17 March 2013

Will Brooks’ 50 Year Diary - watching Doctor Who one episode a day from the very start...

Day Seventy-Six: The Search (The Space Museum, Episode Three)

Dear diary,

There's more shots of the police box exterior to the TARDIS in whiz episode than I think we've had in any other episode to date. That makes this the perfect opportunity to mention… just how gorgeous is the Hartnell era TARDIS?

I've praised the design of the interior before now (well, at least most of the time - it never looks so good when it's been hastily assembled in a corner somewhere…), but I don't think I've ever mentioned the exterior before now. I've never really given it much thought in the past, but I think this early version is my favourite of the classic bunch.

There's something about it that really works for me. It could be the fact that it looks a bit battered, and therefore really sells it as something that's been tumbling through the Time Vortex (or the Asteral Plane, of whatever you want to call it at this stage). The police box goes through a similar period of looking battered in the 1980s, but it's never quite as good as we see it here. And yet it's the one version of the ship that I don't own in toy form! I really must get around to fixing that.

As for the episode itself… well, it's much the same as yesterdays - nothing particularly wrong with it, but there's just nothing all that great to hook onto, either. It's great to see Ian given plenty to do, even if he's not quite in character while he's doing it. Equally, it's good to see Vicki being given a strong role in the story, too, as she starts to stir up the revolution.

I have to ask, though, since when has Vicki been able to reprogram a commuter like that? The whole scene outside the armoury put me in mind of a similar one with Zoe during The Invasion; but I had no idea something like that had occurred here, too!

What's that? What do you mean I'm struggling for things to say in relation to this episode? I resent that accusation. Although, um… er… Realistically, one of the problems with the show going into a kind of auto pilot like this is that I don't really end up with much to discuss. I could go into the suggestion that this is the only story of the early period in the show's history which hasn't seen some debate over its overall title, but that seems to be stretching it a bit.

Besides, The Dimensions of Time would be a much cooler overall title, anyway…

Next Episode: The Final Phase

Next Episode: The Final Phase 
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