The Dodecahedron, the mysterious power source of the planet
Tigella, is failing. Zastor, the Tigellan leader, calls for
the Doctor's help. But on the nearby world of Zolfa-Thura,
a cactus-like being called Meglos plans to prevent the Time
Lord's arrival. The villainous vegetable wants the Dodecahedron
With no genuine classics left to release on VHS (though Invasion
of the Dinosaurs is rather good), I find myself getting
more excited by the BBC's DVD schedule than its video list
said, this story is worth watching for the dual role played
by Tom Baker as the Doctor (of course) and as Meglos, whose
frequently spine-covered flesh provides memorable visual appeal.
Baker does some nice "mad" scenes, although occasionally it
is difficult to tell the two characters apart - after all,
his Doctor is fairly barking as well. Fortunately, musician
Peter Howell always inserts an appropriately "prickly" signature
whenever the villainous doppelganger appears on the scene.
point of interest is the presence of the late Jacqueline Hill,
who played one of the earliest Doctor Who companions,
Barbara Wright, in the 1960s. Here she portrays Lexa, the
leader of Tigella's religious caste. How ironic that she should
play an advocate of blood sacrifice, when DVD viewers have
so recently seen Barbara condemning the practice in The
Meglos sees the pioneering use of Scene-Sync, an early
form of motion control, which allows camera movement in conjunction
with the Colour Separation Overlay process. Unfortunately,
most of the CSO effects themselves remain as fuzzy as they
have ever been.
is a very lightweight story, and shouldn't be taken too seriously.
For instance, no explanation is offered as to why Meglos should
need his hired mercenaries (led by Bill Fraser as General
Grugger) to go out of their way to acquire an Earthling (Christopher
Owen) for him to possess, when the more nearby Tigellans seem
identical to human beings. And the Doctor's method of escape
from a time loop - sorry, chronic hysterisis - is nonsensical,
though amusing. The slightness of the plot is attested to
by some extremely short episodes and long reprises - Part
Four is the shortest of the lot at less than 20 minutes.
a classic then, but this cactus-based lark isn't entirely
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