Friday, August 27, 2010

"A Battle of Wits"

Hello everyone, the Historian here, along with Ketina, Ronelyn, Schmallturm, Spoo, MiniSpoo and MisterMother. Before we begin, I want to insert another plug for our Reader Survey. Thus far, we have received responses. Please take a minute and leave use a comment or drop us a line letting us know what you think. We'd really appreciate it. Now, without further ado, let's get to the summary!

Friday, August 20, 2010

"The Meddling Monk"

Hello everyone, the Historian here, along with Ketina, Ronelyn, Schmallturm, Spoo and MiniSpoo (smaller group this week!), bringing you this second episode in the last story of the second season of Doctor Who. Before moving on, I'll ask you all to do us a favor and pay special attention to the request at the end of this post. Thanks! Now, let's get to the summary!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Another Survey for our Readers

Hello everyone, the Historian here. We're almost to the end of season two here at the TARDIS Project so, just like last time, we'd like to hear from all of you guys! We'd love to get general feedback, but here are a few things I'm really interested in hearing your thoughts about:

1. We've obviously gone through some format changes this year, going from general write-ups (that inevitably led me to stick my head around a corner into the other room and ask everyone, "What did we talk about again?") with occasional transcripts to an all-transcript/paraphrase format. What do you think? Did you like the old format better? Are you enjoying reading our discussions, including our silly Dalek jokes and digressions?

2. Once again, the summaries. As I certainly hope you can tell, I really throw myself into writing them and it's probably (definitely) the most actual work that goes into the blog. Last year, folks told us that they wanted line breaks, so I started including them along with a cut-tag for the blog page. (Since I'd bet a bunch of you follow direct links from, say, the TARDIS Newsroom, I've no idea whether any of you even see the cut-tags!) So, what do you think of them? Do they give you enough information if you've never seen the episode? Are they at all fun to read?

3. Related to the previous, we're about to move into what Ketina...lovingly...calls "Reconstruction Hell." Knowing that, I was vaguely toying with the idea of replacing the summaries with links to the episode scripts from the Doctor Who Scripts Project. Would people rather I do that for missing stories or should I keep the old summary format? (And yes, I could be fine with still writing everything up, have no fear of that.)

Those are the three big questions that occur to me now, but, as I said, we're interested in any and all feedback about any aspect of the blog or the Project in general! You can either leave a comment or e-mail us at tadisproject at gmail dot com. (Please note the missing "r" in "tadisproject." Yes, it was a typo, unnoticed until everything else was set up.)

Thanks for reading, everyone! See you for the next episode! Until then, I remain


Friday, August 13, 2010

"The Watcher"

Hello everyone, the Historian here, along with Ketina, Ronelyn, Spoo, MiniSpoo, MisterMother and Photobug. We're starting the last story of season two this week, so, without further ado, let's get to the summary!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

"The Chase" wrapup

Hello everyone, the Historian here. It's time to wrap up our latest Dalek adventure...and nearly time to wrap up the second season! More on that last bit later, but for now, let's talk about "The Chase," by Terry Nation, directed by Richard Martin with an assist from Douglas Camfield.

And it's a bit of a curate's egg of a story, isn't it? Some good, some bad, some very silly indeed. It's an interesting and important moment in the evolution of the Daleks; as Schmallturm remarked at one point, this story is the first time we really see them acting like the Daleks we would see and be familiar with in years to come, yelling about EXTERMINATING everything in sight, singular thinking, etc. etc. In some ways, they become easier to understand and, almost, less scary as they become more familiar and easier to understand. On the other hand, the Daleks are no less dangerous to their enemies, and certainly no less fun for us! Certainly no less fun for six year old MiniSpoo, who ran around the house yelling "EXTERMINATE!" after every episode.

The story itself hearkens back to Nation's "The Keys of Marinus" from the first season--an episodic serial with a new setting/story every week or two. As with "Marinus," some of these vignettes work better than others. The beginning, on Aridius, started out strongly and then kind of slowed down, but it felt like a full (if truncated) story in and of itself. But then we get two episodes of what was certainly filler, even though it was mostly enjoyable filler, before getting on to an actual plot. The whole thing hangs together better than "Marinus," though, thanks to the "Chase" aspect. And the motif of bookending the comedy/filler episodes with two relatively solid, if truncated stories. (The second story felt especially stunted, with the Mechanoids and Mechanus feeling like they needed a lot more development. As I mentioned in the discussion last time, I'd bet we might have gotten more info if the Mechanoids had ever come back.) For all its flaw, though, we enjoyed the heck out of this story. MiniSpoo, especially, was absolutely riveted to the screen for each episode, with the exception of a few scenes from "Journey into Terror," where he got so scared he had to run out of the room. But he kept coming back in... (You'll note that he had to miss a week. We made sure he saw the episode, though. His eyes lit up when he saw the DVD--he watched the episode twice!) And that might be the best final thought for the story as a whole--it kept the attention of a six year old in 2010!

But enough about the story as a whole, let's talk about the big news this week: the departure of Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright and the arrival of Steven Taylor! Although the beginning of the season had seen the departure of Susan, Ian and Barbara leaving was an even bigger jolt--and, possibly, risk--for the show. The two schoolteachers had been a constant presence, points of identification for the viewers (since they were from 1963, they were in the position of not knowing more than the viewer at home did about things and could get away with asking exposition-inducing questions) and they were a check on William Hartnell's testiness. How would the show survive, with all but one of its original cast members gone?

Well, obviously, the answer is it would survive quite well, but that shouldn't diminish the contributions of William Russell and Jacqueline Hill. Ian and Barbara have been the heart of the show, Barbara especially, and Ian has of course been the muscle as well as a brain. As I've written many times over the course of the past couple of years, the two companions have been the saviors of many an episode. (They even made "The Ordeal" almost bearable!) I think it'll come as no surprise to any of our long-time readers that the TARDIS Project team will miss Ian and (especially) Barbara tremendously.

So, what now for the TARDIS crew? Well, we've left a contemporary Earth viewpoint behind, as Vicki is from the future, as is Steven. Will this hurt viewer identification? We'll have to watch and see!

And now, since I've gone on far, far too long, I've left no room to discuss the departure of story editor Dennis Spooner! He'll be writing our next story, though, so I'll try to leave room then.

The handy-dandy links to our individual episode posts:
"The Executioners"
"The Death of Time"
"Flight Through Eternity"
"Journey Into Terror"
"The Death of Doctor Who"
"The Planet of Decision"

And here's the backstage scoop about the story. Finally, here's the BBC episode guide.

Going into this story, Ketina mentioned that this was her favorite from the first few years. (She later added that it still was, though it wasn't as good as she remembered.) Well, our next story is one of my favorites. Let's see how I feel in the next wrapup post! Until next week, I remain


Friday, August 6, 2010

"The Planet of Decision"

Hello everyone, the Historian here, with a full house once again: Ketina, Ronelyn, Schmallturm, Spoo, MiniSpoo (and yes, we caught him up on the episode he missed), MisterMother and Photobug. This week, the last episode in our Dalek chase through time and space! Let's get to the summary!