Wednesday 27 April 2011

156 The Macra Terror: Part Four

EPISODE: The Macra Terror: Part Four
TRANSMITTED: 01 April 1967
WRITER: Ian Stuart Black
DIRECTOR: John Davies
PRODUCER: Innes Lloyd
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: The Macra Terror
TELESNAPS: The Macra Terror: Part Four

The Doctor reverses the gas flow causing fresh air to be pumped into the old tunnel allowing Jamie to escape. He ends up in a dance rehearsal where the guards find him. Ben reluctantly identifies him: His real personality is reasserting itself. Jamie is taking to the Pilot but the Doctor arrives and takes the Pilot, despite the Controllers protests, to see the Macra. The Pilot is horrified as Controllers voice becomes increasingly desperate ordering them to be destroyed. They are captured and locked in the pipe room with Jamie & Polly. Gas is pumped in. However Ben is now completely back to normal and frees them, causing the Macra's gas supply to be destroyed. The Tardis crew sneak away during the celebrations afterwards.

A pretty standard "wrap it up" episode 4 punctuated by some odd inserts of colony life, especially the dance competition Jamie wanders into. It's not 100% clear what's happened to the Macra: have they been destroyed or are they merely entombed in the tunnels unable to escape without a better supply of gas? Incredibly the Macra do return, in the 3rd series of the new Doctor Who during the episode Gridlock. Reports that they come back as a result of a drunken "which rubbish Doctor Who monster can you bring back" competition cannot be confirmed.

Chicki is back in this episode: I'm assuming she's one of the dancing girls as she's not identified by name. However Sandra Bryant, who played her in Episode 1, had since had a lucrative offer of work and was released to take it up so Karol Keyes plays her here, making her the first Doctor Who character, other than the title role, to be credited to two different performers.

This is Ian Stuart Black's last script for Doctor Who: he would later novelise all three stories he wrote. The Macra Terror is one of five stories to have it's soundtrack released on audio cassette in the 1990s. Colin Baker provided the narration and amongst those five stories it's the only one to retain that narration for it's later release on CD in the early 2000s.

No episodes of the Macra Terror exist. It's the tenth story to hold that unfortunate distinction but there's only one more to come.

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