“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