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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Doctor Who: Terror of the Zygons: Part 3 starts as the Doctor (Tom
Baker) is saved from being killed by the monstrous Skarasen by Harry's
(Ian Marter) heroic intervention on the Zygon spacecraft hidden in the
depths of Loch Ness. Now that the Doctor & the Bigadier (Nicholas
Courtney) know what they are up against the search for the Zygons base
is underway, Sarah Jane accidentally stumbles upon the secret passage
in the Duke of Forgill's (John Woodnutt) castle. The Zygons kidnap the
Doctor & plan to commence the destruction of Earth...
This Doctor Who adventure was episode 3 from season 13 & originally aired here in the UK during September 1975, directed by Douglas Camfield this is one of my favourite stories from the show. The script by Robert Banks Stewart is a terrific alien invasion story with a bit of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) thrown in there, it has had some great cliffhanger endings to each episode & the story has unfolded at a nice pace where there's plenty going on but at the same time it doesn't give itself away too early which means there always a certain amount of interest in seeing the following episode even if you weren't enjoying the story as much I did. Definitely one of the show's best.
The memorable Zygon aliens themselves are great, they are menacing & the way they almost whisper as they speak is pretty creepy. Unfortunately once again the tight budget & lack of time hurts them, even though in concept & design the Zygons are cool with their huge bulbous heads & Octopus style suckers all over their body in execution they leave a lot to be desired. The suits don't fit properly & the join line between the top half of the suit & the bottom is clearly visible at times along with the annoying fact the actors head isn't in line with the mask so the actor's mouth is obviously not connected to the hole in the mask & it just looks poor. I don't know why they couldn't glue the mouth in the mask to the actor's lips so they moved in sync with each other, I really don't & don't get me started on their feet!
Terror of the Zygons: Part 3 is another great episode in a great story, the BBC budget doesn't help here but the material is still strong enough to rise above it on most occasions. A personal favourite & lots of scary sci-fi fun.
Review of all 4 episodes:
Much like many Doctor Who stories since 2005 this story is based around an iconic idea or legend (like werewolves, vampires, statues that move etc) in this case the Loch Ness monster. Ironically the realisation of the monster on screen is the only real negative in this great adventure.
The story is that an alien race called the Zygons have had a small group living in hiding in Scotland for a few hundred years and that the Loch Ness monster is actually a cyborg monster they intend to use as a weapon. The Zygons have a very long term plan to conquer Earth and change it to suit their needs in readiness for the arrival of the rest of the Zygons who are spread across the galaxy after Solar flares destroyed their home planet. The plan is kicked into action and the cyborg monster, the 'skarasen' is their main weapon.
The Zygons are fantastically good alien villains. They look brilliant, are menacing and scary as well as having good dialogue. The story is exciting, thrilling, fun and humorous and overall this is a classic. The skarasen monster is realised badly on screen. It is a pretty poor puppet and is a distraction but thankfully has very little screen time. The lack of importance given to the monster allows the story to still be a 10/10 classic. If it was re-released with a CGI monster it would eliminate that one fault but even with the occasional, disappointing appearances by the Loch Ness monster/Skarasen, this is a classic adventure of extremely high standard and great fun.
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