‘Every time we go anywhere something awful happens. Daleks. Cybermen …. yes, and Yeti. Why can’t we go anywhere pleasant, where there’s no fighting? Just peace and happiness.’
16th March – 20th April 1968
The Time Space Visualiser
The TARDIS crew land in the see and then have a foam party which is all a bit upsetting! Victoria notes they always seem to land in England. Then they are all captured. There are a group of scientists all up to something again.
The Doctor surmises that the seaweed must be alive. Yes, well it is a plant! Tensions begin to mount as the seaweed takes over more people. Particularly menacing are Mr Oak and Mr Quill. A Robert Holmes double act before we have had a Robert Holmes double act. They remind me a little of characters in The Happiness Patrol. Mr Quills’s open mouthed scream is truly creepy and must have terrified the youngsters.
It’s a shame that Victoria prepares for leaving by spending the whole time moaning about how dangerous life with the Doctor is. At least she gets the first decent leaving scene for a companion since probably Susan, Ian and Barbara.
I have always read how the Pertwee Era was a bit of a reboot for the show but here, apart from UNIT, we have everything you could want from a Pertwee serial. The helicopter stunts look like they must have been amazing. I would love for this story to be discovered and will definitely head for Target. The atmosphere builds as the characters gradually get taken over. Of course it would benefit from being a couple of episodes shorter, but I really enjoyed this one.
Is this the first time we see the TARDIS spinning? A very cool landing with the TARDIS floating on the sea.
The first appearance of the sonic screwdriver.
The first flashback sequence when Victoria prepares to leave. This may be an addition to the recon that I am watching however.
‘Everybody lives!’ Troughton may not have to do a dance here, but is this the first example of a story where there are no deaths? Even the seaweed survives.
The first time an alien is thwarted by amplified noises.
The Companion Scream.
What would an era of Doctor Who be like without one? And here we are in full blast. Victoria really goes for it here, so much so that it echoes around the building and your brain. Eventually though it becomes a mechanism for their escape as Robson can’t seem to tolerate it. And as if that isn’t all –
The companion has seen the monster though no one believes it! Of course not! Not even the Doctor. You’d think they’d have learned by now!
This story has all the favourites. A shouty commander, Robson, whose base is under siege from foam.
Episode One 1:30
The Doctor: Let’s take a close look at this weed.
Episode 5 3:20
Doctor: Someone somewhere is in control of this weed.
Episode 6 6:15
Doctor: I got it up alright!
Catchphrase Error of the Week
‘The computer says no!’ Clent in episode six. Everybody knows it’s . . .hold on, he got it right!
This is the final story without any surviving episodes.
The 500 Year Diary
14th September 1975 am
Landed on water! At least the TARDIS floats. Took a boat over to the land where had some fun with foam. We’ve landed in England again…. I wonder why this keeps happening? Perhaps the TARDIS has a fondness for old Blighty.
We find a pipe. I investigate it using my sonic screwdriver; I’ve been meaning to use it for some time. Anyway, next thing we’re shot! We wake up inside a base and interrogated by an angry chap called Robson. All is not right here – they’ve lost contact with the rigs, but of course we’re blamed for tampering.
We’re locked up, but we escape through Victoria using a hairpin. Should remember to use the sonic screwdriver, although not sure it works on wood. Foolishly I send Victoria away whilst Jamie and I investigate the impeller. There is definitely something in there.
Next thing, we hear Victoria screaming, but where is she?
14th September 1975 pm
We find Victoria in the Oxygen Store. She says she was ‘attacked’ by the foam and that there was a creature inside!
Harris drags me away to see his wife who’s not very well. There is poisonous gas in the house and she’s out cold.
14th September 1975 eve
We find some seaweed in the room. After a bit of investigation, we notice that it’s alive! We’ve also been let loose so a quick trip back to the TARDIS enables me to find a book of myths and legends about mysterious sea creatures.
Back at the Harris’ house, we’re attacked by weed and foam. Manage to pull Jamie out through a skylight. Victoria seems odd. Like she doesn’t want to be with us anymore.
Anyway report back to the base. This seaweed is a parasite that gives off a toxic gas. Harris then finds out that the medical crew never did pick up his wife, but where is she? She wasn’t in the house?
15th September 1975 am
Victoria is in a strange mood. Reading between the lines, I think she wants to leave us. Let’s hope she’ll change her mind.
Despite my warnings, Van Lutyens goes down to investigate the base of the impeller shaft. We hear screams and he’s gone. The same fate nearly meets me and Jamie as the foam rises and the weed creature moves to attack us. No one seems to notice upstairs, but luckily there’s a maintenance ladder. When we get back upstairs everyone, including Victoria, seems to have disappeared.
Meet an official type, Megan Jones, who is willing to listen about the weed, the foam and that it has taken control of key personnel such as Robson. Think she’s finally convinced when she sees the weed trying to escape out of the shaft. The first part of the invasion!
15th September 1975 pm
The weed is going to attack the refinery. We must stop it… pure oxygen can stop it as well as something else…. Sound. Someone else in the refinery is working more the weed. Turns out it was a Mr. Oak & a Mr. Quill … they did look pretty odd chaps.
The foam breaks through into the Pipeline Room… we just about escape although Victoria is missing. Robson has kidnapped her and taken her by helicopter to a deserted rig. She will only be safe if I join the weed… what choice do I have? So Jamie & I take a helicopter to the base only to find Robson in the foam waiting for us.
16th September 1975
Realised I’m not very good at flying helicopters!
Defeated the weed by playing out Victoria’s screams over the PR system. And the amazing thing…. Nobody died!
Victoria did decide to leave and stay with the Harris’. Jamie is in a bit of a sulk about, but it is her decision. And I was very fond of her too….
The Five Word Lords
Claustrophobic, menacing, tense – with foam!