Friday, 15 March 2013

The Chase

Things didn’t get any better after ‘The Space Museum’. The audience were led into the next adventure, ‘The Chase’, with a teaser featuring the interior of the Dalek time ship, which was a white wall with a couple of things stuck on it.
Prop-orama! The Time-space visualiser!

Daleks on sand!
Generally, however, there appeared to me a lot more money spent on ‘The Chase’, however whether it was well spent, or enough, if is a different matter. After a story in ‘The Space Museum’ which offered no decent characters or character development at all save for maybe Vicki, The Chase whisks us from location to location with even less thought on the characters. It’s fair to say that all characters in this story bar the companions are nothing more than functional stereotypes.

Underground city of the Aridians

The first two episodes are set on a desert planet where the Aridians live. They used to live under a sea that is now gone, and their city is now hounded by Mire beasts. Terry Nation is the writer for this one, it is after all a Dalek story. However, an interesting world has been created but we hardly see any of it. The characters are inconsequential because the Daleks are after the Doctor and his companions.
On top of that the first half of episode one revolves around the ‘time-space visualiser’, a prop that is huge, probably cost a lot to make and makes no difference to the story whatsoever except to alert the Doctor and Barbara the Daleks are after them, which could have easily been done a different way.
The Aridians decide to give the Doctor and Co. Up very easily, but they escape the Daleks. Opportunities lost galore already for interesting ideas to be played out. 

Peter Purves as Morton Dill faces a Dalek.
Episode three and episode four are just pure farce. In some ways that’s okay. Peter Purves appears as Morton Dill, from Alabama on the top of the Empire State Building as the Doctor, Vicki, Barbara and Ian arrive and leave as do the Daleks. Then the chase moves to the Mary Celeste. The episode, I guess, is a bit of fun. Maybe I shouldn't criticise it for that, I don't know, but I like a story and characters that you can care about, interactions. This sort of stuff we are subjected two in the third and fourth episodes is the attraction, for me, of Doctor Who.

The Doctor and Ian in the house of horrors.

By the time episode four rolls along, this viewer was well and truly over this story. Episode four is boring, poorly done and incredibly pointless.
Episode five sees us move to Mechanus, where the Daleks send a ridiculous robot after the Doctor. Ridiculous because the actor looks nothing like the Doctor, it’s very embarrassing. The plant life is unbelievable and the studio floor has never stuck out worse than in this episode.
A Mechanoid, interesting but under-used.

Peter Purves as Stephen Taylor
The final part is a little better. Peter Purves returns, this time as Steven Taylor, and does a good job. The Mechanoids are actually interesting robots, and the final battle between them and the Daleks is actually well directed, except for the cartoon zaps and flashes which belong in the 60s’ series of Batman.
Ian an Barbara make a sad farewell in a lovely little sequence that round out this six-parter. But what can I say, it’s pointless!! Really truly sadly pointless. Okay, the title is ‘The Chase’, and that’s exactly what it is. Six episodes of being chased. It does nothing for me as a viewer. The worst story so far.


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