Sunday, April 12, 2009

E3 - The Screaming Jungle

I complained about the lack of character and story development that had occurred in The Velvet Web in the last entry. I should have stressed the positive, though, and it is this : if the story isn't interesting enough to warrant any development, then why waste time trying?

And the story in The Screaming Jungle is just one of those stories. After picking up some stragglers from the previous episode (namely Altos and Sabetha), the script then contrives to not give anything for these two, or Susan, to do, content instead to have Ian and Barbara to slip past a couple of unconvincing booby traps and find the second key. There's another old actor in it who's crap (Edmund Warwick, the episode's only other guest star), and Ian and Barbara manage to find the key without too much effort, threatened only what appears to be the Krynoid's older brother. If plants only had brothers.

Well, at least half the keys have been found now, right? And with three different (and cheap) settings, the story is at least moving along at a reasonable enough pace. But now it's snowing - what small budget pitfalls and stock footage will try and halt our non-vacationing heroes next episode?


James said...

The first fully Doctorless episode moves along fairly well (well enough that I didn’t even notice he wasn't there until I came to write this). The plot is simple and not a lot happens to be honest. I like the idea that nature can be speeded up and slowed down at will but we are never actually told how this happens or what is really going on in the lab. I suppose that a longer story couldn't have been sustained on this basis but I was still left wondering what exactly had been developed in the lab when the monster attacks and Ian and Barbara run away. Shame but the next episode looks set to be better.

Rog said...

I get the feeling you really don't like The Keys of Marinus, Steven! I wonder why?

Anyway, I wasn't bothered by the Doctor's absence in this story, which is rather interesting. In fact, I'm not generally bothered by Hartnell's absences (like in The Dalek Invasion of Earth or The Time Meddler), but take Troughton out of a story for one episode and it becomes a real drag (The Seeds of Death).

This episode isn't bad, but it's nothing special, either. I do wish Sabetha had more screen time for uh...personal reasons.

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