Monday, August 10, 2009

ZZ9 - The War Games 9

This episode could be even more monumental than Episode Eight. The events depicted here are simply epic. It's interesting, though, to see how close to complete collapse the War Lord's plans are. He certainly never let on beforehand at how few guards were at his disposal, nor how many functioning time machines they had left.

Finally, when The Doctor and the Resistance have defeated the War Lord, the flood of events that have always threatened to overcome The Doctor finally does so, and The Doctor is forced to call the Time Lords for help. Both he and the War Chief know that they will surely be punished severely for not only their part in this incident, but as a whole for their lifestyles since they left their home planet. Kudos to Edward Brayshaw as the War Chief, especially in this episode, but for his performance as a whole during this story. When The Doctor is about to contact the Time Lords, it's Brayshaw's reaction, having to be restrained by guards, that tells you things are very serious indeed. Smooth, suave, a killer beard, and one of the more memorable (and longest) death screams in Doctor Who history, the War Chief will be remembered as one of the show's greatest villains.

This episode also features a relatively well shot and performed fight sequence, Lieutenant Carstairs returning with The Doctor to find Lady Jennifer, and the impending arrival of the Time Lords. It seems the Troughton era is about to end at the same level of excellence as when it began.


Robert Konigsberg said...

What I find remarkable about this episode is that it's got the best finale I've seen yet in Doctor Who. Even knowing how it must end by episode ten, I was gripped by the Doctor's desperation that led to that last attempt to escape.

I think what makes it particularly effective is the use of slow motion, evocative of many nightmares I've had.

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