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Doctor Who: The Keys of Marinus (Story 5)
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On a remote island of glass surrounded by a sea of acid, there is a machine that can remove evil from the minds of an entire population – the Conscience of Marinus. Fearful of its immense power falling into thewrong hands, its sole guardian has scattered the machine's operating keys across the planet. The TARDIS crew arrives to find the island underattack by the evil Voord. Marinus' last line of defense – and its only hope – is the Conscience machine. The Doctor and his companions must undertake a deadly quest to recover the keys of Marinus.]]>
Originally broadcast in 1964, The Keys of Marinus is a six-episode arc that features the doctor's original traveling companions, science teacher Ian Chesterton, history teacher Barbara Wright, and the doctor's granddaughter, Susan, who is given to screaming at the first sign of peril. Hartnell's doctor is a sprightly curmudgeon who relishes adventure and mystery, which he finds after the group lands on Marinus, an island of glass surrounded by a sea of acid. Doctor and company are compelled to retrieve four microcircuits that are the keys to the Conscience of Marinus, a computer that has eliminated evil from the minds of men (except apparently the evil Yartek and his web-suited Voords, who want to seize the machine). Their quest takes them most memorably to "a planet of the most contented people" (beware the brainwashing powers of the "mesmerent"), another world overrun by plants, and finally a city where Chesterton, framed for murder, is considered guilty until proven innocent--by the doctor, of course. As is characteristic of this series, the special effects are a hokey hoot and the actors sometimes step on each others' lines. Hartnell vacationed during production and is absent for two episodes. But this is a surprisingly prophetic cautionary tale: it may be good to heed the doctor's prescient observation that "man was not made to be controlled by machines." If you have yet to make an appointment with the doctor, perhaps the episodes featuring Tom Baker--the fourth and most popular of the doctors--are a more accessible introduction. --Donald Liebenson
The Sets of Marinus: Interview with designer Raymond Cusic
PDF material (DVD-ROM, PC/Mac): Radio Times listings, Cadet Sweets: Doctor Who and the Daleks (scans of the entire set of the Cadet Sweet cards, which features a mini Doctor Who story involving the Daleks and the Voord
Production note subtitles
Top Customer Reviews
The basic story has the Doctor and his companions, Susan, Ian and Barbara, land on the planet Marinus. They land on an island in the middle of a sea of acid and meet Arbitan, who is the Keeper of the Conscience of Marinus. Arbitan needs to reset the conscience of Marinus and requires 4 keys to work the machine. He prevents the travelers from entering the TARDIS and forces them to collect the keys which Arbitan has hidden across the planet. The TARDIS crew encounter many interesting people, situations and creatures on their travels across the planet to collect these keys.
The story sounds interesting. It was written by Terry Nation. There are some lovely performances by the regulars and a few of the guest actors. There were some very interesting bits such as the Morphoton from the second episode, the living jungle, the interesting justice system in the final segments, etc. However, these very interesting snippets never really gel into a cohesive story, and seem more like a series of vignettes.
There are some very nice things in this story: 1) It is delightful to see George Colouris in Doctor Who. 2) The Morphoton from episode 2 are quite interesting and would have made a great villain on their own. 3) Ian and Barbara are given very good roles and are equal to the Doctor in trying to work out the puzzles that confront them.Read more ›
This is a single story-line containing six individual episodes from the first season of the Doctor Who program, starring William Hartnell. Still several years before BBC went to color, so it is in black and white. This show is so old that the credits still list the character's name as "Doctor Who" rather than simply "The Doctor." If you look closely, there are a few places where the original footage had to be "repaired" by splicing in footage from other places, but if you aren't looking for it you won't even notice it. For being so old and having survived the BBC's notorious process of erasing original material, the quality is pretty good. (The special effects are not... because at this point the show's budget was still less than my weekly salary.) This is also the first episode that actually shows the TARDIS materializing; prior to this all of the arrival scenes were shot from inside the TARDIS.
The later "Key to Time" story line with Tom Baker from 1978-79 is the same style of quest plot although that is stretched out per story over the entire season rather than the more compact per episode as done with William Hartnell in 1964.
The Doctor is absent from episodes 3 & 4 due to Hartnell taking a vacation. This in part weakened the story for episodes 3 & 4 and in addition, Carole Ann Ford probably did one of her worst performances as Susan in this adventure which also helps knock down my rating of this story. I enjoyed the quest theme immensely however so I will give this story a 4 star rating even though it probably deserves a 3 star rating.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I personally haven't watched this, but I ordered it for my fiance and he LOVES these old episodes! If you are a Doctor Who fan like he is, I would say this is a great buy!Published 20 days ago by Allie
As a Dr. Who fan I had to watch this story. While some of the individual episodes are pretty good and the overall story is not too bad, the serial doesn't hang well together and... Read morePublished 1 month ago by No BS guy
Keys of Marinus is a bold and imaginative idea. It's a six part-serial that is five interlinked stories centered around the TARDIS crew's quest for the Keys of Marinus. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Adam Graham, Superhero and Detective Fiction Author