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Author Topic: Old Doctor Who  (Read 20084 times)

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Mongrel

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Re: Old Doctor Who
« Reply #40 on: June 25, 2009, 02:11:55 PM »

Enterprising soul builds an incredible handmade Dalek.

Motorized wheelchair chassis allows it to ramble around at about 8kph (driven? remote-controlled? It's not quite clear), and it has working water cannons (LOL).

Cute.
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Thad

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Re: Old Doctor Who
« Reply #41 on: August 18, 2009, 08:16:57 PM »

Remembrance of the Daleks delivers what it promises: not just Daleks, but also remembrance.  The Doctor travels back to 1963, to the same scrapyard where the series started, and throws out a slew of references to the earlier shows (including a delightful, R-rolling impression of Pertwee with "Now you listen to me, Brrrrrigadier! -- I mean, Group Captain.").

But it's less interesting for looking at what came before as what came after: in many ways, this serial is the template for the current series; all the coolest shit from Davies's run has seeds here.  The Daleks have gained some rudimentary time-travel capabilities and set their sights on the Time Lords in the hopes of perfecting the technology; meanwhile, their use of humans continues, and their factioning and infighting continues.

But more than that, it's the Doctor's depiction here that leads directly into the 2005 series.  When he executes his coup de grace, it's brutal, and he's utterly cold and remorseless.  #7 was really the first You Do Not Fuck With the Doctor Doctor, and even though I still haven't read the original Human Nature novel, I HAVE hit a moment of thinking, "Oh, well of COURSE it was originally written for the Seventh Doctor."  While the last few Dalek serials were marked with an increasingly annoying reluctance to violence on the Doctor's part, #7 has no such compunctions, and his actions here make it believable that he could bring himself to push that button, to annihilate his own planet and his entire race if that's what it took to destroy the Daleks.

And because of all that, it's quite a neat little serial -- not as good as Genesis or Revelation, but well worth the $9.50 at Amazon.  Not a good one to start off with; it's worth checking out An Unearthly Child, some Third Doctor stuff (Green Death and Inferno, as mentioned earlier, are my favorites), and some other Davros serials (at least Genesis and Revelation) first, and you'll appreciate it more if you've seen the current series too.
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Thad

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Re: Old Doctor Who
« Reply #42 on: September 07, 2009, 07:50:21 PM »

Kinda (the first syllable is pronounced like "kin") is a Fifth Doctor serial.  It's not on DVD in the US yet, but I picked up a torrent because I read on Tardis Wikia that it's one of Moffat's two favorite serials.  After watching it, I don't quite share his enthusiasm, but I understand why he likes it.

The high concept is Dr. Strangelove set in the Garden of Eden.  The Doctor lands on an unspoiled planet with apparently-primitive natives, and finds a military expedition sent to survey it.  The second-in-command of the crew goes crazy, takes over, and decides he's going to blow up the world, while an evil entity enters the world through Teagan's dreams and launches an attack to force his hand.

The highlight is that dreaming sequence.  It's some Lewis Carroll fever-dream shit, and precisely the kind of thing you'd expect from a Moffat episode.  The other Moffat-y bits are the sense of confinement, of an oncoming and implacable enemy, and of a crew going crazy, as well as characters who speak in riddles.  And lots of iconic imagery.

In the end, my main problem with Kinda is that I just don't like the Fifth Doctor very much.  He's got this air of helplessness and incompetence about him.  During several of the sequences where he's at Hindle's mercy, I found myself thinking, "#3 would have just judo-chopped the motherfucker."

The last episode of the serial has the most straightforward story, and suffers from it.  The final confrontations with the antagonists are somewhat anticlimactic.  The ending DOES redeem itself a bit by being one of those nice oldschool short-and-sweet Who goodbye scenes that is utterly unheard of in the RTD era.

Ultimately, there are some great damn ideas in Kinda, and it's a perfectly solid serial, but I certainly wouldn't call it one of the best.  Worth a rental when it comes out Stateside.
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Thad

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Re: Old Doctor Who
« Reply #43 on: December 05, 2009, 12:09:13 PM »

In comics: The Moderator, reprinted in Doctor Who Classics Series 2 #12-#13, is the best Fifth Doctor story I've ever seen.  It's short and sweet, has great monsters (including a giant killer robot with brain damage), and manages a down ending which is brief, brutal, and tells us everything we need to know about the Fifth Doctor without making him seem as helpless and incompetent as he did on the show.  (Although there's that aspect -- he fails to prevent a companion's death.  That's not a spoiler as it's repeatedly foreshadowed over the preceding stories.)

I think that's the end of Classics Series 2; from a Google search it appears that Series 3 will start with the Sixth Doctor.  No word yet on when we'll see the Alan Moore/David Lloyd stuff reprinted.


On Digital Versatile Disc: The Talons of Weng-Chiang is commonly referenced as a fan-favorite episode, so I gave it a look.  It probably didn't live up to the hype, but it was still pretty good.  It's a Fourth Doctor/Leela story in Victorian England, where they face off against the eponymous villain, who's a gestalt of Fu Manchu, Jack the Ripper, Dracula, and the Phantom of the Opera.  The Doctor plays a Sherlock Holmes-y role.

It's got a great setting, sets, and costumes, good characters, and fantastic Fourth Doctor dialogue.  The main thing working against it is its stereotypical portrayal of the Chinese -- some of this, like comments made by the English characters, is simply an accurate portrayal of the time the story's set in, but the character of Li H'sen Chang, played by an Anglo in heavy makeup, is damned awkward.

Those blemishes aside, it's a great story, with nice visuals and writing, and one of the Fourth Doctor's best, which is to say one of the series' best.

$15 at Amazon, and given how long it sat on my table before I watched it, I probably spent 2/3 of that just getting it from Netflix.  (Of course, I could have just streamed the thing.)  Probably cheap enough to warrant a purchase rather than a rental.
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Royal☭

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Re: Old Doctor Who
« Reply #44 on: January 14, 2010, 08:57:52 AM »

Thad

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Re: Old Doctor Who
« Reply #45 on: March 23, 2010, 04:38:07 PM »

Checked out Carnival of Monsters, a well-regarded Pertwee serial.  Now I also regard it well!

It combines two classic SF tropes: time loops and alien zoos.  Picture Groundhog Day with more rubber sea monsters.  Also, xenophobic aliens in blue makeup that doesn't always cover their faces, and a lovable carny.

Good Pertwee, good supporting cast, good story.  Worth the $15 at Amazon.
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Thad

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Re: Old Doctor Who
« Reply #46 on: April 14, 2010, 11:28:49 AM »

The AV Club has a pretty thorough little Doctor Who Primer.  It's got a list of recommended episodes at the end.  I've seen all of them except Brain of Morbius, so into the queue it goes.

You can also kill an afternoon reading the comment thread.
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Verde

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Re: Old Doctor Who
« Reply #47 on: April 30, 2010, 04:20:27 AM »

Finally got round to watching the second part of Vengeance on Varos last night.

I vaguely remember watching repeats of the sixth Doctor when I was a child, but don't think I ever realised how terrible Colin Baker is as the Doctor. Maybe I'm judging him too early, but next up on my Boxee is The Mark of the Rani, and then the Trial of a Time Lord arc that takes up the entire Season 23, and I'm suddenly really not looking forward to them all that much.

Anyway, Varos was good despite that. Solid episode all round, but for a few niggling irritations.

It IS pretty good, and manages that elusive trick of still being topical 24 years later.  There's some 1984 in there, a bit of Fahrenheit 451, and a little Running Man
I'd also add a bit of Brazil too. Loved the theme, and it clearly served as Moffat's inspiration for the current season's Beast Below episode. Don't really have much more to add; Thad's pretty much got it down to a tee.

Quote
On top of that, the pacing is tight (though a bit off from what I've come to expect from classic Who, as this was after the shift from 25-minute to 45-minute episodes).  The makeup's good, but the sets are pretty drab; lots of identical metal corridors in this one.
At least in the second part, I noticed around the halfway point that it virtually faded out on a cliffhanger. Not sure about the background behind it all, but it did make me think it was some kind of contingency for if the show ended up staying ~25 minutes.

Disagree with you on the set dressing though. I thought the whole episode looked perfect for its setting, even if it did mean we were basically watching the Doctor and Peri run down the same three metre long corridor over and over again.

Quote
Peri was little more than a pair of jiggling breasts
I'm willing to forgive her terrible accent for this fact alone. And for the fact she got [spoiler]turned into a fucking bird for some reason[/spoiler].

Really hated how cheap the whole thing seemed though. Action sequences were poorly choreographed and acting often fell flat. It's as though they flat-out refused to do more than one take of anything. Add that to the fact the the Sixth Doctor apparently dresses as a clown, and I had something that my girlfriend told me she couldn't bear to sit through. And she's been otherwise fine with the older episodes of Doctor Who, even episodes made more than a decade before this one.
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Mothra

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Re: Old Doctor Who
« Reply #48 on: May 31, 2011, 10:41:36 AM »

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Caithness

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Re: Old Doctor Who
« Reply #49 on: June 14, 2011, 09:40:29 AM »

I recently was granted access to someone's Netflix account, and I've been watching what they have available for streaming. Just one story each featuring the First and Second Doctor, but quite a few with the Third.

In The Aztecs, I learned that the First Doctor is kind of a big jerk.  I had seen The Mind Robber before on PBS, but I watched it again anyway. I really like the Second Doctor, even though he tends to whine a lot.

From the Third Doctor era, so far I've seen Spearhead from Space, The Three Doctors, and The Green Death. Something that really bugged me in that last one was when he took the newly operational Tardis on a test flight to Metabilis 3, but then hurried to Wales in a car when he got back.
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Thad

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Re: Old Doctor Who
« Reply #50 on: June 19, 2011, 05:32:20 PM »

Oh hey, AV Club has a Doctor Who Classic series now.
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Thad

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Re: Old Doctor Who
« Reply #51 on: July 09, 2011, 10:20:16 PM »

Oh hey, just noticed City of Death is on Netflix Streaming.

Reminding everyone who hasn't seen this one yet: it's my favorite and it was co-written by Douglas Adams and formed much of the basis of Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency.
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Mothra

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Re: Old Doctor Who
« Reply #52 on: July 11, 2011, 09:05:51 AM »

Wow, watched The Pirate Planet while I was in the hospital and I gotta say, it is easily my favorite classic Who so far. I've never seen an old Who so completely watchable and enjoyable.
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Thad

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Re: Old Doctor Who
« Reply #53 on: July 11, 2011, 05:00:08 PM »

See, on the whole I thought it was pretty poor but had flashes of greatness.  (Think my rundown's in this thread somewhere.)

But yeah, that's another Douglas Adams one.
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Thad

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Re: Old Doctor Who
« Reply #54 on: September 15, 2011, 08:41:36 AM »

So, apropos of our discussion of how Lucas should quit fucking with Star Wars, io9's review of the new release of  Day of the Daleks makes the case that sometimes a Special Edition really CAN improve on the original.  (Also, it doesn't hurt that the original version is right there on the DVD if you prefer it.)

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The special edition of "Day of the Daleks" is, in general, a bit of a revelation. As with a lot of the DVD-only special versions, the special effects have been brushed up with CG — but it goes quite a bit further this time, with the drab future now including horrible Daleky skyscrapers with the word "OBEY" plastered on them. The utterly terrible Dalek voices from the original have been replaced with Nicholas Briggs, who does the voices on the new series — and sound designer Mark Ayres actually hunted down a vintage ring modulator to create the proper old-school Dalek tones.

And then there's the battle. Instead of just three Daleks against a handful of soldiers, it's an impressive sequence now — because the producers of the DVD actually went back to the location where the battle scene was filmed in 1971 with a bunch of new Daleks and people in costumes, and filmed extra footage to slot into that sequence.

Sounds neat.  Probably the thing I'll miss most about Netflix discs is old Doctor Who; most of their streaming eps are (understandably) Tom Baker.

I'm still disappointed we haven't had any more DVD's featuring lost episodes animated by Cosgrove Hall.
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Mothra

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Re: Old Doctor Who
« Reply #55 on: September 15, 2011, 12:41:52 PM »

Recorded by Jon Pertwee in the 70's:

Jon Pertwee sings The Doctor
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Thad

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Re: Old Doctor Who
« Reply #56 on: December 11, 2011, 12:17:52 PM »

Two lost episodes recovered: Galaxy Four Part 3, starring Hartnell, and The Underwater Menace Part 2, starring Troughton.  Not exactly the Holy Grail of missing episodes, but still, any new find is a good thing.
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Krankor

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Re: Old Doctor Who
« Reply #57 on: December 11, 2011, 05:58:02 PM »

Holy shit, can't wait to see em
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Thad

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Re: Old Doctor Who
« Reply #58 on: March 15, 2012, 08:36:35 AM »

io9 has a rundown of new Special Edition DVD's.  tl;dr seems to be that they're overpriced but they ARE some of the best episodes and are worth either renting or grabbing the sure-to-be-discounted not-special editions.

No mention of Netflix in TFA but last I checked it had a good bit of Baker and Pertwee.
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Thad

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Re: Old Doctor Who
« Reply #59 on: June 14, 2012, 01:08:19 PM »

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