Wow. I absolutely love this story.
I mean, it gets a bit slow in parts, but that is often a problem with longer stories. Written by the creator of the Daleks, The Keys of Marinus feels like a big Doctor Who epic.
It actually reminded me of what I can remember of The Chase, in that it zips from place to place while following one story arc.
The idea of the Doctor and company getting recruited by Arbitan to find the keys to power his mighty machine before the fall into the hands of the Voord is a great one. It allows there to be a couple of episodes just to fill time, but doesn’t end up being as noticeable as The Edge of Destruction.
William Hartnell really stood out for me in a later episode, when he is sitting outside the courtroom, contemplating on how to save Ian from his death sentence. The way he shows the emotion while trying not to seem weak to his enemies was very touching. It did put me in mind of a later Doctor, when he thought of a plan, and had to race against time to prove Ian innocent before the sentence was carried out. Then at the end of the story, there was a veritable twinkle in his eye, satisfied with saving Ian and the keys from the Voord, he was in full ‘Doctor’ mode, loving every second.
While on the topic on the Voord, they are an interesting villain. I love the design of the heads, and wouldn’t mind a reappearance in the new series – so long as they don’t repeat the mistake they made on the Silurians.
Susan does a regular bit of being captured just to lengthen the story, while Barbara and Ian get to bond a little bit more. And as cheesy as the scenes were in the ice caves, I found them rather exciting to watch.
All in all, it was a great adventure, from sentient building-crushing plants, to ice caves, pretend palaces and courtrooms. I did enjoy every episode massively – possibly because it is one of the first stories so far that I had never seen all of before.
I do look forward to revisiting this one in good time.
Therefore I award it eight Morphoton testicle brains out of ten, just for the massive fun that I had watching it.