One fat geek's attempt to regenerate into a not-so-fat geek by watching the entirety of Doctor Who while walking on a treadmill

Cultural Learnings of TARDIS for Make Benefit Glorious Planet of Karfel

Feb 07 2018
Cultural Learnings of TARDIS for Make Benefit Glorious Planet of Karfel

So, the good news is that my arm continues to improve. Today, for the first time in nearly a week, i could go for hours at a time without consciously noticing my right arm, aside from ongoing numbness in my right index finger. And let me tell you, it's really difficult to finger pick on the guitar when you can't feel your fingertips. Anyway, the muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatories seem to be helping, and that's nice, but I am still a bit worried. I am out of state at a conference in Denver this week, but next week I will be seeing my primary doctor. I presume I will be referred to a physical therapist. Oh, joy.

Speaking of my primary Doctor, I finally got back on the treadmill this evening after missing two days in a row. Let's talk about that.

Timelash - Part 1

(TARDIS Data Core recap)

This is a very 80's story. I mean, sure, it was made in 1985 so that's to be expected, but even so the combination of hair, makeup, synth-pop background music, and just general attitude all scream the 80's. Then again, I was a teenager in the 80's and I love them with a frankly undue passion, so it's all good to me.

The story itself concerns a fairly Orwellian society on the planet Karfel in which a shadowy dictator rules from a secured location and uses his loyal minions to act as seemingly-benevolent rulers over the populace. Anyone who bucks the system is labeled a rebel and is sentenced to death by being thrown into the titular Timelash. What is that? It's basically a closet filled with sparkly lights that tosses the poor victim down a time tunnel and dumps them onto the Earth during the Dark Ages. The shadowy ruler is named Borad, and so of course you know what image I saw in my head every time his name was spoken.


Very nice!

The Doctor and Peri get caught up when the TARDIS passes too near the time tunnel created by the Timelash, and things go just swimmingly from there. Interestingly, the writers decided to make this story a sequel to a story that never actually happened. A huge part of the plot is driven by the fact that the Third Doctor previously came to Karfel with his assistant Jo Grant, which of course never happened in any actual television episode. This is used as a giant Exposition Crutch to drive the story along, and I can't quite make up my mind whether it is a clever or an annoying storytelling technique. Let's split the difference and call it cleverly annoying.

The Doctor is strong-armed into taking the TARDIS down the Timelash in order to retrieve a woman who was carrying some particular MacGuffin, which leads to a couple scenes in 19th century Scotland with a young Englishman named Herbert who is very fascinated by the Doctor and his time machine, and who confesses a desire to be an author. This, combined with the fact that the Karfel rebels are several times referred to as Moorlocks means that I won't be the least bit surprised when, in tomorrow's viewing, Herbert turns out to be H.G. Wells. It's not exactly subtle.

Still and all, it's not a bad story so far. Nothing particularly memorable, but nothing egregiously awful outside of the cheap costumes and creature effects, and really what else can you expect from Classic Who? I did like that Peri finally gets a decent outfit to wear that isn't just there to make the dads at home happy. She gets a very nice burgundy jacket that fits her well and looks like something that an adult female would actually choose to wear in public. So that's nice, right?


"Great jacket," says the giant rubber snake monster. "Who's your tailor?"

STATS:

Doctor(s): Sixth
Companion(s): Peri
Episode(s): Timelash - Part 1
Steps Walked: 7,847 today, 2,294,539 total
Distance Walked: 4.29 miles today, 1,183.31 miles total
Weight: 245.96 lbs (five day moving average), net change -61.34 lbs


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