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: Polly Wright
19 post(s) found

Farewell, Ben and Polly!

Farewell, Ben and Polly!

I wrapped up my viewing of The Faceless Ones this morning, and it is easily my favorite Second Doctor story so far. Thankfully, Ben and Polly do get a proper send-off at the end of the story, unlike Dodo in The War Games. Granted, they both disappear for all of episodes three, four, and five and for all but the last few minutes of episode six, but at least they do get a final goodbye scene with a heartfelt farewell. 

Let's talk about that.

Pay No Attention to the Crab Behind the Curtain

Pay No Attention to the Crab Behind the Curtain

One of my all-time favorite pulp novels is The Captive City by Daniel Da Cruz. In it, an entire city of American oil workers in the Middle East are cut off from the West for nearly two decades. (I am now going to spoil the ending of this obscure forty-year-old pulp novel that you will never read.) Ultimately it turns out to be a long-term plot to breed an entire generation of Americanized janissaries who can be sent into the U.S. as completely undetectable and un-suspicious terrorists under Arab control. They spend a lot of time walking around saying, "Obey Control!" and waiting for orders. Today's episodes of The Macra Terror made me think of this book, because of all the times that characters in the story walk around saying, "Obey Control!" Unfortunately, I liked that book an awful lot more than I liked this Doctor Who episode.

Let's talk about that.

I Got a Raging Case of Crabs!

I Got a Raging Case of Crabs!

Ah, The Macra Terror. It is a completely lost story, only telesnaps and very brief video clips remain to match up with the audio. I expected a story about a seaside town being invaded by giant crabs, à la Guy N. Smith's Crabs series of books. You can imagine my surprise when, instead, I got a dystopian 1984 pastiche... with giant crabs. Before I get to that, I should explain this post title since it is incredibly obscure. It comes from one of my all-time favorite web comics, Sluggy Freelance:

Anyway, about those giant crabs -- let's talk about that.

The Sexual Politics of Coffee Service

The Sexual Politics of Coffee Service

I finished The Moonbase this morning, and it was a rip-roaring finale as long as you don't spent much time thinking about the physics involved. I mean, really, the moon seems like a really impractical place to have any kind of terrestrial weather control apparatus, and don't even get me started about orbital deflection into the sun. So yeah, when I say that Kit Pedler writes more "hard science" stories, I only mean that as contrast to completely nonsensical stories like the previous one. That being said, The Moonbase is an excellent example of the kind of casual misogyny and sexism that is rampant in classic Doctor Who.

Let's talk about that.

The Phantom Piper

The Phantom Piper

As soon as I saw Kit Pedler credited as the writer for today's story, The Moonbase, I knew I was in good hands. He pitched the idea that led to The War Machines, and he also wrote The Tenth Planet. Where The Underwater Menace was a mishmash of amateur science fiction tropes thrown into a blender with no artfulness or even logical coherence, Pedler writes stories with a hard scientific edge and clearly defined characters. The only downside to the story is that the scripts had already been completed before Frazer Hines was asked to join the regular cast as Jamie McCrimmon. That leads to some issues.

Let's talk about that.

You Fools! I Shall Destroy You All!

You Fools! I Shall Destroy You All!

Ok, so, let's be honest: The Underwater Menace is... not good. I mean, it's no Planet of Giants, but it's really not good. In fact, I think it exemplifies all of the negative preconceptions of what classic Doctor Who is - cheap sets, tacky costumes, poor writing, pantomime storytelling, it's all there. Usually, for me at least, the show rises above its technical and financial limitations by presenting interesting ideas and captivating characters. But sometimes, like with this story, it's just cheap and badly written.

A Half Million Steps!

A Half Million Steps!

As of this morning, I have taken more than 500,000 steps since the start of this project. When I began nearly three months ago, it was all I could do to last 55 minutes at 3 miles per hour, reaching a grand total of 2.4 miles per day. I have been gradually increasing the speed over time, to the point where this morning I was up to 3.9 miles per hour and a total distance walked of 3.57 miles -- that's over a mile further I am walking every day. I'm not sure at what point I will cross over from walking to jogging, but I expect it will happen before I meet Sarah Jane Smith.

Anyway, today I watched the first half of The Underwater Menace on DVD. The first episode was a reconstruction using telesnaps, and I have to say that although the audio quality was superior I really do think that Loose Cannon does a better job with the video reconstruction. The DVD reconstruction was missing any descriptive subtitles during several passages where they would have been helpful to clarify the action. Also, all of the pictures were static and sometimes poorly timed, as opposed to how Loose Cannon frequently animates things by moving or panning the picture, or by cutting to facial closeups of the characters who are speaking. The second episode, however, was an honest-to-goodness real existing video. I was suddenly struck that, fully a dozen episodes into the Second Doctor's era, this was the first time I was actually seeing Patrick Troughton in action.

Let's talk about that.

Welcome Aboard, Jamie!

Welcome Aboard, Jamie!

Sure enough, Jamie McCrimmon first appeared in yesterday's viewing. But really he had very little to do with the story, he was more than a background character but less than a guest star. With today's viewing, he finally came to the foreground - first in his determination on board the ship Annabelle and then later in his decision to throw in with the Doctor permanently. That's not surprising, given that originally he was not intended to be a companion. After filming had completed on The Highlanders, actor Frazier Hines got a call from producer Innes Lloyd asking if he wanted to join the show as a regular. "But I can't," Hines replied, "you've already filmed me waving goodbye." Lloyd replied back, "Oh, we can just re-shoot that bit!" And so he agreed, and went on to become the longest running companion ever in the history of Doctor Who (at least in terms of televised episodes.)

Let's talk about that.

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.

Progress

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 of episodes viewed
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of stories viewed
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Total Steps Taken:

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Weight Progress:
 
Blue Line: 5-Day Moving Avg
Yellow Line: Daily Weight

Archives

Latest Posts

Farewell, Ben and Polly!
5/17/2017 11:26 AM
London Gatwick Airport: Now Powered by Nightmare Fuel
5/15/2017 3:42 PM
Pay No Attention to the Crab Behind the Curtain
5/14/2017 3:31 PM
I Got a Raging Case of Crabs!
5/13/2017 10:32 AM
The Sexual Politics of Coffee Service
5/12/2017 6:23 PM
The Phantom Piper
5/11/2017 2:27 PM
You Fools! I Shall Destroy You All!
5/10/2017 2:35 PM
A Half Million Steps!
5/9/2017 2:59 PM
Welcome Aboard, Jamie!
5/8/2017 7:57 PM
Patrick Troughton: The Bugs Bunny of Doctors
5/7/2017 8:18 PM

Recent Comments

Michael Montoure said:
Polo!
In: Marco!