Monday, November 23, 2009

4X3 - Image of the Fendahl 3

There's a bit of an odd sequence in this episode that sees The Doctor and Leela fly off to try and find the fifth planet, thus taking themselves out of the action for a good part of this episode. It's an odd wild goose chase that gets them nowhere, and only seems to kill time in a story that is strong on atmosphere but short on incident.

I compared it before to another minimalist story featuring a small cast, Horror of Fang Rock, but while the latter managed to find enough twists and turns to keep the story moving, The Doctor's and Leela's sudden trip in the TARDIS is emblematic of a story that just doesn't have enough steam to keep it going over the four episodes (and barely, at that, as Episode Four only just clears the 20 minute mark).

Plus, why does Stael, after being assured that 13 people are necessary for the ceremony in the cellar, kill Fendleman so readily, and without much forethought? The one thing that his actions do is offer the somewhat shocking image of blood dripping from Fendleman's temple, which won't be the last graphic image seen in this story...


Robert Konigsberg said...

While watching this episode I noticed a completely unnecessary bit of drama about a second gun in the laboratory. You could tell by the editing that it was a poorly-edited add-on. I'm sure that was also needed to pad the story.

veganaxos said...

Hi Steven,

I'm putting together a new book that reprints reviews of Classic Doctor Who stories and I'd like to use one of yours. Could you email me at and we can discuss the details?


- Robert Smith?

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