Monday, April 13, 2009

E4 - The Snows of Terror

Well, things are picking up a bit after two or three pretty uninspiring episodes. This is mostly because there's a hint of a second storyline going on in Episode 4 (Susan and Sabetha trapped in the ice cave), as well as the attempted rape(!) of Barbara by the hunter Vasor while Ian ventures in the cold wilderness to find Altos and rub the young Marinusian's naked thighs. (Seriously, why isn't Altos wearing pants in this story?)

The scene in the ice cave, where our heroes brave a chasm, melting ice, and reanimated knights to get their hands on Key of Marinus #3, is actually quite good, despite the obvious budgetary shortfall, and more than a little bit similar to a scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. It's quite clear that Steven Spielberg and George Lucas were early Hartnell fans.

That attempted rape sequence in Vasor's cabin is worth mentioning again. Of course, it's not graphic, but the fact that it's even implied is staggering. The subject of rape would go on to appear twice more in Verity Lambert's era, and would later be indirectly referenced by Peter Wyngarde's appearance in Planet of Fire in 1984. I've said it before (probably a few times now), but early Who is surprising me with how daring it is in pushing boundaries, and I'm enjoying and appreciating the first few stories a lot more as a result.


Bookbloggin' Brian said...

The attempted rape scene is a bit harrowing, especially for family tea time.

Anonymous said...

I was so shocked by it I had to type "Barbara Attempted Rape Keys Of Marinus" into google to find out what others thought of this quite shocking scene, and in doing so found this blog which I am enjoying thourghly!.
I myself have recently gathered up every episode of Doctor Who from An Unearthly Child to Planet Of The Dead(including Shada, the TVM and all of the recons) on one Hard Disk that is connected to my Tv. And now have started rewatching them all at the pace of one episode a day. Now after each episode I will read the blog entry for each one!

James said...

Now that was more like it. The story nicely slotted into the timeslot without feeling rushed despite having a lot of different stories going on at the same time. I would only stress your comments on the attempted rape scene. I can't imagine Doctor Who these days even suggesting such a thing. I have always had the view that television in the 1960's was much less risque than today but from rewatching these I might have to reassess that idea.

Rog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rog said...

A very exciting episode, though by the end of it I was starting to miss the Doctor. For those of you concerned about the rape scene, let's remember that Doctor Who would go on to feature human sacrifice (The Aztecs), debauchery (The Romans) and an implied actual rape (The Time Meddler) in the next year or so. Like it or not, Doctor Who was pushing the boundaries of acceptable television long before Hinchcliffe and Holmes.

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