Six Smart Women Discussing Doctor Who

This week we launch the final mini-arc in our Year of Women: Kicky-Stabby women! Join Deb, Erika, Katrina, and Lynne as we launch things in style — Sevateem style! That’s right, Leela is our first kicky-stabby heroine (in her first story, “The Face of Evil”), and we’re thrilled to have a chance to talk about her, as it’s something we haven’t done much at all on Verity!

What do you think of Leela? Of this story? Of this idea for a mini-arc? Let us know in the comments!


Also covered:

Extra-special thanks to our guest editor, Steven Schapansky of Castria!

Download or listen now (runtime 1:15:10) 

Comments on: "Ep 172 – The Face of Kicky-Stabby" (4)

  1. Squibby said:

    Chris Boucher is one of my fsvourite BBC sf script writers snd script editors. He did such s wonderful job eith ‘Face of Evil’, ‘Robots of Death’ snd of course ‘Blakes 7’.

    ‘The Face of Evil’ has many story points and ideas he used in ‘Blakes 7’, including the computers with quirky personalitiee and post-apocslyptic science as faith or cultural memory.

    Leela is one of the most fully devrloped companions ever duo his writing and Louise Jamison’s excellent acting.

  2. Ahem… Episode 2, at 06:00. Clear and incontravertible evidence of a second female (or at least female-presenting) Sevateem: She has long plaits, and boobies. (And a crossbow, natch.)

    My first guess was that the female extra was hired for the jungle scenes shot on film at Ealing, but not for the studio days (perhaps because she was unexpectedly unavailable, e.g. ill)… But looking at it now, it looks like that scene is on video, not film (I’m watching a low-quality copy, as alas my DVD got sold for food about a decade ago), so I assume she was hired for just one studio day as a “supporting artist” (“extra”), and ended up (for whatever reason) only appearing in that one brief scene (that I’ve spotted so far).

    • Addendum: According to the production information subtitles on the DVD, the other female Sevateem was played by Barbara Bermel. I wonder if Tony Hadoke or somebody can track her down and get the story behind her all-too-brief appearance?

  3. “The Face of Evil” has been a favourite of mine for along time, partly for reasons to do with the way I was “consuming” Doctor Who back in the 1970s. My pivot from “regular viewer” to “Doctor Who Fan” concides with me getting my first tape recorder in December ’74. I quickly realised the mosty worthy thing for me to record and listen to again and again was “Doctor Who”! But it was an open reller recorder, and teh reels of tape were very expensive, so one I’d filled every reel I owned with Doctor Who I was forced to either stop recording, or wipe previous stories to record new ones that might turn out not to be as good as what I was wiping! =:oo Thus for many years I had all of season 12 on audio tape, but not most of season 13.

    By the time Season 14 started, I also owned a cassette recorder, and had transferred most of my recorded Doctor Who eps to the much cheaper cassette format. The first ep of “Face of Evil” was one of the first times I’d recorded directly to cassette, using a direct electronic link from the back of our brand new shiny Philips VCR – thereby avoiding any unwanted noises getting onto tape via the microphone! … But something went wrong, and the tape was completely bank.

    Dismayed, I made no effort to record ep 2… But as the episode progressed, I regretted that decision. The following week, I set up my trusty old reel-to-reel recorder with a *huge* reel of tape (one that had previously held all 4 eps of “The Ark in Space”), and used it to record Ep 3 of “The Face of Evil”, using the highest tape speed (7.5 inches per second), thuse guaranteeing the best possible sound quality.

    And… *OH*, it was glorious to listen to! The story; the ideas; the dialogue; the performances; the music, the sound effects… every little element felt special!

    Not only that, but by switching the playback speed to the lower speed of 3.75 IPS, for the first time I got to listen to, and carefully study, the Doctor Who theme at half speed… Which taught me a lot about how that theme actually works, and why it sounds so amazing. =:o}

    And I didn’t sop there: I would actually sometimes play the entire 3rd and 4th episodes of the story – which I’d edited together the good old fashoined way, with a razor blade and splicing tape! (this was the eve of my first attempts at “home-brew Radiophonics”) – at half speed, marvelling at how this transformed the sounds, the voices, the music… I still have Louis Jamesons’ declaration of “It’s a solid wall!”, at half speed and octave below her real voice, burned into my brain. Anytime some complains about a seemingly inpenetrable barrier or unsurmountable obstacle, in the back of my head Half-Speed Leela(TM) declares “IITT”SS AA SSOOLLIIDD WWAALL!!” =:oD

    – – – –

    OK, all my freakish sonic nerdary aside, it *is* a smashing story, immediately establishing both Leela as a marvellous companion, and Chris Boucher as a marvellous write. I was totally unsurprised to learn, decades later, that Bob Holmes had been grooming Chris Boucher to be his replacement, only to have Chris instead take the job on Blake’s Seven (where he undoubtedly contributed a massive amount to that show’s success).

    Once, when I was looking for ways to say “this is who I am!” to a recently singlified young lady whom I was trying to impress, *this* is the story I chose. [BLUSH] =:o}

    Underrated? *DEFINITELY*!

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