Media used: DVD
Not bad. The abrupt change in tone and genre doesn’t quite work, although it certainly is an interesting — even daring — thing to do. What really lets this serial down, though, is the overly long and boring trial scene.
The scene in which the stones consume those hapless campers. Truly the stuff of nightmares.
Amelia Rumford has a number of great scenes, but this one tops them all: Being chased by an Ogri, Rumford tells the Doctor, “In the cause of science, it’s our duty to capture that creature <here she brandishes her truncheon> We can track it to its lair.” Yeah, that’s the spirit! Totally impractical, of course, but, by golly, she’s got the Right Stuff.
So how did the Doctor know that Cessair had the Key? No doubt it was partly a leap of intuition, but Cessair herself gives the clue. When the Megara pronounce sentence upon her, she reaches for her necklace, as though it could protect her. Apparently, it did have that power, as the Doctor disperses the Megara by simply waving it at them.
This brings up another mystery, though — why didn’t Cessair use the Key to save herself? Maybe she was too rattled by being caught to think straight? Or maybe the Megara are more powerful in hyperspace? Or maybe the scriptwriters needed a quick resolution?
It’s a sign of the Doctor’s growing trust in Romana that he confides in her about the White and Black Guardians, even though that may be against the White Guardian’s wishes.
The developing relationship is nearly derailed when the false Doctor pushes Romana over a cliff. That’s the sort of thing that could really scotch a friendship. Good thing K9 was there to set things straight.
The Doctor seems to have gotten over his reluctance to touch Romana (if, indeed, that was the reason he declined to shake her hand in the previous story). He draws her close to him to be on the pick-up spot for the high-tech whatsit that’s to transfer them to real space. She also momentarily places her hands on his waist. Granted, there’s a practical reason for the physical closeness, but there’s also a very slight hint of something more going on.
The other relationship of interest is Amelia Rumford and Vivian Fay, who are possibly more than friends. Rumford is quite familiar with Fay’s cottage and with details of her life, including food preferences. This indicates that they are certainly very close, although, of course, such closeness does not necessarily mean they are lovers.
I also notice Rumford’s evident pleasure in being kissed by Romana. Then again, a great many of us would be pleased to be kissed by Romana.
Food and Drink
DeVries offers the Doctor a glass of sherry.
Rumford, far more generous, offers Romana a mug of tea and some sandwiches.
She later returns to the stone circle with a flask of tea, just in case Romana has been stranded there.
Later, at the cottage, Fay serves Romana and Rumford mugs of tea and sausage sandwiches.
The Ogri need blood for sustenance; they seem particularly fond of human blood, when they can get it.
Romana reasons that the Ogri don’t attack Vivian Fay because her blood is useless to them, and therefore she is not human. She finds significance in the foods that Fay avoids, which include lemon juice, grapefruits, avocado, and certain types of meat. With these clues, K9 helps her figure out Fay’s true origins.
In a last ditch attempt to delay his execution, the Doctor mentions some possible last requests, which include a toffee apple and a hearty breakfast.
June 26, 2013