Doctor Who: MOLTEN HEART Review - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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Doctor Who: MOLTEN HEART Review

Christopher Morley takes a trip to Adamantine.

Time now, then, to consider the second of a hat-trick of New Series Adventures for the new lady of a bigger on the inside manor. Though readers of the Eighth Doctor's own similarly dedicated range could be forgiven for doing a double take - Una McCormack's aim of creating a story similar in feel to those originally graced by the man who in a sense gave his last male incarnation a push to embrace his feminine side actually, whether by accident or design, resembling Nick Walters' The Fall Of Yquatine. Both feature planets named Adamantine which play host to living rock-people...yet Walters isn't mentioned or even credited anywhere within the pages of Molten Heart.

Where Walters' Adamanteans live on the surface of their world & have a space fleet, McCormack's live underneath & are at least initially terrified of the idea of other living beings sharing it with them. All except intrepid scientist Basalt, whose curiosity leads not to all-encompassing fear but wonder, which means the Doctor loves him & indeed his daughter Ash. Who it seems has inherited her old man's questing nature, wanderers in the rock dimension...perhaps seeing the two of them do as they do stirs memories of her old self & beloved granddaughter abandoning stuffy old Gallifrey for a wider view of the universe.

Indeed just as she often found back then, the latest little bit of it, brought to her by what she used to call “the ship” is in rather a lot of trouble! Its sea is shrinking, the magma is cooling alarmingly quickly & “seething pools” are cropping up. Against which Emerald, the leader of the Adamanteans, is doing all she can to stop curiosity spreading a rift over just how safe it is to descend to the surface having already cost her her old friend. You can guess whose side the Time Lord takes in all this!

And so begins the race to stop the planet imploding in a kind of reverse Planet Of Fire before its too late. What really comes across here is the Doctor's near unbridled joy at finding out scientific enquiry isn't dead after all, forced to rely on her wits in much the same way her earliest outings had forced her to. All without having to sabotage so much as a fluid link!

Only this planet isn't quite as dead. The reverence shown to its environment by those living within it , & indeed the cost of losing sight of that does in a sense mirror the Thals & their Skaro-sharing would be oppressors. Maybe this is what the author was aiming for? Throw in a smidge of the best of the Third Doctor's own efforts to go green & you have the basic make-up of this Molten Heart.

Which could be a timely convergence if some of the rumours around Series Twelve are to be believed? Consider this from the Mirror......
“Last season, the theme was empowerment for women, mirroring what was happening elsewhere in the world. This time there will be an effort to get behind the message that what we’re doing is killing our planet. Kids are really involved in these environmental issues so it’s a perfect fit for Doctor Who.”
Just as she's thrust to the forefront of the battle to save another world from choking itself here, it seems a certain blue planet she's put a lot of work into might need her assistance once more. The issue of plastic infesting the oceans is believed to be piquing the interest of Chris Chibnall & his writers' room, with the “no classic monsters” rule from Series 11 thrown out the window.

You don't need to be a climate change scientist to work out who might have something to say about such an infringement on their waters! And could Chibbers himself be the man to pen their return, having done the same for their near cousins the Silurians?

A sort of eco-Warriors Of The Deep, if you will. Hopefully minus that frankly baffling stab at samurai armour. A chance possibly for the Doctor to make amends for the Royal Navy's Sea Devil killing spree & show off the sort of negotiating skill that persuaded homo reptilia to go back to sleep for a couple of thousand years, or maybe even take the Sea side in any conflict with those tainting their watery home.

All we ask is one thing - no pantomime horse Myrka, thank you!

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