Monday, August 17, 2009

CCC3 - The Ambassadors of Death 3



Gunfights, violence, and now a car chase - am I sure I'm not watching the 1996 FOX TV movie here? After the car chase scene (a first of its kind in Doctor Who), there's a harrowing fight sequence on top of a dam between Liz (or, at the very least, a stuntman determined to look the least unlike Caroline John) and her two pursuers. Each episode of this story serves to further separate the 1970s era from its staid 1960s counterpart. Viewing this story on its own is entertaining enough, but to watch it in sequence, following on from the six years of history, it is particularly jarring. In a good way.

Reegan, who is introduced in this episode, is the first of at least three mid-level thugs appearing in the show over the next few years (off the top of my head) that are not only great, believable characters, but receive equally great and believable performances by the actors portraying them. William Dysart plays Reegan, and his is perhaps my favourite performance in this story.

Back to the violence aspect of this, though. There is a rather brutal sequence of events that see two of Reegan's thugs shoot two scientists who have been studying the aliens, followed by the thugs themselves dying of radiation poisoning due to exposure to those same aliens. Three or four years previous to this, numerous complaints would have been raised by the viewing public. Fifteen years from this, and the show would likely be cancelled as a result. If the past is, indeed, just another country, then the early 1970s is a country that no longer exists.

2 comments:

Erik said...

You say the transition to the 70's is jarring, but in a good way. I think that, for those of us who don't love Pertwee's era, it's jarring in a bad way. We simply don't like our Doctor as an action hero; Venusian aikido leaves us either groaning or giggling; and Doctor Who and James Bond are two separate franchises that shouldn't overlap too much. To quote the 5th Doctor, "There should have been aother way."

Carnivac said...

Love Pertwee's era. He's my favorite Doctor with the Fifth a close second, and possibly tbe Second or Ninth soon after that. And actually I can't stand James Bond...

And re-watching Delgado again recently as the Master in the Third Doctor stories to come later on this blog thing has come to make me hate John Simm's version even more than I already did...

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