Okay I've been watching ALL the Troughton and Hartnell stories over the past few months/year. They struck me as having more merit than ever but THE CHASE...after five and a half episodes, one just has to laugh out loud at it. IT's all so unbelievably wrong. Despite the Hartnell/Doctor fluffs (which I love by the way) there's so much bad here.
The first ep or so on Aridius is not too bad although why Ian calls Vicki a fool and she calls him a nit is beyond me. Vicki laughs for no reason...is she hysterical? Ian allows her to go down a hole for no reason but to explore (okay I'll take that). But after Aridius...wher the Doctor and Barbara double sun bath...with their clothes on!...the story is a total mess.
It could be the direction. It's almost as if no one cared about seriousness or even the humor. Let's see. The Mary Celeste scene: one look at a Dalek the crewman and then all the crew, some of whom don't even see the Daleks, go crazy, panic and jump into the sea; a woman with a baby screams and jumps. No one tries to fight them at all. Everyone just jumps. THe Dalek that follows seems to fall off of its own accord. What?
Barbara seems to wander on the ship for no good reason. Vicki smashes Ian's head. It's not funny. Barbara makes jokes in the most serious of times, later saying hello to Steven's panda (more on Hi Fi ahead). No one seems too upset that they caused the Daleks to land on the ship and kill everyone...did anyone survive that? Imagine in real life, being the relative of someone who vanished on that ship and seeing this?
The NY Scene on the Empire State is so bad it's funny. The lady with the feather in her eyes from her hat, the Columbo like tour guide (is he supposed to be Italian?), the very fat man obsuring everyone, the guide looking at the nice looking lady, is all so awful it's funny. ANd that's before the TARDIS arrives...
which brings me to: the whole plot is stupid. Given laws of time and all that...how does a time machine chase another time machine threw time? I can accept that if the story is exciting or different but...really. This could have been so much better. What else? Morton Dill: the less I say the better. Purves is awful in this sequence and it is difficult to see how they could have given him a companion role but again it could be the direction because starting with Time Meddler he's not bad at all. Here as both Morton and Steven...he's...questionable.
The travellers arrive, act as if they are on holiday and don't warn Morton (wld you?) about the coming Daleks, who don't kill Morton. Morton goes to pieces (maybe that is justified) when both TARDIS and the Dalek time machine vanish.
The haunted house: oh boy. Frankenstein seems to gain clothing when he leaves the lab. Before that he was just in bandages. As he leaves and attacks the Daleks he gains pants, a shirt, and a jacket. Vicki stands around to warn Dracula that the Daleks will kill him long enough to be left behind...the other three don't realize Vicki is not aboard FOR A LONG TIME but the Daleks don't realize Vicki snuck into their ship right in front of them...perhaps they were preoccupied with the "monsters". The screaming Gray Lady says stuff but I'll be darned to know what it is she's all about.
The plan after the fake Doctor has been destroyed (strangely played by Hartnell in some places and not in others, even when it would have been easier to have Hartnell play him in scenes where he's not with himself or the double rather)...is oddly filmed. The other three discuss a plan to have the Doctor impersonate his double. They decide it won't work. THe Doc goes out to try it anyway. OFF SCREEN the Dalek turn him down knowing it is not their double. They tell him he will be exterminated. He must have been in range. He dives back into the cave or rather walks fast into it. We don't see how he gets away.
Much has been said of the Mechanoids' speech being ununderstandable. I heard them just fine. The jungle fungoids are ...embarassing but tolerable. Barbara makes shooting noises like she's a ten year old boy when using a rifle or pretending to use a rifle. THe Doctor's big machine ...sparks like a firecracker and yet kills a Dalek...who spins and says, "I am exterminated!"
Add to this that earlier a Dalek in a time machine was trying to do sums and saying, "erhm, uhm, it...it's..."
Other Daleks sound like human beings with a deep voice saying, "Okay" and "good" and "no."
The battle betweeen Daleks and Mechanoids is okay but we see cartoon style blasts as if this were the 60s BATMAN show but there it makes sense and is fun. Here, it's just stupid. Just as the Doc's firecracker goes off...and that is what probably starts the fire but the Doc's almost shocked that an inferno (which he calls, charmlingly a furnace instead of an inferno) starts. Add to that a Mechanoid says, "Crap," just after it goes off TWICE! Crap!
Steven may be unhinged but when he leaves (after so much stupidity over five previous eps) Barbara, the Doc, and Ian alone on the roof while they are lowering Vicki...to go retrieve his teddy bear Hi Fi...it's too much. Vicki screams and Barbara almost falls off the edge thanks to Steven. In which case, Ian puts his hand down Barbara's pants to stop her from falling over.
All of this "Crap" the fluffs, the Ian hand down Barbara's pants, Steven going to rescue his teddy bear at the near cost of his own life, Barbara's life and Vicki's life; plus the piled up badness of the first five eps AND the solidly inconsistent music (when the city is discovered, the music sounds like we are in ancient China! Was that music lifted from Marco Polo?) is too much. One just had to laugh out loud.
How does Steven get into the TARDIS? Is it left open? Is it left open when? When the Doc goes to it and before finding the Dalek time machine?
The only good scene is the last: when Ian and Barbara leave and the Doc says "I shall miss> Yes, I shall miss them" that was good and the scene when the pair arrive on Earth 1965 was also good.
THE CHASE: good for a laugh. It's not as good as the WEB PLANET despite what everyone tells you. Watch both of these stories one ep at a time for your safety. Or just laugh your ass off
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