Catching up on Doctor Who with my son before the Christmas Special, I noticed something which points to the TARDIS having a hitherto perceived connection to the historic rail town of Crewe. In "The Angels Take Manhattan" the Doctor ends up back in New York in 1938 having to work out of his way out of a seemingly unbeatable conundrum with those most terrifying of enemies, The Weeping Angels. Shortly before emerging from the TARDIS, the Doctor remarks to River Song (outside) about having a few preparations, then grooms his hair using the reflective surface of a panel. The camera changes focus, blurs out the Doctor's reflection, then some text on the panel shows: 'TYPE FD 12 MK VII MANUFACTURER ROLLS-ROYCE MOTORS, CREWE, ENGLAND' Other text does show, but obviously this is the significant bit. The TARDIS is a living machine, that much we know. Its interior changes for each successive regeneration. Given it's a panel from an engine, is it saying the TARDIS has one of these engines? Is it a seldom used component? Or a mere piece of reflective junk? Whatever the truth, it's good to see Crewe's quality manufacturing history, the Best of British and an icon of superlative work ,associated with the Best of British TV fiction. The picture shows the moment from the episode; the time index is 20 minutes, but is actually about 18 minutes in. The main year in the episode is 1938; this is the year Rolls Royce moved to Crewe with the production of engines commencing late in that year. The most famous engine from Crewe, The Merlin, went on to have about 27,000 units made from the town over the course of the Second World War. Crewe's a proper Victorian town, its station brought into being a couple months after Queen Vic came to the throne. Let's hope the Doctor Who Special delivers a proper Victorian Christmas treat. The portents are promising!
I've just taken a look out at the Night Sky with tears in my eyes and on my cheeks. Orion, The Pleiades, Venus instantly recognisable to me. An amazing wondrous spectacle to marvel at.
Thanks to Sir Patrick Moore's correspondence with me about 30 years ago, my childhood love and amazement of astronomy grew and became sustained into adulthood. I am very saddened by his passing today.
As someone 'off the telly' who would send short typed letters back to me, it felt so pleasing, so encouraging to have him reply in such a sincere manner. From days before internet, with just 3 TV channels, he was the closest thing to an astronomer engaging social media for that day: the letter.
Thankyou Sir Patrick, you brought the heavens a little closer and better illuminated my understanding of astronomy. You'll be missed.