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The latest issue of "The Terrible Zodin" is out, featuring artwork from :iconeurasia-art:, :iconthechrisoffenric:, :iconditadipolvere:, :iconjlfletch:, :iconhokutochan15:, :iconmiss-alex-aphey:, :iconalixpaugam:, :icondeedeetee:.…


I was tagged by :iconthebrassglass: in a meme about OCs—I love these things!


1) Post these rules.
2) Post 8 facts about your character.
3) Tag 8 other characters. (Post their names along with their creators' avatars.)


Dorinda Carter Paint It Black - for Thought Up Contest by theterriblezodin

    1.      Dorinda’s favorite memory is when she and her cousin Charles were children and visited the Welsh sea resort of Rhyll with their families.

    2.      Dorinda’s husband was a northern industrialist and from him she has inherited an inherent distrust of strikes and working “troublemakers.”

    3.      Dorinda is naturally clumsy and is poorly suited to the fashion of the day, wide crinoline skirts.

    4.      Dorinda once met the Tenth Doctor and Martha Jones without knowing it. 

    5.      Dorinda and her husband never had children.

    6.      Dorinda enjoys train travel, despite the fact her cousin Charles assures her “the Devil travels by rail.”

    7.      Dorinda was quite a bit younger than her husband and when she married him and moved to Manchester, she sought solace in books to cure her loneliness.  This was mostly the poetry of the Graveyard Poets even though they were somewhat unfashionable by the 1840s. 

    8.      Dorinda is also a fan of J S Bach even though his music is somewhat unfashionable too. 


I tag:

Ginevra by :iconnikemv:

Nauxene by :iconliberlibelula:

Yana by :iconfidisart:

Sridar by :iconsquonkhunter:

Sarah Locke by :iconaymstersilver:

Calico Jack Rackham by :iconpiratehearts:

Ed Chauncey by :iconoly-rrr:

Dr Marino by :iconmaripazvillar:


Knock yourselves out!!



No, I'm not starting a Patreon (heaven forbid).  David Ardinaryas Lojaya, now Ardinaryas,  recently ended his Patreon.  I joined Patreon so I could be one of his supporters.  I didn't really know about the website before then. I absolutely love his art (though much of it has to do with gaming about which I have no knowledge whatsoever).  So it's too bad, but I guess he's gone on to bigger and better things. I have to admit, it makes me wish I made more money so that I could pledge to more people and pledge higher amounts.  

I'm still supporting MaripazVillar on Patreon (you should too OMG), but I potentially have the means to support another artist month by month now.  Are there any recommendations? 

ETA: Been incredibly busy so have not had time to grant as many wishes as I would have liked.

Second year of doing this … I love it!  People are so generous, and I enjoy participating.  My elves were busy last year.  Last year, I wished for an artist/collaborator on The Spy.  No one granted the wish per se, but now I do have a collaborator!! 

See saniika for more info - Elf christmas Wishlist 2015
Welcome to the project Elf Christmas Wishes 2015. Anyone can join, asking and giving. Id be happy to see you participating again and invite the new people too!
What also special about this year - its 6th year I host and participate :)
This year I start very early, since I want to give myself a lot of time to participate. I look forward to see your wishlists and stories about your experiences!  Interested? Please scroll down!

TargetHow to make the list is easy:Target
:snowflake:Step 1.
Make a post in your dA journal (please include this manual - I won’t grant

Step 1.

Make a post in your dA journal (please include this manual - I won’t grant any wishes, if I see no manual). The post should contain your list of 10 holiday wishes. The wishes can be anything at all, from simple and fandom-related ("I'd love a Snape/Hermione icon that's just for me") to medium ("I wish for _____ on DVD") to really big ("All I want for Christmas is a new car/computer/house/TV.") The important thing is, make sure these wishes are things you really, truly want.

If you wish for real-life things (not fics or icons), make sure you include some sort of contact info in your post, whether it's your address or just your email address where Santa (or one of his elves) could get in touch with you.

Step 2.

Surf around your friends list (or friends friends, or just random journals) to see who has posted their list. And now here's the important part:
If you see a wish you can grant, and it's in your heart to do so, make someone's wish come true. Sometimes someone's trash is another's treasure, and if you have a leather jacket you don't want or a gift certificate you won't use--or even know where you could get someone's dream purebred Basset Hound for free--do it.

You needn't spend money on these wishes unless you want to. The point isn't to put people out, it's to provide everyone a chance to be someone else's holiday elf--to spread the joy. Gifts can be made anonymously or not--it's your call.

There are no rules with this project, no guarantees, and no strings attached. Just...wish, and it might come true. Give, and you might receive. And you'll have the joy of knowing you made someone's holiday special.

Step 3.

The list:

    1.       Anything Grumpy Cat

    2.       Recommendations for good, long-lasting archival ink pens with brush tip to cover large areas with uniform black.  I have tried so many and they seem to run out of ink immediately.  It’s very frustrating!

    3.       I seem to run out of the grey Copic tones very quickly.  I am always looking for more greys.

    4.       Like last year, a holiday card.  I always reciprocate with my own.  E-mail me, I’ll e-mail you one in return!

    5.       As ever, Spy-related OC artwork.  Eeren  and SeiAni fulfilled this wish last year, eeeee!  See…

    6.       I would really love for my poetry either to improve or to start getting published again (or both!).  2009 – 2013, I seemed to publish poetry like no tomorrow.  Now, I haven’t published any in more than a year, and I still don’t have a first collection out.  :-(

    7.       The Shadow fan fic or artwork.  That would really make my day.  (Especially if it’s really romantic Lamont x Margo!)  More info here:…

    8.       Any recommendations on good audio/radio drama.  I’m always looking out for new stuff.  At the moment I’m compiling a master list of Christmas audio drama, so any tips on lesser known stuff, I would be very grateful for. 

    9.       I wish someone would fund MaripazVillar to work on her comics full time.  I just love reading her stuff and selfishly wish she could do that full-time to satisfy my yen for more Superstition. 

    10.   Your good wishes and prayers.  I would like to be able to stay in my country of residence with my partner come January 2016, so I’m hoping the Powers That Be will allow me to do so.  Also the health and happiness of my family is paramount, so any wishes and prayers with even those abstract concepts in mind would be appreciated.

Wishes I granted
- I sent her some tea
NikeMV - I sent her a book about the French Revolution

Wishes others granted for me
sent me some good thoughts
bloodrose83 sent me a book of Grumpy Cat stickers! 

The Elves can reach me here on DA via note or on my email (fatoprofugus17 (at)

I will be granting wishes until 6th of January 2016. You can select any other date you are comfortable with - there is no rule about this!

I now have ideas for granting wishes for 4 others—let’s see if I can put them into motion!

... of bad-@$$ mofo.

I've been mainly using Francis Grose's A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, originally published in 1785.  There's plenty of slang words there for excrement and sluts (!). 

Anyone hazard a guess?
Dear all . . . it's finally done!

I will try to contact all artists who are published in this issue ... for now, please see the website to download the newest issue.

Hope you enjoy!
Not many people follow me, but to those who do ...

To expand my repertoire and to practice art more often, I'd like to open up art trades.  Note or comment if you are interested. 
Enter to win art from a very talented artist, NikeMV.  All the rules are on her journal here: 

Have fun!
RULES (please read)
1. For the first 5 people who comment on this journal, I will feature one of their characters I like the most and comment my choice. (I will go to your gallery and pick one character and one picture I like, you don't need to tell me which one)
2. If you comment, please do the same in your journal, and put me in the first feature slot. The idea of this is not to get a free feature, it is to spread art around for everyone! I feature you after you made the journal.

1.  Sleyf

This is going to be fun!

saniika had this wonderful idea and by golly, I’m going for it!  (See the original post:…

Thanks all you good little Elves!  I look forward to participating next year.

Step 1.

Make a post in your dA journal (please include this manual). The post should contain your list of 10 holiday wishes. The wishes can be anything at all, from simple and fandom-related ("I'd love a Snape/Hermione icon that's just for me") to medium ("I wish for _____ on DVD") to really big ("All I want for Christmas is a new car/computer/house/TV.") The important thing is, make sure these wishes are things you really, truly want.

If you wish for real-life things (not fics or icons), make sure you include some sort of contact info in your post, whether it's your address or just your email address where Santa (or one of his elves) could get in touch with you.

Step 2.

Surf around your friends list (or friends friends, or just random journals) to see who has posted their list. And now here's the important part:
If you see a wish you can grant, and it's in your heart to do so, make someone's wish come true. Sometimes someone's trash is another's treasure, and if you have a leather jacket you don't want or a gift certificate you won't use--or even know where you could get someone's dream purebred Basset Hound for free--do it.

You needn't spend money on these wishes unless you want to. The point isn't to put people out, it's to provide everyone a chance to be someone else's holiday elf--to spread the joy. Gifts can be made anonymously or not--it's your call.

There are no rules with this project, no guarantees, and no strings attached. Just...wish, and it might come true. Give, and you might receive. And you'll have the joy of knowing you made someone's holiday special.

Step 3.

The list (I've got 9)
1.  I’d love some more comments on dA.  I have a core of loyal Watchers, but it can feel a bit lonely from time to time.  SeiAni and Cherrywind101 did this for me!  Thanks guys!

2.  A holiday card.  I always recipocate with my own.  E-mail me, I’ll e-mail you one in return!

3.  A carton of egg nog.  It’s somewhat difficult to find in the UK and it seems ridiculous to try to whip up a huge batch with dozens of eggs just for me. Or even tips on where to buy it in the UK!  I never did get my egg nog, but I tried the Dutch Advocaat.  While I enjoyed it, it tasted more like Bailey's to me than egg nog. 

4.  Feedback on my radio play, The Mesmerist.  You can listen to it for free here:… Note me—I’d love to hear what you think.

5.  I need a new crow quill nib for pen and ink work.  Mine gave up the ghost.

6.  A book on watercolour technique.  Anything would help me improve.

7.  I’m so jonesin’ for OC artwork, it isn’t even funny.  I really want a piece of Harvey chopping wood with an axe.  Haha, don’t judge.  Or anything at all.  Draw me something.  I’d be so pleased.  Lucky me!  SeiAni and Eeren were so sweet and did this for me.  Thank you sooo much!

8.  An artist to collaborate with on The Spy. (See the kind journal MaripazVillar made about this:…) This is really important to me, I’ve worked very hard on it for the past year and have a publisher who might be interested in volume 1 at least.  I really need a partner on this who enjoys drawing the 18th century and is receptive to a story that is action-packed but also quite heavy on dialogue.  A better artist than I am would help, but it’s also hard to stay motivated without some kind of incentive to keep going.

9.  A career in radio drama.  Ha!

Wishes I granted:
I bought a commission which helped an artist raise money to see her fiance at Christmas. 
I sent an e-card to an artist & a snail mail card to another artist.
I made something for another artist.
OC artwork for FadedLightning and x-chaoticdawn-x .
I sent stickers to another artist.

The Elves can reach me here on DA via note or on my email (fatoprofugus17 (at) 

I will be granting wishes until 6th of January 2015. You can select any other date you are comfortable with - there is no rule about this!

  • Listening to: Phantom of the Opera
I have many favorite vids of my favorite ships, and as time passes, I start to associate the song with the ship.  And now I've started to associate a song with an OC ship of my own! 

Do you do this?  What are the songs and what are the pairings??
Got tagged by :iconmaybelletea:

1. For each of the 20 first people ... make that 10 first people, (not that many people watch me, so I'll be realistic) answering this journal, I will put their avatar and the 5 deviations I like most from their gallery on the list!
2. If you're featured, you have to do the same in your journal, putting me as the first place. The idea of this is not to get a free feature, it is to spread art around for everyone!

So, first:  :iconmaybelletea:

Noots n Herms by maybelletea
Puppy Craft Time is Serious Business by maybelletea You Can See Your Breath by maybelletea Want me to study with you? by maybelletea Braiding by maybelletea
I don't have the ability to make a poll, but if I did, I would ask about your luck with raffles, giveaways, contests, and prizes on dA.  'Cause I'm relatively new to them.  I entered one to do with MC Hammer, and then I got really lucky with Sleyf's to help InkyRose.  Seriously, that was super lucky! 

So now I'm going to try again with maybelletea, who, like InkyRose, has a mastery of watercolor which makes me weep with envy.  Also she does sketchpages which really rawk my world. 

So join in the lawks--if you feel lucky!…
I do!

Guess that shows my age.

Go check out saniika to enjoy some Hammer-age.  Or pugs.  Or something.
I got 50 llamas! 

What should I do to celebrate?!
How could I forget the marvelous MaripazVillar, who breathed life into Harvey Birch and Katy Haynes?!  Truly an accomplished superb visual artist and a thoughtful and all-around nice person!

***ETA:  I finally figured out how to do tags.  Duh.

Well, as my birthday is coming up (theterriblezodin's birthday is 23 November because the fanzine launched that day; I mean my actual birthday) I wanted to give a shout out to 30 of my favorite dA artists because dA has enriched my life, and these artists have inspired me to keep drawing. I know I should spend more time generally on my art, but with all my other commitments, it can be hard. So they deserve a pat on the back.

So, in no particular order:

  1. clover-teapot  is a very hard-working digital artist who I recently discovered. I have absolutely no digital art ability so I admire it when others produce such stunning pieces in really eye-popping color. Clover avatar by clover-teapot

  2. SmudgeThistle  Expecto Patronum by SmudgeThistle

    is one of the most prolific artists I know. I love her expressive, colorful Doctor Who art, which embraces everything in canon. I'm especially heartened to see her Classic Doctors art. She is one of the most frequently published artists in TTZ. I love her dreamy Eighth Doctor.

  3. Drivaaar  6620 by Drivaaar

    I know primarily from his work which I published in my
    Ashes to Ashes/Life on Mars fanzine, 9:06, and then because he graciously allowed us to interview him in TTZ regarding his coloring work on Doctor Who comics. If I could afford to, I'd have him color all my own inked panels.

  4. ancalinar  Dis, again by ancalinar

    has drawn all kinds of things I like, but it's her fabulous
    Hobbit/Lord of the Rings inspired art that has made me follow her Desert Oasis comic with baited breath. I loved all her work on Dis and other female dwarves (and not being afraid to follow the directive that they have beards, too, just like their men). I adore her expressive sketch style in Desert Oasis and am really jealous of it, in fact, as it looks so effortless.

  5. squonkhunter  2nd Basilio Dump by squonkhunter

    I discovered recently for her propensity to draw 18
    th century men (and make them hot, generally). I love her project of animating Gulliver's Travels and her obsession with opera. She also keeps a blog.

  6. AlixPaugam  Barbara Wright: digital by AlixPaugam

    is another prolific
    Doctor Who artist whose energetic sketches have made her frequently published in TTZ as of late.

  7. breath-art  likely doesn't know I exist. Nevertheless, his Lord of the Rings abstracted/stained glass window art is mind-blowing, and I have bought his prints as presents for friends and for myself.

  8. Sceith-A  draws all kinds of pretty stuff that I love. For example, though Tom Hiddleston does nothing for me, her photo-realistic portraits of him are amazing. It's really her Richard Armitage art which is breathtaking, however, whether as Mr Thornton from North and South, Guy of Gisborne from Robin Hood, or Thorin from The Hobbit. I am very envious of her mad skillz. Das Rheingold by Sceith-A

  9. jubah 's Tar-Vanimelde by jubah

    style is so distinctive, which is really an asset when you do hard-core Tolkien fan art (in the sense that much of it is from
    The Simarillion and the more obscure realms). She does a lot more than just Tolkien fan art, however. All her work is beautiful and bright.

  10. I just adore kimberly80 's Hobbit fan art—photorealistic and colorful art ahoy! Tolkien by kimberly80

  11. orookayasu  is a genius. Her Doctor Who art is absolutely amazing, and I feel privileged that we've managed to snag her for so many issues of TTZ. She has done some wonderful Master art and seems to be as adept in black-and-white as she is in color. me by orookayasu

  12. squidlarkin  DW: Happy Holidays by squidlarkin

    is another fabulous artist whom we've managed to publish several times in TTZ. She did the cover to issue 10.

  13.   FidisART I recently discovered. I just love her fluid sketch style, and I was so excited by the fact that she offered “couples” sketch pages as one of her commissions, I HAD to have one. No ifs, ands, or buts! I HAD TO!! And what she came up with was absolutely lovely. Having an artist like this willing to give life to your OCs is a real privilege. Vintage Fidi by FidisART

  14.  danmcdaid  has been a favorite artist of mine since his debut strip in Doctor Who Magazine, “Hotel Historia.” Since then, he has just gone from strength to strength, and his strips for DWM have been among the best of the last few years, if not of all time. Unfortunately I don't keep up with his newest stuff like I should. He was kind enough to provide 9:06 and an issue of TTZ with covers, and has allowed us to interview Majenta Pryce, one of the best companions ever. I can't say enough good things about him. Daak vs Dalek by danmcdaid

  15.   Draculasaurus  new ID charcoal by Draculasaurus

    also has a prestigious association with TTZ, and his moody watercolors marry perfectly with his favorite Doctor Who era to depict, Jon Pertwee's tenure. Also he loves Pigbin Josh.

  16. lberghol 's Harry Potter fan art I discovered eons before I ever joined dA, and I absolutely adored it. For me, far more than the films ever were, her depictions of the characters in the novels were definitive. Valentines 209 -HP by lberghol

  17.   Katikut is a phenomenon. Her art is so stunningly professional; I have several small prints of her work surrounding me at my work desk to provide inspiration and just as objets d'art. She's also an impressive historical costumier. My Christine Daae Dress @ the Opera Garnier by Katikut

  18. EriksDesdemona probably wanted to strangle me after I found her dA account and began favoriting everything she had ever done. Let me assure you, it was never spamming: I just was blown away by her pinpoint accuracy: all the images I had seen in my head of Erik and other Phantom of the Opera characters over the twelve or so years since I read the novel had become manifest in her art.

  19.   eurasia-art is an incredibly talented young woman who has done a lot for TTZ, both in terms of visual art and writing (in a different language than her mother tongue, I might add) and who I consider a friend. I have been very lucky in that my association with TTZ has allowed me to make friends all over the world with wonderful people like her.<da:thumb id="242669112"/>

  20.   SteveAndrew is a superb draughtsman and inker who draws all the things that I love (Doctor Who, Batman, etc). Furthermore, he does really ingenious Target novelization covers. He should be rich and famous by now. Vote Six (2013) by SteveAndrew

  21. Mad Love Profile by memorypalace

    I love Harley Quinn and I love the Joker. However, I haven't found many artists on dA who I consistently turn to for fan art of them. memorypalace  is one. He draws some mean Doctor Who stuff as well.

  22.   monsterartist  is a very talented professional who specializes in paintings of cult horror (his passion for Godzilla, the Hulk, and Fritz the Nite Owl are legendary). However, he has also done some excellent work for TTZ. Also he loves pugs. The Tenth Doctor by monsterartist

  23.   konijnemans always manages to pleasantly surprise me with her Doctor Who art, which illustrates (among other things) the Eighth Doctor audio adventures with Charley and Lucie, which are woefully under-represented in mainstream Doctor Who art. She's very witty. 2013 by konijnemans

  24.   harbek  12 Go Team TARDIS! by harbek

    is another one of those artists whose photo-realistic style is so good, you want to tear your hair out (in a good way). Her David Tennant portraits are particularly good. Aw, heck, everything she's done is worth looking at.

  25.  whatthefoucault  The Sexiest Legs On Television by whatthefoucault

    rocks the universe. Browsing thorugh her prolific Doctor Who art collection is almost like absorbing 50 years of fandom. I particularly like her Evelyn and Six art and her dressed down pairings (like what the Brigadier and Three do on the weekends, for example).

  26. deedeetee 's work has graced many an issue of TTZ. I love her bright, graphic style. Warhol's Eleven by deedeetee

  27.   mustamirri  Clara Who Doctor Who by mustamirri

    has a very interesting style, quite chunky and full of volume and strong lines. I really liked her Classic Doctor Who stuff, but now I am addicted to her Mucha-inspired companion art. Really unique and utterly beautiful objets d'art.

  28.  ladyyatexel  Star Trek : Skant Space Nine by ladyyatexel

    pulled out all the stops several times to contribute art to TTZ, helping with the black-and-white cover to our Troughton-era tribute issue, and creating the most amazing music-inspired Doctor/companion art. She is incredibly talented and always trying new things.

  29.  Marc137  Bane Rising 2 - For Sale by Marc137

    is another artist who draws a lot of my favorite things, including Doctor Who (he's contributed to several issues of TTZ) and Batman. He has a lovely painterly style.

  30.   Miss-Alex-Aphey  Time, space, music by Miss-Alex-Aphey

    has done some really sweet digital art for Doctor Who. We published her recently in TTZ from her series of gender-bending Doctor Who costumes.

30/11/13 “Day of the Doctor”
“I’ve had many faces, many lives, some I don't admit to.” –The Doctor

I watch few Doctor Who stories more than once if they are available on iPlayer.  I'm uncertain why.  I don't want to spoil the magic?  Ruin my first impressions?  Whatever the case may be, I made an exception with “Day of the Doctor” because my feelings toward it verged on the manic depressive.  I was so excited during broadcast that every single thing made me gasp for breath (even the things that, right off the bat, annoyed me).  I missed things because I was watching with another fan and had to express whatever I was feeling.  Immediately after it finished, I felt depressed, not necessarily because of the story itself (though a few things disappointed me, naturally enough!) but because a year's worth (or more) of anticipation was over.  (That's how I get with Christmas, too.)  This turned into a general malaise with the story, which I thought was probably unfair.  The only way to give it a fair hearing, and express myself with some fluency and intelligence (though, perhaps, saying nothing new) was to watch it again.

My general impression after the second viewing is positive.  There are several logistical problems and some matters of taste, but overall, I consider it a success, especially when one remembers the enormous pressures on this to be the “be-all, end-all,” once-in-lifetime multi-Doctor special.  I suspect we will look back on it with increasing fondness, though, like all stories, there will come a period when we all despise it!  

“Day of the Doctor” knew its strengths and its limitations.  Its limitations included complete practical inability to fit eleven (twelve?) actors who once played the Doctor in any meaningful sense into one, slightly-longer-than-an-hour family-friendly special with any kind of coherency and intelligence (not to mention, three of these actors were dead!).  It tipped its hat to this ritual, but was not self-indulgent to do more (however much that disappointed me, on the fannish level).  In the end, its approach to this was remarkably like that of Big Finish in The Four Doctors, which is one of the best, if not the best, multi-Doctor story yet produced.  It could not either—despite fanciful stretches of my imagination to the contrary-fit in every single companion the Doctor ever had.  Therefore, it played to its strengths:  a comparatively big budget for CGI; two well-beloved, keen actors willing to share with a third guest star and recreate “The Three Doctors” all over again; tastes of the show's mythology (some might say a bit too much of that, and a bit too much rewriting!); and snappy and concise in-jokes in dialogue for the fans that wouldn't bother the casual viewers.

I will try to keep this review more sophisticated than an “ooh I liked that, I hated that,” though this story is more personal than most.

The first twenty seconds were inspired and guaranteed to make a fan wet themselves.  Thank you, O Lord, for giving this anniversary special the original theme tune and opening title sequence rather than that monstrosity that had been lurching from our screens last year.  The fade-in from black-and-white, the policeman, Totters Lane, Coal Hill School, all of it was an enjoyable summation of going home from where we'd started—though the inner fan was naturally disappointed when (as far as we can tell) nothing more self-referential was going on other than Clara had a new job at Coal Hill School (what was she teaching, anyway?  You can quote Marcus Aurelius in just about any context).  This was the first of my logistical “huh?” moments as, forgive me if I missed something, I thought we ended the last cliffhanger with the Eleventh Doctor and Clara in Trenzalore?  I confess to being completely confused.  That is not a comfortable vantage point from which to sit.

More pros and cons awaited me.  I loved the visual reference to the TV Movie as Clara rode her motorbike into the TARDIS where she was met by the Doctor.  I hated that she could click her fingers and close the TARDIS (I have never liked that, dare I say it, trope).  Fortunately, things improved vastly with the distinctive notes of Murray Gold's UNIT theme tune.  If Brigadier Alastair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart wasn't going to be in it, then damn it, at least Kate Stewart was!  She is a charming and wonderful New Who character, with faint traces of Harriet Jones (before “The Christmas Invasion”).  I have mixed feelings about her daughter Osgood.  (I was confused when she first appeared on the scene at the Tower and thought she was Kate's younger sister.)  On one level, I feel I'm being made fun of.  Osgood is the prototypical fan girl.  She has a Tom Baker scarf; not Tom Baker's actual scarf, not a handknitted one, the commercial one you've been able to buy for the past few years, presumably since cosplay and younger fan girls became more mainstream.  She's got a lab coat but she's no Liz Shaw.  She's got glasses and is clearly dorky.  For one thing, it seems a bit nepotistic for Kate to have her daughter working with her in UNIT.  What is Osgood's function?  To “wish” for the Doctor to come and save her!  She's his fan girl!  Many of my friends (who happen to be female and have been fans for thirty years) have often daydreamed about being whisked away in the TARDIS.  Somehow I feel the inclusion of someone who's supposed to represent “us” is mocking rather than inclusive.  Maybe I'm being oversensitive and not taking it in the correct generous spirit.  And the name implies that like Clara/Oswin, she's another of the Vast Toffee's feminine puzzles to unravel.  When the Zygon double mentions that Osgood's sister is prettier than her, I wondered if she was actually, secretly, Clara's sister?  I have a feeling this is another sleight-of-hand that's going to come back to haunt us.

But back to the positives.  The overhead shots as the UNIT helicopter transports the TARDIS to the National Gallery were duly impressive (and I'm just kicking myself that I wasn't in Trafalgar Square to see this filmed).  (I thought the Doctor was going to fall out of the TARDIS and that was going to be the major dilemma of the story-the Eleventh Doctor's life flashing before his eyes before he regenerated??) As the Doctor and Clara are explained away as a Derren Brown stunt, Clara is incredulous that the Doctor ever had a job (aren't we all?).  

One thing that I have to rave about in this story is its elevation of visual artwork and the written word.  Great stuff for the watching multitudes of teeny kiddies.  It's set in the NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY, for crying out loud!  Mind you, there is a precedent:  the Sarah Jane Adventure story “Mona Lisa's Revenge” which I found extraordinary at the time, giving, as it did, real life and soul to oil paintings, via alien mineral pigments.  The Vast Toffee takes this in a slightly direction, personifying in No More aka Gallifrey Falls the Fall of Arcadia-“a slice of real time.”  This was where the budget was well-spent, giving us a beautiful and wholly convincing 3-D image.  Well-done.  

I about had a heart attack as we went into the painting because inside I was screaming, “Nooooooo, I want the Time War to be a mystery, no no no no!”  (And in GARAMOND, too!)  Fortunately, despite the unashamed chance to blow the budget once more on scenes of cinematic sophistication that would have made Waris Hussein cry in 1963, the Vast Toffee restrained himself and only gave us a bit of the Time War.  Phew.  It's still (mostly) a mystery.  Who are all these Gallifreyans, by the way?  They don't seem to be Time Lords.  They don't seem to be Shobogans.  

Last time we saw the War Doctor (that's what I'm calling him; sniff in distaste if you will), he looked a bit like Ian Holm playing young Bilbo in Fellowship of the Ring with his forehead taped back not to show the wrinkles, reflected in the Ring.  Countless years later, his costume has changed from the one McGann gave him, and he looks even more war-torn than the Ninth Doctor (with good reason). Arriving on Gallifrey, the War Doctor used words once again as his weapon, which totally made me geek out.  “NO MORE.”  

Now someone, please tell me where this bit of the Fall of Arcadia fits in with what we saw of Rassilon and the Master and the Doctor's mother (or whoever she was) in “The End of Time”?  In the Time Lord War Chamber, the Time Lord generals (with interesting costumes) note a break-in in their weapon storage.  “We've used them all against the Daleks.”  (That Doctor, always breaking and entering.)  The War Doctor has stolen the Galaxy-Eater, and he's taken it . . . to a barn?  To Trenzalore?  WTF?

I was incredibly careful about not spoiling myself on the special.  The only facts I could not shield myself from where I knew that David Tennant was back, and I was pretty sure Billie Piper was back.  However, I did not realize-nor did anyone?-that she was playing the interface to the Galaxy-Eater.  For those who hate Rose (I am not one of them), satisfied?  It's not bloody Rose, she's gone all Idris-like (which annoyed me, quite frankly, at first).  Then I quite liked the idea that the interface took Rose's shape.  I liked it on several levels.  I remember waaaay back in 2006, in my review of “The Parting of the Ways”-well, I was then and am still a hearty Nine/Rose shipper.  There was something burning and sacred in their unspoken love (in my opinion), manifest in the kiss and her incarnation as Bad Wolf.  I speculated in that review on why the Doctor had fallen in love with Rose (the most obvious example of his espousing romantic love; shippers have drawn their own conclusions, of course, about previous pairings).  I said something about why did Heathcliff love Cathy?  Because she was Cathy. She wasn't a very good person, neither was he, but there was something linking them.  Now I feel a bit vindicated, because if “Rose” was implanted into the Doctor's subconscious, the Bad Wolf is there somewhere, and that's why he fell in love with her.  I also like it because it means they got around having to write Rose back into the series (and I think that character's gone as far as she can go).  “The interface is hot.”  “Well, I do my best.”  

I confess, once all the literature kept telling us, “And introducing John Hurt as the Doctor,” I wasn't sure if I would like him as the War Doctor.  I know he's a good actor, but I just wasn't sure he would fit the part.  Approximately when he told the Interface “I have no desire to survive this,” I realized he would be fine, great, even.  “Then that's your punishment,” the Interface told him, as Murray Gold's “The Doctor's Theme” played softly in the background.  SOB.  Then the Interface said, “I'm opening windows on your future,” which felt very A Christmas Carol as the Interface is a little bit of a Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come (that Charles Dickens, influencing science fiction for centuries to come!).  

Back in the present-day (?), the Eleventh Doctor, the Doctor has seen Elizabeth I's credentials (and a rather underwhelming portrait of her and David Tennant), been told he's the Curator of the Under Gallery (what is it with the Vast Toffee and Under-things?), and I find it a bit hard to believe that in more than four hundred years, Elizabeth's private art collection has not needed the Doctor before now?  Also, what does Elizabeth I deem “too dangerous” art-wise?  Isn't that like censorship?  We have a flashback (or flashforward, or something?) to 1562.  “Why am I wasting my time with you?” asks Elizabeth I.  “I'm not English,” says David Tennant.  I wondered briefly how easily we could shift back into Tenth Doctor mode, which, let's be honest, was written mostly by Russell T Davies not Steven Moffat.  The answer is:  very easily (“It's a machine that goes ding!” and the parody of his speech from “Voyage of the Damned,” “ . . . basically just a rabbit, aren't you?  . . . carry on . . . just a general warning . . .”).  The other question is, why does the Vast Toffee like to have David Tennant riding horses?  (Unless that was written in as a response to certain quarters of fandom and their reaction to “The Girl in the Fireplace”?)  The real problem is the characterization of Elizabeth I.  I don't know that New Who has had a good track record with female historical celeb of the month (unless it's just me).  I disliked the portrayal of Queen Victoria, and while Agatha Christie was okay, Elizabeth I really disappointed me.  I think I could have almost believed her to be the flippant, lovestruck flibbertigibbit presented here if she was still a princess.  1562 is still relatively early in her reign, but I think the portrayal owes more to BlackAdder than to anything else.  That version of “Queenie” is hilarious but not good for promoting even very vague historical accuracy!  Sure, you can argue we'd all be melting goo if dating the Tenth Doctor, but I had higher hopes for Elizabeth after the hints we were going to get them getting hitched.  (I can't tell you how many pieces of artwork I saw on deviantART by fans, and they were really good.  I'd much rather believe in their interpretation of events than what we saw here.)

After realizing Elizabeth wasn't a princess, I thought maybe she was acting strangely because she was a Zygon.    Oh, yes, by the way, Zygons!  How happy must David Tennant have been to find out he was facing off against Zygons?!  Although they are not my favorite monster, this was an excellent surprise, even better than the Macra in “Gridlock” (after all, the Macra were only glimpsed).  I was impressed at how little updating the Zygons needed.  Come to think of it, I've enjoyed every Zygon story I've ever heard and/or read (Sting of the Zygons, The Zygon Who Fell to Earth, etc).  

Back at the Under-Gallery thingee, the Doctor has met Osgood, whom he doesn't recognize as a fan girl despite her scarf- “I've always wanted to meet someone called yes.”  He wants reports from her about the dust in the gallery (my first thought was Weeping Angels!) in TRIPLICATE!  :-D  I practically had a spasm when Kate showed the Eleventh Doctor and Clara that something had gotten out of the painting.  Total freak-out!   Now, why did Kate stop Clara from going into the time portal?  Was she already a Zygon duplicate?  Codename Cromer and “ the '70s or the '80s” certainly raised a chuckle.

The Tenth and Eleventh Doctor together are charming (except for the bit with the sonic screwdrivers.  Just STAAAAP).  “That is proper skinny,” Eleven says of Ten.  “That's like a special effect!”  At this point, Ten has the two Elizabeths.  “I'm not judging you,” Eleven says.  Very enjoyable was the Mounting of the Specs.  The addition of the War Doctor was hilarious and very poignant as his frustration with his successors' flippancy seemed very natural but also a rather touching way for the production team to address real criticism from some fans on the youth and levity of the more recent Doctors.  The War Doctor has a point.  The other Doctors also have a point.  Why can't we all just get along?!

“Are you his companions?  They get younger all the time,” the War Doctor says cheerfully.  “Am I having a midlife crisis?!” he asks, very understandably, once he realizes he is seeing his future selves.  He criticizes the constant sonic screwdriver use that has become common.  “They're not water pistols!  What are you going to do, assemble a cabinet at them?”  There is a brief and rather disappointing run-in with the Elizabethan authorities which gets the Doctors taken to the Tower.  The War Doctor is also aghast at “timey wimey?! . . . Are you capable of speaking without flapping your arms about? . . . Grandad??!”  Put in the same cell in the Tower, the three Doctors are having a moment not unlike the Tenth Doctor and Jack in “Utopia.”  Certainly the Eleventh Doctor is scoring a code into a stone pillar.  

In the present-day, Kate (not real Kate!) is taking Clara to the Tower, the Black Archive, where it seems she's been before and had her memory erased (Captain Jack, eat your heart out).  I thought “Americans, with the ability to rewrite history?  You've seen their movies” was a bit of low blow!  Kate is producing Captain Jack's vortex manipulator, the Black Archive is alien tech that the Doctor is not supposed to know about (did Torchwood Canary Wharf and Torchwood Cardiff have their collections, if there was anything left, transferred here?).  There's a very graphic transformation from Kate into Zygon as they wait to get the code to the vortex manipulator, which the Doctor knows they have and is even then (even then?!?!) scraping into the stone pillar for discovery four hundred years later).  There's a tiny glimpse of companions (including Kamelion?!?).  

The War Doctor wants to use his sonic screwdriver to open the low-tech door, “help to pass the timey wimey?  Do you have to talk like children?”  The Eleventh Doctor says some garbage about his age, “1200 and something—I can't remember if I'm lying about my age.”  “I don't know who you are,” the War Doctor says to his future selves.  The Interface has followed him, unseen by anyone but him.  Clara then arrives and opens the unlocked door?  Or something?  She has outwitted the Zygons and taken the vortex manipulator, but it's only good for a one-way trip.  Elizabeth Zygon arrives and finally earns a bit of respect from me, having actually killed and outwitted her Zygon double and allowing the Doctor(s) and Clara in on the plan.  Then Elizabeth wants to get wed to her Doctor, as he promised her (“the Virgin Queen, so much for history!”).  Elizabeth has been kissing the Tenth Doctor a lot, which is a bit annoying but I don't think the Eleventh can really talk considering he's kissed a lot more people (and with less consent) than Ten.  “Is there a lot of this in the future?” asks the War Doctor.  Methinks when the Tenth Doctor says, “I'll be right back,” he probably never sees Elizabeth again until the meeting (was it 1591?) with Martha and Shakespeare.  

We get an enjoyable trip down memory lane as the TARDIS goes into different modes due to the different Doctors.  “It's his grunge phase, he'll get over it.”  “The round things—I love the round things!”  I was disappointed, though, as I thought they were going to go back all the way to the first Console Room.  “You've redecorated-don't like it,” said Ten to Eleven.  The Doctors speak, via space time telegraph, to Kate Stewart at the Black Archive, along with her associates and the Zygon doubles.  Osgood was able to rescue the real Kate who now wants to put on the self-destruct for the Tower which will, of course, destroy London.    The War Doctor has the great idea to be transported in through the Gallifrey painting via the cube things that create the slice-of-time paintings.  “What is Cup o' Soup?”  

Clara is the only one immune to the power of three Doctors.  “Show-off.”  The Doctors try to convince Kate/Zygon that it's not right to “murder millions to save billions.”  I thought this point was beautifully illustrated in Deimos/The Resurrection of Mars.  They cause Kate and Zygons to have to work the situation out peacefully by making them all forget who is human and who is Zygon.  As a diffusion of self-destruct, it seemed a bit feeble, but at least it was non-violent.  Meanwhile, the War Doctor was resting (and drinking Cup o'Soup?  Tea?).  There's something about a Cyberman head that's significant . . . I read a review that said the person wasn't convinced that Clara knew the Doctor well enough to have moral authority she asserts here over the War Doctor and later over the Twelfth Doctor.  Sure, she's somehow been split through his timeline, but likewise, I'm not convinced.  I like Clara, but it doesn't wash for me.  “You're the Doctor, too” (causing a million headaches for fans).  “Great men are forged in fire.  It is the privilege of lesser men to light the flame.”  The War Doctor is very loveable because of his humility (not something the Doctor is known for), which yet seems like it could have very easily be born of the Eighth Doctor.

The War Doctor goes off to hit the big red button, but the other Doctors and Clara follow him.  (How??)  “Make it worthwhile,” the War Doctor pleads with them.  The other Doctors, somewhat sappily, have come to join him so he doesn't have to make the decision alone.  “Never cruel of cowardly, never give up, never give in.”  It did rock my sox to hear that!  “We change history all the time,” notes the Eleventh Doctor, thus the incredible conceit takes place that the Doctors are going to hide Gallifrey inside one of these cubee things so that the Daleks fleet will annihilate itself and it will look to the outside world as if Gallifrey has been destroyed.  This plan irked me exceedingly on first watch, but now I accept it as an okay solution to an extremely distressing problem that might have seriously screwed up some kids' minds if they'd actually watched DR WHO destroy his own planet to save the universe.  “We'd be lost in another universe”-E-Space?  Or something?  It's audacious, and I admit it still rankles a bit because it makes some of the power of Eight, the War Doctor, and Nine diffused by their fixing this problem (yes, I know they said they wouldn't remember, but I REMEMBER, DAMMIT).  

Anyway, off the Doctors go in their TARDISes to enact their magic, irritating the Time Lords in their War Chamber a bit.  Then there's the truly WTF moment, multiplied by thirteen.  I accept that the War Doctor, Tenth, and Eleventh Doctors are doing this (I even accept that the Twelfth Doctor is doing it).  HOW do the other, earlier Doctors know and how are they even allowed to?  I can't write this one.  I can't explain it.  Can someone, please?  Anyway, I admit I did have a heart attack with the Capaldi teaser, and while I was disappointed at the minor inclusion of the other Doctors (why do it at all, if that's all you've got), as I said at the beginning of the review, it kinda ticked some boxes. “Geronimo!”  “Allons-y!”  “For God's sake, Gallifrey stands!” They don't know if they've succeeded, however.  

They defuse the tension by drinking a nice cup of tea back in “present-day” in the Under-Gallery.  We still don't know how the painting got to Earth, but I suspect it's another Vasty thread that might someday get tied up.  The Tenth Doctor leaves by saying, “I don't want to go,” which is rather hilarious.  “He always says that.”  The War Doctor creates the the manic depressive spike in mood o' all time for me when he gets into his TARDIS, announces he's wearing a bit thin, and proceeds to regenerate.  Then.  There.  To Nine.  WHAAAAA?  And then you have to dangle this carrot in front of me, this ever-so-beautiful carrot, that, as an extra-special, even-better-than-Paul-McGann-in-the-mini-sode surprise, Christopher Eccleston was actually going to come back for thirty seconds.  DAMN YOU.  

Clara asks the Eleventh Doctor if he wants to be alone with his painting and shoves off, while there's another surprise in store.  The Eleventh Doctor meets the Curator, who is Tom Baker looking dapper and extremely mysterious.  Good Lord!  That was a good surprise!  “I never forget a face.”  “I can only tell you what I would do.  Perhaps I was you.  Perhaps you were me.  Who knows, eh?  Who knows?”  Right, I know I was talking about excessive cheese.  The Fourth Doctor is by no means my favorite Doctor (though I don't have favorites).  Yet I LOVED THIS and cannot say it stunk of cheese.  I don't care if it's explained in story terms (the Watcher is still suitably vague); this moment was like “Time Crash” when David Tennant told Peter Davison (before he was his father-in-law!!) that “you were my Doctor.”  Doesn't make any sense in the story, but it was real.  So is this Curator scene.  The chemistry is uber-out-of-this-world.  Thank you, Tom, for coming back in a big way.  Err, and yes, the Curator tells the Eleventh Doctor that the title of the painting is Gallifrey Falls No More.  

“Home, the long way round,” is a wonderful coda to this piece.  I kind of hope the Doctor doesn't find Gallifrey, but maybe home means something else to the Doctor, even if he doesn't know it?
Well, beginning the celebrations a little early, I watched "An Adventure in Time and Space" and wrote this review here: 

I did so to the accompaniment of fish fingers and custard (though not fish fingers in custard because, I'm sorry, Doctor, that's disgusting).

Then there is a barrage of YouTube videos I have to get through. 

Firstly:  Van Donovan's
Sexy Back
Judgement Day

And if you aren't choked up by the thought of saying goodbye to Jamie McCrimmon:
The Littlest Hobo

And loads more Babelcolour:
The First Doctor
An Englishman Abroad
The Eminem/Benny Hill Mashup
"Ashes to ashes . . . dust to dust"

And of course:
Sylvester McCoy Pandorica speech
equally good:  McGann reads Hartnell

The Ballad of Julie and Russell!
and you can't leave it there:
The Weakest Link (friends and I tried this once in a pub)

I'm So Excited
I'm in the front row here (and shame they didn't include the child's question, "Now--Daphne--seriously--what was it like kissing Paul?")
Run with Us

I cannot find this video on YouTube, but it was by Martouf Marty and it was the Dresden Dolls' "Girl Anachronism" themed around Tegan.  It was good.

I never put these videos on YouTube (probably a good thing), but I made them and will enjoy them:
The Fray - "How to Save a Life" - Jack Harkness in Doctor Who Series 1, 3 & Torchwood series 1 & 2
Tom Lehrer - "I Got It from Agnes" - Jack Harkness again!
(laying on the cheese) Cascada - "Everytime We Touch" Nine/Rose
(more cheese) Capercaillie - "The Price of Fire" - Rose/Nine and Rose/Ten

Okay, this video is the reason why I am like the Brigadier and consider them wonderful chaps, all of them.  Every time I think, "I love Eight sooo much" then I see something else and go "I love Ten sooo much." 

That's just the warm up.

Tomorrow, I'm scoping out "War Machines" locations (and looking for celebrity tramps) followed by a visit to the Fitzroy Tavern, jammy dodgers, and the Special!

To all the Doctor Who fans out there . . . have fun! 
Please write and let me know, I'm curious. 

I'll write what I'm doing shortly . . .