Tuesday, October 20, 2009

4F2 - Terror of the Zygons 2

There is a very dark and disturbing scene in this episode which sees a crazed and vicious Harry Sullivan hides in a barn from Sarah Jane, then emerge from the shadows and, very menacingly, stab at her with a pitchfork before falling over a ledge. The look of near-bloodlust on Harry's face, and the look of sheer panic and terror on Sarah Jane's, offers more proof that the Philip Hinchliffe era will be very different in tone than the family-friendly years that came before it.

There's also a haunting sequence set in the equalization chamber where The Doctor hypnotizes Sarah into believing she doesn't need to breathe, then puts himself into a trance, as well. Tom Baker's performance in this scene is as alien a performance as I've ever seen. I cannot imagine any other actor as any other Doctor pulling off this scene like Baker does.

Earlier on, the Zygons get downright chatty as they outline their history, ambitions, and motivations to Harry, who is their prisoner. Exposition is a necessary evil of drama, but I wish that the Zygons' story could have been handled in a more subtle manner. Speaking of Harry, he is, for the most part, held captive in the Zygon ship from this point onwards, or else tagging along with Sarah and/or the rest of the UNIT crew. The phasing out of one of my favourite male companions has begun...


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