Now more than ever, we need your support! Become a Supporting Subscriber today.
THE KEYS OF MARINUS
Acid seas, mers...submersibles (sorry Hartnell style flub there), keys of Marinus, the machine, Aribitron, the Voord, glass sand on a glass beach. A huge building. An old man. I mean another old man. I'm so sorry, I really somehow like this story and in particular this episode. We have DW falling into itself here: a strange alien planet with strange things...most of them peculiar enough to be visually interesting and to keep us guessing as to why they're there. Susan wanders off, gets hysterical for almost paddling in an acid tide pool, and then gets saved by an old man from a man in a rubber suit. What other story does this? In addition, later on we get a full planet: at least two continents on the map but what other story had a planet like Earth that's...well, like Earth with different climates and locales? Usually all we get are ice planet, or jungle planet. Mind you, Jupiter must be all gas all over the place but anyway, here we get a full planet. Indeed, though, we do get the feel of an old FLASH GORDON chapter here and things start off well but get a bit creaky especially when we see a Voord fall down a shaft---in a struggle with Ian--into the acid sea. It sounds more gruesome than it looks. Anyway, this story kept moving and was one of the only ones not to put me to sleep seen in all one go when WLIW-21 showed it in the ...what? 1980s!? Hartnell thinks, unlike Tennant, that travel bracelets are a good thing...or at least these ones are. The Doc seems most happy to be trying this, exhilariated. The DVD text tells us that many lines were cut out, including those that would have given us some insight into the Voord and the planet. What a strange way to enlist the help of the travellers but they wouldn't help otherwise. Arbitron appears only here, I think, and at the same time he does'nt want the Voord to find the keys but enlists the foursome to find the keys for him...is there something wrong with this plan? Anyway, I like this ep for its out there-ness. Almost only DW can do a story like this (I'd say that THE TOMORROW PEOPLE and maybe almost any of the four main IRWIN ALLEN shows can also do this). And you have to admit, it is imaginative and creative.