Friday, April 13, 2012

Doctor Who: 034 The Macra Terror

At the end of The Moonbase, the Doctor, Ben, Jamie, and Polly had seen a giant claw on the TARDIS' "Time Scanner" which showed them a vision of the future. They then materialize on a colony where everyone is happy all the time... but when the Doctor is involved, things are never as they seem... for this is The Macra Terror.

This is another 4 part serial that is completely lost other than a few censor clips and a little off-air 8mm film footage. Thanks to the off-air audio recordings, a full set of telesnaps, and the previously mentioned footage, we can turn to the Loose Cannon reconstruction. As always, the reconstruction does a good job giving the flavor of this serial.

I was actually quite eager to see this story since the Macra made an appearance in the David Tennant story Gridlock. I knew the Macra monsters were a bit cheesy looking from production stills that I'd seen, but from what I can tell from the existing footage and the telesnaps, it seems that the production team did the perfect thing to increase the terror from these cheesy looking props and just show little glimpses most of the time: a claw here, glowing eyes and eye stalks there, etc. Once the first episode set the story up, I was right there in the thick of things. Also, the cliffhangers for each episode seem to have been done well and had me wanting to watch the next episode. There was a little silliness, but that seems to be Troughton's trademark. :) I definitely enjoyed this story and I now want to go back and watch Gridlock again. :)

The Lost in Time DVD set contains orphan episodes (for which this serial has none) and existing clips of otherwise missing episodes, but I wondered why it contained an 8mm clip from episode 1 showing just the opening title sequence. Then I read that this was the first serial to use the new title sequence containing Patrick Troughton's face. Up until this, the title sequence had been the same as that used on the first episode, An Unearthly Child.

With all 4 episodes of this serial missing, our total for season 4 goes up to 23 and our total for Troughton goes up to 18. There are 2 more serials left this season: the 6 episode The Faceless Ones, and the 7 episode The Evil of the Daleks.

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