Saturday, 25 May 2013

The Traitor

This story is called The Traitor, which is very similar to the name of a Blakes 7 episode. Maybe this story will also waste the talents of Christopher Neame?

"Gosh, Doctor - it's beautiful," says Sarah, just before her face melts.

The story gets off to a strange start with it not being entirely clear who says "I don't know. But if it doesn't change course it will crash on that planet." If it is Sarah that says that then she is answering her own question, but if it is the Doctor that says that then in the next panel he is answering himself when he says "You're right! It is going to crash!" Confused cat is confused.

"Oh! How awful!" Sarah, here being played by someone who was maybe once within earshot of Elisabeth Sladen, reacts to the sight of a crashed spaceship with characteristic understatement. Characteristic of a writer who had never seen Doctor Who before, I mean.

I don't have much to say about this page except: what's wrong with the Doctor's face? In the last panel it looks like he has wrapped his scarf around his face and is then wearing a mask of his own face on top of that.

Well I think we can now tell who is playing Zemos:

Here is where this story goes completely round the twist.
"YOU WHAT?! You fool! Those men are no scientists! They are liars and psychotic killers! They are totally and permanently insane."
Apparently, on their own planet the mannys who turn ugly have to become "savage murderers whose evil is apparent in their appearance," which sounds like the Evil Makes You Ugly trope played as straight as it possibly could be...

...except that this story is so silly that it reads like an over-the-top parody. For instance the overly dramatic narration: "...FOR IT IS ALREADY TOO LATE!"
"kaarrr..." and "kreeee..." say the mannys, which is supposed to show that they have become "liars and psychotic killers" again.

This story is really not helped by the fact that every character looks completely different in every picture. Even the Doctor is only identifiable by his his scarf most of the time, though the last picture of him makes a real effort to look like Tom Baker.

The pathos of the Doctor crying at the end, unsure if he has done the right thing, is completely undermined by the silliness of the concept that the mannys are "permanently insane" and "savage murderers" except on this one planet where they become scientists, and there is nothing that can be done to change that.

The Traitor is fatally flawed from the very beginning.

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