Doctor Who #125: The War Machines Part 2

"Either that telephone is dangerously out of order, or..."TECHNICAL SPECS: First aired Jul.2 1966.

IN THIS ONE... WOTAN builds his war machines while the Doctor de-hypnotizes Dodo and sends her away... forever!

REVIEW: Ok, so it's really strange to hear everyone refer to the Doctor as "Doctor Who" and I wish they would just stop it. Only Peter Cushing should answer to that name. There are other strange happenings in this episode, some good - beware strangers bearing chloroform - some not so good - how fast are war machines designed and assembled is only marginally more acceptable than the speed at which a tramp's death (with photo!) is published in the newspaper, apparently hours after his body was found. Looks like it was a long night! The whole story could definitely have benefited from a more relaxed time line, letting a day or two pass by here and there. Of course, you could always explain away two flaws with one stone if you considered that the reason the war machines look so silly (again with the cartoon faces) is that they had to be built from existing parts. Because while the assembly is possible overnight, those pieces had to be manufactured somewhere. Just a matter of hours with time to spare for human testing here!

Creepy hypnotized Dodo is, as ever, over-eager, but in all the wrong ways. It's not a particularly interesting performance, but at least it's not robotic, and I do like the bit where she stands facing the door, her back to us, for the longest time. After WOTAN tries to take over the Doctor via modem, Dodo shows her hand and the pain on the Doctor's face almost seems to come from his sense that Dodo's been lost. The Doctor practices a bit of hypnosis for the first time, something he'll get better at in other incarnations, and using his ring as a focus. And off he sends her to recuperate in the country, never to be seen again. Watching at the time, you wouldn't know she was gone for good. It just looks like one of those holidays the main actors occasionally get. She'll get one more mention in a later episode, but that's it for Jackie Lane. We hardly knew ye, Dodo, but then, there wasn't much to know.

As for Polly and Ben, it's only with hindsight that we know they've replaced Dodo as companion because they seem so well integrated into the plot. Polly is doing her job, and Ben comes round on her invitation for lunch, after they hit it off at the Inferno. They're the young couple who may get together at the end, but first they have to help the Doctor sort out the trouble in their lives. They'll survive if they're lucky. And yet, they've effortlessly slipped into the roles. Polly is matched to Dodo, both presented as secretaries in the previous episode, and the Doctor is already giving Ben life-threatening missions as if he were Steven or Ian, getting trapped in a war machine's efficient little spotlight.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium - Despite the somewhat silly war machines, collapsed time line, and soul-draining exit for Dodo (admittedly a character we never cared much about), Part 2 is the serial has a slick, filmic look and easily creates a fun new team in the Doctor, Ben and Polly.

0 comments:

 

Blog Archive

Category

5 Things to Like Activities Advice Alien Nation Aliens Say the Darndest Things Alpha Flight Amalgam Ambush Bug Animal Man anime Aquaman Archetypes Archie Heroes Arrowed Asterix Atom Avengers Awards Babylon 5 Batman Battle Shovel Battlestar Galactica Black Canary BnB 2-in1 Books Booster Gold Buffy Canada Captain America Captain Marvel Cat CCGs Charlton Circles of Hell Class Comics Comics Code Approved Conan Contest Cooking Crisis Daredevil Dating Kara Zor-El Dating Lois Lane Dating Lucy Lane Dating Princess Diana DCAU Deadman Dial H Dice Dinosaur Island Dinosaurs Director Profiles Doctor Who Doom Patrol Down the Rabbit Hole Dr. Strange Encyclopedia Fantastic Four Fashion Nightmares Fiasco Films Within Films Flash Flushpoint Foldees French Friday Night Fights Fun with Covers FW Team-Up Galleries Game design Gaming Geekly roundup Geeks Anonymous Geekwear Gimme That Star Trek Godzilla Golden Age Grant Morrison Great Match-Ups of Science Fiction Green Arrow Green Lantern Hawkman Hero Points Podcast Holidays House of Mystery Hulk Human Target Improv Inspiration Intersect Invasion Invasion Podcast Iron Man Jack Kirby Jimmy Olsen JLA JSA Judge Dredd K9 the Series Kirby Motivationals Krypto Kung Fu Learning to Fly Legion Letters pages Liveblog Lonely Hearts Podcast Lord of the Rings Machine Man Motivationals Man-Thing Marquee Masters of the Universe Memes Memorable Moments Metal Men Metamorpho Micronauts Millennium Mini-Comics Monday Morning Macking Movies Mr. Terrific Music Nelvana of the Northern Lights Nightmare Fuel Number Ones Obituaries oHOTmu OR NOT? Old52 One Panel Outsiders Panels from Sheena Paper Dolls Play Podcast Polls Questionable Fridays Radio Rants Reaganocomics Recollected Red Bee Red Tornado Reign Retro-Comics Reviews Rom RPGs Sandman Sapphire & Steel Sarah Jane Adventures Saturday Morning Cartoons SBG for Girls Seasons of DWAITAS Secret Origins Podcast Secret Wars SF Shut Up Star Boy Silver Age Siskoid as Editor Siskoid's Mailbox Space 1999 Spectre Spider-Man Spring Cleaning ST non-fiction ST novels: DS9 ST novels: S.C.E. ST novels: The Shat ST novels: TNG ST novels: TOS Star Trek Streaky Suicide Squad Supergirl Superman Supershill Swamp Thing Tales from Earth-Prime Team Horrible Teen Titans That Franchise I Never Talk About The Prisoner The Thing Then and Now Theory Thor Thursdays of Two Worlds Time Capsule Timeslip Tintin Torchwood Tourist Traps of the Forgotten Realms Toys Turnarounds TV V Waking Life Warehouse 13 Websites What If? Who's This? Whoniverse-B Wikileaked Wonder Woman X-Files X-Men Zero Hour Strikes Zine