Tuesday, May 19, 2009

S2 - The Meddling Monk

Given the new and welcome emphasis on The Doctor's solo exploits that were established in the previous episode, the story kind of grinds to a halt in Episode Two as William Hartnell was on holiday, and, thus, so too was his character, locked in a prison cell for the entire duration (supposedly).

We are introduced to the story's other antagonists, a band of Vikings who aren't actually that good at pillaging, but...well, let's just say that they are responsible for one of the most shocking scenes in Doctor Who history when they storm the village containing only an unsuspecting Edith at the time. When Edith's husband, Wulnoth, returns, he finds his wife in a state of shock and has bruises on her face. It is quite apparent that she has been raped, a stunningly bold admission on a children's show. The deed is never mentioned, but Wulnoth's reaction says it all. The scene lends a superb amount of gravitas to the episode, and to the story as a whole.

This is jumping ahead a bit, but you will notice that the next scene in Episode Three that The Doctor has with Edith, the implication of the rape is nowhere to be seen, almost as if The Doctor is completely unaware of it. It leads me to think - was this deliberate on the part of the writers? Hartnell was not around for the recording of this episode, so they could more easily insert the reference to rape into the script without Hartnell making a stink about it.

Or maybe that's the conspiracy theorist in me speaking.


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