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26 December 2017 @ 06:06 pm
The Randomiser: The Ark in Space  
The Teenager joined us for Ark in Space. I think this was the first Classic Who story she'd actually sat through with us out of more than politeness (her enthusiasm for episode 4 of Arc of Infinity notwithstanding). Given Ark in Space is not one of the showier classic Who stories, I was interested how much better it captivated her attention than some one might have thought would be more crowd-pleasing (e.g., Genesis of the Daleks).

I think it's construction may have helped. Episode 1 features only the Doctor, Sarah and Harry exploring the eponyous Ark and I'm sure part of its function, in the mind of the production team, was to cement this new Doctor and his relationships with his (in one case new as well) companions in the minds of the viewers. While NuWho would not allow itself the luxury of 25 minutes in which to do this, its greater focus on the lives of companions and their interrelationships possibly makes this seem more modern than it might otherwise. Instead of exposing the Teenager to an adventure story with some set of companions she had no real interest in, the Ark in Space let her get interested in the Doctor and companions first, before moving on to the adventure story.

And this is one of the best "Tardis teams".

I've always thought the story's resolution was a little unsatisfactory. It is one of a handful of stories where the Doctor isn't really central to the elimination of the threat but instead it is Noah's residual humanity that saves the day. I'd have to go back and rethink the extent to which the Doctor and companion's actions create the space in which Noah is able to act, but I know when I first read the novelisation of the story I was put out. Again, this is more reminiscient, at least of the first season of NuWho, than it is of much of the 26 years of the classic series.

This entry was originally posted at https://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/475003.html.
 
 
 
liadtbunny: DW 4 &Romana IIliadtbunny on December 27th, 2017 02:59 pm (UTC)
I know it's a classic but 'Ark in Space' has always left me cold. I hoped it would change as I got older but it hasn't. Perhaps there is something wrong with my TV screen!
louisedennis: Who:Fourlouisedennis on December 29th, 2017 03:53 pm (UTC)
I think a lot of the more pastiche-y Hinchcliffe stories are more fun. I'd say Ark was pretty solid but lacks some of the sparkle of later early Tom Baker (if you see what I mean).
liadtbunny: DW 4 &Romana IIliadtbunny on December 29th, 2017 04:04 pm (UTC)
It think that's it, 'Ark' needs a bit of stardust sprinkled on it.