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Planet of Evil


Previous: Terror of the Zygons

Planet of Evil

First thing we see is: our titular Planet appears to be Evil Red. Looks like we're off to an appropriate start.

Aaaand, that's not a future-shovel, that's a grave marker. Buckle up, folks, looks like we're in for a grim one.

Looks like we're in for another mining story too. Also amused by how everyone we've seen so far falls somewhere on the Spectrum of Beard.

I wish the Spectrum of Beard would help me keep track of the hierarchy of this team but the assistant guy has more beard than the professor.

Oh well, there's only three of them so far.

...Nnnnnnever mind, the White Beard just got vaporized by...I guess I'll just have to watch and find out by what.

And then there was one! And it looks like the assistant guy was being yanked into the other room by something invisible.

Let's just hope these monsters eventually look better than the tin foil...I mean, Vardans from The Invasion of Time.

On the other hand, it'll give me something to laugh about in what's shaping up to be a pretty dark story so far.

On the other other hand, I can still laugh at Sarah Jane being So Done with Four and his epic miscalculations and overshoots.

Four, you look a bit too excited about the prospect of receiving a distress call when you're not even sure where you are.

Ah, that must be the rescue ship! And Sarah Jane, I'm not sure this is the right time to be mesmerized by menacingly swaying plants.

Orrrr, maybe that's not the rescue ship? It seems to be crewed entirely by Blue Power Rangers.

Never mind, it's an affiliated ship of some sort.

"So the people who sent that signal must be humanoid! ...Well, they've got hands!"

Ah, good to know the Incredibly Futuristic Crew isn't entirely white.

Oh. Ohhhhh dear. "Several months too late." At least the invisible monsters had the courtesy to return the body...?

Companion going out alone into a mysterious deadly jungle to get something from the TARDIS? Don't see how this could possibly go wrong...

Huh! Pleasant turn of events: she doesn't have to worry about the jungle, just the Power Rangers locking her in the TARDIS. Oh wait.

Amazingly, Professor Sorensen is still alive? And it hasn't been "a few months," just a few hours.

"There were eight in your party."
"Yes, um...we've had difficulties."
Fatal difficulties leaving you the only one left alive, but hey.

Which begs the question: what exactly were those "quarantine" devices and HOW DID THEY VANISH THE ENTIRE TARDIS?

Meanwhile: it's hard to be a Doctor trying to Do Science To It without being held at gunpoint, apparently.

Okay, never mind, the TARDIS was just teleported onto the orbiting ship.

"Any signal would've been monitored by our receivers!"
"Perhaps my receivers are better than yours!"
"SHUT UP."
"...My manners certainly are."

How is it that commander characters in these sorts of stories are almost always dicks?

Four, I'm impressed. There's being cool under pressure but you are an entire supermarket's worth of Zen cucumbers right now.

You know, if I didn't know better, I'd almost say you and Sarah Jane are enjoying this.

OH. WELL THERE'S OUR FIRST LOOK AT OUR INVISIBLE KILLERS. AND THEY ARE ACTUALLY QUITE CREEPY.

Uh oh, the monster got the Blue Ranger who tried to shoot it. Thank you, sir, your sacrifice is appreciated.

Also appreciated is that fact that they didn't kill off the one black guy first.

Also also appreciated is that the Blue Rangers don't seem to be very good shots with moving targets and can't mow down our heroes.

Yes, let's bring the mentally unstable and probably traumatized man to come look at the corpse, that'll do him some good.

Not sure why I'm noticing this but I love how attentive Four is to Sarah Jane's wellbeing. He's asked her "are you alright" about four times

"Occuloid"? What is...ohhh, it's one of those War of the Worlds eyestalk things.

By the way, can I give serious props to whoever set-designed Zeta Minor?

Because this is seriously one of the most atmospheric and foreboding alien worlds I think I've ever seen in Classic Who.

"I met him once, you know."
"Who?"
"Shakespeare! Charming fellow, dreadful actor."
"Perhaps that's why he took up writing."

I find Sorensen's apparent unconcern with the deaths of his crew kinda fascinating. "Yeah people died, but LOOK AT MY SCIENCE!"

"The manual says, hostile alien forces must be searched out and liquidated!" I'm...pretty sure that's not what "liquidated" means.

*looks in dictionary* Ah, I stand corrected. There is a second definition of "liquidate" that means "to eliminate."

On that note, time to gaze into the Pool of Nothingness!

Woah woah woah guys stop manhandling Sarah Jane because APPARENTLY THE PUNISHMENT IS LITERALLY DEATH BY VOID-POOL.

I wonder if anyone's done a full tally of the number of stories where the TARDIS lands somewhere and is mistaken for causing a local death.

I suspect this episode was made before the "there is no real edge of the universe" theory happened.

Although, the premise of the edge of our universe being the boundary of an adjacent antimatter universe is a neat idea.

Actually, didn't we kinda already deal with parallel antimatter universes in The Three Doctors? Haven't watched that in a while.

Wow. An escape attempt has never been easier, but naturally this is the part of the story where "btw, end of the universe" comes into play.

Sorensen: Keep precious ore in airtight containers. Four: Improvise for storage and just keep a sample in a toffee tin.

Huh, Four wasn't kidding about the takeoff failing. Kinda like the planet itself is like "WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU'RE GOING GET BACK HERE."

"Energy...it's pure energy in physical form!" Kinda looks like a fully-realized Axon with the head of a hammerhead shark, but okay.

Aaaaand now I'm having flashbacks to the bad guys from Titan AE. #pureenergy

Of course, I don't remember how that movie ended, so I don't remember how exactly they defeated a whole race of energy monsters.

That information would be pretty handy now, since I'm not sure fighting energy with energy is working out quite so well right here in Who.

"You've sent those men to their deaths. Use the forcefield barrier!" #USETHEFORCE #fieldbarrier #sorry

Good to know that worked. Unrelated, but Four took his scarf off a couple scenes ago and where did he put it?

Why do I have an uncomfortable suspicion that the cliffhanger for this episode is going to be Four falling into that Pool of Nothing?

Or it could be something coming *out* of the- OH CHRIST I WAS RIGHT

"He has ceased to exist!" Okay on that note, thanks to a LARP I ran years ago I will officially be referring to that thing as the Void Pool.

Good thing the commander was too busy yelling at Sorensen to notice Sarah Jane sneaking off...despite basically looking right at her...

Ah, that might explain why Four took his scarf off. The team would've had a nightmare managing it in this scene.

Because I imagine filming a character falling and flailing through nothingness with a giant scarf would be a rather cumbersome undertaking.

Oh! He just...climbed out...? Well. That was easy. I guess we'll find out what happened down there later.

Four doesn't look so good. Sorensen doesn't look so good either.

Somehow I don't think drinking steaming hot liquid is going to do much for your GLOWING RED EYES.

Unless...it does? Okay wow, what was that stuff?

MORE IMPORTANTLY IT LOOKS LIKE THAT ORE IN A TOFFEE TIN WASN'T SUCH A GREAT IDEA AFTER ALL

Come to think of it, this planet doesn't seem so much "evil" as it does "would REALLY prefer to be left alone."

Of course, Planet That Would Really Prefer to Be Left Alone isn't as catchy a title, is it?

Umm...oh dear, looks like Sorensen is turning into one of the antimatter monsters AND gaining their killing powers. That's...that's bad.

Additionally, he's had a bit of a beard upgrade and has lost some teeth.

Huh. I think that's the first time I've seen religion incorporated into body disposal in Classic Who.

"You mean the ship will be dragged back to Zeta Minor?"
"Yes, faster and faster. Until of course we reach the surface and we'll stop...with a bang."

Wait a sec, there seems to be some side effect of the antimatter that's only affected Sarah Jane so far. Have they explained that yet?

Also, how long has that guy been scanning the floor? And how did he not even look up when Sorensen passed him?

I love that Four's IMMEDIATE reaction to hearing Sarah Jane scream in the distance is to just DECK THAT GUARD RIGHT IN THE FACE

"Anti-man. A hybrid creature running amok." Okay I know that season 9 is over and the "hybrid" meme has died down but...A HYBRID.

OKAY WHY DOES IT LOOK LIKE SORENSEN WAS DRINKING FROM A CANISTER FULL OF BLOOD?

ALSO FOUR AND SARAH JANE ARE BEING EJECTED INTO SPACE THIS IS ONE HELL OF A CLIFFHANGER YOU GUYS

Oh, phew, the eject switch has a recall function. That's handy.

The old guy is taking command, which quite frankly I think should've happened a looooong time ago.

I mean, they establish him by calling him the most experienced crewman aboard, and he's been consistently competent and understanding.

Whereas the commander has just as consistently been our resident Dick in Charge.

Apparently the vaccine that Sorensen was drinking actually made the problem better and worse at the same time. Well then.

Four, I get that the message is that Sorensen should take responsibility for his actions but somehow I don't think just giving him the ore and hoping he turns himself in is really the best course of action.

Unfortunately, I think we may have just as much to worry about with the commander finally snapping and threatening to blow everyone up.

Buuuuuut it looks like Sorensen is actually going to eject the last ore canister AND himself! 13 minutes left for something to go wrong...

Yup, there we go: Jekyll and Hyde Mode again, right at the last second.

The commander is finally dead, and I honestly can't tell if he died a hero or not...? Still about 10 minutes left, so probably not.

Antimatter monsters in your way? Box them with jars of ore.

"What are they?"
"Duplicates of Sorensen. Pure antimatter."
OH GOD NOW THERE'S A SMALL ARMY OF THEM THAT'S JUST GREAT

Doctor's got a gun, that's when you know shit's about to go down.

And he barely had to fire it? Never mind, then.

Looks like Four's about to TARDIS Ex Machina our Anti-man problem away.

EXCEPT HE'S TAKING OFF WAIT FOUR WHAT ARE YOU DOING DON'T LEAVE SARAH JANE BEHIND YOUR FLIGHT ACCURACY LEAVES SOMETHING TO BE DESIRED

Four...Four your prisoner is escaping...Four...Four please turn around...FOUR...

I can only assume this is one of those "destroy the original and the duplicates will fade" scenarios...

Yup! *Staples voice* Well that was easy.

wait a second hold up how is sorensen back and also back to normal did he get redeemed in death by the void pool or something what

Ummm...never mind that "redeemed in death" part because he's still alive. Well then. Did the Void Pool...eat the antimatter off of him?

"You've been released."
"Released?"
"Yes! Because I kept my promise and returned the antimatter!"
Looks like I wasn't too far off.

Happy ending! And I wonder what that appointment in London is that they're 30,000 years late for.

Oh well, maybe we'll find out next time in The Android Invasion!

Next: Pyramids of Mars