January 30, 2017

Doctor Who: The Ice Warriors

Speaking of a story with animated missing episodes...this one has two of its six episodes animated. It starts with the TARDIS landing on its side. The Doctor, Jamie, and Victoria have to climb out. This is something they forget by the end of the story, when the TARDIS dematerializes from an upright position.

the Doctor, Victoria, and Jamie

At first Jamie suggests the Doctor may have landed a little farther down the mountain from where they were in Tibet, but they find out that they're in the future, and the Earth's climate is undergoing an unexpected ice age due to human actions. Scientists have a plan to reverse it, and they must hold back the advancing glaciers at this location and others. There's a great scene between Jamie and Victoria in which he suggests Victoria start wearing clothes like the ladies in this place. She's horrified because the clothes are a little skimpy and she's from Victorian England!

Jamie, you devil

People at this location stumbled upon something in the ice. One of them calls it an "Ice Warrior." This is someone who doesn't know the Ice Warriors, and yet the name sticks in later stories as being the name of these aliens. They're actually from Mars. On to the animated episodes!

the Doctor and Jamie

I'm very excited about the animated episodes! Anyway, the Ice Warrior thaws out and takes Victoria hostage. She spends most of this story held captive by the Ice Warriors. The Doctor eventually goes to their ship to talk with them, but they don't really want to cooperate.

Ice Warriors with the Doctor

They really should've cooperated. In the end, their ship is destroyed and the scientists are successful in reversing the new Ice Age, with the Doctor's help. I like this story, but it would've been improved by cutting it down to four episodes. It felt like they were stretching to fill six.


Doctor: Second
Companions: Jamie, Victoria
Episode: #39, "The Ice Warriors," six parts
Adversary: the Ice Warriors
Classic Lines: Jan, to the Doctor: "Is that all you're taking?"; the Doctor: "Why? What else do I need?"; Clent: "The warriors are armed!"; the Doctor: "But I'm not going to fight a duel."
Tuck This Away to Impress Your Friends: The Ice Warriors are from Mars.
Next Up: "The Enemy of the World"

January 27, 2017

Doctor Who: The Abominable Snowmen

This is a good story, but unfortunately, five of the six episodes are missing. I liked it, but it would be much more enjoyable to watch if five of the episodes weren't reconstructions. Here's hoping that the BBC will animate more of these lost stories.

The TARDIS lands in Tibet in the Himalayas, so the Doctor puts on his warm coat and ventures outside. Jamie thinks he sees "a great hairy beastie" on the screen, but then he sees the Doctor. Jamie and Victoria soon follow, even though the Doctor told them to stay put.

Jamie looks cold in that kilt.
Jamie and Victoria start exploring a cave, but they get trapped and find a bunch of spheres...right before a Yeti attacks them...

The Doctor arrives at Detsen Monastery, where he has been before, but is accused of killing someone (because he looks like a Yeti in his coat?) and thrown in a cell.

I had to mention this because I needed to include this screen shot of the Doctor in a cell playing his recorder. It's one of the Second Doctor's signatures, and it's endearing. Let's skip forward to the Doctor, Jamie, and Victoria are all together and no one thinks the Doctor is a murderer anymore. In fact, his accuser, Travers, is actually not a bad guy. But now the Yeti are attacking the monastery.

Hugable, snugable Yeti

I think the Yeti are cute, and I'd like to hug them. They never come across as menacing to me because they look like giant fluffy teddy bears. Remember those spheres? There's a spot in every Yeti for one, and that's what controls them. Take out the sphere, turn off the Yeti. I haven't yet mentioned that the Yeti are robots.

The Doctor and Jamie go back to the TARDIS, but there is a Yeti outside. When Jamie asks the Doctor what he's going to do, the Doctor says, "Bung a rock at it." The Yeti is inactive and doesn't move, but one of those spheres tries to get itself back inside the Yeti, and Jamie has to put a rock in the Yeti to stop it.

Let's skip ahead again and say that in the end, the Great Intelligence is defeated, the robot Yeti are deactivated, and the monks are free to live in peace. This was a good story that suffered from having almost all the episodes missing. Fortunately, most of the stories from here on out are either complete or have animated missing episodes.


Doctor: Second
Companions: Jamie, Victoria
Episode: #38, "The Abominable Snowmen," six parts
Adversary: the Great Intelligence and the Yeti
Classic Lines: Jamie, to the Doctor: "Are you sure it's quite safe?"; to which the Doctor replies: "Well, quite frankly, no, Jamie, but there's only one way of finding out!"
Tuck This Away to Impress Your Friends: This story is the first appearance of the Yeti and the Great Intelligence.
Next Up: "The Ice Warriors"

January 22, 2017

Big Finish Doctor Who: Forever Fallen

I want to brag about my friend Josh. We're both life-long Whovians. We both listen to Big Finish Doctor Who audio dramas. Big Finish has a series of Doctor Who stories called Short Trips- they're about a half hour long, and one narrator reads the entire story, rather than a full cast acting it out. BF held a contest to write a Short Trip story, they received over 1,000 entries, and my friend won!

cover by Big Finish

The premise is this: The Doctor often offers the villain a chance to back away from his evil plot. What if someone took him up on the offer?

It's truly a fantastic story, and it's not just me who thinks so! It is getting rave reviews from many sources. The Sci Fi Bulletin said, "Just occasionally you find a new writer who absolutely nails the distinctive traits of one of your favourite characters...Joshua Wanisko does that with the Seventh Doctor."

You don't have to be a fan of Doctor Who to enjoy the story. It's about doing the right thing or the easy thing. It's about setting a good example. It's about choosing the kind of person you're going to be. If you do like Doctor Who, you'll enjoy how well Josh nails the characterization of the 7th Doctor and Ace.

You can download it here for free. Check it out!

January 6, 2017

Doctor Who: The Tomb of the Cybermen

We've reached the first 2nd Doctor story that exists in its entirety. No missing episodes! I wonder if that's why it came up so much in that one panel at the first (Re)Generation Who...so much so that it's a running joke with a friend of mine. It's a great story, but every single person asking a question wanted to talk about it! It's like they didn't know that there are other 2nd stories as great or better.

Jamie, the Doctor, Victoria

The story begins on Telos. Telos, you say? Planet in the video game KOTOR II? Why yes, but Star Wars doesn't have Cybermen, so no, not really. They make Victoria change from her, well, Victorian garb into a short skirt. She mildly objects but goes with it. I think it would've been cooler to keep her in her original clothes, but then, Doctor Who does love its female companions in short skirts. They run into an archaeological expedition looking for Cybermen. And they find them...

They explore the area and find the Cybermen down a hatch, frozen in ice. But some of the expedition turns out to be baddies, and they unfreeze the Cybermen. Good job, baddies. Incidentally, one of the baddies looks just like 1st Doctor companion Barbara, and it's a little distracting. So, the Cybermen are unfrozen, and out pops the Cyber Controller, threatening to turn everyone into Cybermen.

Cyber Controller, with regular Cybermen behind him

I don't know why the baddies thought they could control the Cybermen, but that's not happening. This story marks the first appearance of Cybermats, the Cybermen's little pets. Or deadly robot thingies. Whatever.

The Cybermats look brilliant and never really pose a threat, ever. The Doctor has a heartfelt chat with Victoria about her father and memories of family members that are gone. I thought that was sweet and showed a deep kindness and thoughtfulness in his character.

In the end, the Cybermen are refrozen, and the baddies lose. Hooray!


Doctor: Second
Companions: Jamie, Victoria
Episode: #37, "The Tomb of the Cybermen," four parts
Adversary: the Cybermen
Classic Lines: the Doctor, to Victoria: "Our lives are different to anybody else's. That's the exciting thing. Nobody in the universe can do what we're doing."
Tuck This Away to Impress Your Friends: The Doctor says that in Earth terms he is about 450 years old.
Next Up: "The Abominable Snowmen"
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