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Old January 18 2013, 08:56 PM   #275
Re: Last Classic Who Story you watched

Destiny of the Daleks (Fourth Doctor).

The Fourth Doctor's only other confrontation with the Daleks, except for Genesis, and it doesn't hold up quite as well. The humor feels out of place and I get the feeling that Douglas Adams rewrote a good deal of Terry Nation's script which was unfortunately his last contribution to Doctor Who. I don't like the idea of making the Daleks entirely robotic, I think the Daleks as genetically engineered mutants is more interesting than them being straight robots, and I'm glad this idea was abandoned in the current series. I know that the 5th, 6th and 7th Doctors each got their own Dalek story so we'll see if they continue this new robot idea.

Unfortunately Davros didn't seem to have much of a purpose in the story. True the Daleks needed him to reprogram their battle computer but that was it. The Doctor captures him first, the Daleks retake him and then he is captured by the Doctor again and put in suspended animation. I also think Michael Wisher's version of the character came off better than David Gooderson's. You could feel the malevolence in Wisher's interpretation whereas Gooderson's felt like he was just going through the motions.

Romana's ability to regenerate into any form she wishes is interesting and begs the question of whether or not this action is possible for all Time Lords. Based solely on the Doctor you'd think not but then again Romana chose to regenerate whereas the Doctor was always on the verge of death. The only time he may have had a chance to decide was when his first incarnation was on the way out since he was dying of old age at that point.

City of Death (Fourth Doctor).

An excellent serial all around. As far as I know this serial was the first time Doctor Who ever filmed outside the UK and they used it to great effect. The Paris locations add well to the sequences where Duggan is following the Doctor and Romana. Although Douglas Adams and Tom Baker's humor is found throughout the serial, it does not feel out of place here as it did in Destiny of the Daleks. Duggan's need to thump people and the Doctor's exasperation at finding the people he wishes to interrogate unconscious led to several good laughs.

Scaroth was a well realized villain whose goal is not actually a bad one, he is trying to save the remnants of his people. He just happens not to care that his people were extremely war-like and that saving them means erasing all of human history. The idea of a man, or Jagaroth in this case, living throughout the entirety of human history and effecting it is not new. Splitting him into fragments that live in different time periods simultaneously with a shared memory of events in each period was an excellent way to make the idea fresh.

I also liked the idea of making the surviving copy of the Mona Lisa one of the supposed fakes. It would be interesting to see this referenced in the new series.
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