Mulching Is a Process of Inbred Fertilization
I had a very late night last night with work (major software release), and a busy day today, and I don't have much to write about here. There's another damn hurricane in the Gulf, but it's not coming anywhere near here so I guess I don't have to worry about our roof getting any worse. We're just going to have lousy weather for the next few days. Which is fine, I guess, I can always just stay inside and use the treadmill.
Speaking of which, let's talk about plant zombies.
The Seeds of Doom - Parts 3 & 4
(TARDIS Data Core recap)
True to memory, the middle of this six-parter didn't sag at all. The cliffhanger at the end of part two had the Doctor and Sara Jane stranded in the ruins of the recently-destroyed Antarctica base, and part three finds them rescued immediately by a medical team sent to find out what happened. Right away the action shifts back to rural England, with nary a mention of the travel time from the South Pole to Europe for either the heroes or the villains. There is a weird little bit where the Doctor and Sarah Jane are attacked by the driver of a limousine, and of course they promptly defeat their attacker. That's not the weird bit. The weird bit is that, instead of doing something straightforward like running the plates of the car to find the owner, or searching the driver for identification, or really anything obvious, the two find a painting in the trunk of the car and decide to call upon the artist to see if she can remember who she sold it to. She promptly points them to millionaire Harold Chase, and the rest of parts three and four take place on the ground of Chase's estate.
At first I couldn't figure out why the writer took that strange detour, but it turned out to be a way to bring the artist back into the story later on as she remembers that Chase never actually paid for the painting. Which, again: weird.
But despite that one strange bit of plotting, the story remains a real corker. Ultimately Chase's resident botanist gets infected by the Krynoid seed pod wien it germinates, and he proceeds to turn into another plant zombie. Our two heroes spend most of their time alternating between being captured by or escaping from Chase's minions -- most notably when Chase binds up the Doctor and feeds him into a giant composting machine that will immanently crush him up into pulp and turn him into mulch.
What's that? What is mulching? I'm glad you asked. I'll let Mark Evanier, editor of the classic comic book Groo the Wanderer answer that question:
Thanks, Mark. So anyway, I thought the Doctor being fed into the mulching bin would be the big cliffhanger at the end of part four, and was roundly surprised when Sarah Jane rescued him with over a minute to spare before the end of the episode. They rush out into the estate's grounds and come face to face with the rapidly-growing Krynoid beast. It is no longer even nominally humanoid, it has grown into a ten foot tall mass of snarling and growling vegetation. Oh no!
In case I haven't mentioned it recently, I really love this story. There is so much more to it than my quick summary, and every minute is a treat. Chase makes a deliciously chilling villain, and the body horror of the Krynoid germination process is perfectly terrifying. There are some stories that just fly right by while I am on the treadmill, and this is one of them. It is every bit as good as I remembered, which is a real delight. I am looking forward to the big finish tomorrow.
Companion(s): Sarah Jane Smith
Episode(s): The Seeds of Doom - Parts 3 & 4
Steps Walked: 7,199 today, 1,456,102 total
Distance Walked: 3.75 miles today, 723.44 miles total
Weight: 258.06 lbs (five day moving average), net change -49.24 lbs