March 23, 2023

Gabbing Geek

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Doctor Who “Escape To Danger”

The First Doctor. "The Web Planet," Episode Three.

Hold on.  The title of this episode is “Escape to Danger”?  That sounds counterproductive.

But yes, someone escapes.  This time, it’s Ian because of course it’s Ian.

What is the deal there?  Well, the Doctor talks to the voice in the tube, and that whatever it is explains that the Menoptra are invaders from another planet, and she, er it, er something would really like to know what and where they are.  There’s a Crater of Needles where Barbara was captured from the sounds of things, and the Doctor offers to help the Mystery Voice with his interstellar map machine, something he stresses you should never unplug, but first he needs to go into the TARDIS to get it.  At first, Voice Thingee isn’t interested, but whatever Vicki did as she stumbled around the TARDIS while the Zarbi dragged it along the surface caused the defense system to kick in and protect the time travelers from direct harm.

As such, the Doctor and Ian are allowed to go retrieve the equipment, and sure enough, the Doctor isn’t really interested in helping whoever is controlling the giant ants.  That’s only sensible.  The Doctor will act as a distraction and let Ian get away, a plan that actually works, even if he has to at one point wrestle an ant to the ground.

By the by, I find it disappointing that that zone was called the “Crater of Needles” as opposed to “Underground Sugar Mines”.  My name is funnier.

And even though an alarm goes off, Ian does manage to escape and meets up with a Menoptra named Vrestin, and she sets some facts straight:  the Menoptra are not invaders.  In fact, Vortis is their homeworld.  They were stuck on a moon for a period and when they came back, they found the Zarbi had gone nuts, ripping off the wings of whatever Menoptra they could find to make slaves in the mines that not for mining underground sugar.  Bummer.

That makes more sense.

Also, they can fly.  I watched it happen.  It worked about as well as you might expect the special effects for this show to work considering one of the Zarbi ran into the camera for this episode.

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