Thursday, August 13, 2009
Two of my favourite things about Jon Pertwee's Doctor are seen in this episode. The first is his compassion. His reaction to the advancing Silurian at the resolution of the cliffhanger is not to attack the reptile in self defence (Venusian aikido had yet to make its presence felt in the series), but to extend the hand of friendship. True, The Doctor has always done this (sometimes less overtly than other times), but rarely has he done so in such apparently dire circumstances.
Conversely, Pertwee's Doctor does not suffer fools gladly, and often considers government officials to be in that category. His utter indignation to Masters, the Private Under Secretary from the Ministry, is beautiful. When Masters inquires of The Doctor, "May I ask just who you are?", to which The Doctor snaps back, "You may ask!".* Later in the same scene, The Doctor and The Brigadier have an argument, after which The Brigadier storms out. The adversarial relationship between the two is at its best here, and appears to only get more tense as these episodes go on.
The scenes that feature The Doctor trying to argue with the Brigadier to strive for a peaceful solution regarding the Silurians is echoed by the similar arguments that are occurring between the two Silurians in the cave. I'll get into this aspect of the story later, but suffice it to say that Malcolm Hulke, the writer of this story, begins to come into his own with this story.
*A similar exchange also occurs in Invasion of the Dinosaurs, also written by Malcolm Hulke. Read about what I think of how the scene was played in that story later, though...
Posted by Steven at 2:52 PM