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Old 12-24-2013, 08:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Urban's 'Doctor Who' Thing

223: Paradise Towers

Doctor : 7th (Sylvester McCoy)
Companion : Melanie Bush (Bonnie Langford)
Series : 24
Originally Transmitted: 5 October–26 October 1987

Good points about Paradise Towers: It's Doctor Who's take on J.G. Ballard's brilliant novel High Rise
And sadly that's about it, the idea was a good one after that everything went to shit.

The back story is it's the 22nd Century and a large tower block is designed by the great architect called Kroagnon. There was a big war and all the men went off to fight in it leaving the women & children behind.

Anyway for reasons unknown Kroagnon is a bit of a mentalist who wants to kill everybody who inhabits his building. In the episode we see little of Kroagnon, but we do hear a lot of his voice and he sounds exactly the same as The Cookie Monster. What we do see of him is that he appears to have taken the form of a couple of neon disco tubes that looks like they've been removed from a gay bar that's just closed down.

Kroagnon employs an army of deadly(cough) machines & caretakers to police the place under the control of Chief Caretaker played by Richard Briers famous from the sitcom 'The Good Life'.

Unfortunately Richard Briers can't quite decide how to play the Chief Caretaker and seems to end up playing him part as a childrens pantomime version of Adolf Hitler and part Blakey from 'On the Buses', mostly the latter.

The Chief Caretaker's deadliest machine is this cleaning machine which rumbles around the narrow tower block corridors at approx 2mph killing all in it's wake. For some reason the Chief Caretaker thinks the Doctor is The Great Architect and then wants to kill him.

The woman and children left behind band together in groups. The elderly become known as The Rezzies (Residents)

who have become cannibals due to the lack of food who lure unsuspecting people in by offering them nice cups of tea before killing them and making them into a Sunday roast.

The children (well girls anyway, I assume the boys went off to war too) form in gangs called the Kangs who are identified by colour. There are Red Kangs, Blue Kangs & Yellow Kangs but the last of the Yellow Kangs is killed before the story begins. They have names like Bin Liner and Fire Escape.

The Kangs are supposed to be a tough group living in a post apocalyptic world but sadly they look more like a dance troupe from a musical, they also talk as though they're all middle class and just walked out of stage school which they probably have.

The Doctor arrives looking for a swimming pool for his companion Mel who wants to go swimming. Fortunately there is one on the top floor. Unfortunately Mel didn't account being attacked by a giant plastic crab that looks so silly a 3 year old would probably want to play with it.

She screams.... a lot.
She is rescued (Sadly) by a guy called Pex, Pex is a coward who didn't want to fight in the war and is so wet I won't bother mentioning him again.

Anyway the Doctor gets captured escapes, gets captured and menaced by machines several times that give Sylvester McCoy ample time to gurn a lot throughout the 100 or so minutes these 4 godawful episodes carry on for.

He convinces the Kangs, Wet Boy, and some of caretakers who've not been bumped off yet to join together to fight the gay disco lights while Kroagnon takes over the mind of the Chief Caretaker and bumps him off for some reason. And then thankfully the episode ends.

I'd love to convince you this is so bad it's good, but it's not. It's shit.
In fact it's so bad the first time I watched this story it took me 4 attempts because I kept falling asleep and I've never watched it again since.

If you really want to see this then here is a trailer for it which actually makes it looks 100 times better than it actually is.

And here's the death of the Chief Caretaker in some of the worst acting you'll ever see.

In conclusion: Read J.G. Ballard's novel instead.

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