Say Something Nice – Doctor Who: The Macra Terror

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

(Daily Doctor Who #295)

Read the previous entry here. Today, we continue with the sixth story of the show’s fourth season…

The Macra Terror

The story features the same regular cast as last time: Patrick Troughton as the Doctor, Anneke Wills as Polly, Michael Craze as Ben Jackson, and Frazer Hines as Jamie McCrimmon.

The serial is written by Ian Stuart Black, and directed by John Davies.

All four episodes of this serial are missing from the BBC archives, but animated re-creations are available to watch.

Say Something Nice…

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

The Macra Terror has got a cool nightmare dystopia-vibe going on, one of the earliest that Doctor Who had included. There is a surreal happy atmosphere to the colony which is undermined by the disturbing idea of giant crab monsters secretly controlling the society and everyone’s lives.

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)

Probably my biggest complaint about The Macra Terror is just how uninterestingly the show deals with the character Medok–arguably the story’s main guest star at for the first half of the serial. After being essential to the plot for the first two episodes, he’s killed off with no ceremony and to little effect. It’s a pretty good story but this is not one of its strong points.

Catch you next time!

One thought on “Say Something Nice – Doctor Who: The Macra Terror

  1. Interesting characters being killed off at certain points in a Doctor Who story may often seem very methodical, certainly with such classy characters in some stories like The Robots Of Death, or such culturally distinguished roles like in Pyramids Of Mars or Horror Of Fang Rock. When much more impact from the most easily doomed characters came under John Nathan-Turner’s reign, certainly in Part 1 of Earthshock, it was quite a change from how Planet Of Evil had first sparked my Doctor Who fandom. Whether or not you agree with how the demise of a character is handled, you could consequently care more about that character and that’s a very healthy realism for children fans in my retrospective opinion.

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