Thursday, 29 January 2015

Inferno


Lee Mahon@Lee_JM75 Setting my stall out early here. Inferno may well be the finest DW story of all time. It really is that good I believe. 


John Mark Frankland@JMFrankland I read the novelisation of Inferno while the rest of Y7 were getting wet and miserable at an outdoor education centre. I won!


Phil Creighton@phil_creighton Controversial I know, but for me Inferno is weakest of Season 7 - but it's a 9.99 out of 10 rather than a straight 10. Season 7 is my favourite Doctor Who season ever. Intelligent, lengthy stories that are gripping viewing.

James Cooray Smith@thejimsmith 1970 is a very, very strong contender for Best Year Of TV Doctor Who. 
 


Love these title cards with the story titles.

Kosmic Kris@KosmicKris these titles are superb - it’s such a shame the show didn’t persist with them


50dw50@50dw50 they are great and give a real sense of foreboding 


Kosmic Kris@KosmicKris Don Houghton is a fabulous horror/adventure writer - wish he’d written more than the 2 Pertwee adventures!

50dw50@50dw50 
he did a really good Sapphire and Steel as well

The horror starts early in this episode: the Doctor is "singing"! 

Nice 'tache, Harry.


Yay! Henry Gordon Jago! Looking very young and slim! 


MAW Holmes@MAW_H Keith Gold never got a Big Finish spin-off, though... 


Stahlman's like a mix of those Troughton era bosses-breaking-down and the mad-beauracrat of Pertwee's... part Professor Zaroff, part Robson, part Dr. Lawrence. 

50dw50@50dw50 i quite like Pertwee when he is horrible to horrible people like Stahlman.

The picture and colour's definitely much improved on this Special Edition. 


The boiler's on the blink, leaking green goo. 


Slocum's gone a bit odd after touching the goo. Maybe he's got a bit of a fever. 


Stahlman's assistant Petra is quite defensive of him. 

Kosmic Kris@KosmicKris Mrs Douggie Camfield if the production notes are to be believed!

Indeed she is.

Green Slocum staggers off and attacks a lab technician who's only come to see if he's alright. 

The Brig summons the Doctor to investigate the more unusual aspects of the murder... 

I'm never sure which one in the picture *is* supposed to be the Brig. 

"Trouble seems to follow you, doesn't it Doctor?" Bit harsh on this occasion. 

Benton's having a bit of trouble keeping a straight face here. 

50dw50@50dw50 Benton has crossed the line and become a regular now, yay!

This would all be about fracking if made nowadays.

Lee Mahon@Lee_JM75 Inferno 2 you say? A grand idea! I'm on the hotline to The Moff as a type this...



Jason McLaughlin@jangomac72 I'd rather they didn't, Silurians 2 wasn't much cop!

Kosmic Kris@KosmicKris this could actually work today, government advisers, fracking, energy replacement - it wouldn’t need much adaptation at all


Gold's sent for top drill man Gregg Sutton. 

MAW Holmes@MAW_H How do you get that qualification? (CHORTLE!)

On the job! *ba-dum-tish*


"I'm not a typist, and I'm not available for borrowing!" Petra shoots Greg down in flames, quite rightly. 

"We see them everywhere - advisors on this, advisors on that, look here's another one!" 

"Our liver playing us up again, Professor?" 

Sutton, Gold and the Doctor are all on the same page when it comes to the Inferno. 


The original TARDIS console in it's hospital-green colouring seems so odd in colour. Still cool though. 


50dw50@50dw50 i adore Liz, it's terrible to think Caroline John is no longer with us 


Indeed, that whole team. Just wonderful together.

The Doctor is using power from the Inferno to try to get the TARDIS working again. 

Slocum, who's looking particularly green about the gills, attacks a technician and turns up the power. 

...which overloads the Doctor's experiment... 

...flinging him momentarily into a dimension of fairground mirrors. 

Liz is able to reverse the switch though, and he's back, if a little shaken. 

50dw50@50dw50 good job Jo was not on the scene yet, he would never had got back 

MAW Holmes@MAW_H He'd probably never have left in the first place... ;-) 

Petra's hard as nails - Sutton's whinging about the roof blowing off and she gets stuck right in to fixing things. 

The Doctor finds the computer's knackered... 

...and after winding up Stahlman a bit more for good measure...




...he leaves Sutton to grapple with things in the control room...


...while he and the Brig go to investigate why the thermostat's stuck.


Argh! Grunty green hairy man! End of part 1! 


LOUIE FECOU@LOUIEF2000 it's a great first part

James Cooray Smith@thejimsmith "Dr Who & a green man'll be back next week. Dr Who merchandise is available in the abc shop. But probably not a green man." As the Ozzie announcer famously said over the end credits of this episode. (I paraphrase. But not by much.)

I love all those little continuity gems that have survived, little time machines in themselves, really put you in the time.

Time for part 2!




Somebody answer that phone! 


Maybe the green man's afraid it's a... cold caller? 


Private Wyatt gets the drop on Green Slocum but not before he's had the touch of green... 

The bullets have only slowed him down and he sits there, scorching the wall; he doesn't pack it in till the Doctor turns down the temperature. 

The Doctor tells Stahlman he can stop trying to sell them PPI now. 


Petra seems to be warming to Greg, at least, even if Stahlman's still being a git. 

Wyatt and the technician don't seem to be recovering from their contact with the green man. 

Great stuff on film. Camfield was the king. Fantastic little reflective scene between the Brig and Doctor out atop the rig. 

The Doctor spots the greenified Private Wyatt scarpering across the roof tops and races after him... 

Green Wyatt's gonbe beserk, and the Doctor can't get close enough before the soldier plummets over the edge. 

But the technician's still on the loose. We should probably just forget about him altogether until episode 7, I reckon. 

Stahlman isn't impressed with the green goo... 


...and recklessly handles the leaky jar. 


A quick wipe and he's fine. Right? 


Stahlman thinks the deaths are a HR matter. 

"You, sir, are a nitwit!" 



Stahlman's singed his fingers on the goo. This won't end well. Total disregard for Health and Safety. that's UNIT dating settled. Definitely the 70s. 


MAW Holmes@MAW_H "Gooooofinger...!" 

The Doctor reconnects the power to the TARDIS... 



...and clocks Stahlman removing a circuit from that pesky computer that keeps giving the safety warnings. 


"Venusian karate. It's very effective." 
What's it got in it's pocketses, precious? 


Stahlman destroys the evidence. 


The door handle gadget's great, but doesn't actually seem to be the sonic screwdriver, oddly. 


The Doctor's tricked Liz and is making a secret test flight. 

Stahlman pulls the plug again... 

...and the TARDIS console, Doctor and all, dematerialises! End of part 2! 



Phil Creighton@phil_creighton I wonder at what point Stahlman was infected. Never made explicit, I suspect very early on in project Inferno.
Surely when he handles the cracked container and has actual physical contact with the goo?
Phil Creighton@phil_creighton Possibly, but his odd behaviour before that is a man possessed - by project or by goo?
Never really thought of that before; thought he was just supposed to be stressed and/or monomaniacal rather than affected. But maybe he's had some minute exposure that's been affecting him more slowly over time and amplifying those traits.
MAW Holmes@MAW_H Single minded... obsessed with his boring job...

Phil Creighton@phil_creighton Possibly, but how can he be so single minded to avoid the bleedin obvious that Sutton points out?
Denial; eyes on the prize, unwilling to listen to others due to ego.
50dw50@50dw50 its hard to tell if he is under the influence or just a git


Liz tries to bring him back but there's no power. 

Stahlman is only too pleased that the Doctor's gone. 

Stahlman's got green fingers. Shouldn't he be yellow if it's his liver playing him up? 

The Doctor's stopped wibbling, and someone's put up a poster of the head of visual FX. 



MAW Holmes@MAW_H Hmm... You've got to at least appreciate a society where the creative people get to the top...

Thankfully, the Doctor's leather driving gloves have made it to wherever-he-is intact. 

The Doctor soon finds himself being shot at and has to make a dash for it in Bessie. Hang on, was that... Benton...?


Amazing action and stunt work here. 

The Doctor makes it to the rooftops, and sees of a green technician... 

...only to be attacked by green Wyatt. 

HAVOC rightly lauded for that amazing fall. 

(By the way, UNIT should totally have had an enemy organisation called HAVOC, the way Bond has SMERSH & SPECTRE and UNCLE ahem, had THRUSH.) 

What's happened to Liz's hair! 

"What are you doing in that ridiculous get up?" Hark at you, frilly shirt cape man. 



Blimey! The Brigadier's turned into a 'tache-less pirate! 
The Doctor figures out straight away that he's in a parallel universe. 

In the parallel universe, Stahlmann is a cool dude with square shades and white gloves. 

Parallel Sutton's scrubbed up in a suit. 


MAW Holmes@MAW_H So.. downside, evil fascists and all that... but, upside... everyone dresses better...



Parallel Stahlmann's got green fingers too; events are playing out along similar lines... 

...albeit the drilling's more advanced; presumably as Sir Keith Gold, a barrier to Stahlmann's progress, has been killed. 

MAW Holmes@MAW_H ...or "spun off" as we like to imply.

Ha! very good.


Phil Creighton@phil_creighton Parallel world is so convincing, amazed idea not revisited until Rise of Cybusmen.

"Charming family. I knew her great grandfather in Paris..." More icky toff-buddy namedropping of the Pertwee era... 

"I don't exist in your world!"
"Then you won't feel the bullets when we shoot you!" 

MAW Holmes@MAW_H Evil Brig does have better comebacks. 

"Can't shoot me unless you've filled in all the forms, is that it?" 

One of the pipes is spewing goo.

Benton threatening to shoot the Doctor! Definitely not *our* Benton. 


Dunno why they're threatening to shoot him. He only wants to try turning it off and on again. 


As per usual, the Doctor's solution is to reverse everything. 

The interplay between Greg and Petra is great. You really start to get invested in them. 

The emergency is over... for now. 


Stahlmann has bandaged his hand to hide the fact that he's hulking out. 


Parallel Liz tries a bit of good cop after shining a light in his face. 




The Doctor's a bit slow on the uptake about the "man" in the neighbouring cell. 

It's really odd when we flip back to 'our' universe. Nice "whooshy" sound FX though! :-)


Liz has no idea how to get the Doctor back. 

Sir Keith begs Stahlman to act like a responsible scientist, and takes off to report his concerns to the minister... 

Back in the parallel universe... 


...the Doctor's rudely awoken by some grunting from his neighbour. 



Get in! Pertwee's escaped thanks to grunty green man. 



Stowing away in the back of a van. 



This is very like the end of You Only Live Twice. Expect ninjas to attack Stahlmann's volcvano lair any minute. 


"That's the sound of this planet screaming out its rage!" 



Sutton sticks his neck out for the Doctor; definitely one of the goodies. 


Can't beat a good countdown cliffhanger! 


The Doctor's saved by a convenient earthquake! 

"There's never been a bore like this one!" Oh, stop it. 

It's only a model. 

James Cooray Smith@thejimsmith That goo is nearly as vile as radiator enamel.

Lol! Oh god yes. 

Stahlmann's really gone nuts now, attacking the Doctor and Sutton, and locks himself in the drill room. 

Sutton's like an Ian, Steven or Harry now, not a companion but the Doctor's ally for the story & in that mould. 

They're all in the same boat now, soon to be floating on a sea of lava. 


"What do you think I am, a conjuror?" No, not yet... 


What's a "continny-um", Jon? 


The Doctor's cellmate's back for round two. 

Greg and Petra get up close and personal... 

...while the Doctor shows off his non-working TARDIS console to an unimpressed Brigade Leader. 

He uses up the last flicker of power to convince them it's worth helping him to get it working again.

Stahlmann's sounding a bit odd on the wireless there. 

He starts to raise the heat shield... 

Oh dear, he's changed into one of those green dogs! 


MAW Holmes@MAW_H Green dogs and ham. 

The Doctor sabotages the heat shield door which distracts the Primords while they dash for the (relative) safety of the Brigade Leader's office. 

Benton's doing his wolfman bit now, too. 

Those fake gnashers are terrible. 

Jason McLaughlin@jangomac72  I remember getting a pair like that free with the first issue of Scream comic

Back to good old Sir Keith in "our" universe.  

Great fake travelling acting here from both him & the driver. 

The driver admits Stahlman bribed him to delay Sir Keith. 

"Keep your eyes on the road!" Oh no! 

They could have done with Sir Keith for the Invasion. Cybermen? Gold? Get it? Oh, please yourself.

Back to the parallel world for another cliffhanger - Attack of the green dogs! 








A giant fire extinguisher! Great stuff! 


Those hazy, woozy, outdoor shots showing the heat consuming the planet are brilliant.  

You really believe this world is ending. 

The tension is tangible; such a great atmosphere in this story. The feeling of doom is so oppressive.

50dw50@50dw50 has to be said this has to be one of the most unrelentingly grim Who story ever!
MAW Holmes@MAW_H I like that sense of being on edge all of the time though... It's very rare in telly stuff nowadays...
50dw50@50dw50 i think it was unusual then, Doctor Who was rarely this devoid of hope
Jason McLaughlin@jangomac72 The thing that adds to the tension is the complete lack of incidental music, the slow rumbling of the Inferno project is the thing that adds tension and I love how it slowly builds as the story goes along.
50dw50@50dw50 its a really horrible idea, how did kids sleep after imagining being roasted alive?
MAW Holmes@MAW_H I always imagine that the kids probably love that sort of stuff, but as for their bonkers parents... 
Ah, plus ├ža regenerate...!
Back in our universe... 

He says "he's too busy to waste time bandying words with a pompous military idiot", SIR! 

Everyone is at a loose end without Doctor Who. Sutton goes to see Liz. 


In the parallel universe, it's not just the ground that's shaking... 

Like all bullies, the Brigade Leader is a coward underneath. 

It's those little wobbles amongst the roaring bluster that are much subtler than any obvious breakdown. 

Sutton is the latest to turn his nose up at the TARDIS console. 

But the Doctor has a doozy of a comeback for him. 

"A few seconds are all I need!" Too much information. 

Uh-oh, Petra's going to have to rewire the whole thing. 


Bek Hobbes@Greebobek But, hold on, she is a woman... Uh oh! #1970sSexism 


MAW Holmes@MAW_H Nuclear reactors were so much simpler then... All you really needed was a screwdriver and the Haynes manual... 

If the explosions reach the nuclear reactor this'll be an episode shorter! 

Green Dog Stahlmann's trying it on again, and the Brigade Leader puts him down... 

The gang make it back to the TARDIS shack but the Brigade Leader kicks off so Sutton lamps him. 

"Do you want to end your lives fighting like animals?" AKA "If we fight like animals, we die like animals!" 

Petra's dashed back to finish the job. 


You just can't keep Stahlmann down. 

Unless you're Greg Sutton. 

Shocking stuff as Liz shoots the Brigade Leader so the Doctor can get back and save our world... 


Volcanoes erupt in England... 

Lava rolls towards them... Terrifying cliffhanger. 

John Mark Frankland@JMFrankland Probably the best cliffhanger ever, though Part 5 comes close.
50dw50@50dw50 right children, off to bed, sleep well... stop crying!

MAW Holmes@MAW_H Barbecue tomorrow...! What...? WHAT?!


I can really feel that heat now. Oh wait, that's the radiator. 


Great memories of seeing this ep (7) on the Pertwee Years video. Odd seeing just that 1 ep with no parallel Earth stuff! 


Eerie music as - just like that - the Doctor's back. 

Do we even pause to think... but the others are dead, aren't they? 

MAW Holmes@MAW_H We've had a week to forget all about them... 

"You go and soften him up and I'll close in for the kill!" Petra and Greg are a team now. 

Stahlman's already losing it. 


The Brigadier needs the Doctor to snap out of his coma. 

MAW Holmes@MAW_H JP's CV: "Coma, coma, coma, coma, coma, comedian..."

He comas and goes...

Petra's grown accustomed to Greg's face. 


Number Two output pipes blows. It's happening again... 

The Doctor predicts which output pipe will blow next, but doesn't have the lottery numbers or owt. 

He saves them all even in a coma. Skills. 

The Doctor wakes up... 
But what's this? Sir Keith has survived his car crash! 

"You're not dead! That's excellent!"

"Yes, I think so too!" 

"So free will is not an illusion after all!" 

Wonderful line, wonderful implications for all of Doctor Who storytelling. 

And it means that the disaster can be prevented! 


The Doctor wastes no time in sabotaging the drilling. 

Stahlman drives out all the technicians and accelerates not only the drilling but also his own transformation... 

Phil Creighton@phil_creighton That moment is why I'm convinced he is possessed long before he touches the goo
You mean before he touched it in part 2?
Phil Creighton@phil_creighton The story opens with Stalhman knowing pipe 2 been leaking for several days, ergo he could be under influence b4 story opens
I see what you mean, yes, that works. S'pose they're drilling for "Stahlman's gas" i.e. his discovery, so he may have had at least some exposure at the discovery!
Phil Creighton@phil_creighton Of course, he's an unpleasant man all round. All indications are he's always been that way.
Some of this stuff chasing the proto-primords round the site are a bit of water-treading to be honest, rehashing the 1st two eps. 


MAW Holmes@MAW_H To be fair, our tiny brains had really had five weeks to forget about this stuff, though... 


A bit like the Silurians, we're into shutting down sections to stop an out of control nuclear reactor... 

Withgreen dog Stahlman put extinguished... 


The Doctor and Sutton stop the drill in the nick of time!  

Hurrah! 


Time for one last comedy argument between the Doctor and Brigadier, though! 

The Brigadier disses the TARDIS so the Doctor takes off... 

...only to land a few seconds forward in time, and a few hundred yards due east in space: the rubbish tip. 

"Pompous, self-opinionated, idiot, I believe you said, Doctor?"

"Well, we don't want to bear a grudge... put on a smile!" Cracking. 

And it's a bittersweet goodbye to Liz Shaw and Caroline John. 

TTFN! K.
Coming Soon... Turn Left

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