Monday, October 28, 2013

Doctor Who turn 50 part 4: City of Death

Having realised I've got about a month to get through the rest of the Doctors, I'm going to start posting twice a week. Hopefully that'll be enough. Or maybe with a week to go I'll be posting once a day.

Anyway, City of Death.

This was probably the one I was least looking forward too. Having watched Genesis of the Daleks earlier this year, Tom Baker had a stigma attached to him. Did I really want to put myself through four more episodes of that?

Friday, October 25, 2013

Doctor Who turn 50 part 3.5: The Three Doctors

Yes, I'm going outside the boundaries of our one serial a Doctor rule to include the serial with multiple Doctors. Look we discussed last time I'm struggling to not watch more, and these episodes have always intrigued me. Besides, it fits with the 50th having Ten and Eleven meeting the mysterious Non-Doctor.

Here we have the whole universe at stake and some high up Time Lords decide to break their own rules and let The Doctor team up with his previous selves. Troughton's more than solidified as awesome here, and the interplay between him and Pertwee is amazing. Shame Hartnell is banished to a TV screen, but even there it's clear he's a lot older. The Time Lords felt a little odd compared not only to what we know today, but also what we saw in War Games.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Doctor Who turns 50 part 3: The Daemons

Jon Pertwee's entry in my look book. Pertwee is the closest I get to having my own Doctor of the old cast having watched bits of Spearhead from Space and Doctor Who and the Silurians back when I was a kid.

However, watching this – and understanding his exile this time – Three seems like a total dick. He's short with everyone. Certainly my least favourite of the Doctors so far, which is odd, cos I vaguely remember liking him when I watched Spearhead a decade or so ago. I do like the idea that he's just pissed off about being stuck on Earth though.

Monday, October 07, 2013

Star Trek - Strike Zone book review

Just a quick repost of a small review I did for yet another Star Trek book as part of my Peter David read through, next up was Strike Zone. Actually the book that started this whole thing other than just New Frontier - which was how it started - as someone informed me that the alien species introduced here go on to play a role in the later series.

Strike Zone is interesting but also a little odd - almost like someone decided to write a sitcom episode based aboard the Enterprise. Everything seems to be played for laughs to some extent. Data throws out 'misunderstood' one liners with rapid ferocity. There's actual physical comedy during the big fight scene near the end, which means for the most part you really never take the whole thing seriously.

As it's written in 89 it also suffers from the problem a lot of tie-in novels do when done at the time when the show was in early production. That of some of the characters don't sound quite right. A couple of phrases David injects goes against those that TNG settled on, and he's also pretty brave with a couple of historical moments, such as Klingon politics, that later shows went completely the opposite on. Still I enjoyed it, though I think it might be completely missable, if not for the fact PAD brings back the other alien race, the Kreel, in his later series of New Frontier, which is pretty much why I read it.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Doctor Who turns 50 part 2: War Games

Going into The Daleks and knowing I was about to watch the first appearance of the greatest enemy allowed me to appreciate what I was seeing and put it into context. I didn't have that for War Games. I'd been vaguely warned of “something huge for canonicity” but nothing more than that. Half way through we got the War Chief, and I thought I figured it out. Here was the very first appearance of the Master, his identity to be revealed later... Or maybe it was retconned?... Hang on, he's dead? So he's not the Master?

What all this worrying about the War Chief meant was I totally missed this was not only the first appearance of the Time Lords, but the point where a whole lot of back story for the Doctor was established. While I'm not sure watching back story you already know can be as thrilling as going back to a “first appearance” like the Daleks, there's no denying War Games is important.