5 – The Abominable Snowmen

The Abominable Snowmen episode 5 discussion:

K: The word they haven’t made me type yet: Padmasabmava

Sp: <to the tune of the Steely Dan song Bohdisatva or whatever> Padmasabma! Padmasabma!

R: Yeah, they needed to work on that guys diction a little bit.

H: It wasn’t the diction so much as the treatment of the voice.

R: Yeah. Basically we had a choice between the effects being way too loud or Padmeadmidalla mumbling too softly to hear.

H: I was able to get it, but I was listening really closely.

P: It sounded more like the Charlie Brown grownups.

R: I was chewing on pieces of soft summer sausage, and I couldn’t hear it over the chewing.

Sp: At least we didn’t get the whole Smeagol / Gollum voice this week.

E: I noticed that voice hasn’t been around lately.

R: Somebody watched the daily rushes and said “Yeah, we’re not doing that anymore.”

P: How many weeks in advance did they air?

H: About 3 at this point.

P: There you go.

H: The potential in-story reason we didn’t hear it this week was that everything he said was Padmasabmava, not the Intelligence talking through him. We heard him talking to it, but we didn’t hear it talking through him.

P: So in that case your Gollum reference was right on, because you’re only hearing one voice in the conversation.

K: Smeagol in this case?

P: Yes.

R: SmeagolSabmava.

H: So, how creepy must it have been if you could have actually seen the movement of him collapsing, the Doctor checking his heart, leaving, and him looking up with this incredibly creepy look on his face. It must have been really great. I wish we could have seen it.

K: I’m not sure. The makeup looked rather weak. So even if his acting was good… I’m not sure it would have looked good because of that.

Sp: No, I think the makeup looked great! In the stills we saw the makeup made him look really old and really unfinished and just what an unfinished dude who came out of a pile of goo would look like.

H: Came out of a pile of goo?

Sp: Didn’t he come out of the goo?

H: No, the Intelligence has kept him alive for 300 years. The goo was the Intelligence taking form.

Sp: I thought it was possessing him.

H: It is possessing him. He said it was a bodiless Intelligence. It’s possessing him, but now it’s taking form in the cave. And apparently something bad is happening because Padmasabmava said “I’ve let it in. I’ve caused the end of the world.” or something to that effect.

Sp: Alright. I thought that was in reference to knowing the Intelligence was possessing him, and the Intelligence was going to be doing its evil deeds through him. I missed the distinction between him and the goo.

K: Goo rhymes with Spoo!

R: It’s been a long week.

K: Hehehehe.

R: Speaking of long weeks, the image that I got when the monastery gates blew open and the Yeti walked in was Kool Aid Man. “Oh Yeah!” A giant, hairy, Kool Aid Man. “Eeauh Yeaagh!”

P: I saw it too.

H: Yeah, once again I will say that this is Loose Cannon’s first attempt at CGI.

E: Personally it looked more to me like a really old furry version of Grimace <a McDonald’s mascot>.

Sp: Or Fleegal Beagle from Banana Splits.

Sp & H: <to Bob Marley’s Buffalo Rifle> “Oiy Yo Yo! Oiy Yo Yo! Oiy Yo Yo, the Ba-na-nah Splits!”


H: It’s been a long week.

P: I was kind of confused when “the master” said “the courtyard is empty, I must do what I’m compelled to do.”

H: Hum. Almost as if he’s being controlled or something.

P: Yeah, but I hadn’t figured that out yet.

H: I think that’s something that’s specifically revealed in this episode. You’re absolutely right. In previous episodes of this story you guys have been “what’s going on, what’s he doing” and finally here you see it’s not Padmasabmava, it’s the Intelligence controlling him, which I’ve been trying to keep from talking about for four weeks.

P: So, what was the significance of knocking over Buddha, other than offending as many people as possible.

K: I was totally expecting lasers to come out of the Buddha’s eyes at any minute.

H: Knocking over the Buddha did give us one thing… our second body of the story. The body count is now two for the story.

P: :<gasp> Oh, gosh the episode went the full 24 minutes in Australia!

R: Speaking of corpses… Travers sort of came into his own in this episode. I found myself thinking “I would actually have liked him a lot better if this had been the direction they would have taken from the beginning.”

K: A hypnotized zombie?

R: If instead of being a whinging, finger pointing conniver, he’d been this sort of “Yes… tally bally ho!” sort of a guy from the beginning… I think I would have liked him a lot more.

H: Two points: One, character arc. And two, one must remember he kept getting hit on the head. At the beginning he’d been knocked out and was kind of crazy.

R: I’m just saying, early on he was this whiny hysterical guy.

P: “My best friend has been murdered!”

R: <hysterical voice> “My best friend has been MURDERED and I want to go outside and PLAY WITH THE YETI!”

H: I’m not sure I agree with that characterization, but I’ll let it stand, because it’s certainly an interpretation.

K: You have no choice but to agree. I am the typist. Hahahaha!

Sp: So why do they need to evacuate the monastery?

R: For evil space reasons.

P: This the part of the plan of the evil Intelligence. Also, he didn’t like all the chanting and singing. They weren’t even chanting or throat singing. They were doing Gregorian stuff. I was like “Come on! Oh no, you didn’t!”

R: Yeah, those monks didn’t even know martial arts!

Sp: No, seriously, why did they need to evacuate the monastery?

H: Seriously, that’s all we know so far. The Intelligence got Padmasabmava to evacuate the monastery as part of its plan.

Sp: So, Padmasabmava is the “Silver Surfer” to the goo’s “Galactus” and Galactus needs a monastery to eat? This analogy falls apart. I still don’t understand what the fricken monastery is for!

H: It might not be the monastery itself. It might be the mountain and general area, and Padmasabmava is evacuating so that no one gets hurt. In fact, he all but says that.

K: Or there’s an ancient native burial ground, or whatever, under the monastery that he needs.

<I am NOT typing up the details of burny-burny monk jokes>

H: It has been a LONG WEEK.

P: Yes. Maybe the monastery is there for a reason. As in “let’s protect something awful and evil. Let’s build a monastery on top of it to protect it better.”

Sp: That’s possible. I like that.

P: It’s also possible that I could be over-thinking it.

R: I still think that Padmablahblahblah <wasted my copy-paste of the name> is going to pull off his mask and it’s going to be “old man Jenkins.”

K: It already is old man Jenkins!

R: <old man voice> “And I would have gotten away with it too, if it wasn’t for those two young girls. Oh wait, the one in the skirt is a boy?!?” Yeah, it’s been a long week.

<discussion of kilt wearing cultures. And sheep.>

P: <as Victoria> “Doctor! There is great danger! Take me away! Take me away! Take me away!”

R: They did a really good job with that. Make it obvious that she was on a loop.

H: Yeah, Deb Watling did a fantastic job!

R: It was a nice piece of writing because they managed to get it across so that the audience got it at about the same time the Doctor did, without having to come out and say it to the audience. Smart piece of writing.

H: I actually think that this story is pretty well written in general. But I know not all of you agree.

P: I liked the broken stool attempt, and things like that.

H: And Jamie falling asleep when Victoria was being hypnotized.

R: It’s had great moments, but it’s been scattered throughout a lot of filler-y stuff. And now it’s suddenly tightening up, it feels like to me.

P: It makes me wonder how much more of this kind of comedy would have been apparent if we could have seen the actors move.

Sp: I certainly would have kept straight the whole “Silver Surfer / Galactus” thing with moving pictures.

All: It’s been a long week.

P: So, how about that awesome cliffhanger… oh, the control is in the monastery. Travers remembers the cave… and the music.

H: Well, we saw stuff going on in the cave.

R: A substance, we were told.

Sp: Maybe there was an error in the script and Travers was trying to thank all of the beings that brought him here, and they decided to play it like the Academy Awards and played him off. And no, it’s actually hasn’t been “a long week” for me.

R: “Yes, I’d like to thank my agent…” Do-do-do!

K: Final thoughts?

E: I feel largely confused by this episode. But that’s mostly because of the cliffhanger, or what is supposed to be the cliffhanger.

Sp: The goo hanger.

E: Yes, the goo hanger. But I feel like I’m not as lost as the previous episodes. It feels like this episode moved a bit better, I guess. The other ones moves slow, but this one moved at a pace. It’s hard to explain. But I am still confused by that goo hanger.

P: I liked the part where Travers said “It feels like there’s a shadow on my mind.” I was like, “Yeah, it’s been a long week for you too!”

<lots of laughter>

P: I was curious when Victoria brought out the holy ghanta. Because they made a big deal about it, and then said nothing about what it was.

H: It was the bell that the Doctor and company brought back to the monastery in the first episode.

P: Okay, that was a MONTH ago.

R: Also, it looked like a bell.

P: Ffff-ine! Whatever! 😛

Sp: Was I the only one who thought that the Buddha statue looks a little bit like “Grumpy cat” <current Internet meme… we will not remember what that was in 2 years>

R: Nope. If you see the Buddha on the road… rub his tummy. It was definitely one of the weirdest Buddha statues I have seen in a long time.

H: It seemed to be a pretty conventional Tibetan Buddha statue to me.

R: I’ve seen a wide variety of different Buddha statues. This one just still struck me as rather odd.

Sp: It struck that monk as rather odd, too!

<groans and laughter>

R: “And then the police called her back! And the phone call was coming from inside the monastery!”

H: That’s it?

R: That’s it.

K: I got nothin. I’m not going to use the “It’s awesome” line. I agree with Ezio that it wasn’t as slow as other episodes of this story. But.. it’s not terrible. It’s not great. It’s there. It’s Doctor Who. That’s good.

Sp: “I regard this episode as something I would watch.”

K: Yep. Everybody else covered everything else I had to say.

H: I love how the episodes previous have built to this. I’ve found it to be rising action, which not everybody agrees with. But we’re hurdling towards the climax of the story now.

Sp: Minus one monk!

H: Stop it! I don’t know how much more I really should say about how I feel the story as a whole before we’ve gotten to the final part of the story.

R: And we’ll get to the end and you’ll suddenly say “I loved everything about the story up to this point… but this final episode just turns the whole thing into crap!”

H: Well, I don’t think I’m going to say anything like that. But something I’m going to be interested in the future is there are some stories coming up that I originally did not think were that great, and I’m going to be interested if I still feel the same way watching them in this format.

Sp: <more Steely Dan> Padmasabmava! Padmasabmava! Padmasabmava!