Sunday 4 March 2012

468 The Sun Makers Part Three

EPISODE: The Sun Makers Part Three
TRANSMITTED: 10 December 1977
WRITER: Robert Holmes
DIRECTOR: Pennant Roberts
SCRIPT EDITOR: Robert Holmes
PRODUCER: Graham Williams
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Sun Makers

Leela is captured by the guards but K-9, Bisham & Cordo escape. The outlaws aren't convinced by the Doctor's story and are about to torture him when Cordo returns. Leela is examined by the Collector's medics who discover she has no identity number. The Doctor, Bisham & Mandrell come up with a plan to take over the PCM main control and stop the gas being pumped into the atmosphere. The Collector interrogates Leela. The Doctor starts to take an interest in the company and who they actually are. He dispatches the outlaws to incite the populace to revolution. The Collector crushes the Gatherer's notions of a rebellion forming and tells him of the Doctor's past activities. The Collector decides to have Leela executed by Public Steaming, intending to trap the Doctor when he rescues her. The Doctor deceives the camera system observing him to believe he is pacing on the same spot while he, K-9, Cordo, Bisham & Mandrell break into central control, overpowering the operators, Synge & Hackett, and shutting down the PCM distribution. Hearing of Leela's execution the Doctor plans a rescue. K-9 travels through a vent and blasts a valve. The Doctor enters the steamer through an access tunnel but is told he has only 2 minutes to rescue Leela. But while inside the condenser system runs wild approaching a catastrophic explosion.....

Ah we've not seen this for a while. As soon as the Doctor is able to he decides to overthrow the government. There's been a bit of the Doctor showing up on alien planets and overthrowing corrupt regimes: Web Planet, The Ark, The Savages, The Macra Terror, The Krotons & The Mutants spring to mind. Up there with Alien Invasion & Base Under Siege it's one of the show's staples yet they've not had a go at doing it for a while now, the Mutants being the last example I can remember. And because Robert Holmes, the inverter of the tissue compression eliminator, is writing this we need to have a novel way to die: So let's steam Leela alive! And while we're at it we can send the Doctor into rescue her in pure 1940s serial style as the cliffhanger at the end of the episode.

The writer has been sneaking little references into the tax system right the way through the material. Here he turns to comedy. The two technicians at PCM control are called Synge & Hackett which is surely a tip of the hat to comedy act Hinge & Brackett!

There's a nice nod to an earlier Holmes tale too: the Collector's computer makes reference to it being a Tellurian colony: Tellurian is the name used for the humans in The Carnival of Monsters.

There's not a lot of returning actors in this series just Tom Kelly, who plays a Guard in the next episode. He was also a Guard in the Doctor Who serial The Face of Evil and will be a Vardan in The Invasion of Time. He was in the Blake's 7 episode Spacefall as Nova, while Adrienne Burgess, who plays Veet here was in the Blake's 7 episode Shadow as Hanna. William Simons - Mandrel - is known outside of Doctor Who for playing PC Alf Ventress in Heartbeat.

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