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     Home »  The Tom Baker Era »  THE RIBOS OPERATION 1
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    THE RIBOS OPERATION 1 Views: 566
     Sunday, May 03 2009 @ 10:36 AM EDT

    Well what’s this then? In retrospect, this episode can’t be as different from the last one if it tried and then again, some of the humor is the same. I’m not sure I like the Doctor having to be stuck going on a mission, yet somehow…once in awhile it really really works and the show sometimes needs a purpose for the Doctor, rather than his aimless wandering as Ian Chesterson once put it. DW’s strength is the aimless landings and purposeless freedom but it is also its greatest weakness as well. Here, the Doctor is sent on a mission to find the key to time and it’s worth noting that the Doctor and Tom’s basic desire to not have a companion shows through here. I’m SO GLAD Graham Williams could not get Lis Sladen as Sarah or Louise Jameson as Leela to return—that would have been so bad for the show in so many ways. DW moves on and Williams created one of the best companions ever.

    Romana starts out as snobby…and I love it. Her interplay with Tom is great, if a bit stiff at first. I love how her book learning and her conceited manner gets under the Doctor’s skin much as he sometimes did to Leela. Romana can’t be more different from Leela if she tried. Romana is more intelligent, tells the Doctor what to do, and doesn’t want to kill any opposition she meets. She’s truly a new type of companion…for a bit. That said, she ends up the episode trapped under a door, menaced by a rather stiff silly looking monster pet guard dog thing, and yelling, “Doctor ! Doctor, I’m over here! Doctor, do something!” Geeze. The bit with her name and the Doctor’s abbreviation of it as well as his ground rules for survival is hilarious.

    I don’t care much for any of the guest characters but it to the credit of the excellent guest stars that they make them work. In ep1 at least they’re not funny, not menacing but this ep is just setting it all up. The actor playing the Graff Vynda K sometimes overdoes it and makes me cringe as he shouts and points. But he’s not terrible IMO.

    I like the sets and the snow looks okay. The costumes are brilliant.

    One thing that irritates me, although I really like this story, is…why didn’t they just set it in a historical period and have done with it. The planet reminds me of what Medevil Russia might have been like and with a lot of tweaking, I’m sure this could have been set on Earth in Russia or somewhere near there instead of yet another alien planet. The series hasn’t had a proper “past” story for a few seasons really (HORROR OF FANG ROCK? was set in the past and before that MASQUE and both had to have slobbering monster types). That said, this story just looks historical but with all the talk of space ships and other planets going on, it’s really not. And one can do, the DW universe can do without the silly Shrevendale or whatever it was called. It looks awful and moves awkwardly. Minus the monster and the outer space politics this story could have easily shifted into a historical somehow.

    Okay another good episode…

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     Sunday, May 03 2009 @ 03:27 PM EDT
    This episode has two absolutely wonderful lines that I remember to this day.

    The first is the hidden meaning threat that the Whit Guardian gives the Doctor if he doesn't embark on this mission. His reply was simple yet ominous:

    Doctor: "And if I don't"

    White Guardian: "Nothing (pause) ever..."

    The implications are there but you don't hear them.
    The other line I love from this story is when they they to decide on a short version for Romanadvoratrunlundar (Romona's full name)

    The Doctor: ...your name. Too Long. Sounds liike a Siamese railway station. I'll call you Romana.

    Romana: I dont like Romana.

    Doctor: It's either that of Fred.

    Romana: (brief pause) I prefer Fred.

    A light moment for a new companion.


    Note: I'm recalling these from memory so I may not have them down correctly because memory can be a faulty vehicle to ride.


    "Make your last move, Doctor. Make your LAST move." The Celestial Toymaker to the Doctor in "The Celestial Toymaker: The Final Test"
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     Sunday, May 03 2009 @ 08:32 PM EDT
    BTW in ep1, the Doc and Romana seem to leave the TARDIS doors wide open. Then the scene shifts to the Doctor being strung up in a net and we either see the side of the Tardis and the doors are still open on the other side or they are closed. This seems to happen a lot.

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     Sunday, May 03 2009 @ 08:34 PM EDT
    Thanks for responding. In truth, that White Guardian scene is good and funny and the line is a scary threat, however, he seems more like the Black Guardian, however the makers of the show claim they wanted him to be the White Guardian...still, why wouldn't he just tell the Doc if he didn't go on this mission...only the universe would suffer and only he could do it. That would have gotten him to do it.

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