Sunday, 29 April 2012

Big Gay Longcat reviews Doctor Who: Robot Part Four

I am glad this episode starts by showing Robot disappearing the tank again, since it gives me a chance to see if Gamma Longcat was right when he said it's only a model. I still think it must be a real tank, because a toy tank would be smaller.

The story carries on with obvious baddy Miss Winters wanting to blow up the world to make a new and better one, but Professor Kettlewell isn't sure if that is a good idea or not. He makes up his mind when Harry comes in and knocks out a baddy. Professor Kettlewell stops the countdown.

They go outside and Robot disappears Professor Kettlewell. This makes it go blargh; it says "I have killed the one who created me!" and then falls over. Benton nicks off with Robot's pewpewpew gun.

Miss Winters starts the countdown again, but the Brigadier goes around and arrests her. Seeing as Professor Kettlewell has been disappeared, the Doctor tries to stop the countdown. He says:
"The trouble with computers, of course, is that they're very sophisticated idiots. They do exactly what you tell them at amazing speed, even if you order them to kill you. So if you do happen to change your mind, it's very difficult to stop them obeying the original order..."

"But not impossible!"

The Doctor stops the countdown with 2 seconds to go. The Doctor's quote about "sophisticated idiots" suggests that he has been to the future and seen the internets.

Sarah wanders off and bumps into Robot, then in the next scene the Doctor, the Brigadier and Benton are looking for them. The Brigadier muses on how he will stop Robot when he finds him:
"You know, just once I'd like to meet an alien menace that wasn't immune to bullets."
Nobody bothers to tell him that Robot isn't an alien. Benton mentions Professor Kettlewell's metal virus from the last episode, and the Doctor rushes off to a chemistry lab to make it. This makes Benton look smug.

Meanwhile, Robot starts the countdown again. Luckily it goes back to 300 instead of starting at 2 where it left off. Maybe the countdown is really like an internets loading bar? This time it gets stopped with 10 seconds left by a "Fail Safe mechanism" which isn't nearly as dramatic as the last time the countdown was stopped (or even the time before that). I like countdowns, but maybe you can have too much of a good thing.

Robot comes out and the Brigadier shoots at it with the pewpewpew gun (holding the gun in an odd way to do so).

But instead of making Robot disappear it makes Robot giant. It becomes so big that it picks up Sarah and puts her on a roof, then goes around standing on mannys and houses and things until the Doctor and Harry drive along and see it. Harry says "Curiouser and curiouser."
"Said Alice," replies the Doctor. Gamma Longcat says this is a literary reference to Alice being big like Robot. Possibly after she got shot by a pewpewpew gun, we're not sure.

Professor Kettlewell's metal virus turns Robot red, then it gets little again and goes

The threat is over, and the next scene is back at UNIT HQ.

"Would you like a jelly baby?"

Sarah is too sad to nom a jelly baby. The Doctor is about to leave in the TARDIS.
"The Brigadier wants me to address the Cabinet, have lunch at Downing Street, dinner at the palace, and write 17 reports in triplicate. Well I won't do it. I won't, I won't, I won't!"
The Doctor hits a brick but it doesn't break, which is a subtle callback to him breaking a brick at the beginning of the story and shows he is a new Doctor - one who can't always break bricks with his hands.
Sarah says "Doctor, you're being childish." To which she gets the wonderful reply:
"Well of course I am! No point in being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes. Are you coming?"
Sarah noms a jelly baby.

They are about to leave in the TARDIS when Harry comes in and, after also noming a jelly baby, is persuaded to go into the TARDIS. "Oh I say!" he says.

The three of them go off on more adventures...

This is a remarkable story because, although I have seen lots of stories with Tom Baker as the Doctor, on videos and DVDs and in books, this was his first! This makes it very special, but if I had not seen Jon Pertwee turn into him at the very start then I don't think I would have known it because Tom Baker is a perfect fit for the Doctor straight away.

I think Tom Baker is my favourite Doctor now - he has a scarf just like mine!

The story of Robot is quite good - with enough exciting elements to keep me happy and enough countdowns that it could have been written by Terry Nation - but it doesn't stand out. There was a film made a couple of years ago which has a similar story to Robot, it is called Endhiran (which translates as "Robot") and instead of the robot becoming giant at the climax, it makes lots of other robots and they all join together so they become a giant robot made of lots of normal-sized robots.

Other than that, the story is very similar except it doesn't have Tom Baker in it so it is not as good. It is a long film and has lots of silly scenes (such as the song about Kilimanjaro) but some of the best bits have been posted on YouTube so we don't have to watch the whole film if we don't want to.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Big Gay Longcat reviews Doctor Who: Robot Part Three

We get to see the whole of the fight scene between the Doctor and Robot from the end of the last episode again, which takes up the first two minutes of this episode.

Sarah comes in and tells Robot that the Doctor is a goody and not a baddy, which confuses Robot. "I am confused" he says. Then UNIT mannys come in and shoot Robot but the bullets do nothing. The UNIT mannys keep shooting Robot anyway until it leaves.

Benton makes an "Oh noes!" face. Then Sarah and Benton find Professor Kettlewell in a cupboard having a sleep.

The Doctor is beginning to work out what the plot is about. The Brigadier tells him what the obvious baddys are after.
"A few months ago, the superpowers, Russia, America, China, decided upon a plan to ensure peace. All three powers have hidden atomic missile sites. All three agreed to hand over details of the sites, plus full operation instructions to another neutral country. In the event of trouble, that country could publish everyone's secrets and cool things down.
Naturally enough the only country that could be trusted with such a role was Great Britain."
"Naturally. I mean the rest were all foreigners," quips the Doctor.
Then Captain Blackadder comes in and says "There was one tiny flaw in the plan."
Oh wait, it was a different other TV programme that last bit happened in.

Sarah and Professor Kettlewell go to a meeting of the obvious baddys, who are now dressing and acting a bit like Roderick Spode from Jeeves & Wooster to make it even more obvious that they are the baddys.

They capture Sarah and the Doctor and it turns out Professor Kettlewell is a baddy too (though he is not dressed as one - very cunning). UNIT comes to rescue them but Robot helps the baddys escape with Sarah still a hostage.

Harry calls to tell the Brigadier that the baddys are going to hide on location, but then he is captured as well. The Doctor and UNIT go to the baddys base and get past their defences with lots of explosions to keep things exciting.

Then the baddys send Robot out to shoot them with the pewpewpew gun they have made that makes mannys disappear. This makes the Brigadier grumpy but he says "I brought along something to deal with it."

The Brigadier sends in a tank confident that, because a tank is even bigger than a robot, it will beat Robot. But he is wrong because Robot makes the tank disappear too! That is the end of the episode - can anything stop Robot? Maybe an even bigger model of tank? Or maybe the metal-destroying virus that Professor Kettlewell off-handedly mentioned earlier on will turn out to be just the plot device the Doctor needs? The next episode is the final part of Robot so we will find out then.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Big Gay Longcat reviews Doctor Who: Robot Part Two

The robot is called "Experimental Prototype Robot K1," which is too long so I'm just going to call it "Robot." This is also the name of the story so it is easier for me to remember.

The obvious baddys who Sarah met in the last episode come in and tell Robot to kill Sarah, but it says this conflicts with its Prime Directive. I don't understand how killing Sarah would break the Prime Directive, but it means that Sarah doesn't get killed by Robot.

Sarah tells the Doctor about Robot so Harry goes to spy on the obvious baddys until the Brigadier has enough evidence to go and arrest everybody.

The Doctor goes to visit Mad Scientist Professor Kettlewell, who says that if they force Robot to go against the Prime Directive then he will go mad. I mean that Robot will go mad, not Professor Kettlewell - he's already mad. Or at least his hair is.

We then see Robot breaking the Prime Directive by interfering in the internal development of another civilisation killing a manny and stealing his paper. The juxtaposition between this scene and the one immediately preceding it represents a clever use of dramatic irony by the writer.

Robot then goes to visit Professor Kettlewell and tells the Professor about his problems - he is a sad robot.

Sarah visits a silly manny who thinks mannys shouldn't wear trousers and who wants all mannys to do what he wants. At least I think that's what happens in that scene, I got a bit confused. But I got the point of the scene which is is that he's another obvious baddy.

The Doctor and the Brigadier visit the obvious baddys and they tell the Doctor that Robot is dead.

The Doctor doesn't believe them but he can't find where they've hidden Robot. Harry visits the obvious baddys too, but he's in disguise...

Harry is disguised as Steed from The Avengers. I'm not sure if the obvious baddys are fooled or not.

The Doctor goes back to Professor Kettlewell's house and meets Robot there. But then Robot tries to kill him so there is a cliffhanger!

Sunday, 8 April 2012

The Black Cushion

We cats have a new cushion to live on. We got it as a present yesterday for Caturday. It made us very happy after we were sad because the Buddha Cushion mysteriously disappeared earlier that day.

The cushion is black so we have called it The Black Cushion. I hope that doesn't make it sound sinister or evil, it's just that the cushion is black. It is a comfy cushion and good for having sleeps on it.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Big Gay Longcat reviews Doctor Who: Robot Part One

Robot is a four-part story from season 12 of Doctor Who. It stars Tom Baker as the Doctor, Elisabeth Sladen as Sarah Jane Smith and Ian Marter as Harry Sullivan.

It's Jon Pertwee! I thought Tom Baker was playing the Doctor in this one?

Oh, he's regenerated straight away. That explains it.

A thingy (that we don't see, except that it has pincers for hands) kills a manny and breaks into a place even though it has signs that say "KEEP OUT" and "NO ADMITTANCE" so it must be a baddy. Further proof of this is when doggys are scared of the thingy and run away.
Scary Cat says he wouldn't be scared of a thingy; not even if it had hoovers for hands. I'd definitely be scared of a thingy like that, but I'm not brave like Scary Cat. The thingy steals a bit of paper with "TOP SECRET" on it.

The Doctor creeps about UNIT HQ, looking round with a big smile and bigger eyes.

Harry catches him trying to sneak away in the TARDIS and they do a routine about which one of them is the doctor. The scene ends with comedy music to make sure we know it is funny. Then the Doctor locks Harry in a cupboard off-screen.

Back to the thingy. This time it is killing John Scott Martin and breaking his telephone. Then it pincers a red tray.

Back at UNIT HQ, the Brigadier comes in to try and get the Doctor involved in the plot but the Doctor is dressed as a viking. The Brigadier says the Doctor can't help UNIT until he dresses properly. The Doctor tries on two more silly costumes...

...before he comes out dressed properly, with his scarf on and everything.

The Brigadier takes the Doctor and Harry to the scene of the crime where the red tray was stolen, and the Doctor finds a clue right away.

Meanwhile Sarah is investigating other mannys, but we know they are involved in the same plot really because they act suspiciously before she arrives. Sarah sees a clue but the mannys make her go away.

The Brigadier gets all his UNIT mannys to guard a box because the Doctor thinks it will be the next thing to be stolen.

But the thingy is too clever and comes up from underneath to steal what's in the box. When they find out what has happened the Doctor says my favourite line in the episode. First he says:
"There seems to be a very large rat about, Brigadier."
"Rat?" says the Brigadier, who probably thought it was aliens. Then the Doctor says:
"Perhaps you should employ the services of a very large cat."
I am a cat, and I am both big and long. Maybe the Doctor means me.

Benton finds the giant footprints of the thingy. If they are a very large rat's footprints then they are a funny shape. (And very big. Maybe it would be better if UNIT employed Scary Cat to catch the thingy, not me.)

Sarah visits a manny with very silly hair that makes him look like a mad scientist. Fortunately, he is a mad scientist. Then she sneaks back to where she saw the clue, just in time to be there for the episode's cliffhanger ending - Sarah sees the thingy and it is a robot! Not a very large rat at all! This is very surprising twist that I did not see coming - a robot!

Oh, I've just remembered the title of the story is "Robot," so maybe I should have expected a robot to have been involved.