Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Colony In Space (Episode 4)


Originally Broadcast 1st May 1971
Written by: Malcolm Hulke

In a nutshell: An Adjudicator from Earth arrives on the planet to deem whether or not it should remain a colony or instead be used to gain more rare materials for humans.

Review: In all honesty I’m just getting bored of this story now; the Master’s arrival as the Adjudicator (being the biggest part of this episode) was ok, but was very underplayed from all areas of production. Hulke’s writing didn’t make a big thing of it, the direction treated it incredibly poorly and the initial reaction from Jo and the Doctor was pretty standard as well. Maybe they’ve seen him twice in a row so they didn’t really expect any different, like the audience.

Delgado didn’t do a lot different in comparison to his other appearances, although he’s not done the ‘famed’ “You will obey me” line yet (hopefully being kept back for something ‘special’) but there was a brilliant scene between him and Pertwee as they discussed the Master’s papers being forged.

There’s been some speculation in recent years (since 2007’s ‘Last Of The Time Lords’) about whether the small creature in the Native’s cave is another Time Lord, which I find quite interesting. There’s nothing at all to suggest so from neither this episode nor the 2007 three-parter, other than the small Doctor looking similar in appearance. Personally I don’t think there’s anything in it although it’s a nice little unanswered question to go with the other mysteries and unanswered questions in the Whoniverse.

Delgado complete with cardbard suit puts in an appearance
Pertwee gets some decent material here, like the aforementioned interaction with Delgado, but my favourite is his trick with the coin on a Native, the scene was fun and feels very much like something Pertwee (therefore Pertwee as the Doctor) would do.

Other than these points, the episode is really getting dull and very similar to many other stories, maybe the sheer ‘excitement’ of the Doctor being off-world for the first time since 1969’s ‘The War Games’ makes it a little more attractive, but it’s still standard material which not even Delgado or Pertwee have managed to completely save as of yet, but they still have two episodes to go!

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