One sad thing about loving a television program that has been on the air for over fifty years is that the people involved with that show keep passing away. I was saddened yesterday evening when I heard the news that composer Dudley Simpson had died. His name has been appearing in front of me virtually every day for the past several months, and will continue to do so for several more weeks. Although the iconic title theme for Doctor Who was composed and recorded by someone else, Mr. Simpson was responsible for all of the other music in nearly 300 episodes spanning more than 60 stories ranging from Planet of Giants in the First Doctor era up through The Horns of Nimon in the Fourth Doctor era. He is also responsible for the title music to Blake's 7 and The Tomorrow People, among many others. He is perhaps not as well known as other Doctor Who luminaries, but he personally contributed new material to more episodes of the show than any other person. He is a true legend, and will be missed.
In happier news, I started a new story today. Let's talk about that.
The Stones of Blood - Parts 1 & 2
(TARDIS Data Core recap)
In this story the Doctor returns to his favorite planet, Earth, in search of the third segment of the Key to Time. There is a bit of foreshadowing about the Black Guardian, and some time spent getting Romana up to speed on the real stakes of their mission (she had previously believed she was sent by the President of Gallifrey and knew nothing about the Guardians). After that, the story dives right into another occult-driven story, which was all the rage in the 70's in the wake of The Omen and The Exorcist and their lesser antecedents. The setting here is primarily around a stone ring in Cornwall and the nearby moor, with a ring of druids performing ritual sacrifices while an archaeologist and her assistant study the stones themselves.
There are lots of good scares here, with creepy birds and shadowy figures. By the second episode we figure out that the giant stones are actually silicon-based aliens that feed on the globulin found in blood. There is even a scene where one of the monolithic standing stones attacks the manor where the main druid lives, and it is substantially less ridiculous than one might expect from a sequence where a giant rectangular rock commits multiple homicides.
There is also a big, big twist at the end of the second episode, revealing a primary villain who promptly dematerializes Romana. Oh no!
This is another story that I must have seen at some point before, but remember nothing about. I was worried that I might have just blocked it out of my memory due to it being weak, but that fear was completely unfounded. For a story that sets itself up as an occult druidic story, I really wasn't expecting vampire boulders (but with a title like The Stones of Blood I'm not sure what else I should have anticipated). I am wildly curious to see where the second half leads.
Companion(s): Romana, K9
Episode(s): The Stones of Blood - Parts 1 & 2
Steps Walked: 7,591 today, 1,689,227 total
Distance Walked: 4.30 miles today, 847.61 miles total
Weight: 252.18 lbs (five day moving average), net change -55.12 lbs