Tuesday, October 20, 2009

4F3 - Terror of the Zygons 3

Sarah Jane's exploration of the Zygon ship in this episode allows the viewer to get a good look at one of the great spaceship designs the series ever had. Designer Nigel Curzon has come with an imaginative and thoroughly alien looking spacecraft interior. The organic controls, with their blood vessels and almost coral-like accents look fantastic, and shot in just the right amount of light to conceal any potential failings (the one downfall of what were some equally unique sets in The Claws of Axos).

The ingenuity of the ship design compliments the equally impressive design of the Zygons themselves. The concept for the Zygons that future Oscar-winner James Acheson (gosh, Doctor Who had some incredibly talented people working on it in the mid-1970s) is almost breathtaking. Famous these days for being David Tennant's favourite Doctor Who monster from the past, the Zygon costumes wouldn't stand out at all if they appeared as they are in the new series.

Sarah's afore-mentioned wandering about the Zygon ship is accompanied only by the music of Geoffrey Burgon, whose score is one the highlights of this story. Whereas regular composer Dudley Simpson was more reliant on trumpets and more aggressive sound wind instruments, Burgon instead bathes his episodes with a sinister wash of strings and flutes. The result is extraordinary. The music heard in this episode is some of the best ever used in the series. As much as I enjoy Dudley Simpson's music (mostly because of the fact that I often don't notice his scores while watching his stories), Douglas Camfield's long standing feud with Simpson was the catalyst to bring in some great incidental music (like that of Burgon and Don Harper) that we likely wouldn't have had otherwise.

All aspects of the production have come together to form one of the more pleasing sounding and looking Doctor Who story made in some time. Even the Skarasen looks good in Episodes 2 and 3 as it was shot using stop motion animation as opposed to the usual standby for such things - puppets. But we won't be seeing puppets anywhere in this, will we...?


Luke said...

Geoffrey Burgon is a brilliant composer and his score for the BBCs Narnia series was one of the earliest scores that stuck in my young head. I reckon they should release Terror of the Zygons with The Seeds of Doom and call it 'The Burgon Boxset"

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