The Power of the Daleks – Story #030

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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.

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The Tenth Planet – Story #029

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Jael’s Judgment:

Since this was the last adventure that we go on with first Doctor, it was sad to have so little of him in the story.

As far as the rest of the characters go Ben is alright. He seems resilient and energetic enough despite the melancholy we witnessed upon our first encounter with him. Polly on the other hand… I am not a fan of Polly. She offers to help in a stressful and dire situation, and all she can come up with to be useful is to make coffee. I mean, I guess coffee would help some people. It just doesn’t seem all that effective. I don’t even know how to make coffee. I would be a useless woman in the 60s. (I like that I can say “would be” since we are talking time travel and I am not restricted to “would have been.”) I miss Barbara. She wasn’t a great feminist, but she seemed more sensible and a bit tougher.

I have been having trouble relating to the TARDIS crew lately. This may be because of its high turnover rate recently. What didn’t change from the last adventure seems to be the accents. Just as I was wondering if the actor playing Cutler also played a pirate in the previous adventure, Tony speaks up asking why they are talking like pirates in the future.

The last appearance of William Hartnell brought with it the first appearance of the Cybermen. I did not realize that they came from a twin planet of earth. I guess I didn’t really know that much about them. I often forget how old this particular foe is, especially when their appearance has changed so much throughout the years. Unfortunately we do not get this first visual of the Cybermen since this is an audio only story. What I can tell you, is that they sound a little like K9.

Best, yet most bittersweet moment of this adventure? We witness the first regeneration! (Oddly enough, I do not remember anyone actually using the word regeneration.) Although this was audio only, we watched some of the footage of the regeneration. I think it was pretty good effects for back then. And even though the special effects have changed over the years, I think the subsequent regenerations have kept in pretty good tradition with this first.

  • Story Grade: C

 

Tony’s Take:

Why, oh why, does the lone episode that is missing have to be the one containing the regeneration?!  Come on BBC!  If I could go back in time to save one lone episode, I am 90% certain it’d be episode 4 of The Tenth Planet.  The good news is that the BBC and restoration team recently announced that this story would finally see a release on DVD with the last part being animated!

Since it hasn’t come out on DVD yet, this first brush with the Cybermen was all in audio form.  Audio-only stories always lack the complete feeling for me, and rightfully so, as this is a television show, not audio-drama.  Even though it was locked in to this confining medium, the story was not all bad.  Coming off a dud like The Smugglers in the story prior, this one actually got me engaged.  Maybe it’s because of such a classic “monster” like the Cybermen, maybe it’s because the story is not a historical, or maybe *gasp* it was a decent story(!).

As there are 3 episodes still remaining and there are backup telesnaps of some of the scenes, we know what the first incarnation of the Cybermen look like…

Cyberman Greendale Human Being

Exactly like a robotic version of the Greendale Human Being!!  (check out the TV show Community if you haven’t already)

By the way, the name “The Tenth Planet” is now very much out of date, since Pluto was demoted and we have 8 planets in our solar system.  Even though those in charge decided to kick Pluto out of our planet-party, I still recognize you, Pluto!  As much as scientists of today would say that this story title is wrong, I will secretly think it is right.

I have tried to tell myself not to get too long-winded, unless I have great things to say or if I can make it a great read.  As i don’t have much more, without just describing the story itself, I’ll cut myself off now.  Before I dismiss you so you can look at the generic closing of the post, heed this advice: Watch this story when it comes out on DVD!  This is historical stuff!  The end of a period (Hartnell-era) is just the epoch of a much longer era – The Great Age of Doctor Who.

(Now, don’t get me wrong, Doctor Who started at An Unearthly Child, but without this regeneration, it could have easily ended when Hartnell collapsed.)

  • Story Grade: B+
  • The costumes are fantastically terrible, a truly defining characteristic of Classic Who.  I cannot wait to revisit this story when it’s finally on video.

 

Thank you, William Hartnell.  Your time as The Doctor made for a foundation that was so strongly built that the legacy is still carried on 50 years later.  Sure, there were some duds in there, but it’s a 1960s sci-fi show in it’s infancy.  The Doctor has changed drastically over the years, but even so, there is always a small piece of Hartnell’s Doctor that lives on (maybe it’s the quirkiness, the scolding, the crankiness, or just the need to explore).

The Smugglers – Story #028

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Jael’s Judgment:

Who doesn’t like a pirate story?

While this was still an adventure, it had some mystery and intrigue which also made it more of a “story” for me. A lot like most of the fictional books I read. I enjoyed it quite a bit, but didn’t really feel involved.

It started to get a little weird when I realized that all of the pirate accents were really just Irish accents.

  • Story Grade: C+

 

Tony’s Take:

To call this story dull would be doing it a favor.  I had very little interest and did not care what happened.  All I wanted was for the gang to get back into the TARDIS and get to the next story already.

Pulled from Wikipedia:

On initial airing, this story posted the lowest audience figures, at an average of 4.48 million viewers per episode, since the show had started. It would remain the least-watched story in Doctor Who history for twenty years, until The Trial of a Time LordThe Mysterious Planet aired in 1986 and posted an average of 4.35 million viewers per episode.

Sounds about right.  Good on you, British viewers!

I will not explain anything further, and I do not even have some comparison or witty remark to make.  Maybe, just maybe, the video would have saved it some, and for that I give it a barely passing grade of…

  • Story Grade: D
  • Only “watch” this story if you are doing something like us and wanting needing to take in each story.

 

Thank you, Irish actors.  Irish versus Pirate, who can tell the difference?!  (I am clearly being sarcastic.)  In a way, thank you to the writing team, your poor story made for a very short blog entry.

The War Machines – Story #027

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Jael’s Judgment:

Wow, what a different intro!

It’s always odd to realize that a new companion doesn’t know who the Daleks are. Especially since I know who they are. And I haven’t been on all that many adventures.  But if you ever see a little blue box fly up there in the sky, you shout for me. Oh you just shout.

They actually called him Doctor Who. I don’t like that at all. Just sounds wrong. 😦

The Royal Scientific Club, is that really a thing? And battle bots!

“When you’ve seen the ages I’ve seen, you won’t use the term quite so freely.” -Doctor in reference to Ages. No wonder the Doctor seems so exhausted, come his 9th & 10th regenerations.

  • Story Grade: B

Tony’s Take:

Ever wonder what a boxy Dalek would look like?  Wait no longer!  If you watch this story, the last full story of the First Doctor that we’ll likely ever have, you get to see these great robots in action.  The WOTAN and the War Machines are not as menacing as the Daleks, but the story holds up surprisingly well.  This is another classic sci-fi plot, human vs. robot/computer/machine.  Artificial intelligence, as we know, can be a great thing, but hopefully we also know the point at which we should stop relying on machines.

Point of note: Be on the look-out to see the actor inside of a war machine.  You’ll be able to see him clearly in the black rectangular “mouth” for a longer than desirable length (a couple long seconds).

I am sad that we will be saying goodbye to William Hartnell soon.  Sure he was crabby, old, and didn’t do a lot of acting in the last year or so, but he was the original.

  • Story Grade: B-
  • Not too bad for the first man versus machine story in Doctor Who.  The War Machines are kind of cool, in a “total rip-off of a Dalek” way.

Thank you, William Hartnell.  I mentioned that this is the last full story of his to survive in full; he will be missed.  Thank you, prop department.  you created yet another great 1960s version of an evil robot on wheels, possibly inspiring the battle-bots of today.

battlebots and war machines

The Savages – Story #026

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Jael’s Judgment:

I agree with Dodo, it is funny that the Doctor has no idea of time.

I like that the idea of life force in this adventure includes artistic abilities. Someone very unexpected once told me that creating art is good for your soul. I agree that it an essential part of being a full human being. Art can come out in so many ways, so I wouldn’t want anyone to assume I am limiting it to only painting or some other sort if physical art. But I think that it is important to be able to have that beautiful, immeasurable section of time when you are so lost in what you are doing that everything else melts away. And then to be able to share that very private part of oneself with others. It is important for your well-being.

Steven is leaving. I cannot say I’ll miss him too much, but I did not really see it coming. There’s not much time to get attached to companions over the last several stories. I wonder how much longer Dodo will be with us…

  • Story Grade: A-

 

Tony’s Take:

Ah yes, a story written by Michael Ian Black Ian Stuart Black, sorry.  This is the very common struggle in societies of old and many stories in sci-fi future; the struggle between two “races” of people, where one group believes the others are savages or lesser-beings.

Up until this point, Doctor Who was not really “in your face” with it’s message, but this story definitely hammers the point home.  In later years there will be a phase where every story is a lesson or reflects ideals (whether it’s political leanings or a reflection on current culture), so this story was a bit ahead of its time.

Jael and I live close to a Native American community (the teepee lights at night from the casino serve as a good beacon to get guests within spitting distance of our house), so this story is a brutal reminder of our nation’s dealing with the native people.  Let’s just say that I am glad that the working title of The White Savages was scrapped.  Doctor Who has enough racist, sexist, and other -ist moments in its long history, I’m glad they caught this before adding yet another to the list.

Now back to Michael Ian Black.  I understand that his comedy routine and some of his movies/TV shows might not be certain people’s cups of tea, but there is one thing that I would recommend to ANYONE…  You’re Not Doing It Right.  This book is amazingly funny, and shockingly close to real life.  I am not a book reader, but I LOVED this book.  I urge you, give this book a chance.

  • Story Grade: B-
  • Great message, wouldn’t mind actually seeing if it were ever discovered.  not a classic, but stronger than average.

 

Thank you, Michael Ian Black.  Though this isn’t the forum for such mentions, your book contains more than comedy, though it made me actually laugh out loud many times.  As far as DW thanks, I mentioned this before, but thank you to either Ian Stuart Black or the show-runner, changing the name of the story was only the right thing to do.

The Massacre of St. Bartholomew’s Eve – Story #022

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Jael’s Judgment:

I am getting so lost. I don’t remember what story we are on or who is involved. I keep referencing Daleks, of which there are apparently none in this story. This space and time traveler needs some sleep. I think I need to emulate an earlier time when I watched Doctor Who while falling asleep waiting for my dad to return home from work.

Tony will probably hate this story. It is a history piece after all. I think I had an American French teacher from South America, who was writing a paper on this period while I was studying over in France. At any rate we visited Nantes, where the Edict of Nantes was signed.

So far I am not crazy about Steven.

  • Story Grade: C-

 

Tony’s Take:

French review: Je vulvlavlu, bleablubla dufrabaleu!

So, Jael can speak French, and I am notorious for mocking the language.  She loves me for this quality, and I love her for her abilities.  While we stayed in France she was able to help me along… for the most part.  Sometimes she would forget that I didn’t understand the language and would laugh at me when I couldn’t read the menu or when I just smiled and nodded my head.

Which reminds me of Jael’s favorite Simpson’s line (Skip to around 10:16):

“En francais!”  *Kid’s laugh with a stereotypical French accent*

As for Doctor Who and France… let’s just say that there is an adventure in the Tom Baker era that will done much better (though it is not set in the past – at least as much as this story is).  Why did this story even exist?  There was no change, no plot that really needed fixing; they came, they saw, they escaped.  Nothing was really changed or better by their presence.  I am not quite sure what separates this from an “F” grade, but it wasn’t quite THAT terrible, after all, even the actors had terrible French accents, and for that, I thank them!

BAGUETTE!!

  • Story Grade: D
  • I am not quite sure if it’s a good thing or bad thing that the video does not exist for this story.  If you are looking for good Who, that defines an era or Doctor, feel free to skip.

 

Thank you, France.  Your language is hilarious to me, and a bit maddening.  I like saying all of my letters for the most part.  With that said, your country is beautiful and your labor laws seem like they have some great things to offer (like vacation time for one).  I guess what I am trying to say is that you are alright in my book, France!

The Daleks’ Master Plan – Story #021

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Jael’s Judgment:

We have some video for this story, after the drought of the last couple stories! This means I finally get to see the haircut that Vicki gave Steven. I have been waiting for this moment for days! And let me tell you, it was a massive disappointment. I do not see much difference at all. At most she cut, like, 3 hairs and then maybe re-styled the rest. If you haven’t caught on yet, I am really a hair person.

And with the video, we find ourselves with perhaps more questions than only the audio brings.

Actual discourse:

Tony: “What is that guy doing?”
Jael: “He’s walking, man!”
(And, man, was he walking with style in his skin tight, chocolate whoopie pie covered, total body suit.)

I didn’t realize while listening to the audio, but during the first video episode of this story, I finally put it together. Bret is the Brigadier! Well not the character the Brigadier, but the same actual person.

There is too much testosterone with Bret, Steven, and the Doctor. Yuck. I wish they would all stop yelling. I miss Barbara.

  • Story Grade: C

 

Tony’s Take:

Wow, that was a LONG 12 part story.  After hearing the intro story, “Mission to the Unknown”, I had a terribly different look going on for this story in my head.  The weird tribunal of galactic powers were interesting looking to say the least; the man that Jael spoke of was definitely a high (or was it low) point to the production.  Terry Nation really made a great living off of the Daleks, and his stories really cemented themselves in this long serial, with one exception, he decided to have them much less “KILL” and much more political.

Now let’s focus on someone, a character that would not recur, but the actor who played him would… Nicholas Courtney!  His defining role in Doctor Who is Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart.  It’s funny how incredibly recognizable his voice is, but how shocking it is to see him not a UNIT uniform.

For those of you who do are not well-versed in Doctor Who history, Nicholas Courtney was the only Doctor to act with all of the Classic Series Doctors (1-8, including the substitute for William Hartnell, Richard Hurndall).  He even came back for The Sarah Jane Adventures!  The man is a legend, a fixture you could rely on, almost more so than the ever changing Doctor.

Here is an interesting fact about Nicholas Courtney, and how it was with a little bit of luck that he became so synonymous with Doctor Who:

Director Douglas Camfield originally considered Courtney for the role of Richard the Lionheart in The Crusade (1965), a role that ultimately went to Julian Glover. Though Camfield made sure to keep Courtney in mind for future casting. Courtney would make his first appearance in the series, when Camfield cast him in the 1965 serial The Daleks’ Master Plan, where he played Space Security Agent Bret Vyon opposite William Hartnell as the Doctor.

Camfield liked Courtney’s performance, and when the director was assigned the 1968 serial The Web of Fear, he cast Courtney as Captain Knight. However, when David Langton gave up the role of Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart to work elsewhere, Camfield recast Captain Knight and gave the part to Courtney instead. The Lethbridge-Stewart character returned in the next season in The Invasion, promoted to the rank of Brigadier and in charge of British contingent of UNIT. The organisation had been charged with protecting the Earth from alien invasion.

I must also mention that it was very touching that after Nicholas Courtney’s passing, Steven Moffat and the writing team included it in an 11th Doctor story – The Wedding of River Song.

Well, that about wraps up my “intro to Nicholas Courtney”.  As for the rest of the story, it’s always fun to see the Daleks, but couldn’t we have either shortened it to 4 episodes or split the idea in two?

  • Story Grade: C
  • The introduction of such a legendary actor in the Who-niverse makes this a must watch/listen for a true fan.

 

Thank you, Nicholas Courtney and Doug Camfield.  The performance that Nicholas gave throughout the entirety of Doctor Who was always wonderful, never just phoning it in.  Mr. Camfield deserves all the credit for casting Nick and then offering more roles int he future.  Thanks to David Langton, too, his unfortunate bow-out gave us a great constant.

The Myth Makers – Story #020

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Jael’s Judgment:

Well, the Doctor confirmed it. The Trojan war is not just a legend.

I am a little confused about the presence if the Cyclops. Maybe my limited knowledge of Greek mythology is causing this confusion, but I thought that Cyclops were giant and only had one eye. To me it sounded like this one just had (an eye patch over) one eye. And was one of the Cyclops the servant of Odysseus? Whatever. I do not want to get pedantic and anyway, like I said, my knowledge of Greek mythology  is limited and based on literature I read around a decade ago. Maybe it would be worth revisiting those stories, they still sound interesting…

“I do not fear the thunder, you superstitious, dark-dodging decadent!”

This story was really hurt by the lack of video. It was difficult to keep track of where everyone from the TARDIS group was and who they were with.

  • Story Grade: C-

 

Tony’s Take:

First off, let it be known that when Jael sent over her review for me to post (yep, I am the one running the blog, she just monitors the hit count) she named it “The Myth Busters”.  I am guessing that it was a reference to the TV show, but more importantly, the way that this story shattered the myth and lore of the Greek/Trojan war and just decided to take all liberties in writing for a TV show.  Again, this mix of history while having huge flaws and taking liberties are the exact reasons why I hate historicals…

broken record

… Sorry, I am definitely a broken record.  I’ll get back on track and review the story itself, and not the broad style that Doctor Who uses for roughly a third of it’s stories.

This story is INCREDIBLY hard to follow.  there are tons of characters, all sharing a similar voice, and on top of it all, it assumes a certain level of comfortability with Greek history.  I did more research and found out that the characters used in this story don’t even fit with Greek/Trojan history, so even the history buff will be like, “WHAT THE?!?!”

Instead of trying to review a story that doesn’t make sense to me, and does little in terms of plot or reason, how about I share my ties to Greece?

First off, I am not Greek, I am a Euro-mutt, a mixed bag of German, Luxembourger, British, Hungarian, Slovakian, and probably a few other random countries sharing boarders with those I listed.  My last name (and Jael’s new last name), Voda, is Russian, though it comes from my Hungarian/Slovakian heritage, and it means “water”.  My first and middle name is Anthony and Daniel.  Then, when I was in 10th grade, I went through Catholic confirmation and we got to choose a confirmation name, which I treated like a second middle name.  This was HUGE.

I wanted a truly unique name, something no one else had.  I thought about Bosco (as he is a saint, and we had to try to stick with saints), my great-grandma even liked the name Bosco.  I can remember her saying it over and over and laughing.  But then something clicked.  My initials were ADV, my last name is VODA.  I was an “O” away from having my intials be my last name backwards!!  Who else can say that?!

So here it is, my Greek-ness; I chose a truly unique name AND an “O”-name… Olympius!

  • Anthony
  • Daniel
  • Olympius
  • VODA

So when Olympus was mentioned in this story (and the story proved to be rather dull), I faded off thinking of how cool it was to add my own personal flare to my name.  I am glad that I was named what I was, but having that unofficial “second middle name” that I got to choose, that was the cherry on top.

Notes:

“It’s character that counts, not good looks.” -Some dude to Vicki.  This is a typical “foot in mouth” comment made by a man to a woman. He meant well, but the execution was lacking and not thought out.
“But horses don’t grow that high!” -Captain obvious addressing horses 40 feet tall – the Trojan horse.
  • Story Grade: F
  • This story is only meant for the completionists, the elitists, or the masochists.  I am probably judging this story on the media form, which I hate doing, but I just couldn’t follow along.  It’s probably my own fault, but with that said, I am the one judging and grading.

 

Thank you to the BBC for not letting this be the last story of Doctor Who.  OK, it isn’t THAT bad, but everything needs it’s low point(s).

“Mission to the Unknown” – Story #019

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Jael’s Judgment:

(Still not sure why Tony makes me give these grades. We looked back and my average is something like a B-. So right there, if a C is average, I am obviously not grading accurately.)

Alright, let’s get on with it.

This was an odd story. Only one episode and no Doctor. How many Doctor Who stories are there with no Doctor? The characters/voices got a little confusing for me. I wish we could have watched the story, but alas it was an audio only. I kept wondering what the Varga plants looked like.

Gardeners beware: While recently discussing the reoccuring adversaries of the Doctor with my brother, I realized how often plants evolve into threatening, sentient beings. Or other creatures are taken over by plants to become plant/animals. Never really the same types of beings, so they are not a specific reoccurring enemy. But man, watch out for those plants!

Overall, OK story. But probably not needed to understand future stories. I am guessing William Hartnell needed a break.

  • Story Grade: C+

 

Tony’s Take:

The first one episode story and the only one for MANY years.  We are used to one-parters in present day Who, and when they are a two-parter that means something special to us; so it’s strange to “see” such a short story early on and WITHOUT the Doctor.  This was a teaser (or something we may now call – albeit incorrectly – a prequel) to the upcoming story, “The Daleks’ Mater Plan”.

I don’t know that there is much to talk about, so here are some interesting notes about this awkward story:

From the TARDIS wikia:

Terry Nation wrote this episode partially as an attempt to develop and sell the idea of a Dalek television series divorced from the larger Doctor Who universe. The proposed series would have followed the adventures of the Space Security Service, an elite organisation tasked with hunting Daleks. This approach can be seen in short stories and comic strips written for 1965’s The Dalek Outer Space Book (cover dated 1966). An unmade pilot titled The Destroyers was written, but the series concept was never sold. The Destroyers was later produced as an audio play by Big Finish Productions.

Since the story “Planet of Giants” was originally meant as a 4 part story but was edited down to a 3 part story, this left a one episode hole in the contract with the BBC and Doctor Who production team.  The original cast (speculation here) already fulfilled their contract and were too expensive for the show, so they decided to take Terry Nation’s idea and do a one-off teaser for a future story.  Since they would use the sets in the 12 episode story, this meant that there was very little addition cost associated with the production.

With all of this said, William Hartnell is still credited as “Doctor Who” because his contract said he would have lead credits in all episodes, even if he did not appear.

Notes:

Varga plants only on Skaro, they take over the brain and tell you to kill and you become half plant.
Now to warn Earth of the Daleks coming.
I’d like to see this jungle set; wait, actually I wouldn’t, the sound is probably better than the props.
Cory is really infected by the plant, not good.
  • Story Grade: C
  • Short, very short.  This isn’t a bad thing, but a 25 minute episode of Doctor Who without The Doctor can only go so far.  This was a great initial run for the Tardisodes and “prequels” that we get today (even if they weren’t directly because of this fluke of a story).

 

Thank you, Verity Lambert.  This was her last story/episode as producer.  We Who fans owe her all of our thanks for bringing this show to us.  Without Verity, we would not have this show, plain and simple.  Thank you to the BBC as well, they broke the stereotypical mold by going with a young female to run a show.  I am sure that the conditions were far from perfect, and she was probably given Doctor Who because they wrote off the show, but you have to start somewhere.

Galaxy 4 – Story #018

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Jael’s Judgment:

This story was 4 episodes long, but to me it seemed short and sweet. We are in for a dose of several audio only stories.

The Chumblies will always hold a special place in my memory. I first listened to this story on my way to my first ever con, Chicago TARDIS. My mother teaching me to knit in the back seat if the car. Ah, good times. 🙂

The story itself was alright.  A planet on the verge of disaster. Evil women in green. Women that can remind one of ones self on the worst and most thoughtless days. We got to know Steven a little better. He seems alright, even sans beard, if not a bit rash. The Drahvins were intriguing. It was interesting comparing what Tony & I envisioned their appearance to be. I pictured a giant slimy blob, bluish green, with a few tentacles. Maybe a slimier and more liquid Jabba the Hutt.

However, after the adventure is completed all I find myself wondering, is what does Steven’s new haircut look like?

  • Story Grade: B-

 

Tony’s Take:

Like Jael said, this was the second time we listened to this story.  In fact, this was the first audio-only story that we had ever listened to, and it was fittingly on our way to Chicago TARDIS.  If I wasn’t so darn lazy I would go dig up a few pictures from our first Who-con, but having an external hard-drive in a different room than your laptop is the greatest first-world problem that one could face.  (I apologize, maybe I will post a separate entry once we finish all of our reviews… seeing how we don’t want to just close the blog once we review everything.)

I will admit, this story wasn’t the best of stories, but there must be something to be said for an audio-only story that actually holds your attention (for the most part).  Having a wide array of characters, it was easy to follow along, you didn’t get confused or lost along the way, and since it wasn’t a historical, I was a bit more focused.  If I were to focus on one area of this story, what would it be?…

CHUMBLIES!!!

Sounds like Chumlee, but you instantly know that they are a harmless and cute (Is that the right word?  Cute?!  Sure.) robot.

Chumblies

Hey, they even look like Chumlee a little, granted he is wearing a crown.

I have a soft spot in my heart for these Chumbly creatures/robots.  They are supposed to be helpers and are described as clumsy, it’s very much how I would describe my co-author of this blog (my wife, Jael).  She is a great helper, very sweet, but man is she ever clumsy.  I am lucky enough to see her wake up in the morning, which means that I get the pleasure of listening to her run into doors, clip the corner of the bed, or drop heavy things in the bathroom… she is my alarm clock.

It’s also funny how I also thought of Jael when Vicki asked The Doctor, “You think it’s a baby one?”  She was asking about a deactivated Chumbly, and I KNOW that my wife would ask a question like that, I just KNOW it.

Well, that’s all I really wanted to cover.  Listen to this adventure and draw your own conclusions.  Anyone else trying to watch/listen to every Doctor Who story?

Notes:

And down goes Steven.  Knocked out like a victim of Mike Tyson!
The Rills would let the gang go if they cannot fix the ship in time.  They believe in self-preservation.  They would also save the Drahvins.  Rills sound nice and very ethical, like Time Lords in a way.
The Doctor is sick of being surrounded by danger.   I’d actually like a story of just pure adventure and fun stories, no “save the world”, just a frolic.  If done correctly, the stories could be of high interest.
  • Story Grade: B-
  • I don’t like to have an audio-story swayed by it’s lack of original form, but this lost story was not as hampered by the lack of moving pictures as others.  Plus, Chumblies!

 

Thank you to the writer who thought of the word Chumbly and to the prop department that put together the robot.  Even though we may not have video of the story, the stills of the Chumblies are wonderful.  Sure, they are Dalek-like, but they definitely draw a clumsy vibe.