Ever done a Tom-a-thon?

Talk about Doctor Who when Tom played the Doctor (1974 - 1981).

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Re: Ever done a Tom-a-thon?

Postby tracy on January 5th, 2012, 10:42 am

sorry ive never been keen on adric or the actor who played him .
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Re: Ever done a Tom-a-thon?

Postby Toothy Grin on January 5th, 2012, 2:00 pm

Tom's penultimate adventure, The Keeper Of Traken, is my favourite of season 18 as well as an overall favourite of mine. It was one of the most memorable stories as a kid for me, possibly due to it's imagery - the Melkur in the Grove really made an impression on me, as well as the whole world of Traken and it's culture, as well as the whole "return of the Master" plot.
I love the whole Traken culture, it seems genuinely alien but believable, you really get a sense of history with this planet. The look of the story is also gorgeous, from the art nouveau style sets (the Keeper's chamber is amazing), the weirdly slanted hallways and the lushly verdant Grove set which gives the feel of being "outdoors" even if it was in the studio. The Melkur itself is a great creation, not merely just a "statue", the design is strangely unsettling with it's weird angular shapes. Tom seems a bit perkier in this adventure, and his confrontation with the decayed Master is well played. The music in this story is great too, adding to the, at times, almost fairytale- like feel. Anthony Ainley's performance as Tremas is noteworthy, as he seems totally different to the Master, and seems to play the part with a lot more conviction.
The characters in this story are all excellent, and the dialougue is worth mentioning too, having a lyrical, poetic quality too it, almost shakespearean in places.
The final cliffhanger ending ends the story on a downbeat note leading into Tom's final story. Ever noticed that the hands on the master's clock are at 4 minutes to midnight - the same number of episodes Tom has left?
For me, Keeper Of Traken is superb, and I'm delighted that a toy figure set featuring characters (and the clock!) from this story has just been released.
Only one story left in my tom-a-thon!!
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Re: Ever done a Tom-a-thon?

Postby Toothy Grin on January 6th, 2012, 4:57 pm

Well, I've got there at last - Tom's final story, Logopolis brings my Tom-a thon to an end. Only took 3 and half months! In some ways, Logopolis is an unusual sort of story to end Tom's seven year reign, being very complex and scientific, seemingly obessessed with entropy, decay, computations and mathematics. Some people were probably expecting a grand battle against the Daleks with the Doctor getting killed saving a companion or something, but this story clearly fits in with the themes established in season 18 and the fact that the Doctor saves not just a few people, but the entire Universe, makes this the most appropriate end there could possibly be to the greatest Doctor of them all.
You do need to pay attention to the plot however, but there are some very intriguing concepts and ideas going on here, like the idea of draining excess entropy out of the universe by opening voids into others, and being able to creat solid objects through mathematical computations. How possible and scientific those ideas really are, I've no idea. They could be complete cobblers for all I know, but they get the brain ticking. Some ideas are definately ridiculous however, like the Doctor's bizarre plan to "flush out" the Master by drowning the TARDIS - this would undoubtedly kill the Doctor and Adric, not to mention rendering the TARDIS useless (mind you, the Thames would probably get drained!) and if it didn't kill them they'd then be stranded on Earth.
A concept I really like though is The Watcher. Knowing who he is sends a chill up the spine every time he appears and Tom's haunted reactions to him are brilliantly played - he clearly knows what/who he is and reallizes that he can't escape his fate, but doesn't let on to anyone else.

The planet Logoplis is an interesting one too, even if the set designs look a little cheap. The Monitor is a good character, a great dignified performance by John Fraser and then of course we have the "new" Master, played by Anthony Ainley who would later become a bit over the top, but here is really quite sinister.

Logopolis has one of my all time favourite incidental music scores, lushly atmospheric, haunting, and appropriately funereal, it really makes this story something special, and I'm lucky enough to own a rare copy of it on CD.
The ending of the story is, of course, highly exciting and emotional as the Doctor sacrifices his life to save the Universe. The way this climactic battle ontop of the radio telescope is shot is admittedly a little disappointing, with blatantly obvious CSO backdrops and a rather lacklustre fight between the Doctor and the Master, (I do love how the Doctor trips the Master up with his famous scarf though and then takes time to put it back on even though he's in mortal peril! He couldn't meet his end without his scarf could he?)
The way he falls is rather strange, as it appears he deliberately lets go rather than just slips and plummets - maybe he just couldn't face another story with three bickering juveniles in the TARDIS??) :lol:
Anyway, the flashback scenes of old enemies and compaions adds an emotional punch to the climax, and Tom delivers his final words,"It's the end - but the moment has been prepared for" perfectly (I can't think of a better last line). Interesting how he smiles too, about the only time he does in this story - again a well judged performance by Tom. Then, a young man suddenly sits up in Tom's clothes and it's all over. A great end to the best Doctor's reign.
Now what am I going to watch?? Maybe I could have a look at Tom's other appearances as the Doctor - Dimensions in Time, the BBC audios? Or I might just go back to the beginning and watch Robot again :D
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Re: Ever done a Tom-a-thon?

Postby Toothy Grin on January 12th, 2012, 11:24 am

Started getting withdrawl symptoms after finishing my Tom-a thon, so had a look at some of his other appearances as the Doctor.
There's a series of adverts for PRIME computers he did in 1980 with Lalla Ward and these are excellent and really funny, capturing the witty fun of season 17 as well as playing on the romantic relationship between the pair. You can see them as an extra on one of the Dr Who DVD's.The Five Doctors doesn't really count as it's just footage from Shada. Then we get the 1993 charity "special" Dimensions In Time. I don't count this as part of the Dr Who cannon, but it's worth watching just to see Tom. This was nearly 13 years after Tom left the role, and his appearance had changed quite a bit by them. Gone are the thick dark curls, replaced by short grey hair. He's wearing his season 18 costume with the hat covering the aforementioned grey hair, but even then he somehow doesn't look "right". Also, he doesn't really do anything, just sitting in a studio talking into a microphone. His performance is very unlike his Dr Who also, he's more playing himself in a way, but he's still the best thing about this utter travesty.
In 1997 he recorded a series of adverts in New Zealand for mobile phones, in character as the Doctor. He's much better in these, as we get to see him "in action" in a TARDIS that resembles the fantastic one in the Paul McGann TV movie. Still in his season 18 costume with short silver hair, but far more animated and he seems to have remembered how to play the character again. These ads really are worth watching and you can catch them on YOUtube. That was, to my knowledge, the last time Tom appeared as the Doctor "in the flesh" so to speak. Hopefully it won't be the final time!!
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Re: Ever done a Tom-a-thon?

Postby tch on January 12th, 2012, 4:40 pm

While 'Dimensions' looks like it had a budget of five bucks and was filmed by somebody that'd borrowed their mom's camcorder, I do kind of enjoy the various bits of mix and match between Doctors and companions.

Seeing Colin Baker with the Brig and McCoy with K-9 appeals to my inner geeky fanboy.

While I doubt we'll ever see Tom as the Doctor, the trailers I've heard from Big Finish sound brilliant and I'm looking forward to hearing him again.
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Re: Ever done a Tom-a-thon?

Postby ThetaSigma on February 29th, 2012, 2:59 am

The audios are a nice alternative for those either waiting on the next season of the TV show, or those who don't like the new stuff,and want something to satisfy their need.
I hope we have not seen the last of Tom onscreen as The Doctor, though.Just a wish that he could be involved with the big anniversary coming up in 2013... :)
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Re: Ever done a Tom-a-thon?

Postby Graceful Leonard on March 1st, 2012, 12:53 am

ThetaSigma wrote:I hope we have not seen the last of Tom onscreen as The Doctor, though.Just a wish that he could be involved with the big anniversary coming up in 2013... :)


They absolutely have to try to involve Tom in some capacity. Much as I love some of the others, Tom accounts for the greatest part of the show's history. I can understand it if he prefer to stick with the audio as I should imagine it's much more convenient nowadays. Perhaps they could have him doing a voice over or something like that. Anything would be good.
"A man's work is nothing but this slow trek to rediscover, through the detours of art, those two or three great and simple images in whose presence his heart first opened."
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Re: Ever done a Tom-a-thon?

Postby tch on March 1st, 2012, 1:01 am

While I doubt any of the other actors, from classic/old Who could come back as the Doctor, I would love if they got as many of them as then can involved. Even if it's some other small role.

Tom as the voice of a computer, Colin as a mad scientist etc. That sort of thing. It would be great.
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Re: Ever done a Tom-a-thon?

Postby ThetaSigma on March 1st, 2012, 6:46 pm

Agreed. Anything involving Tom would make the ratings go up and up! What about Tom as a hologram Doctor advising the current incarnation? kind of like how the voice of the Tardis can take any form of anyone the Doctor knows. :?
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Re: Ever done a Tom-a-thon?

Postby metalheadjay on March 2nd, 2012, 4:56 pm

I rarely do the marathons anymore, as I've seen all of Tom's stories quite a few times. I do remember back when I got major nostalgia to see a bunch of Classic Who again after not seeing it since I was a kid(on PBS, here in America) though. I started at the beginning of Tom's era(Robot) and watched one or two stories a day up to the final story(Logopolis). I think I was able to do this because I hadn't seen them in such a long time and they were just so freaking entertaining and wonderful.

Sometimes, I just get the urge to watch one of Tom's stories. It could be because I need cheering up(Tom is great at this!), need a good laugh, etc..etc... Sometimes, I put a story on when I go to bed. It makes me content and puts me at ease. "Brain Of Morbius" and "Horror Of Fang Rock" are excellent midnight watching.
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