Thursday, 9 November 2017

30 Discs Hath November #9: Tidal Wave

UNIT: The New Series: Assembled #2:
Tidal Wave
written by Guy Adams

Jo Grant. Sea Devils. A questionably useful energy project. This really is the greatest hit collection, isn't it? Not that I'm complaining, I adore Jo Grant and the story has some interesting ideas for the Sea Devils.

And, okay, it took me a while to work this out and Guy Adams had to hit me over the head with it but I now get that Osgood (at least in her Big Finish incarnation) is at least meant to have an element of “the Doctor as Katy Manning would have played them” about her. Teaming Osgood and Jo together for most of the story was absolutely the right move especially as it allows Osgood to have her frantic fangirl moment at the beginning and then redeem it by having them bond and come to a place of mutual respect by the end. Its a good arc, especially as it starts with Jo admitting she's judged Osgood exactly the same way she was always judged as the ditzy one back in the day.

Seriously, Jo has so many more admirable qualities than generally get acknowledged and here we see her classic “plucky determination” weaponised. As the compromised and controlled Captain Burmaster uses UNIT's new hydro-electric generating submarine to start a war with a hibernation colony of Sea Devils its Jo who is the one pleading for peace and putting herself in the hands of the enemy to do so. Its also interesting that Jastrop is behind the attack on the Sea Devils and not just to provoke them into conflict with the “ape primitives”, he has a concrete agenda and a plan. Again, good representation of the Earth Reptiles as people rather than a monolithic race.

The same holds true for Krellix, our traditional lone voice of peace and reason amongst the Sea Devils who is actually swung towards believing Jo's protestations of innocence because he knows Jastrop and has his own reasons for not liking the guy. Jo's pleas for humanity also have the interesting aspect of acknowledging the worst sides of our species and of Krellix's but hoping that the best wins out. Its eloquent and sweet and reflects the greater experience Jo has gained in the decades since she last encountered the Sea Devils. It also demonstrates that if you want to read Osgood towards the end as having a bit of an admiring friend crush on Jo you wouldn't be along, I'm right there with you.

Could have done without the “political correctness gone mad” joke from Jo, of all people. 

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