Hello everyone, the Historian here, along with Ketina, Ronelyn, Schmallturm, Spoo, MiniSpoo, MisterMother and Photobug. (Whew! The Project's getting a bit big, isn't it?) This week, we return to the mysterious planet of the Space Museum...Let's get to the summary!
Episode summary: First aired 1 May 1965. As the TARDIS crew stands immobile, the display cases fade from existence! The four come round and realization dawns....they have arrived...
In the office of the planet Xeron's governor, a technician enters, having fixed a high tech looking device. The governor, Lobos, talks with him about how he misses their home planet of Morok. A guard enters and informs Lobos that a strange alien ship has landed. The inhabitants have yet to be apprehended, but footprints have been seen leading to the museum. Lobos sends out the message to apprehend the aliens, worried that they might be captured by the "rebels" first, although he also dismisses the rebels as children who will be dealt with if they ever caused real trouble.
Meanwhile, the rebels--two youths dressed in black and tennis shoes--are in the museum. Sta is worried that Tor is late, but Dako is sure he won't have been picked up by the Moroks. Tor arrives with the news of aliens in the museum. His idea is to find the strangers before the Moroks; they will have weapons and would hopefully help the rebels' cause.
Ian, Barbara and Vicki lift a display case off a gun and Ian takes it. The Doctor walks in and suggests they stop playing around and think. How can they get out of their predicament? Barbara agrees that they must break the chain that leads them to those display cases. They question is how? Should they try to leave the museum and return to the TARDIS? Should they stay where they are? Anything could change the future they saw. As they talk, Vicki points out that Ian has lost a button from his jacket. It's a pity, the Doctor says, that Ian didn't note whether his glass case doppleganger was missing a button or not! Finally, the Doctor makes a decision: they should try to leave the museum. Unfortunately, none of them can agree which way the exit might be! The Doctor defers to Vicki, who leads the way...
Lobos is informed that the alien ship has been taken, but the search for its inhabitants continues.
As the TARDIS crew wanders, they are seen and shadowed by the young Xeron rebels. Dako sees that they are armed (noting the gun Ian is holding--which might not even work!) and the three form a plan to kidnap "the old man or the girl" and explain the situation to them. Hopefully, the aliens will ally themselves with the Xerons. The Doctor stops to examine an exhibit while the others go on ahead. Suddenly, a door opens and the Doctor is grabbed from behind!
In the room beyond (the one with the Dalek casing exhibit), the three rebels look down at a seemingly unconscious Doctor. (Unseen by them, he opens his eyes for a moment and listens.) Sita and Dako leave Tor to guard the Doctor while they get something to bring him round.
Meanwhile, the others have noticed the Doctor's absence. Vicki thinks he may have been captured, but Ian and Barbara are sure he is just lagging behind, looking at an exhibit. They decide to go on--and try to find some answers, instead of more questions.
The two rebels return, finding Tor tied up on the floor! He doesn't know what happened--he turned his back for a moment and suddenly it was like a whirlwind hit him! There is no sign of the Doctor, so the three run out to search for him. After they leave, the Dalek casing in the corner of the room twitches and we hear a passable impersonation emenating from it: "I HAVE FOOLED THEM ALL! I AM THE MASTER!" And the Doctor raises the Dalek's dome, laughing at his cleverness.
He leaves the room, still chuckling...and walks straight into the arms of the Morok guards!
Ian, Barbara and Vicki have realized that they've been going around in circles. Ian gets an idea--the Minotaur! In the Labyrinth, Theseus used a spool of thread to mark his way, perhaps they can do the same? Even though they haven't been doing it from the start, at least a thread path would keep them from going in circles. They begin to unravel Barbara's cardigan.
The Doctor examines the wall of his cell. Tired, he sits in the chair in the middle of the room, only to be trapped by a belt around his middle.
Meanwhile, the rebels have found the thread. Though they can't agree on its purpose, they follow it to find the rest of the aliens.
The wall of the cell slides back to reveal that the governor's office is on the other side. Lobos, sitting at the desk and facing the Doctor, introduces himself, though the Doctor refuses to give his name. They talk, Lobos explaining that the museum is a monument to the greatness of Morok society and conquests, now sadly empty of visitors as the civilization has ceased to conquer and turned to pleasures. The Doctor nods, alluding to the decline of Rome, which Lobos ignores. He asks why the Doctor has come; exploration is the answer. Lobos brightens; he, too, is a scientist, he says, and then begins the questioning, asking where the Doctor's friends are. Though the old man refuses to answer, Lobos shows him an image of Ian, Barbara and Vicki looking at an exhibit on a small monitor. Lobos explains that simply by asking the question, the Doctor formed a picture in his mind which the monitor was able to pick up. Lobos dispatches guards to the area the picture indicated and then turns back to the Doctor. How did you get here, he asks. The Doctor simply smiles and a picture of a penny farthing bicycle appears on the monitor. The Doctor laughs...
Meanwhile, Ian, Barbara and Vicki have come to the end of the thread. They're still in the museum, but at least they haven't gone in any more circles. In fact...Ian is sure of it--the front doors are ahead! They rush to the doors and slide them open. A commotion is heard outside and Vicki cries that the inhabitants have captured the TARDIS!
The Doctor is becoming more and more amused as Lobos is getting angrier and angrier. As Lobos asks more questions, more and more ridiculous images fill the monitors while the Doctor refuses to verbally answer anything directly. Suddenly, Lobos receives a report: no aliens were found in the sector he had sent men to. Of course not, says the Doctor. The image that had first shown up had been where the Doctor had last seen his friends, he has no idea where they are now! At the end of his patience, Lobos declares that the Doctor is of no further use for interrogation, but will make a very nice exhibit! Guards step up as Lobos tells them to take the Doctor to "the preparation room." The guards free the Doctor from the chair and lift him to his feet. The Doctor is not laughing now....
Ketina's Krazy Konversation Transcript (now with paraphrasing!):
(no contributions from MiniSpoo this week, alas)
H: This was the planet Mods verses the Rockers. I loved the rebels' trainers. Just pan down “oh, sneakers”. I loved their costumes, black pants, sneakers…
All: And eyebrows.
H: Yes, I loved their silly eyebrows.
M: I thought they were Draco Malfoy’s ancestors. Once of them was named Darko. [Actually "Dako."--H]
S: I thought that was both the most intentionally and unintentionally funny episode ever. At least, seen so far.
M: I adored the whole episode.
H: Even Vicki realized how boring it was. She just wanted to get out of there.
P: The fact that you can walk in the museum and take what you want, that isn’t a very good museum.
R: Ian’s got the gun and he’s walking around with this. How does it end up with the teenager?
S: No, Vicki's the only member of the party who understands gun safety! Ian swept the party with the gun twice. He did everything but pick his teeth with the darn thing.
M: Vicki did that.
S: But she was at least using the right end.
H: The boring aliens vs the surly teenage boring aliens. Or the skinny people vs. the shouldermapad people.
M: I didn’t realize that Scooby Do was based on Doctor Who.
H: I thought that too! What made you think that?
M: It was the running around, and all the doors.
H: And the Doctor hiding in the Dalek.
Sc: That was the best part.
M: They were pulling out all of their acting school chops.
Sc: To make the episode not suck. It was a bunch of people standing around being indecisive on what to do for most of the episode.
S: After all the other great stories, this one was all Mr Exposition.
M: It was like the cast had a meeting between these two episodes. And the cast was all “What can we do to liven things up?”
H: This script was even worse though.
M: But the actors were actually doing things to try to liven it up.
R: It seems that the haircuts on the aliens were so bad that the soundtrack notices they’re dangerous.
S: Bad and inappropriately ominous. [I think Spoo was talking about the soundtrack here. --H]
R: As the aliens walk by the camera it sounds like Gamera is invading Tokyo.
Sc: If those were your kids you’d persecute them too.
H: Well, it’s not clear who’s kids they are. This is a conquered people.
M: I thought it was sinister. Like they conquered a race and killed all the adults.
S: My other beef, until the funny: In acting you can portray boredom without being bored. You can portray confusion without being confused. In the hands of a better writer, the beginning of the episode would have made some great points about the nature of free will. Instead, everyone was confused.
M: I thought it was hilarious. It was one of my favorite scenes!
P: When is the doctor okay with them carrying them a stolen gun?
S: "Mr. Clothing McKlepto" steels clothes a lot. He’s okay with them steeling things.
H: This is the early Doctor. The character you know from later years is still developing. But he’s the highlight of this episode. He tied up the kid, instantly screwed up the thought machine, hid in the Dalek...
M: He seemed to have figured it [the thought machine] out from the start with showing the guy where the party was.
K: But that’s just where they used to be, like he said.
M: Or was he just being clever? You can’t tell.
P: The curator totally didn’t investigate his "new shiny" with the Doctor. He’s just like “oh, you stopped talking? I’ll just freeze you.” Not much of a scientist.
Sc: But that fits what they introduced at the start with the boredom. [Meaning the decline of the Moroks. --H]
H: He claimed to be a scientist, yet it seems obvious that he has no scientific curiosity. It fits the contracting society.
S: The Doctor hiding in the Dalek was funny, because it’s gruesome when you think about it. We know what ‘s inside the Daleks… he would have had to empty it to get inside it.
*discussion of what’s in a Dalek transporter*
R: You can describe the Daleks as wheelchairs with little green guys inside them.
K: Okay, how did the curator know that he was The Doctor? He calls him Doctor at the end of the interrogation, yet that was shortly after the Doctor refused to tell him his name.
M: Because the Doctor is a scientist and he assumed, extending him the courtesy of extending him the title?
H: I can answer that question in two simple words – Bad. Writing.
P: Or possibly - Edited. Shot.
M: Or the continuity department was on vacation.
R: I like the continuity guy going “in 45 years, who’s going to care?”
M: The actors must have been using the old trick of "if the scene seems boring, do something."
*laughter and much mimimg of Ian's chowing down on Barbara's sweater*
P: The whole thread of the continuity thing just didn’t spin a good yarn.
*groans of pain as half the room gives up reviewing this episode*
I...I...what else is there to say? Um, until next week, I remain
NEXT WEEK: "THE SEARCH"