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Oct 01, 2006


Let’s quickly review what happens this episode - [SFX: chirruping of cicadas and the occasional tumble weed.]

Episode 4

In a less than straight laced resolution to last week’s cliffhanger, what’s-his-puss sneaks in on Jo and our maggot decides he much prefers the dark, macho type and he’ll have a piece of that. It buggers off in shame when its unwanted advances knock what’s-his-puss off. At least this proves the maggot virus doesn’t just affect welsh miners.

our maggot decides he much prefers the dark, macho type and he’ll have a piece of that

UNIT relish the opportunity to get nasty with some high explosives. They’re always up for a little wholesale destruction and nothing so namby-pamby as logic will stand in their way. Just give them a shit load of TNT and they’re off.

Stevens should be awarded some kind of medal for his superlative effort in withstanding a whole half-hour of quality scientific advisor scowling. Eventually he gives in and calls in his counter-weapon – the formidable Mike Yates.

Now, there been some considerable Richard Franklin bashing recently and I’d like to stand up and defend Yates as he’s always been my favourite of the UNIT family and in their final year he gets very interesting. I think he was a sort of proto-Harry, not so developed but still a start. He’s great in the double-speak scene (accompanied by Yate’s Guard, whoever that is) and he manages not to laugh at Pertwee’s drag act, which must earn him a BAFTA at least.

The Brig’s slide into lunacy worsens

When they do eventually blow the mine to fuck, it’s a very good model shot, instantly overshadowed by an utterly 3rd Doctor moment denouncing sin from the pulpit like a luxuriantly eyebrowed Scots elder to quote someone or other.

The Brig’s slide into lunacy worsens as he describes the maggots as “creepy crawlies” and utters the single most inaccurate prophecy since the old fluttering paper, “Peace in our Time” gag. A flutist, (or the electronic equivalent of) dies in gasps of agony at the tedious inevitability of the outcome with a “tra-la-la” and nary a “wa-wa-waa” in sight.

Some poor dear gets the shock of her life as she enters what was, only a week ago, a top security room only to find the crazy maggots have overflowed their breeding ground and managed to climb the pipe, clinging to the sides and squishing on top of each other in the hope of finding another choice morsel like that chauffer, what’s-his-puss. On the other side of the moor, we get yet more UNIT troops so thick they don’t notice the massive maggots kissing their boots.

As usual they try to shoot the bastards but, as they should have learnt by now, it would be too easy to have an attack so easily repelled. Don’t they know this is lazy sci-fi and they’re invincible to all conventional weaponry? It’s no wonder the Brig and that other UNIT troop can’t even hit a single maggot – it’s so ingrained in their training to shoot between the eyes, they aim at head height despite the maggot being on the floor.

Poor Elgin’s copped it and we have yet another break-in where nothing is achieved save the scarring of a generation. I bet Jon Pertwee waited for years to be allowed to do a drag act on Doctor Who. It seems BOSS is fuelled solely by milk judging by the amount’s delivered. If the sight of Pertwee in a bushy false moustache doesn’t induce nausea, the dress will. I think I feel that coma coming on again...

That bloody fool Jones tries to use a microscope without any of the lenses in position for the whole time. He’s a charlatan. He’s not discovered a cure, he’s just been starring into darkness. Before he can share this tremendous news, he realizes Jo was driven away by his excessively Docteresque pomposity and discourtesy.

Ahh, the predictive power of Dicks and Sloman – in the future, all computers will be so large and so expensive only the most powerful governments will able to afford them. And these super-computers will be imbued with a tremendous power over mankind: they will have fruity voices. BOSS, to be fair, is more interesting than your average megalomaniac calculator (because, as he says, he’s irrational) with more of a humanity to him – a passion for Wagner, little idiosyncrasies, a playful relationship with his minion and, of course, a plummy voice.

If nothing else, this story has imbued me with a terrible fear of the cash registers you get called BOSSes. Tune in next week to see if it’ll screw up your order!


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