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Re: Scardis's Classic Who Journey.

Posted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 11:54 am
by scardis
Well as it stands today I've yet to divulge into the soundtracks yet having aquired a couple of diversions from my companions and Doctors departures and beginings. (if their free, why not)
Firstly I had a look at the two First Doctor stories on Blinkbox ( The Sensorites and the Web Planet, the Sensorites brought me back to the Ian, Barbara and Susan days. Sensorites never having a DVD release before and you could see on the stream how it was still a bit patchy in places such as the not so stereo title screen and the change of format for the last episode credits. Never the less it was an interesting if not all that great story. A bit of a mid season filler in my opinion.
The Web Planet was interesting as it's set directly after my last DVD aquirement 'The Romans'.
The story was perhaps just a little too ambitious for the time and resources available to the Doctor Who team of the time and again the story isn't among the strongest I've come across. Putting Vaseline on the camera lens wasn't the brightest thing to do either.
Next story after that was the Crusade which is one of the photo novels in the classic section of the BBC website.
Trundled through all of those episodes within a half hour and it looks like it was a good historical romp, Poor Barbara always seems to get a rough deal wherever she goes, I'll be interested to see how she feels when she leaves the TARDIS in the Chase which I believe finally comes to DVD next year.
In the mean time I've also aquired the Target audiobooks Doctor Who and The Zarbi, and the Crusade, which I hope will help stretch my imagination when it comes to these two stories, particularly The Crusades.
Another diversion is my divulge into Tom Baker's new material 'Hornet's Nest', an interesting story, the only other exposure I've had to Paul Magrs work was an audio of his Ten/Martha book 'Sick Building' and more recently the encore presentation of The Horror of Glam Rock with Eight/Lucie and starring Bernard Cribbins and the late Stephen Gately R.I.P.
I'll be interested to see where this story is heading as it seems to need the other parts before I know if the story is any good.
So hopefully, while I await the Chase, I will order in 'The Time Meddler' to see Steven become a fully fledged companion, should happen within the month, and hopefully I can put a close to the First Doctor's comings and goings before the year is out.
All the Best,

Re: Scardis's Classic Who Journey.

Posted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 1:07 pm
by Adam J Purcell
You just can't escape from Ian, Babs and Sue, it seems! Blinkbox looks amazing, I'd not come across it before. Is it legal? Looks like it probably is. I must investigate further, very intriguing.

You are watching a lot of early Who stories that I've never seen. That's very bad of me, I have no excuse (I even have a few on DVD I've not gotten around to watching yet!) We've all at least seen clips from the Web Planet and even from those it was obvious that it is often very easy to write these things but rather more difficult to visualise them on a meager budget like Doctor Who's. I'd be interested to see if such problems fade into the background after a while - early Doctor Who is quite 'stagey' at the best of times.

It's interesting you wonder how Barbara feels when she finally leaves the TARDIS for the last time. That's something the old series rarely dwelt on. It's not really until the new series, particularly School Reunion, that Doctor Who ever looks back at how a companion feels after they leave the Doctor. A lot of fan writings do examine that but the old series never really thought about it (even Tegan's leaving and returning hardly scratched the surface). Of all the companions to leave, I think Adric was probably the most crushed..!

I've not heard any of the Hornet's Nest but the general satisfaction on the first, from a few places, was apparently quite low. I think I heard someone say that by the third story it was picking up. It's interesting to hear that you think you need to hear them all before you really come to a judgment - that sounds like it might be the best approach. I'd be curious to hear what that final judgment is.

Bernard Cribbins is in the Horror of Glam Rock? Did I know that at one time but forgot? Probably. Nonetheless it makes me want to hear that one! I'll have to keep an eye on Radio 7.

After all these months it will no doubt be a shame to wave goodbye to the first Doctor. I think you'll have a tough time finding all the stories you need for the second Doctor - his period seems even harder hit than his predecessors.

I'm looking forward to hearing the next installment of your journey!

Re: Scardis's Classic Who Journey.

Posted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:18 am
by scardis
Well most of the second doc stuff I want is on audio and a few, for example 'Power of The Daleks', is a photo novel on the Doctor Who website so I can use that to follow along the audio. Have now heard the Mythmakers and Time Meddler DVD is on it's way. I've listened to two episodes so far of The Daleks Master Plan, (had some visual help for epi 2 thanks to a photo novel.) I am well and truly into the audio section of my collection and so far it's been ok, I do miss the visual representation but I think my mind can picture well enough what is meant to be going on.
In Mythmakers Vicki's departure was nice, this Troiless or whatever he was called seems like he was a nice bloke and as I had listened to the Target already, it seems that they managed to live happily ever after. So as I say its onwards with The Dalek invasion where Katarina comes and goes and then back to my Adventures in History set to pick up Dodo from 'The Massacre' before heading onto the Smugglers to see (or hear) off Steven.
oh and yes blinkbox is legal, they, like Msn and now Youtube, have an agreement with BBC Worldwide but unlike those two they haven't quite got to locking Ireland out.

Re: Scardis's Classic Who Journey.

Posted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 2:25 pm
by scardis
WEll I must say in light of recent events the watching of Steven's first proper adventure with the Doctor and Vicki, The Time Meddler was quite interesting, and worthwhile too as I found out when I returned to the Dalek Masterplan.
This would appear to be the first time we have come across another Time Lord (but not quite called that yet) with a TARDIS that does what it's supposed to, blend in. The Monk seemed to be attempting to alter the course of yet another fixed point in history, the Battle of Hastings. But the Doctor is successful in stopping him. Giving the recent events of Waters of Mars, it's interesting to see this rebel Doctor act as a rule abider in keeping history on course.
Bill Hartnell has indeed grown on me over these past months and I have to colour myself a fan of the work of the time. I'm facinated in how they over came certain obstacles to get a good story going and thats why I'm dismayed when people get all fussed up about Dreamland being bad just because the animation is poor. Sure some of the CGI and effects were poor back in the early days but that didn't stop us enjoying a good story.
Anyway next chronolgically on my quest is the departure of Vicki in The Mythmakers but I've given my opinions already.
Which brings on to what in these days would be considered a whole season. 13 episode (if you include the prequel from before Mythmakers, Mission to the Unknown) epic, Dalek Masterplan, It was a good story if not quite a bit drawn out. Like I said I'm glad I aquirred The Time Meddler before listening on to thisas he makes a return and plays a part in proceedings. I thought Bret's voice sounded quite familiar and indeed it was Nick Courtney playing him, soom to be the Doctor's long standing ally The Brigadier.
In my companion and Doctors quest we pick up and dispose of two women, Katarina and Sara Kingdom, poor Katarina was way out of her depth and I felt very sorry for her.
By the description provided by Peter Purves for the audio Sara's death was quite gruesome and while in some ways it's a pity it was wiped I'm not sure it would have been allowed on pre watershed television today, nasty way to go. (In case you are not familiar, imagine the Master's Laser Screwdriver's Lazerous setting put on a human and you get the idea.)
I can't leave this musing on the Dalek MasterPlan without mentioning the first ever Doctor Who christmas special The Feast of Steven (Someone close to Nation must have Irish connections because the day after Christmas, Boxing day to you, is known as St Stephen's Day here in Ireland) what the heck was all that about, it certainly could be left out of canon if the viewer so wished, not only Bill Hartnell's Christmas toast (which I thought was a nice touch myself) but the whole runaround. It was purely just a bit of fun and can be compared to the likes of Attack of The Graske, Music of The Spheres and that Sarah Jane piece with Ronnie Corbet.(and to some extent Time Crash although people generally prefer to leave that as bona fide canon)
So onwards to the second story in my Adventures in History set 'The Massacre (of St Barthomelew's Eve)' where we pick up Dodo, although how we pick up a girl from the 1960s London in a story so far set in 14th Century France remains to be seen.
I'm going to hold off getting the Ark for the moment as it does still exist and was previously released on VCR so perhaps it may turn up on DVD or on the Blinkbox service (which is now the only service working for me as BBC "Worldwide" 's youtube and MSN's services are locked out to me), it is on audio soundtrack but for now I'm going to let it go.
After The Massacre I move onto The Savages to drop off Steven and then I'm back where I started with The War Machines, I then let Polly and Ben take in where they are in 'The Smugglers' before my last Hartnell audio (for the time being) The Tenth Planet downloads from audible on new year's eve as my credits get renewed then. Fortunatly all the stories I mention bar Tenth Planet have photo novels on the main site that I can use with my audio to follow proceedings. And so with the end of the year, not only will Tennants run come to an end, my run with Hartnell will come to an end as well.
I'll write a christmas email for you all after the next podcast comes out where I give my thoughts on SJA series 3, the Waters of Mars and Dreamland after the next podcast is published (just in case somthing major happens in the mean time.)

All the best,

Re: Scardis's Classic Who Journey.

Posted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 5:39 pm
by Adam J Purcell
The Time Meddler. A pivotal piece of Doctor Who? Certainly an inevitable idea, I suppose. The Doctor meets another of his kind and it's not a happy reunion! It's another one I have on DVD but am ashamed to say I've yet to actually watch. Certainly it has the reputation that Peter Butterworth did an amazing job as the Monk. Some six years later when the Master is introduced (wow, is that only 6 years later?!) it's hard not to think of this story of being his genesis. In truth I think it wasn't (instead it was more Moriarty), it was more a case of great minds thinking alike.

It does sound like a very interesting comparison to Waters of Mars. Perhaps the Doctor not only needs companions to keep him in check but also villainous Time Lords like the Monk, War Chief, Master and Rani to remind him what he should be fighting against within himself. Maybe more of that at Christmas...

The Dalek Masterplan! We were lucky enough to see a stage adaptation of that last year. They managed to compress it very well into a couple of hours. I can quite imagine how drawn out the original must be by comparison! As for poor Sara Kingdom (is she a companion or isn't she a companion?) I suspect her gruesome fate is probably better realised by Peter Purves' narration than it was on screen. Unfortunately we'll probably never know. Also I bet Hartnell didn't regenerate into Nick Briggs at the end of the TV version (he did in the stage one!)

The Feast of Steven sounds like a real oddity. Fortunately the audio still exists, at least for the crucial 4th wall breaking moment! According to the all knowing Wikipedia, The Feast of Steven was never even offered to foreign broadcasters, so it is very unlikely we'll ever see it again. That's a shame, especially in these days of annual Christmas Doctor Who specials.

The Massacre and Dodo. This is interesting, you're really prompting me to look back at old Who that I know so little about. Someday I really should follow in your footsteps. With a name like Dodo, you'd really think she should have been the first companion to die!

Waving goodbye to two Doctors at the end of the year. A massively different ending for each of them but in both cases the following Doctors sound a little Troughtonian in nature (if rumours are to be believed about Smith's take on the character...)

Re: Scardis's Classic Who Journey.

Posted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 12:14 pm
by scardis
Right well, We had The Massacre, and Dodo was an interesting addition. Seems like the Tardis not only translates dialects for companions but seems to fix their voices as well. We had a woman wander into the Tardis with a heavy Scouse accent but leave it much better elocuted by the time we met The War Machines. Again another story of non interference in historical events that wasn't a million miles away from Fires of Pompeii in principle. This time however the Doctor out right refuses Steven's pleas to save someone. Notably Anne Chaplet. Interesting to note that the Abbot of Amboise struck a remarkable likeness for the Doctor, being played of course by William Hartnell. Listening to Bill's performance it strikes me how well he did in keeping every little quirk of the Doctor's dialect out of the Abbot, (No Hmm's or 'my dear/child/fellow etc) Well the next story was of course Steven's departure in 'The Savages'. An interesting story, thankfully this had a photo novel I could use to follow the action on my soundtrack. Nice idea leaving Steven to help build a better society.
This of course brings me back to 'The War Machines' and I have talked about that already so it was onto the next story 'the Smugglers and Ben and Polly's first proper adventure with the Doctor. Again the BBC website provided a visual companion for this with a photo novel and it was a decent enough story. But then Anneke Willis announced 'Next Episode' The Tenth Planet
Image The end is nigh.
So the audio listening to the Tenth Planet was fun enough and good intro to the CyyyyberMen who talk with noooooo punctuation and draaawwwww out random words. Also from the pictures I've seen of those first Cybermen, they need work done.
The regeneration itself was an interesting end. The Doctor seemed to be holding it off for as long as he could. I thought it seemed well handled but the after effects wouldn't be realised until the next time.

Re: Scardis's Classic Who Journey.

Posted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:38 pm
by Adam J Purcell
The first Doctor is hanging in there, giving Tennant a run for his money!

As for Dodo's accent, what we've never really seen is a proper scouse companion - clearly the Doctor dislikes the accent and, with a bit of Spock fingers on her face, rewrites Dodo's synapses to have his preferred Home Counties accent replace her natural one. They couldn't show that, of course, because the Doctor isn't allowed to touch his female companions!

Some have claimed that the Billy Fluffs of the 1st Doctor are all part of the performance. I've not yet seen him play another character alongside the Doctor but from what you say about him completely changing his mannerisms, I can almost (and I do mean almost!) believe that.

It still amazes me about the off-hand manner in which they write out poor Dodo. Heck of an insult to Jackie Lane. But this has probably already been covered further up!

These photo novels on the BBC site really are amazing. Looking at the poor efforts the BBC seem to put into most of their drama websites (like Hustle - that used to have a fairly decent little site but now, like most of them, it is little more than a list of links to the iPlayer). Doctor Who is rightly blessed!

So, the end of an era. The Tenth Planet. What should, by rights, have been the last ever Doctor Who story. They could have come up with some bunk about the Cybermen putting the Doctor's brain into another body (for some poorly explained reason) or a piece of equipment that accidentally de-ages him or some other 'one-off' excuse to replace William Hartnell. Instead they go with a much more inspired (and repeatable) 'renewal' or 'regeneration' as it has come to be known. Gerry Davis (assuming it really was his idea) should definitely get more credit for Doctor Who surviving to this day than he does.

As for the Cybermen's odd way of drawing out random words - that can easily be explained, the computers embedded in their brains only had cooperative multi-tasking back then, rather than pre-emptive multitasking. They must have had a rogue program that refused to give up CPU time every few seconds!

I don't know if you've heard the Big Finish play 'Spare Parts'. It's the Cyberman origin story, set before The Tenth Planet. I highly recommend it, one of the best stories (if not THE best story) they've done. 5th Doctor and Nyssa on Mondas...

I'm interested to hear your thoughts on Troughton, especially what they do in terms of post regenerative stuff. Hartnell - you're outta here! Next!

Re: Scardis's Classic Who Journey.

Posted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:46 pm
by scardis
Well one month into my Troughton expedition and where do I stand.
Well I started of course the follow up to The Tenth Planet, Power of The Daleks, smart move to introduce a new face with old enemies, my viewing of this episode was of course website photonovel with soundtrack. This proved quite successful, once I got an image of where they were then my head and the narration by Anneke Wills was able to fill in the gaps quite well.
Troughton was still finding his feet and his image (that rather large Stove hat for one thing). One thing that comes across in these old stories is that the Daleks were quite manipulative back in the day, always getting one or two humans onside before turning on them. The story was good and Troughton made a lively impression.
So with the Daleks done and dusted time to pick up the next major factor of the Second Doctor's era, Jaime McCrimmon.
the Highlanders was the last of the 'Adventures in History' set that I purchaced so long ago for the departure of Vicki and the introduction of Dodo. Again a photonovel helped guide my listening to the soundtrack and again well written and well acted by all involved. Very amusing to see the Doctor in fancy dress (including drag)
After that the companions move on for 4 more stories (including the return of the Cybermen) but I skipped straight on to Gatwick airport in 1966 for 'The Faceless Ones' Now the last companion departure they had to deal with was Dodo's and it wasn't al that well dealt with so they were keen to let Ben and Polly get a decent send off this time, and they did albeit a bit removed from this story like Dodo was in 'The War Machines' Good story all round although the numbers of missing people involved does seem a bit odd that no greater alarm was raised with so many missing people.
so with the TARDIS missing we find out that the Daleks are afoot.
This most recent story I've watched/listen to 'The Evil of The Daleks' is interesting because I can draw a few parralels with stories from today.
Waterfields antique shop where he sells items from Victorian times by time travelling them to the 60s is very reminiscent of one Bilis Manger's Stich in Time shop from Torchwood, here Bilis is able to travel back to war time 'as easy as you walkl into another room' Also this idea that the Daleks are taking 'The Human Factor' from Jamie, hmmm Daleks learning what it's like to be human? Remind you of anyone? First time we get a Dalek Emprorer, looking all impressive and Emproerer like. But poor Victoria is left an orphan and the Doctor takes it upon himself to heed her father's dying words and look after her.
So this brings us up to where I am now, strictly speaking my next story should be 'Fury from the Deep, Victorias departure, but thanks to Blinkbox being useable in Ireland I'm able to get some proper telly action from the second Doctor in the very next story and in fairness Victoria's first proper trip 'Tomb of The Cybermen', after that I have a new audiobox set to go through, "Yeti Attack" which takes in the first appearance of one Alistair Lethbridge Stewart, in The Abdomible Snowman, and as a bonus, The Web of Fear is on that soundtrack set as well.
This should keep me busy well into March where I have ordered Fury from the Deep and the audio Target Doctor Who and The Abdomible Snowman read by David Troughton. Been curious to hear how he tackles his fathers character.
I think before I dive into Tomb of the Cybermen I may have to take a peak at the photonovel, (soundtrack can wait till the journey's over) for 'The Moonbase' so I know where we are in relation to the cybermen
On a side note I notice that one of the stories I wanted to see 'The Chase' is coming out on DVD at the beginning of March. I've not pre ordered at the moment because I want to plough on and get to the proper surviving era (Pertwee onwards) before stepping back on my tracks to fill in the holes.
All the best

Re: Scardis's Classic Who Journey.

Posted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 3:14 pm
by Adam J Purcell
Good old Troughton! It's hard to imagine how difficult it must have been for him to take over from Hartnell, the public wouldn't have been used to the idea as they are now. As you say, it certainly was a smart move to kick his time off with a Dalek story (surely they are a big reason why the BBC wanted Doctor Who to continue past Hartnell's departure).

The stove hat and the recorder! I do wonder who's idea those were. Troughton, wanting to make his Doctor distinctive or the producers?

The manipulative Daleks observation does bring up an interesting question - when did they stop being clever and just start being mindless screaming monsters? It's tempting to say when Davros turned up but I'm not sure that it true - weren't they heading that way in Pertwee's era?

Good old Jamie McCrimmon! One of those classic companions and he and Patrick Troughton worked so fantastically together. Obvious a companion that I (and probably more people) are far more familiar with than, say Ben and Polly. I am very familiar with Gatwick Airport, though - having lived 2 miles up the road from it for 34 years! I bet Gatwick as it appears in the Faceless ones are nothing like the airport I know now. I've go Lost in Time, I will have to give the two surviving episodes a watch.
scardis wrote:This most recent story I've watched/listen to 'The Evil of The Daleks' is interesting because I can draw a few parralels with stories from today. Waterfields antique shop where he sells items from Victorian times by time travelling them to the 60s is very reminiscent of one Bilis Manger's Stich in Time shop from Torchwood, here Bilis is able to travel back to war time 'as easy as you walkl into another room' Also this idea that the Daleks are taking 'The Human Factor' from Jamie, hmmm Daleks learning what it's like to be human? Remind you of anyone?
That is interesting! I must be a bad Doctor Who fan - I had no idea Victoria's father was a Victorian time traveller! It can't have been an accident that Billis Manger had a similar idea. It's also amusing to think what a Dalek that takes the 'human factor' from Jamie might be like - it would have to gain a sense of humour and a penchant for kilts!

Lots of Cybermen and Yeti stuff on your plate there, too!

Another possibly alternative to Blinkbox is Seesaw (, if that works in Ireland. Last I checked they only had a few Whos but they did span the decades.

And soon onto Pertwee and the UNIT years (whatever those years were supposed to be - 80s or was it 70s?!) Fewer companions at a time, basically starting the single female companion era (UNIT regulars aside), so fewer entry and exit stories (until you hit the real 80s, at least!)