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Doctor Who - Carnival of Monsters

episode 66

UK 1973
produced by
Barry Letts for BBC
directed by Barry Letts
starring Jon Pertwee, Katy Manning, Peter Halliday, Michael Wisher, Terence Lodge, Leslie Dwyer, Cheryl Hall, Tenniel Evans, Ian Marter, Jenny McCracken
written by Robert Holmes, script editor: Terrance Dicks, music by Dudley Simpson

tv-series
Doctor Who, Doctor Who (Jon Pertwee), Doctor Who (classic series)

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Doctor Who (Jon Pertwee) wants to take his companion Jo (Katy Manning) to a distant exotic planet in his time-and-space-machine the TARDIS ... but apparently, he is only abnle to take her to some cruiseship, earth 1926 - where he and Jo are arrested as stowaways soon enough (but of course manage to escape soon enough as well). The Doctor figures there's something terribly wrong right away, but is only sure when the ship is attacked by a dinosaur from a completely different era. Plus, the events on the ship seem to repeat itself literally endlessly every few hours.

Of course there's really something wrong with the cruiseship, which isn't on earth at all but in the miniscope of carnival showman Vorg (Leslie Dwyer) - an advanced device that allows to shrink beings to microscopic size and keep them inside to be watched like in the zoo. Presently, Vorg and his assistant Shirna (Cheryl Hall) have landed on Inter Minor though, a dictatorship run by bureaucrats, where the officials simply don't know what to do with the carnival folks ... until one of them, Kalik (Michael Wisher) finds a way to use the miniscope to its own end, by releasing the Drashigs - terrible carnivorous monsters kept inside the machine - onto the planet in order to overthrow the dictator and install himself in his stead ...

The Doctor and Jo soon find a way off the ship and into the inner workings of the machine, but while trying to find their way out of the miniscope altogether, they accidently stumble upon the world of the Drashigs, who soon enough follow them first inside the inner workings of the machine, then even onto the cruiseship, creating massive havoc ...

Eventually, the Doctor makes it out of the miniscope, and just time too, since the systems of the machine already begin to fail, and Vorg has no idea how to repair the thing (the Doctor of course does). In the meantime, Kalik has already sabotaged the Erradicator, Inter Minor's sole weapon of defense, and has made preparations to release the Drashigs ... and while the Doctor goes back into the miniscope to save Jo, the Drashigs finally make their way to the outer world and create chaos - and even kill Kalik in the process - until of all people Vorg is able to fix the Erradicator and get rid of the Drashigs, then saves the Doctor from the miniscope just in time - who in turn sends all of the miniscope's specimens back to their own time and space.

And while the Doctor and Jo finally get on their way to their intended destiantion, Vorg, whose miniscope got destroyed in the finale, cooks up a scheme to make a living on Inter Minor - involving three nutshells and a pea ...

Later Doctor Who regular Ian Marter plays the stward of the cruiseship by the way.

 


Granted, the sets of this episode are terribly unbelievable, the special effects are almost ridiculous, and the costumes are laughable - and yet this is one of the best Doctor Who-episodes ever, thanks to an immensely clever screenplay that mixes comedy, horror and science fiction concepts light-handedly and makes a completely far-fetched plot perfectly plausible in the process thanks to an ingenious build-up, original plot elements, some intelligent satire and a brilliant way to bring together its two seperate story arcs (the Doctor and Jo inside the miniscope, Vorg, Kalik and company on Inter Minor) in the end.

Totally recommended.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD

 

 

Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...

 

Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!

 

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