Friday, June 12, 2009

BB3 - The War Machines 3

The last half of Episode Three is given over to a fairly laborious battle between a War Machine, some WOTAN-possessed workers, and some army soldiers. The whole thing cries out for the steady and dependable hands of HAVOC, but then, like that esteemed company of action, this type of army driven, action/adventure story is years away from becoming the norm.

The sheer novelty of the surroundings, especially when taken in context, is still the most exhilarating aspect of this story. For anyone who is familiar with the UNIT era of the 1970's, to see a bunch of hapless soldiers running around is nothing to bat an eye at. But to see William Hartnell's Doctor in the middle of it all just seems odd, in a way. At least this episode finally sees him leave Sir Charles's house and get back in the action after essentially taking the last episode off.

As for the War Machines themselves (even though only one machine was actually made for the production), well, they may have been scary for a few children back in the day, but it does seem like they are about the 17th attempt to try and strike the gold already mined by the Daleks. At least the War Machines signaled the last legless monster race the programme tried to create for some time, abandoning that monopoly to the pepper pots from Skaro.


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