On this week’s Tales From The TARDIS segment, I am going over part three of Doctor Who: The War Machines, which first aired July 9, 1966 with a viewership total of 5.3 Million viewers, which is up from the 4.7 Million of Part 2.
The episode opens with Ben managing to avoid the War Machine which sets off an alarm, but he does come across Polly, unfortunately for him, she has been hypnotized by WOTAN and thus, she ends up capturing Ben, Ben is told by Major Green (one of Professor Brett’s associations) that the mechanized evolution is coming and that he is to be destroyed, which is stopped by Polly with orders that WOTAN needs more laborers and that as long as Ben is useful, he will be kept alive. The reason for this is that the WOTAN’s current work force is growing tired, after all, they are only human… but WOTAN’s plans are time sensitive. Ben tries to get through the Polly, but ends up escaping on his own when he notices a guard has gone… but Polly, despite being under WOTAN’s control, she doesn’t sound off the alarm, indicating that Ben did reach some part of her. Ben heads right o to the Doctor and informs him of Polly’s condition, the War Machines and that they are being built around London, leading the Doctor to realize something is big is going on.
Back at the warehouse Polly is confronted by Major Green about Ben’s location, and she can’t explain as to why she didn’t raise the alarm and becomes confused, end ends up remembering her association with Ben as WOTAN’s control over her falters and she is sent back to WOTAN to be punished. The ministry of defense has sent soldiers to the warehouse where they encounter the War Machine and WOTON’s minions who attack them, defeating the soldiers with ease as the War Machine neutralizes their guns and grenades…. Exactly how is a mystery, but this carnage leads to the climax of the episodes of the Doctor standing in front of the War Machine
This episode really is just bridge to the final chapter, but it does have some interesting bits with Polly seemingly breaking away from WOTAN’s control giving a clear indication that she does have a strong mind, however just how cold and evil she comes across in her interactions with Ben is just awesome. There is a great bit of B-Movie cheese where with a close up on her face with dramtic music when she tells Ben the War Machine’s goals that just awesome.
I also want to talk about Sir Charles, the public official that the Doctor has spent most of this story with, and it’s amazing at just how well he comes across. He doesn’t quite believe Ben’s story about the War Machines when he comes to the Doctor, but Sir Charles isn’t one to just let a warning slide, contacting the Minister of Defense who mobilizes the army. It is a shame that modern Doctor Who has never handled public officials well, as if this story was done here in 2018, I’d bet Sir Charles would somehow be some allegory for Donald Trump… hell it happened on Sherlock.
The climax of the episode with the Doctor approaching the War Machine as the army is running away in and of itself is a bad ass moment, showing the Doctor has no apparent fear in the face of danger. It really is credit to William Hartnell’s stage presence… at least in my opinion
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