Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Serial 69: The Green Death

Doctor: Jon Pertwee (3rd Doctor)
Companion: Jo Grant

Written by: Robert Sloman (and Barry Letts)
Directed by: Michael Briant

Background & Significance: After starting off with The Three Doctors, Jon Pertwee ended his fourth season with a story written by one of the major writers during his tenure: a Mr. Robert Sloman.

Sloman's stories (and we'll get to some of them eventually, I'm sure) are widely considered some of the best of Pertwee's Doctor Who, including Jon Pertwee's final story "The Planet of the Spiders" (which, tangent, I want to watch so so badly you don't even know. It's apparently quite good).

This story, "The Green Death" marks another turning point for Pertwee's Doctor. Besides the intense, serious environmental message (so intense, in fact, you can't escape it), the story also marks the departure of Katy Manning as Companion Jo Grant.

Now, I know I've been hardish on Jo in the past, what with her insistence on skinning fine blue furred aliens for her clothing, but, to me, it's impossible to discuss Pertwee's Doctor without mentioning Jo Grant. She was The Third Doctor's companion for three of his five seasons, and it was her departure (along with the death of Roger Delgado (who was the original Master) and the departure of Barry Letts) that incentivized Pertwee into making his next season as The Doctor his final season.

As such, a lot of this story is about The Doctor and Jo separating both physically and emotionally, leading to a terribly beautiful farewell that... well... I can't see how anyone can get out of this serial without caring about Jo in the end, or at least, without caring about the relationship between her and The Doctor. Not with this ending.

So let's get to it!


Part 1:

We open with a miner running through a series of underground shafts. He reaches an elevator and rides it to the top, very aware that his hand has started to turn green.

Topside, a fellow, named Mr. Stevens, giving an announcement to a cluster of people standing outside a company called Global Chemicals. Stevens starts talking loudly about "coal as a dying industry" and "wealth in our time" and "new jobs", but is constantly interrupted by a bunch of hippies, who watch the proceedings.

That's right. Two minutes in and we're already dealing with a bunch of hippies. They're led by a Doctor, Clifford Jones, and they're angry that Global Chemicals (does anyone else think this name is not subtle for "Evil" at all? Then again, Pertwee's era was not so much on the subtle) for polluting the environment at the expense of huge profits for the company.

Oh. And they're Welsh. REALLY Welsh. Very accenty.

The argument doesn't get far, though, before the factory whistle blows and we see that the miner has made it to the surface, now a lot greener than just his hand.

We head to UNIT, where we get our first Youtube. It's the first scene between The Doctor and Jo, and it's just so... elegantly put together, especially because we know that Jo's leaving at the end of this. You can just tell that they're drifting apart and neither of them knows or deals with it.

Guh. It's so good!

So Jo runs off with the Brigadier to South Wales to go try to stop Global Chemicals' pollutative ways and The Doctor heads off to Metebelis 3.

We go back to Global Chemicals, where everyone is staring at the Green Miner and wondering how he got that way, but no one can figure it out. (Maybe it's the chemicals?)

Jo arrives at the Nuthutch, the commune for Dr. Jones (Hippie Leader) and his hippie commune friends, and heads inside. There, she meets Dr. Jones and the two hit it off right away. And by hit it off I mean she barges in and starts messing with his experiments, being a klutzy fool and knocking over beakers and jumbling up all his research.

Apparently, this mirrors Jo's first meeting with The Doctor in "Terror of the Autons", but I haven't seen that yet so I can't speak to it. That said, if it's true, then this meeting is truly delightful as it really is a "passing the baton" scene that just works.

He talks about what they're doing at the Nuthutch, like eating nothing but salad and growing edible fungus that they want to use as an alternate food supply.

"It won't kill you. Honest. I am but a noble Hippie."

Silly Nuthutch. Fungus? Man wasn't made to eat fungus!

The Brigadier confronts Stevens in Global Chemicals, saying he's going to investigate the miner's death because that's what UNIT does. He asks for an outside line to call The Doctor.

But there's no one there! Why?

During all this, The Doctor lands on Metebelis 3 and has an adventure. An epic hell of an adventure. Here it is.

As The Doctor heads for Global Chemicals, Dr. Jones explains to Jo the many reasons they need to take down companies like Global Chemicals and focus on alternative energies while Stevens spins the situation to The Brigadier. It's a nice back and forth of showing off how evil corporations will spin truths while the people who are activists know what's really going on.

Unfortunately, Jo wants to do something about all this NOW, but Dr. Jones refuses, saying he's got more work to do. Angered, she heads off to Global Chemicals.

The Doctor arrives and The Brigadier goes to meet with him, leaving Stevens behind. Once gone, Stevens takes a moment and says "Nobody must go down into the mine" before putting on his headphones and jazzing out to the smooth tunes of [hip 70's easy listening person/band/group].

He probably head bobs.

Jo gets to the mine and encounters some miners, who say they've already sent someone down there to investigate the situation. But then he calls, his hand green, and begs for help.

One of the miners starts to head down into the mine, and Jo convinces him to take her along; they hop in the elevator and descend.

The Doctor and the Brigadier pull up seconds later and see the elevator s going down into the mine. They race inside and ask the man operating the controls who's down there. The Doctor finds out it's Jo and demands the elevator stop immediately.

And then they find out that the brakes are out and the elevator is falling, out of control.

That can't be good...

Part 2:

We come back to Jo and the miner plunging towards their deaths.

Seeing that the operator and the motor will be no help, The Doctor grabs a crowbar and attempts to stop the wheel manually. The Brigadier joins him, and gradually they are able to stop the elevator.

But not before Jo and the miner, Bert, land all the way at the bottom. They hop out of the elevator (not trusting the cable) and start to make their way through the mine, where they discover the phone line is down and the dude they're looking for passed out on the ground and covered in the glowing green lesions.

The Doctor and The Brigadier appeal to Global Chemicals for cable cutting tools so they can free the elevator cables and bring up Bert and Jo.

Global Chemicals ignores them, and Stevens starts taking orders from a wall screen with a voice. The screen (whom Stevens calls "The Boss") orders Stevens to process a one Mr. Fell, the PR guy who wants them to help out with the problem at the mine.

The Brigadier comes to Global Chemicals to request the cutting tools. Mr. Fell enters and point blank refuses the request, acting rather cold machine-like when he says the proper tools were removed and the new ones haven't arrived.

That, alone, seems like reason enough for UNIT to shut them down. Isn't that a violation of some safety regulation? It sure sounds like it. Someone bust them for that.

Back at the mine, The Brigadier tells The Doctor that Global Chemicals has denied possession of any cutting tools. The Doctor calls it ridiculous, and is soon introduced to Dr. Jones, and the two conspire of a way to break into Global Chemicals.

While Dr. Jones teams up with a few Hippies and march on Global Chemicals, trying to make as much dissonant noise as possible, The Doctor uses a cherry picker to hop Global Chemical's electric fence and break onto their grounds.

No sooner has he started to run across the grounds, though, then sensors pick him up as an intruder and alert Global Chemicals' board of directors. Stevens asks The Boss if they should kill him, but The Boss says apprehending him should be sufficient.

And then they do.

Or at least they try.

The Doctor busts out some Kung Fu and incapacitates the three guards sent to detain him. It's awesome. Watching Pertwee be spry and fast with some jabs and punches is pretty kick ass. Good sequence, this.

More guards show up, this time with bigger guns, and he runs for it, but eventually gets trapped in a maintenance area, finally coming face to face with the villain.

The Doctor demands the tools necessary to go into the mine. Stevens doesn't refuse him, but shows off the empty storehouse where the tools should be kept. The Doctor, convinced, heads back to the mine... And ummm... What was the point of all that? I mean, yeah. We got The Doctor in a cherry picker and The Doctor doing some Kung Fu (which, admittedly, awesome), but at the end of it all, we're basically exactly where we left off.

Oh. And then The Brigadier arrives with fresh cutting tools, allowing The Doctor and a team of miners access to head down the second shaft's elevator system. So ummm... I guess The Doctor breaking into Global Chemicals was just to kill time till that happened.

While all this has gone on, Jo and Bert have made their way through the mines and take a break right in front of a trail of toxic waste (Unfortunately there are no extended sequences of Jo doing kung fu on the toxic waste, but we can't have everything). Bert makes the mistake of touching it; he screams and passes out almost instantly.

The Doctor and a team of miners arrive in the mine, right next to the dead miner from earlier. He finds a letter from Jo saying they ran towards the emergency shaft, looking for a way out and opts to chase after them, leader of the mining team joining him.

Bert realizes he's caught the plague and, severely weakened, tells Jo to go on without him. She does, and minutes later The Doctor and the team leader catch up to the weakened and fading Bert.

After sending Bert and the team leader up to the surface, The Doctor continues in his pursuit of Jo, and finds her just a few seconds after she comes across this horrible sight.

Those are maggots, by the way. Giant Mutant Maggots.

He pulls Jo away and they try to run back towards the surface, but there's a random cave in, blocking their path, and some of these gross and disgusting mutant maggots slither out of the cave in and come right towards them.

Part 3:

The Doctor and Jo scarper away from the maggots and towards the pool. They rig a mining cart and some two-by-four paddles and set off across the maggot pond.


They reach the end of the pond, hop out of their makeshift boat, and start to climb the emergency shaft that leads into Global Chemicals. Along the way, they come across a giant egg, one that Jo hypothesizes will probably hatch one of those maggots, and The Doctor takes it with them.

The Brigadier has yet another conversation with Stevens (and really, I don't mean to question the Brigadier or nothin, but you'd think he'd be able to have this whole mess sorted in the first meeting) in which both call high level political cabinet members. Unfortunately, Stevens's friends in high places trump the Brigadier's, and the Brigadier's request for a full investigation gets shot down.

In Global Chemicals, obviously-brain-washed Mr. Fell comes under fire from another Global Chemicals employee, Engin, who grills him for [being a total douche]. Mr. Fell attempts to continue to be PR guy, but his brain hurts, so he says "You are mistaken" and heads into a control room.

Engin follows him in and starts to question him about what he's doing. Mr. Fell falters, opting just to stay silent or to just shrug off the question when he's asked them. It's very funny, because you have this guy who's been an unapologetic HUGE liar all through this and then he gets asked all these questions and he can't think on his toes. The dialogue here is HILARIOUS, because Mr. Fell fails so much. This guy should get fired.

Oh, and then. AND THEN. When they find out that Jo and The Doctor are climbing the pipe, Mr. Fell orders the waste disposal to go into the pipe that they're climbing. And then, when confronted with the fact that it will PROBABLY KILL JO AND THE DOCTOR, Mr. Fell responds with "They are intruders."

Which I find hilarious. That's probably going to be really bad PR. Intruders will be killed by sewage.

But Mr. Fell manages to break the hold on him for a few seconds, and allows Engin access to free Jo and The Doctor from the pipe just in time.

While Engin and The Doctor talk for a bit in the control room, Mr. Fell escapes to go complain to Stevens that he has a headache. Stevens sits him down in a chair and makes him put on the easy listening headphones.

Rock it, Mr. Fell.

The Boss comes on and informs Stevens that this round of processing was a failure and that Fell is of no more use to them. He orders Fell's self-destruction; Stevens protests, but the Boss will have no more of it. Stevens presses a button.

Mr. Fell gets up from his chair, runs out of the office, right past Engin leading the escaping Doctor and Jo, out to a balcony, and jumps off the building.

And then Stevens gets sad.

And then we jump to the Nuthutch, where there's a Hippie party for everyone.

Talk about a jarring change of moods, my goodness.

It's a jovial place, where The Brigadier is tricked into eating a messload of meat-like fungus, Dr. Jones explains that he's going to go do some research in the Amazon, and then, amidst laughs and fun talk of who does what in the Nuthutch, The Doctor enters to say that Bert is dead.

God. What a buzzkill.

The Doctor and the Brigadier examine the Maggot egg while Jo and Dr. Jones share a touching moment. They're about to kiss when The Doctor and Brigadier interrupt and Dr. Jones exits to see the Brigadier out.

Before he goes, The Doctor shows off one of the sapphires he stole while on his trip to Metebelis 3. Jo is happy for him, but doesn't seem too interested beyond that. Disheartened, The Doctor exits as she turns her attention to a book on the Amazon.

Elsewhere, the Maggot breaks out of its egg and starts to crawl, unmonitored, around the Nuthutch. It sneaks into Jo's room and crawls up behind her.

And the Companion engrossed in her book is completely unaware.

Part 4:

We come back to the maggot about to leap out and attack Jo. But then, just in the nick of time, Stevens' assistant [I don't remember his name, nor is it really that relevant] arrives under the Boss's orders to destroy the egg. He gets a good look at the maggot, recoils in horror and then--

The Maggot eats him. Because it is hungry.

The assistant screams. Jo screams. The Maggot falls off and slithers away, but not before it took a nice bite out of the assistant's wrist.

Everyone arrives at the sound of the commotion, but they're too late to catch the maggot. The Doctor takes some of the slime residue into his lab for testing.

Elsewheres, The Brigadier and UNIT start lining up explosives to blow up the mine. I'd go on about it, but that's really all that's happening right here.

The Doctor and Dr. Jones (sounds like a 70's sitcom) sit in the lab and do experiments while Jo watches. They test the gross maggot slime and realize that the toxic waste is a fast-acting virus. The Doctor then finds out about UNIT's plans to bomb the mine, and pleads with the Brigadier to give him some time.

The Brigadier gives him half an hour.

The Doctor confronts Stevens, telling him to not seal off the mine until a full investigation can be made. Stevens argues with him extensively and brings in their "Man from the Ministry."

Who is really Mike Yates from UNIT.

So then The Doctor starts arguing with Yates, but doesn't get very far, or at least, not far enough in the remaining time he has left. Cuz then this happens.

The Doctor hears the blast from across the way and then curses the heavens for man's lameness. He leaves, and Yates is provided accommodations (is that like a bedroom and shower? Cuz I wouldn't trust either of those).

Back at the Nuthutch, The Brigadier assures them they have nothing more to worry about. No one else is quite convinced, though, nor should they be. We still have another two and a half episodes to go.

Also, a cleaning lady in Global Chemicals shows Engin a disposal pipe full of maggots.

This kinda looks like he's dancing. A bit.

Engin tells Stevens of the problem, but Stevens won't listen, and when the former tries to leave, the latter locks him in and makes him take a seat. And that's when Stevens pulls out the easy-listening headphones and starts to put them on Engin, saying "YOU WILL LISTEN TO MY MUSIC AND TELL ME I HAVE GOOD TASTE." Kinda creepy.

In the countryside around the mine or wherever, Maggots have started to crop up all over, threatening to spread across the world.

UNIT attempts to take them out by gunfire, but they've grown shells so hard bullets can't kill them. The Doctor, realizing that the maggots are pupae and thusly not in their final form, asks for samples of the waste coming from Global Chemicals.

They call up Mike Yates, but realize that he's being watched over during his stay at Global Chemicals. With that in mind, The Doctor opts to break back into Global Chemicals (which, I will remind you, he did do before and it was a complete waste of time) and tells Yates to expect his visit.

So now The Doctor has to break into Global Chemicals. And how does he do it?

I call it "Wacky 70's Antics." The first of which is The Doctor disguising himself as the milkman, breaking past security, and then onto Global Chemicals' base.

Once inside, he starts sneaking around and hits an out-of-bounds-for-milkmen zone, where security cameras start bleeting and alerting the guard. The Doctor ducks into a side closet and starts to don his next disguise.

No. It's not a Train Conductor. It's even better.

While this is going on, Jo plays lab assistant for Dr. Jones, but spills fungus on all of his samples, "ruining" them. Dr. Jones throws a HUGE hissy fit and tells Jo to be a good woman by "keeping him company" and "making him coffee."

She tries talking to him seriously, but he's not answering. So she leaves to head out to the countryside to get him a maggot.

And then she meets Benton, and says she wants to go get a look around at the maggots. Benton tells her to not be so silly. It's far too dangerous. Get in the car. She politely refuses. And he drives off.

Man. That is a classic case of "I'm going to tell you not to do it, and then walk away."

And then Dr. Jones, frustrated, finally looks at the slides that Jo "ruined" with fungus. He examines them, hollers Eureka, and then calls out for Jo, but finds the note she left. The one that said she went out looking for a Maggot.

But we're all looking for The Doctor's disguise, aren't we? Well, well, heh heh. So here it is. The second and greatest Doctor disguise in the history of time. [So far].

And it's a youtube.

Good lord that is greatness. GREATNESS.

So then The Doctor puts on his real clothes and heads off to find Stevens's Boss. He arrives on the top floor and is greeted by the disembodied voice of the Boss. And The Boss... well...

He says he's the Computer.

I really want to know what he's looking at that gives him that face.

Part 5:

In the Countryside, Dr. Jones arrives, looking for Jo. Benton says he wouldn't have let Jo through, but when he leaves to go reprimand some insubordinates, Dr. Jones sees Jo running up a hill towards the Maggots. He chases after her.

Meanwhile, in Global Chemicals, The Doctor starts talking to The Boss, who has been programmed to be as humanlike as possible, which will help when he starts to take over the world any day now.

And this... I dunno. This is a bit of a left turn. Maybe it's because they haven't really stressed the Boss all throughout the story (he's been present, but never really a major force) until here, at the top of episode five, when we get him thrown at our face. All through this, the story's been a lot about the chemicals and the toxic waste and the maggots (so many maggots), so now The Doctor has to fight this machine, which is... It's just strange, I think. It kinda clashes with the rest of the story, which is good, but a bit sloppy because this guy is the main bad guy (because he is the grand orchestrator) even though it feels like it's a story about Mutant Maggots.

In the Countryside, Dr. Jones catches up to Jo (who is frightened) and attempts to bring her away from the maggots and back to safety. But they're too late. The UNIT bomber is on approach.

And what's the UNIT bomber?

It's a dude in a helicopter who drops bombs out the side door by hand.

I dunno. I find this bit hilarious for some reason. It's just really funny that UNIT has this helicopter flying around and then some clown drops bombs on targets rather than the helicopter doing the dropping of the bombs. It's like UNIT's Santa Claus throwing candy at the children as he flies over the city. Except instead of candy it's powerful explosives, and instead of children it's maggots.

Anyways. So Jo and Dr. Jones dive into a nearby cave, where they take refuge from the Santa Claus style bombing going on outside.

The Doctor hears the bombing going on outside while the Boss continues to taunt him, but he's had enough. He asks The Boss (who calls himself infallible) one of those paradox questions (the next thing I tell you will be true. But the last thing I told you was a lie).

And this was fun. Watching the Boss try to pretend it wasn't had was quite amusing. It went back and forth trying to figure out the "real" answer, without realizing the real answer is simply not to play.

Sufficiently entertained, The Doctor tries to leave, but is met by Stevens and some guards, who detain him.

They make him put on the easy listening headphones, but they have no effect on his superior mind (one that gets Pi wrong. No really. He says 3.1416 and then keeps going. DOCTOR FAIL).

Angered that the therapy isn't working, The Boss orders The Doctor killed, but The Doctor convinces him that imprisoning him and keeping him as a bargaining chip is a better idea.

During the bombing, Jo attempts to contact The Brigadier, but during one of the explosions, a maggot appears and attacks her. Dr. Jones leaps in its path and kills it but is knocked unconscious.

The bombing ends and The Brigadier takes a look at the Maggot field only to find that, surprise! The Maggots are still writhing! And the communicator's down! Oh no!

Back in Global Chemicals, Yates breaks The Doctor out and they escape the complex. Sort of. Yates falls behind and is locked inside.

The Doctor goes on without him, making a daring escape past the guarded gate in the milk truck. Also, despite the fact that the entire complex is probably on alert because of the escaped Doctor, the guards just watch this milk truck back out of the gate and only when it's started to drive away do they start to fire.

Those guys need to get fired. Wow. They had one job to do and they failed at it.

So The Doctor arrives at the UNIT camp in Bessie just as Jo fixes her communicator enough to get the word out. They head for the cave (amidst horrid horrid blue screen) and arrive to see Maggots advancing. The Doctor whips out his sonic screwdriver and sonics high pitched noises into the air, loud enough to draw away the maggots.

There's a rescue. They head back to the Nuthutch. And then they realize, once Dr. Jones doesn't recover right away, that he's been infected with the Global Chemicals virus. He manages to say "Serendipity" and then passes out.

This makes The Doctor go away to think for bit, and while in the lab, Mike Yates rises from behind a table and point a gun at him. That's crazy! Was he there the whole time? How did no one notice him?!

Oh, and Yates got Boss'd.

So then The Doctor pulls the blue sapphire from Metebelis 3 out of his pocket and shows it to Yates. Yates stares at it, and the sapphire, which has low-res psychic energy, manages to break the hold on Yates (but not before some wacky 70's camera tricks).

Blue Starro?

A bit later, Yates wakes up and The Doctor asks him to go back into Global Chemicals as a spy (again), which he does, telling Stevens that The Doctor is dead.

Stevens brings in Mr. James and orders him to stand guard over Yates while he goes off to do something. Yates pulls the sapphire on Mr. James and, with the help of some psychedelic 70's visuals, breaks the Boss's hold on Mr. James.

Yates asks Mr. James of The Boss's plans, but only finds out about some "takeover" before Mr. James collapses, dead.

And Mr. Stevens stands over Yates, pointing a gun in his face.


Weird cliffhanger. Not about The Doctor or anyone crazy crazy important. It's just like... Yeah...

Part 6:

In the Nuthutch, The Doctor continues to examine the situation, but to no avail. The Brigadier attempts to understand it, but he's too hungry. He can't wait for Nancy to finish making them all sandwiches.

So Nancy finishes producing the day's flavor of fungus: Beef, which she sets aside on a table.

Benton arrives with an empty chrysalis. The Doctor wonders what could be inside it, but stops at Nancy's screams.

The Brigadier, The Doctor, and The Benton (there was a theme there) all rush in to find a dead maggot on the table. The Doctor prods it, but it's dead. It ate the beef-flavored fungus. And died.

So yeah. The fungus is the thing they're going to use to defeat the evil green maggots. Good ol' Mother Nature winning out against the evils of conglomerate pollution.

Meanwhile, The Boss is humming a jaunty tune while waiting for Stevens to finish doing whatever it is Stevens is doing. He wonders how Yates managed to break processing, and how he was able to break Mr. James's too. But no matter. The Boss wants Yates to be the first human subject for "Complete Processing".

UNIT loads a mess load of fungus onto Bessie, and The Doctor and Benton start driving around, throwing out fungus like Santa Claus or that UNIT bomb dropper. As they'd predicted, it starts killing the maggots.

And that's when the giant evil bug thing shows up.

Yates is carted away to be processed, but he manages to outshove two guards and Mr. Stevens, throwing them into an elevator, and running away.

No really. Yates totally outmanuevered three guys by throwing them into an elevator. These Global Chemicals guards should be fired.

So while Yates is escaping, that giant giant bug thing attacks The Doctor and Benton. It is awesome. Also, it like... marks its territory by shooting yellow stuff at the windshield. I'm not joking.

The Doctor finally stops it by... throwing his coat... and... the creature falls? You'd think they'd throw it some fungus or something. I don't know. Lame ending. At least the bug could have marked the Doctor's coat. I would have laughed.

Returning to the Nuthutch, The Doctor still has no idea how to cure the toxic virus (maybe it's the fungus), so he keeps repeating Dr. Jones's last phrase before his coma, saying "Serendipity." Jo asks what that means, and when he tells her it means "A Happy Accident", Jo confesses...

"I had an accident."

But anyways, she says that her accident was spilling the brown powdered fungus on the slides. The Doctor realizes it was the fungus (Magical Cure-All Fungus!) and sets out concocting an antidote.

Then Yates burst in. The Boss is taking over. Blah blah blah. The Doctor hands the tending of men over to the women and heads off to Global Chemicals for a final showdown.

And then we find out that The Boss plans to link up with seven other computers around the world to create a network of information.

So what we basically have is The Doctor trying to stop the creation of The Internet. That's some elitist crap. And really, when you get it right down to it, it's not that far off...

He arrives telling The Brigadier to blow the place up if he's not out at three minutes to four (The internet goes live at four. Seriously, Doctor. Why are you doing this?) because if he's not out by then he shall be dead (BY WHO?!). The guard says there's no way The Doctor's getting through there, but he "deactivates" as Stevens and the Boss initiate the total control protocol.

The Doctor runs inside (seriously, Pertwee runs like a girl. And it's hilarious.) only to find Stevens rocking out to the headphones, linking with The Boss. The Doctor pleads with Stevens, who is decidedly checked out, and the Boss wrestles him for control. The former uses concepts like pollution and giant mutant creatures and soulless zombies.

But that doesn't work. Stevens likes the internet.

So then The Doctor sapphires him, breaking The Boss's control enough to convince him to shut down the internet. The Doctor rips off the headphones, but Stevens needs to stay behind, overloading the generators and staying one step ahead of The Boss, who begs Stevens to stop, calling him his friend.

Finally, Stevens shuts down The Boss and the internet. And he cries like a man.

The Doctor runs out, and just in time. Because Global Chemicals goes up. Showering them all in harmful chemicals and mutating them and burning their flesh and poisoning all of Wales for thousands and thousands of years.

That's not true. It's just a big explosion. No fallout.

Back at the Nuthutch, Dr. Jones recovers quickly. They set up for the "everyone laughs" 70s ending, but Jo decides to stay with Dr. Jones and go with him to the Amazon. The Doctor asks when, and Dr. Jones says that they just need to go to Cardiff for some supplies and then they need to get married.

And then Jo squees and says yes.

No really. She just met the guy like... three days ago. And now they're to be married. Wow.

And then everyone from UNIT and the Nuthutch comes in and hear about the news and get overjoyed and ask for a party.

Geez... The 70s.

And then we get our final youtube, which is just........ Stellar. Like, really. I know that just two weeks ago we did the Susan farewell youtube. But... man. How can you not love this? It's emotionally so so powerful, and it has an amazing last shot and some real.... Goodness. Pertwee is so good.

Damn. What an ending.

Final Thoughts: Overall, I really enjoyed this. All the parts with Jo are remarkably good, and Pertwee's performance is as good as ever, especially him dealing with Jo and her leaving. So is the Brigadier, and I love Welsh accents, because I can't figure out how to do them at all. This serial had a lot of really good in spades.

I find it a bit disjointed, though. You think the threat is the maggots, but really it's a super computer who's trying to start the internet, and you don't meet the computer until the end of episode four and you don't find out about the internet until the middle of episode six and the maggots don't appear until the end of episode two. And then there's a random Dragonfly in episode six.

It's just... It's weird.

But I love this era. I do. It's just so not-subtle. And it's ridiculous crazy in the way the 70s are. No other Doctors could get away with that cleaning lady bit (although I'd love to see some of them try. Tom Baker as a nanny. Can we make that happen?) and the Kung Fu is pretty awesome, even though that bit was pointless in the end.

Overall, it's a bit padded, but it's a good proper send off for Jo and it's got some really great moments. It was possible for it to get over preachy (and it was in places), but as a whole, it's a solid solid story with some great character work and cool sequences.

Next Time!: 1st Doctor! A Mysterious Time Lord! Time Lords never referred to as Time Lords! Vikings! 1066! And The Meddling Monk! "The Time Meddler"! Coming next Tuesday!

No comments:

Post a Comment