Monday, 30 March 2009

Planet of Giants

Well, season 2. Planet of Giants 1: I quite like the way that it only takes five minutes for the Doctor to figure out what's going on. The story doesn't try to stretch out a twist that's fairly obvious to the audience (who have twice the information, and the title to go on, so anyone who complains that the audience knows before the characters - of course they do!)I thought the music was weird - but in a good way. Melodramatic and odd. Suprised to see it's the first Dudley Simpson score. Very nice.It's easy to forget that Forrester's quite an unusual villain. Terribly normal. Everyone else in the show has grand universe controlling schemes, so the individual deaths are completely lightweight to them. Forrester in contrast is just a plain murderer. I'm not saying this as a criticism, it's a very interesting change from the norm. It's great to have a villain whose motivation is simply monetary greed.Rather an odd little story so far, but quite a nice opener. The focus on the crew alone for the first ten minutes or so helps us get to know them again. A low key way to start a season, but the breaks were shorter then, obviously.

Planet of Giants 2:Still good fun - Forrester really is a cold bastard, and to my amazement it is possible to hear of a character called Smithers without immediate associations! (Incidentally, its tempting to view Smithers as a goody, at the very least a misguided one - but it's worth remembering that he is perfectly happy to be an accessory to murder)The cliffhanger resolution's a bit trite - they stand still and the cat goes away. Well that's all right then.Forgot to say last time that the back projection is really rather lovely. The close up of Farrow's dead face is possibly my favourite special effect to date. In deed, most of the larger than life stuff is very good - the ants and flies all looking effective, if never actually really real.Ian comes over a bit dim - he gets trapped in a matchbox, gets hurt, and then hides in a briefcase. And gets hurt. He berates himself for that, talks about making sure they hide behind rather than in things - then the next time he needs to hide, it's straight back to the briefcase. Idiot. (And then he wastes a lot of time with a plan to open the case that goes nowhere)And why keep the briefcase at all - ok, the report needs to get sent in, but you just take that out. Keeping the briefcase when you go off to dispose of the body is evidence!The stuff with Babs touching the poison is nicely done. It's done subtly and cleverly so that Ian doesn't notice, and her growing panic is rather nice. Yeah, sure, she keeps it to herself, but she doesn't want to worry anyone. Ahh. Can't help wonder why it kills the fly instantly, and not her.Could Susan and the Doctor really have climbed all that way? Ah, who cares, it's fun. Lovely cliffhanger, such a banal action translated into massive threat. Fab.

Planet of Giants 3:A couple of lovely weird bits in this one - that bit of Ian and Barbara in the reprise isn't anywhere near what happens at the end of the last one is it? It's clearly just exposition.Another fun moment is at the end - when the Doctor's explaining to Ian what's happened to the seed he isn't even looking at him - he's clearly mugging for the camera.Overall, quite a nice episode, if a little rushed, for obvious reasons. The only major casualties of the cuts are that the TARDIS crew are suddenly very determined to defeat DN6, when they'd been fairly indifferent moments before - and there's also no real sense that they impact on the main storyline at all - it would have been good if Hilda and Bert had overheard something over the raised phone, for example - but as it is, they get suspicious independently. The travellers only impact is to get bits of metal in Forrester's eyes.Still, its extremely well done and you can't tell that its two episodes compressed at all.

No comments:

Post a Comment