Hagan is doing a guide to Classic Doctor Who. The whole thing! This is Season 13.
March 17, 2014
Categories: AQG2CW (A Quick Guide to Classic Who), TV Reviews, Twatty Who Reviews . Tags:A Quick Guide to Classic Who, AQG2CW, Doctor Who, S13, Season 13, tv review . Author: Diamandahagan
Great review of a great season. You can really tell how far ahead of it’s time Who had suddenly become in the Baker era.
And it just occurred to me that the Android Invasion storyline was blatantly ripped off in the episode of Star Trek Voyager where Species 8472 prepares to infiltrate starfleet.
I agree with the fan base when it comes to the Brain of Morbius. I think it would make a lot of sense if it were Morbius’ incarnations, since both him and the Doctor were using the device at the same time. Why wouldn’t we also see what Morbius use to be?
I also enjoy Seeds of Doom. It has my favorite Tom Baker line that I love to quote: “WAFFLE!!! WAFFLE, WAFFLE, WAFFLE!!!”
“I agree with the fan base when it comes to the Brain of Morbius.”
I don’t think the fan base have ever reached any truly concrete conclusions on anything.
“I think it would make a lot of sense if it were Morbius’ incarnations, since both him and the Doctor were using the device at the same time. Why wouldn’t we also see what Morbius use to be?”
We do see what Morbius used to look like, as the face of the bust in Solon’s dwelling also appears briefly at the beginning of the mind-bending contest, but the other faces are definitely the Doctors. That’s why Morbius says to the Doctor, as we see the sequence of faces, “How far, Doctor? How long have you lived? Your puny mind is powerless against the strength of Morbius. Back to the beginning!” He would hardly be saying that if he were losing. Also, the way the mind-bending contest works is that the face on the screen is the current loser, but they also have to follow a set sequence. So, if the Doctor had been driven back to Hartnell, but then rallied against Morbius, the series of faces would have to click back down to Pat Troughton, Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker before then showing Morbius’s goldfish-bowl head. However, as it plays, the image doesn’t go back from Hartnell to Troughton, but instead goes on to show eight more faces we haven’t seen before. Finally, the producer of that story, Philip Hinchcliffe has stated, “it is true to say that I attempted to imply that William Hartnell was not the first Doctor”. The fact this idea appears to be contradicted by later stories is irrelevant. There are numerous continuity errors in Doctor Who, so why should fans get particularly upset about this one? If you want an explanation, perhaps “The Time of the Doctor” isn’t the first time the Time Lords have granted the Doctor a new regeneration cycle, and the eight faces we see during “The Brain of Morbius” belong to the Doctor’s first set of lives?
This approach is a bit more rewarding than doing GBH to “The Brain of Morbius” storyline.
Those examples show that a time lord can live beyond 13 lives but not that the Doctor himself has been around before the “William Hartnell” incarnation, well unless someone wants to count Lungbarrow but that’s another issue.
I never saw the Brain of Morbius because I don’t have the Brain of Morbius. I’m just saying this out of the info that I got from Nash and my friends. I just think that the fan base sounds plausible to me at this point. I have yet to see it and judge for myself. That, and there is more than 12 incarnations of the Doctor now anyway, showing that Hinchcliffe’s idea behind it has been thrown out of the window. You can even say that the Timelords gave him more regenerations like what they did in Time of the Doctor, but we don’t see any explanation to support that. You can also bring up the theory that he is a god, but I don’t fully agree with the Cartmel Masterplan.
That, and there is more than 12 incarnations of the Doctor now anyway, showing that Hinchcliffe’s idea behind it has been thrown out of the window.You can even say that the Timelords gave him more regenerations like what they did in Time of the Doctor, but we don’t see any explanation to support that.<
Bar the fact that there are eight faces prior to the Hartnell version, and all the Doctor's from Hartnell to Matt Smith have been accounted for. This means that including Capaldi, the Doctor has now had twenty-one different physical appearances.
Please ignore my post directly above, something screwed up. Here is the proper version:-
Re: “there is more than 12 incarnations of the Doctor now anyway, showing that Hinchcliffe’s idea behind it has been thrown out of the window.”
How do you come to that conclusion? Hinchliffe’s idea was that there were more Doctor’s before Hartnell, and in Time of the Doctor we are shown that a Time Lord can be granted more than 12 regenerations. Therefore, as Hartnell’s Doctor is referred to as the “earliest Doctor” by the Time Lord President in The Three Doctors, then this could be interpreted as meaning that the Doctor has had more then one cycle of lives, and that the first one is, for some reason, a secret only known to a select few. However, during the Mind-bending contest with Morbius the truth was inadvertently revealed.
Re: “You can even say that the Timelords gave him more regenerations like what they did in Time of the Doctor, but we don’t see any explanation to support that.”
Bar the fact is there are eight faces prior to the Hartnell version, and all the Doctor’s from Hartnell to Matt Smith have been accounted for. This means that, including Capaldi, the Doctor has now had twenty-one different physical appearances.
Alan: 1. How did I come to the conclusion that the Doctor has more than 12 incarnations? I kind of included John Hurt, whether you agree with this or not. Just because he wasn’t called the Doctor doesn’t automatically mean this incarnation shouldn’t count. That’s like saying you were never 15 just because you became a goth for one year. As for the “earliest Doctor” quote from The Three Doctors, I have to rewatch that scene.
I have more that I would really love to discuss with you, since your wealth of information is pretty impressive with whom I’ve talked to about this show. As for now, I will have to put this all into a “to be continued” phase.
“Alan: 1. How did I come to the conclusion that the Doctor has more than 12 incarnations? I kind of included John Hurt, whether you agree with this or not. Just because he wasn’t called the Doctor doesn’t automatically mean this incarnation shouldn’t count. That’s like saying you were never 15 just because you became a goth for one year.”
I agree with you that John Hurt is the Doctor, however, as I state above, with the eight new faces we see in The Brain of Morbius ‘and including Capaldi, the Doctor has now had twenty-one different physical appearances.’
I came to this conclusion because In the regeneration cycle that began with Hartnell and ended with Matt Smith we only have twelve Doctors as, according to the Matt Smith Doctor in The Time of the Doctor, the tenth Doctor (David Tennant) regenerated during The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End, but kept the same face.
Therefore, because the tenth Doctor looked and acted the same as the eleventh (indeed, he was the same actor), I’m only counting him once, the Doctor did, however, use up all twelve regenerations from his allotted life cycle, prior to the regeneration that produced Capaldi.
As for why there are only eight new faces of the Doctor seen on the screen and not twelve, which you would expect to see if these faces came from a previous, but unknown, regeneration cycle, well, perhaps some of those pre-Hartnell Doctor’s also had vanity issues, and kept the same face for more than one regeneration.
They were originally intended to be the doctors faces but like many things in DW you can take it many ways or just ignore it.
Even if the faces do indicate something it won’t matter too much until a following writer goes somewhere with it. Until then it’s just a tease and since RTD and Moffat haven’t given us glimpses of any secret faces it seems best to say those faces were Morbius’s and leave it there.. for the moment at least
“They were originally intended to be the doctors faces but like many things in DW you can take it many ways or just ignore it.”
Not sure what you mean here. I think it can only be taken one way, and that it how it is presented on screen. The Doctor had different forms prior to William Hartnell. Now you can ignore it, indeed I could point out loads of stuff that’s been completely ignored by fandom, however, on this occasion instead of ignoring it fandom has tried to explain it.
“Even if the faces do indicate something it won’t matter too much until a following writer goes somewhere with it.”
Well, I’d argue that every time a writer subsequently states that the Doctor only has twelve incarnations, then that writer is going somewhere with it, whether he intended to or not.
“Until then it’s just a tease and since RTD and Moffat haven’t given us glimpses of any secret faces it seems best to say those faces were Morbius’s and leave it there.. for the moment at least”
But it can’t be Morbius’ faces because it doesn’t fit with the story! As for not seeing any secret faces under Moffat, we never saw Capaldi’s face in The Name of the Doctor, but he still ended up as the Doctor.
I was just trying to tell Javi that he could believe what he wanted, since the canon is so ify and all. I clicked to reply to his/her comment but it seems wordpress just makes a chain.
maybe I should point this out but I’m going by my rules of canon, and it goes that I don’t believe anything as canon until its confirmed on screen not just once but several times.
for example the 12 regen limit is mentioned more than once so I’ll go with it but these secret faces aren’t mentioned again so I won’t put too much thought on them. It’s a policy I find works with a show with numerous writers and no clear rules.
” I don’t believe anything as canon until its confirmed on screen not just once but several times.
for example the 12 regen limit is mentioned more than once so I’ll go with it but these secret faces aren’t mentioned again so I won’t put too much thought on them. It’s a policy I find works with a show with numerous writers and no clear rules.”
Supporting evidence for the “secret faces” comes from The War Games and the Doctor’s statement “we can live forever, barring accidents;” from The Five Doctors, when Borusa tells the Master that the Time Lord Council can offer him a “a complete new life cycle,” and from The Time of the Doctor, where the Doctor himself is given a complete new life cycle in defiance of historical fact which stated that he died on Trenzalore.
Re: “Terror of the Zygons. This story is really fucking good.” Seriously, this story is fucking terrible, in that the plot makes very little sense when you actually think about it. Here’s a list of 33 things that are stupid about this story:
Interestingly, Steven Moffat retconned some of the more grievous stupidities in “The Day of the Doctor.”
Re: “Season 12 being pretty unusual for most of the classic series, in that there are no spaces between the stories.” I don’t think this is unusual at all. It was implied throughout most of the Hartnell and Troughton eras that the stories followed consecutively, with many ending with direct cliff-hangers that lead into the next adventure. Indeed, in season 3 you have 7 stories that dovetail directly into one another, numbering some 36 episodes, which outdoes season 12 in both categories, even if you stick Terror of the Zygons on the end.
Re: Re: Terror of the Zygons. “In many ways this would have been the natural end for season 12”. That’s because it was the natural end for season 12. Terror of the Zygons was made as part of that production block but was then moved forward to the start of season 13.
Re: Planet of Evil, “first story commissioned by Philip Hinchcliffe.” No Doctor Who stories were commissioned by Philip, they were all commissioned by his script editor Robert Holmes. Also, the Letts/Dicks commissions ended with Revenge of the Cybermen, meaning that Terror of the Zygons was the first new story to be commissioned.
Re: Anti-man. Anti-man is a derogatory slang word for a male homosexual. This might give you some clue as to the subtext running throughout this story.
Re: Planet of Evil, “one of the stories that lifted pre-existing ideas.” Please name me one Doctor Who story that is totally original, and doesn’t borrow from something else?
Re: The Flux capacitor did not appear in Doctor Who first.
Re: Vulcan. The existence of this planet was first theorised by the 19th-century French mathematician Urbain Le Verrier. It was supposed to exist between between Mercury and the Sun, and was an attempt to explain the peculiarities of Mercury’s orbital motion.
Re: Pyramids of Mars. A prequel to this story has been written by Lawrence Miles. It’s a six part CD set called “The True History of Faction Paradox,” stars Gabriel Woolf as Sutekh and can be bought from here: http://www.kaldorcity.com/orders.html
Re: Gabriel Woolf. Glad you like him. He’s a nice guy. Here’s an interview with him. http://www.kaldorcity.com/people/gwinterview.html
Re: Pyramids of Mars. Here’s a 50 Things article: http://www.kaldorcity.com/features/articles/mars.html
Re: The Brain of Morbius. Why is “using the glass thing” to contain Morbius’s brain “a terrible fucking idea”? It makes perfect sense within the story, in that Solon is forced to used a design he had earlier rejected, because there are no heads available that are suitably large to house Morbius’s Time Lord brain. What is a stupid fucking idea, however, is that fact that Solon’s initial plan was to cut the fourth Doctor’s head off and stick it on to the body he’d built for Morbius out of spare parts, as opposed to simply transplanting the brain into the Doctor’s head and leaving his body attached.
Re: The Doctor’s faces being earlier incarnations of Morbius being the most sane solution. This is not remotely sane as it doesn’t fit with the events that appear on screen. It’s also not remotely sane to twist stories out of shape just so that it will fit with “continuity”. It’s almost as if some fans want to deny that Doctor Who is a work of fiction.
Re: The Doctor deliberately killing someone with Cyanide. The Doctor has of course deliberately killed loads of people over the years, and the fact that Colin Baker came in for so much stick from fans when he killed Shockeye also with Cyanide in The Two Doctors was not only unwarranted, but was also totally ludicrous. However, I don’t think any of this can be used to attack the tenth Doctor’s statement in The Doctor’s Daughter where he calls himself “the man who never would,” as this is a set up for the great reveal in Journey’s End where it’s pointed out that the tenth Doctor uses his companions to do his killing for him.
Re: The Seeds of Doom. “Unlike The Ark in Space this reproduces by slowing turning you into a green thing. An act that kills you.” Hang on, both Dune and Noah were turned into green things by the Wirrn. Also, neither Dune, Noah or Keeler are killed, they are instead absorbed to become part of a gestalt entity.
Terror: Agree to disagree. I think its a fine story. (and squee about being right about where the story belonged!)
About the lack of gaps: Its still pretty unusual for the 26 season run. Id considered mentioning some of the others but decided against it. The eps are supposed to be fairly short.
Planet of Evil: I was certain this was the first commissioned by the new team. I admit I maybe shouldn’t have said Hinchcliffe did the commissioning but for brevity and simplicity I decided to use him (as he was the producer at the time). Classic Whos power-sharing arrangement was at times a little odd and I tried to simplify. Hinchcliffe was the producer so I decided to treat him as the defacto ‘boss’ of the era.
Borrowing Pre-Existing ideas: There’s a difference between innocent inspiration and nicking concepts so obviously that their easily noticed. Much of Classic Who did the former, Hinchcliffe/ Holmes did much of the latter. Seeing as this is (probably) the best era maybe others shoulda done it more often. Stuff that was obviously inspired by earlier stuff is just one of the tropes of this era.
Flux Capacitor: I know it appeared in Big Finish but I was certain it was mentioned (off hand) in the Classic era as a component of the TARDIS. If I’m wrong about that then sorry to everyone who reads this.
Vulcan: I know about that. Doesn’t change that planets were named Vulcan on Star Trek and Doctor Who within a few months of each other.
Brain: The glass container was a bad idea before and after he initially rejected it. Even if it cant be easily shattered and even if it doesn’t get its eye stalks caught on random things then people your brain isn’t gonna inspire confidence in Morbius as an all-conquoring master of war. I agree about the body thing, it really woulda made more sense in Terrance Dicks original script with the malfunctioning robot. Maybe with a body Morbius would be able to trigger a regeneration and use the body as biological material which would be reformed into his next incarnation. If I remember, I’m gonna talk about this during the Mcgann TV movie (I have a silly fanon idea)
The Morbius Faces: No. It is the most sane. But its not the theory I subscribe to. I’m in the camp that says they were ‘The Other’ and the Doctors his reincarnation. But for brevity I didn’t go into that.
The killing: I brought up the deliberate murder because the primary audience for this show is New Who fans who dont know much about the Classic. Many of them have the idea that its out of character for the Doctor to kill people, so every so often I’m gonna show them its not.
Seeds of Doom: I actually said ‘and like the Ark in Space’. Part of why my delivery in these vids is a bit stilted is because Im trying to be *me* without any extra drama while at the same time slowing down my natural pace of speech and stopping words from bleeding into each other, sometimes I fail. As for the guys in Ark not ‘being dead’ or not we’re gonna have a slight disagreement over that. To me they are dead.
“About the lack of gaps: Its still pretty unusual for the 26 season run.”
Okay, apart from the majority of the Hartnell Troughton seasons, I’ll also argue that the Pertwee stories in seasons 10 and 11 follow consecutively, as do the stories starting with The Face of Evil and ending with The Horror of Fang Rock. Then we have the Key to Time season, followed by the E-Space and Black Guardian trilogies, then Frontios through to Attack of the Cybermen, and then the Trial of a Time Lord series. On that evidence I would say consecutive stories in the classic series were the norm, and that it’s season 13 that’s out of step.
“Planet of Evil: I was certain this was the first commissioned by the new team.”
Officially it was Terror of the Zygons, commissioned from Holmes’ friend Robert Banks Stewart, however, I would argue that the first commissio,n independent of Dicks/Letts, was Holmes’ self commissioning for The Ark in Space, as the original version was supposed to have been written by John Lucarotti.
“Borrowing Pre-Existing ideas: There’s a difference between innocent inspiration and nicking concepts so obviously that their easily noticed. Much of Classic Who did the former, Hinchcliffe/ Holmes did much of the latter.”
Okay, in answer I’m going to quote a letter Holmes sent to Gerry Davis during the scripting process of Revenge of the Cybermen:-
‘Doctor Who has probably changed considerably since your connection with it and, these days, we find our audience is ready to accept quite sophisticated concepts…. and so we need a level of interest behind the ‘front’ action…. ‘ Later he wrote to Hinchcliffe to say ‘I am unhappy with Gerry Davis’ elementary style of writing, which never raises above telling the basic plot.’
So under Hinchcliffe and Holmes, surface plot featuring action adventure is the ‘front’ under which a more complex social/political allegory is being told. Once you realise that, you are watching a completely different show.
“Vulcan: I know about that. Doesn’t change that planets were named Vulcan on Star Trek and Doctor Who within a few months of each other.”
Correct, but I’m pointing out the source.
“Brain: The glass container was a bad idea before and after he initially rejected it.”
The point is that the plot contrives to give Solon no other choice but to use the glass container.
“Even if it can’t be easily shattered and even if it doesn’t get its eye stalks caught on random things, your brain isn’t gonna inspire confidence in Morbius as an all-conquoring master of war.”
That’s true and it’s also a fact which is pointed out by the Doctor and Sarah in the story, although I’d agree that it’s a bit weak that they have to point it out at all.
“it really woulda made more sense in Terrance Dicks original script with the malfunctioning robot.”
We don’t know that as we’ve never seen Dicks’ original story, but if it really had been any good, I doubt Holmes would have created more uncredited/unpaid work for himself by extensively rewriting it.
“The Morbius Faces: No. It is the most sane. ”
No it isn’t, because it requires you to directly contradict what appears on screen.
“Seeds of Doom: As for the guys in Ark not ‘being dead’ or not we’re gonna have a slight disagreement over that. To me they are dead.”
Then that contradicts what we see and hear during the story. Right the way through, the Doctor calls the Swarm Leader “Noah,” and at the end of the story Noah says “goodbye Vira” seconds before the shuttle blows up. If he’s dead, then the Doctor’s remark that Noah had shown ‘some vestige of human spirit’ is completely meaningless.
I guess we have different definitions on what constitutes dead.To me they werent interacting with the person, they were interacting with that killed them.
This little exchange about Ark gave me an idea. What if a regeneration took a long time and was treated similarly to Ark/ Seeds. The doctor losing his mind and being altered into something else. Unable to process whats going on because the parts of his brain which can understand are already done. Itd be a hard to pull off but interesting take at least.
Re: “I guess we have different definitions on what constitutes dead.To me they werent interacting with the person, they were interacting with that killed them.”
I assume that last line should have read, “They weren’t interacting with the person, they were interacting with what killed them.”
Well, there is no evidence in either The Ark in Space or The Seeds of Doom that the people taken over were killed, only transformed. As far as Dune is concerned, the Wirrn laid their eggs in his body which meant that when they hatched the contents of his mind was shared by the whole of the Wirrn swarm. Noah, however, was transformed bodily into the Swarm Leader, consequently this allowed more of Noah to show through. There’s a great scene in episode three which in part got cut. The Doctor asks the possessed Noah how long they’ve got before the Wirren reach their adult form?
NOAH: It feels near. Very near. The tearing free and then the great blackness… rushing through… wirren…. wirrennn… burning fire life ecstasy! Oh Vira… Oh, Vira!
VIRA: Are you in pain?
NOAH: Pain? I’m in torment.
The Wirrn are insects driven by pure instinct, which Noah finds exhilarating, but he’s also self aware and, therefore, perfectly able to process what’s going on. As for Keeler, again he has been subsumed into a gestalt, although in this instance the Krynoid is the dominant personality. Hence why the Krynoid tells the Doctor “The human was Keeler. Now us. Now belongs.”
Alan, I have a random question. You have a phenomenal site, I was wondering are you a general fan of my stuff or just the Who vids?
I was brought here by the Who vids, but I’m a general fan of your stuff.:)
Regarding Sutekh, wasn’t he actually destroyed at the end of Pyramids of Mars? Like he was coming through a portal to Earth and the Doctor collapsed it around him, which destroyed him utterly?
Sutekh was killed at the end of Pyramids of Mars. The Doctor hooked up the time control from the Tardis and moved the threshold of Sutekh’s time/space tunnel into the far future, causing him to age seven thousand years.
I would give impossible planet/satan pit a pass, my only real issue is the fact that it turns into a rose whorshipping vehicle near the very end.
“I would give impossible planet/satan pit a pass, my only real issue is the fact that it turns into a rose whorshipping vehicle near the very end.”
Whorshipping? Whore-shipping? Was that a deliberate typo, or a Freudian slip?
“Whorshipping? Whore-shipping? Was that a deliberate typo, or a Freudian slip?”
lol but i think you know what I mean, When he goes “I Believe in her” and it turns into another way to show how awesome Rose is.
“When he goes “I Believe in her” and it turns into another way to show how awesome Rose is.”
I thought the ending was another way to show how crazed the egocentric the Doctor was. After all, when he thinks Rose has left the planet in a rocket ship, abandoning him to the pit, the Doctor deliberately collapses the gravity funnel before the rocket has had time to escape, thereby condemning Rose, together with the rest of the crew, to a horrible death within the crushing forces of a black hole.
Yes he was but a Doctor Who villain being killed and returning with little or no explanation? Such a thing has never happened before! The universe itself would quake in confusion! :p
Point taken, but The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit is such a piece of crap, I’m really glad Sutekh didn’t appear in it.
I never said it was impossible to bring him back because of that, I was just wondering if I remembered the end of the serial correctly.
Alan, I can see why you say that for the Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit, but for me and my brother, we both thought it was kind of funny. We both liked it for how bad it was.
>Alan, I can see why you say that for the Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit, but for me and my brother, we both thought it was kind of funny. We both liked it for how bad it was.<
Fair enough. I like Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel, but as you can see from the link I'm providing, it isn't because I think it's any good. http://www.kaldorcity.com/features/articles/rise.html
The main thing that I find off-putting about The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit, isn’t so much the terrible science, the paper-thin characters, or the ridiculously nonsensical plot, but rather its curiously twisted pro-slavery/anti-immigration message; where the Doctor is quite happy to embrace and fawn over a bunch of racists, and tell them how heroic and industrious they are, while totally ignoring the fact that all the hard work is actually being undertaken by a slave race called the Ood.
Then, later on, it’s revealed that these alien/foreign workers are actually in the thrall of a Satanic religion, and they haven’t come to our world/country simply to vacuum our cars, serve chips and fix our plumbing, but instead to murder us all in our beds.
It’s as if RTD had been disturbed by the negative reaction his new revamped Doctor Who had received from the BNP during season one, and so thought that putting this story into season two would appease them on some level.
Here’s a 50 Things review of “The Seeds of Doom”: http://www.kaldorcity.com/features/articles/seeds.html
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