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12 May 2014

Will Brooks’ 50 Year Diary - watching Doctor Who one episode a day from the very start... 

Day 497: The Invasion of Time, Episode Three

Dear diary,

Now, this is more like it! Everything is starting to lock into place, now, and the Doctor’s actions - and motives - are becoming clearer. As I’ve said before, it was likely that the alien invaders were inside the Doctor’s mind, and it turns out that they were simply reading his thoughts rather than actively controlling his actions. Still, it does explain why he was so out of character for those first couple of episodes, because a single stray thought would have led him to danger. How very like the Doctor to just go along with things, safe in the knowledge that he’d be able to sort it all out in the end.

Even Emma has been enjoying things more today than at any prior point in the story. She’s resorted to giggling every time K9 turns up on the screen (oh, who am I kidding? I’m doing exactly the same thing. Now that he’s such a part of the team, I can’t help but love the TARDIS pet - even if he is still noisy!), and she’s enjoying the fact that the monsters are so obviously made out of tin foil. The one thing that’s still really niggling her is the fact that Gallifrey seems to have bought in a bulk lot of this ‘tacky plastic rubbish’ an resorted to decorating the Citadel with it. Today, we follow characters down a corridor which has sets of green chairs placed at regular intervals, which makes it look somewhat like a waiting room at the Dentist.

My issue with Gallifrey is the leaves on the trees - they’re not silver at all, as Susan promised way back during her description of the planet in The Sensorites. That said, I like to imagine that there are artificial trees inside the Citadel which do relate to her colour scheme: Rodan clearly knows little about the world outside the glass dome, and I like to imagine that Susan was much the same, before she fled the planet with her grandfather in a rackety old TARDIS. I can’t help but love the vivid orange hue to all these outdoor scenes, though, and it contrasts very nicely with the greys and greens of the interiors. It really helps to make the outside look dangerous and alien - I’m enjoying the switching back and forth.

It has the added bonus of returning Leela to her roots, too. She’s never really grown out of her ‘savage’ persona, and that’s a good thing - she feels much more developed than perhaps any other companion up to this point. Whereas many start off with a distinct character ‘thing’ which then gets lost slowly as the stories go by (Susan is alien and weird! Sarah Jane is a journalist!), Leela has always felt like the same character throughout. That’s not to say that she hasn’t seen any development - I’ve really enjoyed watching her interactions with the Doctor, and the way their relationship has moved. It’s always been very much the role of teacher and student (I think the Doctor simply likes having someone he can show off to), but Leela feels as though she’s genuinely learning something from her time in the TARDIS.

I know that she’s off in a couple of episodes time, to stay behind on Gallifrey, and I’m really rather hoping that she gets to spend some time out here in the wilds of the planet. Although she’ll hook up with Andred (and later, in the audios, effectively become Romana’s bodyguard), it would be a crying shame to see her stuck in a life of luxury (read that as ‘boredom’) inside the Citadel. Im genuinely quite sad to know she’s off - though I’m glad she’s leaving on a high - because I’ve really grown to love Leela over her time in the programme. Even Emma concedes that she ‘kicks ass’… 

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