Friday, April 30, 2010

"The Warlords"

Hello everyone, the Historian here, along with Ketina, Ronelyn, Schmallturm, Spoo and MisterMother. Before we begin, an announcement: The TARDIS Project will be taking a short break for the next few weeks, but we will be back with a new episode on 21 May! (The wrapup for this story should be up in the intervening time, though.) I'm running a little late tonight, so, without further ado, let's get to the summary!

Friday, April 23, 2010

"The Wheel of Fortune"

Hello everyone, the Historian here, feeling much better this week thank you! I'm here along with Ketina, Ronelyn, Schmallturm, Spoo, MiniSpoo and introducing our newest member, Mr. Mother! It's tired and I'm late, so let's get to the summary!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Next episode postponed to next week

Sorry for the late notice, everyone, but, as I've said before, even Historians get sick sometimes. Please check back next week for episode three of The Crusade, "The Wheel of Fortune."

Friday, April 9, 2010

"The Knight of Jaffa"

Hello everyone, the Historian here, welcoming you back to the Holy Land in the twelfth century. Accompanying me this week, as always, are Ketina, Ronelyn, Schmallturm and Spoo. MiniSpoo was present, but didn't really watch with us this week, as this episode consisted almost entirely of stills and soundtrack. Yes, it's a reconstruction and I must once again thank the good people at Loose Cannon Productions for their work, which makes this all possible. (Go! Order recons! It's free, minus tapes and postage!) This was a bit of an early work for LCP, so no animation or composites or anything, just stills and sound. But if this is the closest we can get to seeing the real thing, I'll take it! And now, let's get to the summary!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

"The Web Planet" wrapup

Hello everyone, the Historian here with more apologies at the lateness of this post. But here, better late than never, is a wrapup of this very odd story.

I don't think anyone can deny that "The Web Planet" is a story that either works for a viewer or really doesn't, depending on one's ability to suspend disbelief a whole lot more than is usual for Doctor Who and see non-humanoid insect-like aliens rather than men and women in ant and butterfly costumes making weird movements. I count myself lucky that, for the most part (and with the possible general exception of Ronelyn), the Project members found themselves into the former camp. As Spoo put it, "Once you're used to them there's a 'magic moment' that I can look past the costumes, like the 3rd time I saw them." Not that everything worked, by a long shot--the Animus, for example, was honestly pretty disappointing after the fantastically eerie buildup. The Optera, who we really liked for the most part, were let down a bit by the...vestigial arms that just kind of hung there. And the Zarbi costumes...worked, but definitely not in the way that the production team--or the writer, Bill Strutton--had wanted. (Infamously, they arrived so late and were so stiff that they threw the entire production off. Check out Shannon Sullivan's page for more info about this, as well as general writing/production information.)

The Menoptra are, without a doubt, the standouts, both because of their costumes (those wings!) and because of the work of Rosalind DeWinter, who both played Vrestin and created the "insect movements" for the Menoptra and (slightly less convincingly) the Optera. I'm unsure whether the sing-songy speech of the one and the halting grunts of the other are down to Ms. DeWinter's work, the idea of director Richard Martin or in Strutton's original script, but regardless, it worked wonderfully to make the aliens, well, alien. (I think we can give Strutton full props for a lot of it, especially tidbits like Ian becoming "Heron" and Barbara "Habara" to the Menoptra.)

In the past, I've called "The Web Planet" a "failed masterpiece," a "a noble attempt," a story where the show's reach went much farther than its grasp. I really do believe all of that's true. The story, the writing is wonderful and the production, while severely limited by technical considerations, is pretty extraordinary, from the sets (helped by the weird filters used to convey an alien planet's atmosphere) to the flying effects. The acting was excellent, especially given the odd requirements both from the "aliens" and the actors having to play against them. William Hartnell and William Russell especially shone, though Jacqueline Hill isn't far behind. Maureen O'Brien suffers a bit from having very little to do after the first episode, but still turns in a good performance. Of the guest cast, the most notable is Martin Jarvis as Hilio (the Menoptra captain and "designated jerk" of the butterfly people), who would return to other roles in Doctor Who, as well as having a distinguished career. (This was apparently his first television role!)

All right, enough! Here are the individual episode post links:

"The Web Planet"
"The Zarbi"
"Escape to Danger"
"Crater of Needles"
"The Centre"

And, as always, here's the official BBC episode guide for this story.

I'd talk about what's coming up next, but you already know! Our four friends journey to Jaffa in the late twelfth century to join Richard Coeur de Leon and Saladin in the second Crusade! Join us for episode two in...well, we'll be watching it in 24 hours, so I'm guessing the post will be up in about 26 hours or so. Until then, I remain


Friday, April 2, 2010

"The Lion"

Hello everyone, the Historian here, along with Ketina, Ronelyn, Schmallturm, Spoo and MiniSpoo. Today we journey back to the late 12th century, to join the Lionheart! So, without further ado, let’s get to the summary!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Web Planet wrapup will be delayed

My apologies. I really wanted to have it out before we head into the next story, but it looks like it's not going to happen. I will try to have a wrapup post up in the next week or so.

Again, my apologies.