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  1. #1
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    Default So... what's your favourite then?

    We're nearing the end of our look back over season 18... but the moment... oh you know.

    So what have been the highs and loes of the season? What's been your favourite story? What's been your least favourite? Have you feelings about the season changed?

    Si xx

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

  2. #2
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    I dunno - there was something about Logopolis which just felt amazingly watchable - even on UK Gold repeats I'd be glued.

    That said I've a fondness of some of the visual surreality of Warriors Gate.

    For me the most gripping visual idea was that of the planet of Logopolis - the sight of the alien world, with it's streets of chanting mathematicians, and a towering replica of Jodrell Bank above it all. The eirie and surreal mix of the Earthly and the alien world. Brilliant.



    Oh and the chilling replica dolls left as the Masters calling card ...
    Remember, just because Davros is dead doesn't mean the Dalek menace has been contained ......

  3. #3
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    As part of this exercise I've watched Meglos, State of Decay and Keeper of Traken for the first time in years. I enjoyed all three in different ways. Meglos is every bit as stupid as I thought it was but enjoyable in a way. State of Decay is a curious beast as Bidmead does Hinchcliffe with Dicks fighting him every inch of the way. And Keeper of Traken is essentially the same story as Meglos - the unexplained power source that an alien mastermind wants to steal by abusing traditon and impersonating someone else - which I'd never noticed before. Yet it manages to do everything better than Meglos does.

    Of the more familiar stories, Full Circle remains the best of the season (excluding Logopolis which is iconic if a bit silly), the Leisure Hive will never be a favourite and Warriors Gate is what it is - a colourful behind the scenes story, a chin-stroking slice of pretension that doesn't really explain itself even if you watch it several times. Lord knows what it must've been like to spend a month on it back in 1980.

    Season 18 doesn't have any accepted "classics" in it - it's one of the few seasons that doesn't. Maybe it's because everything feels shiny and new and thus it's hard to feel really fond of it. Before s18 the series had felt a bit worn and cuddly. It was familiar and warm. Now it became cold and still had the plastic wrapping on it.

    It should've been the start of a new era for Doctor Who but it wasn't really. The trilogy idea worked really well but wasn't used again until the Guardians, and then never again. Saward dumbed the series down and it didn't get any sense of high concept back until Cartmel really took control with the end of season 24.
    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.

  4. #4
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    The season somehow manages to look great, but loses some of its heart and soul in favour of clever science. Techionics, block transfer computation, whatever Warriors Gate was about... it makes you wistful for when the Doctor just battled monsters and offered everyone a jelly baby. That said, Doctor Who now seems to exist in a serene, sonically beautiful Universe chock full of fresh ideas - that's not a terrible thing, even if you wish it would crack a smile now and then and have some fun too.

    Si.

  5. #5
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    I could argue Castrovalva, on the grounds that it is the finale of the run of stories that started with The Leisure Hive and that it feels like Castrovalva belongs to Season 18 rather than 19 - but that would be ludicrous!

    I would say Warriors' Gate, because there are moments where it makes the Doctor Who Universe feel truly infinite and loaded with possibility. Though every story from Full Circle to Logopolis is a classic in my book.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  6. #6
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    The only one of these stories I've not watched this year is Meglos, so I can't really comment on that.

    Of the others though - State of Decay has gone up in my estimation, in that the second two episodes aren't that bad. The rebels are still a bit too clean and a bit too gung-ho, but never mind.

    Similarly Warriors Gate isn't as bad as I thought, although that may be when looking at it in the video/DVD age. As a piece of TV designed to be watched once only, in four episodes, with a week's gap between each... It doesn't seem to have been properly thought through. A brave attempt to do something different, but I'd say Kinda does 'something different' a lot better in the following season.

    And of the others, I now enjoy The Leisure Hive for all its flaws, Traken is worthy and a bit dull and yet very warm and cosy, Full Circle is one of the best of Who stories... and Logopolis manages to be even better.

    One thought though - undoubtedly in places Logopolis looks a bit 'cheap'. Given that both Timeflight and The Twin Dilemma shared that same 'last of the season' slot, and that both of them really do look tremendously cheap... well, it's full marks to the production team on Logopolis that it's as good as it is. It could have been awful!

  7. #7
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    I think what's really become clear to me rewatching these stories, probably a pretty obvious observation but - there really is a strong sense of a set of stories running together, to form a cohesive whole. It would be stretching it a bit to say it's as well-planned as the modern day series, because for one thing I don't think when they were taping The Leisure Hive they knew Tom was leaving - so they didn't have CHB pencilled in for the season finale regeneration from the very start.

    But nevertheless, there are not only visual/story links running through the series (Tom & Lalla's costumes at the start of Meglos, the E-Space trilogy, Traken's opening TARDIS scenes referring back to Romana, Traken dovetailing into Logopolis...) but also thematic links across the series. So whether by accident or design (probably a bit of both) there's a real sense of things building up to the final story. Whether it would have felt like that if there hadn't been a regeneration (and really, whether Logopolis would work as well without that final sacrifice) it's hard to say.

  8. #8
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    Time Flight was poriginally pencilled in to finish the season, so I'm guessing probably not...

    It's well known that I adore this season more than just about any other. I think it's probably for both reasons of nostalgia and beacuse there isn't a season quite like it anywhere else in the run of Doctor Who- except perhaps seasons 1 and 2. The storytelling and the attention to the small details throughout work incredibly well, because the production team care about them. Yes, there could ahve been more jokes, there could have been more fun as Si suggested, but that'd turn it into something else, and I love it for what it is (and there are plenty of light hearted monents, despite its reputation).

    You know what, I wouldn't change anything. I adore it and I wish CHB had stayed on longer and done S19 too. But that's another story.

    Si xx

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

  9. #9
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    And I love the Radiophonic music too!

    Si xx

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

  10. #10
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    Oh definitely - I don't buy the argument that the radiophonic stuff somehow made the music "a bit samey". In fact, I'd say that was more the case with dear old Dudley in previous seasons, than here.

  11. #11
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    At least you've got different composers doing different things and Paddy and peter certainly have fairly distinctive and different palletes of synthyy sounds that they worked with.

    Si xx

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

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