Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Doctor Who-Frontios

                         The doctor,Tegan and Turlough find the themselves in the TARDIS on the very edge of its space/time travelling capacity to the Veruna star system-where humanity has escaped from an Earth crashing into its sun to the planet Frontios. Upon arriving they trio encounter two military leaders Brazen and the new leader Plantagenet,son of the Captain Revere who has recently departed, along with Medical Chief Range. The mystery of Captain Revere's disappearance is in fact the core of what is happen on Frontios. The scatter shot colony is struglling for its own survival-to the point where Tegan and Turlough have to help Range's daughter Norna locate an acid container as a makeshift batter to power a light to help aid an injured colonists. The planet is under constant barrage by what they believe is weapons fire,are convinced that war has been declared upon them and Plantagenet furthermore is convinced that the Doctor and his companions are behind the colony being terrorized. Before they can prove their truthfulness  the doctor and his companions find their TARDIS has disappeared. Lacking even the basic skills to combat the situation themselves,the colonists are facing an enormous crisis as one by one their own people are being sucked into the ground by an unknown force. 

                When this effect occurs to Plantagenet,and the Doctor ascertains this is only occurring with the injured Norna and Turlough borough into the subterranean caverns below the planet where Turlough has a post traumatic memory upon encountering an alien he remembers as being known as the Tractators. He refers to them as being responsible for the destruction of his race due to similar effects as the disappearances on Frontios. Tegan, having already become aware of Captain Revere's discovery of them before his death and records of "deaths unaccounted",regroups with them as they encounter the insect like Tractators. Their plan as it turns out using the gravitationally attuned caverns beneath the surface  to steer the planet like a spaceship so they could infect other worlds in the same manner. Upon finding the TARDIS scattered throughout the caverns, Turlough determines that the Gravis is the only source of influence-as a queen bee with the other Tractators as almost mindless drones. The doctor uses the Gravis's need of the TARDIS to amass its energy to restore it to normal and rendering the Gravis unconscious,though at the sacrifice of Brazen to destroy the Gravis's gravitational generator. Though the colonists now trust and thank the doctor greatly, he feels he has interference too much and abruptly departs Frontios with his companions in the TARDIS.

           Though not somehow the best remembered stories from the fifth doctor era Frontios is one of the strongest written and plotted character based stories from its original run. The tattered settings of the Frontios colony,the juxtaposition of pacing between dialog and action sequences as well the script are extremely well placed. The most significant quality of this story is the characters and their situation. Jeff Rowle acts out the role of Plantagenet,neophyte leader of the Frontios colony, to pieces-moving ably for severe paranoia over the doctors intents to being a trusting and vulnerable young man in all the right places. The classic Doctor Who theme of societal entropy shows up again here,in particular in Turlough's uncharacteristically vulnerable reaction when he discovers the Tractators below the surface of the colony. On a deeper level the doctor,known for his tendency to "get involved" as his second incarnation put it is reluctant here because the events on Frontios represents an somehow hugely significant event in the progression of the human race as it faces complete destruction.
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