Last Classic Who Story you watched

Discussion in 'Doctor Who' started by Pindar, Aug 29, 2012.

  1. Pindar

    Pindar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    7 if you count the Shada clip.

    I got the 50th Anniversary box set the other day really just to get this.
     
  2. Toxteth O´Grady

    Toxteth O´Grady Captain Captain

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    I debated whether or not to start a new thread, but I decided to just post in here. This is an ongoing thread and if I start my own it might fizzle out and I'll end up talking to myself.

    About a year ago I set out to watch all of the new Doctor Who. I finally got caught up with 11's last episode at the beginning of this year.

    Bottom line: I loved it. All of it. It made me want to go back to consume all of Doctor Who. I made the decision to start from the beginning rather than cherry pick episodes. This was a risky move because early episodes of any show tend to be rougher than the bulk of the series. But the first DVD contained the first 3 serials, including the introduction of the Daleks, so I took a chance. Just yesterday I finished watching the 3rd story on the set so I came here to give my thoughts about them.

    An Unearthly Child: The first episode was promising. It very nicely set things up showing Barbara and Ian's concerns about their odd student, Susan. The Tardis and what it does it explained very simply without any technobabble. And it sets up the first adventure with the foursome with a nice shot of the Tardis standing in the middle of nowhere.

    Now, I'm not saying it was a bad story, but I didn't find the cavemen very engaging. It seemed like too much time was focused on them when I'd much rather be following our heroes. But this was the first serial, and as I said things are usually trying to smooth themselves out at the start.

    The Daleks: Now we are talking! Doctor Who's main baddies are introduced. In this serial we really get to know the Doctor a bit more. His curiosity gets the better of him when they end up entangled in the tense rivalry between the Daleks and the Thals. If I was a kid when this first aired it would have made me a Doctor Who fan instantly.

    The Edge of Destruction: Now as I understand it, this two-parter was made simply to fill out the original order of 13 episodes and they made it on the cheap with no guest stars and using the Tardis interior exclusively. Basically a bottle show. But that doesn't make the serial any less interesting. It was nice seeing the four main characters only interacting with each other. I think these two episodes did a fine job in expanding the relationship between the two Time Lords and the two humans. It was likely going to get stale if they kept things the way they were going with Ian questioning every decision the Doctor made and the Doctor being suspicious of Ian and Barbara.

    Unfortunately it ends with the beginning of a serial that is completely lost, save for the soundtrack, which I happily bought on iTunes.

    At this point I am definitely in it for the long haul. I looked ahead and noted which serials are lost and how I'll be able to experience them. It looks like all of them have their soundtracks in tact thanks to the long-time fans. I'm purchasing the DVDs off of Amazon. So far they've been reasonably priced. If anybody knows a cheaper way of acquiring the DVDs I'm open to hearing it.
     
  3. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Commodore Commodore

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    I just watched Day of the Daleks, and it was ok, but not great. The Doctor had some cool moments, like taking out some of the future rebels with his martial arts abilities, and it was funny to see him just blast a few humanoid bad guys with a laser gun (I'm not sure some of the modern Doctor's would approve :lol: ). I also liked what ended up being the cause of all the trouble. Overall it was a decent story, and I'm glad they didn't pad it out to five or six episodes, but it was far from my favorite 3rd Doctor story so far.
     
  4. Sindatur

    Sindatur Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Toxteth O'Grady, if you go to Youtube or Dailymotion, and put in the overall Serial Title + Playlist (Or Google Videos "Overall Serial Title Dailymotion Playlist" or Youtube), you should be able to find every missing Serial with not only the Soundtrack, but, with photographs/Telesnaps and stage Directions as reconstructions. Some of them, are a little tough to follow, but, some of them are very well done. Also, there's a Couple (For example 2nd Doctor's Power of the Daleks, which is 100% missing), someone did a great job of animating the Telesnaps for 2 1/2 episodes, very watchable, IMHO.
     
  5. Emperor-Tiberius

    Emperor-Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    On the contrary, its my favorite Third Doctor story. I love it utterly - although I might have been swayed by the Special Edition. The story is lovely, the time-travel twist brilliant, and the threat just palpable. The Daleks had come back in style.

    The only niggle I'd have is the lack of a scene that'd go back to the scene where the paradox had been enacted. The novelization showcases this, and its a brilliant in how it caps the story - very Moffat-like. I miss that in every version.

    And to nerd out a bit, I think the point of 9-onwards make is that they don't want to hold them anymore. The Warrior very obviously carried a gun, even if it was to just spell "No More". And even 10 wasn't above taking one up when the Time Lords were coming back. Thats not to say I approve of the Doctor shooting down one (or two, as per the SE) people in cold blood.
     
  6. Toxteth O´Grady

    Toxteth O´Grady Captain Captain

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    Well, I've already listened to the first episode of "Marco Polo" in the audio book I bought off of iTunes. There are no visuals, but I thought the narration did a good job at painting the picture. I'm something of a completist. I like having my own copy of something. But since these serials are incomplete there may be a chance, as small as it might be, that something will be found someday. When I get to the next serial that is missing, I'll see what I can find online.
     
  7. Sindatur

    Sindatur Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Marco Polo Reconstruction is actually very good, it's got color Photos even
     
  8. DWF

    DWF Admiral Admiral

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    With all the talk of it I rewatched Time-Flight, it's actaully not a bad story, I liked the concept of the Xerahin being sperated by the Master's influence. But the story was let down by the production standards and budget of the time.

    I also started watching The Trial Of A Time Lord season again and I've alway s loved the space station opnening of The Mysterious Planet, it is a shame though that wwe went from that great model shot to small corridor again. Dibber and Glitz really stole this one though.
     
  9. The Laughing Vulcan

    The Laughing Vulcan Admiral Admiral

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    Watched City of Death this morning. Got to love the Horror channel for showing classic Who. Damn, that was brilliant. Why can't modern Who be like that?
     
  10. The Mirrorball Man

    The Mirrorball Man Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Because we're no longer in 1979?
     
  11. Emperor-Tiberius

    Emperor-Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Probably because the humor in NuWho doesn't quite have the subtlety of one Douglas Adams.
     
  12. The Mirrorball Man

    The Mirrorball Man Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I love Douglas Adams but "City of Death", while very funny in spots, is mostly a straightforward science-fiction story. "The Pirate Planet", in my opinion, is a broad farce, and there's nothing subtle about it.
     
  13. Emperor-Tiberius

    Emperor-Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah, but its subtly funny. The inspector is pure Inspector Clouseau goodness!
     
  14. DarthPipes

    DarthPipes Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I saw City of Death recently and I really enjoyed it. Fun story with Julian Glover as the villain. The Duggan character is a cartoon but I ended up liking him by the end.

    Watched Mawdryn Undead the other day. Thought it was a good one with a real trippy, somewhat confusing concept. Always good to see the Brigadier though and it introduces Turlough.
     
  15. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

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    Mawdryn has hints of modern Who in it, one of the few classic stories to really address the timey wimey stuff (which is interesting for a show who's central conceit is time travel!)
     
  16. Emperor-Tiberius

    Emperor-Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    The Five Doctors (Special Edition) - The more times I watch this, the more I dislike it. With a momentous occasion like four of the first five Doctors coming together and meeting one another, as well as several companions of theirs, and the character interactions are just dissapointing. Why don't we see any of the Doctors converse with Susan, whom they all haven't seen for a long while? Why don't the companions converse with one another, like Tegan and Sarah Jane Smith - they introduce each other, and then they stare at the Doctors. Are they all socially inept? You bring back Liz Shaw - a character that left the show so abruptly and for no reason. Why not use that opportunity to have her explain to the audience why she left?

    And the plan of Borusa's so stupid - why steal the Fifth Doctor's other incarnations to lure them to the Death Zone? Wouldn't it make sense to do so AFTER each latest incarnation was somehow incapacitated after trying to enter the Tomb of Rassilon? And why bring the frakking Master to this? Wouldn't he make things automatically worse for the Doctor? I mean, he's a wild card, and I doubt he helped them out in the Omega crisis either, so what the heck? And real Immortality? He's the frakking President! And a Time-Lord!!! He can adsorb as many life cycles as he wants, and even so, thats already almost forever. And its Gallifrey for Pete's sake - what kind of political excitement is there in that tranquile environment?

    Also, why does the Fifth Doctor feel like "giant chunks of [his] past detaching themselves like icebergs"? They didn't die - Borusa only changed his past, he's not dying. How ludicrous. And its never mentioned again once the First Doctor comes to the scene.

    Anyway, I understand that I'm not supposed to think too deeply about this, and that nostalgia should creep into me while watching this, but... I'm not that old an fan. In fact, I've been a fan for less time than that. Much less. And as such, unless it has one element that is so excellent and extraordinary that it makes it work so well, I have to judge it as it is, fairly.

    So yeah, the story is absolutely nonsensical, and from someone who wrote Horror of Fang-Rock and the great War Games, this is especially dissapointing. DWM also said this felt like a "tribute to Jon Pertwee's era" and I say, after watching that whole era chronologically, bollocks to that.

    That said, I will give credit to all the actors playing the Doctors, as well as several of the other participants. As mentioned many times by many people, Davison's Fifth really makes the great effort to connect the first three Doctors in his mannerisms and portrayal of this older Doctor, and he succeeds enormously. He even suceeds in registering characterization, the barest amount at least, by the way he affectionately and almost tearingly sees Susan again after all those years. However, I must give Jon Pertwee for trying that out as well, when Susan goodbye to everyone, his Third Doctor says, and listen closely, "Goodbye, Susan," almost heartbreakingly. Very solemn. Wonderful little bit by Pertwee, the most underrated of the old Doctors. I only noticed that this time, and it works IMO. Hurndall, predictably, doesn't quite do as well as Hartnell, obviously, would've done, but surprisingly I didn't dislike him in the role either. He did pass off really well as the First Doctor, and I didn't doubt he really was the original - although I imagine how it would've been with the actual original Doctor there, and it would've just been grand. And Tom Baker... yeah, I didn't miss him this time. Its strange, but his non-appearence works in favor of the plot. And I love that the early Cambridge scene from Shada is in there, and after the adventure's over, he's returned there, so as to resume their adventure in Shada. I love that (though I'd prefer if any completed version of Shada would remove that scene, because [a]its been a Five Doctors scene for a longer time, in the fandom's consciousness, than a Shada scene, and its the Fourth's only new scene as the Doctor since his departure, chronology-wise, and I'd keep it as isolated as possible). I also love the implication (not sure if it was intended or not, though probably not, since SJS was supposed to say "teeths and curls) that the Third might have a subcoscious idea of how he'll look in his next incarnation strictly because of SJS's description... lovely timey-whimey stuff. And Troughton, despite having so little to do, shines in every way possible. This is also Ainley's best Master performance (no pun) in the Davison era, and probably until Survival anyway.

    Because at the end, its the actors that make this work in any way. The story offers them so little to do, and the characterization just isn't there. That there are any memorable character interactions is entirely up to them.

    Crucially, what really, really brings it down is the pacing, and editing of this story. While recent NuWho simply to establish the character and run the story and the emotional complexities all within 45 minutes, in this case its 90 of almost dead air. OK, maybe not that much, but would it have killed to have something actually important to do? We critisize Day of the Doctor for being too short (and arguably, it was), but it did more with the runtime it had than this special did. Its not like there were any important character interactions to miss - like I said, interaction and and actual characterization was really the last thing that Dicks concetrated on. And thats why its boring.

    So, in conclusion: loved the Pertwee and Troughton portions (and indeed, its the Third that steals the Master's seal - I thought it was the Fifth, when I saw Time of the Doctor for the first time), the First and Fifth Doctors portions were beyond boring, and the companions were royally wasted. To be fair, it was a gargantuan premis anyway, and it was always gonna have its shortcomings. But, as always with early-to-mid-80's Doctor Who, the plot takes precedence over character, and I'm not in favor of that. A dissapointing story by the usally good Terrance Dicks, delivered in a so-so manner by Peter Moffet.

    5/10
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2014
  17. diankra

    diankra Commodore Commodore

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    The script was written to fit around the Doctors (and to keep them apart as much as possible, thanks to Terrance Dicks's memories of tensions between Pertwee and Troughton at the start of work on Three Doctors); the companions were then fitted around as available, particularly the companion cameos.
    So it was never going to be The Return and Explanation of Liz Shaw; at the time, she was a little remembered footnote even within fandom (10 years later Caroline John was reluctant to do conventions as she thought she'd been a failure in the role, and was astonished at the love she caught from a fandom who'd now seen her season on VHS).
    If Katy Manning had been available, it'd have been Jo and Mike there; if Carry John had said no, it'd've been Mike solo, or maybe with Corporal Bell or Sergeant Osgood (don't laugh, his daughter is a semi-regular now after all!).
    The phantom companions were bonuses, like Terrance insisting on putting in a K-9 scene when Sarah's introduced.
     
  18. Iamnotspock

    Iamnotspock Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Borusa: "Involving this... person... does not please me."
    Castellan: "The constitution clearly states that when in emergency session [and] the members of the inner council are unanimous..."
    Flavia: "Which, indeed we are..."
    Borusa: "The President of the Council may be overruled. What a ridiculous clause. Very well, let him enter."

    At least that's how it's supposed to go; it doesn't aid clarity that Paul Jerricho clearly doesn't understand the line and both misreads and mis-inflects it. :rolleyes:

    Also; "Immortality?! Oh, that's impossible, even for a Time Lord! But you did offer the Master a whole new regeneration cycle, which is pretty much the same thing, so I'm not sure what this whole thing is about, really."
     
  19. DWF

    DWF Admiral Admiral

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    I kind of perfer the televised version of The Five Doctors Special to the extended version. Terrance Dicks wrote an old fashioned quest story that put the various Doctors in their element. I thought it was a good anniversary special, the video effects of the Rastan warrior robot is alittle dated now, but it's good seeing all the current Doctors together.
     
  20. The Laughing Vulcan

    The Laughing Vulcan Admiral Admiral

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    Just watched The Talons of Weng Chiang, and I was curiously disappointed in what's a highly regarded show. I don't think I could get past my 21st Century perspective on race relations and political correctness to see past the depiction of the Chinese characters, and the (accurate) provincial attitudes by the Victorian English characters. It's a shame, as I normally can see past these things to place a show in context.
     

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