Saturday, January 19, 2013

Doctor Who-Planet Of Evil

                                         After accidentally landing on the planet Zeta Minor at the very edge of the known universe en-route back to UNIT HQ,the doctor and Sarah-Jane discover an abandoned survey settlement and (on Sarah's part) an usual physical sensation. Not long after arriving their the two find themselves not only in the presence of Sorenson,the last survivor of the team but of an immense creature that seems to exist well outside the material spectrum. The doctor and Sarah are soon taken into custody by the rescue vessel belonging to the Monostran Controller Salamar,who have been searching for the team for some time and have only just come to find them. Upon arriving on their ship,Salamar instantly assumes the doctor and Sarah to be responsible for the death of the survey team and treats them as prisoners. After plea bargaining and his own investigations,the doctor discovers that the purpose of the team on Zeta Minor was to mine a vital source of energy to save their dying sun.

                                   Fairly soon however there are larger issues to concern themselves with. Upon returning to Zeta Minor and almost falling into the bottomless bit the creature inhabited there,the doctor surmised that the creature was in face the manifestation of the planets link to a parallel antimatter universe. And the energy source that Sorenson has been collecting is the solid form of this energy. In the hands of the ships crew,it threatens cataclysm on an enormous scale. Their plans to return the solid antimatter to the planet is threatened both by Salamar's mistrust and the fact that Sorenson's supposed antigen to the antimatter exposure has caused his own body to hybridize into the very creature that destroyed his team-an "anti man" as the doctor calls it. Salamar is killed by Sorenson under this influence. So it's up to the doctor,with the permission of second in command Vishinsky who has taken command,to return the antimatter where it belongs. After the creature gladly returns Sorenson to normal,the doctor suggests an alternative energy source for the Monostran before departing with Sarah in the TARDIS.  

                                  The idea of matter and antimatter annihilating radiation to a scale of enormous material cataclysm had,by this point,become an important element in science fiction in general. This story explored that wonderfully in both scientific and personal terms. This plays very much on the characters involved. The doctor,while having rationalized the threat the solid antimatter poses to the universe,is continually interrupted by the paranoid  narcissism of Salamar-who seems barely trust himself at times. Sorenson, motivated by his own thrill of discovery,is blinded even to his own state of being. It's the reasonable and level headed Vishinsky that recognizes the doctors points and allows the only rational (and successful) set of events to take place. Another special quality of this story is the fact the shows low FX budget is put to good use here-showcasing a life form consisting of little more than pure inert energy. A wonderfully engaging and intelligent story from a very successful period for Doctor Who.
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