Archive for June 2010

The Sea Devils

June 30, 2010

The Sea Devils

(medium used: DVD)

A good action story, normally not my cup of tea, but it also has a lot of good character moments going for it.  There’s some padding, to be sure, but it’s not too obtrusive.  Plus Jo gets to shine.

Great Moments

The sword fight — Highly improbable that a prison would just happen to have a couple of swords handy, but, what the heck . . . who doesn’t like a good swordfight? (on screen, of course, not in real life)

The introduction of the Sea Devils was handled well —  some spooky glimpses of a shadowy form, a hand/claw makes an appearance, then, eventually we view the creature in full . . . very nice build-up of tension/anticipation

Almost forgot to mention the Master’s prison scenes — wonderfully done.

Random Thoughts

While the Doc, in general, behaves himself pretty well in this story, he just can’t help dropping names, even when it’s not going to help him any.  Claiming that Horatio Nelsen was a personal friend of his only causes Hart to think he’s nuts.

I got a kick out of the Master’s fondness for a children’s show.  Vicariously reliving lost innocence, perhaps?  Underneath all that power-hungry, manipulative ego is there a little child wanting to play? (or maybe I’m just over-thinking this)

The Doctor sometimes claims that he never carries money — and yet he had sufficient cash to bribe that fellow with the speed boat.

I don’t usually notice continuity goofs, but I saw one in the sword fight scene.  During the fight, the Master’s plate of sandwiches gets knocked to the floor.  The very next scene, the plate is back on the table, and the Doctor helps himself to one.

Shipping Report

One of the beauties of this serial is that Jo gets a chance to really show how competent she can be.  None of this little girl stuff we saw in the “Day of the Daleks” novelization.  Here, she is a very effective assistant to the Doctor.  Still, his treatment of her is variable.  Sometimes he respects her, as when he accepts  without question her identification of the Master; other times he treats her in an off-hand manner, as when he appropriates her sandwiches for himself.  It’s left to thoughtful Blythe to get her more. Jo also gets stuck with a lot of lines like :”Doctor!” and “Doctor, look!”

Speaking of Blythe, she certainly seems to be a very competent and intelligent person — and Hart does treat her in a professional manner —  yet she spends a good deal of her time doing waitress duty.

We’re given more info on the Doctor/ Master relationship.  The Doc says that he and the Master were once good friends, “You could say we were at school together”.  And, later, the Master insists that he needs the Doctor’s help in building the contraption that will wake up the Sea Devils.  Seems to me the Master has sufficient skill to do this on his own, but he not only wants the Doc’s help, but even lets him more or less take over the whole thing.  The Master just wants to be with the Doctor, even while he’s plotting his death . . . Unrequited love does strange things to people . . .

Food and Drink

There’s a number of beverages being consumed, including Old Oak Ale (?) [the guys playing poker on the old sea fort], something stronger than water [Trenchard while on the phone], and numerous mugs of tea or coffee [many of them served by Blythe]

The Doctor, as an additional display of dominance, helps himself to one of the Master’s sandwiches after disarming him during the sword fight.

As mentioned above, he also helps himself to Jo’s sandwiches.

The insufferable Walker demands breakfast: eggs, bacon, coffee, toast, and marmalade.  We see that he takes both cream and sugar in his coffee.  And wants more toast. Later, after authorizing a nuclear strike, he cheerfully says “How about some tea?” And is served smoked salmon sandwiches.

Grade:  4/5

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The Curse of Peladon

June 28, 2010

Really enjoyable episode, very atmospheric, interesting culture (Peladon), and a return of the Ice Warriors — this time as the “good guys”.

Great Moments

When, without warning, Jo needs to pretend to be a princess, she plays the role quite well.

the Doctor’s taming of Aggedor.

Random Thoughts

I find it ironic –and a sad irony, at that —  that the civilization that worships the totem animal Aggedor, has hunted his   earthly representatives to near extinction.

One wonders how a culture as apparently undeveloped as Peladon ever became involved with space-faring races to begin with.  They don’t even have electric lights!  How did first contact occur?  What affect did it have on their culture?  All sorts of questions come up . . . They are a conservative race, indeed, if contact with advanced technology has not influenced them to adopt at least a few high-tech comforts.

The Shipping Report

A lot of interesting interactions in this story —

Peladon and Hepesh — the insecure young king versus an older, authoritative advisor.  Peladon has a mind of his own, but just can’t entirely stand up to the older man — or defy tradition, even though he wants to do so.

Jo and the Doctor — so Jo is “all dolled up for a date with Mike Yates” when the Doctor pressures her to go on a joy ride in the TARDIS.  I wonder if it’s merely coincidence that the Doc wants to interrupt her date with another man. Sure, I know it was a line thrown in to explain why she’s all dressed up in garb that would make her look like a princess, but still . . . Also consider the Doctor’s facial expression when Jo and Peladon start hitting it off (he is clearly not amused).  He’s fallen for Jo himself, and knows he has a lot of competition.

Jo and Peladon — you know, she does seem fond of him.  Life as a queen in a drafty old castle lit by torchlight probably doesn’t appeal to her, not to mention what would happen when it turns out that she really isn’t a princess.

Food and Drink

The Doctor drinks something from a fancy glass when chatting with Jo.

Grade

4/5