Saturday, June 29, 2013

Doctor Who-Galaxy 4

                         When landing on a mysteriously silent planet the TARDIS is greeted by curious,rounded and triangular shaped machines which Vicki affectionately names Chumblies. Thinking the robots cannot hear them and are giving chase,two armed females attack them telling the doctor,Vicki and Steven that they are on a world in Galaxy 4 and are members of the Drahvin race , and that the Chumblies are robot agents of a destructive race known as the Rill. They have orders to take the TARDIS crew to their leader Maaga whom,as it turns out,is aboard a primitive and non functional spaceship. They must leave the planet in 14 days,which the doctor discovers back in the TARDIS to be only two when the planet explodes. Maaga,the only genuine Drahvin  surrounded by test tube born drones bred only for fighting, explains how their ship is irreparably damaged and that their attempt to use the Rill spacecraft for their return trip met with failure due to the Rills attacking them. Vicki and the doctor venture out-leaving behind Steven as a hostage to the highly mistrustful Maaga and her Drahvin drones.

                  Along the way they find a much more advanced spaceship,in which Vicki encounters more Chumblys as the doctor attempts to secure the ammonia based gas of the ship thinking it a type of weapon. Vicki is quickly learning that the Rills are not exactly the warlike race Maaga had made them out to be,and the Chumbley's act primarily as arms,legs and especially a mouthpiece for the Rills as they have no natural vocal chords as they are telepathic. The Rills explain how they tried to make peace with the Drahvin,who instantly attacked a Chumbley scout before killing one of its own injured. While Vicki is understand why the refuse to show their faces, the Rills wish one further time to attempt to request the Drahvins escape the dying world with them. Returning to find Steven unconcious after the Drahvin's attempt to kill him in a depressurized airlock,he's revived to help the doctor,Vicki and the Chumbley's to create a power converter to recharge the energy cells of the Rill ship. During the Drahvins final surprise attack on the Rills sTARDIS part ways successfully as Maaga and her drones parish with the planet.

                   One subject Doctor Who dealt with very well was the futility that lies behind almost every interpersonal conflict. In this particular story the Chumbley's,probably one of many of the shows attempts to succeed the Daleks as a new merchandising success for Doctor Who, turn out to be heroes of the story. The Drahvins are depicted as a highly decadent race: hostile,cruel,with no compunction about lying if it served their purpose and even willing to kill their own injured rather than treat it. While murder is a way of life for them,and this oligarchical society easily dismisses its male members as "useless". Even when the Rills reveal themselves as immense Pirhanna type creatures the doctor,Vicki and Steven are far more impressed with their honesty,graciousness and helpful nature-which stood in direct contrast to the Drahvin's coldness. This is an excellent story of how propaganda from an aggressive people can shield the truth even in the face of mutually assured destruction. The fact that the Rills pointed out that the Drahvins saw them as physically hideous showcases the depths of which ethnic prejudice plays into such issues as well.
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