Monday, April 27, 2009

J1 - Planet of Giants

The second season of Doctor Who starts off with an ambitious first episode that was actually recorded immediately after the Season 1 finale, Prisoners of Conciergerie. Despite the proximity to Season 1, and apart from one throwaway line about leaving the 18th century, it feels like some time has passed between that adventure and this one. Ian is wearing a sharp suit, The Doctor is wearing a cloak, and we get to see the full TARDIS set, complete with fault locator, for one of the final times in the show's history.

I will never fault the ambition an creativity of the makers of Doctor Who (let's see if I can uphold that line of thinking when The Web Planet comes up for review). To try and create a land of giant ants, earthworms, matchboxes, and cats on such a shoestring budget is brave, but, understandably, things look a little creaky in this episode some 45 years after its original broadcast.

But there's some fun to be had here. We hear Dudley Simpson's music for the first time (and certainly not the last), and his jaunty score adds a bit more tempo to the proceedings than some of the more morose musical machinations of earlier episodes. And there's even a strain of the plot that deals with the perils of harmful pesticides! Good to see we stamped that problem out then and there in 1964.


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