Say Something Nice – Doctor Who: The Keys of Marinus

In an effort to find something quick that can be written as part of Daily Doctor Who, we are kicking off Say Something Nice, where I look back at each of the Doctor Who stories and pull out one cool thing about it.

(Daily Doctor Who #37)

Read the previous entry here. Today, we continue with the series’ fifth story…

The Keys of Marinus

Featuring, still, the original core cast of the show–William Hartnell as the Doctor, William Russell as Ian Chesterton, Jacqueline Hill as Barbara Wright, and Carole Ann Ford as Susan Foreman. Written by Terry Nation one of his only two serials not to feature the Daleks. Directed by John Gorrie. The six individual episodes are called The Sea of Death, The Velvet Web, The Screaming Jungle, The Snows of Terror, Sentence of Death, and The Keys of Marinus.

Say Something Nice…

(Named for Missy–aka the Master–and her catchphrase from her first full appearance in Dark Water)

There are some neat ideas in The Keys of Marinus, including a courtroom drama, a city of murderous plants, and a dystopian world controlled by disembodied brains with hypnotic powers, which only Barbara can see through. The format of the story was a new one for the show, with it’s “quest” narrative taking the characters into a variety of different environments, and so it has an epic science fiction quality we haven’t exactly seen before. Plus, George Coulouris has a part, making him the only actor to have appeared in Citizen Kane and Doctor Who.

But because we’re equal-opportunity fans here, we’re not going to only be sycophantically complimentary.

You craven-hearted spineless poltroon!

(Another cry from the Master, but not exactly a catch-phrase, this time from The Deadly Assassin)

The show has epic ambitions, but not an epic budget, so it’s attempts to actually bring to life all of its nifty ideas just look weaker than even normal, frequently. The conclusion doesn’t really make sense, and George Coulouris is in it, but only or one episode.

Catch you next time!

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