Doctor Who Reactions: "Delta and the Bannermen" (SPOILERS)

1)And so we come to the only Doctor Who story that was (sort-of) named for an 80's post-punk band.

 

2)Lots of interesting guest cast in this - Don Henderson is quite effectively menacing as Gavrok, particularly since he seems to have destoyed the enitre Chimeron race with only about ten guys, none of whom seem to be spectacularly bright.

 

3)The Tollmaster is played by Ken Dodd, who is hugely famous in Britain - they say he's played every theater in the U.K. - but largely unknown in the U.S. I know that on the Hamlet commentary track, Branagh talks him up quite a bit as being hysterically funny. I guess that part of why it is so shocking when he's murdered a few scenes later.

 

4)Weissmuller is played by Stubby Kaye, who I mostly remember from Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, but who I gather is quite well-known for his work on Broadway, as well.

 

5)Richard Davies is amusing as Burton - I get the impression sometimes that the Welsh are Britain's answer to the hillbillies - presented as emotional, slightly-backwards types who talk funny.

 

6)For some reason, I find the notion of a satellite being hit by a bus to be amusing.

 

7)The music you hear when they get to the holiday camp is "Puffin' Billy", which Americans of my age will recognize as the old Captain Kangaroo theme.

 

8)I gather that Ray was under consideration as a possible replacment for Mel, along with Ace  No offense to Sara Griffiths, who does well enough here, but I suspect that Sophie Aldred was the right choice.

 

9)I thought McCoy had some good moments in htis - especially when Ray made him dance, and later when he tries to console her over Billy. It's intersesting - we're kind of on the cusp here between the early goofy, malaprop Seventh Doctor and the later grand cosmic schemer.

 

10)There's a notorious typo in the novelization of this story. On page 54, the Doctor is supposed to be "peering" over a shelf. Unfortunately, they left out the "r" in "peering"...

 

11)Interesting look for the Bannermen - sort-of fascist samurai Devo fans.

 

12)"Couldn't we take it for a bit of a spin, Doctor?"  Burotn's the one who should have been a new companion out of this!

 

13)Quite a good use of music in this - establising the period, and all.

 

14)"Where is he - your Uncle Sam?"

 

15)And we get Hugh Lloyd as Goronwy, who comes across as so serene and all-knowing that there has been much fanboy speculation that he's some kind of retired Time Lord.

 

16)"I'll treat it as if it were the TARDIS." Uh-oh.

 

17)If you look closely on the long shots on the bike, McCoy's got his glasses on.

 

18)"Head 'em up! Move 'em out!"  The Doctor watches Rawhide!

 

19)"Billy's just changing." Ray's better off without this loon. Wait'll he finds out that Chimeron queens devour and consume their mates after the "wedding flight".

 

20)"But then, love has never been known for its rationality."  I always had the feeling that he was speaking from experience here.

 

21))Cliffhangers:

  • Part One: "I don't just kill for money. It's also something I enjoy."
  • Part Two: "Actually, I think I may have gone a little too far."
  • Part Three: Goronwy watches as the TARDIS leaves...

 

Overall: I quite enjoyed this - lots of fun performances, and it moves along nicely. One of the better stories of this era, actually.

 

[Part of list of Doctor Who episodes here.]

 

 

 

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Stubby Kaye was in GUYS AND DOLLS, but he was also one of the singers (along with Nat King Cole) who had a running commentary for the entire length of the western movie CAT BALLOU.  This singing commentary was in turn the inspiration for the song that so many have complained about in THE GUNFIGHTERS.

I've seen Don Henderson in 3 movies-- BRANNIGAN, STAR WARS and THE BIG SLEEP.

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