Tuesday, May 7, 2013

It's a sort of Chumblie Serial

Galaxy 4 

(Loose Cannon reconstruction)

First Doctor  - 18th Serial

4 Episodes, Companions: Vicki, Steven

Summary: This episode is one of the ones that was destroyed by the BBC, and so it only exists at this time as a reconstruction.  Given how watchable Marco Polo was, I decided not to let that stop me.  So we begin with the travelers landing on a barren planet mostly devoid of life.  Despite the absence of life, the planet is quite hospitable, and the travelers exit, looking forward to some peace and quiet.  Within minutes, they find a machine that investigates them - they aren't sure whether it's an attack or not - and Vicki thinks it's cute, and names it a Chumblie.  Next thing you know, a Chumblie appears slightly more menacingly, and the group are saved from the sudden attack by a squad of warrior women - the Drahvin.  Although they help the travelers, they will not offer information without their leader.  The Doctor is initially suspicious, but Steven convinces him that the Drahvin must be good - they did help them when the Chumblie attacked, after all.  Of course, soon it is revealed that the planet they are on is about to explode, and the Rills (the masters of the Chumblies) and the Drahvin are engaged in a war, the fortunes of which may leave the travelers unable to escape in time!

A Rill.  A face only a Chumblie could love.
The Doctor: He's got good instincts here.  The Drahvin are good enemies, given that they are convinced of their own rightness. But the Doctor is right to mistrust them.  They are not evil, but they have no virtue, and trust nobody, including the travelers.  Maaga (the Drahvin leader) trusts no-one except herself, which can be a good trait in a leader, but here it proves to be her downfall.  The Doctor eventually deduces that the monstrous Rills are the peaceful race here, given that their weapons could easily destroy the Drahvin but they haven't tried, when the Drahvin attack every Chumblie on sight.  He also is very protective of Vicki here, as he has been for some time.

Companions: Steven is slightly stronger here, and he's certainly not intimidated by the Doctor.  He has a tendency to accept things at face value, which gets him into trouble.  Although he does not trust the Drahvin, their mistrust of the Rills causes him to mistrust them.  He is the one that notices how weak the Drahvin ship is.  Steven also shows his rebellious streak - not just arguing with the Doctor as he has been, but in encouraging the Drahvin warriors to seek out equality - eat the leader's food, use the leader's guns.  His logic is brilliant, and he so effectively manipulates the warriors.  In this show, I finally come to like Steven.  Vicki for her part continues to be strong and smart.  She figures out how to evade the Chumblies, and has good instincts with regard to the Rills.  

Continuity:  The Drahvins grow their warriors, artificially  to fight and kill. They have a very stratified culture, with no concept of equality.  Their distrust of the Rills seems to stem entirely from visual prejudice of the very non-human looking Rills.  The Rills, for their part, understand both human nature and the Drahvin nature.  They forgive the travelers for their attempts to hurt the Rills by sabotaging the atmosphere converter, and help them escape. This is also the first mention of the Isop Galaxy.

Rating: Enjoy it.  It's slow, and the reconstruction has less footage than the others I have seen, making it one of the harder ones to watch, but the story is quite good, and the characters all grow and learn.  It's more serious in tone than many of the others, but that's not a bad thing.