On the Occasion (part 3)

The Doctor Who marathon continues this morning (because I’m working late today…) 8:30 AM PST The Gunfighters (movie version.) The much maligned western adventure isn’t as bad as many would claim. I didn’t even find the ballad annoying. Even the accents didn’t make me cringe (like so many other programs.) This also appears to have been the first western made in the UK (someone once claimed the Prisoner had that distinction, but that was a year after Doctor Who did this story.) Surprisingly enough, I give it a 3/5.

10:10 AM PST The War Machines (original episodic version.) The first modern day adventure for the Doctor sees humans building a super computer that plans on taking over the humans. Dodo is unceremoniously written out of the series and replaced by Ben and Polly (who will also be written out just as poorly later on.) I do find it a little unconvincing on how easily the Doctor manages to get into everything, but aren’t we glad he does. 3.5/5

I’m skipping the Tenth Planet, as I watched it last weekend. Quite a pivotal story in the history of Doctor Who: The introduction of the cybermen, and the concept of (what would later be called) regeneration. It is hard for me to watch these cybermen without comparison to the later ones (especially Invasion and Earthshock.) They seem too easygoing, not quite as ruthless – and their design is quite silly looking. Despite this view, the story is very good and even the reconstructed final episode is enjoyable. 4/5.

Also a quick note on Power of the Daleks. I only have the reconstruction to go by, but it seems to be a very good story. The Daleks display a sense of cunning that is lost in later years. The freshly “renewed” Doctor is deadly serious here – in fact this story seems so serious, that it is almost out of place with the rest of the second Doctor’s stories (at least those that I’ve seen.) 3/5

Well, that is it for today. I will be working on the complete stories of Patrick Troughton over the next few days.