Image of the Fendahl

Image of the Fendahl

Image of the Fendahl (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Image of the Fendahl

media used: DVD and novelization

I found this to be an effective tale, although marred by some sloppiness here and there (e.g., a visit from the Door Fairy, who helps the Doctor escape from the storeroom).  Also, the background story is a tad incoherent.  On the whole, though, it’s an engrossing and atmospheric serial.


Great Moments

Any scene with Granny Tyler.

Thea’s transformation into the Fendahl core.


Random Thoughts

The Doctor is far more receptive to folklore and superstition than in “Horror of Fang Rock”, although, of course, giving a scientific explanation for it all.

More explanations, this time from the Terrance Dicks novelization:

The mysterious opening door:  The Doctor’s use of the sonic screwdriver has weakened the metal.   When he kicks the door in frustration, it causes the weakened lock to shatter.  Bit of a re-write there, I think.  In any case, no Door Fairy.

Leela found on the TARDIS floor, unconscious or asleep:  The Doctor had left the console room, Leela got bored, lay down and went to sleep. (Just like that?  Just flopped down on the floor and had a snooze?  Like a dog?)

Speaking of dogs, I wonder what happened to Leakey?


Shipping Report

Poor K9, the third member of the TARDIS crew, still doesn’t get a chance to do much, except feebly nod his head.  For no particular reason, the Doctor has changed his mind about him, and now refers to the metal dog as “he”, instead of “it”.

A pattern is developing in the Leela/Doctor relationship.  He speaks slightingly of  her, or disparages her abilities; and then, sometime during the story, she shows her worth, thus proving him wrong.  This time, he seems amused when she promises to protect him.  Of course, she eventually does just that, actually saving his life by breaking his connection with the skull.


Food and Drink

In the book, the doomed hiker longs for a warm pub with beer and cheese rolls (Page 7)

Granny Tyler works as a cook for the Priory, but only for dinner.  The resident scientists take turns making the other meals.  Max was supposed to cook breakfast in part one but missed his turn because Fendleman kept him working all night.

After her encounter with the new security system, Mrs. Tyler declines to work at the Priory until things are back to normal; the four scientists have to fend for themselves now.

The hiker (now dead) was carrying a thermos of tea (in the book, it’s coffee)

Doc give Ted Moss a jelly baby.

There’s a bowl of fruit on the Priory’s kitchen table (mostly apples and bananas)

The kitchen shelves carry canisters of food supplies (and look like they were takes straight from the Lighthouse!)

Leela gives Granny Tyler a drink of liquor (identified as brandy in the book)

The Doctor eats jelly babies while investigating the laboratory, and offers one to the skull.

The Doctor tells Jack to make tea and get some fruitcake. “I love fruitcake, “ he says. (I suspect he’s the only one who does!)

The Doc’s instructions for making fruitcake involve peanuts mixed with treacle and apple cores — and baking for two weeks.  This recipe shocks Granny Tyler so much that she awakes from her trance.

After the explosion (implosion?) clears, the Doctor speculates that the others are now eating Granny Tyler’s plum cake.


Grade: 4/5

June 15, 2013


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