Thursday 16 December 2010

024 The Keys of Marinus Part 4: The Snows of Terror

EPISODE: The Keys of Marinus Part 4: The Snows of Terror
TRANSMITTED: 02 May 1964
WRITER: Terry Nation
DIRECTOR: John Gorrie
SCRIPT EDITOR: David Whitaker
PRODUCER: Verity Lambert
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Keys Of Marinus

Our "does what it says on the tin" measure finds Ian & Barbara freezing to death in the snow. They're rescued by a man and taken to a cottage. A man in the cottage, the trapper Vasor, says they were rescued from wolves by a stranger who was looking for two girls. Ian thinks it sounds like Altos. He bargains away his travel bracelet for some firs to go out in the snow looking for the other three. He finds Altos and rescues him. Barbara finds Sabitha's chain with the keys: the Vasor found them with the girls. Barbara thinks he stole the keys and the travel dials. He's put raw meat into Ian's bag to attract the wolves. Back at the cottage Vasor is attempting to assault Barbara. She defends herself long enough for Ian & Altos to arrive. He has Susan & Sabitha captive in a cave on the mountain. Vasor leads Ian's party up the mountain to the cave where the girls are but they have ventured further into the caves inside the mountain. Crossing a rope bridge over a chasm Susan and Sabitha find four knights guarding something. Ian's party cross the bridge and are reunited with the girls but Vasor cuts the ropes trapping them. They take shelter in the chamber with Knights - in the middle of them is the key. Ian believes the knights are four frozen warriors. Turning a valve on a pipe, linked to a hot underground spring, starts to melt the ice containing the key. Ian & Altos build a temporary bridge to escape. With the ice melted they retrieve the key, but the Knights come to life and attack them. Susan crosses the temporary bridge enabling the rope bridge to be retired long enough for them to escape over it. Ian cuts the bridge again as one knight falls to his doom and the others are trapped. Ian's party return to Vasor's cottage, seize their travel dials and escape as Vasor is slain by one of the Knights who has escaped.

Ian materialises in a museum with a body on the floor. He is clubbed unconscious from behind with his hand placed on the handle of a mace. His unseen assailant breaks into a cabinet and steals the last key.

A little bit more pedestrian this episode. The knights waking up is similar to the moving statue from the last episode, while the mucking about with the rope bridge reminded me of the chasm in The Daleks episode 6. Never one to waste an idea was Terry Nation:-) However Vasor's assault on Barbara is a little bit of an adult theme for a teatime show, it's quite obvious what they're implying his intention is here. The Ice & Snow setting is good, but Doctor Who will make much better use of such a setting in later stories.

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