|"Of course I am a villian--I have a shouty voice|
and a special mask...you know, like Dr. Doom!"
"And we are all together, goo goo gajoob?"
1) Let's be honest--the plot here has a potential for being thoroughly incidental since the main reason for this story to exist (written to commemorate the series' tenth anniversary) is to have all three Doctors hanging out together. And judged on that parameter, it is pretty cool, especially in the way writers Bob Baker and Dave Martin manage to capture the essence of each Doctor and rightly figure out how each incarnation would feel about each other.
2) And that's fortunate, because....well, this plot is kinda crap. It's very much of the five pounds of story in a ten pound sack mode, and lots of it is taken up with water treading and corridor walking and other time wasters.
3) And a big portion of those time wasters? The mass of characters wandering around when The Doctors get to Omega's World. Baker and Martin seemed compelled to give equal time to Jo and The Brig and Benton and The Professor and That Game Warden Who's There Only So We Can Have A Punchline At The End Of Episode Four. The whole story gets congested and slows due to the overstuffed cast, and I think it would have benefited from a smaller group (even if there are admittedly good character bits individually).
4) At this point, the Brigadier is a shadow of his former self--but damn if I didn't get a charge out of his chewing out Sargent Benton and Jo, reminding them that they are still members of UNIT. It still gives one hope he won't become a straight man for the Doctor later down the line....
|They fight, and fight, and fight and fight and fight....|
5) What fascinates me the most is how The Doctors interact with each other. The Troughton Doctor seems horrified that he becomes the cynical, arrogant Pertwee Doctor, while Pertwee treats Troughton with contempt...but both seem to have extreme reverence for The Hartnell Doctor, a reverence I'd almost categorize as familial. It's almost as if the other incarnations recognize Hartnell as their father.
6) And speaking of Hartnell, given how badly he's succumbed to dementia at the time of this airing, it's really impressive how well he comes off. Those small scenes are vital and alive, and you almost don't notice the way Hartnell is scanning the background for his lines. I only wish he got to actually interact in the flesh with the other two.
7) I know there are some people who think Stephen Thorne's Omega is a bit over-the-top, and frequently you can see some pieces of scenery in his (lack of) teeth....but there's that one moment when he realizes what has happened to him and lets loose with this seemingly endless keening cry. That moment almost makes his Brian Blesseding worth it.
8) Okay, let me get this straight--due to a combination of your own willpower and access to a black hole, you've been able to construct an entire world from force of mind...and yet when you have to create these minions, you come up with barrel-shaped, one eyed, one clawed things that look like a mess of partially digested cherry jelly beans? Shame on you, Omega. Shame on you.
|"Ere! You! We want to talk to you about how a future|
incarnation of you is eating up all our brother jelly babies!"
9) The thing that galls me about the Designated Rural Comic Relief for this story is not that it exists--it's a Terrence Dicks supervised script, so there has to be some stoic rural stereotype--but that said Designated Rural Comic Relief permeates the story so much. This character is constantly around, at one point prominently in the background while The Brig and Sargent Benton has a conversation. And the fact that he's there only to set up a final comedy sting makes me roll my eyes.
10) I think this is maybe the second time we've seen Gallifrey, and I like how even though it's still not there yet, most of what we now accept as being Gallifrey--the robes, the frontpieces, etc. are in place already. This is still an embryonic form of the Doctor's people, but I appreciate that we're getting there.
Overall...not a very good show, this story still is watchable thanks primarily to the great interaction between the three doctors of the title.