Pyramids Of Mars (1975 BBC)

It was really Tom Baker who epitomized the eccentricities, sharp-wit and extreme other-worldliness that one would expect from an extra-terrestrial master of  Time and Space who has inexplicably developed a keen interest (and insatiable curiosity) with regards to humanity. And in this story Tom Baker makes perhaps the most striking entrance in the show’s history, standing silently next to the Tardis’ control panel, head bowed, hands in pockets like a Western gunfighter before looking up to later utter the immortal lines: “The Earth isn’t my home, Sarah. I’m a Time Lord…I’m not a human being. I walk in eternity.” [Read more…]

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Inferno (1970 United Kingdom)

This was the final story in Jon Pertwee’s debut season and, although slow, it is the best of a series that, whilst an improvement on latter period Patrick Troughton, seemed a bit stilted and somewhat stuck. Not least because after a ruling by the Time Lords, Pertwee is stuck on earth to help Unit (a hush-hush military brigade headed by the Brigadier (Nicholas Courtney) and there is no time travel. This gave the whole 1970 season a ‘Quatermass’ vibe that is very cosy and British. The story concerns a mission at a research station to bore through the earth’s crust with a view to harnessing what lies beneath as a form of cheap energy. [Read more…]

Dr Who: Daleks Invasion Earth 2150. A .D (1966 UK)

dr-who-and-the-daleks-1965-003-long-shot-with-daleks-fear-00m-n0t-3x4-cropThose colourful pepperpots are at it again…Although William Hartnell was the television Doctor at the time, for some reason he was not asked to play the role in the films, even though both were based upon television episodes which he had appeared in. The films make no mention of the Doctor being an alien timelord; he is presumed to be a human scientist / inventor, and this deviation from the TV series is the reason for Peter Cushing’s banishment from the official canon. Something else missing from the film is the television version’s very distinctive electronic theme tune. Not that I give a jot about that. [Read more…]

Dr Who and The Silurians (1970 UK)

siluriansE6As with many Doctor Who monsters (and as Terrance Dicks points out on the commentary track), the Silurians are much more frightening when they are shadowy figures lurking behind the scenes causally killing people and causing general mayhem. They not as effective when they’re standing under bright studio lights where every costuming join is visible. The Doctor has been exiled to Earth with a broken Tardis, but since a disproportionate amount of alien disasters happen in 1970 England, he still has plenty to keep him busy. [Read more…]

The Talons Of Weng-Chiang (1977 UK)

d w 2If there is one genre the BBC used to do so well in the 70s it was the costume drama and perhaps this is why this eccentric gem is the peak of classic Dr Who. It is set in the foggy streets of Victorian London where the deerstalker-wearing Fourth Doctor and Leela are searching for the abductor of young women; okay, so far so cliched. What is lurking in the sewers? Well, a very big cuddly rat that screams like a bitch for starters…
[Read more…]

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