Doctor Who: The Macra Terrorr (Story #34)

doctor who the macra terror dvd cover review
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 7/10

Always good to see more old Doctor Who recreated

Has typical Doctor Who pacing problems

doctor who the macra terror polly crab monster animated

Polly…quit exaggerating…the crab monster might just want to say hello

The Doctor (Patrick Troughton), Polly (Anneke Wills), Ben (Michael Craze), and Jamie (Frazer Hines) arrive on a strange planet where something seems to be stalking the night.  Taking down a man named Medok (Terence Lodge) outside of the TARDIS, the Doctor finds a mystery is growing on the planet.  Unfortunately, the Pilot (Peter Jeffrey) and the people of the planet seem to want to ignore the warnings and rumors…and keeping the truth suppressed is their only goal.

Doctor Who:  The Macra Terror is a four episode serial in the long running BBC serial.  Following Doctor Who:  The Moonbase, the serial aired as part of the fourth season from March 11, 1967 to April 1, 1967.  All episodes of series were lost but images and audio remained.  A remastered animated version of the story was released as part of The Patrick Troughton Years as Story #34.

doctor who the macra terror patrick troughton animated

I’m the Doctor…I’m going to science some stuff…

Doctor Who is hard to get a handle on…especially considering so many of the early shows were lost.  Though shows occasionally pop-up, a lot of these shows will never be found…but with existing audio, it is worth releasing the animated versions of the story to get a better understanding of the Doctor’s past.

The Macra are interesting characters.  When I started to dive into the past of Doctor Who, the Macra were one of the aliens I wanted to know more about.  With an important role in the modern Doctor Who story “Gridlock”, giant crab monsters seem both terrifying and the plot of B-Movies…but it is meant to be taken seriously (which made me want to see the story more).  Plus with all the variety in the world, it is good to see non-humanoid enemies on occasion.

Troughton unfortunately also lost a lot by being an early version of the Doctor.  He is a solid Doctor, and he is joined by nice companions.  Polly and Ben are unfortunately victims of this purge of episodes and episodes like this at least give viewers a better perception of their personalities.  Jamie at least had a few more opportunities to be seen in a longer run as a companion, but it is still good to get more Jamie.

doctor who the macra terror story 34 crabs

I bet these Macra were just pencil pushers that the Doctor helped execute without thought

The Doctor Who animations are odd.  They don’t go for fluid animation and utilize stills and images to try to create a simulation of watching the real episodes.  It is rather cost efficient, but it also is a bit continuity.  You can watch something like Doctor Who:  The Macra Terror next to one of the live episodes and it doesn’t feel jarring.

Doctor Who:  The Macra Terror is one of the “scary” Doctor Who episodes that if you were a kid watching the series as it aired, it felt threatening.  The best Doctor Who episodes are the episodes where the danger feels real and the odds seem insurmountable.  This whole period of Doctor Who is a bit of a mystery for longtime fans due to loss of episodes, and it is a nice reward to have them animated…the Doctor lives on.  Doctor Who:  The Macra Terror was followed by Doctor Who:  The Faceless Ones.

Preceded By:

Doctor Who:  The Moonbase (Story #33)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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