A Mad Box with a Man

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Those rascals over in Classic Capitology seem to have too much time on their hands of late.  Fresh off the gothic melange of Ghost Light they careen all the way to a Hartnell curiosity.  Okay that might not be fair.  On the DVD extra for The Space Museum Robert Shearman succinctly summed up the problems for the story.  In short (and paraphrasing) he said there were only three, and that they were episodes 2,3, and 4.

He was absolutely right.  The first episode, especially for a Hartnell, is suitably strange with dollops of backwards time and intangibility of objects, including the TARDIS, all of which leads to the cliffhanger of the quartet of travellers seeing themselves encapsulated for display.  It’s a neat image, and the kind of surrealism all-too-rarely seen in the program regardless of era.  After that though…

The remaining three episodes feature drab officialdom, rebels without a clue (hands on hips for this one), and mandatory companion separation syndrome.  Vicki gets the best of these, although to see Hartnell impishly fencing with Lead Morok Lobos is rather fun.  Just as in The Seeds of Death as couple of cap-posts ago, Hartnell takes episode 3 off and that’s okay.  He didn’t miss much.
The Space Museum looks and feels like the cheap end even of the Hartnell era and unfortunately the direction by Mervyn Pinfield (a substantial figure in the early shaping of the program) does nothing to liven the proceedings, hence the number of caps for a four-episode story is abnormally low.

One curious piece of trivia about the story is that The Space Museum author Glyn Jones is one of only two people to both write for and act in Doctor Who, Mark Gatiss being the other.  Endlessly fascinating!

The caps for The Space Museum are a pure add for the Tour. Who knows where Classic Capitology will go next?