Saturday 22 September 2012

669 Delta and the Bannermen Part Two

EPISODE: Delta and the Bannermen Part Two
TRANSMITTED: Monday 09 November 1987
WRITER: Malcolm Kohll
DIRECTOR: Chris Clough
SCRIPT EDITOR: Andrew Cartmel
PRODUCER: John Nathan-Turner
RATINGS: 5.1 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - Delta and the Bannermen

The bounty hunter is atomised by a charge sent to his communicator by the Bannermen, knocking the Doctor & Ray out. The US agents Weismuller & Hawk continue their search for the satellite, questioning local bee-keeper Goronwy. The next morning Billy goes to see Delta who takes him into her confidence. He takes her, and her rapidly growing Chimeron baby, away from the camp in his Vincent motorcycle. The Doctor awakes and convinces Burton to evacuate the camp, giving coach driver Murray the regenerated crystal to fit while he & Ray search for Delta. Weismuller & Hawk witness the arrival of the Bannermen spaceship and are taken prisoner. The Bannermen trace the advanced technology in the disguised bus to the camp and destroy it killing the entire tour party. Mel and camp manager Burton are taken prisoner. The Doctor finds Delta. While looking for a place of safety Delta senses Goronwy's bees and she, Ray, the Baby & Billy find shelter at Goronwy's house while the Doctor goes to parley with Gavrok under a white flag of truce. As he tried to leave with their prisoners they find themselves surrounded by Bannermen.

Full of incident that episode, accompanied by a soundtrack that's got lots of period music embedded into it. At the time it rather put me off the story but now I'm finding it better than many of the surrounding stories. Mel's a little bit of an absent figure in proceedings with the companion role effectively being filled by Ray. Sara Griffiths wasn't the original choice for the role with Lynn Gardner originally being cast. Gardner then hurt herself practising on a scooter. Griffiths, who had auditioned for this role as well as that of Ace in Dragonfire, was cast as her replacement and Gardner given a voice over role in Dragonfire. The character of Ray was designed as a potential replacement companion as by this point Bonnie Langford had made clear her intention to leave. As it was the production team decided to use Dragonfire's Ace instead but in her only appearance Ray comes out as a nicely portrayed and well rounded character. So Doctor Who misses out on having a Welsh companion something which, despite the series now being produced in Cardiff, it still hasn't had!

The main guest star in this series in Don Henderson playing the Bannermen leader Gavrok. Science fiction fans may recognise him as General Tagge in Star Wars or as a rogue simulent in Red Dwarf: Beyond a Joke, but he's best known for his role as George Bulman in XYY Man, Strangers and Bulman. He'd later appear in The Paradise Club with Resurrection of the Daleks' Leslie Grantham. American agent Weismuller is played by Stubby Kaye, an actor with a long US Film career, including an appearance in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Reputedly he introduced himself to the cast as "Stubby Kaye, former boy actor". Belinda Mayne, playing Delta, was apparently shortlisted for the role of the first Romana. Two of the actors in this show have sitcoms to their name: Richard Davies, as Burton the Holiday Camp manager, was Mr Price in Please Sir! while Hugh Lloyd, playing Goronwy, starred in Hugh and I with Terry Scott. Johnny Dennis, playing Murray, probably won't be familiar to many of you but since 1995 he's been the voice of the public address system at Lord's Cricket Ground, succeeding Alan Curtis who was Major Green in the War Machines.

The major location used in this story is Majestic Holiday Camp, formerly Butlin's Barry Island. All th other locations can be found nearby: Sutton Farm which served as Goronwy's cottage, Pyscodlyn Mawr Reservoir, where Billy takes Delta and Coed Y Wallas, the location the Bannermen landed.

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