Episode 38: The Abominable Snowmen

 

Doctor_Who_and_the_Abominable_Snowmen

Episode 38: The Abominable Snowmen
Second Doctor
Companions: Jamie, Victoria
Written by Gerald Blake
Directed by Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln
Wikipedia Entry

Description
High in the Tibetan Himalayas, the Doctor discovers creatures who threaten a monastery.

Evaluation
First of all, I’m mad that this episode has missing pieces. I want more images and gifs of these things:

Snowmen

I’m not even mad, bro.

Can we have more fluffy monsters in Doctor Who? And if not, why not? I need answers showrunners!

The TARDIS lands in the Himalayas, specifically in Tibet. The Doctor is excited to return a bell back to a monastery. But as he leaves the TARDIS, the Doctor notices strange footprints and asks Jamie and Victoria to remain in the TARDIS. Naturally, his companions follow his instructions to the letter.

Jamie Vic TARDIS

Before the Doctor’s arrival, Professor Edward Travers, who is looking for proof that yetis exist, discovers that his companion was killed by a strange creature. When the Doctor enters the monastery, he is shocked to find himself accused of killing Professor Travers companion. Meanwhile, Jamie and Victoria are searching for the Doctor when they come across an unstoppable “great, hairy beastie” with enormous strength.

When the companions and the Doctor are reunited, they are thrust upon the mystery of what exactly are these “great, hairy beasties”. What is the connection between their attacks and with the monastery’s spiritual leader? And what exactly are those magical balls?

Overall, it was an entertaining episode when I listened to the audio version. The characters were engaging. The action was exciting to the point to where I found myself  shouting at the characters to be careful when they faced a yeti attack. Jamie continues to be one of my favorite companions and Victoria continues to be a great asset to the Doctor team. The cliffhangers after each part were suspenseful and the costumes are blast to behold once I had a chance to look at the surviving piece of the episode.

Jamie and Vic.jpg

There was one issue I had with this episode. Again, the characters, specifically the supporting cast, were engaging when I listened to the audio edition. The problem was when I watched the only surviving piece of the episode. Many of the supporting actors were white actors playing Tibetan characters. I know that this was a norm for the times but this is one of those times in which the act of tanning an actor to look like a person of color doesn’t age well. The acting was still good but the representation wasn’t the best.

Again, I know that I’m writing this fifty years since its release and that this is a great example of time and age but these were things that popped out at me and lingered long after I finished the episode.

Yeti Set photos

As I’m reading about this episode I was delighted to discover that this won’t be the last time we see the Yeti in Doctor Who. I’m excited for the opportunity to see more of them in the future.

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Episode 36: The Evil of the Daleks

doctor_who_the_evil_of_the_daleks

Episode 36: The Evil of the Daleks
Second Doctor
Companions: Jamie, Victoria
Written byDavid Whitaker
Directed by Derek Martinus
Wikipedia Entry

Description
The Doctor and Jamie are forced to play a game of life and death in the Victorian age.

Evaluation
This another audio that I listened to instead of reading the adaptation. At about 18 minutes into the audio presentation I became distracted as I heard this playing in the background:

I originally heard Hold Tight! in Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof. In the film, it is played right before a violent, dramatic sequence that still leaves me breathless every time I watch it. I had to re-listen to this part of the audio presentation because I found myself singing along to the song and not paying attention to the story.

After the Doctor and Jamie say goodbye to Ben and Polly, they watch as the TARDIS is loaded up and shipped to an unknown location. They are later kidnapped and sent back to the middle of the Victorian Era. The Daleks are behind this kidnapping and force Jamie to submit to an experiment in which “the human factor” will be discovered. This unknown quality is what the Daleks believe to be the reason why humans have been able to continually defeat the Daleks.

The episode is a typical Dalek story in which the silly tin pots underestimate the power of human kindness and ingenuity. It’s not to say that the story is boring but there were moments that I felt were predictable. Jamie is a character with a good heart and will always lead the cause for good. The Doctor is clever and has the charm to fool the Daleks once again. Humanity is great but there are still those who would sellout for fame and money, which leads to their own destruction. My biggest worry about this serial was the introduction of Victoria. I hope she doesn’t become just the damsel in distress for future episodes, though I have a feeling she will.

The Lost in Time DVD set does have the second part of the episode available for viewing.

Overall, it is a solid episode. The acting and writing were spot on. It is a bit slow but the end is fantastic and I wish that the last part had survived.

Episode 34: The Macra Terror

doctor_who_the_macra_terror

Episode 34: The Macra Terror
Second Doctor
Companions: Polly, Ben, Jamie
Written by Ian Stuart Black
Directed by John Davies
Wikipedia Entry

Description
The Doctor and his companions visit an Earth colony in the future that is not what it seems.

Evaluation
I have discovered through my library’s online resources that many of the audio editions of the missing episodes are available for check out. I like reading the books but the hearing the story is more entertaining and I seem to retain the story more than from the book adaptations. Granted I’m stuck in traffic five days a week, so the audio presentation is a welcome relief to the horror that is the 405.

The story begins immediately after the end of The Moonbase in which Ben, Polly, Jamie, and the Doctor see the scary image of a claw on the TARDIS scanner. They land in the future, on another planet that has been colonized by Earth. Their visit contact with this new planet is with a colonist by the name of Medok, who is running away from the police. Medok is arrested by the Chief of Police who escorts the visitors to the colony. As the Doctor and his companions become accustomed to this new world, they discover that the colony is not what it seems. There are forces controlling the colony; forces that may not be human.

This was an entertaining story. I found myself yelling in my car as I listened to the adventure. (This is usually a good sign that I’m engaged in the story) It felt like an engaging radio drama. This is a rare case in which I’m glad that the episodes are missing because it was so engaging as an audio adventure. I’m wondering if I would have thought the episode cheesy if I had seen the Macra monsters. Sometimes leaving the imagination open to possibilities is more entertaining than the actual image presented. If you can find the audio edition, it would be worth the time and effort.