May 19, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Doctor Who “The Abominable Snowmen Part 2”

The Second Doctor. "The Abominable Snowmen," Episode Two.

I will be the first to admit there is a very slow and deliberate pace to these old stories…but dang if they don’t still have a certain charm to them.  Like, you’ll get a moment where Jamie will come up with a plan and the Doctor will advice Victoria to maybe keep a safe distance as a result.

But that does mean that not a whole lot actually happens.

Essentially, in this episode, Jamie and Victoria manage to get away from the Yeti, the Doctor is released from the monks’ custody, and then when the three are reunited, they manage to capture a Yeti.  See, that’s it, and that’s not even getting into the cultural sensitivity issues for a serial like this since so many of the guest characters are Tibetan monks, and I am willing to wager exactly zero of the actors were Tibetan let alone some kind of monk.

But it’s the little moments that make a show like this so enjoyable.  Jamie can bring the cave roof down on the Yeti blocking the entrance, but then that means walking past the Yeti that should be dead under all those rocks.  Jamie, of course, feels no fear as he goes by, assuring Victoria that the creature must be dead.  Victoria doubts it mightily and walks by with some degree of hesitation before noticing the Yeti actually isn’t dead and soon is chasing the pair again.

That said, it is Victoria who decides not to go to the relative safety of the TARDIS but instead decides that they need to warn the Doctor instead.

As for the Doctor, he’s being held in a cell, playing his recorder, and when a young monk comes out to take him to his trial, he befriends the young man in a gentle manner before suggesting the lad search the pile of straw the Doctor had been resting on because, it turns out, that bell was a sacred artifact that the monk immediately recognizes as one lost many years before, taking it to his monastery’s ancient leader, a man who remembers the Doctor as a friend.

Likewise, the Doctor remembers the last time Yetis attacked the monastery despite the fact that was centuries ago.  Probably because he was there, but simply remembering that is enough to impress a number of the monks that he knows their history.

Point is, he doesn’t stay in trouble very long, and even Professor Travers is inclined to believe the Doctor is innocent even as he asserts that Yeti are shy and gentle creatures.

Um, how does he know so much about an animal he claims has never been discovered by Europeans?

You know what?  It doesn’t matter.  These Yeti aren’t even real Yeti.  Jamie’s trap works, and the Doctor deduces it is a robot, a word everyone there knows (what year is this adventure set in anyway?), but it’s missing a part to make it, like, do stuff.  A small sphere…that seems to be rolling away outside the monastery.

See, that’s fun stuff.  This is why I like the Second Doctor’s stories so much.