THE KEYS OF MARINUS
Has taken a while to watch this - two old friends, including my first ever girlfriend from 7/8 years ago, have been in town for a long weekend so I've been busy catching up with them instead of continuing my quest! Had to have three separate sessions to cobble together a complete viewing; this actually didn't affect the story badly as it is one highly episodic in nature, so the different episodes are fairly self-contained anyway.
An average story, coming off the back of several strong ones. The missing fourth adventure, 'Marco Polo', is also reputed to have been a classic of the 'historical' type - might have to try listening to the CD containing the soundtrack, all that survives of this adventure. 'Marinus' slots in after this, and while it has some interesting scenarios and villains (the visually effective but underutilised Voords) they never have enough room in the crowded story to go anywhere much. Highlights are the Doctor's joyful Sherlock Holmes moments when he is piecing together the events that lead to Ian's framing, the comedy 'blip' noises when the characters use their 'travel dials' to move instantly from one place to another, and the surprisingly full-on scenes where the trapper Vasor tries to force himself on Barbara. Lowlights are the ice mountain sequences when the pace grinds to a halt while Susan tries and fails to convey suspense while inching across a temporary bridge slung across a chasm, ooh, feet across. Why the travellers, having priorly ganged up on Vasor, didn't take their travel dials back from him then beats me entirely - they could have just zapped themselves away from the ice soldiers as soon as they'd defrosted the key, rather than suffer the tiresome 'chase' sequences out of the mountain and back to the trapper's hut again. And for Arbitan's demise and the explosive climax to take place largely off-screen dents the impact of the finale considerably. Ah well...
Episodes watched: 19
Episodes still to watch: 703