Monday, March 30, 2009
...in which (with apologies to Toby Hadoke) there's an escape. Specifically, at the very end of the episode. The eponymous escape (and the scenes leading up to it) is actually quite good, and it shows the TARDIS crew really working together for the first time. Everyone chimes in with a good idea on how to defeat the Dalek guard and escape from their holding cell.
As the episodes of the first season move along, I'm quickly realizing that the first TARDIS crew is really one of the best in the show's history. Everyone has a role to play, and each actor fills the bill admirably. We'll come to see it even more in the episodes to come, but Ian almost has a bigger share of the action than The Doctor himself. I can see why William Russell's agent was lobbying, at the time, for his client to be paid on par to what William Hartnell was getting.
Also, we meet the Thals properly for the first time in this episode. They're all blonde and they all wear silly tunics and pants with holes down the legs. There also seems to be only a smattering of female Thals (what is this? The Smurfs?), and the only that speaks, Dyoni, proves that she should probably stay silent instead. The exposition scenes where the Thals discuss their own history at great length with each other are a tad boring, but a necessary evil that every TV script has to endure in order to get such vital information across. Pity we couldn't have got the slide show version from the Daleks, or something.
The very last shot of the episode is of a spooky Dalek claw (actually a greased up rubber monkey arm) crawling out from under a Thal cloak. Neat shot, but what really sells the fact that the Daleks are a strange, mutated alien race is the reaction of Ian when he first opens the Dalek casing. The look on his face instantly shows more than any effects laden shot of a mutated Kaled (sorry - mutated Dal) could ever do. Why does William Russell's Ian not get more plaudits in "Best Companion" polls? I think he's brilliant.
Posted by Steven at 8:23 AM