Friday, June 26, 2009

JJ2 - The Macra Terror 2

After a great first episode setting up the charade that is The Colony, we finally get to see the titular Macra in Episode Two. And, thanks to the Australian Censor Board hacking out chunks of this episode 40 years ago and keeping those clips in a broom closet to be discovered in the later part of the 20th century, we can actually see a few brief moving images from this episode, too.

When you see the clips, you wonder if the Censor Board cut these scenes because, so they claimed, they may have been too frightening to children, or perhaps they cut these scenes because they looked so terrible. The Macra? Crapra. To see a hysterical Polly scream and flail and pretend to be caught up in the giant claws of the immobile Macra prop is to wish you were a Star Trek fan. It doesn't just look bad. It doesn't look like outtakes of the filming of Plan 9 From Outher Space. It looks like the outtakes from the 1994 Tim Burton film Ed Wood that were ABOUT the outtakes from Plan 9 From Outer Space. For the most part, director John Davies keeps the crab in the dark as best he can, but he was forced to play his hand on this occasion.

There's more stick-it-to-the-man-edness from Troughton has he shorts out all the hypno-gas wires in his companions' dormitories. And full credit to Michael Craze's little performance as a hypnotized Ben. It would have been standard and cliche for him to speak with a robotic monotone when he's hypnotized by the voice of the leader. The fact that Ben speaks as he does normally, but now with a strange urge to work for the Colony and unmask any ne'er-do-wells makes his plight all that more worrisome. I haven't spoken much about Ben during his (soon to be ending) time on the show, but he has had his moments. This is one of them.


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