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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: 5163
     Thursday, May 07 2009 @ 05:07 PM EDT
    I like Edge of Destruction I really do. Is there a scene where the Doctor is sitting down outside a room and we see that in the TARDIS (or rather the set) there is a blocked out, blacked out window made to look like the Tardis wall?

    Anyway I like this story but if you disect it too much, it really really doesn't make any sense. I mean just see ABOUT TIME 1 for how illogical this story really is. Yet..something about it just rings true with me! Why? I don't know! Smile

    It's pretty creepy for one thing but again, creepy would be more creepy if things happened for a reason rather than just happening because they seem creeepy at the time. For the TARDIS to "warn" the Doctor and company this way makes little sense. Perhaps the tardis has never done this thing before or maybe there's something else wrong with it.

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     Friday, May 08 2009 @ 07:16 PM EDT
    Edge of Destruction Episode 2: SPOILERS
    When it comes down to it, I think that this story is all about domesticity, about portraying the TARDIS as a home and its crew as a family. Now that the producers know that they are in for the long haul, I believe that maybe they saw the unsustainability of conflict on board the TARDIS (just a pity JNT did not realise this a bit sooner all those years later), that to stick with the programme, maybe people would have to learn to love the Doctor a little more and by the end of the episode (even though he has threatened to thrown the teachers off of the ship), the old man has softened.
    Especially towards Barbara, who really comes into her own here and, again, thinking outside the box, realises that it is the TARDIS itself trying to communicate. For the first time, the Doctor begins to feel a certain amount of intellectual respect for these people whom he has kidnapped instead of just distrust.
    But, yes domesticity is a key word for me here: the focus on all of the TARDIS facilities: the drinks machine, the beds, the bandages that become whiter as the wound heals; the crew wandering around in their jim-jams; even the main threat in the first episode is just a simple pair of scissors and what does it all come down to in the end? A stuck button! That happens to my central heating!I thought to myself as I watched.
    All of these elements combine to create the family and by the end of the episode, once the sinister, dark lighting has disappeared and the TARDIS is back to normal, it no longer looks cold and clinical to the viewer but instead looks cosy, the way it should, the ship that carries and protects them, home.
    It even ends with the family enjoying themselves and having a snowball fight.
    Now, on to unchartered territory for me: Marco Polo - I've really been looking forward to this one.

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     Saturday, May 09 2009 @ 12:04 PM EDT
    Yes I agree with you, Idiom, that they are a family by episode's end but respectfully, I can't agree that this is all about domesticity throughout. Sure the TARDIS is like their big home but really in reality it's not. It was just a spaceship or thought of and presented as a spaceship. It certainly did't seem to be THAT much bigger on the inside than the outside ala INVASION OF TIME or CASTROVALVA. As for the conflict, almost none of it is based on any kind of REAL character stuff--it's almost all the TARDIS trying to communicate and once that calms down, the Doctor is nice to Barbara, only because she solved the problem, sort of. Smile Anyway, it ends nicely and the Family is tenous at best at this stage, shakey at best really. Marco Polo will seem to cement that even more. As for the JNT years, I think some of the conflict in his first three or even four years was justified. The dynamic between Adric, Tegan, Nyssa and Doc5 was very similar to the dynamic between Ian, Barbara, Susan, and the First, all for differen reasons and the conflicts arose out of their characters and personalities and was really quite good. Later with TUrlough, not my fav character, how it would end was really what it was all about. They seemed to not be able to decide how to make Tegan react to Turlough. And the Doctor to Turough?Bemusement? I think his reaction is all wrong to be honest. It should be either the way the 9th reacted to Adam (who in the original script only sent the info to the past to save his father from a disease which leads into FATHER'S DAY, giving Rose some ideas) or treat him like Capt Jack, that Turlough had some value in him and use that Instead, he just ignores Turlough who literally is behind him ready to kill him or he's just stupid.

    As for Peri and Doc, I love how they started...but the arguing went on for far too long and is far too annoying and frankly both of the actors aren't strong enough to pull it off AND make us like them. By the time of TIMELASH I wanted Peri to either die or lose her voice and the Doc to regenerate already...but then we got TRIAL and TIME AND THE RANI after that! That's another story.

    Thing is; the Doc, first and his first companions were just as dysfunctional as most of the later ones. That said, there were undercurrents of things that were nver said, such as when Ian and Barbara left andthe Doctor didn't tell them how he really felt about them going but just got mad but underneath it was to cover his sad feelings of missing them and not wating them to go.

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     Saturday, May 09 2009 @ 12:12 PM EDT
    Some interesting points, Chase. Not having seen a lot of the First Doctor yet, I may have to come back and discuss these points again with you at a later date.

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     Tuesday, May 12 2009 @ 03:54 PM EDT
    Marco Polo Episode one: SPOILERS!!!!
    [Quote  by:  Doctor Whoovie]
    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've only watched one episode so far but have to complete agree with Doctor Whovie about Marco Polo. maybe it's because I've never seen it before but it has a remarkably fresh and new feel to it. It's gripped me immediately.
    My thoughts:
    1. It must have been a temptation when first writing a time travel show to have sent the TARDIS crew to all of those big, (maybe a touch clichéd) historical events such as Nazi Germany, the Roman Empire, the Wild West - and, of course, as we all know Doctor Who does this in time (and quite rightly as it would be a shame to ignore these eras!). However, I admire the bravery of the production team in chosing a relatively unknown period of history: Marco Polo's tenure in Cathay. Educationally it's interesting for this reason but also dramatically as I have little knowledge of the supporting characters (and an interseting cast they are so far) - I have no idea whether they are based on real people or not and, therefore, no knowledge of whether they will live or die. For me, the closest the modern series has come to investigating these little back alleys of history is The Girl in the Fireplace (just a shame it wasn't a pure historical -though maybe this story wouldn't have stood that test so maybe it's just a shame that there are no longer any pure historicals!).
    2. Beautiful costumes especially in colour (as seen in the Loose Canon reconstruction).
    3. love the running joke of the Doctor's continually forgetting Ian's surname (a precursor to the Mickey jokes of the new series). But also this general air of frailty, how he quickly succumbs to altitude sickness. This incarnation of the Doctor is already very close to the end of his days.
    4. Susan's comment that she has had many homes in many places alludes to a fair few adventures with her grandfather before they landed in 1960's London.
    5. The ammorality of Polo himself and how he tricks the crew into stealing the TARDIS for his own ends. A very interesting premise.
    Good stuff so far!

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     Wednesday, May 13 2009 @ 12:37 AM EDT
    Marco Polo: I agree with most of what you said. The Doctor however, is frail because he's seen in those days as just an old man, not some very ancient alien man. The amorality and selfishness of Polo is very well done but he's just acting on his own behalf and it's very realistic to me. Ian's name forgotten by the First Doctor is VERY different to the 9th Doctor's name forgetting of Mickey as the 9th Doctor isn't really forgetting Mickey's name but just trying to insult him, make fun of him, put him down in front of Rose, and make himself look better. With the First Doctor, it's really forgetting...and even if not, it makes the Doctor look human and feel flawed...all in a good character way without him truly insulting Ian.

    This story stands out really well. I don't know about the bravery of the really took chances though. A great deal of movies and TV shows (although maybe not too much of the later) detailed Marco Polo's supposed adventures including 1930s films, some with similar themes here (an unwanted marriage for one). Of course, Marco would turn up in two other time travel shows much later, THE TIME TUNNEL in 1966 or 1967 and VOYAGERS! in the 1980s some time. All of these were good episodes.

    Glad you enjoyed the first ep. I'm sure you'll like the rest. The thing I like about it is how the TARDIS crew travel for a long time in one time zone and how the adventure crosses over many, many days, even a few weeks. The educational part comes out and there are some brilliant sequences of just story telling and danger and storms...

    again something the new series could never, or rather, would never do. GIRL IN THE FIREPLACE also takes the opposite stance by making someone from history, who's morality is dubious at best and making her some kind of saint.

    Anyway hope you like the rest. I watched this some time ago but it sticks in my memory as a very entertaining, DW-ish or not, storyline...with lots of fun stuff and dramatic stuff too. Not once does it feel overlong or tired...unlike the Doctor and at one point he gets hysterical! Also like the condensation thing in the TARDIS...

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     Wednesday, May 13 2009 @ 04:30 AM EDT
    [Quote  by:  Chase] The Doctor however, is frail because he's seen in those days as just an old man, not some very ancient alien man.

    I agree. I think I have a tendancy to try to fit the earlier stuff into the mythos of the later stuff - but then that's part of the fun of it, isn't it? Now, looking back, we could also say that this Doctor is reaching the end of his incarnation (even if that wasn't the programme makers' intentions).
    [Quote  by:  Chase] Ian's name forgotten by the First Doctor is VERY different to the 9th Doctor's name forgetting of Mickey as the 9th Doctor isn't really forgetting Mickey's name but just trying to insult him, make fun of him, put him down in front of Rose, and make himself look better. With the First Doctor, it's really forgetting...and even if not, it makes the Doctor look human and feel flawed...all in a good character way without him truly insulting Ian.

    For me, it is very similar to the Ninth/Tenth Doctor's attitude to Mickey. The threat of the other male. For the latter incarnations, it's all about/for Rose but for the first Doctor it's about showing who's the Alpha Male to outsiders. I agree it does make him more 'human' and flawed but I do think that it's a very intelligent type of power play. The Doctor cannot prove his superiority physically, therefore he does it intellectually: your name is not important, therefore, you are not important ...well, important enough to be considered leader, anyway. Still it makes me laugh and reminds me of the new series and I love any connections/elements of continuity like that.

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     Wednesday, May 13 2009 @ 09:29 PM EDT
    Yes I see that fitting that into the mythos but the First Doctor might have been around longer although I don't think he had any gaps between companoins that we know of.

    As for the Mickey thing< i can't agree. I don't think the First Doctor was doing it deliberately to show who was boss or show he was the Alpha Male at all. In fact, maybe he did other things to show that but I doubt it. I think there was no doubt he was in charge most of the time simply because the others were out of their depth but physically it was Ian all the way. I can't and we all have our opinions see how in any way that the 9th Doctor Mickey thing is the same at all as the Doctor forgetting Ian's name...and again, it was due to his age or showing his age that his memory was going. Ian thought it was funny at times; Mickey knew why the 9th was doing it and there were no illusions there, it was being mean. In fact, at times, it seemed to me that the First Doctor was annoyed at himself for forgetting Ian's name.

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     Friday, May 15 2009 @ 03:07 PM EDT
    Marco Polo: Episodes 2 and 3: SPOILERS!!!I continue to be entranced and enchanted by this story. It unfolds gently with a great attention to characterisation and, as Doctor Whoovie, mentions above, its mission to educate. I loved the story of the Hashshashin as related by Ping Cho (the fact that episode three took the time out to relate this tale is something that you would rarely see these days, and I’m sure that some would describe it as padding, but I love this leisurely approach to storytelling ). This slower pace suits the chronology of the narrative – the crew has already been here for a week (if not much longer), and as Chase mentioned above and I have said in other threads, I always enjoy the stories where the Doctor and his companions spend a length of time in a particular place. To me this adds credibility, this is the type of person who I believe the Doctor to be: he takes his time, gets to know the locals, enjoys learning about the culture and traditions (this is the type of Doctor who would catch a tourist bus and sit chatting to all of the passengers; the one we saw in Midnight). Already I see so many links between the first and tenth Doctor (probably because I’m watching these adventures exclusively and I’ll see different connections when I get to the second Doctor) and I always enjoy this sense of continuity.
    I continue to be intrigued by the character of Marco Polo himself; the ambiguity of his moral conduct. I'm predicting that sooner of later he’ll see the error of his ways, but I’m not sure and I love this not being certain about the resolution of the adventure (I’ve been watching the Wire too much!).

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     Friday, May 15 2009 @ 11:20 PM EDT
    Have decided to throw my hat into the ring as well. Have watched none of the 1st or 2nd Doctors at all (sad to say) so this is very exciting. Am starting AN UNEARTHLY CHILD tonight, so I'm abit behind the rest of you. Am trying not to read any of the posts regarding espisodes I haven't watched, so we'll see how it goes. Let the journey begin!!

    What we observe is not Nature Itself, but Nature exposed to our method of questioning.
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     Saturday, May 16 2009 @ 04:16 AM EDT
    [Quote  by:  Aurelius76] Have decided to throw my hat into the ring as well. Have watched none of the 1st or 2nd Doctors at all (sad to say) so this is very exciting. Am starting AN UNEARTHLY CHILD tonight, so I'm abit behind the rest of you. Am trying not to read any of the posts regarding espisodes I haven't watched, so we'll see how it goes. Let the journey begin!!

    Good Luck! I'm loving it and would recommend watching it with a break between each episode - the stories don't seem overlong (even if some of them are 7 episodes!) and I find that the slower pace of the stories works well in short, sharp bursts. But however you do it, I hope that you enjoy it as much as me.

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     Sunday, May 17 2009 @ 04:47 AM EDT
    Marco Polo: Episodes 4 and 5: SPOILERS
    The more I watch these early epsiodes, the more I realise that the programme is not yet exclusively about the Doctor. The rest of the TARDIS crew(well, almost) are given equal billing. A lot of this story is spent following Ian, the action lead, and Susan, the character for whom the original intended audience could relate. This leaves Barbara, as still, unfortunately, underused (and having seen the Aztecs, I know that this is not always the case but still she remains a bit of a spare wheel).
    The story itself continues at a leisurely pace with the crew now having been here for months (well, I think so,anyway - has anybody ever worked out the time frame for this story?).
    Although I feel that Episode 4 added little to the story, I am still enjoying it thoroughly. In particular, the fact that there is no sonic screwdriver or any other technobabble used to conveniently help the crew each time they face a dilemma. No, instead they have to use their brains and whatever they can find around them in this society: for example, exploding bamboo canes to help scare off the attacking bandits. In today's Who I am sometimes disappointed that the Doctor (in great A team fashion) is able to knock up a device from the junk laying around which is conveniently suited to the occasion - once or twice as a plot device to move the story along this is acceptable but I personally feel that it has been overused in the present series.
    Anyway, slight moan over. If there is anybody out there who has never seen/listened to this, try to make the time as it truly is an adventure that puts the 'classic' into Classic Who.

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     Tuesday, May 19 2009 @ 03:20 PM EDT
    Marco Polo: Episodes 6 and 7
    I won’t write in any spoilers in this one, just in case you haven’t seen this and want the ending to be a surprise.
    Overall, I am going to say what an incredible story and what a crying shame that it no longer exists in full! Fun, educational, exciting and now that the groundwork of the first three stories has been laid, the series can really settle down to portraying the time travellers as a team.
    I thought the supporting characters were very well-drawn, especially the surprising Kublai Khan. And IMO the Doctor always works well as the royal courtier - these are some of the stories which I’ve enjoyed most, when this charming, diplomatic character shows how well he can mix with the great and the famous (The Curse of Peladon; The Girl in the Fireplace; The Marian Conspiracy).
    Oh and I really didn’t expect the outcome of the Backgammon game.
    Truly , brilliant. Long and brilliant. You really feel that you have lived the long months in the thirteenth century with the crew. For me an excellent 8 out of ten. Recommended!
    But alas! No cliffhanger! No clue as to next time. Onward.

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     Wednesday, May 20 2009 @ 11:21 AM EDT
    I started a blog about watching and reviewing every episode but now i've found this thread! Twisted Evil Nevermind!

    I think its a lot of fun going back, watching and finding out all you can about the episodes. I've already learned a lot of things I didn't know about Doctor Who. For me personally, i've only seen a episode apiece of Hartnell and Troughton, before I started this journey, so i'm approaching the early episodes with a fresh (sort of) mind!

    Anyway, i'm up to Marco Polo also and i'm going to be listening to the audio AND reading the novel to fill in those missing pieces!

    Here's the blog for anyone intrested.


    Please check out my blog, as I attempt to watch and review EVERY Doctor Who episode!
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     Wednesday, May 20 2009 @ 02:11 PM EDT

    What else to say about this episode that hasn’t been said already? Nonetheless, a few comments and mere observations …

    In this first episode of episodes, we find not one Timelord but two—the Doctor and Susan. The Doctor, or “Grandfather,” is very alien to us, not the Doctor we have come to know; he is cold and calculating; he is suspicious of humans and distrusts them for they seem foreign to him, and he is desperately frantic to keep the secret of both the TARDIS and their presence a secret, going so far as to “force” Ian and Barbara to come along (which, BTW, they should do more of instead of companions being enamored with the Doctor). Susan seems more like the Doctor as we know him—curious, kind, bright yet naïve. It seems too that her relationship with Grandfather isn’t on the best of terms—she seems frightened of him and in the Cave of Skulls, she clings to Ian not Grandfather and there are several scenes where the Doctor is quite curt with her and/or downright mean.

    The heart of the episode is simple—the ability to make fire, and rule the tribe not the world. It does, at times feel a tad drawn out, but overall the story is well-paced and quite enjoyable.

    RATING: 10 out of 10

    What we observe is not Nature Itself, but Nature exposed to our method of questioning.
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