Posts Tagged ‘doctor who’

How Many Romanas Are There?

January 2, 2012

Back for the new year where I will hopefully be writing much more often.

So, I’ve been working through some classic Doctor Who and I just finished The Androids of Tara (part 4 of the Key To Time series).  This is one of the better classic Who serials, probably because Douglas Adams was a part of the writing team at the time (he would take over as script editor on the last serial of this season) and he really knows how to get the best out of an absurd premise such as Doctor Who (I love the show, but let’s face facts).

Anyway, this series takes place on the planet Tara, a world with a feudal government, but very advanced technology (androids, electrified swords, crossbows that fire electric bolts).  The Doctor and Romana arrive and the Doctor decides to go fishing while Romana looks for the fourth segment of the Key To Time.  Romana easily acquires the fourth segment, but is discovered by a Count who finds her appearance very interesting.  Meanwhile, the Doctor is discovered by men working for the Prince.

It turns out that Romana looks exactly like the Princess of Tara and the Count thinks her to be an android replica.  He has plans to take the throne, and now Romana is a key part in those plans.  As Romana is kept prisoner, the Doctor is taken to the Prince where he is asked to help fix an android replica of the Prince for his coronation.  The Prince and his men suspect the Count’s treachery and want to be prepared.

What follows is a tale of political intrigue and a fantastic sword fight between the Doctor and the Count.  Tom Baker shows some impressive swordsmanship in this one.

Of course, this serial takes place during the Doctor’s time with K-9, so he is a big help to the Doctor and some occasional comic relief as well.  I like how, depending on the circumstances, the Doctor may or may not take K-9 with him, but he always winds up calling him with his whistle eventually.

Also, the way Romana changes outfits in every serial is kind of hilarious, yet interesting in that she always tries to fit in to her surroundings (she has an outfit specifically for Tara because it’s “what they’re wearing right now”).

This is classic Who at it’s best.  If you get a chance to see it, I definitely recommend it.  As of this writing (Jan. 2nd, 2012) it is streaming on Netflix.

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Doctor Who and the Outlandish Adventure

January 28, 2011

Initially, I told myself I was only going to write movie reviews on this blog, but then I thought, why be so limiting?

So, here’s a bit of television to delight and entertain.

You will believe a bus can fly!

Doctor Who: Planet of the Dead

Cast:  David Tennant, Michelle Ryan, Lee Evans, Noma Dumezweni, Adam James, Reginald Tsiboe, Ellen Thomas, Victoria Alcock, Daniel Kaluuya, David Ames

Director:  James Strong

The second Doctor Who special of David Tennant’s final run was different from a lot of what we had been introduced to in the new Doctor Who series.  Instead of opening with the Doctor landing the TARDIS and walking about or a brief bit of terror involving our “creature of the week,” we instead are treated to a museum heist in progress.  A daring cat burglar scales from the top of a gallery to steal a golden chalice of some kind.

After gaining the prize, our thief reveals herself as a woman.  She exits to meet her accomplice, only to find him being arrested.  Immediately, she jumps on a bus to escape the police surrounding the area.  Just as the bus departs, the Doctor also boards.

The rest of the episode revolves around wormholes, a race of fly-people called Tritovores, and a desert planet.  I don’t want to go into full details or examine the whole plot because, frankly, I think you need to watch it for yourself.  I will say that I loved Michelle Ryan as Lady Christina and think one of the best characters created in this new incarnation of the Doctor Who series is Dr. Malcolm Taylor played by the incomparable Lee Evans.  That man is pure brilliance.

It aggravates me when people start to nitpick things about Doctor Who.  This special feels like it is more for the old fans.  There was that level of cheese that was so present in the original series.  The Tritovores were a big part of that, not only in that they were fly-people, but also in that they wore silver spacesuits.  This was a fun special.  Why do all these new Who fans expect great drama every single time?  That’s the beauty of Doctor Who.  It can go from heavy drama one week, to rip-roaring comedy the next; from historical piece to futuristic sci-fi action.  The original series didn’t even always focus on aliens (at least in the beginning).  In fact, sometimes the Doctor was the only alien involved in the story during that very first incarnation played by William Hartnell.

I know people give RTD a lot of grief about some of his more ridiculous story ideas, but let’s think about this show’s history.  There have been plenty of completely outlandish, unbelievable moments, and that’s what we love about the Doctor.

I, for one, hope that one day Malcolm and the Doctor get to have an adventure together.  THAT would be something, indeed!

But, if you’re a fan of Doctor Who or just cheesy (in a good way) sci-fi adventure, you absolutely HAVE to see Planet of the Dead.  Trust me, you won’t regret it.

William, the Movie Nerdfighter

who is still waiting for the day he hears that TARDIS appear and the Doctor yell “Allons-y!”