3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars
Warning - for fans only!, 22 Jun 2000
I had real difficulty in rating this story - personally, I liked it, but I also recognise it as the type of story that that led to the series being taken off the air.
Sixties and seventies Doctor Who was so different to this that you'd be forgiven for thinking that they are not the same series. The seventh Doctor's era lived largely on the legacy of the series earlier success, and had a story like this been submitted as an idea for a new TV then I'm quite sure it would have been laughed out of the BBC's office.
Fans however, will love this story. It is steeped in continuety and makes references to stories in all three of McCoy's seasons. McCoy and Aldred give their best respective performances they ever gave in the entire series. One assumes that stories like this and the preceding Ghost Light are the basis for the numerous new adventure novels that followed the cancellation of the series.
The big drawback to this story is its complexity. Anyone who joined the story half way through - or even in the second episode - would have no idea of what was going on and would more than likely switch off. What appear to be plot holes aren't really there - if you have time to rewind the video and listen to the Doctor's mumbled dialogue! Much easier not to care what's going on and just enjoy the cast's universal strong performances.
I do get fed up with the way the Doctor and Ace are just accepted into practically any environment or circumstances - this is meant to be a top-secret army base - and just a few authorititive words from the Doctor and they're in. If only Pertwee or Tom Baker's doctors had such luck they wouldn't have spent so much time in cells or prisons!
One other thing that warrants mentioning - the special effects and direction are above average. The commentary whilst watching Ace and others swimming from an underwater camera are both eerie and brilliant - and I liked the lightening effects - certainly added to the dark atmosphere.
I enjoyed watching this Dr Who, but I also resent it and stories of its ilk, as watching this also reminded me of why this once classic series was abandoned.