Tuesday 20 September 2011

302 The Dæmons: Episode Four

EPISODE: The Dæmons: Episode Four
TRANSMITTED: 12 June 1971
WRITER: "Guy Leopold" (pseudonym for Robert Sloman and Barry Letts)
DIRECTOR: Christopher Barry
SCRIPT EDITOR: Terrance Dicks
PRODUCER: Barry Letts
FORMAT: VHS: Doctor Who: The Dæmons
Episode Format: 625 video

A slightly concussed Jo makes her was to the cavern under the church. The Master with the Dæmon Azal asking for power but Azal demands to speak with the Doctor too. Yates finds Jo gone and follows her. The Doctor briefs Unit on the machine and instructs them how to use it to breach the barrier so they can bring it to the village. Mike finds Jo in the cavern but they are trapped as the coven members return. Benton & Miss Hawthorne watch the villagers starting their Maypole dance as the Doctor arrives, is captured by the Morris Men and entangled in the ropes of the Maypole. Miss Hawthorne claims he is a wizard and with a little help from Benton's sharp shooting skills plus Bessie's new remote control convinces them allowing the Doctor to be freed. Jo interrupt the Master's ceremony to save the chicken they're going to sacrifice as the goat legged, horned & bearded Azal appears.

The confrontation between the Doctor & the villagers aside this episode feels like it's treading water a bit postponing the final encounter with Azal. We do get what I think is the first "Reverse the polarity" from the Doctor, soon to be given it's one and only airing as the third Doctor's supposed catch phrase. There's some great interaction between Benton & Miss Hawthorne here too. Azal claims to have destroyed Atlantis.... well we saw the sunken Atlantis city destroyed in The Underwater Menace so we can only assume he means the original sinking .....

The fourth episode of the Dæmons is the only one that exists on it's original 625 line colour video tape. The rest of the episodes were found at BBC Enterprises as Black & White film prints then recovered from the USA as off air 525 line NTSC domestic colour recordings. In 1992 the higher definition black & white film prints were married to the the colour signal from the US videos to producer a higher definition colour copy. See The Restoration Team Website for more details. This led to the same technique being applied to several other Pertwee stories.

Two actors make their Doctor Who débuts in this story Alec Linstead is playing Sgt. Osgood and will return as Arnold Jellicoe in Robot, and Arthur Stengos in Revelation of the Daleks. But playing Azal is Stephen Thorne. Originally it was planned that Thorne would just be the physical body of Azal and that Anthony Jackson, who was in the first few series of Rentaghost, was going to voice Azal. For whatever reason this plan was changed and Thorne returns, being very loud again, as Omega in The Three Doctors, an Ogron in Frontier in Space and Eldrad in The Hand of Fear. He became a great friend of Nicholas Courtney and would sign Courtney's nomination for the Equity council every year.

The Morris Dancers in this episode are a real Morris Dancing team, The Headington Quarry Men who are still going to this day!

No comments:

Post a Comment