Another Doctor Who Blog

Archive for November, 2013

Ian Chesterton: Science Experiment

ian front

Cliches are funny things, they can be both annoying and undetectable, depending on how they are handled, and in some cases they can be necessary as well. When Doctor Who was started in the early sixties, it became apparent that a couple cliches were needed for the show’s weekly serial adventure concept to work.

The Doctor was set to be not only the shows name sake and star, but also the brains of the operation, the one who would be coming up with the solutions to all the sticky situations the crew of the Tardis would be getting into.

They also had Barbara and Susan, one a history teacher who would be both a fount of knowledge in the historical episodes and along with Susan would find herself in the (cliche) typical trouble female leads found themselves at the time, although Susan did break the mold of the usual teen age girl in certain aspects, being an alien who had been traveling alongside her grandfather the Doctor for a long time.

Most cliche ridden of all was science teacher Ian Chesterton, who also was to be the action man of the series, the one who would do all of the physical fighting and have the bumpiest ride along the way, getting to experience the terror of being both a Roman slave and the glory of being knighted by King Richard the Lionheart, not to mention having to endure a traveling companion in the Doctor who could not get his name right.

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Doctor Who & the Video Pirate

max headroom pirate

On November 22nd, 1987, a mysterious thing happened on the shrouded mist covered mass that was called Fang Rock, and it was not the attack on a group of stranded boaters and lighthouse workers by a glowing green Ruton. Rather it was one of most infamous cases of signal hijacking since Captain Midnight had hijacked HBO’s signal in 1986.

It began at another station in Chicago WGN channel nine, a “Superstation” that was also available on some cable packages at the time. At about 9:10 P.M., a man wearing a Max Headroom mask (A mask of a science fiction TV show character that had recently been seen in the US on ABC television, and a popular Coca-Cola ad spokesperson.), interrupted sportscaster Dan Roahn, for about forty five seconds during the recap of that days Chicago Bears football game. The engineers at WGN television quickly changed the STL (Studio to Transmitter Link.), thwarting the hijackers attempt to further break into the signal. The Image had no sound at that time, and Roahn quickly apologized for the intrusion, although a bit distracted by the event, and went on with the rest of the newscast.

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