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This review is from: Doctor Who - The Trial Of A Time Lord  [DVD] (DVD)
This story was maybe too ambitious for Doctor Who - a seemingly good idea on paper, putting the Doctor on trial, mirroring the real situation that the program was under scrutiny by the heads of the BBC - in the longest story to date. Having received feedback about toning down the violence from the previous season, I don't think this was fully accomplished; this is possibly a good thing. The first segment, The Mysterious Planet is average. It has a sophisticated and expensive opening and a fair storyline with good acting, in spite of the visible low budget. The trial scenes are intrusive and possibly would have worked better without them. The reason I have given this story 4 stars is mainly because of the second segment, which would have worked more effectively as a stand-alone story. This was violent and gruesome and pictured unethical scientific advances on Theras Beta, in which we ultimately see Crozier's ambition realised - to transfer the contents of the mind of a male reptile into a female human body - once again addressing the theme of cheating death. I agree with Colin and Nicola' s commentary that the ending would have been more effective and dramatic, had It not been revealed that her ending was not portrayed accurately on the matrix and she had married King Ycarnos. The third segment was dull - the Doctor looks bored most of the time, there is little action. The idea of the matrix providing a surreal environment with Dickensian characters and a nod to The Wasteland were good and helped to recover interest from the third segment. I completely agree with Eric Saward - the ending of the Doctor and the Valeyard lost in a time vent would have been appropriate and, yes, it would have given the BBC additional ammunition for giving the program a break. Instead, the ending is weak and the Keeper of the Matrix turns out to be the Valeyard.