BBC

Iain Duncan Smith Denounces Plan to Introduce Universal Basic Income

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 31/03/2020 - 4:29am in

Universal Basic Income, the scheme by which governments give a specified guaranteed income to all their citizens regardless of personal wealth or employment, has been widely discussed in recent years. I think some countries may already have such schemes in place, and there might be a programme about it this week on Radio 4. It was also one of the ideas mooted to help people out of their financial difficulties caused by the Coronavirus lockdown. Ten days ago, on Friday, 20th of March 2020, Mike put up a piece reporting that Boris Johnson was then considering the idea. And not only that, the idea had the support of some British industrialists, like Liam Kelly, the chair of the Baltic Triangle group of companies. Kelly said that the scheme wasn’t quite as radical as dropping money from a helicopter, but was a plausible solution to the problem of the present crisis. He said “It will help stave off the unprecedented economic challenges we face and protect us from another. This is a sensible fiscal stimulus and it’s time it went directly to the people, not just to the banks.” This might be a reference to one of the criticisms of the government’s financial bailout of the 2008 banking crash. The money went to the banks, who have carried on as before. Some critics have said that what Brown should have done instead is given the money to the public, so that their spending would solve the crisis the bankers had created. Who would have to face the consequences of the massive financial bubble they had created, rather than expect everyone else to bear the costs imposed through austerity while they continued to enrich themselves.

One voice, however, spoke against this scheme: Iain Duncan Smith. The pandemic has had a profound personal effect on some people. It’s brought out the best in them, as friends and relatives rally round to look after those, who are too vulnerable to do things for themselves like go shopping. IDS, however, has remained untouched by this. He still remains a shabby, deplorable excuse for a human being. In an article in the Torygraph stuck behind a paywall – because the Tories don’t let the proles getting anything for free – IDS issued his criticisms of the scheme. He blandly stated that the scheme would make no difference to the financial problems of low-income households and would not alleviate poverty. For which he provided no evidence whatsoever. He also said that it would disincentive work, and cost an astronomic amount of money. This is despite the scheme being budgeted at £260 billion, which is £70 billion less than the £330 billion Rishi Sunak has already imposed.

Mike says of … Smith’s appalling attitudes that they come from a man, who seems to believe that the solution to poverty is killing the poor themselves. Why else, Mike asks, would he have imposed policies that have pushed the vulnerable so deeply into poverty that many have died.

Mike also makes the point that he’s also trying to protect his own political vanity projects, like the Bedroom Tax, Universal Credit, PIP and ESA assessments, which would all become redundant with the introduction of UBI. Mike concludes

And he wants to ensure that we do not get to see the beneficial effects of UBI, even if it is only brought in for a brief, experimental period.

It seems clear that, while the Tories are claiming to be doing what they can in the face of the crisis, the evil that motivates them remains as strong as it ever was.

See: https://voxpoliticalonline.com/2020/03/20/coronavirus-trust-iain-duncan-smith-to-try-to-wreck-our-chances-of-survival/

This is absolutely correct, though it can be added that the Gentleman Ranker isn’t afraid of seeing his own political legacy discarded, but the whole Tory attitude to poverty and the question of wealth redistribution. The Republicans in America and the Tories over here hate redistributive welfare policies. The rich, they believe, should be left to enjoy their wealth, ’cause they created it and its all theirs, and the poor should have to work for their money. If they can’t work, or are poor, it’s because of some fault of their own – they’re idle, or simply don’t have the qualities to prosper in the meritocratic society created by unfettered market capitalism. And since Maggie Thatcher, Tory and Blairite welfare policy is based on the assumption that a large percentage of people claiming disability or unemployment benefit are workshy scroungers. Hence the fitness to work tests, in which it has been claimed that the assessors are instructed to find a certain percentage fit, because Tory ideology demands that they do. Even if in reality they are severely disabled, terminally ill, or in some cases actually dead. This also applies to Jobseeker’s Allowance and Universal Credit, and the system of sanctions attached to them. It’s all the principle of less eligibility, by which the process of claiming benefit is meant to be as harsh, difficult and degrading as possible in order to deter people from doing it. It is designed to make them desperate for any job, no matter how low paid or degrading. Or if they cannot work, then they are expected to find some other way to support themselves or die. The death toll from benefit sanctions runs into hundreds, and the total death toll from Tory austerity is 120,000, or thereabouts. And many of these deaths are directly attributable to IDS’ wretched, murderous policies.

If Universal Basic Income were to be introduced and shown to be a success, it would effectively discredit Tory welfare policy. The idea that state welfare stops people from looking for work has been a Tory nostrum since before Thatcher. But with Thatcher came the belief that conditions for the poor should be made harder in order to make them try to do well for themselves. I can remember one Tory, or Tory supporter, actually saying that on the Beeb during Thatcher’s tenure of No. 10. But these ideas would be seriously damaged if UBI were successfully implemented. It would also help undermine the class system the Tories are so keen to preserve by closing the gap between rich and poor through state action, rather than market forces. Which, indeed, have never done anything of the sort and have only created glaring inequalities in wealth.

Iain Duncan Smith couldn’t bear to see this all discredited. And so to stop this, he blocked UBI, even though it offered a plausible solution to some of the financial difficulties people are suffering.

Which shows you exactly how despicable he is, and how devoted to the maintenance of a welfare system that has done nothing but push people into poverty, starvation and death.

 

 

Boris Getting the Coronavirus Shows How Seriously He Took It

The big news today is that the charlatan passing himself off as prime minister has personally come down with Covid-19. He showed mild symptoms of the virus, including a temperature, was tested for it, and the results were positive. He is therefore self-isolating in some corner of No. 10. Nevertheless, he was still keen to show that he was, in the words of one BBC news presenter this morning, ‘Tiggerish’. He was not incapacitated, and would carry on the business of government through teleconferencing and other methods. And if he does become too ill to govern, then the Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, will take over. Lord preserve us!

Boris, as the Prime Minister, was in an especially exposed position because his duties mean that he has to meet many different people every day. Just like Prince Charles has, who has also contracted the disease. Fortunately, Boris has come down with it several weeks after he met her Maj, so she doesn’t have it. But it’s partly BoJob’s own fault that he’s got it. Mike today put up an article reporting and commenting on the fact that Boris was warned not to shake hands. But he carried on regardless, even boasting that he was. He would be all right, you see: all you needed to do was wash your hands, that was the important thing. Er, no. That’s why the health authorities have been telling everyone to stand 2 metres away from each other. Hand washing’s important, but on its own it won’t stop anyone getting the virus. As BoJob has just found out.

But this shows very clearly how seriously Boris and the Tories, or at least his circle, took the virus: not very. Mike quotes the New York Times, which comments on the woeful leadership our comedy prime minister has shown in this crisis. He’s been cheerful when he should have been grave, and presented a muddled message when clarity was needed. It’s a poor performance from someone who was selected because of their communication skills.

I think part of the problem comes from Boris’ own attitude to his briefs. George Galloway remarked during an interview that he’s know Boris for 20 years, and he doesn’t read the information given him. It’s why his performance as Foreign Secretary was such an embarrassing disaster. He went to Moscow to soothe relations with Putin, only to make matters worse with remarks about the Russian autocrat when he returned. And then there was that embarrassing episode when he visited Thailand, and the British ambassador had to ask him to be quiet when he was being shown round the country’s holiest temple. He started to recite Kipling’s ‘Road to Mandalay’, and couldn’t understand why that may not have been appropriate.

But there’s more than an element of willful ignorance in his attitude. Medical experts have said that he should have imposed the lockdown seven weeks ago. Boris didn’t, because he accepted Cummings’ bonkers, malign idea that all that was needed was herd immunity. The disease should be allowed to spread through the general population. No lockdown should be imposed, as that would damage the economy. This took priority over people’s health, and if some old people died it was just too bad. This policy is nonsense, the kind of Bad Science Ben Goldacre attacked in his book of that title. But even after Boris took the decision to close some businesses, pubs, clubs and other social gatherings were allowed to continue. Many Tories said that they were still going out for their pint, despite the government advising them – but not actually forbidding them – not to. Those still heading down the boozer included Boris’ own father, Stanley. The pubs and other establishments were only shut down, apparently, because Macron told Boris that if he didn’t, he’d close the French border. And that would seriously harm the economy.

And this lunatic attitude is still fervently embraced by some parts of the Tory establishment. This afternoon the Sage of Crewe put up a piece about another bonkers article in the increasingly desperate and bizarre Torygraph by a hack called Sherelle Jacobs. Jacobs has decided that Cummings was entirely correct, and BoJob has been panicked into adopting the present strategy by Imperial College research. She claims that there is ‘no consensus’ on how to handle the virus, but, as Zelo Street points out, she cites no sources for that view. And she also rants about how the strategy is also due to ‘liberal managerialism’ and ‘global elites’. She’s spouting dangerous nonsense, but she was supported in her delusion by Toby Young. Young declared that Boris was spooked by ICL’s modelling, but we don’t know how reliable that is, and that it’s beginning to look as if ICL exaggerated the risks of not adopting hard suppression measures. Which is more nonsense for which Tobes provides absolutely no data to back it up.

I’ve said in several previous blogs, as have many others, like Buddyhell and Vox Political, that Boris’ attitude is rooted in the Tories’ own eugenicist views. They regard the poor and disabled as ‘useless eaters’, who should be allowed to die so that the fit and the able, and most of all, the rich, should be allowed to prosper. Boris was content to tell the nation that many of their loved ones would die before the time, but wasn’t going to do anything about it, because their lives simply weren’t important. He and the others in his circle were fit and, as the rich and privileged, biologically superior according to their Social Darwinist views. Only the biologically inferior would catch it, whose lives don’t count and are an encumbrance to the right of the rich to do what they want and pay as little tax as possible. Now Boris has shown how irresponsible and stupid that attitude is by coming down with it himself. Positive thinking and a clean pair of mitts are important, but they won’t save you on your alone.

But the Torygraph’s refusal to accept that a lockdown is necessary is part of the Tories’ wider refusal to believe experts. The Heil and other right wing papers have published claptrap telling the world that global warming is a myth. Michael Gove famously declared a few years ago that people were tired of listening to experts. And I believe I recall that when one of the Tories – I think it was Iain Duncan Smith – was actually confronted with evidence showing his policies wouldn’t work, he had nothing to say except that he believed it.

Well, the Tories prefer belief and pernicious pseudoscience over reality. As a result, Boris has now got the disease and thousands more people are in danger of dying from it.

See: https://zelo-street.blogspot.com/2020/03/toby-young-jumps-virus-shark.html

Has hand-shaking Johnson taken his whole cabinet down with coronavirus?

Ten Thoughts About Doctor Who: Rose Prequel And Sequel

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 27/03/2020 - 10:15am in

Today we got a watch-along with Russell T Davies of his first TV episode of Doctor Who, Rose. With Twitter guest stars including Mark Benton and Graham Norton. But better than that, we got both a prequel and a sequel. The prequel was a final page of a non-existent prequel novelisation to Rose, written by Russell for the 50th anniversary but dropped when it contradicted the events of Steven Moffat's The Night Of The Doctor and The Day Of The Doctor. And we also got a short story sequel to Rose, written by Davies and audio recorded for YouTube. And you are going to get Ten Thoughts covering both…

doctor who rose prequel sequel

1. Living Statues

Days before, the Nestene had posted sentries along the Embankment in the form of living statues, those strange humans who decide to earn a living by dressing up as clowns, robots or statues and then standing perfectly still waiting for people to throw money at them

Steven Moffat gets to make actual statues very scary courtesy of Blink, Russell T Davies wants to do it to living statues, and yes there are always plenty down the South Bank of the Thames, adjacent to the London Eye. Not that there's much of that left. They'll have a year to repair it before the Doctor returns with Rose and that pig in the Slitheen ship crashes into the Thames.

2. Clean Up Job

It turned around to look at the remnants of London in every direction. Fires burned and bodies lay in the streets, victims of the glorious invasion. The immediate area remained flooded, overwhelmed by the tsunami resulting from the Eye's collapse. The streets of Westminster had become a stinking swamp. The clown stood tall upon the rubber overlooking floating cars and fallen buses and weeping survivors as it formulated

Actually they have a lot to tidy up in that time, don't they? And one fallen London, told in a story amidst the ruins of another. It is very, very quiet out there.

3. Of Plastic Mice And Plastic Men

An alliance, a combination of the Doctor's greatest enemies perhaps even the mighty empires of Daleks and Cybermen combined to rid the universe of this pestilence an excellent plan…

So the Nestene plans revenge, could it have been behind Torchwood's joining together of Daleks and Cybermen? Or was that a sta of what would come later with the Pandorica, Nestene recreating Amy's childhood books as a trap for the Doctor, with Daleks, Cybermen, Sontarans, Judoon and more? But how would any of this be achieved? We'll get to that, but first…

4. Bullet Time

In Rose we learned that the Autons were victims of the Time War, and in both we get repeating details. From the prequel:

His creaking wooden platform shivers with ice, a mile high, atop fragments of Morbius's Red Capitol, its vile towers fused into the black, friable spires of Yarvelling's Church. And yet the Doctor can see glimpses of Earth. The planet had been replicated a million times, to become the bullets fired into the Nightmare Child's skull, and now splinters of human society have gouged themselves into the wasteland below – relics of Mumbai, shards of Manhattan, a satire of Old London Town.

And the sequel

a tumble of planets fell out of a rip in space like stray bullets from some epic offstage gunfight. Copies of planets stolen from different seconds of their existence, a hundred orange worlds known as Gallifrey, a thousand black cinders once called Skaro, a dozen small blue and green planets which the Nestene recognized from an old campaign, Earth

5. From The Nightmare Child To The Timeless Child

Surrounded by brightness, the Doctor sees the sky above parting to reveal, just as Bettan and the Deathsmiths of Goth had predicted, the final event.

The Nightmare Child was also one of the reference namedrops from Russell T Davies… the Doctor telling Davros 'I saw your command ship fly into the jaws of the Nightmare Child…I tried to save you…" and then in The End Of Time, "You weren't there, in the final days of the War. You never saw what was born. If the Time Lock's broken, then everything's coming through. Not just the Daleks, but the Skaro Degradations, the Horde of Travesties, the Nightmare Child, the Could-Have-Been King with his army of Meanwhiles and Never-Weres. The War turned into hell!" It was planned to be the ultimate in Daleks and the child of the Dalek Emperor – would it really have a skull?

Bettan was a young female Thal soldier affiliated with the ruling Thal council at the time of the creation of the Daleks, and seen in The Genesis Of The Daleks. The Deathsmiths of Goth were weapon designers from the 1980 Doctor Who Marvel UK comic Black Legacy, by Alan Moore and David Lloyd. Used by the Time Lords to create The Moment.

Yarvelling was a humanoid Dalek who designed the first Dalek casings from the TV21 Dalek comic books from the 60s. Morbius was the Time Lord from The Brain Of Morbius who revealed the Doctor's lives before the incarnation commonly referred to as The First Doctor, now revealed to be so much more.

6. From Moment To Moment

And there's more.

In front of him, at the edge of the platform, a brass handle, mounted in a simple oak casement; the only remaining extrusion of the Moment into this world, the rest of its vast bulk hidden, chained to an N-form, churning behind the dimensional wall. Screaming to be used.

The Moment was something thrown away in The End Of Time, Davies' final episode, with the Time Lords saying that the Doctor possessed the Moment, and would use it to destroy Time Lords and Daleks alike. It was then picked up by Moffat for The Day of The Doctor. But here is it used by Davies, written before seeing that episode, as a weapon of the Time Lords, in a very different way. But also giving us dimensional rips. Doesn't look like Billie piper here though.

7. Master Of None

We also get a new conceptualisation as to what happened with the Master during the Time War, before Utopia, who we thought had run from the Time War but looks to have been weaponised.

Around him, the console room buckles, warps, shudders, still suffering from the High Council's resurrection of the Master, long ago. It aches for a new shape. 'Me too,' mutters the Doctor with a grim smile, though he knows regeneration is impossible. The Moment has fixed his existence, and this life is his last.

8. The Age Of The Doctor

He wonders what age he's finally reached. The Time War used years as ammunition; at the Battle of Rodan's Wedding alone, he'd aged to five million and then regressed to a mewling babe, merely from shrapnel. Now, the ache in his bones feels… one thousand years old? Well. Call it nine hundred. Sounds better.

The Doctor has previously described himself as over a thousand years old but in the 2005 series he said he was under a thousand years old. Davies fixes the gap.

9. Regeneration Game

Of course. She tricked him, right at the end. Her final kiss was not a goodbye; she imprinted the Restoration within him. His lifecycle has been reset, the new man lurching outwards to be born. So this is the meaning of her final song: a whole new body to expiate the guilt. He might even pass the Restoration to another, one day.

The Doctor's life cycle was reset… he always had another thirteen lives from Nine onwards. That was Davies' conception of him that is. No need for those events in The Time Of The Doctor, even before the reveals of the Timeless Children. But also that The Ninth Doctor should never have seen the Time War. Not with his eyes. Something Moffat managed to work in as well.

10. Common People

It could plasticize itself into a new albeit hollow shape…

Its single eye staring furious fixed on the clock tower, the palace seemed to be calling to the Nestene summoning it to the halls of power here, the creature would find its own kind surely…

This time its revenge would be brilliant and ruthless and subtler than anyone could guess even if it took 15 years or more.

A body on the floor crushed by a concrete beam and yet the clown felt something in the substrata ascent a shiver a lingering promise from the human's form, reeking of things which the Nestene recognized, ambition lust greed joy how the clown grinned…

He had power, this man he had authority,  he had the potential to go so much further. The Auton smiled at himself, loving this new self the suit, the body, the face, the blonde hair. Oh this was going to be fun

The Nestene consciousness found the dead body of Boris Johnson in the Houses Of Parliament – he was MP from 2001 to 2008 – and replicated his form, to rise to power over the fifteen years since 2005, first Mayor of London, where he oversaw the Torchwood One tower, then as Foreign Secretary, and now Prime Minister, after seeing off Theresa May Harriet Jones. So the Nestene are also behind Brexit. And the current response to the coronavirus…

And rather reminiscent of former Doctor Who writer/showrunner Douglas Adams, and his short story Young Zaphod Plays It Safe, putting a very dangerous artificial lifeform on Earth, who slips past people's internal signals of danger, and becoming the politician Ronald Reagan.

The post Ten Thoughts About Doctor Who: Rose Prequel And Sequel appeared first on Bleeding Cool News And Rumors.

"Doctor Who": "Watch" Russell T Davies' "Rose" Sequel Audio Drama Here!

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 27/03/2020 - 7:05am in

Following up on Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker offering some timely advice and showrunner Chris Chibnall posting an original short story involving the 13th Doctor's regneration, Russell T Davies penned and posted a prequel to "Rose" – the episode that marked the series. What we weren't expecting was for Davies to post a sequel to the return episode, "Revenge of the Nestene".

doctor whoBBC America

Here's a look at the initial Instagram post from Davies, announcing the news earlier today:

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Going online at 7.45, ROSE: THE SEQUEL! Address revealed at 7.45. . . @bbcdoctorwho @doctorwho_magazine @jacobdudman @emily_rosina

A post shared by Russell T Davies (@russelltdavies63) on Mar 26, 2020 at 10:58am PDT

In the prequel, Davies took us back in time to the last days of "The Time War"… and the beginning of the Doctor's return. This time, viewers get a sense of what happened after the final credits rolled on the the Doctor's return. Both were released to coincide with the global anniversary live-stream/live-tweet that took place on Thursday, which Davies also took part in.

Celebrating the 15th anniversary of 'Rose', Doctor Who's return to television, comes the sequel: "Revenge of the Nestene" by Russell T Davies. This is a part of #TripOfALifetime – The global re-watch event of 'Rose', raising money for the COVID-19 Film & TV Emergency Relief Fund.

Read by Jacob Dudman / Written by Russell T. Davies / Produced by Emily Cook / Music by Joe Kraemer

Special thanks to Big Finish Productions & Richard Atkinson

doctor whoBBC

Here's a look at Davies' letter to the prequel he posted earlier today:

This was never meant to exist.

Way back, maybe early 2013, Tom Spilsbury, the editor of Doctor Who Magazine, asked me if I wanted to contribute to DWM's great 50th special. Maybe addressing that huge gap in Doctor Who lore, how did the Eighth Doctor regenerate into the Ninth?

I said well, yeah, no, but, isn't that best left to the imagination? If I write a script, it would be too real, too fixed, too canonical. But Tom's never one to give up. He said okay, what if you wrote, say, the final pages of a Target novel? About the last days of the Time War. The Doctor's final moments. And we could present it like a surviving fragment of the Novel That Never Was, so it exists in that half-real space of the spin-offs, possible but not factual, just slightly canon, if you so choose. Okay, Tom. You temptress. I'm in.

So I wrote this. It even starts mid-sentence, as if you've just turned to the last pages. Lee Binding created a beautiful cover. We were excited! And then Tom said, I'd better run this past Steven Moffat, just in case…

Oh, said Steven. Oh. How could we have known? That the Day of the Doctor would have an extra Doctor, a War Doctor? And Steven didn't even tell us about Night of the Doctor, he kept that regeneration a complete surprise! He just said, sorry, can you lay off that whole area? I agreed, harrumphed, went to bed and told him he was sleeping on the settee that night.

So the idea was snuffed a-borning. Until 2020. When a science fiction-shaped virus came along to change our lives (honestly, I've written the end of the world 100 times, but I never imagined everyone just sitting at home). Emily Cook of DWM created the livestream Day of the Doctor, then turned to Rose, and asked me if I had anything to offer..? At exactly the same time, Chris Chibnall emailed me, saying we need the Doctor more than ever these days, and could I think of any material?

By some miracle this file still existed. Lee still had his illustration (naturally, because he was under a Binding contract, oh I'm so funny). And strangely, looking back, it's funny how things fit; the Moment is described here as oak and brass, which isn't far from the final idea (I don't mean Billie). I wonder; I suspect, without realising, if Steven and I were both riffing off Eighth Doctor-style designs, maybe..? More importantly, the idea has come of age. This chapter only died because it became, continuity-wise, incorrect. But now, the Thirteenth Doctor has shown us Doctors galore, with infinite possibilities.

All Doctors exist. All stories are true. So come with me now, to the distant reefs of a terrible war, as the Doctor takes the Moment and changes both the universe and themselves forever…

The post "Doctor Who": "Watch" Russell T Davies' "Rose" Sequel Audio Drama Here! appeared first on Bleeding Cool News And Rumors.

"Doctor Who": Russell T Davies Pens "Rose" Prequel for Anniversary

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 27/03/2020 - 2:25am in

Following up on Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker offering some timely advice and showrunner Chris Chibnall posting an original short story involving the 13th Doctor's regneration, Russell T Davies has penned and posted a prequel to "Rose" – the episode that marked the series.

doctor whoBBC America

In the following intro, Davies retraces the steps that lead to the written prequel finally seeing the light of day – followed by a trip back in time to the last days of "The Time War"… and the beginning of the Doctor's return. Both were released to coincide with the global anniversary live-stream/live-tweet set for Thursday, beginning at 7 p.m. GMT (Google can help you with the time adjustments).

This was never meant to exist.

Way back, maybe early 2013, Tom Spilsbury, the editor of Doctor Who Magazine, asked me if I wanted to contribute to DWM's great 50th special. Maybe addressing that huge gap in Doctor Who lore, how did the Eighth Doctor regenerate into the Ninth?

I said well, yeah, no, but, isn't that best left to the imagination? If I write a script, it would be too real, too fixed, too canonical. But Tom's never one to give up. He said okay, what if you wrote, say, the final pages of a Target novel? About the last days of the Time War. The Doctor's final moments. And we could present it like a surviving fragment of the Novel That Never Was, so it exists in that half-real space of the spin-offs, possible but not factual, just slightly canon, if you so choose. Okay, Tom. You temptress. I'm in.

So I wrote this. It even starts mid-sentence, as if you've just turned to the last pages. Lee Binding created a beautiful cover. We were excited! And then Tom said, I'd better run this past Steven Moffat, just in case…

Oh, said Steven. Oh. How could we have known? That the Day of the Doctor would have an extra Doctor, a War Doctor? And Steven didn't even tell us about Night of the Doctor, he kept that regeneration a complete surprise! He just said, sorry, can you lay off that whole area? I agreed, harrumphed, went to bed and told him he was sleeping on the settee that night.

So the idea was snuffed a-borning. Until 2020. When a science fiction-shaped virus came along to change our lives (honestly, I've written the end of the world 100 times, but I never imagined everyone just sitting at home). Emily Cook of DWM created the livestream Day of the Doctor, then turned to Rose, and asked me if I had anything to offer..? At exactly the same time, Chris Chibnall emailed me, saying we need the Doctor more than ever these days, and could I think of any material?

By some miracle this file still existed. Lee still had his illustration (naturally, because he was under a Binding contract, oh I'm so funny). And strangely, looking back, it's funny how things fit; the Moment is described here as oak and brass, which isn't far from the final idea (I don't mean Billie). I wonder; I suspect, without realising, if Steven and I were both riffing off Eighth Doctor-style designs, maybe..? More importantly, the idea has come of age. This chapter only died because it became, continuity-wise, incorrect. But now, the Thirteenth Doctor has shown us Doctors galore, with infinite possibilities.

All Doctors exist. All stories are true. So come with me now, to the distant reefs of a terrible war, as the Doctor takes the Moment and changes both the universe and themselves forever…

Now here's a look at Davies' "Rose" prequel… Doctor Who and The Time War:

doctor whoBBC

"But the Daleks and the Time Lords scream in vain, too far away to stop him now. And so the Doctor stands alone.

He looks out from his eyrie, across the wreckage of a thousand worlds. Below him, fragments of the Time War, broken reefs of Gallifrey and Skaro washed up into this backwater, to rot. His creaking wooden platform shivers with ice, a mile high, atop fragments of Morbius's Red Capitol, its vile towers fused into the black, friable spires of Yarvelling's Church. And yet the Doctor can see glimpses of Earth. The planet had been replicated a million times, to become the bullets fired into the Nightmare Child's skull, and now splinters of human society have gouged themselves into the wasteland below – relics of Mumbai, shards of Manhattan, a satire of Old London Town. Remnants of better days.

The Doctor looks down. Her skeleton lies at his feet. The bones relax into dust, and she is gone. The Doctor looks up.

In front of him, at the edge of the platform, a brass handle, mounted in a simple oak casement; the only remaining extrusion of the Moment into this world, the rest of its vast bulk hidden, chained to an N-form, churning behind the dimensional wall. Screaming to be used.

He steps forward. He grips the handle. He wonders what his last words should be. He decides that last words are useless. He pulls the handle down, flat.

The Moment happens.

The universe sings.

The war ends.

Surrounded by brightness, the Doctor sees the sky above parting to reveal, just as Bettan and the Deathsmiths of Goth had predicted, the final event.

Gallifrey Original convulses and rolls into flame. Its concentric rings of Dalek warships become silhouettes, then ashes, and then –

The Doctor falls. Every atom around him is sucked upwards, towards the fire, but he alone is capable of falling, saved – or damned – by the Moment's shadow. Above him, he feels the Time Lock solidify, sealing off the war from reality, and as his body tumbles out of existence, into plasmaspace, then foulspace, then beyond, the Doctor leans into the fall, head first, arms wide, diving into infinity.

Alone.

Except…

There.

Something else.

Falling.

Spinning..?

A whirl of blue. That faithful blue. Then a rectangle of white, widening, a doorway, coming closer, towards him, and as the grind of ancient engines reaches a crescendo, he thinks: I'm going home.

The Doctor lies on the Tardis floor. His bones broken from the fall, his hearts hollowed by his loss. Around him, the console room buckles, warps, shudders, still suffering from the High Council's resurrection of the Master, long ago. It aches for a new shape. 'Me too,' mutters the Doctor with a grim smile, though he knows regeneration is impossible. The Moment has fixed his existence, and this life is his last.

He wonders what age he's finally reached. The Time War used years as ammunition; at the Battle of Rodan's Wedding alone, he'd aged to five million and then regressed to a mewling babe, merely from shrapnel. Now, the ache in his bones feels… one thousand years old? Well. Call it nine hundred. Sounds better.

Darkness swills through his mind and he forces a smile, ready and yet never ready for the end. Still, no final words.

But then…

Can it be..?

He feels it once more.

That old, deep stirring in every bone and muscle and thought. The joy. The terror. The change, the impossible change!

Amazed, he lifts up his hand. Stares, fascinated, as the skin ripples with a curious new gold.

Of course. She tricked him, right at the end. Her final kiss was not a goodbye; she imprinted the Restoration within him. His lifecycle has been reset, the new man lurching outwards to be born. So this is the meaning of her final song: a whole new body to expiate the guilt. He might even pass the Restoration to another, one day.

Suddenly, they come, in a rush, his final words. He says them aloud, but there is no one to hear, allowing them to be imagined and imagined again for ever.

Then his nuclei turn into stars. Every pore blazes with light. A volcano of thick, viscous energy cannons from his neck, his hands, his feet, his guts, his hearts, his soul – It stops.

The Doctor sits up. The new Doctor, next Doctor, now Doctor. He lifts up his new fingers to touch his new head. His new chin. His new nose. His new ears. He takes a deep breath into his new, dry, wide lungs. He says his first word.

'Blimey!'"

The post "Doctor Who": Russell T Davies Pens "Rose" Prequel for Anniversary appeared first on Bleeding Cool News And Rumors.

"Doctor Who": The Doctor Promotes Hope, Humor, Family & Facts [VIDEO]

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 27/03/2020 - 12:05am in

During this time of social distancing and self-quarantining, a message of hope from the Doctor is exactly the kind of thing we need right now – and that's exactly what Jodie Whittaker and the fine folks at BBC's Doctor Who had to offer us earlier this week. In the clip, Whittaker's Doctor offered a hopeful transmission to all fans (and even the haters) of the long-running series. Hiding in the TARDIS from a very familiar enemy (spoilers!), the Doctor urges her viewers to stay strong, work together, and  – most important – believe and listen to the science and the facts.

Doctor WhoJodie Whittaker as The Doctor – Doctor Who _ Season 12, Episode 9 – Photo Credit: Ben Blackall/BBC Studios/BBC America

Here's a look at the video – followed by some choice, heartfelt advice from our hero herself:

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Incoming transmission… #MessageFromTheDoctor #DoctorWho

A post shared by Doctor Who (@doctorwho_bbca) on Mar 25, 2020 at 5:00am PDT

"Remember — you'll get through this. Things will be all right, even if they look uncertain. Even if you're worried, darkness never prevails."

"Tell jokes, even bad ones. Especially bad ones. I'm brilliant at bad ones."

"Be kind. Even kinder than you were yesterday, and I know you were super kind yesterday. Talking will help, sharing will help… Look out for your friends, your neighbors, people you hardly know, and family… 'cause in the end, we're all family."

"Listen to science, and listen to doctors, right? They've got your back."

This clip is very comforting, and actually brings me a smidge of hope.

Right now, more than ever, escapism is incredibly important. Art does indeed imitate life, especially right now. While the world is a very scary place right now, it's still important to be kind. Like the message in the video above says, listen to actual doctors. Listen to actual science. We can beat this if we all work together.

The post "Doctor Who": The Doctor Promotes Hope, Humor, Family & Facts [VIDEO] appeared first on Bleeding Cool News And Rumors.

"Doctor Who": Big Finish Goes Digital-First, Disc Releases Delayed

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 26/03/2020 - 7:05am in

Big Finish Productions, the premiere producers of Doctor Who audio dramas and other series, are reportedly moving to releasing content on digital first. Physical releases (ex: CD boxsets) will be released at a later date due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Big Finish normally releases their productions as digital downloads and CDs. The digital versions are available immediately and physical versions ship shortly after. The company instructed their warehouse staff to stay home to avoid potential infection from COVID-19. This means that physical releases of the audio dramas will be delayed.

Big Finish

 

"As previously reported, we took the precaution of pausing in-studio recordings last week, and are now working with our producers, directors and actors to record future releases remotely in home studios. Some of these sessions are already in progress.

The majority of Big Finish staff are freelance and are fully capable of working from home. You may have also seen a number of regular Big Finish actors posting images of their home studios on social media.

However, in order to protect the health of our warehouse staff, we have now asked them to stay at home for as long as the coronavirus situation continues. All our staff will be paid during this period."

– Jason Haigh-Ellery, Chairman, Big Finish Productions

Big Finish: The Go-To for "Doctor Who" Audio

We're big fans of them around here. Where else are you going to find Tom Baker playing the 4th Doctor again in new stories with surviving cast members like Louise Jameson as Leela? Nostalgic for Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred as the 7th Doctor and Ace? Big Finish has you cover! Or new Torchwood stories that had the creative approval and input of creator Russell T. Davies?

If you want to support Big Finish and have your Doctor Who and Torchwood fix during self-isolation, you can order the audio dramas from the Big Finish website. They have literally hundreds of stories – new stories, spinoffs, side stories, adaptations of lost episodes. There's sure to be something that catches your fancy.

The post "Doctor Who": Big Finish Goes Digital-First, Disc Releases Delayed appeared first on Bleeding Cool News And Rumors.

"Doctor Who": Chris Chibnall Posts New 13th Doctor Short Story Online

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 26/03/2020 - 3:12am in

Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall did his part to ease fans' fears and concerns over the growing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on Wednesday, posting a short story starring the Doctor that speaks of hardship, strength, and the "regenerative energy" inside each of us to get through these "strange times" (as Chibnall wrote in his accompanying letter).

With the promise that "we'll try and post things here once or twice a week" and that a "never-before-published treat written by Russell T Davies" was on its way this week, Chibnall is offering us "Things She Thought While Falling" – where we learn what the 13th Doctor was thinking post-regeneration and free-falling from the TARDIS:

doctor whoJodie Whittaker as The Doctor – Doctor Who _ Season 12, Episode 10 – Photo Credit: James Pardon/BBC Studios/BBC America
"Doctor Who": "Things She Thought While Falling"

She was cold.

The Doctor was cold.

The ragged clothes weren't helping. She was cold, and in someone else's ragged clothes.

She felt a little peeved that the ragged clothes did not include a built-in parachute. That felt like an error.

Wait, she thought. Why would I want a parachute? Oh yes, that's right. She remembered.

She was falling.

Air was rushing past her. Or more accurately, she was rushing past air. Tumbling through the cold night sky.

Also, she was fizzing.

Remnants of regeneration particles were still skittering off her. The process was still… in process. Her newness still in train.

The Doctor looked up, mid-plummet. Oh dear, she thought.

Far above her, the TARDIS was exploding.

That is very unhelpful, she thought.

No, wait, not just exploding. Now the TARDIS was dematerializing – while it exploded. Dematerialexploding, thought the Doctor. That's not a word, chided the Doctor. Alright, replied the Doctor, I'm only a few minutes in here – you're lucky I've got any words at all. Will you two stop arguing, chimed in the Doctor. Only if you stop sub-dividing us, replied the Doctor, this is all the same brain. Don't confuse matters.

As the blue box vanished, leaving the Doctor looking up at a starry black sky, the Doctor wondered if she'd ever see her TARDIS again. No time to feel sorry for yourself, she told herself. Too much going on!

Yes, she thought. There was a lot going on. A large dark painful ground mass was rapidly approaching, and inside the Doctor's body her cells continued to burn and reshape and reform.

Well, thought the Doctor. All of her. This is a conundrum.

Her newly minted mind had already had three thousand and seven thoughts over the course of three seconds. She knew because she counted, and she only realised she'd counted once she'd finished counting, and then she wondered whether the counting made three thousand and eight thoughts and then she realised that the ground was another second closer, and a plan would probably be in order.

She saw the ground and calculated her own velocity. Ooh, this is going to hurt, she thought. Even with a soft landing. And it probably won't be a soft landing. She crossed her fingers and hoped she was heading for an open air trampoline factory.

Like that planet, what was it called, Fintleborxtug! Fun fact about Fintleborxtug, she told herself, the creature that named it did so when it was hiccuping and just before it was sick. Nobody knows if it was really the name or just the sound it made.

You don't have to tell me that, thought the Doctor tetchily to herself, I know! I know the planetary surface of Fintleborxtug is as soft and bouncy as a trampoline, because I went for a long bounce there once among the mountains, and the purple sky. I'd just had ice cream sundaes. That was a mistake. Can you please concentrate, the Doctor thought to herself again!

She concentrated. She confirmed she was still falling. Disappointing, but not that much of a surprise given her circumstances hadn't changed in the second since she last checked.

She wondered where exactly she was. Which sky she was falling through. Which ground she was heading for. She stuck her tongue out. It was buffeted by the air. Tickled. Ah. That tasted like Earth. Northern Europe. Britain. Wood smoke, diesel, grass, fast approaching concrete, lot of moisture and attitude in the air. Yorkshire. Possibly South Yorkshire.

She snuck another look down. A train track. A stationary train. She tried to recognise the livery on the outside of the train, so she could absolutely nail precisely where she was but it was distant and dark and regeneration had once again failed to deliver the super powered, see in the dark, X Ray vision she had always craved. Ah well, she thought, maybe next time.

Now, the train below was insisting on getting even closer. The train, or the tracks, were where she was going to land. She pondered her limited choices – tracks would hurt. Mouth full of gravel and two big metal lines all the way down her new body. Ouch. Train might be better – the roof, if she could crash through it, would soften her landing a bit (though smashing through was most likely going to hurt a lot).

With a bit of luck any injuries would be taken care of by the still fizzing regeneration process. Like those injuries the Doctor had got after he'd crashed through the roof at Naismith manor. Or the hand he'd managed to grow back after the Sycorax had lopped one off. Watch out Doctor, she thought, your personal pronouns are drifting.

That roof was super close now. She flapped her arms a bit to make sure her trajectory was bang on. As she did so, she saw that the train lights were out. She saw sparks of a light flashing in one carriage towards the back of the train. Something was wrong. And if something was wrong, she was the man to sort it out.

You're assuming you're going to make it through this fall alive, she reminded herself. Now, don't be gloomy, she chided back. Things will be alright. Right now, they're not ideal. But I can muddle through. Probably.

That's interesting, she thought. I seem to be an optimist. With a hint of enthusiasm. And what's that warm feeling in my stomach? Ah, I'm kind! Brilliant.

This was going to be fun, thought the Doctor, as she crashed through the roof of a train, on the outskirts of Sheffield, not far from Grindleford.

Then, having hit the floor of the train, and felt extra little regenerative energy particles heal where things had scratched and broken and hurt — newness, in train, on a train — she thought to herself: this is going to be a very interesting night!

The Doctor jumped up, zapped a creature she couldn't quite understand and immediately made new friends.

The post "Doctor Who": Chris Chibnall Posts New 13th Doctor Short Story Online appeared first on Bleeding Cool News And Rumors.

"Doctor Who": Fantom Events Hosting Online Con "Time Space Visualiser"

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 25/03/2020 - 6:05am in

Fans of Doctor Who aren't going to let their love for the long-running BBC sci-fi series take a hit from the growing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, taking to the internet to create virtual communities and online screening events.

On Saturday, a mass rewatch of "The Day of the Doctor" was organized by Doctor Who Magazine's Emily Cook and featured ex-showrunner Steven Moffat returning to Twitter (very temporarily) to offer behind-the-scenes commentary – and even a brand new intro, made specifically for the rewatch. In fact, Russell T Davies is set to livetweet "Rose" later this week (on Thursday, March 26) and release some new, episode-related content.

doctor whoFantom Events

"The show must go on… Unfortunately, due to the social distancing measures advised by the government we have had to postpone a couple of events, however the moment has been prepared for.

It is important to stay together and socialise as a community – and this platform will allow us to come together and experience rarely seen and new material, interacting with each other through live hosted segments."

– Dexter O'Neill, Director

Fantom Events is looking to take things to the next level on Saturday, March 28, with Time Space Visualiser: an online, day-long Doctor Who convention – free and from the comfort of your own homes (not that many of us have a choice). While details on the event will be rolled out over the next several days, Fantom is set to stream a mix of archival interviews as well as brand-new material, including discussions with Mark Gatiss, Nicola Bryant, Katy Manning, Ian Hallard, and many more among others. Time Space Visualiser will have heavy social media interaction with "attendees" – who will have chances to win prizes throughout the day.

So for updates and to join the festivities on Saturday, March 28, starting at 14:00 GMT (10:00 EST), head on over to the Fantom Events website (here).

The post "Doctor Who": Fantom Events Hosting Online Con "Time Space Visualiser" appeared first on Bleeding Cool News And Rumors.

Worrals of the WAAF – Captain W.E. John’s Flying Heroine for Girls

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 24/03/2020 - 4:45am in

Captain W.E. Johns, illustrated by Matt Kindt, Worrals of the WAAF (London: Indie Books 2013).

Captain W.E. Johns, illustrated by Matt Kindt, Worrals Carries on (London: Indie Books 2013).

Captain W.E. Johns, illustrated by Matt Kindt, Worrals Flies Again (London: Indie Books 2013).

Captain W.E. Johns was the creator of that great British hero, ‘Biggles’ Bigglesworth, an RAF fighter ace, who with his friends Algy and Ginger foiled the evil designs of the German menace in a series of tales set in the First and Second World Wars. They’re classics of British children’s literature. They appeal mostly, but by no means exclusively to boys – they’re have been plenty of female readers. Even though they’re now somewhat passe, they’re influence on British popular culture is still noticeable. In the 1980s there was an attempt to translate the character into film with an SF twist. Johns’ hero was still a World War II airman, but was sent into the present day by time warp. The character was so much a staple of British literature, that he was lampooned, I believe, by Punch’s Alan Coren in his short story, ‘Biggles Strikes Camp’. More recently, the square-jawed space pilot, ‘Ace’ Rimmer, the heroic alter ego of the cowardly, egotistical and sneering Rimmer in TV’s Red Dwarf, seems to be something of a mixture of Biggles and that other great British hero, Dan Dare, the pilot of the future.

But during the Second World War, Johns was also determined to thrill and inspire girls with a similar figure for them. And so he wrote a series of three books about Joan Worralson, ‘Worrals’, and her friend Frecks. They were pilots in the WAAF, the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force, which was set up to deliver aircraft to the RAF. Although not combat pilots, Worrals and Flecks soon found themselves actively fighting the Nazi menace in Britain, and then France. The books were republished in 2013 by Indie Books. There’s also some connection there with the RAF Museum, as that institution has its logo proudly printed on the back cover.

I found them in a recent catalogue for Postscript, a mail order firm specialising in bargain books. They were there, alongside serious histories of women in aviation and the WAAF. I liked the ‘Biggles’ books when I was a schoolboy, and decided to order them to see what his female counterpart was like. A decision helped by the fact that they were £2.95 each. They came shortly before the shutdown last week. I haven’t read them yet, but will probably give them a full review when I do. In the meantime, here’s the blurbs for them:

1: Worrals of the WAAF

Britain: 1940

Joan Worralson – Worrals to her many friends – is ferrying a replacement aircraft to a RAF fighter station when she is plunged into combat with a mysterious plane.

Later, she and her friend Frecks investigate what that plane was up to – and fall into a nest of spies.

With their own airfield the target for destruction, the two girls will need every ounce opf skill and daring to save the day.

2: Worrals Carries On

Britain: 1941

While Britain reels from nightly air attacks, Worrals and Frecks are stuck in the routine of delivering new planes to the RAF – until a chance discovery put them on the trail of a Nazi spy.

The hunt leads them to London at the height of the Blitz and even into occupied France. Cut could it be that the traitor is right in their midst? And ready to hand them over to the Gestapo?

3: Worrals Flies Again

1941: Occupied France

British agents are risking their lives behind enemy lines. But how to get that vital information back home?

MI6 need a pilot who speaks French like a native and with the courage to take on an operation so crazy that it might just work. A job for Worrals.

But when she and Frecks fly to the isolated French castle that is to be their base, they discover that nothing is what it seems – and the Gestapo have got there first.

Like other professions and employers, the RAF is trying to diversify its ranks and recruit more women and people of BAME backgrounds. This was shown very clearly a few months ago on the One Show, in a section where pilot and former Countdown numbers person, Carol Vorderman, herself a pilot, talked about the winners of a competition by the Air Cadets  and the RAF to find their best and most promising members. There were three, two of whom were girls, while the third was a Black lad. As a reward, they were given a tour of the vast American factory where they were building the new high performance jets that were due to come into service over this side of the Pond, and talk to some of the American Air Forces pilots. These included a young woman, who was so thrilled with flying these machines that she told them she couldn’t believe she got paid for doing it. There was also a little subtext informing the viewer that young women could still fly these deadly war machines without sacrificing their femininity. One of the girl cadets was a blogger, who specialised in makeup and beauty. And there’s also a more general drive within aviation to recruit more women as pilots, for example in civil, passenger flight.

There have clearly been for a long time women interested in flight and careers in the armed forces. I don’t know how many girls were encouraged to join the WAAF or take to the air by reading Worrals – I suspect they more likely to be influenced by the ‘Biggles’ stories. There was also an attempt to launch a comic strip which featured a group of female pilots fighting for Britain in the WAAF or RAF in the girls’ comics. This was mentioned in the excellent short BBC documentary series, Comics Britannia. However, the strip didn’t prove popular with female readers and was closed down. The comic asked them what they’d rather read instead, and they said, ‘a good cry’. This resulted in a series of strips of unrelenting misery in their comics, including ‘Child Slaves of War Orphan Farm’. I think stories about heroic female pilots sticking it to the Nazis would have been far healthier, but the girls of the time obviously didn’t want it. I don’t know if the books would have any greater success now, when writers are trying to create strong role models for girls in fiction.

I haven’t read them yet – they’re on my ‘to read’ list, along with many others. But I intend to read them eventually. I’m interested in finding out what they’re like, and how they stand up to today’s changed ideas about gender roles. And more importantly, whether they’re any fun. I look forward to finding out.

And my mother wants to read them afterwards. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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