tirsdag den 10. marts 2009

Who Review #1

This is going to be a running series: my own reflections on episodes of Doctor Who. It's hardly likely to interest anyone I suppose; maybe Rullsenberg Rules? (Blogger Lisa is a huge fan of the show.) Just doing it for fun!

I am a Whovian and have been since I can remember. The first episode which I know for sure I watched was "The Sontaran Experiment", way back in February 1975. The Doctor was played by Tom Baker and I've always regarded him as the Doctor from growing up and seeing him on a Saturday. (He was in the show until 1981.)

Doing a Who Review is a bit tricky because many a fan has written one down the years, be it in Fanzines (the official BBC website draws on some of those long defunct zines in its episode guide) or on websites like Outpost Gallifrey and the Doctor Who Ratings Guide. There is bound to be overlaps. Still, I have the extra bonus of writing a review with the eyes of a socialist! I will put links to other reviews as I go along.

Another difficulty is that a lot of the early William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton stories were lost when the BBC junked tapes in the 1970s - to save space and money. Economic rationalisation should be called what it is: vandalism! The great irony of it all is that the Beeb is earning a tune on, amongst others, Doctor Who DVD releases.

A dedicated bunch have restored the existing audio tapes of lost stories (often made by fans recording off the TV back then) so they do exist like a radio play. A fan group called Loose Cannon have gone a bit further and used all the available clips and screen photos and publicity stills they could get their paws on to give pictures to accompany the audio. The even more ambitious are trying their hand at computer animation, as in this bit from the Power of the Daleks. It is impressive as I've seen the existing clip.

Whilst still in "batter the Beeb" mode, there was (excellent) flash animation made for the two missing episodes of the Troughton story "The Invasion". Fans have wondered why no more have been made - money is again the hindering factor!

It is possible though to get a handle on the missing stories through audio, pictures and the novelisations. Plus the strength of Doctor Who has always been the dialogue acting and the interesting stories, not its *cough* flashy, Star Wars special effects.

Last night I popped on the BBC Audio Book "Dr.Who and the Giant Robot". I couldn't fall asleep so there is nothing better than the old Target book by Terrance Dicks (one of the show's script editors) being read by old Tom himself, fulfilling the role of a bed time story like one's parents did for us when we were kids. The actual story title is "Robot" and was Baker's first outing as the famous Time lord. His voice is just so rich and fantastic!

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