Doctor Who

User avatar
Thad
Posts: 5356
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:05 am
Location: 1611 Uranus Avenue
Contact:

Re: Doctor Who

Postby Thad » Tue Dec 23, 2014 3:03 pm

So I've found that when you're flat on your back with a headache and can't do much of anything but lie in a hot bath, that's as good a time as any to listen to radio programs. That's happened a couple of times in the past few weeks. (I really should schedule an appointment with the allergist now that my insurance will cover them.)

AND SO:

Neverland: This is something of a "season finale"; it resolves the major arc of the first two years of Eighth Doctor stories. The timestream is collapsing, the barriers between dimensions are breaking down, and President Romana and the Celestial Intervention Agency get involved.

It turns into a pretty solid "Time Lords are bastards" story featuring some sympathetic, if unhinged, villains. It's got some nice twists, a good performance by Lalla Ward, and brings Charley's first arc to a satisfying conclusion. Course, in its closing minutes it comes up on a cliffhanger, but consensus seems to be that the followup, Zagreus, is pretty terrible, and so is the rest of the Divergent Universe storyline that takes up the next year's worth of Eighth Doctor shows, so I left it at Neverland.

Stuff you'll want to listen to or watch first:

At least a couple of the previous Eighth Doctor/Charley stories. As mentioned earlier in the thread, Storm Warning and Chimes of Midnight are good choices.

It's also steeped in Fourth Doctor continuity. I'd definitely recommend Deadly Assassin (DVD/Hulu Plus) and probably some Romana episodes -- City of Death (DVD/Amazon Prime/Hulu Plus/Netflix, listed as "Collection 14" at time of this writing) is the best damn Doctor Who serial ever and if you haven't watched it by now you really really should. I'm also partial to Shada, which is available in multiple different versions but the one I've seen is the Eighth Doctor version, available for free with limited animation on the BBC website.

There's also a little bit of continuity from The Five Doctors in there, but if you know who Rassilon is, you really don't need to bother watching that.

User avatar
Thad
Posts: 5356
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:05 am
Location: 1611 Uranus Avenue
Contact:

Re: Doctor Who

Postby Thad » Tue Dec 23, 2014 3:24 pm

ADDING: I happened to notice, while reading the Wikipedia article on Shada, that Levine's version (the one where he animated the unfilmed segments, which was apparently supposed to go on the DVD release but the deal fell through) got leaked as a torrent.

I won't link it, but a search for shada "ian levine remastered edition" should do the job. (I didn't have any luck with the version on Torrent Downloads, but I found a magnet link that seems to be working okay, if a little slow on the download.)

Haven't watched (or finished downloading) it yet; will give some thoughts when I get around to it.

User avatar
Thad
Posts: 5356
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:05 am
Location: 1611 Uranus Avenue
Contact:

Re: Doctor Who

Postby Thad » Fri Dec 26, 2014 2:27 am

We can talk about the Christmas episode in a minute, but first: the latest Humble Book Bundle is a whole bunch of Big Finish Doctor Who serials. Base price gets you the first two Dalek Empire serials, more than the average gets you the third one, and $15 gets you the first season of The Lost Stories (the ones adapted from unproduced Sixth Doctor scripts and which have led a lot of people to decide that Colin Baker is actually really good after all).

Well this is nice. I'm planning on giving my thoughts on Blood of the Daleks Part 1 in pretty short order and they largely come down to "It's really good but Jesus Christ I just paid eight bucks for 45 minutes of audio that's only the first half of the story"; it's almost as if BF read my mind, because this is a pretty great damn deal right here.

User avatar
Thad
Posts: 5356
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:05 am
Location: 1611 Uranus Avenue
Contact:

Re: Doctor Who

Postby Thad » Wed Dec 31, 2014 10:29 pm

The Humble Bundle has added The Stage Plays to the middle tier.

While this is a great deal, it's sort of a baffling selection; we now have a total of 15 serials that have Daleks but no Doctor in them, 9 with the Sixth Doctor, and one with Trevor Martin as the Doctor. I'm sure they're all great (I've already listened to Nightmare Fair and enjoyed it; more on that later), but I suspect Big Finish probably picked the ones that were the cheapest to license (I believe the Daleks are owned by Terry Nation's estate and don't require any license from the BBC, and while the other serials all include some BBC elements, they're all adapted from scripts that were written in the '70's and '80's and never used by the BBC, so I suspect the licenses to those are likewise primarily paid to the writers/their estates rather than the BBC -- but that's just a guess).

At any rate, I'm not sure how much it's going to appeal to people who only know the current TV series, but it's doubtless going to get Big Finish some money and, hopefully, some customers who will come back for more. And Colin Baker's been kicked around enough; it's nice seeing him reevaluated in a more positive light.

User avatar
Thad
Posts: 5356
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:05 am
Location: 1611 Uranus Avenue
Contact:

Re: Doctor Who

Postby Thad » Sat Jan 03, 2015 1:04 am

Nobody talking about the Christmas special? Okay, here goes; it's been more than a week so I'm not going to spoilertag.

I think it reflected the past season in that the first two acts were a pleasing, technically-proficient story but the real focus was the Doctor/Clara emotional beat in the climax. And yeah, I fell for the fakeout -- if it were any other show, I would have figured that they wouldn't have one of the leads grow old and die in a Christmas episode, but considering this is a show that did exactly that in its last Christmas show, well, yeah, you got me.

That was my favorite part; the earlier confrontation where Clara and 12 reveal their mutual lie to each other and then just fall silent was a great moment too. Capaldi and Coleman really are great together and I'm glad she's coming back for another season, although I admit to some trepidation that, with last season's character arc resolved, they'll be back to not knowing what the fuck to do with her.

My second-favorite part was Moffat fucking around with audience expectations from the language of TV (and film, and to a lesser extent the live stage). Yes, we see Clara get in the TARDIS, and then later we see her and the Doctor show up in the research station with no explanation -- but for someone watching a TV show, that's perfectly normal. TV follows dream logic. We fill in the gaps.

User avatar
Mothra
Woah Dangsaurus
Posts: 3060
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:12 pm
Location: Boston, MA
Contact:

Re: Doctor Who

Postby Mothra » Sat Jan 03, 2015 5:09 am

I agree with all of that. Best moment was, easily, both admitting thier lies. Also, the way the episode played with the 'weird editing' was cool.

The character moments were great, and if nothing else, that's what I'd hope they'd do right. Clara and this Doctor are a really great fit.

The rest of the episode, however, was just bleh. Crappy Inception plot, tons of characters you don't get to know until the very end, bland, grey corridors... visually and narratively this one sucked. Plus, like, I realize they pointed it out, but FACEHUGGERS? Really?

The fake-out with Clara was just dumb when they revealed it as a dream like 5 minutes in. Cool idea, and I know why they couldn't stick with it, but come on.

Nick Frost played the single greatest Santa I've ever seen.

User avatar
Thad
Posts: 5356
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:05 am
Location: 1611 Uranus Avenue
Contact:

Re: Doctor Who

Postby Thad » Sat Jan 03, 2015 2:18 pm

Nick Frost WAS really great, and just disappeared into the role; I would never have known it was him if I hadn't seen his name in the credits. I can't believe I forgot to mention him.

I'm okay with the facehuggers, and especially with hanging a lampshade on it, because it gave us the best line of the episode: "You have a horror movie called Alien? That's so offensive! No wonder everybody keeps invading you!"

User avatar
Thad
Posts: 5356
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:05 am
Location: 1611 Uranus Avenue
Contact:

Re: Doctor Who

Postby Thad » Sat Jan 03, 2015 3:49 pm

Man, downloading the bootleg Shada Special Edition is the weirdest torrent experience I've ever had.

Occasionally, it'll download, slowly, grab a few megabytes, and then just stall out. It'll still show seeders, it'll still show all the chunks as available, but it just stops downloading. I'll pause it for awhile -- hour or more -- and then unpause it, and sometimes it'll download a few more megs, and sometimes it won't.

Doesn't seem to be anything specific to KTorrent, as I've tried downloading it with uTorrent under Windows, too.

Wonder what the problem is.

User avatar
Thad
Posts: 5356
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:05 am
Location: 1611 Uranus Avenue
Contact:

Re: Doctor Who

Postby Thad » Thu Jan 08, 2015 2:25 am

All right, working my way through the Humble Bundle. It's no longer on sale, but all the individual stories are of course all still available through Big Finish.

The Nightmare Fair: The Sixth Doctor and Peri go to a fair in Blackpool; the Celestial Toymaker returns.

I've never seen The Celestial Toymaker, but this story does a fine job of explaining what his deal is. I don't know how Michael Gough played him but David Bailie does an excellent job; he brings a real childish petulance to the role.

Baker and Bryant are good too. Six has been softened up a bit from the original script to make him, you know, likable, but he does get a couple good scenes where he gets to play up the arrogance and condescension he brought to the role. It's a good balance; he's not as much of a dick as he was on the show but they haven't sanded down all his rough edges, either.

And Peri's accent is still impossible to mistake for a real American accent, but she's gotten it to where it's consistent now and doesn't bounce all over the map.

Adapting the script for radio mostly works out pretty well; a fair is definitely one of those things you can easily picture in your head. It IS a little disappointing in the climax, which, because this is 1985, involves the Doctor trying to get a high score on a video game; the sound effects are great at recreating that early-'80's vibe but obviously the scene would have worked better in a visual medium.

The behind-the-scenes interviews are interesting too. John Ainsworth talks about adapting the script by the late Graham Williams (ETA: who also co-wrote my all-time favorite serial, City of Death, with Douglas Adams); Williams's son and daughter are also interviewed. Ainsworth makes some good points about how pitting the Doctor against a single villain is qualitatively different from an amorphous group like the Daleks, Cybermen, Sontarans, Silurians, Ice Warriors, etc., and says he thinks the Toymaker is a great villain and should be brought back. Baker, Bryant, and Bailie all talk about the production too.

All in all, it's pretty great! I don't know that I'd recommend it for the $13 they're charging for the download, but it's not a bad price, and Big Finish is a small operation and I can't blame them for charging what they do.

User avatar
Thad
Posts: 5356
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:05 am
Location: 1611 Uranus Avenue
Contact:

Re: Doctor Who

Postby Thad » Fri Jan 09, 2015 7:47 pm

If there's a problem with Mission to Magnus, it's that it has a fuck of a lot going on.

It's Philip Martin's followup to Vengeance on Varos, and features the return of Nabil Shaban as Sil. (Yeah, he shows up in Trial of a Time Lord, too, but this was written before that.)

It's also a stock SF "Planet of Amazons" story, about a planet where a virus has driven the men underground, women run society, and they've become deathly afraid of the idea that men may have found a cure and may return to the surface.

It's ALSO a story where a psychic learns how to operate the TARDIS by reading the Doctor's mind, and then steals it and goes forward in time to a post-nuclear wasteland -- only to discover that she's only jumped a few hours into the future.

AND it's also a story where the Doctor confronts someone who used to bully him in school, who's grown up to become a high-ranking Time Lord politician.

Oh, and it's got the Ice Warriors in it, too. Which is the big reveal at the end of the first episode, but it's hard to call it a spoiler when there's an Ice Warrior right on the cover.

So yeah, this thing has a lot going on. But actually, I think it pulls it off pretty well. It's stuffed, but I didn't find it overstuffed. Martin does a pretty good job of tying all the disparate threads together, and making all the character beats work. The climax is a little silly (the Ice Warriors try to freeze the planet by using nuclear detonations to move it farther from the sun; the Doctor uses another set of nuclear detonations to move it back), but it almost feels incidental; it's not really what the story is about.

Martin does good work; Varos is widely viewed as the best Sixth Doctor serial, and while Magnus doesn't have quite the sharp, ahead-of-its-time political satire that Varos did, it makes up for it by having the Doctor and Peri actually do stuff instead of just standing around and letting the plot happen around them like they did in Varos.

(But, while Peri's accent is more consistent than it used to be, she still uses British words and phrases. Hey guys, Americans say "diaper", not "nappy".)

So it's good. I don't know that I liked the serial itself better than Nightmare Fair, but what makes it better bang-for-your-buck is the sheer running time of the extras -- 47 minutes of them. Martin talks about writing the story in the '80's and adapting it in the '00's. Shaban talks about his initial casting as Sil, how he'd been a fan of the series and previously lobbied to be cast as either the Master or the Doctor, and how, as a PWD, it was important to him that Martin and the producers worked to make Sil a fully-realized villain rather than just another "evil disabled guy" trope. And how coming up with the laugh was the key to the whole thing. And how he was worried he wouldn't be able to slide back into the role all these years later without the makeup and the rubber suit to help him get into character.

Baker and Bryant talk about the difference between the original TV episodes and the Big Finish originals and how they had to shift gears to do the Lost Episodes.

It all makes for a fascinating listen, and given that it comes out to more than two hours of listening, I feel like it'd be well worth the $13 download price -- though of course I didn't pay that much for it since I got it in the Humble Bundle.

User avatar
Thad
Posts: 5356
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:05 am
Location: 1611 Uranus Avenue
Contact:

Re: Doctor Who

Postby Thad » Sat Jan 17, 2015 2:47 pm

Taking a momentary break from Big Finish for some old episodes you'll still be able to watch on Netflix for two more weeks until all their BBC content gets taken down:

The Aztecs may be the best Hartnell serial I've ever seen. It's still rough -- the entire story revolves around Barbara being a grave robber and everybody in the cast being too stupid to prop a door (twice, in Ian's case) -- but the pace is pretty brisk for how early it is, it juggles a separate subplot for each of the four characters (three of which are pretty satisfying and the other one of which at least gets Susan to stop shrieking for a little while), and it gives the Doctor and Barbara a lot more range than they're typically given, putting them on opposite sides of a debate about trying to change history. I think it's the first time the series lays down the trope of a companion trying to fix a horrific historical event and the Doctor explaining that it can't be done, and it makes for compelling drama. (And a fascinating bit of unexplored colonialism, in the very premise of Barbara's belief that maybe if she can make the Aztecs less bloodthirsty, the Spaniards won't wipe them out.)

Barbara gets to shine for a change, not just displaying her knowledge of history but also a spine, compassion (albeit compassion tempered by the aforementioned colonialism), and some cleverness and calculation. The Doctor gets to do his usual routine of shouting and then apologizing, but he also gets a bittersweet little romantic subplot with one of the locals.

The whole thing's pretty good -- not as memorable as The Daleks, but it's also got better acting and a lot less crawling around in caves and getting captured and then escaping. (I mean, it's got a LITTLE of that stuff; it IS old Doctor Who.)

I'm betting that the Netflix version is probably the 2002 restoration and not the 2013 one; the picture's not in great shape but it's watchable. At least, for the two more weeks that it's actually available.

User avatar
Sharkey
Posts: 606
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:11 pm
Location: Send Lawyers, Guns and Money
Contact:

Re: Doctor Who

Postby Sharkey » Sun Jan 18, 2015 12:59 am

I re-watched Genesis of the Daleks for the first time since... I don't even fucking know. The 90s, probably. It's the first one I remember seeing on public TV back in the early 80s while secondhand stoned thanks to my slacker dad, and I was tickled retarded to find it on VHS back in college. So this is probably the first time I've seen it while I wasn't high as a kite.

Spoiler: It's still pretty great. I don't think I realized before that Nyder is essentially the perfect Ur-Dalek. They kill the shit out of him, of course. Can't let that kind of irony get away. Meanwhile, I would have rather seen him come back as a recurring villain. He's just way the fuck creepier than Davros in pretty much every way. Fucker scared me to death when I was a kid. If they ever get around to rebuilding the race from the cells of some dude again (because that's pretty much Tuesday for Daleks,) I hope they've got his number.

Also, like with a lot of old Who, I can't help but be distracted the entire time thinking about how best to re-cut the whole thing to fit inside 50 minutes. I'm kind of surprised there isn't some crazy fan who hasn't made a project out of that. You'd lose a few good one-liners, but even in the case of one of the best Baker-era stories, there are Peter Jackson levels of bullshit filler. I'd have to keep the styrofoam foot-eating clam, though. That shit's fucking amazing.
Image

User avatar
Mothra
Woah Dangsaurus
Posts: 3060
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:12 pm
Location: Boston, MA
Contact:

Re: Doctor Who

Postby Mothra » Sun Jan 18, 2015 1:24 am

Old Doctor Who has some of the most mind-blowingly blatant filler I have ever seen. I used to fall asleep to that show all the time as a kid, when it reran after Red Dwarf on New Hampshire Public Television.

I tried re-watching the entirety of Doctor Who when I was laid up after my stomach surgery, and like, the initial season 1 Dalek episode kills half an episode showing every character swinging across a cave. Just, each character, one after the other, swinging down the same rope, with no dialogue. They reach the outcropping, take off the rope, and swing it back to the next person. Uncut. It's surreal.

User avatar
Sharkey
Posts: 606
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:11 pm
Location: Send Lawyers, Guns and Money
Contact:

Re: Doctor Who

Postby Sharkey » Sun Jan 18, 2015 2:17 am

I'd like to see it cut with a general rule that a scene has to actually move the overall plot or develop characters, and make a point of skipping the setup and resolution of completely irrelevant cliffhangers. Hell, some of these would be really short, even if you were generous including things like hilariously awful special effects shots and awkward moments. All you really have to do is trim down the bits that establish that some people moved between point A and point B and encountered some comparatively minor difficulty on the way.
Image

User avatar
Thad
Posts: 5356
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:05 am
Location: 1611 Uranus Avenue
Contact:

Re: Doctor Who

Postby Thad » Sun Jan 18, 2015 2:36 pm

Yeah, I wasn't kidding when I said the entirety of The Aztecs revolves around the premise that the Doctor, Susan, Barbara, and Ian are all too stupid to prop a door. And the entirety of the fourth episode revolves around the premise that Ian is too stupid to prop the door A SECOND TIME.

He does this elaborate business of tying something to it and then pulling it out the other side so they can open it, but then they're not strong enough and the Doctor has to whittle a pulley so they can eat up another entire episode just spinning their wheels. Nobody, at any point, even attempts to prop the door. There is not even an attempt in dialogue to explain why they can't just prop the door. Or why, once he gets back there, Ian doesn't just stay there and tell Barbara and the Doctor to go get Susan so they can all leave.

And that's still probably the most brisk, fast-paced Hartnell serial I've ever seen.

Pertwee's serials are typically about two episodes longer than they need to be. Often, those two episodes consist entirely of the Doctor being put behind bars and having to escape, multiple times. (This is why psychic paper is the best invention the current series has contributed to the mythology.)

User avatar
Thad
Posts: 5356
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:05 am
Location: 1611 Uranus Avenue
Contact:

Re: Doctor Who

Postby Thad » Sun Jan 18, 2015 7:26 pm

Doctor Who not being pulled from Netflix after all, but you still might want to wrap up Fawlty Towers by the end of the month.

User avatar
Thad
Posts: 5356
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:05 am
Location: 1611 Uranus Avenue
Contact:

Re: Doctor Who

Postby Thad » Mon Jan 19, 2015 6:18 pm

Leviathan is fascinating because, in terms of characterization and tropes, it feels more than any of the other Lost Stories I've heard like it stepped right out of the Sixth Doctor era (the Doctor is a smug prick, he and Peri get separated, they spend most of the first episode getting thrown into cells and then escaping) but in terms of setting and content it's remarkably ahead of its time and would feel right at home in the current series.

Not to mention budget. In the interviews they say they couldn't determine for sure why this episode never got made (unlike most of the rest it wasn't part of the discarded season 23, it was an unused part of season 22) but they suspected budget was the reason. And certainly there seem to be a lot of locations in this one, not to mention a pretty huge cast. And that makes this serial a really good fit for radio -- they can go nuts with the scenery and the action (chases on horseback! swordfights! and more!), and cast just a few actors to play a lot of parts. (That works out for the most part; the one exception is a little girl played by an adult. The previous serial has a child actor who's not very good; this one has a child played by an adult who's worse. The next serial finally gets it right -- but I'll get to that later.)

The interviews are fascinating too, in discussing what had to be changed for radio -- most notably, the monster was written as mute in the TV script, and obviously that's not going to fly on radio.

I liked this one. It's ambitious in its settings and cast, it's got a good premise and a good first-act twist ending/cliffhanger, and it really shows what radio can do that TV can't (at least, not without a sizable budget). It doesn't have the wealth of extra content that Mission to Magnus does, and $13 is always going to seem a little steep for 90 minutes of script plus 30 minutes of interviews, but I'm still inclined to recommend it as one of the better Big Finish serials I've heard.

User avatar
Thad
Posts: 5356
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:05 am
Location: 1611 Uranus Avenue
Contact:

Re: Doctor Who

Postby Thad » Mon Jan 19, 2015 6:53 pm

Whereas Leviathan is a great demonstration of what you can do in radio that you can't do in TV, The Hollows of Time is kind of the reverse.

In this case, the interviews are fascinating for describing what was supposed to happen and why they had to change it (or what they didn't change on principle -- the cliffhanger ending has the Doctor hanging off the door of a car hurtling through space, and the director acknowledges that if this had been written for BF in the first place they would have sent it back and made the writer change it, but they decided to keep it since the point of the Lost Stories is to adapt the original TV scripts as faithfully as they can manage). That framing sequence that feels like it's going somewhere but then doesn't? Yeah, it's just there as an excuse for the Doctor and Peri to narrate a bunch of stuff that would be really hard to work into dialogue. That dangling bit about how the Doctor's supposed to recognize the bad guy that never gets resolved? It was supposed to be the Master but they couldn't get the rights.

Despite, or perhaps because of, all that, the sound design on this one is really outstanding. When the scene shifts from the Doctor and Peri walking through the village to the Doctor and Peri recapping the story on the TARDIS in the framing sequence, you never have a moment's trouble with the scene transition, because the shift in background noise is that good. And when the girl who's talking to the Doctor shifts her voice to a man's, it's clear that she's been possessed by another character; the slight overlap of the two voices conveys that detail without the need for explanation. While the script's got its limitations, the effects guys really go all-out to make the best of them.

It's also a pretty delightful cast, with a couple of sinister villains, a batty old scientist/vicar, and Susan Sheridan (the original Trillian) pulling double-duty as an eleven-year-old boy and a crazy old housekeeper. And remember when I said Magnus had a child actor who wasn't very good and Leviathan had a woman playing a child and not doing a good job of it? This serial finally nails it; Sheridan does an outstanding job as Simon.

(ETA: Oh, and the script gets a few points for remembering to have Peri say "elevator" instead of "lift". But loses them by having her say "holiday" where an American would say "vacation" and "good job" where an American would say "good thing".)

Your enjoyment of this serial will increase in direct proportion to the number of hours you have spent telling a turtle to move forward or turn right. If you chuckled with nostalgia when I said that, at least part of this serial will amuse and delight you; if not, well, it makes for a damned interesting case study in making the best of a script that really can't be adapted for radio (and also features a major character you're not allowed to use), but it's an interesting failure, not a success.

User avatar
Thad
Posts: 5356
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:05 am
Location: 1611 Uranus Avenue
Contact:

Re: Doctor Who

Postby Thad » Fri Feb 20, 2015 1:18 am

If you've been feeling a whiff of the Pertwee era, well, the Master and UNIT are coming back immediately after the last time we saw them.

User avatar
Thad
Posts: 5356
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:05 am
Location: 1611 Uranus Avenue
Contact:

Re: Doctor Who

Postby Thad » Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:43 pm

Continuing on with the radio stuff:

The next two serials feel more like the Sixth Doctor stuff I've seen on TV -- in that they're decent enough stories but not really the best fit for Doctor Who.

Paradise 5 is about a resort called Paradise that orbits a planet of lava. And just in case the metaphor is too subtle for you, Peri explains it in dialogue.

The obvious religious symbolism continues, with characters with names like Michael and Gabriel, and monsters called Cherubs and Elohim. The resort's purpose, as you might guess, is sinister, and the ending is really pretty bleak; it's hard to chalk this one up as a win for the Doctor. When I realized that it was written by PJ Hammond, it occurred to me that this feels a lot more like Torchwood than Who.

It's also a big departure in format from the others; while most of the Lost Stories in the bundle were written for the Season 23 that was never made, this one was actually written for the Season 23 that was made -- and as a result, the episodes are 25 minutes, instead of the 45 of the other serials. (Though they've, obviously, removed the Trial of a Time Lord framing stuff from the script, and replaced Mel with Peri. I don't think you can really tell the difference, except that even in radio they manage to work in a gratuitous scene of Peri in a bikini.)

The cast is solid, though I think they made a mistake in casting someone who sounds way too much like Colin Baker to play one of the guest characters (Gabriel, I think); there were several times when he was talking and I thought it was the Doctor.


Point of Entry -- look, I'm going to admit I zoned out for a good big chunk of this one. It feels overstuffed, partly because it's a show about Christopher Marlowe that feels the need to explore him as both a playwright and a spy, and partly because Doctor Who quit doing straight-up history stories back in the 1960's and so now any examination of an interesting historical figure has to have an alien monster jammed into it sideways. Like Marlowe's not interesting enough by himself.

It's also, like the other one, really friggin' bleak.


I wasn't really crazy about either one of them. Not going to recommend them unless they show up in some other bundle again sometime down the line.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest