EPISODE: The Keys of Marinus Part 1: The Sea of Death
OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 021
STORY NUMBER: 005
TRANSMITTED: 11 April 1964
WRITER: Terry Nation
DIRECTOR: John Gorrie
SCRIPT EDITOR: David Whitaker
PRODUCER: Verity Lambert
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Keys Of Marinus
We're halfway through Doctor Who Season 1! This is episode 21 of 42!
We're also back on DVD so we have visuals again. There's a distinct break between this story and the last, with no reprise of action form the previous story. It opens with a pyramid, on an island surrounded by sea.
Oooh, Terry Nation (write of the Daleks) is back writing this one!
There's the Tardis on the sea shore. Ian thinks he can see something moving, we see some odd one man submarines landing on the sea shore.
"Is it frozen?"
"No,impossible in this temperature. Besides it's too warm."
We see an odd figure in a black body/wet suit. The shore is glass,not sand on this odd world. Susan wants to go paddling in a rock pool but Barbara knocks her shoe in and it dissolves. The liquid is acid! The black clad figure examines the Tardis. The Doctor finds the submarines
Goodness Billy is fluffing like a good un this episode!
Susan finds webbed footprints, and as she leaves the figure is revealed. The others find a damaged craft beached by the acid with another black suit in there. They prod at the suit - remember that picture from an old Doctor Who weekly Crazy Caption competition. They make for the Pyramid structure, Susan is already there exploring but observed by one of the dark clad beings. He draws a knife to threaten her but is dragged through a concealed door.
Look closely as the door opens - you can very briefly see one of the effects crew operating it!
The odd shape buttresses supporting the structure have a very similar shape to the Dalek city corridors a few stories back.
Susan is pulled through a door and screams alerting the others. The Doctor likewise vanishes. Susan walks along a corridor, sees a white robed figure but is then attacked by one of the black clad strangers who falls dead with a knife in it's back. Ian vanishes and then finally Barbara falls through the doors. Ian finds the body while Barbara is reunited with Susan & the Doctor. The white robed figure wrestles with another black suited attacker but is saved by Ian who pushes him down a shaft into some acid.
The man thanks Ian and tells him the attackers are the Voord who have returned to attack where he lives after many years away and releases the others.
The man takes them to The Conscience of Marinus, a huge crystal machine (lovely set) which has been used to influence the inhabitants and eliminate evil & violence on Marinus, the planet they are on. To protect the machine from Yartek, the Voord leader who wishes to use it for evil, 4 of he 5 keys to the machine have been scattered and hidden. Yartek has developed technology to protect the Voord from the machine's influence. Now the keys are needed to use the machine which has been modified to overcome the Voord's protection. All of the man's followers, including his daughter, have vanished trying to find the keys. He wants the Doctor and his friends to find the keys. They refuse and leave but find a force barrier round the TARDIS, which has been erected by Arbitan, the robed man in the citadel - Ian calls his name but I swear we've not heard it before. Arbitan forces them to help him. The Doctor describes the situation as outrageous. He refuses to travel in the subs but Arbitan says he has a better mode of transport in mind and passes them all a bracelet that will move them through Space (but not time unlike the Tardis) at the twist of the dial. Oooh, do I see Blake's Seven's teleport bracelets 14 years too early? Terry Nation, as we shall see, was always good at recycling ideas. Arbitan urges them to destroy the keys if they find the Voord have taking the building on their return. The travellers vanish and Arbitan is promptly slain by a Voord. Ian, Susan and the Doctor materialise and find Barbara's travel dial with blood on it.
That was a cracking episode! Up until the point the explanations start that's probably the best the series has been so far. A real sense of mystery and menace to their surroundings. Loved it.