THE GREEN DEATH

Episode One

Sue: I like this one already. We’re on location and it’s got a Land Rover in it.

The Green Death takes place at a colliery in South Wales, and there’s definitely trouble at t’pit.

Sue: I feel like we’ve stumbled into a Ken Loach drama by mistake.

The Green DeathAs Stevens, the director of Global Chemicals, perfects his Neville Chamberlain impersonation, a miner emerges from the pit. Not only is he dead, he’s very, very green.

Nicol: That miner looks like he’s been to a Klaxons gig.
Me: If you say so, Nicol. I don’t know what that means. Oh, and you’re late, as usual.

Meanwhile Jo Grant is threatening to run away to Wales so she can help someone called Professor Jones.

Sue: Jo is going to leave, isn’t she? She’s going to leave the series in the first episode.
Nicol: Mother! She’s just going to have her own adventure. She isn’t going to leave the series.
Sue: It feels like she’s getting ready to leave.

Nicol sighs. I say nothing.

The Green DeathWhile Jo and the Brigadier head for Llanfairfach, the Doctor buggers off to Metebelis 3. And that’s when Sue jumps out of her skin. I think it’s the first time the classic series has ever given her a genuine fright. And all it took was a rubber tentacle.

Sue: What the hell was that?

When Jo arrives at the Wholeweal community (affectionately known as the Nuthutch), she embarrasses herself in front of the professor she wanted to impress.

Nicol: How can she not know what the professor looks like? I thought she said she was a big fan of his? And she was only reading a newspaper story about him five minutes ago. That’s a bit silly.
Sue: Funny, though.

Meanwhile the Doctor is having a torrid time of it on Metebelis 3.

Sue: Why did the Doctor want to come here in the first place? It’s a nightmare! Maybe he’s landed on Metebelis 2 by mistake? You know what he’s like.

The Doctor is attacked by some giant chicken legs.

Nicol: It’s turned into Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.

The Green DeathBack on Earth, Professor Jones is talking about alternative energy sources, wind turbines, heat-pumps and sustainability. In short, this is right up Sue and Nicol’s street.

Sue: This is years ahead of its time. A lot of the technology he’s talking about here is still cutting-edge today.
Nicol: Is this why you wanted me to watch this episode?
Me: Yes, you’re our renewable energy adviser this week.

Nicol is currently working for a company that specialises in green energy, and I thought she could bring her professional perspective to the table.

Nicol: He’s a hypocrite, this professor. He says he wants to save the planet, but the lights are still on in the hall when no one’s using it. He’s decorated the place with carnival lights, too, which can’t be very energy efficient.
Sue: He left a record player on when no one was listening to it, too.

The Doctor finally escapes from the living hell that is Metebelis 3, and returns to UNIT HQ just in time to answer the phone. “I’ll speak to anyone!” he cries.

Sue: (Laughing) He won’t be going back there in a hurry!

Meanwhile Stevens is conferring with a mysterious off-screen voice.

Sue: Is it a new Master?
Me: What?
Sue: Do we get a new Master? Have they recast the part?

The Green DeathStevens places some expensive-looking headphones over his ears.

Nicol: That’s a nice pair of Dr Dre Monster Beats he’s got there.

Meanwhile a miner named Dai is about to live up to his name.

Sue: This is vaguely familiar. Then again, everything nasty or bad in science fiction tends to be green, so I can’t be 100 per cent sure.

Jo teams up with a miner named Burt, however, thanks to a saboteur, they’re sent hurtling to their deaths as Talfryn Thomas looks on.

Sue: That was pretty good. Let’s watch another one.
Me: It’s Valentine’s Day. Wouldn’t you prefer a romantic comedy instead?
Sue: Sod that. Put some Doctor Who on.

 

Episode Two

The Doctor arrives at the mine just in time to discover Jo’s plight.

Sue: Reverse the lift’s polarity!

The Doctor jams a metal bar into its workings instead.

Sue: That would have taken his arm off in real life.

The Green DeathAs Global Chemicals’ PR man becomes increasingly suspicious of the company he keeps, the penny finally drops for Sue too.

Sue: Crossroads!
Me: Finally! I was beginning to worry that you weren’t going to recognise him. It’s Tony Adams. He played Adam Chance.
Sue: He was a smooth ****er, wasn’t he?
Me: That reminds me – do you have anything to say about Professor Jones? Is he dishy or not?
Sue: Dishy. Definitely dishy. He has a David Cassidy thing going on. But isn’t he a bit young to be a professor?
Me: Brian Cox is a professor, and he’s pretty young.
Nicol: He’s quite old, actually. He’s in his early 40s.
Me: Thanks for that, Nicol.

As the voice of Stevens’ boss continues to make its presence felt, Sue thinks she’s watching a sequel to The Invasion.

Sue: Is it the guy who ordered Packer around in that Patrick Troughton story?
Me: No, it isn’t him.
Sue: Is it the Master, then?
Me: You’re doing that on purpose now, aren’t you?

Stevens and the Brigadier argue the toss over who has the most jurisdiction when it comes to Global Chemicals.

Sue: You could easily remake this story today. You wouldn’t have to change the script very much, either. It’s perfect for our time: government corruption, backhanders, pollution. It’s like Edge of Darkness or something.

The Doctor and Professor Jones decide their only chance of rescuing Jo lies with Global Chemicals agreeing to loan them their equipment. So when the company gives them the cold shoulder, the scientists take matters into their own hands and Professor Jones turns up at the gates with a marching band in tow. The security forces are immediately scrambled.

Sue: They’re over-reacting a bit. They’re only street performers. They’d probably get on your tits after a while, but they aren’t exactly al-Qaeda.

The Green DeathThe Doctor uses the distraction to sneak into Global Chemicals, although it isn’t long before he’s up to his neck in security guards.

Nicol: That isn’t Jon Pertwee.
Me: Yeah, thanks for pointing that out, Nic. I may be in my early 40s but I can still see, you know.
Sue: Use your finger! You wouldn’t need a stuntman if you used your finger.

As Jo and Burt make their way through the mine, Burt is stupid enough to touch the green slime that’s oozing out of the walls.

Sue: Is there a subtitle track we could use? I didn’t understand a single word Burt just said.
Me: I can’t believe he actually finished a sentence without saying ‘boyo’ at the end of it.

And then we enter a short spell where Sue becomes totally engrossed in the story. Nails are bitten and everything.

Sue: This is quite good, isn’t it?
Me: This story had a massive impact on me when I was a boy. It was the concept of contamination that really freaked me out – the fact you could catch the green death by touching someone – I still feel a bit funny when I think about it now.

The Green DeathWhen Jo encounters a hoard of maggots covered in green slime, Sue thinks she’s seen it all before.

Sue: It’s a challenge on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! Are they witchetty grubs?

I’m too busy hiding behind a cushion to correct her.

Sue: Great stuff.

 

Episode Three

Captain JackJust as we settled down to watch this episode, Captain Jack startled us with an unearthly howl. And then, as he staggered around the living room with a look on his face that said, “Fix me, you idiots”, we knew we’d have to postpone our scheduled visit to Llanfairfach for a trip to the emergency vets instead.

The good news: Jack’s bladder wasn’t full. The bad news: he could be addicted to Diamazepan.

Anyway, the next evening, with Jack fast asleep on Sue’s lap (thanks to a ridiculously expensive cocktail of drugs), we began the episode again, and this time, when the Doctor and Jo find themselves surrounded by maggots, the Doctor offers some very sound advice.

Sue: “Nil desperandum”? Isn’t that Sunderland’s official motto?
Me: Yes. I can’t imagine why.

The Doctor and Jo climb into a mine cart and row their way to safety.

The Green DeathSue: Hmm… This isn’t the special effects department’s finest hour.
Me: It was bloody terrifying in the novelisation. I didn’t sleep for weeks.
Sue: I know, all your tossing and turning kept me awake all night.
Me: Oh, very funny.

Sue loves Jerome Willis.

Sue: He’s a very good actor. I like it when the villains are down-to-earth and believable. This is much more interesting than alien jungles and invisible Daleks. It’s weird seeing the Brigadier out of uniform, though. He looks like a used car salesmen.

When Stevens’ Monster Beat headphones are wheeled out again, Sue becomes even more convinced she’s watching a sequel to The Invasion.

Sue: Are the Cybermen involved in this? Those headphones look very Cybermany to me.
Me: No.
Sue: Good.

The Green DeathWhen another Global Chemicals employee tries to resist his conditioning, he’s programmed for self-destruction instead.

Sue: Suicide on children’s television. Nice.
Me: This is so grim, even the villain isn’t sure about what he’s just done.
Sue: The birdsong makes it even worse.

Back at the Nuthutch, a dinner party is in full swing. No, not that kind of swing. But it’s close. Professor Jones tells his guests about a fungus from South America and Jo becomes very excited indeed.

Me: Yeah, I bet he’d like to take her up the Amazon.

And then, in the midst of all this frivolity, we learn that Burt the miner is dead. Boyo.

Sue: This is very bleak all of a sudden.

But the bad news doesn’t dampen Jo’s desire to go hunting for mushrooms (we’ve all been there), and the Doctor looks like he’s been fatally wounded when he walks in on his companion just as she’s preparing to snog the Professor’s face off.

Sue: He is so jealous.

The Green DeathThe Doctor tries to impress Jo with the blue crystal he stole from Metebelis 3.

Sue: He’s trying to compete, but it isn’t working. He’s gutted. It isn’t sexual jealousy, though. He wants to protect her. He doesn’t want to shag her, but he doesn’t want anybody else to shag her, either.

The Doctor proves this by gently leading Cliff away, which leaves Jo at the mercy of a giant maggot.

Sue: A feminist film theorist would have a field day with this.

 

Episode Four

Nicol: It looks like a Slinky. Just throw it down some stairs.

Yes, Nicol’s back for more, and she isn’t a fan of the maggots. So I remind her what happened to Gary and she gives it a rest.

Sue: Benton!

The Green DeathYes, UNIT have been tasked with keeping the locals away from the mine. And then, completely out of the blue, there’s a reference to a cat knocking on death’s door.

Sue: (Gobsmacked) Unbelievable.
Me: You’re seeing patterns in things that aren’t there, love. Don’t worry.
Sue: Oh no. Not Mike Yates!

Yates is pretending to be a government minister, but instead of preventing the mine from being blown up, he allows the demolition to go ahead instead.

Sue: Right, so Yates has infiltrated the bad guys so successfully, he’s become a bad guy himself. Excellent work, Yates. Having said that, this scene where the Doctor and Yates stare each other out is brilliant.

Stevens is bollocked by his invisible boss.

Me: It’s not every day you hear a reference to Nietzsche on children’s television.
Sue: I’m just happy the Brig is back in uniform. I feel safer already.

As Jo assists Professor Jones’ experiments to find a cure for the green death, Sue can see the writing on the wall.

Sue: Jo isn’t going to make it out of this story. They are setting it up for her to leave with this guy. This is definitely her last story.

The Green DeathWhen a cleaner at Global Chemicals stumbles across a tank full of slime and maggots, she runs away screaming.

Sue: (As the cleaner) I’m not mopping that up!

Our heroes don’t seem to know what these giant maggots will eventually turn into.

Sue: They’ll turn into giant flies, you idiots! I thought they were supposed to be the clever ones?

As the maggots dig their way to the surface, Sue couldn’t care less how Jon Pertwee pronounces the word chitinous. In fact, I haven’t seen her enjoy Doctor Who this much in ages.

Sue: Even Yates is good in this.

The Doctor breaks into Global Chemicals again.

Sue: What’s the big deal with the replacement milkman? Am I missing something?
Me: Only that the milkman is Jon ****ing Pertwee!
Sue: Is it really? I’m impressed.

As the Doctor infiltrates Global Chemicals (and is attacked by his own fake moustache in the process), Jo continues to assist Professor Jones in his search for a cure. But instead of expressing gratitude, the professor is rude, nasty, and a little bit threatening.

Sue: Right, back away slowly, Jo. He’s just shown you his true colours. You’ll be an abused spouse before you know it. Get out of there while you still can.

Global Chemicals have found a replacement cleaner.

The Green DeathMe: That’s Jon Pertwee, love.
Sue: Are you sure? She looks like my mam.
Me: And?

I’m acutely embarrassed by this scene, but Sue and Nicol are lapping it up.

Nicol: It’s turned into The League of Gentlemen.
Me: Yes, Mrs Levinson.

Jo leaves the professor to his casual sexism, and she takes it upon herself to secure a live specimen for him to play with, even if it means charming her way through a UNIT cordon.

Sue: Is she flirting with Benton now?
Me: She’s looking for a giant maggot.
Sue: Is that what they’re calling it now?

As Jo blithely stumbles into danger, Professor Jones finds the cure he’s been searching for.

Sue: Jo’s cursed. If only she’d stand still for two minutes, everything would turn out fine.

The Brigadier has ordered an RAF bombing run and Jo is in the firing line.

Me: I love the smell of fried maggots in the morning.

The Green DeathWhen the Doctor reaches Global Chemicals’ control centre, he’s taunted by the booming voice of BOSS.

Sue: Is it the Master?

No, it’s a sentient computer.

Sue: Oh. That’s a bit disappointing.

Jack’s just had a very big wee. I just wanted to share that with you. With any luck, this will be the last time I’ll ever have to give you an update on the toilet habits of our cats. But don’t bank on it.

 

Episode Five

The Green DeathSue: UNIT really love their helicopters, don’t they?

UNIT’s bombs rain down on Wales.

Sue: Why are they filming these scenes with chroma? Why didn’t they shoot them at the same time as all the others?

For the next 10 minutes or so, Sue watches the episode in silence. She seems to be enjoying herself. And she isn’t the only one.

Sue: Pertwee’s having fun this week. I bet this was one of his favourite stories.

The Doctor escapes in a milk float (“The fastest in the West”) and then it’s back to the Brigadier standing in front of more CSO.

Sue: They must have screwed up on location – it’s the only thing that makes any sense. Either that or the plot wasn’t making any sense and they had to film some extra bits. Either way, it’s a shame. The direction was great up to now.

Benton rescues Jo while the Doctor keeps the maggots at bay with his sonic screwdriver.

Sue: They’re a bit lame if you can jump over them.
Me: Yes, but the maggots aren’t the real threat. Just you wait until they start flying. You won’t be able to jump over them, then.
Sue: Good point.

The Green DeathYates is brainwashed by BOSS into assassinating the Doctor but the Time Lord breaks his conditioning with the blue crystal he found on Metebelis 3. He also manages to accidentally hypnotise the Brigadier, which Sue finds amusing, if thoroughly pointless.

Sue: Everyone’s having a jolly good time, but that was a filler episode. They just didn’t need it. That was a classic Episode Five.

 

Episode Six

A maggot consumes some of Nancy’s homemade fungus cake and promptly drops down dead.

Sue: (Singing) “Love is like a butterfly…”
Me: Yes, a giant evil butterfly.
Sue: It looks like a giant prawn, actually.
Me: Now that would be silly.

BOSS threatens to turn Yates into one of his slave elite.

Sue: It’s the first time Yates has been an elite anything.

Meanwhile Benton and the Doctor feed Nancy’s poisonous cooking to the maggots.

Sue: Run them over! It would be more fun. A nice steam-roller would do the trick.

The Green DeathAnd then the moment I’ve been waiting for arrives: my one and only surviving memory of watching this story at the tender age of three and a half.

Sue: Oh dear. That isn’t great.
Me: The giant fly was perfectly fine when I was three. In fact, I think it traumatised me.

Yates escapes from Global Chemicals through an open window.

Sue: Imagine casting Frank Spencer as James Bond. It’s hard to take Yates seriously as an action hero.

The Doctor and Benton are attacked by the giant fly.

Sue: Oh dear. This isn’t very good. There’s nothing wrong with the idea, but they should have known they wouldn’t be able to execute it. And why don’t they just drive away? Why are they sitting there waiting for it to attack them? Jesus Christ, Benton!

Having said that, she’s impressed when the Doctor brings down the insect with his cape (thanks to some clever editing and a very gruesome sound effect).

Me: If only Jo knew what serendipity meant, we could have saved ourselves a lot of trouble.
Sue: Would you have known what serendipity meant, clever clogs?
Me: Of course I would. I read the novelisation. Several times, in fact.

Nancy volunteers to cure the professor while the Doctor deals with the BOSS.

Sue: I bet this isn’t the first time Cher’s extracted something ‘medicinal’ from a mushroom.

As BOSS sings Beethoven’s Fifth, Sue can’t praise John Dearth highly enough.

Sue: It’s a fabulous performance. I like the way the computer has a personality. This must have played into people’s fears about technology at the time. This could have been really boring, but it isn’t.

Just when it looks as if BOSS will become the boss of everything, Stevens has a sudden change of heart.

Sue: It reminds me of the bit where they turn HAL off in 2001.

The Green DeathStevens sacrifices himself, but not before a single tear rolls down his cheek as he considers what he’s done.

Sue: That was an excellent performance.
Me: Quite brilliant.

After a extremely satisfying explosion, we return to the Nuthutch where Professor Jones proposes to Jo in a manner so cack-handed, it makes my marriage proposal to Sue look like something out of Romeo and Juliet. (If you must know, mine went something like this: “If the world is going to end, Sue, we may as well get married.”)

Sue: I don’t like his attitude. There’s a dark side to Cliff. He’s cocky and impatient. Maybe Jo will knock that out of him. I hope she does. And if it doesn’t work out, it’s not as if she’s stuck on an alien planet or anything. She’ll be fine.

An impromptu party is arranged to celebrate the happy news.

Me: Look at Yates. He’s gutted.
Sue: Yeah. I didn’t know he had the hots for Cliff.

The Green DeathBut Yates is positively ecstatic compared to the Doctor.

Sue: This is very sad. It was obvious that she was going to leave in the first episode, but I like the way they set it up. She’s all grown up now. It’s time for her to leave the nest.

My notes become illegible at this point; the ink has been smudged with tiny droplets of water. I can’t imagine how that happened. Anyway, the Doctor decides to leave the party early.

Sue: Come on, Doctor, smile.

But he doesn’t. Not quite.

Sue: Oh dear.

 

The Score

Sue: That was great. It was an episode too long, and some of the effects were a bit of a joke, but apart from that I enjoyed it. It was very adult in places. I can’t imagine what the programme will be like without Jo, though. How do you follow that?

9/10

 

60

Comments

  1. Thomas Bush  February 17, 2012

    YAAAAY! I knew Sue wouldn’t let me down! Probably the best Pertwee story after Season 7.

  2. Peter Lack  February 17, 2012

    Great stuff as ever. So pleased that one went down well – one of my top ten I think! However, I feel that if the insect in episode six didn’t go down well, what will Sue make of the mighty puppets in the upcoming story?

    Can’t wait!

  3. Graeme C-G  February 17, 2012

    Fancy giving a woman who’s just been treated for chest pains a shock like that, Neil! Poor Sue! 😉

    “The Green Death” is a really nice little story, although I’ve not seen it since the DVD came out, though. The end of Ep6 is one of the only real “lump in the throat” moments from the original series.

    I’m guessing neither Nicol or Sue commented upon / noticed the closing credits played in backwards and upside down across numerous episodes.

    • gangnet  February 17, 2012

      Top three “lump in throat moments” in classic Who:
      (1) I will always remember her as a daughter of the gods.
      (2) People will say, Bin-Ro was right.
      (3) We say our prayers. Then we write our news. We read in the book corner…

    • Sparklepunk  March 23, 2012

      I remember a few moments that made me feel a bit teary in the classic show and it could be just that I saw them when I was a kid and have an emotional connection, but I thought they worked quite a bit better than what seemed like more emotionally manipulative writing in some of the newer stuff. I haven’t seen it all, I’m mostly just thinking of some of the relationship stuff romantic kind of stuff tends to put me off.

      I think if I had to pick one favorite emotional moment I might pick the end of Silurians, though I remember a few speeches by other doctors that did it for me too and a few scenes here and there which I won’t mention if we’re not to be spoiling things.

  4. Neil Perryman  February 17, 2012

    If you happen to be one of the first 10 or 15 people to comment on this post, please be mindful of spoilers. Sue is at work and she hasn’t read this yet.

    Also, can we pare the personal reviews of stories down a little bit, please. It’s free to set up your own WordPress blog!

    Thanks.

    • Neil Perryman  February 18, 2012

      Just to clarify – I’m more than happy for people to share their feelings about any given story in the comments section. I just don’t want 500-1000 word reviews – that’s not a comment, that’s an essay.

      That is all. I just wanted to clear that up.

      Thanks.

  5. Graeme C-G  February 17, 2012

    “If you happen to be one of the first 10 or 15 people to comment on this post …”

    Awww … I thought there was going to be a prize or summick.

    😉

  6. Chris Lindsay  February 17, 2012

    The first ever story I saw in it’s entirety – there was a repeat run in the mornings back ’93 or ’94. I was 11ish and only had vague memories of the end of the McCoy era but remembered that Doctor Who was a show I’d loved. This story blew me away – so frightening and shocking, it turned me into a proper fan. The B.O.S.S reveal at end of part 4 = sublime! Glad both you and Sue enjoyed it so much.

  7. Steve  February 17, 2012

    I heartily enjoy Sue’s disdain for Yates in these recaps.

  8. Chris Too-old-to-watch  February 17, 2012

    Glad Sue enjoyed that, excellent story. Perhaps Capt Jack is scared of maggots which made him wee himself…

    If Sue thought Jo was good value for money, OMG she’s in for a treat with the next episode…

    • PolarityReversed  February 17, 2012

      If he’s anything like my mog, he was probably frustrated that he couldn’t eat them off the screen..
      Good news on the litter front. Let’s hope the Capt Jack reference doesn’t extend to the Billy Joel song!

  9. Nev Fountain  February 17, 2012

    ‘I didn’t know he had the hots for Cliff.’

    Very funny. And true. Sue is the Bill Hicks for Nerds.

  10. Jazza1971  February 17, 2012

    For the first time, I think, the suggested t-shirt for me goes to comments by Neil!

    “I bet he’d like to take her up the Amazon”

    and

    “Jack has just had a very big wee.”

    Okay, the second one isn’t really about “The Green Death”, but it could be a t-shirt for “Adventures with the Wife in Space – The Unwell Period”. And I must admit I do like to be kept up to date with the well being of Captain Jack!

    The end of this story is always emotional but I can’t decide whether this was because I had read the Target novel first, which had a brilliant emotional end, or whether it is all there on screen. Judging by Sue’s reaction it is probably the later. But the novel is dead good.

    • Chris Too-old-to-watch  February 18, 2012

      John Barrowman has probably already taken copyright on the second one…

  11. Barry Stavers  February 17, 2012

    If Sue thought the idea / execution of the giant fly was misguided, christ knows what she gonna make of Timeflight.

    • Barry Stavers  February 17, 2012

      Sorry Neil, spoilers….I know. Bad Barry (slaps wrist)

      • Dave Sanders  February 17, 2012

        Bad Barry Letts, you mean – have you forgotten already what’s coming up next season?

  12. Lewis Christian  February 17, 2012

    Yeah, it sure would be silly to see giant prawns. I’m so glad that never crossed anyone’s mind!

    Glad this story went down well – it’s brilliant, with horror mixed with comedy, and Pertwee’s in his stride. As for Jo… “how do you follow that?” … watch this space 😉

    • PolarityReversed  February 21, 2012

      Oh indeed. How comical it would be for seafood contact to be made…

  13. Frankymole  February 17, 2012

    Top Ten? It’s usually in my Top One (except when Seeds of Doom occasionally supersedes it).

  14. Simon Harries  February 17, 2012

    As regards the giant fly comment, maybe you should play Sue that Blake’s Seven episode “The Harvest of Kairos”?! My favourite comment, because the big 4-0 is still resonating with me, is your response to Nicol’s observation, “He’s quite old, actually. He’s in his early 40s.” Harsh.

    • Dave Sanders  February 17, 2012

      You could power an entire wind farm with all the fans spontaneously shouting ‘thanks for that Nicole’. Me included.

      • Daru  February 18, 2012

        Me too!

        You could definitely use the collective ire as a source of alternative energy if you can find a way of collecting it! See – your blog is ahead of its time too! This story was prophetic I think.

        This tale is one of my top ones – actually is my top one! So many memories from childhood and mostly well executed too.

    • Frankymole  February 18, 2012

      Well as Tarrant says to Dayna in another episode, “you’ll be old yourself one day, then you’ll be sorry”…

  15. Danny  February 17, 2012

    Me: It’s Valentine’s Day. Wouldn’t you prefer a nice romantic comedy instead?

    Sue: Sod that. Put some Doctor Who on.

    As if we didn’t know already how lucky you are – this has to be a t-shirt! 😀

    • Tom  February 17, 2012

      this. In fact, I was scrolling down just to make the same comment!

  16. tom_harries  February 17, 2012

    I think I’ll have to watch this one again!

  17. PSanders  February 17, 2012

    Huzzah for Captain Jack and double huzzah for Sue. I knew she wouldn’t let us down with this one – the lady recognises quality. And that final scene still packs a surprising wallop *sniff*

  18. Dave Sanders  February 17, 2012

    What is The Green Death episode one if not a romantic comedy anyway?

  19. Jez Noir  February 17, 2012

    Great to see Jerome Willis getting some love, I just watched all of The Sandbaggers and he was ruddy brilliant in that too.

    Also good to hear about your cat’s urinations (never thought I’d have to say that again), give the wee fella a pat from me

  20. Lauren A.  February 17, 2012

    Excellent, as always. Except that bit about the prawn. I just don’t know how you get these things in your head sometimes.

  21. Noodles  February 17, 2012

    So the question is – what did Nichol think of it?

  22. encyclops  February 17, 2012

    I know just what you mean about the novelisation being scary. As a 10-year-old in America seeing these only when the local PBS station felt like running them, I often had more access to the books, and so it was that I read The Talons of Weng-Chiang well before I ever saw it. How do I describe what happened in an unspoilery way? Let’s just say I became terrified of any potential hiding place about the size of the bathroom cupboard.

    Add me to the list of people relieved that Captain Jack relieved himself. I know the yowl you mean and it’s heartrending.

    I had my fingers crossed for a 10 on this episode, but a 9 is certainly fair. There’s another 10 next season for me, even though objectively I agree there are plenty of flaws.

  23. John G  February 17, 2012

    “Me: Look at Yates. He’s gutted.

    Sue: I didn’t know he had the hots for Cliff.”

    The obvious t-shirt quote this time, methinks! I always find this story to be an odd mix of the dramatically powerful and embarrassingly naff (it says something about how poor the giant fly is that there was a far more convincing one in Planet of Giants 9 years earlier). It also annoys me that Jo is patronised so much by Cliff when she has experienced so many wonderful things beyond his imagination, and yet he never gets pulled up on it really. Still, that ending takes some beating, the Brig has his brain back and the story makes its green points without getting too preachy. I assume from Sue’s speculation on what happens to Jo that she hasn’t seen Death of the Doctor?

    Good to hear that Captain Jack’s bladder seems to be on the mend. A big pee is often a source of great relief, but I am sure more so in this case than is usual…

  24. Mike Trytek  February 17, 2012

    Great stuff – and you could tell Captain Jack was on the mend from the fun you were both having. Sue especially seemed to be on cloud nine. Compared to The Planet of the Daleks it was a positive fiesta. That could also be because of the cast chasm of quality between the two stories, though.

    The Green Death is one of my earliest childhood memories, as well. Not from original broadcast, but from good ol’ VHS. I’m sure, though, that at the time I still found the “riding up a mine shaft lift” effect a bit cheesy.

    • Daru  February 19, 2012

      Yes –
      This show is still a vivid memory in my childhood – the child in me still recalls the striking image of those maggots. They definitely got ‘under my skin’ so to speak!

  25. Stuart Ian Burns  February 17, 2012

    “That was pretty good. Let’s watch another one.”

    Has she been sneaking The Tom Baker Years behind your back?

  26. George A  February 18, 2012

    Glad everything seems to be going slightly better for you guys, been very sorry to read of all the tribulations over the past couple of weeks, and also happy Sue enjoyed my earliest memory of Doctor Who, and also, in fact, my earliest memory (even if it was the 93 repeat!)

  27. Richard Lyth  February 18, 2012

    Great to hear that Sue liked this – for all its faults, it’s one of my favourite Pertwees, with a real emotional heart to it for once. It’s about the only time a companion leaves to marry someone where you can believe in the relationship. When I heard BBC Wales were making the new series, I was fully expecting them to do a sequel to this, but so far no luck. At least they brought Jo back, eventually.

    • PolarityReversed  February 18, 2012

      Umm… huh?
      I think that would be SJS that they brought back eventually. JG met a hairy eco-professor and buggered off to South America with a lump of blue stuff that scared the natives. SJS got dumped in Croydon without so much as bus fare.

      • PolarityReversed  February 18, 2012

        Oh, and come to think of it, it wasn’t even Croydon…

        • BWT  February 19, 2012

          No, it turned out to be Aberdeen – which, even so, must still have been an improvement. 😛

      • Neil Perryman  February 18, 2012

        Jo Grant comes back in an episode of SJA.

        • PolarityReversed  February 19, 2012

          Ah, okay. Might watch that one then. Be fun to see Katy again.

  28. Chris  February 18, 2012

    Sue clearly has excellent taste, this is one of my favourite Pertwees. Years ahead of it’s time.
    It’s also the start of the classic Mike Yates trilogy, second only to the Time War in forum based ponderings :)

    “Just use your finger!” has to be your t shirt of the Pertwee era.

  29. BWT  February 19, 2012

    “He keeps harping on about saving the planet and yet the lights are still on in the hallway when nobody is using it.”
    “He left a record player on when no one was listening to it, too.”

    Go on, compound the guilt. Shame it’s too long for t-shirt…

    How about a nice, “Just use your finger!”…?

    Anyway – yes, superb one, this. All good performances. One of me faves. And Sue’s too, I see. And possibly Neil’s. How does Capt. Jack feel about it? Glad he’s doing better too, the drug-addled old addict…

  30. Mag  February 19, 2012

    I did a double-take, but is there any significance to referring to yourself in 3rd person for this line? —

    “Neil: Yeah, I bet he’d like to take her up the Amazon.”

    • BWT  February 19, 2012

      “The Wife in Space” blog was hacked…?

    • Neil Perryman  February 19, 2012

      Freudian slip! It’s been fixed now.

  31. matt bartley  February 19, 2012

    One of my top ten favourites, this one. Glad to see Sue rates it highly, too. The novelisation is excellent and as someone with a complete phobia of maggots, needless to say it works in spades on me!

  32. Robert Dick  February 20, 2012

    Anyone who has enjoyed The Green Death novelisation, should get hold of Katy’s reading of it. *Expertly* done. Wholeheartedly recommended.

    • Frankymole  February 20, 2012

      Lovely – and the novelisation is great for many reasons, but especially as it confirms the story takes place in 1974… fitting in perfectly with the Sarah Jane Adventures’ UNIT dating. Malcolm Hulke was a genius!

  33. Chris Too-old-to-watch  February 20, 2012

    Re-watched this one over the weekend. Wonder how they’d handle this one now…based in Cardiff I can’t image the full-on Yachi-Da Welsman going down too well (Jones-the-milk, Jones-the-coalminer, Jones-the-alien-menace-from-outer-space-killer)

  34. farsighted99  February 21, 2012

    The best part of this story were the maggots (yuck); the Doctor dressed up like a cleaning lady and Jo finally finding someone good enough to leave the Doctor for (she had plenty of chances and turned them down until now). The last bit with the Doctor driving off to the TARDIS alone was really poignant and sad. OTOH, time for a new companion. Sorry to see Jo go. She was a hoot.

  35. Professor Thascales  February 23, 2012

    “Sue: Just use your finger! You wouldn’t need a stuntman if you just used your finger.” made me chuckle.

  36. Tim Parker  February 23, 2012

    After all the comments about this story’s green credentials I’m surprised that nobody’s mentioned that Professor Jones, or someone at the Nuthutch, also seems to have invented Quorn.

    • Frankymole  February 28, 2012

      It got mentioned on the DVD documentary!

      I’d kill for the beef-flavoured Quorn that the Brig enjoyed.

  37. John Callaghan  February 28, 2012

    A picture of your cat with “I want some ham, you bastard!” would be your best-selling mug, I’m guessing.

  38. Sparklepunk  March 23, 2012

    I managed to get a bit behind in this blog, which is actually a good thing, cause I have a bunch of these to look forward to.

    I’ll be another to say how glad I am that there was agreement here. This was one of my favorites as well. I used to think Cliff was cute when I was a kid and I guess I still do, but damned he is irritating enough to put one off. I know he’s just supposed to be acting like Pertwee, but I always felt I could imagine wanting to follow someone like that on adventures or being their friend, before I could imagine bloody well vowing to put up with them for the rest of my life and that marriage proposal totally pissed me off when I was a teenager. hah