The Green Death

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The Green Death
Everything’s gone green…
 

Episode One

Sue: Oh, I like this one already. It’s filmed on location and it’s got a Land Rover in it.

The Green Death begins at a colliery in South Wales, and there’s trouble down pit.

Sue: This is very topical, isn’t it? 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. He is dead and very, very green.

We are joined by Nicol, who is late, as usual.

Nicol: That miner looks like he’s just been to a Klaxons’ gig.

Me: If you say so, Nicol. I don’t even know what that means.

At UNIT HQ, the Doctor is playing with his space-time coordinate programmer. When Jo threatens to run away to Wales to help somebody named Professor Jones, Sue jumps the gun.

Sue: Jo is going to leave, isn’t she? She’s going to leave the series in the first episode of this story.

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 DeathAs Jo and the Brigadier head for Llanfairfach, the Doctor arrives on Metebelis 3. And then Sue jumps out of her skin.

It’s the first time that the classic series has given her a genuine fright, and its all thanks to a giant rubber tentacle.

Sue: What the hell was that?

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

Nicol: How can she not know what the professor looks like? She said she was a big fan of his, and she was 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 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.

And then, just to rub some salt into the wound, the Doctor is attacked by some giant chicken legs.

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

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

Sue: This is well ahead of its time. A lot of the technology he is talking about here is still cutting-edge today.

Nicol: Is this why you wanted me to watch this episode?

Me: Yes, you are our renewable energy adviser this week.

Nicol currently works for a company that specialises in green energy, and wind power in particular, and I thought she could bring a professional perspective to the table.

Nicol: He’s a bit of a hypocrite, this professor. He keeps harping on about saving the planet and yet the lights are still on in the hallway when nobody is using it. And he’s decorated the place with carnival lights, 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 he arrives back at UNIT HQ just in time to answer the phone. “I”ll speak to anyone!” he cries, which results in Sue and Nicol laughing like drains.

Sue: I bet he won’t go back there in a hurry!

In his office, Stevens is conferring with a mysterious off-screen voice.

Sue: Is it a new Master?

Me: What?

Sue: Do we get a new Master in this one? Have they recast the part?

Even Nicol thinks her mother is reaching.

The Green DeathAnd then Stevens places a pair of expensive looking headphones over his ears.

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

Meanwhile, down the pit, a miner named Dai is about to live up to his name.

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

Jo and a miner named Burt decide to help Dai but, thanks to a saboteur, they are sent hurtling to their deaths as Talfryn Thomas looks on in horror.

Sue: That was pretty good. Let’s watch another one.

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

Sue: Sod that. Put some Doctor Who on.

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Episode Two

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

Sue: Just reverse the lift’s polarity!

The Doctor jams a metal bar into the workings of the lift instead.

The Green DeathSue: That should have taken his arm off.

As Elgin, Global Chemicals’ PR man, becomes increasingly suspicious of the company he now works for, the penny finally drops for Sue as well.

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 at this point? 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?

The Green DeathMe: Well, 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 believes that she’s watching a sequel to The Invasion.

Sue: Is it the same 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 this on purpose, aren’t you?

The Green DeathAs Stevens and the Brigadier argue the toss over who has the most jurisdiction, Sue is drawn to the scene’s political content.

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

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

Sue: They are over-reacting a bit. It’s just some street performers. They would get on your tits after a while but they aren’t exactly al-Qaeda.

The Doctor uses the distraction to enter the grounds, but once inside, he quickly find himself fighting off more security guards.

The Green DeathNicol: That’s not 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: Just use your finger! You wouldn’t need a stuntman if you just used your finger.

As Jo and Burt make their way through the mine, Burt is stupid enough to touch some of the green slime oozing from the walls. He starts to panic.

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 managed to finish a sentence without sticking Boyo at the end of it.

Nicol: Maybe he was ad-libbing?

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

Sue: This is quite good, isn’t it?

Me: This story had a massive impact on me when I was young. It was the concept of contamination that really freaked me out – the fact you could catch the green death by simply touching someone who had it – I still feel funny when I think about it now.

The Green DeathWhen Jo encounters a hoard of maggots covered in green slime, Sue is fairly certain that she’s seen this 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.

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The next morning, Sue casually mentioned the experiment on our way to work. She never does that.

Sue: So, more Green Death tonight, yes?

Me: Yes.

Sue: It’s good, isn’t it?

I nod uncomfortably and change the subject. I still find it a bit weird talking about Doctor Who with the wife in real life situations like that, despite everything I’m putting her though. It just doesn’t feel right. I haven’t had any breakfast and yet all she wants to talk about is giant maggots. There’s a time and place for everything, you know.

Captain JackLater that night, just as we were about to watch Episode Three, Captain Jack made a terrible noise. It was a howl from the pit of his stomach, and it sounded nothing like his “I want some ham, you bastard!” cry. He looked a little unsteady on his feet and he gave me that look that says, “Fix me, you idiot”. So Sue and I freaked out. Again.

Jack went into his cat box without a fight – he never does that – and 40 minutes later, we were back at the emergency vets.

Sue: In parallel universe, we are sitting by a swimming pool in Los Angeles…

The good news: his bladder wasn’t full. The bad news: he might be addicted to diamazepan. We took him home with us and Sue set up a very complicated security system, which involved her strapping her iPad to the stairs at an angle that covered Jack’s favourite litter tray. She then downloaded an app that records time-lapse video and she’s rigged it to go off regular 10-second intervals. At least we’ll get some sleep tonight.

Stevens would be proud.

Episode Three

When the Doctor and Jo find themselves surrounded by maggots, the Doctor offers his companion some advice:

Sue: Nil desperandum? Isn’t that Sunderland’s official motto?

Me: Yes. I can’t imagine why.

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

Sue: Hmmmm. This isn’t the special effects department’s finest hour.

Me: It was bloody terrifying in the novelisation. Believe me, I didn’t sleep for weeks.

Sue: I know, you kept me awake with all your tossing and turning.

Me: Oh, very funny.

Sue is full of admiration for 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 brought out again, Sue becomes even more convinced that she is watching a sequel to The Invasion.

Sue: Hang on, are the Cybermen involved in this? Those headphones look very Cyberman-y to me.

Me: No.

Sue: Good.

Fell, an employee of Global Chemicals, begins to resist his conditioning, so he is programmed for self-destruction instead.

The Green DeathSue: Suicide on children’s television. Nice.

Me: This is so grim, even the villain isn’t sure about what he’s 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 discover that Burt the miner is dead. Boyo.

Sue: This is bleak.

But this 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 as she is preparing to snog Professor Jones’ face off.

Sue: He is so jealous.

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

Sue: He’s trying to compete, now. And it isn’t working. He’s gutted. It isn’t sexual jealousy, though. He just wants to protect her. He doesn’t want to shag her, but he doesn’t want anyone else shagging 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 could have a field day with this.

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Episode Four

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

Yes, Nicol is back for more and she isn’t impressed by the maggots. I remind her what happened to Gary and she decides to shut up.

And then…

The Green DeathSue: Benton!

UNIT have been tasked with keeping the locals away from the mine. And then, completely out of the blue, there is a reference to a pet cat at death’s door.

Sue turns to me, open-mouthed.

Sue: Unbelievable.

Me: You’re just seeing patterns in things that aren’t there. Don’t worry.

Meanwhile, back at the Nuthutch, Jo is being patronised by two men at once, which makes Sue’s blood boil. But that’s nothing compared to the disdain she shows when a certain someone turns up…

Sue: Oh no. Not Mike Yates!

Yates is pretending to be a government minister, but instead of preventing UNIT from blowing up the mine, he ignores the Doctor’s pleas and he allows the demolition to go ahead.

The Green DeathSue: Right, so Yates has infiltrated the bad guys so successfully, he has actually become a bad guy himself. Excellent work, Yates. Having said that, this scene where the Doctor and Yates try to stare each other out is great.

Alone in his office, Stevens is given a dressing down by his invisible boss.

Me: It’s not every day that you get a reference to Nietzsche on children’s television.

Sue: I’m just happy that 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, is she? They are setting it up for her to leave with this guy. I’m telling you, this is her last story.

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

Sue: I’m not mopping that up!

Back at the Nuthutch, our heroes consider what form the giant maggots will eventually take.

Sue: They will 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 is amused by the Brigadier’s reference to a “dratted caterpillar”, and she couldn’t give a toss about the way 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 decides to break into Global Chemicals again.

The Green DeathSue: 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 (where he is attacked by his own fake moustache), Jo continues to assist Professor Jones in his search for a cure to the green death. But instead of 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.

When another cleaner turns up, I make sure that Sue knows the score.

Me: That’s Jon Pertwee, love.

Sue: Are you quite sure? It looks like my mam.

The Green DeathI am acutely embarrassed by this scene but Nicol and Sue are lapping it up.

Nicol: It’s turned into The League of Gentlemen.

Me: Yes, Mrs Levinson.

Jo decides to leave the professor to his casual sexism, and she heads off to find a live specimen for him to play with. In order to get into the danger zone, she has to charm her way through UNIT’s 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 traipses off into danger, Professor Jones finds the cure that he’s been looking for.

Sue: That’s Jo’s curse, that is. 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 DeathMeanwhile, the Doctor has reached Global Chemicals’ control centre. A booming voice taunts him.

Sue: It is the Master?

No, it’s a sentient computer.

Sue: Oh. That’s a bit disappointing.

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Jack has just had a very big wee. We 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 cat. I hope.

Episode Five

Sue: UNIT love their helicopters, don’t they?

The Green DeathBut something is bothering Sue as UNIT’s bombs start raining down.

Sue: Why are they filming some of these scenes with CSO? Why didn’t they just shoot these scenes at the same time as all the others?

For the next 10 minutes or so, Sue simply watches the episode. She appears to be enjoying herself. And she’s not the only one.

Sue: Pertwee looks like he’s having a lot of fun this week. I bet this was one of his favourite stories.

The Doctor manages to escape 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 something 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 has been great up until now.

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

Sue: It’s bit lame that you can just jump over them.

Me: Yes, but the maggots aren’t the real threat. Just you wait until they can fly. You won’t be able to jump over them, then.

Sue: Good point.

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

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

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Episode Six

The Green DeathA maggot decides to eat some of Nancy’s homemade fungus cake and it promptly drops down dead.

Sue: (singing) “Love is like a butterfly…”

Me: Yes, a giant evil butterfly.

Sue: It actually looks like a giant prawn.

Me: Now that would be silly…

The Doctor sends Yates back to Global Chemicals and BOSS threatens to turn him into one of his slave elite.

Sue: It will be the first time Yates has been an elite anything.

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

Sue: Just run them over! That would be much more fun. A steam-roller would do the job nicely.

And then the moment finally arrives – my one and only surviving memory of watching this story on its first transmission at the tender age of three and a half.

The Green DeathSue: Oh dear. That’s not great.

Me: The giant fly looked perfectly fine when I was three. In fact, I think it traumatised me.

Yates escapes from Global Chemicals through an open window.

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

Benton and the Doctor 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 just sitting there waiting for the fly to attack them? Jesus Christ, Benton!

Having said that, Sue is impressed when the Doctor brings the insect down with his cape, mainly thanks to some clever editing and a very gruesome sound effect.

Back at the Nuthutch, the Doctor finally puts two and two together.

Me: If only Jo knew what serendipity meant, we could have saved ourselves a lot of trouble.

The Green DeathSue: Would you have known what serendipity meant?

Me: Of course I would! I read the novelisation several times over, remember.

Nancy volunteers to treat the professor while the Doctor sorts out the BOSS.

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

As BOSS sings Beethoven’s Fifth, Sue has nothing but praise for John Dearth.

Sue: It really is a great performance, especially when you consider that you can’t see the actor. I like the way the computer has a personality. It’s a very entertaining villain and it must have played into people’s fears of technology at the time. It 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 change of heart and he turns on the machine.

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

The Green DeathStevens decides to sacrifice himself and a single tear falls from his eye as he considers what he’s done.

Sue: That was an excellent performance.

Me: Quite brilliant.

After a very 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 ****ing Juliet. And if you must know, mine went something like this: “Well, if the world is going to end, we may as well get married, I guess”. Don’t laugh, it was 1999.

Sue: I don’t like his attitude. There’s a dark side to Cliff. He’s too cocky and impatient. Maybe Jo will knock that out of him. I hope so. 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 couple’s happy news.

Me: Look at Yates. He’s gutted.

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

But Yates is positively ecstatic when compared to the Doctor.

The Green DeathSue: This is really sad. It was obvious that she was going to leave from the very 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. Some of the ink has been smudged by tiny droplets of water. I can’t imagine how that happened.

The Doctor decides to leave the party early.

Sue: Smile. Come on, Doctor, smile.

But he doesn’t. Not quite.

Sue: Oh dear.

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The Final Score

Sue: That was great. It was one episode too long and some of the effects were a bit of a joke, but apart from that, I really enjoyed that one. 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

The experiment continues…
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If you don’t own this story, why not buy it on DVD? If you use the link below, we get a small cut, which will help pay for the site’s running costs. Many thanks for your support (UK residents only).

Doctor Who: The Green Death – Special Edition [DVD]

Price: £6.70

4.7 out of 5 stars (67 customer reviews)

 

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Discussion

  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! :D

    • 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. :-P

      • 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