The Macra Terror – 1967 – S4 – E7/9

imageNumber : Season 4, episode 7 of 9.

Which One : Big crabs.

Cast : The Doctor : Patrick Troughton
Polly : Anneke Wills
Ben Jackson : Michael Craze
Jamie : Frazer Hines
Pilot : Peter Jeffrey
Medok : Terence Lodge
Ola : Gertan Klauber
Barney : Graham Armitage
Questa : Ian Fairbairn
Sunaa : Jane Enshawe
Chicki : Sandra Bryant & Karol Keyes
Drum Majorette : Maureen Lane
Controller : Graham Leaman
Alvis : Anthony Gardner
Control Voice : Denis Goacher
Broadcast Voice : Richard Beale
Macra Operator : Robert Jewell
Officia : John Harvey
Cheerleaders : Roger Jerome, Terry Wright, Ralph Carrigan

Written By : Ian Stuart Black

Produced By : Innes Lloyd

First UK Broadcast : 11 March – 1 April 1967.

Length : 4 x 25 minute parts.

Plot : The Doctor visits an Earth colony in the future, on a far-flung planet to find the colonists being harassed by large crab-like insects.

Whats good : Has some neat twists. The Macra are well represented in this, with fleeting glimpses and dark settings. Episode for the companions.

Whats bad : Another missing episode from the Beeb archive. The harsh-regime-controling-the-base-story is not very original.

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Review With Spoilers : The Macra Terror is the 7th episode of season 4 and features the crab-like terror known as the Macra.

The Doctor lands the Tardis on a planet inhabited by an Earth colony and meets a deranged man who tells the Doctor of giant insects; over-running the colony.

The Doctor visits the colony and discovers a happy and peaceful society. Yet all is not as it seems, as the Colonists are ruled by a tyrannical unseen leader – called Control; who only ever appears on a video screen.

The Macra Terror is a mostly missing episode, from the early Troughton era and features an outer-world colony of humans, under siege; by a bunch of giant crabs.

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“In that patch of moonlight. I told you I’d seen them!” Medok

The colony itself, has a weird and unsettling vibe about it, with overly happy citizens, cheerleaders and brass bands who indulge in pleasant relaxation pastimes but whose exsistance is permeated by a vague whiff of totalitarian control.

The Macra themselves, could have came across really silly in this as big bulky man-in-suit crabs but because of the dingy setting and fleeting glimpses. They work on a much higher level.

In something of a later reveal, it is later shown that the Macra are secretly in charge of the colony and are behind “Control” – who appears on a video screen (as a human face) to give orders. Infact, the scene of the real human Control, being dispatched by a Macra at the end of part 3 – is a fleeting and chilling moment.

Ben, Polly and Jamie have alot to do in this one, aswell which is unusual for a three companion team. With plenty of dialogue and scenes written for them. Ben in particular, plays out a sub-plot of working in collusion with the Pilot – against the Doctor; after having been hypnotised by vocal messages, while sleeping.

The Macra Terror is a largely – by-the-numbers repressed colony story, which benefits from a few interesting plotlines and twists. It sets it’s stall out early, as a base-under-siege by monsters tale but cleverly twists itself – in the final act; to infact be a populace-under-control by the monsters.

🔵🔵🔵🔘⚪ (3.5/5)

Old Doctor Who