Okay currently watching these. Not bad. Not great either. THE DALEKS was less painful than I remembered and I was able to get through most of it. MARCO POLO (reconstruction)was quite good and it was interesting to see/hear what happened in the show back then. The Doctor sulking for an episode! A story time span that stretches over a few weeks or days...and several villains...not bad at all. I even enjoyed the SENSORITES and PLANET OF GIANTS (still, it cannot compare to my childhood fav show LAND OF THE GIANTS). Even KEYS OF MARINUS was not bad. There was so much to enjoy in all of these.
I watched the recon of GALAXY FOUR (or rather tried to...I could only sit through the painful first three eps) and it was truly a dreadful story in almost every way. REIGN OF TERROR was much better than I remembered, too. In the past I was unable to sit through it all. THE AZTECS is a classic, if cheaply made and it looks cheap, too. THE CRUSADES? What was the deal with that? WHat was it about? What happened in it? It was okay and not too bad to sit through but...something was sort of missing. I recall the novel being pretty good and fast paced and full of action...very different frm the recon I saw.
Anyway I sort of stalled with GALAXY FOUR and not sure I can ever go back to the Hartnell's or at least not for a long time...
Hartnell has always been tough to watch for me. I can handle the Troughton episodes much easier.
I am wondering where you obtained all of these stories because of the ones you listed; only The Daleks, Marco Polo (reconstruction) and The Aztecs are out on DVD. Do you have VHS versions?
[QUOTE BY= Chase] Anyway I sort of stalled with GALAXY FOUR and not sure I can ever go back to the Hartnell's or at least not for a long time... [/QUOTE]The thing you have to remember about "G4" is that it wasn't meant to star Vicki and Steven, but Vicki, Ian and Barbara. It's basically a holdover from Series 2. So it presents some pretty bad characterizations for the two companions. Actor Peter Purves calls this his most hated serial because of it. It would be hard for any script to be truly great if it were written for totally different characters — especially since we have little more than audio to go on with this one.
I'd recommend not giving up on the Hartnell era just yet, because you don't seem to have mentioned some of the truly great stories like "The Time Meddler", "The Savages", "The Massacre", "The Myth Makers", "The Romans", "The Dalek Invasion of Earth". There are also a number of thematically groundbreaking stories out there that you haven't mentioned, like the prototypical UNIT-era story, "The War Machines", and three otherwise mediocre stories whose themes echo into the new series, "The Edge of Destruction", "The Space Museum" and "The Ark". And you really can't ignore the sheer brutality and size of the genuine space-opera, "The Daleks' Master Plan".
Yeah Hartnell is at times quite hard-going, but if you want to see the real roots of the modern series, you've gotta remember that RTD clearly has a bias for the the First Doctor's era to a degree that I find a little surprising for someone who's self-professed first episode was "The Tenth Planet" (Part 4).
I'll always have a fondness for the Hartnell era. My first exposure to Doctor Who was the first two serials, which I discovered on VHS at a garage sale back in 2001.
Keys of Marinus, The Chase and The Web Planet stand out in my mind.
However, I remember the first time watching Web Planet, it was during a pledge drive and it was a long episode to begin with - it just went on and on. I remember falling asleep and waking up multiple times and it seemed at one point they were with the ants, then the butterflies, and back and forth.
The other two I seem to remember fondly are Space Museum and Time Meddler. Really need to go back and watch the older ones. They had some great story lines and did a great job with what they had.
Hartnell stands out as one of my favorite Doctors. He had the role just right and has been hard to follow. Just the right mix of crank, niceness, obliviousness and deviousness.
Just because you came across as one bad story doesn't mean you should stop - there are many great stories in that era. I love "The Aztecs" and Barbara's attempt to save the Aztec race from destrution (and her ultimate failure), and then the magnum opus "The Dalek Master Plan", and don't forget "The Time Meddler"....
but wait... I'm just repeating everything everybody else is saying. When you are over the bad taste of "Galaxy 4" go back and give the Hartnell era another shot. Just be more judicious about what you view.
On a related note check out the link in the heading "Top ten WHO in Telegraph" it has a William Hartnell story listed in it so there is another reason to give him another try.
Just watch out for The Gunfighters, though I actually liked that story.
[QUOTE BY= Sabalon] Just watch out for The Gunfighters, though I actually liked that story.[/QUOTE]
I can still hear Steven's piano playing and Dodo's singing.
EDIT (4 hours later): Okay it wasn't too bad (it could have been much worse) but it was still a poor follow-up to "The Celestial Toymaker".
[QUOTE BY= Charmy Renai] I'll always have a fondness for the Hartnell era. My first exposure to Doctor Who was the first two serials, which I discovered on VHS at a garage sale back in 2001.
Hi Charmy - and welcome to the forums - yes the old Hartnell stories are still watchable but they do seem to move slowly - never more so than when they are talking through a set (that must be very small) taking minutes to go about ten yards!
[QUOTE BY= daveac] never more so than when they are talking through a set (that must be very small) taking minutes to go about ten yards![/QUOTE]
What's a yard, Dave? Is that like an old fashioned meter?
[QUOTE BY= daveac]yes the old Hartnell stories are still watchable but they do seem to move slowly - never more so than when they are talking through a set (that must be very small) taking minutes to go about ten yards!
Actually, I don't mind that so much. Would you believe I actually liked The Web Planet? (Yes, I'm weird. )
The second season of Hartnell's Doctor Who had 8 entries in the top ten. No other season, until David Tennant, had more than one entry, and those were quite rare. This is by far the most successful, from a TV exec's viewpoint, season in the whole classic era.
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