Posts Tagged ‘1st doctor’

When you see polls of the most popular doctors William Hartnell seem to be often forgotten, very few of his episodes survive as a whole and although we have seen glimpses of him in the current series he remains largely ignored as the generation that watched his episodes are in their late 50’s or above.

As I discovered the series with Tom Baker I had not seen him period, my first glimpse was an image in The Brain of Morbius, the Five Doctors featured a different actor in the role. It wasn’t until I saw the three doctors on WENH 11 that I actually saw him perform in a limited role.

Every other actor who has been on the show has had the burden of living up to an iconic role, but each one of them also had the advantage of an established franchise. An actor who is cast as a companion of the Doctor has a ready source of income for their entire life, the actors who play the doctor even more so. Doctor Who is a multi million dollar worldwide industry that supports and entertains millions upon millions of people.

None of that would be true without the performance of Hartnell. He had none of the history to carry him nor the existing fan base. Like any actor with a new series it was up to him as the primary star to carry the show. A show totally unique in the history of Television. He needed to carry off the role of an almost all knowing and commanding presence while still being appealing to young children. And all of this is done without the special effects and CGI of the modern days.

The combination of knowledge and courage combined with a fatherly figure made him iconic. It is very true that excellent writing and the creation of the Daleks made a huge difference, but if Hartnell failed this would be at best just another set of $1 DVD in a bin if the episodes were saved at all.

Get your hands on an episode or two if you can. Ignore the limited special effects and lack of CGI look at the performances, and let yourself appreciate the grand bequest given first to the British people and then the world

Considering the Vampire Craze it was inevitable that we would have a vampire episode in Doctor who.

Way back in Season 18 (Tom Baker era) it was established that there was a war between the Time Lords and the “minions of the great one” (vampires) so for us old timers this was no surprise, but there question is, are these Vampires stalking Venice of 1580 or is something worse going on?

Around this conundrum we have Rory Williams. Introduced in episode 1 we found out last episode that he was the person Amy was due to marry the night she took off with the Doctor. The time lord decides that what is necessary is to take Rory along so they can have a “date” together, so its off to Venice and the tension begins.

More important and interesting than the actual adventure is the clash between Rory and Amy and Rory and the Doctor. There is plenty of humor in this episode from cakes to Library cards.

The Doctor's Library card via the Doctor Who Wiki

Rory in a lot of ways represents, we; the geeks who watch the show, and the people who are left behind. Unfortunately the resolution is a little weak and some of the logic is so so. (Yes I’ll risk the irreplaceable members of the group when I have 10,000 others to choose from. I guess even blue blood is thick than water)

Matt Smith’s confrontation scene with Rosanna Calvierri is a real high point in terms of drama and range. It is here where we get a glimpse of the fury of a time lord that we saw a lot of in the past 5 years.

The strengths outnumber the weaknesses and the introduction of Rory as a semi regular holds great potential, but I expected a better ending.

Rating ****

Last Episode: Flesh and Stone

Next Episode: Amy’s Choice

It’s moments like this:

Yes my inner geek is really shining today, it’s been highly repressed for a bit.

Update: Is there a line better than “Basically, RUN!”?

Update 2: Yes I had to use a 2nd video the first one was pulled.

My Review of Big Finish’s Companion Chronicles 3.1 The Drowned World featuring veteran actress Jean Marsh as Sara Kingdom companion of the 1st Doctor is available at Amazon.com here.

I strongly suggest that before you consider buying this episode you go to the Mike’s comics web site and pick up the episode Home Truths which comes before it. Remember they offer free shipping for any cd order over $60.