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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Entertainment & Interests > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Doctor Who

Doctor Who "Bigger on the inside..."

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Old January 29 2013, 10:04 AM   #61
Captain Dago
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Re: Classic Who on BBC America

Christopher wrote: View Post
It's particularly impressive to see how strong a character Barbara could be, how commanding and intelligent. We didn't see another female lead like that on the show for years after she left. The ones that followed -- Vicki, Dodo, Polly, Victoria -- were all pretty much just cute young damsels in distress who screamed a lot.
Christopher, I've got to disagree with you here and suggest you watch some of the surviving stories with Vicki. She was quite strong in some of them. And Polly certainly knew how to stand her ground with the old man.
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Old January 29 2013, 03:32 PM   #62
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Re: Classic Who on BBC America

Well, maybe. It's been a long time since I've seen the surviving Vicki stories. But last year or so, I rented the DVD collections of the surviving episodes and fragments from incomplete stories, and Polly did come off pretty badly, much weaker and screamier than I remembered her.

And even so, the point is that Barbara was rather different from what we came to know as the typical female companion -- more mature, more of an authority figure. As they touched on in the opening documentary, the original format of the series was that Ian and Barbara were the leads -- the science and history teachers who would headline what was supposed to be an educational show -- with Susan as their pupil and the audience surrogate, and the Doctor as a mysterious, ethically questionable figure who was the catalyst for their adventures and often got them into trouble.
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Old January 29 2013, 03:49 PM   #63
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Re: Classic Who on BBC America

^^ I agree with that assessment. It's interesting to see how the series was originally designed compared to how it eventually evolved.

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Old January 29 2013, 04:25 PM   #64
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Re: Classic Who on BBC America

diankra wrote: View Post
There aren't any outtakes to put in: in those days, the series was shot as live, so if someone made a slip they either covered it and carried on (even turning Hartnell's slip-ups over Chesterton's name into an ongoing character quirk), or stopped, went back to the last planned recording break (ie, fade to black, or a roll back and mix for a materialisation) and did the entire sequence again. Often the tape would actually be wound back and the new take recorded over the original; if not, it would be physically edited out and discarded before broadcast.

You can see how it works on the pilot episode, where the entire recording session does survive: a continuous take of the opening 15-odd minutes, then the first take of the console room scenes, an abandoned second take (about 15 seconds long at most, which goes wrong as Jacqueline Hill trips while coming through the TARDIS doors), and another full take of the console room sequence.

EDIT: Christopher, SNAP!
They really, really didn't want to edit the videotape because tapes were so expensive in those days. Eventually the actors figured out that to make them do a retake you had to swear.
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Old January 29 2013, 04:42 PM   #65
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...and Polly did come off pretty badly, much weaker and screamier than I remembered her.
Granted, I am working off of 45-year old memories for my impression of Polly. In those days, I thought anybody who wasn't diving behind the sofa was brave.
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Old January 29 2013, 04:52 PM   #66
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Re: Classic Who on BBC America

The first time I saw "The War Machines," Polly rather impressed me, because I was a depressed and lonely teen at the time, and the way this pretty, affectionate young woman came over to the sullen Ben, whom she didn't yet know, and took it upon herself to be nice to him and cheer him up was rather touching for me, the sort of thing I wished would happen to me. So I had a positive impression of Polly for a long time, based on what little I'd seen of her -- which was only "The War Machines," since the syndication package we got on our local PBS station consisted only of the movie-length edits of complete or nearly complete stories, so it jumped over the entirety of seasons 4 & 5. I never saw Victoria until they recovered "The Tomb of the Cybermen," and that was the only story of hers I saw at the time. It's only this past year with the DVD rentals that I've gotten to see any more of Ben, Polly, and Victoria, and the ladies haven't come off that well at all in the surviving episodes I've seen.
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Old January 29 2013, 05:22 PM   #67
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Re: Classic Who on BBC America

The Ben and Polly era is tragically almost completely gone, as is most of Victoria's era. I find the reconstructions from Loose Cannon (www.recons.com) invaluable for getting a sense of these lost stories.

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Old January 29 2013, 06:34 PM   #68
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Re: Classic Who on BBC America

It's worth quoting Anneke Wills' feelings on Polly: something like "There's a !!!!! great monster coming at her - of course she screams. It's not fear, it's getting help, 'cos she's got more chance of surviving if she does. And if she manipulates the men a little by playing the helpless girlie, well why not? It works."
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Old January 30 2013, 12:35 AM   #69
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Re: Classic Who on BBC America

I saw all of the Ben and Polly era as well as all of the Victoria stories during a childhood stay in the UK from '66 to '69. That's why my memories are a bit different from those who've only seen the surviving episodes, albeit not as fresh. I won't defend Victoria, except as a lovely, dewy version of fair and screaming maidenhood but I do remember Polly as having some guts to her. Alas, unless those missing episodes are somehow retrieved, this argument is doomed to never be solved.
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Old January 30 2013, 01:45 AM   #70
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Re: Classic Who on BBC America

^No, I'm content to take your word for it, since you have more evidence to go by than I do.
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Old January 30 2013, 02:11 AM   #71
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Re: Classic Who on BBC America

I was really impressed by Polly in the novel for The Highlanders, there she was certainly the equal of Barbara in guts and smarts.
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Old January 30 2013, 02:27 AM   #72
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Re: Classic Who on BBC America

I wonder what single serial they'll take from each Doctor. For Baker it'll probably be Pyramids of Mars or Talons of Wein Chiang, but my vote would be for the Pirate Planet...
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Old January 30 2013, 03:33 AM   #73
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Re: Classic Who on BBC America

I always used to enjoy seeing the phone panel folks who dressed up during the pledge drives. They were great, an episode a day Monday-Friday, and a full story on Saturday Nights on a different rotation, and showed all the Doctors. KVIE only played one or two episodes a weekend, and I'm not sure they ever did any Doctors aside from T. Baker.
Not to go off topic here, but my sister has a loom and she's knitting me the Season 12 version of Tom Baker's scarf! I've always wanted one of those. I'll post pictures when its finished.
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Old January 30 2013, 03:41 AM   #74
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Re: Classic Who on BBC America

Mr Light wrote: View Post
I wonder what single serial they'll take from each Doctor. For Baker it'll probably be Pyramids of Mars or Talons of Wein Chiang, but my vote would be for the Pirate Planet...
The Talons Of Wang Chiang is a six parter it's unlikely they'd show such a long story. It's be a four parter I hope it's The Deadly Assassin.
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Old January 30 2013, 08:01 AM   #75
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Re: Classic Who on BBC America

DWF wrote: View Post
I was really impressed by Polly in the novel for The Highlanders, there she was certainly the equal of Barbara in guts and smarts.
The Highlanders is definitely the high point for Polly - she runs rings around the English soldier Lt Ffinch and keeps telling Kirsty to stop crying and (wo)man up. The problem is the writers were inconsistent about stuff like that and there are stories where Polly is a bit pathetic - exactly what she tells Kirsty off about.

Vicki was also a huge step up from Susan and didn't really have the crying moments - she happily tries to poison Nero in The Romans and leads the revolution and saves them all in The Space Museum.

Victoria has less of those moments and Dodo doesn't really get any decent material - though she is the one that figures out something is wrong in The Savages.

Zoe is generally well handled as they usually always remember how smart she with only the Dominators being a bad story for her.
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