For those unfamiliar with the story, it is a Sylvester McCoy-era adventure that takes the Doctor back to 1963 London, a few weeks after he left it in An Unearthly Child while looking like William Hartnell.
I'm not sure I'd seen this one since its original run in 1988, and there was much that passed over my head first time round. My abiding memories were of the following three classic moments:
- Dalek climbs stairs. And a generation of children discovers that you can no longer escape by running up to your bedroom.
- Ace twats Dalek with baseball bat.
- BBC TV announcer is cut off while introducing 'an exciting new science fiction series, Doc-'.
The main thing I noticed this time was the excellent script by Ben Aaronovitch:
"I'm hungry, Professor! Lack of food makes me hungry, you know!"
"Lack of food makes you obstreperous!"
(I seem to have a version of this conversation quite often, with Howard in the Doctor role.)
I've had one of Aaronovitch's Rivers of London novels on the Kindle for ages, and it's moved several places up the queue on the strength of his writing here.
Delighted to spot George Sewell, who was in every British crime drama of the 1970s and, excitingly, turned up at my great-uncle's memorial service. (Wikipedia informs me he died in 2007. Alas.)
Approximately 90% of the story involves everyone running round a school, alternately evading and attacking various Daleks. This was the stuff my 11-year-old dreams were made of.
Confession: only while watching the extended/deleted scenes did I twig that Mike betrayed everyone because he was part of Ratcliffe's movement for an Aryan master race. Previously when he talked about the need to look after 'his people' before joining his blonde, blue-eyed friends, I just thought he was gay.
The extended scenes also make it more obvious that the Doctor is setting up a webcam in order to Skype Davros.
I was made curiously uncomfortable by the outtakes. Apparently my need to believe in the Doctor is so great that I don't like having my disbelief unsuspended by witnessing Sylvester McCoy accidentally groping Sophie Aldred, funny though it is.