Second: The Ice Warriors

ice warriorsWriter: Brian Hayles

Director: Derek Martinus

Producer: Innes Lloyd

Companions: Victoria Wakefield (Deborah Watling), Jamie McCrimmon (Frazer Hines)

Season: 5, ep. 3 (11-16)

No. of Episodes: 6 (parts 2-3 are animated)

Summary: The Doctor, Jamie, and Victoria arrive on a base in the Arctic run by a giant computer.  One of the scientists has discovered two frozen warriors from the planet Mars.

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Short Trips: A Stain of Red in The Sand (2nd Doctor)

short trips 1Writer: David A. McEwan

Directors: Nicholas Briggs & Ken Bentley

Producers: Nicholas Briggs & Martin Montague

Companion: Zoe Heriot

Narrator: David Troughton

Summary: This story is told from the point of view of Indigo, a woman whose apartment is actually a doorway into a world populated by insectoid-like creatures called the Caretakers. The Doctor and Zoe are fighting them and trying to prevent them from crossing over into her world.

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Second Doctor: Power of the Daleks

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Note: I deleted my original review of the tele-snaps of the missing episode so that I could review the actual episode. The episode will be available to purchase in January 2017, unless you pre-ordered it online.

Writers: David Whitaker and Dennis Spooner (uncredited)

Director: Christopher Barry

Producer: Innes Lloyd

Season: 4, episode 3

No. of Episodes: 6, restored with animation

Companions: Ben Jackson (Michael Craze) and Polly (Anneke Wills)

Summary: The Doctor has regenerated for the first time.  Ben and Polly are distraught and confused, and Ben tries to see if this really is still the person they’ve known.  Ben tries to fit the First Doctor’s ring on his finger, but when it falls off, the Second Doctor says “I’d like to see a butterfly fit into a chrysalis case after it spreads its wings.” The new Doctor, once he is finally able to focus and compose himself, begins fiddling with the TARDIS console. It lands on the planet Vulcan (no, not the one from Star Trek. This was written before that was in Star Trek, but it didn’t air until after Star Trek had first aired.  It’s one of those weird coincidences) Upon arrival, the Doctor discovers the body of the Examiner, who was sent by the government because of a new discovery. There is also a swamp composed of mercury outside.  They enter the colony’s base and meet the governor and a scientist named Lesterson, who has discovered a capsule that was in the swamp. When they open the capsule, they find Daleks inside. The Doctor wants them destroyed, but Lesterson refuses. He’s genuinely interested in the Daleks. The Daleks claim they are servants, and are even disarmed.

While this is going on, there is a rebel faction who wants to take over the colony.  The Daleks play along, but are secretly planning to revive themselves and kill everyone in the colony, even willing to turn both factions against each other if necessary.

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Destiny of the Doctor: Shadow of Death (2nd Doctor, Jamie, and Zoe)

shadow-of-death

Writer: Simon Gurrier

Director: John Ainsworth

Companions: Jamie McCrimmon (Frazer Hines, narrator), Zoe Heriot

Summary: The TARDIS makes an emergency landing on a world orbiting a pulsar that can warp time.  The Doctor, Jamie, and Zoe discover scientists studying an ancient city. It appears to be abandoned, but in reality, beings called the Quiet Ones have detected their presence. But help comes from an unexpected source.

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The Macra Terror

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Writer: Ian Stuart Black

Director: John Davies

Producer: Innes Lloyd

Companions: Ben Jackson (Michael Craze), Polly (Anneke Wills), and Jamie McCrimmin (Frazer Hines)

No of Episodes: 4

Season: 4, ep 7 (17-20)

Summary: The Doctor and companions find themselves in a human colony where everyone is happy. However, this is a ruse: they are all slaves to giant alien crabs called the Macra. The crabs need them to mine gases.

Review: Classic Doctor Who was actually pretty good at the alien monsters, and The Macra Terror is no exception. I thought this story was pretty good. This is one of the best stories for Troughton’s Doctor. His comical antics were almost absent, but his crafty nature signs through, allowing him to outsmart his enemies. Which is good, especially since two of his companions are under the Macra’s sway. It’s just a shame that not one part of this story has been recovered.

Overall Review: 7/10

Continuity: The Macra returned in the Tenth Doctor episode “Gridlock”.

Trivia: This story was the first to feature the Doctor’s face during the opening sequence. However, it still used the Ron Grainer arrangement of the theme because of a production error.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Moonbase

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Writer: Kit Pedler

Director: Morris Barry

Producer: Innes Lloyd

No. of Episodes: 4

Season: 4, ep. 7 (25-28) (Note: on the DVD release, parts 1 and 3 are restored by animation)

Companions: Ben Jackson (Michael Craze), Polly (Anneke Wills), and Jamie McCrimmon (Frazer Hines)
Summary: The Doctor is taking Ben, Polly, and Jamie to Mars, but the TARDIS inadvertently lands on the moon in the year 2090. There, they discover an internationally commissioned moonbase that is controlling the Earth’s weather patterns.  Several of the staff have become ill and the Doctor is blamed.  He manages to convince them to let him prove his innocence by investigating the cause.  He discovers that the moonbase’s sugar supply has been infected with a virus that was planted by the Cybermen. The virus renders all infected under the Cybermen’s control.

Review: Each of the first three Doctors introduced a villain that became a prominent foe in the show’s history.  Hartnell introduced the Daleks; Pertwee introduced the Master.  While it was Hartnell who introduced the Cybermen, it was Troughton who became their most prominent foe.

While I’m glad this episode doesn’t have the sing-song voice for the Cybermen that was used in “The Tenth Planet”, I still don’t like the bulky design.

There are two things that bothered me about this story. First, Polly is once again useless.  And no, finding out that the sugar is infected because not everyone uses it in the coffee she brings doesn’t make her useful.  Polly makes me so glad that Liz Shaw came around and steered the show in a less-sexist direction.

My second problem concerns Jamie.  Because he felt having a character who was from Earth’s past would bog down his story, Kit Pedler had the poor guy spend the first half of the story in a concussion.  But it wasn’t long before the writers started giving him more to do, so I shouldn’t complain.

This story isn’t too bad.  It’s paced well, and the Doctor and companions work well together. The Second Doctor shows early signs of his comedic persona, and it’s a good buffer on the action.

Overall Review: 6/10

Continuity: The moonbase is commissioned by International Space Command, which was introduced in “The Tenth Planet”.  This is the first story wher the Cybermen are able to shoot energy.  The Cybermen also used a virus in “Return of the Cybermen.”

Trivia: This was the first time an optical effect was used on the show.

The Invasion

Invasion

Writer: Derrick Sherwin

Director: Douglas Camfield

Producer: Peter Bryant

No. of Episodes: 8

Season: 6, ep 3 (11-18) Note: episodes 1 and 4 are animated restorations.

Companions: Jamie McCrimmon (Frazer Hines), Zoe Heriot (Wendy Padbury), Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (Nicholas Courtney)

Summary: After the events in “The Mind Robber”, the Doctor and Companions are in the re-formed TARDIS, when it is shot by a missile.  After a forced crash-landing, they discover that a town has been taken over by a company called International Electromatics (IE).  They investigate the company grounds to see what’s going on. In so doing, the Doctor meets UNIT for the first time and Lethbridge-Stewart a second time.  Lethbridge-Stewart is now a Brigadier and, with UNIT, has been investigating a ring of disappearances associated with IE.  The Doctor soon discovers that the disappearances are linked to an impending Cybermen invasion, and IE’s head, Tobias Vaughn, is in league with them.

Review: UNIT is such an important part of the Doctor Who mythos that it’s hard to imagine what the show would’ve been like without them.  I was intrigued to learn what the first meeting was like.  This is also the first appearance of UNIT soldier John Benton, who is a corporal this time. (He will not become sergeant until “The Silurians”) It was great to see he was a competent soldier even then.

Lethbridge-Stewart is a  great character as well. I like that even though he is a skeptic, he will believe what the Doctor tells him if there is proof.  The two seem to be starting off a great friendship. Of course, I’m biased, the Brigadier is one of my favorite characters.

The star of the story is Tobias Vaughn, played very well by Kevin Stoney.  What makes him such a great villain is that as we learn more about him, he becomes more fascinating.  He only sees the Cybermen as a means to an end. He’s even prepared for their sudden and inevitable betrayal with a machine that can induce emotions.  In fact, he’s even partially a Cyberman himself!

The story’s pacing really surprised me. I was certain that it would be very slow, the plot moved very well, with no tangents that didn’t go anywhere, like what is often seen in stories that are over 4 parts long.

This is a great story, and I think it’s the best one from Troughton’s era.

Overall Review: 10/10

Continuity: The Doctor met the Brigadier in “The Web of Fear”.  In “Dalek”, the Cybermen head in Van Statten’s museum resembles the ones seen here.  The TARDIS also lands in a cow pasture in “The Image of the Fendahl”.

Trivia: This story was originally going to be four parts, but was originally expanded to eight when “The Dreamspinner”, which was going to follow “The Invasion”, was unapproved.  John Levene got the part of Corporal Benton when the original actor was fired after being habitually late.  He had appeared previously as a Cyberman in “The Moonbase”, and a Yeti in “The Web of Fear”.  The story was also supposed to have Professor Travers and his daughter Anne from “The Abominable Snowman”, “The Web of Fear”, but that story’s writer refused to let Derrick Sherwin use them, so they were replaced by Professor Watkins and his niece Isobel.  Wendy Padbury was on holiday during the filming of episode 3, so Zoe does not appear in that episode. Frazer Hines was also unavailable for episode 8, so he only appears in pre-filmed sequences. During the filming of this story, Hines announced that he was considering leaving the show.

The Faceless Ones

faceless

Writers: David Ellis and Malcolm Hulke

Director: Gerry Mills

Producer: Innes Lloyd

Season: 4, ep. 8 (31-36 note: only parts 1 and 3 still exist)

No. of Episodes: 6

Companions: Ben Jackson (Michael Craze), Polly (Anneke Wills), Jamie McCrimmon (Frazer Hines)

Summary: The Doctor and friends arrive at an airport on the exact same day Ben and Polly started their journeys with the Doctor. There, they discover a string of disappearances associated with a company called Chameleon Tours. They discover that the company is actually a front for aliens who are stealing the passengers’ and personnels’ identities.

Review: Season 4 was a season of transition. This episode was written to sever the final ties to Hartnell’s era by the departure of Ben and Polly.  The story itself is actually pretty good. The Doctor is on his game here and shows off his investigative skills very well (I love it when he plays detective!). My only gripe is that Ben and Polly are barely in it.  Once Polly is rescued, they practically disappear from the rest of the story.  As such, I feel the departure should’ve happened right after that, in the second part.

Overall Rating: 7/10

Continuity: This is Ben and Polly’s final story with the Doctor. According to the Sarah Jane Adventures episode “Death to the Doctor”, Ben and Polly are married and now run an orphanage in India.  Ben mentions the Cybermen, who they encountered in The Tenth Planet and The Moonbase. Ben and Polly leave the Doctor on July 20, 1966, the exact same day The War Machines takes place.  The ending with the TARDIS being stolen leads right into the final serial for season 4, “The Evil of The Daleks”.

Trivia: Michael Craze and Anneke Wills’ contracts were up with part 2 of this story, which is why they do not participate for the rest of the story. It is the first story to open with Delia Derbyshire’s arrangement of the theme, used through “The Horns of Nimon”. (The arrangement would’ve been used for “The Macra Terror”, the first story to feature the Doctor’s face in the credits, but there was a production error) Pauline Collins, who plays Samantha Briggs, was offered to continue the show with Samantha becoming a new companion, but declined.  She would return to the show in the Tenth Doctor story “Tooth and Claw”.