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02:29 am: Classic Who notes

Full Circle: liked this mostly. Core plot the type of thing doctor who is quite good at. Adric works better with 4 than 5 I think. Spotted a reference from 'The Big Bang' to this, which I wasn't expecting.

State of Decay: suffers from being too similar to Full Circle - another long-lost colony ship. Also how many people were that in that village to supply how many guards each years? Enjoyed mostly, though.

Warrior's Gate: did not like this one bit. Actually, not fair, did like the crew's apathy. Otherwise, what? It tries to be deep but there's nothing there.

Keeper of Traaken: ok, in parts good - I like Nyssa. But either I wasn't paying atttebtuon or it failed certain basic narrative coherency test.

Logopolis: didn't watch this time around as had already seen

Castrovalva: enjoyed mostly. As with most serials around this era it could have done with a good script edit to remove an episode worth of running around and getting captured and escaping. They missed a trick when they figure out the recursion, I think - a brief shot where we can see the Doctor looking over a balcony at a small and distant himself could be accomplished with the technology of the time and would have sold it. Logopolis had a similar part which I think was sold less well in that. Or possibly a moment of 'you stay here and I'll open this door and go through and oh there you are, so it's not just an identical room'.

Four to Doomsday: Did not much like. Peter is fine and Nyssa gets a nice bit where she resolves a cliffhanger, but there turns out to be one thing worse than the Doctor keeps being imprisoned and escaping which is to not bother, even to not worry much when he's blatantly disabling your security cameras. It never manages to convey any real sesnse of urgency either - despite the premise and title - we don't see the superweapon tested on anything.
The scene with the doctor's EVA and the ball was a nice one, though

Kinda is not out on DVD yet, so i skipped it.

The visitation was fun. This one has more running around and being captured and escaping etc than the narrative seems to demand, probably because it didn't have enough actual plot to go round for the Doctor and his 4 companions. (counting Richard Mace). It gets away with that somehow, and Nyssa, though apparently stuck in the tardis gets a moment of awesome when she takes down the android.

Black Orchid is a curious one. It's often described as the last 'pure historical', but all it would take is changing one line in episode 2 where Lady Cranleigh explains the plot to make it an aliens in past story - George serves the same narrative purpose as many alien monsters over the years. I don't think it works as a story. As a character piece it works, and I wonder how it would have worked had they been crazy enough to remove the monster plot entirely.. It provides nice character moments for nyssa and actually shows us that tegan can enjoy herself.

Earthshock. Mixed bag. From the visuals in the later part I get the idea someone had dimly recalled 'tomb' and had got the idea that cybermen removing themselves from shrinkwrap was scary. It's not, especially when the cybermen thus released do not contribute to numbers as you've only got 4 or whatever blokes in suits. Adric, of course, dies after professing his intent to go home. Instead he died saving um, well it turns out to be pointless doesn't it. I think he was cheated of a proper blaze of glory actually saving people.

Time flight was quite an enjoyable episode. It makes no sense at all, of course but keeps moving fast enough that I didn't care. There was one particular shot that I can't decide whether it is a brilliant artistic decision or not: when they are in a badly done CSO shot with Heathrow in the background and then they realise that Heathrow is an hallucination and it vanishes to be replaced by 140000000 BC. It's not so they can do a straight fade to the real background cos they don't - they have a flash and cut to the same people rearranged in front of studio rocks.

Arc of Infinity was not my favourite episode. Ignoring the science fail and associated plotholes - 'antimatter' does not mean what they think it means, but I can overlook that. I find it harder to overlook the big coincidence ("Partners in Crime" and "The End if Time" did a lot of shifting to justify people finding the doctor again, and it's just odd for Tegan to reappear without much remark on this being unusual...). Episode 4 features the single most urgency killing sequence i've seen, when the Doctor and Nyssa are racing against the clock to find a location and so visit every youth hostel in the city politely enquiring whether they've seen someone. it was getting quite exciting until then, too... I wonder if it was under-running?

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[User Picture]
From:snowspinner
Date:August 21st, 2010 01:36 am (UTC)
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Four to Doomsday was actually the first Davison story filmed, because it mostly just featured running around and being actiony, so it wouldn't matter if Davison hadn't figured out the character yet.

Arc of Infinity was, if I recall correctly, not under-running. It's just that they had decided to film on location in Amsterdam, so felt obliged to cram in a bunch of shots running around in Amsterdam to justify the cost.
[User Picture]
From:abigailb
Date:August 21st, 2010 01:56 am (UTC)
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Yeah. It's an odd decision to base it around location shooting and them have fully half your show shot on studio sets on a different planet. Amsterdam is really shoe-horned in there. Going for a plot of 'aliens are invading Venice this time possibly because London has become unfashionable' or 'mad scientists can do experiments in Paris too' seems to work well enough in those cases. I don't think it's even explained why Omega has set up shop on Earth at all - it would be as odd if he ended up in London, perhaps.
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