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THE VISITATION


Chase - Posted on 30 June 2009

1

 

the opening gives us a nice family, funny, personable and all older looking than  the script tells us they are but never mind they are nice and it is clearly the past. Despite the non commital on screen scene, they are all killed! That makes the threat seem very dangerous and horrific and indeed, blankets the rest of the story!

The sets are brilliant, the locations great and grand, the outdoor feeling giving the story a great mood and atmosphere. Eric Saward, I'm not his biggest fan but here he writes a good story and he's a better writer than script editor. The TARDIS scenes give us some nice interplay between the four but again Adric is presented as the butt of things, everyone harping on his mistakes and he even trips and sprains his ankle, drops his homing device, and well, he's still adorable to me! :) Here, it's pretty funny ("And I try so hard") and "Poor old Adric, always in trouble."  And to prove he is  a common teen, he tells the Doctor he's not convinced Tegan likes him...proving that he wants her to.

Tegan for her part...and there's some nice continuity with KINDA a link that's not always present in the past seven or so seasons...remains a bit annoying but in this she's sort of...well, charming. "Nyssa, I know I haven't always been the best of companions but I'll miss you, all of you."  And her tirade in the console room, is, for once, very very funny ("A broken clock keeps better time than you do, at least it's accurate twice a day"). The Doctor's reaction is to forget it all but flanked by the silent stares of Adric and Nyssa he pursues her outside. Davison is correct, however, in that Tegan just doesn't want to be here and doesn't want to look at things and isn't really very useful to be honest.

Richard Mace is a brilliant character, apparentely nicked form Saward's own past writings. He's yet another psuedo companion and as great as he is...do we really need FOUR companions? Is JNT and Saward's distrust in Davison so great that they have to flank him with four more interesting companions (more interesting then he) ?  To be honest, HE seems sort of put out by things, especially at times Adric. Yet he asks for his help, asks for him to explore the loft...

The line of Davison's in answer to Nyssa's line, "I hope they have arms to twist" is "I'll find something."  It's inadvertently funny...

A nice beginning. The fight scene is horrible except for the Doctor flipping one man. The trio of companions cannot really fight worth anything and the trip of the man over Adric trick falls flat. There's a nice scene where the Doc points one way and his companions head that way and then he thinks about what he's just done, whirls around hesitating and then flees after them.

The cliffhanger is nice and tense...to be resolved rather quickly next time but for now, this story is a tradiational DW story...a nice family gets murdered by a strange force that seems supernatural or alien....and the Doc and friends arrive, get separated from the TARDIS if not each other and meet a historical man who takes them to another historical man's house...and then something mysterious is seen...and heard...

Adric's healing ability is shown again.

A good start...             

2-3

 

This story is pretty good. It keeps attention going and is tradiational but lively. I love Adric's "Why is he never around when you need him!?" I also like the Pod set even though it doesn't match the exterior and hardly looks like it's been buried that deep and has two doors that are not buried but only one is seen from the outside! Still, Davison does a good job here and yet...he's aggravated by almost everyone, including Nyssa! Adric proves his bravery YET again but saving Richard Mace and by being very worried about Tegan, whom he's left in the house. A word about Tegan: Davison says she never really wants to be there and always wants to go home or sulkts about something. In many ways this is very true and tiresome in an adventure series, however, if it were you, realistically, would you want to go through some of the things she did? I mean realistically she'd want to just get home and  on with her job and her life. It doesn't make for a great adventurer charcater but...

The Doctor for some reason thinks the Miller can help him? Why? It doens't make sense. He should have just gone to the TARDIS to help Nyssa build the machine that will destroy the android. We get two good cliffhangers here, one with the Doc about to get his head chopped off again as in MASQUE OF MANDRAGORA and FOUR TO DOOMSDAY...and the other with the Doc pleading to Tegan, "I know you never listen to a thing I say..." as she's about to open a cage with plague infested rats.

The Terileptils make an interesting addition to the races in DW, liking both art and beauty AND war. I'm not too sure about the masks though. The body looks like an alien and the entire thing resembles a kind of fish but in some shots it looks magnificent and in others, it looks like a bad mask with holes for the eyes to see out of. It moves like an alien and the face has parts that move. Not sure about this new company making the monsters.

Their plan is digusting: kill humans using the plague so they can live here and thrive. They also want to use the Tardis.  And they destroy the sonic screwdriver, which seems to be the one from FURY FROM THE DEEP, however it underwent many many changes in fact and even the entire thing looks different from the pen like thing it was. In fact, it seemed the Doc changed it from the pen that Hartnell used. Thi sis foreshadowing Adric's death ("I feel like you've just killed an old friend). Oh and Adric gets captured saving Richard Mace, knocked out, gets away, claims to be stronger than Tegan (is he? On the dvd commentary, Janet claims Matthew or rather Adric wasn't butch enough and Matthew claims he didn't want to show her up!, all in good fun, at least here, for Fielding is most cruel on the commentaries about Matthew in WARRIORS OF THE DEEP), and helps Nyssa  small bit and then captured by the villagers. I still love him to pieces though and he looks good in this story. Later, he gets to fly the TARDIS, probably better than the Doctor.

Anyway two more good episodes that get the job done. I still think both Sutton and Fielding are terrible actresses. They are just not very natural and don't really come across sincere to me.        

4

 

A fair ending. I like the way Nyssa is characterized as not gloating over the death of the android. I like how Adric is used, however, he's still the one making ALL the mistakes, such as in the end battle, he stumbles and alerts, accidentally, the aliens to the group being there. Tegan and Nyssa both come off better in this episode. The Doctor doesn't.

The Doctor's unnecessasily mean to both Tegan and Adric. He doesn't explain thing to either of them despite them both showing curiousity, he has snap comments for Adric and Tegan, he almost yells at Tegan outright in a temper outburst, and he is'nt at all grateful that Adric flies the Tardis to free him from what is esstentially a prison...in a room with glass windows that the Doctor can't get out of. Tegan tells Adric she's pleased to see him and from here the pair are actually quite friendly to each other, a friendship which I'm sure will cement itself in hundreds of episodes later from now, right?

Anyway Davison's Doctor comes off badly here in more ways than one. He's sarcastic, mean spirited, has'n't time for Adric, nor does he treat Tegan like  a friend at all (but I DO love his line to Tegan's, "Groggy, sore and bad tempered."  To that assesment of how she feels, he comments, "Oaah, almost your old self."  Richard Mace does a bit here and the five pretty much polish off the Terileptils, as in KILL THEM! Not that the things didn't deserve it for what they were about to do.

The whole fire ending is a good one. In the TARDIS scenes, at the end, Davison gives more nasty remarks to Adric's curious nature and sarcastic comments. The scene of Adric flying the TARDIS with Nyssa giving him confidence boosting is very, very good. I wish that they had put in the cross your fingers bit from FULL CIRCLE here. It's funny Adric knows the Doc so well that he bangs the console to get it going.

All in all a good story if a bit weak in the last episode but still head and shoulders above all else that follows for the most part.   

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