Doctor Who Reactions: "The Ambassadors of Death" (SPOILERS)

Episode One:

1)"By David Whitaker" (as largely re-written by Terrance Dicks and Mac Hulke)


2)Of course, the really fantastic part of this is the idea that Britain could afford a space program!


3)Michael "Davros" Wisher plays the TV reporter.


4)The Doctor starts off quite abrasive in this - still upset about the Silurians, apaprently.


5)"Don't kill anyone unless absolutely necessary."  And if there's no one watching.


6)The UNIT boys are having way more trouble fighting these guys than they ought to be.


7)Cliffhanger #1: Taltalian pulls a gun on the Doctor and Liz!


Episode Two:

1)I notice they're reprising the cliffhanger  from the previous episode in the new episode's opening credits - I don't recall them doing that in any other story.


2)"That was simply transmigration of object."  Yeah, I call b.s. on that.


3)"Tracking report form Massachusetts."  This is one of the first episods of this I ever saw, when I was still in grade school, and I recall being extremely pleased that Massachusetts had been mentioned in Doctor Who.


4)"What is the capital of Australia?" "We are not cleared for re-entry." No, I'm sorry, it's "Canberra".


5)Cliffhanger #2: The Doctor says to cut the capsule open!


Episode Three:

1)Carrington might as well wear an "I'm a traitor" button.


2)Liz gets a nice chase scene in this one.


3)Cliffhanger #3: Liz goes over the side of the bridge!


Episode Four:

1)"I didn't expect them to be dancing a jig." that would be interesting, though.


2)Why are they still letting Taltalian run around loose?  Doesn't "pulling a gun on someone" automatically disquality from being trusted?


3)"My dear man, I've spent more time in space than any astronaut on your staff." Yeah, 'cause he's gonna take that seriously.


4)Cliffhanger #4: The alien reaches out to touch the Doctor!


Episode Five:

1)"It's all right. I won't hurt you."  Hurt him, Liz, hurt him!


2)Cliffhanger #5: An unknown spacecraft approaches!


Episode Six:

1)The aliens sound kind of like the Siulrians. Of course, they really only had one "alien voice" in thse days.


2)"A bogus company with an address that doesn't even exist."  Apparently it's easier to get ahold of isotopes than I thought.


3)No wonder the aliens wear those helmets all the time - they're kind of goofy-looking without them.


4)Cliffhanger #6: Carrington pulls a gun on the Doctor!


Episode Seven:

1)Everyone in this seems to be somewhat chuckleheaded - goodies, baddies, even the aliens. Walking into obvious traps, trusitng the wrong people, and so on.


2)The Brigadier's fight scene is kind of fakey - it's a little too obvious that they're not hitting one another that hard.


3)Not wild about Liz's outfit in this - the late 60's/early 70's were a strange time.


4)And we end with the Doctor taking of fand leavignthe clean-up work to everyone else.



Actually, not too bad of a story. A little long, as with most seven-parters, but not too padded.


[Part of list of Doctor Who episodes here.]


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The last of the Liz Shaw stories with one more Third Doctor story (“The Mind of Evil”) left to go. It occurs to me, now that the show’s 50th anniversary is approaching, the BBC has considerably slowed the last of the DVD releases. Which one is next, by the way? My usual online source doesn’t list say, and there’s no “Coming Soon” feature on the DVD.

I’ve been so Doctor Who starved lately that the last couple of DVD releases I watched in one night. This being a seven-parter, though, I think I’ll stretch it out one episode per night as is my wont. I might expect a seven-parter to bog down in the middle a bit, but this one got off to a slow start, I thought.

Have you ever done a Doctor Who timeline for Mars, BTW? I was wondering where this episode falls in relation to “Pyramids of Mars,” “The Waters of Mars,” etc. (Oh, speaking of Mars, I bought that “Mars Attacks” 50th anniversary book yesterday, too. I thought printing the dust jacket on waxed paper was a nice touch.)

Yeah, the Martian timeline was screwy enough in the old show - "Waters of Mars" just muddied the waters further.

I thought printing the dust jacket on waxed paper was a nice touch.


Yeah, they did that with the two Wacky Packages books, too.

Back in the 70's, it took me awhile to really get in the habit of watching the show 5 times a week. It wasn't just DOCTOR WHO, it was rare for me to be that dedicated to almost anything.  Somehow, other things kept getting in the way.

As a result, I missed the last 3 (or 4?) episodes of THE SILURIANS the first time around.  With THE AMBASSADORS OF DEATH, I did a little better-- I saw Parts 1-3, missed Parts 4-6, but did manage to catch Part 7, so at least I got to see the end of the story.  But the cliffhanger with Liz on the bridge, I didn't see the resolution to until it turned up on PBS, the same year as the Hartnells, Troughtons and Colin Bakers. 

A year earlier, shortly after THE FIVE DOCTORS, they got Peter Davison's 3rd season, and just about half of the Pertwees-- only the ones they had complete in color.  It's possible they didn't have the color print of SPEARHEAD FROM SPACE, because that one was missing, along with THE SILURIANS, AMBASSADORS, TERROR OF THE AUTONS, THE MIND OF EVIL, THE DAEMONS, FRONTIER IN SPACE, PLANET OF THE DALEKS and INVASION OF THE DINOSAURS (not absolutely sure about those last few, but it seems about right).  All the "missing" Pertwees turned up a year later, with the exception of PLANET OF THE DALEKS Part 3 and INVASION OF THE DINOSAURS Part 1, which I have still not seen to this day (despite reading the novelizations of both).

Stupidly, when my station ran THE AMBASSADORS OF DEATH (in movie format, of course), the last 5 minutes of so was MISSING!  Never did find out how that happened, they just cut it off and went to commercial or station sign-off or something.  A week later, they apologized for what happened... and after running all 7 episodes of INFERNO (again, movie-format), there was an announcement, followed by the last 5-10 minutes of AMBASSADORS.  I was lucky enough to be able to set up my VCR to edit it right onto the end of the previous week's recording.  (I forget if it was seemless, or if there was overlap.  I should have remembered this by now, I've seen it a few times, but it's never been a favorite of mine, it just drags on too damn long.)  I'm pretty sure this was Channel 23 / NJN, which, despite getting the show some time after Philly's Channel 12 (I'm pretty sure) at one point became a much bigger "market" for the show, and one of the biggest for it in the US.

It's rather ironic that for many years, Lis Shaw has been one of my favorite WHO girls, and yet, I can barely stand 3 of her 4 stories.  (The 3 7-parters, of course.)

I see that John Abineri, who played the main villain (Gen. Carrington) also appeared in FURY FROM THE DEEP, DEATH TO THE DALEKS and THE POWER OF KROLL!  Oddly enough, the guy he reminds me of the most is Alfred Lynch, who played Gen. Millington in THE CURSE OF FENRIC.  (I think it's easy to get those two confused, and not just because opf the characters' names.)

Tracy and I didn’t discuss episode one much at all. Last night, she suggested we skip three, watch four, skip five and six, and watch seven.

That's not fair. You're supposed to suffer thru all 7, presuably one episode per night.

Of course, the last time I watched COLONY IN SPACE, I watched the first 10 minutes, then skipped forward to part 4!

Listened to the commentary track last night. It explains why Liz is wearing that huge hat - to hide the fact that it's mostly not Carrie John driving Bessie, but a stuntman in her outfit.


One sad/eerie moment: Both Carrie John and Nick Courtney are on the track - it shows you how far in advance they record these things - and John talks about how so many of the supporting players in this have passed on, and then she says "But we're all still here!"

I had a similar feeling watching the DVD extras on the Magical Mystery Tour DVD when they showed old clips or recording of George Harrison and John Lennon discussion the film. What really gets me every time, though, is one version I have of Double Fantasy on CD. The music itself is followed by documentary recordings of John and Yoko discussing the album. In the last snippet on the disc, recorded on the day he was shot, John mentions dying, then adds, “which I hope won’t be for many years.” Later that same day, he would be dead.

No Doctor Who last night; watched the VP debate.

No Doctor Who last night; watched the VP debate.


I watched Prometheus with the French language track, then started watching Hamlet in Elsinore, starring Christopher Plummer, which I will be posting on in the Hamlet thread sometime over the weekend.

I was on an airplane once and watched Batman Forever with my headphones set to the French language soundtrack. I initially tuned to it to hear how the French voice actor interpreted Jim Carrey’s highly individual performance (especially his laugh as the Riddler), but soon discovered I preferred it that way.

Watched episodes three and four over the weekend. (Three to go!) Do y'all realize there are only two (complete) Doctor Who stories left to be released on DVD? Wow!

Is it just down to "The Mind of Evil" and "Terror of the Zygons"?  Wow.

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