Monday, July 20, 2015

The Awakening - "Tain't funny. She were screaming." "That's nothing to what Tegan would have done."

BBC - Doctor Who Classic Episode Guide - The Awakening - Details

Season 21, Story 2 (Overall Series Story #132) | Previous - Next | Index

Image via Spirit of the Hunt
A quick two-parter about the dangers of ... cosplay!

This one feels a bit like a somewhat less ambitious, Master-less reworking of "The Dæmons." Had this been a four-parter, I'm sure he would've been brought in to be engineering the awakening of the Malus, only to find himself unable to cope with what he'd done once he succeeded.

There's something to be said for these two-parters; they don't have to time for a bunch of padding, so even if mediocre, they wrap up quick and it's on to the next one. That said, they can also feel rushed towards a forced conclusion. For me, this one is registered at Camp Lessismore. Would probably spend more time making of fun of it had it been longer, but with the good sense to bow out early and a relatively impressive Malus prop behind the church wall, I'm inclined to let it off the hook.

Keith Jayne gets a lot of credit from reviewers for his Will Chandler, Boy Out of Time role; the praise is well-deserved, I suppose. However, I suspect folks would have tired of him had be been brought on as a companion as rumors swirled he might have been. As a one-off character he's charming, but not the level of the Robert Holmes-penned scene stealers, and one imagines the writers would have found themselves doing lots of explaining of just about everything -- though I don't think we got tired of Jamie on that account, so maybe they would have found a way to make him work. Still, we had more than enough in the TARDIS for the ride out to Frontios ...

The TARDIS has a Malus infestation.
Image via Wife in Space (where Sue, sensibly, recommends knocking it down with a broom)

Stray Thoughts:
  • The last utterance of, "Brave heart, Tegan." That was one of my favorite things about Five. Tegan could be difficult, but he was always encouraging.
  • The Jam's "Town Called Malice" was released a couple years before this aired. I kept hoping while watching the DVD extras there'd be an outtake of the cast doing a karaoke version with the Malus prop. (There wasn't, of course.)
  • If you think we see an extraordinary amount of the companions' families in the new series, just remember how many times Tegan dropped in somewhere to visit family. (She's got aunts, cousins, granddads in all the places.)

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