James: How much of this have you seen?
Mum: Probably most of it in bits.
Mum: When is this supposed to have taken place? After Sylvester McCoy
Mum: Ok questions: Is this canon?
James: Absolutely 100% this is canon.
Mum: But did the BBC make it?
James: Yes – and no.
James: I'll explain later. Just marvel at how wonderful the title sequence. This is the first time they used words.
Mum: Really? I never noticed that before, I just assumed they always had words in it.
The Title Sequence finishes.
Mum: That's wrong.
James: What is?
Mum: Time Lords don't have 13 lives any more.
Get used to that topic over the next two blogs...
Mum: Is this Sylvester McCoy's TARDIS?
James: Kind of.
Sylvester McCoy is shown.
James: Did you not see his name in the title sequence?
Mum: No I was watching the pictures.
The Casket shakes about a bit.
Mum: He's not that dead yet. So what's supposed to have happened to him now the Master has used his 13 lives – is it ashes in there?
James: Um, you'll find out what's in there.
Mum: So it's kind of a collaboration because McCoy's in it. Who's about to turn into Paul McGann.
Some sitting down.
Mum: I like the console.
The Master breaks out.
Mum: Ugh, it's a silver streak.
McCoy dances round the console to some awesome (and sadly unnoticed by mum) music.
Mum: That's interesting, he's got a telly like Matt Smith. They just all copy each other don't they, really?
James: Yeah pretty much.
San Francisco - 1999
Mum: I know it goes into the year 2000 with this?
James: Pretty much yeah.
Mum: And he (Chang Lee) helps him?
There's some running...
Mum: I think it would have been a better movie with SM in it.
James: An interesting opinion.
There's some guys with guns...
Mum: All those machine guns going off and they miss him.
The wind starts.
Mum: Something bad's going to happen to him. Oh the TARDIS is landing! That's not a proper landing noise. Oh yes it is. Oh he's landed inside the TARDIS.
He steps out of the TARDIS.
Mum: Oh he's not regenerated yet then.
Mum: Oh now he is.
Chang Lee emerges.
James: When he regenerates, see if you can tell me what killed him.
Mum: So the bullets didn't kill him.
James: Maybe they did.
Mum: But he's got two hearts so a bullet wouldn't kill him.
Mum: That's how he got John Smith – that's now how he got his name though is it?
Mum: Clearly McGann is counted as canon 'cos he goes to conventions.
James: Yeah he is definitely canon.
The Master rattles around the ambulance.
Mum: What is he – a snake? It's clearly the Master moving round.
The bullets are extracted. And it's a double exposure, Curtis.
Mum: So the bullet clearly didn't kill him cos it's in his arm.It's interesting how the Doctors regenerate over something really minor. I mean the amount of times DT got zapped by something and still didn't change. The closest he got was being hit by a Dalek and even that didn't kill him.
I should point out she is a big David Tennant fan.
Grace runs down the hospital in her dress, Mum laughs.
Mum: It's not very DW-y is it?
James: What makes you say that?
Mum: It's American-ised.
I have vague memories of Mum watching the death scene before – so this should be interesting...
Mum: Why she going to open him?
James: Cos his heart's going mad. She's a cardiologist.
I point out Grace explaining it.
Mum: But that's not good cos it's got two hearts. That would probably kill him. He's clearly not asleep, she can't cut him open! Why is she even trying?
James: Well he is now.
Mum's silent throughout the death scene.
Mum: That's a bit dramatic... He's clearly not dead.
It all calms down.
Mum: Yeah they couldn't show that in an episode.
Grace: This is no double exposure.
Mum: I was trying to tell you that.
Grace and her doctor argue.
James: You've gone very quiet.
Mum: Yeah it's a bit boring this bit. It's a bit like watching a Superman episode.
James: It'll get better when McGann turns up.
Mum: It's just a bit unrealistic...
I won't go there.
Mum: That snake's getting bigger.
Sylvester McCoy is wheeled in to meet possibly the worst double act since Hale & Pace in Survival.
Mum: Clearly he's going to regenerate. Is it cos they got the probe stuck inside him? Right now they've stuck him in a freezer.
Mum: It's hard to say what they picked to cause him to regenerate.
Bruce eats a snake.
Mum: They wouldn't get away with this now.
James: I remember when I first watched it I thought this isn't Doctor Who!
The regeneration scene begins. Once Mum's finished laughing at the Frankenstein bit she says:
Mum: This has been done before, I can't remember where. He's gonna knock on the freezer door and the guard person's gonna turn round.
And then this happens. We spend the actual regeneration debating lightning.
Mum: Why is there lightning?
James: It's not in the freezer
Mum: But he's in the freezer!
James: But the lightning is part of his regeneration!
Mum: But why would there be lightning?
James: Why is there lightning in the time vortex?
Mum: But that isn't a regeneration! What was that! Well that was rubbish.
James: This next bit's good.
He takes his first breath.
Mum: At least they've got the energy stuff.
I'm not gonna even bother explaining it.
Mum spends the next few scenes sighing and moaning about how the regeneration was a bit rubbish. I like it. But she doesn't. And she sighs as the man faints. Which I agree with.
Then the Doctor enters a wrecked area of the hospital:
Mum: Why is this even in the hospital? Why would there be broken pipes and mirrors?
James: Yeah I've never quite got that.
WHO. AM. I?
Mum: Oh now he's Jesus.
And then she says...
Mum: Are you sure he's considered canon?
I laugh. And cry inside. She really doesn't like this.
The Master's wife wakes up.
We talk about the thirteen lives aspect. Well, shout probably.
Mum: This film is redundant now – they've got rid of the thirteen lives.
James: No they haven't!
Mum: I've read it somewhere the other day – Moffat said 'oh we got rid of that/that doesn't count any more'
I didn't reply.
The Doctor goes wandering.
Mum: You'd think he'd take the tag off his foot. Oh he's just remembering who it is.
Mum “zones out” as Grace and her doctor talk. I'm with her on that to be honest.
Mum: She's not gonna find him, why would she want to find him?
The Doctor is reunited with Grace – and she's still quiet.. Except for when he removes the probe.
Mum: Bit graphic. No need.
The Master arrives.
Mum: Why does he know to look at the hospital?
James: Do you not know who he is?
James: He brought Sylvester McCoy in in the ambulance.
The Master talks for a bit.
Mum: I don't like him.
James: I think that's the point.
A bit later...
James: So what do you think of PM so far?
Mum: Not a lot.
We'll wait 'til she gets to the shoe scene.
Mum: Should she not at this point apologise for having killed him?
Yet another thirteen lives discussion.
Doctor: I have thirteen lives.
James: Ooh tetchy subject that.
Mum: It's redundant!
Me: When they made this in 1996, it was was the truth and that's what they have to go on!
Mum: How does he predict her future? He can't read minds.
Chang Lee heads to the TARDIS.
Mum: Shall I give you an official verdict?
James: No you're watching the whole thing.
Mum: See just cos he has the TARDIS key – it wouldn't let him in. Ooh let's do the walk round the TARDIS bit – that hasn't changed. Did they build their own TARDIS?
Mum: Can I give my verdict yet – how did he [the Master] get in? “Oh I know I'll go to the TARDIS and that's where the young boy comes in 'cos he'll have a key.”
And a bit later..
Mum: Double official verdict.
James: Go on.
Mum: This is officially – rubbish. Sorry to be so blunt.
James: I really like it. To think you prefer Time and the Rani to this! For a lot of fans, it's the quirkiness they like.
Mum: No – this is not Doctor Who. They've stolen the TARDIS.
I try and explain it was a BBC/Fox co-production.
Mum: Well Fox paid the BBC a lot of money to let them do what they want.
I give up as McGann reveals his shoe's fit perfectly. Mum's not impressed. I'm laughing at this now but at the time it was fairly torturous. It's ok - our next blog is better, it has Tom Baker.
James: Just ignore everything else and focus on McGann.
The Master and Lee talk.
Mum: Why didn't he kill him?
James: Because he needs him. Listen.
Mum: How did the Master get in?
James: How did John Simm get into David Tennant's TARDIS?
James: Your argument is invalid.
Mum: I need to watch that – there must be a way!
There isn't. I hope.
Mum: This is an awesome inside of a TARDIS – I'll give you that. Good imagination. 'Cos the set's awesome – nothing else is. Was this film popular when it came out?
Me: In Britain yes.
Ooh the kiss.
Mum: So why do you not object to that?
James: Cos they do it – and they've not been 'will they/won't they'-ing for thirteen episodes.
Master: The Doctor is half-human.
James: We won't talk about that.
Mum: Why? Suddenly he's half human.
Another debate happens – and I explain that most fans just ignore the half human thing. Mum is NOT impressed.
The Doctor rushes after Grace.
Mum: And he can walk through windows – I remember this bit.
James: Yes but you have to watch it to understand that.
I refuse to answer any more questions for now.
Mum: I'm trying to form my opinion on the Doctor. He's not canon.
It carries on...
Mum: It's clearly not canon! I don't think people should consider him as canon!
James: But he is!
I can't stop laughing at this.
Mum: It should go Sylvester McCoy -
James: John Hurt?
Mum: Not John Hurt! It should go Sylvester McCoy then CE.
Mum: They've turned the Master into a comic book hero – write that down! He's like Spider-Man!
James: But John Simm's Doctor blasted energy out of his hands! Let's not discuss the Master.
Mum sighs during the confrontation with the Police Officer. Is everyone else feeling as depressed reading this as I am writing it?
Mum: Doctor on a Motorbike.
James: He used to drive a classic car..
She's not even enjoying the chase! I'm seriously struggling with this.
Mum: This is painful.James: Yes it is.
Mum: Well you wanted to watch it. I'm sorry but this is not canon.
She probably said more than that but it just blurs into “canon” and “not”.
Mum: So Sylvester McCoy goes into the Time War and regenerate into CE. He can't be real.
Mum: Why couldn't they have made a new series with McGann in?
He repeats his half human thing – we won't discuss it again.
Mum: The running round and the hitting the alarm's a bit Doctor-ish.
Mum: That's the first time it's looked like Doctor Who.
I'm just dreading her thoughts on the ending.. Mum picks up that you can't go back on your timeline and I explain that that and the half human thing are the only 'errors'.
Mum: That's two massive holes in it! And you regard this as canon!
The Master drezzzes for the occasion – and Mum doesn't complain at the campness, rather surprisingly.
Mum: Is that the cloak you got very excited about?
I saw the Master's cloak at the Doctor Who Experience and got very excited. Very.
Mum: So they put his coat in the Experience so it must count.
I cannot believe she STILL thinks this isn't canon!
The Master kills Chang Lee.
James: The Doctor does that to someone in The Seeds of Doom.
Ok so that's mostly true, ish. A few more comments about the TARDIS refusing to open the Eye.
She compares the Master's face flashing to everyone changing into him in The End of Time.
The world ends. Then doesn't end. The Master falls into the Eye of Harmony.
James: Is it canon yet?
Mum:... No. Though that bit was quite Doctor-ish.
Mum: You can't go back and save her because – you can't go back.
Yeah I think that'll happen anyway.
Mum: Otherwise he'd have saved a lot of people.
James: Except Adric.
Mum: Well. Aw the TARDIS is bringing them back to life for him.
The Doctor hits the TARDIS.
Mum: There are nice touches but that doesn't make it the real thing. Just cos it's got a few nods does not make it canon.
Ah dear. The episode rounds off with the Doctor and Grace kissing. Which, contrary to Mum's belief, I don't have a problem with.
The episode ends.
Mum: Do you want the score?
Mum: 3/10 for effort. No way should that be considered canon. Harsh but true. McGann could have developed if they'd have given him a proper series and not stuck him in some “parody”.
Next time she wants to watch a nice “classic, canon” episode.
The good news is... We've watched The Deadly Assassin! And it will be up very soon indeed! And it's not too negative either. So all's good.