Frontier in Space
|Frontier in Space|
|Air date||24 February - 31 March 1973|
|Written by||Malcolm Hulke|
|Directed by||Paul Bernard|
|Carnival of Monsters||Planet of the Daleks|
Frontier in Space is the third story of Season 10 of Who WhoWho. Looking solely at the plot, it's a pretty generic capture and escape storyline that probably has a bit too much capturing and escaping in it. However, when you add Jon Pertwee, Roger Delgado, Katy Manning, the production values and DALEKS to the cocktail, it all combines to make what is frankly one of the best Doctor Who stories ever made.
Soooooo, the Mattress is back, and he's employed the Ogrons to fuck up an interstellar union between humans and lizard men... (nono, the other lizard men), by attacking both species' spaceships while wearing filters that make them appear as either humans or Draconians depending on which side they're targeting. The Doctor and Jo get caught up in all this mess and shuffled from one prison to another, separated and reunited continuously. It's a bit repetitive, however you can excuse that because the scope of this story is HUGE. Seriously, are you extremely dissatisfied with Moffuck's Who and how it decides to keep returning to the same three locations over and over and over again, making the universe of the show feel extremely limited? Give this one a watch, it really feels like a true sci-fi space adventure, not overly dramatic kitchen sink soap opera or fairytale fantasy wibbly wobbly bullshit.
There's a big plot twist at the end - The Mattress is working with the DALEKS! DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUUN!
Now, every other episode in this story is excellent, no question about it, but this episode? I don't exaggerate when I say that this is a contender for the best individual episode of Doctor Who EVER. Yup, I'm saying that. Why, you might ask? Three names; Jon Pertwee, Roger Delgado and Katy Manning. The episode itself pretty much takes place in two separate rooms, but the interactions between the three leads are sublime. Roger Delgado is just so damn charming in his villainly, Jon Pertwee is a master at SPLINK so of course he's going to be a master of everything else, and Katy Manning gets across a very warm and upbeat performance. Great stuff.
The story ends with the Doctor being seriously injured, with Jo having to drag him into the TARDIS. He places his hands on the telepathic circuits and sends a message to the Time Lords. Like the ending to Turn Left, this'll probably make you think "Oh crap, shit's about to go down!", as you enthusiastically reach for your DVD of the following Dalek story and put it on with high expectations. Sadly, in both cases, it's a huge letdown.
- This is the last story where Roger Delgado played the Master... Well, alive at least. Pertwee has since stated that it's because of Roger's death that he left the show.
- Pertwee has also stated that the Draconians are his favourite monster due to their wider range of expressions.
- Down under, episode 5 had a weird theme tune.
Yeah go watch it, it's infinitely better than that Series 9 crap.