Monday, October 6, 2014

There can be only ONE ... Companion!

The Highlanders

Second Doctor, Second Serial, 31st Story.

4 episodes, Companions: Jamie, Ben, Polly.

Summary: Scotland, sometime in the 1700's.  Eternal war with England rages on. The travelers are suspected of being traitors or rebels when they fall in with a group of Scots fighting the crown for their homeland. Ben and Jamie are captured and put on a ship bound for the Indies, where they will be indentured for their freedom - enslaved and worked to death more likely. Polly gets away, and she and the Doctor must work to help the Scots defeat a wicked and corrupt English officer, and free their friend.

The Doctor:Impersonating a German Doctor - Doktor Von Wer (Doctor of Who) - and getting into Germ Theory is hilarious. He manages to keep ahead of the soldiery and lawyers pretty much the entire time, mostly by fast talking and convincing absurdity. His flute doesn't make an appearance here, but that's ok, It's my least favorite Doctor Prop. He's getting into the role here, outwitting, fast talking, and outclassing his foes.

Companions: For once, the tables are turned. Ben is taken prisoner along with young Jamie, and Polly and the Doctor work mostly independently to rescue him. It's nice to see Polly being clever and taking initiative. Jamie doesn't contribute much, mostly being utilized strictly as a background character at this point, but Ben and Polly are useful and important - though not central - to the story.

Continuity: There's a recurrence of the Name joke - Doctor Who? Yes. I got a chuckle out of it, which is probably the first time. At this point, it's worth noting that he's still "Doctor Who" in the end credits, although he really doesn't use the full name, Just "the Doctor". The Second Episode is one of the few times the Doctor is seen with a gun, but then it is only brief. Of course, this is the first appearance of Jamie, this incarnation's constant companion beginning here, and ending only with ... well, Spoilers.

Rating: Enjoy it. I'm rating this higher than the Power of the Daleks, although to be fair, Daleks had 3 strong episodes.  It's a historical episode, where the big adventure is the Doctor and companions being caught up in some minor events - a war, capture, enslavement. No Alien menace, no fate of the Universe.  Just a serious adventure, with characters used to danger.  Something the Doctor won't have too much more of, sadly. He's getting older now, and he's about to start getting into a lot more trouble.