I'd say a sociopathetic abscess
Here's a fun bit of trivia for you: the tempo of the 80's-era theme music is exactly the same as my natural stride at 4.7 mph on the treadmill. I started out at 4.6, and had to bump it up one notch during the opening credits because it was just enough off to be annoying. I almost didn't make it to the treadmill today, but after missing two days last week due to illness and then missing yesterday due to.. stuff... I just couldn't put it off again. The good news is, it was a good story today.
Let's talk about that.
State of Decay - Parts 1 & 2
(TARDIS Data Core recap)
As soon as I saw "by Terrance Dicks" in the opening credits, I knew I was going to like this one. I was not disappointed. A wee bit into it I realized that it is a story I barely remembered, except for one key plot point that I have always loved and which has stuck in my head for decades. The three main antagonists of the story have names that have devolved over the course of a thousand years (O'Connor has become Aukon, for example), due to Grimm's Law of Consonantal Shift. It's a really nifty plot point.
The story itself was originally written for the fifteenth season, but the BBC spiked it then because it is a riff on vampire mythology, and at the time they were about to launch a big new adaptation of Dracula and didn't want to muddy the waters. The story was replaced by Horror of Fang Rock, but was eventually resurrected three years later. Given when it was originally written, though, neither K9 nor Adric really had any function to perform in the story so both are either sidelined or minimized. Romana takes over the part originally written for Leela. The whole tone of the story is the kind of gothic horror that was the hallmark of the Holmes/Hinchcliffe era of the show. No wonder I like it so much.
The basic plot is that K9 identifies an inhabited planet on the edge of E-space, so the Doctor lands the TARDIS there to see if there are any scientists who might help him get back to normal N-space. Unfortunately, what they find is a Medieval type of society, with three ruling nobles and a community of ignorant peasants. There are signs of high technology, but none in current use. Oh, and the three rulers? They might possibly be vampires.
Soon enough the Doctor figures out that the tower in which the rulers live is actually an Earth rocket that has been grounded for a thousand years. The rulers are intentionally keeping the peasants uneducated, with any kind of basic knowledge like reading and writing punishable by death. The Doctor and Romana also find that the fuel tanks of the rocket are filled with human blood, and there is some kind of feeding tube leading away from the base of the rocket to some unknown creature.
It's all very dark and moody and absolutely lovely.
I will be bouncing out of bed bright and early tomorrow to get to the second half.
Companion(s): Romana, K9, Adric
Episode(s): State of Decay - Parts 1 & 2
Steps Walked: 7,394 today, 1,874,937 total
Distance Walked: 4.05 miles today, 950.42 miles total
Weight: 250.56 lbs (five day moving average), net change -56.74 lbs