Wednesday, October 7, 2009

ZZZ3 - Planet of the Spiders 3

After two and a half episodes, I'm beginning to think that the often lukewarm reaction people have towards Planet of the Spiders is completely unfounded. The scenes set in the meditation centre have been very interesting, the spiders are creepy, and things really seem to be building towards a dynamite finale. And then the action switches to Metebelis Three.

No longer the well realized blue jungle that we saw in The Green Death, Metebelis Three is now entirely consistent of bad CSO matte lines and still photos of Monument Valley in Arizona, populated by some of the weaker performances seen in some time. The weakest of them all, of course, is that of Jenny Laird as Nesta. Laird is terrible in every scene she's in, but her grand moment where she attempts to stop her husband, Sabor, from being taken to the lair of the Eight-Legs takes the cake. It is astoundingly bad. Somewhere, Rick James from The Mutants was watching Laird's performance, sitting contently, sipping a glass of cheap champagne, content in the fact that, for the moment, there was at least a cause for debate who was the worst actor to ever appear in Doctor Who. (My money's still on James, but mostly because we're mercifully spared Laird's performance apart from a few scenes in Episodes Three and Four).

The Metebelis scenes unfortunately take the emphasis off of some great character scenes early in the episode featuring John Dearth's superbly played Lupton. Tommy and Cho-Je are also interesting characters, even if the latter is another in a long line of white actors playing non-white characters. Kevin Lindsay does his best to portray Cho-Je, and while it probably was a notable performance in 1974, it smacks more of offensive parody now. Truly a performance of its time.


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