Tuesday 1 February 2011

071 The Space Museum Part 4: The Final Phase

EPISODE: The Space Museum Part 4: The Final Phase
TRANSMITTED: 15 May 1965
WRITER: Glyn Jones
DIRECTOR: Mervyn Pinfield
SCRIPT EDITOR: Dennis Spooner
PRODUCER: Verity Lambert
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Space Museum/The Chase

Right I can do this. In 25 minutes the Space Museum will be over, I'll never have to watch it again and the next story has The Daleks in anyway so it must be better than this right? Deep Breath.....

The Doctor is held in a room where he lies immobile in a machine. Ian gets the Morok leader Lobos to reverse the process and revive the Doctor. The Xerons distribute weapons and prepare to make their move while Vicki returns to the museum to rescue the Doctor accompanied by Sita. Barbara is trapped in the gas with Dako. Lobos revives the Doctor, who was aware of everything that was happened while he was frozen. Ian is knocked out by the guards who creep up behind him. Barbara & Dako escape but are instantly captured only to be freed by Vicki & Sita. Sita & Dako are stunned by Xerons and the women are captured. All the Tardis crew are now captured and destined for the museum. The bulk of the Xeron forces arrive and storm the museum freeing the Tardis crew and slaying Lobos. They start to dismantle the Space Museum while the Doctor repairs the Tardis. He has persuaded the Xerons into give him a piece of the museum: A time & space visualiser that he thinks he can repair. Meanwhile on a devastated planet out in space The Daleks have monitored the Tardis leaving Xeros and promise that they will be exterminated!

Oh thank goodness that's over. The last few minutes of the story are probably the best: the Doctor gets his new toy and we get a glimpse of the redesigned Dalek. But over the four episodes it's the worst story so far by a country mile. I went and dug out the results for Doctor Who Magazine's Mighty 200 poll and this story ranked 190. I've looked at what's bellow it and if I were voting I think it would rank a bit lower than that. Interestingly (!?) it's only real competitor so far, The Sensorites, was rated 183rd. But the same poll ranks Horns of the Nimon at 189 and that's just WRONG!

The Space Museum was released on VHS with the two surviving episodes of the previous but unconnected story The Crusade. One episode of the Crusade (3: The Wheel of Fortune) had been out previously but the other (1: The Lion) was a recent recovery. You might think it an odd pairing as apart from being consecutive there's little to link the two stories. But The Chase - which the Space Museum leads into - was already out in a Dalek boxset with Remembrance of the Daleks and if a recovered missing Episode won't shift copies of the Space Museum then nothing will. For DVD the Space Museum was paired with the Chase and that makes much more sense. Cos the DVD range is sensible and wouldn't do anything silly like pair The Gunfighters and The Awakening *then* release Frontios, or put the Ambassadors of Death & The Sunmakers in the same box.....

EDIT: Word reaches me that Ambassadors of Death has now dropped off this year's schedule and The Sunmakers will be released by itself. Now swap Gunfighters & Frontios in that other box!

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