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     Home »  The Tom Baker Era »  Android Invasion 3-4, Brain of Morbius 1-2
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    Android Invasion 3-4, Brain of Morbius 1-2 Views: 590
     Saturday, March 14 2009 @ 09:34 PM EDT

    Make it stop! Ever notice how a video tape you want or a dvd of something you really enjoy breaks or something. This never happens to the episodes you don’t like as much. Anyway, this is just so difficult to watch. I really believed watching this put me off DW for a bit and certainly makes me question the classic status of the Hinchcliffe era. Sarah is annoying, the Doctor okay I guess as in these episodes he’s less boring than in the first two of this wretched story. Again, it makes no sense and seems very…silly. The Doctor’s plan is okay I guess but…boring. Oh and why don’t Sarah and he get crushed by the G forces? Was the Doctor just wrong about the effect? It is really poor. Benton dies. Yeah, he does, really. At least that’s how it looks until the Brig tells the 5th Doctor he sells cars in MAWYDRN UNDEAD. Around this time, the Brig and Sarah were both being thought of as being killed off and then later, Leela would be thought of as being killed off. Of course, it happened to the best companion but that’s another story. What more can I say about this mess? Oh, the Kraal masks are some of the best the series ever used…they look much better than the Zygons did…those eye holes look less fake to me and the face is very different from a usual humanoid alien, the body somewhat hunched and alien looking. That’s the one thing good I can say about this. All I can say is if Tom Baker flung this script I’d be behind him every inch of the way. And I wouldn’t say that about any other Tom story except for INVISIBLE ENEMY. I had more to say but I’m already trying to forget this crap. Some of the Tom stuff is funny as when he’s disorientated from the disorientation room…which wasn’t what that room was really for but whatever. He’s pretty good in eps3 and 4. Oh, but why can a Kraal sneak up on him from behind in an empty street? I mean how?

    After ANDROID INVASION, anything would seem golden but this really is. One thing: I’m so unsure about why Sarah Jane is so popular sometimes. Other times, I feel it’s well deserved but against Romana and Leela and even Jo Grant, sometimes Sarah can be…whiny, far too girly and screamy, her women’s lib background totally forgotten at this point, her jokes unfunny, and more. Still, in this story she gets, ONCE AGAIN, three great cliffhangers. Her going blind state has Lis acting to the hilt…but not all of it is good. Tom excels here, once more being the funny, serious Doctor he always was before the last story. In the US, in the 70s and 80s a version of this story aired that had no sound effects and no incidental music and I’m sure some extra scenes. While it was a bit like watching a clunky stage play (the opening scene had the shuffling of the staged set as the insect monster moves across it and there were no thunder claps to accompany the lightning), it was interesting to see this. It did make the show even less professional in execution but whatever. It was interesting to see how the show was without the music and the sound effects. At times, it is MORE scary this way, especially during the cliffhangers where A-Sarah is menaced by a headless body in a very quiet room and B—Sarah finds the yelling brain of Morbius after finding her way from a very quiet room to the ranting maniac and C-Sarah finds her sight with a monster Morbius looming up behind her. The Sisterhood singing was more pronounced and the teleportation scenes mysterious without the sound effects. Anyway, another thing to challenge the classicness of this time of the show is how much they stole from other sources. At least this time, it is an able script…not without flaws (why wouldn’t Solon want to put the Morbius brain into the Doc’s head?). The entire thing is well put together, the jokes not over the top, the villains clearly mapped out and given depth…and the one thing about DW is that there are enemies all around, Solon, Morbius, Condo, the Sisterhood…this is just as good as DW can get in a horror mode. That said, hearing the shriek of the Mutt (the name is given in the novel as Kiva or something) is disturbing as it sounds in pain as it is killed and pitiful sounding. That said, there is some odd editing in the version on the dvd, one second Sarah is looking into the bubble hatch of the insect creature and the next she’s looking at the graveyard of spaceships (why are the Sisterhood making ships crash or are they?). One second they are both looking at the castle, the next they are heading for it in rain. I’m not sure if the longer version in the US was as jumpy in the editing. Still, there’s a lot here to like: the acting of Phillip Madoc, Tom Baker, the actor who plays Condo, and the actress who plays Maren. The Sisterhood are a bit scary, why are they so mean? Solon’s crazy and Morbius is just evil. The setting is gothic and interesting and the stage play feel can be ignored. A great pair of eps.

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