robots gone wild!

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V5, that is not the Doctor

"V4, that is not the Doctor"

We have finally reached the fourth and final part of the classic Tom Baker story Robots of DeathCheers and hurrahs resound.  For those of you lovely readers who have some catching up to do, click here for part 3 of these commentaries.

 

When we left our heroes, the ever-witty Doctor was being strangled by a homicidal robot, as a horrified Commander (sans extravagant hat)  stood by, being as useless as we have come to expect from him.

 

  1. Finally!  The Commander has made a command decision.
  2. I’d be a bit cranky if someone had just stuck a giant syringe in my skull, too.
  3. Good grief!  Toose is just useless.  And Mr. Boucher—rubbish dialogue.
  4. Is the Doc carrying ol’ Commander over the threshold?
  5. Ok, silly way to dispose of two murderous robots, but cute.
  6. I love SV7’s straight tone when he says, “Do not, V4, that is not the Doctor.”
  7. Um.. is she dead?  Because she is breathing quite visibly.
  8. Right, so the Commander could barely walk before, but now he can scuttle?  And way to reduce him to just a hanger-on peppering the Doctor (who is clearly now completely in command) with stupid questions.
  9. Ah—my favorite line from the entire story (which I used as the title of my episode 3 post b/c I couldn’t resist): “Please do not throw hands at me.”—I sooo want to use this in my classroom when everyone’s hands go up at once.
  10. Oh, good, useless girl will recover.  Oh joy.  Oh rapture.
  11. Yes, thank you Captain of Obvious Exposition.
  12. Her pj’s are still pretty snazzy.
  13. The image of the robot with the giant needle in his head is pretty disturbing, particularly given his body language.
  14. Oh—the two of these ladies crouching in corners together is some slash fiction writer’s dream come true.
  15. I notice and appreciate the continuity here—the robot who lost his hand in the door is still missing it.
  16. Clever, clever Leela—having intuition and all.  Good point that SV7 should have recognized her voice.
  17. Must have sucked to be one of the actors who had to play these *frozen* bots.
  18. Now that he’s out of immediate danger and back on his command deck, the Commander has reverted to his vacation home in Denial.  I’m enjoying that the Doc compares him to Marie Antoinette.
  19. Awfully convenient that they had a medical bed set up in the middle of the command deck.
  20. “I don’t understand!” whines Commander—let’s add that to your lengthy list, shall we.
  21. Ah—it was Pool who was controlling D84—clever.
  22. Another point in continuity’s favor are the makeup jobs on the Commander and Toose’s wounds—her neck is still red from being strangled.
  23. Now we get to the bottom of the not-cared about sub-plot.
  24. “And if we do come out, we will be destroyed anyway”—now that’s the first intelligent sentence you’ve uttered all day!
  25. Ummm… is anyone else creeped out by SV7’s resemblance to computer in 2001: A Space Odyssey?
  26. Ah—another bit of dramatic eye acting on Tom’s part
  27. Are they Zed Zed 9 Plural Zed Alpha bombs?
  28. Ha!  “Well, that’s your problem.  I can’t be every where at once.”
  29. Again with the door sound.
  30. Ah—something at which the Commander and Toose can be competent—what a nice change.
  31. Cue hordes of silly tinfoil robot boots.
  32. Once again, this episode’s heroes must have engaged their Somebody Else’s Problem Field as they hide in plain sight.  (yes, I know that was 2 Hitchhiker’s references in the space of 2 scenes, but they were just waiting to be made!)
  33. Commander—must you fall into EVERY sci-fi cliché?  When the Doctor says not to open the door—then don’t open the door.
  34. Ah, while other people were carrying the story, Dask has popped off and had a make-over.  I do think Trinny and Susanna have gotten this one a bit wrong, though.  I think he’s wearing the costume equivalent of a foil-wrap that we used at scout camp to bake chicken and rice over a campfire.
  35. I like the nice long draw back to wide-shot to reveal what we already suspected.
  36. Ummm… Dask, just a point here, but if they could hear you begging for entrance, can’t they also here you giving commands to your robot horde? 
  37. Aww, poor busted robot.
  38. Look, even in whatever century this is, they still use duct tape!
  39. Thanks for the needless definition of “robo-phobia.”  It’s moments like these that remind me that the BBC is under the mistaken impression (though, God only knows why) that Doctor Who is a kid’s show.
  40. “Right now he must be a happy little maniac.”  Ha!
  41. Once again, I am reminded that D84 is an early version of a K-9 character.
  42. Tom just said the key theme of Doctor Who: “I think you’re very important.”
  43. Robot against screen quite creepy.
  44. Every time he says, “My brothers,” I get a flashback to Mr. Mash from “Are You Being Served.”  I want to say, “Mr. Dask, get off the floor!  You know that you and the robots can’t be on the floor after 8 o’clock.”
  45. Meanwhile, back on the uselessly chaotic command deck.
  46. “We may not be so lucky a second time.”—it was awfully considerate of V5 to stand compressed against the door and blow up so nicely.
  47. Dude, you do realize that sooner or later they will realize that you’re human, too.
  48. Ah… a clever, clever trick, using a child’s party game against a maniac.
  49. How awful!  Poor D87!  He is a hero until the end!
  50. Um, when that robot sucker punches the Doctor and then shoves him against a wall, is he going to kill him or kiss him?  I think it could go either way from his body language.
  51. Ah, Dask, as with all meglo-maniacs, your need to torture your enemy will be your undoing.  Have you never watched this show?
  52. Even the music can’t take these two robot-hunting clowns seriously.  They’ve suddenly become Litefoot and Jago, minus the clever dialogue.
  53. Hello, Dask.  Just to let you know, I’ve been tortured by much crazier men than you, and Eddie Izzard wanted me to tell you that silver eye shadow is a death color.
  54. How does no one hear the incredibly loud helium canister?
  55. “Ah, I see.  You’re one of those boring maniacs who’s going to gloat.  Are you going to tell me your plan for running the universe?”  HA!  He is, too.
  56. Well, that at least makes a change.
  57. Finally, the Doctor has told him that he looks ridiculous in that outfit.
  58. I like how the voice change comes upon him so gradually that he doesn’t notice it—though in point of fact, that must be some mightily concentrated helium in order to displace an entire roomful of air.
  59. Ouch—poor Tom does look like his brain is being burned out.
  60. No, not losing his nerve, just overcome with the need to gloat.
  61. Oh—Go D84!!!!!  One final act of bravery!
  62. Those pyrotechnics are quite impressive and a bit gruesome, as we have come to recognize these robots as humanoid creatures.
  63. Ah—nick of time programming still apparently working quite well in this robot.
  64. Dude—there can be only one Master—and you don’t even make the short list.
  65. Gosh, Toose!  You’re racking up a strangle-count to rival young Kirk in the recent movie.  Just be grateful that you haven’t had to hang off any ledges lately.
  66. a useful tool- that giant needle.  I still feel sorry for it’s victims, though.
  67. “What squeak mouse?” 
  68. That control room looks like the throne room at the end of Hamlet.  Where’s Fortinbras when you need him?
  69. Oh—apparently he’s on the rescue ship.  Isn’t it a bit callous to leave the last two crew members trapped on a ship stuffed to the gills with dead people and robots? 
  70. Listen, just because Leela asked the question we were all wondering is no reason to get snippy there, Tom-boy.
  71. Oh, dear—I have discovered that I’ve been spelling Toos’s name wrong this whole time… well, I maintain that my spelling is better.  Otherwise, she’s “twos,” right?
  72. For that matter, they claim that my Pool is actually Poul.  Huh.  Well, this just goes to prove that I’m doing these as I’m watching.  We’ll claim spontaneity and move on, shall we.
  73. Speaking of random credits—they have periods in the names of the robots (I can see some copy-editor now: “Well, since they are, in fact, abbreviations, they should contain periods.”  “But there weren’t any on the costumes.”  “Not my fault.  I’m right, and I’m putting them in the credits properly.  So there.” Yes, indeed, methinks I smell a fellow English Major at work.)

 

And we are done!  Whoo—that was a long one. 

 

What did you think, folks?  Shall we have more of these?

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2 responses »

  1. Pingback: “please do not throw hands at me” « Words All Day Thru

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