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     Home »  The William Hartnell Era »  From Beginning to End: The First Doctor
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    From Beginning to End: The First Doctor Views: 4245
     Monday, April 20 2009 @ 07:06 PM EDT
    I always love the conversation between Ian and Barbara as they disucss Susan Foreman and how frustrated she is at school, then the montage flashbacks of her debating Ian on Science and discounting part of Barbara's history lesson (I can't remember the particulars off the top of my head). As you watch from Ian and Barbara's eyes, before us all we see that there's a much bigger mystery at large besides just an awkward school girl.

    PS - Congrats Idiom for being mentioned on the latest podshock!

    Yes, I still have the rubbish beard!
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     Tuesday, April 21 2009 @ 01:53 PM EDT
    [Quote  by:  Mr. Magister] PS - Congrats Idiom for being mentioned on the latest podshock!

    Really Oops! Haven't heard it yet as still a few behind - just started 143.

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     Sunday, April 26 2009 @ 05:25 AM EDT
    Daleks episodes 3 and 4: SPOILERS!
    A few days' break but I'm in no rush and actually this way the cliffhangers become more effective and the longer stories don't tend to drag.
    I liked the fact that episode three while showing us the dreadful outcome of the Doctor's selfishness - the fact that the whole crew is suffeing from radiation sickness - also shifted its focus to the Thals. This felt similar to An Unearthly Child in that we are shown a new society and the interactions between the tribe. Here we are presented with three or four main characters and their motivations: their hopes, fears and, in some cases, unrequited love. I felt that a real effort had been made to present these characters as fully-formed people. Again one of my complaints about the epsiode length of the modern series is that supporting characters (with the exception of recurring characters such as Wilf) come across often as two-dimensional and just serve the purpose of Dalek fodder.
    Here I felt a connection with the characters immediately which heightened the betrayal of the Daleks in the Ambush.
    I am somewhat bemused by Susan who in some senses acts like a normal teenager but in others still portrays that alien weirdness that first led Ian and Barbara to become interested in her. She laughs hysterically at Barbara's suggestion that there might be something inside the Daleks casings and grins and winks as she sets up a diversion later so that the crew can escape. Bemused but not bored as I like this sense of being slightly off-kilter makes her interesting.
    Ian continues to take the role of leader. I know that some have accused him of sexism and while this is porbably true, he is still a man of his times and the fact that we can watch with hindsight makes his character feel more authentic (it was this autheticity that I felt was lacking from Torchwood when Captain Jack kisses another male in front of a group of armed forces officers - I'm sorry but wouldn't the natural reaction of the observers during the 1940s have been somewhat different - for me overlaying our modern acceptance of homosexuality onto these characters didn't work).
    Barbara is the character that hasn't quite developed as much as I'd like her to yet but I'm sure this will come.

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     Thursday, April 30 2009 @ 12:56 PM EDT
    The Daleks: Episode 5 - SPOILERS!
    Some thoughts:
    1. Amorality - we've already seen it from the Doctor in the Unearthly Child with the injured tribesman, his kidnapping of Ian and Barbara and in the Daleks with his lies about the fluid link and now we see more evidence of it. His willingness to interfere in the culture of the Thals, to change a predominantly pacificist community into a group who are willing to risk their own lives just to help the TARDIS crew get back the fluid link. It makes me wonder about this Doctor, so far relatively unchanged by the companions who will influence him over the years. Here, you really can see the renegade timelord who was willing to steal a time capsule from his own kind and interfere in the lives of the people he meets. It makes you think about the things that he might have done before we met him (are there any novels about the Doctor pre-series?). It's no wonder the Time Lords disaprove of / dislike him so much. So far there's not much to recommend him as a humane character.
    2. Barbara's siding with the Doctor surprised me, I thought that her understanding of history and her compassionate side would put her more into Ian and Susan's camp but her fear of remaining and eventually being hunted down by the Daleks overides any sense of morality.
    3. The Daleks - so great before Davros; interplay between Daleks is great to watch and their just complete coldness and evil: their willingness to sacrifice each other and even contemplate another neutron bomb.
    4. How good was the whirlpool effect for 1963! The mutations made me remember the underground tunnels that the Doctor has to go through in genesis and Davros's discarded experiments almost twenty years later.
    5. Is it just me of do the Thal women love like Playboy Bunnies in their costumes?

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     Thursday, April 30 2009 @ 04:37 PM EDT
    [Quote  by:  Idiom] A new thread for those of us who have decided to watch the entire series from start to finish (I know this is gonna take me years!) so that we can record our thoughts as we go along.
    Right, here goes. An Unearthly Child tonight!


    I remember doing this myself back sometime circa 1992-1993. To this day, I still consider it the best experience in terms of watching Doctor Who.

    The way I did it was one episode a day, that's episode or part, not complete story. It's really a trip of a lifetime.

    Cheers,
    Louis

    ☛ Follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LouisTrapani ♥ ♥
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     Thursday, April 30 2009 @ 05:32 PM EDT
    [Quote  by:  Louis]

    The way I did it was one episode a day, that's episode or part, not complete story.

    Yes, the way it was meant to be watched originally!

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     Friday, May 01 2009 @ 06:28 PM EDT
    So what story are you on now? I recently watched all of the First, Second, and Third Doctor. And I just loved it all really. The only rough going was GALAXY FOUR and THE HIGHLANDERS. I did the reconstructions and that helped a great deal with the missing eps. I found AN UNEARTHLY CHILD great all the way through, the first episode totally fantastic. I also broke up the stories, not by choice but because of other circumstances in watching THIRD DOCTOR stories first, then going into the FIRST, followed by almost all the SECOND Doctor, then the rest of the FIRST and then some remaining THIRD Doctor's. I found THE DALEKS so much better than I remembered when I watched it all in one sitting YEARS AND YEARS ago. It was much more fast paced than I recalled. I also liked EDGE OF DESTRUCTION.

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     Saturday, May 02 2009 @ 07:27 PM EDT
    Well I just finished Season 1 (the real season 1!) last night with the final installment of reign of Terror. Overall the series was fairly enjoyable, if a little slow paced.

    One thing very noticable was the intent to educate. With science in the futuristic episodes and well, History in the historicals.

    It struck me that the reason there is so much emphasis on "you cannot change history" is because the show was meant to impart historical information to the viewing public. Therefore established facts, such as X was killed in the French revelution or the Aztecs practiced human sacrifice had to be upheld so that the educational charter would be fulfilled. It is not acceptable to have X saved in the story just because he was a jolly nice guy.
    This requirement about changing history becomes less important in later series once the "historicals" have disappeared and the pretence of eductaion has been dropped.

    It also struck me that much of the 'Science" in the futuristic episodes was bogus. Especially the bit about about the Sensorites fully dilated eyes and being afraid of the dark.

    Reviews on the individual stories will follow when I have a bit more time.

    Let me finish by saying that on watching the first series the story which has made the most impression on me was "Marco Polo" partly because I was completely unaware of the story content before I started and partly because of the fantastic reconstruction by Loose Cannon. (I wonder if I would have enjoyed the actual episodes as much if they had been available)

    I did enjoy the first episode and the Daleks, but I had seen (and/or read) these stories previously so they did not stand out so markedly.

    BTW David Whitackers "Doctor Who and the Daleks" (my copy is autographed by Tom Baker for some obscure reason) starts with Ian and Barbara meeting Susan and the Doctor after a traffic accident in the fog, and totally bypassed the Uneartly Child.

    In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed are Kings
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     Sunday, May 03 2009 @ 02:29 PM EDT
    IMO it is a shame that the historical bits were dropped from the show. That left it with only, as you say, the bogus science and that quickly degenerated into Z grade sci fic (RESCUE, the future parts of THE CHASE, GALAXY FOUR, THE SAVAGES, and btw I like all of those --admittedly THE CHASE for so bad it's funny reasons) and from there into Invasion of the Week and that DW never shook off. From Troughton's early stories through to the current DW show PLANET OF THE DrEAD, it's all about invasion of aliens for the most part. The historicals and the educational thing gave DW a charm and interest that is lacking in the invasion of the week philosophy. True that some stories like ENEMY OF THE WORLD, THE MIND ROBBER, THE CELESITAL TOYMAKER, BLACK ORCHID, the Tennant/Donna bee murder mystery, and others try to get to do other things and mostly do but they're mostly the exception. DW became a monster of the week, invasion of the week show from it's beginnings as a TRUE time travel show.

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     Monday, May 04 2009 @ 01:52 PM EDT
    [Quote  by:  Chase] So what story are you on now?

    About to finish the Daleks (AKA the Mutants) - going very slowly, I know, but real life creeps in and I only have the chance to do a couple of epsiodes per week. Still, I am really enjoying it, this way.

    [Quote  by:  Doctor Whoovie] Well I just finished Season 1 (the real season 1!)

    Well done! the rate at which I'm going that might be around 2010!

    [Quote  by:  Doctor Whoovie]BTW David Whitackers "Doctor Who and the Daleks" (my copy is autographed by Tom Baker for some obscure reason) starts with Ian and Barbara meeting Susan and the Doctor after a traffic accident in the fog, and totally bypassed the Uneartly Child.

    Yes, I remember this! It was one of the first Doctor Who books that I read when I was a wee lad! I can picture the front cover even now. Hasn't this been released as an audio book?

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     Monday, May 04 2009 @ 01:54 PM EDT
    [Quote  by:  Doctor Whoovie]BTW David Whitackers "Doctor Who and the Daleks" (my copy is autographed by Tom Baker for some obscure reason) starts with Ian and Barbara meeting Susan and the Doctor after a traffic accident in the fog, and totally bypassed the Uneartly Child.

    [Quote  by:  Idiom]
    Yes, I remember this! It was one of the first Doctor Who books that I read when I was a wee lad! I can picture the front cover even now. Hasn't this been released as an audio book?


    IIRC, it was actually the very first Doctor Who novelisation published - hence that opening!

    If you're in the New York area come join us for Pub and Video meets - http://DWNY.org
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     Monday, May 04 2009 @ 05:07 PM EDT
    [Quote  by:  barnabeee]
    [Quote  by:  Doctor Whoovie]BTW David Whitackers "Doctor Who and the Daleks" (my copy is autographed by Tom Baker for some obscure reason) starts with Ian and Barbara meeting Susan and the Doctor after a traffic accident in the fog, and totally bypassed the Uneartly Child.

    [Quote  by:  Idiom]
    Yes, I remember this! It was one of the first Doctor Who books that I read when I was a wee lad! I can picture the front cover even now. Hasn't this been released as an audio book?


    IIRC, it was actually the very first Doctor Who novelisation published - hence that opening!


    Yes, That's right!

    Because it was one of three books being released at the time (the others were "The Crusaders"(by David Whitaker) and "The Zarbi" (by Bill Strutton))

    When those books were being done there were no plans to make any more of them and the two David Whitaker books had an alternate start (and ending) as opposed to the actual episodes. The idea was to have a self-contained story and in "The Daleks" he couldn't really explain all that happened easily in "An Unearthly Child / The Tribe of Gum" so the new back-story was created.

    BTW: The three books mentioned were released in May of 1973. The next books that came out were in the following year because of the popularity of the first three.

    "Make your last move, Doctor. Make your LAST move." The Celestial Toymaker to the Doctor in "The Celestial Toymaker: The Final Test"
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     Monday, May 04 2009 @ 05:16 PM EDT
    The Daleks - Episodes 6 and 7: SPOILERS

    All done. Wow! A real trek. The seven parts certainly give a real epic quality to the whole story. Some thoughts:
    1. Barbara and Ganatus - very nicely done - the subtle hints of the beginning of a relationship. It lends credibility to the idea that the crew have spent a substantial amount of time on Skaro. I’m now beginning to warm more to Barbara, although I do feel that she is still the most underdeveloped of the main characters.
    2. The Doctor: I was a pioneer amongst my own people once. – What does this refer to? Pioneer in what field? Presumably before he became a renegade?
    3. The action scenes – pacey and well shot with characters racing in and out of shot adding to the suspense and momentum (I saw the origins of new Battlestar Galactica here!).
    4. The first real ‘cliff-hanger’ at the end of episode 6 and its resolution through the sacrifice of one of the Thals. The Thals are a very underused race in Doctor Who and I liked them a lot here. The only other episode that I remember them in was Planet of the Daleks. Was that the Thals? Had they become soldiers by that point?
    5. Was this the end of the Daleks? If so then how do they invade the Earth later? Is this question ever answered?
    Overall, a strong story that created the legend of Doctor Who and the Daleks. A strong 8 out of 10 from me. Looking forward to the next story – only two parts which will make a refreshing counterpoint to the Daleks. Allons-y!

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     Tuesday, May 05 2009 @ 11:09 AM EDT
    Glad you enjoyed it again. It really is a cracking story!

    The Thals do indeed show up (far more militarised!) in Planet of the Daleks. They are also in Genesis of the Delaks as well, of course, in their pre-neutron bomb state! (Of course that story rather contrdicts The Daleks, but ah well - can't have everything!) Smile

    Big Finish have used the Thals a lot though.

    If you're in the New York area come join us for Pub and Video meets - http://DWNY.org
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     Wednesday, May 06 2009 @ 03:05 AM EDT
    Edge of Destruction - Episode 1: SPOILERS!
    A nicely, claustrophobic piece that, watching it now, reminds me a little of one of those Star Trek or Buffy episodes which begin with everybody having lost their memories. Everybody is acting just slightly unusually – the words are there but it is as if the emotions have disappeared initially. Some thoughts:
    1. I can’t take you back, Susan – the Doctor’s words as he lays semi-conscious on the floor. What are the implications of this? That Susan didn’t really want to leave Gallifrey when her grandfather did or at the very least that she wanted to return.
    2. Ian’s ripped cardigan sleeve – just a little thing, I know but I like the visible physical consequences from the previous story. These first stories always end up with the crew looking as if they really have lived through these adventures with their untidy hair, smudged faces and ripped clothes.
    3. Barbara is beginning to grow on me now. She is the one that thinks out of the box and yet is constantly laughed at by the others. Susan laughed when she suggested there might be something living inside the Dalek casing; Ian is equally unsupportive at her suggestion that something may have boarded the ship.
    4. The ship itself looks great with its long rows of computer banks and the other rooms which we are now beginning to see. I laughed at the drinks machine, though, which appeared to have two choices: water and milk!
    5. The conflict between the Gallifreyans and the humans. Glad to see that this is being addressed and not brushed over nor gradually forgotten. What interested me particularly is the reminder that not only do Ian and Barbara not trust the Doctor but that the opposite is also true. The Doctor was very suspicious of their interest in Susan back at the beginning of an Unearthly Child – it has remained. Does he suspect them of more than just a teacher’s casual interest? Is this the paranoia of an escaped exile who believes that he may be being followed/hunted down?

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