Doctor Who: The Chase
(6 episodes, s02e30-e35, 1965)
The serial has an interesting start with the whole Time-Space Visualizer bit, and it is a great plot device to start the whole “chase” part of The Chase, but they spent a lot of time on it. I did enjoy how The Beatles become “classical music” in the future.
My first thought when the TARDIS touched down on Aridius was, “welcome to Tatooine,” twin suns, desert, and all. The reveal with the Dalek rising from the sand is cool, but not as much as the one that emerged from the water in The Dalek Invasion of Earth. Overall, I quite liked the story with the Aridians. It struck me as kind of the reverse of the Atlantis myth. I also liked the birth of the TARDIS’s resistance to Dalek weapons, and the clever trap to escape Aridius.
The New York sequence was humorous, as was the Mary Celeste sequence. There are a lot of Dalek shells littered through history after this serial. I wonder if the BBC used various sets that they had available from other productions. This serial had a lot of various sets and it seems like it would be more expensive than the usual Doctor Who production.
The fabricated duplicate of the Doctor was interesting, and it did lead to a clever Doctor vs Doctor fight. The mutually assured destruction Dalek-Mechonoids face-off was also quite the sight.
I did get a little excited when the Doctor asked for his screwdriver. Alas, it was not a sonic version, but my I think my parents own a set just like it so it was a nice touchstone to my childhood. I also may have missed it, but I did wonder why our heroes even leave the ship until they had a solution to defeat the Daleks? Since the TARDIS is impervious to Dalek weapons, why not arrive, wait for the ship to recharge, then leave again?
Finally, this is where we say goodbye to Ian and Barbara. While it wasn’t as moving a farewell as Susan’s, it was still very touching to see them finally make it home. They seem very happy together, and it was touching to see the Doctor’s reaction to their departure. Under that gruff exterior, he really does care.
Rating: 4/5 – “Would you care for a jelly baby?”
UP NEXT – Doctor Who: The Time Meddler
The Timestamps Project is an adventure through the televised universe of Doctor Who, story by story, from the beginning of the franchise. For more reviews like this one, please visit the project’s page at Creative Criticality.