Thursday, 10 May 2018

Big Gay Longcat reviews Doctor Who: Battlefield Part Two

The Doctor makes a concerned face, which either means that they are in a lot of peril or else that Sylvester McCoy has forgotten his next line. Brigadier Bambera tries to arrest the baddys and then shoots at them, but they are immune to bullets.

The baddy leader is Mordred and he also thinks the Doctor is Merlin and gets scared by this. With Ancelyn's help the Doctor cleverly bluffs Mordred and his henchmannys into going away.

Mordred finds a spooky ruined castle and a thunderstorm suitable for summoning his mother, Morgaine, from the other dimension where they come from.

In the hotel, the scabbard flies across the room and stabs into the wall, giving Peter Warmsley the archaeologist a scare but at the same time giving the Doctor a clue that something important lies in that direction.

Mordred starts laughing maniacally as he performs the quasi-magical, quasi-scientific summoning ritual. He is still laughing when we cut back to him two scenes later.

Morgaine arrives. She is played by Jean Marsh, who was previously in Doctor Who as Sara Kingdom in the 1965-66 story The Daleks' Master Plan. Coincidentally, this was also the first Doctor Who story that Nicholas Courtney appeared in, as Bret Vyon, and now they are together again for his last.

Morgaine talks to the Doctor even though he is in another scene.
"Then, Merlin, let this be our last battlefield."

Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart is still on his way in the helicopter the next morning. Morgaine has the power to shoot electricity from her hands, like the Evil Emperor in Return of the Jedi. She electrics the helicopter, seemingly just for the lols, and it crashes.

Peter shows the Doctor and Ace his archaeological dig, and there is a carving that he can't read but which the Doctor immediately knows says "dig hole here." Ace uses Nitro Nine to explode a hole, because it was either that or get the Time Team in, and that show wouldn't start for another five years. Although Battlefield is supposed to be set in the near future, so maybe...
The Doctor and Ace find a tunnel and go into it.

Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart meets Morgaine and they have a friendly chat because Morgaine doesn't want to fight on holy ground. Mordred did call her "immortal" earlier on, maybe she is a Highlander?
"I am Morgaine, the Sun Killer. Dominator of the Thirteen Worlds and Battle Queen of the S'Rax. What say you?"
"I am Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. Surrender now and we can avoid bloodshed."
These scenes are important for establishing that Morgaine is an honorable baddy, and she sends away Mordred for being dishonorable in exactly the same way as Frodo doesn't send away Sam in The Lord of the Rings.

The tunnel takes the Doctor and Ace deep into the heart of BBC Television Centre. The doors open to the Doctor's voice, and the Doctor thinks he might really be Merlin in his own "personal future." Ace is confused but this seems perfectly straightforward to me, although I expect I have watched a lot more Doctor Who stories than her. Plus I can get help from Professor Cat with the difficult bits.

The Doctor and Ace find the dead King Arthur from another dimension. Ace pulls Excalibur from the stone and, instead of her becoming king of England, sets off a special effect trap. They try to run away from the effect but they are trapped inside the studio and cannot escape.

Ace then gets stuck in a tiny room that fills with water, making her wet (oh noes), and the special effect knocks out the Doctor. The final shot of the episode is him having a sleep.

This is no time to have sleeps, Doctor, this is an exciting cliffhanger. Sophie Aldred's acting is especially convincing that she is in genuine peril here.

I'm really looking forward to part three, not only to see how they escape from this situation, but also because so far the Doctor and the Brigadier have been kept separated and we still have their reunion to come.

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