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     Home »  The Tom Baker Era »  HORROR OF FANG ROCK 2-4
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    HORROR OF FANG ROCK 2-4 Views: 497
     Sunday, April 12 2009 @ 01:16 AM EDT
    Well, the suspense builds and lo and behold, everyone dies. It seems to say something about greed and worry as almost everyone, almost but not quite, has something akin to greed about them, even poor Vince, who didn’t really deserve to die. I used to find Leela and the Doctor’s attitude to Adelaide quite hard to bear, they were terribly rude and bullying to her; ignoring her questions, blocking her from the light house top room; smacking her (Leela smacks her, not the Doctor), and generally not being patient with her. Yeah, she could be annoying and one tends to feel some sympathy toward Leela having to put up with her whimpering at one point (“Enough!”) but for the two leads to carry on like this in a show about morality…the Doctor…Tom was having a hard time on this set, perhaps with the script. I’m not sure why. It seems okay to me, however, scenes such as the talk between the Doctor, Palmerdale, Skinsale, and Adelaide could have been boring but Tom’s angst, I guess you can call it, makes it lively…he’s not really looking at them. No other actor would do it that way, Tom looks at though he’s bored and the irony of that, IMO is that while he is projecting boredom, his very reasoning of doing it that way, it makes it more interesting! I also thought that Tom’s or rather the Doctor’s tossing of the diamonds away after looking at Skinsale was deliberate and that he smiled when doing so, almost as if he knew Skinsale would die trying to go after the diamonds. It didn’t appear that way to me from the DVD. Leela has some inspired savage stuff going on and she and Tom, despite some tension on set (maybe not?), have some great interplay and character stuff going. I also love the quiet cliffhanger to ep3---“Leela, I’ve made a terrible mistake—I thought I locked the creature out, instead, I’ve locked it in---with us,” given with such conviction by Tom that one can almost believe the entire thing. The last sequence was also nice and slightly, dare I say it, poetic. Again, the effects…well, they were adequate. I’m never quite sure about pitting the Doctor against large space fleets and seeing him win every time…by sheer luck and coincidence and possibly by chatting but there you have it. The entire story is laced with tension and one feels that at any minute, anyone (even if we realize seconds later, not the Doc or Leela) could be killed. There didn’t seem to be a way for them to defend themselves. The other thing is: and maybe Tom objected to this part of the script: the Doctor seemed to realize what was going on and did nothing to stop the deaths or maybe he couldn’t do anything. Then he says he didn’t realize what it was but he makes assumptions about the monster after all, much of it correct…but still does nothing. And what’s that about Time Lords being able to shape shift? It seems like the Doc could have done more to stop the deaths…but what? There is a genuine feel of mounting terror and helplessness. Which pretty much pays off…and even the flimsy Rutan monster in visible alien form, can’t take that way. Anyway, not a bad story at all. That comes next.

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