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gbollard
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21 Jun 2011, 4:30 am

Quatermass wrote:
The Time Lords did give him a new set of regenerations, so the snake form and the Cheetah People abilities are probably right out.


When was that? Did I miss it? Must have been one of the Novels. I wonder if those things really are "out" whether the regeneration process is supposed to sort out the alien DNA?

Quatermass wrote:
They should really bring in an enemy like Faction Paradox


Yes, bring back Paradox, they would be cool.

Quatermass wrote:
I wish the rumours were true about who was going to be the ultimate villain of this current series. Let me give a hint: ωμέγα.


I did hear those rumours but really he was a bit unmotivated as a villain. I thought he was great in the three doctors but awful in Arc of Infinity. Seriously, he's got no-body....

Of course, he's very clever and it would be a pretty cool fandom thing if he could locate and merge with another no-body like Yog Sogoth (spelling?) and come through (in the past) as the Great Intelligence. They wouldn't have to use Yetis but I'd like at least one for old time's sake. Actually, they look a bit like the 3 docs blobby guards with fur on, so it might work. It would be excellent if they could foreshadow (or clean up) some of Web of Fear - perhaps leading into the doctor seeing the tardis materialize and hearing Troughton's voice before he departs saying "don't worry, I've got this settled. I know how it ends".

BTW: Thanks for pointing out the bit about the gun in TOTA. I remember now that the novelisation made a lot more sense.

- - - - - - -

Re: Planet of the Spiders

Good review of one of my favorite stories (it was my first)

I'm amazed at how clean it looks - especially after the mess that was TOTA.

I love the Buddhist stuff and I'd like to see them do some other religions - but they'd be controversial. Somehow the Buddhist bits made it all seem much more final. I love the mentor dialog too - it's even more frequent in the novelisations.. and then there's the fact that it set things up for the watcher in Logopolis - they should explore that duality a bit more next regeneration.

I know that people have an issue with the fake spiders in this one but they were too real for me (aged 4). I've only just been cured of my arachnophobia. In fact last week I carried two mouse spiders (transferred to cups via paper) outside into the garden... now THAT was scary.

anyway, great review... good to see you've got this thread going again. Gives us something to tide us over until it's time to kill Hitler.



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21 Jun 2011, 5:18 am

gbollard wrote:
Quatermass wrote:
The Time Lords did give him a new set of regenerations, so the snake form and the Cheetah People abilities are probably right out.


When was that? Did I miss it? Must have been one of the Novels. I wonder if those things really are "out" whether the regeneration process is supposed to sort out the alien DNA?


Uh, no. In The Sound of Drums, the Master states that the Time Lords revived him during the Time War, figuring that he would make an excellent soldier. The implication is that they replaced his (by then) human/parasite body with a new Time Lord one.

gbollard wrote:
Quatermass wrote:
I wish the rumours were true about who was going to be the ultimate villain of this current series. Let me give a hint: ωμέγα.


I did hear those rumours but really he was a bit unmotivated as a villain. I thought he was great in the three doctors but awful in Arc of Infinity. Seriously, he's got no-body....

Of course, he's very clever and it would be a pretty cool fandom thing if he could locate and merge with another no-body like Yog Sogoth (spelling?) and come through (in the past) as the Great Intelligence. They wouldn't have to use Yetis but I'd like at least one for old time's sake. Actually, they look a bit like the 3 docs blobby guards with fur on, so it might work. It would be excellent if they could foreshadow (or clean up) some of Web of Fear - perhaps leading into the doctor seeing the tardis materialize and hearing Troughton's voice before he departs saying "don't worry, I've got this settled. I know how it ends".


Uh, I didn't think about it like that, and that's just weird, frankly, gbollard.

What I thought was that Omega (why not get it out in the open, now?) is an extremely nihilistic villain, and causing the destruction of all creation in The Pandorica Opens/ The Big Bang seems just like him. Plus, as one of the first Time Lords, he may be more than capable of screwing around with the TARDIS enough to make it go ka-blooey, and though the Doctor may not be able to sense any more Time Lords, Omega is technically not a Time Lord anymore (in Arc of Infinity, the Doctor is certain that his adversary is an anti-matter alien until Hedin corrects him).

There's even a line where Omega claims that he would prefer solitude forever to stopping his destruction of the universe in The Three Doctors.

Of course, for all we know, Steven Moffat might have done the unthinkable, and not actually brought an old adversary back, instead relying on a completely original creation!

That being said, I would like to see the Great Intelligence and the Yeti back. :)

BTW, it's Yog-Sothoth.


gbollard wrote:
Re: Planet of the Spiders

Good review of one of my favorite stories (it was my first)

I'm amazed at how clean it looks - especially after the mess that was TOTA.

I love the Buddhist stuff and I'd like to see them do some other religions - but they'd be controversial. Somehow the Buddhist bits made it all seem much more final. I love the mentor dialog too - it's even more frequent in the novelisations.. and then there's the fact that it set things up for the watcher in Logopolis - they should explore that duality a bit more next regeneration.

I know that people have an issue with the fake spiders in this one but they were too real for me (aged 4). I've only just been cured of my arachnophobia. In fact last week I carried two mouse spiders (transferred to cups via paper) outside into the garden... now THAT was scary.

anyway, great review... good to see you've got this thread going again. Gives us something to tide us over until it's time to kill Hitler.


Well, considering that we're coming up to the birth of the Valeyard, a further appearance of a Watcher seems likely... :)

Actually, the spiders worked well, for the time. The only time that they didn't work was when they were used with crappy CSO.

And going back to it, I found the Buddhism interesting, and how it ties in with an early look at the Doctor's own hubris. That Doctor was a very proud Doctor, and having the Great One take control over his body so easily must have made him s**t his pants. I've only just realised that's one explanation for the story.

They come back to Buddhism when they do the two Mara stories, Kinda and Snakedance.


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21 Jun 2011, 5:23 am

PROGRESS REPORT TWO AND A BIT: CATCHING UP

STORIES: Total for this catch-up: 3

Cumulative total: 37. 14 William Hartnell, 6 Patrick Troughton. 17 Jon Pertwee.

TIME: Total for this era: 2 days

Cumulative total: 53 days

PERCENTAGE NEVER WATCHED BEFORE: 1/3, or 33%

Cumulative total: 13/37, or 35%



BEST STORY: Planet of the Spiders

WORST STORY: The Ark

(No milestones, companions, or thoughts, given the fact this is a catch-up report. Things will change once I finish the Hinchcliffe years)


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22 Jun 2011, 12:42 am

REVIEW: Robot by Terrance Dicks

SERIAL
: 4A, 4X25 minute episodes

SEEN IT BEFORE?: Yes.


With a new and untested actor in the role of the Doctor, outgoing producer Barry Letts and Terrance Dicks, along with their respective replacements, Philip Hinchcliffe and Robert Holmes worked together to make the first season with Tom Baker as the Doctor hit with a bang. Terrance Dicks (claiming to invent a tradition, although it had been done before), as outgoing script editor, was commissioned to write the opening story. And so we have Terrance Dicks' first solo writing credit for Doctor Who...

While the newly regenerated Doctor recovers from the trauma of his regeneration, UNIT are investigating a series of robberies taking components of the newly-developed disintegrator gun, robberies that cannot have been committed by a human. Meanwhile, Sarah investigates the scientific research institute Thinktank, and the recently resigned eccentric designer of a giant robot, Professor Kettlewell. The robot is being used by Thinktank to steal sensitive information, information that will allow Thinktank's leader, the evil Miss Winters, to blackmail the world. But can anyone stop the invincible robot that is being used as their tool?

Terrance Dicks' writing can be best described as solid and dependable, with no frills. And this comes across in the plot, supposedly an admittedly unconscious rip-off of Dicks' own Avengers episode (co-written with Malcolm Hulke) The Mauritius Penny, combined with elements of King Kong and Asimovian robot fiction. Thinktank and their Scientific Reform Society are interesting, but functional villains, there to propel the story forward. And while this is a vehicle to give Tom Baker a chance to shine, this feels still linked to the Letts/Dicks era.

The acting performances are solid, although not particularly spectacular. Harry Sullivan, newcomer companion, comes across less rounded than he should be. However, Tom Baker as the Doctor makes as much of what he is given as possible, although you still get the feeling that he is feeling his way through the role. The other regulars are given good things to do, with Elisabeth Sladen's Sarah being the standout, sympathising with the titular robot, who is played well by former Cybercontroller Michael Kilgarrif. Of the guest roles, Patricia Maynard as Hilda Winters puts in a good performance that is mostly understated and dripping with evil, making her one of the first notable female villains since Maaga, leader of the Drahvins in Galaxy Four. Alec Linstead as Jellicoe is rather more functional as a character, and it seems like Professor Kettlewell, although an interesting character, was written too eccentric, and the twist around him doesn't quite make sense given his nature.

While it is intriguing to watch, Robot seems rather bland compared to some of the stories to follow, like the atmospheric The Ark in Space and The Sontaran Experiment, and the wonderfully bleak Genesis of the Daleks. For a premiere of the Fourth Doctor, it doesn't seem exciting enough. Instead, it is functional, filling a hole.

Still, there could have been worse openers to a season and to a new Doctor. Robot, while not the best of starts, is a solid foundation for the rest of the era to be built on, and pretty soon, Robert Holmes and Philip Hinchcliffe will be making their own mark on the series...


SCORE: 8/10


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22 Jun 2011, 2:54 am

REVIEW: The Ark in Space by Robert Holmes (from an uncredited idea by John Lucarotti)

SERIAL
: 4C, 4X25 minute episodes

SEEN IT BEFORE?: Yes.


A long, long time ago, a twist of fate meant that the original designer assigned to the first Dalek story was replaced by Raymond Cusick. A decade and a half later, this designer went on to direct one of the best known science fiction horror films of all time. That director was Ridley Scott, and the film, Alien. One wonders, then, whether he and the writers of that movie had ever seen a certain Doctor Who story, the second to be transmitted of the Hinchcliffe/Holmes era, and the first to show the stamp that that pair would put on the show...

During a flight to convince Harry that the TARDIS can travel through time and space, Harry ends up tweaking the controls and sending them to a space station in the far future. The Doctor and Harry are separated from Sarah thanks to some faulty mechanisms the Doctor repaired, and when they investigate, they find that the space station was changed into a special cryogenic repository, where a select elite of the human race wait out the disasters that have befallen the Earth. But the time travellers are far from the only intruders. Between suspicious revivees and an alien that reproduces by infesting human tissue, the Doctor has his work cut out for him if he wants to save this remnant of humanity...

Given that this was a fairly quick and extensive rewrite by Robert Holmes from a story by former Who writer John 'The Aztecs' Lucarotti, the writing is done fairly well. Although it takes a while for things to sink in, the humans are a fairly elitist lot, with the Doctor remarking that society by that point had become highly compartmentalised. And while many of the themes were explored in the Hartnell story The Ark, here, the concepts are realised far more effectively, and better integrated into a chilling story which is one of the most horrific stories thus far in the series.

The characters are written fairly well, if a bit stiffly, and acted the same. For the revivees, this can be excused by their society, with Noah (especially after his infection) and Rogin being the most interesting. Vira is a little flat, but can be excused as a mixture of her conditioning and the trauma she goes through in the story. Of the regulars, Sarah gets quite a bit to do, including a heroic crawl through a ventilation system. Tom Baker as the Doctor is good, but seems more than a little abusive and abrasive towards Harry, who admittedly bumbles through much of the first part and is something of a third wheel, Ian Marter's acting notwithstanding.

With design work that holds up reasonably well, even today, the problems are partly with the Wirrn themselves. The larval stage are well realised, but unfortunately, bubble-wrap is even more recognisable today than it would have been in the seventies, and the illusion is somewhat tempered. Noah's transformation, once it gets past the bubble-wrap glove stage, is much better. The Wirrn themselves are a great concept and design, but the costumes proper don't quite work well enough, which is a real pity. Another problem with the story is the energy. While the atmosphere is mostly there, as is the horror, there is a certain lack of energy in the story and the performances of the guest artistes.

Still, The Ark in Space shows the way where Doctor Who will be heading in the near future. Horror mixed with science fiction, a little darkness mixed into this adventure series. A controversial move, but ultimately a successful one.


SCORE: 8.5/10


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22 Jun 2011, 7:11 am

Bubble-wrap was harder to come by in the seventies but I remember that on the odd occasion when we'd get some, my sister would sit there popping madly but I'd just wrap it around my hand and try to strangle myself.



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23 Jun 2011, 11:49 pm

REVIEW: The Sontaran Experiment by Bob Baker and Dave Martin

SERIAL
: 4B, 2X25 minute episodes

SEEN IT BEFORE?: Yes.


After the debut of the fourth Doctor and the good horror story that was The Ark in Space, we have what is effectively a break between two classic stories. The Sontaran Experiment was written in a way so that it would be produced as The Ark in Space's location work, which the latter story didn't have anything of. And unfortunately, Tom Baker was to have an accident which ended up with him having a broken collarbone. But would the production otherwise do well?

Transmatting down to the scorched Earth, the Doctor, Harry, and Sarah find a desolated landscape, with apparently no life other than plants. But appearances are deceiving. Desperate men, survivors of a spaceship shot down, roam the landscape. And so does something else, a robot that abducts humans and brings them to its master, Sontaran Field Marshall Styre, who is performing a series of disturbing experiments. Can the time travellers stop him?

Let's get the best stuff out of the way. The location shooting is suitably atmospheric and bleak for this story set on an Earth ravaged by solar activity, and even after getting his collarbone broken, Tom Baker still manages to do well as the Doctor, although he is not as entertaining as he usually is. Ian Marter and Elisabeth Sladen also do well, despite the fact that Sarah, other than helping the Doctor, getting captured by Styre and having a major 'Oh Crap' moment when she sees the all-too familiar silhouette of a Sontaran, is less proactive in this story than she usually is.

The guest cast do a decent, but not stellar job. Kevin Lindsay obviously takes relish in playing Styre, but the human colonists phone it in and Peter Rutherford as Roth not convincing. This is not helped by a fairly average script, with plenty of fridge logic (surely Sontarans would use other means of finding human specimens to experiment on? And they would have had data on them by this point anyway), and not helped by the short length.

The robot is the real killer of the score for this story. Surely they could have made it a wee-bit more menacing? And not helping is the rather brief fight scene at the end, where it becomes clear, on hindsight, that a double is fighting the Sontaran, with all close-ups of Tom Baker done later.

This is a very average story that could have been better realised if it was a little longer and more complex. A misuse of the Sontarans, this is not a bad story, but it should have been much better.


SCORE: 7.5/10


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24 Jun 2011, 12:29 am

Quatermass wrote:
The robot is the real killer of the score for this story. Surely they could have made it a wee-bit more menacing?


oohhh but that robot is so cute.

Image



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24 Jun 2011, 2:16 am

gbollard wrote:
Quatermass wrote:
The robot is the real killer of the score for this story. Surely they could have made it a wee-bit more menacing?


oohhh but that robot is so cute.

Image


What.


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25 Jun 2011, 1:03 am

REVIEW: Genesis of the Daleks by Terry Nation

SERIAL
: 4E, 6X25 minute episodes

SEEN IT BEFORE?: Yes.


While commissioning stories for Tom Baker's first season for the Doctor, and that of their successors, Barry Letts and Terrance Dicks commissioned Terry Nation to write another Dalek story. When they received the script, they realised this was a rehash of similar plotlines used before, and upon having it pointed out to him, Nation agreed. Letts suggested that they see something that hadn't been seen before: the Daleks' origins. And the rest, as they say, is history...

Their transmat beam intercepted by the Time Lords, the Doctor, Sarah, and Harry are deposited on the planet Skaro, far in the planet's past. The Time Lords, forseeing a possible time when the Daleks have wiped out all other life in the universe, give the Doctor a mission: modify, or prevent, the creation of the Daleks. But this task won't be easy, for Skaro is gripped in a war that has been occurring for centuries, between the Kaleds and the Thals. This is a world where there are no heroes, little morality, life is cheap and racial purity on both sides is paramount. And the Kaleds' greatest scientist, the crippled Davros, is determined to ensure that his creations, a life-support machine for the mutant remnants of his people, will become the supreme beings in the universe. How far will Davros be willing to go to secure the Daleks survival? And can the Doctor stop the genesis of the Daleks without becoming like them?

There is much of Terry Nation's later work, the science fiction series Blake's 7, in this story. It shares many of the same production personnel (director David Maloney would go on to produce the series, Peter Miles and other actors would go on to appear in that show), but more importantly, it shares much of the same worldview. Skaro is a bleak world, and a morally ambiguous one. Both the Kaleds and the Thals are equally willing to sink to Nazist depths, and both sides have some good characters. This is one of the darkest and bleakest stories in the classic series, and yet, it still works.

The Doctor, Sarah, and Harry all get something to do, even if at times Harry is a bit of a third wheel, and their actors all get some meaty bits. Tom Baker seems to have finally come into his own with the role of the fourth Doctor, with a couple of brilliant sequences that illustrate his morality regarding the Daleks and their destruction, sequences that seem harsher in hindsight, given the events of the Time War in the new series. Even the supporting characters are written and performed well, with Stephen Yardley as gentle mutant Sevrin, Harriet Philpin as determined Thal Bettan, and Peter Miles as the cold-hearted Nyder being especially noteworthy.

Of particular note is Michael Wisher as Davros, and re-evaluating his performance after so long is interesting. Davros is written not merely as a cipher and mouthpiece for the Daleks, but he also functions as a character outside them. We have a cunning and pragmatic genius who is also a raving megalomaniac. Wisher's Davros has a subtlety that isn't as prevalent in later Davros performances, although this may be due to the writing, given Terry Molloy's performance in Revelation of the Daleks.

For a Dalek story, there isn't that many Daleks in the story, and most of the time, they are just there to carry out Davros' orders. And yet, in this story at least, they are most effective that way. This is before they became independent of Davros' plans for them.

Everything in this story links together quite well. The only bum notes is the bizarre cheating cliffhanger for episode 2, and the homicidal giant clam. The bleakness of the story might count against it in some people's estimation, but I disagree. It works in the context of this story, at least. And what is more, as supplemental material related to the new series suggests, this story itself contains the genesis of the Time War.

Genesis of the Daleks shows that, while Doctor Who doesn't often reach perfection completely, when it does, it is most satisfying. The dark tone may not be for some, but it works. This is easily one of the best Doctor Who stories of the period, and of all time, and shows what the Holmes/Hinchcliffe era is all about.


SCORE: 10/10


DVD trailer for the next story, Revenge of the Cybermen, as well as Silver Nemesis.


[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqRhqPKda58[/youtube]


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25 Jun 2011, 9:35 pm

REVIEW: Revenge of the Cybermen by Gerry Davis (with uncredited rewrites by Robert Holmes)

SERIAL
: 4D, 4X25 minute episodes

SEEN IT BEFORE?: Yes.


Revenge of the Cybermen was one of the very first Doctor Who stories I read the novelisation for, and one of the first stories I watched on video. It was certainly the first to be released on home video, if not the first for DVD. So, coming back to it after so many years, would it be any good? Would the years be at all kind to it?

Landing on Nerva Beacon milennia before the solar flares, the Doctor, Sarah and Harry, while waiting for the TARDIS to be sent back for them, find that Nerva Beacon is under quarantine from an unusual and deadly plague. But the plague is spread by Cybermats, controlled by suspicious exographer Kellman, who seems to want to prevent any communication between Nerva, and the asteroid Nerva is orbiting around as a warning station. For the asteroid is really the last remnants of Voga, the lost planet of gold, and its inhabitants are still alive. Problem is, so are the last surviving members of the Cybermen, and they intend to destroy Voga utterly before they launch a new campaign to conquer the galaxy. Can Sarah and Harry persuade the Vogan leaders to help? Is Kellman really on the side of the Cybermen? And can the Doctor avoid being used as an instrument of the revenge of the Cybermen?

Revenge of the Cybermen is possibly the worst ever Cyberman story yet surviving in the BBC archives. The writing, for a start, is a mess, and one wonders if it would have been any better if Robert Holmes hadn't tinkered with it. The characterisation ranges from average to ridiculous, and of particularly note are the Vogan leaders Vorus and Tyrum, and the traitorous human Kellman. While some people criticise the emotional Cybermen of the Eighties, I feel that here, they are worse. If their dialogue and performances had been better, it might have worked. The plot is, at the overall level, decent, but the details and dialogue drag it down.

One of the better things in this story are the performances. Ronald Leigh-Hunt puts in one of the more believable performances as Commander Stevenson, and Jeremy Wilkin as Kellman is excellent at least in the first half of the story, going to town with a bad script in the same way (if not to the same degree) as Raul Julia did with the Street Fighter film. David Collings and Michael Wisher do their best with acting in the roles of Vorus and Malik, but poor Kevin Stoney, after his excellent turns as previous Doctor Who villains Mavic Chen and Tobias Vaughn, doesn't put quite enough effort into Tyrum, with his "It's going to hit, it's going to hit!" not delivered in the right panicked tone. Christopher Robbie does camp the Cyberleader up a little, but his voice is powerful enough that a few of the performance's quirks can be overlooked. However, he does fall down in making it convincing.

Perhaps one of the best aspects of the story is the location shooting, with the caves of Voga being filmed at the Wookie Hole. This adds a certain gravitas that the story badly needs. The sequences involving the plague and the Cybermats are also fairly tense, with a scene where Sarah gets infected one of the most urgent in the history of the series. And the regulars, despite the crappy script, do do well, with Tom Baker as the Doctor clearly relishing telling the Cybermen that they are nothing but "a pathetic bunch of tin soldiers, skulking about the galaxy in an ancient spaceship". And the production design also works well, even when not re-using sets from The Ark in Space.

Revenge of the Cybermen is deeply flawed, and probably the worst story of this era, as well as any surviving story to feature the Cybermen. That being said, there are certainly worse stories, and it is entertaining enough, if you don't think too hard about the flaws. Just don't expect anything substantial.



SCORE: 6.5/10


DVD trailer for the next story, Planet of Evil, an excellent trailer for one of my favourite stories of the era.


[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UUfBi5exow[/youtube]


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26 Jun 2011, 6:11 pm

There were certainly flares in ROTC but they weren't of the solar variety, rather they were the cybermen's pants.

Pros
I love the cybermat sequences. It was a much better looking cybermat than the Troughton ones which look too cute.
The virus was a great throwback to the moonbase.
The cave sequences look great.
Kellman (almost typed Kelner is there a name generator for turncoat baddies?) is pretty good.
The head guns aren't all that bad either as a new touch.
The actual story is quite good and there's some great references to cyber-history that we're yet to see on TV.

Cons
Flares and Hands on hips.
Two groups of clown-faced races .... it would have been better if they weren't even alien. Maybe just super-albino from living in caves?
Landscape on a roller
Very weak cybermen - I liked the fact that they fixed this in Earthshock.
Great idea of removing the toxin via transmat but poorly considered since it would affect aliens differently... the doctor should have "modified it" to recognise humans for that one transfer (just one line of dialog to fix).
Terrible waste of Kevin Stoney - it's a pity that they didn't having him as a half-cybernetic leftover from Tobias Vaughn... now that would have been good.



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26 Jun 2011, 6:44 pm

Noted.

gbollard, why didn't you comment on my Genesis of the Daleks review? Don't you have a second opinion or something? I want some comments...

BTW, here's a couple of YouTube videos showing how fans have modified Revenge of the Cybermen to try and make it better. The first substitutes more alien Cyberman voices (in the style of the New Series and Big Finish)...

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=caJ1wxzzI8Y[/youtube]


And the other enhances the climactic sequence towards the end, amongst other things getting rid of that spinning drum landscape you noted, gbollard...

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzaUZqZcay0[/youtube]

BTW, whoever did the subtitles for the Revenge of the Cybermen DVD stuffed up badly. There were a number of mistakes. :roll:


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26 Jun 2011, 7:23 pm

Quatermass wrote:
gbollard, why didn't you comment on my Genesis of the Daleks review? Don't you have a second opinion or something? I want some comments...


You gave it 10/10 so there was no room for comments. That's what I'd have given it too. :lol:


BTW: I didn't think that the cybervoices were so bad in ROTC - actually all cyber-voices, even those in the new series, are wrong. I'm not sure if they should sound like Stephen Hawking or whatever but I'd think that they wouldn't bother talking to eachother since they could just transmit. This would mean that they'd only talk when they wanted to be understood. They'd be electronic voices but much clearer ... just flatter as well, emotionless. More like Hal in 2001?


Genesis

Pros
You didn't really mention the Nazi stuff, which was one of my favourite aspects of that story. It makes everything seem so much more menacing and seriously, there are times when Nyder is much scarier than Davros.
The iconic shot of the dalek at the top of the trenches.
The last sequences with Davros
Lots of great characters throughout the story - even the minor character are great.
The tape recording sequence has great throwbacks to earlier stories and cool hints about the future.

Cons
The rocket climbing sequence is a bit silly and feels too studio-bound
The giant clam... the kaelds were always going to evolve into some kind of sea creature I guess.
Betthan is a great character who is tragically underused - she only becomes a character at the last minute.
Ronson's death is a little drawn out. It's a great death but a little melodramatic.

Making it cooler...
Some varga plants would help.

Genesis is considered by many people to be the place where the Time War started. Davros wasn't involved prior to Genesis with the implication being that the daleks simply killed him. Two big things happen in Genesis;

1. The time lords actively interfere for the first time and the daleks (davros at least) discovers this fact.
2. Davros discovers that his daleks go on but must have realized that he wasn't involved and taken some time to modify his chair defences to allow him to go beyond death by extermination.

I'd have loved the new series to reference these changes in some way... perhaps even a "back to the future" style eavesdropping of the eleventh doctor on the story.



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26 Jun 2011, 7:46 pm

gbollard wrote:
BTW: I didn't think that the cybervoices were so bad in ROTC - actually all cyber-voices, even those in the new series, are wrong. I'm not sure if they should sound like Stephen Hawking or whatever but I'd think that they wouldn't bother talking to eachother since they could just transmit. This would mean that they'd only talk when they wanted to be understood. They'd be electronic voices but much clearer ... just flatter as well, emotionless. More like Hal in 2001?


I like three of the Cybervoices: the eerie sing-song from The Tenth Planet, the Peter Hawkins with a buzzing artificial palate voice, and the Eighties Cybervoices.


gbollard wrote:
Genesis

Pros
You didn't really mention the Nazi stuff, which was one of my favourite aspects of that story. It makes everything seem so much more menacing and seriously, there are times when Nyder is much scarier than Davros.


I didn't mention it, partly because it was so blatantly obvious. And to be honest, both sides were Nazis, Kaleds and Thals.

Actually, I noticed something, may just be my Aspie body-language senses wrong as usual, but I noticed something unusual about Nyder. When he is discussing the Mutos with the Doctor, I noticed that this is the only time in the story (other than when he is faking his sympathies with Gharman and when he is confronting Davros about the rebellion in the Elite) he seems remotely uncomfortable. One wonders, did Nyder have a relative that was cast out as a Muto? Or is this just wishful thinking and misinterpretation of Peter Miles' wonderful performance?



gbollard wrote:
Cons
The rocket climbing sequence is a bit silly and feels too studio-bound
The giant clam... the kaelds were always going to evolve into some kind of sea creature I guess.
Betthan is a great character who is tragically underused - she only becomes a character at the last minute.
Ronson's death is a little drawn out. It's a great death but a little melodramatic.

Making it cooler...
Some varga plants would help.


The rocket-climbing sequence's only ridiculous bit is the way the cliffhanger is done. Maybe they should have held it off for when the Thal officer knocks her off the ledge sadistically.

Bettan is a little underused, but I doubt that tragically so is the case. You should see the character the actress later plays in Blake's 7. THAT'S a far cry from Bettan.

As for Varga plants, well, they are part of the second episode of the audio drama I, Davros.

gbollard wrote:
Genesis is considered by many people to be the place where the Time War started. Davros wasn't involved prior to Genesis with the implication being that the daleks simply killed him. Two big things happen in Genesis;

1. The time lords actively interfere for the first time and the daleks (davros at least) discovers this fact.
2. Davros discovers that his daleks go on but must have realized that he wasn't involved and taken some time to modify his chair defences to allow him to go beyond death by extermination.

I'd have loved the new series to reference these changes in some way... perhaps even a "back to the future" style eavesdropping of the eleventh doctor on the story.


I think that in the novelisation of Destiny of the Daleks, Davros mentions building in a force-field to protect himself from the Dalek blasts, just in case.

Thanks for your insights, gbollard. :) Can't wait for me to review some of the best stories of all time, eh?


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