Will Brooks’ 50 Year Diary - watching Doctor Who one episode a day from the very start...
Day Twenty-Three - The Screaming Jungle (The Keys of Marinus, Episode Three)
This week, Doctor Who's friends take on the living jungle…
I'm sorry. I've been quite enjoying the episodes for a while, now. They've all been a fairly consistent quality. I've given out more 7/10's in a row than is perhaps reasonable. Today, though… there's just something missing. I was bored during this episode.
Truth be told, I'm surprised by this. We get to spend much of the episode largely in the company of William Russell and Jacqueline Hill. I've raved enough about them since the start of this project for you to know how highly I rate the pair, so I was looking forward to spending time with them.
About halfway through, Susan and our 'temporary regulars' (as I'll be calling them) are dispatched onwards to the next part of the journey, handily getting them out of the way to spend more time with my two favourites.
It's all just a bit like filler, though, isn't it? They find the kay relatively quickly once they arrive in their new location, and a bit of drama is injected when Barbara is kidnapped by a revolving statue. As if we then needed things to be dragged out further, it transpires that what they've found isn't the key, but a replica, so they'll need to journey deeper into the vegetation.
All the stuff then, with the booby traps and searching for the key based on a cryptic string of numbers and letters… It's the first time, really, that I've found myself wondering how much longer is left before the end of the episode. That's not something that you want to feel toward Doctor Who.
Still, it's not all doom and gloom. I liked the design of the story - the jungle itself looked rather good, and the invasion of the plants at the end was pulled off better than I might have expected it to be.
It's just a shame that in a story I praised yesterday for being able to have a new location in every episode, being the complete antithesis to Marco Polo, which felt like it was bound in one place (despite being wonderful throughout), has left me cold in what should be a really interesting new environment.
It's a woefully short entry, today, but I really don't have all that much to say, I'm afraid. I'm going to have to leave this one with a;
Next episode; The Snows of Terror