Thursday, April 4, 2013

Doctor Who-The Awakening

                          On the way to the English village of Little Holcombe to visit Tegan's grandfather Andrew Varney, the doctor notices a humanoid figure appear and than disappear as the wall of the local chapel caves in. When he,Tegan and Turlough exit the TARDIS to investigate they find the city is in the middle of a series of war games-led by Sir George Hutchinson and his reluctant Colonel Ben Wosley. A local teacher names Miss Hampton is greatly disturbed that these war games, based around the English civil war of 1643, have begun to resort to actual physical injury to its participants. More over than that, Andrew Varney has gone missing. Appalled by these events the doctor,Tegan and Turlough separate to solve this mystery. While Tegan has a frightening encounter with a strange entity at the corner of the chapel, the doctor winds up following a mysterious young man to the same location while Turlough winds up captured and imprisoned by Sir George. The young man the doctor encounters is Will Chandler, who admits to actually being from 1643. He also talks of a creature called Malus who can create hatred and "make wars worse". 

                    The doctor, already convinced that two time periods have mysteriously merged, enters into the caverns below the chapel with Miss Hampton,Tegan and Chandler and discovers the presence of alien metal.  He comes to realize that this Malus is not in fact a myth but actually the last survivor of an ancient alien vessel that crashed in Little Holcombe in the mid 17th century. The Malus uses psychic projections, capable of physically affecting living beings to create the emotions of war and hatred on which it feeds. Turlough finds this out when he is imprisoned with Andrew Varney who too made the same discovery. In the end Colonel Wosley realizes with the doctor and everyone else that Sir George was completely taken over by Malus. Will Chandler throws him to his new master before the doctor,Tegan,Turlough and their new found companions-including Tegan's grandfather Andrew all spend some time with each other before the doctor returns the guests to their respective time periods.

                    This is one of those Doctor Who stories that reveals its excellence with repeated viewings. Paired in half from its intended four parts, this story points to a classic Doctor Who theme of the complete futility of war and violence. While Colonel Wosley is only looking to preserve Little Holcombe's historical importance, Sir George has become motivated by the same general self concern and avarice that is the root cause of the villainy wrought by the doctors most feared adversaries-such as the Daleks. This gives the Malus, a life form whose only function is to produce hatred in massive quantities, a chance to flourish in this environment. Only when Wosley tries to appeal to Sir George's comradeship with him that the Malus begins to destroy it's surroundings-including itself. A very concise but also very perceptive and intelligent tale about the carnal questions humanity so often faces within itself.
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