Discussion in 'Doctor Who' started by Pindar, Aug 29, 2012.
I didn't like that one, either. Fortunately, most of the stories with Leela are pretty good.
Talons is my favorite Leela story, and one of my favorites from Tom Baker. Fantastic storytelling, performances and extraordinary look, and the pacing for a six-parter wasn't too off, surprisingly.
I just don't like this one. I've rewatched it several times thinking I'll finally understand why it is so well liked, but I just find it mostly boring. I like some of the characters but, all in all, it doesn't grab me.
^Plus it has Deep Roy as Mr. Sin, thus forming the first block of a career that would hit all 3 great sci-fi franchises. (He was also Keenser, Scotty's alien midget sidekick in Star Trek (2009) and one of the Ewoks in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.)
I like "The Talons of Weng-Chiang," mostly because of Leela. She's just oodles of fun in that story. "It's a good knife."
"The Five Doctors" used to be one of my favorites but I must admit that, on recent rewatchings, it comes across a bit thin. You're right that there's not much plot or characterization. It really just exists as a sampler of the various Doctors & companions. But it is great fun seeing Troughton & Pertwee back in the saddle again.
And it is one of Anthony Ainley's best appearances as the Master. I love the look on his face when he first enters the Time Lord conference room. "I may be seated?"
I recently finished "The Time Meddler." I wasn't especially impressed. I really like the interactions between Vicky & Steven but the plot doesn't offer much. It implies a lot more action than you ever actually see. The guest characters largely don't do much.
I think you're mistaken, it's all four great sci-fi franchises, he was in several episodes of Blakes 7 after all
Several? I thought the only one he was in was Gambit and played the Klute. He was also in the second Transformers movie.
He was one of the Decimas in The Web, and apparently one of the Links in Temrinal. As you say he was the Klute, and he was also the voice of Moloch.
"Give her to your men..."
Deep Roy also did an X-Files episode (and the Flash Gordon movie. And The New Avengers. And...). And was, of course, underpaid by Tim Burton, seeing as he played all the Oompa-Loompas.
Agreed. Saw Robots of Death previously and that was fun, and today I watched The Horror of Fang Rock, and I found that to be brilliant, even with the giant green jellyfish bad guy.
I'm currently trying to get through The Invasion of Time. This 4th Doctor serial is really hard to get through. The story isn't great, almost all of the characters are either boring or irritating (including The Doctor) and overall its a chore to sit through. Also, the aliens are really stupid. Its also 6 episodes long, which sucks when the serial is this mediocre. But, once its over it will move on to the next season and the introduction of Romana, which should be interesting.
Don't give up on it just yet, it takes a right turn
Do watch it with the CGI option. It really does improve the story, I think.
Ok, so I finished it. I pretty much tuned out after episode 4, though. This was one of the worst 4th Doctor serials I've seen, and honestly I can only think of one or two other serials I found this tedious. It was easily two episodes too long, it was boring, it was poorly written and the villains sucked. The Sontarans would go on to be good villains, but they weren't this episode. All of the Timelord characters were bland, and The Doctor just sucked all the way through, which is weird since I've never seen Tom Baker actually be bad in a serial before, even in the bad ones he's usually one of the good things.
One thing that stuck out was that I think the idea that The Doctor could hypnotize a time lord is laughable, and I still don't get why he even did it in the first place. He was really acting like The Master, something I only expect in the 7th Doctor, not the 4th. When a Doctor is reminding me of the 7th Doctor, and its not a McCoy serial, its definitely failed.
Also, Leela's reason for leaving was hilarious and not hinted at throughout the whole story, although to be fair she still got a better exit than Liz Shaw or Peri.
Overall, this serial was almost a complete failure. If it wasn't for the fact that it introduced the sontarans, it would be completely worthless. Its far from the worst serial, but like I said it was so tedious it felt more painful than some stories that are technically worse. I was planning to watch a few 4th Doctor serials to take a break from the 3rd Doctor, but the next serial I watch is almost certainly be a 3rd Doctor serial, these six episodes felt like 20 and I feel like I can't watch another second of the 4th Doctor without a break.
Um, it didn't introduce the Sontarans. Season 11's Time Warrior did that. It also introduced Sarah Jane Smith.
I dunno. Peri's demise was really creepy & brutal (at least before "The Trial of a Time Lord, Part 14" pointlessly retconned it into a happy ending).
And while Liz Shaw didn't get an actual farewell scene, I love what the Brigadier implies about her offscreen departure in "Terror of the Autons": "What you need, Doctor, as Miss Shaw herself so often remarked, is someone to pass you your test tubes, and to tell you how brilliant you are. Miss Grant will fulfil that function admirably."
All in all, I'd say Leela's departure is the worst. Mel's was pretty bad too but counts for less because I never particularly liked Mel. (Mel's only redeeming feature was that she was still better than Peri.) There's not much to Dodo's departure either.
Yeah, I have mixed feelings about Peri's leaving. On the one hand, her death would have felt more dramatic, and even more than Leela her "happily ever after" was just out of left field. On the other hand, I hate Mindwarp (its my most disliked 6th Doctor serial), so even if she had stayed dead I would have been annoyed by how it happened. I liked Peri as a companion, and she deserved a better effort for her farewell (as did Leela, and Liz Shaw deserved a goodbye story, period).
Mel's ending wasn't great, but she's the companion I hate the most, so I can't say she deserved a better good bye. That said, I wouldn't have been opposed to them bringing back the Time Destructor for Mel
The Ice Warriors (Second Doctor).
I enjoyed the animation in this serial more than that used in The Reign of Terror. It reminds me of that used in The Invasion. The story was well thought out and didn't drag.
John Nathan-Turner became the show-runner during TBaker's run. He was already working on the show, but not in that capacity, during this episode. He talks about it in his memoirs. I listened to the audio version of those memoirs not long ago (they're only about 8 bucks for more than 4 hours worth of material, and he covers every episode he worked on). He pointed to this story as an example of why four episodes is the ideal length for a Doctor Who story. Any longer, and the story usually falls apart. There are rare exceptions, but for the most part, I agree with him on that.
I have to disagree with you about it being a pointless retcon. Without it we wouldn't have "Peri and the Piscon Paradox" and that is one of my favorite Big Finish audios. For that alone, I am quite happy about the retconning.
Which is strange from his point of view since he was unit production manager and the longer stories tended to be better on the show's budget.
I agree. 4 old Who episodes is about as long as a two part NuWho story, which is about the maximum I think 90% of stories need to be. As much as I like the 3rd Doctor, several of his serials, especially in his first year, would have benefited from being 4 parts instead of 6 or even 7. I can honestly say that every 7 part 3rd Doctor serial, even if it was good, was hurt by its length, and the average 6 part serial of any Doctor tends to feel too padded. While I think that The Invasion of Time had problems with the story itself, if they'd cut out 2 episodes it would have been more tolerable.
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