Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Outer space? No, more from inner time., January 4, 2002
This review is from: Doctor Who - The Stones of Blood [VHS] (VHS Tape)
The 100th story of Doctor Who and the third part in the Key To Time sextet is The Stones Of Blood, which is also the only story in that canon to take place on Earth. Makes sense--why should more than one of the Key segments be on Earth?
The Doctor and Romana journey to contemporary Earth (1978) and encounter Professor Amelia Rumford and her assistant/neighbor Vivien Fay, who are researching a Gorsedd (stone circle) named the Nine Travellers, whose number has mysteriously changed from six or seven over the centuries. The Doctor investigates a nearby British Institute of Druidic Studies run by the unpleasant Dr. De Vries and is nearly sacrificed to the Celtic goddess Cailleach. Fortunately, he is saved by Rumford. However, in returning to the Institute, he finds DeFries and his assistant Martha killed and the place in a shambles. Both have been attacked by a colossal silicon-based creature, an Ogri.
The Doctor realizes that something is really amiss when he discovers paintings of certain woman painted over the ages in the Institute's basement. They are all of Vivien Fay! However, Vivien captures Romana and whisks her off to a spaceship existing in a hyperspatial dimension.
Beatrix Lehmann makes Professor Amelia Rumford quite an adorable and tenacious character. In the scene when she and the Doctor and pursued by an Ogri, she pulls out a truncheon and says that in the name of science, it's their duty to try and capture it. The Doctor simply pulls her away. Rumford's tenacity is further demonstrated when Vivien explains that while giving a lecture in NYC, Rumford carried the truncheon with her for fear of being mugged, and was arrested for carrying an offensive weapon (!) She also takes the Doctor's obvious alien origins in stride: "Are you from outer space?" Doctor: "I'm more from what you inner time." Rumford: "Ahh." She makes a wonderful partner and foil, as she is paired at various times with the Doctor, Romana, and K9.
Great dialogue: the Doctor has a bit of fun of the Druids at De Vries' expense, saying that John Aubrey invented them as a joke, and later, when he is about to be sacrificed, he rattles on about the knife at his throat: "I hope that knife's been sterilized. ...You can catch all sorts of things from a dirty knife." And when Rumford tells the Doctor that it's impossible for silicon-based creatures to exist, he tells her, "Maybe it doesn't know that."
Mary Tamm's fashionable yet again, wearing salmon-coloured blouse, slacks, heels, and cap, and later, in a long red dress.
The first two episodes work well as a light horror-mystery, but the subsequent plot of the alien spaceship hovering over the stone circle, the Megara, and the Doctor's trial causes the story to go awry. The Doctor pulling out a cake from a fridge celebrating the show's 100th story, as Tom Baker once suggested, would have improved the story a lot more. Naturally, that idea was nixed.
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Daniel J. Hamlow
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Location: Narita, Japan

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