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Doctor Who reviews: Third Doctor
Is it okay to start this thread?

Radio Times: The Doctor plans a return visit to some old friends. But things have changed on Peladon and the Doctor and Sarah run straight into danger. Vega Nexos was thought of as a hairy carrot! In fact, he’s one of the only ones who bares his entire stomach and looks…sort of okay. My main complaint about the Peladon stories, aside from them being a bit slow in parts, is that they could have hired more musclebound men to play the guards and the miners. Galax 5 is nearing war or at war with the Federation. The man that plays Ortron played a clergy man in the Secret Weapon story (the best story actually) of the original THE TOMORROW PEOPLE and he was a kind man in that. “I thought my spatial coordinates could have slipped a bit.” In no time, the Doctor and Sarah, who’s a bit freaked out, meet Alpha Centauri. The Doctor says he looks the same, “ A bit of gray around the tentacles perhaps but still the same old Alpha.” The Doctor to Blor, “Now don’t tell me that you’re afraid, a big chap like you. Come on…” He hits him and hurts his hand. Blor does not react but the Doctor does: just splendid. “Come on.” The sound as Blor dies (yes, Blor dies---subverting our ideas that this is going to be the same as CURSE OF PELADON that the mute big man there lived will also here in this!) from the attack continues into the main end them. In fact, all sound effects here continue into the sting and the theme song at the end. It marks a major change for DW. It might have happened before this but I cannot recall that. Here it happens regularly and adds to the cliffhangers and the whole experience. A good start. Lis Sladen is terrific. Her every movement and facial expression is fantastic and conveys something. The Doctor in the last scene says, “What the blazes?“ but it is hard to hear as he stops in the middle but doesn’t in the next episode.

A good episode. Lots of great dialog and intrigue. All the members have mostly been introduced. Lots going on. And interesting. Love Sarah’s line, “Pompous old idiot.” Fun.

Just the opposite of last episode. Not terrible but just slow paced and boring. A good cliffhanger though finally revealing what Sarah saw earlier in the refinery: an Ice Warrior! This put me to sleep though for the most part. I’ve had to change my opinion of most Pertwee stories as I felt all of them contained one episode too many but having just watched almost all of them this and Carnival of Monsters were the only two that felt over long. I always thought they could have all lost an episode or two along the way but frankly this might be the only episode/story I feel that way about now. Mind you Spearhead From Space is not the classic I remember and makes little sense but whatever. This might be the weakest of all the Third Doctor episodes. Fortunately the next episode is much better.

The sonic screwdriver is laid on top the control box but after another scene, it’s gone when we return to it. The Doctor runs his hand through the side of his head/hair. Hayles feared the characterization would not be “hard” and would fall into a Disney Cartoon like atmosphere. Sarah is really a lot like Tegan will be later, isn’t she? She just asks why they can’t just go back to the TARDIS and leave. Pertwee sang on set, “Down in the mines, daddy,” a form of an old 1910 song “Don’t Go Down In the Mine, Dad.” The blast from the lance as the Ice Lord explodes it continues into the theme. Sarah will think the Doctor dead in the next episode. This is not the last time she will do this.

Sarah refuses to believe the Doctor is dead but tries to. She’s in shock. “You see he was the most alive person I’ve ever met.” She claims he always said, “While there’s life…there’s…” Eventually she finds him alive. “I don’t know,” she says, “Can’t you ever stay out of trouble?” “My dear Sarah, there’s nothing that I’d like more than a quiet life.” Eckersley is revealed a traitor---and as a killer/criminal he seems reluctant to kill…at least at first. He doesn’t kill Sarah or Alpha Centauri at least twice and doesn’t demand they die either. He’s also reluctant to kill the Doctor. Later, when he stops the Ice Lord from killing Alpha or hurting Alpha, Alpha says, “Thank you, Eckersley but you are still a traitor.” Alpha is the most fun character and very alien. The music in this episode is haunting. It also reminds me of some of the older horror and sci fi movies, some of them from Roger Corman and IB Melchior such as Angry Red Planet or The Skull. It is difficult to hear some of the dialog in the cliffhanger as the sound effects and music are almost too loud. A good episode.

The reprise of the cliffhanger is different. It is said to be shorter. In another flub (there are many here), a hole made in the door by the Ice Warrior vanishes from another shot and then is back again. Thalira’s maid vanishes from the throne room and is back. Sskel’s mouth hardly moves as he speaks. They seem to be his lips just pressing on each other. Eckersley calls the Doctor obstinate devil (and in an earlier episode called him an old devil, who’s on the move). Among the miners and guards, there seem to be only one handsome muscle man. Some of them have nice legs though.

This is not the first time nor the last that Sarah will be sneaking around by herself (although next season Harry will sometimes accompany her) and avoiding some of the big five of DOCTOR WHO monsters/aliens in tunnels or caves. It makes the tension amp up. One thing that is said often to Sarah is the “your friend the Doctor.” Sarah thinks the Doctor is dead again. He has put himself into complete sensory withdrawal. In an excellent scene, Sarah goes to his body and stares. His eyes pop open and frighten her. He asks about her tears and felt one hit him. He touches her chin and then shakes it. They reunite in great dialog with caring and sympathy as well as interaction. These little scenes make DW what DW is: fantastic and homey. Max Faulkner who just died as a miner returns as a miner to confront Eckersley…who has a gun but Max has a sword. He dies again. In fact, there’s a lot of death going on in this story. I wonder how many actually die on screen. It’s nice that when one villain is defeated, and another is coming, Eckersley has Thalira toward the very end…she stops to notice the carnage around her: dead miners, guards, and Ice Warriors and she rails against him for it. Eckersley seems not to want to kill but does.

In another flub, a fallen gun seems to be get dragged by Alpha’s dangling…something. Lis is so very good in this story and in this episode. Alpha…I was worried he would die, too…is hit and the headpiece shows a join as the head buckles backward.

The DVD text tells us that proposed scripts include Doctor Who and the Sea of Fear as well as Eyes of the Nemesis.

The Doctor says, “Old chap.” Hayles also wrote the first horror for children’s TV, Hour of the Werewolf. Did Aggedor have to die, too? In the script, it says, or the Doc says, “Poor old Aggedor.” YOU got him killed! In any case, Sarah affects Thalira by spreading her women’s lib philosophy and then jokes about the Doctor staying to collect a pension. He grabs her by the ear and looks back. He goes in. The Tardis sound continues into the theme song.

A good story. Lots of action. Some of it is repetitive but except of ep3, it never really sags for long.

A DVD extra talks of Terrance Dicks’ use of the same phrases: “he had a pleasant open face” which Dicks did not know was a cricket term, “Wheezing groaning sound”, “a shock of white hair” and “voluminous pockets.” He also uses “A many sided console.” Why not a six sided console?
Edited by Chase123 on 18 January 2014 10:36:48
Spaceship Dispatcher
Chase123 wrote:

Is it okay to start this thread?

Of course. Looking forward to following your reviews Grin
Reversing the polarity of the neutron flow. I bet that means something. It sounds great.

Blake's 7: Trojan Horse (s4 fanfic) - Blake's 7: Through the Needle's Eye (s2 fanfic)

Spaceship Dispatcher's fanfic site

First this seems as different from Monster of Peladon as it can be. The first thing we see is Mike Yates, relaxed, looking quite normal and at home in a regular outfit. He never seemed suited to UNIT or the military. We also see cows. The location stuff here seems lush and expansive. BTW Yates and Sarah make a GREAT team. I wonder if they ever considered having Mike accompany Doctor 4 instead of Harry? This sets up everything quite nicely. The writer worried that he should not have used Tommy as a he did but I think that that is ahead of its time. When I first saw this, I thought the same thing but now…it is quite standard to feature mentally disabled characters. And I don’t think they talk down to Tommy in a mean way. In any case, a good first episode. I love the Brig and the Doctor at the show but I wish we had seen more of the show ourselves. We just get to see the two of them sitting for the most part. Lots of stuff brought in: mandala, Buddhism, meditation, etc.

Lis got some of her outfits for the show from a place called Bus Stop, a boutique. Not much of the big spiders but we do get a little one. The spiders aren’t that…bad looking yet. They’re adequate. Like the dinosaurs before them, if you can overlook the spiders and how they were presented, this can be enjoyable. If you don’t…well, you’re likely to criticize how bad the spiders really look and how fake and how silly. Taken out of that and imagined by the audience using their imagination of what this could have been…it could have been very disturbing. I’m not sure nowadays I can watch a movie like Arachnophobia or Kingdom of the Spiders where the spiders are realistic and quite…scary and disturbing. Eight Legged Freaks this is not and that was disturbing. When the Brig needs a medic he calls Sullivan (Harry that is) but it’s too late…the Doctor has inadvertently caused “Professor” Clegg’s death…but not really. He blames himself but is that fair? He was just trying to…wait, what was he trying to do? Experiments? There’s a stuffed crocodile in the Doc’s lab and this turns up again in Masque of Mandragora and in City of Death as well. It supposedly deals with alchemy. Sarah uses the term billy-o? Huh? The Doc says, “It’s coherent thought. A scientific pun.” The man playing the comedy cop during the highly fun chase sequence is a comedian who also wrote a book called A Pictorial History of Female Impersonation. The man who played Clegg was the voice of some children’s serial adverts. The comedy cop and indeed, most of the chase, seems to stem from current James Bond movies such as Live and Let Die. I like it anyway. Pertwee for some reason on set had to wear his long johns only to dry off wearing a corset for his bad back and curlers to keep the rain from straightening his hair! Another good episode and nothing, not even in CURRENT DW, has ever been accomplished or even tried again like the chase in this part. Well done, all.

I have all the Jon Pertwee's reviewed but posted them on the old site. Should they be reposted? Is tat allowed?
Angry Angel
I have all the Jon Pertwee's reviewed but posted them on the old site. Should they be reposted? Is tat allowed?

That's fine, though you might like to post them gradually, so people get a chance to read them more easily.
It’s good that they went to Metabelis here. And finally…hunks playing the savage boys on a backward planet. Ralph Arliss…wow! And look what he’s not wearing! Gareth Hunt, first known to me as one of the New Avengers. I cannot believe he is no longer with us. A good episode with a lot of fights and action. UNIT is phased out and almost forgotten for the rest of the serial.

The Doctor is down for most of this. Sarah’s spider is actually quite gross. The room of spiders however is about as silly as toy plastic spiders. The Doc sings, “Wakey wakey rise n shine share a leg, the weather’s fine.” Tommy read Going to School and a passage about “remove our frocks, shirts and change our shoes…” is missing. Tiger by Blake is read. Doc’s machine revives him. Taur (phwoar!) says the Doc is chattering like a woman of the washplace. The Doc about a guard, “He’s a higly intelligent fella, you can tell at a glance.” And when the Doc is recaptured, perhaps he’s echoing Jon’s feelings, “Oh dear, this is getting monotonous.” A sad cliffhanger. “Oh Doctor…” Lis is still great. Everything she does. Just great.

A sort of tedious episode. Not terrible but a bit slow moving. This is one ep too long. And the cliffhanger has Tommy in danger. Terrance Dicks didn’t want the Doctor as fallible and filled with fear. I really like Cho Je and the Abbott. When Cho Je dies, Lis is terrific, “NO!”

Okay, the Great One’s just embarrassing. Her ranting is making me turn down the volume---it grates. It’s a shame that the Master couldn’t feature in this. Lupton’s demise in the novel is …that he’s eaten after having been zapped. The best thing about this is the dilemma of the Doctor, his rush to the TARDIS, getting glost in the vortex and of course, the entire lead in to and the regeneration. The interaction between the Brig, Sarah, and Cho Je is just very fun. And sad in a way as the Doctor dies and changes. I love when Sarah tries to introduce The Abbott to the Brig and ends with , “I think…” to which he says, “Thank you. That makes everything quite clear.” Just amazing. Lis and Nick sell it. Pertwee sells the death and the tear line as well as “Where there’s hope…” Lis sells everything else with “I don’t think I can stand much more…” and “No, you‘re wrong, he’s dead.” Just an awesome send off and the best regeneration. Just couldn’t stand the Great One (the other two minions—Lupton’s spider and the Queen were not favorites either but at least they were tolerable). The spiders return in a short story and audios and probably other places as well. A good story, a good episode, a good ending for Pertwee, just about the best Doctor except for…Tom Baker….
The first thing to notice about this is how much was lifted by RTD and improved upon. The start of the space shot and the Earth and the zoom down sort of. Then, the radar scope. Men looking at screens and a woman, too. Not much change from say THE INVASION then. But the color is vivid just as most show in the US were in the 1960s and even earlier. The Doctor, Liz, and the Brig are engaging enough but they might be the only ones. Still, this holds up remarkably well. Sam finding the plastic power disks seems to come right out of one the scariest monster movies ever made, the original THE BLOB (the 1988 one was pretty creepy, too) only it’s set in the day. Even though some of this would be best set at night, it still provides atmosphere. Lots of stuff with UNIT finding the Doctor, UNIT getting a new recruit in Liz Shaw (originally Shore?), and the back and forth of the Doctor is he or isn’t he and the Doctor getting out. UNIT is supposed to be secret but the news men seem to know the Brig. The pace is slow but I don’t really mind. The Doctor is engaging, funny, and interesting, even though he’s on his back for most of this episode. The situation is serious and grim from the start. Don’t like the rabbit killing trapper and he even pulls a rabbit out of his bag to show one of the UNIT men. The set up on the doll factory is memorable and creepy, too. The cliffhanger is a bit awkward but okay as the UNIT men accidentally shoot at the Doctor. All in all despite a slow pace, the show is very visual, DW being helped by being shot on film. The Brig not knowing that this is the Doctor is an interesting bit and the set up is quite needed and well done.

More slow pace however, a walking Auton makes its scary appearance in the woods in broad daylight and all bets are off. It causes a horrible accident that shows Forbes having his head smashed into the windshield, full of blood. This must be one of the first, if not the first, instance of a realistic death in DW. In the past, people had been shot with guns and some of the historicals might lay claim to the first of these but the blood, the fact that this man died not from a ray gun but from having his face smashed into the wind shield is both grisly and unforgettable. I never forgot this horrible shot. Then we get the side story of Ransome finding out about the Autons in the factory and another awkward cliffhanger…which sort of works. More of the Doctor escaping the hospital and he also takes a shower and we see some kind of cobra tattoo on him (some fans suggest it is a criminal branding, he is exiled of course). The Brig has the key to the TARDIS but it will not work for him. The Doctor steals another doctor’s clothes, an eccentric and his roadster car and a hat! He then drives to UNIT using some kind of wrist watch device that homes in on the TARDIS. He meets Liz and is sort of recruited by the Brig. All the interaction between the trio is well done and fun. I love the whole eyebrow thing he does and talks about the planet Delphon. He also has had his memory lost or something…again more set up and this episode is rather enjoyable and entertaining. The locations again work well and the horror is grisly and bloody. DW just got very realistic. Pertwee is really very watchable and capable. So is Nick Courtney and Caroline John. The Auton threat is building slowly. I believe we saw the Nestene Intelligence on a screen in the factory but weren’t told it was such. Another good episode.

The thing about this is….well a few things: one, the theme at the opening ends with that repeating howling sound which is cool and two, the Doctor is rather passive in this episode. He does almost nothing, save try to escape from the Earth, tricking Liz into stealing his key from the Brigadier. He does nothing to drive the action except make suggestions to go to the factory and guess that the thing made its way into the tent to “kidnap” Ransom. It really kills him in another violent scene. Ransom is shot and exploded, falls over the bench he’s laying on and then his body implodes totally. Some good camera work in this episode and zooms and all. The music is a bit better, too, creepy rather than jaunty and silly. The real star of this is the Auton that is quite scary at times. This does remind me of Quartermass movies and also of 1950 movies such as THE CREEPING UNKNOWN, X THE UNKNOWN (with Frazier Hines as one of two ill fated children), and 20 MILLION MILES TO EARTH (farmer finds thing in his barn growing). I despise violence against animals and sometimes the imagination makes things worse as when the Auton seems to off camera kill Barney, poor dog of Sam. I thought Sam’s wife had had it but she must have passed out and lived. Memory cheats and I thought things were worse. I thought Sam died and I’m still not sure where he went after UNIT kept him. I also thought the wife was killed. Perhaps my memory is of the novelization which I read long (LONG!) before I saw this. Doctors 1,2 and 3 were read about long before I saw any of their stories. In any case this is needlessly grim and dire and almost evil. It does further the story along and there are some nice distorted views of the face of the man who is controlling the Autons through a strange window as he watches the Brig. The man is almost the Master as he has some hypnotic hold over George. I’ll never understand Doctor Who’s (almost ALL of DW by the way) fascination with old men. Here there are several old men that take up a lot of time in the episode. The sting is not yet part of the end theme and we get yet another cliffhanger that really isn’t a cliffhanger for our heroes…as Scobie is confronted by his Auton equivalent. Not bad but just an episode to keep things moving along. No real action to speak of but the Doc, Liz, and the Brig as well as a UNIT man confront the Auton…which is then signaled to run away (and it runs fast).

I’ve always liked this story but now…well, the first thing to notice is that this is not very good. Of course there are some iconic moments but mostly the Autons coming out of shop windows and killing men and maybe one woman at a bus stop or on the street. I mean if Channing was one all the time, who built him? Who took over the factory? Who built the Auton bodies? The Nestene Intelligence might have been explained in the novel (which I remember being much better actually) but here it’s just a big brain in space. Pertwee, Courtney, John are all in top form yet again but again, the story is not up to much. As Rose says in the first episode of the New Series, “Shop window dummies taking over the Earth? What’s that all about?” It doesn’t make much sense actually. The scenes in the wax work were interesting but slow and this Doctor gets his first talk someone out of being a henchman…and this gets the man killed. The finale, which, again, in the novel, was much more dramatic, is quite a laugh and even poorly produced. There were tons of Autons, all outside killing UNIT men (and I counted maybe four on screen die and three more dead at the end of the battle). The Doctor’s mugging was always so funny as he’s attacked by really bad rubber tentacles while Liz tries to repair the damaged device the Doc built to stop the Nestenes. So there we have it. The Doc bargains for his services at the end and we get…well, the end. Again, I know this is a classic but honestly, it really isn’t very good, unfortunately. It does, however, rank file above almost all fo Moffat era DW.

The Silurians
Liz looks completely different here. In the opening scene the Doctor sings a song from Jabberwocky as he fixes his new car, a yellow roadster he names Bessies. He also doesn’t recognize a fan belt, which even I can recognize. Some nice bits of dialog and characterization here as he resists Liz’s attempts to get him to go to Wenley Moor and do as the Brig wants (“It’s just his way.”). There is some nice driving location footage of them in Bessie on muddy roads (I’d swear they’d later use this same clip during Jo Grant’s time) and in traffic. The Third Doctor proves himself by investigating the atomic unit here which is trying to convert nuclear energy into direct electric current and he’s quite worried about what he finds. He also strong arms his way to see a patient who’s been attacked by a prehistoric monster…a laughable puppet thing but adequate for our story. This story seems much more together than the last one but the pace is slow, slow, slow as the pace is in all of Pertwee’s stories. AND there are more old men or middle aged men—Major Baker, Lawrence, Quinn standing around being grim but this time it works into the story and well. The Doc’s karate isn’t yet evident as the shocked patient attacks him and he doesn’t use it. In any case, he does go down to the caves and is attacked himself by the monster in our first hero direct cliffhanger. This episode nicely sets everything up and everyone has their job to do. Liz and the Brig are not bog standard companions but seem almost like non companions and real life people with skills and jobs to do. A good episode and not very lively but it’s interesting to see the Doctor interact with all manner of folk, especially how he’s nice to Quinn and sort of dismissive of Baker but in a nice way. There are also two Sherlock Holmes references as the Doc tells the Brig, “You’re not exactly a little Sherlock Holmes yourself, are you?” and the Brig calls to him, “Come on, Dr. Watson.” The banter between the Doctor, Liz, and the Brig is nice and adds to the enjoyment of the episode, which looks great in color.

The Doctor wears a black jacket it would seem and I think a cape with a red inside. In any case, another good episode. This episode in particular is well structured with the Doctor returning in the middle of the Brig mounting a search party for him, Lawrence commenting about UNIT’s ridiculous Doctor (and Pertwee’s added line about “Never could stand that man,” makes us wonder if they’ve already met on another occasion), the search in the caves and Baker being attacked by the dino which the Silurian was about to call off, and then the Silurian wandering about, to hide in a farm AND the attack and death of the farmer and finally, the classic, but standard cliffhanger –an attack on the companion by a mostly unseen monster. Just fantastic. What most people do not notice about the Doctor in episodes such as this are his tactics. Sure, we all know about a sonic screwdriver which Lawrence mentions but it isn’t really seen. And I can’t recall if it was in Spearhead from Space (and please don’t make me go check). The Doctor is a most physical man and I don’t mean in the action sense…he is but not yet…physically calming. He rubs the wounded Baker’s head and puts a hand on Miss Dawson’s back in this or the next episode to calm her down. This was done before most Hammer movies and later the Michael, Jason, Freddie movies and other serial killer movies made it vogue to show a POV from the killer’s breathing body/face, mouth. Here, it works well and we see the POV (although it was done in the classic 1950s sci fi movie IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE). The entire episode looks great and again is filmed great. The Silurian shadows and silhouettes were interesting and visually arresting. I think, although Pertwee’s era was one of the slowest paced eras, that this episode has a pace unmatched by any other episode as far as story development and mystery. There is some nice incidental music in this episode, especially just before the farmer finds the Silurian and some mysterious music too. The Liz attack is particularly unnerving because the music sort of ends during it and the attack is even more realistic and scary for it. We see yet another dead body on display, eyes open. The Doc is particularly caring about it. During rehearsals for this episode, the frosty relationship between Pertwee and Courtney melted into a warm friendship. Courtney told Pertwee it was his 40th birthday and Pertwee wrote into wood, “The Brig turns 40 today.”

More Doctor tactics: he seems to annoy (appearing at the window twice I think, forcing his way into the door, commenting about how quaint and nice the cottage interior is and how hot it was as well as commenting about how nice a grandfather clock in the room is, asking Columbo type questions before Columbo (or maybe Columbo was first?) and then just asking outright if Quinn would let him help him) Quinn as he tries to ferret out what exactly the man is doing and he does a great job of it. He even breaks into the man’s filing cabinet and sort of almost wins Miss Dawson over to his side but the Doctor’s aggravation with the Brig messing it up is noted even if he doesn’t tell the Brig. It’s also interesting that he waves the Brig to sit down after the Brig has to have Hawkins (PAUL DARROW!!!) escort Baker back to the infirmary. The Doctor also treats Liz well in this episode after she was attacked. And again, some brilliant unmatched filming of…well, army looking for the thing and helicopters but also of Quinn searching for and finding the wounded Silurians AND the Doctor and the Brig in Bessie driving around looking for it. In this episode, we see yet another dead body with eyes open: Quinn this time. Some other general notes: although I’m glad we have this era now, I’ve never been a fan of the exiled routine or of the Doctor being attached to the military. It does make for some great stories and some conflict, all of which are drawn out especially well in this story. For one thing, I wondered why the Doc didn’t tell the Brig that Quinn was hiding the Silurian---but perhaps the Doc didn’t want the military to go blazing into the caves as he later says and calls the Brig a few names here. Perhaps he was already thinking of a peaceful solution. Pertwee is extremely good in this story and the last three episodes especially. The episode looks like a million bucks and this story is a strange one: Liz, a scientist in the present is in an very old farm barn (1800s at least or maybe older?) while an even older species creature comes at her. It’s all very odd indeed when one figures it seems like a 1950s movie. Another thing is the color is nice and the restoration of color, while not as good as the colorization on BEWITCHED seasons one and two and I DREAM OF JEANNIE season one (wish they’d do LOST IN SPACE season one and VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA season one), is good. However, I first saw some of these Pertwee’s on a UHF and later a PBS station in black and white on a black and white TV and frankly I think the first three Doctors’ eras all seem to lend themselves to black and white better for some reason. DW is really a stretchable format but they rarely ever do it (and if Moffat’s “stretching” is an example of how to do it then it’s better they never do it) but to have it pegged to one era, one time…I’m not sure it works and neither do the makers of the show. It didn’t take long before they had him off into time and space again…thank goodness. Yet, this era made us realize how good that that traveling was so I’m glad we have it and again, many good episodes were made out of this format. Again, a very good episode. And at the end we get a first really good look at a Silurians. I learned that that name is really one that belonged to a Celtic tribe. Life on Earth on land, I think, in Silurian times only consisted of scorpions and spiders. Perhaps these existed before Dinosaurs or maybe they created their own later on? Who knows? The name does sound cool, though.

The Doctor finds Quinn dead and briefly meets a Silurian. This episode must seem odd to present day viewers. Yes, the Doctor wants peace but in present day DW, the Doctor usually talks about this for about two minutes before then trusting forward and thrusting forward a radical death wielding plan to some alien. Yes, it happens, just watch it and it happens in doc 9, doc 10 and doc 11 seasons. Not that doc1-2, 4, 6 and 7 didn’t do the same. In any case, the Third Doctor might be considered the man of action but he spends most of this episode keeping Quinn’s death a secret from the Brig and EVERYONE except Liz. Only when Miss Dawson reappears after some time gone, does Dr. Lawrence and The Brig find out about Quinn’s death. In the meantime, Baker escapes sickbay by knocking down the chubby, old Captain Hart of UNIT. Baker goes down to the caves and gets himself captured. There was also something about a bubbling something. Which stops him. Baker becomes the Silurians’ prisoner. Also, in the meantime, Edward Masters arrives, representing the political end of things. Archetypes but fully brought to life and well written…and they’d need to be as they talk and talk and talk. It’s not really boring because what he says to Lawrence and what Lawrence says to him needs to be said to develop the story and the characters and the meaning. Not that it’s slow…it’s not. In fact, I didn’t realize the episode was ending when it did. More on that later. The Doctor returns to the caves and bravely, Liz, tells him if he leaves her behind this time, she will run straight to the Brig---who is at odds with the Doctor later on when Dawson tells them the Silurians killed Quinn. I always thought he just had a heart attack. In any case, the Brig wants to go down with more troops which he wants from Masters and go in blazing. This is something the Doctor keeps telling the others---and us---he is against. The Doctor returns AGAIN to the caves in the hope that the Silurians will listen to him. He gives away the Brig’s attack plans! Now this is quite radical. Baker later sees the Doc as a traitor when the Doctor is just trying to get the two sides talking. It is ep4 and neither side has talked to the other at all but have talked to themselves so to speak. There is an Old Silurian and a young one, the old one seems wise and ready to NOT kill while the Young One is ready to kill and invade. This is their planet and has been before human kind. But to have our hero betray his friend and the army and establishment to what seems to be the enemy…is very radical. It almost makes one not like the Doctor. But everyone else, bar Liz, is attacking so aggressive, it’s hard not to see the Doctor’s actions as peaceful and intelligent. It seems on both sides there are morons though. The cliffhanger springs on me as the Young Silurians puts the Doctor in a cell…after trapping the Brig, Sargent Hawkins, and two more UNIT men in the caves between sliding rock walls…and then attacks the Doctor with the intention to kill. He fires his third eye light at the Doctor. A LOT happens in this episode, despite the back and forth nature of it all, and the same sets used over and over and over again. We do get to see the dino again but it’s locked up. The episode is merely functional but for all the reasons mentioned above, interesting. I also detected someone talking when the Doctor enters the room of Silurians. It sounded like someone said, “Here I am.”

A good episode. Scary with all the disease bacteria stuff. It’s interesting to note Baker at first cares for the Doctor after the Doctor is hit by the Silurian third eye ray but later he thinks of the Doctor as a traitor. The Doctor also looks, thanks to good acting by Pertwee (again and again, he’s great), as if he’s in doubt of his own actions. Again, a lot happens here. The Brig’s man Robins becomes unglued and when the Brig is finally freed by the Old Silurian via the Doctor’s urgings, he tells the others back up at the Research Center that he “lost a lot of men in those caves.” Who? We don’t see any of the other UNIT men he was with but I hoped Hawkins was alive (he was). At the same time, the Young Silurian kills the Old One, their leader. It was he who sent Baker back…with an infection from the disease and it’s rather horrible. His hands are filled with sores in a quick time. The Old Silurian gave the Doctor some of the bacteria so scientists (and in the next ep we see the Doctor once more doing some doctoring and experimenting to find a cure) could find a cure. Liz is quite sardonic/sarcastic when talking of and to Charles Lawrence. Dawson thinks we should attack in force. Liz doesn’t and sticks up for the Doctor as much as she can but gives away his presence in the caves. He returns and commands everyone to stay away from Baker, even yelling at the Brig. This really is Pertwee’s first commanding scene as the Doctor. And again, he’s quite good. As Tom Baker said of Pertwee, he lights up a room like a bright beaming light bulb. This episode moves at a good pace. The Silurian costumes are…well, functional, mostly. The eyes don’t move and the mouths sometimes do. The design is very nice but they look rather undignified and almost like…something from a kiddie show like FAR OUT SPACE NUTS. Figuring that in the US shows like THE OUTER LIMITS, THE TWILIGHT ZONE, LOST IN SPACE, STAR TREK, VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA, and THE TIME TUNNEL had better costumes…even there, they weren’t always well done even if they looked okay, they weren’t…very realistic. Today the costumes are more realistic. Unfortunately, I do prefer these to the New Silurians in the awful Moffat seasons. Another area that the US shows did FAR BETTER in was the incidental music. All the shows mentioned above (and I might add the best one, LAND OF THE GIANTS) had outstanding musical scores. SPACE: 1999 and UFO and THE PRISONER also did, too, mostly UK shows. I don’t understand why DW didn’t get a good soundtrack (at least not until 2005 through 2009) most of the time, especially during this era. The documentaries claim this music was experimental. I don’t like it. Here, it almost ruins this episode. The music sounds as if it’s doing a silent comedy listen-along, Charlie Chaplin or Laurel and Hardy come to mind. The music during Baker’s escape is almost intolerable but almost all of it sounds comedic and childish, amateurish. Perhaps, they were trying to offset the grim sequences. The Doc and The Brig driving up to the hospital is accompanied by outlandish sing song kazoo music. It almost as annoying as the scientific sounds the SIlurians make to open doors and stun people and such…no, it is worse, in fact because those are sound effects and while played too long, they can annoy but they fulfill a strong purpose. The music here is just awful. The episode is strong, however, and even the annoying BEEPP BOOPPPP BEZEPP BOZZ POP STOPPP music can’t destroy it.

One of the scariest episodes of DW ever in a DOOMWATCH/SURVIVORS kind of way as the disease, rather stupidly spread by Masters and somewhat by Lawrence, takes on new victims, many of which are in the general population and many of whom die on screen in brilliant location work. The emphasis is on how the disease kills and the Doctor spends the entire time in his lab trying to battle it…and I love that! He’s in a lab smock for the entire episode just about, Liz is helping him, and the Brig is supporting him. And it’s great. A scientist character doing what scientists should be doing to help everyone. It’s also interesting to see what not taking antibiotics does to Lawrence and how he makes things worse. The whole thing is quite realistic and disturbing. Private Wright (why is almost everyone named Wright…Barbara, Polly (although we never learn her last name from the series, and now this guy) dies (the actor hoped to be a regular) and sadly so does the chubby Capt. Hart (both killed by the directly attacking Silurians). The dvd notes tell us that the Silurians also release all their dinosaurs. They bore a hole into the lab and the Silurian shoots his third eye at the Doctor again and the Doctor hams it up as Pertwee did in Spearhead from Space when the tentacles “attacked” him. Quite funny face but good nonetheless. It’s also important to note how good John is as Liz and how Liz is so well written: she’s a scientist and while it’s not totally clear if her suggestion to the Doctor to use a certain combination of elements is the one he uses for the actual cure, it is good to see a companion who (well, she’s really a fully-fledged character in a way rather than a stock companion) is more useful than the entire lot of them and doing something scientific as well. The scars and wounds of the disease are horrible and disgusting and the whole idea is quite disturbing. Baker, Lawrence and Masters all die on screen as do a number of citizens at the train station. Antibiotics seem to have held back the disease somewhat so it’s unsure whether or not Dawson survives this episode. Far from being boring, this episode picks up speed and keeps the Doc in the lab, never a bad thing as we need to see him do this once in a while. Splendid episode in what is turning out to be a great story. Hawkins also appears and he’s not killed off. Yet. BTW, Darrow is pretty good but it’s funny to see him so straight laced and far from over the top. Also BTW, the Doctor does some weird gesture with his hands and near his face and eyebrows just before or as Liz gives him his injection. It’s very odd. And the Doc is also very charming when he acts all macho about his injection being “Sheer agony,” or something like that when Liz asked him if it hurt.

BTW in ep5 when the Old Silurian’s body is moved on a stretcher as it is being put on the stretcher, the Old One’s arm moves TWICE. In this episode the Doctor uses cunning to trick the Silurians into retreating into their hibernation. The Young Silurian, against all villain cliché, decides to remain behind when there is not enough hibernation cubicles. We once more see the Doctor’s snake tattoo as he uses his knowledge to stop the runaway reactor and wiring. He is still finding peaceful ways to stop the Silurians and make peace with the humans and the Silurians. The Doctor is in a white t shirt for a bit of this episode. Capt Hawkins is killed after another private (Upton) is also killed. There’s been a lot of death in this story. In any event, another good episode. Liz finishes the formula, proving her worth. John also ad libs the name of the doctor of the base from the first part of the story (Meredith) when the script suddenly called the base doctor a new name—Crawford (it could have been they had more than one doctor). The Brig, under the Doctor’s nose and in secret from the Doctor---and Liz---claims to Corporal Nutting that he will “seal” up the Silurian base. Outside, it seems that he blows up the base. Despite being shot by the Brig, the Young Silurian is alive but dies in the blast. The Doctor questions Liz if she knew, showing that he didn’t fully know if he could trust her yet and she didn’t. He laments the blasting as murder. And to make matters worse, the blasts continue and Pertwee is righteously angry at this and it is a slap in the face to him as he looks up again at another blast. Just brilliant. It’s hard to feel sorry for the Silurians as they started that horrible virus and killed so many UNIT people and needlessly later on killed at least two, maybe three, technicians in the base. Not to mention their killing of Hart, Hawkins, Upton, and Wright. It also dilutes the Doctor’s argument for the Silurians to be kept alive. Was the Brig right? A good episode and a good story, despite the flaws and despite the fact that no story should be this long. Also: did Miss Dawson survive? In the novel, she goes all mental. She’s not really seen much in the later episodes. The Doctor also uses some kind of purple or red fluid from a test tube on Bessie to get it started in the last few moments before the explosions. The DVD text and the commentary tells us the Doctor was to be upset by just the fact all the knowledge was lost and not about the murder aspect of it and that was changed to the concern over the life forms themselves. This seems to leave the Doctor once he becomes Doctor Four since Four has almost no qualms about shooting a giant rat, killing the Wirn if he can, killing Mr. Sin and Weng Chiang, killing the Krals, blowing up Daleks, destroying the giant Robot, etc.
Ambassadors of Death

What I noticed from Spearhead From Space was that the Tom Baker music opening with all the bells and whistles started there or earlier in Doctor Two’s era. In any event, there is a prolog for the first time in the show’s history, sort of. The credits start, then there’s some action, then the logo Ambassadors hits and then Of Death. The console is seen as light green and is outside the TARDIS for the first time that we’ve seen in the tv show. The time warp field causes Liz and the Doctor seem to vanish or Liz went into the future for a few seconds and the Doctor seemed to vanish. The explanation makes little sense really because he was still there in this lab, which seems brand new to me. There is what I thought was a window when this was black and white but the circular thing seems to be a wall piece or some kind of rug that is on the wall? Liz’s hair looks different again. The Doctor uses the words “good grief” in the lab. The lab seems to have awards of some kind on a shelf, huge tea pots on another, jars maybe. The Doctor also says “Good gracious.” The music from start to finish here is very good, much better than anything in the Silurians. Some of it, when Liz and the Doc drive in Bessie is very Avengers. Before they drive, the Doctor is watching the recovery 7 probe on tv. As they watch, Liz gives the Doctor some tea and he hands it back to her and she thanks him before realizing it. Quite a funny bit that one might miss. This might be the first time a newscaster is used in DW and he is played by Michael Wisher, Davros himself! It’s a bit…odd now to see that…as he later plays Davros. It’s like watching a human who will later turn into Davros…or something.

The spacewalk, done upsidedown, is a nice touch for a show that has little money and is attempting to do 2001 : A Space Odyssey. Miss Rutherford makes an impression. The Doctor’s entrance to the base is fun, “I don’t have a pass because I don’t believe in them. I don’t have one either.” His bluster is far more aggravated than it was in The Silurians and he calls Cornish out, “The man’s a fool.” The Brig tells Cornish, “You might find him useful.” “Might find me useful!?” The Doctor is played more selfish and self opinionated. And it is quite fun. Pertwee can also turn on the charm too, “My dear fellow.” This is the first time the arrogance for this Doctor is played up. Liz, the Doc, and the Brig try to triangulate the messages and one of the bases cut from the script was Catalina in Arizona. The Americans are wondered about…if they can help. In the DW world, fans and writers have figured the US and their Space Program as not as well off as in our universe. The Doc aggravates over “useless gadgets” of the humans when he cannot get a map on the space survey screen.

I don’t like the gun battle. It seems…rather badly done to be honest. UNIT loses some seven men or more and the enemy loses maybe two. The fight is bad. Grey and Carrington as well as their lead man Collinson make some good human villains but I felt the whole gun battle was poor. In the base, there is a computer which had a Venetian blind effect as it activates. Okay, those beeps after every transmission between the base and recovery 7 are becoming terribly annoying. The cliffhanger with Taltalian pulling a gun on the Doctor and Liz is unexpected. It’s rather cool. In the next episode’s reprise, the entire cliffhanger seems to have been refilmed. It looks different, angles and all.

The cliffhanger is refilmed. Liz knows computers, seemingly better than the Doctor, at least Earth computers. He calls his act of vanishing the tape in his hand a transmagrafication or something. There is a UNIT corporal named Champion. The Doctor questions the prisoner and calls him “old chap” and then to get the man to give some information, the Doctor (it should have probably been the Brig) yells, “Stand at attention! And call me sir!” The character of Dobson is named so but originally he was to be called Dawson but then someone noticed that there was a Dawson in the last story. The Doctor tells Liz and us that about computers, “Never did trust those stupid things.” Perhaps he means Earth computers. Later, when Rutherford stifles a yawn, I know how she feels. Not that this episode is boring but there is a A LOT of time spent on the re-entry of Recovery Probe 7, both at the base and in location work, which looks nice but feels…rather pointless. The original script skipped all the recovery of Recovery Probe 7. Still there is some nice stuff during this. The Brig suggests the Doctor won’t make it back to the base in Bessie when he says, “If you make it.” He also tells some of his men, ‘You bring up the rear.” The music is once more good and sounds like music from UFO, the Gerry Anderson series. The helicopter that attacks the convoy has G-AWFL on it. It must have come from the future ---Matt Smith’s era. Bessie is a Siva Tourer from a Dorset firm---Neville Tresclott Design or something. It has a 1950 Ford Popular chasis and engine. The attack is well done. When the Doctor checks Bessie, he said, in the cut lines, “It must be the cam sprocket of the gasket wheel.” There is some fun to be had when Pertwee fakes that he is helpless old man who needs help pushing Bessie out of the way of the crooks’s truck that they stole (along Recovery 7 Probe). This is so he can use Bessie to stick the men to the car and take back the truck and the probe. “Don’t worry –it will switch itself off—eventually,” is an ad lib by Pertwee. Liz is good at the pictograph communications---in fact, Liz is the most useful companion ever scientifically speaking. Dobson is in on the crooks’ plan and so is Quinlan, who is hiding Taltalian. There are certainly a lot of villains. Pertwee’s hair still looks light gray to me and he has some red on his cape. A character named Pollard vanished from the script. The Doctor asks questions of the capsule astronauts, one of whom seems to just be repeating the same thing over and over. One of the questions was what is the capital of Australia and “how many beans make five.” What? In any event, this episode has some padding but it’s not over long or it doesn’t feel like it is. It does lag a small bit but all Pertwee’s stories do. The location work breaks up the base pace but again, there’s a lot of time there, too. Liz is one of the best companions ever. The Brig is quite useful, too. Still, I don’t know how I feel about losing the whole travel in time and space bit of DW but this makes for a change of pace from the past two “eras.” It’s not really MAROONED, or 2001 though.

In an earlier version of the script, Heldorf was named Kuhn. Quinlan’s first name is James and he is called Sir James. He and Carrington give some story about radiation spreading as a plague. If I’m to get this, they had UNIT men killed to keep this all a secret. They also seem to fake the astronauts have been kidnapped…again. This is the first episode where we hear the dreamy music. Heldorf and another scientist are ruthlessly shot down in what is becoming a bloodthirsty show. The van used is disguised as Hayhoe Launderers (in the script it was Progressive). They change the side of the van to Silcock Bakeries (early script has it as Mason Bakery). The Doctor has a pen in his mouth as he figures things out. We have two new bad guys: Regan and Lennox (who’s a nervous scientist who’s not THAT BAD. In any case, most of the “action” in this episode happens to them as one of the astronauts, seriously radioactive, gets out and nearly leaves the building they are hidden in. In the fight before, a concrete pillar moves! In the script, when Liz wanted to drive Bessie, the Doctor was to say, “Bessie is very sensitive.” When Liz gets a message supposedly from the Brig, about viewing the bodies found, the Doctor says, “How very morbid.” Many henchmen are dispatched, probably from the radiation from the astronauts. Two are seen left at a gravel pit under a crane that will bury them. Two others are told to take a direct route and they vanish for the rest of the story. MUCH time is given to all these sequences. There was a line “ You do your job and I’ll do mine.” In any case, the chase with Bessie is the highlight of this episode, which, other than that, is all talk really. The Doctor is pretty much a man of NON ACTION in this episode…AGAIN. Liz gets the Bessie chase scene and the on foot chase, too. The scene over the weir is very well done and quite exciting. Liz also seems to be able to fight a bit. The cliffhanger seems to be slightly re-edited differently in the next episode.

The cliffhanger is edited slightly differently. There is also more before the titles. This is odd because in episode five, there is less of the cliffhanger as shot from Episode 4 and it is filmed differently in Episode 5 and from a new angle. Which is a shame as the cliffhanger for ep4 is this season’s and this Doctor’s first GREAT terrifying cliffhanger but more on that later. The titles have a different sound to the TWANG. It sounds like two cliffhanger stings. The Doctor uses an eye glass piece and talks about a hair comb. Bruno’s hair is less wild. The Doctor teases him when he arrives by putting a pen in his back and asks, “You’re not armed, I hope.” Oh and there is another man named Masters, this time ANOTHER henchman. Taltalian shows his true colors again because he recaptures Liz who escaped with a lot of help from Lennox. The script originally had Cornish says he has gotten over, under and around Carrington and Quinlan’s obstacles but when there are no astronauts to pilot another recovery, the Doctor volunteers. He can take considerably more G force than the normal people and he’s been in space longer than any of his astronauts. He will take tests. Liz insults Regan, “It’s simple enough, even you could manage it.” The Doctor touches the back of his head when figuring out why Taltalian was killed. Regan has a standard bad guy line, “This Doctor must have nine lives.” The Ambassador attacks the base and kills a guard ( a UNIT man?). The location stuff is nice and it looks creepy enough. The dream music is used again. Again, as the thing closes in on the Doctor as the Doctor leans over the dead Quinlan, its hand is just an inch from him. Cliffhanger great! We’ve lost the chords of some of the DW theme music in the credits. At least two UNIT men die.

While this ep is not boring, it’s slow. Again, the Doctor does not do much but survive a bomb blast (how?). I must say that having watched all DW episodes some time ago (when New DW was a big, huge let down—say right after JOURNEY’S END through to the start of Matt Smith) and also watching over 1200 episodes of Dark Shadows (again just after that horrible 11TH HOUR to Matt Smith’s end of season 6---awful stuff), I have a lot of patience for slow moving old stuff. That said, this doesn’t seem that slow compared to DS or even some later Pertwee’s but honestly seven episodes is just too much. I DO like this story though and these episodes. But again, if one watches, the Doc, Liz and the Brig do very little by way of action sequences. They are involved scientifically however and that’s different and interesting.

The Doctor comes in and sees Sir James dead. There is less of a cliffhanger before the second short theme blast. There is also a different series of shots as the thing looms over the Doctor—I preferred it last week. One UNIT man is killed here. The Brig tries the door and the entire wall shakes. We see Benton for the first time in the Third Doctor era. Mike Shadow. Liz convinces Lennox he’d be safe with the Brig and UNIT but…he’s not. Miss Rutherford seems to have vanished. Instead, another woman is doing all her parts. Rutherford was only in eps 1 and 2. Okay, the Brig and Benton BOTH come off really, really stupid in this episode. Benton wonders why Lennox is so worried. Lennox is dumb, too. He should have immediately told Benton he knew where Liz was (not that Benton is any kind of familiar UNIT personnel in this era). Benton’s merely another soldier and sergeant…and without any personality. The Brig is stupid by allowing Lennox to be locked in a cell and to not immediately question and protect the man. It really dilutes the Brig and Benton as characters. When Liz is thrown to Masters by Reegan, she tells Masters, “It’s all right, I won’t hurt you.”

Rightfully so, the Doctor is upset and impatient by all the time it takes for the Earth rocket to lift off. I don’t know why he’s so…I don’t know, annoyed by the space lingo talk. He keeps saying things like, “I take it you mean an hour,” when Cornish or someone else tells him, “30 minutes.”

Reegan gets to punch a UNIT guard. They’re not really worth their salt, are they? There is something about one of the actors being a presenter at the Radio Caroline pirate radio. The typists’ names’ initials for the scripts were WH, CAF, and DW. Reegan sabotages the M3 Varient (spelled wrong on the sticker on the metal pole and blamed on…the typists?). Much time is given to Reegan’s exploits yet again and much location work. Location work can get boring if nothing’s really happening or it is all about the villains.

When Lennox receives a meal, the voice bringing it in sounds like Benton (we do not see the face). I take it it is supposed to be Carrington but wouldn’t Lennox know him? Maybe not. In any case, when I first watched this, I thought Benton killed the man! Lennox’s fate is horrible. He does the right thing, the heroes act stupid and he dies from a radioactive isotope. He sounds an alarm but someone disconnected it.

The rocket takes off and is made of cardboard. It looks good, though. No, really. The Doctor’s trouble caused by Reegan’s sabotage is resolved and while there is much build up to jettisoning the Stage One rocket…we don’t see it really and the whole thing feels anti climatic as the Doctor says something like, “It worked.” There is a great deal of blackout uses in this story.

Again, the Doctor is annoyed at the tech jargon such as “Observation” and he says, “If you mean can I see it?” Why he’s being such a tart? He also says, “More haste less speed Mr. Cornish.” What ? The Doctor is dubbed in the “no gravity” scene in the cockpit. When Cornish warns him about what might in the other rocket, the Doctor, who’s sure there are aliens involved, says, “Nonsense, man.” He thinks the astronauts are in the rocket. He’s wrong.

The alien ship appears to come at the Doctor’s probe.

Ep 6
The cliffhanger seems refilmed slightly. The female tech has different make-up and hair AND her voice over from last episode is a full close up here. The ship is actually well produced, it looks alien, like a horn of plenty. The inside is trippy and cool, too. There’s another blackout before the Doctor is taken by the aliens and he is …blacked out. Dream music returns as he enters the alien ship. The three astronauts think they are in quarantine but they are on the alien UFO –ship. They ad lib their lines before the Doctor arrives. The alien is well presented and it reminds me of the better original OUTER LIMITS aliens. It seems more alien than most other aliens in DW, STAR TREK and other shows.

The Brig tells Cornish, “There’s only one hope left to us—that the Doctor is still alive.”

Cornish tells the Brig that Lennox was murdered in the Brig’s own HQ. So I’m confused. Where did Lennox go? I thought it was the space base? If it was UNIT HQ, why was Carrington there? If Carrington was there, why isn’t he a suspect? Does anyone mention this again? Cornish gives us a run through of everything up to now including Lennox’s death, the sabotage of the Doctor’s craft, Taltalian’s death and pulling a gun, etc.

Liz’s dilemma as she is in the cage with the aliens is great stuff. The alien takes off its helmet and the make-up/mask is very effective and creepy. It is also well filmed with a sort of staggered zoom at Liz. Liz bangs on the window AND THEN runs to the door and opens it and gets out. NO ONE opens it for her. Why didn’t she go for the door in the first place instead of wasting time banging on the glass window? Mike Shadow.

Max Faulkner plays a guard at the Space Base. He clearly was a UNIT man in episode four…where HE DIED! Some of this was filmed at the Blue Cement Circle Works.

When the Doctor returns to waiting, he’s in a robe that is very Colin Baker—striped yellow, orange and brown. He is gassed by Reegan who wants him alive. The gas cylinder never leaves Reegan’s van but the Brig knew about the canister…how? When the Doctor wakes up, he makes some comment about Reegan’s ministrations but when he sees Liz over him, he touches her hair and answers her question of how he is with, “Yes, and getting better by the minute.” The Doctor pretends to help Reegan by making a list of things he needs to build a communication device so Reegan can communicate with the aliens…and Reegan pulls a chair out for him. The Doctor says, “Thank you.” When Reegan leaves and Liz asks him what he is doing, helping Reegan, the Doctor says, “We must bring the Brigadier to us.”

Carrington arrives and reveals himself the boss. Surprised? NO!? The Doctor tells Liz, “I think the General knew all along.”

I didn’t remember this as the last cliffhanger. It was a good one, if a bit more human as threat. The theme song at the end seems to have made louder and louder that slithering sound that was added a few seasons ago or last season. The reprise of the cliffhanger next episode seems not to be a refilmed one.
“The Doctor is a prisoner and the Brigadier is powerless to rescue him.” That BBC announcement is almost right or almost wrong. Are there different shots in the cliffhanger? Probably not but Carrington’s facial hair make up is different when the cliffhanger is over, he’s been made up to look more like Hitler. Dream music returns. It’s quite good. The Doctor asked Carrington if Quinlan was in on this and knew more; he didn’t. No one mentions Lennox. In the next raid, led by the main character Reegan, a villain, one of the men touched by the deadly touching astronauts ambassadors, does not die. The henchman watching Liz and the Doctor now is not Masters. It’s someone else. The Doctor cleverly sends the Brig (via Benton and Private Johnson) an SOS using SOS. By the way with the newscaster being played by Wisher, who goes on to play Davros and Johnson being played by a future Master played by John’s husband Beever…it seems as if we have future villains all over the place (including the man who plays Carrington…he will go on to play a swampie---yes, with his shirt off unfortunately in Power of Kroll). When Carrington at the base has the Brig arrested by two MPs…he’s escorted by them outside…well, by TWO DIFFERENT MPs. The Brig shows his worth by escaping from them, by fighting hand to hand and fleeing in a car amid bullet fire. When the Brig gets to Benton and HQ for UNIT he tells Benton that the car took several bullets in the engine. Is the engine in the rear of the car? Was he shot as from the front that we did not see? Benton wants to raid the place where the Doctor’s SOS came from and in the “funniest” scene of the season so far, suggests they use the Doctor’s car. The Brig pulls a shocked face but it’s not a shot that lasts that long. It’s funny anyway as we see The Brig, Benton, and three UNIT men cramped into Bessie…with huge rifles sticking out. DOESN’T UNIT HAVE ANY OTHER TRANSPORT VECHILES AT THAT HQ? If you read the book ABOUT TIME 3, you’ll find lots that don’t make sense about this story. And there are pages and pages of it. Nick Courtney was given the nickname Grimnod as he uses a grim nod method of acting as joked and teased at by his coworkers. UNIT has a much better fight when they raid the place the Doctor and Liz have been kept in. One UNIT man is seen on the ground …he cannot be dead because later three UNIT men are with the Brig. When the Brig asks Liz (the best character in this) if she’s all right, she responds with, “Just get me out of here.” It’s not difficult within the fiction to see why Liz stopped wanting to be a UNIT member. The Doctor uses the ambassadors to stop Carrington, who, like Reegan and Dobson (who is NEVER found out), does not really get his comeuppance. Both are murderers and both just go to jail. The Doctor tells Carrington, who the script originally had put into a mental institution (room for a sequel?), “Yes, General, I understand.” It’s a sympathetic line. The Doctor leaves the others to get on with getting the astronauts back and returning the ambassadors. He also tells them that Liz will help them, “Miss Shaw---she’s much more practical than I am.” Huh? A funny bit is when the Doctor is leaving, he forgetfully moves to shake hands with one of the ambassadors and removes his hand, withdrawing it.

In all, this is not a bad story. It’s also not a terribly good one either. It’s almost never boring although there are, like both stories around it, long scenes in a base---several bases. The same can be said for SPEARHEAD FROM SPACE substituting a factory for a base. I still say that UNIT is all wrong for a DW concept. Yes, I’m glad we have this brief respite from the Doctor’s travels in time and space but let’s face it, traveling in time and space is much more action filled and exciting than watching men in bases watching men in spaceships executing long space rocket blast offs. In addition, when there is action, the Doctor is not front and center. And in THIS story, we have the flawed Benton, the flawed Brig, and the flawed Liz. All three can be blamed for Lennox’s death…mostly stupidity (yes, let’s put a man in a cell before talking to him ---a cell with a window and let’s have strangers bring him “food”?). As for Liz, she promised the Brig would protect him…and the Brig does not. The Brig also does the investigating…or rather his men do…off screen…to track the killers. Again, there is an awful lot wrong with this story. Another problem is that, aside from the main hero being grounded from the more exciting premise of traveling in space and time, AND that he’s not first and foremost the main character in the action is that…the story is seven episodes long. It could probably have been done in four or five. It’s a lot of set pieces for action. The memorable thing about it is not the action but the aliens. The idea of aliens that touch and kill is not new but the style of these…even if a random surprise for the production team…is that the presentation of the things in astronaut suits set against the sun behind them, reaching out, filmed through wide angle or distorted lenses…is quite freaky and unforgettable. Again, too, the alien with the helmet off is quite a shocking sight. I’m glad we have this story and those around it in this very flawed season seven…but I’m also glad we do not have to have another season like it ever. Then again, when one watches any Moffat Error season…maybe we should have season seven, the original show’s season seven back. Doctor Who can do worse than the AMBASSADORS OF DEATH (just see or rather don’t see---NIGHTMARE IN SILVER, THE CRIMSON HORROR, and almost all of the new series season six).

For a seven part story, this starts out rather fast paced and quicker than the last three stories and as an episode in and of itself, it’s rather good. First, the titles are superimposed over lava and volcano activity as in the later or all of the 2nd Doctor episodes. The Doctor drives and sings a song from Rigoletto about the fickleness of women! Harry Slocum whistles a song, too. In fast order we are introduced to Sir Keith (last name Gold but originally it was supposed to be Mulvaney and then Rose), Greg Sutton, and Petra not to mention Professor Stahlman and all their personalities are quickly established. All but Stahlman are likeable, even the cold Petra and the patronizing Greg Sutton. I’m not sure we’re supposed to like them but for some reason, I do. Greg and Petra both grow on you and they are sort of pseudo companions. Originally, on the way in, Sutton’s limo driver was supposed to be in a butt head with Bessie and Bessie emits a Doctor message, “Courtesy on the roads saves lives and may save yours one day. Thank you for listening. Message ends.” Slocum’s first victim’s last shot was filmed but not shown. The Doctor uses the words, “Good heavens.” He also cannot pick out the Brig from an old photograph. “Yes, well, I can see why you grew that moustache.” Which is fake or at least it was most of the time. The Doctor seems to amuse Benton but one look from the Brig and Benton is not smiling. The Brig says, “Trouble seems to follow you, doesn’t it, Doctor?” Yesterday was when Slocum touched the green stuff by accident. When Keith introduces Stahlman to Sutton, he says instigator, which makes Stahlman says, “You make it sound as if I’ve committed some crime against humanity.” When the Doctor sees the complaining Stahlman, he jokingly asks, “Our liver playing up again, this morning, Professor?” Originally, he was to offer, “Sister Pickergill’s Herbal Tonic Water, good for the gripes.” When talking to Sutton and Keith, the Doctor once again admits, “I’m not wild about computers myself.” The Doc is nice to Sutton, who was patronizing to Petra but not while the Doctor was in the room. The Doctor has a red cape. He helps save the company time and money by telling a tech to adjust a control. When he leaves the room, Stahlman says, “I’m rapidly losing patience with that man.”

Private Lattimer guards the Doctor’s garage at the Inferno Project. He calls the Doctor’s stuff funny gadgets. The Doctor seems to open the doors with the sonic screw driver but he says, “It’s only a door handle.” When talking to Liz about the conflict between Keith and Stahlman, the Doctor originally talked about dueling and how he thought it was a shame they outlawed it in 1828, to have called it, “A beautifully simple solution to a difference of opinion.” When Liz thinks what he is doing is dangerous, he tells her he’s a strange in foreign land, a stranded mariner. He also puts his hands on her shoulders and they seem VERY close. The console is green. When the Doctor’s experiment goes wrong and he ends up in a void we hear music that will be used in THE TOMORROW PEOPLE (most notably in THE SLAVES OF JEDIKIAH but also in THE MEDUSA STRAIN and others). The Doctor, while thinking, seems to touch his thumb to his chin or jaw. A cut scene from the script or filming was one of a UNIT man being killed or attacked, one Private Collins. One of the BBC ads for this lists DW products and adds they one of them would not be a green man, “But probably not a green man.”

Okay, a solid first episode and for the Pertwee years quite fast paced. The Doctor seems to be hiding something from the Brig with his own TARDIS console (which is out of the TARDIS and in the garage). The Brig seems suspicious. Liz and the Doctor seem very close; Benton and the Brig a bit more relaxed. The problem, the base (yes, again), the guest characters, UNIT, Bessie, and the Doctor’s place are all introduced in fine fashion and with a quick pace. The make up on the hands of the infected Slocum (a very nice character btw) is fine but unfortunately the “monster” make up on the face leaves A LOT to be desired. Still, the threat in the cliffhanger is a good one and this is a good first episode!

This had a working title of DW and the Mo Hole Project. The Doctor watches the action unfold before him: as a man is hit down and attacked. The burn mark behind Slocum’s body is green slime scorched. Kate O’Mara was suggested for the part of Petra Williams. Private Wyatt is the ill-fated UNIT soldier infected. There is good location work here as the Doctor goes on high to stop Wyatt and he even slides down a ladder. The action is also well done (HAVOC is the stunt team). The sounds of music are also used as the sound of hyper space in THE TOMORROW PEOPLE. The technician is named Bromley. Sir Keith sticks up for the Doctor, “He came to his answer in ten minutes.” In the original script, Stahlman asks, “What are you jabbering about?” The Doctor says, “I do not jabber. My manner is both lucid and precise.” He calls Stahlman a nitwit. In the original script, the Doctor calls him an apacaheinson, which is used by Malvordenites, inhabitants of the planet Malvordas, the 11th galactic cluster beyond Andromeda. Simply translated it means a person with a headful of sky. When Liz asks the Doctor a question, he says, “Liz, please don’t ask any questions, there’s a good girl.” She does what he wants. He, in turn, turns up the power to his hut to try to get the console working again so he can get away. Stahlman wanted to take the power away from the Doctor when the Doctor caught him stealing a microcircuit from the computer. When the computer disagreed with Stahlman, he tried to and succeeded in putting it out of commission. In the office when Stahlman attacks the Doctor, the Doctor uses his Venusian karate for the first time ever on the TV show, “Hai Javitch!” It can permanently paralyze someone if not released. The Brig starts asking questions too and the Doc tells him, “Don’t you start asking me a lot of questions, too, now.” The Doctor sends Liz from the hut to the computer, already knowing it was out of commission. He claimed he needed it to do the Epsilon Coordinates for him. She tells him he usually does that in his head. He tells her he is tired. It seems they know each other a long time or well or both. He’s just trying to get her out of the hut so he can leave. Liz and the Brig figure this out and head from the drill base to the hut…and Stahlman cuts the Doctor’s power again. The result: they see him; the console and Bessie all vanish from the hut!

Another good episode with no let up on the action and conflict. DW seems to be getting back on its feet.

Another working title was DW and the Mole Bore. The Doctor appears on his back and on the other side of the console from where we see him vanish with it. There is a permanent glare in the sky…which his good for this “heat wave” “Earth temperatures rising” kind of story. From the moment he leaves his hut, the Doctor is shot at, running for his life, driving for his life and fighting for his life in an exciting series of chase sequences with Bessie, the factory, and the infected technician. UNIT shoots one of the infected off a high tower and the 50 foot drop is a World Record. Of course STAR TREK did this kind of alternate universe thing first and well. Here, it’s not bad at all but honestly, even though I’m more a DW fan and not really a TREK fan, TREK did it better. This is not bad and the actors who play Liz, The Brig, and Benton all do a great job at making their parallel, nasty counterparts different, believable, and above a one dimensional gimmick. They are all quite scary. In this parallel universe, the Royal Family has all been shot. The Doctor feels it is a pity. He knew them and starts to tell them a story about that. Later, when the Brigade Leader returns he tells the Doctor, whom he keeps insisting will be shot, “You’ve given us a great deal of trouble.” The Doctor says, “I’m delighted to hear that.” Petra uses a trim phone. The Doctor calls Benton over to him, “Tell me, have you ever seen anything like this before?” He uses two fingers to knock Benton down. He’s not down for long. As the Doctor tries to repair the computer as the reactor seems to go critical, Benton stops him and threatens to shoot him there and then.

Another good episode. The parallel world thing is a hoot. The Brig’s line of “Then you won’t feel the bullets when we shoot you,” is funny and sardonic. In fact, Courtney does a great job of the eye patch wearing evil Brig. There is a 1985 type Orwellian poster of a dictator looking down on them in the office. There is a lot of action, with Bessie and out of Bessie. Pertwee did not like heights but to his credit one would never know that from these three episodes. He’s brilliant in all the action scenes. I like that they started putting him in the center of the action.

This might be one of the first times reversing all the systems is used in the show or in this era. It’s based on a real life application with oil drillings. The Doctor says of the alternate Stahlman, “Of all the ungrateful nitwits.” Someone asks the Doctor if he is a scientist and he says, “Of sorts.” Sutton asks, “Who was that man in the funny clothes?” Most early parallel universe or world stuff was based on antipodes (the exact opposite spot on Earth of a location). The Doctor has a motion of touching his ear when he’s talking and sometimes rubbing it. Courtney based his alt Brigadier—the Brigade Leader on Mussolini and his braggadocio (bragging and empty boasting) yet at times, especially later on, he does things that seem somewhat human…such as helping Liz up when she falls and even saving some of them from the Primords (which are never named on screen I think). In the original script, when Liz and the Brig are interrogating the Doctor roughly under a light, he makes several sarcastic remarks to them, some of which are good, some of which are…just silly. He talks about the melodramatic lights and also says he came in by this method: “I sprouted a pair of rather elegant peacock’s wings and flew in over the guards and the barbed wire and the watch dogs.” Much of the interrogation smacks of the tv show THE PRISONER, “Who are you? Who do you work for?” kind of thing. The Alt Stahlman uses the word “Liquidated” when he means he wants the Doctor killed. When Benton pushes him, he says, “Please, don’t push.” Benton, the alter, says, “Your trouble is you talk too much.” When the Doc is put in the cell he jokes, “What about some food? A cup of tea? Some cocoa? A glass of water, then?” The Doctor tells Benton that his counterpart in the other universe is a “nice, sociable sort of chap.” When Liz starts to question him again, he lies down but Benton orders him up. He refuses but then gets back up and says, “Oh well, that’s different…anything for a quiet life.” What? The Doctor also wonders if Liz’s new found charm was “7 Stroke 4” application.

After they leave, he tries to get chummy with the prisoner in the other cell, who has been sedated. When the person does not respond he remarks on the friendliness of this establishment. When he was trying he said, “Read any good police reports lately?”

In our universe, when the Brig assures Liz that the Doctor can look after himself, she says, “He’s not indestructible, you know?”

Our Gold tells Stahlman, “We must slow down the drilling as we approach penetration.”

When the other prisoner turns out to be one of the infected people…a monster who breaks into the Doctor’s cell and kills a young blond guard, the fight and the entire scene is rather tense and a good one. The Doctor escapes without having it touch him, using the mattress to block it. He dons a radiation suit and gets in the back of a truck. Other radiation suited men come and open the back of the truck for him to join them. WHAT? They didn’t know he was there so why?

The cliffhanger is rather good as it involves the countdown and Stahlman pulling a gun on the shocked Doctor. This countdown would be used, effectively again, in the Tenth Doctor’s story with the Sontarans. A very good episode, this one was.

The Doctor uses the term “old son.” What Stahlman is doing is gross. He seems to be eating the green stuff. At one point, he even puts it on his face and also puts another tech’s face into the green stuff. The Doctor helps solve some more problems so everyone just about forgets about shooting him. The drama builds quite nicely here as the Doctor makes everyone realize (slowly they realize) that there is no hope for this Earth. It IS Doomsday for them. Sutton takes to this right away but Petra can’t let it sink in too fast but eventually she realizes it. The ALT Greg and Petra are quite nice and well developed, even in the middle of all this drama. One almost forgets this is DW…there is no escaping death for these characters. Sutton’s lines about “toy soldiers” are interesting and realistic. In the original script, the Doctor told Liz, “I was an intruder there just as I am here.” This shows his frustration with his exile and being stuck in one place. BUT the show doesn’t play up this angst too much.

When Liz, The Brigade Leader and the Doctor listen to the radio, it is Pertwee’s voice as the newscaster. This WAS shown as part of the North America syndication package… but cut from the BBC. Frankly, this happened a lot. I recall the long sword fight scene in CURSE OF PELADON as being very long with a lot of stabbing and spearing going on…and the episode ran to 31 minutes! This happened sporadically during Tom Baker’s years and all the time during the Davison years.

Stahlman says what we should have voiced to Moffat, “I have no time for fairy stories.” The Doctor tells the Brigade Leader he cannot take anyone with him, it would create a problem, “It would shatter the space time continuum of all the universes.”

The car crash is well done as is the scene in the car with Gold and the driver, who was threatened by Stahlman if he didn’t delay Gold. In the script, they were driving past the Hedfordshire Village—Redbourn.

The Doctor calls the Brigade Leader, Brigadier when warning him against the monsters.

Benton’s transformation is horrific as we don’t see much but hear his agonized moans and groans and yelps. The scene was longer and the full change was filmed but cut out due to time.

All in all this episode is terrific. It is very, very well done and the tension is high. The Primords are filmed well if lit too much and if you focus on them and their ridiculous look, well…it doesn’t work but the rest of the script and the acting sell it all to us. Another good episode.

The volcano eruption is stock that was also used in ENEMY OF THE WORLD. There is a heat glare outside now that I would have sworn was in all the episodes when shown in the US. The Brig in our universe wonders about what happened to Sir Keith Gold, “People just don’t vanish.” He should know better. The Doctor has done just that.

Uhm, many sources claim the door handler that opens the hut doors is the sonic screwdriver…it’s not. As for the Doctor, someone says, “He’s very unpredictable.” Keith’s vanished yesterday evening. Sutton and the Doctor in the other universe are removing a cooling hose to make the monsters move away from them. “Hurry along my dear fellow,” Pertwee ab libs, “Hurry along.” When they go to the hut in Bessie and Greg sees the console, he’s disappointed. The Doctor asks if he expected “some kind of space rocket with Batman at the controls?” There was an older reference to Buck Rogers before that line was changed. The quakes are well done. The Doctor calls Petra, “My dear.” He also scolds Greg and the Brigade Leader as they fight, “Do you want to end your lives fighting like animals?” The end theme is longer. It’s quite disturbing to see Liz (who saves the Doctor by shooting the Brigade Leader…but it does not look fatal), and the nice Greg and nice Petra (who went back to the hut a third time to get the Doctor his much needed power) facing their death by a HUGE lava flow outside the doors. They die. The end theme is longer? Again, another well done, well-acted episode, played completely straight. The monsters still look a bit silly but what they represent is still a bit…unnerving.

Originally the entire adventure in the alt universe for the Doctor was to have only taken a few minutes our time. This was changed and things ran almost parallel with the other universe running a bit ahead of our own. Liz reminds the Brig that she IS a doctor when he asks if they should get a doctor to look after the Doctor. Stahlman calls the Doctor, “ridiculous Doctor.” The alarms cause the Doctor to twitch out of his coma. The Doctor, when he comes out of it, checks his pulse, which for him is normal at 170. When the Doctor panics and runs to the base to stop the drilling, he goes berserk and starts attacking the machines. He tells the Brig, who tries to stop him, “Get out of my light.” What does that mean? Was it Pertwee telling Courtney to get out of his light? What?

Later, when the Stahlman monster attacks, he breaks a chair over the Doctor’s back…and the Doctor doesn’t react. When it is all over, the Doctor hugs Liz…VERY close and he puts his face in her neck!!!! Later in his hut, the Doctor sings, “Shine on Martian Moons up in the sky. Oh the old Milky Way is not what she used to be.” The song is also part of a song for Old Gray Mare? The Brig and the Doc spar verbally. The Doctor calls him, “A pompous self-opinionated idiot here.” The Doc will miss Liz (“I shall miss you, my dear” and tries to leave in the console (there was talk from the crew of having the TARDIS done away with completely and just using the console to travel!!).

The Doc returns on the rubbish heap and asks the Brig if some of his stalwart chaps can help him move the console back. “After all the years we’ve worked together…” the Doctor charms the Brig outside. Liz laughs.

A nice ending. A good story overall. In times past, I would have said all of these stories were good and none better than the others but on this rewatch, I’d have to say that INFERNO is the best one. It is dramatic, well-acted, and tense. The others? Silurians is good but a bit slower. The Ambassadors of Death is a fun watch but there are lots of story problems and the action…doesn’t really flow along. It’s also very slow moving. Spearhead is probably the worst but I once thought it was the best. It really makes little sense. All in all a good 25 episodes.


Okay, with this series, I’m trying to bring up things that are either not usually brought up, not discussed, not looked at, or stuff that interests me when I write my fan fiction stuff as nods to the classic and new series as well as present or represent my views on what I’m seeing with 21st century 2013-2015 eyes (yes, I think I’ll go through the whole thing, maybe). In any case, synopsis can be found in other places so it’s not exactly that. Just observations and critiques. And quotes that I like and want to make a record of. First the Master: how great is Roger Delgado? In his first scene he seems to almost outshine the Doctor (and in a magazine interview and cover, it was instigated that he might actually have been considered for the Doctor’s role). “I am usually known as the Master…Universally.”

The Doctor sings a song from 1941 by the Ink Spots. “I don’t want to set the Moon on fire.” His jacket is red velvet. He does not wear this all the way through this episode as far as I can tell or he might have put a jacket over it. When Jo introduces herself badly, the Doctor, at first thinks she is the tea lady, “Not today, thank you.” When she ruins his experiment, he calls her “a ham fisted bun vendor.” In the original script, the aliens he brings up are called Lammarians but here he calls them Lamardines and they had a steady state micro welding and nine opposable digits. She tells him she’s not the tea lady.

The Master music used throughout is great, a breath of fresh air. The backdrops (used as sets, such as the radio telescope tower from above and the factory) used are, well, fake but look pretty good and do the job. We see the Master use his shrink gun (not yet called the TCE but it looks like it somewhat, a rough version of it). The script stated it implodes the victim rather than explodes them and uses a compression ray. The script also said that the Master was to be locked up by a Tribunal on the Doctor’s home world but he escaped, not without help.

At about 11:19 in, we first meet Mike Yates, a sort of laid back and quiet type. The Doctor’s cape jacket or over jacket has purple lapels. At the top of the tower where the Master has left a booby trap bomb for the Doctor in the door, a Time Lord dressed almost like John Steed from THE AVENGERS warns him. He traveled 29000 light years (which in space terms is not that far). So where was he coming from? The Doctor comments he looks ridiculous in that get up but he says, “We Time Lords don’t care to be conspicuous, some of us that is.” When the Time Lord tells the Doctor (who seems to know him) about the Master, the Doctor says, “That jackanapes—all he ever does is cause trouble.” The Time Lord tells the Doctor that the Master has learned much and even scored higher than the Doctor in cosmic studies or something like that. The Doctor claims he’s a slow starter. In any case, the Time Lord also says of the Doctor, “You are incredibly meddlesome doctor but we always felt that your hearts are in the right places.” The Doctor calls the Master, “An unimaginative plodder.” The Time Lord leaves the Doctor to deal with the bomb, a volatiser. The canister was said to be Androgian in the script and the volatisers are used by the Xenthoids for tunneling.

We see a boom mike. Goodge’s body is found in a lunch box. The Doctor tells Mike to explain the Nestenes to Jo, since Mike was the one in charge of cleaning up last time (so he’s been in UNIT at least since the first season of Pertwee’s Doctor). The Doctor seems to have either a black jacket or a green jacket on now. When asking Jo about her credentials and passing a class, he touches her chin fatherly. Jo mentions Frankenstein. Vanity is the Master’s weakness.

Jo takes it on herself to spy on the Master but I can’t fail to notice how the Master and Farrell fail to notice her hiding…well, in plain sight. The Master says, “I wish to alter the Master plan.” The Master catches Jo and quickly hypnotizes her (as he does the circus owner and Farrell before her). “Curiosity is the Doctor’s greatest weakness.” Originally, the Master laments sending Jo back with the bomb, “Quite a pretty thing. Too bad I couldn’t keep her.”

It is interesting to note the Doctor has boiled out the contents of the bomb which was equal to 15 megaton bombs to keep it from Earth. I also do not understand why Jo dislikes the octopus so much.

The cliffhanger is a good one but I can’t help but feel it could have been directed a bit better, with a bit more tension than it was. Well, this is NOT Alfred Hitchcock after all. But really. A good cliffhanger is wasted by the way it was done here. Nevertheless, a good episode, far above standard and almost a reset button for Pertwee’s era! And uhm, maybe I was not paying attention but how did the Doctor know it was a bomb?

In any case, a good episode and all the better for the Master and Jo (although I miss Liz Shaw to be honest). Jo has a very good introduction scene however, but she messes up two things already!

Jo was used by the Master in something called a schizoid disassociation and it causes deep trauma in her mind. The Master tells Farrell, “I am many things.” In the first of many horrific deaths in this story, McDermott is sort of influenced to sit in a Nestene chair (in the original script, the Master calls it Polynestene) and is smothered on screen by the plastic chair! It’s quite graphic to be honest and horrible but I guess it could have been worse. As with the other stories in Pertwee’s era, most of them were read by me as novels which were available here long before they were on tv in syndication on PBS. THIS is the first time I’m seeing this story in color. The original script also featured a scene where it is explained that the Doctor cannot just use his ECT machine in SPEARHEAD FROM SPACE because the Nestene have a telepathic knowledge of what happened and a defense against it. Farrell Sr calls the Master Colonel Masters and is stubborn enough to resist his hypnotism. He doesn’t have enough wariness of the Master to kick the troll doll out of his car. The troll doll is a masterpiece of effects for the show and it looks even better in color than in black and white, where it looks fake. I’m quite impressed by the oddness of it and how it moves. It is genuinely scary and creepy. The Tardis’s left door is open inward in the lab. The Doctor wears an eyeglass. The Doctor about the Brig, “Your methods have all the refined subtly of a bull in a china shop.” The Doctor is still calling Jo Miss Grant mostly. He wears a longer red cape it seems or there is more red than usual. I don’t believe the Brig would let the Doctor go investigating the fairgrounds without backup considering there are two threats: the Master and the Autons and they’ve joined up…

…and while I’m on that…this episode and this story in particular have a definite BATMAN flair…60s style. There is a team up of villains (as in the Batman series, Joker and Penquin; Catwoman and Sandman; etc.) and a circus (the original script had instead of a Jamaican strongman, a clown capturing the Doctor) as well as one or two death traps (bombs mostly). Oh, and henchmen who do the nasty work and get fooled.

We meet Mrs. Farrell, the poor lady. She seems like such a normal person, maybe the first we’ve met on the show.

The Doctor is captured by Master henchmen, including Rossini, who is taken over. The Doctor uses his alias Dr. John Smith, “Doctor actually.” He also says of Rossini, “You’re an insulting ruffian, aren’t you?” Rossini calls the Doctor, “An eccentric millionaire.”

The Farrell death is creepy and disturbing, again, one of the first real deaths on DW or at least it feels like it and again, most of this is on screen. The original script has this taking place at night. The ordinary surroundings of home, couch, newspaper, living room, having coffee, etc…is just scary in this story because of what happens in them. Again, I feel sorry for Mrs. Farrell as well as Mr. It’s easy to see why the public were concerned about this story.

The Doctor keeps making smart comments during his interrogation, “Maybe you’re not asking the right questions.” He spots Jo in the window…why doesn’t the strong man? To distract the man away from Jo so Jo can enter and knock him out with a pan or something, the Doctor yells, halfheartedly, “Help. Help. Help.” Originally, Phillips was to have chased Jo and the Doctor through the fairgrounds. The detonator capsule that kills him was originally supposed to be from the planet Kastritis. Why do all the circus people attack the Doctor and Jo? Supporting their own kind? Controlled by the Master, also? There is a body and the police arrive and take Jo and the Doctor away…okay, so these turn out to be Autons in a great cliffhanger but…but…why not just kill Jo and the Doctor at the circus? In the car, the Doctor once again insults the Brig, “It’s nice to know that he can use his head once in a while.” Jo pushes the Doctor gently while he’s checking something and he says, “Careful.” He is expecting to be taken to Tarminster (UNIT HQ?). The policeman in front turns around and the Doctor takes his face off…it’s a plastic Auton! Good cliffhanger.

Okay, a good, scary episode but disturbing and a bit…I don’t know…lacking in sense. See above. Still, I like it for some reason. It has movement, pace, and action and some of Pertwee’s most sarcastic come backs. Jo tries to and does redeem herself.
Another thing is the start or rather non start of Mike Yates romance with Jo or non romance with Jo. When it was seen how she related to Jon, the whole Mike Yates/Jo Grant romance was cancelled. This is odd in how it works in future as in the novels Mike is seen as gay.

Another UNIT soldier bites the dust. Mike proves his worth by taking the initiative and driving a car into an Auton to save the Doctor, Jo and the Brig. The Brig has white socks or rather the stunt double does (Courtney was sick). Later, the Doctor says to Jo, “You know sometimes I think that military intelligence is a contradiction in terms.” TARDIS makes the room shake when the Doctor tries to use the Master’s dematerialization circuit in his own. Jo tells the Doctor stop acting childish and he says, “What’s wrong with being childish? I like being childish.”

Flowers are now the methods of death dished out by Farrell and the Autons, who seem not to want to wait for the Master. The Nestene voices sound like Daleks.

It is days later and the Brig and UNIT hasn’t found the Master, the Autons, or Farrell. The Doctor calls the Brig’s men incompetent imbeciles. When the Master is considered given up, the Doctor says he’s too conceited. A Mr. Brownrose from the Ministry arrives and starts blaming the Brig, the Doctor sticks up for the Brig. When the man wonders what he’s qualified to deal with, the Doctor says, “I think you’ll find sir, that I’m qualified to deal with practically everything, if I choose.” The man also seems to call the Doctor some stray boffin. The Doctor says, ‘My good man.” He also calls the man and his like, “Pen pushers.” The Doctor was at a club with Lord Tubby Rowlands, the boss of these pen pushers, or so he says. “Wrong sort of chap is creeping into your lot.” The man softens and tells of the deaths by asphyxiation and heart attacks across the country. The flowers?

Jo and the Doctor go Mrs. Farrell to find out more info. As they talk, there seems to be some rattling going on in the background. Master music. The telephone engineer has to show Mike his pass and explains maybe the person who ordered the phone likes to walk up and down when he talks. Mike jokes, “That sounds like him.” The Brig tells the Doctor later, “I’m aware of your preference for being a one man band…” he wants to join the Doctor and when Mike protests, the Brig says, “I’m not entirely deskbound yet.” The telephone operator is the Master wearing a mask like FALSEFACE in BATMAN or any one of the MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE masks (the original and far superior tv series in the 60s, not the movies and not the 1988 version although I believe they, too, may have used some face masks).

Mike and Jo left behind try to find something to do. He goes to get a tin of army cocoa when the doll, left by one of the Doctor’s Bunsen burners which Mike was to use to make his cocoa (Jo says something like the Doctor would not approve of making free with his Bunsen burners). Mike uses the word gubbins. The troll attack on Jo is not as well done as the earlier attack in the last episode. A lot more is left to the imagination but it is still creepy. Mike uses a gun to stop it.

The Doctor cracks a safe in the factory and inside is an Auton, who’s fire almost kills the Brig. The Doctor locks it in the safe. Originally, the script has a policeman try to take off one of the flower distributors (the Daffodil Men) big giant clown like heads to find an Auton underneath and he is killed. When Farrell claims the Master killed a policeman, the Master claims not for a long time before this one. The Doctor kicks the Brig and Mike out, “Out, the lot of you,” but when Jo asks if that means her, too, he says, “Yes, you, too,” but melts to her and sends her off to do something else, “No…” The Master talks to the Doctor for the first time in the entire serial (or series) on the phone, the wire of which comes alive and starts to wrap around the hamming it up Doctor—around his throat.

Another good episode. They originally wanted to show some of the flower deaths and I believe the novel has these deaths described. It’s quite grisly. A lot of people die before the Doctor can do anything. The flowers are a nasty bit of work as is the phone wire and the troll.

TERROR OF THE AUTONS isn’t a terrible story but it…does have some flaws in logic as almost all the stories do in this era, indeed in maybe all of DW. Why do I like DW so much? Right now, I’m not sure! In any case, while this is not the classic everyone remembers, it’s entertaining. I didn’t realize the Lab was supposed to be upstairs but the landing outside seems to prove that at least in this HQ. The Doctor sees the Brig in his new uniform, “My word you look very fierce.” For some reason, I do NOT believe Mike Yates as a soldier. Or rather Richard Franklin. I like him but I wish he was more a standard Jamie-Ben type companion since I don’t believe in him as a soldier or military man at all. Benton yes, Mike no. Jo uses the radio hand names Greyhound and Trap one. The UNIT radio is a TM45. Dimethyl sulfoxide is the solvent that the Doctor uses to free Jo from the flower spray of death? The Doctor tells Jo to call, “That idiot Brownrose.” Benton calls the aircraft bombers, “Eagle.” The Master comes to the lab and faces the Doctor face to face for the first time, using a cobalt laser gun. The Doctor's line about the Master’s plan, “Vicious, complicated, inefficient…typical of your way of thinking,” sums up the Master entirely…almost and is quite funny. The Master must be insane or infatuated with the Doctor. For some reason he seems to want to kill the Doctor AND not kill the Doctor AND to impress the Doctor, all at the same time. He doesn’t really know what he wants and his plans are…quite stupid. See again ABOUT TIME 3 for why the Master’s plans are insane and make no sense unless he wants to fail…and even then. One thing I forgot to mention was the novel had the Master hypnotize Phillips into becoming a clown in the circus. Delgado wanted to play the Master more as casual villainy rather than ranting and raving, which works. The Master takes Jo and the Doctor hostage, “A change of plan…I’ve decided to let you live, for a little while.” He has the Autons tie them up and takes them to the bus which is about to be attacked by UNIT. Jo, “Doctor, if you’re going to drive, I want to get off.” The battle: UNIT loses some seven or more men. Farrell seems to save the Doctor and Jo. Then, just as the Nestene entity seems to be coming to the radio telescope…the Master helps the Doctor stop it! Originally, the script was entirely different and the battle different. Originally, the fake Master that is Farrell in the aired version was just another Auton. The Doctor is looking forward to his next meeting with the Master, who kills people. All in all, a good story but desperately flawed, if not confusing. Pertwee is super in this as is Katy Manning and Nick Courtney. Roger is also very, very good, superb. He makes you believe in the Master when you should not.

There are some iconic moments in this, more than the entire first Pertwee season and some of them quite unforgettable, most of them, in fact. The creature at the telescope not formed yet, the troll, the flower spray of death, the phone cord, the Auton Policemen, the Master’s masks, the Daffodil Men, the smothering chair, the Time Lord, and the arrival of the Master. If only all of them made some kind of coherent plan or plot…I suppose it makes more sense than a lot of Ambassadors of Death but still….

The Doctor sports a red jacket and a cape ---that’s really more than a cape---that is purple in front and back. Pertwee does some funny stuff in this episode such as waving at the camera (“Smile, you’re on camera, Jo” smacks of Candid Camera) and getting caught doing so by a guard (when they drive in in Bessie, he say, “Abandon all hope ye who enter here,”) and then not long after, talking to Jo about the lecture AS it’s happening and making comments refuting the scientist Kettering’s comments. He tells Jo that those who say they are infallible are on very shaky ground. He also tells Jo while the others are here morbid sensation seekers, he’s here for scientific curiosity. Jo says, “Oh yes.” When Kettering says it has been satisfactorily completed, the Doctor says, “Satisfactorily be blowed.” The Doctor tells him that UNIT has been set up to deal with unusual menaces to mankind and he considers the machine to be just that.

A new UNIT HQ? Corporal Bell. In a changed line, the Brig was to say of the Doctor, “An exasperating fellow but I’d feel happier if he was about the place.” He thinks, wrongly, that observing at the prison will keep the Doctor out of mischief. Mike says of Chin Lee, “She’s quite a dolly.” She also lies in this episode and in a park in front of many people AND UNIT HQ, burns documents she claimed were stolen! The Doctor was said to have had a “Flair for the scientific and mechanical” in the original script. When Kettering asks about the Doctor and says “If you were scientist…” which makes the Doctor say, “If I were a scientist…I am a scientist and I have been for several thousand..” He leaves and Jo tries to convince the men of the Doctor’s story. The man calls the Doctor a mad man and she says, “On the contrary, he happens to be a genius.” In the draft, the Doctor called Kettering a fathead. Earth has a rep for not listening to things and of being stubborn. It is the one place that does not boast of bottomless pits, the original script claimed. Larpo Major had the same thing happen, at least the original script stated and they listened to the Doctor.

Anyway what is here, is good. Yes, there are flaws (see ABOUT TIME 3 again) and it gets worse in logic but it’s entertaining. Chin Lee is an interesting character, the plot about driving evil out of men is a good one (but really how much evil is there in Switzerland? 113? I doubt it), and the situations and settings are involving. The location stuff is nice and the “monster” for once isn’t some reptile or mechanical pepper pots to (well, not quite) but a machine that is…strange. Yes, the fear thing is old hat even in 1971 (see LOST IN SPACE-SPACE CREATURE and FLIGHT INTO THE FUTURE, LAND OF THE GIANTS-NIGHTMARE, VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA –THE FEAR MAKERS-and SEALED ORDERS and any number of other episodes across all four seasons, and other shows as well) but it’s done well here on a shoestring budget. Pertwee is in top form as is Katy and Courtney. A good episode despite a lack of logic in some scenes. Oh and can any other episode/story before this one boast THREE deaths in the first 22 minutes?

The Keller machine was originally supposed to be called the Malusyphus (malice siphon?). The Doctor tells Jo his fear was fire. He relates that some time ago he saw a whole world burn (I’m guessing INFERNO but maybe he saw some other world burn?). When Mike tries to take the Doctor by force, the Doctor uses Venusian karate to stop him. He relents anyway when Mike relates that the Brig really does need him. The Doctor calls him “young man.” The original draft has the Doctor saying that they are not in Piccadilly Circus and not at a parade at Caterham Barracks. It also had him says, “I wonder when this silly little planet will learn its lessons.” The Doctor tells Jo, “For once in your young life do as I asked.” When Jo says, “Leave it to me,” he answers, “I’m afraid I’ll have to.” He was more cross with her in the draft but she did just save his life. He also tells her, “Try and keep out of trouble.”

Benton loses Chin Lee who hides near but not in a workman’s tent (what is it doing out there anyway? Near UNIT HQ? Didn’t anyone think to check it?). The Master in his get up from TERROR OF THE AUTONS (although there it was another actor) does work on the phone lines outside UNIT, goes into the tent, takes off his mask and leaves it there, and changes into the Master clothes AND THEN walks outside to his waiting car (driven by a black chauffeur!).

When the Doctor arrives, he mocks the Brig, “I see you’re in your usual sweet, affable mood,” when the Brig is ranting. This makes Mike grin. The Brig yells at him, “When you’re quite finished grinning like a Cheshire cat, Captain Yates…!”

In the tent, the Master takes off a multi colored scarf, too! It is quite funny that he straightens out his hair and tie and handkerchief. He leaves the tent and enters his Rolls Royce (?) and stays there listening in on the conversations!

The Doctor enlists the Brig’s help to try to get the Keller machine experiments shut down and then he agrees to help the Brig with the peace conference. “My dear Brigadier, your word is my command, you know that you only have to ask.” There is an unfunny joke about the Brig not understanding that Hokkien is Chinese. The DVD subtitles also list Cantonese, Shanghainese (?), and Mandarin. On his way out, the Doc says to Mike, who is at a desk, “Yes, it’s going to be one of those days..Cheshire Cat, Captain Yates, Cheshire Cat.” Someone named Harrington says the DVD, doubled up as the voice on the radio that Yates is talking to. Originally the UNIT men and the Doctor went to a woman’s home and she had a mynah bird which offers them tea! The Doctor knows 20 or 30 Chinese dialects. It is funny how the Doctor charms Fu Peng while the Brig can’t even get a nice look from the man. It’s also odd that the Doctor knows and seems to like and offer scientific advice to Mao Tse Tong although the DVD commentary tries to tell us that it was Mao’s father the Doctor actually knew. I don’t know why that’s so surprising as I believe the writer of this story was a known communist!

Jo is told the criminal that underwent the machine process (Barnam) is now either an idiot or a saint. That’s an interesting comment. Pertwee used to have drinks at Old Lantern Café on Wardous Street (with one of the men playing in this and their wives). Fu Peng offers to eat dinner with the Doctor and the Brig seems to express an interest but then the Doc tells him it is to have dried squid and stewed jellyfish. “My dear fellow,” the Doctor says.

In a cut scene that I would have sworn I saw when it aired in the US version, the Master drinks brandy in the Rolls. Benton, in the draft, because he messed up, considered joining the Royal Navy. The Master smokes a cigar in the car as he meets Chin Lee. Here he reminds me most of a James Bond Villain. I’m not sure that is what they were going for but in one AVENGERS episode Roger plays a hypnotist who makes Steed forget things and frames Steed (Kate O’Mara also plays someone evil too in this 1968 episode so take from that what you will!). He reminds me of a spy villain mostly Bond and Avengers stuff, one of those cliffhanging villains from the 1930s or 40s that was bent on world domination, had minions, bases, and made henchmen or secondary villains do the dirty work. Chin Lee’s name in Chinese means something like gross mess—a dog doing something unwelcome on a bed! Her name is chienlit. The Master clicks his fingers to activate Chin Lee. Fu Peng’s part was originally another actor and it was filmed but the actor was let go because it was deemed too unremarkable and the actor didn’t emote enough. Why is the American delegate by himself at night in a hotel meeting? Are those funny lights supposed to be a billboard sign flashing (ABOUT TIME may have had this wrongly as a thing that doesn’t make sense)? In the script, originally the dragon was a devil mask.

A good episode with lots of location work and THREE plots (Master has three plots all his own: peace conference, Thunderbolt missile, and the Keller Machine at a prison…with Jo in the middle of a prison riot). All of it is well done, serious, and yet…somehow the flaws above do not detract from it but they’re there. The good stuff is all there too: social commentary about the prison and the whole status or lack of there, the nuclear missile stuff, and the Chinese/American/British world tension. This is a DW based in the real world. I’m also sure that putting THUNDERBOLT on the bottom of the ocean has room for a sequel in there somewhere. Again, the main cast is excellent and Roger is fantastic.

Ep 3
Another good episode as the Doctor breaks Chin Lee’s hypnotism. What is all that smoke when they enter the room to save Alcott? The Doc says stuff in Cantonese that is not translated and it’s annoying. His cape looks blue now. When leaving Peng, the Doctor says, “May God go with you also.” Just being polite or maybe the Doctor does somewhere believe in God? The Doctor realizes one of the Master’s ways of operating is by putting a post hypnotic block. The Doc and the Brig have been awake a long time. Even the Doctor looks tired, very tired. The Doctor tells the Brig that who else would use equipment and techniques not even developed on Earth---the Master. The original draft called Jo Grant, Lt. Grant and also the men at the prison (NOT the nice doctor who stuck up for Jo) considered her a soldier. In any event, Jo proves her merit by single handedly stopping the riot or at least causing the stoppage. Of course the Master is on his way to the prison and as Keller, pretty much takes over. He re-instigates the riot and in a fairly violent re-riot, several men are shot on screen and gas is thrown. Of course we do not see bullet wounds or blood, which is fine in a way although again, is it good to show sanitized violence? I’m not sure. It makes one think that oh, a gunshot’s not that bad or it may make children and teens think that. The Doctor arrives at the prison in Bessie and squeezes the horn to be let in. He doesn’t know the rioters are in control again. Bessie’s old fashion honk horn is quite funny and shakes a bit when squeezed. In reality regulator in Bessie was causing it not to start or maybe it was a corroded battery. In the prison, looking for Jo after escaping the Master (who says he needs the Doctor’s help when the Doctor inquires why he’s not being killed….and the Master says he will be eventually) and rifle wielding criminals (in a very well done and not prolonged action sequence), the Doctor put his eye through a hole in a door. It’s an interesting shot and one that keeps one awake. He’s recaptured by the Master and Nailer in the Keller Machine room and tied down to a chair. The Doctor says, “this is all very tiresome.” I kind of agree at this point. Especially as they leave him with a device that will make the Keller Machine attack him again…this time he sees monsters from his past…but I had a hard time seeing them in this cliffhanger or maybe they were not present in the cliffhanger. All in all a good episode but again, I feel EVERY Pertwee has padding and is maybe one episode too long. ALL of them are pretty good (although I had a hard time last watch with CARNIVAL OF MONSTERS and CLAWS OF AXOS—great monsters both but the plot and detail surroundings?) but all of them are too long and some of them are a bit…illogical. Not in an awful Moffat sort of way but see ABOUT TIME (and frankly they pick apart EVERY DW story). Let me add that to check the syndicated versions of MIND OF EVIL, I went back to TV aired versions and I have to say that the clean up and re-mastering of this story (and INFERNO, AMBASSADORS, and TERROR) is fantastic. It looks great. And compared to the old videos, it’s amazing. We’re very lucky to have this.

The Doctor once took Andromedic Yoga, the draft was supposed to say. A mike? The jail doctor is taken out from Jo again with almost the same dialog! The Master nurses the Doctor back. Jo and the Master have their first talk after TERROR. Mailer says Hell. The Master is attacked by the Keller Machine and there is good music here, most of it the Master music. He sees one giant Doctor. The script has him see many or umpteen Doctors. They will lock the Keller machine up? Well if that could stop it, how did it do the Benton effect in the earlier episode? Maybe through Chin Lee? The Doctor was to have told Jo that his handkerchief was from Madam DePompadour---in the draft script. There is a nice segue from the Doctor’s face to the Master’s. The Doctor is in a coma like this for four times during the Pertwee era (It seems like more). His coma is a restorative one. The Doctor seems to recover faster than even we’re lead to believe as he and Jo stage their escape. Jo comments, “Really, Doctor, for someone who was death’s door…” or is she being sarcastic? “Yes, I do have very remarkable powers of recovery, don’t I?” In the drafts, the Master hypnotizes the Brig to do his work and I’m glad they did not do that. The radio call names used: Venus to Jupiter. Venus, the goddess of love is …Mike Yates, who appears, along with Benton to get fatally shot here (they haven’t). There are four deaths it seems or maybe not? In the attack on the missile convoy…of four to six men on motorcycles? Or did I miss something? Jo moves to hand the Doctor her gun but he tells her guns just make him nervous. The Keller Machine attacks Jo and the Doctor. Sigh to that. Really. The next story better have better cliffhangers! It does.

Barnham: why does he have to go with the Doctor and Jo? The Doctor pats him on the shoulder at one point. More radio names: Windmill 347 to Trap 1. Major Cosworth is a character here, for UNIT, a bit comedic but not really funny much. I think he was supposed to be a different rank. The people manning the missile might have been named in the draft as Sergeants Herridge and Talbot, Bombardiers Graham, Hall and Thompson and Lamb; Lance bombardier Berkeley and Gunnar Davenport. Greyhound 7 to Trap 1 is used. Cosworth has a strange line about their duties, “Rather like making a film.” Huh? The Doctor and Jo play draughts in their cell (they’re both in a cell throughout most of this story) and she wins in a move from a Laurel and Hardy film. He prefers 3D chess and will not let the Master or Mailer interrupt him during the game. The Master threatens Jo to get the Doctor to help him. The Doctor agrees and wears a white lab coat. “excuse me,” he says as the Master gets in his way. Benton tells the Brig his sore head is nothing: he’s got a thick skull. The Brig lets him in on the attack at the prison. When Mailer returns the Doctor to the cell, the Doc turns as Mailer is about to hit him on the head with the butt of the gun. He doesn’t but the Doctor shakes his head in disapproval. The Doctor tells Jo the story of when he was shared a cell in the Tower of London with Sir Walter Raleigh. He mentions Queen Elizabeth. Later stories might echo this type of talk to calm down the companion and relax in a cell (THE TIME MONSTER, STATE OF DECAY). The Brig goes undercover and whistles Col. Bogey! He is making a delivery to the prison. He seems to be using a different accent (Cockney?). In any case, the attack is well staged and well done but VERY violent. Of course, we see no blood but five UNIT men seem to be shot down dead and at the same time, at least three criminals are shot point blank…and their cries are all very …well, disturbing. It’s very violent and it’s followed by… happy music. The Brig goes off by himself to find the Doctor and Miss Grant!? Mailer takes the Doctor and Jo out as hostages. In probably the only good cliffhanger in this story, Jo feigns a fall to trip up Mailer but it does not work and the Doctor faces Mailer’s gun. A well done cliffhanger. Not a bad episode either. The UNIT interaction is quite good, especially between the Brig and, well, everyone. I still think the UNIT exile idea was not a great one but what we get out of it isn’t bad either.

The Doctor’s comment about the Brig arriving before the nick of time is funny. The Brig smiles, “I’m glad to see you too, Doctor.” There is a flowery pattern on the mobile UNIT HQ step. The National Power Complex is mentioned. This is a mention lead in to the next story possibly? He’s also quite funny as he says, “Yes, well apart from losing the Master and the Missile, you’re doing very well, Brigadier.” Benton does not seem to know it is the Master’s voice on the phone for the Doctor but in the last scene of this episode, he does. “He may be a scoundrel but he is a scientist,” the Doctor tells them the Master can do what he wants with the missile controls now. First Jo, then Benton is supposed to watch Barnham. At the climax, they need Barnham because in they found out that with him around the box cannot operate. While the climax is okay, there are a few things about it that seem…a bit…I don’t know…rushed or mixed up. First, the box is overflowing with some kind of gunk. It’s not explained I don’t think but it’s overflowing with evil…why? Next, Barnham isn’t watched by either Jo or the Doctor and he’s last. They are responsible for his death in a roundabout way. Third, Barnham, who knows the Master is evil, stops to…do what? Watch him die? Make sure? Help him? Save him? Fourth, the steps in front of the van driven by the Master and is killed. Did he think the Master would stop? Was he trying to stop the Master? The copter has the letters G-AWLC and not the same ones as in the past episodes from another story. Katy Manning on the other hand is quite good. Her emotions over Barnham’s death are clearly shown. This also shows the Doctor as fallible, rather than say destroying the universe or going back in time to save himself but more on that in Doctor Ten’s HORRIBLE era (if I make it that far).
Later at HQ, when Jo expresses how she feels about Barnham, the Doctor asks her, “How do you think I feel?” “Have some coffee,” he tells her. The Master contacts him again, “One day I will destroy this miserable planet and you along with it.” In the draft, the Doc says of the Master, “He’s like a tainted apple in a healthy orchard---you don’t know he’s there until he’s infected the whole area.” In the script, the Master is seen walking arm in arm with cross country hitch hikers (which seems very odd for this Master to do). Thankfully, that did not happen. The Doctor is afraid for other worlds now that the Master can travel in time and space again, even though he made that part of his plan to get the missile back. In the meantime, the Doctor is stuck on earth…and he adds, “With you, Brigadier!”

A good episode, rather marred by the strange climatic confrontation. Not bad though and entertaining enough but it makes the Doc and Jo look a bit…unsympathetic to have not watched out for Barnham more carefully. Yates also proves himself a bit in this episode as he escapes the Master and a gang of hardened criminal killers and finds out where the missile is.


Other comets that have come close to earth include Comus Sola in 69, Pons Winnecke in 70, Encke in 71 and Westphal in 75. Okay, I was all set to hate this because in the span of just seven stories we’ve seen it all before…a spaceship or something coming to land on Earth, an old guy who finds the thing (this time he’s killed quite horribly and the face melting on screen I would have sworn we saw in the US), UNIT HQ, more old men, political and military brass bungler trying to shoe in on the Brig, radar screens, missiles, and yet another lab/reactor type set and setting. But…I don’t. In fact, so far I’ve seen ep 1 and 2 and I love it. For some reason, the creature is seen right away, the great big orange plant looking thing. UNIT is not in the Ministry of Defense. The Doctor opens the door, “Good morning,” and then realizes he’s hit Chinn and says, “Oh, good morning.” He’s in a red jacket and with an over cape of purple lining again. As the thing comes to land, the Doctor figures it out in his head mumbling it or mouthing it before the machinery does. Corp. Bell is back. The Doctor insults UNIT’s primitive equipment that tracks the UFO. This equipment is in the Mobile HQ. We also meet two other old men, kind of boring ones, Sir George and Winsor (whose first name is Malcolm so I wonder if that was an inspiration for the awful UNIT scientific advisor Malcolm in PLANET OF THE DEAD), both from the Nuton Complex, which was mentioned in the last story somewhere (please don’t ask me to find out which episode!). We also have Bill Filer, an American James Bond type as if we need more of those but…again, it works, he works with Jo. Jo seems to be interested in him. He’s been sent to deal with the Master in an interesting sub plot…that might go nowhere. When the Axon living ship scans Bill it has this to say about him, “Intelligent, aggressive, possibly dangerous,” and it makes me wonder if the English see all Americans that way! Well except for the intelligent part. It also makes me wonder if all aliens see all humans that way. The Doctor, as the 9th would in THE UNQUIET DEAD, sticks up for the aliens, and again, he’s wrong, although in this case, he realizes it far quicker. He’s against shooting first and asking questions later or thinking later as he puts it. Pertwee’s favorite holiday spot might have been Ibiza. He found it much colder on location here. The location: it looks marvelous. The snow and the docked ships make this look fabulous. The effects are okay and the sets are quite good (yes, even inside Axos although the tentacles are a bit..fake looking). In fact, the sets are amazing. We get, rather unsurprisingly, a look at the Master, although it was odd to see him at the almost very end of the episode, captured along with Filer, although he was captured some time before the Axon ship came to Earth. We hear the Master music. The Axon fakes? Are those supposed to be skin tight suits that look like veins and arteries or…are they meant to be naked? Either way, if I may dare, they’re kind of sexy. The cliffhangers in this story are all very good and this one has Jo follow the Brig and the Doctor and three old men into the Axon ship where she hears Bill calling for help and she screams twice as an Axon monster comes out of the wall or out of thin air. Very good. Very entertaining, visual episode. And not too much Master. I love Roger but overuse of the Master could put the show down a bit. A good episode.

The Master, in the original script, was supposed to say he was captured on Antares 4. Chinn is put down by his boss when he asks if he should scramble. The boss says of his report, “I’m sure that will be garbled enough.” The Doctor doubts the Axonite, the substance offered by the Axons to increase food supplies (increasing the size of a frog as a show of the strength of the material), could increase the growth of human common sense. He’s most degrading to humans during his time on Earth in exile. Some of this seems to be a leftover of his anger at the Brig for blowing up the Silurians. Chinn, for a few moments, is treated with comedic effect, complete with comedy music. It doesn’t last long. The original drafts had the Doctor comment about Troy, “Troy was a pretty place. You could lie in bed and fish for breakfast.” I wonder if he meant at the same time? He lived in a villa by the sea---near Troy (?) the draft dialog tells us. The reabsorption of the female Axon is well done and creepy, if a bit dated of an effect. It’s the Brig vs Chinn now. The Brig pulls a gun on the man to get the axonite. The DVD subtitles tells us that one of the actors played in something called Kiss Me Hardy, something that Nelson gave as a last order or one of his last orders. Chinn becomes a nasty piece of work. In the scripts, the Doctor seems to turn against UNIT and Jo thinks he’s betraying them by helping Chinn and the scientist Winsor with the axonite. “It’s a matter of loyalties, my dear, and mine must be to science.” This seems like such a First Doctor thing to say, however, it was probably just him bluffing. In the Nuton Lab (not a bad set at all), the Doctor seems to now have a darker jacket on (black or very dark green?). Winser is trying to perfect some kind of time travel. He uses the word “damned”. The Doctor is frustrated by Winser’s refusal to allow him to use his equipment. There was a subplot that went away in this episode but maybe not in the next: the Doctor could use this to escape Earth and maybe get his TARDIS working again. There is some discussion about using it but somehow this gets muffled a bit, I think. The Doctor calls Winser Holmes. He tells him they might as well be using a magnifying glass when Winser suggests using a spectroscope to examine the axonite.

The eye on the Axon wall looks like a male protuberance and was laughed at for it by the crew (this will happen again). The Master asks for his laser gun back and gets it and gets released and promptly shoots and kills a UNIT man…that Bill, also escaping doesn’t even check as he’s on the run from the aliens, too. Winser says Damn it. The Doctor says, “I told you so.” Winser says something odd about the non working TARDIS parts, “I thought it was US.” What? Not sure what that means. The Master’s escape via jumping off a bridge onto a truck is quite well filmed and Roger didn’t do the jump but it is him on the roof of the truck as it goes through a tunnel.

An Axon copy of Bill attacks the Doctor and after a fight, it is destroyed. There was a longer bit in the drafts about whether or not the human Bill was killed. This might have made this episode a bit better, not that it is lacking. Bill seems like a companion in some ways. In any case, Winsor leaves the Doctor completely alone with his equipment and the Doctor’s analysis of the axonite makes it come to life…so it’s his fault when Winsor returns, uses the word, ‘Hell” and calls them all names and gets killed when he touches the equipment. The Doctor did try to warn him but it’s his fault the man gets killed! The man then seems to turn into a blob…now THE BLOB –both versions ---is one of the scariest monsters ever and this thing isn’t up to the effects of either of those movies (the 50s and the 80s), however, it’s disturbing. It then turns out somehow the Axon root monsters are there and one heads straight at the Doctor, Jo, and Bill and into the cliffhanger sting! Quite a great cliffhanger and surprisingly a very good episode…again.

A few things here: Greyhound is used as is Trap 1. The UNIT soldier at the radar doesn’t know the Master? Shouldn’t they have all at least seen a photo or an artist rendering of the Master?

Other than calling this entire story bad, I now have to reassess it. Perhaps 3 and 4 will be but these first two are quite good.

In the original script, the power station was blown up in this episode. Chinn has a two way TV chat which tries to show this takes place in the near future; the same way VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA used the scramble TV screen to have two way chats…sometimes. The entire scene of the Master in fake mask standing and talking to Benton is…strange. WTF? Anyone can tell that the Master was wearing a mask and that it was his voice. AND that he doesn’t want the Brig to know he’s there. Really bad scene. We even hear the Master music! That’s nice. The attack by Axon monsters almost makes up for that bad scene. The monsters are truly insidious looking and there does seem to be no stopping them in this scene…if not others later on in the next episode. Two UNIT men in the script were going out of a cigarette that they were not supposed to be smoking. UNIT men die: three: one gets totally blown away by an Axon Monster and the other two get touched and smoked down but not totally to death. One seems NOT to be warned by the Brig, who seems NOT to give commands to save his men?! In the TARDIS, The Master remarks how it’s an old antiquated piece of junk in the script. Here he thinks it is a botch up job. One roundel is blue for the first time and it is the scanner! The inside piece to the central column is more colorful than ever before. In fact, this entire episode is colorful and trippy and psychedelic. A group named the Crab Nebula Light Show had something to do with that? In any case, Jo and the Doctor are interrogated and Jo is aged almost to death in a hallucination (?) and she seems blasé about it. The shots and overlays and CSO all combine to create a very trippy weird sequence of scenes. The set is marvelous. The Doc and Jo escape ripping through the center of the brain but not yet. Not much more to say about this episode but that it is watchable and that Master helps the Brig to connect the TARDIS to the Axon ship in order to stop it…but it will mean killing the Doctor and Miss Grant.

The Doctor keeps asking Jo math problems to keep her focused as she keeps (annoyingly) yelling, “I can’t” over and over and over again. Some of his questions are what are three sevens, three sevens times four, minus 35, twice that, plus ten, etc. The Master uses the term, “My dear Brigadier.” Two UNIT men: Parker and McDougall. Sir George is doing something dangerous and going into the accelerator to break the connection…and he puts on gloves and a radiation face cover but…nothing else but his suit and tie! He breaks the connection and is flipped over a rail and is killed. It’s quite disturbing. The Doctor has his red over cape. Yankee to Bravo was to be the handle (Yates to the Brig) but Trap One to Greyhound was used instead. The Doctor was going to have shown everyone what he meant by his plan by using a paper aero plane.

Okay, the Master and Doctor enter the TARDIS, walk past another hall wall of roundels and then enter the doors we know to always have been the interior doors that usually lead right to outside (as in THE WEB PLANET, MARCO POLO, EDGE OF DESRUCTION and many, many others). So wtf? There is a vulture statue in the TARDIS. The Doctor bluffs the Master and calls Earth a second rate planet around a third rate star. Mike Shadow near the Master. The Doctor puts his hand on his chin and rubs the back of his neck. In the script, a plane carrying Axonite was to have crashed and destroyed the Pentagon. The disruptions were to be worldwide as Axos got its claws into the Earth. Also, in the script, Filer threw the laser gun (which the Doctor tossed to him before entering the TARDIS) and then tried to fire at the TARDIS…and did so.

Okay, the Yates-Benton-Axon monster attack jeep sequence is well done, great stunts but…why didn’t the things just electrify them both? Did they lose power due to what the Master did? Were these lesser Axons? In any case, a nice action sequence but…why didn’t they just fry them as they did the UNIT men last episode? They do look like vein or plant monsters or something that has had its insides turned out. The script had a soldier outside screaming as he was cornered at the power station. It was nice to think the Doctor might have turned against Jo and UNIT. The Doctor mentions taking on the Time Lords and the High Council in particular as he fakes teaming up with Axos. Two UNIT men are blasted. An iconic shot (from any series) is of a monster coming right up to the camera/screen. Okay, the music is quite annoying as the gang leave, watch the explosion (now if a nuclear station blows up…is it a nuclear explosion?), and just go back to find…what? Why did they go back? Originally, Chinn was to have turned his ankle on the rubbish tip they all climbed up (they don’t in the aired version) and everyone just leaves him…glad they didn’t film that, it would have made them so unsympathetic. In fact, I’m shocked Chinn survived this story at all. “Well, this is a fine welcome, I must say,” the Doctor is back. He later tries to explain a time loop by saying, “Well, it’s a time loop.” He also ad libs the galactic part when he calls himself something of a galactic yo yo.

This story is not as bad as I remember and it is quite watchable and enjoyable. It might even be better than CARNIVAL OF MONSTERS. I liked it and the monsters are quite disturbing in some way. At times, Axos does seem to be the most alien aliens the Doctor ever fought against. The scene of him in the Tardis surrounded by them is also well done.
This is a favorite Pertwee for many reasons. It feels fresh, yet it feels as if DW is back on track and again, without the Master in it, the first episode feels like something new and fresh but …it’s not really. Pertwee is in top form as is Manning. There are many, many iconic moments in the first episode alone. DW is meant to be like this: in space and on other worlds or in time and in other periods of time or both. We see Time Lords =the first time since WARGAMES. One of them –the Third Time Lord plays a Time Lord junior in THE THREE DOCTORS. The Doctor uses his jeweled eyeglass. The Lab, as usual, is a different one. It has a large door and some semi circle windows. Jo and the Brig make slight comments about the Doctor still being at it. But the Doctor gets his digs in about the Brig’s men always thinking they have found a lead on or the actual Master. “Your agents are always picking up traces of the Master.” The Brig thinks and is wrong about having a reliable witness this time. Inside the TARDIS, there is a wall that looks like it is roundel wall paper, its photographs of the roundels and there is a horizontal line where the pieces join. It also looks black and white! The console is still green. The TARDIS sound is heard but the TARDIS doesn’t fade out, it just pops out and then on the other planet pops in. The Doctor uses different switches to open the doors in the 1970s. The Doctor, “I don’t know, I just don’t know.” The doors to the console room open to an alien world and we see it move from the room to the alien world. Manning is very good as Jo realizes that she is on an alien world, wants to go home, and that the Doctor’s talk of traveling in time and space wasn’t just talk---it is all real. “Of course, it’s real,” the Doctor puts a hand on either her cheek or her shoulder. He wears black gloves when they go out. The music as the alien primitives watch them is awful. Really awful.

We meet Robert Ash, his daughter a bit later on (Mary), Leeson, Jane Leeson, a Mr. and Mrs. Martin (she says the term NOT A BLADE OF GRASS, part of which is the title of a sci fi movie NO BLADE OF GRASS). It is 2472 but the colonists left in 2471. They live in domes that look a bit like tents and there are 24 domes. One of the colonists wears an AMBASSADORS OF DEATH space suit. The Doctor is an expert in agriculture. A man comes from another colony and is hurt. Giant lizards seem to have killed the Leesons and attacked this other colony. The Doctor rubs the back of his neck again. Doctor, “I have no idea.” The end theme seems longer.

This is one of the first non Tom Baker stories that I read as a novel and I loved it. I wasn’t disappointed in the TV version either. As such I have fond memories of this and a fondness for it overall. I do think it has flaws like all DW stories. Up close and personal, the alien primitives looks…silly and cheap and are poorly conceived.

Someone once brought to my attention the similarities between this and the much, much better, glossy and emotionally charged and peaceful EARTH 2 (1994) series. In any case, there can’t be this many coincidences: there is a character named Mary that is a major guest star character in Earth 2---a teen girl whose parents were killed years ago (maybe EARTH 2 is a sequel?), a planet that is Earth like and less polluted, a character named Morgan, a couple named the Martins (Morgan Martin), aliens that seem as if they are part of the planet and used to be angry and savage but may not be now and that carry spears, a living planet, another colony or three that might not be what they seem, a government that doesn’t want the colonists to succeed, domes, tents, even a sort of super villain (Tim Curry in EARTH 2, The Master here later on) and more. In any case, EARTH 2 is far, far superior in every department: music, acting, effects, dialog, script, maturity, spirituality, character interplay, etc.

That’s not to say I do not like this story: I do. I think having the Doctor on another planet is where the show should be more often than not. I always thought UNIT and the exile was a bad idea…but again, we have it and it is what it is and makes me appreciate not only the stories of UNIT full on but the rest of DW as well (well except for the Moffat years of sheer waste and TIME AND THE RANI, PARADISE TOWERS and some of TRIAL OF A TIME LORD).

A good episode and the cliffhanger, a mystery, is done better in the novel but it too is what it is.

Newly shot scenes for the cliffhanger, entirely reshot actually. The robot is called a servo robot by Caldwell, an IMC miner. “I’m every kind of scientist,” the Doctor answers him. There are tire tracks on a planet and roads too. At least on LOST IN SPACE, we don’t see roads but we sometimes do see footprints (and they move about when the alien electric fence appears from thin air piece by piece around the Robinson campsite and the Jupiter 2 in PRISONERS OF SPACE). The man from the colony is Norton and he turns out to be both a liar and a cold blooded killer. Jo says, “We don’t work for anybody…” something echoed in Tom Baker’s line in NIGHTMARE OF EDEN. For a brief moment we get Winton (who’s dishy) vs Ashe (who’s not) over giving food to the primitives (Ashe wants to do it for cooperation). This could be an earmark of some early EARTH 2 ideas as well as the crew barter to the Grendlers (again, a much better designed monster/alien). Dent reminds me of Straker from UFO, hair and cold calculating manner…although Straker was not a scheming killer…but an argument can be made. Why is the Doctor driving the Halfling thing car? Dent, “All colonists are eccentric, Morgan, that’s why they’re colonists.” Susan Jameson was to play Dent and she would have been a kinky dominatrix type but this was changed. Rumors once spread that she was supposed to be the Master/Mistress in TERROR but that, too, was changed. I’m guessing that was some kind of joke/prank. The Doctor watches movies about Earth in this time period and…footage used was from a Nigerian Civil War. He was also to hear music from Emerson Lake and Palmer’s first album…Tank but this was cut. “What’s good for IMC is good for Earth,” is a slogan based on a USA one with General Motors. There something in the dvd info about Ribena, a drink the Doctor is given by Dent? The Doc gives a salute, “Your health, sir,” even after they deemed on opposite sides. Perhaps it’s the Doc’s threat? Morgan uses the word assay? Mike Shadows: but I must admit that these mike shadows, unless pointed out by the DVD, are barely noticeable, unlike the ones in DARK SHADOWS (the original and still the best –1966 to 1971). The Doctor uses the word, “Blazes.” As in “What the blazes…?” He also uses HAI a lot in this story. The fight as Morgan stops the half car is very well done and the Doctor saves a primitive from being shot but then knocks them all down and uses a stick one but doesn’t kill any.

Jo has a good bond with Mary and this foreshadows all Rose Tyler’s later bonds with females (and males) in the 2005 and 2006 series (especially coming to mind is THE UNQUIET DEAD, END OF THE WORLD). A very nice, skinny old man named Holder supplies power and he works side by side with a young primitive (who is VERY colorful as in his skin has colorful markings on it, moreso than the ones in the last episode, perhaps these fade with age?). Norton, being evil, wants the primitives to be at war with the colonists and acts prejudiced against them but worse, he spears Holden to death and clubs the primitive over the head with a spanner, framing the primitive. He’s evil! The power station seems darker then it was before.

Okay, see ABOUT TIME 3, second edition for why this story (as all DW stories) has some inherent flaws. For one, why can’t the planet be used for both mining AND farming? Is the whole planet unfarmable? Is this the one area that is worth anything? There is talk of the entire planet being needed but we see nothing like that, nor a compromise. If the food cannot be grown in this area, why not leave IMC to the mining in this area and move on to another?

Dent bullies Caldwell by reminding him of his debt back on Earth, which is another EARTH 2 thing (anyone who worked for Devon, gets their extensive debt on the space stations…built due to pollution on Earth so another thing taken from COLONY IN SPACE, again, more real on Earth 2…debt wiped out).

The Doctor is trapped by Morgan and the killer robot and while I thought this was just another repeat of the last cliffhanger, it’s done well and the sounds of the music or the robot continue into the cliffhanger theme music!

Another good episode!

Another hai and a YAH! as well. Mike Shadow. “I never like walking,” shows how villainous Dent really is. The Doctor tells what is going on but everyone seems to hinge their bets on what this arriving adjudicator will do. WHY? Why won’t he be as corrupt as IMC if he’s from that horrible Earth where they are planning floating islands to house five hundred million people (as in last episode’s screen info dump). The Doctor touches his own cheek. On the dvd credits for someone, a Rubovia (?) puppet series is mentioned as well as Rainbow’s Zippy and George. Jo and Winton make a great team…almost. He’s hot and so is she. But they both get caught. The Doctor has repaired the power station and has the screwdriver in his mouth. When Ashe asks how long it will work, the Doctor says, “As long as you want it to.” Originally, one idea was for the primitives to be naked and wear Clint Eastwood western film style ponchos over their necks! Katy Manning remarked how the bomb she and Winton were chained to kept making flatulence noises. Caldwell helps Winton recover (after an interesting chase / hunt of him by IMC) using what appear to be medical equipment from STAR TREK, the original (and best of the TREK series). They look different but perform the same things. The Doctor tells Caldwell about the attack (shades of the Silurians) to save lives. Morgan gets a message on what appears to be a reel to reel tape recorder! Originally the year was to be 3000 AD. Another HAI. The music is once again, awful. Another Hai. The attack is good and exciting save Mary’s silly daft smile (something Vicki or Susan might have done in past seasons). The Doctor wears an IMC uniform. It suddenly occurs to me that Jo being led by primitives to a cave (not to mention a giant lizard) are images from FLASH GORDON’S TRIP TO MARS and FLASH GORDON CONQUERS THE UNIVERSE not to mention maybe the original FLASH GORDON, all chapter serials with cliffhangers.

It would have been better if Jo’s light went out completely before the cliffhanger sting and the credits. As it is, we still see her face. Either way, another good episode.

All the aliens look more colorful. The rocket ship that arrives (the Master’s TARDIS)is an old Joe 90 spaceship. We know the Master’s voice, do you? It’s on the radio so the adjudicator must be the Master. The little alien is some kind of priest. Another Leeson. Dent has killed others on other planets, the script originally was supposed to tell us. A Sherlock Holmes story also had a killing that used giant claws. One of the aliens has his loin cloth twisted. On the glass that the Doctor and Jo look at, there appears to be a glass Dalek. The Doctor does coin tricks on the alien guard…but the aliens are telepathic. This was to distract him. Jo pulls his spear back. Do they kill him? Probably not? There are two more priest aliens, something I had forgotten about. We see the zippers on the aliens’ skins. The Doctor says, “Check mate I’m afraid, Miss Grant.” Why is he still calling her Miss Grant? Mike Shadow. Guardian in the script was living in a furnace as some kind of spectral entity. The leftover of this is that heat drizzle effect. Uhm, even though other colonists have gone in to the “city” and not come back, dead I’m guessing, the Doctor tells the priest, that even in his city, justice prevails. A ruse? Agreeing to get out of there? The Doctor surmises that the aliens might be not three races but the same race and three different mutations (this smacks heavily of LOST IN SPACE’s first season, especially THERE WERE GIANTS IN THE EARTH and ONE OF OUR DOGS IS MISSING). The Master’s credentials have been forged (something the Third Doctor accuses him of in THE FIVE DOCTORS but that time he’s innocent of forgery). The Master: WHY? I mean why is he doing any of this? Why is he involved at all? Why doesn’t he just want to go find a place he can just settle down and enjoy? He’s mad? He’s just following the Doctor around to impress him or kill him? Or not? Norton is still not revealed as the evil horrible person he is? Didn’t the Doctor already realize he’s a traitor? I think he did but just suspected it and warned the colonists. The Doctor rubs his (own) ear. In the opening area to the colonist hub, there are stairs that lead…nowhere. Norton kills Alec Leeson in another murderous scene. Winton kills Norton, who warns IMC that they are walking into a trap. A gunfight that isn’t that bad. The loudness of the guns (real ones?) causes lines on the screen…this used to happen a lot in DW and other shows. The Master enters and tells the Doctor and Jo that they are about to becomes victims of stray bullets. He has a gun. A very good cliffhanger and the theme music has those extra chords on it. Sometimes the show leaves them out in this era. There was a wobbly wall near Jo. A good episode but I find that unlike most other eras, I don’t automatically want to watch the next episode that fast. It does stay with one though. But…not exactly riveting at this point.

A partially new reprise. Mike Shadow on the Master’s head. There’s a lot of odd things happening around Pat Gorman, stuntman. First, a body that was shot vanishes. Second, Pat seems to be an IMC man AND a colonist in different scenes. The Doc’s frilly shirt is a zip fastened at the front. The Doctor has used his key to get into the Master’s TARDIS before but here he claims to have taken the Master’s key. So why exactly does the Doctor take out his sonic screwdriver once the doors are open? Perhaps it is to pinpoint the exact nature of the alarm trigger? The Master’s TARDIS has file cabinets. And those wall paper roundels that are wrinkled.

Okay, sorry, but the USA shows did spaceship landings MUCH better than this pitiful, boring ship landing as the IMC men leave…are forced to leave…but then they come back down (didn’t the colonists realize this???). The CSO is poor, the alien landscape is poor, and the whole landing is just boring. Compare this with the Jupiter 2 landing in LOST IN SPACE---especially in ISLAND IN THE SKY where the USA desert Red Rock Canyon really does look like an alien planet or moon. Seeing IMC men (who’re boring enough really, let’s face it) sitting in front of a screen that is supposed to be a window or scanner as the fake looking landscape passes by…is more than I can take for a long stretch. Still…it’s the story that matters, right?

The Doctor and Jo fall victim to the Master’s knock out gas (cause Jo …uhm, forgets about the alarm trigger) but recover with the Master over them. The Master says, “Well, Doctor, still pursuing burglary, aye.” The Doctor says, “You really are most unimaginative.” The Master counters, “The tried and true methods are the best.” On their way back to the city cave, the Doctor acts like he’s friends with the Master, putting a hand on his shoulder and says, “Yes, why don’t we?” And smiling. Yet moments later, when the Master learns IMC men have invaded his TARDIS (thanks to the Doctor dropping the key outside so someone can rescue Jo) and are inside, the Master threatens to press the button that will flood Jo’s tube prison with deadly gas. A good cliffhanger and a good episode, despite the ship landing. There’s action as the aliens try to stop the Doctor and the Master from getting to their city and there’s some drama and a good rapport between Manning and Pertwee as well as both of them with Delgado. While in the Master’s TARDIS, the Doctor also makes slight fun of Jo saying the mineral wrong in an ad lib.

Ep 6
New reprise. The Doctor does not say, “HAI!” but he does say something like, “Kala-light” when kicking the Master and also something like, “allah.” NO, I’m not kidding. Uhm, does the Master press the button? It appears he does not. Then, why when Caldwell and Morgan actually free Jo, she’s coughing as if she’s in the process of being gassed? In the original script, Jo claims the Master killed the real Adjudicator (gosh, I hate that word) but she wouldn’t really know that information, would she so they left it out. I may have been sleepy or something but the DVD info text commentary on the subtitles reads something about a Miss Morgan? Or was that Miss Martin? Not sure what happened there. Winton vs Rogers is very well done as a fight scene in the middle of a clay mud pit. It’s really rather exciting to be honest and does not feel like DW at all. When the ship explodes, Caldwell is sympathetic, having told the colonists the motors were okay. He seems to feel bad about it but why did he tell them the motors were okay? Were they? Did the colonists plan to blow up the ship…and Ashe plan along with them as their leader…to also blow himself up? The Doomsday Weapon room has a huge wall with a screen…and it looks just like the wall we saw on the Time Lord home planet in ep1! In 1054 the Crab Nebula went supernova and according to the Master who read this in the files he stole, that was the testing of the Doomsday Weapon. The Master tempts the Doctor, telling him they can rule together, he can rule benevolently and reign peacefully. Is the Doctor considering it? He rubs his chin. He tells the Master he wants to see the universe, not rule it. The Master says a bit of a quote from a German poem but changes it is. It should be, “You must either conquer and take or serve and lose, suffer or triumph. Be the hammer or the anvil.” Hammer Into Anvil was the title of an episode of THE PRISONER (the 19th ?). The Master escapes of course and the rocket goes pop as it vanishes. Okay, I can’t say I like the alien civilization much, nor does having a device that destroys the weapon but also destroys your whole city make sense. The aliens seemed so cold and mean and yet then they sacrifice themselves…or rather one priest midget does. Another gunfight and this does feel like a Western. Morgan is supposedly seen running away. The novel has him get shot. Dent is no where to be found…and…the episode just sort of ends on this note. That a new Adjudicator will arrive and sort things out. What’s to prevent the Master from doing it all over again? He’s nuts enough to do it even with the weapon gone. The TARDIS pops out with the same dematerialization sound as when it fades from view slowly. The Brig is in the same room from Ep1 and from his POV they’ve never left…it would have been nice if the TARDIS actually was in the same place it was in the lab in the first ep but it’s not. The Brig says something like, “That was a short trip.” This wrap up was a bit of a rush but with six eps it shouldn’t have been. Not a bad ep really with a bit of action and moralizing. It IS watchable. In the novel, Dent was in on the gun battle. Oh and the DVD text sources Beneath the Planet of the Apes.
Ep 1
Okay what is it with the A and E here? Why does the E lean on the A? Okay, this is probably my favorite Pertwee story and most likely makes my list of top ten DW stories. Again, like many before this one, I read this one as a novel first before ever seeing it. I still sometimes believe they cut a scene where Jo is attacked by moving, controlled plants. Frankly, the color is okay but for some reason I think it works better as black and white. It has that old style movie appeal, a kind of Universal horror movie thing going. Or 50s Hammer. In color it is more 60s Hammer. Either, way it’s good. WHY oh WHY do movies insist on killing dogs and cats. The cat here gets to live, I think but the dog whines and seems to have been killed. In the novel, it definitely is. So is the owner.

Jo and the Doctor are in a UNIT hut where the Doctor in a blue mechanic outfit or a blue lab coat is working on Bessie. Jo talks about the Age of Aquarius. The Doctor makes Bessie move with a control box and selenoids in a servo mechanism in the car. The horn beeps. When the Doctor gives Jo some grief about him trying to make her into a scientist and wasting his time doing so, she says, “How infuriating can you get?” The whole thing was scripted as more light hearted. This starts this story’s science vs magic/unknown science is really disguised as magic… theme. It is right out of Quartermass and the Pit. Jo also calls the Doctor’s tricks knavish, and she’s had enough of his knavish tricks (British national anthem?). The Doctor has on a bow tie and a red jacket.

Okay in short order, there are many other sources and references: Sutton Hoo, the Bronze Age, Salisbury, Beltane, the Talisman of Mercury (which Miss Hawthorne consulted), the Silsbury Dig, Matthew Hopkins witch hunter (in any format did the Doctor face him?), the book Honest to God (an accused priest?), BROTHER HOOD OF SATAN (which also had a lot in common with the Chris Lee/Peter Cushing movie NOTHING BUT THE NIGHT) and many, many more. With is thumb, the Doctor rubs his chin and also says, “I don’t know,” that catch phrase of almost every episode of Dark Shadows (yes, almost all 1250 or so of them). Just as we think the Doctor will go against all the magic/supernatural stuff, he announces to Jo that the local white witch is correct. He and Jo leave Mike and Benton to watch rugby. The DVD text tells us it was originally to be football and I wish someone would set me straight on Football in America, Soccer in America and the UK, and the difference between football and Rugby in the UK. I always thought the UK called football soccer or rugby. Someone halp!

In the bar, we meet Girton, Winstanley, and Bert the bar tender. Winstanley says, “There have been a lot of queer goings on over the past few weeks.”

The sign that moves and throws the Doctor and Jo off has other towns listed: Satanhall, Witchwood Covenstone, and Abbotsburn. The Docor and Jo’s brief encounter at the bar is memorable for the Doctor being sort of not very friendly and Jo being just the opposite. For some reason, this time, I kept thinking of AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON. And some obsure UK anthology that guest starred David Tennant once. And had a few bars in it.

We hear that Master music and frankly, I never tire of it. It’s the one piece of music that is memorable from this era. Having him as a vicar (or indeed if he were a priest) is an inspired bit of business as is the actress who plays Miss Hawthorne, who fought to play her straight.

Jo is reading the map upsidedown and the Doctor mentions that “If you look at the map the right way upwe might eventually get there.”

At the bar in that scene, the Doctor says, “I am no sort of chap, sir.” Winstanley mentions his costume and his wig! The Doctor, “I’ve never heard such balderdash.” After they leave, with Jo being nice and getting the info the pair of them need, Winstanley says, “What an extraordinary fellow.” The hooded cult reminds me of the evil cult in BROTHERHOOD OF SATAN starring Strother Martin himself. The chant being done by the cult was also uttered by the giant Diablaro in the BAD MEDICINE episode of the great series KOLCHAK: THE NIGHT STALKER. Apparently it is a genuine occult chant. Whereas the Master is reciting Mary Had A Little Lamb backwards. The Doctor’s cape is purple. He leaves Jo behind to hurry up. She almost ran (in reality) into a barb wire fence but was stopped when her pants fell down, revealing her pink thermals. The theme is longer. And for once, the Doctor does not arrive in the nick of time. The dig is opened and …fake snow flies out.

A really fast paced (for this and any other era) episode that sets things up well, gives a creepy atmosphere (and a wonderful setting and outdoor locations) and gives us all the characters (“We must all be on our guard”). We get to see the Brig in fancy dress, the Master in and under church, Yates and Benton eating (and another soldier there, too, delivering the meal?) and watching TV sports, and a lot of day for night shooting which looks really good and adds to the creep factor. A very well done first episode. Manning and Pertwee can do no wrong. The direction and script are strong, at least to me. I love it to pieces!

The tune on the rugby match is March To the Scaffold. The coven doesn’t seem particularly into it. Crowley is mentioned in the text as an influence. The Master uses the term, “You have nothing to fear if you do the will of the Master.” I must admit the perversion of the mass makes me, still to this day, a bit uncomfortable. And they diluted it all from what it was to be originally. The Doctor seems dead…again and not for the last time in the series or even the era and the next Doctor (Tom’s Doctor even comments about this to Sarah Jane, “You’re always making that mistake.”). But here…he seems really dead. Dr. Reeves comments, “He must have the constitution of an ox.” The Squire says, “He doesn’t look all that tough.” The doctor finds a pulse and two heart beats. Jo doesn’t comment. The Squire says, “While there’s life, there’s hope, right.” Which becomes something the Third Doctor himself says at least once or twice more? A new day dawns as Jo shuts off the light in the Doctor’s bedroom in the tavern hotel.

Yates and Benton fly in a helicopter…the Brig’s. And it looks fantastic. They see, from far above, hoof prints. While ABOUT TIME 3 tears apart this story (and every other story, too), they fail to realize this is an old legend which may or may not be true. The prints are one behind the other. See Devil’s Footprints on the net (1855). Of course, the prints look like nothing Azal, later revealed, would have made. Either way, in this episode, largely unseen, the evil or the devil or Azal makes a smashing scare fest. The town looks fantastic as Jo greets Benton and Mike Yates. Inside, Mike tells Jo, “You know what tough old bird he is.” Meaning the Doctor!

The Brig is called. In bed. It’s supposed to be him trying to call the Doctor but that’s not obvious due to cuts or something. He’s in bed in a few extreme close ups. This was originally supposed to include his wife or…someone else like her…in bed with him. A Mrs. Fiona Lethbridge Stewart. The text mentions Benton’s ballroom dancing. Mike and he spend most of this story out of uniform. Benton rescues Miss Hawthorne, who gets some good lines. She calls him a gentle knight errant and calls herself a long in the tooth fair damsel in distress. She also uses the term, “Friend or foe?” This story is the only one that is five parts. Garvin accosts Olive and Benton. The heat wave that accompanies the largely unseen large thing (and something has killed the constable) kills Garvin but allows Benton and Olive to escape and also has the side effect of waking up the Doctor, who sits up and yells, “Eureka!” As if it was on TV back then.

The heat field barrier is well done as the Brig finds out from a baker and his own reconnaissance. As they come down the steps, the Doctor, who’s rude to Jo in most of this story, says, “Stop fussing.” He admits “It was a bit parky up there for awhile.” Olive hauls a wounded Benton in, “He’s a very heavy young man.” When Bert makes a move to get a doctor, the Doctor says, “Yes, it’s all right. I am a Doctor.” Brig’s car: OLR 46IE. One of the actors is mentioned as playing a Faun from the planet Vega Nexos in Monster of Peladon (?). The Doctor also chides Jo about failing her Latin when she fails to recognize the term the Magister as the Master.

Jo and the Doctor remove the tree that blocked Bessie. They have a saw in Bessie. Either it came from the tavern or the Doctor had it there?

Nothing is funnier than the Brig dry panning as he says, after getting a report from Mike: "I see, Captain Yates, so the Doctor was frozen stiff at the barrow, and was then revived by a freak heat wave. Benton was beaten up by invisible forces and the local white witch claims to have seen the devil." I just wish the dialog was easier to hear over that VERY annoying sound of the heat barrier. He takes it all in stride. Question though: WHO is that soldier with the Brig? He looks pretty high up in rank but I don’t know if he’s ever named. In the book, it just might be his driver, Manders. But then again, in the novel, the baker is an 18 year old and he’s clearly NOT in the tv version.

“Nothing in my hand I bring,” is a saying on the wall of the church. The sound of Bok leaving to do the Master’s mind bidding is supposed to have been the flapping of wings but Bok is not seen to fly and it sounds like footsteps. Bessie is booking it on the road to the dig. The Doctor has on black gloves. Jo wants to follow him into the dig, “I’d rather stay with you.”

Okay, Manning may have thought Bok was comical but frankly, I like the thing as a villain/monster. It’s surreal enough to be…strange and alien and the color of it and it as a statue seems so foreign. The cliffhanger with it hopping (ever see the hopping vampire boy monks of Japan or China?) into the dig as it just came over a green hill…is amazing and having it confront the Doctor completely caught unaware and Jo’s reaction…all culminate in a fantastic cliffhanger. It just all works somehow….at least for me. I find it unsettling and quite creepy and fantastic all at once. The dialog, at least for me, again, is strong and riveting. I really like this episode, too. The creature growls or rather roars right into the end theme…

Iron repels Bok and Bok’s own belief in it. The Doctor tells Jo that the thing he shouted at it was an old Venusian lullaby. Roughly translated, the first line means, "Close your eyes, my darling, well three of them at least." Jo laughs, "Oh, Doctor." The Doctor admits that thing took him completely by surprise. The Doctor calls Jo’s devil a mythical beast (but see the two parter during the New Series season two). In the pub, Olive says of the Doc, “You’re being deliberately obtuse.” The Doc continues his rudeness to Jo, “Well done Jo, you’re being logical at last. I’ll make a scientist out of you yet.” Greyhound 2 to Trap One is used. The Brig, “Typical.” “C’mon Jo, stow your stumps.” And he also says, “Top of the class.” Khnum was a figure with horns. Dancing figures were to be shown on a slide. The Mege Shelter near Teyjat in the Dordogne is in the text. And what is that? I believe a place where another slide was taken from but not used? When Jo insults the Brig, the Doctor makes her feel guilty, “You might at least show him a little respect.” Like he does? He really does seem annoyed at Jo throughout this entire story, which is ironic as she, later, and probably throughout the entire era or at least through her three years, is quite willing to give up her life for him. The Master is sick of freedom, liberty, and democracy. He has Winstanley killed by Bok and he reveals some secrets of the townsfolk who might go against him. So how does Girton steal a UNIT helicopter? Are the keys in it? He seems to be protected by Yates’ punches, too. And he can fly it! The front says G-UNIT. An anecdote is that a props man was given a ride by Pertwee (in Bessie?) and he lost his false teeth and they had to go back and find them!

“Hang on, Jo, we’re in for a bumpy ride.” Okay, the entire sequence outside with the helicopter and the chase with Bessie and the Yates shooting a pistol at the copter…is fun, exciting and interesting but…does it make a stick of sense? See ABOUT TIME 3 again. First, the Doc does drive a man into the forcefield…but it is self-defense. Second, uhm, no seat belts, which is not a large complaint enough because almost no one wore them in the 60s and 70s. Except my mother. Third, unless Girton was willing to kamikaze them, can he kill them with a copter? Third: shooting at a copter with a pistol from a moving motorcycle? Fourth: can’t the Doc have just stopped? And more. It makes a nice visual though and it is exciting. The Doc seems hardly worried about AN UNCONSCIOUS JO! He just leaves and goes to the Brig. The Brig tells him, “20,000 pounds up in smoke.” As if to complain again, the Doc says, “You have the mind of an accountant, Brigadier.” Osgood makes his first appearance and for some reason I just like the man and this character. Of Jo, Doctor Reeves says, “A few hours sleep and she’ll be right as rain.” I can only imagine that idiom came from farmers who wanted rain. Which fits here. Okay, a cliffhanger where the Master is in danger. And the theme seems longer again. A good episode.

The Master was to call Azal Athame but doesn’t. He does invoke the name of the actress who plays Olive…and says the name backwards, “Namyah Siramad.” As the bemused Sergeant Osgood tries vainly to understand the Doc’s instructions to penetrate the forcefield, the Doctor uses the term “Reverse the polarity.” When the Brig asks about how long it will take, The Doctor says, “About next Christmas,” but the original line was “Christmas after next.” A soldier here is named Jenkins but was originally Evans. Despite the Doctor insulting Osgood, the Brig asks the Doctor, “Do you know what you’re doing?” Doc, “My dear chap, I can’t wait to find out.” During this story, sometime, Pertwee, due to some irritations (some of them valid I’m sure; one about stalled motorbike maybe?) rode off on the cycle for a bit of a ride.

The Master, “The Doctor’s been in my way for far too long.” Which is something we’ve been waiting for him to say since he started. It’s something any villain from Ming to the Joker to Blofeld might say. Avebury is mentioned in the text. The Doc uses the term, “Good grief, man,” when talking scientific mumbo jumbo to Osgood. The Brig also earlier in the story told the Doctor, “We’ve no idea what you’re talking about.” A great line from the Brig, who gets many of them, “You know, Sargent, I sometimes wished I worked in a bank.”

The sequence of Jo leaving her bed, climbing down a ladder from the roof, and going through the town to the church is…beautiful. It looks great. Olive offers an annoyed and worried Benton a cuppa. Mayday is here. Olive uses the word reticule, which is how she knocks out the man who enters the pub and attacks Benton. It is her crystal ball. To save the Doctor from the Morris dancers who seem to tie him up…and Bert is particularly ready to willingly shoot the Doctor. She calls the Doc, “Quiquaeguod.” This is three Latin words of WHO. The Doc asks her to get this sacrificial gift wrapping off him. Benton kicks off Bessie’s running board to get a jump on the fleeing Bert and tackles the man, “We’ve all got a date with the Master.” The Doc also says, “Elemental my dear Benton,” and this is something that Tom Baker’s Doctor might say. We get our first sight of Azal’s face and it is startling.

Again, a good episode, very lively and visual.

One of the cult men, the one who argues to save Jo, looks…rather dashing. Azal drools. Horribly. One UNIT man is killed by Bok. Azal claims the Doctor is not rational…and this sort of makes sense. The Doctor could have taken over and made things as great as he always wants them to be…but he does not. The term “I’ll be blowed,” is used. Azal calls the Doctor destructive. The stones outside the church look like …tombstones? Chalmers is at the dig. Uhm, why is Yates not killed but tied up? The Master calls the Doctor an optimist. He answers, “Thank you.” The ending is nice and the zoom out is stupendous. Really, I don’t know why people complain about this climax but it’s thoroughly fine. We get the Brig’s lines, “Chap with wings there. Nine rounds rapid.” And so many others. Okay, Osgood looks like he gets off the truck before it blows up but…where is he the rest of the episode? The church outside looks grand, inside is a bit creepy, Azal is quite creepy, too. The Master gets stopped inventively by Bessie. Bok meets his end after killing one of the Master’s henchmen. Okay so the whole STAR TREK thing is obvious WHO MOURNS FOR ADONIS but so what? It’s sort of Hammer horrored it up without any real horror but who cares? It was a rousing adventure in an interesting locale. The Doctor still insults Jo…telling her to get changed out of the ridiculous cult robe she had to have put on…this after she saved his life and would give her’s for his. In any case, a great story, a good episode and onward…

Miss Paget was the one to have phoned UNIT originally. The console is out of the TARDIS for the last time. Colony In Space is mentioned. The Doctor does nto wish to be the Time Lord’s interplanetary puppet. The Doctor rubs his forehead. The lab looks like a new one with a yellow wall! Osterley Park. Audley House was a real prep school. We see an Ogron right away. The Doctor has a red jacket and a purple lined cape. The Brig trips on location. Amicus Seperatus. The Doctor comments on the unimaginative nature of the military mind. He also uses the top of the class comment on Jo again. We soon see a Dalek. There’s something about Sir Reginald Styles larder and wine cellar. The Doctor wants to tuck in for the night. He eats Gorgozala cheese, “Absolutely delicious.” Greyhound to Trap One is used. The Doctor critiques the wine, “A most civilized good humored win. Sardonic but not cynical, after my own heart.” Notice the singular heart. Jo calls him a one man food and wine taster. There’s a whole cute scene where Benton wants some food and drink and Jo gets some for him but is stopped by Mike Yates who then takes the food and drink. He says, “RHIP—rank has its privileges.” The Doctor mentions Alexander the Great and Napeleon. He tells Jo there are ghosts from the past and ghosts from the future. It’s interesting to see a woman, Anat, in charge of the team from the future. THEY kill two UNIT men. There are concerns about WW3 and China. Day of the Jackal. The Doctor says, “HAI!” and “HA!” as he karate chops an attacker and also drinks wine while doing it! A quisling is mentioned. The Daleks talk slow and…oddly as if they’re not Daleks at all. They seem to be stressing syllables more. The theme starts before the credits. A very good start to a story, and again, the location work makes most of this work. The situations are also very different and interesting.

There is a Gold Dalek. The man working for the Daleks has silvery face paint as do the strangely inhuman human girls working for him. They sort of remind me of UFO Moonbase girls. I think they are wearing nail varnish, too. There is a sound of the Dalek control room and the music of the cliffhanger sting appears and then blonk. The Doctor seems to have white hair? Greyhound 2 to Grayhound One is used. Dead of Night and Bed Time Stories are mentioned in the text. The Doctor manages to get his gag off and he talks to Jo, “I have a good mind to let you stay like that. It’s rather more peaceful.” The magnetron is mentioned. It is Sept. 12th. The Doctor mentions the Blinovitch Limitation Effect. When the Doctor is forced to answer a call from The Brig, he sends a message by saying, “Don’t forget to tell it to the Marines.” As Jo vanishes back in time, it looks like the opening credits! Maybe. In the script, the Doctor unties himself with his toes. The Doctor meets an attacking Ogron and tries to make friends, “How do you do?” He has a gun and kills an Ogron with it. “Yes, well, I’ll explain about him later.” Music. Another pretty good episode but I must say the scenes of the controller talking to Daleks are rampant and sometimes quite boring. I do think they are needed to advance plot but…there’s far too much of them. Not a bad episode though.

Ep 3
There’s a musical sting here that’s…just out of place. The very long time gone Dalek city sound is here. The Daleks voices are different again. Everything about this episode looks great. We see a cameraman shadow. The Doctor’s jacket is off. Mike Shadow. Invisible trout? Jacob’s family is threatened in the script I believe. The Doctor says, “I’ve known many times and some of them much more pleasant than others.” Another “Hai!” A bottle is smashed and the Doctor says, “Pity, it was such was rather a good vintage.” The Doc and Jo escape on a Honda ATC 90 motorbike, all terrain motor tricycle. The chase…could have been more dramatic. Instead it looks haphazard. The theme song cuts in and doesn’t have that ---for this era---distinctive ending. Instead, it just keeps going and lowers…

A quisling is mentioned. It has to do with Norway I think. The Brig curiously says, “Even the Doctor can’t vanish into thin air.” WHAT ? Has the script writer never watched INFERNO or read it? The Brig should know better. Boaz and Marc die rescuing the Doctor. Who’s Marc? There’s a dog in the background I didn’t see in other viewings. Jan was wounded. My notes say something about the planet Arrum? And college? Ricky Newby ? The music here is much better. Class IM? I have to take better notes. Doctor, “Look, try and use your intelligence, man, even if you are a politician.” Miss Paget was not in this episode because the actress was ill. In the special edition, Daleks shoot a retreating UNIT man. And that’s about it. This story is still good, IMO. It moves fast, has some good ideas, surprises and action. The twist is that…well, the time travelers caused their own future. In the end, the Doctor straightens it all out? No, he does not. Shura stops the Daleks. Again, a good twist, a good story. Yes, the Daleks were menacing despite their silly voices in this one. Yes, the Ogrons look stupid but they’re supposed to be. In the right light, they are menacing, too. One nice touch is when leaving Shura to blow up the house…and himself, the Doctor heads out first; Jo lingers behind to look at Shura one more time.

Curse of Peladon
DW and the Brain Dead was supposed to be in this slot. The story is said to be isolationist and anti European but that’s not what happens really. Grun should have and could have been played by…a more muscled man rather than…well, you know. The Doc sometimes calls Jo, “Miss Grant.” The Doc is giving the TARDIS its first test flight and he mentions the fault in the interstitial beam synthesizer. This is the last control room set is seen this way. Why don’t…after leaving the TARDIS, they just go back inside? The Tardis is said to be indestructible. The Doc has a red lined cloak. Alpha Centauri is a hoot. Peladon was to be called Coridan. Arcturus has two domes…I did not realize that. David Troughton appears…and looks rather dishy and hot…despite what time would do to him. Now as much as I love Patrick, he wasn’t what I’d call hot. In any case…nice legs. Names used in the original: Akhaton, Takyr. This reminds me of STAR TREK in so many ways…only, you know, better and more relevant. To find a way to go in the tunnels, the Doc points, “Innie, Minnie, mini, moe.” They hear a growl and in a funny bit, “Mini it is.” I always thought they said, “Definitely moe.” That could be the original script? Let’s go look up the words Flambeaux, and Parrafin. The Doctor opens the door and is all smug…until it hits him. “Right again, Doctor.” Ice Warriors! In color. They look grand. The original script mentioned an atmosphere rectifier and a proton dispenser. Alpha Centauri, Arcturus, and the Ice Warriors -- the soldier Ssorg and his Ice Lord Izlyr who has a curved helmet are gathered in the throne room. They discuss the threat and the omen -- the Royal Beast of Peladon, Aggedor. It was to be said this was the 26th century. Jo tells the others, lying, that “the pilot was exceedingly inefficient.” So…this lie? Do the others think the pilot is dead? Notes say something about apocryphal and authority? The Doc does not look fond of Jo getting fond of Prince Peladon and is not fond of Peladon getting fond of Jo. You can see it in his eyes and manner. This is probably where the whole Doc/Rose/Mickey/Jack/Adam thing began or was a take off on.

This whole episode is rather grand and rather good. It introduces all the characters, the mystery, and looks great. The mountain, the castle fortress, the storm, the falling TARDIS, the caves, the monsters, all look so very good. Yes, it’s STAR TREK but in DOCTOR WHO style…and better for both. Very entertaining first episode.

Zylr, Vriss, Nexsar were names considered for use here. Peladon says of the Doc, “Is an old man like your friend, the Doctor.” Jo responds, “I somehow don’t think he’d care for that.” Katy and David went to Godspell. Doc has an eye glass on a spring. He blames the Ice Warriors in a rare show of wrongness and prejudice. It’s refreshing. The Ice Warriors were to be in DW and the Brain Dead. Jo, “Who’s always telling me to look out of the good qualities in alien life forms.” Jo calls Alpha sweet. The Doc confirms Alpha as neither male or female and calls it a hermaphrodite hexapod but doesn’t that mean it is both? Doc drinks again. Jo, “You love all that chairmen delegate stuff.” The Doc saves Arcturus and when the Ice Warrior Izlyr questions him, he explains and then snaps, “Now please leave me alone.” While searching the Ice Warriors’ room, Katy has to clear her throat. Originally Arcturus’s systems were to be more explained as having neural protoplasm and he was supposed to be from Andromeda. His face is made from a warped Ogron mask. Klessy C? Other names that were originally to have been used: Xon, Xeb, Xan. As Jo climbs up to the window and outside (nice scene!) the music is rather good for once! Another unused story was the The Shape of Terror. Aggedor. We see Izlyr’s eyes.

Doc, “Yes, you’re a wily old bird, aren’t you Hepesh?” Hep pen’s pen is a roe deer antler (gross and sad). How does the Doctor just seem to know about this time and the Federation and their intentions? Undulating not quite amorphous mt kness and breated? Stick head? Shapeless spook head, small. One eye. ? Self hypnosis. Self hypnosis? The Doctor hypnotizes himself in an ad lib. Gosh, I do have to keep better notes. The Doc has a ring on. Izlyr walks right up to the camera. Hepesh about the Doc, “He is moving into even greater danger.” The Doc uses words on Aggedor to control it, “Ablark, haroon, haroon,” and uses the tune God Rest You Merry Gentlemen. Other names not used Nishri, Nuron. Jo is hypnotized for a few moments by mistake. “Oh good grief,” the Doc states. He snap her out of it, “Well, you ruined a very promising experiment…” The script was to say, “And very bright you were, too.” The battle between the Doc and Grun REALLY needs some kind of music. In my head (!) I kept hearing the STAR TREK music from AMOK TIME and/or CATSPAW/FRIDAY’S CHILD. The fight itself is a really good one, well planned out. In the original script, thankfully not used, was dialog such as “Hoho, little man, here is where I fix your little noddy wagon.” Also, the throttling of Grun was edited out. I could swear that I saw that when it aired in the US. NOTE: some sequences from Davison and maybe some Pertwee that are shown on DVD “deleted sequences” in the UK were actually things that appeared in the USA versions as part of the story. In addition, I recall seeing on PBS some Pertwee episodes that had over 30 minutes of footage, ep 4 of this story being one of them. Again, the throttling in ep3 here was shown I believe. I also believed that in the upcoming episode a GREAT majority was cut out in the UK but full shown here. This includes the sneak up to the throne room where guards were stabbed and the actual fight itself which was longer and had many men stabbed.

Something here looks edited: Arcturus’s body. We see Alpha Centauri scream this time whereas before in the cliffhanger we only heard it/he/she scream. LSD on Aggedor? King Peladon was slapped? Doc to Jo, “I’m going to see a man about an open door.” Centauri is very funny in this, especially when intimidated by Ice Warriors on both sides of him/it/she. The Doc to Grun, “You’re not frightened, a big chap like you. Well, don’t be afraid.” The stunt group was called Profile.

Okay, the scene where guards are knocked down is somewhat violent but I seem to recall it being more violent. I think I saw an uncut unedited version on PBS late night from Connecticut. Maybe. I recall guards being stabbed with knives. I do feel the attack on the throne room was edited and cut as well. I seem to recall seeing the fallen guard getting stabbed with the spear. Here, it looks cut again. It looks as if we move from the ruckus with Alpha, Jo, and the Ice Warriors debating, right to the opening doors. I believe before that, some guards were stabbed. I also think there are bodies on the ground that are removed and we don’t see those at the end. Of course it might just have been one of those “wrong” versions sent to the US by mistake. One ep of Davison’s Dalek story had no sound effects or music, ditto an episode of Brain of Morbius. I think this episode was one of those. I also recall on UK dvds stuff that’s labeled as Deleted Scenes as stuff that was definitely in our versions in the US. It boggles the mind.

I think the original script was to have “holy flipping cow” in it. Hepesh dies and we’re made to feel sorry. I feel “Goodbye, Hepesh, you evil thing.” The Time Lords send the Doctor here. He rubs his neck. He laughs. He cannot recall if it was the coronation of Elizabeth or Victoria, 1559 and 1838. Probably both. A black and white minstrel show is mentioned, something Alpha’s portrayer was in? Jo tells Peladon she’s “very very fond of you.” Someone touches Jo’s chin. The Doctor tells Jo, “In any case, I wouldn’t like to lose you.” Amazonia arrives as the Earth Delegate. This is in line with the original idea that Jo was one of the rulers of Earth—female rulers of Earth that used men. The Doc was originally supposed to be subservient to her. Doc: red cape. My notes say something about the collapse of stout party? Stout lads hauled the TARDIS up. Huh?

A good story, all the way from start to finish. Mystery, intrigue, politics, romantic tension, murder, red herrings, aliens and monsters, a scary castle, a fight to the near death, sword fights to the death, and fairly good music. And the next story would be completely different.
The Sea Devils

This opening reminds me of GODZILLA and THE BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS (more on that later). Benbridge Harbor, Isle of Wright. Originally the Doc was to be water skiing. AWFUL MUSIC all the way through. What were they thinking? Vera Lynn? This story looks great. Expensive and vast. Good outside locations, and good inside sets. Yes, during the fight later on, books are on the shelves in the wrong order but so what? We meet Trenchard, another of those old men DW likes so much. He has a screen that has blinds on it to show this is the near future. I guess. The Doc jokes that the old guy, the Master, has been putting on weight but he does have a rowing machine in his prison cell. The Master tries to hypnotize a guard, “I am the Master and you will obey me.”

It is 11 am. Time on the clock seems to run backward from scene to scene during the course of this story? The cars used at the prison is an open car. Doc touches his own cheek. He uses the phrase, “Ask a silly question.” Instead of shaking the Master’s hand he raises his up to say bye. Norris Castle, 1799. “There’s something queer going on.” The Doc fakes that his bad leg is playing him up a bit. He asks the man about the wars he’s not heard of: Crimea, Gallipoli, El Alamein. HMS Vernon is the base. We meet the nice guy Capt. Hart and his secretary Blythe. The Master watches the Clangers. Roget’s Thesaurus is on his shelf. Books from Oxford. No Man’s Land Fort is the oil rig?. Lis Sladen was the first woman on an oil rig. The Doc tells Hart credentials are bureaucratic nonsense. “I never carry them.” WHY did he leave Jo? Jo rides a motor bike. Clark jokes, “It’s a mermaid, she can’t resist us.” We only see bits of the monster and in shadows, from behind, etc. It is very effective this way. “My dear chap…” is used a bit. The Doc claims Horatio Nelson was a personal friend of his.
After he leaves, Hart says, “Good grief. The poor chap’s as mad as a hatter.” Motor tricycle. Monster’s hand. We then see the full Sea Devil face. It’s okay. It takes place 22 minutes in. The Doc finds the body of Hickman. “He’s dead, poor chap.” Jo says, “It’s coming towards us.” This cliffhanger could have been directed and filmed better. As it happens, it’s matter of fact for some reason and not at all as tense as it should be. Still: a good episode. Oscar bravo tango seven four is used on the radio by Jo and Doc. Pertwee’s voice as he does radio is…different and comedic.

NOTE: We’ve established after ep 4 of this story that I need to take better notes and that I need to write these up as soon as I’m done watching episode by episode AND that this is a difficult job.

Night Ride was a night time radio show by John Peel. A cut scene was shown here? Sea King? Piglets had a recording on the back of a record, Backing Track. The Doc makes a makeshift radio and brags to himself about it, “If I do say so myself I think that’s a remarkable piece of workmanship.” Then it blows up almost in his face and in his hands. Quite funny. If the Master has the prison under his control, why does he need to knock out the guard? The Doc in Trenchard’s office yells “fore” as he hits a golf ball into a glass blindfolded! There are face masks on the wall of the cell. The Doc uses Venusian akito? “Ak Keela!” There is a very good fight between the Master and the Doctor using swords. The Doc wins after some considerable trouble. The Doc stops to eat a sandwich, “I always find that violent exercise makes me hungry, don’t you?” And as his back is on a table, “You haven’t seen the quality of my footwork yet!” He wins again and turns his back on the Master, who takes this chance to toss a knife at the Doc’s back/head! A good cliffhanger and a good episode. Well done again!

Yes, the Master’s books moved between scenes and around shelves. The time on the clock moved backwards. The Master has Illustrated London News. Doc has a dark blue jacket. When he’s taken prisoner, he tells the guard, “How very kind of you,” for untying his hands but then the guard handcuffs him to the chair with his hands behind it, “How very unkind of you.” The Doc to the Master, “Your usual childish need to gloat.” In the original script, the Doc mentioned to Jo that her outfit or disguise made her look like a British rail waiter. He also was to mention the Geneva Convention of 29. The sub parts remind me of VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA as well as an old TWILIGHT ZONE and ONE STEP BEYOND, about subs hearing strange sounds under the water. Jo sneaks into the cell in a most inspired bit of stuff, location work, humorous dialog and all. She shows up at his window and they mouth to each other. The Doc distracts the guard in, Jo sneaks in behind the door and behind the guard and as he bends over the Doctor, the Doc puts his head into the man’s stomach and knocks him down…and he falls back over the waiting and crouched down Jo. Jo then hits him…with her bag I think. They then do the “after you” “no, no, after you,” routine. It all works rather well and Jo and the Doc are like a well-oiled machine, rapport and all. It works well. There are targets outside. The beach stuff looks great but I wish the sound were better. One Sea Devil rises. I thought there were more. There will be next ep. The Doc and Jo are caught between the Master and Trenchard above, the Sea Devil on the beach, and guards. A great cliffhanger. A really good episode. Again.

The Doc throws himself down over the barbed wire. Pertwee got hurt during this. The Sea Devil screaming from the sonic sound the screwdriver makes is…embarrassing. It also moves quite…awkwardly. Someone sounds hoarse. I think it’s one of the captured submarine men. Ridgeway uses the term Green Gilbert for the Sea Devil, a term that means nasal mucus. In the script, Jo was offered cocoa; the Doc is offered whiskey. The secretary brings Jo a sandwich and the Doc as he talks to Hart both eats it and chides Jo about it, “For heaven’s sake, Jo, what do you think this is a picnic?” He offers it to Hart and to Blythe. He then leaves Jo with just the lettuce if that. “Oh I’m so sorry.” WTF? Pretty funny though. Blythe will go get more for Jo.

The Sea Devils rise and there’s more of them, six to be exact plus six more (the same six really). The attack on the fort is a good one. Trenchard shows his merit by using a gun against them. Later, we see his body on the floor. The Doc tells Hart that the Master used Trenchard’s patriotism against him and had no further use for him, “That’s why.” Kye is cocoa. HMS Reclaim. The whole diving bell thing reminds me of the later SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN stories (two episodes I think) AND 1950s underwater monster movies (IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA, BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS, and GORGO). When the Doc comes on board, he is piped on board. The Doc says Naturally to Hart’s question of his being an experienced diver. The sequence here is quite effective. The Jo-finds-the Bell Empty sequence could have been better edited and cut and paced but I think they needed time to kill.

Another good episode. Keeps one’s attention.

Elected official Walker arrives and he’s immediately eating a lot and that annoys Jane, who has to get him all his food and tea. He’s the basic war mongering publically elected official, so much so that they might as well kept Trenchard although Trenchard didn’t seem to be a coward and Walker kind of is as we will see in ep6. He’s your basic Dr. Smith and Mr. Fitzhugh type character only he doesn’t seem to have redeeming qualities as they do in LOST IN SPACE and LAND OF THE GIANTS. He asks Jane for breakfast and more toast. In one shot we even get a close up of his mouth. The Doc about the Master, “He’s the personification of evil.” A Sea Devil touches the Doctor’s head at the back to find out about him apparently. He also raises his hand to the Doc’s and they touch that way, too. This is later repeated with the Master. Rear Admirals do not wear glasses or they would not be allowed to sea in the UK. Later, in a shot, the Rear Ad has his glasses off. The sub crew play card games, a game of pontoon and later one man offers to play consequences but this could be a bluff to distract their Sea Devil. The Doctor’s face appears at a hole in the wall as he frees the sub’s two main characters, Ridgeway and Lt Comm Mitchell, if ever there was a couple they are it. In the original script, the Doctor shoots the Sea Devil himself but in the actual ep, he tries to stop Ridgeway from killing a Sea Devil, “No, no, don’t kill him.” Jon Pertwee co wrote a DW story called Brain Drain. When the Doctor returns to base he asks what idiot ordered the attack just as he was about to broker a peace. Walker says, “I’m the idiot you’ve just been talking about.” He wants to “confound their politics and frustrate their navy strength.” The Doctor plans to return and this echoes what will happen to him in PLANET OF THE SPIDERS. He has to return to a dangerous situation. The Sea Devils attack the base in an effective sequences. As Hart, Jo and the Doctor leave the office they run into one. It raises its gun in a memorable cliffhanger. Again, another good ep, full of action and movement and visuals.

The attack on the base is great but it could have been better if six scenes that were planned has been filmed. The Doc vs the two Sea Devils with his karate. Another grabs him from behind and he starts briefly mugging it up. The Master wants his help in recreating the trigger device to reawaken all the reptiles on Earth. Throughout this story, references have been made to the Silurians. When finding out the trouble, the Doc nominally criticizes the Master’s work, “Good heavens, what do you think you’re doing here?” He also mistakenly calls a diode a dipode (something musical) but apparently it was written that way in the script. He touches his ear. Walker worries that Hart is allowing Jo to risk her life, “A mere child risk her life?” He’s Dr Smith worrying here and cowardly, he doesn’t escape. Oddly, he doesn’t die either or get killed. The Doc needs a polarizing conductor. This might be a distraction for him to order Jo to free Hart and Walker and get more men (from where?). The device is rigged by the Doctor to make the Sea Devils go all wonky for a very long time. And the Master waits a very long time to switch it off. Conversely, it takes the Captain Hart and Jo a very short time to fly the hovercraft, escaping the Sea Devils first (and Jo is driving the hovercraft!?), get a bunch of men and bring them back to the island! Sea Devil killed off the roof is quite a well done stunt (but again that scream; not as bad as the one earlier but still slightly embarrassing). The Doc leaves the Master alone with a guard---shouldn’t he know better? The Master hypnotizes him long enough to karate chop him down (dead or alive?). Hart mans a Bofors gun (the navy didn’t want him to but the Petty Officer took his orders from Hart). This battle is also most impressive. The sailor behind Hart has tattoos. I totally forgot about the speed boat chase where the Doc catches up with the Master, who hits land. Back at the Sea Devil base, the Master is turned on (not a surprise). The Doc says, “You seem to be losing your touch.” Not really: he’s never had it. The Axons, Azal, the Keller Mind Machine, and the Autons have all turned on the Master. He also tells the Master, “Before you reactivated it, I reversed the polarity of the neutron flow,” which was a line also read by Liz in THE SILURIANS. He also rigged it to self-destruct. Walker orders the destruction of the base and asks for some tea. Katy Manning has a thankless job as she has to look upset for most of these two episodes and does it well. Okay, now, the Doctor helps the Master escape!!!??? Why? He tells him the escape plan and helps him get away. WHY? “goodnight folks” is mentioned in the DVD text. The Master fakes a heart attack? Pertwee pointed out the next flaw: amid a ship load of sailors, the Master has to hypnotize the driver of the hovercraft, put on a fake Master mask to the man’s face, pose as a doctor after changing places with himself…it makes no sense. It’s nice to see the Master wave as he leaves. Not sure the Doc looks that upset. After all, he helped him get away!!!!!????

An action packed finale. Yes, at times, the Sea Devil look is a bit awkward but the story holds up and it quite well done. The Sea Devils appeared on other shows at the time and at a school Teach In.
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