Doctor Who – The Greatest Show in the Galaxy – tape 621

Ah Season 25. You started with such promise. And you promised new starts. But you ended with The Greatest Show in the Galaxy.

I know a lot of people like the quirky stories in Season 25. I am not one of them. And it’s not even because of Whizkid, Gian Sammarco’s character created by the production team as the archetypal Doctor Who fan and way more insulting than anything Russell T Davies did in Love and Monsters.

No, I dislike this because nothing happens.


At great length.

There’s just no real story here. It sets up a great mystery (or what passes for a great mystery in this story) and meanders until the mystery is finally revealed – because the Doctor knew what it was all along.

This is the fundamental problem with the ‘Cartmel Masterplan’, script editor Andrew Cartmel’s wish to turn the Doctor into much more of a mythical character.

I think Cartmel never really worked out how to effectively use back-story, with the result that too many of his stories end with the Doctor not discovering anything but just knowing. This is anti-drama.

Still, this is a nice matte painting.

Doctor Who Matte Painting

Part One: 14 December 1988 19.35

Part Two: 21 December 1988 19.35

Part Three: 28 December 1988 19.40

Part Four: 4 January 1989 19.35

Following Doctor Who, recording switches to Channel 4 and Miami Memoirs, a documentary following Ruby Wax going back to Miami to visit her mother and father. It’s quite a warm film, the only I have is knowing how much of it is genuine and how much is staged. Her parents seem to be so over the top that you wonder if they’ve been asked to play up for the camera. It’s still funny, though.

Ruby Wax and parents

The recording stops immediately after this programme. No extras here.


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