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Delta And the Bannermen

Rating Votes
10
3%
2
9
7%
5
8
13%
9
7
14%
10
6
25%
18
5
23%
16
4
11%
8
3
1%
1
2
1%
1
1
1%
1
Average Rating
6.1
Votes
71
Director:
Writer:

Latest Community Reviews

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
2
Plot Rating:
1
Acting Rating:
4
Replay Rating:
1
Effects Rating:
2
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 4/19/18 2:51 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

It's hard to imagine a Seventh Doctor TV story worse than 'Time and the Rani' but honestly and shockingly "Delta and the Bannermen" somehow fits the bill. At least 'Rani' had some interesting things about it that saved it a little even if they weren't executed all that well. 'Bannermen' doesn't even have that going for it and re-watching it again its reputation is very well earned. The plot as best as I can figure out centers around the Chimeron princess Delta being pursued as the last of her kind by the evil Bannermen who want to kill her for.....some unknown reason that I couldn't figure out watching other than just being evil. If you are looking for some sort of motivation or background to these characters and why they have such animosity towards each other, you aren't going to find it here. Meanwhile the Seventh Doctor and Melanie join a group of tourist aliens on a tour of the Earth and get stuck in 1959 in a run-down holiday camp where they end up finding Delta and get involved in said conflict along with a 50's biker girl named Ray, a young man named Billy with an out of nowhere attraction to Delta, two American spies looking for a downed satellite, and a weird old beekeeper who seems to only be there to spout weird wisdom that relates to the Chimeron culture. How all these things tie together I really have no idea and I'm not sure the story itself does either. Trying to untangle and care about what is going on is next to impossible especially as we never find out more about any of the characters the plot centers around other than surface level impressions. There are also so many things that simply don't make sense at all like the completely out of left field romance between biker dude Billy and Delta, the purpose of why the American pair are in the story at all, and especially how and why this conflict is important or worth caring about. It makes the story an unpleasantly boring slog and all of the other flaws in the story certainly don't help. For one thing, I hate the 50's setting partially on a personal level and partially because it's cheesy, overblown, and really doesn't serve the story's purpose. For another, the design of this story is simply awful. Everything from the creature design of the tourist aliens to the costume designs of both the Bannermen and Delta are over the top and silly-looking. I could go on and on about all of the problems this one has but what about what's good? Well Sylvester McCoy is certainly trying his hardest and you can continue to see his character growing in confidence and ability in this story. He gets all the best lines and moments in the story though that's really not saying much when everything else is so bad. I really also like the character of Ray in this story. A Welsh biker girl that feels like a prototype for Ace with a sweeter edge to her, she and Seven have a really nice connection and I could totally see them working as a TARDIS pair. You can tell that the producers were prepping for Mel's departure next story (who by the way is at her worst here with nothing redeemable to go off of) and playing around with different ideas on who would work with Seven. Other than that.....the scenery is nice at times I guess and the production design is OK for the most part. But that's honestly about it. I can count the good things of this story on one hand compared to needing my entire body to describe the bad things. In short, "Delta and the Bannermen" is a waste of time and energy and if I had to pick a low point for the Seventh Doctor on TV, this story would definitely be it. Thankfully it doesn't tie into anything related to future Seventh Doctor adventures or stories so I'm glad to say you can safely skip this one and leave it to the oblivion it deserves. 
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
1
Plot Rating:
1
Acting Rating:
2
Replay Rating:
1
Effects Rating:
2
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: newt5996Review Date: 5/28/16 7:51 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

This is the twenty-fifth worst story as voted on in the 2014 Doctor Who Magazine Poll and I would argue that it deserves to be even lower than that. The story, even though it is just a three part story, has some extreme padding with a cast of ten plus at least thirty extras that could be cut in half to be a cast of five main characters with maybe fifteen extras. Malcolm Kholl does not know how to write for characters as he is trying to make this a space opera and a love story, but to do both of those things you need to be able to do one thing, make the characters interesting so we can understand their motivations. The characters here are as dull as a lead pipe. They also don’t act rationally throughout the entire story with the exception of Bonnie Langford as Mel who actually is pretty decent in this story. You know that something is wrong when Mel is the best character in your story. Sylvester McCoy is obviously trying his hardest in this story, but the Doctor doesn’t do anything in this story except pop in to remind you that he is in the story. While that may seem like it’s like one of the Virgin New Adventures, what the novels do is make the Doctor be doing stuff behind the scenes while here he is doing nothing except near the end of Part Two where he gets a great speech just before the cliffhanger.





Now I said that this story was trying to be a love story, which occurs between Delta, who is basically a humanoid alien bee, and Billy a biker from the 1950s. While that is a weird pairing it could easily work if there was good chemistry. Sadly Belinda Mayne and David Kinder look like two children in a school play who don’t know the first thing about acting. The romance isn’t helped by the script which has them glance at each other and suddenly they have fallen in love. What makes the romance worse is that Billy eats some magic alien bee juice to turn him into one of the Chimeron’s so he can get in bed with Delta. The romance also doesn’t work for the reason of what we know about the Chimeron life cycle is that every 24 hours they gain about ten years on their life, making Delta about two days old. Yes Billy is shortening his life by several decades to be with a woman whom he’s met for a day and will die in about a week. But it wouldn’t be a romance story without a really forced love triangle and the third wheel is Ray, Billy’s childhood friend who is obviously smitten with the man for no real reason. Sara Griffiths is trying her hardest to come across as vulnerable, but it just doesn’t work as the script is too weak to actually carry a love triangle. It also turns out that Ray would have become a companion even though outside of the forced triangle she doesn’t do much within the story.





The story is also trying to be an action space opera with the evil Bannermen, who are not a real threat, as led by the insidious Gavrok. Gavrok is a really boring villain who is just evil for evil’s sake. He is trying to commit genocide but doesn’t have any motivation to do so that is stated on screen as we are told that he is evil. He is played by Don Henderson who cannot act his way out of a paper bag. He is just mugging for the camera and oddly delivering his lines. The Bannermen are also extremely awful as in the way; to intimidate you by sticking their tongues out and hissing which isn’t intimidating. Also with these villains there is a ton of mood whiplash where you have the tone being all comedic and suddenly half the cast is blown up near the end of Part Two.





Now there are also four or five other characters who are extremely boring and really are there to get from Point A to Point B in the story. There are two Americans who do nothing, a Beekeeper who acts all mysterious but is just a way for Malcolm Kholl to be pretentious, the bus driver who is annoying, and a toll master who has a grading voice. All these people are awful as the story keeps shifting locations with different characters at different places which can be cut out completely and you won’t really miss anything.





The direction for this serial was done by Chris Clough who did five other stories in the late 1980s. Sadly this is not one of his best direction efforts as he can’t seem to work around some of the tiny sets making some of the actors look like they don’t have good peripheral vision and some of the shots look really badly put together. He also doesn’t know where to put music correctly as at points the music is way too comical causing some of the crazy mood whiplash.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
3
Plot Rating:
3
Acting Rating:
4
Replay Rating:
3
Effects Rating:
3
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 4/25/15 4:26 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

This story has a good premise at its core with a time travelling tour bus that crash lands in Wales instead of its intended destination of Disneyland. The Doctor turns in a decent performance (except for one of the weakest &quot;Doctor speeches&quot; in show history but I think that's a result of the writing.) I also find Mel to be a lovely person who just happens to have an annoying habit of screaming all the time. The 1950s music when it played or sung was very nice and there were some good scenes of the Welsh countryside. I liked the idea of quick growing aliens, though here it's done a bit too quickly. I also appreciated an authority figure reacting sensibly to an alien visit.

The story really falls down in execution. The characters of Hawk and Weisuller take up several scenes and are actually rather pointless to the plot. And as to their actual effect on the story, to put it nicely, well let's say, they're not exactly Jago and Litefoot. The resolution to both cliffhangers was really weak, though if it helps the cliffhangers weren't all that great either. The villains look absurb with their visor sunglasses and overall are surprisingly weak. The plot is contrived. And the incidental music is really bad throughout, particularly in battle scenes.

I could see this story as being &quot;so bad it's good,&quot; and that sort of rating is interpretative. All Delta and the Bannerman was missing was commentary by the crew of MST3K. I can't really see it as comedy in the Douglas Adams style of Pirate Planet or City of Death. There's daftly executed parody and then there's a poorly executed story that can pick a tone and uses poor music. In the end, the story is another off-7th Doctor Tale from Season 24.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
6
Plot Rating:
NR
Acting Rating:
NR
Replay Rating:
NR
Effects Rating:
NR
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: GcookscotlandReview Date: 1/14/14 1:42 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

No wonder the show got axed after the show became a joke with episodes like his one. McCoy does a good job as the doctor but the writers completely destroyed the show.