Dr Who - The Old Doctor Who and The New Doctor Who

Created 18/03/2013, Changed; 23/06/2020, 15/06/2020

Old this webpage; http://ww1.andrew-lohmann.me.uk/engineer/dr-who-classic-estb-1963/dr-who---the-old-and-new-doctor-who

Dr Who - Losses and Mistakes

 The Friday children's TV series Cracker Jack, following the first Dr Who's regeneration, Peter Glaze and Leslie Crowther, performed a duet dancing and singing "I am the old Doctor Who", "and I am the new Doctor Who".

The Power of The Daleks - Regeneration and interview with Polly ‎‎(not avalible)‎‎.  Anneke Wills (Polly) says that William Hartnell was so tickled to have an actor the calibre of Patrick Troughton follow him.  In turn Patrick Troughton felt honoured to be be given the role when they met.  The Ben and Polly had to work hard in William Hartnell's last story the Tenth Planet to cover for him he was very unwell.

The first regeneration brought many changes.  A new style of Dr Who that has endured.  The second Doctor Who particularly stood out as a communicator saying what he was doing as well as expressing emotions very clearly with his face, notice Patrick's heavily worked wrinkled face.  Evidently Patrick Troughton was the definitive Doctor Who, underplaying that role in order to bring out the best in his companions. Unfortunately "Power of the Daleks" lovingly narrated video by Anneke Wills who played Polly has been deleted from YouTube so I have replaced it with another similar video (right).

Until the 1980's generally when doing business the provider insured you went away with the correct thing.  There were more small companies competing, people were more discriminating judging what they see rather than what they are told to do, I think.  If you bought a car from someone you met in a market (my father told me about the 1940's)  it might have a wooden piston and soapy water instead of oil and the seller would be gone by the time you returned in other words the risk and cost was clearer.

Hardware shops had trained staff who would give advice.  Of cause you would pay more for the item, four screws for example, but you would not need to come back what you got was what you needed even if you had gone in and asked for the wrong thing at the outset.

Moon shadow, Cat Stevens.

The cost of an item was higher but the value and the experience was much better.  The 1970's the era changed to a gentler time of full employment and affordable homes and by 1980 the free disposable carrier bag was common when shopping.  This not achieved by low prices and low pay, as it is now, but good pay and responsible lending.  1.4%  of the people were looking for work in 1970.  A person could be unemployed one day and found work the next day perhaps even the same day.  The Song "Moon Shadow" by Cat Stevens of 1971 sums the era well as a more gentle time.  Of cause work was not easy and bad practices were common then - perhaps the eternal problem of people understanding one another?

Patrick Troughton as Dr Who with Zoe and Jamie is the set I remember particularly, Jelly Babies (they were Lemon Sherbet's first), the recorder and the Doctor's ring/whistle that he uses to call the TARDIS (that last fact is not quite right - see The Two Doctors much later).  Patrick Troughton played genuinely clever but subtle, his technical explanations and maths where most plausible, sonic screw-driver, kind or convincingly angry and his, the 1st regeneration, was best.

Unlike many of the more complex stories I particularly remember the Daleks being made in The Power of the Daleks - they were spooned out of a bucket by a Dalek with a colander attachment to its arm and tipped into the machine body on a production line.  This is the only time Dr Who visits the planet Vulcan the story is broadcast soon after the start or Star Trek in USA but there is no suggestion that this is Mr Spock's home planet though!  The Doctor tries to convince the scientists not to trust the three disarmed Dalek's.  But mistakenly they are trusted and the Daleks secretly build hundreds more Daleks.  Dr tells his companions that he could not survive without the TARDIS, again reaffirming his symbiotic relationship with the machine.

Daleks and Timelords adversaries tend to fight in a somewhat chivalrous way so that their adversary stays alive and they can play again another time.  The nature of a TV series or a film sequel is that people want to see much of the old story again but the nature of maximising viewer numbers causes a conflict between popular interest, artistic purity and reality.  I am not that persuaded that shivery or rules of war are good, even so.  The nature of organised conflict is that the people are pawns that the gods (rulers who make the rules of war) manipulate and sacrifice for the game.  I observation that people act-up and behave badly like their masters - particularly the British on holiday abroad behave like Royalty on the Grand Tour a millennium ago.  I suppose chivalry like heraldry aspire to something and can be a lot less bad than plain bad.  Well perhaps they just dress up bad to seem all right?

Carpenters marks the end of the 1960s the era and tone is different it is softer

Ethics; The Chase, - Daleks may have gone back in time with a time machine, it is not stated, to kill a less experienced Doctor but fail. But in Genesis of the Daleks - The Doctor is sent back to when the Daleks were created but he has second thoughts about destroying the Daleks at their creation.  Without the existence of Daleks other worse things may have happened (Similarly someone in the arms trade or other questionable things might say if I did not do that someone else would this not comparable? - I think the Doctors judgement is played to show fallibility and doubt - skilfully carried off). Ultimately the mission is successful but not 100%.

The story Inferno shows us an alternative universe but if the Germany had won the Second World War but who is to say what would have happened if the Nazis had won world war two?  A lot of good things may not have happened and lots of other good things entirely unexpected, by now may have happened?   A dangerous experiment in a parallel world leads to disastrous events sooner than in our world.  The Doctor returns to our world to warn and prevent it happening here.  He observes that the cause of events can be changed, consequently (I guess sometimes).  

In Genesis of the Daleks, although they have no TARDIS to go back to bed in after each episode the Sarah Jane Smith has a change clothes between some episodes.  The Time Ring given to the Dr. by the Timelords returns them to where they where but the things have moved on and the TARDIS is not there on spaceship they left it on (yet).  Does the Doctor's regenerations occur instead of a bath and a change of cloths? - The TARDIS interior has been said to be sterile but in some story's Doctors and companions have been infected by things and travelled in the TARDIS without being cleansed of them.

I recall the TARDIS being dropped into a cauldron so hot everything melts - it was a kind of recycling system but the Doctor (No.1 or 2) explains the TARDIS is indestructible.  I think I must have made that up though because I can't find that episode.  Adults in unusual situations and when stressed and also Children don't discriminate fact and imagination or dream so well.  Alternatively I could have got that impression was going to happen from Space Pirates part 3 but it turns out that the TARDIS was no where near where the stolen and cut up spaceships were  being melted down?

Moonbase - The earth's climate is managed from the moon.  Cybermen introduce a virus which the Doctor finds an antidote too.  Patrick Troughton is comfortable playing a scientist explaining what he is doing, well.  At one point a projectile goes through the window of the Moonbase causing the atmosphere to start rushing out but fortunately The Doctor puts a plate over the hole.  Although the Doctor does not use protective suits any more in this exception they are worn to cross from the TARDIS to the Moonbase.  Geo-Engineering portrayed in Moonbase may be another stop gap until humans face up to the fallacy of Growth, Trickle Down Economics don't work but fair distribution and demand management probably will work. 

Into the 1970's married women still could only have a bank account with their husbands consent.

But conversely if a married woman did not pay the TAX the husband was liable and that was the case still in the 1980's.

It is not that I remember these story's almost in colour, that I was used to watching in Black & White so the pictures may as well have been in colour.  Also my recollection of the story is a bit coloured - in Myth Makers the Doctor, it turns out, did not advise on how to make a machine like his TARDIS the Trojan Horse to ride in.  They wanted his TARDIS and separately he suggested a way of getting an army into a city.  I  enjoyed the story as a boy. The back and forth with what the Horse was for and who wanted the TARDIS as a gift was beyond me to follow but was good reality stuff for the adult viewers as well.

In the Evil of the Daleks - we see playful friendly Daleks, this is fun, they challenge instructions with "Whys" even to the supreme Dalek. Once again another different story.  This shows off Dr. No.2's ability to cleverly outsmart his opponents.

I seem to remember bits of many of these stories some but not Dominators (which is enjoyable seeing Jamie destroy robots armed with lasers using boulders and rocks).   The Abominable Snowman and Yeti (The Web of Fear) stories stand out as particularly memorable.  In the latter story we meet Nicholas Courtney again but this time as Col. Lethbridge-Stewart we all know.

The Web of Fear did not mark the change in which the Doctor assists the army and the state, it was the first Dr story, The War Machines that was the first. Britain was conducting wars abroad and doing some quite bad things people did not sit back and think wars had ended. But some of those bad things are now becoming acceptable to protest about in public and there has been some apologies (Such as to the Mau-Mau [sounds like "Mow-Mow"] in Kenya).  An old friend, George Lott, signed the Peace Pledge after he had finished serving out his national service in that war.

Fury from the Deep - Another handy tool the Doctor's Sonic Screwdriver seen for the first time.  Also the TARDIS floats on water, there is a blow up rubber row boat stored behind a side panel near the doors of the TARDIS.  They paddle in the boat to the shore and the TARDIS does not float away when they leave it for an adventure.

Before 1980 it was another world;

In 1970 you could buy Sodium Chlorate weed killer, from Timothy Whites Pharmacist which you you could make a sort of Gunpowder with it.  But an adult was supposed to buy it.

The Sodium Chlorinate was a silly chemical to use for weed killer on its own it needs a very high temperature to ignite,  burn  but can go out.  But when put together with sugar or plant life it could combustion spontaneously.  Absolutely the most reckless thing to sell branded as weed killer but an excellent provider of oxygen when burnt.  Eg gunpowder, incendiary bomb or submarine oxygen producing survival apparatus. 

Two Ronnie's - Fork Handles or Four Candles

You could buy from the Iron Mongers quality knives that all boy scouts would need even a throwing knife and you did not need your dad with you to buy them.

I hate guns would not want to touch one but the knife for carving wood is an excellent thing to own.  Most men and boys had a small pen knife in their pockets in the way same.  Dr Who had a small sonic screwdriver see 3.3 mins into this video is similar sized and function to an ordinary pocket pen knife would be.

The Difference between Training and Education;

Wheel in Space - Victoria leaves and is missed.  The TARDIS warns of danger it is Cybermen plus a few other things. Zoe joins us and Doctor offers Jamie a Lemon Sherbet.  Later Zoe regrets having been trained (brainwashed) as a mathematician but not educated to learn.  Zoe and Jamie are my favourite companions of the second doctor.

We see another feature of the TARDIS.  The Doctor wares a helmet and projects his thoughts, as to pictures, on to the TARDIS screen.  This is exhausting for him - we don't see this feature again.

Doctor Who stories are full of people in charge who follow rules and often go bazerk (mad). In life, I observe, people who follow rules for their own sake not only annoy me but often annoy each other - I am not unsympathetic to them though we all have are merits and failings.

In one story Invasion the TARDIS develops a fault and materialises in a field but is invisible, what makes the story memorable for me is how did they find the field with the TARDIS again? Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, acts the straight predictable military officer that he will always. Dr No. 2, with Jamie does many funny things (sitting down when out numbered and threatened is a natural way of showing no threat, dogs do it when they roll over and become submissive).  Zoe is good she reprogrammed and writes off a computer.  The other actors work hard making good of an otherwise not notable story.

The Krontons - Another feature of the TARDIS it can jump out of the way of danger see  15 mins into part 3. Also see Tom Baker in The Android Invasion The TARDIS proceeds or continues on its way, across the Galaxy to Earth and is there waiting for him and Sarah, this would be very inconsistent (it is a time machine so cause and effect do not apply).  The, BBC explain in the write up, that story is incomplete rather than showing off another feature of the TARDIS.  But it is the nature of serial story telling that catastrophes happen but by the next story it all appears almost forgotten.  This is also the case in the long running story the Archers on radio 4 and is a misleading aspect of serialised story telling.

The Masque of Mandragora This is Tom Baker at his best - see 17 mins into episode 1, Tom Baker when rained in is very very good. Tom Baker has left behind the government army advisor (Professor Bernard Quatamass) role that Jon Pertwee had had.  The first Dr No.3 story was Spearhead from Space is modelled on Quatamass II I am told.  I don't think following the excellent 1950's role worked but Tom Baker (Dr no.4) carried it off well, by only helping UNIT out occasionally without being based on earth, for a while as well after Jon Pertwee. In Masque of Mandragora we see an older console room in the TARDIS that we have not seen before but it has a few things that could belong to three previous doctors we do know.

Another recollection;

As an electronics designer I worked for a scientific instrument maker working with people across disciplines.  The company used to employ craftsmen who would turn a drawing into fully developed instrument quickly.  The companies optical work was highly regarded.  The only flaw was that the company under priced its work this might have undermined the company's reputation.

I think this type of anecdote is typical of companies doing excellent work but did not survive past the 1980's. Its a shame because the attitude that everyone was a craftsman spread through out the company was good.  The quality of and pride in the work by culture was high but I am not saying that the company was necessarily always a good employer.

There is a case for understanding the difference between peoples temperament types. The early Doctor Who reflected what was happening in social, education and work.  The inclusiveness and the appreciation of artistic ability in Engineering not just in arts as an art.  Paper qualification did not necessary measure or count so much as it does now.  At the same society was strong but conforming resisted change but in a different way.  

Understanding people who do and say "what works" and understanding that most people are "what is" temperament.  If those type are understood then each can play to the best ability.

Another Change 1970 people had all the things they needed;

From 1970 the programme changed again the Doctor became more of the lead person.  In life we had full employment if you lost a job on one day there was another two jobs for you tomorrow.

[Things were changing during the 1970s people had things that they previously strived for, NHS and good homes for example.  There was space to be selfish rather than a need to work together].

An excellent story, Planet of the Dalek's,  Jon Pertwee seems to speak with genuine feeling about war, his companion and having to be brave.  See 5 mins or so into this clip.

The Dalek levitation device, later in this story, is a serious step we can't go upstairs to bed safely any more?

This story ends again with some basic warnings to the Thal by the Doctor not to glorify when they return to Saro there battle with the Daleks, understate the difficult and losses of war.  A point made by many who have had to serve in war. Dr Who, Jon Pertwee was in the Navy during World War 2.

First Three Doctors played straight as theatrical actors would regarding sets as stage props necessary to hold the story But this changed.  The sets became very good but consequently the weaknesses in the sets then could be laugh at off camera.  Later if you read the BBC and observe, Tom Baker seems not initially take the casting too seriously but later is rained in and is generally reckoned to be the best.  Tom Baker, K9 show us particularly in Invisible Enemy that the Dr.s unpredictability is what he uses to avoid both his mind being read or his actions predicted (K9) under the most dangerous conditions he plays hopscotch whilst running and deceiving some incredibly powerful and advanced adversaries.

[See Seeds of Doom 11:30 mins into episode 2 - See the Doctor turn around (360') on his heal as an an out of context (because there is a gun pointed at them) joke.  This story was quite week in mitigation though the idea is good]

"Kung Fu" the TV series with David Carradine ‎‎(1972)‎‎ 

The 1970's TV Series Kung Fu shows us something of extreme body control can be achieved by training and self discipline of the mind. Mystical but not fantastic.  Fantasy, fiction and reality thread shall be developed.


This was a clever idea.  Sometimes embellished unnecessarily.  Jon Pertwee gains a second heart and he is unwell in a different way for a while (Spearhead from Space).  The time lords and the TARDIS set the third Doctor down where he is vulnerable in a dangerous situation but fortunately that is where the Brigadier can find him and look after him. Jon Pertwee follows two great doctors quite well and he has another useful device a wrist watch that he can find the TARDIS with - that would explain a lot but the Doctor appears not to have that device again but Dr No. 4 does have another like it! The first Doctor also had a TARDIS finding instrument.

Perhaps the creation of a second heart is a harmless side effect of being regenerated by a Gallifrayan time capsule.  Doctor No.1 in Edge of Destruction bumps his head but Ian checks and his heart (singular) beat is fine.The Last story of the First Doctor Who (10th Planet) Ben checks the Dr and the Dr has a good heartbeat, this the first renewal we see the machine process started in the TARDIS with the Dr operating the controls, no hands but an automatic process started by the machine as soon as the Dr. enters TARDIS leaving Ben and Polly locked out.  The leavers moving, time rota going so there is movement in time but the machine has not moved physically in space and time.  The Dr lets Ben and Polly in as the process is occurring continues, perhaps working at accelerated speed.  During the Story The Dominator's with Patrick Troughton as the Doctor who is medically scanned by the Dominator's and it turns out the Doctor has two hearts.

Much latter Douglass Adams writes the story "Shada" At the end of a timelord's lives he is stored in his TARDIS. In this story the timelord who should not have been given another life is brought back but with prior physical body with the damage undone.  Perhaps we may conclude that the timelord's mind and body is within his TARDIS.  When the old timelord Professor Chronotis (Salyavin) body is restored instead of renewed in the story Shada in which the production was started but cancelled. Tom Baker (Dr No.4) has said of his employers that there were worse monsters at the top of the BBC than in Dr Who.

Although this story is incomplete you can see by comparison "Shada" is an excellent story but with a lot of repetition of jokes and a lot of less serious humorous things that you would not have seen in the First two doctors both actors being very disciplined about the whole production quality.  The production method had change instead of getting it right first time the production method had become get it done well then tidied it up later.  I expect if the production had been completed that tidying up of Shade would have happened.  Manufacturing design process in the 21's century is like this way now as well personally I prefer to get it right first time.

Patrick Troughton in 1986 talking to Doctor Who followers - Patrick is friendly with Jon Pertwee and can say he does not like his friend's interpretation of Doctor Who.  But he takes care in what he says about other Doctor's.  Louise Jameson (Leela) said she liked Pat and worked with Colin Baker in my local paper,  The Kent Sussex Courier, March 2013? 

The Tenth Planet - The Doctor's body is worn out.  The Dr has to get to the TARDIS for the regeneration to occur but that term is not used.

Tom Baker on other Doctor's does not say anything - They comment to each about others things than work and interpretation of Doctor Who.  Being too polite is stressful.  Well up to a point, they do have views Patrick calls Colin Baker "Miss Piggy" in another video.  Colin Baker's version of Doctor Who is markedly different from the first Dr Who and most of the others and his popularity rating is the lowest.  I think Peri also contributed poorly to the show?  Some put it down to scripting, what is said was that the BBC was very keen and had been for some years to put an end to The Doctor Who TV series.   In the video (I don't have) Patrick is old unwell makes a point of making peace with his colleagues and in possibly having visited New Hampshire against medical advice.

As far as new Doctor's see it the first two Doctors are the best.  Not whether viewers see it that way but that seems to be how subsequent Doctor's see it.  The subsequent Doctors over do it at first trying to follow those great acts.  That is a mistake.  For real human weakness and strength William Hartnell is the only one even so.  Untimely the least you can say of Tom Baker is that he is as good as the best or the best Doctor, then you watch any of the first 5 doctors and they are all the best of the best and Peter Davison stands out as "human" and with some of the best story's as well.  That William Hartnell is the only one because he is genuinely human; failings, real anger, mistakes and reluctance to back down but has to often.  This was unique to William he played a trait in himself to ridicule the characteristic.

Dr Who - The TARDIS

BBC has a very good section on classic Dr Who