“The Crusade:” The Lion and The Knight of Jaffa

Well hi there!

Let’s just pretend that whole gap never happened. Although y’all might need some reminding of procedures.

I have now caught up to where I am in my progress of watching Doctor Who, so each episode will be fresh in my memory when I write about it. Thus, each episode will have its own entry, unlike a serial per entry like I was writing before. The exception to this is when an episode is missing–I read transcripts for those, so there isn’t as much to say.

Also, I am now taking my own screenshots/pictures, so there won’t be any problems with pictures being unavailable. Because every picture until now was shamelessly stolen from other websites.

On with the show!

The Lion

Cover

A fair part of this episode is the Doctor and co. running around in the forest. There are some scenes in a town, though, so does the forest abruptly stop at some point? Does the episode cut out travel time? I don’t know. It wasn’t very clear where exactly this is taking place, but I gathered it is in the Middle East somewhere. Because Crusades. And there’s a Sultan of Egypt or something. I don’t know much about the Crusades, but is this even remotely historically accurate? Honestly, I’m not trying to be rude or anything, I’m just extremely ignorant about this time period.

I’m getting ahead of myself. The TARDIS materializes (without its signature noise, strangely) in a forest where some English soldiers are being attacked by guys with pointy hats. They send a message for help–is that bird wearing a hat? Why? Wouldn’t it fall off or at the bare minimum make the bird more noticeable to the enemy?

I thought the hat would be the highlight of the episode, but nope. This guy shows up.

Moustache

That is one of the most spectacular mustaches I’ve ever seen. That guy could enter that one beard contest and do reasonably well. I think he shows up again, but the director or someone must have noticed the ridiculous size of his facial hair, because it isn’t as stunning in his future scenes. Or maybe it isn’t even the same guy. WHO KNOWS?!?

So everyone gets out of the TARDIS and tries to figure out where they are. And Barbara gets captured in one of the quickest kidnappings I’ve ever seen. It’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it short. Speaking of Barbara, why does she have to be captured all the time? Is it that necessary? At least wait, I don’t know, five minutes. Whatever. At least she’s calm about it.

One of the soldiers/knights gets captured, too, while pretending to the king. Gutsy move.

Doctor Fight

Ian gets right into fighting, as usual. Putting your gladiator skills to the test, aren’t we? He bests his foe, but some of the fight is pretty terrible. Like, Ian’s pinned to the ground and about to get his head smashed in, and kind of nonchalantly rolls it to the side to avoid the oncoming club. Huh. The best part about all this fighting is that the Doctor gets to join in! He’s pretty good with a sword for someone his age, but needs help from an Englishman to finish off his foe.

Now that the fighting’s done, the Doctor and Ian return to the TARDIS to find mustache man (?) wounded and dying. Also, one of the funnier moments: Vicki, who hasn’t been seen at all during the fight, is holding a rock. As if, she’s thinking: “Oh, I can help! Let me get a rock to bean ‘em!” And then she just drops it when the Doctor comes back. I don’t know, that just struck me as funny. Why does she have a rock?

Rock

It’s official. Vicki is replacement Susan. She’s young and smart, taking all of Susan’s good traits and doing away with the incessant screaming and annoying psychic powers. Thank goodness.

The Doctor decides that they need period clothing, so he and Vicki head off to the aforementioned town to seek some out. The Doctor gets into some shenanigans with a salesman. Yadda yadda yadda.

Meanwhile Barbara and fake King Richard are captured. Barbara pretends to be the King’s sister, but doesn’t fool the Sulan’s brother, whom, in the next episode, is revealed to have a thing for the real sister. Or something like that. Anyway, the Sultan’s nice–Barbara and the knight are still prisoners, but they won’t be treated badly. Barbara ends up spilling the beans about her time-traveling adventures for some inexplicable reason (you’re supposed to keep that secret, Barbara!), but the Sultan thinks she’s just an actress. He allows her to stay as long as she tells him stories. Like Arabian Nights.

The Doctor, Ian, and Vicki meet up with King Richard and ask him to let them go rescue Barbara and the knight, but he’s throwing a bit of a temper tantrum and won’t let them. That’s the end of the episode. What a great cliffhanger.

The Knight of Jaffa

Again, this is a missing episode, so I won’t have a whole lot to say about it.

Once the King calms down, he allows the Doctor, Ian, and Vicki to go looking for Barbara. Moustache man (?) says something that I thought was pretty clever–he describes the team as “courage, loyalty, and wit.” I’m assuming Ian is courage, Vicki is loyalty, and the Doctor is wit. Not bad! Also, Vicki is now pretending to be a boy.

All I can gather from this one is that Barbara gets captured twice. First by the guy that originally captured her, taking her away from the Sultan’s protection. She escapes, but gets captured again by someone who we don’t know about yet. Come on. This isn’t even funny anymore.

And the search for Barbara continues… in The Wheel of Fortune.

Triple Post: “The Rescue,” “The Romans,” and “The Web Planet”

Here it is! The last post before I begin actively watching Doctor Who again!

“The Rescue”

This serial introduces Vicki, the Doctor’s new companion! I had to look up her name. She’s pretty neat. She’s from the future (ooooooohhhh!) and doesn’t have the silly psychic powers that Susan had.

Near the beginning of the serial, the Doctor has his obligatory “I forgot Susan wasn’t still here” moment, which felt kind of phoned-in to me

Long story short, the good guys are actually the bad guys, or something like that. Vicki ends up without any family or protectors, so she ends up joining the TARDIS crew! Kind of a depressing reason for joining.

“The Romans”

“The Romans” is the best serial I’ve seen so far, hands down. It’s another in the style of “The Aztecs” and “Marco Polo,” there aren’t any aliens or weird goings-on, it’s just good old-fashioned history that the TARDIS crew gets itself tangled up in.

The serial starts with the Doctor, Barbara, Ian, and Vicki all lounging around in a Roman villa. Which they’re occupying while the actual owner is on vacation…? A little sketchy. It turns out that the time travelers are also on vacation, and the Doctor and Vicki are getting a bit bored of lounging around all day. They decide to set out for Rome and meet Emperor Nero. The Doctor poses as a lyre player (the body of whom he found lying on the side of the road… Again, a bit sketch) to get into the Emperor’s palace.

Meanwhile Barbara and Ian are taken captive and become slaves! That escalated quickly. Ian is sent to row a galley, and Barbara is sent to the Emperor’s palace.

Shenanigans ensue! The Emperor is very funny, relishing in his power to do whatever he wants. His wife becomes jealous of his lust for Barbara and attempts to poison her. Or something! Barbara, the Doctor, and Vicki barely miss each other numerous times in the hallways. The Doctor gets out of playing the lyre (apparently he can’t play) by putting on an “Emperor’s New Clothes”-type concert–he declares that only those with refined ears can tell what he is playing. Everyone falls for it, of course, and we see the Doctor with another one of his awesome conniving looks.

Ian eventually makes it to the palace as a gladiator and fights his way toward (and eventually rescue) Barbara. Hooray for him.

The Doctor is doing something far more interesting, as he figures out that the lyre-player he is impersonating was actually an assassin sent to kill Nero! Oops. I love stuff like that, when the Doctor doesn’t quite know what’s going on, but doesn’t really mind.

Vicki and the Doctor accidentally set the Emperor’s architectural plans for his new city on fire, giving him the idea to set Rome on fire. And that, ladies and gentlemen, was the first instance of a stable time loop stable time shenanigans in Doctor Who history! Was it really the Doctor who caused Nero to set Rome ablaze? It probably would have happened anyway. Nero was a little unstable. **Upon further reflection, it’s not a time loop because Nero burning down the city isn’t what caused the Doctor to travel there. I’ll be on the lookout for the first true time loop, though!

Barbara and Ian manage to make it back to the villa before the Doctor and Vicki do, which leaves them time to get settled in again. The Doctor and Vicki return and believe that Barbara and Ian have been there lounging around the whole time. Which is hilarious.

“The Web Planet”

After the amazingness that was “The Romans,” I knew that the next serial I watched would not be very good. What I wasn’t expecting was “The Web Planet.”

It’s just… aargh! Bugs everywhere! People in silly costumes! Why should I care that these bee/butterfly hybrids have lost their wings/homeland? The ants have better costumes! I should be rooting for them! And they can control people with gold! That’s much better than you can do, you silly bees.

The serial starts of with a nice acknowledgement of the previous one; Vicki still doesn’t believe Barbara and Ian actually did something in Rome. That was literally the best part of the entire serial for me. It took me two months to watch the whole thing, because I was so confused all the time. The serial attempts to split all the characters up again, which worked when the setting was familiar (like in “The Aztecs” or “The Romans”) or after the world has been set up (like in “The Sensorites” or “The Daleks”). “The Web Planet,” however, flings all the characters in seemingly random directions, and they keep getting captured and the bee people keep showing up, and aargh.

I can’t even attempt to explain the plot. I don’t understand what happened in this serial. Not even the ending.

And the TARDIS departs for more grand adventures… Fortunately, back to Earth this time.

Keep on the lookout for the first episode of “The Crusade:” “The Lion!”

Regarding my Unexpected Hiatus

Hello, internet. I’ve¬†awakened from my slumber.

Don’t get me wrong, I love writing posts for this blog. It’s just… when I first watched “The Rescue” I was doing something else at the same time and pretty distracted. I still can’t remember the name of the new companion. Since I didn’t know what was going on the first time I watched it, I didn’t have very much to say about it, and didn’t want to put the effort into making a post about it. That, coupled with my extreme reluctance to try to figure out the plot of “The Web Planet,” has stalled my Doctor Who Journey.

I’ve wanted to write about “The Romans” for a while now; it’s the serial that prompted me to create this blog! It’s funny and serious at the same time, which to me is what makes Doctor Who in general so captivating.

Here’s what I’m going to do: I’ll write a post smushing three serials together: “The Rescue,” “The Romans,” and “The Web Planet.” It’ll mostly be about “The Romans,” but the other two are added in so you know I actually did watch them! Even though their “review” will probably only be a sentence or two long. We’ll see.

This triple post will come tomorrow! Deadline for self set!

“The Dalek Invasion of Earth”

I have to admit, I didn’t like this serial while I was watching it. Two reasons: 1) The “Robomen” looked and acted very silly. 2) I didn’t understand why the Daleks were there in the first place. They want to move the Earth… why? To turn it into a giant war machine? Okay, I guess that’s pretty scary.

Looking back on it, though, it was actually pretty good. The deserted London was really creepy. Some interesting new characters were introduced, and my favorite crew members play a big role, too. Plus, this serial marks the return of the Daleks, and thus Doctor Who’s first recurring baddie.

So, the Daleks have taken over the world and have converted almost every human into mind slaves called Robomen. However, the mind control only works for so long; after that, the Robomen die. Because they’re not human anymore. Whatever. After running around avoiding Robomen for a bit, the Doctor and Ian are captured, while Barbara and Susan find a hidden resistance group.

The Doctor and Ian sit in their cell, trying to figure a way out, while another cell-mate is asking the Doctor annoying questions. Here, the Doctor says one of the funniest lines I’ve heard so far, while handing the guy an unnecessary piece of equipment: “Take this and shut up.” It’s just, wow, the Doctor’s really angry! The line seems really out of character for him.

The Doctor and Ian eventually escape the cell, but the Doctor is captured again and is going to be turned into a Roboman! Gasp! So the resistance comes to save the day with high-powered explosives that don’t do much. Oh, well. The Doctor is rescued, at least.

After the attack, Ian is left on board the Dalek ship. Susan and the Doctor end up traveling with a bunch of resistance members, one of whom is Susan’s love interest. Hooray for Susan.

BUT HOLY DAVROS BARBARA ENDS UP RUNNING DALEKS OVER WITH A TRUCK SOMEHOW! That’s awesome. As a Barbara fan, I appreciate this moment of Dalek destruction.

The Dalek ship takes Ian to a mine where apparently he will spend the rest of his days. The Daleks want to be able to pilot the Earth around. I don’t know. They’re going to lower a bomb into a mine shaft. Anyway, somehow Ian ends up INSIDE the bomb capsule while trying to disarm it. Sure. The Doctor arrives and manages to stop its descent in time for Ian to escape. Through technobabble, the bomb is able to go off without destroying the planet, and instead just destroys the Daleks. All of them. Yep, the entire Dalek invasion force relocated to that one mineshaft. Well, I suppose it’s plausible.

The TARDIS crew get ready to leave when the Doctor notices that Susan has grown very attached to that certain resistance member. He ends up locking her out of the TARDIS, and tells her that she needs to make a life for herself. His parting quote is particularly touching: “One day, I shall come back. Yes, I shall come back. Until then, there must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties. Just go forward in all your beliefs, and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine. Goodbye, my dear. Goodbye, Susan.”

I really, really, didn’t like Susan, and was glad to see her go, but this moment was sad. And also confusing. What’s so bad about Gallifrey that the Doctor can’t just drop her off there? And why was she even with the Doctor in the first place? I think some of my questions might be answered (if vague spoilers of The Three Doctors and The Five Doctors have anything to say about it), but it is a little weird just leaving her so abruptly.

Oh, well. At least she’s gone. And now there’s a void that can never be filled. Or can it? The Doctor needs a replacement companion, and there’s one waiting for him in the next serial, The Rescue!

“Planet of Giants”

Here we are at Series 2! I can’t believe I’ve made it this far! I couldn’t believe it at the time, either.

I thought this episode was actually going to have giants in it–I was that fooled by the title. However misguided I was, I actually did enjoy this episode. It took the “I’m shrunk, ahh!” cliche and put a new spin on it. Here, the dangers are not the oversized animals, but instead an insecticide that will harm the intrepid adventurers just as much as it harms the insects it was designed for. I was also impressed at how the adventurers managed to actually accomplish some good deeds, instead of running around trying to figure out how to return to full size. I suppose they already know how to reverse the minimization–just get back to the TARDIS!

Summary time: The TARDIS materializes in a rocky canyon, and the company soon realizes that they have been miniaturized. The Doctor says that the “space pressure” was too high. What a load of bull. The crew steps outside to investigate and find dead creatures everywhere. A gunshot is heard, and the crew discovers a murder has taken place. And then a cat appears! There’s a cat! I love cats! Hooray!

The cat forces the crew to separate; Barbara and Ian run into a briefcase and are transported inside a lab. The Doctor and Susan run in the opposite direction and are stuck outside. Meanwhile, the viewer has been filled in on the situation of the murder. Apparently, there’s this insecticide that this one guy wants to sell, but someone else discovered that it was too dangerous, and so he was murdered. Hooray for ruthless businessmen!

While finding a place to hide, Barbara and Ian stumble across another dead ant. Barbara touches it and unknowingly comes into contact with the deadly insecticide. If she doesn’t get back to the TARDIS soon, she’ll die!

The Doctor and Susan find their way inside, and the crew saves the day by accomplishing the almost impossible–making a phone call. Hey, it’s hard when you’re one inch tall! The people on the other end figure out that someone’s been murdered and come to arrest the evil businessman. Hooray! Also, there is fire involved. Not sure how that went exactly.

As the TARDIS materializes at its next destination, we (as viewers) realize it’s high time for another Dalek episode. Will these evil abominations return? Short answer: yes. Next: The Dalek Invasion of Earth.

“The Reign of Terror”

Returning to normality, today I write about “The Reign of Terror!” Two episodes of this serial are, unfortunately, lost. There is plenty of other material to cover, however!

From “The Sensorites,” the Doctor has resolved to dump Barbara and Ian back where they belong. He actually manages to¬† land the TARDIS on Earth, but the gang quickly realizes that they are again not in the correct time and are in fact in revolutionary France. While exploring, they stumble across a seemingly abandoned house, which is actually a safe house for people hiding from the Reign of Terror. Unfortunately, soldiers discover the house, and Barbara, Ian, and Susan are captured. The Doctor is left stranded while the house is torched.

The Doctor is rescued by a small boy. Hooray! He sets off to rescue Barbara and Ian. He is waylaid by a burly man who forces him to dig a trench, along with other debtors. Why would anyone force an obviously old man to do manual labor? Anyway, the Doctor pulls one of his famous tricks by pretending to find money in the trench and then hitting the burly man in the back of the head. Ouch!

The Doctor eventually makes it to Paris, after many shots of him walking down what appears to be the same road over and over again. He cons his way into a fancy officer’s uniform, or something. In any case, it includes a hilarious feathered hat. The Doctor plays his new role very well. I was impressed.

At this point I wasn’t really caring what Barbara, Ian, and Susan were doing. They escaped from prison a couple of times, but Susan, at least, was thrown back in, because the Doctor ended up rescuing her.

The missing episodes were the ones that had Napoleon and Robespierre, and I was disappointed that I couldn’t see them in action. Actually, episode six might have had Robespierre; I don’t remember. But I definitely didn’t see Napoleon.

Long story short, everybody ends up safe, and the Doctor finally, FINALLY, accepts that Barbara and Ian are with him for the long run.

And that rounds of Series 1! I thought it was a little weird how there wasn’t a finale or anything. There was only the title of the next episode, just like every episode before it. I think that might be how television worked back then, though. Plus, there was only a gap of a month between Series 1 and 2, which also seems odd.

There is a nice little line from the Doctor, though: “Well, unlike the old adage, my boy, our destiny is in the stars, so let’s go and search for it…”

Next up: Series 2 and Planet of the Giants!

Coming Soon

Hello. I told myself that I would try to keep posts about real life, especially those apologizing for a lack of updates, to a minimum. However, I feel that since I’ve been gone without a trace for the past two weeks or so, people who are interested in The Doctor Who Journey deserve an explanation, and at least something to read!

If you haven’t read my info page yet, I’m in college. For the past two weeks I’ve had more work than usual to do, and on top of that there was a lot of drama over where I’m going to live next year. Well, you’ll be pleased to know that I’m going to have one of the largest doubles in the building. Whee.

During that stressful time, I had forgotten that writing is actually pretty therapeutic, especially writing about one of my favorite things in the whole wide world: Doctor Who! But never fear, a new post will appear before the weekend. That’s right, before the weekend. Please feel free to remind me if it hasn’t happened. But now I’ve set a deadline! It’s sure to get done!

Thanks for your patience!

C-PM