Doctor Who S01E27-30: Doctor Who goes to Mexico


A bunch of white people pretend to be Aztecs, and explore their moral perspectives on human sacrifice.

To its credit, there is at least lip service to the notion that this is some other culture and maybe you can’t impose your current moral structure over it.

S01E27: The Temple of Evil

Oh goodie. Barbara’s gone and gotten herself in trouble again. I’m not sure I can stomach this one.

Yay, let’s focus on human sacrifice. And let’s frame it as summoning rain, because I’m sure that was the beginning and end of the philosophy behind it.

LOL the sword fight.

Haha, Susan’s screaming desecrated an Aztec temple.

S01E28: The Warriors of Death

Damn, the Doctor’s pissed.

Holy crap, the Vulcan Nerve Pinch! 2 years before it showed up in Star Trek!

More 1960s dudes wrasslin’. But there’s a twist, he got scratched.

S01E29: The Bride of Sacrifice

Aha, the old Saffron maneuver, eh? Looks like the Doctor’s gettin’ hitched!

The gang has a moral dilemma about altering the culture of the Aztecs by Barbara abusing her god status to outlaw human sacrifice. The Doctor gets married or engaged or something. Susan finally expresses an emotion other than terror:

I’m back to being uncomfortable with the cultural framing here. I mean, maybe this is useful for viewing 1960s British culture, but that’s still too recent for me to not feel squicky about it. The only reason I didn’t skip this entire story is because Wikipedia said it was one of the best stories of the entire franchise.

S01E30: The Day of Darkness

They found a tunnel or something, to get back into the burial chamber containing the Tardis. Susan is going to get married or sacrificed or something. Ian does the Vulcan Nerve Pinch on a white guy dressed as a brown guy, saving the white lady. They find a way to escape, and somebody gets sacrificed, and then Barbara gets to watch Susan get sacrificed or something, I’m not sure.

Oh, more 1960s dudes fighting. I skipped it. I presume the British high school teacher beats the Aztec warrior who’s been training his entire life.

Barbara has some sort of moral quandry about her inability to change the past, which I guess was the point of the story. I sure hope they don’t wind up on earth again in the next story.