The Halloween Apocalypse and War of the Sontarans today.
I think The Halloween Apocalypse has maybe my favorite opening scene of any first episode. Gets right to the action directly related to the plot and it’s loads of fun too. The Doctor and Yaz really feel like they’re in sync by this point in their travels and I just love that small little moment where they’re piloting the TARDIS together.
War of the Sontarans is also great. In many ways it feels like a “back to basics” kinda story, building directly off of what made The Time Warrior and The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky so great. The pacing is also great. The guest cast is great, the regulars are great - seriously, John Bishop is just consistently one of my favorite parts of this series and he elevates everyone he shares a scene with in both episodes. This is just all around a great story.
Finished up Once, Upon Time and Village of the Angels and I'm currently halfway through Survivors of the Flux.
I don't have too much to say about Once, Upon Time, except that I think it's maybe my least favorite episode of Flux, and yet I still think it's a good episode. Village of the Angels meanwhile is probably my favorite episode of Flux. Even the way it's shot is fantastic - thinking of the mirror scene! The ending is still one of my favorite cliffhangers in the entire show. And good grief Jodie's on fire! She has been from the start of this series quite honestly. I really hope we get more series like this if she decides to join the Big Finish family later down the road.
Continuing to blaze through the Classic series - Earlier this week featured City of Death (WOW!) and The Creature From The Pit (Good!). Finished Nightmare of Eden this morning (meh) and almost done with The Horns of Nimon (fun. Soldeed is a riot!) Hoping to get to the 2017 Shada before the end of the week!
Ghost Light, the last recorded story of the 'classic years'. Never viewed without more than a tinge of sadness. The show had so much going for it at this time. Creativity, new ideas, an eccentric and engaging Doctor, a popular companion, a script editor who was determined to look forward not back, and a producer desperate to leave but still making £5 look like £50. What a cast this has! The direction is gorgeous, the soundtrack, although too loud in some parts, is deeply rich and atmospheric and Marc Platt's story seems to have several plot lines running at the same time - or are they? What is going on? This is one of the least predictable stories Doctor Who ever did. How can the Doctor defeat the villains when no-one/everyone is possibly the villain?
The only thing Ghost Light didn't have is any promotion or support from the BBC. Sylvester said that even one of his closest friends didn't know the show was back on television. Of course, if the BBC hadn't cancelled it/quietly swept it under the carpet, then it wouldn't have been able to make such a huge splash in 2005. But the way the whole thing was treated was unfortunate, shabby and disrespectful to everyone involved.
I don't think the more lighthearted nature of this story works particularly well, Daleks and comedy don't mix particularly well. The Mary celeste reveal is agonizingly slow and screams of padding.
But the ending for Ian and Barbara is worth the price of admission every time.
It's ok, but I think Big Finish has perfected the style of this story.
In a small world attack, my Hartnell re-watch has also just got up to The Chase. Goodness me, it’s hard work at times, it really is. A bit of a struggle to stay focused and not half browse on my phone while watching. Until we get to the last episode that is, which I actually enjoyed quite a lot. Steven’s intro is nicely handled and his devotion to his pilot’s mascot is a fun inclusion. Lowering Vicki off that ledge on a rope when she’s terrified of heights was a bit harsh though!
Totally agree about the ending for Ian and Barbara, it’s just wonderful. Such a good natured send off!
Next time I watch this, I might just jump to the last two episodes. But on the other hand, it’s the build up that makes the Ian and Barbara departure all the more awesome. Decisions, decisions…
My friend Paula got married some years ago, but it only recently dawned on me that her new surname means she shares the name of the (alleged) writer of 'Attack of the Cybermen.'
Watching the story as the opener to the latest Blu-ray set, I still love it as much as ever. Only David Banks's Cyber-subordinate (can't remember the actor's name) let's things down a bit.
Everything else - the locations, Telos, the gangsters, Lytton, the conversation scenes, the hand crushing - is terrific grisly fun. And I don't care what anyone says, the Doctor taking out three Cybermen at the end is excellent. What a future he should have had!
I've just finished watching Shada for the very first time. It's strange to watch a story from the classic series that I haven't seen before. Firstly, to get so many original cast members back to complete the wonderfully animated additional scenes, and to marry it all up with Mark Ayres' Dudley Simpson-like (sounding especially like City of Death's score at some moments) is a labour of love and extremely good.
The story itself takes second place to the locations, to be honest. I'm not sure it deserves six episodes, but it is definitely a very charming and possibly understated (comparatively speaking of course), way to end Series 17. I liked the cast, and I would even say that Victoria Burgoyne's Clare would have joined Androids of Tara's Lois Baxter and Pirate Planet's Rosalind Lloyd as something of a crush for my 9 year-old self back then. Am I allowed to say that?
The atmosphere of academia and Cambridge surroundings are what make Shada stand out, for me. Tom hairing around on a bicycle and Lalla's beautifully delivered joke about sugar in her tea, as well as Dennis Carey and Dracula AD 1972's Christopher Neame are standouts for me - and of course that final scene. Glad I've seen it at last.
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