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Old 13-10-2012, 10:06
daveyboy7472
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I know I'm likely to be in a minority here but this story is my least favourite of this Season. It's not because it's a bad story by any means but I just like the other stories better.

Aside from Time And The Rani, the use of location filming throughout the McCoy Era has always proved effective in most stories and never more so in this. The whole waterlogged feel of the later episodes, including the lake at Maiden's Point, and the muddy theme in Part 4 just give this story something extra. The incidental music is again good and suited to the action.

As previously mentioned, this was intended to be the first story of the Season, hence why McCoy was wearing a jacket for the first episode so as to conceal his new brown jacket he had for this Season and make it a surprise when he took it off. Though the story order swap meant this was lost, The Doctor himself in this was on top form in this and the scene where he battled to break down Ace's faith in him is one of my favourite ones from the whole McCoy Era. Indeed, the whole Doctor/Ace dynamic was different but equally as strong in this as Ace struggles with issues over her Mother, the baby, and the fact she's been involved in Fenric's games since The Doctor first met her. What I thought was great was there was a 'invisible' story arc over the last two series with all the chess-board stuff, such as Lady Peinforte's chess set in Silver Nemesis. I also liked the quarrel between them in Part 3 where she accuses him of him of never telling her what's going on. There was also the following scene with the guard which demonstrates just how grown up she really is as she distracts him to aid The Doctor. All in all it was the strongest Ace story out of the three she had this Season.

The other actor who impresses in this is Nicholas Parsons as Reverend Wainwright. I think he was possibly the best guest actor to have appeared on Who in the 80's and it was an awesomely understated performance. I had grown up with Parsons on Sale Of The Century where he was this slightly cheesy host and this was as different to that as you could get. I never get tired of watching him in this role.

As for the rest of the story, I like the whole Jean and Phyllis storyline from evacuees to homicidal haemovores, plus what you might call their revenge on Miss Hardaker. As for the haemovores themselves, this was something I wasn't so keen on. I like the idea of them but the design was not so good imo.

Dinsdale Landen was just superb as both Dr Judson and as Fenric. Commander Millington was an interesting character but I didn't really enjoy all the strange dialogue such as 'The great ash tree' or whatever it was and it niggled me throughout.

Also thought Captain Sorin, who quite conveniently decided to speak in English, was another Mike from Remembrance Of The Daleks. Someone who Ace took a fancy to who turned bad, and that was one creepy scene when he did!

The thing about watching this story was that on it's original video release it was done so with all the extra scenes, you didn't really have a choice like you do now with the DVD. On watching the story as it was originally transmitted, it was amazing how much was cut out, especially during the last episode. I think the big edits were between The Doctor and The Great Haemovore, which was cut down drastically, and Fenric's first meeting with Jean and Phyllis in the tunnels, which was also slashed. The last episode was action-packed, it really did lose a lot of stuff.

The last point to make about this story was that it sometimes showed the brutality of war, with he poisonous gas that was seen to killed the birds by Millington was intended for the Russians using a contrary password. Plus reflecting this in terms of the story, he left the two soldiers to be killed by the Haemovores in the tunnel. Millington's hatred of the opposition was very clear shown in the story.

It is an enjoyable adventure, yes, but in a Season where all the stories are good, something has to come bottom and for me personally, this was it.

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Old 13-10-2012, 10:49
darthbibble
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the lake at Maiden's Point,
lake? It's the sea isn't it? It's set in Whitby after all...
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Old 13-10-2012, 18:47
chuffnobbler
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The one is a "big spectacular", and normally those bore me. They're just explosions and gunfire, and nothing special or DWish. Fenric manages to break through this by having real heart and soul.

Some of the "great ash tree" stuff is a bit pretentious and "meaningful", but this is clearly a continuation of the new generation of DW that had commecned in the previous couple of years.

Standouts for me: ordinary, real, everyday characters. Jean and Phyllis. Kathleen. Miss Hardaker. Nurse Crane. Reverend Wainwright. It would have been so easy for the script editor to have chopped Miss Hardaker and Nurse Crane as they really add little to the story, but the ordinariness, humanity, pettiness of them rings true, and their death scenes are very traumatic because they are "little" people caught up in a bigger story.

Nicholas Parsons really is outstanding.

Also, Marek Anton maybe the sexiest actor to appear in the whole of DW.
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Old 13-10-2012, 22:48
sovietusername
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I know I'm likely to be in a minority here but this story is my least favourite of this Season. It's not because it's a bad story by any means but I just like the other stories better.

Aside from Time And The Rani, the use of location filming throughout the McCoy Era has always proved effective in most stories and never more so in this. The whole waterlogged feel of the later episodes, including the lake at Maiden's Point, and the muddy theme in Part 4 just give this story something extra. The incidental music is again good and suited to the action.

As previously mentioned, this was intended to be the first story of the Season, hence why McCoy was wearing a jacket for the first episode so as to conceal his new brown jacket he had for this Season and make it a surprise when he took it off. Though the story order swap meant this was lost, The Doctor himself in this was on top form in this and the scene where he battled to break down Ace's faith in him is one of my favourite ones from the whole McCoy Era. Indeed, the whole Doctor/Ace dynamic was different but equally as strong in this as Ace struggles with issues over her Mother, the baby, and the fact she's been involved in Fenric's games since The Doctor first met her. What I thought was great was there was a 'invisible' story arc over the last two series with all the chess-board stuff, such as Lady Peinforte's chess set in Silver Nemesis. I also liked the quarrel between them in Part 3 where she accuses him of him of never telling her what's going on. There was also the following scene with the guard which demonstrates just how grown up she really is as she distracts him to aid The Doctor. All in all it was the strongest Ace story out of the three she had this Season.

The other actor who impresses in this is Nicholas Parsons as Reverend Wainwright. I think he was possibly the best guest actor to have appeared on Who in the 80's and it was an awesomely understated performance. I had grown up with Parsons on Sale Of The Century where he was this slightly cheesy host and this was as different to that as you could get. I never get tired of watching him in this role.

As for the rest of the story, I like the whole Jean and Phyllis storyline from evacuees to homicidal haemovores, plus what you might call their revenge on Miss Hardaker. As for the haemovores themselves, this was something I wasn't so keen on. I like the idea of them but the design was not so good imo.

Dinsdale Landen was just superb as both Dr Judson and as Fenric. Commander Millington was an interesting character but I didn't really enjoy all the strange dialogue such as 'The great ash tree' or whatever it was and it niggled me throughout.

Also thought Captain Sorin, who quite conveniently decided to speak in English, was another Mike from Remembrance Of The Daleks. Someone who Ace took a fancy to who turned bad, and that was one creepy scene when he did!

The thing about watching this story was that on it's original video release it was done so with all the extra scenes, you didn't really have a choice like you do now with the DVD. On watching the story as it was originally transmitted, it was amazing how much was cut out, especially during the last episode. I think the big edits were between The Doctor and The Great Haemovore, which was cut down drastically, and Fenric's first meeting with Jean and Phyllis in the tunnels, which was also slashed. The last episode was action-packed, it really did lose a lot of stuff.

The last point to make about this story was that it sometimes showed the brutality of war, with he poisonous gas that was seen to killed the birds by Millington was intended for the Russians using a contrary password. Plus reflecting this in terms of the story, he left the two soldiers to be killed by the Haemovores in the tunnel. Millington's hatred of the opposition was very clear shown in the story.

It is an enjoyable adventure, yes, but in a Season where all the stories are good, something has to come bottom and for me personally, this was it.

I agree with you that this is quite over rated and isnt as good as some others in this season e.g. ghost light, however I'm not so keen on it for different reasons i.e. I dont really like the McCoy era and this has a lot of the things I dont like it e.g. Ace being irritated, the special efffects going from good to terribel, irritating disco-y incident music and lots of weird sub polts, unsatscfactory explanations and rushed endings. However, overall I think it's a good story and I actually think it's the 2nd best 7th Doctor story after ghist light, being far better than battlefield. Its' got a really good atmosphere and, while, as I said above, some of the music+effects are rubbish, some of it are really good and really up to modern standrads. All the Viking stuff and the hunts about the Doctors and Ace's past are really well done although, as I also say above, some bits are a bit rushed and, like with ghost light, theres quite a lot of stuff that happens which I dont understand. I'm not even really sure why the Doctor turns up here in the 1st place (and he seems to be there for a reason, he knows where he is at the beginning).

On the plus side, the Heamovores are cool and I like the revt to. Dr Judsons to, though I'm not so keen on the millington guy and im not sure about the subplot with the gas to be used against the soviets etc it all seems a bit pointless, The thing with this is theres all sorts of different strands that means your not really sure what to think about this story, a bit like ghost light.

Another one woth strong potentilal but doesent quite meet it. A shame though as this could be brilliant. It is still realy good and it's McCoy's best story after ghost light. I just dont really enjoy it that much compared to other stories
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Old 13-10-2012, 23:31
daveyboy7472
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I agree with you that this is quite over rated and isnt as good as some others in this season e.g. ghost light, however I'm not so keen on it for different reasons i.e. I dont really like the McCoy era and this has a lot of the things I dont like it e.g. Ace being irritated, the special efffects going from good to terribel, irritating disco-y incident music and lots of weird sub polts, unsatscfactory explanations and rushed endings. However, overall I think it's a good story and I actually think it's the 2nd best 7th Doctor story after ghist light, being far better than battlefield. Its' got a really good atmosphere and, while, as I said above, some of the music+effects are rubbish, some of it are really good and really up to modern standrads. All the Viking stuff and the hunts about the Doctors and Ace's past are really well done although, as I also say above, some bits are a bit rushed and, like with ghost light, theres quite a lot of stuff that happens which I dont understand. I'm not even really sure why the Doctor turns up here in the 1st place (and he seems to be there for a reason, he knows where he is at the beginning).

On the plus side, the Heamovores are cool and I like the revt to. Dr Judsons to, though I'm not so keen on the millington guy and im not sure about the subplot with the gas to be used against the soviets etc it all seems a bit pointless, The thing with this is theres all sorts of different strands that means your not really sure what to think about this story, a bit like ghost light.

Another one woth strong potentilal but doesent quite meet it. A shame though as this could be brilliant. It is still realy good and it's McCoy's best story after ghost light. I just dont really enjoy it that much compared to other stories
I don't know why but I do get this impression you're not keen on the McCoy Era......

I am not so keen on it for various reasons. Personally I think the next story is the best McCoy one, but just not of this Season but for the entire Era. More of which follows tomorrow.........

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Old 13-10-2012, 23:50
bennythedip
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i think this tale is a shocker myself.its such a shame we go from caves of androzani to rose with only remembrance of the daleks in between worth watching.
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Old 14-10-2012, 00:13
AdelaideGirl
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I loved rewatching this when SiFi showed it last month. Although part of that was the nostalgia of half memories of watching it as a kid.

I don't watch classic who with the same expectations as NuWho and I find that most of the time I don't notice the cheep sets and primitive special effects. I'm watching to enjoy the story and it's fun and interesting and inventive.

I'm not sure about making Mcoy's doctor being made 'Godlike' the suggestion that he is more than an ordinary Time Lord. I liked the scientific guy running away from responsibility to see the world.
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Old 14-10-2012, 00:25
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Just got to point out, the only reason McCoy wore the coat in this story is because he was cold -- he was supposed to take it off for filming, but asked the production team if he could keep it on.
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Old 14-10-2012, 02:06
DavetheScot
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I love this one. The overall plot is good, there's some terrific characters - as a fan of Grange Hill, it was especially great to see Joann Kenny as one of the two vampire schoolgirls - and the whole atmosphere was wonderful.

I loved the idea that it wasn't crucifixes that vampires couldn't stand, but faith, so only a true Christian could use a crucifix against them, and a sincere Communist could use communist insignia to just the same effect.

This is also possibly Ace's best story. Her personal story gets lots of development here, and Sophie Aldred is more than up to the challenge.
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Old 14-10-2012, 03:52
CoalHillJanitor
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It's an interesting almost-parallel with The God Complex in this one, when the Doctor has to destroy Ace's faith in him as he will later have to do with Amy. But in a way it's the opposite because in Fenric faith creates a psychic shield, whilst in The God Complex faith is psychically diverted and fed upon by the Minotaur.

And anyone who's been paying attention will know it's Ace who taught the Doctor that bunk beds are cool!
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Old 14-10-2012, 08:26
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I know I'm likely to be in a minority here but this story is my least favourite of this Season. It's not because it's a bad story by any means but I just like the other stories better.

Aside from Time And The Rani, the use of location filming throughout the McCoy Era has always proved effective in most stories and never more so in this. The whole waterlogged feel of the later episodes, including the lake at Maiden's Point, and the muddy theme in Part 4 just give this story something extra. The incidental music is again good and suited to the action.

As previously mentioned, this was intended to be the first story of the Season, hence why McCoy was wearing a jacket for the first episode so as to conceal his new brown jacket he had for this Season and make it a surprise when he took it off. Though the story order swap meant this was lost, The Doctor himself in this was on top form in this and the scene where he battled to break down Ace's faith in him is one of my favourite ones from the whole McCoy Era. Indeed, the whole Doctor/Ace dynamic was different but equally as strong in this as Ace struggles with issues over her Mother, the baby, and the fact she's been involved in Fenric's games since The Doctor first met her. What I thought was great was there was a 'invisible' story arc over the last two series with all the chess-board stuff, such as Lady Peinforte's chess set in Silver Nemesis. I also liked the quarrel between them in Part 3 where she accuses him of him of never telling her what's going on. There was also the following scene with the guard which demonstrates just how grown up she really is as she distracts him to aid The Doctor. All in all it was the strongest Ace story out of the three she had this Season.

The other actor who impresses in this is Nicholas Parsons as Reverend Wainwright. I think he was possibly the best guest actor to have appeared on Who in the 80's and it was an awesomely understated performance. I had grown up with Parsons on Sale Of The Century where he was this slightly cheesy host and this was as different to that as you could get. I never get tired of watching him in this role.

As for the rest of the story, I like the whole Jean and Phyllis storyline from evacuees to homicidal haemovores, plus what you might call their revenge on Miss Hardaker. As for the haemovores themselves, this was something I wasn't so keen on. I like the idea of them but the design was not so good imo.

Dinsdale Landen was just superb as both Dr Judson and as Fenric. Commander Millington was an interesting character but I didn't really enjoy all the strange dialogue such as 'The great ash tree' or whatever it was and it niggled me throughout.

Also thought Captain Sorin, who quite conveniently decided to speak in English, was another Mike from Remembrance Of The Daleks. Someone who Ace took a fancy to who turned bad, and that was one creepy scene when he did!

The thing about watching this story was that on it's original video release it was done so with all the extra scenes, you didn't really have a choice like you do now with the DVD. On watching the story as it was originally transmitted, it was amazing how much was cut out, especially during the last episode. I think the big edits were between The Doctor and The Great Haemovore, which was cut down drastically, and Fenric's first meeting with Jean and Phyllis in the tunnels, which was also slashed. The last episode was action-packed, it really did lose a lot of stuff.

The last point to make about this story was that it sometimes showed the brutality of war, with he poisonous gas that was seen to killed the birds by Millington was intended for the Russians using a contrary password. Plus reflecting this in terms of the story, he left the two soldiers to be killed by the Haemovores in the tunnel. Millington's hatred of the opposition was very clear shown in the story.

It is an enjoyable adventure, yes, but in a Season where all the stories are good, something has to come bottom and for me personally, this was it.

And there is the hub of the problems with Sylvesters last season as the Doctor (if not his entire tenure). Those cuts plagued his tenure and as a result a lot of the stories used backgrounds that we didn't know anything about - Merlin in Battlefield, The Gods Of Rangarok (sorry for spelling) in Greatest Show, The metal in Silver Nemesis, The hand of Omega and of course the whole Fenric saga. In a way it was all trying to be too mysterious and managed to leave nothing but confusion.

When I first saw Fenric on TV I thought it was a pile of senseless tosh but a friend persuaded me to watch the Video release with the restored scenes and suddenly it all made sense, especially after the conversation between the Doctor and The Great Haemovore . And once we had the DVD release with the complete movie style version it actually became on of my favourite stories from Classic Who.
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Old 14-10-2012, 10:13
sovietusername
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I don't know why but I do get this impression you're not keen on the McCoy Era......

I am not so keen on it for various reasons. Personally I think the next story is the best McCoy one, but just not of this Season but for the entire Era. More of which follows tomorrow.........

I'm not even sure whyy either. S McCoy makes a perfectly good Doctor and the stories are really quite good, much better, I think than many 6th Doctor stories. But theres just something about him, which makes me prefer the other Doctors, even the 6th. I think theres just something about it where you can tell, you can just tell that Dr Who is in it's dying days. I know it was always going to 26 years later, but this feels very different to earlier Who. I watch stories which are meant to be the "good ones" like curse of fenric and i'm just not impressed, dunno why.

I think it's fair to say it's problem, at this time, was that it wasnt really bad, but mixed and, in a time when Dr Who's future did not look at all secure, it wasnt sure what it should be. First you have season 23, in the C Baker era, which though good, is obviously trying to be very different to the rest of Who and the previous continuity laden season with it's trial frame story, then you have season 24 with a new Doctor and a new companion it gets rid of very quickly and which has much more child orientaed stories, it's almost like you have a cartoon. Then, in these 2 seasons, it gets much darker and yet at times you still have the childish carttonish nature of season 24 e.g. just look what they did to an originally good concept like the happiness patrol. And when they dont do that, it's like their trying to be to different e.g. all the different subplots and strands in ghist light and fenric which might lose the main target audience, kids behind e.g. I'm still not sure why the Doctor's arrived in this base in this story, or knows about the Dr Judson bloke. And you yourself said it took a couple of rewatches to properly understand ghost light. But no iplayer in 1989! What Dr Who had to do at this time was DECIDE what it was and return to the sense of fun we had with T Baker etc, rather than just struggling to survive.

Although, I'm just watching survival so I can comment on your next thread later, and it's not as bad as I expected at all. Maybe, if the show had been given another season, but who knows... If classic Who had survived past '89, we might never have had the wonderful Doctor's+writers we do now, or, indeed, the truly magnificent Doctor who appears in 2 stories time. A shame he only appeared in 1 story...
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Old 14-10-2012, 10:31
daveyboy7472
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I don't watch classic who with the same expectations as NuWho and I find that most of the time I don't notice the cheep sets and primitive special effects. I'm watching to enjoy the story and it's fun and interesting and inventive.
I wish more people would take your attitude with Classic Who. Aside from the odd story, the effects really don't spoil any story, I rate certain Classic Who stories a lot higher than certain New Who episodes because the story is definitely superior despite the effects. The show shouldn't just be about effects and The Curse Of Fenric's was actually quite minimal considering and it still is a good story. The story, bar the odd exception, is always what is important

Just got to point out, the only reason McCoy wore the coat in this story is because he was cold -- he was supposed to take it off for filming, but asked the production team if he could keep it on.
It wasn't the 'only' reason. You are probably right in what you say but as I've pointed out already, McCoy also thought it would be a nice surprise for the viewer if he suddenly took it of to reveal his new brown jacket. Unfortunately the story swap put paid to that as it had already been seen in the previous two stories.

And there is the hub of the problems with Sylvesters last season as the Doctor (if not his entire tenure). Those cuts plagued his tenure and as a result a lot of the stories used backgrounds that we didn't know anything about - Merlin in Battlefield, The Gods Of Rangarok (sorry for spelling) in Greatest Show, The metal in Silver Nemesis, The hand of Omega and of course the whole Fenric saga. In a way it was all trying to be too mysterious and managed to leave nothing but confusion.

When I first saw Fenric on TV I thought it was a pile of senseless tosh but a friend persuaded me to watch the Video release with the restored scenes and suddenly it all made sense, especially after the conversation between the Doctor and The Great Haemovore . And once we had the DVD release with the complete movie style version it actually became on of my favourite stories from Classic Who.
I agree, Battlefield and this story both had extended video releases originally. It's surprising how much was cut out of this one. Battlefield's edits I could live with but this, the whole scene with the Great Haemovore was slashed to less than a quarter. You watch the scene in full, you get to see in full how The Doctor persuaded him to help eliminate Fenric. Doesn't come across so well in the original version.


I'm not even sure whyy either. S McCoy makes a perfectly good Doctor and the stories are really quite good, much better, I think than many 6th Doctor stories. But theres just something about him, which makes me prefer the other Doctors, even the 6th. I think theres just something about it where you can tell, you can just tell that Dr Who is in it's dying days. I know it was always going to 26 years later, but this feels very different to earlier Who. I watch stories which are meant to be the "good ones" like curse of fenric and i'm just not impressed, dunno why.

I think it's fair to say it's problem, at this time, was that it wasnt really bad, but mixed and, in a time when Dr Who's future did not look at all secure, it wasnt sure what it should be. First you have season 23, in the C Baker era, which though good, is obviously trying to be very different to the rest of Who and the previous continuity laden season with it's trial frame story, then you have season 24 with a new Doctor and a new companion it gets rid of very quickly and which has much more child orientaed stories, it's almost like you have a cartoon. Then, in these 2 seasons, it gets much darker and yet at times you still have the childish carttonish nature of season 24 e.g. just look what they did to an originally good concept like the happiness patrol. And when they dont do that, it's like their trying to be to different e.g. all the different subplots and strands in ghist light and fenric which might lose the main target audience, kids behind e.g. I'm still not sure why the Doctor's arrived in this base in this story, or knows about the Dr Judson bloke. And you yourself said it took a couple of rewatches to properly understand ghost light. But no iplayer in 1989! What Dr Who had to do at this time was DECIDE what it was and return to the sense of fun we had with T Baker etc, rather than just struggling to survive.

Although, I'm just watching survival so I can comment on your next thread later, and it's not as bad as I expected at all. Maybe, if the show had been given another season, but who knows... If classic Who had survived past '89, we might never have had the wonderful Doctor's+writers we do now, or, indeed, the truly magnificent Doctor who appears in 2 stories time. A shame he only appeared in 1 story...
Well I think it's something we've all been saying really, that the Production team's earlier decision's cost the show. If Season 26 had come first, it may have been different. Unfortunately the silly stories like Paradise Towers just added a further stigma to the show which it couldn't ever shake off despite having some good stories towards the end.

And really looking forward to your Survival comments later!

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Old 14-10-2012, 11:15
davrosdodebird
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Judging by the positive comments, this is a story I have to go watch again, on first viewing I found myself confused about the plot, and once I got through the story I really couldn't remember what I had just witnessed :/

Mind you I haven't seen it for a number of years now, so it's probably time to see if a second viewing improves it (which according to the praise it is getting, it probably will)
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Old 14-10-2012, 12:00
HandsomeBB
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Before nu-who I'd always recommend this one as "a modern classic". As good as any from any golden age of Who. That last season really restored my faith and hope for the future of Who, then cruelly taken away. The darker Doctor, the right atmospheric blend of WW2, Norse mythology and alien entities. Great characters exposed down to their belief and soul.

Loved the subtle chess game being played throughout the story, the soldiers the pawns, to an end game reliant on positioning and getting out of a chess pin for a checkmate.

A few years ago when DW props were being auctioned I looked at the online catalogue and Ace's jacket. There among the badges was the Captain's cap badge, still there after all those years. What a lump in my throat.
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Old 15-10-2012, 01:06
John_Strange
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The exterior style of shooting encouraged a one camera approach which makes the production feel far more modern than the usual studio multi camera direction - and the story trips along at a heel of a pace. McCoy gets to do his mysterious "lone god" gig which the Cartmel era is pushing, and does it very well. (Although, in hindsight, we're fortunate this agenda was cut short because it would have ultimately painted the production into a corner and created a Doctor too far removed from his basic core - Moffatt has very wisely hit the reset button so that Matt Smith can play the anonymous hobo which is far better than a know-it-all quake-in-your-boots superhero.) Fantastic scene where the Doctor repels the vamps with the power of his mind. I remember thoroughly enjoying it at at the time, but feeling disappointed that everyone dies, Ace goes for a swim, and everything's hunkey-dorey - we needed someone to say "There should have been another way."

But a strong and ambitious story, McCoy and Ace working as a strong team - which I think I've said before about this era. In many ways this, and the stories around it, showed the way to the re-invention of Who for a new generation - but then, that is what the series has always done.
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Old 15-10-2012, 10:22
adams66
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Lots of good points above - I've always liked this story, but I don't love it. It needed better editing at the script stage, or perhaps another episode. The extended versions make more sense and flow more smoothly, but the original four parts are very choppy. The problems with the weather don't help the continuity either, and there are too many scenes in which the Doctor and Ace seem to magically appear in a new location within seconds. It's all rather bitty and doesn't flow.

Interestingly I watched this with my kids recently, the first time I'd seen it in years and I was both slightly underwhelmed (after really liking it back in 1989) and also struck by the fact that my children couldn't get into it at all, yet they have no problems with a Pertwee or a Hartnell. Their view - the production team were trying way too hard to make it exciting by all the jumpy editing, but that the story really needed to be told at a more leisurely pace. Which is an interesting viewpoint from modern children - today the assumption seems to be that kids have short attention spans and need fast moving zappy TV. My experience of my own children, and their friends, is that given the option, they actually prefer slower, more involving TV.

Nicholas Parsons is outstanding as the vicar, however and I'm glad he's given so much screen time. He was waiting around one day, in costume, when he was accosted by tourists who asked him all sorts of questions about the history of the church and the area. Being interested in such things anyway, Nicholas had actually taken the trouble to read up about the history of the church and so was able to answer the tourists' questions. They thanked him and asked if he'd been vicar of the parish very long. 'Not long...' replied the appropriately named Parsons, 'not long...'
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Old 15-10-2012, 10:39
johnnysaucepn
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As it turns out, I only just watched this at the end of the last week - but a rental from Lovefilm, which means I only got Disc 1, and no packaging. Is the version on Disc 1 the original broadcast version, would I need to get the other disc(s) for the extended version?

As it happens, I enjoyed it more than I actually thought I would. There's a lot of good stuff in there, unfortunately too much good stuff for the length of time in the broadcast.

The Doctor and Fenric having a history
Fenric being responsible for Ace's disappearance, as well as other events in the series
The Doctor hiding things from Ace
Ace finding out about her mother
The Great Haemovore being zapped back from the future
The chess theme

All of these things were thrown into the last episode, and none of them had the chance to breathe or have the impact they were supposed to.
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Old 15-10-2012, 11:01
gboy
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I like this one - it has a real 'filmic' feel about it.

The decision to film it entirely on location was an inspired one, and it paid off big time as we end up with quite an epic story.

The only low point for me was Nicholas Parsons - celebrity casting going too far. It was clear by now that had the show continued, JNT really should have moved on.
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Old 15-10-2012, 11:05
chuffnobbler
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The only low point for me was Nicholas Parsons - celebrity casting going too far.
I think you're on your own with that one ...
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Old 15-10-2012, 11:11
daveyboy7472
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The only low point for me was Nicholas Parsons - celebrity casting going too far. It was clear by now that had the show continued, JNT really should have moved on.
I agree with Chuff, baffles me how you can think that considering how bad Richard Briers was and some of the other guest celebrities during the 80's.

I think he played the role exactly as a vicar should be played and there was no hamming it up or anything.

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Old 15-10-2012, 11:15
johnnysaucepn
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I think you're on your own with that one ...
I think it would have caused more of a problem at the time, it's a little harder to get the image of Parsons the game show host out of your head while he was still doing that job. With a bit of time having passed, I didn't find it jarring, and thought he did a good job. Either way, it doesn't feel like stunt casting. Definitely glad he didn't ham it up.
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Old 15-10-2012, 15:01
nebogipfel
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Parsons was an actor first and, in his mind, foremost,. A comic straight man. So it wasn't pure stunt casting. (And he's still a game show host )
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Old 15-10-2012, 16:24
cat666
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I agree with you, this episode is overated. In fact the vast majority of the 7th Doctor stories are overated.

The issue in general is for his first series McCoy was basically being Colin Baker, which he didn't suit. Then the episodes got darker and darker, and more and more involved until each episode made little to no sense as a whole. Battlefield, Ghost Light, Curse of Fenric and Survival all suffered from having too much going on and it feels like 4 episodes are being squeezed into 3. I still to this day have no idea what went on in Ghost Light.
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Old 15-10-2012, 23:29
Lady of Traken
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[/quote]=daveyboy7472;61651895]………………………The other actor who impresses in this is Nicholas Parsons as Reverend Wainwright. I think he was possibly the best guest actor to have appeared on Who in the 80's and it was an awesomely understated performance................ I like the whole Jean and Phyllis storyline from evacuees to homicidal haemovores, plus what you might call their revenge on Miss Hardaker. .......Dinsdale Landen was just superb as both Dr Judson and as Fenric. Commander Millington was an interesting character but I didn't really enjoy all the strange dialogue such as 'The great ash tree' or whatever it was and it niggled me throughout.
Also thought Captain Sorin, who quite conveniently decided to speak in English, was another Mike from Remembrance Of The Daleks. Someone who Ace took a fancy to who turned bad, and that was one creepy scene when he did! ……………………………..
The last point to make about this story was that it sometimes showed the brutality of war, with he poisonous gas that was seen to killed the birds by Millington was intended for the Russians using a contrary password. Plus reflecting this in terms of the story, he left the two soldiers to be killed by the Haemovores in the tunnel. Millington's hatred of the opposition was very clear shown in the story. ……………………….It is an enjoyable adventure, yes, but in a Season where all the stories are good, something has to come bottom and for me personally, this was it. [/quote]

The one is a "big spectacular", and normally those bore me. They're just explosions and gunfire, and nothing special or DWish. Fenric manages to break through this by having real heart and soul. Standouts for me: ordinary, real, everyday characters. Jean and Phyllis. Kathleen. Miss Hardaker. Nurse Crane. Reverend Wainwright. It would have been so easy for the script editor to have chopped Miss Hardaker and Nurse Crane as they really add little to the story, but the ordinariness, humanity, pettiness of them rings true, and their death scenes are very traumatic because they are "little" people caught up in a bigger story.
Nicholas Parsons really is outstanding. Also, Marek Anton maybe the sexiest actor to appear in the whole of DW.
The curse of Fenric is my favourite stories from this season. The mystery story is a fascinating one with all the Viking mythology, the Ultima machine, the war themes. I agree with you Chuff and Daveyboy that this story is so rich in the characterisation of its characters. The base kind of reminds me a little of a village with its differing characters. I love Kathleen, Phyllis, Miss hardeker,Nicholas Parsons is so well suited to his role and I was so sorry that he lost his faith and the Heamovores got him. Millington is an intriguing character. Having to imagine how the Germans think has brought out all the worst characteristics of his military mind that he thinks he is reasonable to use the nerve gas on the Russians. Judson seems like a typical obsessed scientist, who has had to busy his mind with cerebral things as an outlet for being unable to walk.
Marek Anton was pretty hunky. It would make sense for him to speak English once they landed in an effort to not arouse suspicion if overhead by any locals I suppose.

[/quote][quote=sovietusername;61668900]I agree with you that this is quite over rated and isnt as good as some others in this season e.g. ghost light, …………………… However, overall I think it's a good story and I actually think it's the 2nd best 7th Doctor story after ghist light, …………. The thing with this is theres all sorts of different strands that means your not really sure what to think about this story, a bit like ghost light. [quote]

I don’t think it is over-rated but like some Moffat stories today it needs more than one viewing to get it. The location work gave it bags of atmosphere and it feels creepy. Ghostlight has the same creepy feel and I loved that too. I am thankful we get stories like this as it seems they were really making an effort to create an arc for both the Doctor and Ace.
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