Friday, May 1, 2009

L1 - The Powerful Enemy

This episode starts out with the first ever TARDIS materialization with the materialization sound effect. Up until now, the Doctor's time machine has always been seen to arrive silently. There's your interesting fact of the day.

Anyway, the main purpose of this first half of a two-part story (the last two-part story for a decade) is to introduce the situation into which the new companion, Vicki, finds herself. Oh, and it also serves to introduce Vicki herself. Some of Vicki's scenes seem like they were lifted directly from Maureen O'Brien's audition tape as there's a lot of lines that demonstrate Vicki's compassion, her anger, her background, her opinions, her possible allergies, etc. It's not the most subtle of companion introductions, but it was something that the production had never had to do up until now, so I'll cut them some slack.

There's a scene in the TARDIS which demonstrates just why The Doctor needs a companion, and it's when The Doctor basically outlines his reasoning as to why he thinks the TARDIS has landed on himself. This happens a couple more times in the series' history (The Time Meddler and The Face of Evil spring to mind), and it's just as jarring then, too. It's kind of unfortunate that The Doctor and Ian and Barbara don't share more scenes together to try and build up more of a rapport with each other. Susan's recent absence went a long way in showing how she acted as a buffer between the strange, alien Doctor and the two school teachers. The fact that the producers of the show made Vicki not too dissimilar to Susan is probably not a coincidence.

The serial's villain, Koquillion, looks impressive, and has a cool looking mask/head, and he seems to have some sort of hold on Vicki and the only other survivor of the space crash, Bennett. But we never see Bennett and Koquillion in the same shot....hmm....


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