Delete! Delete! Delete!

Wednesday, May 3, 2006 by

“Oh, and if you spot one Cyberman at the back who’s a little bit slower than all the others, that’s Gethin from Blue Peter.” So quipped Russell T Davies at the latest Doctor Who launch, held last night at the Apollo West End in London.

This time around the press were treated to a movie-length screening of “Rise of the Cybermen” and “The Age of Steel”, two episodes shunted into one 90-minute wodge. And it was great. Really great. Roger Lloyd-Pack played a quintessential Who baddy as John Lumic, all rolling eyes, and portentous dialogue (referring to his sidekick as “old friend” throughout – that kind of thing).

This was a proper, sprawling old school adventure. It sounds like damning it with faint praise to compare it to the musty Hartnell story “The Dalek Invasion of Earth”, but with London closed down and the Doctor* tearing around the city post-curfew in a clapped out old van accompanied by the requisite rebels, that’s exactly what it made me think of. But good. Really good. Really, really good.

Incredibly, a scene set to the The Lion Sleeps Tonight is probably my favourite of the new series thus far.

So, anyway, let’s get to the gossip. Attendee of note: Gethin! He scrupulously ordered non-alcoholic drinks all night.

After the screening came the usual Q&As. RTD and Tom MacRae first fielded the Sundays and the magazines – the group I found myself in this time around. Not a huge amount to report, bar RTD revealing this would probably be the last press launch for the show this year. Oh, and Sad Tony will not be appearing in the Peter Kay ep. Paul Simpson from Dreamwatch magazine visibly discomfited the rest of the room by asking a long and boring question regarding “Rise of the Cybermen”‘s supposed debt to both Marc Platt’s Big Finish audio adventure “Spare Parts”, and the BBC webcast, “Real Time”. Then, inevitably, the whole thing was interrupted by Noel Clarke pulling a moony through the window.

And cue Noel, Camille Coduri (“Stand back, PVC coming through!” she quipped, as she pushed her way through the journos, whilst clad in the world’s smallest skirt), Roger Lloyd-Pack and Andrew Hayden-Smith for their turn. Nothing too substantial came out of this, either, but then, questions were hardly flowing. Noel tried to play the class clown a little too hard, but I’m sure when I write up my transcript, there’ll be enough usable stuff there.

Naturally, Paul Simpson had white socks on. “Very ’80s!” declared Ms Coduri.

* Essential information: He’s wearing blue Converse in this one.


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