Friday, September 11, 2009
What a remarkable series of coincidences that help out The Doctor in his case to try and disprove the Marshall to the Investigator in this episode. Just when it looks like all is lost, Jo, previously held hostage by the Marshall, is paraded through the door by the Investigator's guards. The Doctor can now speak freely - hooray! But he doesn't have proof of his claims that the mutations that are afflicting the Solonians are natural. Don't worry! Sondergaard is marched through the door at just the right time. Amazing luck, that.
A fitting end, though, to a very poor story. It all comes down to something I mentioned before about how the writers and the director both differed on what direction they wanted the story to take. Writers - segregation satire. Director - rebellion against tyranny. As each separate story thread moved along, the more each separated until neither thread was portrayed strongly enough to hold up the story as a whole.
This story was cited in Salmon Rushdie's The Satanic Verses, of all places, as being racist. I don't think it is, to be honest, but it's intention of showing the Marshall to be racist might be even more offensive. Was it Bob Baker's and Dave Martin's collective intention to show that, in using the mutants (or mutts, as they are colloquially known) as an allegory for the repressed black population in South Africa, the creatures who were scorned so much were merely at an earlier stage of evolution, and that they soon evolve into higher beings? I hope, for Baker's and Martin's sakes, that this was not the case.
The Mutants is a poorly directed, poorly acted mess, and is easily the top contender for worst Jon Pertwee story thus far.
Posted by Steven at 2:02 PM