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1 hour ago, scottsdad said:

Just finished Invasion of the Dinosaurs.

The special effects haven't aged well for this one. Very interesting story, and a shame to see the beginning of the end of the Unit team who have been throughout the Pertwee era. 

Is that the one with the Action Man tank?

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31 minutes ago, scottsdad said:

Don't remember the tank. I was thinking more of the rubber dinosaurs.

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47 years after the Lost World. 27 years before Walking with Dinosaurs. Go figure

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1 hour ago, scottsdad said:

Don't remember the tank. I was thinking more of the rubber dinosaurs.

doctorwho-invasionofthedinosaurs21.jpg

Absolutely agree on the effects, but it is a cracking story and the acting is top notch. I think it is massively underrated. 
 

I’d love to see a version with redone effects. It would be an instant classic. 

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8 hours ago, Autistisches Nilpferd said:

Just finished series 8. No wonder they had the Master in every story. Roger Delgado was a magnificent actor. Such a shame he was taken so soon

He always reminded me of The Hood in Thunderbirds, in that I'd swear his eyes lit up when he was glaring at somebody!

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Finished the Pertwee era at the weekend. Quite sad in a way as he has been, to date, my favourite of the classic Doctors. 

That said, his final series felt a little flat compared to the earlier ones. I can't quite put my finger on it. The loss of the Master is a big blow, of course. I also haven't really warmed to Sarah Jane Smith. She doesn't seem to have as much fun as Jo Grant or Liz Shaw, nor much interaction with the Doctor. 

Onwards! I managed to squeeze in Robot, the first Tom Baker story. Where Pertwee had more action and was quick with his fists, Baker seems to go more for a comedy line. I did laugh when he was trying on outfits. But enjoyable, looking forward to see what comes next. 

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Marching along at pace with Tom Baker. Finished Genesis of the Daleks last night.

When it started I thought "oh no, not these again". I have been starting to find the Dalek episodes the least interesting ones. But this was a very interesting take.

Sarah Jane Smith seems much improved on last series. Maybe the chemistry between the actress and Tom Baker is better than it was with Jon Pertwee?Harry Sullivan is a good character also, almost back to the days of Ian.

As for Tom Baker, I can see why he was so popular. He is far more like the modern Doctors than the previous actors were - fast talking, fast thinking, touch of comedy here and there.

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12 minutes ago, Bully Wee Villa said:

Pertwee lost interest when Delgado died, Manning left and they called his bluff when he threatened to sod off if they didn't give him a pay rise.

He was phoning it in a bit at the end, especially the rehash of Peladon.

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30 minutes ago, scottsdad said:

Marching along at pace with Tom Baker. Finished Genesis of the Daleks last night.

When it started I thought "oh no, not these again". I have been starting to find the Dalek episodes the least interesting ones. But this was a very interesting take.

'Genesis' was consistently voted the best story ever before the series was revived in 2005.

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Just now, GordonD said:

'Genesis' was consistently voted the best story ever before the series was revived in 2005.

I can see why. Take this bit:

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asking ethical questions about genocide, killing off evil before it gets a chance and so on. Pushing the show in new ways.

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Partly because there seems to be sod all on the telly at the moment, and partly inspired by @scottsdad, I decided to do another rewatch. I do remember from my previous watch of all episodes though, that I got bogged down a few times. Firstly, even though the black and white era is my favourite, watching recon after recon takes some of the fun out of it. I also started to find the "oh look it's The Master again" Pertwee-era a bit repetitive. So my new plan is to watch all the Doctors, in order, a few episodes at a time before finishing with each Doctor's final story. (I'm counting the TV Movie as a Seventh Doctor story for this purpose). I will attempt to review them though I’m sure I started doing reviews on my last full watch and got bored so will see if I stick at it this time…

Starting with Hartnell’s first adventures…

An Unearthly Child - the consensus on this is that it's a brilliant first episode followed by three plodding instalments with overacting cavepeople, and I'm pretty much in agreement with that. Episode one is clearly essential viewing for anyone with even a passing interest in "classic" Doctor Who. Susan is suitably intriguing and the first ever TARDIS reveal is great. The Doctor is a cantankerous arsehole but that makes you want to watch more at this stage, I reckon. Once we arrive in the Stone Age, things take a turn for the worse. It does, generally, look okay until the last episode when it is quite clear that stage-hands are hitting the central characters with branches as they make their escape. The plot is fairly tedious, though, with the Doctor's characterisation the most interesting element of episodes 2-4. The moment where he is about to bludgeon someone to death with a rock merely for slowing them down a bit is about as far from cuddly Tennant/Smith Who as you can get. Overall, I wouldn't blame anyone who jumps straight from episode one to the next story. Episode one is a 10, the rest is about 4/10. Let's average it out at a fairly generous 7/10.

The Daleks - the story that really made Doctor Who and, as you'd expect, it's a classic. The first episode is an enjoyable travelogue of an alien planet and features perhaps the most iconic cliff-hanger in the programme's history. The Dalek city itself it well-realised and an underrated feature of this story is its sound effects, it just sounds alien. Well done to all involved. The Daleks themselves are a perfect design and it's no wonder that they have remained pretty much unchanged for 59 years and will likely do so for the next 59, or until Disney/the BBC lose interest. This story is criticised for a bit of padding in the middle episodes and, while that's not entirely unfair, I think would have been less obvious at the time when watching one episode per week rather than in the current habit of binge-watching. Regardless, you need to get this watched if you like Doctor Who, this is about as essential as it gets. Character updates: Ian is on his way to being excellent, Barbara is already there, Susan isn't particularly irritating yet and The Doctor is still an arsehole. 9/10

The Edge of Destruction - nobody's favourite story but nobody's least favourite either, this is a textbook example of a "let's string another couple of episodes out without spending any money" story and is set entirely in the TARDIS. At two episodes long, it's a perfectly reasonable way to pass the time, but if you only want a flavour of early Who, you can probably skip this one. The worst part of this story is the bit that literally makes no sense (all the cast being seemingly terrified of a clock for reasons which are never explained because Hartnell misses out the line of dialogue that states that the hands on said clock were melting). The most interesting feature of this story is that it marks the peak, and the end, of the Arsehole Doctor Era. He is pretty much ready to throw Ian and Barbara out of the ship (to their deaths?) at one point but is reconciled and making a nice speech by the end. He is, more or less, The Doctor after this story. 6/10

Marco Polo – we have been fairly lucky with all the episodes, so far, existing, but that run comes to an end here. It’s a shame, as this is great. I’m generally a fan of the historicals and this is one of the better ones. You can tell we are still in the early instalment weirdness period as this isn’t like any story that would get made today. The characters spend a huge amount of time travelling about China (sorry, Cathay) rather than just getting to where they need to be in the first two minutes of the story like nowadays, but it’s all the better for it. Also, the first non-white actor in a significant role, hurrah! If you aren’t sure whether you could watch one of the retconned missing stories, the condensed 30-minute version of this one on the “Edge of Destruction” DVD is a good way to test the waters. By all means watch the full reconstructed story, though, as this is quality. 8/10

Edited by Bully Wee Villa
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Onto the start of Troughton…

Power of the Daleks – while we weren’t too badly treated in terms of missing episodes in the early Hartnell era, the same can’t be said for Troughton’s first few (or indeed, his entire spell as Doctor). While it is great news that this has been animated and released on DVD (and BritBox, I think), it’s still rubbish that we never get to see his first stories. The Doctor acting weird after a regeneration starts here. Whisper it, but Troughton is a bit irritating here, with his insistence on pissing about with a recorder every two minutes. Still, the story is great and I enjoy the dynamic between Ben and Polly. The Daleks become cliched and repetitive as the series goes on but they are still finding new and interesting things to do with them here. “I AM YOUR SERRRR-VANT!”. This is so good you could almost imagine a lazy nu-Who writer just ripping it off. Nah, they’d never do that, would they? (*Cough* “Victory of the Daleks”). Anyway, get this one watched, whether in its animated or reconstructed form. 8/10

The Highlanders – this is basically the end of the pure “historicals”. From this point onwards Doctor Who writers will be unable to consider any period of Earth’s history without shoehorning robots or aliens into it. A shame, IMO. Also a shame that this is a pretty lame example of the genre. It’s also pretty unthinkable nowadays that it doesn’t have Bonnie Prince Charlie or Butcher Cumberland in it, given the show’s recent obsession with historical celebrities. They might have livened it up a bit. Troughton is still hamming it up, in drag at one point and with a quite ridiculous German accent at others, though Polly has one of her better adventures. The main reason to watch this one is to see Jamie’s debut. Even then, he’s hardly in it and doesn’t even have the same accent he uses for the rest of his TARDIS stint. Another story that doesn’t actually exist, only the obsessives (eg me) need seek out a recon for this. 4/10

The Underwater Menace – finally, a Troughton story with actual existing episodes! Okay only two out the four, but still. He’s much better here, too. The story itself is pretty wild, but I don’t mind it. I’ve no idea why the idea of the Moon being an egg makes me rage uncontrollably but I’m quite happy with this frankly ridiculous story about a mad man wanting to blow up Atlantis (yes, really) just because he’s a mad man. This is often lambasted as one of the worst stories in the show’s entire history but bollocks to that, it’s enjoyable nonsense, and Professor Zarof is both the best and worst actor so far. “NOTHEENK IN ZEE VORLD CAN STOP ME NOW!”. Even if the Fish People (again, yes, really) leave something to be desired. This is a million miles from a classic but I’m still glad that at least 50% of it exists. 6/10

The first colour episodes next week...

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