December 7, 2017

Doctor Who: Terror of the Autons

The story starts with the introduction of Jo Grant as the Doctor's new assistant. The Doctor is annoyed because she's an idiot, but the Brigadier says too bad, her family has connections and he had to give her a job. Then a Time Lord, incognito, pays the Doctor a visit.


He warns the Doctor that the Master has come to Earth and will most certainly try to kill him. The Master!! This story is the first appearance of this classic Doctor Who villain. The Doctor immediately sees signs that the Master is around causing trouble. He find a bomb and one of the scientists at a research facility has been shrunk.


This is a signature move of the Master. Another signature move: hypnotism. He puts people under his control and makes them do his bidding. He's currently working with the Nestene. Remember them? Oh, and Captain Mike Yates is around now. He's another member of UNIT. Benton is here, too.

the Doctor, Mike Yates, Jo Grant

Ugh, Jo is so dumb. She is even dumber here than in later stories. Anyway, the Master has taken control of a plastics factory so he can make Autons. He's using the pseudonym Colonel Masters. Clever!

The man himself. The Master.

By the end of the story, Jo is more likeable and the Doctor has foiled the Master's plan. The Master escapes, but the Doctor has the dematerialization circuit from his TARDIS so he's trapped on Earth. (The circuit conveniently doesn't work in the Doctor's TARDIS.) I'm excited for a string of upcoming Master stories. He's always fun.


THE RUNDOWN

Doctor: Third
Companions: Jo Grant
Episode: #55, "Terror of the Autons," four parts
Adversary: the Master and the Nestene/Autons
Classic Lines: the Master: "You will obey me."
Tuck This Away to Impress Your Friends: This is the first appearance of the Master. 
Next Up: "The Mind of Evil" 

November 29, 2017

Photography coupon

Time for some shameless self-promotion! Use the coupon code NNTKNJ on my photography site, jlphotographs.com, for up to $10 off, depending on your purchase. It's not just prints and cards anymore. Now you can get iPhone and Samsung cases, mugs, towels, fleece blankets, totes, tees, throw pillows, shower curtains, and more! Some photo examples?

This is one of my favorites.


I saw some beautiful animals while I was out west.


Philly is classic.


Of course, I can't forget the Lehigh Valley.


So check out jlphotographs.com, and don't forget to use the coupon code, NNTKNJ. For regular photography updates, follow my Instagram or like my Facebook page.

November 20, 2017

Cape May Zoo

A few weeks ago I went to the Cape May Zoo. It wasn't my first time, but I enjoy going back here from time to time. It's a great zoo.

 
There are snow leopards! They were all sleeping. The big tortoises were in for the winter, but we did see some small ones in the reptile house.

Hey, I'm not a pillow.

And this guy was right up against the glass.


Definitely stop in and visit the animals if you're in the area.

November 13, 2017

Pumpkin whoopie pies

I like pretty much all things pumpkin. I tried out a pumpkin whoopie pie recipe from Baked.


It was easy and very tasty! The pumpkin part was cakey and moist, and the cream cheese frosting was better than other cream cheese frostings I've had. They're even better the next day, if they last that long.

November 9, 2017

Doctor Who: Inferno

Inferno is pretty well known among Whovians because of the parallel universe storyline. How do we know it's a parallel universe? The Brigadier wears an eyepatch!

The eyepatch means he's evil.
Make that the Brigade Leader wears an eyepatch. However, it takes two whole episodes before we finally get to the other Earth. In both timelines, scientists are drilling to the Earth's core to tap it for energy. This is always a good idea in science fiction stories...Green ooze is coming out and turning people into Primords, who go around killing people. There are drilling issues, too, but Professor Stahlman is full steam ahead no matter the warnings.

the Doctor, Section Leader Liz Shaw, and Brigade Leader Lethbridge-Stewart

Once the core is penetrated, all hell breaks loose. The Earth is doomed to disintegration. The Doctor tries to convince Liz Shaw and the Brigade Leader to give him power to use the TARDIS console to get back and save the parallel Earth, which isn't as far along in their drilling. The Doctor escapes just as lava engulfs the place, killing everyone who has helped him. It's a sad moment. Their counterparts are still alive, but we've come to like these other versions of them. Well, most of them. I wonder if the writers had fun with this. The Doctor always saves the day, but in this parallel universe he doesn't and they get to destroy the Earth this time.


He arrives back in his universe unconscious. Will he be able to avert disaster? I guess we know the answer to that since this isn't the last episode of the show.

Bye, Liz
This is Liz Shaw's final story, but she doesn't get any send-off or goodbye. In the next episode she's gone, and Jo Grant takes her place. It's unfortunate. They had an intelligent scientist companion and replace her with a flaky bimbo. Sorry, I'm not a fan of Jo.


THE RUNDOWN

Doctor: Third
Companions: Liz Shaw
Episode: #54, "Inferno," seven parts
Adversary: Primords, Professor Stahlman
Classic Lines: the Doctor, to Professor Stahlman: "I'll tell you something that should be of vital interest to you, professor. That you, sir, are a nitwit."
Tuck This Away to Impress Your Friends: The Doctor says his normal pulse is 170. 
Next Up: "Terror of the Autons

November 5, 2017

Minestrone

I made another attempt at using the slow cooker. This time I made minestrone from Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook.

Soup?

It was another slow cooker fail. Massive fail. This did look like soup when I put the pasta in. By the time the recipe said it was done, there was no liquid left. The mini shells had soaked up all the liquid and were a gross, mushy mess. One day I will find something I can cook in the Crock Pot. Why is this so hard for me? It's a mystery.

October 28, 2017

Brentano String Quartet

I like classical music, but I hadn't been to see any live for awhile. I saw that the Brentano String Quartet was going to be at the Williams Center for the Arts at Lafayette College and thought it would be great.


It was. They were fantastic, and I liked the pieces they chose to perform. There's something different about hearing classic music in person. You can feel the music. You experience the music in a way that you don't with a recording or watching on tv. I enjoy watching opera on tv, but I have been moved to tears in person.


I got my ticket at the last minute so there weren't many seats left. I was up close and personal! But in this case it would've been better to be farther away. That didn't matter, though. I was there to listen. This was my first time at the Williams Center, but I'll be back.

October 20, 2017

Doctor Who: The Ambassadors of Death

The story starts with a spaceship. Earth lost communication with its Mars astronauts, but here they come! Also, this:


What the heck is going on here?? The Doctor took the console out of the TARDIS? How? Also, note that the console has a light green tint. That's a holdover from the black and white days. It made the console look white on black and white screens.


They lose contact with the recovery craft sent to meet the Mars ship. All kinds of shenanigans ensue, and the mystery deepens. They retrieve the recovery craft, but when they open it, it's empty. The Doctor thinks that the astronauts are on the Mars craft still in orbit and that what came down in the recovery craft is alien.



This story is too long and a mess. I know why I didn't remember it now.


THE RUNDOWN

Doctor: Third
Companions: Liz Shaw
Episode: #53, "The Ambassadors of Death," seven parts
Adversary: aliens and Carrington
Classic Lines: the Doctor, after hearing the Brigadier is at Space Control and still peeved about what happened in the last story: "And the Brigadier thinks it's his business? Oh well, I suppose he's got to do something to occupy his mind now that he's blown up the Silurians."
Tuck This Away to Impress Your Friends: Corporal Benton has been promoted to Sergeant Benton, as he's usually known to Doctor Who fans.
Next Up: "Inferno"

October 15, 2017

Manhattan fish chowder

I prefer New England clam chowder, but Dave likes the not-as-good version, Manhattan clam chowder. I found this recipe for Manhattan fish chowder in the cookbook Fresh Flavor Fast from Everyday Food. I left out the bacon but made the rest as the recipe said.


I thought it tasted okay. It was like Manhattan clam chowder but with chunks of fish. It did have two cups of clam juice in it. Dave didn't like it at all. I guess I won't be making this again.

October 13, 2017

Doctor Who: Doctor Who and the Silurians

Wait. "Doctor Who and the Silurians." What?! As any good Who nerd will tell you, his name isn't Doctor Who. They don't do story titles like this. They won't do a title like this again. What happened here? I don't know. Weird. So the story starts with two people in a cave being attacked by a dinosaur-looking creature. Then it cuts to the Doctor working on Bessie. Hooray! Bessie is the 3rd Doctor's car. The Brigadier asks the Doctor and Liz Shaw to come help him with an investigation into an atomic research center built into caves. They're having unexplained power drains on their reactor, and UNIT has been brought in to figure out what's going on.

Bessie!
So the Doctor drives them there in Bessie. It turns out that if one of these power losses happens at the wrong time, the reactor would turn into a giant nuclear bomb. Oops. There's plenty of fishy stuff going on. The Doctor says everything leads back to the caves and goes exploring.

Hee!
Mini-Godzilla starts to go after him, but then there's a musical sound and it leaves. I forgot how funny the 3rd Doctor can be. Liz Shaw and the Brigadier are worried about him and are gathering a search party to go into the caves. The Doctor walks into the room and says, "Well, this all looks very exciting. May I come, too?"


He tells them about the dinosaur creature. They all go into the caves, but the Doctor isn't happy that this is turning into a military operation. One of the soldiers gets attacked by the dino and shoots something else...there's a trail of blood. They analyze it and it's reptilian.


The Doctor says that the soldier was irresponsible; he was being attacked but that's not who he shot. The Doctor points out that each time there was an attack, the dino was called off. He thinks there are two types of creatures living in the caves- large ferocious ones and smaller, intelligent ones that may not be hostile. Oh, and here's the head scientist sneaking off to talk to those intelligent creatures.


Meanwhile, that injured creature is roaming around causing havoc. The Doctor and Liz snoop around the head scientist's office and find a globe of the Earth as it was 200 million years ago before the land masses drifted apart and notes on the Silurian era. Hm. I think it's interesting that we don't see any Silurians until the last seconds of episode three. We see their claws or their outline blurry in the distance, but we don't get a good look.

the Doctor and a Silurian

It's quintessential Doctor that when he meets the Silurian, he extends his hand in friendship. He wants to know what they want and how he can help. The Silurian hears a plane fly overhead and runs out the door, while the Doctor yells after him that the humans will destroy them if they don't say what they want. The Brigadier and the Doctor fight about the Brig's plan to invade the caves and the Doctor goes exploring again, this time with Liz. The Silurians are draining power to revive their species from hibernation.



The same arguments going on above ground are happening below. The Silurians fight about either studying humans or killing them all. Meanwhile, the Doctor tries to make peace with the Silurians.


They say Earth is their planet. They dismiss humans as apes. A small planet was approaching and they calculated that it would draw off the atmosphere, destroying all life. So they built the base underground to wait it out. The Doctor says their catastrophe never happened- the planet became the Moon. (Scientists don't think that's how we got the Moon anymore, but I guess that was the prevailing theory at the time.) The Silurian says that their hibernation circuit was faulty and didn't wake them up until a new power source appeared- the nuclear reactor. Anyway, the Doctor thinks there's room for both civilizations on Earth. Otherwise there will be a terrible war.


The Silurian leader agrees to try for peace. We know that's not going to happen, right? We know human nature only too well. There's already a hysterical person topside calling for the extermination of the Silurians, and there are Silurians who want to kill the humans.



This story has a pretty sobering end. The bad Silurians are tricked into hibernating again. The Doctor thinks he and Liz Shaw are going to come back the next day to start reviving them one by one, to reason with them. As they're leaving in Bessie, they see explosions in the distance. The government has ordered the Brigadier to destroy the Silurians. The Doctor comments that it's murder. They've wiped out a race of intelligent beings. They drive away in silence.


THE RUNDOWN

Doctor: Third
Companions: Liz Shaw
Episode: #52, "Doctor Who and the Silurians," seven parts
Adversary: the Silurians
Classic Lines: the Doctor: "It was certainly some kind of dinosaur. It was certainly nothing that I've ever seen before."; security chief: "In museums, you mean?"; the Doctor: "No, I do not mean in museums! Well, on second thought, perhaps, perhaps I do." *sly look at the Brigadier*
Tuck This Away to Impress Your Friends: This story is the first time we see Bessie, the 3rd Doctor's car.
Next Up: "The Ambassadors of Death"

October 6, 2017

Gettysburg

We went to Gettysburg last weekend. It was pretty neat, although it started out meh.


We drove around following the auto tour route on the park map. At first it was pretty much the same. Open fields. Woods. Cannons. There are monuments from each state and also monuments to different military divisions and various people dispersed throughout the park. When we got to the second half of the auto tour, I was more familiar with the sites so it was more engaging. For instance, here's a statue of General Webb looking over Little Round Top.

General Alexander Webb

I like how they placed it so that he's looking down from the top of the hill. Here he is from the front.


We also saw Civil War reenactors at Little Round Top. I thought we would see more than we did. They were pretty cool, and Dave had his picture taken with a Union aide-de-camp. As we were driving around, I saw small monuments for all the other states but not for Pennsylvania. I kept saying "Where's Pennsylvania?!!" Oh, here is Pennsylvania.


Our state had the grand daddy of all monuments!


Cool. Toward the end of the day was saw where Pickett's Charge occurred.


Here is where the tide turned for the Union. From those trees, a line a mile across of 12,000 men approached the Union lines behind this stone wall. A fraction of them made it to the wall, and soon after the Confederates were retreating from Gettysburg. Here more than anywhere else, it was hard not to stand there and try to imagine what it must have been like that day. How horrible it must have been. Loud noises from cannons, gunfire, and the Rebel Yell. Smoke. Friends and enemies dying all around. War is a terrible thing.

We ended our day at the cemetery, where Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address. Alas, I forgot my phone in the car, so I don't have any photos to share. It ended up being a nice day and worth a trip if you live nearby.

September 29, 2017

Doctor Who: Spearhead from Space

It's time for the 3rd Doctor! When a new Doctor starts, it usually takes them a story or two to get their characterization down, but Jon Pertwee pretty much has his right away. The TARDIS materializes in the middle of the woods, and the Doctor exits and collapses. It just so happens that at the same time, the Brigadier (hooray!) is interviewing a scientist, Liz Shaw, to join UNIT (huzzah!). She is skeptical. The Brigadier gets a phone call and thinks the Doctor is in town.

Who is this person?
The Brigadier is disappointed. He says it's not the Doctor. The Doctor wakes up for a few minutes, recognizes the Brigadier, looks at his new face, and passes out again. Baddies try to kidnap the Doctor but are thwarted. And now the Brig believes he's the Doctor, although he's still unconscious.

the Brigadier and Liz Shaw
Liz has been testing mysterious objects that have been landing nearby. She says they aren't meteorites. Liz is generally pretty straight-laced, but so far she has been downright unlikeable. Snotty, rude, snarky in a bad way. I hope that changes by the end of the episode. Also, UNIT HQ looks different! Well, different than what I'm used to. They must change the look at some point during the 3rd Doctor's era. Anyway, the Doctor steals clothes and a car and heads to UNIT HQ.

the Brigadier and the Doctor

Now that the Doctor has arrived, Liz is acting nicer but still doesn't believe he's not human or that he travels in the TARDIS. She steals the TARDIS key from the Brigadier and gives it to the Doctor, who discovers that the TARDIS doesn't work and the Time Lords really have trapped him there.

oops

Meanwhile, these creepy plastic things are roaming around the countryside, taking those not-meteorites and killing people. There's some fishy business going on at the plastic factory.

an Auton
This story is kind of light on plot. It introduces us to the new Doctor and his new companion and reintroduces UNIT. The Doctor uses the alias John Smith again. That's about it. I don't find the Nestene Consciousness or the Autons particularly compelling villains, but they will show up again in the future.



THE RUNDOWN

Doctor: Third
Companions: Liz Shaw
Episode: #51, "Spearhead from Space," four parts
Adversary: the Nestene Consciousness/Nestenes and the Autons
Classic Lines: the Doctor, to the Brigadier: "What do you think of my new face, by the way? I wasn't too sure about it myself to begin with, but it sort of grows on you." 
Tuck This Away to Impress Your Friends: This is the first time we hear that the Doctor has two hearts.
Next Up: "Doctor Who and the Silurians"

September 26, 2017

Doctor Who: The War Games

This is it. Here we are, at the final story of the 2nd Doctor era. It's a good one, but it's ten parts. That's a long time to tell a story. I didn't watch it all in one sitting. It starts with the TARDIS arriving in what appears to be No Man's Land in World War I.

Just because there's a war on doesn't mean you can't have some tea.

The Doctor, Jamie, and Zoe are picked up by the British and separated from the TARDIS. They're to be sent to the general for questioning. But if this is WWI, why is the general communicating with a mystery someone via video chat? And why can't the British remember how long they've been there or where things are? Then a Redcoat shows up! Hm...

Lady Jennifer, the Doctor, and Lieutenant Carstairs

Two of the Brits, Lady Jennifer and Lieutenant Carstairs, start to figure out that something is wrong and help the TARDIS crew escape. They travel through some mist, and on the other side there's no sign of the war. There are, however, Roman warriors. They head back to the WWI headquarters to the general's office and break into his safe. The Doctor finds what he's looking for- a map of all the war time zones.


They decide to make for the blank space in the middle of the map and get ambushed in the American Civil War zone. Keep in mind, they're driving around in a WWI ambulance. They run out of gas and continue on foot. Carstairs gets captured, and the Doctor and Zoe jump into a traveling box that is bigger on the inside. That sounds familiar. It disappears, and Jamie and Lady Jennifer are left in the Civil War zone. The Doctor and Zoe watch as the box delivers soldiers to each zone and returns to its home base.

The War Chief just looks evil.

We also learn from evil-looking dude at the main headquarters that 5% of the fighters are resistant to the mental programming and are forming resistance groups. The Doctor and Zoe wander around headquarters, noting that it's like a university. They also put on these glasses...


Meanwhile, Jamie and Lady Jennifer keep getting captured and escaping, finally falling in with the resistance. At HQ, the Doctor, Zoe, and Carstairs discuss organizing the resistance. The Security Chief and the head scientist talk about how the War Chief isn't one of their people. The WC came to them and gave them the secret of time travel, and they found out from Zoe that the Doctor has the secret of time travel. The Security Chief says that only the War Chief's people have the secret of time travel. Interesting...Jamie and his resistance friends arrive at HQ, only to be ambushed.

Oh noooooooo!

And now we have reached the halfway point in the story. That's right! Five episodes down, five episodes to go. The Doctor rescues everyone and sends Zoe with the resistance fighters to organize the resistance across all the war zones.


The Doctor, Jamie, and Carstairs follow later. There are more hints about the Doctor having a connection to the War Chief. The Doctor knows how to operate the time machines. He says that they're impregnable from the outside, to which Jamie adds, "Just like the TARDIS!" Now the War Lord arrives, and he is PISSED.

the War Lord

Things aren't going well with their war games, but the baddies do recapture the Doctor. When the Doctor is questioned, the Security Chief mentions the Time Lords! That's the first mention of the Doctor's people in Doctor Who. The War Chief interrupts and then he and the Doctor have a great conversation.

the War Chief and the Doctor

The War Chief says that although the Doctor changed his appearance, he knows who the Doctor is and that he stole the TARDIS. The Doctor responds that he had every right to leave. When the War Chief says that they are two of a kind, the Doctor replies, "We most certainly are not!" The War Chief reveals that the War Lord is staging the war games as a prelude to conquering the galaxy. The War Lord interrupts the conversation, and the War Chief tells him that the Doctor is a fugitive from the Time Lords and dare not contact them. Meanwhile, Jamie, Zoe, and Carstairs are bringing the resistance groups together to fight back.


Lady Jennifer was jettisoned earlier in the story and hasn't been seen since. The Doctor brings the resistance leaders to the main headquarters, they take over, and the fighting is stopped. However, it turns out that the War Chief's time machines are defective and only two are functional now. The Doctor has to call the Time Lords to help take everyone back to their own times. The War Chief begs him not to and says the Doctor knows what will happen- that they will show no mercy.

Recognize that box?

The Doctor contacts the Time Lords to ask for help. He uses a special box, a method that shows up in the new series episode The Doctor's Wife. He tells Jamie and Zoe to stay because he has to flee, but they insist on going with him. At this point in the episode I'm starting to get sad because I know what's going to happen. They run to the TARDIS, ending up in slow motion because the Time Lords have put up a force field. They manage to get inside and dematerialize.



They have a conversation about the Time Lords and the Doctor's relationship with them:

JAMIE: Why did you run away from them in the first place?
THE DOCTOR: What? Well, I was bored.
ZOE: What do you mean, you were bored?
THE DOCTOR: Well, the Time Lords are an immensely civilised race. We can control our own environment, we can live forever, barring accidents, and we have the secret of space time travel.
JAMIE: Well, what's so wrong in all that?
THE DOCTOR: Well we hardly ever use our great powers. We consent simply to observe and to gather knowledge.
ZOE: And that wasn't enough for you?
THE DOCTOR: No, of course not. With a whole galaxy to explore? Millions of planets, eons of time, countless civilizations to meet?
JAMIE: Well, why do they object to you doing all that?
THE DOCTOR: Well, it is a fact, Jamie, that I, I do tend to get involved with things.
JAMIE: Aye, you can say that again. Whenever there's any trouble, he's in it right up to his neck.
ZOE: But you've helped people, Doctor.
THE DOCTOR: Yes, yes, but that's no excuse in their eyes.


He says they're going to run away, but the TARDIS starts to materialize. The Doctor keeps trying to escape, but in the end, the Time Lords bring them to Gallifrey. Not that it's called Gallifrey yet. The Doctor just calls it his home planet. Jamie still wants to fight, but the Doctor acts defeated.

 
Time Lords!

The Time Lords return everyone to their own times and put the War Lord on trial. Then it's the Doctor's turn.



The Doctor defends his interference. He uses a thought channel to show them the evil he has been fighting: the Quarks, the Yeti, the Ice Warriors, the Cybermen, and the Daleks. While he awaits the verdict, he says goodbye to Jamie and Zoe after one last attempt at escape.


The Time Lords tell the Doctor that they'll be returned to a point just before they left with him, and they'll remember their first adventure with him but nothing more. This utterly breaks my heart. The Time Lords rob Jamie and Zoe of their friendship with the Doctor and each other, they rob them of the growth they've experienced as people since they've met him, and they rob them of a significant chunk of their lives. I think this hurts more because Jamie and Zoe are two of my favorites. I'm really going to miss them. I'm not going to lie- there were tears. The Doctor is so sad when he says, "They won't remember me, will they?" It's not really a question. He knows the answer.


The Time Lords show the Doctor that Zoe and Jamie are safely back in their old lives and then get to business. They agree there is evil and that the Doctor has a part to play in fighting it. They also noticed his fondness for the planet Earth. He is to be exiled to 20th century Earth for as long as the Time Lords "deem proper," and how to work the TARDIS will be erased from his mind for the period of his exile. They will change his appearance as part of the sentence, and he'll be able to choose. That doesn't go well when he doesn't like any of the choices! So they decide for him. 


regeneration

And there it ends. We don't see the 3rd Doctor until the next story. The War Games is a great story, but don't watch it all at once. It's just too long for that. It's significant in the history of Doctor Who in that we meet the Time Lords for the first time and learn something of the Doctor's people. And it's the end of an era. We say goodbye to the 2nd Doctor and to black and white. The next story is in color.



THE RUNDOWN

Doctor: Second
Companions: Jamie, Zoe
Episode: #50, "The War Games," ten parts
Adversary: the War Lord and his people
Classic Lines: the Doctor, to the Time Lords, about his actions of interference: "...I'm proud of them! While you have been content to merely observe the evil in the galaxy, I have been fighting against it."
Tuck This Away to Impress Your Friends: This is the first appearance of the Time Lords.
Next Up: "Spearhead from Space"
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...