Top positive review
5 people found this helpful
Love Peter Davison!
on 12 May 2004
The Fifth Doctor is the best, by a country mile, and this is a fairly solid story from his era. The fact that Gallifrey is involved always conjurs comaparison with Deadly Assassin, but apart from THAT one, most Gallifey stories are terrible! Considering the rambling tin foil epic of Invasion of Time, this is an improvement. The story also features Omega, last seen in Three Doctors. A close inspection of Three Doctors reveals that, apart from the titular trio of Doctors, the rest was pretty poor with Omega a ranting, raving loony villain in a mask.
Here, Johnny Byrne (Space:1999) contributes a story where Omega is treated in similar fashion to the space probe pilot in his screenplay for the 1999 episode "Matter of Life and Death", who also becomes anti-matter. In both cases, Byrne paints them as sympathetic characters, unable to return to their own world now they're anti-matter.
In this case Byrne evokes the classic teen horror movie with tourists encountering a monster while spending a night in a crypt. Tegan (left on Earth at the end of Time Flight), is just a regular human who is related to one of the young men and gets involved, ultimately meeting the Doctor a second time, this time joining the crew of the Tardis voluntarily and in good spirits!
Nyssa is allowed to be the solo companion (and since Tegan's possessed in the next story Snakedance, she remians so for a while, really)for most of the story and she and Davison are a great duo. The middle episodes, set on Gallifrey, are pretty standard, nothing spectacular but not terrible either. The final episode is very good, with much location film material. Omega succeeds in creating a new body and lo and behold, its a copy of the Doctor's! This allows Davison a chance to shine brightly, evoking the sympathetic side of Omega. Suddenly, joy turns to horror as the new body begins to decay in the manner of the Quatermass Experiment and Davison hunts him down, gun in hand, to do what must be done. Overall, much better than it's reputation. Not a classic, but a good honest Dr.Who story!