March 26, 2023

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Doctor Who “The War Machines Part 1”

The First Doctor. "The War Machines," Episode One.

Well, here we are.  There’s a new episode title format.  The First Doctor is just about done.  He’s down to one companion, Dodo, and season three is just about done.

But for now, let’s set up the end of the First Doctor’s run, the introduction of two new companions, and…well, that covers everything.

The TARDIS pops up in 1965’s London, probably to save money filming, and there’s something up there called the Post Office Tower, which is really tall and for all I know actually has nothing to do with sending the mail.  Since the building wasn’t finished when Dodo left London, and the Doctor senses something about the building that reminds him of the Daleks, the pair opt to check it out.  Dodo doesn’t know what Daleks are.  How quaint.

By the by, season three had a really long Dalek storyline that included an appearance by the Monk that I would have loved to have seen, but, you know, it’s lost to the ages like so many others.

Anyhoo, there’s an advanced computer in there called WOTAN, a supercomputer that, of course, covers an entire room and is faster than human thought.  Destined to link up with all the other supercomputers in the Western world in a couple days, something like that is bound to be under heavy security.

Naturally, the Doctor somehow gets in by claiming to be a computer expert despite failing to give a name.  And he says Dodo is his secretary.  WOTAN is impressive in that it does advanced math in seconds and also knows what “TARDIS” stands for.  As it is, the chief professor there, Professor Brett, has a secretary named Polly, and she and Dodo hit it off, so while the Doctor goes to a news conference because he thinks something isn’t quite right, Dodo goes with Polly to the hottest club in London, the Inferno.

You know, if you think various TV networks in America trying to make a young person’s hideout look cool doesn’t feel quite right, try seeing how the BBC does it.  Anyway, while there, Polly and Dodo meet a young sailor named Ben Jackson.

Yes, Ben and Polly will replace Dodo as the Doctor’s companion for…reasons.

Anyhoo, WOTAN is up to no good.  First, it hypnotizes Professor Brett.  Then it gets the head of security.  Then it has Brett deliver one Professor Krimpton.  He’s taken.  And then it hypnotizes Dodo over the phone at the club.

Sure, the Doctor is suspicious, especially when he goes to the club and fails to find Dodo.

He should be.  WOTAN wants him next…

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