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Old February 6 2013, 05:03 AM   #299
Re: Last Classic Who Story you watched

Full Circle (Fourth Doctor).

A very interesting story that was well written. The concept of accelerated evolution is one that I've seen before but was probably something new when this serial was aired. I'm not sure how evolution from spider to marsh man, which I assume to be some kind of amphibian, to humanoid would work. That said, the idea that the marsh men had taken the place of the original people from Terradon and were still trying to fix the ship worked well.

It was intersting to see George Baker in a Doctor Who serial. He did a good job with the material he was given but his definitive performance, at least to me, remain that of Tiberius in I, Claudius. Tom Baker unfortunately seemed to be phoning it in all through the serial while Lalla Ward didn't seem to have much to do. Adric is a character I'm not sure about. The smart kid is a trope that I could do without.

State of Decay (Fourth Doctor).

Vampires. Giant Vampires! Argggg. While I can appreciate a new take on Vampires, they're a creature that I could do without for a good long while. This serial seems to use the Bram Stoker version which is okay. At least the bastards don't glow in sunlight.

That said the serial was well written and acted, though Tom Baker was still phoning it in. I appreciate the amount of Time Lord history I got out of these four episodes. A long and bloody conflict between the Vampires and the Time Lords that was only settled when Rassilon was young. I also find it interesting that that was the war that made the Time Lords more or less pacifists for a time, except for a mission here or there to destroy the Daleks. Honestly, making the serial about that war would have made it more interesting.

Adric's still getting on my nerves. I'm hoping he doesn't reach Wesley Crusher levels.

Warriors' Gate (Fourth Doctor).

You could sort of call this serial Full Circle as well, though the title would have a different meaning. The Tharils were once a powerful race that used their abilities to plunder and enslave multiple worlds. They were then overthrown by the Gundans and later became slaves themselves. Now they have initiated their own revolt.

I liked the concept behind this story but I thought it was a little thin. More information about the Tharils, the fall of their empire and their enslavement, would have helped to flesh it out somewhat. Though the slavers were the bad guys, it would have also been interesting to learn how they got the idea to use the Tharils as their navigators. However I can see why this information wasn't included. The majority would have been exposition and might have weighed the story down too much.

I'm sorry to see both Romana and K-9 go. After blowing him up, cutting off his head and just leaving him in the Tardis half the time, the Tin Dog had a rough time this season. While Romana did have reason to leave the Tardis, wanting to help the Tharils and not wanting to return to Gallifrey, I think the writer could have developed her motivation more. There's no hint of her desire to stay in E-Space until she announces it.

I still like Mary Tamm's Romana better but Lalla Ward's was a good companion as well. She was not nearly as well developed but Ward and Baker had good chemistry on screen and this made up for it. The characters just seemed to enjoy eachother's presence throughout most of season 17 and here and there in season 18.

The library doesn't have a copy of The Keeper of Traken so it's on to Logopolis, Tom Baker's last serial.
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