(Disclaimer – this is depicting an alternate mediaeval reality where newspapers existed in 12th century and were read widely)
Norman Star December 30 1170
Foul Murder of Archbishop Upsets the Church Community
Our kindly benefactor Archbishop Thomas Becket has sadly met demise in Canterbury Cathedral. The evil perpetrators behind the murderous act are said to be fully honoured knights that have connections with the royal court. One would rather describe them as ‘rogue elements’ that have chosen to twist directives from Henry II to their own ends. We have accounts from both Edward Grim, who sustained injury himself and William of Canterbury.
Turning to E Grim‘s narration of the circumstances:
‘Four tall knights burst into the cathedral. Three were dressed normally but one had a black helmet on his head, which gave the impression of an executioner. I know their leader went under the name of ‘Fitzurse’ but the other names are not to my knowledge presently.
After finding Thomas they demanded that he restore the excommunicated priests but he firmly refused. After struggling to avoid being taken outside, the archbishop began to pray. Fitzurse savagely bashed the holy man with a strike of his broadsword. The revolting consequence was that Becket lost the top of his head. I myself am now lacking the full use of two fingers – the tips being sliced off by that very same strike Fitzurse executed. Of the fours knights, only one refrained from the savage deadly strikes of the already toppled Archbishop. Thomas briefly was able to bravely face death, crying out that he would die and he was ‘not afraid’.
The maiming and grievous injury that Thomas suffered is something that I am still too shocked to reveal at length, but I know that his blood spilled onto the floor. Another wicked man arrived, though he was not a knight but a cleric, of all people!
He then proceeded with a foul crime – that of decapitating the archbishop’s head fully of the torso. That such a learned and pious man should do this deed is to my mind a crime ten-fold the severity of any of the knights’. My he suffer forever in Hell when his life in turn comes to an end!!’
We also interviewed the monk William of Canterbury.
His account is roughly the same but here are a few differences:
*Fitzurse gave a warning of ‘run away’ and showed some hesitancy in the beginning, before going on to strike out in a crazed manner.
* William ran away to a safer place in the building so his vision was somewhat limited.
*Richard Brito – another knight of the quartet actually broke his sword in the process of killing Thomas.
*The fifth assailant (the cleric) shouted at the dead body of the Archbishop.
In both accounts, a cleric who interferes with Becket’s body is mentioned. We have not received his name as yet, but if you are a witness or know someone who was privy to these dread events, please contact us here at the ‘Norman Star’… and a reward in good coinage will be offered in compensation.
Further info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057877/
I was transfixed. I saw my own name.
Written down by a pro, who could spell my surname.
Someone gave vent. With the force of a lorry.
And I needed a fix. An alarm clock fix.
Having too many dreams could make me miss tricks.
This woman needed something very different.
Some milk in her tea, and she’d be more efficient.
And her friend too was glum, with matters askew.
Seeing others’ clothes to wash – that’s not a fine view.
I’m now in my car, but it’s not a lark.
I fend off impatience, while trying to park.
Tea loving friend must run away quick.
Saw XI is out – it could really make her sick.
The snooker champion and that scribe.
Do not believe in the slightest it’s good to be snide.
Tea lover is worried, as she sees a spy.
Edgy looking, he doesn’t belong – the wrong kind of guy.
I’ve got this all down, and not had a frown. It’s been fun.
But I must keep mum, or else I’m heading on an epic run.
Along with ‘Space Pirates’ and ‘Image of the Fendahl’ this is Classic Who’s stab at Doctor-lite. This is a term that denotes a story where the title character plays a role in the story’s resolution but has far less screen time and direct influence throughout the story than normal.
Everyone is well-cast in this – and unlike some fans I do count Tasembeker and the D.J. T
There is a clever and fascinating plot, which although dense is quite easy to follow.
The steady opening episode gives way to a hectic but coherent closing episode. The black humor is wonderful.
Like ‘Genesis’ the Daleks get little to do directly but are a very scary concept .
And Davros is just awesome, for me Molloy really pushes Michael Wisher hard for best performance of this iconic villain. In some ways I wish he didn’t show up in Remembrance as its a definite step down in that story.
The Cancellation Crisis.
It comes as a surprise for many that Colin Baker’s first full run of shows ends so well, but then an announcement is made that the program will not return in January 1986 as most had come to expect.
Some feel that the damage had been done with ‘The Two Doctors’ and one or two other stories in the season which had poor storylines. Relatively poor ratings compared to other primetime shows in Season 21 also played their part and a far from enthusiastic controller for BBC1 decided to omit Doctor Who altogether.
I will write my reaction and perspective on this interim period between seasons 22 and 23 in a future post.
— Some further reading:
A really unremarkable storyline but some great acting from Baker, Kevin Mcnally, and Maurice Denham help matters considerably. Mestor is pretty poor as a design but has some pretty nifty powers and the whole sequence of his demise – and Azmael’s at the same time – is actually very good. One of the few stories in Classic Who that does improve with each episode, but remains very mediocre all the same.
(As a kid.….
I got this as an exclusive VHS release from Woolworths about 22 years ago… and I quite liked it, certainly more than the Krotons. The need for some follow up to the open ending of ‘Caves of Androzani’ meant that I was very intrigued by this new, and remarkably fickle version of the title character. The production values being poor did not bother me as they have since gone on to do. However even at the age of 9 I felt some moments were pretty laughable) …..
A perhaps generous 6/10.
This is a story I used to strongly dislike, but time has mellowed my opinion.
I last watched this an episode a time, which I haven’t done in the past. The story has a lot to it, but as many viewers remark, the Black Guardian stuff is awkward. Apart from helping the story to get going through the Tardis break-up it almost verges on the farcical, given how far out of reach the Doctor is from Turlough, making his mission to kill the Time Lord a non-event.
However Strickson and Fielding already have some great chemistry and some other acting from the guests is pretty good too. Shame about the score – Roger Limb could do good stuff (‘Traken’, ‘Androzani’, ‘Revelation’) but this is probably his worst and just reinforces the doom and gloom.
Could have been better but is still definitely one of the most intellectual and re-watchable of the 1980 shows. And how adorable is the Garm?!! (His final moment of joy upon being released is somewhat hilarious).
My Rating: 7/10