073 – The Death of Time (The Chase Part 2)

Written by Terry Nation
Directed by Richard Martin

Ian and Vicki find themselves at the mercy of Mire Beasts.  The Doctor and Barbara find themselves at the mercy of the Aridians.  The Daleks find themselves at the mercy of sand.

Barbara gets all Blair Witch in the background.

Ian to Vicki:
Stop screaming, you little fool, and run!
Vicki to Ian
Don’t stand there gaping, you nit!  Run!

Second episode in and the story titles are still a bit obscure.  I guess The Executioners of part one could refer to The Dalek squad sent to capture The Doctor and company.  The Death of Time could refer to the time at which The Aridians must turn over The Doctor and company to The Daleks.  Maybe this is why the entire serial is given the most obvious title of all:  The Chase!  What’s it about?  A chase.

We learn that the beasts menacing Ian and Vicki are called Mire Beasts.  They are vaguely octopoid in shape, and yes I had to turn off autocorrect on Microsoft Works just so I could type octopoid.  Microsoft doesn’t like that word, it seems.  We learn from the fish-like Aridians that Aridius was once a water world (the non-Kevin Costner kind), but now it is desert.  The only survivors from this time are the Aridians and The Mire Beasts, which the Aridians are currently trying to exterminate.  The eco-system of Aridius is already screwed up, so why not cause another species to go extinct?  One of my biggest problems with this episode is that I have difficulty seeing how the Aridians are able to survive, going from water to desert.  There must be something more to the underground caverns of this planet to enable their continued survival.  However, that survival is soon threatened when The Daleks issue The Aridians an ultimatum.  They either turn over The Doctor and his companions or the Aridian city will be destroyed.  In a somewhat surprising turn, The Aridians agree to this.  Perhaps if Ian had been with the group instead of being unconscious in a cave he would have been able to stir up the fish people the same way he stirred up The Thals.  However, given that fish gender is somewhat difficult to figure out without some invasive searching, he probably wouldn’t have been as successful.

We learn in this episode that The Daleks cannot destroy The TARDIS through conventional means.  They attempt to use their guns against the machine, and fail.  So, they set guards to The TARDIS to ensure The Doctor and the humans cannot escape, a plan that works well until Ian and The Doctor lure a guard to a hastily-made tiger trap, composed of cave debris and Barbara’s cardigan, marking the second time Ian has destroyed her clothing in as many serials.  Thinking back on it, The Doctor destroyed Ian’s tie in The Web Planet and Ian lost a button in The Space Museum.  The second series is just hard on clothing in general, it seems.

Regardless, The Doctor, Ian, Barbara, and Vicki escape just as an extermination squad arrives.  The Chase continues.

"You seen that new VT-16?" "Yeah. Some of the other guys were telling me about it. They say it's quite a thing to see."
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