June 23, 2024

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Doctor Who “The Screaming Jungle”

The First Doctor. "The Keys of Marinus," Episode Three.

What the…

We’ve got a whole episode of Doctor Who that somehow does not feature a single appearance by the Doctor?

Ok, well, I suspected this would happen after the last one.

Yeah, Susan was screaming her fool head off because the jungle she teleported to was making a lot of screaming noises.  The noises stop just as Bland Ian, Inconsistent Barbara, Sabetha, and Altos all show up.  There’s a temple nearby and while Ian and the newcomers circle the place looking for an entrance, Susan screams some more when a vine reaches out and grabs at her.

Most interesting is Barbara says it isn’t doing anything and must have all been in Susan’s imagination after she smashes it with a rock.

Can we have the Doctor back now?

The long and the short of it is even though Ian told the two women to wait outside, Barbara goes into a crack in the temple anyway and appears to find the key.  It’s one some weird statue with tiny hands.  Of course, the hands are a stagehand working behind the scenes, but the hands still look tiny compared to the rest of the statue.  Just as the others come back, the hands grab Barbara and the wall swivels around and she disappears.  The key was dropped, so Sabetha suggests Barbara could have teleported to safety with her travel disk, so they could just skip to the next location and check.

That’s a good idea.  I know because it didn’t come from a regular cast member who isn’t the Doctor.

I really miss the Doctor right about now.  He’s at least interesting to write about.

As it is, Ian wants to stay behind and make sure Barbara did teleport away before he goes himself, so Susan and Altos leave to the next location.  Then Sabetha notices the key is a fake.  It’s not quite right.  She goes ahead to tell Susan and Altos that much while Ian stays behind to find both Barbara and the key.

And what is it about this planet that it has old men in robes acting as scientists?  That happens here as a guy named Darrius catches the teachers in simple booby traps (seriously, Barbara, you can’t wiggle free from a net?), but he has other issues because he knows the whispers lead to screaming and then he’s killed by vines.  He does tell the teachers where he hid the key, and they frantically search his lab while the screaming gets louder and the stagehands shake the rubber vines more.  Fortunately, the key is in a jar of some kind of chemical powders that hopefully aren’t the slightest bit toxic and the two teleport out before they get killed by lazy plants.

And they end up in a cold zone of some kind.

Is the Doctor there?