The Cosmic Hobo

Thoughts & reviews about the science fiction series Doctor Who.

Archive for the category “serial reviews”

Serial Review: The Seeds of Doom (Season 13)

“The Seeds of Doom”
Written by Robert Banks Stewart, dir. by Douglas Camfield
Featuring the Doctor, Sarah Jane, and a plant monster thing

Rating: A

A group of scientists in the Arctic region discover a strange seed pod. When folks back in the mainland are informed, they seek out the help of UNIT, who in turn send the Doctor and Sarah Jane to investigate this strange alien life form. At the same time, corrupt operators are trying to sell the rights to the seed, while the scientists become overly violent in protecting their discovery. Meanwhile, the seed seems to burst and take over one of the scientists, turning him into a strange plantlike humanoid. All sorts of shit hitting all sorts of fans.

Six part stories have the inherent problem of having 150% of the time to fill that the usual four parters do. Slow pace is a common complaint of the classic serials, and when you have that much more space to deal with, it is all together too likely that the problem will pop up even more. “The Seeds of Doom” seems to be an exception to this, however, as it is one of the few stories longer than four parts that seems to fly by, much like the similarly named Patrick Troughton serial “The Seeds of Death”.

This serial has Tom Baker playing it very serious, as the script requires. I’ve always said that I think Baker handles comedy much better than he does drama, but he’s damn near awesome here. Both he and Elisabeth Sladen absolutely bring out their A game. There are times when Baker’s version of the Doctor is written as being a complete asshole towards Sarah Jane, but I still like the Doctor overall as a character more as a dramatic role than a comedic one. Although I don’t think Tom handles drama as well as say Sylvester McCoy or Patrick Troughton, I’d still rather watch a serious Doctor than a funny one, and in this particular serial Baker is excellent.

In terms of story, “The Seeds of Doom” has a lot of intrigue. The idea of a sort of symbiotic plant alien landing on Earth and taking over the life forms isn’t all together too original, but it is interesting enough and this story has a great pace that was able to hold my interest better than the average story of the Tom Baker era. I would imagine it would be slightly controversial in that at one point the Doctor pulls back and punches a guy in the face in part three, but being that I really enjoyed the Pertwee era, I like when the Doctor goes for a bit of a rough and tumble. In real life, I’m not a fan of violence as a rule, but somehow I enjoy a good fist fight in my fiction.

To compound the excellent parts of the story, the villain is brilliant. He is sort of a cross between your average conniving Bond villain and Poison Ivy from the Batman comics. He’s a psychotic environmentalist and plant enthusiast who is played picture perfectly by Tony Beckley. There are some thematic similarities between this and “Invasion of the Dinosaurs”, both of which deal with extremist environmentalists. In both instances, the Doctor indicates that he sympathizes with their overall perspective of concern for the environment, but feels that their means are too extreme. It’s a fair point and a good moral for the story, really.

I was jumping for joy when watching “The Robots of Death” a couple weeks ago, but I liked this even more. I basically have nothing at all to criticize about this story, which is definitely a rarity for me. My new favorite Baker serial by far, and at the very least in my top ten favorite Doctor Who stories.


Serial Review: The Brain of Morbius (Season 13)

“The Brain of Morbius”
Written by Robin Bland, dir. by Christopher Barry
Featuring the Doctor, Sarah Jane, and a brain in a jar

Rating: B-

Set design, in many cases, can turn an alright story into a pretty good one. Although watching Doctor Who I have learned to suspend my disbelief, it makes for just an overall more pleasurable viewing experience when the stories have settings that look vaguely realistic. I don’t mind if the explosions and lasers look ridiculous, but I just adore good sets.

“The Brain of Morbius” is sort of a mix between a story about a fanatic religious cult and an obvious inspiration from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein with a bit of Doctor Who lore jammed in for good measure. The cultists in the new series episode “The Fires of Pompeii” were apparently inspired by the soothsayers in this story, and I find them equally irritating in both. That isn’t to say that story isn’t without its merits.

As I alluded to earlier, this story has really good sets. I never felt like I was watching painted posterboard while seeing this serial, and it makes it a much more enjoyable experience. I like the story of Frankenstein, so I didn’t mind seeing its influence here, and I think this story has a lot more good about it than bad.

The best part of the story, especially early on, is Philip Madoc as Solon. He plays the part perfectly, and Elisabeth Sladen is very sharp in the serial as well, despite being relegated to the unfortunate part of constant screamer. It is well known that I’m not a particularly big fan of Tom Baker, and he kind of continues to be the same for me here. He wasn’t distractingly bad and was hardly as charming to me as everyone else seems to think he is.

In the end, this story is a bit too jumbled at times for me to think it is one of the best. That said, I like the ambition in the story and there are enough good parts working together to make “The Brain of Morbius” another firmly above average Season 13 serial.

Serial Review: The Robots of Death (Season 14)

“The Robots of Death”
Written by Chris Boucher, dir. by Michael Briant
Featuring the Doctor, Leela, and robots

Rating: A-

It only took about three minutes of watching “The Robots of Death” to realize that I was watching the Doctor Who interpretation of Isaac Asimov’s robot stories, featuring basically the same laws of robotics as featured in Asimov’s series. Although I like Asimov, I’m not crazy about him, and actually found the story collection I, Robot a bit repetitive and boring. That being said, the concept is great and I was immediately taken by the visual design of these robots. They are entirely badass looking.

Leela, just after joining the TARDIS, arrives with the Doctor on a ship where a string of murders has the TARDIS team become prime suspects due to their strange circumstance of “stowing away” on board the ship. Of course, this doesn’t last particularly long as if the Doctor were to spend the entire serial in the brig he wouldn’t have a chance to set everything straight.

This is not the first time I’ve seen Leela, but the first time I’ve seen this version of the TARDIS control room. I instantly thought “Why did they get rid of this? It is totally badass.” The design of the control room seen early on with the people and robots before shit hits the fan is also very good. The pace is fast by classic Who standards, and basically I was in love with the story by about the twelve minute mark.

Although I’ve previously been a bit negative when it comes to Tom Baker, I was pleased with him here. I find that he often hams it up, but I was never distracted by him in this story. Louise Jameson is quite strong as Leela. She is definitely a character I like, and not just from “Oh boy lookit her outfit!” sort of way. She’s pretty sharp despite her unfortunate history and tough as nails. I’ve always had more of an affinity for female companions who were tough and/or brilliant (Ace, Zoe) and Leela fits in nicely with that bunch.

There are times in “The Robots of Death” when I thought the people on the ship hammed it up a bit, but not so much so that it distracted me from the fact that I was really enjoying the story. I’m always a fan of when Doctor Who gets particularly sci-fi heavy, and this is definitely as pulp science fiction as it gets, complete with its Asimov influence. “City of Death” and “Pyramids of Mars” are often cited as the best of the Fourth Doctor era, but for my money I would pick “The Robots of Death” over either of those. This is easily my favorite of his so far.

Serial Review: Planet of Evil (Season 13)

“Planet of Evil”
Written by Louis Marks, dir. by David Maloney
Featuring the Doctor, Sarah Jane, and Anti-matter

Rating: B-

I know I’m some kind of weirdo for not liking Tom Baker, but that’s just kinda the way it is. And the even stranger thing is, no matter how much I see, he isn’t really growing on me. Unlike Paul McGann, who I am enjoying more and more for each audio I hear, I’m actually liking Tom Baker less and less as every story goes on. That’s not to say he’s getting worse, it’s just that it is becoming more clear that I don’t like him. When I had only seen a few stories, I could tell myself that I just haven’t seen enough yet. I’ve now basically seen two seasons worth of serials, and am still scratching my head as to why everyone likes him so much.

That being said, I like him the best so far in “Planet of Evil.” This isn’t my favorite story of his that I’ve seen, but as far as Tom Baker himself in the role, I think he is strongest here of what I’ve seen. There are actually moments here where he has to be slightly dramatic where I don’t think he’s hamming it up. Everyone knows he does the comedy part well, but he is significantly bad when the scene requires him to be dramatic. The scene in “Genesis of Daleks” when he contemplates whether he has the right to kill all of the Daleks at once before they have a chance to take over the universe is seen by many to be one of the seminal scenes in Classic Who. For me, it’s a wasted opportunity, because I think Baker is pretty shit in that scene.

“Planet of Evil” is most notable for it’s excellent sets, and that is definitely worth mentioning. The jungles here look like they were made on about ten times the budget they actually had. Sure, they re-use them endlessly and run past the same square of jungle a dozen times, but it’s such a good set that it doesn’t bug me. This serial also gets some points on my good side for just being bizarre. I love the really strange moments in this, much like I enjoy the slow motion fight of the minds between the Third Doctor and Omega in “The Three Doctors.”

That being said, I never found myself REALLY into the story; it just doesn’t have enough there to be one of my favorites. Still, with great sets, enough bizarre to keep me amused, and an actually pretty solid Tom Baker, I think in the end, “Planet of Evil” is an above average story. Worth a re-watch down the line.

Serial Review: The Underwater Menace (Season 4)

“The Underwater Menace”
Written by Geoffrey Orme, dir. by Julia Smith
Featuring the Doctor, Ben, Polly, Jamie, and Atlanteans

Rating: B

Being that I’ve always had a bit of interest in stories revolving around Atlantis, whether it be reading Aquaman comics as a kid or otherwise, I figured I would enjoy “The Underwater Menace.” I was also quite pleased that at least one of the episodes survives, having just finished “The Power of the Daleks” and “The Highlanders” both of which are completely missing aside from a few clips here and there.

The Doctor, Jamie, Ben, and Polly find themselves on a beach, and upon doing a bit of exploring, in Atlantis. Of course, they are escorted away by religious zealots and just about sacrificed to their god. There are some pretty cool snaps here (which I assume reflext camera shots from the footage when it existed) of an aerial view of the four members of the TARDIS team on an altar. Crazy stuff, and I’m a sucker for a cool camera angle.

Something about Joseph Furst’s portrayal of Professor Zaroff appealed to me pretty early on; I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but I think he’s a compelling villain. He acts very dramatically and perhaps overly so, but I think it actually works for the character. He has minor symptoms of being a Bond villain, but being a James Bond fan that isn’t really an insult coming from me.

Once the plot starts to really unravel and the Atlanteans start doing things like trying to surgically give Polly gills, this gets particularly twisted. It’s dark as hell, and the first cliffhanger actually gave me chills. I usually find the cliffhangers one of the biggest problems with a lot of otherwise good stories (“City of Death” comes to mind), but this isn’t an issue with “The Underwater Menace.” The first and third episode cliffhangers are particularly stirring. Just as crazy as Polly in surgery is the scene that ends the third episode (thankfully still existing), in which Professor Zaroff shoots someone at point blank with a menace in his eyes, orders his cronies to execute two more, then yells into the camera “Nothing in the world can stop me now!” Brilliant.

There’s a distinct thread of anti-religion in this story, with the zealotry of the religious people in this story being easily manipulated. A perfect example of this is when the Doctor and a friend are about to be executed, Ben simply speaks to the religious warriors from behind a wall, claiming to to be the voice of their God, allowing the Doctor to slip away easily. Almost every religious character in the story meets a sticky end, and in the end everyone decides to re-build society without religion. I like when Doctor Who gets all heathen-y.

As it is, there are definitely some issues with the story. There are times where it is slow, and the design of the fish people is terrible. There are some that don’t look bad, and actually look like fish people, and others that are just extras in wet suits and goggles… which doesn’t really work. That being said, I think the plot line of the Doctor arranging for the food supply to be cut off to the Atlanteans an interesting way to stop their plans. Perhaps it is overly convenient that their food has such a low shelf life, but I like the idea.

Despite the issues, I really enjoyed this story in spite of itself. There are some really genuinely scary moments, and I love a good twist villain. Those two cliffhangers I mentioned are both just really outstanding, and I think this is the first story where Patrick Troughton gets to play his Doctor straight– in the previous two stories, he was under assumed identities. It showed the range of his acting quality, but here he gets to be the real cosmic hobo. I’m definitely a fan of “The Underwater Menace,” another apparently strange opinion.

Serial Review: The Highlanders (Season 4)

“The Highlanders”
Written by Elwyn Jones & Gerry Davis
Directed by Hugh David
Featuring the Doctor, Ben, Polly, Jamie, and evil Brits

Rating: C

Being as big a fan as I am of Patrick Troughton as the Doctor, it is impossible to separate him from Frazer Hines as Jamie McCrimmon. As much as I loved “The Power of the Daleks,” it did feel like something was missing, and that something would be Jamie.

The Doctor, Ben, and Polly stumble upon early 18th century Scotland, where the titular highlanders are fighting against the English. Naturally, the Doctor is thrust into things rather quickly, with Ben and Polly being forced into the conflict by proxy. I like the idea of historicals, but my previous experience with them has been minimal. I really enjoyed “The Aztecs,” but aside from a couple Big Finish audios, I think that’s the only one I’ve actually experienced, unless something is escaping my mind.

My first impression of this story, unfortunately, was that the supporting cast isn’t nearly as good as in “The Power of the Daleks.” I had previously read the novelization (a year or so ago), and obviously the acting in my head is always flawless. That isn’t to say that they’re woeful, but I was really impressed by the cast of the previous story, and think this one is relatively standard in terms of acting quality. One thing I will say, though, is that I like the shots; although this is obviously a reconstruction, the few clips that exist show some good work and the set design is solid. The number of clips of existing footage is surprisingly high, which makes it easier to get a sense of the visuals of the story.

Although Jamie isn’t my favorite companion, I like him and am glad to have him around in this one. He really doesn’t have all that much to do, but it’s still good times. I also like that Polly gets separated from the rest early on, and gets a chance to go out and do her thing. As I mentioned in my review of the previous story, I dig her character, and I think she is particularly cool in this. I love her line to Kirstie (sp?): “Didn’t the women of your age do anything but cry?” She also gets cool points for taking charge when a British soldier falls into a trap– she holds him at knife point and essentially threatens to mess him up if he won’t help them in their cause. It’s a shame she only has one complete story left, but I guess it’s better to have been on Doctor Who and have no one able to see it than to never have been on Doctor Who at all.

Being that I am not German, I find it difficult to judge the quality of Patrick Troughton’s German accent, but I find him pretty amusing in this story. He shows his trademark brilliant use of guile in getting himself out of capture and behind enemy lines to do his grand tinkering. I love Troughton’s Doctor’s penchant for pretending to be less than he is to get his enemies to stop worrying about him. It’s nice to see this Doctor become who he is so early on in his run; it didn’t take him long to get a hang of it.

Unfortunately, the story itself has its issues. I really enjoyed the first half quite a bit, as much as I did “The Aztecs,” but it seriously loses steam in the second half. Part three is really boring, and doesn’t offer much at all to hold my interest. I like the Polly scenes a bit, but I think probably only because I just like the character. Part four is a slight improvement, but… eh.

So, adding up an above average first two episodes and a below average second two, it ends up being solidly average. It wouldn’t be particularly remarkable if it weren’t for the debut of Jamie, but it still has some merit. Not one I’ll re-visit any time soon, but I don’t feel like it was a wasted two hours, either.

Serial Review: The Power of the Daleks (Season 4)

“The Power of the Daleks”
Written by David Whitaker, dir. by Christopher Barry
Featuring the Doctor, Ben, Polly, and Daleks

Rating: B+

Since the first time I saw Patrick Troughton as the Doctor in “Tomb of the Cybermen” about two years ago, I have called him my favorite Doctor. The idea of recons didn’t bother me so much, but the thought of novelizations of missing episodes appealed to me more. Already a voracious reader, I figured that tracking down the novelizations would be a perfect way to experience the missing stories.

Unfortunately, most of those novelizations are out of print. Although they are rarely more than five or six dollars, the problem really boils down to actually finding them. Also, no matter how strong a novelization is, it is near impossible to re-capture the quality of Troughton’s performance. He really seems like just about the hardest Doctor to write, with only Steve Lyons seeming to have a perfect grasp of the character among the handful of Second Doctor stories I have read.

It’s a wonder that, considering my feelings towards Patrick Troughton, I didn’t get around to actually seeing “The Power of the Daleks” until now. Reading the wonderful “Wife in Space” blog via Tachyon TV, I saw their review of the serial and couldn’t help but take a look at the link to the reconstruction on YouTube. This is the first reconstruction I’ve stumbled upon that uses narration to fill in the blanks, which makes for a much more enjoyable recon experience. I tried to listen to part one of “The Moonbase” with the audio provided on the Lost in Time boxset, but just hearing the audio is a pretty terrible way to try to follow a story without the benefit of narration.

I’d been told a few times that “The Power of the Daleks” was a story worth seeking out, and had heard from a few people that it is one of the stories they most wanted to be discovered in somebody’s attic. It is every bit as good as “Genesis of the Daleks,” which, along with this serial, is second only to “Remembrance of the Daleks” among Dalek stories. I didn’t expect to like this nearly that much, but I did.

The story begins just after the Doctor’s regeneration into his second form, with Ben and Polly arguing over whether it is THE Doctor or just an imposter. Polly has it right, and Ben spends most of this story doubting the possibility that the Doctor regenerated. Ben is a terribly irritating companion throughout, and by the end of part three, I was hoping the Doctor would carve his recorder into a shiv and drive it through Ben’s stupid face. Unfortunately, this didn’t happen, but I suppose you can’t win them all.

Both of the first two parts had some really good cliffhangers, which is unsual. The first has the Doctor, Ben, and Polly stumbling upon a couple of de-activated Daleks covered in cobwebs, and the second has a third Dalek finally speaking up, shocking the people who think the Daleks are merely servants. It is easy to see how much of an influence this story was on the recent Mark Gatiss Eleventh Doctor story “Victory of the Daleks,” especially in the Daleks saying to the silly scientist “I am your serrrr-VANT” much in the same way the Dalek would say “I am your sollll-DIER” in the latter story. The best cliffhanger of all is at the end of part four, when Lesterson discovered the Daleks are multiplying and building an army; really chilling and memorable.

There aren’t any bad performances in this story, aside from Michael Craze, and that is pretty impressive. Robert James (who would later play the High Priest in “The Masque of Mandragora”) is great as Lesterson, Pamela Ann Davy is strong as Janley, and Bernard Archard (the zombie servant Scarman in “Pyramids of Mars”) is great as Bragen.

I don’t think Troughton is quite the Doctor he would become yet in this story, but he’s solid and has a few cool moments. One of the more brilliant scenes is when the Doctor and is locked in a cell with a sonic lock, and uses the glass of water given by his capturer to create a sound at the right frequency to open the lock. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if this had no bearing on real science, but it is the perfect example of how clever this story is. It also helps that Polly is quickly becoming one of my favorite companions; she isn’t written that well but she’s spunky and sharp as a tack. I like that in a woman. As I see it, this all adds up to very good. It’s stories like this that make me angry at the BBC for their deletion policy even more. Absolutely a classic Dalek story.

Serial Review: Robot (Season 12)

Written by Terrance Dicks, dir. by Christopher Barry
Featuring the Doctor, Sarah Jane, Harry, UNIT, and a robot

Rating: B-

Re-visiting “Robot” is an interesting experience, being that it is the very first Doctor Who story I ever saw. I didn’t think much of it at the time, nor did I dislike it. I would say that it deserves some level of credit, though, because it was good enough that I continued on to the next episode. It wasn’t until “The Ark in Space,” though, that I really could see myself being a fan of this show.

I’m not a huge fan Tom Baker as the Doctor in general, but nor do I dislike him. That being said, I think he is a bit more on the irritating side than the amusing one in this. I don’t think he really gets a hang of the role until late in this first season, or perhaps early in his second. His facial expressions are particularly obnoxious here, and the jump rope scene is ridiculous.

I do appreciate the simplicity of this plot, somehow. I always thought it was strange that, with all of the classic villains in Doctor Who, they didn’t start a Doctor off by facing the Daleks or Cybermen or something like that more often. Would seem only natural to put ones best foot forward when trying to introduce a new actor to the role. The team behind the show managed to handle the introductions pretty well early on, though, as I think all of the first four Doctors have solid debut stories that showcase their talents pretty well. I don’t think “Castrovalva” does much for Davison (I know you’ll disagree), or “The Twin Dilemma” for Colin Baker, or “Time and the Rani” for Sylvester McCoy, but this does a pretty good job of providing a solid story and giving the actor a chance to show the audience what his Doctor is all about. The story borrows a lot from other stories, most obviously Asimov’s “I, Robot” and classic stories like “King Kong” and “Frankenstein,” but I think it works well. There’s no harm in wearing ones influences on your sleeve if you do it well.

I think it was great form for new script editor Robert Holmes to commission the departing Terrance Dicks to write the first story of this new era. Dicks does a good job of bringing a different feel to the story than that of his tenure as script editor; there is a decidedly lighter and more adventurous quality to it than I think the overall scope of the Dicks era had. That’s not to malign the five seasons that saw Doctor Who under Dicks’ watch, but only to point out that it is different.

The first time I saw this, I was too busy trying to figure out what everything was about to notice how great Elisabeth Sladen was, or how cool Ian Marter is as Harry Sullivan. There’s a different quality of Sarah Jane’s character here than there seemed to be in the final season of Pertwee’s run, and I think that she becomes the great companion that she was only when this era of the show begins.

In the guest star department, I love Edward Burnham as Kettlewell, an essentially identical character to his early appearance in the absolutely brilliant Patrick Troughton epic “The Invasion.” He is really the perfect absent-minded professor. It is a shame that recurring Doctor Who actors are so consistently typecast within the show, but it is hard to deny Burnham’s quality when it comes to playing this sort of role. Patricia Maynard is also very solid as the slightly fascist-y scientific ne’er-do-well Hilda Winters.

At the start of a very well-written season, “Robot” might not seem like much, but I enjoy it. I like the use of Asimov’s laws of robotics, and I think the story works pretty well. I’m also fond of a good explosion, which this provides as well. It’s kind of strange that new companion Harry Sullivan has very little to do, but a minor quibble in an otherwise pretty damn solid story. It’s not a classic but I enjoy it anyway.

Serial Review: Death to the Daleks (Season 11)

“Death to the Daleks”
Written by Terry Nation, dir. by Michael Briant
Featuring the Doctor, Sarah Jane, and Daleks

Rating: C

I am apparently some kind of strange statistical anomaly in Doctor Who fandom, as after seeing this serial, I can say that my least favorite Jon Pertwee Dalek serial is in fact “Day of the Daleks.” I didn’t think it was awful, but I really enjoyed “Planet of the Daleks,” and as it turns out, I think “Death to the Daleks” is pretty solid.

Strangely, it starts slow and gets better as it goes on. Generally speaking, I find myself enjoying the first couple episodes of an average serial but end up being disappointed later on. In the case of this serial, it turned out to be the opposite reaction. It doesn’t hurt that I’m a fan of Michael Briant’s direction, especially in the outstanding “The Sea Devils.” There was something charming about the serial for me, which made up for its various short comings.

I can definitely see why people don’t like this one, but I liked a few things about it. Elisabeth Sladen is as good as always as Sarah Jane, and Pertwee is as solid as always. I’m sure someone will tell me I’m an idiot for this, but one of my favorite parts about this story is actually the Exxilon. I think they are a cool alien race and I have a soft spot for stories where the ugly aliens aren’t all bad guys.

I eagerly await your fury, as I work on a Jon Pertwee wrap up post before I get into Tom Baker’s territory.

Serial Review: The Monster of Peladon (Season 11)

“The Monster of Peladon”
Written by Brian Hayles, directed by Lennie Mayne
Featuring the Doctor, Sarah Jane, and Ice Warriors

Rating: F

Having really enjoyed Brian Hayles’ previous story “The Curse of Peladon” so much, I was pretty excited to come up to this story. I was gleeful in knowing there would be more of the ridiculous Alpha Centauri, as well as having Sarah Jane in the mix rather than the frequently irritating Jo Grant. Unfortunately, this is an example of a story that does live up to its hype: it is terrible, and pretty much agonizing to watch.

The Doctor finds himself on Peladon again, on purpose, this time with Sarah Jane in tow. The Doctor apparently had been meaning to return, despite the fact that he was forced to flee at the end of his last visit when his cover was blown. They appear to have forgotten this, though, and Alpha Centauri is there to vouch for the Doctor being a-okay. Apparently, the King that the Doctor had become friends with has passed away, leaving his daughter as the new ruler of Peladon. She’s a pretty useless monarch, basically doing whatever she is told by advisers and the like until the predictable end when she finally decides things need to change just a smidge.

Things kind of immediately spiral into ridiculousness. This story essentially does everything to show all the worst parts of classic Doctor Who; constant capturing and re-capturing, running through corridors, terrible acting from the featured extras and most of the supporting cast, a plot that is paper thin, and some rough costume design. The best part about this serial was actually turning on the Radio Free Skaro commentary starting at Part 3, as their making fun of it was the only thing that actually got me through. This is the first story to feature the Ice Warriors to get bad marks from me.

There are some bad stories that are still kinda fun because they have a little charm (“The War Machines” comes to mind), but “The Monster of Peladon” is terrible without really any redeeming qualities whatsoever. I’ve never actually given a Doctor Who story an F before, but this one wins that prestige. This really turns out to be, unfortunately, the worst serial of Pertwee’s run as the Doctor, and the worst serial of classic Who that I have seen so far. Not to mention that season eleven is also Pertwee’s worst season. Sad to see him go out like that, but I still at least found enjoyment in “Invasion of the Dinosaurs” and “Planet of the Spiders.”

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