Rewatch Doctor Who: Image of the Fendahl

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Rewatch Image of the Fendahl

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Total votes : 6

Re: Rewatch Image of the Fendahl

Postby shuzbot » Sun Apr 05, 2020 8:21 pm

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Re: Rewatch Image of the Fendahl

Postby Martin_Kinsella » Sun Apr 05, 2020 8:44 pm

A pretty good story, if a little bit cliched. More than a touch of hammer horror about it and that’s not a bad thing.

Best line. No, I was sent by the council.

I think it’s the weakest of the three Chris Boucher stories,
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Re: Rewatch Image of the Fendahl

Postby LizR » Sun Apr 05, 2020 9:57 pm

shuzbot wrote:Why was he called leaky anyway? :lol:

After Louis Leakey and his family, the archaeologists (as is explained in the tweet following the one you linked to).

Apparently a lot of accidental double entendres were played up by Tom in the read through and subsequently removed from the script, but I guess not that one. Also apparently - I'm quoting Wikipedia here, so it must be the truth - the explanation above is given in the novelisation (along with the suggestion that he was "leaky" in another sense).
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Re: Rewatch Image of the Fendahl

Postby LizR » Sun Apr 05, 2020 9:58 pm

Martin_Kinsella wrote:Best line. No, I was sent by the council.

Turns out, as we discover later, he was sent by the Fendahl as part of their 12 million year plan.

(And by the council to cut the verges.)

Martin_Kinsella wrote:I think it’s the weakest of the three Chris Boucher stories,

Yes, although given the time constraints he done all right.
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Re: Rewatch Image of the Fendahl

Postby shuzbot » Sun Apr 05, 2020 10:07 pm

LizR wrote:
shuzbot wrote:Why was he called leaky anyway? :lol:

After Louis Leakey and his family, the archaeologists (as is explained in the tweet following the one you linked to).



Yes... I know... I was making a joke. I thought that was pretty obvious. :roll:

Call off the pedantry police it was a false alarm. :director:
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Re: Rewatch Image of the Fendahl

Postby DSJR » Sun Apr 05, 2020 11:34 pm

I reckon I've watched this story three times in total (I may have been working when it was first broadcast). I bought the video and watched it then and it sat ever since on various shelves in the collection. Anyway, glad to rewatch it again.

Once again, Tom shows what a proper actor can do in this role and although it took me decades to really begin to 'get' him, he just has something where you can't take your eyes away when he's on screen. How lucky we are to have these classic series stories that are in a different higher plane to the pap of today - good acting by a well chosen cast rules every time imo. And of course Wanda was in it and hope she can look back on it fondly :)
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Re: Rewatch Image of the Fendahl

Postby LizR » Sun Apr 05, 2020 11:50 pm

shuzbot wrote:Yes... I know... I was making a joke. I thought that was pretty obvious. :roll:

Since that joke's been done to death by everyone from Tom Baker onwards I assumed you must have some other reason for asking, possibly that you genuinely didn't know the answer. Sorry, my bad. :oops:
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Re: Rewatch Image of the Fendahl

Postby StarQuake » Mon Apr 06, 2020 12:20 am

I watched this over the weekend, though I re-watched only a month or so ago. I don't consider it first-tier Who, but it's not bad at all. I remember really liking the book, and then, when I eventually got to see it on UK Gold, being disappointed in it. Watching it now, in the often hideous-to-me shadow of NuWho, it seems pretty good. Not Hinchcliffe-era good, but better than most in season 15, with the obvious exception of Horror of Fang Rock.

I think the thing about this story is that it feels like it had the potential to be a classic if only the script had a little more work, and perhaps some of the performances reigned in a little. Dennis Lill is always good, and Wanda Ventham is solid, though neither of them get the kind of lines that elevate their characters from serviceable to memorable. I think the Holmes touch is missing from this story - maybe he just didn't have time to give the script the polish it needed? Edward Arthur as Adam Colby tends to go over-the-top and it makes his character dangerously camp, whereas Scott Fredericks is just unconvincing as a bad guy. I don't know how much this is the fault of the script or direction - Fredericks I've seen in Blake's 7 in Weapon where he was very deliberately camp and flirty, but playing against Servalan herself it seemed pretty appropriate! Here he has just one good scene: asking the Doctor to get him the pistol. It's a nice scene and Fredericks plays it well.

Stand out character for me was Mother Tyler, and Daphne Heard was pitch-perfect; I liked Geoffrey Hinsliff as Jack, too - not much to the part, but the character worked well with Leela, implying a certain amount of attraction on his part without hitting you over the head with it.

The liked the Tardis banter bookends better than some here, but I agree they didn't quite work (like so much in this serial!). Holmes or an on-form Steven Moffat would be ideal for this kind of thing. Boucher did a lot better on Blake's 7.

I thought Leela's new outfit was awkward; I'm not surprised they went back to the original look at the end.

Overall I enjoyed watching it again, even though it was still fresh in my mind. I think the fact that all the actors are taking their roles seriously and doing their best help to overlook its flaws. As I said at the start, not top-tier for me, but still a good watch.

I kind of want to re-watch The Daemons now, as it's in the same genre.
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Re: Rewatch Image of the Fendahl

Postby professor_who » Mon Apr 06, 2020 2:34 am

One of the better stories of this season, if not the best. Season 15 is possibly my least favourite TB season, along with 18 (sorry I know loads like 18) but this is one of the two stories that holds up best, the other being Horror of Fang Rock. These two look pretty good throughout and dont look like the budget just disappeared underneath them, although one figures that Horror was done on a pretty thin budget.

'Image' felt like it misses something. and if what i read above about lack of script editing is accurate, that could be it. I think it's the way the Doctor and Leela interact with the other characters. I think Jack and Martha Tyler were great characters that could have been built on more. Actually all the characters are interesting in this, but there is some sort of strange disconnect with the two leads I feel. Do I make any sense? Lack of music is a bit weird. I think the Fendalines looks fine really, I think they are scary as - well they were as a kid, and it is a very creepy and atmospheric story. Perhaps the story just needed a bit more (not too much) explaining.
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Re: Rewatch Image of the Fendahl

Postby Cygnus Prime » Mon Apr 06, 2020 1:48 pm

I had forgotten how creepy some of it was. The lone hitch-hiker at the start...

What really struck me was how well defined (most of) the characters were in the script in terms of laying out the stall of what kind of person each one was - and what a great ensemble of actors were playing them. I think there was really something to be said for classical theatre training. And for good writing too.

I do remember that, at the time of broadcast, one of my dad's workmate was actually called Ted Moss, which produced some mirth at the time. Oddly my dad only really started watching DOCTOR WHO avidly with THE FACE OF EVIL and seemed to lose interest after THE INVASION OF TIME, which is a strange phenomenon that I have been completely unable to explain to this day. :?

K9 really was useless wasn't he. He seemed to fall apart, develop some fault - or be dismantled to the innards - if the Doctor so much as breathed on him. Stuck in the TARDIS - again!

I remember, as a kid, being disturbed by the fact that Thea loses her life, her identity to the Fendahl. It reminded me of Hammer's THE GORGON in that way (along with “Don't look into her eyes!”) - the Hammer/Medusa comparison already having been mentioned in this thread - in which someone who should be the rescued heroine is the tragic threat that must be destroyed. I think Thea's character is sadly the least dynamic of the characters though. Although well played, I do think we could have found out a little bit more about her, to really highlight the tragedy of her sacrifice to this thing. The Doctor assisting a suicide is pretty strong stuff too.

This made for a nifty little Target Book too, even if Terrance was on autopilot when churning them out by this point. But yeah, as already mentioned, it's sad Chris never got to adapt it and flesh it out.

I missed the gothic horror side of WHO after this point (save for that horrible camper's skeletal hand moment in THE STONES OF BLOOD) and when it turned into THE TOM BAKER SHOW, but nice to see this one again. It was harder edged than I remember - as I sort of mentally clumped it in with the whimsical Williams era – at least hard edged in terms of how doomed most of the characters were and the horrible fates they met.

7 out of 10. :)
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Re: Rewatch Image of the Fendahl

Postby LizR » Tue Apr 07, 2020 12:05 am

Cygnus Prime wrote:Oddly my dad only really started watching DOCTOR WHO avidly with THE FACE OF EVIL and seemed to lose interest after THE INVASION OF TIME, which is a strange phenomenon that I have been completely unable to explain to this day. :?

:lol: So he never made a clean breast of it?
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Re: Rewatch Image of the Fendahl

Postby shuzbot » Tue Apr 07, 2020 12:47 pm

professor_who wrote: I think Jack and Martha Tyler were great characters that could have been built on more. Actually all the characters are interesting in this, but there is some sort of strange disconnect with the two leads I feel. Do I make any sense? Lack of music is a bit weird. I think the Fendalines looks fine really, I think they are scary as - well they were as a kid, and it is a very creepy and atmospheric story. Perhaps the story just needed a bit more (not too much) explaining.


Mostly agree, I think all the characters are under written. Fendelman, we think he is going to be the bad guy when he wants the body moved without telling the police, but apart from that what does he do? He alerts people to the danger one he is aware of things, but that's about it.

Stael is just the bad guy that shoots himself. And Jack Tyler doesn't really do much but shoot things. At least one character could have been totally written out to expand on the others. Especially with that weird digression where the Doctor and Leela return to the TARDIS and then find the planet is hidden so return to the house. That could have been done with slight exposition.
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Re: Rewatch Image of the Fendahl

Postby shuzbot » Tue Apr 07, 2020 12:56 pm

Also the line about Fendelman having made his money from electronics but not looking Japanese is an odd joke.
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Re: Rewatch Image of the Fendahl

Postby Cygnus Prime » Tue Apr 07, 2020 1:03 pm

LizR wrote:
Cygnus Prime wrote:Oddly my dad only really started watching DOCTOR WHO avidly with THE FACE OF EVIL and seemed to lose interest after THE INVASION OF TIME, which is a strange phenomenon that I have been completely unable to explain to this day. :?

:lol: So he never made a clean breast of it?


:lol:

I wouldn't have minded, but he kept winding me up by calling my beloved K9 "shoebox" whenever it appeared on screen, so was glad when he lost interest! :lol:
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Re: Rewatch Image of the Fendahl

Postby LizR » Tue Apr 07, 2020 10:57 pm

shuzbot wrote:Also the line about Fendelman having made his money from electronics but not looking Japanese is an odd joke.

I hesitate to comment after my last attempt, but it seemed to more or less make sense in the context of the times. (Though even then it was slightly off.)
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Re: Rewatch Image of the Fendahl

Postby ant-mac » Wed Apr 08, 2020 1:23 am

An excellent serial which I thoroughly enjoyed. Although I’ve now permanently stopped watching any new productions of DOCTOR WHO, recent developments in whatever passes for it now had caused a crisis of conscience for me. I’d found it increasingly difficult to enjoy Classic Who and had in fact been unable to complete viewing an old serial the last time I tried, even though it was one I’d never seen it before. However, this time I was able to persevere… fortunately.

In any case, IMAGE OF THE FENDAHL is the perfect example of the reason why I became a fan in the first place, nearly 50 years ago. It was like spending time with old friends, Dennis Lill from SURVIVORS, Wanda Ventham from UFO, Daphne Heard from TO THE MANOR BORN and so on. As opposed to whatever passes for DOCTOR WHO now… I don’t know those people and they’re certainly not my friends.

So many little moments that bring a smile or a tear to the face, like the interactions between the Doctor and Leela, Leela and Martha Tyler, Leela and Jack Tyler… in fact, this is probably one of Leela’s best outings and a clear reminder of why she was always one of my favourites as a little kid. I always thought they made the perfect team. The Doctor could focus on solving the problem while Leela protected him.

I found this was a serial to have an interesting plot, likable characters, memorable moments, nice pacing and not too much music. I could actually hear and understand what everyone was saying, without requiring subtitles to follow the story. IMAGE OF THE FENDAHL reminded me of what DOCTOR WHO used to be like, before it was transformed into what it is now… a steaming pile of crap. In fact, you could say it was just what the Doctor ordered...

5/5.
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Re: Rewatch Image of the Fendahl

Postby Kranger » Sat Apr 11, 2020 3:27 am

Very creepy serial, along with Horror of Fang Rock, the best of S15. Great stuff!

Also like Leela’s new outfit and hairstyle - very sexy look - even sexier than normal. I can see why the Doctor took his time climbing off Leela at the beginning of part three.
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Re: Rewatch Image of the Fendahl

Postby The Ginger Cat » Mon Apr 20, 2020 10:50 pm

Finally got round to watching this the other night. Good and creepy, a decent-ish sort of story that borrows a fair bit from Quatermass and the Pit (but hey, if you’re going to stael, stael from the best. ;) ) There's some lovely location work. The old grannie and her grandson were nicely played and were the stand out characters (don't tell BF) On the other hand, the chap playing Colby was almost woeful, seemed like he was auditioning for Crossroads or something. Thought the leech/slug things were fairly well done, though Wanda Ventham's painted on eyes looked a bit naff. But yeah, all in all, most enyoyable.
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Re: Rewatch Image of the Fendahl

Postby paulhickling » Thu Apr 23, 2020 3:37 pm

I did this too recently, and I don't think I saw it all on broadcast, but it was pretty good. The filming is first rate. That shot of Tom in the woods early on is amazing. Leela really is attractive AND strong in this, and the atmosphere is great. Te cast are good value and Wanda Ventham is still looking great! With dark hair for a change, even she was concerned about that!

Watching it really makes you wish the current lot knew what they were doing. No bullsh*t here, just a rollicking good adventure. Quatermass and all.
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Re: Rewatch Image of the Fendahl

Postby shuzbot » Thu May 14, 2020 8:16 pm

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