Monday, August 24, 2009

EEE3 - Terror of the Autons 3

Things begin to improve a bit with this episode. There is a truly fantastic stunt performed by Terry Walsh that sees him, as an Auton, propelled down the side of a steep hill, falling even further than planned, yet still getting up afterwards and carrying on with the scene. HAVOC, the team responsible for all the stunts in Season 8, certainly earned their money in this one.

I reckon it's time to mention The Master, whose penchant for disguise extends to telephone repairmen who are actually shorter than him. (Did he use a similar compression suit that we will see the Slitheen use in a few years' time? Is that why Captain Yates stares at the repairman's bum when he's installing The Doctor's new phone cord?). When not in disguise, he does have some fine sartorial sense, often choosing a respectable three-piece suit as his main outfit. Even his traditional "costume" looks good, with a jacket inspired by Pandit Nehru.

The actor behind The Master, Roger Delgado, is, of course brilliant. However, it may not be a coincidence that the diabolical Master is unveiled as The Doctor's arch-enemy in the same story that marks a sudden softening of The Doctor's character. It seems like in order to provide a clear opposite to the evil Master, most of the Third Doctor's antihero tendencies were struck, replaced with those of a kind, gentle uncle. One thing's for sure - the Season 7 Doctor would never be heard to utter a line like (referring to The Master), "That jackanapes? All he ever does is cause trouble!".

Jo Grant continues to have an unimpressive debut, though, including Katy Manning ironically twisting her ankle during the scenes shot in the quarry, before Jo is scripted to twist her ankle in Episode Four. Foresight tells me that her character improves, but for now, she's merely window dressing, consigned to trip over rocks, make phone calls, and call people "dolly Scotsmen".


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