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23 November 2008 @ 10:59 am
The Macra Terror Love Post  
Alright, so here we are again with another love post, this time for The Macra Terror. I love this serial pretty hard, despite the fact that there is no surviving footage to speak of. It's a great story all around, and best of all, Ben goes EVIL and then gets to save the day!

Episode 1

Initially, the serial starts out with everyone wary of the creatures they saw on the scanner. Lions and tigers and giant claws, oh my!

And we're off to a great start. Jamie brings a big stick with which to club the nasty-looking monsters, but it is promptly useless when he is jumped by Medok. Ben to the rescue!

Then it's off to the colony, where it looks like Team TARDIS will finally be getting a vacation. They all go through the Refreshing Department, with Ben and Polly taking everything in stride and coming out looking smashing, and with the Doctor and Jamie protesting all the way. They've got such a fun vibe going in this scene what with the makeovers, the teasing, the compliments, and I just love it.

Polly with her new look.

Then, of course, the Doctor starts to meddle, knowing all is not as it seems. Shortly, the others begin to see that as well when there is an accident and some of the workers are taken ill, yet the colonists seem to care more about their work than about their fellow colonists.

The Doctor does what he does best and goes off to explore outside the colony after dark, where he finds Medok trying to escape and they come face to face with a Macra.

Episode 2

The Doctor and Medok manage to get recaptured and are taken to the Pilot, where Medok takes the blame for everything, leaving the Doctor free to meddle even further later on. When the Doctor leaves, we discover that he, Ben, Jamie, and Polly are to be brainwashed into thinking like the colonists so that they will stop trying to interfere.

And then comes one of my favorite things about the episode...Ben goes evil! Well, not really evil so much as being brainwashed, but it's sort of the same thing in the end. Jamie, suspicious from the very beginning, gets that something is wrong and manages to avoid brainwashing while trying to get Ben to see what he's talking about. Ben, of course, is thoroughly brainwashed and pushes Jamie's concerns to the side.

The Doctor also cottons onto what's going on and he destroys the device brainwashing Polly and tells her to go right on making up her own mind about things, which she does. The Doctor goes to do the same for Ben and Jamie and figures out that he's too late to help Ben. Polly and Jamie don't really understand what's going on, and it takes awhile before either of them really get it. I just love this part because it really puts a strain on the relationship of Team TARDIS with Ben working against the rest of them and each of them having different reactions to it.

Ben tries to get away to follow the orders he's been given.

Polly is awesomesauce as always and goes off to try and help Jamie and the Doctor, despite Ben's protests. It is kind of sad to see them at odds with each other, but neither is willing to back down. And then! Polly is attacked by the Macra, and Ben totally saves her even while he's still brainwashed and trying to tell her that there's nothing evil in the colony.

Ben and Polly clinging while the Macra advances on them.

The Doctor, Jamie, and Polly are all skeptical about the Controller, and rightly so. The Macra aren't terribly convincing to the non-brainwashed, but they must be pretty enterprising if they managed to get an entire colony mine toxic gas for them all while believing they don't exist.

Episode 3

Ben is told to keep an eye on The Doctor, Polly, and Jamie, which is an interesting tactic. Obviously there's the potential risk that he'll turn on the colony, but on the other hand, he'd be better able to determine if they're up to something since he knows them well.

I must say that I love that the Doctor quite obviously gets what's going on with Ben and is all about trying to help him out. And Polly! I love that she always just gets right into the thick of things (despite everyone seeming to think that women shouldn't be doing such things), because she knows that's the way she can best help get them out of trouble. She's more than willing to be on the danger gang mining gas so the Doctor can be their supervisor and hopefully get them out of trouble completely.

The Doctor makes use of the opportunity he has to figure out the formula of the gas in hopes of helping get them out of danger, while Polly and Jamie are enterprising enough to steal keys during a gas leak. Jamie uses these to escape and sets off an alarm, but the colonists are told not to pursue him.

And aw, Ben proves once again that even under brainwashing, his friends are the most important thing to him by not giving Jamie away for having taken the keys. And this seems to be when Ben finally starts to get some control over himself back, although he's still not completely back to himself.

Jamie faces the Macra in the mine shaft he escaped into while Polly rejoins the Doctor to try to figure out how best to help Jamie. Meanwhile, Ben decides to report Jamie after all, although he's clearly still struggling with whether his loyalty is to his friends or to the Colony.

BEN: I don't know what I'm going to do. I got these voices in my head. Sometimes I just think I'm having a bad dream.

SUNNA: But the voices are here to help us. They are our friends.

BEN: That's it. What about my friends?

Officia is ordered by Control to divert gas into the mine shaft that Jamie is in, and the Doctor reasons that they're not doing so just to kill Jamie. As Jamie starts to choke on the gas (although why he doesn't use the mask he had before and how he manages not to collapse immediately, I don't know), the Doctor and Polly try to figure out how the gas is being diverted into the mine shaft so they can save Jamie.

Episode 4

Jamie ends up trapped by the Macra with gas flooding the mine shaft, and the Doctor and Polly work frantically to try to help him before he dies. They manage to reverse the pressure of the gas and send fresh air into the shaft just as Jamie is about to be caught by one of the Macra. They make their escape before the guards come to get them for tampering with the gas flow.

Jamie escapes the Macra when the fresh air disables them and makes his way through the old shaft and...comes out of the closet. (I know, terrible pun is terrible.) Oh man, and then he makes up a dance! How much do I wish the video for this still existed?

The dance gets Jamie out of the room, but he ends up running into the guards, who have Ben along with them. Clearly Ben is still not quite himself, as he gives Jamie away, but he does sound very reluctant to do so. And after all the dancing Jamie did to get himself free, too. Aw, but clearly Ben is very torn up about it.

Polly and the Doctor figure everything out when the see the control room and decide to try to show the Pilot that the Macra are actually in control of the Colony. The Doctor does so, and the Pilot believes them finally, but is then overthrown and he, Jamie, Polly, and the Doctor are all locked up and the room is filled with gas.

And then Ben is finally back to himself and saves the day! Under the Doctor's instruction, he overloads the pipes and they explode, and Control is destroyed, putting the colony back in the hands of the people.

Everyone celebrates until Ben brings it to the Doctor's attention that they're going to try to put him in charge of the colony. And now I really wish the video still existed because Team TARDIS manages to get out of the colony by dancing away.

So, I guess that was a bit long-winded, but just a couple more things. As with most of the burninated serials, the BBC has a photonovel of The Macra Terror, and Tragical History Tour has quite a few more pictures than the ones I posted.

Also, I wrote a short Ben/Jamie fic based on the events of this serial that can be found here, if you'd like to read it.

And finally, your thoughts?
Current Mood: mellowmellow
Current Music: All I Want is You - The Ark
Airie: sja; luke; mopping the floorairie_fairy on November 24th, 2008 05:02 am (UTC)
I just watched this one today! OMG, the power of Polly's love briefly overrides Ben's brainwashing. And then they stand there stroking each other quite a lot. It was awesome. <3

And and and the end! Ben! The thing that made me absolutely confident he had broken the spell was his dismissal of the Controller with an "Oh, shut up." YAY MAH BEN IS BACK OMG YAY!

I'm rather crushed/pissed at burnination anew for taking away Two/Jamie/Ben/Polly DANCING AWAY FROM THE COLONY. *cries*
H. Sullivan: polly bensmallearthcat on November 24th, 2008 05:47 am (UTC)
They do indeed. I love the sheer amount of clinging here. And Ben finally getting back to his old self is like, the ultimate win.

I know, right? Not being able to see that is a freaking tragedy.
Airie: dw; five/nyssa; i'm not sorry i met youairie_fairy on November 24th, 2008 06:08 am (UTC)
I love that, of the small amount of footage that managed to survive, Ben and Polly fighting the macra and groping each other makes up the greatest amount of it. Serendipity, or whoever burned the rest of the thing was a shipper. XD
H. Sullivan: polly bensmallearthcat on November 24th, 2008 06:39 am (UTC)
Heh, this is true. At least they gave us one good thing, if not the other. :)
Alouzon: DW -- Highlanders -- Ben & Pollyalouzon on November 24th, 2008 08:43 pm (UTC)
I loved Polly and Ben in this. Polly's back to her kickass self, and poor Ben gets hypnotized but manages to fight his way out of it (after hanging out with Polly - hee!). I also liked the fact that he didn't just snap out of it, but it took a while for him to realize something was wrong with the way he was thinking and acting. And while Jamie (who doesn't know him terribly well yet) gets angry over Ben's actions, Polly keeps on trying to help him, realizing the Ben she loves is still in there somewhere.
I am also saddened that we don't get to see Team TARDIS make their exit from this serial: it's not too often that the Doctor decides to stay for any kind of celebration after rescuing a society, I would have loved to see the Doctor's face before hearing this bit of tripe about making him the next pilot, before encouraging his companions to flee by dancing out of the room. And how do you suppose they did it? I'm seeing a loose conga line, myself...
H. Sullivan: polly bensmallearthcat on November 24th, 2008 11:47 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I love Polly being completely awesome and with it. And no surprise that she'd be the one to help remind Ben of what really matters.

Lol, conga line. I could see that. XD
Airie: mp; over-educated middle-classairie_fairy on November 25th, 2008 03:46 am (UTC)
I imagine they started off following Jamie's lead in the Highlander fling and eventually they all just started dancing and leaping wildly and joyfully once they got outside.