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Mar 10, 2007

Mayday, Mayday

Listen carefully during the recap and you can hear the Master doing his karaoke version of ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’.

The Daemons Part 4

As Azal rises and the whole of Aldbourne is pitched once more into the mirrorlon experience, the Doctor continues to give the hapless Sergeant Osgood a crash-course in how to channel the National Grid through one UNIT van. No wonder the poor sod looks as though he’s about to tell Pertwee where to shove his generator gizmo, and who could blame him? On a sliding scale of annoyance, the Third Doctor is just above the Crazy Frog and hot on the heels of a supermarket full of screaming toddlers. Still, at least he gets to say ‘Reverse the Polarity’ so that’ll keep the condescending little bugger sweet for an episode or two.

So Azal - or at least his ankles - has risen from his long sleep, only to find arguably the worst master-criminal in 10,000 years of megalomaniac cock-ups is after his crown. The Master wants him to confer his power so that he can enslave the human race in a manner which the Daemons originally intended. Though seeing as Azal was watching the Jackanapes’ earlier attempts to recruit for the local neighbourhood watch, then it’s no surprise he’s less than thrilled with this proposition. Still, given Stephen Thorne’s understated performance from the school of drama and shouting, then at least the pair have got something in common.

On a sliding scale of annoyance, the Third Doctor is just above the Crazy Frog and hot on the heels of a supermarket full of screaming toddlers

It’s another episode full to the brim with more filler than a club sandwich, with Jo’s particularly pointless and panicked run around the village doing little more than boost Aldbourne’s tourist profile; and the return of the Black Magic Twister board this time seeing it emulate the ‘Grab a Grand’ machine that celebrities regularly embarrassed themselves clutching twenty pound notes in on Noel’s House Party. But on the bright side Pertwee does at least stop patronising everyone long enough to get all Quadrophenia; riding his Vesper down the country lanes until someone has the sense to take a pot-shot at him and knock the smug little f**ker on his velvet-caped arse. Shame by the time it happens he’s turned into Terry Walsh.

you start wondering whether you’d rather see Pertwee or Nicolas Cage burn at the stake

Arriving back in the village - and to the sounds of Robin Hardy coughing-up another hobnob - the Doctor finds everything’s gone all Wicker Man in his absence; as the Mayday celebrations see him smacked on the arse by grown men dressed as paper trees and getting tied to a stick awaiting conflagration. Besides the sub-Two Ronnies spectacle of it all - not to mention the possibility of spotting future Sooty-fister Matthew Corbett amidst the rabble - Benton is also engaging in some studio-bound gymnastic work with one of the maypole maniacs. Before displaying a feat of sharp-shooting that would have put to shame the villager whose Pertwee-perforation marksmanship was tragically below par.

But just before you start wondering whether - at a push - you’d rather see Pertwee or Nicolas Cage burn at the stake, the Master’s singing 'Tight Fit' again and extending his evil repertoire to chicken-murdering (though it’s perhaps refreshing that he doesn’t shrink it first). Leading to Azal finally - after one or two false starts - rising to all his CSO glory as the village shakes once more and poor old Osgood ends up with soot all over his rosy cheeks again.

Next week: keep your finger on the volume control as Stephen Thorne opens his big, bearded gob.

(The Bumper Book of Made-Up Doctor Who Facts has this to say about The Daemons 4: Brian Blessed acted as unofficial voice coach on this story)

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