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Old 02-16-2014, 02:53 PM   #81 (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?
I think The Christmas Invasion is a great episode!
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Old 02-16-2014, 03:25 PM   #82 (permalink)
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I know I said I wasn't doing this in order initially but it actually worked out easier to do it that way, So The Doctor, The Widow And The Wardrobe is my least favourite.

As for the others I loved The Christmas Invasion & The End Of Time.

I didn't hate Voyage Of The Damned as much as some people did because it's obviously based on The Poseidon Adventure which was one of my favourite films as a kid. Kylie was OK but she was a bit old to be playing a sexy waitress

The Next Doctor was ok, I loved the interplay between David Tennant & David Morrissey, but as soon as the Cybermen turned up it got dull.

Time Of The Doctor was just bizarre, I still don't really know what I think of it. I didn't get bored watching it but there did seem to be long periods of nothing much happening.

A Christmas Carol was crap but at least I got to perv over Katherine Jenkins and see Michael Gambon in Doctor Who, in the same way I hated The Snowmen but got to see Richard E Grant in Doctor Who. Plus that story had Madam Vastra, Strax & Jenny to save it.

And you know what I think of The Doctor, The Widow And The Wardrobe.

I think that's all of them.
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Old 02-16-2014, 03:29 PM   #83 (permalink)
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The Runaway Bride?
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Old 02-16-2014, 03:33 PM   #84 (permalink)
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Sums up what I think of that then

I quite liked that one at the time, I don't think I've watched it again since. I might have to have another look at it before I decide where it goes.
I know it's not as bad as some of the ones I have lined up anyway.
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Old 02-17-2014, 04:49 PM   #85 (permalink)
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209: Warriors Of The Deep

Doctor : 5th (Peter Davison)
Companions : Tegan (Janet Feilding) Turlough (Mark Strickson)
Series : 21
Originally Transmitted: 5th January - 13th January 1984


When I think of the 80s as a decade, I always think the same thing. Everything to me seemed to be brightly coloured, tacky & plasticky.
And that's exactly what Warriors of the Deep is, brightly coloured, tacky & plasticky.
It's supposed to be set in a sea base with nuclear weapons at the bottom of the ocean that's been there for years. So your first thought is why does it look so bright and new, and why do all the crew have bizarre eye make up?



Granted it's supposed to be set in 2084 and they want things to look a little futuristic. But you would think that in a story that is essentially a base under siege type story you would set an atmosphere by have things creeping around in the shadows with hidden monsters going around killing people, but no. I mean how can things lurk in shadows when your set and your lighting is so bright that there are no shadows. It's supposed to be an old sea base after all. Brightly lit sets and lack of atmosphere would be something that would plague Doctor Who during the 80s.

Warriors of the Deep also see the return of two of the more popular monsters from the Jon Pertwee era who had only featured one story up till now. The Silurians last seen in the 7 part 1970 story Doctor Who and the Silurians



And The Sea Devils last seen in 1972's 6 part story of the same name. This time wearing full battle gear rather than the silly string vests made out of fishing nets they wore in the previous story.



Both creatures were reptiles who existed on Earth before man. They both went into hibernation during a time when lots of solar flares were due to hit the earth. For some reason after the solar flares they never woke up until the present day. During the story 'The Sea Devils' The Doctor mentions that the scientist who discovered the Silurians got his dates mixed up and that they should have been called Eocenes as they are from the Eocene era not the Silurian era, however during this episode they refer to themselves as Silurians. During the new series they would become known as Homo-Reptilia. The Sea Devils strangely call themselves Sea Devils too despite this name only being used to describe them by an Irish sea fort worker who went mad after being attacked by them.

Our story starts in the Tardis where Turlough has decided he wants to stick around with and travel with the Doctor for a while longer and the Doctor wants to show Tegan something of Earth's future. They materialise in space where they are warned to leave and then suddenly attacked by a security satellite.



The Doctor takes evasive action and a split second before the Tardis is hit he makes a quick jump and they land on Sea Base 4.

It's 2084 and the world is divided up into two power blocs with nuclear missiles trained on both sides. Sea Base 4 is one of the bases that holds these missiles with their advanced launching program, which means that the missiles can only be launched by a 'Sync Operator'. The Sync Operator links his own mind to the weapons system for authorisation. Sadly for Sea Base 4 their sync operator has just been murdered and now they have a trainee in charge of the weapons. Let's just take a moment to look at this advanced computer launching program...



Makes you kind of wonder why they didn't just use a shot of someone playing Missile Command. It would have probably looked a lot more realistic.
I was always rubbish at missile command.

Anyway the Doctor and co arrive on the base and because things have been going wrong with the base they're imminently labelled as foreign spies sabotaging the base. The Doctor gets thrown into a big tank of water during a fight but managed to escape. He changes into underwater outfits and we have this running joke where there's an unpleasant smell inside his helmet.

After Tom Baker had left it was thought that there was too much humour in the series so they decided to make Peter Davison's Doctor much more serious. After a couple of years of this they decided that there did need to be some humour in it after all and inserted this one joke about the smelly helmet, and that was it. One joke throughout his entire run as The Doctor.

They soon realise that The Doctor is not their problem when they begin to be invaded by the Silurians & Sea Devils using their secret weapon, The Myrka.



The Myrka has gone into Doctor Who folklore as being possibly the worst made monster ever to make it into the series. In the original script the writer Johnny Byrne had this big sea creature that would enter the base and kill people in the shadows while not really being seen by the viewer, just the occasional glimpse of it. Of course because the thing was so brightly lit this wasn't done and so they just had it in the middle of the studio in all it's crapness being shot at. Also there was a delay in BBC visual effects making this thing so when they did finally get to film with it it left green paint all over the set and the actors. The two actors inside the Myrka operating it were William Perrie & John Asquith who were more well known at the time for playing Dobbin, The Pantomime Horse in the childrens TV show Rentaghost (I loved that show).

Anyway back to the story.
At this point Tegan chooses this moment to become trapped under the world's most unconvincing piece of debris which wobbles around as soon as anyone touches it even though it's supposed to be crushing her leg. The Myrka breaks through the outer doors of the base and is just about to trample on Tegan when she's freed by the Doctor and the Sea Base crew close the inner doors to trap the creature.

While the creature is trapped the Doctor works on a big ray machine to deal with it as the crews weapons have no effect on it. The Myrka breaks through the inner doors but before The Doctor can use his machine we are treated to one of the worst scenes ever in Doctor Who when Dr Solow (played by 70s Hammer Horror star Ingrid Pitt) decides to take on the Myrka by doing a the oddest version of karate you've ever seen, even though she already knows that guns can't harm this thing.



Michael Grade who was head of programming at the BBC at the time has said that seeing that scene made his mind up to cancel the series in 1985. You can't really blame him after that.

The Silurians & the Sea Devils use the Mykra as a diversion tactic to break into the base through another entrance while the crew are busy dealing with the Mykra they kill most of the remaining crew on the way. They plan to launch all the missiles on the base circumnavigating the use of a Sync Operator by using their own technology. The Doctor goes off looking for something to use to fight against the reptiles.
He luckily comes across a chemical store which just happens to be full of hexachromite gas, which also just happens to be lethal to reptiles. He is spotted by a Sea Devil & shot at, but the shot misses and hits a gas cannister which engulfs the Sea Devil making snot come out of it's collapsed face.



The surviving crew want to use the gas to fight the rest of the reptiles but the Doctor doesn't want to end it that way, when he's reminded that they have control of the nuclear missiles he reluctantly agrees and fixes the gas to go through the base's ventilation shafts.

On the control deck all of the reptiles begin to die and in some cases split their trousers.



In a last ditch attempt to end it peacefully the Doctor instructs Tegan & Turlough to give the reptiles oxygen while he plugs himself into the weapons program and stops the missiles aided by Vorshak, one of the base crew.



Vorshak is shot at and killed by the Silurian leader who in turn is killed by Turlough. The Doctor deactivates the missiles. He looks around at the carnage and sees that all of the reptiles are dead and apart from himself, Tegan & Turlough only one member of the base crew named Bulic are still alive. He tells the survivors that there should have been another way.


Warriors Of The Deep never really stood much of a chance of being any good. For a start they lost 2 weeks production on the story because Margaret Thatcher called a General Election, from that point on they were in a race to get this story done. In fact things were so problematic during this story that the director Pennant Roberts was forced to film rehearsals and use those in the final edit when the original shots were dropped because of time constraints.

It was during the filming of this story in the summer of 1983 that the news broke that both Peter Davison & Janet Fielding would both be leaving, coincidence that it was during this story they decided to leave? possibly.
Speaking of Janet Fielding, you may have noticed that Tegan & Turlough are hardly mentioned in the story, that's because they spend most of the story either locked up or hiding in some shaft somewhere. Although Tegan does get let out long enough to get her leg trapped for the cliff hanger to episode 2.

One thing I find interesting about this story is it's setting, and also the comparisons to one of the new series stories 'Cold War'.
In 'Warriors Of The Deep' a returning Doctor Who monster (Silurians & Sea Devils) take over a underwater sea base in 2084 to fire nuclear missiles and destroy the world.
In 'Cold War' a returning Doctor Who monster (An Ice Warrior) takes over a nuclear submarine to fire nuclear missiles to destroy the world. And the year it does this in ... 1983. The year Warriors of the Deep was made.
Which made me think that Warriors of the Deep may have been better had it had a contemporary setting rather than a futuristic one. Instead of giving the sea base crew snazzy outfits and eye shadow just make then look like real soldiers. If you have a small budget then set it on a small dingy submarine rather than a brightly lit sea base. Give it a sense of creepiness & claustrophobia and some atmosphere. 60s Doctor Who used to do this amazingly so it begs the question why couldn't 80s Doctor Who do it.

No atmosphere, no tension, no real interest. In fact the total opposite of what made the Silurians & The Sea Devils so great in their 1970s stories.
I really hate this.



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Old 02-20-2014, 11:46 AM   #86 (permalink)
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Doctor Who and the Python

In 1979 while Doctor Who was filming the story City Of Death at BBC Television Centre John Cleese was busy recording the second series of Fawlty Towers in the next studio. Both Baker & Cleese seemed to get on with each other so the Doctor Who script editor at the time Douglas Adams (Yes, THE Douglas Adams) wrote a small cameo appearance for Cleese along with actress Eleanor Bron, a good friend of Cleese playing the part of a pair of art critics in the Louvre Gallery where the Tardis happened to be parked during this story.



As well as this scene Baker & Cleese also recorded a short comedy sketch that would be put on the BBC's Christmas tape, A tape that was traditionally shown during the BBC's annual Christmas party for it's employees which usually featured out-takes & specially recorded sketches.





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Old 02-20-2014, 12:37 PM   #87 (permalink)
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Great write up on Warriors of the Deep, I remember watching that on TV as a kid when it first aired in the 80's. Me and a friend of mine were so excited that the story was going feature favourites such as the Silurians and the Sea Devils. Let's just say we were hugely disappointed and the arrival of the Myrka was the final straw! I remember the infamous karate kick like it was yesterday

The original Silurian adventure was not only a classic story but probably one of the very best of all the novelizations as well as it added extra depth. The Sea Devils was quite simply one of the best adventures ever on Doctor Who, so it was such a shame how both the Silurians and Sea Devils were used on their long-awaited return.
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Old 02-20-2014, 12:46 PM   #88 (permalink)
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I went & watched The Sea Devils straight after writing that funnily enough.
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Old 02-20-2014, 12:51 PM   #89 (permalink)
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I went & watched The Sea Devils straight after writing that funnily enough.
I saw it again about two or three months ago and it's still so stylish and eerie where it needs to be. Also Trenchard was great as the dopey prison warden.
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Old 02-20-2014, 12:53 PM   #90 (permalink)
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I love the fact that all his guards all wear a cape, a beret and all have the same moustache.
I think the Royal Navy helping with the story really added to it. Makes a change to see a whole sqaud of soldiers instead of the same ones dying 4 or 5 times an episode.
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