7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
"Advanced forms of magic are indistinguishable from science",
This review is from: Doctor Who: Battlefield [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Battlefield is without question the worst story from season 26 of Doctor Who (the final of it's original run). That, however, is like saying that "Fixing a Hole" is the worst song from Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club, i.e., its such a damn good collection that the worst is still really good!
Battlefield sees the return to Doctor Who of UNIT, Bessie, and the good old Brig. It's a thrilling mythical yarn based on Arthurian legends which casts the good Doctor in the role of Merlin... literally! As the Doc learns that one of his future incarnations takes the identity of Merlin in order to command the righteous in battle agains the evil sorceress Morgaine in an alternate dimension.
The Who take on Arthurian mythology is thoroughly entertaining, and refreshingly doesn't try to explain away the apparrent use of magic using sci-fi technobabble. McCoy and Aldred are by now completely comfortable in their respective roles, while Nicholas Courtney effortlessly slides back into his role as the now much older Lethbridge-Stewart, without falling into the trap of acting like he's still the age he was during the Brig's heyday in the 70s. You can tell he relishes the oppurtinity of portraying the older, retired Brigadier having to step back into action, realising he is no longer as capable as he used to be, and fleshing out his character's background in scenes where he is off duty and acting alongside Angela Douglas as his wife, Doris. Also worthy of note is Jean Marsh as Morgaine, a talented actress who manages to add layers of depth to the somewhat cliched role of the villainess sorcerer.
And while watching remember to pay attention to the cliffhanger of episode two, Sophie Aldred's screams of help are not all acting as this particular stunt went horribly wrong and almost killed her.
To sum it up, Battlefield is an entertaining and original Who story, and started the show's final season in fine form.