Space Precinct, episode 10: “Seek and Destroy”

Buckle up, folks, because this episode’s plot is a *wild* ride.

A Tarn and a human are brutally murdered. They both work for the same company, they both own dogs, and a strange alien of the latex-prosthetics-and-human-eyes type was seen near both crime scenes. When Brogan and Haldane track him down, he kidnaps Brogan and tells him that his planet was invaded by some aliens called the Omeara (believe me, I keep wanting to put in an apostrophe), and Demeter City is next unless he stops them. For some reason Brogan actually believes this guy. After a third murder, Haldane and Brogan discover that all three victims were on the board of a company called Demeter Dogs, which claims to have developed a vaccine to protect dogs against Creon Fever, which is otherwise fatal to them (still with me?) and is now also selling Golden Retrievers to the people of Demeter City. As our hero cops work out that the dogs have a silicone chip implanted in their brains which can be triggered by a combination of the “vaccine” and a remote-control device, the O’Meara, sorry, Omeara, have identified Brogan and plot to murder him by giving his daughter one of the Demeter Dogs. The dog is triggered and it takes Brogan and Haldane far too long to hit on the idea of breaking the remote control, which they do before it savages the Brogan offspring of course. The bad guys are brought to justice and the vigilante strolls off into the sunset, but the Brogans can’t keep the dog because a) the vaccine was a fake, and b) episodic series have a reset button.

This one’s gone to the dogs.

I have many questions, of course, like, why bother with the fake vaccine at all and not just have the silicone chip trigger, and why everyone seems so chill with Vigilante Man who at the very least has obstructed police proceedings, and why the O’Meara, sorry, Omeara, are killing off people who are collaborating with them. But they will not be answered.

High points include learning that on Demeter City, rather than working up a sketch of a suspect from witness’ statements, they just get a Tarn to scan the witness’ memory and print off a picture. Which is sort of cool. 

The O’Meara, sorry, Omeara, look suspiciously like Lord Voldemort, though I can’t find any direct connections between the effects teams on the early Harry Potter movies and this one (the effects director on this series is Neill Gorton, later to do an awful lot of Doctor Who, but as far as I can tell he never worked on Harry Potter, or at least won’t admit to it on his CV). The attack dog puppet is hilariously fake-looking.

Also, I actually spotted a non-White extra in the police station, but it is still a bit of a mayonnaise festival around there. 

I’m in Foundation again!

I’m deeply honoured to have an article comparing “Doctor Who: The Mutants” and Nigel Kneale’s “The Stone Tape” in the 50th anniversary issue of Foundation, the oldest science fiction studies journal! In due course it will be available online, but if you can’t wait (and/or want to support the Science Fiction Foundation’s activities), you can get your copy by joining here.

Guest blogging on “Gangsters”

This month, I’m guest blogging for the Oxford Doctor Who Society about one of my very favourite series: “Gangsters”, the Birmingham-made surrealist postcolonial crime drama you might not have heard of, but which runs through the DNA of every series you love, including Doctor Who! Read it here— you can buy a print copy of the society magazine at the link too!

Guest blogging!

As well as being an anthropologist, a writer and a teacher, I also like to make miniatures. In that capacity, I’m a guest blogger on the Glasgow In 2024 Worldcon Bid page today, teaching you how to make a tiny armadilo! Click the link to create your own.

Also, Alan Stevens and I have a new fun listicle up on the Kaldor City Doctor Who reviews page, taking apart the 1970s story “The Mind of Evil”… if you like the snarky TV reviews on here, you might want to check them out.


Robots of Death: The Stage Play

People who’ve read my book The Black Archive #43: The Robots of Death (and if you haven’t, you can buy it at the link), may remember that I talk about a stage adaptation of the classic Doctor Who story which was produced in 2012. Well, as a bonus, someone’s only gone and found some footage of Paul Darrow in the inaugural performance!

More Praise for “The Black Archive #43: The Robots of Death”

My book gets the nod from We Are Cult! Pull quote:

“Though very few points in the series’ history are as highly regarded as The Robots of Death, Fiona Moore’s newly released Black Archive volume about the story – the 43rd in the series – nonetheless offers a fresh and compelling analysis.”

Read it here.

The Black Archive #43: The Robots of Death

It’s not quite out yet, but my monograph on Doctor Who: The Robots of Death for The Black Archive is now available for pre-order (and will be out on 4 May).   It features chapters on Expressionist design; the literary roots of the story in Asimov, Herbert, Simak and others; themes of class and power in the SF writing of Chris Boucher; the history of colour-blind casting in British television; and the Voc robots’ afterlives in comics, audio plays and theatre. In short, if you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll love it! Click the link to get your copy.

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