More about Doctor Who
More about this serial
This is a seven-part serial, first broadcast between 9th May - 20th June 1970. A brief and somewhat spoiler-ish summary of the plot: the Doctor and Liz Shaw find themselves at the site of a scientific experiment, which aims at releasing a new source of energy by penetrating the earth's crust. What does get released, however, is a green goo that brings out the beast in everyone it touches. When the Doctor does some experiments of his own, resulting in his sideways shift into a parallel reality, he finds that things will only get much, much worse…
First of all, this is the 'parallel universe' story that every science-fiction series is bound to do sooner or later. It's well done, it's entertaining, and it also serves the plot by - spoiler ahead - showing us what will happen if the experiment isn't stopped.
It's interesting to compare this serial to 'The green death', which was broadcast three years after 'Inferno'. Of the two, 'The green death' seems to take the more naturalistic approach to the ecological concerns it's dealing with: the green goo that kills people and causes maggots to grow to giant proportions is a waste product produced by a chemicals company. In comparison, the approach taken by 'Inferno' is more magical: man's transgressions against the earth unleash powers that rob mankind of its humanity and eventually destroy the world. Exactly how this works - or what the regression-to-Neanderthal-inducing green goo is that is being brought up from beneath the earth's crust - is never explained.
My verdict, nevertheless:
It is well-made and well-acted, and I honestly feel I ought to like it more than I do. By all means, go see it.
Doctor Who reviews: introduction
More "nice!" Doctor Who:
Doctor Who reviews: nice!
More from the Jon Pertwee years:
Doctor Who reviews: 1970 - 1974
Doctor Who reviews: forbidden knowledge
Original version of this review:
On this page Transitional HTML 4.01 and CSS 1 are used. If you're seeing this text you either have CSS switched off in your browser, or you're using a browser that can't handle CSS. If you're using an older browser version, you might want to consider upgrading.