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Old 01-29-2014, 04:59 PM   #71 (permalink)
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I will be adding The Moonbase & The Underwater Menace to the list because they're getting official DVD releases with animated episodes making up the missing ones.
Time to change all the numbers again.
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Old 01-30-2014, 09:41 AM   #72 (permalink)
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212: Timelash

Doctor : 6th (Colin Baker)
Companions : Peri Brown (Nicola Bryant)
Series : 22
Originally Transmitted: 9th - 16th March 1985


I swear this story has been hanging around my neck like an albatross so it feels good to finally get it out of the way. There are a couple of good things about this story, not enough to make it watchable but they are there. The first of those it that during series 22 the BBC made the decision to change the length of time the series ran for. So instead of showing 28 25 minute episodes per series they made 14 45 minute episodes instead. So thankfully fans only had to suffer this story for 2 weeks instead of the usual 4.

The story starts on the planet Karfel where an evil dictator called The Borad rules. He is never seen in person and only appears to the residents of Karfel on moniters as an old man.



At the beginning of the story we see a rebellion that wants to depose him. The Borad wants to use the all the electrical power on the planet for his own personal use depriving the citizens, his No 2 in command known as The Maylin, a man named Renis is angered by this as his wife is in hospital and allows the rebels to storm The Borad's chamber. However they are caught and are killed. Renis is aged to death by a beam from the Borad's chair, the ones that are left are to be sentenced to be thrown into the Timelash, a time corridor that nobody returns from.



If you think the outside of it looks silly wait till you see the inside.

A sycophantic creep called Tekker is named the new Maylin, Tekker is played by Paul Darrow most famous for his role as Avon in Blakes 7. More on this later.



As the Maylin he wears around his neck an amulet that is the key to the power on Karfel. As the remaining rebels are thrown into the Timelash a young woman called Vena who's husband and father were killed during the rebellion snatches the amulet and throws herself into the Timelash.

Also doing the Borad's bidding is a blue android played by an actor called Dean Hollingsworth. The only reason I mention that is because it turns out he only lives down the road from me and he was in an article in the local paper a couple of years ago about being in Doctor Who where he played the blue android here, and a robotic bus conductor in 'Greatest Show In The Galaxy'. You'd think looking rather intimidating as he does he'd have a voice to match but he has such a weedy high pitched camp voice he makes C3PO sound almost butch in comparison.

http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l9...nH/who/tl9.jpg

Meanwhile on the Tardis The Doctor & Peri are arguing where to go on holiday when they are inadvertently caught up in the Timelash. During the commotion Peri sees the ghostly image on Vena with the amulet.



The Doctor tracks the ends of the time corridor/Timelash, one being in Scotland in 1179 the other being Karfel. The Doctor takes the Tardis to Karfel as he has been there before. We know he's been there before because there's a big picture of the 3rd Doctor behind one of the walls. Also one of the rebels has a locket with a picture of the 3rd Doctor's companion Jo Grant inside it.




On arrival they are met by Tekker who despite appearing hospitable knows that The Doctor is his chance to get the amulet so he quickly locks up Peri in a cave with full of Morlox creatures. A giant lizard native of Karfel. The Doctor follows the Timelash but the Tardis doesn't like it and ends up in 1888, where he meets a man called Herbert who believes the Doctor to be from the spirit world because he's just been holding a oujia board.



Herbert has been looking after Vena so all three go back to Karfel in the Tardis where they meet up with the rebels. The Doctor uses a rope to go into the Timelash to collect some Kontron crystals, where we finally see the inside of the dreaded Timelash..........



Yep, if you're thinking to yourself 'Hey this is a kids climbing wall with some Christmas decorations hanging from it' you would probably be right because that's exactly what it looks like.

So anyway the Doctor uses the crystals to make he and his posse to disappear a couple of seconds into the future thus making them invisible to get to the Borad's chamber where he is revealed to be half human / half morlox creature in one of the series better made visual effects for the time.



They confront each other and the Doctor recognises The Borad as Magellan, a mad scientist who's work he had stopped the last time he was on Karfel.
Now if you're wondering what happened to Peri here's a brief rundown.



She's taken for a walk by a beekeeper, tied up in a cave with menacing Morlox creatures, she's rescued by the rebels who in turn tie her up again and interrogate here. The Borad then takes a shine to her and wants her as a mate so he ties her up in the cave with the Morlox creatures again, this time with a cannister of Mustakozene-80, a gas that can fuse tissue together which is what the Borad was experimenting on when he turned into half Morlox creature. After Peri is freed by The Doctor and Herbert the Borad makes one last gasp to take Peri hostage but ends up being thrown into the Timelash when he is distracted by being shown his reflection.

Peri asks the Doctor if he's going after him but the Doctor implies that he'll be fine at the Timelash's destination..... Loch Ness.

But there's still no time to celebrate. It seems The Borad has pissed off the neighbouring planet of the Bandrills. The Bandrills are hilarious because the one we see is so obviously a sock puppet. In fact if Jim Henson had decided to make Kermit The Maggot instead of Kermit The Frog it might look a lot like a Bandrill. They've fired a load of missiles at Karfel.



The Doctor deflects the missiles in the Tardis and everybody lives happily ever after. Herbert asks if he can stay on Karfel but the Doctor says no and takes him home, Peri asks the Doctor why he won't let Herbert stay and so he shows he Herbert's business card with his full name on it .... H.G Wells.

As well as this only being on for 2 weeks there are 2 other good things about this story, 3 if you're a fan of Jon Pertwee era with him being mentioned.
The first is Paul Darrow playing Maylin Tekker. For some reason only known to himself Paul decided to play the role as William Shakespeare's Richard III and in every scene he's in he's practically chewing the scenery, in fact we're talking Gary Oldman as Norman Stansfield in the movie Leon style chewing the scenery. Watching him you forget just how bad this story really is. In fact he even says himself that he wanted to play the role as a hunchback but the production team thought that was going too far.

I also like the subtle H.G. Wells references that are dotted throughout the story, the main 4 of his books that everybody knows are referenced in the story here. The Morlox creatures and the Tardis (The Time Machine) The Doctor using the crystals to evade the guards (The Invisible Man) The Borad, the mad scientist (The Island of Doctor Moreau) and the Bandrill fleet invading (War Of The Worlds).. It's just a shame it's not done in a better script where people just seem to run along in corridors, get captured and then get rescued again only to be captured again, and why even bother having a companion. Peri does nothing whatsoever in this story, which is a shame because at least during the first episode they actually bother to mention that she's a botany student. The plant's she's looking at kill people with a toxic gas and they're taken off her as quickly as she picks them up but that's besides the point , at least they acknowledged something about her which is more can be said for the rest of the story where she just becomes a tripping screaming generic 20 years out of date female companion.

Trying to watch this again was so painful I couldn't even stomach watching the whole thing once more and I just skipped to the pivotal bits of the episode. A total waste of anyone's 90 minutes.
Just awful.



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Old 02-04-2014, 07:23 AM   #73 (permalink)
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Something For The Americans


While watching the recently released The Tenth Planet dvd (William Hartnell's final story also the debut of the Cybermen). I noticed this in the credits....



Thankfully it wasn't THAT one.



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Old 02-04-2014, 05:14 PM   #74 (permalink)
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211: The Doctor, The Widow And The Wardrobe

Doctor : 11th (Matt Smith)
Companions : None
Series : 2011 Christmas Special
Originally Transmitted: 25 December 2011


This story left such an impression on me I totally forgot it existed. It wasn't until I received the series 7 box set this Christmas that I remembered this being aired 2 years previously. And even then the decision to include it in that box set was taken at the last minute by the BBC. It should then come as no shock to anybody that I have not seen this story since it was on TV and I don't really have any interest in watching it again, even for the purpose of writing this.



Back in 2011 during the run up to Christmas I heard what the title was going to be and from that moment on I had low expectations. After 2010's 'A Christmas Carol' totally ripped off Charles Dickens 'A Christmas Carol' (naturally), and totally bored me it was fairly obvious to anyone with half a brain that this story was going to be a rip off from 'The Chronicles Of Narnia' and probably leave me with the same feelings about this story. I have no problem with Doctor Who ripping off Christmas stories 'Turn Left' looks like it was inspired by 'It's A Wonderful Life' and that was a great episode. It's a shame they didn't do 'National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation' with Matt Smith & The Griswolds fighting off a Cyberman invasion. Maybe I'll have to start writing fan-fic.

It's sad that I dislike this story so much because the cast assembled for it is amazing. You have Claire Skinner from 'Outnumbered' and many other things playing Madge Arwell, the mother of the two children and the focal point of the episode.
You have quiz show host & comedy legend Alexander Armstrong playing Reg, her husband & World War II fighter pilot (And anyone who's seen Alexander Armstrong knows he is born to play WWII English fighter pilots).



Added to that you have Bill Bailey & Arabella Weir playing a couple of comedy miners who's appearance is far too brief.



There is also a third miner too, played by some random jobbing actor which is a shame really because they could have cast someone like Noel Fielding or Peter Serafinowicz or another big comedy name for it and at would have at least made all three characters interesting.
On top of all that I shouldn't forget to mention Matt Smith either because in my opinion he is the best character actor to play the role of The Doctor since Patrick Troughton.
So what went wrong?

Well basically the plot makes no sense, or it does make sense but is so shoehorned together it's totally idiotic, but here it is anyway.

The Doctor blows up a spaceship, for some unknown reason he is able to be blasted into space (in his normal clothes) chasing a spacesuit that will allow him to be able to fall to earth safely.
Just to begin with there is so much wrong with just that first sentence. It looks great on TV but just leaves you scratching your head wondering why he's never been able to do that before for the previous 50 years.
When he plummets to earth leaving a massive crater in his wake he is helped by a woman named Madge Arwell.



Madge helps him up and gets him back to the Tardis, even though he's just fallen out of space he just happens to land within walking distance away from it. He tells Madge that if ever she needs his help just make a wish, during this whole time she never sees his face because he is wearing the helmet from the spacesuit back to front because he 'Had to get dressed in a hurry'.
So we're expected to believe that after 50 years on our screens the Doctor now is suddenly a genie that grants wishes despite the fact he's been helped by thousands of people in the past and never once offered any of them the same thing. This episode just gets dumber & dumber. Just think about the plot so far and just how unlikely this would be in past stories and how many cliff hangers in the shows history these new events would wipe out.

Three Years Later

Christmas Eve during World War II, Madge receives a telegram saying that her husband's aircraft had been lost over the English Channel in the fog and he was presumed dead. She decides that rather than tell her kids straight away she'll take them out of London to a relatives house in Dorset and give them a happy Christmas first.
When they arrive at the house they are met by The Doctor calling himself the Caretaker and has been preparing for their arrival by filling the kids room with so many toys that they have to sleep in hammocks because there is no room for beds. Next to the Christmas tree is a giant blue package.
Madge's son Cyril comes down in the middle of the night and opens the giant package to find it contains a time portal to a snowy forest.



A little later on his sister Lily realises her brother is missing and goes to inform the Doctor, they go through the time portal to find him.
A little later in than that Madge realises everybody has gone, sees the portal and goes through it too.



After trudging through the forest for a while Cyril finds a large tower with a glass dome structure on top of it. He goes inside the tower and find a giant wood carving of a man sitting on a throne. He climbs the stairs to the top of the tower and finds a female wooden figure holding a gold crown sitting in another throne.

Meanwhile Madge comes across 3 miners who after laying their guns down tell her that they are from the planet Androzani Major in the year 5345, a reference to Peter Davison's final story 'The Caves Of Androzani' (although he was on Androzani Minor) no doubt placed there to remind long time fans that they were still infact. Madge tells the miners she is from England in 1941 before pulling a revolver on them and telling them that there is a war on.
She forces them to take them back to her base where they tell her that the forest will be covered in acid rain in just a few minutes to create fuel, the miners teleport off the planet leaving Madge behind.

The Doctor and Lily reach the tower and see the wooden figure in the base of the tower, as they climb the stairs to find Cyril it begins to follow them up.
At the top of the tower the Doctor find Cyril sitting unconscious on the throne wearing the crown with the female figure behind him.
The Doctor realises that they are the King & Queen of the forest and are trying to escape from the acid rain in the dome which is a spaceship, through Cyril they tell the Doctor that the boy is weak. the Doctor takes the crown thinking he is stronger but he cannot hold it because of the pain, the Queen tells him that he is weak too. Lily picks up the crown against the Doctor's advice and tells him it tingles, the Queen tells him that she is strong, but not strong enough.
Madge arrives in the miners forest walker and allows the Queen to place the crown on her head.



The Doctor who has gone back outside sees all the lifeforce in the forest heading towards the tower. he goes back up and sees Madge absorbing it all.



The Doctor realises that the forest wanted a mothership (groan) and urges Madge to think of home to pilot the spacecraft through the time vortex, he also tells her to think of her husband.
Somewhere over the English Channel Reg who is lost in the fog sees the light from the spaceship and uses it to guide his aircraft home.



They all wake up in the crashed spacecraft outside the house in Dorset on Christmas morning, the two wooden figures are lifeless and the Doctor tells Madge that their life was scattered among the stars. The kids see the telegram in her hands and demand to know what it is, she is just about to tell them of his death when the Doctor interupts and tells them to look outside where they see Reg and his aircraft outside the house. With her family reunited Madge asks the Doctor to stay for Christmas, he says no so instead she forces him to spend it with someone he cares loves. The Doctor arrives at Amy & Rory's house 2 years after he last saw him knowing that they think he's dead but Amy reveals River Song told them he wasn't. He tells them not to go to any trouble but Amy tells him that they always lay a place for him.



OK I accept this is a Christmas episode and that it's a bit different to the usual series but the silliness from the beginning really distracts from the episode. I mean it has it's good points, the cast, the scene with the miners & Madge and it genuinely does put a lump in your throat at the end. But for the most part this story is just a slow and dull and doesn't really leave you with any lasting impression. Also it doesn't really seem like a Doctor Who story this feels like a Christmas magic story crammed into a Doctor Who episode and it's so forced it just doesn't work.

To tell you the truth I would have rather seen the story as to what caused him to be ejected from an exploding spacecraft into deep space without a spacesuit at the beginning of the episode than this. And if none of that is enough to make you not like this episode we get a 2 minute cameo with Amy & Rory at the end that just makes you wish that they were in the whole story.

I think this story can be summed up with the same thoughts about I had about it on Christmas Day 2011.
'What the hell did I just watch?'



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Old 02-05-2014, 09:22 AM   #75 (permalink)
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The Beatles In Doctor Who

In 1965 Dalekmania was sweeping the country and two Dalek movies starring Peter Cushing were produced by Amacus who were usually known more for their horror movies. Thinking of ways to promote the movie someone came up with the idea of having the Daleks meeting the Beatles.

Dalekmania vs Beatlemania

It may have happened because the parent company of the Beatles record company Parlophone was EMI who may or may not had some interest in the Dalek movies themselves. I can't find anything to suggest they did other than it was EMI that released them on video in the early 80s. Anyway the idea was approved and so the national papers one morning showed pictures of John Lennon hanging out with a Dalek





The BBC decided to jump on this idea and suggested that they appear on the show, in particular the upcoming Dalek story 'The Chase'.

What happened next is up for debate as I have heard 2 stories and there is no real documentation of what happened.

The first story is that they were to appear on the show as themselves playing a song but because each Doctor Who episode was filmed on one specific night of the week they would have to be free on that night or not be in it at all, they couldn't make it and so they used a clip from Top Of The Pops instead.

During 'The Chase' the Tardis lands in what they think is a haunted house but is in actual fact an exhibit in 'The Festival of Ghana' an event taking place in the future... 1996 to be exact.

The second story is that the BBC pitched the idea that The Beatles are playing the Festival Of Ghana as themselves and all the band members are aged with make up. Brian Epstein turned this down flat and told them just to use the Top Of The Pops footage of them playing Ticket To Ride instead. So that was what the BBC ended up doing using The Doctor's new toy, the space time visualiser which was like a television that could see any event in history.

Because of rights issues you won't find that clip of this episode anywhere outside the UK or Australia. Everywhere else the scene has been cut out of the story. Even uploading it to Youtube is fruitless as it's taken down as quick as it goes up. In fact I tried for this and I had the notice of it being blocked before I'd even finished uploading it, however I do have the stills from it.
(And a video clip ready to download, PM me for the link)


There are actually 2 gaffes in this clip.
The first is that Ian Chesterton seems to know the words to Ticket To Ride even though he left earth in November 1963 and has never been back since, Ticket To Ride wasn't even recorded until February 1965. (Maybe The Doctor has a copy stashed away in the Tardis somewhere)

Also Vicki says after hearing the song she didn't realise that The Beatles played classical music (She's from the 25th Century). Yet just a few seconds earlier she tells Ian & Barbara that she's been to their memorial theatre in Liverpool. You'd think she would have heard some in there.

Also it's worth noting that those few seconds of the band playing on Top Of The Pops is the only film clip that the BBC hold of them playing that show even though they appeared on it dozens of times. Like a lot of Doctor Who episodes from the time they too were also junked as they were thought to be of no more use.

We need one of those space time visualisers.
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Old 02-11-2014, 08:02 AM   #76 (permalink)
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210: The Web Planet

Doctor : 1st (William Hartnell)
Companions : Ian Chesterton (William Russell) Barbara Wright (Jacqueline Hill)
Vicki (Maureen O'Brien)
Series : 2
Originally Transmitted: 13th February - 20th March 1965


Many people have attempted to watch every single episode of Doctor Who since it began in November of 1963. Many of those same people even managed to struggle through all 6 episodes of The Sensorites (Coming soon). But very few people ever manage to make it through all 6 episodes of The Web Planet.

The Web Planet - Ender of Doctor Who marathons ever since someone copied it from someone else and shared it around on a 20th generation videotape some time during the 80s. (I never did this BTW, my fandom started in the early 90s when UK Gold repeated the whole series on TV).

The Web Planet is bad, I mean really really bad. So why didn't I include it sooner?

Well because you just have to admire the balls to try to pull something like this off given the time it was made and the limited resources. The shows budget around this time was approx £2000 per episode which according to the Bank of England's inflation calculator is around £32,800 in todays money.
That would have to pay the cast, crew, build all the sets and film the thing as well. Not only that due to the limited editing facilities you could only have 3 cuts per episode, the whole thing was filmed in one night and any special effects were painted onto the film, no CGI whatsoever.
Compare that the the show now which is rumoured to cost £1 million per episode with 3 weeks to film plus many months in post production and you can see the vast difference.

So what were they trying to pull off?
Well the Tardis lands on the planet Vortis, in the Isop galaxy. Well I say it lands there it's actually dragged down there and all the power in the Tardis is shut off. The Doctor opens the doors by waving his ring in front of a theremin which seems to work.



Once outside he and Ian look at rocks for a while, and then the most dramatic thing in the entire episode happens....

IAN CHESTERTON'S PEN DISAPPEARS

Seriously, it just vanishes into thin air. The Doctor is highly amused by this and for good measure asks Ian for his school tie, and then dips it into a puddle of acid ruining it. Poor old Ian's having a really rough ride in this story.
Vicki & Barbara meanwhile are left locked in the Tardis. Barbara hears a strange sound and follows it out of the Tardis like she's hypnotized. Vicki is left in there are the Tardis is dragged away by a strange force.

All this takes around 25 minutes to happen and they've not even met the natives of the planet yet. To say this story has been padded out is an understatement.

One of the most annoying aspect of this episode is that to make the shots on the planet's surface look more alien they have this really annoying blur effect.



Later on in the episodes, especially when you see the really bad insect costumes battling each other you have this rather strange feeling that you're watching a school nativity play with a really bad hangover. This is made even worse that you can hear the actors thumping around on what is obviously a stage rather than a planets surface & crashing into cameras. It really does look a bit amateur hour.

Finally we start to meet some of the inhabitants of the planet. First we meet the Zarbi.



The Zarbi are obviously giant ants, they were docile until the Animus invaded the planet Vortis and uses them to try and take over the planet. They do this seemingly by bashing things with their head and using Venom Grubs.



The Venom Grubs are lcreatures resembling woodlouse that can spit fire from the end that that big pointy thing at the front known as a larvae gun. I always found the concept of a larvea gun rather odd. Wouldn't the human equivalent be a baby gun? or a toddler gun? The Venom Grubs are actually mentioned in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it-reference during the new series in the 9th Doctor story Boom Town where we are told they're used to punish the Slitheen.

There are some good guys in all this meet The Menoptera.



The Menoptera are a moth like creatures who escaped The Animus when it invaded Vortis by flying to one of the planets moons. The Animus however used it's power by increasing the gravitational pull of the planet bringing all of the Menoptera back to Vortis, the same gravitational pull that forced the Tardis to land there. On their return the Menoptera as forces work as slaves in The Crater Of Needles. A giant crater filled with acid that the Menoptera fill with plant vegetation to feed The Animus. The Menoptera leader is played by distinguished actor Martin Jarvis in his first television role. Probably fair to say he's been in better things since.

Also on the side of good are the Optera



The Optera are the descendent of the Menoptera who decided to live underground when the Animus took over Vortis. Due to the evolutionary process they've lost their wings, have much bigger eyes and are more sensitive to light. For some unknown reason the leader of the Optera speaks with a kind of Mexican accent for no apparent reason, which would be far more annoying in any other story but in this one with the silly high pitched Menoptra squeaks and weird speech patterns to make them sound more alien this is almost a blessing. Oh and they also jump around like kangaroos which is so funny you can't take anything they say seriously.

So anyway, the Animus realises something is afoot and begins to communicate to the Doctor via an old school hairdryer.



In fact William Hartnell even calls it that in the story. At first The Animus believes the Doctor is an agent of The Menoptera. When the Animus realises that he isn't a Menoptera agent and knows nothing he instructs the Zarbi to bring The Doctor to him.
Meanwhile the Doctor's companions have spent the past 3 or 4 episodes gathering together a resistance movement and they attack.(That one sentence just saved you around 100 minutes of having to watch this)

The Doctor along with the now freed Vicki finally meets The Animus who turns out to be a giant spider plant.



The Animus tries to absorb The Doctor's and Vicki's minds by having a psychedelic light show a full year before Pink Floyd ever thought of the idea and which would have probably looked a lot better had it been in colour.



Then Barbara arrived with a couple of Menoptera and an isotope which she intends to use to kill the Animus however it treats her to a psychedelic light show before she has the chance. Thankfully Ian and a few friends walk in at that moment distracting The Animus away from Barbara who uses the opportunity to use the isotope and kill it and the story finishes.

Or so you would think, the story then drags on for yet another 10 minutes of insect backslapping & celebrating and Ian complaining about the loss of his beloved tie before thankfully this whole thing ends and we can get on with a decent story about The Crusades with Julian Glover & Jean Marsh.

It's an easy target but The Web Planet is crap. It was meant to be seen once as a piece of entertainment nearly 50 years ago and at the time and once broadcast on TV they probably thought that was the end of it. I doubt anybody could have foretold in 1965 that this would still be being watched & judged by that days standards all these years later. Amazingly the first episode of this story attracted 13.5 million viewers, the highest ever viewed episode for Doctor Who in the 1960s. It also spawned 2 sequels in 'Twilight Of The Gods' a novel featuring Patrick Troughton's Doctor and Return To the Web Planet, an audio story with Peter Davison's Doctor, so clearly somebody liked this story and was inspired by it. Of course that doesn't make me want to watch this the whole way through ever again.

I leave you with the one famous clip of this story that has become famous over the years, a Zarbi running head first into the camera which was amazingly left in the episode.....









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Christopher Barry 1925 - 2014



Veteran director Christopher Barry has died at the age of 88.

Christopher Barry was responsible for some of the most admired stories from the classic series of Doctor Who, where he was the longest serving director, responsible for 43 episodes spanning the years 1963-1979. He directed all of the first four Doctors - one of only three directors to do so.

Barry joined the Doctor Who team in the late summer of 1963, when he was assigned to direct the second story, The Daleks, replacing Rex Tucker who had left after artistic differences with producer Verity Lambert. The script he would bring to life would see the introduction of the Daleks and ensure the success of the fledgling series. Barry would end up directing episodes 1,2,4 and 5 of the story, creating the 'sink-plunger' cliff hanger at the end of episode 1 which would see the nation on the edge of their seats until the full revelation of the Dalek machine in episode 2. He was in the studio directing episode 2 when the news of President Kennedy's assassination broke.

Barry returned to the series a year later, directing The Rescue, the story which saw the introduction of the first new companion since the series start, Vicki, played by Maureen O'Brien. He stayed on to direct the next story The Romans, a historical romp which saw much more humour introduced to the series. Having introduced a companion, his next Doctor Who assignment was to see the departure of another, as his final story with William Hartnell, The Savages, was to be the last story to feature Steven Taylor, as played by Peter Purves.

In 1966, Barry masterminded the introduction of a new Doctor, when he directed Patrick Troughton's first story, The Power of the Daleks. The story, long missing from the archives, had the difficult job of introducing a new lead actor to the series and cementing the long term success of the series.

His next outing was with the third Doctor, Jon Pertwee, when he directed the 1971 story The Dæmons. Long regarded as a classic, the story is often cited as a favourite by members of the cast and production team. Barry returned the following year to direct the six part story The Mutants.

Having overseen the debut of one Doctor in 1966, Barry was able to do so once again when, at the end of 1974, he directed Robot, introducing the world to the man who would become the longest-serving (continuous) on-screen Doctor - and arguably the most famous in the public eye from the 'classic' era - Tom Baker. The story was one of the first with all location work recorded direct onto video tape using a BBC OB unit. The following year he directed another classic, The Brain of Morbius, which saw the fourth Doctor encounter the eccentric surgeon Solon and his Time Lord secret. It was in this story Barry featured on screen alongside other production team members as one of the faces projected onto the screen during the Doctor's mind battle with Morbius.

Barry's final story for classic Doctor Who came in 1979 when he directed the four part story The Creature from the Pit, with the DVD release of that story containing a retrospective of his work. While the series was off air he also directed the 1995 story Downtime, a direct-to-video story produced by the independent production company Reeltime Pictures.

Christopher Barry began his film and TV career in the movies, working as an assistant director on star vehicles including Meet Mr. Lucifer (1953), The Love Lottery (1954) and The Ship That Died of Shame (1955). By 1958 he was directing, working on the BBC’s Starr and Company, the crime drama Private Investigator and the long-running soap opera Compact. He directed episodes of Paul Temple, Moonbase 3, Poldark, Angels, Nicholas Nickleby, The Onedin Line, Z Cars, All Creatures Great and Small, Nanny and Juliet Bravo. He also directed eleven episodes of the TV adaptation of John Christopher's The Tripods.


Christopher Barry died after a fall at his home in Oxfordshire.

Doctor Who News: Christopher Barry 1925 - 2014
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Old 02-12-2014, 04:21 PM   #78 (permalink)
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Many people have attempted to watch every single episode of Doctor Who since it began in November of 1963. Many of those same people even managed to struggle through all 6 episodes of The Sensorites (Coming soon). But very few people ever manage to make it through all 6 episodes of The Web Planet.
I wondered why it took so long for you to get around to reviewing this delight and yes I'm one of the few that has managed to sit through all 6 episodes and I've done it twice as well, even though I may have fallen asleep. The novelisation was slighter better but not by much though.
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The Web Planet is bad, I mean really really bad. So why didn't I include it sooner?Well because you just have to admire the balls to try to pull something like this off given the time it was made and the limited resources. The shows budget around this time was approx £2000 per episode which according to the Bank of England's inflation calculator is around £32,800 in todays money.That would have to pay the cast, crew, build all the sets and film the thing as well. Not only that due to the limited editing facilities you could only have 3 cuts per episode, the whole thing was filmed in one night and any special effects were painted onto the film, no CGI whatsoever.Compare that the the show now which is rumoured to cost £1 million per episode with 3 weeks to film plus many months in post production and you can see the vast difference.
This explains a lot because the concept of the story is actually very good, as is the lunar type planet against the lunar sky backdrop. The Zarbi were just plain terrible though, the Menoptera some of the campest creatures ever seen on Doctor Who but the biggest embarrassment had to be the Optera hopping about! The only saving grace of the story was probably the Animus who was done well. Also the story was very much a pioneer effort that fell flat, which was in contrast to the earlier Keys of Marinus an absolute classic.
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Old 02-13-2014, 06:06 AM   #79 (permalink)
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I have no idea if I made it to the end or not the first time I watched it.
I know I did the second time but that was because I was watching it with the DVD commentary on, so I don't know if that counts or not.
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Old 02-16-2014, 02:43 PM   #80 (permalink)
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What would you class as the very worst Christmas episode Urban, assuming it's not "The doctor, the widow" etc. ? For me I really think Kylie on the Starship Titanic edges it. I mean, why? And what has it got to do with the festive season (other than that I'd be thrilled to wake up and find her sitting in my Christmas stocking! Or better yet, in hers!)? I feel that every Christmas episode has its own special brand of awfulness (remember the 200-foot tall warrior woman statue or something that terrorised London for no good reason?), and I'd be hard pressed to think of one that was actually good. Do they go out of their way to make them that bad?
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