on 16 May 2004
This sequel to Kinda is a fabulous Dr.Who story which works very effectively in every department and contains much impressive characterisation, acting and story telling. Janet Fielding excells as the possessed Tegan, making a superb villainess and the guest cast are all first rate. Best of all, Peter Davison is on top form, giving a startling and exuberant performance, full of energy, passion and enthusiasm. Sadly, some see him as ineffective, probably as stories like this portray him very much as the underdog, with those he meets pig-headedly ignorant and indifferent to his words of warning. It is more the case that the sitiation has been made bigger than the Doctor in order to generate real suspense and tension, rather than any lack of conviction or gravitas on the part of Davison. But it is perhaps not satisfying for fans of the old-school of domineering Doctor to see Davison's torrents of energy expending themselves upon people who simply ignore him or fob him off, like he's a minor pest. Still, he gets the last laugh in the end, because the Mara really does appear and the Doctor is the only one who can stop it. In this, he is triumphant! Overall, a great story and a great Doctor.
on 30 March 2001
This is my favourite story of Season 20 - generally rated the worst of Peter Davisons three as the Doctor. I love this stroy as it contains so many religious references (in particular Bhuddism). This may seem ironic coming from a firm agnostic, but these themes can also be interpreted as common. Regarding the script, the actual plot and storyline generated by the author, Christopher Bailey is not quite as sound as 'Kinda'. There seem to be a few to many plot holes but the superb production by Fiona Cumming distracts the viewer from this. The setting of the story is a direct contrast with its predecessor 'Kinda' as it shows a slightly more advanced civilisation (it reminds me of the Arab culture) and we see large, well-lit caves. I also particularly like the relativly short section being on film involving Dojjen as it brings an air of strangeness which perfectly fits the required atmosphere. The cliffhangers are great whilst Janet Fielding's acting as Tegan is easily among the best ever seen from a companion in Doctor Who. Finally, those who are not so interested in Dr Who are likely to find amusemant in this story as it contains one of Martin Clunes' earliest TV performaces (filmed in late 1982). He was of course to later find fame in 'Men Behaving Badly' amongst other things. The scenes of him being lazy and uncaring are a joy and that ever famous scene where he is possessed and orders the Doctor's execution is absaloutly brillaint. I can guarantee that everyone will find something in this story to like as it works on so many layers. Tim Graves