Archive for April, 2013

The Lost Stories of Classic Doctor Who

Posted in TV with tags , , , , , on April 14, 2013 by bytor

In my last post I looked at what were generally considered to be “classics” of the “Classic” era (1963-89) of Doctor Who. As I have become more familiar with the Hartnell and Troughton eras, it has become obvious that a lot of the lost episodes were at least worth investigating, and some might be considered classics in themselves.

In total 106 episodes are currently missing from the first two doctors’ eras, and it seems unlikely that any more will be recovered. So how can you enjoy them?

Well you need a little dedication and persistance, but here are several ways:

  • First check out which serials are missing here at Wikipedia
  • There are novelisations of all of these stories available from the usual places. Example for “Marco Polo” from the first season.
  • The audio soundtracks from the original TV episodes still exist, and many are available individually as CDs or download (E.g. Marco Polo). There are also 5 boxed sets of CDs containing between them all the missing serials, along with some interesting additional info as data on the CDs e.g. original scripts.

Doctor Who photonovel exampleSometimes, however, you need a visual cue to really engage with the story even in audio form. The official BBC Doctor Who website has hidden away in the “Classic” section, a number of “photonovels” that are basically still pictures with captions to tell the story. Some of them have links to sound effects, but these are clearly from another era, as they are Real Audio links which most broswers no longer accept. These give a surprisingly good feel for the stories.

In addition, the episode guide at the BBC Doctor Who website also gives additional insights into each story. (Example: Marco Polo). Strangely, there is another, separate, episode guide also on the BBC DW site, that contains further different information about each of the old episodes. These often include a picture gallery, and sometimes even video clips. (Example again, Marco Polo).

Finally, there is the synthesis of the soundtracks and available clips and photos, in the form of fan-made “reconstructions” (or recons). These are certainly unofficial, and no doubt infringe BBC copyright, but appear to be tolerated by the Beeb. These are made by various groups of fans, but one of the best collections is by Loose Cannon Productions who have a full collection covering all the missing serials. You can find them from various sources that you might expect, such as their website, on video sharing sites like YouTube. If you really like them, the whole collection is floating about the internet in one big 8GB torrent. It’s not too difficult to find.

Essential Classic Doctor Who

Posted in TV with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 1, 2013 by bytor

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With the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who taking place later this year, my interest in “classic” (i.e. 1963-1989, before the 2005 restart) Doctor Who has resurfaced. I have scoured various blogs, and websites and taken a consensus view on which are the classics to seek out.

A significant number of the old shows (especially from Patrick Troughton years) are lost forever, but the majority of what exists is available in some form on DVD. (see wikipedia list). Also quite a few are on various online video sites like Daily Motion etc.

Stories that were recommended more than once among my sources, have been marked with an asterisk.

It’s well worth having a look at the source web pages (listed at the foot of this post), to see why the various stories were recommended.

First Doctor (William Hartnell, 1963-65)

*An Unearthly Child

The Edge of Destruction

*The Dalek Invasion of Earth

The Massacre of St Bartholomew’s Eve (unavailable on DVD)

The War Machines

Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton, 1966-68)

*Tomb of the Cybermen

*The Mind Robber

The Invasion

Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee, 1970-73)

*The Spearhead From Space

The Silurians

The Ambassadors of Death

*Inferno

Terror of the Autons

The Daemons

The Green Death

The Time Warrior

Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker, 1974-80)

The Ark in Space

*Genesis of the Daleks

Pyramids of Mars

The Deadly Assassin

The Robots of Death

*The Talons of Weng-Chiang

Horror of Fang Rock

*The City of Death

Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison, 1982-84)

The Visitation

Earthshock

*The Caves of Androzani

Sixth Doctor (Colin Baker, 1985-86)

Trial of a Time Lord series

Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy, 1987-89)

Remembrance of the Daleks

Ghost Light

*The Curse of Fenric

Sources: (thanks to each)

http://io9.com/5939314/old+school-doctor-who-episodes-that-everyone-should-watch

http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/series/the-best-doctor-who-episodes-of-all-time

http://www.geeksofdoom.com/2011/04/18/new-to-who-10-classic-doctor-who-adventures-worth-checking-out

http://flavorwire.com/380883/11-classic-doctor-who-episodes-for-fans-of-the-reboot

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/3674193/The-10-greatest-episodes-of-Doctor-Who-ever.html

http://theoncominghope.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/5-best-classic-who-episodes-for-newbies.html