I've embarked upon an open ended mission, pretending to travel back in time and watch classic television on (or close to) the fiftieth anniversary of original broadcast date; getting a sense of the context, the magic of that first viewing.
Rewatching... 'Doctor Who: The Abominable Snowmen' - Episode One
Saturday 30 September 1967 Something nasty attacks a small expedition camping in a snowy mountainous region. Another expedition! Last week it was archaeologists, I don't know what these chaps are looking for. Perhaps they're just climbers. It's not going well for them though and looks as though it might be a Tent Under Siege story...
Rewatching... Doctor Who: Tomb of the Cybermen - Episode 4
"...the power of the Cybermen." Saturday 23 September 1967 Let's just talk about Victoria for a moment. Now those of you who've followed my ramblings may be aware I had a bit of a crush on Polly, so I suppose I might have been a bit grumpy about her being dumped at Gatwick to make way for this new girl.
Rewatching... Doctor Who: Tomb of the Cybermen — Episode 3
"I'm really quite lively actually, all things considered."Saturday 16 September 1967 The first thing I notice this week is how the opening music goes on a bit longer over the action before fading, a bit like in the very first episode.
Rewatching... Doctor Who: Tomb of the Cybermen – Episode 2
"I think perhaps your logic is wearing a little thin." Saturday 9 September 1967 I knew there was something odd about that Cyberman: it was a dummy! The dummy didn't even do the shooting — it was a target for a hidden weapon.
Rewatching... Doctor Who: Tomb Of The Cybermen - Episode 1
"Look at him. 'Archaeologist' written all over him." Saturday 2 September 1967 Can it really be less than a year since Patrick Troughton took over as Doctor Who? He seems so established, and Hartnell so long ago now. And this is the programme's fifth season? Incredible.
Rewatching... Doctor Who: The Evil Of The Daleks - Part 7
"A Dalek questioned an order." Saturday 1 July 1967 Colour television began today on BBC2 with the Wimbledon coverage. This is the first colour television service in Europe. According to The Times we will get a number of programmes in colour throughout the week; 40 hours of programming including The Virginian and Late Night Line-Up. They have helpfully marked all the colour programmes with a "C" in their listings. On BBC1 however we still have to make do with black and white, so that's how tonight's Doctor Who was viewed. Except by me of course; I can't see it at all, apart from a number of still images. I can hear it clearly enough however, and it sounds fab.
Rewatching... Doctor Who: The Evil Of The Daleks - Part 6
"ALL DALEKS RETURN TO SKARO!" Saturday 24 June 1967 Things are hotting up. The story began as a sort of urban thriller starting at Gatwick and taking in warehouses, alleyways, antique shops and trendy coffee bars. Then it moved both time and location to a Victorian manor house, with servants, a wealthy philanthropist, ticking clocks, creaking wood-panelled corridors. Now in the third and final act, we get yet another location: Skaro! This has turned out to be quite an epic.
Rewatching... Doctor Who: The Evil Of The Daleks - Part 5
"I am a professor of a far wider academy..." Saturday 17 June 1967 I'm really enjoying this story. It's a very different Dalek tale to what we're used to. But then Power Of The Daleks was unusual too, and also brilliant. The Daleks haven't actually been in this one all that much so far, and I wonder how the children watching feel about that. When we do get to see them, gliding along the corridors of a Victorian manor house, its marvelous. As with having a new Doctor, this Dalek revival has felt like a new lease of life for the programme.
Rewatching... Doctor Who: The Evil Of The Daleks - Part 4
Saturday 10 June 1967 So this episode is all about Jamie's 'test'. He's unaware he's being tested by the Daleks and last week's episode ended as he was confronted by a Turkish wrestler called Kemel. Now as you may know, I'm unable to see the video in many of these episodes, instead having to follow the soundtrack, with a glimpse of an occasional frame. Usually, this works ok and it's fairly easy to follow what's going on. This week it's a little more 'visual' than usual however and it starts with a rather protracted fight between Jamie and Kemel. And to make matters even more 'entertaining', Kemel is mute. I'm not a big fan of fight scenes at the best of times, finding them rather dull even when there are pictures, so as you can imagine I'm struggling a bit with this.
Rewatching... Doctor Who: The Evil Of The Daleks - Part 3
"You are more than human." Saturday 3 June 1967 All things considered it hasn't been a great day for Jamie. He opened a booby trapped box of gas which knocked him and the Doctor out. Then he woke up all groggy in 1866 with a thumping headache. In Canterbury. Now I'm sure most of us could tell a few stories about waking up in 1866 after springing a gas box (yes that's right: a euphemism), but even I have never woken up in Canterbury. And now he's been bashed on the head and abducted by a well loved 70s comedy actor (Windsor Davies), playing a thug called Toby, and has woken up all groggy with a thumping headache (probably - he doesn't actually say so), in a barn. Toby calls his weapon 'Mr Nod'. I like a villain who gives his weapon a pet name. Mr Nod is a sort of cudgel thing. I expect if he'd been armed with a pistol it would have been named Mr Death.
Rewatching... Doctor Who: The Evil Of The Daleks - Part 2
Saturday 27 May 1967 "You seem to be well acquainted with the creatures." Best incidental music so far! There hasn't been a score like this before. We've had lots of specially composed music of course, as well as stock library music, or no music at all. Or as with The Moonbase, ambient sounds doing the same job. The first story had some creepy piano tinkling, there was some marvellously ominous music in the first Dalek one, re-used in Troughton's debut. The Savages had some great orchestral music but as with most of the previous stories it seemed sparse overall. This one has a proper 'full' score by Dudley Simpson with small orchestra as well as Radiophonic synthesiser. Something we will become used to...