My Thoughts on Story 034 – “The Macra Terror”

This was a strange story, and it’s a hard one to review. It’s got a lot of brilliant little moments, but the story itself kind of falls apart, and I still have no idea what the motivation of the Macra was.

They’d be fantastic with a bit of melted butter, mind you.

There is plenty to like in this story. Jamie is as charming as he ever is, and in their penultimate story, Ben and Polly are given much to do. Plus Troughton has really settled into the “borderline crazy man” persona that the Second Doctor has become known for. It’s also interesting seeing this little dystopic society.

But there are significant problems, too. First off, the Macra don’t look great. That’s a minor complaint, but there you are. Second, I have no idea, even now, exactly what their plan was. Why were they controlling this colony? What did they hope to gain? I think they were after the gas or something, but weren’t there about twenty easier ways to do this? Like, for example, buying it?

Yet again, of course, the reconstructions don’t help matters much. They could be far worse, of course, and Loose Cannon did about as good of a job as can be expected, but ultimately they remain problematic. Still, they are better than nothing.

Overall this isn’t a bad story, but it certainly isn’t one that I feel the need to revisit.

  • Peter Jeffrey — Pilot
  • Graham Armitage — Barney
  • Ian Fairbairn — Questa
  • Jane Enshawe — Sunaa
  • Sandra Bryant & Karol Keyes — Chicki
  • Maureen Lane — Drum Majorette
  • Terence Lodge — Medok
  • Gertan Klauber — Ola
  • Graham Leaman — Controller
  • Anthony Gardner — Alvis
  • Denis Goacher — Control Voice
  • Richard Beale — Broadcast/Propaganda Voice
  • Robert Jewell — Macra Operator
  • John Harvey — Officia
  • John Caesar, Steve Emerson & Danny Rae — Guards
  • Ralph Carrigan, Roger Jerome & Terry Wright — Cheerleaders
Writer Ian Stuart Black
Director John Davies
Script editor Gerry Davis
Producer Innes Lloyd
Executive producer(s) None
Incidental music composer Dudley Simpson
Production code JJ
Series Season 4
Length 4 episodes, 25 minutes each
Episode(s) missing All episodes
Date started 11 March 1967
Date ended 1 April 1967

Next time: “The Faceless Ones”


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