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The War Games - The Second Doctor

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Dame Roger
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« on: October 06, 2010, 11:21:17 pm »

Finished watching this one for the first time last night.

I actually hesitated between buying and watching it, imagining it could only be a disappointment. Ten episodes would just be too much, the story would drag and get boring and I'd just be waiting for it to finally finish.

Instead, it's easily one of the best Doctor Who stories I've ever seen. A great finale for Patrick Troughton, Frazer Hines and Wendy Padbury, all of whom put in as good a performance as I've ever seen from them. An excellent supporting cast too, with the longer length allowing them to really develop into memorable characters. Phillip Madoc as the War Lord and Noel Coleman as General Smythe in particular really stand out.
It even looks good - nothing particularly complicated or expensive, but everything just looked right. And it probably says a great deal about its quality that, in a story based around a planet filled with dozens of different armies all fighting their own different wars, I didn't even notice until Terrance Dicks pointed it out in the extras that there were never more than about a dozen soldiers on screen at any one time!

So, anyone else love this story? Or hate it? Or just think it was okay?
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« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2010, 11:34:28 am »

Yes!! This is a cracking serial! I, like you, was hesitant at first, for length reasons more than anything else, but its so worth it. The ten episodes fly by and it never feels like it is dragging or getting boring. The main cast are also fantastic. One of the best Troughton classics still in existence.
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« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2010, 11:38:05 am »

As always with your posts, I find myself nodding furiously in agreement. I loved the War Games. A behemoth of a story like this could easily have been dull and ponderous but it was quite the reverse. I thought that the length worked for the story and allowed it to mature and develop. The casting was magical: I loved Philip Madoc and even old Harold Meeker really ripped it up as well. And more than anything, you got a real pay off at the end, what a great final episode! Totally loved it Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2010, 12:26:04 pm »

Oh, I couldnt agree with you all more. The War Games is a classic. An absolute belter. And the ending is brilliant. Those final moments with the Time Lords and seeing Jamie and Zoe going off are brilliant. The ten episodes really do fly by. I could watch this one over and over.

I love this section of the forum, chatting about the classic series Smiley
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« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2011, 01:09:37 am »

This is one of my favourite Who stories of all time. Considering it was on air spanning nearly three months it never lets you feel like its taking its time or dragging it out. Its action packed and paced brilliantly the whole way through and the TARDIS team act their socks off throughout. I don't watch it as often as I would like though because once I start I have to watch it all and I don't always have time to get through ten episodes in one sitting. People who havent seen this one simply must
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« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2011, 01:09:56 am »

An absolutely brilliant story.  I agree, it never drags at all for me.  Besides the regulars, I'd say Philip Madoc is the real stand-out performance - the contrast with the barking Naz! types, softly spoken, yet they're all terrified of him, and it's obvious why.
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« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2012, 04:42:56 am »

I'm impressed that they managed to keep the pace up nicely with ten episodes. It was still a real doozy of a story to watch in one sitting. But brilliant and always cherished in its nice storyline and introduction of some of the most important canon-writing of the show. I love the callback to this story with The Doctor's Wife (psychic cube).
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Today, the Kaled race is ended, consumed in a fire of war. But, from its ashes will rise a new race. The supreme creature. The ultimate conqueror of the universe. The Dalek!
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