Inferno

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Inferno
Is it just me, or is it getting hot in here?
 

Episode 1

InfernoSue: Isn’t this the same location as last week?

The Doctor strolls into this week’s high-tech installation.

Sue: Hang on, isn’t this the same story as last week as well? And the one before that?

But something isn’t quite right at this high-tech installation, and, just as a poor man is about to have his skull caved in by a wrench, we cut to Sergeant Benton hammering a nail into a wall.

Sue: The direction is great, though. I’ll give it that.

Me: And?

Sue: Is this a Camfield? Am I right? Am I a ming-mong?

Nicol: You’re not allowed to use that word anymore.

Me: Thanks, Nicol. Yes, there’s currently a moratorium on the term. Ricky Gervais has ruined it for everyone.

Sue: So what I am supposed to be turning into now?

Me: A specialist. And it’s good of you to admit it.

Sue: I am not a specialist! I can barely remember the title of the last story.

As Christopher Benjamin’s Sir Keith gets the audience up to speed with the drilling project, Sue has other concerns.

InfernoSue: Is that his real nose?

I gently ease her back towards the plot.

Sue: I guess this would have been very topical when it first went out. Wasn’t Britain obsessed with North Sea Gas in the 1970s?

I point out that Sheila Dunn, who is playing Petra, is Douglas Camfield’s wife.

Sue: She’s a looker. She reminds me of a young Anneka Rice. I’m even more impressed with Douglas now. Good for him.

As the Doctor engages in some bitchy sparring with Professor Stahlman, Sue appears to be lapping it up.

Sue: There is some great banter in this story and some very good acting, too. It’s like we’re watching a gritty Play for Today or something.

Nicol: Why is the Doctor dressed as Dracula?

Sue: Yeah, why does he look like he’s always on his way to a graduation ceremony?

Me: Look, he’s the Doctor. You’d better get used to it because he’s actually dressing down at the moment. In fact, he looks like a bank manager compared to Colin Baker’s Doctor.

Sue: I do like his workshop. Very cozy. Some nice carpentry on those bookshelves, too. Yes, very nice.

Meanwhile, a mutating technician breaks into the power reactor.

Sue: It’s not bloody mind control again, is it? Every story has people being taken over by someone or something; it’s getting a bit old now. And does he have bloodstains all over him? That’s a bit much, isn’t it?

In his shed, the Doctor conducts an experiment on the TARDIS console. The result is seriously strange (even for this show).

Sue: Pity any epileptics who happen to be in the audience this week. This is like a really bad acid trip.

InfernoNicol: It’s like a really bad special effect.

Liz cuts the power and the Doctor returns to Earth with a bump.

Sue: Oooh, I bet he hurt his back doing that.

The topic of conversation quickly returns to drill bits.

Sue: Given that everyone is talking about boreholes, I’m actually getting into this story. I’ve got magazines about borehole technology; it’s a subject that is very close to my heart.

I only wish I were making this up.

Me: You are in for a treat with this story, then.

Sue: Well, it’s certainly off to a good start.

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Episode 2

This episode begins as it will continue, with drip-drip tension delivered via the medium of sound; the very same sound effects that have successfully driven Nicol out of the living room.

Sue: Just answer the ****ing phone, will you!

When Pertwee bites the Brigadier’s head off, Sue is aghast.

Sue: The Doctor can be very rude. When does he mellow out a bit?

When Greg Sutton (“That’s Derek Newark. He was in the very first story”/”Why should that interest me?”) sticks his oar in, Sue immediately warms to him.

Sue: Greg is a solid 1970s name. You know where you are with a Greg. You could imagine this Greg going for a pint with the Greg from The Survivors. They’d probably end up arm-wrestling each other.

The story’s location reminds Sue of something else.

Sue: This is like a level from the latest Call of Duty game. They should do a special UNIT level where you have to shoot all the zombie technicians. I bet you’d play it.

InfernoSuddenly, as if on cue, an infected UNIT soldier attacks the Doctor, swinging his rifle like a club.

Sue: So, this really is a zombie movie this week? This is pretty scary stuff and, yet again, definitely not for kids.

As the infected soldier plummets to his death, he lets out a blood-curdling scream.

Sue: What the hell was that terrible noise? It sounded like someone accidentally standing on one of Buffy’s stuffed toys.

Back at the drill head, green ooze starts to seep into the base.

Sue: That’s Swarfega.

Me: I knew you’d spot that.

Sue: I love the smell of Swarfega.

As the tension rises, Sue starts to feel sorry for all the background characters who are dealing with this crap.

Sue: The background noise in this place would drive you mad if you had to work there. It sounds like an amusement arcade.

But at least she’s warming to Liz.

Sue: She’s lovely. She’s a lot less severe than when we first met her. She’s settling in very nicely.

Stahlman ignores the Doctor’s warnings and picks up a flask containing the green ooze.

InfernoSue: They’ll have to chop Stahlman’s hand off now. It’s the only way to be sure.

Instead, the Doctor incapacitates Stahlman with just his fingers.

Sue: That’s very Spock! Hang on a minute, can all the Doctors do that? It’s a brilliant skill to have, so why don’t all the Doctors use it? It’s much better than stupid psychic paper.

When Nicol returns (“Has it finished yet?”), Sue drops a bombshell.

Sue: Nicol, doesn’t Jon Pertwee remind you of your nana?

Nicol: Yeah, a bit. It’s the hair.

And then the Doctor vanishes into thin air.

Sue: Hang on a minute, why did it the TARDIS take his car with it? And why did it leave the nice bookcases behind? That seems a bit arbitrary.

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Episode 3

InfernoMe: It’s around here that Douglas Camfield has a heart attack.

Sue: What? Was he OK?

Me: Yes, he did recover eventually, but the stress and anguish it caused can be seen in the faces of the cast, which, perversely, helps to sell the story. Barry Letts, the show’s producer, took over, using Douglas’ camera scripts.

And then…

Sue: Is that a disco glitter ball?

Sue correctly works out what has happened as soon as she notices that the bookcases have been replaced by nondescript metal shelves.

Sue: So is this like Fringe? We’re in a parallel reality now?

The mysterious signage on the wall simply confirms her theory.

Sue: So, instead of UNIT it’s UNITY? With an extra ‘Y’. Clever.

There then follows a spectacular car chase, as the evil version of HAVOC try to take down the Doctor.

Me: Pertwee really did just run that stuntman over.

Sue: Ouch. Was he OK?

Me: The mudguard sliced through his leg and he needed 18 stitches, I think.

InfernoSue: I’m surprised they didn’t cut away to show all the blood. But I have to admit, this is a great chase sequence. At least it adds to the plot and it doesn’t feel like endless padding. It’s brilliantly directed, too.

Me: Camfield would have been around for the location filming (which was shot before the studio sessions), so this is still him.

Sue: You can tell.

As the Doctor climbs a gantry, Sue decides to fixate on a very small detail.

Sue: K19. That’s a shame.

Me: What?

Sue: K19 is written on the side of that fuel tank. Just think, if it was K9, fans would have puzzled over that for years.

Me: Blimey, I don’t think even a specialist would draw a conclusion like that.

Cornered by a zombie, the Doctor takes him down with the help of a handy fire extinguisher.

Sue: If that was me, I’d have to read the instructions on the side first.

And then the Doctor stumbles into the parallel-Liz.

Sue: Oh, I like Liz’s hair in this universe. It really suits her. I’m not sure about the Nazi uniform, though.

And then we reach that scene, and as the Brigade Leader’s chair spins round.

InfernoSue: Oh my god!

When she has recovered from the shock, I trot out the familiar story.

Me: …and they were all wearing eyepatches!

Sue: That’s very sweet. It’s like the last episode of the latest Matt Smith series where they were all wearing eyepatches. I get it now. Clever.

The Doctor finally realises that he is in a parallel reality.

Sue: It took him far too long to figure that out. I worked it out in half the time.

Me: Maybe the Third Doctor hasn’t seen Fringe.

Sue: So many similarities, he says. Yes, that pretty much sums up the Pertwee era so far.

When Director Stahlman arrives, Sue can’t help but admire the fascists’ fashion sense.

Sue: Everyone looks so much cooler in the parallel universe. Stahlman looks like a bloody rock star.

Sheila Dunn’s alternative hairstyle draws the most attention, most of it nostalgic.

Sue: When I was a bridesmaid in 1970, I had my hair styled exactly like that. I would have looked like Petra’s little sister from the evil universe.

When the Brigade Leader suggests that the Doctor won’t feel the bullets when he’s shot because he doesn’t belong in their universe, Sue laughs on cue.

Sue: That’s a great line. The script is excellent.

When the Doctor uses his new special power on Benton, she is impressed once again.

Sue: I’ll say it again – that’s brilliant. He should use that power more often.

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Episode 4

We are joined, for this episode only, by Sue’s brother, Gary. It took a little persuading given that he is still recovering from The Krotons (and the subsequent death threats), but given that this story is about meeting evil, heartless characters, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

InfernoSue: Gary, don’t you think Jon Pertwee looked like our mam?

Gary: Yeah, our mam crossed with Bea Arthur from The Golden Girls.

Sue: Yes, with a bit of Rod Stewart thrown in.

Me: Sue, please don’t encourage him.

Sue spends far too much time banging on about the colour of Jon Pertwee’s jacket.

Sue: Is it blue? Or black? Or maybe it’s charcoal grey? It’s driving me mad. It’s a different colour in every scene.

As the Doctor begs Liz to believe his tale, Sue begins to feel increasingly sorry for him.

Sue: He really should stop saying, “Elizabeth”. It’s not doing his lisp any favours.

But Liz doesn’t believe him and instead the Doctor is brutally interrogated.

Sue: This is a bit like The Prisoner, I suppose. But when are they going to bring out the waterboard? I mean, what are they actually doing to him that’s so bad? It’s just an anglepoise lamp. Where are the pliers?

The Doctor makes Director Stahlman take off his rock-star gloves so he can prove he has been infected by the evil Swarfega.

Sue: Green gunge is seeping out of his bandage and they still don’t believe him! That’s just stupid.

InfernoGary: What is George from George and Mildred doing on the wall?

I try to ignore that and instead I ask Sue what she makes of Sergeant Benton so far.

Sue: He isn’t really doing anything for me. He’s a bit hammy. Keen. But hammy.

Sue spends the rest of the episode trying (in vain) to explain the plot to a visibly bored Gary.

Sue: And this is a glitter ball that takes us between the universes, and she’s the nice version of the woman we just met, and he’s the nice version of the man we just met. And this man is bloody horrible in both universes.

Gary: It’s all talk and no action.

Sue: We’re watching the worst episode. The others were action-packed. Maybe the stuntmen are visiting that injured stuntman in hospital and they couldn’t put anything on this week.

Gary tries to have the last word by putting down the mutated Bromley.

Gary: It’s like Doddy and the Diddymen.

Sue: Not impressed then, Gary?

Gary: It was marginally better than the last one we saw.

It’s at this point that I finally snap.

Me: Marginally? Marginally! The last five minutes were brilliant!

Sue: The last two minutes, perhaps. Don’t oversell it, love. The rest of it was just going over old ground. It’s a typical middle episode.

Gary: It’s was purgatory.

Me: Is that supposed to be a reference to Dante?

Gary: Dan who?

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Episode 5

Sue: That’s a nice model shot. They really are trying hard this week.

The Doctor, decked out in a fire suit, attempts to cap the bore but he is attacked by Stahlman (also in a fire suit).

Sue: Is that Pertwee spinning through the air like that? He’ll do his back in. Although I’m guessing this must be a pair of stuntman, given that you can’t see their faces. It’s quite clever, really. Unless it is Pertwee spinning around like that, in which case it’s really, really stupid.

The Doctor manages to escape and Stahlman is left to convert the other technicians into horrible monsters.

Sue: He’s rubbing that poor man’s face into the goo like you’d rub a kitten’s face into its own wee.

The mutated Bromley arrives on the scene and the Doctor puts him down with his fire extinguisher.

Sue: It’s rare to see the Doctor kill a living being and not show any emotion about it. It doesn’t feel right to me.

Something else that’s not quite right, is the Brigadier.

InfernoSue: Nicholas Courtney must have enjoyed making this story – it’s a great opportunity for him to show off his acting range. He’s very, very good in this.

When Stahlman reveals his new form, Sue is horrified (for all the wrong reasons).

Sue: So they are werewolves now? How the hell does that work? Are there zombies in the real universe and werewolves in this one? Is that how it works? Does this mean there might be another universe where the Swarfega turns you into a vampires, or a ghost? This is silly. It’s like Planet of the Apes meets Night of the Living Dead. I’m not sure how I feel about these monsters. What’s the point of them?

Me: I think they’re for the kids.

Sue: The kids? The KIDS! Are you serious?

It’s at this point that Benton crashes in like a bull in a china shop, only to be converted for his troubles. As he begins his transformation, I turn to Sue…

Me: Does this remind you of anything else?

Sue: Yes, it’s An American Werewolf in London. A very cheap version. The false teeth are terrible. They look like the sort of teeth you’d find in a tacky joke shop. I’m sure I had a pair once.

Me: Werewolf Benton is a very important part of Doctor Who folklore, so much so, there’s an entire Internet meme dedicated to it. Look -

OK, I know this video has nothing to do with John Levene, but I didn’t know that until it was pointed out to me after I’d watched it (here is the original source, which I didn’t show Sue, which is a shame as she loves watching YouTube videos that feature cats and/or dogs and she probably would have loved it).

Updated: check this out too.

Sue: You Doctor Who fans think you’re so funny.

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Episode 6

InfernoSue: The Brigadier is a cowardly bully in this universe. A right dick. I bet he’ll come good at the end, though. He’ll redeem himself, just you wait and see.

As Greg holds back the advancing primords with some corrugated pipe, Sue believes she has spotted a flaw.

Sue: Greg’s hands should be frozen to that pipe by now. He really should be wearing some gloves. That’s just basic health and safety.

Back in the other universe, Greg calls on Liz, who is still hanging around the Doctor’s shed.

Sue: It’s hard to believe there was a time when an automatic garage door was seen as something magical and awe-inspiring.

Back in the totally screwed universe, things are spiralling out of control.

Sue: Petra looks like she’s having a nervous breakdown. She’s probably thinking about poor old Douglas, bless her.

As the Doctor makes the final preparations for his escape, Sue isn’t convinced.

Sue: How will the Doctor be able to pinpoint the exact same universe on his way back? You know what his track record is like. He’ll probably end up in a completely different parallel universe where the drilling turns everyone into giant squids. Or pandas.

As the Earth tears itself apart, Sue finally gets something spot-on.

Sue: I can tell that you really like this one.

Me: How can you tell?

Sue: You aren’t saying very much and you’re biting your nails. Although, to be fair, this is very intense.

The Brigade Leader starts to fall apart, as his subordinates line-up to belittle him.

InfernoSue: I don’t like them talking to the Brig like this.

Me: It’s not the Brig.

Sue: I know. But it still doesn’t feel right. He’s got a pet-lip on him now. Oh, and now they’ve shot him. But Liz came good in the end. That was nice.

The episode concludes with the Doctor preparing to abandon everyone to a painful, lingering death, as the lava advances inexorably towards them.

Me: And that’s it. They’re all dead. An entire world. Toast.

Sue: As if. I don’t believe you.

Me: I’m not joking.

Sue: I hope Petra and Greg get it together before the lava reaches them.

Me: That’s a lovely image to end on. Thanks.

Sue: Shall we watch the next one now?

Me: No, that’s a cliffhanger you have to sleep on.

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Episode 7

Me: It’s Doctor Who‘s 48th birthday today.

Sue: How is it you can remember that but you can’t remember the date of our wedding anniversary?

It’s true. I’m always one day out. It’s as if I’ve accidentally memorised the wrong date and I can’t remove it from the compartment in my head marked ‘anniversary’.

Sue: So how are we going to celebrate this ‘special occasion’?

Yes, she actually did the quotation marks thing with her fingers.

Sue: We don’t have to watch the first episode again, do we?

Me: No, but, funnily enough, Derek Newark, who plays Greg in this episode, was, if you remember, in the very first story.

Sue: But not the very first episode?

Me: No. But Douglas Camfield was the Production Assistant.

Sue: That’s better. But isn’t he in hospital during this one?

InfernoMe: OK, the writer, Don Houghton, plays the policeman in the first episode!

Sue: Really?

Me: Yes. Can I press ‘play’ now?

Sue: Yes.

Me: Oh, and this is the final episode of season seven.

Sue: That was quick!

Me: The seasons are a lot shorter now.

Sue: You’ll be able to dump me quicker than you thought!

Me: So, have you recovered from last night’s episode when the Doctor lost and everyone died?

Sue: Are they really all dead?

Me: Yes. Burnt to a crisp, probably. Unless Liz shoots them all first.

Sue: But the Doctor can still go back and save them.

Me: What? The whole planet?

Sue: No, silly, just the ones we care about.

Me: He can’t.

Sue: That’s very sad. That’s quite a large body-count for a children’s television show. Oh well, at least we have some spares in the real universe.

Back in ‘our’ universe (you know, the one with the British Space Programme, but let’s not get into that just now), events are leading to the very same disaster that we’ve just seen destroy an entire planet.

Sue: Oh no! The flange is going to blow at any moment!

Me: What’s a flange?

Sue: And you call yourself a fan? It’s a method used to connect pipes, valves, pumps and other equipment. Trust me, it won’t be good news if it blows.

InfernoWhen the Doctor mumbles in his coma something about blown output pipes, I tease Sue.

Me: That’s you talking in your sleep, that is.

Sue: Are you sure you don’t mean it’s…

Me: Please, don’t even go there.

Sue: Shhh! Listen to that!

Me: Listen to what? I can’t hear anything.

Sue: Exactly. Beautiful, isn’t it?

It doesn’t last, of course. After the Doctor has ruminated on the illusion of freewill, it’s back to throbbing machinery and ear-splitting sirens for the rest of the story.

The Doctor rushes into the complex to stop the drilling. He does this by raving like a lunatic.

Sue: He isn’t going about this the right way, is he?

The Doctor angrily pushes the Brigadier out of his way.

Me: Did Pertwee just say, “Get out of my light?” to Nicholas Courtney? I’d never noticed that before. What an actorly thing to say.

The Doctor is restrained and led away from the complex by two UNIT soldiers. But it isn’t long before he’s free again.

Sue: Oh, nice double Spock action! I’m telling you, all the Doctors should use that power.

Back in the complex, Sir Keith still doesn’t believe that Professor Stahlman has lost his marbles. He demands proof before he can take action, and then, right on cue, Stahlman emerges from the drill head.

InfernoSue: There’s your proof! He’s a ****ing werewolf!

With Stahlman down, the Doctor manages to stop the drill from penetrating the Earth’s crust with 35 seconds to spare.

Sue: I thought they’d take that to the wire. I suppose it’s more realistic that way but they could have squeezed even more tension out of that scene.

Sue loves the banter between the Brigadier and the Doctor that closes out the episode and the story concludes with a smile.

Sue: That was a great final episode. Lovely.

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The Final Score

Sue: It was too long. Again. I didn’t like the werewolves or the zombies at all. The story didn’t need them. Without them it could have been four or five parts. But the premise was good, the acting was great and the alternative reality was fascinating. I really liked Liz in this one as well. She’s turning out to be one of my favourite companions. And there was a lot of Brigadier action, too, which was nice. I’ll give it -

8/10

Sue: Pertwee is turning out to be a walk in the park.

The experiment continues…
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Doctor Who: Inferno – Special Edition [DVD]

Price: £6.50

4.8 out of 5 stars (31 customer reviews)

 

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Discussion

  1. Paul Greaves  November 24, 2011

    “Pertwee is turning out to be a walk in the park.”

    And with those words – that strike fear and terror into the hearts of fans all over the world – we reach the end of Series 7. Inferno is bloody brilliant and Series 7 was very, very good. I love Terror of the Autons, however I suspect Sue is going to struggle with the CSO. I know I do…

  2. Ben Goudie  November 24, 2011

    The first two times I saw this story, I assumed it was a six-parter, so I watched parts 1-3 on the first VHS tape, rewound it, then turned to parts 5-7 on the second. The cliffhanger to part 3 leads quite well to the reprise at the start of part 5, so I had no idea I’d missed anything.

    It’s a good thing that it was this episode you saw with the project’s recurring villain, Gary, since you’d miss nothing from the plot by having your mind consumed by his distractions for 25 minutes.

  3. Philip Ayres  November 24, 2011

    EIGHT????? She gave Silurians a ten and this an EIGHT ???? Is the woman MAD ????????

    Any sane person will tell you that on a scale of 1 to 10 Inferno is at least a THIRTEEN!

    • Daru  November 29, 2011

      YES! MADNESS!!!

  4. James  November 24, 2011

    It’s nice to see that Sue has warmed to Liz to the extent of saying ” She’s turning out to be one of my favourite companions.” It will be so good to see her comments on her many stories to come… ;)

    • Frankymole  November 26, 2011

      Well the PROBE series is quite good in parts… as is The Five Doctors :)

  5. Simon Harries  November 24, 2011

    “I really liked Liz in this one as well. She’s turning out to be one of my favourite companions.”

    Little does Sue know… :-) Liz seemed to be such a progressive “assistant” and Sue’s right that they had softened her up by Ambassadors and Inferno, to the extent that I would have been happy to see her in the show for at least another season. Trouble was Liz was ‘clever’ and had come hot on the heels of ‘clever’ Zoe – it probably seemed a good idea to cast someone in such stark contrast, a lovable airhead with a heart of gold.

    Inferno is a favourite of mine. Even with the Primords, it’s one of the few “long” stories I can watch in one sitting, with great pleasure.

    • Daru  November 29, 2011

      Liz was pretty progressive yeah. When my I watched ‘Inferno’ with my partner recently, she was gutted at knowing she wouldn’t see Liz in the main show again.

      I wonder Neil, do you and Sue realise that you are inspiring – by the looks of some responses on this site (including me!) – some of us Male-Mongs to watch to serials alongside you with our lady friends? Didn’t realise that you would be helping hold relationships together eh?

      Ever though of spinning off into relationship counselling or a dating agency?

      You are both an inspiration!

      • Daru  November 29, 2011

        You are providing a truly valuable service, both of you – more than you realise!

      • Philip Ayres  November 29, 2011

        I met my wife, another Liz, through an Internet Dating Agency where she saw I liked Doctor Who and given my age asked me if Tom Baker was my favourite Doctor. I took her a City of Death video on our first date and things took off from there.

        Tonight we watched Robots of Death together :-)

  6. Tristan Alfaro  November 24, 2011

    The best comment of Inferno has to go to Gäry for: What is George from George and Mildred doing on the wall”? Poor Jack Kine!

    I’m surprised Sue rated this lower than Silurians. Inferno is very nearly as close to a perfect story. There’s not a single thing I don’t like about it (dodgy effects aside). And good to see so much love for Nick Courtney.

    I can only imagine how Sue is going to react to the change in pace and tone that season 8 is going to bring.

  7. matt bartley  November 24, 2011

    Poor Jo’s never going to have a chance, is she?

  8. Richard Parker  November 24, 2011

    You seem to be rattling through these now. Is it the colour and the lack of recons?

  9. SpaceSquid  November 24, 2011

    Profanity notwithstanding, “There’s your proof! He’s a ****ing werewolf!” strikes me as prime t-shirt material.

  10. Alex Wilcock  November 24, 2011

    “So many similarities, he says. Yes, that pretty much sums up the Pertwee era so far.”

    Against Gary, obviously, for me the last few minutes of Episode 4 are Pertwee’s finest moment: the tension, his passion, everything. Still, I think Sue was quite right to give it an 8 – impressive but not perfect – though I’m surprised she didn’t complain about the finale. Maybe it’s because she’s sensible with fixing pipes and doesn’t think you should make a drama out of a crisis. And sure enough, the whole of Episode 7’s an anti-climax here.

    The middle of the story has utter conviction – and the heat overwhelming Greg’s knob so he has to think with his upper brain instead, which is a huge relief (I’d have decked him earlier on) – but there’s nowhere to go, dramatically, after the end of the world, and then they stuff up what there is of it anyway.

    “He isn’t going about this the right way, is he?”

    Too right, Sue.

    The Doctor turning completely demented without even any Swarfega to excuse him; Sir Keith being a complete haddock and, after going to London to get the authority, saying he doesn’t have any, until the crisis is over and he suddenly discovers that he can decommission the whole thing; Stahlman needing dog biscuits at exactly the right moment after the ‘goodies’ have contrived to be crap. The writing, so strong for six weeks, suddenly becomes piss-poor. Then to cap it all, the Doctor strolls in, fixes it ‘off’, and strolls out again to announce it’s all over thanks to something he did with his sonic screwdriver backstage, and all with 35 seconds still to go. 35? What sort of a number’s that? Even Terry Nation knows how to write an exciting countdown.

    I wrote about the whole thing when it came out on DVD, and precisely because most of it’s brilliant, I can’t think of any other single Who story where the end’s such an anti-climax. While the finales of so many other stories are let-downs because they just blow everything up, this is a let-down because it doesn’t.

    And speaking of let-downs… It may have taken Sue a strangely long time to warm to Liz, but I bet she’s going to miss her (I love Katy, but she’s fighting against the scripts). And if she thinks Pertwee’s rude here, I don’t know how she’s going to adjust to the following year – practically non-stop unbearable gittery before he finally calms down (possibly after Jo gets to put him down so much on Peladon). At least in Inferno Stahlman’s so utterly objectionable that the Doctor seems fine by comparison, while the Master’s a charmer. I wonder if Sue’ll fall for him instead?

  11. Rollocks  November 24, 2011

    Please, no more Gary. Ever.

    That said, “Dan who?” was the funniest line in on of your best reviews for a while. I do hope he knew he was being funny…

    Oh, and can I second the “There’s your proof! He’s a ****ing werewolf!” t-shirt nomination?

  12. Matt Sharp  November 24, 2011

    ‘Me: Pertwee really did just run that stuntman over.

    Sue: Ouch. Was he OK?

    Me: The mudguard sliced through his leg and he needed 18 stitches, I think.’

    I can remember seeing a Schools Programme (I think) about stuntmen during the eighties and at one point they have a comparing injuries competition – Alan Chuntz wins easily with his ‘leg from Doctor Who’. It did indeed look pretty horrific, and it had healed then – it’s no wonder that Pertwee had to go and have a lie down.

    • Dave Sanders  November 25, 2011

      ‘Chuntz’ is the perfect surname for a stuntman; it’s exactly the comic-book sound effect you’d imagine for being being hit hard in the face with a great big swinging big on a chain, filled with sand.

      • Matt Sharp  November 25, 2011

        It probably was the sound made by a stuntman getting crumped on the shin by a passing sprightly yellow roadster.

        Also, a suitable onomatopoeia for a technician-falling-from-a-gantry would be ‘SCAMMEL!’

        • Frankymole  November 26, 2011

          And Stuart Fell – the famous tumbler.

  13. Stuart Ian Burns  November 24, 2011

    “So is this like Fringe? We’re in a parallel reality now?”

    Or as I had it when watching Fringe:

    “So is this like inferno? We’re in a parallel reality now?”

    • Chaz Antonelli  November 25, 2011

      Fantastic!!!

      Just as in the Dr Chayos episode of “South Park” where they repeated “The Simpsons already did it!”, there are MANY cases where Dr Who already did it! Many concepts shown originally on Dr Who have been copied on other television shows, movies and books.

      I was raised on Dr Who and honestly believe that his anti-violent, logical and scientific thinking were the inspiration for the adult that I am today.

      • PolarityReversed  November 26, 2011

        Me too.

        Of course I had the shooty-shooty influence too, but the thinky-thinky won hands down.

        • Daru  November 29, 2011

          Absolutely, me too! As a kid thanks to Who I talked at and laughed in the faces of bullies!

  14. Loki  November 24, 2011

    How did Sue like the Silurians more than this???! Her scale’s a bit off isn’t it? It’s coping with the modernization and colour- everything seems good now. Just wait til she hits Baker. Then everything is good from then on.

    • Dan  November 24, 2011

      “Then everything is good from then on.”

      Er, yeah. For a few years anyway… ;)

      • BWT  November 25, 2011

        …yeah – until she hits the other Baker…

        • Dan  November 25, 2011

          Some might say the rot set in even before then…

          But yes I would be more worried about this era than the recons!

          • PolarityReversed  November 26, 2011

            I’m one of those some. JNT, j’accuse!

            Sure this era is lighter in most respects, but they certainly treat the Doctor’s ongoing approach to his “penance” well. And the production and scriptwriting continues to improve, albeit in fits and starts…

          • Dan  November 26, 2011

            The era to come I mean…

    • Matthew C  November 25, 2011

      I think Dr Who and the Silurians is much better than Inferno.

      Obviously opinions will vary, but plenty of people have found faults with this story, such as the pointlessness of the werewolves and the disappointment that the Inferno-verse characters don’t meet their other selves.

  15. Alisaunder  November 25, 2011

    Why does Sue have magazines about borehole technology?

    Happy 48th Doctor Who!

    • Neil Perryman  November 25, 2011

      Because we have our own borehole. It’s for our water supply. Honest.

  16. John G  November 25, 2011

    “Oh, nice double Spock action! I’m telling you, all the Doctors should use that power.”

    Careful what you wish for Sue – I wouldn’t mind betting you’ll be sick of it by Season 11… Anyway, I’m in full agreement with Sue’s rating for this one. Infreno is a classy story, but it’s not in the same league as The Silurians, or Ambassadors in my opinion. While the parallel world stuff is handled superbly, and the location filming is some of the most grittily atmospheric you will see in Who, I can’t get away from the fact that this is essentially 7 episodes of endless arguments about whether to turn a drill off or not. The Primords don’t help, and neither does the Greg-Petra romantic subplot, not least because they seem to have all the chemistry of a dead jellyfish. Still, it is fun to see the UNIT regulars playing the bad guys for once, and I’m glad that Sue did come to like Liz in the end. Can’t wait for her reaction to both the new companion and especially the new villain in the next story!

    Overall, it’s great to see that Sue has responded so positively to Season 7. Story-for-story, it has to be the greatest season ever, and I hope 8 isn’t going to be too much of a comedown. The next story is excellent, at least, so will hopefully give Sue a gentle introduction to the new, more kiddie-friendly tone…

  17. BWT  November 25, 2011

    Oh, Sue…? The Doctor’s jacket is *midnight blue*.

  18. Chaz Antonelli  November 25, 2011

    Sue: “It’s not bloody mind control again, is it?”

    Ohhhh… just wait for:

    - Venusian karate
    - Hypnosis
    - Reversing the polarity of the neutron flow

    and in 21st century Dr. Who, the amazing, do-everything sonic screwdriver!

  19. Marty  November 25, 2011

    You know what Inferno needs, that Fringe has? Lens flare.
    I’m sure Inferno would be even better if it had lens flare.

    Why even try with Gary?

    There shouldn’t be any more mind control…except all the hypnotism of course.

    I sort of agree with Sue’s comments of it being too long, but that can be said of all Doctor Who stories which could probably be cut down by an episode or two.

  20. Ian Marchant  November 25, 2011

    I was wondering what Sue would make of ‘Doctor Who and the Noisy Inferno’ which has long been one of my favourite Pertwee (and all the other Doctors) stories.

    Loved her “There’s your proof! He’s a ****ing werewolf!” line which reminded me of the last time I watched the story and my Wife exclaimed in her Gordie accent as the Primords appeared.

    “Who are these hairy c**ts?”

    she seemed to think they impeded the story a tad…

  21. Melody  November 25, 2011

    Thought I might link you to this bit of art for Inferno: http://harnois75.deviantart.com/gallery/?q=Inferno

    I imagine it will disturb Sue a bit. ^_^

  22. Dave Sanders  November 26, 2011

    I can’t wait for the other Don Houghton opus now. It’s become impossible to watch episode one of The Mind Of Evil, black and white, cheesy synths and all, without joining in with every occurance of the patronizing Chin Li theme: “Thiiiis is where Sue throws a cushion haaaaard.”

  23. Frankymole  November 26, 2011

    “Hang on, isn’t this the same story as last week as well? And the one before that?”

    Hooray – I feel justified for putting them all in the “Beneath The Surface” box (I won’t throw out the slipcases of the box sets, but I need the stories to be in the proper order on the shelf… yes, NEED!).

    http://s715.photobucket.com/albums/ww153/Frankymole/Dr%20Who%20DVD%20covers/?albumview=slideshow

    • PolarityReversed  November 27, 2011

      That slideshow is impressive and slightly scary. Reminds me of my childhood Target bookshelf.
      If they unearth any more classic episodes, I fear you may have to move house…

      • PolarityReversed  November 27, 2011

        Oh, and at cursory glance, the cover of Death to the Daleks looks a bit like Pertwee flipping the bird.
        Just me then?

        Coat.

    • Daru  November 29, 2011

      I understand the need

  24. Andrew T. Smith  December 1, 2011

    K19 is actually quite appropriate when you consider the fact that working on this story almost killed Douglas Camfield whose wife was also working on the show: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K-19:_The_Widowmaker