April 23, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Doctor Who “The Edge”

Jamie has to act alone to save the Doctor and Zoe.

Well, here I am at the last of the Second Doctor’s Companion stories.  The first was about Polly while showing how Jamie and Ben became friends.  The second focused on Victoria.  Zoe took the spotlight in the third one.

For this last one, it’s all on Jamie McCrimmon to save the day.

I’ve gotten used to these Companion stories having small casts, but this one is basically Frazer Hines playing every role except for one guy who voices the villain and a couple henchmen.  That means Hines is playing Jamie, the Doctor, and even the occasional line or two from Zoe.  To the credit of all involved, Hines doesn’t try to put his voice into some sort of falsetto.  No, it’s Jamie recounting a story, including what Zoe said.

Why he does the Doctor voice for the Doctor and doesn’t also play the villains, I don’t know.  This one may have caused me the most confusion over when the Doctor or Jamie were supposed to be talking.

As it is, this story does something that I can appreciate:  look at Jamie’s intelligence.  As I have noted before, the old Second Doctor adventures often set it up like Jamie was the Doctor’s good friend, but he maybe wasn’t all that bright.  That was at least true when he was being compared to both Zoe and the Doctor, and this time around, that actually ends up saving the day.  The TARDIS sets down inside some sort of mining camp on a meteor near a nebula.  The gravity is artificial, and to go outside requires both an air supply and some special boots, boots that don’t quite fit over Jamie’s wool socks, a moment that actually helps Jamie save the day in the end when he is inevitably tossed out an airlock to plummet to his death when he remembers the boots don’t fit, so he can slip them off and then just float down to the bottom, gaining only a couple bruises instead of going splat at the bottom of a large chasm.

See, the man running the mining operation is looking to make a special drug that makes people more alert and smarter.  To that end, he’s tricking smart people to come see what he’s up to at one of the most beautiful places in the universe, the sort of trap the Doctor, especially this Doctor, will gladly just walk into.  Said baddie has already decided Jamie isn’t all that bright, so while he works on making the Doctor and Zoe more of his slaves to work in the mines and develop more uses for the stuff down there, Jamie can be shooed off and killed somewhere else.

Except, the thing is, Jamie isn’t an idiot.  He’s a loyal friend with something like a black-and-white worldview (as seen with the Zoe-focused story), but he’s not an idiot.  He’s just not operating on the same level as the Doctor and Zoe, and it turned out he was paying attention to things going on in the story, and not just the boots.  Something Zoe was showing Jamie on the TARDIS turns out to be instrumental in defeating the villain since the mining compound uses similar technology to fit a large facility into a smaller space.  He even stops to try and rescue the main villain when the man, while escaping with the Doctor, Zoe, and Jamie, becomes trapped by a small avalanche.  It’s unsuccessful, but Jamie tried.

So, that was a Jamie story?  I dug it, and the Companion Chronicles in general, but man, I am done with this batch.  What will I cover next time?  Eh, stick around, hypothetical reader.