Tag Archives: Doctor Who

Doctor Who Serial 027 – The War Machines

Synopsis: A COMPUTER GOES CRAZY!

First things first. Stephen left during episode four of The Savages. We didn’t see it. It’s just The Doctor and Dodo, I hope he ditches her sometime soon1. They keep on trying to experiment. In The Chase was had ridiculous piano music. In The Gunfighters we had that terrible song. In this episode, The War Machines, we have a rather insane opening for each episode. I love-hate it so much, I had to upload it to YouTube.

The Doctor gets a strange feeling when looking at a building. He makes his way into a secret laboratory where the scientists have created a computer well ahead of its time, WOTAN. Dodo challenges WOTAN to tell her what TARDIS stands for, and *gasp* it’s able to. Dodo than chats with the scientist’s secretary, Polly. Polly invites Dodo out to a London night club where they meet a navy boy named Ben.

At the club, Dodo gets a phone call from WOTAN, as the supercomputer gathers its human pawns to prepare for battle. WOTAN’s plan is to create portable computers to help it conquer the world.

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Wait, no… I think he meant these…

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This feels like a prototype for what would eventually become the Jon Pertwee standard. It seems like the idea of an alien attack (in this case technology) leading to the military involvement was not something Doctor Who ever did before. It actually works quite well here. The Doctor holds back and only engages once the pawns have been destroyed and a victory can come about with words. This episode was completely original for Doctor Who and creates a very enjoyable episode.

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Dodo left the story during episode two as she went to the country to recover. At the end of episode four, Ben and Polly relay to the Doctor that Dodo wishes to remain in London. Ben and Polly then remember to return the TARDIS key to The Doctor, the get in the TARDIS just as it is about to dematerialize.

Thus ends season 3. Next time… The Smugglers.

  1. Not much longer. []

Doctor Who Serial 023 – The Ark

Synopsis: The Doctor, Dodo, and Steven arrive on an ark which is taking the human population from a doomed Earth to a new planet. The guardians who are awake for this journey catch a cold from Dodo, and thus put The Doctor and his companions on trial.

After less than a minute, we learn that our monster of the week is Brian Jones!

Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones

Turns out they’re the Monoids, and they’re essentially slaves for the human population, but they imply that the Monoids are slaves voluntarily. Yeah, uh ha.

The legal minds who wrote this script must have a great experience in the court room. No evidence, no anything except conjecture.

Eventually The Doctor cures the illness and they respect them finally. They leave in the TARDIS only to return hundreds of years later. In this future, the Monoids are the masters, and the humans the slaves. The Monoids grow tired of The Doctor and orders “Take them away to the security kitchen!” I wonder what a security kitchen is. Turns out it’s just a kitchen where the slaves cook for the Monoids.

I remembered this story being better. The dramatic suspense is horrible, the story is not all that interesting. They have a great opportunity to discuss a subjugated peoples gaining power and systematically oppressing their former oppressors, but they don’t.

Serial 024, The Celestial Toymaker, is missing.

Doctor Who Serial 017 – The Time Meddler

Synopsis: The year is 1066, Harold II is king of England, Vikings are on their way to attack England, the Normans are preparing to invade. In a small English village, the TARDIS lands. The Doctor, Vicki, and Steven begin exploring. The Doctor follows the sound of monks chanting to find a victrola.

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My lord, this is so much better than The Chase. This story is written by Dennis Spooner who wrote the excellent The Romans and The Reign of Terror. We meet a new character, The Meddling Monk, who is a member of Doctor’s race, the Time Lords. They don’t explicitly say this, as we still don’t know that The Doctor is a Time Lord, but it can be inferred.

The Monk wants to change Earth’s history for his own gain, and has setup modern weaponry on the shores of England to protect against the incoming Vikings. His plan would stop Harold’s fleets from going to war with the Vikings and thus leaving the Saxon’s able to hold back the Norman invasion.

It’s another episode which is great for questioning interference with the past.

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So here’s the fun part. This was serial 017 and the second season finale.

Season three begins with serial 018 called Galaxy 4. A four-parter with three missing episodes.

Then we have a missing one parter called Mission To The Unknown. I doesn’t have any of the regular cast and is a prequel to The Daleks’ Master Plan.

Serial 20 is The Myth Makers. In it, Vicki leaves the series, and Katarina joins the cast. No episodes are known to exist.

Serial 21 is a 12-parter called The Daleks’ Master Plan. Nine episodes are missing. This is the first episode to feature Nicholas Courtney, though he isn’t playing the role of the Brigadier. This is the final story with Katarina as a companion, and the only with Sara as a companion.

Serial 22 is The Massacre of St Bartholomew’s Eve, and no episodes of this story exist. It introduces us to the Doctor’s latest companion, Dodo.

Serial 23 is The Ark, and it EXISTS! Next time, on Never Had To Fight.

Doctor Who Serial 016 – The Chase

Farewell Barbara and Ian, hello Steven.

Synopsis: The Daleks chase The Doctor through time and space.

After a repeat of the finale of the previous story, we get a piano introduction that feels like it came out of Mr. Dressup.

The episode opens with The Doctor tinkering with a “Time-Space Visualizer,” trying to get it to work. Essentially it’s a TV that shows images from any time and space. Ian suggests they watch Lincoln’s Gettysburg address, while Barbara wants to watch Elizabeth I and Shakespeare who The Doctor will eventually meet again… and marry one of them, too.

Elizabeth I and Shakespeare

Whereas Vicki wants to listen to some classical music, and thus we have the only surviving footage of The Beatles on Top of the Pops. “Of course I know about them, I’ve been to their memorial theatre in Liverpool.”

The Beatles

With the exception of a few seconds of “Ticket To Ride,” it’s 11 minutes of useless garbage at the beginning of the a six-part story.

The TARDIS lands on a planet in a binary star system and The Doctor gives Ian a magnetic compass1 while Barbara and The Doctor suntan. Eventually Barbara finds the visualizer to be showing The Daleks. The Daleks are discussing that their time machine now works, and that they’ve found the TARDIS. They’re going to chase The Doctor and his companions. *GASP!*

God, let’s just listen to more Beatles. Damn, I love Ringo’s drumming on this song.

While that was good music, whoever scored this episode should be shot.

While Barbara and The Doctor are looking for Ian and Vicki to warn them, Ian and Vicki find an opening with a ladder, they head down, and having never learned from their mistakes in the past, make their presence known. After a sandstorm, The Doctor and Barbara are lost from the TARDIS, and a Dalek rises from the sand… ooo eee ooo.

Dalek rises from the sand.

Whoever on the production team okayed Daleks in sand was an idiot. If the monsters can’t move effectively, they become a joke.

So this planet was a lush ocean planet, and only two species survived, one humanoid species with gills and the squid like creatures. The humanoids are going to kill the squids.

Oh my god! This soundtrack is TERRIBLE.

So according to this episode, The Doctor built the TARDIS… I think he’s a liar.

Again, they’re doing that horrible thing where Daleks talk amongst themselves. It doesn’t work!

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They’re going to New York… I was just there. This guy’s New York accent is terrible.

The obnoxious Alabaminain (is that what they’re called) is apparently Peter Purves who will be a new companion as Steven Taylor in episode six.

Yes! The Daleks are invading a clipper ship. I only know that term because of Guinan.

Jeez, if the Daleks invade your boat, you don’t jump into the ocean, you push the Daleks into the ocean.

Apparently the ship is the Mary Celeste, whose wikipedia page has this to offer…

The Doctor Who serial The Chase (1965) suggested that the arrival of time-travelling Daleks caused the terrified crew of the ship to jump overboard.

Thank you, internet.

It’s been a week, now onto part 4. Will I ever finish this serial? I want cereal.

Oh, that’s a place to fight Daleks, in a Scooby Doo house.

They find Frankenstein’s monster, yet behind Ian is a Dalek. They never mention it… what’s going on?!?!

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Oh, this time the Dalek moves, and apparently Frankenstein’s Monster is immune to Dalek weaponry. Oh, and so is Dracula.

Uh oh! The TARDIS left Vicki in the Scooby Doo house, but she’s hitching a ride with the Dalek TARDIS which is running away from Frankenstein who took out one Dalek. It turns out it’s just a haunted house.

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God, more Daleks talking amongst themselves. They’re going to clone The Doctor.

HAHAHA! The Doctor clone is amazing! He’s so laissez-faire towards his Dalek masters. “Yes, yes, I know, infiltrate and kill.”

If Vicki was smart, she would’ve smashed the robot Doctor. AND OMG he’s not even played by William Hartnell.

Watch out Barbara! He’s a robit!

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They wake up. They’re surrounded. The Doctor pretends to be the robot, the Daleks see through his ruse, he runs away. They’re cornered. A door opens and the aliens say something robot-like and indecipherable. The Doctor and his companions go with the aliens.

Have you noticed that we haven’t seen any life other than the robots… as if on queue out comes Steven Taylor, new companion.

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The Doctor now has four companions. That’s a busy TARDIS.

They decide to break out of the zoo they’re captured in by lowering themselves down thousands of feet from the roof.

The Mechanoid vs. Dalek battle scene is horrible.

Stay awake, Adam. Only five more minutes.

They’ve found the empty Dalek TARDIS, and Barbara quickly realizes that they can go home. The Doctor helps them go to London in 1965, and Barbara and Ian have the cheesiest montage, ever.

The Doctor is not so happy they made it safely back, because he “shall miss them.” What a selfish jackass.

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  1. Facepalm []

Doctor Who Serial 015 – The Space Museum

The last story, The Crusade, is missing episodes two and four. We shall be skipping that for obvious reasons. 

The episode begins with The Doctor and his companions frozen while the TARDIS lands. Ian makes note that they’re wearing their normal clothes, and not the 13th century garb from The Crusade. The Doctor seems rather non-plussed about it, but why?

Vicki has a look in the TARDIS wardrobe.

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It will change a bit in the centuries The Doctor will spend…

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and later…

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Vicki breaks a glass, then the film reverses and it rejoins, water and all!

Curious.

They’re walking on dust, but not leaving foot prints.

Curious and curious.

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I don’t remember this story at all, so it looks like I’m live tweeting it like I did the last one. I love that they hide from the people for no reason, and then Vicki goes to sneeze. Fortunately Barbara got there in time!

Oh god! She sneezed, but the people didn’t hear! Phew!

“Those two men must’ve been guards.” Why, Ian? Why would they be guards? Perhaps they’re curators of said museum? Perhaps they are ticket agents? Perhaps they are guides? Perhaps they are in charge of payroll?

MORE PEOPLE! GOTTA HIDE! THEY DIDN’T PAY ADMISSION!

MORE PEOPLE! More hiding!

They found the TARDIS in the museum! Oh my! And now they’ve found themselves.

So…

Synopsis: The Doctor and his companions arrive on a planet with a museum. In said museum they find another TARDIS and themselves in glass cases. They are peaking at their future and must prevent themselves from being caught.

This is kind of an interesting concept. It does go against some ideas that were presented in “Angels Take Manhattan,” but that episode won’t happen for 47 years, I can forgive them of that. I think the beginning was done quite cheesy, but it got interesting in the last half of episode one… now on to episode two.

Damn! I pulled up a transcript of a line. Thought he said something about Mork (as in Mork from Ork). He actually said “Yeah, I know, I volunteered, you were ordered. If the truth were known, I was just as bored on Morok.”

Why do they think it’s strange for anyone to visit this planet. It houses a museum, it’s a tourist destination.

That was the best kidnapping, I’ve ever seen. Go rebels!

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OMG! The Doctor pleased with himself by fooling the rebels and hiding in a Dalek shell is AMAZING!

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Ian, leaving a trail of thread is dumb. D-U-M dumb.

“Welcome to Zellers, a planet in the Morok empire, where the lowest price is the law.”

I love the interaction between the rebels and the Morok. It’s almost as if the Morok think they’re naughty boys but wish they were able to act like that.

Why would a museum with very little tourism (something they addressed) need soldiers?

“We hate the Moroks, we want them dead. You can see we’re nothing like them!” Yes, the Moroks wear white, we wear black. Night and day.

Tee hee hee, the rebels are wearing Converse.

“There are no tricks in science, only facts.”

These people get captured pretty quickly.

This is actually an interesting episode. They question whether destiny or our actions determine our future. The Doctor and his companions are able to find a way to change their predetermined future. The episode then ends with the Daleks saying, “Our greatest enemies have left the planet Zeros” and that they will pursue them through time and space.

Doctor Who Serial 013 – The Web Planet

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Synopsis: The TARDIS is trapped without power on a planet occupied by giant ants who make an annoying sound.

Stream of consciousness blog post for this serial.

Vicki seems to still be wearing the skin of a dead Muppet while reclining on her beach lounger.

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My favourite part is where Barbara decides to clean up in the TARDIS for The Doctor, I assume because she’s a woman.

My god, this story is boring.

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The vaseline on the lens to give the feeling of otherworldliness doesn’t work.

History doesn’t mean anything when you travel through space and time!” – The Doctor

Ugh! That quote is so horrible, especially after a historical story!

The sound effects of this story are TERRIBLE!

The Doctor miming to the giant ants is AMAZING!

That’s the end of episode two. Do I have to watch the rest? The sad thing is there’s nothing else to do here in icemageddon 2013.

My lord, it’s like they’ve never tried to keep anyone’s attention.

The crater of needles sounds like a drug den. I wonder if they’ll find Mayor Ford there. He’s obviously not managing this emergency.

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Come along, drop this hair dryer, or whatever it is!” – The Doctor…. BEST. LINE. EVER!

I don’t know what’s going on. I think they’re at Red Alert™, but I don’t remember Picard yelling it out, and I don’t see any reason why. However, it seems our buddy Ian is panicked.

I think the way to win this war is the classic Weird Al stratagem “Look up, look down, now look at Mr. Frying Pan.”

OH MY GOD! This story is so painful. The ants have necklaces they can barely hold which puts The Doctor in a a trance. For some odd reason the broken one doesn’t work on either Vicki or The Doctor, but it does on an ant?!?!

They’re talking, but nothing is happening. At least the four main characters are back together. That means it’ll be over soon.

Final episode. I can do this!

There is something weird about William Hartnell’s hair.

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Did they just shout “KAILI!”

“If we go up, we meet the blinding hard on.” I think I misheard that.

The sound designer on this story should be shot.

At least this episode with a giant insect was vaguely enjoyable… and only one part.

Vicki is proving herself to be terrible. Her acting is almost as bad as season 1 Deanna Troi.

Did they just kill the queen?!?!

YES! IT’S OVER!

The next story, The Crusade, is missing episodes two and four. We shall be skipping that for obvious reasons. Join me next time for Serial 15, The Space Museum. That probably won’t happen until 2014, though.

Doctor Who Story 012 – The Romans

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Synopsis: The crew are split up as The Doctor and Vicki are headed to Rome, while Ian and Barbara are sold into slavery.

At the end of The Rescue we had the TARDIS standing on a cliff and falling over. The Romans picks up a month later. This is the first time we see The Doctor and his companions just enjoying themselves and taking time off from danger and adventure. The Doctor and Vicki seem to want to run for some adventure, while Ian and Barbara want to lounge and enjoy themselves.

The Doctor will eventually return to the Roman Empire.

This episode is one of the best comedic episodes of Hartnell’s run. Barbara, The Doctor, and Vicki are all in the same house with Nero, except The Doctor and Vicki don’t know Barbara is there and vice-versa. They keep on comedically missing one another. In addition, the actor who plays Caesar Nero, Derek Francis. Francis’ comic timing is wonderful and makes for a great story.

Doctor Who Serial 011 – The Rescue

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Synopsis: An Earth space rocket from the 2490s is crashed on Dido. The only surviving crew are Vicki Pallister and the injured Bennett. They’re being terrorized by Koquillion (pictured above), or is it Coquitlam? One is an alien, one is a city in British Columbia.

This is the first story with our new buddy Vicki. Her equipment picks up the TARDIS in the distance, and she’s excited to think it’s the rescue ship. We learn that the ship is still three days away, and Koquillion is unaware of their intended visit to Dido.

This is the first time The Doctor has visited a planet before the series began. He refers to the people of Dido as a pleasant people but Koquillion has tried to kill Barbara and locked The Doctor and Ian in a cave.

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The Doctor and his crew are arrogant and sure they know right. They insist on rescuing Vicki and Bennett from Coquitlam, even after the warnings of danger and worry of jeopardizing their rescue. Here we see Vicki sobbing while wearing a dress inspired by the fashion of Kermit The Frog.

Vicki’s not going to be an easy one to take. If this story is any indicator, at least she won’t scream as much as Susan, but she’ll sob more.

The Doctor, however, is a condescending asshole.

Maureen O’Brien is 21, while Carol Ann Ford was 24 at the time. Ford looked 14 when she left the show as Susan, while O’Brien looked 18 when she started. Apparently Doctor Who likes girls who look younger than they are. Maybe Michael J. Fox from the 1980s should be the next companion.

OH MY GOD! THIS STORY HAS A SCOOBY-DOO ENDING!

Well… a Scooby-Doo episode with genocide.

We can travel anywhere and everywhere in that old box as you call it. Regardless of space and time.” – The Doctor tells Vicki

Doctor Who Story 010 – The Dalek Invasion of Earth

Dalek ship flies through the sky

Synopsis: The TARDIS lands in London. Barbara and Ian are excited to be home, but The Doctor is hesitant, he doesn’t think they’re in the 1960s. Instead they find themselves in the year 2164 and the Daleks have taken over.

This is the episode everyone had been waiting for, the return of the Daleks, but it’s kind of horrible. You have an Earth conquered by the Daleks, a Doctor Strangelove-esque scientist who creates a grenade to kill Daleks, which doesn’t seem to work, brainwashed humans under the control of Daleks, and so many ridiculous ideas.

This story is also a proof of how slowly a Doctor Who serial can move. This six episode story is painful to watch, especially the moments where Daleks are talking amongst themselves. I think that two Daleks conversing might be the worst means to provide motion for a story, it seems to come to a complete stop when they talk.

We seem to get introduced to a monster at the end of the fourth episode which serves no purpose other than a cliff hanger. The monster appears for a few minutes for suspense, and then is killed by Ian.

The third episode features a long scene of dramatic film inserts of Barbara, Dr. Strangelove, and a rebel woman running through the abandoned streets of London, and shots of Daleks patrolling those streets. It’s all set to a soundtrack of percussive music that makes me want to kill myself.

What you need is a jolly good smacked bottom.” The Doctor to Susan

Amongst all this is a love story between the rebel David and Susan. Susan seems to like him, but he seems indifferent to Susan. They talk about rebuilding Earth together after they defeat the Daleks. They have romantic walks in the sewers of London. They abandon an unconscious Doctor and go for a stroll. It’s really quite pukey.

This is the first time a companion leaves Doctor Who, but also the first time the companion is abandoned by The Doctor, a theme that would recur. From Sarah Jane Smith to Jamie McCrimmon to Donna Noble.

It’s hard to believe that The Doctor would leave his granddaughter and travelling companion to try to survive on her own in a post-apocalyptic world.

Dr. Constantine: Before this war began I was a father and a grandfather. Now I am neither. But still a doctor.
The Doctor: Yeah. I know the feeling. – Story 164, “The Empty Child”

Doctor Who Story 009 – Planet of Giants

Ah, thus we begin season two of Doctor Who. Our Doctor is still William Hartnell and his companions are Ian (William Russell), Barbara (Jacqueline Hill), and The Doctor’s granddaughter Susan (Carole Ann Ford).

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Synopsis: An accident lands the TARDIS in England again, but this time, they’ve shrunk to be an inch tall.

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This has to be the worst episode ever. The drama of the story revolves around a murder over a pesticide, but because The Doctor and company are shrunk to tiny sizes they’re completely uninvolved in the story. Thus the viewer has no interest. Oh, and also the Honey, I Shrunk The Kids trope is well over played.

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