Category Archives: Classic Doctor Who

The 3rd Doctor – Season 7, Episode 2 – “Doctor Who and the Silurians” – The Vices of Conflict

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         “Doctor Who and the Silurians” is a great episode of “Classic Doctor Who” and one I’d recommend. It is good at exploring the different factions that are at play and each of the characters gets exploration in their slow descent to become the worst of themselves. This is something the current version of “Doctor Who” has never been able to do as well, partially because it doesn’t have the 7 Part format of this era that the new era lacks.

     The episode was directed by Timothy Combe, written by Malcolm Hulke and produced by Barry Letts.

     The story involves the awakening of the Silurians from their hibernation from the energy that is being used by the Wenly Moor Nuclear Research Facility. It is up to the Doctor and Liz to discover what is going on as they work with UNIT and the Brig and soon find themselves pulled into a conflict where Silurians and Humans work to destroy one another as the Doctor strives for peace and the survival of both species.

The Pros: Building Tension – This is a 7 Part story and it does a great job at building tension. We don’t see the Silurian for sometime but we do see the world through it’s eyes and the fear it feels and fear it makes other feel as it is running away wounded, this perspective lends the story power and shows the fear and confusion on both sides of the conflict while also presenting some good B Grade Horror tricks.

The Research Facility – The Wenley Moor Nuclear Research Facility is a place of drama, mysterious things keep pulling the power and making the reactor unstable which leads to the government and leader of the facility always at odds. Eventually his paranoia gets the better of him and we see just how much fear has destroyed everyone. The facility is also used to trick the Silurians who are attempting to destroy the humans after a Warmonger Silurian takes over after killing the Peaceful leader. The Doctor uses the facility to force them into hibernation and ends up preventing it from exploding.

UNIT – UNIT is on top of things this episode, for better and for worse. We see them dealing with the Silurian threat, stopping the Silurian bacteria that is infecting the population with the help of Liz and the Doctor and later they mount a counterattack and commit genocide on the Silurian population, fearing another attack after having being held hostage at the research facility.

The Brig – The Brigadier is a great character! We see him dealing with government politics and ethics as the Doctor does things like talk to the Silurians that put him in a compromised position. He trusts the Doctor up until he sees how humanity is turning on itself from Silurian threat so the Silurians must be destroyed…also after nearly being killed by the Warmonger Silurian he had had enough and decided to wipe out the population. He isn’t a good guy as we know all Silurians were not bad but all he had was his experience to go off and that was witnessing two attempts by the Silurians to wipe out the Species of humanity. Nicholas Courtney is great as always.

The Silurians – The Silurians are complicated and we see a rich culture in the times we meet them. We also see that there are those with superiority comlexes ruled by fear who want the Earth back and not to coexist. This political dilemma leads to a coup and the disposal of the peaceful Leader, which spells the end of the Silurians as the attack by Morka and K’to leads to a UNIT counterattack which leads to the wiping out of their species and any chance for peace. We know they aren’t all bad as shown by their leader it was simply the few awake were ruled by fear because every interaction with humans had been hostile…showing the tragedy of the Silurian experience after their awakening.

Liz – Liz is a great companion and Caroline John is fantastic as her! She is an active companion who doesn’t take crap from the Doctor. We see her in scientist mode and she discovers that the Silurians are reptiles and large and from their helps the Doctor discover their possible origin. She is the only one not to die of fright when she sees a Silurian and we see her on the side of peace the entire time and against the actions of fear by UNIT and the government.

The Doctor – Jon Pertwee is wonderful as the 3rd Incarnation of the Doctor! In this we see him fixing his car Bessie and later using it to get around in investigating the attacks in the mine and around the countryside. He is the only one who truly understands the Silurian experience and wants peace and coexistence. He is willing to go to any lengths to do so, showing just how alien he is…where humans react with fear he reacts with understanding and asking questions and it is at the end where the sadness of humanity wiping out an entire species is only felt by him and the failures of all his attempts to reach a peaceful solution as his last regard of reasoning with the Silurians one at at time after awakening them from hibernation was ignored as UNIT destroyed the Silurians instead. Pertwee is the gruff and gentlemenly Doctor who defines himself in how he is not like humanity, even if at times he helps them.

The Vices of War and Destruction – The reason humans die from the Silurian bacteria and the Silurian species is destroyed is because of the vices of fear, anger and greed. It is greed that makes the members of the facility want nothing to do with the Silurians or the conflict only running the machine, it is fear that leads to the peaceful Silurian leader being killed in a coup and anger and fear that lead to the bombs being placed that destroy the Silurians. In this way peace was a lost cause the moment the cycle started with the Silurian injuring the miners and being injured in turn (unknown who started it though, both were in self defense most likely)..and this fed the conflict that could only have one resolution since no one wanted to listen or understand except the Doctor and Liz. The desire for control of land by the humans and Silurians is another major problem that fed the conflict. There was no sharing involved, it was all or nothing for the war parties.

The Ending – The ending is sad and powerful. It is true to reality as well as many cultures are no longer around today because of conflict and war that was started from the need for land and the people who do work for peace in conflict today are usually on the losing side since war breeds war and hate breeds hate, resolution only happens after enough people have died to get one faction to surrender. This ending illustrated that the Doctor isn’t a superhero either. He won’t always save the day because the choices of humans and Silurians are not his to make.

Okay: The Human and Silurian Antagonists – The antagonists are alright, I would have liked more on why they felt so strongly on things though. The men at the research station wanted money and knowledge and losing that drove them mad and the Silurians wanted their old home back (a good drive) but they also never experienced harm from humans first hand. If K’to or Morka had I would have put them as a pro since their fear would have greater reason behind it and not simply look cruel or for political ends.

    This was an episode that showed that there isn’t always a happy ending and the Doctor can’t always save everyone…sometimes people will act whether he wants them to or not and they may or may not be right depending on the situation. This is something the New Series of “Doctor Who” lacks. It is still a favorite show but I think the longer format of the episodes of the past allowed for great exploration of the different factions and worlds and provided great rising tension rather than having everything at a break neck pace. Sometimes a story wants you to get to know the characters first before they are put in mortal danger. This is a huge reason this episode works and why it would not have worked if it had only had an hour to tell the story. This is also a story that is true to reality and just how difficult it is to make peace as well as showing us the Doctor is not a Superhero and he cannot always save the day since it is the choices of everyone that affect a conflict and it’s resolution, not just one person.

Final Score: 9.2 / 10

The 12th Doctor – Series 8, Episode 4 – “Listen” – The Power of Fear

Listen

“Fear doesn’t have to make you cruel and cowardly. Fear can make you kind.” – The Doctor

“Listen,” is a great episode, I’m just going to say that now. It has some of the best Moffat writing and really shows the potential and promise for the rest of the season. Speaking of which, Steven Moffat was the writer of this episode and Douglas Mackinnin directed. They did fantastic.

The story shows us the Doctor’s curiosity as it begins with the Doctor wondering if there is someone or something there under the bed and just out of sight as he’s read about the dream throughout time and experienced it for himself. This also happens when Clara is going on her first date with Danny Pink, and the story unfolds from there.

SPOILERS

Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: The Tone – The tone is one of reflecting and fear. The Doctor is thinking about fear and trying to discover if there is a creature it is tied too. This leads to his usual recklenessness (Clara tapping into the Psychic link to the TARDIS to find her first memory of it) and his actions on the last planet in the Universe.

The Cinematography – The cinematography captures the epic scale of what the episode covers and shows us the personal and universalness of the emotion of fear. Mackinnon did a great job directing.

Danny Pink – Danny is in this episode briefly at the end where he and Clara make up, and during the date where there is romantic tension, but where they both aren’t very socially aware. Fear has paralyzed them rather than forcing them to action. This is sorted by the end as they both learn kindness from their fears of failing each other. We also meet Danny as a child as Clara has a link to him from the date and she and the Doctor help him face the mysterious creature under the covers and letting it leave the room. It’s a great scene and we learn Danny was an orphan.

Clara – We see her awkwardness here in her first date with Danny, her connecting with the their descendant who is also a time traveler who gives her the soldier without a gun that she gave to Danny as a child and that she later gives to the Doctor as a child. She is active in this and reminds the Doctor that fear is important, as his lack of fear and curiosity almost gets him killed on the last planet in the Universe. This is another great Clara episode as she is connected to the Doctor but still her own person, she isn’t the Doctor’s McGuffin like in “Name of the Doctor.”

The Doctor – I’m saying the Doctor as a whole cause though Capaldi is amazing, this story is bigger than him. We get a glimpse into his childhood as he is afraid of the dark and his own fears and demons that haunt him so he chooses to sleep in a barn. The young Doctor is always in shadow, but he has long hair like the 1st Doctor. It is similar to when we saw the young Master, and just as if not more powerful as he chooses later to return to the barn as the War Doctor to make his big choice. We see his curiosity as we visit a young Danny Pink and his ancestor who it implies is related to Clara. The Doctor is the soldier so brave, he fights without a gun. He faces his fears armed only with his mind and in that succeeds.

The Message – Like the quote above, fear can make us kind as we realize what it is that is making us vulnerable and afraid. Fear can make us fight for the ones we love and fear can make us superheroes and make us run and fight faster and harder than we would (as expressed by the Doctor to a young Danny).

The Mystery – Something was under Danny’s bed, so there is a creature or creatures most likely still out there. Not knowing in this case serves the story, like in Series 4 and “Midnight” where we never find out what creature was haunting the train and possessing people and the Doctor.

This is perfect Moffat. He does the tone and mystery and making you scared of what you don’t see and having a bigger purpose. He turns associations of fear on it’s head and show how fear can be a positive. We also get amazing Clara, Doctor and Danny development. I highly recommend this episode.

10 / 10. Moffat at his best and in his element.

The Doctors’ First Adventures – Worst to Best

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We end the 12 Days of Doctors Series with rating the Doctors’ First Adventures, Worst to Best. This was a fun thing to do, though when “Doctor Who” was bad it was pretty obvious. I’ll post my original reviews under the summary as well as have some contrasting in the summary on why they are rated where they are. “Doctor Who” is one of my favorite shows and it is great looking back again and seeing how each actor approached the role. So without further ado, lets look back on the episodes from worst to best:

12th Place

Twin Dilemma

The 6th Doctor – “The Twin Dilemma”

This episode is pretty insulting on a lot of levels (The 6th Doctor’s physical abuse of his companion) and there is not really anything good to say about it beyond the fact that it sucks less later on. The villain is also one of the stupidist bad guys in “Doctor Who” and believe me, that is saying something. He doesn’t ever feel threatening and is a complete joke, also we have two Wonder Boy/Wesley Crusher type characters we’re supposed to sympathize with, and who can’t act. Yep…this episode is one of the worst of the worst in “Doctor Who.”

1 / 10

https://cameronmoviesandtv.wordpress.com/2014/08/10/12-days-of-doctors-the-6th-doctor-season-21-episode-7-the-twin-dilemma-everyone-is-terrible-or-boring/

11th Place

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The 8th Doctor – “Doctor Who the Movie”

So, after the show was off the air, they tried to bring it back with a movie. “Doctor Who the Movie.” It is pretty bad, pretty much the only redeeming qualities of this film are Paul McGann as the 8th Doctor and Sylvester McCoy appearing before he gets killed as the 7th Doctor. The Master is the bad kind of hammy and none of the Doctor’s companions are worth mentioning in this, beyond the fact that they are terrible people. This is a tragedy too given that Paul McGann owns this role and really deserved a series as the Eighth Doctor.

5 / 10. Was a bad action movie elevated by Paul McGann and Sylvester McCoy.

https://cameronmoviesandtv.wordpress.com/2014/08/14/12-days-of-doctors-the-8th-doctor-doctor-who-the-movie-paul-mcgann-should-have-got-a-series/

10th Place

An Unearthly Child 13

The 1st Doctor – “An Unearthly Child”

Things didn’t start out well for this series, they started out okay, but not great. The “Doctor Who” Pilot begins with two teachers talking their student Susan until they meet her strange Grandfather who kidnaps them because he doesn’t want to be revealed to Earth. He is great as the gruff Professor type but the teachers and Susan aren’t very good and the Doctor played by William Hartnell isn’t given enough to do. This should have been a longer episode.

6 / 10

https://cameronmoviesandtv.wordpress.com/2014/08/04/the-1st-doctor-an-unearthly-child-season-1-episode-1-12-days-of-doctors/

9th Place

Robot 4

The 4th Doctor – “The Robot”

Tom Baker is a fantastic Doctor, and Sarah Jane Smith is a great companion…it is a shame the episode they appear in together for the first time doesn’t get to use their talents fully. The episode tries to be a morality play with The Robot of the title but the organization that wants to kill everyone is not fleshed out really well and in the process, the Robot they created isn’t either. There are a lot of good ideas here, they just aren’t fully realized. Seeing the Brigadier in action along with Harry is another plus though.

7.4 / 10

https://cameronmoviesandtv.wordpress.com/2014/08/07/12-days-of-doctors-the-4th-doctor-the-robot-an-attempt-to-explore-the-formation-of-morality-through-a-robot-season-12-episode-1/

8th Place

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The 10th Doctor – “The Christmas Invasion”

David Tennant was my first Doctor and the one who got me into my love of “Doctor Who” as a whole, both the new and the classic. His episode is good but it has a major problem. The companions are useless and the Doctor is a super hero who must save them and the world. I hate this…part of what makes “Doctor Who” so great is the fact that the Doctor needs his companions, if they aren’t used, it would be better if they never appeared in the episode at all. I still recommend this episode though, even with this big problem.

7.8 / 10

https://cameronmoviesandtv.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/12-days-of-doctors-the-10th-doctor-series-2-episode-1-the-christmas-invasion-the-doctor-as-a-super-hero/

7th Place

Castrovalva

The 5th Doctor – “Castrovalva”

This is an episode where the biggest issues are too many companions (Mostly Adric) and the fact that the Doctor is out of it for most of it. The Master is great though with his two plots to try and destroy the Doctor, especially in how his creations are actually interesting compelling beings who are related to the world that is the title. Nyssa and Tegan are great companions too. Could do without Adric though, even though he isn’t as bad as he is in later episodes. Kids who can fly the TARDIS and know everything don’t lend themselves well to good stories…

8.5 / 10

https://cameronmoviesandtv.wordpress.com/2014/08/08/12-days-of-doctors-the-5th-doctor-castrovalva-the-manipulations-of-the-master-season-19-episode-1/

6th Place

Dr Who: Spearhead From Space

The 3rd Doctor – “The Spearhead From Space”

This episode for me, had the same score has “Castrovalva.” What makes it better slightly and why it rated higher on this list is the lack of Adric and a slightly more coherent plot. In this episode we see the Doctor with UNIT face off against the Autons sent by the Nesetene Consciousness to take over the world. It is here we see him with the Brig and Liz having to invent things to stop the Nestene and to investigate to find out that the Nestene is behind all the issues in the first place. It is a lot of fun and well worth a watch. Jon Pertwee is amazing.

8.5 / 10

https://cameronmoviesandtv.wordpress.com/2014/08/06/12-days-of-doctors-the-3rd-doctor-the-spearhead-from-space-the-beginning-of-an-exile-season-7-episode-1/

5th Place

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The 9th Doctor – “Rose”

Christopher Eccleston is fantastic and Rose is a great companion on her first outing. She works with the Doctor and we get to see a great Doctor and companion dynamic. This is also the first Post-Time War Doctor, and it shows. Eccleston does the PTSD Doctor so well that you can see how driven he is to save lives. He gives the Nestene Consciousness a chance and he has some great strategies for trying to stop the Auton invasion from the Nestene. Also Rose is a great character and very worthy of the companion role. She embraces the adventure, even with having a life and reasons to stay. I highly recommend this episode.

9 / 10

https://cameronmoviesandtv.wordpress.com/2014/08/17/12-days-of-doctors-the-9th-doctor-series-1-episode-1-rose-the-consequences-of-the-time-war/

4th Place

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The 7th Doctor – “Time and the Rani”

This was an episode that nearly made the Top 3. There is only one factor that keeps it from being there, and that is the consequences the Rani forcing a regeneration into the 7th aren’t fully explored. It is a great episode, and one of my all time favorite “Doctor Who” episodes…both because of the Rani played by Kate O’Mara and Sylvester McCoy owning the role as the more wizard like Doctor (and the costume designs and alien civilizations are fantastic). Her plan is pretty cool and it takes a lot to defeat her in the episode. The thing that doesn’t really help it though is the fact that Mel isn’t all that memorable as companion. She is okay and has personality but isn’t as memorable as some of the ones before. Still a favorite that I very much recommend.

9.2 / 10

https://cameronmoviesandtv.wordpress.com/2014/08/11/12-days-of-doctors-the-7th-doctor-season-24-episode-1-time-and-the-rani-the-rani-is-awesome/

3rd Place

Deep Breath

The 12th Doctor – “Deep Breath”

This is the episode I just saw today, and it is amazing. It makes the top 3 for a few reasons. The biggest being Clara is finally a human being and an interesting companion (we see her trials as a teacher and trials with the Doctor), the Paternoster Gang (Vastra, Strax and Jenny) are great and we get to see more of their dynamic and how they grow with Clara and the Doctor, the villain of The Half-Face Man and Peter Capaldi as the 12th Doctor. There is a lot to love, the only issue is how everyone keeps bringing up Clara and having a romantic partner. How many times does she have to say she wasn’t and isn’t interested? Can’t that be respected and why was that written in? Besides that, great story and one of the Top 3 First Adventures of the Doctors.

9.3 / 10

https://cameronmoviesandtv.wordpress.com/2014/08/24/12-days-of-doctors-the-12th-doctor-series-8-episode-1-deep-breath-finding-the-doctor/

2nd Place

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The 2nd Doctor – “The Power of the Daleks”

This is one of my favorite episodes for a reason, and it’s one that you can only watch via audio, pictures and what little film remains…it is worth it though. In the link I post you can see some of the recreations that fans did. This episode is great because it shows the Daleks manipulating humans against each other and only arriving when they’ve pretty much won anyway…Polly and Ben each help the Doctor in their own ways and the Patrick Troughton is a great Loki like Doctor. He is the trickster who manages to manipulate his way in a position to help by playing the buffoon. This is one of the best “Doctor Who” episodes and one of the best Dalek Episodes as well. This episode really establishes why they are so dangerous. I highly recommend watching the footage and audio of the full episode to really get apprecation for this Doctor, the Daleks, Polly and Ben and this story.

9.5 / 10

https://cameronmoviesandtv.wordpress.com/2014/08/04/the-2nd-doctor-the-power-of-the-daleks-season-4-episode-3-the-daleks-manipulation-12-days-of-doctors/

1st Place

Doctor and Amy

The 11th Doctor – “The Eleventh Hour”

This is the episode that is the best of the First Adventures. The reasons for this are it establishes the Doctor as a Time Lord and time traveler (visiting Amy as a child and an adult and not being aware of the time change) a great baddie who plays with your mind (Prisoner Zero in the corner of your eye…the boogey man of childhood) and continuity (when facing the Atraxi they can the Doctor and find all his past numbered incarnations in their data bank as defenders of the Earth). It is wonderful and Rory and Amy are great companions. The Doctor isn’t a super hero and actually needs their help since it is only together they win. For people new to “Doctor Who” this is generally the episode I recommend. It is also visually amazing. This Doctor, is pretty cool.

10 / 10

https://cameronmoviesandtv.wordpress.com/2014/08/21/12-days-of-doctors-the-11th-doctor-series-5-episode-1-the-eleventh-hour-the-time-traveler/

“Doctor Who” both Classic and New is an amazing series and many of these episodes capture the good that this show can bring…whether it is wrestling with morality, showing us the good in ourselves or just being fun it is a series that I believe will remain timeless. I look forward to reviewing more “Doctor Who” episodes later on, but until than it was fantastic and I can’t wait to see what the new Series 8 brings to this very rich universe.

12 Days of Doctors – The 8th Doctor – “Doctor Who The Movie” – Paul McGann Should Have Got a Series

Doctor Who tv movie

We continue 12 Days of Doctors with our count up to 12th’s First Adventure with Paul McGann as the 8th Doctor and the “Doctor Who” movie.

This was after the show had been taken off the air, and the first attempt at a reboot and also at expanding the market for Doctor Who into the U.S.A. and Canada. It didn’t succeed, and there are well deserved reasons for that I’ll go into in the assessment.

The story of the film begins with the 7th Doctor taking the The Master’s remains back to Skaro after he was executed there for his crimes. The Master escapes and forces the TARDIS to land which leads to the 7th Doctor getting shot by gangsters. One of the medics who picks up the Doctor’s body gets possessed by the Master and another doctor named Grace accidentally kills the Doctor when she thinks his heart rate is beating uncontrollably. This leads to his regeneration into his 8th Incarnation, and the story unfolds from there with the Master’s plan and the Doctor trying to find out who he is.

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Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: the Introduction – The introduction is pretty cool. It is narrated by Paul McGann and we see the 7th Doctor reading the “Time Machine” and going about his normal life until everything goes to crap. It was great seeing Sylvester McCoy again, even if he doesn’t survive past 20 minutes. Seeing the Dalek’s used as executioners was a fitting Time Lord way to do things too and seeing the Old Master from the classic series was great again as well, before his death.

The 8th Doctor / The Eighth Doctor – Paul McGann is fantastic. He reminds me a lot of the 5th Doctor in how empathetic he is and he is one of the Doctor’s who is aware of things around him more so than most…glimpsing peoples’ futures or deducting them. He also inspires Grace and Chang to actions to save him in the end. He is just that kind of Doctor and I wish he’d gotten his own series. He deserves it and very worthy of the mantel. Also, he has a great fashion sense.

Cons: The Companions – Chang Lee and Grace are just terrible human beings. Chang steals the Doctor’s stuff works with the Master when the Master is clearly evil…his only redeeming quality comes at the end when he resists the Master. Grace has the same problem, she’s a cheater sleeping with one of her fellow doctors (the one who gets possessed by the Master) and is pretty useless up until the end. She does save the day, so I’ll give her that, but having her be the main companion besides Chang Lee was a mistake. None of them are likeable or talented enough to carry the story. Both are extremely selfish characters.

The Master – The Master is just bad…he dresses in a leather coat with sunglasses initially and spits slime. Making him like a demon was a mistake, as it took away the fact that Time Lords are supposed to be very human. He was also pretty inept and only was able to get so close to winning because of Chang Lee stealing the Doctor’s stuff which allowed him to get in the TARDIS and set his trap. Eric Roberts is just a textbook movie bad guy, there is nothing unique about him and all he does is create tension when the plot needs him too. His Master isn’t unique or memorable. His whole plan is to use the TARDIS’s energy in the Eye of Harmony to transfer his soul to the Doctor’s body so he has more lives…yep, pretty convoluted and he misses a lot of opportunities that he would have had to succeed.

The Doctor is Half Human – So glad that they ignored this plot point in the tv show. It has no purpose and is only their so Chang Lee can open up Mcguffins in the TARDIS. Him being Half Human makes no sense given how old he is and the mythos of him being one of the earliest Time Lords. This was a poor plot point to make the Doctor more human I think and again, so glad that the new series and the classic series never went there.

The Supporting Cast – No one is memorable, everyone is a one note partier, an arrogant Doctor, Businessmen, Scientist or gangster. It is sad how poorly this movie was cast and written. Doctor Who deserved better than that.

The only thing good about this movie is Paul McGann. I wish he’d gotten his own series, and I hope at some point a mini-series can be commissioned for him. He owns this role and gives it a unique and empathetic twist. He is what drove the film, cause even though it was in many ways just a stupid action film that happened to star the Doctor…he made it “Doctor Who” and he was the Doctor. “Night of the Doctor” we get to see him again, and that will be a special review for another time. Paul McGann, I hope you can get the chance to be the character that you own so well so that you won’t be associated with such a terrible film.

Final score for this film is 5 / 10. Would be a below average action movie if not for the appearance by Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann as the 8th Doctor.

Doctor Who 8th Doctor

12 Days of Doctors – The 7th Doctor – Season 24, Episode 1 – “Time and the Rani” – The Rani is Awesome

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“Time and the Rani” is the next episode on the 12 Days of Doctors and the count up to 12th’s first Adventure. This episode is the 7th Doctor’s first adventure and our introduction to Sylvester McCoy. The episode is the first episode in Season 24.

“Time and the Rani” was directed by Andrew Morgan and written by Jane and Pip Baker…and they all do an awesome job! This isn’t the best story, but it is one of the best of the pilots, it is very entertaining to say the least. I’ll get into more details in the assessment.

The story begins with the Doctor’s TARDIS being attacked by the Rani’s TARDIS, which forces him to regenerate. The Rani than pretends to be the Doctor’s companion Mel and to manipulate him to achieve her goals. He is unaware of her identity because of her disguise and Mel is unaware of the Doctor’s regeneration because she was knocked out during the attack as well. From here the story unfolds as the Rani’s plans are set in motion and the politics between her minions the Tetraps and the colonized Lakertyans who are her willing and unwilling slaves.

Tetrap

Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: The Alien Civilizations – The Aliens are awesome! The Lektrayan’s design is reptalian with long golden hair and they have a society ruled by a single ruler and his elite. There are also the Rani’s Tetraps who look like giant humanoid bats who have eyes on three sides. They are similar to orcs in that their goals are only for themselves and their species as seen by what happens to the Rani later.

The Rani – The Rani is a fantastic villain and is awesome! Her end goal is to create a universe that is logical by using the Brain (created from geniuses around the world and universe, she wants the Doctor’s mind in it too to solve the equation of how to make the Time Manipulator faster) on the Lektrayan Home World to create a Time Manipulator to shape time anywhere in the Universe. It is perfect, brilliant and so in character. In the end it is her lack of empathy that destroys her, in that her minions turn on her when they learn she intends to let them be destroyed on the planet and when the leader of the Lektrayan’s who has been a collaborator realizes what is at stake he makes the sacrifice to stop the rocket that would turn his planet into the Time Manipulator. Kate O’Mara is fantastic, and I hope the Rani returns in the newest series at some point. She is one of the best and most interesting of the Doctor’s enemies.

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Mel – Mel is a great companion. She is spunky and doesn’t put up with crap from the Doctor…I can see why she leaves later. The 7th Doctor is detached and you see he functions like a chess master, even in this episode. Everyone is a tool, even if he treats said tools with respect. Mel is the counter to that, she is blunt and honest. Kind of like Donna was to the 10th Doctor.

The 7th Doctor / The Seventh Doctor – Sylvester McCoy is brilliant. His Doctor is like a wizard, both in his manipulation and in his strange turns of phrases. Such phrases like “Tom, Dick and Harriet.” etc. He is also empathetic too, even in his distance. I think he probably became the chess master because of the Rani manipulating him right when he had first regenerated. She did a number on him and him being so easily manipulated in the first two parts made her plan almost succeed, that probably gave this Doctor trust issues. I really like McCoy and his Doctor is a pleasure to watch. He is quite worthy of the title and a much needed change from Colin Baker and the 6th.

I would highly recommend this episode. Once again, a favorite episode, largely because of the Rani, the Doctor, Mel and the Tetraps and Lektrayans…an interesting species and villain really help to elevate any science fiction story. This story also really captures the sense of adventure and the characters feel human, you can empathize with them, and the ones you can’t are fascinating in their own right, both as a species and in the Rani’s case as a fantastic antagonist. This episode was worth it just to see her plan unfold.

My final score for this episode is 9.2 / 10.

timerani

12 Days of Doctors – The 6th Doctor – Season 21, Episode 7 – “The Twin Dilemma” – Everyone is Terrible or Boring

The Twin Dilemma

I really wanted to like this episode…I mean really wanted to. I like Doctor Who and I like Classic Doctor Who. I can safely say there is nothing much of value to like in the “Twin Dilemma.” There is so much badness here that I’m honestly surprised I got through the episode. Before I go into too much detail in the assessment, I’ll give the two main reasons why. All the characters in this episode are either terrible people or terribly boring.

“The Twin Dilemma,” is Colin Baker’s first adventure as the Doctor. It takes place in the 21st Season and is the 7th Episode of that season. His companion for the episode is Peri. The episode was directed by Peter Moffatt and written by Anthony Steven. All these people are part of the reason why it sucked so much.

For example, the story begins the 5th regenerating into the 6th Doctor and him and Peri fighting. He strangles her (yep, the Doctor is a violent sociopath this time, so there is that) and after says he’ll atone by making them monks on Titan III, where two super twins have been kidnapped by his former friend Azmael who is going under the name of Edgeworth. They are left on the asteroid and one of the servants of the big bad Mestor, sets the asteroid facility to explode. From here the story unfolds as the twins are being used by Mestor a half slug and humanoid creature in order for it to conquer the universe.

Twin Dilemma

6th Doctor and Peri

Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: Slight improvement in narrative structure- The episode gets a little better after the first part, that is the most I can say in favor of this episode. You begin to think the Doctor being a dick has stopped until the final part where nothing he went through actually changed him and he is still a threatening ass. Still, he doesn’t strangle Peri again.

Cons: The 6th Doctor / The Sixth Doctor – What were Colin Baker, Peter Moffatt and Anthony Steven thinking? Who thought it would be a good idea for the Doctor to go paranoid and strangle and try to kill his companion? It makes absolutely no sense and he never owns up to it. He brushes off the fact that he nearly killed someone…his excuses range from the regeneration being rough, to being an alien to it was his inner feelings the entire time as the past Doctors. Screw you, 6th Doctor. No one cares about abusive pricks. Oh, he saves the day and saves a soldier named Hugo who Mestor attempts to destroy, but it mostly seems to function as a way to drive the plot. There is no reason why he seems to care in certain instances, or why he cares about Peri since he is arguing with her and putting her down as much as she is him.

Peri – Peri is the only companion in this, which is a shame. She calls the Doctor out for his actions at one point, but the rest of the time is whining about being with him…why doesn’t she just ask to go home? She clearly doesn’t want to be there, and the script gives us no reason why she would care about this Doctor, since he doesn’t care about her or anyone. Most of her actions show she doesn’t care about him too as she whines about being with him and well, everything.

The Support Characters – We got two Wesley Crushers or Wonder Boys in Romulus and Remus the two twins being used by Mestor to turn the planet he conquered Jaconda suitable for his young…they are terrible characters and terribly acted, you have the Jacondans who have cool bird people design but do absolutely nothing of consequence and you have Azmael who the script doesn’t know how to handle at all, as he is an enemy or friend on a whim and only able to get away with so  much because Mestor is such a one dimensional idiotic villain.

Mestor – The giant slug villain who destroys things with his mind is one of the more stupid villains on Doctor Who. He was supposed to be a legendary beast, but his design is just awful and he talks way too much. Everytime he is established as a threat the Doctor or Mestor himself shows us that he is a joke (but the writer and director clearly wanted him to be a threat). So much bad writing here. One of the worst Doctor Who villains created on the show.

Because of how Six was written and handled contributed in a major way to Doctor Who being cancelled during the Seventh Doctor’s run…and after seeing this episode that cancellation came about for a reason. If the Doctor is abusive to those around him and his companion and gives us no redeemable qualities…why the hell should we care about the character? There was no one worth caring about in this entire episode, and our heroes were some of the worst characters on television, especially the 6th Doctor. They weren’t heroes at all, especially Colin Baker’s Doctor. I don’t recommend this episode at all, except as a learning tool. I hope Steven Moffat doesn’t turn the 12th Doctor into this kind of Doctor. We don’t need another character who doesn’t care so gives us no reason to care about him and his story.

Final Score for this episode is 1 / 10. Everyone in this episode and responsible for this episode was terrible.

The 6th Doctor

12 Days of Doctors – The 5th Doctor – Season 19, Episode 1 – “Castrovalva” – The Manipulations of the Master

Master and 5th Doctor

We continue the 12 Days of Doctors, in our lead up to 12th’s first adventure “Deep Breath,” with the introduction of the 5th Doctor played by Peter Davison and his first adventure “Castrovalva.”

“Castrovalva” was directed by Fiona Cumming and written by Christopher Bidmead. It also had the Master as the primary antagonist, who in this incarnation is played by Anthony Ainley. This episode also is when the Doctor had the most companions during a season since Adric, Nyssa and Tegan would become series regulars with the 5th Doctor after this episode.

“Castrovalva,” picks up where the last one left off with the 4th Doctor’s death and soon regeneration. Nyssa, Adric and Tegan find themselves captured but manage to escape and begin working on helping the Doctor find stability since the regeneration he went through was difficult for him. This leads them to Castrovalva after Adric is captured and the Master attempts to destroy them by having Adric program the TARDIS to run into the beginning of the Big Bang in order to destroy it. From here the story unfolds.

How does the episode hold up? How does the Master do? How is Peter Davison’s first time as the Doctor? All of that in the assessment.

Castrovalva

Here is the assessment of the episode:

Pros: The Fifth Doctor / The 5th Doctor – Peter Davison is great as the Doctor. He is by far the most empathetic out of all the ones up to this point, and arguably the most human. In Davison we get a Doctor who openly cares about his companions, to the point that even when he knows one is missing he is thrown into a funk. This is the Doctor who wins by winning hearts…since it is by turning the Master’s own creations in “Castrovalva” against him that they are victorious and can save Adric. He doesn’t have much of a relationship with the Master though…he is just the hero to the Master’s villain. That is really the only issue I can think of and that has more to do with writing than anything else.

The Master – The Master is fantastic in this. He captures Adric (not that hard) but uses the power of the Wonder Boy (Adric is super smart and can fly the TARDIS…these characters are usually not done well (see Wesley Crusher) and Adric is no exception)…and nearly destroys the Doctor twice. He also manages to survive proving himself once again as one of the Doctor’s greatest and smartest of enemies.

Castrovalva – Is a medieval city crafted by “The Web” in order to trap the Doctor. The Master plays the elder who makes friends with the Doctor and companions and at first you think his assistant is the bad guy until his reveal. In the end his assistant gives his life to stop the Master and save the Doctor and his companions. I loved my time in this city and it’s a shame it won’t be around anymore as an answer to just because someone is evil doesn’t mean they can’t create good.

Okay/Good: The Companions – Nyssa and Tegan are fantastic. You have the everyday person in Tegan who is a flight attendant, and the scientist in Nyssa. Both help the Doctor a lot and actually are active in the story. Adric is only active because of his super brain…which is never explained and is the Robin of the episode needing saving by Batman at the end. God he’s annoying. I wish he’d left during the 4th Doctor’s run. Nyssa and Tegan are awesome companions though.

So how does the episode hold up? Pretty well. It is a little slow in places and Adric is a minus point in most instances (this episode is no exception). But this is an episode I’d recommend and I’d call it a favorite if only for Nyssa, Tegan, The 5th Doctor and the Master (and Castrovalva again is a great place).

Final Score is 8.5 / 10

5th Doctor