Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Doctor Who- The Ark In Space
           This is my first review of an episode of Doctor Who. Now in terms of the classic show most people,especially in the US are most aware of Tom Baker's years as "the doctor". And this particular episode is apparently one of Baker's personal favorites. I'd have to agree with him. If you never seen any Doctor Who serial this wouldn't be a bad place to start. It was broadcast in late January and early February 1975. Along with Baker it starred the late Elizabeth Sladen as female companion Sarah Jane Smith and Ian Marter as male companion Harry Sullivan. I'll try to describe the episode without too many spoilers.

                In 'The Ark In Space' the TARDIS has left UNIT HQ (home base of the third doctor) to end up on a space station called Nerva (maybe named after the Roman emperor) in the 30'th century where the last survivors of the human race are in cryogenic stasis awaiting Earth's recovery from a solar flare induced apocalypse. Only problem is their a many centuries too late. Turns out a giant gastropod type alien insect has infested the space station. And it begins to effect the awaking humans aboard Nerva. It's the job of the intrepid Doctor,the bright and inquisitive Sarah Jane and the curious Harry to assist the human survivors on the station in handling the situation.

             My opinion is this is an extremely well written and paced four part Doctor Who serial. It was written by Robert Holmes,who wrote many of the best classic Doctor Who stories. Tom Baker plays the doctor with the right amount of wit,charm and intellectually deductive powers that helps him to unravel the events unfolding around him. It's a thought provoking story about survival and the resilience of homo sapiens. This leads to a speech by Tom Baker's doctor that is often considered one of the best lines in the entire series. Although the debut Doctor Who episode An-Unearthly-Child does provide further back round into the plot of the series, this episode is probably the ideal introduction to the Tom Baker era of the show.
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