Friday 30 April 2010

The Space Museum

The First Doctor and his companions are in danger of becoming museun exhibits.

The general consensus on this story is that the first episode is brilliant, but after that it becomes a long routine of running down corridors and getting captured. While the story is entertaining enough on a wet afternoon, I can't see much reason to depart from this consensus.

There is a wonderful eerie atmosphere in the first episode. The build-up of peculiar occurences aids this. While the museum is a really dull, featureless looking set, it is portrayed mysteriously enough to generate our interest. The revelation that the TARDIS crew are in danger of becoming exhibits adds intensity to the story.

This is the first Doctor Who (and surpisingly one of the few) stories to explore the complex possibilities of time travel. It appears to be established in the story that the future can be changed.

It is just a bit disappointing that the story fails to deliver a gripping experience. It still has some good elements. The companions have plenty to do throughout the story. In fact, it is Vicky who enables the TARDIS crew to be saved through her aiding the rebels.

The Doctor's interrogation by Governor Lobo is a great scene. Hartnell puts in a great performance here in the triumph of the Doctor's will.

The Moroks are pretty unimpressive. They come across as incompetent and overly bureaucratic, though I think this makes them a little interesting. Governor Lobo's South African accent is a nice touch.

The Xerons are even more dull than the Moroks. Its rather hard to sympathize with them. They come across as a bunch of privately educated pretty boys.

It is interesting how late the pacifist tendency in Doctor Who came in. Back here in the Hartnell era, there was no attempt at a critique of violence in the stories. Here it is Vicky instigating a violent and bloody revolution that wins the day.

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