Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Stones of Blood - "Anyone for tennis? ... it's an English expression. It means, is anyone coming outdoors to get soaked?"

BBC - Doctor Who Classic Episode Guide - The Stones of Blood - Details

Series 16, Story 3 (Overall Series Story #100) | Previous - Next | Index

Who von Däniken Stew

  • 1 Doctor
  • companions to taste
  • 1 coven of superstitious locals
  • 1 alien (aged thousands of years, if possible)
  • 1 elderly woman with deep knowledge of local history
  • select from Celtic, Arthurian, druidic, really any pre-Roman mythology something hippies or new-agers were ever interested in with supernatural overtones
  • heaps of polystyrene
  • rope, knives, candles, robes, altars (enough for a sacrifice scene)
  • 1 darkening filter
  • stuff that glows (can be substituted with post-production visual effects in a pinch)
  • copious amounts of stock footage (crashing waves, spook forest, etc.)
  • a cliff (for cliffhangers)
  • Put all ingredients in a rain-soaked rural area
  • Mush together
  • Serve in four to six portions

  • If it doesn't turn out, check your alien. Did it have a comprehensible plan and motivations? If just hanging about seducing old women, using its amazing powers to no apparent purpose except to scare the local primitives, it may not be compelling enough.
  • Use cliff judiciously. If combined with CSO to make wholly unconvincing cliffhanger for sake of having a cliffhanger, product will curdle.

Four and Prof. Amelia Rumsford at the Nine Travellers
It almost turned out. Parts of it are tasty enough. The turn from modern-day Celtic goddess worshipping druids to hyperspace travelling justice machines is fun. Elderly Professor Rumsford is fun to watch, riding up on her bike and scaring off all those druids and whatnot. Miss Fay as her younger assistant with a dark secret is an intriguing character -- until we realize she makes no sense, at all.

Oh, and I forgot to mention in writing up "The Pirate Planet" that it's part of the Key to Time sequence, so I should probably note that this one is too. That it's all but irrelevant, and actually is a bit annoying in both, but especially here, is an indication of how poorly conceived the idea was. Still, apart from the tedious exposition and utterly capricious warning about the Black Guardian, it's not the major problem with this one. You need a chef with discipline and creativity to make this stew turn out; if you let a dabbler throw it all together in a pot, you just get mush. It's not the worst mush. I ate and would eat it again. But you wouldn't want to serve it to guests.

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