Will Sue bear the Malus any malice? Let’s find out…
Sue: I like this story already. We’re outside and we’re on Earth. That’s just the way I like it.
Sue immediately recognises Jane Hampden.
Sue: Oh, it’s Polly whatsherface from The Liver Birds. We have the complete set, now.
Jane watches as a group of men in Civil War armour ride by on horseback.
Sue: Has she fallen through a hole in time? She seems to be handling it rather well. Either that or the costume department have completely ****ed up and she’s supposed to be from the past…
Jane admonishes Sir George Hutchinson for his Cavalier attitude.
Me: Do you recognise him?
Sue: Yes. It’s Jason King.
Me: Jason King in Doctor Who? Don’t be daft. I’m not surprised you don’t recognise him with that wig on, though. It’s Denis Lill. He was in Survivors. He was the one who wasn’t Greg. He was also in Image of the Fendhal, but he didn’t have a lot of hair in that.
Sue: Is Doctor Who where all the old Survivors come to die?
She also recognises Glyn Houston. Well, sort of…
Sue: He’s dead famous, too. He’s been in loads of things. Including Doctor Who, I think. This story’s got a good guest cast so far.
Meanwhile, in the space-time vortex, the Doctor and Turlough are fiddling with the TARDIS.
Me: Have you noticed something missing from the TARDIS, recently?
Sue: Erm… a hatstand?
Me: No, the hatstand is over there in the corner.
Sue: A nice chaise longue?
Me: No, something much more important than a chair. Come on, what’s missing from this scene?
Sue: I have no idea.
She will kick herself in a couple of weeks…
The Doctor has agreed to Tegan’s request to visit her grandfather.
Sue: Don’t tell me – Tegan’s grandfather gets killed by aliens? Tegan’s family is cursed. I’d give her relations a wide berth, if I were her. And why would she use a machine that can travel through all of time and space to visit someone she could have seen by taking a bus or a train in her own time? It’s a waste of the Doctor’s resources.
The Doctor and his companions explore a disused church.
Sue: I bet the altar is the Monk’s TARDIS. I’m right, aren’t I?
Me: Wait and see.
Fog begins to pour through a crack in the wall.
Sue: Hey, that’s the same crack from the new series. Hang on, is this Amy Pond’s village?
Tegan is told that her grandfather has gone missing (“Now there’s a surprise”) and she runs away. Out of breath, she holds her handbag up to her face for comfort.
Sue: What is she doing? Does she like the smell of leather when she’s stressed out?
Sir George tells the Doctor that he must take part in the village’s war games.
Sue: It’s all gone a bit Wicker Man.
Meanwhile, Tegan is confronted by a ghostly apparition.
Sue: Is the topless guy Tegan’s grandfather? I can see why she was in such a hurry to visit him, now. He can’t have long left.
The Doctor chases a disfigured man through the village. This man is preternaturally fast.
Sue: How did he get so far away? Is the director on crack?
The Doctor: How could he get so far?
Sue: Oh. OK, fair enough. As long as it makes sense later.
The Doctor follows this man back to the church, but when he enters it, he is attacked by psychic forces.
Sue: Either this place is haunted or they have a really powerful stereo system. It’s definitely the Monk.
A young man breaks through the stone wall. His name is Will Chandler.
Sue: Is he the new Adric? Does Tegan stay behind at the end of this story and does the Doctor travel with two boys? That would be… different.
And then Sue has a brainwave:
Sue: I bet this boy is Tegan’s Great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather and if he dies, she won’t exist. Am I close?
Sir George tells his men, Willow and Wolsey, that he wants Tegan found.
Sue: He can’t stop playing with his balls. The man’s obsessed!
It turns out that Jane would have been the Queen of May if Tegan hadn’t turned up out of the blue.
Sue: So there’s only one woman in this entire village? How does that work?
The Doctor takes Will to a graveyard so he can prove that the boy has traveled forward in time.
Sue: Forget the bloody gravestones, show him that massive electricity pylon in the background!
Tegan is captured by Willow and she is told to put on a special dress. We’ve all been there.
Willow: Just do as you’re told. Unless you want me to do it for you.
Sue: I bet you’d like that, wouldn’t you? You dirty perv.
Having said that, Sue is impressed with the results.
Sue: That’s Tegan’s best outfit yet. She ought to keep that one.
Back at the church, the crack in the wall opens wider….
Sue: Ooh, I got a little shock, then.
We catch a glimpse of a large green eye, and then the screen is filled with smoke. The Doctor walks towards it…
Sue: I can tell you one thing – the monster is rubbish. If it was any good, that cliffhanger wouldn’t have ended with the back of Peter Davison’s head.
The credits roll.
Sue: It’s got some atmosphere, which is nice, but this plot isn’t doing anything for me at all.top
Sue isn’t very impressed with the Malus.
Sue: It looks like something you’d see on a Ghost Train at a fun fair.
And when Doctor and Will are confronted by a ghostly Cavalier…
Sue: And now it’s turned into The Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney World.
Turlough is captured on the village green by a soldier.
Sue: This is getting a bit out of hand for a role-play game.
Me: I wonder what their safety word is.
Sir George admires the new-look Tegan.
Sue: He’s taking this game a bit too seriously. Can you imagine what he’d be like if he ever played World of Warcraft? He’d never leave the house.
Turlough is locked up with Tegan’s grandfather.
Sue: That’s a very nice doer-upper. In fact, the village is lovely. Apart from all the weirdos, of course.
The Doctor and Will discuss what will happen to the Queen of the May. Will thinks on…
Sue: I can’t imagine a close-up of Adric ever lasting that long.
Wolsey has had a change of heart and he arrives at the village green with a fake Tegan made from straw.
Sue: Here’s a much better idea: just don’t turn up at all!
The Doctor races back to his TARDIS. He isn’t very happy with Tegan when he gets there.
The Doctor: You didn’t close the doors!
Sue: Don’t get me started…
When we’re back on the TARDIS, I have one last go:
Me: Are you sure there’s nothing missing from the TARDIS?
Sue: I don’t know. Is it his little porch? Has that gone?
Sue: I don’t know. What is it? I bet it’s some really stupid detail on the TARDIS console that only a fan would notice.
Me: Forget it. It doesn’t matter.
On the TARDIS wall, a tiny Malus is growing…
Sue: Just knock it down with a broom.
The Doctor defeats the Mauls by pressing some buttons on his console.
Sue: What is it with Doctor Who and vomiting monsters? It’s a really gruesome trend.
Me: It could have been worse. It could have come out the other end.
Sir George is possessed by the Malus but Will manages to overpower him…
Will: It be better he be dead!
Sue: Dead? He just tripped over a fairground attraction. I’m pretty sure he would have survived that.
The Malus isn’t very happy.
Sue: So what? What’s he going to do? He just sits behind a wall and moans a lot. He’s not really in the same league as the Weeping Angels, is he?
Everyone races to the TARDIS…
Sue: The villagers are taking the interior of the TARDIS in their stride, I see. That village must be really ****ed up if this is normal for them.
Tegan is finally reunited with her grandfather.
Sue: Will he ask her if she was responsible for his daughter’s death?
The episode concludes with a very long conversation about tea.
Sue: There were only two episodes and yet they still needed to pad it out. That is unforgivable. And how many ****ing companions has the Doctor got now?
Me: I don’t know. You tell me.top
The Final Score
Sue: That was rushed. I liked the locations, the acting, and the sets, but the plot just wasn’t good enough. It was hard to give a shit about any of the characters. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think it would have worked better as a four-parter. The direction wasn’t great, either.
The experiment continues…
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