Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Dr Who Wednesday #4

The Wife and I carried on watching Pertwee episodes, this week catching 'The Time Warrior' and 'Death to the Daleks'.  Both had moments I remembered watching the initial broadcast in my youth.

The Time Warrior

The Time Warrior is notable for two introductions - the Sontarians and Sarah Jane Smith.

Thanks to Strax in the New Era, Sontarians are now seen as comic relief, but they were originally rather more sinister (and uglier).  The moment at the climax of the first episode of the serial where Cdr Linx takes off his helmet for the first time has been voted one of the scariest moments in Dr Who, and is one of the bits that made an impression on six-year-old me.

Of Sarah Jane Smith as played by the divine Elisabeth Sladen I need say no more.

The plot of is that Linx crash-lands in 12th Century England and forms an alliance with the local brigand, Irongron, providing him with firearms (partly for the pleasure of promoting conflict).  In order to repair his ship, Linx snatches scientists from the 20th Century - where (when?) UNIT decides to put all the scientist together in order to keep tabs on them.  The Doctor, Sarah Jane and some stereotypical boffins end up in Irongron's stronghold.  The fun then starts...

Death to the Daleks

Death to the Daleks has been criticised for having some of the most inept Daleks ever to leave Skaro.*  At least two Daleks are killed by being punched by men-in-sacks; one self-destructs after loosing a prisoner; and the two who enter the Exxilon City  are pretty useless too.  Early on in the story they decide to use the cunning (and budget-saving) trick of pretending there are only four of them...

*They're not helped by the comedy music that accompanies them (it reminded me of 'Ivor the Engine').

I won't detail the plot (there are Dr Who plot summaries all over the web), but it was fun.  What's interesting is that the Doctor, humans and Daleks enter into an alliance to defeat the stick-wielding men-in-sacks.  If this had been made in the '80s or '90s, it would have been done much more clumsily and be a ham-fisted satire - here it's just allowed to stand.


  1. I feeling another box set purchase coming on.

  2. Partly the reason why I don't feel an urgent need to watch early Dr. W, as heretical as that may be. When I do, I can't help but mentally protest its cheesiness.
    However, as you wisely notes, when I first met a Sontaran (either a Tom Baker or a Peter Davison episode, where the Sontaran teamed up with a few other villains in Spain), he was friggin scary. While I always find Strax funny, he is, as you note, a bit of a cheaplaffs character.

  3. Time Warrior was one of the best episodes every really.

  4. Sontarians. Yep started as a bad ass terrible threat.

  5. I liked in the first doctor when you could lift the lid of a Dalek, take out the green squishy thing, and hide inside.

    Great stuff.

  6. I remember that Sontaran helmet reveal! My next door neighbour looks exactly like a Sontaran


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