Wednesday, May 27, 2009

"The Keys of Marinus" wrapup

And so, we've come to the end of another story, Terry Nation's "The Keys of Marinus." A long-time favorite of Ketina's and a sentimental favorite of mine, neither of us had seen it in years. Of course, we were both used to seeing it slightly out of context, immediately after "Inside the Spaceship," without "Marco Polo" between the two stories. Seeing (sort of) the lost historical did, I think, change how we viewed "Keys," far beyond understanding the continuity of Ian's Chinese jacket (or, as Schmallturm would have it, the "flaming chicken" jacket). The episodic nature, which worked so well in the absence of "Polo," causes "Keys" to pale a bit, with very little development shown in any of the mini-stories within the whole. Even the murder mystery (the most developed by far) was a bit thin. It's fairly obvious that these scripts were written quickly, as the "Brief History of Time (Travel)" page for "The Keys of Marinus" details.

All of the above might sound a bit more dire than it should, so let me hasten to add that we did enjoy ourselves quite a bit watching these episodes. I think the main problem (only for Ketina and me, of course), besides the episodic nature of the serial, is that it didn't quite live up to our memories of it. And, in a general sense, the story suffered from following "Marco Polo," which kind of blew us away, recon or not. Still, there was a lot to enjoy, even with the "Altos' lack of pants" jokes, the weak jungle episode, the Knights Who Said 'Ni,' etc. We've talked about it in the individual episode posts, so I won't go into detail here...but I will use that as a segue for the handy episode post link recap!

"The Sea of Death"
"The Velvet Web"
"The Screaming Jungle"
"The Snows of Terror"
"Sentence of Death"
"The Keys of Marinus"

A few final notes: Something I hadn't realized (though I should have, if I'd thought about it), but "The Sea of Death" has the first TARDIS materialisation on screen in the series! Pity it was a bit of a naff model shot (which was repeated in reverse to dematerialise the ship in the final episode), but still--neat, huh? This story also saw the first of the vacations for the regulars; William Hartnell's absence in two episodes was down to his receiving two weeks off. In the coming weeks, we'll see the others take an occasional episode break. Finally, for those interested in an "official" overview, here's the BBC episode guide for the story. Fun reading!

Starting this weekend, the TARDIS crew takes a break from science fictional shenanigans and goes back in time for another historical. Until then, I remain


1 comment:

Alzarian said...

I've always had a weakness for "quest" type stories. I enjoy the sheer variety of locations in this one. Gives it an epic quality, not entirely unlike "Marco Polo" before it.

Maybe it isn't particularly deep. Maybe it owes a bit too much to the 1950's B-movie genre. Still, it is entertaining enough, if you don't think too hard.