Doctor Who - The Deadly Assassin 1976

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The Doctor arrives on Gallifrey, where he is accused of the assassination of the Time Lord President. Investigating with the aid of Co-ordinator Engin and Castellan Spandrell, he discovers that this is part of a plot hatched by his old adversary the Master. Having used up all twelve of his regenerations, the Master is now a wizened husk. He is seeking to control the presidency in order to obtain the official regalia, the Sash and Rod of Rassilon, which are really keys to the Eye of Harmony, the source of all the Time Lords' power.

Starring:
Tom Baker, George Pravda
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature parental_guidance
Runtime 1 hour 35 minutes
Starring Tom Baker, George Pravda, Angus Mackay
Director David Maloney
Genres Science Fiction
Studio 2 ENTERTAIN VIDEO
Rental release 11 May 2009
Main languages English

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Masterpiece - definitely in my top five Doctor Who stories ever.

This is the first time we saw the TimeLords as fallible, corrupt, elitist and dominated by males (not a single woman in the whole show!) and obviously you can draw whatever parallels from that. It also features the Master in his zombie incarnation, which - whilst really good - is sadly the first story without Roger Delgado playing the part. Brilliant, witty dialogue with Tom Baker at his peak with a well paced, engaging story.

If there's a negative, I've never been completely convinced by the WWI look of the inside of the matrix, although it is suitably surreal, I suppose.

It's also historically interesting because this got the attention of Mary Whitehouse due to an admittedly dodgy still at the end of an episode which showed the Doctor drowning. With perspective it's funny how her targets seemed to go for anything that showed intelligence or critical thought. The cardinal sin seemed to be showing intelligence and critical thought to (gasp) children! Unfortunately at the time she apparently had a fair amount of power and it does look like this played a part in quite a dramatic fall in quality over the next season- despite ironically opening on a classic bit of horror. Or maybe the dip in quality was Tom Baker's fault?

A classic.
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This is set among the Doctor's own people, but here they no longer seem convincing as a powerful non-human race. If you overlook this, it is quite a good murder mystery. The Doctor without a companion works OK.
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