Wednesday, October 8, 2014

ClassicWho Reviews: The Terror of the Autons to The Daemons

The Terror of the Autons

     The Master makes his first appearance, reviving the Autons BECAUSE WHY NOT THAT’S A GREAT IDEA RIGHT? While he does…whatever he does for fun…the Doctor is getting used to his new assistant, the adorably clumsy Jo Grant. Naturally, we have to get the new companion broken in quickly, so when Jo is sent to investigate a plastic factory, the Master promptly hypnotizes her. ALSO HE KILLS SOMEONE WITH A SQUOOSHY CHAIR. And plans on killing more people with TOY DAFFODILS, BECAUSE WHY NOT. See what happens when you look into the Time Vortex? You come up with these wacky and entertaining schemes.

     The Doctor responds by stealing the Master’s dematerialization circuit, who then counter-responds by stealing Jo and attempting to summon more Autons, until the Doctor points out that THEY’LL ALL BE ATTACKED BY MANNEQUINS NOW. Because the Master hasn’t gone completely off his rocker yet, he realizes that death by mannequin is a bad idea.

Yeaaaah they are kind of creepy, aren't they?

     Which doesn’t stop him from escaping and planning to cause more problems.

     This was a great introduction to the Master. I had a little trouble with Jo at first, compared to the extremely competent Liz, but she started to grow on me as the series progressed.

The Mind of Evil

     Which is exactly what he does here. The Master is pretending to be a professor of Criminology, working at Stangmoor prison. He claims to have a device that removes evil from the mind (THE MENTALIST TOTALLY DID THIS ONCE TOO), but given this is the Master, that clearly is not the purpose of the machine.

     When the Doctor arrives with Jo to investigate this “Keller Machine”, he discovers that odd deaths are occurring in its vicinity. All seem to be caused by one’s worst fears (a man drowns in the middle of the room).  When the Master arrives, he enables the prisoners to take control of the prison and forces the Doctor to help him contain the mind parasite that lives inside the machine.

     The Master has plans to take control of a nuclear weapon to set off a world war. Once the world is in tatters, well…you know the drill.

     The Doctor offers the Master his dematerialization circuit in exchange for the missile, but this being the Master, things don’t go as planned.

     I really enjoyed this one. I found the psychological aspect interesting, and of course, finding out the Master’s next wacky scheme is always fun. Also the revelation that the Master’s greatest fear is the Doctor, standing over him in triumph, is quite telling (and gets a wonderful call back during the Tenth Doctor era).


The Claws of Axos

     The Axons have crash landed on Earth, having run out of fuel. They offer Axonite to Earth governments, which can replicate any molecule, in exchange for fuel. However, the Doctor is suspicious, and when he starts exploring the Axon ship, he discovers…the Master! He got captured, probably by being a prat, and he has given them knowledge of Earth in exchange for freedom.

     The Doctor discovers that Axonite enables the Axons to feed off of energy, including all of the Earth.  When the Axons discover the Doctor’s time travel abilities, they plan on using that knowledge to feed throughout all of time and space.  The Doctor must find a way to stop them before they EAT ALL THE THINGS.

And also start the lamest disco band ever.

     This was a decent serial. I kind of like the idea of the Master being an ally when it suits his purposes. Makes thing amusingly complicated.

     Also, the final line. The Doctor is a galactic yo-yo. LOL.

Colony in Space

     The Doctor gets to use the TARDIS! But actually, that’s because the Time Lords have discovered an Evil Plot that is not one of theirs. The Doctor and Jo are sent to the planet Uxareius, where they find a group of colonists struggling to survive while being badgered by a mining corporation.

     But something even worse is happening-a giant reptile has been killing off the colonists, and the colonists’ uneasy truce with the natives is destroyed when the new arrival, Norton, claims that one of the natives killed the colony’s scientist.

    Jo discovers the colonists are ready to riot against the mining corporation, and the Doctor meets the adjucator from Earth…who is actually the Master. It’s clear something more is going on than a fight over a piece of desert, and the Doctor must find out before chaos breaks out.

Worst spelling bee ever.

     This was a nice way to introduce Jo to the TARDIS and show some more of the Time Lords wonderful bureaucracy.

     This wasn’t particularly exciting, especially as it felt like they were overusing the Master at this point. Still, it livened things up after having the Doctor exiled on Earth for so long.

The Daemons

     In this serial, the Master becomes a Satanist.

     No I am being completely serious.

"This year you bet I'm gonna get out of here! The reign of Master is drawing near! I'll have the greatest Time Lord career! And it's gonna be totally awesome!"

     An archaeological dig is about to uncover the Devil’s Hump, a supposedly cursed burial mound. The BBC is on hand to cover it and advertise for their popular sci-fi series, Doctor Who. The local Trelawney, Miss Hawthorne, is trying to stop the dig with the help of the Doctor. Unfortunately, the local vicar is in fact…you guessed it…the Master!

     The night of the dig, shenanigans invariably ensue as the Master summons up an alien entity called Azal. And also a gargoyle, because why not?

     As the demon alien starts killing people, the Doctor must figure out what the Master is planning to do, and the Brig and UNIT deal with the gargoyle.


     This was a really interesting take on the usual Doctor Who theme. It started out as being supposedly magic, but it’s revealed to have some sort of pseudo-scientific explanation (of course). The only annoying part is how Hawthorne’s magic seemed to work, but it was all coincidence. Cop-out!

     Still, it was a very entertaining serial, and definitely one for a re-watch.

"Look out world for the dawn of the day! When everyone will do whatever I say! And that Doctor won't be in my way, and then I'll be the one who is totally awesome!"

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