Doctor Who Reactions: "The Green Death" (SPOILERS)

1)Per Barry Letts and Terrance Dicks, this is the one story of their era which was deliberately designed to convey a "message" in this case concerning pollution. It also features the final Doctor Who appearance (to date, anyhow) of Katy Manning as Jo Grant.

 

2)Some good interaction between the Doctor and Jo in this, showing how they are growing apart. I liked the early scene where they are talking at cross-purposes, and of course that scene at the end where the Doctor rides off alone is one of the show's great moments.

 

3)I'm not particularly overwhelmed by Cliff Jones - a bit of a cardboard character, really. Pluss he's a damn dirty hippie.

 

4)And then we've got BOSS (Biomorphic Organizational Systems Supervisor), a.ka. WOTAN Jr.. Boss seemed almost a little too human - my personal  theory is that it somehow got imprinted with Stevens' own subconscious brain patterns, which is why it seemed so wacky. In effect, Stevens ened up with a computer that refelcted his onw inner dark side. I did like the bit where the Docotr tired to talk it  to death in the style of Jim Kirk.

 

5)There's some really dire effects work in this - in the scenes where the Doctor and Jo were "punting" through the mine and later when the Doctor and Benton were driving around the slagheap, the CSO was particularly fake-looking.

 

6)Apparently there's some kind of political humor in the Prime Minister being named "Jeremy".  A reference to a politician of the day, or something.  Speaking of humor, they sort of overdid the "WelshnesS" of some of the secondary characters.

 

7)Pertwee got to have his fun, dressing up first as a milkman and later as a cleaning lady.  One can only imagine what Rose Tyler would have thought if she'd seen the Doctor wearing a dress!

 

8)Some fun quotes:

  • "Wealth in our time."  Nice historical reference there.
  • "So the fledgling flies the coop."
  • "I'm quite spry for my age, actually." Right before he beats the crap out of all of them.
  • "Sentimental fools are always with us."
  • "Are you threatening me, Mr. Stevens?" "Yes, I think perhaps I am."
  • "At least we can analyze this slime." Everyone should  have a hobby.
  • "That's how you get your kicks, like the good little Nietzschean you are, right?"
  • "Don't apologize, my little superman."
  • "I'm not such a dunderhead as you all seem to think."
  • "I never thought I'd fire in anger at a dratted caterpillar." The maggots were sufficiently icky
  • "Would you like a nice cup of arsenic?" "Fine, fine whatever you've got."
  • "If you say one word..." "I like your handbag."
  • "Gone to get you a maggot." No one ever brings me maggots. :(
  • "What's best for Global Chemicals is best for the world." Another historical reference.
  • "Kitty-kitty-kitty, come and get your lovely din-dins..."
  • "Who would have thought it would come to this?"  The BOSS channels the Wicked Witch of the West.
  • "Never mind, Mike. Let's have a drink."  That's the Brigadier's answer to everything! I suppose you could consider that a brief nod to the fact that at one point Mike was intended to be Jo's love interest

 

9)Cliffhangers:

  • Episode One: The brake on the mine elevator doesn't work!
  • Episode Two: The Doctor spots some giant maggots!
  • Episode Three: A giant maggot is sneaking up on Jo!
  • Episode Four: "I am the computer!"
  • Episode Five: Stevens confronts Mike Yates!
  • Episode Six: The Doctor rides away alone...

 

Overall:

A pretty good story. Not a bad way for Jo to leave, and we got a very poignant sense of the loneliness of the Doctor's life.

 

[Part of list of Doctor Who episodes here.]

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This is the one story of their era which was deliberately designed to convey a "message" in this case concerning pollution.

 

I haven't seen this story, but I'm guessing the message wasn't "Well, since we all love living in a wasteful consumerist society, we might as well put up with it...?"

No - no, it wasn't.  This, by the way, was my official "behind the sofa" Doctor Who story - the giant maggots, and what came after, had me scared out of my tiny little skull at the time.  Even the Daleks did not scare me as much as they did.



Figserello said:

This is the one story of their era which was deliberately designed to convey a "message" in this case concerning pollution.

 

I haven't seen this story, but I'm guessing the message wasn't "Well, since we all love living in a wasteful consumerist society, we might as well put up with it...?"

 

 

No, definitely not a pro-consumerist message - by Terrance Dicks' own admission, they were generally a left-leaning lot running Doctor Who in those days

Oh, and speaking of "Tiny little skulls", they apparently used actual rat skulls to make the maggots for this story!

Jo Grant is back, kicking maggot heinie in a "break my face smiling" promo for the Blu-ray release of Classic Who Season 10! Oh Jo, how I've missed you!

Stewart Bevan, who played Clifford Jones in this story, has passed away.

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