Doctor Who: The Three Doctors (or A Brotherly Blast From the Past)

Holy balls, what a great evening!  It’s my every-other-Wednesday with my brother, and while it’s always a good time, tonight was extra-special.  We usually eat dinner, chat a bit, then watch something on the teevee.  For a while it had been scientific lectures on the nature of the brain and consciousness (fascinating stuff!), but we finished off that series and have moved back into the realm of fiction.  Tonight, I suggested The Three Doctors (mostly so I’ll have it fresher in my mind when the Radio Free Skaro fellas release their commentary next week).  D was all for it.  He’d watched some Hartnell not too long ago, so was in a classic-Doc kinda mood already.  Before we started, we calculated that we’d last watched this episode in the fall of 1994.  And we’d most likely watched it together, so this was a reunion of sorts.

What neither of us had remembered was what a great episode it is!  We were both laughing out loud at the Doctors’ antics.  I’ve always adored Troughton, and watching him bicker with Pertwee sent me into fits of giggles.  I positively loved the writing in this story.  Part of me felt like some of it should have been a little too over-the-top look-how-clever-we’re-being, but none of it actually struck me that way.  Perhaps it would have been different had I been in a different mood.  One line in particular took D and I right back to childhood: Troughton–“Well you’ve been fiddling with it haven’t you?”  Pertwee–“It was perfectly alright until you touched it!”  We figured out that our mom had that sound clip on her computer, and it would play every time something-or-other happened.  That something-or-other must have happened a lot ’cause we both remembered hearing it often!  (I’m betting she had that mapped to an error message.  It would seem to fit.)

I think I mentioned a few posts back that Troughton’s Doctor always seemed more fallible to me than some of his other selves.  This was pretty clearly demonstrated in The Three Doctors.  He blatantly screws up and expects antimatter to behave as matter would.  It led to a lovely moment when D said to the screen “It’s antimatter!”  Echoed closely by Troughton saying the very same thing.

Moments like that remind me how nice it is to watch Doctor Who with company.  I do love the commentaries–they give the illusion of companionship, but it’s not the same as watching with an actual person.  Especially when that person shares the same raised-on-Doctor-Who love that I do.  I was almost giddy with excitement at being able to share the fun.  It really did take me back to 1994, which I will always think of as my “year of Doctor Who.”  I’d just about finished watching all the stories my mom had on VHS (all 100 or so), when D said, hey, I want to start watching (technically, re-watching) those with you!  He tells me I insisted that we backtrack and start with the Tom Baker years.  Apparently I wanted to ensure that the fourth Doctor would be his favorite too.  I admit I do have a vague recollection of this, and it certainly sounds like me!

Now I feel obliged to throw in a brief note on the knitting.  I know I promised a picture, but as I half-expected, I’m too tired and lazy to provide it now.  It’s past my bedtime, after all.  I did get that big old orange stripe done, and I’m well into the next red one.  I made very steady progress this time.  I think it was helpful having someone around who might notice if I started flagging.

So anyway, tonight was a thrill for me (not to mention extra-productive), and I hope there will be more shared Who to come!

Well, you’ve been fiddling with it, haven’t you?
DOCTOR: It was perfectly all right until you touched it.

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One thought on “Doctor Who: The Three Doctors (or A Brotherly Blast From the Past)

  1. Mike Huberty says:

    The Three Doctors is what made me appreciate Patrick Troughton. I’d read about him but had never seen him because they only showed Docs 3-6 in Milwaukee until we were in 6th grade (when they restarted from Unearthly Child and showed the individual episodes every weekday at 10.) When I finally saw him in action, I understood what everyone else was talking about. Plus, when you got him and Jamie in The Two Doctors, you realized why they were beloved (something that I didn’t get from the originals until I watched The War Games.)

    Another thing I loved is their show must go on mentality. William Hartnell is sick, oh well, we’ll figure it out. It’s the same thing in The Five Doctors when Tom Baker was being a bitch and wouldn’t come back. They’ve got a show to put on and they’ll be damned if they let “circumstances” get in the way!

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