Friday, May 29, 2009

V8 - Volcano

And with that, The Daleks' Master Plan became the longest story ever, surpassing previous seven-part giants The Daleks and Marco Polo. And it doesn't begin all that well, with the frivolity of the previous weeks' Christmas episode wrecking havoc on the proceedings by having the TARDIS quickly materialize in the middle of a cricket match, then leave pretty much as suddenly. Snicker.

However, the arrival of The Meddling Monk is a pure delight. I loved Peter Butterworth in The Time Meddler, and he's great in this, too. It's a bit of a big coincidence for The Monk to appear on the scene independent of the skirmish that's going on between the Daleks and the Doctor, but The Monk comes along to add a twist to The Doctor's struggles just in time as the intrigue in Mavic Chen's life is being replaced by an uncomfortable terror. Chen's allies/competitors are starting to thin out. Trantis manages to talk his way into first becoming a guinea pig for the Time Destructor, then gets exterminated. Celation also bails on the scene for the time being, so Chen becomes the only non-Dalek in the room, and, with the fake Time Destructor being uncovered, Chen doesn't much of a leg to stand on. As such, he doesn't have as many riveting scenes as he did in earlier episodes, mostly because he has no one else to scheme with.

At the end of the episode, things almost dip back into The Chase standards when the Daleks prepare a time machine of their own, much like the one they had in their last adventure. But I have confidence that, this time, proper drama will prevail...


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