One fat geek's attempt to regenerate into a not-so-fat geek by watching the entirety of Doctor Who while walking on a treadmill

Patrick Troughton: The Bugs Bunny of Doctors

Patrick Troughton: The Bugs Bunny of Doctors

Before I get to today's viewing of The Highlanders, I need to tell a weight loss story. So, last night my wife and I were getting ready to go out on a date to see a show. I had just put away a bunch of laundry, and I chose a nice gray button-down shirt to wear. As soon as I put it on, it felt a little snug. "That's weird," I thought, "lately I have been fitting into shirts I haven't worn in ages, this should fit me fine..."  I started to button it, and it really started feeling tight. I was beginning to panic, thinking my belly had suddenly bloated in size. It was really frustrating, especially since last week I had a definite road bump in my weight loss progress. I tried to adjust the shirt a little (as if that would make any difference), when my wife looked at me and said, "Are you trying to wear one Ben's shirts?" (Ben is our 23 year old autistic son.)  All of a sudden it made perfect sense. I wasn't suddenly fatter again, I was just stupid! I had mistaken the top shirt from his basket of laundry as my own. Lord, I am moron sometimes....

Anyway, about Doctor Who: today I started The Highlanders, which is notable for a couple of reasons. First of all, it is the last pure historical story every done in the series (unless you count 1982's Black Orchid, which is set in a historical time period and with no science fiction elements, but which is not based on any real historical event.)  Second of all, it is the story that introduces Jamie McCrimmon, who would go on to be the longest running Doctor Who companion of all time.

Let's talk about that.

You Say You Want a Revolution

You Say You Want a Revolution

Given that the fourth episode of The Power of the Daleks ends on the huge Dalek factory reveal, it is no great surprise that all hell breaks out for the last two episodes. The rebel uprising that has been simmering in the background so far comes to full fruition, just as the chief of security stages his coup to seize the governorship and the army of Daleks are finally unleashed upon the colony. The level of mayhem and bloodshed is simply breathtaking for a story of this era.

Let's talk about that.

Baby Factory

Baby Factory

Back when I was in college, my best friend and I invented a fake hair metal band named Baby Factory. (I swear there's a point to this.) Their first album was titled Pre-Mature Labor, with cover artwork that showed a sweatshop factory with conveyor belts manned entirely by babies wearing hard hats. There first big single was O.B.G.Y.N. (Oh Baby, Gimme Your Number). They also had a second album titled Oedipus Complex, with a cover design showing a block of suburban tract houses with the hard hat babies out front mowing their lawns, and each house had big Roman columns framing their front doors. It's been 25 years, and every once in a while I still noodle around with the idea just because it's so fun. I even started actually writing the song once. What does that have to do with Doctor Who? Well, in today's episode there is a big reveal with the Daleks constructing a fleet of new pepperpot tanks, and then manning them with freshly-grown tenticularly blobby baby Daleks. They have literally built a Baby Factory.

Let's talk about that.

My Doctor, the First Real Doctor, Arrives

My Doctor, the First Real Doctor, Arrives

Okay, so I am going to admit my bias right up front: Patrick Troughton is my favorite Doctor, hands down. I can certainly understand when someone picks Tom Baker (or David Tennant, depending on their age), there is a strong argument to be made for either. But it was Patrick Troughton who invented the Doctor as we know him today. William Hartnell was a proto-Doctor, a waspish prick at the end of his first life who spent most of his time imperiously bossing people around with wild arrogance. With the Second Doctor we finally see the mirthful genius who can effortlessly glide between clownishness and terrifying resolve. He set the template for every Doctor to follow, and it is his performance that energized and rejuvenated the show.

Let's talk about that.

Farewell Mondas, and Farewell William Hartnell

Farewell Mondas, and Farewell William Hartnell

This morning marks a huge milestone all around. For me personally, I weighed in at a new low record since I started this project, which is particularly nice given the frustrating trend last week. For Doctor Who, this morning's viewing was the end of the First Doctor's era. Yes, he is my least favorite Doctor. And yes, although I feel badly about his health struggles in later life, I am not much enamored of his behavior and attitudes on set. Even so, he was enormously popular at the time and was by all accounts a great ambassador to the children who loved the program. His final performance (minus his absence from the third episode due to illness) was spot on, and he was given a superb story to have as his swan song.

Cybermen! We've Got Real Mondasian Cybermen! Yay!

Cybermen! We've Got Real Mondasian Cybermen! Yay!

So yeah, I've kind of been looking forward to this story. To my mind, the first Doctor has three truly landmark stories: An Unearthly ChildThe Daleks, and The Tenth Planet. There are others I enjoy more, such as Marco PoloThe Aztecs, or The Dalek Invasion of Earth, but those first three are the ones which are foundational to Doctor Who. The first story, because of course. The second story, because however sick I may be of the Daleks there is no denying that without them there would be no Doctor Who at all. And today's story, because not only does it introduce the second most popular ongoing villains (in my mind it goes Daleks, Cybermen, The Master) but it also introduces the concept of regeneration. Although, it is worth noting that regeneration doesn't get a name for many more years, not until the Third Doctor reaches his end on the Planet of the Spiders. Of course I have been looking forward to today's story, how could I not be?

Let's talk about that.

Murder, Mayhem, Buried Treasure... You Know, Pirate Stuff

Murder, Mayhem, Buried Treasure... You Know, Pirate Stuff

What's not to love about The Smugglers? It contains betrayal and other turns of plot, it has a massive brawl between the brigands and the militia with our heroes stuck right between, and it contains the puzzle that leads to the buried treasure. As for me today, my five-day moving average has finally moved back in the right direction. This makes me a very happy boy indeed.

Let's talk about that.

Thin Ice

Thin Ice

Just some quick, non-spoilery thought's on this week's new episode Thin Ice: I loved the interplay between the Doctor and Bill, and especially the Doctor's playfulness as he acclimated his new companion to time travel. There is a nice reference to The Butterfly Effect from Ray Bradbury's A Sound of Thunder (what happend to poor Pete, indeed?). Some of the accents were a bit too thick for my poor American ears to catch the first (or even second) time around, but the interplay was clear enough it didn't really matter. On the whole I thought it was a fun episode, perhaps not stellar but certainly better than most of Capaldi's first season. My only big complaint is that there was a particularly dodgy effect at the climax of the story, bad enough to detract from the story. It wasn't quite as bad as the CGI in The Lazerus Experiment, but it wasn't much better either. I expect more from the current production team and budget.

Polly Want a Crack at Being a Witch

Polly Want a Crack at Being a Witch

Here we are again, with yet another fine example of how good the historical stories can be. The Smugglers is set in 17th century coastal England, with a small town caught between a churchwarden with a secret, a pirate captain and his bloodthirsty crew, and a clueless squire. There is no need for aliens or monsters to create drama, there are plenty of human monsters to be found. In fact, what little actual footage remains of this story only still exist because it was manually edited out of prints in circulation for foreign broadcast -- footage that was cut for being too violent, and then survived in a file while the rest of the print was lost.

Let's talk about that.

I'd Piss On A Spark Plug If I Thought It'd Do Any Good

I'd Piss On A Spark Plug If I Thought It'd Do Any Good

Poor Dodo. Sent off to the country to rest towards the end of episode two, and never given a proper goodbye. Nothing more than a quick note sent at the end of episode four saying she is feeling better, has decided to stay in London, and she sends the Doctor her love. That's about as unceremonious a dumping as you can get on this show. She's the first companion to ever just wander off halfway through a story and never bother to come back. I'd say she will be missed but... really, she won't.  But hey, lots of other cool stuff happened by the end of The War Machines.

Let's talk about that.

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Latest Posts

Patrick Troughton: The Bugs Bunny of Doctors
5/7/2017 8:18 PM
You Say You Want a Revolution
5/6/2017 8:53 PM
Baby Factory
5/5/2017 7:45 PM
My Doctor, the First Real Doctor, Arrives
5/4/2017 8:47 PM
Farewell Mondas, and Farewell William Hartnell
5/3/2017 3:11 PM
Cybermen! We've Got Real Mondasian Cybermen! Yay!
5/2/2017 5:13 PM
Murder, Mayhem, Buried Treasure... You Know, Pirate Stuff
5/1/2017 2:39 PM
Thin Ice
5/1/2017 9:09 AM
Polly Want a Crack at Being a Witch
4/30/2017 3:26 PM
I'd Piss On A Spark Plug If I Thought It'd Do Any Good
4/29/2017 3:07 PM

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