Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Well, we find out what's happening to the TARDIS at the beginning of this episode - it's being dragged across the planet's surface by the giants ants (who we now know are called the Zarbi). For a bunch of giant ants whose only immediately apparent skill is being highly fluent in Radiophonics, their power is quite commendable.
We also meet a third species on this planet (after the Zarbi and that shooty armadillo) in the guise of the Menoptra. The Menoptra are obviously based on moths or butterflies, and are at war with the Zarbi. They also possess some truly alien technology, as observed by their strange communicator device that they use to try and contact their fellow moth people friends. They also possess some annoying speech patterns, which makes scenes with them seem long and difficult to follow. I'd almost rather listen to the Radiophonics that the Zarbi constantly spout. When the TARDIS was dragged off course to Vortis, its telepathic circuits were obviously damaged during the trip.
The visuals are still pretty impressive, though. There's one or two glass shots that go even further in emphasizing the size and scale of Vortis. But it's the sheer alien nature of everything in this episode that is quite alarming. Most alien planets that are shown on Doctor Who have at least some sort of human or human-like aspects to it that an average viewer can latch on to as something familiar. Here, there's nothing. There are two factions of aliens and we don't necessarily know which side is good and which is bad because they are both unfamiliar to us, and they both have attempted to harm and/or kill one or all of the TARDIS crew.
At the very end of the episode, The Doctor is moved into position to speak with, via an opaque tube that descends from the ceiling, yet another alien force who speaks with a very calm yet eerie voice. This all just gets weirder and weirder...
Posted by Steven at 9:05 AM