Monday, 27 June 2011

Big Gay Longcat reviews Doctor Who: Escape Switch

Escape Switch is part 10 of the Daleks' Master Plan and was written by Dennis Spooner from an idea by Terry Nation. It is the last episode of this story that still has pictures and it is sad that only 3 out of 12 parts are there for me to see. The other two are Day of Armageddon and Counter Plot.

The story has moved on since the end of Counter Plot. Everybody is in Ancient Egypt where Steven and Sara see a mummy and Sara is scared. Obviously Sara is a very brave Space Security Agent, but there are clearly things that are too scary for her - mummies for one, and probably Scary Cat as well.

The mummy turns out to be the Meddling Monk from the Time Meddler story. He has joined the story to pad it out er, get revenge on the Doctor, and he wants to get into the TARDIS but the Doctor is the only one with a key. The Doctor is not there so they have to go to look for him.

But Mavic Chen and the Daleks are also there and out looking for them, and they are captured. Mavic Chen and the Daleks are still after the Taranium Core of the Time Destructor (so maybe the story has not moved on all that much) and they plan to use Steven and Sara as hostages to get it back from the Doctor.

The Monk tries to be on everybody's side but Steven is suspicious and the Daleks still make the Monk their prisoner.

Mavic Chen calls for the Doctor to come, but he is so loud that the Egyptian natives hear him as well and they don't like it. The Doctor comes but he doesn't trust the Daleks at all so he makes a condition that they make the swap away from the Dalek ship.

The Daleks agree, but plan to exterminate everyone after they have the Taranium Core back. The prisoners are released, including the Monk (the Doctor doesn't want him exterminated even though he has been a baddy in the past) but, before the Daleks can exterminate everyone, the natives attack and there is a big, but brief, fight and all the natives are negatived and killed. They manage to get one Dalek by putting stones all around it so it can't move.

The Doctor has lost the Taranium Core. He says "I had to hand the real Taranium Core over to Magic... Mavic Chen."
But he has cleverly stolen the Directional Unit from the Monk's TARDIS which will allow them to follow the Daleks back to Kembel. The Doctor, Steven and Sara go into the TARDIS. But where has the Monk gone?
"I don't care if he's in Timbuktu!" laughs the Doctor.

The Monk has gone back to his own TARDIS only to find it now looks like the Doctor's Police Box! The Daleks chase after him thinking he is the Doctor and he has to make a speedy take-off, but then he finds out that the Doctor has stolen his Directional Unit and he is very grumpy about it.

The Daleks grudgingly admit that Mavic Chen has "done well" to recover the Taranium Core and they go back to Kembel with Mavic Chen being even more smug than usual. Even cats aren't as pleased with themselves as Mavic Chen is, and that is part of why he is a great baddy.

The Doctor tries to make the stolen Directional Unit work in his own TARDIS. Steven is impatient and says "Oh come on Doctor we haven't got time for butts, this is our only hope!"
I'm not sure what he means by that, but it sounds a little bit rude to me.

Steven pulls the switch and there is a flash! That is where the episode ends - we don't know if it has worked or not!

Of course it does work and in the last 2 episodes of the Daleks' Master Plan the Doctor, Steven and Sara go back to Kembel where they beat the Daleks. Mavic Chen is killed, but so is Sara so it is a mixed ending for the Doctor and Steven but very dramatic.

I wish very much that I could see part 12, and all the episodes, because I think this is a great story, possibly one of the best Doctor Who stories of all, but it is hard to judge against other classics such as Doctor Who and the Silurians or Timelash because they have all their pictures and this one doesn't.

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