Konata Izumi wrote:
The Green Death
The pacing's disastrous. Not sure about all of the story as I zoned out in many parts. The first three episodes watched ages ago and they had great effect bits but mostly very dull. Ep4 was better with what felt like very naturalistic dialogue and character interaction, vaguely interesting if literally forgettable. Eps5-6 just now, a riot with a particularly fun version of a talking computer and lots of unintentional comedy. Why save the butterfly for the last episode and even then only one?
I remember this story for two reasons:
First, it was Jo's last story, and her departure actually made sense both in terms of the story and her established character.
Secondly... it reminds me of a wild weekend in Calgary, Alberta over 25 years ago, when I was visiting some friends who were making their own Doctor Who film. They'd built a TARDIS set, had a script, a cameraman who knew what he was doing, and that was the weekend they were going to do some location filming - at an unused warehouse.
I basically tagged along as an observer, since I know nothing of filming (my background is in live theatre, working various backstage crews on musicals, Shakespeare, and dinner theatre).
As luck would have it, one of the guys was covering the windows to adjust the light, when he fell off the ladder and got a nail stuck in his backside. Naturally that meant a trip to the hospital - not only for him, but also for the cameraman who, we discovered, was apt to faint at the sight of blood. He got hustled to the hospital as well, since he'd hit his head on the concrete floor.
The "green" part of this comes in because one of the guys playing a human who was changing into some kind of green alien still had his makeup on when we got to the hospital. He insisted he couldn't go in.
"Why not?" I asked.
"Because I'm GREEN!" he yelled. "They might want to keep me!"
It was all kind of silly to me, since I long ago got over any nervousness at walking around in public in SF and medieval costumes. It seems normal to me, so it never occurred to me that someone else might have a problem.
The two who were hurt recovered, although the camera got broken when the guy running it fell...
The Trial of a Time Lord: The Mysterious Planet and Mindwarp (Sixth Doctor).
While not Robert Holmes' best, I know he was ill while writing it and died soon after, I enjoyed The Mysterious Planet. It's actually kind of interesting, I saw a lot of The Krotons, Holmes first serial, in this one. A robot which controls a human society to provide for its needs, the robot singling out two of the humans for special tasks.
While Mindwarp was well written, I think Philip Martin's last serial, Vengeance on Varos, was probably better. Sil works better as an antagonist then a sniveling flunkie. Peri's death however was excellent. She didn't die saving the day, she just died and I applaud the writer and producer for making that decision.
Yes, I know they copped out in the end which is too bad. Having Peri marry Yrcanos seems completely out of place. I know they tried to build up some sort of relationship between them, but it wasn't that well developed.
But... it was BRIAN BLESSED! That makes up for all of it, as he was clearly much in love with his "Perpugilliam of the Brown."
Besides, that marriage made a hell of a lot more sense than Leela and Andred...
The Trial of a Time Lord: Terror of the Vervoids and The Ultimate Foe.
I liked the 'who done it' aspect of Terror but its the only thing that really works in the serial. Everybody on the ship is a suspect in the crime until the culprit is finally revealed in part four. Unfortunately none of the suspects are well developed and the serial has several subplots that lead to nowhere like Rudge and the Morgarian's plan to take over the ship. They take the ship, the Morgarians are killed, Rudge runs away and is killed by the Vervoids. That's it, all done.
I enjoyed Foe more but I think the original ending, with the Doctor and the Valeyard plunging to their supposed doom, would've been much better. It also would've served as a better end for the Sixth Doctor than the one he gets in Time and the Rani.
The concept behind the Valeyard is interesting and I wouldn't mind it being explored further in Modern Who since Classic Who never got a chance. Since it's likely Matt Smith's tenure is almost up, we're fast approaching the time between the Doctor's 12th and 13th lives. Unfortunately I've got a feeling the Valeyard's going to be completely ignored.
I'm not too sure about Mel at the moment. So far her defining trait appears to be the ability to state the obvious.
Mel's main talents are pushing carrot juice and screaming. She was pretty useless as a Companion.