Nu-View #2: First Thoughts on Four


The Invisible Enemy (Story #93, 1977)
Viewed 23 Feb 2011

Doctor/Companion:   Four, Leela
Stars:  Tom Baker, Louise Jameson
Preceding StoryHorror of Fang Rock (Four, Leela)
Succeeding StoryImage of the Fendahl (Four, Leela)
Notable Aspects:

  • First appearance of K9

For some of the Ladies, this was their first experience with Four.  While jE watched him during his original run, and jA at least knew his look, jO got to be our complete n00b.  Initially, it was Leela (or "Barbarella," as jO liked to call her) who got most of the attention - with that "leather bikini" of hers, it's easy to see why she was jE's dad's favorite Companion.  But most of the Ladies agreed that she was a good, fearless Companion, taking it upon herself to take care of the poor, defenseless (as she saw him) Doctor.  I didn't have the heart to tell them right then about her somewhat ignominious departure on Gallifrey.

Obviously, K9 was worth a few comments, too.  From the first little cheer when he first came on screen to the "no - not K9!" when the Nucleus made contact, The Tin Dog was another hit.  I know some fans hate him, but I've always found him cheerful and amusing, especially after having seen some DVD extras in which other actors talk about how John Leeson would crawl around on all fours on set during rehearsals.  How can you not love someone who gets so thoroughly into the role?

As for the Doctor himself, the reception was generally warm.  jA reminded me of my own initial reactions when she noted that he's "got quite a voice."  I remember being quite familiar with only his image, and having taken quite a while to get accustomed to the voice that went with it.  With the limited exposure to earlier Doctors, though, jO found Four the best of them so far (perhaps because he's younger).  She found that though he comes across a bit more pompous, he's overall quite likable.  I think he had such a huge effect on everyone who grew up watching him that it's unsurprising to see elements of him in later Doctors - especially Ten, as jA pointed out.  For those thoroughly steeped in the RTD era, Four seems "more Doctor-ish."


Nu-View #1: SJS, Sontarans, and Gallifrey - Oh My!


The Time Warrior (Story #70, 1973-74)
Viewed 02 Feb 2011

Doctor/Companion:   Three, Sarah Jane Smith
Stars:  Jon Pertwee, Elisabeth Sladen
Preceding StoryThe Green Death (Three, Jo Grant)
Succeeding StoryInvasion of the Dinosaurs (Three, Sarah Jane)
Notable Aspects:

  • First appearance of Sarah Jane Smith
  • First appearance of the Sontarans
  • First mention of Doctor's home planet (Gallifrey) by name

Our viewing of this first episode of Three's last season was dominated by two things:  his hair, and Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  After the rather dizzying "new" opening credits (general consensus: thumbs down), it was a bare two scenes into Episode 1 that the Grail references began.  When the amusingly-named Irongron finally managed to get his underlings to ride out to look for the "fallen star," the clopping coconuts made their appearance on the sofa.  Linx, the first-ever Sontaran on Doctor Who, garnered not only an "oh, dear" but also a "none shall pass!"

Once the stage had been set in the Middle Ages, the story turned back to the modern day, to a site heavily guarded by UNIT in an effort to prevent further mysterious disappearances of visiting scientists, and Three walked through the door.  Did we cheer the Doctor's first appearance, or wonder when we'd first see Sarah Jane?  Nope.  "Wow!  Is that what his hair looked like before?!"


Meet the Ladies of WhoFest


On a quasi-regular basis, a group of girlfriends get together to watch Doctor Who. We catch up on current episodes during a series' broadcast and watch Classic Who to get a feel for the extensive backstory. There's usually a fair bit of laughing, along with food and wine. We like to do it up right. So who are we? Let me make introductions:

  • MRFranklin (me): If you don't "know" me yet, go read Confession #1.
  • jA : The youngest of our group (by nearly a generation), jA is someone I interested in the Doctor via Nu-Who. She'd never seen any Classic Who before we began WhoFest.
  • jE : As the only one in the group to have watched Doctor Who growing up, jE has a unique perspective among us. However, having disliked Six, she quit watching in the '80s. Many of the Classic episodes (before and after her active watching days) are still new to her.
  • jO : Though also of an age to have watched in her youth, jO didn't discover wonders of Doctor Who till I got her hooked on Nu-Who. She'd never seen any Classic Who before we began WhoFest.

This is where I'll post about the Ladies' reactions to the Classic Who episodes we view together.  Thumbs up?  Thumbs down?  What made us giggle, what made us facepalm, and what was just plain cool - it's all here in Nu-Views.



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