Short thoughts on Doctor Who, disc by disc (originally published June 2012)


Tonight’s soundtrack: Laibach, “Sympathy For The Devil (Time For A Change)”

Yes, yes, fine. This is the one where Tom Baker gets possessed by an alien cactus and you can tell because his face turns into a spiny Durian fruit. As of today, no word yet from Lalla Ward on how he smelled. Meglos also anagrams to Golems and Slog Me. That’s not something you can say about every Doctor Who story, no sir. Kinda doesn’t even have any of the letters! Ha! Silly Kinda.

I do like the Chronic Hysteresis scene in Meglos. That’s where the evil alien cactus has possessed an accountant so he can use the fingers to tap on a Tandy Pocket Calculator. This sends the TARDIS into a fold of space-time, because there’s no way the Lords of Time would have installed a firewall in their semi-sentient, near-infinite time travel capsules to prevent remote control by succulents. Inside the TARDIS, time is now on a loop, the same events playing out over and over. Not stasis, but infinite repeat without variation.

That’s right. Meglos has managed to turn Doctor Who into a regular TV program.

Now you, you may say that playing out the chronic hysteresis loop 30 or 40 times is a cheap way to pad out a 22 minute episode. I say, me, that it’s a warning. “This is what you could be watching,” Meglos tells us. “This is what it could be like, week after week. Day after day. Thank your stars the Doctor can take you away from all this.”