"After the initial flurry of interest, International Polar Year (IPY, launched this March) seems to have gone a bit quiet. I propose pepping things up with a good conspiracy theory. Handily, a recent paper in Polar Record (ref 1) describes one. The Nazis, some believe, established a secret base in Antarctica to which they spirited Hitler at the war’s end, fought off British special forces and an American military taskforce, partly by shooting down US planes using flying saucers. The Americans eventually destroyed the base with nuclear weapons in the 1950s. Since then, various governments have striven to conceal this."
I was thinking of John’s article when the eagerly, even in some quarters desperately, awaited witching hour struck: 1900 hours, Saturday 30 March 2007. Doctor Who! Would the "new companion" measure up to the late lamented (by some) Rose — who has fled to Hollywood via Sally Lockhart and Fanny Price? Can Dr Who ever recover from being Barty Crouch Jr? Would I be able to stand watching a whole episode?
Answers: (1) yes (companion more than OK); (2) Oh, Ok then Michele, yes; and (3) yes. The new "companion" has a brain, independence, sex appeal and beauty. David Tennant is doing his level best to being as un-Barty Crouch Jr-like as possible: my heart warmed to him slightly when he shook himself like a rockhopper penguin so that several hundred million Roentgens of radioactivity fell down into his toe, causing his shoe to overheat to the extent he had to drop it in the bin. And yes, I could indeed sit through the episode without retiring to my computer or book. Well done to all concerned.
Ian Hocking has also provided independent confirmation that the episode passes muster. He’s a bit troubled by the wonky science, but to my mind you can’t expect proper science in science fiction, you are better off just suspending belief, with a gin and tonic if necessary. If it is hard to accept, just remember Hitler at the Antarctic.