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< The Visitation
Earthshock >

Black Orchid

Rating Votes
10
6%
6
9
14%
13
8
13%
12
7
32%
30
6
20%
19
5
8%
7
4
5%
5
3
0%
0
2
1%
1
1
0%
0
Average Rating
7.0
Votes
93
Director:
Music:
Writer:

Latest Community Reviews

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: adpirtleReview Date: 4/28/19 5:50 am
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

The first and only pure historical adventure since the last episode of The Highlanders in 1967, Black Orchid features Season 19's TARDIS crew mostly setting aside their domestic bickering in favor of letting their hair down in the English countryside of 1925. Of course, this being Doctor Who, it's not all cricket and fancy dress parties, with the Doctor and company eventually finding themselves entangled in an Agatha Christie-style murder mystery. As you might expect, given the setting, the whole thing looks lovely, and it's nice to see the gang actually enjoying each other's company before the unpleasantness of Earthshock.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
5
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
6
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 2/6/19 9:35 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Perhaps the strangest story in terms of structure with this season in being a two-parter rather than the usual four, "Black Orchid" is also the Fifth Doctor's first historical and the main show's last giving the team a break from sci-fi monsters and placing them in something akin to an Agatha Christie novel. Enjoying some time in high society, the group encounter a dark family mystery full of murder and strife that happens to involve a future heiress who randomly looks exactly like Nyssa.

While the plot written by Terrance Dudley is rather dumb and obvious which combined with the length makes this one feel like the filler story it's meant to be, I personally think there is a lot of good here that's overlooked. This is the first story that actually feels like this team is being allowed to relax for once which gives them some great moments together where they have some honest to God fun with each other. Tegan has finally accepted that she's not getting home anytime soon and isn't complaining which instantly makes her more likable, Nyssa gets a bit more to do especially with Sarah Sutton playing dual roles, Adric keeps his mouth shut and does as little as possible, and Davison while not amazing is still fine and doing his best. The scenery of the whole affair is rather charming, there is some enjoyable tense moments before the end, and it's nice to see one more pure historical on screen before the end of the Classic era of the show.

Is it pointless? Completely. Do I see what people dislike about it? Absolutely. Is there that much more to say about it? Not really. But I honestly really enjoy "Black Orchid" even to where I'd say it's better than I remember. It's easily skippable but I'll honest take this one over 'Visitation' in places and it is a fun little diversion for this TARDIS team before the return to the more tense and dangerworthy adventures. 
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: XxDachshundxX Review Date: 9/24/18 7:22 am
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

This story is the first instance of a throwaway story in television Doctor Who. To me, it feels like there was a two-episode gap that was discovered and the script was hastily written to patch the hole.
It’s not a bad story at all. It’s rather refreshing for our characters to go on a break from monsters in 1920s England. The higher-class posh drama is fun to see, and its a fact that the BBC always does costume dramas well. The supporting characters, such as Lord and Lady Cranleigh are very much the stereotypical lords and ladies, but their characters have much more depth than that. The disfigured figure and the secret passageways add a menace that we rarely see in Doctor Who, a sort of English murder mystery, something like Midsomer Murders. I love the atmosphere of the garden party, very much a mixture of Clarence and Marple.
In my mind, in Series 19 every companion gets a chance to shine. Kinda is very much a Tegan story, while Earthshock is Adric’s story. Black Orchid is Nyssa’s story. Sarah Sutton plays two roles here, Nyssa and her doppelgänger, Ann Talbot, with ease. She manages to play the characters similarly, yet making each of them unique. Nyssa gets a lot to do in this story, being kidnaped and held hostage. I’m a fan of Nyssa, so that give this story a plus in my books.
The story really falls flat in Part Two though. As soon as the police arrive and arrest the Doctor, it’s just not as interesting or engaging. The threat and menace are gone, and instead, we are treated to a chase to find the TARDIS, which ends in the most anti-climatic way. Also, I don’t understand why the story is called Black Orchid either. While there is a flower called the black orchid in the story, that detail plays no relevance in the plot besides being part of the backstory. I propose a new title: The Cranleigh Murder. At least that tells us something about the plot!
Still, I feel that this episode is still a good story, and clearly not the worst of Series 19! I think its a short, fun story that you can easily squeeze into your schedule.

Other Recommendations

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
2
Plot Rating:
NR
Acting Rating:
NR
Replay Rating:
NR
Effects Rating:
NR
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: BlueboxReview Date: 1/14/18 2:03 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

What happens when you do a murder mystery where you take out the mystery and watch some cricket and people eating a buffet instead? You get this. I don’t want to be so harsh but I really don’t see how this story gets lifted above the twin dilemma. I really think it might be the worst Doctor Who story in the classic series.