Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Doctor Who-Colony In Space
               In reality done for budgetary concerns,and within the cannon of the Whoinverse as a reprimand from the other time lords regarding the his interference in time,the Doctor had remained stranded on Earth during the first season of Jon Pertwee's tenure in the role. This allowed for the program to have a somewhat more cohesive flavor since it was set primarily in one location with a set group of actors on each episode and serial. On the other hand Doctor Who wasn't about a cohesive flavor. It's basic premise was set anywhere in time and space. And having it set in one particular part of that continuum ,with the Doctors memory of the TARDIS's de-materialization circuit's function blocked by the time lords,was beginning to seem like something of a contrived plot complication than a motivation for change within the series. So considering that,as well as the Doctors fellow time lord nemesis The Master having departed Earth in his own TARDIS the show presented itself with the opportunity to again leave the bounds of Earth and again journey through time and space.

               While looking into the possible new location of The Master,the Doctor decides to finally show Jo Grant the inside of the TARDIS. Ironically it is at that moment the TARDIS is whisked away by the time lords to the planet Uxarious,with vague information about a "doomsday weapon". There the doctor and Jo find a group of Earth colonists terrorized by what they believe is a giant monster created by a supposedly primitive native culture who,it seems have stolen the TARDIS. Unfortunately the colonists,escaping from a polluted and overpopulated Earth  in the mid 25'th century are in physical,often armed conflict with an Earth mining group called the IMC (Interstellar Mining Corporation) who are planning to strip mine Uxarious for a mineral needed for the power supply on Earth. IMC have in fact created this giant monster using a mental manipulation device and giant robots as a way of getting the colonists out of the way of their operation. It is suggested that an Earth adjudicator be sent to mediate the matter. Interestingly enough,upon arrival it's learned by all parties it is in the fact The Master.

             Meanwhile the Doctor and Jo find themselves trapped in an underground city with the natives,only to be warned away staving off an execution and observing curious hieroglyphics describing a catastrophe that turned the once advanced native culture into primitives who practice ritual sacrifices.  The Master meanwhile is using his legal trickery posing as the Earth adjudicator to convince the IMC and the colonists the Doctor is an agent for the "primitive natives" until the doctor arrives and tries to expose the Master's identity. The doctor and Joe are then taken prisoner by The Master,still trying to play the already adversarial IMC against the colonists  and demands that he be shown the way to the primitives dwelling otherwise Jo will be gassed to death. Upon arrival The Master explains how he stole information from the time lords records about the native Uxarians as having been a once technologically advanced race who were diminished to their current state from the radioactive effects of an enormous doomsday device that could,in effect create a nova from any star. The doctor is able to convince the Uxarian leader to destroy the doomsday device,as well as the dying Uxarian race to prevent the master from wrecking havoc with the device. Afterward the colonists,at the sacrifice of their leader to keep the IMC from evacuating them forcibly,help retrieve the TARDIS as the Doctor and Jo return to Earth as the IMC and the colonists begin a more fruitful relationship.

           While this serial is a bit overlong and could've been somewhat better stated in four parts rather than six,and the Master does ultimately escape from the Doctor as always,this story is a very complex and telling one. Basically it tells the story well of an extreme example of the exploitation of the working class by economically motivated corporations. The IMC become so intent on their goal,they become corrupt against their own people. And the colonists are forced into taking up arms and even mistrust of one another as a result. Amid this conflict,they are unable to see the Master's deception at first since he has again played the bureaucracy card to his favor. The Uxarians are an example of the end product of possessing ultimate power: the destruction of their advancement in the pursuit of it. They are more than happy to commit self genocide to stop The Master from gaining the same device that destroyed their civilization. Also notable is the closening of the Doctor's relationship to Jo Grant,either as a father figure or unrequited lover perhaps, as they take their first steps journeying into time and space together. While the first parts of the serial drag on a bit long,when Robert Delgado's Master comes into the story,the plot and the pace quicken to a captivating speed and vitality.
Post a Comment