I mentioned a this past week that I was watching the classic Doctor Who episodes. Harvey asked me to let him know if I found any redeeming qualities in them. After watching Season One, I’ll give my impressions and perhaps answer his question.
I mentioned that I was only able to watch some episodes, since not all are available.
Turns out there are more of those than I thought. Hulu carries many episodes from the first season, but some episodes are missing from their lineup. Some, Hulu just doesn’t carry (not sure why, but there’s probably a good reason). Some simply no longer exist, after the tapes were destroyed. But, it seems, the Doctor Who world (that is, the shows legions of fans, not Gallifrey) won’t let a silly thing like episodes not existing stop them.
Here’s the deal. While Hulu carries 23 episodes from Season One, a total of 42 were made. Of those remaining 19 episodes, 10 exist, and 9 are lost/destroyed. But, I’ve watched them all. Kind of.
Turns out that DailyMotion has a lot of episodes available, including those missing-from-Hulu ten from Season One, plus two others that were reanimated by the BBC; those look like some of the Japanese cartoons you’ll see on Adult Swim. That left seven missing episodes. Some fans have obtained the audio (the videos were destroyed, but audio tracks still exist) and made movies using stills from the missing episodes.
All that means I’ve now watched all 42 episodes from Season One.
To answer Harvey’s question, I’m not sure if there are redeeming qualities. But, I find the show oddly appealing. It’s a little silly at times, cheaply made like most TV from that era, particularly British shows. Some shows are played for laughs, others try to be serious.
One of the criticisms I read of The Reign of Terror series was that it expected the viewer to know some actual history about the French Revolution. And any show that treats the audience as if they’re at least half-way intelligent can’t be all bad.
In the first season, I learned why the TARDIS always looks like a Police Call box (the thingy that makes it change appearances to blend in with its surrounding broke after it landed in 1963 London), saw the Doctor’s first encounter with the Daleks (I still they they look silly, with the plumber’s helper coming out the front), heard him give a full name for himself (“John Smith,” but he wasn’t serious), and learned that the Aztecs spoke with British accents.
Redeeming qualities? Other than expecting the audience to have a little bit of sense, there’s not much. But that, in and of itself, is head and shoulders above just about everything you see on TV today.
I’ll watch at least another season of cheesy episodes. But, unless you really want to hear about it, I’ll keep the reviews to myself.
For now, excuse me. I have a TARDIS to catch.