I Got a Raging Case of Crabs!
Ah, The Macra Terror. It is a completely lost story, only telesnaps and very brief video clips remain to match up with the audio. I expected a story about a seaside town being invaded by giant crabs, à la Guy N. Smith's Crabs series of books. You can imagine my surprise when, instead, I got a dystopian 1984 pastiche... with giant crabs. Before I get to that, I should explain this post title since it is incredibly obscure. It comes from one of my all-time favorite web comics, Sluggy Freelance:
Anyway, about those giant crabs -- let's talk about that.
The Macra Terror - Episodes 1 & 2
(TARDIS Data Core recap)
The TARDIS materializes in a place that totally does not look like an English rock quarry, and the group rapidly encounters a crazed man named Medok who is fleeing from a security patrol sent from the nearby utopian colony. From there we dive directly into a story about an Earth colony that is run by a poor man's Big Brother, named The Controller, and populated by people who are all mind-controlled and propagandized into believing they are always happy and that The Controller always does what is best for them. Also, there totally aren't giant crabs running around the colony at night, The Controller is very clear on this point.
The giant crabs don't make an on-screen appearance until the jump-scare at the end of the first episode, when the Doctor sees them for the first time. In the second episode Ben gets brainwashed into buying into all of the happy hogwash, and even after a middle sequence where he rescues Polly from being attacked by a group of giant crabs (although strictly one on screen at any moment, due to budgetary constraints) Ben reverts to maintaining that there is no such thing as the Macra, and that Polly was hallucinating. The jump scare at the end of the second episode has The Controller himself shown to be under the control of the Macra, with a giant claw at his throat. OOOOooohhhhhh!!!
As is often the case, what little attraction this story might have is greatly diminished by not being able to actually see Patrick Troughton acting. He has the hypnotic ability to raise the level of a bad script just by his facial expressions and physicality. With only audio and still photos to go on, there really isn't much to recommend about this story. The only really cool thing is that it boasts the first time the title sequence has changed since the beginning of the series, and features the Doctor's face at the start of the credits for the very first time. This is a motif that will continue all the way through to the end of the classic series. Apparently there is also a new arrangement of the title music, but that doesn't appear until the next story. Until then, I've got one more day of giant Orwellian crabs to contend with.
Companion(s): Ben Jackson, Polly Wright, Jamie McCrimmon
Episode(s): The Macra Terror - Episodes 1 & 2
Steps Walked: 6,911 today, 528,318 total
Distance Walked: 3.48 miles today, 250.44 miles total
Weight: 283.00 lbs (five day moving average), net change -24.30 lbs