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4.4 - The Mega

"This is a warning. Your aggression cannot go unchecked. The West must disarm. We will make you disarm."

When an assassination follows the first demonstration of a deadly new weapon, it appears that an alien race has fired the opening salvo in a new war – a war… for peace.

But is that truly their intent? The Doctor is unsure. The answer lies deep in the heart of a d... (more)

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Review By adamelijah 3/22/15 6:58 am
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.
In this four part "talking book" that recreates a never made Doctor Who Script, the Doctor, Jamie, and Zoe (roles recreated by Frazier Hines and Wendy Padbury) arrive on a station that's being shutdown. Yet something mysterious is going on (if it weren't, this wouldn't be Doctor Who now would it?), as a race of green aliens known as Rosemariners want a krytobiologist in order to provide an antidote to a venom so that they can take over the Universe.

Overall, this is pretty standard Doctor Who stuff, particularly for the era. The story's not bad but it isn't particularly memorable either. It is helped quite a bit by the presence of two other actors assisting Hines and Padbury as opposed to just one. This is helpful as that cuts down on narration and the amount of times that the actors have to double up on characters. As usual Hines' Patrick Troughton voice is uncanny as he makes Troughton come alive nearly a quarter century after he died. Overall, Rosemariners is a fun story, just not a great one.
Review By adamelijah 3/22/15 6:55 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
Masters of Luxor is an oddity. It has interesting concepts but suffers from some of the problems that many Hartnell stories did. (i.e. padding and pacing). The first episode in which the Tardis Crew are wandering around a building (which we later learn is a prison). This episodes ends with Susan about to eat some food and we come back and find out the food was harmless in Episode 2.

It's in Episodes 2 and 3 that the story starts to get interesting as we meet the Perfect One, an Android with emotions who was made by the machines to rule over them after the head "master of Luxor" abandoned who has been vaporizing all comers in a quest to achieve actual life and he plans to do it using Barbara and Susan as first subjects since all other subjects have been male.

This story has some depth to it and poses some interesting questions such as whether we face a great danger from machines. The story seems to say that the answer is no, we face the greatest danger from ourselves. The Perfect One learned his lessons in cruelty from the people who designed the robots who designed him.

This story has got some great moments. I initially had a much harsher reaction based on adaptor Nigel Robinson who when adapting the Anthony Coburn script stating he tried to tone down "religious elements" because it wasn't appropriate for the twenty-first century. However having reviewed the script, I have to conclude that little was lost. The main thing Coburn cut was the doctor warning, "Religion sneeering at scientific progress or scientific progress sneering at religion either can lull people to sleep." and Tabon, the inventor of the robots confessing that he'd once ridiculed their religion and burned their holy book only to find solace and direction from that book. Tabon leads a prayer. None of this is essential to making the play's main point. So while I don't like how he phrased his comments in the commentary, this production remains substantially faithful to the text and the questions it raised.
Review By adamelijah 3/22/15 6:51 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
Reviewer Says:
No previous stories required.
The Doctor, Tegan, and Nyssa are directed to a world on the brink as political intrigue threatens to bring down an empire with an aging ruler being supplanted by his most trusted advisor as a war is planned to fight the enemy, "Seth."

This is a story where ideas are executed well throughout and to give many of them away would be providing spoilers. Still, you have the Doctor seeming go blind while he's really now seeing a computer world of "1s" and "0s" and you have a dictatorial society that has made its own version of Hell where people without memories linger endlessly. Meanwhile androids are outlawed but there are quite a few of them running about.

Peter Davison turns in a marvelous performance and the Sarah Sutton and Janet Fielding delivery at the right moments too. The guest cast is beyond amazing. David Warner and Honor Blackman headline it, but everyone turns their part well with no one off. The script is well-crafted and complex, but not esoteric. The script by Bailey and Platt is superb. Whether this would have worked on 1980s budgets, it's a radio blockbuster and a fine outing for the Fifth Doctor.
Recent Reviews...
Review By: adamelijah
Submitted 3/22/15 6:48 am
Review By: adamelijah
Submitted 3/22/15 6:44 am
Review By: adamelijah
Submitted 3/21/15 7:46 am
Review By: adamelijah
Submitted 3/21/15 7:43 am
Review By: adamelijah
Submitted 3/21/15 7:37 am

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