1)And so, we come to the end of the Troughton era, with a ten part story that was never supposed to be a ten-parter, but only became so after the plannned four- and six-parters fell through. Written in tandem by Terrance Dicks and Malcolm Hulke, it gives Troughton an epic send-off, thoug it does drag a bit in the middle, as a ten-parter almos tinvariably would.  Still, it's quite good for an emergency effort.

 

2)Can't say as I'm overwhelmed by the War Chief as a baddy - he doesn't really have much of a presence for me. He's not helped by being placed next to the late, great Philip Madoc as the War Lord - Madoc give a truly chilling performance, with the sort of quiet menace that's more frightening than all the loud ranting in the world.

 

3)We also get the introduction of the Time Lords, and our first real info as to the Doctor's origins.  No wonder he left, it doesn't seem a good place to have what you might call fun.

 

4)Episode Notes:

Episode One:

  • I found it interesting how this seemed to start out as thought it were a historical - we're a good way in before we see that there's more going on here than that they've just stumbled in to World War One. I gather that it was filmed at a dump, and they were menaced by a substantial number of rats while filming.
  • Cliffhanger: The Doctor is brought before a firing squad!  (I confess that, unobservant fellow that I am, it took me a couple of viewings to notice that this story begins and ends with the Doctor on trial.)

Episode Two:

  • I enjoyed the bit where Zoe bahsed the guy over the head. "I'm sorry, Doctor, but it seemed the only way."
  • Be funny if one the Romans turned out to be Rory Williams.
  • Cliffhanger: The Romans charge the ambulance!

Episode Three:

  • I got a chuckle from the scene with Jamie and Zoe in the German helmets - I bet it took them a few takes to do that without laughing.
  • Hey, the Doctor actually uses the sonic screwdriver to turn screws!
  • Cliffhanger: The SIDRAT vanishes with the Doctor and Zoe on board!

Episode Four:

  • "Who else would have space/time machines like the TARDIS?"  Gee, I wonder who?
  • The aliens' (They're never given a name!) technology is kind of goofy - the control circuits appear to be refrigerator magnets!
  • The Doctor and the War Chief instantly recognize one another.  I'm not a fan of the "The War Chief is an earlier incarnation of the Master" theory, but I don't see anyhting in this that flat-out contradicts it.
  • Cliffhanger: Carstairs prepares to shoot Zoe!

Episode Five:

  • The Alien HQ has a tendency to look like the set of Laugh-In.
  • "Better leave him on simmer."
  • Cliffhanger: Jamie and the Resisntace get zapped!  ("Jamie and the Resistance" would make a good band name.)

Episode Six:

  • "Are you suggesting he's bringing in his own people - the Time Lords!"  And that's the first mentiontheyget.
  • Private Moor is played by David Troughton, son of Patrick.
  • "It's the TARDIS, you see, he can't control it. We just arrived here."  Sure, he just happened to show up someplace a renegade Time Lord was messing around. Or, have the TIme Lords known where he was all along, occasionally nudging him in one direction or another when they thought a situation needed attention, and only bringing him in when he, by calling on them, forced them to take "official" notice of him?
  • Cliffhanger: The Doctor, Jamie and the others are being crushed inside the SIDRAT!

Episode Seven:

  • Seven episodes in before we get to see Philip Madoc! Criminal, I call it.
  • "You've caused me a great deal of trouble" "Good, I'm very glad to hear it."
  • Cliffhanger: The aliens caapture the Doctor!

Episode Eight:

  • "Don't worry - I'm not going to hurt you."
  • "You may have changed your appearance, but I know who you are." I've always assumed that Time Lords had a way of knowing one another, even when they've regenerated.  I suspect that they have ways of shielding themselves from such recognition, as well.
  • "I had every right to leave."
  • "For such a little woman, your mouth is too big."
  • Cliffhanger: The Doctor appears to have led the Resistance into a trap! (The thing is, we know the Doctor hasn't turned bad, but wouldn't it be funny if there was a scene in sone adventure show where the hero actually did turn bad?

Episode Nine:

  • "It's a personal debt I had to settle."  That's my favorite bit from the War Chief.
  • "They're my own people, Jamie."
  • The time cube was an interesting idea - good thing he just happened to have one on him.
  • "No. No, you killed him.  But a little too late."  Very chilling line reading from Madoc, there. Scary.
  • Well , we see the War Chief shot down, But I suppose he could've regenerated off-screen.
  • "You can't shoot him in the back, he's helped us too much!" "The back, the front, what's the difference?" Ah, a pragmatist.
  • "When the Time Lords get him, he'll wish you had killed him."
  • Cliffhanger: The Doctor is pursued by the Time Lords!

Episode Ten:

  • And the Doctor's stated reason for leaving home: "I was bored!"  I suspect him of BS-ing here, since he knows the Time Lords may be watching.
  • "We can live forever, barring accidents."
  • "It is a fact, Jamie, that I do tend to get involved with things."
  • "You have returned to us, Doctor. Your travels are over."
  • The actors playing the Tribunal are Clyde Pollitt, Bernard Horsfall and Trevor Martin.  Pollitt and Horsfall would play Time Lords (The same Time Lords?) again, and Martin later played the Doctor in a stage play in the 70's.
  • "We would not cause you unnecessary pain." "We're fine with necessary pain, however."
  • "I'm glad to see your sense of justice still pevails - even though they've lost their sense of humor."
  • "I not only admit them - I'm smug about proud of them."
  • "All these evils I have fought, while you have done nothing but observe."  Ya bums, ya!
  • "I expect they'll make me listen to a long, boring speech about being a good boy.  They like making speeches."  He's almost like a kid being called to the principal's office.
  • The Doctor's goodbyes with Jamie and Zoe are very affecting - it really feels like the end of an era.
  • "They'll forget about me, won't they?" "Not entirely. They'll remember their first adventure with you, nothing more."
  • Cliffhanger: The Doctor is sent whirling to regeneration and exile!

 

Overall:

Wow, that was a long haul. I've re-watched all that I could of the first two Doctor's adventures.  At last I've reached the ending of the show's "beginning" period. Next up - the UNIT era, and the Doctor's adventures become a good deal more "colorful"!

 

[Part of list of Doctor Who episodes here.]

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PBS ran this over 2 weeks in movie form, and that's always how I watch it. 5 episodes at a shot is about all my attention span can handle. What's amazing is, most 6-parters drag, this one's 10 parts, and it DOESN'T drag!

I like to think Bernard Horsfall played the same Time Lord twice, because, among other things, it means Goth was present at 2 different occasions when The Doctor was put on trial. (And, it would give Goth a reaons for knowing so much about The Doctor, when so many in the later story don't... except Borusa. I really wish they hadn't turned Borusa bad in his last appearance.)

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