Tuesday, December 1, 2009

5B1 - The Pirate Planet 1

If ever I'm trapped in an argument about which science fiction series is better than Doctor Who, the tiebreaker card I always pull out if I need to is this: did your favourite science fiction series have Douglas Adams writing for it? No? Right - Doctor Who wins. Again.

Adams's first of three Doctor Who scripts, The Pirate Planet, can only hope, by popular demand, to be, at best, only the second most favourite story written by the Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy scribe, but it's another story that I remember especially fondly from the very earliest days of my fascination with Doctor Who. Episode One is still incredibly watchable, and full of Adams's trademarks - offbeat humour and outrageous science borne out of cold, hard facts.

But one of my favourite little bits of this episode is when Romana finally manages to track down a native of Zanak to ask him where Calufrax is. The man goes on to talk about how Zanak is awash with riches on a regular basis, and all thanks to the Captain. Romana offers the man a jelly baby, but instead of politely taking one and moving on, the man dives into the bag, plucking several out, stopping only when The Doctor's subtle cough reminds him that he's had enough. In that small, subtle action, we get to see the mentality of the people of Zanak and how they're used to being hand fed by the Captain, and how their greed upon being shown further riches is perfectly normal to them.

Unfortunately, there are some unconvincing crowd shots consisting of seven extras who aren't sure when to enthuse, and the helmets that the Captain's guards wear are some of the rudest ever seen in the show...


Post a Comment