Friday, December 10, 2010

"Horse of Destruction"

Hello everyone, the Historian here! We had a full house tonight for the last episode of our Trojan epic: Ketina, Ronelyn, Schmallturm, Spoo, MisterMother, Photobug, Cz and MiniSpoo! So, without further ado, let's get to the summary!

Episode summary: First aired 6 November 1965. Cassandra replies, "Then woe to the House of Priam. Woe to the Trojans!" To which Paris answers, "I'm afraid you're a bit late to say 'whoa' to the horse! I've just given instructions to have it brought into the city." Outside the city, Trojans pull ropes attached to the Horse, bringing it ever closer to the Trojan walls...

Looking out at the Horse from the balcony, Cassandra is incensed that Paris allowed it into the city. Her dreams foretell disaster and they are never wrong. Paris, however, isn't buying that--look at the small temple, he says (meaning the TARDIS), it hasn't been any problem. Cassandra responds with the accusation that it brought the sorceress "Cressida," who has bewitched their whole family! Priam asks her not to call Cressida that, giving her credit for the Greeks' withdrawal, though he is puzzled by the Horse. Paris gives her credit for that too. Troilus, worried she is wandering the city alone, goes to look for her. Not trusting her "lovesick brother," Cassandra sends her handmaiden, Katarina, to follow him and to watch Vicki.

Vicki, meanwhile, has returned to the dungeon. She tells Steven that the Horse has arrived and lets him out. The two leave the dungeon.

Inside the Horse, the Doctor, Odysseus and company are being jostled around as the wooden animal is being taken into the city. The Doctor is increasingly worried, both about the Horse's construction and his own personal safety. They arrive in the city square and Odysseus gives the command: they will wait in silence.

Priam, Paris and Cassandra look out at the Horse. Cassandra again prophesies doom.

In the square, Vicki and Steven look up at the Horse. They hide from some Trojan soldiers. Steven reminds her that if the Trojans discover the two of them together, Vicki may be in as much trouble as he would be. Vicki looks up and muses that the Trojans think she invoked the Horse. Steven says they'll know different when the Doctor and company come out of it. Vicki asks if he really thinks the Doctor's up there and Steven responds that he would be--he'd want to find the TARDIS. The two wonder if Cyclops had gotten through with their message to him. Just then, Vicki spies Katarina, recognizing her as "one of Cassandra's girls." Steven tells Vicki to go back with her; he'll hide in the city. He jokes that if Troilus finds them together, he'll be terribly jealous. Vicki bristles, but Steven laughs it off. He does tell her to tell Troilus to get out of the city...and Vicki finally realizes the implications of the Horse being in Troy.

Later, Troilus runs into the palace, yelling to Priam and Paris that Diomede has escaped! Cassandra immediately blames Vicki/Cressida, but Troilus tries to defend her. Just then, Vicki arrives. When asked point blank if she freed Diomede, she winds up not answering (Cassandra breaks in to call her a sorceress, giving Vicki a chance to deny that and ignore the other accusation). Priam and the family go out into the square to address the people, leaving Vicki alone with Katarina to watch her. Vicki is left, hoping against hope that what is supposed to happen to these nice people won't...

Inside the Horse, Odysseus is musing about how, if Achilles or Agamemnon die in the assault, his share of the booty would be much greater. Absolutely disgusted by this, the Doctor demands to be let out of the Horse. Odysseus tells the Doctor that if he is not quiet, he will be the Ithacan's first kill in Troy.

Vicki is alone in the palace. Troilus enters, looking for her. She asks him if he would do something for her; he tells her he will do anything. Leave the city, she says. She is sure Diomede is on the plain and Troilus must find him. Troilus asks if she is in love with this Greek, but she says he is just a friend. She tells Troilus that Diomede is unarmed and that he can be taken prisoner, bringing Troilus glory. Troilus doesn't understand, but he has given his word. Vicki tells Troilus that there's no time. They embrace and he leaves.

Night. Soldiers slowly lower themselves out of the Horse. Odysseus and the Doctor exit last. Two Trojan sentries are killed and the Greeks (with the Doctor) move across the square.

On the plains, Troilus calls for Diomede...but finds Achilles! The two fight fiercely, and Troilus is wounded, but he fells Achilles with a mighty blow, avenging his brother Hector!

In Troy, Odysseus' party have taken the gates, which swing wide open to admit the Greek forces.

Inside the palace, Priam and Cassandra are disturbed by the noise from the city below. Paris enters, bloody, telling them the Greeks have started taking the city! Cassandra replies, "And none of you would listen to me!" Suddenly, Odysseus and his men burst into the palace! Odysseus laughs. "Three hornets in their nest!" he says. "Kill them!"

The Doctor has found the TARDIS in the temple. Vicki runs up to him, with Katarina following behind. The Doctor is delighted to see her and asks where Steven is. Vicki, telling the Doctor she has to talk to him, sends Katarina to find Diomede. Katarina asks the Doctor if he is from "the other place," but Vicki shoos her off. She then hustles the Doctor into the TARDIS telling him that they have to talk.

Elsewhere in the temple, Steven is fighting for his life with a Trojan soldier. He is wounded in the shoulder, but manages to strike his enemy down just as Katarina finds him. She tells him she has been sent by Cressida to bring him and he leans on her as they stumble away.

Vicki slowly exits the TARDIS. She looks sad, but determined. She turns back to the ship and embraces it, then turns her back and walks away. The door opens and the Doctor, poking his head out, watches her go.

Inside the palace, Odysseus' men hold Cassandra. He crows that she is to be held apart as part of Agamemnon's spoils. She calls out to the pirate, "Ten long years we fought you Odysseus. And ten long years it will be before you see your home again!" She is taken away.

Katarina carries Steven through the TARDIS doors as the Doctor prepares to follow. Suddenly, Odysseus appears, telling the Doctor to stay where he is. Odysseus says that he claims the Doctor's machine as a spoil of war. The Doctor, amused, tells him to go adventuring on his own and enters the ship. As Odysseus' men arrive to seize it, the TARDIS dematerializes. Odysseus is both amused and amazed; could the old man have been Zeus after all...?

On the plain, Troilus fears Cressida has betrayed him, sending him to his death. Vicki arrives and is horrified that he is wounded. He tells her that it is nothing, but that he doesn't understand any of this. She tells him that she didn't betray him; she stayed behind when her friends left because she wanted him to know that she hadn't. She belongs here...with Troilus...if he'll have her. But Troilus looks sadly at the burning city. What is there left? Suddenly, they spy some horsemen coming near them. Vicki is afraid it is the Greeks, but Troilus joyfully recognizes the leader as his cousin Aeneas. Vicki, heartened, smiles. "We can start again with your cousin's help we can...we can build another Troy!"

Inside the TARDIS, Steven is lying on a sofa. Katarina is attempting to care for him, but his condition seems to be getting worse. He calls for Vicki, and the Doctor assures him she is all right. Steven notices Katarina and asks what she's doing there; the Doctor tells him to be calm. Vicki has gone to find Troilus. It's what she wanted and she'll be fine. Steven calms, possibly lapsing into unconsciouness. Katarina addresses the Doctor as "strange god." The Doctor is taken aback, but Katarina explains that the "priestess Cassandra" told her that all would be well. She is convinced that she is dead and on a "Journey through the Beyond." The Doctor, realizing the truth would be too much for her to understand, merely advises Katarina that the young man is named Steven, not Diomedes, and that she must call him "Doctor," not refer to him as a god. He takes a moment apart. "Oh, my dear Vicki, I hope you'll be all right, hmm?" he says to himself. "I shall miss you child." Then, swallowing his emotion, he returns to the task at hand and Steven's plight. "Oh yes, now those drugs, those drugs, what am I going to do? I must stop somewhere. But how? I've got to, yes! I must! I must!" He steps back to the console.

In the ruins of Troy, the wooden Horse stands amid the desolation....

Here's a link to an episode transcript.

Ketina's Transcript/Paraphrase Extravaganza!

H: Historian
K: Ketina
R: Ronelyn
Sc: Schmallturm
S: Spoo
MS: MiniSpoo
M: MisterMother
P: Photobug
C: Cz

M: Doctor Who does Troilus and Cressida?
K: Basically.
H: That was pretty freaking great.
Sc: There was in fact, a Buffalo shot in there. When the Greeks climbed out of the horse, proving they should wear pants.
H: We don't know for sure if that was original footage or something they added for the recon, however.
Sc: It still counts. Other than that... We never find out what happened to Priam and Paris.
H: The implication is that the guards killed them.
M: There seems to be assumptions that the viewers are somewhat familiar with the story.
Sc: I'm kind of surprised that Vicki left. This is the second time that companion leaves for some guy.
H: Yes. Ketina presciently guessed that last week. And we have a new companion this week. And her first line was about traveling through limbo
M: She said from beyond. That was true.
S: If she cannot fight and she cannot woo then she is not useful.
P: Can she cook?
M: I thought, given that this was the only episode of the story I've watched, what I saw was spectacular. I was impressed. People died and stuff. It was very dramatic, and it was well done. I was thrilled once I clued in that it was Troilus and Cressida.
H: The story goes from funny to serious. The first couple of episodes are funny, and by the last one it's completely serious. Oh, yes, and Happy Birthday, Ketina.
K: Thank you!
H: So, the Doctor really called Odysseus out there, as the murdering bastard that he is.
S: "I'm embarrassed to share a horse with you!" If it wasn't scripted, it was about the best "billy fluff" ever. It was just in a fanastic flurry. [Spoo is referring to a line where Hartnell follows up "your win" with "Your victory, or whatever you call it." I'm still not convinced it wasn't scripted that way. --H]
M: It was called acting.
S: And he was good.
R: And once again, the woman play Cassandra, she wasn't just acting, she was AN ACTOR!
H: The actress talked about how it was an early role and she was relatively serious about it.
R: You were here for 10 years, and you will be away for 10 years more!
S: She had the whole snotty "I told you so! I told you so!" I was very glad to see that she was captured, and probably horrible things done to her.
[The Historian then pretty much summed up Aeschelus' "Agamemnon" for everyone]
K: Eww..
H: Cz, what did you think? Anything to say?
C: No.
H: Mini-Spoo, what did you think? Did you like it?
MS: The horse part, awesome. Some stuff was a little bit...
M: Is this going to be a kissing book?
MS: ...Freaky. Some parts are a little bit scary. Some parts are a little bit awesome.
H: What did you think of when Vicki left?
MS: It was awesome. And now we get to see how well the Doctor and Steven does without Vicki. Because Vicki made troubles for them. Actually, it would be really cool to see an episode where it's just the Doctor doing all the work.
Sc: 5,000 years ago.. "I don't know Homer, I like this bit with the horse, but..."
S: "D'oh!"
R: You need to resolve the plot point with this Achilles guy.
H: Paris kills him. [In the Iliad. I think I actually said "Troilus kills him," which is what happens in this episode. --H]
R: I know, but that wasn't that point.
P: That's why this wasn't the Iliad. This was Troilus and Cressida.
H: Well, the Trojan horse wasn't in the Iliad either.
S: Unintentional humor with the sea-sick horse travelling.
H: I liked the smoke billowing when Troy was starting to burn.
S: And they had some good CG that was illustrative. Like the overhead shot of the horse. Nice model.
H: And it was cool to see the little bits of footage. They took some from other sources, but it was cool to see.
M: It was nice to see that Doctor's speech about Vicki leaving footage was some that they had.
H: It was also neat with how well they were able to sync it up with the soundtrack as well as they did.
M: Long before the VCR was around.
P: I had a problem with the scene inside the horse. They had a yelling match, and then they were like "shhh!"
Cz: Oh yeah, they will yelling the entire time!
S: The shock absorbers bit was a very nice like.
Sc: If the Trojans were already fooled by the horse, they weren't smart enough to hear them either.
[Someone (Photobug?) asked how Troy could have held out in a ten year siege without running out of food and water. --H]
H: They talked about it in an earlier episode about Aeneas smuggling in food and wine.
M: Same aliens who built the wall brought them food.
Sc: The circle had not been invented yet, so they could not surround Troy.
K: Wait, didn't the horse have wheels?
H: It's a joke, Ketina.
K: Oh.. okay. (honestly, it's hard sometimes to follow all the jokes when I'm typing, guys!)
S: SO yeah, kudos! Well done!
H: This is the first story, that the new producer (John Wiles) was credited with, that Verity Lambert had nothing to do with. I think it shows promise.
S: And seriously, the handmaiden is going to be useless.
M: So, what about the Daleks from the last story?
H: We might just find out about that next week, perhaps.
R: My favorite fight of the episode: the climactic and exciting battle between the bassoon and the brass section. YOu can hear the orchestra was wrestling with itself.
P: It seemed instrumental to the story.
H: It sounded like the fight was probably extremely exciting. I think Loose Cannon did as good a job as they could.
M: It was revelation after revelation to me!
H: It was a really good story.
M: I was just delighted, every little thing that came out
H: Was anybody surprised to see Vicki go?
K: I wasn't surprised, but I will miss her.
Cz: Who's going to replace her?
K: Katarina.
Cz: Really? Vicki just told her to go in there?
M: I think Vicki told her on purpose. That they needed a woman so they wouldn't get killed.
R: I think she told Katarina to go so that she wouldn't getting killed or worse in the sack of Troy.
P: I think Steven really liked Vicki.
H: I don't think it was a romantic pairing with Vicki, but I do think they got along well. I always saw it as a sibling kind of thing.
P: But I think it was a sad ending for Steven.
M: I thought it was pretty awesome. Vicki goes off to found Rome! Come on!
P: Yeah, and I didn't know enough history that they would be going off to found Rome.
MS: I think that Steven is going to die because he got stabbed with a sword.
H: Yeah, the Doctor needs to go find drugs.. medicine for him.
MS: I think he's going to die before he gets some.
P: We'll see.
H: I like the fact that they did the whole conversation with the Doctor and Vicki [about her leaving] off screen.
K: I totally didn't get that. I couldn't figure out how the Doctor even knew about Troilus.
H: There's a scene where the two hustle into the TARDIS. And then she leaves, hugs the TARDIS, and walks away. She tells them it's her choice. It shows that Vicki had a stronger personality that Susan had; she couldn't have left if the Doctor hadn't made her go.
M: Barbara and Ian left because they could go back to their lives. Vicki choose to go because she found something.
P: That is one of the best Doctor Who's I've seen in a long time. To our reader(s) - Find it! It's something! [The recon is available at the Loose Cannon site. I believe there's also a narrated soundtrack available from the BBC. Check 'em out! --H]
H: I think it was fantastic. Ketina?
H: Okay.. I guess that's where we'll end it for this week.
K: :P
H: And see you next week for... THE NIGHTMARE BEGINS!
*dun dun dun!*


And there we have it, another fantastic story done! Keep an eye out sometime this week for my wrapup post. As for next week.....we begin another story I've been waiting decades to see! I can't wait--until then, I remain



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