The Two Doctors
It's hard to hate this story more than I hated it in the past. That said, the first part, while somewhat confounding, somewhat boring, isn't as inept as one might think. Yes, the Androgums are introduced in a boring way, yes, the Sontarans are mentioned and then mystery is to be had when we see one of their hands, yes, they are taller and less menacing than they used to be and are being bossed around by a skinny Servalan and a disgusting, ugly Androgum with warts and a fat stomach...and yes, the story starts out in black and white to "evoke" a sense of the Patrick Troughton era. If they wanted to do that, then why did they have him working for the Time Lords? If they wanted to do that, then why have him able to steer the TARDIS? If they wanted to do that, why take out almost all the humor from him? And why does Jamie wield a knife like a school girl?
Add to that a distinctly WRONG feel to the story and to the DoctorS in general: they both seem to say that the Androgums don't matter! That they are just the waste they were always thought of being. Then the Second Doc makes fun of Jamie's slang and not in a jovial way but in a mean manner. It's right that a Space Station under attack should feature as the second Doc had plenty of those in his time. Uhm, Victoria is studying graphology is she?
Then there's the traps trap again: none of them seem very urgently dangerous although moreso than in VENGEANCE ON VAROS. And despite what fans think and what TIMELASH might tell you, Peri and the Doctor don't spend a lot of time fighting. In fact, they are often congradulating one another and Peri drums up alot of the Doc's methods for getting out of things and gives him ideas almost without knowing she's doing it. ANd he often gives her the credit, worries about her, and soothes her. He even, against JNT's wishes, touches her gently. Yeah, TIMELASH makes them fight a lot and it's annoying but more on that later.
Oh and this story is just mean. I mean an old blind woman is hit down, killed and her brain matter used by Chessene. Does that mean she ate it? YUCK. The sets are okay and the effects are okay as well.
As mentioned, the Sontarans are ALL wrong, too tall, too wimpy, too second fiddle...
It has been suggested that Robert Holmes was once again subverting the DW format, even ridiculing it or mocking it but I don't know. I seriously doubt that this (and his later stuff for TRIAL) is his at all. I wonder how much was rewritten by Saward and others. That said, the execution for Part One is not as bad as I remember but I don't understand why Jamie is stalking the Doc and Peri in a cloak in Mutos from GENESIS OF THE DALEKS fashion. Ahh, yes remember GENESIS and ARK IN SPACE and HORROR OF FANG ROCK and TALONS OF WENG CHAING and the INVASION and MARCO POLO and...HORNS OF NIMON and CITY OF DEATH? What is wrong with that? The show, while not off the rails yet as much as I thought it was...and maybe with part two and three it will be....is not what it once was. There's a feeling that things are just thrown at us.
The Doc is sent by the Time Lords. Dastari is making time travel experiments. I guess people still do care about this show, the ones making it I mean but somehow it just doesn't feel like it used to. More on this later. The themes here are mean spirited, gross and almost racist. Perhaps that's why I wasn't a big fan of the first part and I know I'm not of the last part.