Abi (abigailb) wrote,

Two Doctors and Timelash

The Two Doctors is a very slow story. It's at least one episode too long. I can't understand why thus is seen as a strong story of the era. Interesting that it opens as a Second Doctor and Jamie adventure. Troughton and Hines manage ok - at this point it was only 15 years since Troughton had been the star (now 40 years ago). Unlike the Five Doctors the meeting is by chance, but it shares a similar odd decision to keep the Doctors separated so much - they have only a few scenes together in 2 hrs of story. There was more time devoted to showing the bad guys bickering than Doctor/Doctor interaction. I object to the portrayal of a species of sentient creatures who are externally indistinguishable from humans as being inherently evil. And I didn't like the Doctor killing and quipping, either. One or the better examples of the odd pacing is the stabbing scene, when the Doctor (nor anyone else in the restaurant) make no attempt at stemming the bleeding of the man, who then proceeds to spit out quite a lot of last words and then suddenly dies. Wrong way to stage this: have the man die despite efforts to save him - same result, less stupid. A wasted opportunity.

Timelash was just boring. I've noticed these 45 min episode stories seem to drag more than the 25 min episode stories, even though the total length is the same. I suspect this is because the cliffhangers every 25 mins impose some kind of structure on the story - something that Timelash certainly doesn't have. It is a mess. Apart from the pacing issues; well
*when new Who has done celebrity writer/artist historicals they are careful not to imply that it was only the adventure with the Doctor which inspired their works (Agatha Christie gets met AFTER she'd already invented Poirot, Shakespeare was already a famous writer, Dickens had basically written everything he was going to write, and of course Vincent Van Gogh). And even then there's ontological paradoxes involved as the Doctor quotes bits of their own stuff at them. Not so here. Apparently HG Wells had no imagination after all!
*when they are trying to pull the Doctor out of the timelash and can't, it apparently does not occur to Vela to help join in, instead she just stands there nearby not doing anything. Not selling it
*Peri is stuck and about to be eaten by the Morlox in the same set in TWO DIFFERENT SCENES in the different episodes. I wonder if they even bothered shooting it twice or whether they reused the footage... Peri spends a lot of time not doing very much.
*The Doctor picks up Chekhov's mirror in episode 1. I was expecting it to be used in the climax, but an entirely different one was instead. Looks like an error, the plot does not join up properly.
*the entire bit with the missiles. I thought the scene of Six and Peri arguing was particularly absurd even given the complete lack of pacing and tension this season, and yes, they were inserted in because it was underrunning. Five minutes of scene. In the climax. Who does that? Note: the scene is the Doctor explaining at length how urgent the situation is...
*awful lot of "I'll explain later"
*the doctor has the explanation of the timeslip device backwards. he stays where he is in time and his image goes forward 10 seconds, not tother way round, surely.
*the Doctor makes a big deal out of Borad's deformities as if it's that that makes him the monster rather than his (lack of) ethics

I could go on. But despite that I don't hate the poor thing. Sure, it's rubbish, but it's not a particularly egregious example.

Tags: doctor who

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