Doctor Who Season 4
SPOILERS TOTAL. You've been warned.
028: The Smugglers
(First watched 2011-06-13, -14, -15, -16) Boy oh boy. A reconstruction. A historical. The group split up, and at least some of them jailed. It's like my least favorite formats and clichés have joined forces. Really the only thing a bit interesting about this one is thanks to a 2011 episode which seems to link to this one a bit by way of "Captain Avery".
"We have arrived at the coldest place in the world!" Well, which world?
029: The Tenth Planet
(First watched 2011-06-17, -18, -20) December 1986! The future!
These Cybermen have outfits only slightly more advanced than the cheap plastic Halloween costumes for kids. Also, Polly seems a biiiit narrow-minded. I mean, I know the Cybermen are being jerkoffs and everything, but get mad about the right stuff. More than once she went on about how they couldn't get along because they were different. Way to love diversity there, Polls.
So it's Hartnell's last complete episode as the Doctor... and all he does is collapse at the beginning and lay in bed? Will we see him do anything at all again before regenerating?
The singsongy but roboty sound of the Cybermen is like autotune gone horribly horribly wrong. Melting Mondas... well, good thing having an Earth-sized planet melting nearby has NO detrimental effects.
The whole thing vaguely reminds me of the Star Trek: Enterprise episode with the Borg left over from Star Trek: First Contact. Human-machine mix, at a remote snowy base, and the Cybermen were even saying things like "Resistance is useless."
030: The Power of the Daleks
(First watched 2011-06-22, -23, -24, -25, -26, -27) So weird. From what I'd read of the First->Second "renewal" previously, I thought it was going to be less of a change than most of the consecutive regenerations I've seen. But boy, Two really seems different already. Even Ben talks about how he acts differently. And he says things like "The Doctor had a journal, didn't he?", like he's a very separate guy. Gotta say, though, loving that flute.
Apart from new Doctor stuff, I love that they show up on a planet called Vulcan.
I really wish there were clips in here that weren't shitty and 2 seconds long. This Doctor sounds a lot more energetic than the previous, so I'd like to see how he acts, too.
I'm liking this story. It reminds me of Victory of the Daleks, but less goofy.
031: The Highlanders
(First watched 2011-06-28, -29, -30, 07-01) While I'm not sorry to see the pure historicals go, this one sure does have an added flair with a Doctor willing to put on accents, dress in drag, and manhandle his captor.
Polly continues to be full of herself, trashing the people of the past for being people of the past.
032: The Underwater Menace
(First watched 2011-07-02, -03, -04, -05) "Polly, you speak foreign. Go and talk to him, ask him where we are!" Bright, Ben.
The Doctor signed his note "Dr. W"? They really were going with Who as a name at this time.
Zaroff is really quite the generic evil scientist. Going forward with a plan to destroy Earth, because it would be the ultimate scientific achievement.
Polly, so useless. An unarmed Zaroff goes to grab a weapon and ends up killing the other person guarding him, and what's she doing? Screaming at the side.
The fish people may be the silliest thing since the bee people.
I like the conversation at the end that goes something like "Doctor, can you actually make the TARDIS go where you want it to?" "I could... but I never wanted to." "Buuuuullshit."
033: The Moonbase
(First watched 2011-07-06, -07, -09, -11) More Polly stupid.
Polly: You've definitely landed us on Mars, Doctor!
Me: How can she know that, of all the places in the universe?
Ben: I don't think that's Mars.
Polly: How would you know, you've never been there!
I wondered if they'd use some stock shots of, say, the Apollo landers. Then I remembered this predates that. I wasn't thinking fourth dimensionally.
I like the Doctor's declarations here:
"Because there is something evil here, and we must stay."
"Evil? Don't be daft."
"Evil is what I meant. There are some corners of the universe which have bred the most terrible things. Things which act against everything that we believe in. They must be fought."
So the Cyberman's hiding spot nobody could find after searching the entire base was... under a friggin' blanket.
Oh wow. The Cybermen don't sound like Daleks on autotune anymore, but like a bored Peter Frampton.
Credit where it's due: Polly's idea of using something like nail polish removed to weaken the Cyberman plastic was a good one. But their idea of mixing together all the available chemicals to be sure to include something that would harm the Cybermen seems like an accidental death waiting to happen.
I wonder if it was intentional to use phrases like "What on Earth!" several times during a serial not set on Earth.
From an in-universe point of view it makes sense that the Cybermen changed over the course of a century, but from a production poitn of view it's interesting they went through such radical revisions when there were only three serials between this and their original appearance.
034: The Macra Terror
(First watched 2012-11-23, 2013-01-16, -17, -19)
035: The Faceless Ones
(First watched 2013-01-20, -21, -22, -23, -24, -25) So Ben and Polly resume their lives on Earth the same day they left. This means for the last day or so there's been both First and Second Doctor facing crazy threats in London? And the authorities working with either didn't seem to know about the other threat.
036: The Evil of the Daleks
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(First watched 2013-01-27, -08-12, 2014-01-27, -28, 07-02, -04, -05) It's fine with me the Daleks barely show up in the first episode; a guy who seems out of time as an artifact seller and who knows exactly how to pull the Doctor's strings is kind of interesting.
So these Victorian guys invented time travel by messing with static electricity and accidentally summoned Daleks? Huh. Interesting to see the Daleks want to study humanity to see if there's something about them that lets them keep beating Daleks--usually the Daleks I see are so stuck on race purity they'd never consider such a thing. WELL, except that crazy Dalek/human thing from a recent series...
The Doctor seems to be going along with the Daleks' hostage-taking of the TARDIS. Does he have a plan?
I guess the closest thing the Doctor has to a plan is to try and teach the Daleks that part of the "human factor" they're looking for includes things like mercy?
Hey, the Doctor mentioned a positronic brain--not something I often hear outside of TNG.