THE PLOT THUS FAR
An Afrikaner veteran of the Boer War has just immigrated to New Zealand and is hired to track a man accused of killing a soldier. While hunting through the countryside he captures his fugitive, only to learn that he’s innocent of the crime. When faced with the life changing decision to turn him in or set him free only one man will walk away alive.
WHAT WE THOUGHT
The international situation from The Mind Of Evil has gotten worse, to the brink of World War III. However, Sir Reginald Styles, vain to the point of arrogance, is the last hope in reconciling the Russians with the Chinese. While working late one night, a guerrilla from the future tries to kill him, and that’s what draws UNIT in. The man is later attacked by a brutish Ogron, one of many ape-like humanoid servants who are “as loyal as they are stupid.” A trio of other guerrillas try to succeed where their comrade has failed, and capture Jo and the Doctor, who have spent the night at Styles’ place. Of these, Anat, the leader, while sharing the fanaticism of her comrades, is civilized. When Boaz, who looks a bit like Tony Curtis, tries to shoot Jo and the Doctor, she says, “We’re soldiers, not murderers.”
Jo Grant is wearing what I consider a classic Jo Grant outfit–plaid red and blue blouse, red tie, denim skirt, and white go-go boots. As this was the first story of the ninth season, maybe Katy Manning had a few weeks on the beach in the interim. She appears tanner here and more radiant as a result. It also extends to her good charity when sneaking Sgt Benton some wine and cheese. The Doctor is seen as quite a gourmet, as he helps himself to Sir Reginald’s Gorgonzolla cheese and a red wine which he describes as “good humoured… a touch sardonic, not cynical. A most civilized wine.” Although not specifically stated, the Controller’s monotone female staff may be a vast improvement on the Robotization process.
The show deals with the issues of time travel paradoxes intelligently years in advance of other science fiction shoes and blends them well into a story about the world on the brink of World War III. When the story moves to the 22nd Century is becomes a familiar tale of a handful of people fighting to free themselves from oppression. While this has some echoes of The Dalek Invasion Of Earth in it and lacks the depth of that story, it still makes for some intriguing viewing. The DVD comes with the usual assortment of commentary tracks, featurettes and related junk. You also get a Special Edition version on the second disc that cleans up the BBC FX of the early 1970s and it makes the piece shine. For a storyline that helped to kick off the 1972 year for Doctor Who, the material has never looked better. I do have to say that the new Dalek voices match up better to the present day killer alien bots. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase.
RELEASE DATE: 09/13/2011