Wednesday 3 October 2012

680 The Happiness Patrol Part Three

EPISODE: The Happiness Patrol Part Three
TRANSMITTED: Wednesday 16 November 1988
WRITER: Graeme Curry
DIRECTOR: Chris Clough
SCRIPT EDITOR: Andrew Cartmel
PRODUCER: John Nathan-Turner
RATINGS: 5.3 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who: Ace Adventures Box Set (Dragonfire/The Happiness Patrol)

The Doctor, with the help of Earl Sigma and a demonstration, rescues Ace & Susan Q from the forum and the flee into the tunnels. Helen A sends Fifi, her pet Stigorax, in after them but the Doctor gets Earl Sigma to produce a harmonica note which buries Fifi under falling sugar. The Kandyman is forced from his kitchen by the Doctor & Ace opening the doors to the oven in his kitchen. He flees into the pipes but is caught in a deluge of fondant surprise. Faced with her regime falling apart Helen A attempts to flee but she finds Fifi's body and is beset with grief.

Hmmmm. Well we finally get to see some more of the inhabitants of Terra Alpha but they don't look that happy. In fact outside of the regime itself I don't think we see a single happy person during the course of the story. The episode is .... well it's a bit something of nothing really. Like the entire story I get the feeling it's meant to be doing it's meant to be doing something terribly clever and yet none of this is appearing on screen. All we see is a bad monster that's ripping off a sweet maker's mascot, some poor sets and a bad Margaret Thatcher impersonation!

The DVD production subtitles record that director Chris Clough used Annie Hulley , who plays the Newscaster here, several times on shows he worked on. What it doesn't say is that she's Chris Clough's wife!

Graeme Curry novelised this, his only Doctor Who story, for Target books in 1990. It was released on video on 4th August 1997 and on DVD as part of the Doctor Who: Ace Adventures Box Set with Dragonfire on 7th May 2012.

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