Thursday, September 1, 2005


'Doctor Who' is back on Earth!

Fifteen years after the last regular episode, six years after the one TV movie for the Eighth Doctor, we've had a full series of thirteen episodes featuring Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Incarnation.

The final episode for this year has aired, signaling the end of Eccleston's tenure and marking the debut of David Tennant in the role.

And so to celebrate, most of my essays and all of the Crossovers will be dedicated to the Doctor for the rest of the summer.

Be forewarned: In my essays during this summer salute to 'Doctor Who', there will be spoilers for each of the episodes, especially in regard to summaries.....

Location: Cardiff, Wales
Date: 2006
Enemy: Blon Fel Fotch Pasameer-Day Slitheen, AKA Margaret Blaine

Stopping off in present-day Cardiff to recharge the TARDIS, The Doctor, Rose and Jack encounter an old foe in the midst of hatching a scheme that could destroy the entire planet.
[Thanks to]

The TARDIS crew take a holiday, but the Doctor encounters an enemy he thought long since dead. A plan to build a nuclear power station in Cardiff City disguises an alien plot to rip the world apart. And when the Doctor dines with monsters, he discovers traps within traps.
[Thanks to The Doctor Who Reference Guide]


Sometimes in trying to find a link for a show, I have to resort to one of the most desperate of measures - location, location, location.

It's one of the most basic excuses for linking shows. (Linking as opposed to a crossover is the key; a difference that lets me sleep at night. LOL)

For instance, I could say the venerable 1960s police drama 'Naked City' can be linked to the sitcom 'Taxi' by virtue of the fact that they're both situated in Manhattan. Such a link can serve as a place-holder until a much better link might come along.

Such was the case with "Naked City Taxi", thanks to a crossover, an in-joke, and several fictional locations. Sgt. Frank Arcaro was shot and wounded, and taken to Manhattan General Hospital in an episode of 'Naked City'. Twenty years later, 'Kay O'Brien' went to work at that same hospital after completing her residency at St. Eligius in Boston. (One 'St. Elsewhere' doctor quipped, "She won't last thirteen weeks!")

Dr. Margaret Turner, formerly on the staff at St. Eligius, was interrogated in "The Box" by Detective Frank Pemberton on 'Homicide: Life On The Street'. And Pemberton, along with other homicide detectives from Baltimore, teamed up with their NYC counterparts at the 2-7 precinct. During another case, those detectives questioned a taxi driver at the Sunshine Cab Company, the location for 'Taxi'.

With the 11th episode of the new 'Doctor Who', I found I had to fall back on the location link. There really was no other choice, as the story of "Boom Town" remained quite insular. It focused on a villain last seen in "Aliens Of London" and "World War Three", as well as on the Time-Space rift in Cardiff first seen in "The Unquiet Dead".

It could be said that "Boom Town" serves as Russell T. Davies' valentine to the city of Cardiff, where the series has been filming. There are great location shots of Cardiff Bay's Oval Basin and the Wales Millennium Centre which is dominated by a facade that trumpets a bit o' poetry by Gwyneth Lewis. ("CREU GWIR FEL GWYDR O FFWRNAIS - IN THESE STONES HORIZONS SING.") Plus there's a prominent cameo for the Western Mail newspaper.

So for another show with connections to Cardiff, I chose "Dogfood Dan And The Carmarthen Cowboy".

These two guys were truckers who worked for rival dog-food companies. One carted his load from Cardiff to Hull, while the other one hauled his from Hull to Cardiff. They met in a roadside truck-stop half-way along their route and became friends. And they would spend their meetings regaling each other with overblown tales about their exciting lives and romantic conquests back home.

The thing of it was though, that because they both "embellished" (okay, outright lied about) their backgrounds, neither one of them glommed on to the true identity of the women in their lives. Neither one was ever aware of the fact that by EXTREME coincidence (a force of nature in Toobworld) they were carrying on affairs with each other's wife.

And there wasn't much chance that the wives might realize the connection between their husbands and their lovers, because Dogfood Dan and the Carmarthen Cowboy were lying about their identities to their mistresses as well!

Aubrey Owen (the Cowboy) passed himself as Aneurin, an MP, to Dan's wife Helen; while Dan would tell Myfanwy Owen that he was transporting top secret abnormal loads.

Before this show became a BBC sitcom, it ran as a one-off on the rival 'ITV Playhouse' six years earlier. In that tele-play, Myfanwy was known as Gwyneth - maybe there wasn't a name change.... Maybe she was lying about her identity to her lover as well?

So that might be the way to go for yet another link between 'Doctor Who' and 'Dogfood Dan And The Carmarthen Cowboy'. But it would be an even more indefensible link. Perhaps Myfanwy's use of the name "Gwyneth" was an unconscious manifestation of an earlier incarnation of her soul? Perhaps she had been the scullery maid back in 1869 Cardiff who sacrificed her life in order to close the Rift and prevent the Gelth from taking over our world.

And now Gwyneth Reborn as Myfanwy was finally reunited with the delivery boy she once secretly desired. But whether he was reborn as Dogfood Dan or the Carmarthen Cowboy, I cannot say.

I know..... if that theory was dog food, I couldn't get a starving mutt to swallow it.

Oh well. We still have two episodes to go. So let's keep on trucking!


"If you're going to have an affair,
Make sure her husband has a heart condition."


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