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Sep 30, 2006

Close your eyes

Yes, I’m a wee bit behind schedule but the truly atrocious CSO sent me into a shock-induced coma. Four episodes and just two days... can I make it?

Episode 3

Blown up condoms, hippie love-in communes, fire-side trysts, the amazon, “going down”... this is charged! Of course, you’d never find such innuendo laden children’s entertainment nowadays. Just wouldn't happen.

Sweet tap dancing, sugar coated Jesus just look at the punting scene. Where to begin? The backdrop, perchance: why couldn’t they have used the far superior shots from earlier or at least made the maggots appear a little bigger. Then there’s the troublesome yellow screens... heads and limbs vanish at random and the cart looks like it’s floating in midair, supported only by Pertwee’s, err... pole. See? There it is again. If that wasn’t enough, they show the thing twice.

Always the Gentleman, our Doc shoves Jo into the path of danger first, taking an egg to make a socking great omelette for tea. He even tries it on in the pipe. Poor Jo. Is there anyone in this story who hasn’t had a good feel so far?

I’d draw the line at the Brig, who’s now changed into a smart navy blazer. I suppose he’s a bit like Barbie: you have the khaki outfit, the sheep-skin coat, the preppy boy ensemble and there’s even accessories. There’s his sporty roadster and that all-purpose nuclear-resistant jeep. Just like the shoes, though, you always end up losing the moustache.

In that phone call you can tell the Minister for Ecology is sick to the back teeth of that bloody UNIT chap and his supposed “alien invasions”. He all but tells him where to stick his maggots but Stevens aids the healing process with a stiff Scotch in the first of many debauched, drunken scenes.

Fell continues being stilted and s-p-e-a-k-i-n-g b-r-o-k-e-n-l-y, while Elgin continues to be oddly dishy in a “I didn’t go to Specsavers,” half grown moustache kinda way. The bizarre security system at Global Chemicals demands all pipes be fitted with cameras on the off chance some hapless miner may try to climb them. Thankfully that saves Jo and the Doctor’s sorry arses and screws with Fell’s brain so much he craves increased You and Yours input. Five hours of John Waite and Liz Barclay concentrated into one single dose would cause severe haemorrhaging in anyone but he’s already that side of deranged so one more man from Worcestershire complaining about the number of black fruit pastilles you get per tube tips him over. It’s a good thing too because those side-burns just looked out of place. He makes a good splat in what is, after all, quite a surprising event for a children’s programme.

It’s nothing to the horror of Jo’s dress though: the colour of parma violets and shapes like a six year old bride’s maid’s frock with an extra long skirt it makes her look about seven months pregnant. The Doctor – bloody typical – ruins the evening’s mellowness (Brig smoking a joint, everyone tucking into some “special” mushrooms) with news of Bert’s death. Poor bugger collapsed under the weight of his own stereotype.

Bert’s soon forgotten as Jo and the Professor enjoy a moment together by the fireside, completely ruined by a jealous Doctor. Staying up late reading, ha! That’s a pretty euphemism.

This week’s cliff-hanger involves the latest CSO disaster, the maggot hatched from the Doctor’s egg which everyone forgot about in the swing of the party. An inflatable condom sidles up to Josephine Grant and rears up. Nice.

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