Thursday, 9 April 2015


Sunday 29th March 2015

A revolutions has occurred - and not just one against giant crabs - oh no!  There's revolution in my reviews!

You see I have been looking over some old reviews and I find myself just explaining the plot out - which is ridiculous!  You can read about that elsewhere online or can watch the re-cons/real episodes yourself!  So no more LONG explanations!  It also makes it less fun for me if I spend AGES writing out a blow by blow account of what's happening!  Especially if no-one reads this! :)

So onwards with my review and yes, another Sunday and we were back to TOTAL-RECONAGE!  Still, sadly, Jim-less but with added Gavin, we all trooped over to Jason's house to watch the four-part story "The Macra Terror"!  At last time meet-up we'd been left with the cliffhanger of a giant claw on the TARDIS screen!...

Oooo!  The sad thing is that none of this story exists in the archives!  So with tele-snaps, the soundtrack and odd bits of moving footage (thanks Aussie censors and people with cine cameras!) we ploughed into this little-known story - well, little-known to my friends!

I'll tell you a little about the start where our travellers arrive on a new unnamed planet/usual quarry pit and are immediately greeted by Medok, a half-crazed colonist!  They don't spend long with him as Ola, the Chief of Police, comes along and arrests him and takes the TARDIS crew back to his colony.

And what sort of sinister place IS this colony?  Why it's quite like an English Holiday camp - similar to Butlins back in the 50's and 60's.  It's camp, bright and cheery (someone described it a "Gay"!) - all of which are HUGE signposts that something sinister MUST be going on!  The Doctor also is unconvinced by the joviality of the place and, when the mysterious Colony Controller appears on a television screen to welcome the new guests to the colony, he's even more convinced of the fact!

Medok is brought in front of the crowd and he tries to tell everyone about the horrible creatures that come out at night - with hideous claws!  He's taken back to jail but later The Doctor visits Medok to find out more and so releases him.

Photo 1: Jason sits behind Gavin, Mark (with the DVD cover),MJ, Leigh (holding the sign) and Shaun around Jason's house!
Me and Jason are doing our best Macra-claw impression.

So we have lots happening.  To start off the whole base is not run by the Controller - but by giant crab like creatures called Macra!  The Controller also isn't the macho looking guy whose photo appears on the screens throughout the base every time there's an announcement - but instead he's a rather frightened, confused, white-haired, frail man! When we eventually see this real Controller on screen he doesn't last long and gets menaced, then killed, by a giant claw!  A shame - I liked this confused chappie!

The Macra need pollution to live so they get lots of gas pumped down into the earth where they seem to mainly live.
  The whole base does what they are told as they seemed to be placed under a hypnotic trance every time they go to sleep.  Voices come out of speakers in their bedrooms telling them that "Everything on the base is good - everything is lovely" - I paraphrase of course - but it also re-iterates that "There Are No Such Thing As Macra".  A mantra that most of the base seem to adhere to!

Photo 2: Jason lounges behind Gavin, Mark (with the DVD cover),MJ, Leigh (holding the sign) and Shaun around Jason's house!

So what about our team?  Well The Doctor gets arrested, escapes and gets up to the usual mischief.  Jamie gets sent to the mines (where they mine for the gas), Ben gets hypnotised to be one of the base guards and turns on all his friends and Polly... well, Polly gets a haircut!!

Photo 3: Jason sits behind Gavin, Mark (with the DVD cover),MJ, Leigh (holding the sign) and Shaun around Jason's house!
Me and Jason are doing our best Macra-claw impression.

Of course that's not just it  Ben and Polly do get trapped down in the under-parts (oo-er) of the colony and get menaced by a Macra - about the size of a Mini (the car).  The clips of the Macra exist and, although quite impressive with their size, glowing eyes and claws, they are VERY slow and when Polly gets caught in one of the claws you can see she's REALLY trying to help it achieve that task.  However the low lighting and smoky atmosphere really help the mood - especially when compared to the brash, overly-lit and camp uper levels where everyone lives.  I think the juxtaposition works well!

The episode ends up with the Doctor using the Macra's own gas to blow them up and the colonists no longer appear hypnotised!  Sadly this does turn them into happy-holiday-camp people and, quite, rightly, our TARDIS crew see fit to leave!

So overall I enjoyed this zippy tale.  Although unweildy, the Macra are convincing enough for this one serial and the other characters in the base give some fine performances.  It would be lovely to see this story back in the archives!

Next time we're off to Gatwick Airport!

Until then, I shall return, yes I shall return!

MJ - 09-04-15

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