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almost double vision?
Doctor Who - The Two Doctors (DVD)
Member Name: mjc121
Doctor Who - The Two Doctors (DVD)
Advantages: Patrick Troughton make a return, well written
Disadvantages: Colin Baker (sorry)
This was the third of the stories of Doctor Who to have more than one incarnation of the character and the third to star Patrick Troughton. It has to be said that I think this was done in an attempt to boost viewing figures due to the unpopularity of Colin Baker's version of the Doctor. Also reprising his role as Jamie is Frazer Hines. Despite the fact that Colin Baker has more screen time it is easy to see that Traughton is by far the superior actor and the better Doctor. This is despite Troughton not playing the character as the child like mischievous imp we saw whilst he was in the role the first time round in this story he is more serious but still has some comic effect to the role.
This was originally shown as three 45 minute episodes from 16/2/1985 to 3/3/85.
I do remember watching bits of this story when it was on BBC1 but only from the last episode.
The second Doctor (Troughton) has found something wrong with the time continuum, and as he is not exactly flavour of the month with the time lords he seeks out an old friend, Dastari, a scientist who is also experimenting with time. When the Doctor arrives he and Jamie find all is not as it should be (is it ever?)
Meanwhile the sixth doctor ( C. Baker) has a rather strange feeling of doom and dread, has something happened to a previous self? He decides there is only one thing to do, visit his old friend, Dastari. But isn't that where his previous self had gone?
Both doctors discover that things are not right and just what are the two Androgum's up to? Why are they in league with the Sontaran's and just what do they want one of the Doctor for?
What I thought of it.
This was the time when Doctor Who started to go down hill faster than a sumo wrestler on roller skates. Whilst Troughton does perform well and is a far superior actor than Baker it is obvious that his heart isn't really in it. Frazer Hines (Jamie) also appears to have lost his fight first think later mentality and he has very little in the way of thing to do. As for Colin Baker well I have never hidden the fact that he is my least favourite actor to have taken the roll although he is only slightly worse than Matt Smith.
In general the story is well written and well acted and whilst the special effects are nothing compared to what they are now and far fewer in number for the budget they would have been working on they haven't done a bad job of it. The part of Chessene (Jacqueline Pearce) is played as someone who is highly intelligent but also very cold and calculating and would sell her own mother if it gave her an advantage. Shockeye (John Stratton) is the Androgum chef who has a bottomless pit as a stomach and will not stop until he has tried the meat of every animal on the planet. Whilst not exactly intelligent and always thinking of his stomach he remains loyal to his Androgum heritage. He is, however, not the type of person you would want your sister to marry. Where Jacqueline Pearce appears to be regretting taking the part John Stratton, it has to be said, appears to be relishing in his part and is perhaps one of the best performances in this story. The part of Oscar (James Saxton) for me just did not work. Whilst the part was well acted for me the character just seamed out of place. Thankfully with the exception of the restaurant scene the use of extras has been kept to a minimum. Whilst there is the odd brief appearance scene these extras tend to have the star trek fate of the 'never seen before bloke in red'. However, one of these deaths is massively over acted.
The settings do work and there were a lot of on location shoots in Spain. This apparently led to problems including make up melting due to the hot weather. This is slightly noticeable at times esp with those playing the Soltarans. The studio shots have also been done well but there is still something low budget and tacky about the space station. It looks in parts like they have overdone the silver spray paint and tin foil. As for the exterior of it well the phrase 'free is special packs of corn flakes' springs to mind.
Summary of the story:
As a stand alone story this does work but I think this would have benefited more from being a single feature length episode like the five doctors was. There are some good performances from the supporting cast and it is good to see Patrick Troughton in the role again. This is, however, where the problem is. This match up just makes it clear how poor Colin Baker's version of the doctor was in comparison to the others.
Jim'll fix it.
A special 10 min run with Colin Baker in the role in response to a letter written to Jim'll fix it (yes I am old enough to remember this). Whilst this had been specially written the acting from Baker and Janet Fielding (Tegan) is rather wooden. Fielding was brought in as Nicola Bryant (Peri) was unavailable at the time it was filmed. As well as the usual 'Jim'll fix it' badge/medal Gareth Jenkins, who wrote the letter, also received one of the Mezon gun props.
You can watch it with the production and cast commentary but this means you can't here what is being said onscreen. Whilst the commentary can be put on as subtitles in place of the voice over I find it hard to follow both at once. (I'm a man - I can't multi task)
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