Episode 29


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The War Chief and The Master  

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In this jam-packed episode, Dan and Mike bid farewell to Patrick Troughton, Frazer Hines, and Wendy Padbury. They discuss the mixed bag that was the sixth season, and take one last look at the black and white era of Doctor Who. Some Doctor Who firsts are also covered, including a kiss, the appearance of the Time Lords, and the disputed debut of someone who might just become a recurring foe. And on top of that, the duo manages to squeeze in talk of "The War Games," which is easily the most epic serial thus far. [ 1:11:09 || 32.6 MB ]

The above is from: http://www.earth-2.net/podcasts/biggerontheinside/episodes/bigger_029.mp3

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another great podcast. The War Games is one of my favourite stories.. definitely in my top 3 of all time. I've watched it many times, and never felt bored.

You mentioned that Philip Madoc who played the War Lord returns in later stories, but he actually also appeared in the Krotons, only a few stories ago.

There's an interesting theory in fandom which is usually called Season 6B (and it's later picked up on by Terrance Dicks (one of the writers of this story) and other writers, and used in some BBC novels), where it's theorised that before he is regenerated the Second Doctor is sent on missions by the Time Lords, picks up Jamie again and has more adventures before he is turned into Pertwee. It develped to fit in "The Two Doctors" and "The Five Doctors" where Troughton looked older, and also knew about the events of this story.

One other thing to notice, is that the costumes for the Time Lords in this, are copied for the young Master's clothing in the flashback in The Sound of Drums (where he looks into the thingamajig vortex whatsit).

I'm sad to see the Black and White era go. In many ways, the show is never as varied or as risk taking as it was in the 60's. In some ways that's a good thing (we never have a story as boring as the Space Pirates again lol), but it is sad.

And sad to see Patrick Troughton go. It's no coincidence that later actors to play the Doctor (Davison, Colin Baker, McCoy) have cited him as their inspiration for the role. And I think it was Colin Baker that said that they owed their jobs to Troughton, because he proved that you could take over the role and make it your own....if he'd failed, the show would have ended there and then.

You mention Jamie appearing in more episodes than any other companion...he's actually appeared in more episodes of Doctor Who than any other actor apart from the first 4 doctors.

I don't think The War Chief is the Master...I think he's the Meddling Monk :-) (again Terrance Dicks reuses the character in one of the first of the New Adventure books).

Looking forward to future eps...I have to say, Pertwee is probably my least favourite Doctor (he's still great, but the characterisation is a bit irritating to me...I always found something just wrong about the Doctor being attached to a military organisation), but there's some good stories in there.

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I always found something just wrong about the Doctor being attached to a military organisation), but there's some good stories in there.

I do too, and I think Tennant's Doctor shows his disdain for UNIT and the military as a whole. However, Doctor Three pretty much had to side with UNIT if he was going to have a base / home to work out of while trying to fight aliens and fix the TARDIS.

Nice catch with the robes, too!

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You know, I have always hated the 'War Chief is The Master is The Meddling Monk' theory ever since FASA first put forth the theory in a supplement to their DOCTOR WHO Game.

Look--all three have different goals and ambitions. All three have different M.O.s. The Doctor knew the Master upon first laying his eyes on him. He didn't recognize either the Monk or The War Chief.

The Master is the Master. Even when he's prancing about to Scissor Sisters and trying desperately to be as freaky as The Joker. The War Chief is the War Chief. The Monk is The Monk. Don't confuse the three.

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You know, I have always hated the 'War Chief is The Master is The Meddling Monk' theory ever since FASA first put forth the theory in a supplement to their DOCTOR WHO Game.

Look--all three have different goals and ambitions. All three have different M.O.s. The Doctor knew the Master upon first laying his eyes on him. He didn't recognize either the Monk or The War Chief.

The Master is the Master. Even when he's prancing about to Scissor Sisters and trying desperately to be as freaky as The Joker. The War Chief is the War Chief. The Monk is The Monk. Don't confuse the three.

Well, to be fair, he recognised the War Chief. It's one of my favourite little moments in the War Games, when they first meet in the corridor, and it's all in the look between the two. That glimpse of recognition.

I don't think they're all the same either...I think they're all seperate entities. I know they're not strictly 'canon', but all 3 have lived on in the various novels. There was a whole arc in one of the book series featuring the Meddling Monk, and Terrance Dicks brought back the War Chief in one of his New adventures.

Having said that, I can see why people like to link them all...Although we can see that the Time Lord race have stagnated a bit, and are a bit boring....are there really that many renegades who have escaped (thinking of the ones we've seen in the series...The Doctor, Master, Monk, War Chief, Rani, Drax, Azmael, Morbius....). Plus Doctor Who fans are like that...enjoying trying to link all the stories into one continuity and linking characters from across the differnt periods.

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I've always been the sort of person to think "if it's not obviously called to attention as canon, then it's not canon".

The only media to support the theory are, as mentioned, a game and a non-canon novel.

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just for the record, showing just how nerdy the makers of modern Doctor Who are

The War Games

st--2z88.jpg

The Sound of Drums

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Also...did you recognise that the actor playing the lead Time Lord (the one in the middle, Bernard Horsfall), is the same actor who played Gulliver in the Mind Robber.

And all 3 actors playing time lords, play time lords again in some way (Clyde Pollitt in "The Three Doctors", Bernard Horsfall in Deadly Assassin, and Trevor Martin played the Doctor in the stage play "Seven Keys to Doomsday" in the mid 70's (and reprised the role in the Big Finish version of the play last year)).

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I never said it was foresight. I simply said you have The War Chief who looks and acts like The Master, and has a prior relationship with The Doctor. That seems like The Master to me, making me think they're the same guy. But I'm not saying it was planned. Not at all.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I think I know why the War Chief and the Master seem similar. Time Lords are jerks. Jerks tend to all look alike after a while.

Also, as to why the Doctor recognized him when he first saw him (though this is from the new series, not sure if it's used in the old series) Time Lords recognize each other. So of course the Doctor is gonna know a fellow Time Lord. At least that was the way I took it.

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In regards to whether or not the story is padded, it is. Terrance Dicks, in a documentary/interview feature on the DVD of Horror of Fang Rock (a personal all time favorite of mine) discussed all of the padding that he put into this particular episode ("Lots of running and getting captured and escaping and running again and getting captured again and running again," to paraphrase his comment) because they had run out of scripts/stories and the production had to make an episode quota. The reason that it doesn't play (or feel) like padding is due to the fact that Dicks was/is a damn fine storyteller. :)

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  • 1 year later...

Quick note, saw a YouTube video that combined the final scene here with the opening of the first Pertwee episode as the "regeneration sequence" and I know that they hadn't lined up Jon Pertwee when War Games was being made, but I think that could have made for a better cliffhanger.

You see the Troughton get spun off in black and white, then cut to a color shot, for the first time, of the TARDIS landing on Earth, and then Pertwee falling out of it...CREDITS! That would be a nice send off to the season...or series as it were, with a nice taste of what's coming after the break.

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