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Meglos

Rating Votes
10
3%
2
9
0%
0
8
11%
7
7
17%
11
6
28%
18
5
25%
16
4
17%
11
3
0%
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2
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Average Rating
5.9
Votes
65
Director:
Writer:

Latest Community Reviews

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
6
Acting Rating:
7
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
6
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 5/8/19 6:25 pm
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

"Meglos" is another Doctor Who story with a bit of an outlandish negative reputation behind it, specifically as the one with the villainous shape-shifting cactus. In some ways, it is fairly justified. The plot is a strange mixture of different themes and elements that never gel quite as well together as they should. In the course of 4 parts, we get a fairly predictable doppelganger story, a sub-conflict of science vs. religion that never gets fully resolved, and some weird side points involving a group of space mercenaries that feel a tad out of place. Despite the fact that the character of Meglos the cactus is portrayed in a rather menacing way, it is fairly difficult to take him seriously at times especially in the beginning before he begins taking other bodies and forms.

But at the same time, there is a lot of this story that does work really well. The whole adventure has a weirder vibe to it like it's not exactly trying to take itself too seriously. Unlike 'Leisure Hive' that reveled in the complicated sci-fi elements to the point where it rapidly became boring, "Meglos" uses them as accentuations for what's going on and then adds a subtle layer of comedy to the whole affair that really works. Each cast member is playing their roles over the top but not to the point where it sacrifices the tone of what it's going for and despite it being a less intelligent story at times than it's predecessor in the season, it's far more interesting and fun to watch as a result.

Tom Baker feels a bit more alive in this story and enjoying the proceedings a bit more even as he's put in decent-looking but obviously uncomfortable make-up. Lalla Ward is having a bit more fun despite not being given that much to do again beyond reacting to each moment as appropriate. There are some fun turns from Christopher Owen as an earthling inadvertently brought into the whole mess and returning veteran Jacqueline Hill playing a zealous religious leader who manages to work and have a bit of power to her. The rest of the shots, sets, and effects in regards to the story are all fine despite being laughable at some really bad moments and I'm not going to deny that this story is perfect by any stretch. But I'm also not sure why it gets quite the negative response that it does especially from a fandom who is used to far worse in their stories. If anything, a lot of people who complain about some of the weirder stuff in New Who (particularly the talking frog at the end of the Series 11 story "It Takes You Away") would do well in watching this one and gaining a bit more perspective as they have a similar vibe to each other.

In the end, I as a reviewer was greatly surprised by "Meglos" with how much I liked it and would honestly recommend it for reappraisal by many a fan of the show. It's jumbled, strange, and a little bit messy but it's also interesting, a lot of fun, and better than most seem to give it credit for. 
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
7
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: TCar96Review Date: 9/7/16 9:29 pm
5 out of 5 found this review helpful.

Another JNT serial I really don't understand where the loathing comes from. It's certainly less in the comedy department than, well everything but season 18 - but there's some subtle comedy mostly through ticks and facial performances. This takes a solemn edge off what served as the major detractor in my enjoyment of the Leisure Hive.

Again, we've got some harder sci-fi than usual, without sinking to the depths of Tachyon technobabble. Far from an overused plot element (I'd argue this criticism is retroactively applied with foreviewing of nuwho, all of classic who, big finish & the novels!) I found the simple dichotomy between scientists and deists to be a fun little element, subverting and raising questions not just about the world in which we live - but the show which we enjoy!

I'd also hesitate to call the SFX any worse than usual, personally I found the Zolfa-Thura work very impressive. For CSO and model work, with moving models, and actors, this is staggeringly better than Underworld and for me strikes a perfect balance of ambition and self-restraint.

The effects matter, sets too, as we're treated to a tremendous variety of locales. The eerie dunes of Zolfa-Thura interrupted by a grand doom-weapon; the lush vegitation of Tigella; spaceship innards; Meglos' lair; Tigellan interiors - all competently handled and well lit. No Zygon ship certainly, but everything works and isn't repeated enough to bring focus to the scuffs.

The plot is a mish mash of body swapping dopplegangers, power cores and civilisation on the brink. Nevertheless its interspersed nature makes the formation entertaining despite constituent elements being a little formulaic. Thanks to some great direction, CSO work, sound design, writing and effects, the conclusion is one of the few bits of classic Who where there's a genuine sense of planet crushing scale.

Another serial from season 18 I believe ought to be reappraised.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
4
Plot Rating:
3
Acting Rating:
4
Replay Rating:
3
Effects Rating:
3
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 11/29/15 4:36 am
1 out of 4 found this review helpful.

Take some of the most common tropes in Doctor Who history (megalomaniac villain), (plant based villain), (science v. religion), planet destroying weapon,mix it all together, create a plot that doesn't make sense, visual effects that look far worse than those used in the earlier days of the Baker era, sprinkle some hammy acting and you have Meglos.

The story shows some promise with a time loop that is resolved in the most absurd way possible. Tom Baker has some good moments but even he can't save this story. Just awful.