Thursday, December 12, 2013

Day Three Hundred and Forty-six - Dr.Who: Series 3, Episodes 5-8, "Daleks, and Pig-men, and Scorpions... Ho Hum."

Still plugging away at the modern Doctor Who series, hoping (but not betting) on finishing them before New Year's rolls around. Thank the many heavens and hells for Diablo 3. It's the only way I could survive, I think.

Tonight's block of MacGuffiny SciFi Adventure starts with a two-parter where the Daleks that escaped being sucked into the Void at the end of Billy Piper's run have set up shop in Depression Era New York and have taken over construction of the Empire State Building in the hopes of using its frame (and some Dalek alloys) to harness the energy of a solar flare to jumpstart a new Human-Dalek hybrid race.

Since the Cult of Skaro were bred to imagine new ways to victory, their leader (Dalek Sec) has imagined the Hybrids as the new evolution of Dalek Supremacy as humanity has such a strong will to survive and adapt... and is so confident that Sec volunteers to be the first true convert. This leads to a schism as Hybrid Sec has developed feelings like honor, compassion, and dignity, which the other Daleks find abhorrant enough to betray him and his plan, leading to both his and their destruction.

Well, all except one, anyway. Can't destroy the fan-favorite enemy entirely yet again, can they? No, gotta keep one around so they don't paint themselves into a corner.


The next two episodes happen in modern times and the far future, respectively.

"The Lazarus Experiment" covers the semi-successful attempt by a scientist to become immortal (of course, via MacGuffinry) and young again. It works, but also turns him occasionally into a giant, essence-sucking pseudo-scorpion that The Doctor, Martha, and her sister have to defeat via organ music.

That's right... organ music.

What's fun about this episode is that there are more and more references to Harold Saxon, including a sneaky bureaucrat who is trying to get to The Doctor via Martha's family, whispering evils in her mother's ear... which continues on to the next episode "42" where Martha and The Doctor are trapped on a ship soon to crash into the sun. The Doctor gives Martha's cell "Universal Roaming" so she can call home and, of course, her suspicious mother is working for Saxon's Secret Police.

Meanwhile, back in the future, an energy being has sabotaged a ship that has stolen its "heart" and is slowly killing the crew, blaming them for hurting it. The Doctor and Martha do their best and manage to save a precious few of the crew (and themselves) exactly one second before impacting on the sun. Based on the scale of the ship and the size of the sun, it looks like they're quite a long way away from its surface, but that's what you get when your series isn't concerned about details or believability.

I think the Dalek episodes were the strongest of the four, even if I am giggling over the Saxon subplots. It will be nice to actually see him... well, his future/former form anyway. I'm not a fan of Saxon, but I am a fan of Yana (Derek Jacobi). Still, much harder to complain now that I have Diablo 3 to play on the laptop while watching. I guess it's cheating a little, but it makes it soooo much more palatable to binge watch the cheese that is Doctor Who.

Until tomorrow, Potatoes~ 

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