Doctor Who? The Twelfth Doctor

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After Matt Smith decided to give up the role of the doctor Peter Capaldi was cast as the 12th Doctor

The Twelfth Doctor

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After being granted a new cycle of regeneration’s by the Time Lords, the Doctor and Clara Oswald land in Victorian England, where they are joined by the Patanoster Street Gang (Strax, Madam Vastra and her wife Jenny Flint) in battling more clockwork astronauts.  Whilst still maintaining her Job at Coal Hill School the Doctor and Clara visit Robin Hood in Sherwood Forest, are shrank in order to save the Universes only good Dalek and take part in a heist on the Bank of Karabraxos. Owing to the strain on Clara’s personal life, and her budding relationship with fellow teacher Danny Pink, Clara decides to leave the Tardis after one last trip, this time, battling a mummy on board the Orient Express… In Space.  Deciding to continue travelling with the Doctor, Clara meets Rigsy a graffiti artist who together defeat the alien Boneless, the Doctor then helps Clara and Danny Pink navigate through London after the world becomes covered in trees.

Not long after this Danny Pink dies after being hit by a car, however his spirit is taken to “Heavan” where it is discovered that a woman named Missy has been manipulating events in the Doctor’s and Clara’s lives for some time.  Upon discovering this the Doctor and Clara learn that Missy has been placing the remains of the recently deceased inside Cybermen units, including Danny Pink and the Doctors old friend the Brigadier. Aided by Kate Stewart and UNIT the Doctor discovers that Missy is in fact the Master in a new regeneration and plans to give the Cybermen to the Doctor as a peace keeping force, this is foiled by the Danny Pink Cyberman and Clara before Missy is seeming killed by the Brigadier Cyberman, but not before telling the Doctor that Gallifrey has been returned to its original time and place in the universe.

As it turns out Missy was in fact lying, and had actually managed to survive owing to a vortex manipulator. Missy, Clara and the Doctor are then summoned by Davros, on a rebuilt Skaro where the Doctor showing mercy saves Davros’ life. The Doctor and Clara resume travelling together and meet Ashildr a Viking woman, who, as a result of conflict with the Mire, becomes immortal. The Doctor then encounters Ashildr again, now going simply by the name Me, in the 1600’s. The Doctor and Clara then discover an element of the Zygon invasion force left on earth have become active and are breaking the treaty in place with the humans. Being manipulated by unknown forces once again the Doctor and Clara once again encounter Me, this time acting as Mayor to a group of exiled and stranded aliens this however leads to Clara’s Death and the Doctor being sent to a mysterious castle with a deadly inhabitant, called the veil. After several billion years the Doctor Manages to escape his prison, and finds himself on Gallifrey, at the end of the Universe. On Gallifrey the Doctor banishes Rassilon and the rest of the High Council before rescuing Clara from her moment of death, and stealing another tardis. At the end of the Universe, the Doctor and Clara encounter Me, who along with Clara agrees to return to her proper place in time within this stolen tardis. Clara and Me then leave an amnesiac Doctor at his Tardis before returning Clara, although Me and Clara decided to travel the universe first, although their Tardis is now stuck looking like an American Diner.

The Doctor, now travelling alone stumbles across Professor River Song, engineering her new husbands death for a priceless diamond. Not recognising the Doctor in his current regeneration she engages his help in retrieving and selling the diamond. The two, along with River’s accomplices Ramone and Nardole, wind up on the planet Darillium where the Doctor gives River the Christmas present of a Sonic Screwdriver, before he and River spend the night (24 years) before River then leaves for the library and the Doctor’s first meeting with her.

The Doctor then begins travelling with Nardole, before being called on to act as executioner for Missy, unable to do this he imprisons her and the three take up residence on Earth, where the Doctor becomes a lecturer at Bristol University. Whilst in academic residence the Doctor takes an interest in a young student named Bill Potts after the two encounter a being called the pilot. The Two travel to the far future and to Victorian England, and then back to the future, where the Doctor loses his sight. The Doctor and Bill save the earth from armageddon and return the Doctor’s sight, at the cost of the Earth being taken over by a race of monks, the Doctor, Bill and Nardole, after prompting from Missy incite rebellion and the Monks control of earth is defeated.

The Doctor and Bill then become stranded on Mars in the 1800’s and are instrumental in the first alliance between Ice Warriors and Humans, and in the Ice Warriors joining the Galactic Alliance. The pair are rescued by Missy and Nardole, and the Doctor begins see signs of Missy reforming into who she used to be. After a short spell in Roman Britain, the Doctor, Nardole, Missy and Bill travel to the future and arrive on a ship nearing a black hole in space, where Bill is shot and critically wounded, she is taken to the other end of the ship, but owing to the time distorting effect of the black hole, time passes at a far slower rate where Missy, Nardole and the Doctor are, than where Bill is. Bill is patched up with cybernetic components and is given into the care of a Mr Razor, the two live and work together in the hospital for several months until the Doctor, Missy and Nardole begin the journey down (5 minuets in their time). However Razor betrays Bill and she is forced into more surgery to become like the hospitals other inhabitants. Upon arriving at Bill’s level the Doctor and Nardole discover that Bill has been turned into one of the first Cybermen from the planet Mondas. And Missy discovers that Razor is really the Master (John Simm). The Master and Missy capture him, but the Doctor had earlier  reprogrammed the Cybernet to target Time Lords as well, forcing them to flee. Nardole arrives in a stolen shuttle to rescue them. The Doctor is electrocuted by a Cyberman, but is saved by Bill. The Doctor manages to destroy the Cybermen, but not before Nardole escapes with many other humans, and the Master and Missy flee, Missy however decides to rejoin the Doctor and stabs her younger self beginning his regeneration, but the Master upon learning the Missy plans to rejoin the Doctor, shoots and kills her, apparently in way that will disable her regenerative process. The Cyberman version of bill also dies in the process, but her essence is saved by the alien Pilot, and the Doctors body is returned to the Tardis. Bill and the Pilot leave to travel the universe together, leaving the Doctor, he begins to regenerate, but tries to halt the process. He travels to Antarctica where he encounters his first self (also in the process of regenerating after meeting Mondasian Cybermen for the first time). The two Doctors meet a time displaced Captain from the British Army in World War One. All three are then forcibly taken into a large spaceship. Inside, they meet with Bill Potts; the Twelfth Doctor, however, doubts she is the real Bill. Upon encountering the ship’s glass-like holographic pilot, they are offered freedom in exchange for allowing the ship to return the Captain to the moment of his death. Refusing to allow the Captain to die, they escape and take the First Doctor’s TARDIS to the planet Villengard.

Alone, the Twelfth Doctor meets with the rogue Dalek Rusty, Given access to the Dalek Hivemind, the Doctor learns that the pilot and its ship, known as Testimony, were created on New Earth, and extract people from their timelines just before they die in order to store their memories “Bill” is discovered to be an avatar, created from her memories. Seeing no evil to fight, the Doctors agree to return the Captain to his timeline. TheCaptain asks the Doctors to keep an eye on his family, introducing himself as Archibald Hamish Lethbridge-Stewart. As time resumes, the Doctors watch as soldiers on both sides begin singing “Silent Night”. The Twelfth Doctor explains to the First that he deliberately shifted the Captain’s timeline to the start of the Christmas truce, to ensure his life would be spared. The first Doctor is returned to his timeline and regenerates, and after encountering avatars of Bill, Nardole and Clara so to does the twelfth Doctor.

Stand Out Stories 

  1. Deep Breath- The freshly regenerated Doctor surrounded by familiar faces fighting Dinosaurs and clockwork robots in Victorian London, oh and lots of Straxy goodness.
  2. Dark Water/Death In Heaven- The Master will always be my favourite villain from all of Doctor who, and it was great to see this fresh perspective on an old character, which just goes to show why Doctor Who is such a long running series.
  3. The Magician’s Apprentice/ The Witches Familliar– Bringing back Missy and Davros in the same episodes to me sounded like overkill at first, but then I forget that some of the best episodes from the show have been the Master manipulating, not just the Doctor, but other monsters as well. This combination of Daleks, Davros, Doctor and Master, has been one that fans of the show have been clamouring for for decades.
  4. Heaven Sent/ Hell Bound – I don’t know what it is about seeing the Doctor at a low point that makes for great storytelling, but there’s just something about it. Seeing what the Doctor does when his back is really against the wall, and seeing what he does to get an outcome that is on his terms and no one else’s is an aspect of the show that I really enjoy watching. It also helps that a good portion of this two parter is set on Gallifrey and for some reason, I find that I enjoy those the most, when looking at my favourite episodes from any Doctor, I find that I gravitate towards the ones set on Gallifrey, and the stories that deliver a good look at the past of the doctor and his world.
  5. The Empress Of Mars- I’m guessing the title of this episode was a little nod to the Edgar Rice Burrows story a Princess of Mars, and even little things like that always put a smile on my face, but seeing the sort of world building that Doctor Who has spent decades on come to fruition, with lots of nods to its own past (and fictional future) always go down well in my book.
  6. World Enough and Time/ The Doctor Falls- We’ve had multiple, multiple Doctor stories in the past (and future) but never a multiple Master one (spin off media doesn’t count unfortunately) so imagine my delight upon the announcement of not one but two Masters for price of only one licence fee. The weird love hate dynamic between the Master and the Master is something that I never would have imagined possible, let alone the whole weird incest (selfcest?) thing that they had going on, which was both cringey and hilarious to watch at the same time.

Dishonourable Mention 

  1. Nardole-I don’t usually pick on individual characters, but Nardole was not a good one, whether it was Matt Lucas’s portrayal, or just the fact that he was there to be comic relief, but he really just managed to get on my nerves throughout all of his appearances.

 

Join again soon for more on the wonderful worlds of The BBC’s Doctor Who.

This is part of a series of posts relating to the BBC’s long running show Doctor Who.

Doctor Who? The Eleventh Doctor

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After David Tennant decided to leave the role of the Doctor Behind, Matt Smith was cast as the 11th Doctor.

The Eleventh Doctor

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Travelling alone the Doctor encounters a young Amy Pond before meeting her again 13 years later, they begin travelling together and discover a series of cracks in the fabric of reality after meeting Churchill and the Doctor encounters the woman River Song at an earlier point in her existence. The Two are Joined by Amy’s fiance, Rory Williams aboard the Tardis where they travel to Venice and then encounter an aspect of the Doctor’s darker side calling itself the Dream Lord. At this point Rory is seemingly wiped from existence after an encounter with a newly revived clan of Silurians. The Doctor and Amy travel back to Roman Britain at the summons of River Song, where it is revealed that Amy’s entire life has been manipulated by a coalition of the Doctor’s enemies to avert destruction of the Universe, caused by the Tardis exploding.  However the Tarids explodes, and the universe ends. However the Doctor with the aid of Amy, River Song and Rory (in Auton form) manage to reboot the universe, restoring Rory to life in the process.

Amy and Rory get married and Honeymoon on the Tardis, before returning home briefly. They meet an older version of the Doctor at Lake Silencio in the US for a picnic with River Song, where the Doctor is seemingly shot and killed by an Astronaut. However River Song, Amy and Rory meet a younger version of the 11th Doctor (some 300 years younger) and discover that the astronaut was really a little girl who is injured, who then runs off and regenerates. The Doctor, Rory, and Amy encounter a human cloning program, and it is revealed that Amy has been kidnapped and replaced by a clone. Amy had been captured at some point after conceiving a child on board the Tardis, a child that the Silence and the Universal Church want to use to kill the Doctor and avoid the end of the Universe. The Child is revealed to be River Song (Melody Pond) and that she grew up still in captivity programmed to kill the Doctor, she is shot in Nazi Germany, and regenerates into her current, and final form, where her programming is broken, and the Doctor, Amy and Rory, leave her in the future, to become an archaeologist.  She is later recaptured and becomes the astronaut who kills the Doctor, however she manages to alter time, and save him, before the two are then married.

The Doctor reappears, travelling again with Rory and Amy, before the 2 become stranded in 1930’s New York. Losing his friends like this almost kills the Doctor, he goes into exile, where is being somewhat enabled by the Sontaran Strax, the Silurian Madame Vastra, and her wife, Human Jenny Flint. In Victorian London he meets Clara Oswald, and realises he has already met her in the Dalek Asylum in the far future, she dies fighting the Great Intelligence (this time using semi sentient Snowmen rather than robotic Yeti’s)  However the Doctor realises that she has been turning up throughout the Doctors timeline. He tracks her to the 21st century, where the 2 encounter the Great Intelligence once more, the Doctor and Clara begin travelling together, heading to the far future, and encounter an Ice Warrior on board a cold war era submarine. The Two encounter the Cybermen, before causing the Doctor the visit his own grave on the Planet of Trenzalore, where in a effort to destroy the Doctor, the Great Intelligence tries to corrupt every moment of the Doctor’s history, however he is foiled by Clara and the projection of River Song (who lives on in mind, contained within The Library) when Clara enters to the Doctor’s time stream (explaining why the Doctor has met multiple versions of Clara), she defeats the Great Intelligence, but unlocks the Doctor’s memories of the Doctor Who fought in The Time War.

The Doctor and Clara return to 21st century London at the urging of Kate Stewart (the Brigadier’s Daughter) where the Doctor meets his previous self (the tenth Doctor, who saves Queen Elizabeth the First from a Zygon Invasion) and his previous self who fought in the Time War, together the Three Doctor’s defeat the Zygon invasion and actually manage to subvert the outcome of the Time War, with 13 incarnations of the Doctor uniting to phase Gallifrey out of sync with reality, the Dalek fleet destroying itself in the crossfire, so it seemed to the outside universe that both Time Lords and Daleks were destroyed. However owing to Blinovitch limitation effect the earlier Doctor’s retain no memory of this meeting, but the 11th Doctor now sets off to find the now missing Gallifrey.

The Doctor’s search leads him to the Town of Christmas where there is a crack in the universe asking the question “Doctor Who?” realising that this would mean the return of the Time Lords almost every aggressive race in the universe descends on the Town of Christmas, which is revealed to be on the planet Trenzalore, the Doctor sends Clara back to Earth and for 700 years stands guard over the crack in space time. he defeats many races until only The Daleks remain. Clara returns to him so that he doesn’t die alone, (owing to the fact that the Doctor is on his final regeneration), the Doctor goes to face the Daleks, and Clara pleads to the Time Lords for help. They grant the Doctor a new cycle of regeneration’s, before he defeats the Daleks, he and Clara escape to the Tardis, taking off before he regenerates.

Stand Out Stories

  1. Nightmare In Silver- A Cyberman story set in the far future at an amusement park, whats not to love.
  2. Closing Time- Another Cyberman story, this time they’re invading a department store? The Doctor finds his true vocation working in a toy department and there is a great bit involving the Doctor invoking his undying love for another man.
  3. The Doctors Wife- When you get down to it the longest companion in the history of the show is the Tardis herself, and this episode actually looks at the embodiment of the Tardis and shows her relationship with the Doctor.
  4. The Name of the Doctor- It all comes down to the end of this episode, which is what we were waiting for since the shows return. We finally find out what the Time War turned the Doctor into.

Dishonourable Mention

  1. The Fez- I just don’t know why the producers thought that the Doctor regularly wearing a fez would be funny, but they really missed the mark on this one, and it just felt a little bit sad, it was after all just a grown man loving the fact that he was wearing a silly hat.

 

Join again soon for more on the wonderful worlds of The BBC’s Doctor Who.

This is part of a series of posts relating to the BBC’s long running show Doctor Who.

Doctor Who? The Wilderness Years Part One

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After the cancellation of Doctor Who after 26 series there was a massive outcry from fans of the show for a continuation of the show. And they got several, but not in the way that they wanted.

Direct To Video

What you actually got were a few different continuations the canonical nature of which are all pretty much up for debate, there were some direct to video productions from companies such as BBV and Reeltime. However because of the unlicensed nature of these programmes they could not feature any overt reference to the Doctor, Time Lords or the Tardis. Between BBV and Reeltime you got productions such as Shakedown, Downtime, Wartime, Daemos Rising, Zygon’s, Auton’s and P.R.O.B.E. These all took old companions and friends of the Doctor, or old adversaries and allowed them to have adventures on earth or in space, without the aid of the Doctor,  a trend that would continue when the series was revived with spin offs such as Torchwood, Class, K-9 and the Sarah Jane Adventures.

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Downtime DVD Cover

The quality of some of these direct to video stories were fantastic, others were not so good, and many I think were hampered by an abundance of ambition, but were lacking the resources to accomplish what they set out to do.

Stand Out Stories

  1. Wartime: Wartime was the first attempt at a Whoniverse spin off released by reeltime, and while it was a low budget picture, the premise of which was a little shaky, but still it manages to show that it can be done. Jon Levene as John Benton manages to convince audiences of fear that comes when confronted over the guilt of ones own past.

Dishonourable Mention

  1. Downtime: It should have been good, Sarah Jane Smith fighting alongside the Brigadier, bringing his career full circle fighting the Yeti and The Great Intelligence (the Brigadier’s first appearance was fighting the Yeti in the London underground), but it wasn’t good, no such luck, the dialogue was stilted and the Yeti costumes had not aged well.

Novels

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The Virgin New Adventures

Whilst BBV and Reeltime were kicking about the companions and classic monsters of the Whoniverse, both the Doctors past and then current incarnations adventures were being looked at in depth courtesy of Virgin Books, the publishing division of Richard Branson’s Virgin Empire. Under Virgin there were three series of books published focusing on the adventures of the Doctor (as well as numerous fact books as well) These were Decalog a series of books 5 books collecting short stories from various points in the Doctor’s lives. The Missing Adventures, a series of 34 books, featured Doctors 1-6 and their companions at various points throughout their history set between serials of the original run of the show.

And then there were The New Adventures, a series of 61 books all but one of which were set between the last serial Survival and The Television Movie and feature the Seventh Doctor as portrayed by Sylvester McCoy (the last book of the series was set after the TV movie and features the Eighth Doctor as portrayed by Paul McGann). The series itself moved forward the characters of Ace and The Doctor, and explored a vast swathe of the shows fictional history, and in many ways served to tie up loose ends and plot threads that had been left by the show, and reintroduced characters such as the War Chief, The Great Vampire and the Monk. As well as seeing the return of characters Leela and Romana, The Brigadier and saw the death of companion Liz Shaw. The New Adventures also saw the introduction of long serving companion Bernice Summerfield, who would later enjoy her own series of novels and audio drama’s that are still in production to this day. The stories see the relation ship between Ace and The Doctor grow increasingly more fraught, before she leaves for a time, before returning several years (from her point of view) later.  The stories took on a darker tone that mimicked the latter parts of the series, with the Doctor fighting Lovecraftian beings and the stories took on a more adult theme, with cursing and sexual content becoming more commonplace, and whilst older villains and alien races were featured regularly the stories didn’t rely on them, with the Dalek’s only being seen in a cameo 40 or so books in and the Cybermen appearing only once.  It made use of the lesser villains within the narrative framework, and worked as a nice way to round off the series and answer a good deal of unanswered questions that had plagued the series since its beginning.

Stand Out Stories 

  1. Cats Cradle, Times Crucible: This Novel features possibly the most in depth look into time lord history , it shows the birth of time travel and shows the formation of the sisterhood of Karn (from the serial The Brain Of Morbius) and shows how the Doctor’s people went from being plain old Gallifreyans to becoming Time Lords.
  2. Love and War: This book saw ace leave the Doctor and the introduction of the character Bernice Summerfield, and it truly shows this incarnation of the Doctor at his most manipulative and at his lowest point ever.
  3.  No Future: This novel is set in London during the Age of Punk and brings back the Brigadier and U.N.I.T, but also the return of the Doctor’s foes the Monk and The Vardan’s who have teamed up to exact revenge on the Doctor, it is also the culmination of events that have proceeded this novel and it is where the Doctor finally begins to make amends with ace for all the pain she has suffered because of simply knowing the doctor.
  4. Head Games: This sees the return of companion Mel , who after being abandoned by Sabalom Glitz , helps the Doctor defeat the Master of The Land Of Fiction, but disgusted at how the doctor has changed in this new incarnation she leaves him again.
  5. First Frontier: The Master finally gets a new body,  and a new cycle of regeneration’s courtesy of the Tzun Confederation, setting the stage for the beginning of the TV movie, this piece is a bit of cold war, space age, spy action.
  6. Lungbarrow: We finally find out who the Doctor is, or do we? Set of Gallifrey, in the house of Lungbarrow, the Doctors ancestral home, caught up in the conspiracy of a centuries old murder, and secrets that date back from the beginnings of Time Lord history, who is the this man called the Doctor? A healer? A traveller, A Time Lord, or something other?

Dishonourable Mention

  1. Sky Pirates:  Trying to write like Terry Pratchett is not a bad thing, I myself am certainly influenced by the mans writing style, but it doesn’t work with Doctor Who. and this story did not work, it was a pretty awful thing that I had a great deal of trouble following.
  2. Falls The Shadow: Its torture porn. There are needless deaths, and I understand that the antagonists are meant to be psychopaths, but it really does seem that a lot of pointless torture takes place just for the hell of it, and I really feel that it was needless as it adds nothing to the overall story,  other than to bump up the word count.

Doctor Who? The Sixth Doctor

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After Peter Davison’s departure from the role of the Doctor in March 1984, the role went to Colin Baker, the Doctors most colourful incarnation to date. Colin Baker stared in only 8 serials (33 episodes) until being replaced in 1987.

The Sixth Doctor 

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The Sixth Doctor

The Sixth Doctor was a man given to great eccentricities, donning a patchwork coat of rainbow hue, a pair of bright yellow pinstripe trousers, mismatched waistcoat, polkadot cravat and capped off with bright orange spats and a mop of curly blonde hair. Due to the trauma of his regeneration this Doctors personality was prone to violent outbursts of temper and a depressive sensibility, often at times brooding, his domineering personality was only enhanced by his great physical stature, a big man, both tall and broad, this Doctor was the most physically imposing to date.

Continuing his travels with Peri, The Doctor battle old enemies such as the Daleks and Cybermen, meeting new foes such as Sil and The Board, whilst meeting H.G Wells before coming across the Master and the sociopathic Time Lady the Rani, a being solely interested in the advancement of her scientific research, stopping at nothing to meet her ends.

The Doctor then once again meets one of his past selves, his second incarnation (played by Patrick Troughton), when this prior incarnation and Jamie are sent on a mission by the time lords to end rival experiments into time travel, experiments being conducted on behalf of the war like Sontaran’s, all to aid their war effort against the Rutan Host. Managing to save himself from the Sontaran’s grasp, both Doctors return to their proper place in time and space, the Second Doctor about to being exile on Earth and the Sixth Doctor still in 20th century Spain.

It is then that the Doctor faces the most difficult battle of his life, placed on trial by his own people the Doctor faces off against the mysterious Valeyard, a Gallifreyan prosecutor with a clear grudge against the Doctor. Presenting evidence from the Doctor’s past, a court room drama unfolds, in which the prosecution seems to stack against the Doctor, before a plot at the very heart of Time Lord society. The Doctor is framed by the Valeyard for the Death of Peri, before being revealed to by the Master as a potential future incarnation of the Doctor. Defeating the Valeyard and The Master, the Doctor meets new companion Mel, before discovering that Peri is still alive and well, living as a queen, his innocence secured the Doctor and Mel once again set off into time and space.

Whilst Colin Baker did not serve in the role long, two series in total, he is still the most colourful Doctor there has ever been and it saddens me a little that he didn’t come back for a regeneration scene, and whilst his successor is still probably my favourite doctor since William Hartnell, I feel that Colin Baker deserved better.

Stand Out Serials

  1. The Trial Of A Time Lord: This was to be Colin Bakers last serial (also last series as it lasted a whole series), this 14 part saga, saw the departure of Peri, the introduction of companion Mel and recurring character Glitz, all whilst the Doctor battles through a trial, being enforced on him by his own people, with a biased Judge and vengeful prosecutor the Doctor is fighting for his lives.
  2. Vengeance On Varos: Its a little like the hunger games, and a bit like big brother, all with the Doctor and Peri trying to get out of the clutches of a group of corrupt politicians and some slimy merchants.
  3. The Two Doctors: Doctor meets Doctor in this head on collision that tires to see the Time Lords maintain their monopoly on time travel, in the heart of the endless conflict between the Might Sontaran Empire and the Rutan Host. This episode also gives rise to the series 6b fan theory, that in spinoff media suggests that the second Doctor didn’t go straight from courtroom to exile on earth, but was in fact acting as a secret agent of the Time Lords.

Dishonourable Mention

  1. The Doctor and the Amazing Technicolour Nightmare Coat: Even Colin Baker admitted to absolutely loathing his costume, it was tartan, it was tweed, it was gingham and it was a rainbow coloured nightmare of fashion dont’s.

Doctor Who? The Fifth Doctor

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At the end of the eighteenth series of the show, Tom Baker submitted the role of the Doctor to the young actor Peter Davison. Davison ditched the 4 meter scarf and battered fedora for a traditional English cricket attire, adorned with a stick of celery, yes that’s right, a stick of celery, pinned right there. On his lapel.

The Fifth Doctor

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The Fifth Doctor

This Doctor continued travelling with companions Nyssa and Adric, all while unsuccessfully trying to return Tegan to her proper place and time as an air stewardess bound for Heathrow Airport, travelling together until Adric’s death at the hands of the Cybermen the Doctor and friends might alien invaders and a snake deity, before coming face to face with the Master once more.

Still reeling from Adric’s death, the Doctor once again battles the Legendary Time Lord Omega, the snake god the Mara, before meeting up with the Doctor’s old friend The Brigadier and new companion Vislor Turlough, a young alien stranded on Earth as a political exile, tasked with murdering the Doctor by the villainous Black Guardian.

After the departure of Nyssa and Turlough’s betrayal of the Black Guardian the Tardis crew land in medieval England on the eve of the Magna Carta, where the Master is attempting to manipulate time for his own ends, this time using the Robot Kamelion, a shape changing robot.

The Doctor is then embroiled in a plot which sees his past selves being taken from time, where they must unite to stop Cybermen, Daleks, Yeti’s, The Master and Other Time Lords from stealing the Time Lord’s ultimate weapon, immortality. After once again being dragooned into taking the presidency of the Time Lords, the doctor absconds with his Tardis once more.

After tangling with old foes such as the Silurians, the Sea Devils and the Daleks, Tegan leaves the Tardis returning to earth, whilst the Doctor continues to travel with Turlough, and new companion Peri, Turlough soon returns to his home world, after the trio are betrayed by Kamelion, still controlled by the Master. The Doctor, on the planet Androzani Minor, succumbs to some form of poisoning before traumatically regenerating once more.

Peter Davison stared in 20 serials (69 episodes) from January 1982 until the penultimate serial of the 21st Series in March of 1984, before being replaced by Colin Baker. Davison, was the youngest man to play the Doctor at this point in the shows history, and made the role his own, seeing in the show’s 20th year and battling a whole slew of villains both old and new, whilst his tenure was no shorter than most to this point Davison is one of the classics and to my mind will be remembered most fondly.

Stand Out Serials

  1. The Five Doctors: This single, feature length episode, features all past incarnations of the Doctor, who are taken from time, to join the game of Rassilon, where the winner will find immortality.
  2. The Kings Demons: Set on the eve of the Magna Carta, this introduces the robotic companion Kamelion and sees the return of the Master, this time using an Iron Maiden as a tardis and affecting a questionable french accent.
  3. Earthshock: This episode sees the revival of the cybermen, in a new form (which would last until the series’ revival in 2005) in an effort to destroy the earth the Cybermen actually bring about the death of a companion, the third time in the shows history (both Katarina and Sara Kingdom die in the first Doctor serial the Daleks Masterplan), the credits role silently, and it is something that has a lasting effect across the series, especiall as the companion in question, Adric, was meant to be one of the youngest of the Doctors Travelling Companions.

Dishonourable Mention

  1. Celery: I want to know who thought that it would be a good idea to put the Doctor in cricket whites for everyday wear, and then accessorise it (or should that be garnish?) with a decorative vegetable? I know it was explained away at the end of Davisons run, but we went almost three whole series with no comment about the fact that a grown man is wearing a vegetable pinned to his lapel as if it were the worlds worst boutonniere. I mean seriously who pins a but of salad to the jacket and thinks hey this looks good? I mean its almost as bad as the radish earrings worn by Luna Lovegood in Harry Potter, but at least she is mocked, and rightly so, for it. Now you can see why it gets the dishonourable mention of this particular post. Celery, I mena come on, Celery.

 

 

Join again soon for more on the wonderful worlds of The BBC’s Doctor Who.

This is part of a series of posts relating to the BBC’s longest running show: Doctor Who.

Doctor Who? The Fourth Doctor

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After the departure of Jon Pertwee from the role of the Doctor, Tom Baker began his tenure as what is probably the most memorable incarnation of the Doctor to date. Abandoning his capes and frills in favour of a battered fedora and 12 foot scarf Tom Baker was in the role from December 1974 until March 1981 and saw in some of the show’s most radical changes.

The Fourth Doctor

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The Fourth Doctor

The Fourth Doctor was much different than his predecessors, for a start he was much younger in appearance, and his temperament was much different as well, prone to rambling monologues with a fondness for jelly babies and a little false modesty this Doctor was definitely a man of his own creation.

After fighting a giant robot bent on using the worlds stockpile of nuclear weaponry to wipe out humanity The Doctor chose to leave earth taking with him reporter Sarah Jane Smith and U.N.I.T doctor Harry Sullivan. They travel through time and space, meeting Sontarans, Cybermen, giant slugs, and even witness the birth of the Daleks at the hand of their creator Davros. After returning to earth Harry stays rejoining U.N.I.T after fighting the Loch Ness Monster. The Doctor and Sarah Jane return to space meeting various monsters including Morbius, an exiled Time Lord who led an uprising.  Not long after this Sarah Jane leaves the Doctor so that he can return to Gallifrey.

Upon returning to Gallifrey the Doctor is implicated in the assassination of The Lord President, the plot it turns out to be a ploy of the Master, at the end of his regeneration cycle, decaying and emaciated, The Master tried to access the power of the Eye Of Harmony (a black hole that powers the Time Lords ability to time travel) but is thwarted in the attempt by the Doctor, who becomes president of the Time Lords in the process.

Running from Gallifrey the Doctor meets Leela, a savage from a primitive planet and the two travel together for some time, being joined by K-9 a robot dog with a laser in its nose. The three travel together for some time until The Doctor returns to Gallifrey to undertake his presidential responsibilities and fend of an invasion from the Vardans and The Sontarans. Lela remains on Gallifrey as the consort of gurard captain Andred, with K-9 remaining also.

The Doctor sets out with a new model of K-9 in an attempt to discover and then destroy the Key of Time, Joined by the Time Lady Romana the pair travel together for some time. After regenerating once Romana and the Doctor continue their travels, getting caught up in the Dalek Movellan war and an art forgery ring involving taking masterpieces from the past. The pair actually leave the universe, becoming trapped in a parallel dimension where they pick up a young stowaway Adric, before returning to their home dimension Romana and K-9 Mark II decide to remain behind.

Back in his home universe, the Doctor and Adric travel to Traken where the Doctor discovers a plot by The Master to once again gain limitless universal power. On Traken the Doctor meets new companion Nyssa whose fathers body is taken over by the Master, in this new body The Master departs Traken swearing revenge on the Doctor.After picking up another stowaway Tegan the Doctor then begins  Working with the Master to stop the decaying of the universe, successful the Master then betrays the Doctor pushing him to his death, and a new regeneration.

Tom Baker is still to this day who most people see as the embodiment of the role of The Doctor, often quoting him as the definitive. He had the longest run and the best writers of the show’s history, and I would have to say that he just made the part so much fun. And I can say from personal experience, having met the man once, (his autograph sits on a shelf in my man cave) he seemed like a really nice man.

Stand Out Serials

  1. Genesis of The Daleks: This serial gives us the deepest look into the history of the Daleks since their creation. We meet their creator, Davros, a brilliant scientist who is the product of his own environment, the biggest advances in science and medicine usually come about in war time, and this really is shown here with the Daleks, they are the result of endless war, and are designed purely for extermination.
  2. The Deadly Assassin: Political intrigue and the biggest insight into the world of the Doctor, I often favour the stories set on Gallifrey, because I like learning about the history of the Time Lords, especially their early days and this along with maybe two or three others from the original run are really the only information we have on the past of the Doctor and his people.
  3. State of Decay:  In a show that makes use of history and myth it amazes me that it took so long for the Doctor to encounter Vampires.

Dishonourable Mention

  1. The Ark In Space: The story itself wasn’t bad, but really gets me about this story is that the monster is made out of painted bubble wrap.

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    Bubble wrap is fun, not scary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Join again soon for more on the wonderful worlds of The BBC’s Doctor Who.

This is the fourth in a series of posts relating to the BBC’s long running show Doctor Who.

Doctor Who? The First Doctor

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There is a new series of Doctor Who starting on Saturday. You have no idea how excited I am about this. Doctor Who is my favourite TV show and my absolute number #1 fandom (followed closely by Marvel Comics). Doctor Who is the longest running sci-fi series in the world, with over 800 individual episodes spanning 54 years marking it as the BBC’s longest running drama.

The show focuses on The Doctor, a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey, who chooses to flee the conformity of Time Lord society in a stolen Time Machine come spaceship (The Tardis) and sets out to see a universe that he has only read about.  The Time Lords of Gallifrey are imbued with a unique gift, that when they are approaching death, they are able to regenerate, taking on a new body and personality to match.

The First Doctor 

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The First Doctor

When the series opens we find the Doctor aged in his 600’s an old man still in his first incarnation (portrayed by the redoubtable William Hartnell), on the run from his own people and travelling with his granddaughter Susan, the Doctor is hiding in 1960’s London, where is Granddaughter is enrolled at the local comprehensive, Coal Hill School. It is here where the Tardis (designed to blend with its environment) malfunctions and is stuck as police public call box after landing in the totters lane junkyard. After garnering concern from her teachers, Susan is followed back to the Tardis, where his secret discovered, the Doctor and Susan run again, taking her teachers with them, thus beginning this adventure in space and time. Encountering things such as cave men, moth people, romans, space miners, and Marco Polo, not to mention the villainous Daleks, a cyborg race hell bent on spreading racial purity throughout the universe, the Doctor loses friends, and gains new companions, leaving his granddaughter to start a family in a Dalek destroyed future London, it is when he encounters the Cybermen for the first time, that he absorbs a lethal amount of radiation, but instead of dying he regenerates in the 2nd doctor.

William Harntell stared as the doctor in 133 episodes (29 serialised stories) from November 1963 and October 1966, with a few cameo appearances after the role was taken over by other actors (it is a time travel show after all). This whole era was characterised as Hartnell’s grumpy old man demeanour (in spite of only being in his 50’s at the time), and what marks Hartnell as my favourite Doctor is that he played the role with such a brash, insulting, almost arrogant nature that you want to hate him, until you see that little mischievous glint in his eye, and you realise, that he is playing a time lord (said to arrogance and pomposity personified), but one that would definitely be a bit of a pariah or outcast among his people.

Stand Out Serials 

  1. The Unearthly Child: The first serial which sets up the whole adventure of Tardis, Time Lord and Teachers. This sees The Doctor And Susan’s secret discovered, and at the risk of being found by their own people flee into the past and wind up in prehistoric earth and the middle of powerplay over the creation of fire.
  2. The Romans: This story sees the doctor and companions taking a holiday in the ancient roman empire, While the Doctor and new companion Vikki wind up in the court of Nero, with the doctor mistaken for a famous musician. Other companions Ian and Barbera are sold into slavery, with the two parallel stories culminating in the great fire of Rome.
  3. The Time Meddler: This is one of my favourites as it introduces us to the character of the Monk, another renegade of the Doctors race, and its this first glimpse that we get into the doctors past that makes is fascinating, as throughout the series the Doctor is shrouded in mystery, at this point we assumed that the Doctor created the Tardis, but to discover another (with working camouflage) in the hands of someone trying to manipulate time for their own benefit left a great deal of unanswered questions for audiences to ponder.
  4. The Daleks Masterplan: I’ve only actually heard the audio recordings from this serial, as only 3 episodes still exist on film, but it is one of the longest serials and is the fourth to feature the Doctors arch enemies the Daleks, and the second to feature The Monk. This serial is where large scale space opera was conceived, with a complex plot and multitudes of characters, set on earth, set on space, set in the past and the future, I would go as far as to say that without this serial we wouldn’t have things like Star Wars, because it was the first to really go all out.
  5. The Aztecs: This one makes the list because it is the first time that it’s really brought home in the series that you cant change the past. The Aztecs butchered thousands in the name of their religion, and nothing the Doctor’s companions did made one bit of difference to the whole thing, and it sets up one of the key tropes in science fiction, which is that trying to change the past will not work, the universe doesn’t want it to (the best way to avoid alternate reality fiction, is the line used in later series, “The Universe Compensates”).

Dishonourable Mention 

  1. The Web Planet: This has to have a mention, because I’ve seen it about five times from beginning to end, and I still have no idea what was happening. There are moth people and giant beetles and a lot of prancing about. My initial thoughts about the serial is that the producers must have been smoking something pretty powerful, and then my second thought was that it was the 60’s so my thought was probably right.

Join again soon for more on the wonderful worlds of The BBC’s Doctor Who.

This is the first in a series of posts relating to the BBC’s long running show Doctor Who.