Doctor Who – Carnival of Monsters

28 Oct

dw-dvd-revistations2-carnival-hp3Jon Pertwee’s Doctor was the first to be shown in colour, which both enhances the show with its more immersive qualities yet diminishes the feel of the more sinister black and white episodes,  depending on your point of view of course.

It took me a while to pick between the Carnival of Monsters and The Green Death (the one with the maggots) but whilst TGD incorporates UNIT and has wider issues that resonates with people today – pollution, big business, recession etc – CoM becomes my pick because of the sheer fun and the inventiveness of the realised ideas.

Two travelling show people, Vorg and Shirna have arrived on the bureaucracy laden planet Inter Minor with an illegal Miniscope peepshow. In a variation on the miniaturisation plot of Fantastic Voyage, and harking back to Doctor Who‘s own “Planet of the Giants” story from 1964, the Doctor and Jo have materialised within the Miniscope’s compression field and are trapped inside. For company they have the ferocious alien Drashigs while outside the machine a potentially devastating conspiracy is afoot.

So a new type of Doctor brings a new feel to the show, a Doctor with a more physical presence and more stunts.  Which once again leads into a fun story but as ever with this show, there is a message and in this one there are strong overtones to do with political machinations of high government.

Special effects, bright costumes, dimensions within dimensions, it’s great stuff!  Filmed both in and out of the studio gives this one a very varied feel and style that the slow bringing together of the story themes allows the plot to take its time, entwining the various threads.

Paranoid aliens, shiny sets and costumes, cunning schemes, the sonic screwdriver,  assorted cliff hangers, the right amount of campness, offset with social issues and that usual fascinating yet skewed sense of perspective, which admittedly is more prevalent in this story.

It’s another example of the sheer weight of possibilities and impossibilities that the show is capable of.  Apart from a Dreamscape it is debatable whether there is any arena which has the scope capable for such a dynamic vision.


Posted by on 28/10/2013 in Doctor Who


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16 responses to “Doctor Who – Carnival of Monsters

  1. Al

    28/10/2013 at 18:09


    I liked Pertwee as he was a more … I don’t want to say violent … rough .. Doctor. He wasn’t afraid of fisticuffs to defeat his enemies. The first use of the Sonic Screwdriver as well. Although I liked Pertwee as the Doctor, he still was not my favourite, but of the old ones, he was my runner up.

    With UNIT, the Brigadier was, of course, the main man. When he died, the Doctor called UNIT and mentioned in a one sided conversation that he had died and to give his regards to his family.


    • Ste J

      28/10/2013 at 20:17

      Venusian karate was Pertwee’s thing lol. A bit of a change from the more pacifist of the new ones. I do recall one of his stories, although the name escapes me now, where he was really grumpy. I think I saw that one first and it put me off him. I’ve grown to like him since then…a man of noble bearing methinks.


      • Al

        28/10/2013 at 20:29

        Even as Worzel Gummidge 🙂


  2. Alastair Savage

    28/10/2013 at 18:46

    The Carnival of Monsters is one of my all-time favourites, and the Target book had one of the best covers too: I remember how exciting this episode was when you got that sneak peak of all the monsters trapped inside the machine. What’s amazing about it is that the story is great even though a large part of it is just people waiting around in (an intergalactic) customs.


    • Ste J

      28/10/2013 at 20:21

      I remember that post, you reminded me of the old books that my dad has…although I own a decent proportion of therm, which he conventionally forgets…those covers were wonderful, so evocative of adventure…although some were questionable in that respect lol.

      It is a customs thing lol…I had never thought of it like that, sometimes I look into things to much and don’t see the obvious. Even the mundane of customs can be interesting, if you aren’t on the receiving end of course lol.


  3. sakuraandme

    29/10/2013 at 10:57

    I’m still to get into that one! Lol
    God, I used to fight with my older brother to watch Get Smart and he wanted Dr Who!! Lol
    Yep, he won, you know older brother bigger muscles!! LMAO
    Hope all is well in your world, having a bourbon, want one? It makes everything in life look better. Well temporarily anyway!! Haha Nite, hugs Paula xxx


    • Ste J

      05/11/2013 at 18:23

      Get Smart was awesome! Always having to find that clock in the boss’ office every day lol, that always amused me. All is indeed well and bourbon does make me grin and then nap…severely lol. Hope all is well with you too! xx


      • sakuraandme

        08/11/2013 at 00:27

        Hahaha! I grin a great deal drinking it as well. Going out with my girly friends tonight and shall shake my booty and have a drink for you!! Hugs for the weekend, Paula xxx


  4. RoSy

    01/11/2013 at 21:51

    So this means the next post…
    …How exciting!!!


    • Ste J

      04/11/2013 at 20:08

      Later today my friend, I shall lose all my mystique by recording and posting my first vlog. Apologies in advance!


      • RoSy

        04/11/2013 at 20:24

        Oh – The anticipation!


  5. LuAnn

    03/11/2013 at 04:47

    What are your thoughts of me diving into the Dr. Who world with this DVD first? When I read some of the comments on your Dr. Who post series, I feel like your readers are speaking an unfamiliar language lol. 🙂


    • Ste J

      05/11/2013 at 04:29

      This one is on Netflix I believe and yes it is a good one, very cheesy and fun, a very atmospheric one…which doesn’t have the Doctor as a main character but is fun and a bit of a chill would be the tenth Doctor David Tennant and the episode is called Blink…that one is one both Christina and myself recommend. It is a language of its own this Whovian…which you shall soon be inducted into.


      • LuAnn

        05/11/2013 at 20:25

        A recommendation by both you and Christina? How could I go wrong? 😉


        • Ste J

          05/11/2013 at 20:27

          Christina actually laughed out loud at the cheesy special effects so that’s always a good start. Joint recommendations are always better, a shared experience is always the way forward hehe.


          • LuAnn

            05/11/2013 at 20:29

            A shared experience indeed! 🙂



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