Tuesday, June 2, 2009
There seems to an imminent sense of doom even from the seemingly innocent start of The Massacre. Coming off the downbeat ending of The Daleks' Master Plan, it's made for a pretty depressing tenure thus far for producer John Wiles!
And there's nowt wrong with that, especially when this dark tone is handled as well as it is here. The basic setup of this episode explains that there's an impending war of religions about to take place in 16th century France. Religious conflict has never been dealt with in Doctor Who, and it's a welcome added subtext to the usual "good guys vs bad guys" scenario that takes place during most Doctor Who stories.
I think Peter Purves is excellent in this episode. His character, Steven, is sort of left to his own devices while The Doctor goes off to meet someone in another part of Paris, and so hangs out at the tavern and falls in with a group of Huguenots who are venting about their mistreatment at the hands of the Catholics. Steven (like me) doesn't claim to know the situation, so his unfamiliarity is a valuable window into the story for the casual viewer to know the background of the titular massacre.
The shock of the episode, of course, comes at the very end when it is revealed that the Abbot of Amboise, who is looking to purge Paris of all things Huguenot, looks exactly like The Doctor...
Posted by Steven at 9:50 AM