Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Doctor Who-Nightmare Of Eden

                                   The starliner Empress,commanded by Captain Rigg finds itself crashed into by a smaller vessel Hecate while going into warp. By the time the doctor,Romana and K-9 arrive on the empress in the TARDIS they find Rigg debating over how fast they are going to to make their run with the trade ship Hecate's Commander Dymond. Posing as a member of Galactic salvage Rigg agrees to allow the doctor,from his viewpoint a mysterious newcomer to help un join the ships by revering thrust of the other. Helping out the doctor is Riggs co-pilot Secker who,as the doctor soon learns is addicted to the narcotic Vraxion,which has wrecked havoc on many worlds throughout the galaxy. Wandering in a stuper into the unstable area where K-9 is helping the doctor unlock the two ships, Secker is lethally injured and the doctor is then led to zoologist Tryst and his assistant Della. Tryst has used a rudimentary CET device,basically a sophisticated multi dimensional slide projector with a matter transportation device to catalog specimens from their voyages.  The doctor has also come to the conclusion based on the Della's secretive attitude about the disappearance of her lover Stott on Eden,one of the worlds Tryst,herself and Stott had visited on their journey's that there is some type of Vraxion smuggling operation occurring on the Empress.

                               The doctor, in trying to unlock the Empress and the Hecate from each other is eventually confronted by an strangely impatient Dymond,a pursuer who is chasing him through the passenger area of the liner and into the CET projection itself and finally two guards who are convinced the doctor is running the Vraxion himself.When opening up the power source for K-9 to begin reversing power to unlock the ships,a monstrous creature attacks the doctor,who stuns it accidentally with the device he was working with to find it entirely composed of Vraxion. Meanwhile Rigg,himself poisoned with Vraxion could obviously pay no need but drugged laughter at the chaos unfolding around him as the doctor and Romana are chased into the CET projection where they find Stott very much alive-hiding from the creatures he refers to as Mandrels. Upon their release the Doctor and Romana are at last successfully able to to remove the starliner from the Hecate when a conversation is overheard by the economically motivated guards that Dymond and Tryst are in fact the drug traffickers.  When the pair try to escape in the Hecate,the doctor traps them in the CET crystals before departing after their arrest to return the creatures Tryst had captured inside of the crystals back to their home worlds.

                                Despite a very chaotic and,according to the staff, poorly realized production this is actually a very well written and directed story that brings out one of the more sociologically conscious stories of the 17th series of Doctor Who.  From the doctors deeply concerned reaction of his discovery of Secker's addiction to the fictional drug Vraxion to the arrest of Tryst at the end of the story, the doctors barely held contained anger towards drug peddler's exploitation is apparent-totally in keeping with his renowned morality of justice and fair play. Romana for her part does a lot to help out in the story,in particular where she fends off Rigg,coming down from a Vraxion stupor, in order to activate the thrusters to separate the two ships. All of the characters, save for Rigg who realizes there's a problem before being poisoned with the drug by Tryst, are of course totally economically motivated. The doctor at first laughs at the inept and rather unlearned Tryst about the flagrant errors in his CET machine. Yet at the end of the story his mood reverses when Tryst tells him he only began peddling Vraxion to earn money for his expedition. Tom Baker's impassive expression as he twice mumbles "Go away" to Tryst attempting to explain himself as he's being arrested is one of my favorite moments from Baker during his seven year run on Doctor Who.
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