Monday, July 27, 2009

UU2 - The Mind Robber 2

Can you imagine if Frazer Hines would have contracted chicken pox a few weeks earlier, during production of The Dominators? Or later, during the making of The Invasion? There would have to have been a hasty rewrite, have Jamie knocked out off camera by a Quark or Packer, and somehow pick him up the next week, all refreshed and ready to go as if nothing had happened.

Thankfully (well, not for Frazer Hines, though), the actor had to bow out of the most oddball of oddball stories made to that date (even predating the term "oddball" by a good 19 years), so the explanation of his absence in this story actually enhances the story, rather than providing a detraction and , indeed, a distraction. The introduction of the Hamish Wilson Jamie fits in with the story so well that had you not known the back story behind it, it would seem like just another chapter in an already brilliantly bizarre story.

We first hear (and almost see) "The Master" (quotation marks are used to differentiate him from, you know, The Master) in this episode, too. Emrys Jones is actually acting three characters in this episode - the robotlike, order barking, controller Master; his softer, calculating companion who acts as someone to bounce ideas off of, and the original, soft spoken man who would become the Master. It's a great, twitchy performance that seamlessly glides between each schizophrenic facet.

And then Bernard Horsfall turns up! But more from him later.


Robert Konigsberg said...

Watching this for the first time, I'm amazed at the utterly insanity going on. So far it beats the pants off Amy's Choice.

You're right: The story they used to write out Frazer Hines was flawless. Although it makes me wonder why Wendy Padbury didn't get chicken pox, what with Fraser's paws all over her during the prior episode. Speaking of which: rawr.

Robert Konigsberg said...

An additional note: If that kind of character swap was done today, it wouldn't have been presented as magnets, or Colorforms. No, there would have been some pseudoscientific exposition. This is much better. Very Alice.

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