Just when I thought nothing more could possibly wow me, I sit down and watch the Doctor Who serial “The Web Planet” on Twitch.
The visual effects of the serial are so dated, but that’s part of what makes it so charming. It’s a black and white trip to the planet Vortis, where the moth-bee Menoptra prepare to reclaim the planet from the Zarbi, giant ants mind-controlled by the Animus, a web-spewing, tentacled spider monster. We also meet the Optera, de-evolved descendants of the Menoptra left behind when those fluttering giant flies fled the planet. Holy shit, what is this? It’s an epic tale of good vs evil with space bugs!
When “The Web Planet” started streaming on Twitch, I wasn’t much paying attention. I was like: “Weird bugs. This is gonna suck.” Consequently, I was doing some reading, getting some work done with it playing in the background. But then, like the TARDIS to Vortis, it pulled me in. The serial is a bizarre spectacle, and I hadn’t realized how incomplete my life was having never seen it.
Classic Doctor Who episodes are streaming on Twitch until July 23rd so be sure to tune in!
“Dalek,” the sixth episode of the new Doctor Who series, is the first 9th Doctor episode I really took to. This has a lot to do with it featuring such a classic antagonist as the Dalek. Their tank design and robotic voices really grew on me while watching the adventures of the 11th and 12th Doctors, and I enjoyed seeing all the swiveling of the head and torso and hearing all the variances in the Dalek’s voice as it struggled with emotion. The regeneration scene, the opening and closing of the armor, and the destruction scene were all just bonuses for an episode which really showcased the Dalek design.
All the scenes with the Doctor and the Dalek and Rose and the Dalek are great, as they deal with questions of ethics and individual purpose. This episode is one of those stories I am a sucker for: where evil shows it is capable of good, and good shows it is capable of evil. Furthermore, it’s a great companion episode in that Rose plays the conscience, guiding not only the Doctor but the Dalek as well.