Saturday 5 February 2011

075 The Chase Part 4: Journey Into Terror

EPISODE: The Chase Part 4: Journey Into Terror
TRANSMITTED: 12 June 1965
WRITER: Terry Nation
DIRECTOR: Richard Martin
SCRIPT EDITOR: Dennis Spooner
PRODUCER: Verity Lambert
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Space Museum/The Chase

The episode title appropriateness meter hopes to be terrified this episode. Well straight off the bat we've materialised in the typical Scooby Doo haunted house. Creaking, cobwebs, thunderclaps and lightening - the works. Roiks! Oh a Dalek/stairs joke from Ian how funny - we refer you to the Dalek on the upper deck of the ship last week. The Doctor & Ian explore upstairs, while Vicki & Barbara examine the huge carved face fireplace whose eyes light up scaring them. Ian sees apparitions while Doctor finds a laboratory with SOMETHING on the table. As they approach it sits up - they're in the lair of Frankenstein's Monster. Meanwhile Vicki & Barbara encounter a dinner suited gentleman with long canines who introduces himself as Count Dracula before vanishing as does Vicki. A screaming woman comes onto the balcony as Barbara falls through a section of wall. Ian & the Doctor think there's something familiar about the house, it's what they'd expect in a Nightmare. The Doctor wonders if they've wandered into the realm of dreams (not a silly suggestion as we'll see later) The Daleks arrive as Ian & The Doctor search for Barbara & Vicki. A Dalek encounters Frankenstien's Monster which attacks it, while another is distracted by Dracula. Vicki shouts a warning and is separated from the others who've not noticed she is gone and dematerialise. The monster destroys a Dalek allowing Vicki to hide in the Dalek's time machine. The Tardis crew speculate on where they'd been as the camera pulls back revealing they've been in a House of Horrors at the futuristic Festival of Ghana. Barbara notices Vicki has gone. The Daleks observe the Tardis is nearing the planet Mechanus. They use their reproducer program to begin to make a double of the Doctor. Vicki tries to contact the Tardis for help - she finds the double. The Doctor is blaming himself for Vicki being left behind. Ian suggests capturing the functional Dalek time machine and returning to find Vicki. The next time they land they will stop and fight the Daleks. The Daleks meanwhile activate their robot Doctor as the Tardis amaterialises in swampy terrain that Ian thinks looks alive. The double is sent to infiltrate and kill the Tardis crew.

I remarked about the Scooby Doo element to Keys of Marinus episode 3. Well Terry Nation's done it again by providing us with a near perfect Scooby Doo like setting. In fact The Chase & Keys of Marinus have certain similarities: If you change the travel bands of Keys of Marinus to time machines here as the means of transport and add in a pursuing force, something that Marinus lacked, and they're not dissimilar. An early sign of Nation's recycling policy, perhaps noticing as I did that having the Vrood appearing occasionally as pursuers of the Tardis crew in the earlier story would have added something. For more recycling see also: Most other Nation written Dalek stories. In fact The Chase is strongly rehashed in later episodes of the Dalek Masterplan that throughout continues Terry Nations frequent trick of changing the setting as often as possible.

The screaming woman in this story is a return appearance by Roslyn De Winter who choreographed the Web Planet and appeared as a in the same story.

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