The Faceless ones

Written by David Ellis and Malcolm Hulke

Directed by Gerry Mill

Yesterday Margaret Thatcher died. Some people were sad about this, which I don’t really understand because she was a vile excuse for a human being, and the world is better off without her. Some people were happy, and I don’t really understand this either, because she hadn’t been a direct influence on anyone’s life, outside those of her own acquaintance, for over twenty years, and celebrating death is not a particularly pleasant thing to do. What I really didn’t understand was cunts banging on and on about respecting the dead. Fuck the dead, they don’t care. “Respect the living, to the dead we owe only truth”*. I had very little reaction at all, other than mild irritation at the media’s sudden obsession with her, positive or negative, allowing some of the current Thatcher inspired vile scumbags in charge to get away with bullshit like this or this, without anyone really noticing.

I’m pretty sure that the Doctor would be with me on this, given his treatment of the Chameleons, the villains of the Faceless Ones. They go around killing folk and stealing other folk’s identity and he just lets them off with no repercussions at all, even offering to help them. And quite right too. To the Doctor justice was never about punishment or comeuppance, it was about the preservation of peace and prevention of crimes. Which is probably why it was never a particularly big show in the US, a country obsessed with punishment.

This being Ben and Polly’s last story, you’d expect that they’d get a bit more action than normal, but nope, not in classic Who. Sadly they’re barely in it, getting kidnapped at the start and only appearing again briefly at the end. At least, unlike Dodo, they get a proper goodbye and unlike just about every other Who companion so far, Ian and Barbara aside, they actually get to go home as if nothing had ever happened. Sure beats a desolate war zone.

In the absence of Ben and Polly, Jamie really gets to shine. He even gets a wee romance, which is pretty unusual, and usually ends with the companion in question being stranded in one of those war zones. Not Jamie though, he’s back on the TARDIS in a flash.

Every story so far has ended with the Doctor and his companions back in his TARDIS, ready to go and move on to the next chapter in their adventure in time and space. Not this time though, no, the TARDIS is missing. Can the show sustain two consecutive stories in the same era? Probably not, but lets find out next time in The Evil of the Daleks.
*To be a little pretentious and quote Voltaire. And if you think I’ve misquoted it (which I might have done) fuck you, he said it in French, I’m quoting a different translation.

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