60 years of Doctor Who now on iPlayer

Dave

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I watched the "Whose Doctor Who" Melvyn Bragg documentary which I have never seen before. My take-aways from that had little to do with Doctor Who itself:
  1. How much Tom Baker looks and acts like Harpo Marx.
  2. How well dressed everyone being interviewed was, but especially the children - some in jackets.
  3. The amount of smoking taking place during the writing discussions, together with studio No Smoking signs.
  4. And that while many late '60's to early '70's TV programmes have been endlessly repeated - Star Trek, The Avengers, The Prisoner - and I have therefore watched them in Colour - quite a large number have not, including those seasons of Doctor Who. So, I have only ever seen the Attack of the Autons or The Talons of Weng Chiang in Black and White.
 

CupofJoe

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These seven original 25 minute episodes have now received a cosmic makeover, having been dazzlingly colourised and weaved together into a 75 minute blockbuster to appeal to today’s modern audiences.
It will be interesting to see what they have done, if nothing else.
 

Dave

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I watched the Dalek Invasion of Earth episodes last night. Those were probably some of my first Doctor Who memories and I thought that I knew them, but it is a slightly different story to the Peter Cushing film that I have seen many times, and more interwoven with a good reason for Susan to leave (The Doctor was quite harsh as he locks her out of the TARDIS). What surprised me was that the Terry Nation script is quite adult (though certainly aimed at teenagers) but could never be described as hard science ("The Daleks are playing with the Forces of Creation") but nevertheless very good, and has none of the "RUN!" down this corridor and back nonsense. In fact, the sets were very cheap (with poor backdrops and use of stock footage) but also cleverly reused, and the good use derelict Thames-side warehouses would have made it stand-out. When people credit the early success of Doctor Who, they mention William Hartnell's acting and the design of the Dalek's travelling machine, but rarely other aspects of set design or the scriptwriting. Obviously, it does look very dated now - Battersea Power station missing two chimneys with a nuclear power reactor dome, but none of the residential blocks that surround it now - they steal a refuse truck from a museum to leave London, but it's 2164, so surely the museum has a vehicle that is slightly younger than 200 years-old?
 

Dave

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I also watched The Chase episodes last week. I found the writing of those much poorer than Invasion of Earth. It was like Terry Nation no longer cared and they were aiming at a much younger audience.

I hope they keep these on iPlayer for a while longer as I’d like to see more.
 

BAYLOR

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I also watched The Chase episodes last week. I found the writing of those much poorer than Invasion of Earth. It was like Terry Nation no longer cared and they were aiming at a much younger audience.

I hope they keep these on iPlayer for a while longer as I’d like to see more.

Ive seen the Chase, Pretty lame stuff.
 

Dave

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The 2023 Children in Need special "episode" (5 minutes long) is available to watch there now. Since I didn't watch Children in Need, I just caught up with that. It is quite amusing.

I'm going to look at watching something classic now that I haven't seen repeated since. I'm not sure what but there is 60 years to watch so there must be something.
 

Dave

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I've been watching Jon Pertwee - Spearhead from Space and Day of the Daleks - because I haven't seen them for ages, whereas I owned some of the later Pertwee and Tom Baker stories on VHS and know them much better. These have old memories for me.

So, is anyone else watching anything? Which stories and why those in particular for you? Is anyone watching the New Who again?
 

BAYLOR

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I've been watching Jon Pertwee - Spearhead from Space and Day of the Daleks - because I haven't seen them for ages, whereas I owned some of the later Pertwee and Tom Baker stories on VHS and know them much better. These have old memories for me.

So, is anyone else watching anything? Which stories and why those in particular for you? Is anyone watching the New Who again?

Spearhead From Space , The first Auto story and its intro to Jon Pertwee's Doctor . It's great stuff ! Day of the Daleks ,, This too is a terrific serial , Offend ive wonder if this one didn't in some way influence the film Terminator .



Im about to re-watch Inferno . It's one the best Who serials of all time ., It has shades of Quatermass , The story has everything !
 

Dave

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I'm about to re-watch Inferno . It's one the best Who serials of all time ., It has shades of Quatermass , The story has everything !
I've started to watch it, on the basis of your recommendation, and of others online who rate it is the best story of the best season of all time. It is a very good season, but I remember being very bored with the story when it was first shown - are they still drilling into the Earth's core again this week? - it is the last time a seven-episode story was shown, and back then, for an eight-year old, just a week was a long time. It was also the last time that the excellent Caroline John appeared as Liz Shaw, but it has some of the worst Doctor Who monsters ever - with their blonde, Lion's mane hair, and green skin - almost as bad as the pantomime Loch Ness monster in the Peter Davidson era.

However, I wonder if you actually have the story mixed up with The Daemons. Inferno has the Doctor sideslip into an alternative totalitarian universe, not unlike the Star Trek Mirror Universe, but it doesn't have much that could be said to be "shades of Quatermass". On the other hand, the Daemons is the archaeological dig at the village of Devil's End, and the "Chap with the wings! Five rounds rapid" quote! I can see why you might say that was similar to Quatermass and the Pit. I remember that The Daemons was a very popular conversation in the school yard, but it wasn't one of my own favourites.

Edit: Terror of the Autons next. Great stuff!
 

Dave

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I decided to skip on to Sylvester McCoy era (I did own quite a lot of the Tom Baker stuff on VHS or DVD and then the stories got poorer IMHO but I could never watch the show much after it got moved to the midweek time slot anyway). I do own Remembrance of the Daleks, which I thought was excellent - well written, well researched to fit the canon - and I love Ben Aaronovitch's Peter Grant books - so I thought that Battlefield would be a good choice for a story I that had never watched before. It's awful. Awful story. Awful music. Awful effects. Ace never gets out her baseball bat, and even the Brigadier is wooden in it. It's a big disappointment. And why do UNIT have a nuclear warhead? I thought they were an intelligence taskforce?

So, I went back and watched The Dalek Master Plan, of which only three episodes survive. That would be great if the whole thing was available. I was surprised to see Nicholas Courtney in that too (not as the Brigadier but as a future Earth Agent who is executed - maybe a descendant?) He must have worked with almost all of the original series Doctors, which puts a different spin on his quote of "Wonderful chap! All of them!" from The Five Doctors.

I'm not sure what's next, if anything. Maybe I need to watch some Tennant and Tate episodes again so that I understand the current episodes better?
 

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