Watching a clip from "The Crusade" to-day, a Doctor Who serial, half of the episodes of which are lost, I found myself marvelling at what a gigantic person Barbara is. And I had to remind myself that after Barbara's departure, the worlds of Doctor Who tend to feature only very tiny women.
"Colony in Space", the serial I finished watching to-day, introduced two female characters in the titular colony, a tiny one and one who got killed in the first episode. I guess I can't really complain, though, especially as Jo Grant was radiantly cute in her Disney Cheshire Cat shirt.
I really liked this particularly serial, first of all because it featured the Doctor travelling somewhere in his TARDIS. It was good, old fashioned Who. It wasn't until the second episode that the serial had me thinking to myself, "Wait . . . Humans mining for a substance essential for Earth's survival on an alien world, inhabited by 'primitives', telepathic blue/green spear wielding natives? This is Avatar!"
To be fair, "Colony in Space" is a more complex story than Avatar--which isn't saying much. Though it's not the simplicity or well tread nature of Avatar's essential story that bothers me about it. "Colony in Space" is superior for me just by having the Doctor in it. The Master helps, too--even though I generally haven't liked the Master so far, I do think Robert Delgado's performances as the character were good, and here I like that he and the Doctor have their own motives while all this other shit's going on around them.
But the main thing is, I didn't find the story as abrasive as Avatar because the natives in this case weren't portrayed as saints. I hate two dimensional characters in any case, but perfectly good people annoy me a lot faster than perfectly bad people, as one could point out are the Master and the impressively evil looking Morris Perry as the guy in charge of the mining operation.
The aliens help the protagonists sometimes, sometimes they hinder them, all depending on their own needs. Some of the decisions they make seem good from a human moral perspective, some seem wrong.
The serial also featured a character played by Bernard Kay, looking a bit like Daniel Day-Lewis in Gangs of New York. Apparently this was the last of four Doctor Who serials he'd been in, but two of those were ones I'd skipped over due to missing episodes. I remembered him very well from "The Dalek Invasion of Earth" where he easily stood out from four or five other guys, all playing human rebels. Kay was distinguished there entirely by his performance--he has that thing genuinely good actors have, where they give you the impression that they're acting inside their minds, too. The look in his eyes says he's really thinking about what he's going to say regarding the Daleks or about the rights of the colonists. He seems kind of Harrison Ford-ish to me, and I'd have liked to have seen him play Allan Quatermain or some other rugged English adventurer.