The Cosmic Hobo

Thoughts & reviews about the science fiction series Doctor Who.

Serial Review: The Green Death (Season 10)

“The Green Death”
Written by Robert Sloman, directed by Michael Briant
Featuring the Doctor, Jo Grant, and giant evil maggots

Rating: D

Slow pacing is a common problem throughout much of classic Doctor Who, but never has the pacing bored me so severely as it did in watching “The Green Death.” It is essentially a six part story that wouldn’t have even been good as a three or four parter; there are just far too many things that are wrong with this story.

Jo Grant and the Brigadier go to investigate some suspicious dealings at a factory in South Wales when a man turns up dead with glowing green skin. The Doctor has better things to do, and begins to realize that he is losing his companion as he is forced to go off and travel by himself for a spell. He catches up with the rest of the team just in time for everything to start going wrong.

The green stuff that causes the line of deaths reminds me too much of “Inferno,” and this is obviously not as good. The scientists and environmentalists protesting the factory’s bad practices are portrayed as being a bit idiotic aside from the leader, and it gets a bit grating rather quickly. To make things worse, there are a handful of absolutely horrendous scenes using green screen (or was it blue screen at this time?) that just look so terrible I can’t believe they didn’t find a way to get around it.

Another theme that seems to pop up far too often is that shit is getting difficult underground, so UNIT threatens to seal off the entrance with some big ol’ bombs. Rings of “The Silurians,” a far superior story. I suppose if you find maggots the size of small dogs interesting, this story might be good. But for me, this story fails on just about every level. There are essentially two good things about it: the Doctor has some funny scenes in which he dresses up in costumes to infiltrate the factory (including dressing in drag), and the best part of all–Jo Grant is gone by the end. I can’t believe Liz Shaw was gone in one season but Jo got three. Yuck.

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2 thoughts on “Serial Review: The Green Death (Season 10)

  1. Very good riddance.

    It does not make any sense that the maggots are bullet and bomb proof. But then if they were not, the story would be over a lot quicker.

  2. It took me ages to warm to the Pertwee era and while I can’t say that I count Jo Grant among my favorite companions, I guess I just accepted her in the end. But when Pertwee described the near-sighted clumsy actress Katy manning as so pathetic that you just felt compelled to protect her, I got it. She jars perfectly with the fiercely independent Sarah Jane Smith who followed.

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