Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Beginning...

Several years ago, I had heard really great things about the new Doctor Who.  Considering this is a series with a metric fuckton of history, I never really felt like jumping in to the new stuff without understanding the continuity that led up to the new series.  I finally heard enough good stuff about it that it pushed me over the edge and I checked it out.  Loved it.  As a result, I decided to watch the classic stuff.  Digital packrat that I am, I found ALL of the classic Who episodes I could (which happens to be everything that wasn't lost to the shortsightedness of the BBC back in the 60s-70s).

Now, back in college, someone who knew I was (and still am) a HUGE Douglas Adams fan had shown me "City Of Death".  For those of you unaware, Adams wrote this story and used major plot points that also ended up in his first Dirk Gently novel.  I loved it, but never followed up on any more Who for whatever reason.  After discovering how much I loved the re-launched Who around about 15 years later, I decided I'd start with My Doctor: Tom Baker.  Seeing as he is also the Doctor with the longest run, I figured once I was done with his run I could take on any of the other Doctors without too much difficulty.  That must have been around 2006.  A few years, a move from WI to CO, a house purchase and a divorce later I had stalled.  I ended up watching MOST of Tom Baker's run, but around Nightmare of Eden/Horns of Nimon is when it happened.  Somewhen between then and now, I started with the first episode of The Leisure Hive and then promptly got distracted by something small and shiny.  Fast-forward to last night....

Last night, I was in a mood.  Nothing sounded good.  Tried Hemlock Grove on Netflix.  Terrible.  Tried an episode of Star Trek TOS (another classic sci-fi show which I somehow never watched).  Fun, but didn't hit the spot.  Finally, I read up where I left off on Wiki and started episode 2 of The Leisure Hive.

Turns out that yes, these old episodes are cheap, but filled with interesting ideas, situations and characters.  Now, the cactus with the menacing voice over in Meglos was a little cheesy (OK, a LOT cheesy), as was the tinfoil back in... I want to say The Invasion Of Time.  But that's part of the old series charm IMHO.  The new Who has lots of effects and a per-episode budget that must rival the budget of some Doctor's entire runs, but it's my opinion that limitations like these tend to make some storytellers better.  Or maybe it's that I grew up reading a lot and playing Zork so my imagination doesn't have a problem filling in the gaps when an effect isn't quite what it should be.

Anyway, the point of this blog is that I'm going to try to keep up with classic Who and blog about it.  Might be a few sentences per episode.  Might be more.  Depends on how much I feel I have to say on a given episode.  Since I watched the rest of The Leisure Hive, all of Meglos, and the first episode of Full Circle (the start of the E-Space trilogy), I'll start with those...