Season 2: Planet of Giants-The Romans


The second season starts off with a story the production team had intended to do at the very beginning,  Planet of the Giants. It’s a nice little story and some of the props are quite effective but the story is very slight. The dvd release features a version of the orginal 3rd and 4th parts using recons and impressions of the cast members now sadly passed away and as well made that it is (well done to Ian Levine fpr doing it) I’m afraid cutting it down to a 3 parter was the correct decision.
Then we have The Dalek Invasion of Earth and continuity is introduced whole heartedly into the show. The scenes of the Daleks in a deserted London are wonderful and the story hurtles along. The Daleks are menacing and the characters believable in how downtrodden they are by years of occupation.  The final scenes see the first cast member depart and Hartnell’s speech is written and performed wonderfully.
The Rescue is next, another short story introducing Vicki who  it’s easy to warm to, we get to know her well enough to be happy when she joins at the end. The Koquillian plot is fairly predictable but it’s very watchable.
The Romans is one of my favourites,  during the eighties us younger fans were told this was a out and out comedy and was unsuccessful.  Both are wrong. Episode 3 is probably the most farcical but there are some dark scenes too with slave trading, court intrigue and murder. Hartnell is clearly having fun making this and sparks off Nero wonderfully.
Watching in order you can see the confidence of every one involved has really grown and there’s a clear willingness to try new things.

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