Wednesday, September 30, 2009

UUU4 - The Time Warrior 4

Professor Rubeish is an amusing character not only because he pretty much wears a sign on his back that says "Comic Relief Character", but because he wanders around, oblivious to his surroundings, thanks to his failing eyesight, just managing to ensure that everyone around him is equally as oblivious towards him. Rubeish and The Doctor should have formed a more charismatic duo than they did, though, if it wasn't for Jon Pertwee's decision to play things deadly straight (or, in some scenes with Elisabeth Sladen, condescending and sexist).

The only thing that might let things down a bit in this story is the direction by Alan Bromly. Bromly was in the twilight of his career at this point (which still didn't stop him from nearly being destroyed by Tom Baker six years later during the making of Nightmare of Eden), and some of his techniques seem a little hackneyed by the slick standards of the early 1970s. His most famous error is his choice of using stock footage of a rock slide to simulate the explosion of Irongron's castle. Nothing says lazy quite like stock footage.

Just as wonderful as the first three parts, The Time Warrior launches the swansong season of Jon Pertwee with style, but, being made at the tail end of the previous production block, the team was still in Season Ten mode whilst making it. The next batch of stories would be made with Jon Pertwee's decision to leave the series, along with similar moves by Barry Letts and Terrance Dicks, firmly on the minds of those in front of and behind the cameras.


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