BLACK ORCHID

Part One

I select ‘Play All’ on the DVD. It’s how I get my kicks these days.

The story begins with a murder.

Sue: Blimey, this one isn’t messing around, is it? Straight in with a death; no pissing about. The editing isn’t very good, though. The gurgling noise doesn’t match the victim’s lips. Not a good start.

Meanwhile, Sarah Sutton is fast asleep.

Sue: Eh? Is Nyssa dreaming this? Are we on the TARDIS? What the hell is going on? Is this another trippy ...

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THE HIGHLANDERS

Episode 1

The HighlandersSue recognises Frazer Hines immediately. Well, I say recognise.

Sue: It’s whatshisface from Emmerdale Farm. He definitely becomes a companion. Don’t ask me why, but I know that for a fact. Does that mean Ben gets himself killed? That wouldn’t be very nice.

The Doctor is still sporting a stovepipe hat.

Sue: Why doesn’t Ben or Polly tell him that it looks like a dunce’s hat?

Later, when the Doctor is presented ...

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2

THE SMUGGLERS

Episode 1

The fourth season begins where the third season left off – with Polly and Ben barging they way into the TARDIS.

The SmugglersSue: Ben and Polly are very modern, compared to what we’ve seen so far. They’re almost too modern. They may as well shout, “Fab and groovy, man!” at the top of their lungs and be done with it.
Me: The Doctor won’t be pleased.
Sue: But does he ...

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THE GUNFIGHTERS

A Holiday for the Doctor

The Gunfighters begins with a song.

Sue: This is an interesting way to start an episode. We’ve never seen anything like this before.
Nicol: This isn’t Doctor Who. What is this?

Sue’s daughter watched this episode with us – the first time we’ve allowed another human being to sit in on the experiment since the Simon Harries debacle. Putting classic Doctor Who on the telly is usually Nicol’s cue to slam the lid on her laptop before heading ...

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THE MASSACRE

War of God

Sue: Can we watch the new Matt Smith episode again instead?
Me: No.
Sue: But I need to discuss my River Song theory with you.
Me: I’m not falling for that old chestnut, Sue. Come on, we have to crack on. Do you want to be stuck in the 1960s forever?
Sue: Okay, so what’s this one called?
Me: I can’t tell you. Even the fans can’t agree on an umbrella title for this story. The title we ...

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THE MYTH MAKERS

The Myth Makers

I’m going to shake up the blog’s format for this particular instalment. Instead of writing up my notes episodically, I’m going to tackle it as a single entry. The reason for this is simple, The Myth Makers passed the ultimate test and we watched it in one go. Sue insisted.

The first thing she praises is the programme’s audacious decision not to follow Mission to the Unknown with the next logical part of that story, and I mentally kick ...

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THE CRUSADE

The Lion

We had to watch this episode twice.

I’d love to tell you Sue adored it so much we decided to wallow in its glorious splendour again, but the sad truth is we had to re-watch it for an array of complicated reasons which I will bore you with now.

First of all, our mutual friend, Simon ‘Rula’ Harries, came to stay for the weekend, and late on Friday night I temporarily took leave of my senses and suggested he join us ...

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THE ROMANS

The Slave Traders

Sue: Have we skipped an episode?

Sue can’t believe yesterday’s cliffhanger has somehow resulted in a luxurious holiday for four in Italy.

Sue: Poor Susan. She would have loved this. It’s so unfair.

There’s a wonderful moment where Hartnell pretends to forget Ian’s surname, and the perfectly executed gag makes Sue laugh out loud.

Sue: Is it supposed to be a comedy?
Me: Yes, it is.
Sue: Seriously? This is a comedy?
Me: Yes, it’s a serious comedy. Just you wait and ...

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THE REIGN OF TERROR

A Land of Fear

I stun Sue with a confession.

Me: I’ve never seen this story before.

She spits a mouthful of hot coffee over our kitten, Tegan.

Me: It isn’t my fault! I didn’t have a VHS player when they released this story. And bits of it are missing, of course.
Sue: What do you mean, bits of it are missing?
Me: Two episodes out of six – episodes four and five to be precise – are missing from the archives. We’ll have ...

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THE AZTECS

The Temple of Evil

My hope that Sue would soak up this episode in revered silence is dashed within seconds, mainly because we get embroiled in two very tedious discussions. Well, tedious to me, at least.

Sue: Why have they decided to visit the Aztecs? I thought Ian and Barbara wanted to get back to 1963?
Me: They’ve arrived here by accident.
Sue: Why?
Me: Well, the TARDIS doesn’t work properly.
Sue: Really? I didn’t know that. I thought the Doctor had ...

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