Sunday 23 October 2011

335 Carnival of Monsters Episode Two

EPISODE: Carnival of Monsters Episode Two
TRANSMITTED: 03 February 1973
WRITER: Robert Holmes
DIRECTOR: Barry Letts
SCRIPT EDITOR: Terrance Dicks
PRODUCER: Barry Letts
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who Revisitations Box Set - Volume 2 (Seeds of Death, Carnival of Monsters & Resurrection of the Daleks)
Episode Format: 625 video

The giant hand holding the Tardis vanish through the upper deck of the ship. Vorg pulls a small blue Tardis shaped box from the inside of the inner workings of his scope before demonstrating it to the Inter Minor officials. He shows them the Tellurians (the humans on the boat), Ogrons & Drashigs. He explains the creatures are contained in the scope and switches back to the Bernice as the Pleiosaurus arrives. The Doctor & Jo are apprehended again as Vorg increases the violence level in that zone making Andrews challenge the Doctor to a boxing match which the Doctor easily wins allowing them to escape. They open the floorplate just as they are recaptured and Vorg lowers the violence level. Shirna tells a disbelieving Vorg that she hasn't seen the Doctor & Jo before. The Doctor & Jo escape into the inner workings of the scope which fascinate the Doctor. The officials decide that the scope contains illegally imported specimens and decide to destroy it summoning an eradicator. As it is fired the inside of the scope heats up but proves resistant to the weapon. Vorg checks the scope finding the image of a Cyberman within to be fuzzy. Kalik is angry at the eradicator's innability to work and starts plotting against his brother, president Zarb. The Doctor & Jo are trying to escape from an air duct when they are stabbed at by a giant weapon: Vorg has spotted them in the Scope's workings. Kalik, believing Vorg a spy, has the Scope searched by Orum for a transmitter to "waiting Lurman battlefleets". Orum removes the Tardis which grows to it's normal size. The Doctor & Jo get into a different part of the scope where they find themselves in a cave and exit into a marshy realm. Vorg & Shirna spot them where they are attacked by the massive carnivorous Drashigs.

This episode connects the two plot strands: The Doctor & Jo, plus the humans and other specimens are trapped in Vorg's machine. As Doctor Who fans a title like "Carnival of Monsters" makes us expect a cavalcade of the Doctor's past foes: this episode is the closest we get with a guest appearance by the Ogrons, foreshadowing their imminent reappearance in the series. We also get a brief glimpse of the Cybermen, here making their only real appearance of the Pertwee era. They get mentioned a bit, due to Unit's thwarting of their Invasion, and appear as a still during the Doctor's flashback in Mind of Evil but this is their only original footage filmed for Pertwee's Doctor. I don't think he disliked them as such, though he did despise the Daleks with a passion, but it's rumoured one of the production team, so either Barry Letts or Terrance Dicks, wasn't their greatest fan. The main monsters in the story, the Drashigs, are quite effective with the puppet models built round a real dog skull giving them their effective jawline. As a rampaging monster they do the trick nicely. Their name is an anagram of Dishrags with the sound composited from sound engineer Brian Hodgson's dog and some other noises.

Carnival of Monsters was filmed in two separate locations either side of the Thames. The SS Bernice exterior scenes were recorded on the Royal Fleet Auxiliary Robert Dundas, moored at Chatham dockyards in Kent awaiting break up. Knowing this Pertwee "salvaged" the elaborate ship's compass but had to return it after it's loss was noticed. Meanwhile the Drashig location scenes are filmed at Tillingham Marshes and the former Cardwells Quarry making Carnival of Monsters one of the only Doctor Who stories to be filmed in Essex.

When this episode was sold to Australia it went out with a new version of the theme tune on it, arranged by Brian Hodgson for the show's tenth anniversary. However all who heard it decided this arrangement was rubbish so they continued to use the existing theme. But somehow the copy Australian television stations were sent of this episode has the newer theme on it. This edit was used for the story's VHS release, and the new theme tune also appears on an earlier edit of Frontier in Space 5, also released on VHS.

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