Tag Archives: Second Doctor

The One Show on Doctor Who’s Missing Episodes

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An informative 8 minute video from the BBC’s The One Show on the recovery and release of The Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear in October 2013. The segment features the First Doctor’s companion Peter Purves and the hunt for missing episodes. Of particular interest is the interview with Graham Strong concerning his collection of audio tapes of missing episodes.

Six Seasons Down, 27 to Go!

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After a long 50th Anniversary induced break it’s back to the Doctor Who Mind Robber’s journey through all 800 episodes of Who. Today we farewell the Second Doctor, Patrick Troughton, as Season Six concludes and we inch towards Jon Pertwee’s debut as the Third Doctor. Please join us as we explore Season Seven of Doctor Who and meet the Silurians and Autons for the first time.

Vivien Fleming

The War Games

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It was only at the close of Doctor Who’s monochrome era in 1969 that the world’s longest running science fiction series gave itself a back-story.  Already in its sixth season, and more than five years since An Unearthly Child was first broadcast, Doctor Who had hitherto avoided the continuity consciousness for which it is today so famous.  The Second Doctor would never have alluded to his body “wearing a bit thin” as John Hurt’s Doctor did of the First Doctor’s final words in The Day of the Doctor. To be sure, Doctor Who had a history but it was one that was only fleetingly referred to and then to those stories of recent memory only. Hence the Second Doctor famously misheard the word “jetty” for “Yeti” in The Enemy of the World however this allusion was only to a serial broadcast two stories previously, The Abominable Snowmen.

The War Games changed Who’s consciousness of its past forever.  Never before had a serial borrowed clips from previous serials save for the final episode of The Wheel in Space in which the Doctor projected his thought patterns onto a monitor and the reprise from episode two of The Evil of the Daleks was seen. On that occasion the clip had been shown as a lead-in for the first ever repeat of a serial, the aforementioned The Evil of the Daleks. In The War Games, however, stock footage was used as if it was new and previously unseen. Hence, in the Doctor and his companion’s escape from the Time Lords footage from Fury From the Deep was borrowed as the TARDIS spun to sea-level and from The Web of Fear when the ship was entangled in cobwebs.  It was fortunate that the Fury clip was borrowed because all of its episodes are missing from the archives.  The spinning TARDIS gives fans an all too brief glimpse at what the serial would have looked like.

Footage of the spinning TARDIS from Fury From the Deep only exists because it was reused in The War Games

Footage of the spinning TARDIS from Fury From the Deep only exists because it was reused in The War Games. All episodes of Fury From the Deep are missing from the BBC Archives

Who stock footage was also utilized in episode 10 of The War Games when, akin to Wheel, the Doctor again reflected his thought patterns to a wall.  In this instance it was the benefit of the Time Lords who were provided with details of the monsters the Doctor had recently fought, namely Daleks, Cybermen, Yeti, Ice Warriors and Quarks.

The show’s back-story, however, came with the arrival and naming of the Doctor’s race.  Since Doctor Who’s beginnings the Doctor had never been able to control the TARDIS’s steering.  It was for that reason that he was unable to return all of the kidnapped soldiers back to their own eras and had need to call in the Time Lords for assistance. Only once previously had the Doctor encountered one of his own and on that occasion his race was not named.  Rather than being dour and judgemental as the Time Lords were, The Monk of Season Three was somewhat of a hapless, albeit amusing, renegade.  It was in his renegade status that the Doctor had most in common with The Monk.

Prior to the arrival of the Time Lords in The War Games the Monk was the first and only member of the Doctor's race whom we meet

Prior to the arrival of the Time Lords in The War Games the Monk was the first and only member of the Doctor’s race we met

Jamie incorrectly assumed that the Doctor’s people would be both friendly and supportive of him.  Alas, this was not to be as the Doctor was compelled to admit to his companions that he was on the run from the Time Lords. Being bored with the existence of a Time Lord on their unnamed planet he stole a TARDIS and embarked on a life of adventure and inter-planetary interference.

Prior to meeting the three Time Lords who were in judgement of him, the Doctor encountered the evil renegade, the War Chief who was in alliance with the War Lords, a humanoid race of beings intent on conquering the galaxy.  It was with the War Chief’s expertise that the War Lords’ acquired the ability to time travel in the inferior technology crafts called SIDRATs (TARDIS backwards).

The War Chief was a renegade Time Lord who gave the the War Lords the secrets of time travel.  He also had the most fabulous beard!

The War Chief was a renegade Time Lord who gave the the War Lords the secrets of time travel. He also had the most fabulous beard!

Although The War Games is best remembered for its back-story invention, more significantly it is story on the futility of war.  The War Lords kill for killing’s sake in a quest to unearth the universe’s best fighting force of soldiers. It is with the best soldiers that the War Lords hope to conquer the galaxy.  The wars in each of the zones are as pointless as they are artificial. Victory would be of no effect as the wars are illusory.  There are no spoils for the victors to share but rather the (unknown) guarantee of further bloodshed when they are next compelled to battle for the War Lords. Transported from their own time zones to an unnamed world, the soldiers are lost to the society’s from which they came. This is sure to be an analogy for the millions lost to the bloodshed of history’s wars.

The simulated war zones of The War Games

The simulated war zones of The War Games

The War Games is also a tale on judicial injustice.  The serial begins and ends with trials in which the rule of law is disregarded. The Kangaroo Court before which the Doctor, Zoe and Jamie appear in the 1917 war zone is bereft of any semblance of truth or integrity. The monocle wearing War Lord Smyth hypnotises all to accept his distorted version of the “truth”.  Memories are lost and lies deposited in the minds of Smyth’s subordinates.  The Doctor is sentenced to death without the benefit of any defence. His imminent dawn execution in episode one is perhaps one of the best cliff hangers in Who’s history.

Smyth, the War Lord in command of the simulated 1917 WWI zone

General Smyth, the War Lord in command of the simulated 1917 WWI zone

The Time Lords’ trial of the Doctor at the serial’s conclusion is only slightly less abusive of the defendant’s inalienable right to a fair trial. In contrast to Smyth’s show trial, the Time Lord’s permit the Doctor to tender some evidence in support of his defence against breaching the most paramount of all his people’s laws – non- interference in dealings with the rest of the universe. Although the Doctor had indeed interfered in the affairs of the universe his defence was essentially one of mitigation.  The ends, the Doctor indirectly argued, justified the means. There were evils in the universe that needed to be fought. As the Doctor stated:

I not only admit them.  I am proud of them.  While you have been content merely to observe the evil in the galaxy, I have been fighting against it … All these evils I have fought while you have done nothing but observe.  True.  I am guilty of interference, just as you are guilty of failing to use your great powers to help those in need!

The Time Lords. The Time Lord in the Centre, Bernard Horsfall. played Gulliver in The Mind Robber

The Time Lords. The Time Lord in the centre, Bernard Horsfall. played Gulliver in The Mind Robber

Despite his spirited defence the Doctor was nonetheless convicted and his defence taken as a plea in mitigation. Whilst accepting that certain evil in the universe must be fought the Time Lords sentenced him to exile on Earth, a planet to which he had a particular interest.  The secret of the TARDIS was to be taken from him and he was to have his appearance changed.  The writers of Doctor Who had yet to invent the term “regeneration”. Although the opportunity was initially afforded to the Doctor to choose his appearance, the Time Lords quickly tired of his objections to each and every pencil sketched face offered to him.  Seeing this as a refusal to make a decision the Time Lords without further notice made it for the Doctor and propelled him into a circling vortex.  Interestingly, he was not charged and compelled to face court on a charge of stealing the TARDIS. Perhaps it was considered a minor offense that might warrant an on the spot fine?

That the head of the aliens is known as the “War Lord” exhibits that he and his race are authorities on war, whereas the “Time Lords” are specialists in the field of time. The use of the word “Lord” at the end of each title is suggestive of a royal or hereditary class structure. It was therefore surprising, and arguably anathema that John Hurt’s Doctor in the minisode The Night of the Doctor should be credited as the “War Doctor” in the closing titles. This was obviously an issue to which Steven Moffat gave great thought and was resolved in the 50th Anniversary Special, The Day of the Doctor. In the January 2014 edition of the Doctor Who Magazine Moffat discussed this issue in depth

The end credits card of The Night of the Doctor introducing John Hurt as the War Doctor

The end credits card of The Night of the Doctor introducing John Hurt as the War Doctor

“The Time War became a piece of back story that inevitably forced its way to the front cos you really have to contemplate – and the more you think about this seriously – that this lovely man who you’re watching week after week has committed genocide!”

The Doctor farewells Jamie

The Doctor farewells Jamie

It was extraordinarily sad to farewell both Jamie and Zoe in this serial.  Zoe quickly became my favourite female companion of the 1960s during my Second Doctor marathon.  You can read our 50th Anniversary Countdown piece on Zoe here.  I was thrilled to have the opportunity to meet the lovely Wendy Padbury in person during a cigarette break at the Brisbane Lords of Time 2 in December.  She was every bit as charming and engaging as I’d imagined. In The War Games Zoe again endeared herself to me by knocking an officer unconscious with a vase and describing the horrendously sexist Mexican resistance leader as having “rather primitive ideas about women knowing their place”. In the end we learn that Donna Noble was not the first Who companion to have their memories of the Doctor wiped. Jamie’s exit was no less traumatic although it was with relief that his last words were his clan’s battle cry, “Creag an Tuire”!  Jamie was  again in battle mode as an armed redcoat fled.

Zoe and the Doctor in The War Games

Zoe and the Doctor in The War Games

So ends the Second Doctor’s era.  Join the Doctor Who Mind Robber as we continue our journey with the Third Doctor!

Donna Noble (Journey's End) was not the first companion to have her memories of the Doctor wiped

Donna Noble (Journey’s End) was not the first companion to have her memories of the Doctor wiped

Vivien Fleming

©Vivien Fleming, 2014.

Let the Marathon Recommence!

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With the hysteria of Doctor Who’s 50th Anniversary behind us, and Peter Capaldi’s debut series as the Doctor at least six months away, it’s time to recommence the Doctor Who Mind Robber’s ultimate marathon. Before the unrelenting barrage of Golden Anniversary publicity and hype derailed the writer’s quest to view and review all 800 episodes of Doctor Who, this humble blog had chronicled the Doctor’s adventures from William Hartnell’s debut serial, An Unearthly Child, to Patrick Troughton’s penultimate outing, The Space Pirates. Although the final serial of the monochrome era, The War Games, had been viewed several times, the review has yet to grace the pages of this blog. It’s almost as if I couldn’t bare to make the final break with my favourite doctor, Troughton. Alas, it’s time to move on. Peter Capalid’s channelling of Jon Pertwee’s Third Doctor in his costume publicity photos has reignited my passion to explore the tenure of our first full colour Doctor. Please join me for the journey!

Patrick Troughton

Vivien Fleming

©Vivien Fleming, 2014.

Day 14 of 50th Anniversary Countdown – Children, Wind and Paper Pattern Pieces

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There’s the distinct smell of bushfire in the air as I recommence work on the Troughton Frock Coat. Living on an island, a block from the water, means I’m blessed by frequent sea breezes. Wind, however, wrecks havoc on Cosplay sewing. I’m ready to pin the remaining 12 pattern pieces to the fabric when I discover that the neatly ironed pieces have scattered around the ground floor of my home. Putting them on top of a large garbage bin had appeared rational at the time.  Who ever could have imagined that pre-teen children would possibly have removed the weight, lifted the lid and put garbage in? 🙂  From the living room to the adjoining bedroom the pieces were spread. Beneath lounges, inside washing baskets and under doonas the pieces were found.  But one was missing.  Where was number 12 – the coat lower front facing? After much effort it was located hidden under a bed.  Eureka! Work can recommence.

At last the Frock Coat pattern pieces are located and work can begin again.  For a while I thought that the Troughton Frock Coat's career would be as short as Fariah, Salamander's Food Taster

At last the Frock Coat pattern pieces are located and work can begin again. For a while I thought that the Troughton Frock Coat’s career would be as short as Fariah’s, Salamander’s Food Taster in The Enemy of the World. Glasses, dog muzzles and remote controls are used to weigh the pieces down from the wind.

Vivien Fleming

©Vivien Fleming, 2013.

Day 15 of 50th Anniversary Countdown – Griff the Chef’s Legacy

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Writing the Doctor Who Mind Robber’s 50th Anniversary Countdown is reminiscent of Griffin the Chef’s sublime appearance in Episode 3 of the recently recovered and released Second Doctor serial, The Enemy of the World. That episode, as you may recall, had been the only part of the six part serial to have been previously held in the BBC Archives. Released as part of the triple DVD set, Lost in Time, Episode 3 had caused many a fan to discount Enemy. Forever being one to differ, my review of Enemy prior to the recovery was nonetheless positive. Australian Reg Lye’s portrayal of the laconic Griff was the highlight of the episode. 

Griff the Chef hides under the table during a tense moment in The Enemy of the World, Episode 3

Griff the Chef hides under the table during a tense moment in The Enemy of the World, Episode 3

Griff is seen to complain to Victoria about his life as the evil Salamander’s chef.  His mother, he stated, had wanted him to be a dustman and that night’s dinner was sure to be “a national disaster”. Having agreed to be of assistance, Griff went on to say to Victoria,

Well sit down and write out the menus. First course interrupted by bomb explosion. Second course affected by earthquakes. Third course ruined by interference in the kitchen. I’m going out for a walk. It’ll probably rain.

Reg Lye was phenomenal as the chef, Griffin in The Enemy of the World

Reg Lye was phenomenal as the chef, Griffin in The Enemy of the World

Trying to keep up with this Countdown, and also sew the Second and Fourth Doctor Cosplay outfits discussed on Days 16 and 17, leaves me in a Griff type predicament. First course interrupted by The Day of the Doctor sneak peak. Second course affected by leaked The Day of the Doctor trailer. Third course ruined by interference from #SaveTheDay hastag on Twitter.  Just over a fortnight out from the 50th Anniversary and any half interested fan could spend almost every waking hour of the day following the latest Doctor Who news.

Doctor Who retro posters courtesy of Radio Times designer Stuart Manning - http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2013-10-11/doctor-who-missing-episodes-retro-poster-designs

Doctor Who retro posters courtesy of Radio Times designer Stuart Manning – http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2013-10-11/doctor-who-missing-episodes-retro-poster-designs

Keep watching the Doctor Who Mind Robber as we continue to report on all the anniversary news and hopefully even get some Cosplay sewing done!

Vivien Fleming

©Vivien Fleming, 2013.