View Poll Results: How would you rate Full Circle

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  • 10: Full Marks

    2 10.00%
  • 9: Full great

    7 35.00%
  • 8: Full Fantastic

    4 20.00%
  • 7: Full Fun

    4 20.00%
  • 6: Full Good

    1 5.00%
  • 5: Full Average

    1 5.00%
  • 4: Full OK

    0 0%
  • 3: Full Meh

    0 0%
  • 2: Full Dross

    1 5.00%
  • 1: Full rubbish

    0 0%
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  1. #1
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    Default Rate and Discuss: Full Circle

    The TARDIS drops through a CVE into E-Space. A new companion is introduced. K9 loses his head.

    What do you think of Full Circle?

    Si xx

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

  2. #2
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    I've not seen it in a while - but I remember at the time being amazed by it. I thought the Marsh creatures were really well done. I also remember it for the watermelon-like things. I seem to remember at the time watermelons were a fruit which just suddenly seemed to arrive in greengrocers - I'm not sure they were previously readily available.

    I also really liked Adric, who I thought was a great companion - being a 9 year old boy at the time ...
    Remember, just because Davros is dead doesn't mean the Dalek menace has been contained ......

  3. #3
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    For me, this was/is where the season really gets going. In 1980 it started the day after Tom's resignation was announced, so maybe that gave it an extra edge - and it all seems very appropriate, somehow, when the story starts with the lovely TARDIS scenes talking of Gallifrey and fighting Time Lords and all that. It's very wistful, and really has a feel of things coming to an end, or at least changing.

    What's really rather neat is that, in 1980 anyway, we didn't really know what the story would be about - so the first five minutes or so actualy felt like they were setting up to go to Gallifrey. Meaning that the sudden shot of Tom in a lush jungle exterior was a real shocker.

    More thoughts as I watch it again, but this is just a gorgeous, quality Who story, and a real favourite. Plus who could forget the Marshmen, emerging from the marsh in a manner that the Creature from the Black Lagoon himself would have envied...

  4. #4
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    What always stands out in my memory of Full Circle is when Michael Palin...no wait, wrong show. Kidding aside it's the music - probably the first Doctor Who when, other than the theme, I really remember being entranced by the music. Probably went a long way into turning me into the fan of themes tunes and music from shows that I am today. It just struck a mysterious chord with me, that made the Marshmen extra scary/creepy - without it they'd have been just another so-so rubber monster.

    And yes, I liked Adric. Grud help me...
    Creator of Doctor WHeasel and sometime political radical

  5. #5
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    I have to agree - I watched just the first 5/10 minutes last night before bed, and two bits in particular are just so nicely judged that they enhance the atmosphere perfectly. First is the "I have lost control of the TARDIS" scene, and then secondly the first moments on Alzarius with the Doctor and Romana. In fact I've been humming that on & off all morning!!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhiteCrowNZ View Post
    I also remember it for the watermelon-like things.
    No, sorry, I'm thinking of Planet Of Fire...

    The scenes in Full Circle where the Marshchild's strapped to the operating table and the Doctor argues over the rights and wrongs over vivisection, and the Marshchild's subsequent death, still upset me after all these years; they're two of the most poignant scenes the series has come up with.

    The Marshmen generally could easily have been men in rubber suits - they obviously are, but the way they're directed, especially when they're coming out of the swamp, and their grunting makes them a memorable monster. They help make the story, and it's a very good one with two brilliant premises - the Alzarians being kept ignorant of their ignorance; and their not wanting to invite their ancestors round for tea. Hard to imagine the writer was only seventeen.

  7. #7
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    Courtesy of BBC Worldwide's You Tube account, I've watched the first two episodes over the past day and thoroughly enjoyed it. After all these years, it's still one of the greats and TBH about the only thing letting it down are the brief jarring shots of the Starliner - there seems no attempt at all to make it 'fit' with the other footage, plus the model itself isn't all that good or even all that 'clear'.

    But that one niggle aside, the script is extremely good - I realise that CHB probably had more than just a hand in it, but nevertheless Andrew Smith deserves a lot of praise (and his superb Target adaptation suggests he really is a good writer, so I'm sure it's not a CHB script with his name on it). Maybe being a fan helped, but he certainly wrote some lovely stuff for, particularly, the Doctor.

    What I love about rewatching old stories after having not seen them for a while, is that I sometimes spot things I'd either forgotten or had never noticed before. This morning I was really struck by just how good James Bree is, in the scene with Garif where he has just read the System Files. Obviously, storywise, we don't know it yet, but he's playing a man here who has just learnt that his entire worldview, his entire life in fact, has been build on a single big lie. His performance in that particular scene is just brilliant.

    Plus of course we had the "And I'm the Doctor" bit in part 2, which never fails to make me smile!

  8. #8
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    Plus of course we had the "And I'm the Doctor" bit in part 2, which never fails to make me smile!
    That's one of my all time best moments of the entire series EVER!

    Si xx

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

  9. #9
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    Plus of course we had the "And I'm the Doctor" bit in part 2, which never fails to make me smile!
    That's one of my all time best moments of the entire series EVER!

    Si xx

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

  10. #10
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    I also meant to say that although the spiders themselves aren't all that, the way that scene of the spider jumping on Romana's face is cut together makes it very convincing. Not to mention that eerie 'creaky' noise they put over it. I certainly remember my cousin (who, to be fair, was only about 6 at the time) being really scared by the spiders!

  11. #11
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    The one with the melons is still spoken of by my sister when she's remembering Doctor Who. That cliffhanger with the spiders, she maintains, is the scariest moment of Doctor Who (it may be because she doesn't like spiders) but I can well remember the shock we all had when one sprang out of the marshfruit. Excellent stuff.


    Si xx

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

  12. #12
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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.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Curnow View Post
    Courtesy of BBC Worldwide's You Tube account, I've watched the first two episodes over the past day and thoroughly enjoyed it.
    Why didn't I think of trying that with The Leisure Hive and Meglos?

    Doh!

  14. #14
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    There's only a selection of episodes up there, Mac - from season 18 they've only got Full Circle, and State of Decay.

    I went looking for Meglos originally myself, but couldn't find it, only these two, so unfortunately I couldn't watch that one. Or fortunately, I suppose, depending what you think of Meglos!!

  15. #15
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    Why didn't I think of trying that with The Leisure Hive and Meglos?
    Not an alibi, Deciders!
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  16. #16
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    Another of my favourite moments is Nefred's confession in part 3 - I'm not sure any other show would have the absurdity of a community who can do everything to repair and maintain their ship... but where nobody knows how to fly it.

    I hadn't realised before, but really James Bree is stealing the show in this one!!

  17. #17
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    It's definitely James Bree's best performance for the series, and shows that he can be a good subtle actor. He has another very good turn in the early Avengers episode Immortal Clay, as a tragic potterer in love with the firm's flighty receptionist.

    Oooh, coconut macaroons!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Curnow View Post
    There's only a selection of episodes up there, Mac - from season 18 they've only got Full Circle, and State of Decay.

    I went looking for Meglos originally myself, but couldn't find it, only these two, so unfortunately I couldn't watch that one. Or fortunately, I suppose, depending what you think of Meglos!!
    Never mind. It just means that I'll be watching the season in the order that I originally watched it all those years ago...from Full Circle onwards then LH & Meglos at a later date.

    Ah, the nostalgia of it all...

  19. #19
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    One thing the technologically-aware Mr Bidmead really didn't foresee, was the issue of incompatability. In his universe(s) one can pick up an image translator made for an alien ship in an entirely different universe, and yet it's a perfect fit for the TARDIS!!! Compare that with our world, where you can't even open Windows7 documents on an old PC...

  20. #20
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    Finished this one off last night... I have to admit I didn't find part 4 as good as the others. There's that odd scene where the Deciders are all dithery, looking at manuals while the ship's under attack - maybe it's a throwback to earlier drafts, where the 'gag' was that the Deciders could never decide anything, but that doesn't really come through in the show as transmitted, making that scene jar with everything around it. Plus the whole business with Varsh ending up dead felt a little... contrived.

    If I'm feeling really picky, I'd say that the actual plot exposition is a bit rushed through too - certainly it was years later that I twigged what Nefred actually meant when he says, "We never left Teradon", as for ages I thought he meant that Alzarius WAS Teradon (mind you, I'm probably easily confused).

    On the plus side, though, I'd say Adric's stunned, silent reaction to Varsh's death is very good indeed, and it's a real joy when Romana is suddenly revived and sits up beaming on the couch.

    And now they're stuck in E-Space, oh dear...

  21. #21
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    Part 1

    There's strong inter-story continuity this year. They've seemingly just dropped off the earthling from Meglos, Romana has got changed (into another dark red outfit- it's the in colour this year) and looks absolutely gorgeous this week and we're off to Gallifrey.

    There's a real sense of melancholy and of an era coming to an end in the little scene in Romana's room. I don't know if it's the real life realtoinship breaking through, but it feels ever so real and it's quite affecting.

    But wait! There's the best ever TARDIS in Space shot, K9 loses control of the TARDIS and quantel zooms over the screen in a rather thrilling little scene. It's rather unnerving- we're so used to the Doctor knowing everything that happens by this point in the Tom Baker years that for him to not know what's going on is rather disconcerting. He pulls a nice bulging eye shot here too!

    The move onto location adds something that's been missing all year. We've been indoors too much and it helps a great deal to get outside. It helps the season move up a notch and makes it feel very different to The Leisure Hive and Meglos. It makes it all look more expensive.

    There's another great cast assembled here. Although we don't see much of him, Leonard Maguire is very dignified as Draith and gets the utter the immortal line "Tell Dexeter, we've come Full Circle!" while being pulled into the swamp- the episode's terrifying moment for a young Simon Hart...

    James Bree and Alan Rowe are both very good too, although they don't have much to do in this episode, but they are perhaps eclisped by George Baker, who lends Login great sympathy from the off.

    Who si this Adric then? Matthew Waterhouse doesn't deserve the criticism he gets. He's not bad at all in this episode, despite being written as a bit brash, cocky and full of himself. He's an elite you know. I thought he was fine and he swims very nicely!

    So to the cliffhanger after some lovely doomy acting from Lalla and Tom as they discuss... *gasp* Negative Coordinates! What can it mean?

    The cliffhanger is awesome. As I said elsewhere, it's the very best of the something's coming out of the water cliffhangers. Very stylishly directed by Peter Grimwade 9who helms this episode with a real confidence) which when added to the wonderful music from Paddy Kingsland creates a very memorable bit of Doctor Who.

    One of my favourite epsiodes of the show you know...

    Si xx
    Last edited by SiHart; 22nd Oct 2010 at 2:43 PM.

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  22. #22
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    The last time I watched this story (and to be honest, all 3 stories of the trilogy) was when it was originally released on video back in the mid nineties. And after rewatching it again over the past day or two, I really can't understand why I left it so long...it has everything I always loved about Doctor Who at its best. A great story, memorable monsters, great performances by Tom and Lalla...even Adric is bearable in this. As has been said already, every cliffhanger had a reason for actually being in the story rather than just being shoehorned in, which helped with the pacing.

    Something I also liked was the rather lengthy sequence in episode 1 on Alzarius setting up the story. This is the sort of thing lacking in the new series, taking the time to really introduce the guest characters and the situation they find themselves in, before having the Doctor make his appearance. There was no sign of either the Doctor or Romana for what, 10 minutes or so?, and the story works all the better because of this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Curnow View Post
    I also meant to say that although the spiders themselves aren't all that, the way that scene of the spider jumping on Romana's face is cut together makes it very convincing. Not to mention that eerie 'creaky' noise they put over it. I certainly remember my cousin (who, to be fair, was only about 6 at the time) being really scared by the spiders!
    I really loved this scene, it was one of my favourites from the story. However, the only real downside for me was the spiders themselves. While we all know that Doctor Who was famous for its cheap effects, and how they managed to do so much on a shoestring, occasionally something still jars; particularly when it’s something small like this which is an integral part of the story. The scene itself was actually very convincing and gripping, well performed and directed only let down by really cheap looking model spiders…surely this was one of those scenes which would have benefited from a CGI makeover for the dvd release, even if it was as an ‘opt-in’ extra like we‘ve seen on earlier releases?

    And how did Varsh and co manage to keep their clothes so clean after living rough in a cave for so long? I’m sure Mary would love to know their secret so as to cut down on our our own laundry…

    An excellent story, all things considered. It's easy to see how this wooed me away from ITV's Buck Rogers...although on refelection, chances are that it was the announcement of Toms departure which got my attention in the first place. The story itself did the rest...it gets 9/10 from me.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Curnow View Post
    (mind you, I'm probably easily confused).
    Well... When you get to our age...

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    I remember saying to the last master but two... could have been three...

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    Yes, most likely him as well... What was the question...?

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