I think we can all agree that there are two main interesting parts to this story. Both of which have to do with gender roles.
Aside from Susan’s whiny disapproval of arranged marriages, not saying I am for them, I think the winner of main feminine equality story went to Deborah. It was good to hear that she had an area of expertise in history. I also feel it was very thoughtful of the writers to have her try to manipulate time “for the better.” And equally wise that it failed. I don’t think it wise to wish changes of the past. Not that everything that has happened is good, but it certainly has happened and it shapes each of us today. The wisest move is to learn from the past. Now that is the opinion of one who does not have time travel capabilities. If time were to be “timey-whimey” from my point if view, who knows if my view would change. Or if not my opinion, then my actions.
Then we have the Doctor and his love interest. I am happy that he went for an intelligent woman. (I have to say I think Tony did pretty well in this area as well.) Although I do wish that The Doctor’s selfish use of the relationship would have been a bit more transparent to her.
- Story Grade: B-
Well, this is going to be boring. As one of our readers pointed out, the “milk” of this blog would be the disagreements that come out of these episodes; disagreements that would pin my views against my wife’s, something that sounds horrendously attractive to all married men. I could just say that I am agreeing in order to keep the boat afloat, but the truth is that the water is shallow with this story, there isn’t much to disagree on to capsize this 2-person vessel.
Now, I am going to be lazy, yet again, and paste my notes below. I apologize for this, but as we had a bit of a hiccup in the schedule, I find it best to paste my thoughts as they happened (rather than try to remember a story from multiple days ago, a story buried by a surprisingly good Sensorites story… but that’s for another time).
So here it is, my “cheating” for this blog entry (Please, BBWAA, do not let this sway your vote against me for the Hall of Fame, it’s not like I took PEDs when there was a definitive rule excluding usage of PEDs… my bad, that’s literally “inside baseball”):
- I LOVE the TARDIS miniature model prop. I just picture myself owning this TARDIS and imagining how cool it’d be. I could hold it in my HAND… oh the ego trip this wild fantasy would spawn.
- Barbara is a reincarnated high priestess, which is fun to see, since it gives her a new role to play.
- Oh, the fight scenes! The fight scene in the beginning (practice spar to show Ian the ropes) was well choreographed *sarcasm*. The slow motion moves paired with deliberate placement by the actors make this tough and fun to watch all at the same time.
- Barbara is trying to make a point as a high priestess, do not make sacrifices and embrace peace. Very commendable, especially when it is all done for only a bit of rain.
- It is also strange that The Doctor is willing to let the Aztecs sacrifice a man, in fact, he is mad that Barbara pardoned the man.
- There is so much silence, so little dialogue, that it makes the episode that much more different from the new series.
- The Doctor plays the role of the flirt in order to get information from a gardener. Even going as far as getting engaged, I guess that River Song was not the first in line for marriage (and the Aztec lady may not even be the first).
- Barbara is tested time and again by a small group of men that believe that she is not a god.
- Wow, cloth/leather can hold up a large stone?
- I have never been a fan of historical stories, they usually ignore the facts and over simplify things.
- The easily spotted backdrops look awesomely cheap, oh the olden days’ version of ‘special effects’. It’s easy to see how early British television was modeled on theatre.
- Well, at least the writer (John Lucarotti, same as Marco Polo) said that time could not just be rewritten for entire civilizations, but a difference can be made in one man. It wasn’t the easiest message to see fully played out, but at least it was covered at the end.
- Story Grade: C+
- It is probably my personal preference that is keeping this story from being graded more favorably. I prefer adventures in space, alien lands, and the future; very few historical stories get me going. Still, the story had many underlying themes and tones (see Jael’s review specifically), for those points made I am appreciative.
Thank you, Mr. Lucarotti, for making this time-period piece a 4-part story and not a long drawn out story like your previous effort. Thank you, prop development team, for developing such an enviable piece of history, the mini model TARDIS.
(Thank you, MLB for creating such an unnecessary mess when it comes to the Hall of Fame. We couldn’t have written clearer rules AND stricter punishments? How about, “you get caught cheating [using PEDs] and you have your contract terminated, you are no longer allowed within an MLB stadium, and your future considerations for the hall of Fame are null and void.”?)