View Poll Results: How would you rate Meglos?

Voters
15. You may not vote on this poll
  • 10: the Ulitmate Impossibility

    0 0%
  • 9: It descended from the heavens!

    0 0%
  • 8: Thanks be to Ti

    0 0%
  • 7: That's a nice piece

    3 20.00%
  • 6: Love the coat

    1 6.67%
  • 5: Average Earthman

    6 40.00%
  • 4: Spikey

    1 6.67%
  • 3: Chronic Hysteresis

    1 6.67%
  • 2: Full of Brotadac

    2 13.33%
  • 1: bit of a General Grugger

    1 6.67%
Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
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    Default Rate and Discuss: Meglos

    There's a cactus dreaming of universal domination, lush agressive vegetation, Savants with sill hair and a man who sees the threads that bind the universe and mends them when they break.

    Yes, it's time to discuss Meglos.

    Si xx

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  2. #2
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    Part 1

    After The Leisure Hive this feels a bit of a let down. It's a bit slow and is quite possibly the first story ever where the Doctor and Co are still stuck in the TARDIS at the end of part 1, having seemingly got nowhere at all.

    That said, one of my big memories of this story is the Doctor in his shirtsleeves working on K9 in the control room, so it must have been fairly exciting at the time.

    Great music! Paddy Kingsland seems to be enjoying this one, with a great theme for the raising of the lab from the sands of Zolpha- Thura and the ratcheting sound for Meglos himself, which is pretty cool. Some nice themes.

    The stuff on Tigella is rather tedious and feels like we've seen it all before. Howvere Jackie Hill is giving it her all, and plays it up wonderfully, while still retaining her dignity. It's easy for her to steal the scenes from poor old Edward Underdown, who really wasn't up to the role of Zastor at the time. It's a shame as he mumbles and throws away some rather iconic and lovely lines.
    The actors palying Deedrix and Caris are giving it their all though, they're just stuck with the dull stuff.

    More fun is had with the Gaztacs- Grugger and Brotadac, who are playing it for all they're worth. I enjoyed the gruff Grugger and his dim assistant a great deal.
    I also love the voice of Meglos, which is exactly as dry and sady as a desert, which is fitting I suppose.

    My favourite moment of the episode (aside from the rising of the lab) is the bit where Meglos cried out "Yes General Grugger, I am the Plant!" for some reason that always seems like a real Doctor Who-ey moment. A gaint talking cactus explaining his plans. Brilliant.

    Nice effects too- the scene sync stuff on Zolpha Thura is good stuff for the time (look at the shadows!).

    Another good season 18 cliffhanger too- the repeated time cycles in the TARDIS and the Mglos Doctor are good stuff.

    Si xx

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  3. #3
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    Jackie Hill is giving it her all
    You're sounding a bit "Tom Baker Years-y" there Si!

    I haven't seen this in ages, but one thing I've always rather liked about part 1 of Meglos is that it feels almost like a prologue for the story proper. The Doctor & Romana don't really get involved at all, the episode is almost wholly about establishing the 'guest characters' and the villain and the setting. I'm not quite sure why that should appeal, but I really like it.

  4. #4
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    Meglos is the one story in the season which doesn't feel like it belongs there. It might just be a coincidence but Bidmead doesn't mention Meglos once in his entire 70 minute "Myth Makers" interview (detailed here, cheap plug) which makes me think he didn't have a lot to do with it. Which would certainly be odd for such a hands on script editor. It's as if Meglos himself came into the office, pretending to be Bidmead and signed the whole thing off while CHB was stuck at home waiting for his microcomputer to be delivered.

    I mention in my 24 Things (final cheap plug) that Meglos only works if you just accept all the stupid, inconsistent, nonsensical things that happen and move on. It feels like a script that's full of place holders which were never replaced by real dialogue or real explanations. There are some interesting ideas in there and Tom Baker's performance is amongst his best but it just doesn't work in any way, shape or form. It's frankly embarrassing and we should be grateful it hasn't joined those bits of Warriors of the Deep and Snakedance as standard fodder used by cheap comedians to make Doctor Who look silly.
    Dennis, Francois, Melba and Smasher are competing to see who can wine and dine Lola Whitecastle and win the contract to write her memoirs. Can Dennis learn how to be charming? Can Francois concentrate on anything else when food is on the table? Will Smasher keep his temper under control?

    If only the 28th century didn't keep popping up to get in Dennis's way...

    #dammitbrent



    The eleventh annual Brenty Four serial is another Planet Skaro exclusive. A new episode each day until Christmas in the Brenty Four-um.

  5. #5
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    think I need to hold fire on this one before voting and wait untill the DVD comes out havent seen it for qute a while but from what I remember of it I found it an ok story.

  6. #6
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    I've watched this since the weekend for only the second time on VHS, so the first time for 7 years, making it feel relatively fresh. Unlike Leisure Hive though, which improved a little on this viewing, Meglos has gone down in my estimation. Not that it was ever a favourite, but I used to rate it above Hive but that's no longer the case!

    It's a funny old thing, nothing overly bad per se, but it's very oddly paced, really rather slow to get going then suddenly it's all very rushed at the end. Look at the regulars - after an episode and a half in the TARDIS (foreshadowing S22 I guess) the Doctor mingles with the other characters, almost gets sacrificed, then hops off to the other planet, gets locked up with Meglos and then it's all over! And Romana, after a further episode or so wandering around in the vegetation has a quick encounter with Caris and then off we go in the TARDIS! Nothing really happens. And then out of nowhere Mena gets shot - just like that. And no-one, including the audience, has any sympathy.

    On a plus side, as with the previous story with the aged Doctor, at least Tom gets to do something a bit different as Meglos, both in humanoid form and cactus form. Romana has a nice red outfit, and I had forgotten that for the TARDIS scenes she's still wearing the beach costume, giving us a real feel for the whole season being in real-time with no obvious gaps between stories that I can see. Oh, and we probably see more of K9 in this story than any other this season, even if his battery does run down!

    5/10.

    S18 Rankings

    The Leisure Hive
    Meglos

  7. #7
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    Part 2

    I like the way that Tom Baker is trying to make Meglos different to the Doctor. It's especially good how Meglos has none of the warmth of character the Doctor has, so even when the Doctor is moddy he's not as cold as the Meglos version is. People say Tom can't be arsed this year but watching this makes me wonder if they're watcing what he's doing at all. I think he's still trying here.
    But is it just me or does his Meglos have shaky hands and head? I wonder if it's somethign deliberate he did to show the concentration needed to keep the Earthling in check? If so it's a wonderful touch.

    Also nice is the reappareance of Tom's fluttering eyelid acting from the Armageddon Factor when Meglos starts to be minimise the Dodecahedron.

    The way out of the Chronic Hysterysis is both baffling and wonderful. It's a very Doctor Who get out that doesn't really make a great deal of sense. It's a lovely scene to watch, with the sense that this is one of the few times Tom and Lalla are having a lovely time workign together this year as there's a real sense of fun coming across on screen as they do the lines in a very stagy way. Great stuff.

    The jungle isn't really terribly convincing, but works better than the one in Kinda the following year. Perhaps jungles just don't work too well on colour VT- none of the ones they tried worked effectively, did they?

    Si xx

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  8. #8
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    Part 3

    Season 18 is truly blessed with its make up designers. they did a great job on Tom Baker again this epsiode with the spiky cactus make up. It's one of those wonderful images the show throws up every so often- the Doctor turning into a cactus. It's really striking and rather cool.

    Tom Baker again gives it his all. I particularly liked the way he made his trademarked grin feel so wrong when Meglos smiles it.

    Lalla Ward gets some nice moments in this episode. Her bamboozling of the guards is just the kind of thing the Doctor would do, and she handles it rather well with her lovely "this is all rather tiresome" acting. I'm not sure about her costume. It's a weird one isn't it? The colour is lovely and suits her, but it's rather odd looking, especially the net curtain sleeves. Coming after the sailor suit its a bit of a let down.

    Bill Fraser and Freddie Treves do well here. Brotadac's obssession with the Doctor's coat is rather sweet and I like the way they're both really thick, only Grugger has slightly more intelligence than Brotadac, so Grugger seems a little less gullable, but nonetheless still falls for Romana's anti-clockwise rotation ruse.
    The much vaunted kick he gives K9 isn't much to write home about though.

    Unlike Lexa's maginifcent pink sleeves which is absolutely HUGE!

    I forgot to mention earlier the split level sets which are a change from the norm. I like the shots where you see the actors on both levels giving the interior of Tigella a nice sense of scale. It's shame though that the Gaztac ship is very, very cheap- a just a few leather chairs in a green, bare set. Not so good.

    The Bell Plants are quite effective but again look rather cheap and foamy. The flowers are probably a bit of a mistake and Steve Drewett did better work on the Triffids shortly after this. Maybe this was his practice run?

    Si xx

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  9. #9
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    I feel Meglos starts off pretty well, but ultimately disappoints. Its good points have been pointed out, Tom's acting as Meglos, making him as subtly different from the Doctor as possible, Jacqueline Hill giving her all in a part very underwritten for an actress of her calibre, and quite frankly was the best actress of the whole cast, while Edward Underdown did quite the opposite in delivering some great lines which fell flat as soon as they left his mouth.
    As for Meglos, what threat did he ultimately pose? As soon as "the human" started fighting back he lost control and scuttled away in defeat, but why exactly did he need a human host in the first place and then go on to immediately copy the Doctor's body?
    Even though I enjoyed the first episode, the rest turned out to be a standard runabout, which, even with excellent production values, made Meglos seem out of kilter with the series new brash and bold look for the 1980's.

  10. #10
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    Part 4

    Lissa is in many ways right about this story- things just happen almost randomly. I'm still not entirely sure why Caris and Deedrix go with The Doctor, Romana and K9 to Zolpha Thura- it makes very little sense, other than giving Romana someone to talk to.
    Worst of all is Lexa's death which was absolutely unnecessary and a throw away moment- even if it gives Tom Baker a nice quiet with a teary Lalla Ward.

    Tom again steals the show, especially in the scenes where he's acting against himself. he seems to be quite fired about those scenes and the result is very entertaining as he stun Meglos with the Doctor's witticisms. I bet CHB doesn't like that scene.

    Was it just me or was there a bit of an attempt to show which Tom was which by tucking in opposite ? into the waistcoatd when both in shirtsleeves? It doesn't last long, but it looked like it to me.

    The green rag Meglos is a bit... ummm... cheap. Not good- it looks better when it has the Quantel effect over it rather than the bit of rag pulled along on a string in the lab scenes.

    In the end, while I enjoy this one still, i have to say it probably is the weakest of the season and doesn't hold up well. But i still love the idea of a cactus tryiong to take over the universe.

    Si xx

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

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