Sunday 21 October 2012

698 The Curse of Fenric Part Four

EPISODE: The Curse of Fenric Part Four
TRANSMITTED: Wednesday 15 November 1989
WRITER: Ian Briggs
DIRECTOR: Nicholas Mallett
SCRIPT EDITOR: Andrew Cartmel
PRODUCER: John Nathan-Turner
RATINGS: 4.2 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Curse of Fenric

The Doctor, Ace & Soren are taken out to be shot but are rescued by the remaining Russian soldiers. The Fenric possessed Judsoon teleports itself to the lab hidden in the mine and summons the Ancient Haemovore. The Doctor retrieves Kathleen Dudman's chess set while Ace helps her and her baby to safety directing them to her grandmother's in Streatham. Fenric's host Judson is weakening so he transfers himself to Soren, who like Judson & Millington is a descendant of the Viking who hid the flash in the church but not realising he is now Fenric, Ace reveals to Soren the solution to the chess game the Doctor has challenged him to. The ancient Haemovore is ordered to take the poison to the sea but the Doctor reveals to him that that is the action that will create the future earth that the Ancient Haemavore has summoned from. The Fenric possessed Soren uses Ace to protect himself as she is protected by her faith in the Doctor but the Doctor brakes that faith by insulting her and the Haemovore locks both of them in the fume chamber and gasses them with the poison killing Fenric's ancient evil. Ace is shaken to discover that the baby Audrey is her mother.

It's this last episode where everything falls apart. The Ancient Haemavore is pulled out of nowhere, destroys the other Haemovores on Fenric's orders and then turns against him. Little emotional pieces for Ace keep popping up all over the place but just don't seem to fit with the rest of the show. In the middle of one of these Ace drops in this story about a haunted house in perivale which is meant to set Ghost Light up but doesn't due to the story order being joggled areound.

Really there's just too mcuh going on here. I recall at the time there were rumours of enough material to produce a fifth episode and I can believe it, this just doesn't seem to flow right for most of it's length.

I'm finding watching the later McCoy stories a bit of a task: Remembrance was great, and Silver Nemesis, despite being Remembrance reheated, wasn't bad. But the others have a common theme of not quite flowing right, too much going on and the main story not making too much sense.

Curse of Fenric was novelised by it's original author in November 1990. The video was released 3 months later adding in 6 minutes of extra footage. The DVD was released on 6th October 2003 and contains both the original broadcast version and an expanded special edition movie version helmed by Mark Ayres (no relation) the Restoration Team's sound expert who wrote the score for the original story.

Just three episodes of original series Doctor Who left.

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