Saturday, May 7, 2016

The Velvet Web / Doctor Who FCBD 2016 - Tales From The TARDIS

Hello and Welcome To The Basement... 

And Tales From The TARDIS!

Today, being the first Saturday in May, was Free Comic Book Day... and one of the free comics, published by Titan Comics is a of course Doctor Who: Free Comic Book Day 2016... and it features four stories featuring all four of the post-War Doctor's... in four mini-stories... with only the first one really standing out to me at the moment being, Robo Rampage, a semi-sequel to the fourth Doctor story ' Robot'. All four stories have different writers and artist working on them, so they each stand out from each other to give you a feel for how their other Doctor Who comics go.

Some other  Davros was on Britain's Got Talent singing 'Love Shack'....  wish I could find some footage of that... and good news Big Finish will continue to make Doctor Who Audio adventures at least up until 2025...

So with that... let's get to part two of The Keys Of Marinus, The Velvet Web...

We open right where we left off, The Doctor, Susan and Ian are searching for Barbara and they come across a set of doors. Of course when they open it, an alarm goes off and their is a bright light... but when the situation calms, our heroes find Barbara, having her every need and want attended too as if she was Cleopathra. She explains that after she was transported, she panicked, ripped her dial off and scratching herself in the process to explain why there was blood. on it. I like this, explaining the cliff hanger with a logical (more or less) reason as to why Barbara's dial was on the ground with blood on it.

Anyway, one of the locals, Altos arrives to explain that our heroes have arrived in Morphoton, an advanced and pacific society.... basically it's Des Moines. The Doctor and Ian are skeptical at first, but are won over in short other by the hospitality the Morphotons show them. However something is a miss, as our heroes sleep, a slave girl places a small disc on their heads... but the one on Barbara falls off when she turns her head. When the disc lands on the floor, it's so loud it wakes her up, which means Barbara is a very light sleeper.

As she sits up the Morphoton's hypnotic pulse calls the mesmeron (didn't he fight Gamera?) starts to flash lights and makes sounds, driving Barbara a bit mad (or causes her pain) and she passes out. Turns out that Morphoton is under the control of a money backside ugly looking thing which communications through its life support equipment, and uses hypnosis to control the entire population of the city, making it seem like they are living in a technologically advice and peaceful society... when it fact they are living in dirt and squalor.

Which raises the question of don't Ian, Susan and The Doctor toss and turn in their sleep? Cause Barbara turning her head slightly caused the disk to fall off her forehead, and she wakes up she sees the truth, which greatly disturbs them. In a funny bit, Susan wanted a new dress, but she's wearing rags.

Anyway, Barbara causes such a scene that she is taken away, but she escapes and stumbles into the dungeons of the city, meeting Sabetha, the slave girl who placed the discs on our heroes heads. Barbara, through logical deduction that involves a few leaps, figures out that Sabetha is Arbitan's daughter and that she is wearing one of the keys of Marinus as a necklace.  This entire exercise showed just how strong a character Barbara was, that despite the plot convenience of the disk fall off while she slept, she can survive on her own. Barbara tries to break Sabetha of the brain washing, however Altos arrives to stop her. Thanks to Sabetha knocking him out, Barbara is able to escape...

She eventually comes across Ian, but it does not take her long to realize that he is now under the control of the creatures controlling the city... who declare that Sabetha will be punished with Susan taking her place, I wan would be used as slave labor and the Doctor will work in a lab... but first Ian is ordered to kill Barbara... and he actually starts to throttle her!. I'm not kidding 20 minutes into the episode, Ian is trying to choke out Barbara, who breaks free by swatting his arms away... this being the 1960s, I guess they couldn't show her kicking him in the crotch.

Barbara continues to kick arse by smashing the life control machines for the creatures, killing them nearly instantly, which frees the inhabitants of the city who have their memories return... and they celebrate by burning the city to the ground.

In the aftermath, The Doctor learns that Altros was another agent of Arbitan, and he and Sabetha join our heroes on the quest for the keys of Marinus. With a large group, it's decided that the best way to proceed is to split up, The Doctor goes off to Millennius to find the final key, while the others head off to find the next key. Susan is the first to transport... and out episodes ends with her nearly being deafen by the loud screeching sounds!  

This episode...well was really fast passed, and probably would've been a two part story, It's a simple tale of our heroes arrive, there's conflict and resolution all within 1/2 an hour. The spotlight being placed on Barbara is really cool, as she basically carried this episode and it's done in a way that does not insult the audience... unlike say things associated with Paul Feig are... but I digress....

Anyway, next week is part three of The Keys to Marinus, The Screaming Jungle... till then, ya'll have a good one folks!

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