Screencaps for The Aztecs are posted. Review is below the jump.
Monsters: not literally. Just humans who believe in human sacrifice, so opinions on monsterhood may vary.
Emotional Wank: 1 out of 10 for reactions to human sacrifice and forced marriage.
Intended Destination: not given
Actual Destination: the Aztec civilization, 15th century Mexico.
This is my first really good look at Ian, and I rather like him, although I don’t get much idea how it is that he can fight. He’s a man of the age in which this was shot, but he’s not offensive, not patronizing (far as I can tell), not boorish. He’s strong enough and clever enough, and I think his character rather works.
I rather like Barbara too, despite how reckless she seems in her efforts to change the culture.
Yetaxa’s (Barbara’s) headdress and robe captivate me. They’re terribly pretty. Especially the headdress. I think I want one.
I like Autloc and Cameca. They both seem kind, generous, and willing to think differently.
I very much like the Doctor getting engaged by accident. Although Cameca’s falling in love so instantly rings false, I do, as an older woman now, see love as something that can be a practical choice. I can easily see myself in her shoes. It’s also nice to see the Doctor getting a swift kick in the arrogance, running around thinking he knows so much, when one bit of ignorance in the cultural significance of cocoa can take him totally by surprise.
It’s hard to disentangle my dislikes from my likes, because this is a cheesy episode, and cheesiness is part of the enjoyment as well as the dissatisfaction. It illustrates clearly that there was little budget and little serious expectation that this was supposed to be a great show. You’ve got your modeling clay exterior TARDIS in a train model landscape, you’ve got your styrofoam stones, you’ve got lukewarm dialogue flubbingly delivered. You’ve got cripplingly weak fight scenes and wild overacting. There’s the assumption that because Ian is a modern man, he is somehow a superior fighter to Ixta, nevermind that he’s a schoolteacher vs. a warrior – I would like some notion of why Ian can fight and where he got the thumb trick. Yet I like it.
Ixta needlessly breaks a shield in his display of strength. It makes him look like a child or a fool. He’s supposed to be the top warrior.
I don’t get to see much of Susan that makes me like her. There’s just enough of her to know she’s a teen and therefore a bit whiny, and that’s it.
It’s a bit hard to like the Doctor in this episode as well. He’s cordial enough and emphatic enough and in the end sympathetic, but not warm. Probably it’s wrong to hope he would be, though.
Comments, Questions, Speculation
I would love to see Cameca’s love token again sometime, even if just lying about somewhere.
It’s fun to remind myself that the Doctor is just a kid in these episodes, playing at old age possibly because it gets you respect. Sure, as they were filming this, I think the Doctor really was intended to be an old man, but the larger story over the years changes everything.
Raw Caps: 307
Finished Caps: 57
Blurry, square and black-and-white. That’s the best that can be managed. It’s plain how the aesthetic of TV was different in the day. Dramatic pauses for close-ups on faces – lots and big! I capped way too many images of Tlotoxl, the priest of sacrifice, leering and mugging into the camera.