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  1. #1
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    Default And Cue the End Credits!!

    In the good old days of the 20th Century, one thing Doctor Who was famed for was its cliffhangers. So I wonder whether there's mileage in a thread discussing the season 18 cliffhangers? (We'll soon find out I'm sure!!) Which were good, which were bad, what worked, what didn't.

    Since we're currently just getting underway, I'd like to praise up ALL the cliffhangers to The Leisure Hive. At the time, my brother & I had a verbal agreement that we'd alternate between Doctor Who one week and Buck Rogers the next... but it's a credit to the amazing David Fisher cliffhangers in that first story, that we watched the whole thing, giving Buck a miss twice. Of the three, my absolute favourite is part 3, where suddenly the whole story seems to take a crazy twist, totally unexpectedly (or at least, totally unexpectedly to this 9 year old in 1980).

    In fact, it was so good a cliffhanger that when (for some now long-forgotten naughtiness) Mum banned me & bruv from watching part 4 as a punishment, Dad pled our case mainly around how we just had to find out how it ended. Ah, them were the days!!

  2. #2
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    Meglos is the only one I've seen recently. The first cliffhanger is excellent - Meglos turns round and suddenly he's the Doctor. There's no clue that this is about to happen so it really does take the unwary viewer by surprise. The second one is a much more mundane "kill her" and doesn't merit further discussion. The third nail biting climax is very movie serial-ish. The Doctor is tied to a rock and another rock is about to smash down on him. It's simple but effective. It loses something - quite a lot actually - when we see the reprise and find that the third rope takes about ten times longer to burn through than the other two. There is an awful lot of running round and talking before the good guys burst in and save the Doctor. But in saying that, that's also very true to its movie serial-ish-ness.
    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.

  3. #3
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    As with all these threads, I'll come back to this on a story by story basis. Having watched The Leisure Hive this weekend, I have to say that the first two cliffhangers are excellent, with the Doctor in totally different perilous situations! However, I remember being confused at the time at what exactly was happening with the third cliffhanger, and although it's very clear with subsequent viewings, even now it doesn't really thrill me, I'm afraid!

  4. #4
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    I think I just like being confused, as it was that total sense of "Huh??!" that really got me excited about it. Likewise Mr Fisher's Creature part 3 from the previous year!

    I'll say it now, though, that much as I love Logopolis... I don't think much of its cliffhangers. Scandalous!

  5. #5
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    To be fair - we still have our share of two-parters which often have "how do they get out of that" cliffhangers.

    Have you been so quick to forget the whole "I'm regenerating..." cliffhanger that gripped everyone for a week after The Stolen Earth?
    Remember, just because Davros is dead doesn't mean the Dalek menace has been contained ......

  6. #6
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    Oh I don't mind "How do they get out of that?" c/hs at all - as long as they're done well!!

  7. #7
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    The Leisure Hive has great cliffhangers- the first one especially so. As mentioned elsewhere it's quite possibly my favourite cliffhanger of them all. Perhaps it's the lightening fast zoom or Tom's scream merging with Peter Howell's new sting into the end credits, but at the time I found it utterly terrifying and thrilling.

    There are some great ones to come, but I'll discuss them as we get to them. I think every story has at least one awesome one this year.

    Si xx

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

  8. #8
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    I love the scream and the zoom in that first cliffhanger but the way his arms and legs pop off just looks silly. Tom looks like his head has been put on a Vic'n'Bob puppet body and that spoils it for me.
    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.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lissa View Post
    I love the scream and the zoom in that first cliffhanger but the way his arms and legs pop off just looks silly. Tom looks like his head has been put on a Vic'n'Bob puppet body and that spoils it for me.
    Oh yes, that's not so good.

    Si xx

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

  10. #10
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    The second Full Circle cliffhanger is remarkably effective, because it's a tiered cliffhanger. I didn't see it until I was about 17 or so, so I can still remember my reaction...

    "The TARDIS has taken off! The spiders are advancing on Romana! She's cornered! A spider jumps out of the melon she's holding! She's bitten! She's down!"

    Each ! represents where I thought the music would kick in. Just brilliant.

    Oooh, coconut macaroons!

  11. #11
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    State of Decay has three good, Hammer-esque cliffhangers. Nothing too elaborate - they just scare the children for a week and the story carries on like nothing happened.
    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.

  12. #12
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    The slightly shorter episodes (on Leisure Hive and Full Circle at least) also mean that it's easier to be wrong-footed. Although that said, Full Circle gets a minus point for reusing several seconds of material to make up the time.

  13. #13
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    I thought all 3 Meglos cliffhangers were pretty decent - in reverse, fairly standard Doctor in peril, companion in peril and an intriguing first one in which Meglos has magically become the Doctor - though to be honest, I'm not sure how he did that by just looking at the Doctor on a video screen - I thought he needed that cubicle for transference (shades of Undersea Kingdom!)?

  14. #14
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    I'm halfway through Full Circle at the moment, two decent cliffhangers so far... I wonder how many times we've actually seen similar scenes to the first one, with the Marshmen rising out of the water, over the years...doesn't stop it being enjoyable, though!

  15. #15
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    What I also like is that all three cliffhangers are key moments in the story - they aren't just "oh no we're stuck in a dead end with a Marshman heading for us", although there is an element of suspense in them. They're also significant turning points - the first appearance of creatures to accompany Mistfall; the spider biting Romana, which subsequently leads to her possession; and the Marshmen gaining entry at last to the Starliner. They're dramatic moments, yes, but they aren't just there for cliffhanger-y purposes.

    Part 3 in particular is a big favourite of mine, I love the direction of those last shots of the Marshmen advancing. Superb!

  16. #16
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    I think Full Circle is the definitive version of the Monster Coming Out of the Water sub-genre of cliffhangers. It's done so stylishly and atmospherically- with the low summer sun hazy through the dry ice and the slow-mo Marshmen rising from the deep. Realy chillingly effective.

    Si xx

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

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