Viewing posts tagged keys of marinus
8 years, 10 months ago
The tentacle was already well established as a staple of monsterology long before Doctor Who
was even a glint in Sydney Newman's eye. When Who
selected the tentacle as its semiotic method of evading/signifying capitalism - as I'm going to argue that it did in the 70s - it selected it from a pre-existing toolbox full of potential signifiers. But it didn't suddenly stumble upon the octopoidal. It had encountered tentacles before, albeit only occasionally.
On the whole, the show's early years are pretty thin on tentacles... but there are
quasi-tentacular manifestations in 'The Keys of Marinus' (the Brains of Morphoton have stubby little almost-tentacles), 'The Dalek Invasion of Earth' (the Slyther) and 'The Web Planet' (the Animus). The only proper octopus monster in this era is the Mire Beast from 'The Chase'. It lives underground and exists solely to provide a way for our heroes to escape from the Aridians without deliberately sentencing them all to Dalek-death.
Oh look... bar the Animus, those were all written by Terry Nation. Hmmm...
By this point (the early 60s), the 'novum' of the tentacle had passed, but it had
entrenched itself in the grammar of Western ...