View Poll Results: How would you rate The Macra Terror?

Voters
9. You may not vote on this poll
  • 10: There are no such things as Macra

    0 0%
  • 9: Macra Do Not Exist

    2 22.22%
  • 8: There are no such things as Macra

    5 55.56%
  • 7: Macra Do Not Exist

    1 11.11%
  • 6: There are no such things as Macra

    1 11.11%
  • 5: Macra Do Not Exist

    0 0%
  • 4: There are no such things as Macra

    0 0%
  • 3: Macra Do Not Exist

    0 0%
  • 2: There are no such things as Macra

    0 0%
  • 1: Macra Do Not Exist

    0 0%
Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
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    Default Rate and Discuss: The Macra Terror


    "This is an emergency! Control must be believed and obeyed! No-one in the colony believes in Macra! There is no such thing as Macra! Macra do not exist! There are no Macra!"

    What do you think of The Macra Terror?

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

  2. #2
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    Shame we only have this picture and a couple of random clips with which to judge the actual Macra.

    Onto the story. The "holiday camp" is far too good to be true, and rather annoying because of it. Then we find out about the mind control which backs up Medok's claims. The story, such as it is, develops well, although doesn't quite stand up to scrutiny; its premise is based on a bunch of aliens who have trouble staying outside a certain atmosphere moving around in what to them is a poisonous one, long enough to enslave a group of people in order to give them the gas they need, whilst simultaneously not being noticed by them. Good then, but not as good as it might be.

    6/10

  3. #3
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    I love a bit of Macra terror, I love that it's a bit colourful, a bit different, a bit metaphorical, even. It's a bit like the Underwater Menace it's okay to like. But I'd take either of those stories over a dull scifi story that takes itself far too seriously. This is a prime candidate to be shown on children's bank holiday TV with 16:9, full colour animation. Come on BBC, you know you want to!

  4. #4
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    For a long time, I don't seem to recall Macra Terror ever getting much of a mention - certainly not talked of in the same hushed tones as Tomb of the Cybermen, or Evil of the Daleks. Somewhere over the years, its reputation seems to have increased so that it's a missing classic - and actually, based on the soundtrack at least, I'd probably take Macra over Evil. Whether it actually looks as good as it sounds, and as one imagines it, I don't know, but it certainly has some great moments if nothing else: the end of part two, when the Controller is dragged off-screen by a claw (there's a bit in Gareth Roberts' Zamper book, where a face on a screen starts, from memory, screaming, which oddly enough always reminded me of the bit in Macra); the Doctor's line about "It's just possible you've been brainwashed while you were asleep - you know, do this, do that, do the other thing. Well my advice to you is do nothing of the sort" which was a DWM 'Quote of the Month' way back when, and fascinated me for a whole month trying to guess where it was from; and of course the (dare I use the word) iconic cry, "There are no such things as Macra - Macra do not exist!"

    So, erm, in rambling conclusion - yes, I think it's probably really very good. Though... do we know why Polly has short hair for just this single story? And how does it manage to grow again by the start of The Faceless Ones? Eh, hmm?!!

  5. #5
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    I really like this story. It taps into something that was obviously in the air in 1967- the fear of brainwashing and manipulation that also appears in The Prisoner and several episodes of The Avengers around that time. The set up of a benign holiday camp hiding something sinister beneath the surface works very well, especially so with the use of jingles and slogans to get the message across. it gives it a unique feel- very different to what was going on around it in other stories.

    There's a certain kind of ear tapped in to in Medok's "madness" the fear of being the only one who knows the truth and having your name muddied and your reputation destroyed by voicing your fears and being individual. It's the very essence of the little man standing up for what's right against the odds, and it's rather wonderful that medok gets proved right in the end.

    What's really frightening is the way that Ben is so totally brainwashed by it all. As it's pointed out in Running Through Corridors, what makes this scarier than normal is that he doesn't change- he doesn't become a zombie like Polly did in The War Machines, or lose his accent like the characters do in The Faceless Ones- he's still very much Ben, just with his allegiences changed. That's when brainwashing becomes truly terrifying.

    Yes, the story has some faults. yes the Macra might have cost the same as a Mini but are about as maneouvarable as a tricyle that's lost two wheels, but there's just something I love about this story and one that's become more and more appealing as I've got older. Woefully overlooked by everyone, I think this'd be really highly regarded if it came back. Forget Evil, Moonbase or Tenth Planet- this is the season 4 story I really want to see.
    Last edited by SiHart; 8th May 2012 at 3:58 PM.

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

  6. #6
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    What a wonderful review from Si Hart! To be honest, I mostly agree with him!

    Anyone who follows the "Anthony & Whitney's Excellent Doctor Who Odyssey" thread will know that we adored this. Particularly Whitney and her balmy theory about the Macra!

    Even as a recon, this has an absolutely wonderful quality to it. Everything about it is so surreal, particularly the holiday camp-like atmosphere of the colony, where nothing is quite as it seems. As Si says, the brainwashing of Ben is truly creepy, and it's amazing to think of everyone on the colony being brainwashed in such a way.

    I really feel that this is a true lost classic. Like many others here, I'd rather have back all four episodes of this, than four episodes of Power of the Daleks or Evil of the Daleks. Sure, the Macra prop may have been cumbersome, but there's so much here to love. The sight of a man being dragged off of a screen by a claw seems truly terrifying.

    This is one of the few recons that we truly enjoyed. It gets a very strong 9/10 from me.

    Do you know what they call me in the ancient legends of the Dalek homeworld? The Oncoming Storm.

  7. #7
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    the Macra might have cost the same as a Mini but about as maneouvarable as a tricyle that's lost two wheels


    I love the idea that the colonists are being deftly manipulated behind the scenes... by the most outrageously cumbersome and clumsy creatures ever seen on the show!

    If I was putting together a quiet conspiracy that meets in shadowy corridors to plot and scheme, I don't think an eight-foot tall crab with glowing eyes would be top of my list of co-conspirators. Yet the Macra can pull it off!

    Shame they didn't get a fair crack of the whip in the new series. It was still a delight to have them back though.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob McCow View Post
    Shame they didn't get a fair crack of the whip in the new series. It was still a delight to have them back though.
    That said, IIRC, they really managed to keep that one from us, so that when they did appear in Gridlock, it was a very pleasant surprise to pretty much everyone!

    It'd be nice to have a proper story with them in now!

    Do you know what they call me in the ancient legends of the Dalek homeworld? The Oncoming Storm.

  9. #9
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    It was shame as there was a great macra sequel lurking in Gridlock- with the Macra engineering the whole situation to generate the fumes they could live off. It might have added an extra texture to the story- or maybe complicated it a bit... could have worked though.

    It was a delight to see them back though! Fanboy thrill!

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

  10. #10
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    I don't remember 'The Macra Terror' at all from my childhood but watched a recon on-line just for fun. And was pleasently surprised. I downloaded the soundtrack from I-Tunes and gave it a proper listen-to. My opinion improved. It's not my favorite of the Troughton era but it is very good and a worthy addition to my collection, mostly for the reasons Si Hart gives in post #5. 75% rating.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junkyard View Post
    I don't remember 'The Macra Terror' at all from my childhood...
    You're not on your own there, neither do I considering we'd just had a Cyberman story of which I remember a great deal.

    Writer Ian Stuart Black seemed to have a thing about mind control, it was a theme he used time and again in several of the series he wrote for back in the sixties, The Invisible Man and Danger Man in particular, these themes are also later explored in cult series The Prisoner, it seemed to be a particular 60s psychosis.
    Proof positive that Big Brother is watching, the Macra worm their way into the minds of the colonists for their own purposes, watching, waiting to strike if someone oversteps the mark and their mind conditioning begins to wear off. The insidious plans of the Macra take effect and completely undermine and control the colony of happy campers.

    This is great, I think it's an under rated classic, it's dark and scary, almost as scary as Dr. Who ever got, I'd love to see this story returned to the archive.

    Incidentally, the series got a remix of the theme and a new title sequence for the first episode of this one. Realised by Bernard Lodge, it was the first time The Doctor's face appeared over the credits, contemporary audiences were heard to say the titles were the scariest thing about the series, what do you think?

  12. #12
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    We're far too used to TV to be frightened by a simple feedback effect these days. Yet the titles are undeniably spooky and hypnotic.

    It's right that they had Troughton's warm and genial face to break up the sequence. If they'd have tried that with Hartnell's stern features the result would have been far too scary.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  13. #13
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    "Macra" is slowly re-emerging as a great lost classic. Troughton is just finding his feet, not too whimsical as to be annoying but very anarchaic and Doctorish ("Bad rules are made to be broken!"). The Macra lurk in the shadows for almost the whole story, and I've a feeling the image of the Macra sitting at the desk in Central Control as the Doctor and Polly peer at it through the window of the door would have been very memorable. It's a very visual story, but also a very sinister one. One problem it does have though is that the ending is unforgivably botched, and everything just stops suddenly as a button is pressed and then the crisis is over.

    This is one of the missing stories I'd most like to see returned however.

    Si.

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