Sunday 24 April 2011

153 The Macra Terror: Part One

EPISODE: The Macra Terror: Part One
TRANSMITTED: 11 March 1967
WRITER: Ian Stuart Black
DIRECTOR: John Davies
PRODUCER: Innes Lloyd
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: The Macra Terror
TELESNAPS: The Macra Terror: Part One

First things first: new titles! Macra Terror 1 doesn't exist, but many other later Troughton episodes do including Krotons part 2 which the BBC have put on YouTube so you can see what's going on. It's hard to describe exactly what's happening - so watch it. The major feature here is the inclusion of the Doctor's face which becomes a feature of the remaining sequences in the original series. I like the way the face dissolves into the logo too. One of my favourite versions. It's important to note that at this point the music is still that used for the original version: that subtly changes slightly later on.

A man, Medok, stares straight ahead as a heartbeat like sound is heard. Elsewhere a band play and majorettes perform. One man, The Pilot, congratulates another, Barney, on his band for the competition. Medok pushes through the crowd pursued by guards. Barney calls after him assuring him the treatment is for his own good. Medok sees the Tardis materialise and is apprehended by Jamie and Ben. The guard leader, Ola, thanks them and takes them to the city where they are received as honoured guests by the Pilot. A picture of the controller appears on a screen and a voice thanks them. The travellers enjoy the colony's hospitality but elsewhere Medok is questioned: he believes he's seeing creatures invade the camp at night. The Doctor comes to talk to Medok but this allows him to escape. The Time Travellers are taken to the labour centre to learn more of the colony and what they do there. Medok is hiding there and explains to the Doctor that anyone who sees the creatures is detained in the correction hospital. At night the Doctor sneaks out avoiding the guards and find Medok. Together they witness a pair of glowing eyes emerging out of the mist and a giant claw snaps at them.

Bit of an odd one this. As soon as you encounter the colony with it's sickly sweet holiday camp atmosphere and little songs on the public address announcements you know something can't be quite right. How it ties in to the crab claw we saw at the end of the last episode isn't obvious till the end of the episode. In an odd way this feels more like an episode of The Prisoner, still 6 months in the future at this stage, than an episode of Doctor Who.

The minor character Chicki is played by Sandra Bryant, previously Inferno bar manager Kitty in the War Machines. I mention this as it will become important when Chicki reappears in episode 4!


  1. Did'nt the Macra appear in one of the recent Dr Who episodes as well?