Wednesday, May 27, 2009

V4 - The Traitors

This episode begins with the shocking death of Katarina. Even though she was only around for five episodes total in Doctor Who, the gravity of the situation is hammered home by the fact that Katarina is the first person to die while expressly under the care of The Doctor. It's a stunning change from the relatively carefree days of the Ian and Barbara days, where the threat of death, especially towards the end of Season 2, was never very apparent.

On the face of it, though, Katarina's death does seem rather trivial, given how short a time she actually knew The Doctor and Steven (not much more than a few hours, at most!). Thus, the Doctor's impassioned eulogy about her seems a little out of place, but seeing as he feels somewhat responsible for her death, one can understand the guilt he feels. But don't worry - things are back to normal by the next scene!

If anything, Katarina's death scene went on to inspire one of the great films of all time, as, apparently, the special effects people working on an upcoming little science fiction film called 2001: A Space Odyssey rang up Douglas Camfield to ask him how he pulled off the shot of Katarina's body floating in space...

At episode's end, there is yet another death to one of The Doctor's party, this time - Nicholas Courtney's Bret Vyon, at the hands of his own sister, Sara Kingdom. And Bret's death won't be the last one we'd see before the end of this serial. The Daleks' Master Plan is proving to be the starting point of the notion that to travel with The Doctor is not a safe occupation.


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