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

All Posts Term: Steven Taylor
23 post(s) found

Steven Gets His Own Planet

Steven Gets His Own Planet

So, yesterday and today are frustrating weight days. I made a lot of sustained progress in the past few weeks, so a rebound was pretty much inevitable. It doesn't make it any less demoralizing, though. Still, yesterday was awful and today was halfway back to where I was, so even though the five-day average has taken a nasty turn upwards, it does seem to be just a normal little hiccup and things are hopefully moving back on track. Lord knows my son will have me out walking around theme parks all weekend, so that will help.

Anyway, about the conclusion to The Savages -- wow, what a rip-roaring back half! You know how the most fun part of a home improvement project is the demolition? Just taking a sledge hammer to those crappy cabinets and smashing them to bits? While, the climax of this story has exactly that kind of glee. On top of that, the story marks the exit of Peter Purves as Steven, and he goes out as a triumphant hero in every possible way.

Let's talk about that.

Get a Load of That Headgear

Get a Load of That Headgear

When I first saw the ridiculous helmets the security officers wore in The Savages, I thought they must have been recycled from the Robomen in The Dalek Invasion of Earth. But no, that other ridiculously large headgear was stupid in an entirely different configuration. I don't know why the security officers wear those helmets, they seem incredibly impractical to me, but what do I know? I'm not the one harvesting life force from the local natives like some kind of technocratic vampire.

Let's talk about that.

Gunfight at the Mediocre Corral

Gunfight at the Mediocre Corral

I finished The Gunfighters today, and I really don't have much else to say about it beyond what I said yesterday. On the upside, the character of Johnny Ringo shows up and the actor playing him is quite good. On the downside, that stupid song continues to happen throughout every single scene, frequently repeating the same block of lyrics three or four times. At the time it aired, it was the lowest-rated story in Doctor Who history, and as a result it is also the story that put the nail in the coffin of the pure historicals. It is also the last story to use individual titles for the episodes. From here on out, up until the modern era, there is just an overall story title broken up by part numbers.

Let's talk about that.

The Doctor Has a Toothache. I Have a Headache.

The Doctor Has a Toothache. I Have a Headache.

Look, it's not that The Gunslingers is awful. It's just not particularly good, either. I will grant you that at the moment there are any number of fine British actors who are able to convincingly play Americans with flawless accents. I'd even be willing to bet that in 1966 there were equally talented actors. Heck, that same year over in Italy and Spain they made The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, one of the greatest spaghetti westerns of the era. One presumes those actors simply weren't available on Doctor Who's 1966 budget, so instead we get the likes of Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, and Doc Holliday performed in mostly proper BBC English with the edges roughed up into something vaguely like a cowboy accent. Oh, and we get an original song. Ugh, that song...

Let's talk about that.

At Least They Got the Math Right

At Least They Got the Math Right

Here is the nicest thing I can say about The Celestial Toymaker: In the Trilogic Game that the Doctor is compelled to play, the Toymaker asserts that the correct solution will take exactly 1,023 moves. Given that there are ten pieces in the stack, and the formula for calculating the number of moves is 2^n - 1, it will absolutely take precisely 1,023 moves to complete the puzzle with no errors. Bear in mind, though, that the moves are extremely mechanical and not in the least bit challenging. Playing methodically and moving one piece per second, it would take around seventeen minutes to complete. Of course, the Doctor was slow-rolling it despite the occasional nudges by the Toymaker. So the playing time lines up pretty well with the hour or so that Steven and Dodo spent playing the other games. So, yay for mathematical and temporal accuracy?

As for the rest, let's talk about that.

Playing With the Queen of Hearts

Playing With the Queen of Hearts

Another day, another story in which William Hartnell is written out of the story after the first episode, not to return until the fourth. This time around, with The Celestial Toymaker, the plan was in place to fire him and replace him with a new actor. Somehow he managed a stay of execution, for at least a few more stories, so he will return with tomorrow's viewing. But then there's a whole other bit of drama there that I will go into tomorrow. But as for today's viewing, I was hoping for something a little bit gonzo and imaginative. Instead, I got something dull and predictable.

Let's talk about that.

Somebody Set Up Us the Bomb!

Somebody Set Up Us the Bomb!

So, there wasn't another space trial. I guess that's an improvement with today's viewing? Not by much, though. I do feel like I missed out on an obvious virus sickness / Monoid / mononucleosis joke yesterday, and that saddens me heartily. As for how tedious The Ark is, here's some fun trivia for you: 1) Actor Peter Purves (Steven) thought the Monoids looked ridiculous, what with them basically being dudes wearing Beatles wigs to cover their eyes and then holding a ping pong ball in their mouth to be the singular eye. 2) Director Michael Imison also didn't like the story. 3) Probably not coincidentally, just before filming for this story Michael Imison was told that his contract as a BBC director was not going to be renewed. Is it any wonder that The Ark is such a disappointment?

Let's talk about that.

Oh, Goody. A Space Trial. My Favorite.

Oh, Goody. A Space Trial. My Favorite.

Before I get to today's two episodes from The Ark, I have to crow a bit. This morning marks the two-month anniversary of this project, and this morning for the first time I weighed in a full 20 lbs lighter than when I started the project. It will take a few more days for the moving average to catch up, but my daily weight was there. That's an average of 10 lbs per month lost, which is right there on the aggressive end of my goal of 1-2 lbs per week. Since we know that trends never, ever change and always carry on forever, I think it is safe to presume that by the time I finish this project after about two years I will weigh roughly 67 lbs. So that will be pretty awesome.

Anyway, about The Ark. Do I have to talk about it? Really? Ok.

Let's talk about that.

The One Where Everyone Dies

The One Where Everyone Dies

First off, so I don't bury the lede: Today my five-day moving average weight was under 290 lbs for the first time since I started this project. Can I get a what what? I am mightily pleased. On a day-to-day basis it seems like nothing is happening, and then I look at the chart and hit this kind of milestone, and I am re-invigorated.

Steven and the Huguenots

Apr 18 2017
7
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Steven and the Huguenots

Today was the first half of perhaps the most lost of all of the lost episodes. For most of them, at least some footage remains if only a fragment from a television capture or some such. But for The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve there is literally nothing except the audio track and some still photographs. There is not even a clear consensus on what the closing credits said. It's not surprising, in that this story comes on the heels of what some (not me) consider the greatest Dalek story of all time, and is instead a purely historical story with no science fiction of any kind to be found aside from the TARDIS materializing at the beginning and dematerializing at the end. In between, the story recounts a historical event that is not nearly as notorious as any of the other ones portrayed in these early historicals. On top of that, the Doctor disappears from most of the story so that it becomes a tale of Steven encountering a group of Huguenots in a tavern and being swept up in the impending wave of violence.

For me, though, I am pretty jazzed about the story. I have already said how much I enjoy the pure historicals, and this is the third one written by John Lucarotti (Marco PoloThe Aztecs). It is a foregone conclusion that this story is not going to have a happy ending, but along the way there are some things to be learned about the French Religious Wars.

Let's talk about that.

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Latest Posts

Steven Gets His Own Planet
4/27/2017 8:23 PM
Get a Load of That Headgear
4/26/2017 3:02 PM
Gunfight at the Mediocre Corral
4/25/2017 1:20 PM
The Doctor Has a Toothache. I Have a Headache.
4/24/2017 7:21 AM
At Least They Got the Math Right
4/23/2017 2:27 PM
Playing With the Queen of Hearts
4/22/2017 3:15 PM
Somebody Set Up Us the Bomb!
4/21/2017 12:07 PM
Oh, Goody. A Space Trial. My Favorite.
4/20/2017 2:27 PM
The One Where Everyone Dies
4/19/2017 2:16 PM
Steven and the Huguenots
4/18/2017 11:32 AM

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