Thursday, October 1, 2009
The Doctor's new car, the Whomobile , makes its first and second last appearance of the series in this episode. It's most likely that the introduction in this episode was intended to set up its greater role in the Season 11 finale Planet of the Spiders, because there is little cause for it to take over from reliable old Bessie. I never realized it at the time, but The Green Death was also a bit of a swansong for Bessie, too, as she would only feature fleetingly in her final two stories in this production block.
There is a daring amount of time given over to a sequence that sees The Doctor tracking down the underground bunker from where the manifestation of the dinosaurs is being controlled. Without Sarah or anyone else tagging along for the ride, the entire sequence is devoid of almost any dialogue as The Doctor traces the signal, tracks Butler down to the bunker, then explores the underground location while, unbeknownst to The Doctor, Butler and Whitaker redirect him back to the lift by strategically closing doors and leaving The Doctor no alternative but to head back out. Jon Pertwee especially excels during this sequence in conveying what he is thinking through facial expressions only. It would have been easy to simply have The Doctor talk to himself during all of this (as has been done in the past) to try and explain what The Doctor was thinking. Kudos to writer Malcolm Hulke for not going down the obvious route.
Another strong cliffhanger rounds out this episode as The Doctor is, according to General Finch, caught in the act while making a dinosaur appear. We all know that The Doctor isn't guilty, but the suspense lies in wondering how The Doctor will prove his innocence to not only Finch, but to the Brigadier, as well.
Posted by Steven at 2:27 PM