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The Friendly Dalek

My huge Doctor Who episode marathon.

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The Savages- If this wasn't missing I honestly believe that it would be regarded very highly amongst the best of the First Doctor's era. I love this story, and it is rather intellectual in it's discussions of morality. The regulars are all great and the supporting cast are fantastic. It has a great plot, but my only issue is that it drags somewhat. Perhaps if it was an episode shorter it would be perfect.

Overall- 9/10. 

Edited by The Friendly Dalek

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The War Machines- This is another incredibly underrated story. I am biased here, as this is one of the very first classic stories I ever saw (and certainly the first Hartnell era story I saw), but I genuinely believe this is one of the greatest of the Hartnell era. I can't fault it. Characters and performances are great, and the pacing is perfect, unlike many other stories from this era.

Michael Craze and Anneke Wills are instantly captivating as the new companions, Ben and Polly. Sadly, Dodo is sidelined for much of this story, and her exit is pretty much brushed over instantly. I awlays thought Dodo was treated unfairly throughout this season in terms of wasted character potential. Just judging this story though, it really doesn't detract any enjoyment from it (solidifying the fact that Dodo was wasted). 

Overall- 10/10.

Overall rating for Season 3- 9/10.

What a season this was! Many of my favourite stories from the Hartnell era were in this season. This is one of the most underrated seasons in the show's history, as I don't see it being takes about often. Which is a shame as the stories as generally fantastic, and the production team worked out exactly what this show needed to make it perfect.

Edited by The Friendly Dalek

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The Smugglers- Bland, boring, forgettable, and other words with similar meanings spring to mind when I think of this story. That doesn't mean it is entirely bad. Some of the dialogue is brilliant, and there are a couple of stand out supporting characters. It is just a story that I never think about, as I don't really enjoy all of it or find it memorable. A pretty poor start to Season 4.

Overall- 4/10.

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The Tenth Planet- This is a perfect final episode for William Hartnell's era of Doctor Who. It also acts as a template for many of the stories in the Second Doctor era in regards to "base under siege" stories, a formula which I believe works perfectly for Doctor Who.

The characters here are all great, and Ben and Polly get to do quite a lot for once. Unfortunately Hartnell is sidelined for most of this story due to his health, which is a shame as it is his final story. However, he is brilliant in the scenes he has, and his speech about emotions in the second part is a highlight.

The Cybermen are perfect here. I believe that this is the most chilling they have ever been. Although I do prefer their design in The Moonbase and The Tomb Of The Cybermen, these are the creepiest. The modern era of Who ruined the Cybermen for me, as it presents them more like hulking robots then actual creatures who have upgraded parts of themselves to survive. Here you can clearly see their eyes and hands, which is far more frightening than just a huge metal monster. The classic Cybermen always had some human body parts visible, reminding viewers that they are not just robots, and that is a disturbing concept to me. Anyway, back to this story, their voices are also menacing, despite being high pitched. It almost sounds human, but not quite, which is what makes these Cybermen so effective. They clearly were human before.

The regeneration is also handled very well. The effect is simple, and not over dramatic (another problem I have with New Who, but that is a rant for another day). 

Overall- 10/10.

Bar some poor modelwork, this story is pretty much perfect. Characters, dialogue, the regeneration. It all works. The inclusion of the Cybermen helps to elevate this story from great to brilliant.

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11 hours ago, The Friendly Dalek said:

The Tenth Planet

Huh, you would have thought time-travelling Dr Smartypants would have known Pluto was going to get downgraded.

  • Haha 1

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Power of the Daleks- One of my favourite Doctor Who stories of all time. Patrick Troughton is brilliant as the Doctor, and instantly embodies the character. Ben and Polly are also well utilised in this story. The Daleks are incredible here, and this is tied with The Dalek's Master Plan for being the best on screen representation of them. 

Supporting characters are all memorable, and the script is incredible. It doesn't drag at all, and I don't mind the animation. The existing clip shows that the Dalek production line was an impressive set, and the animation also captures that.

Overall- 10/10. 

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The Highlanders- The last pure historical story until Black Orchid, and it's a decent story. Nothing amazing, but a fun time. There are some great comedic moments and some brilliant like a of dialogue scattered throughout this story. 

It also introduced one of my favourite companions from the entirety of the show, Jamie McCrimmon. Frazer Hines plays the character to perfection, and his dynamic with Troughton over their long time together makes them one of my favourite Doctor-companion duos.

Overall- 7/10.

Again, this is a fun, light hearted story which I can happily sit down and listen to, but it isn't one I'd immediately think of listening to as other stories are just better. It does have its moments though, and the characters are pretty good, and the introduction of Jamie elevates this story as well. 

Edited by The Friendly Dalek

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The Underwater Menace- One of the worst Doctor Who stories ever made. The visuals are appalling, and the acting is terrible. The villain is incredibly over-the-top, and I've never really been a fan of characters like that. It just makes the whole story even more ridiculous. 

There are some good moments, and Troughton is great as usual, but that is about all this story has to offer.

Overall- 1/10.

Edited by The Friendly Dalek

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I swear sometimes that I am the only person who is active in this thread due to the lack of discussion here.  :lol:

The Moonbase- We follow up one of my least favourite episodes with one that I absolutely love. I adore this episode. The plot and pacing are both superb, and the setting adds to the claustrophobic nature of this story. This is one of the fist examples of the base-under-siege story type which would make-up the majority of the stories in this era of the show. It is a formula which I absolutely love. The characters are all well-written, and the acting is great across the board. Troughton shines here, and some of his most memorable lines are from this story.

I have to talk about the Cybermen. This is another one of their best appearances throughout the show's history. I think the black-and-white visuals helps make them creepier in their 60s appearances. Their voices are also chilling here, and I prefer these voices to the voices they had in The Tenth Planet. 

There are some plot holes in this story. However, they certainly do not remove the tension and atmosphere from this story, so they don't bring the story down in any way.

Overall- 10/10.

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12 minutes ago, The Friendly Dalek said:

I swear sometimes that I am the only person who is active in this thread due to the lack of discussion here.  :lol:

In my defence I don't post cos I haven't watched most of the classic era and keep meaning to get round to it. :lol:

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3 minutes ago, wjbleming said:

In my defence I don't post cos I haven't watched most of the classic era and keep meaning to get round to it. :lol:

I'll let you off for now, but I expect you to be on here when I get to the modern era (that is of course if you want to as I obviously can't make you). :D

Edited by The Friendly Dalek

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3 hours ago, wjbleming said:

In my defence I don't post cos I haven't watched most of the classic era and keep meaning to get round to it. :lol:

What he said.

When you get to Jon Pertwee I'll be able to contribute!

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The Macra Terror- A decent story from the Troughton era. The idea of having an alien threat in a holiday park is an interesting one, and it is executed really well here. The surviving clip shows that the Macra have an interesting design, and they are used far better here than in the Tennant episode "Gridlock". The dialogue is what brings this one down in my opinion. It isn't very interesting, and none of the supporting characters really stand out. The regulars are great, but beyond them there aren't really any other good characters to talk about. 

Overall- 6/10.

Edited by The Friendly Dalek

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The Faceless Ones- This is a hugely underrated story. The Chameleons are brilliant villains, and the whole identity loss aspect is a rather frightening concept. 

The characters are all great, and the story doesn't drag at all, despite its length. Dialogue is great as well.

As a final story for Ben and Polly, it is pretty good. Their final scene is effective.

I truly believe that this story would be lived by many it is was to be recovered, as it is so good.

Overall- 10/10.

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Sorry I’ve been far too busy to get on here and share my thoughts. You’re really cracking through them. Even the audio only ones which I’m sure must be easier to find time for. You’re really handing out those 10/10’s. I’m not sure I agree with a lot of them. War Machines is tremendous and very atmospheric and I love the now historical feel of what was obviously contemporary at the time but I wouldn’t go 10/10. That whole “Doctor Who is required” nonsense still grates every time I hear it. 10th Planet also not quite worthy of a 10. Great base under siege but the Cyberman are not well thought out on their initial appearance and don’t really get going until the 2nd Doctors era. That said that is still my favourite Cyberman design. Totally agree about the Faceless ones. It’s another that I wish they would animate the remaining missing episodes of. It’s got a tremendous performance from Pauline Collins who was asked to stay on a companion but she turned it down. She also went on to play Queen Victoria in the 10th Doctor story Tooth and Claw. It’s also got Benadict Cumberbatch’s Mum in it. The use of the real Gatwick airport adds a realism too.

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3 hours ago, The Friendly Dalek said:

Perhaps I am giving out too many 10s, but I do absolutely love the stories which I give 10s to. :D

Hey it’s your opinion no one can tell you it’s wrong. If you think it’s worth a 10 then it’s worth a 10 :thumbup:

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The Evil Of The Daleks- I have to disagree with people who say that this is one of the greatest Doctor Who stories ever. Personally I think it is pretty good, but not amazing. The Daleks are used well here, and the Dalek Emperor os very impressive. The acting is great as well. 

Sadly this story is far too long, and not enough happens to justify the runtime. It really didn't need to be 7 episodes long. Victoria shows potential here, which is good. The relationship between the Doctor and Jamie is brilliant as always. So really my main issue is that is it incredible over-long.

Overall- 8/10.

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13 hours ago, The Friendly Dalek said:

The Evil Of The Daleks- I have to disagree with people who say that this is one of the greatest Doctor Who stories ever. Personally I think it is pretty good, but not amazing. The Daleks are used well here, and the Dalek Emperor os very impressive. The acting is great as well. 

Sadly this story is far too long, and not enough happens to justify the runtime. It really didn't need to be 7 episodes long. Victoria shows potential here, which is good. The relationship between the Doctor and Jamie is brilliant as always. So really my main issue is that is it incredible over-long.

Overall- 8/10.

The problem with this story is not the story it’s the fact that the only way to experience it is audio (well episode 2 apart which is a tremendous episode BTW with a great cliff-hanger). It is a very visual story. Take Jamie’s fight with the Turk. It goes on for ages and there is no dialogue. The first time I experienced it was a bootleg cassette of the off air recordings and with no explanation of what’s happening it’s just 10 minutes of noises. I have a great recon of this story that massively enhances the experience. The Daley’s are used properly, with the Doctor having a great resolution to their menace (which has now been overused but remember this was the first time that this had been done to the Daley’s). Maxtible’s greed taking over and Waterfield’s descent into madness when he realises what he has done are superb. This is definitely one of my 10’s.

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14 minutes ago, Ravogd said:

The problem with this story is not the story it’s the fact that the only way to experience it is audio (well episode 2 apart which is a tremendous episode BTW with a great cliff-hanger). It is a very visual story. Take Jamie’s fight with the Turk. It goes on for ages and there is no dialogue. The first time I experienced it was a bootleg cassette of the off air recordings and with no explanation of what’s happening it’s just 10 minutes of noises. I have a great recon of this story that massively enhances the experience. The Daley’s are used properly, with the Doctor having a great resolution to their menace (which has now been overused but remember this was the first time that this had been done to the Daley’s). Maxtible’s greed taking over and Waterfield’s descent into madness when he realises what he has done are superb. This is definitely one of my 10’s.

I'll have to see if I can find a decent recon for the story at some point, and see if it improves it for me. :D

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I forgot to do this yesterday. :D

Overall rating for Season 4- 9/10.

Patrick Troughton instantly embodies the Doctor, and is consistently brilliant throughout all these episodes. Frazer Hines' performance as Jamie wis also brilliant, and he will always be one of my favourite companions. The stories are mostly strong throughout this season as well.

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The Tomb Of The Cybermen- Although I do personally prefer The Moonbase, I can clearly see why this is regarded as an all time classic. It is very good. The direction is great, and the dialogue is also good for the most part. The Cybermen are again utilised incredibly well, and they are still very creepy. These ones have my personal favourite voices as well. This is also the first time we see them partially convert a human on screen. which is a very effective and somewhat frightening image and concept. The sets are also very impressive, especially the Tomb itself.

Where this story falters in my eyes is the characters. The three regulars are great, although I feel like Victoria got the same treatment as Dodo. They both had potential, but apart from a couple of stories, they are heavily under-utilised. This is one of those stories. The supporting charters also aren't very memorable at all, except for the main villain, Klieg, who is played brilliantly by George Pastell. 

Overall- 9/10.

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The Abominable Snowmen- What a drag this is. I think if it existed in its entirety it wouldn't be as boring. The Yeti look humorous, not frightening. Their design in the Web Of Fear is far better in my opinion. The characters aren't great and the dialogue is uninteresting and bland. Surely it didn't need to be 6 episodes long? There is no where near enough plot here to remain interesting for that long. Visually, from stills and the existing landscape, the mountain locations look stunning.

Overall- 3/10. 

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On 9/13/2018 at 9:25 PM, The Friendly Dalek said:

The Tomb Of The Cybermen- Although I do personally prefer The Moonbase, I can clearly see why this is regarded as an all time classic. It is very good. The direction is great, and the dialogue is also good for the most part. The Cybermen are again utilised incredibly well, and they are still very creepy. These ones have my personal favourite voices as well. This is also the first time we see them partially convert a human on screen. which is a very effective and somewhat frightening image and concept. The sets are also very impressive, especially the Tomb itself.

Where this story falters in my eyes is the characters. The three regulars are great, although I feel like Victoria got the same treatment as Dodo. They both had potential, but apart from a couple of stories, they are heavily under-utilised. This is one of those stories. The supporting charters also aren't very memorable at all, except for the main villain, Klieg, who is played brilliantly by George Pastell. 

Overall- 9/10.

I think this story has one of the greatest character pieces ever between Doctor and companion where the Doctor is trying to make Victoria feel better about the death of her father. Some nice thoughts about his family too. It is a great scene which had never really been done before. It has nothing to do with the story or plot and wouldn’t be out of place in a modern episode. 

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