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     Home »  The Tom Baker Era »  FACE OF EVIL 3-4; ROBOTS OF DEATH 1-2
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    FACE OF EVIL 3-4; ROBOTS OF DEATH 1-2 Views: 711
     Thursday, April 02 2009 @ 07:54 PM EDT
    FACE OF EVIL 3-4
    The action continues and Tom Baker can do no wrong in this. Leela’s introduction makes her seem as if she’s been a companion forever and by ep 2 she’s already a full fledged companion…then again by ep3 or 4 so is Tomas. The combination of moving into the Doctor’s mountain face, the older spaceship, and Xoananon’s computer room is just all so well done…as is the ending. The climax just works well and almost no one seemed safe…except maybe the Doctor and Leela but it’s nice to have the Doctor a force of nature here but also…someone who can make a mistake and cause the entire plot. This is nicely resolved and the show can do no worse than this or better at this time…it’s just a great story and with lots of movement. The cliffhanger with the Doctor’s voice, mixed with the other voices of Xoananon is just so weird and fits the story well. I noticed that Tom never really looked Louise in the eye, this could be more to do with his hatred of the character of Leela than anything else but it couldn’t have been easy for the actress if he took it out on her. I recall at the time in interviews she was most generous to him, telling how he would give to charity and never tell anyone about it. Never bragging. But really. He must have been awfully mean to her and in recent years he’s told how much of a great actress Louise is/was. This story is just very watch-able and a does the flexible format of DW justice…a sword and science/sorcery story with all the prerequisite deaths…and as strange as it all is, it all makes a weird kind of sense.

    I must confess for years, this classic eluded me as to why it was so. I just rewatched it and have to say that it deserves it. The dialog, the characters, the costumes, the ideas, the background of the world and the characters, the guest stars, and most of the acting are just top notch. The sense of being cut off in a desert and the sense of tension when a murder or more occur is just palpable. The build up is just so good, it’s amazing. Later, the explanations…and if you look too closely at things…it all just doesn’t make much sense but for these two episodes and well into the third and fourth, this is just very, very enjoyable. Thinking of the show from the beginning to now, this could easily be the first murder mystery aside from maybe THE RESCUE…but this is just so well done. Tom Baker and Louise Jamieson, possibly despite Tom’s reservations and bad behavior over having a savage as a companion, imbibe the characters’ relationship so well, milking the savage meets intellect for all it’s worth and it really really works. For once, I feel the companion is just as watchable as the Doctor and as interesting, even if she is a Tarzan/Sheena rip off but more interesting due to her background, which is not forgotten. On first viewing, I really didn’t know who the killer was…and the robot designs are just amazingly creepy, if not scary. But if one were trapped on a sand miner with them…they would be scary. Of course it’s really MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS but a good version. The effects of the miner are just okay and this show is not about effects or great model work…other shows far surpass this one and even shows from the 1960s were better but almost none of them had a story that was quite like this one or FACE OF EVIL…very well done. And beyond the excellent first episodes of both stories come better 2nd, 3rd, and 4th episodes although the fourth of this one just barely stays together by the very end. Wouldn’t Toos, Uvanov, and D86 be great companions for tension aboard the TARDIS? Anyway well worth the classic status…

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     Friday, April 03 2009 @ 01:42 PM EDT
    On "Robots of Death"...

    To me it's more like "And then there were None" instead of "Murder on the Orient Express". People are being "knocked off" one by one while the unbelieving crew thinks that they (the Doctor and Leela) are the ones responsible for the deaths.

    The setting of the sandminer gives a feeling of claustophobia to add to the tension - and the robots are beautiful in look but belie a deadly threat.

    The extravagant make-up and clothing (including headwear) show us signs of a society of decadence and pleasure - and when the deaths begin, it shatters the safety that the miners feel, to add even more tension to the story.

    Is it no wonder that this is one of my favorites.

    "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, April 05 2009 @ 09:00 AM EDT
    yes AND THEN THERE WERE NONE. What a great movie that was or at least it was when I last watched it

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