Saturday, 19 December 2015

The Leisure Hive

That first star in Tom's version of this title sequence always looks a bit reddy pink. Odd that.

Must have been such a shock to the system this version of the theme.

Other Pete@other_pete I wonder if Tom's departure felt due then, or if it seemed like this 'regeneration' would see him a few more years?

Even with this never ending tracking shot...

 ...this episode is shorter than average.

K9 looks weird trundling across the beach.

"He's fallen in the water!" 

50dw50@50dw50 K9 being a bit dim or a producer anxious to be rid of him?
Mark@Th3DarkMark like he would be stupid enough to go into the water.

Tom's new outfit is odd. Uniform in every sense, but retaining the basic shape of his usual outfit.

M.R.Michael@The_Cybermatt I like it circles back to his season 12 "red" colour scheme.

Yeah. I think over time the S12 look has become my favourite.

Other Pete@other_pete JNT: It's time to get rid of Who icons that've had their time. Tom: I agree! Bye K9, bye Lalla! JNT: Ummm..

She blames the Doctor, but that was totally Romana's fault. Although K9 could actually have, you know, stopped.

"This is the second time I've missed the opening of the Brighton Pavilion."

Romana fancies a trip to Argolis...

Love the incidental music on this season.

Chris@KosmicKris This incidental music (and throughout season 18) is brilliant - it really felt different!

What a weird shot that is, pulling back from the Doctor and Romana right out into space.

M.R.Michael@The_Cybermatt I love this - it's like the opposite of the start of Rose - showing a corner of England as part of a huge universe.

That's a great point :-)

Chris@KosmicKris it’s not exactly ILM but when I first saw the Magic Quantel effect I was open mouthed :)

Argolis doesn't look all that impressive, but when you think back to stories like the Sunmakers and Destiny of the Daleks this does look *much* glossier.

50dw50@50dw50 cannot say i would fancy it for a holiday, it even makes Centre Parks look fun.

Morix, leader of the Argolins, listens to bad news from the Hive's Earth agent, Brock. 

Profits are down.

The Hive is the last remaining habitation of the Argolins, sitting among the radioactive wasteland left by a devastating war between the Argolins and their age old enemies, the reptilian Foamasi.

Pangol is sceptical that Brock can deliver good news...

...even if he's bringing it in person.

The impetuous Pangol is summoned away to demonstrate zero gravity squash to newly arrived tourists.

As the Doctor and Romana arrive to see the leisure activities, and immediately clock that Argolin technology is based on the science of Tachyonics...

...Brock seems to counsel selling the Hive to the Foamasi, the reptilian race with whom they went to war.

Morix grows old before their eyes.

The planet's radioactive surface is only habitable by reptilian races like the Foamasi.

Nice shot of monster's shadows outside the Hive.
Chris@KosmicKris Lovett Bickford does a stunning job on this - wish we’d have seen more of his direction. I love him in the extras - in fact I’d go as far to say as this ‘Making of’ is one of the best out there!

I find this quite a lot with JNT's era, but you know what, there's just not enough of the Doctor in this.

Brock and his silent partner are helpless as Morix gasps his last...

...and fades to grey.

I know that famously the director took ages & got badly behind time...

...but the camera work on this is great; unusual angles and lighting.

It's really weird seeing the ceilings of sets.

This is really a season 17 script with a textbook dumped in the middle.

Suddenly the Doctor's called into action when one of the holiday makers dies in an horrific science-y accident.

Guess who the locals fancy as the responsible party?

The woman in the rejuvenation experiment looks a bit like one of the sisterhood of Karn.

The Doctor's brought before Morix's successor, Mena, who believes time experiments can save their race.

Blamed for the death, the Doctor & Romana make a getaway via the zero G squash court.

Of course the Doctor and Romana weren't fooled by the badly photoshopped yoofing vid.

The Doctor wants a closer look at the machine...

...but as he sells Romana a dummy...

...a scaly claw interferes.

Great cliffhanger! How's he going to get out of that!

50dw50@50dw50 needle and thread?

Mark@Th3DarkMark first saw this a few years back, and remember just laughing at that bit!

This has a loooooooong recap! Another JNT hallmark.

Ah, he's fine. 

It was only the image that lost its limbs, the Doctor cut his way out of the back before the same thing happened to him. Bit like a magician's trick where they stick swords through the box, that.

"How did you get out?" 

"Through a hole in the back." 
"But there isn't one."
"There is now."

Earth scientist Hardin arrives but doesn't seem to share Mena's confidence in his own experiments.

50dw50@50dw50 Hardin, one of the characters in Dr Who history who most feared the typo.

Outed as experts in time travel, the Doctor and Romana are co-opted into assisting Hardin run some last minute tests on his supposedly successful experiment.

Great lighting on this scene where they look out onto the surface of the planet.

The war has made the Argolins sterile & the Hive is their monument, which explains why they're reluctant to sell.

The scaly claw knackers the fibre optics & Mena's broadband goes down.

Mark@Th3DarkMark do you reckon they're on Sky?

Mena takes a turn for the worse, as she begins to suffer the same rapid aging process that finished off Morix earlier.

Hardin's colleague Stimson berates the dithering scientist. What's he so afraid of?

Hardin admits to Romana that the experiment doesn't really work.

Stimson wants a word with Brock, and goes to his room...

...where he gets more than he bargained for.

That Foamasi deliberately stood on those glasses. What an arse.

50dw50@50dw50 the cut out the next scene where it was jumping around with glass shards embedded in its foot.

Those vacuum formed "statues" were a mistake.

Ugh. Boring scientific-sounding but actually nonsensical experiment. Bore off. 

Stimson is found apparently strangled by the Doctor's scarf.

"Arrest the scarf!" is the best line in the whole thing. 

50dw50@50dw50 bet it was added by Tom!
Mark@Th3DarkMark he said it with such glee so probably!

The Doctor's asked to swear his innocence before a relic. Won't be the last time this season either.

Question marks on the shirt collar. No

Romana thinks she's fixed Hardin's experiment. Hurrah!

Mark@Th3DarkMark  clever Romana!

Youngster Pangol wants to give the Doctor an old school interrogation.

Chris@KosmicKris Isn’t David Haig brilliant in this - fresh from his Blakes 7 triumph as cocky trooper Forres!

So it's trial by Tachyon generator for the Doctor. Seems like tempting fate after the first cliffhanger.

Oo-er, the egg timer's gone squishy. 

Is that going to happen to Tom?

No, he's just inexplicably aged about 50 years. 

Nowadays part 3 would have Tom's face mocked up old in the titles.

Another mammoth recap. These episodes run short even with these gargantuan recaps.
50dw50@50dw50 Santa! Lalla gets a view of her husbands future no, wonder it did not last.

"What are you all staring at?"
"Have you seen yourself?"

Aye, aye. Something going on between Hardin and Mena, isn't there?

Not content with aging the Doctor, the Argolins now put Star Trek style exploding collars on the Doctor & Romana.

Pangol's a jumped up oik but actually the most watchable character. The others are wet & dull.

Seems Pangol has his own experiments to see to...

"And Romana! I must have her!" Is that jealousy in the dying Mena's expression?

"I'm sick of being old." Was that scripted? It's well known Tom hated staying aged up for so long.

Love the way the twist is staring everyone in the face. No Argolins born for 40 years. 20 year old Pangol.

50dw50@50dw50 that extra looks so thrilled to be there!

Tachyonics is obviously not rocket science. Space shuttle engineering - *that's* rocket science.

Brock reports a mass exodus from Argolis.

Mena has a last resort in mind; open the airlocks and walk onto the surface one last time. Grim.

Pangol has clocked that the group Brock represents are not in fact the Foamasi government; it's a private group.

Romana volunteers to try the re-wired Tachyon generator on herself. If the Doctor has another go he could be dust!

The secret is out: Pangol is the child of the Generator - the one success.
Chris@KosmicKris that was an obvious reveal but I still thought it was effective.

Love the way the berries fall off their heads as the Argolins age to death.

Seeing Romana go into the generator, Pangol maliciously starts the sequence...

Help comes from an unexpected source, though, as she's rescued by a Foamasi.
Simon Hart@Si_Hart I love Romana playing the Doctor again, like in Nimon and doing the big confrontation with the villain. Lalla's great!

Pangol will be the next leader, and he's determined to restore his race's war-like ways.

The Doctor & Romana arrive with their Foamasi chum...

...who goes straight for Brock's throat!

This is the longest recap yet. If they'd ever done one of those omnibus VHS's of this it'd've been about 75 minutes long.

He was a Foamasi the whole time! See, he squeezed into a disguise without the need for fart gags.

Love the Foamasi speaking with Brock's voice, and the glue filament restraints.

Mena collapses, which is bad news for everyone, as it puts Pangol in charge.

"The Helmet of Theron is a call for revenge."

"Theron worshipped the flame of war."

"We, Pangol..."? He's gone a bit Thatcher here.
50dw50@50dw50 at least she was not holding a giant dildo as she said it.
Mark@Th3DarkMark  Sir Humphrey advised against it.

Appearing to the masses holding a giant dildo would be a "courageous" policy, Prime Minister...

Pangol has jumped the gun; Mena's still alive. 

Pangol puts his plan into action, but where's the Doctor headed with the randomiser?

We need the randomiser back. The TARDIS really is just a space-time taxi these days.

No-one heeds Romana's warnings.

Pangol's first act as leader is to blow up the departing Foamasi ship.

His second is to rally a war cry.

Oh dear, Pangols everywhere! 

Hardin comes to Mena's aid, apparently in the nick of time.

When Romana thinks she's done for it, it turns out her guard has a familiar face - or two!

You wait for 1 Tom to turn up, then you get 2 at once. 
50dw50@50dw50 Lalla regularly wakes up screaming at the thought
Mark@Th3DarkMark you beat me to it, lol!

Then they both disappear. Typical.

The Doctor feels real. Mighty?

Hardin battles Pangol to rejuvinate Mena...

"I think I set it on rejuvenation!"
"Anything could happen!"

Well, rejuvenation, presumably. the Doctor lobs the ("f***ing dreary") helmet at the generator.

Pangol's gone back to his whinging, the Foamasi aren't dead after all, and Mena's been yoofed.

So it's job done and goodbye to the Leisure Hive!


Coming Soon... The Wheel in Space

1 comment:

  1. I always get a great nostalgia feeling when revisiting this story. Visually, this was a great start for a new era of Doctor Who. Cinematic camera and lighting, modern-looking sets that allow low angles, a great soundtrack... Though the Argolin's head "berries" falling off was always kind of creepy/gross to me... What could they even be? But I also liked that weird aspect!

    This was really my era of Doctor Who. I was too young for early Tom Baker stories (which I'd see in re-runs of the series), but by this show i was ten, so JNT's era was when i became a fan. I'd watch the older stuff as PBS would re-run it, but it wasn't until late Tom Baker, then Peter Davison and Colin Baker stories that I really attached to the show. i really like the original theme arranged by Delia Derbyshire, but Peter Howell's arrangement is really "my" Doctor Who theme. The incidental music from the series, from this story to the end (except for Keff McCulloch's largely awful stuff) was a strong influence on my developing an interest in music and synthesizers.

    It wasn't until i read about all the behind the scenes stuff in DWM's look at this story that i finally started to understand what it was about this era. For all his flaws, JNT did a good job of making Doctor Who more modern, more sci-fi, and less "for children". I can't stand the "it's for kids" crap that is always hampering the series (including the current new shows). It's just a shame he lost interest. When he lost interest, the show got more fantasy-oriented again. I loved Sylvester McCoy, but i didn't dig the fantasy elements in his stories. I'd rather have the clumsy "current pop science news" sci-fi of JNT's earlier production than the outright fantasy of the latter stories... (and Moffet's, sigh).