The Highlanders – Story #031

DW31

Jael’s Judgment:

We get to meet Jamie! I am not sure why I am so happy about this. Maybe it is because he is tough even though he wears a kilt. Maybe it is because he is a piper. (On a side note he should take the TARDIS into my future and pipe at my funeral. I really want bagpipes played at my funeral.) Maybe it is the accent. Yeah, it’s probably the accent. Like Amelia Pond’s accent. Speaking of Amy, Inverness gets a shout out! And neither Karen Gillan (1960s) or Amelia Pond (1700s) were even born yet.

“Bonnie Prince Charles.” I am unfortunately guilty along with Ben, when the Doctor tells him he should have paid better attention in History class. Too bad I don’t know more about English history. They do mention the moor, and that I can connect with through books I have read. In fact, I just recently read Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Hound of the Baskervilles. From all of the books I have read, I take it that the moor is a lovely spot for a romantic, historical adventure. The moors just seem so ancient and untouchable. This is of course written with no first hand knowledge of them.

Yay! We got to hear the phrase “Doctor who?” occurring naturally within conversation. And speaking of the Doctor, we are on our second full adventure with Troughton. I will admit that I thought the recorder was going to be seriously annoying. However we find the Doctor in a cell once again bringing out his recorder, and what a nice little ditty all of the prisoners sing together.

His second reincarnation is also a little edgier than the first. He brings more humor to serious situations. Apparently, from what I gather with only the audio, he even smacks a guard’s head into a desk as part of a plan. And then uses some rather silly jokes to fool his adversaries.

Finally Polly does something!!! She claims that crying is no good and takes action. And she has to remove her unpractical shoes! (This is a pet peeve if mine. I hate it when people in television/movies run about in impractical shoes.) And Polly figures out how to get money for her & the other woman and blackmail a soldier. I am so impressed. Where was this Polly in the last few adventures???

  • Story Grade: B

 

Tony’s Take:

JAMIE McCRIMMON.

The most prolific companion to date has finally entered the world of Doctor Who.  I could tell, in an instant, that Jael would love this character.  His Scottish-ness and kilt are too much for any lady to resist. (He says with heavy sarcasm.)  But in all seriousness, she really does enjoy Jamie, he’s a bit of a comedic tool (being from the past and not understanding futuristic things) and yet a very strong willed and courageous companion.  Now if only Doctor Who would pair him up with a solid female companion with a strong character (more than screaming and making coffee), you could have one of the best TARDIS-teams of all-time.

And then there is The Doctor, the genius that is Partick Troughton.  While scheming and trying to play the trickster, The Doctor gives the German alias “Doktor von Wer”… Doctor Who.  Awesome!

And then there is the other disguise of The Doctor.  As this story was all audio, I could only picture Patrick Troughton in a very Monty Python-esque scene:

I pictured The Doctor as the old woman in the clip above, as he tried to disguise himself as a lady.

And for good measure, my mind wandered and thought of further man/woman Monty Python skits.  this time something from Life of Brian:

Do you think that Patrick Troughton, being the top-notch performer that he was, went through that internal struggle for this role and really wanted to be a lady like Eric Idle’s character above?  You’re right, probably not.  But I am REALLY liking Troughton none-the-less.  To even compare Doctor Who to the wonderful Monty Python makes me happy.  Troughton really is making this show more enjoyable and lighthearted (in a good way).  The crankiness of The Doctor is gone, and the show seems much better suited for its audience of children.

And one last comparison of Doctor Who to other pieces of comedic genius.  When Jamie is described as a piper, I couldn’t help but immediately think of “So I Married An Axe Murderer”:

  • Story Grade: C+
  • This is more of a “historical story”, but the Troughton-y moments make it much more enjoyable than in the past.  Not my favorite story, but the new life gives it a better “listen”.

 

Thank you, Monty Python, quite possibly the greatest comedic group EVER.  Thank you and welcome, Jamie McCrimmon/Frazer Hines.  Thank you, Mike Myers.  I know that he is heavily influenced by British culture, as his father was from that side of the pond, so that definitely relates to this blog, right?

Advertisements

The Power of the Daleks – Story #030

DW30

Jael’s Judgment:

Wow! Am I ever invigorated by this second Doctor!!

I committed to soooo many adventures throughout 2013 that I find most of them go by in a blur. This is not unusual for me, as even in real life my “adventures” often blur together and linger in my mind only as moments and feelings. Now as we listen to and basically meet Troughton’s incarnation as the Doctor, I realize how slow moving the first Doctor and his adventures were. I am not saying I didn’t enjoy them, but a couple months of such a snail-like pace was loosing my interest.

I cannot get over how much I am enjoying Troughton!! I thought the recorder was going to be annoying, but I find myself enjoying it. I say that now, we’ll see how I feel in a few weeks…

Unfortunately the women in the story are incredibly disappointing. The lady scientist is pushy, cold, and gets used by the wrong side. Polly is helpless. Ugh. I got the initial impression that she was some sort if scientist, but maybe she was just some sort of assistant? I don’t know, even just working with scientists you would think she couldn’t be that stupid. Yuck, she is horrible. Can you tell I am not crazy about Polly? I guess I am being a bit tough on her, but really I am not seeing her value.

Sucker stick, sucker stick, sucker stick. That is the phrase the narrator keeps using for the Dalek plunger. I wonder if that’s what they call a plunger in the UK… I don’t think so, but I am too tuckered out to confirm it now. Anyway, those words keep sticking out to me… sucking me in… Oh man, cracking myself up! Onward ho!

The Daleks were excellent in this story. Maybe they are so easy to enjoy when all you have is audio, because the main form of acting for these characters is in fact their voice. I mean, swiveling, moving forward & back, movement of the eye stock, and waving of their sucker stick and shooter arm. That’s really not much. We know what they look like and they are easy to imagine. Just picture the Dalek’s eye stock giving you the stare down as it rolls out of the room, after checking up on the liquid/secret poison given to the human for hydration. You can feel its condescending and tricky, evil stare.

Whoever does the voice of the Daleks performs splendidly. I like the way the Daleks say “I am your servant” questioningly at first. Because we all know they don’t actually believe it, cleverly alluding to the falseness of the statement. Eventually though, their tone while saying this sentence becomes more menacing. The narrator starts using words like indignant when describing the Daleks. And they become more and more reluctant to say, “I obey.”

What fun! I am looking forward to more adventures with this odd Doctor and hopefully some more permanent companions.

  • Story Grade: A

 

Tony’s Take:

This might as well be one of those rare stories where I let Jael run with her observations and say next to nothing.  I mean, what could I say?  She is spot on, Troughton is a HUGE breath of fresh air; the Daleks are even quirkier (maybe due in part by The (new) Doctor’s attitude); and yes, the role of women, especially in early Who, is quite limited and sexist.

There was a very nice quote from this story, one that is obviously meant to be deeper than just the surface application towards the second Doctor:

“Life depends on change and renewal.”  Well said, Doctor/Troughton!

  • Story Grade: B+
  • I could really get used to watching Troughton’s Doctor, if only more episodes had survived.  Stupid BBC policy!  Though there are some great reads on missing stories HERE.

 

Thank you, Patrick Troughton.  Even though you are well in your 40s, you give The Doctor a new playful (positive) attitude.  Thank you to Richard Molesworth for putting together such a great book (Wiped! Doctor Who’s Missing Episodes), I’m excited to get the second edition in the near future.  Again, thank you to all of the early hardcore Whovians who were wise enough to record the TV show in audio form.  Without those recordings, we would not have such a great preservation of these lost stories.