Tag Archives: Sarah Jane Smith

Doctor Who Serial 074 – Planet of the Spiders

Welcome to the final episodes of season 11 and the final episode of the Jon Pertwee era of Doctor Who. “Planet of the Spiders” is not only terrible, it is the ultimate Jon Pertwee era episode. You have a car chase, you have Venusian judo, you have a boat chase, you have terrible spider puppets, you have terrible effects, you have monarchists and you have racism.

Yup, let’s get that part out of the way. There’s the most racist yellow-face I’ve seen. This Brit putting on a Chinese accent wearing terrible prosthetics to make him look Chinese not only insults in this manner, they turn the occult into faux-ancient ways.

Basically this meditation cult is trying to summon an alien spider who takes control of a dude who just wants power. Mike Yates is infiltrating the group and thinks something is wonky, so he lets Sarah know.

Sarah, who’s only met Yates once before… when he tried to kill her and The Doctor, for some odd reason trusts him. She does her own investigations and The Doctor’s investigations meet up together.

They end up on Metabalis where there are two Earth species living. Humans and evolved spiders. The spiders hold the Humans in slavery. The Doctor and Sarah help the Humans rise up against the spiders and fail.

They’re all fighting for a crystal that’s on Earth.

The Doctor must face his greatest fear and take the crystal back to the Great One. He does, his body is destroyed, and he returns to UNIT collapses and becomes…

TOM BAKER!

Doctor Who Serial 073 – The Monster of Peladon

Welcome back to Peladon, with your favourite guest star Giant Swaying Screeching Eyeball! Last time, Peladon was petitioning for admission to the Federation, this time they’re well established members of the Federation. The king’s daughter is now sitting on the throne.

The miners on Peladon are being haunted by their god who is killing them. Scaring them into abandoning their plans to further mine. The Doctor shows up and is assumed to be the cause of all this.

The Doctor must figure out the mystery of this monster, when political intrigue gets in the way.

Is it good? Meh, it’s alright. Not terrible, but not great. It’s annoying, but I can live with that. Once again Doctor Who is victim of its own classism, sexism and adoration of monarchy.

Doctor Who Serial 072 – Death To The Daleks

Another episode I’m not fond of. The Doctor finds himself on a planet where the Daleks and a human expedition must team up to strip the natural resources from a planet without the forethought to ask the native inhabitants, the Exxilons.

Obviously the Exxilons don’t like this.

The show is ridiculous, and The Doctor has work his way through a maze and prove his intelligence, with the Daleks close behind. It’s kinda like that episode of Stargate SG-1 where Merlin has some puzzles that Humans must solve to be able to gain access to his knowledge and they’re basic logic puzzles, like the one where you have to put the runes in order, but it’s just basic numerals with their mirror image connected to it.. Well, take that and dumb it down a few hundred times. The Doctor has to do a maze that is included on a kids’ menu at Pizza Hut.

The Daleks are rarely good. Hopefully they soon add Davros to give them a voice.

Doctor Who Serial 071 – Invasion Of The Dinosaurs

Season 11 seems to have picked up some of the momentum that I hadn’t been feeling during most of Pertwee’s run. This second serial I quite liked, even though it was ridiculous.

Some of the worst puppets are invading London! They look like someone had a fever-dream and tried to make a dinosaur.

They did something slightly clever with the first episode, it was just named “Invasion” as the cliffhanger was the first reveal of the dinosaurs. The Doctor and Sarah Jane return to London and find it abandoned. They are arrested, and eventually freed, and then discover there are dinosaurs in London.

It turns out that someone who works for the British military is working to bring dinosaurs forward in time to abandon London so they can get a few select individuals into an ark-like ship to head to another planet. But the truth is more sinister. Instead they want to use time travel to change the past and send humans to when earth was free of Humans and so they can make their eden without the problems of modern humanity. By introducing humans. It makes no sense, but it’s a fun episode with terrible special effects.

I really think that ’70s Doctor Who writers were on LSD.

Doctor Who Serial 070 – The Time Warrior

Wow, this is much better and what Doctor Who should be like. We have fun, we have silly, we have mind control1, we have Sarah Jane Smith, we have English people being so fucking English.

Where should we start. Maybe with Sarah Jane Smith. This episode introduces a new companion for The Doctor, Sarah Smith. She introduces herself, and The Doctor introduces himself to her as John Smith. Yet, later in the episode she calls him just The Doctor. I don’t get it, but who cares.

She’s smart, inquisitive, and funny. She sneaks into the TARDIS and The Doctor departs and heads to the middle ages.

In the middle ages we find a Sontaran (or a star warrior, as this is the first instance of Sontarans, so we need to know that they’re warriors… from the stars). He’s crashed on Earth, he uses the primitive humans to help him get his spaceship working. To get their help, he bribes the local asshole with guns and robots.

That local asshole, Irongron, decides that a man from space who can create guns is obviously an idiot, and uses his Englishness to act superior and ignore the advice of the person giving him his weapons.

What the fuck is wrong with English people? Why is that colonial attitude still going strong in the 1970s?

Next we have a rear vent. On the back of a Sontaran’s neck is a vent which if you hit, it will knock out the alien. Why?

Finally there’s the mind control. I’m getting really tired of mind control and Doctor Who seems to think that all stories must include some mind control.

Stop it.

Otherwise, one of the best Pertwee stories.

  1. We will get back to that later []