Burn Baby Burn, Burn That Mutha Down
Oh, c'mon, you had to know I couldn't make it through this entire story without a Disco Inferno reference, right? Also, in related news, I spent a fair bit of time outside this weekend and I have to tell you, the burning hellscape that is episode six of Inferno seems practically pleasant compared to July in Central Florida. In any case, today's viewing continued to take place primarily in the evil Mirror-Mirror universe, and most of my plot predictions came true.
Let's talk about that.
Inferno - Episodes 5 & 6
(TARDIS Data Core recap)
The last episode ended with the countdown reaching zero for the drill head breaching the Earth's crust while
Brigadier Brigade Leader Lethbridge-Steward holds a gun to the Doctor's head. Not surprisingly, episode five opens with the actual breach as all hell breaks loose. From there it's all one long Irwin Allen style romp through global disaster, as the Doctor fights to prevent the unavoidable apocalypse for as long as possible. We also find out that, given sufficient heat, the final evolution of the hairy blue zombies is to become hairy blue werewolves.
By the end of the fifth episode, it is clear that the entire world is going to explode in a matter of days, or at most weeks. The only survivors left at the drilling facility are the Doctor, along with Elizabeth (who is gradually becoming less evil and more like Liz from the main timeline), Brigade Leader Lethbridge-Stewart (who is only becoming more domineering and unhinged), and then Petra & Sutton the assistant director and the oil drill specialist respectively (who have managed to get themselves into a budding romance despite their impending doom). The sixth episode largely concerns the Doctor convincing the rest that, although their world is irreparably damaged and due to explode shortly, they can still help him save everyone on the other Earth. Although Lethbridge-Steward is predictably uncaring, the other three agree to help the Doctor get his TARDIS console powered back up.
There follows another round of action scenes in which they rush about the facility getting the power systems working again, and routing the power from the nuclear reactor to the lab where the TARDIS console sits. Elizabeth even winds up shooting the Brigade Leader in order to save the Doctor, thus fulfilling my prediction yesterday that she would redeem herself whilst the evil Lethbridge-Steward doppelgänger would meet an ignoble end. The final shot has the Doctor trying to power up the console, whilst the remaining three survivors watch an oncoming lava flow that is going to kill them all. Roll credits!
I truly was afraid that, with Inferno being a third consecutive seven-parter, it would sag horribly in the middle. How wrong could I have been? This one is easily my most favorite Third Doctor story so far, and I have enjoyed every minute of it. I mean, ok, it has been predictable in the sense that I assumed the parallel world would be completely destroyed in such a way that the Doctor would learn what the real stakes were and how to prevent the disaster back in the main reality. That being said, there is a great difference between being boringly predicable and thrillingly predictable. At every step this story has been engaging and exciting, and has given each of the actors moments to shine. Even John Levene as Sergeant Benton and Platoon Under Leader Benton has been given several great moments. This is just a fantastic story, and I am very much looking forward to the big finish tomorrow.
Companion(s): Liz Shaw, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart
Episode(s): Inferno - Episodes 5 & 6
Steps Walked: 6,938 today, 947,505 total
Distance Walked: 3.57 miles today, 461.98 miles total
Weight: 266.70 lbs (five day moving average), net change -40.60 lbs