Monday, July 27, 2009

XX5 - The Seeds of Death 5

A tip of the hat to the direction of Michael Ferguson in this story, which is responsible for such gorgeous shots as the one seen above. This story saw a greater use of out-of-sequence recording, which hadn't been attempted that often up to this point in the programme's production history. It shows - scenes flow seamlessly from one to the next, and there's a general gloss to the production that hasn't been as evident before. I don't necessarily credit Ferguson with those technical achievements, but the ease of production did allow him to be more creative with his camera shots.

Poor Fewsham meets his end in this episode, closing the book on one of the more memorable characters in the series's history. Fewsham's apparent alliance with the Ice Warriors is different than other Quislings (to quote Jon Pertwee quoting Norwegian history from World War II) seen in the series. Self preservation is Fewsham's key motivation, naturally, and the viewer is meant to believe, at first, that he has turned traitor towards the Ice Warrior cause because he is doing all that he can to survive. Later, though, he aids the T-Mat crew and The Doctor when the Ice Warriors' backs are turned, not necessarily because he wants to see the Ice Warriors defeated, but because he is more scared of what awaits him on Earth in the form of investigation and punishment for his part in the Ice Warrior invasion. When Slaar asks Fewsham later why he remains allied with the Ice Warriors, Fewsham uses that excuse, which seems like a bluff on his part, but it couldn't be more true.

Once he realizes how grand the Ice Warriors' plan is, though, Fewsham seems resigned to his fate, and finally makes the ultimate choice of sacrificing himself to open the video link to Earth and let the T-Mat crew in on what the Ice Warriors are planning. Slaar trusted Fewsham one time too many. Was Fewsham planning this all along? Probably not. It would be more accurate to say that he was taking each crisis as it came and adapting to survive the situation, but in his final moments, his defiance towards Slaar leads you to believe otherwise. An overlooked character in the annals of Who history, only slightly more overlooked than the splendid performance by Terry Scully that brought him to life.


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