Monday, April 22, 2013

Doctor Who-The Sun Makers

                         By an accident on the part of Leela in resetting the TARDIS's course correction system she,the doctor and K-9 end up on Pluto of the far future where they encounter a man named Cordo,who they stop from committing suicide due to the fact he cannot pay for his and his fathers death tax. Cordo works for an organization called the Company,controlled entirely by tax gatherers who maintain a series of six separate suns for each of geo structures, the Megropolis's,that the workers operate in from the profits made. Cordo leads them to a group of dissenters from this Company,led by the temperamental Mandrel, who live in an underground facility to steal what they need to survive. Meanwhile Gatherer Hade and his ward Marn attempt to trace the doctor,who they believe to be an Ajack minor, by the use of K-9 who has left the TARDIS through his logical understanding of the doctors orders. With Cordo's help the doctor attempts to gain access to Hade,but instead inadvertently ends up in the correction area. There he meets Bisham, a fellow bed mate in this center of inhumane experimentation who reveals the obedience of the workers is maintained through the release of an anxiety producing chemical called PCM into the local atmosphere, which in turn is subject to taxation. The doctor is release by Hade and Marn, who he pretends not to notice is trying to con the doctor and foil Mandrel and his dissenters, and takes the large amount of local currency given to him and returns to retrieve Bisham-who joins him,Leela, Cordo and Mandrel in leading a massive social revolution against the workers. 

                Hade has now taken his desperate case to the sadistic Collector, the overlord of the entire Company enterprise, in an attempt to maintain control. When Leela and Cordo leave the "undercity" of the dissenters in order to secure more loyalties, she is captured and sentenced to be steamed to death for public amusement  With the doctors status as a time lord now known to the Collector, and the doctor and Leela now criminals to the Company, Leela manages to escape and she,Cordo and Bisham now arm themselves to take over the air control area where PCM is distributed. When the levels diminish, the workers are now free from the manipulation of the Controller and begin to join the revolution in earnest,even Marn following a general announcement through the intercom. When the doctor And Leela burst into the Controllers office the doctor learns the Controller is actually a Usurian, a seaweed-like creature who has irradiated himself into humanoid form because his planet is using taxation to conquer other species. The doctor reprograms his computer so the Controller loses his hold on the Company and reverts to his natural form-by which time the dissenters have already thrown Hade from the roof of the Megropolis. The doctor and Leela bid Cordo, Bisham and the newly liberated workers farewell and good luck recolonizing their planet Earth before departing.

           One of the most socially relevant and even outright subversive Doctor Who stories ever made, this album epitomized the program's better qualities while at its height. The story itself doesn't espouse necessarily a capitalist or communist economic viewpoint. It only suggests that all people should question how their taxes are being used. This plot is integral to the character interactions. While the doctor uses his usual persuasive talents to play the sometimes self involved Mandrel and his more needy compatriots Cordo and Bisham to action against the decadent and sadistic Company against Gatherer Hade and the Collector's blustery immorality it is Leela's warrior heart that leads the day. Placed in charge of the disparate dissenters,who don't understand freedom and have begun warring among themselves, to mobilize themselves with honor to fight for their freedom and against their true nemesis. This is reflecting in the direction and acting of the story. The lead characters of course and the dissenters are portrayed as genuine and heartfelt. Whereas the hierarchy  of the company,such as Gather Hade and the petty,nasal voiced Collector are portrayed in as flamboyantly an over the top manner as deemed appropriate. Overall a very strong fourth doctor story which embodies every quality (not to mention how important Jelly Babies are to the plot) that made Doctor Who what is was in that era.
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