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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 February 15 2014, 04:56 AM   #796
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Re: Last Classic Who Story you watched

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I've been getting hooked on this recent watch of Season 13. I watched the Seeds of Doom this time and it's another entertaining story.

This one stands out as the script by Robert Banks Stewart has lots of great Doctor lines and moments. The Doctor is full of snark, trying to enlist aid he mentions how the threat could be "the end of everything even your pension" and picks up a ringing phone says "he's busy" and hangs up. "What do you do for an encore?" "I win." Indeed.

In addition to the wordplay I'm really surprised how much a man of action The doctor is in this one. The Doctor jumps through a skylight to save Sarah, physically beats up a few including giving one a nasty twist of the neck and is all over the place. I'd say Tom Baker this season puts in a physical performance equal or better to any before or after.

There's some good modelwork with the arctic base and I really liked the sequence with the tendril emerging from the seed. The mutated creature works pretty well especially given that it operates without benefit of shadow or dark lighting. Even the oversized tendril writhing through the window works well.

Every story I've seen this season seemed to have been inspired by some other source, in this case it would seem to be The Thing From Another World. I think starting with the base but then moving back to England helped break up the longer serial so it moved better. Basically there were two episodes in the arctic, two episodes with the pod and then two episodes with the oversized plant and each section had its own feel which worked well.

The unhinged villain made for an interesting change of pace. In the end seeing him in meditation pose spacily going on about the plants and trees was something else. Similarly the amoral yet not unreasonable Scorby had shades of gray that were unexpected. While not villainous, the irascible older painter Ducat was entertaining in her support role as well.

Oh and those beards were fake, right? I think it may have been the hair but Lis Sladen reminded me of the Romulan commander that Kirk stole the cloaking device from.

I skipped Terror of the Zygons because I figured it was probably not one of the more Gothic-y/horrorish episodes which I was looking for. I may check it out next though as I see it has the same writer.
Terror Of The Zygons was a great one and yes the same creative team worked it as well. Harrison Chase came across to me as a James Bond styled villain complete with a great henchman in Scorby. Robert Banks Stewart was going to write the season finale for the 14th season as well but he got recruited by Thames and it was up to Robert Holmes to write it.

And to see Tom Baker at possibly his most active you should see The Deadly Assassin, the fourth Dcotor went though a really tough physical and mental guantlent in the surreal world of the Matrix.
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Old February 16 2014, 10:34 PM   #797
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Re: Last Classic Who Story you watched

Right now, I'm nearing the end of my Jon Pertwee DVDs. I just watched "Invasion of the Dinosaurs, Part 2" the other day. I don't know why everyone slags off on the dinosaurs all the time. The puppets aren't great but they're about on par with most special effects from the classic series. I'd certainly say that the dinosaurs looked far less rediculous than the Myrka from "Warriors of the Deep."

If anything, the silliest part of the Dinosaur effects is that sometimes the eyelines don't match up at all. There's one scene in particular at the beginning of Part 2 where one of the UNIT soldiers is clearly not shooting at the T-Rex at all. He seems to be shooting at something about 8 feet to the left of the T-Rex.

Mr. Adventure wrote: View Post
davejames wrote: View Post
Which probably also explains why the TARDIS is so much cleaner and nicer looking now as well (personally I'd love to see it be a bit more weathered and beat up again, but somehow I doubt that's ever going to happen).
It's funny how beat up the old prop is in the classic serials I've been watching. I know Who didn't have the best budget but isn't it basically wood and blue paint?
I think so. And not even very good wood or blue paint at that.

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Spearhead is perhaps one of the best entrees in to classic Who. It sets the viewer up with all the fundamentals they need to know, without expecting them to know them all already. It's almost like a second pilot episode in a lot of ways...
I'm not so sure about that. "Spearhead from Space" was the first Doctor Who story that I ever saw ever. It's decent enough. But I confess to feeling somewhat lost when I first saw it. It's an Earth-based UNIT story, which was not at all what I was expecting the show to be when I first watched it. And the story does kind of expect you to have some prior understanding of the relationship between the Doctor & the Brigadier. Being a post-regeneration story, it spends a lot of time just getting everyone else resettled into the new normal.

"The Invasion" would probably be a better intro to the UNIT stories. Or maybe one of the other Season 7 stories like "The Silurians" or "The Ambassadors of Death," after the new format has already been established a little bit.
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Old February 17 2014, 04:59 AM   #798
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Re: Last Classic Who Story you watched

I thought Zygons was a little too on the nose for me. The Doctor seems to be lacking the flippant wit and off-kilter moments present in the other episodes of Season 13.

Despite the poor FX I did like the cheeky idea of the Zygons co-opting the Loch Ness Monster in their schemes. The organic technology was unusual and probably even moreso back when this would've aired.

Part of the problem might be I don't have any nostalgia for this one, I didn't see it when I was younger and I think as a kid this would've been a lot of fun with the rubber suits, space ships and dinosaurs. It's not bad per se, I just didn't find it connected with me as much as I expected.


Not going to say much about Pyramids of Mars as that is one of the more familiar stories both to the public at large and to myself but I did want to say that, with apologies to Matt Smith, Namin rocks that fez.
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Old February 17 2014, 05:12 AM   #799
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Re: Last Classic Who Story you watched

I think Zygons is OK, it's not a favorite, but, it's also not in the bottom of the Classic era for me (Though, there aren't that many Serials in that small pit at the bottom for me ).

For a story about an Alien with Organic Technology, The Jon Pertwee story Claws of Axos is better, IMHO.

ETA: Just finished Colony in Space. Why is this story called Colony in Space, anyways? They're on a freighter, then on Earth, then The Doctor is in a Moon Prison, then on Draconia, and then on The Dalek/Ogron Planet. There is no Colony in Space (Always mixes me up with Frontier in Space )
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Old February 17 2014, 03:58 PM   #800
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Re: Last Classic Who Story you watched

I finished An Unearthly Child/100000BC today. I'd actually seen the first episode of this serial before, but I had never watched the rest of it. Compared to later Who, it's amazing how little the Doctor actually does in the story. Beyond getting captured to start things off and tricking Kal into showing that he was actually the one to kill the old woman, the Doctor isn't much of a factor. Ian, Barbara, and Susan carry a lot of more of the story, but the guest cast seems to have more screen time than any of them.

I think The War Games is next in my queue, so I'm hopping back to the Second Doctor. This would have finished him up, but now I need to see The Enemy of the World and what they found of The Web of Fear. Has there been any word as to when these will be out on DVD?
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Old February 17 2014, 07:32 PM   #801
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Re: Last Classic Who Story you watched

CmdrAJD wrote: View Post
I finished An Unearthly Child/100000BC today. I'd actually seen the first episode of this serial before, but I had never watched the rest of it. Compared to later Who, it's amazing how little the Doctor actually does in the story. Beyond getting captured to start things off and tricking Kal into showing that he was actually the one to kill the old woman, the Doctor isn't much of a factor. Ian, Barbara, and Susan carry a lot of more of the story, but the guest cast seems to have more screen time than any of them.

I think The War Games is next in my queue, so I'm hopping back to the Second Doctor. This would have finished him up, but now I need to see The Enemy of the World and what they found of The Web of Fear. Has there been any word as to when these will be out on DVD?
Enemy Released:
Britain 11-25-13
Canada and USA 12-10-13 (Best Buy), still not listed on Amazon US


Web to be Released:
Britain 02-24-14
USA and Canada 04-22-14
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Old February 17 2014, 08:05 PM   #802
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Re: Last Classic Who Story you watched

^ Thank you for the info!
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Old February 18 2014, 01:31 AM   #803
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Re: Last Classic Who Story you watched

Just watched Doctor Who and the Silurians. It was a decent story, but it could have been a great story. Its biggest problem? It was about 3 episodes too long. It really suffered from padding. At 4 episodes, I think it could have been a stand out story. As it is, its ok but drags a lot in the middle. It has a few other problems, like having the administrator of the research lab being at a level of denial that is probably an indication of severe brain damage or life threatening stupidity. The Doctor, Liz and the Brigadier were as good as they usually are (although the Brigadier's refusal to believe the Doctor went on too long, especially after his experience with the Doctor in Spearhead from Space). Still, I liked this story well enough, but its problems keep it from being more than decent, even though it had potential to be more.
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Old February 18 2014, 02:06 AM   #804
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Re: Last Classic Who Story you watched

kirk55555 wrote: View Post
Just watched Doctor Who and the Silurians. It was a decent story, but it could have been a great story. Its biggest problem? It was about 3 episodes too long. It really suffered from padding. At 4 episodes, I think it could have been a stand out story. As it is, its ok but drags a lot in the middle. It has a few other problems, like having the administrator of the research lab being at a level of denial that is probably an indication of severe brain damage or life threatening stupidity. The Doctor, Liz and the Brigadier were as good as they usually are (although the Brigadier's refusal to believe the Doctor went on too long, especially after his experience with the Doctor in Spearhead from Space). Still, I liked this story well enough, but its problems keep it from being more than decent, even though it had potential to be more.
The third Doctor's era contains many six parters so I'm afraid you're goiong to have to get used to the longer stories if you keep watching his stories. And that season only had four stories in it and some 25 weeks to fill, so they went with one four parter and three seven parters.
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Old February 18 2014, 02:13 AM   #805
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Re: Last Classic Who Story you watched

kirk55555 wrote: View Post
Just watched Doctor Who and the Silurians. It was a decent story, but it could have been a great story. Its biggest problem? It was about 3 episodes too long. It really suffered from padding. At 4 episodes, I think it could have been a stand out story. As it is, its ok but drags a lot in the middle. It has a few other problems, like having the administrator of the research lab being at a level of denial that is probably an indication of severe brain damage or life threatening stupidity. The Doctor, Liz and the Brigadier were as good as they usually are (although the Brigadier's refusal to believe the Doctor went on too long, especially after his experience with the Doctor in Spearhead from Space). Still, I liked this story well enough, but its problems keep it from being more than decent, even though it had potential to be more.
Or it's not long enough: it's been pointed out that it's really the pilot and first few episodes of a spinoff about the ongoing human/Silurian battle for control of Earth ( "This week, the Silrians have released a deadly anti-human plague!" Canthe Doctor find a cure? How will the Brig retaliate?") that comes to a sudden end.
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Old February 18 2014, 03:22 AM   #806
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Re: Last Classic Who Story you watched

DWF wrote: View Post
The third Doctor's era contains many six parters so I'm afraid you're goiong to have to get used to the longer stories if you keep watching his stories. And that season only had four stories in it and some 25 weeks to fill, so they went with one four parter and three seven parters.
Inferno is pretty good; it's the best of Pertwee's first season, in my opinion.
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Old February 18 2014, 01:59 PM   #807
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Re: Last Classic Who Story you watched

Timewalker wrote: View Post
DWF wrote: View Post
The third Doctor's era contains many six parters so I'm afraid you're goiong to have to get used to the longer stories if you keep watching his stories. And that season only had four stories in it and some 25 weeks to fill, so they went with one four parter and three seven parters.
Inferno is pretty good; it's the best of Pertwee's first season, in my opinion.
Agreed. But it could also be an episode shorter. They were trying desperately to keep costs down that first Pertwee season to help offset the transition to color, and it shows with the padding. I like The Ambassadors of Death but it really should be a four-parter.

They do get better at not simply padding the six-parters as the Pertwee era goes on. The Mind of Evil is fantastic, for instance.
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Old February 18 2014, 05:33 PM   #808
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Re: Last Classic Who Story you watched

The longer serials can work based off what I've seen so far (The 6 episode Genesis of the Daleks from the 4th Doctor's run was a good 6 part story), and I'm not against them in general, its just that Doctor Who and the Silurians felt like it would have benefited from being shorter. I want to get to Inferno, though, and I don't think I'll skip The Ambassadors of Death. I think I'll just break up my watching with continuing the 4th Doctor serials (with The Deadly Assassin) or 2nd Doctor stuff. That way, I don't get burned out on Pertwee's super long stories in his first season, and I continue watching more stuff. I think rotating Doctors will help with any long stories and generally be an interesting way of watching more classic who. That doesn't mean I'll stick to it, but its the plan right now.
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Old February 19 2014, 08:06 AM   #809
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Re: Last Classic Who Story you watched

Continuing on with the Baker stories I watched Masque of Mandragora and The Hand of Fear. I think both are slim in the plot department but are compensated by Baker/Sladen chemistry and great location work. There's a verite quality to The Hand of Fear, the location combined with the character just feels very genuine. Mandragora isn't quite as immediate but has more witty Doctor charm and dialog to make up for it.

I liked Sarah Jane's departure, I didn't really feel it tacked on, it seemed to build through the episode. The Doctor's call to Gallifrey removed any chance to take it back and it had a sad inevitability that again felt authentic. There have been times in my life when it was time for a relationship to end regardless of whether both parties were ready for it.

I'm still really enjoying this watch this time around. Sometimes I have found classic Who too creaky and old-fashioned but the stories have been really fun to watch. I think it helps that I chose to dive in at a strong point in the run.
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Old February 20 2014, 03:29 AM   #810
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Re: Last Classic Who Story you watched

kirk55555 wrote: View Post
The longer serials can work based off what I've seen so far (The 6 episode Genesis of the Daleks from the 4th Doctor's run was a good 6 part story), and I'm not against them in general, its just that Doctor Who and the Silurians felt like it would have benefited from being shorter. I want to get to Inferno, though, and I don't think I'll skip The Ambassadors of Death. I think I'll just break up my watching with continuing the 4th Doctor serials (with The Deadly Assassin) or 2nd Doctor stuff. That way, I don't get burned out on Pertwee's super long stories in his first season, and I continue watching more stuff. I think rotating Doctors will help with any long stories and generally be an interesting way of watching more classic who. That doesn't mean I'll stick to it, but its the plan right now.
Just make sure you watch the Peladon stories in the right order, as they won't make sense if you don't (both are Pertwee era; the first has Jo as the Doctor's Companion, the second has Sarah, and takes place a few decades later from Peladon's pov).
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