Monday, January 15, 2018

Delta And The Bannermen (1987) Review

I think love sickness is infectious.

Delta And The Bannermen is a frivolous, corny little escapade with a groovy summer feel to it.


Malcolm Kohll, who's sadly never worked with the franchise again. Shame, as judging from this, he's an eclectic, but entertaining writer.


The Doctor and Mel's prize tour to 1950s Disneyland is interrupted, when a satellite hits the Nostalgia Tours time-travelling bus, forcing it to land in Wales instead.

There, they discover that one of the passengers is the last of the Chimeron race, hunted by the bloodthirsty Bannermen who will stop at nothing to get their prey...


There's a madcap genius to both this and Paradise Towers that I absolutely love, a constant stream of ideas that only Doctor Who could do, and yet you wouldn't think of this.
This isn't a Hammer horror pastiche, or a Base Under Siege, or any other formula that Doctor Who is known for. It's just... there, this weird, undefinable, hilarious story about a holiday camp, bees, and green babies from outer space. Being Doctor Who only adds an extra layer of insanity.

It doesn't always make sense(okay, it barely does at all), but it's just such a loony and likable ride that it's impossible to get bored. If this is what I can expect from the McCoy era, it could end up as a special favourite of mine.


Once again, I love Sylvester McCoy's ability to turn the cast of the story into a surrogate family unit. By the end, you could totally imagine him staying in this holiday camp just like you could imagine him staying in Paradise Towers.

Sara Griffiths charmed my socks off as the lovesick Ray, if only becauss she rolls her Rs even better than McCoy, plus the two immediately had a chemistry together. She reminded me a lot of the feisty Diane from the Trainspotting films and that's a huge compliment.

Bonnie Langford was in this.

Don Henderson(of Star Wars fame) was darn ferocious as Gavrok, one of the most feral and dangerous villains I can recall from Doctor Who. Dude wants blood and misery and nothing else. And he eats raw beef. Like, this is a villain guys. In modern Who, a guy like him would make the season.

Similarly, Hugh Lloyd as the eccentric beekeeper Goronwy is more interesting than anything in half of Moffat's seasons. Loved how utterly peaceful and out of touch in a good way that character was. He's the kind of person you'd love to meet in real life and learn all sorts of things from.


*What was the point of the CIA agents, and what was the deal with them looking out for a satellite in the middle of Wales with a tiny telescope? Am I missing something here?

*Why does Delta think Goronwy's bees are calling her??

*The banners on the Bannermen just look goofy.

*But not as the goofy as the green-armoured green Chimerons in a brown, dusty quarry.

*I love that the Bannermen viciously blast a corpse. That's a nice, gruesome attention to detail.

*Why does Mel scream in the cliffhanger before Delta's egg even breaks?

*I get that the idea is to have Delta's baby become gradually more humanoid, but the jump from a Krynoid-looking thing to "painted baby in a onesie" is a tiny bit too big for me.

*I see loads of reviewers asking why Mel would even bother with the bus if she has the TARDIS, but as a guy who's never won the lottery either, I so would take what I can. Besides, it's a new experience!

*The dance sequence in Part One was very charming, and a lovely return to naturalism in Doctor Who, which I really hold dear as it's one of the elements that separates this show from most other sci-fi franchises, its ability to work in environments we recognises.

*I don't know why the Doctor is hugging that electric guitar towards the end(apart from looking cute). Maybe he's jealous of his future self and let down by his comparatively lame spoon skills?

*In love or not, Billy's decision to scarf down alien baby food in the hopes that it will convert him as it does the baby is beyond ridiculous. It working perfectly on a human even more so.


N/A. Again!


"My immediate objectives are to set them free and find Delta and the baby somewhere safe." The Seventh Doctor is a robot?


An endlessly creative, free-spirited runaround. Love it.

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