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TDP 185: Paradise Towers

REPRINTED FROM WIKIPEDIA WITH THANKS AND RESPECT

Paradise Towers is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in four weekly parts from October 5 to October 26, 1987.

Contents

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[edit] Plot

The Doctor and Melanie, looking for a swimming pool, land in Paradise Towers, a luxurious 22nd century high rise apartment building now fallen into disrepair and chaos. The building is divided between roaming gangs of young girls called Kangs, grouped in colour theme, and the Doctor and Mel encounter the Red Kangs. They have just discovered the death of the last Yellow Kang and are plotting how to attack the Blue Kangs. Elsewhere in the Towers, one of the Caretakers - who act as 'Judge Dredd' style policemen – is hunted down and killed by a robotic cleaner, which appeals to the sadistic Chief Caretaker when he overhears the death.

The Chief sends a squad of Caretakers to arrest the Red Kangs and in the ensuing confusion the Doctor is split from Mel and captured by the Caretakers. Mel meanwhile heads off to one of the still occupied apartments in which two elderly ladies ('rezzies') live. Tilda and Tabby explain that all the able bodied men left the Towers to fight a war, leaving behind only the children and the elderly. The only other man still loose in the Towers is Pex, a would-be hero, who appoints himself Mel's guardian.

At the Caretaker control centre, the Doctor meets the Chief Caretaker, who greets him as the Great Architect, designer of Paradise Towers, and then promptly calls for him to be killed. The Doctor cites an imaginary rule from the Caretakers manual, confusing them enough to make his escape. Mel and Pex meanwhile have headed to the top of the building, and are captured by a party of Blue Kangs. Before the pair are freed the Kangs reveal to Mel that Pex survived by fleeing from the war.

The Doctor finds the Great Architect is named Kroagnon, and is reunited with the Red Kangs. They explain that Kangs and Caretakers have been disappearing in ever greater numbers. While the Doctor is being interrogated, the Caretakers track him down to the Red Kang headquarters and attempt to break down the door to their headquarters. Elsewhere Mel has visited Tilda and Tabby again and soon finds herself under threat when it emerges they are cannibals and plan to eat her.

The Doctor succeeds in holding off the Caretakers long enough for the Kangs to flee. Meanwhile Tabby and Tilda are delayed in their eating of Mel when they are disturbed by a noise in the waste disposal. It turns out to be a metal claw, which first drags Tabby to her death in the disposal system, and then Tilda. Pex arrives and somehow succeeds in saving Mel. Mel and Pex find a map of the Towers and decide to venture to the roof, where the luxury swimming pool is located.

The Doctor is taken to the Caretakers HQ again, where he realises that the Chief Caretaker has been allowing the Cleaners to kill people in the Towers, but that the killing has now got out of hand and the Chief Caretaker is no longer in control. The creature the Chief keeps in the basement is demanding more sustenance and making its own hunting arrangements. When the Chief heads off to investigate the deaths of Tabby and Tilda, the Red Kangs attack the HQ and rescue the Doctor. He returns with them to their base, taking with him the Illustrated Prospectus for the Tower, which they all watch. It reminds the Doctor that Kroagnon, the Great Architect of Paradise Towers, also designed Miracle City, a cutting edge development which killed its occupants. It seems Kroagnon had an aversion to people actually populating his buildings. The Blue Kangs arrive suddenly, overpowering the Red ones, but it soon becomes clear their game is over and they must now work together.

Mel and Pex finally find the swimming pool. When Mel takes a dip in the pool, she is attacked by a robotic killer crab.

The Red Kangs know of the monstrosity in the basement, and guess it must be linked to the terror in the Towers. The Doctor heads off to investigate and finds the Chief has been herded by the Cleaners toward the mysterious intelligence, which turns out to be Kroagnon himself. The Doctor is soon spotted by the Cleaners too, and the robots start to attack.

The Kangs rescue the Doctor in the nick of time while on the roof Pex fails to rescue Mel, who has to destroy the crab herself. When the Doctor and the Kangs arrive, the latter taunt Pex for his cowardice. The Doctor explains that Kroagnon felt human beings would ruin his creation and so placed multiple deathtraps throughout the Towers before he was killed and trapped in the machine in the basement. The remaining rezzies, led by a woman named Maddy, join them all at the swimming pool and pledge to work together with the Kangs to defeat the menace in the building. Pex pledges to help too. The Deputy Chief Caretaker and the surviving Caretakers, who have become convinced of the peril in the basement, soon join them.

The Chief Caretaker has now been killed and his corpse animated by the artificial intelligence of Kroagnon. He now intends to use the Cleaners to kill everyone in the Towers and repair the damage the “filthy human parasites” have caused. However, the combined human forces are now fighting back against the machines. The Doctor and Pex devise a ruse to lure the Chief into a booby trapped room and thereby destroy Kroagnon, but when the plan goes wrong Pex sacrifices himself to drag the Chief into the trap. They are both killed, but the terror is over.

After a period of reflection and Pex’s funeral, the Doctor and Mel leave Paradise Towers, trusting the remaining Kangs, Rezzies, and Caretakers to build a better society. As the TARDIS dematerialises, a new piece of Kang graffiti is revealed - "Pex Lives".

[edit] Production

Serial details by episode
EpisodeBroadcast dateRun timeViewership
(in millions)
"Part One" 5 October 1987 24:33 4.5
"Part Two" 12 October 1987 24:39 5.2
"Part Three" 19 October 1987 24:30 5.0
"Part Four" 26 October 1987 24:21 5.0
[2][3][4]
  • Working titles for this story included The Paradise Tower.[5]
  • Author Stephen Wyatt based his story in part on the J. G. Ballard novel High Rise, which depicts a luxury apartment building which descends into savagery.[5]
  • The music track was originally meant to be provided by a member of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, but producer John Nathan-Turner had decided that the incidental music no longer needed to be produced in-house. Instead, freelance composer David Snell was hired to provide the score, but Nathan-Turner terminated the commission late in production as he was unsatisfied with the way the score was turning out. Keff McCulloch provided the final score at short notice.[5]

[edit] Cast notes

[edit] In print

A novelisation of this serial, written by Wyatt, was published by Target Books in December 1988. It reveals that the Blue Kang Leader is named Drinking Fountain.

Doctor Who book
Book cover
Paradise Towers
Series Target novelisations
Release number 134
Writer Stephen Wyatt
Publisher Target Books
Cover artist Alister Pearson
ISBN 0-426-20330-5
Release date 1 December 1988

[edit] VHS and DVD releases

This story was released on VHS in October 1995. A DVD release of Paradise Towers is due in 2011[6]

[edit] References

  1. ^ From the Doctor Who Magazine series overview, in issue 407 (pp26-29). The Discontinuity Guide, which counts the four segments of The Trial of a Time Lord as four separate stories and also counts the unbroadcast serial Shada, lists this story as number 149. Region 1 DVD releases follow The Discontinuity Guide numbering system.
  2. ^ Shaun Lyon et al. (2007-03-31). "Paradise Towers". Outpost Gallifrey. Archived from the original on 2008-05-02. Retrieved 2008-08-30.
  3. ^ "Paradise Towers". Doctor Who Reference Guide. Retrieved 2008-08-30.
  4. ^ Sullivan, Shannon (2007-08-07). "Paradise Towers". A Brief History of Time Travel. Retrieved 2008-08-30.
  5. ^ a b c Paradise Towers at Doctor Who: A Brief History Of Time (Travel)
  6. ^ http://gallifreynewsbase.blogspot.com/2010/11/101110013312-dvd-paradise-towers-doctor.html

[edit] External links

[edit] Reviews

[edit] Target novelisation

Direct download: TDP_185_Towers.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am UTC