As two-parters go, this is the best of the ones from this era by a long shot. It was originally a four-parter, and that becomes obvious in the final ten minutes where things move like lightening, but nevertheless Eric Pringle’s script is solid and we are given a good ‘filler’ story far better than ‘The King’s Demons’ or ‘Black Orchid.
|Denis Lil with more hair than last time...|
Not only that, but Glyn Houston (‘The Hand of Fear’) and Denis Lil (‘The Image of the Fendahl’ and the show ‘Survivors’) make good guest appearances. It’s got an interesting concept – a creature made strong by the evil of a man, the Malice itself I think looks ok even if it clearly is a big polystyrene face, and considering the story was allocated barely any budget at all (there are very few sets you will notice) it is a pretty successful attempt at a short story.
They could have well made it three parts I think, because the ending is difficult to understand and very rushed, and ‘Warriors of the Deep’ could have had an episode cut I think, but the budget wouldn’t have worked out that way I expect.
|Janet Fielding dressed as the May Queen.|
The village where it was shot was perfect, rather like the one in ‘The Android Invasion’. It was a great chance to wear period costumes in a modern day setting I imagine! I am unsure why the power of the Malice didn’t affect everyone in Little Hodcombe, other than that would have put pay to the whole storyline I expect because they’d be no resolution possible!
Some of the effects weren’t great – but yet the little blue pixels dotted around the place were reasonably effective. I disliked the ending, where the whole village basically was bundled into the TARDIS, although watching green slime spew out of the Malice was a highlight. It was all very rushed so I’m not 100% sure how the Doctor defeated the Malice in theend. The main evil in Little Hodcombe was destroyed, and that was feeding the Malice who was then in turn
|All aboard the TARDIS!|
Still, it holds up ok without shining overly brightly.