Monday, October 26, 2009

4J2 - The Android Invasion 2

At times during this story, I've been more interested in deciphering which scenes were filmed before Tom Baker had to be taken to the hospital to get his stomach pumped after swallowing too much scummy pond water while shooting the scene that sees him submerged in a pond to hide from some tracking dogs, and which scenes were filmed after, as the effects of the procedure left Baker with a definite (and distinctly audible) sore throat.

As The Doctor and Sarah encounter more familiar surroundings in this episode, we're presumably supposed to feel like the two are back in comfortable surroundings. However, this just isn't the case. Even though we see Harry and Benton again, they just don't seem like the characters that we've come to know and love. They're almost treated as background characters. The spark is gone from them, and you can almost tell it in the performances of both Ian Marter and John Levene. It doesn't help that the Fourth Doctor/Benton team was never as tight as the bond that the Third Doctor had with the trusty Sergeant-Major, either.

And, even as a small, easily impressed child, I thought that the cliffhanger where the android Sarah's face falls off looked cheap and terrible. Plus, what kind of poorly designed android has its face fall off whenever it stumbles slightly? Or doesn't have a "ginger beer tolerance meter" installed in its software? The Kralls' (increasingly elaborate) plan is starting to spring some leaks...


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