Delta and the Bannermen

Chase - Posted on 05 August 2009



Okay I have to confess I'm partial to this story. Yeah it has faults: I mean just what ARE the men of the Chimeron race? They have no mouths yet talk, they're green and unattractive as far as I can see and yet...honestly from this episode (and I'm not alone, see and check out ABOUT TIME 6 and fan fic and fan articles) I'd say that Delta was ...up to something just as nasty as the Bannermen to insure her race was continuing...maybe the females use males as drones to have children, to protect them, and then they eat them or something...i don't know, none of that is proved's very creepy, Delta and Billy (at a second's notice she falls in love with him or rather he with her). Perhaps somehow she's controlling him, phermones and smells and body chemistry and all that. I mean he might be gay...he hasn't taken notice of Ray at all. Ray. Oh dear. Thankfully she didn't become a companion. She's okay for this one adventure though and is tolerable. Oh and while we're on Ray (!) just WHAT is it that the Doctor says to her when saying one of his stupid mixed up proverbs, "There's many a cup between a tip and a lap, Ray..."  WHAT?

The Doctor puts a fruit to his ear when a boy hands it to him to eat. That's odd. McCoy, to be honest, does some really annoying things that begin here. He rolls his Rs again, uses more proverb mixtures again---in PARADISE he didn't do it at all. He mumbles. For Peter's Sake, Man, ENUNCIATE! Speak loudly and clearly you dolt! I'ts a very annoying habit of his in almost all the remaining stories. I need subtitles but unfortunately a great bulk of his first two seasons are not out on DVD (gee, I wonder why). He also races through lines so fast, I can hardly hear him.

Some fans hate this story but like the future stuff that...seems to borrow from it. There's a lot to this story though and alot of stuff we'll see more of in future. Although both songs of Glenn Miller's are in REVELATION OF THE DALEKS that are also in THE EMPTY CHILD and THE DOCTOR DANCES, it is here that mood pieces and period songs are used to create a past in the...uhm, past. And finally we are in the past again...1959. We shall see more of his in THE EMPTY CHILD and THE DOCTOR DANCES and oh, the Doctor dances here and in both the novel and tv story HUMAN NATURE, where there's a great big dance, too. And lest I forget, the bus (PLANET OF THE DrEAD) tour hitting the satellite reminds me a bit of VOYAGE OF THE DAMNED...only it has the good sense in DELTA not to go on for 90 more minutes and have its antagonist come on board just before disaster hits the "bus" for good.

Delta, the baby, the camp Shangrela or however you spell that crap, the Bannermen, the bus tour aliens, the bounty hunter, even Mel...are all well placed if not totally explained yet if ever. It makes for an entertaining ep however did we really need Weismuller and Hawk? For? I also like a double cliffhanger, it's been a long time since we had one that was this effective and moody and the bounty hunter is a calm kind of killer. I like that, for once we get that type of killer rather than a shouting raving ranting lunatic (like some of my posts?!). There is an awful lot going on in this story and this might be the first three parters in a long long time (EDGE OF DESTRUCTION?). All in all, an improvement and the best ep since...CAVES OF ANDROZANI part four.  Still, if you were a non fan watching this (or PARADISE before it, I can see you scratching your head wonderning what was going on, wondering why anyone cared about it, and thinking it was all a bit silly at times, retarded at others and just for hardcore fans...who might just be crazy to want to watch this!).        


I got the feeling that this is what the series should always be like: a mad cap chase romp across landscapes with motorbikes, gun battles, serious deaths, explosions, bees, and strange but kind and even relate-able people. The Doctor is splendid in this and does his best. He has a very Doctor ish scene in ep2 where he tells Gavrok off after his white flag is shot at and he feels he did go a bit too far...I wondered why Gavrok let him go...and even let him take Mel and Burton with him. I like Burton but I found myself understanding only half of what he said. In the scene where the Doc tries to convince him of what is going on and Ray is behind him, Ray and Burton both need subtitles for me to understand them. I mean exactly what language were they speaking?

Even though this is on video, it seems to have the feel of film: we see the moon THE MOON in one shot and not stock footage overhead as Hawk and Weissmuller camp out in a tent.

The runaround makes perfect sense for once as do the Doctor's traps for Gavrok. And as for Gavrok's trap around the TARDIS, why hasn't a villain done this before or maybe they have and I've forgotten. And it serves him right to get blasted by his own trap.

The Mel bus scene: perfectly played by Bonnie and Henderson and he even gets to kick her down! And again, Burton proves his worth, but for a laugh watch him in ep1 as Ray leaves the party and the Doctor follows, passing Delta as she also leaves. In the right hand of the screen what is he doing? He looks like he's checking his underarms or maybe trying to use his right arm pit to make a farting sound! Great cliffhanger by the way and the second cliffhanger is puzzling and odd as the Doc, Mel and Burton turn to face a told off and angry Gavrok. Is HE one of the Bannermen? He seems...different alien-wise. The Bannermen stick out their tonges at one point and seem very reptile alien but then seem just like thugs.

The alien bits (Delta, her baby, the change of Billy) don't take up that much time and the show is all the more better for it, possibly because it is one ep less. Billy's transformation is not, as  the past would have done, done for horror or WOW effect (think SEEDS OF DOOM or ARK IN SPACE) but for a part of the story that deals with romance and love. There's not enough of that in DW up to this point. oh there have been couples and some hint of romance and love and even sex but in this, it seems different. Still, it might be that Delta is manipulating Billy in a way that even she doesn't know, bodily. It's too disturbing to think that way and certainly the ending is one of the happiest DW endings ever unless you think that way. 

Mel falls asleep. After seeing an alien baby hatch and screaming her head off. OKay that's maybe why some fans see her as austistic. And while I don't really fully buy that (she does seem to have the ability to communicate well with and charm others with skillful rapport), there's a lot of evidence for that: she's great with computers, she focuses on one thing (swimming in PARADISE) and sticks to it, despite a lot of death going on around her, she sees things in black and white, and ...that's about it that I can think of. It's a shame her time isn't longer in DW but I certainly, at the time, didn't like her at all except in DELTA. But from Delta and maybe in this reevaluation I can see some merit in her.

Oh yeah one more thing: the bee keeper, Gorowyn or whatever his name is. Gosh, if he's not a Time Lord, he's taking everything in his stride (kind of like the cops in BLACK ORCHID, only more so). He sees an alien little girl and barely reacts in shock but more like...he's expected it to happen. He and the Doc seem very chummy very quickly and he takes in strangers very fast without getting an explanation it seems.

All in all, I'd give this story probably a very high rating, maybe 8 or 9 out of 10. Frankly, I"m not sure why totally. It's not very funny despite a high number of comedy characters and actors. It's fast paced, moves from scene to scene quickly and presents a number of odd things and characters so maybe that's why. Also it's a breath of fresh air compared to the stories around it and to me is easily the best story of this season.

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