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Rewatch Doctor Who: Survival

Posted: Sat May 23, 2020 6:26 am
by shuzbot
The Survival rewatch thread

Re: Rewatch Doctor Who: Survival

Posted: Sat May 23, 2020 11:01 am
by LizR
"Either you were dead, or you'd gone to Birmingham."

Rather to my surprise, I quite liked this, despite more comedy teeth. Maybe never having seen it before, but having seen the odd comment about it had lowered my expectations - generally a good starting point (I found I had the same reaction to the TVM when I finally got to see it).

The Cheetah people seem rather silly, but no more so than the ape-men in 2001, and rather less so when you find out they're people who've been converted by the planet... or something like that - at least I assume that's why Karra turned into a human before she died. However, since they couldn't be made to look more like animals (CGI being in its infancy at the time) they seemed a bit too much like people dressnig up - an early version of "Furry fandom", perhaps? Had they swapped the cat heads for something a bit less obtrusive and let them be more facially expressive, I think it would have helped.

But generally, and with a few caveats, this worked for me in the same way as early Who, with a sense of urgency that avoided undermining itself by not taking itself seriously, or by having the assumption that the Doctor could magic his way out of trouble.

It also seems to have the odd naughty bit (by implication, and on the Dr Who scale) - the Cheetahs are "dangerously attractive", apparently, and Karra and Ace seem a bit close, sisters under the skin as it were. Come to think of it, didn't Rona Munro also write the one with the Romans, in which we were surprised to learn that Bill prefers women? 8-) Maybe she's trying for the Val McDermid award for most blatant lesbian subtexts.

The Master did his usual thing passably well if not with the suave flair of Delgado (but then, who could?), and at the end the Doctor escaped by moving in a mysterious way. So that was a bit of a deux ex, except it wasn't even explained. I guess there was also some sort of subtext about hunting, what with the hunt saboteur at the start and Karra going on about what fun it was. I assume the message was, to (apparently) quote Leonardo da Vinci, “The time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look on the murder of men.”

Still, the star was undoubtedly that black cat, which upstaged everyone.

Re: Rewatch Doctor Who: Survival

Posted: Sat May 23, 2020 6:35 pm
by Cygnus Prime
I think this is quite an appropriate ending for Classic Who - and, for some, Doctor Who entirely.

I read some things about it that pointed out that AN UNEARTHLY CHILD begins with the Doctor taking Londoners away from their home and this one shows him bringing someone home. Also that in UNEARTHLY he was prepared to bash the skull in of a caveman, but here he rejects the idea of bashing the Master's skull in the same way.

I do think that largely - throughout - the acting is pretty ropey from just about everyone. From the Sargent and his trainees, to Sophie - Hale and Pace - and pretty much everyone on the other planet. I do think that the best performance by far is from Anthony Ainley, being probably his strongest story as the Master imo. Sylvester is just Sylvester and does his best with what he is given.

The animatronic cat. What a disaster.

The Cheetah people are a bit overdone too, in the costume department. Although it's difficult to know what would have worked for a "Cheetah Person" in that era of rubbish bird men in the Twin Dilemma.

That end speech is so fitting. The promise of further adventures, while fading away.

I just wish those further adventures had never happened now.

The end of Doctor Who - for me personally, but fair enough for anyone who sees beyond this as the end of the canon.

Stylishly shot and I love the look of the planet and it's sky.


Despite the faults - or maybe because I am feeling generous, or maybe because it gets the ending very right, I am giving it a 7/10.

Re: Rewatch Doctor Who: Survival

Posted: Sun May 24, 2020 12:28 am
by shuzbot
Did anyone get the Inferno reference?

Re: Rewatch Doctor Who: Survival

Posted: Sun May 24, 2020 1:13 am
by LizR
shuzbot wrote:Did anyone get the Inferno reference?
It wasn't the fake teeth, was it? :)

Re: Rewatch Doctor Who: Survival

Posted: Sun May 24, 2020 7:18 am
by Martin_Kinsella
shuzbot wrote:Did anyone get the Inferno reference?
Nope.

Re: Rewatch Doctor Who: Survival

Posted: Sun May 24, 2020 9:09 am
by shuzbot
At the end of ep 6 of Inferno, the Doctor says "listen to that. Do you want to end your lives fighting like animals?"

Greg is on top of the Brigadier at that point in a the same position to McCoy on top of Ainsley about the time he says "if we fight like animals, we die like animals"

Re: Rewatch Doctor Who: Survival

Posted: Sun May 24, 2020 9:30 am
by Martin_Kinsella
shuzbot wrote:At the end of ep 6 of Inferno, the Doctor says "listen to that. Do you want to end your lives fighting like animals?"

Greg is on top of the Brigadier at that point in a the same position to McCoy on top of Ainsley about the time he says "if we fight like animals, we die like animals"
Ah, yes, nice spot

Re: Rewatch Doctor Who: Survival

Posted: Sun May 24, 2020 11:52 pm
by Marco's Voice
A bittersweet story.

In hindsight it is tinged by sadness that this was the end, although nobody knew it at the time of original broadcast. Anthony Ainley was very good in this, as was Sophie Aldred. A fine story that, like a fine wine, gets better with age.

To better days.