Archives for category: First Doctor

This won’t be a comprehensive recap (though that’s a thought for another time)… it’s too powerful for me.  Too emotional.  Too much.  For now, at least.

But first – let’s get this out of the way.

If you haven’t watched it yet and plan to, please STOP READING NOW.

spoiler warning

spoiler warning

Okay, that’s out of the way.  (Seriously, go away if you don’t want spoilers.)

Okay, now…

MY DOCTOR!!!! MY DOCTOR!!! AFTER THIRTY YEARS, I GOT MY DOCTOR AGAIN.  Oh, god.  Oh, god.

Watching this in a theatre, filled of fans was amazing.  And they were young and old, new and long-time fans alike.  And it’s wonderful, seeing the youthful crowd, the new fans, listening to them talk with wonder about the history of the show… I know many olde sk00l Whovians like to scoff and snort and roll their eyes and complain about the new fans.  Oh, that breaks my heart.  We were all new fans once, we didn’t know the history of the Doctors before we watched.  Time for everyone to drink a big glass of Get Over Yourself juice.

But, seriously, sharing it with a group of a couple hundred people, all emotionally invested.  The collective laughs, sighs, gasps, cheering, applause.  I couldn’t have imagined a better way to see this.  And, though it was hard, I managed to see it without any more spoilers.

I see people talking about “mixed feelings” about the episode.  Not me.  It was wonderful, it was amazing, and it gave me what I’ve been yearning for for the past eight years.

Don’t get me wrong.  I understand why they wrote Gallifrey out of the show for the relaunch in 2005.  There would be too much backstory, too much baggage, it would weigh down too much and the new fans would be confused, or felt excluded, and they would not have flocked to it the way they did and the show probably would not have had a 50th anniversary special.

It was brilliant, what they did.  They wrote Gallifrey out, made The Doctor the “last” of the Time Lords, and Eccleston got to mope and be full of anger and angst – and it was delightful.  He was the Wounded Doctor.  Rose helped him heal, and then it was time to regenerate.

But, despite knowing all that, I have yearned for the return of Gallifrey.  I love the Time Lords (though I do consider them the greatest of all the monsters that The Doctor has ever had to fight off – and I’m not even talking about The Master, my favourite Time Lord of all.)  I love the mythos of Gallifrey and the Time Lords and how so many alien races knew of them and they were not hardly ever favorable towards The Doctor’s people.

So, I have been waiting.  When we were teased with the return of Gallifrey in The End of Time, oh… my hunger was enflamed.  I needed Gallifrey back.

This blog, revisiting (and visiting for the first time, as the case may be) so many stories involving the Time Lords, involving Gallifrey, or involving knowledge OF the Time Lords/Gallifrey… that exacerbated things.

So, walking into this, knowing it was about the War Doctor, knowing that he was responsible, somehow, for the fall of Gallifrey, the end of the Time War… I wasn’t sure what we were going to get, but there was NO WAY IN HELL I remotely thought that we’d get a whisper of a chance of getting Gallifrey back.

I just watched it again, before writing this blog post (Sunday night, about 10:30pm, December 1st.)  I cried, several times.  I even rewound and watched several scenes more than once… and cried each time.

Tears of joy.  Tears of enthrallment, enrapture, amazement.

Tears of hurt, for The Doctors, as Ten and Eleven (hey, that whole numbering thing… I guess we’re just going to have to stick with what we have been doing and have the “War Doctor” sitting between Eight and Nine, unnumbered) join the War Doctor, saying he won’t have to do it on his own.

Tears as I begged them not to do it.

Tears as they didn’t.

And, then, the undreamt.  All THIRTEEN Doctors showing up to save the day.  Of course it would take all thirteen.  How could it not?  It had to.  Something like this couldn’t be done by one Doctor, not even three.

Gallifrey Falls No More.  Oh.  Oh, yes.  Damn skippy.

And my Doctor.  Approximately thirty years ago, I watched Logopolis for the first time ever.  And saw my Doctor fall to his death.  And regenerate into a mamby-pamby blonde twit.  (Ok, I’m being a bit harsh, but I was a teenaged boy who had just lost his Doctor.  And Four wasn’t my first Doctor, Three was, actually… but Four is, and always will be MY Doctor.)  I lost him and… he never returned.  (Not to video, at least – I do understand there are some delightful Big Finish original audios with Tom Baker, so I will have to pursue those.)

I had no idea Tom was in this.  I had no clue to expect him.

You should have heard the theatre when he spoke, when he addressed Eleven for the first time.  The collective intake of breath… the choked emotions… everyone was stunned (and I’m sure some knew or guessed or something – but I bet you they were caught in the spell, too.)

Oh, this wasn’t going to be a long post, but here we are.  I’ve been crying for half of it, too.

I am so excited to see the Christmas special, to see Peter Capaldi step into those shoes.  But, for now, I am so, so, so happy and touched and overwhelmed by the 50th anniversary special.

As always, there are still so many questions.  Will they go to Trenzalore?  Will they find Gallifrey?  What IS The Doctor’s name and will we ever learn it?  (And my question, will The Doctor ever go visit Susan as he promised?)

Who knows, indeed?

Recap: Four of the Five Doctors, plus the Brigadier, Sarah Jane, The Master, a Dalek, some Cybermen, Tegan and Turlough find themselves in “the death zone” on Gallifrey, seemingly playing some “Game”. Five has transmatted back to the citadel and is meeting with the High Council, comprised of President Borusa, Chancellor Flavia and the Castellan.

spoiler warning

Borusa demands what The Doctor is basing his accusations on. Five replies that the Cybermen were brought along, and even in their “darkest times”, the Gallifreyans never allowed the Cybermen to play the game.

Like the Daleks, they play too well.”

Five opens the recall device to reveal a homing beacon. Borusa says that the Castellan gave it to The Master, but the Castellan says The Doctor is seeking revenge. Borusa orders his security to search the Castellan’s living quarters and office.

Back in the death zone, The Master struggles to convince the Cyberleader that he can help. He tells them the tower is the stronghold of the Time Lords, but he can help them. The Cyberleader agrees, promising to spare him in exchange (but not planning to keep his promise.)

Turlough and Susan watch One and Tegan’s progress. Suddenly, they realise there are Cybermen outside the TARDIS.

The Brig and Two continue through the tunnel; the Brig complains all the while. They hear the grumbling roar of some creature and hurry along.

Three and Sarah Jane make their way through the mountains towards the tower. Suddenly, a warrior robot appears. It shoots a spear at her from its arm. It seems to disappear from sight, appearing nearby, then jumping about, disappearing again.

The Doctor leads Sarah to the entrance. The robot appears near them, with its back to them.

Turlough asks if Susan can operate the TARDIS, but she says even though she can it will do no good – the forcefield from the tower still keeps them there.

Tegan and “Doc” (Her name for One, much to his displeasure) make their way.

The search of the Castellan’s quarters turns up a box with the seal of Rassilon on it. Within are the Black Scrolls of Rassilon. Borusa says it is forbidden knowledge. The scrolls burst into flame and Borusa closes the box.

The Castellan denies having seen the box or the scrolls before. Borusa orders him to be interrogated, authorising the use of the “mind probe”. As they take him off, there is a shot and a scream. The Doctor exits, to see that the Castellan has been shot down in an attempt to escape.

Borusa says The Doctor has found his traitor and hopes this will allow his other selves to complete their quests. He says Five cannot go back to the death zone, as the President needs him there to advise. Flavia takes The Doctor off to quarters to rest. Borusa is very pensive.

The Brig and Two flee through the caverns, pursued by the creature. They squeeze through a small hole in the wall and find safety there. A large paw tries to reach them, but Two fends it off with the torch.

Handing the torch over, Two searches his pockets for something, finding a firework to spook the creature. In the light, they identify it as a Yeti. The creature, enraged, attacks the opening, causing the rocks to slide down and block the hole they slipped through. Searching their area, they find it leads to a door. The door is unlocked and Two says that “someone…or something wants us to go inside.”

Despite this, they do enter.

The Cybermen are setting up something outside the TARDIS.

A Cyberman trailing Three and Sarah arrives. The robot attacks it, killing it. More Cybermen arrive, quickly dispatched by the robot. EVEN MORE Cybermen arrive (jeebus, how many are there?) Yet again, the Cybermen are killed with ease.

While the robot is distracted with them, Three and Sarah grab the robot’s spare… well, Three calls them “arrows” but they’re more like javelins. Three also grabs some bundles of cable. They move on and find themselves on the mountain facing the top of the tower.

Flavia assures The Doctor that his friends and other selves are safe. He tells her he’s more worried about the High Council, saying that the Castellan was limited and narrow minded, but always loyal to Gallifrey.

Five says the traitor is still at large. Flavia says she will speak to the commander. Five goes off to speak to Borusa.

Three lassos the tower and he and Sarah Jane slide across to the tower, while The Master and Cybermen watch from lower down on the mountain. They, too, find an unlocked door waiting for them, and enter.

Tegan and One stand at the main entrance. The Doctor finds an “entry coder” and opens to the door.

Susan says the Cybermen are setting up a bomb outside the TARDIS.

One tells Tegan to be careful as she approaches a checkerboard floor. He starts tossing coins onto the squares. The death trap doesn’t activate until you reach the fifth row of squares, then electricity arcs all about.

The Master comes up behind them, saying their ancestors were devious. When The Doctor questions who he is, he says they knew each other at the academy. He tells them they need to hide, just before the Cybermen arrive. They do so, just in time.

The Cyberleader questions why the main entrance was unguarded, but The Master says the Time Lords are overconfident. When instructed, The Master strolls across the board, with no repercussions, then skips back. But when the Cyberpatrol crosses, they are all blasted down.

The Cyberleader accuses him of betraying him, and tells him to show him the safe route, or he will destroy him. Despite the route changing each time, The Master seems to know it and leads the Cyberleader.

However, mid-route, the renegade Time Lord turns and shoots the Cyberleader with a Cybergun.

Tegan and One come out and she chastises The Master for his ruthlessness (showing mercy for Cybermen, when they were responsible for Adric’s death? Out of character for Tegan.) He skips across again and says it’s “easy as pie”.

The Doctor remarks, “What an extraordinary fellow. As easy as pie?” Suddenly, The Doctor realises he meant Pi. The Doctor says that the formula for Pi is the key. He walks across and then directs her across.

Five arrives at the Council room, but the President is not there, much to the guards posted outside surprise. Five tells the guard to inform Flavia, and then begins poking about.

Three and Sarah Jane make their way through the dark tower. Sarah Jane stops, saying something is stopping her, some force. Three says it is the mind of Rassilon, keeping her at bay. She sits down while Three goes on a bit.

While he’s separated, Mike Yates shows up, as is Liz Shaw – they say someone else he should know well is waiting – implying the Second Doctor. When Three goes back to get Sarah, they try to stop him.

Three realises they’re phantoms, “illusions of the mind,” and runs back to Sarah Jane. The phantoms call out to him to stop. Three reunites with Sarah Jane and they head onward.

Tegan feels the same as Sarah Jane; One says it’s all mental illusion and to just ignore it. The Master skulks behind them, following.

The Brigadier also feels it. Two explains it much like the first two. They hear a scream and investigate, though The Doctor says it could be a trap. Over and again, the scream continues.

Rounding the corner, they find Jamie and Zoe in the hall, warning them off. They claim there is a forcefield, and if he goes on or tries to free them, it will kill them.

Two realises that when they were returned to their own times, the Time Lords erased their memories. They, too, are phantoms. They move on, engaging in some wonderful banter:

Trust me, Brigadier, have I ever led you astray?”

Yes, on many occasions.”

This will be the exception!”

In the council chamber, Five sees a painting of a harp player. There is also an actual harp. Playing with it, The Doctor realises it is a key to a secret door.

One and Tegan reach the actual tomb chamber. There is an obelisk that One examines while Tegan looks around. Three and Sarah Jane arrive shortly thereafter, and yes, there’s more Doctor on Doctor banter. Fun stuff.

The two Doctors examine the obelisk while Sarah Jane and Tegan introduce themselves and chat. One asks “What happened to the little fellow,” but before Three can answer, Two and the Brig arrive. The three Doctors (aw, yay!) banter and inspect, while the ladies greet the Brig.

Three is delighted to see the Brig and they shake hands. Before the Brig can complain too much, Three dismisses him and heads back to the obelisk. The companions exchange notes.

The three Doctors divine what it is all about, but One says it’s nothing to do with them. They simply need to leave. When the companions demand an explanation, One directs Two to fill them in.

It turns out that whomever takes the ring from Rassilon’s hand will get “the reward he seeks.” However, there is a warning of “to lose is to win and to win is to lose.”

At hearing how to gain the immortality, The Master steps out of the shadows. He rants at them, saying he came to help them, but he was scorned. Now he will help himself to immortality. The three Doctors protest, but he holds them off with his TCE.

The Brig sneaks up behind him and knocks out The Master with a right cross. Yay, Brig!!

(Yes, I know, The Master is my favourite Time Lord. But it’s the Brig, yo.)

Back at the TARDIS, the Cybermen (how many are there?) have set up multiple bombs. Apparently, the Cyberleader is with this crew, not one who went into the tower.

Turlough and Susan fret within, watching as the Cybermen withdraw from the perimeter of the TARDIS.

Five finally sees that the painting of the person playing the harp has a tune in the painting. He plays it, and reveals the gameboard and pieces and controls in a secret room!

Borusa, dressed in black robes, is there. He offers The Doctor his hand. The Doctor confesses he did suspect him, though not at first. The Doctor asks what has happened to Borusa. The President says he will not retire, his work half done. He wants to be President Eternal, to rule forever.

Tegan and Sarah Jane truss up The Master.

Three reverses the polarity of the neutron flow (take a drink everyone!) so the TARDIS will be free of the forcefield. Two attempts to contact the capital.

The TARDIS activates as the Cybermen detonate the bombs.

Borusa goes on, quite madman-like ranty, about following Rassilon’s clues. He says that the secret lies in the tomb. He sent the Doctors to get past all the traps. Borusa says that The Doctor will serve him; Five says he never will.

But Borusa is wearing the Coronet of Rassilon and that amplifies his mind to control others. He demonstrates by making Five bow before him, and then rise and accompany him as he departs the secret room.

The TARDIS arrives in the tower. Turlough and Susan join the others.

Two appears on the videoscreen of the transmat device. Five, under Borusa’s control, tells them not to meddle with anything until Borusa arrives to take charge.

After the conversation is over, Three says that something is wrong. Two mocks him for finding menace in his own shadow, but One agrees with Three.

Borusa and Five appear in the transmat booth in the tomb room. When the companions approach, Borusa compels them to be silent and not move.

One, Two and Three say they will not allow Borusa to win. They join their minds and ask Five to join them. They free him from Borusa’s control and he joins them; the four wills combined are more than the President, even with the Coronet, can handle.

Borusa says they cannot overcome him; Five says that Flavia and her guards will soon arrive. Borusa says that since he is the Lord President and they are an infamous renegade, Flavia will believe him, not they.

Suddenly, a booming voice announces, “This is the Game of Rassilon!”

Borusa moves to the voice, over by the tomb proper. One stops Five from following.

Rassilon (whose face appears in the air above his body) asks who disturbs him, what they seek. Borusa identifies himself, saying he seeks immortality. Rassilon asks who the Doctors are, and Borusa says they are his servants.

Three, Five and Two deny this, but One assures him the President speaks true. He asserts that Borusa deserves “the immortality he seeks”.

Rassilon instructs Borusa to take the ring; the President does so. Rassilon asks Borusa if he is sure, once more, asking if he will turn back. Borusa says “Never!” When instructed, Borusa puts on the ring.

Rassilon says, “Others have come to claim immortality through the ages. It was given to them, as it shall be given to you.” When he says this, stone faces on the side of the tomb become animated, their eyes glancing about helplessly.

There is a blank space. “Your place is prepared, Lord President Borusa,” and Borusa becomes a face in the blank spot. The ring returns to Rassilon’s finger.

The companions recover.

Rassilon asks if the Doctors claim immortality. They quickly deny this, saying they only wish to be returned to their proper place and times. Rassilon agrees to this, as well as to freeing the Fourth Doctor and Romana from the vortex. And The Master, whom Rassilon says “his sins will find their punishment in due time” disappears as well.

Rassilon says it is time for them to say their farewells and depart. He commends them on choosing well, and then he fades from sight. (Well, his floating face does; his body remains there all the while, laying atop the stone.)

Five asks One if he knew all along what would happen, but he says he suddenly realised what the warning meant, the one about winning and losing. He says it was a trap to remove those who sought immortality.

Farewells are said. One and Susan go into the TARDIS, followed by Two (who has to exchange name-calling with Three first) and the Brig, then Three and Sarah Jane go in.

After the others go in the TARDIS, Five says, “I’m definitely not the man I was… thank goodness.”

Tegan ask how they’re all going to travel together, but then each of the Doctors goes off in a triangle from the time scoop.

(That’s funny, I remembered it being separate TARDISes that branched off from Five’s.)

Flavia and several guards arrive by transmat. Five greets her, telling her that the legend of Rassilon is true. She says he has evaded his responsibilities far too long and he must replace Borusa, as the Council has appointed him the replacement.

She says that to refuse this would incur the wrath of the council. He deputises her until his return and (after instructing the companions back into the TARDIS under his breath), orders the guards to escort her back to the citadel.

In the TARDIS, The Doctor explains to his companions that he’s not going back to rule Gallifrey.

Tegan questions this, “You mean you’re deliberately choosing to go on the run from your own people, in a rackety old TARDIS?”

Why not,” The Doctor replies as the camera zooms in on him, “after all, that’s how it all started,”… and the credits roll.

A fun story. Makes me excited to see the 50th anniversary special later this year.

The 20th anniversary special, this is not technically part of the 20th season, but stands alone. I remember this one well and it’s pretty darn good.

We open with a snippet of The Doctor’s heartfelt speech to his granddaughter, Susan, upon leaving her on Earth. Then the opening credits roll!

An alien landscape. The insides of a fortress seen amongst the mountains.

Then, switching to Turlough walking amongst some ruins. He sits down with a sketchpad and sketches the landscape.

In the TARDIS (looking spiffy, I’m guessing a new set), The Doctor polishes the console. Tegan enters, wearing a different outfit. She asks if he repaired everything, but he argues the TARDIS is more than a machine. However, to her point, he has difficulty opening the door.

He exits, and strolls along the ruins, finding Turlough. He admires Turlough’s sketch. Tegan joins the boys. Apparently, this is the Eye of Orion they spoke of at the end of The King’s Demons. Tegan asks if they can stay and The Doctor agrees they can, for a while, as they’re “due for a rest”.

Elsewhere, a mysterious gloved hand works some controls. We see, on the screen, the edifice from the opening.

The First Doctor is seen strolling along a garden. (Obviously, as William Hartnell had already passed away, the First Doctor is played by Richard Hurndall.) A mysterious twirling triangle of energy zooms down, and though he attempts to run away, he is snatched up.

The gloved hand takes a figure of the First Doctor that has appeared in a lightbox in the wall out and sets it on what appears to be a gameboard of some sort.

The Fifth Doctor clutches his chest, gasping in pain. He explains he felt “a twinge of cosmic angst,” “…as if I’d lost something.”

Inside the UNIT HQ, the Brig is visiting, apparently some form of reunion. He talks to his replacement, Colonel Crichton, and they talk of The Doctor. Just then, the Second Doctor bursts in, greeting the Brig. The Doctor says he read the article on the Brig’s speech in tomorrow’s newspaper and hopes he’s not too late for it.

The Brig and The Doctor go for a walk (the former hoping to get the latter away from his replacement, hoping not to cause any offense.) They reminisce about Yeti, Cybermen, Omega and others.

However, The Doctor says he has to go – he’s not really supposed to be there. However, before farewells can be said, the same force that kidnapped the First Doctor grabs the two of them.

Figurines of the two of them appear and are placed in the board.

The Doctor says, “It’s fading, it’s all fading. Great chunks of my past, detatching themselves like melting icebergs.” He tells his companions that all is well, but then collapses.

The Third Doctor is driving Bessie, when he sees the energy triangle. He tries to avoid it, but he and the car are snatched up by it.

He, too, is added to the field of play. (No figurine for Bessie, though.)

Turlough posits that The Doctor is under some psychic attack. The Doctor says he needs to get back to the TARDIS and the companions assist him. En route, he gasps again. He says he has to find his other selves.

Sarah Jane is leaving her flat, but K-9 tells her there is danger and she should not go out. He cannot identify the cause of danger, only that it is extreme and getting worse. When he tells her that The Doctor is involved, she says he’s imagining things and leaves.

The Fourth Doctor and Romana II are shown in footage from the (then unaired) Shada. The Doctor is piloting their punt, when the force abducts them. (Tom Baker had declined to appear, so the footage from the incomplete serial was used.)

The gloved hands work the controls, frustrated at the inability to manifest figurines of Four and Romana Two.

In the TARDIS, The Fifth Doctor collapses.

At the bus stop, Sarah Jane is abducted. She is added to the game board next to Three.

The TARDIS column rises and falls rhythmically. Turlough is surprised to discover that The Doctor has two hearts. As they watch, The Doctor seems to fade off and on, as the TARDIS materialises.

The gloved hands add three more figurines to the game board.

Turlough says the instruments say they’re no where and no time. When Tegan asks what they do, he says they wait.

Time Lords mill about hallways in the grand city. The Lord President Borusa attends a meeting of the Inner Council and protests involving someone who is awaiting them. They remind him that the Council has over-ruled him and they bring in The Master.

Borusa offers him a complete pardon, including a complete cycle of regenerations – to earn this, he must “rescue The Doctor.”

The First Doctor wanders some halls with crystalline walls. Lightning and thunder crash all about. Suddenly, he sees a shadow of a woman – it’s Susan!!! They embrace, happy to have found each other. She asks him what’s happening, but he’s clueless.

As they question their situation, a Dalek rounds the corner and they rush off. The Dalek pursues, shooting wildly, shouting for The Doctor’s death.

The Inner Council shows The Master the “death zone”, which has recently become active. It is draining energy from the Eye of Harmony, enough so to endanger all of Gallifrey.

When The Master asks if they bothered investigating on their own, Borusa says that two of the High Council went and did not return. They explain that The Doctor has been lifted out of time – only the Fourth can be found, trapped in some limbo.

A cosmos without The Doctor scarcely bears thinking about,” The Master muses. When he asks why they want him, he’s told that they need someone ruthless and cunning. Again, they ask if he will go.

Five continues to fade in and out, but he becomes mostly rooted. He tells them he’s being drawn into a time vortex, but must find his other selves and be whole.

Susan and her grandfather flee the Dalek. It chases them into a dead end. They hide and when the Dalek approaches, they push it into the cul-de-sac and it fires. It’s beams bounce off the reflective walls and it ends up killing itself.

Part of the wall is blasted open and they recognise the Dark Tower – they both know it and where on Gallifrey they are – the “death zone”. The Doctor says they will find their answers in the tower.

The Brig complains about the wintry rocky terrain they find themselves in, while Two says it’s not his fault.

You attract trouble, Doctor, you always did,” the Brigadier sums up his complaints.

They seem something moving, at a distance, in the mist, and crouch behind a partial wall. A metallic hand reaches out and grabs the Brig’s wrist, but Two beats at the hand until it lets go and he and the Brig dash off.

The movement in the mist is Three in Bessie. He stops to take in the area, and sees someone moving.

Sarah Jane, wandering in the mist, falls down a slope, crying out. Three, hearing her, calls out to wait and lowers a rope down, tied to Bessie, and drags her out. Sarah Jane is amazed to see that he’s still Three and not Four, and confused when he explains that hasn’t happened yet.

They get into Bessie, so he can explain while they travel.

Five cannot recall what he’s supposed to do; Tegan and Turlough remind him he wants to send a signal to become whole, but before he can do anything, he collapses again.

The First Doctor takes a break, but Susan sees the TARDIS and they go to it. They enter, finding the Fifth Doctor and companions. One demands to know what they’re doing in his TARDIS.

The companions explain that it’s “his TARDIS,” indicating the fallen Five. One asks who he is, and Turlough answers, “The Doctor,” and One seems to ‘recognise’ himself once this is pointed out.

Seemingly revived by his other self’s presence, Five awakens and tries to explain how he got there, but he doesn’t know. One says it doesn’t matter, and is delighted to find out there are “five of me running around.”

Introductions are made; Tegan (having known the Fourth Doctor) understands the two Doctors should not be together. They agree, saying it only happens in the gravest emergencies.

One starts barking orders, saying Tegan needs to fetch some beverages. Before she can go ballistic, Five begs her to play along.

The council gives The Master the Seal of the High Council (to prove his working for them) and a recall for the transmat so they can bring him back when he needs to speak to them.

The Master asks if anyone is going to wish him luck, but Borusa says he will wish him success, “…for all our sakes.” Personal note: when people say “wish me luck,” I always wish them success and I believe this is where I first picked that up.

The Castellan activates the transmat, sending The Master into the death zone. Borusa dismisses Flavia and the Castellan, saying he would prefer to wait alone.

The Master comes across a dessicated Time Lord, musing, “One of my predecessors.” A blast of energy comes near him and he calmly remarks about the inhospitable environment.

Two confirms his suspicions – they are in the death zone on Gallifrey – and explains to the Brig about the history of said place. In the days before Rassilon, his people abused their powers and would kidnap beings from other worlds and times and put them in the death zone. They set off to the Dark Tower, which Two says is Rassilon’s tomb.

One and Five argue whether to send the signal and wait (One’s preferred plan) or to go out (Five’s side.) It’s a classic example of the difference between the Doctors.

They set about setting up the “computer scanner” to see what’s out there.

Bessie moves down a road through a gnarled forest. Three explains that the zone was a setting of “the games”, until Rassilon put an end to it. He stops to get his bearings and indicates the Tomb of Rassilon to Sarah Jane.

The Master steps out and calls out to them. Three stops the car and isn’t sure he recognises him. They drive back and banter, The Doctor presuming The Master is behind it all. His enemy says he’s working for the High Council, presenting the seal as proof.

The Doctor says it’s probably stolen and doesn’t believe The Master is there to help. There’s more banter, but a thunderbolt strikes the ground near The Master. He dashes off, and Three drives off in Bessie, thinking it’s a trap.

One and Five have pulled up a schematic of the Dark Tower (the Stephen King fan in me is loving that name), identifying three entrances – the main, one above and one below.

One argues against Five’s plan to go in via the main door.

Bessie has been disabled by the thunderbolts. Three claims this proves it was a trap.

Borusa orders a technician to stabilise Four in the part of the vortex he is trapped. The Castellan arrives to inquire if there’s any news from The Master.

Two wonders if Rassilon brought them there. The Brig wonders about that if Rassilon was dead. They discuss the legends of Rassilon – The Doctor says that some speak of Rassilon not being a good guy, despite the official history.

Two posits that they could be playing the “Game of Rassilon”. The Brig says he guesses they’re not expected to win. Two frowns and they set off towards the tower again.

Five heads off with Susan and Tegan in tow; Turlough remains in the TARDIS with One.

Three and Sarah see a Cyberpatrol of Cybermen Cybermarching through forest.

In the TARDIS, One identifies the presence of two more Doctors… and wonders what happened to the final one.

Two and the Brig approach the tower, the Time Lord singing a nursery rhyme about the tower, trying to recall how to enter. They find some torches and a brazier and after he lights one, Two leads the Brig into a cave.

Five, Tegan and Susan encounter The Master. When the renegade Time Lord says he knows it will be hard to believe, but he means them no harm, Five replies with, “Like Alice, I try to believe three impossible things before breakfast.”

As the two Time Lords confer, and the companions worry from afar, a Cyberman Cyberspots them and Cyberreports to the Cyberleader. (Ok, ok, I’ll stop.) The Cyberleader orders that they be kept alive and interrogated.

The Master and The Doctor banter and threaten each other. The Master tries to convince him he’s legit, and even says his credentials were taken by another self.

The Cyberpatrol approaches the Time Lords; the companions dash off, and the Time Lords are attacked. The Master is knocked out. The Doctor takes the transmat recall device, and beams away as the Cyberpatrol arrives to take him prisoner.

Susan and Tegan rush off, Susan limping after hurting her leg (which I seem to recall happened frequently during her time with the TARDIS.)

Five arrives where Borusa, Flavia and the Castellan await.

The Master is taken prisoner by the Cybermen, but offers his services to them.

Back in the TARDIS, Tegan inspects Susan’s leg. One suspects that Five escaped via a transmat, but says with “our young friend” gone, he will have to go to the Dark Tower himself. Tegan says she will go with him, though the Time Lord is less than delighted.

Five discovers that he was wrong about The Master; Borusa says if he survived, “I’m sure he will learn to live with the misjudgment.”

When Five wonders who is using the death zone and the time scoop, the Council tells him they were hoping he could tell them. They say if he suspects the time scoop was used, it would be a Time Lord.

Five says he suspects it would be a rather important one, at that, eyeing the three of them. When Borusa asks if he has evidence, he says he doesn’t yet.

And that’s where we’ll leave off until Friday my friends, as this is the halfway point of the story…

As you’ve likely heard of, if not actually heard, there are a buttload of Doctor Who radio plays/audio dramas by Big Finish.  These aren’t audio books, but actual multi-actor plays.  I’ve only just gotten into them in the past couple months, after only hearing about them the past few years.

One “series” that caught my attention was the DOCTOR WHO: UNBOUND.  Eight stories, each of them most assuredly NOT in canon.  (The canonicity of the Big Finish dramas is uncertain in general.  The BBC and the show’s overseers have not, that I’ve heard at least, addressed the matter.)  UNBOUND is a series of “What If?” scenarios, intentionally diverging from the actual stories.

Auld Mortality cover

The first is Auld Mortality – starring Geoffrey Bayldon as the First Doctor. Trust me, if you’ve seen any amount of British television, you’ve seen Mr Bayldon in something.  It’s interesting to note that he was offered the role of The Doctor twice, but turned it down.  He also appeared in a Tom Baker serial, too.

His co-star is Carole Ann Ford, reprising her role as The Doctor’s grand-daughter, Susan.

The premise of this UNBOUND is “What if The Doctor and Susan never left Gallifrey?”  There’s more to it than that, but that’s the short of it.  I won’t get spoilery, but let’s just say that there’s something sinister afoot, too.

It’s a fun story.  Light-hearted and touching.  I don’t know that it would be as enjoyable for the newer fans of the show, but the classic fans, especially those familiar with the First Doctor and Susan, most assuredly will enjoy this.

Also, if you’re thinking of buying it, consider this – it’s $4.99 to download (about $8 for the CD), but you can “subscribe” and get the entire eight stories from UNBOUND for $25 download (or approx $50 on CD).


OMG, I knew it was coming up soon, but didn’t think they’d start the season with it. I have seen this before, once. I recall enough to know who the villain is and some scenes here and there, but not very many. I’m excited! This is a historical serial, the concept of having The Doctor meet his previous two selves is just… it’s only been done twice since, with The Five Doctors and The Two Doctors (the latter being one of my most favourite serials of all time.)

Episode 1:

At a riverside location, a man (hunter, perhaps) finds a parachute billowing. Attached to it is a small box.

A jeep pulls up to a location, and from a sign we see it’s a wild life refuge (so guessing not hunter, unless dude is a poacher.) A man, a Doctor Tyler, gets out and is informed that Arthur is watching “it” but hasn’t touched it.

We see the man at the box, and he is most certainly touching it. As he sees the jeep approach, the box begins to crackle and there’s a flash of light enveloping him and he disappears, frightening the nearby birds.

Dr. Tyler arrives, calling out for Mr. Ollis. He doesn’t find him and calls in on the radio to UNIT HQ. We next see him in The Doctor’s lab with The Doctor, Jo and the Brig. The device is used to measure cosmic rays. He tells them he was going to contact them before this business.

He pulls out some scans and shows them to The Doctor; they’re visibly different. Looking at some other print outs, it seems something is approaching Earth at faster than light speed.

Dr. Tyler develops the slide from the machine and a face is visible in the readout. He’s startled, and when he goes back to the machine, there’s a flash of light and he’s gone! And some crackling energy form seems to have taken his place.

At the location, Jo and The Doctor meet with Mrs. Ollis. She’s not concerned about her husband’s disappearance – she says this sort of behavior isn’t unusual.

The Brig returns to the lab, to discover that Dr. Tyler is nowhere to be found. He summons Benton and sends him to find Dr. Tyler, whom he believes is wandering about the HQ.

The Doctor and Jo return to UNIT HQ, but outside, encounter the energy mass. They run and the energy envelops Bessie, which disappears as they watch. Back in the lab, The Doctor sees the plate and suggest that the face might be the missing Mr. Ollis.

After looking at some data from the Brig, The Doctor realises that the light energy scanned Earth and zoomed in on the area. They quickly realise that the energy being seems to be hunting down The Doctor specifically. The beam was the method of transportation.

Two UNIT guards are on duty outside the complex, when a group of strange looking creatures start appearing. Benton arrives with back ups and they start a firefight.

More of the creatures arrive, all about the compound and the troops and the creatures being battling. The UNIT weapons don’t seem to have much effect on the creatures. The Brig calls for an evacuation and then leaves the lab to take charge of things.

The Doctor and Jo stay in the lab, and outside in the hall, we see the energy creature coming out of a vent.

Benton climbs in The Doctor’s lab through the window, as The Doctor is trying to get Jo to leave – he says she’ll be safe, they’re only after him. While Benton argues (his orders were to report there), the creature comes into the lab, destroying/teleporting the wall out of the way. The Doctor, Jo and Benton rush into the TARDIS (and Benton, who has never been inside, stares around in shock.)

The Doctor, at the console, asks, “Well, seregeant, aren’t you going to say that it’s bigger on the inside than the outside? Everybody else does.”

Benton, who is one of my favourite characters, replies, still quite amazed, “It’s pretty obvious, isn’t it? Anyway, nothing to do with you surprises me, any more, Doctor.”

The TARDIS is immobilised. The Doctor sends a report to the Time Lords, saying things are “pretty serious”.

On the Time Lords’ home planet (Gallifrey, still not named yet), they are aware of what is going on. They have traced the source of the beam to a black hole, but they have no idea who is behind it. The black hole is draining “vital cosmic energy”, which could destroy “the whole fabric of all space-time”.

The Time Lord Chancellor says that someone must go help The Doctor, but… the other guy doesn’t have a title or name yet, but he seems to be more in charge of what’s being done to fight the energy drain… anyhow, he tells the Chancellor that nobody can be spared, everyone is busy fighting the energy drain. “But perhaps, he can help himself…”

He turns to a nearby man at a console, saying to bring up The Doctor’s previous form. (Still not referring to it as regeneration; I believe this is introduced when Pertwee regenerates into Tom Baker.) The Chancellor points out that the First Law of Time prohibits this, and the Chancellor says “Be it on your own head.”

The technician pulls up an image of the Second Doctor.

The TARDIS console seems active. When The Doctor walks over, he picks up an item sitting on the console that wasn’t there before. He muses that it seems familiar, and asks Jo if it is hers. She says it’s not her flute. The Doctor corrects her, “Properly speaking, it’s a recorder,” and has Jo is holding it, the Second Doctor materialises on the far side of Jo, taking the recorder from her hand.

He looks around, “Oh, I see you’ve been playing up the TARDIS a bit… I don’t liike it!” The Third Doctor just stares, not entirely pleased to see him. Benton and the Second Doctor (okay, I’m going to do what the new kids do these days, instead of typing Second Doctor, Third Doctor, I’m going with Two and Three) reunite, both pleased to see each other.

Jo asks who the stranger is, if he’s “one of them” (meaning Time Lords), but Three says, “It’s more that he’s one of us… one of me to be more precise.” This elicits a strong reaction from Two. The byplay between Two and Three is delightful and I can’t sit here and transcribe every bit of dialogue, it would take you all day to read this.

Their attempts to explain that Two and Three are the same man just confuse Jo. Two explains that he has been popped in by the Time Lords to help out.

Outside in the lab, the energy creature is attacked by UNIT troops, one of whom is ‘vanished’ by the creature.

Inside the TARDIS, the Doctors, having seen this (and Two commenting on the Brig, still blazing away with guns at every problem), make mental contact with each other to quickly communicate/share information.

Two begins playing his recorder, always a focus for him, but Three begins criticising and they argue. On Gallifrey, the Time Lords see this and the one in charge tells his technician to pull up the First Doctor, saying that he would keep the other two in line.

Two and Three argue, but Jo gets their attention. On the TARDIS scanner, we see One sitting in a crystal. Two and There walk over, Two grinning, as One says, “Ah, there you are… I seem to be stuck up here, hmm? Oh, so you’re my replacements… a dandy and a clown.”

One goes on to inform them that they’re dealing with a Time Breach and they need to cross it. The two Doctors flip a coin to see, and Three loses. Two disconnects the force field and Three runs out the door of the TARDIS, but Jo follows. He stops and grabs her, yelling at her to go back, but the creature vanishes both of them… and the credits roll.

Wow, I can only imagine what the viewers were thinking back then. Was there any advance press about this, or was it just sprung on them?

William Hartnell’s role was reduced to cameos due to his health; originally, the intent was to have him be equally present with the other two, but this, filmed two years before his death in 1975, was the most his failing health would allow.

This is a monumental serial and I’m loving it.

Episode 2:

Two stops Benton from running after them and closes the door. He explains to the sergeant that they’ve not been destroyed, this was done to transport them somewhere. He talks down Benton, who wants to blow up the energy creature, saying they need a more subtle approach.

Two and Benton depart the TARDIS, approaching the energy creature, which seems to be mostly dormant. As the creature ‘sits’, it shakes occasionally, violently. The Brig comes in yelling for them to be careful, but The Doctor runs in front, telling him not to attack.

There’s a moment’s pause as it sinks in with the Brig just who is talking to him. He turns, his eyes widening. “Oh, no,” he murmurs, to which Two replies, “Oh, yes!” The Brig demands to know why he’s changed his appearance and where Jo is.

Two tries to explain things to the Brig, who thinks that because The Doctor has been mucking around with the TARDIS and managed to change his appearance back.

The Chancellor returns to the control room, saying that they must stop transgressing the First Law of Time. The other man (the President, I think, so I will use that for now) says The Doctor is their only hope. (It’s worth noting that the Chancellor is played by Clyde Pollitt, who played one of the three Time Lords who tried and sentenced The Doctor to exile and regeneration in THE WAR GAMES. The Producer of the show said that this was, in fact, meant to be the same character in both serials.)

The President and Chancellor argue over breaking the First Law over “a dangerous gamble”. We learn that One is trapped in a time eddy and can do no more than advise. They discuss Three and his companion having gone into the black hole; the Chancellor says, “Theoretically… they’re dead.”

Three and Jo awake in a rocky terrain. She’s afraid they’re dead, but he assures her they’re not. They get up and take a look around, though over an incline we see one of the amorphous creatures.

Two explains to the Brig and Benton about the anti-matter universe and that the energy creature is anti-matter, though it shouldn’t be able to be there without causing an explosion. Two takes measures to ensure the energy creature stays harmless.

Three and Jo find office equipment and even the wall/door from the lab, just randomly throughout the landscape. They find Bessie and go for a drive. They stop and disembark, and we see Mr. Ollis stalking them.

The Brig summons Two to come address the security council via video link up. There’s a cute bit after the Brig explains that he told the council that Two is Three’s assistant, as the truth would be too hard for them to grapple with. This, of course, is very offensive to Two, but the Brig says there’s nothing to be done about it, and Two agrees to play along.

While they’re away, Benton throws a gum wrapper at the anti-matter creature and this seems to waken, irritate the creature. He uses a device Two had set up to help keep it sedate, but it has no effect. The Brig and Two come running when he calls for help and Two says they have to get in the TARDIS immediately. They do, just as the creature vanishes the device Two had cobbled together.

The Brig, having never been in the TARDIS before, stares around. Two gives him a great line, “Oh, you’ll get used to it, old chap. Relative dimension and all that.” Two offers the Brig a Jelly Baby, which has me freaking out. I didn’t recall anyone but Four using Jelly Babies!!!

Dr. Tyler is doing math in the sand in the alien landscape. Jo and Three find him and they try to catch him up.

From afar, someone is watching them on a video screen. He is pleased to have “a Time Lord within” his power. He is a tall, imposing figure with an ornate helmet. He gestures and sends his blob-like creatures to fetch Three. They surrounded Three, Jo and Tyler and take them prisoner.

The Brig demands to be let out of the TARDIS; he’s going stir-crazy. The Doctor is too busy looking for his recorder – he needs to do some deep thinking and does his best thinking to music.

Three, Jo and Tyler are brought into some sort of palace, but the professor says it’s time to try to escape. Three tries to talk him out of it, but he dashes off when he gets the chance, but he is herded back to Three and Jo.

Two fiddles (oh my) with the Brig’s radio, allowing him to communicate with his troops. One appears on the TARDIS scanner, telling Two to turn off the force field.

Tyler refuses to accept they’re in an anti-matter universe, as they’re being escorted to the being behind all of this.

Two shuts off the TARDIS force field as One instructed him to do so. When he does, the creatures outside the compound disappear, as does the main building itself… and the credits roll.

Episode 3:

Three, Jo and Tyler are brought into an ornate chamber, much like a throne room. When Jo asks who brought them there, their host steps forth, saying he did and in the legends of the Time Lords, he is known as Omega. This resonates with Three, who says Omega was destroyed.

Omega orders Jo and Tyler to be taken elsewhere, but he says that they will not be harmed. The two humans are taken into a cell with no doors, and Tyler scoffs, until doors just appear in the doorway.

Omega says that he seeks revenge against his people. He is responsible for the Time Lords having the ability to travel through time and he was abandoned for it. Three tells Omega that he was not forgotten, it was believed that he was lost in the supernova he created to power the TARDISes.

According to Omega, he survived through force of will alone. He plans to use The Doctor against the Time Lords. Omega tells Three that he will help them or he and his companions will be harmed.

Omega receives an alert that others have arrived.

Two lets the Brig out, and he and Benton follow. They exit into the laboratory. The Brig searches around, and when he opens a door leading outside, he’s quite shocked to see they’re not where they should be. The Brig leaves to “nip out, find a phone and call London”. After he leaves, Two and Benton encounter some of the blob like creatures and run from them.

The Brig runs into Mr. Ollis, who tells them about Three and Jo and Tyler being caught by the creatures. They hide as two of them come by, escorting Two and Benton, and follow them to a mountainside lair.

Two and Benton are brought before Omega, who quickly realises that Two and Three are the same. Omega begins ranting, becoming angry. Outside, thunder roars in response to his emotions. He has Two, Three and Benton taken away while he decides what to do with them.

The Brig and Ollis prepare to assault/infiltrate Omega’s lair.

Two and Three argue over who is responsible for angering Omega. Jo gets them to stop arguing and apologise to each other. They then explain that all about them is a point of singularity inside the black hole, and Omega controls it is all subject to his will.

The two Doctors explain who Omega is, what he did. Jo says they must be able to stop him – after all, if he was all powerful, he wouldn’t have brought The Doctor there to help. She says if Omega can will up an entire world, surely the two of them could work together to force their will on the world about them. They link their minds and create a door in the cell and everyone leaves (despite being told to stay by Three.)

Jo, Benton and Tyler scuttle about Omega’s palace, trying to avoid the bloblike creatures. Two and Three enter the Singularity Chamber but Omega finds them there. They threaten to destroy him with their wills. He does not fear their challenge and opens “the dark side” of his mind against Three.

The companions find their way out, reuniting with the Brig and Ollis. All five run off into the landscape, pursued by the blobbers.

Three and Omega engage in mental combat; we see them in darkness, the two fighting. Omega is no wearing his helmet and has a monstrous face, scarred and disfigured, not unlike Darth Vader’s when his mask is removed in RETURN OF THE JEDI. Three uses a lot of Judo throws on Omega.

One communicates with the President, who tells him that he must join the other two inside the black hole – all three are needed to defeat Omega.

Omega locks in a half-nelson choke/body scissors combination on Three (the ‘Tazmission’ to my fellow professional wrestling fans) and Omega’s voice is heard commanding his dark side to “Destroy him!”… and the credits roll.

Fun bit of cliffhangery drama there.

Episode 4:

Two appeals to Omega, saying if he destroys Three, he will destroy any chance of freedom. Omega lets Three survive and says that he will destroy their friends if they continue to fight him.

Two plays the clown, asking Omega if he would will up a recorder, as he still hasn’t found his. Omega asks Three, “Are you sure you’re of the same intelligence?”

Two keeps pushing him and Three finally confronts him, demanding to know what he’s doing. Two says he’s testing Omega’s limits of his self-control, and muses that they’re not very good – when Omega gets mad, all about trembles and shakes.

They play penitent and apologetic to Omega, asking his forgiveness and ask him about this task he needs them for. Omega goes on a rant on how he created everything here, but he is still trapped. It seems that to escape, he has to abandon control of Singularity… but the moment if he abandons it, he no longer has the power to escape. He wants The Doctor(s) to stay and assume control of Singularity, so that he might escape.

The Brig and others, having found Bessie, drive from the blob creatures, which fire upon them.

The Doctors agree to Omega’s demand. He instructs them to remove his helmet, but there is nothing beneath; the power of the Singularity has corroded away his very being – he only exists because the power of his will insists that he does. Needless to say, he pretty much snaps. He says if he only exists by his will, then his will is to destroy and he will destroy all things.

The two Doctors flee as Omega rants and raves, escaping the palace and seeking Bessie. They follow the tracks heading off.

The Brig and crew return to UNIT HQ, shortly followed by the two Doctors. Everyone rushes into the TARDIS and turn on the force field for safety. The Brig just stares at the two Doctors, baffled.

On Gallifrey, we learn that One passed into the black hole, but still may only be able to observe, advise.

In the TARDIS, Two announces, “If only I could find my recorder, I could play you some music to pass the time.” The Brig wins with the retort, “We must be thankful for small mercies.” Nicholas Courtney had some of the best lines and as much as the actual words, it was his delivery that made them so delightful.

One appears on the TARDIS scanner, saying there’s not much he can do. The three Doctors join in mental contact and seem to agree on some plan, though One declares it to be risky. Two and Three duck under the TARDIS console to fiddle with it.

Two finds his recorder in the middle of the force field generator; Three says this is even better than their original plan. They remove the generator, with the recorder still inside.

One reports in to Gallifrey, saying they have a plan and he will report to them when he can.

Three contacts Omega, saying they think they have a way for him to achieve his freedom. Omega suspects them of deceit when they ask him to allow them to use the TARDIS to come to him, but he allows it, saying they cannot leave the black hole unless he permits it. They bring the TARDIS to Omega’s palace.

The two Doctors say that if he will send the humans back, they will stay and think they have a way for him to be free. He says there is no freedom, but if they offer to stay, he will return the humans to their planet. Three tells the Brig that they must step through the smoke emitted by the Singularity. Tyler is the first to go, and he disappears as he does so. Ollis is next, reluctantly doing so.

Benton is next, as ordered by the Brig. Jo protests that she wants to stay with Three, but he insists and she steps through and disappears next. The Brig says his farewell to the Doctors, stopping to salute them before stepping through.

Omega says it is now time to place his game and there is no escape. Two brings out the force field generator and says it his only freedom. The two Doctors link their minds and try to force him to take it, but he laughs and knocks the generator out of Two’s hands.

Two yells run and there is a brilliant flash.

On Gallifrey, they observe the black hole as it flashes and the power returns to Gallifrey. The President says that once again, Omega is a source of energy.

On Earth, UNIT HQ is back as are the Brig and crew. Shortly after, the TARDIS appears and the two Doctors step out. They explain that because the recorder was inside the force field generator, it was never processed and remained pure matter, so when Omega knocked the generator out of Two’s hands, it caused a chain reaction, making the black hole a supernova once more.

They hear One speaking over the scanner, he says it is time for he and Two to return to their time streams. He fades from the scanner, as Two and Three shake hands.

Two: “It’s been so nice to meet me.”

Three: “I hope I don’t meet me again.”

Two fades from sight. The Brig declares that as far as he is concerned, one Doctor is more than enough. He orders Benton to come along, they have to check that everything is back in the HQ where it belongs.

Jo and Three are left in the TARDIS; Three is sad at Omega’s fate. Jo tries to comfort him.

A new dematerialisation circuit appears atop the center crystal of the TARDIS console. The Doctor says that all the dematerialisation codes have returned to his memory – he’s been forgiven by the Time Lords. Jo is sad, expecting him to leave immediately, but he says he has to build a new force field generator first.

We see Ollis return home, where upon his wife gives him the third degree about where he’s been. He just looks at her, says, “You’d never believe me, woman. Supper ready?”… and the final credits roll.

A most fun serial. A terrible shame that Hartnell was so poorly in health, I would have rather enjoyed him getting equal screen time and dialogue as the two others. Still, most fun.  

SEASON FIVE

Mon 2.27 Serial 37 – The Tomb of the Cybermen
Wed 2.29 Serial 38 – The Abominable Snowmen
Fri 3.02 Serial 39 – The Ice Warriors

Mon 3.05 Serial 40 – The Enemy of the World
Tue 3.06 Serial 41 – The Web of Fear
Thu 3.08 Serial 42 – Fury From The Deep
Fri 3.09 Serial 43 – The Wheel In Space

So, with The Tenth Planet, we said farewell to William Hartnell as The Doctor.  The First Doctor is a hard character to like, especially when you’re a younger viewer and you got started with the gregarious Tom Baker (or the action-oriented Jon Pertwee before him, or like many of my fans, the young and vulnerable and accessible/approachable Peter Davison.)

I’ve never cared for William Hartnell’s Doctor all that much.  He’s snotty, demeaning, talks down to his companions, is impatient and not very kind.

Or, so it seems at casual glance.

Having started with the first serial and watched his entire run – 29 serials – I have walked away with a completely different appreciation of this character.  This First Doctor, as we know refer to him… is amazing.  Where before I thought rather that he was lazy and let the companions do the work for him, he was actually allowing, and even encouraging (especially with Stephen), them to grow, to discover their own strengths.

Yes, he’s argumentative and arrogant – but WHICH Doctor isn’t?  He’s harsh when angered or irritated, and he’s a bit more irritable than many of the incarnations of The Doctor, but that’s just flavour.  That’s what makes him, well, human.

William Hartnell brought much to the role.  The tender side, the few times we saw it… his farewell speech to Susan.  The time he felt alone, abandoned by everyone, before Dodo wandered into the TARDIS, and Steven returned immediately… was almost heart-wrenching.

The Doctor, every single incarnation, is afraid to be alone.  What weighs so heavily upon him that this is so?  This is one of the greatest mysteries of The Doctor.