Sunday, November 23, 2008


Doctor Who 45th Anniversary – Why Was 1969 Brilliant?

Writer Bob Holmes’ first two Doctor Who scripts hit the screen, and there’ll be far more from him once the series goes into colour. This is the last black and white year, topically fascinated with going out into space, though the bleak, epic final story seems very down-to-Earth. Where 1968’s The Mind Robber had forces exploiting humanity’s creative talents, here it’s our talent for destruction in a story where the Doctor’s people are finally revealed and the prospect of a black Doctor is shown to be distinctly possible…

The War Games
“Use the conventional forces. It could be quite amusing.”
A grim, brilliantly structured story opens in the First World War then opens out into ever-wider revelations. Horribly similar rigged trials top and tail this passionately anti-war tale where each successive monster is more deadly than the last, and they all look just like us.

A DVD may well be on its way next year, but in the meantime, you may be able to find second-hand a copy of the VHS or of Malcolm Hulke’s shortened but thoughtful novel. If you can track down WH Smith’s The Time Lord Collection, that includes not only the best video transfer of this story, but also The Three Doctors and The Deadly Assassin.

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