Whale of a Tale Productions

A Post Production Company
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Star Trek: Discovery, created by Bryan Fuller and Alex Kurtzman, 2017

So I have been a Trekkie (never liked the term Trekker) since I was a little kid. Been to a bunch of conventions when I was younger. I just love Star Trek. Always have and always will.

Still I don’t love everything Trek. Star Trek Voyager was just mediocre to me. And Enterprise while I watched it just wasn’t very good. It was a mistake to do a prequel instead of moving forward where with the story where you could not worry about stepping on canon. And the new JJ Abrams Star Trek films were just not my cup of tea. Sure the first one was interesting, and well cast, but it did not feel like Star Trek. Too advanced technology, and just about action without the thought behind it. And Into The Darkness was just a tragedy of awfulness.

And the lead up to Discovery did not fill me with hope. As I have said I do not want a prequel. I want something new in the future of Trek where we can keep our old canon, but build something new. And this was not that.

CBS Claims that it is the Prime Universe and yet it takes place about 5 years after the Cage the original series first pilot and 10 years before the 2nd pilot, and yet it literally looks nothing like it. It is not only way more advanced, but nothing looks like what we know. There aren’t even hints of trying to make it fit into the timeline. The uniforms are awful, completely different and use the ranking system of the Next Generation, and totally get rid of the colors we know to specify department. And they seem to have instantaneous holographic communications, so far beyond anything we have seen in Star Trek, that why send a crew when you could have an admiral command the ship from Earth. And they say they respect Canon but they use the Star Trek Delta which did not become the Starfleet symbol till much later in honor of the Enterprise’s completion of it’s 5 year mission.

And to see the rest of the show in the US you have to subscript to CBS All Access, for $5.99 a month with commercials or $10.99 a month without. And it isn’t like the whole show comes out at once, it is weekly and is taking a big break half way through and the second half will come out next year so that you can pay CBS more money for time when you aren’t watching anything on their service!

REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS… (more…)

The Defenders, created by Douglas Petrie and Marco Ramirez, 2017

Netflix’s Marvel shows mostly get back on track with the Defenders, after the abject failure that was Iron Fist.

And the main problem here is too much Iron Fist especially at the beginning. And it isn’t all just Finn Jones’s fault, Iron Fist is so badly written, and his character does nothing but make stupid mistakes, and that lowers the quality of the show, but the return of Charlie Cox’s Daredevil, Krysten Ritter’s Jessica Jones and Mike Colter’s Luke Cage makes this show a worthy sequel to their shows. And Sigourney Weaver was a great villain, and seemingly better at martial arts than Finn Jones!

The 8 episode series really cruises along, especially once the 4 defenders get together in Episode 3. Honestly the 8 episode format seems better than the normal 13 episode which caused some drag in the middle of the other series.

And this was shot before all the bad press for Iron Fist came out, so they were already planning on having Iron Fist be his annoying and incompetent. I just don’t get it.

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Iron Fist by Scott Buck, 2017

Wow, what the hell happened here. I mean I have been pretty impressed by what Marvel and Netflix have been doing with their Marvel series. With great writing and characters, even if they tended to get bogged down in their 13 episode runs, but this is something else entirely. And that something else is just not good at all.

And of course the character had something to do with it, a white martial artist character created in the 70’s during the black exploitation was always going to be a little controversial, but casting an Asian character who was good would have lifted this to a different level and solved so many of the shows problems. How could they think that casting a white actor with obviously no martial arts experience would be any better? It is really bad Daniel Woo has Into the Badlands because he would have been awesome here where Finn Jones just ins’t. He is awful throughout. Not only can he not fight, but he can’t act, and the character is written as a winy bitch and complete moron which makes it even worse. And what is up with his glowy hand power that never seems to work when he needs it? Did they ever read the comic? Yes he plunged his fist into the molten heart of a dragon and got the power of iron fist, but it is not just a a glowy fist, but the power to concentrate his chiĀ  to resist pain and injury.

And sure Jessica Henwick as Colleen Wing is a highlight of the show, but her characters arc is stupid and insulting throughout, which also brings the story down. And just to have a martial artist with her own dojo taking martial arts advice from Danny Rand (the Iron Fist played by Finn Jones) is so incredibly insulting.

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Luke Cage by Cheo Hodari Coker, 2016

Another enjoyable Netflix Marvel series, lifted by the fact that Mike Colter is awesome as Luke Cage, and Rosario Dawson is always great, though the 13 episodes do drag a bit, and then come to an abrupt ending. Still it is quite worth watching and looks great. Not as good as Daredevil or Jessica Jones, but so much better than Iron fist!

And with a great cast, Simone Missick as Misty Knight is great, as is Alfre Woodard as Mariah Dillard or Black Mariah as she is known in the comics. Still the worst part is the last minute addition of Erik LaRay Harvery as Willis “Diamonback” Stryker who seems like a late addition as he wasn’t even hinted at early in the series, and then ends up as the Villain in the end.

And I have to admit I got a thrill from the flashback where we basically see the comic book yellow outfit of Power Man (Luke Cage’s original name in the comic books) with his crown! Ha!

Another Marvel Netflix series that is well worth checking out.

The Day of the Doctor by Nick Hurran (2013)

I was excited for, but worried for Doctor Who’s 50th Anniversary Special. I wish I had seen it in 3D too. Anyway, Stephen Mophat’s last season with Matt Smith as the 11th Doctor and Jenna Louise Voleman as Clara Oswald had really left me flat. The worst season since the return in 2005, and such a let down after how good the story had been with Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) as companion, but I need not have worried. The Day of the Doctor is awesome. Having David Tennant the 10th Doctor and Billie Piper (who played Rose Tyler) return was a stroke of genius, and having a couple of amazing Cameos was even better. This is really Doctor Who at it’s best! An absolute must see!

We start with the original Doctor Who titles and a nod to the first opening, then see Clara as a teacher, getting a message from the Doctor and going to find him. As soon as she enters the TARDIS, it is picked up by a helicopter, and being taken by UNIT. It arrives in London and the Doctor and Clara are met by Kate Stewart (Jemma Redgrave) the daughter of the Brigadier and her assistant Osgood (Ingrid Oliver). They are taken to a Gallifreyan 3D painting from Queen Elizabeth the first. The Painting is of the last day of the Time War, and we zoom in to the War Doctor fighting the Daleks.

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Robin Hood Series 1-3 created by Dominic Minghella and Foz Allan (2006-2009)

An alright update of the Robin Hood legend for modern times, that suffered a bit from being drawn out too long, and some story points that just didn’t make sense. Sure some of the characters were fun and enjoyable to watch, and the show looks great and has good music, but the Robin Hood legend works better as a finite story, since otherwise you question why they didn’t just kill off the villains (they gave a better explanation in the second series for the sheriff, but for others it got a bit ridiculous). It also suffered in having Robin and Marrion’s love story get so drawn out, and having Guy of Gisborne constantly come between them, it just made her seem cruel, and flighty. I guess the show was decent enough, but overall not too impressive.

Having been wounded as a protector of the King in the holy land in the Crusades, Robin of Lockley (Jonas Armstrong) returns with his servant and best friend Much (Sam Troughton) to Nottingham and his lands, to find everything is changed. The old sheriff has lost power to a new evil man (Keith Allen). The old sheriff’s daughter Lady Marian (Lucy Griffiths) is pissed at him because he chose to leave her for the Holy Land and war, and his hated foe Sire Guy of Gisborne (Richard Armitage) fights for her affections. Robin quickly has his lands taken from him, and becomes an outlaw, joining with other outlaws Little John (Gordon Kennedy), Will Scarlett (Harry Lloyd ) and Allan A Dale (Joe Armstrong) to fight for what is right, and to fight for their King. The Sheriff works with he kings evil brother Prince John, and wants to kill the King and take the land of England into Darkness.

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Spooks (MI-5) Series 1 through 4 created by David Wolstencroft (2002-2005)

A smart and stylish BBC One television series dealing with a group of British Intelligence officers from MI-5 Dealing with with in country terrorist threats. The show really rests on the shoulders of the excellent Matthew Macfadyen (who was recently in The PILLARS OF THE EARTH) and the show is really about him and his team including Keeley Hawes who would go on to be so excellent in Ashes to Ashes. I kind of lost it with 24 because it was so ridiculous, but I quite enjoy this show, though Series 3 did fall a bit for me, as it felt like an entire series just designed to get rid of the 3 members of the original team, and slowing starting a new team led by Rupert Penry-Jones as Adam Carter. And while this did allow some more focus on Kelley Hawes and David Oyelowo, it didn’t really let the new team start to take off until the 4th series. The show is thrilling, and worth checking out, especially since the first 4 series (out of 7) is available as MI-5 on Netflix Streaming. There are some fun cameos by High Laurie as an MI-6 officer and Andy Serkis as a rocker which are fun to watch for as well.

The series starts out following Tom Quinn (Matthew Macfayden) and his team, Zoe Reynolds (Kelley Hawes) and Danny Hunter (David Oyelowo) working at the Grid in Thames House for MI-5. There boss is Sir Harry Pearce (Peter Firth)who always had their back if needed. They are later joined by intelligence analyst Ruth Evershed (Nicola Walker) who is brought in to spy on them, but they catch her and make her a permanent team member. The first season deals with not only the missions to stop terrorism, but also Tom dealing with being in love with a woman and her daughter, and having the relationship torn apart by his job, and his constantly having to lie to her.

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Legend of the Seeker created by Sam Raimi adapted from the novels by Terry Goodkind (2008-2010)

I unfortunately missed this show on TV, but thanks to my friend Chris started watching it on Netflix on Demand and quickly fell in love with this fantastic fantasy show. It has a great cast and an excellent story. In fact it was so good that I quickly picked up the books (which are huge) and am already on the third book in the series, and I just can’t put them down. The show looks fantastic the cast is amazing (and Bridget Regan is totally hot). It is really a shame that this show did not get the third season it so readily deserved. There is a fan site set up to try and save the, Save Our Seeker, and I have already written my letter to Disney ABC, and I hope it gets another season, but I am not holding my breath. Still this is an excellent fantasy show, with great characters and is really worth checking out (especially on Netflix Streaming). I quickly fell in love with this world, and my only consolation is that their are 11 books in the series with a 12 being written as well as one prequel and one in this world that ties in. My only complaints with the show is there are some flashback episodes which are nothing but filler, but the long novels do not have nearly enough story to fill these long seasons, so they had to make stuff up. Actually I would love to see features made of these books, which could be more accurate to the story (though I am not sure they could have gotten a better cast).

Richard Cypher (Craig Horner) is a woods guide living peacefully in the land of Westland, a land without magic, that is separated from the magical land of the Midland’s which used to separated from the land of D’Hara, but that wall has fallen. While out in the woods Richard runs into a beautiful woman named Kahlan Amnell (Bridget Regan) who is being chased by a Quad of Assassins. Richard helps her, and she uses her magic, confessors magic, which lets her take control of any person she touches (though only once every 2 hours) and they kill 3 of the Quad. The fourth though, goes and kills Richard’s father, and allies himself with Richard’s brother Michael (David de Lautour), who believes the Quad over Richard, and hunts him as a killer. RIchard meanwhile was bit by a strange plant and is only saved by his best friend, the old man Zeddicus Zu’l Zorander (Bruce Spence who is perfect here, though I always picture him from Road Warrior) who has hidden his identity, but secretly is actually Richard’s grandfather and also the First Wizard of the Midlands, who went into hiding, and who Kahlan is searching for. She wants the Wizard to name a true Seeker, who can fight against the evil of the D’Haran king and Magician Darken Rahl (Craig Parker). Zed names the true Seeker, the one he has been watching all his life, Richard, much to Kahlan’s chagrin, and gives him the magic sword of truth to battle evil.

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Primeval Series 1-3 created by Adrian Hodges & Time Haines (2007)

I had stayed away from this series because the premise of dinosaurs in modern times has already been done and sounded just so incredibly lame, but having watched it I was blown away. This is a fantastic show with great characters and really top notch special effects! This show is 100% worth checking out. Well done and well acted. The 3rd Series did jump the shark a bit though, as the main storyline got sidelined, and killed off, and the whole thing kind of switched gears, but with Abby and Connor staying in the show, I will keep watching for sure. I am looking forward to the 4th and 5th series. I love having Netflix streaming! Great to be able to see the first 3 series streamed.

Professor Nick Cutter (Douglas Henshall) works at a university and ends up investigating some strange occurrences in the woods where his wife disappeared in the woods 8 years before. His assistant is Stephen Hart (James Murray) who was also in love with Nick’s wife. Also along for the ride is a eager grad student named Connor Temple (Andrew-Lee Potts). Also in the woods is zoologist Abby Maitland (Hannah Spearritt) who finds a prehistoric flying lizard, and ends up joining the team. They learn of holes in space time continuum where creatures are coming through. The government comes in and hides this, and makes them the lead team along with Claudia Brown (Lucy Brown) from the home office and James Lester (Ben Miller) a senior Home Office Official.

REVIEW CONTAINS SOME SPOILERS…

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Skins Series 3 and 4 Created by Jamie Brittain and Brayn Elsley (2008-2009)

Skins was a show that my wife and I started watching streaming off Netlfix (the much inferior US release which had the music changed) and really got into the show, even if it is a much more intense version of a teenage soap opera. It was with trepidation that I learned that the 3rd series would feature a new cast going to take their A levels before going on to college. Quickly I found the characters were interesting enough to keep going with. We already knew Effy Stonem (Kaya Scodelario) and her best friend Pandora Moon (Lisa Backwell) and the rest of the cast made for an interesting show. I especially like the sweet Emily Fitch (Kathryn Prescott) and the troubled but sweet JJ Jones (Ollie Barbieri), but it soon became obvious instead of being about relationships this show was more about ruining relationships, with everyone seemingly doing everything to destroy their relationships, and that was when this was good. The Second series completely jumps the shark, adding in a serial killer, and a bunch of other nonsense that was badly written and unnecessary. When the final episode of Series 4 ended, both my wife and I were in shock that they could have so completely destroyed the show! I mean seeing James Cook doing synchronized dancing and having a major killer randomly killed by a serial killer! WTF!!!! And they weren’t even close to bringing many of the story threads to a close. It was like the show runner had a stroke and thought he still should have total control yet his brain wasn’t working correctly. That is how much of an incredible mess the 4th series of this show was.

The show starts with 3 best friends on their way to school for the first day, this is the unruly and womanizing James Cook (Jack O’Connel) the skateboarder Freddie Mclair (Luke Pasqualino) and JJ Jones (Ollie Barbieri) who has some mental problems, but is as sweet as could be. On their way to school they Elizabth “Effy” Stonem (Kaya Scodelario) on her way to school and all three fall in love with her. Effy’s best friend finds that she can’t handle just taking beauty classes, so she joins her friend Effie. Other students are the twins Katie (Megan Prescott) and Emily Fitch (Kathryn Prescott) who could not be more different. Katie always has a man and is very outgoing, while Emily is quite and is fact gay and is love with another student Naomi Campbell (Lily Loveless). Naomi though is straight, and hates that Katie is always giving her shit about trying to seduce her sister, when it fact it was the other way around. On the first day the school lays out new rules, and Effie makes a game of breaking them all basically telling Freddie and Cook that they can have her if they break all the rules. Cook quickly does, and has Effie in the school nurses office, leaving Freddie to pine for the woman he loves (and who Effie actually cares for, but is not willing to ever let her emotions get the best of her). They soon meet Thomas Tomone (Merveille Lukeba) a recent emigrant from the Congo. He is a good kid, and sweet and starts seeing Pandora, but they get in a lot of trouble first, both with a gangster and then with his mom who catches the kids all doing drugs and having sex, and sends Thomas back home for a while.

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Skins Seasons 1 and 2 created by Jamie Brittain and Bryan Elsley (2007-2008)

I had heard about this show and had been wanting to watch it for some time, and finally ended up watching it on Netflix on Demand, which may have been a mistake. It would seem the US releases have had their music removed and replaced with inferior music, also the stream seems to be the wrong aspect ratio, so this may make the show not as enjoyable to watch as it could be (I wish I had just ordered the PAL dvd’s from England). Still even with all the problems I greatly enjoyed this show and it’s characters, and especially the first season finale. Sure this is a teen drama, but there is so much more here than they would ever allow in the states, I mean nudity, sex, and lots of drug use throughout. And really it all comes down to the characters, and I liked the characters, or at least liked watching them, as you of course do not like them all. The standout is Mike Bailey as Sid Jenkins, whose character really is the heart of the show, but he sure did deserve a less crazy girl! And it interesting that the writing team has an average of 21, because this does seem pretty realistic, if a bit too much for one group (much like Platoon was dramatized as not all of that would have happened to one group of people). I found it quite interesting to see just how different that the British school system is, as we have nothing like these 2 preparatory college years that are the last years of mandatory education. An interesting and enjoyable show, and I look forward to seeing Seasons 3 and 4 with an almost entirely new cast (Effy Stonem played by Kaya Scodelario is the younger sister of one of the main characters of the first 2 seasons and appears multiple times in these seasons before going on to Season 2 and 3). I would say worth checking out, but the music issue does make it not as enjoyable as it would have been, so only if you a fan of British television.

This is the story of a group of friends in college preparatory classes for their last 2 years of mandatory schooling and their good and bad and love and hate, and all the partying in between. We have Tony Stonem (Nicholas Hoult, the boy from About a Boy who has sure sprouted) who is tall and handsome and quite manipulative of all of his friends. His girlfriend is Michelle Richardson (April Pearson) who he calls Nips and always disparages, though she is a sweet girl who loves him. Tony’s best friend is Sid Jenkins (Mike Bailey) who not only is not good in school, but looks down on himself and still a virgin, especially because he is in love with Michelle, and everyone knows it. They try and hook Sid up with the crazy Cassie Ainsworth (Hannie Murray) who is often put away because of an eating disorder. Then we have the party animal Chris Miles (Joe Dempsie) who will take any drug at any time, and is hiding from the death of his brother at a young age. Chris pursues and eventually gets the groups psychology teacher Angie (Siwan Morris). The Muslim of the group is Anwar Kharral (Dev Patel) who follows his religion in some ways, but still does drugs, and is always trying to have sex. His best friend is the openly gay Maxxie Oliver (Mitch Hewer) who wants to not do construction like his dad, and instead wants to be a dancer. Finally we have Jal Fazer (Larissa Wilson) a talented clarinet player whose dad is in music, and whose mother left for reasons unknown.

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Sugar Rush series 1 and 2(2007-2008)

The British Television series created by Channel 4 based on the Julie Burchill novel about the a 15 year old lesbian and her love for best friend in a ocean front resort town is a really fun show with great characters. It is a really fun show and it is a shame that the show didn’t get the 3rd series it so deserved. The characters are so much fun to watch that you really want more. Well worth checking out. This half hour series is quite a lot of fun.

Kim Daniels (Olivia Hallinan) is a 15 year old girl whose parents have just moved to a small resort town on the coast of England. Kim is an in the closet lesbian who is in love with her lascivious best friend Maria “Sugar” Sweet (Lenora Crichlow). Sugar loves men, and always is stringing along one boyfriend or another, and driving Kim absolutely crazy. Kim’s parents are having issues too. Stella (Sara Stewart) is not too happy, and has an affair with the handiman, while Nathan (Richard Lumsden) doesn’t even notice. And their son Matt (Kurtis O’Brien) is the strangest of the bunch, killing his animals, going goth, dressing as a girl and sleeping in a coffin. Kim has a good life, but is completely sexually frustrated, and would do anything to be with Sugar.

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Doctor Who 040: The Enemy of the World written by David Whitaker, Directed by Barry Letts (1967)

Another of the missing series, and only the 3rd episode has been recovered, and is only available on CD, and it is a real shame since Troughton got to play 2 roles here, the Doctor, and the evil Salamander and it would be a joy to get see these dual roles in action and not just hear them. An enjoyable series with a good storyline. A real shame it doesn’t exist to watch in full, though it is great to be able to see one episode.

The Doctor (Patrick Troughton) along with his companions Jamie [James Robert McCrimmon (Frazer Hines)] and Victoria [Waterfield (Victoria Waterfield)] arrive and start running around a beach when there is an assassination attempt on the Doctor. They are rescued via helicopter by Astrid Ferrier (Mary Peach) who takes them to their boss Giles Kent (Bill Kerr). Giles is against a man named Salamander who is a physical double of the Doctor. Salamander rules the United Zones Organization which controls the Earth. Salamander used technology to use the sun to increase crop production and has been ruthless in his use of power, killing off anyone who gets in his way. Kent used to be a deputy leader in North Africa and Europe, but when he crossed Salamander he was destroyed. Kent convinces the Doctor to impersonate Salamander to get information so they can try and take down this evil man.

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Doctor Who 094: The Image of the Fendahl written by Chris Boucher, directed by George Spenton-Foster (1977)

As you know if you read this, I love Tom Baker’s Doctor, but I am glad that the Deadly Assassin Came out on the same day, because that is an amazing story, and this one was pretty much a stinker. Sure it has my favorite Doctor, and Leela (Louise Jameson) who is such a great contrast to him, but the story itself is not too good, and overall not too well done. Just a throw away series in my opinion. Only for the die hards.

A research center in Fetch Borough England is being run by the eccentric millionaire scientist Dr. Fendelman (Denis Lill) along with technical Thea Ransome (Wanda Ventham) and paleontologists Adam Colby (Edward Arthur) and his colleague Maximiliam Steal (Scott Fredericks). They are studying a strange crystal skull that was buried under a volcano 12 million years ago, or 8 million years older than man. Fendelmen activates a scanner on the skull, which causes many strange things. First the skull starts to glow. Then a man hiking though the nearby woods freezes and is taken by some force. And finally Thea seems to be taken over by some power in the skull. The Tardis feels the effects as well, being tossed around by a hole in time made by the scanner, so he and Leela decide to investigate. Leela is quite ferral here, almost killing the man they run into, but he does lead them to the Fetch Priory where the scientists are ensconced. Colby finds the corpse of the hiker, which has been completely drained of life, and wants to call the police, but is overruled by Fendelman, who also calls in his own security, led by David Mitchell (Derek Martin) making the scientists his prisoners. Stael does a post mortem on the corpse, and finds a strange mark on the back of the neck, and that the body is decomposing rapidly, and Fendelman has him hide it. Thea once again activates the skull, and seems to merge with it. The Doctor is almost attacked by the same creature that got the hiker, but manages to get away, and it attacks the Prior killing Mitchell, and it only stops when Colby shuts down the scanner.

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Doctor Who 088: The Deadly Assasin written by Robert Holmes, directed by David Maloney (1976)

You never forget your first Doctor, and Tom Baker was my first, so I will always remember him, and amazing episodes like this are part of the reason why. Not only does he shine here, but this Manchurian Candidate-esque tale of intrigue on Gallifrey is one of the best Doctor Who stories all the way around, and I finally know what happened to him after he left Sarah Jane Smith on Earth to return to Gallifrey. Honestly I would have loved a few more stories sans companion of they were going to be this darn good! If you read my blog you also know I love episodes about Gallifrey, and while this is not the first, it really did set what the Timelord Homeworld was like for years to come, the look, the feel, and all the intrigue. We finally see that the other Timelords are not these benevolent watchers of time, but are petty and power hungry, and very very human. This series also features about an entire episode fought in a “virtual” computer world, which is action packed, and fun as can be. This really is one of my all-time favorite episodes!

The Doctor (the great Tom Baker) is on his way to Gallifrey after being summoned, and leaving Sarah Jane Smith behind. On the why he has a vision of the future, a vision of the President of the Timelords (Llewellyn Rees) being murdered, and he knows he must do all he can to stop it. As soon as the Doctor’s TARDIS arrives on Gallifrey it is pegged as an old illegal TARDIS type 40 which should be out of service, so soldiers, led by Commander Hildred (Derek Seaton) are sent to arrest it’s pilot. The Doctor realizes something is wrong, and hides. The Castellan Spandrell (George Pravda) is informed of the events. The Doctor runs for a service elevator, and is confronted by a guard, but a cloaked figure kills the guard, and is off before the Doctor can do anything. He realizes he has been set up, but he has to try and save the President. The Doctor sends the lift on it’s way, but sneaks off another way, so that Hildred will search the wrong building. We see the cloaked figure, who is the Master (Peter Pratt) who is watching, and of course has set up the Doctor.

REVIEW CONTAIN SPOILERS…

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Doctor Who by Geoffrey Sax (1996)

If you haven’t noticed, I am on a huge Doctor Who kick of late (was even the 4th Doctor for last Halloween, and my license plate on my blue prius is TARDIIS), and I had heard so much of this infamous attempt to bring Doctor Who to America that I really wanted to see it, even if it was as bad as it sounded. Well I finally did manage to track it down and check it out, and it is really, really bad (and even worse is considered canon), which is too bad, because it has 3 thing going for it. First the first 20 minutes features the 7th Doctor Sylvester McCoy who does a great job here. Second is the production design of McCoy’s Tardis which looks like something out of HG Wells, and looks all the better for it too. Third is in fact the eight doctor, here in his only on screen appearance (now in his popular 3rd season on the excellent Big Finish Audio Adventures) is Paul McGann who makes an excellent Doctor, even with the terrible script and horrific acting of the rest of the cast. He could have gone far, if only this had been done in England with producers and writers who really love Doctor Who instead of trying to make him a cheesy 1980’s American Action hero (and what is up with him supposedly being half human? WTF?!?!??!?). With how good the 3 things are, it takes a lot to take this down, but down it goes, down in flames! This to me is the worst Doctor Who adventure ever, and this chance to revitalize the show (which had run from 1963-1989) killed it until the 2005 revival of Doctor Who. Honestly only really serious Doctor Who fans should even try to see this, because it is after all considered Canon, but it just is is so bad, that it really hurts the whole Canon, and it is not like Doctor Who was not previously cheesy!

The film stars with the most epic version of the Doctor Who theme yet, and we learn that the Doctor’s most notorious nemesis The Master has been exterminated on Skaro (homeworld of the Daleks) for his crimes (Huh? Why would the Dalek’s do something for the Timelords their mortal enemies?!?!??!) and the current Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) was sent to pick up the remains and return with them to the homeworld of the Timelords, Gallifrey, but the remains escape, and cause the TARDIS to make an emergency landing on Earth in the 21st Century, San Franscisco’s Chinatown to be exact. There a Chinese boy named Chang Lee (Yee Jee Tso) is being chased by a Triad, and the Doctor is shot as he exits the TARDIS, with Lee safe behind it the materialized time machine. Lee takes the Doctor to the hospital, where he is quickly brought into surgery. They find the Doctor has 2 hearts, and call in surgeon Dr. Grace Halloway (Daphne Ashbrook). She thinks the x-ray is a double exposure and starts surgery. She inserts a cardiac probe, and the Doctor awakens, and tries to stop her, and tells her he needs a beryllium atomic clock (to fix his TARDIS) then passes out again, and dies of cardiac arrest (and the drugs she gave him supposedly slow the regeneration process, so it does not happen immediately, and also cause the 8th Doctor to have some memory loss, and possibly be half human, which seems completely ridiculous, but so is most of this story). So he is placed in the morgue. Lee quickly sneaks out with the Doctor’s possessions including the TARDIS key. The remains of the master take over the Ambulance driver, Bruce (Eric Roberts) possessing him. He kills his wife, and heads out to find the Doctor’s body, which he wants to use as his own, as he out of regenerations (having passed his 13th incarnation). That night in the morgue, the Doctor regenerates (into Paul McGann), taking a Wyatt Earp costume from someone’s locker for a New Years eve party, and heads out to find Grace, and convince her he is the same man as the one she operated on, to get her help, as his memory is foggy.

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Doctor WHo 039: The Ice Warriors written by Brian Hayles, directed by Derek Martinus (1967)

An enjoyable adventure and the first appearance of the Ice Warriors an ancient race from Mars that have not been used enough. This has 2 missing episodes that had a reconstruction made from the audio and stills for VHS, but exists other than that, but has not been released on DVD as of yet.

Earth of the future at Brittanicus Base they are trying to slow the progress of glaciers that are rolling over Britain. Leader Clent (Peter Barkworth) says they will be able to stop the ice age, but the others including technician Jan Garrett (Wendy Gifford) know they are close to being forced to leave and losing Britain to the new Ice Age. Clent is pissed at a maverick scientist named Penley (Peter Sallis) who left the team. The remaining scientist Arden (George Waring) is searching for archeological finds in the glaciers and he finds an armored warrior in a block of ice. Arden doesn’t listen to Clent’s appeals to come back and help with the ioniser and instead works on digging out the man from the ice. They are watched by Penley and Storr (Angus Lennie) who have given up on Technology. When their is an avalanche, Storr has his arm badly broken.

The Doctor (Patrick Troughton), Jamie McCrimmon (Frazer Hines) and Victoria Waterfield (Deborah Watling) arrive in the TARDIS outside the base, and the Doctor offers to help Clent with the Ioniser. The Doctor manages to stabilize the Ioniser, realizing the Ice Age is caused by a drop in CO2 levels after all the plant life has died.

Arden and Walters (Malcolm Taylor) arrive with the frozen man, and he realizes it is n Ice Warrior from Mars entombed since the last Ice Age. An emergency meeting is called, and no one notices that the ice on the Warrior has started to melt.

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Doctor Who 038: The Abominable Snowmen written by Mervyn Haisman & Henry Lincoln, Directed by Gerald Blake (1967)

Another adventure of the missing series with only the second of six episodes not missing, which reveals a recurring enemy the Yeti, and also Professor Travers (Jack Watling, Deborah Watling’s father!). I love the control spheres, the Yeti are not the most impressive looking enemy I have seen, this one could possibly have been improved by being audio only with the excellent narration by Frazer Hines.

Professor Travers (Jack Watling) in Tibet is awoken from his sleep, and sees a huge Yeti over the body of his friend an destroys his gun. Travers runs. The TARDIS arrives. The Doctor (Patrick Troughton) is overjoyed where they are and he begins to search for something that will get them quite a welcome when they go to the Detsen Monastery and gives it to them, this is the Ghanta a relic from the temple he got at 300 years ago.

The Doctor goes to investigate in a fur cloak, leaving Jamie McCrimmon (Frazer Hines) and Deborah Watling (Victoria Waterfield) find the Ghanta and Jamie also finds a sword, which he decides to keep. The Doctor heads to the monastery on his to his own and finds Traver’s camp and the dead body and he takes the crushed gun and backpack.

Victoria gets bored and she and Jamie go out and decide to look on their own, and they find huge animal prints, which they follow.

The Doctor gets to the monastery, but finds his way barred by armed monks. Travers blames the Doctor for killing his friend, and the monks listen to him and lock up the Doctor, especially the head of the warrior monks Khrisong (Norman Jones).

Jamie and Victoria enter a cave and get trapped by a huge creature behind a boulder.

The Doctor looks out the window, but as Travers tells him it is a 100 foot drop and accuses the Doctor of being a journalist who is trying to sabotage him and his work about the Yeti. The Doctor knows the Yeti are in fact timid, so they can’t be attacking, and neither could he.

The monks are talking about the fate of the Doctor who they believe to be a murderer, and Khrisong believes Travers that the Doctor is a murderer even if the other monks don’t quite believe. And the fact that the Yeti are attacking make it worse, so he has the Doctor tied to the front gate of the keep.

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Doctor Who 037: The Tomb of the Cybermen, written by Kit Pedler & Gerry Davis, Directed by Morris Barry (1967)

The earliest serial of the Patrick Troughton era of Doctor Who that exists in it’s entirety, this is a classic series, with a great villain. And the joy is to really see Troughton shine as his zany space hobo version of the Doctor. This is a must see, and might help to convert some more Tom Bakers fans over to the greatness of Troughton who has become my favorite doctor.

An archeological expedition on the planet Telos finds a hidden entrance into a mountain. The TARDIS lands nearby and the Doctor (Patrick Troughton), Jamie McCrimmon (Frazer Hines) and Victoria Waterfield (Deborah Watling) join them. The leader of the expedition Professor Parry (Aubrey Richards) are here to find the remains of the Cybermen who died out centuries before on best of Kaftan (Shirley Cooklin). Kaftan is accompanied by his servant Toberman (Roy Stewart) and Eric Kleig (George Pastell). They enter the chamber, finding a control panel and a large sealed door. The Doctor finds some hidden passageways, but does not manage to open the door, while Toberman sneaks off. Victoria along with Kaftan and Parry find a room with a huge sarcophagus, which Victoria climbs into. Meanwhile the Doctor and Klieg argue about not turning on the controls, but the Doctor gives Klieg the hint he needs to activate the machines, which restores power and locks Victoria in the sarcophagus.

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Doctor Who 036: The Evil of the Daleks written by David Whitaker and directed by Derek Martinus (1967)

The Daleks are always a classic enemy of the Doctor, and this one introduces Deborah Watling as a companion, and starts right where the last adventure left off. Another of the missing episodes and a shame too, because it would be so much fun to see the Doctor Manipulating Jamie as he does in this one. Interesting to see the Doctor so manipulative towards Jamie too. He is trying to save them, but still he really puts Jamie through the ringer here, and we get to see just how great Jamie truly is, and how truly good.

The Doctor (Patrick Troughton) and Jamie McCrimmon (Frazer Hines) in London’s Gatwick Airport watch as the TARDIS is loaded on a truck and driven off. They give chase and end up at the antique shop of Edward Waterfield (John Bailey) who sells victorian antiques that seem brand new. In a back room we see that Waterfield is being forced by the Daleks, who kill Kennedy (Griffith Davies) who stole the TARDIS for Waterfield. When the Doctor and Jamie go to investigate, they are knocked out, and dragged into a time machine, and wake up in 1866 in the manor of Theodore Maxtible (Marius Goring), Waterfield’s partner. They had been working on a time machine using mirrors and static electricity, when the Daleks arrived through the machine, and took over, taking Waterfield’s beautiful daughter Victoria (Deborah Watling) as a hostage, so that Waterfield would lure the Doctor here. Maxtible meanwhile seems to be going along with the Dalek’s for his own reasons. The Daleks threaten to destroy the TARDIS unless the Doctor will help them in their experiments to isolate the “Human Factor” that allows humans to constantly defeat the Daleks. They want to the Doctor to implant his Human Factor into 3 Daleks and create a new Dalek Super Race. They force the Doctor to put Jamie through a series of test in an effort to rescue Victoria.

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Doctor Who 035: The Faceless Ones, written by Eavid Ellis and Malcolm Hulke, Directed by Gerry Mill (1967)

I do love the 3rd Doctor, and I love how Science fiction his episodes were. There were so many elements of space, like this one, which takes place on Earth, but still has that science fiction side to it, that helps make it so fun (along with such a great doctor, and my favorite companion). This is another of the lost series, so I listened to to it with narration by Frazer Hines, and two episodes are available on the Lost in Time Patrick Troughton DVD.

The TARDIS lands right on the runway at Gatwick Airport in England, and the Doctor (Patrick Troughton), Ben Jackson (Michael Craze), Poly (Anneke Wills) and Jamie McCrimmon (Frazer Hines) all split up and run to avoid arrest, and the TARDIS is taken away by the authorities. Polly ends up the building of Chameleon tours, where she sees a man killed by Spencer (Victor Winding) with a futuristic gun. Spencer reports to his superior, Captain Blade (Donald Pickering) while Polly escapes, and finds the Doctor and Jamie. The trio come and find the body, but are seen by Blade. They go to warn the authorities, but Polly is taken by Blade. The Airport Commandant (Colin Gordon) does not want to believe the doctor, but goes with him and Jamie to Chamelon Tours, to see if there is any truth to the story, but the find no body, nor do they find Polly. After they leave, Spencer opens a crate and brings out a faceless humanoid creature, and the hospital nurse Pinto (Madalena Nicol) comes in with an unconscious air traffic control named Meadows (George Selway) and connects it to the creature, making the creature look like Meadows, and storing his body. The new Meadows returns to Air Traffic control. The Doctor and Jamie see Polly emerge from one of the planes, but the denies knowing them, and says she her name is Michelle and she is from Zurich.

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Doctor Who 034: The Macra Terror, written by Ian Stuart Black, directed by John Davies (1967)

Another of the missing episodes, and very enjoyable as an audio adventure, though I am sure the Macra might not have been quite so terrifying as realized visually, but I still greatly enjoyed it, and would love to see these episodes in full. A disturbing look at a subverted society. I really love just how often the 3rd Doctor was out in space, or on a science fiction adventure instead of just being on Earth. I hope they do more of that with the 11th Doctor! Good fun, and so much fun listening to an episode each way on my way to work. I love that the Macra returned in Gridlock with the 10th Doctor as well. Very cool. This is narrated by Collin Baker strangely, but it is an enjoyable narration.

In the TARDIS, the Doctor (Patrick Troughton), Jamie McCrimmon (Frazer HInes), Polly (Anneke Wills) and Ben Jackson (Michael Craze) have just seen a giant claw on the scanner, and they arrive on an Earth Colony in the far future. They exit the TARDIS and run into Medok (Terence Lodge) a Colonist that has escaped from their medical facility, and when Ola (Gertan Klauber) the colony chief of police arrives, they hand the much chagrined Medok over to him, and they too are taken to the Colony. The people here are too happy, with strange songs playing extolling the joys of work, and obeying the Colony Controller (Denis Goacher) and the Colony Pilot (Peter Jeffrey) who gets his orders from the Controller and runs the Colony. Medok is taken to the medical section and locked up because he claims the Colony is infested by giant creatures with huge claws, like what the travellers saw on the TARDIS screen, called the Macra.

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Doctor Who 033: The Moobase, written by Kit Pedler, directed by Morris Barry (1967)

A partially missing series, this Doctor Who story is missing the first and third episodes, but at least we get to see some of it (though I would have loved to have seen more of them in spacesuits in the moon). This is available in the Patrick Troughton Lost in Time DVD, though unlike the audio DVD’s the 2 episodes do not have narration like the BBC Radio Collection, so they are quite a bit harder to know exactly what is going on. A best case would be the creation of hybrid with both versions, and adding in the missing stills on the narrated version. This is an enjoyable adventure with fighting the arch enemies the Cybermen, though it is obvious that Jamie was thought to have left the show by now, because he spends most of the series unconscious babbling about some Scottish Demon that was going to attack him, which is in fact a Cyberman, though Hines does narrate the CD version.

The Doctor (the great Patrick Troughton) manages to land the TARDIS, this time on Earth’s moon in the year 2070. He with his companions Polly (Anneke Wills), Ben Jackson (Michael Craze) and his new companion the Scotish HIghlander Jamie McCrimmon (Frazer Hines) head out in spacesuits to play on the moon surface. Jamie though is hurt in the low gravity. They band finds a Moonbase, which they head towards. The base is run by Hobson (Patrick Barr) who runs the Earth Weather Controller from the moon surface with a large machine called the Gravitron. The moonbase is having trouble with people collapsing into comas with some strange infection going though their whole bodies, and showing up as spider web like veins, making the base quarantined. The Travelers arrive in this mess, and the Doctor tries to see what he can do, putting Jamie into the sickbay, and trying to learn if he can help these people cure whatever it is that ails them.

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Doctor Who 031 The Underwater Menace, written by Geoffrey Orme, Directed by Julia Smith (1967)

Another of the missing episodes, again listened on CD with narration by Anneke Wills, and this one also includes some interviews showing some great insight into the shooting, and being on set with Troughton. It has such nuggets as him never remembering his lines, but being so good at bullshitting, that he got away with it. And all of them terrorizing first time director Julia Smith. It also talks about the low quality of the sets, which she thinks detracted from the story, but which is missing from this silly (the Villain is way too over the top) but fun Doctor Who Adventure. This one I got for a very reasonable price from Audible. Sure you can’t lend it to anyone, but it is much cheaper than the out of print CD’s.

The TARDIS lands on a deserted beach of a volcanic island. The Doctor (The late great Patrick Troughton) looks at Tidal pools, while Jamie (Frazer Hines), Ben (Michael Craze) and Polly (Anneke Wills) explore the volcano. Polly goes into a cave seeing a strange object, but it is a reproduction, making her realize it is the 1960’s, just after her time, but then she is grabbed. Ben and Jamie come to get her, and they too are grabbed, and so is the Doctor, and they are tied up and sent down an elevator shaft going deep under the volcano. They are given food, which the Doctor eats, and realizes it is the seaweed of the supposedly late Professor Zaroff (Jospeh Furst), and then they are led to be sacrificed to sharks, but the Doctor gives a servant girl named Ara (Catheine Howe) a message to give to Zaroff. Zaroff is intrigued, and frees the Doctor and agrees to free his friends as well, angering the high priest Lolem (Peter Stephens). Zaroff likes that the Doctor lied to him, and brings him onto his scientific staff, as he plans to raise the Atlantis to the surface. Jamie and Ben are sent to work in the mines, but Polly is taken by a scientist named Damon (Colin Jeavons) to have surgery to be turned into the underwater farming (as Zarof’s food cannot be preserved and only lasts a day) as Fish People.

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Doctor Who 031: The Highlanders, written by Elwyn Jones and Gerry Davis, directed by Hugh David (1967)

The first appearance of my favorite Doctor Who companion, the great Jamie McCrimmon, the Scottish Highlander played by Frazer Hines is another missing episode, but at least I got to hear this enjoyable adventure. Troughton’s Doctor is really coming into his own here, and Anneke Wills has a lot of fun as Polly. This is another enjoyable adventure, and a must for any fans of Jamie McCrimmon.

The Tardis lands in Scotland in the 1700’s just at the end of the Battle of Culloden with the Briitsh forces having defeated the Highlander army under Prince Charles. The British forces are moving in to kill any survivors and steal anything they can steal to make some money. The Doctor (Patrick Troughton) finds the hat of the Prince, but discards it when he reads it’s shield, causing loyal highlanders to capture him, along with Polly (Anneke Wills) and Ben (Michael Craze). They are taken to a broken down cottage where Laird Colin McLaren (Donald Bissett) is resting having been wounded badly. He is attended by his daughter Kirsty (Hannah Gordon) his son Alexander (William Dysart) and his young piper, Jamie McCrimmon (Frazer Hines). Ben accidentally sets off a gun, sending a patrol towards them, and Alexander goes off and dies trying to lead them off and is killed in the process. They are found by Lt. Algernon Finch (Michael Elwyn) and his hard as nails Sergeant (Peter Welch). Polly and Kirsty manage to slip away, and the Lt. goes after them with a few men, leaving the sergeant behind, and he decides to hang the rest.

REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS…

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