Meat is Murder

The Two Doctors Part Three

We are now at the point of the story where all of the threads have come together and we have to wait and see how it all gets sorted out. At the moment it isn’t looking too good for anyone. Peri is being carried of by Shockeye who wants to eat her; the sixth Doctor and Jamie have been confronted by an angry Sontaran, and the Second Doctor is tied up waiting to have his symbiotic nuclei extracted.

Stike threatens Jamie if the Doctor does not prime the time machine and he has little choice but to obey him. Even though he does that Stike still tries to kill Jamie but the Scotsman stabs him in the leg with his trusty knife. They try to resuce the second Doctor but they are disturbed by Shockeye returning with an unconscious Peri over his shoulder.

Chessene then decides to totally change her plan and get Dastari to turn the second Doctor into an Androgum which would be a lot easier than getting the nuclei out of him, cutting the Sontaran’s out entirely, which I am sure she would have done anyway. What she doesn’t know is that the machine is already primed and that Stike is planning to use it. The Sontaran’s decide to order their ships self-destruct mechanism.

Chessene gets Shockeye to bring the second Doctor to Dastari knocking him out so that Dastari can use him to change the second Doctor into an Androgum.

With Shockeye out of the way the Sixth Doctor rescues Peri and informs them both that the time machine will not work as he has taken a vital part away so it won’t work properly for someone else.

Shockeye wakes up to find that the second Doctor has been turned into an Androgum and he frees the Doctor and the apoir of them head into the city for food.

Dastari lures the Sontarans into the cellar where Chessene uses two canisters of Coronic acid to kill him. Stike survives this and tries to use the time machine but it doesn’t work for him. He is very badly injured and goes to escape in his ship totally forgetting that he had set the self destruct mechanism and blows himself and the ship sky high.

Dastari and Chessene need to get the second Doctor back so that they can do a stabilising operation on him and they follow the others in searching for them. The second Doctor and Shockeye find a restaurant, which turns out to be the one that Oscar works at and order food. When they have pretty much eaten the place empty and they are asked for the bill Oscar is stabbed and killed by Shockeye who leaves the second Doctor where he is and poor old Oscar to be found by the Doctor and Peri.

When the Sixth Doctor and Peri find the Second Doctor he has reverted back to his old self and as they are about to leave they are found by Chessene and Dastari who takes them abck to hacienda.

The Sixth Doctor tells them how he primed the machine for Stike but had removed a part. They force him to replace the missing part and Peri to test the machine for them which she does and returns unharmed.

Chessene has the Doctors and Peri tied up and allows Shockeye to eat Jamie. The Sixth Doctor tells the Second Doctor that the part he returned to the time machine had been sabotaged and worked for Peri but wouldn’t work again. They manage to get the keys to their chains between them and the Sixth Doctor goes to rescue Jamie where he is wounded by the androgum and then followe through the grounds. The Doctor finds Oscar’s moth catching kit including they cyanide which he uses to catch Shockeye and kills him.

Chessene is unable to resist the Doctor’s blood and this makes Dastari to realise his mistake in trying to augement the Androgum. He goes to resuce the second Doctor and Peri and when she finds that they are missing she kills Dastari. She tries to shoot the second Doctor and Peri as well but is stopped by Jamie. She goes to the time machine and tries to escape but due to the sabotage it fails to work and she is mortally wounded and returns to her Androgum self as she dies.

The Doctor’s part company with the Sixth Doctor opineing a new vegitarian diet for him and Peri.

So it all happened in this episode didn’t it? I still don’t understand why this needed to be a three episode story at all. This episode was probably the most action packed of the three considering that this had the little interlude with the second Doctor being turned into an Androgum for a short while which, whilst highly entertaining with John Stratton and Patrick Troughton making an excellent double act it did just seem like an excuse to lengthen the story for no real good reason except to pad it out to another episode.

I mean this could have the actual plot and they could have totally have excised the Sontaran’s from the plot and we would have had a much tighter two episode story rather than this bloated three parter which to be honest was far too flabby for its own good. I mean if they had gone ahead with the plan to turn the Doctor into an Androgum in the first place then they it would have saved them a whole load of time and also then the briode nebuliser thing would never have to have been tampered with which would have made them have to find a different way to stop Chessene unless they managed to kill her before she tried to escape, which would have solved that whole conundrum.

The presence of the Sontaran’s in this story was totally risible and they didn’t add anything to the story at all so getting rid of them would of have actually been a blessing as there was no need to have them there at all. Also the Sontaran’s looked wrong and their masks were atrocious and they looked more like men in costumes than a proper alien menace, which to be fair they actually did in their previous appearances, even in Invasion of Time. There was nothing really wrong with either actors performance in their respective roles but they were totally superfluous to requirements otherwise.

John Stratton was excellent as Shockeye mostly in this episode with his superb almost Beckettian duo with the second Doctor and Jacqueline Pearce entirely channelled Servelan in her performance as Chessene, which didn’t seem out of place given her character in this story.

There was also no reason at all to film the story in Seville as that didn’t really add much to the story apart from some nice flamenco style music and some nice backdrops in this third and final episode as they all traipsed across the rather lovely city of Seville. Apart from that bit this could have been filmed in Wolverhampton!

I don’t that Peter Moffatt was the best choice of director for this story as he isn’t very inventive with his style of direction which often tends to be very samey which doesn’t always make for interesting viewing and that really showed in this story.

Yes he got some fine performances out of the cast, but it could, and should, have looked a whole lot better, especially the scenes in Seville which they could have just easily achieved by using the filmed backgrounds they used to use in the old ITC films from the sixties and seventies than going to the expense of going all the way to Seville to film it and not make the best use out of it. It would have been a lot cheaper and we might have got better Sontaran costumes as a result.

This episode does have more than its fair share of violence as Jamie stabs Stike in the leg; Shockeye stabs the Doctor in the leg; Oscar gets stabbed in the chest; Dastari gets shot by Chessene and Shockeye gets killed by the Doctor by holding a handkerchief covered in cyanide over his mouth on and Stike gets blown up by his spaceship just leaving a leg behind.

Now Jamie’s reaction is stabbing Stike in the leg is purely a reaction to the situation that he found himself in. I mean Jamie has always been packing a knife but this is first time we actually saw him use it, which is probably more accurate for this character than his not using it at all and given the fact that he managed to get away by doing this then it was probably a good idea for him to it.

Shockeye stabbing Oscar in the restuarant was also totally in character for him and it did seem to me that Oscar might well have survived that if they were able to get an ambulance quick enough, but they did dilly dally a bit so unfortunately he didn’t make it. Now after he had  stabbed Oscar the fact that Shockeye then stabbed the Doctor in the leg was just business as usual for him and, to be honest, when the Doctor saw the cyanide lying there and the fact that he was being chased by a enraged Androgum, and the fact that he was incapacitated after being stabbed then it was kill or be killed for the Doctor and he grabbed the nearest thing to him to help himself and he probably wouldn’t have survived otherwise.

You can argue that this is not in the Doctor’s character, but it was a reaction to the situation at that particular moment in time when the Doctor’s very life was in danger, so you can see why he had to do what he did.

The majority of the violence that people complain about in this story is actually part and parcel of the story, the events in the story and sometimes down to the right behaviour of the characters themselves, especially in the case of Shockeye and Chessenne.

The episode was easily the best out of the three and bought the story to a decent conclusion but it really shouldn’t have been three episodes long and you could have cut a hell of a lot out of it and it would have been a much better two-parter.

Unfortunately you cannot do much about the direction as that was what we got, but one can imagine a version of this story directed by Graeme Harper, which would have been much better.

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