Posts Tagged ‘TARDIS Issues

04
Mar
10

Story 023: The Ark

After two serials and approximately 4 months of gloominess, a bit of cheer returns to Dr. Who. And not just because this is the first of only 3 stories to survive the purge of the 1970s. The story moves along at a decent clip, Dodo isn’t too terrible, and there’s a nice healthy moral at the end.

For at least the second time, the TARDIS lands inside another spacecraft. And once again this has made me wonder if it could materialize randomly in space with nothing around it, and sometimes it just happens to get lucky and appear inside a spaceship. The travelers depart, thinking they are in a jungle, but really it’s just a zoo-type area of The Ark, a ship carrying what’s left of the human race to a new planet. The trip is expected to take 700 years and many generations of humans, some of whom have been shrunk and stored in trays for the trip. We are somewhere around the year 10 million, according to the Doctor’s calculations. This is apparently a time that is so far in the future even he has never visited it.

A Monoid

During this serial I noticed that the budget for the show must have skyrocketed for this season. The special effects are much improved throughout, and they were demonstrated well in this story. Granted, they are still pitifully primitive. But airlock doors opening and things flying through space definitely were not options in the first two seasons. Additionally, the number and complexity of sets has grown. While the jungle is the old standby, we had the control room, the kitchen, the holding cell, the laboratory, the landing craft, the house, and the forest. The costumes haven’t improved as zippers are still visible, but I definitely saw an improvement in overall production.

The Guardians

On the ship (which Dodo names The Ark, after Noah), the remaining humans think of themselves as Guardians. Not just of themselves, but of an innocent race of creatures called Monoids. The monoids are quite possibly the strangest and most visually frightening alien creatures we’ve met so far. They have a single eyeball where their mouth should be. And no mouth. In the first half of the story they are acting as servants as a way of saying thank you to the guardians for protecting them. They cannot speak and use hand signals.

The Travelers

Dodo, dressed in what I think is Vicki’s outfit from The Crusade, is very excited about their trip and skeptical that they’ve left Earth. She’s energetic and seems to get on well with Steven. She speaks in a lot of slang with a country accent (sorry I can’t be more specific with the kind of accent she has). Shortly after landing the Doctor tells her that if she’s going to be with them for any length of time she’s going to have to learn to speak properly. I kind of liked Dodo in her first story. She seems to be a decent mix of Susan and Vicki, although this has the potential to become rather grating. She definitely seems to be a better companion than Katarina, Sarah, or Anne would have been. And her curious attitude and smirky interactions with the Docor signal a shift in mood – one that I might add was quite welcome.

Dodo, apparently has a cold. She has brought it onto The Ark, where it had been eradicated. Having no defense against it, both Guardians and Monoids begin dropping like flies. After accusing the Travelers of bringing the illness on purpose, they allow the Doctor to develop a cure. He does so in short order (how does he do these things so quickly? He did the same thing with the water in The Sensorites.) and the travelers leave.

Concocting a Cure

Now, at this point the TARDIS does something strange. It sets them right back down in the same place, only 700 years in the future. The Doctor indicates that something might be broken, but I have a different theory. I’ll get to that shortly…

Upon arriving back on the Ark in 700 years, we learn that the Monoids have developed guns, talking devices, and have rebelled and taken over the Guardians. The Guardians are now the servants, the statue the guardians were building has been completed as a Monoid and the ship has arrived at Refusis, their destination. We are told that the Guardians, while cured of the cold, were weakened by it. Their will became weak. And the Monoids were therefore able to take over. For all of the Doctor’s attempts to preserve history (as we learned in The Massacre), it seems that he actually altered the future. This, of course, raises all sorts of questions of what other kinds of impact has he had that he or we just don’t know about? The Monoids, taking advantage of a series of event started by the Doctor have decided to go to Refusis on their own and blow the Guardians up with their ship.

Monoid Statue

I really liked this turn of events. The Monoids seemed to be such simple creatures. Rolling along, aiming to please. But they turned very sinister and controlling. And, as the Doctor points out, the Guardians were also to blame for enslaving them in the first place. It was a nice do-unto-others moral. The second moral comes at the end of the story: you have to be able to work and live together. After destroying the bomb (hidden in the statue’s head), the Guardians and Monoids are invited to live on Refusis along with the invisible but very powerful Refusians. But only if they can get along. While I liked it, it was all very after-school special in nature. Which is fine, considering that’s what the show was.

While Dodo is enjoyable, the rest of the supporting cast is, as usual, flat. The Monoids as a race were interesting, but the fact that they had names rather than numbers says it all for their individuality. The Doctor is great, engaging in some good-natured ribbing of the Guardians and the Monoids. But he seems to take the Refusians, clearly a superior race, very seriously. We see him in the Refusis house sitting at the table having a conversation with the Refusian like they had just finished dinner and were discussing politics It was a very man-to-man kind of conversation. I thought this depiction of the Doctor’s respect for the race was interesting. I don’t think we’ve seen this in any other story, with maybe the exception of the walruses in Galaxy 4.

Lastly, my TARIS theory. I don’t think the TARDIS was broken. I think perhaps the TARDIS has a bit of sentient-ness to it. And it took this opportunity to demonstrate to the Doctor that no matter how hard he tries, he does affect the course of events. As we learned at the end of The Massacre, the Doctor believes he is always making the right decision. What the TARDIS has done, by sending them back to see the consequences of their visit, is demonstrate that there are no right or wrong decisions – they all have an impact. Making ethics the more appropriate basis for decision making rather than preservation.

Overall, this was another good story. The mood lightened successfully and gave us (and the Doctor) something else to think about. Good stuff.

15
Jan
10

Story 017: The Time Meddler

Now this is more like it. A historical/educational story meets a science fiction story with great intrigue. The Time Meddler was a great story to end the season with. And at 4 episodes, it was just the right length. It gave us a proper introduction to Steven, some more “goodbye” to Ian and Barbara, we met someone else from the Doctor’s planet, and featured what I felt were good performances all the way around, especially from Vicki, with maybe the exception of the bumbling Vikings. Jules was right in his comments, this one was good.

A space helmet for a cow?

The TARDIS lands in Northumbria in 1066 days before the Viking invasion. Steven, refusing to admit that he has indeed been travelling through time and relative dimensions in space, seems like a great companion and complement to both the Doctor and Vicki. I like him much more than I ever liked Ian, although I suppose one story isn’t quite long enough to form a firm opinion of him. He is skeptical, but nonethless adventurous. He is very anxious to explore the modern-ish items that they find in the monastery. So much so that Vicki has to hold him back. He seems smart but not annoying, enthusiastic but not ridiculous, and skeptical and grumpy enough to keep the Doctor from getting out of control. He also seems to have beeter chemistry with Vicki. I wonder if that’s why we saw so much of Vicki and the Doctor together separate from Ian and Barbara….maybe she just didn’t mesh with them very well.

At any rate, the Doctor notes sadly at the beginning that he misses Ian and Barbara, even noting his loss of Susan. Vicki comforts him. It’s the kind of scene we should have had at the end of The Chase.

The Monk

We meet a monk who is looking suspiciously at the TARDIS, and we soon learn that he is the only monk living at a recently re-opened monastery near by. He’s the only one living there because he’s…..wait for it…..not actually a monk! He has things like phonographs and other more modern conveniences, which is all very intriguing. It turns out that he is also from the Doctor’s planet and he travels around (he can control his TARDIS) changing the past. His goal for this trip was to destroy the Viking fleet so that William the Conqueror could better be held at bay by Harold’s army. I suppose his intentions were noble enough, but as the Doctor told Barbara repeatedly, meddling with time can be disastrous. Even Vicki and Steven, both Earthlings, discuss the implications of changing time. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I love time paradoxes and to see a potential paradox discussed in practical terms was good.

Of course, there are some instances of being taken prisoner and some escapes and a couple of battles. They were pretty typical Dr. Who fare. Although it was pretty funny that the Vikings were knocked out for seemingly hours after a blow from what looked like a piece of paneling. And the idea that the Doctor could convince the monk that his stick was a Winchester rifle was also a bit absurd. All that aside, however, getting inside the monk’s TARDIS was great. It was pretty much the same as the regular TARDIS, of course, lthough the Doctor marveled at the monk’s “Mark 4” model. HA! Multiple TARDIS models…..but going along with that is the implication that there are multiple travelers from the Doctor’s planet out there. All traveling around, apparently abiding by some rules, although the monk has chosen to disobey. The Doctor notes that monk’s time is about 50 years later than his own.

Vicki in the Monk's TARDIS

Some Questions: Why are they traveling? How many are out there? Was the planet destroyed so they left? Like Superman? Or when they travel is it like going on vacation? Except for the Doctor, whose TARDIS is broken? Is TARDISing like RVing?

In the end, the Doctor steals some device from the monk’s ship, stranding him in 1066 Northumbria. The device makes the TARDIS small on the inside, presumably the same size inside as outside. This is a brilliant move, although I’m not sure why the Doctor didn’t also steal the device he needs to be able to control the TARDIS or to camouflage his ship. Those would have been smart to steal. Now he’s going to have to continue with the broken TARDIS although, I suppose that’s all part of the adventure.

Tiny TARDIS

The story and season ended with sillhouettes of the three characters over an image of space. It didn’t have the thoughtful voice over of season 1, but the concluding story itself was far more satisfying than Reign of Terror, so the monologue wasn’t necessary. I think they ended with the best story of the season.

01
Jan
10

Story 015: The Space Museum

On Display

The Crusade ended with a creepy scene in which the travelers are in suspended animation. I thought it was a good sign for the story to come. And, after watching the first episode of the Space Museum, I was not disappointed. It turns out they were frozen because the TARDIS was in the process of jumping a time track. When they were able to move again, their clothes had been changed (unconcerned, the Doctor notes that they have been saved the bother of having to change themselves). Things they do seem to have no impact on their environment — Vicki drops a glass that fixes itself. In a nice, subtle touch, as the Doctor drinks the water, the level does not decrease. They don’t leave footprints, and other people on the planet cannot see or hear them. They’ve landed on the planet Xeron, home of a space museum. And after walking through it, they discover themselves in cases. They have jumped the time track and ended up in the future. They then had to wait for themselves to arrive so they could prevent their display-case future.

I love time travel paradoxes. And the idea that if you’re in the future you have to wait for the present to catch up is one of my favorites. I first encountered it in the Stephen King miniseries and novella The Langoliers in which King deals with the issue mostly in the past, but also in the future. This made me very excited for the rest of the story. And while the remaining three episodes didn’t really deal with the time track (except to point out yet another broken piece of the TARDIS machinery), I enjoyed them just the same.

Exterminate!

Much of the action involves getting lost in the museum’s corridors, which is kind of boring. But my enjoyment of the time paradox kept my interest. In an entertaining segment, the Doctor, having escaped being captured by Xeron rebels, is hiding in a Dalek case that is on display. He says something in a Dalek voice as he pokes his head out of the top. Interestingly, Vicki says that she always thought the Daleks seemed rather harmless. This reminded me of my first impression of them that they were kind of innocent villains. More on the Daleks later. In another scene, he outsmarts the Moroks, a group of space-colonizing aliens that have taken over Xeron. They have a TV screen that shows the Doctor’s thoughts, so he thinks of humorous things like a bicycle instead of the answers to his questions. It doesn’t help, however, as he gets sent to the Preparation room to be prepped for the display case.

Vicki ends up with the Xeron rebels who are incredibly incompetent. They apparently can’t figure out that they need to obtain weapons in order to defeat the Moroks. But Vicki lets them know what’s up. And her suggestion of storming the armory is what changes the future. One of the more exciting scenes is the laser gun battle between the rebels and the Moroks.

The Moroks

The rebels and Moroks were, for the most part, pretty anonymous. As is common in depictions of alien races, they all had incredibly similar facial features and hairstyles (stereotypical faceless foreign enemy, anyone? Like the Japanese in WWII movies.). The Morok governor is bored with his job and therefore kind of boring to watch. The only Xeron name I could discern was Darko. In general, the story wasn’t very exciting. But I liked it anyway because of the time concept.

I’ve read some other reviews of some of the stories, including this one and The Crusade. It seems that this is widely held to be one of the worst Doctor Who stories. And everyone seemed to love The Crusade. I really enjoyed this one and didn’t care much for the Crusade. This seems to be a bit of a trend where I don’t really agree with the other reviews I see. I’m not sure why that is. I can’t be that different from your typical Who fan, except for my knowledge of the series. I wonder if my opinion of these early stories will change as I learn what the show is capable of. One review called the Space Museum B-grade science fiction. I may be wrong, but I was under the impression that ALL Doctor Who was B-grade science fiction. That’s part of the reason I became interested. Ridiculousness like stopping bombs with door props and laser-gun shoot outs are part of the appeal.

I must admit that I’m kind of tiring of William Hartnell. His “hmm?” and “he-he” habits are irritating. He seems to be phoning in his performances. He figured out what worked and kept doing it. I have a feeling that if he remained the doctor, the show would not have lasted. His character was getting stale. And Ian seems to be getting grumpier. He’s more easily angered these days. The show definitely seems to be heading toward some form of climax, probably in the Time Meddler, the season finale. I’m not sure when the Doctor changes, but I know it’s coming soon.

Before that, though, there is the 4th episode cliffhanger. As the TARDIS leaves Xeron we cut to a Dalek watching it move through space. They say that our heroes are once again traveling and that they must be caught and (of course) exterminated. A couple of things of note here: The Dalek calls them their biggest enemy. This, I would guess, sets up the Dalek mythology for the rest of the series. This is likely the moment they went from occasionally recurring villain to archenemy. Second, the Daleks now seem to have their own TARDIS-like machine to follow the Doctor’s crew.

Some questions: When did the Doctor become the Dalek’s greatest enemy? Given the timeline issues between The Daleks and the Dalek invasion of Earth, this could happen at any time. When are the Daleks? Does the Dalek timeline ever become clearer? Can they only track the Doctor when the TARDIS is moving?

The next story has all indications of being a Dalek story, something that I was not expecting. Now that I have returned to regular Who viewing, I’m looking forward to it.

15
Oct
09

Story 011: The Rescue

The Rescue is a two-episode story that existed solely to introduce a new traveller, Vicki. As far as stories go, it was less than awesome. It’s a rarity that may have benefited from another episode. I was most interested in the actual residents of Dido, who make a brief appearance at the very end without much explanation.

Koquillion

Koquillion

First, we meet Vicki and Bennett. They’re waiting for a rescue ship and Bennett can’t walk. They’re apparently being held prisoner by Koquillion, a strange alien being that we are led to believe is what those who live on Dido look like. He claims that his people had killed the rest of the humans’ crew and he was protecting the two of them from further attack. The two humans seem to fear Koquillion. Meanwhile, our three remaining travelers land in a cave. Again. Doesn’t the TARDIS have some program that keeps it from landing inside things like tombs, caves, and spaceships? Just another example of a previously noted design flaw.

The Doctor seems distracted, perhaps a little depressed, by Susan’s absence. Ian and Barbara are being very understanding, but, curiously, seem to barely even notice that she’s gone. They got over it pretty quickly. Cold hearted bastards. For whatever reason, the Doctor is very sleepy. Maybe it’s his depression. I’ve seen the commercial for medication — everyone suffers when you’re depressed. Even the dog. In this case, Ian and barbara suffer, forced to venture outside alone where Koquillion greets them, pushes Barbara off a cliff and causes a cave-in on Ian and the Doctor. Unfortunately, the cave-in leads to more cave jumping, an adventure that takes up half of the doctor and ian’s screen time, it seems.

In the end, Koquillion is really Bennett (What a twist!). he’s dressed up in some fancy ceremonial robes. We know this because the Doctor had previously visited Dido and knew them to be a peaceful race. One without crazy heads and murderous tendencies. When death is imminent, the real Didoans show up to save the day. Then promptly disappear.

One thing that was a bit irritating with this is that Bennett’s motives are not very clearly explained, or at least don’t make any sense (he wanted to kill people, but not have anyone know he killed them? Why did he kill them to begin with?). This was also the case with the human villains in The Sensorites. I wonder if there was some sort of unwritten code or a different understanding of humanity in the pre-turmoil sixties (If it were an American show, this would be pre-Martin Luther King and robert Kennedy assasinations, pre-watergate, pre-woodstock, pre-Kent-State, pre-large Vietnam protests) that prevented the writers from being able to clearly articulate or explain human treachery. I don’t know. Maybe it’s just poor story telling.

Vicki

Vicki

So, how about Vicki? She’s alright. She has a bit of Susan’s dependency issues, but she’s also a bit more fiery than Susan. I’m afraid she might lack a bit of the intelligence that Susan’s character occasionally displayed, and definitely lacks the intriguing alien side story weirdness, although that was never really developed. In an odd moment, when Vicki introduces herself to Barbara, Barb asks if her name is Victoria. She responds “No. Vicki. V-I-C-K-I.” Was this a necessary interaction? Why did she spell her name like that? I thought that was a strange response and may signal a bit of headstrongness in her character. We’ll see how she develops, will she be written as weakly as Susan or will she be a bit strong like Barbara? Or even stronger? It was difficult to tell in this very short introductory story.

07
Oct
09

Story 009: Planet of Giants

As should happen, if the Doctor actually knows what’s going on, the travellers begin Season 2 by landing in London sometime in the mid-twentieth century. However, the TARDIS malfunctions again. The doors pop open and shrink everyone inside. This seems to be yet another bad design feature of the TARDIS. Is there a back-up lock? A deadbolt? A really strong magnet? One of those things where a bar is fit into two brackets like in castles in old movies? Nope. Just a fail-safe policy of shrinking the passengers.

250px-Planet_of_the_Giants

My goodness, Ian! It's Huge!

Not knowing where they are, the travellers explore the new world. They seem unsure what has happened to them, despite the obvious clues: a giant Earthworm that looks a vaccuum hose, a huge box of matches. Eventually they figure it out, but by that time, Ian has been carried away because he was stupid enough to hide in the matchbox. Now, the true adventure begins as the tiny travellers have to make there way the long distance to the house.

The dark turn of the series that began in the last couple of stories in Season 1 continues here as we see more human-on-human violence. Some jerk of a special agent wants a scientist to lie on some report about a pesticide. In an environmentalist theme, the pesticide is so dangerous that it instantly kills all life that is of small stature (like our Heroes). The jerk kills the scientist. And then, to top it off, when another scientist shows up, he makes him help hide the body. Dark times, indeed!

To make a long story short, Barbara gets into the cottage with Ian and makes a bonehead move that isn’t too bad….but her reaction is ridiculous. She picks up a piece of wheat or whatever with the pesticide on it. Does she say anything so that someone with more intelligence than her could come up with something (like, find some water to wash her hands in, maybe?) she keeps it to herself and acts like a kid who ate the last cookie and is afraid of being found out. Suck it up, woman!

Susan and Doctor eventually arrive. The best part is when they set the cottage on fire to create a diversion. Their too small to be seen or heard and the people are outside. So they light a fire. Brilliant. Luckily, the police arrive and presumably give the evil-doer his comeuppance. By doing the landing procedure in reverse, the Doctor is able to return everyone to the full size and Barbara doesn’t die from the pesticide. That should have been washed off in the sink they used to escape. Incidentally, it was strange that the drain went into the yard. Wouldn’t all of thwater just go out into the yard? I don’t think my drain does that….

If it weren’t for Barbara’s brainless reaction to touching the pesticide, I would have really enjoyed this story. Instead I just enjoyed it at a normal level. Srhinking the cast was a clever twist that allowed them to add some nice touches such as Susan and the Doctor hiding in the drain overflow, the giant pesticide-riddled wheat, the dangerous journey. Best of all, the story was only 3 episodes long. There was no canyon jumping, there was no screaming, there was no filler. Wikipedia actually tells me there was an intended fourth episode featuring the telephone operator. I don’t know whose boring idea that was, but I’m glad they ditched it.

My professor on Monday night wore a Dalek t-shirt. I was jealous.

Dalek Invasion is next. I’m expecting great things.

03
Sep
09

Story 003: The Edge of Destruction

This story was a waste. It was the first one that I haven’t really enjoyed. The drama was alright, I suppose, but the basis of the plot was completely ridiculous. A button gets stuck so the TARDIS keeps banging against the beginning of time like a toy robot against the wall? A sticky spring in the most advanced piece of technology in the universe? If that’s not absurd enough, the TARDIS doesn’t actually tell the travellers that it’s banging it’s head on the wall. It makes them A) sleep a lot and B) go insane. Oh, and melts the clocks. I know that melting clocks is always an indication of certain doom, why didn’t they recognize it sooner? Thank goodness it only took two episodes.

Two episodes…of Susan trying to stab everyone in sight for no well-explained reason. That was a bit odd. Of Ian trying to strangle the Doctor. Also odd. Lots of blaming, lots of yelling. And then, when Barbara spots the melted clock she screams. Enough screaming already! Whenever either of the women sense danger, they scream at the top of their lungs. It needs to stop. Even if the screaming wasn’t annoying enough, why did she scream at a melted clock? One time, I thought I could pop regular popcorn in the microwave, so I put it in a plastic bowl. 10 minutes later I had a bowl full of unpopped kernels and a melted bowl. It was no longer such an attractive bowl, but I was not terrified by the site of it. Terrified by the thought of my parents’ reaction to the melted bowl, maybe. But scream-worthy terrified at the site of something that was melted? Not so much.

And, of course, the melted clock made it immediately obvious to the Doctor what was happening. Bingo-bango, fix the spring, everyone’s happy and off we go. The Doctor, in a rare moment of compassion, apologizes to Barbara for his psychosis. As far as I’m concerned he’s the only one that doesn’t need to apologize. He accuses Ian and Barabara of sabotaging the TARDIS, which wouldn’t be so smart for them, but it makes sense since they were kidnapped. I didn’t notice Susan apologizing for trying to kill everyone or Ian for his strangling episode.

The best thing about this story is that it’s only two episodes.

Question: Does the TARDIS ever get an improved fault reporting system? Like a flashing red light labeled “Banging head against the edge of time”? Anything is better than melting clocks.

27
Aug
09

Story 001: An Unearthly Child / 100,000 BC

Let me start by saying that the pilot episode, An Unearthly Child, is great television. Yes, it has some 60s cheese. Yes, the F/X aren’t the most impressive ever. But, what a great introduction to the series. The music is the first thing that gets you. It’s entirely electronic, which was unique to its time. And totally groovy. I could totally see some mod chick doing some far out dance moves to it. I dig the opening music. The wavy graphics are neat, too, if primitive. I’ll be interested to see how the theme and graphics change over the years.

The perhaps too-nosy Barbara Wright, a history teacher, complains to dorky but well meaning science teacher Ian Chesterton about this incredibly smart yet extremely odd student, Susan Foreman. When we meet Susan I don’t find her particularly odd at all. A bit curious, maybe.

Now, a note about Barbara and Ian. It seems that there is a bit of romantic attraction there…maybe they’ve gone to dinner a time or two. Perhaps Ian is a creepy junkyard adventure away from sealing the deal, hence his willingness to follow her meddlesome self to the junkyard where Susan apparently lives with her grandfather, the Doctor. The doctor finds Ian and Barbara snooping around outside his police box and he is wonderfully cantankerous. He completely owns the screen when he is there. I’m not sure whether or not we are supposed to like him or root for him or not. I suspect that will come over time, but at the beginning, what a grumpy old man.
Ian, Barbara and SusanIan and Barbara continue to be a pain in the Doctor’s ass and break into the police box, which is, of course, the TARDIS, the Doctor and Susan’s space and time travelling ship. The idea that the ship is huge on the inside while the size of a phone booth on the outside is neat. It may have been unique in its day, breaking sci fi ground for years to come. The honeycomb walls and flashing lights of the interior are pretty typical space ship fare.

The Doctor and Susan are, as we learn, from some far off planet. The Doctor’s name is not Foreman as Ian supposes. Instead, he remains nameless. “That’s not his name? Then Doctor who?” I find this very intriguing. Why leave your main character essentially nameless? He is just Doctor. It adds a bit of intrigue and Dr. Foreman just doesn’t have the weight it needs to be the title of a show. It’s a boldĀ  move in any case.

Angry at Ian and Barbara and Susan for their meddling and whining, the grumpy Doctor kidnaps them all and we travel off into time and space. We land in some stone age civilization in the middle of a power struggle between who can make fire and who can bring more meat. Oddly enough, everyone in the stone age spoke English. I suspect that pretty much everyone everywhere in the universe speaks English. I wonder if in future episodes this will be dealt with or explained in some way. Our heroes are captured, they make fire, they are held prisoner and they escape just ahead of a deadly flying spear.

Overall, this first story is very enjoyable and I hope is an indication of what is to come. I imagine there is some maturing in the story telling and refinement of the characters. But at this early stage, the show is pretty strong. The dialogue is a bit corny, but in general the storytelling is good. The power struggle in the stone age Tribe of Gum most likely indicates some political commentary in the stories to come, as is present in most science fiction. The characters of the cavepeople were pretty flat, with the exception of the competing leaders. Our heroes, however, begin to round out nicely. Susan is an interesting girl — almost like a mature and knowing adult but still possessing an innocence of some sort. Ian thinks he’s more macho than he is and has a bit of arrogance that I imagine will get him into trouble in future stories. Barbara is obviously going to be the one that tries to keep them all straight. But the one that really does steal the show is the Doctor. He is in charge of the screen and in charge of the action. A bitter old man, but I sense a soft side underneath. We will see.

So, the TARDIS is either broken or the Doctor doesn’t know how to control it. It seems to me tat it’s a little of both. Susan notes that it’s broken because it didn’t change shape when they landed in the stone age, and the Doctor claims he can only pilot it when he knows exactly when and where they are. hhmmm…..

Some questions: Does the doctor ever get a name? Does the interior of the TARDIS change over the years? And if so, how? Will the romantic tension between Ian and Barbara continue, or was it just character introduction fluff? What’s the deal with Susan and the Doctor’s home planet?

Some answers: The TARDIS is a police box because it is supposed to take the shape of something that fits into it’s surroundings.




About These Adventures

This blog exists to document my trip through over 30 seasons of the British science fiction television show Dr. Who. Prior to beginning, I had never seen a single episode of Dr. Who and will be learning the show's mythology and experiencing it all for the first time. I began sometime in July of 2009. Hopefully it doesn't take me over 30 years to reach the end.

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