I enjoyed how this is basically a pastiche of the classic Star Trek episode Devil in the Dark right down to the Doctor attempting to communicate telepathically, Spock-style, the monster carving a message in the rock, and the discovery of bits of shell. It’s almost shameless. Where it differs is in the incidental characters, which are a lot more colourful (/borderline anti-semitic) than any in Star Trek. And the fact that (as far as I recall) Spock doesn’t attempt fellatio on the Horta.
This is a very typical third episode, putting all the groups of characters where they need to be for the climax. The bandits find a secret passage into the pit where they’re promptly possessed by the creature’s communicator; Adrasta takes Romana and K9 into the pit to put an end to the monster, and they all bump into the Doctor and Organon down there. Not an awful lot else happens (K9 gets used as a weapon, which backfires on Adrasta) until the climax, which is very overwrought, as Adrasta screams and clutches the Doctor as the creature bears down on them all.
As usual, when the plot is fairly thin, my attention wanders and I wonder, for example, whether the creature’s communicator was re-used as the Death Zone map in The Five Doctors. David Brierley’s K9 voice is a bit prissier than John Leeson’s, and almost sounds like Queen Huath of the Eight Legs when he imperiously commands, ‘Guard, lift me down.’
Next episode: The Creature from the Pit – Part Four