May 8th, 2010


Doctor Who Original Series 18 - Galaxy Four

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Galaxy Four 4.25

The basic core of Galaxy Four is simple but solid - don't judge by appearances. This is further enhanced by the old standby for drama, a countdown to destruction. The problem with it is that it's not just slow, it's glacial. The last episode is by far the most interesting and exciting, it's where everything comes together and happens, and even that has a deliberate awkward conversational pause that goes for thirty seconds of screen time!

I think the problem is there's an over reliance on the robotic chumblies to fill gaps. Between them, the Drahvins, and the Rills, real character and interesting conflict has been dropped in favour of pretty things on screen. But this is mid-sixties Doctor Who, and it always works best with a solid story and interesting characters. In fact it's a rule that still holds true today of any tv or cinematic endeavour.

Now some may argue that the story has been hurt because it's being listened to on audio, but let's be realistic, no other missing or incomplete story to date has rated anywhere near this low. The nearest equivalent is The Space Museum and that suffers many of the same issues that hurt this story - poor pace and characterisation - but it exists!

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It's not all bad. I really like the Rills. I like their mindset and character and the way the story builds to them finally being seen. When they are it's fleeting, which plays to the strengths and weaknesses of the show. No monster is going to work if it's visible onscreen for too long, so build to it, show it briefly, and leave it at that.

Galaxy Four isn't really bad at heart, it's just way too long and slow in its realisation. I think it would have made a cracking two-parter though!

Basically, nice for the completist, but missable.

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