Watched this again earlier, a few thoughts:
1)On the commentary track, Saward claims that JNT heard that Olivier wanted to play a small part in the show, and tried to get him to play the mutant in this. I always wonder about this. It does sort of sound like something JNT would do.
2)I never really thought before about the fact that the Doctor spends most of the first part of this just trying to get into Tranquil Repose, while everyone else gets up to various shenanigans. On the commentary track, Saward says that this was not deliberate on his part, just the way story worked out. Uh-huh. Even if it's true, it just shows why the writer of a story shouldn't be his own script editor.
3)On the commentary track, Saward also says that he had not even seen Soylent Green when he wrote this. He also pronounces it "Soyyent Green", for some reason.
4)Clive Swift does an excellent job of being unlikable as Jobel. I liked him much better as Mr.Copper in "Voyage of the Damned". The woman who played Tasambeker (whose name escapes me at the moment) manages the neat trick of being even more irritating than Jobel - far more irritating than the part calls for. Saward calls her the one bad casting choice in the whole story, and I'm inclined to agree with him.
5)Trevor Cooper as Takis looked sort of like he could be a third Anderson brother, after Arn and Ole.
6)As a big fan of The Young Ones, I was happy to see Alexei Sayle in this. I thought his patter as the DJ was a little too overdone, (which it was supposed to be, I imagine), but I liked his quiet moments with Peri. I do wish they could have filmed his death scene in such a way that he didn't ook like a complete idiot, coming out from behind his sound cannon before checking to see whether there were any more Daleks coming.
7)Very nice work from Eleanor Bron and Hugh Walters as Kara and Vogel - I especially liked Vogel's death scene, the way he looked into Kara's eyes before collapsing.
8)I thought this was Molloy's best work as Davros - I liked seeing Davros as the master manipulator, not always ranting all the time.
9)Stengos' head was sufficiently gross.
10)Excellent job from William Gaunt as Orcini.
11)I like that Peri didn't know a Dalek the first time she saw one. If you didn't know what one was, you wouldn't automatically think it was a threat.
12)"If you're gonna die here, what's gonna happen to me?" Instantly thinking of herself.
13)Some fun quotes:
A flawed but entertaining story.Really, not bad as long as you ingore that fact that the Doctor is supposed to be the main character. How I would love to visit the parallel universe where they made the next season the way it was originally planned...
"Clive Swift does an excellent job of being unlikable as Jobel."
Last month or so, I finally found my copy of THE LOVED ONE. I had completely forgotten that Rod Steiger was in that, as "Mr. Joyboy", who is a MUCH more disturbing character than Mr. Jobel in this story!!
The character equivalent of Davros in the original was played by Jonathan Winters. He acts like some kind of holy preacher-man, but running the world's most expensive cemetery is just a racket to him. And once he realizes he about to run out of space for new graves, he tries to figure out how to get rid of the bodies so he can turn the entire place into a retirement home. (It's a very, very sick movie. The screenplay by the same guy who did DR. STRANGELOVE, THE MAGIC CHRISTIAN, BARBARELLA, and others.)
"Very nice work from Eleanor Bron and Hugh Walters as Kara and Vogel - I especially liked Vogel's death scene, the way he looked into Kara's eyes before collapsing.:
I always remember her for Ahme, the high priestess of the death-cult of Kali in the movie HELP! "I can say no more."
"I thought this was Molloy's best work as Davros - I liked seeing Davros as the master manipulator, not always ranting all the time."
"Excellent job from William Gaunt as Orcini."
I've also seen him in a Cathy Gale episaode of THE AVENGERS. I really wish Orcini hadn't gotten killed in this. I could see him & The Doctor crossing paths from time to time, and contrasting their different approaches and attitudes. He would have been a much more interesting recurring character than Anthony Ainley's Master was.
"I like that Peri didn't know a Dalek the first time she saw one. If you didn't know what one was, you wouldn't automatically think it was a threat."
Wouldn't you have thought he'd have asked her "What did it look like?" "I don't know, some kind of giant salt-shaker..." (I actually have salt-shakers that look just like that!)
""A Knight of the Grand Order of Oberon. Only I would be stupid enough to attack such a person." Never liked that line - after all, he didn't know who Orcini was until after he'd attacked him."
Just more of Eric Saward trying to make The Doctor look stupid and useless.