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Mar 15, 2006

Would Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart Please Report to the Dance Floor

A multiple Doctor adventure. A psychotic Timelord with a grudge. A character from annals of Gallifreyan history. A Doctor whose participation is limited to pre-filmed inserts. Multiple companions. It could only be… well, any number of things really.

The Three Doctors - Episode Two

As the Third Doctor and Jo take it to the bridge, the are absorbed by the fizzing ball of anti-matter. This thing seems to love absorbing things. It’s consumed a lot, in fact, you could even call it Absorb-a-lot.

Doubletake Benton, his keen military mind on full display, wants to blow the bally thing to ruddy bits. And as he, and the Second Doctor, creep towards it the Brig encounters the Second Doctor for the first time during this adventure. It is, at this point, that he might as well have committed that oldest of comedy standbys, a double-take, whilst taking a swig from a bottle from a brown paper bag, spitting it out all over the floor of the lab then throwing it away whilst accompanied by regulation comedy parp-parp music and a little "wha-wha-whaaaaa".

For inexplicable reasons, the pulsating beam into the black hole of anti-matter, reminds me of one of those Eastern European cartoons that thousands of kids used to turn off in their droves in the 1970's, when their usual dose of feline and rodent killing spree wasn't been shown in it's regular slot (except for viewers in Scotland who had their own programmes).

Timelord HQ looks like the set from a Johnny Ball programme, and they too are expending vital energy on these Eastern European cartoons. Where are all their big collars? They seem to have the collars flopped around their robes. Perhaps, like Peacocks, they have the ability to "erect" their collars to attract members of the opposite, or same, sex?

Durhamtown The Third Doctor and Jo awaken on a barren plain of an alien world in an alien dimension. Planet of the burns victims, as the Gel Guards should be called. It is at this point I get the vaguest inkling that some of the rigorous scientific fact that’s underpinning this text are, how shall we say, somewhat suspect. The then stumble across the openest of open plan offices. I don't believe that that is the Brig's computer. What would be want to be doing with one of those new fangled devices anyway? I think it's his hi-fi and on the reel-to-reel tape is his entire Roger Whitaker collection. At least when they see Bessie it's not as stupid as in The Five Doctors when Susan and the First Doctor's cataracts appear to get in the way of a perfectly clear view of the TARDIS, on a flat plain, that any myopic fool could have seen from miles away.

Benton Second Doctor and Benton are apparently trying to erect some sort of mixing bowl to control the entity. Benton throwing his chewing gum wrapper into the fizzing blob isn't as strange as it might at first seem. Back in the early 70's, in Britain, we didn't have that drawing of a little chap throwing his litter into a bin, oh no. In place of the bin was a fizzing blob of antimatter. This was all part of a failed 1970's public information film series about the clean and safe disposal of rubbish that involved locating receptacles constructed entirely of matter from a dimension perpendicular to our own.

The Brig gets to indulge in yet more comedy double-take action as he enters the TARDIS for the first time. Wha-wha-whaaaaaaa.

Doctor Tyler's scribbling out basic mathematics on the gravel. Good job it's not snowing as he might have used an entirely different implement to write his equations out. Omega's revealed to by yet another maniacal nutter behind a mask. Although he should be applauded for using third degree burns victims to help run his evil lair. I wonder why no Bond villains have utilized henchmen in oversized novelty suits as their helpers of choice. Oh yes, that's why, cos they're crap and not very mobile.

Treacletunnels The inside of Omega's place looks like an explosion in a treacle factory. Tyler locates some backbone and attempts an escape. A very slow moving escape through the syrupy tunnels. The burns victims could also be half sucked sweets. Or boiling drops of toffee that have been dropped into cold water. Or fudge. They just might be fudge.

I have absolutely no idea why Brigadier's pacing around the TARDIS dying to talk to his men - otherwise known as the wankers who make up the ranks of UNIT. I mean, they might as well have brought in Girls Aloud to help defend the United Kingdom, and all her dominions, from alien attack. They'd do a damn sight better job and be a little more pleasing on the eye than this lot. Then the First Doctor appears, word perfect. But his arms are being operated by puppeteers dressed in black behind him.

To relieve what little dramatic tension that's been built up, the Third Doctor produces a bunch of flowers only for Jo to drop them. I can just imagine one of the burns victims goes back to scoop up the discarded flowers and in a melancholic moment sobs gently to themselves, a single brown tear running slowly down their blobby body.

Cartoonhole Then the whole house disappears down the Eastern European cartoon hole...

The Bumper Book of Made-up Doctor Who Facts has this to say about part 2 of The Three Doctors: John Levene, who played Benton in this story, was splitting his time during the studio recording sessions between posing as a nude model, for evening classes at Shoebryness community centre, and badger baiting.

Comments

It's been interesting to notice how many names have been inventted for the 'Gel-Guards,' so far: "Walking sherry trifles... squashed Tesco pomegranates... haemorrhoid treatments... bubbly-blobby-candy-apple... burns victims... half sucked sweets etc etc"

Poor things - they're not too popular are they?

Apropos of very little at all: do treacle tunnels have sugar walls?

Fine by me , as long as they're not packed with fudge.

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