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Horror of Fang Rock
Doctor Who, episode 92 (15.1)
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2012 09:34:30
A lonely lighthouse becomes the setting for a battle with an alien shapeshifter.
The TARDIS arrives on Fang Rock, a small island off the English coast, around the start of the 20th Century. The Doctor and Leela seek shelter at a lighthouse where the island's only inhabitants - Ben, Vince and Reuben - operate the recently-installed electric lamp to warn ships off the treacherous rocks.
Vince has just seen a bright object fall from the sky into the sea. Ben then disappears and his body is later discovered hidden behind the generator - he has been electrocuted. A passing ship crashes on the rocks as a freak fog bank descends, and the survivors - Colonel Skinsale, Lord Palmerdale, Adelaide Lesage and Harker - stumble into the lighthouse. There they find themselves prey to a Rutan - one of the race engaged in a perennial war with the Sontarans - whose spaceship has crashed in the sea.
The Rutan can change its form at will and has been masquerading as Reuben, having killed the old keeper and hidden his body. Vince and the wreck survivors are also killed but the Doctor fights back by blasting the Rutan, now reverted to its natural form of an amorphous jelly, with a makeshift mortar bomb.
The Doctor then rigs up the lighthouse lamp with a diamond taken from a cache held by the now dead Skinsale, thereby creating a powerful laser beam to destroy the approaching Rutan mothership.
By The BBC on 07 Jan 2005
It's the one that replaced a vampire story at the behest of BBC Drama. It's the one where a strike meant it had to be made in Birmingham. It's the one where Leela's eyes change colour. And it's the one where we meet the Sontarans' most dreaded enemy – a balloon covered in green slime.
Horror of Fang Rock is also a good story, but not a great one. It's wonderfully claustrophobic and is a fine example of 'the base under siege' plot, but watch it and you begin to tire of the numerous scenes on...
By The Television Companion on 23 Oct 2003 21:50:23
Horror of Fang Rock maintains the high standard established by Doctor Who #091: The Talons of Weng-Chiang
at the end of the previous season. Terrance Dicks's well-written scripts take full advantage of the isolated nature of the story's setting and are very effective in building up tension. The scenes that take place outside the lighthouse on the rocks are eerie and atmospheric, the clever use of smoke and lighting effects helping to make this a convincing locale despite the fact that it was created entirely in studio. In...
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