Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Holy Twilight Zone Creepers!

(Just as a matter of interest - this is my 150th post on this blog!  Yay!)

It dawned on my that I haven't chronicled my adventures with Classic Doctor Who for a while now.  I have actually gotten pretty far:

- As a general note on TV in the 1960s, I laugh at my dad when he tells stories of when he was a little kid, his older brothers would watch "The Twilight Zone" and it would scare the crap out of him (my grandma evidently got after my uncles for letting my dad watch such a scary show).  I watch old episodes of TTZ now and I laugh at the campy-ness of it all (Dude - I can see that guy's zipper!)  But it's an endearing laugh - not unlike the obvious low-budget qualities of the original "Star Wars" movies.  They achieved really great special effects for the time using nothing more than a kettle and some string (though I think they dispensed with the decorative vegetables).  They didn't need everything to be overly-flashy like everything has to be today with CGI and stuff (though tastefully done, CGI can be an asset.  But I hate it when movies have to be all about the CGI and special effects and forget all about the story *cough cough* James Cameron *cough, cough*).

- All that being said - when that Sensorite appeared in the spaceship window, I had flashbacks of four-year-old me running for the stairs when ET popped out of the cornfield.  That movie used to scare me to death (yet my then-two-year-old sister loved it.  Weird kid...)  I still can't watch the scene where ET hides in the closet full of dolls.  I think I got a glimpse of what it would have been like to be a kid in 1963 watching that episode and hiding behind a throw pillow.

- The "Marco Polo" story was really good - one of my favorites so far.  It's a pity that all they have is the audio.  It's weird to me that people would have thought to record the audio, but then I have to remind myself that at that time, the radio was the main source of in-home entertainment and of course people would have audio recording capabilities.

- Speaking of really good stories - "The Aztecs" FTW!  Ian is #1 Badass Nerd ^_^  I love that guy.

- With echoes of "Hey, It's That Guy" - I found out that William Russell (the actor who plays Ian) is Dean Thomas' dad! (in real life... yeah...)  This is just nuts... even back in the '60s, a lot of British actors had ties to both "Doctor Who" and "Harry Potter" (are there really so few actors in Britain?  Or is it that DW and HP are the big projects that everyone wants to be involved in?  I think I'll go with the latter).

- I think the reason the historical stories are so interesting is that 1) I'm a history nerd and 2) they use the historical characters as bad guys and not necessarily that there are aliens invading pre-Columbian Mexico.  Plus, the characters have to assimilate more into the cultures they're dropped into - no psychic paper to bail them out.  I'm not saying I prefer one style over the other - it's just interesting, that's all.

- But don't rule out the aliens just yet - after I got over the initial "HOLY CRAP IT'S A TWILIGHT ZONE MONSTER!!" the Sensorites were quite cute.  Not unlike the Ood of today (I think I read somewhere the Sensorites were an inspiration for the Ood.  Or at least that they were similar).

- What else... Barbara and Ian are freaking adorable (again, you can't have fandom without at least one decent ship - I don't care which decade you're talking about).  Susan is fun to watch, but she can be a little airheaded (you would think an experienced time traveler would know better than to insult the Aztecs' culture... wait... look at who her grandfather is...)  The Doctor... he's more of an afterthought, really.  I hate to say it, given that his name's in the show's title - but I don't really know why he's there other than to be grumpy and important.  I really have to work hard to remind myself that his character is central to the show and he becomes more likable later in his life.

- Having said that, this incarnation of the Doctor can be cheeky and that is pretty darn funny (I laughed my butt off at the part where he accidentally gets engaged to that Aztec woman.  I forget her name.  Meh... not important ^_^)

That's it for now.  I'll try to do my rehashes more frequently so I don't have to think so far back to what's happened.  But the Sensorites... yup... they're cute (when they aren't plotting ways to kill the stupid humans - by the way - what was with the random humans hiding in the aqueduct?  What purpose do they serve other than to make us look stupid?  Oy...)

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