View Poll Results: How would you rate The Leisure Hive?

Voters
21. You may not vote on this poll
  • 10: A Brilliant Recreation

    0 0%
  • 9: Explosively good (like poor old K9)

    0 0%
  • 8: Aged Well (unlike the Doctor)

    5 23.81%
  • 7: You mentioned Foamasi?

    5 23.81%
  • 6: Glossy and New

    6 28.57%
  • 5: Keep an ear cocked for my opinions

    3 14.29%
  • 4: Can't decide, still panning across Brighton Beach

    1 4.76%
  • 3: Faked experiment

    0 0%
  • 2: Old and tried

    1 4.76%
  • 1: Tacky-onic

    0 0%
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  1. #1
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    Default Rate and Discuss: The Leisure Hive

    Attention! Earth Shuttle arriving!

    In August 1980 Doctor Who returned to BBC 1 with a bang... new titles, new theme arrangement and a whole new team behind the cameras. The Leisure Hive was the first story the new team put out and as the first part of our new forum... Planet Skaro Goes Back to Season 18 and back to The Leisure Hive.

    So what are your thoughts on this story? Has rewatching it changed your mind about it or not?

    Si xx

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  2. #2
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    It's the first season I can really remember strongly watching the first time round. Remember not liking the new look for Tom. But certainly visually all these years later it's stuck in my memory still (not just the costume the set, the make up, the costumes etc)- so they must have been doing something right. Must get around to watching it again....
    Creator of Doctor WHeasel and sometime political radical

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    I remember this story as being really quite horrific as a child ... The whole Doctor being ripped to pieces at the end of an episode was scary scary.
    Remember, just because Davros is dead doesn't mean the Dalek menace has been contained ......

  4. #4
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    The Leisure Hive is a special episode for me, since it's the very first Who DVD I ever got.

    However, having said that, for little 13-year old me, it was confusing and quite bland at times. For some time I thought the rest of classic Who was like this, and that put me off it quite a bit. So, I don't particularly like the Leisure Hive. Especially the scene-transition effects. They did not impress me.
    For every fail, there is an equal and opposite win.

    ...Oh, who am I kidding?

  5. #5
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    The Leisure Hive holds a special place in my affections as its first broadcast marks the time I became an obsessive fan of the show.

    I intend to rewatch it and give you some properly thought out posts on the story, but I suspect it'll still come down to "It's The Leisure Hive and I love it!" I'm afraid!

    Si xx

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  6. #6
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    Episode 1

    What strikes me most about this episode is that it is full of memorable images. There's the bubble screen of the Recreation Generator which is great in itself, but when you add in Pangol's head floating above his body, or the body dancing while the arms and head move independently you get something really odd. It's very effective.
    This is compounded later on when you see Earth Visitor Loman pulled apart. It's a very disconcerting moment after seeing Pangol do it safely... and of course it sets up the cliffhanger very effectively.

    The shot of Brighton beach dissolving into the starfield, which then dissolves into the sunrise over Argolis is absolutely superb. It's really majestic and Peter Howell's music really helps to sell it. One of my favourite images in the show ever.

    Some of the images don't work. The Earth Shuttle arrival isn't really very good. It's very difficult to tell what's going on and there was the desperate need for an establishing shot to show it. The opening of the airlock is also far too long, and is a special effect for the sake of a special effect. Fortunately the nice music compensate for both of these, but neither are especially good.

    I do like the establishing shots of the Hive itself (it's a great design) and the radioactive cloud of dust. Lovely.

    What also struck me is how well cast this story is. No-one gives a duff performance in this episode and all the characters seem very well drawn. Laurence Payne gives Morix a degree of depth and dignity in a short amount of screen time and David Haig is great as Pangol right from the off, as is Adrienne Corrie who, as Tom Baker once noted, doesn't give it her all, but instead creates a commanding character by being restrained.

    Speaking of Tom Baker, can someone tell me where the sombre Season 18 Doctor is please? In this episode he's like a slightly reigned version of the Season 17 Doctor. There's some wit, lots of grins and in no way does it seem like the Doctor he plays the rest of the season. What is different is the way he's not allowed to dominate things. The Doctor isn't always favoured by the direction and so some of his gags don't quite come to the fore in the way they would have done.

    I love this exchange:

    Romana: Look what you've done!

    Doctor: What have I done?

    Romana: You've got the century wrong, you got the season wrong and you got K9's seawater defences wrong!

    Doctor: (grins) Well I can't get everything right!

    Lovely! Lalla does well. She gets her best costume, lookks lovely and sells some of the dodgier bits of the epsiode, like the scarf pulling statue moment, which is really rather silly but just about works.

    And is it just me or is Tom consciously trying to haide the ? on his new shirt?

    20 minutes up and we're zooming straight down the doctor's throat. It's the best cliffhanger EVER! (well my favourite at least!). How will the Doctor get out of that?

    Si xx
    Last edited by SiHart; 2nd Oct 2010 at 9:57 AM.

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  7. #7
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    after 3 poor seasons of poor stories cheap production and at times a completely disinterested Tom just going through the motions he was for me back to his best at the start of season 18. Leisure Hive, for me is a pretty much average example of Doctor Who and though not my favourite story of season 18 it's still pretty enjoyable.

    6/10

  8. #8
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    Remember not liking the new look for Tom.
    I can understand that. Though it's my favourite version of his outfit now, after six years of broadly the same it must have come as a bit of a surprise.
    The whole Doctor being ripped to pieces at the end of an episode was scary scary.
    Now that's never really got to me. I can see it's supposed to be amazing but it didn't really impress me. I think seeing it out of the 1980's context robs it of it's power a bit.
    for little 13-year old me, it was confusing and quite bland at times
    The DVD release is outstanding. The direction is brilliant, but a little too slow. But I think it's the first real attempt to make Doctor Who for the television, rather than as a filmed stage play. There are examples of this earlier in the show of course, but this is an out-and-out effort to do something different.

    Watching The Leisure Hive is like having screen-burn on your mind. There are images that will not wash out. The most prevalent for me are the Doctor on Brighton Beach, which is marvelous - and the two guys playing zero-gee tennis. When the Doctor and Romana float pass them it's so utterly strange and out of context. How did the Doctor and Romana get there? How did they leave? Where are they in relation to the rest of the Hive? Etc.

    And Argolis looks like a horrible place to go on holiday.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  9. #9
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    Episode 1
    A new title sequence and theme tune - still quite a shock, but a pleasant one, especially the music which just sounds so much clearer and in your face.

    Brighton - hmm, this is taking a while. Romana needs to think about how deep the water is before blaming the Doctor - K9 would have been below the surface and unable to reach the ball anyway. The video effect bit feels very Hitchikers, but nice namecheck of the Black Guardian, considering how things go...

    Clearly the Leisure Hive has never seen Disneyland - the Generator room would be at the end of a 2 hour queue, and you wouldn't get out until the end, rather than in a corridor type space that people can wander in and out of. Can't see why no-one notices the TARDIS arrive.

    Brock's only got one suit (or it was a lucky guess), and two shuttle landings in one Ep - padding at its dullest. Someone's also found the Powerpoint slide transition effect - not very effective. Odd story structure too - we're told things, and then see them (like about the Foamasi), rather than the other way round.

    But its all very intriguing (or 'fascinating' under your breath) - and a very stylish cliffhanger (but a question for later on - just who sabotaged the generator this time ? )
    Bazinga !

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob McCow View Post
    Now that's never really got to me. I can see it's supposed to be amazing but it didn't really impress me. I think seeing it out of the 1980's context robs it of it's power a bit.
    Lets put it this way - I had such nightmares after that episode I wasn't allowed to watch the rest of that story! I think Doctor Who at it's best has a power to kind of horrify and yet fascinate you. It's the behind the couch when the Daleks come on feeling.

    I did rewatch it on a UK Gold repeat and enjoyed it to be honest. I think as a child the idea of someone having their limbs moved around like that was quite horrid - and although tame, it's probably one of the more violent deaths seen on screen.

    I need to probably rewatch - I remember a feeling of some Douglas Adams-y stuff going on with inspectors pretending to be humans, but are lizzard guys - but not the actual villains.

    And way ahead of Star Wars there is a clone army ... good job they don helmets before being Xeroxed, otherwise they'd not have been able to use so many extras ...
    Remember, just because Davros is dead doesn't mean the Dalek menace has been contained ......

  11. #11
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    I must admit to one thing which has always puzzled me - when we see the images on the screen (ie, Mr Loman or Pangol in part 1, the army of Pangols in part 4) are they images of what's 'inside' the cabinet, as if its a viewing monitor, or are they actually suppose to be 'inside' the screen. Neither really quite seems to fit, and the fact that the Doctor saves the day by chucking the helmet of Theron into the screen suggests that it has some importance.

    Oh and, on the visual front it's a shame they couldn't hire an army of Pangols that were the same height as each other - as they march out of the generator in part 4 I'm afraid it's very obvious!!

  12. #12
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    I watched this at the weekend, split into two halves, and have to say I probably enjoyed it more than any previous time! HST, it's still not a particular favourite but it did hold my interest more than normally. It was my first viewing of it for some 5 years or so mind so that may have helped.

    There's much to enjoy, notably the incidental score which I'm so familiar with thanks to "The Music" LP I bought in 1983 - the two main bits I love are the Earth Shuttle Arriving piece and the Pangol March. It all looks good of course, the costumes, the actors are good, the way Mena ages and subtly changes her acting style while doing so. In fact, I'd never noticed it before but I was really thinking of Maggie T at the start and end of the story - her hair and her voice a bit! And as Si said, Tom is very good here in s alightly restrained S17 mode - and am I right in thinking this is the only story he wears the new hat? What with that and much use made of the scarf, it's the iconic items of the 4th Doctor much on display. Oh, and Tom is great as the aged Doctor - great make up and very believable indeed.

    On a more negative note though, I still don't really get that engaged with the plot, and find some of what's going on a bit hard to follow. I guess it's just that it's a bit too sci-fi for me, and I tend to prefer the stories that are more fantasy/horror I guess. And that tracking shot at the start of the story is way too long - not the best way to engage your audience at the start of such an important season.

    Specific memories from transmission revolve around that opening scene and when I heard the snoring I thought it was going to be a monster! Also we want away for the weekend to stay with some family friends while Part 3 was on and I had to explain to the lad, who was 3-4 years younger than me, just what had been going on beforehand - as best I could!

    6/10 - I probably gave it a 4 or 5 on previous polls!

  13. #13
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    Part 2

    We start with the first of S18's long reprises. This is a very short episode anyway, and so it feels like this was under-running dreadfully. It's a bit of a shame as I'm sure a little explanation of things wouldn't have gone amiss.

    Things I really like in this episode are the death of Stimson, which is tense and scary and really well played. David Allister gives a good scream! I also love the way he sneaks away as Hardin tells Romana his experiment was faked. Lovely background acting.

    Some good Foamasi moments too. For some reason one of the images that stood out from my original viewing was the Foamasi claw pulling out the wires. I like the way Lovett Bickford teases us with little glimpses of them here and then. I remember finding that quite scary.

    As Jonno said, Adrienne Corrie is really good, adjusting her performance as Mena ages. Very well done. Similarly I like the way that she and Nigel Lambert mange to sell the closeness of Mena and Hardin with only a little material to go on. It's rather touching.

    Tom continues to be very watchable, though it's faily obvious he's doing all he can not to look at Lalla directly. I love the scene where she joins him in looking up in an opposite direction to him... there's a sense of playfulness there.

    Finally- another great cliffhanger. Fantastic aging make up on Tom there and a jaw dropping shocking moment!

    Si xx

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  14. #14
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    A few random thoughts -

    Tom is very good here in s alightly restrained S17 mode
    There's a wistfulness to The Leisure Hive. Tom's still poking fun at authority, yet he seems somewhat tired. For example, there's a pause before he comes back with 'arrest the scarf!' whereas in the previous season he wouldn't have let anyone else finish their sentence.

    And his mysterious illness means that he looks remarkably thin and drawn, even before he goes into the generator! Perhaps Christopher Hamilton Bidmead persuaded Tom to get ill so that it would fit in better with his linking theme of decay...

    The mention of the 20 minute war is terribly 1980 too. The cold war and the threat of nuclear attack still seemed very real (Perhaps someone can confirm this for me? I remember as a kid that it was certainly still a concern in the late 80's).

    And!

    The Foamasi are exactly the same in concept as the Slitheen.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  15. #15
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    Wasn't this the first story JNT managed to get Tom to wear makeup?
    Remember, just because Davros is dead doesn't mean the Dalek menace has been contained ......

  16. #16
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    The Foamasi are exactly the same in concept as the Slitheen.
    Crikey, you're right!

    I like the way that she and Nigel Lambert mange to sell the closeness of Mena and Hardin with only a little material to go on. It's rather touching.
    And you're right too! Obviously when I was 9 I didn't care about any soppy emotional stuff, but watching the story again since then I think the subtle love affair that's going on there, apparent to the adult audience but without ever taking over the story, is a real delight, and something quite unusual for Who.

  17. #17
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    Part 3

    let's say it again. the make up in this story is excellent. Even 30 years later it looks really convincing. The aging of both mena and the Doctor stand up to close ups which is quite incredible. However, while Adrienne Corrie acts her socks off when she's aging, Tom isn't quite so convincing. There are moments when he moves too quickly and as steve mentioned when we were wathcing this evening he doesn't really make any attempt to work on his voice to make the Doctor sound as ancient as he looks. Shame.

    This is a typical episode 3. The plot is coming together quite nicely, and there are at last a few explanations, but I'm afraid i get a bit confused by all the tech stuff- random field frames and all that. I'm sure Christopher Hamilton Bidmead loved it all, but it still sounds like technobabble.

    Nice shot of the Foamasi behind Romana in the Generator. Love that and Peter Howell's Woooo-Woooo! synth sting.

    Isn't David Haig brilliant? Even at this early stage in his career he's clearly really talented. He's stealing the story from the heavyweights!

    Another great cliffhanger. I know the production team were a bit disatisfied with the rsults, but I think the unmasking of Brock is actually rather well done. The prosthetic is superb.

    Oh and I've never noticed that among the Doctor's equations on the TARDIS door, he's also written Beware of the Dog!

    Si xx

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  18. #18
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    Admittedly, I haven't got to part 3 yet but I don't remember Tom's 'old' acting being bad at all - from memory, I thought his shuffly, slightly quieter Doctor was very good indeed without being too obviously OTT 'old' acting.

    Either way though, absolutely agree about the make up, it's top notch.

  19. #19
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    The Leisure Hive is a curious beast. We can't appreciate now what a huge change it must've been for viewers seeing 80s Who for the first time. It's not a great story and has several weird changes in tone. Lalla has moments of random hysteria (does she really need to shout like that when K9 trundles into the water?) but is otherwise fine in a tale she hasn't much to do in. Tom slips a few jokes in - and they're amongst my favourite bits - much to the chagrin of Bidmead. The opening tracking shot is not gorgeous or artistic - it's boring.

    On the plus side I like the makeup across the board, the whole thing feels like a new show, the story keeps twisting and turning, the pace is good (once the opening shot is done with) and the cliffhangers are pretty good.

    It's probably a 6/10 because it lacks that spark of fun that season 17 had.
    Dennis, Francois, Melba and Smasher are competing to see who can wine and dine Lola Whitecastle and win the contract to write her memoirs. Can Dennis learn how to be charming? Can Francois concentrate on anything else when food is on the table? Will Smasher keep his temper under control?

    If only the 28th century didn't keep popping up to get in Dennis's way...

    #dammitbrent



    The eleventh annual Brenty Four serial is another Planet Skaro exclusive. A new episode each day until Christmas in the Brenty Four-um.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiHart View Post
    Things I really like in this episode are the death of Stimson, which is tense and scary and really well played. David Allister gives a good scream! I also love the way he sneaks away as Hardin tells Romana his experiment was faked. Lovely background acting.
    Si xx
    One of my favourite bits in the whole story is where he discovers the rubber 'human' suit in the wardrobe. The incidental music sting here is incredibly effective, and I love scenes where people slowly creep around and find things!

  21. #21
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    Part 4

    This is the best episode of the story. The whole sequence from Pangol standing up declaring the Argolin dawn and the birth of the New Argolis through to the discovery of the Doctor duplicates is tense and rather wonderful.
    Once again Peter Howell comes to the fore here with his fantastic music adding a huge amount to the atmosphere. I love the whole Bolero style march as the duplicates duplicate and march across the screen.

    Lalla does well confronting Pangol in a Doctor-like way, much the same as she did in Horns of Nimon. I love her squeals as she's led away by Pangol's new army and her befuddlement as she's confronted with more than a few Doctors.

    I know it's unpopular to like it, but I really like the end where everyone starts reacting as if they're in a sitcom. "You mentioned Foamasi!" never fails to get a laugh in our house, as does Mena's "This time I must try to bring him up properly!". It just works for me.
    Nice use of the bassline of the theme at the end too. Love that.

    So there we go, The Leisure Hive. As I've said before, i don't know if its nostalgia or what, but I just love this story for all its faults. There's just a certain something about it that works for me. 8/10

    Si xx

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  22. #22
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    Episode 2

    "Through a hole in the back" "but there isn't a hole in the back " "There is now "

    Still rolling along quite nicely with a build-up of further mysteries (Stenson and Hardin). Ths shot of Stenson looking in the wardrobe had me confused as a youngster as I thought the lawyer was just standing there being very quiet.
    Still annoyed by yet more shuttle landings, and the fact there doesn't seem to be any sense of scale - it looks like a shopping centre. Why not allude to massive numbers of layers underground ? The other annoyance is some of the contrivances to get cool shots - no-one who wears glasses for real would drop them and run off, and the scarf bit is fairly naff.

    But all is almost forgiven for one of the best cliffhangers ever !!
    Bazinga !

  23. #23
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    it looks like a shopping centre.
    That's a huge problem with this story. Fab direction, but terrible lighting. Yes it should be bright because it's supposed to be a holiday destination, but dropping the lights a couple of notches as the story goes on would have enhanced the effects no end.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  24. #24
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    It's just a general comment, but having first experienced the story from an audio copy in the mid-1980s it's very noticeable just how visual this story is- the new production style seems to have been a conscious decision to jettison a lot expository dialogue in favour of visuals and music. It takes the storytelling up a notch to something more sophisticated, but at the cost of letting the audience know what's going on.

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    Part 3

    Oh dear, its all starting to fall apart a bit now. Tom does some great old man acting - "I'm sick of being old ", but sometimes forgets and gives a quick walk or a loud booming voice. Characters seem to be suddenly gaining information they didn't have (everyone suddenly knows what the mystery box in generator is), or have to be told things for no apparent reason.

    There are some very cheesy shots (exterior Hive ad infinitium) and then some very good ones (apparently moving from outside through walls into inside). The guard passing out is absolute bonkers, and the non-communicating Foamasi is just very annoying.

    Finally , the most confusing cliffhanger ever - what the hell is going on ?

    (I've always thought the mass exodus of Pangols in part4 sould have been the cliffhanger here - the Foamasi subplot just isn't exciting enough)
    Bazinga !

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