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
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.