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Doctor Who: a Time Lord's Timeline

By kpaul in Culture
Sun May 29, 2005 at 10:56:45 PM EST
Tags: Focus On... (all tags)
Focus On...

[Insert weird TARDIS noise, otherwise known as the vworp]

Doctor Who is one of the longest running sci-fi shows of all time. It ran consecutively for 26 years - 1963 to 1989. The Americans tried to remake the show in 1996, but I'm going to act like that never happened, although for continuity, there was, technically, an eighth doctor. (Star Wars fans who've seen the Star Wars Christmas Special know what I'm talking about in this regard.)

Recently, the sci-fi series has been resurrected (or is that regenerated?) on the BBC. The Doctor lives and is as amusing (and campy) as ever. What follows is a look over the years at the various incarnations of the Doctor. (And for the record, my favorite is the fourth Doctor, whom I remember seeing on PBS every Saturday as a child.)

William Hartnell (1963-1966)

William Hartnell, the first Doctor, was an old man. In the early days of Doctor Who, episodes were recorded "live" because of the technical difficulty of editing television programs back then. (Not to mention Doctor Who never really had a big budget, which was part of its charm.) As a result of taping it "live," actors occasionally forgot their lines. According to IMDB, Hartnell forgot his lines in "The Web Planet," causing co-star William Russell to have to help him out in remembering them.

As I said, the show, especially in the early years, wasn't about special effects, which was strange for a science-fiction program (even today.) What made Doctor Who a hit was the dialogue and acting. The characters really stood out, became "human" to the point where you cared week to week what happened to them.

The very first episode was called An Unearthly Child and is about a female pupil and her grandfather who take two teachers back to the prehistoric age. There they discover cavemen who have lost the ability to make fire. Something to note here is that the originals were aired on the BBC as 25 minute serials. When PBS picked them up, they usually showed a complete 'story arc' in one night, some lasting a couple hours.

Another highlight in the first year of Doctor Who was the appearance of the Daleks. The Daleks are metal creatures (look closely and you can see the toilet plungers) who roll around. In this episode their city is composed of ramps instead of stairs. This would become an in joke with Doctor Who geeks - one of the most terrifying races in the universe stopped by a staircase. Heh. This 'problem' was fixed in later years as it became easier to give Daleks the power of levitation. It has to be hard to maintain the storyline over 20+ years of a television show, though.

The first Doctor's run ended in 1966 with The Tenth Planet episode. This story arc introduced the Cybermen, who would appear in lots of later episodes as one of the Doctor's main enemies. The original fourth episode in this story arc went missing except for the transformation sequence where the Doctor changed from Hartnell to Patrick Troughton. The rest of the episode was reconstructed somehow, though, which is what you see on the videotape if you buy it. The script to the missing episode is available online. According to The Dr. Who Guide, "Fifteen clips from Episode 4 are known to exist. With the exception of the regeneration sequence, they are all from a reel of 8mm film shot at a TV screen." Those have to be worth a lot on eBay, no?

Patrick Troughton (1966-1969)

Patrick Troughton, the second Doctor, always reminded me of The Three Stooges. Not because he was funny (although he was a little), but more because of his haircut looked like Moe's. He was, how to put it ... foppish? Clownish? In his premiere episode (The Power of the Daleks), he is still disoriented after regenerating (not to mention dealing with the confusion of his companions.) The Doctor takes the TARDIS to the Earth colony Vulcan, where the natives have found two disabled Daleks. Not knowing better, they revive them. Once revived, the Daleks claim that they were created to help humanity. Can you guess how it ends? Most of the video for this story arc is also missing.

Most of the Doctors had an item they became known for having or using. In Troughton's case, it was a recorder that he played. He played the Doctor a lot differently than Hartnell did, which was a struggle, no doubt, for the audience. The new Doctor was like a hobo clown, although he retained all the knowledge of his last incarnation.

Troughton's run as the Doctor ended in 1969 with The War Games episode, a 10 episode story arc. The story has the Doctor on Earth during World War I. Instead of the normal World War I we're all familiar with, though, sinister aliens have brought warriors from a lot of different time periods in Earth's history together to do battle.

To stop the madness, the Doctor must call on the Time Lords to help him. However, as we've learned over the years, the problem is that he's on the run from them for stealing a TARDIS and not obeying their laws against interfering with other races. Even though he knows it's dangerous for him, the Doctor asks for the Time Lords' help. The aliens behind the War Games are brought to trial and sentenced to dematerialisation. After they're gone, the Doctor is brought to trial for interfering in the affairs of others.

He's found guilty of interference. As punishment, the Time Lords disable a lot of the capabilities of his stolen TARDIS and send him to 20th Century Earth to help the planet. He's also forced to use one of his regenerations. They initially give him a choice as to his new appearance, but when he won't choose, they choose one for him. Enter Jon Pertwee and the U.N.I.T. (United Nations Intelligence Taskforce) years. (I have to wonder now if their budget was cut, so being stuck on Earth in the 20th Century was written into the script.)

Jon Pertwee (1970-1974)

Jon Pertwee played the third Doctor as a very physical person, using kung-fu-esque moves to battle aliens. His stint as the Doctor (banished to 20th Century Earth) begins with Spearhead from Space in 1970. The Doctor had worked with U.N.I.T. before as the second Doctor. In the opening episode, he's found unconscious, lying outside of the TARDIS.

Whereas the last incarnation of the Doctor was clownish, Jon Pertwee was the perfect British dandy. His outfit reflected this. His identifying item was the sonic screwdriver, a device that looked like a tire pressure gauge but had a wide variety of uses.

Pertwee's last episode was Planet of the Spiders in 1974. In this seven episode story arc, the Doctor becomes involved in a psychic battle with space alien spiders. He manages to kill off the queen spider in the end, but the battle takes a toll on him. He arrives on Earth a little while later, saying he'd been lost in the vortex for a while. Another Time Lord stops by to let the Brigadier and Sarah, his latest companion, know that he'd be changing. Soon, the Doctor is surrounded by a glow. When it clears, they see Tom Baker. "Well - here we go again," the Brigadier says, sighing.

Tom Baker (1974-1981)

I should really do a whole article on Tom Baker. (Maybe I'll go back in time and do that.) Baker played the Doctor longer than anyone else for a reason - he was good. His look was Bohemian, like somebody out of the 60s. His favorite item (or one of them) was a long, 42 foot scarf. (Well, ok, I'm not sure it was actually 42 feet long, but it was huge!) He also carried around a crumpled paper bag filled with Jelly Babies. When encountering aliens, he usually offered them one (think Gummi Bears) as a sort of distraction.

Baker's first show was a four episode story arc called "Robot." Right off the bat, this Doctor acted goofy. People weren't sure if it was because he had just regenerated or because he was crazy all the time. From the get-go, though, I could tell that he was going to be a great actor for the role of the Doctor.

The fourth Doctor's run comes to an end in the four episode story arc Logopolis in 1981. In this episode, the Doctor travels to Logopolis in search of a chameleon circuit for the TARDIS. His is broke, which is why the TARDIS always looks like a 1950s London Police Box. (Or, in the real world, another way to save money on sets and props.) While there, he runs into his arch-enemy, the Master. The Doctor saves the day again, but in the process he falls from a catwalk and loses another life.

Peter Davison (1981-1984)

Peter Davison as the Doctor begins with Castrovalva, a four episode story arc in 1982. Althought the other regenerations never went smoothly, this one is the worst yet. The Master is in this story arc, still trying to kill the Doctor. His plan is thwarted, though, and by the end of the fourth episode, the Doctor's regeneration is complete and stable.

Davison's item was a piece of celery sticking out of his front sport jacket pocket. He looked how one would imagine a cricketer to look. His run playing the Doctor didn't last long. It wasn't because he was horrible as the Doctor, but going against Tom Baker as the Doctor, I don't think he had much of a chance of becoming popular. His run ended with the four episode story arc The Caves of Androzani in 1984. As usual, the Doctor loses one of his lives saving someone else.

Colin Baker (1984-1986)

Colin Baker was the first attempt to recapture the magic that was Tom Baker playing the Doctor. It didn't work too well, though. Baker's item was a small lapel pin of a cat. His personality was more brash than Tom Baker, although some of the Bohemian style was noticable. It went a little too far, though, resulting in his costume looking like it was designed by someone taking a lot of LSD.

His first show was a four episode story arc called The Twin Dilemna. In it, it appears as if the Doctor has completely lost his mind after the last regeneration. He lands the TARDIS on the asteroid Titan 3, wanting to become a hermit. He's soon caught up in an adventure, though. Peri, his companion, thinks the new Doctor is rude, but he reminds her that he's an alien, not British.

It was during Baker's tenure that Doctor Who's ratings finally began to dive enough for BBC to take action. They cut the number of shows per year, at one point going 18 months without airing any new shows. The BBC tried to blame the bad ratings on Baker, and got rid of him in 1986. For me any other fans, though, the show's popularity declining was more about bad writing and the BBC messing with the formula in an attempt to make the show more 'popular.'

Baker's last television appearance was in the Trial of a Timelord story arc that ran a whopping 14 episodes. After getting fired by the BBC, he refused to come back to film a regeneration scene. He still does a lot of charity work with appearances as the Doctor, though, and fans think if he had been given a chance by the BBC, he could've been as popular as Tom Baker.

Sylvester McCoy (1987-1989)

Sylvester McCoy was another attempt to emulate the fourth Doctor, Tom Baker. He kept, for the most part, the wacky appearance of Colin Baker's Doctor, but wasn't nearly as mean spirited or unstable as the BBC made Colin Baker play the Doctor. After the last run, fans of the series were expecting more garbage from the BBC. After a slow start, though, Doctor Who began to regain the magic that made it the longest running drama series on television. In 1989, though, at the peak of this revival, the show was cancelled in 1989.

Sure, the series continued as radio plays and in novels, but it wasn't the Doctor Who fans knew and loved. It really was a shame too, because the show was finally starting to go in the direction that made it great, namely great story writing.

Paul McGann (1996)

By this time, fans were hungering for another video production of Doctor Who. Unfortunately, the project was a joint US/UK venture. The UK ratings were decent, but the American ratings were terrible. So, stupidly, reviving the series was stopped. That said, there's no honest to way to say how well Paul McGann would have done as the Doctor, especially if the scripts weren't trying to appeal to an American audience. Again, audio adventures took place, but it's not as good as actually watching Doctor Who on the telly.

Christopher Eccleston (2004-2005)

Well, it's about bloody time. In late 2003, it was leaked that Doctor Who would be returning. Over the next year, details were leaked. Since seeing the new episodes, I am ... very, very happy. They've managed to recapture the magic that is Doctor Who. While the special effects are a lot better, the series manages to maintain the 'campy' feel that is part of its charm. I'd never heard of Christopher Eccleston before, but to me he's been able to combine all the best traits of the previous Doctor incarnations into one person. The writing is top notch as well.

David Tennant (2005 - ????)

Last month it was announced that David Tennant will play the tenth Doctor starting this Christmas season. Not knowing Tennant very well, I'm not sure how he will play the part of the Doctor. I do know that Russell T Davies is a brilliant writer and will work to make the tenth Doctor a success.

The Future

What does the future hold? Who knows. After Tennant, The Doctor will have two regenerations and three lives left. I can't imagine the series not being able to write their way out of the corner, though. (The Master, for example, has had more than 12 lives during the history of the series.) Whatever it holds, I look forward to watching more of the best sci-fi television show of all time. (Star Trek? Gimme a break, mate. ;)

Additional Reading:

  • Official BBC Site
  • Dr Who (Tom Baker) on the Simpsons
  • Outpost Gallifrey - in depth repository of Dr. Who facts
  • This Week in Dr. Who Yahoo Group
  • A Brief History of Time (Travel) - A fan site.
  • Doctor Who Guide - extensive list of Dr. Who Links
  • Dr. Who Image Archive
  • Sponsors

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    favorite doctor
    o William Hartnell 2%
    o Patrick Troughton 2%
    o Jon Pertwee 17%
    o Tom Baker 40%
    o Peter Davison 2%
    o Colin Baker 2%
    o Sylvester McCoy 0%
    o Paul McGann 0%
    o Christopher Eccleston 6%
    o David Tennant 0%
    o none. the show is teh sucks. 0%
    o all of them! brilliant! 6%
    o doctor who? (exactly...) 20%

    Votes: 45
    Results | Other Polls

    Related Links
    o Yahoo
    o vworp
    o William Hartnell
    o An Unearthly Child
    o the Daleks
    o The Tenth Planet
    o script
    o The Dr. Who Guide
    o Patrick Troughton
    o The Power of the Daleks
    o The War Games
    o Jon Pertwee
    o Spearhead from Space
    o Planet of the Spiders
    o Tom Baker
    o Robot
    o Logopolis
    o Peter Davison
    o Castrovalv a
    o The Caves of Androzani
    o Colin Baker
    o The Twin Dilemna
    o Baker's tenure
    o Sylvester McCoy
    o Paul McGann
    o Christophe r Eccleston
    o David Tennant
    o Official BBC Site
    o Dr Who (Tom Baker) on the Simpsons
    o Outpost Gallifrey
    o This Week in Dr. Who Yahoo Group
    o A Brief History of Time (Travel)
    o Doctor Who Guide
    o Dr. Who Image Archive
    o Also by kpaul

    Display: Sort:
    Doctor Who: a Time Lord's Timeline | 112 comments (73 topical, 39 editorial, 0 hidden)
    Dr Who made me the geek I am today (3.00 / 4) (#4)
    by Tatarigami on Fri May 27, 2005 at 11:57:09 PM EST

    For anyone who had the chance to watch BBC serials, Dr Who is the show you grew up watching from behind the couch. The villains are (to a child) frightening, but your absolute faith that the Doctor will somehow find a way to make everything alright brings you back time and again. It genuinely didn't matter that, even for the times, the effects looked cheap and shoddy -- it was the characters you were there for.

    Second only to Tom Baker, Sylvester McCoy has always been my favourite Doctor. He had the sharp mind and the air of mystery almost hidden behind a clownish exterior and love of the theatrical, but if you ask me, he had some diabolically bad scripts to work with. Dr Who wasn't a good vehicle for the battle with Manichean cosmic beings of ultimate evil. What a cop-out! The Doctor's best enemies always had some kind of immediate tangible goal, even if it was the subjugation of the entire universe.

    as good as mccoy was, number nine (none / 1) (#5)
    by kpaul on Sat May 28, 2005 at 12:31:21 AM EST

    has him beat. if he woulda signed up for a longer run, i imagine he could've been *really* close to Tom Baker.

    have you seen him yet?

    2014 Halloween Costumes
    [ Parent ]

    Not yet (none / 1) (#31)
    by Tatarigami on Sat May 28, 2005 at 05:03:27 PM EST

    Still waiting for the new episodes to make it down here.  Being part of the Brit Commonwealth, we've always had access to BBC shows, but not in what the fans would consider to be a timely manner.

    I'm relieved to hear that people like it, though.  I was a bit worried when I heard they were going for an 'edgier' Dr Who and a companion who kicks arse in the style popularised in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

    [ Parent ]

    depnds on edgy i guess... (none / 1) (#34)
    by kpaul on Sat May 28, 2005 at 06:19:46 PM EST

    in one new episode they have farting aliens...

    the last couple were kinda creepy.

    they managed to capture the charm and humor of tom baker, though.

    i think a lot of why it's good is the writing. good stories so far...

    2014 Halloween Costumes
    [ Parent ]

    WHY (none / 1) (#73)
    by shokk on Mon May 30, 2005 at 12:14:54 AM EST

    do we keep wanting each actor that plays the Doctor to be close to Tom Baker? Get some fresh ideas and stop trying to recreate the past. If all you're trying to do is rehash things, then it is past time for the good Doctor to pack his TARDIS and disassociate himself from this sad planet. Otherwise you will only have you parents' memories to entertain you and nothing of your own. Before Tom Baker, there was no Tom Baker. He was a fresh new turn for the show. When will the next fresh idea come? Surely, with 12 lifes in all, Doctor Who will have one more multi-year incarnation in him, right? Remember some of the fun and goofiness of the series, and try not to make it so serious - that's what killed Trek. It's scifi, not physics class. Leave some of it up to our imagination...we still have those. Maybe an incarnation that goes completely in the opposite direction, competing with the Master, and in a tense relation with his companions. Followed by an incarnation that tries to make right or seek forgiveness for these deeds. That leaves another incarnation: he goes back to being exiled on Earth but without a TARDIR; he is forced to seek another TARDIS of which he purposely removes the chameleon circuit once it's in the form of the police box again. Heck, after all that he could mysteriously come back as a 13th Doctor that looks exactly like the William Hartnell incarnation and his adventures require him to figure out why this has happened when there should have been no more.
    "Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart, he dreams himself your master."
    [ Parent ]
    heh. and speaking of terrified children... (none / 1) (#12)
    by kpaul on Sat May 28, 2005 at 02:09:09 AM EST

    check out this link about the last show and kids' reactions to it...

    2014 Halloween Costumes
    [ Parent ]

    One thing often overlooked (3.00 / 2) (#13)
    by forgotten on Sat May 28, 2005 at 02:30:22 AM EST

    in the history of Dr Who, was that most of the episodes were also released as books. I remember hunting through the school library to find new ones. It added an extra dimension to the whole series, and I owe a lot to them. It was what started my interest in sf writings, and perhaps science in general too.

    I've said here before though, I cant get excited about the newer dr who stuff. For me all there is left is the nostalgia; what is the point in ressurecting a show where the vilains were not much more than boxes with paint on them?

    As for the daleks, well, all the enemies had absurd weaknessess. Absurd even to children. The cybermen were killed by gold. Huh? They could build cybernetic brains but not design a respirator that wasnt clogged by gold? And whats that other one, i think they were called the solarians, the super warlike race that loved battle but had a button on the back of the neck that would kill them when pressed. Not too bright, those guys.


    hah. i forgot about the buttons...(+spoilers+) (none / 1) (#14)
    by kpaul on Sat May 28, 2005 at 02:33:10 AM EST

    in the new run, the doctor runs into the last surviving dalek. we also learn the doctor is now the last Time Lord alive.

    as for the books, i never really got into them. i may, though, in the future. i'm weird sometimes in that when i find a good author (or series) i'll 'save' some of them for the future instead of devouring them all at once.

    2014 Halloween Costumes
    [ Parent ]

    they really are childrens books (3.00 / 2) (#16)
    by forgotten on Sat May 28, 2005 at 02:51:43 AM EST

    you probably wouldnt enjoy them much, at least not as a good read in-and-of-themselves. but for a child, whose imagination was already excited by the tv series, they were good.

    also, i have discovered, the name of the warlike race i mention was actually the Sontarans.


    [ Parent ]

    Y'know... (none / 0) (#93)
    by irrevenant on Tue May 31, 2005 at 04:32:49 AM EST

    ...there's not much point having spoiler warnings if you don't put what they're spoilers FOR.

    Something like "Spoilers for Doctor Who (2003) 1x07 'Dalek'" would've been nice...

    [ Parent ]

    sorry. i'll be more specific next time... (none / 0) (#96)
    by kpaul on Tue May 31, 2005 at 07:38:54 PM EST

    tell me something i don't know?

    i haven't seen SW3 yet. ;)

    2014 Halloween Costumes
    [ Parent ]

    SPOILER EP3 (none / 1) (#109)
    by richarj on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 01:40:48 AM EST

    Anakin Skywalker Becomes Darth Vader.

    "if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
    [ Parent ]
    You mean "Sontarans" (none / 0) (#101)
    by MrMikey on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 05:39:33 PM EST

    And whats that other one, i think they were called the solarians, the super warlike race that loved battle but had a button on the back of the neck that would kill them when pressed. Not too bright, those guys.

    You're thinking of the Sontarans... a cloned species of warriors that can give you a very bad day. They're only physical weakness is a small vent (not button) on the back of the neck. In some episode, that weakness was mentioned as having shaped their psychology... "Never turn your back to an enemy."

    Tom Baker was always my favorite doctor, too.

    [ Parent ]

    Hello. (none / 0) (#111)
    by guidoreichstadter on Sat Jun 18, 2005 at 11:29:43 PM EST

    This has actually nothing to do with your comment on the Sontarans, but I was browsing this site and came on this comment of yours from a while ago. The sentiment that you expressed interest in is interesting to me also. In what way are people depending on their jobs for food an shelter, when they should be depending on each other? If we are losing by playing by the "capitalist" rules, what other rules are there?

    What is the capitalist way that most everybody experiences in their daily job? Working in the building owned by someone else, under the rules set by someone else, under the managers chosen by someone else. Needless to say, there are many familiar ways in which this is a disempowering situation. The benefit is that if you do what you are told, maybe you get some of the things you want.

    However, this disempowering situation creates a deep dependency of the individual on a system over which one has little control or input. At the social level, this model means that the vast majority have very little power to guide in important ways the conditions of their very own lives.

    This is not the only possible state of affairs. We can, in fact, cooperate with each other to meet our needs and desires- we can in fact organize, build and grow businesses of unlimited technical sophistication on cooperative models based on democratic ownership and democratic direction and management of workplaces by the people who work in them and the communities they serve. Over the last century and a half, the ideas and implementations of this model, the cooperative model, have been undergoing iterative refinement and adaptation. The failed experiments over this time have provided crucial information towards constructing robust and dynamic cooperatives.

    Currently, the most successful implementation of the cooperative model is the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation, a federated corporation with over 60,000 worker-members organized in over 160 worker owned, democratically self-managed cooperatives centered in the basque country of northern Spain that operate across a broad spectrum of advanced industrial technologies, such as robotics, electronics and manufacturing, banking, retail, distribution and other fields. It maintains the third largest hypermarket chain in Spain and the seventh largest bank (like all of the industries in the Mondragon federation, both are worker cooperatives). In each cooperative, a general assembly of all worker-members, on the principle of one person, one vote, democratically choose the direction and directors of the business and exert complete control over all aspects of its functioning, from pay scales to work conditions, investments to charitable contributions. If you are interested in learning more, this is an excellent introduction to this exceptional economic phenomenon.

    While Mondragon is but the latest iteration (and certainly not without flaws) in the long process of advance towards a truly participatorily democratic economy and society, when you look at our system and see the inequities, and think we can do better, it may give you the beginning of an idea of how.

    you are human:
    no masters,
    no slaves.
    [ Parent ]

    sub-thread (3.00 / 2) (#18)
    by forgotten on Sat May 28, 2005 at 03:03:10 AM EST

    Many people reading this will have watched dr who as children, and thus were not able to appreciate some of the, err, finer points of the series.

    Please post your entrants for the dr who assistants who, having suddenly seen with the fresh eyes of puberty, you realized were REALLY HOT.

    My entry: Leela.


    my list... (none / 1) (#20)
    by kpaul on Sat May 28, 2005 at 03:34:27 AM EST

    Ace was kinda hot

    the new Rose (Billie Piper) is also kinda hot.

    i don't think anyone can beat leela or her 'outfit' though ;)

    i do remember my grandmother saying she didn't like some companions because they were there for 'obvious reasons' ... she didn't like sarah either because she was just a screamer always getting into trouble...

    2014 Halloween Costumes
    [ Parent ]

    Billie Piper (1.00 / 4) (#32)
    by MotorMachineMercenary on Sat May 28, 2005 at 05:20:07 PM EST

    I incidentally just finished watching the pilot to the new series. I adored the campiness and will be checking out later episodes; this could be good!

    At first I wasn't at all impressed by Ms. Piper since her body looks not all that phenomenal and she has that very unattractive, drab middle-class British thing going on in that role. But after I saw couple of close shots of her face her attractiveness became apparent. She has strong features, very nice bone structure, high cheeks, small feminine chin, full lips and a full set of uncrooked teeth - something that puts you in the top percentile on the British Isles alone. I mean, dayum!

    "What's next, sigging a k5er quote about sigging someone on k5?"

    [ Parent ]
    what's up with the link (none / 1) (#33)
    by kpaul on Sat May 28, 2005 at 06:08:23 PM EST

    it just tried to drive-by download something (crap i imagine) and there was nothin' on the page...

    2014 Halloween Costumes
    [ Parent ]

    Hmm (none / 1) (#35)
    by MotorMachineMercenary on Sat May 28, 2005 at 06:26:44 PM EST

    Works fine with Firefox, adblocker and popup blocker on... Maybe I have a cookie that's needed. The main page is here. Hope that works.

    "What's next, sigging a k5er quote about sigging someone on k5?"

    [ Parent ]
    i have a similar setup (none / 1) (#36)
    by kpaul on Sat May 28, 2005 at 06:30:27 PM EST

    firefox, etc.

    maybe it's because you linked straight to it and it had the wrong referer?

    in any case ... yeah, pretty hot. ;)

    2014 Halloween Costumes
    [ Parent ]

    or possibly (3.00 / 2) (#41)
    by forgotten on Sat May 28, 2005 at 10:16:58 PM EST

    that autodialer is already installed on your machine, so its smart enough not to download itself again..... :)


    [ Parent ]

    DONT CLICK THAT LINK! (none / 1) (#40)
    by forgotten on Sat May 28, 2005 at 10:15:17 PM EST

    MMM, I presume that wasnt deliberate.....


    [ Parent ]

    Nicola Bryant (3.00 / 3) (#78)
    by daveybaby on Mon May 30, 2005 at 04:48:18 AM EST

    No competition

    [ Parent ]
    The first Romana, and Zoe (none / 1) (#80)
    by sal5ero on Mon May 30, 2005 at 10:31:19 AM EST


    [ Parent ]
    Sarah Jane Smith (none / 0) (#95)
    by Fon2d2 on Tue May 31, 2005 at 11:38:40 AM EST

    Was always my favorite.

    clicky here

    [ Parent ]

    Tegan! (none / 0) (#112)
    by wolverine1999 on Sun Jun 26, 2005 at 07:46:58 AM EST

    My favourite has to be Tegan...

    [ Parent ]
    some doctor who trivia... (3.00 / 2) (#19)
    by kpaul on Sat May 28, 2005 at 03:05:31 AM EST

    Douglas Adams did some writing for the show:

  • The Pirate Planet by Douglas Adams
  • City of Death by Graham Williams, Douglas Adams and David Fisher
  • Shada by Douglas Adams (never actually completed or broadcast after production was postponed in 1979)
  • Also, note that Rowan Atkinson has a spoof where he plays the Doctor. In the parody Hugh Grant is shown as the Doctor as well...

    2014 Halloween Costumes

    In City of Death (none / 1) (#110)
    by richarj on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 01:49:08 AM EST

    The Doctors Tardis is parked in a French art museum. Just as the Doctor, Romana and some Detective are running towards the Tardis there are a couple looking at it saying how artistic it is. The man of the couple was played by John Cleese, I didn't catch the who the woman was though. It was quite funny.

    "if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
    [ Parent ]
    worse than fan fiction? (3.00 / 2) (#21)
    by kpaul on Sat May 28, 2005 at 03:38:53 AM EST

    Doctor Who fan videos? this one is pretty goofy...

    2014 Halloween Costumes

    Go wild! (3.00 / 2) (#22)
    by BJH on Sat May 28, 2005 at 06:38:02 AM EST

    I am strangely edified to know that the noise a TARDIS makes when it dematerialises is called a "vworp".
    Roses are red, violets are blue.
    I'm schizophrenic, and so am I.
    -- Oscar Levant

    -1, I'm tired of retreads (1.00 / 5) (#24)
    by minerboy on Sat May 28, 2005 at 07:06:26 AM EST

    Is no one original anymore ? This summer, most of the big budget movies are remakes, or based on old stories. Where are the new cult classics. Hell, the younger generation of geekie kids is still reciting monty python, and listening to the violent femmes, Led Zepplin, and the clash

    Children, its time to create your own culture

    Matrix? (2.50 / 2) (#37)
    by LodeRunner on Sat May 28, 2005 at 08:30:18 PM EST

    That was the latest "new big cult thing", wasn't it?

    "dude, you can't even spell your own name" -- Lode Runner
    [ Parent ]

    As for sci-fi tv (none / 1) (#42)
    by spooked on Sat May 28, 2005 at 11:07:01 PM EST

    firefly and farscape are both cult classics and originals. I'm not such of a fan of charley jade, but that could very well turn out to be one as well.

    To quote Emily Hanes "All we get dead disco, dead funk, dead rock and roll..."

    [ Parent ]
    Cult and culture (3.00 / 2) (#89)
    by gidds on Mon May 30, 2005 at 06:01:30 PM EST

    I agree that there's a lot of retreading the past at the moment, but I think this case is slightly different.

    This isn't about remaking something that already exists (with a bigger budget but without the charm, style, humour, or originality...). This isn't about taking something existing and turning it into something else (even though that can be done well, e.g. the first couple of Batman films). This isn't about resurrecting something just to cash in. It's not repeating old material, nor is it devaluing it.

    This is about an ongoing series, one that charmed and scared generations of people, that's been restarted. It has a new style, new cast, and new stories, but it's very much in the mould and timeline of previous stories in the series. It's bang up to date, but still consistent with what's gone before -- not just events, but also characters and premise. It's true to the current TV audience, but it's also true to itself.

    Name one other piece of SF which could be cancelled, and fifteen years later carry on so successfully! (Well, all right -- name me two :-)

    Where are the new cult classics.

    (Here, have this free question mark: ?) Part of the problem is that cult programmes/movies/&c are by definition minority affairs. They take a long time to break through to mainstream consciousness -- if ever. So there may well be shows around today which people will look back on in a couple of decades in the same way -- it's just that right now, most of us don't know about them!

    [ Parent ]

    the new series of dr who.... (none / 1) (#25)
    by Ashur on Sat May 28, 2005 at 07:50:19 AM EST

    ....is goddamn terrible, they really shoulda just called it quits after tom baker did his stint. he is dr who.

    Are you smoking crack? (2.50 / 2) (#29)
    by rpjs on Sat May 28, 2005 at 04:50:31 PM EST

    The new Doctor Who series is superb. It's not just a worthy successor to the original it has superb scripts, excellent acting and even the SFX are better than before (although given the bacofoil and string fx of the original, that's not difficult). The most recent WW2 two-parter that's just finished is, IMHO, simply some of the best drama the BBC has ever produced.

    [ Parent ]
    You have GOT to be joking! (none / 0) (#97)
    by ctid on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 03:54:54 AM EST

    The new series of Doctor Who is absolutely excellent. I cannot stress enough how enjoyable it has been to watch the episodes. There is also a wonderful BBC website, that goes with the series and which is updated week-by-week. This site is supposed to be written by one of the characters. You certainly should not visit it if you haven't seen the episodes yet: Don't visit this if you don't want spoilers!. That is a .co.uk website and the same outfit owns the equivalent .com, which is currently empty. There is some hope that they will play the same trick when the new series is played over in the USA.
    Reality is defined by the maddest person in the room.
    [ Parent ]
    Way too short. (3.00 / 2) (#39)
    by jd on Sat May 28, 2005 at 09:19:54 PM EST

    William Hartnell: This was when Dr Who had to have an educational value, so many of the historic episodes were based very closely on known historical facts, period costumes were amazingly accurate, etc. This was because of the way the funding was organized. Dr Who managed to get past a lot of red tape and dogmatism at the BBC by being "educational entertainment" and get their funding from the Light Entertainment Department. It was for related reasons that Bug-Eyed Monsters were strongly discouraged, and scientists routinely helped out with futuristic stories. Indeed, if my Whovian knowledge is correct, Kit Pedler - the inventor of the Cybermen - was a specialist in Cryogenics.

    Patrick Troughton: He was the most heartbroken about the loss of stories, as many of the stories destroyed were from his era. (The science and history were weaker, so these stories were given a lower priority.) All stories exist in audio form, and clips & telesnaps exist for the earlier stories to a degree (though stories like The Highlanders is still very underrepresented.)

    Stories are found, true. "The Lion" was recently found, largely because of collectors maintaining it, but also "recently" because they didn't know what they had. Recently, an episode of The Avengers from season 1 was found - which was doubly astonishing, as nobody knew a recording had even been made - it had been thought it had been transmitted live. Nobody has any idea what is out there, where it might be, or how to get it.

    agreed... (none / 1) (#47)
    by kpaul on Sat May 28, 2005 at 11:52:51 PM EST

    it would've been way too big if i dug too deep, though...

    what's the biggest think you think i left out?

    2014 Halloween Costumes
    [ Parent ]

    Probably the biggest thing... (3.00 / 3) (#54)
    by jd on Sun May 29, 2005 at 04:18:13 AM EST

    ...was that the early emphasis was on using Doctor Who as an educational tool, with The Doctor and companions as plot devices rather than as the main part of the story. The science and history were actually used in classrooms to illustrate points that the textbooks either glossed over or described in a tedious way that students simply weren't learning the material.

    Although the style with Troughton became more entertainment, there was still a lot of science and history to be found there. The Highlanders, for example, was a pretty accurate depiction of those times, and Evil of the Daleks did have a pretty good handle on the dynamics and attitudes of Victorian England, for example.

    There was a lot more emphasis on politics and ethics, though. Hartnell's era was mostly stand-offish on ethics - indeed, in The Aztecs, Barbara was chastised for wanting to make any difference at all, although it's quite possible that a compromise could have been reached which helped some.

    Troughton, on the other hand, had no problems with making a difference. In The Highlanders, he worked hard to get as many Scots to safety as he reasonably could, without seriously changing history. He was more than happy to blow up the Dominator ship. His solution to the computer in The Mind Robber was to overload the system and destroy a self-contained evil. He didn't just stand back, in the case of The War Games, either.

    So, it is safe to say that the educational element was still there, but educating people on politics and ethics, rather than history and science.

    It changed again, with Jon Pertwee. Reduced to a mere shadow of its original self, the education was this time in the form of diplomacy (he negotiated with everyone from Ice Warriors to Daleks to humans who had put themselves under Dalek control!) and there was at least a cursory examination of the 20th century, as many stories were set in "present times" and in a wide range of settings, from naval warships to English villages.

    With Tom Baker, the educational element was in a recognition of social justice (Robot, The Sun Makers, even Horns of Nimon had elements of it, as did the whole moral dilemma posed by Genesis of the Daleks) and a much more broad look at relative ethics (the scene in Pyramids of Mars where The Doctor notes that he is not even remotely human, and other than a few pointed remarks, he made no attempt to discourage the use of Janis Thorns...)

    Peter Davison's educational slant was perhaps a little more into the environmental and social awareness things. From the Librarian in Castrovalva becoming an individual, to a fairly in-depth look at terrorism in "Caves of Androzani", this era looked closely at the impacts decisions made on lives. "Black Orchid" is another good example, and "Time-Flight" is riddled with references to the impact of choice. Indeed, the entire "Guardian" trilogy was based on that theme.

    I can't honestly say that I can find even the slightest educational element in either Colin Baker's or Sylvester McCoy's times, though "The Mysterious Planet" and "Terror of the Vervoids" did hold some merit in asking what the limit of authority should be, who should be deciding the limit, and how. Can genocide - even to prevent genocide - ever be acceptable?

    [ Parent ]

    McCoy's theme (none / 1) (#60)
    by pyro9 on Sun May 29, 2005 at 12:47:02 PM EST

    McCoy's times seemed to focus on issues of self identity and development. The intellectual vs. animal and emotional, inner self vs. outward projections, group vs. personal identity, etc. Right down to the Doctor 'proving' his identity by skillfully (and in plain sight) forging signatures on letters introducing him.

    The future isn't what it used to be
    [ Parent ]
    Hmmm. (none / 1) (#65)
    by jd on Sun May 29, 2005 at 07:45:46 PM EST

    Yes, I can see that. That would also play into some of the ambiguities in Silver Nemesis, in which Ace is left even more confused as to who The Doctor is. (Which is impresive. I never knew a person could be more than 100% uncertain.)

    Ace is even left a little confused as to her own identity, in a few stories, such as when The Doctor destroys her faith in him deliberately, but as 99% of that rested in her own confidence in herself, destroyed her self-belief as well.

    [ Parent ]

    BBC & Historical Drama (none / 1) (#107)
    by hughk on Sat Jun 04, 2005 at 02:05:14 PM EST

    Remember that the BBC had an excellent record of producing historical dramas. Costumes, props and sometimes even sets could be eaily reused.

    Btw, Patrick Troughton initially played a renegade timelord, the Mad Monk, I believe before he became Doctor no. 2.

    [ Parent ]

    Totally Awsome. (none / 1) (#43)
    by Egil Skallagrimson on Sat May 28, 2005 at 11:08:20 PM EST

    I beg you for a Tom Baker article.  How could someone so obviously bad be so perfect for a specific role?



    Enterobacteria phage T2 is a virulent bacteriophage of the T4-like viruses genus, in the family Myoviridae. It infects E. coli and is the best known of the T-even phages. Its virion contains linear double-stranded DNA, terminally redundant and circularly permuted.

    by that last line do you mean me or Tom? ;) /nt (none / 0) (#46)
    by kpaul on Sat May 28, 2005 at 11:51:37 PM EST

    2014 Halloween Costumes
    [ Parent ]
    Spoiler warnings, please! (none / 0) (#53)
    by Tatarigami on Sun May 29, 2005 at 03:46:08 AM EST

    In a delicious irony, some of you have seen the new Dr Who series, which in a sense places you in my future, and the future of other fans.

    Actually, that's not really irony, it just sucks.

    are you talking about the comments? (none / 0) (#71)
    by kpaul on Sun May 29, 2005 at 11:50:41 PM EST

    i did have spoiler in one of the titles, but not some others (the farting aliens). for that, i apologize. (that is, not warning you, as i have no control over the farting aliens... ;)

    2014 Halloween Costumes
    [ Parent ]

    Some of my best friends (3.00 / 2) (#75)
    by Tatarigami on Mon May 30, 2005 at 01:57:38 AM EST

    ...are farting aliens.

    I'm only half-kidding.

    [ Parent ]

    Half Kidding (3.00 / 2) (#77)
    by monkeymind on Mon May 30, 2005 at 03:34:56 AM EST

    about the farting or the alien part?

    I believe in Karma. That means I can do bad things to people and assume the deserve it.
    [ Parent ]

    About the friend part (none / 0) (#94)
    by Tatarigami on Tue May 31, 2005 at 06:45:23 AM EST

    ...I secretly despise him.

    [ Parent ]
    If I were feeling uncharitable... (3.00 / 2) (#90)
    by gidds on Mon May 30, 2005 at 06:04:59 PM EST

    I'd point out that for so long, we here in the UK have been a series or so behind in most of the US shows. I'd make gleeful references to people tasting their own medicine for a change, and seeing what we have to put up with. I'd show no sympathy, only a savage pleasure!

    ...But I'm not :)

    [ Parent ]

    Heh. (3.00 / 2) (#58)
    by Kasreyn on Sun May 29, 2005 at 06:39:38 AM EST

    The Americans tried to remake the show in 1996, but I'm going to act like that never happened,

    Oh! Oh! You mean like how I've been pretending the last Star Trek movie was Generations and the last televised episode of Voyager was Alliances and that Enterprise was just a bad dream?

    "Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
    We never asked to be born in the first place."

    R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
    Generations (none / 1) (#84)
    by silon on Mon May 30, 2005 at 01:25:39 PM EST

    Less than 10 minutes was a bit short for a movie though.

    [ Parent ]
    live tv? (none / 1) (#72)
    by nemo on Sun May 29, 2005 at 11:52:31 PM EST

    Doctor Who was never filmed 'live'. Sure, the show may not have ever been ABOUT the spfx, but it still had some... Hartnel got old, and his fluffed lines left unfixed are due, I believe, more to production schedules and the cost of many retakes.

    according to my sources (linked) the early ones (none / 1) (#76)
    by kpaul on Mon May 30, 2005 at 02:06:18 AM EST

    were. that is, they weren't 'shown' live, but they were 'recorded live'... i originally had 'as live' but ppl said that was confusing...

    what's your source?

    2014 Halloween Costumes
    [ Parent ]

    In tv production this is called (none / 0) (#82)
    by frakk on Mon May 30, 2005 at 12:50:35 PM EST

    "live on tape". (I think)

    [ Parent ]
    thanks... (none / 0) (#87)
    by kpaul on Mon May 30, 2005 at 01:46:21 PM EST

    i don't have a deep knowledge of tv production. i'm thinking i should've kept it "as live" in quotes...

    2014 Halloween Costumes
    [ Parent ]

    tape and some film (none / 0) (#92)
    by metachris on Mon May 30, 2005 at 09:57:34 PM EST

    It seemed that they would do the older shows mostly on tape, and they would do the non-set stuff on film. It created a weird vibe: one sec, the Doctor is in the tardis, next he's out in the desert or wherever and it looks like someone spliced in footage from some other show with the same characters.

    [ Parent ]
    How about a Companion articl! (3.00 / 2) (#79)
    by claes on Mon May 30, 2005 at 08:18:06 AM EST

    How about an article on the companions! A lot of us have a soft spot in our heart for Romana, Sarah, Perri, and, of course, Leela.

    -- claes

    lemme think on it... /nt (none / 0) (#86)
    by kpaul on Mon May 30, 2005 at 01:45:39 PM EST

    2014 Halloween Costumes
    [ Parent ]
    What About "The Curse of Fatal Death"? (none / 1) (#83)
    by adavies42 on Mon May 30, 2005 at 12:50:41 PM EST

    You forgot five doctors!

    well, let's have it then. ;) (none / 0) (#85)
    by kpaul on Mon May 30, 2005 at 01:45:07 PM EST

    there was also the two doctors, etc...

    write it up!

    2014 Halloween Costumes
    [ Parent ]

    Five missing doctors: (none / 0) (#98)
    by PhilHibbs on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 01:07:12 PM EST

    Rowan Atkinson, Richard E. Grant, Jim Broadbent, Hugh Grant, and Joanna Lumley.
    Source: Wikipedia

    [ Parent ]
    good job (1.28 / 21) (#88)
    by Kitch on Mon May 30, 2005 at 06:00:17 PM EST

    Actually, that's not really irony, it just sucks.
    And I like it ;) I think that's IRONY!

    link whore of the 'bad' variety? (1.16 / 6) (#91)
    by kpaul on Mon May 30, 2005 at 06:05:53 PM EST

    let's see:

    1) nullo account
    2) account name matches the site he's pitching in sig
    3) nonsensical comment that quotes - well, i'm not sure what he's quoting.

    anyone back me up on this?

    2014 Halloween Costumes
    [ Parent ]

    You're wrong (none / 1) (#99)
    by Protagonist on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 02:49:23 PM EST

    His other comment seems quite topical. This one is, too, you just have to notice that it's a misposted reply to this comment.

    Basically the only thing wrong with this guy, if anything, is the appearance of a commercial site as his account's homepage. That may be bad form, I'm not sure how the unwritten rules go these days... someone really should write them down, you know?

    Hahah! Your ferris-wheel attack is as pathetic and ineffective as your system of government!
    [ Parent ]

    It's not a commercial site (none / 1) (#100)
    by Phssthpok on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 03:01:19 PM EST

    It's a link farm. That spammer should be anonymized. But kudos for calling out kpaul. What the hell is wrong with that guy?

    affective flattening has caused me to kill 11,357 people

    [ Parent ]
    finally, someone sees it... (none / 0) (#102)
    by kpaul on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 10:52:50 PM EST

    i did some more digging. he's a 'made for adsense' scraper, basically, a bad type of spammer.

    and please note i took my begging links off and added something (i hope) that's more useful.


    2014 Halloween Costumes
    [ Parent ]

    see the other comment below... (none / 0) (#103)
    by kpaul on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 10:56:59 PM EST

    he's a spammer - of the made for adsense variety.

    am i nuts for calling him out on it? i don't think so (see my new sig)...

    i think what happened earlier is people didn't realize that 'kitch' is a link-farm spammer.

    if you go to his site, you'll notice there's nothing to buy there. no information there. only content scraped from search engine results and adsense ads. that type of site is decidedly against the adsense TOS. i most likely won't report him for that, though. Google will find him on their own soon enough ...

    2014 Halloween Costumes
    [ Parent ]

    I'll concede... (none / 0) (#104)
    by Protagonist on Thu Jun 02, 2005 at 05:15:58 PM EST

    ... that he's probably just what you say he is. I didn't go to his page at all, simply because I couldn't imagine anything bad enough to warrant your reaction. I still can't, by the way - are we really going to start voting down any and all comments from people who have homepages we don't like?

    Anyway, I've changed my vote on his comment from a 3 to a 2 - I certainly don't want to be encouraging him.

    Hahah! Your ferris-wheel attack is as pathetic and ineffective as your system of government!
    [ Parent ]

    fair enough... (none / 1) (#105)
    by kpaul on Fri Jun 03, 2005 at 01:43:43 AM EST

    while my reaction may have been a bit over the top, i really think (and i presume rusty agrees) we need to stay vigilant against this type of spam. supposedly, google is going to start clamping down on sites like his, which should help with the problem some.

    i really expect some kind of backlash from some spammer group or another too, so there will be consequences for me (other than looking like a nut ;) but i still felt like i needed to do it.

    in any case, i'll be more discreet next time. having a troll pretending to back him up didn't help matters any, but i should've stuck to my guns and saw through that.

    thanks for communicating your thoughts...

    2014 Halloween Costumes
    [ Parent ]

    Useless trivia (3.00 / 2) (#106)
    by Legion303 on Sat Jun 04, 2005 at 02:59:15 AM EST

    Davidson (the 5th doctor) also played the "dish of the day" in Milliways for the HHGttG TV series. His wife played Trillian, if I recall correctly.

    David Tennant (3.00 / 2) (#108)
    by Gyles on Wed Jun 08, 2005 at 09:58:20 AM EST

    Having seen him in 'Casanova' I believe he will do excellently as the Doctor. The style was suitably quirky.

    Doctor Who: a Time Lord's Timeline | 112 comments (73 topical, 39 editorial, 0 hidden)
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