Doctor Who #428: The Seeds of Doom Part 5

"Yes, aggressive rhubarb." "What about homicidal gooseberries?"
TECHNICAL SPECS: First aired Feb.28 1976.

IN THIS ONE... The Krynoid assaults the shed and starts turning other plants into killers and Chase into an ally.

REVIEW: Even if it grows to immense size over the course of the episode, the Krynoid continues to look like an elephant with lipstick on the end of its trunk to me, so I'm happy not to see it too much. In its place, we get the plants it's started to animate, thick bunches of vines that are rather more effective. But more interesting are the human villains. Even though the Krynoid has a voice, Chase is anointed High Priest, communing with the plant world and unsurprisingly siding with them. His "green cathedral" provides a grandiose and creepy temple, and there's something transcendent about the dissolve to his face when he lies on a grass carpet, the music evoking rapture at that moment. More a willing participant than under alien control, the process nevertheless seems to have driven him mad, or at the very least, distracted by his telepathic(?) connection to the Krynoid.

At this point, even Scorby abandons him, building an uneasy alliance with the Doctor and Sarah Jane. He's motivated by self-preservation, of course, but there is a question as to whether Sarah can really "turn" him, or indeed, shame him into doing the right thing. The track record for guest characters isn't great though, with Dunbar, Hargreaves and the guards dead already. The henchman makes a strange partner for Sarah, but a good target for her morality. Lis Sladen somehow manages not to make her character too grating despite her speeches, and for once, her pluck serves a very real purpose, forcing Scorby to put his money where his mouth is. The Doctor, for his part, is ferocious. Growling and shouting at friends as much as foes - are they trying to create a plant/animal contrast? At least the Brigadier is in Geneva, so he doesn't have to bear any abuse. While I've accepted that perhaps this script isn't the most Doctorish, I'm surprised Tom Baker hasn't made any demands upon it. Where are his usual witty adlibs? He's so perpetually angry in this, it may be that he's just trying to bark himself awake at the end of a long schedule.

Bob Holmes does seem to have slipped a few witticisms in there, but they're given to Miss Ducat and Sir Colin. Or am I misreading the gentle ribbing at civil servants as Holmes' bureaucracy take-down fetish? The violence is once more under control, however, and so is the Gothic atmosphere this season's tried to create. One need only look at The Ark in Space from the previous season to see how far the show has come. Very effective use of shadows and lighting here. I wonder how many kids insisted on putting the house plants out that night?

REWATCHABILITY: Medium - Though the Doctor is more angry than funny, we're back on track as each villain chooses a side and creates a different dynamic in time for the finale.

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 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 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 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 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 Zine