Doctor Who #426: The Seeds of Doom Part 3

"I've heard of flower power, but that is ridiculous."
TECHNICAL SPECS: First aired Feb.14 1976.

IN THIS ONE... Chase takes possession of the Krynoid pod. Lots of chasing and fighting in sandpits on mansion grounds.

REVIEW: It's about at this point that The Seeds of Doom ceases to be proper Doctor Who and turns into The Avengers, likely the source of Stewart's script. It's not so much mad Chase and his green cathedral - he's an insane villain who might've had dinner with Tobias Vaughn on a regular basis - but rather the way the Doctor and Sarah Jane behave. Granted, Sarah Jane's not doing martial arts, and the Steed/Mrs. Peel banter works as well for the Doctor/Sarah ("she's my best friend" is a bit of a tell though). But despite the alien seed pod floating around, the serial has turned into a spy thriller, with plenty of guns, shifty chauffeurs and chases through large estates. Worse, the Doctor is throwing an awful lot of punches, and even snaps Scorbie's neck after kicking a gun out of his hand! He survives the kill move, but still, that's not very Doctorish. The chauffeur the Doctor punches actually gets it worse and is taken to hospital! For going so far afield of the program's ethics, I'm going to have to shave a few points off.

That said, one thing Doctor Who and The Avengers have in common is the wit, and we get plenty of that. Interviewing Miss Ducat the flower artist slash batty old lady is like something out of Wilde ("The car is immaterial!" or does she mean the handbag?), and the Doctor is hilarious with his sustained shtick of talking like he's one of the villains as well as their victim. No really, he tells himself to get his hands up, warns Scorbie's men that he's dangerous, and empathizes with Chase about the need for he and Sarah to be killed. Inversely, he's making demands while he's held at gunpoint. I'm not sure Tom Baker ever did his "opposite of human emotions" bit so well.

We're spending more time with Chase, and he's this close to being a Batman villain (move over, Poison Ivy - I guess he's really the Floronic Man). He plays terrible organ music to his plants using equipment pilfered from the Radiophonic Workshop, in a rather wonderful greenhouse set. And perhaps not in touch with people, he pushes everyone too far. Keeler is already thinking about finding another job, and leaky Dunbar is outraged at the lines he's crossed. His love of plants has made him a hater of humanity. If he were to survive this story, they'd have to prepare a room for him at Arkham.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium - Some exciting action and plenty of fun dialog, but it's not quite Doctor Who.


d said...

I never heard the Avengers script theory before but it makes alot of sense.


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