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Author Topic: Old Doctor Who  (Read 20246 times)

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Büge

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Re: Old Doctor Who
« Reply #60 on: June 21, 2012, 12:24:37 PM »

I enjoyed Lexx. Will I enjoy Dr. Who?
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Thad

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Re: Old Doctor Who
« Reply #61 on: June 21, 2012, 12:44:13 PM »

I don't know.  I enjoy Doctor Who; will I enjoy Lexx?

I'd say check out Blink from the new series and City of Death from the original series; I think they're both streaming on Netflix in the States but I'm not sure if that's a thing in Canada.

Anyhow, those are my two favorites and give you a good idea what to expect of the show at its best.  For other recommendations, see this thread.
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Shinra

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Re: Old Doctor Who
« Reply #62 on: June 21, 2012, 01:36:15 PM »

The best way to describe Lexx is 'Doctor Who with dick jokes'. It's a bit (((lot))) less intellectual, but it's a pretty great series if you like really campy sci-fi.

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Beat Bandit

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Re: Old Doctor Who
« Reply #63 on: June 21, 2012, 02:17:47 PM »

'Doctor Who with dick jokes'
The boards got their own series and we're not even seeing royalties?
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Classic

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Re: Old Doctor Who
« Reply #64 on: June 21, 2012, 03:27:44 PM »

Beat, you know anything we do would be nowhere near as grounded in reality or the masturbation of British historical figures.
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Thad

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Re: Old Doctor Who
« Reply #65 on: June 28, 2012, 09:20:45 AM »

io9's got a piece called Classic Doctor Who’s Great Unsung Director, referring to Michael Ferguson and focusing on the new special edition release of The Seeds of Death.  I've never seen it (or his three other serials) and don't subscribe to the disc version of Netflix anymore but it sounds interesting, and there are rumors the Ice Warriors will be back in the upcoming season.

Resurrection of the Daleks is out in Special Edition too; I reviewed the previous version back on page 2.
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Büge

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Re: Old Doctor Who
« Reply #66 on: July 03, 2012, 08:26:30 AM »

So I watched "Spearhead From Space". It's a little weak, but I can tell the series has possibilities. The Doctor didn't get nearly enough screen-time as I'd hoped, but it seemed like a good introduction to the franchise. Since he's got partial amnesia, I can learn things as he does, which helps a lot when you want to get into a series like this. The plot is serviceable. "Alien intelligence threatens to replace government with department-store mannequins" is just the kind of silly sci-fi boilerplate that it takes to get the ball rolling.

The characters are fairly decent. I was afraid the doctor would be dour and serious as the stills of Jon Pertwee I've seen have led me to believe, but he comes across as easygoing and mischievous. The Brigadier is the consummate military man: a bit put-upon by the Doctor's eccentricities, but professional. I particularly liked Caroline John's portrayal of Liz Shaw. She's cynical and acerbic, which makes a nice contrast to the Doctor's cool intellect.

Overall, I give it three out of five daleks. It's a decent start to the series.
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Thad

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Re: Old Doctor Who
« Reply #67 on: July 03, 2012, 08:32:46 AM »

Huh -- apparently there's a Shada novelization by Gareth Roberts now.

Shada is the lost Douglas Adams serial that never completed filming due to a crew strike, and, like City of Death, introduced a bunch of ideas he later recycled in Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency.

It's been released in multiple versions as it is -- there was a VHS edition which included the completed portions with some narration by Tom Baker to bridge the gaps, and then there was a radio version that shoehorned the Eighth Doctor in with a couple of rewrites (which was itself adapted with limited animation over at the Beeb).

Per Wikipedia, the original incomplete version is going to be part of an upcoming DVD set, and there's also a completed animated adaptation of the missing episodes (with somebody else playing the Fourth Doctor) that was supposed to get a DVD release but isn't.  On the one hand, that's a damn shame (because it was apparently pretty good); on the other, yeah I can see people being uncomfortable with someone besides Baker playing #4.
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Thad

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Re: Old Doctor Who
« Reply #68 on: July 03, 2012, 09:02:02 AM »

So I watched "Spearhead From Space". It's a little weak, but I can tell the series has possibilities. The Doctor didn't get nearly enough screen-time as I'd hoped, but it seemed like a good introduction to the franchise. Since he's got partial amnesia, I can learn things as he does, which helps a lot when you want to get into a series like this.

Don't count on the amnesia lasting; that's just a side-effect of the regeneration.  He's pretty much status-quo by the next serial.

That said, the purpose of any given regeneration is to set up a new status quo and act as a friendly jumping-on point.  #3's run, in particular, is a serious departure from the rest of the series; most of it's earthbound and (then-) present-day.

It DOES introduce a lot of aliens and races for the first time, including the Autons (as you note), the Silurians (an excellent serial BTW), and the Master (though his backstory is that he and the Doctor have known each other since school, so his first appearance doesn't feel much like a first appearance).  The Brigadier is of course a returning character, as the story makes clear, but his reintroduction tells you everything you need to know about him.

The plot is serviceable. "Alien intelligence threatens to replace government with department-store mannequins" is just the kind of silly sci-fi boilerplate that it takes to get the ball rolling.

Which is exactly why Davies used the Autons to kick off the current series in '05.

The characters are fairly decent. I was afraid the doctor would be dour and serious as the stills of Jon Pertwee I've seen have led me to believe, but he comes across as easygoing and mischievous.

Most iterations of the Doctor freewheel between lighthearted eccentric and intimidating master of time and space.  Pertwee is a favorite of mine; he's a complex Doctor, alternately cranky, arrogant, apologetic, curious, sanctimonious, driven.

And he's the Doctor most likely just to fucking Venusian Judo-Chop the bad guys.  Funnily enough, the two manliest incarnations of the Doctor are the one who wears black leather and the one who wears red velvet.

The Brigadier is the consummate military man: a bit put-upon by the Doctor's eccentricities, but professional.

The Brigadier is probably my all-time favorite companion (and to hell with quibbling over whether or not he "counts" as a companion).  He really is the best foil the Doctor ever had; they're so alike and so different, the Brigadier just as stubborn as the Doctor and the two of them often philosophically opposed.  And Courtney is JUST. SO. GOOD.

I particularly liked Caroline John's portrayal of Liz Shaw. She's cynical and acerbic, which makes a nice contrast to the Doctor's cool intellect.

Again, I was surprised, on reading her obit the other week, to find that she was only in four serials (and that I've seen three of them).  You get a good enough feel for her character in just a few episodes that they can pull a reversal in Inferno (Doctor Who's version of Mirror, Mirror) and highlight the similarities and differences in Parallel Liz.

I like Jo but she's just not the same, and in terms of Female Empowerment she's definitely a step backward after Liz.
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Thad

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Re: Old Doctor Who
« Reply #69 on: July 06, 2012, 09:41:09 AM »

Charlie Jane Anders likes the Shada novelization.

In brief: she thinks it's a perfect example of Adams being at his best with a good editor; she believes the original had some clever ideas and a wonderful character in Professor Chronotis, but a mess of plot holes and weak supporting characters which Roberts has taken the time to patch up.  She believes it preserves the strong stuff, fixes the weak stuff, and comes out as a solid story without trying to ape Adams's prose style (she mentions in the comments that she hated And Another Thing).

I've never read any Who novels; I'll probably check this one out once it's in paperback.  Still haven't gotten around to Moorcock's Who book and that seems like a fun place to start.
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Thad

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Re: Old Doctor Who
« Reply #70 on: August 31, 2012, 07:32:02 AM »

io9: Old-School Doctor Who Episodes That Everyone Should Watch

I've seen the whole list except Robots of Death and Caves of Androzani; while I think a couple of items on the list are overrated (Dalek Invasion of Earth, Tomb of the Cybermen) I think I generally agree that they're Important.

Good recommendations in the comments, too, as you might expect.
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Thad

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Re: Old Doctor Who
« Reply #71 on: October 11, 2012, 01:18:50 PM »

Caroline John, who played Liz Shaw.  (Was she really in only four serials?  Hell, I've seen three of them.)

And the reason I hadn't seen the fourth, The Ambassadors of Death?

It's just now out on DVD.  Apparently it's yet another case of old masters being destroyed; most of the episodes were only available in black-and-white prior to this, but a group called the Doctor Who Restoration Team has managed to use some kind of mad science to restore the original color.

This has been a long time coming -- long enough that it's got a commentary with John and Courtney on it.
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Thad

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Re: Old Doctor Who
« Reply #72 on: December 06, 2012, 11:32:39 PM »

Guide to Watching Old Doctor Who on Netflix Now that Netflix Done Fucked Everything Up:

Quote
See, now instead of having the old Doctor Who serials split up by title — Horror of Fang Rock, Caves of Androzani, and so forth — they've combined them all under a single heading, Classic Doctor Who.

Which may sound like a good idea — and it would be, if it were put together by someone with a basic understanding of how human beings locate things! — but sadly, it was put together by complete goddamned morons.

See, instead of being sorted by serial titles, the series is split up into 18 "collections". Numbered. 1-18. And you have to click on the number of the collection to see what serial's actually in it.

Which might make some sort of sense if they had the complete series split up into seasons. Or had at least one serial from every season. Or, I don't know, even put them in the right damn order. But they don't. Here's the order:

  • The Carnival of Monsters [sic] (1973)
  • Horror of Fang Rock (1977)
  • Pyramids of Mars (1975)
  • Spearhead from Space (1970)
  • The Androids of Tara (1978)
  • The Ark in Space (1975)
  • The Aztecs (1964)
  • The Caves of Androzani (1984)
  • The City of Death [sic] (1979)
  • The Curse of Fenric (1989)
  • The Green Death (1973)
  • The Leisure Hive (1980)
  • The Mind Robber (1968)
  • The Pirate Planet (1978)
  • The Power of Kroll (1978)
  • The Ribos Operation (1978)
  • The Three Doctors (1972)
  • The Visitation (1982)

And it took me actually listing them all out where I can see them all at once, but now at least I understand how they're sorted: they're alphabetical, sort of. Except nobody bothered to add the convention of dropping articles from the sort, so serials beginning with "The" (which is nearly all of them) appear under "T".

(Except The Carnival of Monsters — probably because that is not actually the title of the episode; it's just called Carnival of Monsters, which does fit the sort. Which indicates that maybe the database has both a display title and an indexing title for each episode — but who the hell even knows.  Especially since City of Death isn't actually called The City of Death, either.)

[...]

Amazon, meanwhile? If you type in "Doctor Who: The Caves of Androzani", the first match is Doctor Who (Classic) Season 21, which does in fact have a streaming video of The Caves of Androzani. They don't have as many episodes available for streaming as Netflix does, and some of them cost money to watch even if you have a Prime account. But they're sure the hell organized way better.

Of course, the easiest way to find any of these episodes, without worrying about availability, nonsensical navigation, or the possibility that you'll just find them all removed from your queue one day without notice, is just to torrent the damn things.

Kinda makes you feel like a chump for paying good money for Netflix and Amazon Prime, don't it?
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Büge

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Re: Old Doctor Who
« Reply #73 on: January 13, 2013, 01:48:06 PM »

There's an audio drama on its way for the 50th anniversary, and it features the fourth through the eighth Doctors. Apparently it'll include the first three Doctors, but it didn't say anything about the last three, which is why it's here.
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Thad

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Re: Old Doctor Who
« Reply #74 on: January 13, 2013, 04:58:22 PM »

Hm -- wonder if they'll go with old recordings or recast them.  The Five Doctors did both -- it recast the First Doctor following Hartnell's passing, and used footage from the unfinished serial Shada since Baker refused to participate.

As I've said before, Sean Pertwee would be an excellent choice to fill his father's shoes.
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Büge

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Re: Old Doctor Who
« Reply #75 on: January 26, 2013, 05:38:43 PM »

Okay, so I'm slowly working my way through the Jon Pertwee series. The key word is slow. I'm only up to episode 3 of "The Ambassadors of Death", but I'm already noticing that the episodes follow a formula.

- UNIT finds out something's Not Quite Right with a seemingly mundane operation.
- They and the Doctor investigate
- Their invisible enemy has a man on the inside
- The Doctor goes exploring on his own (with Liz), finds out some HORRIBLE SECRET
- The HORRIBLE SECRET is not so different from you and I
- Surprise! Yes it is
- The Doctor and UNIT solve the problem using ingenuity and guns, respectively
- Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart threatens to take the Doctor's badge for being such a loose cannon
- DUM DEDUM DUM DEDUM DUM DEDUM OOOO-EEEE-OOOO

So are they all like that?
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Thad

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Re: Old Doctor Who
« Reply #76 on: January 26, 2013, 05:45:36 PM »

You left out the three middle episodes of the Doctor being repeatedly imprisoned and having to break out, but yeah, that's kinda how it goes for awhile.  It's still one of my favorite eras.
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Thad

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Re: Old Doctor Who
« Reply #77 on: February 23, 2013, 10:13:57 PM »

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Thad

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Re: Old Doctor Who
« Reply #78 on: May 23, 2013, 01:32:30 PM »

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Lottel

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Re: Old Doctor Who
« Reply #79 on: May 29, 2013, 07:55:07 AM »

I watched the original of that and it was almost a word for word retelling of the Doctor's first meeting with the Daleks. Once they get there that is. The scene at the Who family home is pretty different.

And I'm not sure how faithful it stays as I could not watch all of the original original. Still, I was actually expecting a lot worse.
And Cushing's First Doctor Impression isn't bad, voice-wise.
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