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Jack Graham

Jack Graham wrote about Doctor Who and Marxism, often at the same time. These days he co-hosts the I Don't Speak German podcast with Daniel Harper.Support Jack on Patreon.

4 Comments

  1. WGPJosh
    April 4, 2012 @ 7:06 pm

    I'd never made the connection between "Pyramids of Mars" and the Martian Face people before. It never seemed like something that there was ever a strong connection back to Doctor Who for to me. I think a perhaps more fruitful direction in which to take discussions of Doctor Who and von Danikenism is the eventual refinement of the concept into Stargate SG-1 via a heaping slathering of post-modern sensibilities.

    I personally feel a simpler and more effective critique to level at "Pyramids of Mars" is that it just sucks: It's a careless, racist rush job that relies on Tom Baker and Lis Sladen's charisma and chemistry to draw attention way from the paper-thin plot, stupidly morally reductive and unintentionally hilarious villain, utterly botched halfhearted stabs at intertextuality and complete nerfing of The Doctor's role in the narrative. Thank goodness the effort Hinchcliffe and Holmes put into "Brain of Morbius" paid off.

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  2. Jack Graham
    April 5, 2012 @ 4:10 am

    Postmodern slatherings are not really my thing. Nor is Stargate SG-1. The movie was enough to put me off the whole thing forever. I quite enjoy most of 'Pyramids of Mars' though, perversely.

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  3. WGPJosh
    April 5, 2012 @ 4:47 pm

    The theatrical movie or "Children of the Gods"? You shouldn't let either colour your opinion of the subsequent TV series-they couldn't be more different. The movie is a typically dumb cheeseball '90s sci-fi action movie by Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich, the same creative team that brought you such masterpieces as "Independence Day" and the 1998 Godzilla remake. The TV show was a surprisingly intelligent and clever effort by a totally different team that kept nothing but the name and basic premise from the movie and played around with a lot of sci-fi conventions to send up everything from Star Trek to Doctor Who to, ultimately, itself.

    On the topic of von Danikensm, if I recall correctly what was clever about the way SG-1 handled it was that the Goa'uld, the show's alien enemies, were not the inspiration for the culture and mythology of ancient people as is typically the case in this kind of story, but rather it was that they studied their belief systems and posed as the gods they read about so they could infiltrate and control Earth covertly. In other words the mythology and technology came before the aliens did. Also, they didn't just do this for Earth, but for thousands of star systems all over the galaxy. A common plotline early on in the show involved the team travelling to some planet and trying to convince the locals that the Goa'uld were not the gods of their legends, but imposters and that they should overthrow them.

    To be honest I'd rather watch a decent episode of Stargate SG-1 than "Pyramids of Mars" any day.

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  4. Jack Graham
    April 5, 2012 @ 6:02 pm

    Sounds interesting. Maybe I'll give it a go! Cheers.

    Reply

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