When I realized I owned the story that immediately preceded the “Dalek War” boxed set but hadn't watched it yet, I considered watching it before “Frontier in Space” and “Planet of the Daleks”. I also had high hopes for it when I realized that it was the first story after the Doctor’s exile to Earth was lifted. I’m glad I didn’t, though, because “Carnival of Monsters” (the first part, anyway) watches mores like an episode of Lost in Space than Doctor Who. There’s even a character whose fashion sense makes the Sixth Doctor look like Beau Brummell!

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For some reason, the character I remember from "Carnival of Monsters" is....

Your Lost in Space comparison is rather deadly, but I'd still peg it as a good Pertwee story. The premise is good, there are some good moments, and the Drashigs are nice and horrible.
Basically, it's a Robert Holmes romp, complete with a rogue-ish comedy duo and a few jabs at bureaucrats.

I hadn't realized it was a "Robert Holmes romp," but I still maintain Holmes overestimated the production team's buget's ability to convincingly adapt his story to the small screen. I neglected to mention yesterday that i dozed off near the end of part one and therefore missed the cheesy-looking "giant hand" putting the snatch on the TARDIS. Part two also reminded me of an episode of Lost in Space, specifically the one in which the Robot grew to enormous size and Will and Doctor Smith explored his innards. The premise of this story is good, but Holmes was let down by the costumes, set design and production in general. there is a bit of writer's fiat in episode two, though, when the doctor and Jo, while trting to escapr from the machine entirely, go off exploring another minature environment for no other reason than to set up part two's cliffhanger.

The third part made the switch from a bad copy of Lost in Space to a bad copy of Ultraman.
"If the color/timer light stops, the Doctor will never rise again!"

I got that...Barry Letts was a big fan of STAR TREK, but this story definitely seems like a LOST IN SPACE tribute.  There's the "Trip Through The Robot" thing, the 2 carnival people with their outlandish wardrobe & lingo, the incompetent (and scheming) "officials".  Try subbing Jon Pertwee & Katy Manning for Jonathan Harris & Will Robinson (except on LIS, the sidekick was smarter).


Of course, Michael Wisher plays the scheming bureaucrat.

After a few weeks (a month?) break, I got back to my pick-and-choose watching of certain old stories. Last night, "THE THREE DOCTORS", where Patrick Troughton completely steals the show.  Tonight, "CARNIVAL OF MONSTERS".  Still not a favorite, but it has grown on me a lot. It's funny how, though she doesn't appear that bright, Shirna seems a LOT smarter (and certainly MUCH nicer) than Vorg.   The scenes on the S.S. Bernice do quickly bcome tiresome, but the parts I initially found the leats interesting are what tend to grab my attention more recently... the "Tribunal", with Michael Wisher being such a devious, scheming B******.  "Sympathetic?" "One has... twinges." It's so funny when HE gets eaten by the monster at the end.

Watched this again las tnight. Not much to add to what's already been said, but then that's never stopped me...


1)I think this is the first mention of Metebelis Three - in the modern show, this would be the "code word" that somehow led up to the season finale - instead, it led up to Jon Pertwee's finale.


2)I liked the bit with the Doctor trying to talk to the chickens - I thought that was pretty funny.


3)A young Ian Marter as Andrews - I gather he tried out for Mike Yates, and didn't get it, but Letts liked him and kept him in mind.


4)The plesiosaurus looks alot like the Skarasen from "Terror of the Zygons", I wodner if it's the same model.


5)"Give then a hygiene chamber and they'll store fossil fuel in it." I gather that's a paraphrase of something some capitalist or other actually said about the British working class: "Give them a bathroom and they'll store coal in it."


6)For me, the Drashigs are one of the few Doctor Who critters that are genuinely scary.


7)The Doctor name-drops John L. Sullivan - for once, he names someone that was appropriate for the timeline!


8)"They et a spaceship?"


9)"I had a great deal to do with the banning of these miniscopes."  So, he was always a nuisance?



  • Episode One:  A giant hand grabs the TARDIS!
  • Episode Two: A Drashig appears!
  • Episode Three: The Doctor steps out of the miniscope!
  • Episode Four: Shirna watches the TARDIS dematerialize!



It was OK - maybe not Holmes' best story, but watchable enough.  And I'd like to see the Drashigs done with the new show's effects budget.

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