| Saturday, May 02 2009 @ 06:30 PM EDT
|THE INVASION OF TIME 5-6
So episode five sees the demise of some of the Outsiders or Outlers. Some say that the humor in this story overshadows all else but I see the threat of the Sontarans as a real one and a scary one. True, in these days the tension might be amped up a bit more but as I seem to recall the makers of DW had an edict to tone down the violence…still, as ever, death remains a part of DW as it does in almost every story. I for once love the humor in this story and again, there’s more in these six episodes than in some entire seasons of the show’s past including Tom Baker seasons past.
One thing: did the show use the word “bathroom” to mean a pool room. Seen in the US bathroom means something very different, which would be LOO in England. Still, it was nice to think the TARDIS had a bathroom for…anyway, Rodan proves her merit by working on the TARDIS, and under hypnosis works on the Demat Gun. I love the chase through Gallifrey and I also love the chase through the TARDIS, both being one of those things that they would NEVER do today IMO. I also love that the TARDIS looks like other things. I find the interiors of stories such CASTROVALVA and others dull and static but here we have huge open spaces, large rooms that shouldn’t even be part of a time machine but are. Just like the exterior of the Police Box …it’s silly and funny and the interior is just as good in this. Almost all of the gags work for me: the let’s stop and rest bit, the sundial not working bit, the giant Venus fly trap, the Doctor popping out at Leela in unknown places, the continuous sameness of one room, the “I know this TARDIS like I know the back of my hand”, “It could do with a lick of paint”, Rodan’s working on the console, Leela’s hunting trick on the Sontaran, all of it. One thing that doesn’t seem to work is the Sontaran not finding Andred in the stall in the bathroom/sickbay when he’s right there.
And Borusa just works here, possibly the only time he really works. “How undignified,” he says and that he can run after centuries of not doing so. And his personal forceshield. I wasn’t watching that closely but why didn’t he use it when the Doctor threatened to shoot him? Also: how did the Doctor get the gun that a few moments before, Borusa was threatening him with? And I love how Leela’s disappointed when she can’t kill Kelner, how she longs to kill Borusa at one moment, and how she is fed up with the déjà vu room. Louise just excels and it’s a shame she has to go as this is her last story. Her touching of Tom’s arm at certain points and her eye exchanges with Andred make it all seem to work even if its terribly understated.
Not sure what the Sontarans are playing at at one point. I guess they just retreat in the end thanks to the stalemate. All in all, a good story with some flaws and minor quibbles in logic and things that don’t make sense like all DW stories and indeed, almost all sci fi, fantasy, and horror movies and tv shows. A very, very entertaining time to be had with this story.
Another note is that at this time in the show, they went long stretches without reusing old enemies and it makes it work when they DO finally use old aliens or enemies. This would soon vanish and soon we’d have the Master again and again and again, the Daleks once a year, the Cybermen once or so a year, the Silurians, the Sea Devils, the Black and White Guardians, a Daemon like monster, Davros every so often, and the Rani at least twice and later the Sontarans again with the Second Doctor and Jamie, Glitz and Gallifrey. This diluted the series. Sure, I love when the old enemies return and old companions but do it so often and almost every story just makes it …worse somehow. Even Tom’s seven year stint only saw him face the Daleks twice, Davros twice, the Master three times, and the Sontarans twice, and the Cybermen once. But between all of those meetings there were dozens of other stories. That made it all the more fun when the oldies returned. By bringing old stuff back ALL the time, the series seemed to go straight downhill…more on this later.
INVASION OF TIME may not have invaded time but it did entertain.