Saturday, 28 January 2012
The Time Snatch
This story's title sounds rude, lol.
It starts with a manny called Ben Hunter who sees a flying saucer land in front of him.
"He straightened his stooped back. "Holy smoke! It must be one of them U.F.O.s," he muttered."
Ben tries to run away and hide from the aliens, but "some-thing red and jelly-like, pulsing with an inner fire, emerged from the spacecraft and came after him." Ben has a gun and he shoots the alien, but of course it does nothing (or else this would have been the shortest story yet).
"The red blob was undulating over his head. As he fired into the pulsing mass, he smelt the over-powering odour of musk. His voice managed a hoarse yell as he felt himself being drawn upwards. Then a merciful darkness descended upon him as he lost consciousness."
It seems to me that this is an odd time for sleeps, but maybe Ben was tired out by the excitement of shooting at an alien. While Ben has his sleeps the story changes scenes and the Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith come into the story.
I think that is meant to be Sarah at the top of the picture in purple, though if so then she is being played by somebody other than Elisabeth Sladen, possibly Emma Watson?
The Doctor and Sarah are in a "top-security lab" with Dr Gustav Bhoul. The Doctor is looking at "a strange crystal, provisionally named Crystal Z." I don't know what Sarah is doing there - I think all the UNIT mannys now just accept that she can come and go at all their "top-security" places because she is the Doctor's friend.
Dr Bhoul demonstrates that he is being played by Richard Wilson when he says "I don't believe it!" as his first line of dialogue. He then asks the Doctor "Did you ever see a substance behave like this before?"
"The time-and-space traveller fingered his chin. "Very unusual, isn't it?" he agreed. Then he frowned thoughtfully."
If the Doctor is rubbing his chin then he is acting like Jon Pertwee's Doctor, but we will see pictures later showing that it is Tom Baker's Doctor in this story. Sarah sees Ben Hunter running towards the lab.
""Why don't they stop him? That fence is electrified!" rapped Dr Bhoul, who was staring out over the Doctor's shoulder."
This hardly seems like the time for rapping. Dr Bhoul is already coming across as an eccentric scientist. Ben Hunter runs through the fence without being electriced, and that is the first sign to the Doctor that something is up.
"The Doctor stiffened. He stepped quickly to the bench again, and picked up the small, lead-lined box in which Crystal Z had been brought from Cape Canaveral. "With your permission, Dr Bhoul, I shall put the Crystal in my pocket until we find out what our strange visitor is after," he said."
Ben Hunter walks through the wall into the laboratory.
""Where is the Crystal?" he asked. His gruff voice was flat and tone-less."
He has obviously been possessed, just like what happened to Sarah in the last story. This seems to be happening a lot in Doctor Who stories recently.
"The Doctor took a step towards him. "What crystal are you talking about?" he asked."
Silly Doctor, there has only been one Crystal mentioned in this story so far. The Law of Conservation of Detail insists that he must be talking about Crystal Z. Oh wait, I have just realised that the Doctor is attempting a clever bluff here.
""It belongs to us. We have come to take it back." The prospector raised a gnarled hand."
"The Doctor reeled back, and knew that the other was exerting a force-field."
The possessed Ben looks for the crystal but he does not find it, the Doctor has fooled him completely by putting it in his pocket. The alien then tries a very confusing plan to try and get the crystal - Ben takes "a small transparent cube from his pocket."
"He placed it on the bench next to the scientific instruments, then turned to leave. As he did so he spoke over his shoulder: "It is a device to hurl you into the Time Zone - and the Crystal with you.""
The Doctor tries to turn off this "Time Device" before he and Sarah and Dr Bhoul get hurled into the "Time Zone."
"But for all his efforts he moved like a man in a nightmare, with movements that were maddeningly slow. His hand was creeping slowly towards the plastic cube when it seemed to melt away. In the same moment he was aware of an awful whirling sensation as he was drawn into the Vortex."
"That mind-searing journey through Time ended for the Doctor with a jolt that bruised every bone in his body."
I didn't know mannys could bruise every bone in their bodies. I am glad I am a cat made from socks because I don't have any bones. The description of this journey reminds me of when the Doctor, Steven and Sara were sent through space in Counter Plot. The Doctor wakes up first and he quickly finds Sarah.
""Travelling through Time was easy with the Tardis, but without it - well, we're lucky to have survived.""
They go to look for Dr Bhoul because he is nowhere to be seen.
"Suddenly his foot kicked against something that tinkled. He bent down with an exclamation. "What luck! It's the Time Cube," he said, and held it up for Sarah to see.
"Will it be any good to us?" she wondered."
Sarah is not the first manny to wonder if the Time Cube is of any use, lol. But the Doctor examines the Time Cube:
""Amazing!" he murmured. "A miniature Tardis!" He straightened and nodded encouragingly. "Yes. I believe I might be able to reverse the journey, and get us back to the lab," he said."
They still need to find Dr Bhoul first though. And before they find him, a "Cave Man" finds them.
"He was a squat, powerful figure, ape-like in many ways, and naked save for an animal skin."
So not naked then, because all mannys are naked except for their clothes. The Doctor has a fight with the Cave Man. Sarah is about to join in armed with a stone (which is more the Doctor's fighting style when up against Cave Mannys) when she hears a loud noise.
"She turned to see the towering, long-haired figure of a Mammoth appearing from behind the rocks."
The Cave Man runs away from the Mammoth. The Doctor and Sarah are about to run away too when Dr Bhoul arrives. He sees the Doctor and Sarah but does not see the Mammoth.
"The Doctor sprang to meet him, waving a warning: "Look out! Behind you!""
"The Doctor's fingers were working frantically at the Time Cube. In the second before Dr Bhoul would have been crushed beneath the thundering feet, the trio were snatched upwards into the Vortex...."
They are returned to their own time and find Ben Hunter unconscious. Sarah thinks he's an alien, forgetting how common possession by aliens is these days.
"But the Doctor shook his head slowly. "I think not, my friends. The aliens - whoever they were - merely drugged him and used his body. But he seems to be all right, poor old fellow." He broke off, and checked his pocket for the lead box. With a smile he held it up: "And the Crystal is all right, too," he added."
That is the very end of the story. Which means either the aliens have just given up trying to get their crystal back after one attempt, and using the most pointless plan ever at that, or else I have not understood this story at all. While the story is quite exciting, and full of moments that made me lol (from the title on), that ending makes about as much sense to me as the Time Cube.