Monday, November 11, 2013

Doctor Who turns 50 part 6.5: The Two Doctors

Urgh, more Sixth Doctor. Oh well. At least Troughton's in it too. Jamie's back too.

We'll ignore the obvious continuity errors such as Jamie making references to the Time Lords despite he didn't know about them right up until he was about to get his mind wiped, and the Second Doctor working for the Time Lords even through he's meant to be on the run.

Anyway, what really struck me about this multi-doctor story is how it was a lot less epic scale then previous team-ups. Which is really in it's favour. To do the quick version, Two is captured in a timeline that shouldn't exist and Six goes looking to see what's gone wrong.

Just like Three Doctors elevated Pertwee and companion Jo Grant, this multi-doctor arc raises Baker and Peri. Baker is still a prick, but no longer an insufferable one. The writer here hits the right notes to make it comedy rather than annoying. Still that's a hard balance to get, so no wonder Colin Baker is generally considered the worst.

Peri has even developed a decent dress sense, well, for the eighties at least. She does spend the first episode constantly wanting to return to the TARDIS, but when shit starts going down she actually steps up, even walking straight up to the villains as a decoy while Six and Jamie sneak in. That's proper companion stuff there.

It's a pretty dark episode, with talk of harvesting the Doctor's DNA to unlock time travel and eating people, then out of nowhere a weird comedy bit appears that ends with a bit character getting shanked, almost in passing. Apart from that out of place moment this is a brilliantly done arc. It has even managed to restore some faith in Baker's Doctor for me. Like I said, there's huge continuity problems in it, I guess that's why fans have created an entire fake season based post-War Games. A concept so embraced every media type bar the show itself now takes Season 6B as real.
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