Tuesday, November 24, 2009

4W3 - The Sun Makers 3

There's even more brilliance in this episode from Robert Holmes through his ciphers, namely the Gatherer and the Collector. The Collector's commands for Leela ("Maximize her medicare", and later, her execution order is deemed as "pending") are some of the more overt references to the UK tax system that were left in Holmes's script (one can only imagine to jaded barbs that were removed before the serial went into production).

The Collector is played by Henry Woolf in one of the more superlative comedic performances seen in the show's history. Woolf is perfect as the sniveling Collector, who is thoroughly evil not because it's in his nature but because his motives are influenced purely by greed and profits for his company. Woolf is part Boss Hogg, part Dr. Evil (while predating both characters), and is one of the best villains during Tom Baker's reign as The Doctor.

Leela also has a strong story, and it's not surprising that Louise Jameson rates The Sun Makers as her favourite story. Even in this episode, where she spends the entire duration being held captive in a varied assortment of ways, her character is just as feisty, if not more so, than it ever was. In fact, not a single character is underused, with the possible exception of Michael Keating as Goudry, who is so magnetic in his limited screen time that it's no wonder he was tapped to play Vila in a new BBC science fiction series called Blake's 7...


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