071 – The Final Phase (The Space Museum Part 4)

Written by Glyn Jones
Directed by Mervyn Pinfield

As the revolutionaries take on The Moroks, Vicki, Barbara, Ian, and The Doctor find themselves at the mercy of governor Lobos.  Has the future been changed?

One final shot of Tor, hands on hips.

“My dear Lobos, I don’t think your soldiers have their hearts in their jobs.”

This episode plays out about as expected until a few minutes from the end.  The rebels seem to be doing a good job, but Vicki and Barbara end up captured and imprisoned with Ian and The Doctor.  Lobos has every intention of subjecting them to The Process, and they will die.  Our characters once more engage in debate about the future.  Ian and Barbara seem resigned to their fate.  They cannot escape.  In frustration, Ian destroys the embalming machine.  The Doctor assures him that other such machines must exist.  Vicki seems the only character to maintain hope that all their actions have not been futile.  The Doctor thinks she could be right.  The entire time, each character went on his or her own journey and interacted with people.  Each character tried to make decisions that would prevent the eventual embalming, but they didn’t take into account how they would influence those around them.  The Doctor, Ian, Barbara, and Vicki may not have changed the future, but perhaps the rebels have.

In the end, this is what saves our characters: the timely arrival of Tor and the other rebels.  They rescue our heroes and dismantle The Space Museum, although not before The Doctor takes a Time and Space Visualizer as a souvenir.  We shall have to wait until the next episode to find out what this device is.  Likewise, there is an ending shot of a distant planet where a Dalek is monitoring some equipment.  He announces that their greatest enemies have left Xeros.  We learn that The Daleks now have a time machine, and they are prepared to pursue The TARDIS.  One might say, a Chase is about to ensue.

So, final thoughts on The Space Museum.  It is certainly far from perfect.  However, part one has a great set-up and part three is almost downright hilarious.  The experience of watching the story is influenced by how you approach it, primarily if you view it as a comedic story.  Since it wasn’t filmed this way, it doesn’t always work as a comedy.  The final part feels like a typical endgame for a Hartnell story.  But overall, this viewing of The Space Museum was a lot of fun.

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