Episode 042 – “Prisoners of Conciergerie”

Apparently when the screenplay called for Matt Smith to wear a fez, someone, I believe it was the wardrobe lady, was known to observe, “Once we give him that, we’ll never get him to take it off!” It seems this is a problem common to the character.

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He’s been wearing the damn thing for three episodes now.

So Ian and Babs are apparently running Cafe Rene now. I wonder if they’ve managed to find a copy or four of The Fallen Madonna with the Big Boobies. And perhaps that valuable cuckoo clock that everyone forgets about after the first few episodes.

Sounds as though Robespierre is going to be put on trial and executed. This is known in advance. Nothing like a really fair trial for a revolutionary state. Sets a great precedent down the line. I also notice that a certain general, who was, in fact, not short, has shown up.

The scene between Bonaparte and the other man (I don’t recall has name), was very nicely done, in fact. The conversation was well-written and communicated information with a minimum of fuss.

Robespierre’s arrest is also very nicely done. Tense and exciting, with a terrible fate for a man whose mouth is his living. Quite literally, in this case.

I feel vaguely sorry for the jailer in this story. He’s not a nice man, sure, but he’s doing a tough and terrible job under trying circumstances. Still, he doesn’t come to the worst fate, I suppose.

Susan really had nothing much to do in this story. She either spends the story sick, or in jail, or both.

A word about the final scene on board the TARDIS. It’s short, but nice. I liked that they took a moment to really discuss time travel and what would later be called “fixed points in time”. Very good.

Overall this is a solid conclusion to a decent, but imperfect, story. Four parts would have been better than six, but thank goodness it wasn’t seven.

Next time: “Planet of Giants”

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