When the TARDIS lands, everyone is concerned when suddenly they find themselves wearing their usual clothes, not the thirteenth century costumes that they had been wearing since leaving Jaffa. The Doctor waves off their worries by mumbling something about the “relativity of time”, but then Vicki swears that she watched while a glass of water that she dropped and shattered on the floor reassembled and flew back into her hand. Through the TARDIS’ monitor Barbara notices that outside there are spaceships. Ian guesses that they’re in a spaceship graveyard, but the Doctor observes that the ships are all from different eras. Venturing outside, they find that, even though the atmosphere is hospitable to life, the planet seems dead. The Doctor is finally disturbed when Ian points out that, even though there is a layer of dust on the surface, they’re not leaving any footprints; worse, they find that someone or something had taken the TARDIS. Approaching a building, the Doctor and the others find two men who don’t seem to notice them even though they’re only a few feet away. Seeing various exhibits of technological devices, including the armor of a Dalek, the Doctor deduces that they’re in a museum. When other members of the museum’s staff appear, they find out that not only are they apparently invisible to the people but also the TARDIS’ crew can’t hear what they’re saying. Next Vicki and Ian discover that their hands pass through solid objects. Eventually they find that the TARDIS has been set up as an exhibit, but when the Doctor tries to enter he only phases through it. Not only that, but they see that their bodies are also propped up as exhibits. The Doctor that the TARDIS skipped a “time track” and that they’re trapped in “the fourth dimension.” He adds that they’re only looking at a potential future and to have a chance at setting things right they only have to “wait for themselves to arrive.” Soon enough the Doctor is proven to be right and the TARDIS’ crew find that they’ve actually “arrived.” Continue reading Trash Culture’s Dr. Who Reviews – The Space Museum (1965)→
This time the TARDIS lands near the city of Jaffa, right in the middle of the Third Crusade. While looking around the group is ambushed by Saracen soldiers, who abduct Barbara. The soldiers also capture William des Preux, a Crusader who lets himself be captured while pretending to be King Richard I of England in order to distract the enemy, while the rest of the TARDIS crew manage to rescue William de Tornebu, a nobleman also serving under Richard. The Doctor hopes that by helping de Tornebu recover from his wounds and by returning him to Richard’s court they can get the king to help them save Barbara. At Saladin’s camp, des Preux interrogates Barbara, curious about her “strange clothes.” Barbara ducks his questions and finds out about des Preux’s charade. Concerned for Barbara’s safety, des Preux tells Saladin’s ministers that she is Richard’s sister, Joanna. Meanwhile the Doctor steals clothes for himself, Vicki, and Ian, from a merchant in Jaffa, so they can fit in. Continue reading Trash Culture’s Dr. Who Reviews – The Crusades (1965)→
The TARDIS is dragged down by an unknown force to a planet named Vortis that appears completely desolate. While the Doctor tries to counteract the force, Vicki claims she can hear an intense humming noise. Suddenly the TARDIS is attacked by something that shakes the entire vessel. The Doctor is convinced that it’s a natural phenomenon, but Vicki becomes nervous. Ian and the Doctor set out to try to find the cause of the trouble, while Barbara begins to feel the strange urge to leave the TARDIS, an urge that finally overcomes her. Vicki screams for Barbara, which gets the attention of Ian and the Doctor. On their way back, Ian is caught in a web and the Doctor returns to find that the TARDIS along with Vicki is gone. Inside the TARDIS, Vicki sees through a monitor that the ship is being dragged by ant-like beings. Meanwhile Barbara finds herself among three winged aliens called the Menoptra, who interrogate her. Barbara learns that she was under the control of the Zarbi, the Menoptra’s enemies. While the Menoptra debate over what to do with her Barbara escapes, only to be captured by the Zarbi, who turn out to be the same entities that took the TARDIS. The Menoptra, who are scouts sent ahead of an invasion force, try to warn their leaders but are killed by the Zarbi except one, Hrostar, who is taken prisoner. Hrostar explains to Barbara that the Zarbi exercise their control of beings through gold (Barbara was wearing a gold necklace she had received from the Emperor Nero) and that they will end up as slaves. Elsewhere the Doctor frees Ian from the web and together they track the TARDIS to its location. There the Doctor, Ian, and Vicki are all seized by the Zarbi, who take them to an organic structure, the Carcinome, where their master, the Animus, resides. Continue reading Trash Culture’s Dr. Who Reviews – The Web Planet (1965)→
As soon as the TARDIS lands, it falls over in a pit. Next time we see the crew the Doctor and Ian are in a Roman villa dressed in togas and eating grapes while reclining on sofas. They’ve been resting in a small village miles away from Rome for more than a month and telling the locals that they are “villa-setting” for a Roman general off on campaign in Gaul. On their way to the village marketplace, Vicki complains to Barbara about the lack of adventure, but Barbara advises her to be thankful for the vacation. Unfortunately, they are spotted by two slave traders, Didius and Sevcheria. They assume from eavesdropping on their conversation that Barbara and Vicki are Britons and thus superb candidates for slavery. The Doctor decides to head off to explore Rome and invites the bored Vicki to accompany him, but, irritated at Ian and Barbara, tells them that if they want to go to Rome they can go themselves. That night Sevcheria and Didius invade the villa and abduct Ian and Barbara. Continue reading Trash Culture’s Dr. Who Reviews – The Romans (1965)→
When the TARDIS next lands, the Doctor mistakenly asks for Susan to open the doors, causing Barbara and Ian to feel sorry for him. Outside the Doctor recognizes their surroundings as the planet Dido, which he had visited once before. While the Doctor stays behind, Ian and Barbara move on, coming across a city that appears to be in ruins. Before they can investigate further, they come across a being called the Koquillon, who traps Ian, the Doctor, and the TARDIS by using some sort of weapon to create an explosion and then shoves Barbara off a cliff. The Doctor identifies the Koquillons as the natives of the planet, but is confused at the hostile reception Ian and Barbara received since the Koquillons have a very hospitable and peaceful culture. Meanwhile Barbara is rescued by Vicki, whose ship crashed on Dido months ago. The only other survivor besides Vicki is a man named Bennett, whose injuries keep him bedridden. Vicki explains that it’s the 25th century and that the same Koquillon Barbara encountered has been keeping them prisoner, threatening that if they stray far from the ship the other Koquillons will kill them, just like they, according to Bennett, killed the other crew members. Their only hope is a rescue ship that is supposed to arrive soon. Vicki’s father, who was moving with Vicki to another world after the death of Vicki’s mother, was among those who died. Continue reading Trash Culture’s Dr. Who Reviews – The Rescue (1965)→
Technically Battletoads counts as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles knock-off, but still it’s one that managed to become something entirely in its own right. Battletoads is rightly remembered as one of the best games in the history of the Nintendo Entertainment System, a game that starts off as a slightly off-kilter beat-’em up but then goes through an amazing array of stages and challenges that made it feel like at least several different good (if hard as hell) games in one. It says a lot about the quality and creativity of the game that it’s considered a classic in spite of the fact that it’s so frustrating it tests the limits of human reaction times, as anyone who survived the obstacle course race levels can tell you.
Well, we’ve made it to the second season, so let’s get started with a serial whose premise also became a level in “Super Mario Bros. 3?…
As the TARDIS lands in what the Doctor assures Barbara and Ian is their native time, something malfunctions and the Doctor panics. When they try to view what’s outside, the scanner breaks. Outside they’re puzzled by what seems to be a stone monument shaped like a massive pebble. Splitting up to investigate further, Susan and Ian find a dead ant the size of a cat while the Doctor and Barbara find a gigantic earthworm that’s also dead. Soon Ian and Susan also find a large box of stock (that is, the broth kind, not the finance kind) that was manufactured in Norwich. Simultaneously the Doctor and Susan realize that the TARDIS and they as well have become smaller than an inch. Continue reading Trash Culture’s Dr. Who Reviews – Planet of the Giants (1964)→
The Doctor lands the TARDIS somewhere, angrily telling Barbara and Ian that they’re now home and they must leave. The companions aren’t so sure, but to keep the Doctor from just abandoning them they try to soothe over his ego, with Ian convincing him to at least join them for a drink before they go. Finding that they’ve landed in the middle of a forest, they come across a boy with ragged clothes who tells them that they’re in France, near Paris. The Doctor insists that his landing of the TARDIS was still “quite accurate” – after all, it’s only a hundred miles or so – but Ian adds that they might also have the wrong when. Coming across a seemingly abandoned farmhouse, they learn bit by bit that they’re not only at the time of the French Revolution, but have landed at the height of the Reign of Terror, and that the farmhouse is actually a station on an “underground railroad” designed to help aristocrats and counterrevolutionaries escape the country. Everything comes together when the Doctor and the rest run into two aristocrats, who are being pursued by revolutionary troops. The aristocrats are killed trying to escape, while Ian, Barbara, and Susan are found and arrested by the soldiers. Meanwhile the Doctor is trapped inside the farmhouse, as one of the soldiers burns it down. The boy from earlier, Jean-Pierre, rescues the Doctor and tells him what happened to the others. Continue reading Trash Culture’s Dr. Who Reviews – The Reign of Terror (1964)→
The TARDIS’ crew find themselves in what appears to be a moving object. Ian muses that “we are different from when we started out with you.” The Doctor agrees, saying that “it’s turned out to be a great spirited adventure.” Although Barbara notes that nearly every time they leave the TARDIS they get into trouble, the Doctor wants to head out to see where they are. Outside they find they are on a spaceship where seemingly the crew, a woman and a man, has recently died with no visible signs of wounds. Before they can return to the TARDIS, they find the captain of the ship, Maitland, who gives Barbara a device that revives the woman, Carol. Maitland explains that the crew isn’t dead but is in stasis. From conversation with Maitland the Doctor and the others learn that the ship is from Earth and that it’s the 28th century. Carol interrupts to urge them to leave, since they’re all in danger. At the Doctor and Barbara’s prompting, Maitland explains that they’re oribiting a planet called the Sense-Sphere, and its inhabitants, the Sensorites, have some mysterious form of control over the ship as well as the crew’s minds. The Sensorites have trapped the ship in space and placed them in stasis, but will not harm them; in fact, they make sure the crew remains well-nourished. At Maitland’s insistence, the Doctor and the others prepare to leave, discovering to their horror that the Sensorites have removed the TARDIS’ opening mechanism, effectively sealing the TARDIS. Continue reading Trash Culture’s Dr. Who Reviews – The Sensorites (1964)→
“Marco Polo” is the first of the many “Doctor Who” serials (and the only one of the first season) to be hobbled by missing episodes, lost when the BBC purged their archives to make room. In fact, not a single frame of any of the seven episodes of “Marco Polo” survive, although fans have reconstructed the episodes using telesnaps (off-screen photographs of broadcasts), the scripts, and most importantly the soundtracks. Even with clever editing and a complete recording of the actors’ dialogue, it’s still miles away from having the original episodes, but I’ve decided that, for the lost serials, if I can get a good fan reconstruction, I’ll do a write-up. If not, in the future I may just link to a summary somewhere and move on to the next complete serial.
Susan, Ian, and Barbara examine a giant footprint in the snow. The Doctor knows he’s on Earth and on a mountain high above sea level, but nothing else. An agitated Doctor tells his companions that a circuit in the TARDIS has burnt out, making them unable to travel and depriving them of heat and water. Ian and Barbara volunteer to look for fuel for heating while the Doctor raves about how they’ll all die from the cold. On their way down Barbara sees something, but isn’t sure what it was, and Ian discovers footprints caused by a boot. The party is found by a man named Tegana and a group of Mongolian soldiers, who are convinced that the Doctor and his companions are evil spirits disguised as humans. A man of European ancestry appears and orders the soldiers to stop menacing the Doctor and the others “in the name of Kublai Khan.” The man notices that the Doctor is becoming sick and volunteers to take them to the nearest town for food and shelter.