Hagan is doing a guide to Classic Doctor Who. The whole thing! This is Season 15.
April 2, 2014
Categories: AQG2CW (A Quick Guide to Classic Who), TV Reviews, Twatty Who Reviews . Tags:A Quick Guide to Classic Who, AQG2CW, Doctor Who, SEASON 15, Tv reviews . Author: Diamandahagan
Excellent work once again!
Even just based on your description, I’m pretty sure that an episode of Futurama was very directly based on that “fantastic voyage”-type episode, tiny duplicates on a time limit and all.
Another very nice episode Diamanda; you did seem to brush over a few stories rather quickly, but there were good notes overall.
Horror of Fang Rock:
It’s weird that Rutons aren’t in the series more, given that they could be effectively recreated by giving tendrils to green balls slathered in…stuff, held on wire. It’d be neat to see them characterized a bit more than how they have. On a bit of an obscure note, the Rutans did technically reappear in the New series in “The Gunpowder Plot”. I say “technically” because The Adventure Games really aren’t canotical to the main series as far as I know.
Also, love the little nod to Horror of Glam Rock (although I find myself ever mystified with the face that is on the front – the Doctor looks like Micheal Jackson there!).
The Sun Makers:
To be fair, the crowd who threw Gatherer Hade was flooded with an inverted version of the drug that was keeping them pacified, which probably helped them out in deciding to do as they did. What’s odd is that it worked so quickly though. Never really appreciated that.
Also, I’m not sure if you meant to leave out the alien(s) in the story or not, as they do play a decent part overall.
“To be fair, the crowd who threw Gatherer Hade was flooded with an inverted version of the drug that was keeping them pacified,”
This is not correct. Although the Company put a chemical anxiety inducing agent into the air supply this was switched off during the revolution so that everyone could breath fresh clean air. The people threw Gatherer Hade to his death,not because they were on drugs, but because he was a capitalist scumbag.
Really? I was under the impression that the drug had been reversed somehow,hence why everyone was acting out so quickly. Granted, reversing the effects of a drug by flipping some switches is a bit extreme even for Doctor Who…
Re: Ratings for Hinchcliffe “higher than they’d ever been.” Hinchcliffe’s rating are roughly comparable to those achieved under William Hartnell. The highest rated episode of Doctor Who up until this point was 13.5 million for The Web Planet (episode 1). Hinchcliffe surpassed this with 13.6 million viewers for episode 2 of The Ark in Space. The last time Doctor Who had previously hit the 13 million mark was for Crater Of Needles back in February 1965.
Re: Sontaran/Rutan war. Although the war with the Rutans was mentioned in The Poisoned Sky, I think this conflict should also have been brought up in all subsequent Sontaran adventures. Every time the Doctor met Strax, he should have crow-barred it into the conversation. You know, something like “Hello Strax still a long way from the front, I see.” Or “Hello again Strax, heard there’s going to be a major offensive against the Rutans in the Madillon Cluster. Funny that you’re here instead, cowering behind Madam Vastra’s skirts.”
Another opportunity was lost, I feel, when the Sontarans turned up in The Time of the Doctor. I can just imagine Matt Smith, up in his bell tower and shouting up to the Sontaran Mothership, “Oi, potato heads! Why are you spending so much time in orbit over Christmas? Shouldn’t you be away somewhere fighting that interminable war with the Rutans? After all, that’s why you cunts all look the same, being clones and that. So go on, fuck off. You’re crap monsters anyway. I mean to say, how the hell can anyone fail to win a war with a bunch of jelly fish.”
It would have been epic.
Re: The Invisible Enemy. Diamanda, I’m surprised you didn’t talk about the scene where Supervisor Lowe, after being stunned by K9, is then pushed by the Doctor into the hive to be torn apart and devoured by the swarm. A horrible fate, made worse by the fact that Lowe was a man who, although he had been taken over, could also have been cured, as by that time an antidote had been developed on the Bi-Al Foundation. I thought this might have fitted well with your “the Doctor ruthlessly kills people” shtick.
Re: Is the idea of the Doctor being cloned, miniaturised and then injected into his own brain a “mind-bendingly insane” idea? Well, I think Diamanda is right on this one. It is insane, but I don’t think it’s the most interesting idea to come out of this story. What is more diverting is the suggestion that the human race is a predator virus.
DOCTOR: That was the year of the great breakout… When your forefathers went leapfrogging across the solar system on their way to the stars. Asteroid belt’s probably teeming with them now. New frontiersmen, pioneers waiting to spread across the galaxy like a tidal wave. Or a disease.
This is later supported when the Nucleus tells the Clone Doctor:
NUCLEUS: It is the right of every creature across the universe to survive, multiply and perpetuate its species. How else does the predator exist? We are all predators, Doctor. We kill, we devour, to live. Survival is all, you agree?
DOCTOR CLONE: Oh yes, I do, I do.
However, later the Doctor states that “the virus has a perfect right to exist as a virus, not as a giant storm threatening the entire Solar System. Everything has its place. Otherwise the delicate balance of the whole cosmos is destroyed.”
By this argument, as soon the the human race left Earth, they should also have been marked for destruction.
Re: “A Fendahl”. Sorry to be pedantic, but it’s “the Fendahl,” the definitive object. There is only one of them.
Image of the Fendahl is not remotely an “average Tom Baker story.” Yes, it rips off The Hand of Fear and Quatermass and the Pit but there’s so much more going on in Boucher’s literate script. Here’s a link to the Kaldor City review: http://www.kaldorcity.com/features/antecedents/fendahl.html
But in a nutshell, we’re back to The Ark in Space again and that quote from Darwin, “I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created parasitic wasps with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of Caterpillars.” In this story, we discover that God is part caterpillar, and she intends (as with the Nucleus of the swarm) to devour us first from the inside out, and then from the outside in. Basically, this story is mindblowingly brilliant, and represents the final stage of the metatext which began back in The Ark in Space. You can see why Doctor Who would be so upsetting to an evangelical Christian like Mary Whitehouse.
Re: The Sun Makers. Holmes wasn’t angry about having to pay taxes par se, (that makes him sound like some Tea Party nutcase) he was, however, pissed at the Inland Revenue over a dispute concerning taxes as applied to his income as a freelance writer. Apparently he found the departments’ various regulations both arbitrary and byzantine.
Re: The Invasion of Time. I don’t think the Time Lords were a joke before this adventure was broadcast, but it was certainly the one that broke them. This story is awful, but then it was written over a weekend after another story had fallen though.
Re: “Filmed stuff in a leisure centre.” This is incorrect. The interior Tardis scenes for The Invasion of Time were recorded firstly at BBC Television Centre, then at St. Anne’s Hospital (which had been bought by the BBC and was being used for television productions), and then finally, for the scenes in and around the TARDIS swimming pool (which Leela called “the bathroom”), the basement of the British Oxygen Building in London.
Image of the Fendahl should be in the “best story/must see” categories. Putting The Invasion of Time in the “must see” category seems perverse, especially as you’ve (rightly) gone into so much detail as what it’s all about and why it’s so awful.
Anyway, loved the “Sontarans invading Gallifrey” rant, and you’re also correct in pointing out how ridiculous it is for the Doctor to have built a K9 Mk 2, prior to the original leaving. It’s also amazing that neither K9 Mk1, or Leela noticed. It’s almost as if he expected K9 was going to leave. How prescient of him. Or maybe instead, his future self went back to the past and ordered delivery of a K9 kit from IKEA.
I would just like to take this opportunity to say that I do greatly enjoy Diamanda’s “Guide to Classic Who,” and look forward to watching it every week. I also think the clips are well chosen, the construction of persona is spot on, and her observations are often both pointed and hilarious. The only real flaw is the fact checking. But then, if she did some, I wouldn’t have anything to post each week. So there’s an upside, I suppose.
I make mistakes, yup. And you usually have 1 or 2 points that I agree you’re right about but not always. Sometimes its just issue with opinion or how I present something and not to do with facts. For instance- the leisure centre bit, yeah I apparently was wrong but I stand by putting Invasion of Time as a must see. Must see doesn’t mean good, it means important. Leela left, its important. Why would I have 2 categories for good stories? And if I did then why wouldn’t I have been mirroring my choices for best and must see since ep 1? Because I havn’t. Must see has always meant important, that something big happened in that story.
I dont have time to sit down and rewatch entire seasons for a video. Im going from memory, doctor who wikis to refresh my memory and occasionally rewatching some things to check. Of course there will be mistakes. It was either an imperfect show that comes out weekly or a perfect one that would come out far less often. And seeing as I get annoyed messages from people wanting to know where the next episode is as it is, I think I made the reasonable choice.
“I stand by putting Invasion of Time as a must see. Must see doesn’t mean good, it means important. Leela left, its important.”
Well, Sarah Jane Smith left during the Hand of Fear last season, but that story doesn’t appear in your “Must See” category, so what’s so important about Leela’s departure here?
At first, I was confused as to why Invasion of Time was on your Must See category. I thought you meant for us to see that you weren’t exaggerating about how bad it was. Never saw this one before, but I remember seeing the Sontarans in this one and how bad they were designed. But you are right about their designs not being as bad as the ones in The Two Doctors. I believe you. I’ve been there. Plus, now that I know that Leela and K9 was last seen on Galifrey, I now want to know if they were in the Time War.
The only story that I saw from this season was The Horror of Fang Rock. I don’t remember too much from this one, but I remember liking it.
“Of course there will be mistakes. It was either an imperfect show that comes out weekly or a perfect one that would come out far less often. And seeing as I get annoyed messages from people wanting to know where the next episode is as it is, I think I made the reasonable choice.”
But surely a Guide to Classic Doctor Who which if full of inaccuracies and misinformation is ultimately next to useless? Okay, a lot of this stuff is pointed up and hashed out in the comments section, but I’m sure there are people who don’t bother reading what can be up to 30 posts, and instead just watch the video.
Personally, I would prefer something that got its facts right, and came out every fortnight, than have something that’s full of errors and comes out every week.
Another problem is that instead of just being a guide to the TV show as was, there are on occasion references to Big Finish/Virgin Adventures/BBC books continuity. This is a problem for two reasons:
1/ If this is a guide to TV classic Doctor Who then any recons and bits of continuity outside of that ambit is irrelevant as it could not possibly have been a part of the thinking process that originally went into the shows construction.
2/ However, if this is meant to be a guide to Doctor Who in all its forms, then you are going to have to possess nothing short of an enciclopedic knowledge of every novel/audio/comic ever written.
And even if you had that knowledge, where then do you draw the line? Are you going to also include Doctor Who stories that appeared on the back of breakfast cereal packets? How about the Doctor Who Give-A-Show-Projector, or the text and comic book stories that appeared in various Doctor Who annuals?
I think in future it’s probably best to judge a story on its own merits, and not bother mentioning what some Virgin Adventures/Big Finish/BBC Books author retconned some twenty/thirty years after the fact, especially as many of those books had very small print runs and are no longer widely available.
‘Must See: Hand of Fear/ Face of Evil’ (Sarah Janes departure and Leela becoming companion)
“‘Must See: Hand of Fear/ Face of Evil’ (Sarah Janes departure and Leela becoming companion)”
And yet, neither The Savages or The War Machines are highlighted in your season four “Must See” list, even though they both involved the respective departures of Steven and Dodo and, in the latter case, the arrival of Ben and Polly. The Faceless Ones/The Evil of the Daleks also doesn’t appear in your “Must See” for season four, even though it features the departure of Ben and Polly and the arrival of Victoria Waterfield. Finally, The Wheel in Space doesn’t appear in your “Must See” category for season 5, even though it features the last screen appearance of Victoria and the first appearance of Zoe Heriot. So from this evidence it would appear that what you consider to be a “Must See” story comes down to total arbitrary considerations.
Looks like I’m not the only one who doesn’t have time to rewatch and as a result sometimes makes mistakes.
“Looks like I’m not the only one who doesn’t have time to rewatch and as a result sometimes makes mistakes.”
Touché. So am I to take it that you now agree that placing The Invasion of Time in the “Must See” category was a mistake?
I dont regret putting Invasion of Time as a must see because I feel its important. Companion arrivals/ departures arent the only things that make stories must see. There’s got to be stuff I feel is IMPORTANT in the story. Companion arrivals/ departures arent the only things but they are important.
Okay, so what other important considerations, aside from Leela and K9 Mk2 leaving the series, were there that made you decide to make The Invasion of Time a “Must See” story?
Obviously that should read “K9 Mk1,” but I have just come back from the pub. 🙂
Alan, the point of the show is to get people to check out Classic Who. That’s the whole point.
There are not as many mistakes as you claim. Some of the things you claim as mistakes come down to differing opinions and you’re annoyed that I’m not voicing yours.
You’d be okay with stuff every two weeks and that’s great. Other people aren’t you. If I was going to rewatch the season before doing the guide ep I would have to push it back to every 3 or 4 weeks.
The guide is a companion piece to my Twatty Who reviews, so my opinion is going to be all over it and I’ll be mentioning stuff that i think is important.
Now, I dont think minor mistakes are a massive deal because the primary point of this show is to convince people to watch Classic Who but I dont want to cause them. So thank you for looking over the script from Season 16 and on.
“There are not as many mistakes as you claim. Some of the things you claim as mistakes come down to differing opinions and you’re annoyed that I’m not voicing yours.”
There were 24 errors of fact in your review for season 14, and although this is exceptional, you certainly make more than just one or two errors per season. Also I do not confuse facts with opinion, although I’d add that my opinions are based on facts.
“You’d be okay with stuff every two weeks and that’s great. Other people aren’t you. If I was going to rewatch the season before doing the guide ep I would have to push it back to every 3 or 4 weeks.”
That would be fine with me, and you’d also have produced a guide everyone could trust.
“The guide is a companion piece to my Twatty Who reviews, so my opinion is going to be all over it and I’ll be mentioning stuff that i think is important.”
Then perhaps you should change its name to “Diamanda’s Personal Guide to Classic Who”.
“So thank you for looking over the script from Season 16 and on.”
It’s a pleasure.:)
‘Second’ time lord companion 8P
Well done, I missed that one. Romana was the Doctor’s second Time Lord companion. Susan being the first, of course.
Good catch. Though in my defence I dont think Susans a Time Lord. Gallifreyan, yes.
To me, Susan has been the biggest mystery of the show that we now very little about. All we know is that she’s a granddaughter of the Doctor, from Galifrey, but nothing else. At least I don’t know anything else. If anyone else wants to fill me in with info, do it!
Well, if we consider BFA canon … and we should (‘specially after “Night of the Doctor” shenanigans) she is a timelord.
Her son is not though.
I have yet to listen to Big Finish. I want to start listening to the audio stories, but I don’t have the money to keep up. Same said for the books. The only book that I don’t think I will ever read is Longbarrow, which is a rare find, and the prices that both Amazon and Ebay are asking for are outrages.
I’ve been following this since you started it, and I absolutely adore it! Have you watched most of these prior to beginning the series?
Most of this is from memory. And I make a couple of mistakes.
I watched “The Invasion of Time” one night on PBS. They played the whole story as this was a pledge drive for my area to keep Doctor Who on that station. I just remember being bored and slightly confused as to what was actually going on.
I wonder if they raised any money?
I always got the impression that the Rutan were sort of opposite the Sontarans from humans, so they don’t have many stories where the humans would be near them. Sort of like in Star Trek, you know there’s a border between the Federation and the Romulans, but you don’t really know who else borders the Romulans.
Since the Tardis almost always lands somewhere with humans, you’re not likely to land somewhere that humans haven’t been yet.
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