|No such scene occurs|
The script makes it clear that the characters have lost mass. There are repeated references to how light they are. But, if that’s the case, Ian’s brain is about the size of a mouse, and there probably isn’t room for any real sort of thought (maybe the reduction in brain size accounts for everyone failing to realize that Barbara has touched the poison). There is the other side of the miniaturization plot. Either you’re an inch high and 160 pounds (and thus made of smaller atoms, whatever they might be) or you’re only a few ounces, which means that most of you has simply vanished.
The set design is dreadful. Things that purport to be proportionally larger are for the most part unconvincing backdrops. The grass growing at the edge of the path is a fairly slapdash painting. The stake through the seed packet is also painted. I’d like to think that with great care these things could be convincingly faked, but the history of miniaturization plots doesn’t bear this out. Things with higher budgets have looked every bit as fake.
One good aspect is that after the Doctor realizes how toxic the pesticide is, and that the chemical doesn’t break down, he notes that a sufficient dose would eventually accumulate in humans. Shades of DDT; someone must have been reading Silent Spring.
The story not involving the Tardis crew, that of the owner of a chemical factory so eager to get a profitable pesticide to market that he is willing to kill, and the scientist who so much wants to wipe out famine and disease that he’s willing to overlook that his employer has committed murder to bring the pesticide to market, is actually a pretty good one. Without the elements of the miniaturized crew, it might have made a good story. Of course, then it wouldn’t be an episode of Doctor Who.
Then there’s the effect of the pesticide. It kills a fly directly on contact, yet Barbara’s skin absorbs only enough to make her dreadfully ill. She’s shown as being not that much bigger than the terrifying fly (with visible strings) that menaced her.
Eye Candy for Gay Time Lords
So, Is This a Must-See?
No. It’s a somewhat muddled story, filled with impossibilities. If it had been played for camp, it might have been an improvement, but it wasn’t.
Next time: They’re back!
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