Reviewed By: adamelijah
Review Date: 4/4/15 5:13 pm
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This story begins with one of the very best visual sequences in Doctor Who history as the TARDIS is forced to land at a space station. The opening is stunning, not stunning by standards of its ear, but even decades later, it's incredibly impressive and then the Doctor leaves the TARDIS to find himself on trial with the Valeyard his prosecutor.
The Valeyard (so named so the Doctor can deride him demeaning nicknames) presents the case against the Doctor becoming by telling to the Doctor's visit to the planet Ravolox with Peri.
The opening shots of this adventure within the trial show how the Doctor and Peri's relationship has progressed. This Doctored had mellowed out through Season 22, but in this opener, he shows how really warm and kind he can be. It's a look at the type of Doctor, Colin Baker should have evolved into. He's caring, kind, but still tough and with a touch of the egotism that so defined the sixth Doctor. The relationship with Peri is very well-played throughout with great chemistry between Doctor and companion. Yet, there were reminders of where the relationship had come from with the Doctor's joking about Peri taking delight in the underground dwellers calling him, &quot;old one,&quot; and saying, &quot;I always knew there was an evil streak in you,&quot; calling to mind a more cringeworthy moment in Twin Dilemma.
The story a Robert Holmes story. No, it's not Caves of Androzani, the Ark in Space, or the Sun Makers, but it's still a Robert Holmes story which gives it a great quality with enjoyable characters and twisted baddies. The Rogueish double act of Glitz and Dibber are marvelous and pure Robert Holmes. There's also nice but not overdone use of humor.
The trial scenes are mixed. They start out as kind of tiresome and distracting from the main action. However, they become more interesting as the episode moves on and we're given hints with information being withheld from the trial, the Doctor, and of course the audience. That creates some great tension about the larger meta story.
Some of the story is kind of pedestrian and there are a few shots and effects that don't work, but still this script is a very enjoyable Robert Holmes story and does a great job kicking off the trial.