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The Three Doctors

Oh dear. It's pretty dire. The anti-matter monsters are either laughable video effects or men in not-very-threatening rubber suits. The quarry is a quarry. There is a character who is funny because he is working class. There is a human scientist with glasses and a white coat who contributes nothing except to get zapped by the monsters. The Brigadier is at his most nitwittish. Jo is at her most annoying. The incidental music is at its most cliched and intrusive. The quarry is evidently a quarry.

There are some good bits too. The Time Lords' control centre, and Omega's palace, are nicely designed sets which add credibility to the thin plot. The bickering between Two and Three is a delight. Even One, from within his pyramid, is pretty authoritative, though there is one scene where Hartnell has to keep looking across at his cue cards. The scene where it is revealed that Omega has no body left is very good, but fatally undermined by the fact that we have clearly seen Stephen Thorne's chin in silhouette in the previous shot. The Brigadier does get one good line, when he first enters the TARDIS and says to Two, "So this is what you've been doing with UNIT funds and equipment all this time!"

But on the whole it's pretty dire. John Williams points out, on the excellent Behind the Sofa group blog, that the Target novelisation by Terrance Dicks was way better, especially the dismally executed cliff-hanger to episode 3 where Three rolls around on the ground briefly with a guy in a rubber mask. I think since I started re-watching old Doctor Who series this is the least impressive one I have seen. Best avoided unless (like me) you are a completist. Get the idea by reading this summary.

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( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 28th, 2006 07:52 pm (UTC)
It has the advantage of being much better than The Five Doctors. But it's still awful.
Oct. 28th, 2006 08:59 pm (UTC)
I'm not at all convinced by this performancing firefox thing...
Oct. 29th, 2006 05:44 am (UTC)
It's a much nicer interface than the standard LJ input window, but you then have to go back and re-edit the entry for userpic and tags and all that stuff. Semagic is still the best option around.
Oct. 30th, 2006 11:17 am (UTC)
The one thing I thought this story had going for it (apart from the re-appearance of Hartnell, which thrilled me to bits at the time even if he was stuck in a perspex pyramid) was the excellent Tardis interior, it looked as good as the original set from An Unearthly Child. That apart, the sets and costumes really did show how meagre the budget was.

But it was a romp, not to be taken seriously, and at the end the Doctor got a new dematerialisation circuit and his time travel knowledge back, so on those grounds (and Hartnell!) I have always had a bit of a soft spot for it. Nonsensical and shoddy as most of it is.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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