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The Ark

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« on: December 26, 2011, 02:39:03 pm »

This is one of the DVDs I got for Christmas and as it was the earliest chronologically I watched it first, last night.

I have to say, I really enjoyed it. I'd not heard/read anything about it either way, so I wasn't sure what to expect. With Doctor Who I have found that most stories are well known either for being really good or for being really bad so perhaps the fact that people don't really seem to talk about this one either way is a sign that either it's insignificant or that it's really underrated, and I am going to say the latter.

It's such a simple story but sometimes that works the best. The fact that something as small as a common cold can have all these far reaching effects and essentially change the course of humanity I think is a really interesting concept. The Monoids were a bit silly, so it was interesting to see on the extras that they were hoping they could rival the Daleks, but they didn't look as bad as some of the classic villains have done. I also have no idea why the people on the planet became invisible (or why they had super strength enough to lift that statue) but I did like the interesting twist on the inhabitants of the planet. It was nice to see (or not, as the case was) a race who were actually anticipating and welcoming of someone to come and share their home instead of just being hostile.

Also, I like Steven, but I have to say I find him to be far more annoying than Dodo. She gets a lot of stick but I thought she was good in this. She isn't the most exciting companion to be on the show, but she certainly was a lot more likeable than others. She didn't do anything that warrants some of the stuff I have seen written about her, for sure. Her accent escaped me though. Sometimes it sounded a bit c0ckney and other times a bit northern. That might just be me though. My knowledge of Brit accents isn't great.
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« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2011, 02:03:54 pm »

I quite like this story but I wouldn't class it as one of the greats, even of the first Doctor era. I agree about Dodo though. I think she get's more stick than she deserves. You weren't hearing things with her accent though. It really was as dodgy as it seems. I think, thought I might be wrong, that they asked her to use a c0ckney accent but then half way through asked her to change it, or something like that.
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« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2011, 08:50:47 pm »

That would make sense I suppose. I'm not sure if I got the regions right but she definately switched between accents throughout the story.
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« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2011, 08:53:29 pm »

I like this story. It's not great and yes, I suppose it is pretty easy to overlook, but I think it was well made (despite the fact it was apparantly a disaster to make) and an interesting first look for the show into the far future of humanity. There are definately worse serials out there.
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« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2011, 08:58:27 pm »

Funnily enough I got this story as an Audio soundtrack before the DVD and it actually works much better with the audio commentary to add the odd explanation in. Its not a bad story and I really rather liked it - Steven is a great companion (he really adds another dimension to the role of the companion).
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« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2011, 09:06:14 pm »

I think that would probably be helpful. I think one of the problems with this is that the story spans over 700 years worth of The Arks history and I think the writers probably had a very clear idea of what exactly was going on, and the characters obviously did, and so lots was skipped over as though the audience would know as well. It wasn't hard to keep up with but there were a few bits that didn't make all that much sense.
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« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2011, 10:15:03 pm »

I'd agree that this was a good story but not a great one (probably a solid 4) and also that it was one of Dodo's better ones -although that's not easy to judge, as it's the only completely surviving one she's in throughout.

I've always assumed the weirdness in the accent was down to her cold affecting her voice.  It does certainly sound northern at times, though it eventually settled down into an RP accent.
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« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2011, 10:20:53 pm »

Don't forget The Gunfighters. She's in that one too.

As for her accent, this is all I could find:

There are occasional lapses by Jackie Lane into the Cockney accent in which she rehearsed the story, before the production team were instructed by their superiors that it was unacceptable for a regular character in Doctor Who to speak in anything other than 'BBC English'. Strangely, companion Ben Jackson (introduced only four stories later in The War Machines) was allowed to keep his Cockney accent.
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« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2011, 04:48:55 pm »

Really liked this story. The idea of the Doctor visiting the same people and the same place 700 years apart was quite original, and if other parts of it were not then that is because of the fable-like quality of the story. Loved the statue being changed to that of a monoid. The monoids had a valid point of view, and I liked that. Can't say I noticed anything about Dodo's accent so that didn;t spoil it for me. One of my favourite First Doctor stories (behind the obvious candidates -- The Daleks, Dalek Invasion of Earth, Tenth Planet). 5/5
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« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2012, 03:15:32 pm »

I love this story. It really shouldnt work. When you read the plot it just sounds silly and a bit like it's going to be boring, but then when you watch it's actually really good. One of my favourite 1st Doctor stories.
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« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2012, 04:41:06 am »

Despite what many say about this story, I enjoyed it and being accent-deaf, I have no problem with Dodo (or Peri for that matter, despite being American). It was a nice and simple story and continued the theme of crazy out-there stories (even if not the most original).
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« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2012, 11:47:47 pm »

I don't think saying it's not original is really fair. In terms of Science Fiction on TV, and especially in terms of Doctor Who, this story hadn't been done before and provided a lot of firsts. Perhaps looking back on it now that this story has been done a thousand times it doesn't seem so original, but that's what time does to any story. For it's time, I think this was a great story and very original within Doctor Who.
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« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2012, 01:40:06 am »

I agree.  It may have been done in books (though I can't think of an example) but this was the story that introduced the idea of the generational space-ark to popular SF.  Doctor Who has redone classic stories often enough (The Daleks was basically Wells's The Time Machine) but it's also introduced quite a few popular concepts at this level.
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« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2012, 01:59:59 am »

Are you saying that Doctor Who was the first to come up with the idea of a generational space-ark ever? Geez. I do think it's original within it's own story, but I wasn't even born until way after the classic series ended. I can't judge it based on that kind of historical context. Though I do forgive classic's special effects and production values.

It's the same with Robot. For me, the story of a robot who tries to deal with humanity is pretty cliche, but I know that it was Doctor Who's first so I don't think it's terrible or anything.
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« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2012, 03:58:53 pm »

I don't know if they actually came up with the idea of the space-ark - it's possible that someone like Asimov or Arthur C. Clarke had used it, although I don't know of any instance.  I'm pretty certain, though, it had never been used on TV or film.  I remember a TV play from the 60s set on an ark where no-one knew they were in a spaceship, but that was a couple of years later.

Robots are a bit different, as they've been around since at least the 20s (that was when the word was coined, although there are isolated earlier examples).  I agree the robot coming to terms with humanity aspect of that story wasn't particularly original, though quite well done.  Of course, the story was also partly a homage to King Kong.
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« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2012, 10:24:25 pm »

The Ark is a good one. Often overlooked I find. Perhaps because of the general dislike for Dodo amongst fandom or something. Not a bad story though by any means.
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