Thursday, September 24, 2009

SSS2 - Planet of the Daleks 2

The Terry Nation's Greatest Hits Tour continues in Episode 2, punctuated by two or three scenes of boring moralizing and a couple others featuring misguided stupidity.

Anyway, let's get the Greatest hits out of the way. The Doctor gets temporarily paralyzed by being the second (and hopefully last) person to be merely stunned by a Dalek (just like Ian was in The Daleks). What about the Dalek's past history would lead him to believe that he could not only stop the Daleks from destroying the Thal ship (especially by saying "There's someone still in there!" - that's extra incentive to a Dalek!) but that they wouldn't exterminate him on the spot? Jo doesn't fare much better. When confronted with the fungus on her arm, her first consideration is to record her thoughts on the log. That little cassette case has ably served the role of fellow companion during these first two episodes, allowing Jo to explain the situation out loud (as if we wouldn't have figured it out already) and not sound like she's talking to herself.

The episode stops dead in its tracks twice, and both instances are sign posted with giant, Las Vegas-like flashing neon arrow signs that say "Warning - Unsubtle Character Development Ahead". Both involve The Doctor lecturing his new Thal allies (or Thallies, if you will) about, first, caution to the impulsive Vaber (who, conveniently, for all his exuberance, is attacked by a flesh-eating tentacle to enhance The Doctor's argument), and, later, and more painfully, a tedious sermon to Codal about bravery.

Any momentum that the ending of Frontier in Space gave this story has all but vanished now.


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