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November 2019
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Hours of Doctor Who per Calendar Year (1963-2013)

Screen Shot 2014-07-26 at 17.05.30497

The first new Doctor Who of 2014 airs on August 23rd, less than a month away, with a new Doctor to boot.

So with that in mind, I present a chart I worked up showing just how much of the show there has been in the 50 year history of the show.  As you can see, there has been a lot of variation over the years.  To date, there were more hours in 1964 than in any other year, with 19 hours, 2 minutes and 12 seconds of Doctor Who. That record looks pretty secure.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Seven Minutes of Nothing

In the latest Curmudgeon’s Corner Sam and Ivan talk about:

  • Doctor Who Anniversary / New Schools
  • Filibuster Nuked
  • Iran Developments / Healthcare Surcharges
  • Typhoon Haiyan

Recorded on 26 Nov 2013

Length this week – 57:26

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Doctor Day is Here! #SaveTheDay

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Excuse me while I geek out for the day.

Grama Leslie Visit Day 4

Alex and the Pig

Amy joins the pig

Walking in the Market

Swimming with Daddy

I didn’t think the shower would make me wet

Keep Calm and Don’t Blink

Burger?

Approaching the Mountain

Doctor Who: The Keys of Marinus

Released: 1964 Apr 11 – 1964 May 16
Watched: 2010 Dec 28
Queue: Who
Format: DVD

So, continuing working our way through the old Doctor Who’s. We are always watching the oldest available story we haven’t watched yet. So while we have watched some Second and even Third Doctor stories, in the mean time they keep releasing more First Doctor stories. So here we are back with the First Doctor.

The most interesting thing to me about this story are the echos, or should I say foreshadowing (well, perhaps if it was intentional) of the much later 4th Doctor Key to Time stories.  In both cases the Doctor and his companions are on a quest to collect the “keys” which when brought together will enable a tool of great power.  Or something like that.  There is a different adventure associated with finding each of the Keys.  The endings are somewhat similar too.

Anyway, otherwise this was an OK First Doctor story I guess.  I’ve never been a big fan of this Doctor though, so I’m not sure that is much praise.  It was OK.  It was better than some others.  I’m still eager to get past these early episodes up to the episodes from the Fourth Doctor and beyond though. We have a ways to go though, especially if we keep going so slow that they release more older episodes faster than we watch them.  :-)

Goodbye Sarah Jane

I just saw the news that Elisabeth Sladen, the actress who played Sarah Jane Smith, died today after a fight with cancer.  Some links to the news:

Celebrity deaths rarely actually get to me. The ones I can remember off the top of my head are Jim Henson and Johnny Carson.  And now Elisabeth Sladen.  In each of these cases the news hit almost as if it was someone I knew.

In each case it was because the person (or their characters) had been a significant presence in my childhood or youth.  In the case of Liz Sladen / Sarah Jane, I remember discovering her and the 4th Doctor for the first time when I saw one of the episodes when I was away at a summer computer camp (I think?).  If I was a teenager it must have been just barely.  I remember being amazed at the new thing I had discovered and needing to watch and absorb as much as I possibly could of it.  It was so different than anything else.  Sarah Jane was my first Doctor Who Companion.  I remember imitating the way she in particular said the word “Doctor?” as a question.  And I’m pretty sure she is the first fictional character on television I ever had a crush on.

I was thrilled a few years back when she made a guest appearance on the new Doctor Who (the first of several).  Then when her spinoff series Sarah Jane Adventures actually not only didn’t suck, but was actually good and fun to watch.  I am so sorry there could not have been more of them made before she died.

Goodbye Sarah Jane…  Goodbye Liz Sladen.

Doctor Who: The War Games: Disk 2

Original Release: 1969 Apr 19 to 1969 Jun 21
Date Watched: 2010 Nov 25
Queue: Who
Format: DVD

Time for another Doctor Who, and this time it is finishing up the last story from the Second Doctor, The War Games.  We started it back in August with Disk 1.

Picking up the story, it turned out that the Second Doctor and his friends had ended up in the midst of war games where humans were plucked out of time and were fighting each other as part of some nefarious alien plot, while thinking they were still fighting the wars they had been plucked out of.

In this second disk the action moves from within the war games themselves to the alien headquarters.  The Doctor goes back and forth with the menacing aliens, along with the one person working with them who is actually from The Doctor’s own people.  All this plot stuff though is basically all just to set up the ending though.  This is the last Second Doctor story.

So basically, at the end of the main part of the adventure here, the Doctor realizes that the only way to undo the mess that has been caused is to call his own people into the situation, to have them clean things up.  Of course, there is the problem that he is a fugitive from his own people.  Basically, the Time Lords have a policy of non-intervention in the affairs of other people.  The Doctor chafed under those restrictions, stole a Tardis, and then traveled the universe getting involved with things interfering all the time (to make things better).  As such, he was an outlaw.  In any case, calling in the Time Lords mean that the Doctor himself is caught.  He is given a quick show trial, then is sentenced to a regeneration (although they didn’t call it that yet) then exile on Earth.  (His companions are made to forget all but their first adventures with the doctor and are put back where he picked them up.)  And thus ends the Second Doctor.

The regeneration at the end…  well, the start of one, you don’t actually see the transformation into the Third Doctor, is the main point of interest in this whole adventure.  Otherwise it is a bunch of running around, although it has a few funny Second Doctor moments.

Oh, and Amy and Brandy were really amused at the faces some of the bad guys made as they hypnotized people at various parts of the story.  That was indeed funny.

Doctor Who: The War Games: Disk 1

Original Release: 1969 Apr 19 to 1969 Jun 21
Date Watched: 2010 Aug 20
Queue: Who
Format: DVD

Time for another Doctor Who, and this time it is the last story from the Second Doctor, The War Games.  It is a 10 episode one, so this disk only had the first half of the story.  The crew lands in somewhere that seems World War I, but then turns out to be something different.

So far this is an OK Second Doctor Story.  There is a lot of comedy from how silly some of the villains are.  The Doctor himself is not as clownish as the Second Doctor sometimes is.  As usual for this era things are very very slow by modern standards.  The first two hours or so of the story that we have watched so far, if done in the modern style, would be less than half the length.

But it is OK.

The first half that we have watched so far is all setup though from what I understand, although I haven’t seen this before.  The Doctor and his companions are in the process of getting into a mess that he can’t solve himself, which will result in him calling on his people, the Time Lords, for help, which is their introduction in the series, and which leads to the regeneration into the Third Doctor.

So, things are nicely set up at the half way point.  Trouble abounds, everyone is in peril, etc.  So I guess bring on the rest…

No. No. No. No Depp Doctor.

I can’t even begin to imagine how bad an idea this is.

Johnny Depp playing the Doctor in a big-screen Doctor Who movie?
(Charlie Anders, io9, 2010 Jun 29)

It sounds like a ridiculous internet rumor. But Tor.Com claims to have confirmed the casting, and a release date of 2012, with “movie studio sources.” (They don’t say which studio.) And Russell T. Davies may be the writer.

They say take it with a few pounds of salt, so I will.

Eleven Begins

We watched The Eleventh Hour, the first full episode of Doctor Who with the Eleventh Doctor early on Sunday (UTC).  I’d had some doubts about this new Doctor, but by the end of the episode I wasn’t too worried any more.  This looks like it will be a fun new season with a fun new Doctor and companion.  Amy had absolutely hated the new Doctor from all the stuff before this episode aired, but by the end she was saying things like “Is it wrong that I kind of like him now?”.  Brandy still isn’t sure what she thinks.  Regardless, a new season with new episodes every week for the next few months.  Yea!