The Creature from the Pit

Dr Who And The Big Green Cock isn`t without it`s merits – there`s Geoffrey Bayldon for a start and Lady Adrasta is a great villain but I can understand why Chris Barry decided enough was enough after this one. So guess what the main consideration was when it came to editing the story…

creature from the pit covers

The Fan Edit opens with the Dr & Romana discovering Erato`s shell, which is where they enter the story proper. The dialogue references the missing Tardis scene so we don`t need to see it which is a relief as it`s awful. When it came to the wolfweeds, I slowed the footage right down which makes it less obvious that they`re moving towards the Doctor which was so blatant in the original that he must have been on the sauce before they landed not to spot it. Maybe that`s why he`s sweating so much…

I was sorely tempted to include the “Animal Magic” cutaway in the edit but in the end I think it`s better left in isolation. Though it does actually fit pretty seamlessly into the footage. Have another look at the ambush scene. What do you think the Doctor is doing when he disappears during the fight sequence…?

creature pit dwm

Lady Adrasta is yer actual sexy Space Dominatrix and it’s a quality performance from Myra Frances. Pity you can`t say the same for Torvin the cut-price Fagin who leads the bandits and Terry Walsh who, bless him, shows why he`s a stuntman and not an actor.

And then there’s little Eileen Way doing another of her Old Mother routines and making her third appearance in the Whoniverse, after The Firemaker and Daleks: Invasion Earth 2015 AD.  Chuck in Director Morris Barry as well and once all the actors’ Mr Meaker Moments are out of the way, the Doctor jumps into the pit thirteen minutes in. After that we move on to the footage from part two, where he makes it straight to the bottom with none of that Tibetan nonsense on the way.

The story finally gets interesting as Geoffrey Bayldon turns up. Bayldon is probably the most obvious example of an actor who would have made a great Doctor but never did. I`m still not convinced he really was under consideration before Hartnell but it makes a great story. I`ve tried to keep as many of his scenes as possible as he`s the best thing in the show but obviously I`ve worked round any that involve the Large Chlorophyll Penis.

The Big Green Cock is the Seventies Who equivalent of the Myrka and far worse than Pertwee`s puppet dinosaurs. Like the T-Rex in that story, there are different versions, some of which aren`t as bad as others but it was a hell of a challenge trying to edit round it. You have to wonder what on earth they were thinking of… well, it`s obvious what they were thinking of but you know what I mean!

And yes, we end with Adrasta`s death. The villain getting their comeuppance is always the dramatic highpoint of the story, followed by a short coda. But to tack on what is clearly a case of filling in time masquerading as a false ending is just bollocks. It didn`t work in Timelash and it doesn`t work here either. In this version Erato gets the last line, and a repeat of the shot of Adrasta`s dead body as we scream into the end titles means we leave Chloris after a much briefer and all together more enjoyable visit than when we went there the first time! [and on a completely unrelated note, do you think the Huntsman gets his gear from the same shop as Gia Kelly?]




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