28 October, 2010

Time Travellers are Real!

Time travellers are real! Or are they?
Have you seen the puzzling video of what looks like a woman talking on a mobile phone? Is there any possible explanation for this? If she is a time traveller who is she talking to and how are they receiving service? Or you might assume she's simply singing along to a transistor radio. But on the other side of the coin, if a person has time travel technology, certainly they've built a better phone. Perhaps one that can place calls from anywhere in time? Also, it's not possible she's listening to a transistor radio as this film clip is from 1928 and transistor radios didn't make an appearance till the late 40's or early 50s'. The only possible way for her to be doing so was to pick one up from the future, which would mean she's a time traveller, which means she could just as easily be talking on a phone. So is this real documented proof time travel exists? Watch the video below and tell me your thoughts.

25 October, 2010

Dr. Who (The Early Years) - Part 4 "The Rescue"

The Doctor To the Rescue
There's never been any real, official clarification how long the Doctor may have travelled with Susan. Being his grand-daughter, its possible they travelled together for many years before settling on Earth. The Doctor locked Susan out of the Tardis in hopes of helping her 'grow up'. It may have seemed like a cold, tactless thing to do, but he truly missed her once she was gone. This was clearly seen after the Tardis lands and he absent-mindedly instructed Susan to open the doors. He paused in reflection for a moment when Barbara suggested he show her how to operate the doors.

With Carole Ann Ford having left, a replacement was needed. The series was to continue for another season so Maureen O'Brien (Vicki) was selected as the replacement. On the planet Dido, the year is 2493 and Vicki is one of two survivors of a crashed rocket from Earth. They are both terrorized by a mysterious being known as Koquillion who claims to be the reason they are still alive, and deserves their respect.

Relations between Vicki and the Tardis crew are strained when Barbara kills Vicki's pet 'Sandy', one of the native Sand Beasts. Despite starting the series as a cranky, self-absorbed personage the Doctor shows his softer side by reassuring Vicki they are there to help. It seems the departure of Susan has mellowed the Doctor, as well as his continued travels with Barbara and Susan.

Turns out the Doctor is rescuing Vicki from more than just a crashed rocket. Koquillion is actually Bennett (the other survivor) in disguise and murdered all crew members from the crash. Bennett however, underestimates the Doctor and is killed by his own stupidity. Vicki is brought aboard the Tardis and she marvels at how 'it's bigger on the inside'.

WHO: Vicki

: Earth, circa 2493 - though found on Dido.

: Rescued from a crash landing and murderer.

Next: The Daleks Give Chase

17 October, 2010

Dr. Who (The Early Years) - Part 3 "The Dalek Invasion of Earth"

Our Dearly Departed
A year later, the Tardis crew have their second encounter with the Daleks. This time it's in Earth's future - 2164. Just as historical episodes were to teach kids history, stories set in the future were to teach science. In this episode the Daleks have conquered the Earth and London is decimated. Those who survived are used as slave labour. Already the Daleks have overcome their dependency on static electricity.

It was at this point that actress Carole Ann Ford (Susan) decided she wanted to get out of the part. She initially understood her character would be much different; sharing a telepathic connection with the Doctor and being more heroic with less screaming. With the departure of Susan it was wondered if they should replace Susan, as they were unsure if Doctor Who would return. Jenny (pictured here) was scripted to replace Susan, but ultimately never cast.

During the course of the episode Susan works closely with one of the freedom fighters; David Campbell. She asks him to come with her when she leaves but he refuses saying he wouldn't leave his planet. Susan realizes she misses not having a place, a time or an identity. The opportunity to help rebuild Earths civilization entices Susan as well as she falls in love with David.

The Doctor might seem like a feeble old man, but he's no half-wit, (as he tells Ian earlier). He notices the affection she has for David, but also knows she would never leave the Doctor willingly. Giving her a hug he walks into the Tardis and takes the opportunity to give Susan a fresh start. When she is saying goodbye to David, the Doctor 'double' locks the Tardis. Tearfully, she watches the Tardis de-materialize then drops her Tardis key to the ground; walking off with David.

WHO: Susan
REASON FOR DEPARTURE: Rebuild Earth with David Campbell

NEXT: The Doctor to the Rescue

10 October, 2010

Dr. Who (The Early Years) - Part 2 "The Daleks"

Enter the Daleks
Sure, Doctor Who was a kids program with an ambition of teaching kids history. But the Doctor's Tardis was also a space machine, and to keep things interesting the next episode introduced the Daleks. Barbara is the first to encounter the Dalek though only the 'plunger' is seen initially, perhaps to add to the mystery of what could be so terrifying.

However, it is soon discovered the Daleks are not robots, but the mutated form of a once great civilization scared by the ravages of war. The only glimpse given of the mutated Dalek is a clawed hand coming from beneath a sheet Ian used to remove the mutant from it's casing. Perhaps not frightening by today's standards, in 1963 the Dalek became an overnight success.

The plot for the rest of the episode is used many times over in various episodes. The Doctor and Tardis crew are captured, they manage an escape but soon one or all are promptly captured yet again. Wash, rinse and repeat for several episodes. A rescue attempt is always mounted, usually with the aid of someone. In this case the Thals, the other sentient race on the planet.

Don't worry if you haven't heard of the Thals. They aren't seen again but once more, except maybe mentioned in passing. The Thals turned out much different than the Daleks. Instead of angry, hateful, war-mongering blobs, they have turned to peace and refuse to help the Tardis crew till Ian reminds them there are things worth fighting for. In this case a woman, what else?

Perhaps another cliché started is thinking they have destroyed the Daleks, for good. Of course this is used many, many times on all the various aliens the Doctor comes to encounter. As you might have guessed, it really comes down to how popular the particular BEM turns out to be. As mentioned above, the Daleks were a success and would return to torment the Doctor again and again.

WHO: The Daleks
GOALS: To exterminate all life in the galaxy that isn't a Dalek.
WEAKNESSES: Initially, stairs and a dependency on static electricity.

Next: Our dearly departed

04 October, 2010

Dr. Who (The Early Years) - Part 1 "An Unearthly Child"

In the Beginning
Today's Doctor Who is certainly unlike the series when it originally began. Generally, the episodes were more focused on history. This 'kids' program had hopes of teaching children more about history through a fun and unique format.

Through this series of articles I hope to explore the changes in Doctor Who over the years. From the original cast, up to Matt Smith and beyond. Who are the characters you might need to know, where do they come from, and what are their intentions?

The series began on November 23 1963, just one day after the assassination of President Kennedy. See? You're learning about history already. The first story, "An Unearthly Child" introduces the main cast. Susan Foreman, a student at Cole Hill School and her two teachers Ian & Barbara. Both teachers find Susan to be a particularly odd student and follow her home.

Susan's home at 76 Totters Lane turns out to be a junk yard. They follow Susan into a building, but she has disappeared. This is when the two run into the Doctor. The Doctor is a cranky older gentleman who claims to have no knowledge of Susan. Suddenly Susan can be heard coming from inside a London Police Call Box. Ian forces his way in and discovers the Police Box is much bigger inside than outside. Angered by their intrusion into his 'ship', the Doctor sets the machine in motion explaining to Susan he can't release Ian & Barbara when they now have knowledge of his TARDIS. Susan explains the name TARDIS means Time & Relative Dimension In Space. The Tardis land on prehistoric Earth and the group get involved in two warring factions of cavemen looking for the secret of fire. The Doctor and his companions manage to escape by all working together. Ian and Barbara beg the Doctor to take them back home but he admits he can't fully control where the Tardis goes.

WHO: the Doctor
*"The Doctor" is more a title than a name. His true name has never been revealed. Sometimes uses John Smith.
*It isn't revealed till years later he is a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey.
REASON FOR JOINING: Stole the Tardis to run away from the Time-Lords,

WHO: Susan (Foreman)
PLANET OF ORIGIN: Presumably Gallifrey
REASON FOR JOINING: Doctors grand-daughter.
*Going off the television show itself, its not very apparent why she left Gallifrey with her Grand-Father. Theories range from the death of her parents, to civil strife at home.

WHO: Ian Chesterton
PLANET OF ORIGIN: Earth, circa 1963
OCCUPATION: Science Teacher
REASON FOR JOINING: Kidnapped by the Doctor.

WHO: Barbara Wright
PLANET OF ORIGIN: Earth, circa 1963
OCCUPATION: History Teacher
REASON FOR JOINING: Kidnapped by the Doctor.

Next: Enter the Daleks