Episode 10: The Dalek Invasion of Earth

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Dalek Invasion of Earth

Episode 10: The Dalek Invasion of Earth
First Doctor
Companions: Barbara, Ian, Susan
Written by Terry Nation
Directed by Richard Martin
Wikipedia Entry

Installments
World’s End
The Daleks
Day of Reckoning
The End of Tomorrow
The Waking Ally
Flashpoint

Description
The Doctor and the Daleks face off for the fate of Planet Earth.

Evaluation
I know I’ll repeat this again in the end but this episode is completely brilliant. The characterizations, the story, everything was spot on. It was also the first time that filming was conducted outside of the studios. The empty city of London was a wonderful bonus for the story, showcasing the terror of a planet in ruins. Granted, there are always some cheesy aspects of the production. There’s a small animation sequence towards the end that amused me but as it fit with the storyline quite nicely, I didn’t think too much about it.

The acting skills of all of the cast continues to be impressive. The facial expressions of Ian and the Doctor at the end of the first installment was breathtaking, even more so as the horror of their situation becomes apparent for both the cast and the viewer. There’s hints of the future Doctor in the second installment. Ecceleston was fantastic in that he would always be quick to the chase and was annoyed when no one else was. Hartnell’s Doctor begins to showcase this when he dismisses a fellow captive, pushing him aside when he continues to blather about without adding anything useful. The scene is a delight and wonderful for those who have come to Who first with the reboot and later for the early episodes. (And like many Doctor Who episodes, it never quite works out like you think it will).

This comes up again in the later part of the episode when the Doctor stands confident and strong as a we see through the view of a Dalek his attack against the humans and the Time Lord. And like many future adventures of the Doctor, we find that it’s because he took a chance, a gamble, and won. This, again, begins to push the idea that the Doctor has moved from a runaway traveler to a man who will fight for injustice in the universe.

I was initially worried about the Susan/David relationship but there’s genuine chemistry between the two characters that tugs at the viewer’s heartstrings. Even when the Doctor is confronted by David’s respect for an elder’s opinion, there’s a sense that David is attempting to impress a potential in-law. The entire sequence is adorable. The ending was very emotional and more prove that Doctor Who is more about heart than just science fiction.

Barbara’s side story continues to show her strength as a character. One of the best scenes in this episode is when Barbara pushes through a Dalek barricade using a fire truck. When Barbara and Jenny, one of the fighters against the Daleks, are captured in the middle of the fifth episode, the woman who sold them out remarked that they would have been captured eventually. It was only because of Barbara’s continued belief of good character that is her downfall. It’s because of moments like that this that drama of the traveler’s situation becomes heartbreaking. Survivors are shown to be pitted against each other just for a chance to live. People will sell out each other just for a can of food.

The idea of using the Earth has a spaceship is quite brilliant. The question that I can’t help but ask is why did the Daleks choose Earth as their primary target? It’s not something that is discussed in the episode and only because I have knowledge of future episodes do I have a small understanding of their reasoning. I wonder if Barbara and Ian ever realized their role in the Time War that would consume the universe before the Ninth Doctor emerges.

On a side note, the robomen look like early versions of Cybermen. I can’t help but wonder if they were the inspiration; even more so when David mentions that there is a transfer process from human to robomen.

Overall, this episode is one of my favorites. The story and characters are engaging. The impact of this episode has a ripple effect to future episodes in regards to Daleks, companions, and the role of the Doctor as the protector of the Earth.

(PS: My favorite moments will always be the humans against the Daleks. You’ll know what I mean when you watch the last episode.)

Historical Notes
Thanks to the discs on their backs, Daleks can now move without the use of magnetization on metal floors.

The Dalek Supreme has a pet called the Slyther, a nasty creature that attacks Ian and Larry.

Susan’s last adventure with the Doctor, Barbara and Ian. She stays with David to rebuild Earth and to create a life for herself.

 

Episode 9: Planet of Giants

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Planet of Giants

Episode 9: Planet of Giants
First Doctor
Companions: Barbara, Ian, Susan
Written by Louis Marks
Directed by Mervyn Pinfield and Douglas Camfield
Wikipedia Entry

Installments
Planet of Giants
Dangerous Journey
Crisis
The Urge to LiveĀ  (only available as an audio extension on the DVD)

Description
During the materialization of the TARDIS, the Doctor and his companions discover that they are now barely an inch tall.

Evaluation
This was a light episode. There’s a subplot involving a conspiracy between a devious man and his wish to sell a dangerous pesticide. A murder occurs and it’s up to the Doctor to bring the criminal to justice, despite his height issue. The set designs used in this episode were amusing as everything had to be exaggerated to emphasize the size differences.

The DVD offers an extended cut of the third and fourth installments, which was previously combined into a single installment. There’s a noticeable switch when the older audio is mixed with the new audio. Unfortunately, the audio doesn’t match with the visual and the lack of some scenes are only solved by cutting towards extreme close-ups of the Doctor’s face. While the audio does expand the story, I found that I preferred the shorter cut instead of the extended version. There’s not enough footage for the extended cut and what is used was presented in a loop.

Keep in mind that there are some great lines that were cut. There’s an interaction between Barbara and Ian that adds more characterization to their ability to stand fast and strong in adversity. The line was cut in the broadcast version but in the extended cut it adds to the drama of the situation. I prefer the line over what was presented. Unfortunately, this great moment doesn’t make up for how slow the episode becomes with the extra material. While it’s fun to watch the expanded cut, I’m glad it wasn’t part of the full broadcast episode.

Historical Notes
According to Susan, the most dangerous moment happens when the TARDIS begins materialization.

During the extended cut, The Doctor relies on the Scanner in his travels with the TARDIS.

 

Episode 8: The Reign of Terror

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The Reign of Terror

Episode 8: The Reign of Terror
First Doctor
Companions: Barbara, Ian, Susan
Written by Dennis Spooner
Directed by Henric Hirsch and John Gorrie
Wikipedia Entry

Installments
A Land of Fear
Guests of Madame Guillotine
A Change of Identity
The Tyrant of France
A Bargain of Necessity
Prisoners of Conciergerie
(Missing #4 and #5)

Description
The Doctor and his companions land on Earth, believing the year to be 1963. The TARDIS has actually landed in early 18th Century France under the leadership of Robespierre and his Reign of Terror.

Evaluation
This was the last episode of Doctor Who’s historic first season. The episode is very suspenseful and is a great way to cap off an interesting season. The suspense comes into play as Barbara, Susan, and Ian are captured in the earliest part of the story-arc. They are sent to the jails to either face death or a lifetime of imprisonment. Unfortunately, the girls do play into the damsel in distress mentality but the characters still strive to maintain a strength despite their situations.

The Doctor continues to be amusing as his situations turn into situations in which his clever nature naturally allows him to escape any danger. It’s amusing that his companions face terror, death, and sickness and the Doctor finds an opportunity to go shopping for new clothes. It’s sad that the psychic paper trick had not been introduced into the show as it would be very interesting to see how the Doctor could have used it to his advantage.

Overall, it’s a fun storyline to watch. The new animated scenes included with this new DVD set allows the viewer to experience what the episode could have been if the two missing installments had been found.

Historical Notes
The Reign of Terror is one of the Doctor’s favorite periods in Earth’s history.

 

Episode 7: The Sensorites

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The Sensorites

Episode 7: The Sensorites
First Doctor
Companions: Barbara, Ian, Susan
Written by Peter R. Newman
Directed by Mervyn Pinfield and Frank Cox
Wikipedia Entry

Installments
Strangers in Space
The Unwilling Warriors
Hidden Danger
A Race Against Death
Kidnap
A Desperate Venture

Description
After landing the TARDIS on a starship of the future, the Doctor and his companions must fight for survival against an alien race that distrust human intentions.

Evaluation
This episode starts strong. The TARDIS crew encounters a starship in which its inhabitants are presumed dead. Luckily for the faint of heart, they are merely in a deep sleep. The starship crew, Maitland, Carol, and John, have been forced to orbit around the Sense-Sphere planet. The alien race, the Sensorites, refuse to allow them to leave as they fearĀ  what would happen if more humans came to potentially exploit their planet. During their initial interactions, the Sensorities attack the ship once more as well as make contact with Susan telepathically.

These first installments of the episode play out like a suspenseful science-fiction film. As the Sensorites are terrorizing the human starship crew, it’s unknown what they’re true intentions are. Combine this terror with the contact with Susan, and it’s a fantastic recipe for compelling television.

The later parts of the installment showcase how the majority of the human crew travels down to the planet with the Doctor. There is a plot in which a power hungry Sensorite takes control of the leadership in the hopes of killing the Doctor and the rest of the humans. While it’s an interesting storyline, it is not nearly as strong as the previous parts in the starship. The suspense could have been heighten with a little bit of editing.

Still, the overall story is compelling and interesting. It also foreshadows human-alien interactions in the future. The Sensorites are fearfully of humans because of their desire to exploit the planet of its goods and wealth. Quite similarly to the American Indian or any other culture that has been reduced thanks to Western “influence”. It’s barely touched upon in this episode, but a savvy viewer might begin to question the role of humanity in a future where exploration and expansion is possible. We always wonder what it would be like to meet an alien. Do we ever consider what it would mean to have an alien meet us or judge us by our history?

Historical Notes
Susan tells the First Elder that they haven’t been to their home planet in quite some time. She describes her home as having a burnt orange sky with trees that had silver leaves.

Susan displays telepathic tendencies in her communication with the Sensorities. It will be later established that the Doctor and other Time Lords have limited telepathic abilities as well.

The Doctor refers to his heart, implying that he has only one. Later episode of the program indicate that Time Lords have two hearts instead of merely one.

The Doctor also refers to himself as human. This will come into play in the Eighth Doctor film.

 

Episode 6: The Aztecs

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The Aztecs

Episode 6: The Aztecs
First Doctor
Companions: Barbara, Ian, Susan

Written by John Lucarotti
Directed by John Crockett
Wikipedia Entry

Installments
The Temple of Evil
The Warriors of Death
The Bride of Sacrifice
The Day of Darkness

Description
When Barbara is mistaken for a female incarnation of an ancient Aztec God, she must find a balance between her modern moral views and the manner in which history is created.

Evaluation
This was an important episode in that it discusses the impact one person can be in history. Throughout the entire episode, the Doctor emphasis that history can not be rewritten and that his companions are merely observers, despite how they feel about the actions of the past. Barbara, as Yetaxa, wants to place the Aztecs in a position where all the evil is wiped out and good can become the focus for their society. Barbara’s modern “moral” views are at war with the “morals” of the past. As much as we desire to change our pasts, we have to acknowledge that we would not be the people we are today without the successes and failures of the our past. Each action has a consequence, however small, and with each consequence a lesson is either formed or forgotten. Change never happens overnight and to force such change on a history could be disastrous. The concept of Time Travel is appealing to us all for two reasons: (1) To see the future or past as it involves or (2) To go back in time and fix our mistakes. It will never end well, no matter how much we desire such actions.

This episode hints at the Doctor’s heart. Not the physical aspect of his anatomy, but of his emotions. While the connections between Ian and Barbara have been strengthen between each adventure, the idea that the Doctor could find love is explored in his interactions with a woman named Cameca. The interactions between the two are adorable. There’s real sadness when the budding relationship must be torn apart due to the Doctor’s impending departure.

One note about this episode is that much of the episodes seem to be out of focus. Shots are slightly fuzzy as if everything happened in a dream. There are some actions scenes between Ian and a warrior by the name of Ixtla. The fighting between two is comical and does not pack the punch it should despite the suspense of the fight’s circumstances.

This is a great episode in that it highlights the strengths of all the characters. Barbara in her ideals. Susan with her push for personal freedom. Ian in his desire to protect his friends. The Doctor in his pursuit of knowledge in the midst of sacrificing ideals.

Historical Notes
Throughout the episode Barbara challenges the Doctor in his idea that history should not be changed. This is an important part in Doctor Who’s history as more modern episodes showcase how history can be changed. It’s up to the travelers to decided if that change is good or bad as it could create a ripple effect for the entire universe.

 

Episode 5: The Keys of Marinus

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The Keys of Marinus

Episode 5: The Keys of Marinus
First Doctor
Companions: Barbara, Ian, Susan
Written by Terry Nation
Directed by John Gorrie
Wikipedia Entry

Installments
The Sea of Death
The Velvet Web
The Screaming Jungle
The Snows of Terror
Sentence of Death
The Keys of Marinus

Description
The Doctor and his companions are forced by Arbitan, Keeper of the Conscience of Marinus, to find the five Keys that will restart the Conscience once more. If the time travelers fail in their quest, the evil Voord will take control and life on Marinus will never be the same.

Evaluation
The episode starts out strong with the forced adventure of finding the Keys. There’s some great tension between Arbitan and the Doctor which I couldn’t help but be amused by as it was only a few adventures ago that the Doctor forced Barbara and Ian to travel amongst the stars. Here now was someone forcing the Doctor to do the same.

The different parts of the adventures range from fun to uncomfortable. At times it feels like the writers began to throw whatever they could to create tension and drama without considering the repercussions of their actions. Some of the adventures were too long (the courtroom drama) or the adventures were uncomfortable (the potential rape of Barbara in the icy wasteland). There was never a clear balance of adventure and exposition between the different adventures and I found my attention drifting at parts.

Yet, the parts that were the strongest were those that focused on the character development instead of just the adventure storyline. An example of this would be when the Doctor and his companions travel to the City of Morphoton. Barbara becomes the lead of the story. There’s even a shift in the camera work in that we see the story unfold through her perspective instead of observing the story in the their person. It’s a great element to the storytelling and it highlights the skill of Jacqueline Hill’s talents as an actress.

The tension of this first adventure storyline is built well and provides a fine resolution in its action. Unfortunately, as I have mentioned before, not all of the mini-adventures share this quality. The strength of Barbara’s character diminishes in a different adventure, and is later pushed aside to include a weak woman storyline. There are later hints of the original adventure’s theme in different scenes but it is as if the story peaked with the first adventure and then coasted through until the end. I do want to emphasis that I still enjoyed this episode. The parts that were entertaining were more in number than those that were boring. It was frustrating in that those less than stellar segments weighed the story down.

 

 

Episode 4: Marco Polo

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Marco Polo

Episode 4: Marco Polo
First Doctor
Companions: Barbara, Ian, Susan
Written by John Lucarotti
Directed by Waris Hussein
Wikipedia Entry

Installments
The Roof of the World
The Singing Sands
Five Hundred Eyes
The Wall of Lies
Rider from Shang-Tu
Mighty Kublai Khan
Assassin at Peking
(All Missing)

Description
At the roof of the world, the Doctor and his companions meet one of Earth’s greatest adventurers: Marco Polo.

Evaluation
This is one of the problems with watching the First Doctor adventures. Some of the episodes are missing. Marco Polo was a seven-part episode that entailed great costume changes and elaborate set designs. The audio track still exists as well as production stills and off-screen photos called ‘tele-snaps’. There are two different ways to enjoy the story. On The Daleks/The Edge of Destruction DVD there is a condensed version of the episode using the audio and the stills as a means to tell the story. There is also a book adaption published by Target Books. For the purpose of these two formats, this evaluation will be split into two.

Serial Evaluation
I really wish this episode has survived the great BBC purge. The audio presented on the DVD is only 30 minutes and only skims the surface of the story. Apparently there is a larger audio version of this available through BBC audio which I’ll have to seek out when I have a little bit more time (and money). The story entails the Doctor and companions coming into contact with Marco Polo on his travels to meet Kublai Khan. Marco wishes to take the TARDIS to Khan as a means to buy release so he may return back home to Venice. From there the episode is a struggle for survival through the caravan travel and a fight to regain access to the TARDIS. The companions make an impact on Marco and his traveling companions.

For what was presented in the 30 minute presentation, there’s also a discussion on a friendship that is formed with Susan and a girl named Ping-Cho. Much of their conversations stem from the fact that Ping-Cho has been engaged to marriage to a much older man to maintain relations with the warlord factions. It’s interesting to note Susan’s disagreement with how Ping-Cho has been forced to marry. There seems to be an underlining element of feminism that serves on the outskirts of some of the early Doctor Who story lines. It’s refreshing to see because Susan and Barbara are in perfect positions to be just pushed aside as the helpless females of the group. Yet, Ian and the Doctor are witness to their strength and acknowledge that they are vital part of their group.

Book Evaluation
The book adaptation was actually written by the same person who wrote the episode, John Lucarotti. It’s an incredibly short read for those of us who read fast. It’s still a short read for those who read slow as well. The pacing of the book reads like the episode installments in that there are moments in which the plot slows for establishment and then builds up to create tension. It moves in waves as each installment’s issues come to light, failure in the adventure leads to more exposition until finally a conclusion is created. I don’t want to seem as if I’m demoting the book because it clearly is an adaptation, but it was refreshing to see the tension build and imagine it as if it were an episode. Reading the novelization just enhanced my desire to see the episode instead of merely reading about the action.

The story is simple enough. As it was established in the 30 minute audio presentation, Marco Polo wants to keep the TARDIS and use it to exchange his freedom so he many return to Venice. The Doctor and his companions spend their time trying to convince Marco that they must let them leave as soon as possible. The Doctor, sneaky Time Lord that he is, plots and plans alternative routes of escape as the travelers move their way through Ancient China. There’s a sub-plot involving a warlord who wants to take over Kublai Khan’s power. The sub-plot hinders the Doctor’s plans, creating suspense throughout the story.

The ending has an interesting discussion on the source of power within our Ancient Histories. What does it mean to have power and how is power represented in everyday mundane interactions? Does power have a symbol and can leaders become great leaders by obtain objects or through their actions? Granted, these are elaborate questions for a conclusion presented in a limited amount of time. I couldn’t help but wonder these questions when we see the actions and thoughts of Kublai Khan as he interacts with the Doctor.

Overall, what was presented in the audio format was too short and left me wanting. The set designs looked gorgeous and the costumers looked elaborate. The book adaptation serves as a great example of what could have been. As more money had been poured into this episode than the previous one of The Edge of Destruction, it’s sad that one can not appreciate what looks like a stellar episode.

Historical Notes
N/A

Episode 3: The Edge of Destruction

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Dalek Edge of DestructionEpisode 3: The Edge of Destruction
First Doctor
Companions: Barbara, Ian, Susan
Written by David Whitaker
Directed by Richard Martin and Frank Cox
Wikipedia Entry

Installments
The Edge of Destruction
The Brink of Disaster

Description
Having survived the terror of the Daleks, the Doctor and his companions find themselves in danger once again. The threat they face is unknown and could destroy time itself.

Evaluation
Wow.

Seriously.

Wow.

(slow pause)

This was interesting to watch. Within two installments, the tone of the show shifts and the foundation for Doctor Who is formed. I know it might be a strange statement to make but there are so many different things that happen in this episode that I was astonished by the end. So where do we begin?

The first thing of note about this episode was the interactions between the characters. Again, keep in mind that Ian and Barbara were FORCED to travel with the Doctor. Most companions are brought aboard and given an opportunity to see the universe. The Doctor forced Ian and Barbara because he didn’t trust their intentions and basically kidnapped them so they wouldn’t say anything about an alien ship in a junkyard. He naturally doesn’t trust these two and is quick to suspect foul play. Ian and Barbara are doing pretty well considering the circumstances. Yes, they’ve been forced to travel with a daft old man in a box but they’ve survived so far. They know they have an ally in Susan but their struggles are more against the Doctor’s distrust than anything else.

From what I know about the history of this episode (thank you Wikipedia), it had to be a bottle episode due to budgetary reasons. Too much money would be spent for the Marco Polo episode and costs had to be cut. Yet, even within this bottle episode, this episode is important because it allows the Doctor to become humanistic with his companions. Modern Who consistently discusses the reasons why the Doctor should never travel alone. He becomes isolated and he suffered from his own arrogance. With companions, there’s a balance of emotion and intelligence. This episode showcases this need to both the audience and to the Doctor. Ian and Barbara are necessary to the Doctor because they provide a balance, something that Susan would not be able to provide as she is family and would be easily dismissed.

The end of the episode highlights this theme more so in a conversation between Barbara and the Doctor. He is beginning to understand what it means to travel with someone who isn’t his immediate family. The Doctor is beginning to understand what it means to be a friend, something I doubted he truly had during his time with his fellow Time Lords.

In terms of the story itself, it’s kinda triply. Something is distorting the TARDIS and it’s affecting everyone. Susan has homicidal tendency, even going so far as to threaten Ian with a pair of scissors. Time is melting and has ceased to exist. The TARDIS is trying to send a warning that no one understands. The Doctor has been injured and nothing seems to be working. The first installment has a very dark premise while the last installment seems to be lighter with a more happier ending than expected. Apparently there was a directorial change between the two installments, which is clearly evident in the different installments.

The Edge of Destruction is great to watch because it highlights the darkness of the Doctor as well as the playful possibilities. Time travel is tricky. You need great and grand friendships to keep you on the right track.

Historical Notes
The TARDIS warning noise has a similar tone to the Cloister Bell, a device the TARDIS uses to warn the Doctor of extreme danger.

The TARDIS is shown to be a sentient being in that it’s trying to communicate with the Doctor about what’s wrong. This is the first hint that the TARDIS is a living creature instead of merely just a transportation machine.

Episode 2: The Daleks

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Dalek Edge of Destruction

Episode 2: The Daleks
First Doctor
Companions: Barbara, Ian, Susan
Written by Terry Nation
Directed by Richard Martin and Christopher Barry
Wikipedia Entry

Installments
The Dead Planet
The Survivors
The Escape
The Ambush
The Expedition
The Ordeal
The Rescue

Description
Due to a malfunction in the TARDIS’s navigational circuits, the Doctor and his companions find themselves on a planet filled with radiation. As the travelers begin to explore this strange new world, they come face-to-face with an alien race that will change the Doctor’s life forever.

Evaluation
The Daleks was an interesting episode to watch in that I attempted to look at the action as if I was seeing the Daleks for the first time. Yes, the design is kooky and potentially silly for more modern audiences but the reasoning for the Daleks and this history presented of their race is frightening and in contrast of everything the Doctor stands for. Modern Daleks look upon humanity, and the universe, as something that needs to be eradicated as it is less than perfect. The Daleks of this episode are not reliant on the need for perfection or lack of emotion. Instead, they would continue to destroy their planet Skaro in order to survive. Creatures who refuse to consider the needs of others above their own are terrifying and horrific.

I can see why the Daleks were considered scary in the beginning. At times, I think that Daleks are used too often in the new series. For as many times as they have appeared in the reboot, the impact has not been nearly as emotional as this first episode. I know that the history of the Daleks will morph and change in later episodes.

This was a great episode to watch in that the Doctor is starting to emerge as a character. There’s bits of trickery when he lies about a TARDIS component. There’s hints of his never-ending spirit to explore and his desire to see a happy ending, even though tragedy might occur. He’s still isn’t as concerned about his companions as he should be, though that will change in later episodes. There’s an outline here of what the Doctor will be. It’s fun to nitpick his traits as he begins to evolve.

The companions continue to be a delight. I’ve been a fan of Ian and Barbara when I first watched this episode a few years ago. The chemistry between these two is fun and I can’t help but cheer along as they fight for survival. The entire team of the Doctor, Susan, Ian, and Barbara show the signs of a solid friendship.

Historical Notes
This is the first appearance of the Daleks, a race of creatures that will later become the mortal enemy of the Doctor. It was also the first time the Daleks used the famous phrase: “EXTERMINATE”.

The navigational malfunction of the TARDIS becomes a running theme of the show, hinting that the Doctor never really knows how to steer the ship.

Episode 1: An Unearthly Child

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Unearthly ChildEpisode 1: An Unearthly Child
First Doctor
Companions: Barbara, Ian, Susan

Written by Anthony Coburn and C.E. Webber
Directed by Waris Hussein
Wikipedia Entry

Installments
An Unearthly Child
The Cave of Skulls
The Forest of Fear
The Firemaker

Description
Ian Chesterton, a science teacher, and Barbara Wright, a history teacher, are confused by one of their student’s behavior. They both agree that while young Susan Foreman is highly intelligent, she’s seems unaware by the knowledge of everyday occurrences. On a whim, Ian and Barbara decide to investigate Susan’s background. What they discover is something surprising, unearthly, and a chance to see the Universe.

Evaluation
Where do I even begin? The first adventure. The first companions. The first of everything.

This first installment of the series was fun to watch. So the sets weren’t the greatest and at times you can tell when someone has flubbed their lines. Despite these issues, I still thoroughly enjoyed these four installments because I decided that it was better to merely suspend belief and just accept the craziness. At the heart of these installments there lies genuine storytelling and an eagerness for adventure. And as any Doctor Who fan will tell you, adventure is why we return for each episode.

I can’t help but wonder how bad it really was for the Doctor before he began to travel; that he would isolate himself so completely that he forgot what it meant to connect with other individuals outside of his family. Of course that’s the problem with watching a program with hindsight. We know that the Doctor stole the TARDIS, or as the TARDIS later explains, she stole him. You can’t help but wonder about his past and his future within this first appearance. This is the first time he was presented to the world, but what happened before his time on Earth? Why was he so distrustful of Ian and Barbara in the beginning, when later interactions with companions seemed carefree in comparison. How long had it really been since he first began his travels with Susan in the TARDIS?

The characters of Ian and Barbara are fun to watch in that they are still incredibly human and willing to fight to stay alive. The chemistry between the two is tangible and it’s fun to watch their interactions. The difference between their interaction with the Doctor versus future companion interactions is that they were forced to travel with the Doctor. The modern series presents companionship as if it was an honor. This Doctor is so distrustful that he refuses to believe that Ian and Barbara couldn’t keep their interaction a secret. As future episodes will reveal, the relationship between the two teachers and the Doctor does morphs into genuine friendship but it’s only after surviving through brutal conditions does the foundation of their friendship is formed.

The later parts of this serial are a little darker than I expected in that the presentation of the past is quite violent. It doesn’t sugarcoat that in order to survive any struggle become an “every man for himself” scenario. It’s a dark world, even if you travel with an optimistic heart.

Historical Notes
Due to a circuitry malfunction the TARDIS is now stuck as a Police Box. This could be the fault of Ian Chesterton, who pushed random buttons on the console in an attempt to escape.