March 3rd, 2010

doctor who

Doctor Who Rewatch: 06

Collapse )

Collapse )

Collapse )

Collapse )

Collapse )

Collapse )

Collapse )

Collapse )

What strikes me about the earlier stories of this run is that, although Lloyd and Davis had worked very hard to pull Who round to their own vision - writing out Steven, Dodo and the First Doctor; giving up on the historical stories; bringing in Ben, Polly, the Second Doctor and Jamie - they then produced some of the least memorable stories of the era once they had got the show where they wanted it. The quality ticks up noticeably when Victor Pemberton and Peter Bryant take their turns at the helm. There was also clearly a resources problem, with a demand for more and better stories for the same money or less; but I can't help feeling that the seat-of-the-pants method of producing Who may have been a symptom rather than a cause of Lloyd's problems.

It is shocking that Tomb of the Cybermen is the first intact story since The War Machines - not a single story from the original fourth season survives in full. My next run of stories has an even worse casualty rate, and I am still trying to obtain a decent recon of the missing episodes of The Ice Warriors.

< An Unearthly Child - The Aztecs | The Sensorites - The Romans | The Web Planet - Galaxy 4 | Mission To The Unknown - The Gunfighters | The Savages - The Highlanders | The Underwater Menace - Tomb of the Cybermen | The Abominable Snowmen - The Wheel In Space | The Dominators - The Space Pirates | The War Games - Terror of the Autons | The Mind of Evil - The Curse of Peladon | The Sea Devils - Frontier in Space | Planet of the Daleks - The Monster of Peladon | Planet of the Spiders - Revenge of the Cybermen | Terror of the Zygons - The Seeds of Doom | The Masque of Mandragora - The Talons of Weng-Chiang | Horror of Fang Rock - The Invasion of Time | The Ribos Operation - The Armageddon Factor | Destiny of the Daleks - Shada | The Leisure Hive - The Keeper of Traken | Logopolis - The Visitation | Black Orchid - Mawdryn Undead | Terminus - The Awakening | Frontios - Attack of the Cybermen | Vengeance on Varos - In A Fix With Sontarans | The Mysterious Planet - Paradise Towers | Delta and the Bannermen - The Greatest Show in the Galaxy | Battlefield - The TV Movie >
tardis

March Books 3) Cat's Cradle: Witch Mark, by Andrew Hunt

The Seventh Doctor and Ace find themselves in Wales dealing with peculiar mythological creatures leaking through from a parallel world, an adventure that self-consciously references both Delta and the Bannermen and Survival. This is one of the least impressive Doctor Who books I have ever read, and certainly the worst New Adventure that I have got to so far. No matter what you may think of Torchwood, it did this plot and setting rather better, several times. I see various fan sites excoriating the limp writing, flabby characterisation and unresolved plot lines of this book; I shall add a complaint about Welsh and Irish names being randomly jumbled together with unicorns and centaurs, because it's all mythical, y'know. Thanks to cassiphone for supplying my copy, but it is now destined for the mooch list.

(And I still do not see much linkage between the three Cat's Cradle books.)
tardis

March Books 5) War of the Daleks, by John Peel

I very much enjoyed Peel's novelisations of black-and-white era Dalek stories, where he managed to inject a bit more sense and continuity than was to be found in the originals; here he writes a fun Eighth Doctor story which is very much in the tradition of the Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Doctors' televised encounters with the spawn of Skaro, including lots of thrilling elements such as Thal commandos, Davros on trial and yet leading a faction in a Dalek civil war, and the twisted and complex plans of the anti-Davros leader (here dubbed the Dalek Prime). There is even a pleasing nod to The Power of the Daleks towards the end. Sam is now going all gooey-eyed at the Doctor, a foreshadowing of things to come (and I wonder how they will keep that up in future books).

I have already read the next Eighth Doctor book (Alien Bodies by Lawrence Miles) so will skip on to Kursaal by Peter Anghelides.