Friday, June 26, 2009

KK2 - The Faceless Ones 2

The next step in the normalizing of the Patrick Troughton era - updating the theme music. The new title graphics, complete with The Doctor's face advancing towards the camera, debuted in time for The Macra Terror, but, with the original William Hartnell-era music as its backing, it just seemed out of place. Now, with added "spangles" and "bubbles" and any other made-up terms to describe the other-worldly sounds from TV's greatest ever theme song, it seems much more familiar.

Another step in establishing the real Patrick Troughton (unlike this fake Troughton era that we've been watching for the past few weeks) - the phasing out of Ben and Polly. Producer Innes Lloyd was never one for soppy companion endings. Usually, when a companion leaves the series, he or she is given a greater share of the action to both showcase the character (often for the first time since that character's debut episode), but also to lead into a plausible dramatic reason for why that character will be departing the TARDIS at the end of the story.

Not so Ben and Polly. We see Polly staring vacantly off into space while being locked up in a crate. We assume that same thing has happened to Ben, too, but we never even see his final scene in the episode. Both characters, swept under the rug, never to be seen until their final (prefilmed) scene in Episode Six. Both actors paid out until Episode Two of the next serial, but, in essence, for the last few weeks of their contracts, paid to not be in Doctor Who anymore. Ouch.

More creepiness with taciturn pilots and spooky music. Thus far, this story has been an overlooked gem.


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