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     Home »  The Tom Baker Era »  Underworld ep 1-2
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    Underworld ep 1-2 Views: 670
     Sunday, April 26 2009 @ 02:44 PM EDT
    I have to confess to liking this story, especially ep1 and 2, moreso 1. If you look past the wonky science--its really bad wonky science too---and look past the relation to the much more adventurous Jason and the Argonauts story (the Ray Harryhausen is just FANTASTIC) this is quite a pleasant fantasy.

    One thing: is the TARDIS indesructible or not? It is always said to be unless it's in situations such as the nebula at the beginning. If it is indestructible, then tension is made less but whatever, it's a cool time space machine as any show can ever get (of course I also liked the NEW Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy comfortable spaceship)...

    One thing people always complain about is the poor CSO and certainly in ep2 there is some poor CSO but if you look past that...surely the adventure is not that bad and certainly not as bad as ANDROID INVASION and INVISIBLE ENEMY. And at times, the CSO is not that bad: I give the show credit for trying something different and something that might give the sets some scope and for a few bits, it really does work if you ignore some stuff.

    You have Leela being pacified which leads to a nice scene of Leela feeling the others are making fun of her; you have the Doctor not acting smug for once when he's thought of as a god; you have the link to the Time Lords, which is great; the ship going on and on is a scary notion, the regenerating people almost unaware of why they are going on and at one point Jackson says they don't know why they are going on or why they were launched but obviously they do: to find the P7E.

    The fantasy of a planet being formed around a spaceship is a cool one, even if, as stated befor,e the science makes it impossible to really happen. I don't think gravity works that way but whatever, it's a cool idea for a fantasy and a cool visual. I'm also not sure how the Doctor goes outside in fumigating caves with just his scarf over his mouth, waving the rest of it around and lives or resists. "Whatever blows can be sucked," he says!

    Another thing: this is an early example of putting in young man, half of them good looking enough to be...well, Brad Pitt, half of them half naked (Well, they did do it with Leela so why not with men and come to think of it her tribe had one or two young men, who were half naked including Tomas). This will becomes a trend by the beginning of Colin's time with the show and only just phase out in the last season...only to be replaced in the 2005 show with hunks all over the place. This isn't a critcism, just a noting or observation. I'm not complaining. Again.

    Anyway UNDERWORLD sets up a good situation for action and adventure, and yes there are things that don't make sense and stuff, some over the top minor guest stars (the father dude for one), some moribity (did almost a whole family have to die in the sky fall?--still this is DW where death is common), some production problems (Leela says very loudly, 'Oh for a weapon!" when three guards are standing not very far from where she and the Doctor are hiding)....

    ... but there's some good ideas going on, some good set design (especially in the spaceship which really looks old old old), and some great interplay AGAIN with the Doctor and Leela, Leela and everybody, the Doctor and everybody...

    All in all, these first two eps are not that bad and not as bad as the reputation it has. IMO of course.

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