March 26, 2023

Gabbing Geek

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Doctor Who “Sentence Of Death”

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

Hooray!  The Doctor is back!

And Ian has been sentenced to death!

OK, look, I know I rag on Ian quite a bit.  I don’t actually hate the character.  He’s…perfectly bland.  But the series for some reason treats him like the lead much of the time instead of, you know, the Doctor.  The guy whose name is in the title of the show.  Sort of.  I mean, Susan mostly panics and screams.  Barbara is sometimes clever but gets shoved to the background quite a bit because she’s a woman (probably).  Ian is a youngish adult man, and he’s the guy who gets what passes for action scenes here, close-ups of him thinking over whatever problems they have, and being the guy the Doctor consults or keeps as a confidant for some reason and that just doesn’t work for me.

So, when he’s accused of murder despite the fact he was clearly knocked unconscious next to the corpse, and he’s in a society where you are guilty until proven innocent, then it’s the Doctor to the rescue as he should perhaps now be called the Lawyer.  The Doctor gets a quick victory right away by putting the “trial” and as a result the execution off by two or three days.  And the Doctor does manage to figure it had to be one of the town’s guardians.  Susan and Barbara manage to easily trick him into almost saying things.

And then Sabetha and Altos also trick him into doing it again in court.  And then someone kills him.

So, Ian is proven innocent, right?  Nope!  Somehow this only cements his guilt further for the court.

Oh, and then when Susan goes off for more evidence, someone kidnaps her.

Probably the real thief.

Yeah, he stole that micro-key thing.  Whoever he is.

Can we save Susan and Ian?

You know, probably.

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