Friday, November 6, 2009
Episode Three ends with one of the most puzzling, disturbing, and intense cliffhangers ever seen on the show. I'm still not entirely sure what's happening, and that's what I love about it. The Doctor, standing in the middle of a room with images of himself (as Xoanon) on giant screens, then collapsing as the images zoom up to him, shouting "No!" - fantastic! The sound of a small child emanates out of Xoanon's mouth, crying "Who am I?", and the credits crashing in afterwards, are some of the more spine tingling moments.
Religion and superstition take a pretty fair sized hit in this story, as most of the relics and beliefs that the tribe of the Sevateem live their lives by are almost systematically explained and debunked by The Doctor throughout the course of this story. It is belief in such things, led by Neeva, that get a good chunk of Sevateem warriors killed on an ill advised raid on Xoanon's "temple". I'll speak more of Neeva later, but him recognizing Xoanon's voice as The Doctor's whilst in a trance is one of this episode's special little moments.
Opposite to the savage Sevateem tribe are the Tesh, who are calm and orderly to a fault. They're boring to watch and listen to because they're meant to be boring to watch and listen to. The Tesh are devoid of all the instinct and emotion that make up the Sevateem. Even when they are tracking Leela to try and kill her later in this episode, while they exhibit quickness and agility, it almost seems as if their hearts aren't in their actions. They're merely doing what's logical to try and rectify the situation.
Malcolm Hulke often wrote stories that presented both sides in a conflict as being right, in their own way. Chris Boucher, in this, his first script for Doctor Who, seems to be intent on showing how wrong both sides can be.
Posted by Steven at 3:01 PM