onsdag den 18. marts 2009

Who Review #39 - the Abominable Snowmen

Only episode 2 of this six parter survives. The story features dad and daughter Watling - Jack as Travers and Deborah as Victoria, of course. The monsters of the story, the Yeti, have become as iconic as the Daleks and Cybermen. As has Patrick Troughton's coat in this story; it was a huge thing, making him look like a little fluff ball, or a yeti!

The scene is a camp fire in Tibet. A man lets out a scream. Another man picks up a rifle. He then runs in terror. The rifle is bent by something. The TARDIS materialises. The Doctor is overjoyed at the scanner image; he looks in a chest, trying to find the ghanta (a bell). He picks up a large, fur coat and walks out into the Tibetan countryside. He is observed by a large furry creature. The Doctor heads off for the Detsen monastery; on the way he finds the camp and the dead man. Jamie and Victoria see large footprints outside the TARDIS; Jamie grabs a sword. The Doctor enters the monastery, which seems empty. Jeaving the temple, he meets a group of monks and one of the expedition. The man, Travers, sees the Doctor is carrying his sleeping bag. The Doctor is taken away, suspected of murder and other crimes. Jamie and Victoria find a cave, where there are lots of footsteps. They rush into the cave; a rock is moved across the entrance. Travers enters the cell and starts to question the Doctor. Travers is looking for Yeti and accuses the Doctor of trying to steal his laurels. Khrisong and other lamas discuss the recent murders, wondering why the Yeti have become aggressive. Khrisong thinks the Doctor is guilty. In the cave, Jamie finds a pile of silvery spheres; the rock is moved and a Yeti enters.

Jamie knocks a supporting beam. Part of the cave roof collapses on top of the Yeti. They walk away; the Yeti is still moving. The Doctor is playing "Twinkle, twinkle little star" on his recorder. Thonmi enters. They talk; the Doctor has visited the monastery before. Khrisong enters and orders the Doctor be taken to the monestary gate; Thonmi finds the ghanta and goes to the Abbot. Jamie and Victoria are chased by a Yeti. In the Abbot's chamber, Padmamsambhava realises the Doctor has returned. Jamie and Victoria meet Travers on the hillside; he leads them to the monastery. Thonmi is told to tell Khrisong to look after the Doctor and forget he has spoken with Padmamsambhava. Padmamsambhava tells Samsong that it is best that the Doctor leave soon so that he doesn't interfere with the great plan. The Doctor is released and he, the companions and Travers talk and a sphere is examined. Yeti gather on the hillside. Jamie and the warriors capture a Yeti. It falls stillas the silver sphere in it falls out, unnoticed by the group. The Doctor examines the captured Yeti - it is a robot. The two spheres start moving, emitting a high pitched beeping sound.

An untrusting Khrisong orders the Doctor and co. be held and no-one be allowed out of the monastery. The Doctor realises the sphere has gone. (It is making its way to the captured Yeti.) Travers is convinced now that the real Yeti are peaceful and may be in danger themselves. Thonmi guards the travellers but consents to let them go as he thinks the Doctor makes sense; Ralpachan guards the gate. The Doctor searches for the sphere. Travers has left the monastery; suspicion falls on him. Khrisong and Rinchen argue; the Abbot clams them; Khrisong says he will do all he can to defend the monastery. The Doctor talks with Khrisong and follows him. Thonmi and Victoria observe the Abbot, who is summoned by Padmasambhava. Khrisong is persuaded to look for the sphere that fell outside the gate. Padmasambhava moves three Yeti figurines on a board; on the hillside, three Yet move correspondingly. Victoria and Thnmi follow the Abbot towards the sanctum. Thonmi won't go as the sanctum is forbidden. The Abbot talks with Padmasambhava; the latter says their plan must be done alone. He moves figurines towards the monastery gates. Yeti head towards the gates. Khrisong nearly gets the sphere; but too late, the Yeti retrieve the sphere. Padmasambhava passes a pyramid to the Abbot and tells him to meet up with the three Yeti; the Great Intelligence will soon be able to find physical form and cease its wonderings in space. The Doctor wants to make a tracking device to find out where the Yeti are receiving their instructions. Travers follows the two Yeti towards the cave. The Abbot mesmerisesRalpachen and exits the monastery. The Abbot walks with the three Yeti towards the cave. Victoria enters the sanctum. The sphere finally reaches the inert Yeti; Victoria doesn't notice the Yeti has been brought back to life. She screams as it breaks its chains and rises from the table.

Thonmi fights the Yeti. It overcomes him easily and lumbers off. It fights its way through the monks and walks off to the hillside. The Abbot takes the sphere and enters the cave, whilst three Yet stand guard at the entrance. A Yeti is stationed by the TARDIS. Padmasambhava talks with the Great Intelligence; he wishes to be freed. The Abbot places the pyramid on the spheres in the cave; it lights up and pulsates. He departs with the Yeti. Travers enters the cave. The Doctor throws a rock; the Yeti is motionless. He walks up to the Yeti and listens to its chest. He recognises that it neither hears or feels; it only receives instructions. He removes the Yeti control sphere and then enters the TARDIS. Travers falls to the ground as a substance is emitted from the pyramid. The sphere Jamie is holding starts signalling and pulls him towards the Yeti. They realise the spheres are programmed to return to their Yetis; they rush back to the monestary. The three Yeti react to the signal. Thonmi and Victoria have been incarcerated; he explains that the ghanta was given to a traveller 300 years ago and Victoria explains that person was the Doctor. The Abbot returns and mesmerises Ralpachen again; he goes to the sanctum and is told the Great Intelligence is beginning to take on physical form, but it must expand so the monks must leave the monestary. Jamie and the Doctor are trapped by the Yeti. The Doctor roles the sphere away and the Yeti proceed towards it. Victoria drinks and falls faint; Ralpachen rushes to get help. She opens her eyes, smiles and rushes out of the open cell, but shuts the door keeping Thonmi locked up. The Abbot addresses monks. Travers returns to the monestary and collapses before fully explaining what he has witnessed in the cave. The Abbot orders the Doctor and Jamie held. Khrisong says the stangers can help but is ordered by the Abbot to search for Victoria. Padmasambhava orders that the monks be driven from the monestary; the Abbot opens the gates. Yeti are ordered to the monestary. Victoria goes into the sanctum and sees Padmasambhava. He tells her to enter, she has no alternative.

Padmasambhava talks with Victoria and tells her he must do what he is compelled to do. He puts Victoria into a trance. Yeti enter the monestary gates. The Doctor checks the tracking device, whilst the Yeti begin attacking. They cause havoc, kill Rinchen and move back to the hillside. Padmasambhava talks to the Great Intelligence; he will use Victoria to drive the Doctor away. The Doctor finds one bearing. The monks prepare to leave; Victoria walks into the courtyard, carrying the ghanta, and Padmasambhava speaks through her. He tells the monks to leave Detsen and treat the travellers with kindness. Victoria is reunited with Jamie and the Doctor. The latter goes to see his old friend Padmasambhava. He is asking to be released by the Great Intelligence, and he realises that he has brought the world to an end. The Doctor learns that Padmasambhava met the Great Intelligence whilst he was in astral projection. He seems to die; as the Doctor walks away, his eyes reopen. The Doctor breaks the trance Victoria is in. Travers and the Doctor head for the cave in order to make a final bearing. Back at the monestary, the Abbot's role is uncovered. The Great Intelligence's physical form begins to cover the hillside.

Khrisong enters the sanctum, where he is mortally wounded by the Abbot. The Doctor and co. enter the sanctum, where they overpower the Abbot. They realise the Abbot and Padmasambhava are possessed. The monks leave the monestary, whilst the Doctor, Jamie, Victoria and Thonmi remain to fight the evil. Travers heads for the cave to destroy the pyramid but realises he cannot get there because the mountain is covered by the Intelligence.. The Doctor hypnotises the Abbot and learns of the Intelligence and its plans. He learns that that there is a hidden room, containing a control device, behind Padmasambhava's throne. They go to the sanctum. The Doctor has a battle of wills with the possessed Padmasambhava. The companions rush in to the control room and smash the machinery. Yeti rush in to the sanctum, but collapse when Jamie smashes a control sphere. Padmasambhava collapses and the Intelligence dies when Jamie smashes a pyramid. The freed sage thanks the Doctor for giving him peace and dies. The monks return; Travers, the Doctor and companions walk to the TARDIS. Travis sees a real Yeti and runs after it. The Doctor pulls out his recorder and starts to play as the three enter the TARDIS.

This is such a delightful story. The Yeti are a bit cuddly but an ever present danger. The bleeping sound the spheres make is unforgettable. The monestary is actually a creepy place, what with the enemy being inside it. Wolfe Harris played Padmasambhava well - his voice goes from a peaceful, almost hypnotic, low tone to a harsh sounding whisper, depending on circumstances.

No doubt about my rating for this one

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