Doctor Who celebrates its 40th anniversary this weekend (the 23rd at 5:15 PM GMT, to be precise.) To celebrate, I am doing a marathon of the complete serials of the first two Doctors (with brief stops to change the laundry…) So first off: 1:00 PM PST An Unearthly Child (movie version.) I haven’t seen the whole story for over 7 years, and it’s still quite enjoyable. The first episode portion is still the best of the whole story, and sets up the series very effectively. 3/5 (though part one is a 5/5.)
2:37 PM PST The Dead Planet (movie version.) Good introduction to the Daleks, and arguably the serial that propelled the popularity of the series. It’s a bit on the long side, and could easily have been tightened up a bit (at least an episode or two…) Well designed, and (for the most part) excellently visualized. 4/5 (deductions for plodding.)
5:30 PM PST Edge of Destruction (movie version.) A great psychological thriller where the TARDIS is used as a major character. Featuring only the regular cast, who at times seems a bit too wooden. 4/5.
Marco Polo is missing, and I don’t have the reconstruction…
6:38 PM PST The Keys of Marinus (movie version.) An enjoyable story that could improve with some trimming (is this a problem with Terry Nation, or is it just how the series was produced in the early days.) Running around searching for things (keys, in this case), visiting different places in one story can be quite entertaining. Unfortunately the length allows for much padding. 3/5
9:05 PM PST The Aztecs (movie version.) I can see why this was chosen for the first Doctor DVD release – I only wish I had it… A superb example of a historical story, combined with a top class “rule of time-travel” story. Barbara the history teacher wants to change history by stopping the Aztec’s ritual sacrifice (if she can get them to stop, then maybe the Spanish would not destroy them later on.) In the end she learns that she cannot change history. This story also shows that the Doctor is capable of love (the critics of the infamous kiss in the TVM should take note…) Definitely a 5/5
10:41 PM PST The Sensorites (movie version.) How can you be afraid of cuddly aliens? Maybe they are a bit creepy, but they can’t handle the dark or loud noises – so just switch off the light and scream like you’ve never screamed before. Don’t get me wrong it’s an all right story, but not the highlight of the first series – though Carole Ann Ford (Susan) has fond memories of this story, and of having trodden on the sensorites clown feet… 2.5/5
The Reign of Terror is not complete, and I do not have the recently released tape of the existing episodes…
Well, that is it for day one (and series one) of my 40th Anniversary marathon of Doctor Who. Tune in tomorrow for part two of my celebration.