Posted tagged ‘Romana’

The Stones of Blood

June 26, 2013
The Stones of Blood

The Stones of Blood (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

 

Great Moments

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.

 

Random Thoughts

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?

 

Shipping Report

 

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.

 

Grade: 3/5

June 26, 2013

 
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The Pirate Planet

June 25, 2013
The Pirate Planet

The Pirate Planet (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

media used:  DVD

This story is significant for me because it was the first ever Doctor Who story I ever saw. I could see some flaws, but  I liked it a lot for its clever ideas and for the interesting characters of the Doctor and Romana, so decided to watch more.

A few years later, I saw “Pirate” again.  I wasn’t so impressed.

This is my third viewing. The humor fell flat, the Captain was ridiculous, and  I couldn’t wait for it to be over.

I guess this is one of those stories that shouldn’t be seen too frequently.

 

Great Moments

Lots of clever ideas and a nice plot twist. On my first viewing, the nurse = Xanxia = the real villain came as a complete surprise.

Most impressive part of the story is the Doctor’s “Appreciate it” speech.

 

Random Thoughts

I’ve been contemplating the Mentiads, that jolly group of telepaths who live in caves and scare people.  Okay, I get they’ve been forced to live underground because of the Captain’s extermination campaign, and for the same reason they have to kidnap their new members.  Still, it make a bad first impression.

Moreover, the Mentiads must have a hell of an initiation ceremony.  Pralix has a perfectly normal appearance, even if he’s raving and off his nut.  Then he gets kidnapped.  Next we see him, he’s a zombie complete with black rimmed eyes.  Somehow, this just doesn’t inspire confidence.

I also note that the Mentiads are a male-only group.  Maybe telepathy is inherited through the male line?  Pralix evidently inherited his ability from his father.

 

The Shipping Report

The Doctor and Romana are really working together quite well, in spite of some sniping.  One odd thing happened — when Romana, in congratulations, extended her hand to shake his, he declined to touch her.  Why, I wonder?  Is he afraid to make physical contact?

 

Food and Drink

Romana offers the inhabitants some jelly babies that she pilfered from the Doctor’s pocket.

The Doctor, wanting to steal an air car, distracts the guard by throwing  a bag of candy.  It’s not full of jelly babies, though.  Romana must have stolen them all.

The Doc tries the bag of candy distraction trick a second  time, but this time it doesn’t work.

In another one of his dubious tales, the Doctor claims to have dropped an apple on Isaac Newton’s head, then explained the concept of gravity to him at dinner. (yeah, right)

 

Grade: 2/5  (I have, in the past, given this story a higher grade)

June 25, 2013

 

The Ribos Operation

June 25, 2013

Media used: DVD

 

What a great kick-off for the sixteenth season!  I rather enjoy caper stories and this one is a dandy, filled with interesting characters and great dialog.

 

Great Moments

The introduction of Romana (I).  As the camera pans up from her feet to her head, we see the perfect, virginal ice queen, from her long white dress to her bejeweled hair.  She’s even carrying a magic wand or scepter (the tracer).

There’s a lot of terrific dialog in this tale, but I’ll restrict myself to mentioning only one instance:  the conversation between Binro and Unstoffe, especially the “Binro was right” moment.

The Graff’s final moments — despicable creature that he is, the Graff  becomes a tragic character in his death.  His grief for the death of his chief officer and friend Sholakh– probably his only close relationship — is quite genuine.  It’s enough of a blow to unhinge his mind,  and he, all unwitting, marches to his death imagining himself to be in a great battle.

 

Random Thoughts

I’m always rather intrigued by the cultures and societies being created for the series.  Generally, we only get enough info to move the plot along and to provide a bit of color for the stories.  This nevertheless spurs my imagination to fill in the blank spaces.

Ribos, for instance,with extreme seasons of hot and cold, each season lasting thirty-some years.  Their technology is equivalent to medieval Earth’s.  Their religion is . . . what?  They treat the crown jewels as sacred relics and say prayers before the display, so maybe a form of ancestor worship?  And then there’s that shaman-like character, who communicates with unseen forces and comes up with some accurate information.

She’s the only female native that we see — is this a culture in which women are confined to certain roles?  What are marriage and family life like?  The authority structure?  The captain seems to be the one in charge of this city, but is anyone in charge of him?

The Ribosians can certainly be a narrow-minded bunch, considering how they treated Binro.  But, in their favor, they have courage and initiative.  They don’t cower in abject terror after the Graff murders one of them with a weapon that, to them, must seem supernatural in nature.  No, they use their wits and go after him with the best they have.  It’s only a cannon, but it’s used to good effect.

Enough meandering . . . moving on . . .

 

The Shipping Report

Poor Doctor!  He’s built K9 the second, which, presumably, he’s programmed in such a way as to feed his ego, rather than challenge it.  Now all he wants to do is have a nice vacation, accompanied only by his faithful dog and minus any vexatious companions.  But it’s not to be.

The Doc not only gets a new assignment from the godlike White Guardian, but a new companion as well.  And if he was annoyed by Leela, he’s sure to be downright riled by Time Lady Romana.

Recent graduate Romana is an academic know-it-all, but lacks field experience, thus setting up an experience -versus -education rivalry with the Doctor.  She’s a little contemptuous of him because of his low academic scores, he looks down on her because of her immaturity. They snipe at each other, and we see right away that Romana can give as good as she gets.  She can also manipulate the Doctor with a well-placed insult.

Romana’s first encounter with a monster sends her screaming into the Doctor’s arms, and so she learns there may be a few things not covered by her classroom experience.  There’s also a hint — just a hint — of a potential attraction between these two.

 

Food and Drink

The White Guardian is sitting under a sun umbrella, drinking a green beverage.

The Doctor asks Romana if she can make tea. (he’s trying to needle her; IIRC, Doc 3 did something similar to Sarah Jane.)

Unstoffe gives drugged meat to the monster guarding the crown jewels.

The Graff and Sholakh drink from tankards .

Unstoffe brings the guard a jug of liquor (probably drugged)

The Doctor claims the tracer can peel apples.

There’s a large bowl of fruit in the Graff’s  quarters.

 

Grade: 4/5

June 25, 2013