Doctor Who #163: The Faceless Ones Part 5

"We have possession of the Doctor's brain."TECHNICAL SPECS: Missing from the archives, so I've used, as usual, a reconstruction. First aired May 6 1967.

IN THIS ONE... Jamie is replaced by a Chameleon and the Doctor gets on board the last plane leaving Earth trying to pass himself off as one.

REVIEW: I'm kind of done with this story now. Let it end. I'm happy that Jamie made it up there unminiaturized thanks to a sensitive stomach, but of course, after he's discovered all the dolls, there's nowhere to go for him except the way of the Chameleons. Crossland too, is a Chameleon now, and what's strange is that despite having all the knowledge of their victims, they can't manage the right accent. It is pretty strange to hear Jamie without his trademark Scottish brogue, but like all Chameleons, threre's no real personality there except a dull kind of haughtiness. To think, they compare our intelligence to that of the animals on their planet. In other words, they treat sentients as beasts. Jerks.

The story continues to be somewhat repetitive. Docking and undocking scenes (that we can't see) are repeated, and structurally, we get Jamie discovering the miniatures and then the Doctor getting that same information out of Cham-Meadows. The one new visual is Nurse Pinto turning into a blob of protoplasm, but we have no idea what that might have looked like. Ah well. And we do learn that the Chameleons lost their identities o individuality in some kind of cataclysm, but that's a strange story indeed. The Doctor goes undercover as a Chameleon, because of course, that's exactly what he is. This early in his run, he's still quite keen on impersonation. He leaves the dense old Commandant behind to find the Chameleon's originals, stupidly left behind on the planet to serve as threats to the Chams' survival, as we head for some kind of resolution.

One last pet peeve... The term "young people" is used frequently throughout this story, and by this point, it's becoming annoying. I mean, people are people, and "young people" just sounds so condescending. They could at least have varied it with "youth", "kids", something! I don't know what was in use in the UK at that time, of course.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium-Low - It's run its course, but refuses to die! The Doctor and Jamie still get their moments, but the villains are so boring, and the story moving so slowly... zzzzzzzz.



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