Last Classic Who Story you watched

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

  1. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    This is a really good story. And I say that as one who really doesn't care for gore. Or insects of any size.

    Ian Marter (who played Harry Sullivan) used to be one of the writers who novelized the Classic episodes. He did The Ark in Space, and also The Sontaran Experiment, among others.
     
  2. mythme

    mythme Commodore Commodore

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    Four to Doomsday

    An adequate outing. Not spectacular but since its techincally #5's first adventure (the first filmed), its not too bad. I was engaged through the whole thing. However, Tegan (who I don't really like anyway) was especially annoying here. Her only function was to whine about going back to Heathrow the entire time; the Doctor had to put her in her place TWICE. Also the Greek guy's lazy eye bothered me.
     
  3. diankra

    diankra Commodore Commodore

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    The odd thing is that Holmes actually wrote the transmitted versions of both stories (whatever the writer credits say).
    He wrote Ark in Space in a rush after two earlier scripts for a 'Space Station Ark' story had been abandoned (plus an idea from Douglas Adams that never even got into script form, but did end up as the Golganfrincham B-Ark plot in the Hitchhiker's Guide), while also doing a massive rewrite of Gerry Davis's script for Revenge.
    Davis's version has been printed, and it involves a space station called Nerva Beacon above a gold-rich asteroid called Voga, gold as an anti-Cyberman weapon, and characters called Lester and Stevenson, but apart from that, the tx version is pretty much all Holmes. Everyone has their off-days...
     
  4. The Borgified Corpse

    The Borgified Corpse Admiral Admiral

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    I find the beginning of "The Face of Evil" very interesting. Part 1 starts very abruptly, as if we're seeing the recap from the end of a previous episode that was never made (but would have been made if we were watching Leela Who instead of Doctor Who).
     
  5. DWF

    DWF Admiral Admiral

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    I always loved Revenge, but it really doesn't contain typical Holmesian elements and really the serial was let down by production standards, it was a nce reuse of the seets though.

    One thing that I still wonder about is how did Robert Holmes get away with writing scripts while he was a script editor? I thought there was a rule that script editors couldn't write any stories while they're script editors.
     
  6. The Borgified Corpse

    The Borgified Corpse Admiral Admiral

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    Technically, they couldn't commission themselves to write scripts. However, some of them would write scripts during the hiatus between seasons and buy them as freelance works. IIRC, this is what Douglas Adams did with "Shada" and what Eric Saward did with "Earthshock" & "Revelation of the Daleks."

    They would also sometimes write a script but then get one of their friends to put their name on it instead. Eric Saward did this with "Attack of the Cybermen." I'm not aware of any other instances.

    Script editors would also often be required to rewrite the work of other script writers for no credit. Sometimes, the original writer would still keep their name on the story even though they didn't write a word of it-- Terry Nation on "Destiny of the Daleks," Gerry Davis on "Revenge of the Cybermen." (IIRC, there was also a writer of one of the late William Hartnell stories who's script was so heavily rewritten that he wanted to take his name off of it but his agent wouldn't let him.) Other times, the original writer would take his name off and a pseudonym would be used. "The Brain of Morbius" was written by Terrance Dicks, extensively rewritten by Robert Holmes, and then credited to the non-existent Robin Bland. "The Invasion of Time" & "City of Death" are both credited to David Agnew, one of the standard BBC pseudonyms at the time.
     
  7. DWF

    DWF Admiral Admiral

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    Anthony Read and Graham Williams wrote The Invasion Of Time. And there's some debate about who really wrote Attack Of The Cybermen, just that Saward rewrote much of it.

    From Shannon Sullivan's site.

    But in Holmes' case he had to write The Talons Of Weng Chiang from scratch and given how he wrote it thye kind of fudged a bit on the rules. He wrote the first four parts first and later wrote the final two.
     
  8. mythme

    mythme Commodore Commodore

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    The Rescue

    A good, tight little story. Although probably considered a throwaway just to introduce Vicki, it works very well. The Doctor's notice that Susan was gone was a nice touch, although I liked Vicki much more than Susan almost immediately.


    The Romans

    I didn't think I would like this one was much as I did. I'm not much for the early Who historicals but given its "light" tone, it was very enjoyable. The levity was almost at odds with the action - assassination, slave trade, gladiators. Nice to see Ian and especially Barbara doing something apart from the Doctor. I don't think we ever see Hartnell as spry and humorous as in this one.
     
  9. Turtletrekker

    Turtletrekker Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I have recently been through the entire "Key to Time" arc and "Destiny of the Daleks".

    After that, the Lethbridge-Stewart book thread convinced me to watch "Web of Fear", "Downtime" and "Battlefield".

    "Downtime" was better than I expected, although I wish Sarah Jane had had a bigger part. How are the other Doctor-less straight to video movies?
     
  10. Mr Awe

    Mr Awe Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Intresting insight as always diankra. Thanks! I actually don't mind Revenge as much as most people do but I had no idea that Holmes basically wrote most of it. I'll have to look around for Davis' version . . .

    Mr Awe
     
  11. diankra

    diankra Commodore Commodore

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    There was, which is why he didn't get the credit on Revenge, Pyramids and Morbius (or for outlining the story for Sontaran Experiment, or...).
    On Ark in Space, he was given special permission for an emergency commission because they were already committed to making two stories on the same sets, and two scripts for the first of them had fallen through.
    On Deadly Assassin he was given special permission because Philip Hinchcliffe claimed that it was a pilot for a radical restructuring of the series (without companions, or set on Gallifrey), so the script editor had to write it to set the tone for other writers.
    Weng-Chiang was again an emergency replacement when the original writer had to drop out.
    And Sunmakers was right at the end of his time as script editor, so they were able to fudge the dates to pretend he hadn't actually commissioned himself...

    There are some raised eyebrows at the BBC in early '76 about the number of scripts Holmes was writing, whatever name they went out under - the commissioning form for Assassin came back to Hinchcliffe's office with Holmes's name highlighted and the comment "Again?. [p280 of the Telos books Holmes biography].
     
  12. The Borgified Corpse

    The Borgified Corpse Admiral Admiral

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    The only one that I've seen so far is "Wartime," the Sgt. Benton one. It's OK, although it doesn't have much to do with anything. It's mostly about Benton working out some of his personal family demons from his childhood.

    IIRC, one of the biggest controversies regarding "Attack of the Cybermen"'s authorship was whether Ian Levine had any significant role in it at all. Levine contends that he did while Saward seems to deny it entirely.
     
  13. Sindatur

    Sindatur The Grey Owl Wizard Premium Member

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    I like the P.R.O.B.E. ones (Liz Shaw heading her own Organization) and the Mind War ones.

    I also like Return of The Sontarans. (Sophie Aldred, and from Blake's 7 a Travis and Cally)

    I downloaded off Youtube and burned to Disk The Auton Trilogy, but, don't remember a thing about it, I'll have to watch or rewatch at some point.

    The Stranger, the first couple, that seems to be trying to mimic Six and Perry was fairly decent, but, once they decided to prove they weren't trying to get away with an unofficial spinoff with The Doctor, it got really strange
     
  14. mythme

    mythme Commodore Commodore

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    The Talons of Weng-Chiang

    What an excellent story. Everything is nearly perfect with this one - lighting, direction, sets, locations, script and especially the supporting actors. The only things I can critique are I would have liked Greer's motives to be fleshed out a little more (reminded me of Omega from the "Three Doctors", masked and shouting alot) and of course the silly giant rat, but that can be forgiven given everything else.
     
  15. diankra

    diankra Commodore Commodore

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    Weng-Chiang is what you get if everyone is either in a panic, or not caring about working on the series again.
    Script editor Robert Holmes got back from a holiday which had become an extended hospital stay after his wife was taken ill, to be told that Robert Banks Stewart hadn't delivered his script for the season finale, so Holmes would have to write one ASAP.

    Producer Philip Hinchcliffe was told during pre-production that, due to complaints about how violent Doctor Who was getting, he wouldn't be producing the next season of Doctor Who, and would instead run a new BBC cop show called Target (which was expected to be violent. Target's creator Graham Williams was equally surprised to be told he was going to be running Doctor Who).
    As he wouldn't be in the Doctor Who office to read the inevitable angry memoes, Hinchcliffe stopped telling the people actually making Talons "Nice idea, but we can't afford it," and just let them overspend massively... and show how good Doctor Who could be like if it had that bit more money.
    As for Greel... I like the hints of a future history that are there. But it seems that in all earlier versions, and right up to halfway through the writing of Holmes's version, the masked mad-man was to have turned out to be the Master... half regenerated after Deadly Assassin, but still clinging onto life by any means.
     
  16. mythme

    mythme Commodore Commodore

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    Greel as the Master would have made perfect sense.
     
  17. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Was Greel from the 51st century?
     
  18. Doctorwhovian

    Doctorwhovian Fleet Captain

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    Some of the terminology and backstory in "Talons" is similar to Captain Jack's backstory.
     
  19. mythme

    mythme Commodore Commodore

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    The Nightmare of Eden

    Oh boy, the perfect example of what can go wrong does go wrong. The actual story itself is adequate, but everything else just falls short. The ship collision (which they blamed on shooting on video rather than film) was inexplicable until what exactly happened was explained in the story. Tryst's ridiculous accent. Guards dressed like poor-man's Han Solos. The Mandrels were unthreatening and overlit. According to those involved, the director didn't know what he was doing. You know when something's amiss when K9 is the least annoying thing about the story (even if he has the wrong voice!)
     
  20. DarthPipes

    DarthPipes Vice Admiral Admiral

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    On Greel, yeah, the show could get too obsessed with villains that SHOUTED ALL THE TIME!!! Lowering your voice is so much more effective.

    I just watched The Ribos Operation and very much enjoyed it. It introduced Mary Tamm as the first Romana and she's a fun match for the Doctor. It manages to tell a smaller story in the frame of a much larger one (this was the first story in the season long Key of Time storyline). I also noticed a few similarities here to Game of Thrones.

    The guest cast was excellent and the side character of Binro gets a surprisingly emotional storyline. Interesting fact about the actor who played that character, Timothy Bateson. His final role was as the voice of Kreacher in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.