Episode 235 – “Seeds of Death” – Part 03

So our space madness continues. In this episode we learn that space stations of the future will have, for some reason, a lot of mirrors.

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But of egoists, I assume.

Our crew have finally made it to the t-mat station. The Doctor goes on a run for a bit and eventually convinces the Ice Warriors that he’s valuable. Meantime, Jamie and Zoe are wandering around doing things and stuff. They eventually rendezvous with the t-mat repair crew that’s also come up from Earth.

We also learn that the Ice Warriors are preparing the titular seeds of death to be sent to Earth for…reasons. I’m not entirely clear on it, though clearly it isn’t to set up humanity with their own supply of dank Martian weed.

I do find it odd the way they keep saying, “t-mat” as though it’s a proper name.  Like “T-mat has been fixed”, instead of “the t-mat system has been fixed”. Very odd.

We’re also told that foods are running out in cities and millions are facing starvation. Ok, then. But…I mean, it’s been, what, a day? Two days? Surely it can’t be that bad, that quick, stupid quotes about power outages and missing meals not withstanding.

Episode 234 – “Seeds of Death” – Part 02

And so our heroes end up on a rocket…into space!

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And, in the process, are forced to listen to Nickleback.

There are some interesting visuals during this episode, particularly during the scenes where the space mission is being launched. I quite liked the use of projections and overlays, and the one that looked quite a bit like a QR code amused me.

The story continues along at a crisp pace, as our characters try to get back to the Moon so they can get the T-mat system back up and going. The Doctor, Jamie, and Zoe charm their way into a rocket, but while they’re en route, the T-Mat system “mysteriously” comes back online. It is, of course, an Ice Warrior trap.

If I have to complain about something, it’s the way the rocket launch, and mission to the Moon, are handled. I mean, this was 1969, yeah? The year we actually went to the freakin’ Moon. Real space missions were happening, they could have made this all just look a tiny bit more convincing.

But that aside, a generally good part of a generally good story!

Episode 233 – “Seeds of Death” – Part 01

We begin our latest adventure with the Doctor and friends in a familiar pose.

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Typical.

I mean, ok, this isn’t actually the first few moments of the story. No, instead we get to see various technicians minding the store at a transmat (think of the transporters from Star Trek), station. Well, two stations, actually. One is on Earth, one is on the Moon.

Trouble ensues, of course, in the form of the Ice Warriors, making their first re-appearance.

It must be said that this first episode flows very nicely. It introduces an easily-understood dilemma, presents at least a partial solution, and gives us some wonderful scenes; and not just the ones with the Doctor and his friends. No, pretty much every character feels quite authentic, which is a testament to the writer’s abilities.

It also accomplished that rather rare feat (at least for me at this point), of making me completely lose track of time! I was actually surprised when it ended. Well done!

My Thoughts on Story 047 – “The Krotons”

So. Boring. Just…so very, very boring. Even thinking about this story makes me sleepy and upset.

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Zzzzzgrrrrr…

It didn’t have to be this way. The concept of this story isn’t horrible, but it’s also not very original, and really was rather poorly executed.

Let’s start with the Krotons themselves. Basically someone took the Robot from Forbidden Planet and downgraded it by several levels. These things just look terrible. They really aren’t interesting at all. They come off as (yet another) attempt by the BBC to not have to keep forking over money to Terry Nation.

There really isn’t a single interesting supporting character, and though there are a couple of cute little moments with the Doctor and Zoe, really, everything about this is just dull, dull, dull.

In point of fact, the only good thing about this story is that it brings us one step closer to the color era.

Cast
Others
  • James Copeland — Selris
  • James Cairncross — Beta
  • Gilbert Wynne — Thara
  • Philip Madoc — Eelek
  • Terence Brown — Abu
  • Madeleine Mills — Vana
  • Richard Ireson — Axus
  • Maurice Selwyn — Custodian
  • Bronson Shaw — Student
  • Roy Skelton, Patrick Tull — Kroton Voices
  • Robert La’Bassiere, Miles Northover — Krotons
Production
Directed by David Maloney
Written by Robert Holmes
Script editor Terrance Dicks
Produced by Peter Bryant
Executive producer(s) None
Incidental music composer Special sounds by Brian Hodgson
Production code WW
Series Season 6
Length 4 episodes, 25 minutes each
Date started 28 December 1968
Date ended 18 January 1969

Next time: The Seeds of Death

Episode 232 – “The Krotons” – Part 04

Our heroes continue their fight against the evil Krotons!

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If only they could weaponize those sideburns.

We’re getting a rather unimpressive end to a rather unimpressive story. Jamie is off doing something, the Doctor and Zoe are trying to stop the Krotons, the other people are doing stuff, and…even just describing it is boring me a bit.

There is a mildly interesting sub-plot of “do we dare fight the Krotons, or continue on as their slaves?” But that really ends fairly quickly and it’s clear that there’s only one “correct” answer. There’s also an amusing bit where Zoe and the Doctor banter about where to stand.

But really, this is another boring part to another boring story. Still, I have the Ice Warriors next, and after that we say farewell to the Second Doctor!

Episode 231 – “The Krotons” – Part 03

Bit of a yawner, this. I watched it a couple of hours ago, when I didn’t have ready access to my computer, and even now I’m having trouble recalling anything of interest in it.

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Though the Kroton carrying what looks like a valuable Ming vase amuses me.

There really isn’t much to get a hold of in this story in general, and this episode is particularly dull. This whole thing is not, I fear, one of Robert Holmes’ best efforts, though the bit with the HADS was rather interesting.

Overall, just not much of much and nothing particularly noteworthy. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.

Episode 230 – “The Krotons” – Part 02

Well, that’s that. I’m out of excuses. I’ve fallen way behind and there’s no good reason. In my defense, the disc for this wasn”t in my blu ray player, and I’m very lazy.

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You can see how shocked the Doctor is by that revelation.

Anyhow, there’s now something called Britbox, which I can stream through my Roku. They have pretty much all of old Who on there, so…sigh. Yeah, I guess I’m just going to have to keep going now.

So we pick up where we left off, with the Doctor and friends being menaced by something that looks like an evil desk lamp. That particular situation gets settled fairly quickly, and we then move on to…whatever the rest of this episode is about.

Zoe gets to spend some time looking at math. That seems to please her quite a bit. It’s an odd little moment, but ok. For his part, Jamie seems to be keeping himself busy tending to a woman we saw in the previous episode.

I do have the say that the math animation (mathimation?) that we get from the Kroton teaching machine is kind of neat.

On the other hand, we also get a glimpse of the Krotons, and that is not neat. Their design really is rather awful, even by 1960s, low-budget, BBC standards.

And our episode ends with Jamie being captured and tormented by the Crystal People!