Tuesday, August 25, 2009

FFF2 - The Mind of Evil 2

Remember when I praised William Dysart's performance as Reegan in The Ambassadors in Death? And that it was the first of at least three notable "thug" performances during the 1970s in Doctor Who? Well, William Marlowe's Mailer is the second such thug on that list. Marlowe delivers his dialogue with great ease, and his general attitude is one of a mischievous criminal. Did you know that Mailer's reply to "It's coming." ("Yeah, and so's Christmas!") was the first time, as a young boy, that I heard that line? It's a fact. Mailer's other memorable response (this one to an invite to a game of checkers - "Drop dead!") is also enjoyable.

The Master is at his cool best in this, his first appearance of the story. Sitting in the back of a limousine, smoking a cigar, listening to King Crimson on his portable radio (now THAT's the future today!): as great as Anthony Ainley and John Simm will be in the role, how can either of them possibly compete with Roger Delgado in The Mind of Evil?

Jo Grant continues her character improvement in this episode, too. There's a sweet little scenes where she brings a box of chocolates to Barnham in the hospital, and it's nice to not have her around to constantly ask The Doctor what's going on. It's also nice to see her able to function on her own, even if she spends most of the time playing nurse to Dr. Summers.

And a nod to the initial meeting between Fu Peng and The Doctor - one of the few times in Doctor Who history where subtitles are seen when a foreign, non-English language is spoken. The subtitles only just cover up the fact that Jon Pertwee has no idea what he's saying (for that matter, neither does Kristopher Kum, the actor playing Fu Peng...).

A good start to the story so far, although how many cliffhangers with the same thing happening (Keller Machine attacks!) can they get away with?


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