Episode 037 – “A Land of Fear”

Well, here we are, mes amis, in the final blood-soaked days of the glorious French Revolution. Liberté, égalité, fraternité! Vive la France!

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Allons les enfants de la Partie, la jour de glorie est arrivé!

Here we are, at the beginning of another historical. This time set in revolutionary France. Two episodes are missing from this series, but thankfully, they were animated for DVD, so we’ll still get something at least approximating the full experience.

Apparently the Doctor managed to activate the TARDIS’s stealth mode, landing without any noise in what he assumes to be 20th century England. He’s a bit off on that estimation.

I love the Doctor being rather dickish here. In this case, I think it’s not because he dislikes Ian and Barbara, but rather the exact opposite; he likes them quite a bit, and doesn’t want them to leave, so he’s lashing out to make it hurt less. I kind of like that. I’m  also amused by the way Ian and Barbara deal with this.

Cockney Street Urchin #114 seems a bit miscast here. He seems to believe he’s been cast in a West End musical. I expect him to launch into a few bars of “Consider Yourself”. The Maurice Chevalier laughs we get from the various soldiers later is also a bit amusing.

Apparently the Reign of Terror is the Doctor’s favorite period in Earth history. Seems a bit odd, I suppose, but there you are.

I must say that the SFX in this episode are quite good, and the story itself is as well. Really, an excellent start to this story.

On a final note, I have no idea why I listed this episode as “Land of the Dead” previously. That’s a (very good), Big Finish story. So there you are.

Next time: “Guests of Madame Guillotine”

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