Doctor Who: The Sun Makers (Story 95)
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When Leela is captured and sentenced to death, the Doctor must save his companion, as well as stopping the ruthless Company, before it is too late.
Top Customer Reviews
If nothing else, this Who episode makes me think of George Lucas' first feature, THX-1138, and I am sure that the producers and designers studied that film for ideas, such as the drugged, dehumanized work units and the use of sterile, pre-exitsing "modern" locales. Some of the hallways, subway tubes and of course the rooftop set were probably all located in the same factory or power plant. The familiarity of the settings, redefined for science fiction, produce an odd reaction within the viewer that work very well in serving the plot.
The contructed sets actually remind me of 3d game levels; the wall fixtures are decorated with flat, 2 dimensional slabs of "textures" that represent circuit boards and electrical conduits. While the illusion they present is incomplete in places, the result as a whole creates a very believable world. There is also a claustrophobic nature to the episode that nicely fits in with this futuristic plutocracy; the whole Megropolis is one big production machine, and the humans are merely expendable drones that service it -- echoes of Metropolis, THX-1138, Soylent Green, Logan's Run, Silent Running, et al.
The only part of the story that seems underdeveloped is that of The Others; They have a nice little pit with great looking duct fixtures to skulk about in, but where are they looting all of their provender from? Where do they plan to spend the 1000 telmars? Where did Mandrel get that bullwhip?Read more ›
On another note... if you're looking for new Dr. Who material. Look for the audio releases of the missing episodes. Look for my list "Missing Dr. Who's on Audio and Video" to find out about this. The jewel cases look really cool although amazon.com USA has not printed pictures for most of them on their web pages. Look for "The Web of Fear" for starters. "The Dalek's Master Plan" Audio Release is awsome too. Also check out Big Finnish productions for the new audio adventures of Dr. Who featuring Doctors ranging from Peter Davison to Paul Mcgann. Was this review helpful? Did you learn something new from it? Please vote Yes.
Instead of the usual alien menace swarming in guns blazing (or biological weapons inflicting plague or causing mutation or what have you), determined to destroy the poor innocent humans, we are presented with a future distopia. We see an entire world that is nothing but a wholly owned subsidiary of a corporation. The land, the machines, the government, *the people* all are effectively company property. Crushing taxes are just another way to transfer wealth upward, maximize corporate profits.
Arriving on this dreary world, the Doctor and Leela find a man beyond hope, preparing to commit suicide. In saving him our heroes begin a chain of events which will save the entire world -- or destroy it.
This is Louise Jameson (Leela)'s favorite Doctor Who story, one where she felt her character was shown off to the best effect. I have to agree -- this one fired on all cylinders. The Doctor is funny and subversive, the companion spends enough time away from him to be a hero in her own right, the villains give broad performances without sinking into pantomime, and Robert Holmes gives us one his most biting and clever scripts.
A winner from top to bottom. Five stars.
The characters Holmes creates for this story are highly effective, from the lowly, desperate worker Cordo to the marvellously larger-than-life Gatherer Hade and the slimy, evil alien Collector. The dialogue sparkles as well, with almost everyone getting his or her share of memorable lines. The caliber of the guest cast is universally high, with the aforementioned Hade and Collector stealing their scenes brilliantly. Tom Baker and Louise Jameson are typically superb, with Baker owning a priceless scene in the medical ward where he bumbles about in a stait jacket, all the while chatting to a fellow patient and plotting his escape. The climax featuring the Collector and the Doctor is also a fascinating scene.
Overall, 'The Sunmakers' is a fun and biting satire, brilliantly conceived, written and acted. Praise to The Company indeed.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of Tom Baker's best and a sad commentary on today's corporate and societal situation as well.Published 2 months ago by Walter F. Baumgarten
More Tom Baker! I don't remember seeing this one before, so was all new to me.Published 3 months ago by Lori Allbright
I dont know why,but I've got this thing about Dr. Who stories.Published 4 months ago by Nickel Speaks
I am a fan of then Dr Who series but I had forgotten how much I liked this story.Published 6 months ago by RMJSF