View Poll Results: How would you rate Keeper of Traken?

Voters
11. You may not vote on this poll
  • 10: Statuesque

    0 0%
  • 9: Tremasdous

    3 27.27%
  • 8: If all the stars were coins and my fist a giant purse, I couldn't like it much more than this

    2 18.18%
  • 7: Rapport with the Keeper

    4 36.36%
  • 6: Nyssa than most

    1 9.09%
  • 5: Oh no Kassia

    1 9.09%
  • 4: Not really my forte

    0 0%
  • 3: 3,3, 7

    0 0%
  • 2: Dangerous thoughts

    0 0%
  • 1: What would the law of probability think of that?

    0 0%
Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
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    Default Rate and Discuss: Keeper of Traken

    A whole empire held together by people being terribly nice to one another! the Doctor and Adric head to the Traken Union at the request of the Keeper, meet Nyssa, Tremas and an old enemy that lives in a moving statue. I wonder what the law of probability would say about that?

    Yep, Keeper of Traken this week folks.

    Si xx

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

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiHart View Post
    A whole empire held together by people being terribly nice to one another!
    Nothing like PS then!

    My favourite story of the season, even better than Full Circle, which is saying something. Yes, so the end of the season is hoving into view, and the exteriors are done inside, and the inside of Melkur is small; but the production crew still manage to make it look as lavish as possible on four and sixpence-three farthings. Traken was how to do science fantasy. This was a magical world with a kind ruler; the evil wizard trapped in his cave trying to usurp his power via the princess; the good wizard and his apprentice arriving to save the day; but within the context of classic Who.

    The cast were wonderful. I can't begin to pick out individual performances in terms of brilliance, so I won't. Even Sheila Ruskin's earnestness as Kassia is right within the story; she works.

    This story works for me as a science fantasy story far better than any of the ones that appear in the season that was broadcast this year - its origins were far more obvious for me, and far more enjoyable.

  3. #3
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    In theory Keeper has a lot going for it. Beavers is an excellent Master, the Melkur statue looks superb, the set design is wonderful and there's some lovely dialogue. Yet it still manages to be somewhat dull.

    The first episode is info-dumping of the worst kind. Denis Carey is supposed to be 10,000,000 years old or whatever, so to have him telling the back story in such a lifeless way makes it seem all the more tedious. The cliffhanger to part one is insanely contrived too.

    When we finally get to Traken there seems to be a lot of fannying about with people going into and out of the grove for half the story, before the good stuff with the Master kicks in.

    The actress playing Cassia is a bit poor. There doesn't seem to be any chemistry between Cassia and Tremas, which means we only know that they're a married couple because we're told so.

    It sounds like I've really put the boot in, but there's lots in Traken to admire. I don't know what could have made the story better - perhaps if it had been on location, with a spot of night-shooting?
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  4. #4
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    I'm really looking forward to this one, I haven't watched it since it was released on video back in the 90s. It was always one of my favourite stories of the season, and given how much I've enjoyed the first few I've got high hopes for it.

  5. #5
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    I agree totally with Steve! I've always found this one a bit lifeless!

    Si.

  6. #6
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    I always enjoy it when I watch it, but it as a bit of a 'Mandragora' feel to it in that I never want to watch it!

    It was very exciting in 1981, with the unexpected return of the Master - in fact, it's hard to imagine the story without the Master being in it, as his presence gives it that kind of 'upping the stakes' element in the second half.

    Good things - I love the cliffhangers, part 1 mainly for an oddly clear sense of nostalgia of watching it first time round; part 2 because it's such an odd one, almost as if the story so far has been only a prologue to the rest (which I guess it has, as the Master is yet to really appear); and part 3 because it's a really well structured climax, with everything building up to the shocking appearance of Melkur in the Keeper's chair.

  7. #7
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    I've a feeling the New Beginnings box set came out in January 07? I was certainly more than happy to revisit this and Logopolis as they felt much fresher than the E Space Trilogy.

    I rather like the way we find out about Traken on the TARDIS scanner, especially flitting through various times. Adric works extremely well with the 4th Doctor now that Romana's gone. You can see why Nyssa became a companion and perhaps because she's not overshadowed by Tegan, she was rarely better than here in my opinion, or at least until Adric went. It's the combination of those three companions that just doesn't work for me.

    Excellent performance by Ainley as Tremas - I certainly didn't twig the anagram at the time and what's more, I didn't recognise the Master in part 3, even though you get a clear view of him to camera towards the end, and you also clearly hear the sound of a materialising TARDIS as Melkur moves around in the same episode.

    Does the Master having a TARDIS (the grandfather clock) within a TARDIS foreshadow the next story? Come to that, where did he get the 2nd TARDIS from?

    Overall, a solid enjoyable story with a good cast and interesting alien society (something this season does very well). 8/10

    S18 Rankings

    Full Circle
    State of Decay
    Keeper of Traken
    Warriors' Gate
    Leisure Hive
    Meglos

  8. #8
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    I finished this yesterday and one again, I loved it. I agree with Steve in that there isn't much in the way of on-screen chemistry between Tremas and Kassia, you wouldn't know that they were supposed to be a married couple, but apart from that both Anthony Ainley and Sheila Ruskin gave great performances here.

    This is a story with a few memorable sequences, particularly the episode 3 cliffhanger with Melkur materialising as the new Keeper inside the source, and Tremas final scene when you think the story is finished: his mistake of being curious about a grandfather clock leading to the scene of the Master merging into his body..."A new body...at last!" Great stuff, and what a way to end the story.

    The only downside was the effect of Kassis's eyes...surely this was another of those times a subtle bit of touching up for dvd would have worked wonders?

    Still, it's easily the best story since Full Circle. 9/10.

  9. #9
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    I enjoyed this & it moved along without too much trouble but I just felt it lacked something.
    Some of the acting is a little stiff & lifeless*, as are some of the characters.
    I loved the corruption with the guards but that's also a problem, this is supposed to be a community of peace & prosperity & yet there's corruption in the heart of the State. That kind of undermines the concept for me.
    Anthony Ainley is really good in this, better than his Master in a lot of respects, Tom is on good form & even Mat Watertrousers is not irritating, all good stuff.
    I also agree that the lack of on screen chemistry between Tremas & Kassia is disappointing.

    I've given it 7/10 but it's worth more than that, but not enough to make it 8/10. 7.5/10 is nearer the mark.








    *I know stiff & lifeless acting.

  10. #10

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    There's a wonderful bit where Tom Baker is gesturing in the cell and his arm pulls up Nyssa's fairy skirt, leaving Sarah Sutton's knickers on show for all to see for quite a bit. A number of young male fans must have worn holes in their VHS tape of Keeper at that point through over-use of the pause control...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leah Betts View Post
    A number of young male fans must have worn holes in their VHS tape of Keeper at that point through over-use of the pause control...
    I'm sure they only ruined that VHS after they had ruined their copy of Terminus.

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