Thursday, June 4, 2009
So The Doctor returns to the ark 700 years later, and finds out that his first visit has left some remarkable footprints. The plague that he supposedly cured was abated for only a short time, and its return eventually led to the overthrow of the humans by the Monoids.
The main theme that I'm noticing in the stories of the John Wiles era as producer of Doctor Who is that of consequences. In The Myth Makers, The Doctor and friends actively participate in history, thus enhancing the legend of the Trojan War and bringing into reality (well, reality as far as Doctor Who knows it) the seemingly apocryphal Trojan Horse. In The Daleks' Master Plan, most of those who meet the Doctor and travel with him during the course of the story are dead by the end of it. The Massacre is the exact opposite of The Myth Makers - The Doctor distinctly refuses to get involved in the situation, and the consequences of that decision perhaps pain him more than if he would have interfered.
In The Ark, the fact that the humans are now subservient to the Monoids can be traced directly back to the, seemingly innocent, actions of The Doctor 700 years previously whilst he was trying to save everyone from death by plague. For many reasons, the short tenure of John Wiles is one of the more interesting passages in the novel that is Doctor Who history, but it's this recurring theme of showing the consequences of The Doctor's actions that make it so vital. Often, the universe around The Doctor started and stopped only when he was on the scene. Now, we see that the universe exists independent of The Doctor, but is invariably affected by his actions. It not only makes for a more interesting and believable lead character, but a more interesting and believable show.
Also, there's a couple more impressive shots of instant potatoes being made (trust me on this), and a rare model shot of space capsules leaving the ark for Refusis. You can't actually see the strings on the capsules, but you're never unaware that they're there...still, it's good to see that the effort is there on the part of the production team.
Posted by Steven at 8:46 AM