Find Tony's full Classic Doctor Who on Britbox list of reviews here.
Except another escape....
Cor blimey they don't half drag this out. The main plot: Draconians & Earthmen are on the verge of WAR. Neither side trusts each other & keep attacking the other's spaceships...or do they? The Doctor & Jo stumble into this, realise that the true villains are Ogrons & that someone, somewhere is trying to stir up war between the two Empires. Who could it be?
The rest of the story is told in a series of escapes. The Doctor & Jo are repeatedly captured, escaped, interrogated (by people who don't believe them), re-captured & escape either alone or together. They are captured by the Earth government, The Draconians, The Ogrons, The Master & finally, in a whacking great cliff-hanger, by the Daleks. It's like a never-ending repeat.
This is the Master's last story for some time because poor old Roger Delgado is killed in a car crash whilst making a film in Turkey. Whilst he's up to his usual standards his departure in the final minutes of episode six is so badly directed & chaotic that he just...disappears. A sadly downbeat departure for an actor whose Master is - for me - the definitive performance. You can keep your Ainley’s, Pratt’s & Simm’s. I'll take Delgado.
There's not much else I can say.
The Draconians are well-designed & have a culture of their own, which makes a change. Their proud, honour bound & sexist allowing Doctor Who to throw in one of its half-arsed 'women's lib' comments, which isn't really convincing.
Michael Hawkin's plays General Williams as a man with a spoon shoved up his arse. Stiff, closed-minded & warmongering. Until, in a bizarre instantaneous turnaround, he is told by the Draconian Prince that he killed a load of unarmed Draconians to start the last Earth-Draconian War & decides he's wronged everyone. It doesn't feel right. This man, whose questioned everything as a Draconian scheme, accepts the Prince's account without a quibble?
Anyway I can't be arsed to say much else. It's a story. It passes the time & really it's just half way through a twelve part epic that concludes with 'Planet of the Daleks' but it is so padded as to be worth of a cell of its own.
Will 'Planet of the Daleks' be better?
Tony Cross is the creator of the wonderful Centurion Blog's found HERE and HERE.
Image – BBC.