Saturday, 6 June 2009

Doctor Who: The Space Museum

The Space Museum

"You wouldn't say that, young lady, if we ever meet [the Daleks] again. Which to say the least is very unlikely."

Nice opening model shots, and an intriguing conceptual mystery from the start. The Doctor's continual refusal to explain is most amusing. Vicki's dropped glass un-breaking and jumping back into her hands deepens the mystery, and it's good to see the food machine again. It's also great to see the Dalek, and Vicki's lines about the Dalek invasion happened over three hundred years ago is our first explicit suggestion that all the TARDIS's landings in the future take place in the same timeline which should in theory be internally consistent.

This is a great episode driven by fantastic concepts, for once making actual use of the time travel premise of the show. Great cliffhanger, too.

The Dimensions of Time

"Chesterton, this is no time to be playing cowboys and Indians!"

Suddenly this story is looking a lot less visually interesting, with some very dull corridors and costumes. The actors playing the Xerons don't exactly imbue them with charisma either. The time travel concepts now fade into the background, although the TARDISeers' attempt to avoid their preordained fate will remain as an intriguing element.

The Doctor namedrops James Watt here, although Jacqueline Hill has to prompt Hartnell for the line. Nice line from Barbara: "All the doors and corridors are exactly alike." No doubt this is the one and only time we'll be hearing such sentiments...

The Doctor'd monocle is very cool indeed, but is very quickly topped by his antics in the Dalek. This story may look dull, and have Xerons in it, but otherwise I must admit it's keeping me interested.

The Search

"It's nothing to do with me! I'm just a simple soldier!"

So, no Doctor in this episode! it's good to see Vicki getting a chance to shine though. Her attitude is great: "Sitting here planning and dreaming of a revolution isn't going to bring your planet back!" It's rather arresting to see this revolution taking the form of acquiring guns though- certainly not something you'd see in later eras!

Why do the Xerons, just because they're the goodies, have to be a perfectly peaceful people, free from all want? Can't they be allowed just one tiny flaw?

The Final Phase

"Have any arms fallen into Xeron hands?"

Vicki continues to be great here, effectively directing the revolution. We get a nice ending, with the TARDISeers all imprisoned but Vicki's already ensured their release- she's the real star of the story.

The last scene comes as a real surprise though- Daleks! With a time machine! And now with vertical slats- it seems that the lost old style Dalek we saw was the one in the exhibition.

Overall, I quite enjoyed this. The first episode was great, with the others not being as good (par for the course for the science fiction stories so far), but a lot of the dullness was the fault of the design and some of the guest actors- the script was good throughout. This is nowhere near as boring as its reputation- a solid 3/5.

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