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Doctor Who - Planet of Evil

episode 81

UK 1975
produced by
Philip Hinchcliffe for BBC
directed by David Maloney
starring Tom Baker, Elisabeth Sladen, Frederick Jaeger, Ewen Solon, Prentis Hancock, Michael Wisher, Graham Weston, Louis Mahoney
written by Louis Marks, script editor: Robert Holmes, music by Dudley Simpson

tv-series
Doctor Who, Doctor Who (Tom Baker), Doctor Who (classic series), Sarah Jane Smith

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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A space probe under the command of Captain Salamar (Prentis Hancock) comes to Zeta Minor to pick up Professor Sorenson (Frederick Jaeger) and associates, who have been mining antimatter here, which promises to be a rich energy source ... but of the whole team, only Sorenson himself is still alive, while all of his crew has been found totally dehydrated. After a bit of investigating, two tailor made suspects are quickly found, Doctor Who (Tom Baker) and Sarah Jane (Elisabeth Sladen) who only stopped on the planet to answer a distress call.

Despite claims that they have only come to help, and despite escape attempts, the Doctor and Sarah are quickly sentenced to death, too, until more people are killed, a being of pure energy attacks the space probe and the probe just can't leave orbit - with the fuel situation getting more and more desperate.

Finally, thanks to the interference of his second in command Vishinsky (Ewen Solon), Salamar sets the Doctor and Sarah free and asks the Doctor for advice - and the Doctor is quick to find a lake of antimatter on the planet and passes through it to another universe. where he makes peace, but only under the condition that no antimatter will be removed from Zeta Minor.

Salamar has all the antimatter removed from his ship, much to the dismay of Sorenson, who injects a bit of antimatter into his body and as a result becomes a Jekyll and Hyde-like monster - and he releases hell onto the ship and its crew. Salamar desperately tries to save his ship, but when he hits the energy being with a special raygun, he only helps it to multiply, so it's up to the Doctor to save the day - which he does by luring Sorenson in his monster state into the antimatter lake - from which he is released healed, and the two universes can live in peace again ...

 

Taking into account that this is a science fiction TV show for the youngsters done on a budget, this one's pretty good: If you can swallow the sci-fi-mumbo jumbo of the antimatter universe, this one's rather intelligently written, with ghost story- and Jekyll and Hyde-themes subtly introduced into the main plot, the jungle set representing Zeta Minor might be totally unrealistic in an expressionist sort of way, but it's also wonderful, the special effects, in all their simplicity, are better than usual on the show, are the characters are quite interesting and multi-layered rather than one-dimensional and the actors are uniformly great.

Pretty good in fact.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

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