Monday, July 27, 2009

WW2 - The Krotons 2

This episode will always hold a special place in my mind because it contains the very first glimpse if Patrick Troughton I ever had as a youngster. A clip of the sequence where Zoe is selected as a companion of the Krotons (the clip starts from Troughton's line "Great jumping gobstoppers!" ) was used in a 1985 PBS documentary called Whose Doctor Who that I probably saw for the first time around 1987. It's amazing how even the smallest scene in a relatively minor Doctor Who story can lead to such warm nostalgia, innit?

That scene in question contains some great comedy bits between Troughton and Wendy Padbury. In my mind, I think Padbury fits the best with Troughton's Doctor out of the female companions during the Second Doctor era. The fact that she appears as clever as (if not more so) The Doctor allows them to have a slightly competitive relationship, with comedic results. The relationship also allows Troughton to be his usual aloof self without having to be protective of Zoe - something he never had the luxury of doing with Victoria or Polly.

The Doctor/Zoe relationship also frees up Jamie, who used to fulfill the protector role when the naive Victoria was in the TARDIS. Poor Jamie, though, takes a bit of a beating in this episode. His role in the proceedings was clearly laid out in Episode One with his fight with Axus. Jamie is the brawn, and his actions fall in line with many of the hotheads of the Gonds. In this episode, he is resorted to trying to break down the door into the Dynotrope with a crowbar. When the Krotons trigger the opening mechanism themselves, Jamie thinks he's done it, and, at episode's end, he is about to be killed by the Krotons because of his apparent lack of intelligence. Poor guy.

Two episodes in, and I'm still finding this wonderfully diverting. There seems to be a notable blooper in every episode, though. The very first shot of Episode One features a door that refuses to open, and, in this episode, listen for the floor director call out for the gong sound effect not once, but twice...


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