oracne - Victoria Janssen (oracne) wrote,
oracne - Victoria Janssen

7th Doctor: "The Greatest Show in the Galaxy"

I've been digging out old episodes of Dr. Who lately, and watching them, while reflecting that I wish I could cheaply replace some of my videotapes (some Peter Davison and a bunch of Sylvester McCoy) on DVD without having to buy British versions, which cost more and can't be played on all American DVD players.

I haven't used my tv and its attached VCR in so long that the tv remote doesn't work anymore--it's a universal, quite old, and it wasn't the batteries, so maybe the poor thing croaked from neglect. I used the old-fashioned method of pressing the button on the front of the tv instead, and the remote from the VCR still works.

I remembered "The Greatest Show in the Galaxy" as being one of the dumbest 7th Doctor episodes, but since I love watching Sylvester McCoy, I don't mind so much. A great deal of my enjoyment in the show as a whole lies in the actors, who usually turn in good performances even in tiny roles, like person-doomed-to-be-eaten-by-weekly-monster. After re-watching it, I still think "The Greatest Show in the Galaxy" is one of the dumbest 7th Doctor episodes, with too much time wasted on the ringmaster's rapping (yes, you read that right) and a plot that's barely comprehensible and somewhat pointless; I didn't get a real sense of danger from it, and the cliffhangers in this story are pretty pathetic.

It's basically a story of a "hippie" circus, the Psychic Circus (one never learns why it's called that) that used to roam from planet to planet and now is trapped on this one planet forced to entertain a trio of gods. They've run out of spare people themselves and instead entice random people into a talent contest, where their performance inevitably ends in their death.

It's kind of fun, at first, seeing all these wacky people wander across the stage--T.P. McKenna (yes, the same fellow who guest-starred in the Blake's 7 episode "Bounty") is marvelous as Captain Cook, a pith-helmetted crashing bore with a strange, fey female companion who turns out to have a secret (which provides nothing to the plot except a cliffhanger at one point). There's a kid on a bicycle who's the circus' Greatest Fan, and a brute on a motorcycle. I found it interesting that the non-circus folk showing up were about a million times weirder than the actual performers in the circus. Perhaps that was the point. If there was one.

Anyway, the clowns are creepy, and people have strange nicknames, and the Doctor proves he can juggle and do slight-of-hand, and Ace likes to shoot things and have things blow up. I wouldn't show this one to someone who'd never seen the show before, but for me, it was an entertaining time.

Also, at the beginning Ace is messily looking for something to wear, and for her rucksack, and she pokes her head into the console room of the TARDIS, and she is wearing a Tom Baker scarf and smiling, and she looks adorable.

Tags: dr.who, tv
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