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My Soul To Keep

Mayhem, death and destruction, and a plot that doesn't entirely make sense. I think that's more of a running theme than aliens for this show.

Once again there is absolutely nothing really wrong with this episode. It's not dull, it's not boring, it's perfectly entertaining, and by now the characters are all gelling so nicely together that the chemistry is working well, and adding to the entertainment. And yet, right at the heart of this episode is a moment of such pointlessness that you can't help wondering what the hell the writers were thinking. Or the producers, which might be closer to the truth.


One alien egg. Simmer in liquid nitrogen until ready. Hatch carefully. Repopulate Earth with offspring.


A journalist meets with a strange, secretive man in a bath house. The journalist is a jerk, quickly established by his behaviour towards the receptionist. The strange, secretive man is just a strange, secretive man. He tells the journalist all about the Blackwood Project, but makes out that it's a death squad aimed at illegal aliens; which, I must admit, is fabulous. I love that he spins it that way.


Back at the cottage, it's three in the morning, which means that it's Harrison's lunch time. Lunch seems to consist of grapes, nuts and an astronomy magazine, and I have to say, of the three, the magazine looks tastiest. Norton, who can't sleep for wondering what the aliens are up to, comes to pester him, to wonder what the aliens are up to.


Harrison gets out the tuning fork to help him focus, and decides that the aliens are probably up to no good.

I think this whole scene was just stuck in to remind the world that Harrison's a bit unusual. It doesn't really seem to do anything other than hammer you over the head with the fact that he eats lunch at three am, and likes tuning forks.


Later in the day, Suzanne gets a letter from her ex-husband, who wants to meet up. Ironhorse, who has clearly already read the letter, lurks and hints that he wants regular updates.


Whilst the aliens lodge themselves in a warehouse, and begin the final stages of hatching the next generation.


Suzanne enjoys a day out with her jerk of a journalist ex-husband, and wonders if maybe he isn't such a jerk after all. Ironhorse glowers and worries and bugs her (with an electronic device, rather than just by being annoying), because he likes doing things like that.


And Harrison and Norton gaze at a computer screen, because they like doing things like that, preferably as often as possible.


Norton has picked up some alien transmissions coming from the warehouse nursery, so off go Ironhorse and Harrison for a look around.


Suzanne would much rather go out on a date with her ex-husband, who tells her that he knows she's part of a death squad going after illegal aliens, and that he's going to blow the lid on the whole operation in twenty-four hours.

Why would you tell someone you suspect of mass murder that you're going to reveal their secrets to the world in twenty-four hours? That's even more stupid than the usual "telling the murderer that you suspect them" scene.


Ironhorse has found a secret trapdoor.


Disguised as homeless people, he and Harrison break into the alien warehouse nursery.


I love this. This is their best disguise ever.


But back home there's trouble, as Suzanne has led her ex-husband right to the front door of their top secret safe house. You'd think they'd at least check occasionally, to make sure that they're not being followed, them living in a top secret safe house and all. But no.

Although he does absolutely nothing about it, and just drives away again, so goodness knows what the point of it all was.


Everybody's looking at a computer screen again. They haven't done that for thirty seconds or so at least.


Our secret informant bath house guy, meanwhile, burbles about how Uncle General Wilson needs to be stopped, and is getting in his way, and that's why he's blowing the lid on the Blackwood Project. It's personal. Giggle giggle, cackle cackle.


Then he throws off his hood to reveal that he's none other than Quinn, the alien hybrid who kidnapped Harrison a few weeks back. Why is he here? Who knows. What is he doing? Who knows that either. It's a split second visit, pointlessly, doing and achieving nothing, and for no obvious purpose. I can only assume that he's got some masterplan going on here, that would eventually have been explained in episodes to come; but of course that all got lost when the creative team were sacked. The result is inexplicable machinations at the heart of the episode, which all seem rather out of place, and therefore totally pointless. It just doesn't work, even if it is always nice to see John Colicos.


Harrison has stolen an egg, meanwhile. Everybody looks at it, in its little tank, and wonders what it is.


And then it hatches. Look at the little alien baby! It's cute.


The new parents are a little less than enthusiastic.


Hello baby alien.


Suzanne tries to examine it, and it immediately goes for her, with alien baby psycho intent.


So Ironhorse flambés it. With relish. Having then realised what's going on in the alien warehouse, the army sets off to obliterate everything there. With obligatory pacifist scientist detail in tow, just to get in the way.


"Why do I always bring you along on these missions, Harrison?"

"I have no idea. Something to do with my endless supply of endearing personality quirks?"

"..."


There is gunfire. Lots and lots of it.


Suzanne has been left behind in the car, for some reason. Why? She's the only one of the team who's remotely competent with a gun; or she was, back in the pilot, before somebody noticed she was a woman. They insist on bringing Harrison along, to hide behind barrels and/or wander off and get into trouble, but Suzanne stays in the car. Whatever.


Then the ex turns up with camera crew in tow, intending to film the murder of lots of illegal aliens. Ah ha! Maybe that's what following Suzanne home was about. He must have spent the night hiding behind a tree or something. I wish I knew what Quinn's plan is here. Unless it's all a big practical joke, which I wouldn't put past him.

Somewhat unfortunately, Suzanne sees the cannon fodder three of them arrive, and sets off in pursuit. Equally unfortunately, Suzanne has decided to forget how to be the tough and competent woman that she's always been, and instead spend this week being a stereotype.


It's an alien! I've fought them in the past and killed them in the past, and have never been afraid of them before, but ick! Slime! Argh! Help meeeeeeee!


The ex tries to help, and gets roundly throttled. Suzanne screams on.


Fortunately for the ex, Ironhorse blasts it. Sadly he doesn't also blast Suzanne, who by this point is beginning to deserve it. They then discover the brilliantly gory bodies of the camera crew, which all seems rather unfair. The aliens couldn't have got the journalist instead?!


Ironhorse and his men set off to tackle the nursery, telling Harrison, for about the ninety-ninth time, to stay back out of the way. And yet they keep bringing him along. I suppose they must enjoy his company.


The non-fighting contingent hide behind some crates, while everybody else blows everybody else to pieces with guns and stuff.


Ironhorse and co set fire to the warehouse full of alien babies, which I suppose is meant to seem heroic and all; but it's still a warehouse full of babies. And yes, born monstrous and murderous, as we saw in the hospital episode recently. But it's still a warehouse full of babies.


Having inevitably got bored of staying out of the way, the non-fighting contingent give up waiting where it's safe, and go and stand where the bullets are. As always, by the magic of television, they avoid being killed to death.


Unlike this rather forlorn looking chicken alien baby.

There isn't really anything I actively dislike about this episode, but it is all rather daft. What the hell is Quinn up to? Why is John Colicos even in this episode? He might just as well not be. What's his plan? What's his angle? Why does Suzanne bother going out to dinner with her obvious jerk of an ex-husband? How does he even begin to believe that she's involved in a death squad that are murdering illegal aliens? She's Suzanne! He was married to her. He ought to have noticed that that isn't the kind of thing she'd be likely to do.

Also, that final shot of the smouldering chicken is very funny. War Of The Worlds is a show that delights in putting humour in places where you wouldn't expect it, but somehow I don't think that was intentional. Given that it's supposed to be the big, dramatic ending, it does rather ruin the outcome of the episode.

And Norton might just as well not have bothered turning up for work again, which is beginning to get a bit ridiculous.

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