The Keys of Marinus part 5

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Bluesqueakpip 6 years, 4 months ago.

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    Craig @craig

    This week it’s “Sentence of Death” and the Doctor is back. Instead of Indiana Jones, this episode is more courtroom drama. The fourth and final key is stolen before Ian can get to it, but he is knocked out and then accused of stealing it. More importantly, he is also accused of murder. On this planet you are guilty until proven innocent (which is a nice twist – kudos to Terry Nation).

    In what is basically ‘CSI Marinus’ the Doctor and the other companions set about solving the case while Ian is put on trial. The prosecutor wears a uniform not a million miles away from a Nazi SS uniform. That Terry Nation again… (I think he may have had an obsession – which is not inexcusable).

    For the best viewing experience this story is available to buy from your favourite DVD/Blu-ray retailer, or it may 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 subsequent episodes please.

    janetteB @janetteb

    As usual I am a week behind, (which is why I have not commented yet). I only started watching episode four today and won’t be able to finish it until Wednesday. I really must try and do better. I have been enjoying following the discussion however, not being a spoiler-phobe.

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    I write this post from the confines of The Glass Factory in the Desert…

    The Doctor is back from his hols to save the day. He’s going to defend Ian. Can he be sure of his innocence, though? Last week Ian was responsible for the death of 1 or 2 chaps… I bet that wasn’t mentioned in any character statements!

    The Tribunal are wearing hats that look like turkey booties! (Well, Judges are prone to daft headgear…)

    turkey booties

    The crime of murder is an unusual occurrence on Millenius but the Tribunal don’t really have to put their thinking caps on – Proof of innocence must be absolute.

    The trippy library scene makes me question my own sobriety. What are they doing with those books?!

    Billy fluff: ‘ I can’t improve at this very moment!’

    The most interesting scene is where Babs & Susan earwig at the door and are privy to some casual domestic violence against Kala. These weekly assaults on women would normally be concerning but I don’t think it’s specifically an anti-woman thing… It was dramatic and unexpected and so quite shocking (Everything else in the story has been exposition due to lack of time – e.g. Ayden: ‘I’ll tell you everything…Arrgh!’).


    The Prosecutor is using a phone that looks like a hairbrush! (Or is it Alexa?)


    Keeping with the theme of violent assault on women, Susan has been kidnapped…


    Whisht @whisht

    Just logging in to say I have been watching, but not strictly with 7-day gaps (usually a bit longer!).

    Which means I’m sometimes wondering what exactly happened last week.

    Nothing much to add except, yay the Doctor is back but hmm I’m not sure I like him [gasps from everyone else].
    Why? well, I don’t enjoy his manner (slight rudeness and condescension to Barbara and Susan and yes I know its of the time, but… there you go). To be honest Barbara is probably my favourite character in this series of stories as she’s made few if any stoopid decisions (swimming in acid, leaving friends with complete strangers etc).

    But really enjoying others’ comments on these as far more illuminating than mine!

    janetteB @janetteb

    @whisht I was thinking yesterday about just how strong a character Barbara is. She is not really a companion to the Doctor as much as a fellow traveller and often a reluctant one at that. The Doctor isn’t always the wisest or noblest either at this early stage and that is shown by Barbara’s “gritting teeth” expression.
    Like you I am not always keeping up with the viewing schedule and so simply enjoying others comments feeling that I have nothing much to add.

    janetteB @janetteb

    I have now caught up after watching the remainder of ep 4 and 5 today, topped off which half of “Face the Raven”. It is interesting transitioning from first Doctor to Cap’ Doc’ like that. I much prefer the later. The first Doctor lacks the depth of compassion and some of the wisdom. One could not imagine him making a speech like that at the end of the Zygon two parter. He would just make a sharp comment and wander off.

    I laughed when I saw the judges in their turkey dressing hats, having read the posts up above.
    The episode felt very rushed. I think a lot more time was required to really unfold properly. Still agreeing with @whisht Barbara if the best..


    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Yes, indeed, the Doctor is back from his hols. It’s interesting to compare the obviously exhausted Billy Hartnell in the first couple of episodes with the bouncy Billy of this episode. On top of his acting form, obviously enjoying himself. By this time Doctor Who was a clear success; Bill Hartnell’s contribution to that was to act his socks off. He very much brought out the sheer mischief that’s still considered part of the Doctor’s character, as well as the Doctor’s sense of authority. And his rather condescending qualities, amply shown by the way he treats Barbara and Susan. Yes, sexism does seem to be a character trait…

    I agree that by the time we reach the Capaldi Doctor, the Doctor has become considerably more mature (even if he often looks younger). Jacqueline Hill is also acting her socks off; Barbara comes across as the adult in the room in several of these scenes. Ian is this week the one in need of protection, and William Russell plays him as a bit lost. Ian likes to be the hero; being forced into the more ‘female’ role of passive rescuee really isn’t his thing. 🙂 Carole Ann Ford, who doesn’t have the experience of the three heavyweights, still manages a couple of nice touches. She makes the reunion with her Grandfather genuinely affectionate, and springs the trap on Aydan very well.

    Costumes: @craig, I’d be really interested if @wolfweed can come up with any colour pics of those police, because to me they look like BBC Costume Department stock Victorian Police Officer costumes, with the collar badges redone. I know Terry Nation has a bit of a Nazi thing going; unsurprisingly when so much of his childhood was overshadowed by that particular evil. But while the local law is Kaftaesque, the police officer in the court itself is sympathetic and helpful. Likewise, Tarren’s mistake appears to be assuming the mysterious guy found in the murder location clutching the murder weapon was probably the murderer… and not realising he’s in a detective story, where said mysterious guy is never the murderer. 😀

    The judges costumes seem to be Greek Orthodox priest/bishops, with the black hat extended to the size of a chef’s hat and the normal cowl replaced with the turkey twizzlers. The make-up doesn’t work well on a modern TV; I have to keep remembering that they were producing this for 12 inch screens, not something with a screen at least four times bigger. As it is, I could spot the ‘age lines’ on the second judges’ make-up.

    I agree that Terry Nation was quite possibly mentally swearing that he’d used up a perfectly good four-episode idea in two episodes. This could have been a very good four-parter; it did feel a bit rushed.

    And another nice cliffhanger…

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    @bluesqueakpip  Sorry – No colour photos of this or the next episode exist.

    Self destruct – I have failed! I have failed – Self destruct – I have failed!


    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    More audio commentary: warning – this particular commentary contains a lot of spoilers for the final episode, so don’t listen to it before you see episode 6. I will avoid spoilers in this post.

    The retaken ‘Ian gets hit’ scene. Much better… John Gorrie also comments that it was noticeable that William Hartnell had much more energy when he came back from holiday. He also doesn’t seem to like the last two episodes’ setting: he found it rather dull compared to the SF settings of the previous four. Considering that Verity Lambert had to really persuade him to do an SF story, he seems to be a bit of an SF convert.

    Yes, be the director’s mate. Henley Thomas (Tarron) was yet another friend of the director. Eprin is played by one of the actors previously suffering in the Voord costume. One of the judges is also a former Voord. There is general comment at the number of extras in the courtroom; very extravagant for Doctor Who in that period.

    Bill Hartnell really loved Doctor Who; he didn’t like the other actors criticising anything, he wanted them to take it seriously and he said from the start that the series would run and run.

    Yes, domestic violence. John Gorrie thinks he was firmly told that he mustn’t show the actual violence; it had to be shot from outside the door. William Russell remembered that when they did show Susan threatening Ian with scissors (Edge of Destruction), Verity Lambert was taken upstairs for a real dressing-down. There’s quite a few comments on the lines of ‘too grown-up a drama’; not enough to keep the kids’ interest.

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