Doctor Who #70: The Search

"Sitting here planning and dreaming of a revolution isn’t going to win your planet back."TECHNICAL SPECS: Part 3 of The Space Museum. First aired May 8 1965.

IN THIS ONE... While the Doctor is being embalmed, Ian gets the better of the guards, Barbara is gassed, and Vicki teaches the rebels about revolution.

REVIEW: The best thing about the previous episode isn't in this one - the Doctor! Yes, it's another Doctorless chapter (get used to it, friends) and he's very much missed. With him gone, most of the comedy has to come from the Moroks, but here again, it feels like we're not meant to laugh at them, we just do. Lobos has almost approaches menace in the closing moments, but mostly, it's prancing, effeminate commanders complaining about being surrounded by fools while being fools themselves. I suppose the theme behind The Space Museum is decay. The erosion on the planet is a mirror of the Morok army growing soft after they'd conquered everyone. And these guys are VERY soft. So soft, Ian can jump half a dozen of them unarmed and still prevail (at least the fight looks good). So soft, a guard lets the companions have a long existential conversation before finally saying "that's enough talking". And so soft, even their hardcore security computer sounds bored and really isn't tamper proof (a teenage girl gets inside to cross its wires).

While Ian knocks a few heads around trying to rescue the Doctor before he gets "embalmed", and Barbara gets herself gassed, Vicki throws in with the rebels. It's better than more talk about whether or not predestination exists - a repeat from the previous episode. She's a doer, and what does she do? After they've had tea, I mean. She fans the flames of revolution. Apparently, these guys haven't done much to deserve the name "rebel", and it takes Vicki's peppiness to activate them. Vicki gets them to the armory where they easily overwhelm a soldier and grab his gun. And they can't accumulate weaponry this way because..? I mean, they basically have the run of the place and are never caught, so why do they fear the Moroks at all? The door computer is so easily defeated, it's almost funny. Certainly, Maureen O'Brien's energetically likable performance carries those scenes, and I like that she's doing all this in the hopes of changing the future. The fact remains, however, that if it's all very easy to beat the Moroks and their technology, it makes the rebels as inept as the overlords. They really do deserve each other.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium-Low - The aliens are SO rubbish, the Doctor doesn't feel the need to put in an appearance. The fight arranger and Vicki try their best to save the episode (though not in the same scenes, obviously), but The Search comes up empty and dumb.



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