Methinks The Review Blog Doth Protest Too Much

(31 comments)


Robot: If ever there was a story to excuse on the ground of production circumstances, it’s this - the outgoing production team produces a story introducing the new Doctor with no knowledge of where their successors are going, and so have to just pair Tom Baker with the previous era’s supporting cast and hope for the best. Terrance Dicks papers over the cracks with an Avengers script, and nobody screws up. It’ll do. 5/10

The Ark in Space: If you experienced the Hinchcliffe era as  a child, there’s a moment in your life when you realize that Noah’s “alien arm" is just bubble wrap that’s been painted green. What’s impressive is that this moment is not, generally, the first time you watch The Ark in Space, because the story itself is so completely confident in what it’s doing and so wonderfully creepy in its concepts that it just doesn’t matter. Doctor Who had never been quite like this before, and even today it holds up. One of the all-time classics. 10/10

The Sontaran Experiment: It’s over after two episodes and isn’t blatantly offensive in any regard. It doesn’t seem to be shooting for much more than that. An experiment in a literal sense, new production teams have had rockier shakedown cruises than this in the past. They, however, usually fail trying something ambitious, as opposed to something that’s interesting only if you’re interested in the history of television cameras. It fills the space between two good stories, which is fine, but it doesn’t try to do anything more, which is sad. 3/10

Genesis of the Daleks: Blimey. It’s an episode too long, yes, but it turns out Terry Nation had a good script in him. Or, at least, Robert Holmes could find one when he really put his mind to it. What else do you say? You can put this in front of someone today and they’ll have a reasonably good time. The essential genius of the Hinchcliffe era is rapidly coming into focus. It’s just wonderful. 9/10

Revenge of the Cybermen: Disappointing, but by no means indicative of a larger failing. The decision to let Gerry Davis write for the mid-70s probably made sense on paper. Robert Holmes doesn’t have time to fix the script, and it all goes a bit wrong as the story becomes a plodding mess. It’s a pity - you can see what a good version of this story would be, but it’s not what got made. 4/10

Terror of the Zygons: Delightful, but it’s hard to avoid the sense that this is a slightly bitchy send-up of the previous era of the show, and thus a hair mean-spirited. But everyone involved seems to be having fun, and it’s tough to get too upset about it given that. Especially with so many classic bits to enjoy. 9/10

Planet of Evil: The very definition of flawed masterpiece - the ideas are all here, but Louis Marks tends to deliver slightly wooden scripts that don’t take advantage of them. Every once in a while this story is properly, brilliantly terrifying, and you realize the scope of its ambition. The bits in between are at least inoffensive. So inoffensive with hints of genius. The most telling thing is that this is the new floor - when the Hinchcliffe era goes a bit wrong, it’s still this good. 7/10

Pyramids of Mars: Lots of fun, but God the last episode is crap. Puzzling, in many ways - it’s not that the story isn’t as good as people say, but with so many better stories around it, it’s not clear why this is treated as the pinnacle of the series. Still, you can put in a DVD, sit down, and enjoy yourself for two hours, which is all you can really ask for. 8/10

The Android Invasion: Given how quickly S13 was rushed into production, it’s understandable that they decided to let Terry Nation and Barry Letts do their own thing. Unfortunately, if they were expecting a baseline of quality from their efforts, they didn’t get it - this is absolutely dreadful. Every era must have one spectacularly bad story, I suppose. 2/10

The Brain of Morbius: It’s difficult to imagine the Doctor Who fan that doesn’t love this story. Does it have any articulable flaws? I can’t really think of any. It moves gleefully from fear to humor, is full of brilliant lines and moments, and is flat out as much fun as it’s feasible to have with a DVD of 1970s television. Unless your tolerance for dated production values is actually zero, this is still absolutely brilliant today. 10/10

The Seeds of Doom: Cynical and mean-spirited, I will never understand why this story gets the praise it does. If you want a horror film, there are better. If you want Doctor Who… there’s much better. When you have a series that can do anything and a wonderfully mad lead character, why on Earth would you do a grim and gritty version of The Avengers? I have no idea. 3/10

The Masque of Mandragora: For a story ostensibly about the triumph of rationality, the ending sure is a cobbled together bit of nonsense. Still, it moves along at a nice clip and has some neat ideas and scenes. Another example of how the Hinchcliffe era tends to be quite good even when it’s kinda crap. 6/10

The Hand of Fear: The point where Baker and Martin’s flaws as writers really start to become cripplingly evident. In the Pertwee era the glam aesthetic could just about paper over the cracks, but here, when you realize this is them seriously trying to write a contemporary techno-thriller, it’s just a bit embarrassing. For neither the first nor last time, an episode is salvaged by a dynamo performance by Lis Sladen. Inoffensive. Up to you whether that’s damning with faint praise or praising with faint damnation. 6/10

The Deadly Assassin: OK, so the plot makes no sense and the resolution is a load of crap. Having exhausted the tedious observations to make about this story, can we all note that it’s brilliant and fun mad, that Part 3 really is quite scary, and that watching Tom Baker unleashed among the stuffy excesses of Gallifrey is just one of the best things ever? That this probably doesn’t belong on a top five list of best stories of its era speaks volumes about how good the rest of the era is. 8/10

The Face of Evil: The last great outing of proper, golden age-style science fiction in Doctor Who, in which the world is a puzzle built out of intellectual principles, but with a curious space carved out for the mystical within it. It’s a wonderfully delicate balance helped by an in-form Tom Baker and Louise Jameson playing a breath of fresh air as Leela. A real pleasure of a story. 9/10

Robots of Death: A serviceable sci-fi mystery, which is a bigger ask than it gets credit for. It’s also more of an Isaac Asimov rip-off than it gets blame for, although doing Robots of Dawn as an Agatha Christie instead of a Raymond Chandler is, once again, cleverer than it gets credit for. Gorgeous and fun and brilliant, and perhaps not quite as good as its reputation, but close enough that quibbling seems nitpicky. Go watch it and have fun. 8/10

The Talons of Weng-Chiang: The single hardest story to rate, I think. It’s wonderfully fun, of course. Delightful jokes, solid villain, Tom Baker at the peak of his power. But my basic standard in rating these is the extent to which someone with the basic capacity to look past naff effects and the different rhythms of old television can pop in a DVD of the story and enjoy it. Privately, my baseline is my wife, who’s a new series fan, perfectly happy to watch the old stuff, but feeling no burning need to be completist about it. And when this story came up as a thing we might watch, her jaw hit the ground from the title alone. The fact of the matter is that this is a DVD that you should be embarrassed to own in polite company because the story contained on it is absolutely full of casual racism. This is one you should make sure to take down off your shelves when you have certain friends over for dinner. That in amidst the awful racism are some good bits doesn’t excuse it. It just doesn’t. But the story is good. It does have good bits. And so let’s split the difference between magnetically fun and unwatchably racist and end up at the middle of the scale. 5/10

The Horror of Fang Rock: Delightful, if arguably single-handeldy responsible for the eventual obsession over the death toll that surrounds the Doctor’s adventures due to its complete lack of any reflection over the fact that every single character in the piece is brutally slaughtered. Still, though the ending may be mis-pitched, everything up until that is Doctor Who being done damn near perfectly. As good as Talons of Weng-Chiang, and not racist to boot. 9/10

The Invisible Enemy: After such a long run of stories where even the crappy ones attain a basic level of watchability, we suddenly crater out into one of the most spectacularly awful bombs imaginable. This is the shark-jump of the entire classic series - the point where we hit the long downward slope. There are still plenty of peaks and great stories, but the overall narrative of the series from this point on is one of decline, fall, and faded glory. No, The Twin Dilemma isn’t the fault of this story. But this story is still bad enough to draw a clear dividing line across the history of the series and say “this is where it all starts to go irrevocably wrong." 1/10

Image of the Fendahl: It’s bizarre to watch the well-worn horror formula that worked so well just a season ago flail about without quite landing, but that’s what we get here - a story of wonderful pieces that just don’t add up to a functional whole. Add its casual misogyny and it’s tough to like, but it’s competent enough to watch. 5/10

The Sun Makers: As a script, Robert Holmes’s finest, although there’s a troublingly reactionary tone to it. But the story isn’t about taxes, it’s about human dignity, and it’s absolutely savage. It’s let down painfully by the production, but it’s still a blaze of glory that brings an end to the Robert Holmes era of the program with panache that reminds you of why he’s one of the three great writers of the classic series. 8/10

Underworld: Not even the worst story of its season, little yet of all time. We have now, however, exhausted the nice things to say about it. Underworld’s sole virtue is that its many flaws are shared by other stories that do them worse. It’s dull, witless, and just not very good. It just never has moments so crateringly awful you want to claw your eyes out, thus making it preferable to The Invisible Enemy. 2/10

The Invasion of Time: An absolute mess, though made under trying conditions and perhaps better than could be expected given them. It has its moments, certainly, but they’re scattered throughout a misshapen wreck of a story. The last two episodes say it all - a brilliant twist for their premise followed by the most interminably dull pair of episodes imaginable. 4/10

The Ribos Operation: One of those stories that only Doctor Who would ever think to do, an absolutely marvelous little puzzle box of entwined levels and themes. Robert Holmes understood the Key to Time better than Graham Williams did, and spins a tale of ordinary rascals working their way through a world in which the forces of light and dark slowly unfurl. To modern taste, it’s Doctor Who invading Game of Thrones. Even without that connection, it’s a breathtaking little story and one of the most underrated gems of the series. 10/10

The Pirate Planet: A story that does silly right, which is a hell of a big task. Brilliant ideas mingle with solidly done comedy. A few parts are played too big and too broadly, but they’re slightly off-key notes in a story that is mainly a marvel of unfolding ideas and witty conceits. The flaws of late 70s Doctor Who are certainly visible in it, but if you show it to someone they’ll appreciate the cleverness and at least see why late 70s Doctor Who was worth making. And if they’re lucky enough not to know the two big twists, they’ll probably have an absolutely marvelous time. I certainly did. 9/10

The Stones of Blood: It doesn’t do gothic horror as well as the Hinchcliffe era, but it’s also a story that’s self-consciously about moving beyond that formula. Its ideas aren’t all solid, but it’s updating a classic premise that was still in fine fighting shape a year ago, and that’s a big ask. Some of its ideas are quite clever, it keeps moving nicely, and everyone has good stuff to do. It’s nothing flashy or remarkable, but it is good, solid fun. 7/10

The Androids of Tara: A classic example of setting the bar low enough to clear it handily - this has no real ambition beyond doing Prisoner of Zenda as a Doctor Who story, but it gets the job done with panache. “Next time I will not be so lenient!" is as fun a line to sing along with as Doctor Who has ever managed. I wish fans were more inclined to watch this a third time than Robots of Death a fourteenth time. 7/10

The Power of Kroll: A somewhat drab attempt at typical Doctor Who from Robert Holmes in his “I will demonstrate for you exactly how few fucks I give" mode previously sighted in The Space Pirates and next to appear in The Two Doctors. These stories are always tricky, and this is the worst of the set, in that Robert Holmes is also just not long on good ideas, and so ends up just writing the bland filler crap he trotted out to try to salvage the worst scripts of his tenure as script editor. Moments of charm, but most of them are John Abineri in green skin paint. Philip Madoc is wasted, doubly so in that he disliked the small part so much he never came back. 3/10

The Armageddon Factor: It ends. It doesn’t do anything too offensive in the process, though equally, it doesn’t do anything remarkable. At the end of the day, the decision to put the misfiring Baker/Martin team on such an important story speaks volumes of how little basic control was being exerted over the show at this point, and it shows. It’s in no way a satisfying conclusion, though it manages to not be an unbearably awful one. 4/10

Destiny of the Daleks: As with Death to the Daleks, it avoids a one by virtue of not quite being worse than leaf blower noise - in this case, the leaf blower noise would drown out the handful of charming moments Douglas Adams wrote in the script. Past that, basically execrable. 2/10

City of Death: Well, I mean, it’s perfect, isn’t it? OK, a bit too much running through Paris, but Dudley Simpson does have a nice musical cue for that (his last great one), and any other objections should be answered with an image macro of Tom Baker and Julian Glover with the caption “Tom Baker and Julian Glover are delivering Douglas Adams dialogue. Your argument is invalid." 10/10

Creature From the Pit: You know, I quite like this one and always have. A few miscued performances and some wobbly direction, but it’s a fun little story with some properly wonderful moments. It’s tough to justify it as a classic, but it’s an example of how this era’s approach can work on a day-to-day level, and it’s a heck of a lot more entertaining to watch than several supposed classics. 7/10

Nightmare of Eden: Frightfully generic. There are some good ideas under here, but it’s a prime example of why Bob Baker needed to move on from Doctor Who. Whatever complaints one might have about the forthcoming John Nathan-Turner era, his refreshing of the writer pool was a good thing, and this largely explains why. 5/10

The Horns of Nimon: Graham Crowden redeems a generic and unambitious script by eating it and the scenery. This still does not constitute good television, tragically, because the script is utter drek, trying for clever with no additional virtues and not nearly as much cleverness as it assumes it has. 3/10, though it’s tempting to give it a 10/10 for the “How Many Nimons Have You Seen Today" remix video.

Shada: It’s a guess, of course, based on the script and what we have, but this seems like it was really quite marvelous and exactly the sort of thing that Williams and Adams were both shooting for - City of Death only bigger and better, essentially. We’ll never really know, of course. But this certainly seems like a belter. As for the quality of what we have… 8/10, I suppose?

The Leisure Hive: The worst of both worlds - John Nathan-Turner removes the good bits of a Williams-era script without managing to bring the good bits of his own approach. The result is a mess best summed up by its appalling opening sequence of a lengthy pan along an empty beach. 4/10

Meglos: Tom Baker is a revelation as a giant cactus, and it has Jacqueline Hill in it, so it can’t be all bad. Oh, and the episodes all run under-length, so it’s over faster. Three plusses! So a point for each it is, as everything else is pointless and regurgitated tripe that comes nowhere close to compelling narrative. 3/10

Full Circle: Ooh, this is quite good. Atmospheric, interesting ideas, I mean, what’s not to like? It’s marvelously well-designed, it has a well-structured plot that incorporates Doctor Who standards, but uses them to tell its own story instead of just knocking together generic bits and saying “look, it’s a Doctor Who story, now stop complaining." The beginning of the portion of Season Eighteen that works really, really well. 8/10

State of Decay: As with Brain of Morbius, the tension between Dicks and a good script editor with different ideas for the story works wonders, and we get a story that is better than what either of them would have managed on their own. It never has the outrageous crackle of Morbius, but it hums along satisfyingly and has several delightful moments. Also, Adric almost actually works here, probably because Terrance Dicks is alone among the writers working with him in that he’s actually read Oliver Twist. 8/10

Warrior’s Gate: Doctor Who at its most lyrical and image-based, and a story that pushes the program into truly new territory. If this didn’t exist, he show would be much, much poorer for it. It’s austere and cryptic, and I’m glad this isn’t what the show is like every week, but I’m even gladder that for four weeks it was. 9/10

The Keeper of Traken: Sandwiched between two flashier pieces and with a twist that draws attention away from the buildup, this feels like the sort of story for which the term “underrated gem" was created. The story itself is a gorgeous, lush bit of children’s theatre. Leisurely paced, but in a way that feels justified. Traken ends up being a world painted well enough that Sarah Sutton can base an entire character on it without ever having a scene where she deals with the fact that the Master destroyed it and wore her father’s corpse as a skinsuit. 8/10

Logopolis: Austere, strange, haunting, and unlike anything the series has done before or since. The ideas are bigger than the story can hold, but no bigger than seems appropriate for a story about the universe unraveling. Logopolis itself is one of the most intriguing settings in Doctor Who. It’s one of two stories where the Ainley Master works perfectly. Every complaint made about this story amounts to asking it to be something it isn’t, which is inexplicable given how wondrous a thing it is. 10/10

Comments

Darren K. 4 years, 2 months ago

Let's get the guessing over with: if Robert Holmes is the third best Doctor Who writer, that must mean the better two are ... Douglas Adams and David Whitaker?

And I had never seen "How Many Nimons Have You Seen Today" before. The world is now a better place.

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elvwood 4 years, 2 months ago

Mostly not too far off my own scores, though with lot of minor juggling and a few wildly different opinions. It's always interesting to see your thinking, anyway. And as a teen I jumped ship with The Invisible Enemy, so I'm glad to see it get your lowest rating!

One thing that sprang to mind: how would the Key to Time season have been if they'd swapped authors on the last two? The Bristol Boys would probably have turned in a decent script given the brief of "biggest monster ever" - it's more up their street - and Robert Holmes might have been a bit more enthused if he'd been given the chance to finish off what he started. Ah, to live in that contrafactual world!

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Nyq Only 4 years, 2 months ago

All review ratings on anything have been forever spoiled by this program http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Review_with_Myles_Barlow

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Multiple Ducks 4 years, 2 months ago

So glad someone else loves that show, though that [Citation Needed] note about changing the format for a new season is a little worrying.

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Arkadin 4 years, 2 months ago

"To modern taste, it’s Doctor Who invading Game of Thrones." Not enough gratuitous nudity.

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David Thiel 4 years, 2 months ago

I don't think that I'm quite ready for the world in which "The Seeds of Doom" is a 3 and "Full Circle" is an 8. "Seeds" is grim, but the reason that it works so well is that, like "Pyramids of Mars," the threat is very credible. It's not about inept villains and puffed-up bureaucrats being easily outfoxed by a genius Time Lord. It's one of the most terrifying "Who" monsters ever, paired with one of the series' creepiest human foes.

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Nick Smale 4 years, 2 months ago

Googling Robots of Dawn reveals the remarkable fact that Asimov has written a third Elijah Bailey novel! Admittedly it seems that he wrote it in 1983, but as I read the first two in the '70s, in my mind it counts as a 'new' one...

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encyclops 4 years, 2 months ago

I struggle mightily not to admit it, but for me "Ribos" and the magnificent "Stones of Blood" are the only watchable portions of the Key to Time series. I find "Tara" gloomy and tedious, "Kroll" underrated but headachy, "Armageddon" exactly what you say it is (though the Shadow is surprisingly creepy even today). As for "Pirate Planet," from the moment the Captain begins shouting, I want to turn it off. It has its moments, many involving Romana, but there's so much to wade through to get there.

About much of the rest of this I shockingly agree give or take a few points, though I'm pro-"Seeds" and "Fendahl," and I even love the end of "Pyramids" and the beginning of "Leisure Hive."

As usual, I really enjoy this non-review blog. And am in great suspense about what you're going to say about "Runaway Bride" if you ever decide to say anything. :)

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Ewa Woowa 4 years, 2 months ago

Even though I am old enough to remember, I think we still forget what it was like to watch DrWho in the old fashioned "once a week and no DVD's" way...
Imagine watching the Key to Time *in* real-time.
Good one... S**** one, S*** one, Good one... S*** one, S*** long one...

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Ross 4 years, 2 months ago

If you experienced the Hinchcliffe era as a child, there’s a moment in your life when you realize that Noah’s “alien arm" is just bubble wrap that’s been painted green.

Everyone mentions the bubble wrap. No one ever points out that Nerva is quite clearly a hypodermic syringe wearing a donut.

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Jesse 4 years, 2 months ago

So which one gets Best In Show?

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encyclops 4 years, 2 months ago

I was too young and in the wrong country, so I can't forget what I've never remembered. :) But it seems like it's almost worse now, because you know what's coming. Presumably back in the day you had no idea that after "Stones of Blood" it was downhill for, what, 16 weeks straight? And yes, I am trying to ignore that you got the second "Good one" in the wrong place. ;)

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Pierce Inverarity 4 years, 2 months ago

Looking back, I feel lucky that I had such an abundance of Doctor Who growing up - an episode every night Monday-Friday on one PBS station, and a full omnibus story on Saturday from another. It meant that even the relatively lousy stretches flew by, and that a missed episode could be caught the next time around, usually in a matter of months.

Anyway, it's good to see such high regard for the fourth Doctor's final season. I remember being utterly floored by everything from Full Circle onward, and it's still my favorite run from the original series.

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Ununnilium 4 years, 2 months ago

He actually wrote a fourth, Robots and Empire.

IMHO, the third one is a rather poor attempt at tying the first two into the Foundation timeline, but it introduces some interesting characters and concepts that the fourth one takes and runs with gleefully. (Even if it does somehow think that Three Mile Island was a horrifying tragedy.)

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Josh Marsfelder 4 years, 2 months ago

"The Horns of Nimon: Graham Crowden redeems a generic and unambitious script by eating it and the scenery. This still does not constitute good television, tragically, because the script is utter drek, trying for clever with no additional virtues and not nearly as much cleverness as it assumes it has."

No, but it is, however, profoundly entertaining, and Lalla Ward is gangbusters. I give it an 11/10.

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Marionette 4 years, 2 months ago

I just rewatched The Face of Evil, and while I enjoyed it, I couldn't help wondering how the Sevateam and the Tesh had managed to survive so long when they only had one woman between them.

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Sean Daugherty 4 years, 2 months ago

I can't disagree with most of this, although I'd rate Seeds of Doom quite a bit higher, and Robots of Death quite a bit lower. But you and Lawrence Miles are the only people I've ever read who share my opinion that Logopolis is a masterpiece, and that goes a long way.

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Ross 4 years, 2 months ago

What's ironic is that Logopolis is so darned good, and yet it contains what I think is the mortal sin for which the classic series eventually dies (That bit where, having murdered her stepmother and her father, The master through his machinations genocides Nyssa's entire race, and the only reaction we ever get out of anyone is dull surprise.)

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encyclops 4 years, 2 months ago

I absolutely ADORED it as a kid. The Nimon are no more convincing than green bubble wrap but they look so strange and distinctive, and move so oddly, that they're utterly compelling in their own way (see also "Menoptera"). I felt a bit for Crinoth, and yes, Lalla is utterly on point. These days I can see why it's not rated highly, but I snatched up the DVD the minute I could, and I treasure it.

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encyclops 4 years, 2 months ago

I love "Seeds," "Robots," and "Logopolis." When I was a kid the stories comprised by the "New Beginnings" box set were just the zenith of Doctor Who drama for me.

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Iain Coleman 4 years, 2 months ago

Ward is generally splendid, of course, but in Horns of Nimon she basically holds the entire show together, preventing the fission that would otherwise result from the critical mass of Crowden and Baker.

She demonstrates beyond any doubt that a female Doctor could work - and yet here we are, over 30 years later, still debating it.

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encyclops 4 years, 2 months ago

Word x 10000.

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David Jones 4 years, 2 months ago

It's quite difficult to really trash any of Tom's stories. Even 1/10 for K9's first outing seems a bit harsh as John Leeson was excellent.. Underworld would get the lowest mark for me.
I also think that Seeds of Doom was a classic, though probably would have been improved had they been able to get the Brig or a few other Unit regulars back. It was a story that harked back to the Pertwee era, which I quite liked Tom's take on.

Also. I think you need to just ignore the casual racism in Talons and give it a 9/10. It's such a good story and you just have to excuse the 70s sometimes. Attitudes were different and you really have to take that into account, however wrong it feels.

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Doctor Memory 4 years, 2 months ago

There were people alive and producing art in the 1970s who got this sort of thing right. There is no reason whatsoever to give a pass to the ones who got it completely wrong just because there were more of them.

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Philip Sandifer 4 years, 2 months ago

Beyond that, it was the 70s, but its not anymore. I'm not watching Talons of Weng-Chiang in the 70s, nor will I ever. All of these reviews are by the standards of "how satisfying is it to put this on and watch it for fun," assuming an audience for whom historical television is fun and interesting. Which is to say, I review for the present day, which is, after all, the only day in which Talons will ever be watched again.

A DVD I'd have to hide in embarrassment if anyone of East Asian descent came to my house presents some particular problems in this regard.

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David Jones 4 years, 2 months ago

I suppose if we are viewing programmes with today's attitudes that is fine, but I'd always consider the era that the programmes/stories were written/produced.

Probably a bad example, but some of the Children's literature of the 40's, which my Dad kept had characters that included Little Black Sambo. It is obviously wrong now, but back then was just a kiddy character.
A difficult one really.

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encyclops 4 years, 2 months ago

I showed my girlfriend of Mexican descent "The Aztecs" and she found it pretty racist as well. Frankly, I could see her point. I'm not sure whether it's more racist than "Talons" or less, but I'm also not sure whether, as a white guy, I'm completely qualified to judge. It feels less racist to me -- at least it seems to be trying sincerely to depict a foreign and ancient culture, even if it has to use a sneering moustache-twirling villain in brownface and a singular preoccupation with human sacrifice to do it, but then it also seems to be explicitly trying to represent an entire culture rather than a small, fictitious gang.

If, from your point of view, "Talons" loses up to 5 points for racism but "Aztecs" loses no more than 1, that's up to you. Maybe it depends on who typically comes to your house?

I suppose ultimately the blame for all this goes to Bob Holmes, who could just have stopped at Sherlock Holmes, Jack the Ripper, and Phantom of the Opera without throwing in Fu Manchu as well. Which reminds me, I'm looking forward to your discussion of The League of Highbrow Fanfiction. ;)

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paulamoore 4 years, 2 months ago

As I believe others have pointed out, it's unlikely Boucher was influenced by Robots of Dawn, given that it was published in the 1980s. Chris Boucher is good, but he's not psychic.

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Seeing_I 4 years, 1 month ago

That's the thing about gratuitous nudity - there never IS enough.

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doknowbutchie 4 years, 1 month ago

'llo, everyone. I've just stumbled on this site after finding a link to the "Shakespeare Code" review on Tumblr, and I've found that I rather like this place.

I recently saw "The Pyramids of Mars" for the first time--making it my third Fourth Doctor serial--and found it to be rather underwhelming, given the esteem it's generally treated with. Even if we set aside the problematic depictions of Middle Eastern people, in the end, the things it was interested in were not the things I was interested in, and the things I was interested in were in short supply. It's left me fearful that I might not enjoy the other good stories in that era, and has left me with a question: which of the stories here would you say are good because they're like "Pyramids of Mars", and which are good because they're like "City of Death"?

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Unknown 3 years, 3 months ago

What's the other story with a perfectly-working Ainley Master? Survival?

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