Reviewed By: JMChurch25
Review Date: 4/22/19 2:45 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.
"Year of the Drex Olympics" is a Second Doctor / Jamie / Victoria Short Trip that fills in an interesting gap in Who lore and places the TARDIS team into a sports story which surprisingly hasn't been done very often in series' history. There are a lot of fun moments and circumstances that come out of that initial setup pushing Jamie and especially Victoria into places that they might never have experienced otherwise and it's a fun expansion of their characters as the surprise effects of the games begin to take hold of them. There are also some neat little touches in how Paul Ebb's script introduces some of these concepts into the Whoniverse and it's a fun chance for something different from this era of Doctor Who.
However, other motivations are of course at play behind what's going on and not just the prominent one described in the synopsis. It's at this point after a fairly innovative first half that the story begins to fall flat as the entire premise of the competition is more or less dropped in favor of a boringly standard conflict over an obvious plot device. The narrative falls into the tricky trap of trying to force another conflict that's been done to death in much better stories elsewhere and the rest of the story ends up suffering for it as a result. There are also some strange lines that are written in a very weird way especially in how each event is described and the way it ends up handling the whole purpose of the story feels like a bit of a cop-out in a very rushed climax. Even with Frazer Hines' voice providing great narration and another near-perfect imitation of this TARDIS team, the tale really struggles in keeping your attention, especially with a minimal soundscape that's dull even for a Short Trip.
In trying to be unique even despite an obvious lack of confidence from its writer, "Year of the Drex Olympics does certainly try with elements that do work and are fun to hear for Second Doctor fans. But it's spoiled almost completely by a change in direction and motivation that ruins a good chunk of what was set up and wastes some amazing potential that could've been tapped otherwise. This is an adventure that's absolutely begging for not just a more exciting atmosphere and a full cast but from some major fine-tuning of story and script to take full advantage of its premise. In better hands, this story could've been an absolute knockout. As it stands now, it's disappointingly merely passable.