Friday, September 25, 2009

TTT1 - The Green Death 1

Appeasing Jo at the end of Planet of the Daleks, The Doctor finds himself back on Earth, and things just seem comfortable again. It's funny that we, as fans, lament the lack of alien planets and non-contemporary stories in NuWho, but I've almost been longing for a good, old-fashioned, Earth-based romp. And what a story to come back to Earth with.

There's such a loose, familiar feel to the early scenes of The Green Death. Whereas The Time Monster used this same energy to be smug and assume that everyone watching was having as much fun as the production team was making it, The Green Death is confident and slick. It also introduces, in its first scene, a character who will have a massive impact on the story and the programme in general - Professor Clifford Jones. It helped that both Katy Manning and Stewart Bevan were an item at the time, but the chemistry between the two is just charmingly delightful in their first scene together. Both actors, and the script, manage to avoid the standard meet-cute scenario that might have derailed such a scene and make it stand out like a sore thumb.

The Doctor's hilarious, nightmare trip to Metebelis 3, intercut with the Brigadier trying to raise him on the telephone, is nothing short of brilliant. The Doctor is in extreme peril (and Jon Pertwee plays it deadly straight throughout while having spears and tentacles thrown at him), but the fact that The Doctor tried for so long to land on this planet, only to find it completely hostile (yet blue, thankfully) draws all the humour needed out of the situation.


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