29 March, 2011

Doctor Who 2011 Previews and "TIME" episode

Dr. Who (The Early Years) will be back next week. I'm on a hiatus this week recovering from a back injury. Meanwhile, enjoy the previews of the new series coming out April 23 2011, and the Red Nose day Special Episode - "TIME"

23 March, 2011

The Adventures of Quisp

Does anyone else remember early Saturday mornings, grabbing a bowl of cereal and watching cartoons before anyone else woke up? Some of my most treasured moments as a child involved those very things. Even when my siblings numbered only 2 instead of 7, it was still a rare occasion to find sugared cereal in the cupboard. Our typical cereal (if we had any) was usually Cheerio's, Chex or Corn Flakes (Maybe my parents had an affinity for 'C' named cereals). One recent trip to the store I discovered they still make a cereal of my youth. Quisp anyone? The back of the cereal box even has some fun reading for children to do as they eat (or youthful adults). The box is very retro (despite the web-site listed on the back) and I can almost see this box coming right from the 70's. So, who wants to join me in a bowl of cereal? (Well, not IN a bowl of cereal - You know what I mean.)

22 March, 2011

Dr. Who (The Early Years) - Part 25 "Infero"

Unit has been called to assist a recent project designed to drill through the Earth's crust to discover a new energy source. The Doctor doesn't think it's such a good idea, but no one else seems to listen to his warnings. When a strange green ooze is discovered by a technician, instead of reporting it he... you guessed it - touches it. It immediately affects him and he begins to change and turns into a creature known as a Primord.

As the Doctor's precautions go unanswered he decides to work on the Tardis. He's removed the console and is attempting to repair it, in hopes of traveling once more. He tells Liz he feels trapped. With her help, the console works and the Doctor disappears. But it looks like he hasn't moved at all and Liz is not in the room with him. Going outside he's immediately shot at by one of the UNIT guards.

Instead of traveling in space or time, the Tardis has actually gone sideways into a parallel dictatorial world. He meets Section Leader Liz Shaw and the Brigade Leader Lethbridge-Stewart who do not know who he is and believes he's a spy. He's interrogated and threatened with execution. He's ultimately thrown into a prison cell where the Doctor makes a startling discovery.

Though this world is running parallel, it's also slightly ahead in time. He finds out what the ooze is turning people into and that penetrating the Earth's crust will result in the destruction of Earth. His warnings are again ignored, but he is able to convince the UNIT counterparts to help him get back to his Earth so he may warn them. Reluctantly, they agree in face of their own deaths.

The Doctor arrives back to his Earth before penetrate of the Earth's crust but project director Stahlman sabotages the equipment so the drilling does not stop. Having come into contact with the ooze he also changes into a Primord. The Doctor convinces the staff, and the Brigadier, of the dangers and they all help to shut the operation down.

WHO: Elizabeth "Liz" Shaw


REASON FOR DEPARTURE: Though she is never given a proper exit story, it's explained in the next story she returns to Cambridge. In actuality, the producers decided against renewing her contract because they wanted someone not as intelligent as the Doctor to give him someone to explain things to, for the sake of the audience. Ironically, Carol John was pregnant and was about to inform the producers she would not be returning.

NEXT: Master Grant

15 March, 2011

Dr. Who (The Early Years) - Part 24 "Spearheads From Space"

The Doctors trial is over and the Time Lords have done exactly as they said they would do. He has regenerated and suffering from memory loss, primarily in regards to the Tardis and it's functions. They materialize the Tardis on Earth and he stumbles out, traumatized by the regeneration. The Doctor is exhausted and somewhat erratic, a trademark for future regeneration stories.

Does anyone know the golden rule when finding a flashing meteorite from space? ALWAYS! Wait, no. NEVER touch it! But some people are not so smart. The Time Lords have seen fit to deposit the Doctor on Earth at the start of an Nestene invasion. The Nestene is able to control plastic such as dolls or mannequins, and a nearby plastic facility has begun to produce mannequins en masse.

Investigating the strange meteoroid storms is the Brigadier from UNIT. He has sent for Liz Shaw who is an expert on Meteors and the like. But when he hears a man is found in Oxley Woods along with a police box, he is immediately aware the Doctor may be available to help. Because of the regeneration, he doesn't recognize the Doctor, but the Doctor recognizes him. However the Doctor is still tired and exhausted, so he's left to rest in the hospital.

The Nestene has already detected the Doctor may be a threat and attempts to kidnap him from the hospital. The Doctor escapes however, only to be shot by a UNIT soldier. He's only grazed though, and quickly recovers. The action seems to have fueled the Doctor and he's ready to go. He procures a set of clothes as well as a car and heads for UNIT and his Tardis. But the Tardis is locked and the Brigadier has the key.

Reluctantly the Doctor helps, but tricks Liz into acquiring the key to the Tardis. She doesn't believe the Tardis is a time machine and sees no harm in giving it to him. The urge to run overtakes the Doctor and he attempts to take off. But the dematerialization code has also been changed, he is marooned. He formally agrees to help as long as he is able to work on his Tardis and have Liz Shaw's help.

With the combined resources of UNIT and equipment from the Tardis, the Doctor is able to create a device capable of stopping the Autons. Problem is, he has to get close to the Nestene to affectively use it. With UNIT's help, he makes his way to the Nestene, but the device fails to work. Fortunately Liz is able to quickly determine what's wrong. The Nestene has been defeated.... for now.

WHO: Liz Shaw

PLANET OF ORIGIN: Earth, circa 1970

REASON FOR JOINING: Enlisted by the Brigadier, she remains to help the Doctor as his assistant.

NEXT: Operation: Mole-Bore

08 March, 2011

Dr. Who (The Early Years) - Part 23 "The Second Doctor In Review"

Notes: Taking over for William Hartnell was a risky venture. But to continue the series it was necessary. Patrick ultimately decided to play the Doctor as a sort of flute playing 'cosmic hobo'. If he wouldn't have been able to pull it off so well, it's unlikely Doctor Who would still be around today. It's also evident the current Doctor, played by Matt Smith, has taken on a lot of Troughton's mannerisms. Like the first Doctor, this incarnation also had trouble steering the Tardis and operating many of the controls. Some of the mystery surrounding the Doctor fades towards the end of Patrick Troughton's tenure as the Time Lords are introduced as his 'people', though the name Gallifrey is to be given to his home planet. Patrick loved playing the Doctor (despite a gruelling schedule) and likely would have continued if not for his manager and wife who both urged him to move on so not to be type-cast. At the end of the War Games, the Time Lords capture the Doctor and put him on trial for breaking their rule of non-intervention. The Doctor points out how he has actually helped people. As punishment, the Time Lords take his companions away, force him into a regeneration and maroon him on Earth, with his knowledge of the Tardis taken from him.
Name: The Doctor (Second) 1966-1969
Actor: Patrick Troughton
03/25/1920 - 03/28/1987
Occupation: Time Traveller
First Seen: Earth, 1986 (Inside the Tardis)
First Episode: Power of the Daleks (Season 4)
Last Seen: Gallifrey, (year unspecified)
Last Episode: War Games (Season 6)
Special Appearance: The Three Doctors (1972-1973), The Five Doctors (1983), The Two Doctors (1985)

Notes: When the Doctor initially regenerated, Ben had a hard time believing it was the same person. He noted not only did the Doctor look different, he acted different as well. It wasn't till much later he finally accepted the truth. Much like Ian and Steven did with the first Doctor, Ben was the central action male. During his travels with the Doctor he continued to watch over Polly and their friendship strengthened. At the end of the 'Faceless Ones' adventure, he realized the date was the same as when he originally left with the Doctor. Though asking the Doctor if he would still need his assistance, he left with Polly.
Name: Ben Jackson 1966-1967
Actor: Michael Craze
November 29th 1942 - December 7th 1998
Occupation: Navy
First Seen: (With the second Doctor) Earth, 1986
First Episode: Power of the Daleks (Season 4)
Last Seen: Earth, 1966 (Same day he originally met the Doctor)
Last Episode: the Faceless Ones (Season 4)

Notes: Unlike Ben, Polly was more open to accepting the Doctor at his word when he said he was the same person. She may have seemed like another pretty face, and admittedly had her screaming moments, she was very intelligent and on several occasions proved her worth as an assistant. Her friendship with Ben grew while on-board the Tardis though it's unclear in the series if they became a couple during or after the travels in the Tardis. She enjoyed travelling with the Doctor as much as Ben did, but when he decided to leave, she went with him.
Name: Polly 1966-1967
Actress: Anneke Wills
October 20th 1941 -
Occupation: Personal Assistant
First Seen: (With the second Doctor) Earth, 1986
First Episode: Power of the Daleks (Season 4)
Last Seen: Earth, 1966 (Same day she originally met the Doctor)
Last Episode: the Faceless Ones (Season 4)

Notes: When the Doctor first met Victoria she was a captive of the Daleks. Her father was experimenting in time travel and that caught the Daleks attention. She was rescued by the Doctor and when her father was killed by the Daleks, she agreed to join the Doctor, who promised her father he'd look after her. Victoria was mainly a screamer, though her screams were the key to destroying at least one menace. Jamie had a particular fondness for her and looked over her as best he could. Despite the love she felt from both the Doctor and Jamie, she longed for a simple life once more. When the opportunity arouse, Victoria decided to stay on Earth with a family who agreed to take her in.
Name: Victoria Waterfield 1967-1968
Actress: Deborah Watling
January 2nd 1948 -
Occupation: Civilian
First Seen: Skaro, 1866 (From Earth, though held captive by the Daleks)
First Episode: Evil of the Daleks (Season 4)
Last Seen: England, circa 1968
Last Episode: Fury From the Deep (Season 5)
Special Appearance: Dimensions In Time (1993), Downtime (1995)

Notes: When Jamie began travelling with the Doctor, he had no knowledge of technology as we know it. You can imagine how he might have reacted to knowledge of such highly advanced technology such as a Tardis. Perhaps it was a reason he travelled with the Doctor for as long as he did, trying to take in all there was to learn. Though he was always perplexed by our strange modern inventions, he was quick to accept them. With Ben's departure, Jamie became the main 'action' hero. He was fearless and courageous and did his best to look after both Victoria and Zoe. When Patrick Troughton decided to leave the series, Frazer also figured it would be a good time to depart. So, during the War Games, he was slated to leave. Jamie is one of two to have the distinction of being the first to visit the Doctors home planet. (Outside of Susan of course). The Time Lords returned Jamie back home, with his memory wiped of the time he spent with the Doctor, besides the first adventure.
Name: Jamie McCrimmon 1966-1969
Actor: Frazer Hines
September 22, 1944 -
Occupation: Highlander Piper
First Seen: Earth, 1746
First Episode: the Highlanders (Season 4)
Last Seen: Gallifrey (though unnamed) and returned to Earth, 1746
Last Episode: the War Games (Season 6)
Special Appearance: The Five Doctors (1983), The Two Doctors (1985)

Notes: There is never any mention of the exact date Zoe is from, but it is is sometime in the 21st century. She couldn't be more different from Jamie in many ways. Unlike Jamie she is from the future and has an intelligence rivalling the Doctors (at least she likes to think so.) Unlike many of the Doctors female companions she wasn't much of a screamer (though did on occasion), and was able to help the Doctor solve whatever was puzzling them. When Frazer and Patrick decided to leave the series, Wendy decided it was also her time to move on. After the Doctor was captured by the Time Lords she was returned back to her own time-line with her memory wiped of the time she spent with the Doctor, besides her first adventure.
Name: Zoe Heriot 1968-1969
Actress: Wendy Padbury
December 07, 1947 -
Occupation: Scientist (astrophysicist)
First Seen: 21st Century Space Station
First Episode: the Wheel In Space (Season 5)
Last Seen: Gallifrey (though unnamed) and returned to the 21 Century Space Station
Last Episode: the War Games (Season 6)
Special Appearance: The Five Doctors (1983)

NEXT: "I Shaw My Dolly Move" [IN COLOUR]

01 March, 2011

Dr. Who (The Early Years) - Part 22 "The War Games"

Shall We Play A Game?
The Tardis crew has landed on Earth again, or so it would seem. They are shocked to discover they have landed in what looks like World War 1, in the year 1917. They befriend Jennifer Buckingham but are captured by Germans, then quickly released from a surprise Briton squad. The Tardis crew are taken into custody to determine who they are and what they are doing.

As much as it looks like Earth during World War 1, something far more sinister going on. The first evidence of this happens when General Smythe holds a court marshal for the Doctor and crew. Smythe used hypnosis to convince the rest of the tribunal they are guilty. The Doctor is sentenced to be shot, while Jamie is held with another prisoner who claims to be from 1745.

The War Games is the longest Doctor Who story with 10 parts. But there is a lot to cover as there are various wars going on from different parts of Earth's history. One of the persons responsible is known as the War Chief. He identifies himself as a Time Lord and the Doctor confirms this, while confirming he is also a Time Lord from the same planet. This is the first time we learn something about where the Doctor comes from.

The War Chief is a renegade from the same planet as the Doctor and has been helping the War Lords, constructing limited life-span Sidrat time machines (That's Tardis spelled backwards). The goal is to create an army from the survivors of these wars to conquer the galaxy. A task too daunting to deal with by himself, the Doctor is forced to contact those he ran away from - his own people, the Time Lords. He explains to Jamie and Zoe the Time Lords have a strict rule of not getting involved and for doing so he will be punished.

The leader of the War Lords find out the War Chief is double crossing them and has him executed. But because the Doctor called the Time-Lords, they are all captured. For his crimes, the War Lord is erased from history. Jamie and Zoe are sent back to their own people, and the Doctor is to be exiled on Earth, with a forced regeneration and all knowledge of the Tardis taken from him.

WHO: The Doctor (Patrick Troughton)

DEPARTURE LOCATION: Gallifrey (Though still unnamed in the series).

REASON FOR DEPARTURE: For breaking the rule of non-intervention, he is forced to regenerate.

WHO: Jamie

DEPARTURE LOCATION: Gallifrey, but returned Earth, 1746

REASON FOR DEPARTURE: Unwillingly forced to return to his own time by the Time Lords.

WHO: Zoë

DEPARTURE LOCATION: Gallifrey, but returned to the Wheel in Space in the 21st Century.

REASON FOR DEPARTURE: Unwillingly forced to return to her own time by the Time Lords.

IN TWO WEEKS: "I Shaw My Dolly Move" [IN COLOUR]

NEXT: The Second Doctor in Review