Monday, May 14, 2012

Doctor Who-The Green Death
                 Perhaps due to the worldwide climate of social unrest in the early/mid 1970's, it's hard for me to not notice some of the more overt sociopolitical content of Jon Pertwee's years on Doctor Who. Also of note was the fact that so much of that time was spent with the character in "exile" on Earth. During 1973 in particular this was particularly evident in particular with the US celebrating it's first Earth Day a few years earlier. Not to mention the subject of ecology and preservation of the planet becoming a topic of conversation. Overall the 70's in general were a time of particularly strong writing on this series. Even if the show was still on it's shoe string budget the quality of the acting and the stories could more than make up for it. That in essence is what this third doctor story represents. Also it's an exit point for the the third doctor's second companion Jo Grant.


              It's a story revolving around Welsh minors dying from a seemingly parasitic green ooze. They are working for a company called Global Chemicals,who are claiming they are reducing pollution and maximizing profit through an unknown knew method. This attracts the attention of the doctor and UNIT. They are able to track down a man thought to be a "wacky hippy leader" basically named Professor Jones. As it turns out he's soon cluing in that what Global Chemicals are doing has to do with these deaths. Turns out their chemical process is causing these giant fly larvae to run amok. Not only are these maggots causing these deaths but the mutation is the result of a super computer that has entirely taken over Global Chemicals. In the end,through clever decision making the entire plot is thwarted. However on Jo's part she's become taken with Professor Jones. She decides to leave UNIT and marry him in the end.


              Needless to say there's a message of environmentalism and globalization based economy written all over this story. On the other hand the characterizations are excellent as well. Professor Jones for example is a very multi-dimensional character-at once heroic and intelligent and on the other end mildly insatiable and stubborn. It's believed because he embodies some of the doctors traits,ones that Jo Grant admires,is why she is so easily attracted to him. In the end this is a story that blends a personal touch with an important message as well. Another important thing in this story is that the monsters are not typical space creatures. They are mutated lifeforms originated 100% on Earth. So the terrestrial nature of the concern and perhaps terror created by this reminds us of the consequences that could possibly be bought on by humanity's short sightedness. 
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