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3.5 out of 5 stars
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3.5 out of 5 stars
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on 26 June 2007
I watched this with my children, I thought it was a new episode - big mistake - it was ancient, but a pleasant surprise. I realise that this isnt of the calibre of 'new' Doctor Who, but then this came across as low low budget. This then is from a bygone era, but the story had a fun pace that was enjoyable. Okay the acting was wooden in parts, and whoever directed the fight sequences needs shooting...and though the script had cheesy touches, the most important thing is that it entertained us. And surely that's what counts more than anything else. Brilliant concepts around time - maybe too clever for my children - but loved the excellent ending. That was a master stroke. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to be entertained. I'll definitely watch it again... soon. Nce one.
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VINE VOICEon 7 July 2007
TIMELASH's status amongst DR WHO fans has always been unenviable. The consensus was that the story lived up to the anagram of its title to which Colin Baker makes reference in the DVD commentary. (For those of you who were unaware, the letters of the story's name can be re-arranged into 2 four letter words, the first of which is LAME, the second of which is a profanity containing the letters H,I,T and S).

I hadn't really watched this story for about 10 years and before I put the disc into the player was expecting to be cringing with embarrassment whilst being mildly amused by the poor production values despite the fact that there appears to be a new consensus emerging of the story. A fair few of the reviews here seem to be saying:"it's not that bad". This too is reflected in the cheerful DVD commentary and the "MAKING OF" featurette. Again, early on in the commentary, Paul Darrow suggests that "it's so bad it's good!" Well possibly.

My now revised view is that the serial is very much like its mixed-up mutant villain, the Borad. It's a sometimes uncomfortable blend of the hideously awful and the fascinatingly imaginative, that is far from the disaster that its reputation suggests and in many ways is a kind of metaphor for the way that DR WHO manages to combine absurd nonsense with a touch of genius. TIMELASH has a strange entertainment value as despite the occasionally clunky dialogue the cast are given, horrible Karfelon costumes and sets (apparently tinsel is a gateway to a time/space corridor),as well as the very silly Morlox creature that poor Nicola Bryant's Peri has to scream at so much, there is a definite sense of fun, of the show revelling in its own B-movie cliches. One may not love it, it may be silly, but no-one could accuse it of being boring. Any show with a performance as outrageously camp as Paul Darrow's portrayal of Tekker would be worth a look, but TIMELASH is so much more than the amusement value of hammy acting and Ed Wood-style production values. Yes, it looks cheap, but it shares this quality with plenty of far more highly regarded adventures from the 1st 26 years of the show. Perhaps it is the tinny sounding synthesizer score that makes up Liz Parker's incidental music which contributed so much to TIMELASH's initial reputation. This for me, more than almost any other aspect gives a sense of the show being cheaper and nastier than it actually is.

On the other hand Robert Ashby is a fantastic villain, his make up looks excellent and he has one of the most chilling voices I can remember in the whole history of the programme. David Chandler's wide-eyed Herbert is really rather sweet and when not arguing in the TARDIS (some of the most grating and least successful scenes of the story) Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant are excellent. Baker particularly excels in his confrontations with Ashby as if he has to raise his game to match such a great performance.

As for the extras, the commentary is one of the best for a while. Colin Baker's impressive array of behind-the-scenes facts and evident enthusiasm allows himself, Nicola Bryant and Paul Darrow to laugh and joke about the story without sounding as if they're being patronising or sneering. The feature: THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY is simply excellent and does a good job in somewhat redeeming TIMELASH from the unfair label of "one of the worst stories ever".
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on 22 July 2007
What's most bizarre about this release is how much time and energy is spent on the marketing of the fact that it's one of the worst Dr Who's ever. It's in the previews, it's written about on the insert, and the documentary harps on about it ad infinitum. So by the time you finally hit "play" - if you actually make it that far - you really dislike it already.

The story itself is fairly redolent of that era; overlit, poorly written, hammy acting, mundane direction, etc but is certainly not noticeably worse than many others produced at the same time. It will find an audience among Who fans who want to collect the series, so there'll be sales. And that's about it. But try a more upbeat marketing tack next time, lads.
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on 29 June 2007
Timelash is an excellent story from the superb 1985 season of the classic series. Colin Baker is great as the Doctor; lively, moody and eccentric. The story is a basic one, however the Borad makes an interesting enemy and the performances are top notch, especially that of Paul Darrow who based his character on Olivier's portrayal of Richard III. The sets are sometimes cheap looking but that is the part of the charm of the old series. This is certainly better than below par stories from the new series like 'Love and Monsters' and 'Fear Her'. Far better in fact. Buy with confidence.
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on 4 August 2007
Story: 2/5 - Extras: 3/5

"Timelash", by Glen McCoy, is regarded by some fans as the worst story that the original series of "Doctor Who" ever produced. I wouldn't go that far - at least it's better than "The Celestial Toymaker" - but despite being a massive Colin Baker fan (we are in the minority), I was forced to admit after watching this that "Timelash" is, indeed, poor.
There are some interesting ideas knocking around with this story, such as the alien dictator who keeps his real appearance hidden, the disposal of enemies of the state through a time corridor to 12th Century Earth, and the inclusion of the character of Herbert (who generates a last minute plot twist that I shan't spoil for you if you haven't seen "Timelash" before). However, the full implications of these myriad ideas are never explored to their full potential, and the story is also riddled with poor guest performances; is plagued by flat direction; suffers from uninspired and incredibly cheap-looking set design; and features some truly dreadful, supposedly fearsome cave-dwelling monsters that, when allegedly about to savage the unfortunate Peri (Nicola Bryant), look like they're more likely to nuzzle her to death. Such things, you might say, are common in 1980s "Who" and can usually be forgiven - but they shouldn't all have been allowed to happen at once.
The highlights of "Timelash" are probably the joyously OTT performance of guest star Paul Darrow as the slimy and amoral Maylin Tekker, and the impressive makeup used in the final scenes featuring the true "monster of the week".
"Timelash" is one of the BBC's new, cheaper, "Standard Edition" Doctor Who DVD releases, and as such has a lower payload of special features. There's a commentary with actors Colin Baker, Nicola Bryant and Paul Darrow, and an interesting documentary looking at the story and examining, among other things, why it came out so badly. I would describe "Timelash" as a DVD for completists only: new fans looking to try out the Colin Baker years should probably turn to "The Two Doctors" or "Revelation of the Daleks".
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on 11 February 2013
This suffers from a low budget, some rather stiff acting, and some throw back characterisation to the Peri Doctor relationship of Twin Dilemma (which suffers similar production/acting values). Timelash is squeezed between The Two Doctors and Revelation of the Daleks which are classics in terms of adult themes of violence, sex, and gore as Doctor Who got.
Timelash is an interesting story - the choice of 'matte' sets because the Borad bans mirrors leads to dull sets that seem to inspire dull acting, the puppet alien unfortunately comes over muppet, but both the intentions were good.
The design of the Borad himself and the 'blue' robot is exceptional.

I like this because I Love Doctor Who, but you need to watch this with a naive point of view, the concepts are in the words which are lost in the mostly lame delivery.
An excuse is that Colin Baker and Nicola were in Panto at the same time and it was the cheap studio only episode.
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on 21 May 2004
Some people forget that Dr.Who is part shakepeare, part detective drama, part horror movie, part historical drama and part pantomime. They see the pantomime as the thing to be particlularly ashamed of or embarrassed about. I disagree. Warriors of the Deep was a tragic pantomime with a morality play at the core, Twin Dilemma was pantomime with a black heart, and this story is a pantomime that restores the sense of adventure and compassionate heroics to the Colin Baker era. Here we see the Doctor at his most moral and noble, ready to give his life to save the people of Karfel from an evil dictator and the bomb attack he's provoked. Aided by quirky and enthusiastic Herbert, a likeable guy who turns out to be H.G. Wells, this is a pantomime with a good heart (or two!) and a lot of color, wit and fun. The boo-hiss Borad is a little ordinary, but does the villain thing okay. The references to Wells' literature is clever and ultimately ironic, because his book The Time Machine influenced the creation of the whole Dr.Who series, and this story suggests the writer got his book ideas from his adventures with the Doctor! Witty, literate and not bad for a panto, hey?
Definitely one of the more upbeat and enjoyable Colin Baker stories! Taken for what it is, (instead of criticising it for what it is not!) this is a great Dr.Who story.
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on 17 September 2015
FINALLY i've got round to watching this much slated story, and i'm pleasantly surprised-it's not bad! Had a 70s-Tom Baker-era feel to it, and probably would've been great with a Tom and Peri duo. Colin is good though, and the H.G.Wells slant is interesting. I watched Paradise Towers and Delta/Bannermen prior to this, and Timelash is so much more true to Who ethos, and wipes the Tardis floor with those awful pantomimes! Ignore the critics, and give it a go!
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on 27 May 2007
Let's not mince words, this is a terrible terrible story. Colin Baker stories are not generally amongst the best, and this is his worst by far. If you want to see how tacky, poorly scripted, and badly acted Doctor Who got, this is the storyline for you. Not to mention the unimaginatively realised monsters. The only positive thing to come out of it is the design of the Borad, but even the Borad is spoilt by the ludicrous 'twist' (or in reality 'filler') at the end.

Many better Dr Who serials are on the market - don't waste your time and money on this one!
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on 5 January 2014
Isn't it quite often telling and hypocritical? that those who profess to strongly dislike a Dr Who story, often write the longest reviews, and have Very very much to say about said show or episodes, And in much colourful detail about something they profess to hate?.

I'd advise that it's better to be a little more objective and considered when giving ones mind musings, Classic "old" Dr Who is a BBC show from another era, and at times budget on visuals could be strained, but never ever un-inventive.

Testament to the many and varied talented dedicated professional people who worked on Who over those 26 yrs, that is immutably part of why it lasted so long, this story is fine, it is straight forward enough, for most, even those with mean intelligence to digest and enjoy.

Also I do feel that Paul Darrow being a guest
In this particular story, unjustly draws unfair And unusually biased criticisms and irks, blake's seven is fairly acknowledged as being One of BBC1's best SciFi programs, a great vintage that gets better with age, many agree with that more than those who do not, Darrow is a fine actor, and he being part of Timelash, should not be a reason Not to watch the story and thoroughly enjoy the very great Colin baker.

Colin baker unfairly suffered the background and fan politics then, and now, and the show was in difficulty with michael grade, BBC controller at that time, who reiterated that he "didn't understand" BBC Sci Fi, or the justifications of the cost of making it!

Colin tried well, and did real well with the material given to him, and at times it could be said that his strength to stomach the vileness of those times, And go on in spite of many obstacles, was A triumph of hope, over reason!!

Don't listen Too hard to nay sayers, this is quite a colourful fun interesting and inventive entertaining program from 1985.

The mid 1980's are no where near as dated looking for the most part, as lots of media folk would brain wash us all into believing, much was improving very fast as all the yrs in the 80's passed by, and make up was definately more advanced and modern for the times than in previous eras as evidenced at the end of the story, and it. (Although the 70's Who looks mostly great too) these episodes really do not look that bad, it shouldn't matter visually, it's what is written to be of much more importance script wise, and the script is fine here.

Have fun, and simply enjoy with the children with a Big bowl of sugar filled sweets and popcorn..

Susan.
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