Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Doctor Who 45th Anniversary – Why Was 1972 Brilliant?

Creatures out of time strain to pull Doctor Who out of the ‘exiled to Earth’ format, with time-travelling Daleks in a dystopian future, Sea Devils rising from the waves and their long sleep and a distinctly anti-colonial look at Earth’s future Empire. The Doctor even manages several limited trips in the TARDIS again, the most entertaining (and topical) of which takes him to a future monarchist backwater hoping to join a distinctly un-Star Trek Federation in which aliens abound…

The Curse of Peladon
“I would rather be a cave-dweller, and free.”
“Free? With your people imprisoned by ritual and superstition?”
Like UNIT, this interplanetary political fable inspires internationalism, with EuroGalacto-sceptic religion and greed the villains, while old monsters turned dryly witty and the campest of hysterical hexapods are friends. On top of that, there’s inspired blagging by our heroes, and a legendary shaggy ghost story.

You’ll have to look around for a second-hand copy of the VHS until they bring out the DVD – or of Brian Hayles’ novelisation, which makes hermaphrodite hexapod Alpha Centauri if anything even more vivid, as well as giving the story just a slightly bigger budget.

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