Margaret (pling) wrote,

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Doctor Who ("An Unearthly Child" and "The Cave of Skulls")

Spent yesterday evening watching the very first episodes of Doctor Who, which J'd got from LoveFilm. It hadn't been entirely clear from the DVD that the pilot was essentially the same story as episode 1 "An Unearthly Child", so we watched both of those (the actual episode being somewhat better than the pilot, unsurprisingly), and we watched the next episode too - "The Cave of Skulls". It was kind of odd, in that we (obviously) know so much more than the writers etc did about where the series has gone and you can see some of it there in the original episodes, but some of it is just not the same at all. And of course the Doctor is a grumpy old man who isn't keen on Earth, doesn't much like the 20th Century & only really gave in and stayed there at all for his grand-daughter's sake, which is very much not the Doctor of more recent storylines!

"An Unearthly Child" pretty much just sets us up - introduces Ian, Barbara, Susan & the Doctor. And the Tardis & the whole concept of the series. There were some neat little things I think I only caught because we effectively saw it twice - like Ian saying "I take things as they come" and then totally failing to do so once 'things' were strange. It's very much a product of its time, but not as much as "The Cave of Skulls" which was cringe-worthy in places. The Tardis materialises in pre-historic earth, complete with cavemen (and women). Who are all "We am primitive peoples!", and as J pointed out afterwards I can't work out what I'd've done differently but they just felt like very old-fashioned cavepeople. Tho again there were neat bits and some of the cavepeople stuff didn't half feel reminiscent of modern politics ;) I was also left wondering how the Doctor & Susan had managed up to this point - the Doctor blithely marches off without a care in the world (or the wits to keep an eye out for trouble) to take his samples, and when (inevitably) it all starts to go wrong Susan has a fit of screaming hysterics. If they've been on the run in primitives times & places (the 20th C Earth being both of those for them) for as long as it's implied they have been then you'd think they'd have better first-steps procedures. But then I suppose they're showing off for the petty humans at first - certainly the Doctor is (as he admits at the end) & Susan presumably felt safe with her teachers, 5 months of "authority" taking care of you probably sinks in ;)

The next two episodes finish off that storyline (and the DVD - well, there're special features but I'm not bothered about that), then I've a vague feeling we have Daleks on the next DVD!
Tags: doctor who, tv
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