Mar 9, 2003

Somehow I missed the last couple of days. I spent the evening on the computer Friday night, but it wasn’t until five seconds after I turned it off that I remembered I’d forgotten to update this. And Saturday evening was mostly spent fighting to stay awake, which I succeeded in doing, but again, without updating this log. So now it’s Sunday and the computer’s been running all evening doing a disk defrag, and when the Batman Reunion movie is finally over and I come in here to do a quick update and go to bed, I find Beth has shut it off and turned off the light (which is completely out of character for her).

Anyway, while fighting to stay awake both last night and today I did watch The Aztecs on DVD, which just arrived in the mail last week. As with Tomb of the Cybermen before it, it’s just plain weird to watch these grainy, indistinct, muffled stories from the ’60’s all cleaned up and good as new, if not better than they were when they were first shown. My first viewing of a Hartnell episode was “The Keys of Marinus” in 1985, on a nth-generation copy of a Betamax tape with a rented VCR on a 13-inch tv. The story seemed fuzzy and hard to follow. It turned out, when I moved out here and Channel 11 in New Hampshire first started showing Hartnells, that even those copies were fuzzy and hard to follow. Plus these six, eight and ten part epics weren’t meant to be watched in one sitting on a Saturday afternoon, either. The Aztecs is much easier to take (at only four parts), but in the mid-80’s it was more Upstairs Downstairs than Doctor Who for somebody who had only seen Doctors 3, 4 and 5 up to that point. Now, with a complete set of videos and 10 years of Doctor Who magazine under my belt, you can appreciate the context much better, but the pacing by itself won’t keep you awake and riveted late at night. The commentary track was a bit thin (a little too much “ooh, that looks quite good”), but did give some good insights as to what a shoestring operation it was, and the interview with some of the guest stars in one bonus track and designer Barry Newbery in another were very enlightening. Next up should be Vengeance of Varos, plus I still have the last two Key to Time installments to watch.

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