Friday, September 7, 2012

Doctor Who-The Ribos Operation
                         Following the departure of Louise Jamison's character if Leela,it was now time for the fourth doctor to have a third companion. Of course being the way Tom Baker's doctor was,he didn't really fancy having  anybody to accompany him on his missions any longer. To him they were well intentioned interlopers who required too much guidance to really be of any help to him. Somehow his new companion would have to be someone who would not only match him in terms of intelligence level but also prove to be somewhat of a rival as well. This would provide an entirely new type of doctor/companion relationship and change the rhythm of the whole program. Mary Tamm,a friend of Jamison's from drama school,was recommended for the part. In addition a story arc was assembled for the two characters that would be extremely high concept.

                       The Doctor is pulled out of the space/time continuum by a being addressing himself as the White Guardian,whose assigned him on a new mission to locate the five disguised segments of the key to time which,when assembled will stop time long enough to restore the balance of good and evil which is apparently out of sync. He's also assigned the doctor a new assistant,a young fellow time lady named Romanadvortundar who he obviously insists on calling Romana. She is in possession of a device that can track the TARDIS directly to each segment of the key. First stop is the planet Ribos,a primitive world with non stop winters and are caught between a human con artist named Garron,attempting to steal the planets fortune and the pompous,posturing Graff Vynda-K. In the end it's the witch character of the Seeker and Garron's single minded short sightedness that allows the doctor,Romana and K-9 to locate the first key disguised as an all powerful mineral called Jethrik.

                       This story is filled with characters with a lot of big personalities. New companion Romana is highly opinionated,yet also naive and inexperienced out in the field of space time travel. This is an enormous sparring point between her and the doctor,with whom she's constantly trading witty barbs. In the end it's up to K-9,with his focused sense of logic to keep things from getting too out of hand. And he therefore ends up being the unsung hero of this story as opposed to Romana or even the Doctors valiant efforts. Garron is a blow hearted  villian,similar to Sabalom Glitz from the sixth/seventh doctor era. Only Garron sees himself as a Robin Hood type figure. The tyrannical and delusional Graff Vynda-K is one villian I don't think anyone objects to being killed in the end. His bluster and flamboyance makes for excellent drama,but it's hardly possible for the character to do anything but die the honorable death he seems to embrace.  It's Binero The Heritic interesting enough who appeals to the decent side of Unstoffe,Garron's partner with his understanding of the basics of science and astronomy. Overall a good story about overcoming ones frailties either as a person or a society.
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