Doctor Who Rare Entries Contests

DWRE18: 2 June 2010


When the dust settled, the winner of what might be my last contest was one
of the last entries I received, from Dalek writer Rob Shearman, who also
recorded one of only two three-digit scores this time riound. Hearty
congratulations to him, and tips of the hat to Trstr who came second and
Hotmissile, Wilf and Barnaby Salton who came joint third, in quite a
tightly-packed top half of the scoreboard.

Here are the top five answer-slates.

0    D Gooderson   John Challis  Colin Jeavon  Jack May      June Whitfield  
1    JFK           Agatha C      Trojan Horse  Trojan Horse  Stonehenge
2    C Eccleston   [WRONG]       C Eccleston   Jacq Hill     Roy Skelton   
3    Original Sin  Love and War  Legacy/Daleks Legacy        Return/WebPlanet  
4    Window cleanr Davros        Dojjen        Raston WR     [WRONG]       
5    Colin Baker   Tom Baker     End of an     New           Jon Pertwee   
6    Daleks/Mttn   Rose          Android Inv   Revelation    Planet/Dead  
7    Gerry Davies  Hazzard       Varient       Arbuthnot     Kitt Pedlar   
8    The Marshal   Azal          Harry Mailer  Keillor       The Mutant    
9    CaptMogambo   42            A Widdecombe  Rose          Amy's Choice  

To review the scoring:
The scores on the different questions are MULTIPLIED to produce a final
score for each entrant. Low score wins; a perfect score is 1. If your answer
to a question is correct, then your score is the number of people who gave
that answer, or an answer I consider equivalent. A wrong answer, or a
skipped question, gets a high score as a penalty. This is the median of:
- the number of entrants
- the square root of that number, rounded up to an integer
- double the largest number of entrants giving the same answer (right or
wrong) as each other on the question

Here is the complete table of scores. Use a monospaced font to see proper
alignment (this may mean doing 'view source'). Scores of over 100,000 have
been omitted to spare blushes.

RANK     SCORE    ENTRANT             Q0 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q5 Q6 Q7 Q8 Q9

 1         108    Rob Shearman         2  1  3  1  1  3  3  2  1  1 
 2         432    trstr                1  4 WR  1  2  3  1  1  1  1 
 3       1,152    Hotmissile           3  2  3  1  1  2  2  2  8  1 
 =       1,152    Wilf                 2  2  9  1  2  4  1  1  4  1 
 =       1,152    Barnaby Salton       3  2  2  2 WR  2  2  2  1  1 
 6       1,200    Peter314             5  2  6  5  1  1  2  1  2  1 
 7       1,440    Regenerator          3  1  3  5  1  2  1  2  8  1 
 8       1,728    Badgers              3  2  3  1  2 WR  1  6  1  1 
 9       1,944    Ssarl                3  3  9  1  1  2  2  3  2  1 
10       2,160    OT40                 5  1  1  1  1  4  3  6  1 WR 
11       2,304    Will James           1  4  9  1  2  4  1  2  4  1 
12       2,592    Fortmap              1  2  9  1  1  3  2  3  8  1 
13       3,456    Simon Kinnear        4  1  6  1  1  3  1  2  8  3 
 =       3,456    DAL to EKS           3  2  3  1  2  2  2  1  8  3 
15       3,840    Aquatics64           5  2  2  1 WR  4  2  1  4  1 
16      10,368    Ben Goudie           3  1  9  1  2  4  3  2  8  1 
17      17,280    Gordon Ridout        2  2  9  5  1  4  2  6  2  1 
18      24,576    Gavin Morgan         4 WR  6  1  2 WR  2  2  2  1 
19      27,648    Baselsorian          3  4 WR  1  1  2  2  1 WR  2 
20      31,104    Starfighter Pilot    2  1  3  1  2  3  3  6  8 WR 
21      38,400    Mark Alden           5  1  6  5  1  2  2  2 WR  2 
 =      38,400    James Munro          5  2  2 WR WR WR  2  1  1  2 
23      41,472    Stanmore             3  4  9  1  1 WR  3  2  8  1 
 =      41,472    ChrisKelk            3  2  6  1  2  4  1 WR  2 WR 
25      58,320    Ed Rackstraw         3  3  9 WR  1  2  3  2  1 WR 
26      82,944    HolmesBaker          4  1 WR  2 WR WR  1  6  1  2 
27      92,160    Red Ripper           3  2  2 WR  2 WR WR  2  2  2 
28                Lightrock            1  3 WR WR  1 WR  2  3  4  3 
29                Lord of Thyme       WR  2  6  1 WR  3  2  6 WR WR 
30                Ben Brown            4  2  9  5  1  4 WR WR WR  2 

Here is the complete list of answers given. Each list shows correct answers
in the order worst to best (most to least popular). 

0. Name an actor who has played a credited speaking role in at least one
episode of Doctor Who and who has also played a credited speaking role in
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy BBC radio series or BBC television

5 Stephen Moore (Marvin, Eldane)
4 Peter Davison (Dish of the Day, The Doctor)
3 Colin Jeavons (Max Quordlepleen, Damon)
3 June Whitfield (Raffle Woman, Minnie)
3 Rula Lenska (Lintilla, Styles)
3 Valentine Dyall (Deep Thought, Black Guardian)
2 David Gooderson (Barman, Davros)
2 Jack May (Garkbit, General Hermack)
1 David Rowlands (Hairdresser, Bisham)
1 John Challis (Prophet, Scorby)
1 Patrick Moore (himself, himself)
1 Simon Greenall (Bartender, Skinner)
1 Peter Jones

A big vote here for Stephen Moore, who I personally was delighted to see -
well, hear at any rate - finally turn up on Doctor Who. A lovely actor who
memorably voiced Marvin in both the radio and TV versions of Hitchhikers as
well as playing at least a dozen other roles in the radio version. Peter
Davison's unrecognisable turn as The Dish of the Day, alongside his then
wife Sandra Dickinson, is also well-remembered it seems.

The wretched movie version of Hitchhikers was omitted from the question (as
were the record albums, although they largely had the same cast as the radio
episodes they were adapted from) partly as a trap to see if anyone would go
for Ian MacNeice or Bill Nighy (who would have been a wrong answer in any
case) but mainly because Mark Gatiss and Steve Pemberton are credited there
as The League of Gentlemen, and I didn't want to get into whether that meant
they were credited or not.

In any case, the presence of the Dirk Maggs-produced Tertiary, Quandary and
Quintessential Phases (twenty-first century radio adaptations of the novels
Life, The Universe And Everything; So Long and Thanks For All The Fish; and
Mostly Harmless) provided several extra answers including June Whitfield and
Patrick Moore.

Right answers not given included Geoffrey Beevers (Number Three in TV
episode six and The Master in The Keeper of Traken) and Bill Paterson (Rob
McKenna in radio fit the 19th and Bracewell in Victory of the Daleks).

None of the regular cast of Hitchhikers has ever appeared in Doctor Who,
despite being solid character actors all. Peter Jones, Simon Jones, Mark
Wing-Davey, Geoffrey McGivern, David Dixon, Susan Sheridan and Sandra
Dickinson have all evaded the TARDIS so far. McGivern is the most surprising
omission as he's been in absolutely everything. The entrant who punted Peter
Jones admitted that this was a blind guess.

1. Identify a real-world phenomenon, historical event or legend which
according to Doctor Who has a science-fiction explanation (or more than

4 Disappearance of Agatha Christie (The Unicorn and the Wasp)
3 Disappearance of the bees (The Stolen Earth)
2 Building of Stonehenge (The Time Meddler)
2 Dinosaur Extinction (Earthshock)
2 Great Fire of London (The Visitation)
2 Loch Ness Monster (Terror of the Zygons)
2 Love's Labours Won's status as a Shakespeare play (The Shakespeare Code)
2 The invention of the wheel (City of Death)
2 Trojan Horse = The Fall of Troy (The Mythmakers)
1 Assassination of JFK (Silver Nemesis)
1 Atlantis (The Time Monster)
1 Building of Peruvian Temples (Death to the Daleks)
1 Disappearance of the crew of the Mary Celeste (The Chase)
1 King Arthur (Battlefield)
1 Luddite Riots (The Mark of the Rani)
1 The Big Bang (Terminus)
1 Writing The Time Machine (Timelash)
1 Eruption of Vesuvius (The Fires of Pompeii)

Probably the easiest question this time round. Hardly any wrong answers,
almost no-one got worse than a 2 and plenty of people came up with answers
I'd never even considered.

One dubious answer was The Trojan Horse or The Fall of Troy, for which one
entrant provided a lengthy justification along the lines that since in The
Myth Makers The Doctor himself provides the idea, then without the
intervention of time-travellers it would never have existed. Something feels
wrong about that, but I can't actually find a reason to reject it.

However, I think I'm right to reject the eruption of Vesuvius which was an
active volcano that the Pyrovile device was preventing from erupting until
the Doctor and Donna switched it off. That means that Vesuvius would have
erupted with or without the presence of sci-fi Pyroviles and time
travellers, so I think this one is wrong. Had the entrant specified the
exact date and time of the eruption, I might have been more lenient, but
Vesuvius would certainly have erupted at some point in any case.

2. Name an actor who has played a speaking, credited role in at least ten
Doctor Who stories but who has never provided a DVD audio commentary.

9 Jacqueline Hill
6 William Hartnell
3 Christopher Eccleston
3 Jon Pertwee
2 Patrick Troughton
2 Roy Skelton
1 Peter Hawkins
1 Matt Smith (8 stories)
1 Paul Kasey (no speaking roles)
1 Richard Franklin (commentary on The Claws of Axos)
1 Roger Delgado (8 stories)

By contrast, this was a smaller set than I anticipated. The first three
Doctors and Hartnell companion Jacqueline Hill all sadly died before
November 1999 when the first Doctor Who DVD was released. With one
exception, all other Doctors and companions have either contributed a DVD
commentary to the range, or not appeared in as many as ten stories. Michael
Craze, for example, died in 1998 but only appeared as Ben Jackson in nine
stories. The exception, of course is Christopher Eccleston who has never
recorded a commentary for any of the ten stories he appeared in. Matt Smith
has so far only appeared in eight stories, even counting The End of Time.

Other people I thought might qualify such as Pat Gorman, David Graham,
Michael Wisher, Michael Sheard or - as one entrant thought - Roger Delgado
can't quite muster enough stories where they have credited, speaking roles
to get over the line. The wording of the question, however, did mean that
voice artists were okay and this let in Peter Hawkins and Roy Skelton, but
movement artist Paul Kasey, although he has plenty of credits, has never
been heard to speak on the show (interestingly, the same entrant cited a
Paul Kasey character as one not heard to speak for question 4!) I'm not
aware of any right answers not given.

3. Name an original Doctor Who novel or Big Finish audio drama which
features a return appearance from a character or race of monsters which have
only ever appeared in a single televised Doctor Who story.

5 Seasons of Fear (Nimon)
2 Return to the Web Planet (Zarbi)
1 Alien Bodies (Krotons)
1 Bang-Bang-a-Boom (Drahvin)
1 Beautiful Chaos (Mandragora Helix)
1 Blood Harvest (Spandrell)
1 Bloodtide (The Myrka)
1 Hothouse (Krynoids)
1 I Davros: Guilt (Nyder)
1 Legacy (Lianna)
1 Legacy of the Daleks (Chancellor Goth)
1 Lords of the Storm (Rutans)
1 Love and War (Draconians)
1 Mission Impractical (Dibber)
1 Original Sin (Tobias Vaughan)
1 The Hollows of Time (Tractators)
1 The Krillitane Storm (Krillitanes)
1 The Magic Mousetrap (The Celestial Toymaker)
1 The Nightmare Fair (The Celestial Toymaker)
1 The Quantum Archangel (Kronos)
1 Vengeance of Morbius (Morbius)
1 Death in Blackpool
1 Gubbage Cones (not a book or audio)
1 The Varga Plants (not a book or audio)
1 Zyons (not a book or audio)

This was one of those times when some people failed to pay proper attention
to the wording of the question and named the monster instead of the story,
although in fact this made very little difference to the outcome. If a
specific novel or audio was named, then I was generous and for example
interpreted "Krynoids - TV = Seeds of Doom, BF = Hothouse" as "Hothouse",
just as I interpreted "Seasons of Fear - The Nimon from The Horns of Nimon"
as "Seasons of Fear".

However, if an entrant simply writes "Zygons" then how am I to know if they
mean "The Zygon Who Fell To Earth" or "Death in Blackpool" or "The
Bodysnatchers" or "Sting of the Zygons"? This is (partly) why the rule
exists in the first place.

In this instance, of course, none of these would be right answers since a
Zygon is seen in flashback in both Logopolis and Mawdryn Undead, and the
same goes for the Varga Plants which featured in both Mission to the Unknown
and The Daleks Masterplan (yes I do count those as two stories) before they
cropped up again in Iavros. Either The Crystal Bucephalus or Quantum
Archangel would have been correct answers, being novels which featured the
Gubbage Cones (also known as Fungoids) from The Chase but there is no novel
or audio called "Gubbage Cones", so this is a wrong answer.

In general though, there was plenty of choice and most people scored well
provided they avoided the Nimon. ("Where are you, Nimon?")

4. Name a character who appeared on-screen in at least one episode of Doctor
Who during which they had no dialogue whatsoever. For the purposes of this
question a "character" is any individual identified as being portrayed by a
particular performer in the closing credits.

2 Blor (The Monster of Peladon)
2 Davros (Destiny of the Daleks)
2 Mr Quill (Fury from the Deep)
2 Raston Warrior Robot (The Five Doctors)
2 Rose Tyler (Partners in Crime)
1 Android (The Visitation)
1 Ascaris (The Romans)
1 Cybershade (The Next Doctor)
1 Dojjen (Snakedance)
1 George Cranleigh (Black Orchid)
1 Klout (The Leisure Hive)
1 Kriz (The Brain of Morbius)
1 Melkur (The Keeper of Traken)
1 Monster (The Brain of Morbius)
1 The Creature (Dragonfire)
1 The Ergon (Arc of Infinity)
1 The Hoix (Love & Monsters)
1 The Medusa (The Mind Robber)
1 Victoria Waterfield (The Wheel in Space)
1 Window cleaner (The Time Monster)
2 The Watcher (not credited)
1 Barbara Wright
1 Peter Davison (not a character)
1 Terry Walsh (not a character)

Similar story here. Two people screwed up by giving me the name of an actor
instead of a character, but again, I think at least one would have been
wrong in any case. The entrant who suggested Terry Walsh had in mind a guard
from The Green Death but I'm pretty sure that the only episode for which
Walsh is credited also has him in dialogue with Jon Pertwee dressed as a
milkman. The entrant who opted for Peter Davison had in mind the actor's
appearance in the closing seconds of Logopolis which was unnecessarily
clever since I don't differentiate between incarnations of the same
character. I would have accepted "The Doctor" since there are several
black-and-white episodes which supposedly feature The Doctor, who is
glimpsed briefly, but has no dialogue since the actor was on holiday or

Actors on holiday tempted one entrant to go for Barbara Wright, but although
Jacqueline Hill took two weeks off during The Sensorites her character does
not appear at all during those episodes, and she has no other mute
appearances that I'm aware of. Finally, longtime campaigners may remember
that "The Watcher" is a persistently wrong answer in these contests, here
disallowed because although Adrian Gibbs is widely recognised via Internet
sources as having wandered around the Barnet bypass in a cotton-wool costume
for Logopolis, he received no onscreen credit for the part.

If you avoided these traps, then answers were fairly evenly spread, with a
mix of mute characters such as Mr Quill, George Cranleigh and the Raston
Warrior Robot, and a few brief nonspeaking appearances by otherwise
talkative characters, such as Davros in Destiny of the Daleks episode two or
Rose Tyler at the end of Partners in Crime.

5. Give a word or phrase which fills the blank such that a Google search for
"the [BLANK] era" "doctor who" returns 250,000 or more results. Answers
which refer to the same span of stories will be treated as equivalent.

4 New
4 Seventh Doctor's = Sylvester McCoy
3 Colin Baker
3 Tom Baker
2 Elizabethan
2 End of an
2 Jon Pertwee
2 Matt Smith
1 Patrick Troughton
2 Delgado (320 results)
1 Baker (3,870 results)
1 Black and white (40,600 results)
1 Classic (1,840 results)
1 Train (2 results)
1 UNIT (16,600 results)

Some very odd answers here which made me think that several people had
managed to misread or misinterpret the question. The Google search required
was for two phrases, each surrounded by inverted commas. A search for the
black and white era doctor who with no inverted commas returns over a
million results. But a search for "the black and white era" "doctor who", as
required by the question, returns only 40,600. Apologies if the wording or
punctuating of the question was not clear, but I couldn't see how to make it
any clearer.

Since answers which cover the same span of stories are considered
equivalent, the entrants who submitted "Sylvester McCoy" and "Seventh
Doctor's" are considered to have given the same answer. Of the correct
answers given, I particularly liked "end of an" and "Elizabethan" which I
would have bet was a wrong answer but which returned 347,000 results.
Curiously, neither "Edwardian" nor "Victorian" will do.

Right answers not given include "RTD" and "Peter Davison". Not all Doctors
make the grade. Neither "Hartnell" nor "William Hartnell" can quite muster
enough results, for example.

6. Name a story which includes material shot outside the UK.

3 Daleks in Manhatten (New York, background plates)
3 Revenge of the Cybermen (Florida, stock footage)
2 Planet of Fire (Lanzarote)
2 Planet of the Dead (Dubai)
2 The Android Invasion (Florida, stock footage)
2 The Chase (New York, stock footage)
2 The Fires of Pompeii (Rome)
2 The Two Doctors (Seville)
2 The Vampires of Venice (Trogir)
1 Arc of Infinity (Amsterdam)
1 City of Death (Paris)
1 Revelation of the Daleks (Space, photograph)
1 Rose (Dallas)
1 The Caves of Androzani (Utah, stock footage)
1 The Enemy of the World (volcano stock footage)
1 The Next Doctor (Vancouver)
1 The TV Movie (Vancouver)
2 Vincent and the Doctor

There are seven stories for which cast and crew travelled overseas to film
scenes. These are all right answers and all were given at least once. They
are, in order, City of Death (Paris), Arc of Infinity (Amsterdam), Planet of
Fire (Lanzarote), The Two Doctors (Seville), The TV Movie (Vancouver), The
Fires of Pompeii (Rome) and The Vampires of Venice (Trogir). In addition,
background plates of New York were shot for Daleks in Manhattan. 

However, the question was phrased so as to allow stock footage, and several
entrants took advantage of this. Revenge of the Cybermen and The Android
Invasion both feature scenes of rockets taking off from NASA bases in
Florida, The Caves of Androzani had a shot of Utah standing in for Androzani
Minor and further footage of New York was used during the episode of The
Chase which features scenes set atop the Empire State Building. Finally, The
Enemy of the World features scenes of exploding volcanoes, the location of
which I haven't been able to determine but they clearly can't be within the
UK so this is a correct answer.

Having ruled out Zygon return appearances for question 3 under rule 4.1.1, I
have to include The Next Doctor here, since the brief glimpse of Paul McGann
seen there must have been shot in Vancouver. Even more cheeky is the entrant
who suggested Rose on the basis that the photo of the Doctor at Dealy Plaza
must have included material shot outside the UK. I don't want to - but I

The only other possibly controversial answer is Revelation of the Daleks
which includes a shot of the Earth (standing in for Necros) from space.
Since space is clearly outside the UK, this is a correct answer too, even if
the image concerned is a still photograph. Only Vincent and the Doctor is a
wrong answer, since although scenes were certainly shot in Trogir, Croatia,
this contest only included episodes up to Cold Blood.

7. Identify a spelling mistake which occurs at any point in a Doctor Who

6 IM Forman (Remembrance of the Daleks)
3 Henrick's (Rose)
2 Gerry Davies (The Tenth Planet, credits)
2 Kitt Pedlar (The Tenth Planet, credits)
2 Megga volts (Inferno)
2 Overide (World War Three)
2 Sorce (Human Nature)
2 Varient (The Ambassadors of Death)
1 Alan Arbuthnot (Timelash, credits)
1 Carrigon (The Invasion, credits)
1 Ernie Vince (Fires of Pompeii)
1 Hazzard (Time of Angels)
1 Murphy Grunbar (Death to the Daleks, credits)
1 Officer and cars respond (Logopolis)
1 Stahlmann (Inferno)
1 Kroll
1 The Christmas Invasion

Whereas I usually discount credits when determining facts about Doctor Who
stories (Benton has been promoted to RSM in Robot no matter what the credits
say) here I trusted that the phrase "occurs at any point" would tip entrants
off that spelling mistakes in credits were allowed - and since nobody
queried this and plenty of caption roller typos were provided, I assume I
made my meaning clear.

However, the runaway winner is not from the titles, but from the gates of
the Totters Lane junkyard in Remembrance of the Daleks. It should be "I M
Foreman" not "I M Forman". D'oh! One entrant asked whether it was sufficient
to point out an inconsistency in spelling - it isn't clear for example which
of "Henrick's" and "Henrik's" is correct - but the question just asks you to
identify the mistake and juxtaposing these two variants certainly does that.

The entrants who submitted "Kroll" and "The Christmas Invasion" I assume
misread or misunderstood the question.

8. Name a character who attempted to kill The Doctor and whose attempt was
only thwarted because they were themselves killed by a third party.

8 Harry Mailer (The Mind of Evil)
4 Keillor (Delta and the Bannermen)
2 Arcturus (The Curse of Peladon)
2 Chinese Coolie (The Talons of Weng-Chiang)
2 Young Silurian (The Silurians)
1 Aukon (State of Decay)
1 Azal (The Daemons)
1 Cyber Leader (Silver Nemesis)
1 Ixta (The Aztecs)
1 Koquillion (The Resue)
1 The Marshal (The Mutants)
1 The Mutant (Revelation of the Daleks)
1 The Nimon (Horns of Nimon)
1 A Dalek
1 Florence Finnegan
1 Restac (Cold Blood)
1 The Jagrofess

When thinking of moments where the Doctor's life is saved only by the murder
of his would-be killer, it's the marvellous - if slightly cheated -
cliffhanger at the end of episode five of The Mind of Evil which seems to
leap most immediately to mind. At the end of Havoc's finest hour, Harry
Mailer points his gun at the Doctor. Bang! Aha, it was the Brigadier,
executing the luckless Mailer. Nearly a third of the field picked this
moment, with less than half going for the next choice, the rather less
dramatic "bounty hunter" from Delta and the Bannermen. Indeed, five of the
"Mailer" answers came in consecutively!

Despite this big vote for one story, there were plenty of one-pointers to be
had, but also some wrong answers. Florence Finnegan's actions are not
sufficient to kill the Doctor and he would have recovered had she lived or
died. Restac fires the only shot she's going to and fails to kill the Doctor
because Rory gets in the way. She then expires anyway but her failure to
kill the Doctor is not due to anyone killing her. And the Jagrofess roars
and bellows before exploding (trapping the Editor in the blast). It never
threatens to kill the Doctor, and he and Rose are well out of harm's way
when it finally blows. More subtly, it might very well be the case that in a
story - or more likely several stories - a Dalek has croaked "exterminate"
at The Doctor before itself being parted from life, but this answer doesn't
identify which one so it can't be a correct answer.

One entrant queried just how much murderous intent was required, but I
didn't have to make any marginal calls here. All the attempts seemed
perfectly clear cut to me, and Doctor Who's mile-wide pacifist streak means
that possibly pre-emptive kills are unusual in any case. This isn't Die
Hard, people.

9. Give an answer to a question posed in one of my previous Rare Entries
contests which would have been (or was) a wrong answer at the time but which
would be marked correct if the question were posed today, assuming no
mistakes are made in the marking. For my convenience, please state the
question as well as your proposed answer.

3 The Beast Below (DWRE7, Q0)
2 Jekyll (DWRE4, Q8)
2 Steven Moffat (DWRE3, Q3)
2 Timothy Dalton (DWRE16, Q4)
1 42 (DWRE7, Q0)
1 Amy (DWRE12, Q8)
1 Amy's Choice (DWRE12, Q0)
1 Ann Widdecombe (DWRE3, Q6)
1 Captain Mogambo (DWRE1, Q7)
1 Christopher H Bidmead (DWRE11, Q2)
1 Cold Blood (DWRE10, Q9)
1 Karen Gillan (DWRE15, Q0)
1 Pompeii (DWRE4, Q6)
1 Professor Malcolm Taylor (DWRE1, Q0)
1 River Song (DWRE17, Q7)
1 Rose (DWRE8, Q6)
1 Simon Nye (DWRE11, Q4)
1 The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood (DWRE2, Q2)
1 Twitter (DWRE4, Q5)
1 Voodoo Child (DWRE9, Q7)
1 Ange
1 Matt Smith
1 Psychic paper
1 The Space Museum
1 Vincent van Gogh

Finally, a rather self-indulgent question which may serve as a final lap of
honour if, as I suspect, this is my last DWRE. I wondered if an answer like
"Steven Moffat" or "Amy Pond" might be a right answer to several questions
and so create a big collision, but in general people who gave the same
answer cited the same question. I've provided references here, so if anyone
wants to look the questions up they can. The trick was to find an answer
which was out of scope then but would be in scope now, and an easy way to do
this was to find an answer which was ruled wrong at the time on that basis,
such as Timothy Dalton or Jekyll.

A few wrongs are in need of explanations. The entrant who submitted "psychic
paper" clearly forgot that it debuted in the second episode of Series One
(and DWREs debuted during Series Two) so it was and is a right answer to the
question "Name a fictional device, self-contained and serving a particular
purpose (rather than a component of something larger), which has been seen
in The Doctor's possession" (or it is and was wrong because it's not a
"device" but that needn't concern us now). The entrant who went for "Ange"
had in mind the question "Identify a character whose name or usual form of
address also appears in the title of a story or episode" and thought that
The Time of Angels was the only qualifying title, but alas several Hartnell
episode titles were also sources of right answers, e.g. Escape to Danger.

The entrant who went for "The Space Museum" cited the question "Name a story
which features at least one Dalek (other than in clips from other stories)
but which does not include the word 'Dalek' or 'Daleks' in its title, or in
the titles of any of its episodes" and so may have thought that the fact
that I erroneously marked this wrong at the time meant that it counted, but
I clearly stated that you should assume no mistakes are made in the marking.
"The Space Museum" was a correct answer at the time, despite it being
temporarily marked wrong, and so can't qualify here.

Of course, if any suitable question can be found, these answers would
themselves prove to be right answers, but given that the question is really
about elements coming into scope as time marches on, and these answers all
come from stories which predate DWRE1, I think it is unlikely that any
suitable questions will be found. The entrants all had the opportunity.

Slightly trickier is the answer "Vincent van Gogh" which was accompanied by
the cheeky comment "no idea what question this could allude to but it simply
must be a answer to something...!" I doubt this however, since as previously
noted this contest only included episodes up to Cold Blood. If only you'd
gone for "Winston Churchill" or "Father Octavian" instead! However, I can't
be positive that van Gogh has never even been mentioned in any earlier
episode and so it's not impossible that this is a right answer but neither I
nor the entrant could come up with anything. Note it would almost certainly
have to occur in a David Tennant story to qualify, however.

Finally and trickiest of all is the answer "Matt Smith" proposed as a
wrong-then-right-now answer to the question "Name any performer who has
played The Doctor on the BBC tv series other than the official 10" from way
back in DWRE1. It's certainly true that Matt Smith hadn't played The Doctor
way back in May 2006 and it's equally true that Matt Smith definitely has
played The Doctor now in June of 2010. However, that doesn't necessarily
make "Matt Smith" a correct answer to the question "Name any performer who
has played The Doctor on the BBC tv series other than the official 10" since
the phrase "official 10" almost certainly has no meaning in these days of
eleven official doctors. Thus, I argue, if the question is now meaningless,
no answer can be said to be either right or wrong. "Matt Smith" is not a
correct answer to this question any more it is a correct answer to the
question "Name an actor whose colourless green ideas sleep furiously" (thank
you, Noam Chomsky). 

On this occasion, I checked every one of the 170 questions from previous
contests, assuming that a fit would eventually be found, but came up
empty-handed. Matt Smith has not appeared in any Carry On movie, never
played the title part in a TV series, nor played the same part before and
after his Doctor Who appearances, he's not appeared in any James Bond
movies, nor in The Bill, nor has he played two or more different characters
in Doctor Who episodes. I'm pretty sure he's a wrong answer.

And on that note, I say thanks to all who entered and good afternoon.



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