Wednesday, September 2, 2009

JJJ4 - The Daemons 4

Kudos to Roger Delgado as The Master. By this point in Season 8, even producer Barry Letts and script editor Terrance Dicks had accepted the fact that the character of The Master had been overused by having him be the main villain in every story during the 1971 season. That doesn't make Delgado any less watchable, of course.

Have a look at his first scene with Azal early in this episode. It's a long, dialogue filled scene between Delgado and Stephen Thorne, playing Azal, but Thorne is on a different set altogether the shooting of this scene, and his face is purposely kept hidden to preserve his ultimate unveiling at the end of the episode. As a result, it's up to Delgado to carry the scene as he's on camera in every shot, and carry the scene he does. It's a masterful (pun only slightly intended) performance, especially given the fact that The Master feels and displays real fear for one of the few times in the show's history. I'm not sure if Letts and Dicks had anyone else in mind when they cast the role of The Master, but it's appearances like this one that make it insulting to think of anyone else than Delgado in the role.

Private Osgood, who appears to be the only other scientist on the UNIT staff other than The Doctor, is such an obvious inspiration for Lee Evans's Malcolm in the 2009 Easter Special Planet of the Dead that it's not even funny (seriously - I thought Malcolm was much more annoying than funny, but I'll deal with that later). His exploits in trying to build The Doctor's machine are mildly diverting here, although they only serve to delay the Brigadier from arriving on the scene for even longer.


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