Lyssa and I are home from the Ferrett's Doctor Who weekend marathon, having left at 0900 EST/EDT this morning to make it home around 1530 EST/EDT. It's a six hour drive from DC to Cleveland no matter which way you're going, and I'm a little worn out from all the driving, but still we had a good time. We'd started off by watching An Unearthly Child from the beginning collection. It's black and white. The acting's a little dodgy, and not just because it was the first episode ever. Yet, it started it all..
Bit of trivia for you: The first broadcast of Un Unearthly Child was delayed 80 seconds in 1963 because the BBC was covering the assassination of John F. Kennedy at the time. Next up was Tomb of the Cybermen starring Patrick Troughton. It was around this time that everyone in attendence began playing the Doctor Who Homoerotic Dialogue Drinking Game - not that we're perverts (well, most of us actually are perverts, actually), but even the most straight-laced of the viewers in attendence couldn't help but break down laughing time and again because the action and dialog were just that bad..
Next up was Spearhead From Space, the first of the John Pertwee stories. Ferrett described the John Pertwee era very succinctly, namely, as The Avengers with alien invasions. This episode featured the Autons, lead by the Nestene Consciousness, which viewers of the new series will no doubt remember from the first episode, Rose.
After a short break, Ferrett showed the episode that put Tom Baker on the map in the United States, Genesis of the Daleks. This is the story that everyone remembers - the Doctor and companions being hijacked en route by the Time Lords to prevent the creation of the Daleks before they can become a threat. You've got it all in this episode: Crippled mad scientists two fascist societies, the Doctor, the Daleks, and a healthy dose of "For the love of all that is pure and watching this DVD, do it!!"
The day concluded with a showing of the final Peter Davidson story, Caves of Androzani. This isn't particularly one of my favourites, but it dies stand out in that it's not the one Davidson episode that everyone and their backup names as their all-time favourite. Unfortunately, it also features the companion Peri, who is about as sharp as a sack of stoned mice and twice as annoying.
After the marathon was over Ferrett broke out the sample-cups and the Jones Soda Holiday Boxed Set - sodas that taste like turkey and stuffing, cranberry sauce, dinner rolls, peas, and of course antacid.
It wasn't too nasty this year, I thought, save for the peas. The sodas mostly taste like what you'd expect them to taste like. The buttered pea flavoured soda, on the other hand, was just nasty. It didn't taste like anything organic that I could think of, only flavour chemicals thrown together. Ferrett's got a photograph of the face I made that'll be going up at some point in the near future.
Afterward we trooped a couple of blocks to a local brewery for a late, late dinner. A car full of high school kids was parked in a nearby parking lot watching us. Take note of that: It'll be important later.
The whole mass of us sat around talking and eating fairly decent bar food. Ididn't grab a business card so I don't know what restaurant it was, but if I can figure it out I'll post a link to it. Somehow I wound up in a conversation about the Daleks and the Cybermen, and who would have the advantage in such a battle (the final episode of season 28 aside). In a nutshell, the Daleks have a type 2 civilisation on the Kardashev scale, i.e., they are advanced enough that they exploit some very esoteric and at this time in the real-life year 2007, are considered at best theoretical, are not only an engineered race but are capable of re-engineering themselves, they have relatively fast interstellar travel, and have figured out shaped energy fields ("force shields"). The Cybermen have at most a type 1 civilisation, which is to say while they as a race engineer themselves (they have to - they're a cyborg race, and have to manufacture parts) and have energy weapons (blasters, practical lasers, et al), they haven't yet gone fast interstellar, let along interglactic, and use appropriated technology wherever appropriate (note the second: I'm referring to the season 28 Cybermen (post-Age of Steel)). The Dalek's have superior technology and energy reserves, in other words, and they are ruthless enough to use them.
Then I went off on the Kardashev scale and started talking about transhumanism, and it went off into the aether from there...
On the walk back, the same car full of high school kids stopped at a stoplight and asked us what a ragtag looking group of adults was doing walking down the street at midnight on a Sunday morning. I turned to say something and heard the faint telltale of a police car's siren spinning up, so I waited a moment until it really began to scream and then yelled "Cheese it! Run!" and took off down the sidewalk, with half of the group following me.
I couldn't have planned that better if I'd tried.
Lyssa and I stayed up with Zoethe and Ferrett until 0200 EST/EDT or so, at which time we headed downstairs to rest up for the long haul home today. My cellphone's alarm function woke us up at 0745 EST/EDT this morning, and after hurridly getting dressed and packed we got into the TARDIS and headed for the general direction of Washington, DC. We stopped off for a moment at Dunkin Donuts to get breakfast (coffee cake and bagel sandwiches; their coffee doesn't seem to suck anymore, either) and then hit the highway for the long haul.