Sunday 9 October 2011

321 The Mutants Episode Four

EPISODE: The Mutants Episode Four
TRANSMITTED: 29 April 1972
WRITER: Bob Baker & Dave Martin
DIRECTOR: Christopher Barry
SCRIPT EDITOR: Terrance Dicks
PRODUCER: Barry Letts
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Mutants
Episode Format: 625 video

The Doctor & his friends are rescued by the figure in a silver protective suit who leads them to an underground shelter where he reveals himself to be the missing scientist Professor Sondergaard. The Marshall tried to kill him when he attempted to inform Earth of the conditions for the natives on Solos. His is concerned by the changes he has observed to Solos' environment which he thinks Jaeger's experiments have accelerated. Sondergaard starts to translates the tablets with the Doctor as Stubbs, Cotton, Jo & Ky leave for the surface. The Doctor deduces that Solos' seasons are 500 years long and that the tablets show the radiation found in the caves. Jo's party is captured by Varan. The Doctor finds a crystal mounted on a statue in the middle of the radiation caves which he removes. While preparing the missiles to shoot into Solos' atmosphere the Marshall gets word that the Earth shuttle Hyperion is en route to the station carrying an Investigator. The Doctor works out that the Solonians are meant to mutate in reaction to the change in the environment and that the mutants are an intermediate form. He & Sondergaard decide to take the crystal to the Skybase lab to analyse it. Varan takes his captives to Skybase where their intrusion is detected. As the missiles are launched the Marshall attacks Varan, blasting a hole in Skybase's hull which Varan is sucked through into space causing an explosive decompression.....

This episode demonstrates for us the effects of the Overlord's occupation of Solos. All through the series Ky has been reminding us that the Overlords have wiped out the Solonian culture: now they're unable to know from their ancient records that the mutations are just a step on towards what they will become. Similarly the Mutations have been influenced by the Overlord's, and in particular Jaeger's experiments on the atmosphere. All good plot advancement again but my goodness, surely the Marshall would have known what would happen if he fired one of his weapons on Skybase and yet he does putting them all endanger. You are Horatio Chinn and I claim my five pounds!

This episode introduces us to Professor Sondergaard, previously seen disguised in protective gear. Under the suit he's recognisable bald headed actor John Hollis. An extensive career has seen him playing a Krypton elder in Superman and Blofeld in for your eyes only. Here, in addition to Sondergaard and like Garrick Hagon (Ky), he provides additional voices heard over the communications system.

Garrick Hagon & John Hollis have another connection though: They both appear in the Star Wars films. Yes in this episode we have Biggs Darklighter - Red 5 from Star Wars - sharing a scene with Lando Calrissian's aid Lobot! As a youngster I was a Star Wars fan and knew Garrick Hagon was Biggs so when I got my Doctor who Programme Guide it's possibly this very story that put me on to the entire business of recognising actors that have appeared in different productions that you've seen which haunts obsesses me to this day! Of course they're not the only Classic Doctor who cast members to have appeared in Star Wars: Indeed most of the Imperial Military hierarchy has put an appearance then at some point. Here then, with only a little help from The Tardis Index File, is a list of people that have been in classic Doctor Who & Star Wars:

Claire Davenport Empress (Marco Polo) Yarna Dal Gargan (Return of the Jedi)
Julian Glover Richard The Lionheart (The Crusade)
General Veers (Empire Strikes Back)
Jeremy Bulloch Tor (The Space Museum)
Boba Fett (Empire Strikes Back)
Boba Fett Return of the Jedi)
Captain Colton (Revenge of the Sith)
Michael Sheard Rhos (The Ark)
Laurence Scarman (Pyramids of Mars)
Lowe (The Invisible Enemy)
Mergrave (Castrovalva)
Headmaster (Remembrance of the Daleks)
Admiral Ozzel (Empire Strikes Back)
Shane Rimmer Seth Harper (The Gunfighters) Incom Engineer (Star Wars)
Graham Ashley Overseer (Underwater Menace) Gold Five (Star Wars)
Milton John Bennik (Enemy of the World)
Kelner (Invasion of Time)
Imperial Officer (Empire Strikes Back)
Leslie Schofield Leroy (The War Games)
Chief Bast (Star Wars)
Decland Mulholland Clark (The Sea Devils)
Jabba the Hut (Star Wars - cut)
John Hollis Professor Sondegaard (The Mutants) Lobot (The Empire Strikes Back)
Garrick Hagon Ky (The Mutants) Biggs Darklighter (Star Wars)
Dave Prowse Minotaur (Time Monster) Darth Vader (Star Wars)
Darth Vader (The Empire Strikes Back)
Darth Vader (Return of the Jedi)
Deep Roy Mr Sin (Talons of Weng Chiang)
Droopy McColl (Return of the Jedi)
Ian Liston Hero (The Armageddon Factor) Wes Janson (Empire Strikes Back)
Peter Burroughs Jester (King's Demons) Ewok (Return of the Jedi)
Don Henderson Gavrok (Delta & The Bannermen)
General Tagge (Star Wars)
Peter Cushing The Doctor (Films) Grand Moff Tarken (Star Wars)

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