Monday 24 October 2011

336 Carnival of Monsters Episode Three

EPISODE: Carnival of Monsters Episode Three
TRANSMITTED: 10 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 Drashigs pursue the Doctor & Jo by smell. Vorg tells the officials a tale of the Drashigs eating a crashed spaceship. The Doctor detonates marsh gas with sonic screwdriver to cover their escape back to the cave, aided by Vorg's physical intervention. The Doctor deduces that they are trapped in a Minicscope, a device which he had the High Council of the Time Lords ban. This one was missed from the recall. The Drashigs escape into the scope's workings as the officials try to decide what to do. Kalik admits to Orum that he hoped the Drashigs would escape which was why he suggested Vorg intervene. he hopes they escape from the machine to provoke a rebellion against his brother Zarb. The Doctor & Jo return to the Bernice for rope to escape down the shaft. Daly & Andrews hear the Drashigs and investigate, discovering Jo and capturing her. The Drashigs break through the hull bulkhead into the ship. Kalik sabotages the eradicator, hiding it's power supply in the scope to incriminate Vorg and potentially allow the Drashigs into the city. The ship's crew attack the Drashigs with explosives damaging the scope's workings. The humans resume their preset patterns, annoying Jo, as the Doctor escapes into the scope and into the outside world......

For most viewers this episode is about some rampaging monsters but we continue our little digs at television with Jo's "people outside just looking at us for kicks" while the previous comical officials start to take a more sinister tone as Kalik plots against his brother Zarb.

Right a bit of a first here: Whenever I do a Doctor Who story I try to tell you something interesting or point out other Doctor Who appearances for the cast members. This is the first time I know something about ALL of them. First we have the Lurmans both of whom you may know from Sitcoms. Leslie Dwyer is Vorg who I remember as Mr. Partridge the Punch and Judy man in Hi-De-Hi! who died in 1986 during the production of the series necessitating a reshuffle in the cast. I hadn't realised what an extensive film career he'd had. His assistant Shirna was played by Cheryl Hall shortly to find fame as Shirley, the girlfriend of Wolfie Smith in Citizen Smith. She was later married to her co-star in that show, Robert Lindsay. Later in life she became involved in labour party politics and tells a story on the Carnival of Monseters Special Edition DVD commentary of being interviewed by Shaun Ley where she was expecting to be quizzed on the issue she was supporting and he wanted to talk about Carnival of Monsters, having gained an angle that Vorg & Shirna were effectively illegal immigrants.

Onto the Bernice: Major Daly is played by Tenniel Evans who is most famous for his role in the long running radio series Navy Lark with Jon Pertwee. Seeing that Patrick Troughton was leaving Doctor Who he suggested to Pertwee the he should replace him! Later in his career Evans himself replaced Troughton in ITV comedy series The Two Of Us after Troughton's death. Ian Marter plays Lt John Andrews, and was previously considered for Mike Yates, but couldn't commit to a long term engagement. However Barry Letts, Doctor Who's producer, remembered him and cast him in this story which he directed. He later goes on to play Doctor Harry Sullivan, the fourth Doctor's companion the last regular role Letts cast as producer. Likewise Jenny McCracken, who played Claire Daly, had auditioned for Letts as Jo Grant, coincidentally alongside Cheryl Hall. Both got into last 6 for role, and Letts remembered them and recalled them for this story. Some years later McCracken's agent went bust owing her a not inconsiderable amount of money. Writing to many casting directors Barry Letts was one of the few people she rang up. He immediately found a role for her in a forthcoming classic serial and continued to cast her in those productions. The boat's captain, seen only in the location sequences in these episodes, is played by Andrew Staines making the third of his four Doctor Who appearances having been in The Enemy of the World as Benik's Sergeant & Terror of the Autons as Goodge. We'll see him again in Planet of the Spiders as Keaver, one of Lupton's gang. All four stories he's in are directed by Barry Letts.

Finally the Inter Minor natives: Peter Halliday plays the Pletrac, the head of the tribunal having already appeared in The Invasion as Packer and provided voices in both Doctor Who and the Silurians and The Ambassadors of Death. He'll be back in the City of Death as a Soldier and Remembrance of the Daleks as the Vicar. Kalik is played by Michael Wisher. We've seen him in The Ambassadors of Death as John Wakefield and Terror of the Autons as Rex Farrel. For the next two stories, Frontier in Space & Planet of the Daleks, we'll hear his voice as a Dalek a role he continues in Death to the Daleks and, uncredited, in Genesis of the Daleks where ascends to Doctor Who superstardom as Davros, the Daleks creator. He's then back in the very next story as Magrik in Revenge of the Cybermen then two stories later in the Planet of Evil as Morelli and the voice of Ranjit. Lastly Terence Lodge plays Orum. He was Medok in The Macra Terror and returns as Moss, another member of Lupton's gang in the Letts directed Planet of the Spiders.

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