Doctor Who / Thunderbirds

Just finished watching a Thunderbirds video with F, which reminded me that I never properly wrote up two other Doctor Who stories I watched last month.

Remembrance of the Daleks (video)

I eventually worked out that I had seen this before, not at the time of first transmission in 1988 but probably not too long thereafter. It didn’t much impress me then, and doesn’t much impress me now. A particular gripe is the total failure to make the setting look like it’s November 1963, leaving the story feel curiously cut adrift in time. The Daleks are OK, and the Special Weapons Dalek pretty good, but I didn’t feel the rest of the cast (except the little girl) had their hearts in it.

The Ark in Space (DVD)

This is a different matter. Harry is a bit annoying, but it’s every bit as good as I thought I remembered from when I was seven (I admit I watched the updated CGI version rather than the one with the original model shots, so the only really wobbly bit was the march of the Wirrn over the hull in the last episode). Of course, Ian Marter’s novelisation was even more fun, but there’s lots to like here – particularly pleasing are the characterisation of Tom Baker’s Doctor (only his second story broadcast, though of course the third to be filmed), the first episode with nobody other than the Doctor and companions, and the banter between minor characters Rogin and Lycett. DVD extras are OK, including an interview with Tom Baker in Wookey Hole filmed while making Revenge of the Cybermen.

Thunderbirds: Trapped in the Sky/Pit of Peril (video)

Picked this up at the dorpfeest two weeks ago – the first two episodes ever of Thunderbirds, from 1964. In the first episode, the team rescues a plane which has had a bomb attached to its landing gear through the sinister intervention of The Hood; in the second episode, they pull a damaged US Army vehicle called the Sidewinder (clearly an ancestor of the Imperial walkers from The Empire Strikes Back) out of a blazing pit into which it has fallen. All great fun. Lady Penelope is disconcertingly ruthless with her rocket missiles in the first episode! And F and I are still wondering when we will see Thunderbird 3 and Thunderbird 4 put through their paces. But basically I will have to buy the DVD now.

Incidentally, I suppose that Neil Gaiman’s idea of the Endless contacting each other through their portraits in Sandman was inspired by the Thunderbirds’ control room, where the Tracy brothers’ pictures turn into video connections? Or is there an earlier inspiration?

One thought on “Doctor Who / Thunderbirds

  1. My list is nearly the same as yours — I’ve not read The Darkness That Comes Before or Harry Potter beyond Goblet of Fire, and I have read the two Daniel Abrahams, The Lies of Locke Lamora and The Name of the Wind.

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