Monday, 3 August 2015

The Creature from the Pit

The jungle planet of Chloris, at night...

Not too sure what this poor beggar's supposed to have done, but into the pit he goes!
Unusual TARDIS flight here - where exactly is it travelling? The vortex? Near a sun?

K9's reading Peter Rabbit to the Doctor. In the wrong voice!
50dw50@50dw50 faKe 9

Bit of foreshadowing there, as mentions of the minotaur etc. set up The Horns of Nimon for later.

Romana wants to test out the distress call receiver she's unearthed in his box of tat...

It receives a signal the minute it's activated, and the TARDIS lurches off to find the source.

As always, K9 has "insufficient data." He wants to change mobile networks, never seems to have enough data to do anything.

All fake jungles look great on film. Definitely should have done the same for Deva Loka in Kinda.
I'm The Batman@MGW_007 always amazes me how they managed to make stuff look worse years later - Warriors of the Deep I'm looking at you!

50dw50@50dw50 its an amazing jungle, really good when you think in a couple of years time the poor one they have in Kinda

Simon Hart@Si_Hart It has a really great jungle set- as good as the one for Planet of Evil, but not as lauded cos it's in the Williams era.

The Doctor finds what he thinks is a giant - broken - metal eggshell in the jungle outside.

"Why doesn't it lie down to reason?" Spot the Douglas Adams script-editing...
50dw50@50dw50 The Wolf-weeds are great. There is an argument that there are no good monsters in the 80's
Nonsense! There's loads. They just didn't get the chance to come back and join the pantheon of returnees.
I'm The Batman@MGW_007 wouldn't say none, but it hadn't moved on as you'd expect.
50dw50@50dw50 quite right, i am waiting for the return of the Bandrils!

The Huntsman arrives to crack the whip.

It's Old Mother! She's gone up in the world since discovering fire!

The Doctor is bemused when Karela informs him that his "Commander" has told her the blue box is theirs.

The Doctor is put in old fashioned stocks and he & Romana are marched through the jungle.

Bandits attack and capture Romana!

Karela orders them on, her only thought for Romana being "pray that they kill her quickly!"

The leader of the bandits, Torvin, is admiring his stash of rusty metal when the others haul Romana in.

"What use is she? I mean, she's not metal, is she?"
I'm The Batman@MGW_007 he's really not thought it through...
One thing the Graham Willaims era does well is strong female characters & The Creature from the Pit has two in Adrasta & Karela. Well, three, because there's Romana obviously!

She's *very* haughty with the bandits.

This is actually her 1st story as Romana, filmed before but shown after both Destiny of the Daleks and City of Death

The Doctor persuades the guards to scratch his itchy nose... and nuts them.

But he only gets as far as the door when Lady Adrasta appears to question him, all sweetness and light.

Adrasta is curious about his suggestion that the metal object in the "place of Death" could be an egg...

Meanwhile, Romana is easily able to trick the bandits...

...into summoning the very snippy faKe9.

The Doctor suggests the egg is screaming "are you my mummy?" so Adrasta summons her engineers.

I bet that Doran's handy in a fight.

"To be fair, I did have a couple of gadgets which he probably didn't, like a teaspoon and an open mind."

Torvin fancies a bit of K9 but gets shot down. Literally.

"We call it The Pit. It used to be called Bill then the Pit formerly known as Bill, now just The Pit."

If the Pit was Ingrid, shouldn't it Karate chop Erato?

Romana and K9 arrive...

...but the huntsman unleashes the Wolfweeds.

Hey guess what the cliffhanger to Part 1 is? Yep, the Doctor goes into the Pit - but deliberately! 

The Doctor's only pretending to have fallen down the pit, he's hanging on to the wall, still near the top.
Adrasta tries to force Romana to share what the Doctor found out about the "egg".

Would've thought the Doctor knew some Tibetan. He has been there at least twice before.
I'm The Batman@MGW_007 it is funny though, just happening to have that book in his pocket.

His pockets are... (wait for it)... *BIGGER ON THE INSIDE*!!

I'm The Batman@MGW_007 of course! Don't know how he ever finds what he wants in there though in that case...

The Doctor ends up falling down the pit anyway.

He finds the doomed Doran at the bottom... dead.

"We call it... the creature!" Adrasta is less than forthcoming about the pit's inhabitant.

Romana gets a slap in the face for not answering Adrasta's questions.

The volatile ruler suddenly takes an interest in faKe9 when she discovers he's made of metal...

Following a green glowing light, the Doctor finds his way into another chamber.

Erato doing Uncle Tewwy proud there. Looking quite "proud" himself, actually.

Having evaded the creature, he unexpectedly meets a strange bearded man...

I've never seen this resemblance between Geoffrey Bayldon & William Hartnell that so many swear by. No question he's pure class, just no kind of ringer for Hartnell! It'd be great to have him back now. Think it's based on that "memory cheats" version of Hartnell as a high-voiced doddery old man. Which is how we got Richard Hurndall. Bayldon's more like the Cushing "Dr. Who" than he is Hartnell!
50dw50@50dw50 and still alive today, would have been interesting for the 50th. I think it is more that he was offered the role before Hartnell. 
Was he? I know Leslie French was first choice.
50dw50@50dw50 he tells people he was.
Well I think ity most likely he's mistaken there. Certainly Verity Lambert often said Leslie French was first choice (not *her* first choice, but certainly the top of the committee's list) and when he proved unavailable she went after Hartnell.
Chris@KosmicKris have you heard the Unbound Big Finish stories Bayldon is in? He’s the best Doctor we never had #thereisaidit
He's fantastic as an alternative non-Hartnell 1st Doctor, but must admit I prefer David Warner's 3rd Doctor.
Chris@KosmicKris Warner is great .. But comes 3rd in my Unbound list: Bayldon and the the amazingly sinister Collings just nick it for me ;)
I'm The Batman@MGW_007 haven't heard that one yet, but David Warner was very good.

Romana is able to gain a reprieve for faKe9 when she tells Adrasta that the information she needs is in faKe9's databanks.

Organon tells the Doctor that because metal is so rare on Chloris, it's a precious commodity.

"Astrologer extraordinary. Seer to princes and emperors. The future foretold, the past explained, the present apologised for."

Organon got thrown down the pit when he predicted Adrasta would have visitors from the stars.

He's survived down the pit on the scraps thrown for the creature.

Torvin realizes that the palace won't be defended if the guards are all out searching for them, and plots a raid.

Down t'pit, the Doctor notes that the current metal shortage allows Adrasta to maintain a monopoly. 

Creature ahoy!

With all apologies to David Brierley, I really can't stand his K9. John Leeson all the way I'm afraid.
Chris@KosmicKris And agreed Brierley is no Leeson! Leeson really inhabits the part of K9

Adrasta plots to take faKe9 down t'pit to kill the creature.
The Creature is warded off by the heat from Organon's candle.

When the Doctor wants to give chase, Organon thinks he's mad!

Adrasta and Karela plot to nick the TARDIS.

"If I say you're made of tin, you horrible little animal, you're made of tin!"

The big green blob sits on Tom's face. 

Average night out for him, End of Part 2 for us!

Organon appeals to Adrasta's guards for help...

...but they take cover and the Creature spins a solid door between them and the Doctor.

The Doctor is in fact fine on the other side, as the Creature has shuffled off.

Torvin & the bandits prepare to begin their raid on the palace.

News filters back to Adrasta that the Creature has been located.

The Doctor finds some more examples of the Creature's metalwork and pockets a few for more detailed examination later.

The Creature seems to have calmed down a bit so the Doctor tries to convince it he's friendly. 

Now what's the best way to do that?

"So how do we communicate?" Well, not like *that* for a start! Talk about setting a bad example...
Tim@parks8472 Should take a leaf out of Pertwee's book from Peladon and sing it a little song :D

"Hello, I am the Doctor! Friend, friend!" *Very* friendly.
I'm The Batman‏@MGW_007
x 1000 


The Creature tries to illustrate how it normally communicates. Shame it's so crap at pictionary.

The Doctor's seen that somewhere before - in Adrasta's palace, where it's currently attracting the attention of Torvin's bandits.

The Doctor agrees to retrieve the Creature's communicator from Adrasta & finds more pieces of "eggshell."

Romana and Organon try to break on through to the other side, while the Seer contemplates the Doctor's horoscope.

faKe9 is, of course, useless.

Adrasta is not best pleased to find Organon lives. "I'm sorry, my lady, it was an oversight."
Torvin and his mob have pinched the all-important communicator device, which has a strange effect on them. 

Just when Romana & Adrasta have concluded it's impossible to break through the shell...

The Doctor simply walks through it. You know, the wall that K9's laser couldn't penetrate.

The Doctor claims to have been born under the sign of The Crossed Computers. Is that a Gallifreyan pub?
I'm The Batman@MGW_007 probably, and very apt for Tom!

Adrasta already knows the Creature can't talk. Funny that.

Adrasta threatens Romana to force the Doctor to set faKe9 on the Creature.
50dw50@50dw50 point the dog against the rock! #bestlineever
I'm The Batman@MGW_007 definitely sounds like some kind of euphemism! Not sure what for though.....
50dw50@50dw50 sometimes a robot dog is just a robot dog
I'm The Batman@MGW_007 and sometimes it's a penis.

Always embarassing when you get those two mixed up.

Adrasta lets slip that the Creature is a Tythonian. She knows much more than she's telling, obviously.

K9 blasts the guards, freeing Romana, but now the Creature looms towards them. Towards Adrasta, anyway.

The bandits arrive, bringing the glowing device closer and closer to the Creature...

End of Part 3! Always wierd when the cliffhanger is the Villain in danger!

The Doctor guides Adrasta to the Creature, and takes hold of the device...

Suddenly the Doctor's voice fills the cavern, but it's not him speaking, it's the Creature!

It's the Creature, who communicates using the voice of whoever touches the translator device.

The Creature is named Erato & he's the Tythonian High Ambassador, who came to trade for Chlorophyll.
I'm The Batman@MGW_007 I most emphatically do not eat people!
"Overpowered by the Wolfweeds." We've all been there, mate.

Adrasta's on 'Who on Earth is Tom Baker?': "It's the ravings of a demented space tramp!" (5 stars).

Let's be honest, this story finishes 5 minutes into part 4.

With Adrasta's monopolisation and mistreatment of Erato exposed, the Huntsman turns on her.

Next up on Erato Karaoke, it's Adrasta.

Having used her own voice to condemn her, Erato takes his revenge and kills Adrasta...

...then apologizes. "I'm sorry for all the unpleasantness." 

Organon makes himself at home in the palace now that Adrasta's gone.

Turns out the Doctor doesn't quite believe that the Creature is on the level.

The bandits are on their merry way, pleased that the Tythonians will be bringing more metal. The "eggshell" is a form of space capsule that the Tythonians spin for themselves.It's Kill the Moon all over again - first! 

Organon forecasts "strange pertubations in the sky!" So, rain, then?

With Erato freed from the pit, Romana tries Erato karaoke, and the Tythonian admits that his people will have launched a neutron star towards Chloris when he failed to return.

All this blah about a distress call and a Tythonian revenge attack feels so tagged on.
I'm The Batman@MGW_007 how can there be 15 minutes left now it's all sorted? 

50dw50@50dw50 as you both say, the plots over, better stick in a quick ticking bomb plot

50dw50@50dw50 Do we think the bandits are anti-Semitic stereotypes?
I'm The Batman@MGW_007 nah, sometimes bandits are just bandits. And sometimes they are a penis.
Only in the sense that Torvin's performance is an almost note for note rip off of (specifically Ron Moody's) Fagin.
Gareth Kavanagh@Garethothevworp Never got that criticism either. It's anti-semetic because it's ripping off an earlier Jewish stereotype?

I guess the argument is that it perpetuates the stereotype? Though he's obviously doing Ron Moody, whose Fagin is much less stereotypical than almost any other version of Fagin.
Gareth Kavanagh@Garethothevworp Indeed. I mean, what do the bandits do that mark them out as Jewish, besides one for them apeing Moody?
I'm The Batman@MGW_007 my head hurts!

You've got to take a paracetamol or two.

The Doctor has a plan to use the TARDIS' gravity to deflect the approaching neutron star. 

He'll need the help of Erato, in his repaired egg-ship.
50dw50@50dw50  the inside of the TARDIS has gone all Top Of The Pops
I'm The Batman@MGW_007 where are Pan's People?
50dw50@50dw50 servicing the creature....
I'm The Batman@MGW_007 the creature gets all the fun...
Gareth Kavanagh@Garethothevworp The creature deserves it after 30 years in the pit!
50dw50@50dw50 they would not be able to dance for a month after that.

With the planet saved, the Doctor has one last prezzie for Organon - a draft trade contract from Erato and the Tythonians.

"It was written in the stars!".

Don't really understand The Creature from the Pit's poor reputation; one of those very silly quirks of fan wisdom, I think.  

A throwback to a time when the personal taste of 1 or 2 authors were accepted as gospel and internalised. 
Gareth Kavanagh@Garethothevworp Interesting how these opinions stick without any real analysis or debate.

It's unquestionably light-hearted in parts, but like most of season 17 it sings, with swagger and joie de vivre. There's so much to enjoy. Tom's in fine fettle, and Adrasta, Karela & Organon are all brilliant.
John Mark Frankland@JMFrankland I watched The Creature from the Pit with a friend once, and he throughly enjoyed it. Didn't see what the problem was... 

It's a hoot! Erato is a perfectly acceptable general blob monster in truth, but we've spent 35 years with received fan wisdom.
John Mark Frankland@JMFrankland Which helps to confirm my theory that those not versed in Who or fandom cant do not have same prejudices as we do

V. true, that last DWM 50 yrs survey was very revealing in younger age groups' ratings of stories long portrayed as stinkers.

John Mark Frankland@JMFrankland We watched Androzani after, and he throughly enjoyed too that in the same way. So what do we know?
Vincent Jones@Bunny_Snuggler Agreed! It's a bloody good story! Never understood how people big up Robots of death, and dismiss this!

Coming Soon: Meglos

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