Tag Archives: Second Doctor

Day 32 of 50th Anniversary Countdown – Top 3 Male Companions of the Sixties

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Yesterday the Doctor Who Mind Robber listed our Top 3 Female Companions of the Sixties. Although fewer in number than their women counterparts, today we examine our Top 3 Male Companions of the Sixties.

3. STEVEN TAYLOR

Not unlike his fellow companion Vicki who was number 3 in our list of the Top 3 Female Companions  of the Sixties, Steven joined the Doctor in a traumatized state. Portrayed by Peter Purves, Steven was an astronaut which had been held captive by the Mechonoids for two years.  As the sole human on the planet Mechanus, his only companion was a stuffed Panda named Hi-Fi. In the Doctor Who Mind Robber’s review of Steven’s first complete serial, The Time Meddler, we described his introduction to the TARDIS Crew in the following way:

Steven, Vicki and Hi-Fi in The Time Meddler

Steven, Vicki and Hi-Fi in The Time Meddler

 

After assisting the Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Vicki to escape the Mechonoid City in The Chase, Steven had returned to the City to retrieve Hi Fi just as the Daleks destroyed it. It was great dismay, therefore, that the Doctor and Vicki were confronted by Steven as he stumbled into the TARDIS control room before collapsing to the floor. The TARDIS had just materialized in 11th Century England however Steven had stowed away in the ship, presumably whilst Vicki and the Doctor were saying their goodbyes to Ian and Barbara on Mechanus.  Suffering ill effects from the Dalek blast, Steven assumed that he must have been delirious when he chased after the crew and eventually found the ship.

Astronaut Steven Taylor as we first met him in The Chase

Astronaut Steven Taylor as we first met him in The Chase

The spaceship pilot who had spent two years as a prisoner of the Mechonoids was now the Doctor’s latest companion.  Notwithstanding his experience with space craft, Steven has clearly not seen a machine as magical as the TARDIS before.  He doesn’t believe it is a time-machine or that they’ve landed in the 11th Century.  The TARDIS’s inability to blend into its surroundings, as it was constructed to do, together with the discovery of a modern wrist watch, compounds Steven’s disbelief.  Prone to speak his mind, Steven is openly dismissive of Vicki’s assertions about the ship’s capabilities and earns a quick rebuke from the Doctor for calling him “Doc”.  Quickly recovering from  a state of deep sleep or unconsciousness, Steven shows no ill effects from his previous deprivations on the planet Mechanus.  It would not be unfair to assume that a person who had gone two years without human companionship, and has an overt attachment to a stuffed toy, may be suffering some form of psychological distress. Not unlike Vicki, who rapidly regained equilibrium following her trauma on the planet Dido, Steven is promptly able to put the past behind him, leave the panda on a chair, and embrace a new life of adventure with the Doctor.

Peter Purves first appeared in Doctor Who as Morton Dill, the dim witted hick from Alabama in The Chase.  Here Dill investigates a Dalek on the Empire State Building

Peter Purves first appeared in Doctor Who as Morton Dill, the dim witted hick from Alabama in The Chase. Here Dill investigates a Dalek on the Empire State Building

Steven accompanied the Doctor on his journeys from the final serial of Season 2 until the penultimate Season 3 story, The Savages. In the intervening period he assisted the Doctor battle the evil but beautiful Drahvins in Galaxy 4 and the Daleks in the 12 part The Daleks’ Master Plan.  Steven travelled to ancient Troy where he and the Doctor farewelled Vicki, and to 1572 France where he was the Doctor’s sole companion during the massacre of French protestants.  He and Dodo were compelled to play the Celestial Toymaker’s puerile games to retrieve the TARDIS in The Celestial Toymaker and were confronted by the Monoids in The Ark. Steven’s penultimate adventure was to the American Mid-West where he surprised all by being able to sing and barely escaped a lynching.  His departure in The Savages was less than adequate. Having negotiated peace between the Guardians and the Monoids , the Doctor, much to Steven’s dismay,  volunteered  him to remain on the planet and facilitate the transformation to a fair and just society. Although initially hesitant, Steven quickly accepted the challenge and the Doctor and Dodo departed in the TARDIS. So ended Steven’s 12 month tenure as a companion.

Steven with the body of the Abbot of Amboise in The Massacre

Steven with the body of the Abbot of Amboise in The Massacre

2. IAN CHESTERTON

Ian Chesterton was one half of the “Ian and Barbara” duo who introduced the world to Doctor Who. A science teacher at Coal Hill School, he shared a concern with history teacher Barbara Wright about their 15 year old student, Susan Foreman.

After being kidnapped by the Doctor when he and Barbara entered the TARDIS looking for Susan, Ian’s initial relationship with the Doctor was tense and combative. His relations with the self-centred Doctor remained strained  until the Fourth serial, Marco Polo. Included in Doctor Who as both a point of identification for the audience and as a “man of action” for the more elderly and sedate Doctor, Ian remained with the TARDIS crew until the penultimate serial of Season 2, The Chase. During his two year tenure showed himself to be both intelligent and compassionate.  He had  penchant for wearing cardigans and was knocked unconscious more times than any other companion in the history of Doctor Who. Ian was knighted as Sir Ian of Jaffa by King Richard 1 of England in The Crusade.

Sir Ian of Jaffa is knighted by Richard the Lionheart in The Crusade

Sir Ian of Jaffa is knighted by Richard the Lionheart in The Crusade

It is our intention to provide no more than a cursory examination of Ian in this piece.  A comprehensive analysis of William Russell and his contribution to the history of Doctor Who would require a wordy dissertation, many thousands of words in length.  Instead we will leave you with a photographic essay of Ian.  All images are courtesy of http://thechestertons.tumblr.com.

Ian Chesterton had a fond appreciation for cardigans

Ian Chesterton had a fond appreciation for cardigans

Ian was shrunk to the size of an ant and caught in a matchbox in Planet of Giants

Ian was shrunk to the size of an ant and caught in a matchbox in Planet of Giants

Ian comforts Barbara

Ian comforts Barbara

Ian endeavours to unravel Barbara's cardigan in The Space Museum

Ian endeavours to unravel Barbara’s cardigan in The Space Museum

Ian displays how to paralyse a man with finger pressure only in The Aztecs

Ian displays how to paralyse a man with finger pressure only in The Aztecs

Barbara attends to Ian's hair in The Romans

Barbara attends to Ian’s hair in The Romans

Ian parties

Ian parties

Ian and Barbara embrace on returning to 1965 London in The Chase

Ian and Barbara embrace on returning to 1965 London in The Chase

Ian and Barbara frolic in London during their farewell in The Chase

Ian and Barbara frolic in London during their farewell in The Chase

3. JAMIE McCRIMMON

Jamie was the last male companion to join the Doctor in the Sixties although he made up for his late arrival by holding the record as the longest standing companion in Doctor Who’s history. Appearing in 116 episodes in total, Jamie exceeded the next most proficient companion, Sarah Jane Smith, by 21 episodes. Suffering from chicken pox during episode two of The Mind Robber, Frazer Hines was replaced by Hamish Wilson for that episode and the beginning of the following one. As luck would have it The Mind Robber was set in the land of fiction and Jamie’s change of appearance was quickly scripted to arise from the Doctor incorrectly reconstructing his face after he’d been transformed into a cardboard cut-out. Wilson’s departure and Hines’ return was facilitated by the Doctor correctly reconstructing Jamie’s face, with Zoe’s assistance, after he was again transfigured into a cut-out.

Hamish Wilson played the role of Jamie in episodes two and three of The Mind Robber

Hamish Wilson played the role of Jamie in episodes two and three of The Mind Robber

Jamie joined the Doctor, Ben and Polly in the second serial of the Second Doctor’s tenure, The Highlanders. The last historical in Classic Series Who until the 1982 Fifth Doctor’s adventure, Black Orchard, Frazer Hines’ contract as Jamie was originally to last for only the four weeks of the serial.  Hines’ rapport with the cast quickly saw him offered a full time position in the TARDIS Crew prior to the first episode of The Highlanders being broadcast.

Jamie confronts the Doctor, Ben and Polly in The Highlanders

Jamie confronts the Doctor, Ben and Polly in The Highlanders

James Robert McCrimmon met the Doctor and his companions, Polly and Ben, at the Battle of Culloden in 1746. A young and brave Highlander, the kilted Scot was ignorant of 20th Century technology which prompted an array of startled responses to everyday occurrences.  A plane in The Faceless Ones was a “flying beastie”.  In that serial he also had to ask the Doctor what a passport was, to which the Doctor responded, “Oh, some sort of official mumbo-jumbo”.

The Doctor and Jamie beside a "flying beastie" in The Faceless Ones

The Doctor and Jamie beside a “flying beastie” in The Faceless Ones

In The Evil of the Daleks Jamie was inquisitive about the sound of a train rumbling past.  He had no idea what the noise was and the Doctor described them to him in the simplest manner possible – “Well, it’s a train.  There are carriages and they go on wheels, on rails, and they’re drawn by a steam ..”.   He was unaware of what the Himalayas were in The Abominable Snowmen  and mistook the Doctor in his big fur coat as “a great sort of hairy beastie”.

Jamie mistook the Doctor in his fur jacket for a "hairy beastie" in The Abominable Snowmen

Jamie mistook the Doctor in his fur jacket for a “hairy beastie” in The Abominable Snowmen

In a state of delirium Jamie thought that a Cyberman in The Moonbase  was the Phantom Piper, the McCrimmon clan’s equivalent of the Grim Reaper. When Zoe first met Jamie in The Wheel in Space she was intrigued by his clothing.  She was unable to resist laughing and blurted out to Jamie, “You’re wearing female garments”. Needless to say, he was less than impressed and was quick to advise Zoe that his garb was that of a true Scotsman.  After initially mistaking him for a “kiltie” from Denmark or Scandinavia,  Zoe admitted that pre-century history was not her forte.  Jamie famously responded, “Aye, maybe not but just watch your lip or I’ll put you across my knee and larrup you”.

Polly tends to the ailing Jamie.  Whilst hallucinating  Jamie mistakes a Cyberman for the "Phantom Piper" in The Moonbase

Polly tends to the ailing Jamie. Whilst hallucinating Jamie mistakes a Cyberman for the “Phantom Piper” in The Moonbase

Jamie was also responsible for giving the Doctor his alias of John Smith.  In episode two of The Wheel in Space the Doctor was unconscious.  When asked what his name was by Gemma  Corwyn, Jamie glanced at piece medical apparatus with the words “John Smith & Associates” inscribed on it and replied, “John Smith”. That name has remained the Doctor’s preferred non de plume to this day.

The piece of medical equipment which inspired the now literate Jamie to give the Doctor the alias John Smith (The Wheel in Space)

The piece of medical equipment which inspired the now literate Jamie to give the Doctor the alias John Smith (The Wheel in Space)

Jamie’s naivety allowed him to seamlessly ask the “what’s this, Doctor” questions. One of his favourite phrases was “look at the size of that thing, Doctor”, to which the Doctor would invariably respond by saying, “Yes, Jamie, that is a big one.”Jamie was fiercely protective of the Doctor and the two men had a magnificent rapport.  Frazer Hines and Patrick Troughton were not averse to hamming it up occasionally and on two occasions held hands.  In The Tomb of the Cybermen the Doctor mistook Jamie’s hand for Victoria’s, and in The Dominators they jumped from a small landing hand-in-hand.

The Doctor and Jamie hold hands again in The Dominators

The Doctor and Jamie hold hands again in The Dominators

Jamie’s last fellow companion, Zoe Heriot, was named as our favourite female companion of the Sixties.  The pair’s departure from Doctor Who in the final episode of The War Games was both powerful and melancholy. With his memory wiped of all but his first adventure with the Doctor, Jamie returned to the battlefields of Culloden.  Momentarily dazed, Jamie picked himself off the ground, sword in hand, and with a scream of “Creag an tuire” resumed battle with the enemy.  Frazer Hines reprised his role as Jamie briefly in the 1983 20th Anniversary Special, The Five Doctors, and more substantially as a companion of both the Second and the Sixth Doctors in 1985’s The Two Doctors. 

Jamie with the Second and Sixth Doctors in The Two Doctors

Jamie with the Second and Sixth Doctors in The Two Doctors

Vivien Fleming

©Vivien Fleming, 2013.

The illustration at the top of this post is by tygerbug and is courtesy of deviantART – http://tygerbug.deviantart.com/art/Doctor-Who-Ben-Polly-Jamie-184396442.  No copyright breach is intended.

Day 33 of 50th Anniversary Countdown – Top 3 Female Companions of the Sixties

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In the lead-up to Doctor Who’s 50th Anniversary the Radio Times has been running an online poll on the Greatest Companion Ever.  Voting has now closed and the results will be announced on the anniversary date, 23 November 2013. Today and for the following two days the Doctor Who Mind Robber will be ruminating on our Top 3 Female and Male Companions of the Sixties, together with  the 3 companions who failed to live up to our expectations.  Your comments on our choices would be greatly appreciated.

3. Vicki

On 10 July we posted an article on Vicki, the First Doctor’s companion who was hastily shown the door at the conclusion of The Myth Makers. Here’s how we described her tenure:

I have to admit I really liked Vicki. Young, perhaps no more than 17, she had a vibrancy that had been missing in her predecessor, the Doctor’s grand-daughter, Susan.  As a former secondary school teacher I envied the way she was schooled. In The Web Planet Vicki incorrectly assumed that Barbara had taught at a nursery school because they “worked upwards from the three Rs.”  The curriculum of Coal Hill School in 1963 seemed like child’s play to her.  At the age of 10 she took a certificate of education in medicine,  physics and chemistry.  When asked by Barbara how long she spent in the classroom Vicki was totally perplexed.  She’d spent almost an hour a week with a machine.  Life in 2493 must have been a child’s dream existence!

Vicki, Steven and the Doctor in The Time Meddler

Vicki, Steven and the Doctor in The Time Meddler

Vicki was a member of the TARDIS Crew  in episodes which screened from 2 January 1965 until 6th November 1965.  In just under 12 months Vicki had gone from an orphaned girl stranded on the planet Dido to the love interest of Troilus, son of the King of Troy. During that time, however, there was little in the way of character development. Save for when we met Vicki in The Rescue and she was clearly suffering from the effects of Bennett/Koquillion’s abuse, she remains a vibrant and forthright young woman throughout. As I have previously lamented, it was a shame that the opportunity wasn’t taken to examine the long term effects of this abuse on Vicki, however my concern for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder plainly comes from a 21st century perspective.

Koquillion menaces Vicki in The Rescue

Koquillion menaces Vicki in The Rescue

This absence of character evolution says much about the 1960′s perception of women, particularly young ones.  In the 1960s the median age of first marriage for women was around 20 years of age.  Career opportunities  were limited and pay was not equal.  Although unable to locate figures for the United Kingdom, Australia as a Commonwealth country would have been reasonably similar. Until 1966 the Australian Public Service required single women  to resign from their positions on the eve of their marriage. Equal pay was not granted until 1972. Is it any surprise, therefore, that women were portrayed as either children or mothers?  With women having perhaps only five years between leaving school and marriage, this period between childhood and motherhood was marginalized and frequently forgotten.

Vicki - I hope that tasted nice!

Vicki – I hope that tasted nice!

When we first meet Vicki she is in a stereotypical role as carer for Bennett.  As Bennett is supposedly crippled and unable to work, Vicki is compelled to undertake all the chores including collecting water, cooking and cleaning.  She isn’t seen to complain about this notwithstanding the absence of any thanks from Bennett.   Once a member of the TARDIS Crew, Vicki  is somewhat of a companion for the Doctor – a faux grand-daughter, if you like.   The Doctor has someone to fuss around, care about and instruct.  She provides him with moral support  and most probably a sense of identity.  She is close by his side in The Romans and The Crusade and does not distance herself in any great manner until The Space Museum, where she becomes involved with the young Xeron rebels and seems to start a revolution for fun.  A potential love interest comes to nothing. Although coupled with Steven for much of The Time Meddler, Vicki is back at the Doctor’s side during Galaxy 4.  In her final serial, The Myth Makers, Vicki  is again separated from the Doctor but only because he’s compelled her to remain in the TARDIS because of a sprained ankle.  As was the case with both Susan and Barbara, female companions in Doctor Who are overly susceptible to wrenching their ankles.  They require time to recuperate from such injuries, unlike Ian who was frequently knocked unconscious and seemed able to get up, and shake it off, each time.

Vicki with the Doctor in The Crusade

Vicki with the Doctor in The Crusade

Quite phenomenally Vicki is capable of falling in love with Troilus in less than 24 hours, most of which time she was a prisoner in a dungeon.  This love affair was even quicker than Susan and David’s in The Dalek Invasion of Earth. Having pleaded with the Doctor in The Crusade not to leave her as the TARDIS was her only home, Vicki was extraordinarily quick to leave its confines in The Myth Makers. The television audience is not even privy to Vicki’s farewells to the Doctor as they take place out of camera shot inside the TARDIS. The Doctor, nonetheless, appears satisfied with her explanation which seems to have been that she didn’t want Troilus to think she had betrayed him.

Although spending one’s life travelling in a blue wooden box through time and space may appear somewhat aimless, it’s certainly more secure than with a bloke you’ve only known for a day; in a time several thousand years before your own; and in a land where your love’s home City has been destroyed.  Ever quick to point out logical flaws in a witty manner, Wood and Miles in About Time 1 couldn’t help but extrapolate on a grave problem that Vicki and Troilus would be confronted by.  As the TARDIS translates languages for the benefit of the Crew and persons they meet along the way, once it had left then the two lovers would be unable to communicate with each other.  Unless, of course, Vicki had learnt Ancient Greek, the language that Homer attributes to the Trojans in Iliad, in school!

Vicki and Troilus in The Myth Makers

Vicki and Troilus in The Myth Makers

Aside from the characterization failures in Doctor Who, the reality of Maureen O’Brien’s hasty exit from the role of Vicki appears to lay in programme’s change of producer.  According to Howe, Walker and Stammers in The Handbook, O’Brien had been cast by Verity Truman having been suggested by one of her former drama teachers who then was in the employ of the BBC. The new producer, John Wiles, replaced Truman beginning with the production of The Myth Makers, although he had shadowed Truman during the making of Galaxy 4. Wood and Miles argue that “Wiles had noticed her tendency to pick holes in the dialogue during rehearsals for Galaxy Four, and made arrangements to have her removed while the cast were on holiday”.  It was on her return from a week’s break given to the regular cast whilst Mission to the Unknown was filmed  that O’Brien heard of her dismissal. Although the new character of Katarina was going to replace Vicki it soon became evident to Wiles and story editor, Donald Tosh, that Katarina’s Trojan naivety would make her an unsuitable companion.  It’s for that reason that Katarina was just as hastily written out of Doctor Who in the fourth episode of The Daleks’ Master Plan.

So ends the less than a year long tenure of Maureen O’Brien as Vicki.  This was but the beginning of a revolving door of companions which would grace the screens of Doctor Who over the next several years.

Vicki as we first meet her

Vicki as we first meet her

2. Barbara Wright

Barbara first met the Doctor when she and fellow Coal Hill School teacher, Ian Chesterton, went to 76 Totter’s Lane to check on the welfare of one of their students, 15 year old Susan Foreman.   Kidnapped by the Doctor after they entered the TARDIS, Barbara and Ian remained with the Doctor for two years until they took control of the Dalek time-machine at the end of The Chase. Their return to 1965 London was a joyous occasion as snapshots of them frolicking before prominent landmarks were flashed up on the screen.

The Doctor's grand-daughter Susan, with her History Teacher, Barbara Wright and Science Teacher, Ian Chesterton in An Unearthly Child

The Doctor’s grand-daughter Susan, with her History Teacher, Barbara Wright and Science Teacher, Ian Chesterton in An Unearthly Child

Barbara’s excellent knowledge of history was useful during the Doctor’s early journeys and undoubtedly assisted the programme’s mandate to both entertain and educate.  She was more accepting of the unknown than Ian and was quicker to acknowledge that the tales that the Doctor and Susan spun about the TARIS were indeed true. When the TARIS crew visited South America in The Aztecs she was able to draw upon her knowledge of Spanish settlement and traditional Aztec culture and religion.  That, unfortunately, led her to the false belief that by assuming the mantle of the reincarnated priest, Yataxa, that had been thrust upon her, that she could change the course of history and end human sacrifices. The Doctor was quick to point out to Barbara the folly of believing that history could be altered.  She was also able to utilize her knowledge of history in The Dalek Invasion of Earth when she bamboozled the Daleks with some historical falsities and in The Reign of Terror, when she was able to identify the period of French history in which they’d materialized.

Yetaxa in all her finery as Barbara masquerades in The Aztecs

Yetaxa in all her finery as Barbara masquerades in The Aztecs

Unusually for a woman in her mid thirties, Barbara wasn’t married.  Perhaps the negative stereotype of spinster school ma’ams had been adopted here. Barbara was not without romance, however. She came upon several suitors during the course of her companionship, although none matched the tenderness of her relationship with Ian.  Although never openly remarked upon, it was clear that Barbara and Ian had become more than just colleagues.  Their joyful banter whilst reclining in luxury during The Romans was indicative of a particularly strong personal relationship. The tenderness between Barbara and her fellow companion Ian was undoubtedly a silent nod to a love that couldn’t be broached on Saturday tea time family TV. One can only dream that they became a couple and lived in marital bliss upon their return to earth.

Barbara and Ian playfully relax in The Romans

Barbara and Ian playfully relax in The Romans

Barbara and Ian in one of their many embraces (The Dalek Invasion of Earth).  Gif courtesy of http://thechestertons.tumblr.com

Barbara and Ian in one of their many embraces (The Dalek Invasion of Earth). Gif courtesy of http://thechestertons.tumblr.com

1. Zoe Heriot

The character of Zoe was arguably the first companion in Doctor Who to reflect the changing views on women that arose with the second wave of feminism. A teenage genius, Zoe first met the Doctor and Jamie in final serial of Season 5, The Wheel in Space. She remained with the Doctor until the end of the monochrome era when all three stars left in the final episode of The War Games.  My review of The Wheel in Space included a detailed introduction to Zoe.  She was  an astrophysicist and astrometricist first class and employed as the Wheel’s parapsychology librarian. Her perfect recall of scientific facts and ability to undertake mental calculations faster than a hand-held calculator were the consequence of her being brainwashed by the City’s educational institution. She had total faith in the ability of pure logic to provide all the answers required.  Zoe’s future adventures would soon show this to be a folly and the Doctor quickly, but tactfully, advised her on the limitations of logic alone.  Perhaps the Second Doctor’s most famous quote was to Zoe in The Wheel in Space when he stated, “Logic, my dear Zoe, merely enables one to be wrong with authority”.

Zoe and Jamie with the white robots in The Mind Robber

Zoe and Jamie with the white robots in The Mind Robber

Zoe was the first companion with an intellect to match the Doctor’s.  Zoe’s extraordinarily high intelligence was remarked upon several times in The Krotons.  She told Selris that the “Doctor’s almost as clever as I am” whilst earlier the Doctor had said to him, “Yes, well, Zoe is something of a genius. Of course it can be very irritating at times”.  In The Invasion she blew up the automated answering machine at International Electromatics by presenting it with a ALGOL problem that it was unable to answer.  She also assisted in the destruction of the entire fleet of Cybermen ships by mathematically calculating the correct alignment and course of projectile for the Russian missiles targeted at the ships. The Seeds of Death saw her piloting a space rocket.

The delightful Wendy Padbury as Zoe Heriot

The delightful Wendy Padbury as Zoe Heriot

The Doctor, however, was never seriously concerned by Zoe’s brilliance. There was no sense of threat and never a suggestion that her intellect was unbecoming of a young woman. That’s not to say that Zoe didn’t escape entirely from the scourge of sexism. In The Invasion the UNIT soldiers’ praise for Zoe masked an underlying sexism when she was described as “prettier than a computer”.

Jamie is initially reticent to accept Zoe as a member of the TARDIS Crew in The Wheel in Space

Jamie is initially reticent to accept Zoe as a member of the TARDIS Crew in The Wheel in Space

Zoe challenged assumptions on the role of women more by her deeds rather than by words. On at least one occasion, however, she verbalized the thoughts of women of that era. Undoubtedly buoyed by the support of Isobel Watkins in The Invasion, Zoe took offence at Jamie’s sexism when she stated “Just because you’re a man you think you’re superior, don’t you”.  Zoe’s relationship with Jamie, however, was otherwise positive.  Although less intellectually capable than his friend, Jamie is never mocked or derided by Zoe.

Zoe and Jamie cling to the TARDIS console after the Ship explodes in The Mind Robber

Zoe and Jamie cling to the TARDIS console after the Ship explodes in The Mind Robber

Both Zoe and Jamie were returned to their own time in episode 6 of The War Games, with their memories wiped of all but their first adventure with the Doctor. Donna Noble was not the first to suffer this fate. The Doctor’s companions’ departures were heartbreaking and perhaps the most poignant of Classic Series Doctor Who.

Jamie and Zoe’s Goodbye.

Vivien Fleming

©Vivien Fleming, 2013.

The top image is courtesy of www.deviantart.com.  Artwork by Shawn Van Briesen.  No copyright infringement is intended.

Day 34 of 50th Anniversary Countdown – 5 Best Doctor Who Radio Times Covers of the Sixties

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The Radio Times is a weekly radio and television programme guide which has been published in the UK since 1923. Owned and published in house by the BBC until 2011, the publication is now owned by Immediate Media Company.  Prior to the deregulation of British television listings in 1991 the Radio Times only carried listings for BBC radio and television programmes.  Since then the magazine has comprehensively listed programmes on all networks.

The first article published by the Radio Times on Doctor Who discussed the exciting new adventure series starring William Hartnell

The first article published by the Radio Times on Doctor Who  on 21 November 1963 discussed the exciting new adventure series starring William Hartnell

Doctor Who has been represented in more Radio Times covers than any other programme, with 29 issues featuring Who on its cover.  Today the Doctor Who Mind Robber will review the five best Doctor Who Radio Times covers of the Sixties.

5. Marco Polo

The Radio Times cover for the missing Doctor Who serial Marco Polo

The Radio Times cover for the missing Doctor Who serial Marco Polo in February 1964

4. The Power of the Daleks

The return of the Daleks were worth a Radio Times Cover story

The return of the Daleks was worth a Radio Times Cover story when the Second Doctor’s first serial, The Power of the Daleks, was broadcast in November 1966.

3. The Tomb of the Cybermen

The Cybermen soon found themselves on the Cover of Radio Times

The Cybermen soon found themselves on the Cover of Radio Times in this feature about The Tomb of the Cybermen in September 1967

2. The Dalek Invasion of Earth

The Daleks appeared in their second Doctor Who serial in November 1964.  The Dalek Invasion of Earth featured in this cover

The Daleks appeared in their second Doctor Who serial in November 1964. The Dalek Invasion of Earth featured in this cover

1. The Enemy of the World

A rare colour cover for 1960s Radio Times saw Patrick Troughton as the Second Doctor in

A rare colour cover for 1960s Radio Times with Patrick Troughton as the Second Doctor in The Enemy of the World in January 1968.

As a comparison with the current era, here’s a September 2012 cover of the Radio Times featuring the Eleventh Doctor, Amy and Rory.  The Daleks are still a major draw card.

A September 2012 Radio Times cover for the premier Series 7 episode, The Asylum of the Daleks

A September 2012 Radio Times cover for the premier Series 7 episode, The Asylum of the Daleks

Vivien Fleming

©Vivien Fleming, 2013.

Day 35 of 50th Anniversary Countdown – 5 Serials You’d Swap for Missing Episodes

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The success on iTunes of the recently recovered Troughton era serials, The Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear, has conclusively shown that 45 year old monochrome Doctor Who can successfully compete against the best current release TV shows.  An article in the UK’s Mirror newspaper states that in the first three days after the release of the two stories 10,000 series pass downloads were sold.  Presumably this figure is for sales in the UK only. The article goes on to state that to date there have been 73,000 episode downloads.

The Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear have only been released on iTunes in the UK, US, Canada and Australia. Enemy is due for release on DVD in late November and Web is due sometime in the New Year. Rumours continue to surface that Marco Polo may have been recovered and is soon to be released.

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

In the light of Doctor Who’s missing episodes hysteria the Doctor Who Mind Robber today looks at 5 Serials that you’d swap for missing episodes. Even the most rabid of fans acknowledge that the output of Doctor Who has never been consistent.  Some stories are brilliant whilst others would have been best left unmade. As 97 episodes are still claimed by the BBC to be missing from their archives, which extant episodes would you willingly ditch for a recovered one?

5. The Sensorites

The Sensorites is the most unloved serial of Season One Doctor Who.  In a documentary included in the Special Features of the DVD release comedian Toby Hadoke described the serial in the following way:

The Sensorites.  Poor, unloved, The Sensorites.  Nestling, lost somewhere, down the back of the fans’ collective sofa.  There it lies at number 7 in the first heady year of Doctor Who.  It didn’t even have the decency to be wiped so we could all mourn its loss, and imagine how brilliant it must have been.  It’s not a story anyone really talks about.  We certainly don’t know that much about it …

Little more needs to be said.

A scene from The Sensorites

A scene from The Sensorites

4. The Ark

Although beautifully directed The Ark has undoubtedly the worst monsters in Classic Series Who, the Monoids. In my review I described the Monoids like this:

Also travelling on the spaceship are an assortment of animals and the Monoids, a peculiar mute race whose most distinctive feature is their one eye.  This single eye is in their mouths, or at least what would’ve been their mouths if they had human anatomy. These eyes are actually painted ping pong balls which the actors held in place with their mouths.  Now that’s ingenious small budget special effects for you!  On the top of their heads is a long Beatles style mop top wig, whilst the rest of their bodies are clothed in green ill fitting garb. They have webbed hands and feet and move slowly.

An unfortunate Monoid in The Ark

An unfortunate Monoid in The Ark

3. The Keys of Marinus

The Keys of Marinus is the second of two little regarded serials in Doctor Who’s first season.  The six parter was among the more expensive stories to produce as each episode took place in a different location of Marinus. Season 16’s The Key to Time is not dissimilar.  Unfortunately the variety of locations makes for a disjointed serial and the chief monsters, the Voord, are what young people today might best describe as “rubbish”. With wet suit clad bodies and swimming flipper feet their most redeeming features were their quite unusual heads.

A Voord with Susan in The  Keys of Marinus

A Voord with Susan in  The Keys of Marinus

2. The Space Museum

In my review of The Space Museum I discussed the DVD extra, Defending the Museum.  In it the writer Rob Shearman outlined his devotion to The Space Museum which rests solely upon the assumption that the story is a parody of William Hartnell era Doctor Who episodes. The aggressors, the Moroks, are little more than morons who invade a planet only to turn it into a museum for their past achievements. The rebels are excruciatingly bad.  Dressed in black polo neck jumpers, they look like students in a coffee bar.  Vicki starts a revolution only because she’s bored and the native Xerons don’t need a great revolutionary, just a locksmith! That The Space Museum can only be appreciated if it’s considered a parody says much for the low esteem in which it’s generally held. The serial is unlikely to be missed.

The Doctor hiding inside the casing of a Dalek exhibit is one of the best parts of The Space Museum

The Doctor hiding inside the casing of a Dalek exhibit is one of the best parts of The Space Museum

1. The Web Planet

I was so utterly bored by The Web Planet that I couldn’t even find the enthusiasm to review it. The best parts of the story are William Hartnell’s “Billy Fluffs” and when an extra ran slap bang into a camera and it wasn’t edited out. This fan made compilation clip, however, is brilliant.

Vivien Fleming

©Vivien Fleming, 2013.

Day 37 of 50th Anniversary Countdown – The Second Doctor’s Hats

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When the Second Doctor burst forth onto our television screens it appeared  for short time that Doctor Who may have acquired a rather eccentric hat fancier as its new Doctor. Decked out in a battered stove pipe hat, the Doctor was quick to remark upon hats he found enticing.  In his premiere serial, The Power of the Daleks, the Doctor complimented Bragen on his hat which he found very smart.  “I would like a hat like that” he told the Bragen, Vulcan’s Head of Security and rebel leader.

The Doctor wears his stove pipe hat whilst reading his 500 Year Diary in The Power of the Daleks

The Doctor wears his stove pipe hat whilst reading his 500 Year Diary in The Power of the Daleks

In his next adventure, The Highlanders, the Doctor quickly spotted a bonnet with eagle feather and Jacobite cockade. Putting the hat on the Doctor said to Polly, “I would like a hat like that.  How do I look?”  Polly replied, “It’s got words on it.  With Charles our brave and merciful Prince Royal, we’ll greatly fall or nobly save our country”.  The Doctor’s response was “Bah, Romantic piffle”.  He then threw the bonnet onto the ground.

The Doctor again spoke of his desire for others’ hats in episode four of The Highlanders. When Ben pulled a tam-o’shanter over his face the Doctor responded for the third time in his short tenure with the phrase, “I would like a hat like that”.

A collection of tam-o'shanters.  There are very few still photos, and no film whatsoever, for the Doctor's second adventure, The Highlanders

A collection of tam-o’shanters. There are very few still photos, and no film whatsoever, of the Doctor’s second adventure, The Highlanders

Alas, the Doctor’s obsession with envying others’ hats ended in The Highlanders. His own penchant for wearing hats similarly dissipated as his stove pipe hat was quickly relegated to the TARDIS’s chest. He donned hats from time to time thereafter, but never again would he have signature headwear.  His recorder would be seen a little longer, however it too would soon find itself gathering dust somewhere within the realms of the TARDIS.

The Doctor's recorder lasted just a little longer than his signature stove pipe hat of early serials

The Doctor’s recorder lasted just a little longer than his signature stove pipe hat of early serials

In the tradition of Monty Python’s The Life of Brian, we will take a liberal interpretation of the word “hat”.  If it was good enough for Python not to take “Blessed are the cheesemakers” literally, and to accept that “it refers to any manufacturers of dairy products”, then it’s good enough for The Doctor Who Mind Robber. “Hat” will therefore refer to any headpiece or item of any nature whatsoever which was placed upon the Doctor’s head.  Join The Doctor Who Mind Robber as we investigate the Second Doctor’s fascination with headwear. To chart the evolution of the Doctor’s headwear all serials are listed in broadcast order.

A publicity shot of Patrick Troughton wearing his trademark stove pipe hat and playing a recorder

A publicity shot of Patrick Troughton wearing his trademark stove pipe hat and playing a recorder

1. The Power of the Daleks

The Second Doctor wears a stove pipe hat in his first serial, The Power of the Daleks

The Second Doctor wears a stove pipe hat in his first serial, The Power of the Daleks

The Doctor, Ben and a Dalek in The Power of the Daleks

The Doctor, Ben and a Dalek in The Power of the Daleks

2. The Highlanders

Ben, The Doctor, Polly and THAT hat in The Highlanders

Ben, The Doctor, Polly and THAT hat in The Highlanders

The Doctor briefly wore a Jacobite bonnet before dismissing it as "Romantic piffle"

The Doctor briefly wore a Jacobite bonnet before dismissing it as “Romantic piffle”

Disguising himself as a women, the Doctor wears a head scarf in The Highlanders

Disguising himself as a women, the Doctor wears a head scarf in The Highlanders

3. The Underwater Menace

The Doctor wears an unusual form of headwear in The Underwater Menace

The Doctor wears an unusual form of headwear in The Underwater Menace

Continuing his tradition for dressing up, the Doctor dons a hippy type bandanna and dark glasses in The Underwater Menace

Continuing his tradition for dressing up, the Doctor dons a hippy type bandanna and dark glasses in The Underwater Menace

4. The Macra Terror

The Doctor in a drum majorette's hat in The Macra Terror

The Doctor in a drum majorette’s hat in The Macra Terror

5. Fury From the Deep

The Doctor kept his head warm down by the beach in Fury From the Deep

The Doctor kept his head warm down by the beach in Fury From the Deep

6. The Wheel in Space

The Doctor wears a strange contraption on his head in The Wheel in Space

The Doctor wears a strange contraption on his head in The Wheel in Space

7. The Mind Robber

The Master of the Land of Fiction hooked the Doctor up to the computer in The Mind Robber

The Master of the Land of Fiction hooked the Doctor up to the computer in The Mind Robber

8. The Krotons

The Doctor takes the test in The Krotons

The Doctor takes the test in The Krotons

9. The Seeds of Death

The Doctor is caught in so much foam that it even covers his head in The Seeds of Death

The Doctor is caught in so much foam that it even covers his head in The Seeds of Death

10. The War Games

The Doctor and Zoe wear Army caps in The War Games

The Doctor and Zoe wear Army caps in The War Games

Vivien Fleming

©Vivien Fleming, 2013.

Day 38 of 50th Anniversary Countdown – 10 Great Companion Outfits of the Sixties

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In no particular order The Doctor Who Mind Robber today presents 10 Great Companion Outfits of the Sixties.

1. Jamie McCrimmon –  Kilt

Possessed of a fine pair of legs, Jamie McCrimmon always looked stunning in his kilt

Possessed of a fine pair of legs, Jamie McCrimmon always looked stunning in his kilt

2. Zoe Heriot – Catsuit

Zoe fights the Karkus in her famous catsuit

Zoe fights the Karkus in her famous catsuit

3. Barbara Wright – Yetaxa

Barbara masqueraded as the reincarnated priest Yetaxa in The Aztecs

Barbara masqueraded as the reincarnated priest Yetaxa in The Aztecs

4. Dodo Chaplet – The Celestial Toymaker

Zoe looked fabulous in The Celestial Toymaker

Zoe looked fabulous in The Celestial Toymaker

5. Sara Kingdom – The Daleks’ Master Plan

Jean Marsh in black cat suit as Sara Kingdom

Jean Marsh in black catsuit as Sara Kingdom

6. Zoe Heriot – Space Pirates’ Hotpants

Zoe shows some leg in The Space Pirates

Zoe shows some leg in The Space Pirates

7. Susan – An Unearthly Child

Susan at her casual best in An Unearthly Child

Susan at her casual best in An Unearthly Child

8. Polly – Way Out Sixties

Is this the ultimate Sixties companion outfit?

Is this the ultimate Sixties companion outfit?

9. Victoria – The Abominable Snowmen

Victoria emerges from the TARDIS and is shocked by what she sees

Victoria wears Victorian riding gear in The Abominable Snowmen

10. Zoe Heriot – The Invasion 

Zoe in a green feather boa in The Invasion

Zoe in a green feather boa in The Invasion

 

HONOURABLE MENTION

Polly dresses as a local in The Underwater Menace

Polly dresses as a local in The Underwater Menace

 

Vivien Fleming

Day 39 of 50th Anniversary Countdown – The 5 Greatest Monsters of the Sixties

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Doctor Who’s long history of non-human villains has its genesis in the show’s second ever serial, The Daleks. Choosing the Top 5 is relatively easy given the extraordinarily high attrition rate of monsters considered to be “the next big thing”. Starting with Terry Nation’s The Sensorites, and ending with Robert Homes’ The Krotons, the Sixties were littered with the carcases of monsters that never quite made the grade.  The Dominator’s Quarks, The Underwater Menace’s benevolent Fish People, The Macra Terror’s Macra, The War Machines’ WOTAN and War Machines, Galaxy 4’s Rill, The Chase’s Mechonoids, and The Web Planet’s Zarbi and Menoptra are but a few  examples.

One of the less successful monsters of the Sixties, the Fish People from The Underwater Menace

One of the less successful monsters of the Sixties, the Fish People from The Underwater Menace

In essence, any 1960s monster that scored a repeat story in that decade has made The Doctor Who Mind Robber’s list of the Greatest Monsters of the Sixties. All have been revived in New Series Doctor Who, with the exception of the Yeti. Please see Day 49 of our countdown for the Ten Least Remembered Monsters of the Sixties.

5. The Great IntelligenceThe Abominable Snowmen and The Web of Fear

When Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart asked the Doctor in The Web of Fear what the Great Intelligence was he responded by saying, “Well, I wish I could give you a precise answer.  Perhaps the best way to describe it is a sort of formless, shapeless thing floating around in space like a cloud of mist, only with a mind and will”.

The Doctor, Jamie and Victoria first encountered the Great Intelligence at the Det-Sen monastery in 1935 Tibet (The Abominable Snowmen).  Having possessed the body of the monastery’s Master, Padmasambhava, this otherwise disembodied sentient being permitted its host to live up to 300 years.  The Intelligence forced Padmasambhava to build him an army of robot Yeti, the construction of which took over 200 years.  The Yeti were controlled by small hand-made pyramids. The Intelligence’s plans to take over the mountain on which the monastery stood were thwarted when the Doctor, Edward Travers and the companions destroyed the pyramids. Padmasambhava finally found the peace he so desired when his body passed away and the Intelligence again became a sentient being without a parasitic body.

The Abominable Snowmen's Padmasambhava was possessed by the Great Intelligence

The Abominable Snowmen’s Padmasambhava was possessed by the Great Intelligence

The Doctor and his companions again met the Intelligence when they found themselves in the London Underground 40 years later. In The Web of Fear their old friend Professor Travis had inadvertently facilitated the reactivation of the Yeti. The Doctor, Jamie and Victoria teamed up with members of the British Army to thwart the Intelligence’s plans for domination. The Intelligence used the body of the deceased Staff Sergeant Arnold and even Professor Travers for a short time.  The Intelligence sought to possess the Doctor’s body and to drain his mind with a conversion headset.  Unbeknownst to his companions, the Doctor had already reversed the settings so that it was the Intelligence’s mind, rather than his own, that would be drained.  Jamie, however, smashed the control spheres prior to the Doctor sapping the Intelligence’s mind.  Although still alive, the Intelligence vanished and was never again seen by the Second Doctor.

Staff Sergeant Arnold was possessed by the Great Intelligence in The Web of Fear

Staff Sergeant Arnold was possessed by the Great Intelligence in The Web of Fear

4. The YetiThe Abominable Snowmen and The Web of Fear

Although briefly seen in the 20th Anniversary Special, The Five Doctors, the Yeti have only been the central players of two serials, The Abominable Snowmen and The Web of Fear. Robotic servants of the Great Intelligence, the first Yeti were manufactured by Padmasambhava at the Intelligence’s command.  Rather pear shaped and cuddly, the Mark 1 Yeti were not as threatening in appearance as their Mark 2 counterparts which had claws capable of holding web-guns and were more streamlined. Exactly who assisted the Intelligence in the production of the Mark 2 Yeti of The Web of Fear has never revealed.

The Doctor and a Yeti in The Web of Fear

The Doctor and a Yeti in The Web of Fear

3. The Ice WarriorsThe Ice Warriors and  The Seeds of Death

The Ice Warriors are natives of the planet Mars. Large reptilian humanoids, the Ice Warriors can stand up to 7 feet in height. The Doctor and his companions first came upon the Ice Warriors at the Brittanicus Base where they had been frozen in ice for over 5,000 years. Defeated when their space craft exploded the Ice Warriors were next encountered on the Moon in The Seeds of Death. Their attempts at obtaining control of the Earth were foiled when the Doctor discovered that their seed pods were ruined by water.  The Doctor then sent their space craft into an orbit around the sun.

The Doctor used his genius in an attempt to thwart death in The Seeds of Death

The Doctor used his genius in an attempt to thwart death in The Seeds of Death

When the Ice Warriors were next met by the Doctor in 1972’s The Curse of Peladon they were members of the Galactic Foundation and had renounced violence. They became allies with the Doctor and remained so in a subsequent Third Doctor adventure, The Monster of Peladon (1974). In 2013’s Cold War the Ice Warriors’ pacifism was a long forgotten.  

Pertwee era Ice Warriors

Pertwee era Ice Warriors

2. The CybermenThe Tenth Planet, The Moonbase, The Tomb of the Cybermen, The Wheel in Space and The Invasion.

The Cybermen made their Doctor Who debut in William Hartnell’s last serial, The Tenth Planet. Very much humanoid in appearance, the Mark 1 Cybermen were possessed of a sing-song voice.  Their faces were covered only with a stocking and they still retained their human hands. Unlike their successors, the first Cybermen initially did not seek to destroy the human race but rather hoped to convince them to join their “utopian” existence.

A Mark 1 Cyberman in The Tenth Planet

A Mark 1 Cyberman in The Tenth Planet

With the success of their first television appearance the Cybermen were quickly co-opted as rivals to the Dalek’s mantle of favourite Doctor Who monster. Each story in which they appeared saw their costumes modified, with the most substantial change occurring to the Mark 2 model.  Gone were the stockinged faces and in their place were robotic heads.  The five digits of their human hands were replaced by three fingered gloved hands.

The Cybermen emerge from their icy tombs in this iconic image from The Tomb of the Cybermen

The Cybermen emerge from their icy tombs in this iconic image from The Tomb of the Cybermen

The Cybermen were the subject of two particularly iconic images of Sixties Who.  Even the tackiness of breaking through new-fangled cling wrap was insufficient to dampen the effectiveness of the Cybermen’s emergence from their icy tombs in The Tomb of the Cybermen.  Their appearance on, and march down, the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral in The Invasion was arguably the greatest cliff hanger of the era. Still images of the event have become part of popular culture.

Perhaps the most iconic cliff hanger in classic series Doctor Who.  The Cybermen on the steps of St Paul's Cathedral

Perhaps the most iconic cliff hanger in classic series Doctor Who. The Cybermen on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral in The Invasion

1.   The DaleksThe Daleks, The Dalek Invasion of Earth, The Space Museum (cameo), The Chase, Mission to the Unknown, The Daleks’ Master Plan, The Power of the Daleks and The Evil of the Daleks

Only a brave person would nominate anything other than the Daleks as their favourite 1960s monsters. Appearing in just the second Doctor Who serial, it was arguably the Daleks that saved the show from a mere 13 week run. In a stroke of genius the Terry Nation created and Ray Cusick designed mutants immediately captured the imagination of the British public. Dalekmania was in full swing and within 18 months the Daleks would appear in the first of two colour, theatrically released movies.

Barbara is pinned against the wall in fear during the Daleks' first appearance in Doctor Who on 21st December 1963

Barbara is pinned against the wall in fear during the Daleks’ first appearance in Doctor Who on 21st December 1963

The Daleks featured in seven Sixties serials and appeared as a cameo in another. The 12 piece extravaganza The Daleks’ Master Plan is one of the most sought after missing serials. Only 3 episodes are held in the BBC Archives.  Among other missing episodes is Mission to the Unknown, the only one part 1960s serial which also has the distinction of featuring none of the regular cast.  Arguably the most missed of all Dalek serials is the Second Doctor’s first story, The Power of the Daleks.  It, together with another missing story, The Evil of the Daleks, is highly revered in fandom.  It can only be hoped that at least some of these missing episodes are some day recovered.

The 12 part Dalek's Master Plan is one of the most sought after missing Doctor Who serials

The 12 part The Dalek’s Master Plan is one of the most sought after missing Doctor Who serials

HONOURABLE MENTION

The Chumblies – Galaxy 4

Although the Chumblies were never reprised they were the most adorable Doctor Who monsters ever.  Despite the Doctor, Steven and Vicki being initially frightened by them it soon became apparent that they were benign and worked for the good and just with the Rill. The Chumblies are top of my list of Sixties monsters that I’d most like to see revived.

A Chumbley with the Drahvins in Galaxy 4

A Chumbley with the Drahvins in Galaxy 4

Vivien Fleming

©Vivien Fleming, 2013.

Missing Episodes – Let’s Discuss Coincidences

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In my review of the recently released The Ice Warriors DVD on 3 September I posited that there may be a relationship between the resurrection of seemingly deceased Doctor Who monsters and the sale of Classic Series DVDs. Only four months prior to The Ice Warrior’s DVD release an Ice Warrior emerged for the first time in 39 years in The Cold War. Similarly, the last Fourth Doctor DVD to be issued, The Terror of the Zygons, coincidently found its way onto retailers’ shelves but a mere six weeks prior to the Zygons much anticipated reprise in the 50th Anniversary Special, The Day of the Doctor. Should we anticipate the return of the Fish People soon given the impending release of The Underwater Menace, I asked.

The Ice Warriors DVD Cover

In retrospect, the recovery of The Web of Fear is now obvious considering the story arc which commenced with the 2012 Christmas Special, The Snowmen.  At the time the return of the Great Intelligence, a formless mass first encountered in The Abominable Snowmen and last seen in The Web of Fear 44 years earlier, was a incredibly bizarre decision by Doctor Who show runner Steven Moffat. Of all villains to resurrect, why choose one who only appeared in two missing serials over 40 years previously? Not that this was the first time that a monster seemingly lost for all time had been reimaged.  The Macra reappeared in the 2007 Series 3 episode Gridlock having last been seen in 1967’s The Macra Terror.

A snowman from 2012's The Snowmen

A snowman from 2012’s The Snowmen

The Great Intelligence’s revival was not limited to a single episode, however.  It went on to appear in two further Series 7 episodes, The Bells of Saint John and The Name of the Doctor and was the series’ major protagonist.  Which leads us to further coincidences.  Were the Snowmen who accompanied the Great Intelligence in The  Snowmen a substitute for the Intelligence’s first tools, the Yeti? Should we anticipate the recovery and issue of The Abominable Snowmen sometime soon? Moreover, is this image taken from the 50th Anniversary trailer perhaps a hint that The Abominable Snowmen has indeed been returned.  The snow capped mountains in the background clearly represent Tibet and the stone block building could readily be a monastery.  Is the Second Doctor playing his recorder as if to summon the missing episodes home? Only time will tell, however one thing is certain.  Henceforth the revival of any monsters and villains from lost 1960’s episodes  will be scrutinized and speculated upon by fans as evidence of recoveries.  Let’s see what the 50th Anniversary and Christmas Specials, together with Series 8, brings forth!

A screen capture from the BBC trailer for the 50th Anniversary Special, The Name of the Doctor

A screen capture from the BBC trailer for the 50th Anniversary Special, The Day of the Doctor

Vivien Fleming

©Vivien Fleming, 2013.

Day 40 of 50th Anniversary Countdown – The 10 Greatest Humanoid Villains of the Sixties

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Tomorrow The Doctor Who Mind Robber will examine the 5 Greatest Monsters of the Sixties. Today, however, we look at the 10 Greatest Humanoid Villains. By humanoid we refer to any villainous character that looks human, whether they derive from Earth or some other planet. In our humble opinion 1960s Doctor Who was rather more successful in creating villains of human appearance than “monsters” in the traditional sense.  Perhaps the costumes and special effects that made the “monsters” were a substitute for good script writing, or alternatively, distracted viewers from the actual performances of the actors. In any event, we hope you enjoy our list and acknowledge now that Mavic Chen’s allegedly blue skin may have made him look somewhat less than human!

10. Klieg and KaftanThe Tomb of the Cybermen

Eric Klieg and his associate Kaftan were members of the Brotherhood of Logicians. The Brotherhood was a group of highly intelligent individuals who believed in pure logic. The Doctor’s next companion, Zoe, would undoubtedly have qualified for membership of the Brotherhood.  Klieg and Kaftan financed Professor Parry’s expedition to Telos and accompanied the party of archaeologists.  Also present was Kaftan’s manservant Toberman. Seeking to obtain absolute power, Klieg revived the Cybermen from their tombs in the mistaken belief that they would logically support his quest for domination. Both Klieg and Kaftan were killed at the hands of the Cybermen.

Klieg and Kaftan were members of the Brotherhood of Logicians and funded Professor Parry's expedition to Telos in The Tomb of the Cybermen

Klieg and Kaftan were members of the Brotherhood of Logicians who funded Professor Parry’s expedition to Telos in The Tomb of the Cybermen

9. Professor Zaroff  – The Underwater Menace

Professor Zaroff was a brilliant scientist renowned the world over for experiments involving the creation of inexpensive food from the sea. Having suddenly disappeared he was presumed dead, however the Doctor and his companions met Zaroff when they visited the lost city of Atlantis.

Zaroff was mentally unhinged and absurdly sought to destroy the world just because he could.  That he would die in the process was irrelevant as his aim to be the greatest scientist in the world would nonetheless be achieved.  His plan for the earth’s destruction involved draining the oceans into the Earth’s molten core, thereby causing the planet’s explosion from overheated steam. Before Zaroff could commence draining the oceans the Doctor flooded Atlantis and the professor was drowned in his laboratory. Zaroff is perhaps best known for his manic cry of “Nothing in ze world can stop me now!”

8. The DrahvinsGalaxy 4

The Drahvins were a race of attractive blonde women whose beauty disguised their malignant intentions. Stranded on an unnamed planet when their space ship crash landed, the Drahvins were intent on destroying the Rill, another race of creatures also stranded on the planet.  Although there were male Drahvins very few were allowed to live as they “consume valuable food and fulfil no particular function”. The female Drahvins are of two castes – those with intelligence and free will who were conceived naturally, and those who are soldier drones and created in test tubes.  The latter are bred purely to fight and kill. An extensive examination of the Drahvins appears in my review of Galaxy 4.

 

The external beauty of the Drahvins hid their evil intents in Galaxy 4

The external beauty of the Drahvins masked their evil intentions in Galaxy 4

7. Smythe – The War Games

Smythe was a War Lord, a humanoid race who endeavoured to conquer the galaxy in The War Games. Akin to the Time Lords, the War Lords possessed time machines named SIDRATs (TARDIS backwards). The SIDRAT’s technology was not as advanced as the TARDIS’s and had been imparted to the War Lords by a renegade Time Lord, the War Chief.  Smythe assumed the identity of a British Army General in the simulated World War 1 zone of the War Games.  The intention of the War Lords was to select the best soldiers for use in their quest for domination. Twice he attempted to have the Doctor executed by firing squad after conducting a kangaroo court and convicting him of treason.  By putting on his spectacles and staring into his subordinates eyes, Smythe was able to successfully control their minds.  He was eventually shot dead by a member of the resistance.

The War Lord Smythe wearing his magical spectacles in The War Games

The War Lord Smythe wearing his magical spectacles in The War Games

6. Oak and QuillFury From the Deep

Messrs Oak and Quill were engineers at the Euro Sea Gas rig that the Second Doctor and his companions found themselves on in The Fury From the Deep. Dressed in maintenance garb, the pair looked like Laurel and Hardy and were possessed by the Weed Creature. Only Mr Oak spoke.  The pair gained entry to Mrs Harris’s home on the pretext of repairing a stove.  They rendered Mrs Harris unconscious in perhaps the most terrifying minute of Doctor Who ever by opening their charcoal lined mouths and breathing toxic gas.

Mr Quill and Mr Oak were the Laurel and Hardy of Villains in Fury From the Deep

Mr Quill and Mr Oak were the Laurel and Hardy of Villains in The Fury From the Deep

Once of the most iconic images from the Second Doctor's lost adventure Fury from the Deep.  Almost one minute of this clip survives thanks to the Australian Film Censorship Board

Once of the most iconic images from the Second Doctor’s lost adventure Fury from the Deep. Almost one minute of this clip survives thanks to the Australian Film Censorship Board

5. Bennett/KoquillionThe Rescue

Performed by Australian actor Ray Barrett, Bennett was one of only two long-term survivors of a crashed space ship on the planet Dido. Prior to the crash he had murdered one of the crew members however the subsequent fate of the craft meant that he was not brought to justice.  The only member of the crew who was unaware of the killing was a young girl named Vicki.  In an attempt to ensure that he was never put on trial, Bennett killed all the other passengers, together with a number of natives of Dido, when they met for a meet-and-greet.  Vicki was sick with a fever and didn’t attend the function.  As such she was blissfully unaware of Bennett’s crimes.

Vicki and Bennett are the sole survivors of a spaceship crash on the planet Dido

Vicki and Bennett are the sole survivors of a spaceship crash on the planet Dido

Bennett subsequently enslaved Vicki in domestic servitude and psychologically terrorised her by masquerading as a Dodo native, the horrendous Koquillion.  When the Doctor finally unmasked him Bennett was approached by two hitherto unknown humanoid survivors of Dodo. Whilst backing away from them Bennett fell to his death down a rock face.

Bennett masqueraded as the horrendous Koquillion in The Rescue

Bennett masqueraded as the horrendous Koquillion in The Rescue

4. The Celestial Toymaker – The Celestial Toymaker

The Celestial Toymaker was an immortal being with the capacity to travel through time and space.  He took the physical form of a Caucasian male dressed in the garb of a Mandarin. The Toymaker used the immense power that he wielded to control a world of children’s games in which he rigged the rules.  The games played were a matter of life and death.  In order to retrieve the TARDIS Steven and Dodo were ensnared in a series of puerile games with clowns, playing cards, ballerinas, a cook, a sergeant, and a bratty school boy. The Doctor, in the interim, was engaged in a game of trilogic with Toymaker in which he was required to move and restack 10 pieces in the exact correct 1023 moves. Annoyed by the Doctor’s banter, the Toymaker first made him invisible, save for right hand, and then totally mute. Through bluff and cunning the Doctor eventually beat the Toymaker, retrieving the TARDIS and decamping with his companions.

The Toymaker finds the Doctor's presence intolerable in The Celestial Toymaker

The Toymaker finds the Doctor’s presence intolerable in The Celestial Toymaker

3. The Monk – The Time Meddler and The Daleks’ Master Plan

Peter Butterworth’s character, the Monk, has the distinction of being the first, and only, humanoid villain revived during Sixties Doctor Who. Certainly The Abominable Snowmen’s Travis was pretty nasty to start with, however he warmed to the Doctor and his companions during the course of that story and was undoubtedly an old friend by the time they met again 40 years later in The Web of Fear.

Unlike the other villains in this list the Monk was actually quite a pleasant chap.  Sure he played havoc with the Doctor and his friends, but always did so in a cheery manner.  Like the Doctor he also had a TARDIS, however the Monk’s actually functioned properly.  Not only was he able to programme it to materialize at the desired time and location, but its chameleon circuit was also fully functioning – at least until the Doctor sabotaged it on several occasions. In The Time Meddler the Doctor removed the dimensional control  (the chameleon circuit) from the Monk’s TARDIS which shrunk it to a minute size. The Monk was left stranded in 1066 England. In The Daleks’ Master Plan the Doctor briefly reprogrammed the Monk’s chameleon circuit and his TARDIS variously became a motorbike, a western type covered wagon and a World War II tank.  The Doctor eventually stole the Monk’s directional unit and his TARDIS ended up as a block of ice stranded on an icy planet.

Peter Butterworth portrayed the Monk in the Time Meddler and The Daleks' Master Plan

Peter Butterworth portrayed the Monk in The Time Meddler and The Daleks’ Master Plan

Although not identified as a Time Lord or from Gallifrey,  the Monk was certainly the first of the Doctor’s people to meet with him in Doctor Who. It’s hardly any surprise that the Monk’s race and home were not revealed in The Time Meddler and The Daleks Master Plan. The show’s writers did not invent Gallifrey or the Time Lords until the Season 6 finale, The War Games. It is only with the benefit of hindsight that fans have been able to place the Monk into Doctor Who’s continuity. The Monk is top of my list of Sixties humanoid villains that I’d most like to see revived.

The Monk with Steven in The Daleks' Master Plan

The Monk with Steven in The Daleks’ Master Plan

2. Tobias Vaughn – The Invasion

Tobias Vaughn is the second of two great Doctor Who villains portrayed by Kevin Stoney. The head of International Electromatics, the largest electronics manufacturer in the world, Vaughn foolishly believed himself to be capable of both using and outwitting the Cybermen in his own plans for world domination. He imprisoned Professor Watkins, an old friend of Professor Travis, and had him invent a device which created emotions so strong that it would destroy the Cybermen.  After entering into an alliance with the Cybermen and assisting in their planned invasion of Earth, Vaughn was betrayed by them and entered into an alliance with the Doctor. Vaughn and the Doctor used the machine invented by Watkins to defeat the Cybermen, but not before Vaughn met his death at the hands of a Cyberman atop a building.

Kevin Stoney played the role of Tobias Vaughn in The Invasion

Kevin Stoney played the role of Tobias Vaughn in The Invasion

1. Mavic Chen – The Daleks’ Master Plan

The first of Kevin Stoney’s brilliantly portrayed villains, Mavic Chen was the Guardian of the Solar System who formed an alliance with the Daleks in The Daleks Master Plan. A traitor to fellow humanoids, Chen sought to obtain universal domination by ultimately betraying the Daleks. Chen’s thirst for power gradually consumed him to such an extent that he became mentally unbalanced. Chen conscripted Space Security Service agent Sara Kingdom to assassinate her own brother, Bret Vyon, although she eventually switched allegiance to the Doctor. Having assisted in the retrieval of the taranium core required to fuel the Dalek’s Time Destructor, Chen’s usefulness came to an end and he was exterminated by the Daleks.

Kevin Stoney portrayed Mavic Chen in The Daleks' Master Plan

Kevin Stoney portrayed Mavic Chen in The Daleks’ Master Plan

Vivien Fleming

©Vivien Fleming, 2013.

Day 41 of 50th Anniversary Countdown – 7 Companions That Could or Should Have Been (The Sixties)

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On Day 41 of our 50th Anniversary Countdown The Doctor Who Mind Robber examines some 1960’s companions that could or should have been. The would-be companions are listed in broadcast order only.

1.       Bret Vyon – The Daleks’ Master Plan

There are some fans who may posit that Bret Vyon, the Space Security Agent from The Daleks’ Master Plan, has already been accorded companion status.  This is somewhat of a minority view, however. Nicholas Courtney’s first Doctor Who role saw his character travel through time and space with the Doctor and his companions but he was somewhat of an interloper. His first meeting with the Doctor involved a threat of violence and he forced his way into the TARDIS uninvited. It took some time for a degree of trust to be established between the parties.

In any event Vyon was killed at the hands of his own sister, Sara Kingdom. Thank goodness he was or we would never have had the iconic Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart.  Well at least not the Brigadier as played by Nicholas Courtney.

Nicholas Courtney played Bret Vyon in The Daleks Master Plan

Nicholas Courtney played Bret Vyon in The Daleks’ Master Plan

 2.       Anne Chaplet – The Massacre

Anne Chaplet was a French servant girl who the Doctor and Steven met in Paris during The Massacre. At the time Steven was the First Doctor’s sole companion, with this serial being the only one in the monochrome era of Doctor Who to feature just a single travelling companion. Vicki had left in the final episode of The Myth Makers and had been replaced by Katarina for episodes one to four of The Daleks’ Master Plan. Sara Kingdom then accompanied the Doctor and Steven until her death in episode 12 of that serial.  Proceeding directly on from the DMP, The Massacre is one of a long series of sadly missing episodes.

Anne Chaplet - the Huguenot servant girl that the Doctor refused to save in The Massacre

Anne Chaplet – the Huguenot servant girl that the Doctor refused to save in The Massacre

As the Doctor disappeared for the majority of episodes of The Massacre, only to be replaced by his evil double Abbot Amboise, Anne had very little contact with him.  Anne’s relationship with Steven, however, was strong and they immediately clicked. He was understandably devastated and angry when the Doctor refused to allow Anne to accompany them in the TARDIS when they left Paris in episode four.

STEVEN: Surely there was something we could have done?

DOCTOR: No, nothing.  Nothing.  In any case, I cannot change the course of history, you know that.  The massacre continued for several days in Paris and then spread itself to other parts of France.  Oh, what a senseless waste.  What a terrible page of the past.

STEVEN: Did they all die?

DOCTOR: Yes, most of them.  About ten thousand in Paris alone.

STEVEN: The Admiral?

DOCTOR: Yes.

STEVEN: Nicholas? You had to leave Anne Chaplet there to die.

DOCTOR: Anne Chaplet?

STEVEN: The girl!  The girl who was with me!  If you’d brought her with us she needn’t have died.  But no, you had to leave her there to be slaughtered.

DOCTOR: Well, it is possible of course she didn’t die, and I was right to leave her.

STEVEN: Possible?  Look, how possible?  That girl was already hunted by the Catholic guards.  If they killed ten thousand how did they spare her?  You don’t know do you” You can’t say for certain that you weren’t responsible for that’s girl’s death.

DOCTOR: I was not responsible.

STEVEN: Oh, no.  You just sent her back to her aunt’s house where the guards were waiting to catch her.  I tell you this much, Doctor, wherever this machine of yours lands next I’ m getting off.  If you have so little regard for human life then I want no part of it.

DOCTOR: We’ve landed.  Your mind is made up?

STEVEN: Goodbye.

Steven, Anne and Huguenots in The Massacre

Steven, Anne and Huguenots in The Massacre

No sooner had Steven left the ship than Dodo Chaplet mysteriously entered and Steven returned. Upon learning Dodo’s surname Steven was intrigued.  Could she perhaps be a descendant of Anne’s?  Logically, however, with would have been highly unlikely in a patriarchal society in which women were routinely given their father’s surnames.

3.       Samantha Briggs – The Faceless Ones

Pauline Collins’ first appearance in Doctor Who was in the 1967 serial The Faceless Ones as the Liverpudlian Samantha Briggs. Investigating the disappearance of her brother on a Chameleon Tours flight to Rome, Sam met up with The Doctor and his companions. Although born in Liverpool, Collins’ Liverpudlian accent in the story has been the cause of much mirth over the years. A possible romantic match for Jamie, the relationship between the two characters never progressed beyond a kiss.

As Polly and Ben were leaving Doctor Who at the end of The Faceless Ones Collins was offered the job as a full-time companion.  Perhaps wisely, given the lack of success of many companions post Who, Collins declined and went on to obtain an OBE, win a BAFTA for Best Film Actress, and be nominated for both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe.  She is best known for her role in the movie Shirley Valentine.  In 2006 Collins appeared in the Doctor Who episode Tooth and Claw as Queen Victoria.

Jamie gets a kiss from Samantha in The Faceless Ones

Jamie gets a kiss from Samantha in The Faceless Ones

 4.       Thonmi – The Abominable Snowmen

A young monk at the Det-Sen Monastery during the Doctor and his companions’ jaunt to Tibet in 1935 (The Abominable Snowmen), Thonmi would have been an intriguing companion.  Having quickly established a rapport with Victoria, this young man could have brought an element of spirituality to the Second Doctor’s tenure. I couldn’t help but wonder what Thonmi’s reaction would have been to the Doctor’s trance like communication with the Time Lords in The War Games. Although the producers of Doctor Who experienced difficulties with Katarina during her mere 4 episode companionship, the subsequent success of both Jamie and Victoria as historical companions showed that the juxtaposition of time could work very well.

The Doctor and the young monk, Thonmi in The Abominable Snowmen

The Doctor and the young monk, Thonmi in The Abominable Snowmen

5.   Astrid – The Enemy of the World

Sassy, sexy and a product of James Bond obsessed 1960’s Britain, Astrid would have made a perfect companion for the Doctor. Capable and organized, Astrid had the capacity to provide a strong female lead character to Doctor Who. At the time that Mary Peach filmed her role in The Enemy of the World she was also auditioning for Diana Rigg’s replacement in The Avengers. Although unsuccessful in obtaining The Avengers’ role, you could readily see her playing another Mrs Emma Peel.  How wonderful that the recovery and release of The Enemy of the World has allowed us to see another five episodes of Ms Peach’s work!

Mary Peach as Astrid in The Enemy of the World

Mary Peach as Astrid in The Enemy of the World

6. Anne Travers – The Web of Fear

Anne Travers was another product of the Second Wave of Feminism.  Intelligent and university educated, Anne was the daughter of Professor Travers whom the Doctor first met in Tibet during The Abominable Snowmen tale. So successful was Ms Traver’s career in science that she was working in the United States when called upon to provide assistance to her father.

Anne Travers gif1

Ms Traver’s was a scientific equal to the Doctor and ably worked alongside him during the 20 minute countdown thrust upon them by the Great Intelligence in The Web of Fear.  Like Isobel, she brilliantly turned the tables on any male who sought to denigrate her. Her comeback to Knight in Episode 1 was just brilliant:

KNIGHT: What’s a girl like you doing in a job like this?

ANNE: Well, when I was a little girl I thought I’d like to be a scientist, so I became a scientist.

KNIGHT: Just like that?

ANNE: Just like that.

Anne Travers another try

That Isobel and Anne shared a feminist outlook is not surprising given that Isobel was originally intended to be the reprisal of Anne in The Invasion. Circumstances meant that neither Professor Travers nor his daughter was reprised in The Invasion but in their places were substituted Professor Watkins and his niece Isobel. The Travers were nonetheless mentioned in The Invasion.

 Anne Travers gif37.       Isobel – The Invasion

I waxed lyrical about Isobel in my review of The Invasion notwithstanding Rob Shearman’s rather scathing critique of her in Running Through Corridors. A forthright young woman, not dissimilar to the former companion Polly, Isobel was intelligent, capable and a great friend to Zoe. The girls’ glee at Zoe blowing up the International Electromatics automated answering machine was infectious.  Just imagine the other hijinks they could have got up to. Isobel represented the growing second wave of feminism and did not retreat from her criticisms of patriarchy.  She successfully imparted a glint of this onto Zoe. 

Isobel and Zoe in The Invasion

Isobel and Zoe in The Invasion

Vivien Fleming

©Vivien Fleming, 2013.