Monday, August 10, 2009

ZZ8 - The War Games 8

Ever since that thrilling instance in Episode Four when the War Chief recognizes The Doctor (and, more alarmingly, The Doctor realizes that he's been recognized), we have been waiting on pins and needles for the inevitable second meeting between the two foes. Early in Episode Eight, we finally get that meeting. And it doesn't disappoint.

We learn more about The Doctor in the course of that two-minute scene than we ever have in the previous six years of watching Doctor Who. The War Chief and The Doctor used to be Time Lords, The Doctor stole his TARDIS, and both men, while renegades, were clearly on opposite sides of the fence. I have seldom watched a scene in Doctor Who more intently than this one. It's a tragic shame that contemporary viewers didn't agree. With viewing figures of less than four million, this was one of the least watched episodes in the history of the classic series.

The action on the resistance front also ramps up considerably in this episode, as a grand resistance army is brought together, sets about taking over every time zone control centre, and is has the War Lord and his minions thinking of resorting to a neutron bomb to solve the problem. People who chastise The War Games for being slow-paced, dull, and boring are people who haven't given this story its due. Eight episodes in, and I don't want it to end.


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