The Aztecs part 3

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  janetteB 6 years, 3 months ago.

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    Craig @craig

    The third episode is “The Bride of Sacrifice” and it starts with Barbara saving Ian following the contest with Ixta. Ixta tells Tlotoxl about The Doctor’s plans to find an entrance to the tomb and his suspicions are aroused.

    Meanwhile, with another sacrifice planned in a few days to coincide with an eclipse, Barbara tries to win over Autloc so that he will help her defeat Tlotoxl this time. The Doctor’s little romance also takes an interesting turn.

    And that’s all I’m going to say as there are plenty of dramatic twists in this episode.

    Once again, for the best viewing experience this story is available to buy. You can get it from Amazon for less than 7 of our British pounds – other retailers are also available. It may also be on your Netflix, Prime or Hulu, or whatever else you subscribe to.

    Remember, we’re discussing this story one episode per week, as it was originally broadcast. If you’ve seen it before, for the convenience of anyone approaching this for the first time, NO SPOILERS for the final episode please.

    Craig @craig

    P.S. Sorry for the late post. Also, I’m afraid I’m going away for around 10 days or so you’ll have to wait on tenterhooks for a bit longer than normal for the final episode.

    After that, we should get back to a more regular service.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Well, this just keeps getting better and better! One of the great things about these early historical stories, including my distant and rather fragmentary memory of “Marco Polo” was that, when separated from the Tardis, and set in the past, there had to be greater attention to the story (as opposed to the wonder of the sci-fi elements). And as a story, this is a ripper! It has mystery, intrigue, action, power plays, and…romance from a very unexpected quarter! Crikey, there is something almost Shakespearean about this episode!

    And it is heading towards a cracker of a conclusion!


    Whisht @whisht

    well that was a cracker of an episode!
    Lots of twists and turns (and Olivier-esque pro-nunci-atio-ns).

    I didn’t take notes (so have forgotten much already!) but love bits and pieces like this bit of humour used to offset the impending horror:

    “Where did you get this?”
    “My fiance”
    “Your what??”
    “Yes, I made some cocoa and got engaged”

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @blenkinsopthebrave and @whisht

    Yes, you can see why some of the actors have decided to go for flat-out RSC style. ::cough:: Tlotoxl ::cough::

    And you can’t help wondering whether Team TARDIS’ competence with weapons has been developed in the previous five stories; at least, I hope Barbara didn’t pick up that facility with knives during her teaching practice. 🙂

    Again, Tlotoxl really is all go. Failure to kill Ian? Threatened with having his own throat cut? Drat, but it’s on to the next plot – and when that fails, the next plot – and presumably when that fails, the next plot. Tlotoxl’s kind of an Aztec Energiser Bunny.

    The slightly depressing (but probably correct) conclusion of this episode is that people who can see beyond their cultural context are rare; Ian argues that it’s Autloc who’s the odd one out, not Tlotoxl. Human sacrifice wasn’t something forced on the Aztec people; it was something that was a long-standing part of Mesoamerican culture. Getting rid of it, as Barbara wants to do, would require a major cultural change – and she’s not going to be able to change an entire culture by herself, even if she has been cast as a god.

    Barbara reluctantly agrees, and everyone turns towards the problem of retrieving the TARDIS. But it’s pretty deep stuff for an educational programme.

    Fortunately, there’s the Doctor’s little romance to lighten things up. 🙂

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Audio Commentary:

    Not much commentary on this episode; the actors and producer frequently seem to be caught up in watching the action – and then remember that they’re supposed to be talking about it. 🙂

    First comment is the way Jacqueline Hill took complete command of the first scene (and later scenes). Praise for Ian Cullen and Keith Pyott, as well. Generally, there’s a repeat of the comment last week that none of the actors are relaxing because this is supposed to be a kiddie show; they’re all playing up to the well written script and giving it their best. Generally, they remember the actors as enjoying this story. The script has real conflict between the characters, who are generally trying to do good, and yet finding it difficult.

    Comment that with friends like the Doctor, who needs enemies. 😉

    William Russell remarks that Ian started out as a po-faced action man, but grew through the various stories. Also, this is definitely the only time Hartnell’s Doctor Who fell in love with someone.

    A lot of complaints from parents that this one was too scary; Verity Lambert said she felt it was mostly from parents who left their kids alone in front of the TV, rather than staying with them. She remembers that, as a child, she enjoyed reading books that were ‘too scary’ and that they certainly gave her nightmares. So it’s probably Verity Lambert who is to blame for: ‘Doctor Who: giving kids nightmares since 1963’.

    But they also had letters from teachers saying that the historical episodes really did make teaching history much, much easier, because the kids wanted to know about the period they’d seen on Doctor Who.

    The maxim of Doctor Who at this period is that history must not be changed; Barbara is transgressing by trying to use her hindsight to change things. But Ian’s point – that the entire civilisation is what needs to change, and Barbara can’t do that by herself – is right. They can change one or two minds, maybe. Shades of Fires of Pompeii, when Donna tells the Doctor that he can’t save Pompeii, but he can save one family.

    This writer has made Susan ‘more mature and thoughtful’, able to say who she is inside. Still a teenager, but growing up. Verity Lambert notes that they always thought of Susan as ‘quite young’ – she knew stuff that was well beyond 1963, but in the first story, she was supposed to be a child.

    The ambitious nature of the sets is noted. As is the fact that Tlotoxl really is a nasty piece of work. 😀

    janetteB @janetteb

    Interesting commentary as always @bluesqueakpip I always wondered just what age Susan is supposed to be. At times it seems she is a child, at other times the script writers seem to be depicting her as an adult. No wonder Carol Ann Ford struggled to develop the character.

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