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Logopolis

Rating Votes
10
6%
6
9
16%
16
8
24%
24
7
30%
31
6
16%
16
5
8%
8
4
0%
0
3
1%
1
2
0%
0
1
0%
0
Average Rating
7.4
Votes
102

Latest Community Reviews

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
5
Plot Rating:
6
Acting Rating:
7
Replay Rating:
5
Effects Rating:
6
Has Prerequisite(s):
Yes
Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 5/9/19 9:35 pm
3 out of 3 found this review helpful.

So here's the thing about this story: it may be well remembered and there's a lot of good about it. But it's a very flawed and very problematic story for a lot of reasons.

For one thing, the fact that "Logopolis" comes in the middle of a trilogy of continuity heavy stories means that it's hard for this one to really stand on its own and if you aren't caught up on what's been happening in the previous stories, it does tend to lose your interest pretty fast. The concepts it plays with are also rather dull and none of the performances are all that great save for Anthony Ainley who gives one of his better performances as the Master before the Fifth Doctor era transformed him into a cackling joke.

But there is still a lot to like about it and the regeneration itself is still nicely handled. The idea of the Watcher as a foreshadowing of the oncoming moment is a fantastic idea, Tom Baker really sells it when he has to, and it's a surprisingly subtle and quiet way for the new era to start.

While I personally am not a big fan of it, I do respect what it's trying to do as a way to scrub off the long-term residue and any remaining threads before the start of something new. There is a lot to like about it but I still stand by what I've said in calling it extremely average and the weakest regeneration story in the history of the show.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
NR
Acting Rating:
NR
Replay Rating:
NR
Effects Rating:
NR
Has Prerequisite(s):
Yes
Reviewed By: WillDoesDoctorWhoReview Date: 3/30/19 5:00 pm
1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Logopolis, written by Christopher H. Bidmead and directed by Peter Grimwade, concludes Season 18 and the Fourth Doctor's tenure. It introduces new companion Tegan Jovanka and reintroduces Nssya, who was last seen in The Keeper of Traken (the previous story).

The story is divided into three main segments - the first on Earth (episode 1, and half of episode 2), the second in the city of Logopolis (half of episode 2, all of episode 3, and some of episode 4), and the final segment at the Pharos Project site back on Earth (most of episode 4). It is along these lines that we can divide Logopolis into the good bit, the boring bit and the great bit.

Episode 1 gets Logopolis off to a good start. It establishes the tone well, introduces us to Tegan in a fun way, and has good momentum to it, despite most of it being set off the A413. I particularly like the sequence of recurring TARDIS interiors - which establishes that there's something very wrong very effectively. I particularly like the combined sound effects of the TARDIS struggling to dematerialise and the cloister bell ringing (this is the first story in which the cloister bell rings), which also adds to the foreboding atmosphere of the story. Instead of leaving for Logopolis by the start of episode 2, Bidmead decides that the Doctor needs to meet the Watcher on the Thames. These make for some very good shots (the Doctor with his head in his hands after hearing about his impending regeneration is strong imagery), but the way they end up there (the Doctor's ridiculous plan to flush the Master's TARDIS out of his own by landing inside the Thames, and somehow not drowning in the process) makes no sense whatsoever. Stranger still was Tom Baker's delivery of the line "materialise the TARDIS underwater, and open the door", but it was good acting regardless.

Once the TARDIS lands at the city of Logopolis, possibly also the planet of Logopolis (I really don't know), things take a turn for the mundane. The biggest problem with this segment of the story, I think, is the realisation of the city. The sets look cheap and overlit, the Logopolitans are boring (and there are no women for some reason), there is too much emphasis of maths and side-quests, and not enough emphasis on keeping the story going - this segment feels more like an untelevised interlude between adventures than an actual Doctor Who adventure, never mind a regeneration story (in short: it's minisode material). If it were up to me, I'd have turned down the lighting, redesigned the sets to look more "computerised castle" and less "planet polystyrene", and have the block-transfer computations carried out on computers. The imagery of crackling, smoking computers shorting out due to the Master's machinations was a real missed opportunity. Moreover, instead of the Logopolitans preserving the universe, their calculations should threaten to destabilise it (if they go wrong). It's also during these middle episodes that Nyssa appears, and remains a blank-slate for the rest of the story. Whilst Tegan does react with some emotion upon the news that Auntie Vanessa is dead (Nyssa's reaction to her father's dead is essentially non-existent), both Nyssa and Tegan seem to be completely unphased for rest of the story - which is a shame, because it means that they don't seem like real people. Characters don't seem to be Bidmead's strong point in this serial. I still have no idea why the Logopolitans copied the Pharos Project radio telescope and control room in universe, but I'm pretty sure we all know it was so that they didn't have to build as many sets. It is here that we learn that the Logopolitans have created the CVEs (through which the TARDIS fell in Full Cirlce), which is a rare and satisfying example of series arc elements in the Classic Series. The Doctor's short speech about how he didn't choose his company is a nice addition.

After everything starts falling apart on Logopolis (and elsewhere) due to entropy, everybody (except the Monitor because he got Thanos'd) return to Earth and decide to use the real Pharos Project's radio telescope to beam a code to hold open a CVE thorugh which to drain excess entropy (I can't imagine this story was particularly easy on the casual viewer). This is easily the best segment of the story. The Doctor's confrontation with the Master atop the telescope is tense, and the ensuing sequence where the Doctor falls off the telescope is still one of the most exciting and intense in the show's history, and one of the best ways to set up a regeneration in my opinion - even with the unconvincing model shots. If you want an even better experience, watch the blu-ray edition of this episode. The Watcher being a decayed version of the future Fifth Doctor was a nice touch, but I wish it was explained more to the audience than Nyssa expositioning "he was the Doctor all along!".

It's here that I should talk about the music, which most people agree is one of the best soundtracks of the Classic Series. Paddy Kingsland crafts a very funereal, foreboding score, fitting for the Fourth Doctor's final story - although I still prefer his State of Decay work. As for performances, Tom Baker is at the top of his game, and Anthony Ainley makes a suitably unhinged debut. Despite a lack of good characterisation, there are subtleties in Sarah Sutton's performance in Nyssa's reaction to her father's death and the destruction of Traken which I appreciate, even if her reactions weren't believable. Tegan seems to be sidelined for most of the story (which is a good reason not to introduce a new companion on the final story of the longest-running Doctor), but Janet Fielding's performance is mostly good, except for the over-acting inside the TARDIS's "vine room" (or whatever it is).

Breifly, Logopolis is a story that's good in the beginning, dull in the middle and brilliant at the end. It serves as a solid finale to Season 18. It's good, but it should have been even better.
For those who haven't read my above rating: 8/10
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
7
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
6
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: EcclestonSmithReview Date: 2/16/19 9:10 pm
0 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Super underrated and a great regeneration story and master story
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
3
Plot Rating:
5
Acting Rating:
7
Replay Rating:
4
Effects Rating:
2
Has Prerequisite(s):
Yes
Reviewed By: XxDachshundxX Review Date: 9/23/18 3:06 am
0 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Logopolis to me is kind of a mess. I don’t know why it is regarded as being one of the best regeneration stories. In my opinion, it’s one of the weakest from the classic series.
A regeneration story to me is supposed to be two things: a threat that the Doctor can’t survive and a celebration of the era. The stakes are supposed to be set very high, so high that the Doctor has to die.
In this story, well, the stakes are certainly set high. Too high, to be honest. Let’s look at the stakes of previous regeneration stories: in The Tenth Planet - the fate of Earth, in The War Games - the fate of the galaxy, in Planet of the Spiders - the fate of Earth. And then in Logopolis - the fate of everything. Ok then, well that threat sounds epic! The only problem is, we don’t actually see that threat. Sure, we see the cobwebs and styrofoam on Logopolis, and we see some cloudy vortexes from the TARDIS scanner. But to be honest, we don’t see the threat, and that makes it seem unrealistic that the Doctor sacrifices himself to stop it.
Is it a celebration of the era though? Planet of the Spiders is the perfect example of a celebratory regeneration. Several story arcs are resolved, such as Jo Grant’s crystal, Mike Yates’ betrayal and Metabelis 3. It is partially an Earth-bound story and partially a space story. It features monsters from our world that have been made scary. It is, in truth, a celebration of the Jon Pertwee years. But Logopolis celebrated nothing. It ties up no stories arc besides the origin of the CVEs, but that isn’t really a story arc in itself. It may have those flashbacks on monsters and companions, but that doesn’t make it a celebration.
I have a few other problems with the story:
1. Part One is extraordinarily tedious and literally nothing happens besides the Doctor and Adric walking through an infinite number of TARDISs and Tegan and her aunt patching a tyre. All that takes 25 minutes to get through.
2. The technobabble in this story is unbearable. CVEs, recursions, block transfer, Thermodynamics, random nonsense. Worst thing is that us as the audience are treated like we are supposed to know all this!
3. Tom Baker’s Doctor, who used to be funny and smiley, turns here and becomes arrogant and rude to everyone. I know that he’s changed a lot through his era, but you don’t want to ruin his regeneration story by making him extremely unlikable!
4. Logopolis just looks so tatty and boring. The production team had the chance to do something real cool here, but they didn’t. I also don’t understand why a replica of the Pharos Project is on Logopolis. If this is explained, it wasn’t made clear enough because I rewatched this recently and I’m sure it never comes up.
5. The Master’s plan to blackmail the universe is just so bad. All through a radio telescope? Come on Bidmead!
All that aside, I love the concept of the Watcher and the regeneration itself is superb. On the whole, its not a great story, but it has some nice concepts.