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

Macra Terror Redux

Apr 15 2018
Macra Terror Redux

I love Sunday morning weigh-ins. Not only have I done my usual workout plus treadmill, but I have also been out mowing the lawn. By the time I take my shower and do my morning weigh-in, I am super dehydrated so the number is always unrealistically low. I know it doesn't mean anything, and it will bounce back the next day, but sometimes you just want to be lied to.

Speaking of lying, the Doctor lied to Martha this morning and wound up getting kidnaped into the carpool lane in New New New New New New New New New New New New New New New York traffic. So let's talk about that.

Gridlock

(TARDIS Data Core recap)

The Sainted Rose continues to cast a long shadow, as Ten takes ReboundGirlMartha on a trip back to New Earth in the conclusion of the Face of Boe trilogy. When Martha asks about maybe going to visit his homeworld instead, Ten shrugs it off and basically says, "Nah, I wanna take you on a date where my ex and I hung out that one time, it's really cool." So that's not creepy at all.

Unfortunately for Martha, things have changed on the mean streets of New15 York. She gets kidnapped by an extremely apologetic young couple in order to be used as the third passenger and allow them into the carpool lane. Which is when we find out that traffic is particularly bad, and they expect to take six years to get to their destination in Brooklyn.Whoops.

So the Doctor gives chase, hops around a bunch of cars, Martha's car nearly gets eaten by a bunch of giant crabs, and then in the end the Doctor the Face of Boe does a Very Clever Thing and everybody who has been stuck in traffic for the past twenty three years is able to drive up out of the exhaust and into the sunlight. A happy ending!

Oh, and the Face of Boe dies of old age after billions of years of living, so not entirely happy.

When this episode first aired, I quite literally squealed with delight at the return of the Macra. The Macra Terror, of course, is one of the stories that is completely lost aside from audio and telesnaps. It's a great Second Doctor adventure, I thoroughly enjoyed watching the Loose Canon reconstruction last year, and it's such a crazy premise. The whole thing boils down to a human colony being unknowingly held under the sway of a race of super-intelligent giant crustaceans. It's too ridiculous to work, and yet it does. So when the monsters hidden under the smog at the lowest level of the Motorway were revealed to be Macra, I naturally assumed that they would turn out to be behind the shenanigans at hand.


Or "shenanigans at claw", as the case may be...

Tragically, the Macra turn out to be a red herring (I know there has to be a joke there, but I'm too lazy to dig for it). These are just dumb descendants of the canny crustaceans, and are only there to provide a threat to Martha plus a wink and a nod to geeks like me.

No, it turns out that the ultimate "evil" behind the situation is actually that humans are stupid drug addicts, and when a bunch of people took a drug called Bliss twenty four years ago it immediately went airborne viral, wiping out humanity in seven minutes flat. The Face of Boe managed to slam shut the Motorway to save everyone inside, and he plus his CatNurse assistant have been keeping them alive and going in circles ever since. The entire planet was under quarantine for a century, so no outside help was on the way. In the end it is the citizens of the Motorway who will repopulate New Earth.

It's a pretty clever way to turn the story on its head. Instead of the Macra holding humanity hostage in order to manufacture smog for their mollusk masters, it turns out to all be a very slow-moving benevolent rescue from an apocalyptic plague. I like this story a lot, it fits right in with the overall excellence of this season (the next three episodes excepted).

Speaking of which, can I just skip ahead to Thursday now? No? *sigh* I guess tomorrow I have to watch the stupid damn Depression-Era Dalek story. God help me.

STATS:

Doctor(s): Tenth
Companion(s): Martha Jones
Episode(s): Gridlock
Steps Walked: 7,627 today, 2,771,955 total
Distance Walked: 4.16 miles today, 1,444.73 miles total
Push-ups Completed: 0 today, 1,254 total
Sit-ups Completed: 37 today, 71 total
Is the Doctor So, So Sorry?: Not especially
Weight: 249.54 lbs (five day moving average), net change -57.76 lbs


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