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Doctor Who: The Chase (Review)

To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the longest-running science-fiction show in the world, I’ll be taking weekly looks at some of my own personal favourite stories and arcs, from the old and new series, with a view to encapsulating the sublime, the clever and the fiendishly odd of the BBC’s Doctor Who.

The Chase originally aired in 1965.

You’re from Earth?

No, no, Ma’am. No, I’m from Alabama.

– Barbara and Morton set things straight

There are times when Doctor Who seems to straddle the line between genius and insanity, when the viewer is left completely unsure whether they’ve witnessed something profoundly clever, or infuriatingly stupid. The Chase is one of those stories, one of those rare cases where I’m honestly not sure if I’m reading too much into a piece of television or simply scratching the surface of a whole wealth of complex meaning and symbolism. The Chase is, as near as I can make out, either a desperate attempt to cash-in on the then-current Dalek craze, or one of the craziest attacks the show ever made on the fourth wall. It’s either completely terrible or breathlessly brilliant, and I refuse to rule out the possibility that it is both, possibly at the same time.

Cutting to the chase...

Cutting to the chase…

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Doctor Who: The Aztecs (Review)

To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the longest-running science-fiction show in the world, I’ll be taking weekly looks at some of my own personal favourite stories and arcs, from the old and new series, with a view to encapsulating the sublime, the clever and the fiendishly odd of the BBC’s Doctor Who.

The Aztecs originally aired in 1964.

Don’t you see? If I could start the destruction of everything that’s evil here, then everything that is good would survive when Cortes lands.

But you can’t rewrite history! Not one line!

– Barbara and the Doctor discuss time travel

The Aztecs is generally considered one of the show’s very best historicals, so I think it’s absolutely wonderful that the adventure has managed to survive the purges that wiped out a significant portion of the Hartnell era and a huge chunk of Patrick Troughton’s work.

A low-tec culture?

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Doctor Who: The Keys of Marinus (Review)

To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the longest-running science-fiction show in the world, I’ll be taking weekly looks at some of my own personal favourite stories and arcs, from the old and new series, with a view to encapsulating the sublime, the clever and the fiendishly odd of the BBC’s Doctor Who.

The Keys of Marinus originally aired in 1964.

While the initial thirteen-episode block helped established Doctor Who, it was the follow-up stories that built on those initial blue-prints. Marco Polo was a historical adventure in the style of An Unearthly Child, paying homage to the original educational aim of the series, designed to teach kids about history and science. However, the real breakout of the initial run had been The Daleks, with those adorable psychotic pepper pots. Keen to capitalise on the success of the futuristic adventure, another adventure serial was commissioned to take place on an alien world, with Terry Nation’s The Keys of Marinus helping to establish science fantasy as a concrete part of the show’s identity.

All a-Voord!

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