1)The funny thing is, when I first saw this, I had little or no idea who Douglas Adams was. Certainly, my reaction was not the reaction that someone coming to it today might have: "The Douglas Adams?" When I was in my 20's, I read the Hitchhiker's Guide books, and found them immensely amusing. Interestingly enough, when I re-read twenty years later, I found them a good deal less amazing - my tastes had apparently moved on. So, while I still respect Adams as a writer, I no longer am so "starstruck" by him as I once was.
2)The most interesting guest character in this is The Captain, played reasonably well by Bruce Purchase. I like the idea of a guy pretending to be an hysterical nut, when he really isn't. If I would criticize a little, it's that maybe - even though the character is meant to be over-the-top, Purchase plays it as maybe a little too over-the-top, to a point where you'd think the Queen might be a little suspicious.
Wacky Stuff the Captain Says:
- "By all the X-Ray Storms of Vega..."
- "Moons of Madness"
- "...I'll have your bones bleached."
- "...Or by all the Fires of Night, I'll have that skull off you!"
- "Vultures of death! Ghouls!"
- "By all the suns that blaze, I'll tear you apart - molecule from molecule."
- "What the planet's bane is that?"
- "By all the Flaming Moons of Heretes..."
- "By the Horns of the Prophet Balag..."
- "By the Sky Demon..."
- "Postpone?" I love the disappointed tone in his voice.
- "By the Beard of the Sky Demon..."
- "Teeth of the Devil..."
- "Moons of Madness" A second time!
- "By the Blood of the Sky Demons..."
- "By the Left Frontal Lobe of the Sky Demon..." Now, he's just being silly.
- "Devil Storms, Mr. Fibuli!"
- "By the Flaming Moons of Hell..."
- "It looks a pleasant world, Captain." "Then it will be pleasant to destroy it."
- "By the Hounds of Hell..."
- "Devil Storms, Doctor!" That's a repeater, too.
- "By the Raging Fury of the Sky Demon..." A Captain Hurricane reference, perhaps?
- "By the Bursting Suns of Banzar..."
- By the Curléd Fangs of the Sky Demon..."
- "By the Great Parrot of Hades..."
- "A plank. The theory is very simple. You walk along it. At the end, you fall off. Drop one thousand feet. Dead."
- "Mr.Fibuli. Dead. Dead. He was a good man." And at the end, he finally shows some human feeling. Interesting. The second story in a row where a war-like character shows sorrow at the death of a subordinate.
3)Of course, Purchase is helped by Andrew Robertson as the cringing Mr. Fibuli, making an excellent second for the raging Captain.
4)The Polyphase Avitron was amuing - parrots seem to crop up alot in Adams' work. One could wish to see its epic battle with K-9 re-done with modern special effects, that would be pretty amusing.
5)The Mentiads were not one of my favorite elements of the story. Why do psychics always look like they don't get enough sleep?
6)The Doctor is apparently storing the Key segments in an old gas refrigerator.
7)You will notice a scab on Baker's lip - it was there in the last story, but it seems more noticeable in this one. Apparently he was bitten by a dog, and the make-up they put on to cover it up was somewhat painful.
8)Romana sat on K-9! How rude!
9)I liked the bit where the Doctor tricked a guard and stole an aircar, only to have it rebound on him the second time he tried it.
10)Apparently the Engine Room scenes were filmed in a nuke plant.
11)I also liked how the Docctor's experience enabled him to see through the Captain where Romana didn't.
12) I'll cop to not having figured out that the nurse was the real heel in this the furst time I saw it.
13)So, the second segment turns out to be the Planet Calufrax.
14)Some more quotes:
- "'Veteran and Vintage Vehicles' was an optional extra."
- "How paralyzingly dull, boring and tedious." You'd think he'd've learned not to say things like that.
- "Have you any idea how long I've been operating this TARDIS?" "523 years." So, if he's 759, he left Gallifrey when he was 236.
- "She is prettier than you, Master."
- "Lying in the streets, exactly where I wasn't expecting to find it." That's a Douglas Adams line.
- "I'll never be cruel to an electron in a particle accelerator again."
- "Such hospitality. I'm underwhelmed."
- "No more janis thorns!"
- "Appreciate it?" I like the Doctor's moral oturage here.
- "I'm sorry about that, but it was becoming an infernal nuisance."
- "Bafflegab, my dear. I've never heard such bafflegab in all my lives."
- "Why should anybody want to bend a fork?' Do young people today even remember Uri Geller?
- "You know, I think the conservation of momentum is a very important law in physics, don't you?" "Yes." "I don't think anyone should tamper with it, do you?" "No." "No, nor do I." Another unmistakably Adams bit.
- "He told me to clear off out of his tree."
- "It's been nice knowing you, Doctor." "And you."
- "Die, you fool, die!"
- Part One: The Mentiads zap the Doctor!
- Part Two: The Mentiads have come for the Doctor!
- Part Three: The Doctor is made to talk the plank!
- Part Four: The Doctor and Romana go off to get the second segment!
Another pretty good story - actually it's almost like the Key to Time storyline is a bit of an afterthought here
[Part of list of Doctor Who episodes here.]