Friday 3 February 2012

438 The Deadly Assassin Part Three

EPISODE: The Deadly Assassin Part Three
TRANSMITTED: 13 November 1976
WRITER: Robert Holmes
DIRECTOR: David Maloney
SCRIPT EDITOR: Robert Holmes
PRODUCER: Philip Hinchcliffe
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Deadly Assassin

The Doctor fights his masked foe, who is in control of the Matrix, in different guises across varied landscapes inside the Matrix while in the real world Castelan Spandrell & Coordinator Elgin become increasingly concerned about the stresses this is putting on the Doctor's physical body. The Master sends a hypnotised chancellery guard to kill the Doctor's physical form, but he is killed by the Castelan during the attempt. The Doctor unmasks his foe, revealing him to be Chancellor Goth, who then tries to drown the Doctor.

That's a very odd episode, with the Doctor running around in the Matrix dreamscape. It's also a trifle repetitive with the same theme being played right the way through. You could almost have lost this episode: The Doctor appears in the Matrix towards the end of episode two and unmasks his foe then. We wait thirteen years to get to a story on the Doctor's home planet and then spend 1/4 of it in a dream world. It's a very well done dream world, yes, no quibbles about that with location sequences filmed in Surrey & Buckinghamshire.

The hypnotised guard in this episode, Solis, is played by Peter Mayock who was Namin in Pyramids of Mars.

The ending to this episode got the show in a lot of trouble with the National Viewers' and Listeners' Association and it's chairwoman Mary Whitehouse who objected to the prolonged freeze frame of the Doctor's head being held under the water by Goth. Their objections were so strong that the master videotape for this episode was edited to remove the freeze frame and it was in this state that the episode was repeated on 18th August 1977. The footage has since been recovered from a home video recording.

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