Thursday, March 26, 2009
Now things are getting going. The nameless Old Woman frees the TARDIS crew so they can flee, and thus not bring fire to the village. Here's my hypothesis - she's a minion of the Master (most probably The Rani herself), sent there to try and stop man's development in a tie-in ploy with the Master's equally low key plot from the The King's Demons. Yup. That's it.
Anyway, the flight through the forest gives us two truly unforgettable scenes. The first is Barbara completely flipping out when she realizes that they're lost in the forest. It's an intense performance from Jacqueline Hill, and Ian's reaction towards Barbara is equally dramatic, forging an instant closer bond between the two characters. That scene also happens away from The Doctor and Susan, further hammering the point home that this is still a crew divided.
The second memorable scene is the now famous knife scene where Ian stops The Doctor from killing an injured Za. Why does The Doctor want Za dead? Because Za's injuries are preventing the TARDIS crew (or, more specifically, Susan) from leaving the scene and escaping via the TARDIS. It's staggering, and it's a testament to how far this new series would go to portray its titular character as an anti-hero. Never again in the history of the show would The Doctor be portrayed so coldly. Even during the eras of the Seventh Doctor, or in the Ninth and Tenth Doctor's eras, when those in charge of the program were trying to show that the Doctor had a darker past did they ever show The Doctor trying to murder someone in cold blood (although I suppose Eccleston came close in Dalek).
This episode shows that Doctor Who was, even as early as its' third episode, a children's program in name and time slot only.
Posted by Steven at 2:18 PM