Tag Archives: Patrick Troughton

Doctor Who Serial 065 – The Three Doctors

Happy 10th season! To celebrate the start of Doctor Who‘s 10th anniversary, the producers put together “The Three Doctors,” an adventure featuring Jon Pertwee, Patrick Troughton, and William Hartnell all in the role of The Doctor.

The Time Lords are facing an energy drain. They must get help from The Doctor, but The Doctor is not enough, they cannot spare any other Time Lords, so they get The Doctor to help The Doctor. In comes Patrick Troughton. William Hartnell, however, was too ill as such, his Doctor got caught in a “time eddy” and provided help via the TARDIS’ built-in CRT television.

Brigadier General Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart is an idiot. He refuses to believe anything either of the Doctors tell him. He’s known him for so long now that he should understand.

The Doctors must travel to the anti-mater universe where Omega1, the Time Lord responsible for their species’ ability to travel through time has been trapped for oh so long. Omega wants to return to the matter universe, and have The Doctor(s) stay there in his stead.

After they succeed, the second Doctor disappears and returns to his time, Dr. Tyler proclaims “now I’ve seen it all.” A man disappearing in front of him is more strange than traveling to a universe of anti-matter, meeting three extra-terrestrials, and that the British Armed Forces have a unit called UNIT that is involved in all this.

The episode ends with the third Doctor getting a dematerialization unit from the Time Lords. That means The Doctor is no longer exiled to Earth and ready to take off for some fun in the universe.

  1. Why can’t they pronounce omega right? []

Doctor Who Serial 050 – The War Games

Synopsis: The Doctor, Jamie, and Zoe arrive in a world divided into wars with Roman, Greek, Crimean War, First World War, Peninsular War, American Civil War, Mexican Civil War, English Civil War, Thirty-Years War, Boer War, and Russo-Japanese War all represented. The Doctor has to figure out how all these time periods can exist together.

The War Games is the final Doctor Who serial starring Patrick Troughton, Wendy Padbury, and Frazer Hines. It is the final story of the sixth season. It is the final story in black and white. It is the final story of the 1960s.

It is ten parts.

As soon as the TARDIS lands, they walk up a hill and find themselves in the middle of a barrage in World War I.  They quickly get captured by Germans. Just as quickly they get rescued by some British soldiers who take over the hijacked ambulance on foot.

Jamie, who is from Earth’s past asks what they are fighting for in this war. The Doctor replies, “I think it was the war to end all wars.” I think the real answer is “absolutely nothing. Death and destruction with no reason or rhyme.”

The Doctor and his companions are sent to General Smythe who has to be the creepiest dude, ever. He starts talking into his mirror and reporting from the “1917 zone” requesting another 5000 specimens.

The Doctor is tried for espionage and sentenced to death. In the most cliché cliffhanger, in an era of cliché cliffhangers, we see The Doctor about to be executed when suddenly the Germans ambush the British.

Then a TARDIS appears in General Smythe’s office. What can be happening?!?!?!

Meanwhile, Jamie is imprisoned for abandoning the Highlander regiment, where he encounters a red coat who thinks it’s 1745. Something wonky is going on.

They all escape and find themselves under fire from General Smythe’s troops. The enter some fog at the border of the map and find themselves facing a troop of Roman soldiers charging at them as they panic to get the ambulance started again. End of episode two.

They then reverse back into World War I… really? That’s the resolution? And now The Doctor is providing everyone with exposition.

“Perhaps I can pick this lock.” The Doctor should be using his sonic screwdriver.

They get captured again, this time by the Germans. Whomp whomp.

The Doctor just used the sonic screwdriver as a… wait for it… screwdriver.

The Germans have an equivalent to Smythe, he’s as melodramatic, except he wears a monocle… he’s a hipster!

We quickly meet the War Chief and see the operations outside of the war zones. The War Chief is intrigued by these renegades who claim to be time travellers. They send the troops after them, while The Doctor and crew cross another border into the American Civil War.

That definitely sounds like a TARDIS replenishing the troops. “So many of them, that thing must be bigger on the inside just like the TARDIS.” Oh shit it just disappeared with The Doctor and Zoe inside, leaving Jamie and Lady Jennifer in the 1860s.

I love how uncomfortable The Doctor is at the thought of meeting his own people. It’s been six years, and we’ve had nary a word about them1.

OH MY GOD I WANT THOSE SPECS!

Oh snap! There’s a resistance! They know what’s going on, and they’re going to stop it! Not only that, he’s a tough talking straight shooter! Oh yeah!

Oh, so much exposition! How to give exposition? Put your heroes into an evil-university setting.

Yes! The War Chief and The Doctor recognize each other!

They mentioned the Time Lords for the first time ever in Doctor Who. The Time Lords being The Doctor’s species.

This story is quite long at ten parts, and it is a lot of being captured and escaping. Over and over and over again.

They hide in one of the TARDISes so the War Lord makes the inside smaller than the outside, crushing The Doctor… perhaps the best of the cliffhangers.

I don’t think that it works to have a superior baddy who is not seen but heard of here. The War Lord would make a decent baddy, but The War Chief is this supposed threat, that I don’t feel.

Is that Steve Jobs?

Zoe and Jamie lead the rebellion, to great success.

The Doctor and the rebels are able to retake the base! WOO! Except he can’t get all the innocent humans home.

The Doctor does the one thing he’s most reluctant to do, he calls the Time Lords for help.

The ninth episode ends with The Doctor, Jamie, and Zoe making a break for the TARDIS in the hopes of leaving before the Time Lords arrive.

As the tenth episode opens, they obvious succeed… wait no, that’s not right. They fail.

We finally get our first view of Gallifrey2 as The Doctor faces his trial.

The Time Lords return Jamie and Zoe to their own times, it’s a sad farewell to two of the best companions.

The Time Lords decide to exile The Doctor on Earth in the 20th century.

“Your appearance has changed before, it can change again.”

Part of their punishment is to regenerate The Doctor once again. We don’t get to see The Doctor finish his regeneration as the credits role.

Goodbye Patrick Troughton, Frazer Hines, and Wendy Padbury.

  1. With the exception of his granddaughter, and the meddling Monk. []
  2. Though not named. []

Doctor Who Serial 046 – The Invasion

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Synopsis: The Doctor and company land on Earth, it has been some time since they met Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart, he is now promoted to the rank of Brigadier General, and in command of the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce, also known as UNIT. An electronics manufacturer is appears to be responsible for some missing people, The Doctor and his companions go looking for answers, and it turns out UNIT is investigating the same thing.

The CEO of the electronics company is a creepy and slimey man who is talking to some unknown forced on the other side of the moon. He is plotting to take over the world, so are the alien force, but the CEO feels he can keep them at bay after he’s used the alien forces for is own good.

At the end of the fourth episode we learn who the aliens are…

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Yup, it’s the Cybermen. Dum, dum, dum!

The Doctor, Jamie, and Zoe are of course worried. They’ve encountered the Cybermen and know the true danger they possess. They meet a young photographer who quickly bonds with Zoe. Zoe and Isobel decide to go after the Cybermen with Isobel’s camera to prove the existence of these creatures, and gain evidence to get full support from UNIT in Geneva. Of course the girls get into trouble. They are girls, after all.

They briefly use Zoe’s vast intelligence in the episode, but to undo any notion of feminism in the show, a UNIT officer asks, “Can we keep her? She’s much prettier than a computer.” The G4 Cube hadn’t been invented yet.

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My biggest complaint would be that The Doctor and Jamie don’t know what a canoe is… this is not a canoe.

Overall, it’s a really fun story, it drags at points, as any 8-part story would, but it’s damn enjoyable. Also, The Doctor dodges Cyberman weapon fire in a most comedic fashion.

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Doctor Who Serial 045 – The Mind Robber

Another day, another Doctor Who serial.

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Synopsis: In a quick getaway from the erupting volcano from the previous serial, the TARDIS finds itself outside normal space-time. The Doctor and crew are being pitted against fictitious characters, as the author of their doom tries to ensnare The Doctor to award himself freedom.

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The episode starts off with the TARDIS flying apart as Jamie and Zoe cling to the console for dear life. The episode also begins with Zoe’s bum.

They face Medusa, a unicorn, a minotaur, and even Karkus, a comic book character from the distant future, the year 2000. Zoe kicks his ass.

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One of the stranger aspects of this episode was, that to give Frazer Hines some time off, they made The Doctor solve a puzzle to help Jamie, but he mismatches Jamie’s face, and thus Hamish Wilson plays Jamie for two episodes of the five.

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This is actually a fun little story, but nothing spectacular. The Doctor almost takes a back seat to his companions, and that an interesting dynamic with Jamie and Zoe.

Doctor Who Serial 044 – The Dominators

Synopsis: The Doctor finds himself on a peaceful planet with Zoe and Jamie. They encounter a scientific expedition, and some aliens called The Dominators who want to enslave the local population while destroying the planet.

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In the previous story, The Doctor, in our future, encountered a nice young scientist named Zoe. He invited her to join him on his journey. This is the first surviving story with Zoe in it, and she joins Jamie to become the best companion pair (perhaps until Rory and Amy).

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The Dominators have a terrible fashion sense, but create adorable robots named Quarks. No relation to the bartender.

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The robots might be adorable, but they’re not intimidating, and they are a tad too ridiculous when they talk… as most Doctor Who baddies are.

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This story is the first surviving story to see the use of the Doctor’s sonic screwdriver. A screwdriver that uses sound waves to turn a screw… which now has the ability to work as a torch, too. I wonder what other features it might gain in the future?

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The natives have terrible outfits, and Zoe has a camel toe.

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Doctor Who Serial 041 – The Web of Fear

Synopsis: A continuation of the missing serial 038, The Abominable Snowmen, the Yeti have returned. Robots disguised as Yeti under the control of the Great Intelligence had years earlier  terrorized a Buddhist monastery. Now, years later the Yeti are terrorizing the London Underground.

Marks the first appearance of Colonel Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart. Lethbridge-Stewart would later be promoted to Brigadier General and be put in charge of UNIT. According to the TARDIS wikia…

In televised episodes, the Brigadier appeared and interacted with all of the first seven Doctors — though his encounter with the Sixth Doctor in Dimensions in Time is not counted as part of the Doctor Who universe.

The Brigadier would become such an important part of Doctor Who lore that after Nicholas Courtney’s death, the production team added this scene to “The Wedding of River Song.”

We meet this military commander who is intelligent and thoughtful in Lethbridge-Stewart and it’s set in the London underground. Those two points are the best part of this story. The Great Intelligence isn’t a great villain, and the Yeti are a bit boring as his henchmen.

The story dragged, and it didn’t help that one of the episodes is still missing, and was just a reconstruction with snaps.

Story 42, Fury from the Deep, is completely missing.
Story 43, The Wheel in Space, is missing four out of six episodes. It is also the fifth season finale.

See you next time with The Dominators.

Doctor Who Serial 040 – The Enemy of the World

Synopsis: The Doctor is mistaken for Salamander, a man who is trying to become dictator of the world. Salamander’s enemies try to convince The Doctor to impersonate the evil man and help take him out.

In the 1970s, the BBC was junking old TV shows in its archive. Back then, reruns didn’t exist, and the concept of home video and DVD would have been ridiculous. The shows were recorded onto video, and rather than buying new tapes, it was easier to blank the existing ones. They also had 16mm prints which were used to sell shows to foreign markets. Since film takes up a lot of space, those were destroyed to clear up space in the archive.

From time to time Doctor Who stories have found their way back from TV stations in foreign markets that still had prints lying around. Recently, at least two serials were recovered from Nigeria, The Enemy of the World (040) and The Web of Fear (041). 

Rumours are persisting that the BBC has recovered more than just those two, that perhaps they have recovered close to 90 missing episodes, leaving the number of lost episodes into the single-digits. For now, though, we’ll take what we can get.

The Enemy of the World is not great. The entire concept of a duplicate Doctor is kinda hokey, and Troughton’s accent when playing Salamander (or The Doctor pretending to be Salamander) is horrible.

The most interesting part of the story is The Doctor’s reluctance to trust Giles Kent, who is trying to overthrow Salamander.

Overall, its worth watching. I don’t think I’d have come back to this serial if not for my project of watching the whole series. Actually, this inspired the project.

Doctor Who Serial 037 – The Tomb of the Cybermen

Synopsis: After 500 years without Cybermen, an Earth expedition of archeologists finds their homeworld to find the Cybermen sleeping in wait.

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Hello, and welcome to The Patrick Troughton Years.

The Patrick Troughton years of Doctor Who are arguably the best. Troughton brought something very unique to the role, he brought comedy and clowning. Perhaps the greatest asset Troughton had in his time on Doctor Who was Frazer Hines. Hines played Scottish highlander Jamie McCrimmon for twenty stories, to give you some perspective, Patrick Troughton played The Doctor in twenty-one stories1. I cannot think of any companion who lasted as long as Jamie did, three years. 

The Doctor liked to hide how clever he was, and Jamie, a man from the 18th century was always out of his comfort zone, so Jamie believed The Doctor to be a bit dumb. Jamie thought The Doctor dumb, but trusted him implicitly.

That leaves the third companion; in this case Victoria. Victoria’s job was to remind them that at times the boys have to be serious. Oh, and to scream, she is a woman, after all.

The physical interactions between Jamie and The Doctor are gold, and they are what I feel properly defines The Doctor’s character and who he is, not just for his second incarnation, but for the remainder of the series. Pertwee, Baker, Tennant, and Smith all owe a great amount to Troughton. More so than Hartnell, I’d dare say.

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The Tomb of the Cybermen is a bit slow, and feels a bit padded. The archeologists of course are financed by someone who is opportunistic, he wants to use the Cybermen to gain control of Earth, he thinks that if he frees them from stasis, they will be grateful and help him. He’s wrong of course. The episode is too long, there are racist undertones2, the Cyberman voice is horrible, but overall, it’s a ridiculously enjoyable episode. The Doctor, Jamie, and Victoria all make for a great romp.

The Tomb of the Cybermen was believed lost until 1991 when it was returned to the BBC from Hong Kong.

  1. No, I’m not including The Three DoctorsThe Five Doctors, or The Two Doctors []
  2. Toberman being the big strong black man who can kick Cyberass []