Saturday 11 November 2017

30 Discs Hath November #11: United

Once again its a bit hard to discuss this one without talking about the conclusion so this is a SPOILER one.

UNIT: The New Series: Assembled #4
written by Matt Fitton

One useful consequence of the last episode (and a short bit of dialogue explaining that Colonel Shindi is in Geneva, oh nostalgia) is that all the modern cast are trapped outside the UK due to dinosaur siege. This means that we start out with the retirees in the Tower Of London and Kate and company trying to find a way back to them. It is rather sweet that Mike, Benton and Jo get to take command for a little bit even if it is the most fanservice-y plot element of the series.

You know, I go into every one of these Earth Reptile stories hoping for a peaceful conclusion and, I guess, this one sort of counts. Its not perfect, the resolution is mainly bloodless but the Earth Reptiles don't agree to anything, they're essentially tricked into surrendering and returning to their hibernation chambers. Just once I'd like for the character who charges off to make peace even though everyone thinks its hopeless (its Jo again, by the way) to some real, material success instead of being shuffled off to the hostage room. There's even a second such scene with Mike and Josh meeting Jastrok under truce which ends abruptly when Mike gets one piece of information that will make attacking the Silurians easier. Okay, Jastrok isn't exactly entering into the spirit of the truce but they could have at least tried.

On the plus side, Jo and Osgood continue their epic team-up of women uplifting other women (there is nothing better) with Jo encouraging Osgood to just bloody ask one of the hunky men she works with out. I mean, I'd rather she take Kate up on one of those social events that aren't dates, honest guv, but alone time with Naked Caveman Sam would be just as good. Talking of Sam, towards the end Katy Manning plays the hell out of some “naughty granny flirting” when Sam is assigned to escort her to South America in search of new homes for plesiosaurs.

So, yeah, there's a lot of good character stuff and some nice comparisons between the UNIT family and the modern incarnation but I still find myself a little sad that once again Malcolm Hulke's startling innovation of an “alien” race with individual personalities and a sympathetic moral position were just treated as another menace to be disposed of. Disposed of in a more humane way than usual, its true though just sending them back to sleep seems a bit too... I don't want to say “concentration camp” because that's in awful taste and not accurate in the details but there is a certain element of rounding them up and locking them away that I'm not quite comfortable with. 

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