adventure

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