Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary: Paradise Towers

Doctor Who:
Paradise Towers
By Stephen Wyatt

“No need to tell me. I know who you are. We have been waiting for this momentous visit for so many years. You are the man who brought Paradise Towers to life. The visionary who dreamed up its pools and lifts and squares. And now you have returned to your creation. You will make all those dilapidated lifts and rise and fall as they've never done before. All signs of wallscrawl will disappear from the corridors of Paradise Towers. The floors will gleam and the windows will shine, and will be made as new. Fellow Caretakers, do you know who this is? This is the Great Architect returned to Paradise Towers. Bid him welcome. All Hail the Great Architect, all hail.”

Red Kangs, Red Kangs, Red Kangs are best! The Doctor and Mel are obviously greeted by the Red Kangs  upon arrival on Paradise Towers. Mel is in search of the swimming pool and The Doctor wants to explore the vast towers. What Mel Does not know is that the swimming pool happens to be in a building filled with death.  The Doctor is mistaken for The Great Architect who was responsible for building the Towers and is rumored to have been buried in it by the inhabitants.  Unfortunately for The Doctor the rule book states that upon the return of The Great Architect a three two seven appendix three subsection nine death is now in line for The Doctor.

Paradise Towers is filled with all types of characters like the Red and Blue Kangs battling each other.  The Rezzies who are crazy old ladies that would like nothing more than fatten you up on cakes and tea while they salivate over how to eat you.  The Towers also include the clueless Caretakers who don’t have a clue what’s going on. Let’s not forget the main guy of the entire Paradise Towers, the self-proclaimed hero, the cowardly man known as Pex. So it’s up to the Doctor, not Mel she is to obsessed with a swimming pool that it will kill her, to do battle with a really weird neon light creature called Kroagnon.  Ice hot Doctor.

Trudging along with season 24 we have Paradise Towers.  Not really one to write home about but definitely a step up from  “Time and the Rani “ which started the season off with a really bad taste in everyone’s  mouth.   Paradise Towers is a story that is to long for a 4 part story and could have been better if it was a 3 part story which funnily enough season 24 starts the change to 3 part stories for half a season to help compensate for a 14 episode season which was the norm for the McCoy era.

Paradise Towers just seems to be one big get caught and escape over and over again along with the constant scenes of walking down corridors that really seem more for filler than anything else.  Its too bad they ended up doing that as the overall story wasn’t that bad and intended more for Colin Baker’s Doctor than Sylvester McCoys  but Sylvester McCoy seems more  Doctorish in this story than the previous one and even has him getting everyone together to go up against Kroagnon.  Something we have seen with previous Doctors.

Paradise Towers has a unique villain in it as the robotic cleaners are the ones killing everyone.  What is funny about them is that the Cleaners look a bit like the War Machines from the Hartnell era.  Another thibg that is funny about them if they are going around killing people and they move so slowly how are they catching people.  All you would have to do is run and turn the corner to escape them as they do not look that agile.  Plus their controller Kroagnon is pretty comical also as he is a bunch of neon lights for eyes.  Definitely the cheapest creature in Doctor Who and looks really bad also.

The screaming by Mel doesn’t get any less in this story as she stills screams enough to make blood come out of your ears.  It’s too bad that the writers thought it would be a good idea to make Mel as a screaming companion as she screams at the littlest thing.   I wonder whose idea that was to make her like that. No wonder Bonnie Langford left when she did.

While not the worst story in the world it isn’t paradise Towers isn’t the best one either.  I still feel sorry for Richard Briers playing the Chief Caretaker and then Kroagnon later on.  It just seemed a shame they wasted a performer like him on a role like that.

Grade C -

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