Monday 26 October 2015

The End of The Great Reconsideration

Today, The Underwater Menace comes out on DVD and an era ends for Doctor Who fandom. With this last release the entire extant canon of the classic series has been released: every surviving episode on DVD, every lost episode represented as a narrated soundtrack and fan-made reconstructions.

The episode of The Underwater Menace recovered in 2011 and released today, barring a miracle, is the last time I will see a “new” episode of classic Doctor Who and the last time fandom at large will have reason to reconsider a story.

And it's a Season Four Troughton story, to boot. One more episode of the painfully under-represented Ben and Polly, who have only one full story to their names (The War Machines). One more episode of Troughton, whose performance depends so much on his physicality, lurking on the edges of scenes and scheming from the sidelines. It's even one of those rare stories where he gets a human opponent, not the best one he ever got but seeing him play against someone rather than something is a distinct pleasure.

It's a story from before The Moonbase, which is where Troughton's character really settled into its default mode so it'll be interesting to see how different he is in this one from the character as more usually defined.

I'm not kidding myself here, The Underwater Menace is something of a legendary trainwreck and 25 extra minutes of moving pictures is probably not going to change that but it is an interesting and extra special way to end my (and a good chunk of fandom's) journey through classic Who

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