torsdag den 12. marts 2009

Who Review #10 - Planet of Giants

A rather curious, three episode story.

The TARDIS develops a dangerous fault. When the ship materialises, the crew think they are on a world inhabited by giant insects. They gradually realise that they have shrunk in size. All around them are dead insects, killed by some substance.

In the normal sized world, a buisnessman Forester wants to cash in on an insecticide that kills all life, not just pests. He murders an inspector, Farrow, to prevent the dangers being reported. The Doctor destroys the insecticide with a gas jet, which explodes in Forester's face. He is arrested by the police.

This is not that brilliant a story despite the ideas.

It's fun to have the crew standing a mere one inch tall, and the sets are really good for this, as I have sometimes wondered what it must be like to be the size of an insect - a sort of Jurassic Park experience, what with carniverous beetles, ants and spiders! Writer Louis Marks incorporates a concern raised in 1962 by Rachel Carson in "Silent Spring" - pesticides. Carson's book, which studied DDT, is generally acknowledged as the spark for modern day environmental politics, so this story is the first overt piece of social and political comment in the show.

Barbara touches some of the insecticide and spends a big chunk not saying she has touched the killer, which had me shouting at the screen. After being told they cannot be heard because of their size, they have the brilliant plan of making a phonecall - errr, why ring then? Suspicion is aroused by a blue rinse telephone operator who talks to Forester, who informs another old dear - a PC plod this time. So Forester is finally nailed. Oh dear.

The problem is they don't interact with the normal sized humans, so the story duidn't need the TARDIS crew at all.

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