Review: Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor (year 2) #3

Story:

“Gabby’s best friend Cindy remained on Earth at the end of her last adventure with the Doctor – a decision Cindy immediately regretted! Now, with only Gabby’s sketchbook of unseen adventures to guide her, she must find her way back to the Doctor… but sinister forces already have her under surveillance!”
Read more about the issue on Goodreads.

Doctor Who: Tenth Doctor Adventures (year 2) #3

Review:

I found this issue a bit boring. The journal theme was a good way to recap a lot of stuff and show how traveling with the Doctor works but I’d rather read the actual adventures.

I’m being a but cynical but that felt a bit like they were making a pitch to new readers. Here are the reasons why you should read Doctor Who. Although there is a reason in the story for the journal to be there. Gabby gave it to Cindy when she refused to come with them so she could read about their adventures. Now she’s regretting not going and the journal is making that feeling worse.

I’m also really glad that this issue turned out not to be a complete recap for the entire issue. I don’t like it in TV episodes and I think I’d hate it in a comic when I could just go back and read previous issues. And I would have bought the issue for new story it’s not like TV.

It’s also funny that this is a Doctor light issue because the TV show had Doctor light episodes to save money and give the actors a break. None of those reasons apply to comics. Although some of the Doctor light episodes have been some of the best (Blink) so maybe that’s what they were going for because some of the reviews I’ve read seem to like this as much as those episodes. Limitations do breed creativity. And while I like quiet episodes that explore character this didn’t quite do it for me.

The main action of the issue happens when the journal starts predicting the future and it freaks Cindy out. This spirals into the characters from the cult of the black pyramid having to save her from someone who wants the journal.

Then the best cameo ever happens and I become more forgiving of the parts I didn’t care for. I’m not going to reveal who it is but I really hope it’s not just a cameo and they’re in the next issue. Hell I hope the next issue picks up from this point. If you’ve watched the early new Doctor Who episodes you’ll know who it is and if you haven’t then I’m hyping it up for nothing.

I like this cover better than the others because I think it represents Doctor Who better as the fun mostly optimistic show it is. Cindy’s reading the journal and she’s lit up with wonder or excitement while panels of adventures float behind her. I wouldn’t have put it past them to have her sat on a park bench looking serious maybe with a little rain cloud floating above her head.

And the cover actually matches the art inside. But not the first style of art which is the journal part of the issue. The second part where Cindy is involved and the art is more ordinary. Let’s hope we’re done with gloomy covers.

I liked this issue and Gabby’s writing about how she sees the Doctor but also summing up Doctor Who being a thrill you won’t forget but also dangerous. Hopefully we’ll get Cindy traveling in the next few issues.

Rating: 6 out of 10

Previous: Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor (year 2) #2
Next: Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor (year 2) #4

Review: Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor (year 2) #2

Story:

“It’s chaos aboard Presley Station, as the corrupted Shan’tee – conceptual beings from a different order of reality – prey on the human colonists, while on the gas giant below, vast storms conjure up winds of horrifying speed — that threaten to tear the Station apart! Caught in the middle of the chaos: the Doctor and Gabby! Can the Doctor find the counter-melody that brings peace back to the Station? And can the ever-humming Gabby keep herself from singing – to stop her mind being invaded by a sentient song?!”

Read more about it on Goodreads.

Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor (year 2) #2

Review:

It picks up where the last issue left off. The doctor running through the falling buildings as the Bovodines stampede above. He actually makes it to the TARDIS which doesn’t usually happen because the writers like to cut him off from it to stop an easy way out of the story. This time he needs it to get up to the space station.

The doctor’s figured out that the nocturnes are not a natural virus but that someone is attacking the Shan’tee because they don’t like the peaceful relationship between the humans and Shan’tee.

Smokey, the Shan’tee that we met last issue, stows away on the TARDIS and helps the doctor with getting past the security on the space station that attacks them because it doesn’t recognize either of them as humans. I like that the Doctor’s temporary companion for this issue is non-humanoid. That doesn’t tend to happen either.

While this is happening Gabby gets to take charge of the people panicking at Presley station as more stampeding Bovodine’s are heading towards them about to destroy everything. And they’ve just found out the virus can now jump to humans. The doctor left her there to be safe but she’s a companion so anywhere she goes is never safe.

This story could have benefited from being another issue long as we were only just introduced to these characters and this interesting world and it’s already over. Another issue would have allowed them to explore the planet more fully and give the story room to breathe. The solution feels a little abrupt and giving it longer might have felt more satisfying.

The art work is still as brilliant as the first issue. I like this cover better than the first one. It’s more representatvie of Doctor Who is but still too gloomy for what happened in the issue.

A satisfying enough conclusion to the first arc but could have been better and I hope the next story continues with interesting ideas.  (I really didn’t have a lot to say on this issue)

Rating: 6 out of 10

Previous Review: Doctor Who #1                                                                Next: Review: Doctor Who #3

Review: Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor (year 2) #1

Story:

“Looking for rest and relaxation, the Tenth Doctor and companion Gabriella Gonzalez take a trip to Earth Station Presley, a mining platform around an enormous gas giant – and home to one of the most spectacular sensory experiences in the universe!

The gas giant is a perfect example of human colonists living in harmony with indigenous life – in this case, the Shan’tee: conceptual beings perceived by humans as hauntingly beautiful music!

But the Doctor and Gabby are walking straight into a war.”

Read more about it at Goodreads

Review:

It’s year two of the tenth doctor adventures and we’re back to issue number one again so they can get more new readers. To be fair though it is a good starting place for new readers so there is some justification for renumbering the series back to number one. That being said they probably could have continued as they were. At least this isn’t as bad as when Marvel do it in the middle of a story.

This is the kind of story that benefits from being in comic form and is exactly what I want them to do. These are Doctor Who stories that they’d have a hard time telling on TV because it’s out of the scope of TV.

The world building feels well thought out and like they’ve put a lot of effort into it. The Doctor and Gabby arrive on a planet where humans live side by side with two other species. It’s all harmonious so you know it’s going to go wrong. It’s also kind of refreshing that humans can live with other species and the Doctor notes this too. Usually the humans end up being the problem and the Doctor has to save them from whatever they’ve made angry.

You’ve got the Bovodines who produce air for the planet and other gases that the humans trade with other worlds. Then there are the Shan’tee which are beings we can only perceive as living music. It’s just the right amount of weird mixed with science that Doctor Who does so well. I think the formula might be take some fantastical idea and add a physics word like quantum to make it science fiction.

It’s a very compelling story for mostly being stuck in one place with the crisis only happening at the end. Being a first issue it’s mostly set up. There’s almost a bit too much exposition between setting up how the three species live together, how the Shan’tee exist and the problem they’ve been having with the plague. But between Gabby’s enthusiasm for the beautiful planet and the constant music she can always hear and the interesting concept it doesn’t get boring.

The only thing is the cover is a bit boring and doesn’t really represent the tone of the comic. In the story everyone’s fairly happy until the end but the cover looks grim and generic. It’s just the Doctor and Gabby in front of the TARDIS looking serious. And the art is completely different to what’s inside which is not something I’m a fan of.

Year two starts off with a great issue and hopefully this run will continue to be better than the current episodes of the TV show. At least we’ve only got one more season and we get a new showrunner. The news of Moffat leaving actually made me feel like writing about Doctor Who again. So yay for that, I’m ready for a new creative team. And I can’t wait to read the next issue.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Next: Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor (year 2) #2

Doctor Who: Five Hundred Eyes

Spoilers for the episode

Story:

They get to the Oasis and find Tegana but Barbara doesn’t believe his story and it gets her into trouble. While Marco Polo has enough of the Doctor and attacks him. They save him by explaining condensation.

Recap:

The water’s run out and Marco’s wondering where Tegana is because he sent him to the oasis to get water. He thinks Tegana’s got lost and they’ve managed to move the caravan forward a bit but this is probably it for them if they don’t get water soon.
Ian says it’ll be hot again soon and they should get started but Marco says they should stay where they are. Barbara notes that the Doctor and Susan are still in the TARDIS but Ian says to let them sleep.
The Doctor wakes up and realises condensation has gathered inside on the walls of the TARDIS. So he gets Susan to collect water from the walls.
The Doctor takes the water to Marco but he’s angry because he thinks the Doctor has been keeping water from them. I think he attacks the Doctor because a lot of shouting happens. Ian gets him to stop and they then explain condensation to him. He makes the Doctor drink the water first in case it’s poisoned.
They manage to reach the oasis because of the TARDIS water and they find Tegana. He says he had to wait for some bandits to leave and he heard they were going to the north.
Marco wants to leave the oasis because it’ll be dangerous to stay. Barbara walks off still suspicious of Tegana and Tegana tries to convince Marco he shouldn’t trust them because of their story with the water.
The doctor thinks he’ll have the TARDIS fixed soon but Marco’s making them move on and he doesn’t like all the rushing about.
Barbara doesn’t believe Tegana’s story of the bandits because it was so cold last night and it’s unlikely they’d want to be out in it. I think bandits would brave the cold for whatever they’ve got planned.
Ian decides to ask Tegana because he thinks he’s going to be truthful about betraying them apparently. He asks how many bandits there were and why didn’t they light a fire. Tegana doesn’t really answer.
Marco tells the Doctor when they leave the oasis the TARDIS will be locked and the key handed over to him. The Doctor tells him he doesn’t realise he’s talking to a man of superior intellect. Well if you’re so smart why haven’t you outsmarted him yet.
Then it’s back to Marco’s voice over telling us about the journey. They’re going to a temple.
They arrive at Tun-Huang and talk about the cave of five hundred eyes where a load of evil men lived. Susan wants to know more and Ping promises to tell her later.
The doctor hopes to get on with some work now that they’ve stopped. Ian points out he doesn’t have a key but the Doctor says he’s made another.
Barbara wants to talk to Ian about Tegana but he blows her off so he can listen to Ping’s story about Aladdin. She goes on for a while and it’s not very interesting. I’d prefer they get on with the plot instead of dragging it out like this.
Then Ian decides that what this episode needs is a vocabulary lesson and a bit of a history lesson because it wasn’t going slow enough as it was. Then the cave of five hundred eyes is mentioned again and I’m beginning to think we’re never going to get to this cave.
But then Tegana goes to the caves to visit a man called Malik to get news about their plan. He is taken to another man who tells him he failed at Lop to meet their man but the other part of the plan is going well. They’ve gathered an army and it’s marching to another city. He tells them about the TARDIS and they plan to capture it and kill every one. Malik has noticed a woman in the outer cave.
The woman is Barbara who has followed Tegana so of course she gets kidnapped.
Back at the caravan and Marco is angry that Barbara is gone and that she‘s allowed to wander alone. I’d call him sexist but she does get kidnapped every time she goes off on her own. He tells the Doctor to stay where he is and no one else is to move while he goes to look for her. I get the impression he’s regretting keeping them. All they’ve done is cause him trouble.
Back in the cave of five hundred eyes the men holding Barbara are gambling and laughing menacingly. Not sure why they needed to show us that. It’s not like we’ve forgotten Barbara has been captured.
Susan and Ping think they might know where Barbara is because she was very interested in the cave of five hundred eyes and try to convince the Doctor that’s where she’d go. They think she’d go by herself because Marco and Ian would probably try to stop her.
The doctor catches Chenchu listening to them so he asks the man where the cave is. Susan insists on going with him but he’s determined to go alone because he’d get so far by himself. He’d get distracted by something shiny and forget about Barbara or decide he doesn’t to rescue her after all. But he relents quite quickly and lets Susan and Ping come with him. Chenchu tells them they can’t go at night because they won’t come back alive but the Doctor ignores him.
At the cave and Susan is frightened of the eyes. The Doctor looks at the carvings and says it’s quartz. Susan reminds him he’s meant to be looking for Barbara and not admiring the carvings.
The man the Doctor questioned has gone off to Tegana and tells him he told the doctor where to go.
The Doctor’s had enough of looking because he says he’s got enough work to do in the TARDIS. They find something of Barbara’s and all begin shouting for her. Susan then finds a statue and starts screaming because we didn’t have enough screaming this episode when Barbara got captured. It’s a bit of a weak cliffhanger compared to Tegana pouring away the water last episode.

Thoughts:

This episode was way too slow with not a lot to keep me interested. Ping’s story dragged and there were lots of moments where nobody said anything but I’m sure they were doing something so it would have been better as the original video. This episode really felt like a history lesson. I know it’s meant to be educational but it’s so forced. The only bit they managed to make entertaining was when Marco attacked the Doctor for keeping water to himself and the only way to save him was to explain condensation.
The singing sands managed to hold up without the Doctor but this episode wouldn’t have. He’s the most entertaining part and he doesn’t get to be mean enough. I like that he gets distracted and has to be reminded of what they’re doing.
I continue to dislike Ian but he didn’t have enough to do this episode to be really annoying so that’s a plus. Barbara gets captured again but at least it’s because she’s active in the story (following Tegana to the cave and doing her own investigating) instead of just because she’s a woman.
I like Susan and Ping’s friendship. Susan’s a bit of a trouble maker and tries to scare Ping but she’s gotten wise to it by now.
I have a feeling this is going to really be dragged out and they’re going to tour all the educational places in the desert they can think of. It might not be so bad but half the time the audio is bad and I’m not sure what they’re saying.
This cliffhanger seems to be the weakest so far. Barbara has been captured but the immediate threat is Susan screaming and that’s the moment you’re left with. It’s not making me want to watch the next episode.
Previous Doctor Who: Singing Sands                                            Next Doctor Who: The Wall of Lies

Doctor Who: The Singing Sands

Spoilers for the episode

Story:

The caravan travels through the desert but a sandstorm stops Tegana from escaping and soon the water supplies run low.

Thoughts:

It’s been three days since Marco polo has taken charge of the TARDIS. He’s enduring the Doctor who’s doing his best to be difficult and rude but we don’t get to see any of that just hear about it in Marco’s voice over.
They’re crossing the Gobi desert and Ian asks Marco about the water. Marco says they have enough but lots of people die crossing the Gobi desert because of lack of water.
Ian and Marco then play chess and in the past they’d use a word instead of checkmate that means the king is dead.
Elsewhere Barbara reassures Susan that they’ll get the TARDIS back. Susan wants to be among the stars and worries that the Doctor’s sulking but Barbara says he’s feeling defenseless because someone he considers a primitive has taken his advanced tech.
They talk about the Doctor knowing everything and Barbara mentions that then he’d be able to take them home. Susan doesn’t want to say goodbye to them and hopes it won’t be soon.
In her tent with Ping Susan comments on how it’s peaceful in the desert and she’s never seen the moon rise. So Ping promises to call her when it does.
Back in the other tent Barbara says the desert is very beautiful but Marco tell her not to be fooled because it’s still very dangerous.
Ping wakes Susan up and they go outside to look at the sky. They see Tegana and Susan wants to follow him for some reason. I guess the plot is calling her.
At the stables Marco comments on the horses being restless because they can sense there’s a sandstorm on the way. There’s the reason for Susan following Tegana so they can all get stuck in the storm.
Somewhere out in the desert Susan’s had enough of following Tegana and wants to go back but Ping doesn’t and asks Susan who’s afraid now. That’s the reasoning Susan used to get Ping to go follow Tegana with her.
It gets hot and they decide to go back but not before they get caught in the sandstorm. They argue about if they should stay where they are or try to get back to the caravan.
Barbara wakes up and Ian tells her what’s happening with the sandstorm. It’s very loud and it kind of sounds like laughing. Apparently people hear voices in the storm and that’s why it’s called the singing sands.
They notice Tegana’s gone but decide they can’t help him. Then they discover the girls are gone and Barbara wants to go outside to look for them but Ian and Marco stop her.
I think they sound an alarm or something so the girls can hear them but it’s really poor audio and I’m struggling to hear anything.
The storm stops and Marco says they won’t leave until they find the girls. Then the girls turn up with Tegana and they say they went for a walk. Marco’s angry they didn’t ask first.
Tegana found them and he says he was also on a walk but he told the guards he was going. Marco gets annoyed and says that the guards are to inform him if anyone else tries to leave the camp. So there goes Tegana’s plans for escaping before the poisoned water is found.
The doctor is still asleep and has managed to sleep through everything happening.
The next day and Marco’s worried because they had to stop for the day due to the storm and so they’ve wasted one days worth of water which could be fatal in the desert.
Back to Marco’s voice over and progress is going well.
Susan doesn’t believe that Tegana went for a walk but Ping thinks he’s telling the truth. I guess she’s more trusting.
In another tent Tegana asks about Marco’s journal and he says he writes it because it interests him.
They find out the water is poisoned and Marco blames the water on bandits. He’s never had it happen to him but other caravans have. They get weak from lack of water and the bandits attack.
They look at their options and Marco decides they’re going to an oasis that’s not nearby but it’s closer than the end of the desert. He’s worried that if they go back to Lop the bandits that he thinks poisoned the water will attack.
Tegana refuses to go with them. He’s going to return to Lop but Marco says he’s coming with them because he’s responsible for Tegana.
Later in his voice over Marco has started to doubt his decision. They’ve been making less and less progress each day because of lack of water.
The caravan has stopped because the heat of the day is too much with no water. Marco says now that the worst of the sun is over they’re going to start traveling again soon.
The doctor complains about lack of water and this is the first we’ve seen him this episode. They now have no more until they reach the oasis.
Tegana says he will go to the oasis and bring back water. He tells them to wait for him where they are but Marco says they will continue to push on towards the oasis.
The doctor collapses in the heat and Barbara asks if they can put him in the TARDIS so he’ll be more comfortable. Marco says yes and Susan can go with the Doctor but Ian and Barbara will stay with him. They have no water left and they’re counting on Tegana.
Meanwhile Tegana is at the oasis with water and taunting Marco about his lack of water by pouring the water he has away.
This episode actually managed to keep up the momentum of the last episode and not drag things out with endless talking. I didn’t expect them to get to the problem of the poisoned water so quickly.
The Doctor is noticeably absent and I’m assuming that’s more to do with William Hartnell needing rest or something than a choice by the writers. He only turns up at the end and quickly faints. I like the idea of him taking every opportunity to insult Marco Polo though and slow him down. I just wish I got to see it.
I’m not clear on why Susan wanted to follow Tegana (there were parts I couldn’t hear very well) but it just seems like a way to get her stranded out in the storm.
I like the ending of Tegana being their only hope and he’s pouring their water away. It’s another very good cliffhanger.

Previous Doctor Who: The Roof of the World                                    Next Doctor Who: Five Hundred Eyes

Doctor Who: The Roof of the World

Spoilers for the episode

Story:

The giant footprint turns out to be a giant let down because it was made by a normal guy but we get excitement in the form of the TARDIS breaking down and they get saved by Marco Polo who has a secret agenda.

Thoughts:

The next few episodes are all lost episodes so I only have sound to go on.
They’re still in the Himalayas and looking at the giant footprint. Ian thinks the footprint might be perfectly ordinary and not giant. So there ends the mystery of the giant footprint.
The doctor’s feeling grumpy and says he can’t look at it without his glasses. They’re several thousand feet above sea level and he doesn’t like this place. So he goes back inside.
Ian and Barbara speculate on if they are really on Earth or not and where they could be. It turns out they’re in the Himalayas.
The doctor comes out of the TARDIS which has broken not surprising considering last episode. The lights have all gone out and so has the heating.
Ian decides to go find fuel. I’m not sure what he thinks the TARDIS runs on. I guess he wants wood to build a fire or something but he makes it sound like it’s fuel for the TARDIS and I like picturing him trying to use wood to fuel it. Barbara goes with him so she cna get into trouble and he has some one to save.
Susan stays to help the doctor and he’s in a really bad mood.
They don’t get far before Barbara’s out of breath so has a little sit down while Ian carries on. This is so she can be put in danger. She sees an animal and Ian comes running. He’s skeptical but she points out all the footprints.
The Doctor has found the faulty piece of the TARDIS and says it’ll take a long time to fix. They’ve got to get down to a lower altitude so they don’t freeze. But surely it’s got to be a bit warmer in the TARDIS and it is shelter from wind and snow and everything else.
Barbara says there are strange animals on the mountain. The doctor gets impatient and asks what she saw. Ian says the footprints looked like from a fur boot.
Susan spots a man dressed in fur watching them. He runs and they try to follow to see if he’ll help them or lead them to shelter.
They find him and Ian says they’re travelers who are lost and asks if they can give them shelter.
One man decides they are evil spirits that have take human form and they should be destroyed. Ian tries to reason with them.
Another man, who turns out to be Marco Polo, says he won’t let anyone hurt them on the authority of the Kublai Khan. He tells them to come down the mountain to his caravan and reveals the Doctor has mountain sickness.
They get to the tents and Ping Cho serves them tea. Barbara gives some exposition. Marco Polo is European and the Kublai Khan is a Mongol leader.
Marco introduces them to the warlord Tegana who you can already tell will be the villain for this serial.
The doctor thanks Marco for saving their lives and asks when and where they are.
Marco wants to know how long they’ve been traveling if they don’t know that. The year is 1289 and they are on the roof of the world (Himalayas).
Later in Ping’s tent she asks Susan where she’s from but Susan doesn’t know how to describe it. Use describing words like shapes and colours. She’s not that stupid I’m sure she’ll get an idea. Susan probably can’t describe it because the writers haven’t come up with it yet. So she asks about Ping.
Ping’s going to Shang-tu to get married to an important 75 year old man. Ping’s sixteen which is the same age as Susan so she’s horrified.
In another tent Tegana tells Marco he should have killed the travelers because they’re different. They have a carriage that has no wheels and is not large enough to carry four people but he saw them exit it.
Marco Polo takes them back up the mountain to visit the TARDIS. Marco asks about how the TARDIS moves and Ian says it flies through the air.
Tegana takes this as a sign of their evilness but Marco says he’s seen Buddhists make things fly through the air and asks if they are Buddhists. He wants to see inside but only the Doctor has a key and Marco Didn’t let him come. Ian also says only the Doctor can fly it.
Marco makes a plan to use sleds to get it down the mountain.
Ping is making the Doctor food when they all come back. She explains that Tegana is an emissary for an Enemy of the Kublai Khan. They have decided to make peace.
The Doctor’s happy Marco is bringing the TARDIS down the mountain because then he can get to work fixing it as soon as possible. He doesn’t want to hold them up.
Marco says he can’t let them inside because it would upset the Mongols who still believe them to be evil spirits. And that the Doctor is a sorcerer who is harmless outside of the TARDIS.
The doctor has a reasonable moment and agrees that none of them will enter the TARDIS until Lop where the caravan will be stopping for a few days. They are in an area where they need to travel fast because it’s not safe.
Later Marco narrates over a map of their journey. He says his plan has worked and he wants to see their reaction to something he’s going to do.
They’re in Lop and filling up on supplies to travel across the Gobi dessert. Marco has a seal that gets him anything he wants from places that the Kublai Khan controls.
Ian comes in to tell the Doctor that the TARDIS is set up in the courtyard so the Doctor gets up to go do work but the guards stop him. The doctor’s not happy. Barbara says they should hear Marco out.
Marco starts talking about his life. He was young when he arrived at the Khan’s court. He’s traveled a lot but the Khan’s refused to let him go home. So he’s going to offer the TARDIS in exchange for his freedom.
This sets the doctor off. Marco says he’ll take care of them and get them back to Venice where the Doctor can build another TARDIS.
Ian tries to explain that Venice doesn’t have what they need. Marco then says they’ll see their home again it might just take a bit longer. They can go by sea instead of flying. But Marco wants to see his home again and that trumps anything else.
The Doctor says it’s not his problem and Marco says he’s making it his problem. In amongst all this Barbara says she can guarantee Marco he’ll see his home again so I’m assuming it’s historical record he does. I don’t know much about Marco Polo.
Ian says they won’t be able to use the TARDIS without the Doctor but Marco says the Buddhists will be able to figure it out. He has a lot of faith in the Buddhists. They must ahve really impressed him.
The Doctor starts laughing and keeps muttering ‘go by sea’. Susan asks what he’s going to do but the Doctor has no idea. I really like this scene because the Doctor is so up and down.
Somewhere outside Tegana has just brought poison and plans to put it in Marco’s water stores. The caravan will set out across the Gobi dessert and when they are all dead he’ll steal the thing of magic and it’ll take down the Kublai Khan.
This is quite a good starting episode. It sets up all the characters and the conflicts nicely. There’s enough here for a good few episodes but I have a feeling it’s all going to get stretched out until it becomes tedious like with the Daleks. I’m skeptical that they can keep it interesting for as many episodes as they have dedicated to it.
I like Marco Polo and that he doesn’t care that he’s screwing over other people. He’s presented as a nice guy and he saves them but then betrays them.
They’ve brought Barbara down to new levels of stupid. She thinks she’s seeing an animal standing on two feet when it’s just a man dressed in furs. She’s redeemed a bit by knowing about Marco Polo’s history but it’s not enough.
The Doctor was almost too annoying to be entertaining. He spends most of the episode being grumpy for no reason ( I guess he just doesn’t like mountains) and then all of a sudden being happy. It’s tough to keep up with his mood shifts.
I hope the momentum of this episode keeps up and everyone gets poisoned soon.
Previous Doctor Who: The Brink of Disaster                                           Next Doctor Who: The Singing Sands

Doctor Who: The Brink of Disaster

Spoilers for the episode

Story:

Everyone does what they did last episode which is wander around confused and nothing makes any sense.

Thoughts:

It turns out it’s Ian strangling the Doctor and it doesn’t last long because he makes a strange noise and faints. Barbara comes in and the Doctor accuses them of trying to take over the ship and he thinks Ian’s play acting and he hasn’t really fainted. I know the acting is bad but he shouldn’t point it out.

Susan sides with the Doctor but that doesn’t last long because Barbara points why it can’t be them and she’s not so sure anymore. This feels like a repeat of the last episode.

Ian wakes up enough to shout ‘don’t touch it’ before fainting again. He’s referring to the console.

The Doctor decides he’s had enough and he’s putting them off the ship. But Barbara points out he can’t open the doors which is quite important when your plan is to throw them out.

The doctor’s not letting this stop him though. He tells them to get out even though Ian can’t get up let alone walk.

The fault locater goes off and apparently everything is faulty which the doctor says is impossible.

Then Ian tries to strangle Barbara and the Doctor just stands there and watches. Ian stops for some reason and the Doctor announces the ship is on the point of disintegration. A strong force is at work so it can’t be them and now he trusts them again.

Then Barbara says they’ve had time taken from them but now it’s been given back because time is running out. I don’t even know how that’s relevant to anything and when did they have time taken away. When has anyone mentioned time?

Then there’s a lot more talk about the power source of the TARDIS and I’m sure at this point none of it means anything. They say the power wants to escape.

The doctor gets a bit melodramatic ‘can it be possible this is the end’ and they only have 10 minutes left. At least someone knows what’s going on. I feel like I’ve missed a scene.

They realise you can touch the console as long as you touch the side where the scanner switch is.

Barbara thinks every thing’s a clue but the doctor says his machine can’t think. But it does have a defense mechanism so maybe it can think as a machine. He says there are lots of computers that make up the TARDIS.

He wants to know what would make the power want to escape. Maybe a very strong magnetic force. Up until this point they’ve been trying to keep the science on track but this is getting the basics really wrong. Magnets work on metal not insubstantial power. Unless they are using the word magnetic to mean attraction. Which is unnecessarily confusing things.

The doctor tells Barbara and Susan to stand by the doors and tell them what they see when the doors open. He then confides in Ian there’s no hope and they’ve only got five minutes left.

Outside there’s nothing but space.

They then deduce that the scanner shows a good picture when it’s safe to go out and a bad picture when it’s not safe.

The doctor makes a massive leap (I would say of logic but I don’t think logic has come anywhere near this episode) and decides that it would take the force of an entire solar system to attract the power of the TARDIS so they’re at the beginning of a new solar system. He then stands in front of the camera and monologues about energy and atoms and what happens at the beginning.

Ian wants to know where the Doctor asked the TARDIS to take them after Skaro. He used the fast return switch. They find it on the console and discover it’s been stuck this whole time. They take off the cover and find the spring is stuck. The doctor then gives an unneeded explanation of how it’s bad but doesn’t explain any of the other events.

Susan points out how awful he’s been to Ian and Barbara. He tells Barbara she was right and they owe her their lives but she walks off.

He tells Ian he underestimated her and thinks they should all start over again.

The doctor finds Barbara and tells her they’ve landed somewhere very cold. She points out he said some awful things. Why didn’t they have this conversation in the previous scene?

The Doctor doesn’t apologise just acknowledges what he did must have affected her very much but she wanted to prove him wrong and that’s what saved them. I think he’s trying to say what he did turned out for the best.

They get to the control room and Susan’s outside playing in the snow. They go outside and find a footprint that Susan thinks must belong to a giant.

This was a terrible episode. Nothing was explained. They say the fainting was about electric shocks but what caused Susan to stab the furniture or people to try and strangle each other.

A lot of what happened last episode got repeated and everything else felt like it was being stretched for time. Maybe they should have let it be one episode. Especially if the problem is stuck button. That was very anti climatic and if anything else had made sense and it didn’t feel like they were wasting my time I might have found it funny. As it is I don’t know what they were trying to do with this episode. I have a feeling the entire thing was a set up for the Doctor to talk to the camera about solar systems.

Previous Doctor Who: The Edge of Destruction                                        Next Doctor Who: The Roof of the World

Doctor Who: The Edge of Destruction

Spoilers for the episode

Story:

Everyone acts really strange and no one has a clue what’s going on. Which doesn’t change by the end of the episode.

Thoughts:

Barbara is the first to wake up and she’s a bit confused wandering around. Then Susan wakes up and she’s got memory loss as well. But she’s also got a headache that seems to hit her randomly.

The Doctor’s on the floor with a cut on his head so Susan goes to get water and bandages. Ian wakes up while she’s gone and he’s got some memory loss as well.

When Susan comes back the doors are open and she has a little freak out. Ian goes over to the doors but they close when he gets near and open when he moves away. I think the TARDIS has got bored and decided to freak them all out.

Susan faints when she touches the control panel and Ian takes her away to lie down. The doctor wakes up enough to say he felt like he was hit on the back of the neck. He was also mumbling about not being able to take Susan back.

Ian fetches Susan some water but when he comes back she doesn’t remember who he is. She’s also got scissors and starts stabbing the furniture until she drops them. It’s actually quite a creepy scene. The way she’s sat perfectly still as he enters.

Ian’s back in the console room with the others. Apparently he’s decided to leave the girl who had some sort of mental break alone.

They want to know where they are but the Doctor says the better question is why. Then he wants to know if they touched the controls.

Barbara thinks something got in because the doors were open but the Doctor ridicules her and says it’s impossible. So he’s off to the fault locater.

Ian tells Barbara not to tell Susan that something might have gotten in but as he says this she’s lurking in the background. And she finds another pair of scissors or they’re the same ones from before. Why would you leave them lying around?

Barbara goes to see Susan who lets on that she knows they’re lying to her. Barbara tries to reassure her but out come the scissors again and Susan looks like she’s struggling with herself not to stab Barbara. They struggle over the scissors until Barbara wins. Susan also thinks something got in and it’s hiding in one of them. She’s very good at being creepy. Can’t we have more creepy and less hysterical.

Ian enters the room. There’s no fault with the ship so the Doctor thinks it’s a fault outside so he’s going to turn on the scanner. Susan rushes to stop him but he’s just standing in the middle of the room not touching the console.

She says she felt the back of her neck be hit when she touched the console but he turns it on fine.

Then the doors open again and different images of places they’ve already been flash across the screen.

The Doctor then decides this is a good moment to accuse Ian and Barbara of sabotaging the ship. This is the last straw for Barbara who tells the Doctor off spectacularly for everything that has happened with the Daleks and points out how much they’ve helped (or how much Ian has helped). This great moment is undone by Barbara getting hysterical and crying.

In this time the Doctor decides to make everyone drinks for a night cap. It’s not even an apology and Ian comments on how strange he acts.

Barbara decides she’s going to bed and leaves while Ian’s demanding an apology from the Doctor. Again the doctor wanders off and Ian has to follow with a huff.

They have a conversation about motives again and the Doctor says one man’s law is another man’s crime (which is not very helpful but makes him more menacing) and that Ian should stop trying to be a step ahead of him. Ian will always be behind because he doesn’t know the technology.

They all go to sleep and the doctor checks on them to make sure they are sleep while chuckling to himself. He goes to the console and hands grab his throat.

This was a very strange episode. Nothing was discovered or decided and the beginning felt very aimless. Characters had amnesia on and off while they all sort of wandered around.

Susan was good at being creepy and the Doctor got to upset everyone again.

I likes the bandages that changes from colour to white when you’re healed and the TARDIS records everything everywhere they go.

I think it’s the TARDIS trying to freak them out because from a writing stand point that would make the alien technology even scarier.

I love the cliffhanger it ended on. We still don’t know the Doctor well enough to know how his mind works and he’s proved that he’s willing to put people in danger to get what he wants.

Previous Doctor Who: The Rescue                                                     Next Doctor Who: The Brink of Disaster

Doctor Who: The Rescue

Spoilers for the episode

Story:

The trip through the caves proves to be pointless and the Thalls remember how to fight.

Thoughts:

Ian is somehow still hanging on to the Thall dangling from the rope. He calls for help but the Thall refuses to be helpful and cuts the rope falling to his death. The acting is really bad as they pretend Ian is struggling to hold on.

Then we’re back to the Doctor and Susan who have been cuffed to a wall. The Doctor’s trying to reason with the Daleks or shame them. He wants to know why they have to destroy and why can’t they use their brains. Well they are using their brains. I think it takes a lot of intelligence to radiate a planet.

Back in the caves and they’ve reached a dead end. The Thalls want to give up but Ian thinks they should go back and find another way forward. They’re running out of light so they turn the torches off to preserve them for when they’re moving. There’s a light coming from somewhere and Ian finds the city.

In the forest and Alladon is convinced the Doctor has been captured and concludes that now is the time to attack. His speech isn’t very long or interesting and that’s probably for the best because we don’t need any more monologuing.

The Doctor’s trying to stall the Daleks by promising to show them how to build their own machines so they won’t be trapped but they decide they don’t need the Doctor and will be able to figure out the TARDIS on their own.

Then their machine that detects vibrations tells them the Thalls are in the city. They’re lucky there’s no other life on the planet or that machine would be useless.

Ian’s group is sneaking around and a Dalek conveniently stops near them to say that the Thalls have entered the city

Back with the Daleks and they see Ian smash a camera so they realise they’ve got to act now.

Ian’s group meets Alladon. The Thall’s big plan has been to enter the city and split up into groups and wander around until they find the Doctor with no idea where they are going.

They hear a message that all the Daleks should report to level 10 and luckily they are near but then the Daleks start to seal the doors one at a time. They manage to get through though.

They are really bad at sneaking around. They really should have been seen. Especially when they start attacking the Daleks.

Ian finds the Doctor and Susan and releases them. Barbara’s big moment is to throw a rock at a Dalek and run so they can ambush it.

The rest of the fight is just as hilarious. With Thalls dropping down from the ceiling and popping up here and there taking Daleks out silently. They’re quite good for people who don’t know how to fight.

They knock out the power source (not really sure how it happens they just declare it has) and one of the Daleks begs the Doctor to not let them die but he doesn’t know how to save them.

Susan says the Thalls have got everything they want now because they can use the Dalek’s tech to produce more food. The Thall she’s talking to says he wishes it could have happened another way. I guess the message is violence should be a last resort because quite a few Thalls died and thankfully they don’t bring up pacifism again.

The Thalls want the Doctor to stay and help rebuild to be their adviser. He says he was a pioneer amongst his own people but now his truth is in the stars. Maybe he’ll visit their grandchildren to see how they’ve got on.

Barbara says goodbye to a Thall and I think he was meant to be her love interest but they didn’t spend enough time on that if that’s what they were going for.

The TARDIS dematerializes and they all get knocked out. So another episode ends on a cliffhanger but at least being knocked out means they’re finally getting some rest.

This was another good episode where stuff happened and I wasn’t bored. The only thing is going through the caves was pointless. The doctor got into the city and took out the defenses then the Thalls went in.

There was no reason for Ian’s group to go through the swamp and the caves because they meet up with Alladon in the city and nothing would haves changed if they’d gone in with him. The only difference is two Thalls got killed in the process.

They could have made the story a lot tighter if they’d cut the expedition episode. Then we wouldn’t have had the awful pacifism discussion and the cave stuff.

Despite that this was a good serial. The Daleks have changed a lot in power level but you get to see where their ideology comes from. They fear being attacked by others so they attack first.

I hope the Doctor does go back to see their descendent’s and everything’s not like he thought it would be (because it’s Doctor Who and that’s what happens). I’m guessing this is Skaro but I’m not sure they gave the planet a name in the episode.

Previous Doctor Who: The Ordeal                                                           Next Doctor Who: The Edge of Disaster

Doctor Who: The Ordeal

Spoilers for the episode

Story:

Ian, Barbara and some Thalls are trying to make their way through the caves in the mountains while the Doctor is having fun sabotaging the Daleks. And no one talks about pacifism.

Thoughts:

One of the Thall has just been dragged under the water by a mutated creature. All that’s left is swirling water and one of the Thalls gets scared. We’ll call him the cowardly Thall because I can’t remember his name.

While on the edge of the city Susan, the Doctor, Alladon and his love interest are making a map and coming up with a plan to distract the Daleks. They say they’ve got speed on their side but they’re still missing the fact they’ve got no weapons.

In the city and the Daleks think it will take 23 days to assemble the neutron bomb so they’re going to find another way to spread radiation.

Ian’s group has got to the mountains and they’ve found caves. Barbara and a Thall are exploring but it only leads them to a dead end. But Barbara has a competent moment and can hear water so they find a passage. The Thall ties a rope to himself and goes through finding a hole.

Instead of backing out and going to get the others he decides to descend with only Barbara to hold the rope. She wraps it round a large rock and then under her foot.

It goes well for a little while but I guess he’s too heavy because her foot slips and he goes crashing to the ground.

Ian turns up and takes control. The Thall only cares if Barbara is okay, even though he’s the one who’s just fallen quite a distance, because a woman is so delicate falling over is worse.

On the outskirts of the city they’re using light reflection to stop the Daleks from being able to get pictures of them. The Doctor then says very sinisterly says “we’ll show them a thing or two.” He’s enjoying this way too much.

In the caves and the cowardly Thall from earlier wants to go back because he’s only just realised going deeper into the caves means you’re going further in. He wants to abandon the others and tell everyone they’re dead so they don’t have to face the Daleks. He’s sure that if they carry on they’re probably going to get killed anyway. But the other Thall isn’t so sure.

They have a little fight and cause a cave-in so they can’t go back anyway. The cowardly Thall gets knocked out and the other Thall lies to Ian saying he saved him from the rocks.

The Daleks are trying to get around the light reflection by tracking vibrations instead. If they could do that I don’t why they weren’t doing both.

The Doctor, Susan and Alladon have made it into the city and begin sabotaging the Dalek’s technology. They remove a cover form a panel and the Doctor smashes the contents. He then sends Alladon back to the other Thalls who are distracting the Daleks to make sure they move around so they don’t get caught.

The doctor shorts the circuit and gets caught up in his own brilliance telling Susan what a few simple tools and a superior mind can do. Susan’s more worried about the Daleks having a fault locater and being caught. Which happens in the next second as they are surrounded.

Back in the caves and they’ve come across a wide gap. Ian decides they’re going to jump even though there’s not much room on the other side. They tie a rope around Ian and he makes it to the other side.

In the city and the Daleks and the Doctor are accusing each other of stuff. The Doctor destroyed their things but the Daleks killed a Thall. Then the Dalkes go into monologuing mode but thankfully it doesn’t last that long and they get told the plan to radiate the planet. They found a way to do it by bombarding the atmosphere with radiation.

In the caves and they’re still jumping the gap. Barbara makes it across but then gets stuck and has to be rescued by Ian when trying to get round a corner.

The next Thall makes it as well. Leaving only the cowardly Thall who’s looking at the drop and saying I can’t do it. Well not with that attitude you can’t.

He jumps (with a lot of build up so you know it’s going to go wrong) and sort of bounces off of Ian. Or you never know Ian might have given him a little push. He’s not to keen on pacifism after all.

Ian ends up on his stomach with the rope while the Thall dangles below screaming “I can’t hold on.” That’s not really an issue because the rope’s tied to him. Even if he lets go he won’t fall. It’s if Ian lets go then he’s screwed.

This episode was better than the last episode. There were no discussions of pacifism and very little sexism. There’s lots of action and the plot actually moved forward.

The jumping of the gap in the cave didn’t even slow it down too much because they switched to what was happening elsewhere and back. Otherwise that cave would have got boring quickly.

The Doctor is what makes this episode entertaining because firstly he’s actually getting to do something and secondly he’s really enjoying doing it.

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