Friday, 24 April 2015

068 The Space Museum Episode 1: The Space Museum

EPISODE: The Space Museum Episode 1: The Space Museum
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 24 April 1965
WRITER: Glyn Jones
DIRECTOR: Mervyn Pinfield
SCRIPT EDITOR: Dennis Spooner
PRODUCER: Verity Lambert
RATINGS: 10.5 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Space Museum/The Chase

"It’s so quiet, it could be a graveyard"

From the first round of blogging:

Every so often a story comes up that I'm dreading. This is one of them. You see I've seen this recently when the DVD came out last year. But I will show my dedication to the cause by sacrificing another hour and half of my life to watch it again. Third time round I think......

Ave Morituri etc ....

Oh dear here it is again......

The crew are frozen round the Tardis console as it materialises in a rocky area occupied by many spaceships. Shortly after landing they are able to move again. They find themselves wearing their ordinary clothes rather than their crusader gear.

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Vicki gets a drink, drops and smashes the glass then watches as it reforms whole and full in her hand. The other survey the outside with the scanner. Vicki tells the other what happened but they don't believe her. The Doctor thinks they have landed at a space museum, containing relics of space exploration. They go outside where Ian notices they aren't leaving footprints in the dust. They enter the museum building but once inside Barbara is unnerved by the silence within. Two white clad human like beings walk pass them not noticing them even when Vicki sneezes. They examine the exhibits at the museum.

vlcsnap-2014-10-10-19h51m41s141They're scared by a Dalek they encounter but it's just an exhibit. Two black clad humanoids enter the room but nobody can hear what they said. Vicki tries to touch an exhibit but puts her hand through it. The two black clad strangers have returned with a third once again completely ignoring and inaudible to the travellers. The others think they must be invisible but the Doctor wonders if they're not really there.

vlcsnap-2014-10-10-19h57m11s112 They find the Tardis in the museum but are unable to touch it just passing through the walls. Then they find themselves as exhibits in the museum. Oh dear Vicki's spouting scientific rubbish. Barbara wonders how they can get out of their present situation and avoid their fate. The Doctor thinks the Tardis jumped a time track (right.....) which has resulted in their present situation. The Doctor says they must wait for themselves to arrive in the Tardis. Events in the episode are replayed with the white clad humans noticing the Tardis crew's footprints in the sand as the exhibit Tardis crew vanish from the museum.....

I'm sorry but what was that all about? It made no sense at all!

We'll start at the beginning: some super model work to open the show:

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But after that the clothes changing from what they had on at the end of the Crusade to more normal clothes makes no sense at all! However it does serve a purpose by drawing attention to their clothes because, even before it's stated in dialogue, it emphasise that the frozen Tardis crew are wearing the same things they are how.

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Trying to make Billy say Fluorescent in the middle of this episode was asking for trouble!

vlcsnap-2014-10-10-19h51m34s43 Lovely to see an all to brief guest appearance from a Dalek, here minus the additional base and power dish it had in Dalek Invasion of Earth but possessing the silver eye ball from that story.

That's the first time Vicki's seen a Dalek: she says they invaded Earth 300 years ago. We know the events of Dalek Invasion of Earth occurred in 2164 so that date her from about 2465AD.

Space Museum is the work of South African writer Glyn Jones. Jones is unique in the original run of Doctor Who in both writing for and appearing in the series: he plays Krans in 1975's The Sontaran Experiment. You can hear him interviewed in Toby Hadoke's Who's Round #3. Jones died on 2nd April 2014 leaving Donald Tosh as the sole surviving Hartnell author.

This episode features a couple of pieces of library music by musician Eric Siday, who previously supplied Anaesthesia for Edge of Destruction. I recognised two of them: Ultimate & Moonscape from The Ultra Sonic Perception which has recently been reissued.

Five other actors appear in this episode: two Morok Guards, two named character called Sita & Dako and one credited as Third Xeron. Since there are two characters wearing white, and three wearing black we'll assume the ones in black are Xerons, of which Sita & Dako are two, and the pair in white are the Morok Guards. They are played by Lawrence Dean, who later appears in the Bond Film Octopussy as Colonel Toro, and Ken Norris as Morok Guard. Interestingly these two had already worked together both appearing in Get me to the Church on Time an episode of the Sid James sitcom Taxi.

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Neither Peter Sanders, playing Sita on the left, or Bill Starkey as Third Xeron, on the right, in this episode but credited simply as Xeron in episodes 3 & 4 will trouble us any further but Peter Craze, playing Dako, will be back for the War Games episode 7 as Du Pont and Nightmare of Eden 2-4 as Costa. In a long career he has parts in many familiar shows to his name including two appearances in Blakes 7 as Prell in the fist series episode Seek-Locate-Destroy and as Servalan's assistant in the final series episode Sand. He has a brother Michael who also was in the acting profession and he'll be along in 55 episodes time playing sailor Ben Jackson.

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