E1 “The Planet of Giants”

E2 “Dangerous Journey”

E3 “Crisis”

 The recording I have has all three spliced together, with no titles given between episode breaks. Originally, it was four episodes long, but a higher up in the Beeb ordered 3 and 4 spliced into one regular length episode.

 The episode starts off with The Doctor landing the TARDIS, but strangely, during materialisation, the doors open. He panics, barking at Ian and Barbara to close the doors, and with Susan’s help, they do. There seems to be no damage done to the TARDIS, though The Doctor finds this very curious. When they tried to use the scanner, the viewscreen shatters.

 Okay, based on the title and the strange things that happened, I think I already know what’s going on.

 Outside, The Doctor and Barbara split off from Ian and Susan. The Doctor and Barbara find a dead giant snake, which looks more like a worm. Yep, I’m right. Ian and Susan find a bunch of what appear to be giant eggs. Susan comes face to face with an ant perhaps half as big as she is; it, too, is dead.

 The Doctor confirms that the ‘snake’ is indeed a giant earthworm. Ian and Susan find a giant “sign” of a seed company from Earth. I wonder how long it will take them to figure it out. Ian’s on the right track, he muses that it might be some sort of exhibition.

 The Doctor finds a giant matchstick and he seems to have figured things out. Ian and Susan find the matchbox and Ian gets inside it. This can’t go well. “Must be an exhibition, Susan, like the World’s Fair.”

 Susan figures it out before he does, yay, smarty-pants teenager. “These things haven’t been made bigger, we’ve been made smaller.” Separately, the two Gallifreyans (though we still haven’t been told the name of their home planet) tell their companions what they’ve deduced.

 The lights go out and there’s a loud crunching sound. Susan hides behind the seed packet, Ian hides in the matchbox and we see a man approach and pick it up. (Yep, saw that coming.)

 The Doctor says Ian’s last name multiple times without getting it wrong. I guess that ongoing gag has been tossed.

 We discover that the man is a government inspector and he’s putting the kibosh on a new insecticide. The business man (didn’t catch their names) tries to bribe, cajole, but the inspector is resolute, the new insecticide is dangerous to essential insectlife. The business man shoots the inspector.

 If you’re finding my retelling to be less than stellar, it’s because this serial is weak. This is not one I enjoyed, though it could have been much better.

 

 Ian quickly rejoins, and they go to check out the dead man. We keep seeing a cat, so obviously the cat is going to spy them shortly. Yep, as they decide to go back to the ship, The Doctor says “It’s fortunate that everything was dead,” and Susan turns around to see the cat and they hold still until the cat gets bored and wanders off.

 Someone (regular sized) approaches and the party splits up in trying to flee. Ian and Barbara hide in the briefcase that belonged to the inspector. The business man and a scientist (well a dude in a white lab coat) arrive, and the business man tries to lie about what happened, but the scientist shoots down his story, but doesn’t seem to care one way or the other.

 The Scientist is equally two dimensional. The acting here is kinda sucky. Oooh, Smithers is the Scientist. The plan how to cover it up. The briefcase is brought into the lab. Ian goes to look for water to bathe Barbara’s injured ankle.

 Smithers and Mr Bang-Bang move the body. Susan and The Doctor were hiding in a grate outside; Susan saw the briefcase moved and they suspect it is indoors now.

 Ian and Barbara start poking around (her ankle seems to be perfectly fine now. What was the point of having Ian go looking for water?) Ian geeks out over enormous test tubes. Barbara picks up wheat grain and gets some sticky stuff on her hands. Probably the insecticide, I would guess.

 Yep, Ian surmises the same; he seems to be unaware that she actually got some on her hands.

 The Doctor and Susan try climbing through a pipe to gain access to the house. Ian climbs atop the briefcase to open it, hoping they can discover something about the work. Barbara is confronted by a fly and passes out. Ian arrives, apparently unaware of the fly and checks on her – he’s startled when the fly flies off.

 Mister Death and Smithers return from moving the body. They argue, it’s all very uninteresting.

 The Doctor and Susan make it up the pipe into a sink. The set makers must have had a blast making giant matchboxes, sinks with a stopper and so forth.

 Barbara wakes and Ian tries to console her that it’s dead – it flew away and landed on the seeds that she touched earlier. Ian muses on how lethal the insecticide is, as Barbara is about to tell Ian why she’s upset, they hear Susan’s voice.

 Ian climbs down the “plug chain” (stopper chain), Barbara following. Again, must have been a lot of fun to make and film. Shame the story is so weak. As if by writer plot device, Mr. I Shot Anyone Who Argues With Me and Smithers go inside to wash their hands. Ian and Barbara scamper back up the chain while The Doctor and Susan hide in the drain.

 Smithers finds the dead fly; somehow he knew that the fly died instantly.

 After some drama, they reunite again. Barbara won’t tell them she touched the poison, which is REALLY FUCKING STUPID. She keeps getting snippy with them because they don’t seem to think a cure/antidote for the poison is important… because they don’t know and she won’t tell them. FUCKING STUPID.

 Barbara starts showing sign of illness but tries to blow it off. Again, FUCKING STUPID.

 They try using the phone, but it does them no good. They finally figure out that Barbara is poisoned. There’s an extremely melodramatic scene where Ian tries to get Barbara back to the ship, but she won’t go and the Gallifreyans support her decision.

 Did I mention FUCKING STUPID? Does Barbara die? Cuz that would be a just punishment for her fucking stupidity.

 The operator, who was suspicious about Mr Academy Award Actor’s voice not sounding like Farrow (the inspector) earlier, when he faked a call, calls back and has the police officer listening in. They agree that Mr AAA and “Farrow” are the same man (he puts a towel over the mouthpiece when talking as “Farrow”.)

 Smithers, who has been in the dark about the true deadliness of DN6, realises how dangerous it is.

 The heroes start a fire.

 Mister I Have A Gun Pointed At You Scientist-Dude tells Smithers the truth of why he killed Farrow. They come back into the lab and find where the heroes set a can of DN6 in the path of the natural gas flamethrower they created, and it explodes, blinding Mr IHAGPAYS-D, and the police just happened to arrive right then. The Doctor picks up a poisoned seed and brings it with him into the TARDIS (making sure it’s wrapped in his cloak.)

 They return to their normal size. The seed ‘shrinks’ to it’s normal size. Barbara wakes up and is thirsty. Everyone has a good laugh. It’s a happy moment.

 Not remotely a good serial – neat concept, poor acting from the non-heroes, poor script. Glad it’s over.

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