Thursday, 8 July 2010

The Savages


  1. No individual episode titles! Innes, it seems, is at it again with his quest to change the format of the show.

    Seems a sham, then, that this story is all, well, a bit meh.

    I mean, there's some nice bits. Jano taking on Doctor-y characteristics for example. But I never really got a sense of threat in this story.

    I think probably the main problem is that there isn't enough evil. The advanced civilisation drains life-force from the savages... but it doesn't kill them. Or hurt them permanently. They're captured humanely and released afterwards. And - the plot actually turns on this - they don't realise what they're doing is wrong.

    I mean, yes, they're bad. But I don't think they're evil.

    The difference between Star Trek and Doctor Who has always been this:

    Star Trek has Aliens.
    Doctor Who has Monsters.

    And, sure, sometimes Trek has Monsters for a little while, but at the end of the day, they're always Aliens. Like us, in a way. Understandable. Misguided. See: The Borg.

    The problem for me with this tale, is that it has no true evil in it to be confronted. And the solution, as in so many episodes of Star Trek, is for the misguided people to be forced (by destroying their technology) to repent their naughtiness and build a better world.

    Oh yes, and out of the blue everyone decides that Steven should be in charge of that. All a bit sudden, if you ask me.

  2. Gah! Shame. Not sham.

    It's not like he's deliberately trying to fool us.

  3. Well, I have to agree with Piers on this one. Some smashing moments, but a lot of very average and dull stuff in between.

    On the positive front there are some nice concepts, for example a high civilisation that lives off the exploitation of supposed inferiors. But as the Beckley says, there is no real sense of evil and the savages do come across as people that don't really help themselves at all. There is some nice stuff in the cave when Nanina and Exorse relationship grows, Jano taking on The Doctors' character is super and I enjoy the clear enjoyment The Doctor takes in smashing up the lab at the climax.

    The shame is these are isolated moments in a story that comes across overall as just overly simplistic. This is exemplified by the ending when Jano and the Savages smash up the lab, Steven knocks out Edal with a light gun and then it's assumed by everyone there is no more opposition to the two civilisations living as one. Naive to say the least. And then, out of the blue, Steven is selected to lead them on this new life. Blimey.

    So farewell Steven, I rather liked you so good luck with the future, I think you might need it. At least Steven gets a nice emotional goodbye with Dodo in tears.

    Overall there are bits I like, bits that bore me and bits that frustrate me but it has enough good and interesting things and nothing that is terrible so for me 5/10

  4. I have little to add to the comments of m'learned colleagues.

    It's a passable sf story, nothing special. It's a bit Trek, as has been mentioned, and what's good for Trek isn't always good for Who.

    I did like the age makeup on the one fella, at least I assume it was make up. The "high" point for me was Frederick Jaeger's Hartnell impression.

    Another sudden and unlikely companion departure. Steven was the closest we have come to a decent companion since Viki, way back in series two. I'm genuinely sad to see him go, but sadder still for it to be so half arsed. Now we are left with Dodo, not so much a bad character as an absence of one. Wonder what the future holds for her...

    Better than - The Chase.
    Not as good as - Galaxy Four