Reviewed By: adamelijah
Review Date: 3/21/15 11:43 am
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This was written for the Second Doctor and finds the Doctor, Jamie, and Zoe end up on an earth where women rule and men have no rights as "inferiors." The Doctor and Jamie are taken and sent to prison as subversive while Zoe is left on Earth to be brainwashed into being a "superior" and a follower of Chairman Babs. Now Jamie and the Doctor have to escape, find Zoe, and free men everywhere.
The plot has been roundly criticized by many reviewers on quite a few sites as sexist, though I don't see it that way. The story certainly has some parts (particularly the tight uniforms) that are problematic particularly by modern standards. It's helpful to view the piece as a product of its time and enjoy it for what is.
Plus, I think that if were truly sexist, it would have shown women as particularly incompetent at tasks such as in a 1960s Batman TV series where women took over the police force and things went to pot. Women actually had achieved quite a bit in the future of Prison in Space.
If there's a message here, it is not about men or women but the idea of how allowing tyranny and oppression against one part of society leads to tyranny for all. The story reveals that women are miserable under Chairman Babs because of the way she rules with an iron fist. Even Chairman Babs herself is unhappy. Lording over others isn't the key to happiness by any means.
However, the story is a comedy and it works brilliantly. It's helped by Frazier Hines whose Second Doctor is truly uncanny particularly after the first couple of scenes. Thus this really feel like Patrick Troughton's there even though he's been dead for more than two decades. The story has several hilarious moments and really does a great job painting word pictures that add to the comedy. The ending is hilarious.
It's not a great story but it's enjoyable particularly if you don't let political correctness rule the roost.