Doctor Who: Countdown to New-Whovember – The Classic Whovember Recap!

Whovember - classic Doctor Who retrospective

AKA. A warm-up to…  New Whovember: Three Doctors, Two show runners and War Doctor in a right state…

The sequel to the classic Whovember is brewing like the Oncoming Storm…While New Whovember will bring us bang up to date with the 21st century adventures of the Mad Man in a Box, a recap of Classic Whovember’s delves into that happy time before the Great Time War.

WHOVEMBER WAS A MONTH-LONG LOOK AT CLASSIC DOCTOR WHO. THE MONUMENTAL 26-YEAR RUN STRETCHING FROM TOTTER’S LANE IN EAST LONDON ON A  FOG-BOUND NIGHT IN 1963 TO…  THE SUN-DRENCHED, CAT-STALKED STREETS OF PERIVALE.  Though that may be preferable to the Albert Square of, er, the East End that popped up (so-un canonically) in 1993, those original, halcyon years covered far more ground than those eight or so miles suggest.  It almost seems a shame to consider the show’s Millennial trip to San Francisco. But in the midst of the show’s hugely successful 21st century relaunch, the Eighth Doctor can’t be allowed to sit in the middle.

With more than a few highs and lows over the years, as you might expect from a show designed to test the limits of what television formats can do, Who managed to retain some form of stiff upper lip throughout its run at least.  And #Whovember wasn’t just a retrospective.  In the anniversary month of 2013, it was a series that set out to take an individual Doctor and a different, crucial aspect of the show’s myth, and look at them through the prism of a plot arc or set of serials.  As usual with these things, much like piloting a TARDIS, it wasn’t an exact art. The original series was issued unchronologically, ensuring that no Doctor sat adjacent to another. For this summary, we’ll straighten out the time stream… Let’s start at the beginning.

#1 – “We’re trying to defeat the Daleks, not start a jumble sale” 

 Serials that mark one of the definitive actions of the classic run1

The First Doctor provided the perfect opportunity to look at the show’s  legacy through two successive serials, 1965’s The Space Museum and the Dalek romp of the same year, The Chase.  These could also be considered the serial with far too much ambition and the serial with absolutely no plot.  But one strong element in the defense of both is that they do both feature Daleks. And a young Boba Fett – young Jeremy Bulloch as part of a revolution so pathetic it probably triggered the Time War in disgust.  Yes, coming two years into the show’s early, heavy schedule, both serials receive their fair share of negative criticism it’s fair to say. But both also throw up some interesting ideas and not just in terms of their production.  Perhaps their stand-out role in shaping Who’s legacy is that they they stage a show first, a definitive action of the classic run that remains a challenge and opportunity for the show today: the loss of the last two original companions, Ian and Barbara.  Undoubtedly important, could it be, as remarked in Whovember #1, that… Read more…

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