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'The Beast of Orlok'

Released May 2009. 2 episodes.

Written and directed by: Barnaby Edwards

Roots: Nosferatu (the name Orlok, given to the analogue of Dracula for the film), Frankenstein (villagers descend on the Baron's tower, presumably with torches and pitchforks see also: Continuity), The Wolf Man (the Baron's coat of arms, a wolf's head, is displayed on his walking stick), Der Golem. The Brothers Grimm (Hans and Greta are named after Hansel and Gretel and were, literally, 'babes in the wood') Zoff dubs his Golem 'The Prodigal Stone'. The Doctor and Lucie joke about Monopoly ("I see you got out of jail" "That two-hundred quid would have been handy"). Lucie complains about the Doctor's "Sherlock Holmes routine" and mentions 'The Omen music'. Some character names have specific meanings in German (e.g. Tod='death', Teufel='devil', Pausbacken='chubby cheeks')

Technobabble: A red shift oscillator alters the wavelength of light around the user, enabling them to tan twice as fast.

Double Entendres: "When the moment is right we'll take the Doctor - the girl, too."

Goofs: Why does Judah go to such great lengths to disguise himself and wander among the population looking for his creations? [unlike Zoff he has no tracking device, so must adopt the next most logical and effective method, publishing posters tracking his own movements and adopting the guise of a gypsy...]

Continuity: The original Beast of Orlok is [presumably] a legend dating back to the Middle Ages (four centuries, according to the opening dialogue), it was said to have teeth like splinters and a stench of brimstone. The story was revived due to the activities of the real Baron Teufel whose macabre and murderous experiments into reanimation led to fourteen unexplained deaths (and his own disappearance) twenty years before this story.

Orlok is a small village near the Schwartzholt, or Black Forest, on the Freiburg Road and possibly under the authority of Duke Albrecht 11th of Bader.

General Zoff is Commander-in-Chief of the Rabzera Planetary League, sixty-thousand light years from Earth. The Rabzera system is in a state of seemingly perpetual internal war, with its various states alternately aligning and turning on one another, prompting great leaps in battle technology. Chief among their creations are 'Golems', an artificial life form outlawed by Article twelve of the Galactic Code - they are illegal in every system from Earth to Andromeda and are, apparently, the best soldiers in the Universe (although they clearly fill other non-combative functions). Golems are composed of moist mineral matter, including aluminosilicate, potassium, sodium, and calcium, possibly explaining their smell; they are immune to electricity and fire and are utterly obedient to orders give by their masters, even after the death of the master, and never give up. Judah's Golems are armed with impulse rifles, while Zoff's Golem is a full-size combat model. Zoff himself has a molecular disruptor gun and a 'metamorphiser' - a device which alters the appearance and voice of its user.

Time Lords are known in the Rabzera system, and regarded as 'policemen'. Zoff recognises the Doctor's status by his anachronistic clothing, 'haughty' demeanour and sonic screwdriver. The Doctor says the Time Lords are currently policing illegal temporal and biological technology.

The TARDIS was aimed at Alton Towers before this adventure. The L.T.D button is a green switch on the TARDIS console, triggering a navigational override which homes in on the Doctor's heartbeat - the initials either stand for "Locate The Doctor" or "Lucie To Drive"

Lucie mentions the Titanic disaster, but assumes that penguins are native to the Arctic and North Atlantic. Both she and the Doctor know that there is a branch of Burger Master in Lytham St Annes. They have been together long enough to have marked Christmas together - in their respective crackers the Doctor got a red shift oscillator and Lucie got a small torch.

Location: Orlok, 1827.

The Bottom Line: A Gothic runaround with wit and some lovely casting. The story's slight, perhaps the dialogue is a little too wordy and the events of Orbis are rapidly disappearing from the conversation, but there's enough here to distract and entertain nonetheless.

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