“My advice to you is: don’t do anything of the sort. Don’t just be obedient. Always make up your own mind.” The Doctor
11th March – 1st April 1967
The Time Space Visualiser
It’s all a bit sinister and reminiscent of the Happiness Patrol with all this forced jollity. Then it is makeover time as Polly goes straight to the hair dressers and the Doctor is smartened up. It reminds me a little of The Wizard of Oz. Obviously this is all too good to be true and there must be a darker side to this place. ‘There are no Macra’ Indeed, there are not. But not for long as the amazing Polly avoids hypnotism to meet the titular foes. You can see features of the Second Doctor’s era emerging as Jamie begins to have more of a role and the Doctor wants to get straight into investigating.
The Macra are hardly the most convincing of foes as we end each episode with someone being menaced by theirs terrible claws. If only they just ran away rather than throw themselves at the enemy there would be very little in terms of terror for anyone!
Ben is at his best in this story and despite the preponderance of ‘oh no! It’s another claw!’ The Macra’s plot is quite sinister although how they built all the mind control machinery is a mystery. It reminds me a little of 1984. I think I may have mentioned this before but I would love to go back in time and thank the censors for saving the scenes they deemed most horrific for us to enjoy as the only moving images from stories such as these. Thankfully they decided to leave the dancing scene intact and we are spared this!
Catchphrase Error of the Week
‘I just heard it on the grapevine.’ Says Ben. Everyone knows it’s ‘Heard it through the grapevine’!
‘Well this is gay!’ – The Doctor Episode 1 5:50
Polly asks Medok what they are doing 10 minutes into episode 3. Medok replies; ‘We call that probing.’
The first time the Doctor’s face appears in the title sequence and the theme tune has been remixed a bit. I actually prefer the original title sequence. It is good to have the Doctor’s face of course. This became a feature until the end of the classic era, and is back on now.
The first appearance of the Macra. Who knew?
149/826 Episodes watched.
If all of Doctor Who were the alphabet I would be two thirds through the letter E.
The 500 Year Diary
22nd March 2366
Bit tentative coming out of the TARDIS because of the huge claw we saw on the scanner! As soon as we arrive, we’re attacked by this young man, but luckily Ben & Jamie were able to sort him out. This Ola chap thanks us for apprehending a dangerous criminal, but I’m not so sure. ..
We’re taken to the colony where we’re all dressed up. I don’t like it and go back to my rather dishevelled cosmic hobo look. When I get the chance, I sneak off to speak to this Medok who tells me about creatures in the night. He then escapes leaving me to explain to Ola and the man in charge, Pilot. Thanks for that. Ola threatens to send me to work in the pits, but happily playing it ignorant means I’m let off although he threatens me with correction when I mention about certain suspicious goings on. Something’s not right here.
I see Medok again. I need to see him – what are these creatures? We keep being interrupted, so I go and find him again after the curfew and as we escape from Ola and his guards, one of the creatures approaches us from below!
23rd March 2366 am
Proof. I’ve seen these creatures and I tell the Pilot, but he doesn’t seem to want to listen particularly with that Ola in his ear.
I’m sent back to the Refreshing Department where I hear Polly being brainwashed, I manage to disconnect the machinery, but it seems like it has worked on Ben who reports us to Ola after a fight with Jamie! We’re then brought before the Pilot to explain my actions. I’m proud of my interfering!
Polly and Ben are brought in. They have seen the creatures too, but Ben denies this – he’s under the evil influence of the colony. Need to get to the bottom of this so demand to see the omnipresent Controller, who appears on the screen but as an old scruffy man. Next thing, he’s grabbed by a huge claw. The Macra are in control!
23rd March 2366 pm
Polly, Jamie and I are sent to the pits in the ‘danger gang’. Everyone is in denial at what is going on even though they’ve just seen it! We’re split up – Polly and Jamie remain down below – but I have the opportunity to go up top talk to poor Ben.
I work out some calculations on the wall, which annoys the Pilot. There also appears to be some reversal for Ben as he doesn’t immediately reveal that Jamie stole Officia’s keys although he does go off to tell the Pilot. This causes the Controller to send gas into the old shaft. Why? Maybe it’s not supposed to kill, but keep something else alive. And what can I do to help Jamie?
23rd March 2366 eve
Need to reverse the flow of the gas, but these controls baffle me. Manage to trick Officia into telling me how to do it and I send oxygen in before locking the entrance to the pithead. Polly and I descend deeper into the shaft and we come across the Controller’s Office. Macra are indeed in charge. The whole colony is front for humans to mine gas so they can survive.
We convince the Pilot to take a look. This time, he believes me, but the all seeing and hearing ‘Controller’ orders us into the pipe room and the place is cleared for four minutes. What’s going to happen? Then poisonous gas is pumped in, but luckily Ben has broken his conditioning and saves us, saves the colony and destroys the Macra! Well done, Ben.
There’s a big party at the end to celebrate. A dance festival will be held every year in our honour – the winners will get the Strangers’ Trophy. It’s nice to be remembered. Ben tells us that they want to make me the new Pilot. No chance. And so we dance, dance, dance…. Back to the TARDIS.
The Five Word Lords
Conspiracy, claws, crabs and control.
Artwork: Doctor Who Wikia: http://daleksrus.wikia.com/wiki/The_Macra_Terror