Higher Than The Sun (A Dub Interview In One Part)

Higher Than The Sun - The Story Of Screamdelica, Foxbase Alpha, Bandwagonesque and Loveless by Tim Worthington

Screamadelica by Primal Scream is twenty five years old, and to mark the occasion, I've done an interview with Creation Records about the album and its influence and legacy. Along the way we cover such diverse topics as Mark Goodier, swapping C60s of Big Star in school, and why Britpop retrospectives never quite seem to get the story straight. You can read it here, and there's also a Spotify playlist of some of my favourite tracks from 1991 that you can listen to while reading. This may include Cathy Dennis.

You can find out how to get Higher Than The Sun, my book about Screamadelica, Foxbase Alpha, Bandwagonesque and Loveless - currently with free postage - here. Or if you'd prefer to read an extract from it before splashing out, you can find that in my free eBook Tim Worthington's Bookshelf here. Or if you'd prefer to just read about my favourite Creation/Heavenly Records rarities, then you can find that here. You really do want to get the book though. Because that's what you're gonna do. You're gonna have a good time. You're gonna have a party. Of, erm, reading a book.

The World Of Gardeners' World


Sometimes, despite what you might have read, it's been surprisingly difficult to find certain once-ubiquitous examples of retro iconography on the Internet. Until recently, you'd have searched in vain for any footage of Crow And Alice from You And Me, or any photographs of Number One magazine gossip columnist Lola Lush, or a recording of the original theme song from The Amazing Adventures Of Morph. Of course, all of the above have since put in an appearance, and you can find the full story behind that disappearing-from-history Morph song in Top Of The Box. I would also like to take this opportunity to strenuously deny any and all rumours that I was especially pleased to see Lola Lush again.

Sorry, where was I? Oh right, yes. Part of the reason why all of the above and more are now 'out there' was that one of my earlier attempts at a blog was specifically dedicated to smoking out copies of things that were conspicuous by their online absence. This isn't necessarily mentioned out of self-congratulation, by the way, as one of the first things that I managed to turn up was a Rolf Harris single. Something that I'm slightly more pleased to have found in retrospect, though, was the original Gardeners' World theme.

Some of you are no doubt about to point out to me that they're still using that sappy tweedle-eedle acoustic guitar thing, so why would anyone have needed to look that hard for it in the first place? Well, they only started using that one in the late eighties. Prior to that, Gardeners' World was heralded by a ludicrously over-the top cascade of sweeping strings that suggested anything but tranquil to-camera pieces on how to check your vegetable patch for wireworm. What's more, it was instantly familiar to an audience that went way beyond that of Gardeners' World itself. Not that they necessarily have matters under that much control these days, but BBC2 used to have a huge problem with live coverage overrunning, particularly when it came to snooker. Their solution was usually to simply shunt the schedule back by the requisite number of minutes, meaning that when you tuned in for Alexei Sayle's Stuff or Cool It! or whatever, you would have to sit through what seemed like several centuries of Bob Flowerdew and Gay Search inspecting herbaceous borders before what you actually wanted to see came on. Needless to say, the end theme of Gardeners' World wasn't exactly in the top ten of anyone who'd had to set their video for Comrade Dad.

Still, despite all that it was actually a rather exciting piece of music, calling to mind a bustling garden fete rather than newspaper 'Review' section-friendly allotment-tilling, and it was rather surprising to find that it wasn't online in any form. So I asked, and within minutes of the post going up, Chris Hughes of TV Cream had got in touch to say that he had a recording of it. Then someone else got in touch to say they had a slightly different version. And then someone got in touch to say they had a radically different version. Yes, the Gardeners' World theme - apparently more correctly and appropriately known as Green Fingers - had gone through a germination and flowering process all of its own. And here is a handy back-of-seed-packet style guide to cultivating your very own Gardeners' World theme music.



Apparently, when Gardener's World first appeared in the BBC2 schedules in 1968, it was introduced by a long-forgotten solo clarinet piece; which, if solo clarinet pieces for TV shows from around that time are anything to go by, can probably stay long-forgotten. A couple of years later, in came Green Fingers, though it was initially essayed as an almost unrecognisable reed-dominated quasi-baroque waltz with jazzy touches. Sounding like it would be much more at home introducing an early Radio 4 sitcom, you'd have to listen closely to notice that it even was the same tune, and while it may have been nice and flowery it was hardly going to attract the attention of the casual viewer. Nor indeed the frustration of the viewer who was having to wait for Oh In Colour. Clearly a rethink was in order.



In the early seventies, Green Fingers found itself on the recieving end of a fairly radical landscaping. Uprooted into 4/4, it was re-interpreted by a string section with 'pop' backing who attacked it at a ferocious pace with scant regard for the safety of the viewing public, calling to mind Mr Bilton from Chigley careering around the grounds of Winkstead Hall in a turbo-charged motorised lawnmower. Yet while the alarming musical overemphasis is already in evidence, it's still just not quite haphazard enough, and what's more it concludes with a frankly unnecessary bit of anti-climactic piano improvisation with way too many notes in. You can't have a build-up like that and not resolve it properly, and so by the middle of the decade...



The definitive reading of Green Fingers takes everything up a key with a small but vital increase in tempo, and what's more is played with such formidable force that you can't help but wonder if the closing bit of over-elaborate extemporisation came about because the violinist simply couldn't stop. And if that's not the sound of a trip to the local garden centre to stock up on seedlings, ornaments and ice lollies that they never seemed to sell anywhere else, then frankly nobody knows what is. Meanwhile, if you want to point out that there was also this acoustic Gardeners' World theme that hasn't been mentioned here for some reason, I will personally insert seven minutes of it into the start of every episode of Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle for you.

It's Still A Police Box, Why Hasn't It Changed? Part Six: Foam, If You Want To, All Around The World


Doctor Who's fifth series in 1967-68 probably seemed like just another day at the office for everyone involved. A well established success that had survived a potentially hazardous change of lead actor, it was nonetheless no more or less significant than any other TV show, especially now that 'Dalekmania' had started to fade into the past. It was high quality Saturday Evening science fiction thrills all the way, but it was also being churned out week in, week out, and in some regards had actually fallen into something of a pattern, famously over-reliant on the 'Base Under Siege' narrative model.

It must have come as some surprise, then, when fans later started to hail this series as the absolute high watermark of all things Doctor Who. And not without good reason. Largely wiped - in fact, at one point only three episodes out of the entire run were known to still exist - all that remained were eerie-looking photos and moody off-air audios, novelisations that hinted at tense and thought-provoking stories, and the memories of those who had actually seen the now intangible 'Monster Season' - presumably so named to distinguish it from all of those other ones with absolutely no monsters in them whatsoever - when it was transmitted; odd now to think that it was only a little over fifteen years old at that point. On top of that, The Daleks may have gone but you had two Cybermen stories, two Yeti stories, the Ice Warriors, Patrick Troughton playing a dual role, and some seaweed with ideas above its station. It really didn't get much more exciting - or at least exciting-sounding - than that.

Then of course huge swathes of it turned up and everything got turned on its head. Some stories turned out to not quite live up to the bold claims that had been made for them. Others, forgotten and ignored, turned out to be utterly fantastic. And everyone else looked on in bafflement and pointed out that they're all good and what are any of you lot on about? Still, the fact remains that few things in the entire Doctor Who 'universe' have fallen as far and as quickly from favour as Series Five. And on past form, chances are that we're not exactly going to be helping to restore its reputation here. But we'll do our best, and what better place to begin than with the fearsome metal man from beyond the stars whose popularity with the viewing public so dominated this series...?


Why Is The Servo Robot So Famous?


More of an annoyance than an antagonist, The Servo Robot - the lumbering, aftershave-shaped, bipedal custodian of abandoned rocket The Silver Carrier in Series Five closer The Wheel In Space - is only seen in one episode, and even then gets blown apart in spectacular fashion in a textbook display of Previously Unmentioned Thing We've Just Got From The Tardis technobabble. It is merely one of a long line of underwhelmingly designed yet at the same time oddly futuristic robots in sixties Doctor Who. It doesn't even appear anywhere in the two existing episodes from the story, spectacularly blown apart or otherwise. So how come, then, it's by far the most widely-recognisable visual element of the story, if not the entirety of Series Five? So much so, in fact, that it very nearly became the lead image of this feature. Incoming assistant Zoe makes her first appearance in this story, and The Cybermen and The Cybermats have both had sleek redesigns, but ask the average fan what they think of first when you mention The Wheel In Space and they'll almost certainly say The Servo Robot. They'd struggle to tell you what contentious X-Ray Laser-powering mineral Bernalium, foxy Russian scientist Tanya Lernov, or even The Wheel itself looked like, but they could describe The Servo Robot in intricate detail without even trying. Quite how this has come about is something of a mystery. You can't blame publicity photos as there are actually substantially more of The Cybermen and Zoe, not to mention that Cybermat that fanzines were always using to fill awkward bits of landscape-format space. You can't point towards the scale blueprints in The Doctor Who Technical Manual as nobody ever really understood quite what that was for. And you can't even blame the Telesnaps - of which more in a moment - as it seems that with unerring accuracy, John Cura once again failed to capture anything of any of the actual key moments in the first episode. We can only assume, then, that it either did something visually astonishing that wasn't in the script and wasn't picked up on the soundtrack, or else that there was some never-recorded outbreak of 'Servomania', inspiring an avalanche of tie-in merchandise that was all completely obliterated and forcibly wiped from people's memories shortly afterwards. That said, some viewers most likely had their minds on other things...


They Like Big Boobs And They Cannot Lie


In the previous instalments, we've had plenty to say on the black and white era cameramen's pervy fixation with focusing in on female cast members with sizeable backsides. Presumably this was as much as the hot and bothered so-and-so's felt that they could reasonably get away with at the time, but this would all dramatically change with the arrival of Deborah Watling as Victoria. She was, lest we forget, the first assistant that the production team explicitly stated was there to get 'The Dads' watching, and brought with her a frankly unignorable frontage. Although plunging necklines were still some way away from acceptability, the costume designers nonetheless went out of their way to stick her in tight dresses and sweaters; the effect that this had on 'The Dads' doesn't bear thinking about. There's even a couple of lines that are delivered in a manner that suggest the rest of the cast are having a bit of knocker-heavy innuendo amusement with the entirely innocent script, not to mention someone more or less telling her that her tits are 'getting in the way' in The Tomb Of The Cybermen. Meanwhile, the fact that Victoria could only have been supposed to be fifteen at most is probably best sidestepped for now. Anyway, suffice it to say that the cameramen were seemingly in competition with each other to pan and tilt for the best angle on the thankfully very much overage Ms. Watling, although certain shots do suggest that old habits really did die hard...



Eagerly Pursuing All The Latest Fads And Trends, 'Cause He's A Dedicated Follower Of Fashion


Also paying close attention to certain aspects of Victoria's wardrobe, if the first episode of The Ice Warriors is anything to go by, was her travelling companion Jamie McCrimmon. In a textbook 'nice intention, shame about the execution' move for Doctor Who at the time, not to mention somewhat impractically for a research station in the middle of an icy tundra, Miss Garrett and her fellow climate-saving clever-clogs female technicians are given to walking around Brittanicus Base in Mary Quant-style two-tone minidresses of such alarming brevity that they would have finished higher than their underwear had they actually been wearing any, which logic dictates they can't have. Needless to say, Jamie has observed this and is not entirely upset about it. Presumably speaking for 'The Dads' everywhere, he adopts a louche, relaxed pose on a sort of bendy 'futuristic' couch thing and asks Victoria if she had noticed what 'those lassies' were wearing. Apparently having temporarily forgotten her own predeliction for dramatically short skirts, Victoria replies that yes she had, and she thinks they should have more self-respect, and shame on Jamie for taking such an active interest in the subject. Unfazed by this, Jamie breezily asks if Victoria sees herself wearing anything similar, which invites an even more stern rebuke and an announcement that she will now change the subject. Which is promptly done for her in an appalling display of Ice Warriorsplaining when Varga chooses that exact moment to lumber out from behind a curtain. There's probably an interesting article to be written looking at how despite its cake-and-eat-it general failure to 'do' feminism from a modern perspective, this and other examples from sixties Doctor Who were actually quite striking and daring in context and it's a shame they've since been overshadowed by later much worse behaviour and what have you, but the real pressing question is who decided Jamie should be offering his views on fashion and design and indeed why. Was his week-in-week-out uniform of shapeless jumper and kilt masking a secret obsession with the tripped-out stylings of I Was Lord Kitchener's Valet and Granny Takes A Trip? Was he frequently invited onto A Whole Scene Going to talk about shift dresses and the plastic raincoat revolution? Did he indeed flit from shop to shop just like a butterfly? Sadly, we may never know, though there are some vagaries of mid-sixties fashion we can be somewhat more certain of...


The Abominable Snowmen Was The Most 'Psychedelic' Doctor Who Story


Every so often, you'll get a BBC4 documentary about 'the sixties' diverting into talk of when Doctor Who 'went' psychedelic. This, it is generally agreed, was when all those storybook characters came to life and everyone wandered around in a white void in The Mind Robber. Or, if raining, when all those toys came to life and everyone (well, The Toymaker and an invisible Doctor) wandered around in a white void in The Celestial Toymaker. Or, at an absolute push, when you had those giant butterfly men like everyone sees when they've been smoking acid in The Web Planet. Yet while all of those stories, and indeed numerous others that never get mentioned, certainly chime with the visual and thematic motifs of UK Psychedelia, were they actually that 'psychedelic'? Or just the rewritten-at-the-last-minute work of career-minded scriptwriters who were careful only to ever reach for the bottle marked The Ones That Mother Gives You? If you've learned your psychedelia from Dave Clark Five records, then yes, it's probably true that you do just need a couple of mindbending colours and Victoriana references and away you go. The real pioneers and practioners of the movement, though, were on more of a cerebral stroke spiritual quest, whether it was Traffic et al 'getting it together in the country' while cut off from the media with only scary folk records about how King Arthur Was Away-kyeddddddd for company, 'Dinners' and pals enthusiastically darting between avant-garde art installations and electronic music 'happenings', and Syd Barrett and company dabbling with Eastern philosophies until they at least understood enough of it to cobble together a half decent set of lyrics. The Abominable Snowmen might not look much like the cover of The Psychedelic Sounds Of The 13th Floor Elevators, but it's set in a remote part of Tibet (and filmed, incidentally, on pastoral Welsh hillsides) dominated by devotional Buddhist monks with a big stone temple who dole out small samples of wisdom and enlightenment when the script permits. Despite being set in the 1930s there's still a dash of Victorian-Edwardian pre-technology atmosphere due to the presence of beardy academic Professor Travers, and the whole story is shot through with a transcendental ambience that suggests that all movement really had been accomplished in six stages, and the seventh had indeed brought return. If you want to overplay the analogy a bit, you could also say that they might well have had Robot Yeti at one of those McCartney-patronised exhibitions. No? Alright, please yourselves then. Mind you, we've only got one episode and a handful of clips to base this on. But we do at least know what the others sounded and indeed looked like...


What Happened To All The Other Telesnaps?


If you've ever read anything about missing sixties Doctor Who, you'll no doubt have seen dozens upon dozens of funny blurry little television-shaped images of the long-wiped onscreen action. These are 'Telesnaps', taken by a photographer named John Cura, who specialised in providing commissioned images for actors and production staff alike, who would otherwise have had no record of their television work in the pre-video age. There are surviving Telesnaps for the vast majority of lost Doctor Who episodes, and a very faint half-rubbed-out pencilled-in question mark over whether there might be some out there for some of the other ones too. But it wasn't just Doctor Who that he Telesnapped. This was a popular and profitable business - enough for him to be profiled in a magazine article headed by some bikinied lovelies beneath the headline 'This Is How John Cura Does It' - and he spent all day every day photographing anything and everything that appeared on all three television channels. You might occasionally chance upon one from another programme like Z Cars, or a variety show, or some thing with Carole Ann Ford in, but why aren't we all struggling to escape from beneath a daily avalanche of Telesnaps? Well, rumour has it that the Cura family disposed of their boxes and boxes and boxes of negatives, contact sheets and enlargements after offering them to the BBC, only to be informed by a scoffing pen-pusher that they were 'moving forwards, not backwards'. That was only one set of copies, though; he'd taken the Telesnaps for a reason, and that reason was that someone had asked and paid for copies. There must be billions upon billions of them out there, in attics the length and breadth of the UK, and featuring the only known visual record of long-lost and unlikely to be recovered episodes of The Wednesday Play, and United!, and Adam Adamant Lives!, and Top Of The Pops, and Theatre 625, and Where Was Spring?, and Sara And Hoppity, and Quick Before They Catch Us, and Sugarball The Little Jungle Boy, and Hancock's Half Hour, and R.3, and Vendetta, and Armchair Theatre, and The Tennis Elbow Foot Game, and that thing with that Barry Bucknell, and everything I wrote about in Not On Your Telly, and the whole bloody lot of them. Of course, there might even be a shed somewhere with actual film prints of all of the above and more in. You never know. I mean it's not like anything similar has turned up from anywhere recently.


The Enemy Of The World's Enemy Is Not My Friend


Poor old The Enemy Of The World. Marooned without a monster in the middle of 'Monster Season', and represented by a lone dialogue-and-long-pause-heavy episode, it was the one that everyone always forgot about. All that anyone really knew about it was that Patrick Troughton played a 'dual role' as 'the villainous Salamander', and that there were some swear words in the tie-in novel. Or at least that's what we used to think. Then the rest of the story was found in Nigeria, alongside most of the rest of The Web Of Fear and nothing else at all whatsoever no honestly guv I would never feature such a puppet and was on holiday when it wasn't made, and we finally got to enjoy The Enemy Of The World in full and in its proper context for the first time since 1967/68. And 'enjoy' was the operative word; director (and later series producer) Barry Letts had always gone to great lengths to stress that the surviving third episode was the 'filler' one and the rest of it was far more tense and exciting stuff, and he was absolutely right. With its bleak location work, hi-tech Cold War thriller overtones and a towering performance from Patrick Troughton, The Enemy Of The World vaulted from obscurity into everyone's top ten favourite stories literally - thanks to the midnight release on iTunes - overnight. Well, almost everyone's. Time was when we only had to contend with Starburst's 'Mr Angry' Paul Mount indulging in 'look at me, everyone look me, I thought that clearly extremely good thing that you have to at least appreciate even if you didn't actually like was a big old load of rubbish!!'-type shenanigans. Now, however, the double-edged sword of the Internet Age has exposed us to an endless procession of the fuckers, all clamouring to be the first to naysay the consensus and boost up their forum 'star rating', with the sheer shamelessness of the sort of individual who might well write eighty seven thousand million words on why Time And The Rani is good, not bad like you thought. It was slow? You turned off after three minutes? It lacked the classic production values of the classic gothic Holmesian deux ex machina back-to-basics base-under-siege classics like The Pyramids Of Mars, The Deadly Assassin, The Brain Of Morbius and Time-Flight? Well, that was worth putting out there. Lizanne Henderson is probably quaking in her cultural theorist boots as we speak. Seriously, nobody's asking you to fall into line and call it your favourite story ever of all time through gritted teeth, but can't you put a bit more effort into the reasons why it isn't? And maybe, just maybe, emphasise some of the positives as well? Honestly, lord help us when the story that there's no surviving episodes from at all finally turns up...


Why Did Victoria Stay In 1968?


By now, we should be well used to Doctor Who assistants being written out in a cursory, convenient and logic-defying fashion. There's Susan and Vicki electing to marry men from the wrong end of history that they've only just met, Katarina catapulting herself off into the icy wastes of space, and Dodo liking the Pie Pie so much that she decides to stay in Shrewsbury. Yet there's something about Victoria's departure at the end of Fury From The Deep that makes it that bit more puzzling than all the others. Despite having previously been perfectly happy whizzing about in time and space with Jamie and The Doctor, she suddenly decides with next to no prior indication to stay behind in contemporary North Sea Oil Rig with drill-manning married couple Frank and Maggie Harris, who despite rumours to the contrary did not go on to present Ragtime. Quite how the prim and proper 1860s teenager coped with free love, Enoch Powell and The Waltham Green East Wapping Carpet Cleaning Rodent And Boggit Extermination Association is anybody's guess. As indeed is exactly why she wanted to. Or maybe I'm just still fuming that they rejected my proposal for a New Series Adventures novel where The Doctor and Donna went to the 1969 Isle Of Wight Festival and bumped into Victoria and were helped to defeat the story's antagonist by Viv Stanshall and Keith Moon. And the Torchwood one where there was an Inspiral Carpets t-shirt in a Victorian explorer's private collection of artefacts. Who knows.


What Did The Other Things In The Tardis Toolkit Actually Do??


Fury From The Deep may indeed mark Victoria's final appearance, but it also sees the debut of a somewhat more enduring Doctor Who mainstay - The Sonic Screwdriver. Although it's hard to say for certain on the basis of just an audio recording and some unclear Telesnaps, it appears that The Doctor actually produces this from some early variant on the infrequently glimpsed Tardis toolbox. While it was the Sonic Screwdriver that would last the distance, we did later get occasional glimpses of the other impractical-looking devices stored alongside it, though quite what purpose or technical application any of them might concievably have had is something of a mystery. According to that bible of all things bewildering yet accurately measured for no good reason The Doctor Who Technical Manual, these included a Universal Detector, a Neutron Ram, a Stalos Gyro, a Magnetic Clamp, a Moog Drone Clamp, a Master Drone Clamp, an Influx Booster Stabiliser, a Pen Torch, and that all-important multi-purpose Laser. While it would be difficult to refute the usefulness of the latter two, quite what everything else did was never made entirely clear. The Neutron Ram was used to locate Omega in Arc Of Infinity and made a fleeting cameo appearance in the McGann Movie, the Magnetic and Moog Drone Clamps were used in conjunction with the Stalos Gyro to do some, erm, clamping - and presumably gyroing - in Earthshock, and apart from that, well, they just sort of sat there. You could probably mount a decent argument that this was an enormous missed opportunity, and that the toolbox was basically a ready-made Thomas Salter Toys playset that never was, but they'd have had to decide what the other bits and pieces actually did first. Small wonder, then, that one of the first things Russell T. Davies did was to replace them all with a big Whac-A-Mole mallet. Mind you, we're really only guessing as to whether even an actual toolbox was seen in Fury From The Deep. Some things from the 'Monster Season' we can be far more certain about...


"++YOU WILL BE THE FIRST " - "++AND YOU WILL BE THE NEXT"


Of all of the 'Monster Season' escapades, The Tomb Of The Cybermen's reputation has taken the biggest hammering. Back when nobody could actually see or hear it, it looked and sounded like the most amazing story - if not the most amazing bit of television - ever, an assumption lent extra weight by the controversy caused by the Half-Cyberman On Cyberman fight scene towards the end of the last episode. Once a copy turned up, of course, it turned out to have been just another Doctor Who story after all, with many key moments including that viewer-enraging punch-up not quite living up to the awe-inspiring descriptions. Although we'd better not mention the 'memories' of a certain fan who prominently 'recalled' scenes that did not appear in the actual episodes at all, and then turned out not to have been born until 1970. It's important to bear in mind, though, that it's nonetheless just another very very good Doctor Who story, and the fact that it didn't quite match up to cliche-driven over-adulation in absentia is hardly the fault of Morris Barry and company struggling to get an ambitious adventure onto battered videotape in a cramped studio back in 1967. With one glaring exception. When The Cyber Controller is outlining his plan to cyberneticise the cornered experts and send them back to Earth, he points at Klieg and informs him that "YOU-WILL-BE-THE-FIRST". Which is all very well and good except that, with all the purpose and subtlety of that Santana Block Crew member interjecting "you better watch out!", one of his subordinates then points at Professor Parry and states "AND-YOU-WILL-BE-THE-NEXT". There's then an extended pause - presumably where two of the others were supposed to go "AND-YOU-WILL-BE-THE-ONE-AFTER-THAT" and "WE'LL-DO-YOU-A-WEEK-ON-THURSDAY" but forgot - and then, and only then, do the assembled company remember that they're supposed to be struggling with each other. It's difficult to mount a spirited defence of the story's relentless pace and eerie atmosphere when you've got something that jarring and stalling slap bang in the middle of it. Still, there were certain other characters in Series Five that were both the first and the next in a somewhat more positive context. Yes it will make sense. Honest.


"...So I Became A Scientist"


The Web Of Fear featured the return of both The Yeti, now wandering around the Underground with Malibu Stacy's new hat or something, and Professor Travers, now in the throes of Swinging London but more concerned with the fact that one of his Yeti Activation Spheres has simply rolled out of his laboratory of its own accord. It also boasted the debut appearances of both a prototype U.N.I.T. and The Brigadier, wearing the tape inlay card from ZX Spectrum game Chequered Flag as a hat for some reason. Meanwhile, poor old Anne Travers gets overlooked almost completely. While not the first strong female character by any stretch of the imagination, she's certainly the first to enjoy this level of prominence while remaining a grounded, naturalistic, rational and intelligent one without wandering into any silly damsel in distress antics, and without any need for excuses about coming from another planet or the future. Without any fanfare or hamfisted hoo-hah about skirt length, 'Women's Lib' had arrived in Doctor Who, as those two soldiers who asked her "what's a nice girl like you doing in a job like this?" found out to their embarrassment ("Well, when I was a little girl I thought I'd like to be a scientist... so I became a scientist"). It's a shame that Tina Packer's stage commitments prevented Anne from being kept on as U.N.I.T.'s regular scientific consultant, as she no doubt would have been, but she paved the way for so many other characters that followed in her wake, and that's something to be pleased about. Though it would be some time before the 'Monster Season'-era cameramen realised this...


Anyway, join us again next time for Grace Slick singing Ziwzih Ziwzih OO-OO-OO, The Ice Warriors inventing Noddy Holder, and the thorny question of just how many centuries those film trims from The Space Pirates actually last for...