Thursday, December 2, 2010

MORE THAN: 200 Greatest Moments of Doctor Who!

...because, let's be honest, the DWM version was shit.


An Unearthly Child
THE GOLDEN MOMENT: Susan's crazy grandfather engages in the oddest alien abduction in history - no cold anal probes here!
WHY: Deigning to use mankind's "out-dated terminology" the Doctor explains the severity of Ian and Barbara breaking into his time machine: "You have heard the truth! We're not of this race! We're not of this Earth! We are wanderers in the fourth dimensions of space and time, cut off from our own planet and our own people by eons and universes that are far beyond the reach of your most advanced sciences!" he rants. "I know that free movement in the fourth dimension of space and time is a scientific dream I didn't expect to find solved in a junkyard!!" Ian shouts back. "For your science, school master, not for ours! I tell you, before your ancestors turned the first wheel, the people of my world had reduced movement through the farthest reaches of space to a game for children!!" The Time Lord looks at the stupid apes in disgust. "Look! See how they watch and listen as we talk? If they leave the ship now, they might come to believe at last that all of this is possible! You know very well we can not let them possess even one idea that such a ship as the TARDIS might be possible! Think what would happen to the ancient Romans if they possessed the power of gunpowder, if Napoleon had been given the secret of the airplane? We both know we cannot let our secret loose into the world of the 20th century!" Ian does not take kindly the thought of being prisoners. "I can not let you go, school teacher! Whether you believe what you have been told is of no importance: you and your companion would be foot prints in a time where you are not supposed to have wandered." As "the first faint glimmerings" occur to Barbara, the old man sets the time machine in motion... And just think, this was 26 years before anyone heard the phrase "Time Lord Victorious".

100,000 BC
THE GOLDEN MOMENT: A caveman and his girlfriend stay up late.
WHY: Za asks Hur to tell him about what happened after he killed the wild pig and got the crap kicked out of him. Hur explains that "Friend" (aka Ian) didn't simply kill the wounded enemy but helped him survive, an act she can barely understand. Za reflects on some of "Friend's" other advice: Kal is not stronger than the whole tribe. "The whole tribe drove Kal away with the stones. The whole tribe can collect more fruit than one. The whole tribe can kill a beast where one of the tribe would die..." Za whispers, an inspiration not dissimilar to that of a big black obelisk in a certian, very boring, sci-fi film. With one casual remark, Ian Chesterton has started - or perhaps, restarted - human civilization...

The Daleks
THE GOLDEN MOMENT: The Doctor negotiates with the Daleks. And fails.
WHY: It's the moment that defines every encounter with the Daleks since, when the Doctor realizes they are beyond any kind of redemption. As he points out, the Daleks are smart enough to work out a way to live in peace with the Thals, but everything he says is shouted down. "ONLY ONE RACE CAN SURVIVE!" they scream, detailing their plans to irradiate all of Skaro. "Nothing can live outside if you do that! Nothing!" the Doctor gasps. "EXCEPT THE DALEKS!" they croak and immediately begin the countdown. "This senseless, evil killing!" the Doctor shouts at them. "But you must listen to reason! Please, you must! That’s sheer murder!" he wails. "NO," the Daleks retort. "IT IS 'EXTERMINATION'." The Doctor falls silent, knowing the Daleks will not be swayed by morality. The war has begun.

The Edge of Destruction
THE GOLDEN MOMENT: A nervous Barbara wonders if they're the only ones inside the spaceship.
WHY: Gripped by a series of almost supernatural insanity, Barbara finally comes up with a possible explanation. "Do you think something could have got into the ship?" Ian laughs slightly too hard at the suggestion. "What? You mean an animal or a man or something?" he grins stupidly. "Or another intelligence," Babs muses, considering the Exorcist-style behavior Susan's displayed. "It’s not very logical now, is it?" the Doctor points out. "No it isn't, but does it have to be? I mean, things aren't always very logical are they?" she asks, looking around the lifeless time machine they're trapped in. A gentle moment of paranoia as we wonder if maybe Ian, who's been acting like Russell Brand on morphine, is perhaps under the control of such an intelligence... but it turns out this thrilling study of otherness was considered inferior to the story being about a jammed spring. FFS!

Marco Polo
THE GOLDEN MOMENT: The Doctor reacts to the TARDIS with the gravitas such an event deserves.
WHY: In a typical twist of bad luck, it turns out their host Marco Polo has decided the payment for helping them is to have the TARDIS which he can bribe a cushy retirement package from his employer. "You're mad," the Doctor says bluntly. Marco Polo offers to help the gang build another time machine with the help from some Bhuddist monks. At this, the Doctor bursts out laughing. "The man's a lunatic!" he giggles, doubling over in hysterics. As Marco storms off in a huff, the others turn to the cackling Time Lord who assures them he knows how serious the situation is. "But what are you going to do?" Susan asks. "I HAVEN'T THE FAINTEST IDEA!" the Doctor howls, falling into a chair, laughing his head off... Goes to show: you gotta laugh, haven't you?

The Keys of Marinus
THE GOLDEN MOMENT: Ian reveals that he is not, in fact, a complete moron.
WHY: Exactly who believed at the time the Voord could rival the Daleks? Appearing in less than one episode their entire repertoire consisted of their lemming-like ability to get themselves killed by accident and Yartek putting on a white cloak and trying to be a relationship counselor (albeit one that uses very sharp knives). In the last episode, Yartek pretends to be Arbitan - which is not very good considering the "disguise" is an ill-fitting white robe over a black wetsuit and a huge triangular mask. Yartek THEN goes on to do a terrible impersonation of Arbitan involving standing in a corner, talking in a monotone, and then getting lots of details wrong. Ian seemingly falls for the least convincing disguise since Tarzan ate Jane's lipstick and hands over the titular keys. The fact young Chesterton doesn't Three-Stooges beat up the Doctor and Susan for thinking he BELIEVED that was Arbitan shows amazing self-control on his part. Though not from Terry Nation, who could have done a better story using only his arse, a broom and some motor oil while FatBoy Slim played in the background.

The Aztecs
THE GOLDEN MOMENT: Barbara realizes she's fighting a losing battle.
WHY: Out of all the original TARDIS crew, Barbara would surely be the last one to be so utterly stupid and pig-headed she'd endanger everyone else on a fool's errand. And, amazingly, when she does it it's one of the best stories done. Babs believes that Aztec society is composed of "good" and "evil" and if she can destroy the bits she doesn't like, ergo Aztec society will survive the Spanish conquest. Ian points out the flaw in her strange belief that Tlotoxl is brainwashing everyone: "Tlotoxl's evil, and he'll make everyone else the same!" "They are the same, Barbara! That's the whole point! You keep on insisting that Tlotoxl's the odd man out, but he isn't! All the people share his belief! You can't fight a whole way of life." And, showing an admittedly un-drammatic amount of common sense, Barbara realizes she's been in denial. "I've just been fooling myself," she whispers, showing maturity enough know the best course of action is, as Ian says, is to leave the Aztecs alone to the fate in store for them and a fate, as Cameca and Autloc note, that they probably deserve for their inflexibility and corruption.

The Sensorites
THE GOLDEN MOMENT: The TARDIS crew have a bitchy first contact with some bald, myopic geriatic, pot-bellied aliens. As you do.
WHY: The not-actually-that-sinister Sensorites wish the humans to come with them to their planet. The humans want the Sensorites to bugger off plain and simple. "What if we refuse?" the Sensorites ask. "We will attack you," Ian declares. The Sensorites use their telepathic powers to freeze the supporting cast, leaving the TARDIS crew alone. "Surely we've proved that we don't need help?" Barbara points out. "You have only proved that you can lock doors," the Sensorites jeer. "You are in no position to threaten us." "I don't make threats," the Doctor says in an icy calm voice, "but I do keep promises - and I promise you I shall cause more trouble than you bargained for IF YOU DON'T RETURN MY PROPERTY!!!" The Sensorites, agonized by the volume, start to negotiate downwards... No doubt this completely-successful use of baddass boasts and talking very loudly is what makes the Doctor the man he is today, the bloke who dances around Stonehenge shouting at whole species to get the hell out of his face. A historic moment.

The Reign of Terror
THE GOLDEN MOMENT: The aristocracy try to talk their way out of trouble.
WHY: Surrounded by soldiers of the French republic, former-ponce Rouvray calmly barks an order to the enemy. His voice, the lieutenant notes "still carries authority - even to my soldiers" as one of them actually goes and meekly hands his weapon to the guy they've come to arrest. "You can give them uniforms, lieutenant, but they remain peasants underneath," Rouvray sneers. One of the said peasants takes exception to that and promptly blows Rouvray's head off his shoulders. The spell broken, the mob immediately kill the other unarmed aristos, laughing as they do so. Watching on, Ian and Babs have a rare argument over the bloodshed outside. "The revolution isn't all bad, and neither are the people who support it. It changed things for the whole world, and good, honest people gave their lives for that change!" Miss Wright tells Mr. Chesterton. "You check your history books, Ian, before you decide what people deserve!" Intense stuff.

Planet of Giants
THE GOLDEN MOMENT: Forrester becomes a murderer.
WHY: Out of all the villains in Doctor Who, Forrester has to be the least memorable. His only claim to fame is he has the same surname as Roz from the NAs (a story possibility I'm amazed Craig Hinton never exploited). A beelte-browed basket case if ever there was one, this monotonous gun-weilding git is so stupid he could be outwitted by Aggedor. At chess. You'd have thought any businessman would, regardless of morality, think "Hey, if my product will destroy all life on Earth, that will radically reduce my customer base". At the very least you'd think they'd go and threaten to poison the city's water supply. But not old Forrester, who is determined to destroy the world before facing his creditors. And maybe, once, this moron was a noble man one the path of good... but in any case, how can we sympathize with someone who takes THREE WHOLE EPISODES (four in the uncut version) to see an opportunity after hearing this speech: "I shouldn’t be seeing you at all, except that I did promise to you over the phone that I’d explain the facts to you in person. Officially my holiday commenced yesterday. I’ve a small boat down in the Harbour and I’m going to make a tour of the rivers of France. But before I go today I shall telephone my ministry and then post them my report." On the other hand, perhaps it was for the best that Forrester shoots the one person even stupider than he is... it's just a pity he didn't also kill mad scientist Smithers, who STILL can't understand why killing insects could POSSIBLY affect plant life.

The Dalek Invasion of Earth
THE GOLDEN MOMENT: Susan and David listen helplessly as the Daleks slaughter defenseless rebels.
WHY: The plot revolves around the Daleks having done all the interesting stuff long before the TARDIS landed - the plague bombs, the roboman-culls, the spray-painted tags on London landmarks. How appropriate that the most chilling moment from the tin-plated gits is merely heard in the distance as our heroes bravely cower behind a wall. A tortured man screams "Why? Why? You killed my wife and my brothers, now you want to kill me!" as Daleks demand he stop talking and be exterminated like a man. There is the sound of laser-fire, screams, and then silence. A normal, everyday person murdered in cold blood by the Daleks, and not even a hint that any time traveler is going to help those left still alive.

The Rescue
THE GOLDEN MOMENT: Vicki realizes the direness of her situation.
WHY: Oh, poor Vicki. Her parents are dead, her only company is a paralyzed looney and an affectionate Lovecraftian monster, and she's constantly under threat of homicidal aliens who can blow up whole cities. It's not hard to understand why the poor girl's been in denial for the last year about hopes of rescue, and when Barbara gently touches the fact her rescue ship could be nuked before it saves her, Vicki realizes there's no way to stop Koquillion trapping her forever. And unsurprisingly, is mightily pissed off. "What are you looking like that for?" she sulks angrilly. "You’re sorry for me aren’t you? I’m perfectly alright, you know. I don’t care if nobody ever comes, I’m fine. I’m perfectly alright!" It's a surprisingly believable bit of teenage bravado, and one the Doctor was mirroring earlier on in the story, and one Koquillion will repeat at the end. The Doctor and Vicki end up together, and Koquillion ends up dogmeat. Que sera sera.

The Romans
THE GOLDEN MOMENT: Tigilinus tries food-tasting as a career move.
WHY: "Have you any idea how the Romans treated their slaves?" Babara wails to Ian in their hopeless situation in episode one. And certainly it's a grim picture as Babs is marched for 34 days while those around her collapse from exhaustion and disease. Ian is forced to row in gallery. Babs suffers some sexual harrassment from her boss and his missus. Ian is forced to fight his friend to death or be fed to the lions. But poor, silent Tigilinus has it much worse. Following Nero around all day, getting under his feet and forever doing his best to keep his impossible-to-please-and-occasionally-knife-weilding owner happy. And how does he get rewarded? After being warned at the possibility a glass of wine is poisoned, Nero innocently asks his gofer to taste it. Tigilinus does so, and is dead before you finish reading this sentence. Nero shrugs it off and walks away, leaving Tigilinus' body lying on the floor, forgotten and unimportant. A simple demonstration that all the crap Ian and Babs have so far survived is not nearly as dangerous as the fact they are in a society where their lives don't matter...

The Web Planet
THE GOLDEN MOMENT: The TARDIS Crew confront the Animus, which overwhelms them all with its dazzling glow.
WHY: After five episodes of drug-addled insect choreography, our heroes find the secret heart of the evil fungus base where the secret ruler of Vortis is causing all the trouble. The strange membrane doors lift... and there is nothing but light beyond. No evil Ming the Merciless sitting on a throne, no control panels, no evil alien warmongers destabilizing the political situation. Just light as the strange whispering voice calls out creepy shit like, "What Vortis is, I am. What you are, I will become. Come child! Come to me! Do not fight against it. Approach, approach, both of you Earth people... Your struggles are futile... Escape is impossible... impossible!" And as our heroes are dragged into the light, we finally see it is the bastard offspring of Kroll and the Queen Spider of Metabelis III. Our heroes collapse before the giant parasite. "Parasite? A power, absorbing territory, riches, energy! What I take from you, will enable me to reach beyond this galaxy, into the solar system, to pluck from Earth its myriad techniques and take from Man his mastery of space!" it whispers... and if it weren't for a whacking great and lucky coincidence, it would have succeeded, too. Freaky.

The Crusade
THE GOLDEN MOMENT: Barbara is left to look after a young girl called Safiya... and under orders from her father to kill his daughter rather than let her end up a sex slave in the local harem.
WHY: DUDE! Didn't you just read the above? It's a shocking and wrong scenario from the start. We're expecting Babs to be given to knife to defend Safiya, not gut her like a pig before El Akir can have his wicked way with the underage girl! Yet it's clear that Saffy's dad does not make this request lightly, and the scenes were the two of them are hiding from guards like Anne Frank from the Nazis, while Babs stares in horror at the knife she's been given... how can she do it? How can she not? But of course she doesn't do it. Babs finds another way, giving HERSELF up to El Akir and saving Safiya, but suddenly we see this trip to history not as education or adventure, but a visit to a world that we are best never visiting...

The Space Museum
THE GOLDEN MOMENT: Determined to change the future, Ian makes a suicidal assault on a Morok guard luckily too feeble to kill him there and then...
WHY: In his penultimate story, Ian learns his fate is to be embalmed and turned into a museum exhibit and Barbara is horrified how the science teacher intends to 'change the shape of things to come': "Well it would for you - you’d be dead! If we’re all dead, what’s the point?" For the first time Ian loses his rag. "I’ve had enough of this!" he snarls at Babs and Vicki's wibbly wobby timey wimy discussion and strides up to the armed guard. "Now what were you orders? To capture us? To bring us in?" he hisses at the terrified Morok. "There was nothing about killing us, was there? Well? Think what your superiors are going to say! They’re going to ask “did you bring in the aliens?”, “No” you’re going to reply “I went out and shot them all”." Finally the guard can take no more and flees, leaving Ian shaking with relief - but still with no evidence he's changed his future...

The Chase
THE GOLDEN MOMENT: While the others flee in the TARDIS, Vicki stays in the battle zone shouting at Dracula to get out of the firing line.
WHY: Vicki's probably the most convincing depiction of a teenager pre-RTD. In the first episode alone she's sulked because she's useless, accidentally knocked over half the furniture in the TARDIS, cheerfully boasted she can fix an alien time television she's never seen before, dissed the Beatles for being classical music, run off to explore an alien city, watched clouds in the sky and told funny stories from her past you actually had to be there to understand, let alone appreciate. But here, she shows the automatic assumption of immortality the young have, running into a Dalek firefight without any worry she might get killed. And why? Because Count freaking Dracula is walking out of the shadows demanding to know what the hell is going on. Even if he wasn't a robot, or a figment of human paranoia, Vicki still is willing to risk her life rather than leaving innocents to be killed... assuming any version of Dracula could be called an innocent. She's braver and more compassionate than the rest of the TARDIS crew, yet it's all a complete waste of time and she's made a stupid mistake. Then again, she IS a teenager...

The Time Meddler
THE GOLDEN MOMENT: The Monk shows off to the Doctor.
WHY: While RTD has shown us the horror of the Doctor with his moral compass removed, The Time Meddler plays it for laughs, giving us a villain who ends up being more likable than the main character at times. The Monk has everything the Doctor has - but better. He can pilot his TARDIS where he wants to go, he can disguise it as anything he wants, he can choose to hobnob with people from history and muck about with investment scams. Immoral he may be, but he's more of a professional at this time travel business than the Doctor. The Monk is alos friendly, funny, helpful, provides first aid to wounded Saxons and is, after all, working to protect them from being raped and pillaged by Vikings and warring armies. "I’m sure you’ll approve Doctor!" the Monk says cheerfully. For the first time we have a humanoid villain who isn't delighting in cold blooded murder or brutally following his own agenda at the cost of innocent lives. And, as he says, "It’s more fun my way!" And can we really take side against a guy who built Stonehenge - that's OUR world being told off as history that Should Not Be! But as the Monk outlines his "master plan to end all master plans!" (two stories later the Daleks tried to beat him... literally), the Monk starts to show his real colours. The natives the Monk is trying to save are dismissed casually as "gullible peasants who believe everything I say to them", and his defeat of the Vikings includes murdering each and every one of them with atomic missiles. For shits and giggles. Vicki and Steven find out that the Monk isn't even really after improving history, he just wants the power to change it - he doesn't care what happens to Earth post-1066, as long as he gets dinner with King Harold. Suddenly, the Doctor's description of the Monk's scheme as a "disgusting exhibition" carry weight, and we agree it's best he prevent it. But then, in a final twist to the scene, the Monk suddenly gives a very scary grin. "You haven’t prevented it yet, Doctor," he reminds him. And we see that beneath his loveable, cheerful exterior is someone that really isn't nice to know... and someone who wants to destroy everything that has or will ever happen.

Galaxy 4
THE GOLDEN MOMENT: The Doctor and Vicki exploit the flaws of Chumbley design.
WHY: How are our heroes going to get past the trigger-happy, disconcertingly Dalek-like Chumblies? "First we must observe, note, collate, and then concludea After that, perhaps we can act, hmm!" the Doctor tells Vicki. One of the deadly robots glides closer, closer... and Vicki flings a rock down on the ground right behind the Chumbley, that doesn't notice a thing. The Doctor stares at her, aghast, barely able to speak at her recklessness - even though it's proved the Chumbleys have a blind spot directly behind them. "That was no risk," Vicki assures the old man. "I noted, observed, collated, concluded... and then I threw the rock! Are you sure you can manage this?" The Doctor glares at her. "Oh, I think I can drag my aged limbs in some sort of resemblance of a run! Go on!" And laughing, the pair sneak after the Chumbley, setting the textbook relationship for the Doctor and his companion, which stretches all the way to Eleven and Amy Pond to this day.

Mission to the Unknown
THE GOLDEN MOMENT: Marc Corey shoots Garvey in the back.
WHY: It was probably unheard of at the time, but now the beginning of the episode seems almost comforting routine. A spaceship of likeable jobworths has crashed on a jungle planet. While the engineer struggles to fix it (needing the dashing hero to Stop! Helping! Him!), a red shirt wanders off into the foliage, and is stuck by a deadly cactus. The poison drives the red shirt rapidly into a homicidal frenzy and he begins to stalk through the trees, watching the others, waiting for the moment to strike. He's actually chanting "I must kill!" over and over again, just in case we don't get the picture. As the redshirt draws closer and closer... the TARDIS doesn't land. The Doctor and his pals don't come out and get involved in the adventure. Their absence is felt throughout the rest of the episode - which, in case you didn't know, ends with everyone dead and the Daleks conquering the universe - but it feels stronger here. The mutating redshirt prepares to strike, he raises his gun... BANG! Our dashing hero just shot the guy through the back of his head in cold blood, having heard the guy chanting "I must kill!" and worked out about the evil mutation. And there's no Doctor to complain about senseless evil killing, or a companion to point out that Marc Corey has averted this cliched horror movie sequence by sensibly shooting first. We're off the map here, and it shows...

The Myth Makers
THE GOLDEN MOMENT: Steve effortlessly bluffs his way into Troy by being the lamest swordfighter in Ancient Greece.
WHY: It's fucking hilarious, that's why. Overconfident poser Paris is trying to impress his family by going out to fight Achilles, and gets the fright of his life when Steven turns up. Hastily, Paris points out they have no quarrel and Steven can go on his merry way. When Steven points out that since he is "Greek" and Paris Trojan, they are sort of expected to fight. "Yes, well personally," Paris whispers, I think this whole business has been carried just a little bit too far. I mean, that Helen thing was just a misunderstanding..." Steven attacks with his sword and immediately gives up the fight. "Well I say, this sort of thing is just not done! I mean, surely you'd rather die than be taken prisoner?" Paris points out. "Well yes, but only in a general sort of way, you see. You see, when I first challenged you, little did I know that you were indeed the Lion of Troy, that you are unconquerable!" Paris is delighted and decides to take Steven to to Troy so he can big up Paris to everyone. In fact, he's so caught up in the moment he actually leaves his own sword in the dirt while leading the fully-armed Steven into the city. "I suppose I shall, er, have to drive you like a Grecian cur into the city, won't I? Come, dog!" Paris boasts in a very Hugh Laurie-ish way.

The Dalek Master Plan
THE GOLDEN MOMENT: Mavic Chen discovers he is not immortal.
WHY: Mavic Chen starts the story as Guardian of the Solar System, a paragon of virture, a media celebrity with huge popular support and near-complete control over the human race - his orders are never questioned. The worst anyone has to say against him is sometimes his speeches are sometimes a bit similar. Episode one doesn't end with the revelation he's sold out mankind to the Daleks, but it easily could have. Four episodes later we find out this bastard is up to a scheme even Servalan would be proud of - he's sides with the Daleks, intending to get them to blow his enemies, and then kill them with her own secret army, then take over what's left of the universe. But an episode later, the cracks start to show - Mavic Chen might have ambition, but he's not really that good at contingency planning and is also prone to panic. It's Chen's bald, creepy, Uncle-Fester-like PA Karlton who is the real power behind the throne, and it's damn well certain Karlton's been the one who's pulling the strings. Alas, Karlton is left on Earth in episode five and Chen stays on alone for the rest of the story. By episode six, Chen's deluded into thinking the Daleks are disorganized losers he can easily manipulate. By episode ten, he's running their operation to catch the Doctor. By episode eleven, he believes that the Daleks think he's more awesome than the rulers of NINE OTHER GALAXIES. And by episode twelve? He's gone fucking nuts. "The Daleks need me. Soon I will be master of the universe!" he booms. The Daleks bluntly tell him that the alliance is over. "What?! But I have helped you time and time again with your absurd incompetence! I - Mavic Chen - will decide when the Alliance is at an end! Failure to obey the orders of your ruler brings only one reward!" he says and tries to shoot the Daleks with a handgun. After taking a moment to marvel at his insanity, the Daleks decide to take him outside and shoot him. "You cannot turn against me! I - Mavic Chen - first ruler of the universe - am immortal!" he screams at them. The Guardian of the Solar System faces them unafraid. "You cannot kill me!" he declares. A few seconds later, he's a smoking corpse. If Karlton ever paused in his domination of mankind to put up a gravestone to Chen, it would probably have "DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE" carved on it, because that is a very dangerous mistake to make...

The Massacre
THE GOLDEN MOMENT: Steven confronts the Abbot of Amboise.
WHY: There is so much bullshit spewed about this story, like, for example, William Hartnell providing a terrifying and word-perfect performance as the Abbot. Terrifying? Far from it. His performance as the Abbot is no different from when the Doctor makes a speech about tolerance in the very next story. This isn't a problem though, because we're supposed to think it's the Doctor. When Steven arrives at the evil lair when the Abbot, the old man stops the astronaut before he can say anything like "Hello, Doctor". Then the Abbot quickly ensures that his co-conspirators abandon their manhunt for Steven and Anne Chaplet, before making certain Steven is listening at the doorway as he loudly explains their evil plan. He shouts down the others, giving Steven a chance to run and stop the assassination. By the time the bad guys work it out, the Abbot assures them Steven is no threat. "Who did he say he was?" the Marshall shouts. The Abbot shrugs. "I never asked him." "It is strange, Father Abbot, that since you came everything which had been so carefully planned has gone wrong!" Tevannes roars, and before the Abbot can sneak out he is suddenly executed by the evil-doers. A cunning scene that could easily be about some Baldrick-like loser upsetting the evil scheme, or the Doctor finally getting in too deep with local politics. Either way, when the Abbot is found dead in the gutter, we don't know if the Doctor's been killed or some lookalike. If Hartnell's performance was as distinctive and amazing as every said, the story simply wouldn't work...

The Ark
THE GOLDEN MOMENT: The survivors of humanity gossip about time travel.
WHY: 10000700 years in the future, the last handful of living mankind are making dinner for creatures with no mouths. The fiesty Venussa notes some newcomerss have apparently infiltrated to the Ark. "It's only a rumour," her boyfriend Dassuk sighs. "Just like all the other rumours we've been hearing. Look Venussa, you know how far the Ark has travelled and the Earth itself no longer exists, so where could these so-called humans come from?" Vanussa deals with this bleak nihilism, suggesting that they could be the mythical Doctor, Steven and Dodo have travelled through time. "That's just a legend," Dassuk says, the events of ten minutes previous (story time) now as forgotten and ludicrous as Jesus riding dinosaurs. Time travel demonstrated while you wait.

The Celestial Toymaker
THE GOLDEN MOMENT: The Toymaker loses his temper.
WHY: You'd think the Toymaker would have worked better as a character if he was friendly and charming. But no, he talks like a Dalek and stares glassily into the distance like some comedy Chinaman on rohynol. But then, as the story draws to a close and it looks like he'll lose, his calm demeanor cracks the moment no one real is looking. "Wretched pair!" he suddenly screams at his toys. "I give you a chance of life, and this is what you do with it? If you fail me I will break you in pieces - like this!" and then smashes the whole kitchen set apart with his bare hands, screaming. As he later admits to the Doctor, "I am a very bad loser..."

The Gunfighters
THE GOLDEN MOMENT: Dodo holds Doc Holliday at gunpoint.
WHY: Dodo's the forgotten companion. Few who remember her like her - she's loud, stupid, suicidally-insane, annoying and useless, a crude personality-free plot device to keep the Doctor and Steven company for five stories and never seen, heard of or even mentioned again. But here, for once, she actually comes close to being not only someone the Doctor could use having around, but actually entertaining. With Doc Holliday her only way back to her friends but not eager to help, Dodo steals his six-shooter. "We're leaving now!" she shouts. Holliday cracks up in laughter. "What're you attempting to do with that there offensive weapon?" he jeers. "Shoot you if I have to!" When Holliday points out that this will not help her return to Tombstone, Dodo hastily backtracks, "I shall try not to kill you, I shall aim for your arm!" Holliday smiles at her. "That's real thoughtful - but at the moment you're aiming right between my eyes." "Oh I'm sorry!" Dodo apologizes, aiming elsewhere. "Is that better?" Holliday smiles. "It's an improvement," he says, and agrees to take her back to the TARDIS. Dodo immediately hands over the gun and gasps "Oh I honestly didn't want to have to shoot you!" Holliday shows off the gun he has had aimed at Dodo throughout the whole exchange. "And I didn't want to have to shoot you neither," he tells her. And Dodo faints. It's not much of a best moment, but it's all the character of Dorothea Chaplet has...

The Savages
THE GOLDEN MOMENT: Having stolen the Doctor's life energy, the leader of the Elders discovers he has got more than he bargained for.
WHY: Now, it was a fluke of bad paperwork that the First Doctor wasn't written out of the show in The Celestial Toymaker, having had his face changed as a punishment by the bored god for being all annoying and William Hartnell-y. Now, a story later, there seems to be a far less well known attempt to get some other in to play the Doctor as Frederik Jaeger's Jano, leader of this remote Gallifreyan colony, steals the old man's soul to make himself more powerful. As Jano recovers from this life transfusion, he glares at the other Elders. "Hmm! So I'm in this dreadful place, am I? Hmm? The trouble with you people on this planet is that you don't..." When Jano is reminded he's a native, he clears his throat. "Yes, yes of course. I'm afraid I'm not quite myself." The leader is given the afternoon off. "Hmm! An excellent idea. After an experience like that, one takes time to become adjusted! I suppose my two young friends, Steven and Dodo the girl with the ridiculous name..." "The strangers?" "Strangers to you, perhaps," he sniffs. The moment Jano's alone he immediately starts to sabotage all the life-draining machinery with the aide of a big stick and a demented cackle. In story terms, hell in acting terms, what we have got here is the Doctor played by another actor. It would have taken about five seconds to change the story, so the William Hartnell Doctor perished and Jano took over his mantle. It would have been epic, but the end result is pretty good anyway, as Jaeger's specially-trained Hartnellisms turn to blind panic. "What's happened to me? What's happened to me?"

The War Machines
THE GOLDEN MOMENT: Ben Jackson saves Polly Wright from a guy who doesn't take "no" for an answer.
WHY: People always seem to think that The War Machines is exempt of any faults simply because it's ground-breaking - it's rubbish at everything, but it did it first (I call it "the Nigel Kneale Factor"). But while the Pertwee years had mad computers, hypnotized scientists and armies fighting robots, they never had a scene like this where Polly is cornered by a grinning goon named Flash in an appallingly tasteless pinstripe jacket. It's a surprisingly adult scene. "Please take your arm away," Polly says softly. "Oh come on darlin', I know your type," Flash leers at the peroxide blonde in her PVC raincoat. "Oh get lost!" he spits at Ben when he tells Flash to let Polly go. "Go and play with your toy boats half-pint!" Flash mocks, before getting nineteen colours of shit kicked out of him by Ben who rounds angrilly on Polly. "You wanna be careful who you encourage!" he warns her, since she just spent the whole scene flirting with a complete stranger. Turns out that the groovy 1960s aren't the pinnacle of civilized behavior we'd come to think of them as after all...

The Smugglers
THE GOLDEN MOMENT: Held captive by two insane pirates, the Doctor effortlessly charms his way out of danger.
WHY: Unwittingly having the cryptic crossword clue that will lead to a treasure trove of... er... treasure, the hooked Samuel Pike and his batshit-serial-killing mook Cherub are going to cut the Time Lord up if he doesn't spill the beans. "If I am to reveal something of what I know, then let us talk like gentlemen, sir! Be elegant, and with dignity!" the Doctor retorts. "What makes you think I like gentlemen, eh?" the captain asks, "Well, it's quite obvious to the perceptive eye, sir. Your dress, your manner, your tastes... you're the type of man that has raised himself to an exalted position unaided. You are neither a barbarian, or a savage, I can see that!" Almost blushing, the Captain clears his throat. "Well, Doctor, you talk sweet - but don't toy with me or you'll rue it!" The Doctor is aghast. "My dear sir, I'm sure you can quickly see through any flattery of mine!" "Aye, indeed I could!" Pike retorts, glaring at his pet assassin who is still holding a knife to the Doctor's throat. "Cherub, I'm entertaining a guest, and you ain't being very polite!" In five minutes the Doctor has gone from a watery grave to drinking the smuggler's finest Madeira wine and carving up a share of the treasure for himself, and been left guarded by the dumbest and easily-fooled pirate in the whole of Cornwall. Of course, Pike can't complain. He did, after all, start the whole thing by challenging, "Well, Doctor, ye had best start using your cleverness!" He was literally asking for it...

The Tenth Planet
THE GOLDEN MOMENT: Ben bushwhacks a Cyberman and is forced to kill it.
WHY: It's ridiculous on paper. What were they thinking?! The Cybermen abandon their "kill everyone" tactic and quietly lock Ben in a side room for being a naughty boy, so he lures one in and blinds it with a projector showing a James Bond film. It turns out the amazing technology of Mondas can't stop bright lights. Fred the Cyberman immediately starts swearing in Welsh ("Blemmy ehny ah fu! Uh!"), while Ben snatches its laser gun (which, of course, works on the Cybermen themselves) and then stupidly tries to karate-chop the able seaman to death. Bringing a hand to a laser gun fight is inevitable, but the scene is rescued when Ben carries out his threat and blasts Fred across the room. He stares at the smoking corpse with tears in his eyes. "You didn't give me no alternative!" he sobs. A far cry from, for example, Ace, slaughtering dozens of the silver gits for shits and giggles...

Next: the one after this one!

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