Friday, June 21, 2013

Doctor Who-The Horns Of Nimon

                             In an attempt to repair the aging conceptual geometer aboard the aging TARDIS,the doctor and Romana find themselves violently pulled into a highly energized spacial rupture-in the form of a black hole. The TARDIS's energy circuits,including its defense shields are disabled while it has crashed into a transport ship for the depleted Skonnoth empire. After the doctor and Romana investigate the situation,the doctor returns the TARDIS in an attempt to free it from the spacecraft while Romana remains behind with the ships cargo: a team of young people from the planet Aneth,led by "Prince" Seth and his companion Teka,who are to be sent back to Skonnon to be sacrificed to a creature called the Nimon-who has promised to rebuilt the Skonnon empire with the continued sacrifices. The doctors TARDIS is nearly drawn into the black hole for assured destruction,until he realizes he can use the resulting slingshot effect to his advantage to throw himself in the TARDIS along with the Skonnon ship back to it's home world. With her own sonic device, Romana has been able to fend of the hostile advances of the ships despotic co-pilot before both the ship and the TARDIS arrive on Skonnon.

                 On Skonnon itself Soldeed,the ambassador to the Nimon-a Bull-like creature with two golden horns, it mobilizing his people to praise the coming Sacrifice of the Aneth in order to secure his planets empire. Upon arrival the doctor and Romana discover a triangular gateway which the ships co-pilot immediately enters with the Aneth sacrifices. What they do not know is Seth is not a real prince,only assumed to be one and is actually hoping to destroy the Nimon and end the tyranny towards his people. Followed by the doctor and Romana,they all find a huge store of Aneth which Romana links to a lifeless husk of one of them to part of a Nimon system of draining the energy from this sacrifices for their continued power. After fending off another attempted attack from the Skonnoth co pilot,the Aneth and Romana confront the Nimon while the doctor attempts to understand the technology creating the black hole and it's intended us.

                  After the doctor fends off the Nimon he,Romana,Seth and Teka head off for the Nimon's control area while Soldeed attempts to discover the source of K-9's power after he emerges from the TARDIS as the doctor calls on him for assistance. He is able to determine that the Nimon are using the black holes to create a transportation device to Skonnoth, and a group of more Nimon appear on the transportation platform in an egg like pod. While investigating the pod,the doctor accidently sends Romana to the Nimon's source world of Crinoth-where she discovers through the last survivor of their race Sezom,who unintentionally sold out his race to complete destruction with the promise by one Nimon of peace and prosparity for his people. The doctor is able to pull Romana back with Sezom's Jasonite crystal which is able to overpower the Nimon's. While the corridors of the Nimon's layer can alter shape, K-9 is able to lead everyone out-even as Soldeed is killed in his pursuit. Seth and Teka are able to rescue their comrades as the Nimon's transmission center is destroyed,Seth emerges a hero to his people by destroying the Nimon(s) and the doctor and Romana leave the Skannoth to their own devices as they continue with repairs to the TARDIS.

                  This particular serial seems to have the reputation among both its creators and Whovians as being the lowest overall quality serial of the Tom Baker era. From this particular point of view, I find it to be flawed but hardly terrible. The story line about a group of parasitic nomads taking advantage of the desperation and greed of different civilizations is a perfect concept for Doctor Who's oeuvre. And for its time I find the physically disproportionate and rather surreal Nimon costumes to be fairly convincing. While the final part of the serial is excellent, this is not necessarily a story that required three parts. There is some heavy padding,including some heavy "running down corridor" syndrome and some inappropriate clowning from Tom Baker. The only irritating aspect of this story to me is the annoying character of Soldeed,not helped at all by Graham Crowden's extremely campy portrayal of the character. Interestingly enough, its Romana who is somewhat the hero of the story as opposed to the doctors uncertainty throughout much of this. And, being  the last two parts of this story were the first Doctor Who episodes to officially be transmitted in the 1980's, this has some historical value for the show as big changes were indeed ahead for Doctor Who.
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