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A Stimulating Read,
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This review is from: TARDIS Eruditorum - An Unauthorized Critical History of Doctor Who Volume 2: Patrick Troughton (Kindle Edition)
I remember watching Patrick Troughton's Dr Who the first time around and watching the few remaining episodes has shown me in later life what a brilliant Doctor he was. Several of his stories stand out as particularly inventive and several also stand out as lacking inspiration.
Philip Sandifer doesn't always agree with me about which series were the best or worst but he is always stimulating and challenging. Each story is related to contemporary popular music (and I'm amazed at the number of songs I remember!) and news events. This in itself is stimulating.
Sandifer also adds in chapters about cultural developments that have a bearing on Dr Who (inspiring it or inspired by it) and also reviews of some of the later audio stories and novels featuring Troughton's Doctor.
The real value is in Sandifer's commitment to the values underlying the various adventures (which is what we called them in the day (as opposed to episodes or series)) and sometimes he makes a brilliant case for questioning directions the programme took. Racism in particular is an ever present issue and he shows how it undermines some of the more popular adventures for the modern viewer.
One thing he cannot access is the way we viewed the stories the first time. I can remember the emotions far more clearly than the details of sight or vision. Partly this was to do with viewing 25 minute episodes at one week intervals, whereas today we tend to view them in one sitting. But it is also about viewing them through a child's eyes. But it's brilliant to have such an informed guide to the adventures from an adult perspective and for this reader at any rate, the two views travel comfortably side by side.
I certainly recommend this book (and its predecessor) to anyone who remembers the programmes and I hope they'll also encourage newcomers to watch the surviving episodes.