Wednesday, March 3, 2010

6Q1 - Planet of Fire 1

An episode that seems more famous these days for being a sexual awakening (for differing reasons) for both David Tennant and Phil Collinson, Episode One of Planet of Fire has a lot going for it...although seeing both Nicola Bryant and Mark Strickson in their bathing suits is still one of those strong points (again, for differing reasons).

For one, Lanzarote looks spectacular, both as itself for the scenes set on Earth, but especially in the scenes set on Sarn. Even though Lanzarote was decided upon as a location before Planet of Fire was ever written, it seems impossible to imagine this story ever being filmed anywhere else. The brightness of the sun is also a shock after watching years of cloudy UK location footage; Planet of Fire looks entirely different than anything seen in Doctor Who before.

What's also unique to this story are the scenes of slight domestic strife between Peri and her stepfather Howard. This is one of the rare occasions that we see a soon-to-be-companion and her family, then wrench that companion from her family without them knowing where she went. After the TARDIS takes off with Peri on board, the girl never returns to Earth in this story. As far as Howard knows, she somehow managed to get herself and the Trion artifact (might be platinum, after all) off the boat and has flown off to Morocco with a "couple of nice English guys". Well, at least it's not far from the truth...


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