Sunday, 20 May 2018


Well, as an idiot once said, things sometimes do get a little Timey-Wimey, so my third contribution to the "Round the Archives" podcast (which can be heard here is actually - at least partially - the first thing I recorded as a trial for the lovely Lisa and Andrew. Here, for the sake of clarity, is what I was trying to read out with my quasi-human voice...


I’ve been giving a lot of thought to beginnings recently. Well, to be honest, beginnings are far more enjoyable than the gut-wrenching horribleness that surround the average ending. Beginnings are full of hope and possibility, whereas endings are usually about misery and death and, in television terms, knowing that, no matter what revivals or reunion movies may come, for the show as you know it, apart from reruns, this is the proverbial IT.

Goodbyes. I’ve always had a problem with goodbyes. They’re so… brutal.

It’s kind of why I like pilot episodes, too. Somehow, in extremely subtle ways, they can be quite different in mood and tone to the rest of the series as elements get tweaked, or actors become unavailable, between the filming of the pilot and the series getting the green light. Quite often iconic sets have yet to be built, and shows are shot in what ultimately seems like the “wrong” house, and characters are slightly altered from the original vision. Sometimes, of course, this takes the heart and soul out of what made the pilot appealing in the first place, but usually it just means that o later viewing, much loved characters may have the viewer going “What the heck…?”

So a show like “Elementary” will have the “wrong” sidekick detective who is never seen or heard of again, and Sherlock himself habitually uses an upstairs room with a view across the park that he suddenly chooses to never venture into again. Hill and Renko are shot don mercilessly in the “Hill Street Blues” opener only to magically reappear when the producer found them amongst the most appealing characters.

There’s a nice moment in some of the early “New Avengers” episodes where the credit montage uses film from the screen tests of Purdey and Gambit because the editors didn’t yet have enough action shots.

The first episode of MASH bears little resemblance to those that follow, and almost none to the film of the book that inspired it. Interestingly, the movie manages in slightly under two hours to cover the same two and a half year war that it took eleven seasons on television – and a great many Christmas episodes - to get through.

Don’t get me wrong, some endings are pretty great, too. Over three decades on, Hawkeye and BJ saluting Colonel Potter in “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen” can still have this grown man find that he has something in his eye.

One of the most famous ‘pilot not much resembling the show you came to know and love’ stories is, of course, Star Trek where even the less cerebral and more action/adventure and almost unheard of second pilot has set designs, characters and costumes that don’t much look like those in the episodes surrounding it. Incidentally, “Where No Man Has Gone Before” remains one of my personal favourites, and is well worth checking out if you get a moment.

Even our perennial British television stalwart Doctor Who had a pilot episode shot, and it was also one that was rejected and refilmed with subtle changes – mostly to remove some studio gaffes, but also to soften the more unearthly aspects of the alien lead characters and to add more of an air of mystery to their backgrounds, both of which were probably very strong factors in making the show the long-running phenomenon that it has become over the past half century and more.

My own relationship with Doctor Who has some quite vague beginnings. Nowadays I tend to believe that I became “A Fan” because somebody bought me the Target “In An Exciting Adventure With The Daleks” paperback back in 1973, but I can remember being rather giddy with excitement when I heard that there was going to be a Radio Times Special magazine that year, and dashing to the newsagents to pick up my copy.

A long time ago, I wrote an article for the Doctor Who Appreciation Society’s TARDIS magazine in which I recollected my earliest memories of watching the show.  I have vivid recollections of Patrick Troughton complaining about the redecoration of the TARDIS in “The Three Doctors” and a few earlier memories of scenes from “Colony In Space” and “The Daemons” and “The Sea Devils” but not much earlier. In fact I suspect that most of my more vivid recollections come from the compilation repeats that used to turn up from time-to-time during those years, usually when the cricket finished early.

Back then I didn’t think much of cricket, but sudden unexpected Doctor Who somehow seemed utterly magical and got me well and truly hooked.

It’s a slight irritation that my big sister, who used to borrow my Target books to read in the bath, once saw a picture of the Dalek Emperor – I think it must have been in my Radio Times Special – and told me she remembered that one.

I don’t – I was three years old when that now lost classic was on.

I cannot over-estimate just how influential those Target books were in making me into a fully-fledged bona-fide Doctor Who enthusiast. Even now, those first couple of dozen books, mostly based upon Jon Pertwee stories that sometimes fail to be quite as exciting as they were on the page - fill me with a joy that it’s hard to explain. Those are the ones that still get my Buying Finger twitching when the audiobook versions appear on sale and yes, as a fifty-something bloke with no kids, I do have a house full of audios of what are essentially children’s books.

There’s still a box full of the ones I had as a kid, too, and I think that they only way I’ll ever willingly be parted from them is when they chuck all my stuff into a skip after I’ve fled this mortal coil.

Oddly enough, since the episodes have become mostly available on video and DVD, those earliest memories are becoming slightly less certain as the gaps have been filled in by being able to watch the episodes in full whenever I like, and having done so several times over the years.

Anyway, as I’m talking about beginnings, I thought it might be nice to look at some “First Episodes” of some random Doctor Who stories from those years, and I picked out Episode One of The Green Death as a pretty good one to start with.

Oddly enough, I have a peculiar relationship with The Green Death that reaches right back into my past because I can remember being terrified by that ruddy maggot creeping up on the lovely Jo Grant at the end of episode three like it was yesterday.

Ah! Jo Grant! Despite the fact that I’m a reluctant meeter of people, some day I’d love to let Katy Manning know just how much I adored her when I was a nine-year old. She was like the big sister I never had in many ways, even though I did actually have a big sister, but you know what I mean. My big sister is about nine years older than me and so, when I was nine, she was off doing what eighteen year olds do, and I was at home watching Doctor Who, and Jo was there - metaphorically holding all of our hands through the scary bits - and I absolutely bloody loved her.

I’m sure Katy Manning gets told that sort of all the time, of course, by gentlemen of a certain age with the moist glint of nostalgia in their eyes.

The Green Death is also significant because I can remember haring it up the M6 back from some weekend away or other when the Sunday repeats were on in the early nineties because I knew that there was an outside chance that, if I got back in time, I could swap the tapes over in my video recorder which I’d left set for all sorts of other “I’m going away for the weekend” nonsense and then the episodes would be all together on the one tape.

Peculiar times.

Anyway, The Green Death episode one. It’s perhaps a strange choice when I’m talking about beginnings because it is, of course, the beginning of the end in many ways. Five weeks later, lovely Jo would be gone forever, and within a year, the whole Pertwee era would be done and dusted, and the show would never really be quite the same again.

I can remember watching that regeneration through the open door of our living room from between a gap in the stair rods. My dad had a habit of asking me to leave the room if he thought something on TV might upset me, so I became very familiar with the large mirror and heater that were in our hallway. Obviously saying goodbye to someone they were aware that I had become ridiculously fond of was going to be far too much for me, and so I was exiled – but only to the staircase.

Consequently, because of my yet to be recognised eyesight issues, for the next six months – a lifetime when you’re nine, barely a blink between pay cheques nowadays – I was convinced that my beloved Doctor had transformed into the TV puppet Lord Charles, complete with monocle.

That said, the following Christmas came along and the Mighty Tom drew me in hook, line, and sinker, and life would never be the same again… but that, perhaps, is a story for another time.

Written by Robert Sloman and directed by Michael Briant, The Green Death starts with those titles…

Yes, I guess we should give an immediate mention to the fact that this serial marks the last appearance of the classic “howlaround” version of the title sequence which, to viewers of a certain age will always give them a mildly thrilling tingle of joy. Despite being replaced by another thing of beauty, they really are a thing of beauty in themselves.

The story opens with a quite impressive aerial view of a Welsh colliery, an image that would be very familiar to viewers of that era from the many appearances of coal miners on the news. In fact it’s easy to forget that, in terms of being contemporary, this is about as topical as Doctor who could get. Interestingly, these views are accompanied by birdsong and, given what’s going to come over the next six weeks, it all appears to be rather tranquil.

We cut to a sign on a gate showing a “Closed” sign has been pasted over the words “Llanfairfach Colliery” which immediately and economically gives us one great big chunk of backstory. The camera then pans past the sign to show us a once-familiar view of a pithead lift, which in the spirit of Chekhov’s gun, is bound to prove significant later on.

We cut to a miner scrambling along a tunnel looking terrified. This is John Scott Martin who is, like his later role as a security guard in episode one of “Robot”, destined to become the first victim of this serial. Serves him right, I suppose, after all those years of exterminating all and sundry from inside the safety of an armoured pepperpot.

We then cut to a shiny new chauffeur-driven white Range Rover – quite a “modern” car in those days – driving past a group of what looks like a group of miners who appear to be protesting outside a modern industrial plant which is revealed, with the minimum of fuss, to be “Global Chemicals.”

From the back of the car Jerome Willis emerges playing the as-yet unnamed “Stevens” in full Power Hat, Power Moustache and Power Briefcase mode. Funny how rarely you see briefcases nowadays, isn’t it? Once the symbol of someone with “Important Stuff To Do” it’s now become something of an anachronism.

He is welcomed by a similar-looking man who has presumably replaced the Power Hat with Power Spectacles to differentiate himself in the mighty faceless bureaucracy of the Chemicals industry. This is Elgin, as played by Tony Adams, once familiar from the Crossroads Motel, and who will do a vanishing act later on in the story through illness, but that’s not something that needs concern us here.

Elgin, toadying mercilessly, is keen to learn any news from Stevens’ trip to London, and Stevens replies that it’s “All Good.” This, of course, we should know means that it isn’t good at all, but so far we’re trusting these upstanding pillars of the community, especially as they appear to be facing hostility from the working class “rabble” outside the gates.

Interestingly, that “rabble” includes the milkman, who obviously has a vested interest seeing how things are going to affect future milk sales, or – perhaps - in boosting the number of extras beyond the barricade. Well, it’s not so much a barricade as one of those lifty-up car-stopping poles, manned by the stout security team of Global. As we know, a determined rabble would be over that in a shot, but things were far more civilized back then.

Anyway, because Doctor Who in the seventies wasn’t without a sense of humour, Stevens unfolds the back of the Range Rover to form a platform before going into a full parody of Neville Chamberlain’s “I have in my hand a piece of paper” speech promising “wealth in our time” for the now rather cheerful looking miners. I wonder whether our familiarity with history nowadays would be quite so reliable. I presume it was just assumed back then that even the average schoolchild would have been familiar with that moment. I wonder how many modern viewers would even know who Chamberlain was.

Meanwhile, and just to emphasise the power of hubris, we immediately cut to “Down t’pit” (although it’s a Welsh pit so, in the interests of stereotyping - because we’re about to get a lot of that - “Down the pit, Boyo”) where, in front of the first dodgy CSO shot of this serial, John Scott Martin, is in a mineshaft lift trying to get back above ground. We jump cut to a close up of the makeup on the back of his hand which is, kind of, glowing and pulsing with a bright green light.

The title is “The Green Death” folks. Try to remember that if you’re taking bets on old Hughes being fine.

This close up is also accompanied by a familiar “Dudley Simpson Sting” on the soundtrack, so things are not looking too good for the old Dalek-wrangler.

We return to Global Chemicals where the speech is still dragging on, with the miners and the milkman mate all generally looking quite pleased about life. Well, they seem a smiley bunch on the whole, anyway, as Stevens burbles on about the death of coal. The panning shot of the miners continues across to favour a grim looking bunch of hippy types, introducing another set of protagonists as Stuart Bevan playing the soon-to-be very significant role of Professor Jones (no, not THAT one) pipes up about pollution.

Interestingly, it is one of the Global Chemicals mob who identifies him, also mentioning that he is “a trouble-maker” so we like him already.

The stage is set, the two sides of the upcoming fight are now revealed.

Meanwhile, Stevens displays a eerie moment which we will later learn is all about his mind control when he icily mutters something about “Those who resist progress” before geeing up the crowd with a bit of politics leading to the privileged Jones being shouted down by the miners, whose self-interest, because “They need the jobs!” trumps all of his “Save the Planet” protestations.

Same old, same old.

Mind you, when you consider that this is 1973, albeit a post-Doomwatch 1973, this kind of debate, on a primetime family TV show, is way ahead of its time.

Their discussion is interrupted by the emergency siren blasting from the pithead, and, despite everything, the miners, after long years of knowing where their priorities really lie, respond immediately, as we cut to John Scott Martin, his hand on the lever “bright green, apparently, and dead.”

So there we are. We’ve visited a strange new world beyond the home counties,  been introduced to two opposing factions, seen the sort of baffling and peculiar death that would once have intrigued Department S, and we’ve still not been reintroduced to the Doctor yet.

Ah! There it is. The dear old UNIT lab. A home from home for both Jo and the Doctor for these past three years. In a portent of several future iconic Doctor Who images, Jo appears dressed in what looks like cricketing gear and eating an apple, and, in between bites, Jon Pertwee’s Doctor emerges from the TARDIS parked in its usual corner in the background, as ever, working on some gizmo or other – which turns out to be the “space time coordinate programmer” in a bit of non-randomising “let’s get where we were going to for once” script-editing.

Despite their close working relationship, like towards the end of some marriages, neither of them are paying each other much attention as they fill in a little bit of “story so far” exposition about the Doctor now having been forgiven by the Time Lords, whilst – pay attention at the back there - discussing the value of protein in your breakfast.

The Doctor is eager to take Jo to Metebelis Three, whereas Jo, having been distracted by a news story about Global Chemicals (Uh-oh!), is determined to go to South Wales (Uh-oh!) and much poignant hilarity ensues very much marking the beginning of the end for this particular relationship as they misunderstand each other when Jo heads off to pack her suitcase.

There’s just  time for one hearty “You never listen to a word I say” moment, of course, but it’s all rather heartbreaking if you know what’s coming.

Also fleetingly mentioned in this exchange is the Doctor’s desire to obtain one of the mysterious Blue Sapphires of Metebelis Three which will lead, within a year, to his downfall. Whether or not you believe that things are planned so far ahead, or whether writers fish about looking for significant past moments to build upon, this almost throwaway foretelling can’t help but feel far more significant now than perhaps it did at the time.

We then cut back to Professor Jones, in full proto-Doctor mode – although I suspect, as viewers, we wouldn’t necessarily have entirely picked up on that yet – examining the body and talking about the strange putrefaction that has taken place in less than an hour.

Things, as they say, are afoot.

Events are escalating out of hand.

Mind you, in the midst of all this science-fiction stuff, the idea of tiny John Scott Martin as the best Prop Forward Llanfairfach ever had” does seem to be a bit of a stretch.

There then follows the last great UNIT HQ scene between these three much loved characters. The Doctor burst back into the lab with the Brigadier hot on his heels bellowing “No, no, no!” in response to the Brig’s latest request to involve him with some bureaucratic nonsense. The Green Man, it appears might be down to espionage and UNIT, in direct conflict with Jo’s views – which she makes quite plain as she reappears - is supposed to protect Global’s interests…

Bandying phrases like “Oh dear!” and “Got to be stopped!” and “Noble fight” in response to the Brig’s “The Nutcake Prof” and “Cheap petrol and lots of it!” rhetoric – now that WOULD have struck a chord in 1973 – leads to a disagreement in which – in case you didn’t realize she would be leaving soon – Jo all but threatens to resign from UNIT altogether. She’s still not too proud to accept a lift to Wales from the Brigadier, though, but I do wonder quite what the conversation was about in the next few hours whizzing along the M4.

They probably stopped for a quick pint on the way, if I know my Brig.

Especially after that exchange with the Doctor about ordering him to go, and the Doctor retorting “I wouldn’t advise you to try!”

But before Jo and the Brig go, there’s just time for one last proper “moment” for Jo and the Doctor in which, having had a jolly jaunt to Metebelis Three rejected, the Doctor offers her “All of Time and Space” and she still refuses him. This is brutal, hearts-wrenching stuff, especially when Jo points out that everything the Professor is fighting for reminds her of a younger him.


There’s a farewell of sorts, some fence-mending in which the Doctor asks her to tell the Brigadier that he’ll follow along later, and with that, she’s gone, and, with such a heartsfelt “…and so the fledgling flies to coop…!” he hops inside the TARDIS to weep for six months.


And they say that the old series didn’t do emotions.

Those who go on about the Brig’s massive house in “Battlefield” sometimes forget the rather natty Mercedes Coupe that he drives in this episode. If you want to line him up with the Establishment, you might want to point out that, like the Range Rover earlier, the Brig’s car is also white, but I wouldn’t want to get too metatextual with you.

Suffice it to say that when the Brigadier stops to ask our ubiquitous Llanfairfach milkman for directions, the “Boyo!” he gets in response is chock full of mistrust (even though we know that the Brig is a bit of a lovely old softie really). Maybe he just didn’t like – or was seethingly jealous of - seeing pretty young girls in the passenger seats of sports cars driven by older gentlemen.

Jo is then dropped off at what will become her future – although we don’t know that for certain yet – and, with a few mutterings about “duty” the Brig makes a whimsical reference to the Doctor going off on a Pleasure Jaunt…

From which we jump cut to the Doctor on a Blue Lit planet being attacked by a huge, tentacle “something.”


Jo meanwhile enters the Wholeweal Community, the hallway of which is emblazoned by the sort of hippy-esque hand-drawn signs saying “Room for living” that mark it out as one of those sorts of places.

In his laboratory, Professor Jones lurks inside a VERY 1970s basket chair and Jo proceeds to basically repeat her introduction to the Doctor all those years ago by ruining his experiments and generally being exasperating.

It must be love.

Well if love is all about whether someone might “Contaminate my spores” and the “Dreadful news” that “You’ve come to join us” “Mum” or “Nancy” not passing on messages, mistaken identity that he couldn’t possibly be the Professor (despite that “Younger you” gibe earlier), more displays of clumsiness – well we all get a bit awkward around those we want to impress – and finally being parked upon a stool as she is welcomed to the Nuthutch.

Professor Jones is a little bit patronizing towards Jo, though, with that parking her on a stool and saying that “She’s only a kid” - especially as it’s HER we are identifying with and he’s a strange interloper - but you could argue that Jo’s kind of got used to being patronized by a certain someone.

Meanwhile, in the far off galaxy of Stockfootarge, the Doctor is having problems with a big blue snake. Read into that what you will.

The soon to be lovers are having a bit of a sulk, and Professor Jones attempts to break the ice with the old “I don’t know but there’s one crawling up your leg” schtick and, again, the horrible creepy-crawly climbing up a leg is something that we will be returning to in later episodes.

My! This is clever stuff, isn’t it?

Having broken the ice because he couldn’t stand the silence, the Prof and Jo start to bond a little over the toadstools and fungus, and Jo finally (FINALLY!) twigs as to just who this rather attractive, handsome, dashing and cheeky young Nobel Prize-winning scamp actually is.

Meanwhile, oblivious to all this, dear old Jon Pertwee is getting snowed on somewhere far too far away…

As Jo gets all giddy about plastics, petrol, and biotech research – what a flirt the Prof is, eh - on the other side of the tracks, the Brig is having a bit of a cockfight with the members of the board of Global chemicals, and then asks to borrow their phone to call UNIT HQ presumably because he really misses the Doctor.

Sadly the Doctor is unavailable as he’s currently nabbing himself one of those blue deux et machina crystals he was harping on about earlier and being chased by a huge pair of bird feet left over from the Goodies Christmas Special.


This means we get some lovely close ups of an old style 1970s dial telephone ringing away to itself, and the Brig has to engage with one of those long rambling bouts of exposition that really need to be got out of the way. Happily this is cross-cut with a similar conversation between Jo and the Prof – do we know him well enough yet to call him Cliff? – so that the whole “why object to progress?” “doom merchants” “oil supply” and “conservation” exchange, as well as the “pollution or surprising lack of it in Stevens’ process” and “alternative technologies stuff doesn’t outstay its welcome.

Meanwhile, of course, there’s the small matter of the first Green Death to think about. I had a friend once who used to play a drinking game – if the actual title of the film was mentioned in dialogue, you had to take a drink. It lead to some quite sober reflection during “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” but nobody ever got to the end of Ted Danson in “Dad…”

Anyway, on that score, the Green Death does pretty well in the sober viewing department.

There’s some discussion between Jo and Cliff about whether the chemical waste is being pumped into the old mine, another short conversation that will turn out to be driving a significant chunk of the rest of the plot. She heads off with her UNIT hat firmly back in place, along with a rather alarming possibly Yak-skin coat, slamming the door to the lab firmly behind her, much to Cliff’s chagrin.

Meanwhile, in one of those truly lovely quiet moments which are now so rare in modern television, the miners are chatting about what they should do over a nice cuppa. One of them, the great big hairy scary one, announces that he is going down and, massive applause for our second favourite comedy Welshman – well, this is years before Max Boyce and Sir Harry was still around, Talfryn Thomas finally shows up to add some genuine Welsh gravitas amidst all those “Boyos.”

Global of course, choose precisely this moment to decide that perhaps they ought to seal off the mine.

You see? We knew that they were up to no good. You really can’t trust these business types, can you?

The Brig seems rather worried, his “As soon as the Doctor arrives…” being countered in the cockfight by a terse “IF he does…!”

He tries once more to get hold of the Doctor, who currently running for his life on Metebelis Three. Rocks of a quite possibly polystyrene nature are bunged, as are half-hearted spears. Happily, he makes it back to the lab with nothing more than some terrible things being done to his favourite green jacket – it would return – and answers the phone with a weary “I’ll talk to anyone…”

Things are now, like Bessie, moving apace, as we jump cut to the Doctor hurtling along at a quite phenomenal and speed limit shattering lick towards Wales.

Perhaps we should pause for a moment to imagine the confrontation between the Pert and a South Wales traffic cop “I do not intend to go with you  anywhere, sir, especially not forthwith…”

Perhaps not.

Jon Pertwee is now wearing what has since become one of his most definitive looks; That tartan cape ensemble that he resurrected for The Five Doctors.

Maybe it’s a Wales thing…?

As one of the miners descends into the fateful mine, obviously never having watched a show like this before, presumably because of all of the rugby and the beer, otherwise he’d know that it’s a very stupid thing to be doing, in the blink of an edit, the Doctor arrives at Global Chemicals where, buoyed up by having his pal with him, the Brigadier declares that he still intends to investigate that mine, and they head off to do so.

This gives Stevens the opportunity to reveal his devious, sinister, untrustworthy self to us properly, which comes as something of a turnaround from the happy-go-lucky paper-waver we saw earlier.

He summons the rotter Hinks – his chauffeur – and demands that he engage in some form of sabotage. His vagueness at this moment seems to alarm even a “no questions asked” sort like Hinks, who shows a little concern at the “Nobody is to go into the mine… Nobody must go down the mine” mantra.

He’s not concerned enough not to follow orders, mind, and like the brutal little henchman he is, off he goes to do his master’s bidding.

Let’s be kind. Maybe he’s been “processed” too…?

Left alone, in full on sinister mode, Stevens goes over to his cupboard and retrieves the biggest set of headphones in the world ever, a set of headphones so impressive that the Doctor would nick them to put in his Professor Clegg brain-frying machine a year later, a set of headphones that even now – and let’s face it, I do know what’s going to happen – still have me thinking one word – Cybermen!!!

How cool would that have been?

Jo, like a fluffy coated human whirlwind arrives at the pit head just as the miners are having a bout of angst about whether they ought to have let old Dai go down the pit and live up to his name. Dai, it turns out was as big, hairy and scary as we all thought he was, and was rather used to getting his own way, so when we see him glowing green just a few seconds later, it’s hard not to think that, to a certain extent, he has brought this upon himself.

After displaying huge amounts of schoolgirl crushy dimness whilst gushing over the Prof earlier, suddenly Jo is all efficient and the very figure of UNIT authority, and dismisses the miners exclamations about Private Property and pretty much takes over the scene with her quick-witted suggestion that her First Aid skills might come in handy.

Lovely - but soon to be tragic - Bert, who didn’t make a great first impression, agrees to let her tag along and in a jiffy she’s togged out in her mining gear and off down the pit.

Meanwhile, with the Doctor bellowing “nobody must go down that mine!” to anyone who’ll listen, the Brig is speeding his way towards the climax and Hinks slips out of a building having obviously done something bad.

After we get a glimpose of Jo and Bert in the unconvincing lift again, the Doctor and the Brigadier arrive, with the Brig stopping to do one of those famous Doctor Who “Look!” finger points towards the spinning lift wheels.

“Someone’s going down! We must stop them!” and they burst into the lift control room to almost nobody’s surprise.

Almost as an aside they find out what he know, that Bert and “that young lady from UNIT” are in the cage and, as the lift brake fails to work and the cage plummets out of control we crash zoom on Jon Pertwee’s face…



So that, apart from the end credits is episode one of  The Green Death.

What an incredible set up for what turns out to be a rather incredible story.

Are you tempted to watch any more? Did it draw you in? Would the events of Episode One draw you in enough to come back next week?

After all, there’s been no monster as such as yet… Just the small matter of those glowing green mystery deaths and Jo putting herself in a grave insoluble peril that we hope that she’s going to get out of.

Over the course of the next five episodes, the tenth year of Doctor Who will be brought to an end via the revelation of those rather iconic giant maggots, a slightly less iconic giant fly, and the machinations of a bonkers crazy super computer bent on world domination, and, once all that’s been dealt with, we get the gut punch of Jo Grant disappearing forever up the Amazon with some other bloke (sort of) and that single tear trickling down a two thousand year old cheek, as someone far more eloquent than me once put it.

Personally I think that the Green Death is a genuine bona fide classic, and it’s one of those stories that I have a lot of respect for in that it shaped little me into the fan I became. I hope some of that enthusiasm came across here, and I hope you enjoyed revisiting one of the great episode ones that the classic series produced.

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