Doctor Who: The Mutants (part three)

“No, I don’t like this,” our son tells us. “They were in trouble in the first two parts, and they’re still in trouble in this part!” I was tempted to ask when is that ever not the case in Doctor Who!

The monsters of this story are revealed in this episode. They’re odd and clumsy, and didn’t frighten our son nearly as much as so many other aliens and creatures in this series. I like how neatly this story is structured, with new information and clues being given very deliberately. So far, this is a much, much better story than I remembered it, or than it’s considered by fans.

Among other treats, there’s a real sense of space here. The old mine system where the heroes have gone to hide genuinely feels like a gigantic maze of tunnels. Compare this to the cramped corridors of Peladon that felt so small and underwhelming and you’ll see what I mean. That’s not entirely fair, since a director shooting on film on location has far more options than somebody working with videotape in the studio, but fairness be darned, Solos feels like a real place.

Still, we’ll respect our son’s unhappiness and give him a couple of days’ break from this serial. Check back Thursday for more.

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