Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Side Project Week 2: Classic Doctor Who

Up this week: Carnival of Monsters!

This one is sillier than usual, even for Classic Who. The Doctor and Jo, recently restored to free range time travel after saving the Timelords in the Three Doctors, aim for some perfect planet and wind up on a ship in the Indian ocean in 1926. In a time bubble. With a pleisiosaur. Meanwhile, intergalactic hucksters Vorg and Shirna wind up on a gray planet full of weird little gray people, trying to sell their show-- a peepshow of several species from all across the galaxy in little mini-habitats, like a traveling zoo. Three and Jo, of course, are inside the machine, and, also of course, they get out, into the guts of the device, where there is much running about. After getting into a Dashig habitat, they're chased about in high Who fashion by said Dashigs, which eventually make it into the real world after the Doctor, while Jo is still inside. The Doctor prevails and Vorg and Shirna are not thrown in jail.
Like I said, sillier than usual. Shirna sounds almost exactly like Jackie Tyler, and has eyebrows made of sequins, and Vorg looks like some sort of proto-Doctor Six with his crazy clashing outfit. His bowler hat is see through and tends to fog us under the lights. But both of them are amusing enough, the gray guys are amusing and mincing and somewhat like Ferengis, and the scenes on the ship are fun, especially since they keep repeating and somehow Jo is the only one who remembers what happened last time. Best of all, though, is the continued development of Jo as a reasoning, useful and competent human being, not just an ankle-twister.

Next week: Frontier in Space, and then only three more stories with Jo before she gives way to Sarahjane Smith.

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