Wednesday, July 9, 2014


"Doctor, don't you think your new outfit is a little...weird?"
“Why do I always let my curiosity get the better of me?"

1) This is the last of the pure historicals, which is kind of sad given that it is both very good and the last vestige of the series’ original intent as a vehicle for teaching history.

2) You know one of the major reasons I like this series?  This is the first time since the Davison era began where the companions seem to be having fun.  Even Tegan, who I usually loathe, comes off as charming...and maybe a tiny bit sexy.  Because they’re enjoying themselves instead of arguing and bitching, the serial comes off as a lot less dour than the stories before and after them.

3) This is a story that benefits from being only two episodes.  It fairly zips along.

4) And this is another, very rare episode where Sarah Sutton gets to prove that yes, she can act.  By playing dual roles, Sutton may not get to show she can play two distinct characters (but then, the similarities between Nyssa and Anne are part of the plot), but that she can do more than lecture Adric and be the teacher’s pet.
Hope you like cricket!

5) I appreciate how, when all is said and done, the entropic element is treated with sympathy.  Even its demise is borne of tragedy rather than vengeance.

6) Okay, I get that everybody in this time period is familiar with time travel thanks to H.G. Wells...but did all the police officers have to be all blase’ about the nature of the TARDIS?

7) Once more we continue with the speculation that the production staff had made the decision early in the season that Adric was Not Long For This World.  After all, Nyssa has a main plot purpose, Tegan is providing color commentary, and Adric...Adric eats.
"Mainly the just make me sit around, Other/Me."

8) I sometimes think that John Nathan Turner and company overcompensates when it came to making this Doctor vulnerable.  There’s a major part of this serial that’s devoted to Davison accidently stumbling into a secret passage and feeling his way around ala’ Scooby Doo.  I don’t mind making a Doctor who isn’t all-knowing, but this is ridiculous.

9) Do we really need to see an extended sequence of The Doctor playing cricket, one of the most incomprehensible and boring sports in the world?

10) I understand why we have our entropic element being cared for by an Amazonian Indian...but is the lip thing absolutely necessary?

Overall...a surprisingly charming and fun episode that serves as a breather between much darker stories.

1 comment:

  1. As always, great coverage!! Another of my favorites. Prior to NuWho in 2005, I used this story (and "City of Death") to introduce new girlfriends to Doctor Who. Brisk pace, solid characters, good plot, and not a lot of sci-fi nonsense to get in the way. Personally, I liked the tongue thing. As a 12 year old kid, this exposed me to different cultural behavior. The Cricket scenes were decent because it helped establish why the Doctor was wearing this outfit all the time. Also, supposedly Peter Davison had a spectacular moment playing the game that the cameras just missed. Something he seemed to really regret. If we could have gotten more historicals like this, I would have loved them every season! BBC really showed how exceptional their period sets could be!