Friday, August 22, 2014

Calling all Nuvians!

Nu•vian / New-vee-an / noun

1. Informal - A fan of the television show Doctor Who, that discovered the show when it relaunched in 2005.

You there. Yes you. No, not you. You there with the fez and bow tie, yes I'm talking to you. So you're a Doctor Who fan? You've got your sonic screwdriver, you can "Allons-y" with the best of them and you've seen what you believe to be every episode.

Guess what?

You haven't.

Don't look at me like that, I mean it. There are now a total of 800 episodes. You read that right, 800 and it's taken 50 years to get there. That's what all the hype and excitement was about last November.

Now I know you've seen hints of what's come before, everyone knows Tom Baker's 4th Doctor and his impossible scarf. During the 10th Doctor's time, Nuvians were even introduced to the 5th Doctor in Time Crash. There were even glimpses of all the past Doctors in The Next Doctor and The 11th hour.

But who were these other Doctors? What happened before the 9th Doctor grabbed Rose by the hand and said; "Run!" ? If you've been watching since 2005 and do not yet know, then it's long past time to find out. As the world gets ready for Peter Capaldi's arrival as the 12th Doctor (stuff it Moffatt, he's 12th) why not take a little time to look at the past of this amazing show that we love so much.

"But where do I start?" You might ask and it's a good question, fifty years is a lot of material to cover. Start to finish, it can take the better part of two months to get through it all. I speak from experience and with that experience I'll do my best to guide you through some of the highlights.

Before we begin, you have to remember something very important. The show started in the 1960s and ran through until 1989 and even at its peak, didn't have anywhere near the budgets that exist today. You can do a lot with duct tape, tinfoil and dish soap, among other things. Treat is like you would watching a classic black and white movie (did I mention the first two Doctors episodes are entirely in black and white?) it's a fun trip to the past, to enjoy the beginnings of something very cool.

With that in mind, here is Stylin' Steve's Top Ten Classic Doctor Who Stories. Why did I say stories and not episodes? Because in here classic series, one story arc could encompass three, four or even seven separate episodes.

Also this isn't a typical top ten countdown, this is a list of ten episodes, from the First through Eighth Doctors, that are worth checking out.

1. The Dalek Invasion of Earth (First Doctor)

This is the second serial of the second season of Doctor Who, which originally aired in six weekly parts from 21 November to 26 December 1964. The TARDIS returns to London; however it's the 22nd century. With bodies in the river, and quiet in the docklands, the city is a very different place. The Daleks have invaded and it's up to the Doctor to thwart them once again...

2. The Seeds of Death (Second Doctor)

This is the fifth story in season 6. The TARDIS lands in a space museum on Earth in the late 21st century, where the Second Doctor, Jamie and Zoe learn that contact has been lost between Earth and the Moon. In this era, instant travel -- T-Mat -- has revolutionised the Earth. Its people have lost interest in space travel. The Doctor and his companions travel to the Moon in an old-style rocket and reach the Moonbase, control centre for T-Mat, only to find a squad of Ice Warriors have commandeered the base and plan to use the T-Mat network to their advantage.

3. Terror of the Autons (Third Doctor)

This is the first story of Season 8. The Earth is in terrible danger when an evil renegade Time Lord known as the Master arrives at a circus run by a man named Luigi Rossini and steals a dormant Nestene energy unit from a museum. He reactivates it using a radio telescope and uses his hypnotic abilities to take control of a small plastics firm run by the Farrel family, where he organises the production of deadly Auton dolls, chairs and daffodils. The Master has an evil scheme to destroy humanity and silence his old foe, the Doctor, forever. His plan is to awaken the awesome power of the Nestene - a ruthlessly aggressive alien life form.

4. Genesis of the Daleks (Fourth Doctor)

This is the fourth story of Season 12. Intercepted while travelling between Earth and the Ark, the Fourth Doctor and his companions are transported to the planet Skaro, thousands of years in the past, on a mission for the Time Lords — to prevent the creation of the Daleks.

5. Mawdryn Undead (Fifth Doctor)

This is the third story of Doctor Who's twentieth season. A warp ellipse draws the TARDIS off course. The Fifth Doctor's companions are separated from him not in space, but in time, and he has to deal with a treacherous schoolboy named Turlough. But why does the Doctor's old friend, the Brigadier, not remember him at all?

6. The Mysterious Planet (Sixth Doctor)

This was the unbroadcast title given to the first four episodes of The Trial of a Time Lord, the season-long story that constituted season 23 of Doctor Who. The story marked the first appearance of the Inquisitor and the Valeyard, two characters who would appear throughout the season, along with Sabalom Glitz, who would appear again later in the season and also in Season 24. With this chapter, the series returned to half-hour episodes.

7. The Curse of Fenric (Seventh Doctor) This is the third story of Season 26. The TARDIS materialises at a secret naval base off the coast of Northumberland during the Second World War. Dr Judson, a scientist there, has created the Ultima Machine, an early computer designed to break German codes. The base's Commander Millington plans to let a Russian commando unit led by Captain Sorin steal the machine's core, which he has booby-trapped with deadly toxin.

Judson uses the machine to translate some ancient runes from the crypt of the nearby St. Jude's Church and this leads to the release of Fenric, an evil entity from the dawn of time whom the Doctor trapped seventeen centuries earlier in a Chinese flask by defeating it at chess

8. The 1996 Movie (Eighth Doctor)

The Doctor, nearing the end of his seventh life, is charged with transporting the remains of his fellow Time Lord, the Master, back to their home planet. But, despite his precautions, his old enemy is not quite dead. The Master creates a timing malfunction and brings the Doctor to San Francisco in 1999. The Doctor has to find a beryllium atomic clock and stop the Master, but after being shot by gang members, his life is in jeopardy.

Ok so that covers one story from each of the Classic Doctors. There are a couple of stories that should not be missed. One is amazing for its writing and the other for being one of the Anniversary specials.

9. The Talons of Weng-Chiang (Fourth Doctor)

This is the sixth and final story in the fourteenth season. The Fourth Doctor brings Leela to Victorian London to see how her ancestors lived, but is rapidly drawn into a fiendish plot involving Chinese Tongs, disappearing women, an Oriental stage magician, a murderous ventriloquist's dummy and giant rats in the sewers.

10. The Five Doctors (First, Second, Third, Fourth & Fifth Doctors)

This is a ninety-minute story which celebrated the twentieth anniversary of Doctor Who. The story featured a then-unprecedented four incarnations of the Doctor at once, incumbent Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor, with Patrick Troughton and Jon Pertwee returning as the Second and Third Doctors, respectively, along with the Third Doctor's roadster Bessie returning. Both actors showed visible signs of aging since their last appearances as their incarnations- Troughton's hair had begun to go gray while Pertwee's had turned from silver to pure white except for a small patch in the back.

The role of the First Doctor, however, was given to Richard Hurndall, a look-alike actor and spiritual successor for the late William Hartnell. Although the title billed five Doctors, Tom Baker declined to return as the Fourth Doctor, thinking it was too early for a reappearance since his departure.

So there they are, ten wonderful examples of the brilliance that is the Classic series of Doctor Who. Check them out, enjoy them and use them as a means to explore more of what came before 2005. Get to know more than just three Doctors (Stuff it Moffatt 8.5 still doesn’t count!)

- Stylin’ Steve

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