Thursday 26 April 2012

521 Nightmare of Eden Part Four

EPISODE: Nightmare of Eden Part Four
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 15 December 1979
WRITER: Bob Baker
DIRECTOR: Alan Bromly
SCRIPT EDITOR: Douglas Adams
PRODUCER: Graham Williams
RATINGS: 9.4 million viewers
FORMAT: VHS: Doctor Who - Nightmare of Eden

The ships successfully separate. Dymond requests permission to leave but Fisk demands he stays. Della tells Romana about the last day on Eden when Stott disappeared in a Mandrell attack. Romana tells her that Stott is alive. The Doctor finds himself aboard the Hecate with some advanced laser equipment connected to a CET Machine. He interrogates the Hecate's computers and finds data on the profits of the Eden project, then hides in the Hecate's shuttle as Dymond flies it over to the Empress. Tryst attempts to incriminate the Doctor to customs officer Fisk. K-9 detects the Doctor's arrival and he is reunited with K-9, Romana & Della. Della is seen with the Doctor and arrested by the ship's guards. The Doctor deduces that Tryst intends to transmit the Vraxoin, inside the Eden projection to Dymond on the Empress. Della escapes when her guard is attacked by a Mandrell and finds Tryst. Fisk arrests the Doctor but Stott arrives incriminating Tryst & Dymond. Della confronts Tryst about the Vraxoin smuggling, and escapes when a Mandrell attacks but is wounded. The Mandrells are driven back into the projection and secured. The Eden projection is transferred to the Hecate but the Doctor uses K-9 and scans the Hecate into the CET machine allowing the customs officers to arrest Tryst & Dymond. Tryst pleads for clemency but the Doctor dismisses him. Della & Stott are reunited and the Doctor take Tryst's collection of projection crystals to return the samples within to where they came.

You know what? That wasn't bad at all. A bit more running about, and a clever resolution, but a clever resolution quite clearly sign posted earlier in the story.

I've liked Nightmare of Eden far more than I expected to. Like it's predecessor, Creature from the Pit, there's some clever ideas going on but here they reach the screen a bit more successfully. There's a few down points, notably Lewis Fiander's accent as Tryst and the Mandrells themselves. They don't look *too* bad but then you think of previous marauding monsters, the Axons in particular spring to mind, and you start to think that maybe they aren't that much cop. It's certainly not obvious that the production was fraught, with tensions developing between lead actor & director to such a point that Alan Bromly walked away from the production and the final day's filming was completed by producer Graham Williams. He never worked on Doctor Who again, but there again after this season only one director and 3 writers with prior experience of the program will be back! So this is a last appearance for Bob Baker who would go on to write for the Wallace & Gromit films.

Nightmare of Eden was novelised by Terrance Dicks and released in August 1980. It was released on video in 1999 and but was released on DVD on 2nd April 2011, after I'd written this blog entry.

This is possibly the last broadcast Doctor Who story that we will watch on video. Horns of the Nimon, the next story, is on DVD and then we have the unbroadcast Shada, the remains of which we will watch on video. The Leisure Hive (1981) is next and that starts a DVD run which stretches through to Sylvester McCoy's Delta & The Bannermen in 1987 taking in two whole Doctors. Of the remaining three McCoy stories Dragonfire & The Happiness Patrol are both in the Ace Adventures Boxset which is due out May 7th and though I have a sizeable lead of blog entries written there's no way I'll be that far ahead by then! So that leaves just the Greatest Show in the Galaxy which I suspect I'll be watching on Video but may well be out on DVD by the time that blog entry gets published. EDIT: and yes, just as I typed that the trailer for Greatest Show in the Galaxy went up before the BBFC which means that'll be on the Krotons disc, which in turn is the release after Death to the Daleks.

7th May Ace Adventures Boxset
18th June Death to the Daleks
? July The Krotons
? August Greatest Show in the Galaxy

1 comment:

  1. Again, I thought this was a good story. A lot of people take to task the scene with Tom Baker bobbing and weaving to evade the Mandrills, with him exclaming "My arms, my legs, my everything!" It's silly, but funny. And the comedic tone actually serves to then make the Doctor's icy dismissal of Tryst's self-justifications ("Go away.") stand out even more starkly, showing with two simple words just how angry and outraged the Doctor has become.