The Micro Machines are aided by the Doctor just as his oldest foe reveals something strange about the Second Doctor’s presence.
Following on from the Third Doctor’s throttling by the Micro Machines, writer Paul Cornell’s witty creation of Jo’s ‘Everything I’ve Learned in the Last Three Years’ book is a rapturously funny addition to the story.
More so, the relationship between the Third Doctor and Jo is explored further with playfulness and when the Doctor explains to the Micro Machines about his imprisonment on Earth, Jo’s angered response reveals her hidden frustration and possible betrayal as she sometimes believes that her friendship with the Doctor is not mutual.
It is fascinating to examine the Third Doctor’s psychological journey which didn’t feature heavily in the TV episodes. There is almost a reluctance but sincerity to the Doctor’s reasoning as he communicates with the Micro Machines.
Their motivational standpoint relates wonderfully with the Doctor’s feelings of being forced to be someone he isn’t. This issue is the most comedic, in response to the Second Doctor’s hasty exit, the Brigadier’s, ‘Why do I bother even starting sentences like that?’ brilliantly allows his time with the Doctor to reveal themselves through quintessentially British annoyance.
Chop and Slash
Once again, artist Christopher Jones visualises the Micro Machines hive mind with dazzling accuracy and the tiniest detail on the character’s expressions bring an intimacy to the narrative. A highlight is a sequence between the Third Doctor and his Time Lord adversary, as they chop and slash their way through Mercurian Kung Fu and Martian Kendo. The close-up of their faces in the background layered with their fumbling bodies is a remarkably creative angle in which to present the scene.
A dash of military greens and browns topped with soothing blues and shimmering outlines adds to the visual spectacle of the action. The cliff-hanger is one of a jaw-dropping nature and there is a revelation about the tea lady which will cause laughter all round.
Collection of Treats
This Third Doctor mini-series is shaping up to be a spectacular collection of treats with its delicately beautiful artwork and subliminally witty and intelligent dialogue, this is an expertly crafted story with heart and suspense.