Tuesday, September 1, 2009
The best thing about this episode is easily Professor Horner, a complete hoot of a character who doesn't have the time of day of day for anyone, least of all TV reporter Alastair Fergus, who has the unenviable task of having to interview the Professor about the dig up at Devil's End. It's a great shame that Horner appears to die at the end of Episode One without ever meeting The Doctor, as a few scenes of these two would have been a treasure to watch.
This episode deals with magic and superstition like no other story before it. Of course, in a science-based show like Doctor Who, you know that logic and reason will eventually trump the "supernatural and magic bit", as Jo refers to it in this episode. What hooks the viewer in, though, is that The Doctor, for whatever reason, becomes instantly fascinated by the dig scant seconds after dismissing it as a load of dingo's kidneys - and all because of the fact that the dig is located at a place called Devil's End. That we don't know why The Doctor is so insistent on stopping the dig is one of this episode's more intriguing and/or puzzling aspects.
This episode also features one of the more blatant examples of how necessary a companion is when she and The Doctor are meeting new people and requesting information from them. The Third Doctor, possibly the most arrogant of them all, comes across as brash and demanding when he bursts into the pub looking for directions to Devil's Hump. It's only Jo's calm inquiries (and, perhaps, the fact that she appears to be the only female in a pub filled with sexually frustrated, middle aged men) that gets the answers out of Winstanley. The Doctor never appears more out of his element then when in group settings like this. No wonder legions of awkward teenagers latched onto the character in their formative years...
Posted by Steven at 3:07 PM