Doctor Who #122: The Savages Part 3

"Our ancestors were great artists. As time passes, we are less able to do such things. Most of our talents have been taken from us. Only our faith remains. And that they will never take."TECHNICAL SPECS: Missing from the archives, so a reconstruction had to be used (Part 1, Part 2). First aired Jun.11 1966.

IN THIS ONE... Jano gets infused with the Doctor's vitality... and personality! Meanwhile. Dodo and Steven follow the Savages into their caves.

REVIEW: With this episode, Jano becomes the first villain to officially lust after a Time Lord's body/power/immortality (I made the argument for the Toymaker, but it wasn't really spelled out). His plan backfires, and having received all of the Doctor's drained vitality, he becomes a man with a split personality, sometimes talking in the Doctor's voice (see Theories). Now, it would seem producer Innes Lloyd toyed with the idea of replacing the difficult Hartnell permanently with this plot device, though I'm not sure how serious that is. Imagine Frederick Jaeger as the 2nd Doctor, forced to do his hyperactive Hartnell impression for the next three years. It wouldn't have been fair to the actors involved, nor to the audience. When you think about it, regeneration is an awesome device, especially compared to the cheap tricks that seem to have been tested and rejected throughout this era.

With the Doctor out of the way (again!), Steven and Dodo get to drive the bulk of the episode, and for Steven at least, it's a return to form. He hasn't been this heroic for weeks (or on SBG time, days), defeating Exorse and stealing his light gun with ingenuity. His willfulness is so alien to the Savages who have been drained of all energy and imagination that they can't help but fold and follow him. I do wish they hadn't trotted out the old "they must be gods" cliché, but same difference. Dodo is less useful. That is to say she hovers somewhere between uselessness and liability.

The Savages do get to shine however, as we discover their caves are really ancient temples of amazing beauty, a sign that they were once a great people. The actors do a good job, even on audio, of portraying tangible fear and despair at their situation. They're all massively depressed after decades (centuries?) of forcible drainage. And yet, there's hope for them in the character of Nanina who manages to charm the otherwise brutish Exorse with her compassion. So they haven't been drained of all good qualities after all...

THEORIES: So how does the Doctor "possess" Jano in this story? Well, we know the process used drains intelligence and creativity as well as health and beauty, and Jano is obviously after the Doctor's massive intellect and potential for time travel. What he didn't contend with is perhaps the Doctor's low-level telepathy. By sharing the Doctor's bio-field, Jano may have created a connection there that allows the Doctor to interfere with his thought patterns. Or this may just be because he gave himself an overdose, and fact is, he could have absorbed the personality of a Savage if he had wanted. But I like my first theory better.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium - Good development on the Savages themselves, the return of a more heroic Steven (in the nick of time), and an intriguing personality switch make this one rise above its fairly standard tropes.

1 comments:

Sara juegos de vestir said...

Doctor Who an the walking dead the best right now

 

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