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Old 08-10-2012, 09:02
daveyboy7472
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When I watched this story for the first time many years, my dislike for it was on a level with Paradise Towers, though I didn't loathe it quite as much. Unlike that story, though, repeated viewings have made me warm to the story a lot more, it's almost become a guilty pleasure to watch it. As Sovietusername said about the previous story, I'm never sure if I should like it but I sort of do.

Having thought about a lot about what does and doesn't work, I guess the biggest fault I could lay at it's door is it's presentation onscreen. The Kandyman being the biggest culprit, looking wholly ridiculous and quite similar to Bertie Bassett. Second is the Happiness Patrol themselves with their awful pink bouffant wigs and excessive make-up and the whole feel and dialogue of the story at times is so outrageously camp you expect John Inman to pop up and say 'I'm free!'

Strip all that away though and you do actually have a half decent story. I thought Sheila Hancock as Helen A was in a different class to Richard Briers the previous Season. Some of the public broadcast scenes and jokes were slightly cringy but away from those she was a really good villain. My favourite scene of the entire story was when her dog Fifi died, finally making her realise that The Doctor is right when he tells her sadness has to live alongside happiness. This was more effective because of the affection she'd shown for Fifi throughout the story and that last scene with her was quite effective. I also liked her hen-pecked husband in this, Joseph C, who pulls of the ultimate escape at the end of the story.

The humour in the story, though silly at times, was quite funny in places, especially in the scenes between The Doctor and the Kandyman. And The Doctor's rebellion which involved the demonstrators to be happy while the Happiness Patrol looked on grim-faced was amusing. Plus the scene where The Doctor persuades the guards to put down their guns was just pure McCoy gold. Again, his Doctor rises above all the worst aspects of this story. Love the banter between him and Ace in this and it's remarkable they both solve the problems on the planet in just one night.

Other characters I enjoyed were John Normington as Trevor Sigma(or Morgus from Caves Of Androzani as he is better known). His dialogue is just amazing and it's superb when The Doctor uses it against him. I also like Earl Sigma and his playing of the blues is a neat contrast to The Happiness Patrol.

So looking at the story as a whole, I just find it a story I should seriously dislike but I'm not ashamed to say I actually do enjoy it. It's presentation could have been a lot, lot better and unlike the previous story there is no way it would have fitted into any other era. It is a McCoy Era story through and through.

So I'm Happy I like this story. And I'm glad I'm Happy. Happiness will prevail!
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Old 08-10-2012, 09:27
adams66
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I never got the love for The Happiness Patrol. I can appreciate that it's rather clever, and quite subversive in places, but the sugary candy coated pinkness of it all just doesn't work for me. Even the most bizarre settings in Who need (for me anyway) to have just a tiny hold on reality, but I simply can't believe that a world like this could ever exist outside of this story.
It's a long time since I've seen it, maybe I should watch it again, but I hated it with a passion back in 1988, and although I've perhaps seen it twice since then, that feeling has never really left. And after the brilliance of the preceding Dalek story, I couldn't believe what the production team was doing with Bertie, and Happiness and all that. I liked the Doctor with Earl Sigma playing the blues, I liked the obvious Thatcher parody (though this had been toned down apparently), but that's about it.
I'm happy that you're happy to like it, but it's not for me.
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Old 08-10-2012, 09:50
stud u like
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One of my favourites I love it a lot.

Thatcher and her treatment of gay men comes through strongly in this story.

I love the way Gilbert M and Joseph C run off together at the end.
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Old 08-10-2012, 10:12
davrosdodebird
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Why do I like this story? One reason: I was 10 when I first saw it on UKTV Gold, and McCoy repeats formed a large part of my early introduction to Doctor Who; Battlefield, The Happiness Patrol and Silver Nemesis were the first stories I watched.

Because I was 10 I didn't focus on characterisation, makeup, effects or anything other than the story itself, which helped my to enjoy the serial for what it was
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Old 08-10-2012, 11:08
Batmannequin
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I'm gonna feel like such a hypocrite for saying this, especially given my complaints about Paradise Towers, but I kinda like it...

T-Bag overacts like nobody's business, the rest of the guest cast are just as gaudily irritating as the Kangs, the political "subtext" is about as subtle as being kicked in the balls by a giant-sized version of Kettlewell's robot, and the Kandyman is... well, the Kandyman just *is*, which is complaint enough.

But... I kinda like it.

I can't think of a single thing to recommend about this serial save for McCoy's always-great performance and the superb bit with the two snipers.

But I kinda like it.

It probably helps that the Kandyman is one of my earliest memories of seeing Doctor Who as it airs (I was five at the time, so things like plot etc. didn't stick with me, haha), so I get all nostalgic watching it.
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Old 08-10-2012, 11:53
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I remember watching bits of this story and thinking - is this the same programme that brought us 'Genesis of the Daleks'?
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Old 08-10-2012, 12:03
John_Strange
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I found it awful, especially coming after Remembrance. Viewed through the perspective of late eighties telly there was stuff around which was as visually garish as this, but nothing touches the "horror" of Kandyman. Hated it at the time, haven't seen it since, don't intend to.
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Old 08-10-2012, 12:04
Mauriman
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I love the McCoy era,But this was embarrassing!!
Only saved by a few great scenes and McCoy and Aldread!!
Only the plus side didnt Gergina Hale and Lesley Dunlop have nice legs!!
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Old 08-10-2012, 15:41
Simon_Foston
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Every excuse the BBC could ever need for cancelling a programme is right here in The Happiness Patrol. Apart from all the other reasons people hate it, what particularly irks me is that the Doctor and Ace actually go to the planet with the express intention of bringing Helen A's regime down. It's just downhill from there as far as I'm concerned.
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Old 08-10-2012, 16:51
chuffnobbler
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My current favourite McCoy story.

Really, I couldn't list all the reasons I love this. It's utter joy. Bliss. "Such fun". And Sheila Hancock gives one of the all-time great DW guest performances.

It could only be improved by Priscilla P saying "were there any sexual problems?".
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Old 08-10-2012, 17:04
sovietusername
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When I watched this story for the first time many years, my dislike for it was on a level with Paradise Towers, though I didn't loathe it quite as much. Unlike that story, though, repeated viewings have made me warm to the story a lot more, it's almost become a guilty pleasure to watch it. As Sovietusername said about the previous story, I'm never sure if I should like it but I sort of do.

Having thought about a lot about what does and doesn't work, I guess the biggest fault I could lay at it's door is it's presentation onscreen. The Kandyman being the biggest culprit, looking wholly ridiculous and quite similar to Bertie Bassett. Second is the Happiness Patrol themselves with their awful pink bouffant wigs and excessive make-up and the whole feel and dialogue of the story at times is so outrageously camp you expect John Inman to pop up and say 'I'm free!'

Strip all that away though and you do actually have a half decent story. I thought Sheila Hancock as Helen A was in a different class to Richard Briers the previous Season. Some of the public broadcast scenes and jokes were slightly cringy but away from those she was a really good villain. My favourite scene of the entire story was when her dog Fifi died, finally making her realise that The Doctor is right when he tells her sadness has to live alongside happiness. This was more effective because of the affection she'd shown for Fifi throughout the story and that last scene with her was quite effective. I also liked her hen-pecked husband in this, Joseph C, who pulls of the ultimate escape at the end of the story.

The humour in the story, though silly at times, was quite funny in places, especially in the scenes between The Doctor and the Kandyman. And The Doctor's rebellion which involved the demonstrators to be happy while the Happiness Patrol looked on grim-faced was amusing. Plus the scene where The Doctor persuades the guards to put down their guns was just pure McCoy gold. Again, his Doctor rises above all the worst aspects of this story. Love the banter between him and Ace in this and it's remarkable they both solve the problems on the planet in just one night.

Other characters I enjoyed were John Normington as Trevor Sigma(or Morgus from Caves Of Androzani as he is better known). His dialogue is just amazing and it's superb when The Doctor uses it against him. I also like Earl Sigma and his playing of the blues is a neat contrast to The Happiness Patrol.

So looking at the story as a whole, I just find it a story I should seriously dislike but I'm not ashamed to say I actually do enjoy it. It's presentation could have been a lot, lot better and unlike the previous story there is no way it would have fitted into any other era. It is a McCoy Era story through and through.

So I'm Happy I like this story. And I'm glad I'm Happy. Happiness will prevail!
This is another I'm not to sure about. Is it meant to be a comedy episode poking fun at PM Thatcher, or is it meant to be a dark, Orwellian dystopia story?

Like so many other stories in this era, it's one that seems to have huge potential, but doesent really meet it. I mean, a society where sadness is illegal, thats brilliant! And even a sadistic psycho killer made of candy should be good in the context of this story. But somehow, it's really cringeworthy, and is actually painful to watch. There's a lot of good stuff in it, but a lot of bad stuff to. A story that, in my opinion, is fairly typical of the 7th Doctor's era.

So, it's quite odd, and I'm not really sure what to make of it. It's not the best story in the world, but it's certainly not the worst either
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Old 09-10-2012, 00:52
DavetheScot
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It's not a bad story if you can ignore the Kandyman. But's that's a bit like saying there's nothing wrong with your dinner if you can ignore the fact that the dog's shat on it. You just can't ignore the Kandyman. He's - well, he's just there, isn't he, the death of Doctor Who in one character. The next series was largely excellent, but there was no coming back from the Kandyman. From the moment he appeared, the show was a dead man walking.
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:42
Simon_Foston
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It's not a bad story if you can ignore the Kandyman. But's that's a bit like saying there's nothing wrong with your dinner if you can ignore the fact that the dog's shat on it.
A brilliant analogy for the entire McCoy era in my opinion.
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:42
TEDR
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Despite being a big McCoy fan with positive things to say about Dragonfire and even Paradise Towers, I'm not a big fan. It would have been better with the song at 3:13 in http://www.channel101.com/episode/452
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:57
Wryip
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Kandyman was like the myrka(?) in Warriors of the Deep such an horrific design. My dislike for the story really comes from the Kandyman because its hard to take the story seriously.

As for the Happiness Patrol, I find the Happiness Patrol that inhabit this forum a much more frightening prospect. The idea is good, the execution not so.

In fact apart from the opening dalek epsiode, for me Season 25 is a very weak season. I prefer Season 24. McCoy for me was amuch better doctor tha Colin Baker but, trial of the timelord aside, Colin Baker had some of the better stories
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Old 09-10-2012, 10:23
chuffnobbler
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I bet the Kandyman scared kids, and I bet he still does. I think he's a fantastic character: funny, brittle, vicious, childish. Tossing a coin then not telling the result. Paired up with Gilbert M, as they bicker at each other like a pair of old queens, always makes me laugh. And the moment where he answers the phone "Kandyman!" is ytter gold.

The Kandy Kitchen, with those pipes of goo and giant whirling cogs, and the sinister fairground music, is another excellent creation.

The Happiness Patrol is one of my favourites, and the Kandyman surely can't be worse than Mandrels or even Krargs. Oh yes, Krargs. All those of you who've never seen Shada ... wait for the Krargs ...
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Old 09-10-2012, 10:31
davrosdodebird
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I completely agree with Chuff, this is how I saw the Kandyman when I was 10
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Old 09-10-2012, 23:49
DavetheScot
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Kandyman was like the myrka(?) in Warriors of the Deep such an horrific design.
No, the Myrka doesn't come close. The Myrka is tacky and looks bad and stupid, but the show has seen many such unconvincing monsters and survived them. But the Kandyman goes beyond that. At least with the Myrka, or the Loch Ness Monster, or the Nimon, or the Mandrels, or the Zarbi you can use your imagination and see how the monster would have looked if it had been better done. The Kandyman actually looks like he was meant to look, like something they might put on CBeebies if they wanted to insult the intelligence of 3-year-olds. It's beyond bad.
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Old 10-10-2012, 13:23
Bombyx Mori
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No, the Myrka doesn't come close. The Myrka is tacky and looks bad and stupid, but the show has seen many such unconvincing monsters and survived them. But the Kandyman goes beyond that. At least with the Myrka, or the Loch Ness Monster, or the Nimon, or the Mandrels, or the Zarbi you can use your imagination and see how the monster would have looked if it had been better done. The Kandyman actually looks like he was meant to look, like something they might put on CBeebies if they wanted to insult the intelligence of 3-year-olds. It's beyond bad.
Hello

I do not think you can criticise the Kandyman for looking too much like it was meant to!

The idea of something that kills with sweets is a great Doctor Who idea because it takes something familiar and makes it scary.

If it is the idea of an evil sweetie robot that people do not like, there is probably something equally as silly in their favourite episode!
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Old 10-10-2012, 15:08
davrosdodebird
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Welcome to the forum Bombyx Mori

Spoiler
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Old 11-10-2012, 00:08
DavetheScot
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Hello

I do not think you can criticise the Kandyman for looking too much like it was meant to!

The idea of something that kills with sweets is a great Doctor Who idea because it takes something familiar and makes it scary.

If it is the idea of an evil sweetie robot that people do not like, there is probably something equally as silly in their favourite episode!
I dispute that there is anything as silly as the Kandyman in any other episode. There are worse stories - Time Flight, The Twin Dilemma, Time and the Rani - but none have a character as silly as the Kandyman.

Obviously if you don't find him that bad, you'll disagree.
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Old 11-10-2012, 00:59
davrosdodebird
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...being 10 at the time I didn't find him silly at all. I focussed on that fact that he is a robot, not that he looked like Bertie Basset (who I was all too aware of at the time )
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Old 11-10-2012, 08:54
Craigpugh
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I read the idea soemwhere of watching it with the colour turns drown to black and white which I did and it was actually very good.
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Old 11-10-2012, 09:44
Bombyx Mori
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I dispute that there is anything as silly as the Kandyman in any other episode. There are worse stories - Time Flight, The Twin Dilemma, Time and the Rani - but none have a character as silly as the Kandyman.

Obviously if you don't find him that bad, you'll disagree.
Genesis of the Daleks has a giant clam.
The Talons of Weng Chiang has a pig-based midget android and a giant rat.
Caves of Androzani has the Magma Beast.

All these are silly ideas.
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:13
adams66
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Genesis of the Daleks has a giant clam.
The Talons of Weng Chiang has a pig-based midget android and a giant rat.
Caves of Androzani has the Magma Beast.

All these are silly ideas.
Well... none of these are silly ideas: the clam isn't the best realised, the rat could be better, and the magma beast is a little plasticky, but none of them are vital to their stories, and all are on screen for very short amounts of time.
Unlike the Kandy Man.

And I can't believe you actually think that Mr Sin is a silly idea! He's one of the creepiest and most genuinely unsettling creations ever seen in Who. Brilliantly realised by the costume guys and brilliantly portrayed by Deep Roy, I reckon he's a strong contender for the most frightening character ever.
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