Saturday, October 20, 2012

Doctor Who-The Ambassadors Of Death
                            For this seven part Doctor Who epic,the Doctor and Liz Shaw find themselves investigating a mysterious disappearance in outer space. A British space mission called Mars Probe 7 has disappeared and the now so has the recovery capsule sent to investigate. The doctor for his part vaguely recognizes the piercing sound coming from the recovery capsule,before the disappearance of that astronaut,as being a type of coded message he and Liz Shaw would be capable of decoding with the proper equipment. Though the Brigadier,working with the British space program on this mission,is willing to go along with this as Professor Ralf Cornish who is overseeing the affair are willing,minister of technology Quinlan holds up the mission control with a pistol just as they are preparing to bring the recovery capsule in for re-entry. Upon landing Cornish and the UNIT crew discover no astronauts in the capsule and an automated message. They are able to trace the astronauts to a warehouse in London where UNIT soldiers are ambushed. It is soon revealed that the astronauts passed through an unusual high intensity radiation belt in space and are being held by a para government organization for future research. 

                      But with their evasive attitude and secrecy,the Doctor determines the story doesn't hold up. After Liz Shaw receives a message supposedly from the Brigadier,she finds herself kidnapped by members of this organization who actually kidnapped these astronauts,who are really aliens that feed off radiation and can use it to harm others if needed,to commit a bank heist. She meets a fellow scientist of her acquaintance there,who tries twice to help her escape. By this time determining the real astronauts are still in space due to the breadth of the conspiracy and the assassination of Quinlan,the doctor volunteers to travel into space himself. There he encounters a space ship where the original astronauts are being held for ransom by an alien race who ambassadors were kidnapped on Earth. Upon returning with this information,the Doctor is able to stop obsessed military General Carrington from making a televised message advocating the destruction of the aliens before making the exchange with the aliens for the return of the astronauts.

                   Timed however unintentionally with the near disaster that was Apollo 13,this serial blended an elaborate action-adventure sci fi thriller with a compelling concept regarding peaceful aliens being used by human criminals to blackmail an Earth already paranoid about alien invasions. The character of General Carrington is particularly effective in this regard,as unlike the Brigadier he is willing to allow his fear to motivate every decision he makes-even if it means going above and around the law itself. This atmosphere of space travel and governmental conspiracy goes well with present and near future headlines of that time. And there are many strong in-story elements as well. Here Liz Shaw again proves herself a more than noteworthy companion as she is able to foil the gang of criminals holding the alien Ambassadors for ransom as well as the Doctor would've been able to. This also marks the first time in Doctor Who that the doctor himself journey's into space without the assistance of the TARDIS. In the end this is a story that works very well on every level of it's intentions.
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