Wednesday 18 May 2011

177 The Abominable Snowmen: Episode Four

EPISODE: The Abominable Snowmen: Episode Four
TRANSMITTED: 21 October 1967
WRITER: Mervyn Haisman & Henry Lincoln
DIRECTOR: Gerald Blake
PRODUCER: Innes Lloyd
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: Abominable Snowmen
TELESNAPS: The Abominable Snowmen: Episode Four

The Yeti fights it's way out of the monastery, with Victoria & Thomni opening the gates freeing it to avoid further injury and bloodshed. The Doctor, travelling with Jamie to the Tardis, doesn't like the eerie silence. Travers sees Songsten take the recovered control sphere from some Yeti into their cave. The Doctor and Jamie find a Yeti guarding the Tardis. As Padmasambhava communicates with the Great Intelligence, Songsten places the sphere with the others in the cave completing a circle. The glass pyramid he has brought from Padmasambhava goes in the centre and starts to glow. He leaves with his Yeti escort allowing Travers to enter the cave. Meanwhile the Doctor is considering the Yeti guard at the Tardis
Jamie: Have you thought up some clever plan, Doctor?
The Doctor: Yes, Jamie, I believe I have.
Jamie: What are you going to do?
The Doctor: Bung a rock at it.
When it fails to react The Doctor walks up to it, unscrews it's chest panel and removes the control sphere which he gets Jamie to hold as he hunts for the tracking equipment in the Tardis. In the cave Travers sees he pyramid cracks open spewing a glowing foam into the cave. The Doctor emerges from the Tardis with the tracking device as the sphere Jamie is holding activates. They block the Yeti's chest cavity with a rock deactivating the sphere and take it with them. In the Monastery, Thomni and Victoria are jailed for letting the Yeti go since the monks suspect them of conspiring with the Yeti. Songsten's 3 Yeti escort leaves him and returns up the mountain. Ralpachan opens the gate to Songsten who again hypnotises him to conceal his entry to the Monastery. Padmasambhava congratulates him, telling him the Great Intelligence has begun to take corporeal form. The three Yeti that were with Songsten surround Jamie & The Doctor who escape but are forced to leave the sphere behind which the Yeti retrieve. Victoria feigns illness and breaks out of her cell. The Doctor & Jamie, closely followed by a hysterical Travers, return to the monastery and are arrested on Songsten's orders. The Monks hunt for Victoria as they prepare to abandon the monastery on Padmasambhava's orders. Songsten relieves the guard on the gate, opening it as Padmasambhava moves four Yeti models to the monastery. Victoria hovers on the edge of his sanctuary and he summons her inside....

Just fabulous again. The thing that makes this episode stand out from the others is the interaction between The Doctor & Jamie on the mountain. They're just fabulous together without anyone to interrupt them!

A small amount of footage of the Yeti in this episode remains that was used in other programs. This can be found on the Doctor Who - Lost In Time DVD set along with some colour cine film taken at the location shoot by the story's director.

A Doctor Who staple for the next few years makes it's debut in this episode: Please welcome the foam machine! Any excuse and the special effects team will be pumping foam all over the set or location!

Many of the character names in this story are taken from Buddhist history & mythology. Padmasambhava was a 8th century AD guru, also known as Guru Rinpoche and gives his names to two characters here. There may be others as well, but my knowledge of Budhism is a little limited! When Terrance Dicks novelised the story his friend, and practising Zen Buddhist, Barry Letts advised him to change some of the names.

And for those who doubt that I can listen to an episode of Doctor Who before I post the blog in the mornings, I listened to this episode at 5:30 am, having been woken by my wife who'd been in with our son all night. OK so I listened to it 22 days before I posted this but .....

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