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LOGOPOLIS


Chase - Posted on 21 June 2009

1

 

I know people complain about WARRIOR'S GATE being confusing but really this might be more. In any event, Adric works incredibly well again in this ep and with this Doctor. The whole thing is somewhat explained. The Doctor wants to fix the chamleon circuit by measuing a police box on Earth so abandons his plans to go to Gallifrey, which Adric seems keen on going to...Adric is also keen on learning and for this, I figure, he wants to go Gallifrey. A Tardis appears inside the TARDIS and this is always dangerous (I think it happened in THE TIME MONSTER or the threat of that happening was about to be carried out...it's been a long time since I saw that one and maybe once I reach the end of the McCoy stuff it'd be time to go back and do Jon Pertwee again!). Anyway once that is done, they will go to Logopolis to sort it all out.

I don't know if we were supposed to know it was the Master or not but it's not really a surprise as he escaped Traken and the Doc and Adric know there is another police box TARDIS on earth where they were planning to be. Why it's so dangerous is just some techno babble gobbleygock but I didn't then nor do I now feel it was stupid or silly. Somewhat silly is the cloister bell which goes off here for the first time ever. Is it the TARDIS alerting them to wild catatrophe? If so why does the Doc believe that Adric's statement about it going off (after we but not they know Tegan is lost in the TARDIS...and didn't set it off herself). Why wouldn't they just assume it was due to having a Tardis in a Tardis? Or the TARDIS itself? Why does it go on and off randomly?

Another thing is: why does the Master kill Vanessa and earlier kill the policeman? What reason would he have and if any, why not kill Tegan too? Please! Kill Tegan! In short, if one thinks about it, maybe Vanessa would have made a better companion than Tegan. Tegan doesn't impress in any of her scenes in this ep but the stuff when she exits the apartment to the car isnt as bad as I thought I remembered it being. The stuff at the car when it breaks down is. Vanessa does impress in all her scenes and the crew was also impressed with her but why she picks up a tire and throws it at the Master-ard rather than run for her life is befuddling. Tegan tends to panic, talk to herself, touch things on the console and say silly stuff and Fielding's acting doesn't help the situation. She is, in this, terrible. "Is anyone recieving me?!!!" and "is that the crew's quarters?" all grate as does most of the things she says in this and in all the story really. I can't believe they were introducing this character to travel with the Doctor and Adric, why? WHY? !!! She sucks and not in a good way. Awful female comp aside, pehraps the Doc is right when he said something akin to the Master being like a mad dog, perhaps the Master is crazy, insane, and has no real reason why he does things the way he does them or at all. His plans, like those of later Cybermen and Daleks, don't really make a lot of sense...IF they really plan on winning. The Master of all these, seems to want to lose after gloating to the Doctor about how he is smarter but rreally just trying to tempt the Doctor to beat him agian and again and again as if he wants someone, the Doctor in particular, to stop him. And he does but doesn't seem to want to kil the Doctor, not really. Without the Doc, his universe will be destroyed.      

It made more sense in the original script that Tegan only enters the TARDIS  after Vanessa vanishes. Here the bint Tegan complains and complains about Vanessa wanting to go the garage...and wanting a man to stop and help them...and complains about Vanessa not managing her tire or her car...then she is off to the garage herself but stop, dropping the tire, and wanting to call for the police! What a dope. If it weren't for her Vanessa would be alive. ANd if she didn't act like such a hypocrite, she'd have been at that garage and never would have been a comp of the Doc's! Damn! Damn her for being such a two face hypocrite. So she enters the TARDIS where the Master already killed the policeman, and she doens' t get killed...but fiddles with stuff, calls out, talks to herself...and then Vanessa tries to find her and gets killed by the Master for that!  

Anyway, the whole thing with Adric was great, the whole "It's an expression" and "Is that another expression"  and the earlier scene in the cloisters was all well done, the Doc is not as brooding as everyone always writes him being in this ep,, maybe later but not so much here. He is pacing, yes but he eventually moves away from Romana's room and toward the future...

Again, the whole TARDIS in a TARDIS thing is puzzling and ends with the Doctor exiting one and out of the TARDIS to the police...where the Doctor doesn't tend to bring up his UNIT credentials as he will in TIMEFLIGHT.  

 

Anyway an enjoyable ep but a bit of a letdown after KEEPER OF TRAKEN and even back then I could see where they were going with Tegan and THAT was the let down. Still, this ep is not terrible and is faster paced than most but oh, the sadness of losing Tom is coming and not only that but the sadness of losing Adric in his current, lead companion status is even sadder...               

2

 One obvious thing was scenes filmed out of order: Adric's pants by his butt are very wet before he fakes the fall in order to distract the policemen. The same thing seems to happen to the Monitor's hair in ep3: it looks like the debris fell on him before it was supposed to as he has debris in it before he is suposed to unless there is  a cut scene or we're supposed to imagine that some fell on him when he was walking in the streets.

Okay here we go. There's so much written about this that's wrong: funeral atmosphere? Not much. Some funeral type music and some death and scary stuff that's typical of the show overall. Also: Tom's in a sulkly mood, well, compared to the last three seasons or more, yeah but he's no less sulky in say PRYAMIDS OF MARS than in this. ANd yes, he's self aware that this is his last story but we get SOME Tomism laughs and comments here, not a dirth of them but a few.

When Tegan arrivers in the console room she's brash, annoying, grating...and I just LOVE LOVE LOVE Tom's facial expressions as she shrieks, "I demand...to know " whatever or whoever he is --it speaks volumes what he really thinks of her voice and of her and it is my opinion too. She's almost hard to take in this and other scenes. Yet despite how people always seems to remember or misremember Adric---he's STILL sympathetic to her despite her bossiness, her nasty attitude and her demands and annoying ways. He, not the Doc, is the one who introduces himself and the Doc. It is the Doc, who doesn't know what to do with her and who makes a small joke about seeing a little of her aunt.Even on Logopolis, Adric treats Tegan with kindness.

To be fair, Fielding does imbibe Tgan with a little good acting here and there, mostly when she's lost and crying in the TARDIS...but that's about it. The rest is just poor acting and annoying charcter traits.  Thankfully she loses this by the time she's about to leave the show!

Adric again helps the Doctor escape--this time the police when he could have told them to call UNIT, that half top secret organization. And again, Adric is the one who wants to support and protect the Doctor. And it is he that knows a great deal about the TARDIS. It feels as if there's been more adventures someplace as the Doc and Adric shut down systems and the boy knows more about the TARDIS than ever. I also like to imagine adventures with the Doc and Adric while Tegan, half starved, wanders the corridors en route to Logopolis.   

And who in their right mind, would try to use a police box in 1981 or whenever this is suposed to take place? Honestly were there any working in that time?

In any event, despite reminding me briefly of the boring Leisure Hive aliens, Logopolis seems to be one of those strange worlds that is just great for sci fi and fantasy. The dvd text tells us that the ones in the cells don't have to talk but do eat and do read books and the  Monitor is the interface between the users and the cmputer intonaton. Gee, Chris, you think you would have maybe told us that. That's the problem with Chris, I love his stuff and he claims to be scientific but he leaves out the science in stuff and makes us wonder then why it seems like so much magic...which it still might if he offered explanations. Still, it might take whole eps to explain all this to us!

The Monitor is one of those happy aliens who is just glad to see the Doc and his friends and it's a shame what happens to him later. I really like him as a guest alien and I often don't like guest aliens. The costumes look great and might be left overs fro LEISURE HIVE and their brains remind me of the Leisure Hive aliens. But never mind, this is better.

The location work is nice and love the boat scene and the bridge scene and the Watcher., Despite the Doc saying this hasn't happened before---it has. We don't know it yet but the Watcher is the Doctor...it happened in PLANET OF THE SPIDERS but not to the Doc which maybe why the 4th Doc says it hasn't happened before...to him. The Third Doctor's Mentor KnRanpo or whatever his name was had a future version of himself, Cho Je around as a kind of Watcher but it w asn't called the Watcher. ANyway here it's done much much better with a kind of atmosphere.

I always wondered what the talks betwween the Watcher and the Doctor were about in this ep and in later eps between the Watcher and Adric. DId the 4th Doc try to (in the script it was a heated debate or an almost duel like stand off between Watcher and Doctor) convince the Watcher he can change the future and not regenerate but stay the 4th or did he try to convince the Watcher that he can't take the Master to Logoplis. Let's face it and there's no getting around it...the Doctor's stupid plan (more on that later) to wash the Master out of the TARDIS fails and he knows it...and despite what he said earlier about unleashing the Master on Logopolis, he must know as he takes the Master there anyway and the Master destroys it and almost the rest of the Universe, even destroying Traken. Of course, it all got away from the Master early on but more on that next ep. So did the Doctor know about ...and just how far into the future does the Watcher see? Just until the Davison Doctor sits up? Did he know about Adric's "death" later on?

Also: just how did the Watcher bring Nyssa to Logopolis? Why did the Doc abandon his plan to go afater Nyssa and why did Adric think The Doc was going after Nyssa? And what were the conversations about between Nyss and the Watcher? SHe must have known something about him. I mean look at him/it. WOuld you take a ride with that thing without knowing what it was? In the very least she had to know something about it...maybe eve that it was a Time Lord.  And why didn't the Doctor tell Adric what the Watcher was in detail? Maybe to preserve time and the future?

Did the Doc know about the  Monitor's death and how the Master would dsetroy Logopolis and nearly the whole universe and he could do nothing to change that the way it happened? That he would fall? We'll never really know will we?

Tom's very good throughout to be honest. SO is Waterhouse.

The Dvd text tells us that it was a strong possibility that Davison's Doctor could have been traveling iwth just Adric. Pity that it wasn't that way. Still Davison's Doctor IS just like Adric so it would have been two of the same but I'd have taken even that compared to what we got. Nyssa's arrival is contrived and short but she still can't act, nor does Tegan's greeting of her inspire...the pair of them are awful and shuld never have been made full companions. At least the idea of Nyssa, a supposedly peace ful being from a supposed peace planet, now thrust into a savage dangerous universe...is a good idea but the truth is that that idea was never fully realized and she picks up a gun easily by ARC OF INFINITY withoiut ever experiencing doubts. Still she did it to save the Doc but at that point I was so mad at him, I wanted the wimp to be put to death. WOuld have served him right for having left Adric to die.

In any event, this puts to death the idea that THE UNFOLDING TEXT put forth that Adric was introduced JUST to have the audience identify with someone as the old Doc changes over to the New Doc. If that were the case maybe they should have used an old companion but they tried so maybe that has some merit after all, the argument not the idea that a new Doctor would need a VERY old companion such as Leela or Sarah Jane to make him ease in. That told me that JNT didn't have any faith in his new Doctor, the new scripts, the script editor, the companion (ADRIC) or companions (the girls) that he created to have them cross over the old DOc into the new. TO be fair, he might have created the girls as companions only afater both Louise Jamieson and Lis Sladen turned down his offer to cross over Tom into Peter. To be honest, that's  a bad idea. To have at this time in the series when things were progressing ahead to have old companoins return ....a bad idea. But whatever.

It worked out the way it worked out. Now as to the flushing the Master out of the TARDIS by landing underwater! ? WTF? Stupidest idea here ever.

One thing that is interesting about that is that in the original script, the Doctor tells Adric he will just materialize the TARDIS someplace else and TURN IT INSIDE OUT! WHat? He can do that?

Anyway LOGOPOLIS remains, for me, entertaining, despite the horrid character of Tegan and the contrived return of the equally poor Nyssa. Some good ideas and some novel ideas for TV SCI FI and any flmed sci fi.              

3

 

Okay Tegan gets a little better here. Tom has what might be his first real scene of comforting someone who's lost a relative, beyond just a casual comment when he tells Tegan about her Aunt's murder. And Janet does a good job here and throughout the episode really, without grating and she does seem to help the Doctor. of course it is Adric who helps the most, helping the Monitor locate the fault and falliable as ever, making at least one mistake.

Ainley shines as the Master throughout and I've always enjoyed his portrayal. JNT if the DVD text can be believed nixed Ainley's desire to play for laughs so this is ANOTHER good move by JNT to curtail alot of humor coming from the Master. There is some but not a lot and that's a good thing. His desire to have the Doctor's body in KEEPER OF TRAKEN heralds the TV MOVIE and yet here he gets Tremas's body. A creepy villain at least here in this story and his taking over of Nyssa is excellent. He shows real strength here just as the Fourth Doctor shows some real vulnerability ("I'm an ignorant old Doctor and I've made a mistake"). He's done that before and admitted it but here, after so many infalliable stories for him, it's jarring and in a good way for the age old character. Well done to Tom, Ainley, the man who convincingly plays the Monitor, and Fielding and Waterhouse for some strong performances. Even Sutton seems spot on.

The explanations are more forthcoming. The intonations keep the CVEs open to keep the universe from entropy which it has long passed it. Even the Doctor is suprised by this. And it so fits in with the Master that he does not know it all before he starts his stupid plan...this has been his undoing before as in the tepid CLAWS OF AXOS. And elsewhere I"m sure. He just thinks he can do it all but without all the info.

The Doctor's chasitzing of the "companions" is funny as its true: he's never really chosen his own company, even Romana. I like how he hurries them into the TARDIS and the cliffhanger is just super. Tom's face of disgust shows how the Doctor feels about shaking hands with the Master.

The feeling of doom comes from not the Doctor but the falling apart of the planet. A great episode and strong and different. JNT successfully brought back the Master and in a good story with differences from previous Master ones.     

4

 

A GREAT ENDING! An era ending. Possibly DW will never be this good again. I didn't think this at the time but I should have figuring in the two poor new female companions, the bad acting from both of them and the goofy doofus that sat up at the end. But when I first watched this it was terribly exicting and a great end for Tom's Doctor, saving the whole universe and making a mistake that caused some of it in the first place. The setting was great, the sky looks dark and cloudy at times, the morning over Pharos is appropriate, the Watcher trusts Adric and has a conversastion with him. Love to know what was said. Adric is very sympathetic again as Nyssa watches her homeworld snuffed out (frankly that's karma as the Trakanites seemed to me to be both stupid and devious) but the point is, Adric cared about things.

Tegan's sort of annoying again and to be honest, having Tegan and Nyssa claim companion status at this point is sort of...dubious at best. They really didn't know the Doctor that long and it's annoying that they seem to act as if they did/do.

I'm not sure wht games the Master is playing by not taking his TARDIS to the tower, perhaps he wanted alone time with the controls which is what he got. Frankly, while this is much better, the set up reminds me of the first Master ep: a tower, a trap for the Doctor, and the Master. 

Some say that it's anti climatic for the Tom Doctor to fall off a gantry with a hose but I think it's appropriate (especailly that he's saving the universe he so extensively travled through) and the fight could have gone on longer but it was okay, and having the Master trip over the scarf...then hey what was that Peter's Doctor unravels later on? ...is appropriate and funny and daring to have the Doctor go out that way. I didn't quite get the whole CVE thing. DIdn't the project need to keep running for it to keep working? WOuldn't taking the hose out stop it? Or was there a more permanent solution that didn't iinvolve the Project or the radio tower. And why does the Master seem so happy when he's really lost effectively but...maybe it's the Doctor's death that makes him laugh so or maybe he thinks the Doc will regenerate. At one point on the telescope tower the Master's face is a frozen cardboard cut out! I wondered why but at the time I didn't see that.

The flashbacks: brilliant. Nowadays tv viewers are so used to flashbacks but back then DW didn't really have very many unlike other 70s tv shows (SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN had over ten minutes of flashbacks once and clip shows---DW almost never did this and never cheated the audience). Not that I think this was a cheat. JNT did another  good move with these flashbacks---he's gatherng up a great track record this JNT and topping off the season in a great fashion. It was nice to see the villains and the companions of the 4th Doctor say goodbye in flashback...and it was giving me goosebumps even the last time I watched it. Just today.

The revelation that the Watcher is the Doctor may seem old hat now but then...it was just marvelous. Who would have thought that? Amazing. An amazing end and amazing music to follow it all throughout this ep in particular.       

I also like the "out of time and space" scenes, remensicent of the same type of stuff in THE MIND ROBBER but not as drawn out here. Adric shines in these scenes and does the Doctor stuff here while Nyssa just asks questions and looks upset and maybe even bored.

A great story and a sad ending for the 4th Doctor but fitting and when i just watched this today, I felt it was the end of the show, for the downhill slide will come, slowly but it will come and it starts right with FOUR TO DOOMSDAY...

For one thing, I've stated this already but it's important to reiterate it: Tom cared about DW. It really saved his career rather than wreck it. For god's sakes, he was working on a construction site after having done some very big movies. He cared about DW and the series and the character. HE cared about the stories, the other characters and the scripts. He didn't always have the best ideas but sometimes he did and he knew what scripts would work and what wouldn't and I believe producers and writers and directors made careful around him to make stories that made sense, were fairly good, and moved along with proper care and attitude. Once he left, this went downhill and the scripts stunk, rarely made any sense, weren't fairly good, and while there were some very good ones along the way, for the most part, the show dipped into illogical nonsense with only soap opera stuff that could keep any interest and even that was't well done...the emotional stuff went out of it the moment it appeared (witness the Brig's dilemma in MAWDRYN UNDEAD) for stuff that seemed really dumb (Nyssa and Tegan turning old and turning young, something that could have been really well done and scary but that was done as if it wre just an aside and poorly done at that). Davison is no Baker and while I like him, he's not the caring for DW type. I think he tried and I think his ideas were no where near as good as Baker's for the most part. And then where Baker didn't often get his way (a cabbage for a companion which I"m sure was just a joke on his part), Davison got his in one important way (Keep Nyssa and dump Adric or Tegan; too bad it wasn't Tegan). Then Nyssa left, not long after and they kept using Adric replacements in scripts until they got Turlough, one of the worst companions ever and the worst casting ever. I mean I like Strickson but really, do you believe him as a school boy? And for the much touted, "None of his compansions have ever tried to kill him before when starting out," I have two words, "Sara Kingdom" a much better written and realized character. 

Another thing about LoGOPOLIS is it's amazing to see Adric and Nyssa leave the TARDIS with suce aplomb and giddiness and confidence, ala THE AVENGERS Steed and Mrs Peel. In fact, I'm sure the pair of them could carry on their own show all on their own as juvenile leads. They really shine in their stuff together and away from the Doctor, theyre even more interesting. Can't say the same for Tegan, who's just boring.

 So I guess what I"m saying is that once Tom left the show slipped in quality and that slip would slowly dip so that anyone talented left the show, was ignored (Barbara Clegg), or wasn't used. The dip was as much Eric Saward's fault as much as JNT but both are to blame. What follows isn't a pretty story but at least Davison's era held it together somewhat. Then we got Colin's era (a giant mess in more ways than one even though I like Colin) and the start of McCoy's first season was even worse...a horror show gone horrible. Horribly wrong. It picked up a bit afterward but never fully recovered and also gave us Ace. God help us.    

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