Tuesday, June 2, 2009

W2 - The Sea Beggar

If Steven felt like a fish out of water after being essentially abandoned by The Doctor in 16th century, then he must have felt even more alone after he falls out with his new found Huguenot friends after they suspect him to be in league with the Catholics.

His main goal in this episode is to try and contact the "Abbot of Amboise", who looks like The Doctor and, in Steven's eyes, must be The Doctor. This is a "Doctor-lite" story if ever there was one. William Hartnell features only in a handful of scenes in Episode One, and then only in one, pre-filmed, scene as the Abbot as Hartnell was enjoying a week's holiday. It thrusts Steven into the role of lead, about which more later.

One of my personal goals during this whole marathon of Who viewing was to try not to rely on existing reference works for information about each episode I was watching, but I had to relent when it came to this story. There are a few characters in this story who, through no fault of those who acted and presented it 40-odd years ago, don't necessarily stand out as being good or evil, and thus, difficult to remember who is on whose side and what standing they old on the sides of the Catholics or the Huguenots. Plus, there are some long, dialogue-free scenes that, when watching the reconstruction, are somewhat difficult to follow. Of course, if I could actually watch the story, it would be different. The story sounds intense, though, and the desperation of each of the characters can still be felt and heard in their voices.

If ever there's a story to be found at the bottom of someone's basement, please let it be this one so I can appreciate it all the more.


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