Wednesday, October 15, 2008

side project: classic who

The Green Death

So here we have the last episode for Jo "I'll make a list" Grant. It was actually pretty good. She decides to go off on an adventure for the first time by herself, without the Doctor, to do things she has her own opinions on, and he finally gets to Mirabillis III, which they've been talking of visiting all season-- she falls in love with someone who reminds her of the Doctor, but younger, while he has a horrible time without a companion. He winds up in southern Wales where she is after she goes missing, and there's much quarry and UNIT and glowing green slime and the word 'fungus' instead of mushroom. And maggots. Two-foot-long mutant maggots. And environmentalism-- she goes to a coal mine where a psycho machine is getting people to dump toxic waste down in the closed shafts, except there's still people mining nearby, and they start getting sick with something that smells like rot and makes them glow green until they're dead. She hangs out with Proffessor Cliff who yells at her much the way the Doctor does, and she's immediately back to being a bumbling walking accident, but she gets to talk more, have opinions of her own, and tries to help with the problem of the freaky-large maggots, which they have to stop before they turn into mutant bugs and fly away.

Dispite Jo's habit lately of falling for guys, this one seems more realistic-- she already knew who he was, and he returned the affection and worried about her when she was stuck down the mineshaft. When he got sick, she did all the could to help him, and when he woke up, he was disarmingly happy to see her. And he was a fairly-well-rounded character who was basically a good man despite being a weird hippy scientist a bit over-fond of fungi. In the end, he asked her to go into the amazon with him and to marry him along the way, and she agreed-- and they actually got to kiss, which I was expecting would be disallowed by the BBC.

And this is really one of the first times we get to see a little of the Doctor's inner life. When Jo and Cliff start getting close, the Doctor tries to make up reasons to keep them apart, and when she decides to leave UNIT and leave him and give up travelling the galaxy for love, the Doctor says goodbye and then leaves the party alone, obviously sad. He yells at her, but he's fond of her, and the fact that she left him for someone who reminds her of him didn't help any.

A good end to the season and a good send-off for Jo, letting her be a person and not just an ankle-twister. I could have done without the BOSS smarmy computer, who got really irritating by the end, but the monsters and disasters main plot was fun.

Next up, Sarah-Jane Smith, and one more season of Pertwee before we get to Doctor Four, Tom Baker.

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