Thursday, October 18, 2012

Doctor Who-Carnival Of Monsters

                             For this four part serial the TARDIS,as is often the case for this period of the show misses the mark for Metebelis 3 yet again and finds itself aboard the S.S. Bernice,only to the find that the ships crew are locked in a perpetual time loop and themselves with it.  For their part the crew are convinced Jo and the Doctor are stowaways,but the pairs attempts to convince them of their situation continues,of course to fall of deaf ears.Though the ship has apparently disappeared from 1920's Earth on route to Bombay,and are being menaced by a dinosaur the Doctor is not convinced in the least of the reality of their surroundings,and upon the TARDIS being stolen by a giant hand, soon discovers an escape route leading into what amounts to,from his perspective an elaborate antique power supply. They soon find themselves in a totally different environment menaced  by large monsters with six eyes. 

                                What they soon discover is that the TARDIS had in fact materialized into a device called a miniscope,a miniaturized menagerie of creatures collected from all over for the amusement of other species. These were devices the Doctor once petitioned to outlaw. The hand that stole the TARDIS was,in fact that of an alien conman named Vorg and his assistant Shirna,who themselves are trying to amuse the joyless gray skinned tribunal on the planet Inter Minor with their miniscope. Not convinced of it's ethical and sanitary implications,tribunal member Pletrac attempts to have the device,with the Doctor and Jo inside,destroyed by a decade called the erradicator. The Doctor escapes while Jo again braves the time loop in the Bernice. After convincing the tribunal and Vorg of their mutual short sightedness he is able to defeat both the monsters,the Drashigs who literally consume everything in their path and using the TARDIS return all the specimens inside the miniscope to their proper times and spaces before departing Inter Minor,leaving Vorg with the bewildered Tribunal.

                           Despite it's typically limited special effects budget this episode was in many ways defined by it's visually stunning elements such as the inner machinery of the miniscope,the colorful and hilarious costuming of Vorg and Shirna and the historically appropriate period interiors of the SS Bernice. All this despite of the unconvincing visuals of the Drashings. A footnote also that Ian Marter,later to play Tom Baker's fourth doctor companion Harry Sullivan is here in a scene stealing role as Lt. John Andrews about the SS Bernice. Between Vorg's flim flam artistry and the Inter Minor tribunals constant petty political bickering this is an entertaining,provocative and witty satire. Worked into the storyline too is the similarity of ethical understanding shared by the Doctor and kindly Jo Grant,even if she is occasionally mildly slow on the uptake. The Doctor and her both share the same distaste for the enslavement of any sentient creature for someones entertainment. And it's this mutual sense of morality that is a motivating factor in everything they do in this story.
Post a Comment