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October 2017

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"Doctor Who: The Curse of Fenric"

This came as a two disc set. The "Bonus disc" contains a remix of the director's cut of the story, which is infinitely better than the story that was broadcast. They cut too much out of the story to make it fit the time allotted.

It's a very complex story. The Doctor and Ace arrive in 1943 Whitby, where Military Intelligence has a listening station and a scientist is working on an ULTIMA decoding machine (ENIGMA). Russian solders have come ashore to steal the ULTIMA machine but they are being killed by aquatic Haemovores (vampires), who are after a ancient treasure buried by Vikings centuries earlier.

I had trouble understanding the biology of the Haemovores. But I think they make sense if you think of them as a type of infectious slime. They do feed by sucking the blood from people. But they can also just infect you and take over your body, gradually replacing soft tissues as they rot away, until all that is left is a skeleton animated by an intelligent aquatic jelly.

Whitby is where Dracula came ashore from a Russian ship in Bram Stroker's novel.

The scientist, Dr Judson, is based on Alan Turing but because this was a children's program they didn't think they could talk about him being gay, so they put him in a wheel chair. The writer said that Judson being crippled is a metaphor for Turing's struggle with societies attitude toward his sexuality. I thought there was some implication in the story that base Commander Millington was responsible for Judson's condition. The writer said he intended Judson to be blackmailing Millington because they had been lovers at school. Well, that works.

Overall this is a story about the horror's of war, much like "Battlefield".

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