Reviewed By: JMChurch25
Review Date: 2/12/18 5:49 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.
Another Lost Story from the final part of the Second Doctor era (like "Lords of the Red Planet"), 'Queen' is a mad story of sorts very similar in style, tone, and plot to the First Doctor story "The Celestial Toymaker". It has a very "Alice in Wonderland" feel to it in everything from atmosphere and setting all the way down to the main villainess Hecuba herself and her connection to an old Who foe. The soundscape is jarring and loud with lots of ticking clocks, loud bangs and whistles, and a creepy score with lots of schizophrenic high pitched notes that fit the story to a T. Hecuba's defining motif as the Queen of Time makes for some interesting moments and her personality as portrayed by Caroline Faber is like a weird fusion of the female Master, a 30's film star, and the Queen of Hearts. Faber plays the role like a disturbing child with a Saw-like edge and creepy laugh that really gives you the chills and she ends up being an extremely formidable villain to the Second Doctor. There's a very different dynamic between the two as Troughton was a much more moving and mischievous Doctor rather than how other Doctors I think would've played it and it makes the challenges and contests between the two a lot of fun to hear with Jamie and Zoe caught right in the middle. Frazer Hines and Wendy Padbury are as great as ever in their narration and performances and it all makes this story work beautifully. With how things are described in details and what would've been shown, this is one that I wish we could've seen onscreen. I imagine it would've had a 'Mind Robber' feel to it but it's obvious that the production value would have been enormous to the point where it would've been easily out of range for the show at the time so I'm just glad we get to have it in the first place. Some of the individual elements do feel a bit odd as many random events and out of control moments don't seem to have a gelling theme or any real purpose to them (other than maybe to mess with your head). Some see these elements as a problem but it all makes it feel very surreal like you truly are in a discordant other world outside of the universe which I think that was the point. It's also extremely narratively familiar with the structure, style, and overall journey being one that's been treaded many times especially in other mediums and even in other Who stories. But 'Queen' is so interesting and performed so well and with such style that it didn't bother me too much. In short, I really enjoyed 'Queen of Time' more so than other Troughton stories I've heard. With great performances and some interesting style choices, it tickled a ton of my particular loves and interests that I'm willing to forgive it for a lot. However if you get irritated easily by overdone high pitched laughter and clock ticks or are not a fan of the overdone 'villain forces mains into playing games' storyline, then you may want to give this one serious thought before purchasing.