We were told, way back in “The Aztecs,” that history cannot be changed. If it’s already happened, it’s already happened, and it could be disastrous to try to change things. In “The Space Museum” the characters are faced with the problem that they’ve seen the future, and they desperately need to change it. I guess the rule becomes that history cannot be changed, unless it absolutely have to.
It’s not a perfect story. It’s hard to imagine the Moroks conquering anyone, since they seem to be fairly stupid and cowardly. Ian repeatedly outwits Morok soliders. At least if the technologically superior civilization is going to be defeated, let it be done the way the Doctor did, since when he finds that the Moroks have a device that shows what you are thinking of, he’s able to conjure up nonsensical images. For that matter (Spoiler Alert) when the Xerons manage to kill all the Moroks on the planet, they may have got the planet back, but there doesn’t seem to be any assurance that the Moroks will do anything other than come and wipe them all out. This is not going to end the Xeron diaspora, as we were told that the bulk of the Xeron population has been dispersed to Morok-controlled worlds as slave labor, but the teenage revolutionaries did nothing to reverse that.
Despite its flaws, the story moves smoothly with plenty of twists and turns to the plot. And we get our heroes wondering if their actions are taking them closer to being on display, or if they are managing to change history. For all their suspense, as viewers we know that the next few decades won’t be clips of them embalmed in a museum in Xeros. Though it would have been quite an end to an episode to have all four standing in the vitrine again, only to have the Xerons rescue them in the final episode. That would have elevated the episode.
A final thought on the Morok museum. Though the Moroks seem to have developed nice tools of conquest, it’s not clear why they would have a museum on Xeros instead of their home world. It’s clearly not a popular spot, though I’m not wild about museums which seem to have lots of soldiers and few curators. There’s no signage in the museum. I suppose that’s what happens when you make a military governor your chief curator; he simply doesn’t have the skills to make a decent museum. It’s just a jumble of obsolete technology. No wonder they get no visitors.
Eye Candy for Gay Time Lords
The male population of Moroks seem to be stout jowly men with really weird hair. Plus, the director seems to have managed to get all the Moroks to adopt continued expressions of dull-witted cruelty. Never attractive. On the the other hand, the Xerons are played by slender men in their early twenties. Reasonably good-looking bunch, though shame on the costume designer for those really ugly eyebrows attached to their foreheads.
So, Is This a Must-See
It’s a decent episode, but not really. This is one museum that need not be on the tour.
Next: The Daleks make fools of themselves in "The Chase."
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