Reviewed By: TCar96
Review Date: 9/15/16 4:00 pm
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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.