Kiss Me Kate: 1984

We begin in January on Staten Island, with Dennis English making life uncomfortable for Maureen Curtin:

From April 24 through 28, Tunbridge Wells Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society presented Terry Shaw spanking Shirley Browning:

Ontario’s Windsor Light Opera Association, which had first staged KMK in 1956, revived the musical 28 years later for their 35th anniversary, with the very same actor, John H. L. Watson, playing Fred. The production opened in late April and ran until May 13, with Christine Kane as Lilli:

At Cheshire Community Theater, Connecticut, Patrick Hearn spanked Julie Robillard on May 4 and 5:

The summer saw another stock production by the Kenley Players, which had been doing KMK periodically ever since the rights were released in 1952. This one starred Richard Fredricks and Ann Blyth:

At Norwich, Vermont, from July 21 through 28, Jim Todhunter spanks Lori Daigle:

August 10 through 25 were the dates for the production at the Attic Theatre, Appleton, Wisconsin, with John Siebert and Christine Anania Dempsey:

And so to 1985.

Really Married

In the light-hearted 1938 spy thriller Strange Boarders, secret agent Tommy Blythe (Tom Walls) is summoned immediately after his wedding to investigate a leak of some secret documents, and has to abandon his honeymoon before it has even started. State secrecy means he’s unable to explain to his new French wife Louise (Renée Saint-Cyr), who duly assumes the worst and follows him to a seedy lodging house which is suspected as the HQ of a spy ring.

After he finds her in his room in her dressing gown, she wheedles and deduces until eventually she works out, correctly, what it is that he does for a living – something she isn’t officially allowed to know. At this, Tommy becomes masterful:

‘If you don’t do as I tell you in two seconds, I’ll put you across my knee and give you a good spanking.’

And what’s more, he bends her over and gives her a quick ‘free sample’, two smart smacks on each cheek.

She responds with unconcealed delight:

‘Darling, now I really feel married!’

What she means, I take it, is that marriage entails being with a loving man who is in charge and prepared to be physically assertive when necessary. It’s a notion not fashionable now, but commonplace enough then, in symbiosis with the romantic trope of the commanding alpha male hero and the psychological phenomenon, widespread albeit not universal, of women’s desire to submit to the right man.

Even nowadays, some husbands get off to an early start,

and some seem so eager to do it properly that they anticipate revelations that were meant for the wedding night.

And remember the tradition: something borrowed, something blue…

It’s a practice with a long pedigree.

It’s even customary at some Jewish weddings for the bridegroom to strike the bride with his shoe, to signify her submission to him in their ensuing married life. That formality is not necessarily done in the way it was imagined by an American cartoonist in 1951:

But presented in those terms, it’s a rite that signifies the bride’s passage from the care and control of one authority to another, both expressed in the same type of action (a theme that is more fully discussed and illustrated here).

In life, and indeed in comic books, the transfer doesn’t always go as smoothly as it might. That’s the essence of this 1953 romance comic story:

The title makes it worth emphasizing that, although the central character, Lucy Jordan, is only 17, she is old enough to be legally married and indeed has been, to Frank Jordan, for three months. The problem is that she respects her parents more than her husband, whom she neglects. The relationship is on the point of breakdown when the parents, sensing that something is going badly wrong in their little girl’s marriage, pay an unscheduled visit to the Jordan residence, arriving at what is indeed a moment of crisis:

And there’s the point of contention, crystallized symbolically in the spanking that Lucy deserves: will she get it from her father or her husband?

It looks as if it’s going to be Frank,

but in the event he chooses not to jeopardize the marriage further,

and, though unspanked, Lucy resolves to be a better wife to him in future.

That may be a disappointing outcome when seen purely from our point of view, but there is a healthy realism in the recognition that not every new wife will respond to the prospect of a spanking, still less the actuality, with the joy shown by Louise in Strange Boarders.

On the other hand, spanking isn’t always a matter of unwelcome, painful humiliation for the wife. The other dimension emerges in a wealth of candid couples photography down the decades,

not to mention the occasional home movie, like this one of movie star Lon Chaney spanking his wife Hazel in 1928:

(The video is here.)

Even when the one most in the public eye was the wife, not the husband, a bit of spanking was far from unknown. Here’s Milko Skofic spanking his wife in 1955:

You may well not have heard of him… but Mrs Skofic was also, and much better, known as the film star Gina Lollobrigida.

And even today, celebrity couples have been known to enjoy a bit of over-the-knee intimacy. In 2018, the Malaysian actor Henry Golding and his wife, the Taiwanese television presenter Liv Lo, did a shoot for the fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar. One of their poses was especially pleasing:

Another notable who certainly thought a lot about spanking his wife, in the context of fun, was the cartoonist Dan Decarlo, who was married to a fetching French lady named Josie:

She was the model for the pretty girls in his toons, who were often upended and uncovered, like this:

So, not just fun, then, but sexy fun!

But that’s only one side of husband-and-wife spanking. The other dimension, which is also there in the toon, is what we shall turn to in the second part of this series.

Sports Safety for the Situpon

Sports commentators are fond of metaphors of corporal punishment. In English, a badly defeated team will sometime be said to have received a ‘thrashing’, while American high schools often claim to have ‘spanked’ a rival on the football field. Spanking is also the usual vocabulary in the vernaculars of central Europe, which is of marginal interest in respect of, say, men’s football, but of somewhat more piquancy when it comes to the likes of women’s tennis.

The game of tennis is notorious for bouts of ‘unsportsmanlike’ behavior, and in 1957 one exemplar of that was the Mexican player Yola Ramirez.

 

In a series of tantrums at Wimbledon, she attacked the umpire, the crowd, the ball girls – and even the ‘naughty ball’ itself. She was taken to task by a fellow player, American Darlene Hard, who was that year’s doubles champion and singles runner-up.

Darlene told Yola:

‘Next time you let the crowd, the umpire or the ball girls worry you, I am going to spank your bottom so hard that you won’t be able to sit down for a week.’

She then explained herself to the Daily Mirror: ‘Yola is a sweet kid really, but she has been naughty recently.’

When it comes to spanking, tennis has several advantages, including the easy accessibility of the target area.


Moreover, there is a potential spanking implement already to hand.

In doubles matches, this can also lead to accidents, at least in the perhaps not entirely realistic world of teen humor comics.

 

So girls who don’t want to be spanked should maybe choose another sport. How about table tennis?

Maybe not. So let’s try and find a sport where there are no risks, no temptations…

We can start by ruling out anything that involves hitting something round using a stick, such as hockey, especially when played in the Czech Republic around Easter.

 

It’s not only the same reasoning that makes baseball a bad idea. The warning has been there ever since 1907, when this postcard was issued.

True, that’s only a pun. True, it’s just a humorous story when, in a comic book of 1949, ‘America’s typical teenage girl’ Ginger Snapp suggests to her father that his baseball prowess might be most useful if he played for the opposing team, and in consequence finds herself incommoded at the next game:

And it’s true that this picture, showing how a player might use the extra hand power conferred by her baseball mitt, is nothing more than a joke:

But one thing is undeniable: the most iconic, most historic baseball girl of them all, Marge Villa,

got spanked in 1946!

Golf has its risks, too.

Serious risks,

from the moment you tee off,


right to the end of the game, and beyond, as two unsuccessful competitors in the 1941 Western women’s junior golf tournament found out. They were the teenage daughters of two golf pros, who spanked them for their unacceptable scores:


On the left, Bob Herpel spanks his daughter Marilyn Jean, while on the right, Water Carberry spanks his daughter Pat. The girls had scored 107 and 115 respectively, while the one gloating in the middle had done marginally better at 104. (The average golfing score for women is 100, and the aim is to get as low as possible.) The Associated Press story quipped that they were lucky their fathers didn’t match their scores stroke for stroke!

So let’s do away with sports implements and turn to what may be a safer kind of ball game, soccer.

Well, safer for some, so long as nobody takes the term football too literally.

So maybe some players deserve whatever they get…

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again… with basketball.

 

No safety there…

Or how about volleyball?

It’s a game where levels of coverage are markedly variable,

and where there is reduced coverage, there is increased risk…

Maybe that makes my next suggestion a non-starter: a trip to the gym?

With any luck, you’ll be able to get in your training,

and even do some competitive gymnastics, on both the floor and the parallel bars. (Don’t forget to chalk your hands for safety!)

 

Yes, the gym could be a really great place for some spank-free sport.

Oh…

Let’s try the track.

OK, some rascally cameramen will insist on shooting you from your most alluring angle.

 

But since over the years many a spanking has been received by a girl who didn’t run away fast enough, surely you must be in with an advantage there?

Think again when you consider what happened at a track event in 1947: a competitive 24-hour ‘walkathon’ for couples in Kansas City, Missouri, that caused many contestants to keel over with exhaustion. One man tried an unusual way of waking up his partner:

And keep those second thoughts coming when you remember South Korea’s leading track athlete, Lim Chun-ae,

and, in particular, how she was trained for the 1988 Olympics in Seoul. As she explained to the Korean press, there was a certain penalty for poor performance:

‘Coach Kim spanked me and I don’t blame him. I blame myself for not having done my best to improve my record. The spanking he gave me will only contribute to a better chemistry between us.’

So even on the track you’re not safe!

But don’t despair. All you need is a more efficient getaway. Here’s a girl with an idea:

In sports swimming, you really can dive in and get to the end of the race without danger.

 

unless of course you’re competing in Spicy World.

Maybe a bit more speed would help? Get your skates on! But beware of tempting providence.


Your choice of outfit could raise ideas wholly unrelated to your artistic and athletic performance,


and set you up for what you’re trying to avoid.

To coin a phrase, woe be unto you!

And in case you imagine there’s any kind of an optical illusion going on there, let’s also bring in the 1940s American figure skater Skippy Baxter, seen here with his partner Hedy Stenuf:

It’s not known whether she was the leading lady in a case reported by the New York Daily News in 1942, who ‘got snooty to the entire cast backstage’, causing Skippy to mutter, ‘What you need is a good spanking.’ Her retort was the evergreen and never wise ‘I’d like to see somebody try it,’ whereupon, as the News told it:

‘Three seconds later she was draped across Baxter’s knees, echoing each sound slap with a screech.’

Still not fast enough on skates, then. I guess it’s got to be motorsports.

Sorry, looks like that’s no good, either!

Doesn’t it just make you want to give up?


Maybe there’s a safe place to be found on the edge of the field, cheering on the players?

Or maybe there isn’t…

 

Because if you want to be a contender, you can’t be a quitter. And what you need most of all to make it as a sportswoman is self-discipline.


Yes, that’ll do nicely.

Dumb-Bells in Ermine

Dumb-Bells in Ermine (1930) is generally understood to be a lost film (even though you can find some possibly unscrupulous outfits on the internet offering to sell it to you on DVD), but it was turned into a novelette by the British fan magazine Screen Stories, which enables us to get the gist of it – even though some of the minor details were apparently changed.

The central character is Faith Corey, played by Barbara Kent.

Her mother (Julia Swayne Gordon) runs the local Uplift Society, dedicated to the preservation of the town’s morals. Which town? It’s in Virginia in the movie, but in the magazine version it’s Claremont, a little south of Chicago and so in Illinois (or perhaps Indiana). Maybe that doesn’t much matter, though the move to the mid-west arguably enhances the emphasis on small-town small-mindedness, which is a strong part of the story’s dynamic.

Mrs Corey wants her daughter to marry Siegfried Strong (Arthur Hoyt), a leading light of the Uplift Society, whose future is to be a life of missionary work in the Congo. He has just been instrumental in closing down a speakeasy, despite a marked reluctance for the establishment’s flirtatious young women to be run out of town without first getting some moral instruction from the Uplift Society (and, in particular, from him).

Faith develops other romantic plans after meeting Jerry Malone (Robert Armstrong), who saved her dog from drowning. The major drawback is that he’s a boxer, which is sure to win her mother’s complete moral disapprobation – though her grandmother (Beryl Mercer), the widow of an old-time bare-knuckle prizefighter, is of another mind.

Unfortunately for Jerry, Faith is soon converted to her mother’s way of seeing things, after Siegfried reveals that he was one of the speakeasy customers arrested in the recent raid. Jerry protests that he never touched a drop of alcohol (he’s in training for a bout), but Faith is now dead set on marrying Siegfried; and she will be dissuaded by nothing her grandmother tells her about Africa: heat, snakes, malaria, cannibals…

Meanwhile, Jerry is mooning over Faith, and his trainer Mike (James Gleason) proffers some advice to the lovelorn: what’s required is ‘a bit of caveman stuff’.

‘Don’t take “no” for an answer, and just stick out your jaw. Girls like a strong jaw. And you can go even further; put her across yer knee and wallop her. Treat ’em rough and tell ’em nothing – that’s my motto.’

Jerry confronts Faith in the garden, with Mike watching from hiding, which is behind a rose bush in the magazine but may have been behind a gate on screen.


What Jerry has to say to her is:

‘I’ve been having a quiet think, and the more I’ve thought about it, the more certain I’ve become of one thing – that you’re my girl. We were made for each other, and a psalm-smiting sham shan’t stand between us. You’re goingta marry me, and I don’t care what your mother says. You love me and I love you. When I left the house the other day I thought I could forget you; but I can’t! You don’t love this other guy. You wouldn’t be human. And let me say here and now that all that bunk about that speakeasy was grossly exaggerated. What have you got to say about it?’

What Faith has to say to him is a rebuke for his impertinence, followed by a ‘How dare you?’

A forcible kiss provokes ‘You beast, you brute! I hate you!’ And then Mike pops his head out of the bush (or, perhaps, around the gate) to tell Jerry to move onto ‘the rough stuff’.

JERRY: You’ve got a lot of this high-falutin’ nonsense in your pretty head! It wants knocking out of you, so that you change back into the same girl you were a few days ago. You’ve got the idea that destiny has decided you shall be a missionary’s wife. Believe me, honey, you would be a dead failure. You’d probably strangle old Siggy and turn the natives into head-hunters and cannibals.
FAITH (coldly): And how do you propose to change my ideas? Would you like to knock me about?
JERRY: I’d like to spank you!
FAITH: You wouldn’t dare!
JERRY: Wouldn’t I? Just watch me.

And the magazine version continues:

Whereupon he whisked Faith up in his strong arms and laid her across his knee. Mike kept on hissing, “Harder, you fool!” But Jerry did nothing more than administer a slight tap. Still, it was a most humiliating position for a modern young woman, and Faith, when she struggled to her feet, was almost bereft of speech.

She walks off into the house, where her mother and Siegfried are hosting the speakeasy girls for that moral education session.


What actually happens is that one girl, Camilla (Charlotte Merriam), reveals that Siegfried is a deep-dyed hypocrite: he lied that the place was an illegal liquor establishment in order to raise his Uplift credentials with a notable victory over vice, and what’s more, she was only employed there because of a sexual misdemeanor in which he was the other participant (and she has letters and photographs to prove it).

Now that it has been established that Faith’s mother has been pressing for her to marry a scoundrel, the way is clear for Jerry.

JERRY: Faith, let’s call it quits. Siegfried put a film over your eyes and you were a bit rough on me. I was a bit rough on you and that’s where I was wrong. Quits, little girl – shake on it
FAITH: I’m sorry, Jerry. I deserved a spanking.
JERRY: Good for you!

And it would have been good for us, too… if only the film survived, or if there were any known photographs of the spanking scene!

Let’s console ourselves with another look at Barbara Kent, from a different angle, and in an outfit that certainly wouldn’t meet the Uplift Society’s standards of decency.

And then let’s pass on to the optimistic thought that we may still get to see the spanking scene one day, in one form or another. To begin with, take a close look at the bottom right-hand corner of the ‘moral education’ photograph, and you’ll see the notation ‘DE 59′: an abbreviation of the title and the serial number of the picture. Very few photographs from this 70-minute film are available, none of them showing the spanking, but evidently at least 59 were taken. Some would have been portrait shots of the stars, but it’s reasonable to think that the studio, Warner Brothers, would have wanted coverage of the major scenes and incidents. And the spanking was certainly reckoned to be among them. As one early reviewer pointed out:

‘The best scene … is when the hero takes the heroine over his knees and gives her a good spanking.’

What’s more, spanking was already a recognized publicity gimmick, and in the years 1929-31 Warner’s released spanking imagery for five of their movies, to wit, No Defense (1929),

In the Next Room (1930),

Spring is Here (1930),

The Naughty Flirt (1931)

and God’s Gift to Women (1931):

The point about the recognized usefulness of spanking pictures in publicity is reinforced by the fact that only two of those five (No Defense and The Naughty Flirt) actually featured a spanking scene in the final release print. So even though they apparently decided not to go down that route in selling Dumb-Bells in Ermine, it remains very likely that a photo of the scene was one of the 59+ taken, and it could still be in existence somewhere in the studio archives.

But it’s still a lost film, right? But does that mean one whose every print has irretrievably disintegrated, or just one that’s proving uncommonly difficult to locate?

For a glimmer of hope, let’s register that the movie has a single modern review on IMDB, dating from 2003. But it’s a glimmer that may be just a will-o’-the-wisp. The reviewer’s main motivation was evidently an intense antipathy to the actress who played the grandmother, Beryl Mercer. There are some very broad evaluative comments about various actors’ performances, but almost everything said could have been tricked up from general knowledge of their other work, along with a plot summary like the one in Screen Stories. The only specific thing to suggest that the author might actually have seen the film is a remark about the ‘excruciating’ sound of Mercer’s ‘whining voice’ – but even that is something he has evidently heard and hated in other performances of hers.

So if you have a print of Dumb-Bells in Ermine, and are not just an internet fraudster advertising bogus wares that don’t actually exist, then please speak up. There are quite a few people around who would like to watch this film!

The Doctor Who Girl 14 and 15: Tegan and Nyssa

Australian air stewardess Tegan Jovanka and alien aristocrat Nyssa of Traken, played respectively by Janet Fielding and Sarah Sutton, are best considered as a contrasting pair. They both joined the Doctor in Tom Baker’s final story, ‘Logopolis’ (1981), and were the main female companions of his successor, Peter Davison, though Tegan lasted a year longer: she left in 1984, and Nyssa in 1983.

In fact, Nyssa had already appeared as a one-off character in a previous story, ‘The Keeper of Traken’ (1981), and was added to the line-up at short notice when it was felt that, after seven years of Tom Baker, the new Doctor needed a larger group of regulars around him to ease the transition. The production team had wanted to bring back a companion from the past for this purpose, but they were turned down by both Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith) and Louise Jameson (Leela), so they ended up with newcomers to be a somewhat unfamiliar set of ‘familiar faces’.

That illustrates one of the strange turns in production office thinking that defined and deformed Doctor Who in its next phase, and perhaps laid down the foundations for long-term, if avoidable, damage. The point can be made by observing a change of emphasis: during the first eighteen years (1963-81), about a quarter of the many stories featured renewed encounters with characters from the series’ past, mostly monsters and villains; but in the four years 1982-85, the proportion went up to around two thirds. Doctor Who had previously been a series that told fresh stories about all the different people and beings encountered on an ongoing adventure across time and space, but now it was coming to be much more interested in reliving its own history and serving up old ideas and previously established characters. It now inhabited a smaller universe.

This extended even to previous series regulars, most egregiously in the 20th anniversary special, ‘The Five Doctors’ (1983), which featured not just the three current regulars and the four previous Doctors, but eight former companions too. What’s bizarre is that anybody could possibly have thought this was a good idea, even in the particular celebratory moment that was the occasion for the story. And that starts to get us towards identifying what was going wrong.

Hitherto, the regular characters, and especially the companions, were fundamentally engaging vehicles for getting the stories told, but the 1980s production team had started to think of them as centers of interest in their own right. In effect, Doctor Who was entering a ‘soap opera’ phase, in which the regulars became part of what the stories were about, which is why having a story with five Doctors and ten companions wasn’t recognized for the grand folly it was.

Put this approach to the series format together with the (broadly accurate) principle that drama lies in conflict, and you have the presumption that the series will achieve drama by putting the regular characters at odds with one another. So Tegan was devised as a brash, truculently argumentative young woman who would generate that kind of conflict, and the upshot was a run of contrived ‘TARDIS bitch’ scenes, mainly between her and the Doctor, arguing vehemently… usually about something very trivial.


In contrast, Nyssa, who wasn’t originally created to be an ongoing series regular, was a more placid person who sometimes acted as peacemaker. Predictably, when the time came to slim down the regular cast, she was the one who was considered dispensable.

Peter Davison couldn’t have agreed less. He felt that the Doctor’s companion ought to assist him in a broadly positive way, rather than constantly challenge his authority, which is why he found Nyssa the more suitable fellow traveler of the two. Because, obviously, there was no chance of him ever asserting himself with the ultimate sanction.

Surprising as it may seem, that wasn’t altogether unthinkable at the time, though when the subject did arise it was mainly as a joke. An amateur fan magazine ran this comical piece:


And in early 1982, the fourth member of the regular cast, who played the teenage boy companion Adric, even hoaxed a gullible gay fan with the claim that there was going to be a spanking scene in a forthcoming story. Sorry, it was M/M, with Adric on the receiving end, so be thankful it was a falsehood! I only mention it because it bears on an important point about how the regulars were allowed to interact with one another.

The producer, John Nathan-Turner, had a bee in his bonnet about the idea that the Doctor and his female companions might be getting up to what he coyly called ‘hanky-panky in the TARDIS’. So Peter Davison was discouraged from any kind of physical contact with the two actresses, though inevitably it couldn’t be avoided altogether.

In general, he was allowed to touch Adric, but Tegan and Nyssa were effectively off limits, meaning there was zero practical chance of any ‘hanky-panky’ in the Madonna sense of the term.

Nathan-Turner’s concern that the TARDIS relationships might be misconstrued perhaps seems a little less peculiar when you take into account that, for the first time, the girls were being deliberately and actively packaged to be sexy as a primary characteristic (as distinct from being attractive, sometimes nubile young women that some viewers might also happen to find sexy). This is a phenomenon that we can best observe by tracking the development of Nyssa’s style of costuming.

She started off wearing what became known as a ‘fairy skirt’, in keeping with the overall delicate design of her home planet, Traken:

One of Nathan-Turner’s objectives, for merchandising purposes, was that all the regular characters should have a consistent look, meaning in effect that they wore the same clothes for extended runs of stories. But Nyssa’s fairy outfit, with its mass of diaphanous petal panels, was a lot less practical on location than in the more controlled environment of the studio.

 

During rehearsals, Nathan-Turner spotted Sarah Sutton wearing the top part of the costume with her own tight corduroy pants, and liked the combination. So Nyssa became a pantsuit girl.

The outfit was quite snug around the seat, as seen here on her stand-in, Vanessa Paine.

From Sarah Sutton’s point of view, there were drawbacks. One was the intermittent display of her Visible Panty Line.

Another was the logical next step, where it wasn’t just the lines that were visible. This only became an issue while on location during production of the costume’s final appearance: the tight pants gave out at the seat, and Sarah Sutton found herself walking around Amsterdam with her panties on show!

If that was a woe, then it got more woeful when the girls switched over to new costumes. No woe for us, of course: the change was overtly spun to the press as an effort to make the girls ‘leggier’ and sexier.

Nyssa’s striped outfit seen there was unloved by the cast (Sarah Sutton herself was distressed to be compared to a walking deckchair), and was swiftly replaced with this creation in suede:

She wore it at a photocall to introduce the press to another new regular, Turlough (Mark Strickson), with some interesting results:

And then came her departure story, ‘Terminus’ (1983), in which she removes her skirt onscreen and wanders around in her frilly petticoat.

The story goes that the scriptwriter imagined the scene in terms of the pantsuit costume (current at the time he was writing), and envisaged her tearing off a brooch from her throat… but in the new costume, with the top already casually discarded, there was only one garment that was both constraining and removable, so it was the skirt that had to be dropped!

This posed a problem that we can elucidate by turning to an earlier Doctor Who girl, Katy Manning, who played Jo Grant back in the miniskirt era. She was later asked about that particular sartorial style, and answered:

‘I wore knickers to match: it was all quite decent.’

That’s not quite literally true, as we shall discover when this series eventually reaches Jo, but for our purposes now that matters less than the broad principle she mentions, that visible panties could still be considered ‘decent’ so long as they matched the skirt. That was fine for the Turlough photocall, because they did match, but with the skirt gone, there was a real risk of perceived indecency. In effect, Nyssa needed new knickers. And she got them:

 

The frillies then became Nyssa’s final definitive look, as featured in the character postcard which the BBC distributed to eager fans:

Tegan followed a similar trajectory across a longer period. She started out in a mauve air hostess uniform.

This had a distinctly retro cut, making possible this piece of photographic collage showing Tegan being spanked by the recurring villain, the Master:

(The original, with Shirley Temple in 1945, may be seen here.)

But to see just how retro it was, take a close look at what she’s wearing on her legs:

This is not quite the same as what happened in ‘Black Orchid’ (1982), set in the 1920s,

where both girls wore full period-appropriate underwear, including the stockings and suspenders seen there.

(The story, incidentally, inspired another spanking collage using another movie photo, this one from 1924, the year before the story was set:

The original, with Viola Dana, is here.)

In contrast, Tegan’s airline uniform is supposed to be contemporary. But her stockings aren’t: a quarter of a century earlier, they would have been unremarkable everyday female attire, but by 1981, the norm had switched to pantyhose, and stockings, especially with back-seams, were either retro or fetish wear.

What this illustrates is that, even this early in her run, there was some sense that the Doctor Who girl needed to be not just attractive but sexy, and this was ramped up with her first major costume change, in 1983. This landed her in another outfit that was heartily loathed by the actress who had to wear it.

 

It was intended to resemble period underwear (post-bloomers, pre-panties), but was later described as the least sexy ‘sexy’ costume ever designed.

Then followed a move into miniskirts with brash patterns:

 

The outcome was some narrow squeaks,


and finally a ‘direct hit’: panties ahoy!

It looks as if she might be sustaining another kind of direct hit here,

but that’s just an optical illusion! Unlike the one that landed on the seat of Nyssa’s velvet pants during the making of ‘Time-Flight’ (1982) – courtesy of Sarah Sutton herself.

In surviving behind the scenes footage, the actors are waiting while a shot is set up; Sarah has her back to the camera.

That’s good enough viewing anyway, but she tops it by reaching behind,

 

and slapping herself on the bottom three times, double-handed!

She then smooths out the seat of her pants, which makes you wonder whether this was an anti-VPL measure… and if so, whether she often did it to herself!

Both Janet Fielding and Sarah Sutton went on to have only modest acting careers beyond Doctor Who, each working for less than a decade before settling down to other pursuits. Janet had her bottom patted playing a waitress in a 1982 episode of the sitcom Shelley,

and her theater work included the title role in the pantomime Aladdin (1983-84).

It’s a part that sometimes, depending on the script, entails being on the receiving end of a spanking… but on this occasion didn’t. (There was, however, a moment when she bent over in a short outfit, showing her black panties to the audience.) She also did some glamor modeling,

then became the administrator of a feminist pressure group and worked as an actors’ agent.

Sarah also had some glamor shots taken.

Onstage, she donned a tutu to play Hermia in a 1986 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

It’s another part that might occasionally see the actress get a spanking, and indeed Sarah’s Hermia was described by one audience member as ‘spankable’, though so far as I know she wasn’t actually spanked, not even after this tantrum:

And eventually she settled down to a quieter life as a doctor’s wife, though both she and Janet have been called out of retirement to play Nyssa and Tegan again in fan productions developed out of that strange belief I mentioned earlier, that the essential interest and appeal of Doctor Who lies more in the character of its regulars than the quality of its storytelling.

But maybe we shouldn’t be too dismissive of fan-made spin-offs, in view of the fact that the novel The King of Terror (2000) includes a character who seriously considers spanking Tegan (something you can read about more fully here). He doesn’t go through with it, but maybe that’s because there’s something just a little off-putting about Tegan’s pushy aggression. I tend to agree with Peter Davison: it’s Nyssa who is the more likeable character, and so the more appealingly spankable.

So let’s turn her over and get her properly prepared.

And do you know, that’s exactly what Texas Jim did. Some of his character collages were based directly on the body shape of the originals, so one of those Turlough photocall pics was a gift. Flip her upside down and put her over the Doctor’s knee, and you have:

Nyssa’s nemesis!

If you want to see how Doctor Who’s objective of an overtly sexy companion developed afterwards, the series continues here.

Live from Florida

Nothing very long or complex or deep today – just the simple and not very surprising observation that, in line with other organizations presenting the same form of entertainment, Florida-based American Combat Wrestling has been known to enliven its stock-in-trade of manly grunts and sweaty maneuvers by including an occasional spanking.

You’d have to be a lot more enthusiastic than I am about general goings-on in the ring of glory to sit through all those hours of bouts in the hope of rooting out a few spankings, so the only thing I can do to justify this article is draw your attention to one I happened to stumble upon: the match on January 25, 2017, which featured some action involving valet Amy Rose. Here she is:

She already had some experience of a smacked bottom in the ring, back in 2015, administered properly on the seat of her panties:

And now here she is in costume for the 2017 bout, this time sadly with no skirt to lift:

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But at least the dorsal view is appealing…

Here’s the relevant action on video:

And now a closer look:

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And if you want to see more from American Combat Wrestling… happy hunting!

Soliman’s Princess

The Czech writer Karel Capek (1890-1938) didn’t only bestow comedies and robots on the world. In 1932, he published a collection of fairy tales, including one about the Sultan Soliman’s daughter, Princess Zubeida, who is wasting away through lack of appetite. No competent doctor is available in the sultanate, so her father sends courtiers to Europe in search of someone who will be able to cure her. Through a misunderstanding, the person they bring back is a lowly woodcutter named Drvostep (and not, as they suppose, Dr Vostep), who is told that, should the Princess fail to get better under his care, he will become shorter by approximately the distance between his shoulders and the top of his head. He will also, of course, become dead.

That scenario sounds as if it might be halfway between Le Médecin Malgré Lui (which was translated into Czech in 1927) and Honza Malem Kralem (which was made in 1976 and released the following year). There is a signal difference from both in Capek’s story, which will emerge if we follow the tale to the end. The Princess gets better, and the woodcutter gets to keep his head, after he chops down a tree outside her bedroom window and lets in not only some wholesome fresh air but also the tempting cookery smells emanating from the palace kitchens. Appetite restored – malady managed! And, sad to say, no spanking!

At least not until 1984, when a television adaptation was produced, O Princezne Solimánské, with a script by Jarmila Turnovska and starring Ilona Svobodova as the Princess:

It’s notable for a coda in which, once the Princess is restored to health and full of cream cheese, Drvostep (Josef Dvorak) shows the Sultan (Vladimir Brabec) another useful application of the twigs that are a by-product of his woodcutting profession. He gets her to assume a certain position:

She doesn’t hesitate or demur, suggesting that what’s about to happen is not only new but completely unknown to her. He then lifts the tail of her coat and gives her a sharp whack on the exposed seat of her harem pants:

She yelps and, once upright, rubs her bottom:

The video is here.

This version of the story is occasionally done on stage in the Czech Republic, but as is often the case with European fairy tales, it’s considered especially suitable for a cast who, unlike 24-year-old Ilona Svobodova, are far too young to be of any interest. So remember: before you check it out, make sure you check who’s performing!