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THE FEATHERED SERPENT


Chase - Posted on 10 June 2009

This 12 part THAMES serial is on DVD. It stars Patrick Troughton as an evil High Priest of an ancient Mexican tribe, looking a lot like Aztecs. Toltecs are also involved and there is an arranged marriage which is wanted. The serial is properly set and looks wonderful. I've only seen four episodes so far but it is pretty good. It's from Ruth Bozewell of THE TOMORROW PEOPLE and Vic Hughes also of the Tp show, the original and the better version. It is sort of a mixture of TREASURE ISLAND and THE AZTECS from DOCTOR WHO. The High Priest does not want peaceful methods to replace the blood rituals and so arranges several murders which a blind man dreamt about and a young boy, Tozo (an almost unrecognizable Richard Willis, Adric's brother Varsh in FULL CIRCLE) witnesses. Tozo gets caught up in the intrigue and there are challenger and fights and from the four eps I saw, the outcomes are not always what one might predict.

It is 1976 and Willis is ...well...it's several years away from his quite masculine Varsh role in DW. Here he's a skinny kid, bare foot, bare legged, bare arms and shoulders and in fact, he's almost all bare. He has eye makeup on and a bandana and a pigtail! He's both smug and sympathetic in the role which so far seems a bit like Jim Hawkins in TREASURE ISLAND. And his voice hasn't changed yet!

Troughton is murderous, manipulative, and evil minded. He does a good job in this role, most of his roles so far removed from the Doctor that he barely seems like the same man! Truth is the sets are colorful and nice to look at but many movies about this have come and gone, one of them with George Maharis and Yul Brenner with Richard Basehart playing the evil High Priest who wants a heart to be sacrificed. The movie was called KINGS OF THE SUN. There was even a MACHISTE VS THE SONS OF THE SON movie I think. Same story really.

Here, it's well done with everyone having motives and pesonality and alot of political intrigue and human drama. It is a bit slow moving at times with a lot of talk and that's to set up the complicated politcal climate and the tension. Somehow one ep at a time, it works. And is a joy to look at.          

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