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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: 4284
     Saturday, May 23 2009 @ 06:43 AM EDT
    Planet of the giants (spoilers!)
    --------------------------------

    Watched this last week, overall was quite a weak story. I am not entirely sure how original it would have seemed at the time, but the whole giant prop thing seems over done these days.

    It struck me that the TARDIS crew were not actually necessary for the plot at all.
    Forester kills Farrow. Makes a phoney call to Whitehall. Telephone operator realizes it isn't really Farrow and ulitmately gets the police to go and investgate. Our Heroes are merely observers.

    The insecticide only seems to be present to ensure that none of the props - Worms, ants etc have to be realistically animated.

    In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed are Kings
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     Saturday, May 23 2009 @ 07:05 AM EDT
    THe Dalek invasion of Earth
    ----------------------------

    Re-watching this for the ?th time.
    It strikes me that the preduction values in this story far exceed anything seen previously in Doctor Who.

    The opening scenes, seem to show that the interior of the TARDIS has been significantly reconfigured versus
    anything seen before (even the end of the previous episode). Is this correct or is it the same set viewed from a different angle.

    I was suprised to here that the Dalek casings were made of Dalekanium (as per Daleks in Manhatten), but noted that the humans said that is what they had decided to call it, not what the Daleks called it.

    The second episode shots at various London landmarks are classic, second only to the cybermen shots from Invasion. Funny to see people rushing about in the background on the 'deserted streets' (as pointed out by Verity Lambert in the commentary).

    I feel this story has a much snappier pace compared to the original Dalek story and doesn't drag at all.

    One critisism is that I cannot really imagine the Robomen controlling everything, just run away and they won't catch you. Since there main weapons seem to be very short whips, they aren't going to stop too many people. I also felt it was a bit too easy for ian to hide on the Dalek saucer.

    I decide to watch the episodes this time with the original SFX (since it is a watch from the beginning) but have watched it previously with the new effects.

    I have decided that I will watch all the episodes through to David Tennant with the original effects on and not use the CGI updates. Part of this comes from my distaste of having to watch the original Star Wars trilogy on DVD with extra scenes with obviously fake CGI (the new speeder scenes at Mos Eisley, Ghost ending with Hayden etc.)

    Overall, the best story so far.



    In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed are Kings
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     Saturday, May 23 2009 @ 12:26 PM EDT
    The Keys of Marinus Parts One and Two: SPOILERS
    Wanted to see the new DVD version of this but I felt that waiting a few months would break the rhythm.
    Part One: Has been the episode that has engaged me least so far. I'm not sure why. Maybe it was the special effects which pulled me out of the moment. This is an episode which could really benefit from some CGI effects. Having said that, I felt that the pyramid was realised excellently.
    Also enjoy the fact that Ian is now permanently out of his cardy and still dressed in clothes from the thirteenth century. In fact, it was refreshing to see the two teachers finally accepting their time-space travelling lifestyle. Not wondering if they’d landed on earth but embracing the adventure of being in a new place.
    Part Two: I loved. Loved the fact that Barbara is not under-used. I liked the short standalone nature of the story and loved the psychic slugs! Barbara saves the day. Hooray!

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     Saturday, May 23 2009 @ 12:30 PM EDT
    [Quote  by:  Doctor Whoovie] I decide to watch the episodes this time with the original SFX (since it is a watch from the beginning) but have watched it previously with the new effects.

    I have decided that I will watch all the episodes through to David Tennant with the original effects on and not use the CGI updates. Part of this comes from my distaste of having to watch the original Star Wars trilogy on DVD with extra scenes with obviously fake CGI (the new speeder scenes at Mos Eisley, Ghost ending with Hayden etc.)

    Interesting choice and I know that really I should do the same for authenticity's sake but personally, I love the new CGI effects. See my above posting about the Keys of Marinus, I felt that here the limited nature of the effects really jarred and took me out of the story. I'm looking forward to seeing if they've done anything new for the DVD.

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     Saturday, May 23 2009 @ 01:31 PM EDT
    Dalek Invasion of Earth: less boring than I once thought and really quite well done and techincally not bad with some really ropey effects at times but the locales help and the actors are quite believable against silly looking squid like monsters which...to me are quite horrible thanks to the acting. The Doctor is suitably in over his head most of the time, Ian is on his own a great deal and Susan...well that ending is marvelous. Yet Susan and David's ordeal with the Robomen and the alligators reminds me of the old Flash Gordon serials...and I don' t mean that negatively...I like those but they are a bit creaky as is a great deal of this. Yet it is not dull and it is a step up for DW. Pity to lose Susan SO soon but truthfuly I never believed her as a little girl anyway and she's not...what the show needed was a younger child...but it never really got it...not until maybe Adric and Nyssa, maybe. This story is a lot of fun and goes by quickly.

    KEYS OF MARINUS: funny, the first ep is the one that hooked me but most of the first episodes do. I find the thrill is having the travelers step into a new world and situation always fantastic and fun, no matter how the story turns out (mind you, during Colin's TRIAL I...oh not now...). I like this story despite itself. For some reason I like the travelogue feel it has and the threats seem real and even if they are contrived, different to what has gone before. Some of it also reminds me of FLASH GORDON, the old 30s serials, with revolving doors and cult like statues and brains in jars. And stock footage snow storms and wolves. Yet even the snowy landscape episodes work for me. There's something about this story that just lingers, being adrift in a strange world, alone or with a partner on another planet with disks that might not work...and for once, the planet seems to not be just "A jungle planet or an ice planet or a snow planet or a whatever" but a fully fledged planet like Earth that has deserts, snow, trials (the weakest part but also the part that stretches the format and shows how flexible it all is), acid seas. The monsters of course aren't really. They are men in wet suits and the most underdevelped DW monsters of all, not a race one really gets to know but that reason alone makes them...rather creepy. Not as bad as everyone seems to think it is.

    PLANET OF GIANTS: I used to hate this story. It was slow moving, dull, and inconsequential. At least then. NOW, it seems to me to be...something of a lost gem. Barbara thinks she's dying but doesn't tell anyone. Ian remains positive. And yes, the travelers don't have to be in the story but they do nothing but fight to survive and THAT'S A GOOD THING, RTD are you listening? Sometimes a small (pun?) story like this is a good thing. The effects if they can be called that are pretty awful although I must admit the sink thing is rather well done. Of course LAND OF THE GIANTS did it MUCH better but that was in 1966 (production started in 66) to 1970. Of course INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN did it better than DOCTOR WHO in the 1950s but whatever. Not one I want to watch over and over but not as bad as I once thought either. IMO of course. The music's terrible though.

    Another thing about this time in the show, the TARDIS interior changes almost constantly: if you look at something like THE WEB PLANET, the door to the outside is on the wrong side of the room while the interior door is on the side the door to outside should be one! the console in THE WEB PLANET spins and also in the same, the Doctor has some kind of a mini lab alcove from the console room. Things appear very strangely in the console room during this era, there are huge tubes, with giant circular lights over them, a huge diagonal light lamp over the console, files cabinets, etc etc.

    Oh and I HATE the time wasted on CGI new effects. If effects are all people want to watch, go watch the new BATTLESTAR GALACTICA and whatever. I hate that the crews have to work on new CGI effects. Give it to me the way it was and start workig on new dvds to release. That's just how I feel but I know others enjoy the new effects mode. To me they just jar with the rest of the production and wreck the "art" that was first created.

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     Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 04:35 PM EDT
    The Keys of Marinus: Episode Three - SPOILERS!
    I struggled with this one, I have to say. Maybe it's the fact that it tries to fit an entire story within an episode (each episode in effect relating one stage of the search for the keys).Whereas episode two worked for me, here there never really seemed to be an explanation for why the growth accelerator had been devloped. I found the episode to be virtually plotless; the story missed the Doctor badly; Susan's role was to scream once or twice and then to disappear pointlessly; Ian manages to patronise his way through the twenty-five minutes, Barbrara is patronised and the supporting character (can't remember his name) suddenly decides to drop down dead for no apparent reason. Then off Ian and Barabara pop leaving the moving jungle to invade(and presumably in time to take over the whole of Marinus!).
    Still I did love the name of the part four: The Snows of Terror (Da da daaaaaaaa!).

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     Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 04:44 PM EDT
    [Quote  by:  Chase] Oh and I HATE the time wasted on CGI new effects. If effects are all people want to watch, go watch the new BATTLESTAR GALACTICA and whatever.

    I love the CGI. I love the fact that the restoration team feel they want to leave their mark on the show. I love the fact that the option to watch them (and remember Chase, it is an option) means that some of the more poorly realised special effects do not pull me out of the moment.
    I felt that the effects, especially in Dalek Invasion, were beautifully and sympathetically realised. To say that it should be watched as it was originally made or else one is not being faithful to the show is an argument that presumes that the director wouldn't have leapt at the chance of using modern effects if they had been available.
    Oh and I love Battlestar Galactica as well.
    Oh and I dislike sweeping statements about what should or should not be acceptable when watching Doctor Who. Of course everyone is entitled to their opinion but opinions are more convincing when their intention is to discuss and inform rather than to patronise.

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     Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 07:37 PM EDT
    Sweeping statements? Whatever I said or wrote is only meant from my point of view. The only thing not acceptable on DW for me is bad stories. Almost none of the DW in the early years are terribly bad and for one, I find the bad effects don't pull me out of the moment, for me DW is the moment where it all is just there: bad effects and all. For me, new CGI does pull me out of the DW experience, it just doesn't fit in these old stories for ME. I don't mean to patronize anyone so I'm not sure what you mean.

    OH and more importantly: What character just dropped down dead for no reason? I've not seen that or recalled that. Not that it didn't happen but who was that? What was his name? Maybe you're watching an edited version?

    Could it be the unnamed old man who has a choker vine attack him earlier in the episode and who lies dying for some time before expiring?

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     Thursday, May 28 2009 @ 03:32 AM EDT
    [Quote  by:  Chase] Sweeping statements?

    Suggesting that anybody who likes these types of effects should go watch another programme instead. This is a sweeping statement. the clue is in the word the 'any' part of 'anybody'.

    [Quote  by:  Chase]Could it be the unnamed old man who has a choker vine attack him earlier in the episode and who lies dying for some time before expiring?
    No, I meant the old man who stood for about ten seconds with a very loose vine wrapped unconvincingly around his neck and then manages to speak normally with scarce a croak about the whispering coming.
    And, if you are not sure what patronising means maybe you should look it up in a dictionary. Your postings increasingly take the form of being either patronising or just invective!
    Like, I said. there are ways of giving one's opinion in a measured respectful manner and there is another way which seems to consist of point scoring and blanket statementss which put up a wall to good-natured debate.
    I really feel that you often make good points, Chase but you make them in such a way that most responses to your postings spend time discussing the way that you say things rather than what you say.
    If you really want to understand another's viewpoint ask and discuss, don't cloud the issue with language designed to provoke.
    Look at the difference:
    "Personally, I don't like the colour blue as I find it cold and impersonal."
    As opposed to:
    "Anyone who likes the colour blue should go and live in a lunatic asylum cos they paint the inmate's cells that colour, don't they. Blue is a BIG FAT JOKE!"
    You see the difference?

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     Thursday, May 28 2009 @ 09:55 PM EDT
    Idiom, you're totally right. I reread a lot of what I wrote and this thread in particular and it's inflammatory. I didn't intend it to be that way but that's how it is. Of course I would defend anyone's or everyone's right to watch the CGI effects if they want to. I personally wouldn't want that as I like it the way it is/was and was made and I would not hold it against them if they felt differently but the postings I made/make, dn't come off that way but come off as insulting so Yeah, I see your points.

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     Friday, May 29 2009 @ 09:41 AM EDT
    [Quote  by:  Chase] the postings I made/make, dn't come off that way

    No worries. We are all have that tendancy about the things we love and everybody needs a passion!

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     Friday, May 29 2009 @ 10:45 PM EDT
    The thing is: I don't seem to be able to change the way I write those types of replies or reviews even as I realize this!!

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