Well, that’s frustrating. I’ve had the first disc of the Doctor Who: The Beginning set sitting around for the past few days and just finally sat down to watch it while doing some work today. I was pretty interested to see the first episode to get some kind of understanding as to how the series kicked off, but instead I’ve got a disc containing the second arc which features the first appearance of the infamous Daleks. I’m not quite sure why BBC/Warner Bros. (not sure if it’s like this on the Region 2 discs) would put these serials out of order, but it’s annoying. If everything was just on Instant Netflix there’d be no problem because I’d just pop over to the correct episodes and go from there, but as it is, I’m going to watch these and then move on the first episodes. Not exactly how I wanted to go about it, but not really all that terrible in the grand scheme of things. For what it’s worth, I’m trying to get all my information from the episodes themselves instead of looking things up, like total immersion in a language to see what I can understand.
The story starts with the Doctor (played by William Hartnell) landing the TARDIS on a dead planet with his granddaughter (how was that explained?) and two adult companions, one a middle aged woman named Barbara, the other a younger man named Ian. This version of the Doctor is a salty fellow who doesn’t seem too pleased to be stuck with the companions, demanding to explore the dead city and not worrying about whether he can get Barbara and Ian back home. As the title of the serial indicates, the gang runs afoul of the Daleks while searching the city.
Wow, I wrote those first two paragraphs while the first episode went into the second (there’s seven episodes in this serial) and a lot of craziness happens, but it’s also kind of slow and plodding though not necessarily boring. There’s another alien race on this planet and some radiation and the Doctor and his companions get captured by the Daleks. A LOT happens and I don’t think I caught all of it. My fellow fans of the relaunch will also note that the Daleks don’t recognize the Doctor at all and there’s no mention of the Time Lord/Dalek war. Heck, at one point, Ian and the Doctor crack a Dalek open, pull out the weird alien thing inside and Ian jumps in to drive it around. I thought that was an awesome bit of business. After that there’s a battle of sorts between the other aliens who are pacifists and the Daleks that involves a lot of running through caverns and stuff. I’ll be honest, I got lost along the way, but I liked it enough to move the first disc up towards the top of the ol’ Netflix queue to hopefully have a better idea of what’s going on.