Since the early nineties, I’ve always watched the geek feuds explode over Kirk vs. Picard. The battle expanded as additional television series kept getting added to the Star Trek universe and now you can technically argue “who is the better captain”?
Kirk vs. Picard vs. Sisko vs. Janeway vs. Archer vs. New Kirk
While that may seem complicated, it’s NOTHING compared to the world of the Doctor Who geeks. Since my post a couple of months ago about starting to watch the series, I have had a number of different people tell me which Doctor is the best – and no one has picked the same Doctor twice. There are currently eleven Doctors (though purists correct me and convey that there have been others, but “it’s complicated” is all they tell me.) I have been exposed to only a couple, and the one in this post (the second Doctor, Patrick Troughton) was more interesting than the first one to me.
Doctor Who: The Krotons (from iTunes): The TARDIS arrives on the unnamed planet of the Gonds, who are rules and taught in a form of self-perpetuating slavery by the alien Krotons – crystalline beings whose ship, the Dynatrope, crash-landed there thousands of years ago after being damaged in a space battle. The Krotons are at present in suspended animation, in a crystalline slurry form, awaiting a time when they can be resconstituted by absorption of mental energy. Periodically, the two most brilliant Gond students are received by the Dyantrope, apparently to become “companions of the Krotons” but in truth to have their mental energy drained, after which they are killed When the Doctor and Zoe take the students’ test, their mental power is sufficient to reanimated the Krotons. The Doctor discovers that their life system is based on tellurium and, with help from the Gond scientist Beta, he is then able to destroy them and their ship using an impure form of sulfuric acid.
The episodes aired in 1968 and 1969. Ironically, I watched an episode of Star Trek the same time I was watching the Doctor Who episodes called The Return of the Archons about a superior computer convincing a race of people to live in a limited way in an attempt to maintain order for the population. Slightly similar – and the Trek episode aired in 1967. It seems that computer driven mass mind control was well feared around the globe in the sixties. I’ll start watching for a Mad Men episode about it to air any moment now.
Aside from the improved level of British humor in these episodes, the only thing that stands out is the fact that the TARDIS is finally travelling across space and time. Did I like watching it? Yes. Did the second Doctor “knock it out of the park” for me? No. He’s amusing, but not enough to sell me on the series.
ADDED NOTE: Since it’s been a while since I’ve posted about this, it should be noted that the “working out” in the title has to do with the fact that I watch these shows while at the gym via iPod/exercise cycle technology.