Reviewed By: thisoldcan
Review Date: 3/5/19 3:25 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
The False Guardian is a tantalizing opening for the mid-series two-parter, but struggles to stand on its own as a complete story. Tom Baker stars as the Fourth Doctor and Jane Slavin stars as Ann. Baker is strong throughout the story, handling the more dramatic role well, while Slavin gets a solid featuring role, and rises to the occasion well, delivering a strong, commanding performance throughout the story. Guy Adams wrote The False Guardian, as well as next month’s conclusion, and while this story largely succeeds on its own, it’s very much the first part of an adventure, sometimes to its own detriment. The plot takes a more relaxed pace, preferring to spend time with the various characters, like Nigel Colloon and Brox, and takes its time to build up the interactions that the Doctor and Ann have with the other characters. But for all the time it takes, it never feels fully satisfying, on its own, and it feels like too much time is spent spinning its wheels, until the ending of the second part of the story. It feels largely padded, and like a neutered prequel. It certainly sets up some interesting plots and ideas for next month’s concluding adventure, but as it stands, the story struggles to stand on its own two feet. I was very intrigued, and admittedly slightly confused, by the inclusion of Zephon (or Zephon, Son of Zephon, more accurately) in the story. Adams spent much of the story referencing The Daleks’ Master Plan, so it’s not too surprising that they went with someone from that serial, but I certainly wouldn’t have expected Zephon to be the big reveal. It’s a tantalizing plot thread, and one I’m excited to see play out. Overall though, The False Guardian, for all its strong set up, really struggles to stand on its own. The cast does solid work, but the writing spends too much time spinning its wheels, and struggles to make the story feel like anything other than parts one and two of a larger serial.