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Latest Community Reviews

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
4
Plot Rating:
2
Acting Rating:
5
Replay Rating:
2
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: TCar96Review Date: 9/29/16 5:34 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

An aside - physics be damned, the sheer fun of the Doctor using his cricket ball to propel him through space is worthy of praise. One really fun little scene that adds much needed gravitas.

Specific scene aside, FTD does relatively little to irritate by comparison with other stinkers. The set design is of great quality, with some refreshing verticality. Guest cast plays for laughs, but not to a pantomime exaggeration. Nyssa is a lovely presence throughout, and performances across the board of our main cast are solid.

The issue arises with the script - namely its horrific tedium. There's enough material to cover two episodes of the blandest serial ever produced and that's your lot. Aliens to conquer earth, androids, gullible characters as a source of drama. tick-tick-tick-checklist complete.

Even the antagonist, Monarch, seems aware of the total tedium. A villain whose self-proclaimed strength is his patience... does not an effective villain make. He allows our protagonists free reign to wander about (at what can't even be described as a leisurely pace) solving the plot. The solution, so simple as to be utterly persuasive to one character as to turn his loyalty in two lines of dialogue. The serial gets that bored OF ITSELF, it routinely devolves into tacky variety show.

Meanwhile the tardis is hijacked by Tegan (barely rising an eyebrow - thanks tension!) almost a welcome reprieve from the cowardly selfish character, screaming, moaning, reactive and generally irritating. At least Adric is only naive!

Minor gripes include the resolution (surely Monarch could change back co-ordinates) resplendent with callous murder (the Doctor lobbing the Toxin with glee) that makes little sense (the toxin.. that doesn't spread through the air.. this was what would kill the human race?!) albeit more than the thought of dumping androids from various timezones back on earth.

Inoffensive, just really really bland paint-by-numbers Doctor Who.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
10
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: JacobzReview Date: 9/26/16 3:20 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

It's so great that this was rediscovered. Troughton gives a really fun performance as both the Doctor and Salamander. Jamie and Victoria are adorable pretending to be a couple. The backstory bit is pretty dumb and cheesy, but it's still serviceable. The final scene, while it cuts off unexpectedly, is surprisingly cool and kind of intense, reminiscent of NewWho's style. Overall, a highly recommended story.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
6
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
5
Replay Rating:
6
Effects Rating:
5
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: TCar96Review Date: 9/23/16 4:54 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Parts stronger than the whole. There's a great deal of stuff to like in Castrovalva - the format, a snappy opening episode (effectively Edge of Destruction) followed by a triple bill of episodes on Castrovalva; the concepts and effects, an homage to Escher and of course, a new Doctor.

Castrovalva's issues arise when the specifics are dug up. The opening episode sounds great on paper, but in practise there's little tension as we intercut to Peter browsing the wardrobe. Nyssa's intellect removes a great deal of concern regarding the situation, and there's a really shoddy use of effects (i.e. none). A similar situation occurs later as the charm of far off worlds is evaporated by the sight of Tegan and Nyssa pushing around Peter in a plywood box.. on a wheelchair..

The plot too, whilst intriguing and packed with high concepts, is oddly paced and poorly explained. A relatively simple doppleganger plot, utilising block-transfer-computation from the season prior, is made almost impenetrable. With little of the Doctor throughout the serial, there's no 'in' for the viewer, and we're bereft of explanation.

Effects and tension aside, there's a major issue in the 'Doctor-light' nature of Castrovalva. Not the idea, not even the execution, but the companions on which the serial lies. Nyssa, Tegan and Adric are poorly characterised, irritatingly characterised, or bemuddledly characterised and none exude much charisma. The brunt of proactive explanation and plot development falls upon some of Who's weakest companions, and the whole serial suffers as a result.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
5
Plot Rating:
5
Acting Rating:
5
Replay Rating:
6
Effects Rating:
4
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: TCar96Review Date: 9/15/16 4:00 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

A real shame, and disappointing regeneration story, but not one particularly poor or strong - just lying tepidly in the middle.

There's some good stuff certainly: the reintroduction of Nyssa brings about a superb dynamic between both her, and her father. Dramatic weight unusual for Who, in my view not since the earlier dynamics of the Hartnell era. Further continuity is brought about through the logical conclusion of the entropy theme - the metafictional nature of Logopolis, the end of an era. Fictionally, Logopolis serves as the keystone of the universe, mathematically postponing a Universal decay by preventing the long overdue second law of thermodynamics - this is accomplished by 'opening the system' through CVE's, some great payoff for the E-Space trilogy and adding some real gravitas to the finale. The gravitas is helped along by the stellar score, and haunting Watcher - namely the earlier scenes of Thameside gazes and Cloister Bells. Eerie and effective.

Unfortunately the second law of thermodynmaics just doesn't make for an exciting or dynamic (pun intended) yarn. The mathematical framework on which the whole serial relies is just utterly dull and tedious, purposefully! Hence all guest cast are tedious and forgettable and the set design accentuates the dull, grey nature of the piece. Bland direction and bland washed out beige. The SFX in general is really poor, and particularly laughable at the climax - unbelievable considering its the dramatic oompf behind the regeneration of Tom Baker! To have Tom's regenerative sacrifice downplayed by effects sub-par in serials years prior, is awful.

Another awful element, or rather two, must be Tegan and Adric. Shrill and annoying, reactive and unphased by alien worlds, after the Time Warrior almost ONE DECADE earlier, its just poor script writing. Adric meanwhile is unrecognisable as maths genius and only musters sympathy for putting up with the Doctors cruel jibes and aloof nature. Metafiction-wise sure it's interesting, after Romana, sure the Doctor ought to be irascible - but ultimately Tom's bowing out serial has no Tom Baker charm, the only laugh coming from a joke at the expense of Tegan's miniaturised Auntie (Seen a little of her)!

By contrast Planet of Spiders through character arc (Yates), support (Brig), homage (gadget race) and checklist of beloved traits (authoritative, charming, moralistic) managed to send off Pertwee with a fitting, albeit slow, serial. Logopolis is simply an even slower plodder (despite losing two episodes!) with no Tom Baker charm.

The regeneration itself suitably plays to fan service, and tear jerked after a marathon of 4th Doctor stories, but objectively even the effects around the stock footage was terrible.

I sat reflecting on the flashback footage reminiscent of adventures past and companions prior - but most strongly for Terror of the Zygons, Leela, Davros, Sarah, Tom's grins, pithy jokes, brooding pretence and silly outbursts. To be the ghost at the feast - I was reminiscent mostly for Hinchcliffe & Holmes. Logopolis' ultimate failure isn't its slow plodding nature or even iffy effects, it's that one the credits hit, to be brutally honest, I was glad to see the end of the Fourth Doctor and some fresh zest back into the show.

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