Monday, February 14, 2011

Thoughts on Season 9

A season of two halves? Well, not quite halves. The first three stories: Day of the Daleks; The Curse of Peladon & The Sea Devils are all pretty good. Whilst the 'The Mutants' & 'The Time Monster' are both a little meh.

The production team - wisely - used The Master only twice this time but as I've pointed out in individual blogs the problem with an even semi-regular appearance of the Master is that he's got to be beaten by the Doctor & he has to live to fight another day. I'm growing increasingly fond of my theory that this is a Timelord game to keep the Doctor occupied when in exile.

I'm getting more used to Pertwee's Doctor. He's grown less grumpy, although he does still take it out on the Brig. The UNIT team is at its most comfortable now. Usually all the regulars: Jo, the Brig, Captain Yates & Sargeant Benton get a run out, along with Bessie. Even though they only feature in two of the five stories.

Having said that I'm still not as fond of Pertwee's Doctor as I was of Troughton's. I'm not sure why. I didn't grow up with either Doctor so there's no nostalgia involved. There's still two more Pertwee seasons to go so perhaps I'll be able to put my finger on what it is, maybe it is just that Troughton is the better actor? I don't think Troughton's stories were better written, directed or produced. I think it just comes down to a personal judgement.

Jo Grant (Katy Manning) is the regular assistant for Season 9 - as Season 8. Now despite the fact that I find some of Katy Manning's performance cheese curlingly hamtasatic there's something loveable about Jo as a character. Jo's relationship with the Third Doctor is one of the closest Doctor-Companion relationships in the series so far. Jo regular does idiotically heroic things to save the Doctor, which puts her life in constant peril. Even when the Doctor explicitely tells her not to. It's quite lovely in its way so perhaps I'm being harsh of Katy Manning's performance.

So I think overall more consistent than Season 8 but still in the shadow of Season 7. But I'd be surprised if anything matches the consistent brilliance of that season in the remainder of the Pertwee era.

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