Terror of the Vervoids
Scream tally: 7
One of the things which sets Mel apart from other companions is that she was never seen to join the Doctor, she was just there. This is more a symptom of the behind-the-scenes trouble than anything. Terror of the Vervoids, therefore, is the story which establishes Mel, which it does as soon as they get the beginning Trial waffle over with.
Her first appearance establishes the fitness background which then utterly vanishes apart from a few references. In her all important first episode, she takes the initiative several times, cheerfully pointing out to the Doctor that they hove the whole crew quarters to explore, visiting cabin six against his instructions and going to explore the Hydroponics centre.
It's her idea to ask Laskey about the Demeter seeds and holds a conversation with the professor. (completely ignoring the Doctor, of course...) It's Mel's insistence that the investigator was trying to point them to the Hydroponics section. She protests loudly at the treatment given to the mutated assistant, showing her dedication to right.
Much of the time, Mel is playing detective, picking up clues. This finally almost gets her dumped in the waste disposal. She bravely crawls through the air ducts to warn the Doctor of their intending attack on the lounge. When the Mogarians are killed during the hijack, she's the one who suggests using their masks as evidence to convince their accomplice of their deaths.
Mel is greatly upset when they discover the bodies which the Vervoids have piled in the air ducts, and it's this which strengthens her determination to help in their defeat.
This is probably her best televised story. She gets to show off her memory, determination and energy, as well as risking her life selflessly several times. She reasons and argues intelligently. It's just a bit of a shame about some of the dialogue.
Unfortunately the BBC video of this story seems a bit blurry. These pictures are all roughly 390 by 300
er, yeah, when's the DVD out?
No stand out lines really. Suggestions?
Doctor Who Programme Guide, ©1994 Jean-Marc Lofficier; Doctor Who: Terror of the Vervoids ©1988 Pip and Jane Baker; The BBC video.