Sunday, October 12, 2014

All Wet.

The Underwater Menace

Second Doctor, Third Serial, 32nd Story.

4 episodes, Companions: Ben, Polly, Jamie

Summary: Picking up seconds after Leaving the Highlands, Jamie, Ben, Polly and the Doctor head off into unknown time and space. No sooner do they start exploring then they are gassed and wake up captives in a strange vessel. Soon taken to be sacrifices for Amdo, their God, they lead a revolution which ultimately destroys Atlantean society.

The Doctor: He's neither brilliant nor awful in this one. To be honest, I watched this one three times and came out of it with very little to say, which is why this one's so short. He Doctors a lot - fast talking, getting captured, escaping, dressing up, cracking wise, plots a way to win non-violently, and ends up causing a heck of a mess, but the bad guys learn their lesson. Nothing special, and that's kind of sad. He is definitely more comedic in this one that we've seen in the past, but it at least doesn't detract from the story. Then again, given how bland this one is, maybe that's not a good thing...

Companions: Ben and Polly and Jamie are important to helping the Doctor escape sacrifice, but I felt like they didn't really do much. Then again, neither does the Doctor. Ben has put himself in a role as the crew's protector, though, and he does it well. Polly plays the victim a bit, but It didn't seem forced this time. I mean, somebody's going to be experimented on, and at least Polly had a lot of other things to do in this one. Jamie is still learning the ropes, but he adapts well, and fits in easily.

There's a strong focus on the Atlanteans and the fish people, and I guess the "swimming scenes" where you can tell they're n wires, but it's well done, is about the best thing in the show. Despite everything else, the actual flooding scenes are also really well done, the best effects in the Series, and probably where all of the budget went.

Continuity: Nothing really new is introduced here, although at the end of his first voyage, Jamie declares that he feels safe in the TARDIS, moments before it goes out of control. This isn't really a continuity point, although it'll come up in the next Serial.

Rating: Skip it. This one is appalling. There's, ironically plenty of action, but no real good story. The motivations for the villains are apparently nonexistent, they just go through the motions of whatever it is they are supposed to be doing. The music is terrible, when there is any, and the fish people costumes are, to the best of my ability to recall, worse than even the Zarbi. Again, I know I promised not to harp on the terrible effects, but look at that picture and tell me it isn't awful.