The second Doctor and Jamie, acting on behalf of the Time
Lords, visit Joinson Dastari, head of projects on space station
Camera, in an attempt to stop a series of dangerous time travel
experiments. What the duo don't realise is that Dastari has
been genetically enhancing an Androgum, Chessene o' the Franzine
Grig, who is using her new found intellectual powers to her
own ends. Meanwhile, the sixth Doctor also decides to visit
Dastari only to find the space station in ruins.
Two Doctors should have been a masterpiece. A Robert Holmes
script, the return of Patrick Troughton, the Sontarans...
Unfortunately, some unsympathetic direction, bad design and
poor casting all but ruin it. The fact that the story is even
slightly watchable is almost a miracle in itself.
of the Androgums being played as hard, brutal killers the
enhanced Chessene (Jacqueline Pearce) comes across as dull
and boorish while the butcher Shockeye (John Stratton) is
more Carry On than Sweeny Todd. Dastari, a modern-day
Frankenstein, is turned into a dolt by Laurence Payne who
seems to think his character is suffering from some kind of
sleeping sickness. And whose idea was it to cast tall actors
for the Sontarans? They're supposed to be short and stocky,
not tall and thin - a problem made worse by a lack of padding
in their costumes which lets their supposedly airtight helmet
brace flap around like an old tyre on a fence post.
real irony is that the script is generally strong. Imagine
Shockeye's lines being delivered with implacable calm or Chessene
being played with depth and guile, picture costumes that aren't
comedy classics and some direction that doesn't play up the
story's camp potential... it's suddenly very good. But like
so much of the show's output from this era a solid idea once
again gets buried by a light entertainment ethos that went
out of date when the world was still black and white. Think
Charlie Drake in The Worker.
plus points are everything else on the disc. The extras are
extra special and give a real flavour of how the story was
made. The Holmes documentary is fine fare as is just about
everything else on disc two but the whole thing is let down
by the story itself, or rather, its execution.
Two Doctors is one for completists only.
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