October 29, 2014

Doctor Who: The Chase

In the previous episode, the Doctor conveniently picked up a space-time visualizer from the museum on Xeros. It works like a tv and allows one to see anything that has happened in time and space. Barbara goes to turn it off and stumbles upon a scene with the Daleks. She discovers that they developed their own time machine in order to hunt the crew of the TARDIS and exterminate them.

the Daleks in their time machine

The space-time visualizer only shows things that have happened in the past, so the Daleks are already on their way. Oh no! (What is the past to the crew of the TARDIS? They can travel in time. Let's forget that bit.) The Doctor and Barbara go looking for Ian and Vicki, who have gone out exploring the sand planet on which they landed. To make a long story short, the inhabitants of the planet capture our heros and are going to turn them over to the Daleks. But then, blobby squid things attack, and they get away.

The TARDIS happens to have an instrument that shows that another ship is traveling along the same time track. The Doctor says they have to keep moving until they are ready to stand and fight the Daleks. He surmises they have a twelve minute lead on them, but that lead will diminish every time they land. And so, several times they land, check out the area, and take off again. The Daleks do the same. This leads to events such as the Mary Celeste being abandoned because the Daleks terrorize the crew.

One of the places they land is inhabited by Dracula, Frankenstein's monster, ghosts, bats, and all manner of scary things. The Doctor thinks they have landed in a realm created by the collective human mind. They take off before they learn that it's a house of horrors in a carnival. They also take off before making sure that everyone is aboard. Vicki is left behind! She ends up hitching a ride with the Daleks. The Daleks run into a little trouble in the house of horrors, but they quickly continue the chase. Now we find out that the Daleks have created a Doctor robot.

robot Doctor

Here's the thing about the robot- as you can see in the screenshot above, it's obvious that the robot isn't William Hartnell, the actor who plays the First Doctor. When the robot talks, it's William Hartnell talking. When they cut to close shots, it's William Hartnell. Why not use William Hartnell the whole time?? When the Doctor fights the robot Doctor, it's mostly William Hartnell vs. William Hartnell, so that the audience doesn't know who is the robot. Anyway, the robot Doctor is supposed to infiltrate and kill, but the Doctor defeats him. Next, the group gets captured by the Mechonoids.

Yep, this is a Mechonoid.

Now they meet Steven, another prisoner. He's an astronaut from Earth. He isn't in this much, so you'd think he isn't important. Nope. We'll find out in the next episode that he stowed away on the TARDIS and is a new companion. They all escape, and the Daleks fight the Mechonoids. There is utter chaos, and the plants start attacking the Daleks, too.


All of the Daleks are destroyed, leaving an empty time machine...

Barbara and Ian want to use the Dalek time machine to go home. The Doctor freaks out, saying it's too dangerous. He won't show them how to use it. Really, I think he just doesn't want them to leave. Vicki convinces him to let them go.

And they make it home, albeit two years off. They blow up the Dalek time machine and think about how they're going to explain their absence to the Coal Hill School, where they teach. Vicki and the Doctor use the space-time visualizer to see that Ian and Barbara are home safe.

Our last view of Ian and Barbara is the two of them on a bus together, laughing. I'm sorry to see them go.


Doctor: First
Companions: Ian, Barbara, Vicki
Episode: #16, "The Chase," six parts- 'The Executioners,' 'The Death of Time,' 'Flight Through Eternity,' 'Journey into Terror,' 'The Death of Doctor Who,' 'The Planet of Decision'
Adversary: the Daleks
Classic Lines: the Doctor, to Ian: "We're trying to beat the Daleks, not start a jumble sale!"
Tuck This Away to Impress Your Friends: The Mary Celeste was found adrift with no crew because they jumped overboard to escape the Daleks.
Next Up: "The Time Meddler"

October 26, 2014

Devil's food cake with mint chocolate ganache

This recipe is from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook. I had high hopes for this one. I was disappointed.

The flavor was okay. The texture was okay. If the icing didn't have mint in it, it would have been just okay. I'm not making this again.

It took too much chocolate and too much effort for a meh cake, especially when those ingredients are Ghirardelli chocolate and Valrhona cocoa powder.

October 13, 2014

Ben's chocolate ice cream

Homemade ice cream! It's easy. It's delicious.

This recipe came from Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book. YUM. Mix up the batter/liquid. Churn it for 20 minutes in the ice cream maker. Freeze it for a few hours so it firms up a bit. (It's the consistancy of soft serve when it's done in the ice cream maker.) It's rich and creamy and amazing. This isn't the first time I've made homemade ice cream, but I'm going to start making it more often now.

October 6, 2014

Spicy pumpkin bundt cake

Time for another Martha Stewart recipe- spicy pumpkin bundt cake. It's not called "spicy" because it's hot. It's just that there are a lot of spices in it. It's a spice cake.

I usually like anything pumpkin. I don't limit pumpkin to the fall because I like it so much. This cake was kind of a bust. It was meh.

I didn't think it had that much flavor. I like the pumpkin spice cake I make from an Everyday Food recipe a lot more.

I'm not going to make this again. I'd rather make the other pumpkin spice cake. That one is not only tastier, but I don't even need my stand mixer to make it. Oh, well. When you like to try new things, you run into things that you don't like or that don't work for you. I'm okay with that.

October 1, 2014

Doctor Who: The Space Museum

I find this serial to be a little creepy, but also interesting. The TARDIS crew get a glimpse of their future and spend the entire episode trying to avoid a terrible fate.

When the TARDIS materializes, weird things immediately start happening. They aren't wearing the same clothes they were seconds before. They don't leave footprints in the dust outside. They walk into a museum, and the other people there don't see them or hear them. They discover that the TARDIS jumped a time track, and they are slightly in the future. One problem. They find themselves as frozen exhibits in the museum.

This is the creepy part.

They reason that when the cases disappear, they will have arrived, others will be able to see them, and the countdown to them ending up in the cases will begin. It turns out that the museum is run by Moroks. They enslaved the native population of the planet Xeros and made a museum dedicated to Morok conquests.

The sight of the TARDIS crew in the cases is pretty disturbing, and they are all rightly horrified by the thought of ending up like this. It comes up again and again in the episode. Is this the right choice to change the future? What if doing this is how we ended up in those cases? It's interesting. Of course they all eventually get captured, but Vicki made friends with the rebels in the meantime. She not only befriended them, but she broke into the Morok armory and got weapons for them. This leads Ian to postulate that maybe they don't need to change their own future themselves - that it could be changed for them.

This episode isn't great, but it has a cool ending. The familiar Dalek music plays, and it cuts to a Dalek saying that their enemies have left the planet...and that the Daleks' time machine will allow the Daleks to hunt them down.


Doctor: First
Companions: Ian, Barbara, Vicki
Episode: #15, "The Space Museum," four parts- 'The Space Museum,' 'The Dimensions of Time,' 'The Search,' 'The Final Phase'
Adversary: the Moroks
Classic Lines: Vicki: "Time, like space, although a dimension in itself, also has dimensions of its own."
Tuck This Away to Impress Your Friends: The Doctor says he was with James Watt when Watt was experimenting with steam power.
Next Up: "The Chase"

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