Doctor Who Diary – Day 7

Day 7 – The Highlanders/The Underwater Menace

These missing episodes are really taking their toll on me. Out of the eight half-hour episodes only one was not a reconstruction. I’m really glad they exist, because otherwise I would just be skipping those episodes and I don’t want the feeling that I’m missing out on something. It’s hard to understand everything that’s going on in these episodes since some reconstructions are better than others. I’ll do the best I can.

Companions

– Jamie McCrimmon

The Doctor’s 11th Companion

Joined in the first adventure today, but I didn’t see this one coming. The Doctor already had two companions and I was surprised to see them add a third to the mix. There really hasn’t been three companions since Ian and Barbara.

Adventures

“The Highlanders”

After materializing in 1746 Scotland the Doctor and his companions are taken prisoner by some Scottish rebels. In this episode the Doctor introduces himself as Doktor von Wer which is the German translation of “Doctor Who” (which also was the response to his introduction). That gag started early and will never get old. The plot was nothing out of the ordinary, Ben gets caught up in an illegal slavery ring, he needs saving, they all get captured (same old, same old). It was an enjoyable episode, but not too deep in the science fiction realm. At one the point the Doctor does dress up as a woman, so that he is not recognized. We are starting to see how Patrick Troughton’s Doctor is starting to be a bit sillier than William Hartnell.

“The Highlanders” Continuity Facts (from Wikipedia)

“The Underwater Menace”

Thanks to johnnyfanboy.

That is a fake “Next Time on Doctor Who” trailer, but it gives a good idea about what the episode is about. The TARDIS lands above the lost city of Atlantis. There is an interesting dynamic in the civilization in this episode. The workers are turned into fish people that farm food from the waters for the rest of society. The food spoils in a few hours so they have to constantly work. On top of that there is a mad scientist who is trying to bring Atlantis out of the sea by any means necessary. His plan is to actually lower the water level by drilling further into the Earth. This would cause the core to crack and Atlantis would be destroyed. This episode showed us how the time travelers can use superstition of the locals to their advantage. We do find out that the Doctor can be in control of the TARDIS, he just never likes to go anywhere in particular. He likes to wander. This is the first adventure where we get to actually see Jamie in action, since the episodes in “The Highlanders” are all lost. He’s fun, adventurous, and even though he’s from the past he seems to stay on the ball.

“The Underwater Menace” Continuity Facts (from Wikipedia)

  • The Doctor signs a note to Professor Zaroff as “Dr. W.”, apparently suggesting a surname. (See further discussion of the Doctor’s name here.)
  • This is the first of three different explanations for the sinking of Atlantis in Doctor Who, the other two being in The Dæmons and The Time Monster.[1]
  • As the serials The Power of the Daleks and The Highlanders are both missing, episode two of this serial is the earliest surviving complete episode to feature Patrick Troughton as the Doctor, as well as Frazer Hines as Jamie McCrimmon.

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