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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 March 1 2014, 07:21 PM   #826
Mr. Adventure
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Re: Last Classic Who Story you watched

Well, I'm still trucking through the Tom Baker years.

The Robots of Death
I liked this one, it maintained interest throughout. Some excellent model work in this one, I really liked the sandminer and the rocks falling as it moved along. Other nice work included the Doctor being buried alive which looked quite real.

Having the miners be a decadent posh lot made for a change of pace from the usual. The costuming, makeup and decor used in conveying this concept added to the visual punch. The robots themselves, being both possessed and not, and the different models added a lot of variety and ambiguity to keep things interesting.

I think this one passes the Bechel test as well.

EDIT: And with the red eyes and all this must have been the inspiration for the Ood.

The Talons of Weng-Chiang
Well-known and oft cited as a classic episode this uses the BBC's prowess with Victorian settings to good effect. (It also shows Doctor Who's struggles with visual FX with the mutant rats).

It's a bit eyebrow-raising to watch these days with having a white man in Chinese makeup and the unfortunate "most..hon-or-a-ble" stereotypical accent and inscrutability (or is that in-scroot-a-bill-a-tee?). That said, it's a pretty good make-up job and you get used to it soon enough.

Lots of good side characters in this one with the famous Jago and Litefoot and the creepy Mr. Sin.

I've noticed there's a lot of defenestrations in this era and this time Leela gets to dive through the glass. Leela works well throughout contrasting her "savage ways" with Victorian manners. Once again, she drives a lot of the action with a lot of independent action.

Horror of Fang Rock
Doctor Who is many things and this is probably the most primal distillation of the base under siege story. A bunch of people trapped in a small space get picked off one by one by a monster. And that's about it, I could see where one might like the pure and singular focus of this element of Who but I needed more to keep me engaged.

My favorite moment is that shot of The Doctor hanging off the window of the lighthouse. Something about the dangling seen from a medium distance was quite unusual. Not quite unlike that infamous umbrella cliffhanger from Dragonfire.

The Invisible Enemy
This serial could have been better served if it had better visual FX. The story isn't all that great but the spaceships, laser battles, and the Fantastic Voyage of the Doctor and Leela and the macrovirus could have distracted from it had they been better executed.

Probably at the time the debut of K-9 would have been quite a fascinating wonder. I would've loved that as a child no doubt. I didn't remember that funky "tongue", I can see why they dropped (or retracted?) that. It's too bad his weapon is particularly badly rendered further killing the potential visual dazzle of this story.

There's a great moment where the Doctor runs into the TARDIS and his scarf gets caught in the doors which then gets a quick tug in before the TARDIS disappears. Probably unintentional but it's a great "Indy grabs his hat" kind of moment.

Last edited by Mr. Adventure; March 1 2014 at 10:53 PM.
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Old March 1 2014, 09:33 PM   #827
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Re: Last Classic Who Story you watched

The Sea Devils, a good solid follow up to The Silurians with plenty of good action, I loved sword fight and the sea chase. It was made even more real thanks to the Royal Navy who stood in for UNIT in this story.
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Old March 2 2014, 03:26 PM   #828
diankra
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Re: Last Classic Who Story you watched

Mr. Adventure wrote: View Post
Well, I'm still trucking through the Tom Baker years.


The Invisible Enemy
Probably at the time the debut of K-9 would have been quite a fascinating wonder. I would've loved that as a child no doubt. I didn't remember that funky "tongue", I can see why they dropped (or retracted?) that.
The problem with the tickertape mouth was that it could only be refilled by taking his entire head apart. Eventually it was fited with a reverse mechanism (so they could refill it by feeding paper in through his mouth) when K-9 got a major refit between the location work for Leisure Hive and the studio work for State of Decay, but he was out of the show before anyone bothered to make use of it.
It did get a mention as being one of the prop's 'tricks' in the writers' guide for K-9 and Company (the one that explains the planned arc-plot that this K-9 had actually been built by the Master, and was working under buried programming from him to make Sarah the Master's unwitting dupe... just like Mr Smith in the first season of SJA. And don't think that's a coincidence!)
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Old March 2 2014, 09:43 PM   #829
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Re: Last Classic Who Story you watched

Castrovalva, all in all not a bad story just alittle on the slow side but, then while it was filmed fourth it was the fifth Doctor's first story. This was after many long years of Tom Baker, even longer than his seven years for me a new first Doctor story and it was functional as being just that. People complain about how it took for David Tennant to become active in The Christmas Invasion, but here Peter Davison wasn't the Doctor til the last five minutes of the story. It was nice to have a story built around a scientific idea and it took a while to get some action and adventure, but that was worth the wait as well.

Peter Davison played a more human fallible Doctor as oppsoed to Tom Baker's wild and crazy eccentric version and for most Americans used to Tom Baker it was a bit of a let down. And I didn't realize that the little girl was Caroline John's niece.
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Old March 3 2014, 07:19 PM   #830
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Re: Last Classic Who Story you watched

Warriors Of the Deep, it was the end of the Silurian/Sea Devil trilogy from the old series and while the story works IMO it suffers from a bad production. Production was rushed due to Thatcher's election and there was a general lack of money, the sets were overlit and painting them white only made things worse.

I had read the novel years before I saw the televised version and wondered what went wrong. The Myrka was a good design for the show's budget, but badly executed like most of the problems with the production. The base under siege and cold war ideas work, but one of the complaints at the time was that it was just a reworking of Earthshock, a complaint that has some merit I think. Still the story works as an old fashioned action/adventure story, but badly flawed production wise.
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The greatest science fiction series of all time is
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Old March 4 2014, 09:46 AM   #831
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Re: Last Classic Who Story you watched

Of all the things Maggie got blamed for, I never knew Warriors of the Deep was one

I think really it came down to direction, another director might have toned down the lighting, which would have helped a lot! Another director might have also kept the Myrka more in the shadows, and maybe not had Ingrid Pitt try to go Bruce Lee on it!
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Old March 5 2014, 12:01 AM   #832
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Re: Last Classic Who Story you watched

I watched The Twin Dilemma, and I didn't hate it. Its far from a classic, and it had a lot of problems, but it kept my attention, and its problems made it kind of entertaining. If nothign else, it was interesting to see The Doctor's attack on Peri in context. He's an ass, but honestly its interesting (although they probably shouldn't have done the attack, it was pretty stupid). The twins themselves weren't great, but I've seen a bunch of bad younger actors in TV/movies, and these weren't the worst by far. The main villain was lame, and he looked stupid. His plan was also stupid, and the "science" of moving the planets was hilarious. Still, while its not a good story, I actually got some entertainment from watching it, which is more than I can say for some newer Doctor Who episodes like Love & Monsters or Fear Her. So, I'd call it an extremely flawed, but actually kind of ok story.

Next up will be Attack of the Cybermen.
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Old March 5 2014, 02:45 AM   #833
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Re: Last Classic Who Story you watched

kirk55555 wrote: View Post
I watched The Twin Dilemma, and I didn't hate it. Its far from a classic, and it had a lot of problems, but it kept my attention, and its problems made it kind of entertaining. If nothign else, it was interesting to see The Doctor's attack on Peri in context. He's an ass, but honestly its interesting (although they probably shouldn't have done the attack, it was pretty stupid). The twins themselves weren't great, but I've seen a bunch of bad younger actors in TV/movies, and these weren't the worst by far. The main villain was lame, and he looked stupid. His plan was also stupid, and the "science" of moving the planets was hilarious. Still, while its not a good story, I actually got some entertainment from watching it, which is more than I can say for some newer Doctor Who episodes like Love & Monsters or Fear Her. So, I'd call it an extremely flawed, but actually kind of ok story.

Next up will be Attack of the Cybermen.
There's 10 Serials left for Colin Baker (The last 4 making up a Series long Arc). And I think if you got through The Twin Dilemma, without hating it, you shouldn't hate any of the rest overall (Though you may have some problems with certain elements of various episodes/Serials, and maybe this will be really strong in Revelation of the Daleks and you may find The Two Doctors, too long)

I think you'll mostly like the next 4 Serials, though, and maybe all of them.

*The Audios (Especially the Six/Evelyn ones) will endear you to Six [Colin Baker Doctor] even more, IMHO
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Old March 5 2014, 03:07 AM   #834
DWF
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Re: Last Classic Who Story you watched

Starkers wrote: View Post
Of all the things Maggie got blamed for, I never knew Warriors of the Deep was one

I think really it came down to direction, another director might have toned down the lighting, which would have helped a lot! Another director might have also kept the Myrka more in the shadows, and maybe not had Ingrid Pitt try to go Bruce Lee on it!
Roberts initially planned to film the scenes in and around the seabase hydro tank at a water tank owned by the Ealing Television Film Studios. These and other sequences would be filmed at Ealing from June 14th to 17th, before Warriors Of The Deep entered the studio for a two-day block beginning on June 29th and a three-day session from July 13th. In May, however, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher called a snap election for June 14th to take advantage of her popularity in the wake of the Falklands War. The announcement caught BBC Planning by surprise, and recording space had to be swiftly reallocated to accommodate election coverage. Amongst the casualties of this development was Warriors Of The Deep: Nathan-Turner was informed that the first studio block would have to be brought forward by a week, or else the serial would have to be abandoned.
Doctor Who's twentieth season had lost one story -- Saward's own “The Return” -- due to a labour dispute, and Nathan-Turner was determined that Season Twenty-One would not be similarly curtailed. Left with no other option, the producer agreed to accommodate the new dates. This decision was met with trepidation by the Visual Effects Department, however, which was concerned that the costume for the Myrka could not be completed in time for the revised schedule. To make mattes worse, the visual effects designer assigned to Warriors Of The Deep, Mat Irvine, would be delayed in starting work on the serial due to another programme which had fallen behind schedule. Adding to the chaos was the realisation that the Ealing filming would now have to be cancelled because the crew would be required to cover the election. No alternative dates were available, which meant that Roberts would have to make other arrangements at very short notice.
The serial like so many others was affected by budget, time and a too fast filming schedule.
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Old March 5 2014, 06:12 AM   #835
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Re: Last Classic Who Story you watched

Sindatur wrote: View Post
]There's 10 Serials left for Colin Baker (The last 4 making up a Series long Arc). And I think if you got through The Twin Dilemma, without hating it, you shouldn't hate any of the rest overall (Though you may have some problems with certain elements of various episodes/Serials, and maybe this will be really strong in Revelation of the Daleks and you may find The Two Doctors, too long)

I think you'll mostly like the next 4 Serials, though, and maybe all of them.

*The Audios (Especially the Six/Evelyn ones) will endear you to Six [Colin Baker Doctor] even more, IMHO
Well, I have no access to the audios, but I've heard good things about them. As for The Three Doctors, I watched that a week or two ago (I wanted to watch all the Doctor team ups). Its what made me decide to go through the Sixth Doctor's stuff, so I won't need to watch it again right now.

I watched Attack of the Cybermen, and I enjoyed it. I liked the little references to other Cybermen stuff (especially since I've already seen Tomb of the Cybermen, so I recognized the name telos), and seeing the TARDIS change was interesting. The Doctor and Peri did a good job in this episode, and the Cybermen were threatening. The Cryons were a bit weird, but it wasn't a big deal. Overall, this was a very entertaining story.

Based off what I've seen so far, I'm looking forward to watching the rest of the 6th Doctor's run. I'm sure there is going to be problems, his run probably has its reputation for a reason, but honestly I think the Doctor is entertaining and interesting. He's definitely flawed, and I don't think he'd have a chance of being my favorite, but so far I like him. Peri is also a better companion than I expected her to be. Right now I'm planning to go through the 6th Doctor's stuff and then onto the 7th Doctor. Next up is Vengeance on Varos.
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Old March 6 2014, 12:59 AM   #836
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Re: Last Classic Who Story you watched

Moonbase, glad to see another Ben and Polly episode. Such a shame that so many of their stories are lost.
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Old March 6 2014, 05:15 AM   #837
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Vengeance on Varos was a pretty good story. It felt like it was a bit slow at times, and parts felt a bit repetitive, but the planet was different, the alien miner representative looked creepy and The Doctor and Peri were interesting. Overall, I liked it.

The Mark of the Rani was a decent story. There were a few goofy moments, and the end scene in the rani's TARDIS was really, really stupid, but it kept my attention and was fairly enjoyable. I think the Rani would have worked a bit better if she hadn't had to share screen time as basically the lackey of The Master, but she was still ok. The tree mines were bizarre, and the tree "saving Peri" was ridiculous, but it wasn't a big deal. Overall it was far from perfect, but it was decent.

Next up (since I've already seen The Two Doctors) is Timelash.
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Old March 6 2014, 10:50 AM   #838
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Re: Last Classic Who Story you watched

Watched The Moonbase and The Web Planet, as well as a rewatch of Tomb of the Cybermen, recently.

Moonbase was enjoyable and seemed ahead of its time in some ways. Patrick Troughton gave a very good and different performance, which I see according to the 'making of' was thanks to the director.
Web Planet was ok except I sort of fell asleep through part of one episode!
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Old March 6 2014, 10:00 PM   #839
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Re: Last Classic Who Story you watched

Timelash is the first 6th Doctor story that I'd describe as solidly "meh". It's story didn't keep my attention, it felt slow at times, and it didn't feel like anything more than a bland, average story at best. It wasn't outright horrible, but it wasn't very good and it was very forgettable. Its the first 6th Doctor story that I didn't get any real enjoyment from watching, although I've seen worse stories. Next up is Revelation of the Daleks.
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Old March 6 2014, 10:04 PM   #840
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Re: Last Classic Who Story you watched

kirk55555 wrote: View Post
Timelash is the first 6th Doctor story that I'd describe as solidly "meh". It's story didn't keep my attention, it felt slow at times, and it didn't feel like anything more than a bland, average story at best. It wasn't outright horrible, but it wasn't very good and it was very forgettable. Its the first 6th Doctor story that I didn't get any real enjoyment from watching, although I've seen worse stories. Next up is Revelation of the Daleks.
Ya know, I had forgotten so many folks don't like Timelash.

I've always enjoyed it, but, maybe that's down to Paul Darrow (Avon is just so awesome in Blake's 7, I can't help but enjoy Timelash)
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