USA / English
Doctor Who: The Two Doctors
||Fiona Cumming; Michael E. Briant
is one of those occasional adventures in which the then-current Doctor joins forces with one of his former incarnations, here Colin Baker's sixth Doctor with Patrick Troughton's second Doctor. In the epic Three Doctors
(1972-3) such a team-up faced a suitably overwhelming danger; here the threat is rather less impressive. This adventure starts encouragingly enough, with Troughton and Jamie (Frazer Hines) investigating time-travel experiments on a space station, which endanger the fabric of the universe. Baker's Doctor and Peri (Nichola Bryant) arrive in the aftermath of a massacre and suspect the Timelords; but events lead them to Spain and old enemies the Sontarans. Also involved is alien schemer Chessene (Jacqueline Pearce) in a role not dissimilar to her Servalan from Blake's 7
, while John Stratton as Shockeye, a food-obsessed alien "Androgum" chef is vastly entertaining.
Despite location filming in Seville, the three 45-minute episodes eventually stretch the material too thinly, degenerating into some of the most farcical scenes in the history of Who. The story becomes a repetitive series of double-crosses, escapes and pursuits, featuring an unnecessary obsession with cannibalistic comedy-horror. Despite many fine moments along the way The Two Doctors ultimately leaves a Bad Taste.
On the DVD: Doctor Who: The Two Doctors is offered with an as-good-as-possible 4:3 picture, which exposes the limitations of the original video footage. The sound is excellent mono and the first disc also offers an isolated track of Peter Howell's striking musical score and an engaging commentary with director Peter Moffatt, Frazer Hines and Jacqueline Pearce. A Fix with Sontarans (9 mins) is a specially made mini-adventure, with Colin Baker and Janet Fielding returning as Tegan, made for the then hugely popular Jim'll Fix It.
The highlight of Disc Two is Behind the Sofa: Robert Holmes and Doctor Who a new 45-minute documentary with series luminaries Chris Boucher, Terrance Dicks, Philip Hinchcliffe, Barry Letts and Eric Saward remembering the writer. Of more specialist interest to would-be programme makers is Adventures in Time and Spain (29 mins), in which Production Manager Gary Downie charmingly recalls the problems of finding the Spanish locations. Beneath the Lights is a 27-minute compilation of studio footage centred on Baker and Bryant filming three scenes, while Beneath the Sun complies video location rushes, which at 36 minutes with poor picture quality is for completists only. Wavelength (1984) is an interesting 29-minute edition of the BBC Schools radio documentary series giving an in-depth look at the making of Doctor Who in general. Finally there's an animated, scored photo gallery. Overall this is an exhaustively comprehensive presentation that will satisfy the even the most serious Who fan. --Gary S Dalkin
|Nr of Disks/Tapes