Saturday 26 June 2021


After the Patrick Troughton era of ‘Doctor Who’ has put us in the mood for all things Sixties, here’s the unofficial soundtrack. This was the time when the post-war, black & white world seemed finally done with, when suddenly there were more colours that you had known existed and everything was going to change.

Some pointers... Yes, Donovan was in many ways the Bono of his day. Still, listen to that opening track shimmer. Hawkwind could hold a riff down with the best of ‘em but they could dream too. Gong come up with perhaps the most Om-out riff of all… And whatever else you do, stick with ‘Trust Us’ past the half-way mark. Yes the Magic Band were mavericks who operated with absolute indifference to musical trends. But this one time they really channelled the zeitgeist, Beefheart intoning like a master mesmerist. "The path is youth, let the dying die, let the lying lie…”

Donovan: 'Hurdy Gurdy Man’
Jefferson Airplane: ‘White Rabbit’
The Electric Prunes: ‘I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)’
The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band: ‘Suppose They Give a War and No One Comes’
David Peel + the Lower East Side: ‘Legalise Marijuana’
Mick Jagger: ‘Memo From Turner’
The Mothers of Invention: ‘Trouble Every Day’
Hawkwind: ‘You Know You’re Only Dreaming’
Caravan: 'The Dog, The Dog, He’s At It Again’
Soft Machine: ‘Why Are We Sleeping?’
Love: ‘Live and Let Live’
Captain Beefheart + His Magic Band: ‘Trust Us’
13th Floor Elevators: 'Slip Inside This House’
Gong: ‘Master Builder’

Pink Floyd: ‘Take Up This Stethoscope And Walk’

Saturday 19 June 2021


"Time... is only something we have invented for ourselves. It's a trap. I wanted to destroy that trap."
- Nicholas Roeg

“Economy of time, to this all economy ultimately reduces itself.” 
- Marx

(A sort of sequel to this, though the order you read them doesn’t really matter.)

Chronic Argonauts 

There must have been a first time travel story. Even time travel has to have a starting point.

And that’s because the passage of time was originally held to be illusory, a trick caused by restricted perspective. Time isn’t really time at all, but just another dimension in space. “Second sight”, prophesying and all the rest wasn’t a form of travel but an enhanced ability to see. Another term for a shaman or a soothsayer is a seer. And the seer has an elevated viewpoint to see from, which allows him or her to see across time. It’s like we all live down in a deep valley, but they inhabit a tower. They can simply see further.

People can confuse this with predestination. But it’s not the same. Predestination presumes linear time, as if all is scripted in advance, your fate lying inexorably in wait for you like the station awaits the train. Here both time and space are part of the web of wyrd, where tugging on one part will cause waves across the rest. This is how Brian Bates had his sorcerer character Wulf explain it, in his novel ’The Way of Wyrd’ (1983):

“It is a mistake to assume that events far apart in time are thereby separate. All things are connected as in the finest web of a spider. The slightest movement on any thread can be discerned from all points in the web…

“Omens frighten the ordinary person because they believe them to be predictions of events that are bound to happen: warnings from the realm of destiny. But this is to mistake the true nature of omens. A sorcerer can read omens as pattern-pointers, from which the weaving of wyrd can be admired and from which connections between different parts of patterns can be assumed…

“There are no laws. The pattern of wyrd is like the grain in wood, or the flow of a stream; it is never repeated in exactly the same way. But the threads of wyrd pass through all things and we can open ourselves to its ripples as it passes by. When you see ripples in a pool, you know that something has dropped into the water.” 

Linear time, causal events, all arose later. Along with notions of social progress. Time travel, relying on linear time like a train needs tracks, became conceivable as a consequence of this. But whenever it was, it’s long since been lost to time. So let’s ask a more precise question – when was the first time machine story?

With time travel we’re time’s passengers, susceptible to its whims. If people crossed time it was often not through their own doing but by the whim of fate, by supernatural or just plain mysterious means. In Washington Irving’s story of Rip Van Winkle (1819) time literally runs away with him, he’s beguiled to discover years have passed in what to him was a night. In what’s become his signifying feature, even his beard has grown long. But that’s a more extreme version of an experience we all have. You have it every time you see a clock and say “what, quarter to five already?”

Which places Irving’s story in a strange interchange. It happens to Van Winkle essentially because he drinks magic mead. But he doesn’t just reappear in a later iteration of his home town, small children now adults and so on. In a much-forgotten feature, the American revolution happens in his absence. Time hasn’t just advanced, society has changed.

Things developed from there. But development is never even. Buck Rogers’ 1928 origin, for example, effectively rips off Rip Van Winkle to get its hero into the world of the future where the action is. Nevertheless, the time machine dictates to time, just as the car engine lets us dictate to space. If we have never invented an actual time machine, their fictional existence has always been linked to real contemporary levels of technology. Wells' 'The Time Machine' (1895) claimed to feature “the first of all Time Machines”, and this has since become a widespread belief. But though with ’Time Machine’ he may have coined the term, Wells himself had already written the shorter, lesser-known 'The Chronic Argonauts' (1888). And more timely still was Edward Page Mitchell, with 'The Clock That Went Backward' (1881).

As with Irving, Mitchell’s story inhabits an interchange. It’s based around a predestination paradox which enables the revolt of the Netherlands, which it strongly suggests was a precondition of American Independence – the path of progress being paved. It strongly links time travel with clocks, to the point of suggesting it could only be possible after clocks were invented.

Yet it only portrays time travel working backwards, through a clock whose two operatives are themselves elderly. (It’s said of the Aunt owner: “The old lady was surrounded by old-fashioned things. She seemed to live altogether in the past.”) And while time is only portrayed as linear, as if it has a reverse to be added to forward gear, there are also verbal hints of wyrd time: “Past, present, and future are woven together in one inextricable mesh.” Ultimately, though some pseudo-scientific explanations are offered up, it’s really a piece of weird fiction.

But it’s central feature, up there in the title, is a piece of magical thinking about technology - as if the thing that measures time could somehow also control it.

Unlike Mitchell’s august Aunt, Wells made his protagonists respectively a brilliant but remote inventor and a Victorian explorer. But there’s the same emphasis on time travel as if it were another direction in space. In ’The Time Machine’ the original working model is even described as the size of a clock. All of which reflects the increased prevalence of clocks in our lives by that point. Its controls are literally a forward and a reverse gear.

The globe had become increasingly demarcated and colonised. So, after space, time was next to fall under human dominion. The shift from agricultural to industrial work brought with it the imposition of clock time onto the working day, to a degree not previously conceived. Standardised 'railway time', co-ordinated between towns, was introduced between 1840 and 1855. The first commercial telegraph arrived in 1837, with early lines often running beside railways. By 1861 the coasts of America had been connected. But there’s more...

Eadward Muybridge's photographic motion studies had started in 1878, just before Mitchell’s story. Previously, anything moving too fast for the human eye was simply ungraspable. Cameras still couldn’t snap in such rapid succession. But by setting them up in series, triggered to click seconds apart, he found he could break actions down into analysable steps. For the first time, we could for example figure out how a horse actually ran (see above). And it turned out artistic depictions had been doing it wrong all along. The essence of time had been that it passed, a succession of moments which slipped inexorably through your fingers. Now it could be grasped, could be scrutinised.

The Royal Academy’s ‘Degas And the Ballet’ exhibition associated Impressionist art with photography, and in particular with Muybridge. This movement gained its name from Monet’s ‘Impression, Sunrise’ (1874, above). Which was itself named because, in the early morning haze, so little of the topography of the harbour could be discerned. It wasn’t a mapping of a place, but an impression of a scene. The sun didn’t light the subject, like a spotlight on a stage or table lamp above a writing desk. The sunrise and the light effects it produced, these were the subject of the work.

Colours were sometimes placed adjacently on the canvas, to mix together in the viewer’s eye, duplicating the way we perceive the real world. As said another time Monet often painted the same subject in series, at different times and under different conditions, purely to capture the changes.

This fed from twin developments. Modernism was about developing the subjective view of the artist, art’s job no longer to reflect a supposedly objective reality. But at the same time, scientific enquiry had become increasingly interested in the effect of light upon vision. Griselda Murray Brown argued:”Many of the artistic movements of the early Twentieth century were in essence an attempt to open visual art up to the dimension of time.” (’Music to the Eyes’, Art Quarterly, Summer ‘15). True, but too late. This was something which started in the late Nineteenth.

Nature had previously been thought of as timeless. Yes of course seasons passed, but as part of the eternal round. Time was circular, it simply served up more of the same. Whereas Impressionism was described as “the discovery of the present moment.” The world was no longer set, endlessly reiterating according to custom and precedent, but transitory.

Think of time as people passing you on a crowded street, a succession of moments, each with its unique character, swiftly replaced by the next. Once our activities just seemed to reproduce what had already happened, like adding another sedimentary layer to the weight of history. Now everything was happening fleetingly, for the first time, and soon to be replaced by something else. To misquote Dylan, whatever you needed to paint, you’d better paint it fast.

And Impressionism spread quickly. Pissarro recalled feeling encouraged when he first encountered Monet’s work, but always maintained he’d already been entertaining the same notions. So it may not be co-incidental that, much like Muybridge, this new approach relied on technical innovations. Earlier generations of painters had made at most preparatory sketches in situ, then knocked the painting up back in the safe confines of the studio. Now, newly built trains took the Impressionists to newly accessible country locations. And the technology that took them there also gave them new tools to depict what they saw, such as paint in portable metal tubes. Containing new manufactured paints, literally brighter than before. Those vibrant colours we all exalt in, partly they just can out of a can.

Gombrich, in ’The Story of Art’, commented “the painter was a man who could defeat the transitory nature of things, and preserve… any object for posterity”. Abandoning that to try and capture the moment was like relinquishing your main power. 

Yet it’s analogous to the way that, pre-Romanticism, few saw anything aesthetic in nature. When crossing the Alps, it was common to draw the shutters on your carriage, to keep out the awful sights. It was human technological developments which made nature seem comparatively less threatening, to the point it could be framed as a scenic view. A similar thing is true of transience. Before it could be captured, it was best not thought of. Now Monet could talk of “the instability of a universe that changes constantly under our very eyes”, not from fear but relish for the challenge.

And what happens when we apply this new concentrated sight not to nature but human society? Scientific enquiry was no longer broad in scope, like mapping a new continent, but acute – aiming to home in on something. Producers of goods had originally been independent craftsmen. Merchants were essentially their customers, even if their intent was to sell on what they bought to other customers further down the line. 

But by increments the craftsmen would fall under the employment of the merchants. Who would now supply their raw materials, own their premises and pay them at guaranteed fixed rates. In this way the relationship of worker to capitalist, which now seems so inherent to production, was first founded.

Yet there’s a twist to this. The early capitalist’s motive was to regularise supply, to maintain profits. But, lacking the producer’s craft skills, he could at most stand and watch the worker work. His control was really only over input and output. How the worker worked still lay under his own control. Gradually, mechanisation changed that.

Marx referred to this as the formal subsumption of labour by capital yielding to the actual. He wrote: “Through the subordination of humanity to the machine the situation arises in which men are effaced by their labour; in which the pendulum of the clock has become as accurate a measure of the relative activity of two workers as it is of the speed of two locomotives.”

Ever prescient, he was writing in 1863. But it reached it’s apogee with Taylorism, named after Frederick Winslow Taylor’s theories of ‘scientific management’, which effectively began in 1882. What Muybridge did to the horse, break a previously unanalysable blur of activity down into a discrete set of measurable steps, just a few years later Taylor was doing to the craft worker. The gestation of the production line is here. And with it time and money became inextricably entwined. Phrases like “I can’t spare the time” became common parlance. As EP Thompson said of the era: “Time is now currency, not passed but spent.” (‘Time, Work Discipline and Industrial Capitalism’, 1967.)

Time On Tracks

George Pal's film adaption of Wells' 'The Time Machine' (well, sort of) came out in 1960. Let’s focus here on the time travel scene itself. (Elaborated from a much briefer sequence in the novella.) The machine itself (barely described by Wells) is of course made to look deliberately quaint and Victorian, essentially an easy chair with a clock, calendar and gears attached to it. The brass plate with the manufacturer’s name is a particularly nice touch. (Even if it raises the question how an extended warranty would work.)

But it all accentuates the notion of the time machine being stationary in space, sitting still in the basement as all changes around it. Like the machine, time only has a forward and reverse gear. Time’s a direction, just a different kind of forward to the one space has. Imagine instead of reading down a page of a book you pressed through it. You’d come out at the same point on another page, further along. And where the time machine will take you is just as pre-set as skipping ahead in a book.

An earlier post looked at how the Hartnell era of ‘Doctor Who’ butted against the limits of Fordist time. What was there accentuated is here assumed.

But there’s another element… look less at the chief barometer of his travel – the shop front mannequin, with her raising and lowering hemline – than how it’s shown. Its double framed, first through his own window and then the shop window across the street. These devices are used to convey the passing of time, they happen to a character in the film. 

Yet at those points he's not really within the film at all. He's an observer. He's like a member of the audience who managed to get the most front of front row seats, but screens still separates him from the action. Pretty much every member of the 1960 audience would have seen fast-froward and time-lapse film. But pretty much all would have witnessed it passively, something that wouldn’t change until the first video recorders two decades later.

Which encounters and over-rides the most obvious objection. Of course the time travel section is simply built around the technical possibilities of the day. Fast forward film and time lapse photography was what they had. How else could they have done it? They filmed it not to convey any kind of temporal philosophy they may have conceived of, but simply in a way they could.

But the framing shows that’s the point. It’s not that these kind of technical developments constrain our perceptions. In many ways they do the opposite, enable us to see things in a new way. But by enabling they restrict them to what’s thinkable. It’s like building a road network. You can drive places you couldn’t before. But the places you can’t drive, you’re less liable to think about.

To quote Marx again: “The mode of production of material life determines the social, political and intellectual life process in general. It is not the consciousness of men that determines their being, but on the contrary their social being that determines their consciousness.” 

And that one direction was now… well, directional. It had a forward and back. We’ve seen in the previous instalment how that related to working life. But it was equally true of our leisure pursuits. TV, for example, then had just one channel to choose from.

A Remote Control For Reality

But if linear time was a conception of the Fordist era, of a job-for-life endured on a production line, how do we tell time today? A more recent development is bullet time. Defined by Wikipedia as “a visual effect or visual impression of detaching the time and space of a camera (or viewer) from that of its visible subject.” In general, it’s used to describe two film effects at once - slow motion combined with camera pan, so we traverse moving objects as if they were effectively still.

This doesn’t necessarily have to be captured on film. Take Cornelia Parker’s 'Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View' (1991), of which she said “it’s not the explosion, it’s more the contemplation, you know, the quiet contemplation of these things in the air.” It’s hard to think of anything more reactive than an explosion. Yet here we can stand in a gallery and mull it over, even wander around it.

It could theoretically have been made at any time, all you really need are debris and string. (Plus, presumably, enough patience to assemble it.) She genuinely tried to recreate a moment from the explosion, presumably captured from some hi-res photograph. True the artwork doesn’t rely on this, just as galloping horses could be painted before Muybridge. But the work comes from a culture which has absorbed those technologies.

A more popular example would be the Centre Parcs ad which recited the WH Davies poem ’Leisure’, (1916) (“What is this life if, full of care/ We have no time to stand and stare”) as squirrels’ leaps and swans' wing-flaps are soothingly slowed down. The poem is of course a cod-Romantic chill pill, not worth examination. Its conceit is that we live a “poor life”, but the poem itself can act as medicine for this, allowing us “to stand and stare”. But what’s significant about it here is the context, it’s combination with a technical innovation. What if you could hold a remote up to life and press freeze frame, every time life gets too hectic?

However, in general use bullet time has another element. In what’s almost a reversal of Pal’s film sequence its most used to insert a character into the drama, who has the same slo-mo perspective as the viewer. A character so likely to be found dodging bullets that it became named after such a thing.

You can see an early use in the video to Roni Size and Reprazent's 1997 track 'Brown Paper Bag'. With its payphones and box TVs it may now look of its era. But then the first Matrix film was only two years later. It lacks the whiplash pan and most of the time just ‘scratches’ time back and forth like a DJ cueing vinyl, a kind of 'budget bullet time'.

But the basis is here. It sets up a busy bustling city-time, which is buffered for everyone but our hero. And he manages this by technology, by possessing a kind of remote control for reality. Which looks like a cosmic version of a Kinder egg. The key image comes and is gone in a few seconds, of a car hurtling by a traffic queue.

Imagine chronokinesis (power over time) and time travel have become distinct things. Time was once seen as the ultimate levelling measure. Exam contestants needed to be allocated the same amount of it wherever they sat, and so on. But now we have the notion that time can somehow work for you differently to the way it works on others. Time is not universally speeded or slowed, like a record played at different speeds. Time has become subjective. Yet the irony is that these impossibly fast reflexes are also those of us, the passive viewer. The protagonist is identified with us not just from their character or actions, but in a material way.

It’s the Matrix films with which bullet time is most associated. And instead of a power-granting device Neo evolves the ability to see in bullet time - just as he sees past the consensus-reality world of illusory slumber he's been in. And this becomes more literal still with Quicksilver in the X-Men films. Time constrains others, while allowing you to pass idly through it, picking its fruits. Which is underlined by his slacker character (a break from previous depictions), his ability to mix work and leisure by goofing off mid-mission. His role in the film even works like this, he’s not a full-time worker like a regular team member but a hired contractor. He's analogous to Kevin Bacon’s superior mobile connection allowing him to avoid “buffer face”, while others freeze-frame in the street.

Perhaps what’s bizarre is that a form of viewing, which is of course shared by the whole cinema audience, in this way becomes individualised. The remote control is of course not a device you have in the cinema, it’s confined to the home. This is achieved by its becoming associated with the perspective of a single character – in fact it becomes a super-power of the hero. As TV Tropes put it: “It is a convenient way to depict Super Reflexes, by allowing the audience to experience the same powers of enhanced perception that the protagonist is using.”

The Time Machine’s fast-forward worked by a lever. Yes, it took a genius inventor to create it, but now it’s built anyone could pull that lever. Davies’ poem is predicated on its curative powers for anyone who cares to read it. Roni Size had a cosmic Kinder egg. Whereas bullet time by definition divides up the frame, into those inherently endowed with chronokinetic powers and those without.

Neo-liberalism isn't sold on the notion that we can adapt to these new social conditions we find ourselves in, but that you can - that this is your chance to get ahead and leave the bewildered herd behind. The Victorians had seen time frugality and ‘industriousness’ as a form of virtue, which would benefit any who applied it to their lives. Now society is like a lottery, predicated on winners and losers. So even social conditions come to be seen as individualised, where the side we’re on is determined not by morality so much as identification. The elect few gain the perspective of bullet time against the mass still stuck in their Fordist linear time tracks.

But if that doesn't convince you, consider this. Bullet time is simultaneously a description of our modern perception of time and a registered trademark of Warner Brothers. What could be more neoliberal than that?

Saturday 12 June 2021


First broadcast: May-July 1967
Written by David Whitaker
Plot spoilers happen!

“Somewhere in the Dalek race there are three Daleks with the Human Factor. Gradually, they will come to question. They will persuade other Daleks to question. You will have a rebellion!” 
- The Doctor

Yesterday's Past Today

Not just by acclaimed writer David Whitaker, not just a slap-bang season ender, but originally planned to be last Dalek story ever. (Because Terry Nation was trying to wrest control over his creation rather than any desire not to rely too heavily on their popularity. But with the same result. And it would be more than five years, and with the next Doctor, before their return.) This has perhaps unsurprisingly proved popular among fans. In this poll, it became the most popular Troughton adventure, while a thirtieth anniversary poll claimed it to be the best story of all.

And it's different even in it's set-up. Traditionally, 'Who' stories follow an anthology format. The Tardis appears somewhere, the crew emerge and blunder into an already existing situation. The predecessor story, 'The Faceless Ones’, would be a classic example. The previous Dalek story would be another. But this time not only do we follow directly on from what was before (the nicking of the Tardis), the situation is an already-set trap to bag the Doctor. It may be significant that the nearest we've had to this so far, 'The Chase’, was also a Dalek story. Originally by default, but now by decision it's the pepper-pots who are the Doctor's prime antagonists. With them, it's personal.

And this plot involves a breadcrumb trail of clues so elaborate as to be self-parodic. (Rather than just leaving a note saying “We have your Tardis. No funny business, alright?”) As the Doctor and Jamie follow this trail, it becomes almost the epitome of the SpyFi-ness of the Troughton era, established from the get-go by 'Power of the Daleks' – we're in an almost numinously paranoiac world crammed with spying, surveillance, secret rooms and general deception.

And this is combined with a strangely self-referential setting. We’ve become used to how later dramas retrospectively set themselves in a hyped-up Sixties, overloading the screen with mini cars, mini-skirts and lava lamps just so nobody misses them. With the pop music playing in the trendy Tri-Colour coffee bar (the Beatles before rights issues arose), ’Evil’ effectively does the same. It’s not set in its own current day, in the world that went on outside the studio. It’s set in ‘The Sixties’ of popular perception.

But then things take an abrupt left turn part-way through the second episode, and the Doctor and Jamie find themselves sent back to Victorian times. Some have criticised this, as an arbitrary reset akin to 'Keys of Marinus’. And perhaps throwing time travel into a 'Who' story isn't exactly a prize twist.

But that misconstrues what happens. First, as we'll come onto, the Sixties spy paranoia is not left behind. Also it's not a twist but telegraphed – as we note that Waterfield, dealer in unusually well-preserved Victorian antiques, is stocking up via visits back to his own time. Partly this throws the emphasis on who is behind him. (Though, as is not unusual, the title gives us a bit of a clue.) But more importantly it exists as a device to contrast the Victorian with the Sixties. Which is why the Sixties has to be so Sixties. Of course any audience inevitably sees the past through the filter of its own times. But starting things off so showily in the Sixties foregrounds this, encourages us to do it. We see in the country manor in the context of the Tri-Colour coffee bar.

Perhaps this is most foregrounded in the sequence where Jamie strives to rescue the “very beautiful” damsel in distress, Victoria, by navigating a series of death traps. As he's even accompanied by a mute ethnic stereotype sidekick, it couldn't be more of a Victorian melodrama. (And if that makes it sound tedious, try watching it.) But the whole thing is observed by the Doctor and the Daleks, in a kind of meta-commentary, like a DVD extra before it's time. (We'll come onto why. But it won't make any sense.)

In fact it could be argued the show was always pulling heirlooms out of the era, but had previously been unable to visit it because Victoriana had been so embodied by Hartnell's Doctor. It would have been too much like him coming home, and he was supposed to be an exile and wanderer. We needed to wait for the Troughton Doctor who, while shown as knowledgeable of the era, is not of it in the same way.

When Science Was Weird

But the real clue as to why we need to be told we're in a constructed Victoriana rather than anything resembling an actual Victorian past is the time machine. Waterfield and Maxtible, two gentlemen scientists, have built their own home-made one. Out of mirrors and static electricity. It is not stated whether string and brown paper were also elements of its manufacture, but the possibility seems high. And, being Victorians, they built it in a cabinet.

For any self-respecting science fiction fan, this is risible nonsense. Whereas for the rest of us it’s audaciously brilliant, one of the most gloriously deranged pieces of pseudo-science in the show's history. Is it something which could work in the real world? No. But that's what we have fictional ones for

And it needs to be a Victorian time machine to have even this semblance of functioning. Because science was then still in it's Wild West era, was still weird. The study of natural forces and development of machinery, which went on to make our modern world, went alongside the strangest kinds of spiritualism and even occultism. Nor did they merely co-exist, folk beliefs slowly vanishing to the shadows as lightbulbs started to light up. Conversely, electricity and magnetism were often considered in themselves evidence of spirit forces. We see one side of this around us every day. So now the distorting lens of fiction can play up the other.

Yet fan lore, dissatisfied with this, has it that the Daleks don't arrive through anything as undignified as this Babbage Engine Tardis. We're told they actually show up through their own power, and use the thing as a cover story to allay the superstitious locals. Which suggests fans don't always have much of an idea of how their favourite show works. For not only is it fitting, it's vital that they emerge that way!

As Waterfield says “If only we could have known the powers we were going to unleash... creatures burst out of the cabinet, invaded the house, took away my daughter...We had opened the way for them with our experiments.” It's like the cabinet was a Pandora's Box, unleashing evil spirits. While the Doctor reacts to the news it contains static electricity with mounting dread, like that has some elemental power to summon Daleks.

Dalek presence in the Victorian mansion is put down to haunting. We first hear Waterfield responding to their unheard voices through the time portal, like a medium. They often appear to people singly, like familiars. As well as Waterfield calling them “creatures” above, they're also “devils”. As Wood and Miles put it in 'About Time', “they're no longer just robot beings from space but demonic forces from another plane of existence”. Notably, unlike the capsule in 'Power', we never see inside the cabinet – just Daleks (and the occasional human) appearing from and disappearing back into it. This adds to the sense of it as some magic object.

Faustus Times Two

Many, as a way of describing Waterfield and Maxibile's summoning of the Daleks, have described this story as Faustian. So many that maybe that’s worth taking a look at...

When we first see Waterfield he's travelled through time but, no Wellesian explorer, then shuttered himself away surrounded by artefacts of his own era. He describes time travel as a “horror”. Which is a pretty effective metaphor for old age, which is after all a slow form of time travel with the element of choice removed. Get past a certain age, and it’s the present which becomes the foreign country. As a child, it always seemed to me my parents filled their home with totems of the past and begrudgingly engaged with the modern world only when compelled. But this also has the effect of humanising Waterfield, of making clear what an unwilling participant in this he is. And, as he says above, the Daleks force him into doing their bidding by kidnapping his daughter.

Maxtible is given a daughter too, who is presumably just as kidnappable. But his relationship with the Daleks is quite different. It largely works around denial. When told he is their servant and to obey their orders he replies “you have a funny way of putting things”. As it transpires they've offered him the alchemists' secret, the transmutation of lead into gold. And his carrot proves a more effective galvaniser than Waterfield's stick.

It's significant that Daleks manifest as voices in the head to Waterfield but never to Maxtible. He's the one forever saying “we are not to blame for everything that has happened”, while becoming the most active agent of everything that happens. To Waterfield they’re “devils”, to him “a higher power”.

So why is transmutation so effective a lure? It's quite carefully demonstrated that Maxtible is wealthy, the mansion his not Waterfield's, so it isn't the value of gold. But then historically its pursuit was never so much about material gain as attaining secret knowledge. (It was often used as a metaphor for - or magic version of - the ability to leave our base existence behind, gold assumed to be earthly matter with the impurities taken out.)

When Maxtible states he wants “power and influence beyond all imagination”, he pursues knowledge but with the lusty fervour others might chase wealth. Which does sound similar to Marlowe's play 'Doctor Faustus', whose lead tells himself “the God thou serv'st is thine own appetite/ Wherein is fix'd the love of Belzebub”. Though the character had roots in folklore, Marlowe makes him into a proto-modern figure. He starts the play having absorbed all Earthly knowledge and finding it wanting. Mephistopheles' first gift to him is books.

But Marlowe's Faustus is a divided figure, endlessly changing his mind over whether to sell his soul or not. When Faulkner said, “the only thing worth writing about is the human heart in conflict with itself” he could have been talking about Faustus. This is represented externally, by (a Marlowe addition) the continual reappearance of the characteristic Good and Bad Angels. Whereas with Waterfield and Maxtible this divided figure is divided. Literally so, there is two of them. Like Faustus, both die. But how they die is significant. Waterfield is exterminated trying to rid the world of Maxtible and save the Doctor. Whereas with Maxtible...

First the Daleks blow up his mansion. (Causing him to cry “my laboratory, the only real thing in the whole of my existence, destroyed”.) And of course the burning down of the house is a Jungian symbol for the destruction of the old self. But they don't use their familiar “your use-ful-ness to us is o-verr” line, followed by a quick bit of exterminating. Instead they make him a Dalek.

To Maxtible the Daleks are classic Bunyanesque monsters, his own lust for power and knowledge so strong it first appears to him as an alien force, before overcoming him entirely. In becoming a creature entirely single-minded and devoid of scruples, in a way he gets the transmutation he wanted. Like Mephistopheles, they never really lied – they baited with selective truth.

Maxing the Factors 

Okay so what is the Dalek plan? Now it is possible that not all elements of it entirely make sense, though they make a good stab of explaining it all themselves here. It goes something like...

Having noticed the pesky humans keep defeating them, they decide to isolate 'the human factor' and bottle it for use. This is best achieved by setting Jamie those death-trap-surmounting tasks, then getting the Doctor to capture the emotions he emits 
in a jar. (“Jamie... produced a whole battery of emotions”, the Doctor states proudly.) 

The Daleks would seem to have got to know the Doctor by now, so bait him first with curiosity (that absurd trail of clues) then his optimistic belief the human factor will win out - rather than strengthening the Daleks, it will... well, humanise them. Honest. Yet it transpires he's been double-bluffed, and their plan is to expunge the human factor, thereby creating a Dalek factor. Which will allow them to turn humans into Daleks. Which is, presumably, the distilled stuff referred to in the title.

Which makes sense. Well, provided we use a very generous definition of 'sense', asking only what sense it makes within the story. The isolated factor is itself a kind of transmutation, a purified essence. And the Dalek factor being the inverse human factor only makes sense if we conceive of these as opposites – each as lead to the other's gold. (As Wood and Miles point out in 'About Time' “the story's driven by big dramatic symbols rather than logical details.”)

But while this plays out what's the Doctor up to? In a story where his non-human-ness is not just played up but made a plot point, he counters their manipulative schemes with manipulative schemes. On finding out he was set up into running those death traps, Jamie is not understandably a bit put out:

"Anyone would think that it's a little game, and it's not. People have died... Well, I'm telling you this, we're finished. You're just too callous for me. Anything goes by the board, anything at all. You don't give that much for a living soul except yourself. Just whose side are you on?"

And in a way Jamie's right. Even had his original plan worked, the Doctor's life would have been forfeit. He says to the Daleks “I've beaten you and I don't care what you do to me now”. And not just his but the others. In a line which you can imagine no subsequent Doctor saying (save perhaps McCoy) he calmly tells Victoria he was willing to let that happen. “Five lives against a whole planet. Well, it's not a choice, is it?” And in an indication of the subsequent infantalisation of our culture, even the timid Victoria calmly agrees with this clear-cut sense.

And with the timid Victoria... well, we've left the last till least. Deborah Watling plays her with charm, but she never really transcends her melodrama role of the passively virtuous damsel in distress. Even of the three Victorian maidens within the story, she seems the least blessed with gumption. 

We first see her via a portrait. (Actually of her mother, but to whom she's a likeness.) This may be part of the general alchemical theme, where owning an image of something equates to possessing that thing. (As seen in the mirrors in the time machine, or with Jamie and the Doctor first being captured via pictures of them.) But it also feeds the notion she's a stock image of beauty and innocence propped up onstage, masquerading as a character. In a story about character essences, a Victorian woman called Victoria seems all too obvious.

(It’s another of the show’s great bizarrenesses the original plan had been for Samantha from ‘The Faceless Ones’ to become the new female companion. A modern woman who inserts herself into the plot when she goes searching for her missing brother, she could hardly be any more unlike the passively virtuous Victoria. But that plan only failed when actor Pauline Collins turned down the permanent role. You start to picture a female companion generator in the production office which is just a coin with ‘modern woman’ on one side and ‘damsel in distress’ on the other.)

Hope I Exterminate the Emperor Before I Get Old

Fan lore will have it that Terry Nation was at odds with David Whitaker's depiction of the Daleks. I've no idea how true that is. But it's notable that Whitaker's version is not only wildly different, it even counters Nation's plan - then at its height - to spin the Daleks off into their own series. Which can work for some villains. Dracula doesn't necessarily need Van Helsing, who only shows up in some of the Hammer films. But here, particularly, with the Dalek/human factor business, the Daleks seem locked in opposition to the Doctor. Even in their plot, precisely because their plot is against him, they need him.

‘The Daleks’ had scenes where they discuss between themselves what they’re going to do. They gang up together, in fear and loathing of the world outside their city walls, but they’re an agglomeration of individuals. Whereas the Daleks of ‘Evil’, even more than in ‘Power’, work like a hive mind. They have a rigid hierarchy, from grunt Daleks to black-domed order-barkers up to the Dalek Emperor. But there's more. At one point they suddenly say “We are called. All Daleks are ordered to return to Skaro.” There's no messenger Dalek come onstage, no incoming transmission. They just seem to suddenly know, the way that communication can pass along lines of ants.

And about that... When the story jumped from the Sixties to the Victorian era, it had been Whitaker’s solution to an imposed problem. Ben and Polly were intended to appear in the first two episodes, at which point the actors’ contracts expired. The time jump provided the necessary break. Against the odds, he found an ingenious solution. (We might remember Whitaker also penned the simultaneously expedient ‘Edge of Destruction’.) Albeit one that proved unnecessary when both ended up bowing out in the previous story.

But the return to Skaro, while imposed by no-one, proved a jump too far. When the Daleks step out of the shadows, when they take us back to their place, what had become “creatures” and “devils” are robots from space once more. In that way it's similar to the two halves of 'The Moonbase’.

Fan lore has it that the Skaro scenes are set in the future, presumably because the three sections can then be present, past and future. But there's no textual basis for that. Rather like the fan notion ’Tribe of Gum’ is actually set not in prehistory but a post-apocalyptic future, the idea’s enticing but entirely speculative.

You’re better off ignoring these attempts to find coherence in this story. Not only are they not likely to work very well, the very intent seems to rub up against the grain of the thing. Planned to be the last Dalek story, it does often feel like the ideas left over from all the other Dalek stories stuck together. And it doesn’t seem terribly interested in hiding any of that. Andrew Hickey, picking this as one of the fifty most significant ’Who’ stories, pointed out: “’Evil Of The Daleks' [is] almost a collage… Never mind the lack of coherence, just look at the clashing images!” Which is good advice. Things aren’t put together so much as juxtaposed.

For the first time on the TV show the Dalek Emperor appears. Though he was presaged both in the 'TV21' Dalek comic strips written by Whitaker, and less directly by the Glass Dalek of his novelisation of 'The Daleks'. So he’s retconned with “at last we meet” dialogue. Twelve foot tall, he looks mighty. Yet immobile and plugged into a nexus of leads, like a spider at the centre of its web, in a way it's like encountering the opposite King in chess. Getting close to it suggests an endgame. (The Glass Dalek is even specified as weak like the chess King, for “it spoke with a different kind of voice altogether, not like the dull, lifeless monotone of its fellows but more of a dreadful squealing sound”.)

The Doctor wins, essentially, by sneakily swapping the two factors over so all the Daleks get given the human factor. The consequent questioning 'good Daleks' have since become something of a classic and are another example of ‘Doctor Who’ making itself immune to parody, by effectively parodying itself and getting away with it.

There’s something very ’Who’ about this. The show often upends what might seem a basic genre convention; here it’s the bad guys who want to bring about order, and it’s the good guys who seek to stop them. Except it’s quite possibly more deep-rooted than that, the primal state of the universe is disorder and attempts to impose an order upon it will not only result in sterile rigidity, and so they’re doomed to fail. Talking about the “human factor” and “Dalek factor”, having a plot that doesn’t even fit together on its own terms, just bring this more out in the open.

But it’s also very Sixties. As pointed out over ‘The Chase’, collage was a very Sixties medium. And as Sarah Hadley says “it's a very hippy story, in its way... [the Daleks are] the establishment. They're the people who will never change and never understand.”

This is perhaps truest in the way the ensuing Dalek civil war is played as a clash of generations. Having the human factor and being young are essentially conflated. The 'human Daleks' are on creation playful toddlers, but soon become questioning youths. Given orders, they never say “no” but merely “why?” (Or at one point “Why not question? Why?” Parents might feel tempted to side with the Emperor there.) It's only when they won't stop with the whying that battle commences.

The underlying optimism of which, rather than jar against the paranoia of earlier in the story, actually creates a fitting counterpoint to it. It's almost like the final episode of 'The Prisoner', finding contradictory elements of the Sixties but instead of explaining them away actively colliding them. And notably, the human Daleks are not left to make Skaro a hippy commune but effectively manipulated into battle by the Doctor, much as he did with the guards in 'Power', and with the result that the whole race is wipe out. (Or is it? Time will tell...)

Yet, as we’ve previously seen, Whitaker was very much a BBC writer. He took his craft seriously, but with that came a conservative worldview. In fact it's so at odds to 'Power', where the point of the Daleks was their overriding unity, that perhaps one story became the other's impetus. Let's see what would happen if dissent was sewn into their ranks. Perhaps what's most bizarre is that things have gone from 'Power's really-rather-conservative worldview to the down-with-the-kids attitude here. It's almost the polar opposite to the 'Star Trek' episode 'Miri', broadcast the previous year, where youth protest is literally infantalised into children braying “nyah nyah nyah” and everything is solved by their listening to their elders.

But by following the same schema, it merely duplicates the problem the other way up. It becomes as mythologising of the Sixties as it was of the Victorian era. In a story full of mirrors it's too much of a mirror, showing the Sixties in a way they liked to see themselves. It's Jim Morrison singing, with swaggering confidence, “the old get old and the young get stronger”. Yet if this was just a generation gap, wouldn't a similar conflict emerge every generation?

Antagonistic youth of the Sixties would sometimes characterise their elders as Victorian. Of course this wasn’t at all accurate. But it had benefits for them, redefining an era once characterised as a golden age as the death-grip of reaction and rigid conformity. In the Eighties, free market Tories played the same game the other way up by venerating “Victorian values”. It might have been neat to portray the clash of generations as a time travel story. Steam punk where it's steam vs. punks, exploding things into a grand narrative as a way of exposing the contradictions. But that’s not what ‘Evil’ does and there’s not much point pretending otherwise.

It’s tempting to give up on a ‘Who’ story making plot sense and go for thematic sense. But every now and then... well, fairly often actually, you have to give up on thematic sense too, at least in terms of thematic consistency. Its link, between its three settings, is the Victorian time machine – and that's fitting. It’s not the mirror held up to human nature that some insist it is, it’s more a hall of mirrors which results in a picture fractured a thousand times. 

Within those fractures are some bizarre juxtapositions and compelling images, and sometimes a few pieces even manage to line up. Which can at times be enough. The human Daleks asking “why” isn't something you forget once seen. But overall, it’s too much of a collage. It's not the classic fans claim, and certainly not the equal of the much more focused 'Power'.

But perhaps that’s part of its appeal. Unlike ’Power’, which stuck rigidly to one setting and firmly to one there, ’Evil’ is so incohesive it may appeal to those whose hobby is patching plot holes and devising explain-aways.

And another apparent stumbling block, bar one episode, no-one can actually see it. Andrew Wixon astutely refers to “our collective fan belief that at some point in time the series had to have touched indisputable perfection - and as that moment doesn't seem to be recorded in any of the stories left to us, well, then, it must have occurred during one of the stories that isn't”. It’s so much easier to say “lost classic” than “found classic”. Added to which, it's equally fannish to conflate ‘last Dalek story ever’ with ‘best Dalek story ever’. Even when it didn’t turn out to be either.

Coming soon! We’ll be back to the Troughton era one fine day. But first some more of that time travel…

Saturday 5 June 2021


First broadcast: April/May 1967 
Written by David Ellis & Malcolm Hulke
Plot spoilers below!

”Haven't I met you somewhere before? You must have a double.” 
–The Doctor

Identity Theft Goes Global

Something of a fan consensus has grown around this story. It gets credit for being early (the first Earth-set Troughton story, cutting the link to the last Hartnell companions and so on) but not for actually being any good. If it did much to create a genre, its only a passable example of that genre. In short, its a dry run for and footnote to 'Spearhead From Space'. It gets credit for the Gatwick airport setting, actual location filming then a rare sight. But overall it's overlong and underworked. Plus, Ben and Polly get dispatched in a dissatisfyingly offhand manner.

Charlie Jane Anders of i09 sums it up as “not enough of a plot to sustain six episodes. Ben and Polly wander out of the story halfway through, and you wish you could too.”

At which point I'd like to come up with some clever response which proves all that orthodoxy wrong. But the truth of it is - it's completely right. The story's so padded that some scenes effectively happen twice. (It was intended to be four episodes but got bumped up to six to save money. No, really. Longer stories were cheaper per episode as they could re-use sets.) There's a succession of almost self-parodic random cliffhanger deathtraps, including that old standby of the villains walking away in order to aid the hero's escape. It often feels all too reminiscent of kids' TV of the era, with the Doctor shouting “scatter” and everyone hiding from flat-footed coppers in improbable places.

And, in this full employment era, the Tardis was overstaffed. So, as Jamie was confined to his bed for most of 'The Moonbase’, its Ben and Polly's turn to sit most of the story out on the sub's bench. Then come back only long enough to announce they're off again.

But, as so often with 'Who', there's suggestions. Suggestions so much better than what actually made it to the screen. Let's start with that celebrated airport location. Hearing that the original draft was set in a department store is a little like hearing Frank Sinatra was originally going to play the lead in 'Dirty Harry'. It's information you're better off tuning out. The setting feels like so much of what the story is, you figure that must surely have been the starting point.

And what's so great about an airport? As we saw with 'The War Machines', science fiction is often at its best not when it tries to predict the future but fixes on where current society is on the cusp of change. And this was the point where international flight was starting to become commonplace, no longer just an indulgence of the rich. The term 'jet set', as a synonym for wealthy socialites, was then still in common currency. (And even here the furthest any flight's going is the Med.) As Tat Wood & Lawrence Miles put it in 'About Time': “For most people watching at the time, the aliens were the standard 'Doctor Who' stuff and Gatwick Airport was the bizarre and scary thing”.

The often-made comparisons to 'War Machines' are therefore over-stated. True, at this point they're the only full-length stories to have a contemporary setting. But the 'poetic realism' of 'War Machines' reframed the familiar as strange. While 'Faceless Ones' makes the airport look... well, just like an airport. Point the camera and the job is done.

The scenario, for those who don't already know, is that package tours are being used as a cover for the copy-and-replace school of alien invasion. Following the David Icke model of corporations hatching plots in the utmost secrecy and then doing their best to give them away through their names and logos, this is called Chameleon Tours. There was, it seems, a catastrophe - the result of which was that aliens didn't know who they were any more. So they decided to become other people. Those other people were already inhabited. But they figured they could get over that.

There's a paradox to the Chameleons, in both their plan and their essential nature, which might be the key to the whole thing. Inevitably, they use the clipped tones of villainous bosses. Superiors curse inferiors for displaying emotion, and are mostly to be found saying things like “take your orders only from me”. All of which might seem the sort of stuff you learn in your first week at Adversary College. But here it's heavily emphasised. Compared to them the Cybermen are positively effusive, and the Daleks hysterical. (Actually, come to think of it, the Daleks are always hysterical.)

They recite the life facts of their new identities, like spies going undercover. There's a recurrent motif of those they replace losing their individuating accents, including Jamie's “Scots”. (Which is actually a dialect, but never mind.) The rule's even kept up in defiance of story sense, Chameleon Polly keeping to Anneke Wills' oh-so-English annunciations even while pretending to be Swiss. Self is tied to place here. (This is reliant on BBC English being perceived as a universalised non-accent, a sort of infectionless default setting like the service encounters in 'Anomalisa'.)

While another motif is of characters observing others through monitor screens, emphasising their disconnection. The airport, a liminal space, exudes such depersonalised officiousness that reduces self to documentation, is already strange enough to accommodate them.

But then the first cliffhanger shows a substitution take place. And it doesn't just happen in a Medical centre. The Faceless One is presented as a genuine patient, in a weakened state, requiring assistance onto the hospital bed. (It's an effective scene which offsets some of the generic deathtrap stuff which comes later on.) He's described in the reconstruction voice-over as “a raw-state template of some humanoid species”. Not sinister and malevolent, but lacking. This time we're not dealing with expansionist conquerors but escapees. Ostensibly duplication is merely their chosen method. But an undercurrent suggests what they want is our humanity – our faces, our lives. We're not the cover story. We're the prize.

Seen like this, 'Faceless Ones' is 'Tenth Planet' the other way up. Instead of a remote Antarctic base, we're in a bustling airport. Instead of the aliens surgically removing our humanity until we're like them, they want to be like us. The postcard sub-plot has a dotted-line link to the Replicants' photos in 'Blade Runner.' 

That 'catastrophe' that beset them - it’s later revealed to be an explosion. They lost their faces and their identities in an explosion. You kind of wonder how that might have happened. If that's the best placeholder explanation anyone could come up with, they'd have been better off just leaving the thing a mystery. Yet is the intra-story explanation really the thing to focus on? Because it's going to be some kind of silly sci-fi gubbins, however much or little its polished up. It's not what we're here for.

Noted 'Who 'sage Andrew Rilstone has commented how the show “is driven by the logic of language, the logic of puns, the logic of dreams, not the logic of science or the logic of logic. It is a world where things work if they sound as if they ought to work.”

And there is some fuzzy, symbolic association with becoming faceless and losing your identity. We use 'faceless' as a semi-synonym both for bureaucracy and for characterlessness, and particularly for when they interact. In the TV drama 'Cathy Come Home', which had created such a stir the previous year, a Council official is dismissed as a “faceless man”. Here's just a place where the metaphor works literally. Notably, they don't seem to have a name for their home planet, their own species or even for each other. And, really, they can't have those things. Not if they're here to represent our tendency towards facelessness.

Buried inside 'The Faceless Ones', beneath all the running about, is the notion that all this flying business has put us in danger of leaving our selves behind. Perhaps we have, in the words of the George Harrison song of that year, “gained the world but lost our soul”. And this is enhanced by it being the young, free and single who are getting replaced. Those travelling alone, unmoored by family ties. Even the postcard home is an encumbrance, which everyone seizes the chance to get shot of before they've left Gatwick. (This would have been enhanced even further if Chameleon had kept their originally scripted name of Pied Piper Tours.)

And as we all now know well enough, international flights were a great driver of the clone-town homogenisation of the world. We can fly thousands of miles, secure in the knowledge we can eat in the same cafes, drink in the same bars and sleep in the same hotels as the place we just left.

No Ghosts in the Machine

It's true this reading is confined more to the look and feel of the story, or to incidental dialogue. (“...until the life has been drained from them!”) In some ways plot points even cut against it. Once transformed the Chameleons plan is to go home again. It might have been better if they'd taken up new lives on Earth, while maintaining a strange indifference to their supposed nearest and dearest. Later 'template' Faceless chameleons, rather than strengthless patient of earlier, act like malevolent guards.

So, how come all this is so undeveloped? If it was the first 'Who' script from both Ellis and Hulke, both were already working writers. One explanation might be that the show wasn't yet fusing the extraterrestrial with the supernatural, in a way it needed to if this story was going to truly work.

We’ve seen how the Troughton era rapidly grew more Gothic. But it wasn’t there yet. Monsters could rear up, but had to be explicitly explained away as aliens. Whereas the Chameleons needed to be real or implied ghosts, lost in transit somewhere and aching to become flesh again. Perhaps a crashed spaceship, landing where Gatwick was later built. Perhaps implanting the Knealean suggestion in us that we wanted to build an airport just there. And a ghost story set not in a cobwebby castle but a busy metropolitan airport, that's actually quite a compelling notion.

With this all the ghost images, the distanced observation over flickering monitor screens, would have become a central metaphor for the story to cluster around. As things stand the story doesn’t just fail to hit its nail, it doesn’t even set it in the first place.

Similar problems occur over the ending, though perhaps in a more intriguing way. The Doctor and his motley crew are of course the very opposite of all this anonymising. They disrupt the clockwork order of the airport literally on arrival, lacking all the requite passports and tickets, the Tardis materialising on a flight path. Their clownish antics, meeting in photo booths and inconspicuously hiding behind upside-down newspapers, distinguish them from the Chameleon's po-facelessness. First they upend everything, then they put it all to rights.

One of the most-commented features of the story is that the Doctor doesn't defeat the Chameleons but brokers a ceasefire with them. How this comes about is...wait for it... not altogether clear. He achieves it by sewing dissent between the Faceless boss and the Faceless rank and file, but whether that's an existing division he exploits or a trick of his isn't at all clear. And the finding of the bodies in the car park is so tediously unimaginative it's almost on a level with Dodo and Steven finding the key in the cake.

But let's look on the up-side. This peaceful solution demonstrates the show had not become the Cold War melodrama many imagine. In fact it reinforces the show's recurring notion that ‘evil’ is more a deficiency, a lack of comprehension, an inability to get it. The Chameleons were themselves victims of something, and really required help. Does this suggest we can reconcile the internationalism of modern living with our sense of identity after all? Or should it just be seen as a more generalised plea for tolerance and understanding?

Jamie Meets A Scouse Mouth

With both Ben and Polly off-stage we get a temporary lead - Pauline Collins steps in as Samantha. Though seemingly devised to explicitly fail the Bechdel Test (she travels to Gatwick in search of her missing brother), she's reasonably proactive and described by the Doctor as “a very strong-headed young woman”. It's now well known that she was being sized up as the replacement for Polly, which makes it interesting that she's so unlike the actually-incoming Victoria in just about every respect. (The tale is that Collins turned down the regular gig. But surely they'd have sounded her out for it before giving her the trial?) However, as her character would seem to be centred around the somewhat schematic notion that Liverpool equates to contemporary, perhaps that's not too much of a loss. Her short-term status does mean she gets to snog Jamie at the end.

After all of which, the Doctor and Jamie head back to the Tardis only to find...