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Oct 01, 2006

Oh No! Jo Goes!!!

The Green Death Parts Five and Six

So, after all that build up we are now into the final furlong of Jo Grant’s last adventure and the main question is was it all worth it? I would say that yes it is in the long run. It may take a while to get going and there does seem to be a hell a lot of padding present in this story, much like the majority of the Pertwee era.

Part five begins with another one of these very long recaps, which almost seem to take up quite a lot of time of the episode. It makes you wonder if this story could have been told in just four parts when you consider how much time was spent on the recaps on each and every episode.

In this episode the Doctor finally gets acquainted with B.O.S.S, fruitly voiced by John Dearth who would later go onto being a poor Master substitute in the final story of the following season. The CSO use in this episode is quite a good idea but as I said before it just looks so obvious and after all a while it starts to look a little fake and you just can’t buy it for very long. Back in the seventies this wasn’t really much of a problem but today after we have gotten so used to modern day effects it just doesn’t cut it. Of course taking it, as a piece of seventies television then it doesn’t actually look as bad as I am making it out to be.

For some bizarre reason in this episode a brand new character appears as if out of nowhere and takes on a role once can only assume was meant for another character in this story. Quite why this poor bloke is suddenly summoned to Steven’s office when he isn’t even mentioned in any of the previous episodes is anyone’s guess. I mean did the producers think no one would notice that a completely new character is there for no apparently good reason except to be killed later on in the same episode? Still, it allowed for a nice joke in one of the extras on the DVD in the end.

In the sixth and final episode which is quite possible the best of the bunch, quite a lot happens and at the end we get quite possibly the best leaving scene out of all the companions (and I am including Sarah Jane’s exit amongst the final scenes of this episode as a good example of how to write a companion out) when Jo finally takes here leave of the Doctor.

It was quite obvious from the first episode of this story onwards that Jo was getting ready to leave and maybe finding Clifford Jones along the way was just serendipity (hey neat tie in there to one of the main themes of this episode!) because she may well have left anyway.

Still it was a nice way to write her out and that last scene of the Doctor quietly leaving the party and Jo looking back at him as he left the room was quite moving. In that scene you got more emotion than in probably the last three seasons put together.

You also got Mike Yates in action hero mode in this episode escaping from Global Chemicals by jumping from the roof onto the entrance roof and then onto the ground before running of to warn the Brigadier just in the nick of time, all in an incredibly camp manner.

The episode did have its downsides of course but that was only in the CSO which was pretty bad as usual but that was nothing compared to that oversized fly. I am sure in 1973 it looked really good but watching it now just makes you laugh out loud every time you see it on screen.

The Green Death is probably not one of the best Pertwee stories of all time (but is close), but it is the best of the tenth season.

Comments

It's explained in the commentary than Elgin had to be replaced because the actor playing him got appendicitis and someone else just had to be slotted in.

I think that's the joke you mean in the extra, which made me laugh too.

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