Monday, May 25, 2009

U2 - Small Prophet, Quick Return

What a shame that writer Donald Cotton wasn't allowed to use all of his preferred episode titles, such as "Deus ex Machina" and "Is There a Doctor in the Horse?". Fortunately, the title for this installment was kept, despite everyone's best intentions to strike it from the record. It's mildly amusing, just like the episode itself.

The funniest thing about this episode is Barrie Ingham as Paris. I literally laughed out loud during several of his scenes. At least, unlike certain scenes in The Web Planet, I was meant to laugh. Paris is a hoot - such a coward, and a bumbling one at that, and so "English" that it really does fly in the face of any attempt to do an accurate historical reenactment like the ones done in the previous two seasons.

But this isn't your standard historical. First, the events that we see happening are more based on myth rather than fact, so it's easy for the producers to play fast and loose with established historical continuity. Mostly, though, it's different in the fact that all three TARDIS crew members get themselves full on involved in the story, as opposed to past historicals where everyone is encouraged to stay out of the way and let the actual events take their natural course.

In this episode, Vicki goes so far as taking on the persona of Cressida, an established character in the Trojan myth. And we'll see how The Doctor and Steven get involved later...


osirun said...

Interestingly (okay, maybe just interestingly to me, who studied Classics at university) Cressida is not an established character in the original Trojan myth - she was a medieval invention from around the time of Chaucer, probably based on a misreading of another character's name. As such I think it's kind of appropriate that Vicki takes on that character - Cressida always WAS an interloper in the Homeric myth. I wonder if Donald Cotton or someone else on the production team of the time was being quite that clever!

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