As many of you will know, Kasterborous is presenting a series of reviews in preparation for Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary, running through the entire ‘Classic Who’ series from 1963’s An Unearthly Child to 1989’s Survival. And as a regular contributor, I’m proud to say I’m on the list of reviewers!
At the time of writing, we’re nearing the end of Season 3, the last full series to feature William Hartnell’s First Doctor before his regeneration in The Tenth Planet.
Mission to the Unknown stands out as the only one-part story of the classic series – but most notably as the only story to not feature the Doctor, the TARDIS or his companions! Although it does feature some very familiar foes from the planet Skaro.
Sadly, the episode is lost, so all we have are some photos and the soundtrack. It’s the first time I’ve ever reviewed something like that, but I found it a really enjoyable experience (and one I’ll do again). It also highlighted, once again, how sad it is that so many serials are missing – possibly wiped from the archives forever.
Knowing that I wouldn’t get a chance of talking about Hartnell again in the DW@50 series, I asked my editor, Christian, if I could also review a story with the Doctor featured quite heavily. And he obliged…
The Gunfighters is also important (and largely underrated), but I’ll leave it to my review to explain why. It’s not historically accurate, but it’s a very fun tale, and one which I’m sure a lot will revisit after the brilliant A Town Called Mercy (hasn’t this latest series been incredible?!).
This one is complete and available on DVD, which made it much easier to judge the direction and sets than on Mission to the Unknown.
Reviewing the classics is a massively enjoyable experience (one which I’d tried out before on the DVD of Day of the Daleks), and I hope to be part of the whole project. In fact, I already know which story I’ll be reviewing for the Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton); it’s one I haven’t fully seen/heard before, but it’s always fascinated me. Stay tuned!