Thursday, January 14, 2010

5T1 - The Keeper of Traken 1

The Keeper of Traken starts off in a bizarre fashion, devoting the entire first half of the episode to a prologue to introduce everyone to the characters and the situation on Traken before The Doctor lands there. The circumstances are exceptional as the Keeper is specifically seeking out The Doctor's help and so must brief him on his mission.

It's a convenient way of getting past all the exposition and introductory dialogue from all the members of the Traken council, however, it still seems a somewhat heavyhanded way of dispensing with the necessary information. The scenes that The Keeper shows The Doctor and Adric are blunt and to the point, and thus terribly unnatural, like much of the dialogue in this episode (as well as the beards. As an aside, Tony Gallichan from the Flashing Blade Podcast is right - Season 18 is the Year of the Beard. Every male character (and possibly even the female Tharil) seems to be sporting a beard in this season. Even The Doctor gets in on the act in The Leisure Hive!).

It's not that this episode is bad, by any means, it just seems slightly stilted, as if we're watching a dress rehearsal of a lesser known Shakespeare comedy.


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