Wednesday, October 7, 2009

ZZZ1 - Planet of the Spiders 1

It's great to see Mike Yates again as his well written character arc draws to a close in this story. The fact that Yates is now out of UNIT and a resident of the Buddhist retreat allows Richard Franklin to grow his hair out significantly since we last saw him in Invasion of the Dinosaurs. Quite what gives the Brigadier and Sgt. Benton the excuse to have their hair as long as they do (UNIT hair length standards have clearly fallen by the wayside) is beyond me. The Brigadier, in his 1970s suit during the opening scenes, looks more and more like Peter Sellers in Revenge of the Pink Panther each day.

The Brigadier is also resembling Inspector Clouseau more in his actions, too. He is very much the simpleton during the scenes where Professor Clegg visits UNIT - even more so than in the previous stories where he was portrayed as a simpleton. It's a rather sad fact that this story is the last that would feature the Third Doctor/Brigadier duo, because the familiar pairing deserved a better sendoff.

Sarah has a much more impressive outing compared to her previous two stories, though. She doesn't even appear in a scene with The Doctor in this episode, instead being called to the meditation centre specifically by Mike Yates to investigate the strange goings on in the basement orchestrated by Lupton. We still have yet to see Sarah file a story to The Metropolitan, but one assumes that this often happens off-camera...

This story looks like it's going to be wrapping up a lot of themes that have manifested in the Jon Pertwee era - the Metebelis Crystal, Mike Yates, Buddhism, with more to be revealed as the story goes along. Episode One is a riveting little view. Good stuff.


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