Friday, July 10, 2009
The story takes an unexpected turn about midway through this episode when (and beware the big spoiler here) Salamander descends in an elevator down to where a large group of humans are living under the impression that, on the planet's surface, a devastating nuclear war is raging, and Salamander is the only person who can save them by bringing them food. The whole thing as a bit of a shock, and it adds a layer to what was already, in my mind, an interesting political (and monster free) story.
Sadly, Fariah is shot and killed in this episode. Not that I'm turning the Chronic Hysteresis into a rundown of "The Hottest Babes in Doctor Who", but...well, let's just say that Carmen Munroe is enchanting as Fariah. Quite lovely, and her character would have made a great revolutionary against her boss, Salamander. Doctor Who has often killed off as many of the good guys/girls during stories as it has the bad ones, which, for dramatic purposes, is necessary, but it doesn't make it any less sad!
Once again, as in The Ice Warriors, Jamie and Victoria are put on the back burner for this episode (necessary, of course, because both Frazer Hines and Deborah Watling were on holiday that week). The practice of having to write out the regulars for a week or two has always had its pitfalls. Not only is one of the main character(s) taken out of the action for an entire episode, but the preceding and following episodes have to be spent putting them in a situation that leads up to them being out of the picture for a while, and then somehow brought back into the story in the episode after their absence. As it's difficult to have these characters in the main storyline and then, abruptly, not, that means that these characters are often relegated to background or to a sub-plot during the episode before their absence, at least, taking them even further out of the story. Both Jamie and Victoria hang around the kitchen for most of Episode Three - not exactly the centre of the action. It'll be interesting to see how they're integrated back into the action in Episode 5.
Posted by Steven at 10:18 AM